Coronavirus requires public health emergency in Boston – NBC Boston

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on Sunday declared a public health emergency due to the coronavirus epidemic and announced radical changes for bars and restaurants in the city in an attempt to protect residents.

The emergency declaration will help the city’s marshal’s resources, Walsh said on Sunday at a press conference in the town hall. The city’s restaurant regulations come after a series of South Boston restaurants and bars decided to close on Sunday after people were seen packing them on Saturday.

Walsh has also strongly urged city residents to keep social distances, the practice of interacting as little as possible with others is less likely to spread the new coronavirus, which has already killed more than 60 people in the United States and thousands abroad .

“Social distancing is not a vague and ambitious strategy. It is backed by science,” said the mayor, adding later, “it will save lives.”

During a press conference on Sunday, Walsh launched an urgent appeal for residents to engage in social distancing during the coronavirus epidemic.

Following his Friday announcement that the Boston Public School buildings would be closed on Tuesday, Walsh said two school campuses will not open on Monday due to possible exposure in their communities: the Eliot and McKinley schools.

He acknowledged the difficulties families will face when school closes and said that among the ways it could help, the city will distribute food through places established in the city’s neighborhoods.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has announced that the city’s public schools will close Tuesday, March 17, for over a month, in an attempt to protect students, their families and staff during the coronavirus epidemic.

The changes for the city’s bars, restaurants and clubs in the future are vast, including:

  • They will have to cut their capacity in half by removing tables and chairs to encourage social distancing.
  • No line can form outside.
  • Closing before 23:00, excluding restaurants offering drive-thru, take out or delivery.
  • Any restaurant that has not been allowed to make food can now do so – “basically we are allowing every single establishment that serves food in the city of Boston to take away,” he said.
  • The beer gardens will not be able to open for the season until the crisis has passed.

Violators will remain closed for 30 days, Walsh said.

He explained that he wants people to still be able to get food during the period of greatest social estrangement and does not want the city workers to suffer too much. He also thanked the 14 or more bars and restaurants that agreed to close after Saturday’s full rooms on Sunday.

On Sunday, Walsh gave advice on how best to achieve social distancing.

People arriving at U.S. airports from overseas on Saturday night reported that waiting times were online for the necessary medical visits during the coronavirus epidemic.


Nursing homes face unique challenges with Coronavirus – NBC Los Angeles

From Miami to Seattle, nursing homes and other facilities for the elderly host stocks of masks and thermometers, preparing staff shortages and checking visitors to protect a particularly vulnerable population from the coronavirus.

In China, where the epidemic started, the disease was basically deadly for the elderly. In Italy, the epicenter of the virus epidemic in Europe, the more than 100 people who died were elderly, suffering from other complications or both.

Of the 19 deaths in the United States since Saturday, at least 14 had been linked to a nursing home in the Seattle area, along with many other infections among residents, staff and family members. The Seattle Times reported that a second nursing home and a retired community in the area had reported a virus case.

This has alerted other structures in the United States, especially in states with large populations of older residents, such as Florida and California. About 2.5 million people live in long-term care facilities in the United States.

“For people over the age of 80 … the death rate could reach 15%,” said Mark Parkinson, president of the American Health Care Association nursing homes group.

The federal government is now focusing all inspections of nursing homes on infection control, identifying facilities in the city with confirmed cases and those previously mentioned for not following the protocol.

Federal regulations already require homes to have a specialist in preventing infections in staff, and many have already taken measures to deal with seasonal flow and other ailments that pose a greater risk to the elderly.

Even so, the response of structures to coronavirus has varied across the country.

In Florida, where some 160,000 seniors live in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, mandatory screening for visitors is not expected “because we are not at that point,” said Florida Health Care Association spokeswoman Kristen Knapp.

But aged care centers are posting signs that urge visitors to stay away if they have symptoms and are looking for alternative ways to connect to families, such as through video chats, Knapp said.

Concierges in the 14 Florida nursing homes managed by Palm Gardens Corporation are now offering all visitors a short questionnaire asking for information on symptoms, recent trips and contacts with others, said company vice president Luke Neumann.

Neumann said that nursing homes have also purchased additional thermometers in case they have to check visitors’ temperatures and accumulate preventive supplies, including medical masks, protective goggles and clothing. In laundries they make sure to use enough bleach and heat to kill any persistent viral germs, he said.

In the South Shore Rehabilitation and Skilled Care Center south of Boston, patient Leo Marchand holds a container of disinfectant wipes on a shelf near the bed that he uses several times a day. The 71-year-old Vietnam veteran and retired truck driver has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which makes it difficult to breathe. The possibility of contracting the coronavirus scares him.

“It’s a concern,” said Marchand. “Really.”

