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(Tunisia/Pandemic) Tunisia health minister sacked as COVID-19 cases surge (Al Jazeera)

Al Jazeera writes: Tunisia’s Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi has sacked Health Minister Faouzi Mehdi amid spiralling coronavirus cases in the North African country. The ministry said earlier this month that Tunisia’s health system had “collapsed” under the weight of the pandemic, which has caused more than 17,000 deaths in a population of about 12 million.

go to Al Jazeera website: Tunisia health minister sacked as COVID-19 cases surge | Coronavirus pandemic News | Al Jazeera

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(Southeast Asia/Pandemic) Is there a way out of Southeast Asia’s COVID-19 disaster? (East Asia Forum)

Swee Kheng Khor writes for East Asia Forum: The second year of the COVID-19 pandemic has not been kind to Southeast Asian countries. The region is experiencing accelerated national-level tragedies played out in accelerated speed. Only three Southeast Asian countries have any semblance of control. Brunei has had no community transmission since May 2020. Singapore has done comparatively more tests (2.2 tests per capita to Indonesia’s mere 0.04 per capita). And Vietnam has the region’s lowest mortality rate (0.71 per million — impressive given its population of 96 million).

go to East Asia Forum website: Is there a way out of Southeast Asia’s COVID-19 disaster? | East Asia Forum

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(Pandemic/Global Immunization Coverage) New data released from the World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund show notable declines in key indicators of immunization coverage worldwide over the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic

Katherine E, Bliss writes for CSIS: New data released from the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) show notable declines in key indicators of immunization coverage worldwide over the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic. The coverage decreases reflected in the WHO-UNICEF Estimates of National Immunization Coverage (WUENIC) are significant because even before the pandemic, immunization coverage numbers had plateaued or even declined in some places due to large annual birth cohorts as well as the challenge of reaching children living in informal urban settlements or communities isolated due to natural disasters or conflict.

go to CSIS website: Minding the Gap in Global Immunization Coverage | Center for Strategic and International Studies (csis.org)

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(India) As the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic recedes in India, the desperation for oxygen, therapeutic drugs, hospital beds and testing supplies has subsided for the moment

Shareen Joshi writes for East Asia Forum: As the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic recedes in India, the desperation for oxygen, therapeutic drugs, hospital beds and testing supplies has subsided for the moment. While it is still too early to precisely analyse of the damage to India’s people, estimates suggest that the true scale of infections in the country have been as high as 400–700 million. Even a conservative fatality rate of about 2 per cent suggests that the second wave hit India on a staggering scale.

go to East Asia Forum website: Poverty may be COVID-19’s legacy in India | East Asia Forum

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Pandemic/Global Ethical Responsibility – Global Ethical Responsibility in the Context of Covid (Oleg Barabanov, Valdai Discussion Club)

If we assume that the main task of the social sciences is to provide a theoretical understanding of the events taking place in the world, then the past year and a half since the start of the coronavirus pandemic has provided sufficient time to start doing this. The specific nature of the social sciences in the 21st century is the almost-obligatory combination of theory with a set of values and an ethical imperative. In this regard, the question of ethical analysis of the pandemic is quite appropriate.

Global Ethical Responsibility in the Context of Covid — Valdai Club

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India – How tech is helping India’s rural women get through COVID-19 (Roli Srivastava, Anuradha Nagaraj, Thomson Reuters Foundation, WEF)

  • The current COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed India’s digital inequalities.
  • One of these is the digital gender gap, with only a third of women owning a mobile phone compared to two thirds of men.
  • Campaigners say smartphones can be instrumental in helping women – giving them greater autonomy and access to services and information.

How tech is helping India’s rural women get through COVID-19 | World Economic Forum (weforum.org)

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Pandemic/Vaccination – 99% of people in poor countries are still unvaccinated – here’s why we need to take action now (Maria De Jesus, The Conversation, WEF)

  • According to public health experts, 70% of the world’s 7.9 billion people must be fully vaccinated to end the pandemic.
  • On June 21, 2021, only 10.04% of the population had been fully vaccinated, with just 0.9% of people in low-income countries receiving one dose.
  • Half of all vaccines available by June 2021 were reserved by rich countries, who represent one seventh of the population, writes a health expert.
  • Leaders of the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, European Union and Japan have pledged to donate 1 billion vaccination doses to poorer countries.
  • Measures must be taken to ensure more equal vaccination access and to prevent the virus from spreading and mutating.

Why we urgently need to vaccinate lower-income countries | World Economic Forum (weforum.org)

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Report: COVID-19 made the world less peaceful (Sean Fleming, WEF)

  • At least 158 countries recorded pandemic-related violence between January 2020 and April 2021.
  • These incidents ranged from individual attacks to anti-lockdown demonstrations that turned violent.
  • In all, there were around 5,000 such incidents, according to the Global Peace Index 2021.

World peace was a victim of the pandemic | World Economic Forum (weforum.org)

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Pandemic/Governance Systems – Pandemics and Political Performance (Francis Fukuyama, Luis Felipe López-Calva, Project-Syndicate)

The huge variation in how countries have performed during the pandemic points to deeper underlying political and governance issues that have now come fully into view. In many countries, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean, the road ahead will be long and difficult.

Pandemics and Political Performance by Francis Fukuyama & Luis Felipe López-Calva – Project Syndicate (project-syndicate.org)

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