Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine morally wrong? Catholic bishops caution just that
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is urging people to seek alternatives to coronavirus vaccine produced by Janssen, a company of Johnson & Johnson, arguing that the product raises additional moral concerns through its connection to aborted fetal cells.
India slams rich nations for vaccine patent hurdle
India has hit out at developed countries that are seeking to block its joint initiative with South Africa for patent waiver on Covid-19 vaccines. It has urged World Trade Organisation (WTO) members to decide on the issue quickly given the massive impact of the pandemic.
CDC to announce Americans with COVID vaccine can gather indoors without masks: report
The CDC will announce new guidelines as soon as this Thursday on what fully vaccinated Americans can do, including allowing for small gatherings indoors with other vaccinated individuals, Politico reports.
Covid-19 cases rise for 16th day in a row
Total of 98 fatalities reported in India on Tuesday. Maharashtra again accounted for more than half of India’s death toll with 54 fatalities, followed by Kerala (16), Punjab (10) and Karnataka (7). Punjab logged 730 fresh cases on Tuesday.
B.C. argues health orders balance COVID-19 safety considerations with religious rights
News/Canada/British Columbia: The British Columbia government says the provincial health officer has to strike a balance between curbing the spread of COVID-19 and religious practice, which may at times affect certain rights under the Canadian charter.
Republicans plot painful hours ahead for Democrats as they push to pass Covid relief
As President Joe Biden urges Democrats to remain united against poison pill amendments that may come up in an hours-long, overnight vote-a-rama later this week, Republicans are preparing to make the final hours of the Democratic efforts to pass their relief bill politically painful and physically exhausting.
Sri Lanka thanked for suspending cremation of Muslim COVID-19 victims
Asia|: Abu Dhabi: The Secretary-General of the Muslim World League, Sheikh Dr. Mohammad bin Abdul Karim Al Issa, appreciated the response of the Sri Lankan government to a request not to cremate the bodies of Muslim COVID-19 victims, in accordance with Islamic teachings. In a phone call with Sri Lanka’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dinesh Gunawardena, Al Issa affirmed that the gesture serves to strengthen the close relationship between the Muslim World League and the Sri Lankan government. Sri Lanka’s controversial policy to cremate the bodies of coronavirus victims has outraged Muslims, for whom cremation is forbidden. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s government claimed that burying deceased victims of COVID-19 could contaminate groundwater, despite World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines that stipulate burials are safe and pose no risk during the pandemic. Sri Lanka’s Chief Epidemiologist Sugath Samaraweera said an expert committee warned the government that burials could contaminate the island nation’s high water table. Several Muslim and Catholic families, health professionals and religious leaders have challenged the Supreme Court’s ruling on cremations, requesting evidence that burials contaminate groundwater. The court, however, has dismissed all such petitions. In December last year, the forced cremation of a 20-day-old infant without the consent of the family prompted nationwide anger. Both of the baby’s parents tested negative for COVID-19. There have also been instances of cremation where authorities later acknowledged the deceased victim did not have the disease. Such cases have not only enraged Sri Lanka’s minority groups but have also exposed the religious and ethnic fault lines in the country. Rights activists say the Sri Lankan government has adopted various policies that discriminate against Muslim and Tamil minorities. Last year, four UN special rapporteurs appealed to the Sri Lankan government, stating that the cremation policy violated the right to freedom of religion. They called on the government to combat attempts to instigate religious hatred and violence. Muslims comprise about 10% of Sri Lanka’s population of 21 million, but they have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, according to the Sri Lanka Muslim Council.
5 Raptors ruled out for rescheduled game vs. Pistons due to COVID-19 protocols
Sports/Basketball/NBA: A greatly reduced Raptors team will host the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday in Toronto's temporary home of Tampa, Fla. The team announced Tuesday that starters Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby are out as part of the NBA's health and safety protocols, as are Patrick McCaw and Malachi Flynn.