Live Streaming
Video Streaming



Australia's New South Wales tightens restrictions as COVID-19 cluster expands -


Australia's most populous state of New South Wales on Saturday (Jan 2) made masks compulsory and imposed new restrictions as its coronavirus cluster expanded by seven, while neighbouring Victoria recorded 10 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian banned dancing and singing at night clubs while restricting numbers at gym classes, weddings, funerals and places of worship. However, the five-day Cricket test match between Australia and India, scheduled to begin on Thursday, will go ahead with attendance at 50 per cent capacity. 

"We consider health and safety first and foremost, but we also need to think about well-being and jobs and the economy," Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney.

"And that's why by putting these measures and settings in place we are confident we can continue to increase and encourage economic activity, give confidence to business and jobs, but also, of course, keep the virus at bay." 

NSW, which has close to 200 active COVID-19 cases, will levy a A$200 (US$154) fine for not wearing a mask with the rule being enforced from Monday. Authorities on Saturday said genomic sequencing showed the Victoria outbreak was directly linked to the NSW cluster, vindicating the decision to shut borders.

"As a result of the learnings that we have gone through, we’ve taken the view that the responses we have put in place are proportionate and fair. Victorians have a lot at stake here," Victorian health minister Martin Foley said. 

South Australia state recorded another day of zero cases while Tasmania, which is COVID free, banned visitors from parts of Victoria. Queenslanders were urged to reassess travel plans to NSW and Victoria//CNA


Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan (ANTARA)


Governor of Jakarta Anies Baswedan called on residents of the Indonesian capital city to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic as a challenge in 2021.

"We passed through 2020 with a full history of struggle. We are facing a cross-age challenge. However, this is also the year in which our endurance, stamina, and focus were put to the test," he noted in the video uploaded by the Jakarta provincial government on Friday.

"This is an opportunity (for us) to demonstrate to the next generation that we are able to face this pandemic challenge, and Insya Allah (God willing), we will be able to emerge successfully out of it," he remarked.

The governor is optimistic that in the new year, Jakarta’s residents would be able to keep up the stamina and remain disciplined in following health protocols as the pandemic will still continue in 2021.

"We will still have to face this challenge. Let us keep up our stamina and follow health protocols. We should demonstrate that with a new spirit in 2021, we are able to face and pass through the pandemic challenge," he stated.

Baswedan is also upbeat that in 2021, Jakarta’s residents would be able to keep up with the rapid changes, including those pertaining to lifestyle to maintain cleanliness and bring about post-pandemic economic recovery.

"The year 2021 is an opportunity for us all to make accelerated change, including how to change our lifestyle for better health, our daily activities, and our economic activities by adjusting to the pandemic challenge," he stated//ANT


Bangkok to close schools for two weeks as number of COVID-19 cases rise - Bangkok Post

The Thai capital of Bangkok will close all schools for two weeks after the New Year holiday as it tightens measures to control a new wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the city said on Friday. Thailand confirmed 279 new coronavirus cases on Friday, with the majority of them linked to a cluster among migrant workers in Samut Sakhon province south of Bangkok, and another cluster linked to illegal gambling dens that started in the eastern province of Rayong. These new clusters have started to spread into Bangkok, prompting the city's administrator to tighten measures to curb the spread of the virus. 

"We begin to detect new cases linked to students and other service businesses," said Pongsakorn Kwanmuang, the spokesman for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

"Therefore we decided to close more places," he said. All schools, daycare centers for the young and elderly, preschool and tutorial centers will be close from Jan.4 to 17 while other public facilities including amusement parks, playgrounds, public baths and massage parlors will be closed starting from Saturday, he said. 

Pongsakorn also said the city is considering restrictions on eating-in at restaurants but said that more discussions were needed with the government COVID-19 taskforce on Saturday. Thailand recorded two new deaths from coronavirus on Friday, taking the total number of infections to 7,163 and the number of deaths to 63 since the outbreak started last January. The majority of the new cases resulted from local transmission of the disease while six were imported from abroad, the government COVID-19 taskforce said//JP


Medical workers, volunteers and patients do morning exercise at the COVID-19 quarantine house in Tangerang District, Banten. (ANTARA) 


The Task Force for COVID-19 Response has targeted to raise the COVID-19 recovery rate for COVID-19 patients in Indonesia to nearly 100 percent in 2021. 

"We must achieve the recovery rate target of 100 percent and lower the mortality rate," spokesman for the Task Force for COVID-19 Response Prof. Wiku Adisasmito noted in the task force's press statement released on Friday.

Adisasmito remarked that the active cases, recovery rate, and mortality rate are the indicators of achievement to contain the transmission of COVID-19. Indonesia recorded 735,124 COVID cases as of December 30, 2020, with 603,741 patients, or 82.12 percent, recovering from the COVID-19; and 21,944 patients, or 2.9 percent, succumbing to the infection. According to the task force, the number of active COVID-19 cases in Indonesia varied from one district or city to another. However, the number of active COVID-19 cases in 27 districts and cities elicits attention since the figure has exceeded one thousand.

Adisasmito remarked that the map of coronavirus transmission risks showed 44 districts and cities are categorized as orange zones, or areas with a moderate risk of COVID-19 transmission in 16 consecutive weeks, starting from September 6 to December 27, 2020. However, 16 districts and cities were categorized as red zones, or areas with a high risk of COVID-19 transmission in six consecutive months over the course of time. 

"We hope in the first month of 2021, or January 2021, we would be able to make breakthroughs to turn the zones into green zones. We have learnt much for 10 months, so there is nothing.

President Joko Widodo had stated in early November 2020 that the recovery rate for COVID-19 patients in Indonesia has increased to 82.84 percent, which is higher than the global average of 72 percent. Moreover, the country’s COVID-19 case rate currently stands at 13.78 percent, which is lower than the global average of 25.22 percent, Widodo informed while chairing a plenary cabinet meeting here in early November of 2020//ANT