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New Zealand’s real estate prices up, Czech Republic’s high death rate and other Covid news

The Print logo The Print 29-10-2020 Kairvy Grewal
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New Delhi: The novel coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate countries across the world — the latest count being over 4.4 crore cases and more than 11 lakh deaths.

Praised for its initial handling of the pandemic, the Czech Republic is now recording 15,000 new cases every day. The pandemic has slowed down Vietnam’s authorities’ response to disasters. New Zealand real estate prices are reaching new heights despite Covid recession.

ThePrint brings you the most important global stories on the coronavirus pandemic and why they matter.

Price of real estate up in New Zealand despite pandemic recession

Prices of houses in New Zealand are going against the predicted trends of Covid-19 recession and increasing to record levels, prompting concerns about the country’s economic well-being, reports The Guardian.

“New Zealand, which already had some of the most unaffordable housing in the world, saw median prices rise 11.1 % in the year to September, while the median price in Auckland reached nearly $1m (US$660,000). Prices rose 2.5% across the country in September compared with August,” says the report.

“While cheap loans and looser lending requirements designed to stimulate the economy during the pandemic have attracted investors back into the market, many fear that first-time buyers and lower-income groups will be increasingly left behind by the rise in prices,” it adds.

New Zealand has recorded 1,949 cases of Covid-19 and 25 deaths.

What went wrong with Czech Republic’s Covid response

In the initial stages of the pandemic, the Czech Republic won praise for its response to the crisis. However, seven months later, the country is now recording 15,000 new cases daily, reports the BBC. The country also has the second highest per capita death rate in the last seven days across the world.

“Dr Marie Bourne, a GP in the city’s Karlin district, said she understood people were tired of the pandemic. But they were becoming complacent, she said, at precisely the moment it was threatening to spiral out of control,” says the report.

The country has recorded 2,97,013 cases of Covid-19 and 2,675 deaths.

Pandemic slows disaster management response in Vietnam

Vietnam has been hit by multiple storms this month, which have claimed 130 lives so far. The storms have put authorities in a difficult position, as they have to juggle both a pandemic and a disaster management response, reports The Straits Times.

“In such emergencies, teams of logistics and communications specialists would normally be dispatched from neighbouring countries to help pave the way for the delivery of supplies, and search and rescue missions. This time, owing to the pandemic, Vietnamese officials have declined such offers of help,” says the report.

Vietnam has recorded 1,173 cases of Covid-19 and 35 deaths.

Also read: Set politics aside and wear mask, it’s key to avoiding Covid shutdowns, Anthony Fauci says

Number of Covid recoveries in Saudi Arabia increases

Saudi Arabia is seeing a rise in the number of Covid-19 recoveries, reports Arab News.

“The total number of recoveries has risen to 332,550 in the Kingdom. There are 8,149 active cases receiving treatment out of which 769 are in critical condition,” says the report. It adds, “The proactive approach of the health authorities is bearing fruit as the number of infections in the Kingdom is witnessing a decline.”

So far, Saudi Arabia has recorded 3,46,047 cases and 5,348 deaths.

Melbourne set to reopen after recording no new Covid cases for two days

On Tuesday, Australia’s Melbourne celebrated a ‘double donut’ — two days of not recording any Covid-19 cases, reports Asia Times. The city is preparing its “coming-out” party after months of lockdown, “with stay-at-home orders and forced closures of ‘non-essential’ business coming to an end.”

“Visiting other people’s homes will be allowed for the first time in months from midnight Tuesday, [State Premier Daniel Andrews said], although it will come with rules on how many people can attend and how far they can travel,” the report notes.

Australia has recorded 27,562 cases of Covid-19 and 907 deaths.

Turkey’s health minister suggests alternate working shifts to reduce outbreak

Turkey’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has asked local businesses to come up with alternate shifts for employees in order to reduce the spread of Covid-19, reports Daily Sabah.

Koca said that the increase in infections could be attributed to public transportations since millions of workers were using them during rush hours.

“Urging employers to create alternative shifts to divide their employees and lessen the load on mass transit vehicles, the minister said irregular shifts would also protect businesses from losing its entire workforce in case of an outbreak,” explains the report.

Turkey has recorded 3,68,513 cases of Covid-19 and 10,027 deaths.

What else we are reading

Covid-positive patients were discharged to Scottish care homes in spring: The Guardian

Nearly 20% more Israelis died in September 2020 vs 2019: The Jerusalem Post 

Also read: Angela Merkel plans to impose partial lockdown in Germany as Covid cases surge

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