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The Winding Road of the COVID Crisis

One of the pandemic’s many challenges is how it outflanks our attempts to impose narratives on it. Humans are storytelling creatures – we use narrative to make sense of chaos and to prioritize threats. Each new phase of the pandemic scrambles the stories we used to make ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Commodity Supercycle Blues

The editorial board of Financial Times published an op-ed yesterday announcing a new commodities supercycle. They argued that the global pivot towards climate-friendlier technologies like electric vehicles is pushing demand for metals like cobalt, lithium and palladium (used in catalytic converters.) In addition, the Biden administration’s new commitments to building infrastructure at home (and possibly abroad) will further boost demand for steel, with iron ore futures hitting record prices in Singapore this week.Where FT ...

The Seychelles Is the New Focal Point to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Chinese-Made Vaccines

A new wave of COVID-19 infections is sweeping across the tiny Indian Ocean island of The Seychelles. This wasn't supposed to happen. With nearly 60% of its people vaccinated, The Seychelles has a higher inoculation rate than any other country and was widely presumed ...

Chinese State Propaganda’s Vaccine Messaging Has Become Noticeably More Aggressive After Receiving WHO Certification

Although Chinese domestic media was noticeably quiet last weekend about the news that Sinopharm had been granted emergency use approval by the World Health Organization, that's definitely not the case with foreign facing propaganda. The nationalistic tabloid outlet Global ...

WHO’s Approval of Sinopharm Will be a Game Changer in the Global Vaccine Distribution Contest… Just Not Right Away

The World Health Organization endorsed the use of the COVID-19 vaccine from Sinopharm and cleared the way for the Chinese jab to significantly increase its distribution throughout the developing world. The WHO on Friday approved the vaccine for emergency use which means that ...

With Infection Rates Rising, Chinese COVID Vaccines Will Face a Critical Test in Egypt

Egypt is entering a third wave of COVID-19 infections prompting the government to announce new lockdowns and other measures in an effort to contain the latest phase of the outbreak. The timing is especially dangerous, warn health authorities, due to festivities marking the end of Ramadan where ...

The Mideast’s Travel and Hospitality Industry Has a Lot at Stake in the WHO’s Impending Ruling on Chinese Vaccines

Representatives from the Mideast's travel industry are closely watching their news feeds for any updates on the World Health Organization's impending decision as to whether or not to grant emergency use approval to Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccines Sinopharm and Sinovac. Currently, the ...

Lull Continues in Chinese Vaccine Deliveries Around the World Ahead of Key Rulings From the WHO and EU

Although Chinese vaccine distributors did make a few deliveries on Tuesday, the quantities remain significantly lower than in previous weeks. It's not entirely clear what's behind the slowdown but it's likely that it could be related to the impending verdict by the World Health Organization about granting ...

China’s Global Vaccine Distribution Drive Appears to Have Come to a Halt… At Least For Now

China's once frenetic global vaccine distribution drive appears to have come to a grinding halt, at least temporarily, amid a push to gets jabs into the arms of its own people (photo). As of Sunday, China had inoculated 275 million people domestically.

Production Constraints Limit Chinese Vaccine Exports Abroad Ahead of Critical Decision From the WHO

Chinese pharmaceutical companies are struggling to keep pace with surging demand at home and abroad for COVID-19 vaccines. “The problem is that it currently does not have enough production capacity to satisfy both domestic and international demand, which makes its vaccine diplomacy unsustainable at least in the ...

Kenyan Regulators Approve a Chinese Herbal Treatment Linked to COVID-19 Even Before They Fully Tested It

Kenya'snational drug regulator, the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB), granted certification to a Chinese herbal product that it hasn't fully tested and that the company insinuates, without proof, can be used to help protect against COVID-19. “We have gotten feedback from people ...

COVID and the Emerging Global Landscape

This week saw a small, but notable indicator in my corner of the global COVID landscape. South Africa announced that it will import 10 million doses each of China’s Sinopharm and Russia’s Sputnik V vaccines. South Africa is hardly the first country in the Global South to ...
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