Hard Numbers: Ethiopia faces locusts again, Japan's COVID response lags, and Russian booze booms
1 million: The UN said this week that recent massive locust infestations in East Africa (some swarms were estimated to be the size of Moscow) have decimated crops, forcing 1 million Ethiopians onto food aid. And it's not over. The UN has also warned that a coming second wave of locusts could be twenty times worse.
14: A surge in fighting between the UN-backed government in Libya and opposition forces has forced the closure of 14 hospitals just as the war-torn country has recorded dozens of new COVID-19 cases. Coronavirus-designated hospitals in Tripoli, the capital, have been targeted in the fighting, prompting the UN to call for an immediate ceasefire. So far, no one is listening.
75: A majority of Japanese – some 75 percent – think that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's move to declare a state of emergency last week in response to the coronavirus pandemic came too late. The move allows some states to mandate the closure of schools and businesses, and order residents to stay in their homes.
65: Alcohol abuse in Russia may have fallen sharply over the past 15 years, but with millions of Russians now under home quarantine orders, vodka sales leapt 65 percent in the last week of March. Hospitals say they are now gearing up for a host of booze-related admissions.