Coronavirus: Pakistan struggles to limit Islamic prayers to stem spread

ISLAMABAD (REUTERS) – Pakistani authorities struggled to limit congregational prayers on Friday (March 27) with devout Muslims defying government orders to stay home, threatening efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Religious Affairs Minister Noor-ul-Haq Qadri on Thursday capped the maximum number of people at prayers at five. The announcement came after a meeting of President Arif Alvi with clerics from all religious sects, seeking their help in limiting…

Australia’s iron ore giants push workers to stay at mine sites to escape coronavirus

Australia’s iron ore giants push workers to stay at mine sites to escape coronavirus

MELBOURNE (REUTERS) – Australia’s iron ore giants are looking to reduce the threat to their operations from a coronavirus pandemic, by pushing workers to spend weeks on site away from families and relocate from the eastern seaboard, company and union officials said on Friday (March 27). Rio Tinto , BHP Group and Fortescue are moving workers who would usually commute from major cities by aeroplane to stay on site for…

Australian federal, state leaders meet to discuss coronavirus pandemic

Australian federal, state leaders meet to discuss coronavirus pandemic

SYDNEY (REUTERS) – Australian federal and state leaders will meet on Friday (March 27), the country’s prime minister said, amid growing expectations the largest states could enforce a wide-ranging lockdown to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Further fiscal support measures are also expected to be discussed in the meeting of the prime minister, state premiers and chief ministers, according to local media. Australia will also charter commercial flights to bring home…

China to significantly reduce international flights amid coronavirus concerns

China to significantly reduce international flights amid coronavirus concerns

BEIJING (REUTERS) – China’s aviation regulator on Thursday (March 26) asked domestic airlines to reduce their international routes to only one per country while capping the number of flights to no more than one flight per week. Foreign airlines are also asked to limit the number of flights to China to no more than one flight per week, said the Civil Aviation Administration of China. Airlines are required to cap…

Coronavirus: How pandemic shines light on Hong Kong’s monitoring woes

Coronavirus: How pandemic shines light on Hong Kong’s monitoring woes

HONG KONG – As the number of confirmed coronavirus patients climb, Hong Kong’s quarantine monitoring process has been found to be wanting and thrown up issues of technology and enforcement, especially when compared to Singapore. A social media executive who wants to be known as Ms Alex Smith was left feeling frustrated during her compulsory 14-day quarantine after failing multiple times to register herself on the Hong Kong government phone…

Bangladesh releases a jailed opposition figure

Bangladesh releases a jailed opposition figure

Mar 26th 2020 LIKE MANY others, the government of Bangladesh has issued a ban on public gatherings to curb the spread of covid-19. Yet not even the threat of a pandemic could deter supporters of Khaleda Zia, a jailed opposition leader, from turning out en masse to witness her release on bail. The 74-year-old, who leads the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), was granted a six-month reprieve from prison on March…