Tag Archives: humanitarian crisis

Viral variant race through Italy, especially among children | Instant News

Italian health officials said the coronavirus variant found in Britain was prevalent among the country’s infected schoolchildren and warned that the transmission curve was showing signs of a “strong” increase.

Roberto Speranza told reporters that the variant, associated with higher transmission rates, had shown pervasiveness “among the youngest age groups” of the population.

Italy, the country of 60 million people where COVID-19 first erupted in the West in February 2020, has registered nearly 3 million confirmed cases.

Speranza announced stricter directives, embodied in Italy’s new Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s first anti-pandemic decree, which aimed to try to “manage this curve of transmission,” particularly among school-age children.

There were “quite strong signs of an increase in the curve of transmission and a dire variant,” particularly those found in Britain, the minister said.

The president of the government’s Institute of Excellence for Health, Silvio Brusaferro, said that in the analysis of the cases on February 18, 54% of the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Italy involved that variant. But, said Brusaferro, “if measured today the percentage will definitely be higher.”

Another variant, found in Brazil, is now involved in 4.3% of recent COVID-19 cases in Italy, said Brusaferro, especially in central Italy, including in the Rome region.

In recent days, authorities have taken action to close many cities in areas where transmission rates have risen rapidly. The mayor of Bologna, which has 400,000 residents, announced that, from Thursday and until March 21, the city will be under strict “red zone” lockdown rules, meaning all restaurants and cafes are closed for meals, as well as shops that do not. urgent.

Another critical place is Como, a lakeside town near Switzerland. Many Como residents crossed the border.

The variant found in South Africa is involved in 0.4% of COVID-19 infections in Italy and is mainly limited to areas of the Italian Alps near the border with Austria, said Brusaferro.

Draghi’s decision, which took effect on Saturday and lasts until April 6, right after Easter, tightened the measures governing schools. It mandates that all schools, including those for nurseries and elementary students, in the “red zone” must be closed. Some exceptions will be made for students with special needs.

But the decision relaxed boundaries in the world of culture. From March 27th, cinemas and cinemas can reopen in “yellow zone” areas with low incidence and transmission rates of the virus, but these places must limit capacity to 25%. The museum in the yellow zone, which has been permitted to the public on weekdays, can also open on weekends starting March 27.

Gym and swimming pool remain closed. Also left is a national curfew of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., and a ban on travel between Italian territories.

Italy’s known death toll of more than 98,000 is the second highest in Europe, after Britain.


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US lawmakers expressed solidarity with the Sindhi community as Pak’s crackdown on minorities | Instant News

28 Feb 2021 15:05 I S

Washington [US], February 28 (ANI): In the middle of the process humanitarian crisis in Pakistan against Sindhi Hindu, WE Congressman Eleanor Holmes Norton has supported Sindhi Foundation ‘Long Road to Freedom, Nature, and Love’ as “Sindhi culture promoting peace and the inclusiveness of various religions, sects and customs “.
Speaking in a video message, Norton said, “It is with great pleasure that I congratulate you Sindhi The Foundation to take the initiative to walk 350 miles to raise awareness of human rights and climate change. For too long, the rights of disenfranchised groups have been neglected. Now more than ever, the need to fight for the rights of all is of utmost importance, as the current pandemic has worsened the living situation of many groups. “
He further said that this path has acted as a “bridge between these communities”.
Congressmen pointed out that Sindhi culture “promote peace and the inclusiveness of various religions, sects, and customs. As Sindhi people, many other communities have experienced similar circumstances “.
While urging other human rights activists to support ‘The Long Walk for Freedom’, he said, “Through this road, bridges between these communities will be built, and awareness of human rights abuses and the climate crisis will be heard. I support this goal. and will be present spiritually for the events. “

