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These stories are part of Global Voices’ special coverage of COVID-19 and offer a view on the pandemic from the perspective of our global community of contributors.

Stories about COVID-19 from January, 2021

Pandemic soca: How COVID-19 is shaping the sound of Trinidad & Tobago's cancelled Carnival

There may be no physical Carnival celebrations this year, but Trinbagonian soca artists are still churning out songs, many of them around the theme of COVID-19.

Critics warn Malaysia’s state of emergency could undermine democracy

"Members of the public should not be treated as enemies and be dealt with by military personnel."

In Tanzania, full-throttle COVID-19 denial leaves citizens without access to public health information

Since March 2020, the Tanzanian government has gone silent on the coronavirus with no data released to the public on infections or deaths.

Protests mount over Israeli medical apartheid during pandemic

Israel completely leaves out Palestinians under its occupation in its highly successful COVID-19 vaccination drive, already covering over a quarter of its population since mid-December.

UK strain of COVID-19 arrives in Trinidad & Tobago

The variant was detected via genome sequencing testing being done by the University of the West Indies.

COVID-19, digital rights and Nigeria's emerging surveillance state

In Nigeria, contact-tracing apps raise valid concerns about the government's attempts to leverage this for future clampdowns on citizens' digital rights — long after the pandemic is long gone. 

In Mozambique, a tug of war between public health and digital rights during the pandemic

Under an extended state of emergency in Mozambique, several new digital platforms emerged to disseminate COVID-19 information. But these initiatives lack clarity in terms of data privacy and personal security.

Caribbean calls for global summit to address fair COVID-19 vaccine roll-out

CARICOM is 'deeply concerned at the current prospect of inequitable access to vaccines,' noting that smaller countries would inevitably find it difficult to compete.

Lockdown to shutdown: How COVID-19 stifled digital rights in Zimbabwe

COVID-19 and its subsequent government policies have had far-reaching implications on digital rights and media freedom in Zimbabwe.

Namibia's COVID-19 internet rollout impresses, but excludes and widens control

Namibia's tech-driven effort to bring more Namibians online during the pandemic seems brilliant. But most of Namibia’s historically marginalized native populations have been excluded. 

In Uganda, COVID-19 rules are ‘perfect instrument for criminalizing dissent’

In Uganda, increased criminalization of misinformation during the pandemic infringed on citizens’ rights to freedom of expression and access to information, especially targeting journalists and human rights activists.

The pandemic killed Trinidad & Tobago's 2021 Carnival, but soca music keeps the spirit alive

"Soca Music is an experience, nothing can beat the feeling you get when [...] you hear that one song that hits you with a wave of emotion."

COVID-19 and shrinking freedom limits in Jordan

In Jordan, recent detentions of journalists and activists in 2020 bear the hallmarks of a police state.

Despite attacks and threats, a Brazilian priest distributes aid to São Paulo's growing homeless population

A symbol of the struggle for rights for vulnerable people, Father Júlio Lancellotti's been sued by President Bolsonaro and has suffered attacks from a conservative candidate in São Paulo.

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