O2 completes relocation with White Rose letting

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[UPDATED] Indonesia bars entry to visitors from China amid evacuation protest

first_imgIndonesia on Sunday barred entry to visitors who have been in China for 14 days over concern about coronavirus, as citizens evacuated from Hubei province faced protests by some residents on their return home.There have not been any confirmed cases of coronavirus in Indonesia, but neighboring Philippines on Sunday reported the first death from the virus outside China.Indonesia will also temporarily stop flights to and from mainland China starting Wednesday. It will immediately bar visitors who have been in China for 14 days from entering or transiting, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi told a televised news conference. Indonesia’s Lion Air Group has already stopped its flights to China.Marsudi also asked Indonesians not to travel to China during the coronavirus epidemic.In China, the virus has killed 304 people and infected more than 14,000. More than 20 other countries and regions outside mainland China have also reported cases.Read also: Coronavirus: Indonesians from Wuhan arrive in Batam, before taken to Natuna for quarantine Earlier on Sunday, the government flew 243 Indonesians from China’s Hubei province, the epicentre of the virus, and placed them under quarantine at a military base on the sparsely populated Natuna Besar island northwest of Borneo.Marsudi said a total of 285 people, including flight crew and the team involved in the evacuation, will have to stay there for 14 days under observation.Although she said all were reportedly healthy, their presence on the island alarmed some residents.Around 200 people set tires ablaze during a protest rally on Sunday, regional police spokesman Harry Goldenhard said by telephone.”What the government is doing has been weighed and planned carefully. The location of the observatory is far from their homes, some 6 km away,” he said.”The virus won’t spread,” Goldenhard said. Topics :last_img read more

South Korea confirms 52 more coronavirus cases, total 156

first_imgThe mayor of Daegu — South Korea’s fourth-biggest city, with a population of over 2.5 million — has advised residents to stay indoors, and commanders at a major US base in the area restricted access.Residents wore masks to go about their daily activities Friday.Shincheonji is often accused of being a cult and claims its founder, Lee Man-hee, has donned the mantle of Jesus Christ and will take 144,000 people with him to heaven on the day of judgment.The KCDC said one more case had been confirmed at a hospital in Cheongdo county near Daegu where a total of 16 infections have now been identified, including a long-stay patient who died Wednesday after showing symptoms of pneumonia.Topics : South Korea confirmed 52 more cases of novel coronavirus on Friday, taking its overall figure to 156 and making it the worst-infected country outside China.Altogether 39 of the new cases were linked to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in the southern city of Daegu, the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.More than 80 members of Shincheonji have now been infected, starting with a 61-year-old woman who developed a fever on February 10 but attended at least four church services before being diagnosed.last_img read more

Judge orders US activist Chelsea Manning freed from jail

first_imgA US judge on Thursday ordered former US military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning released from jail, a day after a support group said she tried to kill herself.She had been imprisoned since May 16 last year for refusing to appear before a grand jury targeting anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.Because the grand jury was discharged on Thursday, “the court finds that Ms Manning’s appearance before the grand jury is no longer needed, in light of which her detention no longer serves any coercive purpose,” US District Judge Anthony Trenga wrote in his decision from Alexandria, Virginia, just outside Washington. However, the judge ordered Manning, 32, to pay $256,000 in fines levied for her refusal to testify.Under the order detaining her last year, Manning was to be held either until she agreed to testify or for the life of the grand jury, but no longer than 18 months.Manning’s leaks years earlier of classified documents related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan made her a hero to anti-war and anti-secrecy activists, and her actions helped make WikiLeaks a force in the global anti-secrecy movement.”I object to this grand jury… as an effort to frighten journalists and publishers, who serve a crucial public good,” Manning said in a letter to the court last year, according to the Sparrow Project support group. Manning has also said she answered all questions about her involvement with WikiLeaks years ago.The Sparrow Project said on Wednesday that Manning was recovering in a hospital after trying to commit suicide.Manning was ordered to testify last year for an investigation examining actions by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in 2010.At the time Manning, a transgender woman then known as Bradley Manning, was a military intelligence analyst.She delivered more than 700,000 classified documents into WikiLeaks’s hands. The documents exposed cover-ups of possible war crimes and revealed internal US communications about other countries.Sentenced in 2013 to 35 years in prison, she was released in May 2017 after the commutation of her sentence by president Barack Obama.Topics :last_img read more

