Overseas students form helpful volunteer group to offer assistance in Wuhan

UNTV News   •   February 20, 2020   •   459

CHINA (Reuters) – International students at a university in Wuhan City have formed a volunteer team to provide services for other students on campus since they are not allowed to go outside as part of the current epidemic control measures.

After the outbreak, a doctoral student, who goes by his Chinese name Daming and is from Benin, took the initiative to put together a group of students to help with deliveries for the 320 international students being housed at the Silk Road Institute under the China University of Geosciences.

His volunteer team is made up of students from 13 countries that include Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Tanzania, Madagascar, Rwanda, and Yemen.

On top of delivering essentials to each student, the volunteers also help to transport and organize supplies donated to the university.

“We published some information [appealing for donations]. Some villagers in my hometown of Jingmen City saw the information and contacted us. These Chinese cabbages, carrots and corn were all donated by the villagers,” said Xu Feng, deputy dean at the Silk Road Institute.

As the group continues to work hard, Daming has referred to the team as “Iron Men”, which he thinks reflects the braveness of the volunteers.

“Though we come from different countries, our hearts are connected. All the volunteers are resilient and we are not scared of the virus,” said Daming.

Even though his team of iron men is confident in their work, Daming’s parents were initially worried about his safety and asked if he wanted to leave.

“At the very beginning, my parents asked me whether I want to go home, as they felt very worried. I shot some videos for them and then they feel relieved and think it is okay for me to stay here,” said Daming.

All the volunteers have said they regard Wuhan as their second home and they want to help the city to get through the present difficulties through action.

“This is my responsibility and also the world’s responsibility. We all support Wuhan. Fight on,” said Yang Kang, a student from Afghanistan.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro confirms postive coronavirus diagnosis

UNTV News   •   July 8, 2020

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Tuesday (July 7) he tested positive for the novel coronavirus, adding in a television interview that he was in good health despite running a fever.

The right-wing populist, who has played down the severity of the virus which he has called a “little flu,” took the test on Monday after developing symptoms.

In the interview broadcast on state-run TV Brasil, Bolsonaro said he began feeling ill on Sunday (July 5) and has been taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug with unproven effectiveness against COVID-19.

“It started on Sunday (July 5) with a certain feeling of unwell that worsened during the day on Monday (July 6), with malaise, tiredness, a bit of muscle pain and a fever that reached 38 degrees in the late afternoon. I then thought that with these symptoms, and with the presidency’s medic (believing it to be) a possible COVID-19 infection, I did a CT scan at the armed forces hospital here in Brasilia. And the lungs were clear,” Bolsonaro said.

Brazil has the world’s second-largest outbreak behind the United States. Latin America’s largest country has more than 1.6 million confirmed cases and 65,000 COVID-19 deaths.

Bolsonaro has repeatedly defied local guidelines to wear a mask in public, even after a judge ordered him to do so in late June. Bolsonaro has also railed against social distancing rules supported by the World Health Organization.

Over the weekend, Bolsonaro attended several events and was in close contact with U.S. Ambassador Todd Chapman during July 4 celebrations. Pictures showed neither wearing a mask.

The U.S. Embassy in Brasilia said via Twitter on Monday (July 6) that the ambassador had lunch on July 4 with Bolsonaro, five ministers and the president’s son, Congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro. The ambassador had no symptoms, but would undergo testing and is “taking precautions,” the embassy said. (REUTERS)

Apple to re-close more stores in seven states, bringing total to 77

UNTV News   •   July 2, 2020

REUTERS – Apple Inc said on Wednesday (July 1) that it would re-close more than two dozen stores in seven states, including its home state of California, bringing the total closures to 77 as coronavirus cases continue to rise.

Starting Thursday (July 2), stores will close in Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, and Oklahoma.

As of Wednesday, additional stores had already closed in Florida, Mississippi, Texas, and Utah.

Apple has taken an city-by-city approach to opening and closing stores, evaluating data for each community.

In cities where stores remain open, Apple requires face coverings for employees and customers while also performing temperature checks and frequent cleaning, the company said.

Apple has said its retail employees will continue to be paid through the closures. (Production: Angela Moore)

Number of Californians with COVID-19 keeps rising; governor declares budget emergency

UNTV News   •   June 26, 2020

California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday (June 25) declared a budget emergency in the most populous U.S. state, blaming expenses and the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Declaring a budget emergency allows the state to tap into its rainy day fund. California anticipates a $54.3-billion budget deficit due to costs and a drop in revenue linked to the pandemic.

The state’s budget crunch lies in the shadow of coronavirus cases that continue to mount.

Nearly 5,350 people tested positive for the coronavirus in California the past 24 hours, Newsom said. The increase was smaller than Wednesday’s (June 24) record of 7,149 new cases. But the number of Californians becoming very ill continued to rise, using about 34% of the available intensive care beds in the state, up from 29% on Wednesday.

A total of 4,240 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Thursday in the state, using about 9% of total available beds, Newsom said.

The surging cases have prompted the state to put 11 counties, representing about half of California’s population, on a watch list of places that might be required to roll back recent efforts to reopen their economies. (Reuters)

(Production: Jane Ross)

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