• Coronavirus : les humanitaires français espèrent une vaccination des migrants au printemps - InfoMigrants

    Tout en reconnaissant un effort des autorités françaises pour organiser une campagne vaccinale efficace auprès des migrants, plusieurs ONG s’inquiètent de la lenteur des vaccinations et espèrent que les centres d’hébergement d’urgence pourront en bénéficier au printemps.Vulnérables et précaires, les migrants figurent en bonne position sur la liste des populations les plus menacées par la crise sanitaire. Mais leur place dans la campagne de vaccination contre le Covid reste encore à préciser. Médecins sans frontières (MSF) espèrent que d’ici trois ou quatre mois, des vaccins seront disponibles.
    « On aimerait qu’au printemps, la campagne de vaccination débute », explique Corinne Torre, de l’ONG, contactée par InfoMigrants. « Il ne faut pas trop tarder parce qu’après la trêve hivernale, il pourrait y avoir des remises à la rue, des fermetures de centres… On perdrait la trace de nombreux migrants ». Dans l’attente des premiers vaccins, la Haute autorité de santé (HAS) avait dès novembre classé les quelque 300 000 à 600 000 sans-papiers de France parmi ses cibles prioritaires. Pour l’heure, les Ehpad, le personnel soignant, et les personnes âgées hors Ehpad sont prioritaires. « Mais les migrants ne sont pas oubliés ou mis de côté. Ils sont prévus dans la campagne vaccinale, c’est ce qu’il ressort de nos réunions de travail avec le ministre de la Santé », déclare confiante Corinne Torre tout en rappelant que « la vaccination est gratuite pour tous, même pour les personnes sans couverture médicale - qui n’ont pas d’AME, ou de PUMA ».
    « Le gouvernement affiche une bonne volonté, ces publics sont priorisés, le discours est parfait mais on n’a pas d’information sur ce qui va être fait », regrette de son côté Carine Rolland, membre du conseil d’administration de Médecins du monde (MdM). MSF rappelle que les migrants sont particulièrement exposés au coronavirus. « Près de 89% des migrants que nous avons rencontrés dans deux foyers de Seine-Saint-Denis étaient positifs au Covid en tests sérologiques, pendant la première vague ». Dans les foyers de travailleurs immigrés, les occupants sont souvent âgés et en surnombre, ce qui augmente leur risque d’être atteint par le virus.


  • Landlocked Lesotho faces food crisis amid Covid border closures | Hunger | The Guardian

    The situation in Lesotho has been exacerbated by extended lockdowns in neighbouring South Africa to curb the spread of the virus, which the agency said would prolong high levels of unemployment and loss of income.
    ’We can’t cope’: Lesotho faces Covid-19 disaster after quarantine failures
    Read moreThe number of people requiring food assistance this year is about 35% higher than the number between October 2019 and March 2020, said the FAO.In 2019, the UN appealed for $34 million (£25 million) to provide food aid for half a million people until May last year, following poor rains over two consecutive seasons. It warned that thousands of people were close to famine.Lesotho imports the bulk of its goods and services from South Africa and has been feeling the effects of tougher lockdown restrictions imposed by President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier this month.
    South Africa has now surpassed 1.3 million cases of Covid-19 and has consistently recorded more than 10,000 new daily cases since 1 January. Ramaphosa has closed all land borders until 15 February and imposed restrictions on public gatherings.“The increase in the prevalence and severity of food insecurity has been predominantly driven by the effects of the lockdown measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic,” said the FAO.
    “The restrictions on the movement of people and the closure of non-essential industries resulted in the loss of jobs and incomes, reducing people’s capacity to access adequate diets. The restrictions affected the workforce within the country, but also migrant workers in South Africa.”


  • ‘It’s Starting Again’: Why Filipino Nurses Dread the Second Wave - The New York Times

    Belinda Ellis had been a nurse for 40 years, and she thought she’d seen it all. She had worked in hospitals in the Philippines, where she was born and got her degree. She was a nurse in Saudi Arabia and then at a military hospital on the border of Iraq when Saddam Hussein came into power.
    But when the first wave of the pandemic battered New York City last spring, she still wasn’t prepared. Nor could she have foreseen the immense toll the coronavirus would take on her Filipino colleagues. As devastating as Covid-19 was in those early months, a number of studies now reveal just how hard the virus hit Filipino health care workers. Of all the nurses who died from the virus nationwide, one study found, close to a third of them were Filipino. According to an analsis by ProPublica, in the New York City area alone, at least 30 Filipino health care workers had died from the virus by June.Many of them fell sick, including Erwin Lambrento, a tenacious night shift nurse from the outskirts of Manila who died of the virus in early May. Pictures of him still hang throughout Elmhurst Hospital Center, where Ms. Ellis works.
    According to a survey published in September by National Nurses United, the largest nurses’ union in the United States, 67 Filipino nurses have died of Covid-19. That figure, which was pulled from public obituaries, is around a third of the total registered nurses who have died nationwide, though Filipinos make up only 4 percent of those nurses overall.“It’s really heartbreaking,” said Zenei Cortez, president of National Nurses United and a nurse from the Philippines herself. Ms. Cortez fears that the true toll is worse. “The numbers we are producing are all underreported, I’m sure of that.”Now another wave of the virus has arrived. The infection rate in New York City has risen in recent weeks, and hospitalizations are at alarming levels; more than 450 New Yorkers have died of Covid since the beginning of 2021. And many Filipino nurses fear their hospitals could again be crushed under caseloads that recall the harrowing months of March and April.Filipino nurses have a long history of working in New York City hospitals, dating at least to the immigration reforms in the 1960s, which broadened the categories of foreign workers who could apply for a United States visa.In the Philippines, nursing schools have taught an American curriculum since as early as 1907, granting degrees to English-speaking nurses who could slot easily into American hospitals. They quickly became invaluable in the 1980s as a solution to staffing shortages exacerbated by the AIDS epidemic. It was in 1986 that Ms. Ellis was recruited by Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, where she was quickly deployed to the bedsides of patients with H.I.V.
    San Francisco and New York were especially welcoming to migrant nurses, according to Leo-Felix Jurado, a professor of nursing at William Paterson University in New Jersey who wrote his dissertation on the importation of Filipino nurses into American hospitals.Mr. Jurado, who is now 55, was recruited in 1988 by JFK Medical Center in Edison, N.J. He recalls that visiting the employment fairs held in Manila hotels felt like an afternoon of barhopping. Recruiters jostled to make hires, sweetening work visas to the United States with signing bonuses and promises of free housing, Mr. Jurado said.


