business news in context, analysis with attitude

Random and illustrative stories about the global pandemic and how businesses and various business sectors are trying to recover from it, with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  In the United States, there now have been 30,358,880 total conformed cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, resulting in 552,470 deaths and 22,523,799 reported recoveries.

Globally, there have been 122,467,550 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 2,704,920 resultant fatalities, and 98,726,574 reported recoveries. (Source.)

•  The Washington Post  reports that "at least 75.5 million people have received one or both doses of the vaccine in the U.S.  This includes more than 39.1 million people who have been fully vaccinated … 151.1 million doses have been distributed."

•  From the Wall Street Journal:

"Newly reported Covid-19 deaths rose in the U.S. from the day before, while daily case numbers were steady … Meanwhile, the fall in daily coronavirus cases in the country has been flattening - though numbers are substantially below the early January peak of about 300,000. Johns Hopkins data recorded just over 58,000 new cases for Thursday, slightly below Wednesday’s 58,480 cases … 

•  The New York Times reports that "officials in at least 17 states have committed in recent days to opening coronavirus vaccine appointments to all adults in March or April, part of a fast-moving expansion as states race to meet President Biden’s goal of universal eligibility by May 1.

"In Ohio, all adults will be allowed to seek shots starting March 29. In Connecticut, April 5. In Alaska and Mississippi, all adults are already able to book appointments. And on Thursday, officials in Illinois, Kentucky, Rhode Island, Maryland and Missouri said that all adults would be allowed in April to sign up for a shot, while Gov. Spencer Cox of Utah said universal eligibility would begin there next week."

•  From the Washington Post:

"Much of Europe on Friday was restarting use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine after the European Union’s pharmaceutical regulator declared the shot 'safe and effective.'

"France, Germany, Italy and Spain said they would resume administering the vaccine following temporary suspensions over fears that the shot may have caused rare blood clot disorders. The European Medicines Agency said Thursday that the vaccine, jointly developed by Oxford University and British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, is safe but that it could not rule out a link to the small number of blood clot cases.

"On Friday, the prime ministers of Britain and France were scheduled to receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot as a way to boost confidence in the vaccine."

•  The BBC reports that Paris "is set to go into a month-long Covid lockdown as the country fears a third wave.  Some 21 million people in 16 areas of France will be placed under the measures from midnight on Friday."

According to the story, "France has recorded more than 35,000 new infections within the past 24 hours," with a third wave of infections seen as likely.

"The situation in Paris is particularly worrying with 1,200 people in intensive care there, more than at the peak of the second wave in November, Health Minister Olivier Véran said."

According to the story, "Under the new measures, non-essential businesses will be forced to close, but schools will remain open, along with hairdressers if they follow a 'particular sanitary protocol'.  Government spokesman Gabriel Attal stressed there would be differences with the two earlier lockdowns and said further details would be given of which business could stay open or would have to shut.

"People will be allowed to exercise outdoors within 10km (6 miles) of their home and are not allowed to travel to other parts of the country unless they have a valid reason. Those in the affected areas will have to fill out a form to explain why they have left their homes."