Category: Asia

Hon Hai Plans To Invest USD270 Million To Enlarge Production In Vietnam

According to reports in foreign media, Hon Hai plans to invest USD270 million to enlarge its product line in Vietnam. Hon Hai will establish a new company named FuKang Technology Company limited in Vietnam. Vietnam is reportedly the largest production base of Hon Hai in Southeast Asia. Starting from 2007, the company and its subsidiary […]

Hon Hai Plans To Invest USD270 Million To Enlarge Production In Vietnam comes via ChinaTechNews.com.

IKEA Pledge: 50% Of Its Restaurant Dishes Will Be Plant-Based By 2025

IKEA Pledge: 50% Of Its Restaurant Dishes Will Be Plant-Based By 2025 IKEA Pledge: 50% Of Its Restaurant Dishes Will Be Plant-Based By 2025 Published on Nov 26, 2020 Last updated Nov 26, 2020 4 Mins Read In its latest sustainability push, home furnishing giant IKEA has committed to making at least 50% of dishes served at its restaurant section plant-based by 2025. The Swedish company will also be bolstering the number of plant-based packaged food offerings to 80% within the next five years.
The world’s largest furniture retailer is going green. Announcing its new food commitments on Monday (November 23), IKEA says that it is “taking the next step towards making healthy and sustainable food more affordable and desirable” to the masses by making half of the main meals in its foodservice and 80% of its packaged food products plant-based .
A truly sustainable food system must be based on delicious, nutritious and responsibly produced food…[we are] using the IKEA reach to make healthy and sustainable food options available to as many people as possible. Peter van der Poel, Managing Director of Range & Supply, IKEA Sweden
In addition, the company will be reducing the amount of red meat dishes served across its restaurants to under 20% , such as beef and lamb, which represents the most emissions-heavy meats releasing enormous amounts of methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, as well as contributing to unsustainable resource depletion, from deforestation to water contamination. IKEA Veggie Dog (Source: IKEA)
Commenting on their latest pledge, IKEA Sweden managing director of range and supply, Peter van der Poel, said: “A truly sustainable food system must be based on delicious, nutritious and responsibly produced food…[we are] using the IKEA reach to make healthy and sustainable food options available to as many people as possible.”
With more than 680 million customers purchasing IKEA’s food offerings in its restaurants and bistros around the world each year , the move by the furniture giant could translate to huge carbon savings. A recent report from Oslo-based nonprofit EAT found that if the 20 biggest economies significantly reduced meat and dairy consumption, as much as 40% of the total global carbon budget for food could be freed up.
“IKEA can really make a positive difference here,” said Lena Pripp-Kovac, chief sustainability officer at Inter IKEA Group. “The more sustainable choice shouldn’t be a luxury for the few. It should be part of people’s everyday life.”
The news comes shortly after IKEA announced the launch of its second plant-based meatball offering – a new “plant ball” made from yellow pea protein, oats, potatoes, onion and apples, which it claims carries only 4% of the carbon footprint compared to its traditional meat-based version. At the time, the Swedish chain said that it hoped to target long-time meat-lovers and flexitarians to choose the more sustainable option. IKEA’s new HUVUDROLL plant ball (Source: IKEA)
Sustainability has reached top-of-mind concern amongst its customers of late, with the company’s recent poll spanning 27,000 people across 27 countries finding that 75% of consumers want to significantly reduce their environmental impact, with many of them willing to switch to plant-based alternatives if given a product that matched on taste, price and nutrition .
The more sustainable choice shouldn’t be a luxury for the few. It should be part of people’s everyday life. Lena Pripp-Kovac, Chief Sustainability Officer, Inter IKEA Group
There’s no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has been a crucial driver of the mass shift away from meat-heavy plates, thanks to headlines of virus-ridden slaughterhouses exposing the dangers of the meat supply chain, prompting consumers to choose safer alternatives.
From the U.S. to the U.K. and Hong Kong , surveys around the world have all indicated somewhat of an awakening, with the majority of shoppers now saying they want to actively reduce their meat consumption as a direct result of the crisis. In the U.S., 92% of first-time buyers of plant-based meat alternatives say they plan to continue doing so even after the pandemic is over.
In a bid to ride the plant-based wave, major food industry players are now all-in on meatless products. While Unilever has set a global annual sales target of €1 billion (US$1.19 billion) for its plant-based meat and dairy category by 2027, British retailer Tesco pledged to increase sales of plant-based meat alternatives by 300% over five years. Fast food giants such as McDonald’s , Pizza Hut , KFC and Burger King have also made various partnerships to roll out more plant-based items across their menus. Lead image courtesy of IKEA / designed by Green Queen Media.

