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WAM: Philippines reports 343 coronavirus cases, 3 deaths

Philippines

MANILA, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — The Philippine Health Ministry on Sunday reported 343 new coronavirus cases, marking the country’s largest daily increase in infections, and three additional deaths, Reuters reported.

That raised the total number of known infections in the country to 1,418, while the death toll has reached 71, it said. Seven more patients have recovered, however, bringing the total number of recoveries to 42.

[Iamge CreditL Reuters]

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WAM: Over a thousand COVID-19 cases in India confirmed

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by Krishnan Nayar

NEW DELHI, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — India today announced over 1,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, even as its comprehensive three-week lockdown entered its fifth day.

At the time of writing, India has recorded 1,045 cases, of which 27 patients have died while 86 persons have recovered. That puts the number of active cases at 932, according to the India COVID-19 Tracker, the country’s most reliable curator of news about coronavirus.

India COVID-19 is a crowd-sourced initiative which collects data nationwide and is updated on its site in real time. It gets information directly from states, which is where COVID-19 cases are being reported.

As the milestone of 1,000 cases was crossed, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked for forgiveness from his people for the difficult decisions he had to take, causing them “myriad hardship.”

In his customary monthly radio address, Modi said, “I extend a heartfelt apology to all my countrymen. It is possible that many are annoyed with me for their confinement in their homes. I fully understand your situation. I can feel what you are going through. But in order to battle coronavirus in a country of 130-crore (1.3 billion) people such as India, there was no other option [but for] a complete lockdown.”

Modi ended his speech on a hopeful note. “We need to win this battle. And we will win. We will meet (via radio) again next month. By then we should have overcome this crisis.”

The Prime Minister yesterday had a long video conference with practitioners of India’s traditional medicines or Ayush, Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy. He underlined the importance of fact checking and countering unsubstantiated claims of Ayush having cures for COVID-19.

 

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WAM: Oman registers 15 new COVID-19 cases

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MUSCAT, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — Oman today registered 15 new cases of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, increasing the total amount of cases in Oman to 167, according to the Omani Ministry of Health.

“Two cases are being tested epidemiologically,” the Ministry of Health said in a statement published by the Omani News Agency. It added that 23 patients have recovered.

 

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WAM: Saudi Arabia extends suspension of work and flights

Saudi Arabia extends suspension of work and flights

RIYADH, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced on Sunday that it will extend the suspension of workplace attendance in both public and private sectors and international passenger flights among efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

In a statement issued by an official source at the Ministry of Interior, all domestic flights, trains, buses and taxis also remain suspended.

The statement added that the Kingdom will extend suspension of attendance at workplaces in all government and private sectors, except for the excluded parties, until further notice.

 

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WAM: Tokyo confirms 68 new coronavirus cases, record daily increase

Tokyo confirms 68 new coronavirus cases, record daily increase

TOKYO, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — At least 68 new coronavirus infections were confirmed in Tokyo on Sunday, its biggest daily increase, Japan News Agency, Kyodo, quoted a metropolitan government official as saying.

The figure, to be finalised later in the day, followed 63 reported on Saturday and 40 on Friday, bringing the total number of cases in Tokyo to 430. The capital struggles with a recent surge in the number of cases Of the increase on Sunday, about 30 cases were from a hospital in Taito Ward that has already reported a number of infections.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has asked residents to stay indoors this weekend to prevent a spread of the virus while prefectures surrounding the city also responded by requesting that people refrain from traveling to the capital on Saturday and Sunday.

[Image Credit: Reuters]

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WAM: Abu Dhabi School of Government launches ‘Digital Learning Challenge’

Abu Dhabi School of Government launches ‘Digital Learning Challenge’

ABU DHABI, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — The Abu Dhabi School of Government, ADSG, has announced the launch of the ‘Digital Learning Challenge’, as part of Abu Dhabi government’s ‘Digital Month’. The challenge is open to all Abu Dhabi government employees through the academy’s online learning platform.

The challenge will run for a period of three months and will contribute to achieving Abu Dhabi’s digital transformation strategy. As part of the challenge, government employees will be required to complete a set of courses tailored to their current roles from the following categories: business, data science, and technology. Learners and government entities with the highest number of learning credits will receive awards in June 2020.

