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Coronavirus around the globe

Started by thaiga, March 25, 2020, 12:51:08 PM

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thaiga

Quote from: thaiga on August 31, 2020, 09:04:20 PM

August 31, 2020
Philippines reports 3,446 new coronavirus cases, 38 additional deaths

(Reuters) - The Philippines reported on Monday 3,446 coronavirus infections and 38 deaths, taking its total caseload to 220,819 and fatalities to 3,558, its health ministry said.

The ministry also said on Monday that five Philippine hospitals have been identified as candidates for potential clinical trials of a COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by China-based Sinovac Biotech.

reuters.com

September 1, 2020
Philippines confirms 3,483 more coronavirus cases, 39 deaths

(Reuters) - The Philippines' health ministry on Tuesday reported 3,483 additional novel coronavirus infections and 39 more deaths.

In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed infections had reached 224,264, more than half of which were reported in the past 30 days, while deaths had increased to 3,597.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday kept partial restrictions in and around the capital for another month until end-September to stem the continuous rise in infections.

reuters.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Philippines reports 2,218 new COVID-19 cases, lowest rise in 5 weeks

The Philippine health ministry on Wednesday (Sep 2) recorded 2,218 new coronavirus infections, the country's lowest daily case increase in five weeks, and 27 additional deaths.

In a bulletin, the ministry said total infections have risen to 226,440 while deaths have reached 3,623, a quarter of which were recorded in the past 15 days.

On Monday, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said partial restrictions in and around the capital Manila will be kept for another month starting Sep 1 to tackle a rising number of coronavirus cases and further expand hospital capacity.

Carlito Galvez, a former military chief in charge of the national coronavirus task force, said the government was working to boost hospital capacity and would add 1,000 beds in Manila and nearby provinces, which account for most of the cases.

"We need to strengthen treatment facilities, especially ICU (intensive care units), given the possibility of an increase in severe cases once we further open the economy," Galvez said during the task force's meeting with the president.

Manila ended reimposed strict lockdown measures on Aug 19 to boost business activity and the economy, which fell into recession for the first time in 29 years with a record slump in the second quarter.

Most businesses, including dine-in services will be allowed to reopen, Harry Roque, Duterte's spokesperson said. Religious services will continue to be permitted with a maximum attendance of 10 people.

People must also wear masks in public and observe one-metre social distancing, while children, the elderly and pregnant women are urged to stay at home, Roque said.

Source: Reuters

channelnewsasia.com

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Coronavirus flares in new US hot spots as Americans let guard down
The United States can't put Covid-19 behind it.

New case counts are declining in some recent hot spots. But they're spiking in places like Iowa and South Dakota, signalling what may be a new phase in the country's virus fight as progress in one state is repeatedly offset by infections in others, with little improvement overall.

Politics plays a role, as do events like college reopenings and the Sturgis motorcycle rally. But it's also a sign of fatigue, the frustration and exhaustion Americans feel after months of masks and hand sanitiser, social isolation, shuttered businesses and closed beaches. People are putting their guard down, experts agree, leaving room for the virus to continue spreading as the country seeks to reopen the economy.

"It's going to be kind of this rolling fire, with certain flare-ups that occur in different parts of the country at different times," said Mr Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Centre for Health Security. "This is a virus that's established itself into the population."

Overall, US cases this week surpassed six million. In the Midwest, positivity rates have reached alarming levels.

In Iowa, for instance, 10.3 per cent of cases came back positive on Monday, slightly below the 14-day average of 11.1 per cent, according to state data. Overall, the state, which currently has no state-wide mask mandate, has recorded 65,478 cases, with new cases rising 50 per cent in the last two weeks.

Iowa State University, in Ames, reported Monday that 28.8 per cent of the students, faculty and staff tested in the most recent week had the virus, although school officials have focused their testing on people showing symptoms or those who have been exposed to someone with the virus. The University of Iowa has reported 922 cases within its campus population.

In Ohio, Covid-19 first started as an urban scourge in the cities of Cleveland and Columbus. But the spread is now making waves in rural regions spurred by social gatherings and the return to school, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said on Tuesday (Sept 1) during a news conference in Cedarville.

"The virus is not going away," Mr DeWine, a Republican, said. "We think a significant part of this is caused by our colleges going back as well as our grade schools going back."

College Reopenings

Colleges experiencing outbreaks didn't necessarily reopen too soon, according to Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The problem, he said in an interview on Tuesday, was that the schools did not have "the capability of dealing with students who got infected".

Schools should have tested students before they returned and planned "intermittent surveillance" to watch for rising cases, as well as creating a way to isolate students when they "inevitably" get infected, he said.

On Tuesday, Ohio reported 1,453 cases - the most in more than a month - and the state isn't seeing signs of the virus relenting. Despite mask mandates, a rule closing bars at 10pm, and myriad other health orders, the state's 21-day average of new cases sits around 1,000.

Per capita, nine of the top 10 counties for increasing cases are rural, Mr DeWine said. A carpool trip to a lake led to two businesses closing from an outbreak. A card game resulted in all family members present contracting the virus, he said.

Social gatherings like this are creating "a real movement into our rural areas", Mr DeWine said.

Illinois Recurrence

Illinois, too, has seen a resurgence of the virus over the last two months, reversing the progress that had lowered counts in May and June. On Aug 22, statewide daily cases hit the highest since May, and on Tuesday, the death count reached the most since June 26.

"We do not want to be part, here in Chicago, of this surge that we're seeing broadly across the Midwest," Ms Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said on Tuesday.

She noted Iowa, which ranks first in per capita cases, is among the states on the city's quarantine list and Indiana may be added next week given clusters developing in college towns.

"It is not the time to relax your guard," she said.

But that seems to be happening in Chicago and across Illinois, with more cases developing when people at weddings, reunions and other gatherings are not wearing masks, watching their distance or washing hands.

TESTING, TRACING

Outbreaks are going to continue to crop up because many states still don't have the ability to do widespread testing, tracing and isolating, Johns Hopkins' Mr Adalja said.

