COVID-19 pandemic

  • Alarmed Europe prepares for more COVID pain amid rising discontent
    ROME, October 27 (Reuters): European governments prepared on Tuesday to introduce new restrictions to try to curb a growing surge of coronavirus infections across the continent and provide economic balm to help businesses survive the pandemic. Eight months into the crisis, world leaders face an increasingly difficult task holding the disease at bay while also trying to keep their economies afloat as they wait for a vaccination that should mitigate the contagion. The United S
  • Canada's Atlantic region closed out world to beat COVID-19, and the economy has done OK
    OTTAWA, October 25 (Reuters): Chef Emily Wells was unsure what to expect as she opened the doors of her seasonal restaurant in rural Prince Edward Island the same day Canada's four Atlantic provinces bubbled together, allowing travel between them while keeping their borders restricted to everyone else. The result was far better than she could have imagined. "It was a remarkable summer, I was floored by it," Wells said. "The bubble made all the difference.
  • WHO's Tedros says countries on "dangerous track" in pandemic
    GENEVA, October 23 (Reuters): The world is now at a critical juncture in the COVID-19 pandemic and some countries are on a dangerous path, facing the prospect of health services collapsing under the strain, the head of the World Health Organization said on Friday. "We are at a critical juncture in the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the Northern hemisphere," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference. "The next few months are going
  • Spain mulls curfews to contain 'out-of-control' pandemic
    MADRID, October 22 (Reuters): Spain's health minister described a second wave of the coronavirus sweeping the county as "out of control" on Thursday as the government considered whether to follow France and other European countries in imposing curfews. A day earlier Spain became the first Western European country to record 1 million COVID-19 cases. The country's death toll stands at 34,366 people. "Not to take these measures would be irresponsible,&quo
  • Refusing to wear a mask in Ethiopia could cost you two years in jail
    ADDIS ABABA, October 22 (Reuters): Ethiopia can jail people for up to two years if they deliberately violate restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, the attorney general's office said, amid concern that citizens are becoming lax after a state of emergency was lifted. The restrictions prohibit shaking hands, not wearing a mask in a public place, seating more than three people at a table or not keeping "two adult steps" - around six feet - apart .
  • In WHO overhaul push, EU urges changes to handling of pandemics
    BRUSSELS/BERLIN, October 22 (Reuters): The European Union wants the World Health Organization to become more transparent about how states report emerging health crises, a draft proposal on reforming the U.N. agency says, following criticism of China's initial handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. The paper, drawn up by the German government after discussions with other member states, is the latest to outline the EU's months-long plans to address the WHO's shortcomings
  • Spurred by COVID-19, African schools innovate to close learning gap
    DAKAR/JOHANNESBURG, October 21 (Thomson Reuters Foundation): In rural Sierra Leone, teenagers tuned into solar-powered radios for their lessons, while Kenyan students texted a code to receive free learning guides on their phones. As COVID-19 shut Africa's schools, governments and charities rushed to make learning accessible to millions of pupils without internet or even electricity, sparking innovations that could keep children learning long after the pandemic has passed.
