Latest COVID-19 Cases

    United States34,377,592 cases
    11,607 new cases
    up 0.03% on yesterday
    616,440 deaths
    reported to date
    United Kingdom4,600,623 cases
    10,809 new cases
    up 0.24% on yesterday
    152,397 deaths
    reported to date
    Hong Kong11,885 cases
    3 new cases
    up 0.03% on yesterday
    210 deaths
    reported to date
    Singapore62,382 cases
    16 new cases
    up 0.03% on yesterday
    34 deaths
    reported to date
    India29,762,793 cases
    62,480 new cases
    up 0.21% on yesterday
    383,521 deaths
    reported to date
    Brazil17,704,041 cases
    74,327 new cases
    up 0.42% on yesterday
    496,172 deaths
    reported to date
    China91,534 cases
    23 new cases
    up 0.025% on yesterday
    4,636 deaths
    reported to date
    Australia30,309 cases
    8 new cases
    up 0.03% on yesterday
    910 deaths
    reported to date
    Globally178,232,304 cases
    404,057 new cases
    up 0.23% on yesterday
    3,858,704 deaths
    reported to date

COVID-19 News

  • Hong Kong reported 3 new imported and no local COVID-19 cases on Friday (June 18). Hong Kong and Macau officials are set to meet and discuss how to resume cross-border commuting, after Hong Kong has seen zero untraceable local infections for 12 days in a row.
  • Singapore announced today that dining in at F&B outlets will resume from June 21 in groups of up to two people instead of five as previously planned. The group size of two will also apply to indoor fitness activities with masks off. These precautions come about as Singapore calibrates its COVID-19 reopening plans amid a persistent number of unlinked cases.
  • Thailand has finalised its plan to reopen Phuket on July 1, the so-called Phuket Sandbox, which will allow fully vaccinated tourists to visit the island without having to quarantine. Tourism-reliant Thailand is gearing up for a nationwide reopening as early as October to revive its economy and is using Phuket as a pilot project while the rest of the country accelerates inoculations.

Global News Highlights

  • US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen met with Mexican finance minister Arturo Herrera on Thursday, stressing the importance of securing support from the Group of 20 major economies for a proposed global minimum tax, the Treasury said in a statement. Yellen, whose proposal for a global minimum tax of at least 15% has won the backing of the Group of Seven advanced economies, is now urging G20 countries - including Mexico and China - to support the plan when they meet in Venice in July.
  • The Reserve Bank of Australia will begin raising its key interest rate in early 2023 as the key metrics set by policy makers for the economy will be met by then, Westpac Banking Corp.’s chief economist, Bill Evan said. Evans’s call comes a day after a spectacular jobs report showed unemployment fell to 5.1% in May, back to pre-pandemic levels, and the economy added more than 100,000 positions.
  • A World Bank-led project declined to award a contract to lay sensitive undersea communications cables after Pacific island governments heeded US warnings that participation of a Chinese company posed a security threat, two sources told Reuters. The former Huawei Marine Networks, now called HMN Technologies and majority owned by Shanghai-listed Hengtong Optic-Electric Co Ltd, submitted a bid for the US$72.6 million project priced at more than 20% below rivals Alcatel Submarine Networks, part of Finland’s Nokia, and Japan’s NEC, the sources said.

Asia News Highlights

  • The Bank of Japan (BOJ) on Friday unveiled a plan to boost funding for fighting climate change, joining a growing number of central banks stepping up efforts to address its economic and financial fallout. The BOJ said it will launch the climate change scheme by the end of this year, and will release a preliminary outline of its plan at its next policy-setting meeting in July.
  • South Korea requested from the US incentives such as tax deductions and infrastructure construction to ease the US investment of Korean firms such as Samsung Electronics, its presidential office said on Friday.
  • Hong Kong's unemployment rate fell to a one-year low in May, the latest sign the city is pulling out of its extended recession. The jobless rate for the March to May period fell to 6% from 6.4% in the prior month, the lowest level since the indicator was at 5.9% last May, according to data from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department.

World 2.0

  • Microsoft plans to add four new data centres within China by early 2022 in a wider effort to expand its service capacity across Asia, according to people familiar with its strategy. Microsoft’s expansion in China is among the fastest for the company on the continent and in March it announced plans to expand its data centre network with a greater presence in the northern region around Beijing.
  • US senators on Thursday proposed a 25% tax credit for investments in semiconductor manufacturing as Congress works to increase US chip production. The senators said up to 70% of the cost difference for producing semiconductors overseas results from foreign subsidies.
  • US Federal Communications Commission proposed a ban on products from Huawei Technologies and four other Chinese electronics companies, including surveillance cameras widely used by schools but linked to oppression in western China, stepping up pressure on tech suppliers alleged to be security risks.