Coronavirus: We need to start preparing for the next viral outbreak now

By David E. Bloom, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Daniel Cadarette, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health The coronavirus outbreak is officially a crisis – let’s not waste it. Undeniably, the international community is taking the matter very seriously, as it should given that the death total from the COVID-19 epidemic already well surpasses that from SARS in the early 2000s. Residents of Hong Kong wear masks as they
| Environment & Health, HKFP Voices, 2020 coronavirus |

Iran neighbours impose travel bans as coronavirus toll rises

Iran's confirmed death toll from the new coronavirus rose to eight on Sunday, the highest outside China, sending neighbouring countries scrambling to contain the outbreak. Iran's confirmed death toll from the new coronavirus rose to eight on Sunday, the highest outside China, sending neighbouring countries scrambling to contain the outbreak. Four immediate neighbours of the Islamic republic - Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Armenia - said on Sunday they would close land borders , while three imposed restrictions on
| News |

G20 leaders seek measures for youth, women

Author:  Mon, 2020-02-24 00:21 RIYADH: G20 finance ministers and central bank governors have agreed to encourage the use of digital financial services in order to boost inclusion for under-served groups, especially women, youth, and small and medium enterprises. Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said: “The global economy has not been delivering for all, as we can see from the persistence of income
| News |

Coronavirus outbreak places cruise ships in the dock

Author:  Sun, 2020-02-23 23:37 HONG KONG: Deadly viruses, chickenpox outbreaks and mass cases of the runs: Sometimes luxury cruise ship holidays are not the trips of a lifetime elderly passengers had hoped for. Cruise-goers have fallen sick en masse in the past, their predicament on the high seas coming into sharp focus because the holidays can cost thousands of dollars and are
| News |

Chinese restaurants starved for cash as virus hits industry

Author:  Sun, 2020-02-23 23:30 BEIJING: It is lunch time in Beijing, but the only diner in Cindy’s Cafe is an employee having a staff meal — it has been closed for more than three weeks as China battles a deadly virus epidemic. Restaurants are taking a huge hit as many people across the country of 1.4 billion have been either under some
| News |

Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan close borders with Iran over coronavirus fears

Afghanistan, Pakistan, Jordan and Turkey have instituted new measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, commonly known as the novel coronavirus. Turkey said on Sunday it would close its borders with Iran , shutting off both air and land traffic from its eastern neighbour where at least eight people have died from the coronavirus . The Islamic Republic has suffered the largest death toll from the virus, officially known
| News |

Magnitude 5.7 quake in Iran kills nine in neighbouring Turkey

The epicentre of the quake, which struck at 9:23 am (0553 GMT), was near the Iranian village of Habash-e Olya, less than 10 kilometres (six miles) from the Turkish border. A magnitude 5.7 earthquake in northwestern Iran on Sunday killed at least nine people in neighbouring Turkey and injured dozens more on both sides of the border, authorities said. The epicentre of the quake, which struck at 9:23 am (0553 GMT), was near the
| News |

Hundreds of Israelis ordered to self-quarantine as Israel blocks South Korean flight amid coronavirus fears

Israel has published a list of the sites visited by a group of South Korean tourists who later tested positive for the virus, amid fears of a major outbreak. A plane which arrived in Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport from Seoul was held on tarmac on Saturday, while 200 Israelis thought to have come in contact with a South Korean tourist group were ordered to self-quarantine, amid fears of a major outbreak in the Jewish state . 
| News |

G20 ready to limit effects of coronavirus on global economy, Saudi finance minister

Sun, 2020-02-23 17:44 RIYADH: The meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors ended in Saudi Arabia with a determination to tackle pressing global concerns such as geopolitical and trade confrontations, as well as the challenge of the coronavirus outbreak. The official communique — hammered out among the G20 policy-makers gathered in Riyadh over two days of discussions — said that global economic growth was expected to pick up “modestly”
| News |

Coronavirus politicised as Hezbollah rivals blame Iran over spread

As Lebanon deals with its first case of COVID-19, some have blamed Hezbollah backers Iran over the virus' spread in the Middle Eastern country. Some in Lebanon are casting blame on Iran , the supporter of the country's powerful Hezbollah group , after the country's first case of the new virus was discovered on a flight from the Iranian city of Qom this week. The existence in Lebanon of the
| News |

