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Japan set to extend COVID-19 states of emergency ahead of Games



The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games logo, postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, can be seen through a road sign in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building in Tokyo, Japan on January 22, 2021. REUTERS / Issei Kato

Japan was scheduled to extend the state of emergency in Tokyo and other areas by about three weeks to June 20 on Friday, as the COVID-19 pandemic shows no signs of easing less than two months before the start of the Summer Olympics.

The state of emergency in the capital and eight other prefectures was slated to end on May 31, but the medical system remains heavily burdened.

Japan has seen a record number of COVID-19 patients in critical condition in the past few days, although the number of new infections has slowed.

“The influx of people is creeping up in Osaka and Tokyo and there are concerns that infections will increase,” said Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who also leads the country’s coronavirus countermeasures, at the beginning of a meeting with experts.

The experts later approved the government proposal, and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is expected to officially announce the extensions later on Friday.

Concerns over variants of the novel coronavirus and a slow vaccination campaign have sparked urgent calls from doctors, some high-profile business people and hundreds of thousands of citizens to cancel the Olympic Games, which are due to begin on July 23.

Japanese officials, Olympic Games organizers and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have announced that the Games will be held under strict virus prevention measures. IOC Vice President John Coates, who oversees the preparations, said last week the Games will be about whether the host city Tokyo is currently in a state of emergency or not.

Seiko Hashimoto, president of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, said at a press conference that she had received pledges from India – now fighting a deadly second COVID-19 wave – and from five other countries, all of their Olympic delegates as a countermeasure against a new one Vaccinate variant that emerged in India.

IOC President Thomas Bach has vaccinated 80% of the 10,500 athletes expected in Japan and on Thursday urged the Olympians to get their shots if they could. Participants must also be tested before and after arrival.

“I want to say ‘shut up'”

Comments from IOC officials apparently rejecting Japanese concerns have sparked outrage on social media, including IOC President Thomas Bach, who said at an international athletes forum on Thursday: “Come to Tokyo with full confidence and get ready” and call Tokyo “the best prepared Olympic city of all time” ”

“I want to say” shut up “, said a Twitter user. “Let’s beat up the IOC that denigrates Japan and stop these crazy Olympics.”

Japan has so far recorded about 727,000 coronavirus infections and 12,597 deaths. According to Reuters data, around 6% of the population has been vaccinated. This is the lowest value among the larger, rich countries in the world.

According to the government’s current plan, around 30% of the population would be vaccinated by the end of July, Nishimura said.

After meeting Japanese officials on Thursday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen backed hosting the Tokyo Olympics and said the European Union had approved the export of more than 100 million doses of vaccine to Japan, enough to be around Vaccinate 40% of the population. Continue reading

International spectators will not be admitted to the games, but around 90,000 people, including athletes and their delegations, will attend. No decision has been made about local fans yet, and Tokyo 2020’s Hashimoto said the situation regarding the state of emergency needs to be considered.

According to surveys, the majority of Japanese would like the games that were postponed last year due to COVID-19 to either be canceled or postponed again.

That’s a concern for Suga, whose support has waned over his handling of the COVID-19 response and who faces a general election and ruling party leadership contest later this year.

However, the cancellation would bring the prime minister’s own political risk, said some ruling party’s lawmakers.

“The disadvantages would outweigh the merits,” Liberal Democratic Party MP Hajime Funada told Reuters. “It would give the impression that Japan is in such dire straits that it cannot hold the Games.”

Japan’s recent emergency response, as opposed to stricter measures in many countries, has mainly focused on closing alcohol-serving restaurants and those not supposed to close by 8 p.m.

Nomura Research Institute’s senior economist Takahide Kiuchi said an extension of the state of emergency would mean the economy would likely shrink and return to recession in the current quarter. Continue reading

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Tri-County Health prepares to transition COVID-19 services to Douglas County



The Tri-County’s Department of Health is preparing to switch COVID-19 services in Douglas County earlier than expected after the Public Health Department and the county government agreed last month to continue a partnership through the end of next year.

Douglas County split from Tri-County in September after a decades-long partnership after repeatedly arguing with the agency over COVID-19 public health regulations that their commissioners found too far-reaching. However, the two bodies have signed an intergovernmental agreement that Tri-County will continue to provide healthcare services through the end of 2022

But pandemic health services management could change hands much sooner.

Written minutes of a staff meeting in Tri-County on Tuesday, reviewed by The Denver Post, show that while the agency is still negotiating with Douglas County, “DougCo may” cease COVID-related services (investigations, testing). ” “. November 1, 2021. “

Douglas County Commissioner George Teal confirmed in a text message to The Post that the county is working to provide services related to COVID-19, but asked how soon that will happen.

“Tri-County has claimed in discussions with Douglas County that we are working together to ensure that responsibility for COVID disease control begins November 8 here in the county,” Teal wrote. “Any other date used by the Tri-County Health Department would be an example of their lack of professionalism and dishonesty in dealing with the people of Douglas County.”

