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Key Highlights of Republic Day 2023

  • India has observed January 26 as its Republic Day annually since 1950. India will commemorate its 74th Republic Day on January 26, 2023. To honor the Constitution that took effect on January 26, 1950, Republic Day, also known as Gantantra Diwas, is observed with tremendous excitement throughout the nation at schools, colleges, and other public and private institutions.
  • Each year on January 26 in the nation’s capital, New Delhi, the main Gantantra Diwas festival is conducted on the Rajpath or Kartavya Path. Every year on this day, the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force take part in an extravagant Republic Day parade.
  • President of Egypt Abdel Fattah Al Sisi is present on the occasion of the 74th Republic Day. Additionally, the Republic Day March procession will feature the 120-member Egyptian contingent.
  • Each year, a different theme is used to mark Republic Day; this year’s subject is “Jan Bhagidari (participation of the ordinary people).”

Symbols

The proper spirit of independent India is symbolized on Republic Day. The display of military hardware, the flag of the country, and military hardware are some of the festival’s key emblems.

Republic Day’s Significance

The committee headed by Dr. BR Ambedkar wrote the new constitution after India gained independence from British rule. India’s independence as a republic was affirmed by the Indian Constitution, which went into effect on January 26, 1950. It was decided to hold the event on January 26 because it was on this day in 1930 that the Indian National Congress issued Purna Swaraj, a declaration of India’s independence from colonial authority.

Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the President of Egypt, is invited to India as the principal guest

The President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, will be the keynote guest at India’s 74th Republic Day celebration this year. President Sisi will travel to India on a state visit from January 24–26, 2023, at the request of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A high-level team will accompany President Sisi, including five ministers and senior officials. An Egyptian president serving as the Republic Day festivities’ top guest would be a first. The third India Africa Forum summit was held in India in October 2015, and President Sisi also paid a state visit there in September 2016.

For the first time, our Republic Day has asked the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt to be the special guest. The Egyptian Army will also send a contingent as part of the Republic Day parade. The invitation also suggests that ties between Cairo and Delhi will receive particular attention in the upcoming months and years. According to the official statement, “President Sisi’s upcoming visit is expected to deepen further and enhance the long-standing cooperation between India and Egypt.”

On January 25, 2023, President Droupadi Murmu will hold a state banquet in honor of the visiting dignitary at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. President Sisi will also receive a ceremonial welcome at that location. On mutually beneficial bilateral, regional, and global concerns, Egyptian President Sisi will also privately meet with the Prime Minister and hold delegation-level discussions with him. During a business event that same day, the visiting dignitary will also engage with the Indian business sector.

India and Egypt Relation

India and Egypt have friendly relations characterized by shared economic, cultural, and civilizational links and robust people-to-people exchanges. The complicated relationship is based on shared cultural values, a desire to further economic development, collaboration in defense and security, and regional and global agreements. The two countries work closely together in bilateral and multilateral forums. India and Egypt are commemorating the 75th anniversary of the start of diplomatic relations this year. Egypt was also asked to participate as a “Guest Country” during India’s G20 Presidency in 2022–2023.

India and Egypt have a long history of interactions and cooperation on bilateral, regional, and international issues, which has led to close political understanding. Trade between Egypt and India increased to USD 7.26 billion in FY 2021–22. The exchange was almost balanced, with $3.74 billion in Indian exports to Egypt and $3.52 billion in Egyptian imports to India. Over 50 Indian businesses have invested virtually USD 3.15 billion in the Egyptian economy’s diverse sectors, including chemicals, energy, textile, clothing, agribusiness, retail, etc.

The established relationship between India and Egypt is anticipated to grow more vital and profound due to the visit.

Ms. Pooja Kalbalia is presently pursuing her PhD in Media Studies from CHRIST University, Bangalore. She is an alumnus of the University of Delhi and the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), New Delhi. She has a rich experience in Media planning, Marketing, and Advertising industry. She is awarded Ad Person of the year by IIMCAA in the year 2021.

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Classified Documents Probe Involving US President Biden

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About 20 classified documents from President Joe Biden’s vice presidency in the Obama administration were uncovered between November 2022 and January 2023 by the president’s lawyers in his former workplace at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C., as well as in his home in Wilmington, Delaware.

