#WeekdayNewsCapsule EP35 – Rise in Covid cases, Election drama continues and more…

#WeekdayNewsCapsule #Episode35 - Rise in Covid cases, Election drama continues and more...

Sree Iyer: Hello and welcome to PGurus Channel, I am your host Sree Iyer. Today is episode number 35 of Weekday News Capsule with Sridhar. SridharJi  Namaskar and welcome to PGurus Channel

Sridhar Chityala: Namaskar and very good morning sir

Sree Iyer: Good morning to you sir, Thank you very much and viewers, there is breaking news on the Jammu Kashmir national highway four terrorists belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammad have been killed in an encounter.  A huge cache of arms and ammunition was also recovered. There are trying to disrupt the district council elections that were slated for November 28th, in most of Jammu and Kashmir. For more on this, please go to PGurus.com, we have a very detailed story coming up on that one. And SridharJi let’s get back to our main class programming, which is about the news of what is happening around the world.  Let’s start with the United States, can you just give it a quick update on what is happening on the presidential election, sir?

Sridhar Chityala: Well, I think that we are the presidential election, the drama continues and we had Michigan Wayne County folks initially toeing the line after some reluctance with the two Democratic representatives on a 4-0 to certify the voting. And then they rescinded subsequently. So, today it is a stalemate, and the reason that has been given is that they have been threatened, bulldozed in the zoom session and forced to be compliant which they are opposing. So we’re back to gridlock as far as the Wayne County is concerned. In  PA, Pennsylvania, there seems to be re-filing, Mr Rudy Giuliani on three areas,  one is around the non-presence of the Republican representatives, the kind of the cut-off deadlines and the acceptance of some of the votes plus of course the validation of the voter list. So, it’s back in the courts in terms of Pennsylvania. I think Wisconsin is very similar in terms of their looking at the recount and Nevada has given much bigger issue.

There is also news line that is making headlines is Jon Ossoff, who is the Democratic representative for the Senate side, they have discovered some transactions which is of substantive size for the videos or other things that were licensed to Al-Jazeera television either not declared or not being made aware. So, we have a potpourri of activities that are going on and lots of speculation on social channels and a lot of pundits. The story is very simple unless and until there is a certification which is done as a first phase by the state secretaries, then this process cannot kind of come to an end. The legal process will escalate to the Supreme Court if the Republican party doesn’t find satisfaction. So there is a process underway. There is no guarantee in terms of who he is declared the official winner.  Right now, as we said yesterday 292 to Biden and 232 to President Trump is the current standing with the Georgia recount underway and the number of votes by which is leading is coming down. So, this is the gist of it.

Sree Iyer: So, the recount is almost finished in Georgia sir.

Sridhar Chityala: It is expected to be finished by tomorrow. So I think that they say, they are well on track to accomplish that goal.

Sree Iyer:  Moving on to Covid and the incidence of Covid around the world as we see, let’s take a quick look at the numbers. SridharJi, what do you make of all the numbers that we are seeing now? The US is number one, India is number two, Brazil is number three, France is number four, five is Russia and so on. Now, there is an element of how much testing is also being done, isn’t it? I mean the numbers are going to reflect how much testing you do? If you don’t test a considerable sample of your population, and then the numbers will appear low is it?

Sridhar Chityala: Well, I think there are two aspects to it. One is a response based numbering, the second is testing based numbering. I don’t know whether any country in the world is in a position as yet to say except Taiwan. Taiwan stands tall, they are passed pretty close to 200 days that’s almost six months without a single infection. So, they are the kind of the highest benchmark. Rapid testing as you rightly said, but, they attributed to a very rapid response mechanism to contain it. So, suppose somebody detects, they kind of immediately rushed to the spot and put appropriate measures, that’s been the mechanism according to them. They have not declared fully, but, they seem to have the world’s best practices. Japan is a little bit rising, so they are panicking 400 cases. Coming back to your question, that you ask, it is impossible for any Nation to kind of say, I have fully tested, so, therefore my results stand. Now, the mechanism that is being adopted is how many people are reporting and how many proactive tests that have been conducted? How many self-test has been conducted etc., So clearly the US Seems to be a leader in the pack in terms of the number of tests conducted,  probably, Europe some of the smaller countries have done a better job, but mind you they are smaller countries relative to the size of the United States.

