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Brazil Prostitutes Strike For First-Line COVID Shots

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Brazil Prostitutes Strike For First-Line COVID Shots

Amid the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, prostitutes in the city of Belo Horizonte in southeast Brazil have gone on strike for a week, demanding COVID-19 vaccines as they are “frontline workers like nurses”.

The sex workers say they have been forced to solicit for clients on the street as they have been forced out of hotels by pandemic-related closures and without rooms to rent to sell their services.

According to AFP news agency quoting the president of the Association of Prostitutes of Minas Gerais state, Cida Vieira said “we are in the front line, moving the economy and we are at risk,” adding that “we need to get vaccinated.”

One of the protesting prostitutes, Lucimara Costa said “we are part of the priority group because we deal with various types of people and our lives are at risk.”

Viera was accompanied by thousands of other women in holding a protest on Monday, in a street lined with shuttered hotels where they used to trade.

The women waved placards declaring: “Sex workers are professionals” and “Sex work and health.”

The South American country on Tuesday recorded more than 4,000 COVID-related deaths in 24 hours for the first time, as a more contagious variant fuels a surge in cases.

Brazil’s total death toll is now almost 337,000, second only to the United States.

The country’s president Jair Bolsonaro continues to oppose any lockdown measures to curb the outbreak as he argues that the damage to the economy would be worse than the effects of the virus itself, and has tried to reverse some of the restrictions imposed by local authorities in the courts.

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Disruption In Oxygen Supply Kills Many COVID Patients In India

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Twenty-two COVID-19 patients on ventilators have on Wednesday died in a hospital in western India after a disruption in the supply of medical oxygen caused by a leak.

According to Reuters news agency quoting the Nashik district’s collector, Suraj Mandhar said an oxygen tanker leaked outside a hospital in the city, halting its supply for about half an hour before it later resumed for nearly 150 other patients in the hospital.

Media reports said all the victims were on ventilators and in need of constant oxygen supply in the hospital dedicated for COVID-19 patients.

Fire officer Sanjay Bairagi said the leak was halted by the fire service within 15 minutes, but there was supply disruption in the Zakir Hussain Hospital in Nashik, a city in Maharashtra state that is the worst hit by the latest surge in coronavirus cases in the country.

Television images showed white fumes spreading in the hospital area, causing panic.

Surinder Sonone, a police officer, said the leak occurred in a pipe connecting the oxygen supply to the main tank in the hospital complex.

India with the second highest confirmed cases of COVID-19 behind the United States has reported more than 15.6 million infections as the total number of fatalities stood at 182,553.

State Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the state government has ordered an investigation into what caused the leak.

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WATCH: South Korean Fishermen Protest Against Japan Over Plans To Dump Treated Radioactive Water In Sea

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South Korean Fishermen Protest Against Japan

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Biden On George Floyd Verdict: ‘A Giant Step Forward

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United States (US) President Joe Biden has on Tuesday said the conviction of a former police officer in the killing of George Floyd “can be a giant step forward in the march toward justice in America” but he warned “we can’t stop here”.

After a three-week trial, the jury in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin has on Tuesday found the former Minneapolis police officer guilty in the killing of George Floyd, a Black man on May 25 last year

45-year-old Chauvin was filmed with his knee on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds, sparking mass protests against racism.

Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, a decision Biden said he hoped would become a “moment of significant change”.

After the verdict, Biden speaking on Tuesday from the White House alongside Vice President Kamala Harris, with the pair saying the country’s work is far from finished with the verdict.

Biden further said “we can’t leave this moment or look away thinking our work is done. We have to look at it as we did for those nine minutes and 29 seconds.”

Vice-President Kamala Harris urged lawmakers to pass the George Floyd bill aimed at reforming policing in the US saying “this bill is part of George Floyd’s legacy. This work is long overdue.”

The Reuters news agency quoting the Floyd family’s lawyer Benjamin Crump said “Justice for Black America is justice for all of America,” adding that “this case is a turning point in American history for accountability of law enforcement and sends a clear message we hope is heard clearly in every city and every state.”

People gathered outside the courtroom and on the intersection in Minneapolis where Mr Floyd was killed to celebrate the verdict while some also gathered in other cities to celebrate.

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