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Geopolitics

Role Model No More: Why COVID Is Spreading In Asia

Asia was considered a role model in the fight against the pandemic. But now COVID-19 numbers are rising, forcing lockdowns just as the U.S. and Europe regain their freedom thanks in large part to high vaccination rates.

A testing site in Taipei's Wanhua District
A testing site in Taipei's Wanhua District
Christina zur Nedden

When Panji Respati comes home from work, he has seen at least one person die that day. The young doctor works at a clinic in Bandung, Java, Indonesia. At the moment, he says, there are approximately 150 people in the emergency room. His clinic is overcrowded and his colleagues are overwhelmed. "It's mainly older people and those with pre-existing conditions who are dying, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated once, twice, or not at all," Respati tells Die Welt by telephone.

Like most Indonesians who have received a vaccine despite the limited supply, they have been immunized with the Chinese vaccine Chinese vaccine Sinovac. The physician himself has been double-vaccinated and still contracted the Delta variant. "That's how it is for some here," he says.

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Two Ukrainian soldiers at a military base on the outskirts of the separatist region of Donetsk

Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Halito!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where the first war crimes trial against a Russian soldier since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine gets underway in Kyiv, Kim Jong-un slams North Korean officials’ response to the coronavirus outbreak and Mexico’s National Registry of Missing People reaches a grim milestone. Meanwhile, Ukrainian news outlet Livy Bereg looks at the rise of ethnic separatism across Russia’s federal regions.

[*Choctaw, Native American]

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

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