Venezuela records first coronavirus death

first_imgVenezuela reported its first coronavirus death on Thursday after a 47-year-old man with a pre-existing lung disease died, the government said.The man from the northern Aragua state had previously suffered from an “occupational disease in the lungs,” Vice-President Delcy Rodriguez said in a television address.The patient had been admitted to a private clinic suffering from pneumonia and three days later tested positive for COVID-19, Rodriguez said. Topics : They had been visiting Venezuela for business or tourism but got stuck by the government lockdown.Peru, which on Thursday extended its lockdown and border closures until April 12, likewise authorized the departure of tourists on especially arranged flights.Around 400 Canadians and more than 300 Americans are due to be repatriated from Thursday, their embassies in Peru announced.Some 200 Canadians queued outside the country’s diplomatic mission in the capital Lima waiting to board buses to take them to the city’s military hospital, from where they were due to board a flight to take them home.Peru has recorded 580 coronavirus cases and nine deaths.It has closed schools and universities, imposed a nighttime curfew and a ban on all road traffic.center_img The South American country has now reported 107 coronavirus cases.It is under a total lockdown with businesses and schools closed and its borders closed to commercial flights, although cargo arrivals are still allowed.The pandemic is causing particular concern in Venezuela because its economy has collapsed, with people already suffering shortages of basic necessities such as food and medicine, and the breakdown of public services such as water, electricity and transport.Meanwhile a “special flight” organized by several European countries left Caracas with more than 360 passengers on board, including 139 Spaniards, 56 Italians, 44 Germans and 26 French nationals.last_img read more

COVID-19 takes toll on Pelni as ports temporarily close

first_imgThe national shipping industry has been hard hit by the COVID-19 outbreak, which has disrupted the flow of goods along shipping routes.In addition to shipping, the COVID-19 outbreak has also taken a toll on passenger ship operators, with a number of ports temporarily closing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.State-owned shipping company PT Pelni has suffered a sharp decline in passenger numbers since the COVID-19 outbreak hit the country in early February, the company’s corporate secretary Yahya Kuncoro said in Jakarta on Saturday, adding that business had dropped off further after the government imposed social restrictions to curb the outbreak in March. He said that a number of the company’s passenger ships, such as the KM Dobonsolo, KM Ciremai, KM Nggapulu, KM Dempo, KM Sinabung and KM Leuser, could not operate optimally because many regional administrations had closed their ports to prevent the spread of the virus. Although the ships are still allowed to transport cargo, the closure of ports had severely hurt business, he added.Most ports in Papua, including in Jayapura, Timika, Agats, Merauke, Nabire, Biak, Serui, Sorong, Manokwari, Kaimana, Fakfak and Wasior, have been closed for passenger ships. Several other ports in Maluku, such as in Saumlaki, Namrole, Sanana and Dobo have also been also closed.Ports have also been closed in Batulicin and Bontang in East Kalimantan; Waingapu and Larantuk in East Nusa Tenggara; Blinyu and Tanjung Pandan in Bangka Belitung; Awerange and Bitung in Sulawesi and Letung Tarempa in Riau Islands.Meanwhile, chairwoman of the Indonesian National Shipowners Association (INSA) Carmelita Hartoto said on March 30 that the COVID-19 outbreak had not only had financial impacts on shipping companies but also affected their administrative and technical work. The volume of cargo exported and imported to and from China has declined by 14 to 18 percent. Shipments to other countries such as Singapore and South Korea have also declined, while domestic cargo shipments have dropped 5 to 10 percent, the association said.The clearance process at seaports is another challenge that has resulted in higher operational costs. The clearance process has been further complicated by additional procedures such as ship disinfection, ship crew health checks and travel history checks.“This has increased operational costs,” said Carmelita. Carmelita also reported that efforts to halt the spread of COVID-19 had also disrupted administrative work. With physical distancing and work-from-home policies in place, business players have found it difficult to carry out administrative work, such as acquiring ship certificate, because of staff shortages.On the technical side, Carmelita said ship owners also faced difficulties conducting maintenance because of the limited number of workers available.Topics :last_img read more

