New York is suing Amazon for allegedly failing to provide its workers with a safe environment at two warehouses in the state as the Covid-19 pandemic gripped the state. The suit says Amazon showed a ’flagrant disregard’ for Covid safety. Recently, Amazon preemptively filed a case to block the suit over its Covid safety protocols and firing of an employee who complained about working conditions.
The President of US, Joe Biden seeks to assuage the concerns of citizens regarding the pace of vaccination as he claimed that all American’s would be inoculated by the end of July. The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world look to touch 110 million and the death toll due to the virus has risen to 488,000 in the US. Biden also claimed that normalcy could return by Christmas in the US.
Prince Philip, British Queen Elizabeth II’s 99-year-old husband, has been hospitalized after he reported not feeling well. A source told Reuters it was connected to Covid-19. The Buckingham Palace said he has been hospitalized as a ’precautionary measure.’ Philips, who will turn 100 this June, has been admitted to the King Edward VII Hospital, where he will be kept under observation for some days.
Americans, helped by $600 Covid-19 stimulus checks, spent more in January, sending retail sales soaring 5.3%. This is the first increase the retail sector has posted in four months and largest in eight. Department store chains, internet retailers, electronic stores and home-furnishing outlets recorded double digit gains in percentage terms. This beat Dow Jones and Wall Street forecasts of 1% rise.
At least 90 cases of the highly contagious COVID-19 variant first identified in the United Kingdom have been confirmed in a prison in Michigan. Only five of the 95 tests administered didn’t yield positive results, the Department of Health and Human Services officials said. All but two of the 90 people who tested positive were inmates, with the other two being members of the staff.
The first COVID human challenge study in the world is set to begin in the United Kingdom within weeks. In the trials, healthy 18-to-30 year olds will be given the virus in order to aid vaccine and therapy research. The study will begin following approval from the clinical trials ethics body of the country according to the business department. Up to 90 people will be involved in the initial trials.
Scientists have been left puzzled by the plummeting rate of COVID-19 infections in India. From a peak of nearly 100,000 infections reported each day in Sep, cases are now down to around 11,000 a day. The Indian Govt. suggested compulsory mask-wearing in public may have helped. India has recorded over 10.9M cases and 155,813 deaths. The US, comparatively, has seen over 28M cases with 500K deaths.
President Joe Biden, during a CNN townhall, said he didn’t want to boost Americans’ hopes when he couldn’t be certain of a still-early vaccine rollout. However, showing optimism of improvement, he said, ’By next Christmas I think we’ll be in a very different circumstance,’ adding, ’A year from now, I think that there’ll be significantly fewer people having to be socially distanced … wear a mask.’
Dominic Raab, UK’s foreign secretary, said he will urge the UN security council to adopt a resolution calling for ceasefires in global conflict zones to allow the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines. Britain is the current leader of the UNSC. Raab will chairing a virtual high-level meeting of the council on the vaccination problem in war zones, in which 11 foreign ministers are expected to participate.
Apple unveiled a small change to its syringe emoji that does away with the two blood drops. It is part of the iOS 14.5 beta, which also has a bunch of new emojis, including a heart on fire, a face with swirly eyes, etc. Jeremy Burge, the chief emoji officer of online emoji dictionary Emojipedia, said removing blood from the syringe emoji makes it apt amid Covid-19 vaccination drive, CNN reported.
Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday that the Biden administration is increasing the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses shipments to states weekly, sending out 13.5 million doses this week. She noted that they increased the number of doses shipped to states weekly by 57 percent. She also said the White House is doubling the number of doses shipped directly to retail pharmacies around the U.S.
According to reports, North Korean hackers tried breaking into the computer systems of Pfizer to access information on a COVID-19 vaccine. A South Korean lawmaker said the country’s intelligence service ’briefed us that North Korea tried to obtain technology involving the Covid vaccine and treatment.’ NK Leader Kim has repeatedly insisted that the country has had no COVID cases.
A Dutch court has ordered the government to lift the nighttime curfew in the country immediately, which was imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19. The court ruled that the curfew had no ’legal’ basis. When the curfew was first introduced in on January 23, the first in the Netherlands since World War II, protesters took to the streets in large numbers and often indulged in violence and arson.
Police in Burma have filed a new charge against ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Suu Kyi is now charged with violating Article 25 of the Natural Disaster Management Law, which has been used to prosecute people who have broken COVID-19 restrictions. She was previously charged with possessing walkie-talkies that were imported without being registered.
The United States has administered 52,884,356 doses of Covid-19 vaccines as of 6am EST, Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. It said 38,292,270 people had received one or more doses while 14,077,440 people have received the second dose. The CDC said 70,057,800 doses of both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have been delivered across the country.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said his administration didn’t cover up the nursing home Covid-19 deaths in the state. However, he admitted that officials should have moved faster to release some information sought by lawmakers, the public and the media. Cuomo is under fire after it emerged many more died of Covid-19 in New York’s nursing homes than the figures the state had earlier revealed.
Clalit, the biggest healthcare provider of Israel has concluded in a study that the Pfizer vaccine is equally effective for all age groups, with preliminary data showing a 94% drop in symptomatic cases and a 92% drop in serious cases. 1.2 million people were analyzed by Clalit, and half of these had received two doses of the Pfizer jab, while the other half had not.
NY Democrats are calling for Gov. Cuomo to be subpoenaed and investigated over his administration’s coverup of nursing home COVID-19 deaths. Rep. Delgado, a Democrat representing parts of the Hudson Valley in the House, called for a probe into Cuomo’s handling of the state’s data on deaths. Sen. Ramos, a Democrat representing east Queens, called for Cuomo and his administration to be subpoenaed.
Republican New York Rep. Elise Stefanik say there is growing bipartisan support for impeaching Governor Cuomo over his handling of covid-19 patients and sending them to nursing homes
New Orleans residents are marking Mardi Gras by driving and walking past homes decorated as ’house floats’ as authorities have banned large public gatherings over Covid-19 fears. They are calling it as ’Yardi Gras’ as people have decorated their houses and yards in a variety of themes. The idea for the house floats came from a Mardi Gras regular, Megan J Boudreaux, who had suggested it on Twitter.
A British study has concluded that the COVID-19 variant that originated in the UK and is now spreading in the US may be up to 70 percent deadlier than previous versions of the bug. Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of UK had also earlier tweeted that it ’may also be associated with a higher degree of mortality.’ The highly transmissible variant has spread to more than 80 countries.
The WHO fact-finding mission looking into the origins of COVID-19 in China has discovered signs the outbreak was much wider in Wuhan in December 2019 than previously thought. The lead investigator claimed the mission found several signs of a more wide-ranging spread, including establishing there were over a dozen strains of the virus in Wuhan already in December.
The UK government said Sunday that it reached its goal of giving at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot to the most vulnerable people in the country, vaccinating a total of 15 million, or 22% of the UK population, with the first jab. The figure includes most people in the government’s top 4 priority groups, including everyone over 75, frontline healthcare workers, and nursing home staff and residents
The UK has joined the US in expressing concerns over the level of access given to the WHO COVID-19 fact-finding mission to China with the British foreign minister saying that they will be pushing for ’full access’ to the info. Earlier, the WHO team concluded their trip without any definitive answers on what caused the outbreak, with a member saying they were not given raw data on early Covid cases