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Offline Flex

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Coronavirus Thread.
« on: February 01, 2020, 11:15:57 AM »
Maharaj on travel ban: Don't leave citizens stranded in China
By JULIEN NEAVES (NEWSDAY)


GOVERNMENT must provide assistance to any citizens who travelled to China and are affected by the new coronavirus two-week travel restriction, said former attorney general Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj.

He was responding to a restriction announced by Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh at the post-Cabinet media briefing on Thursday as part of measures to interrupt transmission of the respiratory virus which the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared an international emergency. On Friday it was reported that the US is placing any citizen who has been in China's Hubei province (where the recent outbreak originated) in up to 14 days mandatory quarantine.

Maharaj told Newsday Government has a duty to help citizens abroad and if they have to be in another country assistance should be provided through the High Commissioner's Office. He also said such assistance should be announced, especially for those in China and those areas around China.

"You cannot leave citizens at the mercy of a foreign country through no fault of theirs stranded with no help. To impose a 14-day wait and provide no assistance I think that is not right. I think Government has a duty to assist citizens in that situation."

Asked whether the restriction itself breached any human rights Maharaj said a country needs to take whatever steps it thinks necessary having regard to its resources to prevent a disease or an infection of any communicable disease from spreading.

"It cannot be doubted that we do not have resources like China, America or England and therefore Government has to deal with it in a way that you may have inconvenience for some of the citizens. If you do not have the required quarantine facilities you could expose the population to dangers of health or even death."

On Deyalsingh's statements that T&T is prepared to deal with the possibility of multiple cases Maharaj compared the response to the crisis in China where they have resources to build a new hospital in a day and a lot of medicine and staff.

"We do not have that kind of resources and facilities at this time."

He said that if the minister wants the population to be happy, he should enumerate and state publicly what are the facilities to address the coronavirus and the quantity of medicine and staff.

"We have no such information."

He said events like these made it imperative for governments of small countries to take appropriate steps to ensure they have resources and availability of required skill to deal with future situations or "the entire population or a substantial part could be affected."

T&T national and teacher Shilohna Phillanders in China has complained about the lack of communication from the T&T embassy in China.

Former senator Gerald Ramdeen also commented on the travel restrictions and said while the restriction of someone's liberty should be a matter of concern the safety and security of the health of citizens trumps any other interest. He added, however, that there should be specifics on the travel restriction and other measures instead of broad brush statements.

"From the reactionary way Government dealt with the crisis it is clear what is happening is unplanned and not properly thought out. And that will only lead to disaster because we are dealing with the health and well-being of the country."

He referenced the comments by Public Services Association president Watson Duke who called for proper gear and equipment to ensure the safety and health of immigration and customers workers and said the response by Deyalsingh and National Security Minister Stuart "left a lot to be desired." He said that neither answered the critical question that the equipment being supplied were ordinary masks and cannot be intended to protect those working on the borders and at the doorstep of a global crisis.

Ramdeen also said the ministers did not report whether the workers had received the requisite training.

"There are no details on what the Government is doing."

On Government not following recommendations of the Pan American Health Organisation and the WHO Ramdeen said that every citizen has to be concerned.

"We had Ebola and Sars before and you would have thought we learned from those experiences to take the necessary precautions. Are we as country ready if one case (of the coronavirus) is detected?"

He said that in Seoul, South Korea, infected people would be put in an institution and stay for 14 days.

"We are doing nothing close to what WHO said we should be doing and that leaves lot to be desired. I hope whatever is being done we take guidance from international organisations and health and safety remains a priority."

Attorney Gregory Delzin said the travel restrictions were in the interest of the society's welfare.

"Human rights is not an absolute right. If it is for the good of the society and the restrictions are necessary it may be an understandable restriction on the freedom of movement."

The total coronavirus deaths in Hubei has reached 249 and more than 9,709 cases have been confirmed in mainland China as well as a handful of cases in the US, England, Russia and Thailand.

Newsday sought clarification from Deyalsingh on the travel restriction on what would happen to a citizen unable to remain in China or another country and whether they would be allowed to enter T&T and quarantined he replied in a WhatsApp message "No sir. I was clear." He was also asked where the individual would be stopped but he did not respond up to news time. An attempt to get clarification from Young was also unsuccessful.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Flex

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Re: Coronavirus Thread.
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2020, 02:15:49 PM »
Court hearing involving Chinese citizen adjourned over coronavirus concerns
By Derek Achong (Guardian).


A High Court Judge was this morn­ing forced to ad­journ the hear­ing of a cor­rup­tion case in­volv­ing a 47-year-old Chi­nese woman, who was al­lowed to re­turn Trinidad on Sat­ur­day, be­fore this coun­try's 14-day trav­el re­stric­tions over the on­go­ing glob­al coro­n­avirus out­break, took ef­fect.

Yan Fang Hong was sched­uled to ap­pear be­fore High Court Judge Hay­den St Clair-Dou­glas at the Hall of Jus­tice in Port-of-Spain yes­ter­day morn­ing for the con­tin­u­a­tion of her case for at­tempt­ing to bribe a po­lice of­fi­cer in 2007.

How­ev­er, when the case was called, St Clair-Dou­glas in­formed the court that be­cause of in­ter­na­tion­al re­ports on the coro­n­avirus he had in­struct­ed the Supreme Court Reg­is­trar to ask Hong's at­tor­neys for her not to at­tend.

St Clair-Dou­glas then ad­journed the case to March 2.

Guardian Me­dia un­der­stands that Hong, who has been on bail since be­ing charged over a decade ago, was grant­ed per­mis­sion to re­turn to Chi­na to spend Christ­mas with her chil­dren.

Be­fore Hong left Chi­na, last Thurs­day, her lo­cal at­tor­neys led by Ra­jiv Per­sad con­tact­ed the Im­mi­gra­tion Di­vi­sion to find out whether she would be per­mit­ted to en­ter the coun­try.

At the time, the im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cials al­leged­ly claimed that they had not re­ceived any of­fi­cial di­rec­tive on the trav­el re­stric­tions, which were an­nounced by Health Min­is­ter Ter­rance Deyals­ingh at the post-Cab­i­net press brief­ing, last Thurs­day.

Hong ar­rived at the Pi­ar­co In­ter­na­tion­al Air­port on a Caribbean Air­lines flight from New York, around 9 pm on Sat­ur­day night.

Sources said that she was ini­tial­ly screened and cleared at the John F Kennedy (JFK) In­ter­na­tion­al Air­port in New York be­fore be­ing al­lowed to board a con­nect­ing flight to Trinidad.

When the woman re­port­ed­ly ar­rived in Trinidad, she was screened once again and did not show any symp­toms. She was then al­lowed to leave with one of her at­tor­neys, who came to the air­port to ob­tain doc­u­ments, which would have been nec­es­sary if she (Hong) was de­nied en­try and missed her sched­uled court ap­pear­ance be­fore St Clair-Dou­glas.

Hong is fac­ing a charge un­der the Pre­ven­tion of Cor­rup­tion Act for brib­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer on April 5, 2007.

Hong was at a casi­no in Princes Town, which she man­aged, when po­lice raid­ed the busi­ness for hav­ing 40 more gam­bling ma­chines than per­mit­ted in its li­cence.

She al­leged­ly of­fered a se­nior of­fi­cer a $10,000 to for­go pros­e­cut­ing the of­fence but was in­stead ar­rest­ed and charged for cor­rup­tion.

The max­i­mum penal­ty for the of­fence is a $500,000 fine and 10 years in prison.

Ac­cord­ing to a World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WHO) sit­u­a­tion re­port pub­lished on Tues­day, there are 20,630 con­firmed cas­es glob­al­ly.

Of the cas­es, 20,471 were con­firmed in Chi­na with 2,788 se­ri­ous cas­es and 425 deaths.

There have been 159 con­firmed cas­es in 23 oth­er coun­tries with one re­sult­ing in death.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

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Re: Coronavirus Thread.
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2020, 02:28:47 PM »
2007 events, 2020 case in court.  Impressive.
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, the outgoing president of Croatia, said corruption was so embedded in her country that at school children who cheated in tests were celebrated as “heroes”. A recent Eurobarometer survey found that a majority of Croatians felt affected by corruption.

Sound familiar, T&T?

Offline Flex

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Re: Coronavirus Thread.
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2020, 04:29:55 PM »
Female passenger refused entry on travel restriction
T&T Guardian Reports.


A fe­male pas­sen­ger who ar­rived at Pi­ar­co In­ter­na­tion­al Air­port from Guyana on Mon­day night on a jour­ney that orig­i­nat­ed in Hong Kong was sent back to the port of em­barka­tion.

This was con­firmed by Chief Med­ical Of­fi­cer Dr Roshan Paras­ram who said the woman “did not have any symp­toms or any­thing that was sus­pi­cious but she was re­turned be­cause of the trav­el re­stric­tions from Chi­na.”

He told Guardian Me­dia: “I be­lieve she would have gone through oth­er ter­ri­to­ries, in­clud­ing Hong Kong, New York and Guyana and then to Trinidad. Based on our trav­el re­stric­tions for per­sons leav­ing Chi­na with­in 14 days of de­par­ture, she was re­turned to the last port of call based on the Cab­i­net note and the im­mi­gra­tion laws.

“I don’t know what flight she came in from but I on­ly know of that woman who came in from Guyana and she would have spent some time at our air­port wait­ing on de­par­ture back to the port of call.”

Com­ment­ing on the in­ci­dent dur­ing an in­ter­view of CNC3’s The Morn­ing Brew, Chief Im­mi­gra­tion Of­fi­cer Char­maine Gand­hi-An­drews said of­fi­cials at this coun­try’s ports of en­try are alert­ed right away—via ad­vance pas­sen­ger in­for­ma­tion from air­lines—when pas­sen­gers orig­i­nate from Chi­na.

How­ev­er, some per­sons have more com­pli­cat­ed trav­el itin­er­aries and im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cials are on­ly able to de­duce their ori­gin dur­ing the in­ter­view and by look­ing at all their trav­el doc­u­ments and pass­ports. “We had one such case yes­ter­day and that pas­sen­ger was re­turned to their port of en­try,” she said.