  • Migrants in the crossfire of Thai Covid blame game - Asia Times

    Market vendors refuse to let them buy food. Some banks won’t allow them to enter their premises. Hotels and guest houses double-check that non-Thai speaking Asians who seek to check-in are not from neighboring Myanmar.It all began on December 17 when a 67-year-old Thai working in a shrimp market in Mahachai in Samut Sakhon province southwest of Bangkok tested positive for the Covid-19 virus.Tens of thousands of Myanmar migrants have worked for years in the market and nearby seafood-processing plants, often doing thankless jobs that most Thais are unwilling to do.It’s become clear by now that Covid-19 spread quickly through Mahachai’s cramped and congested living quarters, similar to the ghetto-like dwellings and dormitories where the disease has thrived among migrants in Singapore and Malaysia.
    As such, Myanmar migrants are now being blamed for what is being widely described as Thailand’s second viral wave, which is now creeping across the kingdom after months of reporting no community spread.
    From a stable low of just over 4,000 cases and 60 deaths until mid-December, Thailand had 10,547 cases and 67 deaths as of January 11, according to the Thailand Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, a state body managing the pandemic.


  • Cambodia at risk of being last in line for vaccines - Asia Times

    With an exceptionally weak healthcare system, feeble bureaucracy and faltering finances, Cambodian hopes for entering a post-pandemic era in 2021 are fast diminishing as richer states buy up limited vaccines for their own citizens.“No one knows anything at all” about when the vaccine rollout will begin, a source with knowledge of the Cambodian government’s planning who spoke to Asia Times on condition of anonymity said.
    “Cambodia is really still in ‘will we get it’ mode rather than ‘vaccine preparation’ mode,” the source said, adding that sentiment in Phnom Penh is that it’s a “long way off” before vaccines start to arrive in the country.
    The government has been mainly mum on the matter since stating in December that it would only accept vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), which currently includes only those produced by Pfizer-BioNTech, a German-US partnership.
    The most pessimistic of projections among sources tracking the government’s response is that inoculation of the majority of Cambodia’s 16.7 million population won’t take place until late 2022, if not mid-2023.
    The Economist Intelligence Unit recently forecast that vaccines won’t be widely available in Cambodia until at least April 2022, a prediction that noted the emerging stark contrast in vaccine access between rich and poor nations. Because Cambodia is “largely dependent” on the WHO-backed global health initiative COVAX to access vaccines, which currently only guarantees inoculations for a fifth of a country’s population, “it may take time for COVAX to increase this, and Cambodia only has limited fiscal resources to purchase vaccines independently,” Imogen Page-Jarrett, an EIU research analyst, said.
    “We therefore do not expect Cambodia to immunize 60% of its population until sometime between June 2022 and June 2023,” she added.Phnom Penh’s attention is for now diverted by the more pressing issue of preventing further viral outbreaks, a major concern since the more-virulent variant of Covid-19, first detected in the UK, was found last week in neighboring Vietnam and Thailand.
    New restrictions on border crossings have been imposed by Cambodia on both countries.Cambodia has officially not recorded any Covid-19 fatalities, although fears were raised after community outbreaks emerged in November. At the time of writing, credibly or not, there have only been 383 documented coronavirus cases nationwide. There are now also concerns about whether returning migrant workers from Thailand, several of whom have tested positive for Covid-19 in recent days, will spark another viral wave and community spread when they return to their home villages, sources say. Earlier images of mass vaccinations in Europe in December appeared to signal the beginning of the pandemic’s end, with many Cambodians sensing that it might be over within a matter of months. Although there have been few social distancing restrictions imposed in Cambodia, its economy is reeling from the pandemic. Unemployment rates reached near record-highs in 2020 whilst the true number of Cambodians pushed back into poverty will only be clear in the coming months. The Asian Development Bank in August reported that 8% of the population could be thrust back into poverty because of the pandemic


  • LA’s Covid ’tsunami’ : inside the new center of America’s raging pandemic | Los Angeles | The Guardian

