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Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 18th Oct 2021

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Brazil pandemic probe to recommend Bolsonaro face 11 criminal charges, senator says

A Brazilian Senate probe into the government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic will recommend in its final report due next week that President Jair Bolsonaro face 11 criminal charges, the senator leading the inquiry said on Friday, though it remains highly unlikely that he will face a trial on any such charges.
17th Oct 2021 - Reuters

We cannot continue to ignore the COVID childcare crisis

The world is facing a global care crisis that we must address urgently. When children live in unstable family environments or lose crucial family bonds at an early age, it can have irreversible consequences on the rest of their lives. We see it when we meet children like eight-month-old Aleksander* and his 10-year-old sister Natalyia, who both live in Ukraine. Tragically, they recently lost their mother who was raising them as a single parent. Local child protection authorities put them in the care of their father, Ivan. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ivan lost his job and also found himself unable to adequately provide for the children. The pandemic exacerbated the suffering of children like Alexander and Natalyia all over the world.
16th Oct 2021 - Al Jazeera English

Opinion | The Unvaccinated May Not Be Who You Think

Reality has refuted dire predictions about how Americans would respond to vaccine mandates. In a poll in September, 72 percent of the unvaccinated said they would quit if forced to be vaccinated for work. There were news articles warning of mass resignations. When large employers, school districts, and hospital systems did finally mandate vaccines, people subject to mandates got vaccinated, overwhelmingly. After United Airlines mandated vaccines, there were only 232 holdouts among 67,000 employees. Among about 10,000 employees in state-operated health care facilities in North Carolina, only 16 were fired for noncompliance.
16th Oct 2021 - The New York Times

Horse race marks Sydney's emergence from long COVID-19 lockdown

Thousands of Sydney residents flocked to a prominent horse race on Saturday, as Australia's biggest city emerges from a strict COVID-19 lockdown and the nation begins to live with the coronavirus through extensive vaccination. Up to 10,000 fully vaccinated spectators can now attend races such as The Everest in Sydney, Australia's richest turf horse race, and the country's most famous, Melbourne Cup Day, on Nov. 2. New South Wales state, of which Sydney is the capital, reached its target of 80% of people fully vaccinated on Saturday, well ahead of the rest of Australia.
16th Oct 2021 - Reuters

They Resisted Getting Vaccinated. Here’s Why They Changed Their Minds.

Mandates have prompted a surge in vaccinations among those who had held out. Some report feeling relief; others, anguish and resentment. The uptick in vaccinations has contributed, experts say, to a flattening of the virus curve in New York City, where the numbers of new infections and hospitalizations have been falling — a trend across the United States as well. Yet with winter approaching, public health experts are watching closely for yet another rise in infections. New York’s vaccination rate is higher than that of the country as a whole, with two out of every three residents fully inoculated. Still, about one million adult New Yorkers have not gotten at least one vaccine dose.
15th Oct 2021 - The New York Times


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 15th Oct 2021

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Queensland cops take police to court over Covid vaccine mandates

Queensland Police have been told by their commissioner to get Covid vaccine But 50 furious staff members are taking the fight to court and refuse to get vax Dozens of officers have already been suspended after not getting vaccinated Mandatory vaccination is becoming an increasingly controversial issue In NSW, people must be double-jabbed just to go to shops or the pub
14th Oct 2021 - Daily Mail

Anti-vaxxers paying $500 for fake Australian Covid vaccine passports that work to enter venues

More than a dozen accounts selling fake vaccine passports set up on Telegram One website is offering counterfeit Australian government documents for $500 Sources have told Daily Mail Australia they are aware of them working in Sydney A woman said her colleague was using one to successfully enter businesses The reports comes as Victoria and ACT prepare to reopen as they hit jab targets
14th Oct 2021 - Daily Mail

U.S. pastors, advocacy groups mobilize against COVID-19 vaccine mandates

From the outside, First Harvest Ministries in Waveland, Mississippi, could almost be mistaken for a storage shed were it not for the steeple. From the modest building however, Shane Vaughn, the Pentecostal church's pastor, has helped spearhead an online movement promoting personal faith as a way around workplace COVID-19 vaccine mandates. He posts form letters for U.S. workers seeking religious exemptions that have been downloaded from his website around 40,000 times, according to a screen shot of web traffic he shared with Reuters.
14th Oct 2021 - Reuters

How to Deal With an Anti-Vaxxer at a Holiday Dinner

So at a holiday gathering, plan a collaborative activity, like a puzzle, or Legos, or prepping dinner. Then get people telling stories—about how they made big life decisions, about lessons from loved ones they never forgot. Personal stories, personal truths—that’s how you coax out their values. You allow people to build bridges to their better selves. You’ll return to those values to find common ground and make your case. You persuade them by reminding them of the trust you’ve built and the values you share.
14th Oct 2021 - Bloomberg


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 14th Oct 2021

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South Korea launches panel to debate 'living with COVID-19'

South Korea established a panel on Wednesday to debate a strategy on how to "live with COVID-19" in the long-term, as the country seeks to phase out coronavirus restrictions and reopen the economy amid rising vaccination levels. Under the strategy, the government aims to relax coronavirus restrictions for citizens who can prove they have been fully vaccinated, while encouraging asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 patients aged below 70 to recover at home, the health ministry said last week. The government will also focus on the number of hospitalisations and deaths rather than new daily infections, and will consider not publishing the latter on a daily basis, Yonhap news agency has reported.
13th Oct 2021 - Reuters

Neo-fascists exploit ‘no-vax’ rage, posing dilemma for Italy

An extreme-right party’s violent exploitation of anger over Italy’s coronavirus restrictions is forcing authorities to wrestle with the country’s fascist legacy and fueling fears there could be a replay of last week’s mobs trying to force their way to Parliament. Starting Friday, anyone entering workplaces in Italy must have received at least one vaccine dose, or recovered from COVID-19 recently or tested negative within two days, using the country’s Green Pass to prove their status. Italians already use the pass to enter restaurants, theaters, gyms and other indoor entertainment, or to take long-distance buses, trains or domestic flights. But 10,000 opponents of that government decree turned out in Rome’s vast Piazza del Popolo last Saturday in a protest that degenerated into alarming violence.
13th Oct 2021 - The Associated Press


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 13th Oct 2021

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Australians Planning to Get Covid Vaccine More Optimistic: Westpac

Australian consumers who intend to get vaccinated are far more optimistic than those who don’t intend to have a jab, Westpac Banking Corp.’s October household sentiment survey showed. Respondents who are not vaccinated but intend to be recorded an index reading of 122 points, while those who aren’t vaccinated and don’t intend to be posted a reading of 84.8, Westpac’s monthly survey showed Wednesday. The overall consumer sentiment index slid 1.5% from last month to 104.6. “The confidence level of those not intending to get vaccinated has also fallen quite sharply in the last month,” said Bill Evans, chief economist at Westpac. “Encouragingly, the size of this group has fallen as well, accounting for only 6% of respondents in the October survey compared to 9% in September and just under 20% at the start of the year.”
13th Oct 2021 - Bloomberg

Schools are new battleground in war of disinformation over Covid-19 vaccines

The rollout of Covid-19 vaccinations to schoolchildren in the United Kingdom has opened up a new front in the disinformation war: anti-vax campaigners are now taking their protests to the school gates. Groups opposed to vaccination have sought to stoke the fears of parents and children by falsely claiming that the vaccines are untested and dangerous. Last week, a small group of protesters demonstrated outside St. Thomas More Catholic School in the town of Blaydon, near Newcastle in northeastern England, as children entered the school gates.
12th Oct 2021 - CNN

COVID-19: Thailand reopens to vaccinated UK travellers, as visiting dozens of destinations now easier after red list cut to just seven countries

Thailand will end quarantine for fully vaccinated UK travellers, as British COVID advice has been relaxed making it easier to visit almost 90 countries. Forty-seven nations were taken off the red list at 4am, meaning anyone arriving from places including South Africa, Brazil and Argentina no longer need to quarantine in a hotel.
12th Oct 2021 - Sky News

Demand for Holyrood inquiry on Covid-19 handling after damning MP report

The call comes after the publication of a report by Westminster MPs labelled the UK Government’s early response to the pandemic “one of the most important public health failures the United Kingdom has ever experienced”. The report, from the cross-party joint committee of the health and social care and science and technology committees, concluded that there was an element of “groupthink” around the UK Government’s approach to herd immunity.
12th Oct 2021 - The Scotsman

Covid-19: Ethnic minority deaths were ‘unacceptably high’ during pandemic, MPs say

A damning report from MPs has slammed the “unacceptably high” death rates among people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities that occurred during the Covid-19 pandemic. The study, from the cross-party Science and Technology Committee and the Health and Social Care Committee, said serious errors and delays, including on testing, care homes and the timing of the first lockdown, have cost lives during the virus outbreak. The pandemic exacerbated existing social, economic and health inequalities among ethnic minority communities, the MPs said.
12th Oct 2021 - The Independent

COVID-19: 'A slap in the face' - Families of pandemic victims attack MPs' report and call for judge-led inquiry

Families of COVID-19 victims have attacked an MPs' report into government failings during the pandemic as "laughable" and a "slap in the face" - and say a judicial inquiry is needed to get to the truth. The report said decisions on lockdowns and social distancing early in the pandemic were "one of the most important public health failures the United Kingdom has ever experienced" and cost thousands of lives. It said "groupthink" among officials meant chances to delay the spread of the virus were missed, and it was a "serious early error" not to lock down sooner.
12th Oct 2021 - Sky News


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 12th Oct 2021

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Russian spy ‘stole Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine blueprint and used it to develop Sputnik jab’

Russian spies stole the blueprint for the Oxford/AstraZenecacoronavirus vaccine and used it to create their own Sputnik V jab, according to reports. UK security services have allegedly told ministers they now have solid proof an agent stole vital information from the pharmaceutical company, including the blueprint, according to The Sun. The late security minister James Brokenshire last year said Britain was “more than 95 per cent sure” Russian state-sponsored hackers had targeted the UK, US and Canada in attacks on drug companies.
12th Oct 2021 - The Independent

COVID-19: Report shows despite UK's vaccine success massive mistakes were made

The UK's independent inquiry into COVID-19 is due to launch in Spring 2022. Until then, this parliamentary report is the best assessment we are likely to get into the government's pandemic response. And putting aside the success of the vaccine and former health secretary Matt Hancock's "100,000 tests target", the cross-party committee's conclusions are damning. The government's initial "fatalistic" approach was "a serious early error". The test, trace and isolate system was "often chaotic" and "ultimately failed". Thousands of care home deaths "could have been avoided".
12th Oct 2021 - Sky News

Covid vaccine: Why these US workers won't get jabbed

Joe Biden has been urging US employers to issue ultimatums to their staff: get vaccinated, or lose your job. The president says he will soon bring in a mandate that requires all healthcare workers to have had the jab, and has urged states to do the same with teachers. In Concord, New Hampshire, it is striking to see some of those attending a large protest against vaccine mandates wearing hospital scrubs. Leah Cushman is prepared to lose her nursing job rather than get vaccinated. "My beliefs are religious. I believe that my creator endowed me with an immune system that protects me, and if I get sick, that's an act of God.
11th Oct 2021 - BBC News

Jeremy Vine ‘unnerved’ after home targeted by anti-vaccine protesters

The television and radio presenter Jeremy Vine has said he was unnerved after anti-vaccine protesters targeted his home. Vine tweeted that the group tried to serve what it called an “anti-vaxx writ” while he was out, instead giving it to his wife. The BBC and Channel 5 broadcaster said the group was angry at the BBC’s reporting on the issue of coronavirus vaccines, adding: “They were polite, for which I’m grateful, but coming to my home on a Sunday? And I’m a little unnerved by the heavy breathing too.”
11th Oct 2021 - The Guardian

Romania remains vaccine sceptical despite surge in COVID-19 cases

In leafy Romanian villages surrounding the capital Bucharest, few people realise one person has died from COVID-19 every six minutes in the country during the first 10 days of October, and vaccine scepticism remains high. These villages have some of the highest COVID-19 infection numbers and lowest vaccination rates in the country, which is being ravaged by the fourth wave of the pandemic, with ambulances queuing outside hospitals filled to the brim. Daily transmission numbers are rising across Central and Eastern European states, and Romania is experiencing record case and death rates as it grapples with the European Union's second-lowest vaccination rate.
11th Oct 2021 - Reuters

Malaysia and Singapore ease international travel restrictions in pivot to living with Covid

Singapore and Malaysia have each revealed plans to start reopening their borders as the Southeast Asian neighbors move away from their zero-Covid strategies toward living with the virus. Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said Sunday the country would end its domestic and international travel restrictions for fully vaccinated residents from Monday, after reaching its target of full inoculation for 90% of the adult population. It comes one day after Singapore added eight new countries to its vaccinated and quarantine-free travel lanes -- the most significant easing of travel restrictions since borders shut last March.
11th Oct 2021 - CNN


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 11th Oct 2021

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Moderna, Racing for Profits, Keeps Covid Vaccine Out of Reach of Poor

Moderna, whose coronavirus vaccine appears to be the world’s best defense against Covid-19, has been supplying its shots almost exclusively to wealthy nations, keeping poorer countries waiting and earning billions in profit. After developing a breakthrough vaccine with the financial and scientific support of the U.S. government, Moderna has shipped a greater share of its doses to wealthy countries than any other vaccine manufacturer, according to Airfinity, a data firm that tracks vaccine shipments. About one million doses of Moderna’s vaccine have gone to countries that the World Bank classifies as low income. By contrast, 8.4 million Pfizer doses and about 25 million single-shot Johnson & Johnson doses have gone to those countries.
9th Oct 2021 - The New York Times

Govt slams 'Pfizer jab is a killer' claim

The government has condemned a claim that the Pfizer mRNA Covid-19 vaccine, being offered to students aged 12-17 as part of the plan to reopen schools in November, will have fatal consequences for all recipients within two years. In a message spread via the Line app by several teenage groups campaigning against the Pfizer vaccination programme for young people, it was claimed the vaccine was a tool for committing genocide against young people as they would eventually die within two years if injected with the vaccine, said Dr Chawetsan Namwat, director of the Emergency Health Hazard and Disease Control Division. This claim is believed to have fuelled fears among the parents of many students who appear reluctant to give their consent to have their children vaccinated, he said.
9th Oct 2021 - Bangkok Post

San Francisco to welcome cruise ships after 19-month hiatus

Cruise ships are returning to San Francisco after a 19-month hiatus brought on by the pandemic in what’s sure to be a boost to the city’s economy, the mayor announced Friday. The Majestic Princess will sail into the port of San Francisco Monday, the first cruise ship to dock in the San Francisco Bay Area since March 2020 when the Grand Princess captured the world’s attention and made the coronavirus real to millions in the United States. The ship was carrying people infected with the coronavirus, and thousands of passengers aboard were quarantined as the ship idled off the California coast. The port of San Francisco, home to the Bay Area’s only passenger cruise terminal, expects to welcome 21 cruise ships through the remainder of the year.
9th Oct 2021 - The Associated Press

The Pandemic’s Toll on Women’s Careers

For all the change brought on by the pandemic, women in white-collar roles still made strides at nearly every level of U.S. companies last year, a comprehensive new study shows. The proportion of women in the corporate workforce didn’t decline significantly last year, and the number of women holding some senior roles increased, according to data from the 2021 Women in the Workplace report by McKinsey & Co. and LeanIn.Org. But the report also found that women are experiencing higher rates of burnout than men, and are questioning whether they want to remain with their companies and on their existing career paths. Lareina Yee, a senior partner at McKinsey who previously served as the firm’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, and Rachel Thomas, Lean In’s co-founder and CEO, spoke separately with the Journal about some of the takeaways from this year’s report. Here are edited excerpts of the conversations.
9th Oct 2021 - The Wall Street Journal

Give Asian youth a voice to decide their post-pandemic future

Like many of her generation, Pauline Mandrilla, a 23-year-old civil engineer from Manila, suddenly found herself jobless when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Mandrilla felt like a statistic, as she joined the ranks of some 22 per cent of unemployed Philippine youth affected by the pandemic’s economic fallout. “During the onset of the pandemic, we were placed in a no-work, no-pay situation,” Mandrilla recalled. “My previous job heavily relied on my being physically present on a construction site, but because of the quarantine restrictions, which halted public transportation in my region, I couldn’t go to work.”
8th Oct 2021 - South China Morning Post


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 8th Oct 2021

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Divorced parents are going to court over vaccinating their kids against the coronavirus

Veronica was in her garden in New England when she got the email ping from her ex-husband in early May. “I started to have a panic attack,” says Veronica, who is not using her last name for privacy reasons. Her ex wanted a court to decide whether their 12-year-old daughter could be vaccinated against the coronavirus. The timing was terrible. “It was the day before I had her appointment scheduled,” she says. Divorced parents who disagree about coronavirus vaccination are taking their fights to court. The tensions have been fueled by inconsistent mask rules, misinformation and reports of more children hospitalized for covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.
7th Oct 2021 - The Washington Post

Man sentenced to 15 months in prison for spreading COVID-19 hoax on Facebook

Christopher Charles Perez, 40, made a Facebook post in April 2020 falsely claiming that he paid a COVID patient to lick items at a San Antonio grocer. He also made a post threatening to spread the virus at another area store. Investigators and Perez's confession revealed his posts to be false. He was found guilty of criminal false information and hoaxes related to biological weapons. Perez was sentenced to 15 months in prison, three years of supervised release that requires him to seek mental health treatment, and fined $1,000
7th Oct 2021 - Daily Mail

Covid-19: NI schools warned about hoax vaccine letters

The Public Health Agency (PHA) has warned post primary schools in Northern Ireland about hoax Covid vaccine consent letters. Some schools have received emails claiming to come from the NHS, which contain a "consent checklist" for vaccination. The email asks them to share the checklist with parents and pupils. But the PHA said "the false email and 'consent form' content contains a number of important inaccuracies". It should "not be forwarded to parents," the PHA said. BBC News NI has been contacted by some principals in Northern Ireland whose schools have received the hoax consent forms. They are presented as a form with information to be sent to parents ahead of pupils being given Covid vaccinations.
7th Oct 2021 - BBC News

More than 120,000 US kids had caregivers die during pandemic

The number of U.S. children orphaned during the COVID-19 pandemic may be larger than previously estimated, and the toll has been far greater among Black and Hispanic Americans, a new study suggests. More than half the children who lost a primary caregiver during the pandemic belonged to those two racial groups, which make up about 40% of the U.S. population, according to the study published Thursday by the medical journal Pediatrics. “These findings really highlight those children who have been left most vulnerable by the pandemic, and where additional resources should be directed,” one of the study’s authors, Dr. Alexandra Blenkinsop of Imperial College London, said in a statement.
7th Oct 2021 - The Associated Press

‘Reaching a detente’ with SARS-CoV-2: Helen Branswell on covering Covid-19, misinformation and more

On Wednesday, STAT senior writer Helen Branswell spoke with Seth Mnookin, director of the MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing. The AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards sponsored the talk as part of its annual fall lecture series and in honor of Sharon Begley. Branswell spoke about Begley’s legacy, reporting on infectious diseases, and the past and future of the Covid-19 pandemic. Highlights from the conversation have been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
6th Oct 2021 - STAT News


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 7th Oct 2021

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BofA Gives $200 to Merrill Staff Who Confirm Vaccination Status

Bank of America Corp. is offering $200 awards to Merrill Lynch Wealth Management branch employees who return to the workplace and confirm they’re fully vaccinated against Covid-19. The company will give the award to client associates, administrative support and operations staff “in recognition of the important work they are doing as the business has transitioned back into the office,” a Merrill spokesman said in a statement to Bloomberg News. While the new policy stops short of being a mandate like those put in place by United Airlines Holdings Inc. and Microsoft Corp., Bank of America is following other U.S. companies in providing a financial incentive to get the shots. Delta Air Lines Inc. is imposing a $200 monthly surcharge on employees who aren’t vaccinated.
6th Oct 2021 - Bloomberg

Anti-vaxxers tear down Covid testing site in New York

Two anti-vaxx demonstrators attacked a Covid-19 testing site on Monday, during a protest against New York state’s vaccine mandate. A video caught the men in Union Square flipping over a table next to a mobile coronavirus testing van, tearing down the tent erected next to it and tossing a chair, before police intervened to stop them permanently destroying any property. Protesters at the rally shouted “boo” and “shame on you” at the staff member working at the Covid-19 testing site as they went past, followed by chants of “no vaccine mandate”.
6th Oct 2021 - The Independent

Texas man sentenced to 15 months in prison for posting Covid-19 hoax on social media

A Texas man was sentenced to more than a year in federal prison for spreading a hoax related to Covid-19 on social media, prosecutors said. Evidence showed Christopher Charles Perez, 40, posted two threatening messages on Facebook in April 2020, falsely claiming he paid someone infected with Covid-19 to "lick items at grocery stores in the San Antonio area to scare people away" from the businesses, the US Attorney's Office in the Western District of Texas said in a news release Monday.
6th Oct 2021 - CNN


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 6th Oct 2021

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How has COVID-19 affected Australia’s homeless?

When Melbourne went into lockdown between March and October last year, the city’s rough sleepers were considered to be at high risk. Without a secure and isolated place in which to lock down, the concern was that they could easily catch and transmit COVID-19. The Victorian government responded by providing funding for people experiencing homelessness to access hotel rooms across the city, which were empty due to the lack of tourists. Dave Lovelock is an outreach worker at Launch Housing, a not-for-profit organisation that assists people experiencing homelessness. Launch Housing are one of a number of similar organisations who were involved with the government hotel programme due to their close connections with rough sleepers. Dave Lovelock’s job was to scour the streets to find people who were at risk of rough sleeping during the pandemic and offer them a place to stay at one of the designated hotels.
5th Oct 2021 - Al Jazeera English

Anti-vaccine villagers in Guatemala hold coronavirus team

Anti-vaccine residents of a village in Guatemala seized and held a team of nurses who were trying to administer coronavirus shots Monday, authorities said. The team was held for about seven hours in the village of Nahuila, in the province of Alta Verapaz, north of Guatemala City. The villagers said they didn’t want the shots, and later blocked a road and let the air out of the nurses' tires. A cooler and about 50 doses of vaccine were destroyed. Police and local officials later negotiated their release. Officials said they had previously encountered villages that rejected vaccination teams, but Gabriel Sandoval, the director of the provincial health department, said it was the first time they faced such physical opposition.
5th Oct 2021 - ABC News


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 5th Oct 2021

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Doctors grow frustrated over COVID-19 denial, misinformation

The COVID-19 patient's health was deteriorating quickly at a Michigan hospital, but he was having none of the doctor's diagnosis. Despite dangerously low oxygen levels, the unvaccinated man didn't think he was that sick and got so irate over a hospital policy forbidding his wife from being at his bedside that he threatened to walk out of the building. Dr. Matthew Trunsky didn’t hold back in his response: “You are welcome to leave, but you will be dead before you get to your car,’” he said. Such exchanges have become all-too-common for medical workers who are growing weary of COVID-19 denial and misinformation that have made it exasperating to treat unvaccinated patients during the delta-driven surge. The Associated Press asked six doctors from across the country to describe the types of misinformation and denial they see on a daily basis and how they respond to it.
4th Oct 2021 - The Independent

HS: Majority of Finns don't accept refusing coronavirus vaccine on principle

A clear majority of Finns do not approve of people who refuse to get vaccinated against the coronavirus on principle, finds a poll by Helsingin Sanomat. Almost two-thirds (63%) of the poll respondents viewed that refusing to get vaccinated on principle was unacceptable and over one-quarter (27%) that doing so was acceptable. Understanding for the decision was limited especially among older respondents, with over 80 per cent of over 70-year-olds saying refusing on principle is unacceptable. Roughly a half of under 30-year-olds estimated that it is acceptable and 41 per cent that it is unacceptable to turn down the vaccine on principle.
4th Oct 2021 - Helsinki Times


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 4th Oct 2021

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COVID-19: Mother warns coronavirus 'can happen to anybody' after teenage daughter dies on day she was to get vaccine

A mother has warned that anyone can die from COVID-19, even young people, after her teenage daughter died just days after contracting the virus. Jorja Halliday, 15, from Portsmouth, died at the Queen Alexandra Hospital on 28 September after she tested positive for the coronavirus four days earlier. Her mother, Tracy Halliday, 40, said: "Some children are sort of a bit blasé about, the say 'it's not going to happen to me, I'm going to be fine'. I just want people to know that it can happen to anybody, at any age, at any time. Even if you're young and healthy."
3rd Oct 2021 - Sky News

Get a friend vaccinated and eat out on us, Swiss govt tells citizens

Swiss citizens who persuade their friends to get COVID-19 shots can look forward to a free restaurant meal or cinema outing courtesy of the state, under a scheme aimed at boosting the country's low vaccination rate. Switzerland has witnessed numerous anti-vaxxer protests and 42% of its 8.7 million population are not yet fully vaccinated, relatively high by European standards. Announcing what he admitted was an unusual incentive scheme to bring that number down, Health Minister Alain Berset told a news conference in Bern: "The immunisation rate ...remains very low and this means we cannot end containment measures."
1st Oct 2021 - Reuters


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 1st Oct 2021

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AP-NORC poll: Virus fears linger for vaccinated older adults

Bronwyn Russell wears a mask anytime she leaves her Illinois home, though she wouldn’t dream of going out to eat or to hear a band play, much less setting foot on a plane. In Virginia, Oliver Midgette rarely dons a mask, never lets COVID-19 rouse any worry and happily finds himself in restaurants and among crowds. She is vaccinated. He is not. In a sign of the starkly different way Americans view the coronavirus pandemic, vaccinated older adults are far more worried about the virus than the unvaccinated and far likelier to take precautions despite the protection afforded by their shots, according to a new poll out Wednesday from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
30th Sep 2021 - The Associated Press

Health workers once saluted as heroes now get threats

More than a year after U.S. health care workers on the front lines against COVID-19 were saluted as heroes with nightly clapping from windows and balconies, some are being issued panic buttons in case of assault and ditching their scrubs before going out in public for fear of harassment. Across the country, doctors and nurses are dealing with hostility, threats and violence from patients angry over safety rules designed to keep the scourge from spreading. “A year ago, we’re health care heroes and everybody’s clapping for us,” said Dr. Stu Coffman, a Dallas-based emergency room physician. “And now we’re being in some areas harassed and disbelieved and ridiculed for what we’re trying to do, which is just depressing and frustrating.”
30th Sep 2021 - The Associated Press


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 30th Sep 2021

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UK’s Johnson says COVID bereaved will have role in inquiry

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday he will appoint a chair this year to the planned public inquiry into the coronavirus pandemic and that bereaved families will have a role in the proceedings. Following a “very emotional” meeting with the COVID-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group, Johnson said the experiences of those who have suffered a loss during the pandemic would form a major part of the public inquiry. “And obviously, there’s very little I could say to mitigate their own suffering,” he said. “But what I did say was that we were determined to make sure that the experience of the bereaved was something we took account of.” The event, which took place more than a year after the prime minister promised to meet the bereaved, lasted just over an hour and took place outside at the request of the families. Five members of the group, which included co-founder Jo Goodman, shared how their loved ones caught the virus and died.
28th Sep 2021 - The Associated Press


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 29th Sep 2021

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Boris Johnson meets with members of the Covid-19 Bereaved Families group for first time... 18 months after first death to the virus was recorded in UK

Boris Johnson is meeting a group of families bereaved by coronavirus - more than a year after he first promised to do so - with the PM to be told by campaigners: 'If we'd been listened to - other lives might have been spared'. The Prime Minister held a private meeting with members of the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group in the Downing Street garden this afternoon, with each person attending carrying an A4 photo of the loved-one they lost. Families have asked for it to take place outdoors with social distancing and said they would tell Mr Johnson how their loved ones caught the virus and died, and repeat their calls for a public inquiry to start.
28th Sep 2021 - Daily Mail

How Covid Misinformation Created a Run on Ivermectin

For months, the veterinary center in West Point, Miss., had watched its supplies of the drug dwindle. Dr. Karen Emerson, the veterinarian who owns the hospital, started the year with one 500-milliliter bottle of ivermectin, which she uses to kill parasites in dogs, chickens and other patients. But as the bottle emptied and her staff tried to find more, they were able to obtain only a 50-milliliter vial. Everyone else told them: None available. So Dr. Emerson began rationing the medicine to give to snakes and other exotic animals for which she had no other deworming treatment. She told dog owners to pay for a more available replacement drug that can cost seven times as much.
28th Sep 2021 - The New York Times

South Africa, Oxfam call for fairer trade rules in response to pandemic

South Africa's president and the head of Oxfam heaped pressure on World Trade Organization members and manufacturers to allow fairer access to COVID-19 vaccines on Tuesday, including through a waiver on intellectual property rights. At a WTO public event on trade and COVID-19 also attended by German vaccine maker BioNTech, Cyril Ramaphosa said a waiver on patents was needed to save millions of lives during the pandemic,
28th Sep 2021 - Reuters

For many families, the countdown has begun to coronavirus vaccines for younger children

For almost a year, Whitney Kuhn has been trying to escape the grip of long-haul symptoms after contracting covid-19. And she has not stopped worrying about how to protect her 10-year-old son, Tyler, from the illness she experienced. She has been too anxious to go on family vacations, visit relatives for the holidays or even take Tyler to the grocery store. She has pulled him from basketball — his favorite sport — and other extracurriculars. And when he had to return to school, she could only hope his classmates wore their masks the right way.
28th Sep 2021 - The Washington Post

Connecticut doctor's license suspended for providing blank, signed Covid-19 exemption forms, health department says

A Connecticut doctor's state physician and surgeon license has been suspended for providing blank, signed exemption forms related to the Covid-19 vaccine, Covid testing, general vaccines and medical opposition to wearing facial masks, the state Department of Public Health said. Connecticut's Medical Examining Board suspended the license through a unanimous decision last week, the department said in a news release. Retired physician Sue Mcintosh of Durham, who is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, was giving signed forms to people without physically meeting them or examining them, the department said. She would provide the exemption forms to anyone who provided a self-addressed stamped envelope requesting one, they said.
28th Sep 2021 - CNN

Covid-19 may stay with us forever

The major problem is that the rise of more infectious strains of Sars-CoV-2 have quashed hopes of herd immunity, even in countries with high vaccine uptake. Scientists such as Francois Balloux, who directs the UCL Genetics Institute, say that this outcome was inevitable as soon as Covid-19 became a truly global pandemic. “I believe the opportunity for global eradication was gone very, very early in the pandemic,” says Balloux. “You can eliminate it locally, but as long as there’s a focus somewhere in the world, whether that’s Iran, Afghanistan, Somalia, it will eventually come back. As of February 2020, it was clear that elimination would not be possible.”
28th Sep 2021 - Wired.co.uk

New Austrian anti-lockdown party seeking more seats after election coup

A new Austrian political party that opposes lockdowns, compulsory mask-wearing and other coronavirus restrictions hopes to spread across the country after surprisingly securing seats in one of Austria's nine provincial parliaments on Sunday. People Freedom Fundamental Rights (MFG), a newly created party that campaigned online and with a tour of bars and restaurants, stunned many observers by securing 6.2% of the vote in Upper Austria's election on Sunday, above the 4% threshold required to enter the provincial parliament. The province of Upper Austria, home to Linz, the country's third-biggest city, and bordering Germany and the Czech Republic, is home to much of Austria's heavy industry.
28th Sep 2021 - Reuters


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Crowdsourced Covid Antiviral Project Gets $11 Million in Funding

A crowdsourced effort to design a Covid-19 pill won 8 million pounds ($11 million) in funding from the Wellcome Trust, a significant boost for a project that aims to make a low-cost antiviral broadly available. The project, called Covid Moonshot, started with locked-down scientists around the world sharing data and ideas online in March 2020. Some 250 people eventually submitted more than 4,500 potential molecular designs intended to block the virus’s main protease -- the key protein that helps it replicate. The Wellcome funding will help pay for the expensive last step of research needed to bring the project into human clinical trials.
27th Sep 2021 - Bloomberg

Thailand to reopen to more vaccinated visitors from November

Thailand will waive its mandatory quarantine requirement in Bangkok and nine regions from Nov. 1 to vaccinated arrivals, authorities said on Monday, as the country tries to boost its immunisation rate and revive its battered tourism sector. The regions include popular tourist areas Chiang Mai, Phangnga, Krabi, Hua Hin, Pattaya, and Cha-am, and follow the successful reopening of Phuket and Samui islands to vaccinated people in pilot schemes since July. The regions include popular tourist areas Chiang Mai, Phangnga, Krabi, Hua Hin, Pattaya, and Cha-am, and follow the successful reopening of Phuket and Samui islands to vaccinated people in pilot schemes since July.
27th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Covid-19: England sees biggest fall in life expectancy since records began in wake of pandemic

The covid-19 pandemic led to the biggest year-on-year drop in life expectancy in England since statistics were first collected in 1981, Public Health England has said. In 2020, the agency said that “the very high level” of excess deaths because of the pandemic caused life expectancy in England to fall 1.3 years for men to 78.7 and 0.9 years for women to 82.7. This was the lowest life expectancy in England for both sexes since 2011. Not all countries have reported life expectancy data for 2020 yet. But of those that have, PHE noted that Italy, Poland, and Spain experienced similar decreases in life expectancy to England in 2020, while France had a smaller decrease. Germany had little or no relative excess mortality in men or women. The US and Poland had the highest relative excess mortality in 2020, in both men and women.
27th Sep 2021 - The BMJ

Rowdy celebrations erupt in Norway as COVID restrictions end

Police in Norway on Sunday reported dozens of disturbances and violent clashes including mass brawls in the Nordic country’s big cities after streets, bars, restaurants and nightclubs were filled with people celebrating the end of COVID-19 restrictions that lasted for more than a year. The Norwegian government abruptly announced Friday that most of the remaining coronavirus restrictions would be scrapped beginning Saturday and that life in the nation of 5.3 million would return to normal. The unexpected announcement by outgoing Prime Minister Erna Solberg to drop coronavirus restrictions the next day took many Norwegians by surprise and led to chaotic scenes in the capital, Oslo, and elsewhere in the country.
26th Sep 2021 - The Associated Press


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Rowdy celebrations erupt in Norway as COVID restrictions end

Police in Norway have reported dozens of disturbances and violent clashes including mass brawls in the Nordic country’s big cities after streets, bars, restaurants and nightclubs were filled with people celebrating the end of COVID-19 restrictions
26th Sep 2021 - ABC

A Canadian COVID-19 study that turned out to be wrong has spread like wildfire among anti-vaxxers

An inaccurate Canadian study suggesting an extremely high rate of heart inflammation after COVID-19 vaccines has been retracted due to a major mathematical error — but not before it spread like wildfire on anti-vaccination websites and social media. The preprint study, which was released by researchers at the Ottawa Heart Institute last week but has not been peer-reviewed, looked at the rate of myocarditis and pericarditis cases after Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccinations in Ottawa from June 1 to July 31. The study identified 32 patients with the rare side effects out of a total of 32,379 doses of mRNA vaccines given in Ottawa in the two-month period, finding an inordinately high rate of close to 1 in 1,000 — significantly higher than other international data has shown. But the researchers made a critical error that experts say caused the study to be "weaponized" by the anti-vaccination movement at a time when concern over COVID-19 vaccine side effects are top of mind for parents whose kids may soon get the shot.
25th Sep 2021 - CBC.ca

Doctors scale rockslides, invoke gods to vaccinate Himalayan villages

To visit the Indian village of Malana deep in the Himalayas, a COVID-19 vaccination team scrambled over a landslide that blocked the road the day before, scaled a retaining wall and then began a three-hour trek down and up a river valley. Despite the hostile terrain, the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, where Malana is located, earlier this month became the first in India to administer at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose in all its adults. The steep topography was one challenge overcome by health workers walking for hours or days to reach remote villages and another was religious beliefs, as the tourism-dependent state immunised its roughly 5 million adults.
25th Sep 2021 - Reuters India

Dutch protest against COVID-19 vaccine pass to enter bars, restaurants

Hundreds of protesters marched against the introduction of a "corona pass" in the Netherlands on Saturday, as proof of COVID-19 vaccination became compulsory to get into bars, restaurants, theatres and other venues. Hours after the requirement to show the pass or a recent negative coronavirus test took effect, the government of caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte sacked a cabinet minister who had publicly questioned the measure.
25th Sep 2021 - Reuters


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England’s Covid travel rules spark outrage around the world

England’s Covid travel rules and refusal to recognise vaccines administered across huge swaths of the world have sparked outrage and bewilderment across Latin America, Africa and south Asia, with critics denouncing what they called an illogical and discriminatory policy. The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, described England’s rules, unveiled last Friday, as “a new simplified system for international travel”. “The purpose is to make it easier for people to travel,” Shapps said. But in many parts of the world there is anger and frustration at the government’s decision to recognise only vaccinations given in a select group of countries.
23rd Sep 2021 - The Guardian

PM Morrison says Melbourne anti-lockdown protesters should be 'ashamed' for actions at war memorial

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called the actions of protestors on Wednesday at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance “disgusting.” More than 200 people were arrested after an intense stand-off between protestors and police at the war memorial. Two police officers were also struck in the head with bottles while one was admitted to hospital with chest pains.
23rd Sep 2021 - The Independent

The World Is at War With Covid. Covid Is Winning.

