Covid live news: Russian vaccine ‘must follow safety procedure’, says WHO; New...

Covid live news: Russian vaccine ‘must follow safety procedure’, says WHO; New Zealand reports new cases | World news

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WHO – not enough information to evaluate Russian vaccine

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Barcelona’s city council has said it will fund a child-minding service in six low-income areas come September in a bid to ease the pandemic’s impact on gender and social inequality.

Operating seven days a week from 8am to 8pm (CEST), the service will prioritise requests from single mothers and households with limited incomes, among others.

The five-month pilot scheme comes as campaign groups warn that the pandemic is having a devastating effect on gender equality. As women bear the brunt of the extra childcare and household duties demanded by the pandemic, decades of progress risk being rolled back.

The pandemic has made us reflect on the care crisis that we are in,” said Barcelona city councillor Laura Pérez, citing women who were forced to decide between quitting their jobs or leaving their children at home alone after the pandemic shuttered schools. “The objective is to provide more tools so that families in our city can balance their family, personal and work life.”

The scope of the project in Barcelona is fairly limited, however, with capacity for around 40 children per hour, ranging in age from three to 12 years-old.

The initiative is part of a broader effort by the city to tackle the socio-economic fallout of the pandemic. A recent study published last week in the Journal of Public Health suggested that the pandemic has disproportionately hit Barcelona’s poorest neighbourhoods, with 2.5 times more cases documented in the city’s lowest-income district as compared to its highest.

The pilot project is set to launch in September, as uncertainty continues to cloud children’s return to school – a scenario further complicated by the surge in new cases seen across Spain in recent weeks.

To date, Spain has recorded 322,980 cases, according to data from the health ministry, overtaking Britain to register the highest total number of cases in western Europe.

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