“They were screened by port health; there was no is­sue. How­ev­er, be­cause of the trav­el ban, that per­son was re­turned to their port of em­barka­tion.”

Ghan­di-An­drews said cit­i­zens and per­ma­nent res­i­dents of this coun­try can­not be re­fused en­try. How­ev­er, they will be screened and pos­si­bly even quar­an­tined if they have re­turned from a coun­try of in­ter­est for the virus, and pose a po­ten­tial in­fec­tion risk.

The in­ci­dent caused some con­cern among air­port work­ers, in­clud­ing Im­mi­gra­tion and cus­toms of­fi­cers, who are call­ing for more strin­gent screen­ing process­es, in­clud­ing full-body sani­ti­sa­tion spray­ing for all ar­riv­ing pas­sen­gers as they dis­em­bark from the re­spec­tive air­craft.

One air­port work­er, speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymi­ty, said: “We think that there should be more pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sures at the air­port... maybe have a sys­tem where all pas­sen­gers are screened and sani­tised by full-body spray­ing be­fore they en­ter the ter­mi­nal. The avail­abil­i­ty of more gloves, face masks and hand sani­tis­ers too.”

Ghan­di-An­drews said 1,000 masks were or­dered last week and it is be­com­ing “more im­per­a­tive that all of­fi­cers utilise it.”

With re­gards to the screen­ing process, she said an as­sis­tant chief and two Grade IV of­fi­cers have been as­signed to the air­port to over­see the coro­n­avirus screen­ing process. Dr Vish­wanath Par­taps­ingh, Prin­ci­pal Med­ical Of­fi­cer at the Health Min­istry, said risk of the nov­el coro­n­avirus nCoV-2019 spread­ing to T&T is rel­a­tive­ly low, com­pared with oth­er places. How­ev­er, while there is no need to pan­ic, the coun­try can­not af­ford to be com­pla­cent. Dr Par­taps­ingh says the screen­ing sys­tems are ex­treme­ly de­tailed to de­ter­mine trav­ellers’ pos­si­ble ex­po­sure to nCov-2019, once they are com­ing from coun­tries of in­ter­est.

“When you look at the ex­it screen­ing of those com­ing out of these ports, it is quite in­tense. There is a tem­per­a­ture scan­ning. There is al­so the ex­po­sure his­to­ry as­cer­tained: ‘Did you trav­el or go to a mar­ket with live an­i­mals? Did you have any live an­i­mals? Did you come in­to con­tact with any­one who dis­played any of the symp­toms?’ That is the base of the screen­ing,” he said.

“When you look at the cas­es in the oth­er coun­tries out­side of main­land Chi­na, the cas­es all had a di­rect ex­po­sure his­to­ry—ei­ther trav­el to or had a di­rect, close con­tact with some­one who was con­firmed with a case.”

Dr Par­taps­ingh said re­duc­ing risk ul­ti­mate­ly comes down to each per­son prac­tis­ing good hy­giene at all times, es­pe­cial­ly when cough­ing and sneez­ing, and most im­por­tant­ly—fre­quent­ly wash­ing one’s hands with soap and wa­ter.

He al­so warned about cross con­t­a­m­i­na­tion for those us­ing masks and gloves to pro­tect them­selves from pos­si­ble in­fec­tion.

“You have a mask on; you think all is well. You have gloves on; you think all is well. But then you’re on the phone. You have the pen. You touch the pass­port. You ad­just the mask. And so, you have the po­ten­tial to cross con­t­a­m­i­nate for any virus or any sort of pathogen that comes in.

“Hand wash­ing is key. Main­tain­ing a dis­tance with some­one who you know is sneez­ing and cough­ing is key.”

Last Thurs­day, Cab­i­net agreed to a trav­el re­stric­tion on any­one trav­el­ling from Chi­na to T&T, in light of the spread of the coro­n­avirus. Health Min­is­ter Ter­rance Deyals­in­gh an­nounced that “per­sons who are present­ly liv­ing in Chi­na or vis­it­ing Chi­na, re­gard­less of na­tion­al­i­ty, will not be al­lowed en­try in­to Trinidad and To­ba­go for 14 days af­ter leav­ing Chi­na.”

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

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Re: Coronavirus Thread.
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2020, 06:37:33 AM »
Travellers from China arrive after ban announced
By Rishard Khan (Guardian).


Days af­ter the trav­el re­stric­tion was an­nounced by Health Min­is­ter Ter­rence Deyals­ingh, sev­er­al trav­ellers who re­cent­ly trav­elled to Chi­na were let in­to the coun­try.

The rev­e­la­tion came on the heels of a Chi­nese na­tion­al’s case hav­ing to be ad­journed by High Court judge Hay­den St Clair-Dou­glas at the Hall of Jus­tice in Port-of-Spain yes­ter­day morn­ing, due to con­cerns over the coro­n­avirus.

Yan Fang Hong, 47, who was due to ap­pear in court yes­ter­day, left Chi­na on Thurs­day and en­tered the coun­try through a con­nect­ing flight in New York on Feb­ru­ary 1. (See ar­ti­cle be­low)

Asked how Hong could en­ter the coun­try af­ter the ban was an­nounced on Thurs­day, Jan­u­ary 30, Deyals­ingh said: “The Pres­i­dent had to sign off on that or­der which she did on the 31st. The Chief Med­ical Of­fi­cer (CMO) has to sign off an or­der and that was done on the 31st. Im­mi­gra­tion has to be alert­ed. So al­though Cab­i­net took the de­ci­sion on Thurs­day 30, it would take some time to the pol­i­cy to reach down on the ground to Im­mi­gra­tion.”

Deyals­ingh was un­able to in­di­cate when the or­der reached Im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cials and said he would need to find out from At­tor­ney Gen­er­al Faris Al-Rawi. Guardian Me­dia at­tempt­ed to reach Chief Im­mi­gra­tion Of­fi­cer Char­maine Gand­hi-An­drews, Min­is­ter of Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Stu­art Young and AG Faris Al-Rawi to as­cer­tain when the or­der was of­fi­cial­ly im­ple­ment­ed. How­ev­er, no re­sponse was giv­en up to press time.

Chief Med­ical Of­fi­cer Dr Roshan Paras­ram al­so re­vealed to Guardian Me­dia that “we would have had a cou­ple peo­ple com­ing through.”

While ac­knowl­edg­ing the de­lay in im­ple­ment­ing the re­stric­tion, he al­so of­fered a dif­fer­ent ex­pla­na­tion to Deyals­ingh’s, ex­plain­ing that a de­ci­sion was made to al­low in­to the coun­try, those trav­ellers who were al­ready en route to T&T when the re­stric­tion was an­nounced.

“It was ac­tu­al­ly on­ly now in ef­fect and what we had agreed is that peo­ple who were com­ing in that kind of grey area who had al­ready left their coun­tries of ori­gin. It’s un­fair for us as a coun­try to do a ban to­day and then peo­ple who are en route to turn them away be­cause they would not have known.”

“What we were do­ing is fol­low­ing them up for the 14 days to make sure they passed the in­cu­ba­tion pe­ri­od. And once they passed that pe­ri­od and have no symp­toms then fine. But if they have symp­toms at any point—we mon­i­tor them every day—and they have num­bers to call in the event that some­thing hap­pens at night and we would take them in­to hos­pi­tal and do the nec­es­sary test­ing.”

He said those trav­ellers are al­so equipped with the nec­es­sary equip­ment such as face masks and have a li­ai­son through the coun­ty med­ical of­fi­cer.

How­ev­er, Min­is­ter Deyals­ingh in­di­cat­ed dif­fer­ent­ly say­ing in cas­es such as Hong’s, “they would be put in iso­la­tion just as we did with the stu­dent who came in.”

When con­tact­ed, Caribbean Air­lines com­mu­ni­ca­tion man­ag­er Dionne Ligoure told Guardian Me­dia: “Caribbean Air­lines is acute­ly aware of the coro­n­avirus and the air­line is proac­tive­ly en­sur­ing that mea­sures are in place to safe­guard its cus­tomers and crews.”

Dr Paras­ram it­er­at­ed that cur­rent­ly there aren’t any con­firmed or sus­pect­ed cas­es of the nov­el coro­n­avirus in the coun­try.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

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Re: Coronavirus Thread.
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2020, 04:25:31 PM »
China's virus death toll surpasses SARS but new cases fall
Associated Press


BEIJING (AP) — Mainland China's death toll from the new virus outbreak has risen to 811, surpassing the number of fatalities in the 2002-2003 SARS pandemic.

However, the number of new cases reported over the last 24 hours on Sunday fell significantly from the previous period, something experts see as a sign the spread of the virus may be slowing.

Another 89 deaths were reported, while 2,656 new cases were added for a total of 37,198. On Saturday, 3,399 cases were reported for the previous 24 hours.

SARS is widely considered to have killed 774 people and sickened 8,098, mainly in mainland China and Hong Kong. The response this time has been much quicker and countries around the world are enforcing stricter measures to contain the spread.

A 60-year-old American was among the new fatalities in Wuhan, the hardest-hit central Chinese city where the virus was first detected in December among people who had visited a food market where live wild animals were sold. He is apparently the first American death in the outbreak, while a Japanese citizen being treated in Wuhan who was a suspected case also died.

China's ruling Communist Party faces continuing anger from the public over the death of a Wuhan doctor who was threatened by police after trying to sound the alarm about the disease over a month ago.

On Saturday, Japan reported three more cases aboard a quarantined cruise ship for a total of 64 . There are 3,700 passengers and crew on the Diamond Princess who must remain on board for 14 days.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said foreign passengers on another ship, Holland America's Westerdam, won't be allowed into Japan because of suspected virus patients on board. The ship, with more than 2,000 people, was near Okinawa and was seeking another port.

Hong Kong began enforcing a 14-day quarantine for arrivals from mainland China on Saturday. The territory has refused to completely seal its border but hopes the quarantine will dissuade travelers from the mainland.

China's leaders are trying to keep food flowing to crowded cities despite anti-disease controls and to quell fears of possible shortages and price spikes following panic buying after most access to Wuhan and nearby cities was cut off.

Public anger continued to simmer over the authorities' treatment of a young doctor who was reprimanded by police for issuing a warning about the virus before being infected and dying this week.

