UK to suspend Hong Kong extradition treaty amid China tensions

UNTV News   •   July 21, 2020   •   541

Britain announced on Monday (July 20) it will suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong in an escalation of its dispute with China over the introduction of a national security law for the former British colony.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told parliament the extradition treaty will be suspended immediately and an arms embargo will be extended to Hong Kong.

“We will not consider reactivating those arrangements, unless and until, there are clear and robust safeguards, which are able to prevent extradition from the UK being misused under the new national security legislation,” Raab said.

The ban is another nail in the coffin of what then Prime Minister David Cameron in 2015 cast as a “golden era” of ties with China, the world’s second-largest economy.

London has been dismayed by a crackdown in Hong Kong, which returned to Chinese rule in 1997, and the perception that China did not tell the whole truth over the coronavirus outbreak.

Australia and Canada suspended extradition treaties with Hong Kong earlier this month. (Reuters)

(Production: Lucy Marks, Marissa Davison)

UK declines PH offer to deploy more Filipino nurses in exchange for vaccines

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The United Kingdom (UK) government has declined the offer of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to deploy more nurses to the UK in exchange for vaccines.

UK Ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce said the recruitment of nurses and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines are two separate issues.

“We’ve got no plans to link vaccines with those conversations around the recruitment of nurses. You know those two strands of conversation I think continue but as I’ve said again we have no plans to link those two issues,” he said during a virtual conference.

DOLE Silvestre Bello III proposed forming an agreement with the UK to lift the deployment cap of healthcare workers, provided the UK would allocate vaccines for them. Bello also made the same proposal with Germany.

DOLE Information and Publication Service (IPS) Director Rolly Francia clarified the proposal was to make sure the nurses are safe when deployed abroad and not for the country to have additional supply of COVID-19 vaccines. This was after the proposal drew ire for making nurses look like ‘commodities’ to be exchanged for vaccines.

“What Secretary Bello wants is to ensure that the nurse gets vaccinated if ever the request for an exemption in the cap would be granted by the President,” Francia said.

Nevertheless, Ambassador Pruce said he will meet with Bello in the coming weeks to further discuss the issue. AAC (with reports from Janice Ingente)

Swab results of close contacts of Pinay with UK COVID-19 variant, to be out soon

Marje Pelayo   •   January 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) said it has already tested the close contacts of the Filipina domestic helper who tested positive for the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) variant in Hong Kong.

The results of the genome sequencing on her samples will be out this week.

Meanwhile, the government was able to trace all of her contacts and they are all under quarantine and being monitored.

“Lahat po sila mino-monitor. Nakakuha na rin po tayo sa kanila ng (All of them are being monitored. We also collected from them) specimens for RT-PCR at the same time for the whole genome sequencing,” explained Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

“So pinoproseso na po ngayon ang kanilang mga samples at maaaring bukas o sa Huwebes ay lumabas na po ang mga resulta nito (Their samples are now being processed and perhaps tomorrow or Thursday, the results will be out),” she added.

So far, the Philippines has yet to detect the new variant inside its borders. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Case of new COVID-19 variant detected in HK is a Filipina from Cagayan Valley — DOH

Marje Pelayo   •   January 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday (January 6) released additional information about the carrier of a new COVID-19 variant detected in Hong Kong.

According to a report provided by the Hong Kong International Health Regulations National Focal Point in collaboration with the country’s Center for Health Development, the case is a 30-year-old Filipino from Cagayan Valley.

The report said the Filipina left the region on December 17, 2020 and upon arrival in Metro Manila on December 18, underwent quarantine as per workplace protocol. The following day she was tested using RT-PCR which yielded negative result.

She left for Hong Kong on December 22 and underwent quarantine after arrival. After 10 days on January 2, she underwent RT-PCR testing again which tested positive and detected with the new COVID-19 variant from the UK.

Hong Kong authorities said she remains in isolation and in stable condition.

Contact tracing is underway here in the Philippines, the DOH said, as the flight manifest has been obtained while the agency is awaiting the result of contact tracing being done by their counterparts in Hong Kong.

“There is also ongoing contact tracing by the concerned epidemiology and surveillance units in Cagayan Valley Region and NCR,” the DOH concluded.

No photo description available.

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