• Don't Shun Modern Science and Technology: Muslim Leaders,
Clerics to Tablighi Jamaat Workers
• Appeal People Not to Visit Places of Worship During Lockdown:
Islamic Centre to Religious Leaders
• If Saudi Arabia Is Forced to Put the Hajj on Hold, It Will Not
Be Without Precedent
• Amid Virus, Clerics Issue Fatwa Against Religious, Political
Gatherings in Afghanistan
• Fight Erupts at White House Over Drug Trump Suggests For
• Mujlisul Ulama and Jamiatul Ulama: 'Lockdown Regulations Have
Caused Spiritual Depression to Muslims'
• Muslim Professionals Raise Funds for Frontlines' PPE In Basilan,
• Spared So Far, Israel's Arab Community Fears Ramadan Could Spark
• Govt Cancels Baisakhi Celebrations at Gurdwara Punja Sahib
• The UK Is in Denial About Its Post-Coronavirus Status In The
World. Former Colonies Won’t Need Us, We’ll Need Them
• Don't Shun Modern Science and Technology: Muslim Leaders, Clerics
to Tablighi Jamaat Workers
• Unidentified Men Open Fire at Gurugram Mosque, FIR Filed
• Coronavirus update: 25 Muslim men arrested for attacking police
during Odisha town shutdown
• Test For COVID-19 Or Face Action: Himachal Pradesh To Islamic
• Delhi: Mosque allegedly attacked in Alipur, minorities panel
urges police to take proper action
• Coronavirus in India: Mumbai Police files FIR against Mosque
trustee, 3 Filipinos for violating orders
• Delhi Police urges Muslims to stay at home on Shab-e-Barat amid
• 10 foreigners who stayed in Vashi mosque after attending
Tablighi Jamaat event booked
• Covid-19: Muslim IAS, IPS officers urge community to cooperate
with health workers
• Karnataka MP Calls Delhi’s Tablighi Jamaat Event ‘Corona Jihad’
• 8 Malaysians Linked To Delhi Mosque Event Caught Before Taking
• "Come Out In 24 Hours": Uttarakhand Top Cop To Mosque
• Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt: No Room For Political Differences
To Coronavirus Battle
• Oil Prices Fall Sharply As OPEC+ Meeting Delayed, Stocks Jump on
• KSA Steps Up Efforts to Repatriate Saudi Citizens
• UAE's top banks reveal exposure to troubled hospital group NMC
• Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Directs Shura Council to Hold
Sessions via Virtual Network
• UAE car listings fall by half amid coronavirus pandemic: Report
• Coronavirus: Oman reports 33 new cases, raising total to 331
• Coronavirus: Dubai launches movement permit website, waives
fines between April 4-5
• Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia records 61 new cases, bringing total
• 39 Taliban militants killed, wounded in Uruzgan and Zabul
• Airstrike destroys key Taliban compound in Balkh province
• Will defend our Afghan partners if attacked: U.S. military in
• Coronavirus: Mosques in Afghanistan urged to change call to
• First Afghan doctor dies of coronavirus disease in Kabul city
• Noor lashes out at Rabbani, Abdullah and Saleh for indecent
• 30 new positive cases of coronavirus recorded in Afghanistan
• at NYC’s Bronx Zoo tests positive for coronavirus
• CAIR Urges Maryland Muslims to Join Sunday Statewide ‘Day of
• Watch Israel's Merkava Tank Brush Off an Attack from Islamic
• US, UK Brace for Soaring Death Tolls as Pandemic Bears Down
• Trump: US expresses well wishes to Britain's Boris Johnson after
• WHO Africa hosts hackathons, offers seed funds to fight COVID-19
• Coronavirus shutdowns keep African elite from seeking medical
• Cyril Ramaphosa: Africa United In Fight Against Coronavirus
• South Sudan 51st of 54 African nations to report virus case
• Coronavirus: West Java governor calls on Jakarta residents to
stay home during Ramadan
• AM Best revises Qatar Islamic Insurance Group’s outlook to
• Why favour ‘haram’ product during MCO? Bersatu Youth asks
• With Hate & Spite from Hadi – More Lies In The Name Of Islam
• Jakarta’s streets stand deserted during COVID-19 emergency
• Malaysia detains boatload of 202 suspected Rohingya Muslims
• Iran Producing Favipiravir For First Time to Treat Coronavirus:
• Israel Keeps 200 Palestinian Children in Prisons In Inhumane
Conditions: Palestinian Commission
• Israeli forces rearrest Palestinian governor of occupied
• Yemeni army refutes Saudi allegation of attack on oil pipeline
• China leading fight against COVID-19, aiding world countries:
Iran FM spokesperson
• Iranians join forces to produce masks in battle against
• US hampering Iran's coronavirus fight, crime against humanity:
Govt Cancels Baisakhi Celebrations at Gurdwara Punja Sahib
31 pilgrims brought from Taftan to quarantine facilities in Pindi,
Overcrowding in jails declared unconstitutional by IHC
Use of plasma allowed for treating Covid-19 patients in KP
Govt’s reluctance to restore PMDC may jeopardise career of
thousands of doctors
Body formed in Sindh to finalise guidelines for reopening
The UK Is in Denial About Its Post-Coronavirus Status In The
World. Former Colonies Won’t Need Us, We’ll Need Them
Police Investigate UK Far-Right Groups Over Anti-Muslim
British PM Boris Johnson admitted to hospital for Covid-19 tests
There With You: Barking Mosque a real pillar of the community
during coronavirus crisis
Worry prices could rise again in Bradford as Ramadan approaches
Coronavirus in Karakol: After return from India, man travels from
Bishkek by minibus, visits mosque, invites neighbours for tea
Family's thanks for extraordinary efforts to allow 104-year-old's
Islamic funeral to take place
Compiled by New Age Islam
Don't Shun Modern Science
and Technology: Muslim Leaders, Clerics to Tablighi Jamaat Workers
Delhi: Muslim leaders across the country have advised Tablighi Jamaat workers
to not “shun modern science or technology, be informed and restrict Deen ka
kaam (religious work) to your own families for now”.
of the Muslim intellectuals and religious leaders that ET spoke to
unequivocally condemned the approach of the group even as they questioned the
role of the administration in not taking adequate steps to disperse.
India Muslim Personal Law Board member Kamal Farooqui said the Jamaat head
Maulana Sa'ad has to apologise and not just to the community but to the nation.
“He should take responsibility, come forward and own up to what has happened.
This is the time we should have been fighting this together. Not making it
difficult for others.”
said the members of Tablighi Jamaat have never been associated with anti-social
activities. “But now, if the reports that are coming up, of some people
disregarding the efforts of medical professionals, are true, then that behaviour
is condemnable. This is not what the legacy of the group is.”
Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahali, Imam of Lucknow Eidgah said “an impartial and a
time-bound enquiry" into what happened at the Markaz would reveal a lot.
“But it has to be told very clearly that the Quran encourages you to research.
The Prophet himself has asked to take precautions, follow community guidelines
at the time of crisis. It is non- Islamic to dishonour the efforts of doctors.”
of All India Sufi Sajjadanashin Council, Syed Naseeruddin Chisty of Ajmer
Dargah told ET that the members of the Tablighi Jamaat, by accompanying
international tourists to Indian households and mosques, had risked several
need of the hour is for the members to understand the gravity of what they have
done. The Jamaatis need to keep themselves informed of the situation around
them and see how they can help,” he said.
associated with the organisation, however, said the activities of the Jamaat
were “voluntary”. They refuted allegations by some experts, who said the group
largely followed a non-consultative approach with other Muslim organisations.
to an IT professional who works in Gurgaon, "Engaging with real Muslims as
friends, showing the world that Islam as an accountable social entity - this is
all we do. We don't get into any political talk. Not even NRC or Ram Temple.
Where else can you find professionals and fruit sellers stay, eat and pray in
the masjid," the professional said, on condition of anonymity.
Sa'ad’s call to occupy mosques in wake of coronavirus spread Jamiat
Ulema-e-Hind president Arshad Madani said it has to be seen in perspective as
“no religious leader will let his place of worship get abandoned”
once the intensity of the crisis emerged, he did ask his followers to abide by
Madani also said there was no difference, his organisation -considered among
the most popular muslim groups, had with Tablighi Jamaat.
Jamaat, known to focus on personal practices of Muslims, has also been
criticised by Muslim preacher Zakir Naik who had said that the group's
unwillingness to indulge in conversion of Non Muslims to Muslims, and focus
only on its own community was against the message of the Quran.
others have blamed the group for promoting "weak hadith" and being
overly insistent on their ways as being pure Islamic.
was our forefathers who started the Jamaat and we don't think they have done
anything wrong. We focus on Islamic training, they focus on those who don't have
training which is an important work too. The Jamaats are known to go to the
most backward places, making the Muslims, better Muslims. But this religious
work should now be restricted to their their families alone, till this pandemic
people not to visit places of worship during lockdown: Islamic Centre to
India Islamic Cultural Centre on Sunday urged all religious scholars and
leaders to appeal to citizens not to visit places of worship during the
lockdown period, saying the situation arising out of the coronavirus pandemic
is "unprecedented" and tough times call for tough measures.
statement issued by the organisation's vice president, S M Khan, all
stakeholders were asked to show "complete discipline" and refrain
from activities which can cause damage to the dedicated efforts of the
from the office-bearer of the four-decade-old organisation, which was set up to
promote mutual understanding and amity amongst the people of the country, came
after reports of some patients taken for quarantine from Tablighi Jamaat
headquarters in Nizamuddin allegedly misbehaving with the medical staff.
an Indian Information Services officer who had served as the press secretary to
the then President A P J Abdul Kalam and was also the face of the country's
premier probe agency CBI for over a decade, said the current situation is
times call for tough measures and this is exactly what our Prime Minister
(Narendra Modi) has done by ensuring a complete lockdown which was imperative
to tackle this pandemic," he said, calling everyone to fight the
"common enemy together".
thanked all essential service providers who are ensuring continuity of supplies
and especially saluted the medical professionals who are taking care of those
affected and also the police/administrative personnel and media for doing a
take this opportunity to request all religious scholars and leaders to appeal
to citizens not to visit places of worship during the lockdown period...stay
safe and take care!" Khan said.
disasters such as these do not discriminate between people in terms of
religion, caste, creed, region among others, he said, adding "this phase
should be a learning experience for all of us, that how we can support each
other for humanitarian causes."
Saudi Arabia is forced to put the Hajj on hold, it will not be without
Will the Hajj, which draws millions of Muslims annually to Islam’s birthplace
in Saudi Arabia, be suspended this year owing to the global coronavirus
question had been uppermost in the minds of millions of Muslims worldwide even
before a Saudi official asked them to put on hold any plans to perform the
obligatory pilgrimage, scheduled to begin in late July.
asked our Muslim brothers around the world to wait” before making Hajj plans
“until there’s clarity,” Dr. Muhammad Salih bin Taher Banten, minister of Hajj
and Umrah, told state-run Al-Ekhbariya TV in comments on March 31 that quickly
bounced around the world.
added: “We've asked the world not to rush with regards to Hajj groups until the
path of the epidemic becomes clear, keeping in mind the safety of pilgrims and
public health as a priority.”
Arabia’s Ministry of Health has taken the whole gamut of precautionary measures
to control the spread of COVID-19 infection in Makkah and Madinah, yet a total
of more than 480 active cases have been reported in the two holy cities so far.
month, the Kingdom suspended the Umrah pilgrimage until further notice, halted
all international passenger flights indefinitely, and blocked the entry and
exit to several cities, including Makkah and Madinah.
actual fact, the pilgrimage has experienced disruptions through the centuries
due to circumstances beyond the control of Hajj authorities.
to a report published by the King Abdul Aziz Foundation for Research and
Archives (Darah), the first time the Hajj was interrupted was in 930 AD when
the Qarmatians, a syncretic branch of Sevener Ismaili Shiite Islam that
revolted against the Abbasid Caliphate, attacked pilgrims on the eighth day of
report says the Qarmatians, convinced that performing the Hajj was an act of
idolatry, killed more than 30,000 pilgrims that year, desecrated Makkah’s
Zamzam well with corpses, and ran off with the Black Stone of the Kaaba back to
Hajr (Qatif nowadays), their capital on the Arabian Gulf at that time.
next disruption happened in 968 AD, says the report, citing Ibn Kathir’s book
“Al-Bidaya wan-Nihayah.” It said a disease spread inside Makkah and claimed the
lives of many pilgrims.
of those who managed to reach Makkah safely could not live long after Hajj for
the same reason,” according to the Darah report
29 years later, no pilgrims from the East or Egypt came for the Hajj. According
to the Darah report, in 1030 only a few Iraqi pilgrims managed to reach Makkah
to perform the Hajj.
Emad Taher, head of the history department at King Abdul Aziz University, said
the reason was political unrest and sectarian tensions.
five years before the Crusaders seized Jerusalem in 1099, lack of unity among
Muslim rulers of the Arab region meant that no Muslims could manage to reach
Makkah to perform the Hajj.
1168, Egyptians found themselves locked in confrontation with Kurdish Commander
Asaduddin Shirkuh, who was hoping to extend the Zangid dynasty to Egypt. The
situation naturally did not allow Egyptians to perform the Hajj.
pilgrimage was again disrupted in the 13th century. The Darah report says no
people from outside the Hijaz region could perform the Hajj between 1256
leader Napoleon Bonaparte’s military campaign in the Ottoman territories of
Egypt and Syria from 1798 to 1801 made the standard routes to Makkah unsafe for
Nasira, an Egyptian academic and writer, said if COVID-19 cases worldwide
continue to increase, a decision to halt the Hajj should come as no surprise.
imposed, such a decision will be wise and in full compliance with the Islamic
Shariah, which basically aims to protect and preserve peoples’ lives,” he told
the Holy Qur’an, Allah says, ‘and do not kill yourselves.’ Also, the Prophet
Muhammad warned his companions against epidemics.
whole world is suffering from the swift spread of the coronavirus, which has
filled people everywhere with unprecedented dread,” he told Arab News.
scientists having little information about the virus, a cure isn’t likely to
come out soon, so the continuation of the situation makes suspending the Hajj
necessary to protect lives.”
drew attention to the fact that some Muslim countries, including Iran and
Turkey, are among the biggest casualties of the pandemic.
don’t want to add fuel to the fire. It’s illogical, and Islam also never
accepts or approves that. If I were a mufti, I wouldn’t hesitate to call for a
suspension,” he said.
Al-Ghamdi, a researcher of Islamic studies, pointed out that the Hajj is not a
limited ritual in the sense that it can be carried out at least once in the
lifetime of an adult Muslim.
the Hajj isn’t limited to a specific time. An adult Muslim can perform the Hajj
whenever he or she likes once they’ve reached the age of discretion,” he told
Muhammad, for instance, didn’t perform the pilgrimage in the first year the
Hajj became a duty. He made his Hajj a year later,” said Al-Ghamdi, who
specializes in Hadith and Islamic sciences. Like Nasira, he maintains that
Islamic Shariah strongly backs public interest and wellbeing.
case of dire necessity, such as because of the spread of the coronavirus
disease, political reasons or security compulsions, the Hajj can be suspended
and this doesn’t contradict Islamic teachings,” Al-Ghamdi said. “The Almighty
has ordered us to not expose ourselves to danger.”
