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Agriculture Workers and Employers

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Control plan

Recommendations for worker infection prevention are based on an approach known as the hierarchy of controls. This approach groups actions by their likely effectiveness in reducing or removing hazards. In most cases, the preferred approach is to eliminate a hazard or hazardous processes (e.g. exclude sick workers and visitors), install feasible engineering controls, and implement appropriate protocols for cleaning, disinfection and sanitation to further reduce exposure or shield farmworkers. Until such controls are in place, or if they are not effective, other administrative control measures and personal protective equipment (PPE) will be needed.

Screening and monitoring workers

Consider screening farmworkers for COVID-19 signs and symptoms (e.g., temperature checks).[1] Uniform policies and procedures for screening workers should be developed in consultation with state and local health officials and occupational medicine professionals. Possible options to screen workers for COVID-19 symptoms could include:

  • Screening prior to entry into the work site, or if possible, before boarding shared transportation.
  • Asking workers in appropriate languages if they have had a fever (or feelings of feverishness), respiratory symptoms, or other symptoms in the past 24 hours.
  • Checking temperatures of workers at the start of each shift to identify anyone with a fever of 100.4℉ or greater (or reported feelings of feverishness).
  • Do not let employees enter the workplace if they have a fever of 100.4℉ or greater (or reported feeling of feverishness), or if screening results indicate that the worker is suspected of having COVID-19-like symptoms (see managing sick workers below).
  • Encouraging workers to report symptoms immediately, when onsite.
  • Encouraging workers who have symptoms to self-isolate and contact a healthcare provider, or when appropriate, providing them with access to direct medical care or telemedicine. Also:
    • Coordinating any recommended diagnostic testing with the occupational medicine provider, or state and local public health officials.
    • Providing them with information on when it is safe to return to work along with the operation’s return-to-work policies and procedures.
    • Informing human resources, health unit (if in place), and supervisor (so worker can be moved off schedule during illness and a replacement can be assigned, if available).

Ensure that personnel performing screening activities, including temperature checks, are appropriately protected from exposure to potentially infectious workers entering the facility by:

  • Training temperature screeners to use temperature monitors according to manufacturer instructions.
  • Using temperature monitors that are accurate under conditions of use (such as extreme hot/cold weather temperatures).
  • Protecting the screener through the use of social distancing, barrier or partition controls, and personal protective equipment (PPE). However, reliance on PPE alone is a less effective control and is more difficult to implement, given PPE shortages and training requirements.
  •  If temperature screeners need to be within 6 feet of workers, providing them with appropriate PPE:
    • Such PPE should include gloves, a gown, a face shield, and, at a minimum, a facemask. See OSHA’s PPE standards at 29 CFR 1910 Subpart Iexternal icon.
    • Train employees on how to properly put on, take off, and dispose of all PPE.
    • Filtering facepiece respirators, such as N95s, may be appropriate for workers performing screening duties. If respirators are needed, they must be used in the context of a comprehensive respiratory protection program that includes medical evaluation, fit testing, and training in accordance with OSHA’s Respiratory Protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134external icon). [2]

Managing sick workers

Workers who appear to have symptoms including a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or a two-or-more of the following symptoms including chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell, upon arrival at work, or who develop these symptoms during the day should immediately be separated from others at the workplace, sent to their permanent or temporary housing arrangements, or—when they can’t be isolated in their existing housing arrangement—placed in alternative housing arrangements under quarantine away from other workers. (Note: employers should consult DOLexternal icon and DHSexternal icon regulations and/or guidance for any additional requirements or obligations concerning temporary foreign workers under the H-2A program).

Since we don’t know for sure which animals can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, sick workers should stay away from animals, including livestock and pets, during their illness. Sick workers should be provided with informational resources to access medical attention should they need it. One such resource may be the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) websiteexternal icon which identifies HRSA-funded health centers. These health centers can assess whether a patient needs further evaluation, which may be done over the phone or using telehealth. Individuals may also receive primary health care services at their local health center at a reduced cost or free of charge depending on their economic status. Most people with COVID-19 will have mild illness and can recover at home.

