Rashmi Sacher

US urges Mexico to fulfil its water debt commitment by October 2020
Americas

US urges Mexico to fulfil its water debt commitment by October 2020

On Monday, the International Boundary and Water Commission urged the Mexican authorities to meet its commitment made as part of the 1944 Water Treaty with the US. As per the bilateral treaty Mexico needs to deliver remaining 432,360 acre-feet of water by October 24, 2020 as it marks the end of the current five-year cycle.

The treaty, known as “Utilization of Waters of the Colorado and Tijuana Rivers and of the Rio Grande,” set the guidelines for exchange of water resources between the neighbouring nations.  As per the agreement, Mexico needs to deliver the water from the tributaries of Rio Grande to the United States and the latter needs to deliver water from Colorado River to Mexico. Two of the main tributaries of the Rio Grande are the Conchos River in Chihuahua, which flows into the Big Bend area, and the Salado River, which flows into Falcon Dam.

“They have reiterated to us their intent to fulfil their treaty obligation, but we don’t want this to go down to the wire. They need to take action now to make sure that there is not a debt.”

Sally E. Spener, US secretary for the IBWC

The water exchange is tracked based on a five-year cycle. In one five-year cycle, Mexico is required to give 1.75 million acre-feet of water to the United States. The current cycle ends is October 2020 and Mexico is already short of by 432,360 acre-feet, way above the decided average of 350,000 acre-feet of water.

Sally E. Spener, the US secretary for the IBWC, said, “We wanted to emphasize the importance of Mexico fulfilling its treaty obligations. They need to make sure that the current water delivery cycle ends without a debt, and we’re running out of time. They need to increase their deliveries to the United States to make sure there is not a debt.”

The agreement does not allow two consecutive water deficit, whereas the Mexican government failed to meet the water commitment of the last cycle which ended on October 24, 2015. Hence its mandatory for the Mexican authorities to honour its word with regard to the agreement and pay off its water debt.

Spener said. “They have reiterated to us their intent to fulfil their treaty obligation, but we don’t want this to go down to the wire. They need to take action now to make sure that there is not a debt.” He added that if Mexican government failed to meet the set target, then there could be “intense negotiations” to arrange for the debt payment as soon as possible.

The water flowing from Mexico is stored into two international reservoirs on the Rio Grande – Amistad Dam in Del Rio and Falcon Dam. “The water is stored in the dams, so the water that you see in the river that’s coming down and irrigating that wonderful agricultural area that you have down in the Rio Grande Valley — that is coming from those reservoirs,” Spener said.

The US Commissioner Jayne Harkins said, “Farmers and cities in South Texas rely on this water to get them through the summer. Some irrigation districts will run out of water this year and municipal water districts are having to expend large sums of money to purchase additional water. To comply with the treaty, Mexico must increase its water deliveries.”

Lebanon: Economic crisis pushes Diab’s government for resignation
Middle East & Africa

Lebanon: Economic crisis pushes Diab’s government for resignation

Lebanon’s unending economic crisis raised calls for resignation of Hassan Diab’s government. Lebanese prime minister Diab formed the government in January, three months after former prime minister Saad Hariri was pushed down amid nationwide protests triggered by corruption and mismanagement of funds leading to the start of what appeared to be the country’s worst economic crisis.

The hope which Diab’s administration brought started fading away soon, making way for even more violent nationwide protests as its fiscal health worsened with dwindling foreign reserves so much so that in March the country defaulted for the first time. Besides, owning to its central bank’s failed monetary policies, Lebanon pound spiralled down losing over 70% of its value against US dollar. In its history of two decades of political and economic crisis, the country had not hit this low.

“A government change is possible at any moment and in any circumstance. What is important is to find solutions to save the country.”

Lebanon’s Minister Ghada Shreim

On Saturday, Lebanon’s Minister of the Displaced Ghada Shreim, in an interview on the Voice of Lebanon radio station said, “A government change is possible at any moment and in any circumstance. What is important is to find solutions to save the country.”

Country’s Energy Minister Raymond Ghajar, in another interview, questioned the government’s achievements over the last six months, andasked the “benefit of continuing in light of the lack of achievements”.

