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Goji Berries - Corona(ry) Inducing (Numb)ers

Goji Berries
Covid-19 has made it clear that all governments—right, left, center, authoritarian—are grossly inept at dealing with trillions-of-dollars-and-millions-of-deaths kinds of problems. Except for a few exceptions—NZ, Singapore, Taiwan, etc.—the record has been dismal. Take Biden, for instance. The administration never approved the AZ vaccine and squandered the opportunity of using the tens of millions of AZ vaccines it had. And if that wasn’t enough, it took until late April for the government to release the tranche to other countries.

UAE is an uncelebrated success in vaccination—Israel gets all the credit. The UAE has injected 109 doses per 100 people (and that includes the 8M expats). However, the number of new infections has remained steady over the last month or so, at about 1,700 new cases per day. I couldn’t come up with a good answer so I punted the numbers to Tyler Cowen. He proposed Sinovac as a potential explanation. I buy it. (See this but also this.) If you can think of other explanations, let me know.
The Everest of Misery
The disaster in India is old news. Given how quickly the covid cases exploded—using the 7-day moving average of official estimates, they quadrupled in March and sextupled in April—get ready for some more bad news elsewhere. The next hotspot seems to Nepal. 
May Day.
May Day.
Another May Day.
Another May Day.
Limited Testing
India’s positivity rate has hovered around 21% over the last few days. This is off 1.7M tests per day, which is the maximum India has done and just slightly less than what the U.S., with a fourth of the population, did at its peak. What is frightening, however, is that the most number of daily tests Pakistan and Bangladesh have done is 63k and 31k, respectively. 
Gulf are an underrated source of development. When you look at any ‘development’ indicator—from child mortality to literacy—India is generally a sea of misery with one big exception—Kerala. Kerala has a population of nearly 30M. And nearly 3.5M Keralites work in the gulf. As a result:
“Remittances are a key source of income for Kerala’s economy. In 2003 for instance, remittances were 1.74 times the revenue receipts of the state, 7 times the transfers to the state from the Central Government, 1.8 times the annual expenditure of the Kerala Government, and 15 to 18 times the size of foreign exchange earned from the export of cashew and marine products.”
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Gaurav @soodoku

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