Tri-County spokeswoman Becky O’Guin said the agency was “committed to the (intergovernmental agreement) we signed with Douglas County.”

“We are committed to ensuring that there is no gap in major public health services, including COVID vaccine and testing in Douglas County,” she added.

A Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment spokesman said in a statement that the state agency “will work with both the Tri-County Health Department and Douglas Counties to determine how the COVID is currently covered by the Tri-County Health Department 19 Response Activities “Transition in Douglas County.”

The final straw for Douglas County came in late August after a Tri-County ordinance required all students, staff, and visitors in Douglas, Adams, and Arapahoe Counties to wear masks at school. The Tri-County Board of Health at the same meeting overturned a policy that would allow counties to opt out of their public health orders.

The new Douglas County Department’s first public health ordinance gave parents the ability to prevent their children from wearing masks in schools. However, a federal judge temporarily stopped this mask exemption on Tuesday, ruling that it violates the rights of students with disabilities.

Douglas County’s exit from the public health partnership sparked a knock-on effect for the rest of the agency. Adams County announced last week that it intends to leave Tri-County as well, leaving Arapahoe County as the only remaining member.

A report released earlier this month showed that the formation of separate public health authorities would cost Adams and Arapahoe counties millions more dollars annually than their current Tri-County agreement.

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House committee passes measure to bar moral exemptions for COVID-19 vaccine refusal



Nearly 50,000 people have opposed a proposal to discourage employees from citing their moral beliefs as a reason for refusing to adhere to a COVID-19 vaccine mandate in the workplace.

The sponsor of the measure said she received a “gazillion” response – some obscene, some threatening, some “kind of terrifying”.

One man even threatened sexual violence, warning that Governor JB Pritzker and “every single lawmaker” supporting the measure would suffer “needle rape”.

This was just a move that emerged from a committee of the General Assembly on Tuesday when lawmakers returned to Springfield for the second week of their fall veto session.

Members of the House Executive Committee – as well as representatives from the Governor’s Office and Attorney General of Illinois Kwame Raoul – argued heatedly during the hearing on the proposed amendment to the 1998 Remedial Remedies for Health Act.

This change, sponsored by State Representative Robyn Gabel, is intended to clarify that officials and private companies can impose COVID-19 requirements as a condition of employment – and fire those who refuse to abide by them.

Your amendment would continue to allow exemptions based on religious and health concerns. Gabel said she spoke with Pritzker’s office and lawmakers about possibly changing the language to make this clearer, although “we think the language is pretty clear and we’re doing everything we can to let people know. “

State MP Robyn Gabel (left) and State MP Robert Rita (right) attend a House Executive Committee hearing on Zoom Tuesday. Blue Room Stream

The Evanston Democrat said she was not trying to change the intent of the original law but “was trying to make it clear that the way the health conscience law is used in relation to pandemic causes was never intended than the law.” was originally enacted ”. created.”

The law was originally intended to protect doctors, nurses, and other health care providers who refused to perform medical procedures – such as abortions – that they refuse. However, state officials say the law needs clarification as Illinois residents are denying compliance with COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Tens of thousands of Illinois people said they want to leave it alone.

As of Tuesday evening, 49,598 people on the General Assembly website filed testimony papers against the clear-up, while a further 680 submitted testimony certificates to show their support for a change. Another 490 submitted documents do not comment.

State Representative Keith Wheeler, R-Oswego, said the response shows he is hearing from people.

“I mean, how often do we get an invoice with 45,000 testimonials? Practically never.

State Representative Keith Wheeler, R-Oswego, asks questions during a House Executive Committee hearing about Zoom on Tuesday.

State Representative Keith Wheeler, R-Oswego, asks questions during a House Executive Committee hearing about Zoom on Tuesday. Blue Room Stream

“This law hit a nerve because so many are concerned that they are losing their opportunity to exercise their own consciences about their bodies, their health and their families,” said Wheeler, adding that the committee was “doing nothing … to allay these concerns. “

Other Republicans argued that the change was too broad and violated people’s right to make choices.

“You’re forcing people to do something against their will – forcing them to take a vaccine against their will because it makes some people more comfortable,” CD Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville Rep. Told the committee. “This is her life.”

State Rep. CD Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville, speaks during a House Executive Committee hearing on Zoom Tuesday.

State Rep. CD Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville, speaks during a House Executive Committee hearing on Zoom Tuesday. Blue Room Stream

The House Committee also heard from others, including Bob Gilligan, executive director of the Catholic Conference of Illinois, who said, “We are concerned that if you curtail the rights of conscience for COVID. Well what’s next … The power transferred to the government is seldom returned. “

Gabel told the Sun-Times that since the amendment was filed on Monday, she has received a “gazillion” of comments ranging from calls from people verbally abusing her or telling her to “go” herself or other rude comments Threat.

While carrying controversial bills in the past, Gabel said she had “never received these kinds of threats before”.

