Virus death toll in Hubei surges by 242 in one day: govt

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first_imgThe huge jump came as local officials said they were changing the way they diagnose COVID-19 cases.In a statement, the Hubei health commission said it would now include cases that were “clinically diagnosed” in its official toll.This means lung imaging on suspected cases can be considered sufficient to diagnose the virus, rather than the standard nucleic acid tests.Of the dramatic jump in figures Thursday, it said the new classification accounted for 13,332 of the cases and just over half the new death toll.Hubei health commission said the change would mean patients could get treatment “as early as possible” and be “consistent” with the classification used in other provinces.It said it had made the change “as our understanding of pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus deepens, and as we accumulate experience in diagnosis and treatment”.Topics : The number of fatalities and new cases from China’s coronavirus outbreak soared on Thursday, with 242 more deaths and nearly 15,000 extra patients in hard-hit Hubei province as authorities changed their threshold for diagnosis.At least 1,355 people have now died nationwide and nearly 60,000 have been infected after Hubei’s health commission reported the new numbers.In its daily update, Hubei’s health commission confirmed another 14,840 new cases in the central province, where the outbreak emerged in December.last_img read more

Asia’s big economies are already feeling the coronavirus impact

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first_imgKorea Trade Data Show Virus Disruption to China Supply ChainWhile early South Korea trade figures for February showed a pick up, an increased number of working days from a year earlier glossed over the impact the virus is already having.Exports during the first 20 days of the month rose 12 percent from a year earlier. Shipments to China, South Korea’s biggest trade partner, fell 3.7 percent during the first 20 days. The early reading is typically held up as a bellwether for global trade given South Korea’s central role as a manufacturer and exporter of electronics, ships and automobiles.Just startingEconomists warn the virus fallout is only just beginning.“The global economy and financial markets have not seen the full impact of the coronavirus outbreak yet,” Citigroup economists led by Catherine Mann wrote in a note titled “Waiting for the Global Impact” that warned of a “dramatic” first quarter slowdown in China.Slumping activity will add to pressure on governments and central banks to respond with more support for their economies, while also raising doubts about their capacity to respond.Central banks in Asia have already stepped up action, with Indonesia, Philippines, and Thailand cutting rates recently, and others like Singapore planning significant fiscal stimulus. China has lowered a range of policy rates this month. Speculation is rising that the Bank of Korea could also deliver a cut next week.Still, global debt is at record levels and interest rates in the world’s biggest economies are already at historic lows.“If growth continues to slide, a key question for the G-20 will be whether its members can coordinate a response,” according to Bloomberg Economics Tom Orlik.“Against a backdrop of resurgent nationalism, fractious trade disputes, and limited policy space, common purpose might be difficult to achieve, that’s another reason to be pessimistic on the outlook,” he wrote. Japanese manufacturing activity plunged amid recession risks in the world’s third largest economy. The Jibun Bank Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index registered 47.6 for the sharpest deterioration in conditions in more than seven years.The epidemic has prompted economists to forecast recession in the world’s third-largest economy already reeling from an October sales tax hike and a typhoon.In Australia a gauge of manufacturing activity fell further into negative territory amid mounting evidence of the virus fallout, along with a hit from massive bushfires.The CBA Flash Composite PMI fell to 48.3 in February from 50.2, the steepest rate of reduction since the series began in May 2016. Key gauges for manufacturing in Australia and Japan fell while early export orders for South Korea showed a slump in Chinese demand. Data from China showed car sales sank 92 percent in the first half of February while its Commerce Ministry said trade and inbound investment would take an increasing hit from the epidemic.The warning signals come as finance chiefs from the world’s 20 biggest economies meet this weekend in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for the first time since the virus outbreak.How to cope with the economic fallout from the disease will dominate those discussions, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said in Tokyo ahead of his departure for the talks.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Investment company Saratoga turns to profit in 2019 as dividend income soars

