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  • A fragile plan for London

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  • A chastening experience

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  • DTZ continues recovery

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  • China plans to repatriate tourists stranded in Bali

    first_imgBali Airport Authority head Elfi Amir said the details of the plan – including the number of Chinese nationals to be repatriated from Bali and the number of airplanes to be used for the repatriation – were still uncertain.“We have yet to receive an official notice. We’ve only received verbal information. The permits will be processed in Jakarta,” Elfi told kompas.com on Thursday morning. “In principle, [the airport authority] supports [the move].”He said the authority had coordinated with related parties to ensure that the technicalities of the plan would be properly addressed.“We last heard that [China] was still preparing the required permits and that Indonesia would support the repatriation of Chinese nationals,” Elfi said.A Boeing 777 owned by China Eastern Airlines is due to land at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport on Friday, he said.“It will depart for Denpasar from Shanghai and then go to Wuhan,” he said. (rfa)Topics : The Chinese government plans to repatriate its citizens from Bali following the recent cancellation of all flights to and from mainland China, Bali airport authority officials have said.Flights to and from China have been suspended since Wednesday at Ngurah Rai International Airport as part of government measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, stranding thousands of Chinese tourists on the island.Read also: Thousands of Chinese tourists stranded in Bali as govt halts flights to and from Chinalast_img read more

  • Death toll from East Nusa Tenggara dengue outbreak rises to 32

    first_imgThe most affected area is Sikka regency, with 1,145 people hospitalized and 13 dead.Erlina said the agency had formed a team to oversee the handling of cases, especially in Sikka where most patients were concentrated.Sikka Regent Robby Idong declared an Extraordinary Occurrence (KLB) in relation to the dengue outbreak in January. Sikka Health Agency acting head Petrus Herlemus said earlier this month that the KLB had been extended to March, the third such extension since the KLB was first announced. (gis)Topics : The death toll of the dengue fever outbreak in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) has risen to 32 as the number of people infected by the dengue virus continues to increase.According to the East Nusa Tenggara Health Agency, 2,697 people are currently hospitalized due to dengue fever across 20 regencies and one municipality in the province.“In NTT, only Central Sumba regency is free of dengue,” the agency’s disease control and prevention head, Erlina R. Salmun, said on Sunday as quoted by kompas.com.last_img read more

  • Govt says rapid COVID-19 testing kits can return results in two minutes

    first_imgMedical officers started rapid COVID-19 tests on Friday, focusing on areas at risk of widespread contagion, he said, adding that the initial wave of tests would be for around 600,000 people across the country who had contact with people found to have COVID-19.The first tests were performed in South Jakarta on Friday, according to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, as contact tracing carried out by authorities found that the area was at high risk for the disease.Jokowi recently ordered his aides to conduct nationwide rapid tests to expedite detection as not many people could undergo regular tests due to the limited number of laboratories. Indonesia has recorded the highest death toll from the disease of all ASEAN nations, with 32 fatalities to date.Read also: Indonesia starts rapid tests, imports medicines to ‘cure’ COVID-19, Jokowi says The archipelago recorded a total of 369 cases as of Friday, and the disease had spread to 17 out of the country’s 34 provinces.Indonesia hopes to distribute 1 million rapid testing kits nationwide in the upcoming days, Yurianto said. The government received 2,000 testing kits on Friday and was set to obtain 100,000 more on Saturday.Despite the ability to provide faster results, rapid testing kits cannot provide the “strong” results of the regular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests as they are not able to determine the severity of the infection.Yurianto, therefore, reminded the public that the tests were supposed to only confirm the infections and that they should not react excessively once the results were out.“Not all people who test positive should seek advanced medical treatment at hospitals. If their results are positive after taking the test but they are asymptomatic, we will ask them to self-isolate at home,” Yurianto said.“However, if people experience mild symptoms of the disease, we might ask them to reconfirm the result by taking the regular PCR test.” (glh)Topics : The Indonesian government says COVID-19 rapid testing kits can return results in about two minutes. Authorities expect the kits will significantly speed up efforts to detect and contain COVID-19 in the country.Health Ministry disease control and prevention director general Achmad Yurianto said on Friday that the results would come quickly as the tests used only blood serum, and medical workers would perform short reaction tests to see whether someone had the virus.“Medical officers will take a few drops of blood from the person and put them into a testing kit for examination. The results will be out in about two minutes,” Yurianto said.last_img read more

