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UK reports record 381 coronavirus deaths, including 13-year-old boy

first_imgTopics : Some 25,150 people have now tested positive for the virus in Britain, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson.As of 5:00 p.m. (1600 GMT) on March 30, 1,789 people have died, the health ministry said on its Twitter page.But data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for England and Wales on Tuesday revealed that the true toll could be 24 percent higher.The government figures cover those who have been taken to hospital and tested for the virus whereas the ONS data is for deaths in the community where COVID-19 is suspected. Britain reported a record daily coronavirus toll of 381 on Tuesday, including a 13-year-old boy, more than double the number of nationwide deaths posted in the previous 24 hours.The boy, who died Monday at King’s College Hospital in London, is believed to be Britain’s youngest confirmed death in the coronavirus pandemic, with relatives saying he had no underlying illnesses.The country’s previous highest daily toll was 260, recorded on Saturday, with the number dropping to 180 on Monday. ‘Green shoots’The government last Monday ordered a three-week lockdown, shutting non-essential shops and services to help reduce contacts and relieve the burden on the National Health Service.Stephen Powis, medical director for the NHS in England, said that despite the latest fatality figures, overall there were “green shoots” because the rate of infections was slowing.But he added: “It’s really important not to read too much into this. It’s early days. We’re not out of the woods,” he told a daily briefing on the government response to the outbreak.”And it’s really important that we keep complying with those [social distancing] instructions.”Cambridge University professor David Spiegelhalter agreed that “great caution” was needed in interpreting daily figures.”The extreme day-to-day variation in reported COVID-19 deaths is far more than we would expect from chance variability and must be due to reporting practices,” he said.”Some deaths occurred many days ago, and there seems to be fewer reported over the weekend.”Scientists say the full effects of the lockdown are expected to be seen in two to three weeks, with predictions that life may not return to normal for at least six months.Britain has braced for an expected surge in coronavirus cases, including setting up a 4,000-bed field hospital at a giant London exhibition center — one of four across the country.But senior minister Michael Gove said there was “not a fixed date like Easter when you know that the peak will come”. The boy’s family said Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab “started showing symptoms and had difficulties breathing” before he was admitted to hospital.”He was put on a ventilator and then put into an induced coma but sadly died yesterday morning,” they said through a family friend, Mark Stephenson, adding: “We are beyond devastated.”Johnson told the cabinet via video link that the rising toll “showed the vital importance of the public continuing to stick to the social distancing guidance which has been put in place by the government.””The situation is going to get worse before it gets better — but it will get better,” he added.last_img read more

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COVID-19: Jakarta’s satellite areas extend mobility restrictions for two weeks

first_imgRidwan claimed that the infection rate in the areas, especially in Bogor and Depok, had decreased by 38.5 percent since the restrictions were first imposed.Read also: COVID-19: West Java health agency predicts cases will continue to climb amid PSBBHowever, he said Bekasi had continued to record more COVID-19 cases in the past few weeks, prompting the administration to further extend the restrictions.“ The PSBB has managed to stem the spread of COVID-19,” Ridwan said. He went on to say that the West Java administration would also evaluate the results of the PSBB enforced in the provincial capital of Bandung and its surrounding areas of Cimahi city, Sumedang regency, Bandung regency and West Bandung regency.The administration will decide whether to extend the restrictions in the areas, together known as Greater Bandung, by next week, he added.Jakarta and West Java have recorded the highest numbers of COVID-19 infections in Indonesia, with 3,869 cases and 951 cases, respectively, out of the official country’s tally of 9,096 cases as of Monday.The fatalities recorded in the two provinces combined also make up more than half of the official nationwide death toll of 765, with Jakarta reporting 367 deaths and West Java reporting 78 deaths from the disease.Read also: Greater Jakarta to expand restrictions as existing measures deemed ineffectiveAs of Monday, there were over 39,043 people under surveillance (ODP) and 4,373 patients under treatment (PDP) suspected of having been infected by COVID-19.ODP and PDP are official designations Indonesia is using to differentiate people according to the symptoms they present and their travel history.The West Java administration has carried out more than 100,000 rapid COVID-19 tests in the region so far, in which 2,000 cases turned out to be positive.“We’ll follow up on the results using PCR [polymerase chain reaction] tests,” Ridwan said.Topics : Large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in Jakarta’s satellite cities and regencies of Bogor, Depok and Bekasi in West Java will be extended for two weeks to further flatten the region’s COVID-19 infection curve.“We have decided that the PSBB in [the areas] will be extended by 14 days starting Wednesday,” West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said in statement on Monday.Bogor municipality and regency, Depok as well as Bekasi municipality and regency have imposed partial lockdowns since April 15, following in the footsteps of the capital city, the hardest-hit by COVID-19 in the country.last_img read more

