Month: October 2020

Trump’s India trip to produce huge crowds, little trade progress

first_imgUnited States President Donald Trump anticipates a hero’s welcome in India on Monday, but the glitzy events filling his two-day visit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi will paper over growing trade frictions.The visit is intended to strengthen the personal relationship between Trump and Modi, a fellow nationalist whose country is regarded by the US as an important regional counterweight against China. And for Modi, the visit may distract from controversies over a new citizenship law that his critics say discriminates against Muslims, as well as a souring domestic economy.Trump, with his re-election campaign in top gear, has sought out large, friendly crowds at football games, professional fights and the biggest auto race in America to ensure he’s never far from the minds of American voters. Trump predicted that the crowds in India will make his domestic campaign rallies, typically attended by 10,000 to 20,000 people, “look like peanuts from now on.”The president’s visit might boost his appeal among Indian American voters, an emerging voting bloc in the US that has traditionally backed Democrats. Trump compared Modi to Elvis Presley last year after “Howdy Modi,” a Houston event arranged for the prime minister’s visit that drew about 50,000 Indian Americans.“Politically I’m sure there’s at least a modest dividend to be achieved on that,” Richard M. Rossow, an India expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told reporters at a briefing.But India’s red-carpet treatment of Trump, which includes the construction of a 1,640 foot-long wall to hide a slum from view along Trump’s motorcade route, as well as a state dinner, belies a simmering trade dispute.While their security and political partnership remains close, the US and India have slapped retaliatory tariffs on each others’ imports.Officials have tried to hammer out a modest trade deal opening up India to US agricultural products and medical devices in return for the restoration of preferential export status that Trump stripped from India in 2019.Chances a deal would be announced soon appeared to dim when US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer scrapped a planned visit to India, according to people familiar with the negotiations.“We’re going to India, and we may make a tremendous deal there, or maybe we’ll slow it down. We’ll do it after the election,” Trump said at an event on Thursday in Las Vegas.Top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Friday said he doesn’t expect “a big trade component in this visit,” and called on India to open its markets to direct foreign investment and the “normal” trading of goods and services.“I don’t expect any details or much progress at all,” Kudlow said on Fox News.Rossow said Trump and Modi may announce an agreement on a few narrow trade issues. That could include a reduction of Indian tariffs on Harley-Davidson Inc. motorcycles, a US company Trump has championed.The leaders are expected to deepen their nations’ defense ties, with the possible announcement of India’s $2.6 billion purchase of Lockheed Martin Corp. naval helicopters. The US State Department has also approved a potential sale to India of $1.8 billion in arms, including air-defense radars and missiles, rifles and other equipment, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced.The US has sought to become a top arms supplier to India, the world’s fourth biggest defense spender, and elbow out Russia. Washington has pushed New Delhi, unsuccessfully so far, to cancel a contract worth more than $5 billion to buy Russia’s S-400 air-defense missile system.Modi’s domestic controversies are a potential minefield for both leaders. His new religion-based citizenship law sparked large protests, and his government has lost three consecutive state elections including in the Indian capital. He’s also suffered criticism for an attempt to enforce Indian sovereignty over the disputed territory of Kashmir.The Trump administration has had little to say about the law, which allows undocumented immigrants from neighboring countries to seek citizenship as long as they aren’t Muslim. Modi may gain political capital if Trump remains relatively silent on both the law and Kashmir, Hall said. A senior administration official said Friday, though, that Trump plans to press Modi on the topic of religious freedom.“Modi will derive a bigger dividend from this trip than Trump, because of the distraction it offers from the domestic controversies, but also because the Indian public simply cares a great deal more about international opinion than its American counterpart,” said Hall, the Australian professor.But Trump could cause headaches for Modi if he repeats an offer to mediate over Kashmir, a region divided between India and Pakistan. India has rejected the offer, while Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed frustration over Trump’s visit to India and meetings with Modi.Topics : Modi plans to provide Trump a similar spectacle on Monday in Ahmedabad in the prime minister’s home state of Gujarat. Trump says the Indian leader has promised that millions of people will line 22 kilometers (13.7 miles) of roads between the airport and a new, 110,000-seat cricket stadium where both leaders will speak just after noon local time.The event is billed as “Namaste Trump” and is to be followed by a presidential visit to the Taj Mahal in Agra before official meetings on Tuesday.“The visit is a low-risk and characteristically showy distraction from domestic controversies” for the populist leaders, Ian Hall, professor at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, and author of the 2019 book “Modi and the Reinvention of Indian Foreign Policy,” said via email.Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said last week that “tens of thousands” of onlookers and artists showcasing performing arts from different states and territories are expected to greet the president in Ahmedabad.last_img read more