The aim of this initiative is to ensure all employees build the required skills for the age of digital transformation. Over 100 courses from the world’s top universities and learning institutions have been selected from ADSG’s e-learning platform. Programmes on the platform are tailored to the context and needs of the Abu Dhabi government.

Alia Abdulla Al Mazrouei, ADSG Acting Director-General, said, “ADSG strongly advocates continuous learning through digital platforms. By launching this challenge, we can continue to play an active role in digital learning as part of Abu Dhabi’s ongoing digital transformation.: “We are so proud of the significant investment our government makes in developing its people, and our online learning programmes play a part in providing Abu Dhabi government employees with the tools to excel in their workplace and navigate future market conditions,” she continued.

“By enrolling in this challenge, we hope to see more government employees taking the opportunity to upskill themselves and participate in implementing the Emirate’s enhanced digital transformation strategy, alongside many of Abu Dhabi’s leading government entities,” Al Mazrouei added.

The initiative was launched as part of ‘Digital Month’ and will continue until June 2020. Learners are encouraged to take as many courses within the category of courses presented in the challenge.

Courses are available on ADSG’s e-learning platform developed in partnership with Coursera, the world’s largest online learning platform.

The ADSG e-learning team have identified 100 courses for this challenge specifically, out of the 3,000 courses available on the platform.

Abu Dhabi government employees have unlimited access to programmes from over 290 of the world’s top academic organisations. Institutions such as Yale University, Duke University, Imperial College London, Google, and IMD offer various programmes and certifications on the platform.

Abu Dhabi Government recently announced its ‘Digital Month’ initiative to ensure information technology is improving services for the local community.

Government departments currently provide more than 1,000 government services across various digital channels, amounting to eight million transactions annually.

The path towards digital transformation can deliver additional value at many levels, with the potential to save 300,000 days of man-hours and 16 million customer visits for government employees in Abu Dhabi.

 

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WAM: Number of coronavirus cases in Germany rises to 52,547

FRANKFURT, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus, COVID-19, in Germany has risen to 52,547 and 389 people have died of the disease, statistics from the Robert Koch Institute, RKI, for infectious diseases showed on Sunday.

According to Reuters, cases rose by 3,965 compared with the previous day while the death toll climbed by 64, the tally showed.

RKI said that the data did not show the complete picture as it did not receive any readings from the regional states Baden-Wuerttemberg, Hesse and Saarland.

[Image Credit: Reuters]

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WAM: Pakistan closes its Eastern, Western borders to contain COVID-19 spread

ISLAMABAD, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — Pakistan has closed its Eastern and Western borders both for trade and passenger traffic for two more weeks to contain the spread of coronavirus, COVID-19.

There are 1,513 confirmed coronavirus cases in the country with 12 deaths and 28 recoveries, according to Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on National Security Division, SAPM, Moeed Yusuf said, “Both passenger traffic and trade has been stopped at the borders with Afghanistan, Iran and India which includes Kartarpur Corridor as well.”

He added that the international flights to the country were banned till 4th of next month and there will also be prohibition for flights leaving the country for abroad from Sunday, according to Associated Pakistan of Pakistan, APP.

Moeed Yusuf informed that the Pakistani passengers stranded at different international airports were brought back to Pakistan, while the remaining had received visas from the respective countries to further their stay.

 

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WAM: Cambodia reports one new coronavirus case, tightens border restrictions

Cambodia reports one new coronavirus case, tightens border restrictions

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — Cambodia reported one new case of the coronavirus, COVID-19, on Sunday, bringing tally to 103 as the country prepares to tighten entry requirements for foreign nationals to try to curb the spread of the virus, Reuters has reported.

The new case is a 30-year-old woman who worked in Cambodia’s northwestern Banteay Meanchey province, the Ministry of Health said in a statement, adding that a total of 21 patients have recovered since January.

Cambodia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said on Friday it cancel visas on arrival for foreign nationals for one month, effective midnight of 30th March, to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Foreign nationals wishing to travel to Cambodia must obtain a prior visa abroad and they must have medical certificate “certifying that he/she has not tested positive” with the virus, the ministry said.

