October 19, 2020

More guests leave Canary Islands hotel locked down over coronavirus

first_imgInside the hotel, guests were allowed to circulate freely, using the restaurants and swimming pools, as long as they wore protective masks, washed hands regularly and checked their temperature twice a day, according to instructions from the health authority.Videos from inside the hotel showed guests sunbathing by the pool and others serving themselves at a restaurant buffet. Some guests complained that basic safety measures such as wearing masks and washing hands regularly were being ignored.Spain’s total number of coronavirus cases rose to 32 on Friday. The bulk of them were linked to Italy, the site of Europe’s worst outbreak.One of the cases involved a sports reporter from Valencia who had recently travelled to Milan, and the Valencia football club announced on Friday the suspension of all non-sports indoor events such as news conferences “that present risk to players, coaching staff and club staff”.The coronavirus can spread via droplets in the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes or breathes out, and these can also contaminate surfaces such as door handles and railings.Topics : The Canary Islands health department said the organisation of the guests’ departure was a police matter. Police would not comment.Half a dozen guests, including a baby in a pram, exited the H10 Costa Adeje Palace south of Tenerife, and underwent temperature scans in the back of the hotel before boarding a 15-seater minibus, the video, shot by hotel guest Christopher Betts, showed.One of the people boarding said he was from Belgium.Another small group left in a large taxi with darkened windows and five more people left in a second minibus. A large bus and another minibus were waiting in the laoding bay, according to Reuters witnesses. Three small groups of guests left a Tenerife hotel in minibuses on Friday on its fourth day of quarantine over thecoronavirus and at least two people could be seen leaving in an ambulance, but around 700 holidaymakers remained in the compound.It was not clear where they were being taken or whether those in the ambulance had any symptoms of the virus.The Canary Islands regional government on Thursday cleared 130 guests to leave the hotel, which was placed on lockdown after four cases of thecoronavirus were detected there, but others showed no symptom of illness.last_img read more

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South African first coronavirus case came via Dubai to Durban

first_imgPresident Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday warned that the virus would hurt travel and tourism, and have a negative impact on South Africa’s already struggling economy, but urged citizens not to panic.Since the coronavirus outbreak began in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December, it has infected almost 100,000 people worldwide and killed more than 3,000, mostly in China.It had largely spared sub-Saharan Africa, but since last month has been detected in Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and on Friday the first case was reported in Cameroon.Last week, Ramaphosa ordered the repatriation of nearly 200 citizens from Wuhan. Mkhize said none of those citizens, who are expected to return home in the next few days, had contracted the virus.Topics : South Africa’s first coronavirus case came from Italy via Dubai to the main airport in the eastern city of Durban, the health minister said on Friday.Zweli Mkhize was briefing media in Hilton, the eastern South African town where the man with the virus is admitted to hospital after testing positive the day before. Mkhize was correcting earlier reports that the man had come through the main international airport in Johannesburg.He added that there was currently no other South African coronavirus patient apart from the one reported already. The patient was a 38-year-old male who traveled to Italy with his wife, part of a group of 10 people and returned on March 1.last_img read more

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Diplomat from Philippines first known coronavirus case at UN in New York

