Tag: Coronavirus

Coronavirus infection spread: Symptomatic vs Asymptomatic, What do we know?
Geopolitics

Coronavirus infection spread: Symptomatic vs Asymptomatic, What do we know?

Coronavirus infection transmission rate and the potency of infection spread from asymptomatic patients is still “unknown”, World Health Organization clarified on Tuesday. This was after Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’S COVID-19 technical lead said on Monday that infection spread from asymptomatic cases is “very rare”. The fact that this observation was based on a small study group, makes it not reliable.

Director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, Dr. Michael Ryan said that undoubtedly there is transmission of infection from asymptomatic sources and that he was “absolutely convinced” about it. Just the question left is that “how much” infection spread rate is from patients displaying no symptoms.

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, who is also the WHO’S Head of Emerging Diseases clarified the distinctive features between three categories of coronavirus patients/ carriers.

  • Asymptomatic patients – these are the ones who never develop any symptoms to infection, and therefore sometimes might go undetected.
  • Pre-symptomatic – These patients do not have any symptoms when they are tested positive, but they develop them later on.
  • Mild symptomatic – These people have very mild or common (atypical) symptoms and they usually do not realize they have the infection, and go undetected.

These minor differences between categories, which are seldom not mentioned in the reports, along with small sample size for study make it significantly difficult to draw any conclusions regarding carriers and spread of coronavirus infection.

But Dr. Van Kerkhove suggested that available evidences indicate lower infection spread instances from patients who never develop the symptoms or are asymptomatic, when compared to patients with mild or moderate-severe symptoms.  

According to studies conducted by the WHO in various random sample groups of asymptomatic cases, when contact tracing was done it was discovered that there were very low secondary infection cases among people who came in contact with asymptomatic patients.

WHO published in “guidance on wearing masks” on weekend, based on the study concluding “The available evidence from contact tracing reported by member states suggests that asymptomatically-infected individuals are much less likely to transmit the virus than those who develop symptoms.”

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) in UK after consistent sample testing of patients concluded that only 29% of positive tested patients of COVID-19 reported “any evidence of symptoms” when they were tested positive, or previous or following visits.

Symptomatic patients – highest risk carriers

 Contact tracing sample studies in many countries provides evidence that “true asymptomatic” cases “rarely transmit” infection. But the studies also indicate that there can be infection transmission before or on the day symptoms appear when they are mild in severity, stated Prof. Babak Javid who is an Infectious Diseases Consultant at the University of Cambridge.

Around three days before the patients first develop symptoms, there can be a detectable load of virus present in their system, which is capable of transmission relatively higher just before or on the day of symptoms appearance.

The asymptomatic cases can transmit the infection, but the relative high infection spread by symptomatic patients provides suitable evidence that they are the “highest risk” category of carriers.

The evidence collected through studies suggests – a positive case doesn’t directly indicate the transmission capacity of the patient or how much virus is in their system, also known as “Viral Load”. But when a patient displays symptoms like sneezing and coughing and the amount of contact he has with other people, directly influences how likely he can transmit the infection. It has been substantially determined that coronavirus mainly “passes through infectious droplets”. This determines that when a patient sneezes or coughs, he is most prone to pass on the infection, pointed out Dr. Van Kerkhove.

Brazil restores COVID-19 data after outcry
Americas

Brazil restores COVID-19 data after outcry

Over the weekend, the Brazilian administration took down comprehensive statistics related to coronavirus in the country, leading to accusations of data manipulation.

After a Supreme Court directive, Brazil on Tuesday restored the COVID-19 statistics that it had taken down from its health ministry website over the weekend. On Friday, the site was taken down and it reappeared on Saturday without crucial numbers relating to those already infected and killed by the virus.

There was an immediate outcry against the government for hiding this data, which coupled with President Jair Bolsonaro’s blasé attitude to the pandemic seemed to indicate the government was trying to suppress the severity of the outbreak.

Last week, there was controversy around a statement made by a government contractor that the data needed to be audited as it was possible that states were reporting higher numbers in order to secure more funding.

On Sunday, the government released two separate figures of daily deaths, initially announcing it to be 1,382 which was then revised to 525, reportedly according to a new methodology. Though details of these calculations were not revealed, the government had said that it would help give a “more realistic snapshot” of the situation in the country.

