While You Were Sleeping: Coronavirus updates for May 24

Coronavirus

INDIANAPOLIS — There were several developments in the coronavirus pandemic you may have missed overnight.

Here’s a look:

Cookout clinic. A special pop up COVID-19 vaccine clinic on the near northwest side today also be a cookout. Organizers say they wanted the clinic a fun community event.

The event will be from noon to 6 p.m. at the Aspire House on Udell Street. Anyone eligible for the vaccine is welcome; no appointments are required.

Aspire House co-founder Sharon Clark says they wanted to help make sure everyone who wanted the vaccine could get it, specifically those in the near northwest community, who she says are often marginalized.

Holcomb criticized by labor union. The Indiana AFL-CIO is criticizing Gov. Eric Holcomb’s decision to withdraw the state from federal programs providing an extra $300 in weekly payments to unemployed workers and expanded jobless benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The labor union said it cost the state nothing to remain in the programs, arguing that they have provided millions of dollars a week to families who could soon face having no income.

Holcomb announced this past week that the Indiana would leave those federal programs effective June 19. Many businesses blame their difficulty filling job openings on the extra $300 weekly payment and programs that provide jobless aid to self-employed or gig workers and to people who have been unemployed for more than six months.

Tokyo’s Olympic vaccine clinics. Japan mobilized military doctors and nurses to give shots to elderly people in Tokyo and Osaka on Monday as the government desperately tries to accelerate its vaccination rollout and curb coronavirus infections just two months before hosting the Olympics.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is determined to hold the Olympics in Tokyo after a one-year delay and has made an ambitious pledge to finish vaccinating the country’s 36 million elderly people by the end of July, despite skepticism it’s possible. Worries about public safety while many Japanese remain unvaccinated have prompted growing protests and calls for canceling the Games set to start on July 23.

Suga’s government has repeatedly expanded the area and duration of a largely request-based virus state of emergency since late April and has made its virus-fighting measures stricter. Currently, Tokyo and nine other areas that are home to 40% of the country’s population are under the emergency and further extension is deemed unavoidable.

‘Black fungus’ infection in India. Doctors in India are fighting a fatal fungal infection affecting COVID-19 patients or those who have recovered from the disease amid a coronavirus surge that has driven the country’s fatalities to over 300,000.

The life-threatening condition, known as mucormycosis, is relatively rare but doctors suspect that the sudden increase in the infection could further complicate India’s fight against the pandemic.

India has reported more than 26 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus since the pandemic began, with almost half occurring in the past two months. On Sunday, the Health Ministry reported 3,741 new deaths, driving India’s confirmed fatalities to 299,266. 

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