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first_imgSaratoga, which was founded by former vice presidential candidate Sandiaga Uno, recorded its highest dividend income of Rp 1.99 trillion throughout 2019, an increase of 121.5 percent from 2018.“As a shareholder to our existing investee companies, our job is to continue to engage and support them in reaching their maximum potential,” Saratoga president director Michael Soeryadjaya said in a statement.The strong performance of the investee companies, he added, was supported by their solid business fundamentals.Saratoga’s shares had jumped 0.35 percent as of 2:19 p.m. in Jakarta on Tuesday versus a drop of 4.17 percent in the Jakarta Composite Index.Read also: Trading halted third time in week as stocks touch 5-year low, rupiah breaks Rp 15,000 to dollarHowever, the shares of Saratoga’s investee companies fell during Tuesday’s afternoon: TBIG nosedived 6.83 percent, ADRO fell 6.45 percent and MDKA declined 4.44 percent.”In the midst of various global and domestic challenges, Saratoga will continue to carry out active investment strategies in a disciplined, measurable and prudent manner,” Michael added.Topics : Investment company PT Saratoga Investama Sedaya booked a significant profit in 2019 after recording a loss in 2018, thanks to investment value and dividend income from investee companies.The publicly listed company announced on Tuesday that it recorded a net profit of Rp 7.3 trillion (US$484.56 million) throughout 2019, bouncing back from a loss of Rp 6.19 trillion in 2018.The company pocketed Rp 6.2 trillion in net profit from investments in shares and equity securities, driven by an increase in mark-to-market share prices of its investee, such as broadcast tower operator PT Tower Bersama Infrastructure (TBIG), coal producer PT Adaro Energy (ADRO) and mining firm PT Merdeka Copper Cold (MDKA).last_img read more

YouTube video keeps Japan’s seniors in shape in coronavirus confinement

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first_imgJapan has the world’s oldest population, with more than 28% aged 65 or over.The video is about five minutes long, featuring exercises and stretches designed to boost blood flow and strengthen the feet and back muscles.”I can have fun by watching while exercising. So I think it’s good,” said Rieko Kojima, 79, who got in her exercise at Human Life Care’s centre in Saitama, north of Tokyo.Japan has had 868 confirmed cases of domestic coronavirus infection and 29 deaths.Topics : Human Life Care had already been conducting exercise classes with the video at its care centres and wanted to do its part for others amid the coronavirus outbreak.”I know there are people that take walks, but at a time like this, people tend to avoid going out,” said Satoshi Matsuzaka, strategy department manager at Human Life Care.”I hope people can exercise at home with this exercise.”Japan has cancelled public events, closed schools and urged people to work from home to help stop further transmission of the coronavirus. The elderly in particular are vulnerable to the serious effects of the virus. The coronavirus epidemic may be keeping people at home to avoid exposure to the disease but Japan’s senior citizens are still able to do their workouts thanks to a YouTube video that they can exercise along to.The video, “Human Taiso” (Human Exercise), was made available to the public via a YouTube link by elderly care-home operator Human Life Care this month:last_img read more

