Politics

Delta ‘slowing’ economic growth in East Asia and Pacific – latest updates


Covid-19 has infected more than 233M people and has killed at least 4.7M globally. Here are the virus-related developments for September 28:

China's economy is projected to expand by 8.5 percent, the rest of the region is forecast to grow at 2.5 percent, nearly 2 percentage points less than forecast in April 2021, World Bank says.
China’s economy is projected to expand by 8.5 percent, the rest of the region is forecast to grow at 2.5 percent, nearly 2 percentage points less than forecast in April 2021, World Bank says.
(Reuters)

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

World Bank says Delta variant slowing economic growth in East Asia and Pacific

East Asia and the Pacific region’s recovery has been undermined by the spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant, which is likely slowing economic growth and increasing inequality in the region, the World Bank said.

Economic activity began to slow in the second quarter of 2021, and growth forecasts have been downgraded for most countries in the region, according to the World Bank’s East Asia and Pacific Fall 2021 Economic Update.

While China’s economy is projected to expand by 8.5 percent, the rest of the region is forecast to grow at 2.5 percent, nearly 2 percentage points less than forecast in April 2021, the World Bank said.

“The economic recovery of developing East Asia and Pacific faces a reversal of fortune,” said Manuela Ferro, World Bank Vice President for East Asia and Pacific.

“Whereas in 2020 the region contained Covid-19 while other regions of the world struggled, the rise in Covid-19 cases in 2021 has decreased growth prospects for 2021.”

The report estimates most countries in the region, including Indonesia and the Philippines, can vaccinate more than 60  percent of their populations by the first half of 2022.

While that would not eliminate coronavirus infections, it would significantly reduce mortality, allowing a resumption of economic activity.

Sydney’s unvaccinated warned of social isolation when lockdown ends

Sydney residents who are not
vaccinated against Covid-19 risk being barred from various
social activities even when they are freed from stay-at-home
orders in December, New South Wales state Premier Gladys
Berejkilian has warned.

Under a roadmap to exit lockdown in Australia’s biggest
city, unvaccinated people are already subject to delays in
freedoms that will be gradually granted to inoculated citizens
between October 11 and December. 1.

The two-tier system, designed to encourage more people to
get vaccinated, has been criticised for both penalising
vulnerable groups who have not had access to inoculations and
for falling short of providing a real incentive for the vaccine
hesitant.

However, Berejkilian said people who choose not to be
vaccinated could be barred entry to shops, restaurants, and
entertainment venues even after the state lifts all restrictions
against them on December 1.

“A lot of businesses have said they will not accept anyone
who is unvaccinated,” Berejiklian told Seven News on Tuesday.

“Life for the unvaccinated will be very difficult indefinitely.”

Pubs, cafes, gyms, and hairdressers will reopen to fully
vaccinated people on October 11 in New South Wales, home to Sydney, and more
restrictions will be relaxed once the state’s 80 percent adult
population becomes fully vaccinated, expected by the end of
October.

Australia is pursuing a faster reopening through higher
vaccination rates despite persistent infections, largely in its
two biggest cities Sydney and Melbourne.

There are some tentative signs cases in New South Wales, the
epicenter of the country’s worst outbreak may be flattening.

The state reported 787 new cases on Monday, its lowest daily
figure in more than a month. 

The number of people hospitalised
dipped to 1,155 from 1,266 a week ago as vaccination levels in
people aged over 16 topped 60 percent in the state.

Neighbouring Victoria, however, reported its biggest daily
rise in infections, with 867 cases.

Australia had managed the pandemic better than many other
comparable countries until the arrival of the Delta variant in
June triggered a third wave of infections.

Japan seeks to lift state of emergency at end-September 

The Japanese government will seek advisers’ approval to lift all emergency curbs at the end of the month as the number of new coronavirus cases falls and the strain on the medical system eases, Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura has said.

If approved by a panel of government advisers, Japan as a whole would be out of a state of emergency for the first time in nearly six months.

Like many other countries, Japan had struggled to contain the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant –– including through the Summer Olympic Games –– keeping much of the country under emergency restrictions.

But new daily cases steadily declined over the past month, to 2,129 on Sunday, while the number of severe cases also fell.

About 56 percent of the population is fully vaccinated and the government has said all those who want the shot will have gotten one by November.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies



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