Rotch subsidiary finds new Premisys and snaps up Foremans

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Chinese toddler becomes first suspected Wuhan coronavirus case in Manado

first_imgProf. Kandou’s Hospital’s head of medical services, Hanry Takasenserang, said that the toddler was referred to the hospital on Monday afternoon by a private hospital in Manado.“From the medical records we know that the patient has been experiencing fever and cough for the past nine days. [The patient’s parents] sought treatment at the private hospital when they first arrived in Manado; then they returned to the hospital again when [the child] did not get better. The private hospital then sent them to us,” Hanry said.Hanry said they decided to isolate the child because the medical records showed how the patient has suffered from fever and cough for a couple of days and the family came from China.”According to the existing protocols, we took samples from the patient’s throat and phlegm and sent them to the Balitbangkes laboratory. We will wait for the results. For now, the patient is under the care of pediatricians and doctors,” he added. A 2-year-old Chinese toddler is currently under observation by medical personnel in an isolation room in the Prof. Kandou General Hospital in Manado, North Sulawesi after showing several symptoms of the new coronavirus that originated from Wuhan, China.“The patient is 2 years and six months old, a Chinese citizen who has been in Manado since Jan. 21,” hospital spokesperson Deddy Sondakh told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.Deddy said the patient’s condition was stable and the hospital has taken samples from the child and sent them to the Health Ministry’s Research and Development Center (Balitbangkes) in Jakarta for further testing. Hanry said they also took samples from the toddler’s parents, even though neither of them showed any symptoms.Although the toddler showed several symptoms of the new coronavirus, Hanry said they still could not conclude that the patient is positive for the virus until the test results come back. Meanwhile, he said, the hospital would follow the required procedures and take extra precautions while monitoring the patient.According to data compiled by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE), as of Wednesday there have been 24,560 confirmed cases of the virus globally, resulting in 493 deaths. Indonesia has yet to have any confirmed cases, but an Indonesian domestic worker in Singapore tested positive for the virus on Tuesday. (hol) Topics :last_img read more

Indonesian domestic worker in Singapore recovers from COVID-19

first_imgA 44-year-old Indonesian domestic worker in Singapore who had tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has since been declared healthy.The Indonesian Embassy in Singapore said in a statement on Wednesday that the Indonesian citizen had been discharged from the Singapore General Hospital, where she had been treated for two weeks, on Tuesday.In compliance with Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act, the woman’s identity was still unavailable for public disclosure, the embassy wrote in the statement. “There are now no Indonesian citizens reported to be COVID-19 positive in Singapore,” the embassy said.Embassy spokesperson Ratna Lestari Harjana said the woman was recuperating and would soon start working again as usual.“She doesn’t have any plans to return to Indonesia yet,” Ratna told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.The woman, whose employer had also tested positive for COVID-19, had been confirmed positive on Feb. 4.There have yet to be any confirmed coronavirus cases in Indonesia to date, but three Indonesian nationals on the virus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship have tested positive for the disease. (rfa)Topics :last_img read more

Some Indonesians try to ward off COVID-19 with talismans, rituals

first_imgVillagers in Wajak Kidul hamlet, which is located some 10 kilometers from Tulungagung regency, East Java, have placed homemade masks around their homes as they believe the objects can protect them from the COVID-19 pandemic.The villagers call the masks, which are made of coconut palm fronds and have a human likeness drawn on them, tetek melek. They put them above the doors and windows of their homes, hoping that the deadly disease will stay away.”Every time we turn on the television, we watch news about the coronavirus. Everyone here talks about the virus every day,” said Supani, a 80-year-old farmer in Wajak Kidul.  The outbreak, he added, reminded him of several pandemics that hit the hamlet decades ago, when he was a boy. One of the pandemics was a skin disease known locally as pageblug.”During pageblug, my grandfather told villagers to make tetek melek masks and place them around the house,” he said. Yasmini, a Wajak Kidul villager in Tulungagung, East Java, looks at a ‘tetek melek’ mask fastened on the outer wall of her home. Some villagers put the masks around their houses in an effort to ward off the coronavirus. (JP /Asip Hasani)On Wednesday after working in his rice field, Supani took some dried coconut fronds that had fallen to the ground and cut them into three pieces of about a meter each.  Using liquid whitewash, or kapur, he coated the fronds before drawing human faces on them with charcoal. “When we start drawing that human face we must be spiritually clean,” he said. Supani’s method was soon followed by other residents in his neighborhood. Now, dozens of houses in Wajak Kidul are decorated with tetek melek.Wajak Kidul villagers have reason to worry about their safety.In February, a migrant worker who had recently arrived to her home village of Tulungagung from Taiwan, began to experience symptoms consistent with COVID-19. She died several days after being admitted to Iskak General Hospital but the authorities declared her negative for the coronavirus. Nevertheless, there are at least four suspected COVID-19 patients in Iskak General Hospital at the moment. Hundreds of others in Tulungagung and its neighboring regencies have been put under surveillance for COVID-19. East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa declared a state of emergency in COVID-19 outbreak mitigation following the spread of the virus in 34 of the province’s 39 regencies and cities.  In West Kalimantan, some Dayak communities have conducted traditional rituals to ward off the coronavirus.A Dayak Kanayatn resident, Kusnadi Isim, told The Jakarta Post that the tolak bala ritual to drive evil spirits away was usually held in sacred places called panyugu or pantak. “The ritual includes washing away sesajen [offerings] that are put on a small boat,” Kusnadi said, adding that people had been prohibited to leave their homes sometime after the ritual.At least 1,421 West Kalimantan residents had been put under surveillance as of Monday. Twenty one people are in isolation at referral hospitals as patients under surveillance (PDP). Two have been confirmed positive for COVID-19 and one of the PDP died on Saturday. (vny)Topics :last_img read more

