Coronavirus briefing: Finland allows free travel to all Nordics, except Sweden
- Globally recorded cases per week have continued to increase, driven by developing countries.
- Europe, US, and Russia generally continue to show stability, and increased testing may cover actual improvements in underlying trends in many places.
- In the US, however, many states including Florida and Texas continue to show signs of increased infection growth in case and hospital data.
- South Africa’s epidemic continues to escalate quickly, and the country has now recorded a quarter of all cases in Africa. WHO commented concern over accelerating spread in the African continent.
- In Sweden, deaths declined further but the latest days’ data is still preliminary and the figures will likely be revised upwards. Data on the number of patients in hospitals, the most trustworthy indicator of underlying trends, showed a small decline in both total and intensive care.
- US treasury secretary Mnuchin commented that the US cannot shut the economy down another time even if there is another surge in coronavirus cases, given both the economic and health consequences. The lockdowns are policy decided at state level, however.
- In Texas, Houston area officials commented that they are close to reimposing stay-at-home orders and that they are ready to open a pre-prepared but so far unused field hospital.
- Singapore plans to ease restrictions later this month and will ask citizens to wear contact tracing devices. Tokyo removed city-specific alert and will move further with reopening.
- Finland now allows free travel to all Nordic and Baltic countries except Sweden, on which restrictions still apply. Finland will also allow outdoor events with over 500 people from July 1.
- The EU is planning large advance purchase deals with pharmaceutical companies in order to secure access to vaccines and plans to use a “large majority” of its 2.7 bn EUR Emergency Support Instrument Fund for this purpose, according to an EU Commission draft.
- US weekly labour market data showed that the number of new unemployment claims remained high but continued to trend down, to 1.54 million. Continuing claims also declined slightly.
- China's credit growth increased further in May, broadly as expected. Government borrowing increased considerably, a clear indication of increased stimulus.
- Swedish May CPI surprised on the upside, with core inflation at 1.2% y/y, read more here.
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