So when vaccine developers were figuring out how to produce billions of Covid-19 vaccine shots as quickly as possible, they decided to use an alternative: disposable bioreactor bags. At first, it was a win-win. The bags are quicker and cheaper to make than the tanks, and using them can shave precious hours off manufacturing times because they don’t have to be cleaned and sterilized after each use. But before long, even this innovation became an obstacle in the quest to end the Covid pandemic. First, larger vaccine makers bought up many more bags than they could use, leaving smaller vaccine makers with no recourse and potential manufacturing sites underutilized. Then as the vaccination campaign wore on, supplies began drying up altogether. Only a few companies make the bags, and they have little incentive to ramp up their manufacturing efforts because there’s no telling how long the uptick in demand will last.
21st Sep 2021 - The New York Times


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‘Don’t get vaccinated’: Fake funeral home used to promote coronavirus shot

An ad truck appearing to spread anti-vax messaging caused a stir among US football fans in Charlotte, North Carolina, over the weekend. The vehicle, which had a funeral home’s name and website at the bottom of its giant advert, was emblazoned with a plain black board and a slogan which read: “Don't get vaccinated”. As it happens, though, the advert contains a hidden message. There is no “Wilmore Funeral Home”, which the ad claims to represent, and going to its website takes visitors to a landing page instructing them to do the opposite of what it says. “Get vaccinated now” appears on the site, along with a message that says, “If not, see you soon”. The ad agency, BooneOakley, said it was time to get creative and tackle America’s waning Covid-19 vaccine take-up
22nd Sep 2021 - The Independent

California woman who said she was ‘unmasked, unmuzzled, unvaccinated, unafraid’ has died of Covid-19, aged 40

A vocally anti-mask, anti-vaccine woman in California has died of Covid-19. Kristen Lowery, 40, was the mother of four school-age children in Escalon, California. In her Facebook posts, she proclaimed herself a “free thinker” who was “unmasked, unmuzzled, unvaccinated, unafraid”. In one photo, she held up a protest sign reading “Give a voice to the vaccine injured”. In September, her sister wrote that Ms Lowery had been hospitalised with the coronavirus.
22nd Sep 2021 - The Independent

Melbourne police arrest 200 at COVID-19 lockdown protests

Police in Australia's second largest city of Melbourne arrested more than 200 people after projectiles thrown by protesters injured two officers on Wednesday, the third consecutive day of demonstrations against COVID-19 curbs. Golf balls, batteries and bottles were among the items thrown at police during the protests held in defiance of stay-at home orders after a two-week closure of building sites to rein in infections, which rose again in the state of Victoria.
22nd Sep 2021 - Reuters

U.S. parents weigh risks, benefits as COVID-19 vaccine for kids nears approval

Monday's announcement from Pfizer and BioNTech that a low dose of their coronavirus vaccine proved safe and effective for children ages 5 to 11 in a clinical trial has come as a relief to many parents anxiously awaiting the chance to protect their children. The highly contagious Delta variant of the virus has collided with the start of the U.S. academic year, sending infections among young children soaring - including many cases requiring hospitalization - and forcing thousands of schools to shut for days or even weeks. The companies said they plan to file for regulatory authorization as soon as possible for a 10-microgram dose for children ages 5 to 11 after it led to a strong immune response in a 2,268-participant trial.
22nd Sep 2021 - Reuters

German cashier shooting linked to Covid-19 conspiracies

A man suspected of shooting dead a cashier at a German petrol station has been linked to Covid-19 conspiracy theorists and the far right. The 20-year-old student employee was shot after a row over face masks, in what is thought to be the first killing linked to German Covid rules. Researchers believe the suspect, named only as Mario N, was a far-right supporter and Covid-denier. Chancellor Angela Merkel has condemned the "heinous" killing. Prosecutors said the killer had initially tried to buy beer at the petrol station in the western town of Idar-Oberstein on Saturday, but left after the cashier refused to serve him as he was without a mask.
22nd Sep 2021 - BBC News


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India Covid-19: Meet the teacher who turned a street into a classroom

Schools across India have been closed for more than a year to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. But most of them, especially government-run schools and those in rural areas or remote parts, have struggled to keep teaching. Patchy or no internet access and a lack of electronic devices such as phones and laptops has meant poorer children have had little to no education since the pandemic started. But in a remote village in India's West Bengal state, primary school teacher Dwipnarayan Naik did not let any of this stop him: he set up an open-air school of sorts, using the outside of buildings as blackboards and the streets as classrooms.
21st Sep 2021 - BBC News

Melbourne police fire pepper balls, pellets to break up COVID-19 protest

Police in Melbourne fired pepper balls and rubber pellets on Tuesday to disperse about 2,000 protesters who defied stay-at- home orders to damage property, block a busy freeway and injure three officers, leading to more than 60 arrests. It was the second day of demonstrations in the locked-down Australian city after authorities shut construction sites for two weeks, saying workers' frequent movement was spreading the coronavirus.
21st Sep 2021 - Reuters


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COVID has killed about as many Americans as the 1918-19 flu

COVID-19 has now killed about as many Americans as the 1918-19 Spanish flu pandemic did — approximately 675,000. The U.S. population a century ago was just one-third of what it is today, meaning the flu cut a much bigger, more lethal swath through the country. But the COVID-19 crisis is by any measure a colossal tragedy in its own right, especially given the incredible advances in scientific knowledge since then and the failure to take maximum advantage of the vaccines available this time. “Big pockets of American society — and, worse, their leaders — have thrown this away,” medical historian Dr. Howard Markel of the University of Michigan said of the opportunity to vaccinate everyone eligible by now.
21st Sep 2021 - The Associated Press

Melbourne construction sites shut down after anti-vaccine mandate protest

Australian authorities shut down construction sites in Melbourne for two weeks from Tuesday after an anti-vaccine mandate protest in the city turned violent and COVID-19 infections in the state of Victoria surged. Hundreds of people clashed with union officials with bottles and a crate thrown at them, footage on social media showed, after the Victorian government required all construction workers to have at least one vaccine dose by Friday.
21st Sep 2021 - Reuters

Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout Falters in Bulgaria Amid ‘Perfect Storm’ of Mistrust, Fake News

As a European Union member state, Bulgaria has access to Western-approved Covid-19 vaccines and enough doses for its population. But a mix of misinformation, low trust in authorities and conflicting messaging means less than a fifth of Bulgarians are fully vaccinated. With few takers at home and some shots soon expiring, the government recently donated 172,500 doses to the Kingdom of Bhutan, nearly 4,000 miles away. Some expired shots are being thrown away. Bulgaria, a country of some seven million people, has fully vaccinated far less of its population than the EU average of 61% and the U.S. rate of 54%, according to Our World in Data, a project based at Oxford University. It has emerged as an extreme case study of the challenge to convince vaccine holdouts to get the shot.
20th Sep 2021 - The Wall Street Journal

New body launched to self-regulate Covid testing amid No10's crackdown on 'exploitative' firms

New body promises to put a stop to unfair, late, and overpriced Covid travel tests. It comes after the Government promised to crackdown on 'Covid cowboys.' However one member of the new group appears to be in breach of its own rules
20th Sep 2021 - Daily Mail

Perspective | Doubters' push for religious exemptions from coronavirus vaccination may not work

Compulsory coronavirus vaccination has been a specter hovering over vaccine skeptics throughout the pandemic, but the issue is coming to a head, after President Biden announced federal mandates affecting up to 100 million Americans and such enormous institutions as the Los Angeles Unified School District mandated vaccinations, too. Opponents of vaccination mandates are ready to fight and are aiming to use religious, philosophical and personal-belief exemptions to abstain from required vaccinations. The history behind the process for gaining such an exemption suggests that those seeking religious exemptions to the coronavirus vaccination mandates will not be widely successful. In recent years, many states, including California, Connecticut, New York, Maine and Vermont, rolled back personal-belief exemptions from mandatory vaccination, making it nearly impossible to claim that individual convictions prevent you from being vaccinated.
20th Sep 2021 - The Washington Post

Can we live with COVID-19? Singapore tries to blaze a path

Only 60 people in Singapore have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic first emerged, and some 82 percent of its population is now fully vaccinated against the disease. In June, the government announced it would move towards a “living with COVID-19” strategy, focusing on tracking and treating outbreak clusters with vaccinations and hospital admissions – but without the strict lockdowns, border closures, and work-from-home orders that have been the defining feature of much of the pandemic across the world.
20th Sep 2021 - Al Jazeera English


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Australian police clash with anti-lockdown protesters, arrest nearly 270

Australia's police arrested 235 people in Melbourne and 32 in Sydney on Saturday at unsanctioned anti-lockdown rallies and several police officers were injured in clashes with protesters. Victoria police said six officers required hospitalisation. Several officers were knocked to the ground and trampled, the police said and television footage showed. About 700 people managed to gather in parts of Melbourne, as 2,000 officers made the city centre virtually a no-go zone, setting up checkpoints and barricades. Public transport and ride shares into the city were suspended.
18th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Nicki Minaj's Covid-19 vaccine 'swollen testicles' claim is false, says Trinidad health minister

Trinidad and Tobago Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh criticized as "false" the claim by American rapper Nicki Minaj that a person on the Caribbean island suffered swollen testicles after receiving a Covid-19 vaccine. Minaj sparked an international furor when she alleged on Twitter that her cousin in Trinidad refuses to get a vaccine because his friend became impotent after being vaccinated. "His testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding," Minaj, who has 22.6 million Twitter followers, said. The comments triggered an international backlash, with senior US and British coronavirus officials condemning the claims.
17th Sep 2021 - CNN

Nearly half of Spaniards think Covid-19 vaccination should be mandatory

“Everyone should be forced to get vaccinated even if they don’t want to.” Fully 47.7% of Spaniards checked this answer in a survey about Covid-19 immunization carried out in September by Spain’s Center for Sociological Studies. Another 25.4% said that “nobody should be forced to get vaccinated” while 21.8% said it depends on each case and 4.8% were undecided. These percentages rise considerably for certain professions: 81.5% of respondents said that healthcare personnel, senior home staff and workers who deal directly with the general public should all get mandatory shots. This percentage includes the 47.7% who support obligatory inoculation for everyone regardless of their occupation.
17th Sep 2021 - El País

Facebook targets German anti-lockdown movement

Facebook has cracked down on the anti-Covid restriction movement in Germany, removing dozens of accounts that contribute to “co-ordinated social harm”. Almost 150 accounts and pages on Facebook and Instagram — linked to anti-lockdown demonstrators in the European nation — have been taken off the platform, under a new policy focused on groups that spread misinformation or incite violent. The Querdenken movement includes vaccine and mask opponents, conspiracy theorists and some far-right extremists, and has long protested German virus measures. One post from such an account included a debunked claim that the Covid-19 jab was responsible for creating virus variants, while another wished death upon police officers who broke up violent anti-lockdown protests in Berlin.
17th Sep 2021 - News.com.au

Denmark returns to pre-pandemic life with a huge pop concert

While many in Europe fretted over the Delta variant, university student and care worker Sofie Mari Jensen joined tens of thousands of people at Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium to watch the pop-rock band The Minds of 99. The event on September 11, a day after Denmark dropped all coronavirus restrictions, was Europe’s first concert hosting more than 50,000 people since the pandemic began.
17th Sep 2021 - AlJazeera


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Facebook shuts down network linked to German anti-COVID group, launches rules on 'social harms'

Facebook has removed a network of accounts linked to an anti-COVID restrictions movement in Germany as it announced a new crackdown on coordinated campaigns of real users that cause harm on and off its platforms. Reuters exclusively reported on Thursday that Facebook's security teams were expanding the tactics used to take down influence operations using fake accounts to do more wholesale shutdowns of coordinated groups of real-user accounts causing harm, through mass reporting or brigading.
16th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Malaysians enjoy taste of travel after lockdown in tourism restart

The first plane carrying tourists in more than four months touched down on the Malaysian island of Langkawi on Thursday and was greeted by a twin water cannon "salute", in the launch of a programme to revive a travel sector frozen by the pandemic. The first batch of 159 travellers from the capital, Kuala Lumpur, arrived eager for a vacation after a monthslong, nationwide lockdown imposed to address one of Asia's highest per-capital coronavirus infection rates.
16th Sep 2021 - Reuters

As COVID-19 vaccine mandates rise, religious exemptions grow

An estimated 2,600 Los Angeles Police Department employees are citing religious objections to try to get out of the required COVID-19 vaccination. In Washington state, thousands of state workers are seeking similar exemptions. And in Arkansas, a hospital has been swamped with so many such requests from employees that it is apparently calling their bluff. Religious objections, once used sparingly around the country to get exempted from various required vaccines, are becoming a much more widely used loophole against the COVID-19 shot.
16th Sep 2021 - The Associated Press


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Conservative radio host who swore off Covid-19 vaccine dies after contracting virus, co-host says

Conservative radio host Pastor Robert "Bob" Enyart, who swore off Covid-19 vaccines, has died from complications due to the virus, his co-host announced on social media. "It comes with an extremely heavy heart that my close friend and co-host of Real Science Radio has lost his battle with Covid," said co-host Fred Williams on Facebook. In October, Enyart won a lawsuit against the state of Colorado over its Covid-19 restrictions, CNN has reported. In a phone call with CNN following the ruling, Enyart said, "We have a right, even an obligation to worship him (God), and that's without government interference."
15th Sep 2021 - CNN

Malaysia's germ-busting clown finds new role in pandemic

When the coronavirus pandemic struck Malaysia, Shaharul Hisam Baharudin, like many others working closely with people, soon lost his work as an entertainer who juggled and sometimes dressed up as a clown. But rather than give up, the 43-year-old from Taiping, in western Malaysia found a new way of using his skills - disinfecting people's homes while wearing his clown's outfit. For his new role, he adapted the smoke machine he had used at parties to become a disinfection device, while providing some extra cheer by entertaining children in his clown outfit, completed by a surgical mask with a painted-on red nose and smile.
15th Sep 2021 - Reuters


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UK health secretary signals the end of PCR COVID-19 tests for travel

Britain's Health Secretary Sajid Javid signalled on Tuesday that a requirement for expensive PCR tests for COVID-19 for international travellers arriving in Britain would be dropped in favour of cheaper lateral-flow-tests. Asked by a lawmaker if lateral flow tests could be used for initial screening, with the small proportion of positive cases then needing a PCR test, Javid said: "I don't want to pre-empt the statement of my right honourable friend the transport secretary but I believe when he makes that statement that my honourable friend will be pleased."
14th Sep 2021 - Reuters UK

‘The virus is painfully real’: vaccine hesitant people are dying – and their loved ones want the world to listen

Matt Wynter, a 42-year-old music agent from Leek, Staffordshire, was working out in his local gym in mid-August when he saw, to his great surprise, that his best friend, Marcus Birks, was on the television. He jumped off the elliptical trainer and listened carefully. The first thing he noticed was that Birks, who was also from Leek and a performer with the dance group Cappella, looked terrible. He was gasping for breath and his face was pale. “Marcus would never usually have gone on TV without having done his hair and had a shave,” Wynter says.
14th Sep 2021 - The Guardian

Conservative Colorado radio host and pastor dies from COVID-19 after railing against vaccines

The anti-vax radio host died on Monday after contracting COVID on September 1 He had called for his listeners to boycott the vaccines made by 'child killers' and was notorious for his ruthless stance against LGBT relations and abortions. In October 2020, Enyart filed a lawsuit against the state that reduced the number of people allowed at religious gatherings. Enyart said people have a 'God-given right to worship him, our creator, without the government interfering.' It comes days after Howard Stern mocked a slew of anti-vax radio hosts who died from Covid and described their deaths as 'really funny'
14th Sep 2021 - Daily Mail

Asia’s Covid-19 Success Stories Warily Ponder Post-Vaccination Moves

Earlier this month, Singapore reached a Covid-19 milestone: The fully vaccinated portion of the population crossed 80%. But instead of moving ahead with a planned reopening pegged to the achievement, the government put on the brakes. That is because cases were rising to several hundred each day after an earlier relaxing of some restrictions, raising fears of a hospital-bed shortage.
14th Sep 2021 - The Wall Street Journal

Covid: Significant return to office could see ‘rapid’ rise in hospitalisations, Sage warns

It is “highly likely” that a decrease in the number of people working from home in the next couple of months would lead to a “rapid” rise in hospital admissions for Covid, scientific advisers to the government have warned. Millions of Britons have been heading back to the office this month, coinciding with the return of schools and universities. Last week, London saw its busiest morning rush-hour since the pandemic hit, with hundreds of thousands of journeys made across the city, according to official data. But modelling published on Tuesday by a sub-group of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) suggests there is the “potential” for another large wave of hospitalisations in the coming months.
14th Sep 2021 - The Independent


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DeSantis threatens cities with fines for vaccine mandates

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday threatened local governments with $5,000 fines per violation for requiring their employees to get vaccinated against the coronavirus that has overrun hospitals and killed tens of thousands across the state. Local municipalities, such as Orange County and the city of Gainesville, potentially face millions of dollars in cumulative fines for implementing a requirement that their employees get a COVID-19 vaccine, the Republican governor said. “We are not going to let people be fired because of a vaccine mandate,” DeSantis said at a news conference outside Gainesville. “You don’t just cast aside people who have been serving faithfully over this issue, over what is basically a personal choice on their individual health.”
14th Sep 2021 - The Associated Press

Yoga, organic food and misinformation: Wellness influencers are taking the anti-vaccine movement mainstream

For many, the term “misinformation” conjures up images of conspiracy-theory chat forums and Russian bots. But an alarming amount of it is reaching audiences in the health and wellness realms. Many social media influencers who focus on natural remedies, holistic health and new age spirituality have been sharing posts and videos questioning the wisdom of vaccinating against the coronavirus. Public health experts say widespread vaccine hesitancy increases the threat of the virus mutating and helps keep the pandemic raging.
13th Sep 2021 - The Washington Post

Ivermectin frenzy: the advocates, anti-vaxxers and telehealth companies driving demand

Health authorities have warned there’s no proof for Ivermectin’s value in treating Covid-19. Still groups are touting the drug as the way out of the pandemic
13th Sep 2021 - The Guardian

Nicaragua gov’t squeezes doctors, talk of ‘health terrorism’

Other countries have lured doctors out of retirement, pushed medical students to the front lines and buoyed medical personnel exhausted by COVID-19 cases, but in Nicaragua doctors have been harassed, threatened and sometimes forced into exile for questioning official handling of the pandemic. Vice President Rosario Murillo, who is also the first lady, has accused doctors of “health terrorism” and of spreading “false outlooks and news” by reporting that COVID-19 has been far more widespread than officials acknowledge.
13th Sep 2021 - The Associated Press


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Denmark lifts all Covid restrictions as vaccinations top 80%

Denmark’s high vaccination rate has enabled it to become one of the first EU countries to lift all domestic restrictions, after 548 days with curbs in place to limit the spread of Covid-19. The return to normality has been gradual, but as of Friday, the digital pass – a proof of having been vaccinated – is no longer required when entering nightclubs, making it the last virus safeguard to fall. More than 80% of people above the age of 12 in the Scandinavian country have had the two shots, leading the Danish government to declare as of midnight it no longer considers Covid-19 a “socially critical” disease.
11th Sep 2021 - The Guardian

Refugees fear COVID risk in Australian immigration detention

Campaigners in Australia are urging the government to release asylum seekers held in immigration detention after at least one COVID-19 case was officially confirmed at a facility in Melbourne. Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, is currently in its sixth lockdown amid a coronavirus outbreak driven by the highly infectious Delta variant.
11th Sep 2021 - Al Jazeera English

School Is Back and the Covid Rules Keep Changing: ‘It’s as Chaotic as You Can Get.’

Last year, Covid-19 shut down schools around the nation, forcing a largely failed experiment in remote learning and angry standoffs among teachers and parents over returning to schools. Now, the majority of the country’s 51 million school-age children are returning to class in the midst of a coronavirus resurgence, compelling districts to rethink their strategies. Schools are writing and rewriting pandemic policies for faculty and students from the moment they walk in the door, including where and how they interact, requirements for masking and testing, and the best ways to support students’ mental health.
11th Sep 2021 - The Wall Street Journal

'Loved ones died confused and alone' - calls for urgent public inquiry into pandemic handling in Wales

Our loved ones are being let down, families across Wales say, as a campaign has been launched for an inquiry into the Covid-19 handling. A UK-wide campaign has been launched as 'families deserve answers' following hundreds of thousands of Coovid-related deaths across the country. As a result, a Wales-specific group was launched - Covid-19 Bereaved Families Cymru group to provide support for Welsh families and not to be a 'footnote' in UK findings. The groups is calling for an independent public inquiry which will 'not save lives' but lessons can be learnt.
11th Sep 2021 - North Wales Chronicle


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 10th Sep 2021

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The Pandemic Has Set Back the Fight Against H.I.V., TB and Malaria

The Covid-19 pandemic has severely set back the fight against other global scourges like H.I.V., tuberculosis and malaria, according to a sobering new report released on Tuesday. Before the pandemic, the world had been making strides against these illnesses. Overall, deaths from those diseases have dropped by about half since 2004. “The advent of a fourth pandemic, in Covid, puts these hard-fought gains in great jeopardy,” said Mitchell Warren, executive director of AVAC, a nonprofit organization promoting H.I.V. treatment worldwide.
9th Sep 2021 - The New York Times

COVID-19: Anti-vaccine posters found with razor blades attached to back of them to cut people as they are taken down, union says

Transport for London (TFL) workers have been warned about taking down unofficial COVID posters, after a union confirmed anti-vax signs have been found with razor blades attached to the back of them. The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said the posters had been put up on rail and tube stations in London. The union has called for action to be taken against those responsible for the posters, which bear the message "Masks Don't Work" and have a razor blade attached on the rear - potentially injuring anyone who tries to take it down.
9th Sep 2021 - Sky News

COVID-19 is rising again in the U.K., but many shrug it off

A spike in new COVID-19 infections is sweeping Britain, but from packed trains on London's subway to full audiences at West End musicals, the prevailing attitude may be shifting to "We can live with it." "It's done. COVID is over, for sure," Hannah Worrel, 34, said as she joined a crowded throng of after-work partiers on Soho's famed Old Compton Street. England lifted mask mandates — except in some places such as the London subway — and occupancy restrictions for indoor gatherings over the summer. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have kept them in place for now.
9th Sep 2021 - CBC.ca


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India restricts religious festivals over COVID third wave fears

Indian authorities are restricting major religious festivals that start this week and attract huge crowds, warning that a new COVID-19 wave had already begun in the financial capital, Mumbai. State governments across the country of 1.3 billion people, which saw a devastating coronavirus surge in April-May, are clamping down on mass gatherings.
8th Sep 2021 - AlJazeera

British man with Covid-19 faces eight years in a Polish jail over 'faked test certificate'

The 39-year-old man was detained by border guards trying to fly to Nottingham Officials discovered he had faked the test result at passport control in Poland He had altered his positive test result in a desperate attempt to return home He was fined £100 and faces between six months and eight years in a Polish jail
8th Sep 2021 - Daily Mail

S.Korea planning to live 'more normally' with COVID-19 after October

South Korea is drawing up a plan on how to live more normally with COVID-19, expecting 80% of adults to be fully vaccinated by late October, health authorities said on Wednesday.
8th Sep 2021 - Reuters


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U.K. Is Among First Western Nations to Increase Taxes to Cover Covid-19 Costs

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson Tuesday announced tax increases to support the country’s state-funded National Health Service as it struggles to manage a backlog of millions of patients in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. With the announcement, Mr. Johnson is renouncing an election pledge not to raise payroll taxes, a move that sparked criticism from within his own Conservative Party and underscored the pressure the pandemic has put on governments to find funding for social services stretched by Covid-19 and aging populations.
7th Sep 2021 - The Wall Street Journal

Scepticism and fraud hamper Covid vaccine take-up rates in Romania and Bulgaria

Vaccine scepticism is helping to keep Romania and Bulgaria’s Covid-19 vaccination rates the lowest in the EU, exposing the union’s poorest nations to higher risks amid a fourth wave of the pandemic fuelled by the contagious Delta coronavirus variant. Fraud is adding to official frustration in Romania over take-up rates, with instances of doctors allowing people to go without jabs while still issuing them with certificates that help to make it easier to work and travel.
7th Sep 2021 - Financial Times

Covid US: Anti-vaxx Georgia councilman urges conservatives to get jabbed after hospitalisation

Jim Sells, 71, urged people not to take the COVID-19 vaccine before he was hit with a bout of the virus that left hospitalized for more than two weeks. Sells is now pushing for others in his community to get vaccinated to ease pressure on the state's hospital system. More than 96% of Georgia ICU beds are currently occupied as the state sees a surge of virus cases. Only 35% of residents of Sells' county are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and 60% are totally unvaccinated
7th Sep 2021 - Daily Mail

Vietnamese man jailed for five years for spreading COVID-19 to eight people, one who died

Vietnam has jailed a man for five years for breaking strict COVID-19 quarantine rules and spreading the virus to others, state media is reporting. Le Van Tri, 28, was convicted of "spreading dangerous infectious diseases" at a one-day trial in the People's Court of the southern province of Ca Mau, the state-run Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.
7th Sep 2021 - ABC News

Covid-19 Australia: Cops swarm Melbourne synagogue after 100 worshippers celebrate Jewish New Year

Significant Covid breaches occurred at a gathering in Ripponlea, Melbourne Gathering dispersed by Victorian police after fiery confrontations. People in two buildings understood to have gathered for Jewish New Year. Police blocked roads surrounding buildings on Glen Eira Avenue, Ripponlea. Victoria recorded 246 Covid-19 cases on Tuesday and remains in lockdown
7th Sep 2021 - Daily Mail


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Fake COVID-19 vaccine passports for sale online

Fake COVID-19 vaccination certificates are being sold online for hundreds of dollars. One user on the encrypted message app, Telegram, told 9News he was selling counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination certificates for $500 in Bitcoin. He even produced a dummy version of the document, which was close to the real thing
6th Sep 2021 - 9News

Singapore opens Covid-19 travel bubble with Germany

Singapore is about to allow quarantine-free travel from Germany after vaccinating 80 per cent of its population in a taste of what's to come for Australians when the international borders finally open. The so-called 'vaccinated travel lane' will begin on Wednesday for fully jabbed travellers, but excludes under 12s for whom there are no approved vaccines. Instead of quarantining for 14 days, arrivals will have to get tested when they land in Singapore and isolate at home or in a hotel until their negative result.
6th Sep 2021 - Daily Mail


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Anti-vaccine protesters try to storm London offices of medical regulator

Police have prevented anti-vaccine protesters from storming the headquarters of Britain’s medical regulator during violent clashes in east London. At least four officers were injured and arrests were made during a confrontation as hundreds of people gathered outside the offices of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in Canary Wharf. Police drew batons and called for reinforcements as protesters attempted to force open the door of the regulator’s offices, with security guards looking on from inside.
4th Sep 2021 - The Guardian

American Airlines to end pandemic leave for unvaccinated staff

American Airlines said it would not provide special leave from next month to unvaccinated employees who have to quarantine due to COVID-19. Unvaccinated workers will have to use their sick time or medical leave if they miss work due to the disease, it said. "Given there is an FDA-approved vaccine, pandemic leave will only be offered to team members who are fully vaccinated and who provide their vaccination card to us," the carrier said in a memo to staff seen by Reuters.
4th Sep 2021 - MSN.com

Crowded U.S. Jails Drove Millions Of COVID-19 Cases, A New Study Says

If the U.S. had done more to reduce its incarceration rate, it could have prevented millions of COVID-19 cases. That's the conclusion of researchers who conducted what they say is the first study to link mass incarceration rates to pandemic vulnerability. Many of those preventable cases, they add, occurred in communities of color. The U.S. jail and prison system acts as an epidemic engine, according to the study from researchers at Northwestern University and the World Bank. That engine is driven by a massive number of people who, despite some counties' efforts to trim jail populations, have been cycling between cramped detention facilities and their home communities.
2nd Sep 2021 - NPR

Tyson Foods Offers Vaccinated Workers More Paid Time Off

Tyson Foods said it would provide 20 hours of paid sick time a year to fully vaccinated employees to enhance benefits for workers willing to receive coronavirus vaccinations. The new benefit, announced on Friday, followed discussions with the United Food & Commercial Workers, which represents several thousand Tyson workers, over the company’s requirement that all its U.S. workers be vaccinated “as a condition of employment” by Nov. 1. The paid sick leave policy takes effect on Jan. 1, and also applies to all nonunion employees.
3rd Sep 2021 - The New York Times


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'Mass-scale misinformation' to blame for Covid vaccine hesitancy, says Prince Harry – video

Prince Harry gave a speech about Covid vaccine hesitancy in a virtual appearance at the GQ Men of the Year awards, where he presented a prize to Prof Dame Sarah Gilbert, Prof Catherine Green and the team behind the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine
2nd Sep 2021 - The Guardian

Australia Covid-19: Remote Indigenous communities refusing vaccination as many fear it is a hoax

Covid vaccination rates below 20 per cent in many remote indigenous areas SA Health deputy chief executive Don Frater says misinformation is the cause Fringe Christian groups and hoax claims common in Indigenous settlements
2nd Sep 2021 - Daily Mail

Misuse of COVID funds alleged as Filipino health workers protest

Allegations of misuse of COVID-19 funds have emerged in the Philippines, prompting anger among healthcare workers, who protested in the Philippine capital to demand the release of unpaid benefits as they battle another surge in cases due to the Delta variant. Protesters wearing protective medical gear gathered on Wednesday at the Department of Health (DOH) and held placards demanding their risk allowances, hazard pay and the resignation of Health Secretary Francisco Duque.
2nd Sep 2021 - AlJazeera


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Doctors dismayed by patients who fear coronavirus vaccines, but clamor for unproven ivermectin

Oklahoma doctor Matthew Payne regularly encounters covid-19 patients in his hospital who say they had feared coronavirus vaccines and thought they had found a safer approach — taking ivermectin, a medicine long used to kill parasites in animals and humans. “There is surprise and shock when they initially get sick and have to come to the hospital,” said Payne, a hospitalist at Stillwater Medical Center. “They’ll say, ‘I’m not sure why I feel so bad. I was taking the ivermectin,’ and I will say, ‘It doesn’t do any good.’ ”
1st Sep 2021 - The Washington Post

New Zealanders line up for takeaway as COVID-19 restrictions ease, Auckland remains under stage four lockdown

New Zealanders are visiting beaches and queuing for takeaway food as tough lockdown measures have been eased in most of the country. About 1.7 million people in Auckland remain under a strict level 4 lockdown for another two weeks, but restrictions for the remainder of the country have been loosened. Surfers and kayakers were seen heading to the beaches in droves, while other outdoor recreation facilities like golf courses were busy again.
1st Sep 2021 - ABC News

Four conservative radio talk-show hosts bashed coronavirus vaccines. Then they got sick.

Marc Bernier was adamant: He was not going to get a coronavirus vaccination. “I’m Mr. Anti-Vax,” he told listeners of his talk-radio program in Daytona Beach, Fla., after the federal government provisionally approved the first vaccines in December. He later declared that the government was “acting like Nazis” in urging people to get vaccinated. But in early August, WNDB, Bernier’s radio home for more than 30 years, announced that the 65-year-old host was being treated in a hospital for covid-19. On Saturday, the station said that Bernier had died.
1st Sep 2021 - The Washington Post

Majority of U.S. companies may mandate COVID-19 vaccine in coming months - survey

More than half of U.S. companies are planning to impose COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the workplace by year end, with almost a quarter considering vaccination as a condition for employment, according to a national survey of nearly 1,000 employers. In the face of a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, spurred by the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant, that has strained the U.S. health care system, many companies have come out with mask mandates and changed their vaccination policies.
1st Sep 2021 - Reuters

Opposition to vaccine crumbles: Just 14% of US adults now say they won't take the shot as work mandates kick in

Work mandates biggest driver, 43 percent saying this would make them get jab A further 57% of workers said they support vaccine requirements from employer Those who are in hard opposition to the vaccine make up a new low of 14 percent
1st Sep 2021 - Daily Mail

FDA approval of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine spurs American confidence: Harris Poll

Last week's FDA approval of Pfizer’s Comirnaty vaccine boosted consumer confidence among both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. A Harris Poll survey over the weekend found that 80% of Americans who were aware of the approval now have more confidence in it. Even more encouraging? Almost half (49%) of unvaccinated people who heard about the approval said they will “probably” or “definitely” get vaccinated. Overall awareness of the Pfizer approval was high—79% of those surveyed by The Harris Poll were aware of the FDA thumbs-up.
31st Aug 2021 - FiercePharma


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Australian imports of ivermectin increase tenfold, prompting warning from TGA

A national shortage and tenfold increase in Australians importing ivermectin in August has sparked a warning from the Therapeutic Goods Administration against the use of the medicine, which is typically used to deworm livestock, as a treatment for Covid-19. Amid growing reports in the United States in recent weeks of people calling poison information hotlines over self-medicating with ivermectin as a treatment for Covid-19, a spokesperson for the TGA told Guardian Australia there had been a massive increase in people bringing the drug into Australia.
31st Aug 2021 - The Guardian

Ex-CIA officer turned Q-Anon conspiracy theorist dies of COVID-19 while on anti-vax tour of Florida

Robert David Steele was a former CIA officer who became a big supporter of conspiracy theories. He had become a devotee of QAnon and was in the midst of a tour decrying coronavirus vaccines when he was hospitalized with the virus He has since died, his friend Mark Tassi announced on Instagram on Sunday Steele bragged that he was the first person to call the coronavirus a hoax He had also claimed that child slaves were being sent to Mars, forcing NASA to issue a denial, and said 5G was a weapons system designed to kill humans
31st Aug 2021 - Daily Mail

Mormon vaccine push ratchets up, dividing faith’s members

After more than a year of attending church virtually, Monique Allen has struggled to explain to her asthmatic daughter why people from their congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints don’t wear masks. Allen said she’s taught her daughter that wearing a mask is Christlike, but now she worries her child feels like an outcast. Church leaders recently issued their strongest statement yet urging people to “limit the spread” by getting COVID-19 vaccines and wearing masks, but Allen said she fears it’s still not enough to convince the many families in her congregation who refuse to wear masks and have succumbed to anti-vaccine misinformation.
31st Aug 2021 - The Associated Press


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Croatia thrilled at summer season success despite COVID-19

Beaches along Croatia's Adriatic Sea coastline are swarming with people. Guided tours are fully booked, restaurants are packed and sailboats were chartered well in advance. Summer tourism has exceeded even the most optimistic expectations in Croatia this year. Once fearful that the coronavirus pandemic would discourage people from traveling, Croatia’s tourism industry was caught by surprise. “It's much better — it’s almost like 2020 never happened,” said Josip Crncevic, a tour guide in Dubrovnik, a southern city known for its Old Town and nightlife that is Croatia's most popular destination.
30th Aug 2021 - Associated Press on MSN.com

Budapest mural pays tribute to Katalin Kariko, Hungarian-born pioneer behind COVID-19 vaccine

Katalin Kariko, the Hungarian-born scientist who laid the groundwork for the mRNA vaccines fighting COVID-19, has been recognised in her homeland in the form of a huge mural in central Budapest. The city's urban designers created the portrait of Kariko, senior vice president at German company BioNTech which with Pfizer developed one of the most effective coronavirus jabs, to pay tribute to her scientific endeavours.
30th Aug 2021 - Reuters

Lagging in COVID-19 vaccinations, Brussels takes vaccination campaign to shops

Health authorities in Brussels began offering COVID-19 jabs in supermarkets and shopping centres on Monday to increase vaccination rates in the Belgian capital that have not kept up with Belgium's rapid inoculation roll-out. Host to the European Union and NATO, Brussels has only given vaccinations to about 65% of its population, much lower than the surrounding Belgian regions, mainly because people did not respond to requests to go to vaccination centres.
30th Aug 2021 - Reuters

McDonald's, others consider closing indoor seating amid Delta surge in U.S.

Some U.S. fast-food restaurants are closing indoor seating areas or limiting hours of operation because of the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19, according to franchisees. McDonald's had temporarily closed indoor dining at nearly all U.S. locations in early 2020, but it reopened 70% by last month. The global burger chain said on July 28 that it was on track to open nearly 100% by Labor Day - barring any COVID-19 resurgence. But last week, McDonald's instructed its franchisees on steps they should take to re-close their dining rooms in areas where the Delta variant is rapidly spreading
30th Aug 2021 - Reuters

Anti-vaxxers spread fake news about vaccine deaths during bizarre bridge protest on Hayling Island

Stood in a social-distanced line, the ‘anti-vaxxers’ repeated unfounded claims the coronavirus vaccine had been responsible for ‘1,600 UK vax deaths’ and ‘rising’. Holding yellow placards, the protester’s cards read: ‘Can we trust the media? Or push agendas? Do they provide fairness? And hide information? Because here’s the thing… The Covid vaccine is seriously harming people and killing them. Heart damage in teens, long-term health risks are completely unknown. UK vax deaths at 1,600 and rising. Please think about it.
30th Aug 2021 - Portsmouth News

Greek police fire tear gas as 7000 protest coronavirus vaccine rules

Around 7,000 people protested in Athens on Sunday (Aug 29) against a new rule obliging health workers to get vaccinated against Covid-19, said police who fired teargas to quell violence among the demonstrators. The rule change, which came into effect on Wednesday requires that all personnel working in hospitals be vaccinated. The demonstrators waved Greek flags and brandished placards declaring: "We are not against vaccines, but against fascism" and "Long live democracy".
30th Aug 2021 - The Straits Times


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No Jab, No Entry at Eateries Under Sydney Proposal to Stem Virus

Unvaccinated people may be denied entry to restaurants, bars and other hospitality venues under a reopening proposal in Sydney where delta cases are surging despite a lockdown, according to local media. The New South Wales government is consulting with industry groups on a plan to require all hospitality staff and patrons for proof they have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine when the state begins to emerge from lockdown after reaching 70% vaccination rate, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. Under the proposal, vaccination certificates and QR codes now used to check-in to venues may be merged, the report said, citing unnamed industry sources that confirmed the plan.
28th Aug 2021 - Bloomberg

Calls Grow to Discipline Doctors Spreading Virus Misinformation

A tiny number of doctors have had an outsize influence in spreading false information about Covid-19 and vaccines.
27th Aug 2021 - The New York Times

Police, protesters clash as thousands march against COVID curbs in Berlin

Police tussled with protesters as thousands of people marched through Berlin on Saturday chanting slogans and waving banners against COVID-19 restrictions. Some demonstrators tried to get past barricades to the government district around the Reichstag parliament building and clashed with officers, police said. Four officers were injured, the Berliner Zeitung reported.
27th Aug 2021 - Reuters


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YouTube has removed 1 million videos for dangerous COVID-19 misinformation

YouTube has removed 1 million videos for dangerous COVID-19 misinformation since February 2020, according to YouTube’s Chief Product Officer Neal Mahon. Mahon shared the statistic in a blog post outlining how the company approaches misinformation on its platform. “Misinformation has moved from the marginal to the mainstream,” he wrote. “No longer contained to the sealed-off worlds of Holocaust deniers or 9-11 truthers, it now stretches into every facet of society, sometimes tearing through communities with blistering speed.”
26th Aug 2021 - TechCrunch


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Pentagon: US troops must get their COVID-19 vaccines ASAP

Military troops must immediately begin to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a memo Wednesday, ordering service leaders to “impose ambitious timelines for implementation.” More than 800,000 service members have yet to get their shots, according to Pentagon data. And now that the Pfizer vaccine has received full approval from the Food and Drug Administration, the Defense Department is adding it to the list of required shots troops must get as part of their military service.
25th Aug 2021 - The Associated Press

Not Everyone Can Afford to ‘Learn to Live With’ COVID-19

COVID-19 now appears to be falling along these familiar lines. The effort to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control has really become two distinct battles. Within America’s borders, where vaccine doses are abundant, it’s a fight against misinformation and hesitancy. Globally, it is a race between vaccine delivery and virus transmission.
25th Aug 2021 - The Atlantic


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COVID-19: Channel 4's Jon Snow abused as anti-vaccine protesters storm HQ of UK news programmes

Anti-vaccine protesters have stormed the London headquarters of production company ITN, which produces ITV News, Channel 4 News and Channel 5 News. It's reported that more than 100 protesters managed to gain access to the building in Gray's Inn Road, central London. Footage on social media showed several dozen protesters in a tussle with police who attempted to block the entrance, with one clip showing veteran news anchor Jon Snow being abused by the crowd.
24th Aug 2021 - Sky News

Gig apps for a pandemic economy: Part time, no commitment

For months, Gabrielle Walker had been looking for a part-time job. She applied to restaurant chains and retailers like Nando’s and Primark, and she scoured the job search site Indeed. Nothing. Then one day, Walker, a 19-year-old student at University College London, was scrolling through TikTok and stumbled on a video about an app called Stint. A face on the screen explained that Stint could help students earn money by working brief temporary stints at places like restaurants and bars that require little training or experience.
24th Aug 2021 - The Associated Press

Analysis: Delta variant disrupts Hollywood's box office comeback

Three months after Hollywood launched a marketing blitz that proclaimed "the big screen is back," the Delta variant of the coronavirus has interrupted cinema's rebound from the pandemic. Studio executives and movie theater operators, meeting this week in Las Vegas for the annual CinemaCon convention, hoped to reignite moviegoing this summer. After encouraging turnouts for action flicks such as Marvel's "Black Widow" and "Fast & Furious" franchise movie "F9," recent U.S. and Canadian ticket sales have underwhelmed. "The only audience that seems to be going on a consistent basis is 18- to 35-(year olds)," said Jeff Bock, senior media analyst at Exhibitor Relations Co.
24th Aug 2021 - Reuters

Asian American leaders fear Covid-19 origin report could fuel more bigotry and violence

Asian American leaders are concerned that a report on the origins of the Covid-19 virus expected to be released this week by the Biden administration will be used to "legitimize racist language" and lead to more anti-Asian violence across the country.
24th Aug 2021 - CNN


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Covid 19 coronavirus: Vaccine 'hesitancy' media stories as impactful as misinformation

Media articles highlighting some people's hesitancy toward receiving the Covid-19 vaccine could be just as impactful in swaying us as outright misinformation, a new study finds. Yesterday, it was announced that vaccinations in New Zealand had passed the one million mark - with director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield among the latest to receive their first dose. Surveys have shown willingness to receive the Pfizer vaccine has been rising over time, reaching the point where four in five Kiwis now either intend to get the shot or are leaning toward it.
23rd Aug 2021 - New Zealand Herald

A Covid Booster Is The Privilege Scientists Say Will Curb Delta

The roll out of a third dose of Covid vaccine has sparked debate on ethical and political grounds, since a large swath of the human population is yet to receive any inoculation. But the case for boosters on scientific grounds is building. The reason is delta. The most-infectious coronavirus variant to emerge so far is in a race with the human immune system, and there’s mounting evidence that delta is winning -- at least initially. Fully vaccinated individuals infected with the variant have peak virus levels in the upper airways as high as those lacking immunity, a large study from the U.K. showed last week.
22nd Aug 2021 - Bloomberg


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French protesters rally against COVID health pass

Thousands of people have marched in cities across France to protest the COVID-19 health pass that is now required to access restaurants and cafes, cultural venues, sports arenas and long-distance travel. For a sixth straight weekend, opponents on Saturday denounced what they see as a restriction of their freedom. Many criticised the measure, claiming the French government was implicitly making vaccines obligatory and unfairly restricting the rights of the unvaccinated.
21st Aug 2021 - AlJazeera

‘Unmute us’: Marchers demand return of Dutch music festivals

Dutch music fans have been banned for months from going to large-scale festivals due to coronavirus restrictions. On Saturday, the festivals came to them. Hundreds of performers and festival organizers held marches through six Dutch cities on Saturday to protest what they argue are unfair restrictions that have forced the cancellation of summer music festivals and other events. Thousands of people attended one of the “Unmute Us” marches in Amsterdam, walking and dancing behind a convoy of trucks carrying DJs and sound systems pumping out music.
21st Aug 2021 - The Associated Press

French scientist who pushed unproven Covid drug may be forced from post

The French scientist who promoted the discredited hydroxychloroquine treatment for Covid-19 backed by Donald Trump faces being pushed out of the infectious diseases institute he founded, amid concerns from key members over its role in feeding conspiracy theories and an investigation by regulators into its clinical studies. Didier Raoult has built a worldwide following throughout the pandemic for his support of the malaria drug despite its failure in randomised control trials. Multiple studies, including by the Recovery trial and the World Health Organisation, have found hydroxychloroquine to be ineffective in treating Covid-19.
20th Aug 2021 - The Guardian


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Covid-19: How Kerala kept itself above water in India's devastating second wave

India is one of the worst hit countries in the pandemic, but one state has fared comparatively well. Kamala Thiagarajan asks what Kerala did differently. India’s first confirmed case of covid-19 was detected in the southern state of Kerala on 27 January 2020. Despite being one of the worst affected states—with over three million recorded cases, a quarter of infections in India—Kerala has the lowest covid death rate in the country at 0.4%, less than a third of the national average of 1.3%. As of 8 August, Kerala had 17 654 recorded deaths.
19th Aug 2021 - The BMJ

What is being done to distribute COVID-19 vaccines globally?

