Shanghai student attends online classes amid virus-induced school closure

UNTV News   •   March 3, 2020   •   741

Shanghai has required all schools to remain closed amid an ongoing coronavirus outbreak in the country, which has killed more than 2,900 people in mainland China and spread to more than 60 countries around the world.

Time off from school might not be as interesting as Sha Jie, a third grader in Shanghai, thought it would be. He has spent most of his time at home since early January when Chinese authorities started to implement strict policies that limited public activities, including going to school.

Sha Jie said to Reuters: “I still prefer offline lessons because there is more interaction with my classmates.”

Sha’s mother, Zhang Xingmei, worries about the prolonged period of online schooling for her child as she says that normal lessons may only resume on May 1.

“It won’t affect the children much if we have them do online courses for just one or two weeks. At the start he might feel it’s fresh and be full of energy. But if it lasts for one or two months, and you hand over electronic gadgets like the iPad to him, he could easily be wandering,” she said.

She also expressed concern about the shortened class time in the online material provided, as compared to normal classes her child attends in school.

The new coronavirus appears to now be spreading much more rapidly outside China than within, and airports in hard-hit countries were ramping up screening of travellers.

World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said almost eight times as many cases had been reported outside China as inside in the previous 24 hours, adding that the risk of coronavirus spreading was now very high at a global level.

The global death toll exceeded 3,000, with the number of dead in Italy jumping by 18 to 52. Latvia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal and Morocco reported cases for the first time, bringing the total to more than 60 countries with the illness known as COVID-19. (Reuters Connect)

(Production: Xihao Jiang, Fang Nanlin)

Duterte wants government-to-government deal for COVID-19 vaccines

Maris Federez   •   October 27, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Tuesday that he is more inclined to having a government-to-government deal in procuring coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines to prevent the risk of corruption.

The chief executive reiterated that the country will not beg other nations for access to vaccines, and that he favors purchasing vaccines from China or Russia. The two countries have submitted their applications to conduct clinical trials for their inoculations in the Philippines.

Hindi kami hihingi (we will not beg), we will pay,” Duterte said in a taped address to the nation aired on Tuesday (Oct. 27).

So maganda sana government to government ang transaction. Walang korapsyon, wala lahat kasi government to government (It would be better for the transaction to be government-to-government. No corruption, no nothing because its government-to-government),” he said.

Duterte also said that he had a meeting with Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian on the status of their vaccine.

“We had a meeting with Ambassador Huang. He said the vaccine is there. It would be a matter of paano i-distribute (the manner of distribution) and what kind of transaction would it be for them and for us,” he said.

China’s Sinovac Biotech shall be starting the late-stage trials of its vaccine in the Philippines in November after the Food and Drug Administration has completed the evaluation of its application.

The Philippine government is also evaluating Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen unit for their application to conduct the Phase 3 trials of their COVID-19 vaccine.

Philippine authorities are also in talks with drugmaker Pfizer Inc. and with Moderna Inc. as potential suppliers.

The government has initially allotted $400 million to buy 40 million doses for 20 million Filipinos, as part of the administration’s plan to have the entire population inoculated.

As of Sunday (Oct. 25), the Philippines recorded 2,223 new coronavirus infections, and 43 more fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 370,028 cases, and 6,977 deaths. —/mbmf

PH COVID-19 cases now over 213K

Maris Federez   •   August 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday, August 29, reported that the number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases is now at 213,131.

Of the confirmed cases, 74,611 (35.0%) are active cases.

The health department likewise announced the recorded 627 recoveries, bringing the total number of recoveries to 135,101

There were also 94 recorded deaths, which is now summed at 3,419.

The DOH said these numbers undergo constant cleaning and validation.

Meanwhile, the health department said that it has received reports that several lists containing names of COVID-19 positive patients have been released publicly and have been shared on social media.

In a statement, the DOH reiterated “that while RA 11332 (Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act) provides public health authorities the statutory right to access personal information to enable effective response, it also requires said authorities to ensure patient privacy and confidentiality of the personal information entrusted to them.”

The statement added that “relevant information should only be shared to concerned public health authorities who are knowledgeable of their duty in maintaining data privacy.” —/mbmf

Vietnam to evacuate 80,000 people from Danang after virus outbreak

UNTV News   •   July 28, 2020

Vietnam is evacuating 80,000 people, mostly local tourists, from the central tourism hot spot of Danang on Monday (July 27) after three residents tested positive for the coronavirus on the weekend, the government said.

The Southeast Asian country is back on high alert after the government on Saturday (July 25) confirmed its first community infections since April, and another three cases on Sunday (July 26), all in and around Danang.

The evacuation will take at least four days with domestic airlines operating approximately 100 flights daily from Danang to 11 Vietnamese cities, the government said in a statement.

Vietnam has imposed strict quarantine measures and carried out an aggressive and widespread testing programme during the pandemic, keeping its total tally of reported infections to just 420, with no deaths. =

Vietnam is still closed to foreign tourism, but saw a surge in domestic travellers looking to take advantage of discounted flights and holiday packages for local hotels and resorts. Those arriving from Danang to other parts of the country would be required to quarantine at home for 14 days, the health ministry said. Following the discovery of the new cases, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ordered police to step up a crackdown on illegal immigration to the country.

State media on Sunday said police in Danang had arrested a 42-year-old Chinese man it said was the head of a criminal group which helps people illegally enter Vietnam from China.

Authorities have not officially linked the new cases in Danang to illegal immigration. The government said in a separate statement on Monday that authorities in Ha Giang province, which borders China, had caught more than 1,500 people illegally crossing into the province since May. Most of those caught were Vietnamese citizens, the statement said, and were quarantined. (Reuters)

(Production: Minh Nguyen)

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