Coronavirus crisis, worldwide

This 21 April 2020 video says about itself:

Brazil’s people fear a COVID-19 threat their president denies

How does a country mobilize to fight COVID-19 when its own president says the virus isn’t a serious matter? Brazil is in the process of finding out, as President Jair Bolsonaro prioritizes Latin America’s largest economy in the face of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Nick Schifrin reports.

From the World Socialist Web Site, 24 April 2023:

Workers at the Port Elizabeth Zwide Township Dora Nginza Hospital, South Africa, walked out to protest the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), demanding a compensation allowance to cover the threat from the coronavirus. …

There were 3,635 confirmed coronavirus cases as of this writing in South Africa and 65 fatalities. …

Malawian health workers strike and demonstrate to demand PPE

Hospital workers at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi are out on strike to demand PPE.

In response, Malawi’s health minister said the staff are making unrealistic demands. This was countered by a nurses’ sit-in with placards saying, “If our demands are unrealistic come and work [at the hospital].”

On April 24, nurses walked out at the Chikwawa district hospital and a contingent of staff the following day marched to the District Commissioners office—one of their slogans saying, “Don’t send us to war without weapons.”

The infections in Malawi on Monday were 17 and two deaths. …

Walkout by postal workers in Eastern England over COVID-19 fears

UK postal workers at the Bury St. Edmunds delivery office in Suffolk held a 90-minute unofficial walkout on April 17. They were protesting management’s introduction of an additional workstation to cope with the rising volume of parcels from online shopping. This has made safe social distancing impossible.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) members returned to work after a meeting between CWU officials and management.

Last month saw walkouts in Southwark, London and Bridgewater in the south-west. This month, postal workers at several other Royal Mail sites have taken unofficial action over their safety concerns, including Chatham, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington, Didcot, Edinburgh, Alloa and Fife.

Protest by hospital security staff at UK London hospital over PPE

UK security staff employed by outsourcing company, Bidvest Noonan, at St. Georges medical school in south London, are protesting lack of COVID-19 PPE. Some United Voices of the World union members walked off-site on one occasion.

The workers have been involved in an ongoing dispute over zero-hour contracts and want to be employed on terms and conditions in line with directly employed National Health Service staff—including six months sick pay and 28 days holiday leave. …

Dutch teachers express concern over schools reopening

Primary schools in the Netherlands are to open after the May holidays and secondary schools possibly in June. LIA, the teachers’ action group and union, have expressed concern at the decision. Teachers feel the decision is premature and not based on scientific evidence. They say they should decide themselves if it is safe to return to school.

COVID-19 deaths in Scotland 79 percent higher than official figures. By Stephen Alexander, 24 April 2020. The impact of this deadly policy has fallen overwhelmingly on the poor, densely populated areas in deindustrialised centres of the working class.

Japan’s medical system collapsing as COVID-19 cases surge. By Ben McGrath, 24 April 2020. As many as 400,000 people could die in Japan without serious preventative measures as many lack access to tests and treatment.

Tens of thousands of Nepali workers stranded abroad by COVID-19 disaster. By Rohantha De Silva, 24 April 2020. Nepal has a population of 28 million but so far only 8,763 people have been tested for the virus.

New Zealand teachers and nurses oppose easing of lockdown, even as new COVID-19 cases are reported each day. By Tom Peters, 24 April 2020.

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