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Stranded by coronavirus, a Russian family traveling in Indonesia busks to survive

first_imgA family of Russian tourists visiting Mataram in West Nusa Tenggara have started busking and begging for money to survive since they are unable to fly home as a result of coronavirus restrictions in their country.Mataram Immigration Office head Syahrifullah said officials had detained the family — 29-year-old Mikhail, 28-year-old Ekaterina and their 2-year-old daughter Serafima — after a video showing them busking at Kebon Roek traditional market went viral on social media.The video showed Mikhail playing an accordion in front of the market to the amusement of passersby, while Ekaterina swayed next to him while carrying their daughter. “They busked, begged for money from locals and used the money to buy food. We tracked them down after receiving reports from residents,” Syahrifullah said on Thursday as quoted by kompas.com.He said the family had all the necessary documents and permits to stay in Indonesia. However, they were detained due to their busking activities.”Even though they are not allowed to busk, beg or make money here, we gave them leniency due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “If it wasn’t for the COVID-19 outbreak, I would have carried out stricter actions.”Mikhail said his family could not return home because Russia had imposed a nationwide lockdown in response to its coronavirus outbreak. “We traveled in Malaysia before flying to Indonesia and we initially planned to spend only two days here and return afterward,” he said, “However, Malaysia imposed a lockdown so we decided to go to Bali [through West Nusa Tenggara].”Mikhail said he busked in Bali but police officers forbade it. “We only have money for a month’s stay in Bali. So we decided to go back to West Nusa Tenggara to find opportunities to busk. But we could not do it here either.”Despite the challenges, he said locals had shown generosity and friendliness to his family.Syahrifullah said that Mikhail and his family would be transported to the Russian Consulate General in Bali.”We’ve communicated with the Russian Consulate General. The officials said they would support the family until they could return to Russia,” he said. “All flights and ferries from Lombok to Bali and vice versa have been canceled except for logistics, but we gave the family leniency to cross.”He said the family had been tested for COVID-19 and the results came back negative. (nal)Topics :last_img read more

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COVID-19 aid stalled, used for political stunts

