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2020 was the year of inequality: can we turn it around in 2021?

2020 was the year of inequality: can we turn it around in 2021?

2020 was cruellest to those who already had the least. At first, it was said that “the virus doesn’t discriminate”, but as COVID-19 spread it became clear that having a low income, being an essential worker or being a member of a marginalised racial minority are “co-morbidities” – factors which make people more likely to die. Then the pandemic created a hunger crisis, leaving hundreds of millions of already struggling people without the earnings to feed their families. It created an educational crisis, too. United Nations children’s agency UNICEF found that a third of the world’s schoolchildren – 463 million children globally – had had…
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Latest on the worldwide spread of the COVID-19

Latest on the worldwide spread of the COVID-19

US President Joe Biden said on Tuesday the United States would have enough COVID-19 vaccine for every American adult by the end of May. The first doses of the Pfizer shots to be dispatched to Africa under the global COVAX vaccine-sharing scheme arrived in Rwanda yesterday. DEATHS AND INFECTIONS * Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals for a case tracker and summary of news. EUROPE * The European Union aims to increase the region's COVID-19 vaccine production capacity to 2-3 billion doses per year by the end of 2021, Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton was quoted as saying. * German Chancellor Angela…
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Aid workers warn of COVID-19 in camps

Aid workers warn of COVID-19 in camps

EMMA RUMNEY  CROWDED centres for people left destitute by Cyclone Eloise in Mozambique create the perfect conditions for COVID-19 to spread, with some living at least 10 to a tent with no access to water, soap or masks, an international aid group said on Tuesday. Cyclone Eloise, which made landfall in Mozambique in the early hours of Saturday, weakened into a tropical storm as it moved inland to Zimbabwe, South Africa, eSwtatini - formerly Swaziland - and Botswana. The death toll across the region rose to 14 on Tuesday after South Africa reported one more death. Crops, homes and infrastructure…
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Kenya suspends in-person meetings

Kenya suspends in-person meetings

GEORGE OBULUTSA KENYA’S health minister said on Friday the government had suspended all in-person meetings and public gatherings to try to contain COVID-19, whose spread in the country he now attributes to the more infectious Delta variant. Mutahi Kagwe said in a televised address that the government had asked public and private-sector employers to allow their workers to work from home, unless they were classified as essential services. "All public gatherings and in-person meetings of whatever nature are suspended countrywide. In this regard, all government, including intergovernmental meetings and conferences, should henceforth be converted to either virtual or postponed in…
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Organisers show off Olympic village a month before Games begin

Organisers show off Olympic village a month before Games begin

ANTONI SLODKOWSKI ORGANISERS of the Tokyo Olympics opened the athletes' village to the media on Sunday, showing off apartments and a timber-laced shopping plaza where 11,000 athletes would stay and mingle during the sporting extravaganza. The once-delayed Games are due to start on July 23 amid concern that the influx of thousands of people from around the world would contribute to the spread of COVID-19. Japan has avoided the kind of explosive outbreaks that crippled many other countries. But its vaccination programme has been slow and the medical system pushed to the brink in parts of the country. The government's…
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COVID-19 spreads to rural India, villages ill-equipped to fight it

COVID-19 spreads to rural India, villages ill-equipped to fight it

SHILPA JAMKHANDIKAR and TANVI MEHTA HOPES that India's rampaging second wave of COVID-19 is peaking were set back on Thursday as record daily infections and deaths were reported and as the virus spread from cities to villages that were poorly equipped to cope. Government modelling had forecast a peak by Wednesday in infections that have overwhelmed the healthcare system, with hospitals running out of beds and medical oxygen. A record 412,262 new cases and 3,980 deaths were reported over the past 24 hours, taking total infections past 21 million and the overall death toll to 230,168, Health Ministry data showed.…
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