Diego Puletto/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Inside the outbreak: War footing

International | Italy’s runaway coronavirus outbreak leads a continent into lockdown
by Mindy Belz
Posted 3/18/20, 11:26 am

The intensive care team at Cremona Hospital passed its limit days ago. Nurses and doctors no longer can say how long they’ve been working. When they do go home to sleep, said nurse Carla Maestrini, they wake every hour with nightmares.

Read more

“Putting a Band-Aid on a jugular vein”

International | War and unrest complicate battling a COVID-19 outbreak in the Middle East
by Mindy Belz
Posted 3/12/20, 06:08 pm

Iran’s rapidly expanding coronavirus outbreak threatens not only Iranians but also a uniquely vulnerable population—the Middle East’s millions of refugees. 

By early March Iran’s coronavirus death toll was the second highest outside China. A surge in cases across the Middle East—including Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, and the Gulf states—traces back to Iran. Neighboring states quickly moved to close borders and cut off travel to the country, while aid workers turned their attention to protecting the region’s victims of war and displacement.

Read more

Associated Press/Photo by Ben Curtis

Locusts plague East Africa

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 2/28/20, 11:17 am

Locusts have swarmed Kenya, Somalia, and Uganda in the worst infestation that some parts of the region have seen in 70 years. Now, a small group of desert locusts has entered the Democratic Republic of Congo for the first time since 1944. Reports of swarms have also come in from Djibouti, Eritrea, Tanzania, and South Sudan. In a joint statement, United Nations relief agencies called the locusts “a scourge of biblical proportions” and “a graphic and shocking reminder of this region’s vulnerability.”

Read more