Brazil has recorded the highest total numbers of cases in the world after the United States and leads the globe in daily deaths tally. On Tuesday evening, the website reported 739,503 total cases and 38,406 deaths so far. In the past 24 hours, the country recorded 32,091 new infections and 1,272 deaths. But despite expert advice to not do so, many important states like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro have started partially reopening, leading to fears of a further surge in cases. In Rio, shopping centres and bars would have open if not for a court injunction denying permission to do so. The disappearance of the numbers, which would be critical in judging the impact of these moves, irked many lawmakers and health experts.

Already the President has been criticised for not taking the virus seriously and in fact trying to undermine some of the efforts taken by the state governors by asking them to ease lockdowns in order to revive the economy. He is known to have referred to the virus as a “measly flu” and has encouraged mass rallies of supporters in defiance of social distancing norms. Two health ministers have quit in as many months after allegations that the president was refusing to listen even to experts in his own government.

The latest move was heavily decried by the Supreme Court which said it was done to avoid facts and create a parallel narrative that would make monitoring of cases and decision-making difficult. This was a tool of totalitarian regimes, one judge said, adding that tricks like this wouldn’t “absolve the government from eventual genocide”. On Monday night, supreme court justice Alexandre de Moraes gave the administration 48 hours to “fully re-establish the daily dissemination of epidemiological data on the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Will EU travel tourism business recover from pandemic hit?
Europe

Will EU travel tourism business recover from pandemic hit?

The European Union has been worst hit by the pandemic, when it comes to their key sector of travel and tourism. The economy which thrives on its tourist inflow has hit rock bottom as many nations systematically try and open their borders post a long induced lockdown.

In a web debate over how to make a recovery recently Matthew Baldwin, deputy director general, Mobility and Transport, the European Commission expressed his gravest concern was ‘to restore a sense of wellbeing and security amongst the people.’

Also engaging in the debate was Eduardo Santander, executive director and CEO of the European Travel Commission (ETC) who said that the situation might not revive that quickly though some activity has started to resume in the European Union post the pandemic and that is a fresh start.  According to him the best way to move ahead would be to ‘harmonized and use a united approach to travel across the European Union.’

Matthew expressed the Commission’s seriousness to come up with a solution owning to the fact that ‘there are 6 million jobs at stake and almost 10 percent GDP comes from travel and tourism for European Union.’

However in his understand a more “common approach would be most appropriate to lift restrictions of the border and create travel links without compromising the safety and hygiene aspect of the travelers.  Health protocols for hotels for example will need to be well defined as well. It is more of the perspective of safety and restoring public confidence that is important. Also we need to work out a way to really give travel operators the maximum possible certainty for them to feel reassured their business can still work,” said Matthew.

Speaking about moving ahead, he said that European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has already put down operational tool for the aviation industry.  Further he said that its most important that “as we open travel and tourism, lets concentrate on three things- coordination, transparency and non discriminatory approach.”

Portuguese Secretary of State for Tourism, Rita Marques spoke about the need for “data and information in order we can follow a coordinated approach. We will need this support coming from all member states. Mobility is also critical to restart the travel and tourism business. We need to work towards reopening borders and mobilize transport in a very harmonizing way, promote tourism within EU and then funding.  15 percent of our GDP, strong support from EU to restart the travel and tourism sector.”  Santander threw light on the fact that family travel businesses and enterprises are now facing an existential threat.  He also reiterated the problem facing EU nations post the summer months. In his opinion, the first thing to do would be to “really restore the trust amongst the players itself.” All of them believe that the damage is far more psychological that just economical and would definitely need consensus and unified rules, guidelines and standards that works well both for travelers and service providers.

How the UAE avoided food shortages among COVID-19, World Economic Forum explains
Middle East & Africa

How the UAE avoided food shortages among COVID-19, World Economic Forum explains

The World Economic Forum has published a detailed report on how the United Arab Emirates (UAE) provided sufficient food supplies during the lockdown imposed in response to COVID-19. The paper describes the steps taken by the UAE over the past four years to become more self-sufficient in their food supplies, limiting its dependence on imports. The forward-looking policies of the UAE leadership have allowed the Gulf country to overcome the health emergency of COVID-19 without difficulty, establishing itself as a model to follow for other countries around the world.