Ensure that personnel managing sick employees are provided with appropriate PPE and training. For personnel who need to be within 6 feet of a sick colleague, follow the same PPE considerations listed for screeners above and consult OSHA’s PPE standards at 29 CFR 1910 Subpart Iexternal icon.

If a worker is confirmed to have COVID-19, owners/operators should consider ways to inform anyone at the work site, to the extent it is reasonably knowable, who has been in sustained, close contact (within 6 feet) with that worker of their possible exposure to COVID-19 based on the CDC Public Health Recommendations for Community-Related Exposure. However, the owners/operators should protect the infected worker’s confidentiality and not identify them, as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).external icon

If a worker becomes or reports being sick, clean and disinfect the work area, equipment, common areas used (break areas, bathrooms, vehicles, etc.), and any tools handled by the symptomatic worker. If a worker is in employer-furnished housing, consider providing a dedicated space for the worker to recover away from others, and then clean and disinfect living quarters, cooking and eating areas, bathrooms, and laundry facilities. Do not allow other workers to use these areas until they have been cleaned and disinfected. A worker going to a home in the community can be provided with guidancepdf icon to mitigate risk of transmission in the home.

Owners/operators should work with state, tribal, local, and territorial (STLT) health officials to facilitate the identification of other exposed and potentially exposed individuals, such as coworkers. Facilities should work with STLT officials to consider the appropriate role for testing and workplace contact tracing (i.e., identifying person-to-person spread) after a worker tests positive for COVID-19.

On-site healthcare personnel, such as facility nurses or emergency medical technicians, should follow appropriate CDC and OSHA protective guidance for healthcare and emergency response personnel.

Addressing return to work after worker exposure to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is constantly changing, so employers of critical infrastructure workers will need to continue to reassess COVID-19 transmission levels in their area and follow recommendations from local, state, and federal officials. This guidance does not replace state and local directives for businesses.

Control plan—Engineering controls

Assess and identify opportunities to limit close contact with others (maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between people whenever possible) if feasible. This includes owners, operators, farmworkers, supervisors, crew leaders, delivery personnel, and anyone else entering the agricultural workplace. Engage farmworkers in this assessment process.

Adding touch-free methods (i.e., touch-free time clocks, automatic doors) or rearranging work tasks can help farmworkers stay at least 6 feet away from others. Possible options may include:

  • Adjusting workflow to allow for a 6-foot distance between farmworkers, if feasible.
  • Installing shields or barriers, such as plastic, between farmworkers, when a 6-foot distance between farmworkers is not possible.
  • Adding additional clock in/out stations (touch-free if available) or additional time for clocking in/out to reduce crowding, if feasible.
  • Removing or rearranging chairs and tables or adding visual cue marks in employee break areas to support social distancing between farmworkers.

Employers should also train workers to follow protective measures while on breaks.

Control plan—Cleaning, disinfection, and sanitation

Hand hygiene

  • Encourage farmworkers to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Farmworkers must have reasonable access to permanent and/or temporary hand washing facilities equipped with soap, potable water, and clean, single-use towels (29 CFR 1928.110external icon; 40 CFR 170.411external icon, 170.509external icon and 170.605(h)-(j)external icon). Easy access is especially important in areas where multiple farmworkers are working; increase the number of hand washing stations to minimize the distance to a station and the likelihood of crowding at stations.
  • In addition, to increasing the frequency of hand washing, if hands aren’t visibly soiled or dirty, farmworkers can use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol, rubbing hands until they are dry.

These sanitizing stations should be in multiple locations on the farm, if feasible, such as the point of entry or exit to a farm field, the location where farmworkers clock in/out, and, if possible, in individual containers made available to workers in field settings.