Al-Ghamdi said, the Hajj is founded in reason and logic, so if health officials
find that a contagious sickness can cause deaths, preserving people’s lives is
more important than the pilgrimage itself. “Nothing is wrong with this line of
reasoning in Islamic Shariah,” he added.
Virus, Clerics Issue Fatwa Against Religious, Political Gatherings in
The religious scholars called for a ban of any religious and political
gatherings after the increase of Corona virus spread in the country.
religious scholars said in a statement released on Sunday that people need to
perform five-time prayers at their homes and avoid going to mosques.
statement said that the decision was taken based on the Koran verses and
advices from ministry of public health.
Salam Abed, a religious scholar, called on the government to cancel taking
taxes until the end of virus threat.
ministry of public health asked the people to respect the day-time curfew rule
and stay in their homes.
erupts at White House over drug Trump suggests for COVID-19
fierce fight broke out at the White House over the weekend about the use of
Hydroxychloroquine President Donald Trump has touted as a treatment for
a press conference on Sunday, Trump contradicted one of his top health
officials on coronavirus task force, Dr. Anthony Fauci, saying that the drug
can cure the fatal disease.
have stockpiled 29 million pills of the hydroxychloroquine,” Trump said, noting
that the government is using federal resources to make it available. “And
they're not expensive. What do you have to lose?"
earlier, economic adviser Peter Navarro went for Dr. Fauci over the
antimalarial drug at a White House meeting, Axios reported.
was near the end of the meeting when Commissioner of Food and Drugs Stephen
Hahn mentioned the drug with Navarro bringing over “a stack of folders” and
dropping them on the table.
the first words out of his (Navarro’s) mouth are that the studies that he's
seen, I believe they're mostly overseas, show 'clear therapeutic
efficacy,'" one of the sources said. "Those are the exact words out
of his mouth."
Fauci then explained that the research on it, which is being carried out in
China and France, is not enough and only anecdotal.
who has actually praised the travel restrictions since Trump enacted them,
looked confused, according to someone in the room.
Trump administration squandered nearly two months that could have been used to
bolster the federal stockpile of critically needed medical supplies and
Trump administration has come under fire from medical experts and Democrats for
downplaying the threat and mishandling the crisis.
global new coronavirus outbreak, which first began in the Chinese city of Wuhan
late last year, has so far affected more than 1,270,000.
United States is the country hit hardest by the coronavirus. More than 336,000
have tested positive so far across the country and over 9,600 have died there.
Ulama and Jamiatul Ulama: 'Lockdown Regulations Have Caused Spiritual
Depression to Muslims'
Ulama and Jamiatul Ulama have requested that the government ease the
regulations and allow them to attend mosque but other Muslims insist that
social distancing must be maintained.
Muslim groups' legal team, Zehir Omar Attorneys, has sent a letter to
Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma
and president Cyril Ramaphosa appealing for the regulations to be reviewed.
recently announced amendments to the regulations that include certain
individuals being permitted to move between provinces, metropolitan and
district areas for purposes of transporting a body for burial purposes. Zuma
added that the current prohibition of 50 persons attending a funeral is still
to a letter from the organisation’s representatives, the lockdown regulations
have caused spiritual depression to Muslims which has an impact on their minds
representatives of the group have also disclosed in the letter that they have
no fewer than 20 mosques and several thousand worshippers located at these
mosques in different parts of the country.
letter points out that mosques will not be crowded during their five daily
prayers since only few worshippers will be present.
prayers last for approximately 30 minutes, after which all the worshippers
disperse. There is no crowding such as prevails at grocery stores or spaza
shops, taxi ranks, in taxis and at the malls as seen in the last few days,”
reads the letter.
the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) has also called on the government
to relax lockdown regulations on churches.
professionals raise funds for frontliners' PPE in Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi
CITY, Philippines – A group of young Muslim professionals in Western Mindanao
is working to raise funds for medical frontliners located in the island
provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, so they can continue their brave
fight against COVID-19, the coronavirus disease.
group started the online fundraising effort over the GoGetFunding website,
according to their spokesperson Zamboanga-based Dr Abdul Javar Esturco. They
are also accepting bank deposits for cash donations. (READ: EXPLAINER: The PPE
keeping our healthcare workers safe)
said that they see the need to support and augment frontliners in these
geographically challenged areas because the lockdown and suspension of public
transport have made it even more difficult to get personal protective equipment
(PPE), medical equipment and medicines to these island provinces.
they are so far from the center, our health workers in these areas face
logistical and supply difficulties," Esturco said. "They need to
augment existing medical facilities and equipment. They need medicines and
group aims to gather funds to produce an initial number of 150 PPEs that will
be distributed equally to the three provinces. Hopefully, Estrurco added, they
will receive funds that will help them continue producing more PPEs. (WATCH:
PPE hacks you can do at home)
group reported that as of Sunday, April 5, their online fundraiser has gathered
P101,000 from the GoGetFunding website and bank deposits.
So Far, Israel's Arab Community Fears Ramadan Could Spark Coronavirus Outbreak
Arab community has until now experienced a surprisingly low rate of coronavirus
infection, but there is mounting concern that the outbreak could gain strength
during Ramadan, showing the true gaps in public health between Israel’s
say the gap can be partially explained by a relatively small number of tests
conducted in Arab communities, as well as a lack of epidemiological
investigation to locate those who had been in contact with COVID-19 patients,
as Haaretz previously reported. As of Sunday, 6,479 people in Arab communities
were tested in contrast to more than 80,000 in Jewish communities.
the gap in testing can’t explain the fact that among the 46 fatalities, there
are apparently no Arabs. Health maintenance organizations and local clinics
have also not reported any sharp rise in the spread of the virus in Arab
Ahmad Tibi from the Joint List of predominantly Arab parties, after undergoing
a coronavirus test in Tira, central Israel, April 2020.
my opinion we don’t know enough and it’s possible that there is more illness
than we are aware of,” says Prof. Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute of
Science in Rehovot. “It’s also possible that there is underreporting, that the
threshold at which they call Magen David Adom [rescue services] is higher,” he
adds. According to Segal, there may have been Arab Israelis who died of the
coronavirus but went undiagnosed and a different cause of death was listed.
the Arab community seems to have been less affected by two accelerators of the
disease. The first circles of infection in Israel was mainly composed of people
who returned from abroad carrying the virus, and then of people who attended
celebrations around the Jewish holiday of Purim.
Hagai Levine, chairman of the Israeli Association of Public Health Physicians
warns that the high number of Arab health care workers puts the community at
the center of the outbreak. “If these workers are at high risk, we’ll start
seeing a much higher rate of infection. It’s important to follow what’s
happening there,” Levine says.
low rate of infection among Arabs could also be due to the fact that they
followed instructions and avoided public gatherings, shuttering churches and
mosques, an assessment that the national committee on public health in the Arab
community cautiously agrees with. “The attempt to rope the Arab and the
ultra-Orthodox communities together is not correct,” Levine says. “The Arab
population responded positively to public health recommendations, much more
than the Jewish community,” he adds, noting the higher rate of vaccination
among Israeli Arabs.
warns however that the Health Ministry doesn’t know enough about what is
happening in Arab communities. And health professionals believe that, although
these factors have helped to slow the spread of the virus, it did not stop it;
and an outbreak in one Arab community would be on par with an outbreak in an
ultra-Orthodox neighborhood, a possibility which has received widespread
of tests were conducted over the last few days in Arab communities, and could
reveal a more accurate trend. “In another week, we’ll know more,” says Dr. Fuad
Abu Hmad, director of the local branch of an Israeli health maintenance
organization in the Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Safafa. “But meanwhile
we’re not seeing sickness,” he added.
Khaled Awawda, a member of the national committee on health in the Arab
community, agrees with Abu Hmad’s assessment. “It’s hard to reach conclusions
at this point. The number of confirmed patients is relatively low, [but] so is
the number of tests,” and at the same time, family physicians are not reporting
a rise in coronavirus patients in local clinics. “We expect in a week or two to
have a clearer picture,” Awawda added.
drive-through testing station for coronavirus in the Bedouin city of Rahat, in
southern Israel, April 2020.Eliyahu Hershkovitz
of the health committee are now concerned about what might happen during the
month of Ramadan, which begins at the end of April. People are less likely to
adhere to social distancing rules during the holiday, which will increase the
risk of infection. It is especially worrying given the infection rate could be
compounded by the high number of smokers and diabetes sufferers, both
considered risk factors, in the community. The fact that many Arab senior
citizens live with their families could also put them at risk, especially if
this wave of the disease breaks out after general social distancing rules are
the moment, there are many theories, but it must be said that we don’t know
entirely what is happening,” said Prof. Nadav Davidovitch, head of the school
of public health at Ben-Gurion University in Beer Sheva. The government
responded late in its efforts to spread information, in testing and improving
access to services in the Arab community, he said.
outbreak occurs among Israeli Arabs, the situation will reflect the status of
the system in general and gaps in public health in Israel, Davidovitch, said,
adding: “It won’t last forever. It’s not logical for there not to be an
outbreak in Arab community.”
cancels Baisakhi celebrations at Gurdwara Punja Sahib
The government has cancelled Baisakhi celebrations scheduled to begin on April
14 in Hassanabdal, in which 3,000 Sikhs from India and 2,000 from elsewhere
around the world were to participate.
Trust Property Board (ETPB) Deputy Secretary Shrines Imran Gondal said that a
meeting of the ETPB and the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbadhank Committee (PSGPC)
unanimously decided that there would be no Baisakhi celebrations at Gurdwara
Punja Sahib in Hassanabdal this year and the scheduled visits of Sikh pilgrims
has been cancelled.
Ministry of Religious Affairs has already been informed of the decision, he
said, with onward communication for the Foreign Office and the Indian government
regarding the development and that the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi
would not issue visas to pilgrims this year.
have monitored the situation closely in recent days and worked with government
departments including the PSGPCand other stakeholders. We are committed to
following the guidelines set by the federal government to ensure a safe
environment for our Sikh pilgrim guests and we would not risk their health amid
the global coronavirus outbreak,” Mr Gondal said.
question, he said Pakistan gave all Sikh representative bodies the green light
in November 2019 that Pakistan would issue 3,000 visas to Indian pilgrims who
wanted to participate in the Baisakhi festival, as well as limitless visas for
pilgrims from other parts of the world.
ETPB had also issued a schedule for Indian pilgrims that was shared with the
Indian government. Security, boarding and lodging arrangements had been
finalised at all the temples the pilgrims would visit.
General Secretary Sardar Ameer Singh, a leading organiser, said the decision
was made to prevent all risks to public health and safety.
to cancel the event was not easy, he said, as the Sikh community around the
world has great emotional, religious and cultural attachment to the event. He
added that only symbolic Baisakhi celebrations will be observed at Gurdwara
said he has also released a video message for all Pakistani and foreign Sikh
bodies saying that there would be no Baisakhi celebrations due to Covid-19.
said that the high priests of Akal Takht - the highest religious authority in
the Sikh faith - have already announced that Baisakhi celebrations around the
world would be smaller in scale due to the coronavirus epidemic.
of thousands of Sikhs typically participate in Baisakhi celebrations every
year. In 2019, more than 15,000 pilgrims visited the gurdwaras in Hassanabdal.
UK is in denial about its post-coronavirus status in the world. Former colonies
won’t need us, we’ll need them
coronavirus will change the world as we know it. Every nation has had to
re-evaluate themselves and their priorities and when it is over, every nation’s
standing in the world will be re-evaluated for them. None more so than Britain.
about Britain’s place in the world began as part of our never-ending Brexit
saga, but if the way we handled that didn’t expose us, then our handling of
coronavirus certainly will. While we
continue to trade off the nostalgia of being world leaders, the pandemic is
showing the world that we are leading nothing.
other countries offer residency to migrants, we maintain detention centres and
no recourse to public funds. While other countries provide universal basic
income, we leave the self-employed in limbo and offer small business owners
relief in the form of debts. And while Cuba sends doctors around the world to
fight Covid-19, staff in our chronically under-resourced NHS use bin liners in
place of proper, personal protective equipment.
a recent Urgent Question about Jamaica deportation flights, a Conservative MP
remarked that “British citizenship was a privilege, not a right”. Yet as I
write, hundreds of thousands of British nationals are stranded abroad. British
consulates have closed their doors and unplugged the phones. Brits look on as
other countries pull out all the stops to get their citizens safely home.
of the first countries to shut their borders to “Europeans” were former
colonies. The world we know and our place in it is already changing.
before our official departure from the EU, I made my maiden speech in a debate
on Global Britain, which was clearly meant to be a celebration of our standing
in the world.
said: “It strikes me that as a country we cannot begin to fulfil the idea of
global Britain until we first address the historic injustices of the British
empire, injustices including slavery and colonialism; first, because it is the
right thing to do, but also because we may soon find ourselves out in the cold
if we do not.”
one thing that I agree with ardent Brexiteers on is that Commonwealth countries
could be our most fruitful trading partners after Brexit. But while my comments
were overwhelmingly welcomed by people across the Commonwealth, they were met
with ridicule and racist abuse here at home. And herein lies our problem.
of “Global Britain” clearly hearken back to the last time when Britain really
did have global power. But there’s underlying bathos to the phrase in a time
when power bases are shifting. This was exemplified by Theresa May’s
unsuccessful trade visit to India in 2016, where talks floundered over
migration and Brexit. More recently, a Foreign Affairs Select Committee report
on the UK’s relationship with India stressed that the UK’s failure to become
more open to overseas workers, students and tourists, would limit our capacity
to build new trading relationships.
recent publication of the Windrush Lessons Learned Review highlighted the
institutional racism that underpins our approach to immigration. This racism
and the way we view the Global South has roots in slavery, colonialism and
empire. So, it stands to reason that until we address these historic ills, we
will continue to alienate the countries whose friendship will be paramount
of doing this, the government introduced its glossy continuation of the hostile
environment: a “points-based” system cloaked in rhetoric, but not enough to
conceal its concession to anti-migrant sentiments. Even at a potential economic
cost. While we pander to populist ideas about immigration, we have fallen from
being India’s second-largest trade partner in 1998-99, to its 17th in 2018-19.
In a world outside the EU, are we really so arrogant to think that we can call
all of the shots with India, a country which recently surpassed the UK to
become the fifth-largest economy in the world?
saw this same disregard at the recent UK-Africa trade summit, dubbed the
“scramble for Africa”. The prime minister’s speech showed he had not been
listening to African leaders at all, making no reference to Africa’s past and
perhaps more surprisingly, no reference to its future – the African common market.
