Heated Topics of the Week- Covid-19, Up close and personal in Viet Nam’s flooded central region

Glance at Covid-19

Coronavirus is continuing its spread across the world with more than 60 million confirmed cases in 190 countries and more than 1.4 million deaths.

The virus is surging in many regions and countries that had apparent success in suppressing initial outbreaks are also seeing infections rise again. The US has recorded almost 13 million cases and more than 260,000 deaths from coronavirus, the highest figures in the world. Daily cases have been at record levels since early November and there are now more than 90,000 people in hospital, more than in either of the two previous peaks of the pandemic.

In the Middle East, both Iran and Jordan have seen the number of daily infections rise sharply in recent weeks. Numbers have also been rising Ukraine.

In Latin America, Brazil has more than six million confirmed cases and the world’s second highest death toll. There are concerns the country is now facing a second wave of infections.

Argentina, Colombia and Mexico have also recorded more than one million cases. Peru is also approaching that milestone, although daily cases are falling.

India has driven the increase in numbers in Asia, with over nine million confirmed infections, the second-highest official total in the world after the US. 

Africa has recorded more than two million cases, although the true extent of the pandemic there is not known as testing rates are low. 

Up close and personal in Viet Nam’s flooded central region

Over the past month, central Viet Nam has been hit by thirteen consecutive tropical storms, causing the worst flooding and landslides in 100 years. Homes have been destroyed, crops demolished, and already vulnerable populations left with nothing.

To survive, the local had no choice but to take refuge on a precarious loft under their roof (pictured here) – a space generally used to store rice and other provisions. The couple tell us they clung there for a terrifying 10 days, drinking the flood water around them and eating instant noodles. Eventually rescued by boat, they spent a week in the evacuation shelter, before returning home to absolute devastation. The exterior wall of their house had collapsed and most of their belongings were destroyed – including precious family memories ripped from their frames and washed away by the flood waters.

Sources: https://www.unicef.org/vietnam/close-and-personal-viet-nams-flooded-central-region

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-51235105

Written by Honghong

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