Disinfection and sanitation

Farm owners/operators should develop sanitation protocols for daily cleaning and sanitation of work sites, where it is feasible to disinfect the work site, as well as cleaning and disinfecting procedures for high-touch areas such as tools, equipment, and vehicles used by farmworkers, following CDC guidance on cleaning methods. In addition, they should:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s contact time recommendations to make sure solutions remain on surfaces for the recommended time.
  • Since children may be present on the farm, plan how to keep cleaning chemicals, including hand sanitizers out of reach of children.
  • Choose disinfectants or alternative cleaning methods (e.g., soap and water) for surfaces with which food comes into contact.

Also see additional information from EPA on cleaning and disinfecting workplacesexternal icon.

Conduct targeted and more frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch areas of shared spaces (e.g., time clocks, bathroom fixtures, vending machines, railings, door handles). For example, possible options may include:

  • Clean and disinfect break areas between each group using the areas, as well as daily.
  • Clean and disinfect locker rooms at the end of each shift.
  • Provide disposable disinfectant wipes or other appropriate disinfectant supplies, and required PPE to use these safely, so that commonly touched surfaces can be wiped down, as needed.
  • Refer to the Transportation Section below for guidance on sanitizing farm vehicles and implements.

Sanitizing tools and equipment

Tools vary by agricultural production, but examples include handheld hoes, rakes, crates, milking equipment (including electronic components), gates, saddles, and animal harnesses.

  • Where possible, do not share tools.
  • If tools are used by multiple employees, they should be cleaned and disinfected between each employee use, if possible.
  • When cleaning and disinfecting after each use is not possible, daily targeted and more frequent cleaning of shared equipment and tools is needed. In such cases, workers may also need to use gloves when handling shared tools and equipment.
  • Dispose of all cleaning material and non-reusable PPE in compliance with OSHA standardsexternal icon to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

Control plan—Administrative controls

Training

All communication and training for workers should be easy to understand and should be provided in languages appropriate to the preferred languages spoken or read by those receiving the training, be at the appropriate literacy level, and include accurate and timely information about:

  • Signs and symptoms of COVID-19, how it spreads, risks for workplace exposures, and how workers can protect themselves.
  • Proper handwashing practices and use of hand sanitizer stations.
  • Farm-specific social distancing practices (e.g., how to move through fields in a way that allows workers to stay at least 6 feet apart).
  • Cough and sneeze etiquette.
  • Other routine infection control precautions:
    • Putting on and taking off masks and gloves.
    • Social distancing measures.
  • Steps to take if they get sick.
  • Employer policies regarding COVID-19 (disinfection protocols, housing and worker isolation, sick leave policies) and how employees should alert their supervisors if they are experiencing signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or if they have had recent close contact with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case.

Employers should consider placing simple posters at the entrance to the workplace and in break areas, employer furnished housing, and other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen. Posters should be in all of the languages that are common in the worker population. CDC has free, simple posters available to download and print, some of which are translated into different languages. OSHA provides additional informationexternal icon about training on its COVID-19 webpage.

Review leave and sick leave policies

  • Consider modifying policies to make sure that ill workers are not in the workplace and are not penalized for taking sick leave. Make sure that workers are aware of and understand these policies.
  • Analyze any incentive programs and consider modifying them, if warranted, so that workers are not penalized for taking sick leave if they have COVID-19.
  • Consider additional flexibilities that might include giving advances on future sick leave and allowing workers to donate sick leave to each other.