Malaysian firms led by world’s top glove maker prioritise medical supplies

first_imgMalaysia this week warned of a potential shortage of reagents, a chemical used in diagnostic tests to detect the presence of the coronavirus.The ministry said on Tuesday it had only one week’s supply of reagents and it was optimising the use of the substance while it tries to secure supplies.CC Cheah, vice president of the Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association, said several of its member companies will be modifying production lines to make protective and testing gear to reduce dependence on imports.A company that usually makes materials for diapers will shift its production lines to provide products used in protective gear, while a manufacturer of extrusion products will make swabs used to take samples for coronavirus testing, he said.Topics : Top Glove Corp Bhd , the world’s biggest maker of medical gloves, plans to start producing face masks to meet rising demand from the coronavirus outbreak, a top executive told Reuters.The Malaysian company, which makes one out of every five gloves in the world, will have a facility ready in two months with a production capacity of 110 million masks a year.”The masks… will also be available for sale to our existing healthcare customers, in order to help the market cope with the surge in demand on the back of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Executive Chairman Lim Wee Chai. Top Glove’s move comes as Malaysian companies modify production to meet a shortage of protective and testing equipment in the country, which has the most number of reported infections in Southeast Asia with 4,228 cases.Another Malaysian company Karex Bhd, the world’s top condom maker, said it has converted two of its lubricant lines to make hand sanitisers after requests from medical customers.”Its not a very large quantity to begin with but we found we were able to begin production within a month following medical trials as we are a certified medical product manufacturer,” Chief Executive Goh Miah Kiat said.Unprecedented demand for medical and testing materials has made it harder and longer for countries to source essential equipment.last_img read more

S. Korea holds parliamentary election under strict safety measures amid pandemic

first_imgThe election is set to decide control of parliament and shape President Moon Jae-in’s ability to push through his agenda in the final two years of his administration, including looser fiscal policy aimed at creating jobs, raising the minimum wage, and continued re-engagement with North Korea.Globally, South Korea was one of the first countries to hold a national election since the coronavirus epidemic began, while many others postponed votes.”I had worries as the election was not delayed, but having come here and seen for myself, I felt it’s good we did vote as planned, and people are taking greater caution about distancing and restraining themselves even more,” Choi Sun-hwa, 56, told Reuters outside a polling station in Hongje-dong, central Seoul.Once grappling with the first large outbreak outside China, South Korea has largely managed to bring its cases under control without major disruptions thanks to a massive testing campaign and intensive contact tracing. South Koreans began going to the polls on Wednesday to elect members of parliament, wearing masks and plastic gloves as part of strict safety measures in one of the first national elections held amid the coronavirus pandemic.About 14,000 polling stations were open at 6 a.m. (0900 GMT) around the country after disinfection, and voters were required to wear a mask and have a temperature check upon arrival. Anyone whose temperature was higher than 37.5 Celsius (99.5 Fahrenheit) was led to a special booth.All voters must use hand sanitizer and plastic gloves when casting ballots and maintain 1 meter distance between each other. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 27 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the total infections to 10,564. The daily tally has hovered around 30 over the past week, most of them from overseas travellers.But authorities have warned that infections could resurge at any times, calling for special caution on Election Day.As of 9 a.m. (1200 GMT), voter turnout was 8%, about 0.9% points higher than in the last parliamentary election in 2016, according to the National Election Commission. That excludes nearly 27% of the 44 million registered voters who took part in early voting last weekend.Among them were about 2,800 coronavirus patients, for whom the NEC allowed voting by mail and set up special polling stations for early voting.More than 13,000 in self-quarantine have signed up to vote and will be allowed to do so after other voters leave at 6 p.m. (2100 GMT)The election campaign has taken on a different look, with candidates wearing masks and bumping fists instead of pressing the flesh and mass rallies.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Minister Yasonna Laoly sued for granting parole during pandemic