Joe Biden episode with Secret Documents

Biden’s legal team found the first batch of top-secret documents on November 2, 2022, in a locked closet at the Penn Biden Center. They immediately reported them to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), which recovered them the following day. Informational memoranda and intelligence materials regarding the UK, Iran, and Ukraine were included in the secret documents. In cooperation with the Justice Department (DOJ), Biden’s lawyers found a second set of papers at Biden’s house on December 20. Then, on January 9 and January 12, 2023, they found several other pieces. On January 21, Biden’s attorney reported that the Justice Department had found six items in his home that had classification markings during a consensual search the day before, some of which dated back to his time in the Senate. Investigators also took some of Biden’s handwritten notes from his time serving as vice president. Robert Hur was assigned as special counsel to look into the “potential illegal removal and retention of classified documents or other records” by Attorney General Merrick Garland on January 12. The House Judiciary Committee launched a second investigation into the materials the following day.

Background of the case

According to CNN, the process of returning Biden’s records to NARA started many weeks before his vice presidential term came to an end. Still, it was made more challenging because Biden continued using his vice presidential offices and acquiring more classified records. According to CNN, most of the packing of Biden’s possessions and papers was carried out by lower-level staff members, citing “former aides and others with direct knowledge of the process.” Despite this, the staff had “clear Presidential Records Act guidelines” and took those guidelines seriously. Kathy Chung, then-executive Biden’s assistant, was one of the staff members who helped with the packing. She was reportedly questioned about investigating the secret documents discovered in Biden’s private offices. The records that were “not deemed covered by the record requirements to send to the National Archives” were initially kept at a GSA-run temporary storage location close to the White House before being transferred to the Penn Biden Center.

Classified Documents Discovery in Biden’s Private Office

The classified documents were discovered by Biden’s lawyers in a locked closet in the future president’s private Washington office while he was a visiting lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania. The records were turned over to the National Archives the morning after they were discovered when the White House Counsel’s office received a notification. According to a source familiar with the situation who spoke to CNN, Biden was unaware the documents were in the office until his lawyers alerted him to their presence. He still needs to learn about the information’s content. Federal officeholders must turn over official and classified records upon leaving government employment, as required by law. In contrast to Trump, Biden has not attempted to claim ownership of the documents, impede their transfer, or make ludicrous claims that he had previously declassified them based on unreported private thinking. Smith is looking into Trump to determine if he may have violated the Espionage Act by hoarding classified information and for potential obstruction of justice.

Which factors are similar between the two cases?

It was improper for Trump or Biden to possess any sensitive information. The documents from each administration are meant to be transferred to the legal custody of the U.S. National Archives during a presidential transition period. Removal or retention of classified material is prohibited if done knowingly or willfully. If sensitive information falls into the wrong hands, improper storage and protection could endanger national security.

Biden has stated that he was shocked to hear that he had secret information. While his lawyers have failed to reiterate that claim in court filings, Trump has claimed on social media that he declassified the information without offering any supporting documentation. The classified documents in question were created when Biden served as Vice President under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017 and under President Donald Trump from 2017 to 2021.

In the United States, improper management of correctly classified, vitally important material is viewed as a concern, as is overclassification. Once the information has been correctly classified, it must be managed according to the classification’s rules, which may include locks, guards, or electronic surveillance countermeasures. For instance, Top Secret material cannot be accessed or discussed outside a secure information facility (SCIF). A SCIF can be a room inside a facility, like the Hart Senate Office Building, where the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence meets, or the building itself, like most of the CIA’s headquarters. The present emphasis on classified materials could provide a chance to reassess the classification process and guarantee that material that requires classification is classified. The current focus on classified materials could allow reassessing the classification procedure and ensure that material that needs to be sorted is handled correctly. While I don’t intend to draw any comparisons between Trump’s behavior and that of Biden or to defend either president’s acts, these incidents can be attributed to an entirely flawed classification system.

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No Money for Terror Conference – In the Age of Crypto.

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The third Ministerial Conference on Countering Financing of Terrorism, “No Money For Terror” (NMFT) took place in New Delhi in November 2022, immediately following the UN Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee sessions in October. India hosted the third edition of this conference in New Delhi, postponing it from 2020 due to COVID-19.

The Ministry of External Affairs press release said that, “Hosting of this conference shows the importance being given by the Modi Government to the issue of international terrorism as well as its zero-tolerance policy against this menace.” The purpose of the NMFT ministerial meeting is to exchange knowledge and effective strategies for preventing the financing of terrorism that can be used globally. In April 2018, France hosted the inaugural NMFT conference.

