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Ramadan on collision course with virus for Asia’s Muslims

first_img‘Trapped’ Some signs suggest the order may not be respected — authorities in the northern state of Perlis have said they will allow food traders to operate from home and on the roadside, potentially increasing the chance of crowds gathering.Hadi Azmi, a 31-year-old video editor, said he understood the need for restrictions but he also felt “trapped”.”I feel weird as the fasting month approaches because we have to remain indoors and we cannot meet our parents and siblings to break fast and pray together,” he told AFP.And in Indonesia, a possible explosion in coronavirus cases when millions travel to hometowns and ancestral villages after Ramadan has forced the country’s president to issue a ban on the annual exodus.Like Christmas or the Chinese Lunar New Year, the movement kicks off an extended holiday when many Indonesians celebrate Eid al-Fitr with their families to mark the end of Ramadan.The government has called on residents of major cities, including the capital Jakarta, to stay put, and on Tuesday President Joko Widodo said he would ban any mass migration.Researchers at the University of Indonesia have warned the travel rush could lead to one million infections in the densely populated Java island alone and an eye-watering 200,000 deaths.”If you care about your loved ones, stay where you are until all this ends,” Ridwan Kamil, governor of 50-million strong West Java province, said recently.Jakarta resident Romy Gustiansyah said he wouldn’t visit family on Sumatra island this year over coronavirus fears.”I’m sad that I won’t see my family for Eid, but I’m trying to stay optimistic,” Gustiansyah told AFP. “This is just a delay. That’s what I’m telling myself.” Across Asia, home to about half of the world’s Muslims, the coming Islamic holy month of Ramadan is on a collision course with the coronavirus pandemic as clerics call on the faithful to cram into mosques.Authorities have tried to limit the fallout during the sacred period of fasting, which starts Thursday, but in many cases religious leaders have brushed aside concerns about activities that could spread COVID-19.In Bangladesh, clerics lashed out at attempts to reduce the number of people going to mosques, and demanded the country’s secular government allow millions of Muslims to join daily and weekly prayers. In the run-up to Ramadan, mosques have been filling up across Pakistan with hundreds attending Friday prayers, sitting shoulder to shoulder and paying little heed to social distancing.”I will take all the preventive measures, washing my hands and using my mask but it doesn’t mean I will stop attending prayers, especially during Ramadan,” taxi driver Zubair Khan told AFP in the northwestern city of Peshawar.The virus threat at large religious congregations has been highlighted in recent weeks by three waves of infections in Asia, linked to separate, massive Islamic congregations in Malaysia, Pakistan and India. “The quota on the number of worshippers imposed by the government is not acceptable to us. Islam does not support imposition of any quota on worshippers,” said Mojibur Rahman Hamidi, a senior member of the hardline Hefazat-e-Islam group.Islamic leaders in Bangladesh, where tens of thousands of people defied a nationwide lockdown Saturday to attend the funeral of a top preacher, reminded people it is “mandatory” for a healthy Muslim to attend prayers in a mosque.In Pakistan, devotees said worship is more important than coronavirus concerns.Authorities have buckled under religious pressure, allowing daily prayers and evening congregations at mosques after clerics promised to instruct religious leaders to clean their facilities regularly.center_img Rising death tolls Asia is home to some of the world’s largest Muslim populations stretching from the Indonesian archipelago to the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan, and close to a billion Muslims live in the region.Regional death tolls from COVID-19 have been much smaller compared with Europe and the United States but are rising steadily, sparking fears the virus may overwhelm often underfunded healthcare sectors.The coronavirus pandemic has triggered lockdowns throughout Asia, with schools shut and businesses closed, but mosques have largely stayed open.During Ramadan, mosques hold regular prayers and large “iftar” meals to break the fast at dusk, while families host feasts at home with relatives and friends in Southeast Asia, there has been fierce debate in food-mad Malaysia about whether to allow popular Ramadan bazaars, where Muslims buy local delicacies before breaking their fasts.Malaysia has imposed a nationwide coronavirus lockdown, and the government last week said that to ensure social distancing, they would only allow so-called “e-bazaars”, where people order goods online from local vendors which are then delivered to their homes. Topics :last_img read more