first_imgWhile millions of people out of work are depending on the arrival of social assistance to weather the COVID-19 crisis, bureaucrats have dragged their feet in the distribution process and have even taken the opportunity to boost their popularity among voters.The distribution of food packages and cash assistance is lagging outside of Jakarta as many regencies and cities continue to gather data about their poor populations, a problem that economists warned about.In Central Java, Klaten Regent Sri Mulyani faced criticism for putting her image on bottles of hand sanitizer in aid packages sponsored by the Social Affairs Ministry. She is seeking a second term in office in the regional elections scheduled to take place in December.Sri denied that it was her choice to put stickers of her likeness on the bottles of hand sanitizer, saying that the aid packages were distributed with those of other institutions, including the regency administration and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P).“The aid from the social ministry was limited. More packages came from us. I personally also gave out hand sanitizer,” said the PDI-P politician. Sri said the stickers might have been placed on the bottles by people who wanted to tarnish her image.Read also: ‘Omnipresent’ Klaten Regent Sri Mulyani draws mockery About 24.8 million Indonesians, 9.22 percent of the population, are considered poor, living on under US$1 a day, Statistics Indonesia data shows. According to a World Bank report titled Aspiring Indonesia, more than 60 million Indonesians are at risk of falling into poverty.The central government has gradually implemented physical distancing across the country under large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) over the past month. It is also carrying out social assistance programs to help underprivileged communities endure the social and economic difficulties of the restrictions.The government has set aside Rp 110 trillion ($7.49 billion) for social safety net programs, including for the expansion of existing programs like the Family Hope Program (PKH) under the Social Affairs Ministry’s Integrated Data on Social Welfare (DTKS) and other forms of social aid and cash transfers for those who are not in the database.Problems have emerged in tracking down those who are not on the list. Some poor families have complained about not receiving packages while nearby well-off neighborhoods reportedly had.In Batam, Riau Islands, Mayor Muhammad Rudi said many residents had not received the aid. He told them to report to their subdistrict and district heads and promised them that help would arrive soon.“We will provide more packages. For instance, today [Sunday] I received 1,000 food packages. I will give them to those who have not received them,” he said, adding that he would prioritize the poor.  The NasDem Party politician said the city administration did not have enough money to enforce social restrictions on the island, which is located next to Singapore.Regions implementing large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) (JP/Hengky Wijaya)In East Java, in addition to the social aid that is set to be distributed to 5.91 million families, the local administration will give Rp 100,000 to each family for three months. However, Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa said municipalities and regencies in the province had not yet submitted the names of recipients.In Jakarta, the country’s COVID-19 epicenter, there were reports that several companies that the government had appointed to help pack staple foods for distribution to affected families had experienced delays caused by a shortage of special bags printed with a message from President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.Jakarta-owned food security company PT Food Station Tjipinang Jaya has been packing staple foods into red-and-white cloth bags with the printed message: “Aid from the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Together We Fight COVID-19.”One of the firm’s workers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said his company had received an order to pack 20,000 bags per day in mid-April but that it had not been meeting the daily target because of insufficient packaging.Read also: Staple food distribution hampered as bags with President’s message run short Governor Anies Baswedan said that about 1.6 percent of the packages meant for 1.2 million beneficiaries had been misallocated in the first phase of distribution, which ended on April 25.“They did not reach the beneficiaries because of a wrong address or a case where the recipient had died,” Anies said on Friday.The distribution of aid is currently on hold and will resume 10 days before Idul Fitri. Anies said the administration was updating its data to include more beneficiaries.SMERU researcher Luhur Bima said the government had shown some improvements in updating the list of beneficiaries from 2005, when the first cash transfer program was rolled out. However, a lack of human resources has made it challenging for the administration to achieve 100 percent accuracy on poverty data.“The data updating process is still not optimal. This causes confusion over who is eligible for the aid programs,” he told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.Donal Fariz of Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) criticized the politicians who used the aid distribution for political gain, saying that it was tantamount to corruption.  “But even the Corruption Law cannot charge such attempts as a form of corruption, [unless] they occurred during the election,” he said.ICW coordinator Adnan Topan Husodo pointed out that the mass distribution of aid during the pandemic could trigger many illicit practices, from illegal levies to price gouging.“During an emergency situation like this, unfortunately, supervision is lacking,” Adnan said.Topics :last_img read more

