Coronavirus impact on world’s indigenous, goes well beyond health threat, 05/20/20

Covid-19

Photo Credit: UN News

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact on the world’s indigenous peoples that stretches well beyond the immediate threat to their health, the new UN independent expert on the rights of indigenous peoples said on Monday.

“I am receiving more reports every day from all corners of the globe about how indigenous communities are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and it deeply worries me to see it is not always about health issues”, said José Francisco Cali Tzay.

In a statement Monday, the Special Rapporteur – a Maya Kaqchikel from Guatemala who took up his post on 1 May – urged Governments worldwide to ensure that indigenous peoples have access to information about COVID–19 in their languages.

Why COVID-19 immunity passports may violate US law by Seema Mohapatra for the Conversation 5/27/20

Corona Virus, New York

Photo Credit: UN NEWS

The concept of immunity passports is not novel. Vaccination cards, for example, demonstrate immunity to specific diseases and aren’t necessarily problematic. For example, yellow fever vaccination cards are required to travel to certain countries. And university students in Florida and Colorado must have meningococcal vaccinations.

But in those cases, there is a readily available vaccine that allows anyone who gets one access to a country or college campus. If a vaccination eventually establishes immunity from COVID–19, I believe such certification would be legally and ethically permissible. Courts have said that employers can require employees to be vaccinated as a prerequisite to work in certain circumstances.

Absent a vaccine for COVID–19, however, some countries and companies are already looking for ways to establish immunity through antibody testing. This is problematic because it’s unclear if there is immunity from subsequent infection. And if there is immunity, it’s uncertain how long it lasts.

Freedom to Write Index 2019 by PEN America, 5/20/20

freedom

Photo Credit: PEN America

Amid global retrenchment on human rights and fundamental freedoms–deepening authoritarianism in Russia, China, and much of the Middle East; democratic retreat in parts of Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia; and new threats in established democracies in North America and Western Europe—the brave individuals who speak out, challenge tyranny, and make the intellectual case for freedom are on the front line of the battle to keep societies open, defend the truth, and resist repression.

Writers and intellectuals are often among the canaries in the coal mine who, alongside journalists and human rights activists, are first targeted when a country takes a more authoritarian turn. The unjust detention and imprisonment of writers and intellectuals impacts both the individuals themselves and the broader public, who are deprived of innovative and influential voices of dissent, criticism, creativity, and conscience. For this reason, the targeting of writers and public intellectuals for exercising their freedom of expression should be a source of grave concern to all.

Children not immune to coronavirus; new study describes severe COVID–19 response in children by Albert Einstein College of Medicine 5/20/20

Corona Virus, New York

While most children infected with the novel coronavirus have mild symptoms, a subset requires hospitalization and a small number require intensive care. A new report from pediatric anesthesiologists, infectious disease specialists and pediatricians at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM) and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, describes the clinical characteristics and outcomes of children hospitalized with COVID–19, during the early days of the pandemic.

Published in the Journal of Pediatrics, the report compares 46 children between one month and 21 years old, who received care either on a general unit, or in the Pediatric Critical Care Unit (PCCU) at CHAM. This is the largest single-center study from the United States to date to describe in detail the full spectrum of COVID–19 disease in hospitalized children.

New York tallies as of 5/27/20:

 NYS Confirmed: 363,836.
 NYS deaths: 23,564.
 NYC confirmed: 199,301.
 Brooklyn confirmed: 54,560.


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