Coronavirus outbreak: Hong Kong schools will remain shut beyond Easter


Coronavirus outbreak: Hong Kong schools will remain shut beyond Easter

Hong Kong: Owing to the coronavirus outbreak, schools in Hong Kong which had remained shut for over three weeks are set to not open after Easter holidays even as the university entrance exams will go ahead as scheduled, Hong Kong education officials said on Tuesday.

"Classes at all kindergartens, primary and secondary schools would be suspended until April 20 at the earliest," said Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung Yun-hung, as quoted by the South China Morning Post.

 
 

"The World Health Organisation and virologists have already predicted that the epidemic will last for a longer period of time, so further extending the suspension of classes is the safest option," he added.

This comes at the backdrop of the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country with a tally of the infected reaching 85 till Tuesday.

"For classes, we are talking about 900,000 pupils from kindergartens, primary and secondary schools. Usually, during class, they have a lot of interaction, they talk to and play with each other," he said.

Although the schools have been closed till April 20 yet the country's university will be held as per schedule.

"It is completely different from the DSE exam when there are just over 50,000 candidates, sitting down without any communication," he added.

Following the coronavirus outbreak, schools were first suspended after the Lunar New Year holiday, which ended on February 3. Previously, the officials had already extended the suspension for two more weeks until March 16.

The virus which first surfaced in China's Hubei province in December last year has since infected more than 80,410 people worldwide and killed over 2700 people.

 
 
 



Coronavirus outbreak: Seven deaths in Italy with 283 confirmed cases


Coronavirus outbreak: Seven deaths in Italy with 283 confirmed cases
 



'Great initiative': Netizens amused as Bengaluru cops learn Zumba to beat stress


'Great initiative': Netizens amused as Bengaluru cops learn Zumba to beat stress

New Delhi: A hilarious video of police personnel from Bengaluru's northeast division grooving to Samba beats during a Zumba training programme has gone viral, leaving the Twitterati amused.

The Bangalore City Police shared the video with the caption, "Rhythmic stress buster -- Zumba program for Police personnel of North-East Division."

The video features 750 police personnel enjoying the fat burning and super challenging workout. As the department seeks to use Zumba as a relaxation technique for police personnel, around 30 teams of 25 members each participated in the programme.

As the post went viral, Twitterati flooded social media with their reactions. A user wrote, "This should happen across country amazing initiative."


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@BlrCityPolice
Rhythmic stress buster - Zumba program for Police personnel of North-East Division.#ನಮ್_ಪವರ್  

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Another wrote, "Fantastic! It's important to keep healthy the Body Mind & Soul of our Police, given the stressful nature of duties they perform. Very good."

Great initiative. Only question is can police personnel dance while in uniform," asked one user.

Another post read, "Excellent initiative taken by dept for the staff. Leading a stressful life, the cops badly need such stuff to live some cheerful moments at least twice a month."




Coronavirus Update: Death toll rises to 1,113 in China; confirmed cases jump to over 44,000


Coronavirus Update: Death toll rises to 1,113 in China; confirmed cases jump to over 44,000

Beijing: The death toll in China's novel coronavirus outbreak has gone up to 1,113 with 97 new fatalities reported mostly in the worst-affected Hubei province while the confirmed cases of infection jumped to 44,653, health officials said on Wednesday.

The country's National Health Commission said it received reports of 2,015 new confirmed cases and 97 deaths from 31 provincial-level regions on Tuesday.

The virus was officially named "COVID-19" by the World Health Organization (WHO) at a conference in Geneva.

 

Among the deaths, 94 were from the virus-hit Hubei Province and one in Henan, Hunan and Chongqing respectively, the Commission said.

Another 3,342 new suspected cases were reported Tuesday, said the commission.

Also on Tuesday, 871 patients were seriously taken ill, while 744 people discharged from hospital after recovery.

The overall confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland has reached 44,653 by the end of Tuesday and 1,113 people has died of the disease.

The commission added that 8,204 patients remained in severe condition and 16,067 people were suspected of being infected with the virus.

A total of 4,740 people had been discharged from hospital after recovery.

The commission said over 4.51 lakh close contacts had been traced with over 1.85 lakh others are still under medical observation.

