26 October, 2021

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Why Rush To Buy Vaccines In The Global South? Covid-19 Is Mainly A First World Virus

By Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake

Dr. Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake

In recent weeks, global media and news channels like Al Jazeera, BBC, CNN and India’s NDTV have been marketing vaccines to the world with images of Prime Ministers, Vice President elects, and a Crown Prince in the Middle East taking a jab live on television– seemingly to encourage Covid-19 vaccine skeptics.

Highly advertised vaccines are being produced and rolled out at ‘warped speed’ by powerful pharmaceutical and bio-technology companies headquartered in Euro-America although their efficacy for the new British and South African variants of the virus, or how long their immunity lasts is not clear. These vaccines have been authorized for ‘emergency use ‘in Europe and North America due to the spike in Covid-19 winter flu cases in the northern hemisphere.

“Vaccine nationalism” and hype seems to be growing with intense competition among Pharmaceutical Corporations and countries that manufacture vaccines and their local partners to secure billion dollar contracts. As the UK-EU vaccine conflict shows there is great competition among big powers – US, EU, Russia, China and UK-India, both to secure vaccines for their citizens, while marketing vaccines to other poorer countries.

New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/world/coronavirus-maps.html

India is following suite in the Covid-19 vaccine nationalism race although the numbers of Covid-19 cases have declined dramatically, and there is increasing evidence that New Delhi may have achieved “herd immunity’ given massive crowds and protests on streets by mask-less farmers agitating against the Modi Government’s pro-corporate farm bills which were hastily passed during Covid-19 lockdowns.

In the midst of what some have called “vaccine diplomacy” and others “vaccine wars”, it appears that the data, facts, science, as well as, health and well-being of people in the Global South have received short shrift.

The Sri Lankan Government has just announced a plan to purchase nine million doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured in India, according to Dr. Amal de Silva, Secretary to the State Ministry of Primary Health Services, Pandemics and COVID Prevention.

However, the AstraZeneca vaccine is only reported to be only 62 percent effective, in comparison to Russia’s Sputnik V which the respected science journal Lancet reports is 92 percent effective, similar to the super expensive US-EU Pfizer-Biontech Vaccine which the World Health Organization rushed to authorize at “warped speed”. 

Moreover, the 2020 annual data for Sri Lanka clearly shows that there is no Covid-19 emergency in the country so questions arise as to why the Government is rushing to buy a vaccine that is 65 percent effective and whose long-term side effects are yet unknown?

2020 Annual Data Covid-19 and Seasonal Flu Comparison

Country-specific quantitative and qualitative data now available for many hot and humid tropical South East Asian and African countries for the year 2020, indicate that there is NO Covid-19 emergency in a vast majority of countries in the Global South, and hence little need to rush to buy vaccines. In Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Tanzania there is a very low incidence of Covid-19 mortality when compared to average annual rates of influenza related deaths[1]. 

In Cambodia and Laos there was not a single Covid-19 death in the year 2020, while Vietnam had 34 deaths and Thailand a country of 70 million there were 26 deaths due to the virus in the year 2020 according to the Johns Hopkins University official Covid-19 Data base. Nor have doctors, nurses, PHIs, frontline health workers in quarantine centers lost lives in these Southeast Asian countries, indicating low severity of the disease when compared to Euro-America where lockdowns and curfews did not limit high mortality rates. Nor have industrial, manufacturing or agriculture sector workers died in numbers due to Covid-19 in Southeast Asian countries. Nor were hospitals and intensive care units (ICU), overwhelmed in these countries, where there have been fewer patients in hospitals in 2020 than previous years.

While the Covid-19 virus has spread to all parts of the Global South, it clearly has far less traction in tropical countries than in the so-called ‘first world’ (Euro-America): In Sri Lanka, a country of 22 million there were 204 Covid-19 comorbidities deaths recorded with 35,300 Covid-19 positive tests, although in a normal year between 4,000 and 6000 people die of influenza co-morbidities The luxury 14 floor Asiri Central Hospital in the capital Colombo was closed for weeks during the first Covid-19 lockdown. In India according to WHO data published in 2018, Influenza and Pneumonia Deaths reached 616,531 or 6.99% of total deaths, while lung Disease Deaths were 819,570 or 9.30% of total deaths in 2018, but there were fewer than 150,000 Covid-19 deaths in India in 2020.  

