As the world remains mired in COVID-19 case counts and alarming updates, it’s hard to look past everyone’s grim newsfeeds. But opening our eyes wider to a bigger world that is, albeit slowly, starting to stand up should give us hope—or at least an easier day. ANCX will regularly gather positive developments in different corners of the globe to show that, in trying to move forward, we can confidently train our eyes upward.
Australia’s second wave seems to be flattening out
Only 292 new COVID infections were reported last Thursday in Australia, its lowest increase since July 20. This prompted Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt to cautiously express his belief that they may be flattening the curve after a second wave was triggered in the state of Victoria. This positive development comes a week after a total lockdown was laid down over nearly five million people in Melbourne, including a night curfew, business closures, and restrictions in movements. The Australian public was warned that they must strictly observe social distancing and other preventive guidelines to avoid further community transmission. Contact tracing efforts have also been put on high alert over all of the country’s states. Australia currently has 23,035 total COVID cases and 379 deaths.
China’s air pollutants significantly decreased over the lockdown
Data collected from monitoring stations in more than 300 cities in China showed a 10.8 percent fall in lung-damaging airborne particles (PM2.5) from January to July. This was due to the slow down and temporary halt of industrial activity and traffic imposed by the government due to the COVID pandemic. While the level is still below World Health Organization recommendations, the decrease is significant. Environmental groups, however, warn that as businesses and factories restart full operations, pollutants may come back in full-force. China has reported 84,827 COVID cases and 4,634 deaths.
UK economy set to bounce back
According to Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane, the UK economy has brought itself back up to half of the losses it has suffered under the COVID pandemic. This is helped by the number of workers returning to office and the British public’s willingness to shop and dine out despite the virus. “Economic activity in the UK is not falling like stone, in fact it has now been rising for more than three months, sooner than anyone expected,” says Haldane. Nearly 50 percent of Britons went to work last week says the Office for National Statistics, a huge jump from around 30 percent at the end of May.
COVID-19 vaccines are ready for mass production in India
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said last Saturday over his country’s Independence Day celebrations that they are ready to mass produce COVID-19 vaccines following the go signal of scientists. “Not one, not two, as many as three coronavirus vaccines are being tested in India,” Modi says to an audience of around 4,000 guests who were made to sit six feet away from each other. “Along with mass-production, the roadmap for distribution of vaccines to every single Indian in the least possible time is also ready.” Modi also relayed a health ID system while emphasizing his country’s need to increase its international economic influence.
Singapore reports lowest daily tally since March
Last Wednesday, only 42 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Singapore, its lowest daily tally since March 30. There were 11 imported infections, including that of two Singaporeans returning from Indonesia and India. There was one report of community infection in a 58-year-old man who has since been placed on quarantine. Imported cases also came from work permit holders currently employed in the Lion City, including Filipinos. Singapore currently has 55,747 total COVID cases and 27 deaths.