Coronavirus carrier faces jail in Singapore for lying over movements

first_imgThe husband had been confirmed to be infected with the virus in late January, and has since recovered, while his wife had been quarantined due to her close contact with him.The health ministry said “detailed investigations” had established their true movements and they were charged “in view of the potentially serious repercussions of the false information…and the risk they could have posed to public health”.Charges under the Infectious Diseases Act are rare and this is the first case during the coronavirus outbreak in Singapore. First time offenders under the Act can be fined up to S$10,000 ($7,147) or imprisoned for six months, or both.Also on Wednesday, Singapore said a 45-year-old man lost his residency status after failing to comply with an order to stay at home for 14 days when he returned from China. The city-state – known for its tough laws – has also cancelled work passes and cut employers’ rights to hire foreigners for breaches of other virus prevention measures.Topics : A Chinese national who contracted coronavirus has been charged by Singaporean authorities for allegedly giving false information about his whereabouts in the city-state and could face up to six months in jail.Singapore has won international praise for its fastidious approach in tackling the virus – which has included using police investigators and security cameras to help track suspect carriers. The wealthy island state, an important regional financial center and transport hub, has confirmed 91 cases so far.The health ministry on Wednesday said it had charged a 38-year-old man from Wuhan, the Chinese city where the virus first surfaced late last year, and his wife who resides in Singapore for allegedly providing false information to authorities about their movements for contact tracing.last_img read more

Dutch king offers condolences for advance team speedboat collision that led to seven deaths

first_imgTopics : Dutch King Willem-Alexander offered his condolences regarding a speedboat collision on the Sebangau River in Central Kalimantan involving members of an advance team preparing for the Dutch royal visit that resulted in seven deaths.”We’re deeply saddened by the tragic boat accident yesterday on the Sebangau river. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims and with the injured,” King Willem said at the Bogor Presidential Palace on Tuesday. The incident occurred on Monday when a speedboat owned by the area’s military command hit a boat owned by the Sebangau National Park. Both boats were carrying passengers who were involved in the preparation for a visit by King Willem-Alexander and his delegation to the Sebangau National Park near Palangkaraya.The fatalities include Kuala Kapuas commander Lt. Col. Bambang Kristianto Bawono and workers from the national park.The king and the delegations are scheduled to visit the area on Thursday, in which the national park is among other places the Dutch king plans to visit during his four-day stay in Indonesia. (dpk)last_img read more

