Coronavirus outbreak

  • Madrid asks for help from Spanish army against coronavirus surge
    MADRID, September 21 (Reuters): The regional chief of Madrid requested on Monday help from the army to fight the coronavirus surge in and around the Spanish capital where local authorities have ordered a partial lockdown of some poorer areas, prompting protests during the weekend. "We need help from the army for disinfection ... and to strengthen local police and law enforcement," Isabel Diaz Ayuso told a news briefing after meeting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez in an
  • Volunteer armies map 'invisible' communities hit by coronavirus
    BANGKOK, September 14 (Thomson Reuters Foundation): After the coronavirus outbreak hit Indonesia, charity worker Harry Machmud in May asked volunteers to map handwashing stations across the sprawling archipelago. Hundreds of volunteers who otherwise mark roads and bridges on OpenStreetMap (OSM), a free and editable map of the world being built by communities using smartphones and drones, added more than 1,100 handwashing stations across the country. Worldwide, the Human
  • Jamaicans head to polls amid coronavirus resurgence
    KINGSTON, September 3 (Reuters): Jamaica's ruling party looks set to retain power by a strong margin in a general election on Thursday thanks to its steady stewardship of the economy and despite a recent resurgence of the country's coronavirus outbreak. Polls show Prime Minister Andrew Holness’s center-right Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) some 12 to 19 percentage points ahead of the center-left People’s National Party (PNP). Holness likely called the election
  • Church at centre of South Korea coronavirus outbreak says government fabricating tests
    SEOUL, August 21 (Reuters): South Korea's battle to contain a new outbreak of the coronavirus has been complicated by a political and religious fight between President Moon Jae-in's administration and some of his fiercest critics. Sarang Jeil Church is the second religious group at the centre of a major coronavirus outbreak in South Korea. The government accuses the church of obstruction by not providing complete lists of its members and spreading fake news that is h
  • Vietnam turns Danang stadium into field hospital amid virus outbreak
    HANOI, August 6 (Reuters): Vietnam is close to completing the conversion of a sports stadium into a 1,000-bed field hospital in its new coronavirus epicentre Danang, the health ministry said on Thursday, as it battles an outbreak that has spread to at least 11 locations. Aggressive contact-tracing, targeted testing and strict quarantining had helped Vietnam halt an earlier contagion, but it is now racing to control infections in the central city and beyond after a new outbreak
  • Canadian preacher jailed in Myanmar for holding services during virus ban
    YANGON, August 6 (Reuters): A Myanmar court on Thursday sentenced a Canadian preacher who said Christians were immune to the novel coronavirus to jail with hard labour for three months for holding church services in defiance of a ban on gatherings during the outbreak. David Lah, a Canadian of Burmese origin, and another man, Myanmar national Wai Tun, were detained under a disaster management law over services they held in the city of Yangon in April. A ban on public gatherin
  • Tetso College hosts webinar on ‘COVID-19: emergence, outbreak and management’
    Dimapur, July 28 (MExN): To help improve understanding of the Coronavirus outbreak complex dynamics, Tetso College, Dimapur reached out to some global health experts for their quick “reality checks” on key issues. The college invited Microbiologist Prof (Dr) Amar P Garg, Vice Chancellor of Shobhit University to speak on “Covid-19: Emergence, Outbreak and Management” in a webinar on July 28. The talk was facilitated and moderated by Dr Aniruddha Babar, a Polit
  • Vietnam to evacuate 80,000 people from Danang after virus outbreak
    HANOI, July 27 (Reuters): Vietnam is evacuating 80,000 people, mostly local tourists, from the central tourism hot spot of Danang after three residents tested positive for the coronavirus at the weekend, the government said on Monday. The Southeast Asian country is back on high alert after authorities on Saturday confirmed the first community infections since April, and another three cases on Sunday, all in or around Danang. Vietnam's benchmark stock index closed down 5.
