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Defying convention

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Big fish in a small pond

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Another delivery at Glasgow PO

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House to set up team to monitor government COVID-19 handling

first_imgLawmakers are planning to form a special team involving various House of Representatives commissions that will work to monitor and evaluate the government’s work in responding to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.Lawmakers said the government should not only focus on handling the existing cases but also on containing the virus amid mounting public fears, as well as doubts over how the government is responding to the outbreak.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced on Monday two positive cases of coronavirus: a 31-year-old woman (Case 1) and her 64-year-old mother (Case 2), both residents of Depok, West Java. Both tested positive for the coronavirus after coming into contact with a Japanese woman who later tested positive in Malaysia. Deputy chairman of the House’s Commission IX overseeing health, Melki Laka Lena, said the team would involve members of her commission, as well as of Commission I overseeing information and defense, and Commission II overseeing home affairs, among other commissions. The team would likely be in the form of a special committee, or Pansus.“It might now be called a coronavirus desk, but we would decide on [the name] later. The important thing is to sit together first, we must be quick,” Melki of the Golkar Party said.Commission I had agreed on Feb. 24 to support the establishment of the working committee in question, according to commission chairwoman Meutya Hafid of the Golkar Party.She also said that at a time like this the Health Ministry could not work alone, and the participation of other state institutions, such as the military and the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) — both working partners of Commission I – was important. “At a critical time like this, we believe the roles of the military and the BIN are quite important. We will discuss later how far such military involvement is needed,” she said.The Indonesian Military (TNI) has so far assisted the government several times in handling the coronavirus, most notably during the evacuation of Indonesian citizens from China’s Hubei province to Natuna Island for quarantine and Indonesian crew members from the World Dream cruise ship to Sebaru Island.They had also helped find suitable locations for the government to set up a hospital for COVID-19 patients.On Wednesday, TNI commander Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto and Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono visited Galang Island in Batam, Riau Islands, where the government is planning to transform a former camp for Vietnamese refugees into the special outbreak hospital.The planned hospital is expected to be able to accommodate around 1,000 patients and have 50 isolation rooms, which will take up 2 percent of the hospital’s total capacity.Galang Island was a refugee asylum during the Vietnam war from 1955 to 1975. The site also has access to clean water and electricity, while the island is located 50 kilometers from Hang Nadim International Airport.House Commission I lawmaker Bobby Adhityo Rizaldi called on the TNI to be prepared in helping the government prevent the spread of the virus. He said, however, that further military involvement was only needed if public health services managed by civilians were no longer able to handle patients suspected of having contracted the coronavirus.”Or if the government decides to isolate certain areas,” the Golkar politician said. “It [military assistance] is like a lifebuoy on a ship, it’s best not to use it but when the situation is urgent, it’s ready.”Another Commission I member, Charles Honoris of the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), meanwhile, urged the government to ensure the privacy of its citizens in relation to the coronavirus handling.He said the disclosure of personal information of coronavirus patients, whether through social media or other platforms, should be taken seriously as a violation of citizens’ privacy.House speakers will discuss the proposed Pansus to see whether or not its establishment is necessary, deputy speaker and Gerindra Party politician Sufmi Dasco Ahmad said.”Because the House is currently in recess for the next three weeks, we will discuss it after the recess,” he said.House speaker of the PDI-P Puan Maharani urged the government to immediately create a national level team for coronavirus handling, which would centralize the coordination of all related stakeholders, citing that several regions had already formed special teams on coronavirus, namely Jakarta, South Tangerang and West Java.”A national team is important to ensure that authorities are working together to prevent the spread of the virus and to prove to the public that Indonesia is being vigilant and serious in dealing with the outbreak,” she said.Panic buying of face masks, hand sanitizer and everyday goods such as instant noodles hit supermarkets and drugstores in various areas in the country after the government confirmed the first two COVID-19 cases. Fake news and misinformation on the virus are also rampant on social media.Topics :last_img read more

