Grace Young

UN Chief praises South Korea for tracking down corona and restricting the spread
Asia Pacific Focus

UN Chief praises South Korea for tracking down corona and restricting the spread

On Thursday, South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated in an announcement that in the past 24 hours, only 4 imported cases took the nation’s aggregate to 10,765 positive cases, 247 deaths and 9,059 recovered. South Korea tracked the virus by using new technologies and showed that it is possible to contain the coronavirus without shutting down the economy.

The number of new coronavirus cases in the nation increased from a dozen to around ten thousand from February to March. South Korea increased tests and utilized new apps, which helped in tracking individuals’ who came in contact with coronavirus patients. They were able to monitor detailed information on infected individuals, providing immediate treatment, and even alerting people who came in close vicinity of the patient. South Korean citizens strictly adhered to physical distancing measures with the help of the app as it alerts ed them to maintain distance from infected people.

South Korea has been successful in flattening the curve of Covid-19 without performing on China’s restrictions and movement advice. South Korea neither attempted the economically damaging lockdowns measures, which was utilized by different countries. By quick action, rapid testing, treatment and contact tracing, and required cooperation from residents, Korea was able to reduce the Covid-19 cases.

South Korea, in contrary to the rest of the world, stayed open even amid Coronavirus pandemic. The United Nations chief stated he hopes other nations will also follow the “remarkable example” of South Korea. They have been incredibly successful in tracking the coronavirus pandemic and also planning to tackle the challenge of climate change while continuing to recover from COVID-19.

Washington-Taliban agreement rocked by new wave of violence
Americas, Asia Pacific Focus

Washington-Taliban agreement rocked by new wave of violence

Taliban militias have killed at least 23 Afghan soldiers and nine civilians on Monday, according to officials. At a time when Afghanistan is witnessing a new wave of violence despite the agreement concluded by the rebel movement with Washington in Doha and the crisis of the new Corona outbreak that is getting worse every day.

These attacks threaten the fragile security situation and the increasingly complex scene, even under negotiations led by Washington with the hard-line movement, in preparation for a comprehensive peace agreement ending the longest conflict in the history of the United States.

Under the terms of the agreement between the United States and the Taliban, it was assumed that the movement and the Afghan government had now ended the prisoner exchange process and began talks aimed at achieving a comprehensive ceasefire between the two parties in conflict.

However, many problems impeded the prisoner exchange process, as Kabul reported that the Taliban were demanding the release of very dangerous elements which was not a part of the previously signed agreement and which is politically unacceptable.

The movement attacked Sunday night in Takhar province, an army base for the army, killing 16 soldiers and two police officers, according to police spokesman Khalil Aser.

State spokesperson Muhammad Jawad Hajri confirmed the attack and accused the Taliban, noting that it had killed 19 people. In the south, the movement attacked a police checkpoint near Tarin Kowt, the capital of Uruzgan province.

“Five policemen were killed and three wounded,” the governor said, a toll confirmed by the head of the Uruzgan Regional Council, Amir Muhammad.

In Balkh province in the north of the country, the rebels killed nine civilians who resisted the militias’ attempt to blackmail them to get money, according to district governor Saeed Aref Iqbali.

The Taliban have not commented on the attacks, but the movement has complained that its militias have been targeted by government and US forces.

Violence is widespread, especially in rural areas and small towns. According to the agreement of understanding between Washington and the Taliban, it avoids carrying out any attacks in cities or against civilians.

The agreement also provides for the withdrawal of all foreign forces by July 2021, if the rebels adhere to various security guarantees and hold peace talks with the Afghan government and commit to the negotiations until reaching an agreement to end the war and violence in Afghanistan.

However, the fighting continues even with the spread of the new Corona virus across the country. 1,026 cases and 36 deaths have been recorded and it is feared that the actual numbers will be much greater in the poor sides of the country which does not have adequate testing equipment and an effective health system capable of facing the spread of the deadly virus.

Donald Trump to stop funding WHO, claiming mismanagement during the Covid-19
Americas

Donald Trump to stop funding WHO, claiming mismanagement during the Covid-19

On Tuesday, President of the United States, Donald Trump announced that he would stop funding the World Health Organization as it failed in its role to contain the spreading of the coronavirus. He held the WHO accountable for their role in mismanaging and covering up of the covid-19 pandemic, in the White House press briefing.