By the end of Tuesday, 49 confirmed cases including one death has been reported in Hong Kong, 10 confirmed cases in Macao and 18 in Taiwan.

As many as 397 cases have reported from a number of countries, state-run CGTN TV reported.

After naming the virus as "COVID-19", WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: "We had to find a name that did not refer to a geographical location, an animal, an individual or group of people, and which is also pronounceable and related to the disease".

The CO stands for corona, the VI for virus and the D for disease, Ghebreyesus announced on Tuesday at a news conference at the agency's headquarters in Geneva.

Several countries have banned arrivals from China while major airlines have suspended flights to the country.

Countries around the world are scrambling to contain the spread of coronavirus which is wreaking havoc in China and abroad. Apart from Germany, Britain and Italy, other European nations with cases of the virus include France, Russia, Belgium, Sweden, Finland and Spain.




15 killed as boat carrying Rohingya refugees capsizes near Saint Martin's Island in Bay of Bengal


15 killed as boat carrying Rohingya refugees capsizes near Saint Martin's Island in Bay of Bengal
 



Queen Elizabeth II's grandson Peter Phillips to split with his wife


Queen Elizabeth II's grandson Peter Phillips to split with his wife

Queen Elizabeth II’s oldest grandson Peter Phillips on Tuesday announced that he and his Canadian wife Autumn have separated and will file for divorce.

Phillips, 42, the son of the Queen’s daughter Princess Anne, confirmed the separation from his wife and that they will share custody of their children Savannah, nine, and Isla, seven.

 

“They had reached the conclusion that this was the best course of action for their two children and ongoing friendship. The decision to divorce and share custody came about after many months of discussions and although sad, is an amicable one,” their joint statement read.

“Peter and Autumn have requested privacy and compassion for their children while the family continues to adapt to these changes,” it said.

Phillips met Canadian management consultant Autumn Kelly, 41, at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal in 2003, while he was working for Formula One. Some reports suggest Kelly might intend to move back to Canada after the divorce.

 
 



Till now, a total 3933 persons have arrived on 27 different flights at the Sanganer International Airport.


Till now, a total 3933 persons have arrived on 27 different flights at the Sanganer International Airport.

Jaipur: As many as nine suspected coronavirus patients have been kept under observation in various cities of Rajasthan.

Two persons who had come to Alwar from China have been discharged from the hospital after they showed no symptoms of the virus. Till now, a total 3933 persons have arrived on 27 different flights at the Sanganer International Airport.

 
 

The medical department has spruced up all preparations regarding isolation, boarding and lodging of suspected coronavirus patients at the ESI Hospital in Alwar.

Government of India had decided that the 300 suspected patients being brought from China would be airlifted from Delhi and kept at the Alwar Hospital.

Four persons had been under observation in isolation at the SMS Hospital in Jaipur and their reports show that they are not inflicted by the virus. Two persons have been admitted at the JLN Hospital in Ajmer. They had been to China for their honeymoon. Their samples have been taken and sent to Jaipur for testing.

Three students from Barmer are also currently under observation.

Meanwhile, Congress leaders in Ajmer have raised objections and demanded that suspected patients should not be brought to Alwar Hospital. Labour Minister Tikaram Julie and former Union minister Bhanwar Jitendra Singh have demanded that the state government should say ‘no’ to suspected coronavirus patients.

Jitendra Singh reportedly called chief minister Ashok Gehlot, who is in Mumbai, and asked him to communicate to the Central Government not to send the suspected patients.  He has said that there is a residential area around the hospital premises and people should not be put at risk.

Labour minister Tikaram Julie went on say that Alwar is not a dumping point and the local population cannot be put at risk. He said, “The Coronavirus is a deadly disease and highly infectious. We had been demanding a medical college in Alwar. Today, when need arises, Alwar has been chosen for sending the patients.”   

To put apprehensions at rest, the PMO and CMO of Alwar addressed a press meet and said that the local population is at no risk. However, local residents of Alwar protested at the gate of the ESI Hospital and demanded that the patients should not be brought to the city.

 
 
 



China’s coronavirus death toll rises to 259, nearly 12,000 infected


China’s coronavirus death toll rises to 259, nearly 12,000 infected

Beijing: The death toll from China's new coronavirus outbreak has risen to 259 and the tally of confirmed infections has surged to nearly 12,000, the government said on Saturday.

