PREMIUMRefugees in Jakarta near breaking point

first_imgFacebook Linkedin Forgot Password ? Log in with your social account refugees West-Jakarta UNHCR asylum-seekers asylum In an abandoned building in West Jakarta, refugees from various war-torn countries live crammed in tiny rooms and tents.  There is no electricity, no running water and often no food or drinking water. Approximately 250 refugees live in the complex. The majority come from Afghanistan, and some are from Pakistan, Iraq, and Somalia. Feroza, 21, fled with her in-laws from Pakistan nearly three years ago. She shares a cramped room with eight other people, which consists of two tents, a pillow, and a blanket draped over the floor.“Every night we spend in tears, in the darkness, without water, without any facilities,” she said. “We can’t say whether tomorrow we’ll be alive or not. People become fed up with hunger. They die with hunger here.” None of the refugees in the camp know how long they will have to remain in Indonesi… Google Topics : LOG INDon’t have an account? Register herelast_img read more

Spanish military pilot dies as plane crashes into sea

first_imgA Spanish military pilot was killed when his plane crashed into the Mediterranean Sea during an aerial acrobatics display on Thursday.After recovering debris from the plane off the east coast of Spain, the airforce confirmed on Twitter that the pilot was dead.It was the third deadly air force accident in the Murcia region in six months.Last August, a military instructor died when his plane crashed in the same area. The following month another instructor and his trainee died in another crash.Topics :last_img read more

US agency investigating production of faulty coronavirus test kits

first_imgThe US Department of Health and Human Services confirmed on Sunday that it is investigating a manufacturing defect in some initial coronavirus test kits that prompted some states to seek emergency approval to use their own test kits.On Saturday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said his state would immediately begin using its own test kit developed in-state after asking the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday for permission to do so.The FDA said on Saturday it would allow some laboratories to immediately use tests they have developed and validated to achieve more rapid testing capacity for the coronavirus. On Sunday, New York confirmed its first case of coronavirus.FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said in a statement on Sunday that “upon learning about the test issue from CDC (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), FDA worked with CDC to determine that problems with certain test components were due to a manufacturing issue. We worked hand in hand with CDC to resolve the issues with manufacturing.”Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday the United States has 75,000 test kits on hand “and over the next week that will expand radically.” He said over 3,600 people in the United States have been tested to date.Hahn added that the “FDA has confidence in the design and current manufacturing of the test that already have and are continuing to be distributed. These tests have passed extensive quality control procedures.”Reuters reported Friday that New York health officials had sought to get their own coronavirus testing kits up and running after getting stuck with faulty tests from the federal government that they said left them unable to diagnose people quickly in the nation’s most populous city.HHS confirmed Sunday it had “launched an investigation and is assembling a team of non-CDC scientists to better understand the nature and source of the manufacturing defect in the first batch of COVID-19 test kits that were distributed to state health departments and others.”The HHS investigation was reported earlier by Axios.Topics :last_img read more

COVID-19: OJK extends annual shareholders meeting, financial report deadlines

first_imgTopics : Read also: Major businesses split over lockdown, support social distancingUnder such a condition, the OJK will extend the deadline for annual financial report submission from March 30 to May 31, applied to all publicly listed companies, the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX), the Indonesia Clearing and Guarantee Corporation (KPEI) and a slew of other bourse members. It will also extend the deadline for annual report submission from April 30 to June 30.The OJK has also extended the deadline for the listed companies to hold annual shareholders meeting from June to Aug. 31 at the latest. It allows public companies to hold meetings through the electronic shareholders meeting e-RUPS system, which allows shareholders to avoid physical attendance.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo called on people on Sunday to practice social distancing to help contain the COVID-19 spread. Indonesia has recorded 227 confirmed cases and 19 deaths as of Wednesday.The OJK on Tuesday told more than 70 percent of its employees to work from home to contain the coronavirus spread and limited working hours for those still required to go into the office. It also limited visitation services and advised customers to use online and phone channels if they needed the OJK’s assistance. The Financial Services Authority (OJK) has extended the deadline for publicly listed companies to release their annual financial reports and hold annual shareholders meetings amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spread in Indonesia.The OJK’s statement circulated on Wednesday referred to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency’s (BNPB) declaration as a basis for the decision. The agency announced on Tuesday that the “particular state of disaster emergency” status due to the COVID-19 pandemic would be extended until May.”The particular state of disaster emergency set by the government until May 29can affect the capital market industry players’ ability to hold shareholders meetings as well as to prepare and submit financial statements and annual reports on time,” the statement reads.last_img read more

