US-Mexico wall, pink swing to fly over. The idea won the prestigious Design of the Year award

US-Mexico wall, pink swing to fly over. The idea won the prestigious Design of the Year award

A dozen pink swings. Simple but sturdy, in iron. The central pole crosses the border barrier and the seats that rise and fall on one side and the other. The children, happy, playing, and who can look at each other, albeit between the poles that reinforce the wall. It is the work that won the prestigious Design of the Year award among the 74 candidates chosen by the Museum of Design in London for the 13th exhibition, in 2020. The Teeter Totter Wall, during a symbolic 40-minute session, crossed the Wall that divides El Paso in Texas and Ciudad Juárez in Mexico.

It was built by Ronald Rael, professor of Architecture at the University of Berkeley in California, and Virginia San Fratelli, an associate of Design at San José State University. The idea arrived about ten years ago, after the passing of the law in the US, providing the construction of a barrier along the 3,145 kilometers that divides the two North American countries. “It has become increasingly clear, after the latest events in the US, that we do not need to build walls but bridges.” The professor explained. In the video that presented the swings, it is said that they are symbolically important because they show how things can be done.

Other videos had always been shot on the theme in 2019 and had been enormously successful enough to become viral on the social networks. The bright pink is not accidental. The drama of femicide, a real plague on Ciudad Juárez, inspires it. Hundreds of women died, and their bodies were found in the desert surrounding the northern Mexican city. A slaughter effectively described by Sergio Gonzáles Rodriguez in his “Bones in the Desert.” Most of the victims were girls employed in the fabric factories in Ciudad Juárez. Kidnapped, raped, and then killed by assassins on the orders of the city masters.

The two artists wanted to remember that the US-Mexico wall is a legacy that Trump leaves us. Without forgetting, however, that both George W. Bush and Barack Obama did not hesitate to build part of the barrier and to deport hundreds of irregular immigrants. “Trump spoke of the barrier and announced that he would raise it, posing as the man who saved America from invasions. But in reality, he continued the work of the others who had preceded him. Obama and Bush already built it for two thirds.”

 The selection for the award was very tough. Swings prevailed over the competitors, including a 3-D reconstruction of the Coronavirus, a Lee Han Jun set design on the Film Parasite, 4 Oscars in 2020, and a stab-proof vest made from the Union flag worn by British rapper Stormzy at Glastonbury in 2019.

Effects of climate change. Experts warn: “glaciers are disappearing”

Effects of climate change. Experts warn: “glaciers are disappearing”

Climate change is at the top of the concerns of young people around the world. The effects of terrestrial warming are there for all to see, and in a few decades, the world may no longer be as we know it. New forms of life are born, until a few decades ago, the Pico Humboldt glacier was present, at an altitude of 4940 meters, in Venezuela. The Pico Humboldt glacier in the Sierra Nevada National Park is the last in Venezuela. The climate crisis has accelerated its melting, which has become increasingly rapid over the last decade. For the total disappearance of the glacier, it is now a matter of a few years. Meanwhile, a new biodiversity colonizes the bare rocks. A new research by the Institute of Environmental and Ecological Sciences of the University of the Andes (Ula) has confirmed, documenting the dramatic impact of climate change on Andean glaciers.

Downstream of the Pico Humboldt is Mérida: they called it the city of eternal snow. Overlooking the Andes mountain range, the urban center is now the guardian of the little that remains of the Venezuelan glacier. The snow-capped peaks of the mountains formed its unique landscape. It was the only city from which people could see snow in the whole country. Now the ice remains only on the Humboldt summit, and it still resists thanks to its position on the mountain, protected by an inlet. But a new biodiversity takes the opportunity to colonize the unnaturally exposed lands. The researchers collected images and samples of the Venezuelan glacier between 2019 and 2020 and noted that it retreated at an unusual and alarming rate. From 1910, the year of its first measurement, before the Pico Humboldt ascended its height the following year, the glacier would have lost 99% of its mass.

