GEOPolitics Today …for Monday 4th May, 2020
Posted by: Iain Fraser – Consultant Editor-at-Large
Good morning from my home in sunny Málaga reporting on Daily Geopolitical News for the week commencing 4th may 2020.
CORONAVIRUS: Coronavirus quite rightly continues to dominate the World´s media. The key stories this morning focus primarily on the development of a vaccine and the resumption of air travel.
Of course not much is going to change Globally until a Vaccine is developed, proven and of course manufactured in massive amounts, a view shared by the UN and cited as a “unique global public good of the 21st Century”. At this point in time there are no effective treatments for coronavirus with healthcare professionals having to rely on individual patients’ immune systems.
VACCINE: The EU has pledged support for a plan to raise €7.5bn to find a coronavirus vaccine in a jointly signed open letter. The Brussels-led initiative was set out by current European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen last Friday.[1st May 2020] Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are also among those who have signed up to the initiative.
Post-Brexit, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who himself spent three nights in intensive care with Covid-19, has pledged of €441m for vaccine research, testing and treatment at the same time urging countries to “pull together” to meet “the most urgent shared endeavour of our lifetimes”.
However, A new drug developed by UK scientists to treat Covid-19 patients is being trialled at University Hospital Southampton. Developed by UK bio-tech company Synairgen, it uses a protein called interferon beta, which our bodies naturally produce once we get a virus infection. Initial results from the trial of the SNG001 are expected by the end of June.
AIR TRAVEL: Some major airlines are now requiring passengers to wear mask on flights to limit the spread of Coronavirus with many big US airlines are bringing in new health and safety policies for both passengers and cabin crew in the coming weeks. Other carriers globally are also are making mask wearing mandatory once they restart flights.
While around 90% of international flights are cancelled, having a major knock-on effect on daily geopolitical matters, airlines hope to gradually resume aviation this month. From Monday, US carrier Delta said it requires passengers to wear a mask or other face covering within the check-in area, premium lounges, boarding gate areas and onboard planes for the entire flight. American Airlines and United have also said that they will start requiring masks for passengers, along with cabin crew. The carriers say these are temporary measures as they slowly resume flights.
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