Iranian hardliners expected to claim majority amid lowest ever voter turnout

Officials have blamed the low turnout on the coronavirus outbreak and enemy 'propaganda'. Iranian hardliners have won all 30 parliamentary seats in the capital  Tehran , state TV reported on Sunday, a result expected by many analysts amid a record low voter turnout in the nationwide elections two days ago. Iran 's interior minister announced on Sunday that just 42.6 percent of eligible voters turned out for Friday's vote, in remarks aired
| News |

Iran says 'enemies' used coronavirus to sabotage election as death to rises

Iran's supreme leader accused foreign media of trying to use the outbreak to sabotage the country's general election. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused the country's "enemies" of trying to use the coronavirus outbreak to sabotage the general election on Sunday, as the death toll continued to increase. The final results  of the parliamentary election are due on Sunday, two days after it was held on
| News |

Saudi economy set to grow this year, driven by non-oil sector: central bank

Author:  Reuters ID:  Sun, 2020-02-23 09:52 RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s economy is expected to grow this year, supported by the non-oil sector, despite a challenging global economic backdrop, the Saudi central bank governor said on Saturday as the kingdom hosts the G20 meeting. Ahmed Al-Kholifey said it was too early to see the full picture of
| News |

The coronavirus outbreak exposes the truth about socialism with Chinese characteristics

“We should not criticise the Chinese government for what is, essentially, an unfathomable act of God,” said my priest in a video message on WeChat, the app that rules all inside the People’s Republic of China. He had to go onto social media to announce that English mass was cancelled that Sunday, even though we live far from the epicentre of the Coronavirus outbreak that has struck China. As someone who has a difficult relationship with the Catholic church, I
| Environment & Health, Opinion, Politics & Protest |

In Pictures: ‘These medics didn’t die for nothing’ – a visit to Hong Kong’s SARS memorial garden

Since Hong Kong recorded its first coronavirus case in late January, the city has been battling to curb the spread of the SARS-like virus, which has caused two deaths and infected dozens more. Standing on the front line in this critical fight are medical staff, in particular members of the “dirty teams” who treat infected patients in isolation wards. For many Hongkongers, the current outbreak has brought back painful memories of the deadly SARS epidemic in 2003. The disease turned
| Environment & Health, HKFP Reports, Hong Kong |

Coronavirus is communist China’s ‘biggest health emergency,’ says Xi Jinping

The coronavirus epidemic that has killed over 2,400 people is communist China’s “largest public health emergency” since its founding in 1949, said President Xi Jinping on Sunday. It is necessary to learn from “obvious shortcomings exposed” during China’s response, Xi added at an official meeting to coordinate the virus fight — a rare acknowledgement by a Chinese leader. Xi Jinping. File photo: Kremlin. In comments reported by state broadcaster CCTV, Xi said the epidemic “has the fastest
| Environment & Health, Politics & Protest, SinoBeat |

Who flares, wins: Saudi Arabia bets big on gas again

Sun, 2020-02-23 00:15 Saudi oil has helped lubricate the global economic engine for more than half a century, but its gas reserves are often overlooked. That is all about to change as Saudi Aramco invests $110 billion to develop unconventional gas reserves in the Kingdom’s Jafurah field, located southeast of Ghawar, the world’s biggest conventional oilfield. For several weeks, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman had been hinting
| News |

WEEKLY ENERGY RECAP: Oil price fights infection

Sun, 2020-02-23 00:00 Crude oil prices recorded their second weekly gain despite the pall of coronavirus hanging over commodity markets.  Brent crude advanced to $58.50 per barrel and WTI rose to $53.46 per barrel on optimism that China will be able to soften the crude oil demand hit from coronavirus after the government reported the lowest number of new cases. Nevertheless, oil has lost about 15 percent since
| News |

Italian Towns on Lockdown as Virus Spreads Internationally

SEOUL, South Korea—South Korea reported an eight-fold jump in viral infections Saturday with more than 400 cases mostly linked to a church and a hospital, while the death toll in Iran climbed to six and a dozen towns in Italy effectively went into lockdowns as health officials around the world battle a new virus that has spread from China. Some virus clusters have shown no direct link to travel to China. The spread in Italy prompted local authorities in the
| africa, china coronavirus, coronavirus |

Iran confirms one death, ten new cases of coronavirus

Iran on Saturday confirmed ten new cases of coronavirus in the country. At least ten new cases of coronavirus have been detected in Iran, the country’s health ministry said on Saturday, confirming one new death from the growing global epidemic. The updates numbers announced by health ministry spokesman, Kianush Jahanpur, bring the total number of cases in the Islamic Republic to 28, five of which have died . The COVID-19 outbreak  first
| News |

G20 financial leaders tackle coronavirus epidemic at Saudi meeting

Financial leaders from the world's top 20 economies are attending a meeting in the Saudi capital on Saturday to discuss the global economy and the risks from the coronavirus epidemic. Finance ministers and central bank governors from G20 nations meet in the Saudi capital on Saturday for a two-day gathering to discuss the global economy and the risks from the coronavirus epidemic. Aside from an action plan to shield the world economy from the
| News |

Off with their heads! Beijing names new men to run Hong Kong affairs, but will there be change?