Most recently, in written submissions to British MPs Jim Shannon, Marie Rimmer and David Alton, World Sindhi Congress – England, WEA and human rights advocacy organization based in Canada – said Pakistan known as one of the most religious intolerance of the world.
The NGO said Sindh province had become a difficult place for Hindus Pakistanthe rules.
“Hindus systematically face public and private sector discrimination and human rights violations such as kidnapping, forced conversion and extortion. Furthermore, attacks on their places of worship have increased in recent years. Although local daily newspapers are full of reported incidents, the police did nothing to support the victims or bring the perpetrators to justice, “the NGO said.
Although all minority groups entered Pakistan suffering from persecution, says the WSC, research shows it Sindhi Hindus are the largest minority group experiencing forced conversion. According to the Human Rights Commission Pakistan (HRCP), 20 or more Hindu girls are kidnapped and converted every month Pakistan.
Pakistan has been repeatedly criticized by the international community for not taking decisive action to protect its minority communities, despite Prime Minister Imran Khan vowing to protect them on many occasions. (ANI)


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With a heavy heart, Italians are marking the year of the COVID-19 outbreak | Instant News

Italians mark one year since their country experienced its first known COVID-19 death

CODOGNO, Italy – With a wreath-laying ceremony, tree planting and church services, Italians on Sunday marked one year since their country experienced its first known COVID-19 death.

Cities in northern Italy were the first to be hit hard by the pandemic and shut down, and residents paid homage to the dead. Italy, with some 95,500 confirmed dead viruses, has the second-highest number of victims of the pandemic in Europe after Britain. Experts say the virus also kills many people who have never been tested.

So far, Italy has confirmed 2.8 million cases.

It was at the hospital in the city of Lombard, Codogno, where a doctor recognized what would go down in medical history as the first known case of COVID-19 in the West in a patient unrelated to the outbreak in Asia, where the coronavirus infection initially emerged. . . The diagnosis was made on the night of February 20, 2020, in a healthy, athletic 38-year-old man.

Near the Red Cross offices in Codogno on Sunday, the governor of Lombardy and the mayor attended the opening ceremony of the monument to victims of COVID-19. The memorial consists of three steel pillars, symbolizing resilience, community, and beginning. A wreath was laid, and the townspeople stood still in honor of the dead.

The Codogno hospital patient survived, having been transferred to another hospital and spending weeks on a breathing apparatus.

But it was in the northeastern city of Vo, in the neighboring region of Veneto, where Italy’s first known COVID-19 death was recorded on February 21, 2020.

In Vo’s commemoration ceremony, officers planted trees. A plaque has been put up, quoting from Italian poet Ugo Foscolo, whose work is widely studied by schoolchildren in the country. The inscription reads: “A man never dies if someone remembers him.”

Italy’s first known death from COVID-19 was a 77-year-old Vo man, a retired roofer who loved to play cards.


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The anniversary of the Italian COVID is added with a new variant | Instant News

The British variant of the coronavirus started spreading in Italy just as the country marked the first anniversary of the start of the outbreak.

But the hospital announced on Thursday that it was postponing the event out of a sense of responsibility “given the rapid development of the epidemiological situation.”

It said four cities in the Lombardy region, including one in the province of Brescia, had recently been placed under the strictest “red zone” lockdown measures following a surge in infections of the British variant. In these cities, all schools were closed and non-essential commercial activity was halted, while personal movement was also restricted.

Other red zones have been imposed in cities in the central region of Umbria, Tuscany, Abruzzo and Lazio, sparking calls for another nationwide lockdown from hospital doctors who have once again seen their ICU beds fill.

“I predict that the national health care system will suffer greatly,” said Dr. Alberto Albani, regional COVID-19 coordinator in Abruzzo, where the Chieti and Pescara provinces have been placed under red zone lockdown measures due to a surge in variants.

He acknowledged that the economic impact of another national lockdown would be difficult to accept, “but I believe that only a serious three-week lockdown across the national territory will block the pandemic.”

