Although the MENA region has recorded fewer coronavirus cases than other parts of the world, the pandemic adds further strain on a region racked by instability, conflicts and structural weaknesses.
North Africa has deeply changed over the last decade. After the overall failure of the 2011 Arab uprisings, growing patterns of international meddling have intersected with regional and domestic dynamics.
The coronavirus continues to represent a significant danger to an already fragile Gaza Strip. So far, infection rates remain low – thanks in large part to concerted efforts by local authorities and international organisations. But the biggest challenge may still be to come as the virus threatens to exasperate a manmade socio-economic and humanitarian crisis. For Hamas, this will require it to balance its competing roles as both resistance movement and de facto government of the Strip.
Both de jure and de facto, authorities in Libya will have to cope with the pandemic threat posed by COVID-19. The narrative of securitization that has characterized the public health response worldwide – particularly in the MENA region – is already being used by Libya’s competing dysfunctional governments.
In an ongoing epidemic, the case fatality rate is not a reliable estimate of a disease’s severity. This is particularly so when a large share of asymptomatic or pauci-symptomatic patients escape testing, or when overwhelmed healthcare systems are forced to limit testing further to severe cases only. By leveraging data on COVID-19, we propose a novel way to estimate a disease’s infected fatality rate, the true lethality of the disease, in the presence of sparse and partial information.
A “war”- it is the new mantra in describing our age of pandemic. How will it change us? Who will be the losers and the winners of this "war"? Needless to say, it is way too soon to answer these questions; peace is still out of sight, as it is any Versailles Treaty with crystal-clear answers. But let’s try to sketch out some scenarios, with different degrees of probability.
The coronavirus outbreak added more uncertainty to the future of the Balkans. The emergency has offered governments with autocratic tendencies a pretext to further downplay already weak democratic institutions. While scheduled elections in both Serbia and North Macedonia had to be postponed, the outbreak eventually sparked a political crisis in Kosovo.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has reached the Balkans, too.
Besides the COVID-19 pandemic that the country is dealing with, Kosovo is currently experiencing unprecedented political turmoil. While the state institutions and public health bodies have been actively faced with the COVID-19 situation since mid-March when the first protective measures were introduced in Kosovo, on the other hand the former junior government’s coalition partner - Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), ranked in second place in Kosovo’s snap elections held on October 6, 2019 - started to angrily act in opposition to the government.