Bat curry remains popular in Indonesia despite coronavirus outbreak

UNTV News   •   February 11, 2020   •   766

Business is brisk at restaurants in Indonesia’s Manado which serve bats, a local delicacy, undaunted by a coronavirus outbreak that is reported to have started at a live exotic animal market in China.

Media reports have suggested that bats, snakes and more recently pangolins are at the root of the epidemic which sees its epicentre in the central Chinese province of Hubei.

Viral experts speculate the virus may have originated in bats and then was passed on to humans possibly via another species.

But in Manado on Sulawesi island, bat vendors say they have not seen a slowdown in sales despite local media reports saying many restuarants were going to stop serving bat dishes in the city.

Stewed in spices and coconut milk, the local dish “paniki”, is popular among locals. In some parts of Indonesia, bat meat is used as medicine as locals believe it will cure asthma.

Many locals were confident that the virus was not circulating in the city and were therefore, not worried.

“We eat these kinds of food frequently,” said customer Vena Kasegar after she finished a plate full of bat stew. “God decides whether we get sick or not.”

The virus has spread to at least 27 countries and territories, according to a Reuters count based on official reports. But the virus has not been found yet in Indonesia. (Reuters)

(Production: Jeffry, Heru Asprihanto, Wahyuwidi Cinthya, Angie Teo)

Air quality in Beijing improves due to coronavirus lockdown

UNTV News   •   April 6, 2020

As the whole world is struggling to fight the coronavirus pandemic, one of the unexpected outcomes for Chinese people is more clean skies.

China had a significant decrease in nitrogen dioxide pollution in cities like Beijing during February, when factories and streets were closed as authorities attempted to stop the spread of the virus, according to the European Space Agency (ESA) Copernicus satellite image.

Analysis by Greenpeace shows that the pollutant emissions in Beijing and its surrounding areas dropped by more than 40% year-on-year in February.

Compared to previous years, the air in the capital has seen a big improvement during the outbreak. Streets and landmarks are no longer covered in smog.

Beijing resident Liu Chuan takes this as a potential health benefit, saying that he could even see stars at night after work.

“It feels like the air is overall much less polluted than it used to be. It also improves people’s mood, and indirectly strengthens the immunity. It’s good for fighting the virus,” added Liu.

However, expert warns the air pollution and carbon emissions may soon reappear as Chinese factories are ramping up output in an effort to offset the economic hit of coronavirus.

“We can’t rule out the possibility that it may cause air pollution frequently if a large scale of high-polluting industries resume production,” said Lyn Liu, a Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner. (Reuters)

(Production: Irene Wang, Shubing Wang, Joyce Zhou, Natalie Thomas)

China advises foreign diplomats to stop coming to Beijing

UNTV News   •   April 3, 2020

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying

China’s foreign ministry is advising foreign diplomats to stop coming to Beijing, after the country temporarily banned most foreigners from entering to prevent a resurgence of a coronavirus epidemic, a spokeswoman said on Friday (April 3).

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters during a daily briefing that the ministry was aware of confirmed coronavirus cases among foreign diplomats in China.

Mainland China reported 31 new confirmed coronavirus cases, 29 of which were imported from overseas, the country’s National Health Commission said on Friday.

The total number of infections now stands at 81,620 and 3,322 deaths have been reported from mainland China to date. (Reuters)

(Production: Shubing Wang, Irene Wang)

Teenage boy dies in London after testing positive for coronavirus

UNTV News   •   April 1, 2020

A 13-year-old boy in London who tested positive for coronavirus has died, a hospital said on Tuesday (March 31).

“Sadly, a 13-year old boy who tested positive for COVID-19 has passed away, and our thoughts and condolences are with the family at this time,” King’s College Hospital said in a statement.

“The death has been referred to the coroner and no further comment will be made.”

The number of deaths from coronavirus in the United Kingdom rose by 27% as the UK government said 1,789 people have died in hospitals as of 1600 GMT on Monday, an increase of 381 from Sunday, the largest rise in absolute terms yet. (Reuters)

(Production: Gerry Mey, Michael Fiorentino)

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