In death, 34-year-old Li Wenliang became the face of anger at the ruling Communist Party's controls over information and complaints that officials lie about or hide disease outbreaks, chemical spills, dangerous consumer products or financial frauds.

The 34-year-old ophthalmologist died overnight at Wuhan Central Hospital, where he worked and likely contracted the virus while treating patients in the early days of the outbreak.

Police in December had reprimanded eight doctors including Li for warning friends on social media about the emerging threat. China's supreme court later criticized the police, but the ruling Communist Party has tightened its grip on information about the outbreak.

Users of China's Weibo microblogging service have left hundreds of thousands of messages mourning Li's death and criticizing the authorities over their treatment of him and other whistleblowers.

Following the criticism, the government announced a team from Beijing would be sent to Wuhan to investigate “issues reported by the masses involving Dr. Li Wenliang.”

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

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Re: Coronavirus Thread.
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2020, 09:10:12 AM »
T&T donates masks to China
By Rishard Khan (Guardian).


The gov­ern­ment has do­nat­ed thou­sands of masks to Chi­na to help con­trol the coro­n­avirus out­break.

Min­is­ter of For­eign and Cari­com Af­fairs, Den­nis Moses told the me­dia yes­ter­day that the do­na­tion in­clud­ed 13,600 N95 res­pi­ra­tor masks, 1,000 N95 sur­gi­cal masks and 400 oth­er masks.

The masks were val­ued at TT$150,000.

Cur­rent­ly, there are two Trinidad and To­ba­go na­tion­als at the heart of the virus out­break. One is lo­cat­ed in the virus’ epi­cen­tre of Wuhan while the oth­er, who isn’t in the cap­i­tal city re­mains in the Hubei province.

“Our ad­vice is - and it has been de­ter­mined- the safest op­tion and the best op­tion is to re­main in place and fol­low the guide­lines of the lo­cal Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties.”

He added: “There are suf­fi­cient rea­sons so as to not en­ter­tain leav­ing Chi­na at this point in time,” Moses said as he al­lud­ed to the dif­fi­cul­ty in leav­ing the coun­try due to in­ter­na­tion­al trav­el re­stric­tions for any­one leav­ing the Chi­nese main­land.

How­ev­er, he not­ed that this ad­vice was sub­ject to change as the sit­u­a­tion con­tin­ues to de­vel­op. This is why he said the min­istry is con­tin­u­ous­ly mon­i­tor­ing the un­fold­ing sit­u­a­tion in Chi­na and any changes would be com­mu­ni­cat­ed to the ap­prox­i­mate 120 T&T cit­i­zens liv­ing in Chi­na.

But in the same breath, he not­ed that no cit­i­zen would be barred from en­ter­ing the coun­try.

“Should na­tion­als choose the op­tion of leav­ing and mak­ing there way back to Trinidad, of course, they would be wel­comed. They would not be de­barred but part and par­cel of that arrange­ment would be the need to sub­ject one’s self to quar­an­tine and the trav­el re­stric­tions that are in place,” he said.

Min­is­ter Moses said the T&T Em­bassy in Bei­jing was keep­ing track of those T&T na­tion­als in Chi­na who checked in with them.

“Mem­bers of staff from the em­bassy, on a day-to-day ba­sis, are in con­tact with per­sons who are on the Wechat (Chi­nese mes­sag­ing app) plat­form and they of­fer up­dates and of­fer ad­vi­sories, per­sons in dis­tress are ac­com­mo­dat­ed,” he said.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

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Re: Coronavirus Thread.
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2020, 08:07:14 AM »
Coronavirus cases surge globally as Italy confirms fifth death; China delays National People’s Congress.
By Adam Taylor and Rick Noack


China’s leaders on Monday postponed the biggest event on their political calendar, the National People’s Congress, as the country’s battle against the deadly coronavirus outbreak disrupts the ruling Communist Party’s agenda and hammers the domestic economy.

In a speech to party officials a day earlier, President Xi Jinping warned that the outbreak was a “crisis” that would inevitably jolt the country’s economic development, but he pledged that the disruption would be temporary and manageable.

Beijing also abruptly backtracked on an earlier announcement that it would relax travel restrictions on the coronavirus-hit city of Wuhan, amplifying concerns about the government response to the outbreak.

Meanwhile, the epidemic is surging around the world. Just four days ago, Italy had only confirmed three cases. As of Monday, it has the largest known outbreak outside Asia, pushing the world closer to a pandemic.

Here are the latest developments:

● Official figures released Monday showed there had been 409 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 150 new deaths from the outbreak in China by the end of Sunday, bringing the total confirmed cases to 77,150, with a cumulative death toll of 2,592. The majority of the new cases — 398 — were in Hubei province, as were all but one death.

● Six Chinese provinces lowered their emergency ratings, with businesses reopening and workers leaving quarantine.

● Xi spoke Sunday and gave some of his starkest public warnings about the virus, telling party members that the outbreak was both a crisis and a test for Beijing.

● The outbreak widened in other countries; South Korea announced Monday that it now has 833 confirmed cases, seven of which have resulted in deaths. Afghanistan reported its first case. Kuwait, Iraq and Bahrain reported new cases, as well.

● The coronavirus has arrived with force in Italy, with case numbers spiking almost hourly and the virus jumping from one region to the next across the country’s north.

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Re: Coronavirus Thread.
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2020, 01:40:53 PM »
FA charges Tottenham midfielder Alli over social media post mocking coronavirus
By PA Sport Staff
PA Media:


Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli has been charged by the Football Association over his social media post mocking the coronavirus.

Alli posted a video on Snapchat poking fun at the deadly virus while also singling out an Asian man in an airport earlier this month.

He hastily deleted the video and then posted a separate apology on Chinese platform Weibo.

The FA wrote to him seeking his observations and has now decided to charge him with misconduct.

If he is found guilty, the 23-year-old could face a hefty fine and a suspension, which would be another blow to Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho.

A statement from the governing body read: “Dele Alli has been charged with misconduct for a breach of FA Rule E3 in relation to a social media post.

“It is alleged that the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder’s post breaches FA Rule E3(1) as it was insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute.

“It is further alleged that the post constitutes an “Aggravated Breach”, which is defined in FA Rule E3(2), as it included a reference, whether express or implied, to race and/or colour and/or ethnic origin and/or nationality.

“He has until Thursday 5 March 2020 to provide a response.”

Any ruling would be subject to an appeal which means the situation could still drag on into the middle of March.

Alli would have been hoping a swift apology might have been enough to avoid a charge, but he is now facing sanction, with the FA setting precedent earlier this season when banning Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva for a similar offence.

He posted on Weibo: “It wasn’t funny and I realised that immediately and took it down. I let myself down and the club.

“I don’t want you to have that impression of me because it wasn’t funny and I realised that straight away and took it down.

“It isn’t something that should be joked about. I’m sending all my love and all my thoughts and prayers to everyone in China.”

His boss Mourinho will be dreading a ban as it would leave him with even less options in attack following possible season-ending injuries to Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.

Mourinho has previously said: “I feel that (a ban) would be unnecessary, but I am nobody. In relation to these decisions, I am nobody.

“I am somebody in relation to Dele’s process of, let’s say, professional education and I felt it so, so easy because of the way he reacted.

“So I think it is unnecessary because the player understands the naivety of the situation, the player is a good guy, the player even in the dressing room has a big Asian friend that he loves.

“So there was no intention at all. He immediately regrets, immediately makes a public apology. I feel it is unnecessary but I am nobody.”

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Re: Coronavirus Thread.
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2020, 03:22:04 PM »
Jamaica intensifies measures against COVID-19
T&T Guardian Reports.


Ja­maica has an­nounced new mea­sures as the coun­try pre­pares for the pos­si­bil­i­ty of an out­break of COVID-19.

The coun­try has ac­ti­vat­ed quar­an­tine, screen­ing and oth­er an­ti-virus coun­ter­mea­sures since the out­break wors­ened in Jan­u­ary, in­clu­sive of four ad­di­tion quar­an­tine fa­cil­i­ties, in an­tic­i­pa­tion of any de­vel­op­ments.

Ja­maican au­thor­i­ties re­port that as at Feb 26, 141 per­sons ar­rived in Ja­maica who had been in Chi­na 14 days pri­or: five per­sons have been quar­an­tined in Gov­ern­ment fa­cil­i­ties; five are in home quar­an­tine; and two per­sons are in iso­la­tion, for whom test re­sults are still out­stand­ing.

Ja­maica’s Min­is­ter of Health and Well­ness, Dr Christo­pher Tufton, has ad­vised that ad­di­tion­al coun­tries have been in­cor­po­rat­ed in­to the coun­try’s ex­ist­ing trav­el re­stric­tions, be­cause of the fact that the ma­jor­i­ty of cas­es in those coun­tries have been due to in-coun­try trans­mis­sion.

The de­ci­sion was made, based on the lat­est risk as­sess­ment car­ried out by the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO)—Sit­u­a­tion Sit­u­a­tion Re­port 37 on the COVID-19—dat­ed Feb­ru­ary 26, 2020.

The re­strict­ed coun­tries are as fol­lows:

• Italy (322 cas­es, 11 deaths);

• South Ko­rea/Re­pub­lic of Ko­rea (1,261 cas­es, 12 deaths);

• Sin­ga­pore (91 cas­es, no deaths); and

• Iran (95 cas­es; 15 deaths).

The Ja­maican au­thor­i­ties add that they are re­view­ing the sit­u­a­tion in Japan, where there are 164 cas­es and one death, and an ad­vi­so­ry on Japan will fol­low short­ly.

In ad­di­tion, the Ja­maican au­thor­i­ties al­so gave an up­date on the cruise line—with more than 4,500 pas­sen­gers and more than 1,600 crew mem­bers—which was de­nied ac­cess to the port of call in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, on Tues­day 25 Feb­ru­ary 2020.

They note that the ves­sel ar­rived at ap­prox­i­mate­ly 8:30 a.m. and, up­on in­spec­tion by Port Health Of­fi­cials, it was dis­cov­ered that a crew mem­ber had been put in iso­la­tion on board. The crew mem­ber had a cough, fever and as­so­ci­at­ed mus­cle pains, to­geth­er with a trav­el his­to­ry to a coun­try of in­ter­est re­lat­ing to COVID-19.