"Until they have that capacity, they're going to always run the risk of these chains of transmission getting started," he said. "Until we get to the point of being able to do the simple public-health measures in all 50 states, we're going to have this risk occurring and I do think we will periodically have these flares that occur in different states at different times."

Even within states, public health officials have struggled to make consistent progress across all of their cities and counties.
CALIFORNIA'S SPIKE

California, for instance, managed to stifle outbreaks in the urban San Francisco and Los Angeles areas only to see cases spike in the rural Central Valley.

Mr Mark Ghaly, secretary of the state Health and Human Services agency, said the outbreak appeared to have been driven in part by the valley's big farms, which employ large numbers of migrant workers. Those workers, mostly Spanish speakers, weren't hearing the state's messages about wearing masks and maintaining social distancing, he said.

While California is now pouring resources into tamping down the valley outbreak, he said more may follow, even as the state's overall virus numbers improve. The number of Californians hospitalised with Covid-19 has now dropped below 4,000, after peaking above 7,000 in July.

"We are continuing to learn how to address this broad geography," Mr Ghaly said. "I'm sure we'll have some counties that experience increased transmission in the months to come. We feel we're better prepared than we were in the summer and certainly in the spring."

straitstimes.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Myanmar seals off capital amid virus surge
(Reuters) – Myanmar has imposed mandatory quarantine and coronavirus tests for visitors to its capital city after the country reported dozens more infections on Wednesday and leader Aung San Suu Kyi warned of a "disaster for the country".

Anyone entering the capital, Naypyitaw, where the government is based, will be quarantined, tested, and allowed entry only if their result is negative, according to a government order published on Facebook.

People coming from the country's worst-hit areas will be quarantined in a facility for at least seven days, said the order by the Naypyitaw Council, while others will be allowed to leave earlier if they test negative.

Myanmar reported its first local transmission in a month in mid-August in the restive western Rakhine state. Since then, the number of cases has roughly doubled to 1,059 infections and six deaths, according to government data.

The majority of the cases and deaths have been in Rakhine, where government troops are fighting ethnic insurgents and authorities have imposed sweeping curbs on internet access.

Most recent infections have been in that state's capital, Sittwe, where officials have imposed a stay-at-home order and a curfew.

Sittwe is also home to camps where about 100,000 Rohingya Muslims have been confined since an outbreak of violence in 2012. Rohingya are mostly denied citizenship and face strict curbs on freedom of movement and access to healthcare.

But infections have been found across the country including in the biggest city, Yangon. Authorities imposed a partial lockdown in parts of Yangon on Tuesday, ordering residents of the worst-hit townships to stay at home other than for essential journeys. Bars and nightclubs have been closed.

Suu Kyi said those who disobeyed instructions would face punishment under the Natural Disaster Law, which carries prison terms of up to a year.

"More strict action will be taken under the Natural Disaster Law. This is a disaster for the country," she said in a video broadcast on Wednesday.

"If the pandemic spreads widely in Yangon, it will be very difficult to provide medical treatment to the people," she said.

Doctors say they fear a major outbreak in the country, which has a health system ranked among the world's worst after decades of neglect under military rule. Many services are run by volunteers and aid groups.

metro.us
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Philippines confirms 3,714 new coronavirus cases, 49 more deaths

(Reuters) - The Philippine health ministry on Friday reported 3,714 novel coronavirus infections and 49 additional deaths.

In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed cases have increased to 232,072 while COVID-19 deaths have reached 3,737.

reuters.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Jakarta running out of cemetery space as Covid-19 burials increase  straitstimes.com
East Jakarta's Pondok Ranggon cemetery expects to run out of space for Covid-19 graves in October because of the recent increase in the number of burials.

Mr Nadi, the cemetery's management officer, said there was only space left for another 1,100 burials in the cemetery's southern area of 7,000 sq m. "The capacity is likely to be critical in mid-October," Mr Nadi was quoted as saying by Kompas.com  on Saturday (Sept 5).

It is estimated that in October, the remaining land may accommodate only 380 to 400 bodies. Mr Nadi said the average number of bodies buried at the Pondok Ranggon cemetery was 700 a month. In August, an average of 27 bodies were buried per day.

"Aug 31 set a record, with 36 bodies buried that day, the highest number ever since I was put in charge in March," he said.

Since the establishment of the Pondok Ranggon cemetery as a Covid-19 burial location in March, the cemetery authorities have opened eight new plots and buried 2,623 bodies. "We use plot Nos. 91 to 99 (for Covid-19 graves), except plot No. 97, which is used for the general public. A plot can accommodate 240 to 300 bodies," said Mr Nadi.

Regarding the possibility of the cemetery reaching its limit in October, Mr Nadi admitted that his party had not come up with any plan. He only hoped that the number of Covid-19 cases and death toll would be reduced so that there would be fewer bodies of Covid-19 patients to bury.
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

India passes Brazil for world's second most virus cases
India overtook Brazil on Monday as the country with the second highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases, even as key metro train lines re-opened as part of efforts to boost the South Asian nation's battered economy.

India has emerged in recent weeks as the new global pandemic hotspot, although cases continue to soar across the globe with reported infections worldwide nearing 27 million and deaths surpassing 880,000.

France, Israel and Australia were among the nations forced in recent days to extend travel restrictions or impose new ones to try and contain fresh surges.

India, home to some of the world's most densely populated cities, has been reporting the highest single-day rises in the world and on Monday it confirmed a new record of nearly 91,000 new cases.

India's cases have now risen above 4.2 million, surpassing Brazil's total and making it the second-highest tally behind the United States' 6.25 million.

However, with India's economy imploding following months of travel restrictions, authorities pressed on with risky reignition plans.

The metro in the capital of New Delhi began reopening on Monday after a five-month shutdown and 12 other cities began restarting subway services.

Authorities imposed strict rules on passengers, with masks, social distancing and temperature checks mandatory.

During peak hour in New Delhi on Monday morning, carriages were sparsely filled as people followed guidelines dictating that only alternate seats could be occupied.

For total deaths worldwide, the United States has the most with more than 188,000, followed by Brazil with 126,000. India is next with about 71,000 fatalities.