Dengue fever kills 104, infects more than 17,000 nationwide since January

first_imgTopics : Most of the fatalities were recorded in Trenggalek, with three. Banyuwangi and Jember regencies each recorded two deaths, while the remaining occurred in eight other cities or regencies in the province. Fatal cases of dengue fever happened mostly because of patients waiting too long to seek treatment at health facilities, Herlin said. According to the Health Ministry, the most reported cases of dengue fever were in Lampung province with 3,431, followed by 2,732 cases in East Nusa Tenggara — where the highest number of cases occurred in Sikka regency with 1,216 as of Wednesday. Read also: Poor prevention measures lead to dengue outbreak in Sikka The Indonesian Health Ministry has recorded a total of 17,820 cases of dengue fever since January this year, with at least 104 cases that turned fatal nationwide.In East Java, which has recorded at least 1,761 cases of dengue fever to date, as many as 15 people have died, with nine fatalities recorded in February and six in January, said the provincial health agency head, Herlin Herliana. “The fatality rate [in East Java] so far is 0.85 percent of total cases,” Herlin told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.center_img East Nusa Tenggara provincial administration spokesperson Marius Jelamu said that Sikka had declared an emergency status for the dengue fever outbreak because of the high number of reported cases. “There are a total of 23 regencies and cities [in East Nusa Tenggara] that have reported dengue fever cases. Some regencies see decreasing number of cases over time, while some others show an increase,” Marius told the Post. The death toll from dengue fever in East Nusa Tenggara rose to 32 on Monday — the highest number of fatalities among all provinces in the country.Meanwhile, in North Sulawesi’s South Minahasa regency, dengue fever has infected 116 people and killed three toddlers over the past three months, said the head of the South Minahasa Health Agency’s Disease Prevention Division, Yunike Panambunan.”Two toddlers died of dengue fever in East Amurang district in early January, while the disease also killed another toddler in Tenga district in March,” Yunika said. The last victim, she said, died because the parents failed to bring the 3-year-old to the hospital on time.”The parents had been advised to bring the toddler to the hospital. Unfortunately, they brought the baby to the Prof. Kandou Central General Hospital in Manado when he was already in critical condition,” Yunike said, adding that the toddler was admitted to the hospital on March 8 and died shortly after.Read also: One dead, 562 infected by dengue fever in South SumatraOfficials from the Health Ministry had visited dengue affected areas in Pondang and Ranomeaa subdistrict in East Amurang, as well as Ongkaw village in Tenga district to check every house and school for Aedes aegypti mosquito larvae, she said. With the deaths of the three toddlers, dengue fever had so far killed seven people in the region in the last three years, including two fatalities recorded in 2019 and two others recorded in 2018, Yunike said.The fatalities “are a sign for the public to be alert” over the disease, she said, adding that people should therefore make upfront preventive measures to eradicate mosquito breeding grounds. “They should maintain the hygiene of their environment and cut the dengue fever chain by closing the water storage containers and burying or recycling used goods,” Yunike said. The number of nationwide dengue fever cases from January to March 11 this year is smaller than in the same period last year when there were about 52,000 cases and 439 deaths.Cases of dengue fever nationwide have continued to decline since 2016 when 204,171 people were infected. (nal)last_img read more

Five killed, four injured after bus crashes into truck on Tangerang-Merak toll road

first_imgRead also: Overload, fatigue main factors in truck accidentsThe accident occurred at around 12:30 a.m., killing five passengers of the bus and injuring four others. Among the casualties was a toddler.Some of the dead and injured victims were taken to the Drajat Prawiranegara general regional hospital in Serang, while others were transported to Krakatau Medika Hospital in Cilegon.Personnel of the Banten and Cilegon Police’s traffic accident investigation division are investigating the accident. The police were also looking for the bus driver, who fled the scene after the accident. (nal)Topics : Five people were killed and four others were injured during an accident involving a bus and a container truck at kilometer 94 of the Tangerang-Merak toll road in Purwakarta district in Cilegon, Banten, on Tuesday at midnight.The bus, an inter-island bus traveling from Medan, North Sumatra, to Jakarta, hit a container truck traveling to Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta, reported.The bus driver was driving at a high speed prior to the accident before losing control of the vehicle at kilometer 94, causing the bus to crash into the back of the container truck.last_img read more

Police slammed for arresting producer of video showing 49 Chinese workers arriving in Kendari