Twenty years after government-enforced restrictions on mechanisms for financing terrorism through UN resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1373 (2001), it is clear that financial investigations play a critical role in diminishing the ability of criminal networks to secure, distribute, and conceal illegal revenues. Countries must regularly examine the financing of terrorism in order to ensure that their policy resources are enough to meet new and emerging threats as circumstances change.

Digitisation of Currency and The Threat

It is true that the majority of terror organisations continue to use cash and hawala channels, despite counter-terror financing authorities in India focusing on monitoring organised digitised channels like credit/debit cards and money value transfer services (MTSS). However, the potential of misusing fintech services remains due to the nation’s rapid digitization. While cryptos aren’t a big issue right now, the use of drones to smuggle weapons, IEDs, and drugs over borders in our border states is starting to pose unique challenges for India.

Countries must review the financing of terrorism not only on a regular basis but also to make sure that their policy resources are matched to address new and emerging dangers as conditions change. Threatening national, regional, and international security is terrorism financing, which is also a felony that precedes money laundering. 

At the background of this conference is the digital evolution. With currencies now being traded in the form of cryptocurrency, it has been a rising concern on the agenda of discussions surrounding funding terrorism. There are several speculative opinions in this regard – whether the rise of cryptocurrency would help ease mobilisation to fund terrorist activities.

Cryptocurrency is being hailed as the future of financial transactions, while partly it is true. The issue arises with the rise and development of crypto, especially with the speculations about its traceability. 

Cryptocurrency and its Untraceability: a Boon for Terror?

Why crypto may seem as a lucrative alternate source of funding, it is important to analyse why this might be seen as an alternative in the first place. 

One of the key topics discussed at the conference was the increasing use of cryptocurrency by terrorists to fund their activities. It has been reported that terrorists are using cryptocurrency to avoid detection and to move funds quickly and anonymously across borders. The decentralized nature of cryptocurrency makes it difficult for law enforcement agencies to track and trace transactions, making it a preferred method of payment for terrorists.

The conference also discussed the measures that can be taken to combat the use of cryptocurrency in terrorist financing. One of the recommendations made was to increase international cooperation and information sharing between law enforcement agencies to track and disrupt the flow of funds. The conference also stressed the importance of educating the public about the risks associated with cryptocurrency and the need to be vigilant when using these digital assets.

In an article describing the operations of the terrorist outfit. The article says that decentralized execution and centralised decision-making are features of terrorist groups. This implies that the top echelons of the leadership are responsible for creating any innovations in a terrorist group’s grand strategy. Nearly all of these examples show how innovation in grand strategy was adopted top-down, with individual leaders’ strong personalities and authoritarian leadership styles playing crucial roles in significant decision-making processes that altered the organization’s identity.

For terrorist organizations, the adoption of cryptocurrencies is a convenient and profitable way to finance their operations. This is especially true for local terror hubs that rely on grassroots recruitment and small to medium scale attacks. The pseudo-anonymity of cryptocurrency transactions allows these groups to easily receive funding from international sources without fear of detection through traditional financial channels. These local hubs may only receive start-up funds and an annual allocation of finance from their transnational headquarters, but the use of cryptocurrency allows them to also accept sizable donations from other sources in their region of operations.

We assume that the traditional framework for financing terrorism will always exist, but the simplicity of setting up potentially untraceable cryptocurrency transactions will strengthen a local hub’s strategy of evading the enemy’s web of defence and demolish the resource constraint that previously dominated the operational calculus of these transnational non-state actors.

In conclusion, the third Ministerial Conference on Countering Financing of Terrorism highlighted the growing threat of cryptocurrency in financing terrorism and the need for global efforts to combat this threat. The conference provided a platform for government officials, financial experts, and representatives from the private sector to come together and discuss ways to counter the use of cryptocurrency in terrorist financing.

 

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2022 Recap: Quick Rewind of the Major Events of 2022

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 2022 brought a ray of hope in people’s lives as the world was recovering from the pandemic. The economy was recuperating, the healthcare systems were rebuilding themselves after a stressful period and countries all around the world could finally focus on safeguarding their national interests in the changing world order, which brought with itself some irreversible changes. Here’s a 2022 Recap / quick rewind of the major events of 2022 that made their way to the headlines.

