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After Israel’s blockade, Gaza receives 1st batch of vaccines against covid-19

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Opera Mundi – The Palestinian Authority announced on Wednesday (17) the arrival of the first shipment of vaccines against covid-19 in the Gaza Strip. The delivery of two thousand doses of the immunizer Sputnik V, donated by Russia, comes after the Israeli government blocked the cargo two days ago.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported that all two thousand doses have arrived and that the first thousand people vaccinated will be health professionals who care for patients with covid-19 and those who work on the emergency front line in general.

Russia sent 10,000 doses of the vaccine to the Palestinian Authority, which planned to distribute 2,000 to Gaza. The pandemic situation in the region is delicate, as the population of about 2 million people suffers from constant blockades by Israeli forces.

Since the beginning of the health crisis, Israel has made it difficult to deliver equipment, respirators and personal protective items such as masks, gloves and other items to Gaza.

As in the first cases, international pressure from organs linked to the United Nations (UN) caused the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to give in and authorize the entry of these sanitary materials.

According to the Johns Hopkins University survey showing the need for vaccines, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip together account for 16,487 cases of the new coronavirus. The number of deaths from the disease is 1,942.

(*) With Loop and Sputnik.

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Economy

Municipal schools in São Paulo record 3 deaths and 386 cases of covid-19 after returning to school

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São Paulo – Municipal schools in the city of São Paulo had three deaths from covid-19 and 569 confirmed cases among students and professionals in 256 teaching units, according to a survey by the five unions that organize municipal education workers. Some of the teachers and other education workers are still on strike demanding the suspension of face-to-face classes due to the high risk of contamination by the new coronavirus, in addition to the imminent risk of collapse in health. The Municipal Secretary of Education of the government Bruno Covas (PSDB) does not divulge the cases and says only that 12 schools had to be closed since the beginning of classes.

For workers, there are no safe conditions for resuming face-to-face classes in schools in the city of São Paulo, especially in the midst of the worsening pandemic. Among the main problems, they point to the lack of ventilation in the classrooms, materials for protection and hygiene – such as 70% alcohol gel and masks distributed by the Covas government – of low quality, impossibility to maintain the distance in early childhood education units, lack of teachers, lack of support teams.

Disoriented

The Covas government itself assumed that the preparation of the schools was insufficient when, two days before the return to school, it began to inform families that the resumption would be postponed, because 530 schools were still under renovation or without cleaning staff hired to work in the units.

Workers also point out that there is a lack of clarity in the protocols for cases of covid-19 in schools. In some regions, only the person with symptoms is excluded. In others, everyone who had contact. In still others, the entire school is closed. Workers attribute this situation to the dismantling of the Health Surveillance Coordination (Covisa), last year, the body responsible for defining health rules, but which today is subordinate to the Municipal Secretary of Health. And, therefore, without decision-making power.

According to the Union of Workers in Public Administration and Municipalities in the Municipality of São Paulo (Sindsep), the resumption of classroom activities in schools in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic was not preceded by a technical opinion that estimated the risks, made projections and defined clearly the procedures when cases of covid-19 appeared in schools. Sindsep says that the information was passed on by professionals from the Municipal Health Secretariat, at the Technical Desk of Covid-19, on February 23.

Political and authoritarian

The RBA questioned the Municipal Health Department four times about the technical opinion that supported the resumption of face-to-face classes in schools amid the covid-19 pandemic, but had no answer. Last year, Covisa took a stand against back to school on several occasions. This year, however, the Covas government decided that the resumption could take place even during the red and orange phases of the quarantine, when the risk of contamination by the new coronavirus is substantially greater.

“The decision of Covas and the municipal education secretary, Fernando Padula, in February, was a political decision, without a favorable technical opinion from health experts from the city itself, or from Covisa, an organ that was dismantled by Covas and lost its autonomy . Health was consulted only on the elaboration of protocols for the functioning of schools, but not on the epidemiological risks of reopening at that time. This statement belies the Municipal Department of Education, which has stated that the reopening of schools has been based on the position of the Municipal Department of Health, ”said the president of Sindsep, Sérgio Antiqueira.

Workers are studying to report the situation to the Municipal Health Council and the Public Ministry

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