This data comes from MediaIntel.Asia's Media Intelligence and Media Monitoring Platform.

IKEA Pledge: 50% Of Its Restaurant Dishes Will Be Plant-Based By 2025

IKEA Pledge: 50% Of Its Restaurant Dishes Will Be Plant-Based By 2025 IKEA Pledge: 50% Of Its Restaurant Dishes Will Be Plant-Based By 2025 Published on Nov 26, 2020 Last updated Nov 26, 2020 4 Mins Read In its latest sustainability push, home furnishing giant IKEA has committed to making at least 50% of dishes served at its restaurant section plant-based by 2025. The Swedish company will also be bolstering the number of plant-based packaged food offerings to 80% within the next five years.
The world’s largest furniture retailer is going green. Announcing its new food commitments on Monday (November 23), IKEA says that it is “taking the next step towards making healthy and sustainable food more affordable and desirable” to the masses by making half of the main meals in its foodservice and 80% of its packaged food products plant-based .
A truly sustainable food system must be based on delicious, nutritious and responsibly produced food…[we are] using the IKEA reach to make healthy and sustainable food options available to as many people as possible. Peter van der Poel, Managing Director of Range & Supply, IKEA Sweden
In addition, the company will be reducing the amount of red meat dishes served across its restaurants to under 20% , such as beef and lamb, which represents the most emissions-heavy meats releasing enormous amounts of methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, as well as contributing to unsustainable resource depletion, from deforestation to water contamination. IKEA Veggie Dog (Source: IKEA)
Commenting on their latest pledge, IKEA Sweden managing director of range and supply, Peter van der Poel, said: “A truly sustainable food system must be based on delicious, nutritious and responsibly produced food…[we are] using the IKEA reach to make healthy and sustainable food options available to as many people as possible.”
With more than 680 million customers purchasing IKEA’s food offerings in its restaurants and bistros around the world each year , the move by the furniture giant could translate to huge carbon savings. A recent report from Oslo-based nonprofit EAT found that if the 20 biggest economies significantly reduced meat and dairy consumption, as much as 40% of the total global carbon budget for food could be freed up.
“IKEA can really make a positive difference here,” said Lena Pripp-Kovac, chief sustainability officer at Inter IKEA Group. “The more sustainable choice shouldn’t be a luxury for the few. It should be part of people’s everyday life.”
The news comes shortly after IKEA announced the launch of its second plant-based meatball offering – a new “plant ball” made from yellow pea protein, oats, potatoes, onion and apples, which it claims carries only 4% of the carbon footprint compared to its traditional meat-based version. At the time, the Swedish chain said that it hoped to target long-time meat-lovers and flexitarians to choose the more sustainable option. IKEA’s new HUVUDROLL plant ball (Source: IKEA)
Sustainability has reached top-of-mind concern amongst its customers of late, with the company’s recent poll spanning 27,000 people across 27 countries finding that 75% of consumers want to significantly reduce their environmental impact, with many of them willing to switch to plant-based alternatives if given a product that matched on taste, price and nutrition .
The more sustainable choice shouldn’t be a luxury for the few. It should be part of people’s everyday life. Lena Pripp-Kovac, Chief Sustainability Officer, Inter IKEA Group
There’s no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has been a crucial driver of the mass shift away from meat-heavy plates, thanks to headlines of virus-ridden slaughterhouses exposing the dangers of the meat supply chain, prompting consumers to choose safer alternatives.
From the U.S. to the U.K. and Hong Kong , surveys around the world have all indicated somewhat of an awakening, with the majority of shoppers now saying they want to actively reduce their meat consumption as a direct result of the crisis. In the U.S., 92% of first-time buyers of plant-based meat alternatives say they plan to continue doing so even after the pandemic is over.
In a bid to ride the plant-based wave, major food industry players are now all-in on meatless products. While Unilever has set a global annual sales target of €1 billion (US$1.19 billion) for its plant-based meat and dairy category by 2027, British retailer Tesco pledged to increase sales of plant-based meat alternatives by 300% over five years. Fast food giants such as McDonald’s , Pizza Hut , KFC and Burger King have also made various partnerships to roll out more plant-based items across their menus. Lead image courtesy of IKEA / designed by Green Queen Media.