The Italian outbreak officially began February 21 in the city of Codogno, Lombardy, when officials announced that a 38-year-old marathon runner with no ties to China or a known positive case had tested positive. Italy will continue to be the epicenter of the outbreak in Europe, despite international acclaim for having largely tamed infections after a 10-week tight spring lockdown and production shutdowns.

Infections roared back in the fall, killing more people than they did during the initial outbreak. But the government has avoided another full national lockdown, instead placing individual regions under varying degrees of restriction based on infection rates and hospital capacity.

In addition to the Brescia Anniversary, officials in Codogno are planning a full day of commemoration, featuring Masses and inaugurating a memorial for victims of COVID-19.

On Thursday, Italy added 13,762 infections according to its average daily caseload over the past several weeks, bringing the total confirmed case burden to nearly 2.76 million. Another 347 people have died, bringing the confirmed death toll to 94,887, the second highest in Europe after Britain.

The country is now trying to step up a vaccination campaign, and Lombardy on Thursday finally started inoculating residents over 80. Italy has prioritized health care workers and nursing home residents with the first dose, but many areas are already two weeks on. -80 vaccination campaigns.


AP visual journalist Andrea Rosa reporting from Pescara, Italy.


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


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US will pay $ 200 million in arrears and current fees to WHO | News | Instant News

WASHINGTON – At the end of the month, the United States will pay its arrears to the World Health Organization as well as current year’s obligations, the State Department announced Wednesday.

In remarks to the UN Security Council, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States would provide more than $ 200 million “in assessed and current obligations to WHO” as a “key step” towards fulfilling US financial obligations as a member state.

In one of his first acts in office, President Joe Biden last month issued an executive order that overturned former President Donald Trump’s decision last year to withdraw the United States from the WHO because of resentment over the global health agency’s relationship with China.

“This reflects our new commitment to ensuring WHO has the support it needs to lead a global response to the pandemic, even as we work to reform for the future,” said Blinken.

The United States is WHO’s largest funder, and its contributions to the agency in 2020 are valued at 22 percent of the organization’s budget, or nearly $ 127 million. Normally, Washington also makes substantial voluntary contributions to health agencies over and above its mandatory contributions. U.S. annual voluntary contributions to WHO averaged $ 254 million from fiscal 2012 to fiscal 2018, according to a 2020 Congressional Research Service report.

Last spring, when Trump announced he was freezing payments to the WHO on the grounds that the UN agency was not pressing China hard enough about the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, the United States had already contributed $ 58 million of assessed 2020 dues. Last fall, the State Department said it was reprogramming the remaining WHO 2020 contribution or about $ 62 million to pay assessed dues to other parts of the United Nations.

Without ever specifically calling out to China, Blinken said it was important that “all countries must provide all data from the earliest days of the outbreak.”

There is a bipartisan agreement that the WHO was too willing, especially in the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak, to accept Beijing’s assurances that they were dealing with the situation.

Some lawmakers and outside interest groups would like to see the Biden government reuse its involvement in the WHO to press for changes that will empower the UN agency to more decisively demand timely access to information and data from member states about newly detected diseases.

In a January memo about its policy recommendations for the Biden administration, ONE’s anti-poverty campaign said the United States must use the goodwill it engenders with the likes of Germany, France and the UK by rejoining the World Health Organization “to pursue reforms that give [the WHO] stronger mandates, sharpened tools for accountability, and reliable funding. “

In particular, the group recommended that the government support an initial package of reforms at the World Health Assembly in 2021 and then take the matter to the UN Security Council to build support among major powers for the change.

“Going forward, all countries must participate in a transparent and robust process to prevent and respond to health emergencies so that the world learns as much as possible as quickly as possible,” said Blinken. “Transparency, information sharing, access for international experts – these must be the hallmarks of our common approach to what is truly a global challenge.”

(c) Roll Call 2021 CQ

Distributed by the Tribune Content Agency, LLC

Copyright 2021 Tribune Content Agency.


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