Tag Archives: Corona virus pandemic 2019-2020

European Companies Accelerating Digital Transition and Sustainability Will Recover Faster From the COVID-19 Crisis, Finds Research from Accenture | Business | Instant News


DAVOS, Switzerland – (BUSINESS WIRE) – 25 Jan 2021–

European companies that are accelerating their digital transition and sustainability are likely to recover faster and emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, according to a new report. report from Accenture (NYSE: ACN).

According to the report, the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in differences in the resilience and growth prospects of European companies:

  • Half (49%) of European companies have reported declines in earnings or profits over the past 12 months and do not expect improvement in the next 12 months.
  • A fifth (19%) of European companies had strong financial performance before the pandemic but now expect negative earnings or profit growth in the next 12 months. The report referred to these companies as “fallen angels.”
  • One-third (32%) of European companies expect to deliver profitable growth in the next 12 months. The report describes these companies as “future leaders”.

The report shows that companies that lead in digital adoption and sustainable practices are nearly three times more likely than other companies to be among the “leaders of tomorrow,” and so recover faster and emerge stronger from the crisis.

“The digital transformation defined the business landscape in the 2010s, and companies leading this transformation with speed and scale are winning,” said Jean-Marc Ollagnier, CEO of Accenture in Europe. “We are entering a decade ushering in a new wave of business change defined by a sustainable transition. How European companies manage this ‘twin transformation’ will determine how quickly they will recover from the crisis and how well they will be positioned to sustain growth in a post-pandemic world. “

According to research, nearly half (45%) of European businesses prioritize investing in both digital transformation and sustainability. Specifically, 40% of European respondents plan to invest heavily in artificial intelligence, 37% plan to invest heavily in the cloud, and 31% plan to rebalance their investment to focus more on sustainable business models.

European companies are unsure about their 2021 growth targets

The report noted that less than half (45%) of European businesses expect to reach their 2021 growth target. Those in Great Britain, France and Germany are among the most optimistic, with 59%, 52% and 51% of respondents in those countries, respectively, expecting to hit their 2021 targets. Respondents in Italy and Spain were among the most pessimistic, with only 34% and 31%, respectively, expecting to reach their 2021 growth targets.

“Even companies that recognize business opportunities to accelerate their digital and sustainable transitions face obstacles at various stages of this twin transformation journey,” said Ollagnier. “These challenges include defining viable business models around sustainable practices and products, freeing up resources to better mobilize organizations, and moving rapidly from pilot and closed-door projects to large-scale and enterprise initiatives.”

The report suggests some strategic steps companies should take to overcome these barriers and successfully carry out twin transformations. This includes:

  • Fostering an ecosystem-based business model that is driven by sustainability and made possible by technology: The twin transformation leaders already generate more than 10% of their income this way.
  • Combine resources to scale technology applications to sustainable practices: The twin transformation leaders invest more in overall innovation, allocating more than 10% of their annual revenue to research and development. They also recognize that sustainability and technology are not separate priorities.
  • Leading, empowering, and nurturing talent: The twin transformation leaders are responsible for the continuity of their employees’ work. They don’t waste effort reskilling / upskilling their workforce, understanding that building and nurturing talent is essential to turning transformation into real business value.

“There’s a reason why DNA is a double helix,” said Ollagnier. “The spiral structure of the molecules that form the basis of life is essential for replication, adaptation – and development. It is a powerful metaphor for business amid two parallel transitions that twist the laws of evolution in dynamic yet unstoppable ways: digital transformation and sustainability. European businesses that continue to follow well-traveled paths will see others gain a competitive advantage by tapping into the dynamic interactions at the heart of their DNA. Or they can join them by unlocking the value that lies in blending innovative technology with traditional European strengths of sustainability, solidarity and purpose. “

The study is based on a survey of 4,051 C-suite executives in 13 countries across 19 industries. The survey was conducted in November 2020 and includes companies with annual revenues exceeding US $ 500 million. The industries represented include: aerospace and defense; airlines / travel / transportation; automotive; banking; capital market; communication / media / entertainment; chemical material; consumer goods; energy; health; high technology; industrial goods & equipment; Coverage; pharmaceutical / biotech / life sciences; public service; retail; software / platform; and utilities. The countries represented include Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States.

Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security. Combining unmatched experience and specialist expertise in more than 40 industries, we offer Strategy and Consulting, Interactive, Technology and Operations services – all supported by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. Our 514,000 people fulfill the promise of technology and human ingenuity every day, serving clients in more than 120 countries. We embrace the power of change to create value and mutual success for our clients, employees, shareholders, partners and our communities. Visit us at www.accenture.com.

