Healthcare

The world is waiting for a coronavirus vaccine. (Dado Ruvic/REUTERS/illustration photo)

Covid-19 vaccine: Who will win the race?

The race for a vaccine for Covid-19 has begun, with the US and China in the lead with clinical trials and testing. Oxford University visiting researcher Hayson Wang points out that countries will have to work together in order to develop an effective vaccine, rather than compete against one another.
Workers put up a mural on a Northwell Healthcare building featuring healthcare workers who are on the frontlines during the Covid-19 pandemic on 5 May 2020 in New Hyde Park, New York. (Al Bello/Getty Images/AFP)

America's tussle with WHO: Are UN specialised agencies 'toothless and useless'?

Zhang Yun reminds those bent on reforming UN specialised agencies such as the WHO of the genesis of such institutions. They were never meant to be supranational bodies overriding the authorities of sovereign states, but vehicles, hence “agencies”, that facilitate international cooperation. As politics is part and parcel of the running of any organisation, it can never be fully taken out of the equation. Rather, the question is how politics can be a positive means of achieving fruitful outcomes.
A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a "Vaccine COVID-19" sticker and a medical syringe in this illustration taken 10 April 2020. (Dado Ruvic/REUTERS)

Chinese, American and European vaccines — will we have the luxury of choice?

As the world races to find a vaccine for the coronavirus, politics has made it a strategic contest. But while everybody wants to be the first to develop a vaccine that works and put it out on the market, experts say that vaccines cannot be forced, and it is possible that one may not be found at all. Even if found, the vaccine has to be made available to everyone to ensure that the pandemic ends across the globe. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu speaks to scientists and experts to find out more.​
A woman in Prague walks past a poster of the late Li Wenliang, a Chinese ophthalmologist who tried to raise the alarm about COVID-19 and later died from it, March 27, 2020. (David W Cerny/REUTERS)

Can a messed up world fight the pandemic together?

Did China make up the numbers? Did it waste precious time before getting information out to the world? Belgian writers Ng and Dirk answer these questions and opine that instead of knuckling down and fighting the pandemic together, everyone, from countries to regional blocs to international organisations, seems to have been shell-shocked into “safe-distancing” from each other. This means that the virus is not only attacking our health, economies and mental resilience, but the very international institutions that have been built up since the end of WWII. If a lot of that debilitation has to do with the China threat writ large, it is too high a price to pay. To reverse this dire trend, the world must look beyond finger-pointing and think long and hard about how it will go on once this storm passes.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference on the coronavirus in Geneva, Switzerland, on 24 February 2020. (Denis Balibouse/File Photo/Reuters)

Was WHO dancing to China’s tune in its responses to the pandemic?

The World Health Organisation is caught in the fray as the coronavirus becomes another battleground for the US and China. Just how much of a pivotal role did its decisions play in helping or hindering countries’ preparations? Or in the end, is it just being used as a handy smokescreen? Chinese academic Zhu Ying weighs the arguments.
The Chinese national flag flies at half mast at a ceremony mourning those who died of the Covid-19 coronavirus as China holds a nationwide mourning on the Qingming Festival, in Wuhan, China, on 4 April 2020. (China Daily via Reuters)

Was China's three-minute silence enough to comfort its people?

On 4 April, the Chinese people observed a three-minute silence for the thousands of lives lost to the pandemic. However, Beijing correspondent Yu Zeyuan notes that accountability checks triggered by the Li Wenliang incident have not fully subsided and may possibly create a new political hoo-ha within and outside of China.
A boy rides past a supportive sign posted on a storefront in San Francisco, California on 01 April 2020, during the Covid-19 outbreak. (Josh Edelson/AFP)

Trump's America needs to ditch the blame game

Belgian writers Ng and Nimmegeers point out that the only thing much worse than possibly holding racist views, is to be aware of likely controversy yet politicise race issues anyway to deflect blame for the tardiness of the government. They believe that the Trump administration needs to stop playing the blame game and start on a sincere path of health cooperation with China, to tackle the pandemic today and any other global challenges tomorrow.
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament are seen reflected in a cafe window during ongoing renovations to the Tower and the Houses of Parliament, in central London on 17 January 2020. (Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP)

When the narcissists of London and New York meet the coronavirus

Chip Tsao doesn’t mince his words when he points out the hypocrisy of Western metropolis urbanites who feel that nothing can touch them, not least a virus that originated from Asia.
A woman wears a face mask as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus as she looks at her mobile phone near the entrance of the Peking University People's Hospital in Beijing on 21 February 2020. (Greg Baker/AFP)

Visiting the doctor as a foreigner in China: I wish they will not become complacent

Lianhe Zaobao’s Beijing correspondent Yang Danxu recounts her recent visit seeking medical treatment in Beijing in times of Covid-19. She extrapolates from her experience of being initially turned away and sounds a reminder to officials not to let complacency or a wish to maintain a positive recovery record lead to China facing a recurrent rash of outbreaks.