According to the Institute of Environmental and Ecological Sciences of the University of the Andes, in 2019, the area covered by the glacier was just equivalent to five football fields, or 4.5 hectares, vs the 300 hectares in 1910. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, with the rise in temperatures, glaciers worldwide have been affected by global warming. And the tropical Andes are one of the most vulnerable regions. Almost 10 billion tons of perennial snow from glaciers around the world was lost from 1961 to 2016, with an increasing rate in recent years, according to research by United Space in Europe (ESA). Furthermore, after Greenland and Antarctica, the glaciers of Latin America are the ones that contribute most to the rise of the seas and are even more at risk due to pressure from the mining lobbies, as in Chile.

Researchers question the future not only of the Antarctic ecosystem but also of metropolises such as London, Mumbai, New York, Shanghai as we know them. This scenario is feared by a study conducted by the Research Institute on Climate Impacts of Potsdam, together with the University of Potsdam, Columbia University in New York, and the University of Stockholm. More than half of the planet’s freshwater reserves are guarded by the Antarctic ice sheet, which is about five kilometers thick, Ricarda Winkelmann, co-author of the research, explains in a note released by the Potsdam Research Institute on Climate Impacts.

Greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are causing an increase in the temperatures of the atmosphere and ocean waters. The ice covering the South Pole loses mass and becomes less stable. That causes the sea level of the entire planet to rise.

Evading the global trend China’s economy bounces back, faster & harder than pre-pandemic

Evading the global trend China’s economy bounces back, faster & harder than pre-pandemic

It’s been a little over a year that coronavirus pandemic clawed China and started spreading across the country and beyond. Apart from the massive heart-wrenching effect on lives, the pandemic tore part global economy and China was no different. Now, China’s economy is steering its way back on track and is bouncing back fast and hard, better than it did pre-Covid. 

On Monday, the published economic data showed China recording growth of 2.3% in 2020. This made the Asian country the only major economy to show growth in a year when coronavirus was taking a toll on global economies. As competing economies, United States of America, Europe, Japan and India, are struggling to tackle ‘winter Covid-19 wave’, China is enjoying its view from the top with buoyant economy, claiming global leadership in the post-Covid-19 era. 

The National Statistics Bureau has highlighted China’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) recorded a rise of 6.5% during 2020 fourth quarter. This surpassed the growth in 2019 end which was 6%. China’s GDP crossed milestone in 2020, recording over $15 trillion or 100 trillion yuan. 

Bureau’s head Ning Jizhe said, “In an extraordinary year, China’s economy was able to record an extraordinary accomplishment. It’s a performance that is satisfactory to the people, watched by the world, and can be recorded in the annals of history.” He added that crossing GDP milestone by China reflects how “our country’s economic strength, science and technology strength, and overall national strength have jumped to a new level.” 

Spring 2020 saw SARS-CoV-2 virus containment by China, with small scale re-emergence in past few weeks. This has helped China keep on the crucial sectors like construction, heavy industry and export manufacturing working at a time when other nations were grappling the crisis. 

China’s foreign minister Wang Yi recently addressed the world leaders and said that under leadership of President Xi Jinping, China has recorded fast recovery and that China “has brought hope for the world economy to step out of the doldrums.” 

Employment too is picking up with boost in economy. China has successfully created 11.86 million jobs during 2020. 

But some economists highlight the impressive at first glance performance of China’s economy. It is fueled by country returning to old ways causing foundation of economy hollow and fragile – debt fueled infrastructure building, relying on heavy and old industries, including steel production.  

China is still facing global challenges in trade sector, including trade tensions with the US. This also brings in big challenge to incoming President Joe Biden and his administration who will have to deal and work on the strained relationship between US and China under Trump presidency. 

