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Pandemic World: Countering disinformation in Nigeria; Doubt over Iran’s official figures.

Each week we take a look at how COVID-19 is impacting life around the world.

by Stranger’s Guide

How the world is coping with coronavirus this week:

 

Nigeria

Nigerians are attempting to counter COVID-19 denialism with social media campaigns using hashtags such as #MyCOVID19NaijaStory and #COVIDStopswithMe. According to BBC Africa, many Nigerians believe that the coronavirus pandemic is a hoax, and these counter-narratives are designed to prove the pandemic is real and deadly — and encourage people to adopt good public health behaviors to mitigate its spread. (Global Voices)

Iran

While Iranian state television has said one person is dying from COVID-19 every seven minutes in the country, and warned of a lack of proper social distancing, experts have raised doubt over the accuracy of Iran’s official coronavirus toll—some suggest there could be twice as many cases as those confirmed by the health ministry, which says the country’s death toll is 17,405. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Bali

Many Balinese people lost their livelihoods when the island was closed to foreigners at the beginning of the pandemic—it contributes 50% of Indonesia’s income from tourism. Now, a growing number of Balinese are questioning whether they want to return to work in the tourism industry at all, and instead believe the island could be better off developing other sectors of its economy like agriculture instead. (Guardian)

Peru

915 women and girls have been reported missing in Peru since the country locked down on 16 Mar due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a women’s rights official in the country. Because there is no national missing persons register, it’s unclear how many have been found. It’s thought some could be the victims of domestic violence or femicide. (Channel News Asia)

Greenland

The National Guard will launch 25 resupply missions to climate scientists working on Greenland in just three weeks of air time, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Usually the food, fuel and provisions would be delivered over a course of five months, but due to restrictions on travel, they’ll crunch all 25 resupply missions into under a month. To minimize the risk of transmitting COVID, National Guard pilots and crew will quarantine before the trip and undergo testing prior to departure and while in country. (Daily Gazette)

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Photo credit: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen / Wikimedia Commons

Underground House Parties in North Korea

In 2015, NK News, a Seoul-based website providing news about North Korea, carried a story on what residents of the isolated nation do for “fun.” As there are no karaoke rooms or clubs there, it said, some students hold club nights in empty houses, using generators to produce electricity to power amps and stereos. If sounds of K-pop (South Korean pop music) are heard in the street outside the house, those inside could be arrested, so most decide to forgo playing illicit CDs and play live music instead. Playing K-pop on the guitar “doesn’t leave hard evidence which could be used against us,” the NK News writer said.