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Serie A set for team training on May 18 with adjusted protocol: Government

first_imgSerie A clubs can return to team training from May 18 if they make adjustments to medical protocols, the Italian government announced on Monday.The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) met with the government’s technical scientific committee (CTS) last week to discuss details for a return to group training as the country emerges from a two-month coronavirus lockdown.And Italy’s sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora and health minister Roberto Speranza said in a joint statement on Monday that the CTS had largely accepted the FIGC protocol for a resumption of group sessions. But there remain issues to be decided such as the quarantine of players in case of positive tests for coronavirus. Italian football bosses want to follow the example of Germany, which returns to action on May 16, and where only positive cases would be put into isolation. But the scientific committee insisted football must comply with the general rule of two weeks in insolation for those who have been in contact with positive cases.There are still 13 rounds of football to be played for some teams between mid-June, when the FIGC hopes to return to action, and August.Since the return to training last week, Fiorentina and Sampdoria announced 10 positive tests. In addition, a Torino player tested positive.One by one players have returned to Italy, with Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo observing a two-week quarantine period and Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic returning to AC Milan on Monday evening. “The opinion requested by the government from the Technical Scientific Committee confirms the line of prudence,” the ministers’ statement said.”The indications of the CTS, which are to be considered stringent and binding, will be sent to the Federation for the necessary adjustments of the protocol in order to allow for the safe resumption of team training starting from May 18.”Football has been suspended in Italy since March 9 amid the pandemic which has killed nearly 31,000 people in the country.The Italian government has allowed squads to return to individual training sessions in team facilities from May 4.center_img Topics :last_img read more

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COVID-19: Central Java farmers donate rice, eggs to affected residents

first_imgFarmers in Central Java have set aside 5 tons of rice and 500 kilograms of eggs to be donated to residents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in another community-based movement promoting gotong royong (mutual cooperation), as harvest time came recently.The farmers, under the Central Java Andalan Fishermen and Farmers Community (KTNA) handed over the donation to the Central Java administration, which will distribute the rice and eggs to those in needs in the province.”The rice is from members of the KTNA. We set aside some of our crops after harvest time [for the COVID-19 response],” Central Java KTNA acting chairman Munaji told the province’s governor Ganjar Pranowo during the handover ceremony on Thursday.  Read also: In Indonesia, rural helps urban to ensure food supply during coronavirus pandemicGanjar lauded the thoughtful gesture and said the donations were needed during the current crisis, as many people have lost their jobs and sources of income.”I am extremely proud that amid the crisis we are currently going through, the farmers still have the willingness to work hand in hand to help those in need. This is a real form of gotong royong,” said the governor. (vny)Topics :last_img read more

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Melania Trump brings compassion on pandemic, immigrants at Republican convention

