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Philippines

Philippines 'ill-prepared' as it grapples with coronavirus threat

in Philippines

Staff at a hospital in Manila prepare the equipment of an isolation tent installed for patients who will manifest symptoms that could be investigated for coronavirus [Rolex dela Pena/EPA]

Manila, Philippines – The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has now killed more than 1,800 people and infected more than 72,000 others since it was first detected in China‘s city of Wuhan in December.

In the Philippines, where the first death outside of China was reported, the government has faced intense criticism over its handling of the outbreak, and its decision to allow direct flights from China despite the lockdown in Hubei province, the epicentre of the epidemic.

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A jittery public erupted in anger after it was revealed that the 44-year-old Wuhan resident, who later died, and a female companion, visited three cities in the Philippines before they were both tested positive of the virus in the capital,

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/philippines-ill-prepared-grapples-coronavirus-threat-200218004321154.html

Photo Credit: Aljazeera

China coronavirus outbreak: All the latest updates

in Philippines

The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in mainland China reached at least 1,863 as of the end of Monday, with additional 93 deaths reported from Hubei, the epicenter of the epidemic, according to calculations using the data provided by the province’s health commission on Tuesday. 

The provincial health commission also reported an additional 1,807 new infections from Hubei, bringing the nationwide total to at least 72,355.

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The news comes as the Beijing-based financial and news media organisation, Caixin, reported on Tuesday that more than 3,000 Chinese healthcare workers may have already been infected by the coronavirus, almost twice as many as the numbers reported by the government.

A report published on Monday by Al Jazeera detailed the difficulties nurses and doctors are facing in Wuhan, as they try to help contain the spread of the disease.

According to the report, 1,716 health care workers were infected, citing a government statement

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/cloneofcloneof200215224437270-200216231809757-200217231044837.html

Photo Credit: Aljazeera

Swine fever: 'Double punch' for countries facing COVID-19 threat

in Philippines

A barge carrying pigs from Pulau Balan, Indonesia, enters the riverway to a slaughterhouse in Singapore [File: Edgar Su/Reuters]

Bali, Indonesia – As fears over the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, continue to dominate the headlines, a second virus affecting China’s swine industry is also spreading throughout the Asia Pacific region, threatening not only the lives of the affected animals but also the livelihood of farmers who raise them.

African swine fever (ASF) is a contagious disease that affects domestic and wild pigs, causing high fever, respiratory problems, internal bleeding and skin haemorrhages. While it rarely infects humans, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), it kills 80 percent of the pigs it infects.

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The disease is resistant to freezing, thawing and most commercial disinfectants, and there is no vaccine for it. It can spread through non-biological objects like shoes and clothing.

Last year, ASF

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/swine-fever-double-punch-countries-facing-covid-19-threat-200217050557166.html

Photo Credit: Aljazeera

China coronavirus outbreak: All the latest updates

in Philippines

Hubei announced tough new measures to try to curb the outbreak on Sunday, ordering its cities to block roads to all private vehicles [China Daily/Reuters]

China’s province of Hubei, the epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic, reported 100 new deaths and 1,933 new cases on February 16, the local health authority said on Monday.

The Hubei health commission said the total number of deaths in the province has reached 1,696, while the number of infections hit 58,182.

Nationwide, the number of deaths has now reached 1,765, while the number of infections has hit at least 70,433.

The province announced tough new measures to try to curb the outbreak on Sunday, ordering its cities to block roads to all private vehicles.

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Meanwhile on Sunday, the United States evacuated its citizens from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship, which has been docked at Japan’s Yokohama port for more than a week in a

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/cloneof200215224437270-200216231809757.html

Photo Credit: Aljazeera

China coronavirus outbreak: All the latest updates

in Philippines

The death toll from China’s coronavirus epidemic jumped past 1,600 on Sunday, as the World Health Organization (WHO) praised the country’s efforts to contain the new disease, saying they have “bought the world time” and that other nations must make the most of it.

France, meanwhile, reported Europe’s first death from the infection, a Chinese tourist from Hubei province, where the disease, known as COVID-19, emerged in December.

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More than two dozen countries have confirmed cases and several have suspended trade and travel links with China in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of WHO, urged governments to step up their efforts to prepare for the virus, saying: “It’s impossible to predict which direction this epidemic will take.”