first_imgSeveral UN meetings planned for Friday had been canceled in the wake of the diagnosis, diplomats said.The 193-member world body began implementing coronavirus prevention measures at its Manhattan headquarters this week, including closing off access to the public, more regular cleaning and cancelling some meetings. Half the several thousand UN staff who normally work in the building will work from home by next week.The World Health Organization has described the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic. The virus, which has been deadly for some people, broke out in China’s Wuhan city late last year and has so far infected some 125,000 people from 118 countries and territories. According to a Reuters tally it has killed 4,700.  Topics : The Philippines Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin posted on Twitter that the diplomat was young, spritely and “doing well,” adding that she had recently returned from Florida.The sick diplomat represented the Philippines in the UN General Assembly’s legal affairs committee. Azucena said the diplomat was last at UN headquarters on Monday for about half an hour when she was asymptomatic.She came down with flu-like symptoms on Tuesday and visited her doctor. “She got the call today that she tested positive for COVID-19,” Azucena wrote on Thursday.UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the Filipino diplomat met with two other diplomats and visited only one UN meeting room, which had been cleaned three times since Monday. He said the UN medical services was contacting those diplomats.center_img A female diplomat from the Philippines mission to the United Nations tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday, according to a note sent to UN missions, making the woman the first known case at the world body’s New York headquarters.”As of today, the Philippine Mission is in lockdown, and all personnel are instructed to self-quarantine and to seek medical attention should they develop the symptoms. We are assuming that all of us have been infected,” wrote Philippines acting UN Ambassador Kira Azucena in a message seen by Reuters.According to the online UN directory of diplomatic staff, there are about 12 diplomats at the Filipino mission, which is on 5th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.last_img read more

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Work-from-home policy in effect at major Jakarta companies over virus concerns

first_imgThe usually bustling city of Jakarta may seem less busy in the next few days as several major companies are instructing staff to work from home and, in some cases, are devising entirely new workflows over concerns about the spread of COVID-19.Homegrown e-commerce firm Tokopedia has announced it would conduct a trial period for remote work from Monday to Tuesday to assess the viability of such a plan.“The practice of working from home is actually commonplace among Tokopedia employees in certain divisions or situations, not just because of the recent global health issue,” Tokopedia Vice President of Corporate Communications Nuraini Razak told The Jakarta Post on Sunday via text message. “We have also anticipated a number of possible scenarios based on the developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as implementing a work-from-home policy,” Ongki Saputra, the company’s business continuity management coordinator, told the Post.The Post itself has also implemented a partial work-from-home policy for its staff members, as well as other preventive procedures over heightened concerns about COVID-19 in recent weeks.Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan previously asked private business owners to prepare for a protocol concerning remote working.“We have yet to prepare a protocol for that, but offices and companies have to prepare for the protocols and procedures. We did not wish for this to happen, but at least they will be prepared if something happens,” Anies said on Friday, while announcing that tourist destinations and entertainment places owned by the Jakarta administration would be closed for two weeks in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo also urged all Indonesians to “work from home, study from home and worship at home” in the coming weeks to stem the spread of the virus. As of Sunday evening, Indonesia had reported 117 confirmed cases of COVID-19, as well as six deaths. Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi was confirmed to have tested positive for the coronavirus and was labeled Case 76 on Saturday.Topics : “The trial run for remote work from March 16 to 17 is meant to test the employees’ readiness in case they’re unable to commute to the office due to possible hindrances,” she added.Similarly, a publicly listed consumer goods manufacturer, PT Unilever Indonesia, has also implemented a work-from-home policy since the World Health Organization officially designated the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic earlier this month.“Unilever globally has put in place stricter preventive measures to protect its employees and their families against COVID-19. One of the measures is implementing the work-from-home policy for office-based employees,” said Unilever Indonesia spokesperson Sancoyo Antarikso, adding that such an initiative was in line with WHO’s advice on social distancing.Meanwhile, online airline ticketing and hotel booking platform Traveloka has gone the extra mile and established a special team to monitor the latest developments regarding the health emergency and to ensure that the company’s day-to-day operations remain normal.last_img read more

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PREMIUMCoal mining companies demand clarity over whether they can use foreign ships

first_imgIndonesian coal mining companies are looking for clarity about a top government official’s vague claim that a Trade Ministry regulation that would have required the companies to only use Indonesian-flagged ships starting May has been revoked.The Indonesian Coal Mining Association (APBI) wrote in a statement on Friday that mining companies wanted the Trade Ministry to “immediately issue” a new regulation to revoke the problematic Trade Ministry Regulation No. 82/2017 “to ensure clarity for coal importers and exporters”.APBI chairman Pandu Sjahrir explained that the regulation, slated to take effect on May 1 after a two-year delay, would cut coal exports significantly.“Less than 2 percent of coal exports are being handled by domestically owned ships,” he said, adding that “several coal export shipments have been cancelled” b… Log in with your social account Google Facebook Indonesia coal-export shipment revocation Trade-Ministry Luhut-Binsar-Pandjaitan Indonesian-Coal-Mining-Association Linkedin Topics : Forgot Password ? LOG INDon’t have an account? Register herelast_img read more

