Hospital staff and relatives of Covid-19 patients scrambled to provide facilities with oxygen tanks that had just been flown to the Amazon rainforest’s largest city, as doctors selected which patients would breathe amid dwindling supplies and efforts to transport some of them to the state. other.
As it rained heavily on Thursday in Manaus, Rafael Pereira brought a small tank of five cubic meters of oxygen for his mother-in-law at the 28 de Agosto hospital. She didn’t want to be interviewed for her stress, but she seemed relieved when the tank – which she said would help her breathe for an extra two hours – was put inside.
Health workers at the Universitario Getulio Vargas Hospital carried an empty cylinder to its oxygen provider in the hope that some could be retrieved. Usually, the provider takes the cylinder and brings in a freshly refilled one.
Brazil’s Health Minister, Eduardo Pazuello, said Thursday that a second plane with medical supplies – including oxygen – would arrive Friday, and four others later. The local government’s oxygen provider, multinational White Martins, said in a statement that it was considering diverting some of its supplies from neighboring Venezuela. It was not immediately clear whether this would be enough to overcome the growing crisis.
Officials in charge of Germany’s coronavirus vaccination program are forced to guess people’s ages by their first names due to local privacy laws.
Authorities in the state of Lower Saxony want to send a letter to all residents over 80 years of age inviting them to make a vaccination appointment. But they have been blocked from using official records and forced to try to guess people’s ages.
As a result, a 25-year-old with a name considered out of date, such as Wolfgang or Waltraud, is more likely to receive letters than an 85-year-old named Michael or Angela.
A bureaucratic bluff is the latest in a series of obstacles to slowing vaccine rollouts in Germany, which lags far behind Britain and other countries. Officials said they hoped it would not prevent anyone from being vaccinated. They are pure advice, and are not required to make an appointment.
Germany’s privacy laws are a familiar scourge to anyone who has tried to do business in the country. They are so tough that the police are not allowed to name suspects and the court cannot name the criminals who have been convicted.
But in this case the regional data protection rules in the state of Lower Saxony are to blame. Other German regions can access public records to send appointment letters without difficulty.
This bottle is different. The glass, with the lid tightly closed, contains a handful of rice and a few shells. And a note.
In November, on the remote Conflict Island in Papua New Guinea, conservation guard Steven Amos was cleaning a beach on the island of Panasesa when he discovered something that had not been dumped carelessly, but had consciously sent as a message to an unknown recipient, somewhere in the world.
Nearly two years earlier, 17 year old Niki Nie had thrown the message overboard as he crossed the equator, sailing with his family between Vanuatu and Marshall Island.
“I think if you read this, it means that this bottle has survived its long journey and landed safely in your hand. I hope you’re okay!
“I’m very curious to know where this bottle landed and how long it will take to get there.”
Amos, who has worked with the Conflict Islands Conservation Initiative for four years, is involved in turtle conservation and plastic collection, told the Guardian he was overjoyed when he found the bottle.
“When I read the letter, I tried my best to contact Miss Nie and with the help of my colleague – I was able to do that. I was so excited, I couldn’t sleep when I was told I would meet him via Zoom, “said Amos.
Hardly happened. The email address on the letter bounced, but the social media posts got to Nie, who responded online. The couple was finally able to meet online.
Nie told the Guardian: “When I threw the bottle overboard, I never imagined that I would actually meet the person who found my message.
“I would never have thought that either [bottle] will land in Alotau, Papua New Guinea – but it’s amazingly amazing. “
Amos had invited Nie to Conflict Island when the Covid-19 restrictions wore off.
Nie and his family set sail Vanuatu to the Marshall Islands after working for six years on humanitarian missions in the Pacific, when he threw a bottle overboard on January 8, 2019 as he crossed the equator from the southern hemisphere to the north.
“I just wanted to leave behind a small part, a memory that hovers around the ocean where we spent so much time.” He had returned to the US to start college, when his notes found their way back into his life. The banknote, in its sealed bottle, has traveled more than 2,500 km to the remote Conflict Islands.