When established, this will be the largest free trade area in the world, and
there is already talk of accelerating the process to cushion African economies
against a post-pandemic global recession.
prime minister’s omission was glaring given that the summit’s whole purpose was
to discuss trade with the UK after leaving the EU’s common market. Countries
like Ghana, Kenya and Uganda, which Britain deliberately underdeveloped, stole
resources from, and brutally enslaved, are already among the fastest-growing
economies in the world. Imagine what an African market would mean, and then
imagine the level of arrogance it takes to ignore it. Coronavirus is exposing a
truth that should give advocates of Global Britain pause for thought: “they” do
not need “us”.
our government panders to nationalism, it would do well to remember that
nationalism is not a uniquely western concept. Many Commonwealth countries will
only remember a past of exploitation and a present in which they are subjected
to punitive IMF conditions, crippling their social infrastructure in serving
the interests of more powerful countries like the UK. Countries in the global
south have their own nationalists and every one of them will tell you that
their achievements are in spite of Britain’s atrocities, not because of aid or
the “privilege” of being colonised.
does this all matter now? Coronavirus demonstrates more than ever the
importance of global cooperation. It has also shown that we have less and less
to offer. We will come through this crisis and when we do, we need to find a
new economic foothold. But we cannot successfully do this if we’re unwilling to
approach our former colonies from a place of equality, respect and
understanding. We weren’t prepared for the reality of coronavirus but we must
prepare to face our place in the world when the pandemic is over.
men open fire at Gurugram mosque, FIR filed
group of unidentified men opened fire at a mosque in Dhankot village on
Saturday night, the police said, adding that nobody was injured in the
to the police, an FIR was registered on Sunday against unidentified men on the
basis of the complaint by the Imam of the mosque, who was sleeping on the
terrace of the building when the incident took place. However, he did not hear
the sound of the gunshots, the Imam said in the complaint.
police said that they found at least one ejected shell casing near the gate of
the mosque. Although the motive behind the firing is yet to be established, the
police have denied any communal angle to it.
the police complaint, the Imam, who is a resident of Nuh, said, “I have been
working as Imam in Kherki Majra. On Friday, the Imam of Jama Masjid, Dhankot,
asked me to take care of the premises as he was going out of station. On Sunday
around 6.44am, I received a phone call from him. He informed me that the
residents of the village have told him that gunshots were fired in front of the
mosque. I was sleeping on the first floor during the night and did not hear the
Imam further said that when he went downstairs, he saw a crowd in front of the
mosque. The residents allegedly told him that they heard sounds of gunshots
being fired around 12 am. After inspecting the area near the mosque, the Imam
allegedly found an ejected shell casing and saw a bullet hole on the gate of
the mosque, the police said.
told me that they heard at least three gunshots. I do not know the people who
fired them. But I believe that there are some people who want to destroy the
harmony and brotherhood in the area,” the Imam, requesting anonymity, said.
Kumar, station house officer, Rajendra Park police station, said that the
suspects are yet to be identified. “We are investigating the case. An ejected
shell casing was found near the spot. There is no communal angle to the
incident,” he said.
police official privy to the investigation, requesting anonymity, said
preliminary probe suggested that there were at least three men who came at the
spot in a car and fried the gunshots.
case was registered against the suspects under Section 285 (negligent conduct
with respect to fire or combustible matter) of the Indian Penal Code and
relevant sections of the Arms Act at Rajendra Park police station on Sunday,
the police said.
update: 25 Muslim men arrested for attacking police during Odisha town shutdown
in Odisha’s Cuttack have arrested 25 Muslim men for pelting stones at them
while enforcing the 48-hour shutdown as part of the state government’s measures
to contain the spread of Covid-19 disease.
deputy commissioner of police Akhileswar Singh said the inspector of Mangalabag
police station and some other policemen were on foot patrolling in Kesharpur
area when they saw some men sitting near the local mosque.
the cops asked the youths why they were not inside their homes as per shutdown
order they started pelting stones. The inspector and a few other policemen were
injured,” said Singh.
after the incident, two platoons of the police force were deployed in the
locality to avoid any further untoward incident.
police have registered more than 2700 cases and arrested 2600-odd people for
violating the lockdown as of Sunday. More than 400 vehicles have also been
For COVID-19 Or Face Action: Himachal Pradesh To Islamic Sect Members
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Sunday asked all Tablighi
Jamaat members who had attended the group's congregation in Delhi's Nizamuddin,
a COVID-19 hotspot, to come forward for testing by 5 pm, failing which action
will be taken against them.
of the seven persons who tested positive for coronavirus in the state on
Saturday were Tablighi Jamaat members, he said.
in the day, Director General of Police, Himachal Pradesh, Sita Ram Mardi had
issued a similar warning to district heads of Tablighi Jamaat.
asked them to disclose details of all those who came to the state after
attending the congregation in Delhi's Nizamuddin West area last month.
asked all Tablighi Jamaat members who attended the Delhi congregation to come
forward for medical check-up by 5 pm on Sunday and warned of strict action
against those who do not comply with the order.
chief minister said the three members of the group who tested positive on
Saturday were hiding in a mosque in Solan district's Nalagarh and their samples
were collected from there.
three were admitted to Indira Gandhi Medical College here at 6.30 am on Sunday,
Senior Medical Superintendent, IGMC, Dr Janak Raj said.
are residents of Uttar Pradesh and had come to Himachal Pradesh's Nalagarh area
from Nizamuddin on March 18. Their contacts are being traced so that they can
be quarantined, he said.
the seven fresh infections, the number of coronavirus cases in Himachal Pradesh
has risen to 14, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) RD Dhiman said on
these, six are Tablighi Jamaat members, according to officials. The remaining
three are being treated at Dr. Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College
(RPGMC) in Kangra district's Tanda, they said.
Mosque allegedly attacked in Alipur, minorities panel urges police to take proper
· 05:22 pm
Delhi Minorities Commission on Saturday issued a notice to the commissioner of
police after a mosque in Alipur locality of North West Delhi was allegedly
attacked and burnt by miscreants, reported The Wire.
video of the incident, which took place on Friday night in Mukhmelpur village
in Alipur, was shared widely on social media.
Zafar-ul Islam Khan said the commission received a report and video, stating
that around 200 people attacked the mosque when there were two or three people
inside it. The notice to the police said that the mob attacked the mosque,
ransacked and burnt it partially, adding that it was “unbelievable” that such
an incident could take place in the national Capital. “The issue cannot be
patched up artificially by arranging a compromise where a religious place has
been ransacked and partially burnt and demolished,” the commission said. “If no
proper legal action is taken, this lawlessness will become common.”
directed the police commissioner to ensure that a first information report in
the case is filed against the accused. “Law should take its course so that a
deterrent is created in the minds of people as some have started to think that
they will go scot-free after committing any crime against the weaker sections
of the society,” the panel added.
told The Wire that the mosque is situated inside a graveyard in the village and
is used to offer “janaza” – a prayer before the burial of the dead in
accordance with Islam. A local resident, who does not wish to be identified,
told the website that a group of 15 to 20 men came to the mosque on Friday
night and vandalised it. “The environment here is extremely volatile,” he
added. “We have to live here only, we don’t want this to go out in the media
and for outsiders to get involved, we will work out a compromise.”
added that a rumour was spread about an alleged dispute between Hindus and
Muslims in the village. “If you saw the video on YouTube, you must have seen
the state of the mosque,” he said. “Whenever something like this happens, we
lock our homes. At night, we heard noises of something being broken. It was in
the morning that we saw that it was the mosque.”
Commissioner of Police (Outer Delhi) Gaurav Sharma said an FIR has been
registered under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code against those who
unlawfully congregated outside the mosque. He, however, claimed that there was
no attempt to break or vandalise the mosque.
said the condition of the mosque, as seen in the videos, has been same for the
past few months. “The burn that can be seen is because some local people who
work in the fields sometime use this site as a kitchen,” he added.
of Delhi had witnessed large-scale communal violence in February. Clashes had
broken out between the supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act and those
opposed to it between February 23 and 26 in North East Delhi, killing 53 people
and injuring hundreds. The police were accused of either inaction or complicity
in some instances of violence, mostly in Muslim neighbourhoods. The violence
was the worst in Delhi since the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.
in India: Mumbai Police files FIR against Mosque trustee, 3 Filipinos for
Mumbai Police on Sunday registered an FIR against three Philippines nationals
and six Indians, including a trustee of a mosque in Vashi.
case was filed against the foreign nationals for violating visa norms and
entering Navi Mumbai illegally, while the mosque trustee was accused of hiding
the foreign nationals in the wake of Covid-19 spread.
of these accused Filipinos had died of Covid-19 infection recently. The patient
had initially tested positive for novel coronavirus and was under treatment at
the civic-run Kasturba Hospital in Mumbai. He was later shifted to a private
hospital after his test report came out to be negative. However, he died at the
private hospital late night on March 23.
to the police, a person from around the Noor Masjid in Vashi was tested
positive for novel coronavirus. Some locals also spoke about foreigners staying
in the mosque. However, when police reached the spot, they were met with
at the mosque refused to talk to the police and vehemently opposed getting
themselves tested. They also told police that their religion forbids such
testing. Later, police had to send a doctor to convince them, following which,
they agreed for the test.
test results were positive for the trustee of the mosque, his
one-and-half-year-old grandchild, daughter-in-law and one other family member.
trustee had hidden these foreigners in the mosque when the novel coronavirus
started emerging in the country. These people stayed in the Masjid between
March 10 and March 16.
filed a case against the mosque trustee and foreign nations under Sections 188
(Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), Section 269
(Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease danger¬ous to life) and
Section 270 (Malignant act likely to spread infection of disease danger¬ous to
life) of Indian Penal Code (IPC), Section 3 and 4 of Epidemic Act 1897, Section
14 of Foreigners Act 1946 and Maharashtra Covid-19 rule recently brought into
now, the administration is trying to find all those people who met these
infected persons so that the spread of Covid-19 could be curtailed.
Police urges Muslims to stay at home on Shab-e-Barat amid lockdown
The Delhi Police on Sunday urged Muslims to stay indoors on the upcoming
Shab-e-Barat in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
also known as the night of forgiveness, will be observed on April 8. Members of
the Muslim community visit graveyards to remember their relatives who more.
to Twitter, the Delhi Police shared a poster urging people to support them in
the fight against Covid-19 by staying indoors. In its appeal, the police said
lockdown is in force even on the sacred night of Shab-e-Barat. "Don't
misuse it by coming out on motorcycles and creating chaos on the streets of
Delhi,” the poster read.
police also asked for cooperation from religious leaders and RWAs in
maintaining the lockdown. "Unlawful behaviour will not be tolerated.
Violators will face stern action. Observe the occasion solemnly," the
poster added. On March 24, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared a country-wide
lockdown for 21 days to contain the spread of coronavirus.
foreigners who stayed in Vashi mosque after attending Tablighi Jamaat event
police on Sunday have booked 10 Filipinos for allegedly staying in a mosque in
Vashi after attending the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi between March
10 and 16 without informing the police and for flouting self-isolation norms.
incident came to light after a 68-year-old man from the group started
developing symptoms of coronavirus. “The 68-year-old man was sent to Kasturba
Hospital in Mumbai. After he was tested positive, the other nine from the group
were also tested and two of them were also tested positive. Meanwhile, the
68-year-old man developed complications and was shifted to a Powai hospital,
where he died on March 23. On inquiring with the men, we learnt that they had
attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi,” said an officer from Vashi
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), however, has claimed that the
68-year-old died of another infection and did not attribute his death to
coronavirus, as he was first tested positive but later his report came
two men who have been tested positive have recovered and are in quarantine at
Nagpada. Despite being asked to self-isolate, the seven others who were tested
negative have fled to Delhi, the police have said.
per the suo motu first information report (FIR) registered at Vashi police
station, the men violated the conditions pertaining to their immigration and
came in contact with Indians, causing the spread of the disease. Officers at
Vashi police station said the 68-year-old man had come to India on a 40-day
tourist visa and had exceeded his stay in the country.
the 10 have been booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)
for violating orders and spreading infectious disease; for remaining in India
beyond their visa permit under the Foreigner’s Act; and sections of Epidemic
Diseases Act as well as the Maharashtra Covid-19 Regulations, 2020.
men did not inform authorities in the city that they had arrived from Delhi.
Despite having symptoms, they continued to maintain proximity with others in
the country amid the outbreak,” said Ravindra Daundkar, inspector, Vashi police
police also said they will verify with the airport authorities if the
68-year-old was screened at the international and the domestic airports in
Muslim IAS, IPS officers urge community to cooperate with health workers
DELHI: Following reports of violence against health workers involved in fight
against Covid-19, a group of about 60 senior Muslim IAS and IPS officers have
written an open letter to the community members and have urged them to
cooperate with health workers.
letter evokes Islamic scriptures and traditions of the Prophet and appeals to
the Muslim community to help the health workers who are risking their own lives
while screening and isolating the suspected coronavirus patients.
of Tamil Nadu cadre Najmul Hoda and senior IAS officer of Haryana cadre Mohd
Shiyan were among the signatories in the letter.
have been disturbing reports of stone pelting on health workers at some
Karnataka MP calls Delhi’s Tablighi Jamaat event ‘corona jihad’
BJP Lok Sabha MP from Udupi Chikmagalur Shobha Karandlaje on Saturday claimed
that “efforts to spread coronavirus throughout the country” began at Tablighi
Jamaat event in Delhi and termed it as “corona jihad”.
began at Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi to spread coronavirus throughout the
country. Most of the attendees of that event are untraceable. There seems to be
‘corona Jihadi plan’ behind that meeting,” she said while speaking to reporters
here. Meanwhile, according to officials, out of the seven new cases from
Mysuru, two cases are connected to the Jubilant Generics cluster while the rest
five cases have a travel history to Delhi.
Linked To Delhi Mosque Event Caught Before Taking Special Flight
Delhi: Eight Malaysian citizens who were about to board a special flight to
Malaysia were caught at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport today.
Sources said they were part of the Tablighi Jamaat Centre at Nizamuddin, which
has been marked as a hotspot for the spread of coronavirus. Though
international flights are not operating, special flights are being operated by
some nations to evacuate their nationals stranded in the country.
third of the COVID-19 cases in the country - more than 1000 - are linked to
last month's religious gathering hosted by Tablighi Jamaat despite the
government's message of social distancing. Most of around 9,000 people who
attended the event then dispersed to various parts of the country, leading to a
surge of coronavirus cases across the country.
eight Malaysians, who attended last month's event, were hiding at different
places in Delhi and intended to take a Malindo Air relief flight, sources said.
Caught by the immigration department at the airport, they will be handed over
to the Delhi Police and the Health department for further investigation. The
matter comes as the Delhi Police have started tracing cellphone data to trace
the people who were at the Delhi event or in its vicinity.
Jamaat event was attended by a number of foreigners, who, the authorities said,
were misusing their tourist visa by participating in religious events.