The agency is “concerned by the continued increase in the number of cases in China”, and by reports about the number of health

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/200215224437270.html

Photo Credit: Aljazeera

Will media freedom in the Philippines survive?

in Philippines

It has been described as the most severe attack on media freedom in the Philippines

President Rodrigo Duterte has filed a Supreme Court petition to shut down ABS-CBN, the country’s largest television network, accusing it of committing “highly abusive practices”.

Duterte has repeatedly pledged to stop the network’s operations and has threatened other media outlets.

In a protest on Friday, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines accused the Duterte government of trying to silence media critics.

So will freedom of speech survive in one of Asia’s largest democracies?

Presenter: Folly Bah Thibault

Guests:

Harry Roque – Former spokesman for Duterte and lawyer

Richard Heydarian – Political scientist, author of, The Rise of Duterte: a Populist Revolt Against Elite Democracy

Danilo Arao – Professor of journalism, University of the Philippines

Source: Al Jazeera News

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidestory/2020/02/media-freedom-philippines-survive-200215191538615.html

Photo Credit: Aljazeera

Chinese tourist in France is Europe's first coronavirus death

in Philippines

France was the first European country to record coronavirus infections [File: Francois Mori/AP Photo]

An elderly Chinese tourist in France has died after contracting the COVID-19 coronavirus, becoming the first fatality outside of the Asia-Pacific region in an epidemic that has killed more than 1,500 people in mainland China.

The 80-year-old man, who was from the central Hubei province where the virus originated late last year, arrived in France on January 16, French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn told reporters on Saturday. 

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The man – whose name has not been made public – was hospitalised in Paris, where his condition quickly deteriorated. He was in a critical condition for several days before dying from a lung infection brought on by the virus.

“This is the first fatality by the coronavirus outside Asia, the first death in Europe,” said Buzyn, who was informed of the man’s death late on Friday.

“We have

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/chinese-tourist-france-europe-coronavirus-death-200215152240577.html

Photo Credit: Aljazeera

Speaking up about the coronavirus – but at what cost?

in Philippines

On The Listening Post this week: For a moment, China saw public anger and real news reporting about the coronavirus go uncensored. How come? Plus, the sound and fury of India’s news anchors.

Speaking up about the coronavirus – but at what cost?

The death of Li Wenliang, a doctor in Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, has caused collective outrage online.

Li was amongst the first to raise the alarm. He was then taken into custody and forced to confess to wrongdoing – spreading rumours – essentially for doing his job.

It is rare for the Chinese to openly criticise the government; rarer still when those criticisms on social media are not instantly deleted by censors.

And for Chinese journalists, there was a temporary window that opened for some hard-hitting investigative reporting. It appears that that window has since been closed – replaced by

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/listeningpost/2020/02/speaking-coronavirus-cost-200215110918298.html

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China coronavirus outbreak: All the latest updates

in Philippines

The death toll from the new coronavirus epidemic in China surged past 1,500 on Saturday after 139 more people died in Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak.

State Councillor Wang Yi, who also serves as China’s foreign minister, acknowledged that the infection, now known as COVID-19, was a huge challenge, but defended Beijing’s management of the epidemic and lashed out at the “overreaction” of some countries.

“Through our efforts the epidemic is overall under control,” he told the Reuters news agency on Friday. 

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More than two dozen countries have confirmed cases and several nations have suspended trade and travel links with China in a bid to contain the virus. Three deaths have been recorded outside mainland China – one in Hong Kong one in the Philippines, and the most recent in Japan.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned the virus poses a “grave threat” to the world, with chief Tedros

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/clone.of.cloneofchina-coronavirus-outbreak-latest-.html

Photo Credit: Aljazeera

Egypt confirms coronavirus case, the first in Africa

in Philippines

The virus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December last year [File: Yuan Zheng/EPA-EFE]

Egypt has confirmed its first case of a deadly coronavirus that emerged in central China at the end of last year and has since spread to more than two dozen countries around the world.

Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Mugahed said in a statement on Friday that the affected person was a “foreigner” who did not show any serious symptoms.

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Officials were able to confirm the case through a follow-up programme implemented by the government for travellers arriving from countries where the virus has spread.

The ministry statement said the person was hospitalised and in isolation. It did not specify the person’s nationality or their point of entry.

