Sunday, 14 June 2020

Covid-19: lesson learnt! ... It seems.

In many countries with fewer new daily infection cases people are going back to work, as lockdowns to stop the further spread have been lifted across the world. Experts say the scale of a second wave can be reduced  by wearing masks and observing social distancing rules, considering that the future shape of pandemic will be decided by people actions and nature of the virus. Actually, if societies reopen too soon, the first wave of epidemic may not be completely eradicated.

The bad news is that some countries, such as Germany, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea, have reported a huge rise in new infections after easing restrictions. That's the main reason why many governments, mainly in the Middle East and East Asia, have been adopting some proactive steps with the aim of push people behaviour in a certain direction. In this perspective, in those countries wearing a mask is required by law. So people can't walk across any store not wearing a mask or without showing their mobile phone app that shows that they are not been tested positive.

In brief, since the Covid-19 epidemic hit the world in early 2020, societies have been learning the lesson: they have to act early and be prepared in terms of testing kits, medical facilities, education of the people, testing capabilities, social distancing rules, and so far.

And last but not least, the easing of lockdowns has showed the importance of individual, emission-free, socially distanced transport, as governments try to prevent spiked in car use, and pollution. And this has paved the way to e-scooters, that are seen as an environmentally friendly options for short journeys. But using e-scooters on roads without sufficient infrastructures,  such as cycle lanes, may be risky. 

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Origin of Coronavirus

Since late January 2020 we have heard a lot of theories about the origin of the Covid-19 oubreak, which have created mystery and suspicion on this topic. In addition, many hypothesis about the origin of Coronavirus have been used by the Trump Administration against China, by calling it a "Chinese virus".
In February and March 2020 some articles, published in the US, showed that there were many possibilities that the virus started there. Actually, in the US in 2019 there were many unexplained respiratory illnesses in Maryland, that caused pneumonia and didn't respond to antibiotic. According to China's Foreign Ministry, US military officials, who went to China in October 2019, were already infected while they were visiting Wuhan. 
Therefore, some members of the US team at the Wuhan Military Games had become infected by the virus from an accidental outbreak at Fort Detrick, the Army Biological laboratory in Maryland. That's the main reason why speculation over the Covid-19's origin have been also growing with petition demanding that the US government discloses more information on the closure of the Fort Detrick biological laboratory, that may be connected to the outbreak. As a result, the novel coronavirus had been intoduced to China when 300 US military members arrived in Wuhan, in October 2019, and infected the local population.
In this perspective, Stanford Institute's experts have mentioned that some US people may have had Covid-19 a few months earlier than the US health system suspected it could have been spreading. Actually, on April 15, 2020, the US had the largest number of cases with 609,685 people tested positive, compared with Spain and Italy, with respectively 177,633 and 162,488 coronavirus cases. And the fact that numbers in the US are four times bigger than Spain and Italy may mean that the virus has been spreading there silently since long time. 
In addition, an article published by Science Magazine reports that an infection disease expert, at Georgetown University in Washington, said that the first human infection has been confirmed as occurring in November 2019, suggesting that the virus didn't orginate in Wuhan. Someone put the origin of the outbreak in September. Then the virus spread to the Wuhan's seafood market.
There's also another hypothesis about the Biological laboratory in Wuhan, which had been collecting viruses from bats, although there's no evidence at the moment. Actually, after Wuhan "Wet market" had been closed, the health laboratory in Wuhan came under increasing scrutiny. 
With regards to the two biological laboratory, in Wuhan (China) and in Maryland (US), there is nothing "conspirational" about a lab accident, because accidents may happen. As confirmed by many scientists, the claim that the virus was engineered in US, EU, Israel, China, or elsewhere is a fake news, which can't be considered a theory.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

How Covid-19 has been spreading in Italy

The first cases, in the most affected country by the coronavirus outside China, were two visitors from the Chinese town of Wuhan, the epicenter of the infection. 
The next day Italy became the first country to block all flights to and from China. But the virus was already spreading: a man known as "patient one", with severe flu-like symptoms, was only diagnosed  on the second visit hospital after 36 hours. He had had a dinner party and had gone running a marathon. Northern Italy was sealed off quickly.
Within a few day, exactly on March 11, the lockdown was extended to the entire country. Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, ordered all but most essential businesses to close until at least April the 3rd. The entire country, home to over than 60 million people, was, and still is, on lockdown. Italy became first democratic country since the second world war to impose a nationwide lockdown.
Meanwhile, other countries, such as Spain, Germany, and the UK, that would have learnt the lesson from Italian experience, allowed the virus to spread silently until the last week of March 2020.
On the one hand, we saw that some Italian hospitals and care centres for elderly people became the epicenters of transmission. On the other hand, Italy couldn't endorse the same approach as we saw in Japan and Singapore, because there weren't enough coronavirus detection testing kits to meet demand. Consequently, the high rate of asymptomatic cases complicated efforts to stop the spread of the infection, because many hospitals didn't test people who hadn't a fever and flu-like symptoms.
Now, in late March, it is not too late to act in the rest of Europe. Many lives can be saves, as Italy has become the symbol of the challenge facing the Europe's public health system.

