24 December 2020

This Week’s COVID-19 Snapshot

In this edition, we highlight how the sharp rise in COVID-19 cases across Thailand will likely result in an extension of the state of emergency, the consequences of Bolsonaro’s efforts to downplay the virus, how the new COVID-19 variant will likely increase the transmission rate and more.

24 December 2020 – Thailand


  • Significant rise in COVID-19 cases will likely prompt extension of state of emergency, but will not prevent further protests in coming months
  • Mass testing and quarantine measures at factories and food markets will disrupt production for firms with local suppliers
  • Large-scale community spread of virus will be limited by lockdown measures, but these will further damage tourism industry and prolong economic recovery


23 December 2020 – Iran


  • Supreme Leader’s support for nuclear deal suggests talks with Biden administration will take place, but breakthrough unlikely in next six months
  • Biden may consider facilitating humanitarian payment channel as confidence-building measure, enabling Tehran to purchase COVID-19 vaccines
  • Imports of COVID-19 vaccines in conjunction with domestic clinical trials may enable authorities to roll out vaccination programme next year


22 December 2020 – Brazil


  • Bolsonaro’s downplaying of COVID-19 and courting of anti-vaxxer sentiment will prolong pandemic and delay economic recovery
  • Continued friction between federal and state governments will undermine attempts to vaccinate populations
  • Staff in Brazil will remain exposed to virus into at least late 2021, and related economic disruption will continue


21 December 2020 – Special Report


  • Rapid growth of new SARS-CoV-2 variant in UK raises credible concerns of increased transmission, but vaccines will very likely remain effective
  • Widespread travel bans will likely remain in place until end of year, but new variant will probably already be circulating widely beyond UK
  • Affected countries will need to implement stricter lockdowns if increased transmissibility of new variant is confirmed

For full assessments request the free weekly COVID-19 roundup here.