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People are dying, ‘Pak’ Ma’ruf: Anies reports Jakarta’s harrowing situation to VP

first_imgThe Jakarta administration is reporting a worsening trend in the number of funerals using the protocols for people who died from the fast-spreading COVID-19.Between March 6 and Wednesday, 401 corpses were buried using the protocols: They were sprayed with disinfectant, covered in plastic and put inside coffins, according to Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan.Anies said the number of COVID-19-related funerals began to pick up on March 12, nearly a week after the first such funeral.On Thursday before 12 p.m. alone, the administration reported 38 bodies were buried using the protocols.Read also: Jakarta extends COVID-19 state of emergency to April 19“We were looking into data not only from the Health Ministry but also from cemeteries because some people with COVID-19 had not finished their test processes […] before they died,” Anies said during an online video conference with Vice President Ma’ruf Amin on Thursday. “Hence, we could not declare them COVID-19 patients.”Jakarta, the national epicenter of the outbreak, has started to conduct rapid tests across the province as the recent wave COVID-19 cases showed no signs of slowing down. It had performed rapid tests on 18,077 people by Tuesday, according to the Jakarta Health Agency’s head of disease control and prevention division, Dwi Oktavia Handayani.The test, which analyzes blood to detect whether a person has contracted the virus, found that 299 people were positive for COVID-19 while the remaining 17,778 people returned negative results.As of Thursday, the COVID-19 coronavirus, first discovered in December in Wuhan city in Hubei province in China, had infected 885 people in Jakarta — nearly half of the country’s confirmed cases.Read also: COVID-19: Jakarta awaits certainty from govt on quarantineOf the confirmed cases in the capital, 90 people had died of the disease while only 53 had recovered.“The situation is very concerning,” said the governor. “This was the reason we wrote a letter to the President proposing an extreme restriction measure.”Speaking with the Vice President, Anies requested support from the government in the form of testing kits that use throat swabs to detect whether a person has contracted the coronavirus.“Jakarta badly needs support to speed up the testing so we can detect people with the disease earlier,” said Anies. “Many cases were treated late. It has severe consequences if we are late in detection. They may already transmit the virus to others.”Ma’ruf said he would recommend the government support Jakarta in improving its testing.Topics :last_img read more

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Brazil sets another record for daily coronavirus deaths

first_img“We lament all deaths, but it’s everyone’s destiny,” Bolsonaro said in front of the presidential residence in Brasilia earlier on Tuesday.Even in states and cities where leaders had previously instituted lockdown orders, authorities have been rapidly loosening restrictions in recent days, despite the number of daily new cases continuing to grow in most regions.Topics : Brazil registered another record number of novel coronavirus deaths over the last 24 hours, the health ministry said on Tuesday evening, as the pandemic in Latin America’s largest country shows no signs of slowing down.The nation registered 28,936 additional cases of the novel coronavirus, the ministry said, and 1,262 deaths. There are now 555,383 total confirmed coronavirus cases in Brazil and 31,199 coronavirus deaths.The fresh record comes as some Brazilian leaders, including right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, continue to belittle the virus, warning that the economic fallout from quarantine measures will be worse than the virus itself.last_img read more

