COVID-19 pandemic, Asia and Oceania

This 20 March 2020 video says about itself:

Coronavirus crisis exploited through ‘disaster capitalism’

As the world reacts to the coronavirus pandemic, analysts are warning of ways the crisis may be exploited – through so-called “disaster capitalism“.

Basic medical necessities – such as face masks, hand wash and sanitisers – are being sold at inflated prices online as demand soars.

And – while US authorities have struggled to make testing available – some private companies are said to be offering home tests for those who can pay.

There is also a growing concern of alleged “congressional insider trading” after two senators sold stocks following a White House briefing – before markets crashed.

Sam Pizzigati, an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, talks to Al Jazeera.

Sri Lankan government understates COVID-19 figures to recklessly reopen economy. By Naveen Dewage, 23 May 2020. The low number of [recorded] infections in Sri Lanka is because few COVID-19 tests are being conducted—an average of less than 600 per day between February 18 and May 20.

From the World Socialist Web Site, 23 May 2020:

Pakistan: Sindh hospital workers’ protests

Young Doctors Association (YDA) and Young Nurses Association (YNA) members from state-funded hospitals held separate protests this week against the government’s failure to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and to demand payment of all outstanding allowances.

According to YDA, the government has only provided 20 percent of the required PPE to hospitals. They also claimed that, despite repeated government promises, doctors at the Larkana and Sukkur hospitals have not been paid for 13 months. After continuing its protests for more than a week, the YNA has warned that it would hold a provincial-wide hospital strike if its demands are not met before the weekend. …

Australian governments fully reopen schools despite intense opposition. By Erika Zimmer, 23 May 2020. The danger of sending up to a million children back full-time in New South Wales during the COVID-19 pandemic is compounded by the public transport crisis.

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