Coronavirus crisis news, worldwide

This 18 April 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Governors Slam Trump for Egging on Protesters with ‘LIBERATE’ Tweets amid COVID-19 | NowThis

‘I do not have time to involve myself in Twitter wars’ — Governors are pushing back against Trump’s ‘LIBERATE’ tweets, which are egging on those protesting stay-at-home orders.

In US news and current events today, President Donald Trump has took to Twitter to send a flurry of ‘LIBERATE’ tweets aimed at Minnesota, Michigan, and Virginia in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The Donald Trump tweets regarding COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders in the U.S. have seemingly encouraged his supporters who are protesting those stay-at-home orders in their states. The governors of Michigan, Minnesota, and Michigan have responded to Donald Trump’s ‘LIBERATE’ tweets, all saying they’re doing what they can to ‘save lives.’

The U.S., which has more than 718,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, currently accounts for 31% of all global cases of the novel coronavirus.

By Tomas Castanheira in Brazil:

Brazilian nurses strike over deadly conditions as COVID-19 deaths mount

18 April 2020

Nurses and other health care workers have carried out strikes and protests in several Brazilian cities over a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) that is leaving many of them sick and some dying from the COVID-19.

After rising rapidly throughout the week, the number of officially confirmed coronavirus cases in Brazil reached 30,425 on Thursday, while the death toll stood at 1,924. However, a study carried out by the Health Intelligence and Operations Center (NOIS) points out that, due to extreme underreporting and lack of testing, the actual number of cases would be 12 times greater—i.e., more than 350,000 infected. And many COVID-19 deaths are going unrecorded.

The situation has been exacerbated by the actions of Brazil’s fascistic President Jair Bolsonaro who, since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, has waged a criminal campaign to sabotage any measures to contain the epidemic that conflict with immediate profit interests.

And, like Trump supporters in the USA blocked healthcare workers from reaching their patients, so did supporters of neofascist President Bolsonaro of Brazil.

Why 6 feet may not be enough social distance to avoid COVID-19. Scientists who study airflow warn that virus-laden drops may travel farther than thought. By Tina Hesman Saey, April 17, 2020

Big business representatives defend hospital closures in Germany. By Markus Salzmann, 18 April 2020. Economist Boris Augurzky claims that there are too many hospitals, and has called for the crisis to be used to further reduce the number of facilities.

Sri Lanka: Oppose return to work in unsafe pandemic conditions! No to job destruction! By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 18 April 2020. The criminal actions of the Rajapakse government and big business will accelerate the spread of the deadly virus and lead to a further loss of workers’ lives.

Authorities seeking to force coronavirus-stricken ship out of Australian waters. By Martin Scott, 18 April 2020. More than 160 Ruby Princess crew members have tested positive for COVID-19, but most of the 1,056 workers are being refused the right to leave the ship.

New Zealand businesses, media call for lifting of lockdown measures. By John Braddock, 18 April 2020. Sections of NZ’s business elite are demanding an end to the month-long COVID-19 lockdown and for working people to risk their lives to defend the capitalist economy.

From the World Socialist Web Site, 18 April 2020:

Bangladeshi garment workers protest over factory closures and unpaid wages

Thousands of garment workers from industrial estates in Gazipur, Ashulia, Savar Narayanganj, Dhaka, Uttara, Tongi, Mirpur, Pallabi, and Chattogram are continuing protests begun on April 4 after finding their factories closed when they attempted to return to work following the lifting of the coronavirus lockdown. They are demanding unpaid wages …

On Tuesday, in Ashulia and Savar, thousands of garment workers of four factories, including those of World One Denim and Washing Ltd, protested demanding several months of unpaid wages. The factories closed on February 20. In Gazipur around 20,000 garment workers from shuttered factories demonstrated on Sunday and Monday demanding unpaid wages.

India: Migrant workers caught up in COVID-lockdown demand outstanding wages

Hundreds of migrant workers impacted by India’s nationwide COVID-19 lockdown demonstrated in Surat, Gujarat state on April 10 to demand their wages be paid so they can return home. Some workers were arrested by police.