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World’s e-waste ‘unsustainable’, says UN report citing China, India and US

first_img“Even countries with a formal e-waste management system in place are confronted with relatively low collection and recycling rates,” the report said.China, with 10.1 million tons, was the biggest contributor to e-waste, and the United States was second with 6.9 million tons. India, with 3.2 million tons, was third. Together these three countries accounted for nearly 38% of the world’s e-waste last year.While the overall damage done to the environment from all the un-recycled waste may be incalculable, the message from the report was conclusive: “The way in which we produce, consume, and dispose of e-waste is unsustainable.”Global warming is just one issue cited by the report as it noted 98 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents were released into the atmosphere as a result of inadequate recycling of “undocumented” refrigerators and air conditioners. This year’s coronavirus lockdowns have exacerbated the e-waste problem.People stuck at home are de-cluttering, and because of the lockdowns there are few workers collecting and recycling the junk, Kees Balde, a senior program officer with the sustainable cycles program at the United Nations University, another contributor to the report, told Reuters.New consumers, more junkWhat is happening in India and China is symptomatic of a wider problem in developing countries, where demand for goods like washing machines, refrigerators and air conditioners is rising rapidly.”In middle- and low-income countries, the e-waste management infrastructure is not yet fully developed or, in some cases, is entirely absent,” the report said.Dinesh Raj Bandela, deputy program manager at the Centre for Science and Environment, a New Delhi-based research and advocacy body, said India’s focus on e-waste had to go beyond collection, and manufacturers should be encouraged to produce consumer goods that last longer and are less toxic.Although India is the only country in South Asia to draft legislation for e-waste, its collection remains rudimentary.In Seelampur, the maze of filthy lanes are filled with scrap shops where thousands of people work, picking apart whatever is salvageable from the junk gathered from across north India.Outside each shop there are piles of old monitor screens, desktop computers, broken landline telephones, mobile handsets, televisions, voltage stabilizers, air-cons, refrigerators, microwaves, vacuum cleaners and washing machines.Vines of old electric cable are strewn or rolled over the mountains of electronic trash.Shopkeepers and workers are extremely suspicious of any outsider walking through the narrow lanes, especially journalists. Mohammed Abid, a scrap e-waste dealer, who was willing to speak, denied that ways of handling e-waste in Seelampur broke any laws or posed any dangers.“There are certain jobs that create a lot of problem for the environment, but in this market no such work is done that affects the environment or increases the pollution – nothing of that sort is done here,” he said, while the stench from a nearby open drain filled the air. Topics : Across the river from Delhi’s Red Fort, the grim neighborhood of Seelampur lives off what consumers in the modern world throw away – their broken or obsolete electronic and electrical goods.Home to one of the world’s largest markets for e-waste, Seelampur exemplifies the challenge highlighted in a UN-led report released on Thursday.The Global E-waste Monitor 2020 report found that the world dumped a record 53.6 million tons of e-waste last year. Just 17.4% was recycled.last_img read more

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Facebook, TikTok among digital companies required to collect VAT in Indonesia

first_img“VAT collection is part of the government’s effort to create a level playing field for all businesses operating in Indonesia, be it local or foreign companies, conventional or digital companies,” Hestu added.Read also: US says will investigate nations with digital services taxUnder Indonesia’s new rules, nonresident foreign companies that sell digital products and services in Indonesia valued at least Rp 600 million a year or generate yearly traffic from at least 12,000 users will be required to pay the 10 percent VAT.The government, however, cannot collect corporate income tax from the internet giants as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has yet to reach a consensus on how to tax tech firms.The government has been struggling to collect additional revenue to fund its widening budget deficit of 6.34 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) as the COVID-19 pandemic hits business activity.Starting in August, tech firms Amazon Web Services, Netflix, music streaming service Spotify and Alphabet’s Google for its Google Asia Pacific, Google Ireland, and Google LLC units were required to collect VAT from sales to Indonesian consumers. Topics : Social media company Facebook Ireland, Facebook Technologies International and its payment firm Facebook Payment International will also be collecting the tax together with Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia.The Finance Ministry’s Taxation Directorate General (DJP) also included Chinese short video-sharing platform TikTok on its latest list, bringing the total number of foreign tech companies subject to tax to 16.“We will continue to identify and actively communicate with other foreign digital companies operating in Indonesia to educate and assess them,” said tax office spokesperson Hestu Yoga Saksama in a statement. “Hopefully, we will add more companies to the tax subject list soon.”He called on other tech companies that made annual sales of Rp 600 million (US$41,116) to take the initiative and report themselves to the tax officecenter_img The tax office announced on Friday a list of 10 foreign digital companies that will be required to collect a 10 percent value added tax (VAT) from Indonesian consumers starting September after recently imposing such rules on six firms, including Amazon and streaming platform Netflix.The new companies subject to the tax are United States technology company Apple’s arm Apple Distribution International as well as Amazon’s subsidiaries Amazon.com Services, Alexa Internet, Audible Inc and Audible Ltd.Read also: After Spotify and Netflix, Indonesia eyes VAT collection from other tech firmslast_img read more

