Pop-up COVID-19 testing sites help California farmers keep working
By Norma Galeana THERMAL, Calif. (Reuters) - For farmworkers in California's Coachella Valley, it's brutally simple: no work means no food
COVID-19 testing sites help California farmers keep working" src="https://images.firstpost.com/wp-content/themes/firstpost/images/220x220_Watermark.jpg" alt="Popup COVID19 testing sites help California farmers keep working" width="300" height="225" />
By Norma Galeana
THERMAL, Calif. (Reuters) - For farmworkers in California's Coachella Valley, it's brutally simple: no work means no food. But fear of contracting COVID-19 and spreading it amongst their families has created uncertainty and anxiety.
In an effort to ease their fears, Dr. Raul Ruiz, a congressman representing California's 36th District, partnered with Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine to bring pop-up testing sites to the fields.
Coachella Valley is in Riverside county, which has recorded the second highest number of coronavirus cases in the state - nearly 45,000 - and 879 deaths.
The majority of farmworkers are uninsured and need protection, said Ruiz, a son of farmworkers who became a physician.
"In order for us to stop this pandemic, we need to focus on the highest risk individuals. Currently, as you can see in the farmworker community, with the devastating rates of infection and deaths... that is not being done," Ruiz told Reuters on Thursday.
"We need to help the more vulnerable populations, the ones that disproportionately are getting infected and that are dying from this disease," he said.
Maria Palomares, 33, taking a test for COVID-19 at the pop-up site, said her father and his co-workers lacked the resources and knowledge to protect themselves.
"It's just tragic for the most part," said Palomares. "Some of them don't have health insurance and all these other resources to keep them healthy."
Jose Luis Palomares said it was his second time being tested.
"For our own safety, we have a family and children... That is why... I'm getting tested this second time to make sure I am in good health," said Palomares, who was ordered to take the COVID-19 test and return to work if his result came back negative.
For 37-year-old Jorge Sanchez, who has worked in the fields of Coachella Valley for 17 years, the options are limited.
"It is that necessity that makes us go to work. We have to go to work and we can't really take care of ourselves, if we don't work, we don't eat," said Sanchez.
(Reporting by Norma Galeana; Writing by Diane Craft; editing by Rosalba O'Brien)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.