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The Deciport Daily Quick-Look: 21 May 2020

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Is It Worth Wearing A Non-Medical Mask In Public?

The Canadian Government seems to think so, recently officially recommending the wearing of non-medical masks in public as an additional measure to fight COVID-19.

During the outbreak of COVID-19, KN-95 masks were widely touted as the only masks worth wearing, and anything that didn't have the same ability to shield a wearer from droplets containing COVID-19 from entering the nose and mouth was considered to be nearly useless when it came to personal protection.

So what's changed?

(See Point 1 Below)

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The Daily Quick-Look for 21 May 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 and why they matter. Each headline contains the link to its source report.

*BLUF = Bottom Line Up Front.

1. CANADA – Security (Health): Non-Medical Masks Now Recommended For Canadians

BLUF: As many provinces across Canada begin to loosen public health restrictions and gradually open their economies, federal public health officials are now officially recommending that people wear non-medical masks to help protect others from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in situations where physical distancing isn’t possible. After initially advising against wearing non-medical masks, federal health officials said in April that people who don’t have symptoms of COVID-19 — the disease caused by the virus — could wear non-medical masks when in public as “an additional measure” to avoid spreading droplets — but officials didn’t present it as an official recommendation. (Global News. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: The global pandemic saw countries buying up personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers, particularly KN-95 medical masks, as well as people bulk buying for personal use, with non-medical masks initially seen as ineffective against airborne droplets containing COVID-19.

2. COLOMBIA – Security (Health): Colombia Follows Argentina In Banning All International Flights Through To 31 August

BLUF: Colombia on Wednesday followed Argentina’s footsteps and imposed one of the toughest travel bans in the world to fight coronavirus, saying no international passenger flights will be allowed until August 31. (Reuters. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: South American countries, particularly Brazil, are struggling to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. US President Trump was recently reported to be considering a travel ban on arrivals from Brazil. The restrictions by Colombia and Argentina present yet another blow to airlines, tourism and local business for South American countries, a situation being echoed around the world.

3. UNITED KINGDOM – Economic: Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace Division To Cut 9000 Jobs Amidst Airline Industry Decimation

BLUF: Rolls-Royce has said it will cut 9,000 jobs and warned it will take "several years" for the airline industry to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. The Derby-based firm, which makes plane engines, said the reduction of nearly a fifth of its workforce would mainly affect its civil aerospace division. "This is not a crisis of our making. But it is the crisis that we face and must deal with," boss Warren East said. The bulk of the job cuts are expected to be in the UK at its site in Derby. (BBC. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has crippled the aviation and tourism industries globally. With recent news of airlines such as Air France and KLM grounding the bulk of their Airbus A380 fleets permanently, the aviation industry will almost certainly continue to take hits, meaning that global air travel will be affected in almost every sector; with those effects inevitably making their way to the consumer.

4. NIGERIA – Security (Health): Doctors In Lagos To Strike Over Harassment By Security Forces

BLUF: Nigeria's largest medical union, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), on Wednesday ordered its members in the commercial capital Lagos to launch an indefinite strike over alleged police harassment. (Times Live. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: Doctors willing to stage a strike indicates that the harassment is likely of a significant nature, and also indicates that local security forces are likely heavy handed in the enforcement of lockdown measures.

5. TURKEY – Security (Health): Turkey Confident Of Low Risk For A Second Outbreak, Opens Some Medical Tourism

BLUF: Turkey does not risk a second wave of infections from the new coronavirus at the moment and it is preparing to start controlled “medical tourism” with 31 countries as of Wednesday, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said. “If we continue to abide by the rules of social distancing, wearing a mask and a limited social life, then we don’t see a risk of second wave,” Koca told a press conference on Wednesday. Koca said Turkey was starting medical tourism season with 31 countries where the risk of pandemic is lower, despite a lack of international flights. “If necessary, and if there is demand, we will organise charter flights for medical tourism,” Koca said, adding that the tourists would be tested for the virus upon arrival. (Reuters. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: A ‘second wave’ outbreak of COVID-19 is a primary concern for countries, particularly western nations, who are coming out of restrictive lockdowns. The threat of a second wave of infections became prevalent when nations such as South Korea and Japan had to re-implement lockdown restrictions after easing their lockdowns.

6. INDIA/BANGLADESH – Security: Cyclone Kills 14 In India, Trail Of Destruction In Bangladesh

BLUF: A powerful cyclone pounded eastern India and Bangladesh on Wednesday, killing at least 14 people and destroying thousands of homes, officials said, leaving authorities struggling to mount relief efforts amid a surging coronavirus outbreak. (Reuters. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: While the cyclone has consumes response resources in both countries, Bangladesh in particular contains the world’s largest refugee camp, Cox’s Bazar Camp, home to 850,000 Rohingya refugees. Cox’s Bazar Camp had recently had its first confirmed case of COVID-19, with the illness expected to ravage the camp's population and cause a significant health crisis for Bangladesh.

7. TAIWAN – Political: Taiwan Inauguration: President Tsai Ing-Wen Pledges To Expand International Presence; Rejects One Country, Two Systems

BLUF: Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has pledged to make the country a key player in the post-coronavirus pandemic world order, emphasising in her inaugural speech on Wednesday a desire to promote local industries abroad despite global economic hardship. In a landslide victory, Tsai – of the Democratic Progressive Party – was re-elected president in January, securing more than eight million or 57 per cent of the popular vote. The incumbent leader also issued a strong rebuttal against Beijing’s calls to bring Taiwan under its leadership through a Hong Kong-style “One Country, Two Systems” agreement. (HKFP. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: Taiwan has been active on the world stage during the COVID-19 pandemic, with US-backed initiatives including the TAIPEI Act (https://bit.ly/36g9lvr) increasing US/Taiwan relations and encouraging other nations to strengthen relations with Taiwan; and the support of countries such as the US for Taiwan to regain its observer status with UN bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO had withdrawn Taiwan’s observer status after a veto by China.

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The reporting period for this Daily Quick-Look is the previous 24 hours (unless stated otherwise). This Daily Quick-Look is comprised of reports from agencies around the world, and are referenced where possible. Deciport LLC is in no way associated with any agency listed. This Daily Quick-Look is for information purposes only. This Daily Quick-Look is not intended for planning purposes. The comments that comprise the 'Why It Matters' do not represent the opinions, viewpoints or assessment of the agency from which the linked source report originated, and is intended to add context for the reader as part of a summary.

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