Saturday, March 25, 2023
HomeWorldPakistan has 1 lakh cases post lockdown, Sweden's failed pandemic model &...

Pakistan has 1 lakh cases post lockdown, Sweden’s failed pandemic model & other Covid news

As the Covid-19 pandemic shows no signs of letting up, ThePrint highlights the most important stories on the crisis from across the globe.

Text Size:

New Delhi: The novel coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate several countries across the world — the latest count is 8,118,908 cases and 439,204 deaths.

A month after Pakistan lifted its lockdown, it has 1 lakh more cases and a devastated healthcare system. Meanwhile, South Korea’s situation highlights the problems with returning to normalcy and how the pandemic is creating glove billionaires.

ThePrint brings you the most important global stories on the coronavirus pandemic and why they matter.

Pakistan’s hospitals fill up a month after lockdown was lifted

Pakistan has registered at least 100,000 coronavirus cases since the country lifted its lockdown a month ago, reports the New York Times. Now as the number of cases keeps rising, the country’s healthcare system is crumbling.

“Pakistanis stricken by the coronavirus are being turned away from hospitals that have simply closed their gates and put up signs reading “full house.” Doctors and nurses are falling ill at alarming rates, and are also coming under physical assault from desperate and angry families,” notes the report.

“Pakistan is now reporting so many new cases that it is among the World Health Organization’s top 10 countries where the virus is on the rise. The W.H.O. wrote a letter criticizing the government’s efforts on June 7 and recommended that lockdown be reimposed, stating that Pakistan did not meet any of the criteria needed to lift it,” it further adds.

Chinese authorities scramble to control the outbreak in Beijing

As Beijing reported 32 more cases following the food market outbreak, China’s top epidemiologist has said that the next three days will be crucial in controlling the disease, reports the South China Morning Post.

Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist with the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has said that the outbreak was recognised on time and the number of cases by Thursday would help determine the response to the fresh outbreak.

Meanwhile, authorities in Beijing have put nearly half the city under lockdown and are testing tens of thousands of people, according to the New York Times.

Sweden’s failed Covid model was driven by its own idea of exceptionalism

For the past few months, most of the world has been intrigued by the Swedish no-lockdown model. While the Right-wing populists in Europe and the US have wanted this model to succeed, the liberal left have quietly wanted it to end in disaster.

Actually, the Swedish model has less to do with liberalism or Right-wing populism, but country’s left-leaning “excessive faith in its own scientific prowess and bureaucratic elite,” argues Financial Times Gideon Rachman.

“Paradoxically, it may be Sweden’s very success as a nation that led to its apparent failure over the pandemic. A self-image as a country that is superrational and modern means that Sweden is confident and cohesive enough not to follow the international consensus. Instead, policymakers have chosen to trust their own judgment. But Swedish self-confidence may have shaded into an arrogance about the country’s supposedly superior rationality, which then led to policy errors,” writes Rachman.

Sweden has so far reported 52,383 Covid cases and 4,891 deaths.

After eradicating Covid, New Zealand reports two new cases

Just a few days after New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that her country was free of Covid-19, two new cases were reported on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

Both these cases are people who have travelled to New Zealand from the UK. Their detection has ended the country’s 24-day streak of no new cases.

“New Zealand lifted all social and economic restrictions except border controls last week, after declaring it had no new or active cases of the coronavirus, one of the first countries in the world to return to pre-pandemic normality,” notes the report. However, the prime minister warned that new cases could come up as the country’s residents finally made their way back home.

Warning from South Korea: The fantasy of returning to normal life

It has been three months since the coronavirus infection rate peaked in South Korea, yet its capital city, Seoul, has had to grapple with fresh outbreaks from time to time, highlighting the crisis of returning to normal life in the pandemic era, reports the Financial Times.

“Despite its relative success in reducing the spread of the virus, there have been an increasing number of outbreaks in recent months flaring up at churches, call centres, nightclubs, conference halls, logistics centres and even a Zumba dance studio,” notes the report.

A Seoul-like outbreak is now also being witnessed in Beijing, and governments in London and Washington, D.C. fear a similar future as they are ending their lockdowns.

“Seoul’s continued difficulty in controlling new outbreaks demonstrates that governments need a persistent state of vigilance and a willingness to change tack as they attempt to reopen their societies — a state of affairs that many people could find every bit as difficult as the lockdown itself,” adds the report.

Amid US-China row, EU leaders discuss closer defence ties

A US President who is not particularly fond of his country’s post-war alliance system, coupled with rising America-China tensions during the pandemic are forcing European leaders to discuss closer defense ties among themselves, reports The Guardian.

“EU ministers are to discuss the need for greater defence cooperation and a renewed intelligence assessment in the face of a heightened risk of a China-US military confrontation. The call for greater EU defence cooperation comes in a Franco-German joint paper and, although familiar, has been given added urgency by fears in the bloc that the US and China will become locked in a permanent big power confrontation,” notes the report.

Coronavirus is creating new “gloves billionaires”

While the coronavirus pandemic has devasted the global economy, it is helping manufacturers of gloves mint a lot of money during this public health crisis, reports Bloomberg.

“Malaysia, a country that produces about 65% of the world’s supply for rubber gloves, now counts at least four billionaires whose fortunes were made in the industry, including two new ones this year alone. Thai Kim Sim of Supermax Corp. was the latest to join the club, with a net worth estimated at about $1 billion at the stock high earlier this month,” notes the report.

“A jump in demand due to the coronavirus outbreak has propelled shares of companies making protective gear, suddenly turning the Southeast Asian nation into a hotspot for creating ultra-wealthy individuals within the sector,” it adds.

What else we are reading:

Alarm over ‘invasive’ Kuwait and Bahrain contact-tracing apps: BBC

Covid relief drives debt close to second world war levels: Financial Times

‘This is a real world war’: Ecuador’s president on the virus: Financial Times

WHO chief to speak at top Chinese university graduation ceremony: Reuters

China’s bullet trains barrel ahead despite $770bn debt load: Nikkei Asian Review

Can Coronavirus Contact Tracing Survive Reopening?: The New Yorker

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Support Our Journalism

India needs fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. ThePrint – with exceptional reporters, columnists and editors – is doing just that.

Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.

Whether you live in India or overseas, you can take a paid subscription by clicking here.

Support Our Journalism

Most Popular