What is being done to distribute COVID-19 vaccines globally? Several groups are working to get shots to poor countries, but they’re falling far short of what’s needed to curb outbreaks around the world. Among the efforts is COVAX, which relies on donations from rich countries and private funders. The group has missed its own distribution targets largely because it didn’t have the resources to secure vaccine supplies early on in the pandemic. As of mid-August, COVAX has distributed about 207 million doses to 138 countries and territories. That’s compared with more than 417 million doses distributed in just the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
19th Aug 2021 - The Associated Press

Gulf Coast’s beloved ‘Redneck Riviera’ now a virus hotspot

Tourists and servers alike dance atop tables and in the aisles at one restaurant on the “Redneck Riviera,” a beloved stretch of towns along the northern Gulf Coast where beaches, bars and stores are packed. Yet just a few miles away, a hospital is running out of critical care beds, its rooms full of unvaccinated people fighting for their lives. On maps that show virus “hot spots” in red, this part of the U.S. coast is glowing like a bad sunburn. And a summer of booming tourism that followed the lockdowns and travel restrictions of 2020 is making the turn toward fall with only a few signs of slowing down.
19th Aug 2021 - The Associated Press


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Pope Francis says getting coronavirus vaccine is ‘act of love’

Pope Francis is adding his voice to a campaign to overcome vaccine scepticism, issuing a public service announcement insisting that vaccines are safe, effective and an “act of love”. The video message released on Wednesday is aimed at a global audience but directed particularly at the Americas.
18th Aug 2021 - Belfast Telegraph

Cardinal in serious condition after contracting COVID-19

A high-ranking Catholic cardinal who has COVID-19 is alive but in serious condition and has been sedated, according to officials at a Wisconsin shrine that he founded. Cardinal Raymond Burke, one of Pope Francis loudest critics and a vaccine skeptic, tweeted Aug. 10 that he had caught the coronavirus. His staff tweeted Saturday that he was hospitalized and on a ventilator. His condition and whereabouts since then have been unclear. His staff has provided no official updates. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops referred questions to officials at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which Burke founded in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
18th Aug 2021 - The Independent

Many Bible Belt preachers silent on shots as COVID-19 surges

Dr. Danny Avula, the head of Virginia’s COVID-19 vaccination effort, suspected he might have a problem getting pastors to publicly advocate for the shots when some members of his own church referred to them as “the mark of the beast,” a biblical reference to allegiance to the devil, and the minister wasn't sure how to respond. “A lot of pastors, based on where their congregations are at, are pretty hesitant to do so because this is so charged, and it immediately invites criticism and furor by the segment of your community that’s not on board with that," Avula said.
18th Aug 2021 - The Independent

Pharmacist arrested for allegedly selling Covid-19 vaccination cards on eBay

A licensed pharmacist was arrested in Chicago on Tuesday for allegedly selling dozens of authentic Covid-19 vaccination cards on eBay, the Justice Department said in a news release. Tangtang Zhao, 34, allegedly sold 125 Covid-19 vaccination cards from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to 11 different buyers for about $10 a card in March and April, the department said. Zhao, who worked as a pharmacist during that time, was indicted on 12 counts of theft of government property, the release added.
18th Aug 2021 - CNN

A radical plan to treat Covid’s mental health fallout

Though the idea of social prescribing has existed in the UK for a couple of decades, the cascading health consequences of a year in isolation has energised interest in the practice. And, as Covid-19 rapidly burns both ends of the healthcare candle – more patients in need of care, and a health service stretched to capacity – more health workers, policymakers and patients see social prescribing as part of the answer.
18th Aug 2021 - Wired.co.uk


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What’s safe to do during summer’s Covid surge? STAT asked public health experts about their own plans

With Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations spiking around the country, dreams of a summer like those many us had in mind just a short time ago have faded. The fully vaccinated have been told to resume wearing masks indoors. Companies and institutions are leveling vaccine mandates. And some municipalities are requiring people to show proof of vaccination to get into restaurants, bars, and gyms. Confusion abounds about what is safe to do. (For the unvaccinated, there’s no confusion about what’s most important to do: Get immunized.)
17th Aug 2021 - STAT News

Federal agents seize thousands of fake covid vaccination cards destined for locations across U.S.

Bundles of counterfeit coronavirus vaccination cards printed with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention logo have been shipped from Shenzhen, China, to recipients all around the United States, as some unvaccinated people try to evade restrictions that require proof of the shot to enter certain bars, schools and public spaces. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials said in a Friday statement that agents have seized thousands of fake vaccination cards passing through Memphis, a shipping hub.
17th Aug 2021 - The Washington Post

Singapore prepares for long term life - and death - with COVID-19

With just a few dozen COVID-19 deaths and one of the world's highest vaccination rates, Singapore wants to reopen for business - and is laying the groundwork to live with the coronavirus as it does other common diseases such as influenza.
17th Aug 2021 - Reuters


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New Yorkers largely back mayor's vaccine mandate to dine out

New Yorkers interviewed by Reuters on Monday were largely backing the push by the city's mayor, Bill de Blasio, to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter restaurants, gyms and other businesses. The policy is set to launch Tuesday as the delta variant continues to make progress. With vaccines widely available, political leaders were combating the latest surge in infections with shots and masks rather than ordering businesses to close and Americans to stay home as they did last year.
16th Aug 2021 - Reuters

Protesters in France denounce COVID health pass rules for fifth weekend

Protesters have marched in cities across France for a fifth consecutive weekend against rules compelling them to show a COVID-19 health pass for daily activities, but in lesser numbers than a week ago. Crowds rallied through the streets of Paris, Marseille, Nice, Montpellier and other towns, waving placards reading "Pass=Apartheid" and chanting "Freedom, freedom".
16th Aug 2021 - Reuters


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 16th Aug 2021

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Misinformation at public forums vexes local boards, big tech

There are plenty of places to turn for accurate information about COVID-19. Your physician. Local health departments. The U.S. CDC. But not, perhaps, your local government’s public comment session. During a meeting of the St. Louis County Council earlier this month, opponents of a possible mask mandate made so many misleading comments about masks, vaccines and COVID-19 that YouTube removed the video for violating its policies against false claims about the virus. “I hope no one is making any medical decisions based on what they hear at our public forums,” said County Councilwoman Lisa Clancy, who supports mask wearing and said she believes most of her constituents do too. The video was restored, but Clancy’s worries about the impact of that misinformation remain.
15th Aug 2021 - Associated Press

Covid US: Vaccine card black market emerges as New York and other cities bring in mandates

Most are being sold on Telegram, an encrypted site that is favored among people who don't trust typical Silicon Valley giants like Facebook and Twitter The blank cardboard cards are being sold for anything between $24 and $400 The Attorney Generals of multiple states wrote to Twitter, Shopify and eBay asking them to crackdown A California father and son were arrested trying to vacation in Hawaii with fake cards A California bar owner who was selling them was also arrested earlier this year NYC will start requiring vaccine status in restaurants and gyms will start requiring them from August 16 New Orleans , Los Angeles and San Francisco are also bringing them in Businesses will have a grace period before having to enforce them on September 13
14th Aug 2021 - Daily Mail

Back of the line: Charity only goes so far in world vaccines

An international system to share coronavirus vaccines was supposed to guarantee that low and middle-income countries could get doses without being last in line and at the mercy of unreliable donations. It hasn’t worked out that way. In late June alone, the initiative known as COVAX sent some 530,000 doses to Britain – more than double the amount sent that month to the entire continent of Africa. Under COVAX, countries were supposed to give money so vaccines could be set aside, both as donations to poor countries and as an insurance policy for richer ones to buy doses if theirs fell through. Some rich countries, including those in the European Union, calculated that they had more than enough doses available through bilateral deals and ceded their allocated COVAX doses to poorer count
14th Aug 2021 - Associated Press

Victoria police investigate threats against SPC after company mandates Covid-19 vaccines

Police in regional Victoria are investigating social media threats against canned food producer SPC, after the company mandated Covid-19 vaccines for its workers. The company, which runs a major cannery in Shepparton, set a precedent for corporate Australia by mandating vaccination for workers and contractors earlier this month. The anonymous online posts suggest defacing SPC products on supermarket shelves and asked what might happen if a needle was found in a can of SPC food, according to reports.
14th Aug 2021 - The Guardian Australia

Covid stifled US mental health therapy. Online forums provided a safe haven

Over the course of the pandemic, many people with mental health problems have turned to online communities for support. In March 2020, when the pandemic forced Americans to stay indoors, many turned to the online universe as a way of reaching out and making contact to recreate the supportive communities they were now physically cut off from. People joined Facebook groups, subreddits, Discord channels and online forums so they could gather virtually without the worry of catching or spreading the virus. In August 2020, a Facebook survey of 15,000 people found that 91% of respondents “have given some form of support to others through a group or community during the pandemic. 86% have said they received some form of support from others.” As of January, Reddit had over 100,000 active communities.
13th Aug 2021 - The Guardian

Facebook and YouTube execs say removing Covid-19 misinformation isn’t enough

New falsehoods have emerged to match every stage of pandemic response. Unquestionably, that misinformation has been amplified on social media platforms, as the world locked down in waves and citizens looked online for answers. On Thursday, leaders from Facebook and YouTube joined a panel at the global conference of the Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) to discuss the threat misleading information poses to the pandemic response. But even as vaccine misinformation continues to hamper vaccination efforts in the United States, the conversation failed to address the impact of falsehoods on these platforms head-on — instead, focusing on platforms’ efforts to proactively share accurate, trusted Covid-19 information.
13th Aug 2021 - STAT News

27 on board Carnival cruise test positive for COVID-19

A Carnival Cruise Line ship that arrived in Belize on Wednesday after departing from Texas recorded 27 positive COVID-19 tests, all among people who are fully vaccinated. The Belize Tourism Board said in a press release that the Carnival Vista ship, which left from Galveston, Texas, arrived in Belize City with a total of 2,895 guests and 1,441 crew members. "As per the normal protocol, upon submission of the Maritime Declaration by the ship in anticipation of its call to Belize the ship reported that it had on board 27 positive cases, 26 of which were crew members and 1 passenger,” the statement said.
13th Aug 2021 - The Hill

‘Everybody I Know Is Pissed Off’

The vaccinated, across party lines, have kind of had it with the unvaccinated, an array of new polls suggests. While most state and national GOP leaders are focused on defending the rights of unvaccinated Americans, new polling shows that the large majority of vaccinated adults—including a substantial portion of Republicans—support tougher measures against those who have refused COVID-19 shots.
12th Aug 2021 - The Atlantic


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Coronavirus digest: New Zealand plans phased reopening of borders from 2022

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Thursday that strict border controls would remain in place this year, adding, however, that a phased reopening of international travel would be possible in 2022. New Zealand closed its borders to everyone except permanent residents and citizens at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020. It now plans to allow quarantine-free entry to vaccinated travelers from low-risk countries starting early 2022. "We're simply not in a position to fully reopen just yet," Ardern said in a speech at the 'Reconnecting New Zealanders to the World' forum in Wellington.
12th Aug 2021 - Deutsche Welle

Covid-19: £22k car offered to care staff as jab incentive

A care group has offered staff the chance to win a £22,000 car if they have taken both doses of a Covid jab. PJ Care, in Peterborough and Milton Keynes, says the incentive to get staff vaccinated is "more cost-effective than recruiting new team members". The government announced that anyone working or volunteering in a care home must be fully vaccinated by 11 November, unless exempt. The company said 85% of its 600 staff had received all their jabs. Neil Russell, chairman, said he hoped by raffling a Renault Clio E-Tech worth £22,000 it would "help to encourage those who are open to changing their minds"
12th Aug 2021 - BBC News


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Volunteers in Vietnam come to the rescue as coronavirus lockdown hits the vulnerable

Vietnam’s strict lockdown to curb its fourth wave of Covid-19 infections has left many unable to work, go out to get food, or even get oxygen. Individuals and up to 90 community groups and organisations have stepped in where authorities fell short, but their efforts are not always coordinated.
11th Aug 2021 - South China Morning Post

COVID-19: Firm that claimed Pfizer vaccine turns people into chimpanzees banned from Facebook

Facebook has removed hundreds of accounts linked to a COVID-19 vaccine disinformation network operating out of Russia. The mysterious advertising agency called Fazze sought to pay social media influencers to repost misleading content about vaccines made by Pfizer and AstraZeneca. But their plot was uncovered after influencers in France and Germany exposed offers they had been sent.
11th Aug 2021 - Sky News

COVID-19: Man's anguish as his unvaccinated mother, father and brother all die with coronavirus

A Cardiff man who had to bury his unvaccinated mother, father and brother after they died with COVID-19 says it is "absolutely vital" people get their jab against the virus. Francis Goncalves returned to Wales last Friday after flying out to Portugal where his family relocated to a few years ago. His 40-year-old brother Shaul, 65-year-old mother Charmagne and 73-year-old father Basil all died in July.
11th Aug 2021 - Sky News

French vaccination centres vandalised as health pass is introduced

Vandals have attacked more than 20 vaccination centres and other health facilities, daubing some with Nazi-themed slogans, as the French government steps up its COVID-19 vaccination drive. Anger has been fueled by the introduction of a health pass showing proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test which is now mandatory for entering restaurants, trains and other public places.
11th Aug 2021 - Reuters

Lockdowns make people lonely. Here are 3 steps we can take now to help each other

With lockdowns and social restrictions likely to be a part of life in Australia until a significant majority of us are fully vaccinated, it’s timely to think about what we can do to look out for people who may be vulnerable. Loneliness is a personal and distressing experience that can be complex to resolve. But for people who are lonely, feeling meaningfully connected to others can help. Here are three steps we can all take to help people who may be experiencing loneliness.
9th Aug 2021 - The Conversation AU


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 11th Aug 2021

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Oxford researcher urges Britain to donate vaccines rather than give boosters

Booster shots for COVID-19 vaccines are not currently needed and the doses should be given to other countries, Oxford vaccine chief Andrew Pollard said on Tuesday in contrast to the position taken by Britain's health minister.
10th Aug 2021 - Reuters UK

Facebook shuts down vaccine disinformation 'laundromat'

Facebook has said it has shut down a disinformation operation which sought to spread Covid-19 vaccine hoaxes by duping social network influencers into backing false claims. The leading social network labeled the operation a "disinformation laundromat" which sought to legitimise false claims by pushing them through people with clean reputations. Influencers who caught onto the sham turned out to be the undoing of a deceitful influence campaign orchestrated by British marketing firm Fazze and operated out of Russia, according to Facebook.
10th Aug 2021 - RTE.ie

Long delays as Canada opens border to fully vaccinated American tourists after 16 months

Long delays were reported at the border on Monday as Canada finally opened to fully vaccinated American tourists for the first time in 16 months, causing a rush of travelers during the busy summer season - and bottlenecks for a desperate tourism industry. Government data showed a seven-hour wait for the Fort Frances, Ontario, and International Falls, Minnesota, crossing. Fort Frances advertises itself online as "rarely experiencing delays."
10th Aug 2021 - Reuters

'We are not the virus': Two-tier Delta lockdowns divide Sydney

On the sands of Bondi Beach, one of Sydney's wealthiest suburbs, surfers and seaside walkers jostle for space, while joggers clog the nearby promenade and fitness buffs huddle around public exercise equipment. To the west, where COVID-19 infections are greatest, stores sit shuttered on empty streets as some of Australia's most migrant-heavy neighbourhoods endure heightened lockdowns, enforced by high-visibility policing backed up by the military.
10th Aug 2021 - Reuters

US turns to social media influencers to boost vaccine rates

As a police sergeant in a rural town, Carlos Cornejo isn’t the prototypical social media influencer. But his Spanish-language Facebook page with 650,000 followers was exactly what Colorado leaders were looking for as they recruited residents to try to persuade the most vaccine-hesitant. Cornejo, 32, is one of dozens of influencers, ranging from busy moms and fashion bloggers to African refugee advocates and religious leaders, getting paid by the state to post vaccine information on a local level in hopes of stunting a troubling summer surge of COVID-19. Colorado’s #PowertheComeback target audience is especially tailored to Latino, Black, Native American, Asian and other communities of color that historically have been underserved when it comes to health care and are the focus of agencies trying to raise vaccination rates.
10th Aug 2021 - The Associated Press

If we’re not careful, booster vaccines could end up giving the coronavirus a boost

The sooner we start using booster jabs, the more likely it is that we will need them. In the eight months since Covid-19 vaccines first became available, nearly four billion doses have been administered, and yet the number of cases and deaths continues to rise. Why? For the simple reason that we are not making the most efficient global use of the doses available. Now, as evidence is emerging about the potential benefits of booster shots in the face of the continued spread of Delta variant, offering fully vaccinated people a third dose before it is absolutely necessary is in danger of becoming the latest example of this.
9th Aug 2021 - LinkedIn.com


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 10th Aug 2021

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COVID-19: Coronavirus vaccine hesitancy among younger people decreases, ONS figures show

Hesitancy among younger age groups to receive a COVID-19 vaccine has fallen, according to new figures. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) survey looked at attitudes during the period from 23 June to 18 July - a day before most coronavirus restrictions were lifted in England. For 16 and 17-year-olds - who are now able to get a jab following last week's announcement to extend the rollout to that age group - hesitancy has decreased from 14% to 11%.
9th Aug 2021 - Sky News

Fake COVID-19 Vaccination Cards Worry College Officials

As the delta variant of the coronavirus sweeps across the United States, a growing number of colleges and universities are requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for students to attend in-person classes. But the mandatory requirement has opened the door for those opposed to getting the vaccine to cheat the system, according to interviews with students, education and law enforcement officials. Both faculty and students at dozens of schools interviewed by The Associated Press say they are concerned about how easy it is to get fake vaccine cards
9th Aug 2021 - Time

Some May Be Getting Covid-19 Vaccines In Disguise To Hide Vaccination Status

There haven’t been any high school genre movies entitled The Fully Vaccinated Breakfast Club or Mean Antivaxxers just yet. But apparently some people who want to get vaccinated against Covid-19 may be facing high school-type peer pressure or even bullying. In the following video, Priscilla Frase, MD, the chief medical information officer for Ozarks Healthcare, described how her patients said they actually had to don disguises while getting vaccinated so that their family members and peers wouldn’t find out
9th Aug 2021 - Forbes

No test, no entry: Berlin nightclubs pilot 'reboot' project

Six Berlin nightclubs opened their doors this weekend to some 2,000 revellers free of masks and social distancing restrictions in a pilot project to assess whether testing for COVID-19 could prevent another lockdown for the city's night life venues.
9th Aug 2021 - Reuters

Crowd of 10,000 attends largest open-air music event in Ireland since start of pandemic

A crowd of 10,000 people have attended an open-air event in Falls Park, Belfast – the biggest crowd at a music event in Ireland since the start of the pandemic. The crowds were present on Sunday night as part of this year’s Féile an Phobail which is being held both in person and online. The Diversionary Féile Music Night, featured international DJ Paul Van Dyk and Judge Jules.
9th Aug 2021 - Irish Times

Anti-vaxxers try to storm the BBC in protest over vaccine passports and jabs for children

A group of anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination protesters clashed with police as they tried to gain access to BBC studios in west London. Protesters were seen confronting officers with scuffles breaking out as they attempted to enter the site in White City. A line of police officers were filmed pushing back protesters to stop them entering. It is understood the group arrived to protest plans for vaccine passports and the vaccination of children.
9th Aug 2021 - LBC

Italian police break up network selling fake COVID ‘green passes’

The Italian police have shut down several groups on the mobile messaging app Telegram where users were selling fake COVID-19 health passes required to access services and leisure activities. Italy introduced the so-called green pass on Friday.
9th Aug 2021 - AlJazeera


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 9th Aug 2021

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Protesters mass in France against Macron's Covid health pass

Almost a quarter of a million people took to the streets across France on Saturday for the biggest protests yet against a coronavirus health pass needed to enter a cafe or travel on an inter-city train, two days before the new rules come into force. Similar but smaller protests were held in Italy. Championed by President Emmanuel Macron, the French regulations make it obligatory to have either a full course of vaccination against Covid-19, a negative test or be recently recovered from the virus to enjoy routine activities.
8th Aug 2021 - International Business Times UK

Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland lands six-figure award to help lonely and isolated

A charity with a strong presence in Lanarkshire has been awarded £100,000 in funding to tackle loneliness and isolation through its Kindness Programme. Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland (CHSS) has been awarded the six-figure funding as part of the Scottish Government’s £1 million Summer Fund to help those affected in this way as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. It will enable the charity reach more people.
7th Aug 2021 - Daily Record

CNN fires three who turned up to work unvaccinated against coronavirus

CNN has fired three staff members for working in the office despite being unvaccinated against the coronavirus, in an incident that highlights the potential challenges facing employers who mandate inoculations amid a surge of the highly transmissible delta variant in the United States. Jeff Zucker, the cable network’s president, wrote in a Thursday memo obtained by The Washington Post that CNN was “made aware” in the past week of three employees violating its policy that only fully inoculated people work from its buildings.
6th Aug 2021 - The Washington Post

They rejected coronavirus shots in vaccine-rich countries. In the hospital, they changed their minds.

The fit and healthy bodybuilder in England. The religious woman from Canada. A conservative talk radio host in Tennessee. All chose not to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, despite living in countries where doses are plentiful. But after contracting the disease and falling severely ill, they have since expressed an overwhelming sense of regret and urged others not to make the same mistakes they did — some just days before they died.
6th Aug 2021 - The Washington Post

As delta variant surges, trust in the media plummets

We're a long way from 1976 or even 2005, aren't we? Because in 1976, in the post-Watergate era of journalism, trust in the Fourth Estate was 72 percent, according to Gallup. That's right: Nearly three of four Americans trusted that what they read, what they heard, were the facts with no narrative or cause or agenda being advanced. In 2005, 72 percent became 50 percent in terms of trust in the media. A 22-point drop, sure, but a respectable number when compared to just how bad things have become for an institution once revered for icons such as Cronkite, Brinkley, Mudd, Reasoner, Wallace, Jennings, Koppel and Russert.
6th Aug 2021 - The Hill


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COVID-19: Fit and healthy man, 42, killed by coronavirus regretted refusing vaccine - as sister issues misinformation warning

The sister of a fit and healthy man who died from COVID-19 says her brother was "beating himself up" over his decision not to get vaccinated during his final days, as she issued a warning over jabs misinformation. John Eyers, 42, from Southport, Merseyside died last week - exactly a month after catching the virus. The "fit" and "adventurous" father-of-one had been climbing Welsh mountains and wild camping a month before he became seriously ill.
5th Aug 2021 - Sky News

Businesses face ‘horrible’ abuse amid UK’s coronavirus vaccine checks dilemma

Hospitality is back in business post-lockdown — but staff face the prospect of abuse as they grapple with “confused” government guidance on checking customers' coronavirus status. Companies who have opted to put in place checks say they have faced a social media backlash from anti-vaccine and “freedom” campaigners. The U.K. has so far tried to encourage businesses with a higher risk of COVID transmission to voluntarily adopt its NHS COVID Pass, allowing customers to prove they are free of the virus. Users can show they have either had two doses of an approved vaccine, a negative PCR or lateral flow test result within 48 hours of entry, or have natural immunity. Business owners making use of the scheme so far say they have been on the receiving end of abuse, amid confusion from customers about the scale of the checks.
5th Aug 2021 - POLITICO.eu

Around 14% of US population is still opposed to the vaccine and most believe it is more dangerous than Covid-19 itself

Around 14 per cent of US population is still opposed to the Covid-19 vaccine. More than half of unvaccinated adults said vaccine is bigger risk to their health than getting infected with the virus itself. Some three quarters said they are 'not worried' about getting seriously sick from the virus
5th Aug 2021 - Daily Mail

Cambodia’s nightlife scene tests COVID success

In March 2020, Cambodian authorities made it clear they would take no chances with COVID-19. Tourism visas were suspended. Land borders were closed, leaving citizens stranded. Curfews and domestic travel restrictions emptied the kingdom’s world-renowned archaeological sites of visitors and shut down once-bustling nightlife spots. For nearly a year, such vigilance made Cambodia a COVID-19 success story. As of January this year, the country had recorded no deaths from the coronavirus and just 463 positive cases, 86 percent of which were imported cases that were contained by what was described as a “watertight” quarantine-on-arrival system.
5th Aug 2021 - Al Jazeera English


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Barbie launches doll of scientist Sarah Gilbert who created coronavirus vaccine

Barbie producer Mattel has created a doll in the likeness of the scientist who designed the Oxford coronavirus vaccine: Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert. Professor Gilbert started working on creating a jab in early 2020 when Covid-19 was first reported to be spreading in China. The vaccine she designed, the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab, has now been used in more than 170 countries, making it the most widely used in the world. The doll depicts Professor Gilbert wearing a black trouser suit with a white shirt and glasses.
4th Aug 2021 - The Independent

‘Jabs for kebabs’ — The art of coronavirus vaccine persuasion

After the early rush among older citizens for a coronavirus vaccine, many countries are now resorting to bribery to convince people to get themselves jabbed. The persistent minority of vaccine skeptics — especially across Europe — are probably immune from the incentives on offer. But governments are hoping that a small nudge may be what's needed with people for whom the prospect of long-COVID or even death was not, by itself, enough to make them find a window in their schedule for a vaccine appointment. Some countries — notably France — are adopting more of a stick approach, by mandating that certain key workers receive the jab or restricting access to leisure activities for unvaccinated people. Pakistan is even taking the unconventional approach of cutting off the cellphone signal to those who refuse to get the jab.
4th Aug 2021 - POLITICO Europe

Covid-19: 'Lack of transparency' over Irish decisions

Experts in human rights law have accused the Irish government of lacking transparency and accountability in key decision-making during the pandemic. A report by academics from Trinity College Dublin said there was a lack of clarity about how decisions affecting prisoners and asylum seekers were made. It questioned how policies were arrived at in the vaccination programme and how Covid-19 deaths are counted. The report also said it was unclear who made some key decisions
4th Aug 2021 - BBC News

More US employers mandate COVID-19 vaccines

The list of major American companies who will soon begin mandating COVID-19 vaccines continues to grow, as both Tyson Foods and Microsoft announced that all employees will need to show proof of vaccination in the coming months. Tyson Foods is the first major food industry employer to require vaccinations. All front-line workers will be required to be vaccinated by Nov 1. According to the Associated Press, the Springfield, Arkansas, company will offer a $200 bonus for all front-line workers who receive a vaccine. So far, only half of Tyson employees are vaccinated against COVID-19. Throughout the past 18 months, Tyson meat processing plants were the site of major outbreaks, but the company now reports low numbers after investing $700 million in workplace safety.
4th Aug 2021 - CIDRAP

COVID-19: Health workers face online abuse for encouraging vaccination

In England, health organisations are calling for an end to the abuse aimed at doctors and nurses during the pandemic, especially from anti-vaxxers. A letter has been signed by groups including the Royal College of Midwives, Unison, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the NHS Confederation, the British Medical Association, and the Royal College of Nursing. It was prompted by online abuse directed at RCM chief executive Gill Walton after she encouraged pregnant women to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
4th Aug 2021 - Sky News


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Top RNC official in Florida spreads Covid-19 conspiracies, calling vaccines the 'mark of the beast'

Amid recent surging coronavirus cases in Florida, a top Republican National Committee official in the state has spread anti-vaccine rhetoric and misinformation, comparing the Biden administration's vaccine efforts to Nazi-era "brown shirts," and twice calling the vaccines "the mark of the beast," comparable to a "false god." A review by CNN's KFile found that Peter Feaman, a lawyer and RNC committeeman from Florida made the comments on his blog the "The Backhoe Chronicles," which he publishes regularly in a private group on MeWe. The social media platform bills itself as the "anti-Facebook" app.
3rd Aug 2021 - CNN

Hackers block Italian Covid-19 vaccination booking system in 'most serious cyberattack ever'

Hackers have attacked and blocked an Italian Covid-19 vaccination booking system, a source from Italy's cybercrime police told CNN on Monday, marking the worst cyberattack the country's health service has ever seen. An investigation has been opened into the "very serious" attack on the IT system of the health department of Lazio, one of the most populated regions of Italy and home to capital Rome, according to a source from the Postal and Communications Police, which investigates cybercrime.
3rd Aug 2021 - CNN

Ireland's Catholic church, government clash over COVID-19 restrictions

Five Roman Catholic bishops from Ireland's 22 dioceses are set to defy COVID-19 restrictions after instructing local parishes to hold communion and confirmation services this month, drawing a sharp rebuke from the government, which have pleaded with them to wait until they consider further easing curbs later this month
3rd Aug 2021 - Reuters

Should I Mask? Can I Travel? What About Hugs? How Delta Is Changing Advice for the Vaccinated

The rise of the Delta variant of the coronavirus has raised new questions about how the vaccinated can stay safe and avoid breakthrough infections. We asked the experts for advice.
3rd Aug 2021 - The New York Times


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Have a chat to help others through loneliness

Looking back over the past 18 months, the Joni Mitchell lyric ‘you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone’ comes to mind. It’s only now, having been isolated, that we can appreciate how much small moments of contact with family and friends can mean. Bristol Myers Squibb’s Janice Creasy discusses how the company is helping reduce feelings of loneliness amongst its teams.
2nd Aug 2021 - pharmaphorum

Serbia benefits from COVID-19 'quarantine tourism' as Indians visit

Serbia is benefiting from COVID-19 'quarantine tourism' as thousands of Indians make a two-week stopover on the way to other countries. India has registered more coronavirus cases than any other country except the United States. Its citizens are barred from entering many countries during the pandemic unless they spend two weeks in another country en route.
2nd Aug 2021 - Reuters

Sky News Australia suspended from YouTube for a week over Covid-19 misinformation

YouTube has temporarily barred Sky News Australia from uploading new content over misinformation related to the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Google (GOOGL)-owned platform, the broadcaster was issued a "strike" last Thursday, which prevents it from posting videos or live-streams for a week. Three strikes over a period of 90 days would result in a permanent removal of the channel. A YouTube spokesperson did not disclose which videos by Sky News Australia had violated its policies, but said in a statement issued on Monday that "we don't allow content that denies the existence of Covid-19 or that encourages people to use hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin to treat or prevent the virus."
2nd Aug 2021 - CNN

Covid-19 Contained Among Olympic Athletes Despite Tokyo Surge

Tokyo is experiencing a record surge in Covid-19 cases during the Olympic Games as the more infectious delta variant rips through Japan, though contagion among those linked to the event appears to be relatively contained so far. To date, organizers have announced 276 positive cases among people connected to the Olympics, including 24 athletes out of the more than 11,000 who are expected to participate. Of over 400,000 tests conducted so far on athletes and stakeholders, the positivity rate has been only 0.02%, organizers said on Monday.
2nd Aug 2021 - Bloomberg

Covid-19: First people arriving into UK after rules relaxed for fully jabbed

The first passengers have been arriving in the UK after rules changed to allow people fully vaccinated in the US and EU to avoid quarantine. The change, which came in at 04:00 BST, affects those arriving from countries on the UK's amber list - except France. The UK government said the change would help to reunite family and friends whose loved ones live abroad. Airline bosses have welcomed the move but are calling for more countries to be added to the UK's green travel list.
2nd Aug 2021 - BBC News

CDC rebuffs Biden bid to reinstate COVID-19 eviction moratorium

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has turned down President Joe Biden's request for a new scaled-down pandemic-related moratorium on residential evictions, citing a lack of legal authority to take the action, the White House said on Monday. The previous moratorium, which protected millions of Americans behind on their rent from being tossed out of houses and apartments, expired at midnight on Saturday, with Congress failing to renew it as Biden had asked. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier on Monday pressed Biden to have his administration renew the ban without congressional action.
2nd Aug 2021 - Reuters

To Fight Vaccine Lies, Authorities Recruit an ‘Influencer Army’

Ellie Zeiler, 17, a TikTok creator with over 10 million followers, received an email in June from Village Marketing, an influencer marketing agency. It said it was reaching out on behalf of another party: the White House. Would Ms. Zeiler, a high school senior who usually posts short fashion and lifestyle videos, be willing, the agency wondered, to participate in a White House-backed campaign encouraging her audience to get vaccinated against the coronavirus?
1st Aug 2021 - The New York Times


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Broadway to require vaccinations, masks for audience members

Broadway theatergoers will need to prove they’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19 and masks will be required when theaters reopen in the coming weeks, producers announced Friday. Audience members will have to wear face coverings and show proof they are fully vaccinated by a FDA or WHO authorized vaccine when they enter the theaters until at least the end of October, the Broadway League said in a news release. “Get vaccinated, and we’ll see you in the fall,” tweeted Broadway and TV star Jeremy Jordan. Composer Jason Robert Brown also agreed with the move: “That’s right. That’s where we’re at.”
31st Jul 2021 - Associated Press

COVID: Berlin court bans anti-lockdown protests

Judges in the German capital have moved to ban a number of weekend demonstrations amid fears they will lead to a rise in coronavirus infections. Police expect protesters to travel to Berlin nonetheless.
31st Jul 2021 - DW (English)

Thailand outlaws reports that cause 'fear' as Covid-19 cases surge

Thailand will allow officials to block online reports that cause “fear”, even if they are true, in a move critics have lambasted as an effort to shut down debate of the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. The measure announced late on Thursday will penalise anyone who causes “misunderstandings” or jeopardises national security during the country’s state of emergency, which has been in effect since March 2020.
30th Jul 2021 - Financial Times

'I am furious with myself': Unvaccinated Covid patient describes the exhausting illness

Sitting in her hospital room in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Aimee Matzen struggled to breathe as she described how exhausting it is to have Covid-19. "The fact that I am here now, I am furious with myself," she told CNN between deep, deliberate breaths. "Because I was not vaccinated." Matzen, 44, finds herself in the Covid-19 intensive care unit at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge. She is receiving oxygen treatments and hopes she stays well enough to avoid getting hooked up to a ventilator.
29th Jul 2021 - CNN


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EU health body warns against visiting popular Greek islands over COVID-19

Greece's south Aegean islands were marked dark red on the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control's COVID-19 map on Thursday after a rise in infections, meaning all but essential travel to and from the region is discouraged. The cluster of 13 islands includes Greece's most popular destinations for foreign tourists - Mykonos, Santorini and Rhodes - which, combined, draw millions of people every summer.
29th Jul 2021 - Reuters

European Union Pulls Ahead of the U.S. in Vaccinations

The 27 member states of the European Union altogether have now administered more coronavirus vaccine doses per 100 people than the United States, in another sign that inoculations across the bloc have maintained some speed throughout the summer, while they have stagnated for weeks in the United States. E.U. countries had administered 102.66 doses per 100 people as of Tuesday, while the United States had administered 102.44, according to the latest vaccination figures compiled by Our World in Data. This month, the European Union also overtook the United States in first injections; currently, 58 percent of people across the bloc have received a dose, compared with 56.5 percent in the United States.
29th Jul 2021 - The New York Times


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Tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan vaccinates 90% of its population, becoming a beacon of hope for a region struggling with Covid

Bhutan has fully vaccinated 90% of its eligible adult population in a week with Covid-19 shots, a feat that has been described as a "success story" and a "beacon of hope" for other countries in the region, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Tuesday. The tiny South Asian kingdom of 770,00 people is nestled in high in the Himalayas between India and China, and its high altitude, remote mountain villages, nomadic herders and extreme weather posed unique challenges to health workers delivering the vaccines safely across the country.
28th Jul 2021 - CNN

Relaxing Covid-19 restrictions could pave way for vaccine resistance – experts

Relaxing coronavirus restrictions could pave the way for new virus mutations that are resistant to vaccines, researchers have suggested. A new article warns against relaxing measures prematurely, and describes an “arms race” against Covid-19. Experts at the University of East Anglia and the Earlham Institute argue that rising cases could provide opportunities for the virus to evolve into even more transmissible variants.
28th Jul 2021 - Evening Standard

Here Are The Republicans Most Likely To Refuse The Covid-19 Vaccine, Poll Finds

Nearly 40% of Republicans are still hesitant about getting the Covid-19 vaccine or refuse to get it, a new Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI)/Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) poll finds, though certain subsets of the GOP appear notably more likely to accept or refuse the shot based on their religion, media consumption and whether or not they believe in the QAnon conspiracy theory.
28th Jul 2021 - Forbes


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A vaccine-skeptic dad died from COVID-19, realizing too late that he should have got the shot, his doctor said

A 34-year-old dad who avoided COVID-19 vaccines later died of the illness. His doctor said that he wanted to 'turn back time' and get jabbed he became seriously ill. Around 70% of the UK has been fully vaccinated, and vaccine hesitancy is rare, official data shows.
27th Jul 2021 - Yahoo

As Virus Cases Rise, Another Contagion Spreads Among the Vaccinated: Anger

As coronavirus cases resurge across the country, many inoculated Americans are losing patience with vaccine holdouts who, they say, are neglecting a civic duty or clinging to conspiracy theories and misinformation even as new patients arrive in emergency rooms and the nation renews mask advisories. The country seemed to be exiting the pandemic; barely a month ago, a sense of celebration was palpable. Now many of the vaccinated fear for their unvaccinated children and worry that they are at risk themselves for breakthrough infections.
27th Jul 2021 - The New York Times


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Opinion | 'Medical freedom' anti-vaccine bills like New Hampshire's endanger public health

Sununu and other Republicans are engaged in performative libertarianism. But even the most strident forms of that creed come with a qualification. It is John Stuart Mill who is most closely associated with the “harm principle” — that humans should be free to act, unless their actions bring harm to others. I think this is impoverished as a moral theory. But it accurately describes the mission of public health.
26th Jul 2021 - The Washington Post

‘There’s a disconnect’: After a rapid rollout why has US vaccine effort stalled?

