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The Deciport Daily Quick-Look: 03 July 2020

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Photo:RNZ / Liu Chen

Influential New Zealanders Urge Border Reopening

Former New Zealand (NZ) Prime Minister Helen Clark, former chief science advisor Sir Peter Gluckman and ex-Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe have stated in a joint conversation paper that NZ would suffer huge damage to its economy if its borders continued to remain closed.

The trio made several observations in their paper, including that more aggressive and efficient processes for testing and tracing were required to replace the current 'ineffective' processes to better deal with opening the borders and accepting larger numbers of travelers.

(See Point 6 Below)

The Daily Quick-Look for 03 July 2020

The Deciport Daily Quick-Look is your at-a-glance look at several key events and situations around the world over the last 24 hours. Each headline contains the link to its source report.

BLUF = Bottom Line Up Front.

FYSA = For Your Situational Awareness.

1. SOUTH AFRICA - Security/Political: South Africa to keep 20,000 soldiers on COVID-19 duty until September

FYSA: South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has informed parliament of his decision to extend the deployment of 20,000 soldiers, a drop from 76,000, until Sept. 30 to help enforce COVID-19 restrictions as the country reported its biggest single-day jump in coronavirus cases. Ramaphosa first deployed 2,820 members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) a few days before enforcing a nationwide lockdown in late March. The number was increased to 76,000 in April as the health threat grew. (Reuters. See link in heading)

2. MYANMAR- Security (Environmental): Death toll climbs past 160 after landslide at 'treacherous' jade mine in Myanmar

FYSA: The battered bodies of more than 160 jade miners were pulled from a sea of mud after a landslide in northern Myanmar on Thursday, after one of the worst-ever accidents to hit the treacherous industry. Scores die each year while working in the country's lucrative but poorly regulated jade trade, which uses low-paid migrant workers to scrape out a gem highly coveted in China. The disaster struck after heavy rainfall pounded the open-cast mines, close to the Chinese border in Kachin state, where billions of dollars of jade is believed to be scoured each year from bare hillsides.  (SBS. See link in heading)

3. HONG KONG - Political: The world should stand up to China over Hong Kong, activist Nathan Law says

FYSA: Hong Kong’s fate shows China’s true authoritarianism so the rest of the world should stand up to President Xi Jinping and start to put human rights above financial gain, pro-democracy activist Nathan Law told Reuters. China unveiled a national security law this week which Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters and the West say breaches the “one country, two systems” principle enshrined in the 1984 Sino-British treaty that guaranteed the autonomy of Hong Kong. (Reuters. See link in heading)

4. NORTH KOREA - Security (Health): Kim Jong Un says North Korea prevented coronavirus from making inroads: KCNA

FYSA: SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at an enlarged meeting of the politburo of the country’s ruling Workers Party where he presided, said the North had thoroughly prevented the novel coronavirus from making inroads, state news agency KCNA said on Friday. He warned of “a slight self-complacence or relaxation” on the anti-epidemic front and urged to maintain “maximum alert,” KCNA said in a statement. (Reuters. See link in heading)

5. AUSTRALIA - Security (Health): Security guards still not wearing protection gear at quarantine hotels

FYSA: Security guards employed at quarantine hotels are still misusing or not using personal protection equipment, as the government investigates failures in its own operation linked to Victoria's second COVID-19 spike. Healthcare workers and guests across various hotels say they have seen guards wearing masks incorrectly or not at all in recent days. Security guards at the Stamford Plaza in Melbourne's CBD were seen on Monday congregating and not wearing masks, a security source at the hotel said. Guards were rushed into a one-hour infection-control training session, delivered by nurses, at one Melbourne hotel on Wednesday to try to get them up to speed. (The Age. See link in heading)

6. NEW ZEALAND - Political/Economic: NZ must consider opening borders - Gluckman, Clark, Fyfe

FYSA: Three influential New Zealand figures are urging the government to consider reopening the borders, and abandon a strategy of totally eliminating the Covid-19 virus. The former chief science advisor Sir Peter Gluckman, former prime minister Helen Clark and ex-Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe say an extended delay in opening the borders will cause huge damage to the country's economy and social wellbeing, and it's now time change the goals. The current quarantine and testing processes are "ineffective" and could "come to haunt" the country if they are not replaced, they warn. And they should be replaced with more efficient and aggressive processes, which can cope with higher volumes of people coming in. The trio joined forces to co-author a conversation paper released today, Re-engaging New Zealand with the World, with expert input from epidemiologist Sir David Skegg and digital contact tracing expert Dr Andrew Chen. (RNZ. See link in heading)

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