Supreme Chinese leader Xi Jinping is obviously not pleased with Hong Kong. So much so that heads have begun to roll all up and down the line from Beijing to Hong Kong. Only our much-maligned leader, Chief Executive Carrie Lam, remains undisturbed… for now. Like many others, Xi seems to have concluded that something must be very wrong. Otherwise, the city would not have erupted last year into months of civic unrest, initially over a government-proposed extradition bill and escalating
| Environment & Health, Opinion, Politics & Protest |

Photography on the frontlines: How China is tightening control of how it is seen, at home and abroad

In late December, I wrote about photographers covering the protests in Hong Kong, and how the work that they do shines a light on what is really going on in the streets for the world to see. I also wrote that these photographers are working to take a stand to protect not just the truth, but the ideas of a free global society and a free press. Journalists and photojournalists all over the world face censorship, harassment by police and
| Opinion, Politics & Protest, China Extradition |

Coronavirus: Possible delay in critical exams causing anguish among Hong Kong secondary students

In less than six weeks, more than 45,000 secondary students in Hong Kong expect to sit their university entrance examinations. But as the deadly coronavirus continues to spread in the city, schools will be closed at least until March 16, and a big question mark hangs over the assessment schedule and arrangements. The Education Bureau first announced a possible delay in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) exam on February 6, saying the written tests – scheduled to begin on
| Community & Education, Environment & Health, HKFP Reports |

Coronavirus: Uighur activist draws attention to Xinjiang plight amid China outbreak

By Nina Larson Chinese suffering under harsh measures used to fight the deadly new coronavirus should recognise that similar methods have been deployed against China’s minorities for years, an exiled Uighur rights activist said this week. Jewher Ilham, the daughter of jailed Uighur intellectual Ilham Tohti, criticised some of the measures imposed by Beijing, including placing tens of millions of people under lockdown with little freedom of movement. The daughter of jailed Uighur intellectual
| Environment & Health, Politics & Protest, SinoBeat |

Translation: Poems From a Wuhan Nurse

The following poetry collection was written by “Wei Shuiyin” ( 弱水吟, given name Long Qiaoling 龙巧玲), who has been serving as a nurse in one of the dozen makeshift fangcang hospitals set up in Wuhan to combat the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic . Long is a usually based at Shandan County People’s Hospital in Gansu Province; since the outbreak of the coronavirus, she has been fighting on the frontline of prevention and control along with her
| CDT Highlights, Level 2 Article, Society |

Exiled Dalai Lama marks 80 years as Tibet’s spiritual leader

The Dalai Lama on Saturday marked the 80th anniversary of his enthronement as the spiritual leader of Tibet, a position held almost entirely in exile and as a target of constant vilification by the Chinese state. Hundreds of miles from Lhasa’s imposing 1,000-room Potala Palace, the sandal-wearing monk now ministers to his fellow Tibetan exiles from Dharamsala in the foothills of the Indian Himalaya. Dalai Lama. File Photo: Wikimedia Commons. He remains the universally recognised
| Politics & Protest, SinoBeat, Dalai Lama |

Oil retreats in face of renewed coronavirus uncertainty

Sat, 2020-02-22 02:12 LONDON: Oil prices fell on Friday as weak Asian data and a rise in new coronavirus cases fuelled uncertainty about the economic outlook while leading crude producers appeared to be in no rush to curb output. Brent crude was down $1.56, or 2.6 percent, at $57.75 in afternoon trade, while U.S. crude dropped $1.25, or 2.3 percent, to $52.63. "With Brent failing to breach the
| News |

Coronavirus on G20 agenda as China reports uptick in cases

Author:  Sat, 2020-02-22 02:04 BEIJING: China reported an uptick in new cases of coronavirus on Friday, boosted by more than 200 people testing positive for the disease in two prisons outside of Hubei province. As international authorities tried to stop the outbreak in China from becoming a global pandemic, finance leaders from the Group of 20 (G20) major economies meeting in
| News |