Out In 24 Hours": Uttarakhand Top Cop To Mosque Event Participants
Uttarakhand Director General of Police (DGP) Anil Raturi on Sunday warned all
the people who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi last month to
come out and declare themselves within 24 hours or face prosecution for murder.
who had attended Tablighi Jamaat event should come forward and disclose the
information within 24 hours, otherwise, FIR (First Information Report) will be
registered against them under sections of murder and attempt to murder,"
DGP Anil Raturi said.
Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi has emerged as a hotspot for COVID-19 after a
large number of positive cases from across India were linked to the gathering
including deaths in Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Telangana.
to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the total number of COVID-19
cases in the country has crossed 4,000 and over 100 have died.
Brotherhood in Egypt: No room for political differences to coronavirus battle
Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt said yesterday that there is no room for political
and intellectual differences while confronting the coronavirus, revealing the
formation of a committee to deal with the effects of the virus.
during a video conference Dr Al-Mitwali Zakaria, a professor of infectious
diseases, said: “There is no way to put political and intellectual differences
as a barrier to confront this pandemic which does not discriminate between a
supporter and an opponent, a ruler or a citizen.”
added: “Despite the difficulties it is facing, the movement decided to form a
committee abroad working to launch specialised sites to improve doctors’
qualification and open areas for remote consultations with the participation of
channels will be used to spread information and educate people about the virus
and stop the spread of rumours and false information, he added
all our capacities, we are ready to sacrifice for our great people and for our
beloved country Egypt,” the Muslim Brotherhood said while calling for the
release of prisoners, especially the elderly.
prices fall sharply as OPEC+ meeting delayed, stocks jump on virus slowdown
Oil prices skidded on Monday after Saudi-Russian negotiations to cut output
were delayed, keeping oversupply concerns alive, while stocks jumped as
investors were encouraged by a slowdown in coronavirus-related deaths and new
currency markets, sterling fell after British Prime Minister was admitted to
hospital following persistent coronavirus symptoms as the pandemic rapidly
crude fell as much as $3 in early Asian trading after Saudi Arabia and Russia
postponed a meeting over a potential pact to cut production to Thursday.
weighing on the pound were fears other senior government officials who were in
the same briefing as Prime Minister Boris Johnson could be affected by the
virus, said Karl Schamotta, chief market strategist at Cambridge Global
Payments in Toronto, Canada.
is stating the obvious to say the viral outbreak and the containment measures
to fight it are central to market action,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market
strategist at CMC Markets.
equity investors looked at the positives with major European nations including
France and Italy reporting lower fatality rates.
stock futures jumped more than 1.5% in early Asian trading on Monday after US
President Donald Trump expressed hope the country was seeing a “levelling off”
of the coronavirus crisis.
gains came despite New York Governor Andrew Cuomo cautioning that it was not
yet clear whether the crisis in the state had reached a plateau. Investors took
solace from the fact that COVID-19 cases appeared to be reaching a peak in
Europe with Italy seeing the number of patients in intensive care falling for
the second consecutive day.
in markets will now turn to the path out of lockdown and to what extent
containment measures can be lifted without risking a second wave of
infections,” National Australia Bank analyst Tapas Strickland wrote in a note.
to a strong rebound in China will be the ongoing lifting of containment
measures with Wuhan – the epicenter of the outbreak – set to lift containment
measures on April 8.”
however, noted many in China were still subject to social distancing and
isolation restrictions to prevent a resurgence in infections.
pandemic has claimed more than 64,000 deaths as it further exploded in the
United States and the death toll climbed in Spain and Italy, according to a
about heavy damage to the global economy have pushed investors into the
perceived safety of government bonds where yields are at or near all-time lows.
in currencies, the dollar was up a touch against the yen at 108.58.. The euro
was barely moved at $1.0803 while the risk sensitive Australian dollar was up
0.2% at $0.6004.
steps up efforts to repatriate Saudi citizens
The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) is working in cooperation with
all relevant government agencies to arrange for the return of Saudi citizens
currently trapped abroad as a result of security measures imposed due to the
outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Al-Jasser, minister of transport and chairman of GACA, said that in compliance
with the directives of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the
transport system, represented by GACA, was working to ready airport terminals
as part of a series of decisions issued by the king to ensure the safety of
citizens in light of the coronavirus outbreak, in the Kingdom and abroad.
added: “GACA has harnessed all its efforts and capabilities to receive the
citizens wishing to return to the Kingdom. It has prepared terminals in the
Kingdom’s international airports: King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh,
King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah, and King Fahd International
Airport in Dammam.
also endeavors to schedule the flights designated for the plan to return Saudi
citizens to the Kingdom in coordination with the national carrier, Saudi
Arabian Airlines (Saudia), in addition to continuous coordination with the
airports of other countries.”
citizens wishing to return can register their information at the Saudi Ministry
of Foreign Affairs online portal http://www.mofa.gov.sa/es.
highlighted that GACA would take all precautionary and preventive measures
against COVID-19 in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.
Saudi minister of tourism, Ahmed Al-Khatib, has also announced that 11,000
rooms in various accommodations across the Kingdom are ready to welcome the
returning citizens, with more rooms to be facilitated.
Ministry of Education, meanwhile, has followed up with its 31 cultural bureaus
on the health and safety of Saudi scholarship students abroad. At present,
124,228 Saudis are abroad as part of the the scholarship program, with 79,113
scholarship students as well as 45,115 accompanying family members. The ministry
is to provide them with the means of return to the Kingdom if they wish to do
top banks reveal exposure to troubled hospital group NMC Health
(Reuters) - UAE’s top banks including Emirates NBD and Dubai Islamic Bank on
Sunday disclosed hundreds of millions of dollars of exposure to hospital group
NMC Health, which a lender has asked a British court to put into
PHOTO: A man walks past a branch of Dubai Islamic Bank branch along Khalid Bin
Al-Waleed Road in Dubai February 3, 2010. REUTERS/Mosab Omar/File Photo
which recently revised its debt position to $6.6 billion, well above earlier
estimates - has seen its stock more than halve in value since December after
short-seller Muddy Waters questioned its financial statements.
Islamic Bank said on Sunday it has a $425 million exposure to NMC Heath, while
its subsidiary Noor Bank has a further $116 million.
aggregate exposure to NMC constitutes approximately 0.7% of DIB’s total assets
as of March 31, the bank said.
in DIB were down 4.8% in afternoon trade after the disclosure, underperforming
the Dubai stock index, which was down about 2.2%.
NBD, Dubai’s biggest bank, said it had an exposure of 747.3 million dirhams
($203.5 million), including 676.5 million linked to its unit Emirates Islamic
latest revelations came after Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, which has a $981
million exposure to NMC Health, said on Saturday it had asked a court in
Britain to put the company into administration to safeguard its future.
process would give the healthcare group, whose London-listed shares were
suspended in February, protection from creditors, and avert a more disruptive
Health’s new executive chairman on the same day called on the company’s
creditors to suspend debt repayments and said he would work with authorities in
Britain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to recover misused funds.
Dhabi Islamic Bank said it had extended $291.4 million in financing to NMC
Healthcare LLC UAE, guaranteed by NMC Health, and that it had an additional $31
million exposure to Islamic bonds issued by NMC.
Bank of Fujairah pegged its exposure to NMC at 289.1 million dirhams, while
Sharjah-based United Arab Bank said its exposure was 135.3 million dirhams.
Salem, head of institutions at Daman Securities, said banks will have the
opportunity to assess their exposure to NMC Health by June and take any action,
such as writedowns, if necessary.
said it was now in discussions with NMC and its advisors to ascertain the
group’s financial position and identify potential measures to address its
governance and financial issues.
of the Two Holy Mosques Directs Shura Council to Hold Sessions via Virtual
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has
directed the Shura Council and its committees to hold sessions and meetings via
the virtual network as of Monday 06/04/2020.
car listings fall by half amid coronavirus pandemic: Report
number of pre-owned online car listings have dropped by almost half from
average in the UAE as the coronavirus pandemic takes its toll on the automobile
industry, according to data from Dubai-based automotive platform Seez.
UAE economy has begun to see the economic fallout of the coronavirus,
officially known as COVID-19, as authorities place the country into lockdown to
control the virus’s spread. Dubai announced Saturday that it was extending its
lockdown period for a further two weeks with a 24-hour curfew in place.
will not stop buying cars, they have just paused buying cars because of the
uncertainty of what’s going on. As life gets back to normal we’re bound to see
people who had previously wanted to buy a car actually do so,” Seez CEO Tarek
found that prices for cars have fallen at least 10-15 percent, with the biggest
drop happening the middle of March when coronavirus measures were introduced.
Lexus, Volkwagen, Nissan and Toyota were noted as performing the best in terms
of maintaining their market share in their respective categories.
cars that are vital for people's commuting needs will probably recover fastest.
Premium brands, which are holding up relatively well even now, will continue to
do well too, but we may see a shift towards lower-end models within the
segment,” Kabrit added.
more economic and job uncertainty, the lower level of commitment that comes
with a lease may be more attractive now,” Kabrit concluded.
Oman reports 33 new cases, raising total to 331
total of 61 people have recovered from the virus in the Sultanate, the ministry
added. So far, two coronavirus fatalities have been announced.
and residents are advised to refrain from leaving the house unless absolutely
necessary, the ministry said, calling on the public to adhere to instructions
put forth by the World Health Organization about maintaining personal hygiene
to prevent the virus from spreading.
in March imposed new measures to curb the outbreak in the country, including
banning public gatherings and ordering government services to reduce their
staff by 30 percent.
Dubai launches movement permit website, waives fines between April 4-5
Police clarified on Sunday that fines on violators of the traffic restrictions
between April 4-5 have been waived and urged people to register for a movement
permit on a new website it launched. Dubai imposed 24-hour restrictions as part
of a nationwide sanitation program to fight the spread of the coronavirus for
the coming two weeks.
Police: Radar fines imposed against violators of traffic restrictions in Dubai
from (April 4) until today (April 5), will be waived. Going forward, anyone who
wishes to go out must obtain a movement permit to avoid fines & legal
action. To apply: https://dxbpermit.gov.ae/permits,” the Dubai Media office
tweeted on Sunday night.
Dubai Police said radars would be not be activated for those motorists passing
through Dubai to other emirates violating the restrictions, provided that they
use inter-emirates roads like “the Mohammed bin Zayed road and Emirates road
and do not stop in Dubai.”
Committee of Crisis & Disaster Management in Dubai: The movement permit
website is for general members of the
public who are allowed to go out for essential needs such as buying food and
medicine, medical emergencies and for COVID-19 testing.
movement permit website is for general members of the public who are allowed to
go out for essential needs such as buying food and medicine, medical
emergencies and for COVID-19 testing,” the Supreme Committee of Crisis &
Disaster Management in Dubai said in a statement.
committee clarified that those people working in the sectors exempted from the
traffic and movement restrictions are not required to register on the new
with regard to the exempt sectors and their employees, registration is not
required, but they must obtain a letter from the employer stating their
movement t o& from work. The paper has to be presented if stopped by
authorities. It can also be used to waive violations by radar,” they added in
Saudi Arabia records 61 new cases, bringing total to 2,463
Arabia recorded 61 new coronavirus cases on Monday, bringing the total number
of cases in the Kingdom to 2,463, according to data on the Ministry of Health’s
website dedicated to COVID-19 news.
Ministry of Health said in a statement that they would provide more details
about the new cases at a press conference scheduled later today.
ministry on Sunday said that out of the total confirmed cases, 47 percent are
of Saudi patients while 53 percent are of non-citizens.
there has been a decrease in people’s mobility in general in Saudi Arabia, the
health ministry spokesman said, the rate of mobility related to recreation and
shopping is worrying.
Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz issued on Sunday directives for the foreign
minister to work on procedures that will allow Saudi citizens to return to the
Kingdom following the suspension of flights around the world amid the
Taliban militants killed, wounded in Uruzgan and Zabul airstrikes
series of airstrikes killed or wounded at least 39 Taliban militants in
southern Uruzgan and Zabul provinces, the Afghan military said.
205th Atal Corps in a statement said the Afghan forces conducted an airstrike
to defend against a Taliban attack in Tarinkot city of Uruzgan, killing 6
Taliban militants and wounding 2 others.
statement further added that a similar airstrike killed 6 Taliban militants and
wounded 4 others in Khas Uruzgan district of the province.
security forces had earlier conducted airstrike in Arghandab district of Zabul
province which killed 21 Taliban militants.
205th Atal Corps said all three airstrikes were carried out for defense
purposes only as the militants were planning to launch attacks in the two
destroys key Taliban compound in Balkh province
Afghan military has released a video which shows a precision airstrike against
a key Taliban compound in northern Balkh province.
209th Shaheen Corps in a statement said the Afghan Air Force carried out the
airstrike after receiving information regarding the compound in Chemtal
airstrike killed 11 Taliban militants and wounded at least 6 others, the 209th
Shaheen Corps said, adding that the airstrike also destroyed the compound of
comes as the Taliban militants are continuously attempting to launch attacks
against the Afghan forces despite ongoing efforts to find a negotiated
political settlement to end the war.
defend our Afghan partners if attacked: U.S. military in Afghanistan
U.S. military in Afghanistan has said it would defend the Afghan National
Defense and Security Forces in the event the were attack.
has upheld, and continues to uphold, the military terms of the U.S.-TB
agreement; any assertion otherwise is baseless. USFOR-A has been clear- we will
defend our ANDSF partners if attacked, in compliance with the agreement,” the
U.S. military spokesperson Col. Sonny Leggett said in a Twitter post.
also added “The TB must reduce violence. A reduction in violence is the will of
the Afghan people & necessary to allow the political process to work toward
a settlement suitable for all Afghans. We once again call on all parties to
focus their efforts on the global pandemic of COVID-19.”
U.S. and Taliban representatives signed a peace deal late in the month of
February after observing a week long reduction in violence.
agreement was signed with an hope to prolong the reduction in violence and
subsequently pave the way for the launch of intra-Afghan talks.
the Afghan authorities report daily attacks against the security forces in the
restive parts of the country despite ongoing efforts to release prisoners and
launch intra-Afghan negotiations.
Mosques in Afghanistan urged to change call to prayer
in Afghanistan have been urged to change a line in the azan – the daily Muslim
call to prayer broadcast five times a day – and people have been reminded not
to join congregational prayers due to the outbreak of coronavirus.
fatwa, the high commission of clerics for fight against coronavirus urged
mosques to say "sallo fi rihalikum" or "pray in your homes"
provinces and areas where the virus has not spread to, people should maintain a
distance of one meter from each other while offering prayers, according to the
Afghanistan's Haj and Religious Affairs Ministry also urged people to avoid
mosques during coronavirus lockdown.
Karim Siraji, the ministry's director of mosques, said that they will not allow
congregations in mosques during the lockdown.
Afghan doctor dies of coronavirus disease in Kabul city
novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has killed an Afghan doctor in one of the
private hospitals in Kabul city, the public health ministry confirmed.
Mayar, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Health, confirmed that the
disease has killed a doctor in one of the private hospitals in the capital.
disclosing further information, Mayar said the authorities have collected
samples from the remaining 20 doctors and healthcare providers in the hospital
to make sure they are not infected.
comes as the authorities earlier reported that they have recorded 30 new cases
of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Afghanistan in the past 24 hours.
