Italy recorded almost 1,000 deaths from the virus on Friday, the worst one-day toll anywhere around the world since the pandemic began. It came as Italy recorded almost 1,000 deaths from the virus on Friday — the worst one-day toll anywhere around the world since the pandemic began. Spain too said its rate of new infections appeared to be slowing — despite also reporting its deadliest day. Meanwhile, other countries across the world were bracing for the virus's full impact, with AFP tallies showing more than 26,000 deaths globally. In New York City, the US epicentre of the crisis, health workers battled a surging toll, including an increasing number of younger patients.
March 28, 2020 05:47 UTC
'Corona criminals' prey on Europe's virus fearsCriminals are finding burglary and drug smuggling difficult due to the coronavirus -- so they are going onlineTHE HAGUE - From trafficking dodgy surgical masks to peddling counterfeit medicines and running internet scams, criminals are finding ways to profit from the coronavirus crisis, European police warn. Instead they are preying on people's fears of the COVID-19 pandemic to sell them substandard protective goods or trick people out of their cash online, warned Europe's police agency Europol. "Criminals are just interested in one question: 'how can I make more money? Police around the world seized 34,000 counterfeit surgical masks in one major operation targeting so-called "corona criminals" earlier this month, Europol said in a report Friday. With families confined to their homes, there are also fears of a surge in domestic violence.
March 28, 2020 05:37 UTC
Stop racial discrimination, fight the bug insteadThe Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world in many ways. Among the several implications on humanity is the lesser talked about issue of racial or ethnic discrimination which has inherent psychological impacts. Interestingly, racial discrimination has been witnessed in the two largest democracies -- the US and India. India, the world's largest democracy, has had its own problem of racial discrimination. Regardless, discrimination or segregation should not have a place in this globalised world of inter-connectedness and dependence on each other.
March 28, 2020 04:47 UTC
All Blacks doubt July Tests will go aheadWith New Zealand in lockdown until the end of April at least All Blacks coach Ian Foster conceded the July home Tests against Wales and Scotland are likely to be scrappedWELLINGTON: All Blacks coach Ian Foster conceded Saturday the July home Tests against Wales and Scotland are likely to be scrapped as borders are locked down in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The official word from the three countries is that the Tests "are still planned for" but Foster said he cannot see them going ahead. While rugby is on hold, Foster's coaching team and players face pay cuts as New Zealand Rugby looks to trim costs. With rugby, when there's no games there's no revenue, and that's a tough thing," he said. But when the restrictions are eased, Foster will be pushing for as much game time as the All Blacks can get.
March 28, 2020 04:07 UTC
VW gives racy SUV plug-in hybrid powerTouareg R employs 3.0-litre V6 engine and electric motors for a combined 462hp of power. This powertrain is currently used in the E-Hybrid, the other plug-in hybrid in the Cayenne range other than the Turbo S E-Hybrid. Actually, the Lamborghini Urus is also set to go plug-in hybrid in the future. BTW, don’t expect the Touareg R to be sold in Thailand. While the Cayenne E-Hybrid is currently selling for 6.3 million baht, the Bentayga is expected to cost around 15 million baht.
March 28, 2020 03:11 UTC
(Reuters Photo)A US-based pharmaceutical company says it has developed a portable test that can tell if someone has Covid-19 in as little as five minutes. Abbott Laboratories said the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had given it emergency authorisation to begin making the test available to healthcare providers as early as next week. The test, which is the size of a small toaster and uses molecular technology, also shows negative results within 13 minutes, the company said in a statement. “The Covid-19 pandemic will be fought on multiple fronts, and a portable molecular test that offers results in minutes adds to the broad range of diagnostic solutions needed to combat this virus,” said Abbott president and chief operating officer Robert Ford. The company cautioned that the test has not been cleared or approved by the FDA, and has only been authorised for emergency use by approved labs and healthcare providers.
March 28, 2020 03:00 UTC
Fears of domestic violence rise amid lockdownsWith families across Europe confined to their homes to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, fears are rising of a surge in domestic violenceBERLIN: With families across Europe confined to their homes to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, fears are rising of a surge in domestic violence. From Berlin to Paris, Madrid, Rome and Bratislava, associations that help victims of domestic violence have sounded the alarm after Europe overtook China to become the epicentre of the pandemic. But the stress caused by social isolation is exacerbating tensions and increasing "the risk of domestic and sexual violence against women and children", the association warns. For children, young people and women who are victims of domestic violence -- mental or physical -- the current situation means "being constantly available" for abuse by the perpetrator, the German federation stresses. If it goes on for several months, "I can't imagine how much more domestic violence could increase," she warns.
