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Multinationals Suspend Business In China As Fallout From Coronavirus Widens

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Multinational companies have been forced to suspend travel, stop production and shut stores across China as corporate fallout deepens from the outbreak of coronavirus.

British Airways has cancelled all flights to and from the country for the next few days.  Carmaker Toyota has also suspended production at four auto plants and Starbucks has closed 2,000 of its Chinese outlets.

The new coronavirus that originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan has killed more than a hundred persons in China and has spread around the world.

Chicago-based united airlines said it was suspending 24 us flights to Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai

Airlines were not the only companies imposing restrictions as Facebook became the first significant US company to announce a travel suspension after the US government’s warning.  It says it had asked employees to halt non-essential travel to mainland China and to work from home if they were already in China.

Europe’s biggest bank, HSBC Holdings, banned all staff travel to Chinese-ruled Hong Kong for two weeks, and mainland China until further notice.

Health News

UK Approves Pfizer/BioNTech COVID Vaccine For Rollout Next Week

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The United Kingdom has on Wednesday approved Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine opening the way for mass immunization which will begin next week for those most at risk across the UK.

Before decisions by the US and Europe, the British government has become the first western country to license a vaccine against Covid after it was authorized for emergency use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA)

The MHRA was given power to approve the vaccine by the government under special regulations before 1 January, when it will become fully responsible for medicines authorization in the UK after Brexit.

Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine which the UK has bought 40m doses has shown to be 95% effective in its final trials with no serious side effects against a virus that’s killed nearly 1.5 million persons globally.

According to a Department of Health and Social Care spokesman “the government has today accepted the recommendation from the MHRA to approve Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for use.

It added in the statement that “this follows months of rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data by experts at the MHRA who have concluded that the vaccine has met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness

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Health News

Canada: COVID-19 Death Toll Exceeds 12000

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Canada’s COVID-19 deaths have passed another grim milestone of 12, 000 fatalities.

The country also recorded fifty-four hundred sixty-eight new cases of coronavirus infections which pushed the total number of confirmed cases to 370,014.  More than 290,000 persons have recovered from the virus.

A new report from an epidemiological analysis showed about 90 per cent of those who died were seniors, from 70 years and older.

The data also shows a significant increase in patients hospitalized from the virus.

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World News

New York City Will Reopen Elementary Schools And Reduce Hybrid Learning

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New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio has confirmed public elementary schools will begin reopening next Monday.

The largest public school system in the country closed in November when the city reached a seven-day covid-19 testing positivity average of 3%.

Meanwhile, middle and high schools will remain closed. There are more than one million students in New York City’s public school system, and around 330,000 students could be eligible to return to school under this plan.

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