Nine foreign students at East Java boarding school test positive for COVID-19

first_imgThe East Java and Magetan COVID-19 task forces traced the people Al Fatah students had been in contact with early last week after Malaysian health authorities announced on April 19 that 43 Malaysian students who had returned from the boarding school had tested positive for COVID-19.The Malaysian embassy in Jakarta has said it will repatriate the remaining Malaysian students in Temboro village. Read also: East Java boarding school undergoes rapid COVID-19 testing after Malaysia reports imported casesMuchlissun said the task force performed rapid testing on 305 students and that 31 of them had tested positive. In order to obtain more reliable results, the task force then took swab samples for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, which confirmed that 16 of the students had the virus.   The foreign students, aged 16 to 28, are not able to leave Magetan yet, as they need to recover from the virus.The remaining seven students are from Lampung; Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara; Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi; Makasar, South Sulawesi; Temanggung, Central Java, and two are from Magetan itself. Muchlissun said surveillance for COVID-19 was still underway for Al Fatah students amid the quarantine and that recent rapid testing had found another eight students positive for COVID-19. He declined to give further details on the students.Al Fatah boarding school has more than 22,000 students, 2,000 of whom are foreigners, mostly from Southeast Asian countries. Al Fatah is also known as the local base for an Islamic group known as Jamaah Tabligh, whose members regularly travel far from their homes for months to preach Islamic teachings at mosques. The group has held events in Malaysia, India and South Sulawesi that have been linked to several COVID-19 cases in the areas.The provincial task force has said Al Fatah Islamic boarding school constitutes a severe red zone as it is a new transmission cluster in Magetan. Temboro village has been under strict quarantine since last week to contain the virus.The secretary of the East Java provincial administration, Heru Tjahjono, said on Saturday that 164 students from Al Fatah would be repatriated to Malaysia on Monday. “We will help transport them from Magetan to Juanda Airport in Surabaya,” he said. Magetan regency is the now fourth-hardest-hit region in East Java, after Surabaya, Sidoarjo and Lamongan.East Java has the third-most cases of any province in Indonesia with 785 confirmed cases and 87 fatalities as of Sunday.Topics : Eight Malaysian students and one Thai student from Al Fatah Islamic boarding school in Temboro village, Magetan regency, East Java, have tested positive for COVID-19 after contact tracing and quarantine measures were instated in the village following reports of dozens of students infected with the virus.The nine foreign santri (Islamic boarding school students) were among 16 students whose swab samples tested positive for COVID-19, Magetan COVID-19 task force spokesman Saif Muchlissun said.”This is the result of the first phase of contact tracing in Al Fatah pesantren [Islamic boarding school], which we ran after the Malaysian government announced a new cluster originated here,” he told The Jakarta Post on Sunday. last_img read more

Pressure mounts for Australia to cancel scholarship of student accused of sexual abuse

first_imgThe creators of the petition said the accused had been studying for a master’s degree in urban planning at the University of Melbourne since 2018. “The perpetrator is a high-achieving student and was selected for the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative [YSEALI]. He had a pious image, gave motivational speeches at many events and delivered sermons in mosques. He was also referred to as an ustaz [cleric].”The students alleged that Ibrahim had committed acts of sexual violence, including verbal harassment and forced sexual acts, during his time as a student at UII. He allegedly continued his actions while he was studying in Australia on the Australia Awards scholarship.“The survivors reported that they experienced sexual abuse between 2016 and 2020,” said LBH Yogyakarta deputy director Meila Nurul Fajriah on Wednesday.Fajriah said the victims did not report the abuse immediately because the accused was a popular student at UII. Activists have put pressure on the Australian government and the University of Melbourne to revoke a prestigious scholarship awarded to Ibrahim Malik, a high-achieving Indonesian student who has been accused of sexual abuse.At least 30 female students from the Indonesian Islamic University (UII), where Ibrahim completed his undergraduate degree, have come forward to report him to the Yogyakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Yogyakarta) for alleged sexual abuse.A petition on change.org, created on Thursday by four Indonesian recipients of the Australia Awards scholarship – the scholarship on which Ibrahim is currently studying in Melbourne – had garnered 4,700 signatures as of Saturday. “We ask the Australia Awards Scholarship to have zero tolerance for sexual abusers by revoking the perpetrator’s scholarship,” the petition said. It added that sexual abuse was not in line with the values of Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which was committed to preventing sexual exploitation, sexual harassment and violence. Read also: High-achieving student to be stripped of honors after 30 women report him for alleged sexual abuseIbrahim responded to the accusations on Instagram on April 29, saying he had been wrongly accused and that he forgave those who accused him.Ibrahim, who was granted an honorary title by UII for his academic achievements, will be stripped of the accolade as a result of the allegations, a UII spokesperson said on Wednesday.A spokesman from the Australian Embassy said the embassy had been notified of Ibrahim’s alleged sexual misconduct.“We are aware of allegations of sexual misconduct by an Australia Awards scholar. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and its programs have a zero-tolerance approach to sexual misconduct claims,” he told The Jakarta Post on Friday.“We take all allegations of this nature seriously and manage them in accordance with our policies and Australian law,” he continued, adding that the embassy was unable to provide further details because of privacy constraints. The Australia Awards Scholarship also replied to The Jakarta Post’s request for comment.”The Australia Awards in Indonesia, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the University of Melbourne are fully aware of the allegations against Ibrahim Malik. All further action relating to this matter will be taken by the University of Melbourne and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on behalf of the Australian Government as sponsor of Mr. Malik’s Australia Awards scholarship,” the Australia Global Alumni team in Indonesia said on Thursday.Topics :last_img read more