Smoke, but no fire: System malfunction triggers false alarm in House of Representatives complex

first_img“In the second-floor corridor, the aerosol [system] turned on for no apparent reason. The fire department is currently looking into why the system was triggered,” he said on Monday. “Right now, everything is clear and clean. There was no damage and no victims.”Indra added that the smoke had originated from fogging that was triggered by the system.“From outside the building, it did look like something was on fire,” he said.Jakarta police chief Insp. Gen. Nana Sudjana, who was also at the scene, confirmed that there was no fire.“There was only smoke. There was no fire,” he said. (ydp) A malfunction triggered a false fire alarm at the House of Representatives’ compound in Central Jakarta on Monday, officials said. According to reports from the Central Jakarta fire brigade, smoke was first detected from the second floor of the Nusantara 3 building, which spread to the eighth floor by 12.15 p.m., causing dozens of people to evacuate the building.However, House secretary-general Indra Iskandar assured that the smoke had not come from a fire but from a glitch in the fire extinguishing aerosol system. Topics :last_img read more

Buttigieg dropping out of presidential race

first_imgButtigieg took center stage when securing a narrow victory in the Iowa caucuses and earned national attention for his unflustered and professional approach in an often bitter Democratic nomination race.But his showing in South Carolina on Saturday confirmed polls suggesting he struggled to attract support among black voters — a key demographic.Joe Biden’s resounding victory in South Carolina has thrust him back into the race just days before voters go to the polls in 14 “Super Tuesday” states.  With 48 percent of the vote in South Carolina, the former vice president more than doubled the 20 percent won by national frontrunner Bernie Sanders, reviving Biden’s campaign and positioning him as the leftist senator’s main rival.Trump responded rapidly on Twitter, claiming that the Democratic party leadership would act to halt Sanders winning.”Pete Buttigieg is OUT. All of his SuperTuesday votes will go to Sleepy Joe Biden. Great timing. This is the REAL beginning of the Dems taking Bernie out of play,” Trump wrote.Topics : Pete Buttigieg, the first openly gay US presidential candidate from a major party, on Sunday ended his campaign to be the Democratic nominee in the November election against Donald Trump, US media said.The 38-year-old had risen rapidly from being a virtual unknown to becoming a national political figure, but he scored poorly in the latest primary in South Carolina, coming fourth with just eight percent.He was scheduled to address supporters later Sunday in South Bend, Indiana, where he was previously the mayor.last_img read more

Jakarta’s Paloma Bistro confirms Indonesian, Japanese COVID-19 patients visited in February

