Philippines President apologises for taking unapproved China jab

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has asked the Chinese Embassy to take back 1,000 donated Sinopharm vaccines, after he was criticised for taking an unapproved vaccine. In response, Mr Duterte said China should in future only send Sinovac vaccines – a separate Chinese vaccine which is in use in the Philippines. Sinopharm has not yet been approved in the Philippines. Both Sinopharm and Sinovac are expected to receive WHO approval this week, Mr Duterte said he only got the Sinopharm shot under a compassionate use clause, and that his doctors had advised him to get vaccinated. “Don’t follow my footsteps,” Mr … Continue reading Philippines President apologises for taking unapproved China jab

OMG: Indonesian firm busted for reusing Covid nasal swab tests

Several employees of a pharmaceutical company have been arrested in Indonesia for allegedly washing and reselling used Covid-19 nasal swab test kits. Up to 9,000 passengers at an airport in Medan may have been tested with the reused swab sticks, say police. State-owned company Kimia Farma is now reportedly facing a potential lawsuit launched on behalf of the travellers. Covid-19 nasal swab testing has become routine in many countries hit by the global pandemic. Police said they believed the scam had been happening since last December at Kualanamu airport in Medan, North Sumatra. It is not yet confirmed how they … Continue reading OMG: Indonesian firm busted for reusing Covid nasal swab tests

Australia walks back ‘racist’ India ban after backlash

Australia’s prime minister fended off accusations of racism and having blood on his hands Tuesday, as he retreated from a threat to jail Australians trying to escape Covid-wracked India.Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison was accused of racism and having blood on his hands over a threat to jail Australians trying to escape Covid-19-wracked India Scott Morrison’s government moved to ban travellers from India from entering Australia until May 15, threatening rule-breakers including Australian citizens with prison time.  Amid a widespread backlash, Morrison on Tuesday said it was “highly unlikely” that Australians who skirted a ban would be jailed. “I think … Continue reading Australia walks back ‘racist’ India ban after backlash

Australia’s India ban criticised as ‘racist’ and breach of human rights

Australia’s threat to jail citizens returning home from India has sparked condemnation, with critics labelling the Covid-19 measure as “racist” and a breach of human rights. From Monday, any Australian arriving in the country from India faces fines and up to five years in prison. It comes after Canberra banned all flights from the virus hotspot until 15 May. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has dismissed accusations of racism. “The same accusations were made against the government over a year ago when we closed the borders to mainland China,” he told Sydney radio station 2GB. “There’s no politics or ideology in … Continue reading Australia’s India ban criticised as ‘racist’ and breach of human rights

Even in death?: New Delhi running out of space for cremations

Officials in Delhi have been urged to find more sites for cremations as the city’s morgues and crematoriums are overwhelmed by masses of Covid-19 deaths. A second wave of the virus is ravaging parts of India, with 386,452 new cases reported on Thursday – the biggest one-day increase on record for any country. There were another 3,500 deaths nationwide on Thursday and nearly 400 in Delhi – a record for the capital. The total number of infections in the country has now passed 18 million. The first consignment of emergency medical supplies from the US arrived on Friday, part of … Continue reading Even in death?: New Delhi running out of space for cremations

Just Irresponsible: YouTubers face deportation from Bali over fake mask stunt

Two YouTubers are facing deportation from Bali after they made a prank video that depicted one of them breaking local mask laws. Josh Paler Lin and Leia Se have reportedly had their passports seized by local government and risk being forced to leave Indonesia as a result of the video. In the clip, Se attempts to enter a grocery store, only to be turned away because she isn’t wearing a face mask. Lin then paints a fake mask on her face and she is able to go into the shop. The video, which was posted on April 22, went viral. Lin … Continue reading Just Irresponsible: YouTubers face deportation from Bali over fake mask stunt

EU sues AstraZeneca over vaccine delivery delays

The European Union has launched legal action against the coronavirus vaccine manufacturer AstraZeneca. The European Commission – the EU’s executive branch – said it was suing the company for not respecting its vaccine supply contract, and for not having a “reliable” plan to ensure timely deliveries. AstraZeneca said the move was “without merit”. It said it would “strongly defend itself in court”. The legal action marks an escalation in a long-running dispute between the two sides over the supply of coronavirus vaccines. Some in the bloc have claimed that AstraZeneca has shown preferential treatment to the UK – but the … Continue reading EU sues AstraZeneca over vaccine delivery delays

What?: Spanish man charged with infecting 22 people with Covid-19

A Spanish man with Covid-19 symptoms who coughed on work colleagues and told them “I’m going to give you all the coronavirus” has been charged with intentionally causing injury after allegedly infecting 22 people. Spanish police said their investigation began after a Covid-19 outbreak at the company where the 40-year-old man worked on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca. Days before the outbreak, the man showed Covid-19 symptoms but refused his colleagues’ suggestions to go home and self-isolate, police said in a statement. After work, and showing no improvement, he went for a PCR test before visiting a gym and returning … Continue reading What?: Spanish man charged with infecting 22 people with Covid-19

Tokyo Motor Show cancelled for first time in 67 years

The Tokyo Motor Show has been cancelled for the first time in its 67-year history due to rising virus cases. The cancellation of the event comes even as the organisers of the Summer Olympics push ahead with their plans. It comes as Japan is expected to declare a state of emergency for Tokyo, Osaka and two other prefectures from 25 April to 11 May. Japan is facing a surge in Covid-19 cases, driven by more infectious variants of the virus. The Tokyo Motor Show, which started in 1954 and is usually held every two years, had been scheduled to go … Continue reading Tokyo Motor Show cancelled for first time in 67 years

Coronavirus reaches Mount Everest

At least one climber on Mount Everest has tested positive for Covid-19, just weeks after the world’s tallest peak reopened to climbers following a year of closure. Norwegian climber Erlend Ness was isolated in hospital for eight nights due to the virus, he said. Reports say a sherpa in his party had also tested positive for the virus. The outbreak is a blow to Nepal, which relies heavily on income generated from Everest expeditions. Mr Ness is unsure where he could have caught the virus, but raised the possibility of catching it whilst in one of the tea houses along … Continue reading Coronavirus reaches Mount Everest

49 passengers on India-Hong Kong flight test positive for Covid-19

At least 49 passengers on a flight from New Delhi to Hong Kong have tested positive for Covid-19, authorities said on Tuesday, as a two-week ban on all flights from India, as well as Pakistan and the Philippines took effect. All of the passengers who tested positive flew into Hong Kong on a flight run by Indian operator Vistara on April 4. The positive tests are significant as Hong Kong has been recording fewer daily cases than the total detected on the flight since it brought a fourth wave under control in January. India meanwhile is battling skyrocketing infections, with … Continue reading 49 passengers on India-Hong Kong flight test positive for Covid-19

Virus Without Borders: Body of Filipino fisherman with Covid -19 washed ashore in Vanuatu

A Pacific island country has banned outward travel from its main island for three days after a body washed ashore that later tested positive for Covid-19, Radio New Zealand has reported. The body of a Filipino fisherman was discovered April 11 on a Vanuatu beach a short drive from the main wharf of the capital, Port Vila, on Efate island, according to the report. That day, a United Kingdom-flagged tanker found one crew member was not aboard as it sailed out of Port Vila, New Zealand public broadcaster RNZ reported last week. Vanuatu port authorities told the tanker to return to port … Continue reading Virus Without Borders: Body of Filipino fisherman with Covid -19 washed ashore in Vanuatu