Promote social distancing

  • Consider reducing crew sizes, staggering work shifts, mealtimes, and break times, and having farmworkers alternate rows in fields to facilitate a 6-foot distance between each other.
  • Consider placing materials (such as harvesting buckets) and produce at a central transfer point instead of transferring directly from one worker to the next.
  • Consider grouping healthy workers together into cohorts that include the same workers each day. This can increase the effectiveness of altering normal shift schedules by making sure that groups of workers are always assigned to the same shifts with the same coworkers. Effectiveness is optimized if it is aligned with shared living quarters and shared transportation. Grouping workers into cohorts may reduce the spread of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace by minimizing the number of different individuals who come into close contact with each other over the course of a week, and may also reduce the number of workers quarantined because of exposure to the virus.
  • Grouped workers, as described above, are considered a single household or family. Farmworkers that are in the same shared housing unit should follow the Households Living in Close Quarters Guidance. Owners/operators should maximize opportunities to place farmworkers residing together in the same vehicles for transportation and in the same groups to limit exposure.
  • When providing training, consider providing it outside, in smaller than usual groups with participants 6 feet apart.

Source: https://tools.cdc.gov/api/embed/downloader/download.asp?m=403372&c=407685

Covid19

AllStar Health Brands Announces Updates on Covid Testing Initiatives

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Miami, FL, April 2, 2021 – OTC PR WIRE — AllStar Health Brands Inc. (OTC Pink: ALST) (“AllStar Health” or the “Company”), a specialty pharmaceutical and nutritional supplements company, is pleased to update current and prospective shareholders on the status of the Company’s ON-Going Business Operations including Covid-19 testing Initiatives in several countries.

“As a Distributor for TPT Medtech, we are continuing to work in other countries including South Africa with the goal of introducing the ‘QuikPASS’ and ‘QuikLAB’ systems to offer definitive testing solutions in these countries,” stated Dr. Bagi, CEO of AllStar.

AllStar is a Distribution partner for TPT MedTech products and services in Jamaica. BayWest Wellness Center in Jamaica has contracted with TPT MedTech to utilize its “QuikPASS” and Check & Verify Passport technology systems at the Montego Bay Airport to verify that individuals have been tested to leave the county of Jamaica.  Baywest Wellness secured the Covid 19 testing contract with the Montego Bay Airport in February 2021 and executed its technology deal with TPT MedTech in February as well.

About AllStar Health Brands

AllStar Health Brands Inc. is a Nevada Corporation established in 2017, and headquartered in Miami, Florida. AllStar is a specialty HealthCare Products Company dedicated to improving health and quality of life by offering select, nutritional supplements, over the counter remedies, and medicines all across the Americas and Europe. AllStar’s goal is to bring additional products to the market and provide new, innovative options for better health and wellbeing.

For more information, please contact Investor Relations at (305) 423 7028.

Safe Harbor Statement

Statements about the Company’s future expectations and all other statements in this press release other than historical facts, are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company intends that such forward-looking statements be subject to the safe harbors created thereby.

The above information contains information relating to the Company that is based on the beliefs of the Company and/or its management, as well as assumptions made by any information currently available to the Company or its management. When used in this document, the words “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “plans,” “projects,” and similar expressions, as they relate to the Company or its management, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements reflect the current view of the Company regarding future events and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties, and assumptions, including the risks and uncertainties noted. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove to be incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein as anticipated, believed, estimated, expected, intended or projected. In each instance, forward-looking information should be considered in light of the accompanying meaningful cautionary statements herein. Factors that could cause results to differ include, but are not limited to, successful performance of internal plans, the impact of competitive services and pricing and general economic risks and uncertainties.

SOURCE: AllStar Health Brands Inc.

Public Relations
EDM Media, LLC
https://edm.media
(800) 301-7883

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Covid19

Enerkon Solar International (ENKS) Names New Board and Scientific Committee Members and Announces New FARA Filing in support of Commercial Aspirations

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New York, April 1, 2021 – OTC PR WIRE – Enerkon Solar International (OTC PINK: ENKS) Names New Board and Scientific Committee Members and Announces today New FARA Filing in support of Commercial Aspirations in North Africa and other Important Updates regarding the new SARS2-COVID 15 Second “Insta-Test”.

