Interfor International - Weekly Security Matters Digest - Aug 3

Interfor International – Weekly Security & Covid Digest – August 3

Interfor’s Weekly Security Covid Digest-August 3,2021

Global Security Matters

  • The Justice Department recently announced that last year’s SolarWinds cyberespionage attack reached some of the top federal prosecutors. The DOJ declined to provide additional details regarding what information was stolen or how this may impact ongoing cases. 
  • Weeks of unrest in South Africa coupled with strict new Covid lockdowns have started to derail the country’s economic recovery. NKC African Economics changed its growth forecast for the country from 4.3% to 3.8% and said the outlook is also hindered by falling investor confidence and lack of fiscal space. 
  • Following the dramatic reports concerning the use of Pegasus spyware, there have been calls for increased regulation. Experts hope spyware will be treated as a “dual-use” technology with both civilian and military utilization. 
  • On Monday, Germany sent a warship to the South China Sea for the first time in almost two decades. This comes after China has claimed large portions of the Sea to establish military outposts on artificial islands with rich natural gas reserves. 

Covid-19 Updates

Total Deaths: 4,239,293 (613,758 in United States) 

Full Vaccinations Administered: 1.15 billion, globally (United States: 165M – 50.2% of population)

  • Concern over the highly contagious Delta variant has led Germany to announce that the country will offer vaccine booster shots to those considered vulnerable beginning in September.
  • New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has rejected an indoor mask mandate for those vaccinated against Covid-19 saying he is worried a mandate would remove the incentive for vaccination. However, restaurants and gyms are now clear to require proof of vaccination.
  • San Francisco and six other Bay Area counties announced that they are reinstating a mask mandate for all indoor public spaces in response to a Delta variant surge. The mandate applies to everyone regardless of vaccination status.
  • New York Governor Cuomo said that workers in New York City’s airports and public transit system will be required to get vaccinated or undergo weekly tests.
  • New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said all health care personnel and those who work at correctional facilities will have to be vaccinated by September 7th or get tested once or twice a week.
  • The University of South Carolina and the University of Minnesota are requiring students to wear masks indoors this fall.
  • Britain is expected to offer Covid-19 booster vaccine to 32 million people starting early next month.
  • Wuhan, China is planning to test all its 11 million residents for the coronavirus, after announcing the discovery of its first local transmission there since last spring.
  • Hundreds of health care workers in the Australian state of Queensland are in isolation as the country battles a growing Delta outbreak. Additionally, millions of Queensland residents in 11 local government areas remain in lockdown, with nearly 8,000 in quarantine in relation to the outbreak.
  • Morocco is introducing new Covid-19 restrictions, including a curfew from 9pm – 5am as infection rates rise.
  • Iran has reported more than 37,000 cases of coronavirus in 24 hours for the first time, as the country also recorded its highest daily number of deaths from Covid in the last three months.