June 7, 2023


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Coronavirus live news: WHO says it is ‘too early’ to dismiss AstraZeneca vaccine | World news



EU chief urges states to donate vaccines to Ukraine



The British Labour party has called on the chancellor to extend the government’s emergency support for hard-pressed companies after warning that businesses face a £50bn hit in April when financial help is withdrawn.

With the budget less than a month away, the opposition called on Rishi Sunak to announce a six-month extension of the business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure and to continue the temporary cut in VAT to 5{540ccc4681f92a8237c705b0cdebbb9da373ec200da159e6cc1fd9f393be00be} for the same three sectors of the economy.

Labour, which has already called for an indefinite extension of the furlough, said economic support had failed to keep pace with the tougher social distancing regulations introduced to curb the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic:


Israel, Greece sign travel deal for vaccinated citizens


Easter Island begins vaccinating residents against Covid-19


The UK government risks “turning the clock back” on gender equality by overlooking the labour market and caring inequalities faced by women during the pandemic, a report published by the women and equalities committee warns.

The select committee has issued 20 recommendations for the government to tackle inequality, including maintaining the £20 increase to universal credit.

The committee chair, Caroline Nokes, said that while the government’s support packages had “provided a vital safety net for millions of people”, the pandemic has made existing inequalities worse for pregnant women, new mothers, the self-employed, women claiming benefits and those working in the professional childcare sector.

“This passive approach to gender equality is not enough and for many women it has made existing equality problems worse,” she said. “And it risks doing the same in its plans for the economic recovery.”

The report recommends that the government review childcare provisions to support jobseekers and those retraining; review statutory sick pay eligibility, as women are overrepresented among those who are ineligible; reinstate gender pay gap reporting; and extend redundancy protection to pregnant women and new mothers:


UK faces renewed calls for border curbs

Scientists and senior MPs have renewed calls for sweeping border curbs to protect the UK’s vaccination programme against new variants as Boris Johnson prepared to introduce tougher measures and Britain saw internal infections fall.

The government is to announce sweeping new restrictions on arrivals into the UK this week, including mass testing of all arrivals. All passengers arriving will be tested for coronavirus on day two and day eight of their isolation – regardless of what country they have come from and whether they are at home or in quarantine. The UK already requires all arrivals to have a negative Covid test from within the past 72 hours, taken while still abroad.

With concerns over the risk to the UK’s vaccine programme from new coronavirus variants, Britons have also been urged to exercise caution booking summer holidays with other households even within the UK this summer. Ministers said a third booster jab is likely to be needed in autumn to protect against new variants:


Facebook bans misinformation about all vaccines after years of controversy

Facebook has banned misinformation about all vaccines following years of harmful, unfounded health claims proliferating on its platform.

As part of its policy on Covid-19-related misinformation, Facebook will now remove posts with false claims about all vaccines, the company announced in a blogpost on Monday.

These new community guidelines apply to user-generated posts as well as paid advertisements, which were already banned from including such misinformation. Instagram users will face the same restrictions.

“We will begin enforcing this policy immediately, with a particular focus on Pages, groups and accounts that violate these rules,” said Guy Rosen, who oversees content decisions. “We’ll continue to expand our enforcement over the coming weeks.”

Groups on Facebook have been known to create echo chambers of misinformation and have fueled the rise of anti-vaccine communities and rhetoric. Under the new policy, groups where users repeatedly share banned content will be shut down.

Facebook has repeatedly updated its policies on Covid-19 content as the pandemic has evolved. In April 2020, it began to add to posts about coronavirus a panel of facts from the CDC to combat misinformation. It often made misinformation about vaccines less visible on its platform but stopped short of removing it:


Russia official death toll half of figure listed by state statistics agency;


WHO investigators to brief media from Wuhan at 4pm local time



WHO says don’t dismiss AstraZeneca shot after South Africa delays jabs