ENKS Chairman Mr. Ballout stated that since the company Nominated a New Scientific Committee and Board Members this week, the company issue the first name selections today which are:

  • Senator Roberto Lario Rodriguez (Ret.) – (El Salvador) Advisory Bord Member for South and Central America
  • Dr Ibrahim El Nattar – (Egypt) Advisory Board Member for Renewable Energy in Africa
  • Dr Mark Schutz – Bioscience – (MD 0- USA), Graphene and Passive Immunity and Medical Advisory Board member
  • Michael Vishmidt (Israel/Ukraine) – Scientific Advisory Board Member for New Technology and Research
  • Dr Vasily Muraveynik, (Ukraine) – New Biomedical Science Advisory Board Member
  • Isaac Ray (Cal. USA) Special Scientific Advisor for Industrial Emission Suppression Technology
  • Nural KARAVELİOĞLU – (Turkey) – Consulting Board Member for Renewable Energy, Hydrogen and Government Relations”
  • Omar Mabruk Ilhayam (UK) – Advisory Board Member on Commerce and Energy for North Africa (Libya – Egypt – Algeria – Morocco – Tunisia) supporting Solar – Hydrogen – Energy Industry new Technology Transfer / Commercialization

Mr. Ballout Commented: “Our Great New Scientific and Regional Advisory Board will enhance Shareholder Value through supporting growth and expansion of ENKS and its Diverse Holdings – CVs and other information will be posted on the company website this week as well as other information on new opportunities and expansion plans.”

ENKS is comprised of 6 (Since the Sale of East Africa Unit to AL Fada Equity Holdings Last week)  -Companies, including corporate wholly or majority owned divisions – Corporate information for each will be posted on the company website for ease of search as some shareholders or investors have mentioned it was difficult to locate some of the data online, causing the possibility for others posting wrong or misleading information online –  therefore the company shall post additional legal documents and status information on line for all to have access”

Mr. Ballout Stated: “The company is proud of its New commercial relationship with companies and government personalities in Libya and Today, we have added an additional Statement of Registration with the US DOJ FARA National Security Division Agency for our work with the new, UNSMIL backed Government of Libya – This in support of our Compliance requirements for disclosure and in furtherance of our commercial aspirations in North Africa, related to Renewable Solar Energy, Hydrogen and other Commercial Interaction with the Region and in pre opposition to any Fake news, state clearly that the company has NO signed contracts with the government yet while we are hopeful that we will in the near future either via commercial entities or PPP structures we have for North Africa”.

“A technical call remains scheduled, with the new ChNPP director regarding the Chernobyl Special Exclusion Zone technical points and contents of this call which will be video recorded will explain better to the general public what Solar,  Co-Generation is (the use of Solar Power (about 500 MW or less to Power Electric Steam Boilers which in turn are planned to supply the pressure needed to drive the 3 Turbine Electric generators on the ChNPP Site whereby each generator has a tolerance of nearly 1 Gigawatt – and further auxiliary power from the solar array will power a 50 and later a 100MW Electrolysis Driven Green Hydrogen Plant to supply buyers of Green Hydrogen. The company, has already received expression of interest letters from German, Green Hydrogen Buyers and we shall post these letter(s) on the company website in coming days as well.”

Additional Support for the Modernization of the Ukraine Metals industry, will entail plans for Titanium Production and mining modernization – and Carbon Anode Sourcing for their Aluminum Industry – including Graphite Electrodes for their  Steel Industry modernization plans in the future (a letter from the Vice Prime minister of Ukraine regarding our cooperation on the Titanium Industry has already been received by the company some weeks ago – expressing appreciation and explaining the many jobs and social benefits of such cooperation to future development in Ukraine.

ENKS will Name a New Auditor Next Week once the File is Opened and Started for our last two years and current year Audit – in addition it is noted that this Auditor shall be retained on a continuous basis for all quarterly and Annual Reports in support of compliance requirements upon our planned up listing – this information will be added to the OTC Disclosures Site Page under Professional Service Providers (Auditor).