Hours after the President’s announcement Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State, also said on Tuesday night that the WHO is supposed to perform its duty by making sure that the world has right, appropriate, fair, valid information on what’s happening on in the global health space, Fox News reported.

President Trump himself has been under criticism for acting slowly in restricting the travel bans from China, also downplaying the crisis, ignoring warnings by his own administration about the severity of the disease. As per critics, Trump has put the blame elsewhere, including WHO and the media, CNN reported.

The United States has been funding the WHO yearly for $400 million to $500 million, whereas China contributes around $40 million or less. Adding, had the WHO acted adequately, he could have announced the travel ban on China much earlier, Trump stated in the press briefing.

But just days before Trump announced the travel restrictions from China, he also praised the country on 24 January in his tweet, (quoting Tweet from President Trump’s official Twitter handle) “China has been working very hard to contain the coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!” BBC reported.

Later, Trump went on to criticize the WHO for being bias towards China and especially noting Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus’s praise of China’s ways to contain the coronavirus despite its global widespread.

Article Credit: BBC News/CNN/The Hill

UAE sends aid aircraft to Ethiopia to help combat the global pandemic
Middle East & Africa

UAE sends aid aircraft to Ethiopia to help combat the global pandemic

The United Arab Emirates sent an aid plane to Ethiopia to help flatten the curve of the global coronavirus pandemic. Despite the attacks by the Farmoja Government. The UAE continues to cooperate with all countries amid the global crisis.

The UAE aid plane carried 30,000 healthcare workers, along with 33 metric tonnes of medical aid for assistance. The WHO, too, provided 27 tonnes of relief to Ethiopia. Lately, the UAE government also delivered 15 metric tonnes of aid to Ethiopia and metric tonnes to the African Union.

Ethiopia has recorded 74 coronavirus positive cases, three deaths, and 14 cured patients. Ethiopian Government announced five months state of emergency to fight the pandemic.

As per the State Minister of Health for Federal of Ethiopia, Lia Tadesse said, “the nation is preparing to boost its ventilators reserve.”

The WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, and other senior officials praised UAE for its efforts in supporting countries in need during the fight towards containing the global coronavirus pandemic.

The UAE Envoy to Ethiopia also praised UAE’s commitment towards humanity that upholds emergency relief in countries in need. He added we are proud of the partnership with the WHO in facilitating the delivery of critical aid to Ethiopia. Notably, for assisting in the fight toward the Covid-19 pandemic.

Usain Bolt’s ‘social distancing’ photo of 2008 Olympics goes viral on social media
Middle East & Africa

Usain Bolt’s ‘social distancing’ photo of 2008 Olympics goes viral on social media

The greatest sprinters of all times, Usain Bolt’s post of 2008, Olympics 100m final went viral over the social media, with 90,000 retweets and half a million likes.

In the photo, In 2008, at the Bird’s Nest stadium, Usain is seen crossing the finish line making a historic Olympic world record of 9.69sec. He was lane four ahead of his disappointed competitors trailing two paces behind. The AFP photographer Nicolas Asfouri took this photograph in the 2008 Olympics.

The 33-year-old, 11 times world champion, has been sharing photographs and videos of him exercising at home on social media and encouraging Jamaicans to self-quarantine during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Jamaican sprinter won 8 gold medals. He became the first man after the American sprinter Carl Lewis to make a world record of 9.58 seconds in 100-metre, 19.19 seconds in 200-metre, and 9.58sec in 100m races. The historical record of three straight wins at the Olympic Games is still unmatched.

His golden shoes and “lightning bolt” pose became popular among fans all around the world. He took retirement from athletics after the 2017 world championships.

Article Credit: The Deccan Chronicles/Olympic.org/Encyclopaedia

why patients who have recovered from coronavirus are testing positive again?
Asia Pacific Focus

why patients who have recovered from coronavirus are testing positive again?