Irish PM expects 15,000 coronavirus cases by end of March

first_imgTopics : Ireland’s economy was the fastest growing in the European Union before the outbreak, bringing the unemployment rate down to 4.8% and its workforce up to a record 2.36 million people.Some 20,000 alone presented at unemployment offices on Friday to apply for jobless benefits, the government said.’Your country needs you’After struggling to implement “social distancing” measures, many pubs announced voluntary closures before the shutdown, and restaurants around the country continued to follow suit on Monday as the industry’s main lobby group called for the government to shut the entire industry down.Industry body Retail Excellence Ireland also reported on Monday that many of its members had temporarily shut their doors, calling it the “hardest and most challenging day in Irish retail history.”Varadkar said his public health team’s advice, however, was that restaurants should not close and that they had an important function.Ireland’s chief medical officer, Tony Holohan, said the next seven days were vital in the battle to slow the spread, urging citizens to reduce social contacts to only a handful of people and keep 2 meters away from anyone else in shops and supermarkets.As the government prepared to source additional beds for recovering patients in facilities such as hotels, Health Minister Simon Harris said a massive recruitment drive would begin on Tuesday aimed at retired doctors, part-time healthcare workers and university students with sufficient skills to help”We will hire everybody that we can to work in the Irish health service for this pandemic. We need you, we want you, your country needs you,” Harris said.  “We would expect that by the end of the month there would be maybe 15,000 people who would have tested positive for COVID-19. Most of those will not need treatment but a proportion will need to be hospitalized and we need to make sure that it doesn’t happen at the same time,” Varadkar told a news conference.”It’s not about locking down the country tomorrow and stopping the virus spreading. That’s not possible. … Nobody can predict it, but I definitely think we’re going to be dealing with this for many months, not weeks.”Ireland upgraded its travel advice, urging those not involved in essential services like haulage to stay at home. Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney said that included travel to neighboring Britain, but not the British region of Northern Ireland, which shares an open border with the Irish Republic.Varadkar added that 100,000 or more workers could find themselves unemployed because of the economic fallout over the next couple of weeks and that he was confident banks would be able to offer forbearance to mortgage holders who lose their jobs.center_img Ireland expects its number of coronavirus cases to increase to around 15,000 by the end of the month from 169 currently, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Monday, as the government advised against all non-essential travel overseas until then.Ireland has so far closed all schools, universities, bars and childcare facilities until March 29 and limited mass gatherings in a bid to curb the spread of the virus that has so far led to two deaths.Publishing a plan covering everything from energy security to policing aimed at reducing the economic and social disruption as best the government can, Varadkar warned of a rapid rise ahead and pleaded with the public to help slow the surge.last_img read more