  • Brazil's Bolsonaro says his government will not buy China's Sinovac vaccine
    BRASILIA, October 21 (Reuters): Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro said on Wednesday that his government will not buy China's Sinovac vaccine against COVID-19, one day after the health minister said it would be included in the nation's immunization program. "For sure, we will not buy the Chinese vaccine," Bolsonaro said on social media, responding to a supporter who urged him not to buy the vaccine. The president said the issue would be clarified later in t
  • Pope wears mask for first time at public service
    ROME, October 20 (Reuters): Pope Francis wore a mask for the first time at a public function on Tuesday when he and other religious leaders attended a prayer service for peace around the world. The pope wore a white mask during the service at the Rome Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli. Previously he wore masks only in a car taking him to his weekly audiences in the Vatican. He had come under some criticism, particularly on social media, for not wearing a mask at his genera
  • Global HIV response found to neglect gay and bisexual men, trans women
    LONDON, October 20 (Thomson Reuters Foundation): Funding to fight HIV among gay and bisexual men and transgender women is a fraction of what it should be, researchers said on Tuesday, with advocates blaming stigma for the shortfall. Gay and bisexual men account for about one in five new HIV infections, but they were only allocated 1% of the $57 billion in global donor funding to treat the virus and combat its spread between 2016 and 2018, Dutch HIV charity Aidsfonds found. A
  • Wales imposes two-week lockdown: 'everybody must stay at home'
    CARDIFF, October 19 (Reuters): Wales will impose a two-week "fire-break" lockdown from Friday in which everybody apart from essential workers must stay at home to combat an accelerating second wave of COVID-19. Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said he understood that people were tired of coronavirus restrictions but tougher rules were essential as critical care units were already full. "It will have to be sharp and deep in order to have the impact we need,&
  • After months of denial, govt finally admits community transmission
    NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 18 (IANS): Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Sunday admitted that India is in the community transmission stage. However, it is limited only to certain districts and states. The statement has come in the backdrop of West Bengal's Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's admission on Monday that the community transmission of Covid-19 has started in the state. Vardhan's statement was a response to a query made during his weekly webinar, 'Sunday Samvaa
  • PM Modi says use poll experience for vaccine delivery system
    New Delhi, October 17 (IANS): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday reviewed the Covid-19 pandemic situation in the country and the preparedness of vaccine delivery, distribution, and administration. The Prime Minister noted the steady decline in the daily Covid cases and growth rate. He further directed that the country should make use of experience gained in successful conduct of elections and disaster management for the vaccine delivery system. Modi said that in a similar m
  • Vietnam cancels 2020 F1 race due to COVID-19 pandemic
    HANOI, October 16 (Reuters): Vietnam's first Formula One grand prix has been officially cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers said on Friday. The Vietnamese Grand Prix was originally scheduled to take place in April on the streets of Hanoi as the third race of the season, but sources told Reuters in March that it was under threat. "This has been an extremely difficult but necessary decision to reach in view of the continued uncertainty caused by the glo
  • Britain is at a coronavirus tipping point, says deputy chief medical officer
    LONDON, October 11 (Reuters): Britain is at a "tipping point" in the coronavirus crisis and the country must act now to stop history repeating itself, the deputy chief medical officer for England said on Sunday, urging people to follow the rules. With the number of cases rapidly rising particularly in the north of England, ministers are readying a new set of rules to try to tackle the crisis that will include handing more power to local leaders to track the virus'
  • NMHP calls for prioritizing mental health for all
    Kohima, October 9 (MExN): On World Mental Health Day, the Nagaland State Mental Health Programme (NMHP) has emphasized the need to prioritize mental health especially in the back drop of the COVID-19 pandemic and the new reality of physical isolations and distancing caused by the lockdowns. In a press release on Friday, the NMHP said that the world has seen a spike in mental health issues as humans are now experiencing overwhelming vulnerability to mental distress due to the ha
  • Revised guidelines for star campaigners
    Kohima, October 9 (MExN): The Election Commission of India has revised guidelines concerning star campaigners for all ongoing and future elections during the period of COVID-19 pandemic, Nagaland Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) informed on Friday. According to a notification issued through the DIPR, the maximum limit on the number of star campaigners for recognized National/State political parties shall be 30 in place of 40 and for unrecognized registered political parties it shall be
  • Tokyo marathon 2021 postponed until after Olympics due to COVID-19 concerns
    October 9 (Reuters) - Next year's Tokyo marathon has been rescheduled from March to until after the delayed Olympics due to the ongoing concerns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers said on Friday https://www.marathon.tokyo/en/news/detail/news_001791.html. The race was originally scheduled to take place on March 7 and was expected to allow around 38,000 runners to participate. But due to restricted entry in Japan, the race has now been pushed back to Oct. 17. Tokyo
  • Nature protection takes backseat in most pandemic recovery plans
    NEW YORK, OCTOBER 9 (IANS): Most countries are failing to invest in nature-related economic reforms or investments in their Covid-19 pandemic recovery plans, says a study. Indeed, some countries, including the US, Brazil and Australia, are back-tracking on existing laws and relaxing regulations and enforcement actions aimed at protecting nature, according to lead author Pamela McElwee, Associate Professor at Rutgers University-New Brunswick in the US. Only the European Union and
  • China will pay big price for spreading COVID-19 globally: Trump
    New Delhi, October 8 (PTI): United States President Donald Trump has warned that China will have to "pay a big price" for the spread of coronavirus globally. Less than 50 hours after he returned to the White House from a military hospital where he was treated for the deadly virus, Trump in a video posted on Twitter from the Rose Garden outside the Oval Office blamed China for the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The deadly coronavirus originated from the central