Indonesian government under pressure to impose lockdown as death toll tops 100

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first_imgJakarta has the most cases in Indonesia with 627, an increase of 38 compared to previous day. The areas in Java with the highest number of cases after Jakarta are West Java with 119 cases, Banten (103), East Java (77) and Central Java (55).South Sulawesi is the hardest-hit region outside Java with 33 cases.“We are still concerned about this situation because this is proof that transmissions are still occurring. [Individuals carrying the virus] are still out there and having close contact with other people,” said Yurianto, who also serves as the government’s spokesperson for COVID-19-related matters.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo himself has remained adamant about not imposing lockdowns due to social and economic concerns. He has instead called on the public to stay at home and urged authorities to push for more rapid testing to map the spread of the disease. However, the number of COVID-19 cases and fatalities shows no signs of slowing down. Among the fatalities were medical workers dealing with a scarcity of proper medical and protective equipment.A resident of a kampung near Taman Sari Water Castle in Yogyakarta sprays disinfectant on a house on March 28, 2020. (Courtesy of/Kampung Cyber)The Medical Professors Council from the University of Indonesia’s School of Medicine was among the groups that urged the government to impose regional lockdowns, arguing the government’s policy of physical distancing was not effective in curbing the spread of the disease.“Strict rules are needed to make sure people stay at home. [The government] should apply fines for individuals or companies that violate the rules,” the council’s chair, Siti Setiati, wrote on Friday.The council estimated the government would need to prepare around Rp 4 trillion (US$249 million) to ensure the health and safety of 9.6 million Jakarta residents during a two-week lockdown in the capital city.Read also: COVID-19: Does Indonesia need a lockdown? It depends on how you define itIt also argued a lockdown was feasible if the country allocated a portion of tax money toward fighting the pandemic.Sociologist Ariel Heryanto echoed the council’s call on his Twitter account: “Mr. President, is there still a reason to delay a lockdown?”Bapak Presiden, masih adakah alasan untuk menunda lockdown? pic.twitter.com/bmIJixd6hz— Ariel Heryanto (@ariel_heryanto) March 27, 2020Shortly after Yurianto’s announcement on Saturday, hashtags and slogans calling for a lockdown, such as #LockDownNasionalSerentak (SimultaneousNationalLockDown), #KarantinaWilayah (RegionalQuarantine) and Jakarta Sudah Gawat Darurat (Jakarta is in an emergency state), became trending topics on Twitter, as they were tweeted by tens of thousands of users.Though it has not announced plans for a lockdown, the government is currently preparing a regulation stipulating the procedures and requirements for imposing regional quarantines or lockdowns, according to Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD.Some regions have also imposed lockdowns on its borders, such as Maluku and Papua, which has limited access to its airports and seaports. Meanwhile, Tegal in Central Java has closed off its borders for the next four months. (mfp)Topics : The general public has urged the government to impose a lockdown as the country’s death toll from the coronavirus has surpassed 100, with more than 1,000 COVID-19-positive cases reported nationwide.The Health Ministry’s disease control and prevention director general, Achmad Yurianto, announced on Saturday that authorities had recorded 1,155 cases of COVID-19 across 29 provinces, with 102 deaths from the disease. At least 59 patients have recovered.The country’s fatality rate, the ratio of confirmed cases to fatalities, is 8.83 percent – among the highest in the world.last_img read more

WHO rejects ‘China-centric’ charge after Trump criticism

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first_imgTopics : “It was absolutely critical in the early part of this outbreak to have full access to everything possible, to get on the ground and work with the Chinese to understand this,” he told reporters.”This is what we did with every other hard-hit country like Spain and had nothing to do with China specifically.”Aylward, who led a WHO expert mission to China in February, defended WHO recommendations to keep borders open, saying that China had worked “very hard” to identify and detect early cases and their contacts and ensure they did not travel.”China worked very, hard very early on, once it understood what it was dealing with, to try and identify and detect all potential cases to make sure that they got tested to trace all the close contacts and make sure they were quarantined so they actually knew where the virus was, where the risk was,” he said.”Then they made it very clear that these people would not and could not travel within the country, let alone internationally,” he added.WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has been lavish in his praise of China from early in the outbreak, praising President Xi Jinping’s “rare leadership”.David Heymann, a professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine who led WHO’s response to the 2003 SARS outbreak, said that any US funding cut would be a huge blow.”If the WHO loses its funding it cannot continue to do its work. It works on a shoe-string budget already,” Heymann said in London. “Of course it would be disastrous for the WHO to lose funding.”  World Health Organization officials on Wednesday denied that the body was “China-centric” and said that the acute phase of a pandemic was not the time to cut funding, after US President Donald Trump said he may put contributions on hold.The United States is the top donor to the Geneva-based body which Trump said had issued bad advice during the new coronavirus outbreak.US contributions to WHO in 2019 exceeded $400 million, almost double the 2nd largest country donor, according to figures from the US State Department. China contributed $44 million, it said.center_img “We are still in the acute phase of a pandemic so now is not the time to cut back on funding,” Dr Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe, told a virtual briefing when asked about Trump’s remarks.Trump told a news conference on Tuesday that the United States was “going to put a hold on money spent to the WHO,” however, he appeared to backtrack later when in response to questions he said: “We’re going to look at it.”It was not immediately clear how Trump could “block” funding for the organization. Under US law, Congress, not the president, decides how federal funds are spent.Dr Bruce Aylward, senior advisor to the WHO Director-General, also defended the U.N. agency’s relationship with China, saying its work with Beijing authorities was important to understand the outbreak which began in Wuhan in December.last_img read more

