1. What is the US Defense Production Act, invoked to lift ventilator production?
- The Defense Production Act, 1950 gives the President the power to mobilise domestic industry so that the supply of essential materials and services is maintained for purposes of national defence.
- In the present situation, by invoking the Act, Trump has mandated General Motors to manufacture ventilators, considered crucial for those patients who develop breathing difficulties as a result of COVID-19.
- In some COVID-19 patients who develop breathing difficulties due to the infection, their breathing needs to be supported by ventilators.
- By using a ventilator, air is pumped into the lungs of the patients, which allows their body to rest and recover.
2. What lies behind Switzerland’s high rate of Covid-19 infections per million
- The country has among the world’s highest rate of infections per million people (1,340), more than Spain (1,200 cases) and Italy (1,190 cases).
- The Swiss government has categorised the situation in the country as “extraordinary”
- One reason for the country’s high rate of infection is believed to be its proximity to northern Italy.
- According to a report in a Switzerland publication The Local, Swiss authorities did not close down the border with Italy soon enough, believing that taking such a step would cause more harm.
- According to The Local, Switzerland’s social distancing measures were also inadequate.
- Switzerland initially adopted a strategy of only testing those who showed the most serious symptoms