- New European spikes -

Britain is battling another spike, with the number of daily cases hitting nearly 3,000 on Sunday, a level not seen since late May, according to health ministry figures.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the latest sufferers were predominantly young people.

"It's important that people don't allow this illness to infect their grandparents and to lead to the sort of problems that we saw earlier in the year," he said.

The British government said it would tighten local restrictions in areas showing sharp rises in cases rather than impose a second national lockdown for fear of its effect on the economy.

In neighbouring France authorities placed seven more regions covering major cities including Lille, Strasbourg and Dijon on high alert Sunday as increases in infections accelerate.

Of the country's 101 "departments", 28 are now considered "red zones" where authorities will be able to impose exceptional measures to slow the virus if necessary.

The curbs come after France reported a record of nearly 9,000 daily cases on Friday, In Paris masks are now mandatory in all public spaces.

Lockdowns have also been imposed or extended Israel and Australia in recent days.

Israel decided Sunday to begin "a nightly closure" of 40 cities and towns with the highest infection rates.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said "educational institutions" would be closed and gatherings limited from Monday.

"I know these limitations are not easy, but in the current situation, there's no way to avoid them," Netanyahu said.

According to data collected by AFP, Israel has risen to fifth in the world for the number of infections per capita, ahead of Brazil and the United States.

In Spain, the government is trying to restart schools even as it records the highest number of new infections on the European continent.

Some Spanish parents are refusing to send their children back to class for the new school year despite the threat of sanctions from authorities.

"You have your whole life to learn, but if you lose your health, that's it," said Aroa Miranda, a 37-year-old mother-of-two in the coastal town of Castellon de la Plana.

"Going back to school is being treated like an experiment, we're like guinea pigs... for my eight-year-old, I will pretend he's ill so I don't have to send him to school."

msn.com
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thaiga

Philippines urges virus vigilance after lowest cases in 8 weeks
(Reuters) - The Philippines reported its lowest number of new daily coronavirus cases in nearly eight weeks on Monday, but officials sought to temper optimism and warned of a prolonged battle as the pandemic rages on.

The health ministry confirmed 1,383 new infections, bringing total cases to 238,727, the highest in Southeast Asia, but the least since July 14. It reported 15 new deaths, taking total fatalities to 3,890.

full article  uk.reuters.com

Singapore reports fewest daily COVID-19 cases in nearly six months

(Reuters) - Singapore's health ministry reported 22 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, the city-state's lowest daily count since mid-March.

reuters.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Rising UK coronavirus cases of great concern, senior medical officer says
(Reuters) – England's deputy chief medical officer said the rise in the number of coronavirus cases was of great concern and people had "relaxed too much" over the summer.

Warning people they would need to follow the guidelines, Jonathan Van-Tam said: "We have got to start taking this very seriously again".

"If we're not careful we're going to have a bumpy ride, people have relaxed too much," he said.

The United Kingdom recorded 2,948 daily confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to government data published on Monday, the second biggest 24-hour rise since May.

Daily case numbers had been rising at about 1,000 a day for most of August, but have started to increase in recent days. Britain's testing capacity has also increased since the peak of the first wave earlier this year.

The United Kingdom has suffered more than 65,000 excess deaths from coronavirus, according to the government's statistics office, with a surge that lasted longer and spread to more places than those in other hard-hit European nations like Italy and Spain.

metro.us
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Spain sets Western Europe virus record as football star tests positive
Spain has become the first country in Western Europe to pass 500,000 coronavirus infections, with French footballer Kylian Mbappe the latest sports star on the continent to test positive.

The new figures from Madrid came as concerns grow about a resurgence of the virus across Europe, with France tightening restrictions, cases in Britain spiking and schools resuming around the region in recent days.

Spain had largely gained control over its outbreak, but infections have surged since the restrictions were fully removed at the end of June, and there are concerns about the reopening of schools in the country.

"If we all take responsibility and here I am including the children... I believe that the return to school is very possible," health ministry official Fernando Simon said Monday.

"Although it will have an impact, it will certainly not have an excessive impact."

Many parents remained reluctant.

The return to school "is being treated like an experiment, we're like guinea pigs," said Aroa Miranda, a 37-year-old mother-of-two.

'We have to get out of our homes'

In neighbouring Morocco, the government shut all schools and imposed a lockdown on Casablanca on the very day they were supposed to reopen after cases surged in the city.

Officials said the virus risked overwhelming the North African country if it was not controlled, but some parents were left fuming.

"They were on cloud nine over returning to school tomorrow," one father wrote of his children on Twitter.

"How do you explain this to a six-year-old and an eight-year-old?"

Restrictions were also reimposed in France where seven more regions were placed on a red list after successively recording daily infection rates of between 7,000 and 9,000.

And in England, officials fiddled with overseas quarantine rules again, imposing curbs on travellers from seven Greek islands popular with holidaymakers, after Britain at the weekend registered a level of infection not seen since late May.

Worldwide infections to date now stand at more than 27 million and over 890,000 people have died from the disease, with the pandemic showing no sign of peaking.

In Asia, however, India pressed ahead with reopening its battered economy even as it surpassed Brazil on Monday as the second-most infected nation in the world with 4.2 million cases.

Trains began running again in the capital New Delhi after a five-month shutdown and 12 other cities also restarted subway services.

"For our lives to move on, we have to get out of our homes... so this is a good move by the government," commuter Deepak Kumar told AFP in Delhi.

Barty to skip French Open

Football star Mbappe was the latest in a growing number of high-profile figures to test postive in recent weeks, including Brazilian footballer Neymar, Hollywood star Dwayne Johnson and former Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi.

Mbappe has been ruled out of France's Nations League game against Croatia on Tuesday and is the seventh Paris Saint-Germain player to contract the virus.

A number of tennis players have also been infected, and on Tuesday, world number one Ashleigh Barty announced she will not defend her French Open crown due to virus fears.

The Australian star said it was a "difficult" decision but the health of her family and team came first.

French Open organisers have been forced to impose strict guidelines on players and far fewer spectators will be allowed to watch than initially planned.

Many sports have seen their calendars ripped to shreds by COVID-19, but the biggest single casualty has been the Tokyo Olympics, which were due to take place this summer.