So, the US is the number one in the list basically because it’s an active mix of 330 million people. So, close to 12 million people are affected but the story that is making rounds,  is not the story about, what has been accomplished?  What has been accomplished, which is very critical for people to know is that it’s not the 250,000 deaths which kind of happened we crossed yesterday. but it’s also about close to 12 million, I’m looking at the numbers, number of people who are recovered his 7.1 million.

The 7.1 million people have recovered and the active cases is about 4.4 million people across the country of which the most serious and critical is 22,000 people by way of numbers. So, what is not being emphasized in the absence of cause and cure is the sad and tragic death of people and many of the death could also be attributed to, pre-existing conditions like in respiratory disorders,  diabetic, BP etc., it’s a very very sad story, personally, I have also lost some friends and relatives. So it is a very sad some of them are relatively young less than 65 and some of them between 65 and 75 and some of them is 75 plus category, it is very tragic. But, the situation that we are in today, this discovered in February, we are in November, there was no cure possible. So, it’s all speculative which is to say, you can do, you can do that, you could have done this etc., So, my response is not merely the exhaustiveness of the testing, but, that is a necessity and is also about how much people are socially responsible in understanding the issue and dealing with the issue. There are two schools of thought you shut the whole place down and the other is, you allow people to adapt and work. So the United States is more and more going towards, I’ll shut the country down whereas India, which is four times more densely populated in saying. I will be selective in shutting down pockets rather than shutting the country and when the numbers are fairly visible which tells which gives a lot of confidence that this is an addressable issue. The conversion or the recovery rate in India is almost close to 98%, these numbers vary depending on which shot I am looking at, some people say it’s 98, some people say it’s 95, but it seems To be 98% based on all the evidence that one sees. India was 8.9 million cases and of which total recovery is 8.3 Million and active is only 444,000 or 4 lakhs in Indian terms of which less than 9,000 people seem to be serious. So, there is a therapeutic and adaptive vaccine protocol that is being used in India. So, what is the message key message is don’t panic, it is containable, this is being addressed. In the meanwhile, we discuss this yesterday Pfizer and Biontech launched their vaccine. They have a program to get into the market in December. In India, they have said they have co-vaccine, which they say one in five will be vaccinated by July 2021, then we have AstraZeneca which has announced yesterday or today. The news is making headlines Eli Lilly and then, of course, there is Moderna that was the one which triggered his 95% kind of success rate along various age groups going from 18 to almost 85. So, all this is a very very reassuring aspect of that, this is an addressable issue. Though, people keep on pointing out the number of tests, rather than the number of people who have been helped to recover.

Sree Iyer: Thank you, sir. And let’s take a look at ongoing ASEAN meeting and Xi Jinping addressed the meeting today and then I guess President Trump is going to address it very soon. Can you just cap what Xi said, sir? And his statements in contrary to what he is actually being played out in the real world?

Sridhar Chityala:  Yes yesterday the session was inaugurated by the Malaysian prime minister and some of the key people who spoke were Xi Jinping. Mr Prayuth Chan-o-cha from Thailand, the Singapore prime minister, by the way, the Taiwanese Health minister was also Chinese Taipei as they call themselves was at the meeting, Sheryl Sandberg was also at the meeting. What’re the key headlines from Xi Jinping? Xi Jinping said in his 20-minute speech, that China is not decoupling, China will continue to open up the market, It now believes in this whole concept of rotation, a dual rotation approach which looks at both exports as well as domestic consumption. It has a 400 million population. It believes in open trade and multilateralism. It believes in a rules-based approach, it cannot shut itself nor it can be subject itself to trade barriers and kind of tariffs, all kind of high moral ethical words. On one side we have these statements from Xi Jinping. Also, he was saying in a high-quality Belt and road initiative which no country in the world is believing because of the fundamental suspicion that exists on China’s transparent kind of an approach.

