Connect with us

World

The Real Reason Why COVID-19 Has Failed To Impact African Nations?

Published

on

At a time when the world is fighting a deadly virus, African countries seem to be winning the battle against COVID-19. What have countries like Senegal and Ghana done to curb the impact of coronavirus?

How Bhutan Remained Unscathed From COVID-19 Despite Being Surrounded By India & China?

Earlier, experts were apprehensive about the handling of the coronavirus, especially in the African continent which has a poor economy, large population and inadequate health care systems.

Countries like Senegal and Ghana reported extremely low fatalities due to coronavirus; the question is what these African countries do differently than the rest of the world?

Afua Hirsch, a columnist at the Guardian tried to solve this mystery and says that African countries realised early on that “large-scale, expensive testing and hospitalisation was not an option and thus had no choice but to take a more creative approach”.

World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on January 30, 2020, while it took them more than 2 months to declare it a pandemic which was announced on March 11.

Senegal, a West African country, took measures to control the virus as early as January. When the western world was still contemplating about its plans to fight the virus, Senegal closed down its borders and came up with a comprehensive program for contact tracing.

Currently, it even has trials going on for a COVID-19 testing kit which costs as low as $1 and is expected to show the result in less than 10 minutes.

“It’s hard to know exactly how this compares with the price of Britain’s tests, but many of them use polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, to detect the virus, and cost hundreds of dollars. And I can testify that a leaflet that came through my door in London this week offered me a private testing kit for £250,” wrote Hirsch.

“Senegal is doing quite well, and we were impressed at the beginning at the full engagement and commitment by the head of state,” said Michel Yao, program manager for emergency response for the WHO Africa.

With a population of 16 million, Senegal has a death toll of only 30 people.

Similarly, Ghana has a population of 30 million people with a similar death toll as Senegal. Along with a holistic system of contact tracing and employing a large number of community health workers and volunteers, Ghana has deployed other innovative techniques such a “pool testing”.

WHO is studying this technique in which multiple blood samples are tested together and processed separately only if a positive result is found.

Due to lack of expensive pharmaceutical products, traditional herbal remedies are being tested. Madagascar’s president, Andry Rajoelina, claimed a drink, which is reportedly made from Artemisia annua (sweet wormwood) and herbs, as a “preventive and curative remedy” and “works really well”.

He further questioned that “If it was a European country that had actually discovered this remedy, would there be so much doubt?”. More than 20 African countries are relying on this “cure” and have ordered the Madagascan drink.

WHO responded to this “cure” by saying that “Medicinal plants such as Artemisia annua are being considered as possible treatments for COVID-19 and should be tested for efficacy and adverse side effects”.

Hirsch claimed that she contacted Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Germany, which is currently conducting clinical trials on a different breed of the same plant.

“This specially grown, more potent variety of sweet wormwood is being tested on cells to determine its effectiveness in fighting coronavirus infections and the results so far, the institute’s director, Prof Peter Seeberger, told me, are “very interesting”. Human clinical trials are likely to follow,” she wrote

“It has been well documented how a patronising attitude towards east Asia is what allowed European countries to be caught by such surprise at the spread of this disease. Now a similar mindset seems set to ensure we don’t learn the lessons Africa has to offer in overcoming it,” concluded Hirsch.

Advertisement

Americas

Indian-Chinese Border Dispute Direct Result Of US’ ‘Financial Actions’ Against Beijing: Experts

The dispute between the Indian-Chinese border troops started when China objected to the construction of a road in the Galwan valley by the Indian BRO. Experts link the US angle to India-China border dispute.

Published

on

With flaring tensions on the Indian-Chinese border, Indian military expert suspect that there’s a link between China’s mishandling of the virus with the border incursions with India. 

“Globally, China is losing its leverage as it is believed to have caused the pandemic. Industries are looking to move out of China. This is causing China to divert attention from the COVID-19 situation,” said Lt. Gen. Vinod Bhatia, India’s former director-general of military operations (DGMO).

