China-Russia-South America connection in the name of Covid-19

Treatment, drugs and loans. The strategy of Moscow and Beijing is based on the offer of treatments and resources to manage the health emergency, to replace the West and exploit the resources of the countries of the region
The governments of Russia and China are exploiting the health emergency for the Covid-19 pandemic to increase their presence in many Latin American countries.
Today Moscow announced the signing of an agreement with Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Paraguay and Uruguay for the delivery of the antiviral drug approved as a cure for the coronavirus. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (Rdfi) has confirmed the delivery of at least 150,000 packages of the drug Avifavir to these countries in the Latin American region.

The manufacturing technology will then be delivered to the Bolivian firm Sigma Corp, which will focus on manufacturing locally. The Russian Ministry of Health approved the use of this medicine as part of a special program for the treatment of the virus, and the results obtained so far have been very effective, according to the medical authorities in Moscow.
Avifavir was developed based on favipiravir, a generic antiviral produced in Japan that was very effective in treating the disease in an early stage, and is now being marketed to treat severe cases of influenza.

The drug has been tested in 30,000 patients in Russia, and has had side effects in 17.5% of the population. Avifavir was presented in Guatemala by Natalia Vostokova, chief operating officer of Ipharma, who claims “65% of coronavirus patients recovered in four days with this treatment, while 85% gave negative on the fifth day”. However, it is contraindicated for pregnant women and should only be used under medical observation in the hospital. Vostokova also stated that the drug would slow down the replication of the viral genome and has been tested “in Italy, North America, London, India, Bangladesh and Russia”.

“We are moving forward with some health and bureaucratic practices to purchase this drug and treat Covid-19 patients, so I believe we will soon see it in Venezuela,” Venezuelan Minister for Foreign Affairs Jorge Arreaza said in an interview. exclusive to the Russian broadcaster Sputnik. The representative of the regime of Nicolás Maduro said he is “proud” of the relationship he maintains with Moscow and is also admired by the scientific capacity of the Russians: “It is in the final test period and soon we will begin to vaccinate the population”.
“The pandemic has left capitalism bare. It is a moment of infliction – added Arreaza -, if humanity does not take advantage of this moment to change human relations, production, international relations, there will hardly be another opportunity, we must move towards a different world, it is essential ” .

Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said Moscow hopes to begin the mass vaccination program in October for free, and that clinical trials have been concluded by the Gamalei National Center for Epidemiological and Microbiology Research, but is still waiting the state register.
However, there are some doubts about Avifavir, as the BBC recalls in a report. “The results of the clinical trials presented by Japanese researchers do not record firm conclusions on the efficacy of favipiravir as a cure for the new coronavirus”. The British broadcaster echoes the statements of Yohei Doi, a researcher at the Fujita University of Health, who says that although the first patients treated with the drug initially improved compared to those who received it later, “the results are not statistically significant “.
Beijing also applies the geopolitics of the virus. Over the past five years, the Chinese government had drastically reduced the loans granted to Latin American countries, but with the health emergency it is taking them back to create a new link. At the end of July, China announced a $ 1 billion allocation to help the Latin American population purchase “made in China” vaccines and medicines.

And this has contributed to the strengthening of political ties. Brazil, for example, had distanced itself from China after the arrival of Jair Bolsonaro as president, but now with the tests for the coronavirus they have become allies again. The vaccine developed by the Chinese laboratory Sinovac Biotech is being tested in thousands of patients in Brazil, while the Coronavac vaccine is in phase 3, the latest for approval.
A contribution, the Chinese one, is not without interest. And it is that China will not only have these loans in return – thanks to the purchase of Chinese medicines – but will probably replace some western multinationals in the pharmaceutical industry.
Resources in the region, however, are not lacking. In the case of Venezuela, for example, the secretary of the Russian Security Council, Alexei Venediktov, has taken the side of the Maduro regime, denouncing that the British government has appropriated Venezuelan gold deposited in the Bank of England.

In an interview with Sputnik, Venediktov stated that “the London High Court claims that Venezuelan opposition MP Juan Guaidó is the head of state and rejects the Venezuelan request. It is, in fact, an illegal appropriation “. The representative of the Kremlin recalls that the Venezuelan authorities have deposited 30 tons of gold worth more than 1 billion dollars, and these funds are now essential for the South American country to face the Covid-19 pandemic (among other things, paying vaccines and treatments).
Venediktov believes that with the pandemic new conflicts will break out and regional disputes resurrect. International tension increases: “We can see it in the examples of Libya and Venezuela. The West tries to appropriate oil resources without even hiding it “.

By Domenico Greco

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