Dr. Corona vs. coronavirus: Muhammadiyah special center fighting COVID-19 in Indonesia

first_imgIndonesia’s second-largest Islamic organization has officially entered the national battle against the coronavirus by establishing the Muhammadiyah COVID-19 Command Center (MCCC) and putting an aptly named physician, Corona Rintawan, in charge.The organization has dedicated all of its facilities and wings under the Muhammadiyah Philanthropic Initiative (AUM) to help the government fight the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.Indonesian physician, Corona Rintawan (right), is in-charge for the Muhammadiyah COVID-19 Command Center, which is aimed helping the government fight the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. ( Mashabi)“The concept is prevention, early detection and early handling.”All of the AUM [outlets] will move massively and in an integrated way to provide strategic mitigation against the spread of the virus,” MCCC head Corona told a press conference at the Muhammadiyah Dakwah Center in Jakarta, as quoted by the organization’s official website,, on Tuesday.Muhammadiyah has designated 20 top-tier hospitals on Java and Sumatra and in Kalimantan for the coronavirus fight. These hospitals are now listed as government referral centers for COVID-19 cases. Muhammadiyah said the 20 hospitals are ready to apply standard procedures to handle cases, as well as conduct decontamination and contingency actions. Read also: Indonesia reports first death from COVID-19The Islamic organization also prepared about 30,000 AUM outlets to disseminate information on COVID-19 and its prevention.Corona, a physician himself, said that MCCC has two dedicated programs for the COVID-19 battle: “Safari”, which is about raising the awareness of risk factors, and, “Gemes”, which involves donating face masks. The Safari program encourages people to educate themselves about COVID-19, so they are aware of any risks from the disease. The program also suggests people self-quarantine whenever necessary. Read also: Indonesia confirms first possible COVID-19 community transmission as cases rise to 27Meanwhile, the Gemes program encourages people to help others by giving face masks to those with the flu. The program raises the awareness of the importance of helping others and eradicating selfish acts. Muhammadiyah also optimizes the role of takmir (mosque management) in educating the congregation by encouraging them to bring their own sajadah (praying mats) to mosques to prevent infection, conduct ablution thoroughly and pray at home if they are sick. (gis) Topics :last_img read more

NBA to suspend season after Jazz player tests positive for coronavirus

first_imgThe NBA will suspend play starting on Thursday after a Utah Jazz player preliminarily tested positive for the new coronavirus, the league said Wednesday.The test result was reported shortly before Utah’s game against the Thunder in Oklahoma City was to begin, and that game was abruptly postponed.The league said the affected player was not at the arena. The decision was made after the confusing scenes in Oklahoma City, where Jazz and Thunder players took the court to warm up, but shortly before the scheduled tip-off were sent to their locker rooms before police began to clear the Chesapeake Energy Arena.The NBA did not name the player who had tested positive, but several US media outlets reported it was French defensive standout Rudy Gobert, who was listed first as questionable for the game and then as out with illness.Teammate Emmanuel Mudiay was also listed as suffering from an undisclosed illness on the team’s injury report.Six NBA games were scheduled for Wednesday and four were underway when the game in Oklahoma City was called off.”It’s unprecedented,” Detroit coach Dwayne Casey — whose Pistons fell to the 76ers in Philadelphia — said of the decision to suspend the season. “I think it’s the prudent thing to do.”Topics : “The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice,” the league said. “The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”Team owners had been discussing Wednesday how best the league should respond to the coronavirus outbreak.The Golden State Warriors confirmed they would host the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday in San Francisco behind closed doors after San Francisco city officials announced a two-week ban on all gatherings of more than 1,000 people.NBA owners on Wednesday were discussing whether to delay the season or instead play in closed arenas league-wide.last_img read more