The development made Egypt the first country in the African continent to report a confirmed case, and the second in the Middle East

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/egypt-confirms-coronavirus-case-africa-200214190840134.html

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Analysis: Are coronavirus figures from China credible?

in Philippines

Coronavirus has killed at least 1,380 people with nearly all deaths in mainland China.

At least 25 countries have confirmed cases and several nations have evacuated their citizens from Hubei province.

Three deaths have been recorded outside mainland China, one in Hong Kong, one in the Philippines, and the most recent in Japan.

Stephen Vines is a journalist and author of Hong Kong: China’s New Colony.

He joins us on Skype from Hong Kong.

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/analysis-coronavirus-figures-china-credible-200214094514898.html

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Duterte administration hints at US: All treaties must go

in Philippines

US President Donald Trump has shrugged off Duterte’s decision, saying it would save money [File: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will not entertain any initiatives of US President Donald Trump to save a two-decade-old military agreement between the two countries, and favours the termination of all defence deals with the United States, including the Mutual Defense Treaty, his spokesman has declared.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo told reporters in Manila on Thursday that “reading the body language” of Duterte, it is “logical” what he wants to do next.

“To be consistent with his stand, then all treaties must go,” Panelo said. 

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“If he says that we have to stand on our own and not rely [on others] that means we’ll have to strengthen our own resources. We don’t need other countries,” Panelo explained in a mix of Filipino and English.

On Tuesday, Duterte had formally announced the termination

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/duterte-administration-hints-treaties-200214040114829.html

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Coronavirus outbreak maroons dream vacations of thousands

in Philippines

Hong Kong – The fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak has upended the dream vacations at sea for thousands of passengers.

The 2,257 passengers and crew abroad MS Westerdam heaved a sigh of relief when they finally saw land from their cabin windows and set afoot in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Their cruise liner had been marooned for days after five countries denied it entry fearing that somebody in the ship was infected.

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On Friday, the passengers were welcomed by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who handed out flowers to welcome them.

Though no one has shown any symptoms of the coronavirus, the Westerdam’s crew and passengers went through a health screening at the port.

Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen welcomes the passengers and crew of MS Westerdam on Friday in Sihanoukville [Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters]

Following the PhilippinesTaiwan and Hong KongJapan became the latest country to deny entry to all international cruise ships.

The scramble in

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/coronavirus-outbreak-maroons-dream-vacations-thousands-200207174449140.html

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China coronavirus outbreak: All the latest updates

in Philippines

China on Friday reported 116 more deaths in Hubei, the province at the centre of the escalating coronavirus outbreak, bringing to at least 1,483 the total number of deaths across the country.

The province and its capital Wuhan, where the infection now known as COVID-19 is thought to have originated in late December, also reported a further 4,823 new cases of the infection, taking the total in the province to 51,986, and close to 65,000 across the country.

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At least 25 countries have confirmed cases and several nations have evacuated their citizens from Hubei. Three deaths have been recorded outside mainland China – one in  Hong Kong one in the Philippines, and the most recent in Japan.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned the virus poses a “grave threat” to the world, with chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, saying the virus could have “more powerful consequences than any terrorist action”.

Meanwhile, Vietnam

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/cloneofchina-coronavirus-outbreak-latest-updates-200213231710117.html

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Diamond Princess crew 'desperate for help' as virus tightens grip

in Philippines

The 115,000-tonne ship has been docked in the Japanese port city of Yokohama since February 6, after it was reported that an 80-year-old man, who disembarked earlier in Hong Kong, had tested positive for the virus [Kim Kyung-hoon/Reuters]

With a total of 531 crew and seafarers, Filipinos make up half the staff of the Diamond Princess cruise ship that is quarantined in Japan‘s Yokohama port because of the coronavirus, and as the illness spreads, they are becoming increasingly worried.

On Thursday, health authorities in Japan said 44 more people had been confirmed with the infection, bringing the total to at least 218 passengers and crew, as well as one quarantine officer.

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Among those infected are at least 15 crew members, at least five of whom are Filipinos, raising alarm among family members back home, as well as fellow crew members who continue to work under quarantine conditions.

