Is it true that by applying pressure at different points and parts of the body through needle acupuncture or acupressure massage, one’s health can improve? What is the logic behind this?
At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, commentators posited that democracies saw lower mortality rates during epidemics than non-democracies. Months later, escalating death rates in countries such as the US have called such a thesis into question. Political scientist Zheng Yongnian says it is not so much whether you are a democratic country or not, but what kind of system and values you espouse. The US and Germany, for instance, both democracies, have fared very differently. He takes a closer look at the issues.
Anticipating a long-drawn-out fight against Covid-19, Prof Goh Chye Tee says it is now more important than ever, to strengthen one’s immune system. In the language of traditional Chinese medicine, that means getting “vital qi” or the body’s means to fight diseases, to surpass “evil qi” or pathogenic elements.
For a long time, North Korea has maintained that it has no confirmed cases of the coronavirus, despite some reports suggesting otherwise. Whatever the truth of the matter, a closer look at how North Korea’s medical system is structured and run will give us an idea of its capacity to withstand crises such as epidemic outbreaks. Chinese academic Shang Yongmei delves into the details.
Professor Goh Chye Tee from Nanyang Technological University explains the treatment protocols recommended by the Chinese authorities in using traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) remedies in the treatment of Covid-19. He posits that one path to health can be a person-centric approach, where the focus lies on restoring balance in the body, rather than the virus that is making the attack.
Dr Li Yan, one of 40,000 medical workers across the country who served in Wuhan, was one of the speakers at a webinar organised by the Beijing People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, Beijing NGO Network for International Exchanges and the Beijing Medical Women's Association on 13 May. Moved by her testimony, former VRT (Flemish Radio and Television broadcaster) journalist Ng Sauw Tjhoi requested to do an interview with her. Prior to leaving her family behind for the first time to take part in such a volunteer mission, Dr Li has been an intensive care physician in the Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Department of the Xuanwu Hospital affiliated to the Capital Medical University in Beijing for 18 years. The below is the transcript of their video interview, conducted via Zoom.
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.
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.
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.