The de­ci­sion to de­ny en­try was in ac­cor­dance with the coun­try’s Quar­an­tine Act of 1951.

Ja­maica’s Na­tion­al Co­or­di­nat­ing Com­mit­tee, which was set up to han­dle the COVID-19 is­sue, will host its first meet­ing ear­ly in March and will ex­am­ine all of the pre­pared­ness func­tions of the en­tire Gov­ern­ment ap­pa­ra­tus.

The com­mit­tee is co-chaired by the Prime Min­is­ter and the Min­is­ter of Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, and is com­prised of a wide cross sec­tion of stake­hold­ers, in­clud­ing mem­bers of in­dus­try, the pub­lic sec­tor and civ­il so­ci­ety.

LAT­EST AD­DI­TIONS TO JA­MAICA’S TRAV­EL RE­STRIC­TIONS

a) All Ja­maicans who have vis­it­ed Italy, South Ko­rea, Iran, and Sin­ga­pore in the last 14 days will have land­ing priv­i­leges in ac­cor­dance with the law but will be sub­ject to a health as­sess­ment and quar­an­tine;

b) Per­sons who have vis­it­ed Italy, South Ko­rea, Iran and Sin­ga­pore in the last 14 days and who do not have per­ma­nent res­i­den­cy or mar­riage ex­emp­tion in Ja­maica will not be grant­ed land­ing priv­i­leges at any of the coun­try’s ports of en­try;

c) Non-Ja­maicans who have per­ma­nent res­i­dence and mar­riage ex­emp­tions who are land­ed and who had vis­it­ed Italy, South Ko­rea, Iran, and Sin­ga­pore in the last 14 days will be sub­ject to a health as­sess­ment and quar­an­tine;

d) Per­sons who have vis­it­ed Italy, South Ko­rea, Iran and Sin­ga­pore and have been grant­ed land­ing priv­i­leges and clas­si­fied by the Min­istry of Health and Well­ness as high risk will be quar­an­tined in Gov­ern­ment fa­cil­i­ties; and those who are as­sessed by the Min­istry of Health and Well­ness as low-risk will be quar­an­tined at home un­der the su­per­vi­sion of the Parish Health De­part­ment; and

e) In­di­vid­u­als re­turn­ing from Italy, South Ko­rea, Iran and Sin­ga­pore who have been grant­ed land­ing priv­i­leges and who dis­play any symp­tom of COVID-19, as per the case de­f­i­n­i­tion pub­lished by the Pan Amer­i­can Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion/World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion, will be placed in im­me­di­ate iso­la­tion at a health fa­cil­i­ty.

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Re: Coronavirus Thread.
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2020, 08:24:27 AM »
'You are the biggest clown I have ever seen' - Inter president Zhang blasts Serie A chief over coronavirus chaos
Goal.com.


Inter president Steven Zhang has launched an impassioned criticism of Serie A president Paolo Dal Pino over his handling of the coronavirus crisis.

A number of Serie A fixtures, including Inter’s title shoot-out with Juventus, had initially been scheduled to be played behind closed doors before being postponed until later in the season.

Now, Inter's game with Juve is set to be played on the evening of Monday, March 9, with an extra round of midweek matches over May 12-14 - a decision Inter aren't happy with.

Zhang wrote on his Instagram story: “Playing around the calendar and always putting the public health as secondary consideration.

“You are probably the biggest and darkest clown I have ever seen. 24 hours? 48 hours? 7 days? And what else? What’s your next step?

“And now you speak about sportsmanship and fair competition?

“How about we don’t protect our players or coaches and ask them to play for you 24/7 non-stop?

“Yes, I’m speaking to you. Our Lega President Paolo Dal Pino. Shame on you. It’s time to stand up and take your responsibility! This is what we do in 2020!

“Everybody around the world, doesn’t matter if you are Inter fan or Juve fan or no fan at all. Please be safe!

“This is the most important thing for you, your family, and our society.”

On Sunday, a government decree extended the suspension of all sporting events in regions affected by coronavirus until March 8.

Serie A announced an emergency assembly to “examine the consequences the governmental measures related to coronavirus have had on the fixture list”.

Inter chief executive Beppe Marotta has been critical of the league’s handling of the disruption, suggesting the league season might not be completed as “the balance of the championship has been altered” with some teams seeing games postponed and others seeing theirs going ahead.

Aside from concerns directly related to the virus outbreak, there are worries over the physical and psychological effects on players if fixtures stack up before the end of the season.

All elite football competitions in the 2019-20 season must be completed by May 24 due to Euro 2020 coming at the end of the campaign.

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Re: Coronavirus Thread.
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2020, 11:25:35 AM »
Hotel collapse traps 70 in eastern China
AFP


Around 70 people were trapped after the collapse of a hotel used as a coronavirus quarantine facility in eastern China on Saturday evening, officials said.

At least 38 people have so far been rescued from the rubble of the 80-room Xinjia hotel in coastal Quanzhou city, said the local government.

Footage circulating on microblogging platform Weibo showed rescue workers combing through the building's wreckage in the dark and reassuring a woman trapped under heavy debris as other wounded victims were carried into ambulances.

The hotel's facade appeared to have crumbled into the ground, exposing the building's steel frame, and a crowd had gathered around the area as the evening wore on.

Officials have yet to confirm whether anyone died in the accident.

Quanzhou authorities said over 700 rescue workers had been deployed to the scene along with ambulances, excavators and cranes.

Representatives from Beijing are also en route to Quanzhou to assist in relief efforts, Xinhua news agency reported.

Quanzhou has recorded 47 cases of the COVID-19 infection and the hotel, which opened just two years ago, was recently repurposed to house people who had been in recent contact with confirmed patients, the People's Daily state newspaper reported.

China is no stranger to building collapses and deadly construction accidents, which are typically blamed on the country's rapid growth leading to corner-cutting by builders and the widespread flouting of safety rules.

At least 20 people died in 2016 when a series of crudely-constructed multi-storey buildings packed with migrant workers collapsed in the eastern city of Wenzhou.

Another 10 were killed last year in Shanghai after the collapse of a commercial building during renovations.


Dozens have so far been rescued from the rubble of the 80-room Xinjia hotel in Quanzhou city (AFP Photo/STR)

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Re: Coronavirus Thread.
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2020, 12:52:32 PM »
Costa Magica ban blow for Tobago.
BY COREY CONNELLY (NEWSDAY).


The Tobago business community has welcomed Government's decision to ban the Italian cruise ship, Costa Magica, from entering local shores over fear that some of its passengers may have been exposed to the coronavirus (covid19).

However, they said their businesses would suffer losses.

Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association vice-president Carol-Ann Birchwood James told Sunday Newsday the businesses, including hers, benefit tremendously from the patronage of tourists on board the cruise ship.

She said the Costa Magica, which has a capacity to accommodate about 4,000 passengers and 1,000 crew members, is the largest of all the cruise ships that dock in Tobago during the season.

Birchwood-James said its passengers mostly come from France, Italy, Guadeloupe and Martinique.

"So, that is the biggest cruise ship and the black French people especially, they buy a lot of stuff because I have a booth opposite the port. I sell dresses and we get good sales from them. So, it is a blow for us," she said.

The Costa Magica, which brought tourists to Tobago several weeks ago, was expected to dock at the Scarborough Port, today, but Government banned the vessel from sailing to the island because of concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, which has already affected an estimated 100,000 people around the world.

Government was especially fearful of non-nationals from China, Italy, Iran, Singapore and South Korea, contracting the virus and bringing it to TT. These countries already have reported confirmed cases of covid19. People would have been allowed into TT only if they were away from their countries for a period of 14 days. The policy does not apply to national or permanent residents. There are no confirmed cases of covid19 in TT currently.

Birchwood-James said though, a ban has not been imposed on the Viking Princess, which is expected to dock at the port today. The cruise ship, which originates from Brazil, has a capacity to hold 900 passengers. She is hoping businessmen will receive some patronage from the tourists on the vessel. "We are going out there in faith."

Birchwood-James said although the ban on the Costa Magica would be an economic blow to Tobago, the move is necessary to protect the health of Tobagonians.

She said: "This is one of the hazards of doing business. You have these things from time to time and people are dying from this virus and, therefore, we have to take precautions in a small society. "The Government has put their ban in the interest of all of us and we just have to comply. There is nothing that we can do. Although we are very disappointed, in the circumstances the government has done the right thing in the interest of all of us."

To compound matters, Birchwood-James said the cruise ship season on the island is very short. "The first ship came at the end of December. So, two and a half months of cruise ship business, that cannot work. We have our taxi drivers. We need foreign exchange. So, we have to see how we can lure the ships to come throughout the year have a bigger season."

She urged the authorities to consider extending the cruise ship season. "What we are hoping is that the authorities in future will negotiate. Being further south has been a problem for us. But we can negotiate to have cruise ships all throughout the year like the other Caribbean islands."



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Re: Coronavirus Thread.
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2020, 09:55:03 AM »
Canada says covid19 case passed through Trinidad and Tobago
KALIFA SARAH CLYNE (NEWSDAY).


A Canadian who returned from Trinidad and Tobago recently has tested positive for coronavirus.

At a press conference on Monday, Alberta's chief medical officer Dr Deena Hinshaw said the number of confirmed cases of covid19 in the province had doubled to 14. She said all of the cases were travel-related.

She named TT as one of 11 destinations that patients had visited.

The others were France, the Netherlands, Egypt, Iran, Taiwan, Germany, Malaysia, Panama, the Philippines, and the US.

Hinshaw said many of the travellers had visited more than one country during their trip and so could not say where each patient may have contracted the virus.

She added that one of the people who tested positive had travelled in the Caribbean on the cruise ship the MS Braemar.

That cruise ship docked in Port Royal, Jamaica.

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Re: Coronavirus Thread.
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2020, 09:56:30 AM »
Trinis on covid19 responses around the world: Paranoia but no panic
RACHAEL ESPINET (NEWSDAY).


Out of a global population of 7.7 billion people, totally there were 118,548 people affected with coronavirus (covid19) with 4,267 deaths and 65,105 recovered.

