Tag Archives: respiratory disease

Switzerland to Hold Referendum on Covid-19 Lockdown | Instant News

Switzerland’s system of direct democracy will be tested again later this year, this time with a referendum on whether to withdraw government powers to impose lockdowns and other measures to slow it down. the Covid-19 pandemic.

The landlocked Alpine state of 8.5 million people is unusual in voting for its people on important policy steps by offering a referendum if enough people sign the petition for the vote. Last year, Switzerland voted to increase its stock of cheap housing, tax benefits for children and hunting wolves.

The idea is to give citizens oversight of the powers of the federal government, and it’s a throwback to the patchwork cantons, or fiercely independent districts, that were put together in the medieval period.

Now, the country is gearing up for a referendum on whether to repeal the government’s legal authority to order another lockdown and containment of the pandemic after campaigners petitioned for about 86,000 signatures this week – higher than 50,000 needed – triggering a nationwide vote to lift last year’s Covid- 19 Act.

The vote could come as soon as June, and is likely to reflect discord in the US and elsewhere over how far the government should limit social interaction in a pandemic – or whether to lock down altogether.


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Australia Considering New Covid-19 Quarantine Strategy: Inland Isolation | Instant News

SYDNEY – Australia relies on one of the world’s countries the most aggressive quarantine program to prevent the corona virus. Now, a leader wants to go a step further by accommodating returning travelers in Outback camps away from cities as the new Covid-19 variant threatens the country’s success.

The Queensland state premier wants to reuse the camps designed for resource workers as isolation centers in remote scrub where temperatures can reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It follows an outbreak of the highly contagious coronavirus at a quarantine hotel in the state capital of Brisbane, Australia’s third-largest city with a population of around 2.5 million people.

“I think with this new tension, we have to put all the options on the table and this is a sensible and rational option,” said Annastacia Palaszczuk, who was re-elected as Queensland’s prime minister in late October partly because of her center-left government. crackdown to tackle Covid-19.

The idea of ​​using remote camps illustrates how leaders in places that have contracted the virus are considering more extreme measures to protect people from a new variant of the corona virus, which emerged in Britain and South Africa and has since spread to more countries. Currently, travelers returning to Australia are housed in hotels, often close to city airports, for 14 days.

Queensland was running nearly four months with no cases of local transmission when cleaners at a quarantine hotel in Brisbane tested positive for the new British variant. More cases followed, and the 129 people in isolation were immediately transferred to another hotel and their quarantine was extended.


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NBA Delays Other Games because of the Multiplicity of Covid Problems | Instant News

The NBA faces its first major Covid-19 test of its new season with escalating cases, limping play and more than two dozen players across 13 teams in quarantine or isolation over the weekend as the league struggles to keep playing through its worst days. world. pandemic.

The league postponed the Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat match scheduled for Sunday night after contact tracing left the Heat without the eight players needed to field the team and the Celtics barely had enough.

That second delay This season came on a chaotic weekend when nearly half of the league’s teams found themselves dealing with Covid-related issues.

The disruption began with the Philadelphia 76ers forced to play on Saturday with only eight active players, the minimum required by the league to avoid delays, after Sixers keeper Seth Curry tested positive for the virus on Thursday and four teammates in close contact ruled out. come out during quarantine.

But the messy uncertainty in Philadelphia, where the game looked dangerous hours before the tip, wasn’t the only challenge for the NBA less than a month later. turbulent season that’s to be expected very easy to change After the league chooses to leave the controlled bubble environment to risk the real world.


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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro urged the PM to “speed up” vaccine deliveries | Instant News

Under pressure from political rivals to respond to the pandemic, the Brazilian President called for the swift export of 2 million doses of Covishield.

Under considerable pressure to start the vaccine rollout, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking the Indian government to “speed up” exports. two million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, ‘Covidshield’, produced at the Serum Institute of India (SII) in Pune, is expected to be delivered next week.

