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Wage slip

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Aspinall gambles on casinos

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Off the rails

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Care home sector returns top 18%

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Joining the free way

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China coronavirus quarantine hotel collapse kills four

first_imgFootage circulating on Twitter-like Weibo showed rescue workers searching the ruins of the Xinjia hotel in the dark as they reassured a woman trapped under heavy debris and carried wounded victims to ambulances.Other footage published by local media, purportedly from security cameras across the street, showed the entire hotel collapsing in seconds.The building’s facade appeared to have crumbled into the ground, exposing the structure’s steel frame, and a crowd gathered as the evening wore on.State broadcaster CCTV had earlier reported 48 people had been rescued out of 67 initially trapped when the hotel — which opened two years ago — collapsed. The building’s first floor has been undergoing renovation since before the Lunar New Year, and construction workers called the hotel’s owner minutes before the collapse to report a deformed pillar, the official Xinhua news agency said.The building’s owner has been summoned by police, according to Xinhua.China is no stranger to building collapses and deadly construction accidents that are typically blamed on the country’s rapid growth leading to corner-cutting by builders and the widespread flouting of safety rules.At least 20 people died in 2016 when a series of crudely-constructed multi-storey buildings packed with migrant workers collapsed in the eastern city of Wenzhou.Another 10 were killed last year in Shanghai after the collapse of a commercial building during renovations.Topics : At least four people were killed following the collapse of a hotel used as a coronavirus quarantine facility in eastern China, the Ministry of Emergency Management said Sunday.Rescuers have also retrieved 38 survivors from the rubble, with five in critical or serious condition, out of 71 initially trapped, the ministry said.The coastal city of Quanzhou has recorded 47 cases of the COVID-19 infection and the hotel had been repurposed to house people who had been in recent contact with confirmed patients, the People’s Daily state newspaper reported.last_img read more

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Indonesia confirms first possible COVID-19 community transmission as cases rise to 27

first_imgIndonesia reported the first possible community transmission of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) disease in the country on Tuesday, after a citizen with no link to certain confirmed cases or travel history to affected countries tested positive for the virus.The 33-year-old man was Indonesia’s 27th confirmed COVID-19 patient, the Health Ministry’s Disease Control and Prevention Director-General Achmad Yurianto said as he announced eight new coronavirus cases in the country on Tuesday.“We suspect that [Case 27] is a local transmission. We are currently tracking the source of transmission because this is not an imported case and it’s still unknown which cluster he is part of,” Achmad said. Five of the eight new cases were imported cases, meaning that the patients likely contracted the virus outside of Indonesia.They included Case 22, a 36-year-old woman; Case 23, a 73-year-old woman and Case 24, a 46-year-old man — all of whom are Indonesian citizens. Two other imported cases, namely Case 25 and Case 26, were a 53-year-old woman and 46-year-old man both foreign nationals.Achmad said that Case 20 and Case 21 — a 70-year-old and 47-year-old women — were identified as having had contact with confirmed COVID-19 cases in Jakarta.He stopped short when asked to specify the details of the hospitals where the patients were treated.Bayu Krishnamurthi, who heads the National Committee for Avian Flu Control and Pandemic Preparedness between 2006 and 2010, previously told The Jakarta Post in a recent interview that “community transmission” — in which a patient with no travel history to countries with the virus outbreak or no specific contact with other infected patients — “is a more serious condition” than direct transmission.Achmad further called for the public to remain vigilant and those who were sick with flu or had a sore throat or cough to wear face masks so that they would not spread their illness to others.“We have to put protecting our health upfront with regards to preventing the spread of COVID-19 disease,” he went on. (mrc/afr)Topics : The patient did not have a clear link to the other confirmed COVID-19 patients in the country. Case 27 did not contract the virus abroad and his exposure to coronavirus was still vague, Achmad said“Up until this point, the source of local transmission of [Case 27] is still a question,” Achmad said, adding that authorities were currently looking to trace and identify the source of the exposure.Achmad, however, refused to provide further details about the location of Case 27 and where the patient was currently treated.The confirmation of eight new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday has brought the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Indonesia to 27 so far.last_img read more

