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Coronavirus: latest global developments, 112,000 deaths, 1.8mn infections

GETTNG READY: Graves dug in Dnipro, Ukraine in readiness to for Coronavirus mortaliities.

Facts Health | virus | world

Paris, France | AFP | Sunday 4/13/2020 – 03:39 UTC+5 | 490 words

UPDATES toll, ADDS OPEC deal

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

– China imported cases rise –

China records its highest daily toll of imported virus cases, confirming 97 new infections.

– Over 112,000 dead worldwide –

At least 112,510 people have died worldwide from the coronavirus in over 190 countries and territories, according to an AFP tally around 1900 GMT Sunday based on official sources.

There have been 1,824,950 reported infections since the virus emerged in China in December.

The United States has 21,489 deaths, making it the hardest-hit country. It also has the highest number of reported infections with 546,874 cases.

With 77,129 deaths out of 932,205 diagnosed cases, Europe is the hardest-hit continent. Italy has 19,899 deaths, Spain 16,972, France 14,393 and Britain 10,612.

– Spectre of recession –

The World Bank warns South Asia is on course for its worst economic performance in 40 years, with decades of progress in the battle against poverty at risk.

It slashes its growth forecast for the region this year to 1.8-2.8 percent from its pre-pandemic projection of 6.3 percent, with at least half the countries falling into “deep recession”.

– ‘Easter of solitude’ –

Pope Francis livestreams Easter Sunday mass to the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics, from an empty Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.

He calls for a reduction or forgiveness of poor nation’s debts and an “immediate” ceasefire in global conflicts.

In Jerusalem, a handful of priests celebrate Easter at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the holiest site in Christianity, closed this Easter for the first time in at least a century.

– Confinement goes on –

Lebanon extends its lockdown until April 26.

Syria extends the closure of schools and universities until May 2.

Argentina extends its obligatory confinement until April 26 in big cities, but considers relaxing the measures in rural areas.

– UK PM out of hospital –

Britain’s virus-stricken Prime Minister Boris Johnson is discharged from hospital after spending three days in intensive care.

Downing Street says that on the advice of his medical team, he will not immediately return to work and will recover at Chequers, the country estate for British prime ministers.

Johnson had earlier praised staff treating him in a state-run hospital.

– Aid –

Canadian lawmakers pass a wage subsidy programme heralded as the largest economic measure in the country since World War II, to help businesses and their employees.

The British government says £200 million (228 million euros) additional aid will go to British charities and international organisations to assist developing countries fight COVID-19 and help prevent a second wave.

– Oil deal –

Top oil-producing countries agree to record output cuts in order to boost plummeting oil prices due to the coronavirus crisis and a Russia-Saudi price war.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump hail the new OPEC-plus oil deal as if “great importance”.

OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo describes the cuts as “historic”.

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Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Chamber links up with Gujarat Chamber

ECONOMYNEXT – The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has signed an agreement with the Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SGCCI) to increase trade cooperation between India and Sri Lanka.

The MOU was signed by CCC CEO Buwanekabahu Perera, SGCCI President Ramesh Vaghasia, in the presence of Dr Valsan Vethody, Consul General for Sri Lanka in Mumbai, India.

“With the signing of the MoU, … the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and SGCCI aim to facilitate trade between the two countries via initiatives such as trade fairs and delegations, business networking events, training programmes,” the Ceylon Chamber said in a statement.

“This partnership will open doors for Sri Lankan businesses to explore opportunities in Surat’s dynamic market and enable the sharing of expertise and resources between the two regions.”

Established in 1940, SGCCI engages with over 12,000 members and indirect ties with more than 2,00,000 members via 150 associations. It promotes trade, commerce, and industry in South Gujarat.

The region’s commercial and economic centre Surat has risen to prominence as the global epicenter for diamond cutting and as India’s textile hub, and is ranked the world’s 4th fastest growing city with a GDP growth rate of 11.5%

Surat’s economic landscape is vibrant and diverse. As India’s 8th largest and Gujarat’s 2nd largest city, it boasts the highest average annual household income in the country.

The nearby Hazira Industrial Area hosts major corporations like Reliance, ESSAR, SHELL, and L&T. (Colombo/Jun18/2024)

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Sri Lanka telecommunications bill some clauses ruled unconstitutional by SC: Speaker

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court has found a number of clauses in a proposed amendment to the Telecom Telecommunications Amendment bill unconstitutional, speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana said.

“Clause No 8, proposed section 9A 2 of the bill is inconsistent with Article 12 1 of the constitution, however this inconsistency shall cease if word ‘may’ will be replaced with word ‘shall’ as set out in the determination of the supreme court.”

“Clause No 9 is inconsistent with Article 12 1 of the constitution and only can be passed with special majority required under paragraph 2 of the Article 84. However, the inconsistency shall cease if clause is amended as set out in the determination of the supreme court.

Clause No 12, proposed section 17 10 of the bill is inconsistent with Article 12 1 of the constitution and can only be passed with special parliament majority required under Article 84 paragraph 2. However, the inconsistency shall cease if clause is amended as set out in the determination of the supreme court.”

Sections of clauses 13, 18, 20, 33 and 35 were also in violation of the constitution, and could only be passed by a special majority of parliament. (Colombo/Jun18/2024)

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Sri Lanka to exempt one house from imputed rent wealth tax: President

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will exempt one house from a proposed wealth tax outlined in an International Monetary Fund program, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

About 90 percent of the people’s houses are likely to be exempt from the proposed tax, he said.

“[O]ne house will be exempt from this,” President Wickremesinghe told parliament Monday.

“It is going to have a very high threshold and I do not think the vast majority of the people in this country should even be worried about their house

“Don’t worry your house will be safe.”

The IMF program document however did not mention an exempt on one house, but did mention a threshold.

Taxing houses and thrift in general could have detrimental effects on people’s well-being housing stock and their willingness to remain in the country without migrating, critics say.

Related Sri Lanka to tax imaginary rents on houses under IMF deal

The mechanism of imputed rents was used because rates on houses was assigned to provincial councils and courts could strike it down.

Opposition legislator Harsha de Silva said the Samagi Jana Balwegaya welcomed President Wickremesinghe’s statement. (Colombo/June18/2024)

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