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UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has asked governments to contribute $35 billion more, including $15 billion over the next three months for WHO’s programme to produce and roll out vaccines, treatments and diagnostics for covid-19. In India, on Thursday, fresh covid-19 infections touched 95,735, taking the total case tally past 4.4 million. More than 75,000 people have died from complications arising from the virus, 1,172 of them on Thursday alone, the highest single-day mortality figures in over a month. For more updates on the world and national news, here’s Mint Lite.

68% of world’s wildlife lost in 46 years

About two-thirds of the world’s wildlife has vanished since 1970 due to human activity, World Wildlife Fund’s Living Planet Report 2020 says
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About two-thirds of the world’s wildlife has vanished since 1970 due to human activity, World Wildlife Fund’s Living Planet Report 2020 says

About two-thirds of the world’s wildlife has vanished since 1970 due to human activity, World Wildlife Fund’s Living Planet Report 2020 says. The population of 4,392 species it monitors has declined 68% between 1970 and 2016, an average drop of 4% a year. It’s the kind of steep decline the earth hasn’t seen for millions of years. The main reasons are rising consum-ption, land-use change or conversion of natural habitats such as grasslands, forest and wetlands for agriculture or industry, and introduction of non-native species. Humans have altered 75% of the planet’s ice-free land surface, and 85% of wetlands have been lost since the Industrial Revolution. The loss of habitats and species not only increases risks of pandemics, by exposing humans to more wildlife, but also threatens food security. It’s not all bad news: the report says it can be reversed by changes to ways societies produce and consume food and conserve nature.

Moving a vaccine needs 8,000 jets

A vaccine for covid-19 may be months away, but the aviation industry—and everyone else—will have to start making plans now to get it to the world
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A vaccine for covid-19 may be months away, but the aviation industry—and everyone else—will have to start making plans now to get it to the world

A vaccine for covid-19 may be months away, but the aviation industry—and everyone else—will have to start making plans now to get it to the world. A total of 8,000 Boeing 747 cargo aircraft will be needed to get a single dose of the vaccine to 7.8 billion people, International Air Transport Association has said. Most vaccine candidates under development are looking at two or three shots for effective immunization. There are currently 29 vaccines in multiple human trials around the world. “Safely delivering covid-19 vaccines will be the mission of the century for the global air cargo industry," said IATA in a statement, urging governments “to take the lead in facilitating cooperation across the logistics chain". Everything from security arrangements and maintaining the cold chain to easing border permits and finding a ground fleet to take the vaccines further needs to be planned for the mammoth distribution plan.

Caregivers at greater risk

Countries with highest covid-19 deaths of health workers
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Countries with highest covid-19 deaths of health workers

As covid-19 cases rise across India, the risk to heath workers is increasing too. The Union Health Ministry recently said healthcare workers in Telangana, Maharashtra and Delhi are at greater risk as their positivity rate—the proportion of people who test positive among those who are tested—is double or more than the rate in general population. India’s positivity rate is about 7%. In Telangana, 18% of doctors, nurses and paramedical staff who underwent covid-19 tests were found to be positive. Maharashtra (16%) follows, and then Delhi (12%), Karnataka (13%) and Puducherry (12%). Worldwide, Amnesty Inter-national found that at least 7,000 health workers died after contracting covid-19. India stands sixth in the world for deaths of healthcare workers (see chart).

Ferrari goes classic for 1,000th race

errari are having one of the worst seasons in their history, with two disappointing races at Spa-Francorchamps and Monza
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errari are having one of the worst seasons in their history, with two disappointing races at Spa-Francorchamps and Monza

At this weekend’s Tuscan Grand Prix, Ferrari will run in a special one-off livery, marking the team’s 1,000th Formula 1 world championship race and dispelling rumours of a crisis. Ferrari are having one of the worst seasons in their history, with two disappointing races at Spa-Francorchamps and Monza. But the drivers are hopeful the different characteristics of the Ferrari-owned Mugello circuit will be more favourable to them. They will race in the backdrop of Tuscan hills in SF1000s painted burgundy as a tribute to the team’s F1 debut at the 1950 Monaco GP. Drivers Charles Leclerc and departing four-time champion Sebastian Vettel will wear race suits in the same colour, while 2,880 fans will be allowed to attend for the first time this year. It is the first team to do 1,000 F1 races. Mercedes, meanwhile, will paint the safety car in red as a tribute to Ferrari’s standing.

Lockdown art to break a record

Five months ago, British artist Sacha Jafri got stuck in a Dubai luxury hotel because of covid-19-induced lockdown
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Five months ago, British artist Sacha Jafri got stuck in a Dubai luxury hotel because of covid-19-induced lockdown

Five months ago, British artist Sacha Jafri got stuck in a Dubai luxury hotel because of covid-19-induced lockdown. So he decided to spend his time doing what he knows best: paint. On Thursday, he was set to complete what he says is the world’s largest painting. Jafri is turning two ballrooms—the size of two football fields—in Atlantis The Palm into a record-breaking painting, entitled “Humanity Inspired". It includes art sent online by children around the world on themes of connection, separation and isolation during the pandemic. Jafri plans to auction the work in the hope of raising $30 million for charity. The completed work, which is supported by UNICEF, UNESCO and UAE government, among others, will be hung in Dubai’s frame-shaped skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa. It will then be cut into 60 separate pieces, measuring 30sq.m each, to be framed and sold individually at an auction in Dubai this December.

Curated by Shalini Umachandran and Pooja Singh. Have something to share with us? Write to us at businessoflife@livemint.com or tweet to @shalinimb

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