Ministry of Public Health announced that the public health officials have
recorded 16 new cases in Herat, 6 in Kabul, 3 in Nimroz, 2 in Kunduz, 2 in
Faryab and 1 in Daikundi.
new cases increase the number of COVID-19 positive cases to 367 in Afghanistan
with the majority of the cases recorded in Herat and Kabul provinces.
disease has so far killed 9 people across Afghanistan with the last victim
being a 80-year-old man who died in North-eastern Takhar province.
lashes out at Rabbani, Abdullah and Saleh for indecent Facebook comments
Mohammad Noor, the chief executive of Jamiat Islami, lashed out at Salahuddin
Rabbani, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Amrullah Saleh for recent indecent comments
being posted against him on social media.
issued an audio message, blaming the supporters of Rabbani, Abdullah and Saleh
for the indecent remarks, urging his own supporters to react to such remarks in
social media platforms.
said certain supporters of Rabbani, Abdullah and Saleh bark like a dog and use
abusive words by posting comments under the posts which he share on his
further added that the individuals who post such comments are thieves,
vagrants, addicts and are indecent people who are intentionally writing
comments with spelling mistakes in a bid to show that they are ordinary people.
Noor urged his supporters to write positive comments under his posts on social
media and take a screen shot of their posts to him.
new positive cases of coronavirus recorded in Afghanistan
the public health ministry officials had announced that the disease has killed
a patient in capital Kabul.
at NYC’s Bronx Zoo tests positive for coronavirus
YORK: A tiger at the Bronx Zoo has tested positive for the new coronavirus, in
what is believed to be the first known infection in an animal in the US or a
tiger anywhere, federal officials and the zoo said Sunday.
4-year-old Malayan tiger named Nadia, and six other tigers and lions that have
also fallen ill, are believed to have been infected by a zoo employee who
wasn’t yet showing symptoms, the zoo said. The first animal started showing
symptoms March 27, and all are doing well and expected to recover, said the
zoo, which has been closed to the public since March 16 amid the surging
coronavirus outbreak in New York.
tested the cat out of an abundance of caution” and aim to “contribute to the world’s
continuing understanding of this novel coronavirus,” said Dr. Paul Calle, the
zoo’s chief veterinarian.
finding raises new questions about transmission of the virus in animals. The US
Department of Agriculture, which confirmed Nadia’s test result at its
veterinary lab, says there are no known cases of the virus in US pets or
doesn’t appear to be, at this time, any evidence that suggests that the animals
can spread the virus to people or that they can be a source of the infection in
the United States,” said Dr. Jane Rooney, a veterinarian and a USDA official.
USDA said Sunday it’s not recommending routine coronavirus testing of animals,
in zoos or elsewhere, or of zoo employees. Still, Rooney said a small number of
animals in the US have been tested through the USDA’s National Veterinary
Services Laboratories, and all those tests came back negative except Nadia’s.
have been reports of a small number of pets outside the United States becoming
infected after close contact with contagious people, including a Hong Kong dog
that tested positive for a low level of the pathogen in February and early
March. Hong Kong agriculture authorities concluded that pet dogs and cats
couldn’t pass the virus to human beings but could test positive if exposed by
researchers have been trying to understand the susceptibility of different
animal species to the virus, and to determine how it spreads among animals,
according to the Paris-based World Organization for Animal Health.
American Veterinary Medical Association and the federal Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention have been recommending that out of an abundance of
caution, people ill with the coronavirus should limit contact with animals. In
general, the CDC advises people to wash their hands after handling animals and
do other things to keep pets and their homes clean.
the Bronx Zoo, Nadia, her sister Azul, two Amur tigers and three African lions
developed dry coughs, and some of the cats exhibited some wheezing and loss of
appetite, Calle said.
question of being thorough, we did want to specifically test” for the virus
that causes COVID-19, he said. Only Nadia was tested because it takes
anesthesia to get a sample from a big cat. Her temperature was taken at the
same time, and it was normal, Calle said.
seven sickened cats live in two areas at the zoo, and the animals had contact
with the same worker, who is doing OK, zoo officials said. They said they are
taking “appropriate preventive measures” for the staffers that care for the
ailing animals, and there are no signs of illness in other big cats on the
most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as a fever
and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older
adults and people, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and
can be fatal.
Urges Maryland Muslims to Join Sunday Statewide ‘Day of Prayer’
MD., 4/5/20) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s
largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, is urging Muslims across
Maryland to unite with interfaith communities in the state at Governor Hogan’s request
and join in prayer from their homes today, Sunday, April 5 at 12 p.m. to
remember those who’ve lost their lives to COVID-19 and to pray for the safety
of medical workers on the front lines who are combating the disease to help
is the most powerful force in the universe to unite communities and process,
cope and heal from trauma,” said CAIR’s Maryland Director Zainab Chaudry. “As
this devastating disease continues to inflict suffering, upend lives and claim
innocent victims, we urge Muslim communities to join this call to prayer by
seeking Allah’s mercy for an end to this pandemic, and to remember and honor
the victims, first responders and medical heroes who are sacrificing their
lives to protect ours.”
recently launched an online information portal offering vital information on
the growing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on American Muslims and the entire
Israel's Merkava Tank Brush Off An Attack From Islamic Jihad's Drone
Youtube video shows what appears to be an aerial – or drone’s eye – view of an
Israeli Merkava tank in arid terrain characteristic of southern Israel. As red
crosshairs (which appear to have been added after the video was taken) frame
the tank, an Israeli soldier is shown walking up to it. Then a puff of smoke
suddenly billows next to it. The tank seems to have taken no damage.
most confusing scene is shown at the 55-second mark. There is an object at the
bottom of the screen, with markings and fluttering cloth or paper. Then the
object is shown falling through the air toward the tank, followed by an
explosion. It is difficult to tell whether the object is part of the original
footage, or computer graphics added afterward.
fortresses don't stand before us,” said the video caption in Arabic and broken
Hebrew, according to a translation by the Jerusalem Post.
TV channel Al Mayadeen, which is considered pro-Hezbollah, first broadcast the
video. The channel wrote, “Al-Quds Brigades reveal the use of drones to attack
Israeli occupation tanks in the last round of Gaza fighting."
was this an actual drone attack, or some doctored film? The best answer is that
even if it wasn’t a real drone attack, it could have been – and some day it
will be. Israel is one of the world’s leaders in drone technology: the U.S.
military has used several Israeli designs, as have other nations such as India.
But the fact is that Israel’s enemies also have drones.
the Lebanese non-state army that is perhaps the most formidable force among
Israel’s neighbors, has used drones to overfly northern Israel (the
organization even has a drone museum) as well as targeting ISIS. Some have been
shot down by Israeli defenses. With Hezbollah’s access to weapons via its
patron Iran, the militant group has been able to fly Iranian drones that aren’t
as sophisticated as Western designs, but are more than homemade.
which rules the Gaza Strip (and has an uneasy relationship with rival Islamic
Jihad) has drones to augment its arsenal of rockets. An Israeli newspaper
claimed last year that the Israeli military has buried reports that Hamas
drones bombed an Israeli town bordering Gaza. “The IDF doesn't know how many
explosive-carrying drones were sent over the last year from the Gaza Strip, how
many of them made it back in one piece, and whether this is the harbinger of
what's to come in the next round of fighting—waves of explosive drones,” said
Israeli news site Ynet. “But the working assumption in the Southern Command is
that Hamas does have the capability to operate dangerous drones.”
fact, Hamas has already used a pseudo-drone against Israel: simple balloons and
kites armed with incendiary devices that floated over the Israeli defenses
along the Gaza border, and set farm fields afire. Israel’s response? Small
drones, like the kind used by hobbyists, to down the balloons.
problem is one of asymmetry. Israel has sophisticated, expensive drones
designed to attack heavily defended targets in Iran or Syria. For organizations
like Hamas or Hezbollah, merely dropping a bomb on an Israeli town or tank –
even if it does no damage – is a political victory.
UK brace for soaring death tolls as pandemic bears down
United States and Britain braced for one of their darkest weeks in living
memory on Monday as the social and financial toll of the coronavirus pandemic
deepened. Italy, Spain and France saw signs that they are flattening the
pandemic curve, but still reported hundreds of people dying each day.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was infected last month, was hospitalized
overnight in what his office described as a “precautionary step,” after
persistent symptoms. The 55-year-old Conservative leader, who has had a fever
for days, is the first known head of government to fall ill with the disease.
sure this is very frustrating for him ... (but) nonetheless he’s still very
much in charge,” Housing and Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told the BBC.
Still, Jenrick did not rule out a more prolonged stay in the hospital for
hard-hit European areas were seeing glimmers of hope — deaths and new
infections appeared to be slowing in Spain, Italy and France. Leaders
cautioned, however, that any gains could easily be reversed if people did not
continue to adhere to strict social distancing measures and national lockdowns.
than 9,600 people have died of the virus in the United States, and it leads the
world in confirmed infections at more than 337,000.
New York City, the US epicenter of the pandemic, daily confirmed deaths dropped
slightly, along with intensive care admissions and the number of patients who
needed breathing tubes inserted. But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned it was
“too early to tell” the significance of the new numbers.
President Donald Trump expresses hope for the United States to see a
"leveling-off" of the coronavirus crisis in some of the nation
health officials reported 68 coronavirus-related deaths, the state’s biggest
jump in reported deaths since the outbreak began.
Gov. Jay Inslee said his the state will return more than 400 of the 500
ventilators it has received from the federal government so they can go to New
York and other states hit harder by the pandemic.
outlook was bleak in Britain, which reported more than 600 deaths Sunday,
surpassing Italy’s daily increase for the second day in a row. Italy still has,
by far, the world’s highest coronavirus death toll — almost 16,000, but
pressure on northern Italy’s intensive care units has eased so much that the
hardest-hit region of Lombardy is no longer airlifting patients out to other
rare televised address, Queen Elizabeth II appealed to Britons to rise to the
occasion, while acknowledging enormous disruptions, grief and financial
difficulties they are facing. In the midst of the speech Sunday night, Johnson
was admitted to the hospital.
hope in the years to come, everyone will be able to take pride in how they
responded to this challenge,” the 93-year-old monarch said. “And those who come
after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any.”
more than 1.2 million people have been confirmed infected and nearly 70,000
have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. The true numbers are
certainly much higher, due to limited testing, different ways nations count the
dead and deliberate under-reporting by some governments.
virus is spread by microscopic droplets from coughs or sneezes. For most
people, the virus causes mild to moderate symptoms such as fever and cough. But
for some, especially older adults and those with existing health problems, it
can cause pneumonia and death. Over 263,000 people have recovered worldwide.
Asia, Japanese officials were considered declaring a state of emergency.
Infections are soaring in the country that has the world’s third-largest
economy and its oldest population, but are still not even among the top 25
hardest-hit nations in the world.
South Korea, which has been praised for its heavy testing to combat the virus,
vice health minister Kim Gang-lip expressed concerns over loosened attitudes
toward social distancing that he says is putting the country at potential risk
of an infection “explosion.”
Korea reported 47 new cases of the coronavirus, the smallest daily jump since Feb.
20, but rising infections have been linked to international arrivals as
students and other South Korean nationals flock back from the West.
US expresses well wishes to Britain's Boris Johnson after covid-19
President Donald Trump on Sunday (April 5) expressed well wishes to Britain's
Boris Johnson who was admitted to hospital for tests on Sunday (April 5) in
what Downing Street said was a "precautionary step" because he was
showing persistent symptoms of the coronavirus 10 days after testing positive
who was isolating in Downing Street after testing positive last month, still
had a high temperature and so his doctors felt he should go to an undisclosed
hospital for tests in what the government said was a "precautionary
the advice of his doctor, the prime minister has tonight been admitted to
hospital for tests," his Downing Street office said in a statement.
Johnson is expected to stay overnight.
is a precautionary step, as the prime minister continues to have persistent
symptoms of coronavirus ten days after testing positive for the virus,"
the statement added.
Africa hosts hackathons, offers seed funds to fight COVID-19
World Health Organization in Africa is holding virtual hackathons and offering
up to $20,000 in seed-funds to finalists with digital solutions to stem
regional office of the UN agency completed its first challenge earlier this
month and will host a second, for French speaking Africa, in coming weeks,
WHO’s Technical Officer Moredeck Chibi told TechCrunch.
to Dr. Chibi, the WHO-AFRO Digital Hackathon series aims to prompt tech
applications — with specificity to Africa — to curb the spread and negative
impact of COVID-19 — which began to spike on the continent in March.
the first virtual challenge, WHO selected participants via an online
application process and split them into teams via Zoom. Groups were tasked with
developing scalable concepts aligned with WHO’s current COVID-19 response
strategy, which includes infection prevention and control, case management,
surveillance and continuity of health services.
winning hackathon group, led by Ghanaian Entrepreneur Laud Basing, developed a
screening tool concept — operable via mobile app or USSD code — that maps COVID-19
test cases, classifies them according to risk and provides data to national
authorities to plan responses. The team will receive $10,000 from the WHO to
pilot their concept, and support in locating additional funding and expertise.
in March, the continent’s COVID-19 cases by country were in the single digits,
but by mid-month those numbers had jumped — leading the WHO’s Regional Director
for Africa Dr. Matshidiso Moeti to sound an alarm on the virus at a March 19
press conference. She noted at the beginning of March there were only five
countries in Sub-Saharan Africa with cases. That had grown to 30 by mid-month
and now stands at 44.
the World Health Organization’s stats Monday there were 6023 COVID-19 cases in
Sub-Saharan Africa and 240 confirmed deaths related to the virus, up from 463
cases and 8 deaths on March 18.
COVID-19 spreads in Africa’s major economies, policy-makers and founders have
looked to the continent’s tech sector to shapes responses.
central banks of Ghana and Kenya have
turned to mobile-money as a public-health tool, adopting measures to shift a
greater volume of transactions toward digital payments and away from cash —
which the World Health Organization flagged as a conduit for coronavirus.
largest incubator, CcHub, launched a fund and open call for tech projects aimed
at curbing COVID-19 and its social and economic impact.
Pan-African e-commerce company Jumia has offered African governments use of its
last-mile delivery network for distribution of supplies to healthcare
facilities and workers.
WHO’s COVID-19 related Africa hackathons aren’t the first time the organization
has turned to the continent’s techies. In 2019, the Geneva based body launched the WHO Innovation
Challenge — a competition to shape “home-grown innovations with potential to
solve African health challenges”. It drew 2400 entries from 44 countries.
interested in pitching a solution to the World Health Organization’s next
hackathon in response to COVID-19 can contact WHO’s regional Africa office.
shutdowns keep African elite from seeking medical care abroad
coronavirus travel ban is making it difficult for rulers and rich people to fly
abroad for emergency medical care, as they've done in the past.
years, leaders from Benin to Zimbabwe have received medical care outside of
Africa while their own poorly funded health systems limp from crisis to crisis,
The Associated Press reports.
practice is so notorious that a South African health minister, Aaron
Motsoaledi, a few years ago scolded, “We are the only continent that has its
leaders seeking medical services outside the continent, outside our territory.
