International News

International News (385)

11
May

 

 

Malaysia will extend its relaxed lockdown by four weeks, allowing nearly all economic activities to continue while keeping its borders shut and schools closed. The government will allow limited interstate travel for families who are separated ahead of the Eid al-Fitr celebration, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said in a televised address on Sunday. He added if there’s a significant rise in cases during this time, the government will be forced to implement Enhanced Movement Control Order for the affected areas//JP

11
May

 

 

French passengers will be exempt from quarantine measures that will come into force in the UK amid the pandemic. Boris Johnson said on Sunday they would be imposed on people arriving by air into the UK, to prevent Covid-19 being brought in from overseas. Mr Johnson said he was "serving notice" that quarantine measures were coming. Following his speech, he confirmed a reciprocal deal with the government in Paris meant restrictions would not apply to passengers from France. UK airlines previously said they had been told that any quarantine period would last for 14 days, and that people might be expected to provide an address when they arrive at the border. Government sources had already indicated that people arriving from the Republic of Ireland would not have to self-isolate when the quarantine measures take effect//bbc

11
May

 

 

Prime Minister of United Kingdom, Boris Johnson said primary schools in England could reopen to some year groups from 1 June. The prime minister said a phased return to school would begin with pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6, if infection rates and the government's other tests at the time allow it. The National Education Union said the reopening plan was "nothing short of reckless". Mr Johnson, in an address to the nation said at the earliest by June 1, after half term, the government begin the phased reopening of shops and to get primary pupils back into schools, in stages. Secondary schools are likely to stay closed until September. But the prime minister said there was an "ambition" that secondary pupils facing exams next year - such as Years 10 and 12 - would get some time in school before the summer holidays//bbc

11
May

 

 

Manila’s international airport will allow international charter and commercial flights to resume arriving on designated days, beginning Monday (May 11). Inbound international chartered flights will be permitted to land at Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Mondays and Thursdays, while commercial ones will be allowed on the other days of the week, the civil aviation authority said in a statement. That schedule will last for a month, until June 10//JP

07
May

 

 

Poland governing coalition parties have agreed to postpone this Sunday's presidential election because of the deadly coronavirus outbreak. The nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party had wanted the vote to go ahead to get Andrzej Duda, 47, re-elected. But junior coalition partner Agreement and the opposition said PiS was putting political gain ahead of public health. The election will now be rescheduled to a date "as soon as possible" and it will be a postal-only ballot. The timing of the election had plunged Poland into a serious political crisis on top of the ongoing health crisis, the BBC's Adam Easton in Warsaw reports.

Both international and Polish election observers had also raised concerns the ballot would not be sufficiently transparent nor fair given that candidates have suspended campaigning due to the lockdown, our correspondent says. Poland has nearly 15,000 confirmed infections and more than 700 deaths, according to America's Johns Hopkins University. The Covid-19 numbers are lower than in many Western European countries, but the Polish health minister has warned that cases have not yet peaked//BBC

07
May

 

 

Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Germany's goal of slowing the spread of coronavirus has been achieved, so all shops can be reopened as lockdown restrictions are eased. Bundesliga football has been given the green light to resume and schools will gradually reopen in the summer term. Germany's 16 federal states, under an agreement with the government, will take control of timing the reopening. They will operate an "emergency brake" if there is a new surge in infections.

General contact rules involving will continue for another month. A limited resumption has already begun, but this easing of restrictions is far broader. Two households will be able to meet and eat together, and elderly people in nursing homes and facilities for the disabled will be able to have visits from one specific person. 

"I think we can safely state that the very first phase of the pandemic is behind us," Chancellor Merkel said. "But we need to be very much aware we are still in the early phases and we'll be in it for the long haul." 

Germany has seen fewer than 7,000 deaths in the coronavirus pandemic - a much lower figure than in other Western European countries including the UK, Italy, France and Spain//BBC

07
May

 

 

The United Kingdom has recorded Europe's highest number of deaths inked to coronavirus. It has overtaken Italy, and is second only to the United States in total number of recorded deaths from the disease. Dominic Raab, the UK First Secretary of State, said the latest figures portrayed “a massive tragedy” but he warned against making comparisons with other countries until much more information is available on all causes of death.

"There are different ways of counting we know that we have that debate in this country. We now published data include all deaths in all setting and all countries do that so I’m not sure that international comparison works unless you’re reliably know that your contry is measuring in the same way. And it was depend on how good countries are in gathering the statistic and our own office national statistic is widely acknowledge to be a world leader" Dominic Raab said. 

