Coronavirus pandemic

  • In first, Trump dons masks in visit to a military medical facility
    BETHESDA, Md, July 12 (Reuters): President Donald Trump, who has avoided wearing a mask in public even as the coronavirus pandemic spread, donned one on Saturday at a military medical facility outside Washington where he was to meet with wounded soldiers and front-line health-care workers.   The visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center marked Trump’s first public appearance with a face covering since the virus began sweeping across the United Sta
  • U.N. chief seeks end to financing of coal to smooth clean energy shift
    LONDON, July 9 (Reuters): U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged countries on Thursday to stop financing for coal and commit not to build new coal-fired power plants to enable a shift to clean energy.   "Coal has no place in COVID-19 recovery plans," Guterres said, speaking via videolink to a clean energy transition summit hosted by the International Energy Agency (IEA).   He said the business case for renewables was better than coal in nearl
  • Down but not out: Berlusconi could hold key to Italian government's future
    ROME, July 9 (Reuters): He is 83 and has lost most of his former support, but Italy's four-times prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is manoeuvring to put his centre-right Forza Italia party back into government and could make his move as early as September, sources say.   Berlusconi aims to exploit divisions in the ruling coalition over whether Italy should seek a loan from the euro zone's bailout fund which could provide cheap money for its coronavirus-battered health
  • Pak PM urges world community to share info on COVID-19 strategies as tally rises to 239,225
    Islamabad, July 8 (PTI): Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday urged the world community to share information on their strategies to deal with the coronavirus, as the country's COVID-19 death toll reached near 5,000-mark.   Addressing a virtual summit of the International Labour Organisation, Khan said that the constant exchange of ideas will help soften the coronavirus impact on labourers.   He said that the entire world was praying for a vaccine bu
  • Working in shops and cafes, refugees hardest hit by coronavirus jobs cuts
    WASHINGTON, July 8 (Thomson Reuters Foundation): Often working in shops, cafes and factories, refugees have been harder hit by coronavirus-triggered job cuts than citizens in their host countries, U.S. development groups said on Wednesday.   Refugees were 60% more likely to lose jobs or income due to the pandemic, found a study covering eight countries - Colombia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Peru, Turkey and Uganda - that host about 37% of the world's refugees.
  • IMF head urges pandemic response that tackles climate crisis
    GENEVA, July 8 (Reuters): International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva urged policymakers on Wednesday to use their response to the coronavirus pandemic to tackle climate change.   "Looking ahead, policies should lay the foundation for a low-carbon, resilient recovery that would create millions of jobs while help address the climate crisis," she told an International Labour Organization conference.   "We are especially con
  • No registration of BS-IV vehicles sold after March 31: SC
    NEW DELHI, JULY 8 (IANS): The Supreme Court on Wednesday recalled its March 27 order, where it had allowed the sale of BS-IV compliant vehicles for 10 days, barring in Delhi-NCR, after the lifting of the nationwide lockdown imposed to fight the coronavirus pandemic.   In its March order, the top court had allowed some relief to the auto dealers, permitting the sale of 10 per cent unsold BS-IV inventory. The apex court on Wednesday said that it will not allow registration of
  • In Africa, lack of coronavirus data raises fears of "silent epidemic"
    NAIROBI, July 8 (Reuters): When the new coronavirus hit Tanzania in mid-April, President John Magufuli called for three days of national prayer to seek God’s protection from the scourge. Barely a month later, he claimed victory over the disease and invited tourists to return to his East African nation.   His rush to reopen came despite alarm from the World Health Organization (WHO) over an almost total lack of information on the spread of the virus in the country
  • In Africa, lack of coronavirus data raises fears of "silent epidemic"
    NAIROBI, July 8 (Reuters): When the new coronavirus hit Tanzania in mid-April, President John Magufuli called for three days of national prayer to seek God’s protection from the scourge. Barely a month later, he claimed victory over the disease and invited tourists to return to his East African nation.   His rush to reopen came despite alarm from the World Health Organization (WHO) over an almost total lack of information on the spread of the virus in the country
  • Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina get best marks in Latin America for pandemic response - poll
    BUENOS AIRES, July 3 (Reuters): Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina are the Latin American countries that earned the best grades for their response to the coronavirus, according to a poll conducted in the region and released on Friday, while Brazil was tagged as the worst performer.   The survey by the consulting firm Trespuntozero, to which Reuters had exclusive access, shows that in eight of the 10 countries in which the study was conducted, the respondents considered Uru
