UN diplomats: corona pandemic worsens conflicts worldwide


Trump: death toll per capita is not a good indicator

US President Donald Trump believes that statistics on how to deal with the coronavirus show that the US is effectively fighting Covid-19. “The US is the lowest in several categories. We are lower than the world, ”he said in an interview with Axios, which was broadcast on Monday. He quoted figures for the number of deaths compared to the number of confirmed infections. The number of deaths per capita does not give a good picture, according to the president.

Trump argued that it is relevant to consider mortality from infections, because those numbers show how many people survive the virus. The US scores well in this statistic, partly because many people are known to be infected. Interviewer Jonathan Swan pointed out that the US performed poorly based on the number of deaths per capita. Then a country like South Korea does much better than the US. According to Trump, Swan could not use the corona statistics that way. He suggested that South Korea’s figures may not be reliable.

Trump also stated again that the US has relatively many infections because there is a lot of testing. In the US, 4.8 million infections have been diagnosed and nearly 700,000 people have died from the effects of the coronavirus. In both infections and deaths, this is the highest worldwide. South Korea has 14,423 confirmed infections and 301 deaths. The US population is 6.5 times the size of South Korea, while the death toll is over 2,300 times higher.

.@jonathanvswan: “Oh, you’re doing death as a proportion of cases. I’m talking about death as a proportion of population. That’s where the U.S. is really bad. Much worse than South Korea, Germany, etc.”@realdonaldtrump: “You can’t do that.”

Swan: “Why can’t I do that?” pic.twitter.com/MStySfkV39

– Axios (@axios) August 4, 2020

Officials were sometimes forced to come to the office

Officials have sometimes been forced to come to the office since the lockdown in mid-March. This is evident from a survey by the Internal Government among about two hundred civil servants, many of whom are employed by one of the municipalities. From 1 September, most officials will return to their workplace, but not everyone feels safe enough to do so.

The survey shows that one in three civil servants surveyed still went to the office regularly during the lockdown and almost half (46 percent) sporadically. This was not voluntary for one in eight officials. They say they are forced to do so.

The municipal officials who participated in the survey work for 121 municipalities. In 63 percent of these, officials are expected to return to their workplace from 1 September. In more than a third of these municipalities, only half of the number of civil servants may be present at the same time. One in five civil servants are not completely comfortable with going back to the office safely from 1 September.

There are some exceptions regarding the start date. In some municipalities, advice will continue to apply until at least 2021 that civil servants should only come to the office if this is absolutely necessary. This applies to the municipalities of Apeldoorn, Leiden and Nijmegen, among others.

UN diplomats: corona pandemic worsens conflicts worldwide

The corona pandemic exacerbates the humanitarian situation in conflict zones around the world. That is what diplomats and experts from the United Nations say to the AFP news agency on Tuesday. Global utilities are coming under pressure because of less money and attention now, the experts said.

“We are only at the beginning of a fairly long drama,” said UN expert Richard Gowan. According to diplomats, Western countries prioritize their own economies. Moreover, national lockdowns make it more difficult to mediate in conflicts and to distribute relief items.

Due to the economic consequences of the coronavirus outbreak, global violence is also threatening to flare up. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for a global ceasefire in March. However, fighting continues in Libya and Syria, among others. In Yemen, the situation has even worsened, according to diplomats. Experts are also concerned about Lebanon, which is experiencing the worst economic crisis in decades.

A boy sells balloons on the street in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a for the festival of sacrifice, which was celebrated this weekend. Foto Yahya Arhab / EPA

Aruba introduces a ban on gathering after revival of infections

In Aruba, the rules regarding the coronavirus are being tightened again. Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes announced measures in Oranjestad on Monday evening after five new locally transmitted infections were registered on the island. The most important is a ban on gathering in public space: no more than four people may stay in one place at the same time. In total, Aruba now has fourteen active corona infections.

The government urges Arubans to wear a face mask as much as possible, especially in places where a distance of one and a half meters cannot be kept, such as in public transport. Vulnerable groups – including those over the age of 60 and heart or sugar patients – are required to wear a mask all over the island as of Tuesday.

In the Aruban catering industry, no more than four people may sit at a table at the same time. DJ sets and live music are prohibited (again). Indoor and outdoor contact sports will be suspended for the time being, and gyms should close again. Aruba reopened the borders for tourists from the Netherlands, Canada, the United States and much of the Caribbean last month. Since then, the island has attracted 7,000 tourists. 3,000 of them were tested for the corona virus at the Aruban airport.