NEWS: Regarding the SARS2-COVID 15 Second “Insta-Test” device already produced for clinical trials and approvals (Owned by Graphene Leaders Canada and Distributed by KrowdX who has co sales agreements with the Coviklear International Holdings (UK) Unit Purchased before last week.

Mr. Ballout Stated:“ Great strides have been made in the development of the project supporting the commercialization of the SARS2-COVID Graphene Nanotech Based – 15 second “Insta-Test” – this being owned by GLC Canada and Distributed by KrowdX of Montreal – We are pleased to update that Pre Orders are due in very soon from ENKS /Coviklear partners abroad for the benefit of Krowdx and GLC to fulfill upon and after FDA Approval which is expected very soon (within just weeks as clinical trials of the already produced pre-production device is near completion during the next 10 days or so. – The Market for this device to Governments world wide cannot be understated, as it is the fastest test so far in the world and uses a much superior testing system, which takes only 15 seconds maximum time and uses a novel nanotech graphene biosensor to accomplish the amazing feat so fast, with such accuracy, (estimated at more than 97+ Percent) – Covillear Parent company  – ENKS also is in final talks with DGI in New York, for Financial Support to guarantee order fulfillment – supply chain management and other administrative support where needed, if asked to help, by the Owners and Distributors – This being our expression of confidence, as while we have already spent $5 Million USD to purchase Coviklear in a Debt Equity Swap before last week we are ready to engage much greater amounts of capital from our third party financial resources to support Factoring Order Fulfillment – Purchase order finance and other tools that may support the commercialization world wide for this groundbreaking disruptive Technology. It is noted that this is NOT a PCR test, and it does NOT use Reagents, or any chemicals whatsoever, its is based on electrical impedance using Nano Tech Graphene substrate, to send analysis to the device output at a very fast and high rate of efficacy – being far superior to PCR and similar tests, including all other DNS/RNA Tests – The test is NON-Invasive and safe.”

GLC Medical Inc. – Insta Test Initial Version

GLC Medical Inc. – Insta Test Updated Version

Governments and related PPPs / NGOs and others have expressed serious and immediate interest in ordering this new device which is now a reality, minus only its EUA (Emergency Use Application Green light at the FDA/HC and WHO) and this includes the KrowdX proprietary SES and STS solution for Airports – Sea Ports, Land Borders and other access and entry points between cities states provinces and otherwise to regain control of the Pandemic and free the world´s population again.

These details will be released by the Distributor KrowdX /Covikear, as they mutually agree, in the coming days/Week(s).

“Needless to say, the market value for this new device and technology is absolutely enormous, subject only to the contingencies mentioned above and we are absolutely excited about it all.”

“Stay Tuned for more updates on all of these new developments during the coming days and week(s)”

Lastly:

The Company expect to name an Auditor as previously mentioned above, during late next week if all goes well, in the company cost and – time – to – completion negotiations, going on now.

“Loyal ENKS Shareholders, are the ‘ENKS ARMY’, and the company will always support their best interests working to enhance shareholder value and steady growth.”

The foregoing statements are forward looking statements, and as such, they may or may not reflect the results which could transpire in the future which should be negative or not transpire at all due to circumstances or other reasons and investors, shareholders, or others should not rely on these forward-looking statements to ascertain any value if any of ENKS or to make any investment decisions and to take note that this is not an offer to buy or sell securities or an endorsement of ENKS for investment purposes as all investment carry a risk of loss sometimes a total loss of your investment in Micro cap shares markets or any market and therefore such statements or plans should not be relied upon for any business decisions of any kind – Approval and permissions required by federal regulations may or may not be approved and if not approved may result in the loss of all value and all investments in products requiring such regulatory permissions to market and sell. These statements are made as forward-looking statements for educational purposes only in accordance with the rules and regulations which pertain to the same.