Given significant differences in health infrastructure between tropical countries in Global South and Euro-America, the 2020 qualitative and quantitative data clearly shows that Covid-19 is mild in the Global South, since the ‘metric that matters’ to determine the severity of an illness and make effective, targeted policy, national policy is the infection fatality rate (IFC).

However, economically, socially and politically devastating curfews, lockdowns and isolation policies were introduced in these tropical countries on the ‘advice’ of the WHO, resulting in fear, isolation, stigmatization of patients living in crowded and poor neighborhoods, and increasing poverty and inequality. Many low income and poor countries fell into bigger debt traps and Governments were urged to sell off strategic assets while giving ‘tax relief’ to various international corporations, investors and airlines. 

Covid-19 Numbers Game: Low Severity of virus but a deadly policy response

Amidst a Covid-19 numbers game (even masks have numbers!), and an infodemic seemingly calculated to obscure the metrics that matter, ‘test, test and trace’ using flawed tests has been the mantra for the WHO led global policy of economically, socially and politically devastating lockdowns and isolation, implemented by government and military in many countries. However, these policies were not based on country specific, quantitative and qualitative Covid-19 data analysis and were counter-productive to the mental and physical health and well-being of the population. 

The relatively low severity of Covid-19 flu in tropical Asian and African countries compared to Euro-America where the disease is severe is arguably due to several interrelated, region and country-specific contextual factors such as year round hot and humid tropical weather (above 20 degrees Celsius), that degrades the virus and its transmission; more or less universal BCG vaccination that confers innate and trained immunity against respiratory illnesses in tropical countries;  national health infrastructure including BCG monitoring; and local diet and food habits. 

In the temperate regions of the industrialized world, larger volumes of processed food are consumed and non-communicable diseases that constitute the co-morbidities profile for Covid-19 are more widespread than in tropical countries, especially those where rice is a staple food and populations are younger. 

The WHO appears to have used questionable epidemiology models, metrics and as several scientists have showed flawed PCR tests that inflate the numbers and create fear psychosis while recommending lockdown in countries in the Global South rather than use country-specific data and the tried and tested Infection Fatality Rate (IFR). The WHO’s Covid-19 global pandemic narrative has been crafted on the Case Fatality Rate (CFR), rather than the IFR which is much less by orders of magnitude as the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration note.

Treat Covid 19 like a health issue and not a disaster wrote Jay Battacharya and Sanjiv Agarwal in July 2020. Many international scientists have exposed the fact that high numbers of false positive PCR tests account for high rates of supposedly asymptomatic cases and question the Covid-19 data presented by the WHO and the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) data base. In India highly flawed PCR tests gave up to 80 per cent false positives and a community survey was abandoned[2 ]Sri Lanka and many other impoverished countries in the South have been locked down and economically devastated based on false positive tests and a global media narrative that exaggerated the number of Covid-19 cases. This is in a nutshell is the Covid-19 scam. 

In many countries in Southeast Asia, constantly shifting announcements of Covid-19 cases without context or comparison, and lockdowns arbitrarily imposed, kept up a fear psychosis, and confused workers who worried about their and their family’s safety if they returned to work. Constant uncertainty and unavailability of public transport has devastated economies, social and political activity, while distracting from analysis of the relevant data.

[1] Source:  https://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/  World Life Expectancy Country Specific data provides influenza and pneumonia mortality rate which may be  compared with Covid-19 data at  https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries and also Johns Hopkins University CSSE COVID-19 Country-specific Data 

[2] The COVID-19 RT-PCR Test: How to Mislead All Humanity. Using a “Test” To Lock Down Society by Dr. Pascal Sacre https://www.globalresearch.ca/covid-19-rt-pcr-how-to-mislead-all-humanity-using-a-test-to-lock-down-society/5728483

*To be continued….

*Dr. Darini Rajasingham Senanayake is a Social and Medical Anthropologist, based in Colombo. Sri Lanka at the International Center for Ethnic Studies.

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Latest comments

  • 14
    10

    “Liar liar pants on fire” . I heard you got your free vaccine already.

    • 10
      10

      Chivy, CT troll, get a life!

      Check the New York Times map of Covid-19 that reveals the truth here – that Covid is a first world virus.

