Socialist Worker

Virus tears through poorer countries as fears of a ‘second wave’ grip China

by Sarah Bates
Issue No. 2709

Children returning to school on Tuesday in Changchun, capital of northeast Chinas Jilin Province. There are fears of a second wave of coronavirus in China

Children returning to school on Tuesday in Changchun, capital of northeast China's Jilin Province. There are fears of a second wave of coronavirus in China (Pic: PA)


The global coronavirus crisis is far from over.

The virus has infected more than 7.8 million people worldwide and killed more than 430,000, according to John Hopkins University data.

And as some European countries loosen lockdown restrictions, the virus continues to spread through some of the poorest parts of the globe. In India, more than 300,000 people have been infected and the number is rising by 10,000 every day.

Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti works on the Covid-19 ward of Dehli’s Manipal hospital. He said two months of lockdown had been “wasted” because no investment was made in health care.

“Every day the number of patients is rising, while hospital admission is becoming impossible and many are dying outside hospitals,” he said.

“Healthcare workers are all getting infected in droves and our healthcare system in Delhi is already exhausted. If strong steps are not taken now, I expect the healthcare system to collapse in a few weeks.”

Yet the Indian government is easing lockdown measures, with shopping malls and places of worship open for the first time in two months.

Brazil has overtaken Britain to become the country with the second highest Covid-19 death toll, suffering at least 41,901 fatalities.

Far right president Jair Bolsonaro has called the pandemic a “fantasy” and joined protests demanding the end of lockdown.

Public health expert Daniel Dourado said Brazil was suffering “the worst public health crisis we’ve faced”.

“It has come at a time when we have the worst government in the world,” he added. “The country is adrift.”

Camp

In Sudan the virus is beginning to spread through at least one refugee camp in the western Darfur region. Only 54 deaths have been recorded, but the real number is likely to be much higher.

Poor sanitation and cramped living conditions mean that, once Covid-19 takes hold, it could spread quickly through the camp.

Gamal Abdulkarim Abdullah, director of the camp, said, “We’re losing a whole generation.”

Other countries, such as Afghanistan, are running out of vital kit. Some 10,000 people have been confirmed with Covid-19 in the capital Kabul.

Yet health authorities said people would no longer be tested for the disease, as they had run out of laboratory space.

And in the US, the lockdown is continuing to ease despite infection rates rising in 19 states.

President Donald Trump is even planning to hold mass election rallies from mid-June.

The country has recorded more than two million cases of Covid-19 and over 115,000 deaths.

In China, parts of Beijing have been locked down as people fear a second wave of the virus.

Some 36 new cases have been detected in the city and a further 19 across China.

 

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