Many facilities across the country have said they have trouble getting masks and medical clothes because of the shortage.

The more intense screening of visitors, meanwhile, isn’t going well with some.

“Some of the visitors have been quite reluctant to comply, and this has been stressful,” said Janet Snipes, executive director of Denver’s Holly Heights nursing center.

Under federal regulations, nursing homes are considered to be a patient’s residence and facilities want to keep them in contact with the family, especially when they are almost dead.

“I don’t think you can completely prevent visitors,” said Dr. David A. Nace, director of long-term care and flu programs at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Medicine. Supervise 300 facilities in Pennsylvania.

For now, facilities in most states are underlining basic precautions, including hand washing and the cough tag.

Centers across the country are also trying to prepare staff for the worst.

An adult daycare center in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami purchased long-lasting ready meals in preparation for possible shortages. The Hebrew Home in Riverdale, New York is running nursing staff through exercises to see how they will handle situations in the 750-bed facility if the virus progresses. Their IT department is building an infrastructure to allow staff to work remotely if they get sick.

“If one of our sites has an outbreak, we will quickly run out of staff in that position,” said Randy Bury, CEO of The Good Samaritan Society, one of the largest nonprofit senior care providers in the country, with 19,000 employees in 24 states.

Some families are considering withdrawing loved ones from the facilities.

Kathleen Churchyard said her family decided to move her 80-year-old mother out of her retirement community near Jacksonville, Florida, and to her sister’s home nearby if the virus is confirmed in the area.

Churchyard, who lives in Concord, North Carolina, fears that her mother won’t take her seriously, and is particularly concerned about her dining room.

“I tried to get her to buy things to prepare … She said, ‘No. If (the virus) catches me, it takes it,'” said Churchyard.


Associate associate writer Philip Marcelo in Rockland, Massachusetts contributed to this report.


The Associated Press receives support for health and scientific coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.


Florida Mothers United in Tragedy pushes lawmakers to act – NBC 6 South Florida

For months Laurie Giordano had been telling her son’s story to anyone who wanted to hear – about how his self-styled 16-year-old Zach, should never have collapsed in the scorching heat of Florida nearly three years ago. He died days later.

For weeks Giordano drove six hours each to meet the legislators of the Capitol to push them to act, to understand the unbearable pain of a parent who was trying to make sense of the death of a child.

At Florida’s Capitol in Tallahassee, Giordano crossed paths on Thursday with Lori Alhadeff, who lost 14-year-old daughter Alyssa while filming the Parkland school. Both talked about how the tragedy and loss are motivating them to put pressure on legislation to save other children and parents from suffering.

Giordano and Alhadeff are connected for their grief over the loss of children and work to convince lawmakers to make schools safer, albeit in different ways.

Alhadeff has returned to urge lawmakers to request panic buttons in schools for faster help. This was one of the many school security measures generated by the shootings of February 14, 2018, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School which killed 17. The bill, known as “Alyssa’s Law”, requires that every school campus elementary, middle and high schools both public, including charter schools, to establish a mobile system to alert authorities of emergencies.

And Giordano was back on Capitol Hill sitting in the public gallery that overlooked the floor of the Senate, where lawmakers unanimously approved a bill renamed “Zachary Martin Act”. The legislation would require public schools across Florida to do more to prevent heat-related injuries and deaths.

For a few minutes, they talked about their children and their shared mission. Giordano admired the pendant hanging on Alhadeff’s neck that bears Alyssa’s smiling face.

“I don’t know how it all happened in your tragedy, but I kept thinking that help was coming,” Alhadeff told Jordan on that fateful day in February 2018.

“And help wasn’t coming,” Giordano interrupted, finishing Alhadeff’s thought.

Another distressed Florida mother, Denise Williams, wandered the Capitol on Thursday to begin lobbying for a new law on behalf of her daughter Terissa Gautney, who died on a school bus in 2018.

Ever since they lost their daughter, Williams and her husband have pushed school boards and sought the help of lawmakers to request lifesaving training for school bus drivers and better communication equipment on school buses.

He drove 250 miles (400 kilometers) from his home in Clearwater to the Capitol, describing the trip as a decision sprinkles of the moment. She sat down to watch the Senate and the Chamber conduct business, and did everything she could to plan her next steps towards making change.

“I came here to see what I could have done,” said Williams.

Williams would later cross paths with Alhadeff on Capitol Hill. He said he wanted to learn from Alhadeff, who is now a member of the Broward County school board.

“Our children have been lost in a traumatic situation and my heart breaks for any other mother. And I can feel the pain they feel, “said Alhadeff of Williams and Jordan.” Even if it involved different types of tragedies, it is still the pain of losing a child. “

Giordano’s son died in the summer of 2017 after collapsing in the Florida heat during rehearsals.

