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New Delhi: The novel coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate countries across the world — the latest count being over 3.3 crore cases and more than 10 lakh deaths.

The Philippines is at the centre of a maritime crisis as 3,00,000 seafarers remain stranded on ships. New York City in the grip of a long, extended financial crisis. And data on the virus might not be available for years in Mexico.

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

‘I just want my husband’s remains to be returned to us’

With thousands of seafarers in lockdown on their ships and far away from home, the Philippines is in the middle of a maritime crisis, reports Al Jazeera.

The report says about 3,00,000 people have been quarantined on ships due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “And if anyone dies, varying country health protocols on the repatriation of remains, discontinued flights and inter-governmental bureaucracy means families are facing heartbreaking obstacles to claiming the remains of their loved ones,” it highlights.

It also describes the devastating story of Raul Calopez, who died aboard a Chinese fishing vessel back in January. His wife, however, is yet to receive his remains.

The Philippines has recorded 3,07,288 and 5,381 deaths.

‘We’re at war’ — New York City faces financial abyss

The financial capital of the world, New York City, is grappling with a financial crisis, reports The New York Times.

The report explains that the unemployment rate in the city is at 16 per cent, twice the national average, and personal income tax revenue is expected to fall by $2 billion in the fiscal year. It adds that “only a third of hotel rooms are occupied and apartment vacancies in Manhattan have hit a peak”.

The report also quotes former state official Richard Ravitch, who said, “We’re on the verge of a tragedy. I don’t know what’s going to happen to the city.”

The US has recorded 73,61,611 cases and 2,09,808 deaths.

Mexico virus data may not be available for years

Top officials in Mexico have said data on the novel coronavirus won’t be available for a couple of years, reports the Associated Press.

The report notes Assistant Health Secretary Hugo López-Gatell’s remarks: “When will the final statistics on deaths from COVID-19 be ready? Certainly, a couple of years after the first year of the pandemic.”

For now, Mexico, which is testing very little, has only accounted for cases of those who died after a positive test report. Those who died at home or weren’t tested, remain excluded, even though parts of the country are factoring in these “excess deaths”, the report adds.

Mexico has reported 7,33,717 cases and 76,603 deaths.

Israeli politicians argue over curbs on protests, prayers

Politicians in Israel have been arguing over controversial measures that impose a limit on the number of people allowed at protests and prayers, reports The Guardian.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was unable to pass a legislation limiting protests to groups of no more than 20 people.

“Without the ban in place, thousands turned out on Saturday night. Referring to Netanyahu’s corruption allegations – which he denies – protesters chanted ‘disgrace’ and ‘thou shalt not steal’, quoting the Ten Commandments ahead of Yom Kippur,” the report notes.

Israel has recorded 2,33,265 cases and 1,507 deaths.

Also read: All UK pubs are supposed to shut down at 10 pm, except this one place

New rules in Netherlands to cope with virus surge

The Netherlands government has introduced new measures as the country braces itself for a second wave of infections, reports the BBC.

“Many residents in the Netherlands will for the first time be advised to wear a face mask in shops,” the report highlights.

Nearly 3,000 daily cases are being recorded in the country. According to the new measures, restaurants and bars will be asked to close by 10 pm and social gatherings inside homes will be limited to three people.

The Netherlands has recorded 1,14,540 cases and 6,380 deaths.

Unemployment rates recovering in Malaysia 

After two months of harsh lockdown spelled job losses, Malaysia’s unemployment rates now seem to be recovering, reports The Straits Times.

In May, two months after the lockdown was implemented, unemployment had gone up from 3.9 per cent to 5.3 per cent. However, by July, a month after the Movement Control Order (MCO) was lifted, this dipped to 4.7 per cent, says the report.

“More than 10,000 people joined Grab (a delivery service app) as driver- and delivery-partners during the recovery phase of the MCO,” the report further notes.

Malaysia has reported 11,034 cases and 134 deaths.

Puzzled scientists seek reasons behind Africa’s low fatality rates from pandemic

Scientists are confused as to how African countries, where Covid-19 was expected to have devastating effects, have recorded lower fatality rates than other continents, reports Reuters.

:The continent’s case fatality count stands at 2.4%, with roughly 35,000 deaths among the more than 1.4 million people reported infected with COVID-19, according to Reuters data as at late Monday. In North America, it is 2.9% and in Europe 4.5%,” notes the report.

“Experts say that some COVID-19 deaths in Africa probably are being missed,” the report says, but adds that even accounting for that, there is general agreement the toll has been better than expected. “Scientists and public health experts cite a number of possible factors, including the continent’s youthful population and lessons learned from previous disease outbreaks,” it adds.

Africa has reported 1.4 million cases and 35,000 deaths.

What else we are reading:

These violins survived the Holocaust. COVID-19 sent them back into hiding: Los Angeles Times

After a brutal first wave, Italy stands out as one of the Europe’s best performers: The Sydney Morning Herald 

Also read: Stranded at sea for 18 months — how shipping crews have been let down by Covid restrictions


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