first_imgSoutheast Sulawesi Police chief Brig. Gen. Merdisyam initially claimed that the workers had arrived in Kendari after extending their visas in Jakarta.However, it turned out that they were new Chinese workers who were due to work in Konawe district, Southeast Sulawesi. They came from Henan province and had previously transited and quarantined in Bangkok for 14 days before continuing their trip to Indonesia, according to the Immigration Office.The police arrested SA and made him apologize to the public through a video on social media for inciting hatred, which fueled even more public anger.Read also: Chinese-owned miner in Morowali stops worker influx from China amid coronavirus outbreak A hashtag #CopotKapoldaSultra (dismiss Southeast Sulawesi Police chief) began to trend on Twitter on Tuesday even though Merdisyam has apologized regarding the misinformation.The House of Representatives called on National Police chief Gen. Idham Azis to evaluate the entire Southeast Sulawesi Police following the incident.House’s Commission III overseeing legal affairs will summon Idham and Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly soon after the recess. The House is in recess from Feb. 28 through March 23.”I monitored the fiasco regarding the arrival of 49 Chinese workers in Kendari closely. Misinformation like this is unnecessary amid the government’s efforts to handle the coronavirus,” the chairman of Commission III Herman Herry said in a written statement on Wednesday.The ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician said the National Police chief must strengthen coordination with immigration offices throughout the country to prevent similar incidents from happening.Deputy chairman of Commission III Mulfachri Harahap said a meeting with Idham and Yasonna would be the first item on the agenda after the recess.The National Mandate Party (PAN) politician said the government, including the police, should be serious in responding to the pandemic by monitoring foreign arrivals.“Please, don’t underestimate this pandemic,” he said.Read also: The coronavirus outbreak and the plight of migrant workersThe Immigration Office said on Tuesday that the Chinese workers had been granted health certificates from the Thai government to prove that they were free from the virus. They also had undergone medical screening for COVID-19 symptoms and filled in the mandatory Health Alert Card (HAC) at Soekarno Hatta International Airport before continuing their trip to Haluoleo Airport.However, Law and Human Rights Minister regulation No. 7/2020 on visas and residence permits amid efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus stipulates that foreign workers entering Indonesia must be quarantined for 14 days.Indonesia Police Watch (IPW) chairman Neta S. Pane urged Idham to immediately dismiss Merdisyam as he had lied to the public and violated the 2008 Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law.”This incident can undermine public trust not only in the National Police but also in President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo’s administration, “he said.Topics : The police’s response to a video of 49 Chinese workers arriving in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi, despite the government’s travel ban to and from China in an effort to prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading, has been condemned.The workers’ arrival in Kendari caused public outrage on Sunday after an amateur video circulated on social media. The video was uploaded by SA, a South Konawe regency resident, who witnessed their arrival at Haluoleo Airport, Kendari.last_img read more

Trillion-dollar US economic rescue package crashes in Senate

first_imgThe shock Senate result heaps major pressure on Congress to overcome divisions and swiftly greenlight a federal government intervention — likely the largest of its kind in US history.The impasse likely will have a profound effect on already-traumatized stock markets when they open Monday.The futures on the main US stock exchange indicators were dropping around four percent or more, indicating that Wall Street could open sharply lower.Hong Kong stocks plunged five percent upon opening.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted the Democratic opposition and warned of economic devastation ahead if Congress does not act promptly.”The notion that we have time to play games here with the American economy and the American people is utterly absurd,” he fumed.”We need to signal to the public that we’re ready to get this thing done.”He said he wanted lawmakers to recognize “the need to act before the markets go down further and the American people become even more depressed about our lack of ability to come together under the most extraordinary circumstances.” Despite intense negotiations between Republicans, Democrats and President Donald Trump’s administration, the roll call was 47-47, far short of the 60 votes needed to advance.Five Republican senators are in self-quarantine and did not vote, including Senator Rand Paul, who announced Sunday he had tested positive for the COVID-19 illness.Even as infighting derailed the plan, lawmakers carried on with closed-door negotiations deep into Sunday hoping to get the package back on track.Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin “are working late into the night, and they just had another productive meeting,” a Schumer spokesman said. Topics : ‘Not’ there yet Schumer insisted the bill falls well short of sufficiently protecting US employees, millions of whom are at risk of losing their jobs as the economy grinds to a halt, while offering a “large corporate bailout with no protections for workers and virtually no oversight.”He accused Republicans of trying to “skimp on funding” to address shortfalls for hospitals, equipment, medical personnel and other health care infrastructure.Mnuchin, Trump’s key representative in the negotiation, had expressed hope an agreement could be reached Sunday.Speaking on Fox News earlier Sunday, he detailed a separate massive relief plan by US financial authorities that “will have up to $4 trillion of liquidity that we can use to support the economy.”Together, the urgent measures represented one of the most dramatic governmental rescue efforts outside wartime, with millions of people thrown out of work, thousands of businesses shuttered, travel severely curtailed and no certainty as to when things might improve.The measures also came as the death toll and contagion confirmations continued to rise — especially in hotspots like New York —  and several states including California, New York and Illinois effectively went into lockdown in a bid to halt the virus’s spread.”The worst is yet to come,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said on CNN, predicting hospitals in the city would face serious shortages of protective equipment within days unless drastic action is taken.  “We expect April will be a lot worse than March, and I fear May could be worse than April,” he said.Mnuchin said the congressional rescue would give small businesses enough cash to pay laid-off workers for two weeks, provide direct cash payments to Americans — about $3,000 for a family of four, he said — and enhance unemployment insurance for those laid off. Democrats have demanded stronger worker protections. Schumer has said he wants the government to pay full wages for four months to workers laid off due to the crisis.Trump sounded a note of optimism, even as the Senate bill stalled.”I think that the Democrats want to get there, and… the Republicans want to get there,” he said.The president also said the administration was “considering” the prospect of US lawmakers being allowed to vote remotely, a dramatic departure from current House and Senate rules that mandate all votes be conducted in person. A trillion-dollar Senate proposal to rescue the reeling US economy crashed to defeat Sunday after receiving zero support from Democrats, and with five Republicans absent from the chamber because of virus-related quarantines.Democrats said the Republican plan failed to sufficiently protect millions of American workers or shore up the critically under-equipped health care system during the coronavirus crisis.The bill proposed an estimated $1.7 trillion or more in funding to cushion the blow for American families and thousands of shuttered or suffering businesses.last_img read more

