World battles covid-19 surge as WHO warns of ‘exponential’ case

News Network
October 25, 2020

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Paris, Oct 25: More countries tightened anti-coronavirus measures on Saturday, with France extending a curfew and Belgium bringing forward its own curbs as new infections surged in many parts of the world.

The World Health Organization has warned of an "exponential" rise in infections threatening health systems’ ability to cope with a second wave of cases, testing many nations that appeared to have the virus under control earlier this year.

Governments are now struggling to balance new restrictions against the need to revive economies already battered by earlier draconian lockdowns after the virus first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

But populations weary of social isolation and economic hardship have bristled at new restrictions.

Europe has seen a spike in new infections and taken a raft of new measures, mostly trying to avoid new nation-wide lockdowns — from night-time curfews to more restrictions on social gatherings.

After Germany recorded its 10,000th coronavirus death, Chancellor Angela Merkel said: "The order of the day is to reduce contacts, (and) to meet as few people as possible."

Polish President Andrzej Duda said Saturday he had become the latest public figure to test positive for coronavirus as the EU country faces record infection rates.

Duda, 48, said in a tweet that he had tested positive but "felt fine" and was still on the job.

Spain became the first European country earlier this week to officially record a million coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic.

People across the country were bracing for a national state of emergency, overnight curfews and other new containment measures.

"They probably should have done this a long time ago or taken other steps, like restricting the number of people taking public transport or going to work," 22-year-old student Patricia Vazquez told AFP in the capital Madrid.

Colombia became the latest country to record a million confirmed Covid-19 cases on Saturday, as France recorded a 24-hour record of more than 45,000 infections a day after passing the same milestone.

The French government extended an overnight curfew to cover areas home to around 46 million people — two out of every three French.

"The difference compared to the first wave is that now we also have all the chronic pathologies of the winter period to take care of," emergency doctor Agnes Ricard-Hibon told local television.

Prime Minister Jean Castex said Saturday that another 700 million euros ($830 million) would be made available to help poor people who have been hit hardest by the pandemic.

On Friday, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that "too many countries are seeing an exponential increase in Covid-19 cases and that is now leading to hospitals and intensive care units running close to or above capacity."

"We urge leaders to take immediate action to prevent further unnecessary deaths."

Across the planet, the pandemic has now claimed the lives of 1.1 million people and infected more than 42 million, with the WHO warning the northern hemisphere was at an especially critical juncture.

The United States is the worst-affected country with 224,000 deaths, followed by Brazil, India, Mexico and Britain.

In the US, the virus has become a central issue ahead of a November 3 presidential election, with President Donald Trump sparring over his handling of the pandemic with challenger Joe Biden.

"The idea that somehow this White House has done anything but completely screw this thing up is nonsense," said Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, who hit the campaign trail on Saturday to campaign for Biden, his former deputy.

The WHO’s message for nations to do more was echoed by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), but moves to reintroduce restrictions were met with protest in parts of the continent.

In Naples, hundreds of demonstrators answered a call on social media to resist a new curfew, throwing objects at police and setting rubbish bins on fire.

The country is reeling from its worst post-war recession after a two-month national lockdown prompted by one of Europe’s worst outbreaks, and authorities have been reluctant to renew drastic quarantine restrictions.

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News Network
November 25,2020

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Islamabad, Nov 25: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday approved in principle a law on chemical castration of rapists and fast tracking of sexual assault cases, a media report said on Tuesday.

The decision was made during a federal cabinet meeting where the law ministry presented a draft of the anti-rape ordinance, Geo TV reported.

However, there was no official announcement about it.

The report said the draft includes increasing women’s role in policing, fast-tracking rape cases and witness protection.

Stressing that this was a serious matter, Khan said no delay will be tolerated.

“We need to ensure a safe environment for our citizens,” he said.

The premier said the legislation will be clear and transparent with strict enforcement.

He said the rape survivors will be able to register complaints without fear, adding that the government will protect their identity.

Some federal ministers also recommended public hanging for the rape convicts, the report said.

But the premier said castration will be a start. The federal cabinet has, in principle, approved strict severe punishment for rape convicts.

Taking to Twitter, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf senator Faisal Javed Khan said the law will soon be presented in Parliament.

There has been much debate around rape laws in Pakistan.

The rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl in Lahore in January 2018 and more recently the motorway gang-rape in Lahore sparked a debate on the severity of punishment to prevent sexual assaults.

Speaking at a joint sitting of Parliament recently, Khan had said that the government will soon introduce a three-tier legislation including registration of sex offenders, exemplary punishment for rape and child abuse and effective policing.

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December 2,2020

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Mangaluru, Dec 2: Fisheries minister Kota Shrinivas Poojari today announced Rs 6 lakh ex-gratia for the families of the each fishermen that lost their lives in deep sea fishing boat tragedy off Ullal coast yesterday.

The bodies of four of the six fishermen who went missing after their boat capsized in deep were retrieved after a prolonged rescue-cum-search operation.

"A compensation of Rs 6 lakh each has been released to the families of fishermen who died in the boat tragedy that occurred in deep sea as per the direction of chief minister B S Yediyurappa. I console the families of the deceased and also assure that I will try to get more compensation for them," Mr Poojari, who is also Dakshina Kannada district in-charge minister, tweeted.

Speaking to media persons during his visit to the mortuary of Wenlock hospital, where the bodies of the fishermen were kept, Mr Poojari said: “A probe is underway to find out the cause for the boat tragedy. Search operation is on to trace the two more missing fishermen. As the bodies are entangled inside the fishing net, the process is getting delayed."

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November 19,2020

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Bangalore, Nov 19: Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) chief DK Shivakumar's daughter Aishwarya on Thursday got engaged with Amarthya Hegde, son of Cafe Coffe Day founder late VG Siddhartha.

The ceremony was held in Bengaluru.

Amarthya Hegde is also the grandson of BJP leader and former Union Minister SM Krishna. A small ceremony was earlier held in June when the two decided to get married.

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