Health Ministry largest virus hotbed in Jakarta

first_imgRead also: Dozens of office infection clusters emerge as Indonesia seeks to revive economyAs the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) being reimplemented in Jakarta starting Monday would not be as strict as the previous PSBB regime, Dicky said testing was a vital condition to curb transmission. “We are all carrying the virus unless proven otherwise. That should be people’s mindset at this point,” he said.Jakarta reinstated the PSBB amid rising cases and deaths ever since the city began to transition to the “new normal” in June. Most of the cases have occurred in offices, raising concerns about poor implementation of health protocols in workplaces across the city.Other government offices where clusters have emerged include the Communication and Information Ministry with 65 cases, the Defense Ministry with 64 cases, the Finance Ministry with 61 cases, the Youth and Sports Ministry with 43 cases, the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry with 38 cases, the Law and Human Rights Ministry with 35 cases and the Education and Culture Ministry with 25 cases. Fifteen ministries have recorded fewer than 20 cases.Dicky said the Health Ministry should be a role model in the implementation of public health protocols to assure that the country could win the battle against the virus. “The ministry must evaluate the implementation of its health protocols. It must be ineffective since there are many confirmed cases among its employees,” he said.Read also: COVID-19 haunts industrial zones in IndonesiaResponding to the finding, the Health Ministry’s disease control and prevention director general Achmad Yurianto said the high number of infected staff members did not necessarily mean the ministry’s headquarters had become a cluster or the source of an outbreak.“If cases are recorded at the Health Ministry, does that mean we’re calling it a Health Ministry cluster?” he told the Post. “This is accumulative data since May. The ministry’s employees live in Greater Jakarta and commute every day”.He also said the ministry had been conducting routine tests for its employees. “Health Ministry employees undergo swab tests every month and those who test positive [for COVID-19] immediately go into isolation,” said Achmad.Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Minister Tjahjo Kumolo asked the staffing officers (PPK) in all ministries, agencies and local administrations to monitor health protocol implementation among civil servants to curb rising cases at government offices.“The PPK must monitor as well as regularly report the effectiveness of such implementation and the working hours division for civil servants every week,” Tjahjo said.Topics : In what seems to be an irony in the country’s fight against the coronavirus, the Health Ministry office in Kuningan, South Jakarta, turns out to be the largest virus cluster in the capital, according to a record by local health officials.A data visualization by the Jakarta administration shows that the ministry had 252 confirmed cases as of Friday, more than any other cluster across the capital, including offices, traditional markets and places of worship.Other government offices are also recorded among those with the most cases, namely the Transportation Ministry (175), the Corruption Eradication Commission (106), the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (89) and the Tanjung Priok Marine and Coast Guard Base Class I (88). A number of high-ranking government officials are among those infected with the virus. Jakarta secretary Saefullah died on Wednesday after testing positive for COVID-19 and being treated at hospital. General Elections Commission (KPU) chairman Arief Budiman, who is busy preparing the December regional elections, has also tested positive for the virus.Dicky Budiman, an Indonesian epidemiologist at Australia’s Griffith University, said the fact that there was a high number of cases in the Health Ministry was a sign of ineffective health protocols that leave room for transmission.“There is a false perception about health protocols. People think physical distancing, wearing a mask and washing hands is enough but it will be ineffective without routine screening every two weeks for people who travel outside or work at the office to ensure they don’t carry the virus around,” Dicky told The Jakarta Post on Friday.Masdalina Pane of the Indonesian Epidemiologists Association (PAEI) said an epidemiological investigation must be carried out to determine how transmission occurred among those infected in a cluster. She said transmission might occur at the office or other places such as public transportation.last_img read more

Labour proposes gambling harm changes

first_img3News 4 August 2013Sweeping amendments to crack down on gambling are being proposed by Labour after Government representatives “gutted” a gambling harm bill.Labour’s internal affairs spokesman Trevor Mallard has unveiled a dozen proposed amendments to Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell’s Gambling Harm Reduction Amendment Bill.The Government is backing the bill after the Maori Party agreed to support its Sky City convention centre deal – but Mr Mallard says Mr Flavell’s bill now has no teeth after being watered down by Government MPs at a select committee.It was designed to minimise the harm caused by pokie machines, with provisions relating to the use of technology to limit harm, powers for local authorities, preventing racing clubs from profiting from pokies and changes to the way funds are distributed to communities.Those measures were mostly removed by the commerce select committee and Mr Mallard says the bill now does barely anything to reduce harm.      t;a rel=”nofollow” href=”http://ad.nz.doubleclick.net/jump/3news.co.nz/homepage;sz=300×250;ord=123456789?” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://ad.nz.doubleclick.net/ad/3news.co.nz/homepage;sz=300×250;ord=123456789?” width=”300″ height=”250″ border=”0″ alt=”Ad” /></a>His proposed amendments include:removing all of the commerce committee’s amendments to the billnew funds distribution measures, and restrictions on payments to trustees and directors of gambling organisationsenabling new regulations for a sinking lid on gaming machines to 10,000 by 2025, and for harm-minimisation technologyrestricting gambling hours.http://www.3news.co.nz/Labour-proposes-gambling-harm-changes/tabid/423/articleID/307513/Default.aspxlast_img read more