This data comes from MediaIntel.Asia's Media Intelligence and Media Monitoring Platform.

Early Black Friday Deals You Need To Check Out Start buying your Christmas gifts now—they’re on sale on Shopee for up to 70% off this November 23-29!

About Shopee Shopee is the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan. It is a platform tailored for the region, providing customers with an easy, secure and fast online shopping experience through strong payment and logistical support. Shopee aims to continually enhance its platform and become the region’s e-commerce destination of choice. Shopee has a wide selection of product categories ranging from consumer electronics to home & living, health & beauty, baby & toys, fashion and fitness equipment. Shopee, a Sea company, was first launched in Singapore in 2015, and has since expanded its reach to Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines. Sea is a leader in digital entertainment, e-commerce and digital financial services across Southeast Asia. Sea's mission is to better the lives of consumers and small businesses with technology, and is listed on the NYSE under the symbol SE Rolled Into One Mom

This data comes from MediaIntel.Asia's Media Intelligence and Media Monitoring Platform.

Early Black Friday Deals You Need To Check Out Start buying your Christmas gifts now—they’re on sale on Shopee for up to 70% off this November 23-29!

About Shopee Shopee is the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan. It is a platform tailored for the region, providing customers with an easy, secure and fast online shopping experience through strong payment and logistical support. Shopee aims to continually enhance its platform and become the region’s e-commerce destination of choice. Shopee has a wide selection of product categories ranging from consumer electronics to home & living, health & beauty, baby & toys, fashion and fitness equipment. Shopee, a Sea company, was first launched in Singapore in 2015, and has since expanded its reach to Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines. Sea is a leader in digital entertainment, e-commerce and digital financial services across Southeast Asia. Sea's mission is to better the lives of consumers and small businesses with technology, and is listed on the NYSE under the symbol SE Rolled Into One Mom

This data comes from MediaIntel.Asia's Media Intelligence and Media Monitoring Platform.