[Image Credit: Reuters]

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WAM: Thailand reports 143 new coronavirus cases, one death

Thailand reports 143 new coronavirus cases, one death

BANGKOK, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — Thailand has confirmed 143 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of cases since the outbreak to 1,388, the spokesman of the government’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration, CCSA, said on Sunday, giving the latest daily update.

According to Reuters, the country also recorded one new fatality, bringing the total death toll to seven.

[Image Credit: The New York Times]

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WAM: UN donates quarter of a million face masks to NYC health workers

UN donates quarter of a million face masks to NYC health workers

NEW YORK, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — The United Nations has donated 250,000 face masks to New York City health workers on Saturday.

In a statement, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the face masks stored in United Nations facilities, were a part of UN stocks, deemed surplus to requirements.

The UN chief praised medical professionals in New York City who, he said, have been working “courageously, selflessly, and tirelessly in response to the spread of COVID-19 across the boroughs,” in a reference to the five boroughs into which the City is administratively divided (Manhattan, Queens, The Bronx, Brooklyn and Staten Island).

Guterres went on to express his hope that the protective equipment will “play some small role in saving lives”.

Shortly after the statement was released, the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, said in a press conference that the spread of the virus is leaving people disorientated. “The State is on lockdown and the peak of the virus is still forecast to be up to three weeks away,” he said.

New York is currently the US epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 55,000 confirmed cases in the state.

 

[Image Source: UN News]

 

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WAM: Saudi forces intercept, destroy two Houthi ballistic missiles

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RIYADH, 29th March, 2020 (WAM) — The Saudi Air Defence intercepted and destroyed two ballistic missiles launched by the terrorist Iran-backed Houthi militia against cities of Riyadh and Jazan.

The interception of the missiles resulted in debris scattering on some residential areas with “no casualties”, Colonel Turki Al Malki, the spokesman for the Coalition Forces for the Support of Legitimacy in Yemen, in a statement, which was carried by the Saudi Press Agency, SPA.

“The launch of ballistic missiles by the terrorist Houthi militia and the IRGC at this time reflects the real threat of this terrorist militia and the Iranian regime sponsoring it,” according to Al Malki.

“This villainous attack does not target the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its nationals and expatriates only, but targets international unity and solidarity, especially under such difficult and bitter conditions in which the world unites in combatting the outbreak of the coronavirus, COVID-19, epidemic,” he added.

“The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition will continue to apply and implement all decisive and deterrent measures to neutralize and destroy such ballistic capabilities to protect civilians as well as regional and international security,” the spokesman concluded.

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yesterday 28-04-2020 Top countries death from coronavirus Covid-19

source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

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WAM: No contacts between Riyadh and Moscow over increase of Opec+ countries: Saudi Ministry of Energy

RIYADH, 27th March, 2020 (WAM) — A Saudi Ministry of Energy Official said that there have been no contacts between Saudi and Russian energy ministers over any increase in the number of Opec+ countries.

”There has been no discussion of a joint agreement to balance oil markets,” the Saudi official quoted by Saudi Press Agency, SPA, as saying.

 

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WAM: Coalition destroys drones launched by Houhtis

Turki Al-Malki

RIYADH, 27th March 2020 (WAM) – The Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen announced that it intercepted and destroyed drones launched by the Houthi militias in the direction of Saudi Arabia on Friday.

Saudi Press Agency, SPA, quoted the Coalition’s Spokesman Colonel Turki Al-Malki as saying, “This morning, Coalition forces were able to intercept and destroy UAVs launched by the terrorist Houthi militia toward civilian objects in Abha and Khamis Mushait.”

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WAM: India announces $22.6 billion stimulus package to stem impact of COVID-19

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From Krishnan Nayar

NEW DELHI, 26th March, 2020 (WAM) – With a 21-day lockdown underway bringing India to a grinding halt, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced on Thursday a $22.6 billion (Rupees Rs 1.7 trillion) economic stimulus package effective April 1.

The stimulus will bring relief to poor people and millions of migrant workers whose jobs have disappeared overnight because of the lockdown. April 1 marks the beginning of India’s new financial year.