Bonnet, who is Black, described her resistance as a mix of hope the pandemic would fade, and skepticism born from the American medical establishment’s history of racism. Bonnet’s story is just one example of how people in a vast, heterogeneous country are reckoning with the re-emergence of the pandemic with the more contagious Delta strain predominantly causing new cases and their own willingness to prevent it using the most powerful tool at humanity’s disposal – the vaccine.
26th Jul 2021 - The Guardian

Heathrow urges UK to open up to vaccinated travellers after losses hit £2.9bn

Heathrow has urged the government to open the UK up to vaccinated international passengers after it announced its cumulative losses from the pandemic had reached £2.9 billion. Fewer than four million passengers travelled through the UK’s largest airport in the first half of the year amid the third lockdown. The same total was reached in just 18 days in 2019.
26th Jul 2021 - iNews

A conservative radio host was skeptical of COVID-19 vaccines. Now that he's hospitalized with the virus, his family is urging others to get the shot

The family of conservative radio host Phil Valentine – who has been a COVID-19 vaccine skeptic – is urging others to get the vaccine after Valentine was hospitalized with the virus. Valentine, who hosts a show on WWTN-FM in Nashville,
26th Jul 2021 - CBS News

Schools closing ‘could be behind drop in Covid-19 cases across UK’ as experts welcome latest figures

Schools closing for the summer break is likely to be one of the reasons why coronavirus cases are falling across the UK, a leading expert has said. Dr Mike Tildesley, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Modelling group (Spi-M) advising ministers, said he is “cautiously optimistic” about dropping cases but only time will tell if the third Covid wave is “turning round”. The expert in infectious diseases, from the University of Warwick, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that “any situation where cases are falling clearly is good news”.
26th Jul 2021 - Evening Standard

Covid-19: Public artwork dedicated to pandemic NHS staff

A public art installation dedicated to the NHS and the efforts of its staff during the pandemic is to go on tour around the UK. Entitled Gratitude, the 51 sculptures have been created by a number of artists and are accompanied by real-life audio stories, recorded by famous voices, about key workers. The free exhibition opens in Birmingham next month. It is then due to move on to Manchester, Edinburgh and London. The sculptures will be auctioned off at a later date, with "substantial proceeds" going to NHS Charities Together.
26th Jul 2021 - BBC News

Sydney police fine hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters for ‘filthy, risky behaviour’

Prime minister denounces ‘selfish’ protesters who marched against coronavirus measures as police taskforce traces everyone who broke rules
26th Jul 2021 - The Guardian

Thai volunteers aid COVID patients in need of care, testing

As Thailand‘s medical system struggles beneath a surge of coronavirus cases, ordinary people are helping to plug the gaps, risking their own health to bring care and supplies to often terrified, exhausted patients who’ve fallen through the cracks. In the Samai area of Bangkok, Ekapob Laungprasert’s team heads out for another weekend on the front lines of a crisis. His volunteer group, Samai Will Survive, has been working around the clock, responding to about a hundred SOS calls daily from desperate COVID-19 patients unable to get the help they need.
26th Jul 2021 - The Associated Press


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Covid-19: Children with special educational needs 'forgotten' during pandemic

Families of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) felt they were "forgotten" in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic. That is according to a report from the National Children's Bureau (NCB) in Northern Ireland. Some families felt Covid-19 was used as "an excuse" by some agencies not to provide services or to limit services. Some parents have previously said their children had regressed due to the withdrawal of services in lockdown. Disabled people across the UK also spoke about the devastating impact the pandemic had on their lives.
25th Jul 2021 - BBC News

‘Too risky’: Performers call for insurance to cover COVID-19 losses

Performers are calling on the state or federal governments to provide insurance coverage for losses caused by COVID-19 restrictions - a move backed by the insurance industry. Musician Katie Wighton, a member of All Our Exes Live in Texas, said the band wanted to tour but insurance policies did not cover COVID-related cancellations. “It’s just been lockdown after lockdown and with us all being in different states it makes travel really tough,” she said. “If we had some sort of insurance it would definitely help us financially.”
25th Jul 2021 - Sydney Morning Herald

French protesters march against vaccine mandates and passes

Some 160,000 people, including far-right activists and members of France's yellow vest movement, protested Saturday across the country against a bill requiring everyone to have a special virus pass to enter restaurants and mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for all health care workers. Similar protests were held in neighboring Italy. Police fired water cannons and tear gas on rowdy protesters in Paris, although most gatherings were orderly.
25th Jul 2021 - CBS News

Anti-lockdown protest turns violent in Sydney

Thousands of people gathered in downtown Sydney, Australia on Saturday (July 24) to protest coronavirus restrictions as New South Wales (NSW) recorded its biggest daily rise in new COVID-19 cases this year.
24th Jul 2021 - Reuters Australia

Reluctance and distrust define vaccine attitudes in Gaza

More than five months since the arrival of the first batch of COVID-19 jabs in the Gaza Strip, the vaccine rollout in the besieged coastal enclave has been met with general distrust and, in many cases, outright refusal. According to data from Gaza’s health ministry, some 98,000 people – or just less than five percent of the two million population – have so far received a shot.
23rd Jul 2021 - Al Jazeera English

COVID-19: Latitude Festival becomes first major festival to welcome back fans - with 40,000 expected

Latitude Festival is under way in Suffolk, as 40,000 people descend on what organisers have said is "close to being the safest place in England". The four-day music event, which is taking place at the Henham Park estate, is part of the government's Events Research Programme, meaning fans will have to show they have been vaccinated twice or tested negative for the virus. Social distancing rules were axed in England on Monday, but while Latitude is going ahead, some other festivals - such as Glastonbury and Womad - have been cancelled this year.
23rd Jul 2021 - Sky News

Slovak police use teargas at protest over COVID-19 restrictions

Riot police fired teargas at hundreds of demonstrators who blocked the entrance to Slovakia's parliament and pelted the building with eggs on Friday as deputies debated legislation the protesters oppose on COVID-19 restrictions. Some protesters chanted "Treason" and one carried a banner declaring "Stop corona fascism" over a draft law that would give people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 easier access to public events and spaces than those who have not.
23rd Jul 2021 - Reuters

White House blames Facebook and YouTube for spreading vaccine misinformation

The White House has YouTube, not just Facebook, on its list of social media platforms officials say are responsible for an alarming spread of misinformation about COVID vaccines and are not doing enough to stop it, sources familiar with the administration's thinking said.
23rd Jul 2021 - Reuters


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Facebook and YouTube are still full of covid misinformation

Facebook, YouTube and Twitter all banned harmful covid-related misinformation as the pandemic took hold throughout the world. But the false claims are still proliferating. On YouTube, the accounts of six out of 12 anti-vaccine activists identified by the Center for Countering Digital Hate as being responsible for creating more than half the anti-vaccine content shared on social media are easily searchable and still posting videos. On Facebook, researchers at the left-leaning advocacy group Avaaz ran an experiment in June in an effort to show how anti-vaccine material gets pushed to people. Two new accounts it set up were recommended 109 pages containing anti-vaccine information in just two days.
22nd Jul 2021 - The Washington Post

New Jersey hospital system fires 6 workers who failed to get vaccinated against coronavirus

A half-dozen senior health-care workers who refused to comply with a New Jersey hospital system’s coronavirus vaccine mandate have been fired, the latest example of a company taking action against those who push back against vaccine policies. RWJBarnabas Health, the largest health-care system in the state, said in May that all team members at the supervisory level or above would be required to complete their course of coronavirus vaccinations no later than June 30. The idea was they would set an example for other staff members, and the state’s residents, in fighting the spread of the coronavirus.
22nd Jul 2021 - The Washington Post

COVID-19: Iceland warns against stockpiling as Tesco, Sainsbury's, and Co-op experience shortages amid 'pingdemic'

Customers at Sainsbury's have been warned its stores "might not always have" the products they want while Tesco was understood to be experiencing "temporary low availability across a small number of products".
22nd Jul 2021 - Sky News

YouTube pulls Jair Bolsonaro videos for Covid-19 misinformation

YouTube has removed videos from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s channel for spreading misinformation about the coronavirus outbreak, becoming the latest tech giant to pull his statements about the pandemic. YouTube said in a press release the decision was taken “after careful review” and without consideration for Bolsonaro’s job or political ideology. The far-right former army captain, who has overseen the world’s second deadliest outbreak, has won widespread criticism for railing against lockdowns, touting unproven cures, sowing vaccine doubts and shunning masks.
22nd Jul 2021 - The Guardian

Thousands descend on UK music festival amid rise in COVID cases

Thousands of people poured into the grounds of the Latitude music festival in eastern England on Thursday, one of the biggest gatherings since most coronavirus restrictions were lifted earlier this week. The four-day festival, expected to attract around 40,000 people, comes as COVID-19 cases across the country broadly rise. Music lovers arriving on a balmy summer's day had to show they had been vaccinated twice or tested negative for the disease.
22nd Jul 2021 - Reuters UK

UK ‘pingdemic’ raises fears of food shortages

The United Kingdom’s supermarkets, wholesalers and hauliers are struggling to ensure stable food and fuel supplies after an official health app told hundreds of thousands of workers to isolate themselves after contact with someone with COVID-19. On Thursday, newspapers carried front-page pictures of empty shelves in supermarkets, while shoppers also took to social media to highlight shortages of certain products in stores across the country.
22nd Jul 2021 - AlJazeera


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 22nd Jul 2021

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'A form of brainwashing': why Trump voters are refusing to get a vaccine

In downtown Little Rock, a chorus echoes around the room at Willy D’s Rock & Roll Piano Bar as groups of friends clutching beers and each other sing along to the soul hit “Stand By Me”. Yet far from standing together, the capital of Arkansas is deeply divided over how to deal with a resurgence of Covid-19. Cases are increasing, hospitals are filling up and health officials are struggling to convince residents in the city and across the state to be vaccinated. The pace of vaccinations in US states has become starkly correlated with politics, with Republican voters less likely than Democrats to have a jab, just as they are more reluctant to wear a mask or observe social distancing.
21st Jul 2021 - Financial Times

More than 1.5 MILLION children around the world lost a parent, grandparent or caregiver due to COVID-19, study finds

More than 1.5 million children lost a parent, grandparent or primary caregiver due to COVID-19, a new study estimates. Researchers at the CDC and Imperial College London made this estimate based on Covid mortality and fertility statistics in 21 nations. In the U.S., more than 110,000 children lost their parents or primary caregivers. The researchers say support is urgently needed for these children, who face higher risks to their health, safety, and wellbeing
21st Jul 2021 - Daily Mail

White House has held discussions with Fox News over its Covid-19 coverage

The White House is trying to fix the problem of slowing Covid-19 vaccinations by engaging with an unlikely source: Fox News. The network, which Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch has called the "loyal opposition" to President Joe Biden's White House, has been a hub for vaccine hesitancy and outright hostility. As the pandemic has gone on, and Covid-19 vaccinations have slowed, vaccine resistance among Republicans -- the Fox News audience base -- has been a recurring theme, leading many observers to scrutinize Fox's coverage.
21st Jul 2021 - CNN

US life expectancy falls by more than a year due to Covid-19 pandemic, CDC study says

Life expectancy in the United States fell by a year and a half in 2020 primarily due to increases in death due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to early data released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "U.S. life expectancy at birth for 2020, based on nearly final data, was 77.3 years, the lowest it has been since 2003," researchers at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics wrote in a new report published on Wednesday.
21st Jul 2021 - CNN

My uncle died of Covid-19 before he could get a vaccine in Kenya, and I got mine in a US drugstore. This is what vaccine inequality looks like

Every time I see a call from home, my heart sinks. I always fear that they're ringing to say that my grandmother has died. She has been on a ventilator for four weeks and my anxiety is near breaking point. The dreaded call could come at any time: Covid-19. Again. Even at 96, my Kenyan grandmother was among hundreds of millions in the developing world who was not vaccinated until recently because rich nations have hoarded most of the available shots. Though I'm more than 60 years younger than her, I was fully inoculated by April because I was living in the United States, where anybody over 12 can get a vaccine if they want one.
21st Jul 2021 - CNN

COVID Vaccines And Infertility? How Misinformation Spreads In 6 Steps : Shots - Health News

Misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines can appear almost anywhere: from an uncle's Facebook post to a well-trusted news commentator. But where does it come from, and why do some myths spread further than others? With the help of the internet research firm Graphika, NPR analyzed the rise of one persistent set of lies about COVID-19 vaccines: that they can affect female fertility. Despite a mountain of scientific evidence showing the vaccines are safe and effective, the false information persists.
21st Jul 2021 - NPR

Covid: The Mexican villages refusing to vaccinate

In November Pascuala Vázquez Aguilar had a strange dream about her village Coquilteel, nestled among the trees in the mountains of southern Mexico. A plague had come to the village and everyone ran to the forest. They hid in a hut under a tall canopy of oak trees. "The plague couldn't reach us there," Pascuala says. "That's what I saw in my dream." A few months later the pandemic had engulfed Mexico and thousands of people were dying every week. But Coquilteel and many small, indigenous towns in the state of Chiapas were left relatively unscathed. This has been a blessing but it also presents a problem.
21st Jul 2021 - BBC News

More Than 200 Facebook Groups Have Been Actively Circulating Coronavirus Vaccine Misinformation

After President Biden came down hard on Facebook last week over coronavirus vaccine misinformation, the company responded with almost equal force, insisting in no uncertain terms that it wasn’t responsible for how that type of content has spread on the web. But new research released Tuesday suggests Facebook does indeed remain a place where such misinformation is circulating: Media Matters for America, a liberal tech watchdog organization, says it has found 284 active private and public Facebook Groups currently distributing vaccine misinformation, more than double the amount the researchers found in April. Over a half million users belong to these groups.
20th Jul 2021 - Forbes


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80% of new COVID-19 cases in Spain among non-vaccinated people, health minister says

The vast majority of new COVID-19 cases in Spain in the past five weeks were detected among non-vaccinated people, Health Minister Carolina Darias said on Monday, as new infections rose by 27,286. Just 5.5% of new cases within the period were detected among people who had been fully vaccinated, Darias said, adding 11.4% were partially vaccinated and 83.1% were unvaccinated.
21st Jul 2021 - Reuters

Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths are increasing, and the vast majority were not vaccinated

The surge in Covid-19 cases fueled by the Delta variant and vaccine hesitancy has now led to increasing rates of hospitalizations and deaths. Data from Johns Hopkins University shows: The average number of new Covid-19 cases each day the past week was 32,278. That's a 66% jump from the average daily rate the previous week, and 145% higher than the rate from two weeks ago. An average of 258 Americans died from Covid-19 each day this past week -- up 13% from the rate of daily deaths the previous week.
20th Jul 2021 - CNN

Olympic athletes, baseball players, soccer stars: Why we're still seeing Covid-19 cases among top athletes

The close proximity that athletes spend time in could be a breeding ground for infectious diseases, he said. It should be noted that vaccine programs vary in nations around the world, and not as much is known about some vaccines given in some countries, he added. And some teenage athletes might come from countries that don't vaccinate people that age, he said. CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, reporting from Tokyo, said the Olympics bring a unique challenge. More than 11,000 athletes representing 206 national Olympic committees have come to an island nation that has seen a surge in cases.
20th Jul 2021 - CNN International

COVID Vaccines And Infertility? How Misinformation Spreads, In 5 Steps

Misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines can appear almost anywhere: from an uncle's Facebook post to a well-trusted news commentator. But where does it come from, and why do some myths spread further than others? With the help of the internet research firm Graphika, NPR analyzed the rise of one persistent set of lies about COVID-19 vaccines: that they can affect female fertility. Despite a mountain of scientific evidence showing the vaccines are safe and effective, the false information persists.
20th Jul 2021 - NPR

"Don't get sick": Indonesia's poor miss out on COVID care

In the teeming, impoverished North Jakarta neighbourhood of Muara Baru, people have made a grim joke out of the acronym for the Indonesian government's lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic: PPKM. "Pelan Pelan Kita Mati," Herdayati, a 48-year-old mother of six and sole breadwinner for a family living in a narrow, claustrophobic alley, said, explaining the gallows humour.
20th Jul 2021 - Reuters

Nearly a third of hospital workers in New York City are still unvaccinated against COVID-19

Nearly one-third of employees at New York City hospitals have still not gotten COVID-19 vaccines, city data show. Figures from the state Health Department reveal only 70 percent have completed their vaccine series since the shots were rolled out in December 2020. Of the five boroughs, Manhattan has the highest percentage of vaccinated workers with 76 percent having received their shots. Queens has fared second best with more than two-thirds of health care workers, or 67 percent, being vaccinated. However, almost 40 percent of hospital staff in the remaining three boroughs have either refused the COVID-19 vaccine or not gotten it yet.
20th Jul 2021 - Daily Mail

Young people are not immune from the government’s reckless policies

One of the reasons why Britain’s vaccination programme has been so successful is that the bulk of the population has been convinced that it is safe. Throughout the accelerated research and the rollout, safety has been the paramount consideration under which everyone concerned, including ministers and public health. But....
20th Jul 2021 - The Independent


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Migration and Covid deaths depriving poorest nations of health workers

The loss of frontline health workers dying of Covid around the globe, is being compounded in the hospitals of developing nations by trained medical staff leaving to help in the pandemic effort abroad, according to experts. With new Covid waves in Africa, and with Latin America and Asia facing unrelenting health emergencies, the number of health worker deaths from Covid-19 in May was at least 115,000, according to the World Health Organization. Its director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, acknowledged data is “scant” and the true figure is likely to be far higher.
19th Jul 2021 - The Guardian

Why the UK's new Covid-19 strategy is uniquely dangerous

I know of no episode in history where a government has willingly aided and abetted the spread of a dangerous infectious disease among its own population. History is being made. The government of the United Kingdom seems to actually want people to catch Covid-19 in the summer, rather than in the autumn and winter. Ministers reason that the understaffed and underfunded NHS will be in major trouble over the winter. To “go now” with the removal of all legal restrictions, thus producing an even higher level of infections, appears to be regarded as the right thing to do as it will reduce the inevitable problems later this year. This extraordinary policy has been revealed to the population in small dollops via Downing Street press conferences where the Prime Minister is flanked by civil servants. There is no obvious strategy and there is no published plan. In the view of much of the rest of the world, and most of the medical organisations in the UK, there is no possibility that this will be anything other than yet another failure that will cost lives and livelihoods.
19th Jul 2021 - New Statesman

COVID-19: 'It's not freedom day for everyone' - vulnerable people's fears over ending of coronavirus restrictions in England

People who are at high risk of catching the coronavirus have called the ending of restrictions in England "really frightening" and urged the government to give "more thought" to the vulnerable community. Restrictions such as limits on gatherings and social distancing, as well as face coverings, will no longer be legal requirements, although masks in certain spaces - including supermarkets and on public transport - is still being encouraged. There are around 3.8 million clinically vulnerable people in England with many saying they will do what they can to keep themselves and others safe - while charities have criticised the government for the blanket easing of coronavirus restrictions.
19th Jul 2021 - Sky News

Indonesian soup kitchen brings food to COVID-19 patients stuck at home

As coronavirus surges in the Indonesian capital, volunteers like Badie Uzzaman are pitching in to help, delivering food to people who have tested positive but are forced to quarantine at home as hospitals run short of beds. The 26-year-old driver of a three-wheeler, Badie drops off the packages in front of patients' homes, calling out that their food has arrived and making small talk from a distance.
19th Jul 2021 - Reuters

'I want to dance': London clubbers cheer end of COVID restrictions

London clubbers on Monday flocked to one of the first rule-free live music events since the pandemic began last year, dancing through the night and rejoicing in human interaction as England lifted most COVID restrictions at midnight. Britain, which has one of the world's highest death tolls from COVID, is facing a new wave of cases, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson is lifting most restrictions in England in what some have dubbed "Freedom Day". Epidemiologists are generally skeptical that lifting restrictions is the right thing to do, but many young British people have had enough of more than 1 1/2 years of lockdowns, and said they crave a party.
19th Jul 2021 - Reuters UK


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Did an Eid al-Fitr mass exodus kick-start Indonesia’s COVID chaos?

In the run-up to the holiday, the Indonesian authorities banned people from returning to their hometowns – a process known as “mudik”, usually involving some 20 million people – in a move designed to halt the spread of COVID-19. Roadblocks were set up, toll roads barricaded and checkpoints erected to prevent what was deemed unnecessary travel from May 6. But despite the ban, clandestine routes called “jalan tikus” (rat runs) mushroomed as travellers flouted the restrictions and went home anyway. Others were allowed to travel because of work or other reasons. By sheer coincidence, the Eid al-Fitr holiday, the date of which changes every year in line with the lunar calendar, coincided with Ascension Day, a Christian holiday. As a result, on May 13, a double holiday was celebrated by Indonesia’s Christian minority and Muslim majority communities across the archipelago.
16th Jul 2021 - Al Jazeera English

Opera singers are teaching long-term Covid-19 patients to breathe again

Covid-19 shoved Jeff Sweat into a medical coma for three weeks last winter, face down on a ventilator, on death's trap door. "I took care of him when he was literally near death," said Dr. Nida Qadir, a pulmonologist and co-director of the Intensive Care Unit at UCLA Medical Center. "He has no memory of meeting me." But now the pair are well acquainted -- the lung specialist and the 49-year-old married father with three teenagers -- as he sings his way to recovery in a unique therapy program at UCLA. Sweat and several other patients with serious medical complications caused by the virus attend weekly opera classes via video conference, conducted by members of the Los Angeles Opera and music educator Rondi Charleston.
18th Jul 2021 - CNN

Covid 19: More than one third of Londoners unvaccinated

More than one third of Londoners have not had their first vaccine dose making it the area with the lowest uptake in England, latest figures show. The data from NHS England also shows 55% have not had a second dose. Across England, 88% of people have had a first dose and 68% the second. Figures also show the city has one of the lowest rates of Covid-19 cases, with 298 per 100,000. Sadiq Khan said "everything possible" was being done to vaccinate everyone.
18th Jul 2021 - BBC News

England’s Covid unlocking is threat to world, say 1,200 scientists

Government advisers in New Zealand, Israel and Italy were among those who sounded alarm bells about the policy, while more than 1,200 scientists backed a letter to the Lancet journal warning the strategy could allow vaccine-resistant variants to develop. An adviser to New Zealand’s government told the summit he and his colleagues were astounded at the approach being taken in England. “In New Zealand we have always looked to the UK for leadership when it comes to scientific expertise, which is why it’s so remarkable that it is not following even basic public health principles,” said Michael Baker, a professor of public health at the University of Otago and a member of the New Zealand ministry of health’s Covid-19 technical advisory group.
17th Jul 2021 - The Guardian

Boris Johnson pursuing Covid policy of mass infection that poses ‘danger to the world’, scientists warn

Boris Johnson’s government has come under pressure to urgently reconsider its plan to end Covid restrictions in England on Monday, as international scientists warned that the move poses a “danger to the world”. More than 1,200 scientists from around the globe have condemned the prime minister’s decision to forge ahead with so-called “freedom day” on 19 July, describing it as “unscientific and unethical”. Some of the experts convened an emergency summit on Friday, warning that the UK government’s decision to lift its rules on social distancing and masks amounted to a “murderous” policy of “herd immunity by mass infection”. The group of scientists – who all signed a recent letter to The Lancet warning against the plans – fear next week’s reopening in England will allow the Delta variant to spread rapidly around the world.
17th Jul 2021 - The Independent

C.D.C. Director Warns of a ‘Pandemic of the Unvaccinated’

As the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus fuels outbreaks in the United States, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned on Friday that “this is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated.” Cases, hospitalizations and deaths remain far below last winter’s peak, and vaccines are effective against Delta, but the C.D.C. director, Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, urged people to get fully vaccinated to receive robust protection, pleading: “Do it for yourself, your family and for your community. And please do it to protect your young children who right now can’t get vaccinated themselves.”
17th Jul 2021 - The New York Times

Just 5% think 'Freedom Day' will mark return to normal as Brits stay cautious

A new poll shows 85% of Brits will keep on social distancing - and nearly 40% believe it's too soon to lift Covid-19 restrictions
17th Jul 2021 - The Mirror

Moscow cancels QR code COVID-19 restriction for bars and restaurants

Moscow residents will no longer have to present a QR code demonstrating they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or have immunity in order to sit inside cafes, restaurants and bars from July 19, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Friday. Russia, which reported a record daily rise in coronavirus-related deaths on Friday, is in the grip of a surge in cases that authorities have blamed on the more contagious Delta variant and the slow rate of vaccinations
16th Jul 2021 - Reuters

New poll finds confidence in science has plunged among some groups

Forty five percent of Republicans have either a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in science. More than 40 years ago, Republicans had more confidence in science than Democrats. The average adult at 33 percent either has "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in public institutions.
16th Jul 2021 - The Hill


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Child diseases on rise as COVID-19 slows routine vaccinations -U.N.

22.7 mln children missed routine vaccines in 2020 -U.N. Measles can be a killer disease of unvaccinated children. 'Large, disruptive' measles outbreaks in Afghanistan, Africa. WHO fears 'perfect storm' as nations lift pandemic curbs
15th Jul 2021 - Reuters

India’s digital divide is hampering its mass Covid-19 vaccination campaign

Millions of Indians do not have access to the internet or a smartphone, yet vaccine registration can only be done online through a government portal Other challenges include vaccine hesitancy and misinformation, people lacking identification documents, and the status of refugees such as Rohingya
15th Jul 2021 - South China Morning Post

The US Surgeon General Is Asking You To Help Fight COVID-19 Misinformation : Shots - Health News

With about a third of adults in the U.S. still completely unvaccinated, and cases of COVID-19 on the rise, the U.S. surgeon general is calling for a war against "health misinformation." On Thursday, Dr. Vivek Murthy released the first surgeon general's advisory of his time serving in the Biden administration, describing the "urgent threat" posed by the rise of false information around COVID-19 — one that continues to put "lives at risk" and prolong the pandemic. Murthy says Americans must do their part to fight misinformation.
15th Jul 2021 - NPR

'Freedom day' or 'Anxiety day'? England to end COVID-19 curbs

July 19 sees removal of legal COVID restrictions. Clubs to reopen but fear another shutdown. Concern remains about deaths, long COVID and vulnerable. Modellers cite uncertainty about public's behaviour
15th Jul 2021 - Reuters UK

We’re not virus police, French cafes say of new COVID pass

French restaurant owners and workers are as worried as anyone about the coronavirus — but they’re also concerned that new mandatory COVID passes will turn them into virus police instead of purveyors of culinary pleasures. Starting next month, all diners in France must show a pass proving they’re fully vaccinated, or recently tested negative or recovered from the virus. For restaurants – seen as the lifeblood of France -- the new rule presents yet another headache after a punishing pandemic.
15th Jul 2021 - The Associated Press

US steps up fight against COVID-19 misinformation

US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on Thursday called for a national effort to fight misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines, urging tech companies, health care workers, journalists and everyday Americans to do more to address a problem “that cost us lives”. In a 22-page advisory, his first as President Joe Biden’s surgeon general, Murthy wrote that bogus claims have led people to reject vaccines and public health advice on masks and social distancing, undermining efforts to end the coronavirus pandemic and putting lives at risk.
15th Jul 2021 - AlJazeera

French police fire tear gas as anti-vaccine protest turns violent

Police in Paris fired tear gas and made arrests as they tried to disperse demonstrators, many of them sceptical of vaccines, the so-called “anti-vaxxers“, who marched throughout France over new coronavirus restrictions. Some of the protests began as early as Wednesday morning in Paris as the annual military parade for the traditional Bastille Day parade, watched by President Emmanuel Macron, was taking place along the Champs-Elysees.
15th Jul 2021 - AlJazeera


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Olympics COVID cluster at Olympic hotel as Tokyo cases surge

New COVID-19 cases at Brazil delegation's hotel. Russia women's rugby team isolating after masseur infected. Host city records most daily cases in nearly six months. Global public interest in Games at low level - poll
14th Jul 2021 - Reuters

In Athens, thousands rally against COVID-19 vaccinations

More than 5,000 anti-vaccine protesters, some them waving Greek flags and wooden crosses, rallied in Athens on Wednesday to oppose Greece's coronavirus vaccinations programme. Shouting "take your vaccines and get out of here!" and calling on Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to resign, the protesters gathered outside parliament under heavy police presence.
14th Jul 2021 - Reuters

South Africa violence: Troop numbers on streets double to 5,000 amid looting - and more could be deployed

The number of soldiers deployed on the streets of South Africa has doubled to 5,000 as the army and police struggle to quell days of looting and violence. President Cyril Ramaphosa is considering boosting troop numbers even more, as at least 72 people have been killed in the worst unrest in the country for years. And some citizens are arming themselves to protect their property and businesses from the rampage, which has hit two of South Africa's nine provinces - KwaZulu-Natal, where Durban is located, and Gauteng, which includes Johannesburg.
14th Jul 2021 - Sky News

Politics is causing needless deaths in the fight against Covid-19

In what is now a pandemic of the unvaccinated, almost every adult American can make a choice not to die a needless death from Covid-19. But the task of persuading holdouts, skeptics and the merely disinterested to get their shots is being complicated by the further politicization of the pandemic -- a trend that will cost lives and exacerbate an already stark tragedy that has deepened the nation's ideological estrangement.
14th Jul 2021 - CNN

Almost half of this capital city's population may have contracted Covid-19, survey finds

Nearly half of Jakarta's residents may have contracted Covid-19, according to a health survey -- more than 12 times the number of cases officially recorded in the Indonesian capital at the time when the research was carried out. The survey, published July 10, tested for coronavirus antibodies in the blood of about 5,000 people across the city from March 15-31. The results showed 44.5% of those tested had antibodies, indicating they had been infected with Covid-19. The report was a collaboration between the Jakarta Provincial Health Office, the University of Indonesia's Faculty of Public Health, the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology and staff from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) based in Indonesia.
14th Jul 2021 - CNN


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‘Increasingly hostile incidents’ target London vaccine workers

A number of “increasingly hostile incidents” targeting London vaccine workers were revealed on Tuesday as the capital’s jabs roll-out slowed alarmingly. Mayor Sadiq Khan and the capital’s top doctor, Vin Diwakar, warned a “zero tolerance” approach would be taken as concerns grew about the threats and abuse being hurled at staff at the frontline of the jabs roll-out. Last month the Standard revealed that anti-vax campaigners had been targeting vaccine buses attempting to deliver jabs to “hard to reach” communities on housing estates, prompting councils to provide security guards.
13th Jul 2021 - Evening Standard

New Zealand scientists say UK’s ‘awful experiment’ on Covid will threaten the country

Scientists in New Zealand have expressed concern at Britain’s unlocking of Covid restrictions, describing it as an “awful experiment.” On Monday Boris Johnson announced plans to scrap a number of coronavirus lockdown measures on July 19, including ditching social distancing and dropping the legal requirement to wear a face mask.
13th Jul 2021 - The Independent

Analysis: Ministers shift responsibility for fighting coronavirus to the public

The government today passed the baton for fighting coronavirus to the public, as Boris Johnson confirmed that the last of the emergency Covid restrictions would be lifted from next week. After 16 months of government-imposed curbs on our everyday life, it appears the government has decided that enough is enough and that it’s time for it to depart the pitch, mid-game, as a summer wave of infection builds. Johnson’s message was simple. It is up to each and every one of us to look out not just for ourselves but for each other, because the government has now returned to the idea of herd immunity as the only way out of the pandemic.
13th Jul 2021 - The Independent

When and how will we know if we need Covid-19 booster shots?

There’s a lot we don’t yet know about the data behind Pfizer and BioNTech’s renewed push to change their two-shot Covid vaccination series to a three-shot regimen. But as various factions bicker about whether a third shot is going to be needed, one thing is certain: The final decision will not rest with the companies. Public health officials, not pharmaceutical executives, will be making the final call on when and whether booster shots will be needed. Pfizer and other manufacturers will surely try to push for approvals; Moderna is already testing a Delta-variant-specific booster. Depending on how their conversations go with vaccine regulators at the FDA, companies may apply for a change to their emergency use authorizations
13th Jul 2021 - STAT News

Deaths from Covid-19 remain low despite cases soaring ahead of lockdown finally lifting

Coronavirus deaths in England and Wales remain low despite soaring cases, new data shows. A further 109 Covid deaths have been recorded across England and Wales between June 26 and July 2, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures. Although this is a slight increase on the week before, it is still a low figure when compared to the sharp spike in cases. Over the same period more than 150,000 new Covid infections were recorded across the UK. ONS data showed that the number of deaths recorded in the latest week in England and Wales was actually lower than the five-year average.
13th Jul 2021 - The Mirror

Tennessee fires official Michelle Fiscus because of coronavirus vaccination guidance

Tennessee fired its top immunization official Monday, the official said, in retaliation for her attempts to let teenagers choose whether to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus. Michelle Fiscus said she was fired from her job as director of immunization programs at the Tennessee Department of Health on Monday afternoon as retaliation for the department’s efforts to vaccinate teenagers against the coronavirus, a plan that angered several state lawmakers.
12th Jul 2021 - The Washington Post

Philippine vaccine hesitancy drops as safety concerns ebb, poll shows

The number of Filipinos willing to get inoculated against the coronavirus rose to 43% in June from just 16% in February, an opinion poll showed on Monday, as concerns over the safety of vaccines eased. The Pulse Asia survey of 2,400 respondents took place from June 7 to 16, more than three months after the Philippines began its vaccination drive on March 1. So far, nearly 9.7 million people have been given at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 3.5 million have been fully vaccinated, about 3.2 % of the 110 population.
12th Jul 2021 - Reuters


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Europe is racing to vaccinate residents. But in some countries, undocumented immigrants have been left out.

As Europe races to vaccinate its residents against covid-19 and outpace the highly infectious delta variant, efforts to inoculate the continent face a major gap: undocumented immigrants. An estimated 4.8 million unauthorized immigrants lived in 32 European countries as of 2017, according to the Pew Research Center. Studies show they are more vulnerable to the coronavirus than European populations at large. But many countries have excluded them from vaccination drives in policy or in practice — and deep distrust among some immigrant populations toward authorities has caused complications for more inclusive campaigns.
12th Jul 2021 - The Washington Post

Cuban Protests Demand Freedom, Food, Covid-19 Vaccines

Thousands of Cubans took to the streets in a wave of demonstrations in Havana and at least 14 other cities throughout the Communist island, demanding an end to the 62-year dictatorship and protesting the lack of food and Covid-19 vaccines. “We are not afraid! We are not afraid!” people shouted as they marched through the streets on Sunday, videos posted on social media showed. “Freedom! Freedom!” The protests are unprecedented in a country with tight police control and surveillance on dissidents, analysts say. In a televised address on Sunday, President Miguel Díaz-Canel blamed the protests on the U.S., which he said seeks to economically strangle Cuba and bring about a social explosion
12th Jul 2021 - The Wall Street Journal

Fears of four-hour airport queues when Covid-19 restrictions lift

Passengers could be forced to sit in aircraft on runways to prevent lengthy queues building up in airport terminals when foreign travel resumes en masse next week. The contingency plan in place at Heathrow and other airports is one of several “operational triggers” that will kick in if queues at border control exceed four hours. Officials have warned that Britain’s border infrastructure is not ready to cope with the influx of travellers following the decision to lift quarantine requirements for amber countries.
12th Jul 2021 - The Times

Covid-19 at the Euros: WHO official says lack of restrictions at Wembley for Euro 2020 final ‘devastating’

A leading World Health Organisation (WHO) epidemiologist has said it was “devastating” to see unmasked crowds crammed together at the Euro 2020 final. Maria Van Kerkhove expressed concerns during Sunday night’s match between Italy and England at Wembley Stadium that it would spur transmission of Covid-19. “Am I supposed to be enjoying watching transmission happening in front of my eyes?” tweeted the WHO’s Covid-19 technical lead, as more than 60,000 fans packed the stadium.
12th Jul 2021 - iNews

Kuwait shuts down children's activities to combat coronavirus - Cabinet

The Kuwaiti Cabinet decided on Monday to close down all activities for children, including summer clubs, from July 25 until further notice, as a precautionary measure to combat the spread of coronavirus. After a briefing by the health minister, the Cabinet also ordered the ministry of defence and the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) to put their hospitals at the service of the country's healthcare system, according to a Cabinet statement.
12th Jul 2021 - Reuters


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G20 warns of risk to global recovery from virus variants

Variants, vaccine shortfalls raise risks-G20. Global tax deal on course for October signing. But US, EU hurdles could complicate things. Call for financial stability to be ensured
10th Jul 2021 - Reuters

Philippines relaxes COVID-19 curbs to allow children outdoors

The Philippines on Friday loosened coronavirus restrictions to allow children out of their homes so they can return to parks, playgrounds, and hiking trails in the capital region and some other provinces after a slowdown in infections. Children aged five and above, who were previously confined indoors, will also be permitted to go to outdoor tourist sites and dining establishments, and play non-contact sports outside, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.
10th Jul 2021 - Reuters

Opinion | Uganda Did Everything Right on Covid. And the Worst Is Still Here.