The nationalities

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/diamond-princess-crew-desperate-virus-tightens-grip-200211035044117.html

Photo Credit: Aljazeera

China coronavirus outbreak: All the latest updates

in Philippines

People in China are trying to protect themselves from the coronavirus as the death toll mounts [Alex Plavevski/EPA]

Health officials in China’s hard-hit central province of Hubei reported 242 people died from the coroanvirusCOVID-19, on Wednesday – more than twice the number of the previous day and the highest daily toll since the outbreak began.

The province and its capital Wuhan where the infection is thought to have originated in late December also reported more than 14,800 new cases of the infection after adopting new clinical methods to diagnose the virus.

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At least 25 countries have confirmed cases and several nations have evacuated their citizens from Hubei. Two deaths have been recorded outside mainland China – one in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned the virus poses a “grave threat” to the world, with chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, saying the virus could have “more powerful

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/china-coronavirus-outbreak-latest-updates-200213001741778.html

Photo Credit: Aljazeera

China coronavirus toll exceeds 1,300 as Hubei reports 242 deaths

in Philippines

Health officials in China‘s hard-hit central province of Hubei reported that 242 more people died from the coroanvirusCOVID-19 on Wednesday, pushing the death toll in the country above 1,300.

The province’s health commission also repeated a huge jump in new cases, saying a further 14,840 cases had been detected in Hubei, the epicentre of the outbreak, over the 24-hour period to midnight on Wednesday (16:00 GMT).

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The commission said that it had begun including cases diagnosed through new clinical methods.

China’s national health commission is expected to provide an update on countrywide infections shortly.

At least 25 countries have confirmed cases of the virus and several nations have evacuated their citizens from Hubei. Two deaths have been recorded outside mainland China – one in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines.

More to come…

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/china-coronavirus-toll-exceeds-1300-hubei-reports-242-deaths-200213003453493.html

Photo Credit: Aljazeera

Trump brushes off Duterte's decision to end military pact

in Philippines

US President Donald Trump speaking during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, US [Tom Brenner/Reuters]

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday brushed aside the decision of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to end a decades-old military agreement with the United States, saying he did not really mind and it would save money.

Duterte announced the termination of the two-decade-old Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) on Tuesday, a move US Defense Secretary Mark Esper called “unfortunate”. The decision will take effect in 180 days.

Asked whether he would try to persuade Duterte to reconsider, Trump told reporters at the White House: “Well I never minded that very much, to be honest. We helped the Philippines very much. We helped them defeat ISIS … I don’t really mind if they would like to do that, it will save a lot of money. My views are different from others.”

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/trump-brushes-duterte-decision-military-pact-200212204927062.html

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Sports events hit by coronavirus outbreak

in Philippines

A four-team women’s Olympic qualifying tournament was moved from Wuhan to Australia by the AFC [Mark Kolbe/Getty Images]

Many international sports events in China have been postponed, moved and even cancelled amid the novel coronavirus outbreak that has killed at least 1,113 people on the mainland and infected more than 45,000 people globally. 

The new type of virus – now named COVID-19 – was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December and has since spread to two dozen nations.

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Many countries have evacuated their citizens from Wuhan and other affected areas of China, while travel restrictions have been imposed and flights suspended to and from cities in China. 

As the virus continues to spread and the death toll rises, major sporting events including the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and the Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix are also under threat.

Here are some of the competitions that

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/sports-events-hit-coronavirus-outbreak-200212053839546.html

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China coronavirus outbreak: All the latest updates

in Philippines

Japan has said 39 more people on the quarantined Diamond Princess have been confirmed with the coronavirus [Charly Triballeau/AFP]

The death toll in China from the coronavirus outbreak continued to climb on Wednesday and 39 more people on a cruise ship off Japan were diagnosed with the infection as the World Health Organization (WHO) warned the virus – now named COVID-19 – posed a “grave threat” to the world.

The WHO is holding a conference in Geneva on combating the virus.

Its chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said viruses could have “more powerful consequences than any terrorist action”.

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A further 94 deaths were reported on Wednesday in the hardest-hit province of Hubei, the central region where about 56 million people are living under increasingly severe restrictions with three more elsewhere in the country, the National Health Commission said.

Deaths in mainland China now stand at 1,113 with the number of

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/china-coronavirus-outbreak-latest-updates-200211234637415.html

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Duterte ends US defence pact; Washington calls it 'unfortunate'

in Philippines

Filipino and US soldiers march during the closing ceremony of a joint US-Philippine military exercise in 2018 [File: Mark Cristino/EPA]

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte formally terminated on Tuesday the two-decade-old Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States, delivering on threats to downgrade an alliance important to US interests.