    In March, LA and California issued some of the earliest shutdowns in the nation, which helped slow the spread and saved hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. But with the US government failing to provide a second round of stimulus amid mass unemployment, officials rushed to reopen in early summer – a move that had devastating consequences in LA.Large sectors of the economy reopened, but the economic crisis – and many restrictions – persisted, leading to severe fatigue among residents at the same time that Covid surged due to holiday travel and gatherings.
    The response from local officials has been a confusing partial lockdown. Officials have issued emotional pleas for people to stay home but have allowed LA’s malls to remain open, leading to packed stores and infections among employees. The county shut down all dining but has allowed Hollywood to continue film shoots.
    The data suggests the public health messaging is not working – and that LA’s essential workers are paying the price.“It’s just been really hard to reinforce what kind of dire situation we are in now,” said Dr Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, a UC San Francisco epidemiologist. “Ten months into the pandemic, individuals and businesses are hurting financially, and that is a drive for people to continue to be out.”LA’s affordable housing crisis, which forces many to live in crowded conditions, also makes the region vulnerable to spread, said Bibbins-Domingo. Her research found that early lockdowns did not protect Latinos or people without high school degrees, probably because they were forced to work.


  • « En première ligne » durant la pandémie de Covid-19, près de 700 travailleurs étrangers vont être naturalisés

    « Professionnels de santé, femmes de ménage, gardes d’enfants, caissiers… Ils ont prouvé leur attachement à la nation ; c’est désormais à la République de faire un pas vers eux ». Près de 700 travailleurs étrangers qui ont été en « première ligne » durant l’épidémie de coronavirus et ont « montré leur attachement à la nation » vont être naturalisés français, a annoncé mardi 22 décembre le cabinet de Marlène Schiappa, ministre déléguée à la citoyenneté. Mi-septembre, Mme Schiappa avait donné instruction aux préfets d’« accélérer » et de « faciliter » cet accès à la nationalité française pour les personnes qui avaient « contribué activement » à la lutte contre le Covid-19. Les préfets peuvent utiliser la notion de « services rendus importants » pour réduire à deux ans au lieu de cinq la durée minimale de résidence en France exigée. En trois mois, 2 890 demandes ont été enregistrées par les préfectures pour ce motif. A l’heure actuelle, 693 personnes sont « en passe d’obtenir [la naturalisation] et 74 l’ont déjà obtenue », a détaillé dans un communiqué le cabinet de Mme Schiappa, chargé notamment des questions liées aux réfugiés et à l’intégration. En 2019, plus de 112 000 personnes ont acquis la nationalité française, dont plus de 48 000 par naturalisation – une procédure en net recul (-10 %) par rapport à 2018.


  • How have Thailand and Cambodia kept Covid cases so low? | Coronavirus | The Guardian

    In both countries the pandemic has proved economically devastating. In Thailand, strict entry restrictions have halted tourism, contributing to millions of job losses. Over recent weeks, a small cluster of cases has emerged, linked to people travelling undetected over the Myanmar border, prompting fears the virus could spread among migrant workers, who may be reluctant to report symptoms if they have not crossed into the country through an official route. Anyone entering Thailand is required to quarantine in designated facilities for 14 days, and undergo multiple Covid-19 tests.


  • The Virus Trains : How Lockdown Chaos Spread Covid-19 Across India - The New York Times

    India has now reported more coronavirus cases than any country besides the United States. And it has become clear that the special trains operated by the government to ease suffering — and to counteract a disastrous lack of lockdown planning — instead played a significant role in spreading the coronavirus into almost every corner of the country.The trains became contagion zones: Every passenger was supposed to be screened for Covid-19 before boarding but few if any were tested. Social distancing, if promised, was nonexistent, as men pressed into passenger cars for journeys that could last days. Then the trains disgorged passengers into distant villages, in regions that before had few if any coronavirus cases.
    One of those places was Ganjam, a lush, rural district on the Bay of Bengal, where the Behera brothers disembarked after their crowded trip from Surat. Untouched by the virus, Ganjam soon became one of India’s most heavily infected rural districts after the migrants started returning.
    ImageFarmers in Ganjam, a rural district that was untouched by the virus until workers began to return.Many people in Ganjam’s villages had no idea what coronavirus symptoms were — until people around them started dying.
    “There was a very direct correlation between the active Covid cases and the trains,” said Keerthi Vasan V., a district-level civil servant in Ganjam. “It was obvious that the returnees brought the virus.”
    The tragic irony is that Mr. Modi’s lockdown inadvertently unlocked an exodus of tens of millions. His government and especially his Covid-19 task force, dominated by upper-caste Hindus, never adequately contemplated how shutting down the economy and quarantining 1.3 billion people would introduce desperation, then panic and then chaos for millions of migrant workers at the heart of Indian industry.A top economic adviser to Mr. Modi, Sanjeev Sanyal, confirmed that the administration had been aware of the risks posed by moving people from urban hot spots to rural areas but said that the situation had been managed “quite well.”Railroad officials also insist that the trains were the safest way to get migrant workers home.
    “India has done extraordinarily well in managing the spread of disease compared to some of the materially most advanced countries of the world,” said D.J. Narain, a Ministry of Railways spokesman. In all, the government organized 4,621 Shramik Specials, moving more than 6 million people. As they poured out of India’s cities, which were becoming hot spots, many returnees dragged the virus with them, yet they kept coming. Surat, an industrial hub, saw more than half a million workers leave on the trains.
    “It felt like doomsday,” said Ram Singhasan, a ticket collector. “When you saw how many people were thronged outside, it looked like the end of the world was coming.”