With the basic necessities becoming unaffordably expensive, people of Lebanon fear of suffering from the pandemic of hunger and poverty rather than COVID-19. On Sunday, besides leaders, Lebanon’s Christian authorities also criticised the government for soaring inflation and unemployment, forcing its citizens to survive in abject poverty and hunger.

In the Sunday sermon, Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai, the top Christian cleric, said, “It appears politicians want to hide their responsibility in emptying the treasury and not enact any reforms,” he said.

Hitting at the country’s inability to negotiate a bailout plan with International Monetary Fund, Rai said, “Political officials…do not have the courage nor the freedom to meet and find ways out of the suffering,” He added that the government was depriving its people of help they need the most from foreign donors.

In another sermon on Sunday, in a central Beirut church, Greek Orthodox Archbishop Elias Audi also slammed the Lebanese political leaders. “Oh respected leaders, I address whatever conscience remains in you,” he said. “Do you sleep comfortably at night while those under your care starve, and die of thirst and by suicide?“

Netanyahu’s annexation plan pushed away further by Gantz to focus on Covid crisis first
Middle East & Africa

Netanyahu’s annexation plan pushed away further by Gantz to focus on Covid crisis first

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might hold back his annexation plan, which were to be executed earlier starting from July 1. Netanyahu, after holding talks with White House envoy Avi Berkowitz and the US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said, “I spoke about the question of sovereignty, which we are working on these days and we will continue to work on in the coming days.” US president Donald Trump introduced the plan as a peace plan, unveiled last January, allowing Israel to capture one third of the West Bank, bringing it under permanent Israeli control, while leaving the remaining area to the Palestinians self-rule. The proposal was criticised and rejected by the Palestinian leaders.

“I spoke about the question of sovereignty, which we are working on these days and we will continue to work on in the coming days.”

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman

As per Israeli leader’s statement the plan was in work-in-progress mode as the two sides, US and Israel, were working out which areas of West Bank would be annexed. While analyst believed that Netanyahu did not get go ahead from US to carry out the plan as the plan-maker was undergoing transition. Both Trump administration and Israeli leadership would want to wait till the results of the US elections in November were out.

Besides, the Party workers hinted that Netanyahu’s coalition partner Benny Gantz also urged him to push away the annexation plan further and save the government from strongly brewing international opposition. Gantz said that the nation should focus on repairing its economy marred by the pandemic outbreak of coronavirus, while annexation plan could wait.

Gantz opted for delaying the plan in order to cool off raging criticism against Israeli move. Palestinian leaders, who called it an illegal takeover, have been backed by Jordon, Arab nations, European Union and UN. Israel’s neighbour Jordan even threatened to withdraw from its 1994 peace treaty, in case the plan was carried out.

Similar views were echoed by the UAE ambassador to Washington, Yousef al-Otaiba and the UN’s top human rights official, Michelle Bachelet.

On Monday, Bachelet said in a statement, “Annexation is illegal. Period. I am deeply concerned that even the most minimalist form of annexation would lead to increased violence and loss of life, as walls are erected, security forces deployed and the two populations brought into closer proximity.” In a rare op-ed published in a Israeli newspaper, Yousef-al-Otaiba, warned Israel against the annexation plan, urging latter to maintain peace and stability in the region. He said that ‘the illegal seizure of Palestinian land, defies the Arab – and indeed the international – consensus on the Palestinian right to self-determination’. He added, “It will ignite violence and rouse extremists. It will send shock waves around the region, especially in Jordan whose stability – often taken for granted — benefits the entire region, particularly Israel.” Besides, al-Otaiba said that Israel would even risk its ties with Arab nations if it chooses violence or diplomatic negotiation.

EU puts its guard up against China; tightens restrictions over foreign acquisitions
Europe

EU puts its guard up against China; tightens restrictions over foreign acquisitions

The novel coronavirus not only attacked Europe’s health systems but also crumbled its economy, making its assets value take a steep fall. European nations have all the reasons to be worried as weak economy makes the companies vulnerable and open to foreign takeovers. Earlier this month, NATO deputy secretary-general Mircea Geoana told defense ministers to put their guard up in order to secure their “crown jewels” from slipping into the hands of other nations. Currently the only economy, which is relatively stronger and holds the capacity to buy major stakes in companies of strategic importance is China. This feels like déjà vu as the continent witnessed a similar wave of acquisitions by foreign companies (mainly Chinese) during 2008 crisis as well.

EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager told The Financial Times (paywall) that in order to prevent Beijing from using the current crisis as an excuse to buy European companies, the EU governments should step in and buy stakes in those companies. It would keep the companies both secured and financially afloat.

Agatha Kratz, associate director at the US-based research firm Rhodium Group, said, “There were a lot of assets being bought on the cheap because of discussions with the euro zone, and the trend there at the time, in Germany in particular, that some of those countries needed to get their fiscal health back into order. And so a lot of them sold strategic assets and some of them happened to get bought by Chinese players.”

The trend of Chinese trying to gain leverage of economic slump to buy key western companies is almost two decades old. In 2003, Chinese companies in total spent about $1.6 billion in mergers and acquisitions of foreign companies, and by 2006 the figure shot up over 11 times to $18.2 billion. In 2018, Chinese corporations invested some $25 billion in the United States, while in 2019, Chinese entities invested 11.7 billion euros (nearly $13 billion) in European Union countries. This year too, the communist nation is all-set to go on a buying out spree. The corona-driven global recession has only made things easier for the Asian country.

Yang Wang, a Hong Kong-based partner at law firm Dechert LLP told Bloomberg,”It may still be early days but we hope to see a gradual increase of activity in the second half of the year from Chinese companies trying to do deals both in the Asia Pacific region and abroad,”. “Deal activity in industries such as consumer products, travel and hospitality should bounce back once things return to normal.”

Some market analyst called the claims about China on its toe for mergers and acquisitions “overrrated”. But the entire scenario has put European governments on alert as Italy introduced Golden Power protections against foreign takeovers and Spain revised its rules regarding foreign direct investment, which would now require the government’s approval. The United Kingdom was also quick to cancel the deal happening early in April between China Reform, a Chinese state-owned investment firm and Imagination, a British technology company which makes smartphone chips. Germany also plans to bring in new rules which empowers the state to cancel the deals which could lead to “potential interference”.

WHO calls for global collaboration of health organisations for even distribution of Covid-19 medical supplies
Americas, Europe

WHO calls for global collaboration of health organisations for even distribution of Covid-19 medical supplies

The World Health Organisation launched a project aimed at bringing together multiple health organisations (including state or non-state actors) all across the world to ‘accelerate the development, production and equitable global access to new COVID-19 essential health technologies’. The initial set of organisations who are party to this global collaboration are the United Nations, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, BMGF, CEPI, Gavi, the Global Fund, UNITAID, Wellcome Trust, WHO, Vaccine Alliance, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers

Besides, the European Commission, France, Germany, the UK, Italy, Norway, Spain, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Malaysia have also extended their support to the project.

But two most powerful economies of the world, US and China, who were also two of the hardest-hit countries by far in the pandemic, did not come forward in its support. A US Department of State spokesperson wrote us that, “America’s world-leading scientists are working hard on a Covid-19 vaccine. We welcome serious efforts to assist in that endeavor, and look forward to learning more about the World Health Organization’s proposal. We remain deeply concerned about the WHO’s effectiveness, given that its gross failures helped fuel the current pandemic.”

The campaign, which would officially start on May 4, was launched considering the level of inequality which prevails in the world. The key aim of the project is to provide equal access to ‘safe, quality, effective, and affordable COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines’ to all nations – developed, developing and underdeveloped. Often in war against pandemics, low-incomes nations are the ones which suffer the most.

“The world needs these tools, and it needs them fast,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a 90-minute online briefing. “Past experience has taught us that even when tools are available, they have been not been equally available to all. We cannot allow that to happen. … Our shared commitment is to ensure all people have access to all the tools to defeat Covid-19.”

WHO issued a statement saying, “We understand we cannot do this alone, and that we need to work together in unprecedented and inclusive partnership with all stakeholders – political leaders, public and private sector partners, civil society, academia, and all other stakeholders across society – jointly leveraging our comparative strengths and respective voices to drive towards collective solutions, an accelerated path, and access for all. We are stronger, faster and more effective working together.”

The pandemic outbreak which has infected more than 2.7 million people and taken over 191,000 lives, raised an urgent need for global medical collaboration. The organisation did not give out execution details of the project.