Tourism Industry Set To Recover Sooner Than Expected

On November 9 US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German biotechnology company BioNTech announced that a jointly developed vaccine candidate was effective at preventing more than 90% of test subjects from contracting Covid-19, according to results from the third stage of testing. Two weeks later, additional testing suggested that the efficacy rate was in fact better than initially expected, at 95%.
The companies said they were hopeful of securing authorization to sell and distribute the vaccine – initially in the US – before the end of the month. They projected that they could produce up to 50m doses of the vaccine before the end of the year and an additional 1.3bn in 2021.
This was followed on November 16 by news that US biotechnology company Moderna had also produced a vaccine candidate with 95% efficacy. Meanwhile, testing for another vaccine developed in the UK by the University of Oxford, in collaboration with British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, showed an effectiveness of 70% – which could be increased as high as 90% by tweaking the dose. Hopes for a faster recovery
The news has raised hopes of a quick recovery from both the health-related challenges and the economic impacts of the pandemic.
In particular, an effective vaccine is expected to be a significant boon for tourism, which has been badly affected by border closures, travel restrictions, and social distancing measures related to Covid-19.
Although the situation eased somewhat in developed markets during the middle of the year, many parts of the world are now experiencing a second spike in coronavirus cases, leading to further restrictions.
Demonstrating the extent of the impact on global travel flows, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has predicted that the international tourism economy will shrink by 80% this year.
This contraction has had a significant impact on those emerging markets that draw a sizeable portion of their GDP from tourism. For example, last year tourism accounted for 11% of GDP in Thailand, 9% in the Philippines, 8% in Morocco, and 7% in Tunisia.
At present, it is expected to take a number of years before tourism completely recovers: consultancy McKinsey estimates that global tourism revenue will not return to 2019 levels until either 2023 or 2024.
However, with a vaccine allowing for greater movement and trade, some officials hope that it will lead to a quicker-than-expected rebound in tourism activity.
Related: Has Asia Lost Interest In North Sea Oil?
Some have pointed to China as an example of a rapid recovery: since the country managed to control infection rates, air traffic has returned to 90% of pre-pandemic levels.
While a vaccine will be key to any resumption in mass tourism, Aileen Clemente, the chairman and president of Philippine firm Rajah Travel Corporation, says that other measures will also be crucial to recovery.
“I believe that the main priority of the tourism industry is to get people travelling again safely by giving governments confidence that systematic Covid-19 testing and contact tracing are possible and reliable prior to having a vaccine programme,” she told OBG.
“As we all know, the vaccine programme will take a while to roll out to all parts of the world, so pre- and post-vaccine programmes should be concurrently available.” Challenges and opportunities
One factor that could complicate any recovery is the potential difficulty associated with safely transporting vaccines.
To work effectively, Pfizer and BioNTech’s candidate must be stored at an ultra-low temperature of around -80°C. Moderna’s can be kept in a normal freezer, while researchers from the University of Oxford say that their vaccine can be stored in a refrigerator.
Although cold storage requirements pose particular challenges in less developed countries, such factors could offer also opportunities for logistics companies.
For example, Kuwaiti logistics firm Agility Public Warehousing is in discussions with governments and vaccine producers to help distribute doses once they become available. The company, which has a logistics network covering 120 countries, says it has significant cold storage capability in many emerging markets.
Related: Venezuela Arrests Oil Workers To Cover Up Bad Press About PDVSA
Aside from transportation, there are questions about whether the social and economic fallout of the crisis may further delay the recovery of the tourism industry.
“Even with the release of a vaccine, in the short to medium term people will be very cautious about leisure travel,” Thurane Aung, CEO of Myanmar conglomerate Dagon International, told OBG. “Also, due to the reduction in disposable income, we do not expect tourism to pick up as fast as business travel.”
In addition to the fiscal constraints on households, some tourism-related companies may find it difficult to return to business after spending much of 2020 either closed or operating severely below capacity.
“The tourism industry in Myanmar is particularly linked to the government sector,” Thurane Aung said. “Even in the hypothetical situation where the virus was under control in the region – thanks to the distribution of a vaccine – the sector would not recover without the government’s support.”

This data comes from MediaIntel.Asia's Media Intelligence and Media Monitoring Platform.