One inmate killed, 20 alleged provocateurs arrested in North Sulawesi prison riot

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first_imgA riot that broke out at Manado Penitentiary in North Sulawesi over the weekend has killed one inmate, while another has been hospitalized after being shot by a rubber bullet and 20 alleged provocateurs have been arrested.The riot broke out on Saturday afternoon, allegedly triggered by visitation restrictions and early release of inmates amid COVID-19 concerns, culminating in a massive fire that razed parts of the prison complex.The head of the Law and Human Rights Ministry office in North Sulawesi, Lumaksono, said on Monday that he had got confirmation from the hospital that the cause of death of the inmate was not COVID-19. “When the riot broke out, and the authorities were taking control of the situation, he was shocked. His blood pressure level showed 190,” he said on Monday evening in Manado.Lumaksono added that the inmate was also having difficulty breathing. “It is the temporary result of his autopsy. We’ll figure out the official result 14 days later,” he said.The inmate had been buried at a cemetery in Telling Atas subdistrict, Manado, by the Catholic Church Union.Earlier reports said the inmate was Filipino, but Lumaksono confirmed on Monday that the inmate was an Indonesian citizen from Sangihe – a regency in North Sulawesi. Read also: COVID-19: Riot breaks out in North Sulawesi prison amid virus fearsHe also confirmed that another inmate who had been unintentionally shot by a rubber bullet was in a better condition in the hospital.As soon as the situation had calmed down, North Sulawesi Police arrested at least 20 inmates who had allegedly instigated the riot.“They are now being interrogated by the police,” said North Sulawesi Police public relations division head Sr. Comr. Jules Abbas on Monday, adding that they would be returned to the penitentiary as soon as the investigation had concluded.As of Monday, there had been no official statement from the authorities as to what the cause of the riot was. (asp)Topics :last_img read more

PREMIUMJob opportunities: Jakarta remains top place for young talents to pursue a career

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first_imgLOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Linkedin Topics : Log in with your social account Indonesia Kalibrr-Indonesia employment disparity Banten West-Java BPS Gajah-Mada-University Google Forgot Password ? Many young talents in rural areas don’t have many options but to try their luck in big cities that not only offer bigger job opportunities but also a better career path.A study by Kalibrr Indonesia, a job-seeking platform that maps out job opportunities nationwide based on the vacancies posted on its site between October 2018 and September 2019, indicates that 73 percent of all job vacancies are in Jakarta.Next in line, Banten represents 6 percent of the total jobs available, East Java 4 percent, West Java 3 percent and Central Java 2 percent. Meanwhile, other areas in Indonesia account for 12 percent of all job vacancies, showing that opportunities for employment are still concentrated in the capital.This is the reason why Rike, not her real name, chose to find work in Jakarta. Originally from Padang, West Sumatra, she has lived in the capital for y… Facebooklast_img read more