International Olympic Committee vice president John Coates offered a note of hope on Monday, saying the rescheduled Games would go ahead next year regardless of the pandemic.

"These will be the Games that conquered COVID, the light at the end of the tunnel," Coates told AFP in an exclusive interview.

medicalxpress.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Philippines records 3,281 new coronavirus cases, 26 more deaths

(Reuters) - The Philippines' health ministry on Tuesday confirmed 3,281 new coronavirus infections and 26 additional deaths.

In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed cases have reached 241,987 while deaths have increased to 3,916.

reuters.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

'Don't kill your gran': Britain sounds COVID-19 alarm
British ministers and medics are urging the public to get serious again about COVID-19 after a sharp rise in infections raised fears the outbreak was slipping out of control in some parts.

Close to 3,000 new cases were recorded on Sunday (Sep 6) and again on Monday – a sudden jump from numbers much closer to 1,000 for most of August, and the highest since May.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said young people had become too relaxed about social distancing and could endanger older relatives through complacency.

"Don't kill your gran by catching coronavirus and then passing it on. And you can pass it on before you've had any symptoms at all," he told a BBC radio programme aimed at younger audiences.

About 41,554 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-19 in Britain, the worst fatalities toll in Europe, though in recent weeks infection numbers had been lower than in several European neighbours.

"The numbers have been going up and we've seen in other countries where this leads, and it is not a good place," Hancock added.

England's Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam warned of a "creeping geographic trend" as higher infection rates were being seen in many parts. "That is really a signal that we've got to change this now, got to start taking it seriously, very seriously again," he told Channel 4 News.

Britain enforced a relatively strict lockdown between late March and early July, but has been gradually easing it since. Pubs, restaurants, shops and gyms are open, albeit with social distancing.

The government increased penalties for serious breaches in August after police broke up several raves.

Tighter restrictions have been reimposed in places with a spike, including Manchester in northern England, Glasgow and other areas of Scotland, and Caerphilly county in Wales.

channelnewsasia.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

England to set tough new socialising rules after virus spike
(Reuters) - Tough new lockdown restrictions on social gatherings across the whole of England are to be announced on Wednesday as Prime Minister Boris Johnson tries to control a spike in COVID-19 infections.

From Sept. 14, groups of more than six people will be banned from meeting and fined if they fail to comply, Johnson will say.

The number of cases in Britain has begun to rise sharply again in recent days. Although testing is more widespread and the number of people in hospital is well below the peak of the outbreak, ministers fear it is beginning to slip out of control.

"We need to act now to stop the virus spreading," Johnson will say. "So we are simplifying and strengthening the rules on social contact - making them easier to understand and for the police to enforce."

The previous limit on the number of people who could socialise together was 30.

There were 2,460 new infections reported on Tuesday, 2,948 on Monday and 2,988 on Sunday - a sharp rise from levels of around 1,000 per day in August and attributed to high transmission among young people.

The new rules will not apply to workplaces or schools, and there will be exemptions for weddings, funerals and some organised team sports. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland set their own lockdown policies.

Nevertheless, it represent a backwards step in Britain's recovery from a pandemic that inflicted more deaths and more economic damage on the country than it did on European peers and has prompted widespread criticism of Johnson's leadership.

The decision will harm attempts to convince a sceptical public that it is safe to return to their workplaces - something Johnson and his ministers spent much of last week trying to do in a bid to limit the economic damage to town and city centres.

wincountry.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Malaysia says no more 'fist bumps' as coronavirus numbers jump
(Reuters) - Malaysian authorities on Tuesday reminded the public to avoid physical contact, including fist bumps as a form of greeting, as the number of new coronavirus cases in the country climbed to a three-month high.

The fist bump, where two people briefly press their closed fists together, has replaced the traditional handshake in popularity as people around the world sought to limit the spread of the pandemic.

But Malaysia's top health official said any form of physical contact presents the risk of infection and reminded people to maintain a distance of at least one metre (3.3 feet).

"This is why we're telling people not to fist bump," the Director-General of Health Noor Hisham Abdullah told reporters.

The Southeast Asian country recorded a three-digit rise in new infections for the first time since early June, with 100 cases reported on Tuesday.

Malaysia has so far avoided the level of outbreaks seen in neighbors the Philippines and Indonesia, which have 241,987 and 200,035 cases respectively. Indonesia's death toll of 8,230 is the region's highest.

Malaysia has reported a total of 9,559 infections, including 128 deaths.

reuters.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Philippines reports 3,176 new coronavirus infections, 70 more deaths

(Reuters) - The Philippines' health ministry on Wednesday reported 3,176 more novel coronavirus infections and 70 additional deaths.

In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed cases have increased to 245,143, nearly half of which were reported in the past 30 days, while confirmed deaths have reached 3,986.

reuters.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Myanmar expands curbs after another record rise in virus cases

(REUTERS) - Myanmar increased lockdown measures in its biggest city on Thursday (Sept 10) after reporting another record daily rise in coronavirus cases, with 120 new infections taking its overall cases past the 2,000 mark.

Health authorities expanded a stay-at-home order to nearly half of the townships in greater Yangon, a city of at least five million people, where most of the new infections were found.

The country has now reported a total of 2,009 Covid-19 cases and 14 deaths, with infections quadrupling since a month ago, when the virus resurfaced in the western state of Rakhine after weeks without a domestic case.

That prompted authorities to close schools nationwide and re-impose some restrictions that had earlier been eased.

Curbs on entry into Yangon and the capital Naypyitaw are also in place.

The authorities said offices, factories and government institutions would remain open in Yangon and workers would be exempt from the order to stay home.

straitstimes.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Quote from: thaiga on September 09, 2020, 10:17:03 PM
Philippines reports 3,176 new coronavirus infections, 70 more deaths

(Reuters) - The Philippines' health ministry on Wednesday reported 3,176 more novel coronavirus infections and 70 additional deaths.

