Representational image of Downtown Seoul | Commons
Representational image of Downtown Seoul | Commons
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New Delhi: The novel coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate countries across the world — the latest count being more than 2.97 crore cases and above 9.3 lakh deaths.

A restaurant in South Korea’s capital Seoul has tested the use of a robot to wait tables in a bid to maintain physical distance. France will roll out saliva tests soon and the UAE has approved a vaccine, which is still in its third phase of trial, for emergency use by healthcare workers.

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

AI robot serve diners at South Korea restaurant

In order to maintain physical distancing and minimise human contact, a “trolley-like robot” called Aglio Kim, which uses Artificial Intelligence, has been serving food to customers in Seoul restaurants, reports Reuters.

This robot can carry food trays that weight up to 30 kgs. It also is equipped with an LCD screen and a speaker that can communicate in both Korean and English.

“Shortly after customers order through a touchscreen on the table, the 1.25m-tall robot, developed by South Korean telecoms company KT Corp, brings the food and uses its visual SLAM (simultaneous localisation and mapping) capabilities to avoid obstacles and navigate around customers,” says the report.

South Korea has recorded 22,504 cases of Covid-19 and 367 deaths.

China immunising thousands before trials are completed

China has been ‘inoculating’ thousands of its citizens with ‘experimental’ coronavirus vaccines. This has experts concerned since these vaccines have not completed their standards trials yet, reports Reuters.

Chinese government had launched a vaccine emergency-use programme in July. It had offered three experimental shots developed by Sinopharm and US-listed Sinovac Biotech.

“Aiming to protect essential workers and reduce the likelihood of a resurgence, the vaccines are also grabbing attention in the global scramble by governments to secure supplies, potentially helping reframe China’s perceived role in the pandemic,” says the report.

China has recorded 85,214 cases of Covid-19 and 4,634 deaths.

UAE approves emergency use of Covid vaccine for health workers

The United Arab Emirates Monday granted “emergency approval” to a Covid vaccine that is in its third phase of testing, for the use of healthcare workers, reports Arab News.

This vaccine was developed by a pharmaceutical company based in China called Sinopharmin. It is one of the 26 vaccines in the world that have reached the stage of human trials.

“Health Minister Abdulrahman Al-Owais said the vaccine would be available for ‘first-line-of-defense heroes, who are most at risk of catching Covid-19, protecting them from any danger that they may be exposed to due to the nature of their work’,” says the report.

The UAE has recorded 80,940 cases of Covid-19 and 401 deaths.

Also read: Trump now says Covid vaccine could be ready in ‘3 weeks, 4 weeks’

Kenyan government paying people who lost their jobs to clean sewers

In order to help those who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, the Kenyan government is paying hundreds of thousands citizens to “brave open sewers” to clean up neighbourhoods, reports the BBC.

They collect plastic bottles, dirty nappies, human faeces from these open sewers using a metal spade.

“To prevent even bigger problems such as increasing crime and looting, the government launched a large-scale nationwide employment project to provide work to more than 2,00,000 Kenyans under the age of 35,” says the report.

Kenya has recorded 36,301 cases of Covid-19 and 634 deaths.

Schools reopen in Toronto post Covid

For schools reopening across Toronto, adjusting to the new normal is a production, reports the Toronto Star.

On the first day of classes, 69 students were expected, and by the end of the week, this number could go up to 250. There are strips of red tape that mark spots to help ensure physical distancing, students are given hand sanitisers before entering then class room and the principal issues regular reminders about hand hygiene.

“There will be a lot of differences and adjustments,” said Toronto District School Board interim director of education Carlene Jackson.

“For teachers — many of whom only learned of their classroom assignments at the last minute — start-up ‘will be a challenge for the most part,’ but Jackson said she is confident that they will ‘rise to the occasion,’” says the report.

Canada has recorded 1,38,802 cases of Covid-19 and 9,188 deaths.

Covid-19 saliva test to be available in France in few weeks

The President of Conseil Scientifique told a senate hearing that saliva tests for Covid-19 should be available across France by the end of September, reports The Connexion.

“Professor Jean-Francois Delfraissy told senators that the tests, which he said had a ‘sensitivity of 80%’ had been trialled in the Paris region and in French Guiana and would make testing quicker and easier than the current swab method,” says the report.

France has recorded 3,95,104 cases of Covid-19 and 30,999 deaths.

What else we are reading:

Canada’s largest private retirement home operator wants to stop quarantining new residents — but experts say that could put seniors at risk: Toronto Star

Fever checks are no safeguard against Covid-19: The New York Times

Also read: World was unprepared for Covid despite warning signs, says global panel


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