Updates on CCP Virus: Nearly 40 Percent of UK Firms Suffered Cyberattacks During Pandemic

March 24, 2021 Updated: March 24, 2021

Two in five UK businesses suffered from cyberattacks in the last 12 months, new figures from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) show.

According to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021 report, published on Wednesday, 39 percent of British firms and 26 percent of UK charities reported having cybersecurity breaches or attacks in the past year.

Phishing emails were by far the most common form of cyberattack, said the report. These were followed by online impersonation, viruses, and other malware including ransomware.

In cases where a breach resulted in a loss of data or assets, the average cost of a cyberattack on a business is £8,460 ($11,604). This figure rises to £13,400 ($18,379) for medium and large businesses.

Angry Students Break Free From Prolonged Lockdown

At noon on Mar. 17, at least 300 Guangzhou university students launched a surprise charge on the guarded school gate and stormed off campus. Student Lin Fang (alias), told the Chinese-language Epoch Times it looked like a prison escape scene from a movie.

Interviewee said that their school was in a low-risk area in a remote part of the city of Guangzhou, and had been locked down since last semester, although neighboring schools were not.

There were other reasons why students broke out of the grounds.

“Meals provided by the school dining halls were increasingly expensive and of such poor quality that the food contained insects or worms. Many students said they had loose bowels after eating in the dining halls,” a student said.

Brazil Set to Pass 300,000 Deaths

Brazil is set to pass 300,000 CCP virus deaths on Wednesday one day after the country recorded a record daily death toll of 3,251 fatalities.

Latin America’s biggest country, already home to the world’s second-highest death toll after the United States, has become the global epicenter of COVID-19 deaths, with one in four global fatalities currently a Brazilian.

France Hit by 3rd Virus Surge; Culture Minister in Hospital

France’s high-profile culture minister has been hospitalized for COVID-19, the latest senior official to become ill as the nation faces a third surge of CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus infections, this one propelled by a highly contagious variant first found in Britain.

Roselyne Bachelot, 74, announced last weekend that she tested positive and her hospitalization was made public Wednesday, just as Employment Minister Elisabeth Borne left the hospital, writing on Twitter, “I’m relieved.”

CDC: 70% of People Over 65 Got 1 Dose of Vaccine

More than three months into the U.S. vaccination drive, 70 percent of Americans 65 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

More than 43 percent of Americans 65 and older—the most vulnerable age group, accounting for an outsize share of the nation’s more than 540,000 confirmed CCP virus deaths—have been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

Also, the death toll has dipped below 1,000 a day on average for the first time since November. Dozens of states have thrown open vaccinations to all adults or are planning to do so in a matter of weeks.

Female Military Member Dies After Vaccine, Showed No Side Effects: Officials

Ukraine’s health agency has reported that a female military member died after receiving AstraZeneca’s CoviShield CCP virus vaccine, but stressed that the public shouldn’t jump to conclusions.

The agency said the woman didn’t complain of any side effects before her death. She died about two days after receiving the shot, officials said on the health ministry’s website, reported Reuters. The woman had underlying heart problems and other underlying health conditions. Her cause of death is being investigated, the health ministry said.

Poland Reports Daily Record of Almost 30,000 New Cases

Poland has recorded a record daily high of nearly 30,000 new CCP virus cases amid a huge surge in infections that is overwhelming hospitals.

The Health Ministry reported on Wednesday 29,978 new confirmed cases, above the last record high of 27,875 from Nov. 7. The ministry also said that it recorded 575 more deaths since a day earlier.

Belgium Imposes New Lockdown to Fight Third Wave

Belgium will close schools, non-food stores, and hairdressers for four weeks from Saturday, in a sharp renewed lockdown designed to contain a rising third wave of CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus infections, which causes the disease COVID-19.

A year on from the first pandemic shutdown, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo told a news conference that the variant of the virus first discovered in Britain had become dominant in the country and led to a doubling of COVID-19 patients in hospitals.

More Businesses Give Perks for Proof of Vaccination: Free Donuts and Rides, Dine-In Discounts

Businesses across America are increasingly leaning into the vaccination effort, offering a range of freebies and incentives to customers who show proof of getting a COVID-19 shot. Security experts note, however, that the information on vaccine record cards—currently the only proof of vaccination—contains sensitive information that bad actors could exploit, and so they urge people to be mindful when flashing the cards—and definitely not share photos of them on social media.

Germany Drops Easter Shutdown Plan, Merkel Apologizes

Chancellor Angela Merkel has dropped plans for a five-day shutdown in Germany over Easter, which had prompted confusion and criticism.

She called the idea a mistake and apologized to Germans. Merkel announced the decision after calling a hastily arranged videoconference with Germany’s 16 state governors, who are responsible for imposing and lifting restrictions.

Hong Kong Halts Use of Pfizer Vaccine, Cites Defective Lids

Hong Kong suspended the use of the Pfizer vaccine on Wednesday after its Chinese distributor informed the city that one batch had defective bottle lids.

The city’s government said the suspension was immediate while the matter is investigated by distributor Fosun Pharma and BioNTech, the German company that created the vaccine with American pharmaceutical firm Pfizer.

Hardest Hit Businesses Call for Extension of Federal Wage, Rent Subsidies

Canadian businesses hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic are calling on the federal government to extend emergency relief programs beyond the current deadline of June 5.

The Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses is calling for the federal wage subsidy and the federal rent subsidy programs to be continued until the end of the year. The coalition, which represents hotel, tourism, arts, culture, and hospitality industries, is backing up its call with the results of a survey it conducted among its members earlier this month.

Alexander Zhang, Frank Yue, The Canadian Press, Tom Ozimek, Jack Phillips, Reuters, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.