Coronavirus could create bed shortage in US hospitals

first_imgTopics : “A lot depends on what will happen in the next few days, in the next few weeks.”There are 4,200 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the official name for the virus, in the United States, and 73 deaths, numbers which no doubt are far from their peak.But the leading global economic power has only one million hospital beds, which works out to 2.8 beds per 1,000 inhabitants — far less than other countries that have been severely affected by the pandemic (12.3 beds in South Korea, 4.3 in China, 3.2 in Italy), according to numbers from the OECD.As for intensive care unit (ICU) beds, there are fewer than 100,000 beds, the vast majority of which are already occupied, according to the American Hospital Association (AHA). The Health Department estimated that the US would need at least 200,000 ICU beds for a moderate crisis and up to 2.9 million for an acute one, since about five percent of COVID-19 patients require intensive care hospitalization. ‘Nightmare’Intensive patients also often require ventilators to help them breath, but the US has only 160,000 such machines, another vastly insufficient number.According to US media reports, President Donald Trump on Monday urged state governors to buy their own medical equipment to fight the coronavirus, instead of counting on the federal government.Under these conditions, some medical professionals are afraid they will soon have to make chilling decisions.In an essay titled “The nightmare of rationing healthcare,” published in The Washington Post, doctor Thomas Kirsch recalls waking up with a start, 10 years after a mission in Haiti where he had to decide which patients to give priority treatment.Health professionals will be under “moral stress” if it falls on “their personal shoulder to allocate beds or ventilators,” said Nancy Kass, the deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. She called on authorities to implement guidelines in advance so as not to leave doctors alone in the face of such harrowing choices.center_img The army “We still have an opportunity to prevent the worst-case scenario,” said Tsai.”If we are serious about social distancing, we have an opportunity to flatten the curve,” the oncology surgeon said, referring to the isolation measures taken over the past week.To free up resources, hospitals are seeking to minimize patient visits with remote diagnoses, but above all to postpone any non-urgent medical interventions.”I have spent the morning calling upon my patients letting them know, if their operation could wait a couple of months, let’s postpone,” said Tsai, for whom these efforts could result in a 25 percent increase in bed capacity.Others are considering employing the army. “Without immediate action, the imminent failure of hospital systems is all but certain,” said New York governor Andrew Cuomo on Sunday in an open letter to Trump.”Our best hope is to utilize the Army Corps of Engineers to leverage its expertise, equipment and people power to retrofit and equip existing facilities — like military bases or college dormitories — to serve as temporary medical centers. Then we can designate existing hospital beds for the acutely ill,” Cuomo urged.In the same vein, Joe Biden, the frontrunner to become the Democratic presidential nominee, called on soldiers to build field hospitals.Trump has yet to respond.Meanwhile, multiple hospitals in states ranging from California, to Florida, to North Carolina, have begun setting up tents outside their entrances to conduct initial screenings before patients enter the building. Beds, ventilators and masks soon could all be in short supply in US hospitals rocked by the novel coronavirus, with doctors worrying they may have to start choosing which patients to treat.”You have seen empty shelves in grocery stores,” and the stress created by the lack of toilet paper, said Thomas Tsai, a surgeon and assistant professor at Harvard’s School of Public Health.”Imagine that same panic if hospitals became empty of protecting gears for physicians, and ventilators. That’s the mental image I think about” if the crisis deepens, the hospital doctor told AFP.last_img read more