State Representative Robyn Gabel will meet with the Sun-Times editorial board in 2018.

State Representative Robyn Gabel will meet with the Sun-Times editorial board in 2018. Rich Hein / Sun Times file

That includes one she received from a man on social media who said that when the measure is passed, Illinois citizens “are waiting to meet you, the governor, and every single state legislature in charge of the.” Adoption of the amended law voted to give a medical procedure ”. Your own consent. “

“What is good for the goose is good for the gander, isn’t it?” wrote the man. “They’re pushing for Rape by Needle.”

Gabel said the threats and calls were “kind of terrifying”. She blamed an “organized effort to disseminate this misinformation”.

“Sometimes people forget the context of this whole bill and what we are talking about and I really want people to understand that we are still very much in a deadly pandemic and that a small minority of people shouldn’t be allowed to have a loophole that was never meant to stifle efforts to fight a global pandemic, “said Gabel.

Despite the split, the measure was passed by committees nine to six and entered the House of Representatives Chamber.

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Food and Beverage Industries’ COVID-19 Vulnerability Index goes live; experts available



WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The US is experiencing supply chain disruptions as the holiday season begins, and the impact extends well beyond the supply of gifts and ingredients for traditional meals. Purdue University experts will be available to discuss supply chain disruptions and the new COVID-19 vulnerability index in the food and beverage industry.

COVID-19 vulnerability index

Two new online dashboards show the vulnerability of food and beverage manufacturing to the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic importance of these industries across the country.

Jayson Lusk, a nationally recognized food and agricultural economist and Director and Distinguished Professor of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University, led the team that developed the interactive dashboards. They are part of a portfolio of public dashboards created by the Center for Food Demand Analysis and Sustainability at Purdue University.

The Food and Beverage Industry COVID-19 Vulnerability Index by US States and Counties quantifies the risks associated with the delivery of these products. It estimates the production value that industrial workers could lose due to COVID-19 disease. The dates can be reconciled from the US grand total to a single county. A user can also select and view data for specific food and beverage sectors, such as dairy manufacturing, sugar and confectionary manufacturing, and animal processing. The dashboard is updated daily and adjusts its estimates based on the number of reported COVID cases in an area.

The Food and Beverage Industry Value Added Dashboard by U.S. State shows the total revenue of these industries, as well as their contribution to the state’s gross domestic product and the number of employees. It also shows the cost of materials, labor, and capital for each industry, so you can see the relative importance of each to the supply chain.

Ahmad Zia Wahdat, Postdoc at the Center for Food Demand Analysis and Sustainability, developed the online dashboards with Lusk.

“One goal of the center is to take dispersed and difficult-to-process data and turn it into useful information that is easily accessible,” said Wahdat. “The first COVID vulnerability dashboard was focused on agriculture and we wanted to add the food and beverage industry to get a more complete picture of food security.”

Jayson Lusk

Lusk is a leader in developing online dashboards that can track, report, and visualize the factors that cause supply chain disruptions in national and global emergencies. His team was the first to create an online dashboard to gauge the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on a food supply chain when the team worked with Microsoft to develop the Purdue Food and Agriculture Vulnerability Index. The index quantifies the potential risk to the supply of agricultural products as a result of COVID-19 disease for agricultural and farm workers.

Lusk leads one of the country’s leading agricultural programs and directs the Purdue Center for Food Demand Analysis and Sustainability. The centre’s mission is to bring together and present data in new ways to support the decisions of consumers, farmers, businesses, scientists and policy makers. He is also an expert on food and consumer preferences and has authored several books on the economics of food consumption.

“COVID-19 has highlighted the complexities of food supply chains and underscored the need to understand how food gets from farm to table,” Lusk said. “For consumers, supply chain disruptions have contributed to rising food costs. Our center is designed to help consumers, farmers and agribusinesses predict rising inflation and cope with it. “

Joseph Balagtas

Joseph Balagtas, Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics at Purdue, was a senior economist on the Council of Economic Advisers at the White House at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. From that point on until the end of Balagtas’ tenure, the council focused on the economic impact of the pandemic and related supply chain issues.

Balagtas is the co-author of an Agricultural and Applied Economics Association 2021 volume devoted to the impact of the pandemic on U.S. agriculture. His post focused on the impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. meat and livestock markets.

He conducts research on the economics of agricultural markets, including agricultural and food policy, the industrial organization of agricultural markets, and poverty and food security. One of his current research projects deals with supply chain issues in the livestock and meat supply chain.

“The current interruptions in the supply chain are complex and varied,” said Balagtas. “Political solutions that do not take complexity into account can be ineffective or even exacerbate existing problems or create new ones.”

Media contact: To schedule an interview with Lusk, Balagtas or Wahdat, please contact Maureen way,

You can find high-resolution images at this link: Ag Econ Dashboards – Google Drive

Agricultural communication: 765-494-8415;

Maureen Manier, Head of Department,

Agriculture news site

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