Home Weekly Reviews Economic and Political Weekly 31st May, 2020

Economic and Political Weekly 31st May, 2020

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World

Politics

As of 31st May latest on corona Virus

Cases and deaths due to corona Virus as of  30th May
  cases Deaths
World 6,029,691 366,792
Top 10 countries
USA 1,793,530 104,542
Brazil 468,338 27,944
Russia 387,623 4,374
Spain 285,644 27,121
UK 271,222 38,161
Italy 232,248 33,229
France 186,835 28,714
Germany 183,019 8,594
India 173,491 4,980
Turkey 162,120 4,489

 

News about Vaccine developments and on drugs regarding corona virus epidemic

  • Brazil appears to be entering another dark week, as corona virus cases grow by the thousands and controversy swells around President Jair Bolsonaro. On 25th May, the Ministry of Health announced 11,687 new cases of corona virus had been confirmed over the last 24 hours, bringing its total number of cases to over 374,800. More than 23,400 Brazilians have died so far.
  • Latin America has surpassed Europe and the United States in the daily number of reported Covid-19 infections, the director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said Tuesday, putting the region at the center of the global outbreak. There have been more than 2.4 million cases and more than 143,000 deaths in all of the Americas, Dr. Carissa Etienne told a press briefing, adding the region “has become the epicenter of the Covid pandemic.”
  • The number of corona virus cases in the six Gulf Arab states doubled in less than a month to surpass 200,000 on 27th May, according to a Reuters’tally, at a time the region’s two biggest economies move to resume activity
  • Corona virus deaths in US top 100,000.
  • India has become part of ten countries that are in top 10 having corona virus cases.

·Modi’s hubris triggers new standoff with China

Driven by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vainglorious jingoism at home and his quest for hegemony in the region, India appears to be triggering another standoff with China – this time in the Ladakh region. According to reports by Indian media sources, the flare-up even led to a scuffle between troops from both sides that resulted in multiple Indian security personnel being detained by Chinese forces. “The situation became very volatile last 27th May when a scuffle between Indian personnel and the Chinese resulted in detention of some of our jawans but later they were released,” NDTV quoted a senior Indian bureaucrat as saying.

  • Muslims around the world on Sunday began celebrating Eidul Fitr, a normally festive holiday marking the end of the fasting month of Ramazan, with millions under strict stay-at-home orders and many fearing renewed corona virus outbreaks.

Some countries, including Turkey, Iraq and Jordan, have imposed round-the-clock holiday curfews. But even where many restrictions have been lifted, celebrations will be subdued because of fears of the pandemic and its economic fallout. Saudi Arabia, home to the holy cities of Makkah and Madina, is under a complete lockdown, with residents only permitted to leave their homes to purchase food and medicine.

  • Countries where corona virus infections are declining could still face an “immediate second peak” if they let up too soon on measures to halt the outbreak, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on 25th may.

The world is still in the middle of the first wave of the corona virus outbreak, WHO emergencies head Dr Mike Ryan told an online briefing, noting that while cases are declining in many countries they are still increasing in Central and South America, South Asia and Africa. Ryan said epidemics often come in waves, which means that the novel corona virus could come back later this year in places where the first wave has subsided.

  • The WHO suspended trials of the drug that Donald Trump has promoted as a corona virus defense, fuelling concerns about the US president’s handling of the pandemic that has killed nearly 100,000 Americans.

Trump has led the push for hydroxychloroquine as a potential shield or treatment for the virus, which has infected nearly 5.5 million people and killed 345,000 around the world, saying he took a course of the drug as a preventative measure. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has also heavily promoted hydroxychloroquine while the virus has exploded across nation, which this week became the second most infected in the world after the United States. But the World Health Organization said on Monday it was halting testing of the drug for Covid-19 after studies questioned its safety, including one published Friday that found it actually increased the risk of death.

  • US troop pullout from Afghanistan ahead of schedule

Under a deal the US signed with the Taliban in February, the Pentagon was to bring troop levels down from about 12,000 to 8,600 by mid-July, before withdrawing all forces by May 2021. But a senior US defense official said the troop number was already at approximately 8,500, as commanders accelerate the withdrawal over fears of the corona virus.

· Islamic State calls Covid-19 God’s punishment for foes.

Islamic State (IS) said the corona virus pandemic was divine punishment for its enemies, according to an audio broadcast on Thursday, where the militants also vowed more attacks. The person on the tape identified himself as IS spokesperson Abu Hamzah al Quraishi. “God, by his will, sent a punishment to tyrants of this time and their followers … which can’t be seen by the naked eye,” he said, in an allusion to the Covid-19 disease. “Today we are pleased for this punishment of God for you.”

  • Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele said on 26th May he uses hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug touted by US President Donald Trump as a potential corona virus cure, even though internationalhealth experts have questioned its efficacy and have warned of harmful side-effects.

“I use it as a prophylaxis. President Trump uses it as a prophylaxis. Most of the world’s leaders use it as a prophylaxis,” said Bukele during a press conference with US Ambassador to El Salvador Ronald Johnson to announce a US donation of 250 ventilators to the Central-American country.

·China approves decision to enact Hong Kong national security law

China’s National People’s Congress voted to approve a decision to enact a highly controversial national security law in Hong Kong, a move that critics say threatens basic political freedoms and civil liberties in the semi-autonomous territory.

· Gunmen kill dozens in Nigeria massacre, and residents say armed “bandits” attacked five villages in northwest Sokoto state, killing more than 70 people,

Armed criminals on motorcycles killed dozens of people in a string of attacks on villages in the restive northwest of Nigeria, medics and residents said. Dozens of gunmen⁠ — described locally as “bandits” ⁠—raided five villages close to the border with Niger in Sokoto state late Wednesday, sources told AFP news agency.

· At least 14 Afghan security force members killed in Taliban attack Skirmishes between Taliban fighters and Afghan security forces recommence after a three-day ceasefire expired in Afghanistan.

 

Taliban fighters stormed an Afghan border post on 29th May, killing at least 14 security force members, officials said, the latest in a series of attacks since the end of a brief ceasefire. Afghan officials confirmed the attack in the early hours of Friday had killed 14 Afghan security force members.

·A Minneapolis policeman accused of killing unarmed African-American George Floyd by kneeling on his neck was taken into custody on 29th May and charged with third-degree murder, officials said.

Derek Chauvin is one of four officers who were fired shortly after an explosive video emerged showing a handcuffed Floyd lying on the street as an officer identified as Chauvin pinned his knee to Floyd’s neck for at least five minutes on 25th May. The death of the 46-year-old Floyd has sparked days of sometimes violent demonstrations in Minneapolis and other US cities over police brutality against African-Americans. So far, hundreds of shops have been damaged and a police station set on fire.

Economy

GLOBAL INDICES AS OF 31st May 2020

As Compared to 24th May 2020

 

Global indices as of 31st May 2020
Name Current Value Prev.Close
US MARKETS
 NASDAQ (May 29) 9,489.87 9368.99
EUROPEAN MARKETS
 FTSE (May 29) 6,076.60 6218.79
 CAC (May 29) 4,695.44 4771.39
 DAX (May 29) 11,586.85 11781.13
ASIAN MARKETS
 SGX NIFTY (May 30) 9,556.00 9514.00
 NIKKEI 225 (May 29) 21,877.89 21916.31
 STRAITS TIMES (May 29) 2,510.75 2515.24
 HANG SENG (May 29) 22,961.47 23132.76
 TAIWAN WEIGHTED (May 29) 10,942.16 10944.19
 KOSPI (May 29) 2,029.60 2028.54
 SET COMPOSITE (May 29) 1,342.85 1337.51
 JAKARTA COMPOSITE (May 29) 4,753.61 4716.19
 SHANGHAI COMPOSITE (May 29) 2,852.35 2846.22

 

Global indices as of 24th May 2020
Name Current Value Prev.Close
US MARKETS
 NASDAQ (May 21) 9,284.88 9375.78
EUROPEAN MARKETS
 FTSE (May 22) 5,984.63 6015.25
 CAC (May 22) 4,464.20 4445.45
 DAX (May 22) 11,104.52 11065.93
ASIAN MARKETS
 SGX NIFTY (May 22) 9,078.00 9035.50
 NIKKEI 225 (May 22) 20,388.16 20552.31
 STRAITS TIMES (May 22) 2,499.83 2555.34
 HANG SENG (May 22) 22,930.14 24280.03
 TAIWAN WEIGHTED (May 22) 10,811.15 11008.31
 KOSPI (May 22) 1,970.13 1998.31
 SET COMPOSITE (May 22) 1,303.97 1320.69
 JAKARTA COMPOSITE (May 20) 4,545.95 4548.66
 SHANGHAI COMPOSITE (May 22) 2,813.77 2867.92

  

Pakistan

As of 24th May latest on corona Virus

Position as of 30th May 2020 as compared to 23rd May 2020

Cases 30th May

Death 30th May

Cases 23 May

Death 23May

Increase cases

Increase death

64,028

1,317

50,694

1,117

13,334

200

 

  • Three people, including a senior civil servant, Zubaidullah Khan, were shot dead in an act of targeted killing in Mir Ali, North Waziristan, on the first day of Eid, police said.

