Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 348

Why Asian countries are abandoning zero-covid strategies

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 15 ottobre 2021

Asian countries are at last abandoning zero-covid strategies and, despite the risks, they are right to do so. The success of the zero-covid approach, involving closed borders, quarantine hotels and severe lockdowns, has generally been spectacular—Hong Kong, for example, has had no locally transmitted infections since mid-August. Yet those with a good first act in the pandemic are struggling in the second. Covid-19 is one reason why prices are rising at the fastest pace in decades across much of the world. In America prices leapt by 4.3% in the year to August, according to the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure—a 30-year high. In the euro zone annual inflation hit 3.4% in September, the highest rate in over a decade. In our Finance and economics section, we look at concerns that the world economy might be entering a period of “stagflation”—weak growth and high inflation—reminiscent of the 1970s. Our data journalists, meanwhile, have been looking at historical pandemics to ask if such events normally lead to rising inflation. Their analysis, using data that go back to the 14th century, shows that pandemics typically lead to lower, not higher, inflation.In our International section, we consider how the pandemic is set to spur the worldwide growth of private tutoring. As a new school year gets under way in many countries, the harm caused by the months of closures is becoming ever clearer. In America primary-age pupils are on average five months behind where they would usually be in maths, and four months in reading, according to McKinsey, a consultancy. The damage is almost certainly worse in places such as India and Mexico, where the disruption to schooling has been greater. A catastrophe like covid-19 cries out for interpretation. It is too early to discern all the ways in which this pandemic has changed the course of history, but has it revealed anything about the structure of international politics today? In our Books and arts section, we review two new books that attempt an ambitiously early answer to this question.Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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