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COVID 19: Dismal numbers for China and U.S., China shuts doors to most foreigners

By Gina Lee

Investing.com - China reported a sharp drop in industrial profits year-on-year for last month, while the United States digests a whopping 3.28 million jobless claims submitted last week. The U.S. House of Representatives is set to pass a $2.2 trillion stimulus package today.

Hong Kong’s leaders rethink social distancing measures as the number of imported cases rise, and India’s low-income households get an IND1.7 trillion ($23 billion) reprieve.

As of March 26, the number of confirmed cases globally stood at 465,915 with 21,031 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

China

China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported that industrial profits year-on-year for January to February dropped 38.3%. The period coincides with the country’s lockdown to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also will deny entry to foreign nationals from Saturday to curb the spread of imported cases. According to Thursday’s announcement, foreigners holding valid visas or residence permits, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Travel Cards and port visas will not be allowed into the country.

Visa-free transit policies through some Chinese cities will also be suspended.

But foreign nationals coming to the country for “necessary economic, trade, scientific or technological activities or out of emergency humanitarian needs” can still apply for visas and enter China on them, if issued.

Hong Kong

Chief Executive Carrie Lam will meet top advisors to discuss further, more effective enforcing measures as the Special Administrative Region experiences an uptick in imported cases.

India

India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced an economic stimulus package worth IND 1.7 trillion on Thursday, as India begins day three of a 21-day lockdown.

The package will assist low-income households during the lockdown. It will be disbursed through food security measures for poor households and through direct cash transfers.

United States

The United States announced 3.28 million jobless claims last week, triple the one million in forecasts compiled by investing.com.

The House of Representatives is expected to pass a $2.2 trillion stimulus package today. Once passed, it will go straight to President Donald Trump’s desk.

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