Guyana police commissioner suspended after rape allegations

first_img Tweet 38 Views   no discussions Share Share Guyana’s Police Commissioner Henry Green, who is facing rape allegationsGEORGETOWN, Guyana — Guyana’s Police Commissioner Henry Green has been placed on leave following allegations that he violently raped and falsely imprisoned a thirty-four year old mother of two at gun-point.Guyana’s government-run news agency, GINA, reported on Saturday that President Donald Ramotar had placed Green on leave pending the outcome of the rape investigation.The woman, the wife of a Guyana Defence Force officer, said the incident occurred at a guesthouse, for which she said Green had keys to a room.Green has been previously accused of rape during President Desmond Hoyte’s administration. He was a senior superintendent at the time, and was reportedly sent on leave but reinstated after the investigation allegedly stalled over a lack of evidence.Green’s US visa was revoked in 2006 by the US government for alleged involvement with criminals, including drug lords. The then US Ambassador to Guyana in 2006 warned then President Bharrat Jagdeo not to appoint Green as police commissioner, as he was possibly under DEA investigation and could be indicted by the US Justice Department.By Caribbean News Now contributorcenter_img Sharing is caring! NewsRegional Guyana police commissioner suspended after rape allegations by: – December 19, 2011 Sharelast_img read more

Newcastle ready to dole out £53m for wantaway Gareth Bale

first_img Loading… Newcastle are ‘ready to splash out £53million to offer Real Madrid’s wantaway star Gareth Bale a route back to the Premier League this summer. Bale has been unhappy in Madrid for some time, and it is now expected that he will leave the Spanish capital when the transfer window next opens.It is understood that three clubs are front-runners for the Welshman’s signature with Newcastle the most surprising among them.Elsewhere, David Beckham’s new Inter Miami side are said to be prepared to match his Real Madrid salary to bring him to their new MLS outfit, while Tottenham are also reportedly keen to seal his emotional return to north London. Mohammed bin Salman inching closer to Newcastle take over Newcastle, until recently, would unlikely have been in the running for a player of Bale’s stature, but their impending £300m Saudi takeover would take them to a new level of finance.Advertisement It has been reported that should the takeover go through in the coming weeks, which would see Mike Ashley relinquish control of the club, the Toon would have a large amount of money to spend in the transfer window.In the current coronavirus climate, Real Madrid appear likely to try and cash in on some of their expensive fringe players, with Bale and James Rodriguez among them. Bale left Tottenham for Real Madrid in 2013 and has spent the last seven years in Spain, winning everything on offer. Read AlsoReal Madrid star Gareth Bale admits MLS ambition New buyers of Newcastle are said to be ready not only to turn the fortune of the club around but also fortify the team enough to aim for top four finish and compete in the Champions league. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 center_img Promoted ContentCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable Way14 Hilarious Comics Made By Women You Need To Follow Right NowBest Car Manufacturers In The WorldCan Playing Too Many Video Games Hurt Your Body?7 Truly Incredible Facts About Black Holes6 Incredibly Strange Facts About HurricanesBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever Made10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoThis Guy Photoshopped Himself Into Celeb Pics And It’s Hysterical5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks7 Universities In The World Where Education Costs Too Much11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table Toplast_img read more