first_imgOn Thursday, civil society groups, namely the Mega Bintang Indonesia 1997 Foundation, the Association of Anti-Injustice Independent Society and the Guard and Watchdog of Indonesian Law Enforcement filed a lawsuit against the minister, the head of Central Java’s Law and Human Rights Office and a Surakarta prison warden in Surakarta public court.”Most released convicts reoffend, and it makes the public anxious during the pandemic,” said plaintiff Boyamin Saiman of the Mega Bintang Indonesia 1997 Foundation on Sunday.”We represent the residents of Surakarta who now have to conduct night watches and spend extra money to install gates [in residential areas],” he added.Boyamin demanded the minister retract the decision and send the released inmates back to prison. He suggested that the ministry implement a stricter selection processes and psychological tests for inmates if reintegration was to be attempted again. On Mar. 30, the ministry issued Ministerial Decree No. 19/2020 on the release and reintegration of prisoners and juvenile inmates to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Read also: Overcrowded and understaffed, prisons scramble to protect inmates from infectionAccording to the plaintiffs, the reintegration process did not meet proper standards.”The defendants implemented a very simplistic mechanism without examining the psychological condition of inmates prior to release,” Boyamin said, adding that this lack of oversight was the cause of recidivism.In addition, the plaintiffs accused the government of being ignorant about the paroled convicts as the government was not keeping track of the released inmates in society.”The main issues behind the lawsuit were actually the negligence, the careless acts and the violation of standardized principals prior to the decision to reintegrate inmates,” said Boyamin.Sarifuddin Sudding, a member of the House of Representatives Commission III overseeing law, human rights and security, agreed that proper considerations had not been made in regards to reintegrating inmates.”It [parole] was merely transactional and based only on the United Nations’ recommendation without further considerations about the social impacts, especially in these tough economic conditions, where the job market has been badly hurt,” he told the press on Monday.Sarifuddin said the lawsuit must respected, as people had the right to take legal action when society was harmed by a regulation.Topics : Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly is being sued by civil society groups in Surakarta, Central Java, over his decision to give early release or parole to more than 30,000 inmates nationwide.The minister has claimed that the assimilation program for prisoners and juvenile inmates is part of efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 behind bars.Official data shows that Indonesia has a total of 270,386 inmates and that it has exceeded more than twice the official capacity of its detention facilities. With overcrowded cells and unsanitary environments, prisons are considered in great danger of COVID-19 outbreaks.last_img read more

Powell warns of ‘heartbreaking’ harm of virus, Fed holds rates

first_imgUS stocks held gains after the Fed’s statement while yields on 10-year Treasury notes edged up slightly to 0.62 percent.Powell emphasized several times the importance of fiscal policy to help and said “this is not the time” to allow concerns about the size of the federal deficit to hinder the scale of the response.Target rangeOfficials Wednesday left unchanged their vague guidance on the future path of rates. The statement repeated language from March 15 saying the committee would keep the benchmark target range near zero “until it is confident that the economy has weathered recent events and is on track to achieve its maximum employment and price stability goals.” “I think everyone is suffering here but I think those who are least able to bear it are the ones who are losing their jobs,” Powell said. “It is heartbreaking to see all that threatened right now.”Time frame extendedWednesday’s statement also acknowledged the extent and breadth of the damage being wraught by the ongoing contagion.“The coronavirus outbreak is causing tremendous human and economic hardship across the United States and around the world,” the committee said. “The virus and the measures taken to protect public health are inducing sharp declines in economic activity and a surge in job losses.”Regarding asset purchases, the FOMC used wording similar to last month, saying the buying of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities will continue “in the amounts needed to support smooth market functioning, thereby fostering effective transmission of monetary policy to broader financial conditions.”It made specific mention of lower oil prices and their role in holding down inflation.Policy makers also began to extend cautiously the time frame within which they see the economic blow from the virus lasting, though they are still offering no precise forecast.Medium term“The ongoing public health crisis will weigh heavily on economic activity, employment, and inflation in the near term, and poses considerable risks to the economic outlook over the medium term,” the committee said.The central bank has mounted an unprecedented push to limit the economic harm of the virus, which has plunged the global economy into recession and likely sent US unemployment well above 10 percent after businesses shuttered to slow the contagion.Government data released earlier on Wednesday showed US gross domestic product shrank at an annualized 4.8 percent rate in the first quarter, the largest drop since 2008. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect the central bank to keep rates near zero for three or more years.Policy makers last month slashed their benchmark rate and launched a massive bond-buying campaign to stabilize markets for Treasury and mortgage-backed securities that had become dangerously unsettled amid the pandemic. The federal funds rate has stood in a range of zero to 0.25 percent since mid-March.The central bank’s Board of Governors has also responded to the crisis by announcing nine extraordinary lending programs, pledging to make funds available to banks, money market funds, companies, cities and states in an unprecedented use of the Fed’s emergency powers.Topics : Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the coronavirus has brought the economy to an “abrupt halt” and it was uncertain how long the slowdown would last, as officials held interest rates near zero – and pledged to keep them there until the nation was back on track.“Economic activity will likely drop at an unprecedented rate in the second quarter,” Powell told a video press conference Wednesday. “It may well be the case that the economy will need more support from all of us, if the recovery is to be a robust one.”The Federal Open Market Committee said in a unanimous statement that it “will use its tools and act as appropriate to support the economy” and cautioned the pandemic would weigh on the economy over the medium term.last_img read more

