Britain’s Heathrow Airport,which before the coronavirus pandemic was the busiest in Europe, said it had started a voluntary redundancy scheme after passenger numbers fell to an all-time low and it could not rule out further job losses.

Britain’s Heathrow Airport,which before the coronavirus pandemic was the busiest in Europe, said it had started a voluntary redundancy scheme after passenger numbers fell to an all-time low and it could not rule out further job losses.
Heathrow said that passenger numbers in May were down 97% and it was preparing for further declines due to Britain’s quarantine rule.
The airport, which has about 7,000 staff, said today that its employment levels were no longer sustainable and thatit had agreed to start voluntary redundancy with unions.
“While we cannot rule out further job reductions, we willcontinue to explore options to minimise the number of job losses,” Heathrow Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye said in a statement.
Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is planning to scrap the two-metre distancing rule by September for schools to reopen fully for the start of the new school year, the Telegraph newspaper reported.
Mr Johnson has indicated to ministers that he is prepared to change the rule within weeks, the newspaper reported.
In China, heightened post-lockdown anxiety has led to unprecedented measures by schools and local governments to focus on student mental health, including by adjusting lesson plans so that students feel less academic pressure.
The city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus in China, Hainan province and Shanghai are among local governments providing new “life education” classes aimed at helping students deal with stress and grief.
“The purpose was to make students aware that feeling stressed is natural, and that how you deal with that stress can lead to different outcomes,” said a teacher of an exercise carried out during one such class.
Elsewhere, the Journal of Korean Medical Science has published a paper that has found that diabetes, high body temperature, low oxygen saturation and pre-existing cardiac injury are some risk factors for severe Covid-19.
The team of South Korean doctors observed 110 coronavirus patients at a hospital in Daegu, the epicentre of South Korea’s outbreak, from 19 February to 15 April, of whom 23 developed severe Covid-19.
The patients with at least three of the four prognostic conditions developed severe conditions, said Ahn June-hong, professor of internal medicine.
India has lifted an exportban on hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug touted by US President Donald Trump as a potential “game changer” in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, a minister said late yesterday.
“Department of Pharmaceuticals has approved the lifting ofban on Export of Hydroxychloroquine API as well asformulations,” India’s minister for chemicals and fertilizers, Sadananda Gowda, said on Twitter.
Manufacturers, except export-oriented units and those inspecial economic zones, would still have to supply 20% of theirproduction to the domestic market, Mr Gowda said.
The country, a leading exporter of generic medicines across the world, banned the export of the drug and its formulations in March as the coronavirus outbreak disrupted supply chains.
But India eased some of these restrictions in April and shipped 50 million tablets of the drug to the United States that month, Reuters reported.
Mr Trump’s championing of hydroxychloroquine had initially raised expectations for the treatment, but conflicting reports of its efficacy have added to confusion about the decades-old drug.
British scientists last week halted a major trial after itfound that the drug was “useless” at treating Covid-19 patients.
A Lancet medical journal study that found hydroxychloroquine increased the risk of death in Covid-19 patients was withdrawn aweek after it led to major trials being halted.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said it will resume its trial of the drug for potential use against the novelcoronavirus after those running the study briefly stopped giving it to new patients over health concerns.
IPCA Laboratories and Cadila Healthcareare two leading Indian manufacturers of the drug.