“To [ensure] the immediate implementation of the Brazilian National Immunization Program, I would appreciate your kind services in accelerating the immediate delivery of the two million doses of the vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India to Brazil, but as long as it does not impact India’s vaccination program, “Mr. Bolsonaro wrote to Mr Modi on Friday, according to the translated version of the letter accessed by Hindu.

Also read: The Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine will be approved by the end of the year: Report

Government officials said replies had not been sent to Bolsonaro at this time. When contacted, the SII representative declined to comment on the Brazilian request.

With more than 8 million cases of COVID-19, Brazil is second only to the US (22.4 million cases) and India (10.4 million cases), but in terms of the number of deaths from the virus, Brazil with over 200,000 of these deaths week, is second only to the US (378,000+ deaths), and much higher than India’s 150,000+ deaths.

Also read: AstraZeneca says its vaccine must be effective against the new coronavirus variant

As a result, Bolsonaro, who has repeatedly been skeptical of COVID-19 – calling it ‘just the flu’ – and vaccines – showing they can have extreme side effects – has come under growing criticism for his government’s slow response to the pandemic. from political and media opponents in Brazil. In particular, Bolsonaro’s government has faced challenges from provincial governors and mayors in Brazil, including his main election rival, Sao Paolo Governor Joao Doria, who announced that he would start providing China Coronavac in his state on January 25.

Earlier this week, Bolsonaro took over his refusal of the Chinese vaccine, and his government announced that it had signed a contract for up to 100 million doses of Coronavac, which will be produced at Brazil’s Butantan Institute in the coming days. Sunday.

Brazil’s Oswaldo Cruz Foundation has contracted with AstraZeneca to produce 100 million doses, but this may not be ready until March. In addition, the Brazilian Association of Vaccine Clinics (ABCVAC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bharat Biotech to personally purchase Covaxin, which is currently in the final stages of clinical trials, and has received conditional clearance from Indian drug regulators.

As a result, the Brazilian government is interested in getting ready-to-inject vaccines as soon as possible, and is awaiting ANVISA approval from its own drug regulator for them later this month.

The letter from the Brazilian president, who visited India as the main guest for Republic Day last year and is believed to have close ties to Modi, comes months after another letter he sent to the prime minister in April asking India to withdraw. the export ban on hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), is thought to help prevent and treat the corona virus.

Sources said the request was also triggered by concerns over the suggestion of SII CEO Adar Poonawalla in an interview on January 3 that the Indian government had restricted vaccine exports until domestic needs were met.

According to Itamaraty (Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs), the Executive Secretary of the Brazilian Health Ministry met with the Indian Ambassador in Brasillia Suresh Reddy to “solve this problem” on January 4.

“The Brazilian Embassy in New Delhi, in turn, is in permanent contact with Indian authorities to emphasize the importance of initiating vaccinations in Brazil,” said a release from the Brazilian Foreign Ministry.

New Delhi later clarified that it had no plans to limit the supply of the coronavirus vaccine to other countries, and a joint press statement issued by SII and Bharat Biotech confirmed this on January 5.

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Italian Government Prays About How to Revive the Post-Covid-19 Economy | Instant News

ROME – Amid the pandemic, one sign of normality is returning to Italy: political instability.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s government is struggling to avoid collapse after members of a small coalition threatened to withdraw vital support from parliament. The Viva Italia party, led by former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, has long been skeptical of Conte’s leadership and is increasing pressure on a range of issues, including how to reconstruct Italy’s economy hit after the pandemic.

If Renzi pulls out of the coalition, forcing Conte to step down, possible outcomes range from a new government with the same center-left leader to elections likely to be won by a rival center-right alliance.

Many observers expect Mr Conte to continue, albeit with a small party Mr Renzi has had more leverage. Whatever the outcome, the tussle suggests that Italy’s shocking political stability during the pandemic is coming to an end.

Mr. Conte, a little-known law professor who was elected to lead two rickety coalition governments in 2018 and 2019, has been an unexpectedly powerful prime minister since last year, when Italy became the first Western country hardest hit by Covid-19. His approval ratings rose as he worked with allies and opposition parties to arrange for the first nationwide lockdown, using stringent measures that were soon adopted around the world.


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