first_img“Unfortunately we don’t have any detailed information about the visitors as it was an open event that anyone could come to. Besides, they are not our regular hotel guests,” Darmawiharto said in a press conference on Tuesday.The Japanese woman, 41, was Malaysia’s 24th coronavirus patient who, according to the Malaysian Health Ministry, tested positive for COVID-19 on Feb. 27 after traveling from Japan in January and to Indonesia in early February.Case 1 and her 64-year-old mother, known as Case 2, had been in contact with the Japanese citizen before the two Indonesians tested positive for coronavirus, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said on Monday.Read also: Jakarta bar Amigos visited by COVID-19 patient suspends operation amid virus fears The management of Des Indes Hotel in Central Jakarta has confirmed that an Indonesian patient who tested positive for coronavirus visited the hotel’s Paloma Bistro last month, where she reportedly encountered a Japanese woman who was later diagnosed with COVID-19 in Malaysia.Darmawiharto, the hotel’s manager, said on Tuesday that the 31-year-old woman, also known as Case 1, and the female Japanese citizen were not staying at the hotel, but they had come to Paloma Bistro on Feb. 15 at about 8 p.m. to attend a routinely held “Latin Dance” event.He added that approximately 30 people had joined the event that night. The two patients are currently in an isolation ward at the Sulianti Saroso Infectious Diseases Hospital (RSPI Sulianti Suroso) in Jakarta. On Feb. 14, Case 1 and the Japanese woman had also reportedly visited Amigos Bar and Cantina in Kemang, South Jakarta, where the two danced together, according to Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto’s account.Darmawiharto went on to say that three Des Indes Hotel’s staff members who were on duty in Paloma Bistro at the time when the event took place had all passed the 14-day coronavirus incubation period and had also taken part in medical checks supervised by health authorities.”The three have shown no signs of illness. […] All of our staff are healthy” he said, adding that all 63 hotel staff members were in good condition and no one had taken sick leave since the event.”We would like to confirm that our hotel is a safe place. We do regular cleaning just like any other hotel, and we have also prepared preventive and precautionary measures against the virus by providing face masks and hand sanitizer in public spaces around the hotel,” Darmawiharto said.He added that the hotel was still operating as usual. (trn)Topics :last_img read more

African churches swap holy water for hand sanitizer, crowds for videos

first_imgGlobally, measures by authorities have included closing or limiting worship, disrupting Sunday services just before Easter.So far the confirmed incidence of the disease in Africa has been relatively small – almost 1,200 cases and more than 30 deaths, compared with a worldwide total that has reached more than 305,000 cases, with more than 13,000 deaths.But part of Africa’s battle to stop the virus from taking hold could be fought in its churches. It has the highest number of Christians of any continent, 631 million people as of 2018, or 45% of the continent’s population, according to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity.As worshippers trickled into services across the continent on Sunday morning, temperatures were taken, hands were sanitized and people sat apart. In some places, measures were more extreme.In Sierra Leone, which has included religious services in a list of banned gatherings, churches in the capital Freetown stood empty on Sunday. Some parishes found ways to broadcast their services so people could worship from home.An empty cathedral Behind the locked doors of Sacred Heart Cathedral in downtown Freetown, the country’s oldest Catholic church, a priest and his deputy delivered a sermon to an empty room.A camera broadcast the sermon live over Facebook, while a microphone relayed the audio to Radio Maria — a church sponsored station broadcasting across the city.”People need to hear the word of God now more than ever,” said Father John Peter Bebeley who manages the radio station. “If we can play our part in keeping this virus at bay while also providing consolation to people in these trying times, we have every responsibility to do that.”Similar scenes have played out across the continent.Churches in Ghana, South Africa, Liberia and other countries are moving to radio, television and the internet.”If I go out there and I am infected, I won’t have the opportunity to worship God next,” said Chika Paul-Oboh, a finance manager in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos.”If I can stay alive to worship God, any medium is fine.”Some worshippers disagreed with that stance.”Nothing can stop me from not being in church,” said Anna Ohere, a salon manager, who attends and works at another church in the Nigerian capital of Abuja.”I must be in church to serve my God, I can’t be at home because of any one disease.”Thousands at Abuja church On Sunday, thousands of people in Abuja flocked to the 100,000-capacity Dunamis Glory Dome, a squat, sprawling monolith.The service, which was live-streamed on YouTube, was in open defiance of a government ban on gatherings of 50 people or more.People stood side by side for hours, singing hymns and listening to the pastor, Paul Enenche, sermonize on the dangers of plagues. He acknowledged the ban on gatherings and the effects of coronavirus on Christianity everywhere.”In most parts of the world churches are closed completely, but that devil is a liar,” Enenche said. “Church is our only hope. God is our only hope.”However, the church will move towards home services for small groups and online worship, he said.He also announced a possible solution to skirt the ban on large gatherings: erecting canopies that would each hold 50 people.  Topics :center_img Hand sanitizer replaced holy water at Nairobi’s Holy Family Basilica Catholic Church, and attendance was far lower than usual, but Sunday Mass went ahead. “God’s intention is that we worship him in the church,” preached Father David Kamumue to about 300 people, instead of his usual congregation of some 5,000.”Let us pray. May God keep us safe.” In Kenya, where there have been seven confirmed cases of coronavirus, the government has imposed restrictions including closing schools and has urged people to practice social distancing as it tries to prevent the disease from spreading.Later on Sunday, Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe announced at a news conference that all religious gatherings were banned indefinitely. That tightened up a previous request by authorities for churches to limit crowds as much as possible.last_img read more