Tourism Industry Set To Recover Sooner Than Expected

On November 9 US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German biotechnology company BioNTech announced that a jointly developed vaccine candidate was effective at preventing more than 90% of test subjects from contracting Covid-19, according to results from the third stage of testing. Two weeks later, additional testing suggested that the efficacy rate was in fact better than initially expected, at 95%.
The companies said they were hopeful of securing authorization to sell and distribute the vaccine – initially in the US – before the end of the month. They projected that they could produce up to 50m doses of the vaccine before the end of the year and an additional 1.3bn in 2021.
This was followed on November 16 by news that US biotechnology company Moderna had also produced a vaccine candidate with 95% efficacy. Meanwhile, testing for another vaccine developed in the UK by the University of Oxford, in collaboration with British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, showed an effectiveness of 70% – which could be increased as high as 90% by tweaking the dose. Hopes for a faster recovery
The news has raised hopes of a quick recovery from both the health-related challenges and the economic impacts of the pandemic.
In particular, an effective vaccine is expected to be a significant boon for tourism, which has been badly affected by border closures, travel restrictions, and social distancing measures related to Covid-19.
Although the situation eased somewhat in developed markets during the middle of the year, many parts of the world are now experiencing a second spike in coronavirus cases, leading to further restrictions.
Demonstrating the extent of the impact on global travel flows, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has predicted that the international tourism economy will shrink by 80% this year.
This contraction has had a significant impact on those emerging markets that draw a sizeable portion of their GDP from tourism. For example, last year tourism accounted for 11% of GDP in Thailand, 9% in the Philippines, 8% in Morocco, and 7% in Tunisia.
At present, it is expected to take a number of years before tourism completely recovers: consultancy McKinsey estimates that global tourism revenue will not return to 2019 levels until either 2023 or 2024.
However, with a vaccine allowing for greater movement and trade, some officials hope that it will lead to a quicker-than-expected rebound in tourism activity.
Related: Has Asia Lost Interest In North Sea Oil?
Some have pointed to China as an example of a rapid recovery: since the country managed to control infection rates, air traffic has returned to 90% of pre-pandemic levels.
While a vaccine will be key to any resumption in mass tourism, Aileen Clemente, the chairman and president of Philippine firm Rajah Travel Corporation, says that other measures will also be crucial to recovery.
“I believe that the main priority of the tourism industry is to get people travelling again safely by giving governments confidence that systematic Covid-19 testing and contact tracing are possible and reliable prior to having a vaccine programme,” she told OBG.
“As we all know, the vaccine programme will take a while to roll out to all parts of the world, so pre- and post-vaccine programmes should be concurrently available.” Challenges and opportunities
One factor that could complicate any recovery is the potential difficulty associated with safely transporting vaccines.
To work effectively, Pfizer and BioNTech’s candidate must be stored at an ultra-low temperature of around -80°C. Moderna’s can be kept in a normal freezer, while researchers from the University of Oxford say that their vaccine can be stored in a refrigerator.
Although cold storage requirements pose particular challenges in less developed countries, such factors could offer also opportunities for logistics companies.
For example, Kuwaiti logistics firm Agility Public Warehousing is in discussions with governments and vaccine producers to help distribute doses once they become available. The company, which has a logistics network covering 120 countries, says it has significant cold storage capability in many emerging markets.
Related: Venezuela Arrests Oil Workers To Cover Up Bad Press About PDVSA
Aside from transportation, there are questions about whether the social and economic fallout of the crisis may further delay the recovery of the tourism industry.
“Even with the release of a vaccine, in the short to medium term people will be very cautious about leisure travel,” Thurane Aung, CEO of Myanmar conglomerate Dagon International, told OBG. “Also, due to the reduction in disposable income, we do not expect tourism to pick up as fast as business travel.”
In addition to the fiscal constraints on households, some tourism-related companies may find it difficult to return to business after spending much of 2020 either closed or operating severely below capacity.
“The tourism industry in Myanmar is particularly linked to the government sector,” Thurane Aung said. “Even in the hypothetical situation where the virus was under control in the region – thanks to the distribution of a vaccine – the sector would not recover without the government’s support.”

This data comes from MediaIntel.Asia's Media Intelligence and Media Monitoring Platform.