1. China’s New Law on Land Borders

xi jinping

The Sino-Indian border conflict became more complex as Beijing’s new land law, which was passed on 23rd October 2021, was enforced from the first of January this year. China tried to unilaterally reshape its border areas and in the past too, it had renamed several areas in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. In response, India protested against the issue which could have impacted the existing bilateral relations with China. The political conflict that India faces in such a situation is that since China has not yet finalized its border agreement with India, there is a possibility that it can expand its boundaries and encroach on Indian territory. Speculations were rife that the Chinese law was passed in order to restrict India from developing infrastructure near its border areas. The controversial standoff that started in 2020 is continuing even after the 17th round of military talks and negotiations, and China’s reluctance in abiding by rules, regulations, and past agreements may elongate it further.

2. Ukraine Crisis 

world war 3 speculations

February saw the emergence of war in Europe, and the invasion in Ukraine by Russia which impacted the quality of life in other countries too. The global economy was again hampered by the Ukraine crisis; inflation rates soared in developing and developed countries. The humanitarian crisis inflicted upon the people involved in this bloodshed is indeed spine-chilling. The NATO expansion made Russia more apprehensive in its attempt to secure its territorial integrity and according to Vladimir Putin, this justified the invasion. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also fought vehemently and did not surrender in front of the mighty Russian military. The ultimate cost is being paid by the citizens of these countries as they lost their loved ones, children were deprived of education, and at a time when they should’ve been in schools they were hiding beneath bunkers to save their lives. All other nations cooperated to the best of their ability, and urged both nations to take the diplomatic route to solve the crisis as the Indian Prime Minister rightly said “this is not an era of war”. 

3. Operation Ganga

operation ganga

March witnessed the horrific consequence of the Ukraine crisis, dividing the world into two geopolitical blocs. The number of refugees increased to 11.4 million, and the Indian government started ‘Operation Ganga’ to bring back the Indian citizens that were stranded in the areas of conflict, and whose lives were in danger. 

4. BIMSTEC Summit

bimstec 2022

The 5th BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) summit was hosted in virtual mode by Sri Lanka, the current chair of BIMSTEC, in which the member nations reconstituted the number of areas of cooperation to 7 from 14 to make the grouping more manageable and efficient. They also adopted a master plan of connectivity as a guide for future connectivity.The summit’s theme was ‘Towards a Resilient Region, Prosperous Economies, Healthy People’ which highlighted the main priorities of the member states, focusing on economic progress along with the health of their citizens.

5. 2+2 Dialogue

2+2 dialogue

In April 2022, the fourth ‘2+2’ dialogue between India and the United States was held in Washington DC, where they both concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Space Situational Awareness and promised to extend their bilateral relationship. Their officials looked forward to meeting again at the Indo-Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference (IPACC) and Indo-Pacific Armies Management Seminar (IPAMS) in 2023 which will be hosted by India.

6. Political Turmoil in Pakistan

Imran Khan Character assassination

In Pakistan, Imran Khan lost the no-confidence motion which led to political instability in the country. Pakistan has always been a deep state, and Imran Khan’s souring relationship with ISI and the national military cost him his position. In protest of this, he started a long march, in which he got injured after a failed assassination attempt at him. Shehabaz Sharif is the current Pakistani Prime Minister who also faced backlash after a leaked audio surfaced on the internet, which reinforced the corruption charges leveled against him.

7. SCO-RATS Meeting

SCO-RAT

In May 2022, India hosted a meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation – Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (SCO-RATS), which was organized to develop further cooperation among the member countries for dealing with regional security challenges.

8. IPEF Alternative to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

indo pacific economic framework

India agreed to join the USA-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), which calls for participating countries to solidify their relationships and engage in crucial economic and trade matters that concern the region, such as building resilient supply chains battered by the pandemic.

9. Israel-UAE Trade Deal

Israel UAE trade deal

UAE became the first country in the Arab world to have a free trade deal with Israel, aiming to increase bilateral trade to $10 billion. The deal was significant as it was the first step towards a better relationship between Israel and other Arab nations.

10. 14th BRICS Summit

14th Brics Summit 2022

The 14th BRICS summit was held in virtual mode under the chairmanship of China. The major highlight of the summit was the adoption of the ‘Beijing Declaration’ which focuses on gender equality. India hoped to organize a startup event for boosting ties among the member countries.

