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COVID 19

President Solih, It’s public health over private wealth. Not the other way around.

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COVID 19 has without a doubt devastated the fragile economy of the Maldives. Decades of repetitive economic policies to cash in on the nations beautiful islands and beaches with little regulation on maximizing income and nonexistent penalties on tax evasions has made our nation exceedingly dependent on the tourism sector.

Incumbent President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and his reactionary policies against COVID 19 has allowed the economy disrupting COVID 19 to not only come to our welcoming sunny shores, but taken a hold of the whole nation by its neck. While today Tourism Minister Ali Waheed boasts about how he will not endanger the public for the sake of the resort operators, it is an undeniable truth that he did in fact, endanger the public for the resort operators.

Not only did President Ibrahim Solih, Tourism Minister Ali Waheed, Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid, Health Minister Abdulla Ameen and Director General of Public Health Maimoona Abu Bakr refused to close the airports following months of criticism by the public who called to close our borders as early as February 2020, they chose to keep operations running up until the first community spread was flagged thereby forcing them to close the airports in a classic Solih reactionary measure.

If we dwell in to the realm of hypotheses, consider an alternative reality where the current ruling executives actually chose public safety and health over the income of a few resort operators. Tourism sector would take a hit but, the rest of the economy would keep going on allowing the public to go on with their lives. Construction, delivery and transportation, import and export businesses and other offices would have been able to continue on had the current government chosen public health over private wealth.

But the blame on the current situation does not solely lie on the too slow too little policies of President Solih. Ruling Party MDP holds a supermajority over the parliament. In fact, they have a stronghold over every single government institution and organizations, why haven’t they done anything to aid the public in this time of struggle?.

Current ruling party holds 65 seats along with an additional 5 seats from the government coalition partners giving them a total 70  out of 87 seats in the parliament. This staggering majority is enough to pass any bill unobstructed to aid the public in this crisis but till date the ruling party MDP with its  sizable parliamentary group even has failed to aid the public.

The level of incompetence by the ruling party has even allowed room for conspiracies with the public alleging the ruling party of working to keep the public poor and desperate to keep us relying on the rich elites in a bid to control the public’s outrage. This is only further fuelled when oppositions bills on rent moratoriums and COVID 19 aid bills are rejected by the parliament controlled by the ruling party MDP without any reasoning.

Keeping aside conspiracies, current government and its parliaments indulgence in corruption and embezzlement along with their aimless policies directed to divert public attention without actually solving any critical problems has furthered public outrage at the current government. No amount of PR by the dedicated staff at the President’s Office will now clear President Solih, his cabinet and his party of endangering the public and then abandoning it.

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COVID 19

Experts warn of third wave of pandemic in India if health protocols ignored.

Adam Layaan Kurik Riza

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As the ongoing second wave of COVID-19 started a health decline in India, health experts have been giving out numerous warnings on how likely it is for there to be another wave of the outbreak, quoting the disregard for health protocol in the midst of eased restrictions and a lethargic vaccine rollout.

On Wednesday morning India reported 50,848 new cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the case tally to cross the 30 million mark and reach 30,028,709 while the death toll reached 390,660.

The recovery rate in the country has increased to 96.5 percent

Local governments across India ordered relaxations because of the declining number of daily cases but multiple amounts of experts and watch dogs have been giving warnings which have been pointing towards the possibility of a third outbreak.

The catastrophic second wave of the pandemic caught India unexpectedly and it saw the country’s hospitals overwhelmed especially in major cities and towns. The rush of patients coming in caused doctors to struggle due to the shortage of oxygen supplies and essential medicines.

The Indian authorities are the ones responsible for this according to experts for ignoring warnings and going ahead with conducting elections in several states, besides allowing a mega Hindu religious congregation called Kumbh Mela.

 

The eased restrictions in the capital Delhi caused thousands to crowd metro stations and shopping centers, prompting health experts to warn of the possible comeback of COVID-19 infections.

Last week, the Delhi high court informed that the violation of COVID-19 protocols will only hasten the third wave of the pandemic. The authorities were asked to take strict measures against violators and sensitize shopkeepers about the COVID-19 protocol.

The high court said if flouting of COVID19 continues “we will be in great trouble”.

With businesses resuming their activities in the capital, doctors have also given advice by saying that Delhi could face a “worse than second wave situation” if people are careless with a low guard and do not obey the safety norms.

Director of India’s premier health institute – All India institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Randeep Guleria said last week that the third wave of COVID-19 could hit the country in the next six to eight weeks.

V K Paul, member (health) of the Indian government’s top policy think tank, National institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog (commission), said vaccination against the COVID-19 gives at least 94 percent protection from infection and reduce the chances of hospitalization by 75-80 percent.

The nationwide vaccination against COVID-19 started in India on January 16th and so far, only about 5 million people or some 5 percent out of the country’s total adult population of 940 million, have received the two doses of the vaccine, according to the health ministry

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COVID 19

153 hospital employees in U.S. Houston resign or fired after refusing vaccination.

Adam Layaan Kurik Riza

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More than 150 healthcare workers who disobeyed the hospital system’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate have been terminated or their resignations accepted in U.S. Houston, media reported Wednesday.

According to The Texas Tribune, Houston Methodist – One of the first health systems to require the vaccine – has terminated or accepted the resignations of 153 workers, it’s spokeswoman Gale Smith said.

In April, Houston Methodist announced the requirement of its staff to get the vaccine by June 7 in order to keep their jobs, reports said. While 24,947 workers did get vaccinated, the hospital suspended 178 workers who failed to do so by the deadline, they were given two more months to prove they have been immunized. Twenty-Five of those employees did get vaccinated, Smith said.

A lawsuit brought by one of the employees stating that the policy was unlawful was dismissed by a federal district court judge at an earlier time in this month.

The CEO of Houston Methodist Marc Boom encouraged the ruling, stating that “employees and physicians made their decisions for our patients, who are always at the center of what we do.”

Following Houston Methodist’s action, a rising number of healthcare organizations based in the United States have opted to impose vaccine mandates.

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COVID 19

In Videos: COVID-19 Delta varient.

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