  • In these West Virginia and California agricultural towns, farmers and ranchers are battling the pandemic and big industry - Washington Post

    In these two American breadbasket communities, small farmers and ranchers have been left to improvise as their markets swivel and contract. In its early months considered an urban problem, the coronavirus has been especially brutal in rural agricultural communities, where farmworkers were slow to get personal protective equipment and effective safety protocols.
    In both Salinas and Moorefield, the coronavirus has contributed layers of complexity to an already backbreaking professional path. Several years of historically poor planting conditions and retaliatory tariffs under the Trump administration have cut off potential for agricultural exports and left farmers with few reserves before the pandemic began to hopscotch across the country.
    For Mary Jo Keller, 90, Moorefield has always been home, where she and her family make a dwindling living from dairy cows. Not far away, Rick Woodworth raises cattle on Flying W Farms — he owns them from birth to slaughter, growing all his own feed, a refutation of modern industrial agricultural models epitomized by Pilgrim’s. “We have not participated with Pilgrim’s Pride or been involved with them in any way, shape or form,” he says. “I’m a Type A personality clear off the chart: I want to be in control of my destiny, not be on a contract to produce for Pilgrim’s. We’ve chosen to go our own way and take our own risks.” More than half of all agricultural sales in the state are poultry and eggs, a market dominated by large-scale, vertically integrated facilities owned by multinational food companies. They depend on tight margins, a constant supply of new workers and government support that prioritizes increased line speed and efficiency. Cattle ranchers in the area are rare these days, dairy farmers all but extinct. What these small operators lack in economies of scale they gain in autonomy and open space.
    In Salinas, the small independent farmers have few choices: sell to restaurants and at farmers markets, or at a reduced price to wholesalers. Most of Salinas’s organic growers sell their products to a single distributor: Coke Farm, an organic grower/shipper in nearby San Juan Bautista.
    Celsa Ortega, Rigoberto Bucio and Javier Zamora each have taken a new route to independence. Immigrants from Mexico, all three began as workers on large farms, going through programs with the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA), a nonprofit that trains limited-resource and aspiring organic farmers and then equips them with land. Ortega farms only an acre, Bucio farms 12 and Zamora a little over 100 — small farmers battling the “get big or get out” ethos that has taken root in agriculture since the 1970s.


  • ’The virus is moving in’: why California is losing the fight against Covid | US news | The Guardian

    Latinos in LA county, many of whom are working essential jobs, are also contracting the virus at more than double the rate of white residents. The toll in working-class neighborhoods has been especially devastating for undocumented people, who have been unable to access aid.
    Farm laborers with Fresh Harvest in Greenfield, California. Covid-19 has disproportionately impacted the state’s farmworkers.
    “It’s really dire for our folks. They have a right to paid sick days, but that doesn’t mean that right is respected,” said Marissa Nuncio, an advocate for garment workers in LA who have faced Covid outbreaks at factories where they are manufacturing masks. Nuncio said nine months into the pandemic, she still gets calls from infected workers who are struggling to access tests and are afraid to go to the hospital. “They just say, ‘I hope I’m able to recover from this at home.’” The new lockdown measures do little to address those inequalities because they lack support for workers, said Marta Induni, the director of research at the Oakland-based non-profit Public Health Institute. “We have the confluence of factors where people are facing financial instability, and feel like they have no choice but to work even if they get sick,” she said. “And particularly in California, we have a large population of undocumented people who have been demonized by the federal government and are especially vulnerable.”
    Activists hope that California will take those inequalities into account as it develops a plan to distribute Covid-19 vaccines. California is on track to receive 327,000 doses in its first shipment, which will reach hospitals in the coming days. The state aims to give the vaccine to 2.16 million people by the end of the year, starting with healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities.Officials have pledged to consider racial equity in distribution efforts, but there is a long road ahead to build trust in the vaccine and to reach the hardest-hit communities


  • Le vaccin russe Spoutnik-V arrive en Europe, et il entrera par la Hongrie

    Alors que le pays a été largement épargné par la première vague de Covid-19 au printemps, grâce aux mesures de confinement prises très tôt, la situation hongroise est désormais bien plus inquiétante face à la deuxième vague. Selon les données du Centre européen de prévention et de contrôle des maladies (ECDC), le pays se positionnait en troisième position continentale, lundi 16 novembre, au vu de son taux de mortalité pour 100 000 habitants, derrière la République tchèque et la Belgique. Et si le taux de contamination est plus faible qu’ailleurs, c’est surtout parce qu’il est très difficile de se faire tester en Hongrie. Alors que les pays voisins ont pris des mesures dès octobre, « chez nous, la deuxième vague est arrivée en septembre, mais le gouvernement n’a pris aucune mesure au départ », dénonce ainsi Zoltan Szabad, président de l’Union médicale hongroise, principal syndicat de médecins du pays.
    En septembre et en octobre, M. Orban a maintenu l’ouverture au public des matchs de football alors même qu’ils se jouaient à huis clos dans la plupart de l’Europe. Et il avait ensuite expliqué qu’il était hors de question de stopper l’économie, comme en mars et avril. Mais la situation est vite devenue inquiétante dans plusieurs hôpitaux, notamment à Györ, dans l’ouest du pays. « Le Covid est partout et Orban ne fait rien », s’inquiétait même une conseillère du premier ministre, début novembre. « Nous avons reçu des informations inquiétantes de plusieurs hôpitaux, mais, en Hongrie, un médecin n’a pas le droit de parler à la presse », rappelle M. Szabad. Filmer les hôpitaux est même interdit depuis que plusieurs scandales ont montré l’état déplorable de certains établissements.
    Le gouvernement hongrois a libéré des lits et acheté des milliers de respirateurs, mais le véritable problème est le manque de personnel, comme dans beaucoup de pays de la région. Les hôpitaux ont subi une hémorragie des professionnels de santé, partis mieux gagner leur vie en Europe de l’Ouest. « Le nombre de médecins et d’infirmières est limité », a ainsi convenu M. Orban, le 13 novembre. De larges augmentations de salaires, réclamées depuis des années, ont été subitement accordées. Avant que M. Orban se résolve à ordonner un reconfinement, entré en vigueur le 11 novembre. « Nous l’attendions avec impatience », indique M. Szabad.