Netflix’s first quarter reports 16 million new subscribers
Americas, Europe

Netflix’s first quarter reports 16 million new subscribers

Netflix, the video streaming company in its first quarter reported 16 million new subscriptions. This surge in the subscription count, which is almost double the number of sign ups it received towards the end of 2019, shot up the company’s share value by 40%. Today the company has over 182 million subscribers worldwide and has set a target to achieve 7.5 million more members by June quarter.

Netflix is one of the few companies which benefited out of the current lockdown scenario, with most of the population house-bound all across the globe. Over last few weeks, the demand for its services went so high that it decided to hire an additional 2,000 customer support staff to handle the increased viewership. Last month the company, along with other video streaming service providers, decided to
reduce the quality of its videos in different nations to ease strain on internet service.

Increase in subscriptions got the company the attention of Wall Street investors, but the analyst warned the investors of decline in its growth in next quarter as the governments all across the world are expected to lift the lockdowns soon. Besides, in the industry where content is the king, the company is struggling to get new content as all the production work has come to a halt due to corona-triggered shutdown. Also, increasing competition, from big players such as Disney, Amazon, HBO etc makes its run for quality content all the more difficult.

The company’s CEO Reed Hastings, while discussing Netflix’s first quarter results said, “We’re in the same uncertainty that everyone else is. The thing we are certain of is the internet is growing. It’s a bigger part of people’s lives, thankfully. And people want entertainment. They want to be able to escape and connect, whether times are difficult or joyous. We’ve had an increase in subscribers in March that’s essentially a pull-forward of the rest of the year.”

According to Bloomberg, which reached out to several analyst over their views about company’s performance said that seven analyst suggested that it probably is the best time to sell the shares, as the company is performing at its best with its revenue reaching up to $5.76 billion, 27% higher as compared to the same period in 2019. While six analyst believed that it would be a wise call to hold on to the shares as the value might go up in future, as the company showed potential by doubling its profits to $709 million from $344 million in the first quarter of 2019.

But many were also sceptical if Netflix would be able to retain its current growth trend. Analyst Justin Patterson told Bloomberg that Netflix, which has a strong buy rating on the stock, might hit a staggered growth between the second half of 2020 and the first half of 2021, as he felt that any further expansion was less likely.

Lockdown exit: Hoping for the best but are we prepared for the worst?
Europe

Lockdown exit: Hoping for the best but are we prepared for the worst?

Coronavirus, the deadly contagion, which has put both our personal and economic world out of order, has lead us into a global lockdown – shutting businesses, sealing borders and restricting people’s movement. As the economies gag due the corona preventive measure many world leaders have decided to lift the lockdown, justifying their decision with ‘flatting of the curve’. But the pandemic is far from over. The relapsing of corona infected cases in Wuhan gives us the glimpse of what we might face in the near future.

As suffocating and mentally and economically draining is the lockdown, lifting it all of a sudden would prove to be equally lethal as many would step out, unknowingly getting exposed to the infection. The society would remain vulnerable till we have a vaccine in place. Till then we need to strike a balance between the health of the nation and our economy. A well planned controlled lifting of lockdown is the need of the hour.

The World Health Organisation has shared an exit strategy for the nations to decide when is the right time to open the economy.
Here are the six conditions which the nations should meet before relaxing the shutdown:

  1. When the disease transmission is controlled
  2. When health systems are able to ‘detect, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every infected contact
  3. When hot spot risks are reduced to minimum in places including nursing homes
  4. When schools, workplaces and other essential places have established preventive measures
  5. When the risk of importing new cases “can be managed”
  6. When the communities are fully educated, engaged and empowered to live under a new normal

The UK Think tank, Adam Smith Institute and the new Labour leader, Keir Starmer both advocated the call for a planned step-wise exit plan.

tweet image - Lockdown exit: Hoping for the best but are we prepared for the worst?

“A phased plan would allow companies to assess the feasibility of their operations and calculate the worth of borrowing; the longer lockdown continues, the less feasible an option this is”, the ASI report said.
“The greater the systemic loss of industry and mass unemployment, the deeper the risk of depression and the harder any economic recovery will be.”