Virus may slash $29 billion from airlines’ revenue

Author:  Sat, 2020-02-22 01:40 TOKYO: The outbreak of the coronavirus threatens to erase $29 billion of revenue for global airlines, mostly for Chinese carriers, as travel crashes worldwide, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The trade group for global airlines said Thursday that the virus causing COVID-19 had the potential to cause a 13 percent decline in demand for
| News |

Virus fears sees Geely ramp up online sales

Author:  Sat, 2020-02-22 01:27 BEIJING: Chinese automaker Geely has launched a service for customers to buy cars online and have them delivered directly to their homes, in a bid to drum up sales as the coronavirus outbreak prompts buyers to stay away from showrooms. Other carmakers like Tesla, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have also started to promote products heavily online in recent
| News |

CDC didn’t want 14 coronavirus patients flown to US—it was overruled

Enlarge / Jumbo jets arrived to evacuate US citizens from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, with people quarantined onboard due to fears of the new COVID-19 coronavirus, at the Haneda airport in Tokyo on February 16, 2020. - The number of people who have tested positive for the new coronavirus on a quarantined ship off Japan's coast has risen to 355, the country's health minister said. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP) (Photo by KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via
| Science, CDC, china |

Virus Cases Balloon in S. Korea as Outbreak Shifts, Spreads

SEOUL, South Korea — Schools were shuttered, churches told worshipers to stay away and some mass gatherings were banned as cases of a new virus swelled Friday in South Korea, the newest front in a widening global outbreak. The country said two people have died and 204 have been infected with the virus, quadruple the number of cases it had two days earlier, as a crisis centered in China has begun strongly reverberating elsewhere. Related Articles
| canda, china, chung se-kyun |

National Security at the United Nations This Week

Editor’s Note: This is the latest in Just Security’s weekly series keeping readers up to date on developments at the United Nations at the intersection of national security, human rights, and the rule of law. World Health Organization Projects Cautious Optimism on Ability to Contain Coronavirus amid Reports of Underfunding and Corruption World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Tuesday that there have been 92 cases of human-to-human transmission of COVID-19—the official
| United Nations, budget, Idlib |

Iran confirms two new deaths as coronavirus spreads to several cities

Iran's number of coronavirus cases is steadily mounting. With a total of four deaths, neighbouring Iraq and Kuwait are enacting strict travel measures. Iran on Friday reported two more deaths among 13 new cases of coronavirus in the Islamic republic , bringing the total number of deaths to four and infections to 18. The COVID-19 outbreak first appeared in
| News |

First case of deadly coronavirus reported in Lebanon

The COVID-19 virus was found in a 45-year-old Lebanese woman who had travelled from Qom in Iran. The first case of the novel coronavirus in  Lebanon  was confirmed on Friday, the health minister said, adding that two other suspected cases were being investigated. "We confirmed the first case today," Hamad Hassan said at a press conference in Beirut .  The COVID-19 virus was found in a 45-year-old Lebanese woman who
| News |

Headlines for February 21, 2020

Roger Stone Sentenced to 40-Month Prison Term Trump Lashed at Intel Chief over Warning of Russian Meddling in 2020 Election Germany Mourns Victims of Right-Wing Terror Attacks Suspect Arrested in Stabbing at London Mosque U.K. to Close Borders to "Unskilled" and Non-English-Speaking Immigrants Protests Erupt as Acting ICE Director Challenges New York Pro-Immigrant Laws Mexican Radio Journalist Murdered in Ciudad Juárez
| News |

Chinese censorship demonstrates it can afford the cost of ‘the death of media’

The website of Tencent Dajia and its WeChat public account disappeared from the internet Screenshot of “Tencent Dajia” and its last piece of commentary. Via Twitter. Tencent Dajia, (also called We Tencent – 騰訊大家), a popular online media outlet posting high-quality commentary, suddenly vanished from the Chinese internet after it published an article headlined “The 50 days of Wuhan pneumonia: Chinese people are all paying the price of the death
| Advocacy, Censorship, China |

Iran votes in general election marred by disqualifications

As parliamentary polls opened in Iran, voter turnout may falter due to disappointment among voters. Iran went to the polls on Friday for a general election that conservatives are expected to dominate amid voter apathy after an economic slump, multiple crises and the disqualification of thousands of candidates. The 11th parliamentary election since the 1979 Islamic Revolution comes after steeply escalating tensions between Iran and the United States and the
| News |

