Each week, we’re taking a look at how COVID-19 is impacting life around the world. Here’s the roundup for this week:
Citing fears about the coronavirus, China banned Hong Kong’s annual vigil to mark the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. For months, Hong Kong residents have been protesting China’s efforts to impose new security measures on the semi-autonomous city. Defying the Chinese authorities, thousands gathered in Victoria Park anyway, chanting slogans like “Liberate Hong Kong.” (New York Times)
Mexico could become the next epicenter of the pandemic. This week the country’s health ministry reported 3,891 new cases—the highest daily tally since the outbreak began. But a senior health official sought to play down the increase and government officials have dismissed a mass testing program as “costly” and “useless.” (Foreign Policy)
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The coronavirus outbreak in war-torn Yemen is likely far larger than officially reported. Evidently ebels in the north of the country have secretly buried those suspected of dying of the disease and threatened to kill medical and aid workers if they discuss the outbreak. In the south, meanwhile, international aid workers say overwhelmed hospitals have been turning patients away, leaving them to die at home. Epidemiologists have warned that the virus could spread farther and faster in the Arab world’s poorest nation than in many other countries. (Washington Post)
The number of coronavirus cases in Mongolia stands at 186, all of which were imported from abroad—mostly from Russia. The country has had zero deaths so far. The World Health Organization recommended that countries employ measures to contain the spread of the virus on January 22, and Mongolia closed its schools three days later—a move that experts attribute to its low disease numbers and lack of fatalities. (Times Now News)