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Concerns about the Taiwan outbreak is among the reasons why the Taiwan stock exchange fell 8% on Wednesday in what could be its worst day for 26 years.,
After heavy losses on Tuesday, the Taiex index has fallen 10% from its April high, according to Bloomberg reporters.
According to the outlet, chip manufacturing giant, TSMC was among the biggest losses, because of worries about the continued worldwide shortage of semiconductors.
But markets around the world are also suffering losses this week because investorts are worried inflation is rising too quickly in the US.
Taiwan may tighten curbs amid rare outbreak
From our correspondent in Taipei, Helen Davidson:
Taiwan authorities have flagged raising its Covid alert level, putting limits on gatherings above 10 and restricting some people to their neighbourhoods, after the detection of untraced community transmission case.
Taiwan has been one of the world’s success stories in avoiding large outbreaks. To date it has recorded just 1,210 cases, the vast majority in new arrivals held in hotel quarantine. In 2020 it went 253 days without a single local infection.
But in response to two new clusters of community transmitted cases, local media has reported the government could soon raise the alert to a level three, just one day after it was lifted to two. Level three requires mask use in all public places, and limits of five people in private gatherings and 10 in public. Tighter restrictions – including school closures and limiting people to their own neighbourhoods – would apply to areas with community transmission, CNA reported.
Health and welfare minister, Chen Shih-chung, said at a legislative session earlier today.
Taiwan currently has more than two chains of transmission for which we have yet to identify their sources. We are in critical condition now, and this is not a joke.
Under level two, Taiwan is currently subject to restrictions including capped indoor gatherings to 100 and outdoor gatherings to 500 until 8 June, and a ban on the sale of standing tickets on the island’s high speed rail network.
Six cases were detected in the north east city of Yilan this week, from an unknown source. Five of them are linked to an arcade hall, while another – a retiree with a busy social schedule – has no known link to any other cases. It is the second cluster to develop in recent weeks, with at least 36 people linked to China Airlines staff and a Taoyuan airport hotel. The airline cases include 13 pilots and one flight attendant at the airline, and mandatory quarantine of dozens of other staff members has caused cutbacks in cargo services.
Taiwan’s premier Su Tseng-chang said people were getting “more relaxed or careless as time goes by” after having been largely unaffected by the global pandemic.
New record number of deaths in India
India posted a record rise in deaths from Covid-19 in the 24 hours to Wednesday morning local time, pushing its total fatalities past the 250,000 mark.
Deaths swelled by 4,205, while daily cases rose by 348,421, with India’s overall caseload now surging past 23 million, according to health ministry data.
There were also more reports on Wednesday of bodies being washed up on the Ganges river – the suspected result of a shortage of cremation sites.
India variant found in 44 countries – WHO
The World Health Organization said on Wednesday that a variant of Covid-19 behind the explosion of cases in India has been found in dozens of countries all over the world.
The UN health agency said the B.1.617 variant of Covid-19, first found in India in October, had been detected in more than 4,500 samples uploaded to an open-access database “from 44 countries in all six WHO regions”. Its weekly epidemiological update on the pandemic said it had received reports of detections from five additional countries.
Outside of India, it said that Britain had reported the largest number of Covid cases caused by the variant.
Good morning/afternoon/evening. I’m Martin Farrer and welcome to our rolling overage of the coronavirus pandemic.
Here are some of the main developments to get you up to speed:
- The India variant Covid-19 has been found in dozens of countries all over the world, according to the World Health Organization’s weekly update on the pandemic. The UN health agency said the B.1.617 strain had been found in “44 countries in all six WHO regions”.
- Deaths from Covid in India rose by another record amount in the last 24 hours. Fatalities were up by 4,205, the health ministry said, while daily coronavirus cases rose by 348,421.
- Taiwan may be forced to raise its Covid-19 alert level in “coming days”, the health minister said on Wednesday. It could mean the closure of shops dealing in non-essential items after a cluster of six cases was discovered – a high number on the island which has kept infections very low throughout the pandemic.
- Major US airlines have weighed in alongside UK carriers to urge the reopening of transatlantic travel, calling on governments in Washington and London to arrange a summit as soon as possible.
- Pfizer has asked the UK medical regulator for permission to use its Covid-19 vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds in Britain, the Telegraph reported on Wednesday.
- Americans will be offered free taxis to vaccination centres in order to convince them to have a dose of the treatment. Joe Biden announced the scheme with Uber and Lyft on Tuesday.
- A fresh outbreak in Australia has been blamed on a man who had completed hotel quarantine in South Australia. Officials in neighbouring Victoria said on Wednesday that the man tested positive after returning home to Melbourne.
- The virus has cost Australia A$311bn (£171bn), according to Tuesday’s federal budget, thnaks to the massive cost of health and job support schemes.
- Brazil has signed a deal for Pfizer to deliver an additional 100m doses of its Covid-19 vaccine, doubling the number of shots from the company. The health ministry recorded 72,715 additional confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, along with 2,311 deaths.
- The Canadian provinces of Alberta and Ontario said on Tuesday they would stop offering first doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine, with Ontario citing evidence that the risk of rare blood clots is somewhat higher than previously estimated.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Coronavirus live news: India variant found in 44 countries – WHO; Taiwan faces new outbreak | World news