“We do not want anyone to remain hungry,” Sitharaman said in her announcement to reporters. The massive stimulus is expected to give business the necessary confidence to ease up on supply constraints for essential commodities of daily life so as to avoid panic buying by the masses.

This is Sitharaman’s second announcement of relief measures in three days. In her first announcement on Tuesday, the Finance Minister relaxed the norms for compliance with economic laws.

In the coming days, the government is expected to provide relief to business sectors like aviation, hotels, hospitality and small companies by deferring taxes for those industries, which have been hurt the most by the lockdown.

Sanjeev Sanyal, India’s Principal Economic Advisor, said on national television on Thursday night that the government is adopting a step-by-step approach to deal with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The first step was to relax compliance norms, today’s decisions are aimed at protecting the poor and daily labourers, who are most vulnerable. The next step is to provide succour to business and industry sectors which are severely affected by a cessation of their activities.

The objective of today’s stimulus is to help feed approximately 800 million poor people during the next three months when the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic is expected to be felt severely in the society.

This objective will be achieved by distributing five kilogrammes of wheat or rice and one kilogram of pulses per poor citizen per month free of cost for the next three months. The government will also supply free cooking-gas cylinders to 83 million poor families.

In addition, a one-time cash transfer of Rupees 1,000 ($13.31) to 30 million senior citizens and Rupees 500 ($6.65) a month for three months to about 200 million poor women for next three months has been announced.

The Finance Minister also unveiled a medical insurance scheme for health workers who are in the frontline of fighting the Coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, India’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose to 720 of which 660 are now active, according to the government’s website which is updated every four hours. Forty five patients have recovered while 15 persons have died from the disease.

 

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WAM: Philippines reports 7 new coronavirus deaths, 71 more cases

MANILA, 26th March, 2020 (WAM) — The Philippine Health Ministry on Thursday reported seven new coronavirus deaths and 71 new confirmed infections, according to Reuters.

It brings the country’s confirmed cases to 707 and deaths to 45 so far, among them six doctors, Health Secretary Francisco Duque told a regular news conference. He said case numbers would rise in the coming days as more tests are carried out.

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WAM: OPEC daily basket price stood at $26.94 a barrel Wednesday

OPEC

VIENNA, 26th March, 2020 (WAM) — The price of OPEC basket of thirteen crudes stood at US$26.94 a barrel on Wednesday, 25th March 2020, compared with $26.53 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations.

The OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Djeno (Congo), Zafiro (Equatorial Guinea), Rabi Light (Gabon), Iran Heavy (Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela).

 

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WAM: 13 new coronavirus cases in West Bank, 86 total

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RAMALLAH, 26th March, 2020 (WAM) — Thirteen new cases of coronavirus were confirmed this morning in the village of Biddo, northwest of Jerusalem, according to the government spokesman Ibrahim Milhem, bringing total in Palestine to 86, said state news agency, WAFA.

He told WAFA that tests on several people who were in contact with a village woman, who died yesterday of coronavirus, confirmed 13 new infected cases, which brings the number of the infected to 18, including the dead woman.

Milhem had also told Palestine TV this morning that one of Biddo infected people was first admitted to Ramallah hospital before he was tested positive and therefore all doctors and nurses at the hospital who came in contract with him, a total of 20, have been isolated and are being tested for the virus.

Of the 86 total in Palestine, nine are in the Gaza Strip, including seven who were confirmed positive early this morning.

A total of 17 cases in Bethlehem have recovered and were sent to home quarantine for 14 days.

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WAM: South Korea confirms 104 new Coronavirus cases

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SEOUL, 26th March, 2020 (WAM) — South Korea’s new coronavirus cases hovered around 104 for the second straight day Thursday, as health authorities ramped up containment measures in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area amid a jump in imported cases, reported Korean news agency Yonhap.

The 104 new cases, detected Wednesday, brought the nation’s total infections to 9,241, according to the Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, KCDC.

For the 15th consecutive day the number of reported cases was in the region of 100 or lower. The death toll rose by six to 132, and 56 virus patients are in critical condition.

The total number of imported cases jumped by 30 to 131, the KCDC said. In addition to the 30 new imported cases that were detected at airports, 27 more imported infections were confirmed by local governments on Wednesday, said the Yonhap report.

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