That’s all for 2022 Recap …..Happy New Year to all of our lovely readers. Keep supporting us!

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Can Imran Khan Survive This Assassination Attempt with Sex, Lies, and Leaking Audio Tapes?

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Imran Khan Character assassination

Imran Khan, a former Pakistani prime minister, is well known for having escaped an attempted murder last month. In the assault, which at least resulted in one death, he managed to flee with minor wounds. He is undergoing a character assassination attempt in the final month of the year 2022. His intended persona as an upright man has already lost some of its shine due to many audio leaks. The most recent leaks focus on the other side of his perceived persona, which is that of a repentant playboy who is genuinely pious and intensely religious in the authentic Islamic tradition. To the delight of fans of the lasciviously lurid, recordings of his filthy phone sex calls with many women have been leaked. Will Khan live through this?

He is at the height of his popularity and might get away with relatively little political cost, but his righteousness is forever damaged and will leave marks. The Internet never forgets. People will share the tapes we cannot broadcast here because they are too explicit for this website when he waxes lyrical about how women’s clothing induce rape and obscenity in the public realm.

The tapes also show how little respect he has for his senior colleagues and how he has a sex addict’s hunger for his female coworkers, as well as the blatant corruption and money laundering that he and his friends have engaged in. A chat allegedly between Imran Khan and a female party leader is illuminating. In a less than complimentary manner, Khan refers to Chaudhary Pervez Ilahi as Charlie. What is primarily a phone-sex call tape of his discussions does contain a few political insights. Two of the three tapes are entirely sexual and have no overtly political content. But this hints at the man’s propensity for unnatural actions, which his ex-wife Reham Khan detailed in a book.

Imran Khan has spoken out strongly over the Army’s role in his removal as prime minister. Specifically, he spoke about the part played by recently retired Army Chief of Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who served as his mentor and the person who put him in the position. Gen Bajwa eventually had enough of his protégé, who agreed to his tenure extension. Imran Khan wanted Gen. Bajwa’s replacement to be someone he chose. Gen. Asad Munir, who dislikes Khan, replaced Gen. Bajwa after rejecting that option. Since Imran Khan dragged the Army, the establishment, the deep state, or whatever you want to call it, the establishment is out to destroy him.

As Pakistan’s foreign reserves are at their lowest, Imran Khan’s political capital is the opposite. Most opposition, especially the establishment, are frightened by the enormous political wealth. Elections might be held now, and Imran could win with a sizable majority and reshape the political landscape by reducing the Army’s influence. The military establishment, which has a long history of using political pelf to achieve extreme ends, does not want that. There have been rumors that videos could prove to be the last nail in Imran Khan’s political coffin if the audios don’t make him smaller than life.

The intelligence agencies, who captured and subsequently leaked these audio recordings, also took some obscene videos. At least one of them features a TikTok superstar. It can be argued whether or not it is unlawful to record private discussions in the first place, but there is no disputing the harm it could do to the leader and his followers.

Imran Khan’s position may be weakened by some of his allies, notably those who have served as political stooges of the military establishment. His party is filled with numerous regional satraps who control political fiefs that span one or more districts. All of them are unpopular in Pakistan. However, the deep state may offer them stable futures in exchange for their rebellion against the captain. Whoever gives them they are out to profit. Imran Khan sold a watch that Saudi Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman had given him as a gift, among other things. His reputation for integrity has been harmed by that unique timepiece available on the open market. A number of the presents the Khan received during his tenure as prime minister were sold mainly thanks to his wife, Bushra. She is at the center of corruption thanks to the multiple audio recordings where she can be heard negotiating with brokers to sell government assets.

Pakistan is on the verge of becoming bankrupt due to the horrible economic crisis it is experiencing. The western region is on fire. More than 1,100 terrorist acts have been carried out by militants in the Pashtun area along the Afghan border this year alone. Imran Khan, often referred to as Taliban Khan for his passionate support of the hard-core Islamist warriors, has also backed this trend.

Another province in the west, Balochistan, is the scene of a populist revolt for independence. Due to the location of the Chinese-funded Gwadar port, Balochistan is essential to Pakistan’s future. Additionally, Sui in the same area produces significant gas. With every terrorist assault, China, Pakistan’s longtime financier, loses faith in its Belt and Road initiatives. Thus the country’s worsening law and order spell danger. Months after a catastrophic flood, a sizable portion of Sindh is still underwater, and despite some international assistance, Pakistan has failed to aid the afflicted people. Those who have suffered and are still suffering are very disenchanted as a result.