Enerkon Solar International Inc.

www.enerkoninternational.com

info@enerkoninternational.com

New HQ Address in New York at:

Enerkon Solar International Inc

477 Madison Avenue

New York, NY 10022 USA

Tel. +1 (877) 573-7797

Tel. +1 (718) 709-7889

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Blockchain

Qtum Partners with Vaccine Forward to Boost Global COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts

QTUM

The blockchain platform Qtum has announced the partnership with Vaccine Forward to help the fundraising initiative to raise vaccines for distribution to over 92 countries. The goal of the partnership is to raise $2 billion to speed the vaccination process through some of the world’s poorest countries, with the Qtum Chain Foundation committing to match […]

The post Qtum Partners with Vaccine Forward to Boost Global COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts appeared first on Blockonomi.

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The blockchain platform Qtum has announced the partnership with Vaccine Forward to help the fundraising initiative to raise vaccines for distribution to over 92 countries.

The goal of the partnership is to raise $2 billion to speed the vaccination process through some of the world’s poorest countries, with the Qtum Chain Foundation committing to match the total number of vaccines raised by Vaccine Forward.

Vaccine Forward is a Swedish-based initiative aiming to fight this inequality having raised over 12k vaccinations ever since its start and has now looked for the support of the blockchain and crypto industry in collaboration with Qtum Chain Foundation, which has provided half of the total vaccinations.

Elisabeth Thand Ringqvist, Vaccine Forward founder, referred to the partnership by stating:

“As a grass-roots organization, Vaccine Forward is proud to receive the biggest donation so far, effectively doubling the amount of raised vaccinations, from 6 000 to 12 000 with Qtum’s donation. We are also very happy for Qtum’s challenge to the Blockchain-space at large to do the same.”

The organization depends on private and corporate donations to make it possible to help countries who need the vaccines to ensure the health of their citizens, which are distributed via the Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI).

Soon, donors will also be able to contribute to this mission by making donations using cryptocurrency directly on Vaccine Forward’s website, facilitating the process for people around the world who might not be able to donate with fiat otherwise.

Crypto As a Tool for Equality

While developed countries have moved forward with vaccination efforts, countries with poor economies and strong political relationships have struggled to vaccinate their citizens, creating a high level of inequality among a pandemic that affects all countries equally.

One of the pillars of the crypto movement on its inception and till this day has been to provide people around the world with access to financial services and platforms without the need for centralized authorities having power over them, which has made crypto a lifeline for residents of countries under extreme poverty, dictatorships, or economic sanctions.

Cryptocurrency has been used by organizations like AirTm to help citizens from countries like Venezuela to receive economic assistance from people abroad by bypassing legal sanctions and economic restrictions placed by their country and foreign governments, highlighting some of the benefits of decentralization.

Similarly, projects designed to allow charities to receive donations from interested parties have also become increasingly popular in the crypto ecosystem, which has proven to be invaluable for charities over the last years.

Qtum Co-Founder, Jordan Earl, referred to the potential the industry has to help the transition out o the pandemic by saying:

“We hope that we can inspire our industry to do the same and also match Vaccine Forwards fundraising to help in the effort of vaccinating people who need it the most. We at Qtum are global problem solvers with an open platform and therefore, I think the grass-roots organization Vaccine Forward is an amazing solution to a complex global problem.”

The Qtum Ecosystem Continues to Grow

Qtum has experienced increasing success over the past year, which has not only been reflected by its cryptocurrency’s gain in value but also by the expansion of its ecosystem.

The most recent news came in the form of an announcement of its commitment to provide Filecoin with smart contracts capabilities through the Qtum network, something that while not only benefits users of the platform but also Qtum itself as part of its portfolio controls about 10% of Filecoin’s mining power.

Great Options for New Markets

Qtum is also looking into launching NFT support to compete against networks like Ethereum by offering lower prices, which has been an increasing pain for projects running on the Ethereum network.

With major networks like Cardano, Polkadot, and Ethereum getting closer to the release of their next updates, Qtum is looking forward to becoming a major competitor in the growing crypto ecosystem.

