Singaporean authorities are restricting access to Changi Airport, in response to a growing COVID-19 cluster that is linked to the air travel hub.
The first identified case in the cluster, an 88-year-old airport cleaner, was detected on May 5.
The cluster has since grown to 25 cases, which includes seven new infections that were recorded on Wednesday.
In response to the rising case numbers, all Changi Airport passenger terminal buildings and Jewel Changi Airport will be closed to the public for two weeks.
Jewel is a nature themed entertainment complex that features restaurants, shops and even a 40-metre indoor waterfall.
The two-week closure is to allow for the “cleaning and disinfection of the premises and facilities”, and for all workers to be tested.
The airport will remain open for air travel, however access to the terminals will be restricted to passengers with air tickets and essential airport workers.
Other members of the public are not permitted to enter the terminals, but will be allowed to drop off or pick up passengers.
The majority of the cases in this cluster are breakthrough infections, meaning the patient contracted the virus despite being fully vaccinated.
Hannah Clapham is an Assistant Professor at NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health in Singapore.
“So when we look at the numbers, when we see a lot of infections in vaccinated people, we have to remember that a lot of people have been vaccinated because we were worried about their risk of transmission,” the epidemiologist told Ticker.
She says it is “really reassuring” that “we have seen much milder cases in vaccinated individuals”.
Management shake up at under fire Qantas
There’s been a management shake up at Australia’s flag carrier airline Qantas, which has come under fire for cancellations and delays
Jetstar CEO and longtime Qantas executive Gareth Evans has resigned.
He was touted as a potential replacement for controversial Qantas CEO Alan Joyce.
He has been chief of Jetstar since 2017, but has worked across the group and has now “decided this is the right moment to move on”.
This comes as the aviation grapples with the higher fuel prices and staffing issues at airports that are affecting much of the industry globally.
Qantas has also updated the market, saying it’s on track to record second half earnings of just over 500 million dollars.
Underlying profit is set to return in FY23, while debt levels are now well below pre-pandemic levels.
Qantas says this is due to continued strong domestic and international travel demand.
After peaking at more than $6.4bn at the height of the pandemic, net debt is expected to fall to around $4bn by June 30, an improvement of around $1.5bn in the past six months.
The airline has come under sustained pressure, with many passengers complaining about long queues, cancellations and delays.
Qantas is calling for patience ahead of the winter school break rush as it hires more staff to manage increased demand at airports.
Nike to fully exit Russia
U.S. sportswear maker Nike is making a full exit from Russia, three months after suspending its operations there, the company said in an emailed statement Thursday
The sportswear giant had said back in March that it would suspend operations at all the stores it owns or operates there.
On Thursday (June 23) the firm said it would leave the country altogether.
In a statement, Nike said it would scale down over the coming months.
The move is largely symbolic for the company, which gets less than 1% of its revenue from Russia and Ukraine combined.
It says any stores that are still open there are run by independent partners.
In May, Russian media reported that Nike had not renewed agreements with Inventive Retail Group, its largest franchisee there.
Now the full exit lputs Nike in line with other major western brands such as McDonald’s and Google.
Foreign companies seeking to leave face the prospect of new laws being passed that will allow Moscow to seize assets and impose criminal penalties.
That has prompted some businesses to accelerate their departure plans.
U.S. orders vape company Juul to cease sales
U.S. officials have dealt a major blow to vape company Juul, ordering the company to stop selling its popular e-cigarettes
Juul has been an industry leader in the vaping sphere since its establishment in 2015, controlling 75 per cent of America’s market by its third year of operations.
This is just the latest crackdown on the Tabacco industry by the Biden administration, all part of a sweeping effort to regulate the sector after years of delay.
The White House has also announced a rule to establish a maximum level of nicotine in tobacco products in an attempt to make them less addictive.
After a nearly two-year-long review, the FDA said Juul submitted insufficient and conflicting data to show that its e-cigarettes met public health standards.
The regulator also said the findings raised “significant questions,” including whether potentially harmful chemicals could leach out of Juul pods.
The decision potentially deals a fatal blow to the once high-flying San Francisco company.
Juul did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
The FDA had to judge whether Juul’s products, which have been sold for years without being officially authorized by the agency, were effective in getting smokers to quit and, if so, whether the benefits to smokers outweighed the potential health risks to new e-cigarette users, including teenagers.
“They prey on children.”
Democratic Senator Dick Durbin hailed the decision by the FDA on Thursday, but said “they’re in for a legal battle for sure.”
Earlier this week, the Biden administration said it also plans to propose a rule establishing a maximum nicotine level in cigarettes and other tobacco products to make them less addictive.
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