We must be ashamed.”
that option could be narrowing as 30 of Africa’s 57 international airports have
closed or severely limited flights, the AP reports.
Aug. 13, 2018, file photo, Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa, right, sits
with his Deputy Constantino Chiwenga, left, during a Heroes' Day event in
Harare, Zimbabwe. The coronavirus pandemic could narrow one gaping inequality
in Africa, where some heads of state and other elite jet off to Europe or Asia
for health care unavailable in their nations but as global travel restrictions
tighten, they might have to take their chances at home. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi
of the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative, which has long urged African
countries to increase health care spending.
grounding of Africa’s wealthy comes with the World Health Organization warning
of an “imminent surge” of COVID-19 cases in Africa.
Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus delivered the warning in a
teleconference with African heads of states, the New York Post reported
has more than 7,700 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with South Africa one of the
hardest-hit countries, according to the paper.
frequent overseas traveler, Cameroon’s 87-year-old leader, President Paul Biya,
faces rising criticism over his public absence since the virus spread to his
country. Cases in Cameroon lept Friday to over 500, the second-most in the
sub-Saharan region after South Africa.
travel restrictions have grounded the merely wealthy, political analyst Alex
Rusero said a determined African leader probably could still find a way to go
abroad for care.
are scared of death so much they will do everything within their disposal, even
if it’s a private jet to a private hospital in a foreign land,” said Rusero,
who is based in Zimbabwe, whose late President Robert Mugabe often sought
treatment in Asia.
nowhere is the situation bleaker than in Zimbabwe, where the health system has
collapsed. Even before the pandemic, patients’ families were often asked to
provide essentials like gloves and clean water. Doctors reported using bread
bags to collect patients’ urine.
vice president, Constantino Chiwenga, departed last month for unrelated medical
treatment in China, as the outbreak eased in that country. Zimbabwe closed its
borders days later after its first virus death.
RAMAPHOSA: AFRICA UNITED IN FIGHT AGAINST CORONAVIRUS
thing we have learnt about the coronavirus over the last three months is that
it does not respect borders. It has spread across Asia, Europe, North, Central
and South America and Africa.
of wealth, poverty, nationality, race and class have been rendered meaningless
as infections grow in developed and developing countries alike.
coronavirus pandemic has served as a stark reminder that in our interconnected
world, no country and no nation exists for and of itself. It has affirmed once
again that realising a continent and a world free of hunger, want and disease
requires the collective effort of all.
Africa is not the only African country battling to contain the spread of the
worst global public health emergency in a century. To date there have been over
7,800 confirmed cases in nearly 50 African countries.
number of African countries have embarked on similar measures to those we have
adopted here, such as border closures, nationwide lockdowns and the roll-out of
mass screening and testing programmes.
Friday, I convened a teleconference of the African Union Bureau, which consists
of the leaders of Egypt, Mali, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo, as
well as the Chairperson of the AU Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat. Other
participants in the call included the leaders of Rwanda, Ethiopia, Senegal and
Zimbabwe. We received presentations from WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom
Ghebreyesus and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Director Dr John Nkengasong, who provided an update on the state of the
pandemic in Africa and across the world.
is a common appreciation that this virus, if not contained, could present a
very real and serious setback to all our countries as we strive to eradicate
poverty, inequality and underdevelopment in already constrained circumstances.
agreed to establish regional coronavirus task forces in each of Africa’s five
regions: Southern Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Central Africa and Northern
Africa. They will oversee screening, detection and diagnosis; infection
prevention and control; clinical management of infected persons; and
communication and community engagement.
Africa has weak health systems and millions of people live in conditions of
poverty, several countries across Africa have wide-ranging and extensive
experience in managing infectious disease outbreaks and epidemics. The task
forces will put this experience to good effect as we confront the current
Africa is facing a severe shortage of coronavirus test kits, medicines, face
masks and other personal protection equipment. We are therefore working with
the WHO, Africa CDC and various world leaders to mobilise international support
for Africa, to enable the flow of vital supplies into the continent and to
significantly increase local production in African countries.
have established an African Union COVID-19 Response Fund, to which AU Bureau
members have already committed $12.5 million. Funding to the Africa CDC, which
is driving the continental health response, will be increased, with an
additional $4.5 million already committed.
cannot do this alone. During the virtual summit of G20 leaders late last month,
I raised the need for financial and logistical support for Africa’s response.
Given the substantial toll this pandemic is already taking on African
economies, the assistance that will be needed could run into billions of
number of measures have been proposed by the AU Bureau, including a
comprehensive stimulus package for Africa. This could include debt relief in
the form of interest payment waivers and deferred payments. This would free up
much-needed financial resources now that national budgets are being
reprioritised to support the coronavirus response.
is really a time when not just the G20 countries but other international
partners and financial institutions need to practically demonstrate their
commitment to supporting developing economies in Africa and around the world.
the last week, I have had useful discussions with a number of world leaders
including the UN Secretary-General, EU Commission President and the leaders of
France, Russia and Cuba. As South Africa, we continue to receive practical
support from countries like the United States, China, Cuba and Russia.
as these countries struggle to contain the pandemic themselves, they are
willing to support South Africa’s and Africa’s response. In uniting behind this
global health emergency, as African countries we have shown once again our
ability to transcend political and other differences in pursuit of a common
objective. We should seize this moment to deepen collaboration across other
areas, such as development or trade.
global pandemic has exposed the fragility of inward-looking and insular
political, economic and social systems. It is leading some to call for ‘a new
moral economy’ that has people and their welfare at its centre.
has opened up space for critical action around social spending and equitable
access to health care. It is challenging widely-held preconceptions about the
abilities of developing countries to respond to national emergencies.
collaboration with the WHO our pandemic preparedness plans have been solid. In
areas where constraints exist, there has been demonstrated commitment to extend
support and capacity to those countries in need.
Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention is world-class. As are our
health professionals, scientists and epidemiologists. With the necessary
international support, we can bolster health infrastructure and health systems
on the continent. At the same time, African countries will help each other.
continue in this positive vein, Africa will truly demonstrate it is more than
capable of resolving it challenges. Through deeper collaboration, we will turn
the tide against this virus, region by region, country by country.
Sudan 51st of 54 African nations to report virus case
South Sudan -- South Sudan has announced its first case of COVID-19, making it
the 51st of Africa's 54 countries to report the disease.
U.N. worker who arrived in the country from Netherlands on Feb. 28 is ill with
the disease, confirmed First Vice President Riek Machar and the U.N. mission in
South Sudan. The patient, a 29-year-old woman, first showed signs of the
disease on April 2 and is recovering, said officials.
Sudan, with 11 million people, currently has four ventilators and wants to
increase that number, said Machar, who emphasized that people should stay three
to six feet apart from others.
patient is under quarantine at U.N. premises and health workers are tracing the
people who had been in contact with her, said David Shearer, head of the U.N.
operations in South Sudan.
prevent the spread of the virus in South Sudan, President Salva Kiir last week
imposed a curfew from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. for six weeks and closed borders,
airports, schools, churches and mosques.
most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever
and cough, and the vast majority survive. But for others, especially older
adults and people with existing health problems, it can be more severe, even
causing pneumonia or death.
from a five-year civil war, South Sudan has several camps of thousands of
displaced people. Across the border in Uganda is Bidibidi camp with with more
than 250,000 refugees from South Sudan. Crowded and with rudimentary
facilities, the camps are viewed as high risk areas for the spread of the
virus, according to health experts.
the disease in South Sudan, now just three countries in Africa have not
reported any cases of COVID-19: the tiny mountain kingdom of Lesotho in
southern Africa, and the island nations of Comoros and Sao Tome and Principe.
on Sunday reported its first death from the virus and announced five more cases
bringing its total to 43, most of them imported by travelers.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed held discussions Sunday with opposition party leaders
on measures to combat the virus. A number of Ethiopia's regional states have
implemented bans on movement of people and vehicles, but not yet in the capital
West Java governor calls on Jakarta residents to stay home during Ramadan
- The governor of West Java has warned of an explosion in the number of
coronavirus infections and said the return of tens of thousands from the
capital to their villages in the most populous province in the country is
complicating his efforts to bring the deadly Covid-19 outbreak under control.
rapid testing for the virus has uncovered 677 probable cases of the
coronavirus, which causes Covid-19, in the province.
tests - nasal and throat swabs - are now waiting "in a queue" for
confirmation in Jakarta. Official data on Sunday (April 5) put the number of
cases in the country at 2,273.
personal opinion and my logic is saying that it is a multiple of what is
announced," Mr Ridwan said, referring to the likely number of confirmed
cases once testing has been done.
matters is the exodus of likely virus carriers from the capital to villages and
towns across the country ahead of the fasting month of Ramadan which begins
later this month.
70,000 people have left the capital - the epicentre of the outbreak in the
country, accounting for half the cases - after President Joko Widodo urged
local officials to close restaurants, mosques and schools in an effort to curb
the spread of the virus, Mr Ridwan said.
Mr Ridwan stressed that he agreed with Mr Joko, who has so far refused calls
for a lockdown. Last week Mr Joko said he was mulling the declaration of an
extended holiday later in the year when the epidemic has abated.
experience of a nationwide stay-at-home order left millions stranded in big
cities like New Delhi with no job or place to stay.
Mr Ridwan is seeking help from religious leaders. The governor spoke this week
with Vice-President Ma'ruf Amin, seeking his help to persuade the country's top
clerical body, the Indonesian Ulema council, to lift the fatwa compelling
Muslims to return home during Ramadan.
45-minute interview over the teleconferencing platform, Zoom, Mr Ridwan cited
specific instances where families were infected by relatives returning home,
including an incident that emerged on Saturday where a man returned to his
family in Cianjur only to infect three other members of his household.
Rizal Effendi of Balikpapan told The Straits Times that at least one person in
his city of half a million in East Kalimantan had died from Covid-19 and two
more remain in isolation.
Pekalongan, a city with a population of 311,000 in Central Java, Mayor Saelany
Machfudz said he had banned large gatherings like weddings and set up
temperature checks at bus stations after a suspected Covid-19 patient died last
week in hospital.
month, West Java province bought 100,000 rapid test kits from South Korea, and
has so far distributed more than 63,000 of them to 21 cities.
was also the case with more than 220 worshippers at a Catholic church in
Bandung. The mayor of Bogor and the vice-mayor of province's capital Bandung
have also been stricken by Covid-19.
nearly the same population as South Korea, the province hopes to follow that
country's lead by eventually testing 300,000 of its residents.
Java is rolling out testing in a systematic way and other provinces are
following suit," said analyst Kevin O'Rourke, author of the Indonesia
intelligence brief, Reformasi Weekly.
tests are cheap and easy to do and help find groups of people who no longer
have to worry about the virus and can potentially work on the front line, as in
the case of health workers."
province is readying a 3.2 trillion rupiah (S$280 million) welfare package that
will dole out 500,000 rupiah worth of food and cash aid to every household in
the rapid spread of the virus, Mr Ridwan expressed hope that disciplined social
distancing would bring the virus to heel by June, adding that he expected a
rapid recovery in the economy next year.
Best revises Qatar Islamic Insurance Group’s outlook to ‘positive’
rating agency AM Best has revised the outlook to positive from stable and
affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer
Credit Rating of “bbb+” of Qatar Islamic Insurance Group (QIIG).
ratings reflect QIIG’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorises as
very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, limited business
profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.
revision of the outlook to positive reflects AM Best’s expectation that QIIG
will continue to generate strong operating returns over the short to medium
term. Qatar Islamic Insurance Group is the pioneer of Islamic Insurance in the
State of Qatar offering both Life and non-life insurance products since 1995.
adopts a combined takaful model and has consistently generated surpluses within
the policyholders’ fund and regularly distributed surplus back to policyholders
whilst regularly paying attractive dividends to shareholders.
favour ‘haram’ product during MCO? Bersatu Youth asks ‘Malay-Muslim’ govt
LUMPUR, April 6 — The Youth wing of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia that is part
of the ruling coalition today questioned Putrajaya for allowing Heineken
Malaysia Bhd to continue its operations during the movement control order
wing compared the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry’s exception to
the thousands of businesses that are either halal or permissible in Islam, or
is this exception given to Heineken beer factory when it is obvious that their
business is haram?” it asked in a statement.
alcoholic beverages is haram, or forbidden, for Muslims. Alcoholic
manufacturing by itself is not illegal or forbidden in the country.
wing also asked whether the factory is linked to any political figures, and
asked Putrajaya to explain itself over the decision.
is not nice for a Malay-Muslim government to give advantage to a product that
is clearly haram in Islam,” said the statement jointly issued by the wing’s
religious affairs executive councillor Abu Hafiz Salleh Hudin and information
chief Ulya Aqamah Husamudin.
comes as a letter by the ministry to Heineken went viral online, in which it
agreed that the alcoholic drinks manufacturer is a food supply operator and
therefore allowed to operate during the MCO.
later reported Heineken as confirming the letter to be authentic, with the
company saying it will only operate with 10 per cent of its staff.
the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within Infected
Local Areas) Regulations 2020, food manufacturer is one of the ten original
industries in the list of essential services.
