News / Australia’s China-dependent economy starts to feel the effect of the virus

first_imgThe WRF represents transport operators across Western Australia (WA), a vast region known for its large quantities of fresh produce exports to China, including seafood such as dragon shrimp and rock-lobster.According to Bloomberg, the fishing has ground to a halt in some WA towns due to the trade disruption, while other cargo, such as honey, is stuck at port waiting for clearance in China.John Park, head of business operations at the Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA), said: “What we are hearing is that fresh produce exporters of fruit, vegetables and meats, along with the wine industry, are feeling the pinch simply because China has become such a large consumer of these products.”And surcharges on reefers remains another issue for exporters, he noted, with FTA members reporting blanked sailings for direct voyages.“Members are also concerned at peak season surcharges, not only on China outbound, but also on Europe or US trades to Oceania, due the shortage of empties in those areas caused by no exports from China,” Mr Park said.And the outlook for Australia’s airfreight market is little better.“There are still limited passenger flights that carry cargo in belly space,” Mr Park explained. “Some airlines providing specific cargo charter flights are pricing higher than normal. For example, a freight forwarder who usually paid around $2 per kg, today was offered $5 per kg on a freighter. ”Australia’s economy is one of the world’s most China-reliant, the country accounts for a third of all Australian exports and nearly a fifth of all imports.Freight arriving from China has slowed drastically, and the effects are yet to play out, said the WRF’s Mr Dumesny. “The impact will begin to be really felt next week in WA, with sectors from retail to construction feeling the supply shortage.“The upswing, however, is for local companies that offer import replacement and don’t have China supply chain exposure.”Bloomberg economist James McIntyre added: “To lose your largest customer and largest supplier at the same time is a shock of unfathomed proportions. The longer the disruptions persist, the deeper the unknowns and the larger the shock becomes for the economy.” Australia’s freight volumes have taken a nosedive due to the coronavirus crisis – one ocean carrier reportedly cutting temporary staff as a result.Cam Dumesny, chief executive of the Western Roads Federation (WRF), said the impact from China’s extended factory shutdown and subsequent cargo congestion would be severe.“This is due to the heavy integration of our economy and supply chains with China’s,” he told The Loadstar.“Early stage reports are a 20% drop in container volumes at Brisbane ports, for example,” he said. “Higher drop-off figures are being reported by one national container carrier who has laid off 200 casuals and ‘subbies’.” By Sam Whelan 04/03/2020last_img read more

Most Coronavirus Patients Recover, Still Anxiety, Fear Loom

first_img“It’s like being a prisoner,” he said. “You pace, you worry, you fret, you imagine all sorts of things. You have no control.” This March 12, 2020 photo provided by Tan Shiyun shows her in her home in Yichang city in central China’s Hubei province. Tan, a postgraduate student at a university in Wuhan, had traveled from Wuhan to her family home over 180 miles away in Yichang when she began to experience minor symptoms from the new coronavirus. (Courtesy of Tan Shiyun via AP) For Greg Yerex, it was the couple’s mental health that faced the biggest threat as they they spent days in quarantine, isolated from friends and family and deprived of any direct human contact. The disease can cause varying degrees of illness and is especially troublesome for older adults and people with existing health problems, who are at risk of severe effects, including pneumonia. But for most of those affected, coronavirus creates only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, with the vast majority recovering from the virus. Fellow cruise passenger Rebecca Frasure knows how they feel. “Are they going to be afraid?” she wondered. “Are they going to criticize me for being home, thinking I brought virus back with me?” Because the difference in impact can be so great, global health authorities have the difficult task of alerting the public to the virus’ dangers without creating panic. But even some of the most vulnerable patients can fight their way through the disease. Greg Yerex said that he and his wife, who have since been released from the hospital, plan to go to counseling to work through the mental stress they experienced. “We went and saw him yesterday and he looked pretty good,” Campbell said, noting that his father is breathing normally and his vital signs and heart rate are good. “He may be the oldest person to recover from coronavirus.” “I don’t get to speak with anyone,” she said in a Facebook call while still hospitalized in Nagoya. “I have a little window in my room, but cannot leave. The only contact I have is through Facebook messenger. I would never wish this on anyone.” Already, the widespread consequences of the virus have been staggering, sending shock waves through the world’s financial markets. Global oil prices sustained their worst percentage losses since the the Gulf War in 1991, and new restrictions were imposed in Italy and in Israel as the Holy Week approached. She went to the hospital, where she was given common cold medicine and sent home. It was only after her symptoms persisted and she visited the hospital a second time for an outpatient CT scan and received a call asking her to come back did she understand her symptoms came from something other than the common flu. ___ Milko reported from Jakarta, Indonesia. Associated Press video producer Olivia Zhang in Beijing contributed to this report. Charlie Campbell’s father, 89-year-old Eugene Campbell, has been diagnosed with the coronavirus and is hospitalized in Edmonds, Washington. Charlie Campbell said his father’s doctor is cautiously optimistic, adding, “Under normal circumstances, he would discharge my dad, but these aren’t normal circumstances.” Eugene Campbell came to the hospital from Life Care Center, a nursing home in Kirkland that has been linked to a large share of the state’s coronavirus deaths. “After that, I felt a heavy head while walking, unable to breathe, and nauseous,” Tan said in a video blog post. But after over two weeks in the hospital, a CT scan showed her infection was disappearing and she was discharged. SEATTLE (AP) – Amid all the fears, quarantines and stockpiling of food, it has been easy to ignore the fact that more than 60,000 people have recovered from the coronavirus spreading around the globe. For some who’ve been quarantined, anxiety and dread that they will become stigmatized by friends, neighbors and co-workers have made them reluctant to acknowledge even the most modest health impact. A few patients with the virus who were interviewed by The Associated Press – all of them passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship that ended up quarantined off Japan – described symptoms that were no stronger than a regular cold or flu. Frasure is now out of the hospital, but is worried about being stigmatized by her home community. Goldman is staying hydrated with Gatorade. He said he continued coughing more than two weeks after he first got sick, but would probably only have missed one day of work if he had been diagnosed with the cold or flu. He stays active by pacing in his room, trying to match his pre-sickness routine of 10,000 daily steps on the pedometer. American Greg Yerex, who was diagnosed along with his wife, Rose Yerex, on the Diamond Princess, said he had no symptoms and felt as healthy as he did on any other normal day. After many days and a number of tests, doctors eventually told her that the infection had spread to both of her lungs. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe ailments may take three to six weeks to rebound. In mainland China, where the virus first exploded, more than 80,000 people have been diagnosed, but more than 58,000 already have recovered. ___ This March 12, 2020 photo provided by Tan Shiyun shows her in her home in Yichang city in central China’s Hubei province. Tan, a postgraduate student at a university in Wuhan, had traveled from Wuhan to her family home over 180 miles away in Yichang when she began to experience minor symptoms from the new coronavirus. (Courtesy of Tan Shiyun via AP) In China, Tan Shiyun, a postgraduate student at a university in Wuhan, had traveled to her family home in Yichang over 180 miles away when she began to experience minor symptoms from the virus. “It’s been a 2 on a scale of 10,” said Carl Goldman, hospitalized in Omaha, Nebraska, since Feb. 17, after developing a 103-degree fever on a chartered flight from Japan to the U.S. “I totally get this is where I need to be and I need to be cleared of this before I’m released,” he said. Frasure said one of the things she found most frustrating was waiting for her test results to come back. Patients who have been diagnosed with the virus must have two consecutive negative tests before they can be released. “If I was home, I would be out doing everything I normally do,” he said in an interview conducted via Facebook calls when the couple were still hospitalized in Nagoya, Japan. Rose Yerex tested negative when she got to the hospital. The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.last_img read more