  • Mexican president passes coronavirus buck to allies, rivals, business

    first_img“If I was worried, if things were out of control, I would tell you, because I always tell the truth,” he said on Friday in a video posted from his seat on a plane as he prepared to take off for a weekend tour. “But that’s not how things are.”Others are taking precautions anyway.The lower house of Congress this week passed a bill to create a 181 billion peso emergency fund. The central bank made an unscheduled interest rate cut on Friday.Streets and offices in major cities are emptying as bosses and local leaders urge people to reduce social interaction. Some fear that failure to do enough may end up hurting the very people the president says he wants to protect.Javier Alfaro, an employee of an international drinks firm, went into self-isolation with his girlfriend several days ago, cutting off all physical contact with family and friends.”It bothers me a lot when I hear the president,” said Alfaro, 35, who fears for his elderly mother. “I can understand worries about the economy and [the poor], but if you’re putting many people at risk, it’s something that’s also bad for the people.”Late on Thursday, Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, a close ally of Lopez Obrador, delivered a video message in which she urged inhabitants of the capital to stay at home. On Friday, traffic flowed freely in a city notorious for its gridlock.The same day, governors of three opposition-run northern states unveiled a joint plan to tackle the virus, readying steps that would enable them to close public spaces, including bars.Outsourcing Lopez Obrador has lashed out against criticism of his response to the global pandemic by saying his adversaries are seeking to exploit fears to undermine him.On Monday, he justified ignoring his own health ministry’s public advice to reduce direct human contact by saying his job was to keep up the spirits of the population.At the same time, he has shifted responsibility for some actions to others, saying he would wind down the mass rallies when a deputy health minister standing next to him told him to.A government source said Sheinbaum’s “stay at home” broadcast had been coordinated in advance with the presidency, which a spokesman for the mayor confirmed. A spokesman for the presidency did not reply to a request for comment.Businesses, meanwhile, are taking cues from abroad.Ana Lopez Mestre, director general of the American Chamber of Commerce, said many international companies had begun to act because they saw what was happening in other countries.”This is something very positive that has come out of society,” said Lopez Mestre, who is now working from home.At Mr. Tofu, a vegan shop in the capital’s Condesa neighborhood, a young shop attendant wearing rubber gloves stopped customers from entering and took orders at the door.”I proposed this measure,” she said, declining to give her name. “My whole family is old, and they’re very vulnerable.”  As Mexico scrambles to contain the coronavirus outbreak, many initiatives aimed at tempering the threat have come not from the president, but lesser officials, businesses and ordinary people.Mexico’s peso has plunged to record lows against the dollar and analysts expect the economy to suffer a major hit.President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says there is no cause for alarm, and is continuing to hold regular public rallies around Mexico. He argues the country must keep going to limit damage to the economy lest it hurt the poor and the elderly.center_img Topics :last_img read more

  • Airbus warns staff on jobs with its ‘survival at stake’

    first_imgPeople familiar with the matter say Airbus is also in active discussions with European governments about tapping schemes to assist struggling industries, including state-guaranteed loans.It has already expanded commercial credit lines with banks, buying what Faury described as “time to adapt and resize”.Production cutsTo stem the outflow of cash, Airbus this month said it would slash benchmark narrow-body jet production by a third to 40 jets a month. It also issued targets for wide-body jets implying cuts up to 42 percent compared with previously published rates.“In other words, in just a couple of weeks we have lost roughly one-third of our business,” Faury wrote in the letter, which was earlier reported by Bloomberg News. “And, frankly, that’s not even the worst-case scenario we could face”.Reuters reported on April 3 that Airbus was looking at scenarios involving output cuts of up to a half, and analysts say Boeing is expected to unveil comparable cuts along with lay-offs this week, lowering monthly 787 output to as low as 6 jets.Faury said Airbus’s new production plan would remain for as long as it took to make a more thorough assessment of demand, adding this would probably be between two and three months.He said it was too early to judge the shape and pace of a recovery, but mentioned scenarios including a short and deep crisis with a fast rebound or a longer and more painful downturn with previous demand levels only returning after 5 or 10 years.Analysts and airlines have so far mostly spoken of a downturn lasting no more than three to four years.Rival Boeing, with even weaker finances due to the year-old grounding of its 737 MAX, scrapped a US$4.2 billion tie-up with Brazil’s Embraer on Saturday in a move widely seen as triggered by the crisis, though it cited contractual reasons.“Unfortunately, the aviation industry will emerge into this new world very much weaker and more vulnerable than we went into it,” Faury wrote.Topics : European planemaker Airbus issued a bleak assessment of the impact of the coronavirus crisis, telling the company’s 135,000 employees to brace for potentially deeper job cuts and warning its survival is at stake without immediate action.In a letter to staff, Chief Executive Guillaume Faury said Airbus was “bleeding cash at an unprecedented speed” and that a recent drop of a third or more in production rates did not reflect the worst-case scenario and would be kept under review.Airbus said it did not comment on internal communications. The letter was sent to employees late on Friday, days before the company is due to give first-quarter results overshadowed by a pandemic that has left airlines struggling to survive and virtually halted jet deliveries since mid-March.Airbus has begun implementing government-assisted furlough schemes starting with 3,000 workers in France, “but we may now need to plan for more far-reaching measures,” Faury said.“The survival of Airbus is in question if we don’t act now,” he added.Industry sources have said a new restructuring plan similar to its 2007 Power8 which saw 10,000 job cuts could be launched in the summer, but Faury indicated the company was already exploring “all options” while waiting for clarity on demand.last_img read more