Amos said it was important to preserve the remote and fragile ecosystem of the Conflict Islands, a nesting place for many turtles.
“This is very important to do plastic collection on the beach to conserve turtles and other marine biota. We ensure that the turtles are relocated during the nesting season from the outer islands to a safer place and release them later. “The increase in plastic pollution has led to a decrease in the number of turtles nesting on the islands,” he said.
Marine biologist and zoologist at the Conflict Islands Conservation Initiative Hayley Versace told the Guardian nearly 900 nesting female hawksbill have been tagged since 2017 – but only three have returned.
“From tagging, we’ve found that turtles actually return to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to forage and forage, and only use the islands as nesting sites.”
The Hawksbill Turtle, threatened by a degraded environment and increasing levels of hunting, is facing extinction within a decade due to current trends.
“If we don’t change, turtles will become extinct, and without them the future will not be able to see them, and more importantly, they will disappear forever and their important role in the food chain and ecosystems in the oceans will be lost. get lost too. “
According to the PNG Protection and Environment Conservation (CEPA) authority, the country has the highest level mismanagement of plastics in the Pacific, with about 10 tonnes of plastic waste being dumped every day and 3,719 tonnes annually, none of which is recycled.
Swiss health regulator Swissmedic on Tuesday authorized US company Moderna’s “live” use of the COVID-19 vaccine in the country. Switzerland, a country of 8.5 million people, has ordered 7.5 million doses of vaccine in advance, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was approved for use by Swissmedic in December. In total, the two vaccines will be available in half a million doses by January, the Swiss government said.
Availability will increase in the coming months, and by summer “everyone who wants to get vaccinated has to be able to do it,” the government said.
It was also stated that so far it had received more than 15 million doses of vaccine from three producers.
The country started its first vaccination campaign on 23 December 2020. A 90-year-old woman was the first Swiss national to receive an injection of COVID-19.
The infection rate remains high in Switzerland. As of Tuesday, the country has reported 487,357 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 7,793 deaths.
As the world is struggling to cope with the pandemic, vaccinations are being carried out in several countries with an approved coronavirus vaccine.
Meanwhile, 236 vaccine candidates are still being developed worldwide – 63 of them in clinical trials – in countries including Germany, China, Russia, the UK and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on January 12.
The president of the Federated States of Micronesia said the country’s first case of Covid-19 – detected in a sailor on a boat detained on a lagoon island – posed no threat to the wider community.
David Panuelo’s government announced last week that a lone sailor on a government ship, MV Chief Mailo, had tested positive for the coronavirus after returning from the Philippines.
In a nationally televised address this week, Panuelo said crew members were allowed to return to the country after being tested for the virus, and because they feared piracy.
“The crew is really afraid that the increasing number of pirates in the area is causing their fear. So I can leave the ship the government is using to serve Chuuk state and leave the crew and the 12 year old boy from Poluwat out of our control or I can take them home. “
Panuelo said one case had been successfully quarantined, with the ship being held in the Pohnpei lagoon under guard.
“Citizens across the country must remain calm… don’t panic because the situation is under control.
“People with Covid-19 at Mailo’s Head do not show an immediate risk of spreading the virus to the wider community in Pohnpei,” he said.
The Federated States of Micronesia had recorded zero Covid-19 cases prior to this case.
Schools, churches and businesses remain open and there is no mandatory requirement to wear masks across the archipelago, although encouraged, along with social distancing.
FSM has received 9,000 doses of the Corona Moderna virus vaccine from the United States, with which FSM has a free association. An inoculation program for 100,000 strong populations has been initiated.
Pacific island nations have been one of the most successful in the world in preventing the virus after closing their borders early in response to the threat, despite the huge costs to tourism-dependent economies.
Several virus-free island nations have lost that status recently with the Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands, Samoa and Vanuatu falling due to the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world.
However, several other island nations including Tonga, Palau, Nauru and Kiribati are believed to remain virus-free.