The National Health Commission said in its daily update that 46 more people had succumbed to the respiratory disease. All but one of the new deaths came in hardest-hit Hubei province, the epicentre of an outbreak that has spread around the world. The virus emerged in December in Hubei's provincial capital Wuhan, and has been traced to a meat market that sold wild game.

 
 

The number of infections in China also rose, by 2,102, bringing the nationwide total to 11,791. That's despite unprecedented quarantine measures imposed last week on millions of people in Hubei and aggressive preventive steps elsewhere in the country. The number of new deaths and newly confirmed cases have both spiralled higher on a daily basis since China sounded the nationwide alarm a week ago.

The epidemic has spread far and wide as huge numbers of Chinese travelled within and outside the country for the Lunar New Year holiday that started last week. It has since ballooned into a global health emergency with cases in more than two dozen countries. The top Communist Party official in Wuhan expressed "remorse" on Friday, saying local authorities acted too slowly in containing the virus.

 
 
 



Airlines suspend flights to China as global fears mount over coronavirus outbreak


Airlines suspend flights to China as global fears mount over coronavirus outbreak

Foreign airlines began suspending flights to and from China on Wednesday as global fears mounted over a coronavirus epidemic that has killed 132 people and infected nearly 6,000.

The announcements came hours after countries began airlifts to evacuate foreigners trapped in Wuhan, the quarantined central Chinese city of 11 million people at the epicentre of the health emergency.

A growing number of governments, including the United States, Britain and Germany, have in recent days advised their citizens to avoid non-essential travel to China over concerns about the viral outbreak.

China has itself urged its citizens to delay trips abroad, with at least 15 countries having confirmed cases of the disease. The United Arab Emirates reported the first known case in the Middle East on Wednesday.

British Airways was the first major airline to announce a total suspension of flights to and from China, citing the travel advice of the foreign office.

Indonesia's Lion Air Group, Southeast Asia's biggest carrier by fleet size, also said it would halt services to and from China from Saturday "until further notice".

In Myanmar, the three airlines which have routes into neighbouring China also said those flights would be suspended from Saturday.

Cathay Pacific also cut flights, citing low demand and the Hong Kong government's response plan against the virus.

And in one of the most dramatic measures, the tiny Pacific nation of Papua New Guinea announced on Wednesday that travellers from Asia would not be allowed in.

However many other airlines said they were continuing with their services. However, passengers on some of these flights will have to make do without hot meals, blankets and newspapers, as airlines step up measures to protect crew and travellers from the virus.

Domestic Indian airline IndiGo has decided to suspend its flights on the Bengaluru-Hong Kong route from February 1 and on the Delhi-Chengdu route from February 1 to 20. Similarly, Air India spokesperson said the national carrier is suspending its flights on Delhi-Shanghai route from January 31 to February 14.

However, IndiGo clarified that for now, it will continue to operate the Kolkata-Guangzhou flight which it is "monitoring on a daily basis".

 
 
 



China’s coronavirus death toll rises to 170, more than 1,000 new cases


China’s coronavirus death toll rises to 170, more than 1,000 new cases

Beijing [China]: The death toll from coronavirus has reached 170 on Thursday, Sputnik reported citing China Central television. Meanwhile, over 1700 cases of coronavirus have been registered in China.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says it will hold its second emergency meeting on Thursday to assess whether the coronavirus outbreak constitutes an international health emergency. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters on Wednesday, "The continued increase in cases and evidence of human-to-human transmission outside China, of course, is deeply concerning. Although the numbers outside China are still relatively small, they hold the potential for a much larger outbreak."

 
 

During the previous meeting, on Thursday last week, the WHO had said that it was 'too early' to declare the outbreak of coronavirus in China as a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). The virus originated in Wuhan city of China in December and has since then spread to various cities around the world.

China has imposed quarantine and travel restrictions, affecting the movement of 56 million people in more than a dozen cities, amid fears that the transmission rate will accelerate as hundreds of millions of Chinese travel for the Lunar New Year. Health authorities around the world are taking action to prevent a global pandemic as the virus continues to spread, with cases reported in Australia, France, the United States and seven Asian countries besides China.

 
 
 



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