Holocaust memorial sites fight new threat from far right

first_img“There have always been incidents at memorial sites, but we have noticed an escalation due to the far right’s breaching of language taboos,” he said. At Buchenwald, where 56,000 people died between 1937 and 1945, the number of reported incidents has doubled since 2015.Right-wing extremists have also been known to take smiling selfies in front of furnaces used to cremate victims and leave stickers glorifying their fellow revisionists, Knigge said.More recently, a growing number of tour guides have been interrupted by extremists propagating revisionist theories.  Topics : Remembrance culture This year marks 75 years since the liberation of most of the Nazi death camps in Europe.The rise in incidents at memorial sites also comes as the generation of Germans who lived through World War II is beginning to die out and attention is shifting to making sure that the horrors of the Holocaust, in which six million Jews were systematically murdered, are not forgotten.But recent years have seen the anti-immigrant AfD party establish itself as the most electorally successful far-right movement in Germany’s post-war history.Founded in 2013, the AfD is now the largest opposition party in Germany’s parliament, and many of its key figures have attacked the long-standing culture of atonement for Nazi crimes. Regional leader Bjoern Hoecke has called for a “180 degree reversal” in German remembrance culture, and labeled the Berlin Holocaust memorial a “monument of shame”.Former AfD chairman Alexander Gauland has dismissed the Nazi dictatorship as a “speck of bird shit” in German history, and called on citizens to be proud of soldiers who fought for the Nazi Wehrmacht, or army. “The far right and the AfD always adopt a strategy of pushing boundaries in order to normalize their thought,” said Bianca Klose, of the Berlin-based organization Mobile Counseling against Right-wing Extremism (MBR).Since the party won seats in all of Germany’s regional parliaments, several AfD MPs have also tried to influence the cultural-historical programs of memorial sites, she added.”They question the pedagogical choices and attempt to erase certain historical aspects. Even worse, they intimidate people by demanding information about their private life or political orientation,” Klose told AFP. From swastikas sprayed on the walls to Hitler salute selfies, far-right provocations are a growing problem at the sites of former Nazi concentration camps in Germany.Museum directors have sounded the alarm over a spike in incidents, which include visitors writing messages of Holocaust denial in the guestbook and challenging tour guides on the facts of the genocide.”Messages glorifying Nazism or demanding the camps be reopened for foreigners have become more common,” Volkhard Knigge, museum director at the former Buchenwald concentration camp in eastern Germany, told AFP.center_img Security measures There are 15 former concentration camps on German soil, which have been turned into memorial sites.The most well-known among them, Dachau, Sachsenhausen, Neuengamme, Bergen-Belsen, Ravensbrueck and Buchenwald, received almost three million visitors in 2018.But faced with the new challenge from the far right, many of the sites have been forced to adapt. In Berlin, Neumaerker allows his tour guides to choose themselves whether or not to accept groups from the AfD, and has provided staff with special training in how to react to provocations. Like his colleague Knigge at Buchenwald, he has blacklisted certain members of the AfD. At Neuengamme, any delegations from the AfD are accompanied by extra tour guides.Certain sites have also introduced a so-called “extremist clause”, prohibiting access to anyone wearing clothes, which reference the Third Reich. Yet financing CCTV cameras and security personnel diverts funds, which “would be more useful in education… especially for younger people,” said Knigge. The Buchenwald director also said he regretted that schools had cut back on lessons dedicated solely to teaching the history of Nazism in their busy timetables, an issue that has provoked concern in Germany and a parliamentary study two years ago. “The memorials can’t compensate for what schools are no longer doing,” he said. Uwe Neumaerker, director of Berlin’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, said that his museum faced similar problems. “Visitors are questioning the truth of the genocide. That is something which we didn’t experience even a few years ago.”last_img read more

