Dr Owain Williams By: Dr Owain Williams
Lecturer in IR and Human Security
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24 Jul 2020 : Endemic

The United States has now surpassed 4 million cases with fatalities now over 1000 per day, which is frankly unbelievable given the resources at its disposal. The waste is criminal and negligent. Much the same from Brazil with 84,000 deaths and a disgrace of a President in charge, who is infected and yet refuses to physically distance from others. Both Trump and Bolsonaro are no better than criminal in their destructive leaderships. Trump has noticeably changed tone this week, with a sombre ‘it will get worse’, speaking it seems to script. He will prove incapable of keeping this up, and is still threatening defunding if schools refuse to open. This with over 900,000 new cases in the USA in the last two weeks, so a fourteen period for that country to go from 3 million to 4 million infections. This should rank as one of the greatest political and public policy failures in US history, if not clearly the greatest.

South Africa is clocking up 10,000 new infections per day and there are fears that some 17,000 excess deaths from May to mid-July indicate a significant under-reporting of infections and deaths. The government cornered by the ravaged economy opened up, Finally, this week alarm bells at the WHO are sounding about the pandemic in Africa, which is now accelerating. India is now over 1 million official infections, with new infections at some 40,000 per day for this week. Ostensibly the death rate is low in India, and there is a pitched battle over whether there has been under-reporting of deaths, with some commentators forwarding that the Indian state repose has been exceptional and saved lives. It has not, it has been chaotic and fragmented and Modi has been very absent during the crisis.

Other countries are also in meltdown. Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and Chile in Latin America are seeing surging cases with high case fatalities. In Bolivia fake cures are being promoted by political parties, including the use of chlorine dioxide. Predictably there have been many hundreds of deaths by poisoning. Another country of concern is Indonesia, its infection curve is rising very steeply with 100,000 confirmed cases. It is thought to have far worse real count after reopening its economy with the lowest rates of testing in ASEAN, the tale being increasingly familiar among many countries.

The rate of new cases globally as of 23rd is a terrible read. Imagine in January or even March considering the USA with 71,967 in a day, Brazil 65,000, India 45,599, South Africa 13,000 Colombia 7,000, Mexico, 6,859, Russia 5,862, Argentina 5,782, Peru 4,463, and Bangladesh 2,744. A dreadful top 10 and all unbelievable months ago, but all too familiar now. I used to think that we might eliminate COVID without need of a vaccine. This is no longer the case as Fauci claimed yesterday. There is simply too much of the virus out there globally, it is now well and truly endemic and there is no going back.

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