Napoli owner hands Mertens one week to sign extension – report

first_imgInter have reportedly been trying to lure the Belgium international away from the San Paolo and coach Antonio Conte would welcome Napoli’s joint all-time leading goalscorer to San Siro and pair him with international teammate Romelu Lukaku.But the 33-year-old is yet to make his mind up and has received a contract offer from the Azzurri, who are losing patience with the veteran.Read Also: Victor Moses reveals most important manager of his careerLa Gazzetta dello Sport claims the Partenopei patron has given Mertens an ultimatum to sign the deal within a week, otherwise the club will start planning for a future without him.Mertens’ current contract in Naples expires on June 30 this year and the forward has been able to discuss terms with possible suitors since January.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Loading… Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis has allegedly given Dries Mertens one week to either extend his contract with the Partenopei or decide to move on.Advertisementcenter_img Promoted ContentIf Zodiac Signs Were Women: Amazing Artwork By Vivien Szaniszlo14 Hilarious Comics Made By Women You Need To Follow Right NowBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever Made6 Ridiculous Health Myths That Are Actually True5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme ParksPretty Awesome Shows That Just Got CanceledWhat Are The Most Delicious Foods Out There?13 kids at weddings who just don’t give a hootThe Best Cars Of All TimeDisney’s Live-Action Simba Was Based On The Cutest Lion Cub EverBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemGorgeous Staircases That Will Take Your Breath Awaylast_img read more

Conte ‘very disappointed’ after 6-goal Sassuolo draw

first_img Inter twice blew their lead with Giangiacomo Magnani equalising in the 88th minute for the final goal of the game. “I think we deserved much more considering how much we created, whereas I don’t recall any Samir Handanovic saves,” said Conte in his post-match media conference.Advertisement Promoted Content6 Interesting Ways To Make Money With A Drone8 Weird Facts About Coffee That Will Surprise You9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A Tattoo7 Universities In The World With The Highest Market ValueEver Thought Of Sleeping Next To Celebs? This Guy Will Show You2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This YearFascinating Ceilings From Different CountriesWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?7 Netflix Shows Cancelled Because They Don’t Get The Ratings7 Truly Incredible Facts About Black HolesWhat Disney Princesses Would Look Like In Modern Day RealitiesThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More “It’s something we keep repeating in this pattern and are paying a heavy price. I am very disappointed and so are the lads. When you play this type of game and put so much into it, you have the chance to win despite the difficulties in the key area of midfield, you have to take home the three points. We didn’t do that, it’s disappointing and troubling.” read also:Aubameyang rejects Arsenal deal, draws closer to ‘fascinating’ Conte plan He added: “There are situations where we need to score goals and we are paying for these naïve errors. We had the chances to finish it and we didn’t. I don’t know what more we can do other than keep working. “I am happy with the performance, we’ve got to be more careful on the details. That is where we can grow and improve.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Loading… Inter Milan coach, Antonio Conte, was left frustrated after their 3-3 draw with Sassuolo.last_img read more

Hamilton Co. to conduct WEA test

first_imgHamilton County, OH—Hamilton County Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (EMHSA) will conduct a county-wide TEST of the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system on Wednesday, September 4, 2019, at 9 a.m. EDT. A test message reading: “THIS IS A TEST of the Hamilton County Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action required.” will be sent to cell phones in Hamilton County to assess the county’s readiness to alert the public when an emergency is in progress.A backup test date is scheduled for September 10, 2019, at 9 a.m. EDT. The purpose of the test is to ensure that WEA is an effective means of warning the public about emergencies in Hamilton County.Cell phone users in adjacent jurisdictions (Butler County, Clermont County, Warren County, Dearborn County, Boone County, Campbell County, Kenton County) may receive the test WEA message because their cell phone may be using a cell phone tower located in Hamilton County for service.last_img read more

