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GEOPolitics Today ...for Thursday 30 April 2020

GEOPolitics Today ...for Thursday 30 April 2020
Posted by: Iain Fraser - Consultant Editor
From his home in Malaga City (Remote)

CORONAVIRUS: US officials have said that there is "clear cut" evidence that a drug called Remdesivir can help people recover. Remdesivir is an antiviral medication developed by the American biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences. It is being studied as a possible treatment for COVID-19.

VACCINES: In April 2020, preliminary results showed Remdesivir reduced the time to recovery for people with advanced COVID‑19. Meanwhile, The University of Oxford’s potential Covid-19 vaccine will be manufactured and distributed by pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca on a not-for-profit basis. The partnership will allow for rapid vaccination around the world if it proves to be effective. Human trials of the vaccine developed by the University started on 23 April, with hundreds of people volunteering to take part in the study which received £20m ($25m) of UK government funding.

UK TESTING: In the UK, Justice minister, Robert Buckland has suggested that the testing target of
100,000 tests a day will be missed, despite Health Secretary, Matt Hancock pledging to reach the 100k goal by the end of April. The latest figures show it reached just over 52,000 coronavirus tests on Tuesday.

EUROPEAN ECONOMY: Figures reveal huge economic toll on Europe. The shrinkage in the Eurozone According to an official preliminary estimate, the economies of the European Union contracted by 3.5% in Q1/2020. That would be the steepest decline in decades and is even worse than in the aftermath of the global financial crash in 2008. The situation is even starker in the 19 countries that use the euro as their common currency - they've seen their economies shrink by 3.8% a major indication of the huge economic toll this virus is taking on most European nations.

CLIMATE CHANGE: Global enforced lockdown will see global emissions fall by record 8% - but at what cost? The International Energy Agency [IEA] has said that the Global enforced lockdown put in force in an effort to halt the coronavirus pandemic will see global emissions fall by a record 8% six times more than the biggest fall recorded in 2009 which followed the financial crash.

At the same time the global demand for energy is also set to plummet by record amounts due to the lockdowns being enforced around the world with the IEA forecasting a 6% drop in energy demand for the year, which would be the steepest fall in more than 70 years and a record amount in absolute terms, but at what cost

The IEAs executive director, Fatih Birol told Reuters news agency “Given the number of deaths and the economic trauma around the world, this historic decline in global emissions is absolutely nothing to cheer,”

Hasta Mañana

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