‘Corona is like your wife’: Minister Mahfud slammed for ‘sexist’ comment

first_imgCoordinating Legal, Political and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD has caught flak for his recent statement that likens the country’s efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 to a husband’s control over his wife.Women’s NGO Solidaritas Perempuan (Women’s Solidarity) chief executive Dinda Nisa Yura said Mahfud’s remarks exposed casual misogyny and sexism among public officials.“[His] statement not only reflects the government’s shallow thought process in resolving issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it also exposes public officials’ sexist and misogynistic mindset,” she said in a statement on Wednesday. “I got a meme from [Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister] Pak Luhut yesterday that goes, ‘Corona is like your wife. You try to control it then you realize that you can’t. Then you learn to live with it’,” he said in jest during an online event on Tuesday as quoted by tempo.co.His statement has also been met with a less-than-enthusiastic response from the public, with many social media users expressing their disappointment in Mahfud’s blatant display of sexism.Prominent scholar Ariel Heryanto took to Twitter to publicly pan Mahfud’s statement. “Disgusting. I’ll wait for a clarification!” @ariel_heryanto tweeted on Tuesday.Meanwhile, investigative journalist Febriana Firdaus tweeted sarcastically in reference to Mahfud and Luhut’s inside joke.“If they don’t like their [wives], why don’t they marry each other?”As of Wednesday, Indonesia had confirmed 23,851 COVID-19 cases and 1,473 deaths linked to the disease.Topics :center_img Dinda went on to say that Mahfud’s remarks had explicitly conveyed an intention to subjugate women as a mere object by rendering them analogous to coronavirus.“A joke that casually objectifies women will only normalize violence against women,” she said, adding that Mahfud’s outlook had also demeaned women as inferior to men.“When a public official says something condescending to women, it becomes a challenge for us as we continue to push the government to fulfill and protect women’s rights.”It was previously reported that Mahfud compared the country’s efforts to adjust to the post-coronavirus reality to being married to a woman.last_img read more

COVID-19 pandemic ‘under control’ in France: Govt adviser

first_imgThe COVID-19 pandemic is now “under control” in France, the head of the government’s scientific advisory council said Friday, as the country cautiously lifts a lockdown imposed in March.”We can reasonably say the virus is currently under control,” Jean-Francois Delfraissy told France Inter radio.”The virus is still circulating, in certain regions in particular… but it is circulating slowly,” he added. But it cautioned that at the height of the outbreak, patients with suspected coronavirus infections were not systematically tested, meaning the actual number of cases exceeds the official estimate. Delfraissy, an immunologist, and his colleagues were appointed to the coronavirus advisory panel as authorities sought to contain an outbreak that has killed over 29,000 people in France.The number of daily deaths has fallen off, however, with just 44 reported by the health ministry on Thursday.Delfraissy said around 1,000 new cases were currently being reported in France per day, down from around 80,000 in early March, before the nationwide stay-at-home orders and business closures were issued.In its latest summary of findings published Thursday, the Sante Publique France health agency estimated that the country had 151,325 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of June 2, when restaurants across France were allowed to reopen.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Married couple share German ambassador role

