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How is the world handling COVID-19?

Adnan Kayyali



How is the world handling COVID-19

Amid the pandemic, all nations have taken a nasty hit. COVID-19 has been the cause of a great loss of human lives and shrinking economic activity. The future still remains highly uncertain. Many people question: How is the world handling COVID-19? And where we are we headed?

A report by the UN published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network ranks countries according to how well each country has managed to withstand the pandemic and how much damage they endured overall.

The 37 countries listed in this report are all part of the OECD, or Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. These counties together form 80% of global wealth exchange and trade, and so a country’s individual performance deeply impacts the global economy overall.

Based on the findings, it seems countries in the east, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, and Australia fared much better than their western counterparts, like the US, UK, France, Spain and Belgium.

There are three specific measurements with which countries are compared:

1. Deaths per million:

The index compared the countries’ number of deaths per 1 million population, ranging from below 10 to above 100 per 1 million people.

Australia sits at the bottom of this list with 3.88 per million deaths, followed by New Zealand, Slovakia and South Korea, at 4.34, 4.77, and 5, respectively.

Those above 100 per 1 million are Belgium with the highest at 761.55 followed by Spain, Sweden and the U.S with 575.26, 319.99, 246.98 respectively.

2. Early stage suppression:

The index measured each country’s “effective reproductive rate” of the virus, meaning how little or how long the virus spread during the early stages of the outbreak before it was controlled, if at all.

The US ranks at the top of the list, with the virus’ spread still ongoing. South Korea and New Zealand however managed to effectively suppress the spread of the virus for the most part by April at the latest.

3. Overall effective strategy and control:

Lastly, each country was evaluated along the terms of its ability to contain the virus and keep the number of transmissions under control. In addition, it assesses the ripple effect to the economy and how effected people were both socially and economically.

As a positive example, South Korea was able to dodge most of the economic fallout by having a targeted approach to lockdowns and safety measures like face masks. This allowed the bulk of economic activity to go on and have time to adapt to the changing global landscape.

The US and Italy, as a negative example, did not fare so well. As a result of their initial loss of control with safety measures, cases increased dramatically, leading to a difficult road of extended lockdowns and resorted to a ”cruder and costlier approach of economic lockdowns,” according to the UN report’s author. As a result their economies were severely affected, and the repercussions vast. While both nations are stabilizing now, to an extent, they are still recovering from the initial shock.

Evaluation in both the east and west, indicates the pandemic is far from over, and nations will need to make long-term decisions that are sustainable to ensure countries can prevent further social and economic decline.


Junior social media strategist with a degree in media and communication. Technology enthusiast and free-lance writer. Favorite hobby: 3D modeling.


Robotics in the MENA region finds good footing amid virus

Adnan Kayyali



robotics in the MENA region

As the need for contactless health and safety solutions becomes ever-more essential, robotics in the MENA region is taking off. The forward-thinking startups, students, and entrepreneurial minds have stepped up to meet the growing demand by addressing a complex situation with hands-on solutions.

In the UAE, entrepreneur Aswin Sarang, understands that the demand for robotics in the MENA region is on the rise, and has developed several robots each capable of performing a certain task which include delivering food and medicine, sanitization services, and checking for fever.

“The idea is to sterilize infected areas and surfaces, such as hospitals, endemic neighborhoods and isolation rooms, to prevent doctors, health workers and volunteers from being infected.” Said Aswin Sarang – Head of Robotics & AI at Reliable Robotics.

The company supports healthcare authorities, airports, malls, as well as the private sector.

Recently, Reuters reported on an Egyptian engineer Mahmoud el-Komy who put his healthcare robot to the test with positive results. The robot was made to deliver routine healthcare duties such as taking temperature and testing for COVID-19 all via remote control.

The robot also delivers health information to the patients.

“There has been a positive response from patients. They saw the robot and weren’t afraid. On the contrary, there is more trust in this because the robot is more precise than humans.”

The drive to develop robotics in the MENA region seems to be sparking passion among the youth as well. In Lebanon, two engineering students created a cleaner bot of their own to sterilize indoor spaces like hospital rooms and offices. The cleaner bot costs $700/$800 to produce and can be rented out for cleaning at a fee of $50/$70 per session, depending on the size of the job arabnews.com reported.