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr said in a social media post that Manila’s notice of termination was received by the deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy in Manila.

The termination will take effect after 180 days unless both sides agree to keep it.

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Locsin signed the notice on the order of Duterte, who has often criticised US security policies, while praising those of China and Russia despite the Philippine military’s close historic ties with its American counterpart.

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper called the decision “unfortunate” and said it would be a move in the wrong

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/duterte-ends-defence-pact-washington-calls-unfortunate-200212011446069.html

Photo Credit: Aljazeera

COVID-19: WHO renames deadly coronavirus

in Philippines

The death toll in mainland China has now reached more than 1,000, after 108 people died from the virus on Monday [Getty Images]

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that “COVID-19” will now be the official name of the deadly virus from China, saying the disease represented a “very grave threat” for the world but there was a “realistic chance” of stopping it.

“We now have a name for the disease and it’s ‘COVID-19’,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told journalists in the Swiss city of Geneva on Tuesday.

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The announcement came as the death toll in mainland China has now reached more than 1,000, after 108 people died from the virus on Monday – the highest daily toll since the outbreak began late last year in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Tedros said that “CO” stands for “corona”, “VI” for “virus” and “D” for “disease”,

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/covid-19-renames-deadly-coronavirus-200211172638418.html

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Duterte reaffirms bid to end defence pact with US: spokesman

in Philippines

Between 2016 to 2019, the US has provided more than $550m in security assistance to the Philippines [File: EPA/Bullit Marquez/EPA]

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has told his foreign affairs chief to give official notice to the United States of his termination of a Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between their militaries, his spokesman said on Tuesday, reiterating an earlier threat.

Duterte, who has openly disapproved of the two countries’ military alliance, made the decision after a close ally said his visa for the US had been rescinded, in an issue related to the president’s deadly war on drugs.

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“It’s about time we rely on ourselves, we will strengthen our own defences and not rely on any other country,” Duterte’s spokesman Salvador Panelo told a regular briefing, quoting the president.

The Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), signed in 1998, accorded legal status to thousands of US troops who were rotated

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/duterte-reaffirms-bid-defence-pact-spokesman-200211050945895.html

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China coronavirus outbreak: All the latest updates

in Philippines

Chinese President Xi Jinping inspected novel coronavirus pneumonia prevention and control work at a neighbourhoods around Beijing on Monday [Pang Xinglei/Xinhua via AP Photo]

The death toll in the coronavirus outbreak in China has now reached more than 1,000, after 108 people died from the virus on Monday, the highest daily toll since the outbreak began late last year.

The total number of deaths on the mainland was 1,016, the National Health Commission said on Tuesday.

There were 2,478 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 42,638.

In his first public appearance since the outbreak began in the central city of Wuhan, Chinese President Xi Jinping told people in Chinathey “must have confidence” that the country will win its battle against the coronavirus epidemic.

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Two deaths have been recorded outside mainland China – one in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines.

At least 25 countries have confirmed cases and several nations have evacuated their citizens from Hubei. 

Here are

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/china-coronavirus-outbreak-latest-updates-200211012218330.html

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It's high time to end medical complicity in torture

in Philippines

Activists demonstrate against the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and call for accountability for torture, near the White House, in Washington, US, Jan 11, 2020 [Mike Theiler/Reuters]

Last week, American psychologist and architect of the Bush-era torture programme, James Mitchell, took the stand at a hearing at the United States base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He was there to provide evidence in the legal case against five men accused of planning and providing logistical support for the 9/11 attacks. His chilling testimony legitimising torture was yet another reminder of the shameful complicity of medical and health personnel in the horrific crimes committed in recent history under the pretence of “saving American lives”.

As a senior psychiatrist who has worked with torture survivors for decades, I have seen the human cost of torture; how it savagely destroys a person and traumatises whole families and societies – all to obtain information that is often false, served up

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/high-time-medical-complicity-torture-200206123507173.html

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'Chilling': Duterte tries to shut Philippines biggest TV station

in Philippines

Duterte has filed a court case aiming to close down ABS-CBN, the Philippines biggest television network [File: Robinson Ninal Jr Malacanang Presidential Photographers Division via AP Photo]

The administration of President Rodrigo Duterte has asked the Supreme Court to shut down the Philippines’s largest television network, ABS-CBN, in a move described as a “sign of dictatorship”.