  • Indigenous leaders angry about coronavirus risk from Brazilian military visit
    BOA VISTA, Brazil, July 3 (Reuters): Leaders of an isolated indigenous Yanomami community in Brazil have complained that a military mission to protect them from the coronavirus brought greater risk of infection to their people through contact with outsiders including journalists.   Federal prosecutors said they were investigating the visit for ignoring the wishes of Yanomami communities to remain isolated from society, violating rules of social distancing and distributi
  • WHO warns some nations still face 'long, hard' battle with COVID-19
    GENEVA, July 1 (Reuters): Nations who fail to use every mechanism available to combat the still-raging novel coronavirus will struggle to beat it, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.   "Some countries ... have taken a fragmented approach. These countries face a long, hard road ahead," Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing from WHO headquarters in Geneva, without singling out any nations.   More than 1
  • India's banking sector expected to face capital shortfalls: Fitch
    MUMBAI/SINGAPORE, JULY 1 (IANS): Ratings agency Fitch Ratings on Wednesday said that India's banking sector is expected to face capital shortfalls due to coronavirus pandemic-related disruption.   According to Fitch Ratings, Indian banks are likely to require at least $15 billion in fresh capital to meet a 10 per cent weighted-average common equity Tier 1 ratio under a moderate stress scenario.   "This rises to about $58 billion in a high-stress situation
  • UPSC allows Civil Services aspirants to change exam centres
    NEW DELHI, JULY 1 (IANS): The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has decided to allow candidates for Civil Services (preliminary) examination, 2020 scheduled to be held on October 4 to change their exam centres in view of coronavirus pandemic.   The opportunity to change the centres will also be applicable to Indian Forest Service (preliminary) examination, 2020 which will also be held along with the Civil Services examination all over India on the same date as per the r
  • Coronavirus puts millions more at risk of child marriage and FGM - UN
    LONDON, June 30 (Thomson Reuters Foundation): The coronavirus pandemic is reversing progress on ending child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM), jeopardising the futures of millions of girls, a senior U.N. official said on Tuesday.   "The pandemic both makes our job harder and more urgent as so many more girls are now at risk," said Natalia Kanem, head of the United Nations' sexual and reproductive health agency, UNFPA.   An additional
  • Milk powder imports will harm farmers: Dairy industry
    NEW DELHI, JUNE 29 (IANS): After the slump in demand for milk and milk products in the hotel, restaurant and cafe (HoReCa) segment amid the Covid-19 outbreak, the domestic dairy industry has started using surplus milk to prepare milk powder and butter.   However, the government has decided to import 10,000 tonnes of milk powder from abroad under the tariff rate quota.   The dairy industry has opposed the move, calling it untimely. Dairy traders say that import of
  • PM outlines economic reforms, says several sectors 'unlocked'
    NEW DELHI, JUNE 28 (IANS): As the economy goes through a tough time amid the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday outlined steps taken recently for economic liberalisation under the Atmanirbhar Bharat package whereby the government opened up coal mining and space exploration for private players.   Addressing the nation through the 'Mann Ki Baat' radio broadcast, the Prime Minister said that as the first phase of 'unlock' is underway, s
  • Mexican president slammed after comments on women staying at home
    MEXICO CITY, June 26 (Reuters): Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Thursday suggested the tradition of women staying at home to take care of older family members was key to battling the coronavirus pandemic, sparking criticism his comments were sexist.   This is not the first time the 66-year-old leader has been accused of making tone-deaf comments and lacking empathy towards women.   "People want to change women's role and that is one
  • Malaysia can't take any more Rohingya refugees, PM says
    KUALA LUMPUR, June 26 (Reuters): Malaysia can no longer take in Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Friday, citing a struggling economy and dwindling resources as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic.   Muslim-majority Malaysia has long been a favoured destination for Rohingya seeking a better life after fleeing a 2017 military-led crackdown in Myanmar and refugee camps in Bangladesh.   But Malaysia, which does
  • Hit by coronavirus and wild weather, Italy now battles locusts
    ROME, June 26 (Thomson Reuters Foundation): Swarms of locusts have stripped thousands of hectares of pasture and cropland in Sardinia, devastating farmers already struggling from the coronavirus pandemic, farming groups said.   Their numbers fuelled by rising temperatures, the pests have damaged nearly 15,000 hectares (37,000 acres) of grazing land in the central province of Nuoro, said Michele Arbau, of the Sardinia branch of Italian agricultural association Coldiretti