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#COVID-19 - We are now one generation

EU Reporter Correspondent

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For the past few years we have heard much about the disparities and divides between generations—what they want, how they get their information, and how and why they travel. Gen Z takes in information quickly and visually, and are quick to become loyal to destinations, brands or ideas - writes Jamaica's Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett.

Millennials’ desire for experiences over things has shaped and fueled the sharing economy. Hard-working Gen Xers focus on family and need rest and relaxation. And despite the disparaging “Okay Boomer” phenomenon, Baby Boomers have doubled down on sharing the legacy of travel with family members and they are more willing to invest in tracing heritage, getting to those “bucket” destinations, and immersing themselves in travel experiences.

Jamaica's Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett

Jamaica's Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett

But, as we get to the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in the coming weeks and months, we will all have had a shared global experience that is intergenerational. We are now all part of Generation C - the post-COVID generation. GEN-C will be defined by a societal shift in mindset that will change the way that we look at—and do—many things. And in what becomes our “New Normal” economy GEN-C will emerge from our homes. Post-social distancing, we will go back to office and workplaces, and eventually back to a world that will include seeing friends and family, perhaps smaller gatherings; reimagined cultural and sporting events; and eventually to GEN-C travel.

And that return to travel is critical for the global economy. Across the world, travel and tourism account for 11% of the world’s GDP and creates more than 320 million jobs for workers serving 1.4 billion travelers annually. And these numbers don’t tell the whole story. They are just part of a connected global economy of which travel and tourism are the lifeblood—sectors from technology, hospitality construction, finance, to agriculture are all interdependent with travel and tourism.

There are still many unanswered questions. What is that new normal? When will we move from crisis to recovery? What form does a post-COVID exit strategy take? What do we need to do before GEN-C will travel again? What technologies, data and protocols will be essential to us as GEN-Cs make us feel safe again?

But even as we are still in a state of social distancing, early data shows that the desire to travel is still there. As humans we crave new experiences and the excitement of travel. Travel adds so much to the rhythm and richness of our lives. So, as GEN-C we need a path forward.

There is no question that tourism is among the sectors hit hardest by this crisis, but it is also at the heart of the recovery. The most resilient economies will be driving the recovery, and travel and tourism will be a multiplier—and an employment engine across all sectors. The global imperative is that we work together across sectors, across regions, to develop a framework that can help solve the global challenge of how to restart the travel and tourism economy.

Jamaica has a unique perspective on resilience—the ability to recover quickly from difficult conditions. As an island nation, we have always had to think about resilience. An island is a paradox in that in many ways it is more vulnerable than other countries—witness Haiti’s devastating earthquake, Puerto Rico’s destruction by Hurricane Maria — but in many ways being an island provides strength and the ability to act with agility.

Last year, working with the University of the West Indies we formed the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Center and we quickly developed sister-centers around the world. This May the center will hold a virtual convening with a panel with experts from around the world who will be sharing ideas and solutions around issues critical to restarting the GEN-C travel and tourism economy. Together we will work to find technology solutions, infrastructure enhancements, training, policy frameworks that are essential to tackling the health and safety, transport, destination and overall approach to tourism resilience.

The new shared global challenge requires shared solutions, and we are committed to finding the way forward. Our entire generation depends on it.

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Therapeutics Strategy - First rolling review of a new COVID-19 medicine

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The European Medicines Agency has today (7 May) started the rolling review of sotrovimab (VIR-7831), a monoclonal antibody developed for the treatment of COVID-19. The review follows hot on the heels of the EU COVID-19 Therapeutics Strategy presented yesterday and is a first step towards the Strategy's target of starting seven rolling reviews of COVID-19 therapeutics in 2021. The rolling review launched by EMA will assess sotrovimab's effectiveness in preventing hospitalization and death; safety and quality. A rolling review is quicker than a regular evaluation as data is reviewed as it comes in. Should the European Medicines Agency recommend authorising the treatment at the end of its review, the European Commission will move swiftly to authorize it. 

The EU Therapeutics Strategy supports the development and availability of much needed COVID-19 therapeutics and covers the lifecycle of medicines: from research, development and manufacturing to procurement and deployment. It is part of the strong European Health Union, in which all EU countries prepare and respond together to health crises and ensure the availability of affordable and innovative medical supplies – including the therapeutics needed to treat COVID-19. More details on the EU Therapeutics Strategy are available in a press release and factsheet.

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Kazakhstan to deliver humanitarian assistance to India

Astana Times

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Kazakhstan will provide humanitarian assistance to India due to the sharp deterioration of the epidemiological situation in this country, reported the Akorda Press, writes Zhanna Shayakhmetova.

President Tokayev instructed the government to provide humanitarian aid to India during the meeting with Prime Minister Askar Mamin on 7 May.

This was announced at the meeting of Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Prime Minister Askar Mamin on May 7.

President Tokayev instructed the government to dispatch 6 million medical masks, 400,000 respirators, 50,000 anti-plague suits, and 105 portable artificial lung ventilation devices made in Kazakhstan.

India observed a record daily rise in coronavirus cases on Friday, bringing total new cases for the week to 1.57 million, according to Reuters.

India is now the second most corona-affected country with the overall cases standing at 21.49 million. 

On May 4, Tokayev delivered a message to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to express “deep solidarity with the Indian nation over the devastating COVID-19 surge in their country.”

The President noted that Kazakhstan is ready “to unite efforts with our Indian friends to contain the spread of the pandemic and provide every possible assistance in the spirit of enduring friendship and mutual support between our states.”

Earlier, it was reported that Kazakhstan will provide humanitarian aid that consists of 10,000 tons of flour to Kyrgyzstan. 

“Guided by the principles of friendship, alliance and strategic partnership with Kyrgyzstan, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev decided to provide humanitarian assistance to the fraternal Kyrgyz people on behalf of the Kazakh people,”  President’s spokesperson Berik Uali wrote  on his Facebook on May 6. 

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India: EU mobilizes an initial €2.2 million in emergency funding for the vulnerable during COVID-19

EU Reporter Correspondent

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The Commission has announced that it will allocate an initial €2.2 million in emergency funding to respond to the drastic surge in COVID-19 cases in India. The funding will support the World Health Organization (WHO) for a 6-month case management of COVID-19 patients, as well as strengthening laboratory capacity for COVID-19 testing. Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarčič said: “We are providing additional EU support towards the fight against COVID-19 in India. This comes on top of the generous and swift assistance from EU member states that stepped up as part of Team Europe to offer critical supplies of oxygen, ventilators and medicines over the last few days. We stand ready to work with the WHO and other partners on the ground to jointly fight this battle at this difficult time – we are stronger together.”

Member states have already mobilized supplies of urgently needed oxygen, ventilators and medicines from Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Sweden to India over the last week via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

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