While ample resources – and high hopes – are being invested in the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, policymakers and the public should be preparing for a scenario in which no silver bullet is possible. But even in that case, writes renowned infectious disease expert William A. Haseltine, there are strong grounds to believe that we can control the virus and its spread.
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Results for Opinion
Wednesday 22 July 2020
During the 2009 swine flu pandemic, a few countries cornered the vaccine market, leaving the vast majority of the global population with no vaccine at all until the outbreak was effectively over. This scenario must be avoided at all costs during the current crisis – and, thanks to the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility, it can be. By Seth Berkley, Richard Hatchett, and Soumya Swaminathan.
Monday 20 July 2020
New York, USA
Even if one or more vaccines emerge that promise to make people less susceptible to COVID-19, the public-health problem will not be eliminated. But policymakers can avert some foreseeable problems by starting to address key questions about financing and distribution now. The toughest political question of all, though, is likely to concern access. Who should receive the initial doses of any vaccine? Who determines who is allowed into the queue and in what order? By Richard N. Haass
Tuesday 7 July 2020
New York, USA
The global crisis resulting from the spread of COVID-19, has had a major effect on sustainable development targets and urgent action is needed on COVID-19 recovery. ESCAP will highlight Asia-Pacific priorities at United Nations’ High-Level Political Forum which opens today, 7 July.
Tuesday 7 July 2020
The world has been planning for the future in the mistaken belief that it will resemble the past. But as COVID-19 coincides with cyclones in South Asia and the Pacific and vast locust swarms in East Africa, the need to prepare for a world of unexpected shocks has become clearer than ever. Epidemics, floods, storms, droughts, and wildfires are all expected to become more frequent and severe, affecting hundreds of millions of people each year. By Jagan Chapagain and Andrew Steer
Thursday 2 July 2020
On 22 June, the first summit took place between the new EU leadership team, headed by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and President of the European Council Charles Michel, and China’s President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, but there was little time for small talk. One official remarked, ‘the gloves were off from the start’ with no attempt to secure a traditional joint statement, let alone a joint press conference. The EU side accepted that EU–China relations ‘were crucial in many areas’ but at the same time stated that ‘we have to recognise that we do not share the same values, political systems, or approach to multilateralism’. The Chinese side appeared surprised at these blunt words but they stemmed from the March 2019 EU policy document which stated that China was a ‘systemic rival’ in certain areas. By Fraser Cameron. East Asia Forum.
Wednesday 1 July 2020
Ko e taha e fehu‘i tefito hotau fonua he ‘aho ni ko e fatongia ‘o e Hou‘eiki mo e Nopele ki he Fa‘unga Pule ‘o e ‘aho ni. Pea ko e hoha‘a ‘oku ma‘alifekina pe kohai ‘oku nau fakafofonga‘i ‘i Fale Alea. Pea he ‘ikai teu toe lave ki he faikehekehe ‘o Nopele mo e Hou‘eiki Tauhi Fonua he ko e kupu si‘i mo e lahi ‘o e me‘a tatau.. ‘Inoke Fotu Hu‘akau.
Friday 19 June 2020
The COVID19 pandemic has upended economies the world over, while there is financial pain there is also an opportunity for the reorganisation of national and global economics. Fiji's economic fault lines have been exposed under the pressures of COVID-19, exposing the gaps through which people and communities are falling. As governments continue to act to support economies undone by the pandemic it's important to see that any community relief that is being offered also has an eye to the future. By Maureen Penjueli.
Thursday 18 June 2020
CoViD-19’s effects on health, jobs and economies are simply an acute version of what climate change is predicted to bring – and in places already has. Unless we aspire to a better normal with recovery, we are treating the symptom, not the disease. We must build back better than before. For example, it may be tempting to scale up funds for infrastructure like roads, but that funding can go to improved and greener public transport systems to service more people. More public transit capacity will reduce the load on roads and reduce air pollution and emissions. Investment in IT can decentralize business operations, reducing time lost and carbon produced in commutes and travel. By Armida Alisjahbana and Inger Andersen.
Wednesday 17 June 2020
Kau fakatalanoa mu’a ki he uho ‘o e palopalema ‘oku tau fehangahangai moia ‘i he lolotonga, pea ‘oku ‘i ai ‘eku tui te tau hokohoko atu ki he kaha’u pea toe kovi ange.- 'Inoke Fotu Huakau.
