Global

COVID-19 Around the World 5.28.20

by Stranger’s Guide

Each week, we’re taking a look at how COVID-19 is impacting life around the world. Here’s the roundup for this week:

South Korea

South Korea has reported 79 new coronavirus cases—its largest daily jump in two months. The country’s health ministry said the majority of the new cases were from a parcel delivery distribution center in Seoul. Before the recent spike, South Korea had managed to stabilize its outbreak with aggressive tracking and testing. (VOA News)

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Ethiopia

Due to coronavirus, Ethiopia has had to cancel what would have been the first artificial-intelligence (AI) conference to be held in an African country. Computer scientists from around the globe had planned to descend on Addis Ababa for the symposium, which would have been a powerful opportunity to boost its research environment. Holding it in Ethiopia was an attempt to make it more accessible to researchers and delegates who usually find it hard to secure visas to Western countries, where these conferences are usually held. (Nature)

South Africa

AngloGold Ashanti, owners of the world’s deepest gold mine in South Africa, have halted operations there and put its workers into isolation after 164 cases of the coronavirus were detected. Mining had resumed at the Mponeng site in April after a national lockdown, operating at 50% capacity. South Africa has the most cases of coronavirus in Africa. (BBC)

Uruguay

Given its similar population size and number of deaths, some people are calling it the “New Zealand of Latin America.” Uruguay (population 3.5 million) has recorded 789 cases of COVID-19 and 22 deaths after moving fast to introduce voluntary quarantining and widespread tracking and testing in March. With no deaths since May 23, the Latin American country is starting to reopen its economy and schools—a contrast to the rest of the region which is still being plagued by the coronavirus. (Reuters)

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Asia

Footloose at the Olympics

India withdrew from the 1950 World Cup in Brazil because its players weren’t allowed to play barefoot. Well, that was the rumor—one which has become footballing folklore. Unfortunately, it wasn’t true.

During the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, the country’s national squad actually did play shoe-less (they lost to France in the first round) but afterward, FIFA told them they wouldn’t be able to play in the World Cup two years later unless they put their boots on.

But then India withdrew from the competition. According to Sports Illustrated India, the All India Football Federation cited “disagreements over team selection and insufficient practice time.”

It turned out the AIFF didn’t grasp the importance of the World Cup back then. To them, the Olympics was everything.