March 28, 2020 03:00 UTC
A sense of humor is very important," said Mario Sepulveda, one of 33 Chilean miners who spent more than two months trapped nearly half a mile underground at the San Jose mine in northern Chile. the upbeat Sepulveda told AFP. "Let's do what we are told, it is super important," Sepulveda said about social distancing and hand-washing requirements. In the first one I experienced, it was 70 days in the Andes mountains but without any resources -- 25 degrees below zero, without food, without communication. And I was 18 years old," Paez told AFP.
March 28, 2020 02:15 UTC
Stranded by virus lockdown, India migrant workers walk homeMillions of migrant workers have been left jobless and penniless in India after a shutdown that has sparked an exodus from major citiesNEW DELHI - With India locked down over the coronavirus and no way to earn money, Dilipji Thakor faces a grim choice: either walk home or die hungry. Thakor is among millions of migrant workers left jobless and penniless by the full shutdown of the country on Wednesday that has sparked an exodus from major cities. - Thousands on the move -There are usually around 100 million unskilled or semi-skilled migrant workers in India, according to a government survey for 2016-17 -- around a fifth of the country's workforce. -India announced Thursday a $23 billion welfare package to help its poorest citizens with direct cash transfers and food subsidies that extends to migrant workers. But there remains the dire rural poverty and lack of jobs that drove the migrant workers away in the first place.
March 28, 2020 01:30 UTC
Pope faces coronavirus 'tempest' alone in St Peter's SquareIn a historic first, the pope said prayers to an empty Saint Peter's SquareVATICAN CITY - Pope Francis stood alone in vast Saint Peter's Square Friday to bless Catholics around the world suffering under the coronavirus pandemic, urging people to ease their fears through faith. He described the coronavirus "tempest" which he said had put everybody "in the same boat". And at the end of the service, Francis granted Catholics the chance to have a rare remission for the punishment of sins. On Friday, that crucifix was placed in front of Saint Peter's. The Vatican has only officially reported four positive cases of the coronavirus within the tiny city state, without confirming the alleged case in the guest house.
March 28, 2020 00:47 UTC
Hotels face grim prospectsSiam skytrain station, usually one of Bangkok's busiest mass transit interchanges, has been nearly empty since shopping malls and hotels closed temporarily this week. Without guests, hotel operators will be hard pressed to stay in business for longer than three months, Ms Supawan said. The hotel occupancy rate for the first half of March for hotels in Phuket beach areas stood at 60%, according to bookings. "Even during the tragic 2004 tsunami in Phuket, our hotels still had a 30% occupancy rate," Mr Suksit said. The two largest hotel operators in Thailand, Minor Hotels and Asset World Corp, have temporarily closed hotels in Bangkok and virus-hit areas to help prevent the disease from spreading.
March 24, 2020 23:26 UTC
App orders projected to see 17% growthA Grab Food order is organised. Varuth HirunyathebKasikorn Research Center (K-Research) projects 17% growth for online food delivery through apps this year as the coronavirus outbreak has discouraged people from visiting restaurants. "The coronavirus pandemic has stimulated growth in online food delivery. In the first half of this year, the food delivery business is seeing a surge, mainly because of the outbreak, with competition rife among delivery apps. "The rise in food delivery revenues is not sufficient to offset lower restaurant revenues," he said.
Borders reopen for 2nd dayThailand was forced to open its borders in the North and Northeast for a second day running as thousands of migrant workers from Myanmar and Laos demanded to cross over despite the temporary shutdown measures against Covid-19. The growing number of workers demanding to cross forced border checkpoints on both sides to open. The weather was so hot that one worker fainted while waiting for the borders to open. Meanwhile, more than 1,000 Lao workers were allowed to cross the second Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge in Mukdahan province for a second day running. Officials required all workers to undergo thermal-scanning and queue up to wash their hands during the departure process.
Many campaigns have been launched to raise funds to buy protective equipment for medical staff to help tackle Covid-19 and save lives. "Large hospitals like King Chulalongkorn Memorial, Ramathibodi and Chakrinarubodin Medical Institute need at least 100 N95 masks each day," he said. Since his campaign kicked off on Monday, he has received pledges for 1,700 N95 masks. Earlier this week, the Ramathibodi Foundation, Siriraj Foundation and Rajavithi Hospital each called for donations for the purchase of medical equipment and supplies, especially ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE). It is scheduled to send another 800 PPE suits to hospitals in Bangkok, Chon Buri and Chiang Mai.
Hurry up with aid for poor, TDRI urgesThe Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) has called on the government to speed up the creation of a comprehensive package for low-income people who have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The aid should be calculated in relation to the number of members in a subscriber's family. The TDRI team has also called on the Finance Ministry to run a thorough census check and compare this data with the one used for determining those eligible for welfare cards. Meanwhile, those not qualifying for the aid include individuals who own a house or land worth more than 3 million baht, have savings of more than 100,000 baht or earn more than 15,000 baht a month. So far, some 6 million to 7 million families fall below the poverty line and need assistance.