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World’s children pushed into work, UK universities see cases spike & 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 3.3 crore cases and more than 10 lakh deaths.

In Kenya, more than 36,100 people have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Madrid’s local authorities go up against the Spanish government’s call for a citywide lockdown. And globally, the closure of schools has forced tens of thousands of children to take up work.

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

As Covid-19 closes schools, the world’s children go to work

School closures in several parts of the world have led to an increase in child labour, reports The New York Times.

The report highlights an estimate by the United Nations according to which at least 24 million children will drop out and millions could be forced into work.

“Ten-year-olds are now mining sand in Kenya. Children the same age are chopping weeds on cocoa plantations in West Africa. In Indonesia, boys and girls as young as 8 are painted silver and pressed into service as living statues who beg for money,” it adds.

The report also described the plight of an 11-year-old from India who was forced to become a rag picker due to the pandemic.

Madrid in standoff with government over Covid-19 lockdown

The Spanish government and local authorities in the capital city of Madrid have locked horns over the call to issue a citywide lockdown, reports The Guardian.

“The conservative regional government has placed 45 areas into a partial lockdown that affects just over a million people in Madrid, but it has rejected calls from Spain’s socialist-led coalition government for the whole of the capital to be placed in limited confinement,” the report notes.

The national health minister, Salvador Illa, urged the Madrid authorities “to listen to the science” even as the regional government said there was no need for a “healthcare intervention”.

Spain is currently tackling its second wave of Covid-19. It has recorded 7,35,198 cases and 31,232 deaths.

UK universities grapple with spiralling Covid-19 outbreaks

The UK is witnessing a spurt of Covid-19 cases across several universities, reports Reuters.

College students from across the world have been flying into the UK since early this month to begin their academic year after the country opened its borders. As a result, outbreaks were reported in several universities including Cambridge, Oxford and Edinburgh, forcing the management to ask students to self-isolate and attend lectures online.

“Robert Halfon, the head of parliament’s education committee, said 3,000 students were in lockdown and the health minister said this week he could not rule out asking students to stay on campus over Christmas to prevent the virus from spreading,” says the report.

The UK has reported 4,34,969 cases and 41,988 deaths.

Also read: Struggling in online classes? It’s actually helping your future career

[Kenyan] State reveals number of jobs lost due to Covid-19

The Kenyan government revealed that about 36,163 people working in formal and informal sectors have lost their jobs, reports Nation.

The government report that was filed before the National Assembly Committee on Labour and Social Welfare “indicates that the most affected sector includes hospitality and manufacturing”. Moreover, 4,105 migrant workers in 34 countries have also been affected by the crisis.

“The Ministry [of Labour and Social Service] said it is in the process of establishing Kenya’s migrant workers welfare fund,” the report notes.

Kenya has reported 38,115 Covid cases and 691 deaths.

NSW records zero new Covid-19 cases for second successive day

Australia’s New South Wales, where Sydney is located, recorded a second consecutive day of zero cases, reports The Sydney Morning Herald. The number of Covid-19 cases also declined in the state of Victoria, where Melbourne is located.

“The drop in numbers has prompted New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to say travel between New Zealand and some states of Australia is possible before the end of the year,” the report notes.

Lauding public efforts to heed health warnings, Premier Gladys Berejiklian, however, said that no one should be “lulled into a false sense of security”.

Australia has recorded 27,044 cases and 875 deaths.

Prison coronavirus outbreak in La Paz; 21 inmates infected

The La Paz penitentiary prison in Mexico’s Baja California Sur (BCS) state is seeing a spurt of cases among its inmates, reports Mexico News Daily, as 21 inmates in the prison tested positive after one presented symptoms.

The report notes that all the affected are stable and in isolation and “sanitary measures are being stepped up with testing to begin soon on staff at the state prison”.

“According to the Ministry of Health, BCS has experienced 26.8% more deaths than expected this year due to the coronavirus, a figure substantially lower than the national average excess mortality rate of 32.4%,” it highlights.

Mexico has recorded 7,30,317 cases and 76,430 deaths.

What else we are reading:

Concerns mount as Iran gripped by third major COVID-19 wave: Al Jazeera

How the world lost 1 million lives to Covid-19: The Straits Times 

Also read: With rising Covid cases, unemployment & Brexit talks, Boris Johnson is facing a hard winter


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