In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed cases have increased to 245,143, nearly half of which were reported in the past 30 days, while confirmed deaths have reached 3,986.

reuters.com

Philippines records 3,821 new coronavirus cases, 80 more deaths

(REUTERS) - The Philippine Health Ministry on Thursday (Sept 10) confirmed 3,821 more new coronavirus infections, the most in 11 days, and 80 additional deaths.

In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed cases have increased to 248,947, the most in South-east Asia, while Covid-19 deaths have reached 4,066.

straitstimes.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Vaccine possible by year-end, deaths top 900,000: Virus Update
AstraZeneca Plc CEO Pascal Soriot said the coronavirus vaccine the company is developing with the University of Oxford could still be ready before the end of the year. Global deaths from the Covid-19 pandemic exceeded 900,000.

Lloyd's of London, the world's largest insurance market, said it expects to pay out as much as £5 billion ($6.5 billion) in claims related to coronavirus. Germany added four more French regions and two in Switzerland to its list of coronavirus risk areas.

In Asia, China's vaccine frontrunner said none of the recipients of its two shots has reported an obvious adverse reaction or infection. It is pressing ahead with testing after AstraZeneca suspended its trial. Tokyo is lowering its virus alert to one notch below the highest level.

Interviews from a new book revealed US President Donald Trump deliberately minimised the danger of the coronavirus, a move he defended as intended to limit panic.

Astra still aiming for vaccine by end of year

AstraZeneca's Soriot said the vaccine the company is developing could still be ready before the end of the year. Speaking at an online conference Thursday, Soriot sought to reassure investors after the company and its partner confirmed earlier this week that they had temporarily stopped giving patients the experimental shot.

The trial was halted after a participant in the UK got sick, triggering a review of safety data. It's still not clear whether the patient has a condition called transverse myelitis, a suspected diagnosis, Soriot said.

India vaccine maker keeps testing Astra shot

The Indian company enlisted to manufacture a billion doses of AstraZeneca's experimental Covid-19 vaccine is pushing ahead with its own clinical trial even while testing is halted.

The Serum Institute of India said it received a notice from the Drug Controller General of India seeking information on the illness of a person participating in AstraZeneca's trials in Britain. The regulator asked Serum to demonstrate why its clinical trial license should not be suspended until the safety of the vaccine is established, according to a report from the Press Trust of India.

Indonesia to boost capacity of facilities

Indonesia's government will increase the capacity of hospitals and health facilities after an increase in Covid-19 cases, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto told a press briefing on Thursday. The plan includes using rooms in an athlete's village in Jakarta and low-star hotels for self-isolation facilities.

Germany declares French, Swiss regions as risk areas

Germany added four more French regions and two in Switzerland to its list of coronavirus risk areas. The French regions of Occitanie, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes and Corsica are now included, joining Ile-de-France and Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, the country's public health institute said on its website.

The institute also added the Swiss regions of Geneva and Waadt, as well as the the Czech capital Prague and additional areas of Croatia and Romania. The German government advises against travel to areas considered a risk.

Lloyd's claims could reach $6.5bn

The coronavirus bill for insurers continues to mount with Lloyd's of London saying it expects to pay out up to £5 billion ($6.5 billion) in claims.

The world's largest insurance market announced a pre-tax loss of £400 million for the first half after reinsurance provisions helped cover some £2.4 billion of losses from Covid claims. The firm posted a £2.3-billion profit for the same period last year.

France 'must avoid lockdowns'

France must "do everything" to avoid lockdowns even though some local ones can't be ruled out, the head of the country's scientific council said in an interview on RTL radio.

The French are showing "too much laxism" in the face of the pandemic, said Jean-Francois Delfraissy, who heads a council that advises the government. He said he doesn't see a vaccine against Covid-19 before the first quarter.

Tokyo lowers virus alert

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government's expert panel on the coronavirus said it was lowering the virus alert in the city one notch from what had been the highest level. Infections have been falling in Tokyo from peaks reached about a month ago.

The city is also planning to end some of its restrictions on operating hours for bars and restaurants, allowing them to stay open longer, the Asahi newspaper reported.

Manhattan listings, Tokyo vacancies rise

Manhattan apartment rental listings jumped to a record 15,025 at the end of August, more than double the inventory from a year earlier, according to a report Thursday by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. The borough's vacancy rate reached a new high of 5.1%. Last August, it was under 2%.

In Tokyo, office vacancy rates rose for six months in a row, as the pandemic pushed some tenants to reduce space. The latest vacancy rate reading was 3.07%, the highest since Jan. 2018, according to data released by Miki Shoji Co.

Singapore dorm Infections linger

Singapore says that the new infection clusters emerging among more than 300,000 workers living in dormitories are due to many of them not being exposed to the virus yet.

The new cases in these accommodations that were previously declared clear of the virus were also not picked up by earlier tests as the virus was incubating, and had not yet reached the concentration that could be detected, according to Second Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng.

Indonesian stocks fall on restrictions

Indonesia's benchmark stock index fell 5% after its capital brought back social distancing measures amid a continued rise in the number of coronavirus cases.

Jakarta is bringing back restrictions on offices and restaurants, with employees of non-essential industries required to work from home and limit the use of public transportation starting Sept 14. Entertainment sites and places of worship will be shut.

China vaccine frontrunner says shots safe

China National Biotec Group Co said none of the recipients of its two coronavirus shots has reported an obvious adverse reaction or infection, as the Chinese vaccine front-runner presses ahead with testing after AstraZeneca paused its trial.

Hundreds of thousands of people have received the Covid-19 shots so far, said the vaccine developer, a subsidiary of state-owned drugmaker Sinopharm Group Co. The vaccine is being administered under an emergency-use program that allows experimental shots to be used for frontline workers before they complete final testing.

British public told to socialise less

Boris Johnson told the British public to limit social contact as much as possible as coronavirus infection rates rise across the country, threatening its fragile economic recovery.

The prime minister confirmed plans to ban gatherings of more than six people in England, and urged compliance to slow the spread of the disease and avoid a repeat of earlier restrictions which shuttered businesses, closed schools and plunged the UK into recession into its deepest recession in at least a century.

US cases rise 0.2%

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased 0.2% as compared with the same time Tuesday to 6.33 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The increase was lower than the average daily gain of 0.6% over the past week. Deaths rose by 0.3% to 189,972.

