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.


Pakistan PM’s defense of the political U-turn sparks mirth

Updated 2 min 30 sec ago
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Pakistan PM’s defense of the political U-turn sparks mirth

  • The opposition has branded the Pakistani PM as ‘U-turn Khan’
  • Some supporters attempted to explain that Khan was misusing the term “U-turn,” and simply meant that leaders must be flexible

ISLAMABAD: Margaret Thatcher was famously not for turning, but Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan has declared U-turns to be a “hallmark of great leadership,” in comments provoking criticism from opponents and a slew of jokes from Pakistanis.
Khan, the cricketer-turned-premier, has come under fire since he took office in August for a string of apparent about-faces.
They include backtracking from his claim that as prime minister he would only fly by commercial airliner, caving to Islamist pressure over his decision to appoint a member of a persecuted religious minority as an economic adviser, and allying himself with politicians he has previously declared corrupt.
With the opposition branding him ‘U-turn Khan’, he has defended himself to journalists.
“Both Hitler and Napoleon faced defeat as they did not change their strategies according to the situation... Leaders should always be ready to take U-turns,” he was quoted as saying by the English-language daily Dawn newspaper on Saturday.
Some supporters attempted to explain that Khan was misusing the term “U-turn,” and simply meant that leaders must be flexible.
“While dictators find it difficult to do course correction, leading their countries into disaster, democratic leaders have ability to do timely course correction when needed!” wrote human rights minister Shireen Mazari.
But the comments ignited social media, especially after Khan doubled down on his statement with a fresh tweet on Sunday.
“Doing a U-turn to reach one’s objective is the hallmark of great leadership just as lying to save ill-gotten wealth is the hallmark of crooks,” he wrote.
The tweet prompted a wave of jokes on Twitter.
“I was going to take a bath. I took U turn when I realized that water is cold,” tweeted one user from Peshawar.
“This morning I woke up to drink tea, then I took a U turn and slept again. Now, I have become a real leader,” tweeted another.
Others posted memes including an image of a circular racetrack captioned “Road to Leadership.”
Khan did not appear to respond, but his party’s official Twitter account posted a video clip of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos stating: “People who are right a lot change their minds.”