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COVID-19: New UNDP data dashboards reveal huge disparities among countries in ability to cope and recover



Indicators such as the level of poverty, healthcare capacity, access to internet and social protection can portray how severe the effects of the COVID-19 crisis might be in each of 189 countries.

#New York, April 29, 2020 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today released two new data dashboards that highlight the huge disparities in countries’ abilities to cope with and recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

The pandemic is more than a global health emergency. It is a systemic human development crisis, already affecting the economic and social dimensions of development in unprecedented ways. Policies to reduce vulnerabilities and build capacities to tackle crises, both in the short and long term, are vital if individuals and societies are to better weather and recover from shocks like this.

Preparedness of countries to respond to COVID-19

UNDP’s Dashboard 1 on Preparedness presents indicators for 189 countries – including level of development, inequalities,  the capacity of a healthcare system and internet connectivity– to assess how well a nation can respond to the multiple impacts of a crisis like COVID-19. 

While every society is vulnerable to crises, their abilities to respond differs significantly around the world.

For example, the most developed countries – those in the very high human development category- have on average 55 hospital beds, over 30 physicians, and 81 nurses per 10,000 people, compared to 7 hospital beds, 2.5 physicians, and 6 nurses in a least developed country.

And with widespread lockdowns, the digital divide has become more significant than ever. 6.5 billion people around the globe – 85.5 percent of the global population – still don’t have access to reliable broadband internet, which limits their ability to work and continue their education. 

Vulnerabilities of countries in crisis like COVID-19

Preparedness is one thing. But, once a crisis hits, how vulnerable are countries to the fallout? UNDP’s Dashboard 2 on Vulnerabilities present indicators that reflect countries’ susceptibility to the effects of this crisis. y

Those already living in poverty are particularly at risk. Despite recent progress in poverty reduction, about one in four people still live in multidimensional poverty or are vulnerable to it, and more than 40 percent of the global population does not have any social protection. 

The COVID-19 pandemic also reminds us that disruptions in one place are contagious, triggering problems elsewhere. For example, in some countries, like Kyrgyzstan, a significant part of their GDP comes from remittances. While places as diverse as Montenegro, Maldives and Cabo Verde, rely heavily on tourism (almost 60% of GDP in the Maldives for example), which is being hit very hard by travel bans and lockdowns. 

Magnetic Media News working to extrapolate information; will publish at in the coming days.


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Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”

Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.

A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.

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Shocking changes in UK COVID strategy as demands intensify for PM Johnson’s resignation



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#UnitedKingdom, January 20, 2022 – In a shocking twist Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that come Thursday January 20, the United Kingdom will no longer mandate the National Health Services pass for use in public spaces and offices.

Residents will no longer be mandated to work from home which could see hundreds of thousands of workers returning to shared office spaces. Face masks will no longer be government mandated for residents or in classrooms, the announcement was met with screams of joy from gathered politicians in the House of Commons.

Johnson cited one of the reasons behind the decision as the extraordinary booster campaign. The UK has a booster rate of just over 63 percent.

Meanwhile omicron still manages to evade vaccines and boosters and Pfizer is scrambling to create a vaccine to temper the variant, which reportedly presents as milder in vaccinated individuals.

The news comes as trouble is brewing in the United Kingdom for Prime Minister Boris Johnson even after his shock announcement ending several COVID-19 protocols early this week. Calls for the Prime Minister to leave office have grown louder and louder with even senior conservatives turning their backs on Johnson.

It was said the softening of restrictions were to distract from the Prime Minister ‘bring your own booze’ staff party held at #10 Downing Street during the lockdown of 2020.

One Senator publicly switched sides and a former Minister told Johnson “in the name of God go.”

Johnson is accused of flagrantly touting the rules he himself out into place while fellow Britons were suffering during lockdown.

The BBC reports that so far six Conservative MPs have publicly declared no confidence in the PM, but more are thought to have submitted letters to that effect.

If Johnson does not step down or regain his party’s faith, a leadership election in the Conservative party could be looming on the horizon.


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Caribbean News

Jamaica to be ‘fire on ice’ at upcoming Winter Olympics, Bobsled is back



By Deandrea Hamilton



#Jamaica, January 19, 2022 – Jamaica has qualified with a bobsled team for the Winter Olympics, and it is the first time for the Caribbean country’s appearance in 24 years.

“It will be fire on ice as TeamJamaica secured their spot at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.  This will be the 1st time JAM has qualified in 3 Olympic bobsled events:  four-man, two-man and women’s monobob,” tweeted TeamJamaica on Monday morning.

News reports are buzzing over the return of the electrifying TeamJamaica; unique to participate in winter sports with the obvious reason being, Jamaica never sees snow as it is a sizzling hot Caribbean destination.

For at least one team member, who showed off his qualification as part of TeamJamaica on social media, it is a dream come true.

“A childhood dream has come a reality. I gave up on this dream a few years back although I knew the elite athlete in me hasn’t died yet and had unfinished business. Blood, sweat and tears went into this and it has paid off! Best day of my sporting career! I was honoured to selected to compete in 13 out of the 16 races this season and gave it all I had.

I will have to say a special thanks to sooo many people, I’ll soon be direct messaging you, but especially my Mum, Dad and Sister…  for helping with organising my speed work over the years and continuously checking up on me for letting me use the athletics track, the @jbsfed staff, team sponsors, all my clients from my sports injury clinic business “Anatomy Well-being” and to everyone who have sent me positive messages and showed support you don’t understand how much that helped,” said Ashley Walton.

Jamaica will also have a countryman in a ski event; British-born Benjamin Alexander.

The Winter Olympics begins on February 3; an opening ceremony will take place at the famous Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing, China.  The games will span two weeks.

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