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Hard Numbers: Spanish health workers bear the brunt, Wuhan's legit death toll, and ISIS escapees

Hard Numbers: Spanish health workers bear the brunt, Wuhan's legit death toll, and ISIS escapees

40,000: As a months-long lockdown on the Chinese city of Wuhan – ground zero of the coronavirus pandemic – is slowly being lifted, skeptics are throwing shade on the official government narrative, which puts Wuhan's death toll at just 2,500. As funeral homes release cremated ashes to family members of those who succumbed to the disease, residents say there have likely been over 40,000 deaths in Wuhan from COVID-19.


12,300: About 12,300 Spanish healthcare workers have contracted COVID-19 as they grapple with one of the biggest outbreaks in the world. Medical professionals now account for-some 14 percent of all cases reported in the country. It's harder to fight a disease when the people fighting the disease are laid low by the disease.

1,000: Kurdish forces said some 1,000 ISIS fighters were still rampaging through a prison facility in northeastern Syria, after staging an uprising. The prison in the Syrian city of Hasaka houses around 5,000 former ISIS members detained after the self-declared Islamic State was mostly overrun last year.

0: Out of dozens of prominent economists surveyed in a new University of Chicago study, precisely zero of them supported the idea that leaving severe lockdowns in place is worse for the economy than releasing them, for as long as the risk of infections remains high. President Trump has recently backed off his idea of "reopening" the economy by Easter and has prolonged social distancing guidelines through the end of April.

Khant Thaw Htoo is a young engineer who works in Eni's Sakura Tower office in the heart of Yangon. As an HSE engineer, he monitors the safety and environmental impact of onshore and offshore operations. He also looks out for his parents' well-being, in keeping with Myanmar's traditions.

Learn more about Khant in the final episode of the Faces of Eni series, which focuses on Eni's employees around the world.

Over the weekend, some 40,000 Russians braved subzero temperatures to turn out in the streets in support of imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. More than 3,000 protesters were arrested, and Navalny called on his followers to prepare for more action in the coming weeks.

But just who is Alexei Navalny, and how significant is the threat that he may pose to Vladimir Putin's stranglehold on power in Russia?

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take (part 1):

Ian Bremmer here, happy Monday. And have your Quick Take to start off the week.

Maybe start off with Biden because now President Biden has had a week, almost a week, right? How was it? How's he doing? Well, for the first week, I would say pretty good. Not exceptional, but not bad, not bad. Normal. I know everyone's excited that there's normalcy. We will not be excited there's normalcy when crises start hitting and when life gets harder and we are still in the middle of a horrible pandemic and he has to respond to it. But for the first week, it was okay.

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Russian opposition leader Navalny in jail. Hundreds of thousands demonstrating across the country in Russia over well over 100 cities, well over 3000 arrested. And Putin responding by saying that this video that was put out that showed what Navalny said was Putin's palace that costs well over a billion dollars to create and Putin, I got to say, usually he doesn't respond to this stuff very quickly. Looked a little defensive, said didn't really watch it, saw some of it, but it definitely wasn't owned by him or owned by his relatives.

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Even as vaccines roll out around the world, COVID-19 is continuing to spread like wildfire in many places, dashing hopes of a return to normal life any time soon. Some countries, like Israel and the UK for instance, have been praised for their inoculation drives, while still recording a high number of new cases. It's clear that while inoculations are cause for hope, the pace of rollouts cannot keep up with the fast-moving virus. Here's a look at the countries that have vaccinated the largest percentages of their populations so far – and a snapshot of their daily COVID caseloads (7-day rolling average) in recent weeks.

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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