South Korea Announces Decline in Coronavirus Exports: Live Updates | News

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera's continued coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I am Kate mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.

  • Mike Ryan, head of the World Health Organization's emergency program, says worrying trends coronavirus case are emerging in southern Europe and the Balkans, calling for "sustained vigilance".

  • More than 15 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with coronavirus, and more than 620,000 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The United States, Brazil, United Kingdom, Mexico and Italy have suffered the most deaths.

Here are the updates:

Thursday July 23

00:15 GMT – South Korea's economy in recession as exports collapse

South Korea entered recession after exports registered their largest drop since 1963.

The economy contracted 3.3% in the three months ended June, compared to the previous quarter.

Exports represent 40% of the South Korean economy and have fallen by 16.6%.

Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki, however, issued an optimistic note. He says government spending, cash distributions and a pandemic downturn could help growth pick up.

"It is possible for us to witness a Chinese-style rebound in the third quarter as the pandemic slows and activity in overseas production, schools and hospitals picks up," Hong said.

00:00 GMT – Last bow? UK warns of closing theaters after lockdown

A UK parliamentary arts and culture committee has said the coronavirus lockdown has pushed UK theater to the brink of collapse.

The committee estimates that more than 15,000 theatrical performances were canceled in the first 12 weeks of the lockdown which began on March 23, bringing the total losses to 603 million pounds.

“We are witnessing the greatest threat to our cultural landscape in a generation,” said the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports.

Britain has around 1,100 theaters from the West End of London to the small towns of the country.

Read all of yesterday's (July 22) updates here.

Al Jazeera and news agencies

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