Countries ease coronavirus regulations to reverse coronavirus pandemic impact on economies

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Workers dressed in protective clothing and masks walk with sterilisation gear due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic past jewellers' shops at the Dubai Gold Souk. (File/AFP)
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Updated 27 May 2020

Countries ease coronavirus regulations to reverse coronavirus pandemic impact on economies

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia announced it was easing the 24-hour lockdown brought into force during Eid – except in Makkah.

The initial timings will be from 3 p.m. until 6 a.m., but May 31, the curfew will run from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. The Kingdom plans to remove all curfews by June 21.

Meanwhile, Dubai will allow free movement and business activity to restart during the day from Wednesday. The new timing of the curfew will be from 11.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m., the Dubai Media Office said in a press release.

May 26, 2020, Tuesday (All times in GMT)

17:06 - France’s cumulative death toll from coronavirus infection rose by 73 or 0.3% to 28,530, a similar rate of increase as the day before despite health authorities having resumed taking into account nursing home data after a four-day interruption.
The health ministry said the number of fatalities was up 83 in hospitals, to 18,195. But the death toll in nursing homes has been revised to 10,335, 10 fewer than the last time it was published. 

16:16 - Canada's total coronavirus cases rose to 85,998 from 85,103 on May 25; with 6,566 deaths, up from 6,453, according to Public Health Agency data.

16:02 - Deaths toll in Italy climbed by 78, against 92 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, while the daily tally of new cases increased to 397 from 300 on Monday.
The total death toll now stands at 32,955 and the number of confirmed cases amounts to 230,555.

15:36 - New York's statewide coronavirus deaths increased by 73 on May 25, vs. 96 deaths, and the total coronavirus hospitalizations declined further from 4,348 a day earlier, Governor Andrew Cuomo said. 

15:17 - Spain’s Health Ministry reported that a total of 27,117 people had died from the coronavirus since the beginning of the outbreak.
Confirmed cases of the virus reached 236,259, the ministry said.

14:00 - Italy's world-famous archaeological site Pompeii reopened to the public on Tuesday as the country's coronavirus lockdown lifted -- though guides outnumbered tourists at the ancient Roman city.

13:45 - The Spanish government is declaring a 10-day mourning period to pay tribute to nearly 27,000 confirmed deaths from the coronavirus

13:30 - Deutsche Bank chief executive Christian Sewing said on Tuesday that markets were too optimistic in their assessment of a recovery from the coronavirus crisis - a bold statement from one of Europe's top bankers as key stock indexes continue their climb from their lows in March.

13:20 - A vast fiscal fightback to the coronavirus crisis unleashed by eurozone governments could raise questions about capitals' ability to repay debts and revive the threat of countries exiting the single currency, the European Central Bank warned Tuesday.

13:15 - Saudi Arabia records 12 new deaths from the COVID-19 coronavirus, 1,931 new infections and 2,782 cases have recovered, according to the health ministry.

11:11 – Qatar has confirmed 1742 new coronavirus cases, increasing total number of infected cases to 47,207.

There were also two fatalities and 1,481 recoveries, bringing totals to 28 and 11,844.

10:18 – Oman has reported 348 new coronavirus cases, bringing the totak number of infected cases to 8,118.

10:03 – A global campaign to fund the development of vaccines and therapies against COVID-19 has so far raised $10.4 billion, the head of the European Commission said on Tuesday.

09:53 – Kuwait has confirmed 608 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of infected people to 22,575.

09:38 – Indian states witnessing millions of migrant laborers returning from the big cities are recording rising coronavirus infections, officials said on Tuesday, fearing that the pandemic could spread through villages where medical care is basic at best.

09:31 – The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention has confirmed 779 new coronavirus cases, increasing the total number of infected people to 31,086.

