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Journal of Globalization and Development ; 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2054451


The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a massive increase in global debt levels and exacerbated the trade-offs between the benefits and costs of accumulating government debt. This paper examines these trade-offs by putting the recent debt boom into a historical context. It reports three major findings. First, during the 2020 global recession, both global government and private debt levels rose to record highs, and at their fastest single-year pace, in five decades. Second, the debt-financed, massive fiscal support programs implemented during the pandemic supported activity and illustrated the benefits of accumulating debt. However, as the recovery gains traction, the balance of benefits and costs of debt accumulation could increasingly tilt toward costs. Third, more than two-thirds of emerging market and developing economies are currently in government debt booms. On average, the current booms have already lasted three years longer, and are accompanied by a considerably larger fiscal deterioration, than earlier booms. About half of the earlier debt booms were associated with financial crises in emerging market and developing economies. © 2022 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston 2022.

Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine ; 254(2):89-100, 2021.
Article in English | GIM | ID: covidwho-1558172


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is the world's largest public health concern in 2021. This study evaluated the associations of the prevalence of airway symptoms among the tested individuals and data regarding the natural environmental factors with the weekly number of newly diagnosed COVID-19 patients in Sendai City (Nt). For the derivatives of the screening test results, data from individuals with a contact history who underwent nasopharyngeal swab reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing between July 2020 and April 2021 (6,156 participants, including 550 test-positive patients) were used. The value of Nt correlated with the weekly RT-PCR test-positive rate after close contact, prevalence of cough symptoms in test-positive individuals or in test-negative individuals, lower air temperature, lower air humidity, and higher wind speed. The weekly test-positive rate correlated with lower air humidity and higher wind speed. In cross-correlation analyses, natural environmental factors correlated with the regional epidemic status on a scale of months, whereas the airway symptoms among non-COVID-19 population affected on a scale of weeks. When applying an autoregression model to the serial data of Nt, large-scale movements of people were suggested to be another factor to influence the local epidemics on a scale of days. In conclusion, the prevalence of cough symptoms in the local population, lower air humidity or higher wind speed, and large-scale movements of people in the locality would jointly influence the local epidemic status of COVID-19.