More than five million infections in Latin America

More than five million coronavirus infections have been recorded in Latin America. With that, the region has more than a quarter of all corona cases, while only eight percent of the world’s population lives in Latin America. In particularly densely populated, poor cities, contamination rates are very high.

The most affected country in the region is still Brazil, which, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopins University, has more than 2.7 million infections and more than 94,000 recorded deaths. Only in the United States are there more infections. Other severely affected Latin American countries are Mexico, Peru and Chile.

Mexico became the country with the most deaths from Covid-19 after the US and Brazil two days ago. According to the latest figures, more than 440,000 registered infections and more than 48,000 deaths have been reported. Despite the booming numbers, the Mexican government has been rebooting the economy since mid-June, leading health experts to fear that it will be a long time before the outbreak in Mexico is somewhat under control.

In Chile, which has the most infections per million inhabitants after French Guiana in Latin America, things have improved in recent weeks. In the capital, Santiago, local authorities lifted some strict quarantine measures after two months. In the poorer areas, where the virus does not seem to be under control yet, people still have to stay inside.

Strict corona measures in Peru were relaxed by the government in early July. According to health experts, this has led to a new wave of infections. On Sunday, a record number of nearly 7,500 new cases were reported in Peru. More than 430,000 infections have been reported in the South American country to date, and with nearly twenty thousand deaths, Peru has the highest death rate per million inhabitants of any country in Latin America.

Despite and because of the corona crisis, an increase in retail turnover

The Dutch retail trade turned 5.9 percent more turnover between April and June this year than in the same period last year. This is evident from figures published on Tuesday by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). The number of companies that fell remained stable: 96 bankruptcies were declared in the second quarter of this year, two less than a year earlier.

The increase in turnover is mainly due to the large number of sales via web shops. Online product sales increased by about 55 percent. Due to the corona crisis, some stores closed their physical doors and consumers were advised to stay at home as much as possible. This stimulated online shopping.

However, Statistics Netherlands saw major differences between sectors in the second quarter of this year. In the food sector, which includes supermarkets and specialty stores, turnover rose by 7.5 percent. The reason for this is the closure of the catering industry in the beginning of the second quarter, as a result of which more food and drinks were bought for home use.

In the non-food sector, such as clothing and furniture stores, turnover fell by 1.6 percent. Statistics Netherlands also sees major differences in this sector. For example, the turnover of the clothing and shoe branches fell by a third and a quarter respectively. At the same time, the DIY industry saw an increase of nearly 27 percent and over 16 percent more consumer electronics sales.

Statistics Netherlands also investigated the confidence of entrepreneurs in the rest of the year. About 23 percent of entrepreneurs expect sales growth in the third quarter of the year. More than a quarter of the entrepreneurs expect to see their turnover fall, more than half expect it to remain the same.

Welcome to a new blog

Love here NRC keep you informed of the latest developments regarding the corona pandemic. This was Monday’s main news:

  • Nearly 1.5 million Italians have built up antibodies to the coronavirus, according to research by statistics agency Istat and the Italian Ministry of Health. Based on antibody tests on some 65,000 people, they conclude that one in forty Italians has had the virus. This number lies six times the number of Covid-19 cases confirmed in Italy for the time being.
  • The number of corona patients in intensive care increased to 26 on Monday. That is six more than a day earlier, according to the National Coordination Center for Patient Distribution (LCPS). The number of patients in the ICU is expected to rise in the coming weeks increase steadily.
  • The Amsterdam corps ASC / AVSV has immediately ended the hazing of new members due to multiple corona infections. All active members and 500 prospective members are advised by the GGD called for two weeks in home quarantine to go.
  • The number of people who died of the coronavirus in Iran is nearly three times higher than the authorities in the country, according to investigative reporters from the BBC. Based on anonymous sources, the broadcaster concludes that the Iranian government daily false numbers outside to make the situation seem more favorable.
  • Beer brewer Heineken sales in the first half of 2020 fell by more than 16 percent, from 11.4 billion last year to 9.2 billion in the first six months of this year. PostNL is benefiting from an increase in online shopping due to the corona crisis. The postal company turned over 16 percent more turnover in the past quarter with almost 110 million euros than a year earlier, according to quarterly figures published on Monday.
  • Read here the blog of Monday, August 3 back


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