Currently, there are 49,176 infected patients with 43,131 in mild condition and 6,045 in critical condition. This information comes from Worldometer, an independent website that provides live updates on covid19. China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, France, Spain, Germany and the US were the top eight countries to have the virus.

Italian shutdown

As of March 10, Italy put its 60.48 million population on full lockdown because of the virus. All but essential travel has been banned across the country. All public gatherings were closed including cultural institutions and sporting events. Schools, childcare facilities and universities were closed. Restaurants and bars were open but with restricted to opening hours between 6 am to 6 pm. The Italian people were told they must keep a safe distance from each other – at least a metre apart.

Italy had a total of 10,149 cases with 631 deaths. Newsday reached out to TT citizens in Italy on Tuesday to find out what the atmosphere of the country was like since covid19 started to affect the country.

Tish Smith, a communications specialist in Tuscany, formally from St James, said Tuscany has 206 cases of the virus with one death. Her borough has six cases.

She said there is no panic buying in the grocery as people are only supposed to stay within a metre of each other. There are police officers in the grocery to ensure there are not many people in the store and people keep their distance.

"Where we are, there were only two people waiting to get into the supermarket. It's very respectable. Nobody is acting crazy."

Smith, however, said Italians are social people and find it difficult not to keep in touch with their community.

"Italy being Italy, socialising is what we do here. Neighbours are hanging over the fences. Occasionally the neighbours are hanging over the balcony shouting across to each other having a chit chat with the other neighbour because it's a very close-knit community... (But the) minute everyone goes downstairs, they are keeping their distance."

Italy has one of the largest elderly population in Europe. Statistics from the UN's Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population showed in 2017, 29.4 per cent of the population of Italy was over 60-years-old. The average age of those who died was 81, they were mostly men and more than two thirds of cases had three or more pre-existing conditions.

Smith suspects that's probably why Italy has so many deaths.

"It's all the olive oil, they really live to a ripe old age here."

She said people were staying indoors and everywhere was quiet.

"All the play gourds are literally completely empty. As much as we want to stay in, you have to go out and take a walk around the block. The playground is dead."

She said everyone in Italy had hand sanitiser in their bags and wet wipes. They are leaving the shoes at the front door and in her household they must sing happy birthday twice.

"We are taking the hand-washing situation seriously. We don't want to go in the hospital."

She said work is difficult. Those who can, are doing smart work– working from home using digital media – but not all can do such work. She said the government is doing their best to brace from an economic fallout.

"It seems as if lots of things are in the pipeline to prevent a deep cut in earnings."

UK (mostly) keeps calm and carries on

The UK has 373 recorded cases of covid19 out of its 66.44 million population. Depending on which part of the UK people are in, there seems to be those who are calm and those who are bothered by covid19.

Saskia Johnson a 21-year-old student from Leicester said while she's having difficulty buying pasta and toilet paper from the store, most people seem calm.

"I can only speak for people my age, but for the most part, we're being pretty calm. Most people my age don't see it as much of a risk. But they are panic buying. I went to a huge supermarket there was no pasta or toilet paper. There were tonnes of people buying canned foods and things we could keep for a while, but it's mostly paranoia."

She said there were two confirmed cases in Leicestershire. Her university has not cancelled any classes, but there were a group of students who went into self-isolation because they returned from a trip to Italy.

Kaf Perez, a member of the UK Armed Forces, who lives in Newcastle but works in Portsmouth and London said stores by him have resorted to rationing dry and canned goods along with toiletry products. Aside for that, most of the population is still going about business as usual.

"Classic British stuff, upper-lipness," Perez said.

Amaal Ali who lives in Newcastle City said while there was some panic buying, the shops were stocked with goods such as milk and toilet paper.

"There was some panic buying, but that seems to have settled and it was mostly hand sanitizers and hand soap that they’ve put preventative rationing on those items."

Travelling Europe in spite of covid19

Queen's Young Leader Jean-Claude Cournand has been travelling Europe since he graduated from his masters degree late last year. He has been to the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and is currently in Latvia.

He said people are for the most part nice, but sceptical of travellers.

"I am cool so far, but as I travel it's becoming more and more of a big deal. I was being polite and asked a guy in the hostel I visited, 'Where you from?' The first thing he said was: 'Don't worry, I don't have coronavirus.' He was an Asian guy from South Korea working in Sweden."

Another person offered to host Cournand and a day before he arrived, he was asked to share his travel history and asked if he had any symptoms of the virus.

Paranoia and sinophobia seemed to follow him with the different people he encountered. In Helsinki he was talking with a guy from India who was on a tour. During the conversation a bus pulled up and Asian people came out to take pictures where they stood. His friend demanded they leave.

"So far, most of the people I've met have been foreigners who were anxious about other foreigners. I have been very very careful never to sneeze or cough in public. I feel fearful about doing that. Like it would trigger the people around me."

Covid19 in the Caribbean

Jamaica recorded it's first case of covid19 on Tuesday. LGBT+ activist Jalna Broderick said she is unperturbed and does not understand why people are panicking.

"I know it can kill, and yes, I am asthmatic and would be hit hard if I got it, but I’m still not panicking. I was speaking to a person who works at Pricesmart – one of our large wholesalers – and she said a man came in and bought 50 palettes of hand sanitizers, each palette had about 300 units each. She also said, it was like there was a hurricane on the way how persons were buying this weekend."


Bare shelves. Pasta was sold out at a supermarket in Leicester, England, on Tuesday, amid fears over the covid19 virus. Photo: Saskia Johnson - Saskia Johnson

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Re: Coronavirus Thread.
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2020, 05:57:37 AM »
3 more European nations on T&T’s COVID-restricted list.
By PE­TER CHRISTO­PHER (T&T GUARDIAN).


Trav­ellers from Ger­many, Spain and France are to be re­strict­ed from en­ter­ing Trinidad and To­ba­go due to the out­break of COVID-19 (coro­n­avirus).

Trav­ellers whose flights orig­i­nat­ed from Italy, South Ko­rea, Sin­ga­pore, Japan, Iran and Chi­na had al­ready been sub­ject to a 14-day wait af­ter leav­ing those coun­tries be­fore they are al­lowed to en­ter Trinidad and To­ba­go be­fore Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley added the three lat­est na­tions yes­ter­day.

“The Min­is­ter of Health will take the nec­es­sary steps to add those three coun­tries to the list of lo­ca­tions from which trav­ellers com­ing to us will fall in­to the pro­to­col,” Row­ley said at a press con­fer­ence at Pi­ar­co In­ter­na­tion­al Air­port’s VIP Lounge af­ter re­turn­ing from an of­fi­cial trip to Ghana.

He said his Gov­ern­ment was al­so mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion in New York and the Unit­ed King­dom but stopped short of say­ing they would be added to the list. He re­mind­ed that he had warned of the po­ten­tial eco­nom­ic fall­out that could oc­cur as a re­sult of the virus in economies across the world.

Row­ley al­so said while talks with BP con­cern­ing fu­ture plans dur­ing his trip went well, the oil com­pa­ny was among those se­vere­ly af­fect­ed by the dip on the US stock mar­ket this week.

The Prime Min­is­ter said while the eco­nom­ic tur­bu­lence as the re­sult of COVID-19 was ex­pect­ed, the re­cent oil war which caused oil prices to plum­met to US$34 “came out of nowhere.”

“Nor­mal­ly, what we have is on OPEC agree­ment sup­port­ed by Rus­sia to do a vol­ume re­duc­tion be­cause the mar­ket is over­sup­plied, so the main pro­duc­ers would agree to re­duce pro­duc­tion. On this oc­ca­sion, there was no agree­ment to re­duce the vol­ume so as to sta­bilise the price. And the op­po­site hap­pened, where the Saud­is have de­cid­ed to in­crease pro­duc­tion and to give a $4 dis­count,” the Prime Min­is­ter said.

“So it’s an in­crease, which means you fur­ther sat­u­rate the mar­ket and you sell by dis­count­ing the price to the buy­ers, so the oil mar­ket right now is in tur­moil.”

Row­ley al­so an­nounced that an MOU has been signed be­tween this coun­try and Ghana con­cern­ing a mu­tu­al air ser­vices agree­ment be­tween the coun­tries. He said the lack of di­rect trans­port was cit­ed as one of the hin­drances to an im­proved busi­ness re­la­tion­ship.

“That route­way, where we can link this part of the world with that part of the world would al­low us to more eas­i­ly and ef­fec­tive­ly car­ry out the kinds of things that would ben­e­fit us,” he said.

The Prime Min­is­ter al­so said he had “to call out” Op­po­si­tion leader Kam­la Per­sad-Bisses­sar for mak­ing a state­ment that could cre­ate a rift be­tween Trinidad and To­ba­go and Ja­maica.

Dur­ing the Unit­ed Na­tion­al Con­gress Mon­day Night Fo­rum, Per­sad-Bisses­sar ques­tioned if the Gov­ern­ment’s re­la­tion­ship with the Na­tion­al Com­mer­i­cal Bank (NCB) was due to the fact that its CEO was re­lat­ed to a Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter.

“And for some rea­son, this ir­re­spon­si­ble Op­po­si­tion Leader be­lieves that they could fab­ri­cate sto­ries and at­tack the bank and that would be an at­tack on the Cab­i­net and on Stu­art Young, not re­al­is­ing that what she is do­ing is rekin­dling a kind of hurt that ex­ist­ed when she was Prime Min­is­ter,” said Row­ley, mak­ing ref­er­ence to a call for a boy­cott of Trinidad and To­ba­go prod­ucts by Ja­maicans in re­la­tion to com­ments made by Per­sad-Bisses­sar in 2014.

How­ev­er, Row­ley said that Min­is­ter Young, ex­pect­ing there to be some kind of fall-out, re­cused him­self from all meet­ings which in­volved pos­si­ble busi­ness ac­tiv­i­ty with NCB.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

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Re: Coronavirus Thread.
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2020, 12:37:01 PM »
Govt bans cruise ship entry to T&T for rest of season.
By Sharlene Rampersad (Guardian).


Health Min­is­ter Ter­rence Deyals­ingh says no cruise ships will be al­lowed to berth in ei­ther Trinidad or To­ba­go for the rest of the cruise ship sea­son.