Misinformation can kill us faster than Covid-19
Americas, Asia Pacific Focus, Europe

Misinformation can kill us faster than Covid-19

Coronavirus, since its origin about four months ago in Wuhan in China, has not only spread infection but also countless wild stories and conspiracy theories about its origins, its effects, its cure. Last week, more than 300 people in Iran died and over 1000 became ill after consuming toxic methanol amid rumours that it can cure Covid-19. The Islamic Republic is one of the worst hit nations by the outbreak, with the corona positive count reaching 44,605 and death toll 2,898. But the authorities are struggling not only in controlling the pandemic but also the spread of online misinformation.

In India, there were reports of hundreds of chickens found dead as people believed that coronavirus was passed on to humans through birds or vice versa and so to curtail its further spread a whole lot got killed.

As per a Buzzfeed report, misinformation led to riots in a small village in Ukraine, which lasted for two days. On 18 February a plane from Wuhan, China, (epicentre of coronavirus) arrived in the country, and rumours started circulating that those on board were infected with Covid-19. After landing, the passengers were immediately taken to an undisclosed medical facility. Rioters prevented the bus from entering their village by throwing stones and blocking way, fearing that the evacuees would infect all. Later after testing the evacuees, government announced that none of the passenger was corona infected. So there was nothing to worry about, yet so much chaos to handle.

In the words of WHO director General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, “We’re not just fighting an epidemic; we’re fighting an infodemic. He emphasised that if we did not control it, “we are headed down a dark path that leads nowhere but division and disharmony”.

In the age of social media, misinformation spreads faster than any virus which is far more dangerous as it increases human anxiety, putting them in survival mode and eventually overtaking the elements of empathy, unity, kindness and humanity. A similar trend was visible as soon as the whole world went into lockdown – which led to hoarding, disrupted supply chains, export ban, de-globalisation and de-regionalsim. A simple example of how Germany and the Netherlands refused to help Italy in unitedly raising ‘corona bonds’ (emergency EU bonds) sums it up all.

It is only human to calm anxiety by gathering more information about the threat and trying to make out loved ones informed and prepared. But this approach would have made sense in pre-internet era, where information was put out majorly by official government sources. But in the age of social media and search engines it is hard to differentiate fake from facts. Unfortunately, there are a lot of platforms functioning for economic or propaganda/ idealogical purposes, rather than sharing reliable information. For all you would know, you might be spreading a rumour by even sharing a meme or a joke (may be on empty shelves) which could triggers panic among people.

So the way forward is to fight Covid-19 as it was done during 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, by social distancing. We need to distance ourselves both in person and online. Not matter how tempting an information/ meme/ joke looks like, don’t share it. Anything official and important would be shared through more authentic channels and institutions.

Is coronavirus lockdown leading to a surge in domestic violence?
Americas, Asia Pacific Focus, Europe

Is coronavirus lockdown leading to a surge in domestic violence?

The coronavirus lockdown is no less than a nightmare for people living with abusive partners. Reports suggest that there have been manifold increase in domestic violence cases since the lockdown began in different countries as a preventive measure to beat Covid-19.

French authorities witnessed 36% increase in domestic violence cases in Paris only, while rest of France showed 32% rise in reported cases since the lockdown began on March 17.

China, which was first to be engulfed by the pandemic outbreak, reported twice as many cases of domestic violence as compared to the normal times, after the lockdown began in January. Soon the hashtag translating as #AntiDomesticViolenceDuringEpidemic started going viral.

Spain also reported a violent case wherein a 35-year-old woman (mother of two) was killed by her partner last month during the lockdown. The country is facing the second-worst outbreak in Europe after Italy.

According to Oxfam India, the global figures suggest that almost 1 in 3 or the 35 per cent of women worldwide have “experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime .”

Experts believe that coronavirus-deemed shutdown has put society under stress as many fear losing jobs, many are combating with food shortages, economic and mental insecurities. And in such stressful times, confinement aggravates frustration, increasing the likelihood of conflicts, leading to domestic and sexual violence. The lockdown increases the danger as it puts the victim under constant touch of the perpetrator.

Anti-domestic violence organisations are finding it not only hard to work from home as they are unable to reach out to the victims due to shutdown but also not able to help victims due to lack of refuge. Hope the governments and welfare agencies are not losing sight of this grave issue amid Covid-19 pandemic. Though many have come forward in support of the abused victims.