  • Thailand to extend emergency decree until end of August
    BANGKOK, July 22 (Reuters): Thailand will extend a state of emergency until the end of August, a senior official said on Wednesday, maintaining the security measure put in place to contain its coronavirus outbreak. The announcement comes after nearly two months without local transmission and with many people in Thailand questioning the need for an emergency decree. The decree, first introduced in late March, will be subject to cabinet approval next week. "It is still
  • In Tokyo, a temple offers pandemic-hit Vietnamese workers a safe haven
    TOKYO, July 7 (Reuters): A few hours after sundown last week, Thi Tu Luong dragged her suitcase down a side street in Tokyo's business district, looking for the temple that would take her in for the night.   Luong, a 22-year old Vietnamese worker, had just been fired from her job at a hotel in a hot springs town north of Tokyo.   After a few minutes of walking the street, she saw Jiho Yoshimizu, who runs a support group for Vietnamese workers, waving her
  • COVID-19 exposed deep flaws in Spain's anti-poverty system: U.N. expert
    MADRID, jULY 6 (Reuters): The coronavirus outbreak has highlighted serious weaknesses in Spain's social security system and a failure to address the plight of the poorest people, a UN expert said on Monday.   "Spain’s social protection net was utterly inadequate before COVID-19, but the pandemic has since exposed just how deeply it is failing people," Philip Alston, the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, sai
  • Croatia to hold parliamentary vote amid economic, COVID-19 uncertainties
    ZAGREB, July 3 (Reuters): Croatians vote on Sunday to choose a government whose abiding challenge will be to haul the economy out of recession triggered by the coronavirus outbreak, with an awkward ruling coalition the likely outcome.   The centre-right Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), led by the incumbent pro-European Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, believes it can re-emerge as the biggest party in the parliamentary election and with the strongest chance to lead a coa
  • Self-cleaning mask can kill viruses with heat from phone charger, researchers say
    HAIFA, Israel, June 17 (Reuters): Israeli researchers say they have invented a reusable face mask that can kill the coronavirus with heat by drawing power from a mobile phone charger.   The disinfecting process takes about 30 minutes - and users should not wear the mask while it is plugged in, said Professor Yair Ein-Eli, who led the research team at Technion University in Haifa.   The new mask has a USB port that connects to a power source such as a standard
  • Norway says its salmon did not cause virus at Beijing market
    OSLO, June 17 (Reuters): Chinese and Norwegian authorities have concluded salmon from Norway was not the source of the coronavirus found on cutting boards at a Beijing wholesale food market, Norway's fisheries and seafood minister said on Wednesday.   "We can clear away uncertainty," Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen told a video conference.   Chinese and Norwegian officials had decided on Tuesday the source of the outbreak did not originate in fish from No
  • China's new virus outbreak needs further testing after 'hypothesis' on cause - WHO
    GENEVA, June 16 (Reuters): The origins of a new cluster of coronavirus infections in Beijing are uncertain, World Health Organization officials said on Monday, but the claim that it might have been caused by imports or packaging of salmon was not the "primary hypothesis".   Several districts of the Chinese capital put up security checkpoints, closed schools and ordered people to be tested for the coronavirus on Monday after an unexpected rise in cases linked t
  • In Brazil's overcrowded jails, COVID-19 breeds fear and calls for change
    RIO DE JANEIRO, June 16 (Thomson Reuters Foundation): Carolina, a Brazilian mother, hasn't heard anything from her jailed son since March when authorities banned prison visits due to the coronavirus outbreak and she is scared.   As COVID-19 deaths rise in Brazil's violent and overcrowded jails, activists have called for tens of thousands of prisoners to be released to stop the disease taking a heavy toll on inmates, most of whom are young black men like Carolina
  • Chinese capital reinstates curbs as coronavirus resurfaces
    BEIJING, June 15 (Reuters): Several districts of the Chinese capital put up security checkpoints, closed schools and ordered people to be tested for the coronavirus on Monday after an unexpected spike of cases linked to the biggest wholesale food market in Asia.   After nearly two months with no new infections, Beijing officials have reported 79 cases over the past four days, the city's biggest cluster of infections since February.   The return of th
  • Risk of new lockdowns rises with fear of second COVID-19 wave
    LONDON, June 12 (Reuters): Fears of a second wave of COVID-19 infections grew on Friday with a record daily increase in India, warnings against complacency in Europe and word from half a dozen U.S. states that their hospital beds were filling up fast.   Health officials worldwide have expressed concerns in recent days that some countries grappling with the devastating economic impact of lockdowns may lift restrictions too swiftly, and that the coronavirus could spread d
  • Saudi Arabia considers limiting haj pilgrims amid COVID-19 fears
    DUBAI/RIYADH, June 8 (Reuters): Saudi Arabia could drastically limit numbers at the annual haj pilgrimage to prevent a further outbreak of coronavirus after cases in the country topped 100,000, sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.   Some 2.5 million pilgrims visit the holiest sites of Islam in Mecca and Medina for the week-long haj, a once-in-a-lifetime duty for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it. Official data show haj and the lesser, year-round umr
  • China to strengthen global cooperation in COVID-19 vaccine trials
    BEIJING, June 7 (Reuters): China will strengthen international cooperation in future COVID-19 clinical vaccine trials, building on earlier collaboration in vaccine development, the science and technology minister said on Sunday.   China is expending great efforts in the global scramble to develop a vaccine for the new coronaries epidemic that began in its central city of Wuhan, with Chinese researchers conducting five separate clinical trials on humans, or half of all s