COVID-19: Police to refrain from detaining suspects to contain virus

first_imgThe National Police have instructed investigators to refrain from detaining individuals declared suspects in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country’s detention centers.National Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Asep Adi Saputra said detaining suspects would only cram more people into the police’s detention centers, which could accelerate the spread of the disease.“We have asked our investigators not to detain suspects when investigating criminal cases since the government has asked residents to perform physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Asep said at a press conference on Thursday. He added that the instruction had been given to all of the police’s criminal investigation units and that detainment should be the last resort when dealing with criminal suspects. Instead, investigators were asked to perform “normative” legal proceedings when dealing with criminal suspects. He did not elaborate about what those proceedings entailed.Read also: Overcrowded and understaffed, prisons scramble to protect inmates from infectionAsep said the police would take into consideration the magnitude of the suspects’ alleged crimes in deciding whether to detain them. Law enforcement personnel would also place suspects into custody if they fulfilled all conditions stipulated in the Criminal Code Procedure Law (KUHAP), he said.According to the law, suspects can be detained if law enforcement officials have gathered at least three pieces of evidence supporting their allegations or if suspects pose a flight risk, may deliberately alter or destroy evidence or repeat the alleged offense.“We promise to be more selective when placing suspects into detainment,” Asep added.Topics :last_img read more

Hong Kong-ASEAN FTA to enter into force for Indonesia: HK govt

first_imgThe part relating to Indonesia under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the Investment Agreement (IA) between China’s Hong Kong and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will enter into force on July 4, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government announced on Wednesday.On trade in goods under the FTA, Indonesia will progressively reduce and eliminate customs duties on goods originating from Hong Kong, a HKSAR government spokesman said.The tariff commitments made by Indonesia cover different kinds of Hong Kong commodities, including jewellery, articles of apparel and clothing accessories, watches and clocks as well as toys. On trade in services, Hong Kong service providers will enjoy better business opportunities and legal certainty in market access for different services sectors in Indonesia under the FTA.These include services sectors in which Hong Kong has traditional strengths or has potential for development, including business services, construction and related engineering services, and tourism and travel related services, according to the spokesman.Under the IA, Indonesia will provide Hong Kong enterprises investing in its area with fair and equitable treatment of their investments, physical protection and security of their investments as well as the assurance of the free transfer of their investments and returns, said the spokesman.In case of expropriation or investment loss owing to war, armed conflict or similar event, Indonesia will also provide compensation to Hong Kong enterprises investing in its area according to the agreed standard as specified under the IA.With the entry into force for the part relating to Indonesia, there will be a total of eight ASEAN member states for which both the FTA and the IA have entered into force.The dates of entry into force for the remaining two ASEAN member states, Brunei Darussalam and Cambodia, will be announced as soon as they are confirmed, the spokesman said.Topics :last_img read more

Moscow lifts virus lockdown as Russian death toll tops 6,000

first_imgTopics : On Tuesday, health officials reported 8,595 new cases and 171 deaths.The country’s total death toll has reached 6,142, and the overall number of infections is 485,253, the third-highest number in the world.Moscow remains the epicenter of the outbreak, with 1,572 new cases. Nevertheless Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced on Monday that the capital’s general lockdown and pass system was ending Tuesday, allowing residents to move freely for the first time since late March.Officials say Russia’s high number of cases is the result of a huge testing campaign, with more than 13 million tests carried out so far, and point to Russia’s relatively low mortality rate as evidence it is safe to ease lockdowns. Critics have accused authorities of under-reporting deaths and say officials are rushing to lift restrictions for political reasons.Moscow, Europe’s most populous city with more than 12 million people, had been under lockdown since March 30.Some measures have been gradually lifted over the last few weeks, with non-food retail shops permitted to reopen and residents allowed to go for walks according to a fixed schedule.Sobyanin said that hairdressers, beauty salons and vets would also be allowed to reopen. Restaurants and cafes will open in two stages beginning June 16. “It’s nice out and there are a lot of people on the streets. It’s a beautiful day, in every sense of the word,” Olga Ivanova, a 33-year-old marketing manager, told AFP in central Moscow.The easing of restrictions was announced Monday and comes as the Kremlin is gearing up for a crucial July 1 vote that could extend President Vladimir Putin’s grip on power until 2036.The 67-year-old leader also wants to stage a major World War II military parade which was postponed because of the epidemic and rescheduled for June 24.Some critics have said that Moscow is lifting the lockdown prematurely.center_img Moscow on Tuesday lifted a strict anti-coronavirus lockdown after more than two months of restrictions as Russia reported over 6,000 deaths. Traffic jams returned to Moscow’s notoriously congested roads as residents spilled out onto the streets on a warm late spring day in the Russian capital.Many Muscovites were in good spirits after spending weeks cooped up at home, and most were not wearing the obligatory masks.last_img read more

