The Latest: UN chief: Disabled among hardest hit by virus

The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.


—UN chief says one billion people with disabilities among hardest hit by COVID-19 pandemic

—India shut down liquor shops in Mumbai

—Tyson Foods to reopen pork processing plant in Iowa that was closed by coronavirus outbreak among workers.


UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations chief says the world’s one billion people with disabilities are among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a video and report Wednesday that the coronavirus crisis is revealing the extent of exclusion that the most marginalized members of society experience.

He said the pandemic is intensifying the inequalities that people with disabilities already face including living in poverty and experiencing higher rates of violence, neglect and abuse and is “producing new threats.”

If disabled people contract COVID-19, Guterres said, “many are more likely to develop severe health conditions, which may result in death.”

He said: “The share of COVID-19 related deaths in care homes — where older people with disabilities are overrepresented — ranges from 19 percent to an astonishing 72 percent.”

In some countries, Guterres said, decisions on rationing health care are based on discriminatory criteria “such as age or assumptions about quality or value of life, based on disability.”

“We cannot let this continue,” he said. “We must guarantee the equal rights of people with disabilities to access health care and life-saving procedures during the pandemic.”


WATERLOO, Iowa — Tyson Foods will begin limited operation Thursday of its huge pork processing plant in Waterloo, more than two weeks after closing the facility because of a coronavirus outbreak among workers, the company announced Tuesday.

Tyson said workers have been invited to tour the plant Wednesday to see enhanced safety measures and social distancing procedures that have been implemented. The plant has been closed since April 22, and the Iowa Department of Public

Health reports 444 workers have tested positive for the virus. The plant is Arkansas-based Tyson’s largest pork processing operation, with the ability to process 19,500 hogs per day. That accounts for 3.9% of the U.S. pork processing capacity, according to the National Pork Board.

All those who will return to work have been tested for COVID-19, the disease cased by the virus, the company said. Those who have tested positive will remain on sick leave until they can return to work.


NEW DELHI — Indian authorities have decided to shut down liquor shops in Mumbai, India’s financial capital which is the worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic, after the police found it extremely difficult to control the surging crowds at the vends over the past two days.

Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi in an order late Tuesday said that only groceries and pharmacies will be allowed to be opened in Mumbai which is battling a rapidly rising number of coronavirus cases.

Mumbai currently has around 10,000 positive cases and 387 deaths. On an average it has been getting more than 400 cases per day.

After some lockdown restrictions were eased in India on Monday, thousands turned up at liquor stores across the country without following social distancing guidelines. This led the authorities to shut many of the liquor shops. In some places, the police had to resort to baton-charge to disperse crowds.

Authorities in India’s capital imposed a special tax of 70% on liquor purchases on Tuesday to dissuade huge gatherings of thirsty drinkers at stores. The new tax is called the “special corona fee.”

India’s total positive cases have touched 46,711 with 13,161 recoveries and 1,583 deaths, according to India’s Health Ministry.


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Categories: National & International News