California Sets Record for New Coronavirus Cases Ahead of Thanksgiving Holiday

LA County Grants $12M in Coronavirus Relief to 337 Arts Organizations
Officials have been discussing the rise in cases with increasing alarm in recent days and urging people to stay home and reconsider Thanksgiving gatherings with people from outside their homes.
“We are really, really concerned,” said Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, COVID-19 Testing Officer for Santa Clara County. “All of the metrics that we have been following, that have done well in previous months, are now going up very steeply. Our positivity rate in our county is rising and especially in our most affected communities.”
Nearly all of the state is now under a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew and subject to the strictest regulations for businesses to operate, including a ban on indoor dining and limited capacity in stores.
But Los Angeles has gone even further. As cases spiked in the past week, it ordered restaurants to stop serving meals after Wednesday night and has been mulling another stay-home order.
On Tuesday, Santa Clara and Sacramento counties both recorded their highest daily case counts. Sacramento reported nearly 1,000 new infections, triple the level of just a month ago. Santa Clara, in the heart of Silicon Valley, had more than 500 cases, a third higher than its previous record in the summer.
Los Angeles Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer outlined a future stay-home order Tuesday to county supervisors and said there was no time to wait to take action.
But on Wednesday, other county health officials said they were still waiting to issue the order and wouldn’t discuss a timeline for the first such order since March that would likely rankle residents on the eve of Thanksgiving.
Los Angeles County has had about a third of all COVID-19 cases in California and 40% of the deaths. Latino and Black people have been disproportionately affected. After the Aragonez family of Arlington, Texas, had a birthday gathering earlier this month, 15 members contracted COVID-19, including one who was hospitalized. Now the family is going viral for a PSA that warns other families to learn from their mistake. Alexa Aragonez joined LX News to share their message.
Despite its reputation for sprawl, Los Angeles has some of the densest neighborhoods in the U.S. Many of those areas have multi-generational households where workers who don’t have the luxury to telecommute are exposed to the virus at work or on public transportation then spread it to family members.
With infections out of control, the options beyond a new stay-home order to get the virus under control are more onerous and unlikely to be enacted in the U.S., said Dr. George Rutherford, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco.
China, for example, tested millions of people and enforced quarantines. Italy brought in the military to police a shutdown.
“It’s hard to imagine how much further you can go in a society like we have,” he said. “It’s a balancing act, right? You want people to obey it but you don’t want to make it so draconian that people are trying to figure out ways around it all the time.”
One element that has been a challenge for public health officials is enforcement. Some county sheriffs have said they won't enforce mask rules or curfews.
Santa Clara County officials, however, said they will ramp up enforcement.
With Thanksgiving kicking off the holiday shopping season, compliance officers will fan out throughout the county starting Thursday and at least through Sunday to make sure businesses follow capacity rules and that employees and customers wear masks and stay distanced. Despite all the warnings, people are still traveling for Thanksgiving. Beverly White reported on NBC4 News on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020.
Firefighters who normally enforce capacity will be able to issue health fines on the spot starting at $250 and going into the thousands of dollars. There will no longer be a grace period for business owners to get by with a warning, said Michael Balliet, Director of Community and Business Engagement for the County of Santa Clara.
“We’re now at a point where it is vital that we ensure accountability at every level,” Balliet said.
In Los Angeles, Dr. Christina Ghaly, the health services director, said infections were spreading at the rate where they would double every two weeks and quadruple over a month.
She said that multiplier was particularly troubling with thousands of cases being detected each day and the looming crisis with a dwindling number of hospital beds.
Currently, one in 145 people in LA County is infectious to others, she said. She urged residents not gather with people outside their homes to help prevent transmission.
“Any gathering with any sizable number of people presents a very real possibility of spread," she said. "You have a 15-person gathering at a dinner table, then one in 10 of those tables could have an episode where there’s a person that is unknowingly infecting others and offering an opportunity for that virus to spread.”
___
Rodriguez reported from San Francisco. Associated Press reporter Daisy Nguyen in Oakland contributed to this report. Copyright Associated Press

This data comes from MediaIntel.Asia's Media Intelligence and Media Monitoring Platform.