      Sadly the COLONIZED Third World cannot believe that Asia and Africa are much better off than Europe and US, mainly because of the wide-spread use of BCG vaccinations in the Global South!

      • 8
        12

        Since Adhani won’t get the ECT, Sri Lankan must be Guinea pigs and now buy half effective Indian Vaccines with unknown side effects???!
        Modi’s after destroying India’s economy with indiscriminate lockdowns last year, and now with protesting farmers and Rihanna Tweeting, wants to use Covid-19 vaccines to display his SOFT POWER NATIONALISM and rescue his reputation?!
        Very pathetic.

      • 4
        3

        How is it then that India has the second highest number of infections in the World? https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html

        • 2
          1

          S
          India has a population four times that of the Covid-19 league table leader.

          • 2
            0

            India has decades of experience in mass public vaccination and is the worlds biggest producer of vaccines.

        • 2
          0

          S,
          “How is it then that India has the second highest number of infections in the World?”
          That’s not a question that anybody familiar with basic maths and/or population statistics would ask. Go check your grade 5 textbook.

          • 1
            0

            Grade 5? Ah if only.

            • 0
              1

              S
              Do you mean that you never got that far?

  • 8
    9

    Readers it is worth noting, the two reference (just two ) this doctorate has provided to support her article ( fake conspiracy theory). One relates to annual influenza related pneumonia cases, interpreting the mortality rates , as same for current pandemic. The other is written by a guy of her ilk, who is into conspiracy theories. Doctor, Do you really have to go to Princeton and New Delhi to present such article.

  • 12
    6

    Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake is crazy! That’s all I can say about her.

  • 11
    5

    She is smoking something powerful.

  • 8
    2

    Why Rush To Buy Vaccines ….?

    Indeed, when there are more deaths in SL due to preventable illnesses, such as, unmanaged diabetes & kidney failure, not to mention suicide (even without the hardships due to 5 weeks of continuous curfew) & road accidents, which need the same awareness by the govt. & health authorities. We also have other remedies, such as, home concoctions & divine assistance, holy water & the chanting of the Rathana suthraya to ward off airborne germs.

    Over 100,000 have died in UK, the death count based on the fact that if tested positive & the death occurred within a short period, it is considered COVID related. If, however, testing is less vigorous, the COVID related deaths would be smaller. Certainly, some countries in warmer climates have been less effected but I heard very recently, that a SL returnee was tested positive upon arrival & died within a week whilst being treated at my local hospital.

    Just curious, is a Medical Anthropologist better in advising on this matter than a virologist? I suppose the conspiracy theory sounds better than fear mongering doomsday scenarios.

  • 8
    9

    WOW, the RAW CIA Trolls and Bots, Chivy, Sonali etc. on this website have gone nuts!

    Instead of making personal attacks on the author, they should look at the DATA AND MAP of Covid-19 that speaks for itself and, facts and data provided here!

    • 5
      4

      As expected, Dinuk has come to the aid of the embattled viral anthropologist.
      Jekyll and Hyde could learn from these two.

  • 4
    2

    Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake –: “Why Rush To Buy Vaccines In The Global South?”
    ==============
    Darini – i may have missed it …but did you write

    “Why Rush To Lockdown In The Global South?”
    or you conveniently gave it a miss and some how you are motivated to write on the vaccine
    I wonder why?
    ================

    • 5
      6

      R
      You are right. The thing that has done more harm than the virus is the lock down.
      Serious doubts have been raised about how nasty the Covid-19 virus is and about the benefits of the vaccines. But these are serious issues that are better debated in better informed fora.
      *
      There is concern about media and Internet ‘blacking out’ of serious questions about the gravity of the ‘pandemic’ and the indecent haste to produce the vaccines. There are charges of serious disinformation about rival products.
      The ‘health industry’ and Big Pharma are long since not about human well being. Sensible discussion is not easy amid mass hysteria whipped up by vested interests.
      *
      DRS is not a debater who does her homework.
      I will not retain her to plead my case.

