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COVID-19: India becomes first country to record over 80,000 infections in single day

It isn't comforting to know that India has become the first country to cross 80,000 cases in a day (“India records highest 1-day spike of 83,883 COVID-19 cases”, Gulf News, September 03). So is the case with Tamil Nadu State, which too has peaked with 6,495 cases on Sunday. Despite such an alarming increase in COVID-19 cases in our country, the government has come out with unlock 4.0 norms, allowing public transport, the opening of malls, etc. Fortunately, they have wisely excluded educational institutions and cinema halls, which is laudable. Still, the unlock 4.0 is fraught with danger, as the cases are bound to increase, unless stringent punishment is meted out to the offenders of set norms like wearing a mask, social distancing in public places, etc. the tally of our nation could even cross a lakh a day. It is up to the public to be cautious as the government is keen only to improve the economy rather than the safety and welfare of people.

From Mr N Viswanathan

Coimbatore, India

COVID-19: The United Kingdom should give enough notice to aid reliant countries

I am not an advocate of international aid to developing countries (“Britain and Germany announce $340 million aid to Yemen”, Gulf News, June 02). I also understand that international aid may foster dependency. As the United Kingdom plans to slash the foreign assistance to plug black hole caused by the coronavirus, it should give enough notice and reasonable transition period to countries that firmly rely on the aid, so that they can come up with strategies and adjust effectively to the new reality. The aid should not just be cut immediately as this may cause havoc to the recipient countries, and this sounds harsh and inhumane. Cutting the budget directly without notice or grace period will make Britain look cruel when, in fact, these countries have been helped by the UK for so long. An immediate cut of the budget will immediately erode the level of appreciation. Even though there is some theory that international aid fosters dependency, there are genuine countries that make effective use of aid and are unfortunate in terms of resources. These countries may experience extreme poverty and persistence hunger due to geographical location, natural disasters such as severe drought and floods. It should always be appreciated that foreign aid strengthens global peace, security and governance. It builds greater stability and more effective and accountable governance through addressing the underlying causes of conflict and insecurity; maintaining a sharp focus on prevention; tackling crime and corruption; and supporting transparency, capability and trust in institutions. It also promotes global prosperity, tackles extreme poverty, helps the world’s most vulnerable and supports a strong and resilient international system.

From Mr Handsen Chikowore

London, United Kingdom

‘Universal Translator’: Can this invention not be reality?

In a world full of growing technology, digital inventions have changed the way of life, making it simpler with time. One such invention that I wish could exist but doesn't currently exist is a 'universal translator'. I wish there would be an app or software that could translate languages as we watch something on a screen. Let me explain to you, it all started when I faced difficulties in watching my favourite Hollywood movies, not in my mother tongue which is Hindi/Urdu or watching my favourite Turkish dramas with English subtitles. I know it's a problem faced by many when watching a show in a different language, and hurrying to read the subtitles before they disappear. There should be a tool that could not only translate but also take up voices of the characters in a show or movie which we are watching. In that way, you could watch your favourite show with great ease. Many people often do not watch movies or shows of different countries due to the language barrier, because of the difficulty understanding them. So, a voice-to-voice translation tool could be of so much use and would also further brighten up the media and entertainment industry. With the developing world and people with great minds, is this a non-possible invention? People might also think of it as somewhat like 'Siri' which is a form of virtual assistance provided by the apple company or the "google assistance" provided by android that makes the use of language to answer questions or perform actions that the user wants in their own preferred language making it easier for any user to handle devices and can also be used by blind people making the phone easy to handle. Many companies translate movies and show to different languages, but it takes a great deal of time and people's assistance, so software like this which could be easily accessible or even present in each video could be widely used and would offer simplicity to the user. Such a tool would not only be used for entertainment purposes but could also be used for a wide range of aspects from students for educational purposes, to listen to lecturers/professors speaking about a topic from all over the world. Such a tool would also help one understand different cultures and society deeply as language is the key to human lives, and said to be the core of humanity.

From Ms Shiza Hajira


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