(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
A man wearing a mask walks in Kensington Palace Park, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, London, Britain, April 19, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson
Out of frying pan, into fire
The number of UK finance professionals seeking new jobs rose by more than 40% in the first quarter compared with the last three months of 2019, even as the coronavirus pandemic forced employers to pause hiring and cut salary offers by 37%, data released on Monday showed.
“Out of the frying pan and into the fire: we barely got to take a breath between Brexit and this new global crisis,” said Hakan Enver, managing director of Morgan McKinley UK.
Liberation from social distancing
Around 2,500 people rallied at the Washington state capitol to protest their Democratic governor’s stay-at-home order to limit the spread of the coronavirus, defying a ban on gatherings of 50 or more.
Despite pleas from rally organizers to wear face coverings or masks, many did not.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday tweeted support for similar rallies in Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia, encouraging protesters to “LIBERATE!” their states from social distancing rules.
Return to normal, or not
In contrast to people living in countries still under strict lockdown, South Koreans are returning to work and crowding shopping malls, parks, golf courses and restaurants as Seoul relaxes social distancing rules amid a continued downward trend in coronavirus cases. New Zealand as well plans to ease its containment measures next week.
In Australia, though, more than 150 economists warned against easing social distancing rules. “We cannot have a functioning economy unless we first comprehensively address the public health crisis,” the group of leading economists from Australian universities wrote in an open letter.
The prime ministers of France and Canada on Sunday said their nations were moving in the right direction. French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe shut down any expectation, though, that the gradual exit from confinement in May would allow people to move around or interact as before. Canadian premier Justin Trudeau’s remarks echoed these sentiments.
Turkey third-highest after Europe and U.S.
Turkey’s confirmed coronavirus cases have risen to 86,306, its health minister reported on Sunday, taking it to the highest total outside of Europe and the United States. Turkey only reported its first coronavirus patient on March 10, but has seen the number of cases rise sharply since then.
Turkey now has the seventh-highest number of cases on a country basis.
Tokyo governor inspires computer game
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike’s entreaty to residents to keep away from each other has inspired a computer game of her navigating through crowds while uttering her daily call for social distancing: “mitsudesu”.
The game published by Twitter user, Gunjo Chikin, includes a character resembling Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who provides two face masks to Koike as her social distancing circle expands as she moves to harder levels.
Critics have accused Abe of reacting too slowly to the pandemic, and some have ridiculed his plan to send two cloth face masks to every household in Japan.
Compiled by Karishma Singh; Editing by Tom Hogue