  • Covid-19 : les transferts de patients français vers l’Allemagne ont repris

    Cela n’était pas arrivé depuis le printemps. Quatre patients atteints du Covid-19 ont été transférés en Allemagne, jeudi 7 et vendredi 8 novembre, depuis les hôpitaux français où ils étaient pris en charge. Ces transferts concernent des malades de trois établissements situés dans le département de la Moselle. Si ceux-ci « ne sont pas à l’heure actuelle saturés », l’objectif « est d’anticiper tout risque de saturation des services de soins critiques », a indiqué le centre hospitaliser régional de Metz-Thionville, chargé de coordonner l’opération, dans un communiqué publié vendredi.
    « En soins critiques », les quatre patients ont été accueillis dans des hôpitaux de Sarrebruck et Völklingen, dans le Land de Sarre, frontalier avec la France, à quelques dizaines de kilomètres de là où ils étaient soignés jusqu’à présent. Au total, la Sarre s’est dite prête à prendre en charge huit patients hospitalisés en France. Au printemps, elle en avait accueilli 28.
    Si la Sarre ne prévoit pas, cette fois, de soigner autant de malades venus de France, c’est parce que ses hôpitaux sont eux-mêmes plus encombrés qu’au printemps. Vendredi, 60 malades du Covid-19 se trouvaient en soins intensifs ou en réanimation dans les hôpitaux de cette région de l’ouest de l’Allemagne, soit sept de plus que le maximum atteint lors de la première vague de l’épidémie, début avril. A l’époque, un peu plus de 200 lits de soins intensifs étaient disponibles dans l’ensemble de la Sarre. Aujourd’hui, ils ne sont qu’environ 170.
    Avec 32,5 % de places disponibles samedi, selon le registre de l’Association allemande de soins intensifs et de médecine d’urgence (DIVI), la Sarre n’est cependant pas la région du pays où la situation est la plus tendue. Actuellement, les trois Länder les plus surchargés sont Berlin, la Hesse (région de Francfort) et la Rhénanie-du-Nord-Westphalie (Cologne, Düsseldorf, Dortmund), où le taux d’occupation des lits de soins intensifs et de réanimation est d’environ 80 %.
    Sur les 28 678 lits de soins intensifs et de réanimation que compte l’Allemagne, 21 597 étaient occupés, samedi, dont 2 768 par des patients atteints du Covid-19, d’après la DIVI. Au même moment, il y avait en France 4 321 malades du Covid-19 en réanimation, selon Santé publique France, pour un nombre total de lits de réanimation d’environ 5 800. Comme au printemps, la différence reste criante entre la France et l’Allemagne s’agissant des capacités d’accueil de leurs hôpitaux. Mais ces chiffres sont en partie trompeurs. Sur les quelque 7 000 lits actuellement inoccupés, en Allemagne, dans les unités de soins intensifs, tous ne sont pas prêts, en effet, à accueillir des malades. « Il nous revient de plus en plus souvent que des lits qui nous ont été déclarés vides ne sont pas utilisables, en réalité, faute de personnel disponible », reconnaissait Christian Karagiannidis, porte-parole de la DIVI, dimanche 1er novembre, dans le quotidien Die Welt. Selon les estimations de la Société hospitalière allemande (DKG), 4 700 postes de soignants manquent actuellement dans les services de soins intensifs du pays. Le problème n’est pas nouveau. Depuis une quinzaine d’années, les hôpitaux allemands font massivement appel à de la main-d’œuvre étrangère, notamment d’Europe du Sud et de l’Est. Pour recruter des infirmiers ou des soignants moins qualifiés, l’Agence allemande pour l’emploi cherche également depuis quelque temps à attirer des Tunisiens, des Philippins et des Mexicains. Le ministre de la santé, Jens Spahn, s’est lui-même rendu à Mexico dans ce but, en 2019


  • Cris de détresse pour sauver les domestiques ghanéennes du Liban - BBC News Afrique