P2P lending firms upbeat SMEs can repay loan on time during pandemic

first_imgPeer-to-peer (P2P) lenders to small and medium enterprises (SMEs)  believe the coronavirus outbreak, which has disrupted most economic activities in Indonesia, will not affect their loan repayments.Aria Widyanto, the chief risk and sustainability officer of Amartha, a P2P lending platform that primarily funds SMEs owned by women in villages, said that he was sure that the financial technology (fintech) company’s borrowers would be able to repay loans on time because he believed the rural economy remained resilient despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s catastrophic effect on many other sectors.“The economies of villages are more resilient because they are more isolated,” he said on March 26 during a video conference. “These SMEs will conduct business as usual despite the turbulence in the macroeconomy.” “This is the best option given the current force majeure,” Aria said. “Hopefully, we can continue business as usual soon.”Amartha provides an insurance option for lenders to SMEs through its app. If the borrower cannot repay the loan, the insurance will cover 75 percent of the outstanding debt.Amartha has disbursed Rp 2.3 trillion (US$140 million) in loans to 490,000 borrowers with a 0.5 percent non-performing loan (NPL) rate.Another P2P lender, Crowdo said it used artificial intelligence to determine risk and provide lenders with more comprehensive information about borrowers’ businesses.The fintech system classifies businesses’ risk exposure to COVID-19. It classifies hotels and restaurants as high-risk. It also explains potential risks in business factsheets. “We have yet to see a significant change in our business,” said Crowdo Indonesia commercial officer chief Ikram Jeihan in a written statement. “The loan payment due date is still on schedule.”Crowdo has funded 5,000 projects in Indonesia and has an NPL ratio of 1.89 percent.Modalku has also implemented risk-mitigating measures such as tighter selection criteria for new and existing SMEs that want to raise funds through the fintech company.Modalku said it would examine food and beverage businesses, the travel sector and cross-border trade in evaluating loan applications since those businesses were the most affected by the pandemic.“We will also adjust each borrower’s loan limit and terms depending on their business profile to mitigate the effect of the spread of COVID-19,” Modalku co-founder and CEO Reynold Wijaya said on Tuesday.Modalku offers loans of up to Rp 2 billion to SMEs without a collateral requirement. The company also operates in Malaysia and Singapore under the name Funding Societies. As of March, it had disbursed a total of Rp 13 trillion in business loans in the three countries.According to the Financial Services Authority (OJK), fintech lending had grown 225.6 percent year-on-year (yoy) to Rp 95.4 trillion in February. P2P lending contributed Rp 60 trillion to the Indonesian economy last year, mainly by enabling wider financial inclusion of SMEs.Topics : Aria said that Indonesia had faced many crises but that people continued to buy daily necessities, which are often provided by SMEs.He added that SME entrepreneurs were resilient because their businesses were often the main source of their income and they needed to keep working in order to survive. “Some of them are producing clothes, but since they are not selling well during the outbreak, they can switch to selling tempeh the next day to have an income,” he said.He added that Amartha would not disburse or collect loans until April 6 to comply with government’s social distancing policy. Afterwards, the company would resume collecting payments only from the leaders of borrowing groups so borrowers could repay their loans with less physical contact.The fintech company disburses loans and collects repayments at a biweekly group meeting. However, since the government has urged people to stay at home, Amartha has decided to suspend its on-field activities.last_img read more