The effort – part of a broader push to produce more home-grown food amid fears climate change could trigger instability in the global food trade – started after the country was hit by food export bans during the 2008-2009 financial crisis, the World Economic Forum affirms, indicating thatwhen the UAE went into lockdown in April to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, residents had the same reaction as millions of others around the world – they started panic-buying.

Nonetheless supermarket shelves have remained fully stocked, partly because the UAE has long had policies in place to ensure an uninterrupted supply of food from abroad,IsmahaneElouafi, Director general of the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) noted. “Thanks to the work being done to harness the benefits of innovation, agriculture is becoming possible and profitable in a country with harsh climatic conditions,” Elouafi said.

According to data from the World Bank, the contribution of agriculture to the country’s gross domestic product rose from $2.39 billion in 2012 to $3.06 billion in 2018. Currently ranking 21 out of 113 countries on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Food Security Index, the UAE aims to be in the top 10 by 2021 and number one by mid-century. By then, the federal government hopes half the food Emiratis consume will be produced locally, compared to 20% today. Under the UAE’s National Food Security Strategy – which was officially launched in 2018, but had already been woven into government policy for several years before – the country has worked to boost domestic food production. It has built infrastructure, including complexes for cattle-breeding – and introduced financial measures, from exempting value-added tax on food produced on local farms to paying subsidies on fodder.

The report also shows how to meet the country’s freshwater needs, the government is increasingly turning to energy-intensive desalination methods. Another challenge is that less than 1% of the UAE’s land is arable, according to the World Bank. The focus is on finding ways to farm with fewer resources – which is where technology and experimenting with new crops can help, said Sajid Maqsood, associate professor in the College of Food and Agriculture at United Arab Emirates University.

In recent years, the UAE has seen a rise in the number of vertical farms, in which crops are grown stacked under LED lighting and watered with mists or drip systems. In Dubai, the country’s business and tourism hub, airline catering service Emirates Flight Catering and vertical farm operator Crop One Holdings have launched a $40-million joint venture to build the world’s largest vertical farm. Crop One Holdings says the 130,000 square-foot (12,077 sq m) farm – due to be completed this year – will produce 6,000 pounds (2,721 kg) of pesticide- and herbicide-free fruits and vegetables daily, using 99% less water than traditional farms.

The Dubai-based ICBA works with local ministries, farmers’ associations and businesses to introduce climate-resilient crops such as quinoa, pearl millet and sorghum to farmers. “The global food production system is currently dominated by just a few staple crops – this needs to change,” IsmahaneElouafi affirmed. For Kapoor at Madar Farms, which has been growing leafy greens and microgreens in vertical systems since 2017, the move into tech-enabled agriculture is inevitable to deal with challenges like climate change and the novel coronavirus. As The world will have to shift toward controlled-environment agriculture.

Coronavirus: 62,200 deaths in Latin America, 20,000 new cases per day in the United States
Americas

Coronavirus: 62,200 deaths in Latin America, 20,000 new cases per day in the United States

The coronavirus pandemic continues to besiege Latin America, and in the last 24 hours, the infection curve is soaring with 1,238,101 cases (+84,163), while the deaths have reached 62,195 (+2,851). This is what emerges from the data of 34 Latin American nations.

Brazil continues to attract the attention of experts both for the number of infected people, 645,771 (+30,830), and for the number of deaths which are 35,047 (+1,005). Peru came in second with 187,400 total cases (+5,162), and Chile third with 122,499 infections (+1,448). Among the nations with more than 5,000 infections, there are Mexico (110,026), Ecuador (41,575), Colombia (36,635), the Dominican Republic (18,708), Argentina (21,037), Panama (15,044), the Bolivia (12,245), Guatemala (6,154) and Honduras (5,880).

According to Worldometer, there are now 2 million coronavirus cases in the US and 111,000 victims. But the most alarming figure – underlines the New York Times based on its database – is that we still travel to an average of over 20 thousand new cases per day: 21,614 on Thursday, especially in the south of the country and in part of the west coast characterized by new outbreaks. Great concern is also linked to the possible surge of the infections due to the protests taking place across the United States. The surge in cases in certain parts of the country, in fact, may be related to the number of states beginning to loosen lockdown restrictions and the number of people protesting police brutality and anti-blackness.