Facebook, step back on WhatsApp privacy after user leak. New rules postponed by 3 months

Facebook, step back on WhatsApp privacy after user leak. New rules postponed by 3 months

WhatsApp privacy: Mark Zuckerberg rethinks its last decision. On February 8, there will be no update to the WhatsApp privacy policy that will make the accounts of those who do not accept unusable. The forced sharing of some data with Facebook, which has raised a cloud of controversy worldwide, has been postponed for three months. In a matter of days, rival messaging apps like Telegram and Signal experienced a download boom. Although analysts believe that in key ones WhatsApp is so ingrained that its opponents can’t overthrow it, today, Facebook is in danger of losing ground in some markets

Step back of Mark Zuckerberg’s colossus on the new privacy rules of WhatsApp, which would have forced hundreds of millions of users outside Europe to share their data with the social network Facebook. The news caused the real escape of users attentive to personal privacy to other applications such as Signal, also following endorsements such as that of Elon Musk. And so, everything was postponed to May 15, the date on which you will be asked to review and accept the terms. The decision, the company explains, is linked to the “confusion” that has been created, also because “the latest update does not change anything” of the fundamental concept of the company.

“We are aware that our recent update has created a bit of confusion,” the company wrote. “Since the circulation of incorrect and untruthful information has caused concern, we want to clarify and make sure everyone understands the principles we rely on,” he adds. The application, writes WhatsApp, is based on a simple concept: everything you share with family and friends stays with you. “This means we will continue to protect your conversations with end-to-end encryption.” Affirmed the note. The new business options, adds the messaging service, are “optional” and allow users to exchange messages with companies that use WhatsApp.

WhatsApp is the most used messaging app for chatting. But many have also decided to try Signal, an application that allows you to communicate on iOS and Android. And which, for many, would be the safest app in the industry. Signal managed, in a short time, to sneak between Zuckerberg’s mobile application and Telegram, the other chat alternative to WhatsApp. Signal has several features that WhatsApp lacks: the two apps can coexist within our smartphones thanks to their particular peculiarities.

The apps, both available for iOS and Android systems and in the desktop web version, are similar but have features that allow you to distinguish one or the other in everyday use. Both Signal and WhatsApp can count on an intuitive interface. It doesn’t take much to understand how they work. You can make voice and video calls, create groups, and so on. With WhatsApp, it is possible to create group chats up to 256 users while on Signal we have a maximum of 1,000 users.

With Signal within the groups, it is not possible to see if one of our contacts has viewed a message or to check if he is online while on WhatsApp it is. Signal can count on many animated stickers, while on WhatsApp they have recently been introduced, and the functionality and use are limited. Signal also has an app for iPad and tablets, while WhatsApp does not. Signal can count on timed messages that self-destruct according to an indicated time limit. WhatsApp has recently introduced this function but indicating automatic deletion after seven days.

Since it arrived in the digital stores, Signal has distinguished itself for an important element: putting the users’ safety and privacy first. Before others, it introduced end-to-end encryption, the same available for some years also on WhatsApp. And it allows you to use an option that changes the keyboard in incognito mode, preventing the words used in the chats from being saved from the history of the smartphone or from the application itself.

Of course, WhatsApp has a large pool of users built over the years. Today everyone uses the app to text, and it is easier to get in touch with users via WhatsApp than via Signal, although the recent download boom could unbalance this element. The monopoly on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp is a reality that has been consolidating over the last few years. But this increasingly worries the users interested in knowing how this affects the processing of their data.

Is geopolitics impacting the global telecom supply chain?

Is geopolitics impacting the global telecom supply chain?

Global telecom supply chain: Huawei is among the biggest tech giants and owner of the 5G patent, in contrast to the Western firms. However, stopping Huawei’s access to 5G chipsets from US semiconductor firms can hurt the American economy and moderate the 5G expansion. Closing doors on China would additionally disable the 5G future development.

Analyst for 5G Markets, Leo Gergs, referred to how ABI’s study “shows that forbidding Huawei and ZTE from 5G arrangements and confining their admittance to silicon and semiconductor supply chains will have extreme ramifications on economic performance. Besides, restricting these Chinese companies will hamper 5G and 6G R&D.” 

5G is designed to provide high-speed data transfer at a large scale for future applications. However, since the Federal Communications Commission ordered the Chinese telecom goliaths Huawei and ZTE as the national security threat, it could repress their 5G plans.

