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China to test an entire city, pandemic ‘amplifies’ divorce in Canada & 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 3.8 crore cases and more than 10 lakh deaths.

China plans to test the entire city of Qingdao after six Covid-19 cases were recorded in the region. The coronavirus pandemic has heightened tensions in already strained marriages in Canada and civil society in South Africa fears that a cut in Covid relief funds may increase gender-based violence.

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

China to test entire city after 6 Covid cases were recorded

China intends to test more than 9 million citizens residing in the port city of Qingdao in the next five days, reports Asia Times. 

A decision to this effect was taken after six cases of Covid-19 were recorded in a hospital in the city. According to a statement by the municipal health commission in Qingdao, five districts are expected to be screened “within three days” and the entire city “within five days”.

“China has extensive, quick test capabilities and the health commission said more than 1,40,000 employees of ‘medical institutions, newly admitted patients and personnel’ have already been tested in Qingdao since cases were confirmed,” notes the report.

China has recorded 85,591 cases of Covid-19 and 4,634 deaths.

Pandemic becomes ‘amplifier’ for divorce in Canadian couples 

The coronavirus pandemic is adding “unrelenting stress” on marriages that have already been going through disputes in Canada, reports The Globe and Mail. 

Divorce lawyers, couples therapists and mediators in Canada reveal that they are recording more calls from couples considering divorce compared to last year.

“The new realities of job loss, evaporated child care and upended marital roles at home have pushed some in strained relationships to the edge. Amid widespread uncertainty, its a particularly, trying time for a marriage to break down,” states the report.

Andrew Sofin, president of the Canadian Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, told The Globe and Daily Mail, “The couples who were showing cracks before, the pandemic became like an amplifier.”

Canada has recorded 1,82,839 cases of Covid-19 and 9,627 deaths.

Also read: Cure cannot be worse than problem, says Trump opposing perpetual Covid lockdowns

Civil society in South Africa fears increase in gender-based violence after cut in Covid relief 

The South African government may cut Covid-19 relief funds and the country’s civil society fears that this move could lead to an increase in gender-based violence, reports IOL.

Former public protector Thuli Mandonsela and other civil society organisations have now asked the government to continue to provide R350 (Rs 1,552) for relief and the R585 (Rs 2,595) monthly grant to caregivers.

In a press briefing, Mandonsela said that if the government was going to cut relief then “we must push them as women and girls would bear the brunt”.

“We know that when there is distress that women and girls will pay the price as they bear the burden of care,” she added.

South Africa has recorded 6,93,359 cases of Covid-19 and 17,863 deaths.

Europe witnesses second wave of Covid 

With a second wave of Covid-19 being recorded in Europe, France will be imposing lockdowns soon, Italy may impose a ban on private parties and the Czech Republic is expected to close bars and its schools, reports The Guardian. 

With countries imposing new restrictions in light of the second wave, World Health Organization Director General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also said that relying on achieving herd immunity would be both “scientifically and ethically problematic”.

Europe has recorded 61,50,853 cases of Covid-19 and 2,31,843 deaths in total.

Also read: Singapore faces ‘deep scarring’ from Covid, central bank chief Ravi Menon says

Israel begins ‘Corona guardian’ project to contain virus 

Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s national emergency pre-hospital medical and blood services organisation, has launched ‘Corona guardians’ — a project to contain the transmission of the virus, reports The Jerusalem Post. 

In this project, local citizens are being trained to learn how the virus transmits so they can contain transmission among their family and friends.

“During their training to become the new Corona Guardians, MDA’s youth volunteers learnt about the ways of infection of the virus and how to avoid it in the most effective ways in order to assist the public to learn how to break the chain of infection,” notes the report.

Israel has recorded 2,94,031 cases of Covid-19 and 2,021 deaths.

Will Covid-19 vaccine reach all of Africa? 

Experts have warned that the world’s plan of supplying vaccines to poor countries is “still no guarantee”, reports Mail and Guardian.

“In April, the vaccine alliance Gavi and others launched the Covax initiative aimed at pooling countries’ purchasing power to secure a minimum of affordable vaccines for participating countries. Donor funding will ideally allow the poorest nations to receive jabs for a heavily subsidised price,” notes the report

However, last week, Indian and South African representatives wrote a letter to the World Trade Organization asking the all-important question — “Will Covid vaccines reach the world’s poor?”

In the letter, India and South Africa asked the WTO to consider waiving some intellectual property protections during the pandemic to allow countries to manufacture or import a “patent-protected invention” such as the vaccine.

In an attempt to ensure that Covid vaccines are accessible, international organisation Doctors Without Borders is also urging Gavi to push for open licensing of the vaccines.

What else we are reading:

Cabinet to rule on exit strategy as death toll crosses 2,000: The Jerusalem Post 

The pandemic will change the electoral process: Mail & Guardian 

Also read: People agree businesses played bigger role than govts during Covid, survey shows


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