World Coronavirus Dispatch: Londoners want pay hike to return to office

London staff want pay rises to return to office, survey says

Companies risk losing talent if they press their staff to return to offices full-time in post-pandemic world. In London, only 17 per cent say they want a full-time return to offices, according to a survey. However, that number jumps to 43 per cent, if the companies are willing to offer a salary hike that is equivalent to annual railway pass. Many companies around the world are putting in place hybrid of flexible workplace models, realising the fact that most employees do not want to return to desks full-time. The survey, which was carried out in UK, also found that almost one-third of people looking for new jobs now expect to work from home at least two days each week. Although most still prioritise salary when looking for new jobs, 47 per cent now cite flexible working as one of their top requirements. Read here

Let’s look at the global statistics

Global infections: 191,495,269

Global deaths: 4,119,426

Vaccine doses administered: 3,913,745,062

Nations with most cases: US (34,174,774), India (31,216,337), Brazil (19,419,437), Russia (5,955,089), France (5,952,341).

Source: John Hopkins Research Center

Covid-19 takes dramatic toll on US life expectancy

Life expectancy in the United States dropped the most in more than seven decades last year as Covid-19 sent hundreds of thousands of Americans to early deaths. The pandemic’s disproportionate toll on communities of color also widened existing gaps in life expectancy between White and Black Americans, according to estimates released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The first year of the pandemic reduced Americans’ life expectancy at birth by 1.5 years, to 77.3 years. That erased the country’s gains since 2003. Read here

J&J’s one-dose vaccine is less effective against the Delta variant – study

The single-dose vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson is much less effective against the Delta and Lambda variants than against the original virus, according to a new study. The conclusions are at odds with those from smaller studies published by Johnson & Johnson earlier this month, suggesting that a single dose of the vaccine is effective against the variant even eight months after inoculation. The new study has not yet been peer reviewed nor published in a scientific journal. But it is consistent with observations that a single dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine — which has a similar architecture to Johnson & Johnson’s — shows only about 33 percent efficacy against symptomatic disease caused by the Delta variant. Read here

Airbnb suspends Victorian host who rejected couple for receiving Covid vaccine

Airbnb has suspended a host in Victoria who refused to provide accomodation to a couple because they had received their first shots of the Covid-19 vaccine. Just before the latest Melbourne outbreak, Steve Carey tried to book a holiday in regional Victoria with his partner. The owner – designated a “superhost” by Airbnb – asked Carey if he had been vaccinated against Covid-19. “We’ve both had our first [shot],” he said. The host replied she could not accept them because of the false claim that the vaccine could cause people to pass the virus on to the unvaccinated. Read here

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