The number is lower than the April peak of new coronavirus cases, but the number of new cases shows passing the peak doesn’t mean the pandemic is over. According to New York Times, more states have seen a rise in new cases than those that have seen a decline. According to its database, 18 have seen a rise over the past two weeks, 15 have seen a decline, and 17 have stayed roughly the same. The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting 213 countries and territories around the world and 2 international conveyances.

Libya has registered another 30 new coronavirus infections in the last 24-hours, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 239. The Libyan National Center for Disease Control announced on its Facebook page, adding that while the dead remain 5 and the cured 52, the currently positive people rise to 182. India overtook Italy as the sixth country most affected by the coronavirus pandemic after another peak of confirmed infections in a single day. The Indian Ministry of Health on Saturday detected 9,887 new cases, bringing the total to 236,657. The dead in the country are 6,649 so far.

UAE sent 6.6 tonnes of medical material to UK, boosting PPE production
Middle East & Africa

UAE sent 6.6 tonnes of medical material to UK, boosting PPE production

In the context of international cooperation in the fight against COVID-19, the United Arab Emirates has delivered today 6.6 tonnes of medical material to the United Kingdom that will enable the country to produce millions of items of personal protective equipment, PPE.

The shipment arrived at Heathrow Airport on a special chartered flight on Friday morning and was made up of 6.6 tonnes of melt blown fabric, an essential component of surgical face masks. According to UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) there is currently a global shortage of the material and its export is restricted from the UAE.

This shipment will enable the UK to manufacture millions of face masks to protect millions of medical professionals as they work to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The UAE Ambassador to the UK, Mansoor Abulhoul, said: “We are delighted to be able to assist Britain, one of our closest friends and allies. The UAE is committed to helping fight COVID-19 wherever it can and has donated aid to 63 countries around the world.”

Soon after the virus emerged the UAE retooled factories to produce PPE, the UAE was able to supply the material because of its internationally-recognised success in curbing the spread of COVID-19. Careful supply chain management also meant the UAE did not exhaust domestic supplies of melt blown fabric, which is used in the oil industry and is manufactured in the UAE.

Last April, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, donated 60 tonnes of urgent medical aid to the UK. The NHS has been given rent-free use of ExCel London; the conference centre owned by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre which is currently NHS Nightingale.

The UAE undertaken numerous initiatives to globally combat the new coronavirus, delivering more than 716 tonnes of medical aid to 63 countries; more than 716,000 medical professionals have been assisted worldwide so far.This global approach on fighting the common enemy, called COVID-19, allowed to save millions lives around the world.

Las Vegas bets on brisk Business amidst infection scares
Americas

Las Vegas bets on brisk Business amidst infection scares

Latin America does not look prepared to open up its economy for any kind of recovery from the pandemic led closed down. In the rest of America, some cities have been severely hit by the pandemic that the others. Las Vegas has braved the pandemic with low numbers of contractions and has now decided to open up its casinos to resume work. But chances of contraction are still high.

As people will start to travel across cities, it might need just constant vigilance to ensure contraction does not happen when social distancing becomes a challenge. Brazil for example had opened itself up and now reported the third wave of cases of contractions and consecutive deaths, surpassing even Italy in the toll.

As Nevada hopes to recover from the close down losses, one the biggest resorts and casinos opened up in Las Vegas. Jobs have been lost one too many as the industry is completely dependent on travel and free moving tourist.

As Vegas opened up gradually, people can be seen throwing caution to wind as normal life resumes and musical fountains start to play of Elvis’ Viva Las Vegas. But as the coronavirus pandemic threat continues, analysts are warning that a total return to normalcy for gaming stocks might not be as quick as hoped. Despite a slow trickle back to booking activity, Morningstar senior equity analyst Dan Wasiolek estimates it could take until 2023 before Las Vegas revenues return to pre-COVID-19 levels.

New York city mayor Bill de Blasio has said that the city will brave coming back to work from next week starting Monday. The city intends to keep the hygiene protocols in mind at all times and would provide two million free face masks to small businesses and set up a hotline for them to reach for questions.