In a legal filing before the highest court on Monday, Duterte’s top lawyer, Solicitor General Jose Calida, said ABS-CBN television network committed “highly abusive practices” in its operation, and its franchise should be revoked.

Calida also alleged that ABS-CBN is “hiding behind an elaborately crafted corporate veil”, allowing foreign entities to invest in the company, “in gross violation of the foreign interest restriction” spelled out in the constitution. 

Since becoming president in 2016, Duterte has expressed his disdain towards the television network, which is owned by one of the richest families in

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/duterte-shut-philippines-biggest-tv-station-200210054831529.html

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Hong Kong domestic workers fight for day off amid infection fears

in Philippines

Hong Kong’s domestic workers enjoy their weekly day off on Sunday at the city’s public spaces, but there are growing calls for them to stay at home because of the coronavirus [Jeremy Smart/Al Jazeera]

Hong Kong. China – Domestic workers in Hong Kong typically only have one day off each week – Sunday.

On this contractually-stipulated rest day, the city’s large parks and roads are transformed into hives of activity, alive with dance routines, karaoke, games, video calls and prayers.

As the women’s government-mandated contracts require they live with their employer, the city’s public spaces provide them with important leisure areas that they do not have at home.

But as the coronavirus spreads, their right to a day spent beyond the confines of their workplace is being challenged.

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Last week the Hong Kong Labour Department issued a statement calling for foreign domestic workers to “stay home on

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/hong-kong-domestic-workers-fight-day-infection-fears-200210012724831.html

Photo Credit: Aljazeera

More than 900 dead in China from coronavirus outbreak

in Philippines

The death toll in China’s coronavirus outbreak jumped above 900 as people began returning to the big cities after the prolonged Lunar New Year holiday [Aly Song/Reuters]

More than 900 people have now died in mainland China from the coronavirus that emerged in the central city of Wuhan at the end of last year with the World Health Organization (WHO) deploying a team to the country to investigate the outbreak.

China’s National Health Commission reported there were 97 new fatalities from the virus on February 9, which brought the death toll on the mainland to 908, most of which are in Wuhan and the surrounding Hubei province. 

A total of 40,171 infections have been confirmed nationwide. 

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At least 25 countries have confirmed cases and several nations have evacuated their citizens from Hubei. Major airlines have suspended flights to and from China in an attempt to stop the spread.

With more

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/900-dead-china-coronavirus-outbreak-200209233734869.html

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How dangerous is the new coronavirus?

in Philippines

Medical staff attend to a patient infected by the coronavirus at a makeshift hospital at Wuhan International Convention and Exhibition Center in Wuhan City, Hubei Province [YFC CHINA OUT/ EPA]

The fast spread of a new coronavirus in China has prompted global alarm, with neighbouring states closing their borders, global airlines suspending flights and some governments barring entry to foreign nationals who have recently been in the Asian country. 

The rapidly spreading virus, which is thought to have originated in the central city of Wuhan in late December and has since been detected in at least two dozen countries, has infected 37,198 people and killed at least 811 people in mainland China, as well as a person in Hong Kong and another one in the Philippines.

In a bid to limit its spread to countries with weak health systems, the World Health Organization (WHO) on January 30 declared

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/dangerous-coronavirus-200205205234883.html

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China virus death toll surges past 800, as infections mount

in Philippines

The virus has now killed more than 800 people in mainland China and triggered worry, travel restrictions and bans across the world [Chiang Ying-ying/AP Photo]

The death toll in mainland China from the coronavirus surged to 811, the National Health Commission said on Sunday, as a Japanese and an American became the first foreigners to die of the illness in China.

The commission reported 89 deaths nationwide up to midnight on Saturday with 81 of the fatalities in Hubei, the central province at the heart of the outbreak.

More:

More people have now died from coronavirus in China than did worldwide during the 2002-2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), with the total number of infections in the country rising to 37,198.

Two people have died from the virus outside mainland China – one in Hong Kong and another in the Philippines – and at least 25

Read More: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/china-virus-death-toll-surges-800-infections-mount-200209003721741.html

Photo Credit: Aljazeera

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