France’s coronavirus death toll jumps as nursing homes included

first_imgIt was the first region in France to be overwhelmed by a wave of infections that has rapidly moved west to engulf greater Paris, where hospitals are desperately trying to add intensive care beds to cope with the influx of critically ill patients.The care sector has called for blanket testing for all staff, with the virus often entering nursing homes through employees. More than 1 million people live in France’s care homes.”We have to limit the impact on old people as we know that they are the most fragile,” said Romain Gizolme, head of an association for the care of the elderly.Click https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in a separate browser for GRAPHIC tracking the global spread of coronavirus.On the frontline In early March, health authorities asked nursing home staff to toughen entry protocols, wear gloves and masks and isolate suspected cases.However, one worker in the Lyon region said that as of last week in her nursing home, residents were still dining together and staff were not wearing masks. Since then two workers had tested positive and four residents had fallen sick, she said.It is still not clear when the epidemic will reach its peak in France and hospitals in Paris are still scrambling to add more intensive care beds. France has already boosted their number to 9,000, from about 5,000 before the start of the crisis.Salomon said the number of coronavirus patients requiring life support rose by 6% on the previous day to 6,399.With France now in its third week of lockdown, the number of patients going into intensive care should in the next few days show how effective the government’s unprecedented measure is proving in slowing the rate of spread.In the Paris region, intensive care units are more or less saturated. Health authorities in the capital are trying to add 200 beds. Philippe said authorities would open a new ward at a hospital just outside Paris ahead of schedule so that it can take in an extra 86 patients there by mid-April.In Neuilly, a wealthy Paris suburb, one intensive care nurse told Reuters TV wild swings in the conditions of some patients were among the most difficult aspects to deal with.”You can go from a state wherein he’s doing well one minute and the next he’s not,” the nurse at the Ambroise Pare clinic, who gave his name as Martin, said.About 100 patients are being transferred from the capital to other less-affected regions to ease congestion in the wards, while medics are being relocated in the opposite direction.Respirators are also being put into people’s homes to save space at hospitals with patients monitored remotely.”We really now are on the frontline of the battle,” said an official at the Paris region’s health authority. Topics : “We are in France confronting an exceptional epidemic with an unprecedented impact on public health,” Salomon told a news conference.The country’s broad lockdown is likely to be extended beyond April 15, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Thursday, extending a confinement order to try and deal with the crisis that began on March 17.The government was racing to try to ensure it can produce or procure itself certain medications needed to treat coronavirus patients as stocks were running low, Philippe told TF1 TV, echoing concerns across Europe as the pandemic places a huge strain on hospitals in Italy, Spain and elsewhere.More than two-thirds of all the known nursing home deaths have been registered in France’s Grand Est region, which abuts the border with Germany.center_img The coronavirus death count in France surged to nearly 5,400 people on Thursday after the health ministry began including nursing home fatalities in its data.The pandemic had claimed the lives of 4,503 patients in hospitals by Thursday, up 12% on the previous day’s 4,032, said Jerome Salomon, head of the health authority. A provisional tally showed the coronavirus had killed a further 884 people in nursing homes and other care facilities, he added.This makes for a total of 5,387 lives lost to coronavirus in France – an increase of 1,355 over Wednesday’s cumulative total – although data has not yet been collected from all of the country’s 7,400 nursing homes.last_img read more