    Asie Kabukie Ocansey du Centre Nekotech pour la migration de la main d’œuvre et président de l’Association de la jeunesse des Nations Unies au Ghana a mené une campagne pour mettre fin aux conditions potentiellement mortelles auxquelles les travailleurs domestiques peuvent être soumis.Selon elle, "les travailleurs domestiques migrants africains entrent dans une sorte de système domestique que l’Asie, les Philippines et l’Indonésie ont rejeté et ce système est appelé « Kafala ». « Le Kafala » qui signifie « adoption » a été créé dans les années 1950, lorsque le boom pétrolier a commencé au Moyen-Orient. Les ne sont pas autorisés à changer d’employeur, même si la situation est abusive, et ce n’est pas normal.
    En ce moment, il y a environ trois millions d’Africains dans cette région. Au Liban, où il y a eu l’explosion, nous avons réussi à faire venir deux mille deux cent soixante, deux (2262) des filles. Il y en a huit mille de plus.
    Selon elle, il y a beaucoup de travailleurs domestiques africains qui sont bloqués à Oman, au Liban et dans certains autres pays et à cause de Covid19 , c’est devenu une crise. Certaines des filles révèle-t-elle, ont déclaré qu’elles ont dû coucher avec des hommes dans la rue afin de réunir de l’argent pour acheter des billets pour rentrer chez elles, parce que leurs employeurs ont refusé de les payer et les ont jetées à la rue.
    Une campagne en ligne intitulée « Enddeadlyworknow » a été lancée pour sensibiliser le public à ce problème. Les dirigeants africains ont été invités à créer des opportunités pour les jeunes, afin de les empêcher de se rendre dans d’autres pays à la recherche d’un avenir radieux


  • Beirut’s migrant workers persist in the shadow of the blast | Gallery | Al Jazeera

    The twin explosions in the Port of Beirut on August 4 exacerbated Lebanon’s deepening economic crisis, stranding thousands of destitute migrant workers without work and no clear route home. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates 24,500 migrants lost their jobs, homes or were directly affected in other ways by the Beirut blasts.
    Lebanon’s 400,000 migrant workers hail from Ethiopia, the Philippines, Kenya, Sierra Leone, and Bangladesh, among other countries. They have taken great risks to work in Lebanon with hopes of earning US dollars and supporting their families back home. Many came to Lebanon through the kafala system, a sponsorship-based employment scheme used by many countries in the Middle East that allows one to work while their employer doubles as their sponsor, handling their visa and legal status. While the system is intended to open jobs to migrants, it also exposes them to exploitation by placing great power in the hands of employers, many of whom confiscate their employees’ passports, making it extremely difficult to leave.
    The economic crisis has now further destabilised the lives of many. The Lebanese pound has devalued by 80 percent since October 2019, leaving employers unable to pay wages and pushing migrant workers into debt, unable to pay for rent, food or other basic services, let alone send money to their families back home.The rising number of evictions has forced many migrants to sleep in the streets, while others have pooled their money to rent rooms so small it is impossible to maintain physical distancing, creating potential breeding grounds for the spread of COVID-19.
    Humanitarian agencies now worry the lack of sustainable employment and safe shelter will expose even more people to trafficking or abuse by their employers, forms of exploitation that already plagued the country’s migrant workers before the deadly blast.


  • Le bien-être et la sécurité des travailleurs migrants au Liban se détériorent davantage depuis l’explosion de Beyrouth | Organisation internationale pour les migrations

    Les communautés de travailleurs migrants étaient déjà aux prises avec les effets néfastes de l’aggravation de la crise économique et de la crise de la COVID-19 avant même que les explosions ne se produisent. À l’époque, l’OIM estimait que 24 500 travailleurs migrants avaient été directement touchés par l’explosion - ayant perdu leur emploi, leur maison ou leurs moyens de subsistance. Depuis, la situation s’est détériorée pour beaucoup d’entre eux.L’analyse d’une évaluation des besoins coordonnée par la Croix-Rouge libanaise avec le soutien de la DTM indique que les besoins post-explosion des familles de ressortissants étrangers - qui englobent les travailleurs migrants - divergent de ceux des ménages libanais.
    Les ressortissants étrangers ont déclaré que leurs besoins principaux sont l’argent et la nourriture, indiquant leur besoin urgent de services de base. En comparaison, le besoin le plus important des ménages libanais est la réparation des abris.
    Dans un autre sondage de la DTM ciblant uniquement les travailleurs migrants, 91 pour cent ont fait état de difficultés financières - beaucoup affirmant qu’ils ont besoin d’un soutien accru pour payer leur loyer et qu’ils ont du mal à trouver du travail dans un environnement économiquement de plus en plus précaire. Soixante-dix pour cent des personnes interrogées ont indiqué qu’elles souhaitaient retourner dans leur pays d’origine dans les trois prochains mois. « De plus en plus de travailleurs migrants se retrouvent à dormir dans la rue ou sont contraints de rester dans des lieux clos, souvent dans une seule et même pièce. Nous sommes très inquiets que la COVID-19 se répande parmi cette population », a déclaré Mme Godeau. Une évaluation de suivi - qui était centrée sur les migrants originaires du Bangladesh, d’Égypte, d’Éthiopie et du Soudan - a également révélé qu’un nombre croissant de migrants ne pouvaient pas accéder aux soins de santé, surtout par rapport aux Libanais qui sont également touchés.


