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Author: Tan KW   |   Latest post: Sun, 25 Oct 2020, 9:40 PM


Death toll among Armenian troops rises to 974 since start of conflict: Karabakh ministry

Author: Tan KW   |  Publish date: Sun, 25 Oct 2020, 9:40 PM

MOSCOW - The defence ministry of the Nagorno-Karabakh region said on Sunday it had recorded another 11 casualties among its forces, pushing the military death toll to 974 since fighting with Azeri forces erupted on Sept. 27.

Fighting over the disputed territory has surged to its worst level since the 1990s, when some 30,000 people were killed.


  - Reuters


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Hungary’s coronavirus daily tally tops 3,000 for first time

Author: Tan KW   |  Publish date: Sun, 25 Oct 2020, 9:40 PM

BUDAPEST, Oct 25 — Hungary reported 3,149 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, its highest single-day tally and jumping above 3,000 for the first time, the government said.

The total number of cases rose to 59,247 in the country of 10 million, with 35 new deaths taking that total to 1,425. 


 - Reuters


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Indonesia: Covid-19 cases escalating; inmates in Bali test positive as 253 medical staff confirmed dead during pandemic

Author: Tan KW   |  Publish date: Sun, 25 Oct 2020, 9:40 PM

JAKARTA, Oct 25 : The Covid-19 (coronavirus) issues in Indonesia is escalating. The country reported 3,732 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, official data from the health ministry showed, taking the country's total number of cases to 389,712.

The data showed that the country had 94 additional deaths from the virus, taking the total number of fatalities to 13,299. On Saturday, WHO confirmed that Indonesia's total cases and death toll is the highest in South-East Asia and among the highest in Asia.

The government of Indonesia's capital city Jakarta said in a statement earlier on Sunday that it will extend mass social restriction measures introduced to curb the spread of the virus until Nov 8.

It was also announced that as many as 253 medical staff members in Indonesia have died during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to an official on Sunday.

"The loss of medical staff members is irreplaceable in a short time," said Eka Mulyana, a member of the mitigation team of the Indonesian Medical Association.

Of the total number, 141 were doctors, nine dentists, and 103 nurses.

Of the 141 doctors, 75 were general practitioners, 64 specialists and two residents.

Meanwhile, more than 100 inmates at Kerobokan Prison in Badung regency, Bali, tested positive for Covid-19 as of Saturday (Oct 24).

Of the 106 infected prisoners, 84 are men.

All of them are currently being isolated in the Kuta block of the penitentiary.

“(The number of confirmed cases) might still be increasing because we are still waiting for more test results, ” the Law and Human Rights Ministry’s Bali office spokesperson, I Putu Surya Dharma, said on Saturday.

He added that the prison conducted more Covid-19 swab tests on 136 inmates whose rapid antibody tests had come out reactive.

Prison authorities discovered a Covid-19 cluster in the penitentiary after carrying out mass virus antibody rapid testing from Monday to Wednesday, after several inmates complained of symptoms related to the coronavirus, such as loss of smell and taste.

The results came out reactive for more than 630 prisoners. Bali has recorded 11,279 confirmed Covid-19 cases as of Saturday. Kerobokan Prison has been placed under lockdown and will not be accepting any new prisoners.

Visits are currently prohibited but inmates can still receive food packages from their families.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, the Law and Human Rights Ministry’s corrections directorate general has been struggling to prevent Covid-19 transmissions in penitentiaries due to overcrowding and understaffing.

A Covid-19 cluster was recently discovered in a penitentiary in Jambi, with authorities reporting at least 31 infected prisoners on Oct 15.

 - ANN


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Hungary's coronavirus daily tally tops 3,000 for first time

Author: Tan KW   |  Publish date: Sun, 25 Oct 2020, 9:39 PM

BUDAPEST - Hungary reported 3,149 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, its highest single-day tally and jumping above 3,000 for the first time, the government said.

The total number of cases rose to 59,247 in the country of 10 million, with 35 new deaths taking the total to 1,425.

Although coronavirus cases have been rising sharply since late August, Hungary's nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban is seeking to avoid a repeat of the spring lockdown that sent the economy crashing by 13.6% in the second quarter.

Hungarian schools are operating as normal, and apart from closing borders to foreigners, the government has not imposed significant limitations on events.

Orban's cabinet chief Gergely Gulyas said on Thursday that the government planned no new restrictions to curb the spread of the virus and that schools would open as usual after the autumn break which ends on Nov. 1.

"The government is committed to keep schools running as normal," Gulyas said.


  - Reuters


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Venezuelan opposition politician Lopez to arrive in Spain on Sunday: sources

Author: Tan KW   |  Publish date: Sun, 25 Oct 2020, 9:39 PM

MADRID - Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo Lopez will arrive in Spain on Sunday, after spending the past year at the Spanish ambassador's residence in Venezuela to escape house arrest, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Lopez’s party, Popular Will, did not say how he left Venezuela, but two people familiar with the matter said he travelled via Colombia.

Lopez was jailed in 2014 after leading protests against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. He was released to house arrest in 2017.

From house arrest, he was a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaido, who early last year invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency and began a campaign to unseat Maduro.

In April 2019, when Guaido tried to spur a military revolt against Maduro, Lopez appeared on the streets again alongside him. When the uprising fizzled, Lopez sought shelter first in the Chilean diplomatic residence and then at the home of the Spanish ambassador.

Lopez’s wife, Lilian Tintori, who had joined him at the Spanish ambassador's residence, left for Spain in May 2019, along with their daughter.


  - Reuters


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French COVID tracing app needs more downloads to be effective: minister

Author: Tan KW   |  Publish date: Sun, 25 Oct 2020, 9:39 PM

PARIS - France's new COVID-19 contact-tracing app needs to be downloaded by at least 20% of the population to be effective but is far from reaching that level for now, the minister for digital affairs said on Sunday.

On Oct. 22, France relaunched its "StopCovid" tracing app and renamed it "Tous Anti-Covid" (all against Covid), which has since seen an additional 1.2 million downloads for a total number of about 4 million.

"For the application to be efficient, about 20% of the population, or 15 to 20 million people, need to download it," Digital Affairs Minister Cedrid O said on franceinfo radio.

He said similar apps were working well in Britain, Germany and Canada but gave no examples of successful contact tracing in France with the app.

Many in France have been reluctant to download the app over privacy concerns, despite the government's reassurances that the data will not be used for any other purpose than stopping the pandemic.

O said the app would be a crucial tool in preventing the spread of infection once France ends a curfew imposed on two-thirds of the population in an effort to rein in contagion.

The app works with bluetooth and warns users if they have been within one metre (3.3 feet) of an infected person for at least 15 minutes.

"It does mean that you need to have your bluetooth on and that the other person is also using the app," O said.

President Emmanuel Macron said in mid-October that the previously used app had not worked well and that users of the new one would be instructed to switch it on only when they are in close proximity with other people, like on the subway or at parties, and that it made no sense to leave it on all the time.

Prime Minister Jean Castex said last month that he had not downloaded his government's coronavirus contact-tracing app because he does not take the metro.

On Saturday, France registered a new record of more than 45,000 coronavirus infections over a 24-hour period.


 - Reuters

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