Speak­ing at a post-Cab­i­net me­dia brief­ing on Thurs­day, Deyals­ingh said the de­ci­sion was tak­en as the Gov­ern­ment steps up its ef­forts to stop or de­lay the coro­n­avirus (COVID-19) from reach­ing T&T's shores.

He said ac­cord­ing to the cruise ship sched­ule, there were five cruise ships sched­uled to berth in Trinidad and sev­en in To­ba­go be­fore the end of the sea­son. The cruise ship sea­son runs from De­cem­ber 12, 2019 to April 24, 2020.

Deyals­ingh said the de­ci­sion was tak­en by Cab­i­net note on Thurs­day morn­ing.

“We don’t feel that we need to take on that type of risk, we want to pre­serve our healthcare sys­tem, our sup­plies and our test kits,” Deyals­ingh said.

He said the ban will af­fect trade and tourism but said the move is for the greater good to pro­tect the health of T&T’s 1.3 mil­lion pop­u­la­tion.

How­ev­er, he said the Gov­ern­ment be­lieves that the first COVID-19 case that shows up in the coun­try will be an im­port­ed case and the Gov­ern­ment is do­ing all it can to pre­vent that sit­u­a­tion from hap­pen­ing as long as pos­si­ble.

He acknowledged that this decision may affect the livelihood of people but said it was necessary to protect the country.



The cruise-liner MSC Fantasia docked at the Shipping Complex in the Port of Port of Spain. PHOTO BY ROGER JACOB.

« Last Edit: March 12, 2020, 12:38:51 PM by Flex »
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Re: Coronavirus Thread.
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2020, 01:01:15 PM »
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman pushes coronavirus conspiracy theory that the US Army 'brought the epidemic to Wuhan'
rpickrell@businessinsider.com (Ryan Pickrell)
Business Insider


A Chinese government spokesman said Thursday that "it might be US Army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan," promoting a popular conspiracy theory.

In recent weeks, Chinese officials have been trying to reshape the narrative on the coronavirus, strongly suggesting that the virus might have originated outside of China, even though the epicenter of the outbreak was the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Amid this push, a conspiracy theory that US athletes participating in the Military World Games in Wuhan last fall brought the coronavirus into China has emerged.

Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A Chinese government spokesman said Thursday that "it might be US Army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan," pushing one of several popular coronavirus conspiracy theories in China.

Zhao Lijian, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, called attention to the admission Wednesday by Robert Redfield, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that some Americans who were said to have died from influenza may have actually died from the coronavirus (COVID-19).

"When did patient zero begin in US? How many people are infected?" he asked. "What are the names of the hospitals? It might be US Army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation!"

In a short thread on Twitter, a social media platform inaccessible in China, Zhao demanded to know how many of the 34 million influenza infections and 20,000 associated deaths during this latest flu season were related to COVID-19.

The coronavirus, now a pandemic, first appeared in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, capital of hard-hit Hubei province and the epicenter of a serious outbreak that has claimed the lives of thousands, the majority in China.

As China has faced criticism, Chinese authorities have been pushing back, suggesting that the virus may have originated somewhere other than China. Dr. Zhong Nanshan, a leading Chinese epidemiologist, said in late February that "though the COVID-19 was first discovered in China, it does not mean that it originated from China."

Zhao, in his role as a government spokesman, stressed the same point in a recent press briefing.

"No conclusion has been reached yet on the origin of the virus," he told reporters, adding that "what we are experiencing now is a global phenomenon with its source still undetermined."

One popular conspiracy theory that has emerged about the coronavirus is that American athletes participating in the Military World Games, an event held in Wuhan last year, may have brought the virus, either intentionally or accidentally, into China. There is no evidence to support this accusation.

The Trump administration has laid the blame firmly at China's feet though. "Unfortunately, rather than using best practices, this outbreak in Wuhan was covered up," White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien told reporters Wednesday.

"It probably cost the world community two months to respond," he added.

Another Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, called O'Brien's efforts to denigrate China's efforts to fight the virus "immoral and irresponsible."

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

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Re: Coronavirus Thread.
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2020, 06:19:50 AM »
COVID-19 Is the Chinese Government’s Curse upon the World
David Harsanyi (Yahoo News)
National Review


The World Health Organization and other sensitive souls have instructed us to stop referring to the new strain of coronavirus as the “Wuhan” or “Chinese” flu because of the racist connotations. I’m disinclined to curb my speech to placate Chinese propagandists — and it seems to me the aversion to those terms is less about racism than about averting blame. But in the spirit of comity, and avoiding disparaging an entire nation, I’m happy to call it the ChiCom Flu moving forward.

There are many traditional naming conventions that don’t really make that much sense. Somewhat weirdly, for example, we often name diseases after the people who “discover” them — Hodgkin’s disease after Thomas Hodgkin, Parkinson’s disease after James Parkinson, and so on.

But naming viral diseases after places — Guinea Worm, West Nile Virus, Ebola, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, etc. — is probably just intuitive. Viruses “come” from someplace, after all, and thus people gravitate to those names. I doubt we came up with “Lyme disease” because of some deep enmity towards Connecticut.

Anyway, “COVID-19” or “H1N1” don’t exactly roll off the tongue.

The latter was, until very recently, widely referred to as the “Spanish flu,” a virus that killed around 675,000 Americans and tens of millions of others around the world in the early 1900s. “Spanish flu” has now retroactively fallen into disfavor as well. And to be fair, there is some historical evidence that the virus may actually have originated in China or France, so if we must call it the French flu moving forward, so be it.

But while the Spanish have a good case to be annoyed, the Chinese government does not. As Jim Geraghty notes, the Communist Chinese have been far more effective in stopping the spread of information about the coronavirus than in stopping the spread of the coronavirus itself. Today, for example, China expelled most American journalist from the country.

Early on, the Communists destroyed samples and suppressed vital information that could have helped mitigate the damage of this new strain of coronavirus. The government also silenced doctors who warned about the disease. Some were censured for “spreading rumors” or sharing test results with colleagues, and some were forced to write a self-critical public letters — a Marxist mainstay — admitting that the warning “had a negative impact.” The Chinese Communists probably let five million people leave Wuhan without screening, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Chinese Communists, like all Communists, hide their societal problems. There is no crime, disease, or addiction in the collectivist state. This kind of secrecy and dishonesty can be disastrous, especially in a highly interconnected world.

Though millions of Chinese have been lifted out of extreme poverty through free trade, with modernity comes some basic responsibilities — like, for instance, not killing everyone in the world with preventable zoonotic diseases.

The Chinese regime is perfectly capable of administering an array of authoritarian policies to suppress the rights of its own people. But it’s apparently unable to exert even mild cultural pressure warning them that their eating habits can be extraordinarily dangerous, and hold the potential of creating massive socioeconomic problems.

If reports are correct, it was in Wuhan’s popular “wet markets” that vendors were selling the bats — and possibly snakes — that may have caused the COVID-19 outbreak. “Wet” because the meat sold in its unsanitary stalls was only recently slaughtered.

This kind of thing happens quite often. And not always in China, of course. But the avian influenza was likely transmitted to humans from chickens in a “wet” market. Scientists have been warning for years that the eating of exotic animals in southern China “is a time bomb.” Acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) also originated in China, and probably jumped to humans through bats. Other coronavirus strains are also likely connected to bats.

I hate to thrust my Western cultural values on anyone, but maybe it’s time to stop eating bats.

It’s important to stress that it’s not the Chinese people who are the problem. Just look at their success in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, or the United States. The ChiComs are the problem. If the Chinese government spent as much time working on educating its people and regulating dangerous markets as it does on secrecy and propaganda efforts, maybe it wouldn’t have to worry as much about diseases being named after it — or about the catastrophic death and economic pain their negligence helps cause.

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Re: Coronavirus Thread.
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2020, 06:24:00 AM »
Don’t Let the Chinese Government Escape Blame for Coronavirus’s Initial Spread
By THERESE SHAHEEN
nationalreview


Already, Beijing is trying to whitewash the early history of COVID-19’s spread, with the help of willing partners in the West.

From almost the very beginning of the COVID-19/coronavirus crisis in January and early February, it’s often been asked whether it might be the “Chinese Chernobyl.” Could the crisis expose the weakness of the mix of oppression, information control, and social disgust that underpin the Chinese Communist regime and trigger its collapse? Others have suggested that it might instead be “president Xi Jinping’s Tiananmen,” meaning he will use all the tools at his disposal to tighten down and prevent, well . . . a Chinese Chernobyl.

It is too soon to know what may happen. But it’s not too soon for attempts to whitewash the timeline and Chinese-government actions in the earliest moments of the crisis. Indeed, even now, the level of public anxiety about both the virus and what the Chinese government is doing and saying about it remain high.

It is helpful to review the current status and the timeline that got us here. On Monday, February 24, the World Health Organization determined that reported cases of COVID-19/coronavirus had peaked. At the time, there were about 76,000 reported cases in China, and about 1,800 cases elsewhere in the world. In the United States, there were 14 reported cases. As of March 7, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and state and local public health reporting suggest the number is more than 300 cases, a twenty-fold increase. Globally, there are more than 100,000 cases, with more than 350 deaths in Italy alone.

The world has barely begun to reckon with what the Chinese government claims to have gotten under control. It’s true that forced quarantining and other extreme measures in China played a critical role. The World Health Organization report of its February mission to China praises the PRC for its response: “The response structures in China were rapidly put in place according to existing emergency plans and aligned from the top to the bottom. This was replicated at the four levels of government (national, provincial, prefecture and county/district).” The leader of the World Health Organization mission to China in February, Canadian epidemiologist Dr. Bruce Aylward, encouraged the world to “access the expertise of China,” adding that “if I had COVID-19, I’d want to be treated in China.”

But the WHO report and subsequent reporting about what the world can learn from China represents a real-time cleansing of the actual record, a record that includes intentional obfuscation and failure to respond in the early stages of the crisis. This includes the government’s early attempts to stifle communication about the virus, the censorship of doctors and others on social media as cases were being observed in late December, and the continuing suppression of information on social media across the country about how the government, from President Xi Jinping to local administrators, continues to mislead the public and the rest of the world.