  • 2
    1

    False positive PCR tests, unexceptionally high priced air tickets and quarantine at prohibitively expensive hotels are all organized by Presidential mafia buddies.
    As I said from the very beginning, the second COVID-19 wave in Sri Lanka is entirely fake. The Rajapaksas and their mafia buddies want to make easy money from vaccines which involve millions of dollars.
    In Sri Lanka, 99.98% of people are healthy. Interestingly, Sri Lanka is the only country which ordered vaccines for healthy people, while other countries which have a large number of infected people ordered vaccines to mitigate the swift spread of the virus.
    My heart goes out to the helpless migrant workers stranded in the Middle East. As I have pointed out since April 2020, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa deliberately delayed bringing down migrant workers leaving them no choice but to buy high priced air tickets from his buddies and quarantine at hotels owned by his “other” buddies.
    Not only that, he even capitalizes on hunger, poverty and unemployment of villagers mainly due to COVID-19, by purposely granting lands in forest reserves to the poor who do not have the financial resources to maintain such lands, etc. This leaves them with no choice but to sell the lands to Gotabhaya’s local racketeers and imperialistic companies chosen by him.

  • 2
    0

    Yes, the Russian Sputnik vaccine has a higher efficiency than Astra-Zeneca. Astra-Zeneca with an efficiency of 70 to 90% priced at $3/shot is approved for emergency use by WHO and better than nothing.

    We need to accept the Russian offer to produce Sputnik vials in Sri Lanka.

  • 3
    4

    DRS again makes pertinent points about CV19, vaccines and the Global South. The New York Times covid map in her article says it all. Why are countries like Sri Lanka in the Global South dragged through the same madness as European countries and the US? Life is challenging enough in these countries without being duped by Euro-US-centric villains like Gates, Fauci and WHO. DRS please keep exposing the utter deceptions perpetrated by our official narrators.Remember what the good book says, “know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” We are relying on you to be our local truth-teller. Bravo DRS!

    • 2
      1

      “We are relying on you to be our local truth-teller. Bravo DRS!”
      Bravo, the other DRS clone……

  • 3
    4

    Darini has made very valid points.

    We should not rush in and be guinea pigs to the scheming Pharmaceutical industry.

    It is one of the most exploitative enterprise in the world.

  • 3
    2

    If there is no infection why you need a vaccine ??? Why take BCG, Polio ,Diphtheria, Pertussis,Tetanus which are not prevalent or existent anymore (in Lankawe.) ??? No one is pressurizing to buy any. If at all what ever you are promised, is donated free . One reader here just took a look at the world map , and came to the same conclusion.That says a lot.

    • 0
      0

      I wonder if the Covid-19 virus is in the same league as Tuberculosis, Polio, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus or even Measles?

  • 4
    2

    Guys I still admire those who dosen’t want the vaccine, , because you are helping deserving people, to get theirs.

  • 4
    0

    Nothing short of insanity to make sweeping judgements when the world is still working on studying the full health of impact of Covid-19 even in those who contracted the virus but were asymptomatic.
    +
    It is doubly insane to rely on data that is incomplete, flawed, and unreliable; where would be find such data? In countries like Sri Lanka.
    +
    I found this article to be scientifically flawed at every turn. Just atrocious. The thought of having to fully prepare a counter review of this article itself is inflaming. Vowing never to read such author’s attention seeking writings.

  • 0
    1

    World politics has reached such height that almost everyone knows
    politicians are not trustworthy . Bush and Blair Iraq invasion was a
    war based on a blatant lie and millions were killed in that one country
    alone ! The war has yet to come to a close ! What did Russia and China
    do ? How should “doing nothing ” be taken ? The world is slowly and
    gradually waking up to realise that they are not in a safe environment .
    Many , in many parts of Europe still don’t believe that the pandemic
    is natural ! There are plenty of doubtful minds that don’t want to trust
    their leaders for some or other reason but going with the flow to keep
    in shape and I take Dr Darini’s argument under this context . I am truly
    worried about the world top leaders manufacturing , stockpiling and
    selling weapons . Is it not to kill people ? Under this background , how
    is it not fair to look at Covid with watchful eyes ?

  • 4
    0

    Hello Mr. Know it all, which league are you referring to rugby, cricket or soccer.???? There is no leagues in Microbiology. It is about the pathogen , virulence and need for a vaccine. Einstein, which league does Influenza belongs ?? Dont we have a vaccine against it. You the one, who wrote BCG and anti viral vaccine are of same league.

  • 4
    0

    Sugandh and many others here have understood what this writer is up to and a presentation with no supporting evidence at all. Sugandh stands out because he seems to aghast in
    Shock and horror. Bro I sincerely hope you are not a statician or research guy.

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