California Sets Record for New Coronavirus Cases Ahead of Thanksgiving Holiday

LA County Grants $12M in Coronavirus Relief to 337 Arts Organizations
Officials have been discussing the rise in cases with increasing alarm in recent days and urging people to stay home and reconsider Thanksgiving gatherings with people from outside their homes.
“We are really, really concerned,” said Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, COVID-19 Testing Officer for Santa Clara County. “All of the metrics that we have been following, that have done well in previous months, are now going up very steeply. Our positivity rate in our county is rising and especially in our most affected communities.”
Nearly all of the state is now under a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew and subject to the strictest regulations for businesses to operate, including a ban on indoor dining and limited capacity in stores.
But Los Angeles has gone even further. As cases spiked in the past week, it ordered restaurants to stop serving meals after Wednesday night and has been mulling another stay-home order.
On Tuesday, Santa Clara and Sacramento counties both recorded their highest daily case counts. Sacramento reported nearly 1,000 new infections, triple the level of just a month ago. Santa Clara, in the heart of Silicon Valley, had more than 500 cases, a third higher than its previous record in the summer.
Los Angeles Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer outlined a future stay-home order Tuesday to county supervisors and said there was no time to wait to take action.
But on Wednesday, other county health officials said they were still waiting to issue the order and wouldn’t discuss a timeline for the first such order since March that would likely rankle residents on the eve of Thanksgiving.
Los Angeles County has had about a third of all COVID-19 cases in California and 40% of the deaths. Latino and Black people have been disproportionately affected. After the Aragonez family of Arlington, Texas, had a birthday gathering earlier this month, 15 members contracted COVID-19, including one who was hospitalized. Now the family is going viral for a PSA that warns other families to learn from their mistake. Alexa Aragonez joined LX News to share their message.
Despite its reputation for sprawl, Los Angeles has some of the densest neighborhoods in the U.S. Many of those areas have multi-generational households where workers who don’t have the luxury to telecommute are exposed to the virus at work or on public transportation then spread it to family members.
With infections out of control, the options beyond a new stay-home order to get the virus under control are more onerous and unlikely to be enacted in the U.S., said Dr. George Rutherford, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco.
China, for example, tested millions of people and enforced quarantines. Italy brought in the military to police a shutdown.
“It’s hard to imagine how much further you can go in a society like we have,” he said. “It’s a balancing act, right? You want people to obey it but you don’t want to make it so draconian that people are trying to figure out ways around it all the time.”
One element that has been a challenge for public health officials is enforcement. Some county sheriffs have said they won't enforce mask rules or curfews.
Santa Clara County officials, however, said they will ramp up enforcement.
With Thanksgiving kicking off the holiday shopping season, compliance officers will fan out throughout the county starting Thursday and at least through Sunday to make sure businesses follow capacity rules and that employees and customers wear masks and stay distanced. Despite all the warnings, people are still traveling for Thanksgiving. Beverly White reported on NBC4 News on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020.
Firefighters who normally enforce capacity will be able to issue health fines on the spot starting at $250 and going into the thousands of dollars. There will no longer be a grace period for business owners to get by with a warning, said Michael Balliet, Director of Community and Business Engagement for the County of Santa Clara.
“We’re now at a point where it is vital that we ensure accountability at every level,” Balliet said.
In Los Angeles, Dr. Christina Ghaly, the health services director, said infections were spreading at the rate where they would double every two weeks and quadruple over a month.
She said that multiplier was particularly troubling with thousands of cases being detected each day and the looming crisis with a dwindling number of hospital beds.
Currently, one in 145 people in LA County is infectious to others, she said. She urged residents not gather with people outside their homes to help prevent transmission.
“Any gathering with any sizable number of people presents a very real possibility of spread," she said. "You have a 15-person gathering at a dinner table, then one in 10 of those tables could have an episode where there’s a person that is unknowingly infecting others and offering an opportunity for that virus to spread.”
___
Rodriguez reported from San Francisco. Associated Press reporter Daisy Nguyen in Oakland contributed to this report. Copyright Associated Press

This data comes from MediaIntel.Asia's Media Intelligence and Media Monitoring Platform.