Wednesday 17 June 2020
London, United Kingdom
Governments cannot openly admit that the "controlled easing” of COVID-19 lockdowns in fact means controlled progress toward so-called herd immunity to the virus. Because there is currently no COVID-19 vaccine, governments have had to find other ways to prevent “excess deaths.” Most have opted for lockdowns, which remove entire populations from the path of the virus and thus deprive it of hosts. But this strategy has a terrible weakness: governments cannot keep their populations locked down until a vaccine arrives. Apart from anything else, the economic cost would be unthinkable. So, they have to ease the lockdown gradually. By Robert Skidelsky
Monday 15 June 2020
From Jamaica to Palau and Norway to Indonesia, the impact of the COVID-19 crisis is global, and national recovery efforts must be globally focused to seize shared opportunities. Nowhere is this more evident than in the global domain that unites us – the ocean. We now need to harness the potential of 70% of the planet to provide a “blue boost” to our economies, while building a more resilient and sustainable world. By Erna Solberg and Tommy Remengesau, Jr.
Tuesday 26 May 2020
Time has given Tonga a great opportunity to prepare itself for the virus and any cases that it might produce. The question is, has this time been used wisely and with urgency to prepare Tonga for the future risks? Those risks, however small, exist even now. Aid money is coming in. Using that to build up the capacity of the health system now means that this can be kept for the future. Wouldn’t it be great if Vaiola were to have a state-of-the-art five-bed ICU that can treat anyone who needs that level of care even after CoViD-19 abates? The staff can do it, if only the facility is there. And it could be. And so we await the arrival of the virus. I hope Tonga is well prepared when it does.... - Dr Russ Schedlich
Monday 25 May 2020
As there is no virus and we still live under restrictions, what does this mean for the future? As government seems “happy” with the curfew, will a curfew now become part of our daily life? Does it really reduce crime? Or are we now in a period of moral justification for limiting people’s freedom? - Dean Bishoprick
Thursday 21 May 2020
Hon. Prime Minister: Does my country, Tonga, expect me to break the United States law and be punished by it, because our Tongan government can’t even open up their borders even for a limited period of time for their citizens who are stuck worldwide to come home? What the Tongan country expects me to do, after my visa expires, especially when the US government have made no exceptions to allow us international students to stay in the US longer than we’re supposed to. - Salaetau Tuita
Friday 15 May 2020
Washington DC, USA
The Seychelles, a string of 115 verdant, rocky islands in the Indian Ocean, recently announced – in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic – that it would protect 30% of its glittering turquoise waters from commercial use - made possible through an innovative debt-swap deal – that will also bolster the health, wellbeing, and prosperity of the Seychellois, who number under 100,000 but cater to more than 350,000 visitors each year. - By Enric Sala
Wednesday 29 April 2020
Tonga's economy is going to suffer as a result of this pandemic with a decline in remittances and the complete shutdown of the tourism sector - the two largest sources of foreign exchange for the Kingdom. We urge the government to lift the six weeks old restrictions on bars, clubs and restaurants. While the borders remain closed, why must we stay closed? We employ over 300 people. - Tonga Bar, Club & Restaurant Association.
Monday 27 April 2020
Mounu Island, Vava'u
Humpback Whales have been coming to Tonga since the distant past, they were almost wiped out during the hunting years. Numbers are climbing back. But for how long can we maintain the fragile balance of tourist and whale? Vava’u cannot sustain more boats out on the water. In these times with CoVid-19 and an unsure future for the tourism industry, it is very hard to have any hope or faith in commitment from government for a sustainable industry and conservation of the whales, when they are seen as an avenue for more revenue.- Kirsty Bowe
Friday 24 April 2020
Most activities have been re-opened so why are bars and kava clubs still restricted? The answer can’t be to ensure that we adhere to social distancing – instead it must be an attempt to regulate the social activities to make sure we stay away from alcohol and kava, an unstated goal of the police and health ministries for years. It might be time to consider the positive side of these businesses as they provide a more healthy outlet for people than drinking in the streets or cars and they pay wages that help keep the economy going. - Dean Bishoprick
Wednesday 22 April 2020
The COVID-19 crisis comes at a crucial moment: the beginning of the last decade that we have to act on climate change. Governments are about to spend trillions of dollars to soften the blow from COVID-19. We must not let that money go to waste. When one is being buffeted by a storm of this magnitude, the worst thing one can do is lose one’s compass. But we must use that compass to chart a new course toward an economic model that places human and environmental sustainability at its center. By Bertrand Badré