Florida reported 652,148 cases, up 0.3% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 0.4% in the previous seven days. The state posted 200 new Covid-19 deaths, the largest single-day increase in the three weeks, bringing the total to 12,115.

California reported 1,616 new virus infections, the lowest daily total since May 19, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Arizona reported 496 new virus cases, a day after recording just 81, which was the lowest daily tally since March. The 0.2% increase on Wednesday, to 206,541, was just below the prior seven-day average of 0.3%.

Texas's new cases increased by 4,285 to bring the cumulative total to 645,791. Houston extended its ban on parades, festivals, 5K runs and similar group events through the end of the year but will permit football tailgating parties and symphony concerts, albeit with limited capacity, Mayor Sylvester Turner said.

bangkokpost.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Myanmar reports 115 new cases, Philippines 4,040
Concern mounts a day after Myanmar imposes new lockdown
Myanmar reported 115 new coronavirus cases on Friday, a day after imposing sweeping new lockdown measures in its battle against a second wave of infections.

The tally stood at 2,265 cases and 14 deaths after infections quadrupled over the last month, since the virus resurfaced in the western state of Rakhine following weeks without a domestic case.

The Health Ministry announced 115 new cases in a Facebook post on Friday, following 142 reported on Thursday evening.

In the wake of the new outbreak, opposition parties have called for general elections set for November to be postponed.

On Thursday the government ordered people not to travel, except in emergencies.

Domestic airlines announced that services have been suspended until the end of September and health authorities widened a stay-at-home order to nearly half of the townships in greater Yangon, the biggest city.

The Philippines, meanwhile, reported 4,040 new coronavirus infections on Friday, the highest daily increase in 12 days, and 42 more deaths.

The Health Ministry said total confirmed cases had increased to 252,964, the most in Southeast Asia, while confirmed deaths have reached 4,108.

bangkokpost.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Covid continues march across Philippines, Indonesia

While cases of Covid-19 remained under control in Thailand with just seven new infections – all imported – logged on Sunday, the virus continued to ravage Indonesia and the Philippines, with both Southeast Asian neighbours logging more than 3,000 new cases and more than 70 deaths.

Indonesia on Sunday reported 3,636 new coronavirus infections and 73 new deaths, data from the Health Ministry's website showed.

The latest report brought the total number of infections there to 218,382 and deaths to 8,723, the highest number of deaths in Southeast Asia.

The country's capital Jakarta will reimpose stricter wide-scale restrictions starting on Monday to control the spread of the virus in the megacity.

Meanwhile, the Philippines on Sunday recorded 3,372 new coronavirus cases and 79 more deaths.

In a bulletin, the Department of Health said the country's confirmed cases of infections had risen to 261,216, the highest in the region, while its death toll had climbed to 4,371.

bangkokpost.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

WHO reports record one-day increase in global coronavirus cases, up over 307,000
The World Health Organisation reported a record one-day increase in global coronavirus cases on Sunday (Sept 13), with the total rising by 307,930 in 24 hours.

The biggest increases were from India, the United States and Brazil, according to the agency's website. Deaths rose by 5,537 to a total of 917,417.

India reported 94,372 new cases, followed by the United States with 45,523 new infections and Brazil with 43,718.

Both the United States and India each reported over 1,000 new deaths and Brazil reported 874 lives lost in the past 24 hours.

The previous WHO record for new cases was 306,857 on Sept 6. The agency reported a record 12,430 deaths on April 17.

India leads the world in new cases reported each day and set a global record last week with 97,570 cases reported in a single day, according to a Reuters tally.

In some parts of India, medical oxygen is becoming hard to find as total cases exceed 4.75 million. Only the United States has recorded more cases at 6.5 million.

Covid-19 infections are still rising in 58 countries, including surges in Argentina, Indonesia, Morocco, Spain and Ukraine, according to a Reuters analysis.

New cases are falling in the United States and are down about 44 per cent from a peak of more than 77,000 new cases reported on July 16. Cases in Brazil are also trending downward.

asiaone.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Business braces for impact as Jakarta heads into second COVID-19 lockdown  channelnewsasia.com
The markings of a rollercoaster year are plastered over Sutiwet's small Jakarta restaurant – plastic barriers on the counters, stickers on the glass urging customers to wear masks, and a gallon of water out front for people to wash their hands.

But just as life in the Indonesian capital was starting to return to normal, the city's 10 million residents are heading into partial lockdown for the second time.

Jakarta's tightened social restrictions, effective from Monday (Sep 14) for two weeks, mean businesses, malls and houses of worship can only operate at limited capacity, while dining in at restaurants and cafes is not allowed.

Small business owners such as Sutiwet, who like many Indonesians goes by only one name, are bracing themselves for the economic impact.

"We almost managed to survive the first round of large-scale social restrictions, and here comes another one," Sutiwet, 45, told Reuters.

"For now, I am relieved that we are almost surviving, but it will definitely have an impact on income."

The second round of social restrictions, known locally as "PSBB", comes amid a spike in COVID-19 cases and as Jakarta's 67 designated coronavirus hospitals near full capacity.

Indonesia is the hardest-hit country in Southeast Asia, with 221,523 infections and 8,841 deaths.

As of Monday, Jakarta has reported more than 55,000 cases with nearly 1,500 deaths.

National COVID-19 task force chief Doni Monardo said 20 out of 67 Covid-19 referral hospitals in Jakarta had reported occupancy rates in their intensive care units at over 60 per cent.

Indonesia's president Joko Widodo has announced that 15 hotels will be used to quarantine COVID-19 patients with mild or no symptoms.

Jakarta administrators have also converted part of an athletes' village built for international sporting events for asymptomatic patients who need to be quarantined.

"The point is to provide more places for self-isolation so people won't have to quarantine at home with inadequate health standards," Monardo said Monday.

Months into the pandemic, businesses are feeling the crunch, said Shinta Khamdani, from the Indonesian employers' association.

"This (PSBB) policy is very deadly for us, depressing demand so much so that there is no driver for businesses to improve our economic performance," said Khamdani. "Right now, businesses are desperately trying to maintain their existence."

