India’s complex reopening
International | The country attempts to restart its vast economy as COVID-19 cases continue to surge
by Mindy Belz
Posted 5/11/20, 05:04 pm
INDIA this week begins a complex process of reopening its vast economy across three zones based on COVID-19 levels, but factory owners and others worry not enough progress has been made as confirmed cases of the coronavirus surge. Plans to gradually restart passenger train service on Tuesday will be an early gauge.
CHINA faces censure around the world for its delays in divulging important details about the new coronavirus that began there—and our timeline of the pandemic helps to see the extent of government subterfuge and delays. Authorities are tracing a new outbreak of cases in Wuhan.
HONG KONG: Citing coronavirus-related restrictions, police again cracked down on anti-government protesters, arresting more than 250 people.
GERMANY: Restrictions are being relaxed across Germany despite a rise in the rate of infection due to the coronavirus. Renewed outbreaks in Germany, China, and South Korea may slow the pace of reopening elsewhere.
SPAIN: By global standards, the United States hasn’t really had a lockdown at all, said residents in much of Europe, only a spotty and inconsistent set of measures that it’s already abandoning. In Spain, everybody nationwide has been on a stay-at-home order since March, and that will remain the case until almost the end of May, perhaps longer.
UNITED STATES: The Gates Foundation has spent $305 million so far in the search for a COVID-19 vaccine and drug remedies, and founder Bill Gates said he and his wife, Melinda, are motivated by regret they haven’t done more to stop a pandemic he long has feared.
With state and local leaders grappling with how to reopen for business, how can they better prepare for a potential second wave of an outbreak in the coming months?
GREECE: Aid groups are racing to combat COVID-19 outbreaks in refugee camps, finding hampered testing and population density key obstacles to adequate protection. The Diamond Princess cruise ship had a population density of 24 people per 1,000 square meters, while density at the Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos runs 204 people per 1,000 square meters.
YEMEN: Authorities say Aden is “infested” with the coronavirus, as cases spike in a country with a healthcare system shattered by five years of war.
COLOMBIA: In the hillside slums around Florencia, hundreds of wooden homes now fly red flags, a now-recognized call for help and dwindling food supplies, as lockdowns are taking a heavy toll on a fragile economy.
VENEZUELA: Former U.S. Green Beret Jordan Goudreau led defectors from Venezuela’s police and military to believe they were training for a U.S.-backed mission to oust President Nicolás Maduro. The failed amphibious assault has buoyed Maduro and left the U.S.-backed interim President Juan Guaidó pressed to show himself as a competent and legitimate government leader.
IRAN: The Republican-led U.S. Senate on Friday failed to override President Donald Trump’s veto of a resolution to limit his ability to wage war with Iran without consulting Congress. Trump called the measure, which passed both houses with bipartisan support, “very insulting.”
BRITAIN: The 65 churches involved in the UK Blessing highlighted last week also have served more than 400,000 meals during Britain’s COVID-19 crisis. Organizer Tim Hughes discussed lessons for churches forced to online worship, including improving communication, serving neighbors, and the “power in local households to take responsibility for our faith.”
TRANSITIONS: “No further options for treatment remain” for international Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias, reports his daughter Sarah Davis. The 74-year-old author and ministry leader is returning to his home in Atlanta with his wife of 48 years and children following cancer treatment at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. … Andrew Walther, the Knights of Columbus vice president of communications and media, has been named president of EWTN News, a global Catholic media outlet. … Retired U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer is leaving the Trump administration amid confusion over USAID’s role in assisting countries overseas in their pandemic fight. His departure caps a more than 50-year public career (backstory here) for the 73-year-old son of missionaries—including 31 years with the Navy and appointed positions in the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations leading battles against HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases.
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Mindy wrote WORLD Magazine's first cover story in 1986 and went on to serve as international editor, editor, and now senior editor. She has covered wars in Syria, Afganistan, Africa, and the Balkans, and she recounts some of her experiences in They Say We Are Infidels: On the Run from ISIS with Persecuted Christians in the Middle East. Mindy resides with her husband, Nat, in Asheville, N.C. Follow her on Twitter @mcbelz.