As earlier reported by EurAsian Times, India dispatched troops along the border after it was reported that China is pitching tents near river Galwan, which was the 1962 flashpoint between China and India. This came after the recent instance when the two sides got into an ‘armless’ scuffle at the Naku La pass in North Sikkim, injuring soldiers from both sides. The Chinese military helicopters were later seen flying close to the undefined Line of Actual Control (LAC) on several occasions.

The conflict between the Indian-Chinese border troops started when China objected to the construction of a road in the Galwan valley. The road is being built at the junction of Shyok and Galwan rivers, about 200 km north of the Pangong Tso lake.

India and China have turbulent relations since the brief war that was fought in 1962 due to similar border issues at Aksai Chin. “This issue is a long haul. Military-to-military talks have not been successful, diplomats are now discussing the issue. We cannot rule out that the politicians may have to get involved,” said retired Gen. Ved Prakash Malik, the former army chief who led Indian forces during the 1999 Kargil War.

“Isolated incidents have occurred in the past because of an undefined grey area at the LAC. This time, however, it is different as the Chinese soldiers have dug-in and sat down at various disputed areas,” he added. 

Indian Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh, has clarified that both the nations are in the process of resolving the current border issues through established diplomatic channels and don’t need the US to mediate between them.

This was in reference to US President Donald Trump’s offer to mediate between the two nuclear-armed nations. The Chinese side has also rejected the offer when the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that the two countries did not want the “intervention” from a third party to resolve their differences.

“China respects strength, India will do well to follow the concept of no blinking, no brinkmanship, standing firm on the ground and exploiting the established mechanisms of flag meetings,” said former DGMO.

Meanwhile, Chinese media has reported that Chinese President, Xi Jinping, has ordered the military to think about worst-case scenarios and scale up training and battle preparedness.

According to Brigadier S K Chatterji (Retired) who served in the Regiment of Artillery of the Indian Army, the foremost reasons driving Chinese responses are the coronavirus-related backlashes that China is facing. Much of the world believes that China lied. At best, it kept quiet early in the outbreak and now faces a global trust deficit.

Several countries including India have asked for a probe into the origins of COVID-19 which is suspected to come from China. This has resulted in building up pressure on China as many governments have aggressively pitched for a transparent inquiry into the pandemic and also threatened to cut ties with Beijing.

New Delhi has also brought in new regulations to deter Chinese firms, which recovered from the crisis earlier than other countries, to acquire vulnerable Indian companies. “Some major global companies are thinking about moving their manufacturing facilities to India or other Asian countries. The Chinese want the world to believe that India has unstable times ahead. It plans to get these companies to rethink their strategy,” wrote Chatterji.

Continue Reading

Featured

Coronavirus In Tibet: Limited Impact Of COVID-19 In High Altitude Regions Like Tibet?

Published

on

Scientists are now investigating the link between COVID-19 and high altitude regions like Tibet after a study published in the journal Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology suggested that there is a decrease in prevalence and impact of COVID-19 in populations living at higher altitudes. 

The study takes into consideration the COVID-19 cases in Tibet and high-altitude regions of Bolivia and Ecuador in comparison to the low lying regions. It suggested that the population in Bolivia, Ecuador and Tibet living above 3,000 meters (9,842 feet) reported significantly lower levels of confirmed infections than their lowland counterparts.

In the plateau region of Tibet, Qinghai and part of Sichuan, with a population of 9 million, there are only 134 confirmed cases which are drastically low in comparison to the number of cases in rest of China.

Ecuador is one of the worst-hit countries by COVID-19 in South America with more than 40,000 confirmed cases and over 3,000 deaths. The centre of the virus is the Pacific port of Guayaquil. There are fewer infected cases in the capital Quito, which is about the same size but is 2,800 metres above sea level.

Similarly, Bolivia has over 10,000 positive cases with over 300 deaths. The cases are concentrated in Santa Cruz which is 400 metres above sea level. It is home to about 15% of the population of the country but accounts for two-thirds of the virus cases. Whereas, in La Paz and its surrounding area, which is a highland area in Bolivia, has about 500 positive cases.

The reason explored by the study includes environmental factors including dry mountain air, high levels of UV radiation and the possibility that lower atmospheric pressure reduces the virus’s ability to linger in the air.