British virus death toll now world’s third-highest

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first_img“They don’t represent a sudden surge in the number of deaths,” he told reporters.According to an AFP tally from official sources at 1300 GMT on Wednesday, Britain has now leapfrogged the tolls in France and Spain and is the second-worst affected country in Europe, behind Italy’s 27,359 deaths. The United States has the world’s worst death toll with 58,355. ‘Relief and joy’ Britain shut non-essential shops and services, and ordered people to stay at home except to shop for groceries and medicines, on March 27.A review of the measures is expected on May 7, amid dire warnings about the economic impact and indications of frustration at the continued confinement.Johnson held a lunchtime telephone call with the leader of the main opposition Labor party, Keir Starmer who has called for more clarity on the lockdown exit plan.Starmer earlier joined well-wishers in congratulating Johnson on becoming a father again, particularly after his recent experience. Symonds also displayed COVID-19 symptoms but was not tested.”Whatever differences we have in this house, as human beings we all recognize the anxiety the prime minister and Carrie must have gone through in these past few weeks,” he told parliament.”I really hope this brings them incredible relief and joy.”Johnson had to spend three nights in intensive care, and later admitted his illness “could have gone either way”.He was present for the birth at an unnamed NHS hospital in London and would be taking some paternity leave later in the year, his spokesman said.Johnson has at least five other children, including four with his second wife, Marina Wheeler, from whom he split in 2018.He also had a daughter as a result of an extra-marital affair while he was mayor of London, according to a 2013 court case. The rare good news was soured however by the additional 4,419 deaths in the overall coronavirus death toll, just as Johnson, who returned to work on Monday, is under pressure to ease a month-long lockdown.Until now, Britain had reported only deaths of people who had tested positive for COVID-19 in hospital but there has been mounting concern about high numbers of unreported victims in the wider community.On Tuesday, the Office for National Statistics said deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending April 17 were running at roughly double the five-year average and were the highest weekly total since 1993.Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Wednesday said there were an additional 3,811 deaths included in the outbreak since the start of March, on top of figures from the last 24 hours. Second peak Britain has widened its testing regime for COVID-19 to care homes, the over-65s and people unable to work from home, as part of increased measures to curb the outbreak.A total of 85 frontline workers in the state-run National Health Service (NHS) have died from the coronavirus, and 23 in social care, according to the government.There remain questions about the provision of personal protective equipment to medics and others dealing with patients, and the availability of testing. Raab, who has deputized for Johnson during his illness and recovery, warned the government is not yet ready to ease lockdown restrictions.”This issue of a second spike and the need to avoid it, it’s not a theoretical risk,” he said.”Having relaxed restrictions in Germany over the last week, they’ve seen a rise in the transmission rate of coronavirus.”We’re in a delicate and dangerous moment. We’re coming through the peak, but we’re not there yet.”center_img Britain’s death toll from the coronavirus outbreak jumped to 26,097 on Wednesday — the second-highest in Europe behind Italy and third-highest in the world — as the government took into account fatalities outside hospital, including care homes, for the first time.The increase came after surprise news that Prime Minister Boris Johnson had become a father again at age 55, several months earlier than expected, and just weeks after he was taken to hospital with COVID-19.Downing Street announced that his partner, Carrie Symonds, 32, gave birth to a healthy baby boy, prompting messages of congratulation from across the political spectrum at home and abroad. Topics :last_img read more

Tropical Storm Amanda death toll rises to 26 in Central America

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first_imgOne of seven people reported missing there was however found alive, said Carolina Recinos, a senior official in San Salvador, who also said 2,000 homes were “completely destroyed.”Nearly 8,000 people were evacuated from high-risk areas and transferred to shelters.With Tropical Storm Cristobal expected to bring further heavy rains to already waterlogged soil, the environment ministry has warned of “a high probability of many landslides and falling rocks.”Four people died in Honduras after they were swept away by the current.The rains caused flooding and landslides in several regions of the country, officials said.Two people were also killed and two injured in Guatemala, where authorities reported 500 homes damaged.Topics : The death toll from Tropical Storm Amanda in Central America rose to 26 even as a new storm was forming in the Gulf of Mexico, reports said on Tuesday.El Salvador and neighboring Guatemala and Honduras were lashed by torrential rains and high winds after Amanda swept in from the Pacific on Sunday, causing floods and power cuts.The death toll in El Salvador, which bore the brunt of the storm, rose from 16 to 20, the environment ministry said on Tuesday.last_img read more