  • Un pont aérien pour sauver la récolte de clémentines de Corse

    Un pont aérien entre le Maroc et Bastia sauvera-t-il la récolte des clémentines corses ? Dès le printemps, les producteurs locaux s’inquiétaient : après une récolte 2019 médiocre en quantité, les conditions de circulation drastiques imposées par le Maroc à ses ressortissants depuis le début de la pandémie de Covid-19 menacent la cuvée 2020. Or, les saisonniers marocains sont d’autant plus demandés que le travail de récolte des fruits, pénible, ne séduit guère sur place. Comment leur permettre de gagner la Corse, où le marché de la clémentine – de 20 000 à 30 000 tonnes produites chaque année – emploie directement 600 personnes et génère plus de 50 millions d’euros de revenus annuels ? Afin de parer la menace de vergers désertés, plusieurs réunions sont organisées avec la préfecture de la Haute-Corse depuis l’été. L’Office français de l’immigration et de l’intégration est mis dans la boucle, comme les autorités marocaines et les représentations françaises. Le protocole permettant l’acheminement en Corse, par voie aérienne, de 902 travailleurs saisonniers marocains, est validé le 23 septembre par le Centre interministériel de crise (CIC) rattaché au premier ministre. « Un pont aérien exceptionnel en tout point par son ampleur et son contexte, souligne l’un des négociateurs du processus : les producteurs ont même accepté de prendre à leur charge les frais de location d’avions à la compagnie Transavia pour l’acheminement des travailleurs marocains en Corse » – un coût de l’ordre de 500 000 à 600 000 euros, dont la charge sera partagée entre les 72 des 145 producteurs de clémentines à avoir réclamé de la main-d’œuvre cette année.
    « La pandémie rend ce genre d’opérations plus lourd, précise Didier Leschi, directeur de l’Office français de l’immigration et de l’intégration, dont le bureau de Casablanca a supervisé le processus, mais elles font partie de nos missions traditionnelles. » Dès l’arrivée sur place des saisonniers, en cinq vagues successives du 9 au 28 octobre, un strict protocole sera observé, supervisé par plusieurs services de l’Etat et la Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de la Haute-Corse. « Tout a été minutieusement préparé, estime François Ravier, préfet de la Haute-Corse. Des prélèvements seront effectués au Maroc avant le départ des travailleurs, puis sept jours après leur arrivée et de nouveau avant leur départ, avec des contrôles renforcés sur leurs conditions de vie et de travail. » Les éventuels porteurs du virus seront mis en quarantaine dans des campings de la région, et l’acheminement vers vers chaque exploitation sera compartimenté. Le tout, assurent les pouvoirs publics, dans une « constante préoccupation » du respect de la dignité des travailleurs saisonniers.
    Fait notable dans une île où la moindre initiative de cet ordre se doit d’être soumise aux élus locaux, ceux-ci sont restés à l’écart de la démarche. « Aucune écoute, aucun intérêt manifesté par la majorité nationaliste de l’Assemblée de Corse, silence radio », se désole une agricultrice. C’est que la profession, si elle se félicite d’un succès logistique, ne souhaite plus le commenter publiquement : sitôt ébruitée la nouvelle de l’arrivée en Corse de près d’un millier de personnes en provenance de l’extérieur de l’île, les producteurs de clémentines ont subi le courroux des réseaux sociaux et se trouvent désormais accusés de favoriser la propagation de la pandémie de Covid-19. « C’est tristement habituel ici, soupire un responsable du monde agricole en Haute-Corse : les mêmes qui étaient, hier, favorables au tourisme de masse pour sauver la saison dénoncent aujourd’hui l’arrivée hyper encadrée de travailleurs. » De telles critiques, si elles « écœurent » volontiers les producteurs de clémentines, ne devraient pas empêcher le premier vol direct Casablanca-Bastia d’atterrir vendredi 9 octobre en fin de matinée.


  • Coronavirus infections spike as seasonal farmworkers are blocked from testing - The Washington Post

    In Yakima County, Wash., some fruit orchard owners declined on-site testing of workers by health departments at the height of harvest season even as coronavirus infections spiked. In Monterey, Calif., workers at some farms claimed foremen asked them to hide positive diagnoses from other crew members. And in Collier County, Fla., health officials did not begin widespread testing of farmworkers until the end of harvest, at which point the workers had already migrated northward.At the height of harvest season, growers supplying some of America’s biggest agricultural companies and grocery store chains flouted public health guidelines to limit testing and obscure coronavirus outbreaks, according to thousands of pages of state and local records reviewed by The Washington Post.
    The pandemic redefined where essential work happens in America and brought recognition to seasonal agricultural workers under the H-2A visa program.
    At the same time, state agencies and growers were slow to determine how and when to test workers, what protocols to adopt when workers tested positive, and how to institute contact tracing, advocates say. They say that there should have been mandatory personal protective equipment and clear guidance on worker safety at the federal and state levels.Worker advocates say the failures put millions of workers at greater risk of contracting and spreading the virus among themselves and to other Americans as they crossed state lines to move with the harvest season. The struggles to contain the virus among migrant farmworkers are documented in internal state and county agriculture and health department records, as well as email exchanges with farm bureaus, grower associations, and public health and worker advocacy groups that were obtained by the Documenting COVID-19 project at Columbia University’s Brown Institute for Media Innovation through public records requests and shared with The Post. These documents and additional interviews by The Post show a pattern that extended across more than a dozen agricultural counties in 10 states — and that largely withstood officials’ attempts to stop the spread of the virus among agricultural workers.


