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Virus-linked hunger tied to 10,000 child deaths each month; Vietnam locks down its 3rd-largest city as cases grow

  • Written by AP
  • Published in World News
The United Nations says coronavirus-linked hunger is leading to the deaths of 10,000 children a month in the first year of the global pandemic because of fears of contamination and movement restrictions. Four U.N. agencies said failing to act now will have devastating long-term consequences not just for the children, but for society as a whole. Earlier this year, the head of the World Food Program warned of a risk of starvation of “biblical proportions” around the world.From Burkina Faso to Venezuela, AP journalists around the world found that families in numerous countries are already facing starvation, with young children the first to suffer and die.Africa's First Hotbed: For months, the city of Cape Town was the biggest hot spot in Africa. Now, finally, there are signs of relief. Doctors in the city on the southernmost tip of South Africa say they are seeing a decrease in patients. But as Cape Town reports more positive news, the pandemic is sweeping north, to more populated parts of South Africa, Gerald Imray reports. Vietnam: The country has locked down its third-largest city for two weeks after 15 cases of COVID-19 were found in a hospital. Public transport into and out of the central city of Da Nang, with a population of 1.1 million, was canceled. Over the weekend, thousands of mostly Vietnamese tourists had to end their summer holidays in the popular beach destination. Authorities estimated several thousand people would be stranded by the transportation shutdown and asked hotels to shelter them, Hau Dinh reports from Hanoi. Kyrgyzstan: Cases surged after authorities lifted a tight lockdown in May, overwhelming the teetering health care system in the impoverished Central Asian nation of 6.5 million people. That's when thousands of volunteers came to the rescue in the former Soviet republic. They worked as orderlies in busy hospitals, converted their cars into makeshift ambulances to transport the sick and found protective gear, drugs, supplies and equipment for medical workers, Daria Litvinova reports.Guatemala Teacher: In the One Good Thing series – when the virus closed schools in mid-March, teacher Gerardo Ixcoy invested his savings in a secondhand tricycle that he and his brother converted into a mobile classroom. Each day the 27-year-old sets out pedaling among the remote cornfields of Santa Cruz del Quiché to give individual instruction to his sixth-grade students. He installed the protective plastic sheets and a whiteboard on the tricycle and rigged a small solar panel to the roof to power audio recordings he uses in some lessons. -30-
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