So, while all these goes on you find that they are having some issues with Nepal and they are trying to influence the Prime Minister Mr Oli on small issues including who should be measuring the Mount Everest and what should be given credit. They’re interfering in almost any facets within, notwithstanding the border issues that they have in dealing with India on the Himalayan side. And of course, we have discussed it at length, the South China Sea issue. That remains the single biggest threat to one of the peak Maritime waterways, which controls trade.

Sree Iyer: Taking a look at the Middle East, they seem to have conducted some airstrikes in Syria. What can you tell us about that sir?

Sridhar Chityala: It’s quite fascinating if you recall I think on Tuesday, we said that a couple of Al-Qaeda terrorists were knocked in Iran in Tehran, and then soon after we now hear that they conducted airstrikes within Syria, which is controlled by the Iranian Quds forces and they conducted airstrikes in eight locations, including depots, storage facilities, and chemicals and all these kinds of locations, the details are sketchy but eight locations have been targeted and last night/ this morning Trump announced further sanctions to Iran which were completely supported by Joseph Lieberman who tends to be more Democrat. He’s retired, Democratic, Connecticut Senator endorsing the policies of Trump and stating that Iran is one of the biggest, the single biggest threats in West Asia and both are Middle Eastern allies or Devastation allies and Israel would be very supportive of the actions being pursued contrary to the prior Obama approach.

Sree Iyer: On the economy front, there is one country that seems to be nothing but a success story, Vietnam. It’s has shown 2.6% growth in GDP in the last quarter. What is the secret of Vietnam success, sir?

Sridhar Chityala: I think Vietnam’s success, is in very strategic locations. Vietnam is also demonstrating that it has banished its contagion of Covid proving very well. It has laid its emphasis on SMEs small-medium enterprises. Notwithstanding, it is coming out of a communist kind of a legal structure. It has demonstrated that it has reformed its laws and labour regulations, which is more business and investment-friendly. So one of the strongest competitors to India, for example, be it in the auto sector, be it in the mobile, be it in the textile, any of these sectors when there is a flight of industry from China, the first Port of Call seems to be Vietnam. Taking a cue from this Indonesian. Mr Widado, Indonesian president in the ASEAN conference indicated that they are also going to change their labour laws and SME is going to be one of the biggest focus.

So to answer your question about Vietnam, I say, they have been nimble, investment-friendly, work and business-friendly, which has allowed the industries to move and it’s also in a strategic kind of a location. Vietnam is also one of the important partners of both India and Japan. Vietnam signed a deal with Japan Marubeni, which is the Tokyo gas and light company for harnessing natural gas and powering rather than coal. So all the things that you look at from the economic management point of view Vietnam seem to be leveraging the advantage and its people with pro-business pro-market capabilities.

Sree Iyer: And one quick look at the market before we sign off today. So yesterday was a down day. How is today looking?

Sridhar Chityala: Today as well because of the Covid at the serial news. The markets are down, as I looked at it last, it was down about 0.2%. But on the economic front, we expected to report better unemployment numbers in about 30 minutes or so. I am looking at the clock, in about 15 minutes, 8:30 is when markets open. Closed markets will be opening. We’re expecting even further reduction in unemployment numbers. What it would do when you shut down, I don’t know but at least right now the numbers look good. As a look at the markets again, yesterday was 1.2%, today, where it will go we don’t know. Right now, it is pointing to 0.2%.

There is also discussion as I wrapped up before I came on the command of the show that, there’s a discussion that may be started by Steve Mnuchin on the stimulus side specifically around the pandemic and helping the small industries.

Sree Iyer: Thank you very much. That’s all we have for today. Thank you very much Sridharji and we’ll be back as always tomorrow, same time, same locations Thanks for joining and please don’t forget to subscribe. Namaskar, sir.

Sridhar Chityala: Namaskar, sir. Thank you.



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