He added the only sensible comparison is by looking at excess all-cause mortality, adjusted for the age distribution of the country but even then it will be very difficult to ascribe the reasons for any differences.The latest figures show there were 693 deaths linked to the virus in a 24-hour period in the UK. That brings the total number of deaths officially linked to the virus to 29,427. The latest total for Italy, previously the highest in Europe, now stands at 29,315. Both Italy and the UK record the deaths of people who have tested positive for coronavirus.UK deputy Chief Scientific Adviser, Dame Angela Mclean said that it could be months before full global comparisons can be made.

"Everybody knows making international comparison in such statistic could be difficult and it maybe it will take sometimes to short that and this isn’t over yet" the deputy said. 

The impact of the pandemic on some of the most vulnerable people is increasingly clear. Italy was the first part of Europe to see cases rise rapidly, and the scenes of hospitals being overwhelmed were met with shock and disbelief. On the face of it, both countries now count deaths in a similar way, including both in hospitals and the community//NK

07
May

 

 

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministers Responsible for Trade acknowledged the huge challenges posed on account of the COVID-19 pandemic and issued a statement on it. The APEC trade ministers were deeply saddened by the human losses caused by the pandemic, according to a written statement issued by the APEC Secretariat and received here on Wednesday. APEC trade ministers also highly lauded frontline workers worldwide, especially those from member economies, for their contribution and sacrifice in safeguarding public health. The APEC trade ministers also expressed concern over the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable developing economies. To this end, they reiterated the criticality of multilevel collaboration transcending regions to expedite their fight against COVID-19 and vouched to working closely to address pandemic-related disruptions with urgency//Ant

06
May

The EU, together with WHO and other partners, hosted an international pledging conference on 4 May 2020 raising €7.4 billion Euro in only a few hours, as initial funding to kick-start a global research cooperation. The aim is to gather significant funding to ensure the collaborative development and universal deployment of diagnostics, treatments and vaccines against coronavirus. The pledging continues until the end of May, and funds collected will be channelled into three strands: diagnostics, treatments and vaccines. The COVID-19 pandemic is a global challenge and requires a global response. This initiative is part of a multilateral response to the COVID-19 crisis and follows up on a commitment made by EU leaders at the G20 and G7 meetings. European comission President Ursula von der leyen said that the world is coming together to defeat the virus.

"The 4th of May 2020 mark turning point in our fight againts the corona virus. Because the world is coming together, government from every continents joint hands and team up with global health organization and other experience partners. The partners are many the goal is one to defeat this virus" Von Der Leyen said. 

In parallel, the EU has already committed over €380 million in research and innovation measures to develop vaccines, new treatments, diagnostic tests and medical systems to prevent the spread of the virus.On the occasion the UN secretary general Antonio Guterres stated that UN is pleased working together with EU and other states to A universal and affordable Access to COVID-19 Tools or ACT-Accelerator.

"I was very happy to join the the world health organization and the initial groups of other sectors to launch the ACT accelerated. A landmark of global cooperation to speed up the development of vaccines and equitable acces to the new covid 19 diagnostic, treatments and vaccine" Antonio Guterres said. 

The pledging event was co-convened by the European Union, Canada, France, Germany, Italy (also incoming G20 presidency), Japan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (also holding the G20 presidency), Norway, Spain and the United Kingdom. The initiative is a response to the callfrom the World Health Organization (WHO) and a group of health actors for a global collaboration for the accelerated development, production and equitable global access to new coronavirus essential health technologies. The Coronavirus Global Response Initiative is comprised of three partnerships for testing, treating and preventing underpinned by health systems strengthening//NK

04
May

 

 

Businesses will be able to apply for loans of up to £50,000 from Monday in a scheme backed by the Treasury. The new scheme, dubbed bounce back loans, will offer smaller amounts than the existing Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). But the Treasury says they will be quicker and easier to apply for and will have a 2.5% interest rate. The form will be seven questions long and the loan is 100% guaranteed by the government. The CBILS provide loans of up to £5m for companies with a turnover of less than £45m. The CBIL scheme loans have come in for criticism by some businesses, especially smaller ones. Banks can often apply their usual lending criteria, which makes it harder for smaller enterprises to qualify while locked down.Banks have been criticized for delays in handing out loans but have blamed the heavy workload, the need to complete the necessary credit checks and a shortage of staff. The government insists these new loans will be easier to apply for//bbc

Page 7 of 28