Global moves

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Hawaii false alert ‘absolutely unacceptable,’ says FCC Chairman

first_imgSam Li/Twitter (HONOLULU) — The chairman of the Federal Communications Commissioner became the latest official to slam the Hawaiian government, calling the false alert sent to residents warning of a missile attack “absolutely unacceptable.”Ajit Pai said in a statement Sunday that an inquiry by the agency was “well underway” and that it had already been determined that the state’s government “did not have reasonable safeguards or process controls in place to prevent the transmission of a false alert.”“The false emergency alert sent yesterday in Hawaii was absolutely unacceptable,” the chairman said. “It caused a wave of panic across the state — worsened by the 38-minute delay before a correction alert was issued.”Pai added the false alerts, believed to have been caused by human error, “undermine public confidence in the alerting system and thus reduce their effectiveness during real emergencies.”The chairman’s statement is the latest in the continuing fallout in the wake of the accidental emergency alert. It was sent out to residents’ mobile phones and television sets at 8:07 a.m., bearing an ominous message — in all caps — and triggering widespread panic throughout the state.“BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII,” the message read. “SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”The message wasn’t officially corrected for 38 minutes.Well before that, some Hawaii officials — Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Sen. Brian Schatz among them — were assuring residents that it was a false alarm.At 8:45 a.m. the state’s emergency management system tweeted: “No missile threat to Hawaii.”The false emergency alert was apparently sent because “the wrong button was pushed,” Hawaii House Speaker Scott Saiki said in a statement Saturday.“This system we have been told to rely upon failed and failed miserably today,” Saiki said. “I am deeply troubled by this misstep that could have had dire consequences.”He added, “Apparently, the wrong button was pushed and it took over 30 minutes for a correction to be announced. Parents and children panicked during those 30 minutes.”The botched alert comes as President Trump and his North Korean counterpart, Kim Jong-un, are locked in a war of words about, among other things, each country’s nuclear prowess.Gabbard, a Democrat, told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” Sunday that the incident should alert the rest of the country to the threat of nuclear war.She said her Hawaiian constituents are “are paying the price now for decades of failed leadership in this country of failure to directly negotiate” with North Korea.And after Saturday’s missile scare the congresswoman hopes “the rest of the country…leaders in Washington pay attention to…this threat of nuclear war.”The ballistic missile alerts come more than a month after Cold War-era sirens muffled when they were given a test run. On Dec. 1 sirens petered after the state reissued its nuclear attack warning system to warn tourists and residents of an impending attack.Before the drill, the siren alert system had been shelved since the 1980s.Afterward, officials were looking into why the first test of the warning system failed to be heard at some of the state’s most popular beaches.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.Powered by WPeMatico Relatedlast_img read more