Thursday, 19 March 2020

ECB announces 750 billion Pandemic Emergence Purchase Programme (PEPP)

There isn’t any good news yet, as death toll are more than 3000 in the most affected country by the coronavirus outbreack outside China. Unfortunately, on  18 and 19 March, Italy reported the biggest daily jump in terms of coronavirus death since the contagion. And while Italians are sending optimistc messages from their windows, nearly 220,000 people have now been confirmed with the coronavirus infection globally.

Most countries around the world have been imposing Italian-style lockdown in bid to contain coronavirus outbreack.
As mentioned by WHO Director General, T.A. Ghebreyesus, this will be the first pandemic in history that could be controlled. Governments around the world have no choice but to ban on any movement and avoid contacts. All bars and shops have been closed, with the exception of grocery stores and pharmacies. From a global perspective, a steady recession is inevitable. Weakened demand caused by coronavirus outbreack has slowed down manifacturing activity. And This has led to weakened demand for oil causing prices to fall sharply.
Meanwhile, European Central Bank announces 750 billion Pandemic Emergence Purchase Programme (PEPP), which may help the process of normalizing as soon as coronavirus outbreack slows.
Thanks to all the people who are working for us in these difficult days. Thanks to doctors, nurses, food workers, delivery drivers, grocery clerks, police officers, firemen and all other people who are fighting for us. And last but not least, staying at home can make a huge contribution to fighting coronavirus outbreak.

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Coronavirus outbreak data's reliability

While scientists around the world are scrambling to find a cure for patients with coronavirus outbreak, some experts say Chinese statistics are not reliable. People who are responsible for collecting data don't have the capabilities and don't have previous experience. In addition,  Chinese authorities overreport success and underreport failures. These are the raisons why it is difficult to understand the trend of the epidemic spreading.

Meanwhile, factories in China have closed, as workers have been sent home to contain coronavirus outbreak. And Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong have confirmed most coronavirus cases outside mainland China.
According to President Xi Jinping, the outbreak has highlighted weaknesses in China's response. Highest ranking communist party chief in China's Hubei province has been sacked because of failures to stem outbreak.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Since 2020 circumstances have changed

With regards to Scotland  independence referendum, a British Conservative polician, Michael Gove, recently said Scotland is disrespecting the 2014 referendum results, considering that Scottish people already held a referendum. Actually, as Mr. Gove mentioned, the 2014 independence referendum would be "once in a generation event", and Scotland agreed on this point. But since 2020 circumstances have changed because Scotland will be out of both the Single Market and the Custom union. In other words, Scottish people will be out of the EU against their will.
It is easy to see the 2016 Brexit referendum's results changed everything, and only 37% of the electorate voted leave or remain in the Single Market. In addition, not one person born in the XXI century voted in favour of leaving the EU.

Consequently, as it is known, the UK Constitutional principles, the international law, and the Self-determination principle gives the right to the Scottish people to hold another independence referendum, considering that since 2020 circumstances have changed.

That's the reason why if Mr. Michael Gove and his political followers continued to talk about the disrespect of the results of the 2014 Scottish referendum, people might get a wrong idea. 

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

The World cannot afford another war

It has been an unsettling first few days of a new decade from a geopolitical point of view, as the Iranian Revolution Guard commander, Qassem Solemaini, died in a US air strike on Friday, 3rd  January. Actually, tensions escalated after an Iranian-backed group  killed a US contractor on the Iraqi territory one week ago.
While the US President was trying to justify the killing, Iran promised retaliations and warned serious consequences. That's the reason why the US Democratic Senate leader, Chuck Schumer, said this action may trigger another endless war, exactly the kind of endless war that the President promised he would avoid.
At the moment the Middle East is home of more than 50,000 US soldiers, most located in Qatar. According to some experts, the Trump Administration do not understand that Iranian armed forces are not the same as we saw in the late 1970s during the Iran-Iraq war. In addition, Teheran could be able to trigger a war outside the Middle East Region, considering its good relationship with other powers located on the Asian Continent.
As mentioned by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, the world cannot afford to have another war in the Middle East Region, considering that there are already  battlegroungs  in Syria, Libya, and Yemen.
It seems that the Trump Administration is going to make the same mistake that both President Bush and President Obana made before him. After the US had destroyed the two leaders in Iraq and Libya, Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, they lost huge human resources and destabilized the two Islamic countries.