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San Francisco resumes indoor dining when coronavirus cases drop

SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco will return to dining indoors on Wednesday as the city moves out of the most restrictive coronavirus tier to reopen.

“We are in an amazing place,” said a jubilant Mayor of London Breed at an outdoor press conference Tuesday. “We’re not quite where we want to be, but better than since last October.”

A sharp drop in coronavirus cases causes San Francisco to move from the most restrictive purple level for widespread spread of the virus to the next level, red, for significant spread. In the past, the city only allowed indoor dining when cases had dropped enough to qualify for the lower orange tier, for districts where virus spread is moderate.

This time, restaurants with a capacity of 25% can be reopened for indoor use. Tables are limited to groups of no more than four people, all from a single household. Indoor dining closes at 10:00 PM, but you can eat outdoors later.

According to Breed, San Franciscans can once again get facials, visit museums and theaters, and ride the giant Ferris wheel in Golden Gate Park.

More than 20% of Franciscans have received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to city officials, compared to 16% of the state’s population. Nearly two-thirds of San Francisco’s 65-year-olds and older have received at least one shot.

“As we gradually reopen, we need to be aware of the risks and remain vigilant, especially if vaccines remain limited and the increasing presence of more contagious variants puts an increased risk of wider spread in the community,” said Dr. Grant Colfax. the city’s public health director.

For the past seven days, San Francisco has reported an average of 65.3 cases per day, according to the Los Angeles Times COVID-19 tracker, a decrease of nearly 39% from two weeks ago.

– Los Angeles times

The WHO advises against the use of hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment

A World Health Organization panel has officially advised against the use of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-inflammatory drug previously touted by the Trump administration, in patients infected with COVID-19.

The International Health Agency announced that a panel of experts recently concluded with “high certainty” that the drug, normally used to treat malaria, “had no significant effects” on deaths or hospital admissions and is “moderately safe”, that it actually increases the number of risk of side effects.

The WHO results were published Monday in the medical journal BMJ and were based on clinical studies with more than 6,000 people.

“The panel believes that this drug is no longer a research priority and that resources should be used to evaluate other more promising drugs for the prevention of COVID-19,” the WHO said in a statement.

It added that more than 80 studies aiming to enroll at least 100,000 participants for additional research are unlikely to reveal benefits and should be canceled.

Hydroxychloroquine came into the spotlight last year amid the growing coronavirus pandemic in the United States. At the time, little was known about the rapidly spreading disease, and the drug appeared to relieve some symptoms at first.

It was also heavily touted by then-President Donald Trump.

– New York Daily News

SC lawmakers discuss bill to allow pistol owners to wear in public

COLUMBIA, SC – South Carolina House is expected to be on-site in two weeks’ time to debate a largely Republican-backed proposal that would allow gun owners to open their gun with a permit.

More conservative Republicans, however, hope to use the debate to advance another long-standing priority: lifting all requirements for gun owners to be allowed to carry their guns in public, concealed or not.

Legislation cleared another hurdle in the House of Representatives on Tuesday following a vote by the Judiciary Committee of the 16-8 House.

The proposal, tabled by upstate Republican representative Bobby Cox, would allow South Carolinians, with a permit, to openly carry their handguns where the state already allows it. Gun owners, for example, still couldn’t openly carry them in the state house or schools.

South Carolina is one of five states that doesn’t have an open carry law on the books, and Republicans are keen to change that.

Strengthened after the November victories, this year Republican legislatures have sought to impose measures that both houses of the State House have struggled to pass in previous years. The Republican-controlled General Assembly increased its membership that year after moving five legislative seats.

However, some lawmakers want the legislature to push the law even further and expand it to allow open transportation regardless of a permit called a constitutional transfer. Rep. Jonathon Hill, R-Anderson, has publicly criticized his colleagues for not taking more aggressive positions on traditional Republican policies, including open carry and abortion laws.

The bill has little support from some of the top law enforcement officials.

– The State

Hundreds of girls were freed in Nigeria days after the kidnapping

Hundreds of girls kidnapped from their school in northwest Nigeria last week have been released, a government official said Tuesday.

“The girls were released,” said Abamakar Dauran, State Commissioner for Security and Internal Affairs in Zamfara, opposite dpa, referring to 317 children who were kidnapped on Friday by unidentified armed men in the city of Jangebe.

However, 38 of the kidnapped girls appeared to be still missing on Tuesday, according to Zamfara Governor Bello Matawalle.

The governor said 279 girls had been released and were safe.

“This news brings overwhelming joy. I am delighted that your ordeal came to a happy end without incident,” President Muhammadu Buhari said on Twitter, promising that the government would focus on preventing such crimes in the future.

“We are working hard to put an end to these cruel and heartbreaking kidnapping incidents,” said Buhari.

The president also criticized local governments for paying ransom money for the release of abductees and urged them to improve security instead.

“State governments must review their policies to reward bandits with money and vehicles. Such policies can lead to disastrous consequences. States and local governments must also do their part by proactively improving safety in and around schools,” Buhari said in his post.

In Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, kidnappings by armed gangs have increased sharply in recent months.

In mid-February, at least 44 people, most of them children, were abducted from a school near the municipality of Kagara, west-central Niger state.

Three days earlier, unknown gunmen kidnapped about 20 people on their way home from a wedding in the same state.

Both groups and several others who had been detained for an extended period of time were released earlier this week.

But around 300 students kidnapped in the northwestern state of Katsina in December are still missing.

No group took responsibility for any of the kidnappings. It is unknown whether the government paid a ransom for the releases.

– dpa

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