USC selected for Dept. of Energy Solar Decathlon

first_imgUSC was selected as one of 20 universities in the world to build an energy-efficient home for the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2013 Solar Decathlon.Two architecture professors will lead a multidisciplinary team of USC students over the next two years to design and build an innovative and energy-efficient solar home for a single-family dwelling.Model home · Shahab Rahimi, a senior majoring in architecture, prepares a small model of a study for their entry in the Dept. of Energy’s Solar Decathlon. – Photo courtesy of Christine TanguayAlice Kimm, chair of undergraduate studies in the School of Architecture, applied for the start-up grant of $100,000 last fall, which qualified USC to participate. Kimm, in collaboration with Gary Paige, a visiting critic at the USC School of Architecture, will guide the students working on the project.“Our overall goal is to bring an energy-efficient house to the world,” Kimm said.The professors said they would like the house to built on or near campus, ideally Exposition Park, but have not determined where. Final projects are judged on a range of 10 separate performance categories including design, energy efficiency, livability and affordability.The project already is getting its feet on the ground at USC. Solar Decathlon is a topic studio class in the architecture school this semester. Nine undergraduate and four graduate students signed up for the course, which broke up the students into teams to develop six unique design ideas for the competition. At the end of the semester, the students will select the best design and that will serve as the design schematic for the actual competition prototype.Christine Tanguay, a senior majoring in architecture, is one of the students enrolled in the design studio. Tanguay said the class comes with its own unique set of challenges.“We have a set of rules, a budget and many other constraints that are required by the competition beyond the regular California building code,” Tanguay said.The Solar Decathlon competition isn’t limited to architecture students; students from interdisciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to join the team to work on the project. Tanguay said the interdisciplinary element was also a draw.“I was inspired by the fact that the competition will incorporate many schools at USC and we will be required to collaborate on a holistic, sustainable design,” Tanguay said.Kimm envisions Viterbi students working on solar technology, Marshall students establishing a marketing strategy for selling the house, Annenberg students creating a public relations campaign, School of Cinematic Arts students documenting the progress and students at Rossier School of Education bringing students from Los Angeles Unified School District to visit the house to learn about environmentally sustainable living.“USC has the opportunity to do incredible collaborations,” Kimm said. “It’s all here on campus.”When the competition is over, Kimm said, the school plans to dismantle the house and to give it to a family.“The School of Architecture is very community-based,” Kimm said. “This is the opportunity to give back to the community: to build an energy-efficient house that can set an example in the neighborhood and the city of Los Angeles.”Students looking to get involved in the competition will be able to find more information on USC’s Solar Decathlon team website, which Kimm said should be online in two weeks.last_img read more

SCA clarifies its new attendance policy

first_img“There needs to be more communication from the administration to the student body whenever they’re going to implement a new policy,” Murphy said. “There needs to be more opportunity for students to give feedback on administration.” Isaacs said the way the policy had been worded led to confusion, with students thinking they would no longer have excused absences. However, Isaacs said  students will be allowed two unexcused absences in addition to excused absences.  Murphy said the administration should listen to student voices before implementing policies in order to strengthen communication and enhance transparency within the administration. Isaacs said that as soon as he heard student feedback about the policy, he realized the miscommunication that had taken place and decided to rewrite the policy.  Roma Murphy, a senior majoring in writing for screen and television, said none of her professors had mentioned the change or updated their syllabuses with the new policy. She also said she thinks the attendance policy changes should be addressed to the student body. “We voted on it as a full-time faculty back in November,” Isaacs said. “We had discussed opening up the idea of allowing for an extra unexcused absence and then letting the students know the line that we would allow in terms of them not having to account for their coming to class.” Isaacs explained the reasoning behind the policy was to allow students to miss class without having to submit excuse notes.  “We were trying to make it a little more flexible — where we went wrong was not putting in the exceptions,” Isaacs said. “If you had an emergency, a family emergency, certainly a health or an emotional issue, religious holiday — all of those kinds of things are, of course, going to be allowed.”  The previous version of the attendance policy stated the department would no longer distinguish between excused and unexcused absences starting this semester. Beyond the first two absences, each missed class lowers students’ course grades by 10%, and two late arrivals count as one full absence.  In the past policy no unexcused absences were allowed.  center_img “It’s not meant to be punishing,” Isaacs said. “It’s meant to allow them a little more freedom and the idea that there are exceptions beyond the two unexcused absences.”  SCA students drafted an official complaint to the administration last month stating that the attendance policy was harmful to students’ physical and mental well-being in a department as competitive as SCA.  The clarified policy was emailed to professors Wednesday so they could update their syllabuses and inform their students of the changes. However, multiple students told the Daily Trojan they had not been made aware of the clarification. “In an environment as high-stress as SCA, in which students work full-time jobs on top of taking full courseloads, it is imperative that students have the chance to rest,” the letter read. “Of course, it would be optimal if that time of rest did not have to come during class hours, but students should be free to take that time if necessary, as we discussed in the memorial meeting last semester.”  The new policy states that absence exceptions will be made for religious holidays and DSP accommodations. It also states that students can get instructor approval to miss class for medical and family emergencies and to accommodate personal well-being needs.  In response to student complaints regarding the new attendance policy, the department made changes Wednesday to clarify that excused absences could be used in exceptional situations such as family emergencies, the Acting Chair of the School of Cinematic Arts’ John Wells Division of Writing for Screen and Television David Isaacs said. “The updated version of the policy needs to be sent to the student body as a whole,” Murphy said. “Students don’t have the information with which they can advocate for themselves.”last_img read more