Interfor’s Weekly Security & Covid Digest – May 31, 2022
Global Security Matters
- In late March, El Salvador’s Congress approved a “state of exception” to crack down on gang-related violence. The move sparked widespread arrests across the country, with 30,506 taking place over two months. International human rights groups raised concerns over reports of excessive force.
- Ukrainian President Zelensky visited Kharkiv, a major city on the front line, in his first official trip outside Kyiv since the start of the Russian invasion in late February.
- Secretary of State Antony Blinken called China the “most serious long-term challenge to the international order.” Blinken also highlighted the administration’s efforts to focus policy on the Indo-Pacific region.
- US, Japan, and South Korea issued an official condemnation over recent North Korean missile tests. The announcement followed a US move to impose stricter sanctions on individuals associated with North Korea’s missile program.
- The World Health Organization recently announced that monkey pox poses a “moderate risk” to overall public health at the global level. The move comes after cases of the disease were reported outside areas where it is usually found.
Total Deaths: 6,286,855 (1,003,189 in United States)
At least one vaccine dose administered: 67.6 % globally (United States: 78.4% of population)
- As the US marks the unofficial start of summer, the seven-day average for Covid-19 cases in the U.S. is more than six times greater than a year ago. At the same time, Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. are hovering near the lowest levels since the pandemic hit.
- The U.N. health agency noted a global drop in Covid-19 cases, as positive cases rose in only two regions: the Americas and the western Pacific.
- Pfizer announced that preliminary findings from a trial of children younger than five showed that three doses of the coronavirus vaccine produced a strong enough immune response to meet the criteria for regulatory authorization.
- The CDC is warning of a potential “Covid-19 rebound” after a five-day course of the Paxlovid treatment. CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky: “We haven’t yet seen anybody who has returned with symptoms needing to go to the hospital. So, generally, a milder course.”
- Beijing loosened mobility curbs in several districts after authorities said its outbreak is under control. Meanwhile, Shanghai will take some major steps toward reopening China’s largest city after a two-month Covid-19 lockdown.
- North Korea reported an increase in suspected new cases of Covid-19, a day after its government claimed to have the pandemic under control.