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PUB: 01/25/2021 03:59 AM / DISC: 01/25/2021 03:59 AM

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Latest: UK is expanding vaccinations; 6 million shots given. | National | Instant News


LONDON – Britain is expanding its coronavirus vaccination program that has seen nearly 6 million people get the first of two doses – even as the country’s death toll in the pandemic approaches 100,000.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Sunday that three-quarters of Britain’s population over 80 had received a shot of the vaccine. She said three-quarters of the nursing home residents also had their first injection. Nearly 5.9 million doses of the vaccine had been given as of Saturday.

Health officials aim to vaccinate 15 million people, including all people over 70, by February 15.

The UK vaccination campaign is a rare success in the country with the worst coronavirus outbreak in Europe. The UK recorded 97,329 deaths among people who tested positive.

Another 1,348 deaths were reported Saturday, and the UK is set within days to become the fifth country in the world to record 100,000 COVID-19 deaths.


THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

Pandemic stress puts medical workers at high risk depression, anxiety, substance abuse

– A year after virus lockdown, Wuhan dissidents more isolated than before

British doctor seeking a review of the 12-week gaps between vaccine doses

– All of it University of Michigan the athletics department stopped after several positive tests for the new COVID-19 variant that was transmitted at a higher rate.


Follow all AP pandemic coverage on https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak


HERE WHAT ELSE HAPPENED:

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – New Zealand has reported its first coronavirus case outside a quarantine facility in more than two months, although there is no direct evidence that the virus is spreading in the community.

Health Director General Ashley Bloomfield said the case was a 56-year-old woman who recently returned from Europe. Like other returning travelers, he spent 14 days in quarantine and tested negative twice before returning home on January 13. He later developed symptoms and tested positive.

He said health officials would carry out genome testing but worked on the assumption that the case was a more contagious variant of the virus. He said they were investigating to see if it was possible that he contracted the disease from other travelers who had returned to live in the same quarantine facility.

New Zealand has been eradicating community transmission of the virus, at least for now. Bloomfield said officials are stepping up contact tracing and testing efforts and hope to have more information on the case in the coming days.


BEIJING – A Chinese city has completed 2,600 temporary treatment rooms as the northern state battles a new coronavirus outbreak.

The single-occupancy rooms in Nangong city in Hebei province outside Beijing are each equipped with their own heating, toilet, shower and other facilities, reports the official Xinhua News Agency.

Particular attention has been paid to Hebei as its proximity to the capital and the province has locked up large areas to prevent further spread of the virus. The provincial capital of Shijiazhung and the city of Xingtai, which includes Nangong, have been largely closed. Community isolation and large-scale testing have also been introduced.

The National Health Commission on Sunday reported 19 additional cases in Hebei. Northeastern Heilongjiang province reported another 29 cases, some of which were linked to an outbreak at a meat processing plant. Beijing, where about 2 million residents have been ordered to undergo new tests, reported two new confirmed cases.

China currently has 1,800 people being treated for COVID-19.


SEATTLE – Washington and Oregon now confirm additional cases of the more contagious variant of COVID-19 in the Pacific Northwest.

The Washington Department of Health announced Saturday that variant B.1.1.7, which first appeared in Britain last September, had been confirmed by DNA sequencing in two cases in Snohomish County. It is the first confirmed case in Washington.

The Oregon Health Authority confirmed a second case, in a person from Yamhill County, a week after the first case was detected in Multnomah County.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no conclusive evidence that it is more severe than other strains of the virus.


NEW YORK – New York will send more vaccination preparation kits to elderly housing complexes and churches in a bid to ensure fairness in vaccine distribution, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.

These include syringes, vials, room dividers, privacy curtains, cleaning supplies, personal protective equipment, and other items. They also include instructions on how to set up a vaccination site.

New York deployed the first equipment last week to five New York City Housing Authority senior citizen compounds and eight churches and cultural centers where nearly 4,200 people eligible to receive the vaccine have been vaccinated, Cuomo said.

The kits are now being shipped to four additional senior complexes in New York City and eight other churches across the state, with plans to administer the vaccine to a further 3,000 people at those locations by Tuesday. Locations in Brooklyn, Bronx, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, and Buffalo will receive the kit.

The kits are part of efforts to ensure vaccination in Black, Latino and other communities where COVID-19 is having a disproportionate impact, the governor said.