first_imgThey came up with the idea of a job share and put it to Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who agreed to give it a try. “The main motivation for this model was the realization that we want and need to spend more time with our children,” Pollmann told the ARD broadcaster. He will be ambassador for the first eight months and Kauther will then take over for eight months in a rotating system.They have already done a job share once before: as joint deputy ambassadors to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Topics : The foreign ministry in Berlin appointed a married couple to share the ambassador’s job in Slovenia, an unprecedented arrangement for Germany that allows them to balance work and family life.Natalie Kauther, 45, and Adrian Pollmann, 43, said they will share the post in the capital Ljubljana for four years from August. They have both been working for the ministry since 2005 and foreign assignments are part of the job, but  have three children, aged seven, eight and 10, and were keen to find a family-friendly arrangement.center_img Despite the new set-up, there will still be a deputy ambassador in Ljubljana so that if one of them is sick, the other will not be expected to cover.The couple admits having very different personalities, according to the ARD report, but hope this won’t cause any diplomatic spats. “We see most things pretty similarly,” Pollmann said. “I’m not overly worried that there will be big rifts or differences between the different phases.”Switzerland named a couple as joint ambassadors to Thailand in 2009 and France also nominated a husband-and-wife team to Zagreb between 2016-2019. last_img read more

Jakarta Police provide grace period for expired driver’s licenses until Aug. 31

first_imgThe Jakarta Traffic Police have announced that expired driver’s licenses will not need to be renewed until Aug. 31 owing to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Under the policy, driver’s licenses with expiration dates between March 17 until May 29 will remain valid until the end of August. The Jakarta Police have instructed officers not to give tickets to drivers with licenses that expire between said dates until Aug. 31.  “We decided to extend the grace period because we have seen long queues [at renewal service offices in Jakarta],” Jakarta Police spokesperson Yusri Yunus said as quoted from kompas.com on Wednesday.“The regional police forces that are providing a grace period for expired licenses are the Jakarta Police, East Kalimantan Police and Surabaya Police in East Java,” he added. Read also: International driver permit, valid in 188 countries, can now be processed online in IndonesiaThe policy is an extension of the previous grace period until May 29 and is aimed at supporting the government’s social restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19. The head of the National Police traffic corps, Insp. Gen. Istiono, signed on May 29 an order to reopen license renewal services at the police’s vehicle registration center (Satpas) and the vehicle document registration center (Samsat) in the capital. Since reopening the service, the police have reported a high number of requests for renewal, resulting in long queues at counters from early in the morning.Jakarta Police traffic director Sr. Comr. Sambodo Purnomo Yogo said the police would also limit the numbers of applicants for renewals in order to follow COVID-19 health protocols. (trn)Topics :last_img read more

Surabaya court closed after civil servant tests positive for COVID-19, two die unexpectedly

first_imgGinting said the Surabaya District Court would be temporarily closed from June 15 to June 26. The closure was stipulated in a court decree.“This decision was made to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission that has entered the circle of civil servants at the Surabaya District Court,” said Ginting.Read also: ‘COVID-19 is real’: Virus ravages family in Indonesia’s second-largest cityEven so, he said, the court would proceed with several criminal trials that could not be delayed as the detention period of the defendants would end soon.The court will ensure the trials are held under strict health protocols.“No visitors are allowed to enter the court and we will also limit media coverage to only a few journalists,” he added.Despite the closure, some services will still be available, including the online civil case registration system. (syk)Topics : The Surabaya District Court in East Java will be closed for almost two weeks after a civil servant working at the court tested positive for COVID-19, while two others also died unexpectedly.“Besides the civil servant who tested positive for COVID-19, a judge and a bailiff died unexpectedly,” court spokesman Martin Ginting said as reported by Kompas.com on Sunday.The judge, Eko Agus Siswanto, died after experiencing seizures and respiratory failure on Friday, while the bailiff, Surachmad, died a day earlier. However, the exact causes of both deaths remain unknown.last_img read more

Government won’t open Bali yet: COVID-19 task force

first_imgThe government has decided not to open tourist destinations in Bali yet as the risk of COVID-19 transmission lingers.National COVID-19 task force chief Doni Monardo said on Wednesday that he had discussed the possibility of opening some tourist destinations in Bali during the transition to the “new normal” with Bali Governor Wayan Koster, and both agreed not to do it.”The result of our discussions with several regional leaders, including the Bali governor, was that we have decided not to open Bali yet,” Doni said in a hearing with House of Representatives Commission X overseeing tourism.  Doni said he wanted the local government to prepare a plan to anticipate the virus.”We want Bali to have a special protocol from other regions, especially in monitoring people [to determine] if they should be allowed to take tours in Bali,” he said.Doni suggested that the Bali administration prepare PCR machines at the airport and ports.Some cities and regencies on the island are red zones and some are orange zones. Areas categorized as red zones have a high risk of COVID-19 transmission. Orange zones have a moderate COVID-19 risk.Topics :last_img read more