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COVID-19: Racism, Blame Shifting and Politicizing a Pandemic.

Hamdhan Shakeel

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The spread of the COVID-19 virus and the global pandemic has also paved way for a new wave for Anti-Asian hatred and rhetoric’s. Due to disinformation and fake news fueled by global politics, the Asians, especially China has been blamed for the COVID-19 virus.

This accusation and following hysteria have been further exacerbated by some global powers such as the U.S. and its allies specifically blaming China and accusing that the COVID-19 virus originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China.

First promoted by then U.S. President Donald Trump as a part of his feud against China, the “Wuhan Lab-Leak Theory” was dismissed by Scientists and journalists as a conspiracy theory.

However, when China curbed the spread of the virus and initiated one of the world’s most successful and largest vaccine drives while the U.S. recorded 35 million cases with 610,000 deaths along with it, Anti-Chinese rhetoric’s once against became mainstream as the U.S. struggled to maintain its dominance over the rest of the world.

In a classic Chinese move, China gained the support of the globe by providing the much-needed aid. While the U.S. was hoarding COVID-19 vaccines enough for more than 3 times its adult population according to The Washington Post, China engaged in humanitarian work by donating and providing medical supplies and the COVID-19 vaccine to the rest of the globe.

Till date, China has provided more than 300 billion masks, 3.7 billion protective suits, 4.8 billion testing kits and over 600 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to more than 200 countries.

However, instead of working on eliminating the COVID-19 pandemic which has had devastating effects on the global economy and tracing the origin of the virus in a scientific manner, some western states backed and coerced by the U.S. is attempting to shift the blame to China by distorting facts and spreading disinformation surrounding the COVID-19 virus.

An undeniable fact is that finding the origin of the COVID-19 virus is paramount to ensuring that health professionals are ready for when the next such pandemic strikes. The recently publish joint WHO-China report on the origin of the COVID-19 is the much-needed foundation and guideline on which the rest of the world should conduct their scientific studies on the origin of the COVID-19 virus.

The notion that the virus originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China is also highly unlikely as the Wuhan Institute of Virology is a highly specialized and respected institute with international standards of safety. The idea that the virus escaped due to poor security features is another aspect that one needs to analyze when looking into the accusations that the virus leaked from a lab in Wuhan. The age-old racism fueled viewpoint that all Chinese products and institutions are of inferior quality is undeniably a part of what is fueling the allegations that the virus leaked from an internationally accredited lab in Wuhan, China.

Even following the publication of the joint WHO-China report on the origin of the virus, a few countries have politicized the efforts to find the origin of the virus. While this has been met with criticism from the vast majority of the world, these few states continue to act in a bid to politicize and blame shift for the current situation.

In reaction to this, 48 countries around the globe have written to the Director-General of WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, urging the WHO to act according to the resolutions made by the World Health Assembly. They called for the WHO to push forward the “Global probe on traceability of the virus”.

The 48 countries stated that the virus is the common enemy of humanity and that it can only be conquered through a joint effort by the global community.

They also stated that the probe on the origin of the virus is a scientific work and that it should not be politicized.

This sentiment was backed by several academics including Professor Su Jingjing from the Peking University’s School of Health Humanities, who stated that while tracing the origin of a virus is critical to ensuring the medical professionals are better equipped to coping with future outbreaks, finding it however, is a massive scientific effort and a “great deal of luck”.

If we are to look at other similar incidents, it took scientists nearly 2 decades of global research free of political bias before they could identify the patient zero of HIV/AIDS. In case of the Ebola pandemic, scientists have been researching its origin since the 1970’s to no avail.

This in itself is proof that tracing the origin of a virus is a highly scientific work requiring multiple disciplines and years of research without political influence or disinformation.

The politicization of the tracing of the origin of the COVID-19 virus will undoubtedly interfere and obstruct the scientific effort required to successfully trace and establish proper procedures to combat the next such pandemic. If the WHO and other global powers are to successfully curb the spread of the virus and achieve normalcy, all states need to refrain from racism, blame shifting and politicizing a global pandemic.

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The Cambodian Prime Minister arrives in the Maldives on an official visit

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The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, arrived Sunday morning on an official visit to the Maldives at the invitation of H.E. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. It is Samdech Techo Prime Minister Hun Sen’s first visit to the Maldives.

The Cambodian Prime Minister and accompanying delegation were received at Velana International Airport (VIA) by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdulla Shahid (ODRI). The government will hold a ceremony on Monday to officially welcome the Cambodian Prime Minister to the Maldives.

During the visit, President Solih would meet with Samdech Techo Prime Minister Hun Sen and hold official talks on strengthening bilateral cooperation, followed by the exchange of memoranda of understanding (MoUs) between the two countries. President Solih and the Cambodian Prime Minister would also deliver a joint statement on the outcomes of their discussions.

The Maldives and Cambodia established diplomatic relations on September 21, 1995.

Source(s): President Office.

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Hinnavar port and outer wall construction is completed.

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BY:FATHIMATH LAUZA

The contractor for the Hinnavaru Port Development Project, Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC), has announced that the land and outside wall have been finished. On November 10, 2020, the Ministry of National Planning, Housing, and Infrastructure tasked MTCC with expanding and modernizing Hinnavaru Port.

Hinnavaru is a significant island in the atoll that is linked to the economic growth of Fadhipolhu. Lack of consultation is a hindrance to transforming the atoll’s island area into a commercial power. A dam was formerly utilized to be designed by everybody in the north of Hinnavaru. After a piece of the port collapsed and the port was rendered unusable, efforts are being made to extend and improve the port in conjunction with the port.

Work on the damaged segment of the harbour and the building of the embankment were completed as part of the project. The exterior wall and groining have also been finished. According to the overall project status, 66% of the work has been accomplished. Hinnavaru’s new port will be 162 meters long and 47 meters broad. The dam work will fill an area of 65,170.76 cubic metres. It will also comprise the building of a 421-metre subterranean tunnel, a 123.9-metre outer wall, and a 140.55-metre revetment.

Fishing boats are constantly present in Hinnavar. Hinnavaru Council also recognized the island’s abundance of private launches and boats. According to the Hinnavaru council, traders and ordinary people suffered greatly as a result of the port’s failure.

According to the Hinnavaru Council, the port development project will alleviate the present challenges in implementing the suggestions, and no more economic growth will be brought to the island.

 

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Security heightened at Indian High Commission in Maldives over arson threat

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Security measures at the Indian High Commission in the Maldives have been heightened following arson threats.

Security measures at Indian High Commission in the Maldives were heightened in connection case under investigation by the police. No further details were disclosed.

Security measures were heightened at the Indian High Commission over a tweet by former State Minister for Finance Abbas Adil Riza, encouraging an arson attack on the building.

Abbas, in a tweet, alleged that arson was committed at Addu City during the unrest by members of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) on February 8, 2012 after then-President Mohamed Nasheed’s government was overthrown, was on the orders of India. Noting that revenge has yet to be taken over the matter, Abbas called to set ablaze the Indian High Commission in the Maldives.

Foreign Ministry has also expressed concerns over Abbas’ tweet.

In a statement, the Ministry, said that the government was investigating the case as a serious matter whereas security forces have administered the necessary security measures over the threat.

Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed has described Abbas’ tweet as an act of terrorism. On this note, he said that encouragement of terrorism will be investigated as very serious matters.

Political parties including MDP, Adhaalath Party and MRM have condemned the tweet as well.

Source(s): sun.mv

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