The network’s coin, QTUM, has gained over 700% in value over the last year according to Coingecko data, with a 90% over the last month which has seen most of the big projects in the crypto market go through a bearish trend.

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Covid19

France Imposes 3rd National Lockdown As COVID-19 Again Surges

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Young people gathered Wednesday by the Seine River in Paris, largely without masks and without social distancing. French President Emmanuel Macron has ordered the country into a third lockdown because of the continued spread of COVID-19. Eleanor Beardsley/NPR hide caption

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Eleanor Beardsley/NPR

PARIS – Calling the new, faster-spreading variants of the coronavirus “an epidemic within the epidemic,” French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday extended a lockdown to the entire country and closed schools through the end of April.

In a televised address to the nation, Macron said a “more dangerous, contagious and deadly” virus surging in France left him no choice.

“If we are choosing to close down the whole country it’s because no area of the country is spared,” Macron said. “Everywhere the virus is spreading faster and faster and everywhere, hospitalizations are rising.”

Gatherings inside and outside are also banned and people will not be allowed to travel more than 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from their homes. Macron said unlike the first confinement last spring, people who leave their homes will not have to fill out a form with the time, date and purpose of their outing. “We are choosing to have confidence in people’s sense of responsibility,” he said.

“Everyone has to make sure not that they close themselves in, but that they limit, to the maximum, their contacts, meetings and time spent with others,” said Macron.

The president’s announcement was entirely anticipated. France’s intensive care units are at capacity with more than 5,000 COVID-19 patients health officials say, and hospitalizations have already surpassed the second wave of this past winter. They are on track to surpass even the first deadly wave of last spring.

Over the weekend, several dozen emergency room doctors signed an open letter in the newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, warning that if something is not done, hospitals would soon have to begin choosing which patients receive treatment. “We cannot remain silent without betraying our Hippocratic oath,” they said.

Jacob Kirkegaard, who studies health care systems as a senior fellow with the German Marshall Fund, says the new strains of the virus are forcing countries to step up their public health measures. Britain, Germany and Italy are also in various forms of lockdown.

“When COVID cases in a country are suddenly much more contagious, the lockdowns need to be adjusted and made much tougher,” he said.

Kirkegaard said vaccinations in France have not yet increased to a level which would make a difference in transmission. Thirteen percent of the French have received one dose of a vaccine. Only 4% have been fully vaccinated. But Macron said the pace of vaccination would go faster very soon.

“We are putting all our means behind vaccinating, vaccinating, vaccinating,” he said, “on Saturday and Sunday just like during the week.” Macron said some 250,000 health professionals – doctors, pharmacists, veterinarians and fire fighters – will be involved in the massive vaccination effort across the country.

Over the last few warm, spring days, the banks of the Seine River in Paris have looked a lot like Venice Beach, Calif., with young people working-out and sunbathing, their masks under their chins. Macron said there will be patrols enforcing restrictions on alcohol consumption in public and plenty of fines given. Bars and restaurants have been closed since last fall.

Doctors say COVID-19 patients in France’s ICUs are younger and younger, often without any underlying health problems. Macron said 44% of patients in intensive care are younger than 65.

The country’s Scientific Council, which advises the government on measures to combat the virus, called for a strict lockdown in January. Macron defended his decision not to lock the country down then, saying people had benefitted from “precious weeks of liberty.”

But he said the accelerating pandemic propelled by new variants meant France had to set a new course for the coming months.

Writing of the gravity of the situation this week in the newspaper Libération, Patrick Bouet, president of the National Council of the Order of Doctors, called on Macron to institute stricter measures. “The virus is winning and we have lost control of the pandemic,” Bouet said.

France is now approaching 100,000 coronavirus deaths. “That’s the equivalent of wiping the city of Nancy from the map,” wrote Bouet.

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Source: https://www.npr.org/2021/03/31/983157525/france-imposes-3rd-national-lockdown-as-covid-19-again-surges

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