09:11 – Indonesia reported on Tuesday 415 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of infections to 23,165, its health ministry said.
Indonesia also confirmed 27 new deaths, bringing the total fatalities to 1,418, health ministry official Achmad Yurianto told reporters.
As of Tuesday, 188,302 people have been tested and 5,877 have recovered.

09:09 – Syria’s Health Ministry has confirmed 15 new coronavirus cases, increasing the total number of known cases in the country to 121.

09:08 –Malaysia reported 187 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 7,604.
The health ministry said no new deaths were recorded. The total number of coronavirus fatalities in Malaysia stands at 115. 

08:53 - Douglas Ross, a junior minister in the Scotland Office, resigned, saying the prime minister’s senior adviser’s explanation of why he traveled during the coronavirus lockdown was based on decisions “others felt were not available to them.”

08:39 – The Philippine health ministry on Tuesday reported 13 deaths and 350 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, the largest single-day increase in infections in seven weeks.
In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed cases have risen to 14,669 and deaths have reached 886. It said a total of 3,412 patients have recovered.

08:32 – Russia on Tuesday recorded its highest daily coronavirus death toll of 174 but said more than 12,000 people had also recovered over the past 24 hours.

08:20 – Bethlehem’s storied Church of the Nativity reopened to visitors on Tuesday, after a nearly three-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

05:56 – The WHO suspended trials of the drug that Donald Trump has promoted as a coronavirus defence, fuelling concerns about the US president's handling of the pandemic that has killed nearly 100,000 Americans.
04:52 – South American carrier LATAM Airlines says it is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it grapples with the sharp downturn in air travel sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.
Santiago, Chile-based LATAM Airlines Group S.A. said Tuesday that it and its affiliated companies launched the reorganization effort in the United States.
04:49 – Singapore’s embattled economy could shrink by as much as 7 percent this year, which would be the county’s worst reading since its independence, with the government saying Tuesday the coronavirus pandemic had throttled the key export sector.
The city-state is seen as a bellwether of the global economy and the historic contraction highlights the extreme pain being wrought on countries by the killer disease.
04:44 – Thailand on Tuesday reported three new coronavirus cases and no new deaths, bringing its total to 3,045 confirmed cases and 57 fatalities.

GCC urges UN to extend Iran arms embargo 

The GCC — flag pictured — i comprised of six Arab Gulf nations: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar. (File/AP)
Updated 30 min 40 sec ago

GCC urges UN to extend Iran arms embargo 

  • Letter from head of GCC says an extension is imperative to “ensure and preserve peace” in the Middle East.

RIYADH: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has asked the UN to extend an international arms embargo on Iran.

A letter sent by the GCC’s secretary general, Nayef Al-Hajraf, to the Security Council cites Tehran’s support for terrorism and its hostile actions against neighbouring countries as reasons to back an extension.

The embargo prevents the movement of conventional weaponry in and out of Iran, and is set to expire on Oct. 18 as part of the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal.

The agreement with international powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), provided sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for the regime curtailing its nuclear program.

In the letter, Al-Hajraf, points out that, in violation of the deal, Iran has “continued to proliferate conventional weapons and armed terrorist and sectarian organizations and movements throughout the region.”

It also said Tehran “has not desisted from armed interventions in neighboring countries, directly and through organizations and movements armed and trained by Iran.”

The embargo’s restrictions, the letter states, are “imperative to ensure and preserve peace and stability in this region.”

The US has also been pushing heavily for an extension to the arms embargo, warning that lifting it could have dire consequences.

In June, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cautioned that, if the embargo is terminated, “Iran will be able to purchase advanced weapons systems” and would “become an arms dealer of choice for terrorists and rogue regimes all throughout the world.”

Pompeo added: “This is unacceptable.”

Russia and China, two of the permanent five members of the UN’s Security Council with veto power, want the arms embargo to lift as scheduled on Oct. 18.

Should that happen, the US has warned that it could introduce “snap back” sanctions built into the original 2015 deal, unilaterally restoring all UN sanctions on Tehran.