The ruling establishment may increase its anti-India rhetoric to stay relevant in the public mind as it is forced to deal with the harsh consequences of its actions. The country’s foreign minister, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, made an outrageous and insensitive statement that points in that direction. Pakistani officials search for an adversary who could bring the country’s predominantly regressive populace together during a crisis. Every time the establishment is at a loss for what to do, India is the sabre that is rattled. The moment is now or shortly.

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Covid in China Latest Updates: Government Expects Peak Infection in One Week

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According to Zhang Wenhong, head of the National Center for Infectious Diseases, the peak infection will also raise the prevalence of severe disease, affecting all available medical resources.

China Coronavirus Outbreak

According to reports, China has experienced a significant increase in Covid-19 instances over the past week due to the abrupt implementation of its “Zero-Covid” policy. China has stated that it anticipates the peak to occur within a week. Health officials informed state media that the rise would result in a spike in infection rates that would endure for one to two months.

China “is likely to reach the peak of illnesses within a week,” according to Zhang Wenhong, head of the National Center for Infectious Diseases, according to Shanghai government-backed news site The Paper on Thursday. “The peak infection will also raise the rate of serious disease, which will have some effect on our entire medical resources,” he added, adding that the wave will continue for another one or two months. We need to prepare our minds for the possibility of infection.

Less than 4,000 new symptomatic local COVID cases have been recorded by China so far for December 22, and for the third day in a row, there have been no recent COVID deaths. China announced its first official fatality on December 19 after easing pandemic restrictions and abandoning its “zero-COVID” policy. The government’s decision to tighten the standards for COVID deaths has drawn harsh condemnation worldwide.

According to a new regulation by the Chinese government, persons who pass away due to respiratory failure and complications caused by any coronavirus variation would be included in the Covid death statistics. The counting method violates the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendations. The death toll now published is significantly lower than the actual death toll due to this rule.

According to the most recent projections based on local sources, China is expected to experience more than a million infections daily and more than 5,000 fatalities daily, according to a report released by the British health data company Airfinity. Social media footage shows that, as a result, hospitals are overcrowded, morgues are overflowing, and crematoriums are overworked and unable to handle the enormous volume of bodies. A Shanghai hospital predicted that 25 million residents of the business hub would be infected by the end of the following week. According to experts, China could see over a million COVID fatalities in 2023.

WHO’s Concern 

In various regions of the country, hospitals have been cited by the WHO as a cause for concern. According to the report, even if China’s death toll is zero, the intensive care units (ICU) appear to be overcrowded and busy. Dr. Michael Ryan, the head of WHO’s emergency response, has encouraged China to share more information regarding the virus’s most recent outbreak. According to reports, there are few cases in ICUs in China, but anecdotally, the facilities are becoming increasingly crowded, the expert added. During the weekly news conference in Geneva, WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he is “apprehensive over the evolving situation in China.” He pleaded for detailed information on the severity of the illness, hospital admissions, and the need for special treatment.

New Counting Rule

According to the Chinese government, those who pass away as a direct result of respiratory failure and complications brought on by any coronavirus variation will be included in the COVID death statistics. Compared to its western counterparts, the Communist Party of China, which is currently in power, claims that its recently adopted “Zero COVID” approach is the best one for combating the pandemic. There were reportedly only 5,242 COVID-related deaths up until December 19 after the implementation of Zero COVID policies, as opposed to 1.1 million in the United States, which is the most significant number of any nation.

Hospitals and cemeteries, however, are reporting a different truth in the cities of Beijing, Chongqing, and Guangzhou. According to news reports, emergency demands have increased to 30,000 per day from an average of approximately 5,000, and Beijing hospitals, funeral homes, and crematoriums are having trouble keeping up.

Workers at funeral homes in Beijing claim that there has been an increase in people looking to cremate departed relatives, causing lines and delays, according to a Reuters report. The deceased are being carried inside by employees wearing hazmat suits as security officers watch from outside the crematoriums in Beijing. Numerous sources claim that crematoriums currently handle up to 22–30 cremations daily. Before December, just 5 or 6 people were involved.

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