Covid: Pret starts hiring again and 'rock bottom' morale

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Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Wednesday morning. We'll have another update for you this evening.

1. Pret starts hiring after pandemic cuts

After cutting 3,000 jobs due to the pandemic, coffee and sandwich chain Pret A Manger is aiming to hire the same number of staff. It's hoping to increase its workforce by 3,000 by the end of 2022 with plans to open more shops and expand abroad over the next couple of years.

Image source, Getty Images

2. Morale 'rock bottom' for Welsh ambulance crews

As the Welsh Ambulance Service ask for military help due to an increased pressure from the latest Covid wave, one medical technician says morale is at "rock-bottom". Many crews are spending whole shifts waiting to off-load patients, according to front-line worker Paul Amphlett. The Welsh Ambulance Services Trust says it's been under "significant and sustained pressure" in recent months, and Conservatives say they will call on ministers to declare an emergency in the service in a Senedd debate later.

Image source, Paul Amphlett

3. Are 250m vaccine doses at risk of going waste?

Just over half of the world is yet to receive one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, US President Joe Biden wants more vaccine equality and, according to research, rich countries are holding surpluses of vaccine. Soon many of those could be thrown out. So are 250m vaccine doses about to go to waste? BBC population correspondent Stephanie Hegarty has taken a look.

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4. Compensation fight

In March, India's federal government promised 5m rupees (£50,000) to the family of every health worker who died fighting Covid. But many families are still waiting for compensation. This includes the family of Shanti Devi, a government community health worker who died in May. Her daughter Malti Gangwar said that in the days following her death, the family received several calls from the health department offering condolences. Her late mother's colleagues even urged her to apply for the same job. "There was talk about insurance money and they all seemed very co-operative. They asked me to fill in a form to apply for the job, which I did," she says. She is still waiting. Read more on this story.

Image source, Getty Images

5. PPE helps people protect the environment

What did you do with your old face masks? Instead of throwing used ones away, one hospital in Cornwall has found a way to recycle its old personal protective equipment, or PPE, masks. They're being turned into litter pickers, with 45 masks being used to make each one. Watch to find out more.

Media caption,

All schools and colleges in Cornwall will be given litter pickers made from recycled hospital masks

And there's more...

Remind yourself of the measures in place to deal with coronavirus cases in England during autumn and winter now that summer is officially over.

Find further information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

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