On March 3, researchers at the University of Toronto Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy published “Censured Contagion,” a report that meticulously documents a timeline and body of facts that paint quite a different picture than the WHO report, and placing WHO’s accolades for China’s “response structures” that were “rapidly put in place” in doubt. The WHO report concludes that the beginning of the epidemic was December 30, 2019, with the collection of samples from a pneumonia patient in Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital. Data provided in graphics in the report show essentially zero cases before that date.

Yet the Munk School researchers found that censorship of certain keywords in social media had already begun by then. They highlight social-media reports during the prior week by doctors reporting an unknown pathogen, linking it to the Wuhan seafood market. By December 31, social-media channels, including WeChat, were already censoring the terms “Wuhan seafood market” and “unknown Wuhan pneumonia.”

As careful as the recent Munk School report is, its essential elements were available to WHO researchers before they made their February 16-24 trip and wrote their report praising the PRC response. On February 1, the Washington Post published a story excoriating Beijing’s early handling of the outbreak. The story includes anecdotes consistent with the Munk School analysis, such as how the Wuhan Public Security Bureau on New Year’s Day had begun detaining people for “spreading ‘rumours’ about Wuhan hospitals receiving SARS-like cases.”  The government-controlled Xinhua News Agency, the Post reported, called on those online to “jointly build a harmonious, clear and bright cyberspace.”

WHO and its director-general, the Ethiopian politician Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, have received criticism for their own response to the crisis. Michael Collins at the Council on Foreign Relations labeled it a joint “dereliction of duty” in a searing blog post in late February. Collins correctly concludes that WHO “laundered” the PRC record, damaging its own credibility by doing so.

The most galling result of that image-burnishing is the ubiquity of coverage — and repetition by third parties who don’t care to find out the truth — to the effect that the world should actually thank the PRC for its strong reaction, because it bought the world the necessary time to prepare for the challenge. Science magazine online, the publication of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, posed the question this week: “Can China’s COVID-19 strategy work elsewhere?” This is just one example.

This reflects what we already know about the Chinese government. It is developing into a modern state, one whose public-health system has significantly advanced from its ordeal with the SARS epidemic just 20 years ago. Per capita wealth is up more than 300 percent, and the Chinese share of the global GDP has more than doubled, from about 7 percent to more than 16 percent over the same period.

Alongside that growth and progress, though, China under President Xi is ever more repressive. It uses some of the most sophisticated technology in the world simply to control its population.  That includes Internet censorship, social-media monitoring and tracking of ordinary citizens, and the mass detention of Muslims and other minorities.

But Chinese government face-saving is not stopping at the Chinese border. It is also attempting to control the narrative through state-controlled media, and through their willing partners in the West, including WHO. Government propagandists published a compendium of state-news agency articles, official government statements, and other documents in a book called A Battle Against Epidemic: China Combatting COVID-19 in 2020. The publication faced immediate scorn in social media within the country.

Fortunately, despite the well-documented censorship of social media, citizen journalism continues. A popular meme shows Dr. Li Wenliang, the Wuhan ophthalmologist whose social media questioned the “Wuhan pneumonia” in late December and who eventually died from the virus, with barbed wire where his facemask should be. Several citizen journalists have gone missing, including in Shandong province, where there have been reports including in the Epoch Times that significant underreporting of COVID-19 by official statistics continues despite the WHO declaration that the caseload has peaked.

In times of duress, the most innate qualities of countries tend to predominate. That’s what we’ve seen with the PRC. We can recognize the intensity of China’s public-health response. But we should acknowledge and condemn the methods by which the world was kept in the dark for too long, and the means by which Beijing continues to interrupt the flow of information. We should not be thanking Beijing for its actions. Instead, we need honesty and the pursuit of the truth to defeat this challenge. And we must acknowledge that the Chinese government’s actions early on almost certainly led to the global crisis we’re facing

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

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Re: Coronavirus Thread.
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2020, 05:20:48 PM »
China's winning the 'superpower' game being played. It's hard not to notice this.
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Re: Coronavirus Thread.
« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2020, 08:50:07 AM »
$1b COVID-19 stimulus package
By Shaliza Hassanali (Guardian).


Citizens of this county who lose their jobs as a result of the measures being put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 will be able to access a Salary Relief Grant of $1,500 a month for the next three months, Finance Minister Colm Imbert announced yesterday.

The grant is expected to help over 80,000 citizens and will cost taxpayers around $400 million, Imbert said during a press conference where Government unveiled several measures being put in a place as part of a billion-dollar plan to help cushion the economic impact of the stringent action being taken to battle COVID-19.

In all, the Government is expected to need around $9 billion to address the country’s current economic situation, including the dramatic fall in oil prices and the arrival of the virus on our shores.

Imbert also announced sweeping measures to help businesses and individuals cope in the face of harsh economic times expected as a result of the COVID-19 fallout.

“The most important measure, however, that the team has decided is necessary, is a Salary Relief grant because we recognise that because of the measures that are being taken and because of the issues associated with this pandemic that there will be persons who will be unemployed and what we have chosen to do, we have decided that individuals who have been temporarily unemployed or temporarily displaced as a result of the prevailing situation will be eligible for a grant of up to $1,500 per month for a three-month period,” Imbert said.

Social Development and Family Services Minister Camille Robinson-Regis added, however, that Venezuelans who have been working here and lose their jobs will not be entitled to this grant.

Imbert said he anticipates individuals employed in the food and beverage, hospitality and entertainment sectors may be adversely affected by some of the decisions taken to help stop the virus’ spread. He said last week he had a discussion with several of this country’s business chambers and called on them to have their members keep people employed for at least four weeks.

Imbert said the Salary Relief Grant will be administered through the National Insurance Board (NIB).

“The reason why we are using the National insurance Board is because they have a database on all persons within the PAYE (Pay As You Earn) system, which is hundreds of thousands of persons,” Imbert said.

“So since NIB has all the data on all these people already, where they work and so on, who they are, identification documents with respect to these people, we felt the best thing to do is to use the NIB.”

The Government will supply the funding to the NIB, he said.

Imbert said the details and the qualification criteria for the grant will be decided over the next seven days.

“We recognise that people will be going through hardship in this period and we thought as a Government, we had to do this,” Imbert said.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley also said while the NIB and its database is being used, the Government knows that there will be people who will not be on the NIB list who may apply for the grant.

“And one of the reasons for that would be persons who would not have been complying and what this situation will do is those persons who are not on the list and were employed and are now not covered or identified on the NIB list that says something for and about the employer but such persons can approach the Ministry of Social Development for that social development assistance but that action will identify persons who should have been on the NIB record,” Rowley said.

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Re: Coronavirus Thread.
« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2020, 05:32:26 AM »

I believe Rowley FED UP with people who don't listen!  :D :D

https://www.facebook.com/SocaTv/videos/198874614895926/?epa=SEARCH_BOX


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Re: Coronavirus Thread.
« Reply #23 on: March 25, 2020, 06:11:22 AM »
Here's what’s in the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus deal for businesses
Ben Werschkul
Yahoo Finance


Early Wednesday morning, Senators Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer announced a massive $2 trillion dollar stimulus deal that is set to be the largest economic stimulus package in modern American history.

"This is a wartime level of investment into our nation" McConnell said.

The deal is set to include a range of far-reaching provisions. Everything from $1,200 government checks to individuals to hundreds of billions of dollars to fight the crisis are included.

But the most contentious part of the negotiations were clearly provisions to send over half a trillion dollars directly to impacted businesses.

The initial proposal from Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell was repeatedly slammed as a ‘$500 billion slush fund’ by Democrats who held up the bill until changes were made. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and fellow Republicans, in the end, agreed to a range of oversight measures over how companies will be able to spend all that money.

"Like all compromises, this bill is far from perfect but we believe the legislation has improved significantly," Senate Minority Leader Schumer said after the deal was announced.

Both the Republican and Democratic leaders predict that the bill will be passed quickly in the Senate.

As of early Wednesday, parts of the final bill were still being written by legislators but here’s a rundown of what we do know about what’s in the deal aimed specifically at the businesses community.

For the airlines a ‘special provision’

“We're going to back the airlines 100%,” President Trump said last week about one of the industries hit hardest by the ongoing crisis.

The deal reportedly includes $50 billion specifically for passenger airlines, $8 billion for cargo airlines, and $17 billion “for firms that are deemed important to national security.”

Airlines CEOs recently promised to stop stock buybacks and paying dividends in exchange for help from the federal government.

On Tuesday, Reuters reported that the final negotiations on a package included a mix of grants and loans to these companies while President Trump signaled Tuesday evening that the money would come in the form of loans.

“We'll be helping Boeing, we'll be helping the airlines” he said. “We'll be doing a lot of things and the money will all come back to us, and it will come back to us in a very strong form.”

Either way, the airlines were singled out for special treatment because “airlines do provide significant resources and national security issues” as Secretary Mnuchin said Monday adding “I believe that's something that's very important to Americans.”

Hundred of billions more for all types of businesses

Other impacted industries, from the cruise industry to hotels to restaurants, have a range of ways to get government cash.

Previous stimulus efforts put $50 billion aside for the Small Business Administration. That “money's already starting to be approved,” an SBA official told Yahoo Finance last Friday.

This deal ramps things up aggressively with hundreds of billions of dollars in loans now expected to be available in the coming weeks and months.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fl.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, was one of the leaders pushing the small business provisions.

“This is not a program where you are going to the SBA, you are not going to a tent somewhere in a disaster area or some government office or some government website” he said on the Senate floor over the weekend “you are going to a bank, to a financial institution.”

The banks will then - according to the plan - be able to process cash assistance quickly either through the SBA or through a new program that will be set up specifically to administer some of this money. The deal reportedly includes a $367 billion for the small business loan program as well as the $500 billion fund for a new lending agency.

What is still a bit of a mystery is exactly how this new lending agency will work. Senator Pat Toomey (R.-Pa) has been a central negotiator on this portion of the package and gave some insight into how this “big credit facility” will work on Sunday on NBC.

He says the facility will have two components. One will be administered by the Treasury Secretary with direct loans for a short list of “seriously distressed and absolutely essential companies” likely including airlines.