After the death of his son, Giordano founded the Zach Martin Memorial Foundation, which worked to raise awareness of the dangers of heat-related stress. As part of its work, the foundation donated 40 cooling tanks to schools across Florida.

His son, he said, would still be alive if life-saving equipment were on the sidelines during rehearsals – perhaps a tub full of water – to immediately cool his body.

“I’m exhausted, but it’s okay. Once this is over, I’m going to collapse for a week, “said Giordano waiting for lawmakers to take action on his bill.

“A six-hour trip is a long time to be alone with your thoughts,” he said, “that’s when emotions are really difficult. That’s when tears flow.”

If approved by the legislature and signed by Governor Ron DeSantis, public schools should have a tub or other large container filled with cold water on the sidelines during all games and practices. Schools should also have defibrillators to revive affected athletes. The proposed law would also require schools to train staff on how to recognize signs of heat-related ailments, including potentially fatal heatstrokes, and to take life-saving actions.

But even on the verge of success, Giordano said there is little comfort.

“I still cry every day,” he said. “There is no consolation. No, it doesn’t improve. “


Drowned by virus news for the time being, the $ 29 billion battle of Modi looms

By Vrishti Beniwal

After years of small divestments, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the largest sale of goods ever made in India, a $ 29 billion privatization campaign that would help support the economy but could also trigger worker protests while some icons corporations of the nation go into bulk.

Faced with the highest unemployment in the last 45 years and the crisis in the shadow banking system which is weakening lending, Modi needs the money to fill a budget gap and finance spending on infrastructure and reforms. But the plan sparked a storm of protests, including among some of its supporters, however far it will pursue a policy that could jeopardize millions of livelihoods and dismantle entities that were a source of pride for citizens in the decades following the independence.

“The breadth of the sales program is intended to signal that it is driven by government reformist tendencies rather than just tax needs,” said Eswar Prasad, a professor at Cornell University. “A key question is whether Modi is willing to use part of his political capital to move privatization and related reforms” to the financial system, labor markets and infrastructure, Prasad said.

Privatization policies around the world have always sparked criticism about the “sale of family silver”, but since the historic divestment campaign of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, governments have defended the strategy as one that brings efficiency and long-term growth.

Even Modi’s program sparked a chorus of disapproval. The affiliates of his own party labeled it as a delivery of state goods to “multinational companies at introductory prices”.

“The difference is that Thatcher had a global plan that he supported with income tax, sales tax and so many other things,” said the ruler of the ruling Subramanian party Swamy who was sometimes critical of the economic policy of the government. “It was a package to move the country from left to right. There is no global plan here. It’s a horrible mix of state control and privatization.”

Deadlines lost

There are also concerns about the feasibility of the plan. In the 2019-2020 fiscal year, the government missed the divestment target after failing to complete the sale of Air India Ltd. and Bharat Petroleum Corp., a state-owned oil refinery. Having missed the fiscal deficit targets for the third consecutive year, these sales were continued.



Poor reputation

Overall, the central government aims to sell holdings in over two dozen of around 300 CPSEs in the next fiscal year starting April 1. So far, Modi’s corporate reforms include a sharp corporate tax cut, the merger of some state-owned lenders and measures to encourage more foreign investment.

If the sales go according to the plans of the next fiscal year, they would bring almost half of the amount that India has collected from 283 transactions in the last three decades, show the stock market data. It would also increase the share of revenue from disposals to 7% of government revenue, from just over 2% five years ago.



Balancing game

The big ticket for next year is India’s Life Insurance Corp., or LIC, which is expected to cash up to Rs 90,000 just for a fragment of the state giant. Investors compared the proposal to the record initial sale of Saudi Aramco shares, which raised over $ 25 billion in December.

The Mumbai-based insurer has more than one million agents and 300 million policies, along with holdings in hundreds of other companies, including its affiliate IDBI Bank Ltd. and the nation’s largest listed company, Reliance Industries Ltd But LIC is much more than that many Indians. It has been a symbol of government support since it was formed in the decade following independence to provide universal coverage.

“Why should there be an IPO? It’s public money,” said Shiva Nimje, 52, who has worked for the insurer for 27 years and is part of a workers’ campaign to derail the plan. “I am confident that we will be able to stop the sale, however difficult it is to fight for it,” he said on the Nagpur phone.

National protest

Rajesh Nimbalkar, secretary general of the All India National Life Insurance Employees Federation, the union representing many LIC workers, said that 1 million employees of the company are protesting. “LIC is a goose that lays golden eggs,” he said. “The government shouldn’t kill him.”

Even without staff opposition, the history, size and operations of LIC mean that the listing will not be easy, said Mahesh Patil, chief investment officer for shares at Aditya Birla Mutual Fund.

