Coronavirus is not going away, it is moving to Developing Nations

As Turkey announced 18 deaths and 930 new diagnoses of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the last 24 hours, the world press began congratulating the nation for its effective response to the epidemic.  It is true that Turkey has acted pro-actively to the outbreak while its health system exhibited unusual stamina and rigor under stress. Alas, it is too early to celebrate, or accept the claim by Health Minister Mr Fahrettin Koca that there shall be no second wave. The virus is not going away. It’s new epicenter is Developing Nations, as New York Times reports. Turkey is one of those countries which eased quarantine and social distancing measures before the virus is completely tamed.  As its neighbors wallow in  the agony of rising cases, Turkey ought to remain on guard.

NYT:  Coronavirus Rips Into Regions Previously Spared

For months, one enduring mystery of the coronavirus was why some of the world’s most populous countries, with rickety health systems and crowded slums, had managed to avoid the brunt of an outbreak that was burning through relatively affluent societies in Europe and the United States, writes Declan Walsh at NYT.

Now some of those countries are tumbling into the maw of the pandemic, and they are grappling with the likelihood that their troubles are only beginning.

Globally, known cases of the virus are growing faster than ever with more than 100,000 new ones a day. The surge is concentrated in densely populated, low- and middle-income countries across the Middle East, Latin America, Africa and South Asia.

Not only has it filled hospitals and cemeteries there, it has frustrated the hopes of leaders who thought they were doing everything right, or who believed they might somehow escape the pandemic’s worst ravages.

“We haven’t seen any evidence that certain populations will be spared,” said Natalie Dean, an assistant professor of biostatistics at the University of Florida. For those not yet affected, she said, “it’s a matter of when, not if.”

Several of the newly hit countries are led by strongmen and populists now facing a foe that cannot be neutralized with arrests or swaggering speeches. In Egypt, where the rate of new confirmed infections doubled last week, the pandemic has created friction between President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and doctors who have revolted over a lack of protective equipment and training.

In Brazil, the total death toll surpassed 32,000 on Thursday, with 1,349 deaths in a single day, dealing a further blow to the populist president, Jair Bolsonaro, who has continued to minimize the threat.

“We are sorry for all the dead, but that’s everyone’s destiny,” he said Tuesday, observed the NYT article, which certainly applies to Turkey where President Erdogan has become the rule of law.

Turkey’s neighbors still battling the epidemic

Iran has become the first country in the world to report a second wave of coronavirus infections after easing its lockdown.

The Middle Eastern nation logged a record 3,574 cases of the virus on Wednesday, beating its previous worst day of 3,186 cases logged on March 30.

Iran began easing its lockdown restrictions – which were imposed in February as the virus ran rampant – in mid-April as the disease declined.

Cases began picking up again in early May and have now been above 3,000 for three days running, even as gyms and public offices were reopened at the weekend, reports Daily Mail.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Russia approached 450,000 on Friday.

As many as 449,834 people are being treated of the virus, including 8,726 confirmed over the last 24 hours, the country’s emergency task force said in a daily report.

Meanwhile, over the same period, recoveries rose by 8,057 and reached 212,680, it added.

So far, the authorities have not been able to overcome a negative trend in mortality, with the virus claiming over 100 lives for 11th day in a row — higher than during the peak of the pandemic in Russia.

Since yesterday, the number of fatalities rose by 144 and in total the virus killed 5,528 people in the country, according to Anatolian News Agency.

Iraqi health ministry on Friday reported a record 1,006 new daily COVID-19 cases, raising the total number of infections in the country to 9,846.

Meanwhile, 14 more died from the coronavirus during the day, 10 of whom were in Baghdad’s hospitals, bringing the death toll to 285, according to the statement.

The new cases were detected after 9,642 testing kits were used across the country during the past 24 hours. A total of 281,901 tests have been carried out since the outbreak of the disease in Iraq.

So far, the Bashar Assad regime has announced about 128 coronavirus cases in Syria. According to the Jusoor for Studies institute, however, this number is far from reflecting the truth. Documenting 582 cases through their own private monitoring network all around the country so far – a figure almost five times more than what the regime claims – the institute states even this number may be falling behind the true data.

“We believe in the center that the number of infections with coronavirus in the areas of the Syrian regime is much bigger than what has been announced by the Ministry of Health of the Syrian regime, who only announced about 128 cases, and even more than the number that our center was able to document,” said Mohammed Sarmini, head of Jusoor for Studies, reports Daily Sabah.

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Published By: Atilla Yeşilada

GlobalSource Partners’ Turkey Country Analyst Atilla Yesilada is the country’s leading political analyst and commentator. He is known throughout the finance and political science world for his thorough and outspoken coverage of Turkey’s political and financial developments. In addition to his extensive writing schedule, he is often called upon to provide his political expertise on major radio and television channels. Based in Istanbul, Atilla is co-founder of the information platform Istanbul Analytics and is one of GlobalSource’s local partners in Turkey. In addition to his consulting work and speaking engagements throughout the US, Europe and the Middle East, he writes regular columns for Turkey’s leading financial websites VATAN and and has contributed to the financial daily Referans and the liberal daily Radikal.