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Harris under scrutiny for tough-on-crime prosecutor past

first_img“Harris turned legal technicalities into weapons so she could cement injustices,” added Bazelon, a former director of the Loyola Law School Project for the Innocent in Los Angeles.Before serving as attorney general, the 55-year-old Harris was the district attorney in San Francisco. She was elected to the Senate in 2016.”Kamala Harris had a reputation in California as a prosecutor and attorney general who waited rather than led, who moved on controversial issues only once she saw what was politically viable,” the daily Sacramento Bee wrote in a June editorial.As concerns police brutality — a subject very much in the news following the death of George Floyd, a black man whose killing at the hands of police in May sparked nationwide protests — Harris has also been criticized for failing to intervene in cases involving police violence. ‘Just in the right place’ She also initiated a project for anti-bias training for law enforcement agencies throughout California.Arguably her biggest achievement in the eyes of civil rights activists was “Open Justice,” an online portal that made a wide range of criminal justice data available to the public, including the number of deaths and injuries in police custody.Many today reject claims that she did not go far enough in pushing for criminal justice reform, arguing she was being judged by unfair standards.”I am a public defender, I work day and night fighting for justice in San Francisco … and the fact is that she did implement very progressive programs, period, end of story,” Niki Solis, who faced Harris many times in court when she was district attorney, told AFP. Jack Pitney, a professor of American politics at Claremont McKenna College in California, stressed that in looking at Harris’ tenure as attorney general, one should take into account that she was acting as a prosecutor applying the law, rather than a legislator.”As attorney general of the state of California, she had to defend laws in court whether or not she agreed with them,” Pitney said. “So to that extent, I think the criticism is misplaced.”He said that, if anything, Harris’s justice record will be an asset as she takes on Republicans in the run-up to the November vote.”Their criticism will enable her to say ‘look at all these progressives, they are criticizing me for being too conservative. I must be just in the right place’,” Pitney said.Thad Kousser, a political science professor at the University of California, San Diego, said Harris’s track record as a prosecutor will likely work in her favor but also against her.”Her smart-on-crime moderate positions on crime and social justice will help her with moderates,” Kousser told AFP. “But it could also demobilize some more young liberal voters.” Joe Biden’s choice of Kamala Harris as his running mate was hailed on Tuesday as a historic first for women of color, but some warn her record as a tough prosecutor could dent her appeal with two key constituencies — black voters and liberals.Harris, the first woman and the first black attorney general in the history of the Golden State, portrayed herself as a progressive reformer during her own presidential bid, but some have cast doubts on that claim.”Time after time, when progressives urged her to embrace criminal justice reforms as a district attorney and then the state’s attorney general, Ms Harris opposed them or stayed silent,” law professor Lara Bazelon wrote last year in an op-ed for The New York Times. While serving as attorney general in 2016, for example, she opposed a bill to investigate deadly police shootings following the death of a stabbing suspect — shot 21 times by police — that sparked huge protests.Harris has in addition come under criticism for pushing legislation that would punish parents in California for their children’s truancy.But despite her controversial record on criminal justice, Harris has also been lauded for fighting for progressive change.Her most successful program, called “Back on Track,” called for non-violent first-time drug offenders to avoid jail by getting a high school diploma. Topics :last_img read more

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