On Tuesday migrant workers demonstrated at the Bandra bus stand in Mumbai, India’s largest city. They were demanding transport and outstanding wages in order to return to their village homes. Lathi (cane) wielding police attacked some of the demonstrators. Workers ended their protest after the Maharashtra state government promised to provide food and accommodation.

Thousands of garment workers in Cambodia and Burma lose jobs due to COVID-19

Hundreds of thousands of low paid garment workers in Cambodia and Burma face being laid off as hundreds of factories close in response to cancelled orders from large western retail outlets due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 110 factories employing about 96,000 workers have applied to the Cambodian government to suspend production because of the pandemic. The government said it would offer suspended workers $US40 per month while factories would provide S30, a smaller sum than promised earlier this year.

A spokesperson from the Human Rights Watch (HRW) said many workers had received their March wages but in April “I think it’s going to be complete chaos.” Most of Cambodia’s 800,000 garment workers earn a monthly minimum salary of just $190 but are forced to work overtime to make ends meet.

In Burma, around 20,000 migrants returned home from Thailand last month after losing their jobs due to factory closures. …

Electronics retail workers demand shutdown

Australia’s largest consumer electronic retailer JB HI-FI is ignoring workers concerns and is remaining open and potentially exposing more than 12,000 employees to the deadly COVID-19 infection. Almost 900 workers have so far signed a petition calling for the retailer to shut its doors and continue paying wages.

One worker told media, “I’m grateful to have a job, don’t get me wrong, but it gets to a point where [you ask], is our safety being prioritised over sales? I don’t think it is.” Another worker said, “People are browsing, people are touching everything and we’re supposed to be cleaning everything straight after they touch it.”

Many JB HI-FI workers argue that the stores are not providing an essential service as many of the goods they sell can be bought online or even from supermarkets. More than 100,000 retail workers have been stood down since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, with many casual workers unable to access the federal government’s JobKeeper wage subsidy.

Qantas workers ordered into isolation over COVID-19

Over 750 workers of Australia’s largest airline company Qantas have been ordered into isolation by SA (South Australia) Health after Qantas staff at Adelaide Airport were directed to continue working after it was discovered they had been exposed to COVID-19. The quarantine order was an attempt to contain a cluster of cases linked to the airport, including 18 baggage handlers, three other workers and 13 close contacts.

The Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) says it is compiling evidence Qantas “knowingly exposed” workers to the virus after it was made aware of the first confirmed case. However, while the TWU accused Qantas of taking a “blasé” approach in managing the issue, the union had failed to shut-down the infected work site leaving it up to SA Health to take action.

The quarantine order applies to employees who worked in certain areas of the airport since March 17, and affects cabin crew, pilots, customer service staff, engineers and baggage handlers. Prior to this incident Qantas had refused to pay staff who went into self-isolation, compelling infected workers to remain on the job.

Maritime union ends Sydney strike over COVID-19 at Hutchison Ports

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), a division of the CFMMEU, announced on Wednesday that it has reached a deal with international stevedore company Hutchison Ports Australia. The agreement ends a 10-day shutdown following positive COVID-19 infections amongst workers at its Sydney terminal.

Hutchison took six days to notify workers of the positive COVID-19 infections. Despite this unnecessary and dangerous delay the union’s deal with the company introduces “workplace measures to combat workplace transmission of Covid-19.”

Under the agreement, which the union claims is a victory, production will continue at the Sydney facility. The deal is supposed to include shift and physical distancing protocols, cleanliness measures across the entire terminal and machinery, a communication process prior to each shift informing members not to come to work if they are ill and full provision and supply of PPE.

The union called the ten-day shutdown of Hutchinson’s Sydney terminal only after an intervention by the NSW Department of Health.

2 thoughts on “Coronavirus crisis news, worldwide

  1. Pingback: Cyclist Sepp Kuss beats teammates on home trainer | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.