Khan was an officer of the Information Group and was currently posted as director of Pakistan Housing Authority (PHA) in Islamabad. He was visiting his family village for Eidul Fitr holidays.

  • Airbus experts on 26th May initiated a probe into last week’s plane crash that killed 97 people when a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Airbus A-320 went down in a crowded neighborhood near Karachi airport.

Initial reports suggest the jet crashed after an apparent engine failure. Aviation authorities said on 26th May they have shared their initial findings with the visiting 11-member team from the European plane maker. The Airbus experts and engineers also visited the crash site of flight PK-8303, where they were given a briefing by officials of the Aircraft Accident Investigation Board,

  • As Fazal Rahmaan, 80 and his wife, Wahida Rahmaan, 74, boarded a plane in the Pakistani city of Lahore on 22nd May, their family’s biggest fear was that they might get catch the corona virus on their way to spend the holiday in Karachi.

Instead the couple, who had been married for 54 years, were among the 97 people killed when an Airbus A320, operated by Pakistan International Airlines, crashed into a Karachi neighborhood — Pakistan’s worst air disaster since 2012.

  • The Punjab government has approved the use of Actemra, a life-saving drug, for treating critically ill Covid-19 patients in the wake of a sudden rise in the death rate reported by state-run hospitals across the province.

The 400mg inject able drug — an interleukin-6 inhibitor which goes by the generic name of tocilizumab — will be prescribed to patients who develop lung complications and an abnormal level of IL-6 in the blood. The IL-6 is an endogenous chemical which causes inflammation. The price of each dose of the drug (injection) is Rs 60, 000 and it will be given twice to patients under treatment at an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in a life-threatening condition,” a senior official told.

  • Pakistan Army troops shot down two Indian spy drones within a week close to the restive Line of Control (LoC) in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

According to tweets by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Indian quad copters were shot down in Rakhchikri sector along the LoC. The quad copters had intruded on Pakistan’s side of the LoC.

·Actress Uzma Khan accuses Malik Riaz’s daughters of attacking her over love affair

Police have registered a case against business tycoon Malik Riaz’s two daughters, his niece and 15 other persons after a model and actress, Uzma Khan, accused them of forcibly barging into her house and attacking her over an alleged extramarital affair. Malik Riaz, while rejecting all the allegations in a tweet, said, “I categorically rebut this malicious propaganda associating me with a viral video. Usman is not my nephew. I’m appalled at such below the belt attempt to malign me for something I’m not involved in any capacity. I would also like to inform that I’ll be filing defamation cases against anyone who tries to implicate me wrongfully for such disgraceful incidents. A judicial magistrate in Lahore on 29th May issued arrest warrants for three women who angrily stormed a house in the city’s DHA neighborhoods where actor Uzma Khan was staying and allegedly tortured Uzma and her sister.

Economy

  • The federal government has prepared draft for Rs 7, 570 billion federal budget 2010-21. The draft will be finalized in the first ten days of June and will be sent to federal cabinet for approval.

The budget will be presented in the parliament on June 12. According to sources in the Ministry of Finance, Rs1,000 billion is also expected to be allocated for dealing with corona virus pandemic and for providing relief to the business community. In the budget, salaries and pensions of government employees are likely to be hiked by 20 percent. In addition, two ad hoc reliefs are expected to be integrated in the salaries.

F.C Exchange Rates of PKR as of  31st May 2020 as compared to 24th May  2020
Countries PKR rate as of 24th May   2020 PKR rate as of   31st May  2020
U.S.A. $ 162.00 164.00
U.K. Pounds 202.00 201.00
Euro 176.75 179.00
Japan Yen 1.52 1.52
Saudi Arabia Rial 43.80 43.00
U.A.E. Dirham 43.00 43.50

Pakistan Stock Exchange Indices

As of 31st May 2020 As Compared

To 24th May 2020

 

Position as of 31st May 2020
Symbols KSE100 Index PSX-KMI All Shares Index
Advance 174 (Curr) Current 33931.23 Current 16995.33
Decline 125 (High) High 34048.56 High 17052.67
Unchanged 18 (Low) Low 33695.42 Low 16833.69
Total Change 317  235.81  161.64

 

 

Position as of 24th May 2020
Symbols KSE100 Index PSX-KMI All Shares Index
Advance 133 (Curr) Current 33836.61 Current 16890.23
Decline 167 (High) High 34049.00 High 16966.57
Unchanged 17 (Low) Low 33757.37 Low 16846.08
Total change 317  -96.20  -10.00

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