Since, December 12, 2019, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan, and the U.S. have chosen to ban Chinese company Huawei’s products. In 2020, the UK also annnounced that all Telecoms companies should stop using Huawei hardware in the 5G mobile network from Sept. The UK administration’s announcement came before the law was passed, which later banned the Chinese company from the telecom network.

Huawei has been a market leader in telecom infrastructure and hence is the largest buyer of such equipment. However, since the row over US national security threat, the outbreak of coronavirus, India- China border issue, and many more reasons, many nations have criticized China. It led to more imposed sanctions by the US or cut business ties with them by many nations. 

However, the future will tell if geopolitics will impact the global telecom supply or not. On Dec 15, 2020, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) Chairman Mukesh Ambani, during a historic virtual ‘Collaborating for Digital India’ last year discussed the 4G and 5G technology, RIL-Facebook association, and the part businesses can play in building India’s future economy. 

The Facebook CEO praised Reliance for bringing the 4G revolution in India and that 5G was presently another big venture for the company.

How to stop Africa desertification? A great green wall dedicated to sustainable agriculture, reservoirs, and energy plants

How to stop Africa desertification? A great green wall dedicated to sustainable agriculture, reservoirs, and energy plants

Africa desertification: In February 2021, there will be a summit of the European Union and African Union leaders. The talks will be an opportunity to draw up a concrete program and take a sustainable development path. Because we need to rebuild the world left in ruins by the coronavirus pandemic, avoiding repeating the mistakes of the past. Ibrahim Thiaw, the executive secretary of the UN Convention for the fight against desertification, announced, recalling how it is above all young people – first and foremost, Africans – who ask for and have the right to change. The meeting will be an opportunity to relaunch the construction of a great green wall in Africa.

The idea is a wall of trees and land dedicated to sustainable agriculture, reservoirs, and energy plants. It is 8,000 km long and 15 wides. The project aims to restore 100 million hectares of arid and degraded land by holding back the desert’s advance in the Sahel region. Two hundred and fifty million tons of carbon dioxide and create a new economy with 10 million jobs. These are the most important numbers of the Great Green Wall, the most innovative natural work that man has ever built. That should be ready in 2030, in an ideal connection that horizontally cuts the Africa continent.

From Senegal to Djibouti, three times the size of the coral reef. The idea of ​​creating a natural wall to stop the advance of the Sahara Desert to the south was launched by Richard St. Barbe Baker in 1952, returning from an expedition in the Sahara Desert.

The English biologist and botanist had caught some signs. He noted that the lands on the border desert in a few decades would be overwhelmed by its advance. The scientist proposed a project to reforest a green belt 50 km wide for the 8,000 of the natural length of the corridor. The Sahel desertification process became evident and upsetting in the 1970s when, following droughts, they rapidly dried up.

The countries affected by this crisis began to discuss that old project which anticipated the effects but also offered possible solutions to stop them. Only in 2002, however, the project of the great green wall was officially presented and discussed within the African Union, which adopted it.

After five years, in 2007, it started with its construction in the 11 participating countries to which, in recent years, another nine have been added. That partly modified the initial corridor with the addition of off-screen areas to counteract the desert from the north and, at the same time, participate in the promised green economy. Algeria, Burkina Faso, Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Cape Verde, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Gambia, and Tunisia are the countries part of the project.

However, 15 years after the first stone or better from the first tree planted, things are very late and proceed in patches, with enormous differences and different timings from country to country. From the UNCCD report (the United Nations Convention Against Desertification, last September only 4 million hectares (out of the 100 million expected) were completely recovered. Of these, more than half 2.3 million hectares) are in Ethiopia. Another 18 million hectares are in processing, although not all within the official corridor.

These works have allowed the creation of just 335,000 jobs, with 90 million dollars in revenues per year, compared to the 10 million expected when the work will be fully operational. Among the countries that have planted the most trees, Ethiopia with as many as 16.6 million plants. While in the rear, there is Chad, only 1.1 million plants.

