Thursday, 27 January, 2022
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14 ‘overworked’ delivery drivers die in S Korea, shortage of nurses in US & other Covid news

As the Covid-19 pandemic shows no signs of letting up, ThePrint highlights the most important stories on the crisis from across the globe.

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New Delhi: The novel coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate countries across the world — the latest count being over 4.7 crore cases and more than 12 lakh deaths.

Delivery drivers in South Korea are struggling to cope with the volume of online deliveries. Hospitals in the US are competing to hire nurses as the number of Covid cases increase in the country, while Kenya is grappling with Covid fatigue among people who are now flouting the public health measures and refusing to wear masks.

ThePrint brings you the most important global stories on the coronavirus pandemic and why they matter.

South Korea’s delivery drivers are overworked and exhausted

Delivery drivers in South Korea are struggling to cope with the increasing volume of online orders during the pandemic, reports the BBC.

The report notes that the deaths of about 14 delivery personnel can be linked to overworking and the resulting exhaustion.

BBC describes the plight of one such worker, Mr Kim, who was found dead the day after he had delivered 400 packages in a 21-hour shift.

These cases, the report notes, have “won the attention of President Moon Jae-in who called for an overhaul of working conditions for delivery employees”.

“In August, South Korea’s labour ministry stepped in and urged the country’s major logistics companies to sign a declaration to ensure drivers got enough rest and did not have to work continuous overnight shifts,” the report adds.

South Korea has reported 26,807 cases and 472 deaths.


Also read: UK spies help National Health Service fight cyber crimes linked to Covid pandemic


Hospitals compete for nurses as cases surge in US

In the US, hospitals are competing for nursing staff as the pandemic continues to rage across the country, reports the Associated Press.

There is a shortage of nurses in rural areas, which is witnessing a surge in the number of cases, and at small hospitals as well, notes AP.

Health systems are turning to short-term travel nurses to help fill the gaps, according to the report.

AP quotes an emergency room nurse at Michigan’s Hurley Medical Center who said nurses have been quitting as they are “burned out with this whole (pandemic)”.

The US has reported 95,67,543 cases and 2,36,997 deaths. It has the highest disease burden in the world.

Why Kenyans are flouting masking, social distancing rules

Kenyans have been throwing caution to the wind and flouting Covid-19 safety protocols even as the number of cases surged past the 50,000-case mark recently, reports Nation.

The report notes how people in areas of Nairobi have stopped wearing masks, and some have even begun shaking hands “as was the norm before the pandemic”.

The report highlights psychologist Cleopa Njiru’s remark who blamed it on the “fatigue” cause by the pandemic.

“Some people are in a freeze mode. They do not care what happens so they do nothing about it. Others, out of fear and anxiety, withdraw and do nothing to save the situation,” the reports quotes her as saying.

Kenya has reported 56,601 cases and 1,027 deaths.

UK’s first mass testing exercise to take place in Liverpool

The first-ever mass testing exercise in the UK is all set to take place in Liverpool, which is one of the areas worst hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, reports The Guardian.

Nearly half a million people will be tested in the mass testing programme and, the report notes, the programme will employ “a variety of test types and the logistical help of the army”.

“The move comes amid rising concerns in Downing Street about compliance with the new lockdown rules and instructions to quarantine,” it adds.

“These tests will help identify the many thousands of people in the city who don’t have symptoms but can still infect others without knowing,” said UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The UK has reported 10,53,864 cases and 46,853 deaths.


Also read: Italy opts for targeted regional curbs in bid to avoid nationwide Covid lockdown


Crammed into camps, displaced Syrians fear Covid spread 

There are rising fears of a Covid surge in northwest Syria, where nearly 15 lakh people live in overcrowded camps, reports Agence France-Presse.

“The health authorities in northwest Syria have officially announced 5,075 cases of Covid-19 so far, including 42 deaths,” the report states.

It also highlights the plight of the displaced Syrians who remain scared of the virus but can’t leave the camps either.

“We’re so confused about what we should do. If only God would have us die and end our misery,” the report quotes 80-year-old Ghatwa al-Mohommad as saying.

Syria has reported 5,843 cases and 295 deaths.

What else we are reading:

Unlike previous lethal viruses, this one will define a major election: The Washington Post

Asia’s Covid-19 outbreaks coming under control, but officials remain on alert: The Straits Times

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