The second component will be much bigger and be “a broad-based credit facility that will be available across categories, across sectors and industries.” Toomey says that the money this new facility gives out will be loans that, in the end, have to be repaid. “None of this is grant money” he said.

Businesses of all sizes - many of whom are currently facing the prospect of mass bankruptcies - will be able to participate in the different programs.

This idea of a separate lending program - outside of the SBA - was also championed by Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.). In a recent Yahoo Finance interview he noted that a second loan authority would allow more businesses to participate. In the past, he says, "there were all these well-intentioned programs but there was so much funding bureaucracy and underwriting that there was no take up rate."

There is also expected to be a crucial change in how at least some of these loans will work. Some of these loans appear set to eventually be forgiven and effectively become grants.

“They are going to be able to take an SBA loan that will give them two months of payroll and some overhead” Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said on Fox Business on Monday, adding  “And if they hire the workers back or they keep their workers hired, the government will forgive that loan.”

Provisions to ban stock buybacks

A lot of that cash - especially that from the new lending facility - will find its way into a range of publicly-traded companies. The deal includes provisions to stop these companies from using that cash for stock buybacks or executive bonuses.

"Every loan document will be public and made available to Congress very quickly so we can see where the money is going," Senator Schumer said Wednesday morning on the Senate floor.

A condition for receiving a government loan from the bill will be that a company cannot make stock buybacks for a year.

The oversight provisions include a new inspector general position focused on oversight of these funds along with a 5-person congressional panel. The structure is similar to what was done for the Troubled Asset Relief Program of a decade ago.

Neil Barofsky, who was the special inspector general for TARP, noted in a Yahoo Finance interview Tuesday that “putting the entity in place, is a first step” he said adding “but then there has to actually be real oversight, real transparency.”

Schumer’s office added that the deal will “prohibit businesses controlled by the President, Vice President, Members of Congress, and heads of Executive Departments from receiving loans or investments from Treasury programs.”

A range of other stimulative measures

Hundreds of billions more dollars in the deal will also indirectly flow to businesses. First and foremost, lawmakers hope that the $1,200 dollar checks will be spent across a range of industries.

The deal also includes a massive expansion of unemployment insurance. Schumer calls the agreement "unemployment compensation on steroids" and says that the maximum unemployment benefit will be increased by $600 per week to ensure “that laid-off workers, on average, will receive their full pay for four months.”

The plan also includes a massive infusion of cash into the health-care industry.  Health care providers, community health centers, and hospitals are set to receive over $130 billion dollars to fight the virus while states and localities are set to receive another $150 billion.

Overall, Washington is hoping that the deal will set the stage for a robust economic recovery. “If we get this package, we'll be setting the stage for a good rebound in the second half of the year” said Larry Kudlow, the White House’s top economic adviser, told reporters Tuesday before the deal was finalized “that's our thinking.”

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

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Re: Coronavirus Thread.
« Reply #24 on: March 25, 2020, 01:17:52 PM »
$20 trillion lawsuit against China! US group says coronavirus is bioweapon
businesstoday
Anwesha Madhukalya   New Delhi 


Coronavirus update: The plaintiffs have sought USD 20 trillion, which is a bigger amount than China's GDP, claiming coronavirus is the result of a biological weapon prepared by the Chinese authorities

Coronavirus update: A $20 trillion lawsuit has been filed against Chinese authorities in the US over coronavirus outbreak. American lawyer Larry Klayman and his advocacy group Freedom Watch along with Texas company Buzz Photos have filed the lawsuit against the Chinese government, Chinese army, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Director of Wuhan Institute of Virology Shi Zhengli and Chinese army's Major General Chen Wei.

The plaintiffs have sought $20 trillion, which is a bigger amount than China's GDP, claiming coronavirus is the result of a biological weapon prepared by the Chinese authorities.

They have accused China of aiding and abetting death, provision of material support to terrorists, conspiracy to cause injury and death of US citizens, negligence, wrongful death, and assault and battery.

They allege the virus had released from the Wuhan Virology Institute. The plaintiffs stated that the COVID-19 virus was "designed" by China to kill mass populations. Biological weapons were outlawed in 1925 and hence such a biological weapon is a terrorist-related weapon of mass destruction, the lawsuit mentioned.

The American group cites multiple media reports that said that there was only one microbiology lab in China that handled advanced viruses like the novel coronavirus -- in Wuhan. To cover up, the plaintiffs alleged, China linked statements on coronavirus with national security protocols.

Klayman and the plaintiffs also alleged that Chinese doctors and researchers who spoke out about coronavirus and "raised the alarm to the outside world internationally" have been "silenced". They added that such was the desperation of Major General Chen to save herself from the virus that she injected herself and six members of her team with a potential vaccine that was yet to be tested.

They also alleged that all the defendants were working together to perpetuate "international terrorism".

The lawsuit stated that while coronavirus is slow-acting and slow-spreading to be used against a country's military, "it was designed to be used against the general population of one or more of China's perceived enemy nations, such as the United States."

The American plaintiffs also asked for a jury trial against the Chinese defendants.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Flex

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Re: Coronavirus Thread.
« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2020, 09:34:54 AM »
Chinese government approves decision to ban consumption of wild animals
From journalist Isaac Yee and CNN’s Yong Xiong in Shanghai


China's top political body approved the decision on Monday to ban the consumption and the illegal trade of wild animals, which some experts believe to be the source of the virus.

The National People’s Congress Standing Committee approved the ban on Monday in a bid to help “safeguard public health and ecological security," according to Chinese state media.

The move aims to “completely ban the eating of wild animals” while also “cracking down on illegal trade of wildlife,” state media reports.

The use of wild animals for scientific research, medicine and exhibition will now need to go through “strict examination and approval” by the supervising department in accordance with relevant regulations.

This comes after Chinese authorities suspended the trade of wild animals on January 26th in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

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Re: Coronavirus Thread.
« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2020, 12:01:58 PM »
Big up to Pep for donating to the cause!
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, the outgoing president of Croatia, said corruption was so embedded in her country that at school children who cheated in tests were celebrated as “heroes”. A recent Eurobarometer survey found that a majority of Croatians felt affected by corruption.

Sound familiar, T&T?

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Re: Coronavirus Thread.
« Reply #27 on: March 27, 2020, 04:33:30 AM »
Big up to Rihanna for stepping up!

By the way, Barbados is going into curfew mode 8pm to 6am effective Saturday, March 28 for a couple weeks, subject to possible extension. Plenty yutes and creepahs will get lock up for attempting to curfew lime and curfew ride. Human nature v.  COVID-19, guess who wins? The first one, then possibly the other.

What's the protocol for an arrest during "social distancing"?
« Last Edit: March 27, 2020, 04:37:42 AM by asylumseeker »
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, the outgoing president of Croatia, said corruption was so embedded in her country that at school children who cheated in tests were celebrated as “heroes”. A recent Eurobarometer survey found that a majority of Croatians felt affected by corruption.

Sound familiar, T&T?

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Re: Coronavirus Thread.
« Reply #28 on: March 28, 2020, 12:35:49 PM »
Non-essentials must stay home or face police, $50,000 fine
JULIEN NEAVES (NEWSDAY).


NATIONAL Security Minister Stuart Young has outlined essential services which will be allowed to operate during Stay At Home orders from March 30-April 15.

Anyone found in breach could face a $50,000 fine.

“It is not business as usual.”

He was speaking on Friday at a media conference at the Health Ministry in Port of Spain.

The list of essential services is:

- Judiciary and legal services

- Cabinet

- Tobago House of Assembly

- Police

- Defence Force

- Immigration

- Strategic Services Agency

- Hospitals

- Water

- Electricity

- Telecommunications

- Funeral homes

- Sanitation

- Prisons

- Rehabilitation centres and other detention centres

- Children’s homes

- Differently-abled homes

- Elderly and geriatric homes

- Private security

- Social workers and NGOs that serve the less fortunate

- Banks

- Unit Trust Corporation

- Cooperative services,

- Service providers of safety and sanitation such as plumbers.

- Live-in domestic workers

- Convenience stores, corner shops, discount stores

- Supermarkets

- Groceries

- Pharmacies

- Hardwares

- All government services (minimum staff)

- Inland Revenue

- Customs and Excise

- Transportation and logistic services

- Port operations

- Manufacturers of food, beverages and pharmaceuticals

- Aviation and airport operations

- Services related to ports

- Warehouses

- Public transportation but at 50 per cent capacity

- Restaurants can have take away and delivery.

- Media

- Agriculture: food production

- Energy services:oil and gas

- UWI’s Seismic Research Unit

- Construction workers only in health-related work

Young stressed that even those essential services are asked to operate at minimum capacity.

“We are asking various business that you only deploy essential workers. Not because you are essential means everyone has to be out.”

He said the police, aided by the Defence Force, will enforce the restrictions and people who are part of the essential services are asked to walk with their ID or have a letter from their employer.

People going out to the grocery, hardware and other places are also asked to walk with ID and must inform the police where they are going.

"Go straight, get what you need and come back."

Young said the list could be expanded but there is no intention by the Government at this stage to do so.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

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Re: Coronavirus Thread.
« Reply #29 on: March 28, 2020, 12:36:40 PM »
T&T now up to 74 covid19 cases
NARISSA FRASER (NEWSDAY).


T&T now has 74 confirmed cases of people who have tested positive for covid19.

This was announced via a release by the Ministry of Health on Saturday morning.

A total of 487 samples have been tested, while one person has been discharged and two patients have died.

“Of the number of positive cases, 49 of these positive cases came from the group of nationals who recently returned from a cruise.

“Forty-six positive cases from the group of 68 nationals who returned from the cruise together, three positive cases from the group of nationals who returned from the same cruise, separately.”

The confirmed cases are being treated at the Couva and Caura hospitals.

The Ministry, again, urged the public to practice proper hand hygiene, avoid touching their faces, avoid going in public unnecessarily and gathering in groups larger than 10.

Several measures have been taken by the government to urge people to stay in their homes to prevent the possible spread of the virus including closing T&T's borders and limiting the number of passengers in public vehicles.

From midnight on Sunday, only essential workers would be allowed to report for duty as hundreds of businesses and other public services shut their doors for two weeks.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.