  • The rise of the ’half-tourist’ who combines work with a change of scene | Travel | The Guardian

    Until the pandemic the term “remote worker” conjured up an image of a young hipster lugging a Mac around a co-living space somewhere in Bali or Berlin. But when coronavirus forced half of the UK to work from home back in April, a whole new cohort of people, who had spent their entire careers in an office, realised that working from different locations was a real possibility. Boris Johnson’s announcement on 22 September of a new set of Covid-restrictions that could last up to six months – including advice to work from home wherever possible, in a reversal of previous messaging – could well inspire many more people to adopt a nomadic working life.
    Destinations hit by the global halt in travel have already started to target nomadic workers to make up for the loss of tourist income. Barbados was one of the first to launch a “digital nomad” visa, in July. Since then, a wave of other countries have announced similar programmes, including Estonia, Georgia and Croatia. Most recently, Anguilla launched a visa scheme inviting visitors to live and work on the island for 12 months, “swapping grey skies and jumpers for tropical blues and daily temperatures reaching for the 30s”.
    The downside of these schemes is that they require proof of high earnings – at least €3,504 a month for Estonia, for example; US$50,000 a year for Barbados. Some also charge an application fee, and if you want to rent a villa in Anguilla you’ll need a very hefty bank balance. While the new working visas have garnered a lot of publicity, most remote workers are interested in shorter-term stints abroad, switching between periods at home and abroad – although anyone planning to decamp needs to check the constantly changing travel restrictions.


  • How India can contain coronavirus - Asia Times

    India should focus on controlling the spread of Covid-19 by imposing focused lockdowns in hotspots that threaten to negate the country’s containment successes, Dr Shiv Pillai, director of the Harvard Immunology Graduate Program at Harvard Medical School, told Asia Times in a telephone interview. Over a longer time frame, India’s best hope of controlling the runaway spread of the deadly virus would be injecting a significant number of citizens with the vaccines currently being tested in various countries. Dr Pillai expects approvals for vaccines to come before the end of the year.
    “It will be a silver bullet compared with what we have now,’’ he said from Cambridge, Massachusetts. “India is a great country to make vaccines. We have the two best vaccine-making companies in the world – Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute. They are also cost-effective.’’
    India has numerous pockets of high density across its 1.38 billion population, which makes it tough to contain Covid-19. Widespread lockdown fatigue and a lack of discipline regarding wearing masks, hand hygiene and social distancing is negating the tireless efforts of health workers and administrators in several parts of the country.“India is not Sweden, where you can tell people to stay apart. People have to go out, people have to work. Vaccination is the only answer,” said Pillai. “Fortunately, the deaths are not as dramatically high as elsewhere. Many [0f] the sick are recovering, including older people.’’Countrywide lockdowns had a severe impact on the economy, with the June quarter reporting a 23.9% contraction in gross domestic product. More than a hundred million lost their jobs and many workers had no option but to head back to their villages, inadvertently spreading the virus across the hinterland.
    India, which has 5.6 million cases, the second-highest number after the United States (7 million), has a fatality rate of around 89,000, much lower than than the US’s 204,000. Brazil and Mexico have recorded 137,000 and 73,700 fatalities from 4.56 million and 700,000 cases, respectively.


  • Foreigners not as wanted as before in Singapore - Asia Times

    Singapore’s success as a global business hub has hinged on its openness to global capital and labor flows, a formula that is under unprecedented strain in the Covid-19 era. The pandemic has put a spotlight on low-wage migrant workers often employed in the construction sector who account for around 95% of the city-state’s recorded 57,500 infections. Issues related to rising immigration and skilled foreign labor have, on the other hand, stoked a polarizing debate and stirred exclusionary sentiments, particularly toward professional migrants from India who some critics and netizens view as being overrepresented in well-paid sectors such as information technology and banking. “Attitudes towards middle-class migrants are similar to global sentiments under these pandemic conditions and are characterized by heightened xenophobia in many cases, seeing migrants as competing for scarce jobs and resources with citizens,” said Laavanya Kathiravelu, a sociologist at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University.
    Opposition parties notably increased their vote share at the polls after pressing the PAP on immigration and foreign worker issues on the campaign trail. At the first session of Parliament since the polls, Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh called for anti-discrimination laws to punish companies that discriminate against hiring Singaporean workers.
    Prior to that, in August, the government said it would raise the minimum monthly


  • Uncertain future for migrant workers, in a post-pandemic world | | UN News

    Gary Rynhart: When COVID-19 spread around the world, many migrants were shipped home unceremoniously or left to fend for themselves. Migrants have also – because of the sectors they work in, and the poor conditions in which many lower skilled migrants live and work – been vectors for spreading the virus. Examples we’ve seen include workers in meat factories in Germany, and construction workers in the United Arab Emirates and Singapore.
    UN News: are migrants more likely to have lost work, due to the economic crisis?
    Gary Rynhart: Job losses have often hit migrant workers hardest, because they are more likely to work in informal jobs which can lack safety nets, in case of job loss or illness. This is particularly the case for migrants in developing countries, and temporary migrants, such as seasonal workers, where social protection tends, at best, to be limited to work injury compensation or health benefits.Over thirty countries in the world get more than 10 per cent of their GDP from remittances. This money sent home by around one billion workers overseas or internally to their families is collectively higher than either foreign direct investment or official development assistance. It was almost three-quarters of a billion dollars last year. The World Bank estimates a drop of 20% this year. Families across the developing world are being impacting, creating ripple effects throughout their economies.