  • Australia’s most populous states start to ease virus lockdowns

    first_imgAustralia’s two most populous states, responsible for 65 percent of the nation’s coronavirus cases, are edging toward easing social-distancing restrictions after Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged them to start reopening the crippled economy.New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney on Sunday that the state would ease its lockdown from May 15. This would include permitting indoor gatherings of 10 people, which will enable retailers, small cafes and restaurants to allow access to some customers, albeit with strict social-distancing rules.“We need to fire up our economy, we need to get people back into jobs, we need to see some semblance of normality come back,” she said. While the state reported just two new virus cases in the past 24 hours, down from highs of about 200 a day about a month ago, Berejiklian said “we have to keep our vigilance” and holidays within the region would remain banned. The two most populous states have been more cautious amid recent outbreaks in a Sydney aged-care home and a Melbourne meat plant, which have been responsible for most of the nation’s new infections this month. Australia recorded 16 new cases of the virus on Saturday, a daily rise of 0.2 percent, bringing the total to 6,929.The lockdown has taken a heavy economic toll: unemployment is poised to double by July to about 10% and the nation is veering toward its first recession in almost three decades. Morrison is seeking a balance of containing the virus and lifting restrictions that are costing the economy A$4 billion (US$2.6 billion) a week.Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Sunday the Australia’s strict social-distancing measures, border closures and strong testing-and-tracing regime had put the nation in a good position to combat expected clusters of new virus cases as the lockdown eases.“As we move back to work, to normality, some things cannot change,” he said in a Sky News interview. “We shouldn’t be near people and we have to get the advice and encourage people to have the testing.”Topics : In Victoria, Premier Daniel Andrews is expected to announce some easing of restrictions on Monday, News Corp. reported Sunday.Australia’s three-stage plan for reopening, announced by Morrison on Friday, is designed to be implemented by the eight states and territories at their own pace. Western Australia state on Sunday said that from May 18 it will allow indoor gatherings, including in restaurants, of up to 20 people.Morrison is aiming for completion of the three steps by the end of July, putting the nation at the vanguard of developed economies emerging from the crisis. Australia has avoided the scale of sickness and death that’s ravaged countries including the UK, US and Italy.New South Wales and Victoria, the engine rooms of the country’s economy, have been more hesitant to announce relaxations of lockdown measures than smaller states and territories, some of which have gone for days without recording new cases.last_img read more

  • WHO expects hydroxychloroquine safety findings by mid-June

    first_imgNovartis said The Lancet study, while covering 100,000 people, was “observational” and could not demonstrate a causal link between hydroxychloroquine and side effects.”We need randomized, controlled clinical trials to clearly understand efficacy and safety,” a Novartis spokesman said.The WHO said its safety-board review would examine not just Solidarity patients, but other hydroxychloroquine studies too, to determine if a pattern emerges similar to problems described in The Lancet.Dr. Oriol Manuel, infectious disease expert and national coordinator of the Solidarity study in Switzerland, said hitting pause now made sense.”There are several thousand patients already enrolled, some randomized to receive hydroxychloroquine, some who did not receive any drug,” Manuel told Reuters. “They can do a comparison of the use of hydroxychloroquine … to see whether there is a signal of some kind of adverse events.” Those already in a 17-country study, called Solidarity, of thousands of patients who have started hydroxychloroquine can finish their treatment, the WHO said.Newly enrolled patients will get other treatments being evaluated, including Gilead Science’s remdesivir and AbbVie’s Kaletra/Aluvia.Separate hydroxychloroquine trials, including a 440-patient US study by Swiss drugmaker Novartis, are continuing enrollment.Novartis and rival Sanofi have pledged donations of tens of millions of doses of the drug, also used in rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, for COVID-19. Topics :center_img The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday promised a swift review of data on hydroxychloroquine, probably by mid-June, after safety concerns prompted the group to suspend the malaria drug’s use in a large trial on COVID-19 patients.US President Donald Trump and others have pushed hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment, but the WHO on Monday called time after the British journal The Lancet reported patients getting hydroxychloroquine had increased death rates and irregular heartbeats.”A final decision on the harm, benefit or lack of benefit of hydroxychloroquine will be made once the evidence has been reviewed,” the body said. “It is expected by mid-June.”last_img read more