Coronavirus update

This 25 March 2020 CBS TV video about Pittsburgh, USA says about itself:

City Sanitation Workers Refuse To Go To Work Over Coronavirus Fears

Garbage could be piling up in the city as sanitation workers refuse to go to work, saying they’re not given enough protective gear as coronavirus continues to spread; KDKA’s Nicole Ford reports.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, March 26, 2020:

USA: Refuse workers in Pittsburgh refused to report for work yesterday morning amid safety fears over the coronavirus pandemic as the city remained on lockdown.

They issued a list of demands they said must be met before they return to work, including the provision of protective equipment.

Despite the US becoming the new epicentre of the global pandemic, President Donald Trump insists he wants the country running again by Easter.

By Steve Sweeney, 25 March 2020:

Italian strike solid with production set to halt in Lombardy for 10 days

ITALIAN workers took strike action over coronavirus safety issues today with the government accused of putting lives at risk by deeming almost 60 per cent of the country’s workforce as “essential.”

Metalworkers’ unions called the action on Monday, raising concerns that non-essential companies, including call centres and weapons factories, had been exempted from government orders to close after pressure from bosses’ organisation Confindustria.

Communist Refoundation Party (PRC) national secretary Maurizio Acerbo said that an estimated 7.5 million workers – 57.3 per cent of the Italian workforce – were classed as essential under emergency legislation.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 26 March 2020:

Food production workers walk out over coronavirus fears in north of Ireland

ABOUT a thousand food production workers walked out over coronavirus safety fears at a major plant in Northern Ireland yesterday as unions called for all non-essential factories to be shut down.

Unite reported that bosses at the Moy Park site in Portadown rejected safety proposals put forward by the union, leading to the spontaneous mass walk-out.

Food factories are deemed essential businesses and are allowed to stay open during the coronavirus crisis, but bosses must ensure the safety of staff, including the use of social-distancing measures.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 26 March 2020:

Civil-service departments not enforcing social-distancing measures

CIVIL servants are working in conditions that breach government calls for “social distancing” between workers to avoid spreading the coronavirus infection, it was revealed yesterday.

A survey by the Public & Commercial Services union (PCS) found that most government departments have failed to introduce social-distancing measures at work during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the survey, 67 per cent of civil servants reported that their workplaces have enacted no social-distancing measures and nearly a quarter of workplaces haven’t issued sickness-absence guidance.

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain, 25 March 2020:

Firms continuing to make non-essential workers attend workplaces should be shut down, says TUC

COMPANIES who flout government guidance by making their “non-essential” workers attend work during the coronavirus crisis should be forced to shut, the TUC said today.

Government should directly intervene to close the doors of firms that breach instructions, general secretary Frances O’Grady said.

Ministers have been called on repeatedly by unions and politicians to crack down on firms that break rules or punish workers for self-isolating.

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain:

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

NHS nurse treating Covid-19 patients reveals hospital asked staff to share protective masks

A NURSE blasted the government’s lack of preparations for the coronavirus today after revealing that her manager had asked colleagues to share protective masks and filters.

The NHS worker, identified only as Lorraine, warned that the health service was heading into a “war zone” as it tried to cope with thousands of Covid-19 patients.

On ITV’s Good Morning Britain she said: “Now filters have got bacteria in them, masks have got bacteria in them, these things do not get sterilised like you would your operating equipment.”

HORRIFYINGLY, care workers have been told if they test positive they will have to self-isolate at the care home and will not be able to leave, says GMB union. Vital care workers are being left with no protection against coronavirus, no childcare and poverty sick pay if they become infected: here.

By Bethany Rielly in Britain:

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Coronavirus discovered in separate detention centres, High Court hears

CORONAVIRUS cases have been found in three separate detention centres, lawyers and campaigners fighting for the release of detainees reported today.

At a hearing in the High Court, charity Detention Action went ahead with a legal challenge against the government demanding the immediate release of detainees from immigration removal centres (IRCs).

The group’s barrister, Chris Buttler, told the London court that three centres now housed detainees showing symptoms of Covid-19.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 26 March 2020:

Assange denied bail amid virus concern

WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange was refused bail yesterday despite claims that he could die from a coronavirus outbreak in jail.

The 48-year-old is being held on remand in high-security Belmarsh prison during extradition proceedings initiated by the US, where he faces 17 charges for exposing war crimes.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that there is yet to be a Covid-19 case at Belmarsh, but Mr Assange’s lawyer, Edward Fitzgerald QC, said that 100 prison officers were off work.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 26 March 2020:

Charities demand an end to refugee evictions in crisis

CHARITIES in Scotland urged the Home Office and asylum housing contractors yesterday to prevent evictions during the coronavirus pandemic by pausing all enforcement measures.

Representatives from the Scottish Refugee Council, Shelter, and other groups supporting refugees wrote to providers Serco and Mears to ask for an end to lock-change evictions and other measures.

Scotland’s Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said that evictions in both the private and social sector would be banned for six months, heeding calls from Scottish Labour and a range of charities.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 26 March 2020:

Turkey risking lives of 600,000 after cutting off water supply to major Syrian ciy

TURKISH forces have continued to place the citizens of the Syrian city of Hasaka at increased risk of coronavirus by cutting off water to the area for a fourth consecutive day, authorities reported yesterday.

Hasaka Water Department director Mahmoud al-Ulka said the lives of about 600,000 people were at risk due to the actions of “the Turkish occupation forces and its mercenaries.”

He said that Turkish troops and their jihadist allies were blocking workers from resuming operations at the Alouk water station. Local authorities have been using emergency supplies in a bid to provide water to Hasaka residents.

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