Early in the pandemic, Uganda bought itself precious time at great economic cost to protect its people from Covid-19. There were lockdowns, international travel was restricted, and border screenings were introduced to prevent entry of the coronavirus. Cases of Covid-19 identified at borders or in communities were isolated, and people who had been in contact with those infected were quarantined and checked on by public health authorities.
10th Jul 2021 - The New York Times

As the Delta variant spreads, Republican reluctance will mean thousands more deaths

Unfortunately, millions of Trump's followers were convinced by his behavior during his last year in office that COVID was not a crisis. No matter what he says today, they remain convinced that the virus was a political attack, a hoax or simply overblown, regardless of the monumental body count. And then there's the relentless disinformation campaign coming from right-wing media. Here's a little taste:
9th Jul 2021 - Salon

COVID cases climb as Southeast Asia feels force of Delta variant

Having escaped the worst when the coronavirus pandemic erupted last year, Southeast Asia is now suffering dramatic rises in deaths and cases, while vaccination shortfalls and highly contagious variants derail containment efforts. As countries like Britain, Germany and France prepare to remove most remaining restrictions after devastating outbreaks, governments in Southeast Asia are tightening measures, hoping targeted lockdowns will act as circuit-breakers in arresting record jumps in cases and deaths that started rising in May.
9th Jul 2021 - Reuters

#BoycottHeineken Trends After Brewer Celebrates Vaccines

Heineken NV ran a minute-long ad on social media Thursday showing senior citizens dancing in a nightclub and racing to take a dip at a nearby beach. It ended with the message, “The night belongs to the vaccinated. Time to join them.” By Friday, bands of aggrieved users on Twitter were threatening to #BoycottHeineken. Some uploaded videos of themselves opening bottles of the brewer’s namesake lager and pouring it down their kitchen sinks in protest. Others described the ad as pro-vaccination propaganda.
9th Jul 2021 - Bloomberg


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Missouri governor doesn't want door-to-door vaccine help

Federal officials are pushing back after Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said he doesn’t want government employees going door-to-door in his state to urge people to get vaccinated, even as a COVID-19 outbreak overwhelms some hospitals. Missouri asked for help last week from newly formed federal “surge response” teams as it combats an influx of cases that public health officials are blaming on fast-spreading delta variant and deep-seated concerns about the vaccine. After President Joe Biden mentioned the possibility of door-to-door promotion of the vaccine, Parson tweeted: “I have directed our health department to let the federal government know that sending government employees or agents door-to-door to compel vaccination would NOT be an effective OR a welcome strategy in Missouri!”
9th Jul 2021 - The Associated Press

Rural India sinks deeper into debt as COVID wipes out work

Interviews with 75 households in a cluster of villages in Uttar Pradesh state show household incomes have slumped nearly 75 percent on average. Heavy debt and low income in the countryside will hold back any economic recovery the government is trying to make and also dent private savings and investment for longer than expected, economists say. “It will have a huge impact and prolong the recovery process. Private consumption and investments both will be hurt. There is merit in finding ways to put money in the hands of the people,” said NR Bhanumurthy, economist and vice chancellor at Bengaluru-based BR Ambedkar School of Economics.
8th Jul 2021 - Al Jazeera English

Olympics bans spectators after Tokyo declares COVID-19 emergency

The Olympics will take place without spectators in host city Tokyo, organisers said on Thursday, as a resurgent coronavirus forced Japan to declare a state of emergency in the capital that will run throughout the event. Although widely expected, the move marked a sharp turnabout from just weeks ago, when organisers said they aimed to hold the global sporting showpiece with some spectators, and all but robs the July 23 to Aug. 8 Games of their last vestige of pomp and public spectacle. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said it was essential to prevent Tokyo, where the highly infectious Delta COVID-19 variant was spreading, from becoming the source of another wave of infections.
8th Jul 2021 - Reuters

Is COVID coming home? England at risk from Euro 2020 euphoria

England awaits first major soccer final for 55 years. Young, mainly male, adults spread COVID during Euro 2020. Issue extends outside stadiums to bars and pubs Politicians urge prudent celebrations as Italy eyes final
8th Jul 2021 - Reuters UK


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Animals at Wisconsin zoos to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Some animals at the zoos in Madison and Milwaukee will receive an experimental COVID-19 vaccine. Animals susceptible to the respiratory disease are expected to be inoculated with the vaccine authorized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture by late July. No COVID-19 infections have been found in animals at the Milwaukee County Zoo or the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, but some of the big cats at the Bronx Zoo became sick when the pandemic was peaking in New York City.
7th Jul 2021 - Associated Press

Fiji police deliver groceries, toilet paper amid COVID-19 spike

Fiji on Wednesday began distributing groceries to some households as it urges people to stay at home amid rising infections of the highly transmissible Delta variant of the novel coronavirus. Authorities posted pictures on social media of bags of supermarket supplies - including packaged food and toilet paper - being delivered to homes around the capital, Suva, as they reinforced calls for people to obey social distancing rules and get vaccinated.
7th Jul 2021 - Reuters

Covid-19 Pushed 22 Million Out of Job Market in Major Economies

Labor markets in developed nations have recovered only half of the loss of employment they suffered in the pandemic, with the young and low-skilled hurt most. That’s the conclusion of a 400-page study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which found that about 22 million jobs disappeared by the end of 2020 in industrial nations. The Paris-based institution said a full recovery to pre-pandemic levels of employment won’t come until the end of next year.
7th Jul 2021 - Bloomberg

Trump Country Rejects Vaccines Despite Growing Delta Threat

Larry Krauck awoke in a strange hospital, the date written on a dry-erase board in his room: Dec. 12, 2020. That can’t be right, he thought. He remembered being treated for Covid-19 at a different hospital in Springfield, Missouri, on Nov. 1. Could the last six weeks really be blank? He told a nurse her board was wrong. She slipped out of the room and returned with a summary of his procedures, scrawled on a sticky note, including thirty-three days on a blood oxygenation machine called an ECMO. One day, Krauck had flat-lined and was resuscitated. Krauck, 50 at the time, caught the coronavirus and nearly died well before vaccines were available. Since his ordeal, he’s become an advocate for the shots — the type of local, trusted messenger that health officials hope can woo the skeptical.
7th Jul 2021 - Bloomberg


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Doctors are arrested for Covid vaccine scam after injecting 2500 people with SEA WATER in India

14 people have been arrested so far on charges of manslaughter and criminal conspiracy. Doctors and medical staff allegedly used hospital access to make fake vaccine certificates. The organisers made over £20,000 before the programme was uncovered. Authorities have reported over 400,000 Covid deaths in India, but experts believe the number is far higher
6th Jul 2021 - Daily Mail

Covid: Why Boris Johnson's 'freedom day' is terrifying for millions

There are millions of these frail people. For those whose immune systems are compromised or suppressed, the efficacy of vaccines is much reduced. For others among the frail, any residual risk of becoming infected is too great, because for them it is literally a matter of life or death. So when you hear politicians and others talking about the important freedom to choose not to wear a mask and not to keep a respectful distance from others, note that their freedom is felt as oppression by those who through no fault of their own are more at risk from this awful disease.
6th Jul 2021 - ITV News

'Long Covid' Will Surge Among Young, England's Chief Medic Warns

So-called long Covid is set to soar among younger people in England when remaining coronavirus restrictions are lifted, England’s chief medical officer warned. Chris Whitty said that while he expected deaths to be “much lower” proportionally compared to previous waves, long Covid remains “a worry.” “Since there’s a lot of Covid at the moment and the rates are going up, I regret to say I think we will get a significant amount more long Covid -- particularly in the younger ages where the vaccination rates are currently much lower,” he said at the Local Government Association’s virtual conference Tuesday.
6th Jul 2021 - Bloomberg

Trish Greenhalgh: Freedom Day, but at what cost?

I hope I am wrong, but it looks like the UK is once again setting up a colossal natural experiment which will put wave three of the pandemic into a super-exponential growth phase. Given that we appear to be powerless to stop this happening, we should at least ensure that we collect the right kind of high-quality data to document and analyse what unfolds.
6th Jul 2021 - BMJ Blog


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Nightclubs and mass events to reopen on July 19 with no cap on attendance

Organisers of highly anticipated large events including festivals and the Premier League will be left to decide their Covid policy themselves - including whether to ask for certification
5th Jul 2021 - The Mirror

Majority of Russians Still Not Ready for Covid-19 Vaccination – Poll

A majority of Russian (54%) are still not ready to get vaccinated against the coronavirus despite a mounting surge driven by the highly contagious Delta variant, according to an independent poll published Monday. Russia set new records for coronavirus deaths for five consecutive days from June 29-July 3 as infections reached levels not seen since the peak of the country’s second wave in early January. The spread of the Delta variant, which Moscow officials say accounts for 90% of the city’s cases, has prompted several Russian regions to order compulsory vaccination for certain workers.
5th Jul 2021 - The Moscow Times

Vaccinate or repent, Russian church says amid hundreds of daily COVID-19 deaths

Russia's powerful Orthodox Church admonished people refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19, calling them sinners who would have to atone for the rest of their lives, as the country reported another jump in new infections and deaths. The church urged all its faithful to be inoculated as another 24,353 new COVID-19 cases were registered on Monday, including 6,557 in Moscow, taking the official national tally since the pandemic began to 5,635,294. The government coronavirus task force said 654 people had died of coronavirus-linked causes in the past 24 hours, pushing the national death toll to 138,579.
5th Jul 2021 - Reuters

Staging Euro 2020 semis and final in London is 'recipe for disaster.' Is football -- and Covid-19 spike -- coming home?

Coronavirus cases in Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East rose by 10% last week, World Health Organization Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge told a press briefing in Copenhagen on Thursday. A 10-week decline in the number of Covid-19 cases in the 53-country region "has come to an end" Kluge said, with rising cases driven by increased socializing, travel, gatherings and easing of restrictions. Kluge said the situation and was "rapidly evolving" and warned that the Delta variant -- first identified in India -- is spreading at a fast pace, resulting in increased hospitalizations and deaths.
5th Jul 2021 - CNN International

Sparse showing at Sydney's beaches during COVID-19 lockdown

Residents are allowed outside for exercise and recreation. In the winter sunshine, joggers exercised on the boardwalk and others walked on the beach. Later in the day, more people were seen at Coogee Beach, singly or in small groups. Sydney went into lockdown on June 26 as authorities in New South Wales (NSW) state tried to contain a fast-spreading outbreak of the highly infectious Delta coronavirus variant in Australia's largest city.
5th Jul 2021 - Reuters

Pop-up ‘coronabikes’ test German love of order

Berlin’s 10 “coronabikes” are part of a private sector mass-testing infrastructure that has sprung up in pop-up tents, cafes, night clubs and shisha bars across Germany over the last three months, in a speedy fashion at odds with Germany’s reputation for fastidious bureaucracy. A number of high-profile cases of fraud, and enduring questions over the accuracy of antigen (also known as lateral-flow) tests, have prompted criticism of health minister Jens Spahn’s scheme for triggering a free-market free-for-all, something Die Welt newspaper called a “testing gold-rush”. “It’s an absurd system, and very atypical for Germany”, said Matthias Orth, of the Institute of Laboratory Medicine at Stuttgart’s Marienhospital. Earlier this year, Germany’s disease control agency reported that one commonly used antigen test – which only detects Covid-19 cases on days the viral load is highest – had missed 61% of asymptomatic infections at the emergency ward of a Stuttgart’s Katharinenhospital clinic.
5th Jul 2021 - The Guardian


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Woman Afraid of Vaccine Side Effects Dies From Delta Variant: 'I Couldn't Convince Her'

A woman in Missouri was afraid of the side effects from COVID-19 vaccines and chose not to get the shots, but later contracted the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus and died in the hospital. Deborah Carmichael, the mother of now-deceased 45-year-old Tricia Jones, is speaking out and urging those hesitant about the vaccine to get the jab after losing her daughter in June. She spoke to Kansas City's news channel Fox 4 WDAF-TV about her daughter's death and vaccine hesitancy in an interview broadcast this week.
4th Jul 2021 - Newsweek

Scenes From San Francisco Tech Companies

Silicon Valley should be one of the first places to spring back to life as the pandemic eases in the U.S. Nearly three-quarters of eligible people have been vaccinated, and more than 80% have gotten at least one shot—a milestone San Francisco reached faster than any other city, according to the mayor. And yet, many tech industry offices are sitting nearly empty. Only 19% of office workers in the San Francisco metro area had returned as of June 23, the lowest share of 10 major U.S. metro areas tracked by building security provider Kastle Systems. The region's tech giants, among the first to send their office workers home when coronavirus pandemic deepened last year, may be among the last to coax them back.
3rd Jul 2021 - Bloomberg


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Rebuilding in COVID's awful wake: One small step at a time

As a study of how people are trying, as best they can, to get through it all, The Associated Press honed in on Sartor and her family in Montmartre and on a couple in Brazil. Why them? Because their pandemic has been, on the whole, unremarkable — if one can say that of a world-changing cataclysm. It didn’t kill them or people they love. But it turned their lives upside down, and still is: They are us all.
1st Jul 2021 - The Associated Press

Teenagers are figuring out how to fake positive Covid tests using lemon juice and hacks from TikTok

British teenagers are using TikTok to learn and share tips for faking positive Covid-19 tests as hundreds of thousands of pupils in “bubbles” are already being forced to miss school. Clips of young people applying various liquids to lateral flow tests have racked up millions of views on the popular video app, with many users offering suggestions. Videos uploaded under the search term #fakecovidtest have been viewed more than 6.5 million times, with the dedicated account @.fakecovidtests gaining more than 20,000 followers. Education leaders have warned that the practice is “massively unhelpful” as schools already battle to keep education going amid outbreaks.
1st Jul 2021 - iNews

Covid-19: Taskforce appeals for the return of live music

Live music can resume from 5 July, as ministers press ahead with some further relaxations of Covid-19 rules. Music performed indoors will be restricted to an ambient sound level only, with screens placed in front of musicians, the executive has confirmed. No volume restrictions will apply to live music at outdoor events. From 17:00 BST on Friday, the cap on outdoor gatherings will be removed, and from Monday, more households will be able to gather in a private garden. The Northern Ireland Executive said it had decided to push ahead with relaxations despite the increase in coronavirus cases linked to the Delta variant.
1st Jul 2021 - BBC News

Germany could ease travel curbs as Delta variant takes over

Germany expects the Delta variant of COVID-19 to account for up to 80% of infections this month, meaning it could ease travel restrictions from countries like Portugal and Britain where it already dominates, the German health minister said on Thursday. Jens Spahn told a news conference that Germany could reduce the current 14-day quarantine requirement that it imposes on travellers from countries with high levels of the Delta variant once it is sure that vaccinated people are protected.
1st Jul 2021 - Reuters

Fairness not the ultimate virtue in a pandemic

Plans to limit indoor dining to those who can prove their fully-vaccinated status have caused quite a ruckus. Having given up so much to protect the health of the older and more vulnerable, the youngest are last in line to get their old lives back. “It’s unfair,” Tánaiste Leo Varadkar concluded. And maybe he is right. But so what? The general appeal to fairness has proven itself to be an indefatigable instinct throughout the pandemic, whether it be about vaccines or restrictions or rule-breaking. But it isn’t always a sound one.
1st Jul 2021 - The Irish Times


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Thailand bets on 'Phuket sandbox' program to save tourism

Since Thailand’s pandemic restrictions on travel were imposed in early 2020, tourism has fallen off a cliff, and nowhere has it been felt more than the resort island off the country’s southern coast, where nearly 95% of the economy is related to the industry. So, despite spiking coronavirus numbers elsewhere in the country, the government is forging ahead with a program known as the “Phuket sandbox” to reopen the island to fully vaccinated visitors. It hopes it will revive tourism — a sector that accounted for 20% of the country’s economy before the pandemic.
30th Jun 2021 - The Associated Press

Tuskegee relatives promote COVID-19 vaccines in ad campaign

Tuskegee is the one-word answer some people give as a reason they’re avoiding COVID-19 vaccines. A new ad campaign launched Wednesday with relatives of men who unwittingly became part of the infamous experiment wants to change minds. Omar Neal, 63, a former mayor of the Alabama town, said he was hesitant at first about the shots. Neal is a nephew of Freddie Lee Tyson, a family man who was among several hundred Black men who decades ago became involved without their consent in the federally backed syphilis study. Neal said he agreed to appear in the national campaign after doing research to gain confidence in the vaccines.
30th Jun 2021 - Associated Press

Covid: Vaccine refuser regrets turning down jab after catching virus

A Covid-19 vaccine refuser "stared death in the eyes" as he lay gasping for breath in hospital after catching the virus. Abderrahmane Fadil, 60, was taken to Bradford Royal Infirmary earlier this month struggling to breathe. The father of two said declining his vaccination invite in February was "the biggest mistake" of his life. He has thanked NHS staff for saving his life and urged others to get vaccinated. "I will never forget when the paramedics were taking me down the stairs and my kids were crying and looking at me," Mr Fadil said.
30th Jun 2021 - BBC News

Aspen to partner with finance institutions to boost vaccine know-how

A group of global finance institutions led by the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) said on Wednesday they would help to facilitate an increase in vaccine manufacturing know-how in Africa by partnering with South African pharmaceutical company Aspen Pharmacare. As a first step, the IFC, French development institution Proparco, German development finance institution DEG and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation jointly loaned 600 million euros ($712 million) to the company.
30th Jun 2021 - Reuters


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Fearing COVID, struggling Malawian women forgo prenatal care

Prenatal services at the health clinic were free, but the motorcycle taxi fare cost more than Monica Maxwell could afford. Just four weeks before delivering her baby, she cobbled together 1,400 kwacha ($1.75) for the 50-kilometer (31-mile) round trip. It was only her third visit -- fewer than her first two pregnancies. The money she made selling tomatoes at the local market dried up due to the pandemic. Her husband’s income selling goat meat also dwindled. “It was the most difficult period of our lives. We had no money for our daily survival,” Maxwell, 31, said as she waited outside with other women to be seen by a medical midwife. “Mostly we stayed home.” In a country where hospitals are so bare that women are expected to bring their own razor blades for cutting their babies’ umbilical cords, the deepening poverty brought on by the pandemic is further imperiling women’s lives.
29th Jun 2021 - Associated Press

The ‘Great Reshuffling’ Is Shifting Wealth to the Exurbs

White collar workers are trading their expensive lives in the nation’s most densely populated areas for cheaper, greener pastures. Online real estate company Zillow Group ZG calls it the “Great Reshuffling.” These moves will reshape transportation, real estate and an emerging fixture of American life: the exurb. Fringe outlying communities of major metropolitan regions were prized for their extreme privacy or more affordable housing before the pandemic, but were typically much less wealthy than the denser cities and affluent suburbs they surrounded
29th Jun 2021 - The Wall Street Journal

Russia says people can decline its vaccine. But for many, they'll get fired if they do

If you ask the Kremlin whether Covid-19 vaccination in Russia is voluntary, its officials will tell you it is. Yet authorities in Moscow have put together a policy that essentially gives people in public-facing roles little choice but to get their shots. Faced with stubbornly low vaccination rates, Moscow authorities announced just over a week ago that at least 60% of staff in service industries -- spanning everything from catering to housing and transport -- must get vaccinated with at least one shot by July 15. "Vaccination remains voluntary," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. But while Peskov says someone can refuse a vaccine, they just might lose their livelihood for doing so.
29th Jun 2021 - CNN

Ireland might demand a vaccine to drink inside pubs and restaurants

Ireland said on Tuesday it will restrict indoor drinking and eating in bars and restaurants to those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or who have previously been infected by it due to concerns about the Delta variant. The country joins a handful of places in Europe to introduce the measure, including Austria, Denmark and Israel, while Moscow has brought in similar restrictions. Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin, who announced a general slowdown of the easing of public health restrictions, said that health officials told him they thought that the variant made indoor hospitality too dangerous for the unvaccinated.
29th Jun 2021 - Reuters

Aussie Rules teams flee COVID outbreaks, rugby league crowds banned

Four Australian Football League (AFL) teams are set to base themselves in Melbourne as COVID-19 outbreaks and lockdowns across the country play havoc with the competition's schedule. The Gold Coast Suns and Brisbane Lions were booked on a charter plane for Melbourne to beat a snap three-day lockdown starting late on Tuesday in Brisbane and surrounds. Perth-based teams Fremantle Dockers and West Coast Eagles are also heading to Melbourne after authorities in Western Australia state locked down Perth after new cases of COVID-19
29th Jun 2021 - Reuters

As cases, deaths soar in Russia, why are vaccination rates low?

“The vaccine is being perfected on us. I don’t want to be a guinea pig,” Kulchina, a grandmother, told Al Jazeera. Instead, she tries to stay away from people. She lives in seclusion in her summer house outside Moscow planting zucchini, raspberries and flowers, binge-watching TV series or spending hours on the phone with her friends – most of whom are also hesitant about the vaccine. A staggering 62 percent of Russians do not want to get vaccinated, and 56 percent are not afraid of getting the virus, according to a survey by the Levada Center pollster conducted in April.
29th Jun 2021 - AlJazeera


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 29th Jun 2021

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Amish put faith in God's will and herd immunity over vaccine

When health care leaders in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country began laying out a strategy to distribute COVID-19 vaccines, they knew it would be a tough sell with the Amish, who tend to be wary of preventive shots and government intervention. Early on, they posted flyers at farm supply stores and at auctions where the Amish sell handmade furniture and quilts. They sought advice from members of the deeply religious and conservative sect, who told them not to be pushy. And they asked three newspapers widely read by the Amish to publish ads promoting the vaccine. Two refused. By May, two rural vaccination clinics had opened at a fire station and a social services center, both familiar places to the Amish in Lancaster County. During the first six weeks, 400 people showed up. Only 12 were Amish.
28th Jun 2021 - Associated Press

COVID-19: More than 50 arrested for string of offences after thousands attend illegal rave in Steyning, West Sussex

More than 50 people were arrested after police shut down an illegal rave attended by thousands in the South Downs. Police were called to the "large unlicensed music event" in fields near the town of Steyning in West Sussex during the early hours of Sunday. As many as 2,000 people, most of whom had travelled from outside the area, were at the event, despite coronavirus rules banning gatherings of more than 30 people. Eight people were identified as potential organisers of the rave and arrested, while sound equipment was seized, Sussex Police said.
28th Jun 2021 - Yahoo News UK

Covid-19: Crowds flee Dhaka ahead of strict Bangladesh lockdown

Crowds have flocked to Dhaka's ferry terminals for a second day to get out of the city before a strict national lockdown comes into force. For seven days from Thursday, no one in Bangladesh will be allowed to leave their homes unless in an emergency. As a result, people are fleeing the busy capital city for their homes in towns and villages. Covid cases in the country have surged, many linked to the Delta variant first identified in neighbouring India. The latest wave of the virus in Bangladesh began about six weeks ago. On 15 May there were 261 new cases and 22 deaths reported. On Friday there were 5,869 new cases and 108 deaths - the country's second-highest daily death toll of the whole pandemic.
28th Jun 2021 - BBC News

Show must go on, say dancing protesters urging Britain to fully reopen

Hundreds of people danced and blew whistles in time to dance music on the streets of central London on Sunday, part of a protest against coronavirus restrictions that have pummelled the entertainment industry, particularly nightclubs. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hopes to remove the remaining restrictions on July 19 after being forced to postpone a reopening this month. But Save Our Scene, a campaign group for the music and hospitality sectors that organised the protest, says lockdown curbs should end immediately.
28th Jun 2021 - Reuters


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 28th Jun 2021

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Mallorca probes COVID-19 outbreak among hundreds of partying students

Authorities in Mallorca are investigating a coronavirus outbreak involving more than 600 students celebrating the end of term in the Spanish island, just as it prepares for British tourists to return following the easing of travel curbs. Students visiting from the mainland went to a music concert at a bullring in the capital, Palma, as well as parties on boats and in hotels, and officials said on Saturday they wanted to find out if venues had adhered to virus-control measures.
26th Jun 2021 - Reuters

Anti-lockdown protesters march on London in day of demonstrations

London saw a wave of protests on Saturday, marking the start of a weekend of demonstrations across the capital. The Metropolitan Police have called it “a busy weekend” of protests, with thousands of people hitting the streets to vocalise their opposition on a range of issues, ranging from inequality, Covid-19 restrictions and the framing of the climate crisis.
26th Jun 2021 - The Independent

Women Did Three Times as Much Child Care as Men During Pandemic

Child care demands at home skyrocketed during the pandemic, but men and women did not split the burden equally. Globally, women took on 173 additional hours of unpaid child care last year, compared to 59 additional hours for men, a study released Friday by the Center for Global Development, a poverty non-profit, found. The gap widened in low- and middle-income countries, where women cared for children for more than three times as many hours as men did.
25th Jun 2021 - Bloomberg


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 25th Jun 2021

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Community Covid Bus launches in Sheffield

Sheffield’s new Community Covid Bus launches this week as a one-stop place for all things Covid-related, including lateral flow tests for those without symptoms with results in 30 minutes. The minibus will be travelling all over Sheffield to parks, schools, community events, vaccine clinics and will provide information and advice about Covid 19, lateral flow tests for those without symptoms, free boxes of home testing lateral flow device kits, vaccinations advice and support to book an appointment. Advice and support on self-isolation will also be available, including help to access financial support.
24th Jun 2021 - The Star

Carl Frampton backs initiative helping older people cope with isolation and loneliness

When a 75-year-old east Belfast man answered his phone recently, he got the surprise of his life when former boxing world champion Carl Frampton was on the other end of the line. Frampton made the call as part of an Age NI initiative aimed at helping older people cope with isolation and loneliness, particularly amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Launched last year, the 'Check In and Chat' service provides a weekly phone conversation with a friendly volunteer with more than 20,000 calls made so far.
24th Jun 2021 - Irish Times

Nearly all COVID deaths in US are now among unvaccinated

Nearly all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. now are in people who weren’t vaccinated, a staggering demonstration of how effective the shots have been and an indication that deaths per day — now down to under 300 — could be practically zero if everyone eligible got the vaccine. An Associated Press analysis of available government data from May shows that “breakthrough” infections in fully vaccinated people accounted for fewer than 1,200 of more than 853,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations. That’s about 0.1%. And only about 150 of the more than 18,000 COVID-19 deaths in May were in fully vaccinated people. That translates to about 0.8%, or five deaths per day on average. The AP analyzed figures provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC itself has not estimated what percentage of hospitalizations and deaths are in fully vaccinated people, citing limitations in the data.
24th Jun 2021 - The Associated Press

Portugal’s Lisbon rolls out new COVID curbs as cases surge

Authorities in Portugal’s Lisbon region are reintroducing coronavirus restrictions due to a surge driven by the delta variant, which now accounts for more than seven in 10 new infections in the capital. Two months after Portugal began to ease a prolonged lockdown, the country reported 1,556 new infections on Thursday – the highest number since February 20. More than 1,000 of them were in the Lisbon region, where some 2.8 million people live, with officials warning that hospital admissions are increasing at a “worrying” level.
24th Jun 2021 - AlJazeera


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 24th Jun 2021

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Britain will not demand climate talks delegates be vaccinated against COVID-19

Britain will not require delegates attending November's international climate conference in Glasgow to have been vaccinated against COVID-19, an official responsible for organising the event said on Wednesday. Britain will strongly recommend that delegates are vaccinated but it will not be a mandatory requirement, Rosalyn Eales, Chief Operating Officer of the COP26 conference, told a group of lawmakers. Climate and health experts have said poorer nations struggling to access COVID-19 vaccines could find sending delegates to an in-person meeting difficult.
23rd Jun 2021 - Reuters

Save Our Summer: UK pilots and cabin crew issue travel sector rescue plea

British pilots, cabin crew, travel agents and other workers are urging politicians to save the summer holiday season by reopening routes abroad or risk destroying tens of thousands of jobs as companies fail. Workers from the travel industry demonstrated across Britain on Wednesday. Protesters outside parliament held banners saying “Speak up for travel” as pilots and air stewardesses from British Airways, easyJet and Virgin Atlantic lined up in full uniform, to highlight the threat to their jobs from the government’s strict rules. England is expected to re-open from a third COVID-19 lockdown in July but the travel sector remains effectively shut, with the government advising against travel except to a handful of destinations.
23rd Jun 2021 - Reuters

‘No zero risk’: UK move to increase Wembley fans questioned

The British government faced accusations of mixed messaging Wednesday that could threaten its plan to fully lift lockdown restrictions in England next month after it decided to allow more than 60,000 people inside Wembley Stadium for the latter stages of soccer’s European Championship. Following a request from UEFA, European soccer’s governing body, to allow more fans inside the London stadium for the semifinals on July 6 and 7 and the final on July 11, Britain agreed to increase Wembley’s 90,000-seat capacity to 75%. That will make the three matches the largest gatherings at a sporting event since the coronavirus pandemic took root in the country in March 2020. In contrast, only around 20,000 people were inside the stadium on Tuesday night when England beat the Czech Republic 1-0.
23rd Jun 2021 - Associated Press

Covid gender gap widens as cases surge in Scotland

A Covid cases gender gap has opened up as the total number testing positive in the past 24 hours hit nearly 3,000. On Wednesday five new deaths were reported, and 2,969 cases recorded - the highest daily number since the start of mass testing. In recent days about two thirds of cases in the 15 to 44 age range have been male. Behaviour expert Prof Stephen Reicher has suggested that men meeting up to watch Euro 2020 is behind the rise. National Clinical Director Prof Jason Leitch said he believed indoor socialising was the main factor, though not necessarily linked to football.
23rd Jun 2021 - BBC News


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 23rd Jun 2021

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Do we have to learn to live with Covid-19?

A new wave of Covid-19 cases is threatening to disrupt another summer in the UK as the government extends restrictions for England into July amid concern about the rate of spread of the Delta variant. The Guardian’s health editor, Sarah Boseley, tells Anushka Asthana that this time around we are in a very different position with most adults now having had two vaccine jabs. However, there is still a prospect of a sharp rise in Covid cases and with it more hospital admissions and deaths. Boris Johnson has said cases of the Delta variant are rising at about 30% a week.
22nd Jun 2021 - The Guardian

A QUARTER of American adults under 40 do not plan to get a COVID-19 shot due lack of trust in vaccines and fears of potential side effects

A new CDC report finds that 24.9% of Americans under 40 do not plan on getting vaccinated. Over 56% report they do not trust the vaccine, while 56% also report they fear side effects of vaccine. Other reasons included thinking they do not need a COVID-19 shot or that the virus is not a big threat to them. President Joe Biden has set a target of hitting 70% of the population vaccinated by July 4, which is unlikely
22nd Jun 2021 - Daily Mail

How Bolton brought down Covid infection rates

Community engagement and cooperation between public bodies has played a key role in lowering Bolton’s Covid-19 infection rates, health chiefs have revealed. Health officials took on a targeted approach by identifying areas where there were a particularly high number of cases and worked closely with communities there. Barriers to accessing the vaccine such as financial or transport issues were identified and overcome by the introduction of the Vaccine Bus, which brought the jab to the people. As the health teams, the army and volunteers worked hard to bring vaccines and testing to the community, the community itself played a part in enabling the effort to succeed.
22nd Jun 2021 - The Bolton News

Euro 2020: WHO concerned about easing COVID restrictions

The World Health Organization has said it was concerned about the easing of COVID-19 restrictions by nations hosting Euro 2020 matches, noting that some were already seeing rising cases. “WHO is concerned about easing of restrictions in some of the host countries,” Robb Butler, an executive director at WHO’s Regional Office for Europe, said in an emailed statement to the AFP news agency.
22nd Jun 2021 - Aljazeera.com


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 22nd Jun 2021

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Young people have stepped up over the Covid-19 vaccine – for that they should be applauded

In the race between the Delta variant and the Covid vaccines, it would seem that the vaccine is at least keeping pace. Not to push the analogy too far, there was an increasing danger that the faster spread of the new mutation of the virus would mean that it would establish itself and cause a spike in cases before the usual effects of “herd immunity” started to protect the community as a whole. That was certainly evidenced in the trends in the northwest of England, Bedford and elsewhere. Even though the link between infection, hospital admissions and death have been weakened by the vaccine programme and improved treatments, there was every possibility of a third wave of Covid. Hence the decision to postpone the so-called freedom day until 19 July.
21st Jun 2021 - The Independent

Community Foundation distributes £2.2m in Covid-19 response

The Community Foundation for Lancashire has published a report detailed how the county raised £2.2m to deal with the Covid-19 and how those funds were used. The foundation co-ordinated corporate donors, private individuals, public sector partnerships including the Lancashire Resilience Forum, public donations and funders such as the National Emergencies Trust to raise much-needed cash. More than 320,000 people were supported by the foundation's work, including helping to address food poverty, the impact on mental health and wellbeing, service provisions to the vulnerable, and unemployment and loss of income. As lockdown continued, domestic abuse and digital exclusion were added as high priorities.
21st Jun 2021 - Lancashire Business View

Former Swiss "Magic Mountain" TB clinics treat COVID to stay relevant

Swiss mountain sanatoriums whose fresh-air and sunlight cures once drew tuberculosis patients from across Europe are reinventing themselves for a new generation: Patients suffering from the lingering effects of COVID-19.
21st Jun 2021 - Reuters on MSN.com

U.S. employers wrestle with COVID vaccine requirements in regulatory "hairball"

America's largest garlic farm needs 1,000 workers to harvest its annual crop, but faces an unexpected hurdle in this year's recruitment drive: it now must document and track the COVID-19 vaccine status of these seasonal laborers. Employers in California's Santa Clara County, including Christopher Ranch, are required as of June 1 to ascertain if their workers have been vaccinated and check in every 14 days on those who say they have not or who decline to answer.
21st Jun 2021 - Reuters

Exclusive: Pandemic prompts close to 4m Londoners consider moving in quest for a better life

The pandemic and subsequent UK lockdowns have had a transformative impact on UK employees, with more than a third aged 18-34 moving house so as to secure a better quality of life. The corresponding figure for those aged 55+ is just 9 per cent, while the UK average is one-in-five, according to research from Close Brothers, shared with City A.M. this evening. It is notable that people in London are most eager to make the change, with 39 per cent – or nearly 4m people – moving or thinking to move to get that better quality of life. It is a significantly greater proportion than the next most likely regions, the East Midlands and the East of England (both 23 per cent). The region in which employees are least likely to have made the shift is the North East (9 per cent). The research highlights the extent to which the past 12 months have changed the financial plans of employees across the UK.
9th Jun 2021 - City A.M.


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 21st Jun 2021

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Nudge, nudge: the secret behind our Covid vaccine success

The Polish government organised a million zloty (£189,000) lottery, New Jersey in the US is offering a “shot and a beer” and vaccinated people in Moscow can win a car. No such eye-catching incentives are needed here: Britain boasts one of the highest vaccine take-up rates in the world. More than 64 per cent of the population have had one dose, meaning the UK should overtake Israel for first doses per person next week. More than 96 per cent of all adults aged 50 and over have been vaccinated. There is no sign of that slowing. When bookings opened to adults aged 18-20 on Friday, more than 721,000 people signed up in a single day in what officials described as a “Glastonbury-style rush”.
20th Jun 2021 - The Times

South Holland groups helped through Covid-19 pandemic thanks to grants from Lincolnshire fund

A new report has demonstrated the positive impact a community group has had in helping our area cope with the Covid-19 pandemic. More than 300 companies have been helped by financial grants from the Lincolnshire Covid-19 Crisis Fund. This cash has targeted areas such as mental health and wellbeing, ill health, food supplies, digital inclusion and loneliness. The Lincolnshire Community Foundation also used ‘social value’ calculations to determine that every £1 they have invested has brought about a ‘social return’ of £12.
20th Jun 2021 - Spalding Today

Three-day COVID travel ban in force in Lisbon as Delta variant spreads

As a three-day coronavirus travel ban came into force around Lisbon on Friday afternoon, drivers stopped by police asking them their reason for travelling said they felt concerned about the worrying rise in infections . People living in the 18 municipalities of Lisbon's metropolitan area will be banned from leaving from 3 p.m. on Friday until 6 a.m on Monday. Those living outside the area will not be allowed in.
19th Jun 2021 - Reuters

Delta Variant: What to Know For Summer Travel

With vaccinations on the rise and mortality rates related to Covid-19 going down in Europe and other parts of the world, many people are making plans to travel this summer and beyond. But experts say the quickly circulating Delta variant is a new concern for travelers, particularly those who are unvaccinated. The European Union said on June 18 that the United States would be added to its “safe list” of countries, a decision that should allow even unvaccinated visitors from the U.S. (who can provide proof of a negative coronavirus test) to enter its 27 member states for nonessential travel. These countries, however, can impose their own restrictions and requirements for entry.
19th Jun 2021 - The New York Times

UN: Nearly 3 million fled homes in 2020 despite COVID-19 pandemic

Nearly 3 million people fled their homes in 2020 despite the global pandemic that closed many borders over the past year, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said. The Global Trends report Friday showed the total number of refugees has increased to 82.4 million people, making 1 percent of the world displaced. "People were forced to flee their homes throughout the year despite an urgent appeal from the U.N. Secretary-General on 23 March 2020 calling for a global ceasefire to enable a concerted response to the pandemic," the report reads. "UNHCR data shows that arrivals of new refugees and asylum-seekers were sharply down in most regions – about 1.5 million fewer people than would have been expected in non-COVID circumstances, and reflecting how many of those seeking international protection in 2020 became stranded."
19th Jun 2021 - The Hill

In COVID hit Asia, mixed messages on refugee vaccinations

“The refugees were vaccinated in conjunction with the local government,” Nasruddin, the humanitarian coordinator of Geutanyoe Foundation, an NGO which provides education and psychosocial support to refugees in Indonesia and Malaysia, told Al Jazeera. “When we found them, they were in a crisis situation on the island with no food, water or electricity, so local residents brought them food and we also brought them 50 tanks of water,” he added. “The feeling on the ground was that we needed to share our vaccines with the refugees in order to protect them as well. No one complained that the vaccines were being given to refugees.” Aceh Province has been widely praised by humanitarian groups, NGOs and the general public for vaccinating Rohingya refugees, but elsewhere in Southeast Asia, asylum seekers, refugees and migrant workers have not been so lucky.
19th Jun 2021 - Al Jazeera English

Tokyo cancels public viewing sites for summer Olympics

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has cancelled all public viewing sites for the summer Olympics, diverting some venues to be COVID-19 vaccinations centres instead. Foreign spectators are banned from attending the Games, delayed by a year due to the pandemic, but the government and Tokyo 2020 organisers have for months held off on deciding whether to allow Japanese spectators into the stadiums.
19th Jun 2021 - Al Jazeera English

Fans who had AstraZeneca vaccine won’t be allowed into Bruce Springsteen’s New York concerts

Anyone who has had the AstraZeneca vaccine will be barred from attending Bruce Springsteen’s comeback shows in New York next week. The intimate five-night run at the St James theatre will be the first Broadway show to reopen since last March and will require attendees to show proof of vaccination, reports The Telegraph. However, the list will be limited only to jabs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration - Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson. Any potential concert-goers who received their Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine overseas will be left with the prospect of being turned away at the door should they book tickets.
18th Jun 2021 - Evening Standard

Canada: Pfizer, Moderna preferred 2nd dose after AstraZeneca

Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization said Thursday people who got the AstraZeneca vaccine as their first dose should get Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna for their second shot. On June 1, committee had said AstraZeneca recipients “could” get Pfizer or Moderna for their second shot if they wanted, but Thursday went further to say an mRNA vaccine was the ”preferred” choice. Since the advisory committee “first looked at mixed vaccine schedules, new evidence is starting to emerge suggesting immune responses are better when a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine is followed by an mRNA vaccine as a second dose,″ said its vice-chair Dr. Shelley Deeks, in the new guidance documents.
18th Jun 2021 - Associated Press

Community pharmacy COVID-19 test distribution service extended

The government has extended its free Pharmacy Collect service, which provides COVID-19 lateral flow tests to patients through community pharmacies in England, until the end of July 2021. In a statement to The Pharmaceutical Journal, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) added that it was “considering” extending its contracts with wholesalers, beyond their June 2021 expiry, to continue providing tests to pharmacies at no cost. The service, also known as the ‘Community Pharmacy COVID-19 Lateral Flow Device Distribution’ service, launched on 29 March 2021 as an advanced service and was due to be reviewed at the end of June 2021.
17th Jun 2021 - The Pharmaceutical Journal


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 18th Jun 2021

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iPads donated to Shropshire school to enable virtual learning

An ambitious project to enable whole class virtual learning at a small Shropshire school has become reality following the donation of 36 iPads. Teachers and parents at Tibberton CE Primary School set about raising funds for the new devices earlier this term and thanks to the support of local businesses and others in the community they have reached their goal ahead of schedule. It means from September each child in class will have access to their own iPad and associated digital resources to support whole-class learning during lessons.
17th Jun 2021 - shropshirestar.com

Japan PM Suga urges Japanese to watch Olympics on TV to prevent spread of COVID-19

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Thursday called on the public to watch the upcoming Tokyo Olympics on TV to avoid the spread of COVID-19 infections, as the organisers debate whether to allow domestic spectators into Olympic venues. Suga, speaking at a news conference to announce the lifting of some COVID-19 restrictions in Tokyo and several other areas, said that the most important thing was to avoid a rebound in the number of infections and the collapse of the medical system.
17th Jun 2021 - Reuters

Families mourn the loss of loved ones who hesitated on the Covid-19 vaccine

Despite vaccines being widely available for teenagers and adults, demand has slowed drastically since mid-April. At the time, the country was administering an average of 3.4 million doses per day. That moving average is now close to 600,000 per day as of Tuesday, the most recent day for which the figure is available, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Local governments are offering financial incentives for people to get the shot. Medical experts and officials are also seeing effective strategies by local pastors, coaches and community leaders working on a grass-roots level to encourage people. The word-of-mouth approach from trusted voices can be powerful, said the Rev. R.B. Holmes Jr., a prominent pastor who leads the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida​. This spring, his church invested in a mobile medical unit to make health care more accessible in his community.
17th Jun 2021 - CNN

