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Pandemic World: 1 in 5 workers at Brazil’s meatpacking plants could have been infected with COVID-19

Each week we take a look at how COVID-19 is impacting life around the world.

by Stranger’s Guide

How the world is coping with coronavirus this week:

Brazil

One in five workers at Brazil’s meat plants have been infected with the coronavirus, according to estimates from one national workers union. If the figure is correct it would make the country home to one of the world’s worst workplace outbreaks. Nelson Morelli, the president of Brazil’s national workers union CONTAC-CUT, said surveys show around 100,000 workers have become infected in the country’s meatpacking industry, which employees half a million people. Brazil has become the biggest global hotspot for the virus after the US. (Claims Journal)

South Africa

The president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, said his country has reached the peak of the pandemic and that he is loosening restrictions. South Africa had the continent’s highest number of COVID-19 cases, since it reported its first case in early March. The number of new confirmed cases has dropped from a daily average of about 12,000 to around 5,000 per day. (VOA News)

Ireland

The number of cases of the coronavirus is rising again in Ireland—with 200 reported last Saturday, the highest daily total since May. The prime minister, known as the Taoiseach, Micheál Martin said if the current increase continues “it will be impossible to stop the spread of the virus to our most vulnerable and our most compromised.” (Irish Times)

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is skeptical about implementing a system for tracking COVID cases being pushed by pro-China politicians over privacy concerns. Although the country has seen a spike in cases recently, it’s not on board with the three-color health code system Beijing rolled out in February in the province of Hangzhou. By the end of that month the program was being used in 200 Chinese cities. The system assigns a QR code to citizens according to their coronavirus test results; those who test negative can bypass some social isolation restrictions, such as going to restaurants. (Global Voices)

United Kingdom

Despite the British government pushing the “staycation” on a British populace desperate for some sand and sunshine following months in lockdown, the result has been clogged roads, beaches strewn with trash, an overstretched Coastguard agency, overpriced accommodation and a rise in travel scams. The message to stay home came as Brits wanting to book cheap trips to Europe found themselves thwarted by quarantine regulations. (CNN)

CONTRIBUTOR

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Europe

The Grass isn’t Always Greener

Football is the most popular sport in Greenland, but because of its Arctic climate (average temperatures rarely exceed 50° F in summer) Greenland is unable to support grass pitches. That’s a bit of a problem when you consider how popular the “beautiful game” is with its 56,000 inhabitants. Instead, matches are played on artificial turf, and its football season is the only one to take place inside the Arctic Circle.

But Greenland can’t compete at the international level because it’s not a member of FIFA, football’s governing body, and it lacks the facilities to host international games. Nevertheless, according to FIFA, the island still dreams of stepping onto football’s main stage, but “it will be a while before this nation, which is geographically part of North America, will be able to face major sides like Germany, Argentina or the Netherlands.”