LA shuts restaurants as virus surges

LOS ANGELES: A restaurant dining ban in Los Angeles was due to come into force on Wednesday as officials warned Americans to stay home for the Thanksgiving holiday, while parts of Europe eyed looser coronavirus lockdowns over the festive season.
The three-week order in America’s second-biggest city will begin as California faces record Covid-19 cases, and its health secretary urged people to avoid large family gatherings.
"It’s as important to say ‘no’ even when it comes to the closest people in our family," doctor Mark Ghaly said, adding he had barred his mother from a planned celebration.
The US government’s health protection agency has, for the first time, called on Americans not to travel for an annual holiday which usually sees families get together over turkey, yams and cranberry sauce.
With the US confronted by soaring numbers of deaths and new cases, plans to deliver a vaccine to Americans are accelerating. More than six million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine will be available in the first week after it is cleared for emergency use -- which is likely next month -- and 40 million by the end of December, according to officials.
There were more than 86,000 coronavirus hospitalizations in the US on Tuesday, a record, as well as 167,000 new cases and more than 2,000 deaths.
As America grappled with its crisis, some European nations were slowly relaxing measures ahead of their own Christmas holidays, as a second wave of infections slowed following weeks of lockdowns.
EU chief Ursula von der Leyen warned, however, against easing restrictions too quickly.
"We must learn from the summer and not repeat the same mistakes, relaxing too fast," she said Wednesday.
In a televised address, French President Emmanuel Macron announced shops could re-open from Saturday, and nationwide stay-at-home orders would be lifted from December 15. British authorities also announced restrictions on social mixing and said travel would be eased across the UK over Christmas.
Elsewhere in Europe, 16 German states agreed to slightly loosen limits on social contact over Christmas, according to a draft deal seen by AFP, even as cases near one million there. State leaders agreed to cap gatherings to 10 people over the December 23 to January 1 holiday -- double the limit for the rest of December.
In Australia, the country’s most populous state, New South Wales, eased social distancing measures and allowed employees back to work, Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Wednesday, after three weeks without a locally transmitted Covid-19 case.
Singapore, which has one of the world’s lowest virus death rates, announced it had no live clusters of Covid-19 cases in the country -- the first time since its outbreak began earlier this year.
And in more positive news, China recorded just five new coronavirus cases on Tuesday -- all imported, authorities said on Wednesday.
The encouraging signs in Asia have been tempered by a second wave in Pakistan, where intensive care units were nearing capacity and hospitals forced to turn away suspected Covid-19 patients.
"The coming two weeks are critical and our situation is going to worsen," said Qaisar Sajjad, secretary-general of the Pakistan Medical Association.
Parts of Japan have also been hit by a recent spike in cases, with experts saying a government travel subsidy campaign to help domestic tourism had contributed to the rise. Tokyo residents were urged by the governor on Wednesday to avoid non-essential outings and businesses serving alcohol asked to shut early.
There are now several possible vaccines internationally being trialled, with candidates from Moderna, AstraZeneca/Oxford University and Pfizer-BioNTech leading the pack.
Britain, France, Austria and Spain have pledged to begin vaccinations in early 2021 at the latest. Even once a vaccine becomes available, however, any return to normality for a global economy ravaged by the pandemic seems a long way off.
Still, optimism sparked by the vaccines has given a boost to virus-weary citizens across the globe in recent days, as well as pushing up stock markets. Asian markets rallied Wednesday following a blockbuster performance on Wall Street and easing US political uncertainty since Joe Biden’s presidential election win boosted investor confidence. Latest News

This data comes from MediaIntel.Asia's Media Intelligence and Media Monitoring Platform.