Global

COVID-19 Around the World 6.18.20

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:

 

Bangladesh

Bangladesh has one of the lowest ratios of hospital beds to patients in the world—estimated to be over 1,000 beds for a population of more than 160 million—and as hospitals turn patients away, fears rise that the densely populated South Asian country will become a new global coronavirus hotspot. (BBC)

Portugal

Portugal is competing with Greece to sell itself as Europe’s safest travel destination this summer. The tourism authorities herald the country’s relatively low infection rates (it’s had 1,520 fatalities among a population of less than 11 million). Both countries face financial hardship if they’re unable to encourage tourists. (CNN)

Belarus

Belarus did not impose any lockdowns in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and the World Health Organization has regularly recommended that authorities there enhance social distancing and ban mass public events, yet President Alexander Lukashenko has praised the country’s “exemplary” battle against the pandemic—despite over 55,000 cases of COVID-19. (TASS)

Peru

Despite being one of the first Latin America countries to go into lockdown, Peru has now reported more than 237,000 cases of COVID-19 and 7,000 deaths. Fake masks have flooded the market, and authorities are trying to enforce a $6.9 million fine for alleged price-fixing imposed in 2013 on two companies that dominate the supply of oxygen to public hospitals. This is on top of a public health-care system which had suffered decades of underinvestment. (Washington Post)

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Photo credit: British Library

Europe

Quarantine at Malta

“It has been my misfortune to be attacked with small-pox while en route for India. This circumstance will necessitate a twenty-one days’ quarantine at Malta, at the expiration of which time I shall continue my journey by the first ship I can get.” It’s a salary claim, signed by J. Broughton, Esq, chemist to the Indian Chinchona Plantation, and addressed to the Revenue Department at Fort Saint George, the first English fortress in the country, founded in 1644. The letter is dated 4th January, 1867. Broughton had submitted a claim for arrears of pay on the grounds he was delayed in taking up his duties as chemist because he contracted smallpox and was in quarantine.