Tag Archives: the plague

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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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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Brazil Receives China’s Covid-19 Vaccine When Cases Soar | Instant News


SÃO PAULO – The government of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has backed away from its criticism of the Chinese vaccine and agreed to purchase up to 100 million doses of injections developed by China’s Sinovac, as Latin America faces a post-holiday spike in Covid-19 cases.

Bolsonaro, a former army captain who followed President Trump’s lead in attacking China, has long discredited the Sinovac vaccine, which had been tested by the state’s research center in a partnership supported by his political rival, São Paulo’s Governor João Doria. Only two months ago, Mr. Bolsonaro told supporters that the CoronaVac vaccine could kill or incapacitate them, without providing evidence, and refused to buy it.

But over the past few months, a Chinese vaccine has emerged as one of Brazil’s best bets against a pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 200,000 people here, second only to the US.

The Health Ministry said late Thursday that it had signed a contract with the Butantan Institute, the São Paulo state research center that has tested and manufactured CoronaVac, to purchase 46 million doses. The ministry said it had the option to buy another 54 million, enough to immunize 50 million people with two dose shots, or about a quarter of Brazil’s population.

Latin America is racing to secure doses as cases surge across the region. Hundreds of thousands of people have tested positive in Latin America this week, after many defied government warnings and held large family gatherings over busy holidays and beaches in the early Southern Hemisphere summer. With only 8% of the world’s population, Latin America has accounted for nearly 30% of deaths from Covid-19.

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