Construction, manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers with curbside pickup can resume operations with certain restrictions under the initial phase. The second phase would be resumption of services in eating outlets. The most vulnerable at dental clinics which are finding it tough to acquire personal care equipment at the moment.

With George Floyd’s death leading to mass protests across the US, medical fraternity fears another wave of infections and contractions amongst civilians that had taken to roads and looted and burnt public property.
Pricing has been changed for a lot of the Vegas properties that are hopeful to draw back guests, according to Brian Egger, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence. With gaming floors operating at about 50% capacity, events yet to come back, and clubs remaining closed for at least the first phase of reopening, revenue streams aren’t going to be as diverse as before.

Italy, France, Germany, and the Netherlands joined forces for a COVID-19 vaccine
Europe, Geopolitics

Italy, France, Germany, and the Netherlands joined forces for a COVID-19 vaccine

Around the world, several companies and governments are looking for a vaccine for COVID-19, with the risk that the first to find it will produce it first for its population, leaving the others, in particular the least developed countries, at the mercy of a second epidemic to coincide with the next flu season. For this reason, Italy, France, Germany, and the Netherlands have joined forces in the research and production of the vaccine against the new coronavirus, an “inclusive” drug, as stated in the note expressed by the Dutch authorities published by France Presse.

The note affirms that the four countries jointly explore several promising initiatives and are in talks with different pharmaceutical companies, for which joint strategy and investments are conceived to reach a “widely accessible” vaccine, even from the least wealthy countries like African ones. German Health Jens Spahn wrote to the European Commission along with his counterparts from France, Italy and the Netherlands to announce that they have joined to “achieve the fastest and best possible outcome in negotiations with key players in the pharmaceutical industry.”

The four EU countries have identified the development of a vaccine as “one of the most urgent issues that the European Union has to address at present.” Doctors announced a new coronavirus outbreak in Göttingen, Lower Saxony, for which authorities decided the reintroduction of preventive measures such as the closure of schools for a week, after their reopening on May 23rd.In the German city, have been recorded 80 new cases of Covid-19, and at the base of the outbreak, there would be a private party between families without masks and social distancing.The EU is also preparing to use a €2.4 billion ($2.7 billion) fund to make advance purchases of vaccines, Reuters news agency reported. The use of the emergency fund is yet to be officially announced.

Over 380,000 have died from coronavirus worldwide. According to Johns Hopkins, the total number of infected people recognized as such is 6,404,872, while the healed are 2,743,777.The situation is improving in Italy, where people can leave their region without restrictions from yesterday. The latest data of Civil Protection reports of 71 deaths in the last 24 hours and 321 new infections, most in Lombardy, the first epicenter of the pandemic, in northern Italy. The total number of infections rises to 233,836, of which the dead are 33,601, while the recovered are 160,938.

The US has already secured almost a third of the first 1 billion doses planned for pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca experimental vaccine by pledging $1.2 billion (€1.07 billion). AstraZeneca is one of several companies that Germany is now in talks with.The situation is still alarming in Latin America and in particular in Brazil, where at the beginning Jair Bolsonaro caught the epidemic: in the last 24 hours the deaths were 1,262, a number that brought the total of deaths to 31,199 28,936 new cases were recognized, for a total of 555,383.

Rating Agencies attack African countries
Middle East & Africa

Rating Agencies attack African countries

Having lost operating space in the US and Europe, the rating agencies have thrown themselves into emerging countries, especially those of Africa. You don’t have to be a genius of competence and analytical skills to imagine the economic difficulties in a world devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular in emerging countries, which have always been very susceptible to what happens in the so-called advanced economies.

At different times and in diverse ways, the three rating sisters, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch, downgraded ten African countries and their public debt securities down to the junk level. These are Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Cape Verde, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Nigeria, South Africa, Mauritius and Zambia. The assessments are based on the forecasts regarding the weakness of the tax and health systems of the countries. This happens while the World Bank has instead supported the suspension of interest payments on the debts of the poorest countries that are part of the International Development Association (IDA).

