Wednesday, 26 January, 2022
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China split on vaccine doses, South African teachers demand pay raise & 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 3.1 crore cases and more than 9.6 lakh deaths.

Israel approves an economic relief package, Chinese authorities are split over how to administer vaccine doses and students in Los Angeles struggle to find a place to study.

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

Chinese authorities split over vaccine doses

Public heath officials in China are divided on whether its people must be administered with at least one shot of the Covid vaccine in winter if such a vaccine becomes available locally, before the virus rears its head again, reports the Asia Times.

Authorities are fearful that they may face a “crisis of expectations” since vaccine production didn’t keep up with the deadline expected otherwise.

“In a turn, Beijing now appears to be trying to manage expectations about its under-trial vaccines. Many Chinese, owing to a steady diet of state propaganda about how safe and effective these vaccines will be, believe they will soon be inoculated,” says the report.

China has recorded 85,297 cases of Covid-19 and 4,634 deaths.

Los Angeles families struggle with hunger, providing digital study tools

A survey conducted by researchers from USC and the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools reveals that in parts of LA, families with young children, that are already coping with income losses, have struggled to get access to computers and internet, which has severely hampered education throughout the semester, reports the Los Angeles Times.

“About three-quarters of families surveyed had experienced a loss of income and food insecurity during the pandemic and nearly 30% faced health challenges and housing insecurity. Even so, in about 1 in 3 families made investments to support online learning, including paying for internet access,” says the report.

The survey indicates how the pandemic has impacted lower-income groups and made the digital divide even wider.

The US has recorded 70,46,216 cases of Covid-19 and 2,04,506 deaths.


Also read: US looks at ‘third Covid wave’ as infections sweep colleges


Israel approves coronavirus economic relief package

The Israel government on Monday approved plans to “expand the economy safety net” and release an economic package to the tune of NIS 10.5 billion to mitigate the effects of the pandemic and lockdown on businesses and employees, reports The Jerusalem Times.

“Finance Minister Katz noted that in the future he will bring forth a plan for cuts in other sectors,” says the report. It added that earlier, “10% cut in the salaries of Knesset [Israeli legislature] members and ministers was approved. Finance Minister Katz noted that in the future he will bring forth a plan for cuts in other sectors, intended for individuals whose salary is equal or greater than that the salary of an MK, as well as officials in the justice system.”

Israel has recorded 1,90,929 cases of Covid-19 and 1,273.

Teachers union in South Africa fights for increase in pay

Thousands of teachers across South Africa are expected to start teaching in classrooms again, which has led the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) going to court and fighting for an increase in wages, reports the Independent Online.

Earlier, around 22,500 teachers had been granted a concession owing to comorbodities. But they have been asked to return to work.

“National Teachers Union president Allen Thompson said it was important to remember that these teachers were not sick. ‘These are teachers who had been granted concessions either due to age or some health issues. Their return means that we should address the issue of overcrowding in classes. We do not expect that there will be classes that are overcrowded as there are substitute teachers,'” the report said.

The report also quoted SADTU’s chief negotiator, Mugwena Maluleke, who said the “government was attempting to use the Covid-19 pandemic as an excuse to avoid its legal obligations”.

South Africa has recorded 6,61,936 cases of Covid-19 and 15,992 deaths.

Intensive care mortality rate for Covid lower than average in Denmark

According to a new study by experts from Rigshospitalet hospital in Denmark, one third of coronavirus patients admitted into ICUs in the pandemic’s first wave did not make it, reports The Copenhagen Post. This, the report says, is well below the one-in-two ratio of other countries such as the UK, US and Italy.

Typically, the mortality rate for a patient admitted to an ICU is 35 to 50 per cent.

Nicolai Haase, an intensive care doctor at Rigshospitalet said, “It is difficult to compare countries, but you can say that if you get seriously ill with coronavirus, then Denmark is a good place to be.”

Denmark has so far reported 23,323 cases of Covid-19 and 640 deaths.

New South Wales records no locally acquired Covid cases

Australia’s New South Wales is set to open its border with Queensland by 6 October if all cases can be traced back to their origin. New South Wales also recorded zero locally acquired cases as of Tuesday, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.

“The good news kept coming as South Australia announced it would reopen NSW from Thursday and Queensland would extend its border community bubble to include five more areas in northern NSW,” says the report.

Australia has reported 26,942 cases and 854 deaths.

What else we are reading:

Test blitz planned as Hong Kong braces for fourth wave: Asia Times

Nightclubs face ruin as they are still barred from opening under level 1: Independent Online


Also read: Graveyard orgies, books, booze — how people killed pandemic boredom before phones, Netflix


 

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