Also on Saturday, the governor’s office reported another 144 deaths across the state from the coronavirus. More than 8,800 people were hospitalized, down 44 compared to Friday’s data.


SAN FRANCISCO – The federal appeals court rejected a request by the Southern California church to overturn state coronavirus restrictions that prohibit indoor worship services during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Sacramento Bee said Friday’s decision by the Court of Appeals of the 9th US Circuit left the door open to discussing Governor Gavin Newsom’s administrative limits on church attendance if the California region was under less stringent COVID-19 levels.

A three-judge panel ruled the South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista on a public health order restricting religious services held inside while virus case rates and hospitalizations remain high.

Currently in California, indoor worship is banned in all purple-storied countries – which are considered to be at wide risk of transmission of the coronavirus. This level covers most of the states.


SANTA FE, NM – New Mexico on Saturday reported an additional 859 cases of COVID-19 and another 38 deaths.

That raises the state’s total pandemic to 168,579 cases and 3,115 deaths.

Bernalillo County has the most additional cases with 184, followed by 83 in San Juan County, 74 in Dona Ana County and 53 in McKinley County.

Most of the additional deaths involved older New Mexicans, but they also included some in their 20s and 30s. The number of infections is thought to be much higher than reported because many people have not been tested


RIO DE JANEIRO – The governor of the Brazilian state of Amazonas has announced tough new lockdown measures to combat the surge in COVID-19 cases that have flooded local hospitals.

Governor Wilson Lima said Saturday that as of Monday, the state’s 4 million people could only go out for essential activities such as buying food or seeking medical care.

Hospitals in the state capital Manaus have been tense amid reports that the new variant of the novel coronavirus is more contagious, and the state has experienced a shortage of oxygen. The state health secretary said 584 people were on a waiting list for hospital beds, 101 of whom needed intensive therapy.

“People need to understand that we have to take tough action to save as many lives as possible,” Lima said in an announcement posted on social media.


HELSINKI – Norway says its capital, Oslo, and nine municipalities have been placed under strict restrictions to contain the spread of a new variant of the coronavirus that was first detected in Britain.

The Norwegian government said shopping malls and other non-essential shops in the region were closed at midday on Saturday, and would remain closed at least until January 31.

In addition, organized sporting activities were halted, schools were ordered to increasingly rely on distance teaching and households were asked not to invite visitors back to the area.

Norwegian health officials say the Scandinavian country of 5.4 million has so far identified 55 cases of the virus variant that has spread widely in Britain.

Neighboring Sweden, where the coronavirus outbreak is far worse than in Norway, said late Saturday it plans to roll out a temporary entry ban from Norway because of the new variant.


LAS VEGAS – Federal prosecutors have charged a Nevada man with fraudulently obtaining an estimated $ 2 million in federal coronavirus relief intended for small businesses to purchase luxury vehicles and condos in Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the US attorney’s office in Nevada accused Jorge Abramovs of bank fraud after he allegedly submitted funding requests to at least seven banks between April and June 2020.

The complaint said financial analysis determined that Abramovs spent the money on personal luxury items, including a 2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible worth over $ 260,000 and a 2020 Tesla Model 3 for around $ 55,000.

Abramovs was ordered to be detained on Friday during a detention hearing. A defense attorney assigned to represent Abramovs did not immediately respond to an email request from The Associated Press for comment.


CHICAGO – Certain restaurants and bars across Chicago and the suburbs of Cook County have opened their doors to customers for the first time since late October following Saturday’s approval from Illinois health officials.

With cities and counties moving up to Tier I of the state’s coronavirus mitigation plans, food-serving restaurants and bars can put customers indoors at 25% capacity or 25 people per room, whichever is smaller.

Tables will be limited to no more than four people indoors or six people outdoors, and tables must be 6 feet apart. Indoor service will be limited to a maximum of two hours and bars and restaurants must close at 11pm


WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden promised in his inaugural address to equalize the American people, and the message from his first three days in office is nothing if not gloomy and gloomy.

He has painted a grim picture of the future of a country dealing with the coronavirus soon, warning Americans that it will take months, not weeks, to change the orientation of the country facing the convergence of a historic crisis.

Terrible language is meant to be a call to action, but it’s also a deliberate attempt to stifle expectations. The US is trying to launch a vaccination program, with slow production and distribution problems.

The US leads the world with 24.8 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 415,000 deaths.

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Britain is suffering from its deadliest pandemic day, with some hospitals ‘like war zones’ National | Instant News


LONDON – Britain is having its worst day in the pandemic, with more than 1,800 deaths recorded in 24 hours, as chief scientific adviser Boris Johnson warned some hospitals now look “like war zones.”

