The Debate

Planet in quarantine? The race to counter coronavirus

THE DEBATE
THE DEBATE © FRANCE 24
By: François PICARD Follow | Alessandro XENOS | Juliette LAURAIN
45 min

How safe is safe when it comes to coronavirus and when is safe too safe? Italy has closed all schools and universities for two weeks, Saudi Arabia and Iran have suspended pilgrimages to holy sites, Israel has either banned travellers from affected areas or ordered them to self-quarantine while French authorities regulate the commerce of masks and sanitizing gel. And yet - as deaths mount - we are still asking how dangerous COVID-19 really is. What have we learned since the initial outbreak back in December?

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And how much is an unforeseen virus testing the institutions we rely on: public health care, the supply chains of global commerce? Last week's slump in stocks and oil prices points to a real scaling back of global activity. For how long? And where do policymakers devote their energy?

While France takes part in the race to find a cure and a vaccine for COVID-19, public researchers are on strike this Thursday against funding cuts. This as hospital workers worry about the rollback of the welfare state. If super viruses do indeed become the new normal, then what is the long view for policymakers?

Produced by Alessandro Xenos, Juliette Laurain and Ariana Mozafari.

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