Disneyland Paris reopens, but Mickey Mouse won't give hugs

The Disneyland Paris theme park opened to visitors on Thursday after being shuttered for nearly eight months during the pandemic, but safety measures were in force to stop the virus spreading. While cast members dressed as favourite Disney characters - among them Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy - were on hand as usual for selfies with visitors, they were keeping their distance. According to the park's revised rules, "close interactions, including hugs, will be temporarily suspended." Visitors over the age of six are also required to wear masks. Nevertheless, visitors streaming through the gates at opening time were ecstatic to be there.
17th Jun 2021 - Reuters

Community centres to share £270,000 Covid recovery fund

In Shropshire, the Covid-19 emergency funding provided to the council by government in 2020 and 2021 is aimed at enabling a number of community centres to restart, recover and once again become vibrant community assets in a safe and secure way. Cabinet member for cooperative communities, engagement and partnerships, Councillor Paul Watling said: “During the pandemic these community hubs have been the glue that has held everything together and enabled Telford & Wrekin Council to support its communities. They are right at the heart of people’s lives and have for many been a lifeline – a place where we can extend our support to the most vulnerable.
17th Jun 2021 - Shropshire Star

Empowering Indian women who lost their partners to COVID

Thousands of Indian women have lost their husbands to the coronavirus pandemic, most of those men were the sole earners in their families. Nichelle worked as a human resource professional for seven years before quitting her job nearly two years ago. Soon after her husband’s death, another reality hit her: she needed to find a job, at a time when the pandemic had caused huge job losses across India and forced millions of people out of work. She was contacted by a volunteer from COVID Women Help – an initiative that seeks to empower women who lost their partners to the pandemic by providing them financial and professional help. Less than a month after Shawn’s death, Nichelle got a job with a human resource solutions company with the help of COVID Women Help.
17th Jun 2021 - AlJazeera


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 17th Jun 2021

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COVID-19: People aged 21 and 22 able to book coronavirus vaccine from today

Around one million people aged 21 and 22 are now eligible to book their coronavirus vaccination. Some 972,000 text messages will be sent out starting today, inviting them to schedule appointments for both doses via the national booking system. Dr Emily Lawson, lead for the NHS COVID Vaccination Programme, said "the largest ever NHS vaccination campaign is in the home stretch of the first dose roll-out," and getting the jab is "the most important step you can take to protect yourself, your friends and family so it's really important everybody in the latest eligible groups books themselves in to get their jab and plays their part in this huge national effort".
16th Jun 2021 - Sky News

Covid-19: Deaths in Brazil near half a million as controversial football tournament gets under way

Brazil continues to report a high number of covid-19 infections and deaths against the backdrop of a parliamentary inquiry into the government’s management of the pandemic and a controversial football tournament plagued by virus outbreaks. The country is expected to reach half a million deaths from covid-19 in the coming days as teams from around Latin America compete in the Copa America, which kicked off in Brasilia on 13 June. “The situation is not coming under control since [politicians] are still in denial of the pandemic, including the president,” said Helena Nader, biomedical scientist at the Federal University of São Paulo and former president of the Brazilian Society for the Advancement of Science. At least 31 Copa America players and 10 members of staff have been infected so far, as health experts and players alike voice their concern over the health risk posed by the controversial decision to host the tournament in one of the nations worst hit by covid-19 in the world.
16th Jun 2021 - The BMJ

London: Man charged after journalist mobbed at anti-lockdown protest

A man has been charged after a BBC journalist was mobbed by a group of anti-lockdown protesters in London. Video footage shared on social media showed Newsnight political editor Nicholas Watt being physically intimidated and chased through the streets near Downing Street on Monday afternoon. Met Police launched an investigation into the incident after identifying a ‘number of possible offences’ in the video. Martin Hockridge, 57, from Harpenden in Hertfordshire, was interviewed under caution by officers and later charged with a public order offence on Tuesday evening.
16th Jun 2021 - Metro.co.uk

Taj Mahal reopens for tourists as India eases COVID-19 curbs

The Taj Mahal reopened to the public on Wednesday as India, still reeling from a disastrous second wave of the pandemic, pushes to lift restrictions in a bid to revitalise its economy. The 17th-century white marble mausoleum, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the northern city of Agra, was closed in early April as India introduced strict lockdown measures in an effort to contain a surge in COVID-19 infections that is still killing thousands every day. Only 650 tourists will be allowed inside the premises of the Taj Mahal at any time, said Prabhu Singh, district magistrate of Agra. The monument normally attracts 7 million to 8 million visitors annually, or over 20,000 people per day.
16th Jun 2021 - Reuters India

Germany set to end work from home obligation, Merkel aide tells weekly

Germany will not extend beyond the end of June a rule which forces companies to allow working from home because of the coronavirus pandemic, Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff was quoted as saying on Wednesday. Germany has gradually lifted lockdown measures in the last six weeks as infections fell. After first introducing a working from home obligation in January, the measure was anchored in "emergency brake" legislation that allows the government to impose lockdown measures if infections rise beyond certain thresholds. As coronavirus infection numbers are sinking, the home office rule does not need to be extended on June 30, when the emergency law regulating the lockdown expires
16th Jun 2021 - Reuters

UNICEF Helps Refugees Get Their Fair Shot At COVID-19 Vaccines

In Jordan, refugees are eligible for vaccination along with Jordanians and those of other nationalities. To support Jordan's COVID-19 vaccination campaign, UNICEF is providing procurement and logistical support for vaccine delivery and has donated 1.3 million syringes. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, UNICEF has responded to refugees' growing needs by helping Jordan's Ministry of Health safeguard the roughly 120,000 who live in the nation's four camps
15th Jun 2021 - Forbes

Alarm rises in India over COVID-19 risks as crowds return to malls and rail stations

Having barely got over a devastating second wave of coronavirus infections, India was gripped with alarm on Tuesday over risks of a resurgence as crowds thronged railway stations and shopping malls a day after major cities relaxed curbs on movement. The capital New Delhi, in the north, and tech hub Bengaluru, in the south, were among the cities that have begun lifting strict lockdowns as the nationwide tally of new infections dropped to its lowest level in more than two months. After a strict five-week lockdown, authorities in Delhi have fully re-opened shops and malls, and allowed restaurants to have 50% seating. Suburban rail networks can run at 50% capacity, and offices have been partially reopened.
15th Jun 2021 - Reuters

Anti-lockdown protests boost Germany's far-right, says security agency

The number of politically motivated crimes in Germany rose last year, as protests opposing government measures to curb the coronavirus pandemic gave a boost to the far-right, Germany's domestic intelligence service said. More than half of the 44,692 politically motivated crimes registered in 2020 were committed by far-right radicals, the agency said in its annual report published on Tuesday. "Extremists and terrorists are not going into lockdown," Thomas Haldenwang, head of the BfV domestic security agency, said at a news conference to present the report.
15th Jun 2021 - Reuters

Comfort During Covid-19 Can Come Equally From Sanitation Measures And Community Feeling, According To New Data

Comfort in returning to stores, venues, and other public spaces amid Covid-19 comes from two key sources: sanitation and feelings of regularity and familiarity. This is according to a new quantitative study conducted by Greater Divide. For large commercial spaces, such as malls and chain stores, the main factors driving feelings of comfort was a large interior space and clear signs of proper sanitation procedures. Smaller spaces, on the other hand, were more likely to be perceived as safe if they felt local, familiar, and an ongoing part of the person’s community.
15th Jun 2021 - Forbes

Amazon has made its Covid-19 test available online, alongside a diagnostics portal for consumers

Amazon has made its FDA-cleared Covid-19 test available to consumers online, alongside a consumer diagnostics website where people can view their results. The consumer diagnostics website, AmazonDx.com, previously only had a login for Amazon employees. As of Tuesday, however, it appears any customer can sign into the site using the same login information they use to access the shopping portion of the tech giant’s website.
15th Jun 2021 - STAT News


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‘A rumour can explode in one day’: Meet the pioneer fighting vaccine mistrust

When anthropologist Heidi Larson secured the seed funding to establish the Vaccine Confidence Project a decade ago, it was a humble set-up housed in a corner of the venerable London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in Bloomsbury. Now, in a global pandemic, her expertise as one of the world’s foremost authorities on anti-vaccine sentiment and the rumours, misinformation and emotions that shape our perception of vaccines means that Professor Larson is in serious demand. In the past fortnight she has delivered the John Maddox Lecture at the Hay Festival, collected the prestigious Edinburgh Medal for her work to understand and tackle popular misconceptions of vaccines and joined UK health minister Matt Hancock and WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a Science Museum summit to explore ways to boost confidence in the Covid-19 vaccine.
14th Jun 2021 - Evening Standard

Get Covid vaccine and chance to win a car as Moscow's death toll grows

The mayor of Moscow is offering people who receive a coronavirus jab the chance to win cars as daily deaths in the Russian capital hit a four-month high and suspicion of vaccines remains widespread. Officials said yesterday that 69 people had died from Covid-19 in Moscow in the preceding 24 hours, the most since early February. The city of 12 million people recorded 7,704 new cases, the highest figure since late last year. Sergei Sobyanin, the mayor, ordered all non-essential workers to remain home next week, with full pay. He also ordered food courts to close. Restaurants, bars and clubs will be barred from serving customers between 11pm and 6am. He has ruled out a lockdown.
14th Jun 2021 - The Times

Anti-vax groups rack up victories against Covid-19 push

The partisan divide over the country's pandemic response has reinvigorated the anti-vaccine movement nationwide, with mostly Republican lawmakers in nearly 40 states backing bills to restrict Covid-19 vaccine mandates or vaccine passports. Anti-vaccine fervor that was previously concentrated in specific communities — like Orthodox Jews in New Jersey and New York, and Somali immigrants in Minnesota — spread more widely during the pandemic as the U.S. government urged people to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
14th Jun 2021 - POLITICO

How Kendall Toole Built A Mental Health Community During Covid-19 On Peloton

Kendall Toole, an instructor for Peloton, explained that, of course, the quality of the exercise is great and the people who make the content and work for the team at Peloton put out fantastic exercise classes and that is part of why it works. But, to her, “really kind of the secret sauce, especially through the pandemic, is that you could connect with people.” She notes that people feeling alone or isolated could bond together by doing the same exercise, and find like minded people for support, both in class and online, like someone else who is a first responder, or a mom, or even a healthcare worker.
11th Jun 2021 - Forbes


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Saudi to allow 60,000 vaccinated residents to perform hajj

Saudi Arabia announced Saturday it will allow 60,000 vaccinated residents of the kingdom to perform the annual hajj, state media reported. The hajj ministry said this year's pilgrimage would be "open for nationals and residents of the kingdom, limited to 60,000 pilgrims", according to the official Saudi Press Agency. The pilgrimage, scheduled to be held at the end of July, would be limited to those who have been vaccinated and are below 65 years of age with no chronic illnesses, it said.
12th Jun 2021 - FRANCE 24

Queen's Birthday Honours: Covid-19 community supporters honoured

People who helped their communities in Devon during the Covid-19 pandemic are among those recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours list. David Cox, 58, from Teignmouth, set up services which delivered 200 meals a day during the Covid-19 crisis. Claire Twitchin, 50, raised money for NHS scrubs and Elaine Cawthraw, 70, co-ordinated local support for villagers. Nicholas Hindmarsh, 60, from Harberton, led a charity helping the vulnerable during the pandemic.
12th Jun 2021 - BBC News

Black and Latino communities are left behind in Covid-19 vaccination efforts

When vaccines became increasingly available throughout America, US health officials moved quickly to try to convince large numbers of Americans to get vaccinated. But amid the mass vaccination rollout, Black and Latino communities, who are disproportionately affected by the pandemic, have been left behind in vaccination efforts, creating racial disparities about who was more likely to get a Covid-19 shot. Amid federal and local efforts to address vaccine disparity, vaccination rates for Black Americans and Latinos lag behind the general population, leaving many communities of color still unprotected against the Covid-19 pandemic.
12th Jun 2021 - The Guardian

Community spirit in the age of Covid

Anecdotal evidence tells us that communities have been coming together in the last 18 months, with neighbours helping each other out, or shopping for those who are shielding. My research with my colleague James Laurence, though, suggests that people’s perceptions of neighbourliness have declined during Covid. We used data from one of the world’s largest panel surveys to compare people’s lives before and during the early months of the pandemic, and found that the proportion of people who felt they could trust others in their neighbourhood fell from nearly 70% in 2014/15 to 56% in June 2020 – although by November 2020 it increased to 61%. The lockdown also seems to have made people feel more isolated, with a decline in whether people feel they are similar to others in their neighbourhood. In June 2020, only 45% of people felt similar to others living around them, 16% down on 2014/15. However, this also increased (to 50%) by November.
12th Jun 2021 - PoliticsHome

UK Covid memorial wall should be made permanent, MPs say

It started as an almost guerrilla act of memorialisation. In March, grieving relatives began inscribing red hearts beside a Thameside walkway – one for every person in the UK who died from coronavirus. Now stretching 500 metres, the Covid memorial wall should be made a permanent national landmark, say more than 200 MPs, peers and mayors. Boris Johnson is facing calls to “make this wall of hearts a, if not the, permanent memorial to the victims of the pandemic” from a cross-party alliance including the mayors of London and Greater Manchester, Sadiq Khan and Andy Burnham.
12th Jun 2021 - The Guardian


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Covid-19 ventilators donated by Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi left abandoned in warehouse

Life-support machines donated by the footballer Lionel Messi are sitting abandoned in a warehouse in Argentina despite a brutal second wave of infections leaving hospitals desperate for supplies. Through his foundation, the Barcelona star had sent 32 ventilators by private jet in August last year to his home town of Rosario. For almost a year, however, the machines have been left unopened in an airport repository, pending authorisation from the national health regulator. The case has baffled the Messi Foundation, which had successfully delivered medical equipment to Argentina only a few months before, in May last year.
10th Jun 2021 - The Times

David Hasselhoff joins German vaccine appeal

Former “Baywatch” TV star David Hasselhoff is appearing in a video released by the German health ministry calling on people to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. The video makes a play on Hasselhoff's 1989 "Looking for Freedom" album, which was popular in Germany after its title song become a soundtrack for the fall of the Berlin Wall. "Aermel hoch! ("Sleeves up!"), Hasselhoff says in German in the video released on Monday that had already been viewed on Twitter almost 200,000 times by Wednesday.
10th Jun 2021 - Reuters

Abu Dhabi restricts many public areas to those free of COVID

Abu Dhabi, the second-most populous emirate in the UAE, will restrict access to shopping malls, restaurants, cafes and other public places from June 15 to those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or recently tested negative. The new rules were announced late on Wednesday as the United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven emirates, has seen daily cases rise over the past three weeks. The UAE, which does not give a breakdown for each emirate, recorded 2,179 new infections on Wednesday, up from 1,229 on May 17. The restrictions will also apply to gyms, hotels and their facilities, public parks, beaches, swimming pools, entertainment centres, cinemas, and museums, Abu Dhabi's media office said
10th Jun 2021 - Reuters

U.S. National Cathedral bells toll 600 times to mark COVID-19 victims

On a rainy Thursday evening in Washington D.C., the bells at the National Cathedral tolled 600 times, once for every 1,000 Americans who have died in the coronavirus pandemic. Fifteen months into the pandemic, the official U.S. death toll is approaching 600,000, even as a national vaccination program has successfully reduced the rate of daily infections and deaths. As of June 10, the overall COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. is 596,059, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The World Health Organization (WHO) puts the international figure at 3,758,560.
10th Jun 2021 - Reuters

Germany starts rolling out a digital EU vaccination pass

Germany on Thursday started rolling out a digital vaccination pass that can be used across Europe as the continent gets ready for the key summer travel season. The country’s health minister said starting this week vaccination centers, doctors practices and pharmacies will gradually start giving out digital passes to fully vaccinated people. The CovPass will let users download proof of their coronavirus vaccination status onto a smartphone app, allowing them easy access to restaurants, museums or other venues that require proof of immunization. The vaccination passport should be available to everyone in Germany who is fully vaccinated by the end of this month, Health Minister Jens Spahn said.
10th Jun 2021 - The Associated Press

High COVID vaccine uptake may protect the unvaccinated

Higher levels of COVID-19 vaccination in a population are tied to lower rates of infection in unvaccinated youth younger than 16 years, who were ineligible for the vaccine at the time of the trial, according to an observational, real-world, Israeli study today in Nature Medicine. Researchers from Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa led the study, which involved mining vaccination records and COVID-19 test results gathered during a rapid vaccine rollout in 177 communities. They found that vaccination rates in each community were linked to a large subsequent decline in COVID-19 infections in the unvaccinated youth. For every 20 percentage points of vaccinated people in a population, on average, COVID-19 test positivity declined about twofold.
10th Jun 2021 - CIDRAP

How vaccine hesitancy is being tackled in Bristol’s diverse communities

The five areas in Bristol with the highest populations of ethnic minorities are also the five areas with the lowest Covid vaccine uptake, analysis by the Cable has found. But Bristol has been proactive in tackling the disparity, with a targeted campaign to answer people’s questions and fears around the vaccine and to take vaccine clinics into communities. “The only way we have is for trusted people to have the vaccine and to talk about their experience,” said Mohammed Elsharif, Community Development Manager for Bristol City Council’s vaccine campaign. The model is simple but labour-intensive: bringing the vaccine to communities by creating vaccine clinics in community and religious centres, getting trusted community leaders and faith leaders to publicly take the vaccine, having ‘community champions’ to encourage people within their communities to take the vaccine – and sometimes even making appointments with them. They also put on webinars where people have the chance to air their concerns about the vaccine and get answers to their questions
9th Jun 2021 - The Bristol Cable

As Britons return to lives post-Covid, a care provider is urging people to continue supporting elderly neighbours

Community networks set up during the first lockdown meant some people had more visitors and help with medication and food than before the pandemic. As restrictions ease, Radfield Home Care is worried that this support will now drop off and elderly and disabled people will return to lives of loneliness. Research carried out by the care provider found that 73 per cent of people aged 60 and over were nervous about the UK’s planned easing of restrictions on 21 June. Fifty-three per cent said they had concerns about infection rates rising when lockdown lifts, while just over 10 per cent were worried about interacting with others and eight per cent feared visiting supermarkets, shops and restaurants.
9th Jun 2021 - Homecare


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Foundation to spend $1.3B to vaccinate Africans for COVID

One of the world’s largest foundations will spend $1.3 billion over the next three years to acquire and deliver COVID-19 vaccines for more than 50 million people in Africa. It’s a first-of-its-kind effort for a Western nonprofit to bolster Africa’s lagging vaccination campaign amid widespread fears of a third wave of infections on the continent. The Tuesday announcement from the Toronto-based Mastercard Foundation, which has more than $39 billion in assets, comes days after the World Health Organization said Africa was encountering an alarming mix of a spike in virus cases and “a near halt” of vaccine shipments. The delays have been tied to India’s halt on vaccine exports, among other things. The foundation will purchase single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines at the discounted rate negotiated by the African Union during its 220 million dose deal with the vaccine manufacturer. Those vaccines will begin to be delivered to the AU’s 55 member states from July to September, with an option to purchase an additional 180 million doses through next year.
9th Jun 2021 - The Associated Press

Hospices Extending Community Partnerships Developed During COVID

The coronavirus pandemic took a heavy toll on communities across the country as many fell ill and lost loved ones to the deadly disease. Hospices reached deeper into their communities with collaborations to procure and provide resources amid heavy COVID-19 headwinds. The pandemic’s persistence remains at the forefront of many hospice providers’ minds, with COVID-19 continuing to pummel their operations and finances. Some built up partnerships with various local personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers or became avenues of community support themselves during the public health emergency. These community collaborations represent an opportunity for hospices to develop valuable relationships that can extend beyond the pandemic.
9th Jun 2021 - Hospice News

Global COVID-19 patterns reflect dual-world track

In its weekly snapshot of the pandemic yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said overall cases declined 15% last week, led mainly by steep drops in its Europe region and Southeast Asia region, which includes India. Deaths dropped by 8%. The five highest-burden countries are India, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and the United States. Some of the countries reporting the steepest rises over the past week include Zambia (191%), Uganda (137%), South Africa (22%), the Philippines (19%), and Colombia (17%). More than 80 countries have now reported the more transmissible Delta (B1617.2) variant,
9th Jun 2021 - CIDRAP

Covid-19: Four small words make a difference in the pandemic

During the pandemic, four small words have been making a difference for some people. "How are you feeling?" is the question community pharmacists have been posing to their customers, regular and new, in a bid to create conversation around mental health. For people in Belcoo, in County Fermanagh at the edge of Northern Ireland, a trip to the doctor involves a 16-mile round trip, because there's no local surgery. That means community pharmacist Joe McAleer has found himself on the frontline. "We see the patients on a daily or weekly basis, and we know that just that simple question - how are you feeling? - opens the door to a lot of answers," he said.
9th Jun 2021 - BBC News


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Mastercard Foundation donates $1.3 billion to boost Africa’s coronavirus response

The Mastercard Foundation announced a $1.3 billion donation on Tuesday to boost Africa’s response to the coronavirus, which public health experts hailed as a significant step to get vaccines to some of the world’s poorest people. “Ensuring equitable access and delivery of vaccines across Africa is urgent,” Reeta Roy, the foundation’s chief executive, said in a statement. “This initiative is about valuing all lives and accelerating the economic recovery of the continent.” The funding, which will be distributed over three years in partnership with the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is intended to help acquire vaccines for more than 50 million of the continent’s 1.3 billion people, improve its vaccine manufacturing and delivery system, and strengthen public health institutions.
8th Jun 2021 - The Washington Post

COVID-19: Greater Manchester and Lancashire residents told to minimise travel as variant cases rise

Greater Manchester and Lancashire are to receive a "strengthened package of support" to tackle a rise in the Delta coronavirus variant, Matt Hancock has announced - with residents told to minimise travel. Addressing the Commons, the health secretary said: "I can tell the House that today, working with local authorities, we are providing a strengthened package of support based on what is working in Bolton to help Greater Manchester and Lancashire tackle the rise in the Delta variant that we are seeing there."
8th Jun 2021 - Sky News

Charity awarded funding to help over 50s living in Northumberland to prepare for a Covid reset

Age UK, based in Ashington, Northumberland has received funding from The National Lottery Community Fund to run a new project that will help older people in the county get back to a 'new normal' way of life. The 12-month project, 'A time to live – Covid reset and beyond,' will focus on supporting older individuals as the region begins to return to normal times following the coronavirus pandemic. The project will provide a range of activities, exercise classes, befriending services, practical and bereavement support.
8th Jun 2021 - inyourarea.co.uk

Ghosts in the machine: Malicious bots spread COVID untruths

Malicious bots, or automated software that simulates human activity on social media platforms, are the primary drivers of COVID-19 misinformation, spreading myths and seeding public health distrust exponentially faster than human users could, suggests a study published yesterday in JAMA Internal Medicine. Led by University of California at San Diego (UCSD) researchers, a team analyzed a sample of roughly 300,000 posts on heavily bot-influenced public Facebook groups to measure how quickly the posts' links were shared. When multiple accounts share links within seconds of each other, it is a sign of bot accounts controlled by a computer program that coordinates their operations. The researchers found that the most heavily bot-influenced Facebook groups shared identical links within, on average, 4.28 seconds, versus 4.35 hours for the least-influenced groups. Heavily influenced groups were considered those that hosted identical links at least five times, with at least half of them posted within 10 seconds.
8th Jun 2021 - CIDRAP

Red Cross to provide emergency support to thousands in Myanmar

The Myanmar Red Cross has said it was stepping up emergency support to hundreds of thousands of people in Myanmar affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the upheaval resulting from the military coup on February 1. The organisation, part of the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), estimates about 236,000 people across Myanmar are facing worsening poverty and in urgent need of food relief and cash assistance, it said on Tuesday.
8th Jun 2021 - AlJazeera


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Hundreds of former leaders urge G7 to vaccinate poor against Covid-19

One hundred former presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers have urged the Group of Seven (G7) rich nations to pay for global coronavirus vaccinations to help stop the virus mutating and returning as a worldwide threat. The leaders made their appeal ahead of a G7 summit in England which begins on Friday, when US President Joe Biden will meet the leaders of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan. It's the first time the G7 leaders have met since the start of the pandemic. The three-day summit will cover a range of issues, with a particular focus on how the group can lead the global recovery from coronavirus. In their letter to the G7, the former world leaders said global cooperation had failed in 2020, but that 2021 could usher in a new era.
7th Jun 2021 - CNN

COVID-19 misinformation was mainly spread online by bots in Facebook groups, study finds

Bot accounts used Facebook groups to quickly and massively distribute misinformation, a new study claims. Researchers looked at posts about a Danish study that found inconclusive data as to whether or not wearing a mask reduced transmission of COVID-19. Bot-created posts misinterpreted the findings and claimed masks were harmful to their wearer - a conclusion that never appears in the research. Not all public health experts agree that Facebook and other social media platforms should 'censor' misinformation
7th Jun 2021 - Daily Mail

Honda India Foundation opens COVID-19 isolation centres in Haryana & Rajasthan

Facilitating healthcare infrastructure and support for COVID-19 patients, Honda India Foundation has set up COVID care isolation centres in the states of Haryana and Rajasthan. With a focus on medical support and care for patients, especially in rural areas, the foundation has already started operations at these centres with a capacity of 100 beds at Naurangpur (Haryana) and 50 beds at Tapukara (Rajasthan) respectively. The two facilities, set-up in association with Haryana and Rajasthan state governments, have round the clock supervision by trained doctors and nurses along with other medical arrangements.
7th Jun 2021 - Manufacturing Today

78 percent of unvaccinated Americans unlikely to change their minds: Gallup

More than 3 in 4 Americans who have yet to receive a coronavirus vaccine say it is unlikely they ever will, according to a new poll. Among U.S. adults who do not plan to be vaccinated, 78 percent said in a Gallup poll released Monday they are unlikely to reconsider their plans. Roughly half — 51 percent — indicated they are "not likely at all" to change their mind and get vaccinated. Overall, just 1 in 5 vaccine-reluctant adults said they are open to reconsidering, with 2 percent saying they are "very likely" and 19 percent saying they are "somewhat likely" to ever get inoculated.
7th Jun 2021 - The Hill

With Covid-19, as with HIV, science and partnerships with communities lead the way

Like so many of her generation, Josephine Nabukenya wasn’t aware of her HIV status during her early childhood in Uganda. But when she was 8 years old, she came across a letter written by her mother that revealed the devastating news: Josephine and her mother and father were all living with HIV. Josephine was HIV-positive at birth. Now a 27-year-old youth worker at the Makerere University Johns Hopkins University Research Collaboration in Kampala, Uganda, Josephine is one of the hundreds of thousands of children who belong to a generation born HIV-positive but who are alive today due to the power of antiretroviral medication — and political activism.
7th Jun 2021 - STAT News


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Praise for Oldham volunteers during Covid pandemic

A charity which has served the community in Oldham during the coronavirus pandemic has spoken about the value of its "invaluable" volunteers in leading the efforts. Action Together acted as a network before the health crisis, signposting people in the borough to causes that could help them. But following the demand for support during the pandemic, Action Together started taking on its own emergency response volunteers. And they have proved to be imperative in Oldham's fight against the virus. During June, the charity is holding a month of celebration in honour to volunteers who have supported the areas.
6th Jun 2021 - The Oldham Times

If we can vaccinate the world, we can beat the climate crisis

It would only cost $50bn to ensure 40% of the world’s population is vaccinated by the end of the year, and 60% by the first half of 2022. This is a recent estimate from the IMF, the latest institution to join a chorus of voices calling for a global vaccination programme to bring Covid-19 under control. The IMF has highlighted the economic benefits of global vaccines, which would be huge. But there is another powerful reason for a worldwide campaign. Vaccinating the world will be crucial if countries are going to act together to confront the climate crisis, which will require many of the same things as delivering vaccines: resources, innovation, ingenuity and a true partnership between rich and developing countries. The Cop26 climate conference in November will be an opportune moment for building this partnership. But to do so, rich countries need to deliver on their early promises to deliver global vaccines.
5th Jun 2021 - The Guardian

Coordination was the right path for the EU's vaccine strategy, but lessons need to be learned

The EU’s vaccination campaign has gathered pace and is expected to further accelerate in the coming weeks following a surge in available vaccines. This gain in momentum is sorely needed: there is much public frustration over the EU being outpaced by countries like Israel, the United States and—probably most painfully—its former member, the United Kingdom. Inevitably, the question arose whether the EU was acting smartly by attaining and distributing vaccines as a joint effort rather than having member states negotiate contracts individually.
5th Jun 2021 - The BMJ


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Rabbit holes of information on social media ‘make users less willing to get jab’

People who use social media to obtain information are less willing to receive a coronavirus vaccine due to the “rabbit holes” of hesitancy they find themselves stuck in, according to a study. Researchers from the universities of Oxford and Southampton said some users see content suggestions “aligned with their fears”, creating an “echo chamber” effect, naming video-sharing website YouTube as a particular concern. Recommendations appear based on a person’s viewing history.
3rd Jun 2021 - Evening Standard

Brazilians bang pots in protest as 2,500 more die of COVID-19

Pot-banging protests have erupted across several cities in Brazil as President Jair Bolsonaro addressed the nation, just days after protesters took to the streets over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has so far killed almost half a million people in the country. The last few days have been rocky for the right-wing leader, whose popularity had already been flagging amid persistently high daily COVID-19 deaths and cases.
3rd Jun 2021 - Al Jazeera English

Indian doctors protest herbal treatments being touted for COVID-19

As India struggles with one of the world’s worst COVID-19 outbreaks, thousands of doctors across the nation fighting to save patients amid shortages of oxygen, medicine, and vaccines wore black armbands yesterday to call for the arrest of India's most popular yoga televangelist. Baba Ramdev, founder of a traditional medicine empire, is peddling unproven herbal pills and yoga cures for COVID-19, while calling modern drugs “stupid" and blaming the country’s hundreds of thousands of coronavirus deaths on modern medicine. But far from being fringe, Ramdev has close ties to India’s Hindu nationalist government and has enjoyed the support of the health minister. Since the pandemic began last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has been aggressively promoting Ayurveda—a traditional system of medicine with deep links to Hinduism that originated 5,000 years ago and is still widely practiced by hundreds of millions of Indians. Ayurveda uses plant-derived products, yoga, diet, and behaviour changes to treat the mind and body, and is included in India’s official COVID-19 management protocol as a prevention and cure for the pandemic.
3rd Jun 2021 - National Geographic UK

UK to remove Portugal from safe travel list in blow for airlines - BBC

Britain removed Portugal from its quarantine-free travel list on Thursday, essentially shutting down the UK's international leisure market just weeks after it reopened and sparking outrage from embattled airlines. The industry questioned why British people could not travel when the country had some of the highest vaccine rates in the world. Portugal said the decision lacked logic. Airports demanded a cash lifeline. Transport minister Grant Shapps said however that coronavirus variants had been detected in Portugal, forcing the UK to shut off the one big European holiday destination it had sanctioned and prioritise its national reopening instead.
3rd Jun 2021 - Reuters

COVID Discord group helps Indians find oxygen, answers, and community

Arnab Biswas first noticed the cries for help on Instagram. In mid-April, the 25-year-old started re-sharing stories of people looking for life-saving resources to fight COVID, like ventilators and oxygen cylinders, in his home country of India. However, being an Instagram intermediary soon became unmanageable as requests flooded in. So he turned to Discord, a group chat service, to connect people who had essentials with those with COVID or trying to save people suffering from the disease. He found a better digital solution to an ever-growing problem as COVID cases rose precipitously during India's deadly second COVID wave, resources dwindled, and misinformation flourished. Now, less than two months later, the chat group called "COVID Fighters (India)" has attracted more than 12,000 members throughout the country.
3rd Jun 2021 - Mashable

Indonesia cancels Hajj again amid concerns over COVID

Indonesia has cancelled the Hajj pilgrimage for people in the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation for a second year in a row, due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. For many Indonesians, the pilgrimage is a once-in-a-lifetime event, with an average wait time of 20 years due to a quota system. “Due to the pandemic and for the safety of the pilgrims, the government has decided that this year it won’t allow Indonesian pilgrims to go again,” the minister of religious affairs, Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, said in a statement on Thursday. Yaqut said Saudi Arabia had not opened access to the Hajj.
3rd Jun 2021 - Aljazeera.com

The World Should Learn From India’s Covid-19 Cataclysm

In cities at least, India’s nightmarish second wave of Covid-19 finally seems to be ebbing. Delhi has brought its test positivity rate below 2% for the first time in two months. The pandemic’s scars won’t be easily erased, however — and they should be a warning to other developing nations. Those countries must learn from India’s experience if they don’t want to repeat it. The first and most obvious lesson is to avoid overconfidence. A relatively small change in how transmissible the novel coronavirus is can have large, non-linear effects on how fast it spreads. That means strategies that kept the pandemic at bay in 2020 won’t necessarily work in 2021. As new variants emerge, health authorities might need to lock down more firmly and in a more targeted fashion to remain safe.
31st May 2021 - Bloomberg


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 3rd Jun 2021

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New Mexico Announces $5 Million Award for Vaccination

When the book is written about how states across the country tried to persuade people to get coronavirus vaccines, it will not accuse New Mexico of being subtle. On Tuesday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced a lottery program through which the state will award cash prizes totaling $10 million, including a $5 million grand prize — among the largest single cash awards being offered by any state with a similar program. New Mexico’s program is called Vax to the Max. And its website does not downplay the program’s key enticement: “Get Vaccinated for Your Chance to Win the Grand Prize of $5,000,000!!!” a headline blares. Further down on the website is a large pile of $100 bills. As Governor Grisham wrote on Twitter: “Register to win! And let’s keep N.M. safe and healthy!”
2nd Jun 2021 - The New York Times

Free beer, other new incentives for Biden’s ‘vaccine sprint’

Dangling everything from sports tickets to a free beer, President Joe Biden is looking for that extra something — anything — that will get people to roll up their sleeves for COVID-19 shots when the promise of a life-saving vaccine by itself hasn’t been enough. Biden on Wednesday announced a “month of action” to urge more Americans to get vaccinated before the July 4 holiday, including an early summer sprint of incentives and a slew of new steps to ease barriers and make getting shots more appealing to those who haven’t received them. He is closing in on his goal of getting 70% of adults at least partially vaccinated by Independence Day — essential to his aim of returning the nation to something approaching a pre-pandemic sense of normalcy this summer.
2nd Jun 2021 - Associated Press

Sudan initiative harnesses youth, medical savvy to fight Covid at community level

Two US-based Sudanese doctors have created a grassroots programme using a video mentoring system to deploy volunteer medical students across Sudan to help Covid-19 sufferers in their homes. Sudan is still recovering after a 30-year dictatorship and does not have the infrastructure to tackle the Covid crisis at the local level, says Dr Nada Fadul, one of the co-founders of Sudan’s Community Medical Response Team (CMRT). “We leveraged youth organisations that led to Sudan succeeding in overthrowing this dictator, finding that energy, directing it into a new channel to help get the country over this crisis,” says Fadul, an infectious disease physician at the University of Nebraska in the US. Medical students, many of whom were sitting at home because of Covid-19 school closures, already had the trust of community members in their neighbourhood, along with the energy, knowledge and training.
2nd Jun 2021 - RFI

Covid Community champs to deliver key health messages

Training is under way for Covid Community Champions to ensure key health messages are provided about the pandemic. The champions have also prepared videos to highlight the importance of surge testing and vaccine availability. Covid Community Champions are people from all areas of Blackburn with Darwen, from different cultural backgrounds and across age groups who all want to make a difference in their neighbourhoods and help local communities recover from the damaging impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
2nd Jun 2021 - Lancashire Telegraph

Covid: India's Sikh community steps up amid pandemic

Harteerath Singh, who lives in the northern Indian city of Gurgaon, has contracted the coronavirus twice. In both instances, he took some time to recover, only to return and lead his nonprofit organization's work on the ground. The Hemkunt Foundation was set up by Harteerath's father in 2010, but this year, the NGO was catapulted into the limelight after it provided thousands of oxygen cylinders — free of cost — to COVID patients who were facing breathing difficulties. This organization is not alone in providing humanitarian aid amid India's COVID crisis. The UK-based international nonprofit Khalsa Aid and the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) are also carrying out on-the-ground relief work to bridge gaps in medical supplies. There is one common thread that ties these organizations — their faith.
2nd Jun 2021 - Deutsche Welle

COVID: Thousands of Indian children orphaned by pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic, which has devastated families across India, has left thousands of children orphaned or without one parent. Since the start of the pandemic, more than 1,700 children have lost both parents, while 140 have been abandoned and more than 7,400 have lost one of their parents to the virus, according to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). The NCPCR submitted the report to the Supreme Court on Monday, detailing the problems of children orphaned during the pandemic and the need to provide them with food, shelter and clothing. The northern state of Uttar Pradesh reported 2,110 children who were orphaned, lost one parent or were abandoned, followed by Bihar at 1,327 and Kerala at 952, according to government data. Child rights activists believe that this number is likely a significant underestimate. In response, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government last week announced measures to help orphaned children, with around 1 million rupees (€11,220, $13,700) set aside to be given to each child as a stipend, from the ages of 18 to 23. The funds would be offered from the PM-CARES scheme.
2nd Jun 2021 - Deutsche Welle


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 2nd Jun 2021

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Turkey eases COVID-19 measures, partly re-opens restaurants

Turkey further eased measures meant to curb coronavirus infections on Monday including partially lifting a weekend lockdown and opening restaurants to a limited number of guests. President Tayyip Erdogan said the lighter measures, in response to falling cases, would go into effect Tuesday. Under the new rules, nationwide daily curfews are delayed by an hour to 10 p.m. Erdogan lifted virtually all social restrictions in March but backtracked in April when daily cases soared above 60,000, making Turkey briefly second globally. A partial lockdown was imposed from the end of April to May 17.
1st Jun 2021 - Reuters

Roma mistrust in governments is an obstacle to COVID-19 recovery

As countries across Europe race each other to vaccinate their populations against COVID-19 in the hopes of controlling the spread of the deadly virus and restoring some sense of normality, there is a danger that our already vulnerable and marginalised Roma communities will fall through the cracks. There are more than 12 million Roma in Europe, making up the continent’s largest minority. In some European countries, such as Slovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria, Roma comprise almost 10 percent of the population. Therefore, if Europe is to defeat COVID-19, it is essential for Roma communities to take up the vaccine.
1st Jun 2021 - AlJazeera

COVID-19: Major shopping centre forced to close as anti-lockdown protest causes 'significant disruption'

Anti-lockdown protesters caused one of the UK's biggest shopping centres to close early on Saturday after forcing their way inside. Demonstrators clashed with police as they pushed to get into Westfield shopping centre in Shepherd's Bush, west London. Officers started forming a protective line around the centre at about 4.30pm as the protest became heated and police were seen using batons to keep demonstrators back. Some still managed to force their way into the building and footage shows crowds standing on tables and chanting "What do you want? Freedom! When do you want it? Now!"
30th May 2021 - Sky News


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 1st Jun 2021

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Antivaccine activists use a government database on side effects to scare the public

On 5 May, Fox News host Tucker Carlson delivered a 10-minute monologue casting doubt on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines on his show, Tucker Carlson Tonight. He announced that almost 4000 people had died after getting COVID-19 vaccines, and added that those data “comes from VAERS,”—the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, a U.S. government program that collects reports of side effects possibly caused by vaccines. It was a misleading statement. The reporting of a death to VAERS indicates nothing about what caused it, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) subsequent investigations have found no indication that deaths were caused by COVID-19 vaccines, save in a small subset with an extremely rare clotting disorder linked to one vaccine. But the TV segment pulled VAERS, a 31-year-old early warning system widely relied on by scientists, even deeper into the culture wars over vaccination. After the broadcast, a new phalanx of antivaccine activists began plumbing VAERS for data to scare the public about vaccination, says Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters for America, a left-leaning nonprofit that is monitoring anti–COVID-19 vaccine activity on social media. “We have been tracking these attacks since February and this one resonated in a different way after Tucker hit it,” Carusone says.
29th May 2021 - Science Magazine