Ride-hailing apps rely on deliveries during pandemic

first_imgTopics : “Our transportation sector is sloping but our food and logistics delivery orders are still doing quite good,” said Grab Indonesia public affairs head Tri Sukma Anreianno during a press conference on March 23.The company’s food, logistics and grocery shopping delivery services have seen increased business, said a Grab Indonesia spokesperson. “We will expand GrabMart, our daily essentials delivery service, as well as GrabAssistant, our on-demand concierge service so that more people can stay home. This would also provide our driver-partners access to more earning opportunities through the Grab platform,” the spokesperson wrote in an email to The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.To help its employees, Grab has committed to US$10 million in initiatives, such as giving a one-time payout of Rp 1.5 million and Rp 3 Million to any GrabBike or GrabCar driver-partner, respectively, who undergoes the government-mandated quarantine or tests positive for COVID-19, among others. The government’s appeal for people to work from home or travel by personal vehicle has left ride-hailing drivers with almost no customers. As such, ride-hailing providers have strategized to help their driver-partners and keep business afloat.A report by big data firm Statqo Analytics said Grab and Gojek had experienced 16 percent and 14 percent downturn, respectively, among its active ride-hailing users within the last week of March.A significant drop was seen on March 19, three days after schools and many businesses closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.center_img The initiatives are partly funded by voluntary Grab employee donations that are matched dollar-for-dollar by the company.Previously, Grab had also given 100,000 face masks, hair nets and hand sanitizers, as well as helmet cleaning vouchers, to their drivers.Similarly, Gojek’s chief of public policy and government relations, Shinto Nugroho, said on March 23 that since the implementation of physical distancing, the company’s ride-hailing business had seen an overall decrease in orders, while its food and delivery service GoFood and GoSend, were said to be stable.A study by mobile marketing analytics and attribution platform AppsFlyer showed that downloads of food and beverage delivery apps had risen 23 percent from January to early March in Indonesia, while food delivery orders rose 11 percent.Gojek chief of corporate affairs Nila Marita said on Wednesday that the company had also halted its house-call massage service GoMassage since March 26 and had implemented health safety measures for house cleaning service GoClean.“We’ve temporarily stopped the GoMassage service to comply with the government’s call for social distancing,” she told the Post.She went on to say that for the GoClean service, cleaners went through daily health check-ups and were equipped with masks, gloves and disinfectant. They can also decline a house-call if the customers are visibly ill. Meanwhile, customers must also present travel history from the last 14 days to ensure they have not been in contact with patients under treatment for COVID-19.Recently, the company’s senior management cut their salaries to allocate more than Rp 100 billion to help drivers and employees cope with low demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.It has also imported face masks to be distributed to its drivers and the country’s healthcare providers. Drivers who get COVID-19 or become a patient under treatment can also receive financial aid from Gojek and its foundation, Yayasan Anak Bangsa Kita.last_img read more

Honda cyberattack halts plants in India, Brazil, Turkey

first_imgHonda plants in Turkey, Brazil and India have halted operations as the Japanese carmaker battles to recover from a cyberattack that affected several factories worldwide.The cyberattack at the beginning of the week targeted Honda’s internal servers and spread a virus through the company’s systems, a spokeswoman told AFP on Wednesday.A four-wheel vehicle plant in Turkey and motorcycle plants in India and Brazil were still out of action following the attack, the spokeswoman said, adding that the firm was “still investigating details”. Last month, Honda reported a 25.3-percent fall in net profit from the previous year as sales dropped six percent to 14.9 trillion yen ($138 billion) in the fiscal year ending in March. In total, the cyberattack affected 11 Honda plants — including five in the US, according to local media reports.All US plants have resumed operations, the spokeswoman said, declining to elaborate further.She said the suspension would have only a limited impact on Honda’s business globally.Global automakers including Honda have already been hit hard by a slump in sales due to the new coronavirus pandemic.center_img Topics :last_img read more