Coronavirus: Made in Hong Kong face masks a joint effort by ‘chemistry godfather’ and social enterprise

A reusable face mask initiative attempts to address a pressing local problem by offering a global solution: “The design should be universal so I’m not charging for the patent. Everyone can download the template and tailor their own masks,” said Dr Kenneth Kwong, the mastermind behind the HK MASK project – an effort to tackle Hong Kong’s shortage of surgical masks amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak. Thanks to filters manufactured by a local company and a textile workshop organised by a local social
| Community & Education, Environment & Health, HKFP Reports |

Coronavirus: 59 Hong Kong cops in quarantine after one officer becomes infected

Fifty-nine police officers have been quarantined after a 48-year-old male cop became the 69th person in Hong Kong to be infected with the coronavirus on Thursday night. The officer, who lives in Yun Mei House, Yau Mei Court in Yau Tong, belongs to the North Point Division and is part of the Eastern District riot police team. Yau Mei Court in Yau Tong. Photo: Exploringlife, via Wikimedia Commons. According to the Department of Health, the
| Environment & Health, Hong Kong, 2020 coronavirus |

29-year-old Chinese doctor dies of coronavirus in Wuhan

A 29-year-old doctor at the epicentre of China’s new coronavirus outbreak has died from the disease, one of the youngest known fatalities of the epidemic and the latest among medical workers. Peng Yinhua died Thursday after becoming infected while working at Wuhan’s Jiangxia district People’s No. 1 Hospital, official news agency Xinhua reported. Peng Yinhua. The respiratory and critical illness doctor had planned to get married during the Lunar New Year holiday, but postponed his wedding
| Community & Education, SinoBeat, Peng Yinhua |

RSF urges China to rescind decision to expel three WSJ reporters

News Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Chinese authorities to reverse their decision to expel three Wall Street Journal journalists based in Beijing because of an opinion piece the newspaper published about China’s handling of the coronavirus epidemic. The decision was  announced  on Wednesday February 19th by foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, who said t
| News |

Fake news and the coronavirus: let’s develop a more critical mindset

There is a video making the rounds on social media recently showing, in two separate clips, a woman and a man entering a lift, spitting on the buttons and then rubbing saliva over them. The voiceover states that the lift is in China and explains the two perpetrators are trying to spread “the virus.” At the end of the two-minute clip, a message appears reading: “Satanic agent distributing coronavirus around the world.” Interestingly, although the video was purportedly shot
| Community & Education, Environment & Health, Opinion |

Going viral: Demand for disease-themed movies and games explodes

by Jerome Taylor As the world confronts the spread of a deadly new virus, interest in disease-themed movies, games and TV series has exploded, with worried viewers turning to documentaries and disaster flicks for answers and ways to cope. The iTunes movie download charts are usually dominated by the latest blockbusters. But in the last few weeks, a blast from the past has stormed up the charts — Steven Soderbergh’s 2011 thriller “Contagion”.
| Environment & Health, Hong Kong, 2020 coronavirus |

PlayStation cites coronavirus, backs out of multiple major gaming expos [Updated]

Enlarge / Guess what won't be on display at one of the biggest US gaming gatherings? (credit: Kiyoshi Ota | Bloomberg | Getty Images ) Update, February 20 : One day after Sony's PAX East cancellation, the company's PlayStation arm has now announced plans to skip a second major gaming expo, the Game Developers Conference, by citing the impact of coronavirus on its worldwide operations. Its
| Gaming & Culture, coronavirus, COVID-19 |

Man vs. machine in bid to beat virus

Author:  Thu, 2020-02-20 23:50 BOSTON: Did an artificial-intelligence system beat human doctors in warning the world of a severe coronavirus outbreak in China? In a narrow sense, yes. But what the humans lacked in sheer speed, they more than made up in finesse. Early warnings of disease outbreaks can help people and governments to save lives. In the final
| News |

Going viral: Demand for disease-themed movies and games explodes

Author:  Thu, 2020-02-20 23:25 HONG KONG: As the world confronts the spread of a deadly new virus, interest in disease-themed movies, games and TV series has exploded, with worried viewers turning to documentaries and disaster flicks for answers and ways to cope. The iTunes movie download charts are usually dominated by the latest blockbusters. But in the past few
| News |