The daily casualty record brings the total number of people who have died in the 28 days after testing positive in the UK to 93,290. Nearly 40,000 patients are now receiving treatment in UK hospitals.

Britain is in a third national lockdown and similar measures are in place across the UK, but while restrictions are starting to lower infection rates, officials say the death rate and pressure on the National Health Service will continue to increase.

“Right now is very, very bad, with a lot of pressure,” Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, told Sky News when asked about the situation at the hospital. “In some cases, it looks like a war zone.”

Ministers previously said the lockdown could be gradually reduced after some 15 million people most vulnerable to the disease have received the vaccine, which the government wants to be carried out in mid-February.

After three days in which vaccination rates slowed down, the number of people receiving the first injection increased again with 343,163 receiving injections on Tuesday. More than 4.6 million people in the UK have had their first dose.

But Vallance said it was “not the time” to consider lifting Britain’s lockdown. Easing restrictions too early could trigger another spike in infections, he said, adding that the vaccine rollout “will not carry a heavy burden on us at this time.”

He also said some restrictions may be needed next winter – including wearing masks, especially indoors.

Any delay in lifting the lockdown is likely to cause political problems for Johnson, who faces discontent among lawmakers in his Conservative Party over the damage the move has done to the economy. Steve Baker, a senior member of Parliament, warned last week it would be “catastrophic” if the pandemic’s curbs last until spring.

Vallance suggested the government should pay attention to lessons from the pandemic. Evidence suggests “you have to work harder earlier and more broadly if you want to get over this,” he said. “Waiting and watching doesn’t work.”

He also said “stricter” quarantine measures for travelers last January and February may have helped prevent the entry of disease, but in March “we had so many cases, I didn’t think it would make much of a difference.”

Top government scientists have given an optimistic tone about the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, although preliminary analysis from Israel suggests that it has significantly lower efficacy after the first dose than previously thought. If confirmed, it would raise questions about the UK’s strategy to delay the second dose in order to reach more people for the first.

But Vallance points to trial data showing the vaccine can be 89% effective after a single dose – from 10 days after injection. He said that while it “probably won’t be that high in practice,” it also won’t be as low as the Israeli analysis suggests. Scientists will study data from Israel and Britain in the coming weeks, he said.

Distributed by the Tribune Content Agency, LLC

Copyright 2021 Tribune Content Agency.

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Czechs must require minimum local food in stores | World | Instant News


PRAGUE (AP) – The lower house of the Czech Parliament approved Wednesday a requirement that supermarkets have a minimum portion of local food, a move to reduce dependence on imports.

The share of Czech food in stores greater than 400 square meters (4305 square feet) must be at least 55% by 2022 and increase to at least 73% by 2028, according to the law.

It was drafted by the populist opposition Freedom and Direct Democracy Party which pushed it through the house with help from Prime Minister Andrej Babis’ ruling coalition.

The controversial move still needs to be approved by the upper house, the Senate, which is controlled by the opposition, and then by the president. The lower house can rule out a possible Senate or presidential veto by a simple majority.

Those who support the bill argue that the coronavirus pandemic shows that it is important for the country to be self-reliant in food production.

They said the move would also improve local agriculture. This applies to about 120 food products such as pork, beef, milk, honey and various vegetables that are already produced in the Czech Republic.

Eight European Union countries have protested the bill, saying it would discriminate against imported products, which are illegal under EU rules.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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Latest: China grapples with virus outbreak in northeast | Business | Instant News


Despite the substantial daily increases, Health Minister Salvador Illa on Monday confirmed that the steps being taken by each of Spain’s 17 regions were enough to quell the increase, ruling out a complete lockdown.

Spain’s head of health emergencies Fernando Simon said the country may be on the cusp of its latest spike or getting closer to it.

ROME – For the first time in three weeks, Italy’s daily caseload of known coronavirus infections fell below 10,000 on Monday.

Health Ministry figures reported an additional 8,825 cases since Sunday, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 2.4 million since the start of the pandemic.

Sicily has the highest daily caseload in the country. Italy recorded 377 deaths for the second day in a row.

The country’s known COVID-19 death toll of 82,554 is the second highest in Europe.

MADRID – The small British colony of Gibraltar says it has lost more people to the coronavirus since the start of the year than any other single cause in the past century.

Gibraltar, with a population of around 34,000, has recorded 38 deaths since January 1.

“Even in war, we have never lost that much in this short amount of time,” Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said on Monday.

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