US FDA comes out with guidance for COVID-19 vaccine approval

first_imgSeveral companies such as Moderna Inc, Pfizer Inc and AstraZeneca Plc are in the race to develop a vaccine.”While the FDA is committed to expediting this work, we will not cut corners in our decisions,” the FDA said on Tuesday. (https://bit.ly/38fyVS3)Experts have said it could take 12 to 18 months for a vaccine to be developed.Vaccine developers have also been asked for data to support use during pregnancy and to show safety and effectiveness in children, the health regulator said. The US Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday released guidance for approving a coronavirus vaccine, saying the vaccine has to prevent or decrease disease severity in at least 50% of people who are inoculated.More than 100 vaccines are being tested worldwide against the virus, which has claimed over 126,100 lives in the United States, according to a Reuters tally.The Trump administration in May announced a program called “Operation Warp Speed” to speed up the development of COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccines, as the country has none approved for treating COVID-19. “The guidelines are pretty standard, they look pretty much like influenza vaccine guidelines,” Gregory Poland, director of Mayo Vaccine Research Group said.”I don’t think that’s a high bar. I think that’s a low to maybe an appropriate bar for a first-generation COVID-19 vaccine.”Flu vaccines are 30%-70% effective in any given year, according to Jefferies analyst Michael Yee. The guidelines could be seen as a relatively high bar given the urgency to accelerate availability of a vaccine, Yee added.Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States government’s top infectious diseases expert, cautioned that there is no guarantee of a safe and effective vaccineTopics :last_img read more

Indonesia second most confident in Southeast Asia about reopening tourism, study finds

first_img“Our study has reinforced the fact that international tourism is a crucial pillar for Indonesia’s economy. Most operators are ready to restart, with safety and cleanliness protocols firmly in place,” Blackbox Research’s chief operating officer Saurabh Sardana said in an official statement on Thursday.Tourism is among the sectors hit hardest by the coronavirus outbreak as people stay at home and limit travel to avoid catching the virus. The pandemic so far has taken away around Rp 85 trillion (US$5.87 billion) from Indonesia’s tourism revenue so far this year, according to data from the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI).In a bid to aid tourism’s recovery during the pandemic, Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto signed on June 19 a decree on health guidelines for public facilities, including hotels, restaurants, and tourist destinations, among others.Read also: Health protocols welcomed as tourist spots reopen Indonesia is the second most confident nation in Southeast Asia about reopening its tourism sector with 71 percent of Indonesians saying their country is well prepared, a recent survey shows.The result is part of a joint survey conducted by social research agency Blackbox Research, data provider Dynata and translation company Language Connect, titled Unravel Travel: Fear & Possibilities in a Post Coronavirus (COVID-19) World, that examines the sentiments, preferences and expectations of around 10,000 people in 17 countries regarding travel in a post-COVID-19 world.Overall, Indonesia’s travel confidence score stands at 65 out of 100, higher than the global average of 61. Indonesia trailed behind neighboring Thailand. Indonesians optimism regarding travel also provides a favorable outlook for the country’s tourism destinations such as Bali, which recently reopened its borders for domestic tourists last week and plans to welcome foreign tourists on Sept. 11.As Bali reopened for domestic tourists on July 31, an estimated 4,000 passengers reportedly arrived at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport. A representative of the Airport Authority Office Area IV, Puguh Lukito, said that Ngurah Rai airport served 28 takeoffs and 28 landings on the day.With tourism suffering a huge decline, the majority of Indonesians expect the government to boost its promotional efforts to attract tourists as they understood the importance of tourism to the country’s overall economy, the survey data showed.According to the survey, 96 percent of Indonesian respondents’ regard tourism as an important contributor to the local economy, the highest percentage globally.However, while local sentiment about restarting tourism has been encouraging, Indonesia could face challenges in regaining travelers’ trust given that Indonesia has recorded the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia, according to Sardana.“Bali’s reopening will be the litmus test for Indonesia, and will greatly influence the country’s efforts to reinvigorate tourism as a whole,” Sardana said.“The Indonesian government will need to play a key role in convincing travelers from around the world that it is safe to travel to their desired destinations.”As of Wednesday, Indonesia had recorded 116,781 cases of COVID-19, with 73,889 recoveries and 5,452 fatalities.National Development Planning Minister Suharso Monoarfa said on Tuesday that Bali was safe to visit and the local administration and businesses were taking unprecedented steps to prevent COVID-19 transmission.“While we should remain vigilant with regard to the virus, we shouldn’t be paranoid. It is safe to visit Bali, but please adhere to the health protocols implemented on the island,” he said during an online discussion held by the ministry.He also urged tourists to take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test prior to their visit to Bali, although the island accepts rapid test result as a requirement to enter.Read also: Enjoy Bali responsibly, minister urges tourists as resort island reopensTopics :last_img read more