“The reason for decreased severity of the global COVID-19 outbreak at high altitude could relate to both environmental and physiological factors,” states the study.

“At sea-level, when people get coronavirus and their lungs get destroyed, it is as if they are climbing Mount Everest in just a couple of days, without oxygen,” said Gustavo Zubieta-Calleja, one of the authors of the study published in the journal Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology. But “the low rate of infection in Bolivia’s high-altitude population is remarkable and clearly does not follow the often exponential infection rates reported in many countries”, concluded the scientists.

However, experts have questioned these factors. “The virus likes people. It doesn’t care about altitude,” says Peter Chin-Hong, who studies infectious diseases at the University of California at San Francisco. “But we’re still learning so much about this disease, and this does provide us with some good clues to try and understand its progression,” he added.

According to Clayton Cowl, a pulmonologist at the Mayo Clinic and a former president of the American College of Chest Physicians, that the trend might be related to acclimatization, the body’s ability to adjust temporarily to altitude, than to DNA.

Just three populations in the world have been found to have genetic adaptations to altitude: Himalayans, Ethiopian highlanders and Andeans. This is why the coronavirus is exploding on Peru’s Pacific coast, particularly Lima, where most residents descend from Andean ancestors, while the country’s mountain communities are thus far not greatly affected by the virus.

Andrew Luks, professor of medicine at the University of Washington, said that while the proposed link was “intriguing”, it “by no means establishes that high-altitude residence or high-altitude locations are protective against coronavirus”.

Continue Reading

Indo-Pak News

Amidst India-China Standoff, India-Pakistan ‘Limited War’ Over Kashmir Remains High: Experts

Published

on

As India-China standoff in Ladakh grabs worldwide attention, the Indian Army continues to engage – what Delhi terms as ‘Pakistan-backed militants’ in Kashmir with many experts speculating a ‘limited war’ between two nuclear-armed nations.

Trump’s Mediation Offer ‘Naive’; US Actually Wants India To Challenge Chinese Dominance: Russian Experts

Cross-border infiltration and militancy have been on a sudden rise in the along the LoC and Kashmir valley and at the same time, Pakistan has consistently warned the international community of an Indian ‘false flag’ operation.

Despite being heavily involved in the conflict between India and China in Ladakh, the Indian Army remains proactive in Kashmir. The valley has not seen any drop in the engagement level of the Indian armed forces as they continue to batter militants and foil infiltrations bids.

In their latest mission, the security forces eliminated three militants of the Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) in an encounter. An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) expert was also identified amongst the slain militants.

According to sources, a joint contingent of police, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Indian Army laid siege around Kangan village of Pulwama district after receiving intelligence reports highlighting the presence of militants in the area.

India-China Conflict: Chinese Army Conducts ‘Surprise Attack’ Drills To Capture Enemy Territory

As the armed forces conducted door to door searches, the militants opened fire and later died in the heavy gun-battle which ensued. Defence spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia said in a statement that the militants were offered an opportunity to surrender but decided not to do so.

The three militants neutralized in Pulwama add to the 13 terrorists that Indian security forces claimed to have eliminated recently. As earlier reported by EurAsian Times, Indian armed forces eliminated three terrorists in the Naushera Sector and an additional 10 heavily-armed terrorists in Mendhar along the Line of Control (LoC).

The armed forces also recovered arms and ammunition including 2 AK assault rifles, a US-made M-16A2 rifle, a 9MM Chinese pistol, a UBGL with 6 grenades, 5 hand grenades and knives. Medicines, Indian currency amounting Rupees 17,000 and food packets were also recovered from encounter sites.

Ever since the dastardly attack in Pulwama in 2019 in which more than 40 CRPF soldiers were killed, the Indian armed forces maintain extra vigilance in Kashmir. Near the end of May, Indian security forces foiled Pulwama 2.0, a plot to recreate the fatal attack of 2019.

False Flag Operation

While the Indian military is busy engaging infiltrators and militants in Kashmir, Pakistan is raising concerns about a ‘false flag’ operation. The concerns are led by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan who has on several occasions tweeted about an impending ‘false flag’ operation by India.