first_imgMelania Trump put a kinder, gentler sheen on Donald Trump’s reelection campaign with a star turn at the Republican convention Tuesday where she broke ranks to speak compassionately about coronavirus victims and recalled her own immigrant story in an appeal for racial harmony.Unlike often aggressive speeches by two of Trump’s children from previous marriages, Eric and Tiffany, the first lady brought a soft touch to her keynote address from the White House’s Rose Garden.The coronavirus, which has killed 178,000 Americans and wreaked economic chaos, was almost entirely ignored by other speakers — and the president himself. Melania Trump began by offering prayers for the “ill and suffering.””My deepest sympathy goes out to everyone who has lost a loved one,” she said.The simple acknowledgement of the tragedy shaking the United States was a jarring change in the mood of the convention, which has mostly been a steady drumbeat of attacks on what Republicans call a “radical left” under Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.”I don’t want to use this precious time to attack the other side,” she said. The 26-minute speech, which she delivered in her heavily accented English, also was remarkable for her defense of the immigrant experience and acknowledgement of soaring racial tensions — two combustible topics that her husband is often accused of stoking for political gain.”I have reflected on the racial unrest in our country. It is a harsh reality that we are not proud of parts of our history,” she said.”I call on the citizens of this country to take a moment, pause, and look at things from all perspectives,” she said. “We still have so much to learn from one another.”The first lady followed a controversial speech by heavy hitting Trump supporter and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who broke with longtime tradition to campaign openly for the president while on diplomatic business in Israel.One person who didn’t address the nation on Tuesday, however, was a so-called “angel mom,” Mary Ann Mendoza. She had been due to tell the story of her son’s death after he was hit by a drunk driver who was in the country illegally.Mendoza was yanked from the schedule at the last minute after it emerged that she had just retweeted an elaborate anti-Semitic conspiracy theory about Jews taking over the world. ‘Suburban housewives’ The campaign is also hoping that Melania Trump’s appearance will reach the women voters that opinion polls show are turning to Biden.Trump, who has been dogged by more than a dozen accusations of sexual assault and harassment, as well as multiple claims of extramarital affairs, is working hard to get what he calls the “suburban housewives” on his side.Almost daily, he warns that Democrats will bring a scary combination of violent crime and lower house prices to those women.Melania Trump, 50, again offered a softer approach, directly addressing mothers who are worried about their children’s social media habits.And after a torrent of speculation about the state of her marriage to the billionaire — and biting criticism of his character from other family members — she mounted a strong defense.”We all know Donald Trump makes no secret about how he feels,” she said in a possible nod to the president’s loud and often brutal way of expressing opinions on other people.”Total honesty is what US citizens deserve,” she said. “Whether you like it or not, you always know what he’s thinking and that is because he’s an authentic person who loves this country.”center_img ‘American dream’ speech The role of Mendoza had been meant to highlight Trump’s relentless, hardline focus on illegal immigration, a policy at the heart of his popularity with the Republican right.However, Melania Trump was there to try to humanize a president seen by Democrats as cruelly exploiting anti-immigrant feelings.She recounted her arrival in the United States from Slovenia as a 26-year-old fashion model, saying she’d “always heard about an amazing place called America.”After 10 years in “the land of opportunity” she said she became a citizen, “still one of the proudest moments in my life.”Trump has made his political career in part on demonizing illegal immigrants, depicting the huge numbers of undocumented people working and sometimes living for many years in the country as a horde of rapists and murderers.However, with Biden leading in opinion polls, the Trump campaign is seeking to claw back some of the middle ground.Before Melania Trump spoke, the president sprung a surprise with a video played to the convention of him attending a naturalization ceremony for immigrants at the White House earlier that day.  Topics :last_img read more

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WHO opens door to change for global public health alerts

first_imgTopics : The WHO said Thursday it was setting up a committee to consider changing the rules on declaring an international health emergency, following criticism of its COVID-19 pandemic response. The World Health Organization declared a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) over the new coronavirus on January 30 — at which time the respiratory disease had infected fewer than 100 people outside China, and claimed no lives beyond its borders.But under the current International Health Regulations (IHR) governing preparedness and response for health emergencies, there are no lower, intermediate levels of alarm beneath a full PHEIC, either on a global or regional scale. The WHO has faced accusations — notably from Washington — of mishandling the pandemic, and waiting too long to sound the alarm.WHO experts had met on January 22 and 23, but at that point did not conclude that the outbreak merited the high state of alert of a full PHEIC.WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual press conference on Thursday that the COVID-19 pandemic had been an “acid test” for countries as well as for the IHR.Now the WHO will set up a review committee into the global regulations to see whether any changes should be made, Tedros said.center_img He added that even before the coronavirus pandemic, emergencies such as the Ebola outbreak in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo had exposed flaws in the IHR.Such emergencies showed that “some elements of the IHR may need review — including the binary nature of the [alert] mechanism,” Tedros said.Several countries have also called for a more nuanced system, for example with three levels of alert, or regional alarms.The committee will be comprised of independent experts.Tedros hopes the committee will present a progress report to the World Health Assembly — the WHO’s decision-making body, made up of member states — in November, and a full report to the assembly in May.”WHO is committed to ending the pandemic, and to working with all countries to learn from it, and to ensure that together we build the healthier, safer, fairer world that we want,” he said.The committee is separate from the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response, set up to evaluate the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.The IPPR is being headed by former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark and former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.last_img read more