On the other hand, their knowledge of Africa is very low. S&P, for example, says to be able to make assessments on 128 countries around the world, but has only one office, in Johannesburg, for the entire African continent. Agency ratings are usually trivial ratings. But they are taken into consideration by the markets to judge the health of the various national economies and, consequently, to also define the interest rates on their public debt. This is a phenomenon repeatedly experienced with devastating effects on the cost of loans and also the weakening of the capital offered by international investors.

It is worth mentioning their role in the financial meltdown in the years of the Great Crisis of 2008, which had an impact on global markets and especially on the real economy of many countries, including developing ones. The detailed report “The financial crisis inquiry report” prepared by a bipartisan commission and published by the US government in 2011, where it was stated, among others, that “the crisis could not have occurred without these agencies. Their ratings, first skyrocketing and then suddenly lowered, have thrown markets and businesses haywire”.

Moody’s has downgraded South Africa to junk, causing it to lose the last investment-grade step, under which institutional investors are no longer authorized to buy government bonds. The rating agency estimated a significant increase in South African public debt expected to reach 91% of GDP by 2023. Fitch cut Gabon’s sovereign rating from B to CCC. The explanation of the downgrade concerns the possible difficulty of repaying sovereign debt due to a lack of liquidity due to the fall in oil prices. Moody revised Mauritius’s sovereign rating negatively due to lower tourist earnings for coronavirus. Nigeria has been downgraded from S&P from B to B – because COVID-19 would have increased the risk of fiscal and external shocks from falling oil prices and the economic downturn.

S&P also downgraded Botswana, one of Africa’s most stable economies, which had an A rating. The agency cited the weakening of its state budget due to a drop in demand for raw materials and the expected economic slowdown, due to COVID-19. The downgrading of Botswana was decided when there was yet no case of infection in the country. We assist in a wave of downgrades of private companies due to the concept of sovereign limes: a country’s rating generally determines the report card assigned to companies operating within its borders. The African countries are called by many to draw up a collective response mechanism against the abuse of the rating.

Guerrillas in Manhattan, amid provocations and looting
Americas

Guerrillas in Manhattan, amid provocations and looting

Another night of systematic looting in New York despite the curfew for COVID-19. In the United States, policemen are becoming targets, hit by off-road vehicles in Manhattan, in the Bronx, but also Buffalo, north of the state, while in Las Vegas, a bullet hit an agent in the head. He was trying to disperse a violent demonstration in front of the Circus Circus casino. He is now in critical condition. While thousands of protesters gather outside the police headquarters in the southern part of Manhattan, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio decided to anticipate the curfew in New York from 11 am to 8 pm and to make it last at least for the whole week.

The protests were transformed into urban guerrilla warfare by the infiltration of radical groups of various origins or into raids organized by criminal gangs who take advantage of the chaos. Donald Trump promises to restore law and order, threatens to use the army, but shows little understanding of what is happening when, in inviting governors to use strong manners, he compares the current rebellion to the Occupy Wall Street movement of 2011. «It was a real misfortune until someone said enough and wiped them out. Nobody has heard of it for years, until today: I am hearing about Occupy now». In the president’s words, Occupy is synonymous with Antifa, the violent radical groups that Trump would like to ban as terrorist organizations.

According to Trump’s opponents, it makes no sense to compare today’s violence and chaos to the nine-year-old movement, that confined itself to peaceful protests, with demonstrators arrested almost only for resistance to the public force, perhaps for an unauthorized motorcade. Occupy was not violent, and it had an organization, an order service that managed to calm the troublemakers, and avoid infiltrations. Today, the picture is different: massive but unorganized protests, organized in the social networks, within which the extremist Antifa groups move. Former Occupy radicals may have merged, seeking provocation and confrontation, as well as groups of rebels and common criminals who practice looting as a proletarian expropriation or simple theft.

Destructions and looting are carried out by small groups that move from street to street with military technique: they attract the attention of the police in one point and strike elsewhere. Some of the most prominent stores were devastated and looted in central Manhattan the other night before curfew, included Microsoft, Michael Kors, Nike and Nintendo. Everything is well organized: some break the windows by throwing bricks, others arrive with City bike’s stolen bicycles to take away the stolen goods. “It’s the coordinated gang work,” says the police. “They are not provocateurs who come from outside: they are from here, we know them.”

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