📈 Future Trends — Shifting Healthcare, Vetoed Resolutions, Trade Talks

A warm welcome, Future Trends readers. This series, curated by the Institute for Economics & Peace, takes a look at global news which may provide insight to the future. Here’s what you need to know this week:

Coronavirus lockdown: India jobless numbers 122 million. India’s unemployment rate is now at a record high of 27.1%, according to the Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy (CMIE), 91.3 million were small traders and labourers.

The South Africa government has committed to enforcing ‘very hard’ quotas for foreign workers. The government is restricting foreign workers in an effort to help alleviate the high levels of unemployment emanating from the COVID-19 restrictions.

The Bank of England has warned that the UK economy is heading towards its sharpest recession on record. The coronavirus impact would see the economy shrink 14% this year, based on the lockdown being relaxed in June.

Losing ground. Recent developments targeting India’s 200 million Muslims are endangering New Delhi’s relationship with countries in the Persian gulf. Blaming Muslims for the spread of the coronavirus in India seems to be a step too far for the most important countries in the Gulf.

The rise of telehealth in the coronavirus pandemic could lead to a permanent shift in healthcare. There has been a dramatic uptake in the use of telehealth solutions because of the lockdown. In the past it has been limited to specific groups.

In South Africa there has been a dramatic reduction in deaths, accidents and stabbings. It has been attributed to the country-wide ban on alcohol sales. While alcohol and entertainment-based businesses are suffering heavy losses, the government has pointed to the social benefits of the ban as a successful example to be followed by other nations.

Germans demonstrate against lockdowns while practicing social distancing. Demonstrations in Germany are on the rise as citizens push back against restrictions, however, most are practicing social distancing during the demonstrations.

A Chinese government report warned of harsh international backlash. The paper, presented last month to party officials, including president Xi Jinping by the Ministry of State Security, warns that global animosity toward China is at its highest point since Tienanmen Square and, worst-case scenario, could lead to armed conflict with the US.

UN Security Council cant agree on COVID-19 resolution. For the last six weeks the UN Security Council has been attempting to agree on a resolution to confront the coronavirus pandemic but cant. The problem is that China and the United States cant agree on whether to mention the World Health Organization.

The US and the UK begin trade talks. The first round of negotiations for a post-Brexit free-trade agreement involves some 100 officials on each side of the virtual meeting. One major issue that Brexit backers referenced during the 2016 referendum was that Britain was free to forge its own lucrative trade deals with countries, with the US as the biggest prize. That optimism looks ever more misplaced in a post COVID-19 environment.

Voters have rallied around leaders who took COVID-19 seriously. The largest bounces are in Australia, Canada and Germany, where death rates have been low among rich Western countries. Despite Frances bad outbreak, a solemn Emmanuel Macron has gained some credit. Britons got behind Boris Johnson at first, however a recent dip may reflect fears that a tardy lockdown led to thousands of extra deaths.

Hong Kong police arrest more than 200 as pro-democracy protests return. Protests return to Hong Kong as police arrest 230 people during pro-democracy demonstrations on the weekend after a sing-along demonstration at a shopping mall spilled out onto the streets.

US blocks vote on UN’s bid for global ceasefire over reference to WHO. After weeks of seeking a resolution, the US has vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that calls for a global ceasefire during the pandemic. The Trump administration reportedly ruled against the resolution for an indirect reference to the World Health Organization.

Experts anticipate new and increased challenges to preventing violent extremism during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Violent extremist and terrorist groups ranging from Colombian hit squads to ISIS affiliates in sub-Saharan Africa to far-right extremists in the United States are monitoring the impact of COVID-19. Experts express concern over their potential to exploit the disruption caused by the pandemic.

Turkish volunteers launch a 3D printing movement to meet demands for personal protective equipment, with hopeful global implications. Open-source 3D printing and information sharing is emerging as a solution to provide personal protective equipment (PPE), with more than 25,000 face shields produced in one week. There are now more than 3,500 volunteers spread across 81 cities.

Millions predicted to develop Tuberculosis as a result of COVID-19 lockdown. Up to 6.3 million more people are predicted to develop TB between now and 2025 and 1.4 million more people are expected to die as cases go undiagnosed and untreated during lockdown. This will set back global efforts to end TB by five to eight years.

Nearly 200,000 could die from COVID-19 in Africa: WHO Regional Office for Africa. The office also estimates that 29 million to 44 million could become infected in the first year of the pandemic. The main risk lies in health and other critical infrastructure being overwhelmed.

COVID-19 lockdowns could lead to 7 million unintended pregnancies. UN agency says lockdowns could result in 7 million unintended pregnancies, according to data released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Supply chain disruptions could leave 47 million women in low- and middle-income countries without modern contraceptives.

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