Why Caucasians Bank On the WHO-Covax Vaccine Programme

Why Caucasians Bank On the WHO-Covax Vaccine Programme

WHO-Covax Vaccine Programme: If you are a part of the Caucasia region, chances are you will need a strong friendship with the more powerful nations around you, to get hold of the best efficacy Covid-19 vaccine

The South Caucasian nations like Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, have realized that they have to remain in good terms with Russia, Turkey and the rest of the West. All of them are aware that they will probably meet the first anniversary of the novel virus, when it hit their counties. But they might still have to wait their turn for the vaccine to start their respective immunization drives. 

In comparison, Turkey, Russia and the rest of West are already underway running their respective immunization drives. While Russia is experimenting dangerously with its own pathogen version (Sputnik V), Turkey has befriended Chinese Sinovac. Other Western regions are making use of either their own vaccine candidates or the ones which have been recognized by prominent medical boards worldwide. 

However, the Caucasian region is going to have to shake hands with one of the top players in the market. The other tunnel to take is the COVAX route. Under the Covax scheme, these nations that actively participated in the development of the vaccine will be given priority under a vaccine ration system. 

This would mean that the Caucasian regions countries that are primarily poor or struggle to get back on their feet after civil wars, could look forward to 2 billion doses. But this will only come through by Spring. They will need more supplies for which they have to knock the right doors. 

While the World Health Organisation’s COVAX scheme was meant to help poor nations secure covid-19 vaccines, it has run into problems due to lack of funds. The COVAX facility currently has 190 participating economies. This includes 98 higher-income economies and 92 low- and middle-income economies eligible. Of these, countries like Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia have expressed their interest in securing the vaccines, and have also paid up hefty amounts to receive required dosages. 

Azerbaijan has contributed the largest $21 million, while Georgia made an advance payment of $4.5 million. But Georgia has its own apprehensions and reservations, if the Covax programme decides to include Russian vaccine candidate to its lot. 

The Caucasian region is banking on the Covax programme heavily and continues to have its fingers crossed. 

WhatsApp privacy policy: company offers clarifications over circulating claims

WhatsApp privacy policy: company offers clarifications over circulating claims

WhatsApp privacy policy: Past few days have emerged quite controversial for global chatting app WhatsApp led by the latest policy update which has brought it in middle of a storm. According to the update, further data sharing will be carried out with its parent company Facebook. Users have been given a deadline of accepting all the terms and conditions of the new policy by February 8, 2021 or else their accounts would be deactivated. This has led to a sparked exodus to other apps like Telegram and Signal.

There have been zillion claims circulating, ironically on WhatsApp, that are creating confusion and zero transparency into the exact whereabouts of the new policy. Furthermore, the fact that the organization is imposing a “full or void” formula to the policy acceptance rendering that users have no choice in accepting the policies has led to quite a rebuke and exodus from vastly popular chatting platform. But now the messenger app has clarified the move by sharing an explanation over its “data sharing clause” in the updated terms and conditions. 

The updated version of WhatsApp Terms and Conditions says, “As part of the Facebook Companies, WhatsApp receives information from and shares information with the other Facebook Companies. We may use the information we receive from them, and they may use the information we share with them, to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services and their offerings, including the Facebook Company Products.” 

In recent official statement by WhatsApp in an attempt to offer some clarification into the controversy, the Facebook owned messenger app said that data sharing with Facebook would not change. It also said that starting February 8, 2021, data sharing will take place between Facebook Business and WhatsApp Business accounts. It clarified that the platform for those using it for instant messaging would not be affected. 

The statement clarifies that dealing of personal chats will not change and it will continue to be end-to-end encrypted. This means that no third-party can read the chats. WhatsApp policy adds, “We do not retain your messages in the ordinary course of providing our Services to you. Instead, your messages are stored on your device and not typically stored on our servers. Once your messages are delivered, they are deleted from our servers.”

Regarding sharing location with Facebook, WhatsApp said that only approximate location information would be shared with the parent company. It also said that location when shared on the app, it would only be protected between sender and receiver, and is not transmitted to Facebook. 

WhatsApp also made it clear that it does not record, or listen to audio and/ or video calls made through it. Data of these calls remains end-to-end encrypted and thus secure, just like the text messages. 

