World Coronavirus Dispatch: The uncanny relation between Covid and sleep

Are we willing to get back to office once the pandemic subsides?
Mexico first Latin American country to begin Vaccinations

Mexico has rolled-out the vaccination programme for its citizens, the first Latin American country to do so amid a vicious second wave of infections, that overwhelmed the hospitals. More than 120,000 people have succumbed to the virus so far in the country, but the unofficial count could be much higher. The country's health care system is crumbling, with hospitalisations soaring and frontline workers are taking to social media to vent out their frustration. Mexico's response to the outbreak has also come under much criticism. Read here

Let's look at the global statistics

Global infections: 79,396,031

Change Over Yesterday: 670,686

Global deaths: 1,742,721

Nations with most cases: US (18,654,395), India (10,146,845), Brazil (7,423,945), Russia (2,934,695), France (2,584,333).

Singapore Airlines unveils a digital health passport for travelers

As the debate grows around showing "proof of immunity" Singapore Airlines has unveiled a digital healh passport, that verifies coronavirus test and vaccination status of the passengers. Passengers who take the tests at Jakarta or Kuala Lumpur before flying for Kaula Lumpur will get a QR code, and the airport authorities will scan it to verify the results and decide their status for travelling. As countries roll-out immunisation drives, many are in favour of health passports, which they believe will be crucial for resuming international travel and opening up economies. Read here

Iran finds a way to buy vaccines, despite sanctions

One of the worst affected nations in middle-east with around 1.2 million infection and over 54,000 deaths, Iran, navigating through US sanctions, has founda a way to buy vaccines. The countyr's central bank governor said the Iran had received an assurance from an unidentified bank to transfer a $244 million payment for a vaccine. Sanctions remained a hurdle for Iran to purchase medicine and several attempts at paying through a bank in Switzerland had failed. The country is seeing a reprieve lately as the deaths and infections were on the decline in last week following suspension of inter-city travel and imposing a night curfew. Read here

Why the Office isn’t going away

Are we willing to get back to office once the pandemic subsides? What does the future hold for offices? These are some of demanding questions the story wades into as people get more and more accustomed to working from home. Employers too see it as a benefit in saving money in real estate. Many surveys revealed employees had better work-life balance during work from home, albeit it can get hectic at times. But is there a downside to it? For now no one is sure how remote working will pan out in the long-run. The writer argues that dumping offices is a big risk. Even if expensive, office-working paves way for physical interactions that contribute to getting work done, especially projects and tasks that require collaboration. Read here

Specials

The mysterious link between Covid and sleep

Melatonin, a sleep harmone, that regulates the human sleep cycle could be a decisive therapy in preventing people from dying due to the coronavirus, a researcher has found in the early days of pandemic. As he digged deep, the world started taking notice. In October, a study at Columbia University found that intubated patients had better rates of survival if they received melatonin. Many other trials are currently on to see if the treatment actually works out. The story explores how the disease affects our sleep, and vice-versa. Read here


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