Deep connection: Virus takes India’s spiritual retreats online

first_imgAt a remote hillside retreat in northern India, Tibetan Buddhist nun Tenzin Drolma usually holds intimate, face-to-face classes — but since the coronavirus pandemic forced them online, her lessons have been packed with people seeking inner peace under lockdown.Drolma had expected around 100 students to join her free video course, the usual size of drop-in sessions at the meditation center that is closed because of the pandemic.So she was surprised when more than 1,000 people from 57 countries signed up, a fifth of whom had no experience with Buddhism. Topics : Calm in anxious timesReligious rituals are being performed behind closed doors worldwide, with mosques, churches and other spiritual sites closed and the Pope even live-streaming his Easter blessing.Along the sacred River Ganges, as a light breeze blows and birds fly past in the background, instructors from Parmarth Niketan ashram lead yogis around the world in sun salutations and other postures.The center in Rishikesh, a city in the Himalayan foothills renowned as the world center of yoga, is also closed and is holding live sessions online.Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, who lives at the ashram, is hopeful its spiritual practices will help people feel “grounded”.”We realized that we need to give as much as we can to our global community to keep them healthy physically, stress-free, anxiety-free,” Saraswati, a Californian who settled in Rishikesh 25 years ago, told AFP from the ashram.Despite the severe economic threat of India’s lockdown, both Parmarth Niketan and Tushita are confident they can weather the financial storm, while providing spiritual guidance to their followers old and new.For Indian actor Akkshay Dogra, who has attended a retreat at Tushita, taking part in the classes from his home in Mumbai has compelled him to immediately apply the teachings.”Whatever I am learning, I am living it right now… these skills are given to you and then you go out and deal with the world,” he said.”I really hope they are able to do this course online for as long as they can… It’s a great service to humanity.” The Chicago-born teacher told AFP she tries to set up her laptop in the prayer hall at Tushita Meditation Centre to be as similar as possible to a real-life lesson.”I think that makes it as real as when I have actual people there,” she said from the retreat in Dharamsala, the home of the exiled Dalai Lama.India, the world’s second-most populous nation with 1.3 billion people, is under a nationwide lockdown until at least May 3 to combat the spread of the COVID-19.Some 6,000 kilometers away in Norfolk in eastern England — also under lockdown — one student is sitting on the floor with her eyes closed. “It really helps me to sort of get out of my own head a little bit,” said Emma Roache, who calls herself a transformational coach.”Just to find that peace and breathe and know that I’m not alone,” said Roache, who had to cancel a trip to India in March after the pandemic hit.last_img read more

Dozens of Indonesian migrant workers caught returning from Malaysia via illegal routes