If social restrictions are implemented long term, many small and medium enterprises would not survive, she said.

Indonesia's government has the difficult challenge of balancing health and economic concerns, as the country faces a recession in the third quarter.

Heading to work on Monday, Lila Pratiwi, 34, said she was trying to adapt.

"Public transportation is my biggest concern, the government should pay attention as most of the new clusters are from offices and public transport," she said. "That's why I decided to walk today."

(pic below) A man dines while social distancing in Jakarta, Indonesia, Sep 14, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Adi Kurniawan)
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Philippines 30cm distancing rule seen as 'reckless'; COVID-19 deaths hit record
Experts described as dangerous and premature on Monday (Sep 14) the Philippines' decision to cut the social distancing minimum to 30cm on public transport, as the country saw another daily record in newly confirmed COVID-19 deaths.

Reducing gaps between passengers incrementally to a third of the 1 metre minimum could backfire, experts and medical professionals warned, and prolong a first wave of infections that the Philippines has been battling since March.

The new rules took effect on Monday, when the country reported 259 new confirmed deaths, a record for the second time in three days. Total fatalities increased to 4,630, while infections have doubled in the past 35 days to 265,888, Southeast Asia's highest number.

"This will be risky, reckless and counter-intuitive and will delay the flattening of the curve," Anthony Leachon, ex-president of the Philippine College of Physicians, told news channel ANC.

"Even if you wear a face shield and mask, reducing the distance between, it will be dangerous," he said, adding that 1 or 2 metres was the minimum international standard.

The transport ministry's new rules cut the distance to 75cm on Monday, 50cm on Sep 28 and 30cm on Oct 12. Conversation and phone calls are now prohibited.

The health ministry on Monday urged the public to be "extra vigilant" in tight travel conditions and to choose other transport modes if possible.

Manila's transport systems are notoriously crowded, with commutes typically involving long queues and several changes.

"It is likely that we will see an increase in cases and our recovery will slow if we do this now," said epidemiologist Antonio Dans.

Dans is a member of a health professionals alliance that last month pleaded for a tightening of Manila's lockdown - a "timeout" to stop hospitals being overrun. It urged a rethink of the 30cm rule.

The plan aims to help an economy that the government sees contracting 5.5 per cent this year, the worst shrinkage in 35 years.

"Reopening the economy will never happen unless the viral transmission is controlled," added Leachon, a former advisor to the government's COVID-19 task force.

channelnewsasia.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Philippines reports 3,544 novel coronavirus cases, 34 more deaths

(Reuters) - The Philippines' health ministry on Tuesday confirmed 3,544 additional novel coronavirus infections and 34 more deaths.

In a bulletin, the ministry said total infections had increased to 269,407, the highest in Southeast Asia, while confirmed deaths have reached 4,663.

in.reuters.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

At least 17 Indian MPs infected with coronavirus as cases near 5 million
(Reuters) - At least 17 members of the Indian parliament have tested positive for the coronavirus, government officials said on Tuesday, underlining the widening spread of infections set to cross five million cases soon.

The lawmakers were screened ahead of the re-opening of parliament on Monday after six months. MPs cleared by the tests wore masks, occupied seats with glass enclosures and worked for truncated hours.

Twelve of the 17 infected MPs were from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, according to a government official who had a list of the lawmakers. All 17 were members of the 545-member lower house of parliament.

One of them, Meenakshi Lekhi, a BJP MP, said she is doing fine.

"After the routine parliament test for COVID & genome test it's confirmed that I have tested positive for the virus. I am currently in good health & spirits," she said in a tweet.

It was not immediately known how many members from the 245-strong upper house of parliament, known as the Rajya Sabha, had tested positive.

Lekhi, a spokeswoman for the BJP, is the latest in a string of politicians who have been infected with the coronavirus, the most high-profile of them being Home Minister Amit Shah, who spent most of August in hospital after being detected with COVID-19.

Shah, a close aide of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was admitted to hospital again over the weekend for a routine health check-up, the hospital said. He has not yet attended parliament.

The government is doing all it can to contain the spread of the coronavirus, Federal Health Minister Harsh Vardhan told the upper house of Parliament on Tuesday, while asking members for their support in increasing awareness.

"The battle for COVID is far from over," Vardhan said in his speech to the upper house.

Cases in India have been surging and the country reported 83,809 new coronavirus infections for its lowest daily jump in a week, the health ministry said on Tuesday.

The world's second-most populous nation appeared to be on course to cross the milestone of 5 million cases on Wednesday, as its tally of 4.93 million is just 70,000 short.

India, where cases have been rising faster than any other nation, lags only the United States in terms of its number of total infections.

The death toll crossed 80,000 on Tuesday, swelled by 1,054 in the last 24 hours, the ministry added

in.reuters.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Quote from: thaiga on September 15, 2020, 10:46:18 PM
At least 17 Indian MPs infected with coronavirus as cases near 5 million
(Reuters) - At least 17 members of the Indian parliament have tested positive for the coronavirus, government officials said on Tuesday, underlining the widening spread of infections set to cross five million cases soon.

in.reuters.com

India's coronavirus cases pass 5 million
India's total coronavirus cases passed 5 million on Wednesday (Sep 16), health ministry data showed, as the pandemic extends its grip on the vast country at an ever-faster rate.

With its latest 1 million cases recorded in just 11 days, a world record, India now has 5.02 million infections. Only the United States has more, with 6.59 million.

India has for some time been recording the world's biggest daily jumps in cases, and on Wednesday, the rise was just over 90,000 with a record 1,290 deaths.

While India took 167 days to reach 1 million cases, the next million came in just 21 days, faster than the US and Brazil, according to the Times of India.

Just 29 days later, India became only the third country after the US and Brazil to post 4 million infections. India passed Brazil earlier this month.

Even so, and with India now testing around a million people daily, many experts say that this is not enough and that the true number of infections may be far higher.

This has been borne out in several studies in recent weeks measuring antibodies against the virus among the cramped populations of megacities New Delhi and Mumbai.

A World Health Organization special envoy described the global pandemic situation as "horrible" and "grotesque".