Florida rock concert tickets are $18 if you're vaccinated – $1,000 if you're not

Fans looking to see punk bands Teenage Bottlerocket, MakeWar and Rutterkin in St. Petersburg, Fla., on June 26 will have to spend just $18 to get in if they’re vaccinated — while unvaccinated attendees will be charged $999.99 per ticket. “To be eligible for the DISCOUNT, you will need to bring a government issued photo ID and your PHYSICAL COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card,” the website where tickets can be purchased states. “We’re just trying to do a show safely. And they should go out and get vaccinated to protect themselves and their families and their community,” promoter Paul Williams told WFTS.
29th May 2021 - The Hill

Hong Kong tycoons offer $1 million flat to boost Covid jabs

Hong Kongers reluctant to get the coronavirus jab have been given a million-dollar reason to roll up their sleeves after property tycoons donated a brand new flat to a vaccine lottery. Worth HK$10.8 million (US$1.4 million), the one-bedroom apartment will be the lucky draw's grand prize, the property developers announced Friday. They will also offer 20 other prizes worth HK$100,000 each. Hong Kong is one of the few places in the world to have secured more than enough doses to inoculate all 7.5 million people. But rampant distrust of the government combined with a lack of urgency in a comparatively virus-free city -- has led to hesitancy and a dismally lagging inoculation drive.
29th May 2021 - Yahoo News

Brazilians stage nationwide protests against President Bolsonaro's COVID response

Brazilians staged protests against President Jair Bolsonaro's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in at least 16 cities across the country on Saturday, carrying signs such as "Out with Bolsonaro" and "Impeachment now." Bolsonaro's popularity has plummeted during the coronavirus crisis, which has killed more than 460,000 Brazilians as the far-right leader played down its severity, dismissed mask wearing and cast doubt on the importance of vaccines.
29th May 2021 - Reuters

The COVID evictions ban is ending – and renters face an uncertain future

In less than a week, the COVID evictions ban in England will end, opening the doors to bailiff enforcement and setting the stage for a likely surge in court action by landlords seeking to oust their tenants. Many of these evictions will be under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 – so-called ‘no fault’ evictions – despite the fact the government first committed to abolishing Section 21 evictions more than two years ago. Then-housing secretary James Brokenshire announced the plans would stop private landlords from simply evicting tenants at the end of a fixed-term tenancy contract ‘without good reason’, effectively creating open-ended tenancies, in the words of the government.
28th May 2021 - Open Democracy

No COVID-19 cases found after well-controlled indoor concert

No attendees at an indoor concert that employed rapid COVID-19 lateral-flow screening, N95 respirators, and a well-ventilated venue tested positive for COVID-19 in the next 8 days, showing no increased virus transmission risk associated with the event, according to preliminary findings from a randomized, controlled trial published yesterday in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
28th May 2021 - CIDRAP


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 28th May 2021

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How Native Americans launched successful coronavirus vaccination drives: ‘A story of resilience’

Native American tribes, among the hardest-hit by covid-19, are celebrating a pandemic success story. Navajo Nation, the largest of the 574 Indian tribes in the United States, is now about 70 percent fully vaccinated, according to Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez. Other tribes are reporting similar numbers. By late March, Blackfeet Nation in Montana reported that 95 percent of its population had received its first vaccine dose. The Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation’s vaccine drive went so well that leaders offered surplus doses to a neighboring school district. The Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi, with 70 percent of its eligible population fully vaccinated, is nearing herd immunity. Tribal leaders attribute this success to several factors, including tribal sovereignty, which gave tribes the flexibility to create their own methods of distributing the vaccine, and cultural values that prioritize elders and community.
27th May 2021 - The Washington Post

Mobile clinics help get vaccine to homeless community

The Vermont Health Department is working with community groups around the state to help Vermonters experiencing homelessness get vaccinated against COVID-19. A team from Community Health Centers of Burlington is helping to distribute the vaccine in Chittenden County, Vermont Public Radio reported. On a recent day, the team arrived at the Committee On Temporary Shelter or COTS daystation around noon in an outreach van to give nine people their second Pfizer doses. They had a supply of Johnson & Johnson vaccines for walk-ins. They also go to motels housing people who are homeless during the pandemic.
27th May 2021 - Associated Press

Covid-19 vaccine booking opens for everyone over 18 in NI

Covid-19 vaccinations have been made available to everyone over the age of 18 in Northern Ireland. Appointments are available to book online on the Health and Social Care website and by telephone. More than one million people in Northern Ireland have received a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. The Department of Health said vaccine supplies had become limited and 20,000 slots would be available each week. The limit is to help manage the availability of the Pfizer vaccine after regulators said under 40s should be given an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine, the department said.
27th May 2021 - BBC News

Age UK's Befriending Service's £31k National Lottery win will help combat loneliness and isolation among Bromsgrove's older people

A scheme aimed at eradicating loneliness, isolation and loss of confidence among older people caused by the pandemic has been given a £31,000 National Lottery funding boost. The cash was awarded to Age UK Bromsgrove, Redditch and Wyre Forest to support its Befriending service. The charity supports people aged 50 and over in North Worcestershire and will use the money to support members of the communities, helping them overcome some of the longer-term effects of Covid-19. Befriending is one of the charity’s core charitable services, providing local people with friendship and support through regular calls or visits from a volunteer.
27th May 2021 - Bromsgrove Standard

Facebook won’t remove posts claiming Covid-19 is man-made

Facebook says it will no longer remove claims that COVID-19 is human-made or manufactured “in light of ongoing investigations into the origin of COVID-19 and in consultation with public health experts.” There is rising pressure worldwide to investigate the origins of the pandemic, including the possibility that it came from a lab. Since the pandemic began, Facebook has been changing what it allows on the topic and what it bans. In February, it announced a host of new claims it would be prohibiting -- including that COVID-19 was created in a Chinese lab. Other claims it added at the time included the false notion that vaccines are not effective or that they are toxic.
27th May 2021 - The Associated Press

Ohio announces 1st $1 million Vax-a-Million lottery winner

A southwestern Ohio woman won the state’s first $1 million Vax-a-Million vaccination incentive prize, while a Dayton-area teen was awarded the first full-ride college scholarship offered by the program, the state announced Wednesday night. The winners were selected in a random drawing Monday and had their information confirmed before the formal announcement at the end of the Ohio Lottery’s Cash Explosion TV show. The lottery announced that Abbigail Bugenske of Silverton near Cincinnati was the $1 million winner, while Joseph Costello of Englewood near Dayton was the college scholarship winner.
27th May 2021 - Associated Press

The CDC’s latest blunder is really about trust, not masks

The announcement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that fully vaccinated people do not have to wear face coverings indoors, unless specified by their states or local jurisdictions, triggered a backlash from public health experts. They called the new guidelines premature — rightly so — and said that the coordination and rollout should have been better planned with the states and the rest of the Biden administration. While the criticism is accurate, the guidelines reveal another deep problem that the CDC can’t fix on its own: Americans don’t trust each other, and around half don’t fully trust the CDC.
27th May 2021 - STAT News

India’s Covid vaccine rollout favours the wealthy and tech-savvy

When all Indian adults became eligible for Covid-19 vaccinations on May 1, Postcard Hotels & Resorts, a boutique hotel chain, swung into action to get its staff inoculated. Managers scoured the country’s online jab-booking platform, Co-win, to secure appointments. Hotel cars ferried workers to clinics as far as two hours away. The company paid for the inoculations, some of which cost as much as Rs1,300 (£13) per dose. Within a week, 200 employees had received a first dose. “We ran it like an army operation,” said Kapil Chopra, the company’s founder and chief executive. “I did it for the safety of my team, which is in the line of fire.”
26th May 2021 - Financial Times


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Coronavirus vaccine conspiracy leaflets packed with 'disturbing' claims are circulating in Bristol

Pamphlets packed with "disturbing" claims about the coronavirus vaccine are being spread in parts of Bristol. One recipient posted a picture of the leaflet on social media platform Reddit yesterday (Tuesday, May 25), and said they were being handed out along Stapleton Road in Easton. Others reported receiving copies posted through their letterboxes, while another said they had been distributed in their workplace at a Fishponds pub. Headlined 'the mark of the beast 666', the pages and pages of text urge people not to get jabbed, voicing outlandish conspiracy theories about nanotechnology, 5G, a "media hoax" and "gene editing technology". It makes references to the Bible and false claims that the vaccine roll-out is a ploy by "Freemasons who worship Satan" to seize control of people, warning that anyone who takes it will "go to hell". Leaflets making similar claims have been reported elsewhere in the UK during the pandemic, though it is not clear which person or group is behind those circulating in Bristol.
26th May 2021 - Bristol Live

Covid-19 time limit on indoor dining makes no sense, say publicans

Imposing a 105-minute limit on customers dining indoors makes “no sense” and will encourage pub crawls, bar and restaurant owners have said. It is understood that guidelines for indoor dining, due to be published today, will say that there will be no time limit on outdoor dining, but customers will only be able to dine indoors for an hour and 45 minutes. One-metre distancing will be put in place between tables, with a limit of six people per booking, for both indoors and outdoors.
26th May 2021 - The Times

COVID-19: Risk of death in Bangladeshi and Pakistani communities higher in second wave, new data says

Mortality rates for people of Bangladeshi and Pakistani backgrounds in England increased during the second COVID-19 wave, while other ethnic groups saw a drop in relative risk compared to white Britons, new figures suggest. Most people from ethnically diverse backgrounds remained at higher risk of death involving COVID-19 compared to white Britons, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS). However, the mortality rate changed between the first and second wave.
26th May 2021 - Sky News

Covid-19: Public debate is needed to decide how UK will live with SARS-CoV-2, says ethics collaborative

As the UK eases its covid-19 restrictions, and the initial two-dose vaccination rollout nears its end, more radical forms of public engagement will be essential when resolving the difficult questions about how the country will live with SARS-CoV-2, the UK Pandemic Ethics Accelerator collaborative has said. As part of the collaborative, researchers from the universities of Oxford, Bristol, Edinburgh, and University College London considered some of the challenging ethical questions that the pandemic has raised. The accelerator has been funded by £1.4m from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, as part of the rapid response to covid of UK Research and Innovation, the non-departmental government body that directs research and innovation funding. The pandemic has resulted in 130 000 covid-19 deaths in the UK and three million worldwide. Many people have also been affected by long covid.
26th May 2021 - The BMJ

South Tyneside to use £500,000 recruiting 'Community Champions' to protect against Covid

A fresh call has been made for ‘Covid Community Champions’ to help keep at-risk groups safe from coronavirus in South Tyneside. More than £500,000 has already been secured by South Tyneside Council to fund the scheme which aims to tackle misinformation around the virus. The community champions provide up-to-date, accurate health information to help people correctly follow Government guidance as the world begins to open up. Working in partnership with the third sector and local voluntary sector umbrella organisation, Inspire South Tyneside, some funds have already been allocated to charities and groups to carry out communications with at-risk groups.
26th May 2021 - ChronicleLive

'Tackling loneliness' - Wildlife Trust's £880k plan for coronavirus recovery

A project designed to fight the isolation and loneliness caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has been announced today, after Morecambe Bay was awarded £880,000 in funding raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Around 400 people experiencing poor mental health will be prescribed nature by GPs and other health care professionals. People referred to the project will spend time surrounded by the natural beauty of Morecambe Bay, with growing evidence showing that more time in nature helps improve mental health.
26th May 2021 - nwemail.co.uk

Experts question Olympic COVID readiness, ask WHO to weigh in

A group of infectious disease experts yesterday raised concerns about several gaps in the International Olympic Committee's (IOC's) COVID-19 protocols, and they called on the World Health Organization (WHO) to convene an emergency committee to weigh the risks and make recommendations for the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo. If a WHO emergency committee takes up the issue, it would mark the second time in recent years that international experts have tackled the safety of the Summer Games. In 2016, a WHO emergency committee weighed in on the Zika threat to the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, saying that the event—by comparison, a relatively modest mosquito-borne outbreak—posed a very low threat.
26th May 2021 - CIDRAP

Why India’s doctors are furious over yoga guru Ramdev’s remarks

Doctors fighting a ferocious second wave of the coronavirus in India are furious over “insulting and insensitive” remarks made by a yoga guru and businessman, with their union serving a defamation notice and demanding an “apology within 15 days”. “Allopathy is a stupid and bankrupt science. First Chloroquine failed, then Remdesivir failed, then their antibiotics failed, then steroids, now a ban has been imposed on plasma therapy. Now they are prescribing Fabiflu which too has failed,” Ram Kisan Yadav, aka Baba Ramdev, told his followers last week.
26th May 2021 - AlJazeera


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 26th May 2021

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MP Sarah Atherton celebrates Wrexham's covid community champions

Wrexham's MP Sarah Atherton has celebrated local Covid community champions. In April, Ms Atherton launched a campaign to celebrate those in the town and the surrounding area that have given back to the community during the coronavirus pandemic. Ms Atherton has now announced the winners of her search for Wrexham’s ‘Covid Champions’, saying that she had “so many amazing nominations, all of whom showed that Wrexham’s community-minded spirit had in no way subsided during the pandemic.”
25th May 2021 - LeaderLive

Schools try pep-rally tactics to get students vaccinated

A growing number of public schools are using mascots, food trucks and prize giveaways to create a pep-rally atmosphere aimed at encouraging students to get vaccinated against the coronavirus before summer vacation. Districts from California to Michigan are offering free prom tickets and deploying mobile vaccination teams to schools to inoculate students 12 and up so everyone can return to classrooms in the fall. They are also enlisting students who have gotten shots to press their friends to do the same. Officials are concerned that once school lets out, it will be even tougher to get enough teens vaccinated in time to guarantee widespread immunity on campuses.
25th May 2021 - Associated Press

White House encourages COVID-19 vaccine incentives

Today Andy Slavitt, the White House senior advisor for COVID-19 response, said during a White House press briefing on the pandemic that he was inspired by Ohio's "Vax-A-Million" lottery, which will award $1 million to a person each week for 5 weeks, with winners drawn at random with proof of vaccination. Slavitt said since the program was announced by Gov. Mike DeWine, the state has seen a 55% increase in 20- to 49-year-olds getting vaccinated, and in several counties rates of vaccination have doubled. "In other words, this program is working," Slavitt said. Maryland, New York, and Oregon have announced similar programs, and Slavitt said the Biden administration, via the American Rescue Plan, is encouraging states to get creative in offering cash incentives, lottery winnings, or other prizes as a way to draw attention to the vaccine.
25th May 2021 - CIDRAP

In NYC’s furthest flung neighborhood, vaccine a tough sell

If there’s one place where people could fear the coronavirus more than a vaccination needle, it’s the Far Rockaway section of Queens: Nearly 460 residents of the seaside neighborhood have died of COVID-19. That’s one out of every 146 people who live there, making for one of New York City’s highest death rates. And yet, no other place in the city has a lower percentage of vaccinated people. As of Monday, only 29% of people living Far Rockaway’s ZIP code, 11691, had received even one vaccine dose, according to data from the New York City Health Department. That compares to a rate of 49% citywide and nationally. The situation in the community of around 67,000 people illustrates the challenges facing health officials in many places as they try to overcome hesitancy fueled by mistrust, misinformation and fear.
25th May 2021 - Associated Press

COVID-19 vaccine acceptance rises but needs boost

UK researchers leading the first study, published yesterday in JAMA, sent online questionnaires to participants in the Understanding America Study every 14 to 28 days from Oct 14, 2020, to Mar 29, 2021. A total of 7,420 participants completed 42,154 questionnaires that asked how likely they were to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and how much they trusted "the governmental approval process to ensure the COVID-19 vaccine is safe for the public" and "the process in general (not just for COVID-19) to develop safe vaccines for the public." Estimated vaccine hesitancy dropped 10.8 percentage points, from 46% in October 2020 to 35.2% in March 2021. While substantial declines in hesitancy were seen in all demographic groups, the largest reductions were among Hispanic and Black participants (-15.8 percentage points, from 52.3% to 36.5%; -20.9 percentage points, from 63.9% to 43%)
25th May 2021 - CIDRAP

Social media heavyweights wooed for Pfizer smear campaign

Social media influencers in France with hundreds of thousands of followers say a mysterious advertising agency offered to pay them if they agreed to smear Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine with negative fake stories
25th May 2021 - ABCNews.go.com


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 25th May 2021

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COVID-19: London's Vaxi Taxi scheme is driving vulnerable people to get their jabs

Throughout the pandemic, we have heard time and time again that "no one is safe until everyone is safe". That message is echoed by the London GP Dr Sharon Raymond, who is putting her words into action in the form of the Vaxi Taxi project, which helps vulnerable people access COVID-19 vaccinations. She started the initiative in February, through the COVID Crisis Rescue Foundation, which she is the director of. The foundation has partnered with NHS England and third sector organisations, like housing charities, to support people who have difficulties accessing healthcare. Black cabs pick people up and take them to pop-up vaccination centres, or they can receive their jab in the back of the taxi
24th May 2021 - Sky News

Covid: Newport and Merthyr Tydfil projects showcase lockdown arts and crafts

Creative communities have turned lockdown on its head by harnessing online platforms to make art more accessible to everyone. Some people have said that although lockdown has taken a lot of creative social spaces online, it has not stopped people getting involved. A continuing study has found people have turned to arts as "a form of coping". One woman said being part of a group had encouraged her to "keep going" whilst under restrictions. One group who moved online for lockdown is made up of over-60s who are part of a project run by The Reality Theatre Company in Newport. The aim is to tackle loneliness and isolation through creative projects. They have been organising a pantomime and a summer carnival over video calls.
24th May 2021 - BBC News

Revealed: Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy highest among among 25- to 34-year-olds as nearly one in 10 say they will refuse jab

Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy is highest among Ireland’s 25- to 34-year-olds, despite a growing majority of the population saying they will take the jab. A tracker poll on vaccine take-up shows nearly 9pc – almost one in ten – of 25- to 34-year-olds say they will not get the vaccine. And 12pc in this age group are unsure about accepting the jab, the latest poll from the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA), representing the big drug companies, shows today. Last month, 10pc of this age group said they would refuse a vaccine and 8pc were unsure. If this group turn down the offer of a vaccine, it would mean a substantial number of people will remain susceptible to the virus and be at risk of passing it on to others.
24th May 2021 - Independent.ie

Officials ‘hounded’ over PPE contract approval, High Court told

Senior officials in the UK were “hounding” colleagues over the approval of a PPE supply contract worth a quarter-of-a-billion pounds to a hedge fund with “close ties” to the Government the High Court has heard. The Good Law Project and EveryDoctor are bringing legal action against the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), claiming that contracts awarded to PestFix, Clandeboye and Ayanda Capital were given unlawfully at the height of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic in April and May 2020. The two groups allege DHSC has failed to provide proper reasons for why the contracts were awarded and say the Government violated principles of equal treatment and transparency when making the deals worth more than £700 million.
20th May 2021 - Evening Standard


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 24th May 2021

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The silent helpers who relieve COVID-related distress

An estimated one in 10 people who contracted COVID-19 needed some form of additional help from NGOs operating behind the scenes. Their problems ranged from access to food and medicine, handling children with special needs and challenging behaviour, even assistance with pets and farm animals, to loneliness and the “simple need for more attention”, said Tanya Melillo, who leads the Public Health Response Team. Her team is responsible for gathering contacts of positive cases and looking for the source, but they found themselves facing other problems caused by the pandemic and stepped in to help. Melillo’s case management morphed into a more humanitarian role as the team reached out to patients with the collaboration of NGOs. She expressed gratitude towards the Foodbank Lifeline Foundation and SOS Malta, who also helped them check in on the elderly and deliver food and medicines.
23rd May 2021 - Times of Malta

COVID-19: Just 15 people test positive among nearly 60,000 who attended trial mass gatherings, figures show

Just 15 people tested positive for coronavirus among nearly 60,000 who attended trials of mass gatherings including the FA Cup final and the Brit Awards, official figures show. Nine large-scale events were staged as part of the government's plan to allow for the return of big crowds this summer. Those who attended were exempt from certain coronavirus rules, such as the rule-of-six.
22nd May 2021 - Sky News

California to lift most COVID-19 limits, freeing up businesses

California will lift most remaining crowd-capacity limits and physical distancing requirements related to COVID-19 on June 15, proceeding to fully reopen its economy as the pandemic abates and vaccination rates rise, health officials said on Friday. The new policy will end California's complicated, color-coded system of tiered restrictions, imposed on a county-by-county basis last August. California, the most populous U.S. state with some 40 million people, was the first to impose statewide stay-at-home orders and mandatory business closures in March 2020 as the pandemic began to take hold.
22nd May 2021 - Reuters

France urges citizens to keep a lid on post-lockdown euphoria

French officials urged citizens not to let down their guard against COVID-19, after some people responded to the easing of restrictions by staging street parties late into the night. Starting on Wednesday, cafes and restaurants were allowed to serve customers in outside areas, and the nightly curfew was pushed back by two hours, to 9:00 pm (1900 GMT). In the city of Rennes, 350 km (217 miles) west of Paris, a large crowd of people danced around a bonfire in a central square after the 9:00 p.m. curfew fell on Wednesday evening, video footage posted on social media showed.
22nd May 2021 - Reuters

Workers struggle with COVID-19 mask guidance

Across the U.S., restaurant, retail, and grocery store workers are struggling to handle shifting mask guidance 1 week after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said fully vaccinated Americans no longer have to wear masks in most indoor settings. In the week since the CDC’s announcement, Kroger, Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Macy's, Costco, Home Depot, Trader Joe’s, and Target have all said vaccinated customers can ditch masks in states without mask mandates in place, according to the Associated Press. However, workers interviewed said they do not trust patrons to be honest about vaccination status. Workers wearing masks describe being yelled at, cussed at, and berated for wearing facial coverings
21st May 2021 - CIDRAP

Breaking evangelical resistance to coronavirus vaccines will be hard

Evangelicals make up one quarter of the United States population and they are the Americans least likely to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. Even as the Biden administration works fervently to overcome vaccine hesitancy and some in the evangelical community like Franklin Graham, son of legendary preacher Billy Graham, pledge to help them, they face a daunting task. The hurdle: For many evangelicals, the vaccine, and proof that you have had it, are tools of the Antichrist.
21st May 2021 - The Washington Post

Why Covax, the fund to vaccinate the world, is struggling

Early on in the pandemic, global health experts envisioned a nightmare scenario: Covid-19 vaccines are created, but they go almost exclusively to rich countries that can afford to buy them. People in poorer countries are left to get sick and die. To prevent this, the experts set up an international initiative called Covax, designed to make sure every country in the world gets access to vaccines regardless of its ability to pay. In the fall of 2020, Covax set a clear goal: Buy 2 billion doses and make them available to nations in need before the end of 2021. But we’re now nearly five months into the year, and Covax has delivered just over 68 million doses. In other words, it’s only 3.4 percent of the way to its goal.
20th May 2021 - Vox


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 21st May 2021

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'Vax & Scratch' lottery scheme aims to up New York COVID-19 shots

You gotta get poked to win, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Thursday, unveiling a $5 million lottery prize incentive for New Yorkers who get their first COVID-19 vaccination shots next week. The "Vax & Scratch" program provides free state lottery scratch-off tickets to New Yorkers age 18 and older who get a first dose of the Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech, shot or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine from May 24 to May 28.
21st May 2021 - Reuters

Covid-19 vaccination hesitancy

Lack of confidence in vaccines for covid-19 poses direct and indirect threats to health, and could derail efforts to end the current pandemic. Concerns about unknown future effects, side effects, and a lack of trust are common reasons given by people who say they are unlikely to have a covid-19 vaccine. No single intervention is likely to be able to address vaccine hesitancy. Consider barriers to uptake of vaccination at a population level and in groups who have lower rates of vaccine uptake. Develop local approaches by engaging members of the community and co-producing communications and materials that meet population needs
20th May 2021 - The BMJ

Nearly 1 million excess deaths in 29 nations during pandemic

Nearly 1 million more people than normal died in 29 high-income countries during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, according to a time series study yesterday in BMJ. University of Oxford researchers led the study, which involved calculating weekly excess deaths for each included country in 2020, adjusting for age, sex, and seasonal and annual mortality trends in the previous 5 years. They estimated that 979,000 more people than expected died of all causes during the pandemic, with rates generally increasing with advancing age. All countries, except for Demark, New Zealand, and Norway, had more deaths than expected, especially in men. But the excess death rate in the United States was higher among women than men in the 85 and older age-group.
20th May 2021 - CDRAP


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 20th May 2021

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Working mothers come together to make virtual learning work during pandemic

Nearly three million women left the workforce over the past year, according to CBS News. The number of working women dropped about one percent across the United States in 2020. While some were due to job loss or furloughs, others were because they had to stay home with kids for virtual learning. It is the tough reality so many parents faced this year - if they go to work full time, what will their kids do for virtual school? While some moms and dads quit jobs to stay home, one group of moms leaned on each other to get through. A group of five working moms each picked one day of the week to host all the kids at their house. Then, they were able to work the other four days.
19th May 2021 - MSN.com

YouTube and England's NHS join forces to tackle vaccine scepticism

England's National Health Service (NHS) has joined forces with YouTube to launch a campaign to counteract vaccine hesitancy among younger generations. The UK has vaccinated more 36 million people (53% of population) with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to Our World in Data. The 'Lets Not Go Back' campaign aims to drive credible information towards young people, in order to prepare the nation’s 18-34 year old's, for when they have the jab. The first of its kind campaign highlights the importance of getting vaccinated in the form of short videos, billboard and bus stop adverts. The campaign was spurred on by recent data from the ONS, which shows vaccine hesitancy rates are highest in younger people (13% of 16-29s) and almost double the national average in the UK (7%).
17th May 2021 - Euro News


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 19th May 2021

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COVID-19: Thousands of British tourists head overseas - some ignore advice to avoid amber list countries

Thousands of British holidaymakers have started to fly out of the country - with some heading to amber list destinations - as the ban on overseas leisure travel is lifted in England, Wales and most of Scotland. Travel firms have reported a surge in demand for trips to Portugal, after the government put it on its green list - meaning travellers will not need to self-isolate on their return, and are only required to take one post-arrival COVID-19 test. However, some passengers catching flights at Gatwick Airport on Monday morning were travelling to amber list destinations - despite ministers warning against travel to amber and red list destinations.
18th May 2021 - Sky News

Excitement and anxiety on eve of New York City reopening

Bahar Bybordi remembers hearing a “code blue” every 10 to 15 minutes or so; it was the early days of the coronavirus pandemic at The Brooklyn Hospital Center – and that intercom message meant someone was dying or needed to be resuscitated. The frequent wailing of family members of the deceased would be so loud that Bybordi, on her breaks, would lock the door to her office and turn up the music to drown out the cries.
18th May 2021 - AlJazeera

Disparities in US COVID vaccine distribution spotlighted

Two studies today describe US COVID-19 vaccination disparities, one evaluating vaccine allocation plans aimed at reducing distribution differences, and the other revealing urban versus rural inequities. The first study, led by University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia researchers and published in Nature Medicine, involved analysis of COVID-19 vaccine allocation plans provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) 64 jurisdictions, which consist of 50 states, five large cities, eight territories, and Washington, DC. In the second study, published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, CDC researchers examined COVID-19 vaccination disparities in rural and urban US counties from Dec 14, 2020, to Apr 10, 2021. Specifically, they assessed county-level vaccine administration information on adults who received their first dose of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna coronavirus vaccine or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in 49 states and Washington, DC.
18th May 2021 - CIDRAP

Ecuador: community education during the Covid pandemic

As Covid-19 ravaged Ecuador’s largest city, Guayaquil, in the first months of the pandemic and spread through the rest of the country, smaller and more isolated communities were often the safest but forced to look to themselves to educate their children. As the photographer Johis Alarcón discovered on her visits to the indigenous village of San Clemente in the Andean highlands and the African-Ecuadorean hamlet of Playa de Oro in the coastal rainforest bordering Colombia, a renewed sense of community grew. Isolated populations were hit hardest by the closure of schools during the pandemic, which affected 4.6 million students, of whom two-thirds do not have internet access. The lack of smartphones, internet connectivity and a drop in income for their parents became a major obstacle to their continued schooling. The response was to relaunch community schools that promote their cultural identity and language, the protection of the local environment and whose teachers are also part of the community
18th May 2021 - The Guardian


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 18th May 2021

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Covid-19: Thousands head overseas on holiday as rules ease

Thousands of British holidaymakers have begun taking advantage of the easing of lockdown rules on overseas travel. Travellers from England, Scotland and Wales are jetting off to some countries in what the crisis-hit tourism industry hopes is the start of a recovery. Travellers can now visit 12 countries on the government's green list, including Portugal and Israel, without isolating on their return. The bosses of British Airways and Ryanair said confidence was returning. The vast majority of tourist destinations remain on the amber and red lists, meaning travellers must quarantine when they get back. Bookings also remain well down on pre-pandemic levels
17th May 2021 - BBC News

Pop-up barista van combats loneliness in rural villages, one cup of coffee at a time

Rural Community Council, a charity based in Hinckley has launched a coffee van to travel across the county bringing people together over a cup of coffee. Last week, the Rural Coffee Connect van stopped in the village of Wing in Rutland, where High Sherrif of Rutland, David Wood, spent the morning with locals. "It was interesting to the number of people who came out," he said. "There were people there who otherwise might not talk to people during the week." Throughout the lockdown, weekly coffee mornings in the village had to stop. But the coffee van has offered residents a new alternative.
17th May 2021 - Leicestershire Live

Bengaluru Group Delivers Free, Fresh Meals To Families In Covid Isolation

With hospital beds hard to find as India battles a devastating second wave of Covid infections, asymptomatic patients and those with mild symptoms are being encouraged to isolate themselves at home. But the fatigue caused by the infection makes it difficult to find the energy to cook healthy meals. This is where a group of Bengaluru-based NGOs, CoronaCare Bengaluru, has stepped in with their service, 'Food to your doorstep'. As part of the initiative, fresh and nutritious meals are being provided for free to Covid patients in home isolation and their families. The meals are being cooked at various kitchens spread across the city and delivered to the doorstep.
17th May 2021 - NDTV

Joy for UK pubs and hugs tempered by rise in virus variant

Drinks were raised in toasts and reunited friends hugged each other as thousands of U.K. pubs and restaurants opened Monday for indoor service for the first time since early January. Yet the prime minister sounded a cautious tone, warning about a more contagious COVID-19 variant that threatens reopening plans. Theaters, leisure venues and museums were also reopening as part of the latest step in easing nationwide restrictions, raising hopes that Britain’s economy may soon start to recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic. Andy Frantzeskos, a chef at Nopi, an upmarket Mediterranean restaurant in London’s Soho district, said he felt “a bit of anxiousness ... but more excitement than anything.”
17th May 2021 - The Associated Press

In New Vaccination Push, Biden Leans on His ‘Community Corps’

The federal government has set up mass vaccination sites at stadiums, sent doses to pharmacies and clinics serving lower-income Americans, and, on Friday, enticed the unvaccinated with the prospect of finally being able to shed their masks. But with the ranks of the willing and able dwindling, the campaign has in many places already morphed into a door-to-door and person-by-person effort. The Black Doctors Covid-19 Consortium is one of about 11,000 members of what the Department of Health and Human Services is calling its Covid-19 community corps, a loose constellation of volunteers, corporations, advocacy groups and local organizations working to vaccinate Americans often left behind by the nation’s health care system.
17th May 2021 - The New York Times


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Police move revellers off streets as Barcelona parties after lockdown easing

Spanish police said they cleared 9,000 revellers from Barcelona's city centre streets and the nearby beach on Sunday to prevent dangerous overcrowding on the first full weekend after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. Many in the crowd had taken part in mass drinking sessions known as "botellones", police said. Culture Minister José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, speaking at an event in Madrid, urged young people to continue to follow social distancing rules.
16th May 2021 - Reuters

Peterborough’s Sikh community raises thousands to support Covid relief effort in India

India is currently experiencing a deadly second wave of the virus that is stretching what is already a fragile health system in many areas of the country to breaking point. One of the main problems is the lack of space in hospitals and scarcity of oxygen supplies. To help with this, Sikhs from the Gurdwara Baba Budha Sahib Ji on Royce Road put out an appeal for help within the city’s Sikh community. In just over a week, they were able to raise £8000, which was presented as a cheque to Khalsa-Aid International
16th May 2021 - Peterborough Today

Mental Health Awareness Week 2021: Cambridgeshire charity opens up about supporting people through lockdown

Over the last year, living in and out of lockdowns and under a range of restrictions, it has become more important and apparent than ever before, that we need to take care of our mental health. Many people have suffered during the pandemic, from the anxiety of living through a global health pandemic to the feelings of loneliness and isolation as we were told to keep our distance from friends and family. One Cambridgeshire charity has been on the frontlines of this, helping those who are struggling with their mental health. Lifecraft has been in operation for around 25 years and is a user-led mental health organisation based in Cambridge. Given the pandemic, Lifecraft has had to adapt its services, moving face-to-face groups online and over the phone.
16th May 2021 - Cambridgeshire Live

Bradford's Hindu community rallies to support Covid-19 appeal in time of crisis

The Hindu community in Bradford has been contributing to national efforts to help those in India devastated by Covid-19. The country has been hit hard by the virus in recent weeks, with terrible scenes broadcast across the world. The Bradford Hindu Council (BHC) has been helping to fundraise for Sewa UK, which has been sending out things like oxygen concentrators (pictured above) and essential family kits, as well as supporting orphanages and elderly homes.
14th May 2021 - Telegraph & Argus

Critics of Tokyo Olympics submit petition urging cancellation

Critics of Japan’s plan to hold the Tokyo Olympics despite a fourth wave of coronavirus infections submitted a petition on Friday signed by 350,000 people over nine days calling for the Games to be cancelled. "Stop Tokyo Olympics" campaign organiser Kenji Utsunomiya said the global festival of sport - already postponed from 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic - should take place only when Japan can welcome visitors and athletes wholeheartedly.
14th May 2021 - Reuters


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 14th May 2021

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Covid 19 coronavirus: Vaccine conspiracy campaign raises $50,000 for 'misleading' flyer drop

An organisation attacking public faith in New Zealand's Covid-19 strategy claims it has raised $50,000 towards printing two million virus "fact" flyers to be dropped nationwide - and is considering printing more. The flyers, which Voices For Freedom intends to deliver to every letterbox in the country, outlines multiple conspiracy theories about Covid-19 vaccines and their effects. Their contents have been described as "misleading" and in some cases "palpably false". Voices For Freedom co-founder Claire Deeks claimed $50,000 had been raised from "hundreds of donors" for the mass drop. People across the country have contacted the Herald, saying they had received the flyer. A mass printing retailer estimated the cost of printing two million of these flyers would be about $30,000. When asked when she expected the entire two million flyers to be delivered, Deeks said the flyer drop would end when there were no more flyers, before suggesting more could be printed.
13th May 2021 - New Zealand Herald

NGOs set up isolation centre for poor COVID patients

In India, a host of voluntary organisations joined hands with the town-based Bodepudi Vignana Kendram (BVK) to lend a helping hand to COVID-19 patients from poor and lower middle-class families amid the unabated surge in COVID-19 cases. The BVK in association with the District NRI Foundation, the NRI Parents Association, Chetana Foundation and several other like-minded organisations and individuals have set up a COVID-19 isolation centre with 30 beds on the campus of a private school hostel at Gattaiah Centre
13th May 2021 - The Hindu

Vaccinated Americans can go maskless in most places: CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) took a significant step in moving the United States beyond the COVID-19 pandemic by easing indoor and outdoor mask-wearing guidelines for fully vaccinated people on Thursday. The new guidance allows those who have been immunised to go mask-free in most places, the CDC announced, crediting data showing the real-world effectiveness of the vaccines that are being administered across the US. The CDC also no longer recommends that fully vaccinated people wear masks outdoors in crowds.
13th May 2021 - Al Jazeera English


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 13th May 2021

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COVID-19 pet boom has veterinarians backlogged, burned out

During the gloomiest stretches of the pandemic, Dr. Diona Krahn’s veterinary clinic has been a puppy fest, overrun with new four-legged patients. Typically, she’d get three or four new puppies a week, but between shelter adoptions and private purchases, the 2020 COVID-19 pet boom brought five to seven new clients a day to her practice in Raleigh, North Carolina. Many are first-time pet owners. Like many veterinarians across the country, she’s also been seeing more sick animals. To meet the demand, vets interviewed by The Associated Press have extended hours, hired additional staff and refused to take new patients, and they still can’t keep up. Burnout and fatigue are such a concern that some practices are hiring counselors to support their weary staffs. “Everyone is working beyond capacity at this point,” said Krahn, who added evening hours last year.
13th May 2021 - The Associated Press

Anti-Maskers Ready to Start Masking—To Protect Themselves From the Vaccinated

A conspiracy ripping through the anti-vax world may finally drive some anti-maskers to do the unthinkable: wear a mask and keep their distance. The conspiracy—which comes in several shapes and sizes—more or less says the vaccinated will “shed” certain proteins onto the unvaccinated who will then suffer adverse effects. The main worry is the “shedding” will cause irregular menstruation, infertility, and miscarriages. The entirely baseless idea is a key cog in a larger conspiracy that COVID-19 was a ploy to depopulate the world, and the vaccine is what will cull the masses.
12th May 2021 - VICE

Uber And Lyft Will Give Free Rides To COVID-19 Vaccination Spots, White House Says

Anyone needing a ride to get a COVID-19 vaccine shot will be able to get a free trip from the ride-sharing companies Lyft and Uber, the White House announced Tuesday, in the latest push to encourage Americans to get vaccinated. "The feature will launch in the next two weeks and run until July 4," the White House said. People who want to use the program would need to select a vaccination site near them and then redeem the companies' offer of a free ride. The two ride-sharing firms will promote the offer in their apps. The initiative is a new facet of President Biden's push to ensure 70% of all U.S. adults get at least one vaccine shot by July 4.
12th May 2021 - NPR

'Want the COVID-19 vaccine? Have a U.S. visa?' Latinos travel north for the shot

"Want the COVID-19 vaccine? Have a U.S. visa? Contact us," reads a travel agency advertisement, offering deals to Mexicans to fly to the United States to get inoculated. From Mexico to far-flung Argentina, thousands of Latin Americans are booking flights to the United States to take advantage of one of the world's most successful vaccination campaigns, as rollouts in their own countries sputter. Latin America is one of the regions worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with the death toll set to pass 1 million this month, and many do not want to wait any longer for their turn to get vaccinated. Some people are going it alone, while others have tapped travel agencies, which have responded by offering packages that arrange the vaccine appointment, flights, hotel stay and even offer extras such as city and shopping tours.
12th May 2021 - Reuters

Covid pandemic should serve as ‘Chernobyl moment’ for global health reform, international experts say

The Covid-19 crisis should serve as a “Chernobyl moment” for global pandemic preparedness, triggering a series of actions to speed the end of this pandemic and to ensure it’s the last of its kind the world ever faces, according to a report from an international panel of experts. The report by the panel, which was established at the behest of member states of the World Health Organization, calls on wealthy countries with Covid vaccine to share their supplies in large volumes and quickly, with 1 billion doses donated by September and another 1 billion by the end of the year. The report calls for swift negotiations to lift intellectual property protections for Covid vaccines — and an automatic waiver if the negotiations fail to deliver within three months.
12th May 2021 - STAT News