March 18-22, Wuhan reported no new community transmission cases of the virus. On Thursday, the Chinese city opened after 76 days coronavirus lockdown. It is viewed as an achievement and turning point in efforts to contain the infectious virus.

However, soon after lifting lockdown, China released a new protocol to test recovered Covid-19 patients as concerns rose of the second wave of virus infections in the country. Recently there have been reports of some recovered patients tested positive again in China, Japan, and South Korea.

On Friday, as a precautionary measure South Korea re-tested 91 cured coronavirus cases and were reported positive again, the health officials stated.

The director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), Jeong Eun-kyeong, announced that the coronavirus virus might have reactivated rather than re-infected patients.

Health officials in South Korea stated that it’s yet unclear why recovered patients’ from coronavirus, when re-tested coming positive. Currently, investigations are on to find out whether the infected population that has cured of the virus has developed sufficient immunity or whether re-infection is a possibility?

This trend raises a huge concern internationally, as many nations are hoping to contain the virus soon and lift the lockdown.

Article Credit: Time/Reuters/Economic Times/Bloomberg

Is the European Union doing enough to battle the coronavirus pandemic?
Europe

Is the European Union doing enough to battle the coronavirus pandemic?

In the month of March, when the coronavirus started spreading outside China, such as Italy, France, Spain, and Germany, and the UK, Europe became the focal point of the epidemic with a constant rise in the number of positive cases and deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the infectious novel coronavirus as a pandemic.

Yesterday in an interview with the BBC, Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte cautioned that all EU leaders need to rise to this test, stand unified and strongly respond to fight coronavirus. If the EU neglects to come up with a fiscal and monetary policy soon, then without a doubt, the Italians, as well as the EU residents, will be profoundly disappointed.

Italy alone has recorded 17,000 deaths lately, including 100 doctors due to the Covid-19. Italy was one of the leading European countries to announce a lockdown when the deadly virus majorly hit the nation. Many researchers and experts criticized the EU for not taking an organized step in containing the pandemic and its economic consequences. According to Statista, the total number of coronavirus cases reported in Europe from January 25 to April 9 is 747,914.

On Tuesday, The President of the European Research Council, Mauro Ferrari, resigned as he was accused by Brussels agency for not being able to adequately support treatment and immunizations because of the absence of coordinated action to contain Covid-19.

According to the BBC News, Ferrari’s resignation statement cited that he had been hindered from funding treatment and vaccines from handling the health crisis.

The EU nations will hopefully take coordinated measures and improve their moderate actions on the Covid-19 pandemic. After massive criticism, on April 8, the EU and its members plan for a strong and targeted EU response to help member nations’ in managing and controlling the coronavirus pandemic.

The new EU collective plan will incorporate strengthening the EU member nations, handling health crises, humanitarian needs, sanitizing, and preparing in advance to manage the financial crisis that has hit them hard. As per President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, “The European Union is working tirelessly to battle the pandemic.”

Article Credit: The Financial Times/BBC/European Union

Fashion Worlds Future and its Contribution Amid Coronavirus
Asia Pacific Focus, Europe

Fashion Worlds Future and its Contribution Amid Coronavirus

The entire world is currently struck and battling the coronavirus pandemic. Nations have banned travel and enforced lockdown to control the spreading of the virus. The lockdown has majorly hit the global market as malls, markets, fashion stores are all shut. One of the industries that have been smitten by this is the fashion industry. Artisans, tailors, small designers, apparel and textile industry, are facing the consequence of the outbreak worldwide.

Many major events have been canceled or postponed, such as the Paris Men’s Fashion Week and Couture Week, Met Gala, CFDA Awards, and others.

In March, The famous India Fashion Week Autumn-Winter 2020 got postponed, and the Chairman of Fashion Design Council Of India (FDCI) Sunil Sethi issued refunds to designers and sponsors who had invested in the show and stalls for the event. FDCI has also set up a fund to provide financial aid to small designers and businesses in the Indian Fashion Industry.

Big international brands like Giorgio Armani, Dior, Burberry, and many more pitched in to help mobilize by stitching masks and gowns for frontline workers.

Dior reopened its BabyDior brand in Redon and volunteered to produce new masks and aid the healthcare professionals.

