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World Coronavirus Dispatch: Is Vitamin-D capable of fighting the virus?

Speeding up automated decision-making in Covid times, Europe's vaccination campaign off to slow start, Duterte's blunders will cost Philippines dearly, and other-pandemic news across the globe

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Coronavirus Vaccine

Akash Podishetty  |  Hyderabad 

vitamin D
Studies around the world are on to determine whether Vitamin-D can prevent mortality due to coronavirus

China tells a tale of triumph, minus all the mistakes

Almost a year into the Wuhan outbreak, China is aggressively pursuing to shape the narrative on the mishandling of virus in the initial stages. The country, through the state media, is trying to push the narrative of triumph over the virus, and that it has been only possible due to the ruling Communist Party. The media, toeing the party line, has largely ignored the government’s missteps and portrayed China’s response as proof of the superiority of its authoritarian system, especially compared to that of the West and other democracies, which are still struggling to contain raging outbreaks. Read here

Let's look at the global statistics

Global infections: 90,295,028

Change Over Yesterday: 640,084

Global deaths: 1,935,060

Nations with most cases: US (22,409,130), India (10,466,595), Brazil (8,105,790), Russia (3,366,715), United Kingdom (3,081,368).

Source: John Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center.

Europe’s Covid-19 vaccination campaign off to a slow start

As rages across Europe, the vaccination campaign has lagged so far. The delay has led to thousands of deaths and many more infections. In France, the rule of getting consent from residents at least five days before doses are delivered to nursing homes has been hampering progress. The country has inoculated some 45,000 people in more than two weeks since European regulators authorised the first vaccine, made by Pfizer and BioNTech. Belgium launched mass vaccinations on Tuesday, while the Netherlands was slow to get off the block, the last country in the continent to start vaccinating against the virus. In Italy, lack of workers over the holidays slowed down the inoculation drive in the early days. Read here

Is Vitamin-D capable of fighting the virus?

Studies around the world are on to determine whether Vitamin-D can prevent mortality due to and increasing evidence suggests the subject is worth going much deeper. A Spanish study conducted in early September suggested that low vitamin D levels have a pivotal role in causing increased death rates. Since then, multiple studies have been convened to come to a definite conclusion about whether sufficient levels of vitamin D might positively impact coronavirus-related mortality rates. Read here

Algorithms and the pandemic

Taken aback the Covid-19 pandemic and the following health emergencies, governments have made concerted efforts to deploy automated-decision platforms to keep up with the pace of the virus. This has provided an impetus and a rationale for authorities to try out new systems often without adequate debate, while offering opportunities for surveillance technology companies to pitch their products as tools for the common good. But the use of widespread tech to make decisions has prompted criticism from activists. Even before the pandemic hit, countries were already putting in place systems to move towards algorithimic decision making, but Covid emergency pushed authorities to be even more experimental to improve the efficiency of their operations. Read here

Opinion: Duterte's blunders will set the Philippines back generations

President Duterte has miserably failed the Philippines in terms of pro-active leadership during the coronavirus crisis, writes Richard Heydarian, an Asia-based academic and columnist who tracked Duterte's journey since his early days. He says: Duterte foolishly shunned Western pharmaceutical companies until the last minute and naively over-relied on vaccines from the likes of China and Russia, Duterte has left Filipinos without quality vaccines until mid-2021. He adds that Duterte's slow response to the crisis has cost the country big time. Read here

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First Published: Mon, January 11 2021. 14:54 IST