Apple Inc said on Thursday it would reopen its sole retail store in South Korea on 18 April, marking it the first site to return to business after it closed all stores outside Greater China last month due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Once struggling with the first large outbreak outside China, South Korea has largely managed to bring its coronavirus cases under control without major disruptions thanks to a massive testing campaign and intensive contact tracing.
The iPhone maker reopened all 42 of its branded stores in China in March, more than a month after they were shut in the wake of the pandemic.
Apple’s plan of reopening the store in Seoul comes a day after it released a smaller iPhone priced at $399, to broaden its appeal to budget-conscious customers as the Covid-19 pandemic hobbles the global economy.
New York state will extend its stay-at-home restrictions at least through 15 May, amid signs the initial wave of the coronavirus outbreak has stopped getting worse.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said Thursday that virus transmission rates still need to be tamed as he prolonged rules that have left many New Yorkers working from home, or out of a job entirely, and unable to gather in public since 22 March. The governor said the extension was made in consultation with other Northeast states and will be re-evaluated next month.
The number of people hospitalised statewide has ticked down to under 18,000 – far below initial projections. But there are still close to 2,000 newly diagnosed people coming into hospitals daily, Cuomo said.
New York recorded 606 Covid-19-related deaths Wednesday, the lowest daily number in more than a week. More than 12,000 people have died statewide in just over a month.
The governor also said he’s expanding the requirement starting Friday night that all residents wear face coverings when theyre out in public and within 6 feet of other people. He said that in addition to being required on subways and buses, coverings must be worn by drivers and passengers in for-hire vehicles.
New York City meanwhile is getting ready to use 11,000 empty hotel rooms for coronavirus quarantines.
Mayor Bill de Blasio also said the city is grappling with a projected $7.4bn loss in tax revenue because of the crisis.
The Trump administration has issued new guidelines for states, individuals and employers on how to gradually revive activity and ease up on social distancing in areas where coronavirus cases are on the decline.
The guidelines, distributed to governors Thursday, are published under the headline Opening Up America Again. They follow concerns voiced by President Donald Trump about the need to get more people back to work and shopping, as 22 million Americans lose their jobs.
Here is what needs to happen before states can enter Phase 1:
- A decline of documented Covid-19 cases within a 14-day period
- A robust testing program in place for at-risk health care workers
- A decline of influenza-like illnesses reported within a 14-day period
- Hospitals having enough protective gear for their workers and enough beds, ventilators and other needed supplies to treat all patients.
IMF predicts zero growth in Latin America and the Caribbean for decade to 2025
The International Monetary Fund on Thursday said the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, combined with other problems in recent years, meant Latin America and the Caribbean would likely see “no growth” in the decade from 2015 to 2025.
Alejandro Werner, who heads the IMF’s Western Hemisphere department, said the global lender was racing to process 16 requests for emergency assistance, about half of which were from Caribbean nations devastated by a halt in tourism.
Other countries had asked about traditional IMF programs or extensions of existing financing arrangements, he said.
Hello and welcome to today’s coronavirus live blog with me, Helen Sullivan.
The White House has issued “Guidelines for Opening Up America Again”, which includes three phases of reopening each dependent on infections within a state.
Trump said 29 states will be able to start reopening soon – and that those who meet the requirements for Phase 1 will be able to do so as soon as Friday.
Elsewhere, Japan has extended its state of emergency to the entire country; the UK has extended its lockdown by three weeks; and Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, has fired his health minister.
I’ll be with you for the next few hours – get in touch on Twitter @helenrsullivan.
- Global coronavirus cases pass 2.1 million. The total number of coronavirus cases across the world has reached at least 2,138,763, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of cases of coronavirus registered globally passed 1.5 million on 9 April. Deaths have passed 142,000.
- US president Donald Trump has issued guidelines for reopening the country, with three phases each dependent on states meeting certain criteria. Trump says states who meet Phase 1 criteria can reopen tomorrow (on Friday), and that 29 states will reopen “relatively soon”.
- Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro has sacks his popular health minister Luiz Mandetta, after a weeks-long stand-off between the two men over radically different views of the coronavirus pandemic.
- The UK government announces lockdown extension for three weeks. The foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, who is deputising for Boris Johnson as he recovers from Covid-19, confirmed the extension following advice from the government’s scientific advisory group for emergencies.
- 5 million more Americans sign on as unemployed. The US labour department announced that another 5.24 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week, making a total of 22.2 million since 14 March. The largest number of people to ask for unemployment benefits in a four-week period before the Covid-19 crisis came in 1992, when 2.7 million sought support.
- France registered 753 more deaths from coronavirus infections on Thursday, bringing the total to 17,920, the fourth highest tally in the world. But the number of people in hospital has declined for a second day running.
- Australia PM says more Covid-19 measures needed. Scott Morrison, Australia’s prime minister, said the country had succeeding in flattening the infection curve but that a “more extensive surveillance regime” needed to be implemented if they were to forge “the road out” of lockdown.
- EU chief: ‘Europe owes Italy an apology’. Europe owes Italy “a heartfelt apology” for not offering assistance when the country was suffering in the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak, the head of the European Union executive said.
- New York State lockdown extended to 15 May. Governor Andrew Cuomo also announced that starting on Friday, anyone aged two and older would be required to wear face coverings in public. Another 606 people have died from the virus in New York, the lowest figure in 10 days, bringing the total above 12,000 in the state.
- IMF: Asian economies will not grow this year. Economies in Asia will see zero growth this year for the first time in 60 years, the International Monetary Fund has said.
- Singapore reports biggest jump yet in cases. Singapore reported at least 728 new confirmed cases of coronavirus in the previous 24 hours, the biggest jump yet in numbers in the city-state, which had fought hard to keep its outbreak under control.
- Japan declares nationwide state of emergency. Japan has expanded its state of emergency to cover the entire country. According to AFP, the declaration allows regional governors to urge people to stay indoors, but with no punitive measures or legal force the measure is weaker than strict lockdowns seen in other parts of the world.
- Facebook to warn users who ‘like’ misinformation. Facebook will begin showing notifications to users who have interacted with posts that contain “harmful” coronavirus misinformation, the company announced.