HATE & SPITE FROM HADI – MORE LIES IN THE NAME OF ISLAM AGAINST PAKATAN
today responded to a letter purportedly sent recently by PAS president Abdul
Hadi Awang to world Muslim leaders, saying that it was an attempt by Hadi to
mislead the latter on Malaysian politics.
communications director Khalid Samad in a statement lambasted Hadi (above) for
trying to make Pakatan Harapan component parties look as being anti-Islam.
regrets the content of the letter, which was full of allegations and
accusations that are baseless, fake, misleading and defamatory in nature.
is clear that Hadi through the letter tried to give a false impression on the
political situation in Malaysia. We were informed that Hadi had written the
confusing explanation after several global Muslim leaders started questioning
the logic behind PAS’ actions and political stand of late,” said Khalid
week, a letter in Arabic purportedly signed by Hadi and its translation had
gone viral on social media. The PAS chief had purportedly attacked Pakatan
Harapan and defended the Perikatan Nasional coalition in the document.
attempts to get confirmation on its authenticity had been futile as PAS
leaders, including an aide to Hadi, had not responded to requests for comment.
purportedly said that Harapan’s victory in 2018 had sided with the non-Muslim
majority and that Dr Mahathir Mohamad had been used to topple former premier
Najib Abdul Razak, and there were opportunities for foreign powers who were
anti-Islam to meddle in the country as was what had supposedly happened in
other Arab countries.
letter also took a swipe at Amanah which it said were “secular liberals” who
relied on support from Western embassies for strategies, media, and finances.
these accusations were made to support Hadi’s argument and to convince
recipients of the letter that Harapan is purportedly an enemy of Islam and a
threat to the religion.
on these lame arguments, Hadi tried to justify PAS’ action in leading the move
to form a backdoor government,” Khalid said.
also took a swipe at Hadi’s purported claim that there was an internal
conspiracy in Harapan to topple Mahathir as prime minister so that those who
are anti-Islam can get into power and thus, forcing PAS to take over the
government together with its allies.
streets stand deserted during COVID-19 emergency
streets: A few cars pass the usually busy Jl. Jend. Sudirman in Central
Jakarta, now devoid of traffic on Wednesday, April 1.The spread of coronovirus
disease 2019 (COVID-19) is growing worse. Indonesia reported that the number of
people who tested positive for COVID-19 had surpassed 1,600 on April 2, 2020.
the epicenter of the Indonesian outbreak, is the hardest-hit province with 808
cases. This has prompted Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan to declare an
emergency and extend the “stay at home” policy to April 19, from the original
quarantine period of March 20 to April 2.
the extended quarantine period in Jakarta, the city’s 10 million residents are
working and studying at home. Many entertainment centers and shops have closed,
paralyzing economic activity in the usually bustling capital.
detains boatload of 202 suspected Rohingya Muslims
authorities said on Sunday they had intercepted a boat ferrying a group of 202
people believed to be ethnic Rohingya Muslims.
which does not recognise refugee status, is a favoured destination for ethnic
Rohingya fleeing a military-led crackdown in Myanmar and squalid conditions at
refugee camps in Bangladesh.
boat was found adrift around one nautical mile from a luxury beachside resort
on the holiday island of Langkawi, off the west coast of the Malaysian
peninsula, the Malaysian maritime enforcement agency said in a statement.
agency said it would also investigate complaints from the migrants about three
alleged members of a migrant smuggling syndicate who escaped from the boat
while out at sea.
than 700,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh after a counter-insurgency campaign by
Myanmar’s military in the western state of Rakhine in response to attacks in
2017 by a Rohingya insurgent group. Bangladesh now hosts more than a million
Rohingya refugees, and traffickers usually lure refugees by promising them a
better life overseas.
have been stopped by Bangladeshi coastguard officials trying to escape from one
of the world’s largest migrant camps.
February, at least 15 Rohingya refugees died when a vessel carrying about 130
people capsized in the Bay of Bengal while trying to reach Malaysia
producing favipiravir for first time to treat coronavirus: Senior doctor
has produced favipiravir for the first time as it continues its fight against
the COVID-19 pandemic, says the head of Iran's Masih Daneshvari Hospital, which
is one of the leading medical centers treating patients with the new
coronavirus infection in the Iranian capital.
Ali Akbar Velayati, who is also a senior advisor to Leader of the Islamic
Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, made the remarks in a meeting with
the medical staff of the hospital on Sunday.
favipiravir was produced for the first time at Shahid Beheshti Medical
University’s School of Pharmacy and has been made available to Masih Daneshvari
Hospital … to be used for treatment of coronavirus patients,” Velayati said.
new development came after reports indicating that Iranian pharmaceutical
companies and leading infectious disease experts have joined hands to produce
an anti-malaria drug, recommended by the World Health Organization, to treat
COVID-19 patients at a time when US sanctions hinder the country's access to
drugs and medical equipment.
say they will continue to produce the medicine as long as the country needs it.
The efforts are particularly crucial as Iran is under one of the toughest
sanction regimes ever imposed on a country.
Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Reza Rahmani also said on Sunday that the
country will increase the production of protective masks for coronavirus relief
to four million per day by the end of the current month.
to the coronavirus outbreak, Iran had an overall capacity to manufacture
700,000 masks per day, the minister said, adding Iran's production of
sanitizers has also risen eight-fold.
United States has refused to lift sanctions on Iran and even tightened them
several times in recent weeks, making it almost impossible for the Islamic
Republic to access life-saving medications and medical equipment necessary in
the fight against the deadly new coronavirus pandemic.
Iranian Health Ministry spokesman said on Sunday Iran's death toll from
COVID-19 had passed the 3,600 mark among a total of 58,226 infected people.
the recovery process has accelerated and so far 22,011 patients have recovered
and been discharged," he added.
keeps 200 Palestinian children in prisons in inhumane conditions: Palestinian
Palestinian Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Commission says nearly 200
Palestinian children are kept behind bars in Israeli prisons in inhumane
conditions, undergoing "very rough interrogation process and
commission announced the news in a statement on the eve of the Palestinian
Child's Day on April 5, saying that these minors, who are from the occupied
West Bank and eastern sector of Jerusalem al-Quds, are kept in three Israeli
prisons, namely Damon, Megiddo and Ofer.
three prisons lack the basic requirements for human life, said Qadri Abu Baker,
the head of the commission, warning that these desperate children prisoners
"are subjected to torture and degrading treatment which contradict the
international principles of human rights."
lambasted the United Nations for failing to "provide the minimum
protection for the Palestinian children" against the physical and
psychological abuse in Israeli jails.
Baker noted that Israeli forces have arrested more than 17,000 minors since
2000, adding that in most cases the children under the age of 10 were detained.
He stressed that the majority of these children subjected to physical and
head of the rights commission called on the UN chief, the Human Rights Council
and international organizations, particularly the UNICEF and Amnesty
International, to take serious action to pressure the Israeli regime to release
all detainees, especially children, whose lives are under threat due to the
year, between 500 and 700 Palestinian children at the age of 12-17 are arrested
and tried in Israeli military courts, the Defense for Children International
Sunday, the Palestinians Prisoners' Club said in a statement that the Israeli
regime refuses to release jailed Palestinian children despite repeated calls
from the international community and rights groups as the COVID-19 pandemic
rages across the globe, including the occupied Palestinian territories.
also stressed that the Israeli authorities keep arrested Palestinian children
in jails with dire conditions, lacking the minimum requirements for keeping the
inmates. It said that the Israeli prison officials treat the Palestinian
children with violence as if they were adults.
warned that the Israeli prison authorities have put two jailed Palestinian
children, suspected of being infected by the contagious disease, in quarantine,
instead of releasing them.
club called on the relevant international bodies, including the UNICEF, to
intervene immediately to free the detained Palestinian children.
to a report by the Arabic-language SAFA news agency, Israeli authorities commit
grave violations against the rights of child prisoners from the moment of their
arrest and detention.
said that Israeli forces often raid Palestinian homes late at night to arrest
the suspected children and keep them without food or drink for long hours, an
in some documented cases for two consecutive days.
Israeli authorities also frequently threaten and intimidate them, the report
further said, adding that the authorities also force them to make confessions
under pressure and intimidation.
report also said that the Israeli authorities force Palestinian children to
sign statements in Hebrew without translating them into Arabic for them. They
also deny the children their legal right of the presence of a parent and lawyer
beside them during the interrogation.
detention of Palestinian children by the Israeli regime flagrantly violates
Article 33 and Article 34 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child,
according to which the states parties must protect children from abduction and
all forms of exploitation.
Israeli regime has a long history in wounding and killing Palestinian children,
especially during anti-occupation protest rallies.
in March last year, the UN children’s agency, UNICEF, said that around 40
Palestinian children had been killed and hundreds more wounded in a year of
anti-occupation protest rallies along the fence that separates the besieged
Gaza Strip and the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.
forces rearrest Palestinian governor of occupied Jerusalem al-Quds
forces have one again detained the Palestinian governor of occupied Jerusalem
al-Quds, marking the seventh time Adnan Ghaith has been arrested in less than
local sources, requesting not to be named, said Israeli troops stormed the house
of Ghaith in Silwan neighborhood on the outskirts of the Old City of occupied
Jerusalem al-Quds on Sunday and detained him.
video circulating on social media showed Ghaith, wearing rubber gloves and
smoking a cigarette, being escorted by Israeli forces after his arrest.
police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP that Ghaith was detained “for
Palestinian activity” in occupied Jerusalem al-Quds, “which is illegal,”
without providing any further details.
forces arrested Ghaith on October 14 after carrying out a dawn raid at his home
in Silwan. Pictures emerged on social media, showing heavily armed Israeli
forces arresting Ghaith inside his home.
September 25, Israeli forces summoned Ghaith to appear for questioning on
suspicion of breaking an Israeli law that bans activities by the Palestinian
Authority in Jerusalem al-Quds.
authorities also presented his family with the summons and asked his son to
appear before Israeli intelligence for questioning.
forces have arrested the Palestinian Authority Jerusalem al-Quds governor and
senior Fatah officials during separate raids in the West Bank.
forces had again arrested Ghaith back on February 27. He was among 21
Palestinian officials rounded up in overnight raids in occupied East Jerusalem
al-Quds, Ma’an news agency reported at the time.
want the occupied West Bank as part of their future independent state, and hope
that East Jerusalem al-Quds – under Israel’s occupation since 1967 – will one
day serve as the capital of their future sovereign state.
than 7,000 Palestinians are reportedly held at Israeli jails. Hundreds of the
inmates have apparently been incarcerated under the practice of administrative
detention, a policy under which Palestinian inmates are kept in Israeli
detention facilities without trial or charge.
inmates regularly stage hunger strikes in protest at the administrative
detention policy and their harsh prison conditions in Israeli jails.
army refutes Saudi allegation of attack on oil pipeline in Ma’rib
Spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces Brigadier General Yahya Saree has
categorically dismissed an allegation by Saudi media outlets that Yemeni troops
and allied fighters from the Popular Committees have attacked an oil pumping
station in the central province of Ma’rib as “baseless.”
the start of the brutal aggression against our country, we have committed
ourselves to sparing national installations, whether they serve all people or
only part of it,” the Arabic-language al-Masirah television network quoted
Saree as saying on Sunday.
though our missiles and unmanned aerial aircraft have reached the enemy’s depth
and targeted its installations, we have never attacked any national facility
inside our country.”
in the day, Yemeni Deputy Foreign Minister, Hussein al-Ezzi, said Saudi-led
coalition forces had attacked the Kofel pumping station in what he described as
a dangerous escalation.
state-run news agency (SPA) alleged that Yemeni army forces and their allies
had targeted an oil pipeline in Safar oil field of Ma’rib, causing damage.
a high-ranking Yemeni official said at least 3,526 educational centers have
been affected as a result of the Saudi-led military aggression.
Yemeni Minister of Education Abdullah al-Naami said at a press conference in
the capital Sana’a that such attacks are aimed at keeping the Yemeni nation in
said Saudi-led forces of aggression have targeted both Yemeni teachers and
students over the past five years, emphasizing that 402 schools have been
totally destroyed during the onslaught.
went on to say that some 1,465 educational centers have been partially damaged,
while another 666 have been forced to close down. A total of 993 schools are
housing internally displaced persons as well.
movement has called on the Saudi-led coalition to consider a mediation proposal
aimed at resolving the war on the impoverished country.
highlighted that schools in the provinces of Ta’iz, Sa’ada, Hajjah and Sana’a
have had the largest share of direct targeting of educational facilities by the
Saudi-led coalition and its mercenaries.
pointed out that nearly 200,000 teachers have been denied their salaries as a
result of the Saudi-imposed blockade, stressing that five million Yemeni
students have been affected educationally and psychologically as well.
also said forces of the Saudi-led coalition and their mercenaries have
prevented the import of paper needed for printing textbooks meant for Yemeni
Arabia conducts a rocket attack on a border district in Yemen’s northwestern
Sa’ada Province, killing all members of a family.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the devastating war on
Yemen in March 2015 in order to bring former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi
back to power and crush the Houthi Ansarullah movement.
US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit
conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than
100,000 lives over the past five years.
Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have purchased billions of dollars' worth
of weapons from the United States, France and the United Kingdom in their war
and its allies have been widely criticized for the high civilian death toll
resulted from their bombing campaign in Yemen.
UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including
10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.
leading fight against COVID-19, aiding world countries: Iran FM spokesperson
Foreign Ministry spokesperson has lauded China’s role in the international
struggle against the COVID-19 pandemic and its efforts assisting other
countries counter the outbreak.
government and people of China lead the way in suppressing coronavirus&
generously aiding countries across the world,” Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said in
tweet on Saturday.
Chinese bravery, dedication & professionalism in COVID-19 containment
deserve acknowledgment,” he said, adding that Iran has “always been thankful to
China in these trying times”.
where the outbreak began last year, however, reported only 30 new infections on
Saturday as infections surged in the United States and Europe.
a break from what is appears to be the peak of the outbreak, China has sought
to assist countries grappling with the pandemic by providing medical aid and
acted extremely quickly and very proactively and with transparency and saved
millions of people dying from the coronavirus outbreak, says Dennis Etler.
which sent several aid shipments to China during the height of the coronavirus
outbreak in the country, was sent its ninth aid shipment from China on Sunday.
to Iran’s Fars News Agency, the shipment contained about one million items
consisting of masks, protective clothing and medicine.
to Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani last month, President Xi Jinping said the
Iranian government and people offered sincere and friendly support and
assistance to China when the virus first emerged in the country.
President Xi Jinping has expressed his “sincere condolences” to Iran over the
coronavirus outbreak, saying Beijing is ready to assist Tehran contain the
join forces to produce masks in battle against coronavirus
women have volunteered to sew masks and protective gowns to fight the spread of
coronavirus in Tehran, as the death toll from the virus passed the 3,600 mark
workshop in Tehran, dozens of women have been working together since mid-March
to produce the protective equipment. The masks are later distributed for free.
initiative was taken by the Rahiyan Noor Organization. It said the masks were
being produced every day.
has been struggling to curb the spread of coronavirus, as the number of cases
has risen to 58,226, according to Iran’s Health Ministry.
hampering Iran's coronavirus fight, crime against humanity: Shamkhani
high-ranking Iranian security official says the efforts made by the
administration of US President Donald Trump to block Iran's access to financial
and other resources it needs to contain an ongoing pandemic of new coronavirus,
known as COVID-19, amount to crime against humanity.
Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC),
made the remarks in a Sunday Twitter post, saying, “Imposing sanctions [on
importation of] hygiene items is an illegal measure against human rights and [a
sign of] Trump's clear animosity toward the Iranian nation.”
Iranian security chief added, “US opposition to International Monetary Fund
(IMF) granting loan to Iran to supply necessary items to fight coronavirus
[pandemic] is a real instance of crime against humanity.”
Health Ministry spokesman said on Sunday Iran's death toll from COVID-19 has
reached 3,603 among a total of 58,226 infected people.
President Hassan Rouhani says low-risk economic activities, which have been
suspended over the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, will resume from
tweet on March 12, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called on the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) to extend support to Iran, who is a member
state of the Washington-based lender.
said the IMF managing director “has stated that countries affected by #COVID19
will be supported via Rapid Financial Instrument. Our Central Bank requested
access to this facility immediately.”
foreign minister writes to the UN chief, urges lifting of the unilateral and
illegal US sanctions amid Tehran’s battle against the new coronavirus outbreak.