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PREMIUMKnock-knock: BPS to carry out door-to-door census despite pandemic

first_imgLog in with your social account Facebook Forgot Password ? LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Topics : Linkedin Statistics Indonesia (BPS) will carry out the 10-year national population census in person in September, despite the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.The BPS is scheduled to commence its door-to-door efforts on Sept. 1, when census takers will visit homes to conduct interviews or provide questionnaires, according to the agency’s head Suhariyanto during the kick-off ceremony on Monday.The effort will complement the online census that the BPS held earlier between February and May this year.“Population data is the key to planning in various sectors, including food [security], housing, education, health care and transportation, among others. There is unlikely to be any appropriate policy without accurate data,” Suhariyanto said on Monday. “It is not only significant for the present but also significant to anticipate the future of Indonesia.”This year mark… census population BPS offline COVID-19 online Googlelast_img read more

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Government expedites import of COVID-19 drugs

first_imgRemdesivir has been the only therapeutic so far to have worked directly against the coronavirus. A five-day course of the antiviral drug sped recovery in moderately ill patients with pneumonia from COVID-19, drugmaker Gilead Sciences said in a statement.The United States Food and Drug Administration has not given the go-ahead for remdesivir but gave Gilead emergency use authorization. The drug costs US$2,340 for a five-day course of treatment.The government expects that by November, local drugs manufacturer PT Kimia Farma could produce 400,000 vials. In October, the government expects to secure 50,000 vials of remdesivir from PT Amarox Pharma Global, a subsidiary of India’s leading generic pharmaceutical company Hetero. In September, Hetero brought in 10,000 vials.Other than remdesivir, the government also expedited the delivery of influenza drugs oseltamivir and favipiravir, as well as antiretroviral drug lopinavir-ritonavir. For oseltamivir, the government has given authority to Kimia Farma and Amarox to procure more than 7 million capsules. In an effort to provide better treatment for COVID-19 patients and help bring down the mortality rate from the pandemic, the government has begun securing a substantial amount of therapeutics that could work against the disease.Data from the Office of the Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister show that the government has given the go-ahead to contractors to import COVID-19 therapeutics such as remdesivir, favipiravir, oseltamivir and lopinavir-ritonavir, all of which will be distributed directly to hospitals treating coronavirus patients.The data show that by the end of 2020, the government expects to secure 670,000 vials of remdesivir from foreign sources, but expects the drug to be manufactured in the country starting in November. For favipiravir, the government ordered 3.7 million tablets from three companies, Beta Pharmacon, Kimia Farma and Daewoong Infion. Meanwhile, four pharmaceutical companies Amarox, Abbot, Sampharindo and Kimia Farma together will bring in 2,510,000 tablets of lopinovir-ritonavir.Speaking in a coordination meeting with 10 governors of provinces under his supervision, Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said the country was entering a critical period in the fight against COVID-19, and the procurement of the drug would be crucial to bring down the mortality rate among coronavirus patients.”We don’t have to see people dying from lack of medicine,” Luhut said in the meeting late last week.Luhut also said that to cut red tape and speed up the delivery of the drugs to patients, the government would ship the therapeutics directly to hospitals treating COVID-19 patients.Read also: What you need to know about Indonesia’s vaccine developmentEight months after the first cases of COVID-19 were reported in the country, Indonesia continues to struggle in its effort to deal with the pandemic.According to Health Ministry data, there were 4,007 new coronavirus infections and 83 more deaths on Saturday, bringing the total number of infections to 299,506 and fatalities to 11,055.More than 34.71 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally and 1,028,910​ have died, according to a Reuters tally on Saturday.Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.Director general for public health at the Health Ministry, Abdul Kadir, said he would crack down on doctors who recommended the use of non-standard therapeutics for COVID-19 patients.Abdul Kadir said the move was also taken to help the Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS) sort out claims made by hospitals treating coronavirus patients. (mtr)Topics :last_img read more