Suzanne Jacob, chief executive of British charity SafeLives, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, “It’s a perfect storm. Lockdowns will lead to a surge in domestic abuse, but also severely limit the ability of services to help.”

The French government is trying to help victims by putting them in hotels and setting up approximately 20 consultation centres in stores. The French Interior Minister, Christophe Castaner, announced on March 26 that victims of domestic violence could drop a message to local pharmacists if they are in danger. The government also announced fund of about 1 million euros ($1.1 million) in funds for anti-domestic abuse organizations to facilitate them in helping people and keep up with increasing demand for their services in the current situation.

In Spain’s Canary Islands code word ‘Mask 19’ is used by the victims at nearest pharmacy to help them reach out to authorities for rescue.

Germany and Austria have made facilities, providing refuge or helping in removal of violent family members from quarantined households. Several other nations, in partnership with NGOs are devising more such plans but a lot of nations have not made any arrangements for the victims.

What’s dangerous is that this upward moving graph of domestic violence cases is only of reported cases, while there many cases which remain unreported since in nations like India domestic violence is seen as a normal. Hope the lockdown and coronavirus both recede soon.

Increasing Coronavirus: Who is to blame?
Americas, Asia Pacific Focus, Europe

Increasing Coronavirus: Who is to blame?

Coronavirus, the biggest global pandemic of the century, is not the only virus which has infected the world and taken down millions of lives. The world has fallen victim to Ebola, Yellow fever, Zika virus, Nipa virus, MERS (CoV), scarlet fever, SARS, Enterovirus 68 and many more. Today, we have more viruses and diseases than ever before. According to a research paper, “Deposition rates of viruses and bacteria above the atmospheric boundary layer”, published in 2018, there are about 800 million viruses on every square meter of the planet. But not all viruses cause pandemics. Well, not all viruses even enter the human lives.

According to scientists, wet forests are the breeding grounds for most of the viruses in the world as the region is rich in terms of biodiversity. Rodents, mammals and bats are the maximum carriers of viruses but the most dangerous of all are bats as they have a strange ability to carry a lot of viruses, in their saliva, urine, and faeces. And they can easily spread these virus as they can fly to different places.

Dr. Kevin Olival, an ecologist and evolutionary biologist, who has been studying emerging viral infections for over a decade, said that over the last 60 years, the number of viral diseases has gone up four times and the outbreaks per year has increased three times.
He added that there are thousands of new viruses in the world. Interestingly these are new only to the world of humans and science as they have been existing among the wild for thousands of years.

Viruses are not coming to humans, but humans are going to them. It is humans, who are getting into the forest, and using the forest land to build malls, estates or convert them into plantations, including soya bean plantation in Amazon, palm oil plantation in Indonesia, Malaysia, live stock ranching, agricultural expansion, logging etc.

Dr. Barbara Han, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in New York, said, “Whatever survives, spills out. Deforestation is closely tied to disease emergence.” Dr Han said that by 2050, more than half of the world’s population is expected to live in the tropics and subtropics. Where as at present only 15 percent of the world’s rain forests still remain untouched, but the rest has been burned down.

Human activities are rapidly impacting the environment and hampering the balance of existing biodiversity. With all these changes, comes along the era of new and deadly viruses. We witness it a lot many times that, if deforestation happens in certain area then animals show up in nearly farm lands or houses. In the same manner if these virus-carrying animals or bats enter human space or spit or pee or poop on a human or in our farm lands then these viruses enter human race.

In 2017, Dr. Olival was working on project ‘PREDICT’, along with a team from the EcoHealth Alliance, who were trying to investigate where the most dangerous unknown pathogens are likely to be living. The team predicted that the next pandemic would emerge from bats, as they are already known to be cause of many human pandemics, including Sars, which emerged from cave-dwelling bats in China, and Ebola.

Stephen Morse, an epidemiologist at Columbia University, raised a pertinent point. Dr. Morse told BBC, “I think we are better able to respond to pandemics today than ever, but part of the problem is mobilising the resources and political will to take them seriously. I feel the greatest problem is not so much the pathogen – it’s complacency.”

The key causes of increasing rate of viruses are rampant human consumerism, globalisation, overselling of tourism industry and growing clutches of capitalism, in-short human expansion into the wild. We, humans need to learn from past and from our catastrophic mistakes before becomes a past.

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