Popping the bubble: Covid-19 has hit the cricket season in England just when everyone thought that the “bio bubbles” set up around the players would be fully protective. Three England players have tested positive for coronavirus, as have four officials accompanying their team. This rules them out for the matches just ahead. England have picked, as a result, an almost new experimental team to play Pakistan in their matches beginning next week. The Indian team is in the meanwhile reported safe in its bubble.
Jibber Jab-ber: Britain has announced that double-jabbed people will not need to isolate after coming in contact with any Covid positive person as of next month. The UK government announced that measure on Tuesday after the number of daily cases reported near 29,000, and as the number of hospitalisations crossed 2,000. The government is relying on protection from vaccines. But indicative results from Israel are not cheerful. The health ministry there says vaccine protection against the Delta variant is not as strong as presumed earlier. Israel is similarly seeing more cases and more hospitalisations now despite near-complete vaccination.
Fewer hours, less stress: A study conducted in Iceland could bring new hope to working people around the world – it found that production increased and improved through a four-day-week instead of five. In the study conducted between 2015 and 2019, workers at the Reykjavik city council and other offices picked in the study were paid as before – but worked fewer hours. They reported less stress and burnout and a better home and work balance. Following the study, 86 percent of Iceland’s workers have moved to shorter hours. Now similar studies are being carried out in Spain and New Zealand.
What’s in a name? A new panic has gripped tens of thousands of people living in the southern towns of Brighton and Hove after they found they have been given jabs of the AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India. In Britain, the vaccine has been known as Vaxzevria rather than Covishield. There is no suggestion from the scientific world that the vaccine is any different from the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured elsewhere. But if many EU countries do not accept Covishield, in line with the lack of certification from the European Medicines Agency, they fear they may face restrictions on travel to the EU. The UK government has taken this up with the EU.
Sales down: The Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover is warning of a significant dip in sales in the face of the global semiconductor shortage. JLR fears as much as a 50 percent drip to show up in second-quarter sales. Shares in Tata Motors have fallen sharply as a result. Across the car industry, the shortage is expected to lead to a loss of 110 billion dollars sales. JLR says it expects shortages to continue through the year and beyond.