"It's much worse than any of the science fiction about pandemics," David Nabarro told British MPs on Tuesday.

"This is really serious - we're not even in the middle of it yet. We're still at the beginning of it."

The India Council for Medical Research, the country's lead pandemic agency, said last week that its survey had suggested that already in May, 6.5 million people were infected.

The same goes for deaths - 82,066 as of Wednesday, less than half the US toll of 195,000 - with many deaths not properly recorded by authorities even in normal times.

"WRONG SIGNAL"

India has one the world's most poorly funded healthcare systems and the nation of 1.3 billion people is home to some of the most densely populated cities and towns.

The sharp rise in cases is despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government imposing in late March one of the world's strictest lockdowns, leaving tens of millions of people in the informal labour market jobless almost overnight.

The lockdown saw complete travel bans, shutting down of businesses and factories, and the flight of millions of poor migrant workers from big cities to their villages that experts say caused the virus to spread from urban centres to small towns.

India's GDP slumped nearly 24 per cent in the first quarter, one of the steepest drops among major economies.

The lockdown has been steadily eased even as infections soar, with schools set to open for some classes on Monday - along with tourist hotspot the Taj Mahal.

"Initially there was a fair amount of rigour in the lockdown but subsequently there was some relaxation before it was completely lifted," K Srinath Reddy, head of health charity the Public Health Foundation of India, told AFP.

"It sent a wrong signal to the people that possibly we have got things reasonably under control and now the economy takes precedence. The virus is now infecting more people and penetrating deeper into smaller towns."

channelnewsasia.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Myanmar races to build field hospital as COVID-19 surge stretches health system full article channelnewsasia.com
Myanmar authorities are racing to build a field hospital in the commercial capital of Yangon to cope with a surge of COVID-19 infections that doctors fear threatens to overwhelm the country's fragile health system.

The Southeast Asian nation reported 307 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday (Sep 15), its highest daily toll since the start of the pandemic in March, and another 134 on Wednesday morning, taking the total to 3,636 cases and 39 deaths.

Myanmar had gone weeks without a case of local transmission before an outbreak in mid-August in the western region of Rakhine that has spread across the country.

Three hospitals in Yangon, the site of most of the cases and now under a second lockdown, have been repurposed to treat COVID-19 patients and the government is building a field hospital with 500 beds on a football pitch.

"We have no more space to accommodate a huge outbreak," Kaung Kyat Soe, the chief of the new temporary hospital, told Reuters on Tuesday, as construction workers labored on the field.

"The situation will get worse if we can't accept patients, that's why we are building the shelters urgently," he said 

(pic below) Workers building temporary shelters for coronavirus patients on a football pitch in Yangon. (Photo: AFP/Ye Aung Thu)
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Amid COVID testing chaos, UK says: We're trying to fix it
(Reuters) - Amid growing anger over a bottleneck in Britain's creaking coronavirus testing system, the government promised on Wednesday to do whatever it takes to boost laboratory capacity that has left people across the land with no way to get a COVID-19 test.

In an attempt to slow one of the highest coronavirus death tolls in the West, Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised in May to create a "world-beating" system to test and trace people exposed to the virus.

But repeated attempts by Reuters reporters to get COVID-19 tests failed, while at a walk-in testing centre at Southend-on-Sea in eastern England hundreds of people were queuing to get a test - some from as early as 0500 GMT.

"Laboratory capacity has been an issue, we are working our way through that," Justice Secretary Robert Buckland told Sky News.

"We'll do whatever it takes to make sure we have that capacity," he told BBC TV. "We know where the pressure points are, we are piloting new walk-in test centres."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Tuesday that fixing the system would take weeks. Buckland said health workers, care home workers and school children and their parents should get priority for tests.

Though Britain's testing problems are acute, other major European countries have also had hiccups.

in.reuters.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Quote from: thaiga on September 15, 2020, 10:39:42 PM
Philippines reports 3,544 novel coronavirus cases, 34 more deaths

(Reuters) - The Philippines' health ministry on Tuesday confirmed 3,544 additional novel coronavirus infections and 34 more deaths.

In a bulletin, the ministry said total infections had increased to 269,407, the highest in Southeast Asia, while confirmed deaths have reached 4,663.

in.reuters.com

Philippines confirms 3,550 new coronavirus infections, 69 deaths

(Reuters) – The Philippines' health ministry on Wednesday recorded 3,550 additional novel coronavirus infections and 69 more deaths.

In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed cases had risen to 272,934, the most in Southeast Asia, while confirmed deaths have reached 4,732.

metro.us
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Red Cross warns coronavirus is driving discrimination in Asia
(Reuters) – The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) warned on Thursday that the novel coronavirus is driving discrimination towards vulnerable communities in Asia, including migrants and foreigners.

The humanitarian agency surveyed 5,000 people in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Pakistan and found about half blamed a specific group for spreading the coronavirus, with many mentioning Chinese people, immigrants and foreigners.

"It is particularly concerning that both national migrant and foreign workers are blamed for the spread of COVID-19 as they are quite vulnerable already," Dr Viviane Fluck, one of the lead researchers and the agency's Asia Pacific community engagement and accountability coordinator, told Reuters.

She said there should be more focus on combating "rumors that are linked to underlying power dynamics and structural issues of inequality".

More than half of the Indonesians surveyed blamed "foreigners and rule-breakers" while in Myanmar, the groups most often thought to be responsible were people from China and other foreigners.

In Malaysia, two-thirds blamed a "specific group", most frequently mentioning migrants, foreign tourists and "illegal foreigners", the researchers said.

Malaysian authorities arrested hundreds of undocumented migrants and refugees in May in a crackdown the United Nations said could push vulnerable groups into hiding and prevent them from seeking treatment.

Police said at the time the operation was aimed at preventing people from traveling amid movement curbs.

In Pakistan, most people surveyed blamed inadequate government controls on the Iranian border, followed by nationals including pilgrims coming back from Iran and then people from China.

In all four countries, higher education had a small impact on whether respondents blamed a specific group, with university graduates slightly less likely to hold certain people responsible, the researchers said.

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Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

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