Though WhatsApp has tried to clear the air and clarify misconceptions, the main hurdle in way of the app remains lack of trust and confidence with Facebook, its parent company. When it comes to data sharing with Facebook, only European Union has clear laws that exempt WhatsApp from doing so. As for the other nations, there are two choices for WhatsApp users. First is to continue using the platform and hope for new laws regarding data protection to be implemented in their country. Second is clear, and unsurprisingly looking at current exodus from the platform, is to switch to another platform that is not keen on data collection. 

Digital revolution. China-US tensions, an opportunity for Europe?

Digital revolution. China-US tensions, an opportunity for Europe?

Digital revolution: UNCTAD, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, recently compared the development between the financial crisis of 2008 and the present day, in full coronavirus emergency. The comparison is useful to understand that the current situation is leading to the emergence of new markets and new companies, alongside the deepening of the crisis of other companies and other traditional sectors. The great driving force of low cost, in particular of travel, which has facilitated the spread of tourist facilities and services with very low productivity, will no longer work as before and this will lead, among other things, to a profound restructuring of tourism.

But the infrastructure and access to the network has exploded in the twelve years that separate us from the previous financial crisis, and in this context, the competition between the two giants the United States and China represents a huge challenge for the European Union, which it also tries to give positive answers to the crisis. The reference framework for the tensions between the US and China is characterized by the American will to resist the rise of the Chinese superpower, at perhaps the most delicate moment of the leadership of President Xi Jinping and, perhaps, also of President Donald Trump.

On the other hand, the legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) power lies in the extraordinary economic growth, which has brought dividends certainly distributed in a very unequal way and in the absence of guarantees on individual rights and on human rights of minorities, but so high. to feed a popular consensus without alternatives. Now, after the COVID-19 pandemic’s outbreak, growth forecasts have vanished, accentuating a slowdown trend that can largely be attributed to structural weaknesses in the Chinese economy, including rising debt, unproductive investments, demographic shifts, and renewed government support for inefficient state-owned companies.

However, Western concerns about Beijing’s emerging hegemony, and American concerns, in particular, have never been higher. According to the US Department of Justice, between 2011 and 2018, 90% of state-led espionage cases were attributable to China, and thus 2/3 of intellectual property thefts attributable to the private sector. Xi Jinping’s leadership aims to strengthen China’s international economic, military and technological position, within a strengthened control of the CCP: minorities, oppositions, and areas that do not intend to align are considered dangerous adversaries. To speed up the process, he has for years started an effective model of transmission and interconnection between the civil and military sectors, as the American Congress acknowledges, not without concern.

The coronavirus emergency represents a test case for this strategy. His raid took the local authorities of the province of Hubei by surprise, which was also serious because, in Wuhan, the capital of the province, there is the only biological laboratory of level 4 in China, created with the collaboration of France and where a researcher of international stature developed important knowledge about the “viral reserves” represented by bats and immediately sequenced the SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for the epidemic. The central government reacted to the initial delay with very drastic and effective measures, blocking the epidemic in the country, with very high costs, but with the declared aim of demonstrating this ability to govern to the world: we recall the images of the dozens of bulldozers that cleared the area where the new hospitals for coronavirus patients in Wuhan would be built in a week.

The United States has grossly underestimated the impact of the coronavirus, not only in health terms but also in political and economic terms. They did not understand that China would play all out on containment, to demonstrate, within the country and abroad, the Party’s grip on strategic problems. But they did not even understand how China intended to leverage the internal lockdown, to accelerate the digitization processes already in full development with the emergence of technological giants of primary global importance and, in fact, the only competitors of the American giants.

With which, however, President Trump did not define any strategic approach during his mandate. It is interesting to note that the reference for the Google-Apple agreement to make the operating systems of mobile phones communicate in order to recognize each other via Bluetooth, has as a regulatory horizon, the protection of privacy defined by the European Union.

The coronavirus has therefore also become a field of competition between the US and China, where it is the second to have gained margins. Also, thanks to an extensive adoption of new solutions and apps dedicated to monitoring, tracking, and control. This effort has translated into a further leap forward from the point of view of Internet penetration in the daily life of the Chinese.