Attracting new investment a challenge amid pandemic: BKPM

first_imgAs a result, the share of investment in economic growth rose only 1.7 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to data released on Tuesday by Statistics Indonesia (BPS). In comparison, the share grew by more than 4 percent year on year (yoy) in the fourth quarter last year.“It is a little bit difficult to expect new investment to flow in amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” Bahlil said in a virtual briefing on Wednesday.However, Indonesia’s total investment figure grew 8 percent yoy to Rp 210.7 trillion in the first quarter, bolstered by domestic investment.Singapore, Indonesia’s largest source of FDI with US$2.7 million in investment in the first quarter, recently recorded a surge in the number of infections, with the country’s number of confirmed cases rising to more than 19,400. The recent surge prompted the city-state to impose a partial lockdown. Indonesia’s second-largest source of foreign investment, China, is slowly reopening its economy but is not yet functioning at normal capacity.China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a monthly survey of trends in the manufacturing sector, dipped slightly to 49.4 in April from 50.1 a month earlier, suggesting a contraction.The COVID-19-induced economic downturn started to impact investment in Indonesia in mid-March, resulting in a decline in FDI, said Bahlil, who formerly led the Indonesian Young Entrepreneurs Association (HIPMI).The agency is seeking to attract Rp 886.1 trillion in total investment this year, although Bahlil did not rule out the option of revising the target down if the pandemic dragged on to July.“The BKPM is taking calculated measures to focus on the Rp 708 trillion in investment, which has progressed by 60 to 70 percent,” said Bahlil. “We are trying to accelerate the realization.”Topics : The COVID-19 pandemic has hindered the government’s efforts to attract new investment into the country, as evidenced by the new quarterly figures, according to Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) head Bahlil Lahadalia.Foreign direct investment (FDI), which accounts for less than half of total investment, fell by 9.2 percent to Rp 98 trillion (US$6.4 billion) in the January to March period from the same period last year, according to the agency’s data.With many countries introducing lockdown measures to contain the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which has infected more than 3.5 million people worldwide and more than 12,000 people in Indonesia, economic activities such as trade and investment are slowing down.last_img read more