“LIC is the biggest life insurance game will undoubtedly have interest from investors,” he said. “However, they will have to overcome a lot of problems such as tidying their accounts, more information in line with the players listed and employee resistance before they can hit the market.”

While LIC is the elephant in the room, its offer would be a minority stake, not a privatization. The companies in which the government is selling control – including Shipping Corp. of India Ltd., the nation’s largest shipping company, the construction equipment manufacturer BEML Ltd. and Container Corp. of India Ltd. – they are a mixed bag from a View investment point.



Strategic sale

Bharat Petroleum, for example, earned just over 7,600 million rupees last year, while Air India has lost almost as much at the same time and hasn’t made any money since 2007. The sales plan also comes against the background of the coronavirus, which is pounding global trust. India’s benchmark index lost 7% last week.

On December 3, Finance Minister Anurag Thakur told lawmakers that the divestment strategy is guided by the principle that the state withdraws from sectors where competitive markets have matured and that profitability is not a criterion.

Air India

India has injected $ 4.2 billion into Air India since a 2012 bailout, but the airline still has $ 8.4 billion in debt and continues to lose money.

“The government has tried for many years to change companies, but has not been able to do so,” said Joshua Felman, director of JH Consulting and a former officer of the International Monetary Fund.

He said government subsidies that allowed Air India to offer lower fares were among the reasons why rival Jet Airways India Ltd. was unable to compete. Jet went bankrupt last year leaving over 20,000 people out of work.

The government plans to complete the sale of $ 7.4 billion of its stake in Bharat Petroleum by September, with some major oil producers in the Middle East and Russia’s Rosneft PJSC keen to acquire the business, according to Indian officials.

Skeptics argue that sales could have unitary consequences – that losing control of Shipping Corp. would affect the nation’s oil supply and listing LICs could make its investments riskier.

Modi’s political opposition has been stronger.

“These companies were created by the country’s founding fathers to employ people who had no jobs,” said Ashok Singh, national vice president of the Indian national trade union congress, union wing of the main opposition party. “Now unemployment is rising and the economy has entered the intensive care unit. In winter, keep a blanket to keep yourself safe and warm. Don’t give it away.”

Benefits of the government

The idea of ​​the state’s duty to protect citizens goes to the heart of employee opposition. In India, working for the government is not just a job. It often brings prestige and benefits such as job security, better health care, a pension package, even housing. Every year, millions of people apply for government jobs for which they are clearly qualified.

“State companies offer decent work in terms of promotions, increases and annual wages,” said Brijesh Upadhyay, secretary general of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, a union linked to the BJP. “After the privatization conditions change for employees and the company that takes over could cut jobs.”

The government said in a response from Parliament on February 11 that companies released from state control would generate more economic activity, stimulate ancillary industries and create jobs. According to a recent economic survey, the research showed a “strong positive effect” on labor productivity and overall efficiency.

Prime Minister Modi has four years to demonstrate that it is the case before the country judges the success of the program at the polls.

– With the assistance of Ronojoy Mazumdar and Hannah Dormido.


Maryland is now testing 7 patients for Coronavirus – NBC4 Washington

Maryland health officials announced Tuesday that seven patients are awaiting test results to find out if they have the coronavirus that has affected thousands of people around the world.

No cases have been confirmed in Maryland, Virginia or Washington, DC since Tuesday morning.

On Monday, only one person in the state was waiting for results to see if they had been infected with the virus, also called COVID-19.

The Maryland Department of Health released updated data on Tuesday saying a total of seven people were waiting for results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Maryland has not released any information on where possible patients live or work.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend these seven tips to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In DC, a number of results are still pending. Five people tested negative for the disease.

More than 88,000 cases of the new virus have been confirmed worldwide, but most patients are located in China where the virus emerged. Six residents of the United States, all of whom lived in Washington state, died from the virus.

Coronavirus is a family of diseases that include colds and flu. The COVID-19 virus is still under study, but doctors say symptoms may include cold and flu-like symptoms, including mild to severe respiratory symptoms.

Governments and schools are on high alert for an infectious disease that has spread to eastern states including New York, Massachusetts and Florida.

Prince George County executive Angela Alsobrooks urged people to take precautions against the spread of disease. Wash your hands often; use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol; do not touch the eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; avoid close contact with anyone who is sick; cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and disinfect frequently used objects and surfaces.

Eleven people tested in Virginia tested negative for COVID-19. The state is currently monitoring 95 people for the disease, Virginia health officials say.

Officials say one of the best ways to prevent getting sick is to wash your hands often. Anyone who feels sick should stay home.

If you believe you have coronavirus, call your doctor before visiting so they can prepare and prevent further spread of germs.