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Terawan must go, civil groups say, demanding crisis-sensitive health minister

first_imgA coalition of civil society organizations has urged President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to dismiss Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto from his position due to an “absence of sensitive, responsive and effective leadership” in handing the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.Among the coalition’s members are human rights watchdogs KontraS, the Lokataru Foundation, the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI), Amnesty International Indonesia, the Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI), labor rights advocacy group Migrant Care and the Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association (PKBI).“Terawan has been showing an arrogant and anti-science attitude by playing down the issue since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. This has resulted in the loss of vigilance among people,” the coalition wrote in a statement released on Tuesday. “We urge President Jokowi to replace the Health Minister with a figure who understands public health, has sensitivity to crises and will guide us through the worst health crisis,” the coalition said.Although Terawan’s statements might aim to allay public fears, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) microbiology researcher Sugiyono Saputra said separately that people had the right to obtain science-based information rather than hasty statements, so they could exercise the proper caution.Read also: ‘It’s our nation’s right to rely on the Almighty’: Minister justifies calling for prayers in coronavirus battleThe coalition highlighted several concerns regarding the health minister’s management of the outbreak, including his decision to prioritize budget efficiency in obtaining lab tests to detect COVID-19. “Terawan said that a recovered COVID-19 patient would be immune to the virus, while other countries’ experiences show otherwise,” the statement added.Terawan was criticized for his coordination of hospitals to address the outbreak as he had failed to ensure the availability of finances and equipment for them. He was also criticized for failing to maintain the quality of health workers, administrative staff and data centers in hospitals.The coalition accused Terawan of monopolizing coronavirus swab tests in the ministry’s Health Research and Development Agency (Balitbangkes) in Jakarta. The policy, they said, had slowed down health authorities’ response to the COVID-19 emergency.Read also: Indonesia pressured to do more to detect coronavirus amid zero reported casesThe coalition pointed out that Terawan had held a public event on Monday showcasing the recovered patients, which was contrary with the government’s social distancing measures.“The risks faced by Indonesia at the moment cannot be handled without a health minister who understands public health policies,” the coalition wrote. “How will the hospital work seriously if the minister himself thinks that COVID-19 is the same as the common cold?” (aly)Topics :last_img read more

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Nigeria reports first coronavirus death

first_imgNigeria on Monday reported its first death from coronavirus as confirmed cases of infections in Africa’s most populous nation climbed further. “The 1st COVID-19 death in Nigeria has been recorded,” the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control wrote on Twitter.”The case was a 67 year old male who returned home following medical treatment in UK. He had underlying medical conditions — multiple myeloma & diabetes & was undergoing chemotherapy.” The agency said the confirmed number of infections in Nigeria had now risen to 36, with cases registered in largest city Lagos, the capital Abuja and four other states. Africa has so far registered lower numbers than the rest of the globe with around 1,500 confirmed cases and 50 deaths — but testing has been patchy. Nigeria has closed down all international flights for a month and shut schools and restricted gatherings in a string of regions in a bid to curb the spread of the virus. The country of 190 million people is seen as highly vulnerable to the spread of infectious diseases given its weak healthcare system and high population density. Topics :last_img read more

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Saudi princess pleads for release from high-security prison

first_img“As you may be aware [?] I am currently being arbitrarily held at Al-Ha’ir prison without criminal, or otherwise any charges,” the princess wrote in a letter published on her verified Twitter account.”My health is deteriorating to an extent that is [severe], and that could lead to my death.”I have not received medical care or even [a] response to the letters I dispatched from jail to the Royal Court.”Saudi authorities have not disclosed the reasons for her detention. A prominent Saudi princess jailed without charges made a rare public appeal to the king and crown prince on Thursday for her release from a high-security prison, citing her “deteriorating” health.Princess Basmah bint Saud, a 56-year-old businesswoman and an outspoken royal family member, was detained in March last year just before she was due to travel to Switzerland for medical treatment, according to a source close to her family.The public plea for her release is the latest sign of turmoil within the kingdom’s secretive royal family following the detention last month of King Salman’s brother and nephew in an apparent attempt to stamp out internal dissent. The princess claimed she was “thrown into prison” after being “abducted without an explanation” along with one of her daughters.  ‘Very critical’ She appealed to her uncle King Salman and her cousin — de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman –- for her release as she had “done no wrong” and added that her health status was “very critical”.The princess did not specify her ailment but her letter comes as the kingdom grapples with the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic.The government has imposed round-the-clock curfew across much of the country to limit the spread of the virus. Saudi Arabia has reported 6,380 infections and 83 deaths from the disease so far.It was unclear how the princess was able to tweet from inside Al-Ha’ir, a high-security prison close to Riyadh known for holding political prisoners.Her public plea represents an unusually bold move by someone from the kingdom’s sprawling royal family, comprising thousands of members, who typically refrain from publicly raising internal grievances.It comes after the detention last month of Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, the king’s brother, and the monarch’s nephew Prince Mohammed bin Nayef who was previously crown prince. The government has yet to officially comment on the crackdown, which raised fears of government instability.But one source close to the royal court dismissed such concerns and said the detentions were meant to send a stern warning within the royal family not to oppose the crown prince.Prince Mohammed, heir to the Arab world’s most powerful throne, has pursued a broad crackdown on dissent since his meteoric rise to the position of crown prince in 2017.Multiple women activists, clerics, bloggers and journalists have been jailed in what observers call increasing repression and authoritarianism under the prince’s de facto rule as he consolidates his grip on power. Topics :last_img read more