COVID school lockdowns leading to increase in violence against children, UN says
More and more children are victims of hate, bullying, and violence online because of the coronavirus pandemic, a new United Nations report said.
According to the experts, without access to the support networks such as educators, friends and extended families they usually find at school, some children have been stranded in abusive homes with no place to turn for help as schools are locked down to control the spread of the coronavirus.
Overall, about a billion children suffer from physical, sexual, or psychological abuse each year, especially in places where the governments have failed to set up support programs.
COVID-19 isolation is making the problem worse.
“There is never any excuse for violence against children,” said World Health Organization Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
In Iran, officials said, regular Friday prayers will resume in Tehran next week despite a jump in the number of coronavirus cases over the past few weeks.
Iran had reported about 198,000 confirmed cases and more than 9,200 deaths as of Thursday, according to trackers at Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus research center.
Although it still trails the United States, Brazil is quickly becoming the world’s new coronavirus hot spot.
Brazil’s health ministry on Thursday reported more than 978,000 cases and 50,000 deaths. According to the Johns Hopkins trackers, the U.S. has just under 2.2 million confirmed cases as of Thursday and more than 118,000 deaths.
Experts at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine told CBS News that according to their model, Brazil’s death toll is poised to surpass that of the United States as early as next month.
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has dismissed COVID-19 as being nothing more than a “little flu” and said anyone worried about the virus is being neurotic. He has encouraged Brazilian businesses to reopen and states to lift their lockdowns.
The number of confirmed Canadian coronavirus cases climbed to just under 102,000 on Thursday with more than 8,300 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins. Canadian officials said the outbreak appears to be slowing.
While the 13 Canadian provinces and territories are starting to reopen their economies, major restrictions are still in place in the country’s two biggest cities, Montreal and Toronto.
Californians are now required to wear face masks in most indoor and outdoor settings, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered Thursday.
“Science shows that face coverings and masks work,” Newsom said. “They are critical to keeping those who are around you safe, keeping businesses open and restarting our economy.”
The governor said since restrictions started to be lifted last month on restaurants and some stores, not enough people have been taking the proper precautions by covering their faces.
President Donald Trump said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal published Thursday that many people wear masks just to “signal disapproval of him.”
Trump has declined to wear a face mask in public because he said he doesn’t want “to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.”
He made that comment last month during a tour of a Ford plant in Michigan, where he said he wore a mask “in the back area.” He has said that he has worn masks away from the cameras at various times.
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