Virus rages in smalltown India, and so does stigma

first_imgTopics : According to public health expert Preeti Kumar, the probable reason is the return home of millions of migrant workers who were left jobless by India’s sudden lockdown imposed in March.”We are seeing the numbers rise especially in states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, and with poorer healthcare systems, it is going to be a challenge,” Kumar told AFP.The poor northern state of Uttar Pradesh, home to roughly as many people as France, Germany and Britain combined, has now seen the pandemic reach almost every district, no matter how remote.The state has recorded 100,000 cases. Its capital Lucknow is reporting more than 600 new infections every day, compared to only 100-150 just a few days ago. Angry colleagues Anand in Meerut said that after becoming infected, he submitted a list of colleagues he had come in contact with to his office so that they could get tested as well.”But some of them were so angry,” he said.”Even my seat in office has been changed. I want to feel normal but the social boycott hurts.”Local media have reported incidents of returning migrant workers being barred from entering their villages by barricades set up on the outskirts with signs like “Outsiders not allowed”.Authorities have inadvertently done their bit with quarantine stickers outside the homes of infected people and putting “danger ahead” signboards in containment zones.Ajay Kumar, another recovered coronavirus patient, said neighbors have stopped their children playing with his.”In my [neighborhood] they are not even allowing the domestic help to work at my place. It makes me so sad and angry at the same time,” Kumar said. “The disease did not kill me but the discrimination will.”  Sarthak Anand says his neighbors treated him like a “criminal” when he got coronavirus, a common experience in India’s vast hinterland where the pandemic — and stigmatization — are now raging.”Even though I have recovered fully, no one wants to come near me,” Anand, a government employee, told AFP outside his home in Meerut, a northern Indian city home to 3.4 million people.On Friday India’s official caseload passed two million, and while previously metropolises like New Delhi and Mumbai were the hotspots, smaller cities and rural areas are now reporting sharp rises.center_img ‘Social boycott’ Nationally, India has tested around 16,500 people per million, compared to 190,000 in the United States and 260,000 in Britain, according to a tally by Worldometer.Apart from having one of the world’s lowest rates of spending per capita on health care, part of the reason is that coronavirus sufferers often become pariahs.This is particularly true in smaller conurbations and in rural areas, where some two-thirds of Indians live and where face masks and social distancing are rare sights.”A new disease with relatively high levels of complications and mortality, with accompanying directives on physical distancing, inevitably leads to fears, apprehensions and… stigma,” said Rajib Kumar, who heads the Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University.”There’s both the fear of the disease as well as of isolation and quarantine,” Kumar told AFP. But the official number may be a big underestimate, experts say, with the real scale potentially hugely under-reported because of insufficient testing, and deaths not being properly recorded.Uttar Pradesh has conducted an impressive-sounding 2.8 million tests, according to a senior state official.But given its enormous population of over 200 million people, this equates to just 14,000 tests per million. In the US state of Texas, the rate is almost 10 times higher.last_img read more