World remains on high alert as coronavirus sends shockwaves through fragile countries

The virus has infected over 760,000 people globally as of Tuesday. (File/AFP)
Short Url
Updated 01 April 2020

World remains on high alert as coronavirus sends shockwaves through fragile countries

  • Governments have been launching financial stimulus packages to support their economies

DUBAI: Middle East countries have taken extra steps to buffer the blow of the coronavirus that has so far infected more than 760,000 people globally.
Elsewhere the World Bank said on Monday the economic fallout due to the pandemic could drive 11 million more people in East Asia into poverty.
Governments have been launching financial stimulus packages to support their economies, and allow their citizens to cope with the crippling effects of the outbreak.

Tuesday, March 31 (All times in GMT)

21:00 - A 72-year-old man has become the first person to die in Oman from coronavirus.

20:30 - A 13-year-old boy in London who tested positive for coronavirus has died, King's College Hospital said on Tuesday.

18:05 - Saudi Arabia is urging Muslims to wait before making plans to attend the annual hajj pilgrimage until there is more clarity about the deadly coronavirus pandemic, the Kingdom's minister for hajj and umrah said.

17:50 - Turkey said coronavirus deaths rose to 214, with 2,704 new infections.

16:00 - Britain reported a record daily coronavirus toll of 381 on Tuesday, more than double the number of nationwide deaths posted in the previous 24 hours.

15:45 New York state coronavirus deaths increase to 1,550 from 1,218, cases increases to 75,795 from 66,497 a day earlier, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

15:20 - The Bahraini Health Ministry announced 47 new cases of coronavirus infections on Tuesday.

15:10 - Iran has reported 141 new virus deaths, raising the country's total to 2,898.

14:30 - The head of Moscow's main coronavirus hospital who met with President Vladimir Putin a week ago has tested positive, he said Tuesday, as the Kremlin announced the Russian leader's health was fine.

Last Tuesday Denis Protsenko met with the Russian leader who inspected the Kommunarka hospital while wearing a bright yellow hazmat suit. But the 67-year-old Putin was also seen talking to Protsenko without any protective gear.

14:10 - Spain will bar utility companies from cutting off water and electricty to customers over unpaid bills as part of measures aimed at helping vulnerable groups hit by the coronavirus outbreak, Deputy Prime Minister Pablo Iglesias said on Tuesday.

13:40 - Mauritania has declared its first fatality from coronavirus, state media reported on Tuesday, adding to the growing death toll on the African continent.

The victim is a 48-year-old French-Mauritanian dual national who tested positive for the virus after she died, according to the Mauritanian Information Agency.

13:30  UAE Health Ministry announced 53 new cases of coronavirus infections and one new death, bringing the total to 664 cases with 6 deaths.

12:55  The death toll in England from the coronavirus outbreak rose 29% to 1,651, the National Health Service said.

12:52 – Morocco announced that the number of cases in the country reached 574.

12:50 – Saudi has confirmed 110 new coronavirus cases, two deaths and 50 recoveries. National tolls stand at 1563 infections, 10 deaths and 165 recoveries. READ MORE HERE.

12:25 – The number of deaths in the Netherlands resulting from the coronavirus epidemic has risen by 175 to 1,039, health authorities said.

11:15 – Indonesian leader Joko Widodo declared a state of emergency Tuesday as coronavirus deaths in the world’s fourth most populous country jumped again, but he resisted calls for a nationwide lockdown. READ THE STORY

10:20 – Lebanon has recorded 17 new coronavirus cases and one death, bringing the totals to 463 and 12.

09:43 – Iran’s infection cases from the coronavirus reached 44,606, a health official said, while the death toll has climbed to 2,898.

09:38 – Spain’s coronavirus death toll rose to 8,189 on Tuesday from 7,340 on Monday, health ministry officials said, as cases reached 94,417 from 85,195 a day earlier.

09:22 – Indonesia confirmed 114 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday, bringing the total to 1,528, a health ministry official said.

WATCH: A public health reminder from the Saudi Ministry of Health on how to avoid coronavirus infection.

 

09:11 – Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al-Maktoum on Tuesday said that the Dubai government will infuse new equity into Emirates to help the airline overcome the coronavirus pandemic.

08:47 – The Philippine health ministry has reported 10 new coronavirus deaths, 538 more infections.




Police personnel hold up placards reminding people to stay at home amid concerns of the spread of coronavirus in Manila on March 31, 2020. (AFP)

08:41 – Indonesia is set to release about 30,000 prisoners early as the Southeast Asian nation seeks to avoid a possible surge in coronavirus infections in its overcrowded prisons.

08:06 – Russian lawmakers were set on Tuesday to consider legislation imposing severe punishment — including up to five years in prison — for people convicted of spreading false information about the coronavirus.

08:02 – An association of airlines in the Philippines is requesting government help, saying they face a threat to their survival as the global push to contain the coronavirus spread hampers operations.

07:53 – Palestine has recorded two new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 117 infections.

07:40 The UAE has offered private companies, who are either facing excess or shortage of labor, several options to cope with safety measures the government has implemented due to the coronavirus pandemic.

07:18 – Kuwait announces new coronavirus recovery, increasing the toll to 73. The woman, 82 years, is a Kuwaiti national.

05:54 – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany rises to 61,913, deaths to 583.

06:14 – The Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services has launched the first ‘Self Sanitization Walk’ as a safeguard against viruses that its paramedics may pass on to their colleagues and families.

05:05 – Vietnam said it will implement social distancing measures for 15 days from April 1.

04:49 – Chech Republic has reported 184 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, raising toll to 3,001.

04:44Thailand has reported 127 new COVID-19 cases, and one death.

01:47 – Mexican authorities said the country’s health system could be overwhelmed if coronavirus cases reach tens of thousands.

Monday, March 30 (All times in GMT)

23:49 – Tunisia has confirmed 50 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total to 362.

23:06 – Morocco has recorded 22 new coronavirus cases, increasing the total to 556.

18:56 – Jordan has detected nine new COVID-19 cases and eight recoveries, bringing the totals to 268 and 24. The country has reported five deaths.

17:30 – Iraq has confirmed 83 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 630.


Kuwait vows to cut migrant population to 30%

Updated 19 min 24 sec ago

Kuwait vows to cut migrant population to 30%

DUBAI: The Kuwaiti government said it wants to cut the migrant proportion of its population from 70 to 30 percent to address what it called a population discrepancy. 
State media quoted the country’s prime minister saying that the state of Kuwait was facing a “big challenge” in its population structure and that it shall start relying on its citizens to replace foreign workers. 
Out of 4.8 million inhabitants, some 3.3 million are foreign nationals and 1.45 million are Kuwaitis, said Prime Minister Sabah Al-Khaled al-Hamad al-Sabah.
"The ideal demographic situation would be that Kuwaitis make up 70 percent of the population and non-Kuwaitis 30 percent," he said.
"So we face a big challenge in the future which is to address the discrepancy in population."
He said there were 75,000 foreign domestic helpers in the country, which equal half the population of Kuwaiti nationals. 
“We rely on our sons and daughters to work in all professions,” Al-Sabah added.

Kuwait has a large foreign population mostly made up of Middle Eastern and Asian workers.

Kuwait Airways said last week it would lay off 1,500 expatriate employees due to "significant difficulties" caused by the pandemic.