World Coronavirus Dispatch: Unrest in Sri Lanka's cramped prisons

Almost a year after first Covid cases surfaced in China's Wuhan, the country is trying bolster its standing at home and abroad
Pandemic widens gap between Russia’s richest and poorest regions

Russia's glaring inequalities have only been worsened by the pandemic as federal authorities push regional governments to borrow more to meet rising health care costs. Under the current system, Russia's all regions will get share from Central pool of revenues and many face borrowing limits. But, going forward, there are likely to be relaxations in borrowing. As revenues plumment, rating agenices expect regional budgets to run widest deficits in two decades. With federal revenue transfers failing to cover excess spending, Russia's poorest regions are staring at ballooning public debt and regional disparities will only widen. Read more

Let's look at the global statistics

Global infections: 63,236,891

Change over Yesterday: 497,685

Global deaths: 1,467,988

Nations with most cases: US (13,541,224), India (9,462,809), Brazil (6,335,878), Russia (2,275,936), France(2,275,016) 

Anger grows at Hong Kong’s erratic Covid rules

Hong Kong's inconsistent response, if one may say so, to fight new wave of Covid infections has fueled discontent among residents and business professionals alike. Many locals are calling for systemic response that can be seen in countries like New Zealand, South Korea and Singapore. The confusing restrictions are leaving business-owners in a state of suspended animation and unable to plan long term. Even though, Hong Kong is relatively spared from large outbreaks, the virus has plagued the country in several bursts. The Asia's financial hub is currently facing fourth wave of infections. Read more

Sri Lanka prisoners killed in riot over dismal Covid conditions

Disquiet is growing in Sri Lanka's highly congested prisons as officials ignore requests to seperate infected patients and get everyone tested. In a latest incident, six inmates were killed and many others suffered critical injuries after guards opened fire to control a prison riot over coronavirus conditions at the cell on the outskirts of country's capital. More than a thousand inmates in five prisons and 50 guards have tested positive for coronavirus and at least two have died. An inmate was killed in similar unrest at another prison last week. Another died in March. Read more

China seeks to change Covid origin story

Almost a year after first Covid cases surfaced in China's Wuhan, the country is trying bolster its standing at home and abroad. China is desperate to change the narrative of coronavirus origins. The state media has reported that evidence of virus on packaged food suggests covid is first detected in China, but didn't originate here. Local infectious disease experts and epidemiologists are also seeking to distinguish between virus origin and detection. Chinese scientists have even submitted a paper to the Lancet, that suggests first human-to-human virus transmission may have happened in India. But western scientists aren't buying the Chinese story and are asserting that first recorded cases of the disease were indeed in China. Read more

Young's next big Covid test

The millennials and young people are eager to get vaccinated, but they may have to wait. With limited vaccine supplies, the vulnerable, frontline workers will be given priority across the world. But experts say, this waiting period shouldn't turn into frustration or even the enthusiasm waning is a cause of concern. As more people get vaccinated, young people may let their guard down or let fatigue set in. ‘Oh, other people got it, so I don’t have to worry about it so much.' Read more

Scientists and vaccine trial participants tackle misinformation on TikTok

While some in the creative community on TikTok joke about the coronavirus vaccine or tease people who are part of the anti-vaccine movement, scientists and coronavirus vaccine participants are hoping to be a source to fight misinformation on the app. Scientists are answering questions reflecting the fears and  misconceptions about vaccines that are sometimes perpetuated on the platform by jokes about side effects or forays into fictional narrative, like a sci-fi scenario in which the government kills those who refuse a vaccine. Vaccine trial participants have also been describing their experiences and answering questions about the process for viewers.  Read more


Will our world ever be the same?

How will pandemic change our social interactions.. What is the effect on the world's most beautiful and worst cities... The setbecks or advances if there are any for science.. Will the virus spur populism? The story looks at various aspects of life after pandemic through observer writers. Here're some takeaways: The pandemic highlighted the importance of adequate living space and access to the outdoors. It reminded us gently of just how adaptable we are as human beings. Scientists may be a bit geeky sometimes, but they have done a lot to help us win the battle against Covid. Pandemic echoes other defining events in our recent history, it will leave the political landscape utterly transformed in some respects yet wearily familiar in others. Read more

Teaching in pandemic

All this fall, as vehement debates have raged over whether to reopen schools for in-person instruction, teachers have been at the center — often vilified for challenging it, sometimes warmly praised for trying to make it work. But the debate has often missed just how thoroughly the coronavirus has upended learning, and glossed over how emotionally and physically draining pandemic teaching has become for the educators themselves. In more than a dozen interviews, educators described the immense challenges, and exhaustion, they have faced trying to provide normal schooling for students in pandemic conditions that are anything but normal. Read more

Food delivery apps are booming, but their workers are struggling

With hundreds of thousands out of work and unemployment spiking, many desperate people have turned to working for food delivery apps, which have seen huge demand from customers who are working from home. While delivery drivers have been essential to feeding people and keeping them safe, their working conditions, already precarious before the pandemic, have gotten worse. Some workers complain that many restaurants deny them the use of their bathroom out of health concerns, forcing them to carry plastic bottles. And because the drivers are independent workers, they are not entitled to a minimum wage, overtime or any other benefits, like health insurance. Read more

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