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World Coronavirus Dispatch: New York sues Amazon for not protecting workers

South Africa asks Serum to take back vaccines, Biden suggests vaccines for every American by July end, new global Covid cases fell 16% last week and other pandemic-related news across the globe

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Coronavirus Vaccine

Akash Podishetty  |  Hyderabad 

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Biden suggests vaccines will be available for every American ‘by the end of July'

US President Joe Biden hinted that every American will be able to get a vaccine against if he wants one by the end of July. Speaking at a townhall event, Biden said “by next Christmas I think we’ll be in a very different circumstance God willing, than we are today". US remains the worst-affected nation in the world with more than 27 million infections and over 488,000 deaths as of February 17. Last week, the Biden administration said it had secured 200 million more doses of vaccines, enough to inoculate every American adult. Urging all the Americans to get vaccinated, Biden said "the clear notion is if you’re eligible, if it’s available, get the vaccine.” Read here

Let's look at the global statistics

Global infections: 109,513,903

Global deaths: 2,419,353

Nations with most cases: US (27,756,623), India (10,937,320), Brazil (9,921,981), United Kingdom (4,070,332), Russia (4,053,535).

Source: John Hopkins Research Center

New York sues Amazon, saying it inadequately protected workers

New York has filed a lawsuit against the e-commerce giant Amazon, citing the inadequate safety and protection for workers against the coronavirus, a charge denied by the company. The lawsuit also alleges that Amazon silenced workers when they complained about poor working conditions in the Covid including unclean buildings and poor contact tracing system. The case focuses on two Amazon facilities: a large warehouse on Staten Island and a delivery depot in Queens. Reacting to the suit, Amazon said that the company cared "deeply about the health and safety of its workers and the state attorney general’s filing presents an accurate picture of Amazon’s industry-leading response to the pandemic." Read here

South Africa asks Serum Institute to take back vaccines

South Africa's immunisation has hit a roadblock even before the vaccines were rolled out. On the day it received one million doses of Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccines from India's Serum Institute, data from a study by South Africa's University of the Witwatersrand and Oxford University showed that the shot offered limited protection against the South African variant, that is dominant in the country. Following the evidence, the African country has put on hold the use of Oxford vaccine. Now the country has asked the Serum Institute to take back the vaccine supplies. Another 500,000 shots were due to arrive in the next few weeks. South Africa has decided to start vaccinating health workers with Johnson & Johnson's vaccine in the form of an "implementation study" with researchers. Read here

New global Covid cases fell 16 per cent last week, says WHO

New coronavirus infection fell by 16 per cent last week, and deaths declined by about 10 per cent, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said in its weekly update. Nearly 2.7 million cases and 81,000 deaths were reported last week, according to the health body. The global case tally is nearing 110 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, with 2,418,416 deaths recorded since the start of the pandemic. Five of the six WHO moniored regions have registered a double-digit decline in new cases last week. Read here

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First Published: Wed, February 17 2021. 15:23 IST