‘We won’t be bouncing back’ – the unsettling truth about the big reopening

If we had to close down again,” says Andrew Lloyd Webber, “we couldn’t survive.” Webber is staging his new musical Cinderella, with book by Oscar-winner Emerald Fennell, in a full-capacity theatre in July, having already delayed its premiere twice. He has mortgaged his house in London and will be selling one of his seven theatres. “It cost £1m a month to keep them dark,” he says. “You can’t just lock them up and throw away the key. I don’t run the theatres for profit and there wasn’t a reserve.” Across the UK, the arts are reawakening after over 14 months of unprecedented disruption. As venues reopen – dates differ across the nations, though 17 May is a key date in Scotland and England – there will be much to celebrate, and many delights in store for audiences. But the pandemic hit culture and entertainment more severely than any other part of the economy, including hospitality, throwing fresh light on already deep inequalities.
12th May 2021 - The Guardian


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 12th May 2021

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One Good Thing: 98-year-old hosts virtual woman's group

When the coronavirus pandemic shut down the Levis Jewish Community Center last year, 98-year-old Trudy Berlin sprang into action to keep her weekly women’s group active. For Berlin, who began hosting “The Ladies Room” at the JCC’s Sandler Center in 2000, the show needed to go on. So with a little help from Stephanie Owitz, the Boca Raton, Florida, center’s director of arts, culture and learning, the show went virtual. “When the pandemic hit, of course, she was very disappointed we were shutting down the JCC,” Owitz said. Then, the center decided to make some classes, including Berlin’s, available on Zoom
11th May 2021 - The Independent

COVID-19: Hugs, indoor pints and friends at home as most of Scotland moved to level 2 of restrictions

Nicola Sturgeon has announced a relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions from 17 May in most of Scotland - with hugs for loved ones allowed again. The first minister moved most of the country down from Level 3 to Level 2, which means up to six people from three households can socialise indoors in a private home. And for the Scottish islands there was even better news. Ms Sturgeon said there, the situation was so under control that "we are able to ease restrictions there more quickly than we will do on the mainland".
11th May 2021 - Sky News

Foreigners return to Mount Everest as Nepal battles second COVID-19 wave

Foreigners climbed Mount Everest for the first time since Nepal’s government reopened the mountain after it was shut last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, despite recent coronavirus cases at its base camp. Thirty-eight climbers including ten Bahraini and two British mountaineers climbed the world's highest mountain on Tuesday, according to hiking companies. It comes as a few climbers were evacuated from the Everest base camp in April after they fell sick with COVID-19 symptoms as Nepal battles a devastating second wave of coronavirus infections.
11th May 2021 - Reuters

Covid-19: Global Justice Now activists protest outside AstraZeneca in Cambridge, calling for ‘People’s Vaccine’

Activists have blocked the entrance to an AstraZeneca building in Cambridge where its AGM is taking place and hung a banner demanding that its Covid-19 jab becomes a “People’s Vaccine’. Police made four arrests at the demonstration in Hills Road, held by Global Justice Now, which is demanding that the Cambridge-headquartered biopharmaceutical company openly licenses its Covid-19 vaccine and commits to sharing the technology and know-how with the World Health Organization (WHO).
11th May 2021 - Cambridge Independent

Paris catwalk shows to reopen in July after long COVID closure

Parisian catwalks reopen in July as the French government unwinds coronavirus lockdown measures, allowing live fashions show to resume, in fashion industry body announced on Tuesday. The annual Haute Couture Week will take place from July 5 to July 8 and fashion houses will be allowed to organise live shows and presentations, according to a statement from the French fashion industry body “Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode” on Tuesday. Depending on how the pandemic progresses, physical shows would be allowed to welcome guests, in line with government guidance on public events, it said.
11th May 2021 - Reuters

Eat out, work out, see a film: Belgium to ease lockdown

Belgium plans to ease nearly all lockdown measures from June 9 provided the country's vaccination campaign keeps up its momentum and the number of people in intensive care units remains under 500, the government said on Tuesday. The plans to reopen mark a turnaround for Belgium, home to NATO and the European Union headquarters. It has one of the world's highest per capita death rates from COVID-19, but its vaccination drive is now among the most efficient in the bloc. "The more people are vaccinated, the faster we will get our freedom back," Prime Minister Alexander De Croo told a news conference.
11th May 2021 - Reuters

Hong Kong drops ‘discriminatory’ vaccine plan for foreign workers

Hong Kong has scrapped a plan to make coronavirus vaccines mandatory for foreign domestic workers after the Philippines and labour groups criticised the proposal as discriminatory. Still, Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, on Tuesday ordered another round of mandatory testing for all foreign domestic helpers as a “precaution” against more infectious variants of the coronavirus. Labour groups representing domestic workers also said they felt they were being singled out, noting that the families they worked for – as well as locals working in environments such as care homes – were not required to get vaccinated.
11th May 2021 - AlJazeera

Amazon, Salesforce execs weigh in on how tech can help with Covid — and how it can’t

For all the progress on Covid-19, we are still far from a post-pandemic world. “If you’re living on Planet Earth, I assure you the pandemic is not over,” Geeta Nayyar, executive medical director of Salesforce, said at the 2021 STAT Health Tech summit on Tuesday. “India and Brazil are great examples of the forest still being on fire. When we don’t go to help our fellow global neighbors, we can rest assured that the fire is spreading.” Everyone has an obligation to help, but tech companies in particular can have a huge, international impact on the response to Covid-19, she said. Together with Vin Gupta, chief medical officer for Amazon’s Covid-19 response, Nayyar outlined how health tech is well-suited to pitch in on the pandemic response, and also pointed to areas where the industry has to step back.
11th May 2021 - STAT News

NHS keyworkers fighting battle against COVID-19 go head-to-head for charity fundraiser

Frontline NHS workers from two Derbyshire GP practices are in a head-to-head fitness battle raising funds for end-of-life charity Treetops Hospice. More than 130 members of staff from Park Medical and Overdale surgeries – including those who helped prepare Derby Arena ahead of their mass Covid vaccination programme – are walking, jogging and cycling a total of 8,187 miles; the equivalent number of miles between Derby and Tokyo, where the postponed Olympic Games is set to take place.
11th May 2021 - Charity Today

Across faiths, US volunteers mobilize for India crisis

Volunteers at Hindu temples, Muslim groups and Sikh relief organizations across the United States are mobilizing to support India as the world’s second most populous country struggles to handle a devastating surge of the coronavirus. From coast to coast, faith groups tied to the Indian diaspora have collected hundreds of oxygen concentrators and electrical transformers to ship to overwhelmed hospitals, raised millions for everything from food to firewood for funeral pyres and gathered in prayer for spiritual support for the Asian nation.
11th May 2021 - Associated Press

Ethnic groups step in as Myanmar’s COVID response falls apart

As Myanmar’s national COVID-19 response collapses following a February 1 military coup, one ethnic armed organisation in the country’s north has quietly vaccinated 20,000 people in areas it governs, with support from across the border in China. The vaccines, produced by the Chinese company Sinovac Biotech, were supplied and administered with assistance from the Red Cross Society of China, a member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The KIO is one of approximately 20 ethnic armed organisations operating along Myanmar’s borders with China, Thailand and India. Several of them have run their own COVID-19 responses from early on in the pandemic. Although the turmoil and intensifying civil war since the coup have disrupted their efforts, the KIO and Karen National Union (KNU), two of the country’s most well-established ethnic armed organisations, told Al Jazeera that they were continuing as much as possible
10th May 2021 - Al Jazeera English


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 11th May 2021

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COVID-19 has only made loneliness worse among seniors. Here's how Anthem is tackling this issue

COVID-19 has only worsened social isolation, but Anthem is addressing senior's loneliness through a "wrap-around" program that encourages them to reach out. Through Member Connect, seniors are assigned a social care partner, who assists with connecting them to community services to address their social needs. They also have a phone pal, a volunteer Anthem associate who reaches out to them weekly.
10th May 2021 - Fierce Healthcare

Singing group provides 'lifeline' for members throughout lockdown as virtual rehearsals keep people connected

A singing group which moved online during lockdown has been a ‘lifeline’ for members by providing social opportunities and support. Fine Voice Academy, which has just moved into Portsmouth Guildhall, is a school of music and singing which has continued to meet virtually throughout the pandemic. Singers from age 10 up to 80 have been singing together over Zoom twice a week, and the group now hopes to boost numbers to make a larger, grander chorus for events on the Guildhall stage. Singing member Maureen Levesque, aged 70, said: ‘Being able to sing twice a week has been a lifeline during lockdown.'
10th May 2021 - The News, Portsmouth

COVID-19 Lays Bare the Price of Populism

As populism has experienced a resurgence in recent years, many have focused on the hazards the ideology poses to democratic systems. But today’s complex and highly technical global threats—pandemics, climate change, cyberattacks, financial crises—that demand technocratic solutions have driven home a grim reality: Populism can place us all at risk. In 2018, a burst of anger over government corruption propelled a populist politician named Jair Bolsonaro to Brazil’s presidency. Brazil, which is currently suffering from one of the world’s worst coronavirus outbreaks, is a prime example of how populist governance in one country can threaten the whole world. If the way out of the pandemic is through science, in the form of mass vaccination and other containment measures, the corollary is also true: The way we remain mired in it is, in large part, through the kind of anti-science worldview that populists frequently champion.
10th May 2021 - The Atlantic


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 10th May 2021

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Vlad the vaccinator: Dracula's castle lures visitors with COVID-19 jabs

Visitors to Dracula's castle are more likely to find puncture marks in their arms than their necks this month, after medics set up a COVID-19 vaccination centre at the Transylvanian attraction. Doctors and nurses with fang stickers on their scrubs are offering free Pfizer shots to all-comers at 14th century Bran Castle, which is purported to be an inspiration for the vampire's towering home in Bram Stoker’s novel "Dracula". Castle staff hope the service will bring more people to the site in Romania's Carpathian mountains, where tourist numbers have plummeted since the start of the pandemic.
8th May 2021 - Reuters

Sconetime easing seniors' loneliness with delicious food, a cuppa and friendship

In Australia, hot scones loaded with freshly made strawberry jam and cream are the drawcard of a new social scene for seniors that's tackling the serious issue of isolation and loneliness. Former restaurateur and chef Martin Duncan launched Sconetime three years ago in the Cooroy Memorial Hall in the Noosa hinterland. Despite months of cancellations caused by COVID-19, the morning teas have proved so popular that they are also being held in Caloundra and the Glass House Mountains.
9th May 2021 - ABC.Net.au

The misinformation bubble threatening Brazil's indigenous people

False information from the mouths of politicians and preachers is reaching remote villages in the Amazon via WhatsApp, reports BBC News Brasil's Juliana Gragnani. A helicopter loaded with health workers and coronavirus vaccine doses took off from Labrea, in the southern part of the Amazon, heading to a village some 50km away. But the villagers, part of the indigenous Jamamadi group, greeted the chopper armed with bows and arrows - and demanded that it leave. They'd been hearing false rumours about vaccines and wanted reassurances from a religious missionary - not doctors - before getting jabbed. The helicopter left without administering any of the doses.
8th May 2021 - BBC News

COVID-19: Safety fears and potential side effects putting people off vaccine, official figures show

Safety fears are the most common reason for people not getting a coronavirus vaccine, official figures have shown. The speed at which the jab has been developed and potential long-term side effects were also among concerns, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Another major reason is many think catching COVID-19 does not pose a significant risk to their health - particularly young people and those who believe their immune systems are strong enough to fight the virus without the jab.
8th May 2021 - Sky News

California Man Arrested In Suspected Fake COVID-19 Vaccine Card Operation

A California bar owner has been arrested for allegedly selling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards in what's believed to be the first thwarted scheme of its kind. Undercover agents with the state's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control bought the bogus cards for $20 each during multiple visits to the Old Corner Saloon in Clements, a small town in San Joaquin County. The agents were told to write their names and birth dates on sticky notes and watched as employees cut the cards, added phony vaccination dates and laminated them, the Associated Press reported.
8th May 2021 - NPR

What is COVID-19 anxiety syndrome?

As lockdowns and restrictions ease in various locations, some people find it extremely challenging to reacclimate to “normal” life. As the pandemic recedes, some consider this phenomenon as the next emerging mental health crisis.
8th May 2021 - Medical News Today

Black doctors read COVID tweets in fun, fact-filled campaign to raise vaccination awareness

Dr. Reed Tuckson laughs as he reads a tweet from his phone: “‘Once COVID is over’ is starting to sound a lot like ‘when Rihanna releases a new album.’” The former commissioner of public health in Washington, D.C., isn’t just checking his Twitter feed, though. He’s reading tweets posted by Black people about COVID for a new public health campaign. The humorous observations are entertaining, but for Tuckson and the Black Coalition Against COVID—which he co-founded—the tweets also serve as jumping off points for discussion in the new “Black Doctors Read COVID Tweets” effort. Just now rolling out on social media, the tweet re-readings are the latest content in the coalition's COVID-19 advocacy work. The group of Black doctors, nurses and researchers began by getting the word out in the Black community about public health guidance and then started working to enroll people in vaccine trials. Now, they're answering questions about vaccines and encouraging vaccinations.
7th May 2021 - Fierce Pharma

It's too soon to declare vaccine victory — four strategies for continued progress

Innovation. Vaccines should be delivered along with other health and social services that address the negative economic impacts that have left millions unemployed and unable to afford housing, food and other necessities. Enlisting trusted community leaders will be essential in advancing such efforts. Collaboration between mainstream and digital media platforms and the medical and scientific communities can interrupt the spread of misinformation and increase the availability of accurate and engaging content. Engagement with key social and economic sectors beyond health. More conversations are needed across educational institutions, businesses, healthcare providers, the agricultural sector, and the security, law enforcement, and military communities to engage their respective communities in dialogue about vaccines in the context of post-pandemic recovery. A top line priority needs to be creating hyperlocal strategies to win over skeptical Republicans and evangelicals while continuing fruitful engagement with Black, Latinx and Native American populations. Vaccines could go the way of masks in America, and become highly politicized, if proactive listening and engagement with these groups does not occur. Fortunately, Republican elected leaders and opinion makers are increasingly stepping forward publicly and privately in defense of vaccines. Those initiatives will be bolstered significantly if other trusted local messengers — the family doctor or nurse, community faith leaders and family members — join in also.
6th May 2021 - The Hill


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 7th May 2021

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Pfizer, BioNTech to provide Covid-19 vaccine to Olympic athletes

Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech said on Thursday they would donate doses of their Covid-19 vaccine to help vaccinate athletes and their delegations participating in the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. The companies said initial doses are expected to be delivered to participating delegations at the end of May with the goal of ensuring the delegations receive second doses ahead of arrivals in Tokyo. The plan was put into effect after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had a meeting with the Japanese government following Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla’s offer to donate vaccines to athletes and their delegations.
6th May 2021 - NBC News

What the government could learn from the community response to covid

As we begin the slow journey along the road map to freedom here in the UK, the picture across the world is very different. It has been impossible to escape the devastating images and statistics flooding from India in recent weeks. There has been a relentless stream of heart-breaking stories and horrendous milestones; a baby girl dying on the steps of the hospital, surpassing 20 million recorded cases, ,more than 3,500 deaths in a single day. So here at Feed The Hungry, we decided to take a leap of faith and turn to the covid-weary British churches and wider communities for support. Trying to keep our expectations realistic, we set up the ‘Oxygen for India’ campaign, calling on people to donate to India. Four hours later we had raised over £9,000
6th May 2021 - Politics.co.uk

Pleas for help in India as COVID-19 leaves children without carers

When an Indian children's rights group tracked down two boys aged 6 and 8 after it was told that their parents were both severely ill with COVID-19 and unable to care for them, the children had not eaten for days. The case, reported by the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) group which located the boys in a small town in India's rural heartland, was one of a growing number of emergencies involving children affected by India's devastating coronavirus crisis. The exponential rise in infections and deaths has left some children, particularly in poor communities, without a carer because their parents or other relatives are too ill to cope or have died.
6th May 2021 - AlJazeera

Helen Mirren joins Italy's best known comic in light-hearted sketch to promote Covid-19 vaccine

Helen Mirren has starred with one of Italy's best known comics in a light-hearted but eccentric video extolling the benefits of being vaccinated against Covid-19. She stars alongside Checco Zalone, the stage name of Italian comic and actor Luca Pasquale Medici, who has produced and starred in some of Italy's most commercially successful films. In the video he stops to ask her directions on a dusty road in Puglia and promptly falls in love with her after asking if her off-the-shoulder look is because she has just been vaccinated.
30th Apr 2021 - The Telegraph


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 6th May 2021

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How an NHS Covid-19 vaccine scam showed me just how credible today’s fraudsters have become

Earlier this year, I got a text message. It made me leap out of my chair. “Wow!”, I told my family, “I’ve just been invited to get my Covid jab!” Then I felt a twinge of suspicion: I wasn’t in the elderly or clinically vulnerable bracket. Following the link to ‘book my jab’ took me to a website with spot-on NHS branding, but also clumsy language and spelling errors. The fraudsters had goofed – never annoy a grammar pedant. By the time I reached the stage of being asked for my bank details, the penny had dropped. But I only figured it out as I went along. This was a uniquely Covid-flavoured con, one I had never come across before. Initially it hooked me, dangling the bait of a vaccine I look forward to receiving.
5th May 2021 - iNews

‘She needs me’: The COVID positive carers on India’s front line

April 21, 2021 was an ordinary night at Sushila’s* house in Nagpur in western India’s Maharashtra state. In the bathroom, a bucket filled up with hot water in preparation for the 93-year-old’s sponge bath; in the kitchen, her night-time beverage – a pot of milk – boiled on the stove, nearly spilling over; and in the bedroom, her blood-pressure medicines were laid out neatly on the bedside table. Bindu*, the professional caregiver who sees to Sushila through the night, navigated the two-bedroomed house with familiarity, as she tended to the elderly woman she fondly calls Ajji Bai (meaning Grandmother-Madam in Marathi).
5th May 2021 - AlJazeera

Ghaziabad society launches free meal service for Covid-19 patients in home isolation

As high-rises in the national capital region become Covid-19 containment zones, apartment dwellers at a society in Ghaziabad have come up with an initiative to provide free home-cooked meals to patients in home isolation. A group of residents of Ghaziabad's Crossings Republik have undertaken the initiative with a view to keeping the Covid-19 positive persons indoors so that the chain of transmission could be broken. Shobhit Chitransh, Ujjwal Mishra, Sunjeet Malik, and Sharad Bhardwaj are among the good Samaritans who have taken care of meals for around 250 families in home isolation in their society.
5th May 2021 - India Today

Global economy rests on cutting vaccine inequity: US trade chief

United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai says that making vaccines more widely available throughout the world is needed to end the coronavirus pandemic and foster economic recovery. In remarks to a Council of the Americas conference on Tuesday, Tai said the world had made real strides towards ending the pandemic but that a lot of work lies ahead. “That includes making the vaccine widely available and addressing the global inequity in vaccine access,” she said. “This is not just a public health requirement. Our economic recovery depends on it.” Tai is due to discuss demands from developing countries for a World Trade Organization (WTO) waiver of intellectual property rights on coronavirus vaccines during a WTO General Council meeting later this week.
5th May 2021 - AlJazeera

Time for the ethical management of COVID-19 vaccines

The ethical distribution of life-saving medical and public health interventions to vulnerable groups has often been overlooked. Valuation of life linked to an individual's country of origin, the pharmaceutical industry's prioritisation of profit, the exploitation of vulnerable groups in clinical trials, and the resulting hesitancy towards drugs and vaccines have, among other factors, made the human right to health unattainable for many people. The COVID-19 pandemic presents itself as an opportunity to reverse this long-standing trajectory of unethical practices in global health. By ensuring the ethical inclusion of vulnerable groups in the vaccine development process and making a safe, effective vaccine accessible to all, pharmaceutical companies, governments, and international organisations can usher in a new era of global health that relies solely on ethical decision making.
4th May 2021 - The Lancet


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 5th May 2021

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Denmark to reopen further, but no rocking for Roskilde

Denmark announced plans to reopen schools and allow a range of indoor activities this week, but a cap on gatherings led to the cancellation of several summer music festivals, including the renowned Roskilde Festival. The Nordic country has avoided a third wave of COVID-19 with broad lockdown measures introduced in late December, which drove down daily infections from several thousand to between 500 and 800 in recent months. “Denmark needs to get back to normal as fast as possible, and it has to happen responsibly,” Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said on Tuesday.
4th May 2021 - Reuters

"Like old times again" as Greece re-opens bars and restaurants

Greece allowed restaurants and bars to open from Monday as it took a further step towards easing coronavirus restrictions ahead of the planned start of the tourist season on May 15. Six months after the government reimposed lockdown measures in the face of a second wave of the pandemic, the chance to return to bars and tavernas was like a small step towards normality for many enjoying warm Easter weather. "When they brought me the glass of water, I thought, 'its like old times again'. It's great," said Grigoris Kirlidis as he sat at a cafe in Athens.
4th May 2021 - Reuters

India halts cricket league as coronavirus cases cross 20 million

India halted its hugely popular cricket league on Tuesday as COVID-19 infections surged past 20 million in the world’s second-most populous country and the opposition leader said a nationwide lockdown was now the only way out. Cricket officials suspended the money-spinning Indian Premier League (IPL) as the pandemic spirals out of control, with the country adding 10 million cases in just over four months, after taking more than 10 months to reach the first 10 million.
4th May 2021 - Reuters

Sheffield charity’s hunt for dual language students to boost its anti-loneliness work

A Sheffield charity hopes multi-lingual students will sign-up as volunteers to help cut loneliness amongst older people in the city. George Joseph is one of a handful of students from Sheffield Volunteering – University of Sheffield, Students’ Union – to have already signed up to Sheffield Church’s Council for Community Care’s ‘Good Neighbour Scheme’, which matches volunteers with isolated, older residents. The 23-year-old’s ability to speak Malayalam as well as English means he could in the future be matched to an older person whose alternative first language means they are even more isolated within their community.
4th May 2021 - Charity Today.co.uk

Virus cases plunge and LA, San Francisco come back to life

When Angeleno Wine Co. reopened its tasting room, co-owner Amy Luftig Viste teared up seeing old friends reunited for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic had shuttered so many businesses that it left major cities looking like ghost towns. Even with limited capacity, animated conversations flowed from the tables set among barrels of aging wine and echoed off the brick walls of the winery hidden in an industrial section on the outskirts of downtown Los Angeles. “It felt like the winery had come alive again,” Luftig Viste said Sunday, the day after it reopened after being closed all but two weeks over the past 13 months. The din in the small space is destined to get louder when capacity is allowed to double to 50% as Los Angeles and San Francisco lead the way toward a broader reopening of California businesses.
4th May 2021 - The Associated Press

In Europe, Gibraltar offers glimpse of post-pandemic life

“It’s really liberating,” said Samuel Calvente, a Gibraltar hotel worker, when asked how it feels to be mask-free outdoors. “Having that mask on all the time was claustrophobic and stressful, particularly because this is a hot, humid place in summer. Wearing a face mask in 40-degree heat when you’re sweating away is extremely unpleasant.” Weeks ago, Fabian Picardo, the chief minister of the tiny British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar, announced that with a hugely advanced vaccination programme, for the first time in nine months, there were zero active COVID-19 cases among Gibraltar’s resident population – as continues to be the case – and that some of the most stringent public health measures, such as wearing face masks outside, could finally be lifted. A world-leading total of 85 percent of Gibraltar’s population is now vaccinated against COVID-19, as well as all of its 15,000 foreign workers.
4th May 2021 - AlJazeera

Income inequality tied to more COVID-19 cases, deaths

A study yesterday in JAMA Network Open identifies an association between US county-level income inequality and higher rates of COVID-19 infection and death in summer 2020. The ecological cohort study, by Stanford University researchers, analyzed coronavirus case and death data from Johns Hopkins University on 3,220 counties in 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, DC, from Mar 1, 2020, to Feb 28, 2021. County income data, obtained mostly from the 2014 through 2018 American Community Survey, were used to estimate the Gini coefficient, which measures unequal income. Coefficient scores range from 0 to 1, with 0 representing perfect income equality and 1 representing perfect income inequality, in which one person earns all the income.
4th May 2021 - CIDRAP

Rickshaw ‘ambulance’ offers free oxygen to India’s COVID patients

When Indian auto-rickshaw driver Mohammad Javed Khan saw people carrying their coronavirus-stricken parents to hospitals on their backs as they were too poor to afford an ambulance, he knew he had to help. Khan, a 34-year-old driver in the central Indian city of Bhopal, sold his wife’s jewellery and converted his three-wheeled vehicle into a small ambulance, fitting it out with an oxygen cylinder, an oximeter to measure oxygen levels in the blood, and other medical supplies.
4th May 2021 - AlJazeera


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 4th May 2021

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‘No one knew we were homeless’: relief funds hope to reach students missing from virtual classrooms

About 1.5 million school-age children in the United States are homeless, according to federal data. Last fall, researchers estimated that many of them were among the 1 to 3 million students potentially missing from classrooms during remote learning. Even homeless students who have a device might not have wifi or a place to charge a laptop. “Identification is hard because we depend on teachers and social workers and others to see what the signs are,” said Deborah Dempsey, a homeless student advocate for the Kane County Regional Office of Education, outside Chicago. The 34-year-old Education for Homeless Children and Youths program, also known as McKinney-Vento, ensures that children living in shelters, hotels or “doubled-up” with other families can stay in their school. It guarantees transportation and access to additional services, such as referrals to housing, food and health care. But the law wasn’t designed with distance learning in mind, and many families are reluctant to volunteer that they’re living in a car or moving from couch to couch.
2nd May 2021 - The Guardian

All aboard! Cameroon’s race to vaccinate every child

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers and health workers step aboard a make-shift boat, headed to Manoka, a remote island off the coast of Douala, Cameroon’s economic capital. The boat is made of traditional wooden materials, steered by its passengers and driven by an outboard motor. Wearing life jackets and face masks, the group sits as socially distanced as they can, sharing the space with some water – a necessary carry-on for the journey – and mini-fridges. By reaching Manoka’s zero-dose children, health workers and volunteers unlock a door that brings the entire community into contact with the health system.
29th Apr 2021 - Gavi - The Vaccine Alliance

A Normal Summer Depends on These Key Vaccine Holdouts

By June or July, if we immunize most American adults and adolescents, levels of virus transmission will decrease precipitously. In an epidemiological modeling study with the CUNY School of Public Health, we found that roughly three-quarters of the susceptible U.S. population would need to be vaccinated to significantly slow or stop virus transmission. However, the new B.1.1.7 (United Kingdom) variant, among others now accelerating across the country, is more transmissible than the original virus lineages examined in our study. This means even higher levels of vaccine coverage, possibly 80 percent or higher, may be necessary.
22nd Apr 2021 - The Daily Beast


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 30th Apr 2021

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Japan business leaders suggest ways for govt to speed up vaccination rate

Japanese business leaders and a Nobel-prizewinning biologist called upon the government to reform its vaccination programme, including allowing drive-through inoculations, as the nation struggles to contain a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Japan has secured the largest quantity of COVID-19 vaccines in Asia, as it gears up for the summer Olympics. But it has inoculated only 1.6% of its population so far, the slowest among wealthy countries. Government data on Wednesday showed that Japan has only used about a fifth of the coronavirus vaccine doses it has imported so far, underscoring logistical hurdles such as a shortage of medical staff
29th Apr 2021 - Reuters

Covid-19 community art project in Kirkby Lonsdale brings wellbeing benefits

In Cumbria, a Kirkby Lonsdale art project, about the emotional impact of Covid-19, is uniting the community and raising funds to help young people struggling with mental ill health. In total the Lunesdale Learning Trust fundraiser, for Brathay, has raised £2790.43 to help young people in Cumbria affected by poor mental health.
29th Apr 2021 - Lancaster Guardian

Medway hospital staff video urges BAME community to take up Covid vaccine after figures show uptake 25% lower

In Kent, hospital staff from a wide range of cultural backgrounds have produced a special video urging members of ethnic minority communities to step forward for their vaccine. The employees at Medway NHS Foundation Trust from a wider variety of cultural backgrounds came together to produce the film. It comes in response to data showing up to a quarter of members of the BAME community are less likely to take up a Covid-19 vaccine. The video features messages from trust staff in 12 different languages – English, Marathi, Punjabi, Mandarin, Cantonese, Thai, Bajan dialect, Yoruba, Malayalam, Egyptian Arabic, Urdu and Bengali.
29th Apr 2021 - Kent Online

Sold his SUV to buy oxygen for people: India’s good Samaritans

On Sunday, Maria Mehra, a 56-year-old COVID-19 patient, was gasping for breath at her home in Mumbai. Her oxygen level had dropped to 76 and she needed immediate hospitalisation. But there were no beds available, given the record number of infections across the metropolis over the past several weeks. Her desperate family tried frantically to arrange a hospital bed or an oxygen cylinder for her but couldn’t find one until Maria’s brother-in-law Jackson Quadras, 47, reached out to Shahnawaz Shahalam Sheikh. Sheikh provided them with an oxygen cylinder around midnight. Hours later, Quadras secured a hospital bed in Malad, a suburb in north Mumbai, for Maria but remains thankful to Sheikh whose timely intervention helped her. “Shahnawaz bhai (brother) is everything for us. He saved the life of my sister-in-law,” Jackson told Al Jazeera.
29th Apr 2021 - AlJazeera


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 29th Apr 2021

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Pharmacists offer COVID-19 jab to the homeless in charity event

Two pharmacists have worked alongside other healthcare professionals to vaccinate the homeless and undocumented migrants against COVID-19 in central London. Sikh charity NishkamSWAT and London-based charity The Connection at St Martin’s jointly launched a vaccination initiative for the homeless, in partnership with the NHS. They ran two vaccination clinics last week and one on Monday outside the Zimbabwean Embassy in central London. Volunteering alongside a dentist, a GP and a clinical director were Gurinder Singh, a community pharmacist and lecturer at the University of Reading, and Captain Dal Singh Virdee, an army pharmacist who runs the healthcare arm of NishkamSWAT. Following the success of the first clinics, the charities are now receiving requests from other local homeless organisations in east and west London to run similar pop-up sites.
28th Apr 2021 - Chemist+Druggist

Covid-19: Indians in London unite in wake of crisis as death toll passes 200,000

As a second wave of the Covid pandemic rages in India, leaving hospitals without oxygen and bodies on the streets, the Indian Diaspora in London are coming together. Community members have launched fundraisers to buy oxygen concentrators, as well as gathering to pray for relatives and friends suffering thousands of miles away. Yogesh Patel, 64, who works with the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London, known as the Neasden temple, told The Standard the situation in India was “dire” and there was a lot of apprehension within the London community. The temple has also launched an international emergency appeal campaign to support their relief efforts across India -which have so far included the building of a makeshift hospital in Atladara, district of Vadodara, pictured below.
28th Apr 2021 - Evening Standard

3food4u launches Contain Outbreak project to help Covid-19 sufferers

A community project that has provided a lifeline for many people during the pandemic is stepping up its service in response to the emergence of new variants of coronavirus. The 3food4u charity is launching a pilot scheme from this week offering a free food and essential delivery service to anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19 and must self-isolate as required. The 3food4u Contain Outbreak project will be for two months and is being run in collaboration with Essex County Council and Essex Association for Local Councils.
28th Apr 2021 - Epping Forest Guardian

Indians step up to the plate to cook for COVID patients, families

Concerned by a spike in COVID-19 infections in her gated community in Noida, a city bordering New Delhi, Plaksha Aggarwal wanted to help and started cooking for the patients and their families. After catering to a few families within her apartment complex earlier this month, she started getting calls from around the city. “I could not refuse people. They wouldn’t be calling unless they needed help. Some orders were for people who had just lost family members,” she told Al Jazeera. Within a week, Aggarwal was preparing 120 meals a day. “While in home isolation, having someone take care of your food or your kids’ meals because you cannot cook for them is just one less thing to stress about,” she says.
28th Apr 2021 - AlJazeera


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 28th Apr 2021

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Harry and Meghan to lead ‘Vax Live’ fundraising concert

Prince Harry and Meghan will serve as the campaign chairs of Global Citizen’s effort to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to medical workers in the world’s poorest countries. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will appear at “Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World,” to be taped Sunday at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles and air on ABC, CBS, FOX, YouTube and iHeartMedia broadcast radio stations on May 8, Global Citizen, the anti-poverty nonprofit, announced Tuesday. Harry and Meghan are also leading an effort to raise money for the vaccine-sharing program COVAX, which hopes to produce $19 billion to pay for the vaccines for medical workers.
27th Apr 2021 - The Associated Press

New Consumer Research on COVID-19 Vaccination Reveals Barriers in Reaching Herd Immunity

New DISQO research asking COVID-19 unvaccinated U.S. adults about their intentions to get vaccinated raises concerns over the country’s ability to reach the threshold widely believed necessary for herd immunity (70% of the population being vaccinated). DISQO found that 23% of unvaccinated people were “unsure” about whether they will get a vaccine when available to them, and 22% said they “would not.” DISQO fielded the new study, “ Moving the Needle, Persuading the Vaccine Unsure,” to understand COVID-19 vaccine attitudes, trust about information sources, and willingness to be vaccinated at pharmacy retailers. 22,000 U.S. adults answered survey questions and more than 30,000 opted in to share their online browsing, enabling DISQO to understand attitudes and actual behaviors.
27th Apr 2021 - The Associated Press

Hunger in Times of Covid-19: Help Rio’s Favelas by Donating to Community Campaigns

With over 4000 people just in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas dead from Covid-19, we have now entered the most critical phase where threats from food insecurity are competing with those from the pandemic. Families are struggling due to a combination of high rates of unemployment, lack of government support and skyrocketing food prices. Now more than ever, Rio’s favelas require attention from the international community. Favela-based community organizations have provided us with links to their virtual fundraising platforms and bank accounts in order to purchase foodstuffs and hygiene products. The number of campaigns has surged in recent weeks, in response to the third and most deadly wave of Covid-19 to hit Rio de Janeiro.
27th Apr 2021 - RioOnWatch

Lockdowns, quarantines, restrictions: British Muslims forge digital pathways to family during a lonely, Covid Ramadan

Muslims across the UK are observing the month of Ramadan in the absence of familial traditions due to Covid-19 restrictions, but they're using technology to bridge the gap. Ramadan generally is known to be a time for community. Prior to the pandemic, centres, mosques, and universities organised iftar dinners, and invited the local community to join in and eat together. But that too came to an end as Covid lockdown restrictions came into effect, and with that real life gatherings were replaced by digital communication.
27th Apr 2021 - alaraby.co.uk

Mayor of Hartlepool honours town Covid heroes for outstanding efforts during pandemic

The Ceremonial Mayor of Hartlepool, Councillor Brenda Loynes, launched a new awards scheme to recognise those who have helped others during the pandemic. Cllr Loynes said: “I have always said that the community spirit in Hartlepool is second-to-none and these accolades are once again testament to that. “People rose to the challenge and gave unstintingly of their time and energy to help and support other local people in need during the darkest of times.”
27th Apr 2021 - Hartlepool Mail

Vaccinations are plateauing. Don’t blame it on ‘resistance’

The U.S. vaccine rollout is plateauing. A remarkable 230 million shots have been given in a few short months, fully vaccinating about 95 million Americans as I write this. The next 100 million shots will be harder. News reports are chronicling a slowdown in appointments across the nation. The number of daily doses administered is down from the peak of 4.6 million on April 10 to about 3 million today. By now, this historic effort has captured the vaccine-hungry individuals who are eager, well-resourced, technologically savvy, and excited to get vaccinated. But as fewer people sign up to get their shots, a dominant narrative is emerging: It’s because of hesitancy — too many people don’t want to get the vaccine. Some even call this vaccine resistance. Those are convenient narratives. But they are false, and can have harmful consequences. Instead of talking up hesitancy, it’s time to talk about what motivates people to get vaccinated and identify the ongoing barriers to vaccination.
27th Apr 2021 - STAT News

In Africa, vaccine hesitancy adds to slow rollout of doses

Some Africans are hesitating to get COVID-19 vaccines amid concerns about their safety, alarming public health officials as some countries start to destroy thousands of doses that expired before use. Malawi and South Sudan in recent days have said they will destroy some of their doses, a concerning development on a continent where health officials have been outspoken about the need for vaccine equity as the world’s rich nations hold the bulk of shots. Africa, whose 1.3 billion people represent 16% of the world’s population, has received less than 2% of the COVID-19 vaccine doses administered around the world, according to the World Health 0rganization.
27th Apr 2021 - The Associated Press


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 27th Apr 2021

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Hyde Park: Police attacks at anti-lockdown protest condemned

An anti-lockdown protest in which eight police officers were injured will be raised with senior bosses with "utmost urgency", a policing leader has said. Demonstrators hurled bottles at police as they attempted to disperse crowds in Hyde Park on Saturday evening.
26th Apr 2021 - BBC News

Over £5.5 million in Covid-19 funding distributed by Community Foundation Wales

Community Foundation Wales has awarded over £5.5 million in funding to groups across Wales to help them to support their local communities through the Coronavirus pandemic. The scale of this emergency support for the third sector in Wales is revealed in Community Foundation Wales’ Coping with Covid-19 report published today. As an independent Welsh charity, Community Foundation Wales is well placed to help communities to respond to a local emergency or crisis. Whilst they have done that in the past in the case of local incidents, this is the first time that they have had to galvanise rapid Wales-wide support to bring vital funding to people all over Wales.
26th Apr 2021 - Wales247

Italy opens again amid hopes for real economic relaunch

Lunch-time diners filled tables on Milan’s landmark Piazza Duomo even on a cloudy, windswept Monday, proof of the pent-up demand for eating out as Italy begins its second, and many hope last, reopening of the COVID-19 pandemic. After six months of rotating on-again, off-again closures, restaurants, bars, museums and cinemas opened to the public in most of the country under a gradual reopening plan that is seen as too cautious for some, too hasty for others. The nation’s weary virologists and health care workers fear that even the tentative reopening laid out by Premier Mario Draghi’s government will invite a free-or-all, signs of which were seen over the weekend with parks and squares filling up in cities from Rome to Turin, Milan to Naples. “It is illusory to think that you give a sign of opening, and you don’t see people around. Perfection doesn’t exist,” Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala said Monday. “You also have to be a little tolerant, and also a little careful.”
26th Apr 2021 - The Associated Press

Amid Brazil’s COVID chaos, socialist Marica forges different path

Located just 60km from Rio de Janeiro, Marica has modelled itself into a very different city, paying residents a universal basic income, using its own digital currency and procuring its own vaccines. More than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, Brazil seems set on beating its own tragic records on a daily basis. By April, 4,000 Brazilians were dying every 24 hours — an average of one every 20 seconds — and many while waiting for beds in overcrowded intensive care units. Hundreds of hospitals were running out of intubation kits in what the country’s leading health institution, the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), called the worst “sanitary collapse” in Brazilian history.
26th Apr 2021 - Al Jazeera English


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 26th Apr 2021

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TikTok: 'My nan has helped me get millions of views'

Lewis Leigh and his grandma Nanny Phyllis have become an unlikely social media sensation on TikTok. The pair, from Merthyr Tydfil, may have over half a century between them but together their dance videos have racked up millions of views and gained fans all around the world. Phyllis, 76, says their lockdown exploits have given her a new lease of life after the death of her husband and have brought grandma and grandson even closer together.
25th Apr 2021 - BBC News

Covid spread as overcrowding doubles among private renters in England

The proportion of private renters living in overcrowded homes has doubled during the pandemic, adding to concerns that living conditions helped the virus spread, particularly among ethnic minorities. Figures out last week from the English Housing Survey’s household resilience study found that the proportion in November and December last year was 15%, up from 7% a year earlier. That means more than one in seven private renters are enduring overcrowding, compared with only one in 50 homeowners. Overcrowded housing is believed to be linked to higher rates of coronavirus infection because it makes social distancing and self-isolation harder. Research last year by the Health Foundation and University College London’s Institute of Health Equity pointed to a relationship between overcrowding and Covid death rates.
24th Apr 2021 - The Guardian


Community Activities - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 23rd Apr 2021