Giorgio Armani, in his Instagram post, announced that companies Italian production plants will contribute towards manufacturing disposable medical overalls for frontline workers.

Burberry stated that the company’s global supply chain would produce 100,000 surgical masks and support the NHS, and added that they stand together in the battle against coronavirus.

No one knows how the global fashion world will recover from such a drastic economic loss. The fashion and luxury industry is predicted to suffer around $600 billion due to the coronavirus, and it will surely make the consumers think before spending on luxury goods.

Article Credit: Hindustan Times/Vogue Business/USA Today/Quartz

Pros and Cons of Working From Home During Coronavirus Lockdown
Americas, Asia Pacific Focus, Europe, Middle East & Africa

Pros and Cons of Working From Home During Coronavirus Lockdown

Currently, the world is fighting a deadly pandemic called coronavirus or Covid-19. Many precautionary measures have been announced by nations worldwide to contain the virus from spreading. Among them is work from home for all employees due to imposed lockdown.

One of the most significant changes for employees is to work from home amid global coronavirus lockdown. Working from home sounds exciting initially, but actually, it comes with its advantages and disadvantages as well.

Besides freelancers and small businesses, who are familiar with working from home, many permanent employees opted to work from home a few times due to personal reasons or family emergencies. However, recently everyone is adjusting to the work from home culture due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Right now, it’s essential to stay safe from the coronavirus as its spreading rapidly worldwide. The positives that an office goer will see in work from home are; we need not dress up formally for office; you could work in your PJs. Without setting the alarm, you could oversleep at home and have a brunch.

Office politics, busy schedules, meetings, and travel exhaustion is put to a break due to lockdown.
But, on the contrary, people in many nations such as India are facing low internet speed due to heavy traffic hampers the daily deadline.

Family members, kids, and other personal responsibilities have increased during the lockdown, for example, doing daily chores. Many nations are experiencing a shortage of groceries and essential goods due to panic buying, which has resulted in empty stores, which is a big concern for survival.

Change of work environment can disturb focus and everyday productivity. The sudden change to sit alone without colleagues can cause loneliness and fatigue.

Staying alert and not getting distracted by kids, family members, or television can be a challenging task for people working from home.

Work from home is not meant for every person, but currently, everyone needs to do so under lockdown.

According to psychologists and experts, if we want to be as productive as we were in office, we need to have a daily planner to follow at home.

We must set up an alarm and wake up early. We should avoid late-night movies and series. We should exercise daily indoors as per our schedule, which will increase our stamina, alertness, focus, and health.

We must practice self-discipline by taking a bath, getting dressed for work at home also. Make sure to sit in a well lighted silent place to avoid distraction.

Create deadlines for each assignment and break time to refresh yourself. Always keep yourself hydrated with juices and fruits while working.

Prioritize your family needs and requirements as, during the lockdown, we need to practice a healthy relationship and spend quality time with family as well.

“We will ask the President to authorize four coronavirus emergency hospitals,” says New York Gov. Cuomo
Americas

“We will ask the President to authorize four coronavirus emergency hospitals,” says New York Gov. Cuomo

On Friday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced that he would ask the president to permit the construction of four more hospitals as the state battles a rising number of coronavirus cases.

“We’re going to seek to construct four more temporary hospitals, which would provide us extra 4,000 beds,” he explained.

The call from New York’s governor came as the city has reported around 44,635 affirmed cases and 519 deaths from covid-19, according to reports. He said that right now, the state has 53,000 hospital beds and 3,000 ICU beds. At this testing time, New York would require an estimated 140,000 beds and 40,000 ICU beds.

Cuomo stated in a public interview from the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan that one of four temporary hospitals that he has already ordered and the others will be built in Westchester, Stony Brook, and Old Westbury on Long Island. We are still short of beds, so we are moving on plan B.

Plan B means having a temporary hospital in each borough of New York City, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. According to Cuomo, the sites have been selected, Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, the New York Expo Center in the Bronx, and the City University of New York-College of Staten Island.

Cuomo rehashed earlier projections that virus spread in the NY could reach its peak in around 21 days.

Article Credit: The Hill/Fox News

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