Ukraine reaches 10,000 coronavirus cases as public chafes against lockdown

first_imgTopics : Ukraine reached 10,000 coronavirus cases on Thursday as Health Minister Maksym Stepanov urged the public to be patient and not violate lockdown measures that have kept the country’s death toll far lower than in much of western Europe.The government shut businesses such as cafes, restaurants, markets and cinemas last month, closed its borders to foreign citizens and shut down almost all air and rail travel, causing a spike in job losses.Anger at the lockdown led to hundreds of businessmen protesting near the government building on Wednesday, while Stepanov also said more people were ignoring a ban on visiting parks. Stepanov told a televised briefing that 261 people had died from COVID-19.”But this is not the thousands that are happening in Italy and Spain. Quarantine was introduced very quickly (in Ukraine) and it was thanks to this that we managed to contain the situation,” he said.”Thanks to the quarantine measures, we managed to avoid the peak incidence and peak load on the medical system.”The government has extended the lockdown until May 11 and expects the pandemic to peak in Ukraine early next month. It is considering whether to open food markets back up in the meantime, with social distancing rules.center_img But there are growing signs of public impatience.”What do we see in the last days? We see rallies, people on the streets, we see traffic jams, we see an increase in the number of people in parks. I understand that being in quarantine for five, six weeks is very difficult,” Stepanov said.”When you go out to rallies or when you start violating the quarantine, don’t think about just yourself. Think about your loved ones whom you can infect by becoming infected at such events.”The government had been particularly anxious to avoid a spike in new infections over Orthodox Easter on April 19, after a prominent monastery became an infection hotspot.The pandemic is expected to tip Ukraine into recession this year, prompting the government to appeal to the International Monetary Fund for aid.The government has allocated 6 billion hryvnias ($222 million) for payments to the unemployed and has increased its forecast for the unemployment rate this year to 9.4%.A survey carried out by the Rating research group in early April showed 8% of Ukrainians had lost their jobs during the lockdown, and 29% had taken a vacation. last_img read more

Chinese firm sued by US over ‘fake’ masks not certified: Official

first_imgTopics : The ministry added that China has taken a series of measures to strengthen the quality control of exported epidemic-prevention materials, and to regulate exports. “China is willing to strengthen cooperation with governments including that of the United States, work together, overcome the epidemic, and build a common community of health for mankind,” it said. A government official told reporters in April that China had confiscated over 89 million poor quality face masks, after a slew of complaints about faulty protective gear exported worldwide. A Chinese company sued for selling nearly half a million fake and substandard N95 respirators to US buyers in April is not a certified maker of medical masks, Chinese authorities said on Monday.Guangdong-based King Year Packaging and Printing is not on a list of enterprises approved or registered as meeting foreign standards, China’s Commerce Ministry told AFP.The company had shipped three batches of purported N95 masks — needed to protect medical and other personnel in the coronavirus pandemic — to US buyers, according to a complaint filed in a federal court in Brooklyn, New York.center_img The firm allegedly falsely claimed the 495,200 masks it shipped had met the N95 standard and that they were certified by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.The mask importer paid over $1 million for them, said the complaint.”According to our preliminary understanding, the Chinese company involved in this case is a manufacturer of non-medical masks and is not on the list of companies certified or registered as meeting foreign standards,” said the commerce ministry.It was referring to a list issued by the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Medicines and Health Products.last_img read more