Coronavirus continues to plague the world

Taxi drivers wait before getting tested for COVID-19 coronavirus disease in Morocco's capital Rabat on May 27, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 29 May 2020

Coronavirus continues to plague the world

DUBAI: Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development said private sector employees will be able to return to their offices soon as the Kingdom starts easing COVID-19 regulations.

Dubai’s government said that 50 percent of government workers will return to their office on Sunday, and aims for a 100 percent resumption starting June 14.

Oman has also asked government entities to ensure that at least 50 percent of their workforce is back to offices as of Sunday.

May 28, 2020, Thursday (All times in GMT)

19:55 - Dubai is reopening four beaches and major parks to the public starting Friday, Dubai Media Office reported. 

19:10 - Kuwait has extended the suspension of work across all government agencies until further notice.

17:50 - Kuwait eases full-time coronavirus curfew to 12-hour ones from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

17:30 - President Erdogan said on Thursday Turkey will lift intercity travel restrictions on June 1, will keep stay-at-home restrictions in place for over 65s and restaurants and cafes to reopen June 1 also.

16:30 - Groups of up to 6 people will be able to meet outside in England from Monday if they maintain social distancing, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday as he confirmed that tests had been met to ease the coronavirus lockdown further.





14:23 - Iraq announced three new deaths from COVID-19 bringing the death toll in the country to 179. 

14:00 - New York City mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday the first phase of reopenings in the city will include construction, manufactuing, wholesale suppliers and non-essential retail. He expects 200,000-400,000 people to return to work during the first phase.

13:40 - Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday approved a recommendation to ease the lockdown in the capital Manila from June 1, resuming much-needed activity in an economy on the brink of recession.

Strict restrictions on commerce and movement since mid-March have ravaged the economy, which is facing its deepest contraction in 34 years.

13:16 - Qatar announced 1,967 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. 

12:37 - Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health announced 16 more deaths from COVD-19, 1,644 new cases of the disease and 3,531 new cases of recovery from it on Thursday. 

11:25 – Two Fulham players have tested positive for coronavirus in the latest round of testing, the Championship club announced.

10:54 – A partial reopening of Danish schools did not lead to an increase in coronavirus infections among young students, a doctor of infectious disease epidemiology and prevention at the Danish Serum Institute said on Thursday, citing new data.

10:28 – International tourism is set to fall by 70 percent this year, marking the sector’s biggest slump since records began in the 1950s, United Nations World Tourism Organization Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili told newspaper Handelsblatt.

10:18 – Kuwait has confirmed 845 new coronavirus cases, increasing total caseload to 24,112. There were also 752 new recoveries, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 8,698.

10:14 – UAE has detected 563 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of infected people to 32,532.

08:53 – Indonesia reported 687 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of infections in the Southeast Asian country to 24,538, a health ministry official said. Indonesia also confirmed 23 new deaths from the virus, bringing the total fatalities to 1,496, the official, Achmad Yurianto, told reporters. As of Thursday, Indonesia has tested 201,311 people and 6,240 patients have recovered.

08:41 – Russia said its death toll from the coronavirus has risen above 4,000 as the daily toll equalled a record set earlier this week.

08:21 – Finland has seen no evidence of the coronavirus spreading faster since schools started to reopen in the middle of May, the top health official said. “The time has been short, but so far we have seen no evidence,” Mika Salminen, director of health security at the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare, told a news conference. Finland started to reopen schools and daycare centres from May 14 following an almost two-month shutdown.

08:16 – The Philippines’ health ministry reported 17 more novel coronavirus deaths and 539 new infections, the largest number of cases reported in a single day since the virus was first detected in the country.

06:51GlaxoSmithKline will expand production of vaccine efficacy boosters, or adjuvants, to produce 1 billion doses in 2021 for use in shots for COVID-19.

06:36Singapore jailed a taxi driver for four months on Wednesday over a Facebook post in which he falsely claimed food outlets would close and urged people to stock up due to impending COVID-19 restrictions.

06:26 – Moderna has extended a deal to secure large volumes of the lipids used to produce its experimental COVID-19 vaccine in a bid to meet increasing demand for the medicine, the US biotech company said on Thursday.

04:51 – Thailand reported 11 new coronavirus cases and no new deaths, bringing its total to 3,065 confirmed cases and 57 fatalities since the outbreak started in January.
The cases were Thai nationals in quarantine who recently returned from overseas, including four from Kuwait, six from Qatar, and one from India, said Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesman for the government’s coronavirus task force.
04:08 – As the coronavirus spreads into indigenous lands in Brazil, killing at least 40 people so far by the government’s count, the first two COVID-19 deaths were registered this week in the Xingu area, one of the biggest reserves in the world.

03:29 – South Korea reported its biggest spike in coronavirus cases in nearly two months, as officials scramble to tackle fresh clusters that have raised concerns of a possible second wave of infections.

UN warns of possible ‘war crimes’ in Turkish-controlled Syria

Updated 2 min 39 sec ago

UN warns of possible ‘war crimes’ in Turkish-controlled Syria

  • The victims include people perceived to be allied with opposing parties or as being critical of the actions of the Turkish-affiliated armed groups, Bachelet’s office said
  • Those affiliated groups have also seized and looted houses, land and property without any apparent military necessity, said OHCHR

GENEVA: Armed groups in the area of northern Syria controlled by Turkey may have committed war crimes and other violations of international law, the UN rights chief said Friday.
Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the situation in those areas of Syria was grim, with violence and criminality rife.
In a statement, Bachelet’s UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) said it had noted an “alarming pattern in recent months of grave violations,” having documented increased killings, kidnappings, unlawful transfers of people, seizures of land and properties and forcible evictions.
The victims include people perceived to be allied with opposing parties or as being critical of the actions of the Turkish-affiliated armed groups, Bachelet’s office said.
Those affiliated groups have also seized and looted houses, land and property without any apparent military necessity, said OHCHR.
Furthermore, increased infighting among the various Turkish-affiliated armed groups over power-sharing was causing civilian casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure.
Turkey controls large stretches of northeastern Syria through various armed groups, and is conducting operations aimed at driving out Kurdish militias and extremists.
In October last year, Turkish forces and their Syrian proxies occupied a 120-kilometer (75-mile) stretch of land inside the Syrian border from Kurdish forces.
Ankara has also deployed forces in several military posts it established in northwestern Idlib as part of a 2018 deal with regime ally Moscow, while Turkey also controls a stretch of territory along its border in neighboring Aleppo province following a series of military offensives since 2016.Bachelet’s office said it had documented the abduction and disappearance of civilians, including women and children.
It also said that from the start of the year until last Monday, it had verified the deaths of at least 116 civilians as a result of improvised explosive devices and explosive remnants of war, while a further 463 civilians were injured.
“I urge Turkey to immediately launch an impartial, transparent and independent investigation into the incidents we have verified, account for the fate of those detained and abducted by the affiliated armed groups and hold accountable those responsible for what may, in some instances, amount to crimes under international law, including war crimes,” Bachelet said.
“This is all the more vital given that we have received disturbing reports that some detainees and abductees have allegedly been transferred to Turkey following their detention in Syria by affiliated armed groups.”
Meanwhile Bachelet voiced concern that parties to the conflict in Syria were using essential services as a weapon.
“Impeding access to water, sanitation and electricity endangers the lives of large numbers of people, a danger rendered all the more acute amid fighting a global pandemic,” she said.