According to a study of the World Bank, investment in infrastructure contributes to the development of productivity and economic growth of a country, increasingly as the integration of international markets growths. The Chinese economy has systematically developed the country’s infrastructure. It was able to do that because it found no obstacles in the property rights of families or businesses, in fact still subordinated to the planning of the CCP, and it wanted to do so by activating the financial capital available to the central government and the Provinces.

In the telecommunications and internet sector, this development has been prodigious, accompanied by an even more significant growth in technological capacity and willingness to innovate, fuelled by an educated and ambitious young population: from 2008 to 2019, internet users were grown by 300% reaching 900 million people. The network-based economy is changing Chinese society more rapidly than it is in the West. Among the population that uses the internet: 1 out of 3 order food online 1 out of 2 buy online, 3 out of 4 make payments online, 9 out of 10 use online streaming.

Ukraine stuck in vaccine geopolitics amid coronavirus pandemic

Ukraine stuck in vaccine geopolitics amid coronavirus pandemic

Vaccine Geopolitics: To begin with, the first talks with Pfizer company and other Western vaccine manufacturers to get early shipments imploded after the Trump administration restricted vaccine exports. Presently, chances are only if President-elect Joe Biden takes office, the soonest commercial purchase of Western vaccines will be possible, The New York Times reported.

The pace of Covid disease in Ukraine has eased back in recent weeks with over 7,000 new cases reported every day. Since the start of the pandemic, 19,712 Ukrainians have passed away due to the infection. Ukraine declared a nationwide lockdown beginning from this weekend.

The immunization situation has generated an information war in Ukraine, which has been stirred up by Russia. TV broadcasting pro-Russian perspectives along with politicians have blamed President Zelensky for permitting Ukrainians to cease to exist of a difficult refusal to procure medication from an enemy nation. 

The nation is already battling with a tug of war between East and West in European political issues, which has presently become a point of convergence in the geopolitics being played on the covid-19 vaccine.

According to The New York Times, Lyudmyla Boiko’s family has just had a frightening, and deadly, experience with the Covid pandemic. 

A few relatives acquired the virus, and her daughter-in-law’s mom passed away. Presently, Ms. Boiko, a 61-year-old working at the Botanical Garden in Ukraine, is profoundly stressed over her husband’s health, which has medical conditions yet has not yet contracted the disease. She is placing her faith in an immunization. 

“I don’t mind where the vaccine is delivered as long as it’s safe, “Wellbeing ought to be the priority, Ms. Boiko stated.” 

Ukraine’s situation has grabbed the attention of Russia’s state-controlled media sources, who have underlined Ukraine’s Western partner’s failure to help in the time of need and offering the Russian Sputnik V vaccine as the alternative. 

Ukraine’s leaders, who have raised concerns over the efficacy and safety of the Sputnik V instead opted for China, purchasing its first vaccine in a rushed arrangement by the end of December 2020. 

“Russia, as usual, utilizes this in its crossover battle, as a data weapon,” Maksym Stepanov, Ukraine’s health minister stated over a phone interview about the nation’s work towards immunizing its populace. “He stressed, that the vaccine issue has been politicized.” 

The Russian insult has shocked Ukrainian health authorities; however, there is little they can do to counter it without an elective vaccine stock. 

“Russia is seeking an aggressive policy for the vaccine,” Oleksandr Linchevsky, former deputy health minister stated. “It’s in Russia’s governmental interest that Ukraine gets the vaccine from somewhere else soon as possible,” he added.

Ukraine, with a populace of 42 million, is expecting to get 8,000,000 vaccine injections under the Covax program that provides middle and low-income nations. However, those doses are scheduled to arrive in March.

Before the banning of vaccine exports from the United States, Ukraine had been in talks with Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson and Johnson to accelerate delivery. However, the negotiations are in process, the delivery time is deferred.

Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky has scarcely contained his shock at his nation ending up far back in the line for immunizations in spite of its uncertain geopolitical situation.

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