Roundup 200

New Events

Covid-19 Dashboard: >2M known cases, >143k deaths – Johns HopkinsNYT Tracker
… up from 1.5M cases, >89k deaths last Friday,
… up from 1M cases, 50k deaths the Friday-before
… WHO estimates global crude fatality rate at 3.4% – Link

North Africa / Egypt / Sudan (266m)

Security Council sticks to resolutions on Western Sahara, upsets Polisario – Link
… the disagreement between Algeria & Morocco continues …

Libya: “Which death is going to be worse?” – Link
… Coronavirus invades a conflict zone. Video.

Sudan bans all inter-city passenger travel to halt coronavirus – Link
… also, 12-hour curfew, schools shuttered, gatherings banned …

East Africa / Horn / Ethiopia / Somalia (520m)

The problem with militias in Somalia: everyone wants them despite the dangers – Link

Locust plague 20x larger than last wave could devastate parts of East Africa – Link
… “seedlings are just coming up… so basically that’s it for these crops…”

West Africa / Nigeria (457m)

Coronavirus curfew causes water shortage for Burkina Faso’s poorest – Link
… “scolds her children when they wash with too much water”

Northern economic northern hub of Kano imposes week-long lockdown over virus – Link
… lockdowns also in place on other cities …

South & Middle Africa (275m)

Zimbabwe: Coronavirus will affect women and girls more than anyone – Link
… fears it will bring an end to WFP food deliveries …

Congo was about to declare victory over the Ebola virus – Link
… then one more case popped up – Link

At least half of the rivers in the Comoros have dried up – Link
… deforestation, climate change …

West Asia / Gulf / Saudi / Turkey / Iran / Iraq (303m)


Coronavirus fears terrify, impoverish migrants in the Persian Gulf – Link
… locked down, laid off, stranded, no where to turn to for help …

Gulf’s migrant workers left stranded & struggling by the virus – Link
… virus has spread in densely districts where many expatriates share housing to save on rent….

UAE warns of possible action against countries that refuse to allow worker repatriation – Link
… “would review labor ties”


Battles rage in Syria despite coronavirus cease fires – Link

Yemen faces a nightmare as first coronavirus case confirmed – Link

Saudi cases could reach 200,000 within weeks, says minister – Link
… Saudi Arabia extends virus curfew indefinitely – Link

Jordan to ban mosque prayers during the month of Ramadan – Link
… “will not allow public worship” …


Worst-case: 75% of Iranians may contract coronavirus – Link
… peak in Iran as far away as November, when a second wave may await …

Iran renews virus warning as “low-risk” activities restart – Link

Iraq: Cloud of doubt surrounds coronavirus figures reported by Iraqi government – Link
… “The numbers… are not real numbers…”
… Baghdad, a city gone still – Link

Central Asia / Caucasus (78m)

Virus spreads at major Kazakh oil field worker’s camp – Link

Turkmenistan’s strongman remains in denial about the virus – Link

South Asia / Pakistan / India / Bangladesh (2,040m)


AP: Child sex abuse by clerics rampant in Pakistan religious schools – Link

“God is with us”: Muslims in Pakistan flout the coronavirus ban in mosques – Link
… “we wash our hands and face 5x a day when we say our prayers” …

Pakistan struggles to fight Covid-19 – Link
… Doctors concerned about Pakistan’s health care capacity …

Afghanistan: Concerns about returning refugees spreading virus – Link


India extends world’s biggest lockdown as virus cases cross 10,000 – Link
… extended until May 3. some things have changed under the new rules – Link

India says it’s ready to tackle rising virus cases – Link
… “with over 100,000 beds in 600 hospitals” …

As hunger grows, the fear of starvation is real – Link
… 100 million people are outside of the Public Distribution System …

Migrants keep running away from quarantine centers – Link
… when they return home, supposed to be quarantined, but …

Virus piles on the pain for India’s untouchables – Link
… caste made a crucial role in determining who received health care …

Shutdown will hit India’s small businesses hard – Link
… 4 weeks = 19% of jobs lost, 8 weeks = 43% of jobs …

Atlantic: “The callousness of India’s Covid-19 response” – Link
… world’s harshest lockdown: police brutality, lack of transparency, shortage of compassion …

Unraveling urban India’s water challenges amid Covid-19 – Link
… urban poor lacked decent access to safe water before handwashing became life & death …

The children struggling to survive India’s lockdown – Link
… worst affected are millions of child laborers and street children …

The “shadow pandemic” of domestic violence in the midst of lockdown – Link
… tension, strain, + women isolated with violent partners …

Coronavirus fans religious hatred – Link


extends lockdown by 11 days – Link

East Asia / China / Taiwan / Korea / Japan (1,677m)


Birth of a pandemic: inside the first weeks of the virus outbreak in Wuhan – Link
… Reuters interactive graphic: how coronavirus hitched a ride through Asia – Link

How Wuhan’s ICU doctors survived – Link
… “I spent 7 weeks in a Wuhan ICU – here’s what I learned” – Link

China to step up virus testing for people leaving Wuhan – Link

On China’s “color codes” and life after Covid – Link
… countries have turned to new tech to track citizen’s movements.
… will they be able to give the surveillance up when Covid is over?

