Global

Pandemic World: New cases in Vietnam; Fedex Pilots say ‘boycott Hong Kong’

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:

Vietnam

After a 99-day streak of zero community transmission, Vietnam has confirmed 15 new cases of the coronavirus in Da Nang and has closed the city to tourists. The country has experience in dealing with pandemics: it was the first country to bring the SARS outbreak under control in 2003, so experts say it’s likely to be able to control the next wave of COVID-19. (The Diplomat)

South Africa

The government in South Africa has been forced to close schools again for a month as its health minister urged people to admonish family and friends not adhering to social distancing, mask-wearing or hand washing. The country had started to ease restrictions after a five-week lockdown proved devastating to the economy, and three million South Africans losing their jobs. More than half of Africa’s 780,000 reported cases of COVID-19 are in South Africa. (Nature)

Germany

A study in Germany showed that one in five patients hospitalized with the coronavirus died from the disease. The fatality rate for those who were put on a ventilator rose to 53 percent, and men were more likely to die than women. Due to its decentralized healthcare system, Germany has been able to ramp up its capacity to treat patients with the coronavirus, avoiding scenes of hospitals becoming overwhelmed due to huge caseloads as in Italy. (The Local)

Hong Kong

FedEx pilots want flights to Hong Kong suspended after the association representing its aircrew criticized the country’s strict COVID-19 measures. The Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) made the move after three FedEx pilots, who each tested positive for the coronavirus, were “forced” into hospital. Close contacts of the pilots were also put in government quarantine camps “under extremely difficult conditions”, the union said. (South China Morning Post)

South Korea

A South Korean mobile app that helps enforce quarantines to combat the coronavirus had serious security flaws that let attackers retrieve the names, real-time locations and other personal details. The defects have now been fixed but the country had been lauded for making effective use of digital tools to contain the pandemic. (New York Times)

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Photo credit: Viktor & Paula Ekblom

Europe

Living Alone

In 2016, more than half of all households in Sweden, Denmark and Lithuania were composed of a single person. A higher proportion of women (18.4 %) were living alone than men (14.1 %)—in part, researchers think, because women may be outliving their partners and are therefore more likely to live alone in old age. But the researchers said it’s also attributed to the fact that a higher proportion of young women choose to leave the parental home—more so than men.