In nod to grim US outlook, Fed’s Powell calls for more fiscal support

first_imgThe head of the Federal Reserve warned on Wednesday of an “extended period” of weak economic growth, vowed to use the United States central bank’s power as needed, and called for additional fiscal spending to stem the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Fed Chair Jerome Powell issued his sober review of an economy slammed by a record pace of job losses and bracing for worse ahead as most US states moved toward reopening after weeks of shutdowns aimed at slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus.The pandemic has killed more than 82,000 people in the United States so far, and many epidemiological models now point to a death toll that will surpass 100,000 in a matter of weeks. Congress, for its part, has allocated nearly US$3 trillion for economic relief during the crisis.The US response to date “has been particularly swift and forceful,” Powell said. But the longer those health risks persist, he said, the more likely businesses will fail and households will be strapped for income in a downturn that he noted has fallen most heavily on those least able to cope. A recent Fed survey, Powell said, estimated that 40 percent of households with less than $40,000 in income included someone who has lost a job since February.The worst-case outcome leaves the economy mired in “an extended period of low productivity growth and stagnant incomes … Additional fiscal support could be costly but worth it if it helps avoid long-term economic damage and leaves us with a stronger recovery,” Powell said in what amounted to a direct call for Congress to ramp up its aid during the crisis.“This trade-off is one for our elected representatives, who wield powers of taxation and spending,” he said.Negative ratesThe Fed, for its part, will continue to “use our tools to their fullest until the crisis has passed and the economic recovery is well under way,” Powell said. But those tools, he made clear, don’t include pushing interest rates below zero, as some other central banks did fighting the global financial crisis more than a decade ago. Negative interest rates, he said, are “not something that we are considering.”Major US stock indexes were sharply lower in midday trading, with the benchmark S&P 500 index down about 1.6 percent. Yields on Treasury securities fell, and some contracts in interest rate futures markets continued to price in a small chance the Fed might resort to a negative-rates policy within the year.The US House of Representatives and Senate are deliberating further responses to the pandemic. White House officials have said they want to assess how an initial round of economic reopenings by states goes before deciding what to do.An increasing number of US governors have lifted restrictions, moves that in other countries have preceded new outbreaks and increases in cases, and that epidemiologists here fear will do the same.But with the US economy having lost a staggering 20.5 million jobs in April alone and some 33 million Americans applying for jobless benefits since late March, many state and local leaders have begun to see the economic risks of continued lockdowns as too high.In a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke of the risk the country could “paradoxically” end up worse off if it reopens too haphazardly and ends up with not just new rounds of infections, but a second wave of restrictions on who can go to work and what businesses can stay open.Topics : Powell pointed to uncertainty over how well future outbreaks of the virus can be controlled and how quickly a vaccine or therapy can be developed, and said policymakers needed to be ready address “a range” of possible outcomes.“It will take some time to get back to where we were,” Powell said in a webcast interview with Adam Posen, the director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “There is a sense, growing sense I think, that the recovery may come more slowly than we would like. But it will come, and that may mean that it’s necessary for us to do more.”For a central banker who spent part of his career as a deficit hawk and has tried to avoid giving advice to elected officials, the remarks marked an extraordinary nod to the risks the US economy is facing from the combined health and economic crisis brought on by the pandemic.The US central bank has slashed interest rates to near zero and set up a broad network of programs to ensure financial markets continue to function during the pandemic. It has also established precedent-setting lending facilities for companies and the first-ever corporate bond purchases.last_img read more

COVID-19: Govt to tighten security at ‘mudik’ ban checkpoints as Idul Fitri approaches

Read also: Jokowi calls for caution in easing of PSBB after ‘mudik’ ban relaxationViolators will either be stopped or turned back. Buses that have been allowed to operate will be given a special sticker.“After the holiday ends […] we will continue to monitor the roads and will have tow trucks on standby. We will also spray incoming vehicles with disinfectant,” Adita said.The Transportation Ministry last week allowed public transportation to resume operations by opening all air, land and sea transportation services, a move that drew strong criticism from experts.The government, however, has been adamant that the mudik ban is still in effect despite relaxations on restrictions.Topics : The government will tighten its monitoring of the Idul Fitri mudik (exodus) ban as the Islamic holiday, which falls on May 24 and 25 this year, approaches, the Transportation Ministry said.“We have to be prepared for more people trying to travel. Therefore, we will add more personnel to safeguard the checkpoints,” Transportation Ministry spokesperson Adita Irawati said during a press briefing on Tuesday.The mudik ban, which is based on Transportation Ministerial Regulation No. 25/2020 signed by acting minister Luhut Pandjaitan on April 23, applies to all types of mass transportation as well as to private vehicles and is seen as crucial to prevent the SARS-CoV-2 virus from spreading from the epicenter of Jakarta and West Java to other regions of the country. read more