Europe’s doctors repeat errors made in Wuhan, China medics say

first_imgAs Europe’s daily new cases of the coronavirus now eclipse China’s at the peak of its epidemic, doctors in Wuhan — the city in central China where the pathogen first emerged — are seeing worrying signs of similar mistakes unfolding.Key among them is inadequate protection for medical workers, leading to a high infection rate among doctors and nurses. In Wuhan, a lack of understanding of the disease and a shortage of protective equipment in the early weeks of the outbreak in January led to thousands of health-care workers being infected while treating patients. At least 46 have died.“Our European colleagues are contracting the disease in their daily practice, and the proportion is quite similar to the earlier situation in Wuhan,” said Wu Dong, a gastro-enterology professor at the Peking Union Medical College Hospital. Wu spoke from Wuhan with journalists in Beijing on Monday, alongside three other top Chinese doctors. “We need to protect our medical staff.” What doctors treating COVID-19 in Wuhan say about the virusThe toll on medical workers is an emerging crisis faced by major western countries where the virus has now taken hold. From Italy to the US, countries are reporting a shortage of protective medical supplies like masks in hospitals, while the rapidly growing patient load is overwhelming doctors and nurses. The highly-contagious nature of the virus means that it has shown signs of being transmitted in unusual ways, like through the eyes.In Wuhan, ear, nose and throat (ENT) and eye doctors were infected at higher rates than colleagues in the same hospitals, Du Bin, director of the intensive care unit at Peking Union Medical College Hospital, said at the same briefing.“My personal interpretation is these doctors have very close contact with the patients, that’s the major reason that they got easily infected,” he said. “It’s important to get doctors educated and trained on how to protect themselves.” The epidemic has now sickened over 170,000 globally and killed over 7,000. While it’s slowed in China — only 21 new domestic case of infection were reported on Tuesday — it’s accelerating in Europe and the US, cutting a particularly deadly swathe in countries like Italy, where the reported mortality rate is currently almost twice that of China’s.In China, where the population is cautiously resuming their daily activities, the death of prominent doctors during the course of the crisis has been a lightning rod for public anger over the government’s handling of the outbreak. The death of Li Wenliang, a 34-year-old doctor who was one of the first whistle-blowers about the disease in December and was sanctioned by local authorities, ignited a wave of rare public fury against the Communist Party.The Chinese doctors at Monday’s briefing had other insights into treating the disease: Prioritize testing.Unlike previous pandemics like the 2003 one caused by SARS, the coronavirus causes only mild or even no symptoms in some infected people at first, which means they’re unknowingly spreading the virus to others. Administering nucleic acid tests, which identify the virus’ genetic sequence in patient samples, is essential, said the doctors.“Test, test, test,” said Du. “Apart from testing, I just have no idea how you can identify the suspected cases, and how to quarantine the close contacts.”Virus-test divide exposes government Successes — and failuresTesting has become a barometer of competence for the world’s governments and health-care systems. The US government is facing widespread public anger for the slow roll-out of tests, while nations from Indonesia to India are being criticized for not testing much at all. South Korea, which had the second-biggest number of cases in Asia, has gotten its epidemic under control largely through testing tens of thousands of people daily.While the population most at risk is over 60, children can be infected by COVID-19 and some cases have been fatal, the head of the World Health Organization said at a briefing Monday.Adults are 2.7 times more likely to get the disease than children, according to a study published in the Nature Medicine journal on Monday of 745 children and 3,174 adults. Most of the infected kids had close contact with confirmed patients or were part of family clusters.Du said the majority of children infected have only mild symptoms, and all have survived so far. In the Journal of the American Medical Association, another study showed that among nine infants, none required intensive care or had severe complications.Traditional Chinese MedicineWhile no drugs have yet been approved to treat the virus, there’s been a lot of attention within China on the use of Traditional Chinese medicine, or TCM, by patients. The herb-based treatments are being used in some 87% of cases in the country, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Feb. 17.“TCM works quite well in patients with mild diseases, and in those who have recovered from their critical illness,” said Du. But it’s hard to judge the efficacy of the treatment from a western medical point of view. The evaluation system for the TCM could be “futile or invalid”, because it has a different philosophy or evaluation system for efficacy from western medicine, he added.The doctors said that it seemed to them that China’s domestic outbreak has come to an end, but that the country still needs to be vigilant.“Even in Wuhan, we should remain alert, we should prepare for future sporadic cases and future imported cases,” said Du.China is now providing assistance to other affected countries. Last week, a Chinese plane carrying medical professionals and about 30 tons of medical supplies landed in Italy.“Every nation has its own COVID-19 situation. We are not saying this is China’s example and you should follow, we totally respect that you take your own actions,” said Wu, “But everyone of us should take it seriously, take necessary actions, change your behavior, and be responsible.”Topics :last_img read more

Germany to reopen all shops and schools in May

first_imgGermany will take new steps towards normalization in May, including reopening shops and schools after weeks of shutdown imposed to control the spread of the coronavirus, according to a draft agreement seen by AFP Wednesday.”Even after initial steps to open up were introduced from April 20, the number of new infections remained low,” the document read, with “no new wave of infection” so far detected — justifying the series of bolder reopening steps.So far, only certain children like those soon facing exams had been allowed to return to class. Regarding shops, the politicians said all could reopen but requirements “for hygiene, managing entry and avoiding queues forming” would be imposed.So far only shops up to a floor space of 800 square meters had been authorized to resume sales.States will also have a free hand over whether to reopen restaurants beginning on May 9, as well as on decisions affecting theatres, concert halls, nightclubs and gyms.Meanwhile the one major coronavirus restriction set to remain in place — likely for several months — is a ban on large gatherings like sports matches, cultural events or festivals.Such events will remain forbidden until “at least August 31”, according to the text.What’s more, lockdown measures will be reimposed if the number of coronavirus infections begins to mount again.If more than 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants are detected within seven days, the affected city or district must impose “a corresponding lockdown plan”.In case of a “localized and clearly containable infection pattern” — such as in a single institution like an old people’s home — the measures could be limited only to the specific place affected, rather than a whole region.The government also includes a general call for Germans to continue to maintain a safe distance from one another and wear masks in shops and on public transport. Topics :center_img But now kindergartens and primary schools will also reopen from next week.”Step-by-step, schools should make possible education of all pupils while implementing appropriate hygiene measures and upholding distancing rules,” the document read.Chancellor Angela Merkel and premiers from Germany’s 16 federal states are expected to sign off on the text later Wednesday.Meanwhile it will be up to the individual regions to decide how to proceed with reopening universities.last_img read more