The allegations from Khan came at the heels of reported ceasefire violations by India following its counter-insurgency operations.’’I am reiterating again that a false flag operation is imminent from India in order to divert world attention away from its ongoing genocide in India Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IoJK),’’ Khan had earlier tweeted.

Khan’s warning of a ‘false flag’ operation was later echoed by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Qureshi not only supported Imran Khan but also urged the United Nations to block any military confrontation between New Delhi and Islamabad and offered UN Observer Groups to visit the LoC.

Qureshi also highlighted the intentional targeting of innocent civilians by India during cross-border shelling.

India claims that Pakistan is involved in harbouring terrorists who train militants to infiltrate the LoC and wreak havoc in Kashmir. The Indian army has recognized 15 terrorist launch pads across the LoC which are used for the purposes mentioned above.

Pakistan refutes these allegations and believes that India plans to conduct a ‘false flag’ operation under the disguise of these claims. Qureshi had also rejected the ‘launch pad’ allegations as baseless.

While India and China lock horns in Ladakh, experts at EurAsian Times believe that the international community should keep a close eye on Kashmir. Nitin J Ticku, an expert on Kashmir, says while tensions with Beijing will not escalate into a  war, however, the possibility of a ‘limited’ military conflict with Islamabad remains high.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Facebook

FEATURED

JIO-INSTITUTE JIO-INSTITUTE
Education12 hours ago

Jio Institute – Mukesh Ambani’s ‘Institute of Eminence’ To Revolutionize Indian Education System

Jio Institute, which will be located in Navi Mumbai was to hire university staff and complete the academic curriculum by...

Himalayan-Glacier Himalayan-Glacier
Featured12 hours ago

Coronavirus In Tibet: Limited Impact Of COVID-19 In High Altitude Regions Like Tibet?

Scientists are now investigating the link between COVID-19 and high altitude regions like Tibet after a study published in the...

China-and-India China-and-India
Americas18 hours ago

Trump’s Mediation Offer ‘Naive’; US Actually Wants India To Challenge Chinese Dominance: Russian Experts

As Trump’s offer to mediate the India-China border conflict has publically failed, experts argue that “Washington’s policy-makers, who seek to...

remove-china-app remove-china-app
Americas21 hours ago

Google Removes ‘Remove China App’; The App That Went Viral Due To India-China Tensions

Google has pulled down the ‘Remove China’ app from its play store. The app had gone viral with Indian users...

TANKS-CHINA TANKS-CHINA
Featured1 day ago

India-China Conflict: Chinese Army Conducts ‘Surprise Attack’ Drills To Capture Enemy Territory

Amid rising India-China conflict, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) recently conducted a high-altitude, infiltration operations to capture enemy territory...

INDIAN-ARMY INDIAN-ARMY
Featured2 days ago

Indian Army Says 13 Terrorists Killed Along The LOC; Pakistan Warns Of ‘False Flag Operations’

The Indian Army says it has eliminated a total of 13 Pakistani terrorists along the Line of Control (LoC) in...

Hong Kong-National-Anthem Hong Kong-National-Anthem
Featured2 days ago

Hong Kong Rioters Behind The Deadly Protests In The US – Chinese State Media

As expected, China isn’t missing out on the opportunity to target the US over the handling of the ongoing protests...

TANKS-CHINA TANKS-CHINA
Featured2 days ago

China Expanding ‘Military Arsenal’ In High Altitude Border Regions To Address Threats

In a striking revelation, ever since the Doklam standoff with India, the Chinese military had already expanded its combat capabilities...

Terrorist-Kashmir Terrorist-Kashmir
Featured3 days ago

Pakistan Unhappy Over The Arrest, Expulsion Of ‘Spy Diplomats’ By India

India recently expelled two officials of the Pakistan high commission after they were arrested by the security forces on charges...

US-China-Trade-War US-China-Trade-War
Featured3 days ago

China Warns India Of Economical Repercussions If It Supports The US In Cold War Against China

China's aim of upholding friendly ties with India hasn't changed, so Beijing will still provide assistance to India by boosting...

Advertisement

Trending