New Lee, new star? Malaysia badminton ace eyes golden future

first_imgBut he remains relaxed about being touted as the heir to fellow Malaysian Lee Chong Wei, a three-time Olympic silver medalist and one of the greatest players of his generation until his retirement last year.”From the beginning, everybody said I am the next Lee Chong Wei, that I am going to replace him,” he told AFP. “It made me [feel] pressure but now, slowly, I have become more mature. “I am starting to accept those pressures, and turn them into motivation.” Packed calendar He has received advice from the elder Lee, 37, and is using the same two coaches his compatriot did before the 2016 Rio Olympics.Lee Chong Wei, who retired last year after failing to regain form following successful cancer treatment, made it to the men’s singles finals in Rio in 2016 only to be defeated by China’s Chen, who a year earlier had also relegated him to silver at the World Championships.”Their combination, I think, is very good,” said Lee Zii Jia of the backroom team of head coach Hendrawan and assistant Tey Seu Bock.”They have worked with Lee Chong Wei for many years, maybe they will share some experiences with me about how he trained.”Lee Zii Jia has an attacking style but in recent matches has shown more patience and consistency, such as during his 21-12, 21-18 victory over Chen in his first appearance the All England Open.Like many athletes, he was not able to train for weeks due to the coronavirus lockdown. But he and others stayed fit by having training sessions via video-conferencing and Lee resumed on-court training last week as Malaysia’s restrictions ease. Lee is concerned about the prospect of a frantic end to the year with a packed tournament calendar once competitive badminton resumes. “There will be many tournaments back-to-back. I have not been back on court maybe three months,” he said. “Maybe it takes me another three months to get back to normal.”  Topics : Lee Zii Jia’s charge up the badminton rankings has sparked hopes that Malaysia has found a successor to the legendary Lee Chong Wei — and someone who can finally win the country a first Olympic gold.The 22-year-old jumped to world number 10 after establishing himself in the sport’s elite with some big-name scalps at the start of this year before play was suspended because of the coronavirus. He defeated China’s Olympic champion Chen Long to reach the semi-finals of the prestigious All England Open in March, and beat China’s ninth-ranked Shi Yuqi at the Malaysia Masters in January. The major disappointment in former world number one Lee Chong Wei’s glittering career was that he failed to win badminton’s biggest prizes, being beaten to gold by his nemesis Lin Dan of China in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic finals, and the World Championships in 2011 and 2013.But Lee Zii Jia, despite the weight of expectation, is downplaying his chances of winning gold at the virus-delayed Tokyo Games next year, which would be his first Olympics.  “I don’t think about it… I will just go and try my best to gain some experience,” he said. “For me no pressure, just go and fight, and try my best.”last_img read more

Fifteen killed in brutal attack on indigenous Mexican village

first_imgAssailants killed 15 inhabitants of an indigenous village in southern Mexico that has been plagued by local disputes, authorities said on Monday, in one of the most brutal attacks to shake the countryside in recent years.State prosecutors in the state of Oaxaca said the bodies of 13 men and two women were identified as victims of the attacks over Sunday night and Monday morning in the municipality of San Mateo del Mar, east of the Pacific port of Salina Cruz.The San Mateo del Mar municipal government said in a statement that the attack was orchestrated by at least six armed people with the support of a suspected local crime boss. A state official said the photos were genuine.No arrests have yet been made, the official added.San Mateo del Mar lies on a coastal spit, and the area has suffered from territorial disputes and conflict over rights of way for many years, according to the state official.The area around the isthmus of Tehuantepec has also become known in recent years for land disputes over infrastructure projects. Topics : In a separate statement, Oaxaca state prosecutors said investigations are under way into what sparked the violence in Huazantlan del Rio, a local village of Ikoots indigenous origin. Officials are still investigating whether the attackers had guns.The two women killed had been protesting against abuses by one of the suspected attackers, who described himself as a representative of Huazantlan del Rio, the municipal government said.The conflict stemmed from road blocks organized in recent weeks by people claiming to represent Huazantlan del Rio authorities who wanted to stir up trouble for their own ends, the municipal government said, without giving more details.The attackers tortured and burned alive a number of their victims, the municipal government said. Photos of some of the victims’ partly burned corpses were published on social media. One of the dead men appeared to have been beaten with bricks.last_img read more