Wika records steep drop in new contracts in first quarter

first_imgMeanwhile, Wika also stated it would distribute Rp 457 billion in dividends, equal to 20 percent of the company’s 2019 profit, to its shareholders. The value of the dividend of each share will be Rp 50.95, higher than last year’s share dividend of Rp 38.6 per share.The company has also announced a leadership change, with the company’s operational director Agung Budi Waskito appointed as the new president director replacing Tumiyana.The shareholders meeting also agreed to appoint Public Works and Housing Ministry (PUPR) Water Resource Director General Jarot Widyoko as the company’s president commissioner, replacing Imam Santoso.Previously, considering the possibility of a prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts, the company signaled the possibility of proposing debt relaxation, as it has Rp 6.2 trillion in debts due this year.“We may ask our lenders for debt relaxation because prolonged impacts could affect our operational revenue,” Mahendra previously told The Jakarta Post.Topics : “With the new contracts, Wika has a total order book of Rp 80.68 trillion in 2020. This is a huge responsibility for our company, and we have to fulfill it with accurate strategies,” Wika corporate secretary Mahendra Vijaya said after a shareholders meeting in a press release on Monday.The majority of the new contracts came from private companies, followed by government contracts and state-owned companies.The total order book has also declined, compared to the Rp117.69 trillion the company recorded in the first quarter last year, according to the company’s website.It also enjoyed Rp 26.42 trillion in profit last year, a 26.42 percent increase from 2018. State-owned construction firm Wijaya Karya (Wika) has seen a decline in new contract figures as of April this year, amid the unfolding pandemic.The firm recorded Rp 2.82 trillion (US$201.4 million) in new contracts from January to April, a steep 73.1 percent drop year-on-year (yoy). The company secured Rp 10.5 trillion in new contracts in the same period last year, as reported by Kontan.co.id.The company’s performance in the first part of the year will make it difficult to achieve its target to record Rp 65.5 trillion in new contracts this year, a 59.7 percent increase from 2019, according to a press statement issued by the company.last_img read more

Government suspends licensing for new savings, loan cooperatives amid liquidity bind

first_imgThe Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises Ministry has suspended the licensing of new savings and loan cooperatives for three months following an apparent liquidity bind in cooperative KSP Indosurya Cipta.The ministry’s secretary, Rully Indrawan, said in a statement on Wednesday that the suspension had come into effect on May 29 and was part of an effort to maintain the sustainability and health of savings and loan cooperatives in Indonesia.The ministry instated the moratorium so it could review the licensing process for savings and loan cooperatives, Rully said. The decision was made after customers of KSP Indosurya Cipta sought help from lawmakers to address the cooperative’s failure to return a total of Rp 10 trillion (US$707.51 million) to 8,000 customers.  “There are several cooperatives that have not conducted their savings and loan businesses according to principal, basic values, and the prevailing conditions of such cooperatives have caused problems for their members and other members of the public,” Rully said in the statement.Read also: ‘We want our money back’, customers of Indosurya cooperative tell legislatorsThe ministry’s supervision deputy Akhmad Zabadi said the suspension was meant to improve the ministry’s integrated supervisory system, which he hoped would maintain the sustainability of the savings and loan cooperatives.It is hoped that the system will improve the public image of savings and loans cooperatives, as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused several problems in the sector, such as liquidity constraints and expansion difficulties, he added.Licensing requests submitted before the circular was issued will still be processed according to prevailing laws.The pandemic has caused several savings and loan cooperatives to face a decline in loan repayments. Members have withdrawn their savings, causing the cooperatives to see a decline in equity and face difficulties with internal consolidation and member services. Topics :last_img read more