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The Deciport Daily Quick-Look: 27 May 2020

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FILE PHOTO: A nurse shows a pill of hydroxychloroquine, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at Nossa Senhora da Conceicao hospital in Porto Alegre, Brazil, April 23, 2020. REUTERS/Diego Vara

WHO Urges Indonesia To Stop Using Hydroxychloroquine.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged Indonesia to stop using hydroxychloroquine, due to concerns over the safety of the drug.

Indonesia is currently treating all cases mild to severe with the drug, and significantly increased its production in March.

US President Donald Trump had recently claimed to be using hydroxychloroquine himself, and had previously called the drug a 'game changer'.

(See Point 6 Below)

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The Daily Quick-Look for 27 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. AMERICAS – Security (Health): WHO Declares Americas New Epicenter For Coronavirus Pandemic

BLUF: The World Health Organization (WHO) considers the Americas the new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, and now is not the time for countries to ease restrictions, officials said in a Tuesday briefing. (Reuters. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: Brazil had recently become the second most affected country, behind the US. Brazil’s government has had significant difficulty in providing a unified front in its fight against COVID-19, with President Jair Bolsonaro losing two heath ministers in two weeks, along with joining in on anti-lockdown protests. The US recently extended a travel ban on all arrivals from Brazil.

2. UNITED KINGDOM – Security (Health): Remdesvir To Be Available For Selected NHS COVID-19 Patients

BLUF: Matt Hancock (UK Health Secretary) on Tuesday welcomed the authorisation of the experimental anti-viral drug remdesivir, which has been shown to reduce recovery time for patients in hospital with COVID-19 from 15 days to 11 days. (The Guardian. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: The UK has the fourth highest death rate with more than 37,048 deaths attributed to COVID-19. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also had the illness, spending three days in intensive care.

3. HUNGARY – Security: Hungary, Slovakia and Czech Republic To Mutually Open Borders

BLUF: Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic will open their borders to each others’ citizens from midnight on Tuesday, with some conditions, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in a statement. (Reuters. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: European ‘travel bubbles’ are being worked through between multiple countries at this time, with Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania forming the first such border agreement in Europe recently.

4. SOUTH AFRICA – Security (Health): South Africa To Move To Level Three On 01 June

BLUF: South Africa will downgrade its coronavirus lockdown measures to level three on June 1, marking what President Cyril Ramaphosa called a “significant shift” in its approach to the pandemic. The move commences the full reopening of all manufacturing, mining, construction, financial services, professional and business services, information technology, communications, government services, and media services. (CNBC. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: Ramaphosa’s hardline lockdown stance has received significant criticism by political opposition including the Democratic Alliance; primarily over the severity of the lockdown measures in what was seen by opposition as government overreach.

5. RUSSIA – Security: Russia’s First Stealth Bomber ‘Starts Construction’ To Rival US B-2 Fleet

BLUF: Russia has reportedly started construction of a prototype of its first stealth bomber - which should be ready next year. The plane will be able to carry "cruise missiles, precision bombs and hypersonic weapons", reported state-controlled news agency TASS. It will use the "flying wing" design and have technology to reduce its visibility on radar - as well as the latest communications and "jamming equipment". (Sky News. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: The US currently operates the only flying wing stealth bomber, the Northrop Grumman B-2 spirit, which has been in service since 1997. China also claims to be working on its own stealth bomber, the Xian H-20.

6. INDONESIA – Security (Health): Indonesia, Major Advocate Of Hydroxychloroquine, Told By WHO To Stop Using It

BLUF: The World Health Organization has urged Indonesia, one of the world’s biggest advocates of two malaria drugs (chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine) to treat the coronavirus, to suspend such treatment over safety concerns, a source familiar with the advice told Reuters on Tuesday. Last week, the Lancet medical journal published the most comprehensive study to date on the drugs, which found that coronavirus patients prescribed them were more likely to experience heart rhythm disturbances and more likely to die. (Reuters. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: Hydroxychloroquine has featured prominently during the pandemic through US President Donald Trump, touting the drug as a ‘game changer’, and had recently admitted to taking the drug.

7. HONG KONG – Security: Hong Kong Police Issue Warning Amid Calls For New Demonstrations

BLUF: Hong Kong police issued a warning late on Tuesday that they would not tolerate disruptions to public order, after activists circulated calls online for fresh demonstrations on Wednesday. A new national security law proposed last week by Beijing has revived mass protests by demonstrators who say China aims to curb the freedoms enjoyed in Hong Kong, a global financial centre with broad autonomy. (Reuters. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: The scale of protests are likely to eclipse those seen during 2019-2020, particularly since the prospective new laws outstrip the severity of those that were protested last year (originally protesting the anti-extradition law, which evolved into anti-government protests). While Hong Kong police have issued the warning, they had also recently claimed that terrorism in the city was a likelihood. Significant violent clashes between protesters and police is highly likely.

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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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