- Covid-19 Cases in Southeast China Increases
- Australia’s Central Bank Still Committed to Low Rates
- Steps are Being Taken Towards an Agreement Between Poland and the EU
Covid-19 Cases in China’s Fujian Increases
New local COVID- 19 infections more than doubled in China’s southeastern province of Fujian, pushing officials to immediately implement measures to halt the virus’ spread, including travel restrictions.
The National Health Commission reported 59 new locally transmitted cases on September 13, up from 22 the day before. They were all in Fujian, a province bordered to the north by Zhejiang and to the south by Guangdong. Three Fujian cities, including Xiamen, a tourist and transportation hub with a population of 5 million people, have reported a total of 102 community infections in just four days.
The outbreaks occur just ahead of the week-long National Day celebration, which begins on October 1 and is a busy tourist season. The most recent domestic outbreak, which occurred in late July and early August, hindered travel, affecting the tourism, hotel, and transportation industries.
The outbreak in Fujian began in Putian, a 3.2 million metropolis, with the first case recorded on September 10. According to preliminary analyses on samples from certain Putian cases, patients had contracted the highly transmissible Delta variant.
Since then, the virus has expanded south to Xiamen, which reported 32 new cases of community transmission on Sept. 13, up from just one infection the day before.
Australia’s Central Bank Still Committed to Low Rates
According to Philip Lowe, the coronavirus lockdowns will inflict a sharp contraction in the economy this quarter. However, he expressed confidence that activity will quickly resume once restrictions are eased in the coming months. Despite that confidence, Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe stated that, due to consistently poor wage growth, interest rates are unlikely to rise from record lows until 2024.
“These expectations are difficult to reconcile with the picture I just outlined, and I find it difficult to understand why rate rises are being priced in next year or early 2023,” Lowe said. “While policy rates might be increased in other countries over this timeframe, our wage and inflation experience is quite different,” he added.
According to Lowe, wage growth in Australia is a pitiful 1.7 percent, and underlying inflation would need to rise to at least 3% to reach the target band of 2-3 percent, which hasn’t been attained since 2015.
In the short term, Lowe admitted that the lockdowns in Sydney, Melbourne, and Canberra would cause the economy to fall by at least 2%, if not much more, in the September quarter. Unemployment was also expected to reach the “high fives” for a short period, he said. The jobless rate stood at 4.6% in July.
Steps are Being Taken Towards an Agreement Between Poland and the EU
According to a minister, Poland has not been asked to change its plans for post-pandemic aid from the European Union, despite reports that the government is willing to make compromises to access the funds. Warsaw’s government has requested 36 billion euros ($42.4 billion) in funding, including 23.9 billion euros for the pandemic.
Poland may include a guarantee of judicial independence in its financial proposal, according to the Dziennik Gazeta Prawna daily, which cited an unnamed government source.
“We delivered the final version” of the spending plan “on July 12, and it was approved on the technical level,” Waldemar Buda, a deputy minister for EU funds and regional policy, told TVN24 on Monday.
Buda’s statements contrast with those of European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis, who stated that the EU executive is seeking further explanation on Poland’s compliance with the aid terms.
The delay in receiving post-pandemic aid comes as Poland’s long-running disputes with the EU over matters ranging from judicial independence to LGBTQ rights. “We just expect the law to be respected,” Buda said