first_imgThe Navy would continue patrolling the sea, as well as a number of routes that were found to have been used as illegal entry points by migrants, he said.“This is the umpteenth time that we have detained migrant workers who returned from Malaysia. It has become a major concern for us amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” Abdul said on Monday.Belawan 1 Naval Base spokesperson Second Lt. Mega Patijurjana said the authorities had conducted medical tests on passengers of the all-male fishing vessel to determine whether they posed any public health risks.“All migrant workers are currently isolated at a hospital to curb the spread of COVID-19,” Patinurjana said. Batubara regency, located along North Sumatra’s eastern shoreline, also saw an influx of migrant workers returning from Malaysia via illegal routes, with 94 people recently caught entering the area.“Seventeen migrant workers managed to escape, while the 77 others were immediately placed under quarantine at a hospital to stem the spread of COVID-19,” Batubara Regent Zahir said on Monday.Read also: COVID-19 pandemic forces Indonesian mothers to do it allHe said the migrant workers originated from various provinces across the country, including Riau, Jambi, East Java and Central Java.The North Sumatra provincial administration previously repatriated some 513 Indonesian migrant workers from Malaysia after they were cleared following COVID-19 testing. Many of them had police records in Malaysia for overstaying their visas.All recently repatriated migrant workers had been put in isolation for 14 days at a special facility in Cadika Lubuk Pakam Park in the province’s Deli Serdang regency or at Suwondo Air Base in the provincial capital Medan.North Sumatra had 84 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday afternoon, with at least nine deaths linked to the disease.Authorities also previously caught Indonesian migrant workers returning via illegal routes from Malaysia in other provinces, including Riau Islands.Last week, the Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla) apprehended 47 migrant workers returning from Malaysia via illegal routes in the Nongsa waters of Batam, Riau Islands, on April 15.None of them had shown any COVID-19 symptoms when authorities screened them, Bakamla chief Vice Adm. Aan Kurnia said.Indonesian migrant workers began returning home after Malaysia extended until April 28 its “movement control order”, which is technically a lockdown. The coronavirus has infected more than 5,400 people and killed at least 89 there.Read also: Indonesia to evaluate partial lockdown as companies, factories continue business as usualOther provinces, including Riau and Aceh, have also seen an influx of Indonesian migrant workers returning from Malaysia since earlier this month.The Riau administration’s communications and information agency head, Chairul Riski, said 4,444 migrant workers from the neighboring country had returned home through the province.“The figure accounts for arrivals from the fourth week of March to April 1,” Chairul said on April 2 as quoted by Antara.He went on to say that the migrant workers had largely entered the province through Tanjung Harapan Port in Meranti Islands regency, Sri Junjungan Port in Dumai city and Sri Laksamana Port in Bengkalis regency.Meanwhile, the East Aceh Police have stepped up monitoring after some 500 migrant workers returned to the province from Malaysia last week.East Aceh Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Eko Widiantoro said the returnees had been placed in isolation and were required to comply with a 14-day quarantine rule.He said the authorities in East Aceh had also been tracking the arrival of domestic workers from other regions that were considered hot spots for COVID-19 contagion, such as North Sumatra and the capital Jakarta.“We’ll keep compiling data to keep track of their locations in our region. This emergency health protocol has to be done in concert [with related stakeholders] to maximize our mitigation efforts,” Eko said on April 15.As of Tuesday afternoon, the number of people infected by the coronavirus had reached 7,135, with 616 fatalities, according to the government’s official count. Of the figure, Riau has recorded at least 35 confirmed cases with four fatalities, while Aceh has seven confirmed COVID-19 cases and one death linked to the disease. (rfa)Topics : Dozens of Indonesian migrant workers returning from Malaysia have been caught attempting to sneak past border authorities via illegal routes.The Indonesian Navy spotted and secured a fishing vessel carrying 22 undocumented Indonesian migrant workers from Malaysia in Tanjung Tumpul in Asahan regency, North Sumatra, on Monday.Belawan I Naval Base commander Adm. Abdul Rasyid said the authorities were keeping a close watch on the country’s borders with Malaysia because there were concerns that illegal migrants might enter Indonesia and spread the coronavirus disease upon arrival.last_img read more

COVID-19: Indonesia records highest daily death toll as restrictions eased

first_imgThe Health Ministry announced 64 more deaths from COVID-19, making it the highest daily spike in fatalities so far as the government has started to ease restrictions in a bid to embrace the so-called “new normal” phase.Speaking in Monday’s press conference, the ministry’s disease control and prevention director general, Achmad Yurianto, also reported 1,017 new cases of COVID-19.“We have found 1,017 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 39,294 people. The number of fatalities has increased by 64 people to 2,198,” Yurianto said.Read also: Experts warn of turbulent ‘new normal’ amid COVID-19 data, testing issuesHe also said that 592 people had recovered from the disease. “The total number of recoveries as of now is 15,123 people.”Central Java and East Java reported the highest number of COVID-19 fatalities with 17 and 16 cases respectively. East Java recorded the highest number of new cases with 270 followed by Jakarta with 142 new cases and Central Java with 116 new cases.Jakarta and several regions in East Java have begun easing restrictions as they are stepping into a transition period following a previous announcement that the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) would end in the near future.Topics :last_img read more