Today’s Daily News theme is checking in on the fight against COVID-19 globally. Highlights include fears in the intelligence community about dependency on PRC aid and concerns about hospitals becoming hot zones in Ireland. All headlines are drawn from the front pages available at Newseum.org.
Saga prefecture image by KoheiTanaka courtesy of Pixabay.com
Japan’s annual rainy season is coming, which will be followed by typhoon season as a beleaguered nation struggles with COVID-19. Established emergency plans are having to be looked at and rewritten on the fly to accomodate the needs of a country in the midst of a pandemic. Local governments, particularly those farther from the capitol like Saga prefecture, are concerned that mass evacuations will prove particularly troublesome, and are preparing to potentially set up massive tent living quarters for evacuees.
A government investigation into the St. Augustine’s hospital has found that the hospital alone accounted for 14% of COVID-19 cases in Durban and the surrounding areas. The study found that the hospital was slow to enact wide testing and offered staff insufficient protection, as a significant chunk of the infected came from the nursing staff. Hospital officials did not dispute the findings themselves, pointing out that its recommendations had either already been implemented or were in the process of being implemented.
A study by a British foreign policy think tank has urged Five Eyes nations - an intelligence-sharing alliance between the UK, United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand - to attempt to decouple vital industry from Chinese supply chains. Specific concerns cited in the study are the increasingly-authoritarian behavior of Chinese president Xi Jinping and the severe troubles several members have had in acquiring necessary materials for fighting COVID-19. While the study did not recommend the drastic measure of a complete decoupling, its findings did seem to indicate that strategically-vital industries would be best handled domestically.
Two major hospital groups in Ireland are at major risk for becoming COVID-19 clusters if another spike in infections occurs. Meanwhile, Health Service Executive refused a priority request to stock a 3-day minimum for Personal Protective Equipment. These failures and more raise concerns of how capable Ireland is of seeing the pandemic through.
An increasing number of Conservative parliamentarians are breaking with the party on making migrant healthcare workers pay for their medical care. Concerns over fairness - and electoral competitiveness - are particularly prominent among MPs from Britain’s more multicultural urban areas.
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