Indonesia’s quake-hit Lombok battles with malaria, 137 infected

A man jumps over a crack in the ground in Mataram on Indonesia's Lombok island on August 20, 2018. (File/AFP)
Updated 16 September 2018
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Indonesia’s quake-hit Lombok battles with malaria, 137 infected

  • The quakes and aftershocks since July have killed about 500 people and forced hundreds of thousands into evacuation shelters or tents
  • Among the 137 infected are babies and pregnant women

MATARAM, Indonesia: A malaria outbreak has infected at least 137 people in Indonesia’s West Lombok after the island was rocked by a series of earthquakes in recent months, an official said Sunday.
The quakes and aftershocks since July have killed about 500 people and forced hundreds of thousands into evacuation shelters or tents.
As a result the number of malaria cases is twice as high as in the same period last year, prompting the West Lombok government to declare a health emergency.
Among the 137 infected are babies and pregnant women.
The government has taken steps to prevent the disease from spreading such as taking blood samples, distributing mosquito nets and fogging.
Amaq Aniyah, 65, was diagnosed with malaria after feeling unwell for a week.
His house was destroyed by a 6.9 magnitude quake in early August and since then he has been living in a tent. Paramedics have given him a mosquito net.
“Ideally we should give mosquito nets to everyone but because we only have a few, we have to be selective,” said paramedic Farlin, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.
The head of West Lombok regency, Fauzan Halid, told AFP they only have 3,000 mosquito nets but need about 10,000.
Declaration of a health emergency will allow West Lombok to seek 3.4 billion rupiah ($230,000) in aid from the provincial and central government to tackle the crisis.
Indonesia’s rainy season is expected to start next month, raising fears malaria-carrying mosquitos could breed in stagnant water.


Singapore celebrates Ramadan with bazaars and biryani

Updated 56 min 41 sec ago
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Singapore celebrates Ramadan with bazaars and biryani

  • The vibrant Kampong Glam neighborhood comes alive during the holy month
  • Sultan Mosque was designated a national monument in 1975

KUALA LUMPUR: Singapore’s Sultan Mosque is a focal point for Muslims in the cosmopolitan city-state and the vibrant Kampong Glam neighborhood comes alive during the holy month of Ramadan when people from all walks of life flock to its bustling bazaars.

Kampong Glam is Singapore’s “Muslim Quarter” with a mix of Malay, South Asian and Middle Eastern elements. Around 14 percent of Singapore’s 5.6 million population is Muslim, according to the latest official data.

Arab Street — an area that includes Bussorah Street, Haji and Bali Lanes and Muscat Street — is a hub for hipsters, vivid murals, Persian rug stores, shisha bars, perfumeries and textile shops, as well as being home to the distinctive golden domes of the Sultan Mosque. There is even an ornate archway welcoming people to explore the neighborhood and its distinctive shophouses, buildings that were used for working and living in. 

“We are more like brothers and sisters, rather than businesses. I know most of the customers and they know me too,” a 36-year-old biryani hawker who gave his name as Nareza told Arab News as he served a line of hungry clients.

Nareza said his stall’s signature dish was mutton biryani, made from a family recipe handed down through generations from his late grandmother. 

FASTFACT

Around 14 percent of Singapore’s 5.6 million population is Muslim

“Dum biryani is a process of mixing meat and rice together in one pot, so the rice has a bit of the masala taste while the meat has a bit of the basmati rice fragrance,” he said, adding that he sold more than 300 portions of biryani a day. “I learned to make biryani from my father, who used to do charity work in the mosque. We make our own spices, we do not buy them from outside vendors. That is why the taste is different.”

The bazaar is packed with places selling food, drinks, decorations and homeware. The fare reflects Singapore’s international status, with eateries and stores selling kebabs, sushi and local Malay goodies.

But Singapore has a reputation for being one of the most expensive cities in the world and having a fast-paced lifestyle, leading some to focus on preserving culture and heritage for future generations.

“We want to create awareness about the significance of Sultan Mosque to the Muslim community,” juice stall owner Riduan told Arab News, saying all sale proceeds were donated to the Sultan Mosque. “Arab Street is unique because you see a lot of different races coming here and it is also a tourist attraction. This is where we demonstrate we are Singapore society. Singapore is not just limited to skyscrapers such as Marina Bay Sands.”