On demand sterilization service robotics in the MENA region and around the world may see a similar rise in demand post-pandemic. Performing routine tasks that limit human exposure can be safer and more efficient for consumers and businesses alike.

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The multi-cloud adoption boom

Mounir Jamil



multi-cloud adoption

As the rapid advancements in tech continue – fueled by the current pandemic – we find ourselves stretching our limits and breaking boundaries. An important area that has gained significant traction this year is cloud computing, and more specifically, multi-cloud adoption.

What is multi-cloud? 

For those of you who are not familiar with the concept, a multi-cloud environment Is when an enterprise utilizes more than one cloud platform and delivers a specific function, application, or service. Multi-clouds can be made up of private, public, and edge clouds to achieve a datacenter’s end goals and objectives. 

Multi-cloud adoption garnered a significant increase to 70 percent year-over-year in 2020, outpacing the previous year by a whopping 20 percent. 

Current State of multi-cloud

The Continuous Intelligence Report The State of Modern applications, DevSecOps and the Impact of COVID-19 from Sumo Logic revealed that customers adopted 3 main vendors to meet their cloud needs; CloudTrail (60 percent), VPC Flow Logs (34 percent) and GuardDuty (22 percent) respectively. 

The report is developed from data that is aggregated from more than 2100 Sumo Logic customers that run applications over several major cloud platforms as well as on-premises environments. The report highlighted the importance of securing cloud workloads via the adoption of both cloud-native security technologies and available cloud data sources. 

Furthermore, the pandemic has highlighted how important remote work is – and that is where cloud-computing shines bright. The rise in multi-cloud adoption led enterprises to modern cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

It is noteworthy to mention that AWS regional centers in the EU and US were among the top targets for hackers, according to the Sumo Logic’s global intelligence. 

What are the benefits of multi-cloud adoption? 

  • Flexibility: No single cloud can perform most business functions, or at least no single cloud can do everything well. Integrating multi-cloud can allocate the right cloud platform to the right business function 
  • Proximity: By hosting some workloads through regional cloud providers that operate closer to where the user is, the enterprise would be greatly enhancing a user’s experience
  • Failover: As a failover solution, multi-cloud adoption can protect an enterprise from outages by providing readily available and highly scalable backup for data and workflows for systems 
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Why GovTech adoption during COVID-19 is a must

Adnan Kayyali




GovTech is a new term that refers to the modernization and/or digitization of government services for better accessibility and efficiency of public services. A mouth full, but this suggests a need for governments to do what the private sector has been doing from the start: embrace and incorporate industry 4.0 technology. However, to do so on a governmental level is complex.

The tech revolution occurring around the world, accelerated by the pandemic will not wait for governments to search their paper file cabinet for a solution. Citizens’ expectations of speed and efficiency are set higher by the private sector.

Too many authorities in developing nations, and many government-managed institutions in developed nations, are woefully behind on tech adoption within their systems.

According to the World Bank’s definition as stated in their brief, GovTech is essentially about putting people first.

“GovTech is a whole-of-government approach to public sector modernization that promotes simple, accessible, and efficient government”.

Governments who had already begun improving their digital infrastructure before the pandemic, had a better chance of curbing outbreaks after the initial wave with known exceptions. Namely the US and UK. 

Examples of GovTech used well during the pandemic can be found more to the east, in Singapore and South Korea among others, where data-gathering and citizen compliance with safety measures worked well to begin with.

Still, in the United states we see examples of GovTech being implemented even before the pandemic.

In areas of infrastructure, 120 Water Audit was recently launched, a cloud-based water management software, that a government on any level and size can use to minimize water waste.

During the pandemic, we have seen companies like BlueDot develop early warning systems to predict outbreaks, allowing governments to react preemptively. These systems used data gathered from numerous data sets from news, medical records and airlines to detect certain trends using their algorithm.

In the future, we should expect better GovTech adoption in public health services. Governments must work with the private sector to secure the right systems and consolidate their systems for better data collection. Undoubtedly, this is a long-term process.

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