Early Covid-19 missteps have an all-too mundane explanation – Link

Number of people crossing China’s borders reduced 90% – Link
… in the medium term, it will be progressively harder to cross borders everywhere

As Covid-19 fades, xenophobia and nationalism flares – Link

China’s “Donation Diplomacy” raises tensions with the USA – Link

Observing Qingming during the coronavirus crisis – Link
… grave-cleaning ceremonies, and what churches are doing during this time

#Taiwan / Mongolia / Macau / Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s domestic workers: when ‘stay at home’ means ‘live at work’ – Link


Japan extends state of emergency to all parts of the country – Link


South Korea reports recovered patients testing positive again – Link
… it’s definitely happening, tho unclear why

Southeast Asia (700m)

China dams held back Mekong waters during drought, study finds – Link
… China limited the Mekong’s flow, other countries suffered a drought – Link

How Saudi Arabia’s religious project transformed Indonesia – Link
… Thanks to Saudi $, influence, Indonesia has taken a sharply conservative turn …

In a Manila slum, coronavirus lockdown hits hard – Link

In Myanmar, hunger overshadows Covid-19 for Yangon’s poorest – Link
… inspiring charitable donations and labor strikes …

Bali’s “mysterious immunity” – Link
… although Indonesia is “widely regarded as a virus ticking time-bomb”
… study predicts case surge: millions head to provinces in post-Ramadan pilgrimages – Link

Singapore: migrant coronavirus cases highlight containment weak link – Link
… around the world, migrants will be less and less welcome due to carrier chances

Europe / North America (1,125m)

Coronavirus restrictions eased in Europe – Link
… Germany opens schools, some shops – Link
… France will begin opening up May 11 – Link

But, Hungary extends lockdown – Link

And, Russia reports new record daily rise in virus cases – Link
… Russian border town becomes China’s 2nd virus wave frontier – Link
… footage captures chaotic scenes as ambulances queue for hospitals in Moscow – Link
… Putin warns of ‘extraordinary coronavirus crisis, military may be called to assist – Link

Malta says it can no longer rescue, accept migrants – Link
… yet another example of virus fears focusing on migrants as carriers …

New Data

Our World in Data now has up a 26-slide deck of data on the virus – Link

IMF predicts worst recession since the Great Depression – Link
… Global economy like to contract by 3%
… 1929-1932 global economic contraction was 10%

New Longreads

Why the world shut down for Covid-19, but not Ebola, SARS or MERS – Link
… Covid-19 not as fatal, but more infectious …

How long does it take to recover from coronavirus? Link

After coronavirus: six predictions for a new world order – Link
… The ‘long emergency’, the ‘Suez Scenario’, migrant crises, regionalism vs nationalism, more

#Regional Surveys

Covid in Asia: a country-by-country guide from The Diplomat – Link

Red Cross: Coronavirus could cause upheaval across the Middle East – Link
… “potentially devastating aftermath… socio-economic earthquake…”

How the spread of coronavirus is testing Africa – Link

Why lockdowns may not work in Africa – Link

Africa could see “millions of coronavirus cases”, tentative WHO forecast shows – Link
… “from thousands now to 10 million within 3 to 6 months”…
… who will want refugees from Africa to cross their borders? …
… UN report suggests as many as 300,000 could die in Africa – Link

Africa to roll out 1 million coronavirus tests – Link

Complete collapse of economies ahead as Africa faces the virus – Link

In parts of Africa, police accused of excessive force during coronavirus lockdowns – Link
… “an officer in the capital beating a taxi cab driver for violating one-passenger limit” …


The virus threatens some more than others – Link
… refugees, migrant laborers, poor access to health/sanitation, who can’t afford to miss work

Coronavirus finds fuel in a world of migrants – Link


How to celebrate some of the most important religious celebrations of the year, virtually – Link

A very different Good Friday, in photographs – Link

Muslims grapple with Ramadan rituals in the coronavirus era – Link

Lockdowns weigh heavily on Orthodox Easter – Link
… will test Eastern Europe’s lockdowns – Link


Virus choking off what Africa needs most: food – Link
… How to stop a looming food crisis – Link

An opinion: oil prices will never recover and rise above $20-$30 a barrel – Link
… I personally always flinch at “never”, but he makes an argument …

New Technology


South Korea is a testing ground for balance of surveillance for health & individual privacy – Link

Covid-19 boosts India’s growing surveillance state – Link

How Apple & Google are tackling privacy problems to solve contact tracing – Link
… 5 ‘burning questions’ about the effort [that must be solved] – Link

“Rice ATM” feeds Vietnam’s poor amid virus lockdown – Link

At least one airline is contemplating removing the middle seat for passenger safety – Link

With drones and tests, India battles to keep viruses out of Mumbai’s slums – Link
… “when cameras captured dozens of shoppers thronging a market…”
… “officials called in police to disperse the crowd…”

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