Years of neoliberalism, combined with late introduction of physical distancing and lockdown measures, explain the Netherlands5th highest Covid-19 death rate in the world. The Swedish government is also failing to protect the people, explains Agnes Lou.
Polish labour unionists have condemned their country’s failures in pubic health and labour rights Bulgarian health workers are the worse paid and worse treated in the EU. Populists and the far right are exploiting the crisis for their own interests. The Slovak government hasscapegoated Roma.
Even if Britain is less affected by religious fundamentalism than some other countries,religious extremists are still a potential threat to public health, warn Chris Slogget.
Saurav Sarkar contributes a round up of labour struggles across South and South East Asia.
Bangladeshi civic groups have called for an urgent debt moratorum and write-off.
India’s mining sector has negotiated an exception from the lockdown; workers are not receiving extra protection from Covid-19. Left concern with migrant workers focuses on the male migrant, ignoring rural women homemakers, argues Chetan CHOITHANI. The return of destitute migrants, and the de facto suspension of MNREGA job schemeswill hit Bihar state hard, warns http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?auteur19052. The Radical Socialist group issued thisstatement.
Pakistan Ammar Ali Jan and Zahid Ali propose a detailed left strategy for fighting the pandemic. The Haqooq-E-Khalq movement is calling for a people-centred response. So is the peasant movement Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee.
South East Asia
Thailand cannot control the pandemic unless it provides relief and health support to unemployed migrants, argues Sutthichaya YIAMYUT. The Mekong Migration Network has highlighted migrant worker challenges across the region.
In Philippines the authorities are repressing solidarity initiatives of community and labour groups. See also this report on the same topic. Sonny Melencio wonders how long President Duterte can keep the various elite factions happy. Raymond da Silva and Herido CORAZON with Joshua SANTOS identify the weaknesses in health and social protection, militarisation of society and shameless profiteering crisis as well as the opportunities for grass roots resistance.
Malaysiawill suffer more from religous fundamentalism than the virus, warns S. Thayaparam. This can be seen in government advice for women to wear makeup and talk childishly to their husbands during the lockdown, in the interest of ’Family Harmony.’
Just as China’s economy was recovering from the domestic lockdown, demand for exports (except medical equipment) is collapsing. How will this affect the CPP leadership’s plans for market reforms in property and labour rights?
Activists and researchers from Kenya, South Africa, Burkina Faso and Nigeria and Zimbabwe speak about the impact of Covid-19 on their countries. This is an update of an earlier roundup. The demands are for more testing, free health care, and an end to police violence in lockdown enforcement.
Middle East & North Africa
Egyptian labour unions are protesting inadequate health and social protection response of government, as well as the insulting ’charity’ of the capitalist elite.
An international labour solidarity initiative is highlighting Palestinian suffering during the pandemic, in the occupied territories and in Israel.
The Algerian regime is using the pandemic as a pretext for repression of activists.
Click here for more information on how to search for Coronavirus news and analysis on ESSF.