Instagram post, Abdulnaser Hemmati, the governor of the Central Bank of Iran
(CBI), said Iran has asked the IMF for $5 billion emergency funding to fight a
coronavirus pandemic as the number of infections keeps growing in the country.
has asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for $5 billion in emergency
funding to combat the spread of a coronavirus pandemic
added that he had written to the IMF’s head, Kristalina Georgieva, to stress
Iran’s “right to benefit from the fund’s $50-billion Rapid Financing Instrument
pilgrims brought from Taftan to quarantine facilities in Pindi, Taxila
A total of 31 pilgrims have been brought from the Taftan border and quarantined
at facilities in Rawalpindi and Taxila.
Rawalpindi district administration on Sunday moved 19 pilgrims to a quarantine
facility in the Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University, and booked three
hotels in Saddar to quarantine passengers travelling from abroad to Islamabad
International Airport (IIA).
Hotel, De Mall and Shalimar Hotel on The Mall will be used as temporary
quarantine centres. Shalimar Hotel has 90 rooms, De Mall has 47 and Flashman
Hotel has 32.
Commissioner Headquarters Mohammad Iqbal Sanghera told Dawn that although the
government will pay the hotels Rs3,000 a day per room through the National
Disaster Management Authority, Senator Mian Attique — who owns Shalimar Hotel —
has offered his hotel as a quarantine centre for free.
International and Larosh Hotel on Liaquat Road will also be used to quarantine
passengers if numbers increase, he said.
to the government’s directives, one flight will be the responsibility of the
Islamabad administration while the second flight of the day will be the
responsibility of the Rawalpindi administration,” Mr Sanghera said.
that are suspected patients of Covid-19 will be quarantined for 14 days and
other passengers for three days after they land at IIA.
said that early on Sunday, 19 people were brought from Taftan to IIA, and the
district administration has quarantined them in Shamsabad.
from all the pilgrims have been collected and dispatched to the National
Institute of Health, he said, adding that they will all be quarantined for 14
days and anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 will be taken to the Rawalpindi
Institute of Urology.
Sanghera added that the district administration has managed to distribute food
in areas that have been sealed, with 14 trucks of goods distributed among the
have been formed to monitor the work of the district health authority to screen
people, and civic bodies involved in disinfecting areas where patients have
said the commissioner and deputy commissioner have given special instructions
to civic bodies to complete disinfection work as soon as possible to prevent
the coronavirus from spreading to other areas. The Rawalpindi Waste Management
Company, Rescue 1122 and Water and Sanitation Agency have been asked to spray
chlorinated water on main roads, streets and pavements.
total of 12 pilgrims who recently returned from Iran were brought from Taftan
to a quarantine centre set up by the district administration in a hostel at the
University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Taxila in the early hours of
Sunday, health officials said.
District Officer Health Dr Sara Qadeer said the pilgrims were quarantined at a
facility in the Workers Welfare Complex in Multan district and were brought to
Taxila because it is close to their hometown, Rawalpindi city.
quarantine facility at UET Taxila can accommodate 800 people. It offers medical
treatment and health screening facilities, while doctors and paramedics have
been provided safety kits.
Government College of Technology Taxila, Labour Colony, Hitec University and
other educational institutions have also been vacated by the district
administration to quarantine pilgrims and other citizens travelling from
Deputy Commissioner retired Capt Anwarul Haq told Dawn there are four confirmed
Covid-19 patients in Rawalpindi who are from Taxila tehsil. Two of them are at
the POF Hospital and two at RIU; two have a travel history and another two are
local transmission cases.
officials said that the Kashmir Colony resident was moved to RIU. Samples have
been taken from nine of his family members and sent for testing, while his home
has been declared a quarantine centre and posters affixed outside it to
restrict public entry and interaction with the family.
in jails declared unconstitutional by IHC
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Sunday issued a detailed order on the
petitions filed by Adiala jail inmates, declaring that overcrowding in jails is
unconstitutional and ruled that a prisoner can sue the government and jail
authorities for inhumane treatment during incarceration.
court issued directives to the federal government and Islamabad’s commissioner
for observance of provisions in jail manual as well as in the international
conventions and treaties related to the well-being of inmates.
38-page verdict authored by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah pointed out
alarming conditions of prisoners, loopholes in the criminal justice system and
how prisoners are subjected to inhumane treatment. “The intolerable and
shockingly inhumane and degrading treatment highlighted in the proceedings in
hand meets the threshold of the hypothetical illustration in the above
judgement,” the court observed.
the court offered a remedy to the prisoners that they could seek compensation
as the order read: “It is, therefore, obvious that the incarcerated prisoners,
subjected to the unimaginable degrading and inhumane treatment highlighted in
these proceedings, may have become entitled to seek damages against the prison
authorities and the state.”
Justice Minallah observed: “Most of the victims of the deteriorating criminal
justice system are those who belong to economically and socially marginalized sections
of the society. They do not have the means to access the courts nor has the
state fulfilled its constitutional obligation in ensuring that each citizen
receives ‘inexpensive and expeditious’ justice mandated under Article 37(d) of
to the decision, the worst victims of what appears to be a dysfunctional
criminal justice system are the pre-trial or under-trial incarcerated persons
who are presumed to be innocent but, due to several factors, are treated as
prisoners in their respective applications had claimed they could not access
the courts and that they feared being punished by the prison authorities for
attempting to draw court attention towards their plight.
court’s notice, the commission constituted by the court to inquire into
prisoners’ miseries submitted a “shocking” report. It disclosed that the
overall prison population at the time of filing of the report was around 74,000
while the authorized capacity of all the prisons in Pakistan was 55,634
inmates. In Punjab, 29 out of 41 prisons were found overcrowded while in Sindh
eight jails were reportedly overcrowded. “The most disturbing feature is the
exceptionally high number of prisoners who retain their presumption of
“innocence” till a competent court has handed down a conviction following a
fair trial.” Out of 73,721 prisoners across the country, more than 60 per cent
(i.e. 44,847) have not been convicted by any court. Another alarming factor is
that a large number of prisoners are suffering from serious illnesses such as
HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis and mental diseases.
report stated that jails across Pakistan lacked proper medical facilities,
doctors and paramedical staff. It noted that the prisoners were generally
neither aware of their rights nor had proper access to courts.
the basic necessities, the report mentioned the toilets lacked sanitation, the
prisoners may have to “wait for hours” for their turn because of overcrowding.
The jail hospitals were understaffed and lacked proper equipment, it said,
adding that the privileged managed to exploit the system by getting themselves
admitted to a hospital even when not in need, while those who required urgent
attention became victims to apathy and red-tapism of those managing the prison
verdict noted that the prisons were established and being managed under various
primary legislations as well as rules and regulations dealing with almost every
aspect from admission, incarceration of the prisoners and their treatment till
release. The court cited dozens of laws related to prisoners according to which
the jail authorities as well as the respective governments could take certain
steps for the well-being of the inmates including suspending their sentence and
setting them free.
most significant legislation promulgated in the context of the right of access
to the court and justice of a prisoner was the Public Defender and Legal Aid
Office Act, 2009 which aims at promoting justice throughout Pakistan by
providing quality and free legal services, protecting individual rights and
advocating effective defender services and a fair justice system,” the court
verdict noted. “Regrettably, the said law, although enacted, remains
non-operational,” it observed.
Jail Manual, read with the relevant primary statutes, makes it a statutory duty
of the prison authorities and the respective governments to treat prisoners in
accordance with the minimum standards elaborated therein.
to the verdict, the Government of Pakistan has ratified seven crucial
conventions having relevance to the rights of prisoners, International
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; Convention
on the Rights of the Child; Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman
or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights; International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural
Rights; Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against
Women; and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
the Supreme Court judgement, the IHC ruled that a ratified convention or treaty
could be relied upon as long as it was not in conflict with the law enacted in
Pakistan, adding that in the case in hand, the provisions of the aforementioned
conventions, rather than being in conflict, were in conformity with the
fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution. The fundamental rights
under Articles 9 and 14 in fact contemplate the obligations of the State under the
aforementioned ratified conventions, it ruled.
object of undergoing a sentence pursuant to being convicted by a competent
court of law is to make the convicted person and others realise that what the
former has done. However, a non-convicted prisoner has altogether a different
status by retaining the presumption of innocence, which is an integral and
fundamental part of the right to a fair trial.
to the court, the Constitution guarantees the right to life under Article 9. It
is implicit in Article 9 that it is the duty of the state to ensure that every
person incarcerated in the prisons of Pakistan, including those who are
convicted for an offence and undergoing sentence.
prisoner is thus entirely dependent on the State and at its mercy for the
purposes of safeguarding the right to life and to meet medical needs. The
State, therefore, owes a duty of care to every prisoner regardless of his or
her nature of imprisonment. Every prisoner, without discrimination, has to be
treated as a human. Inhumane treatment of a prisoner is a serious violation of
the constitutional rights guaranteed under Articles 9 and 14 of the
Constitution,” the court ruled.
the court declared that “overcrowding of prisons, failure to segregate
prisoners in accordance with the provisions of the Jail Manual, inhuman and
degrading treatment, denial of prompt and timely health assistance, denial of
access to proper legal advice and courts, is unconstitutional.”
court directed the federal government “to take immediate steps…to ensure that
prisoners incarcerated in the prisons across Pakistan are dealt with and
treated in conformity with the obligations of the State of Pakistan pursuant to
ratification of the conventions.”
to the verdict, the Implementation Commission chaired by the minister for human
rights should “endeavour to give effect to the recommendations made in its
report and to may consider amending the laws accordingly.
federal government is also directed to take steps for making the Public
Defender and Legal Aid Office Act 2009 operational to enable the economically
underprivileged to have effective access to the right of proper legal advice
registrar is directed to propose a mechanism in order to ensure that each undertrial
prisoner, who has a case pending before any court under the jurisdiction of
this court and cannot afford the cost, has access to proper legal advice and to
court also directed Islamabad chief commissioner Amir Ali Ahmed “to appoint
parole officers and fill other vacancies in order to consider release of
deserving prisoners under the Good Conduct Prisoners Probational Release Act,
1926 and the Parole Rules.”
court disposed of the petitions with the directions to the district and
sessions judges of Islamabad to visit the Central Prison, Rawalpindi along with
the deputy commissioners of Rawalpindi and Islamabad to enquire whether the
prisoners relating to cases pending are treated in accordance with law.
of plasma allowed for treating Covid-19 patients in KP
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa health department has allowed use of plasma extracted
from the blood of patients having fully recovered from Covid-19 for the
treatment of the fresh cases.
notification issued from the office of secretary health on Sunday said the
Provincial Passive Immunisation Committee proposed by the Hayatabad Medical
Complex and comprising health experts and professionals had been given a
go-ahead to submit a detailed proposal on the subject for onward submission to
the National Bioethics Committee for approval.
March 28, the Hayatabad Medical Complex’s medical director Prof Shehzad Akbar Khan
had requested the health secretary to constitute a committee in accordance with
a proposal made by Prof Tahir Shamsi, chairman of the National Passive
Immunisation Committee, which had also been approved the US Food and Drug
Administration, to treat the fresh patients with plasma extracted from the
blood of patients having fully recovered from the disease.
Friday, the National Bioethics Committee had approved passive immunisation
trial by the HMC but waited for the provincial government’s formal approval of
the committee to start treatment of coronavirus patients by plasma.
health minister Taimur Khan Jhagra in a tweet said the committee had been
notified to look at and expedite work on passive immunisation.
reluctance to restore PMDC may jeopardise career of thousands of doctors
Expressing serious concerns over the federal government’s reluctance to restore
the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) despite court orders, health
practitioners working in different capacities in the health sector said the
situation has not only jeopardized the career of thousands of doctors in and
outside Pakistan but also weakened efforts to fight coronavirus pandemic.
demanded that the government immediately implement the verdict of the Islamabad
High Court (IHC) and open PMDC’s head office in the federal capital and all its
regional offices so that doctors could renew their licences and fresh graduates
could start their house jobs and become part of the workforce.
a very serious matter. Right now, around 15,000 fresh MBBS graduates across the
country, who could have played a vital role in the fight against coronavirus,
are sitting at home because they can’t start their house job for which they
need to get registered with the PMDC,” said Jinnah Sindh Medical University
Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Tariq Rafi.
he said that the health system would be losing services of another 15,000
doctors whose house job would end soon.
start practice as a doctor, these house officers need to get registered with
the regulatory body. But, since PMDC is non-functional, they would be out of
the health system,” Prof Rafi explained.
country was already facing an acute shortage of doctors and not making use of
available workforce would greatly weakened Pakistan’s fight against
coronavirus, he added.
doctors shared similar concerns and said the prevailing situation had also put
at risk professional careers of doctors whose registration with the PMDC needed
of qualified postgraduates are waiting for their registration process.
Thousands of Pakistani doctors working abroad are also distressed because they
can’t get their registration and certificates renewed for continuation of their
jobs. The respect Pakistani doctors are getting abroad is due to their
registration with the PMDC only,” said Dr Qaiser Sajjad of the Pakistan Medical
he said, were deeply concerned over the attitude of the government, which was
not ready to unseal the PMDC building even after the March 30 strict orders of
to the court’s orders issued on a contempt of court application filed by PMDC
employees, he said the bench had given an hour to the government to open the
PMDC and warned of sending officials concerned behind bars.
then, only the PMDC registrar was allowed to visit his office for less than an
hour and no employee was allowed to enter the building. The registrar was then
forced to leave his office,” he said, citing media reports.
situation is very unfortunate. The prime minister also holds the portfolio of
the health minister and the PMA believes that bureaucracy is misguiding him.
The bureaucracy is the only hurdle in the restoration of PMDC,” Dr Sajjad said.
PMDC, along with the Council of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan and Pakistan
Medical Research Council, came into being in 1962 through an act passed by the
formed in Sindh to finalise guidelines for reopening industries
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Sunday constituted a committee of
health experts, labour and industries secretaries and representatives of the
police and Rangers to prepare a standard operating procedure (SOP) for
factories so that they could be allowed to resume operation.
took this decision while presiding over a meeting to review the request of
industrialists to allow their production units to start operation to meet
meeting was attended by provincial ministers Dr Azra Pechuho, Saeed Ghani,
Ikram Dharejo, Nasir Shah, Law Adviser Murtaza Wahab, Inspector General of
Police Mushtaq Mahar, Home Secretary Usman Chachar, Karachi Commissioner
Iftikhar Shallwani, Karachi police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon, Labour Secretary
Rasheed Solangi and others.
chief minister said that he had held a meeting with the industrialists,
particularly those producing export goods and they requested him to allow the
operation of their factories so that they could honour the export orders.
chief minister directed the home secretary to form a committee comprising
medical professionals/experts, industries and labour secretaries, senior
members of law enforcement agencies and other concerned to prepare a
well-thought and workable SOP in this regard.
directed the home secretary to notify the committee and ask the members to take
the industrialists on board and frame the SOP.
want SOPs for every sectors, including shops, bakeries, transport, superstore,
malls and even for Ramzan so that everyone could follow it after April 14, if
lockdown is eased out,” he said.
Shah said that he was keen to allow export-based industry to start operation
but “this is the question of human health and containment of the novel
coronavirus, therefore we would have to be careful”.
provincial government has utilised Rs285 million from the Coronavirus Emergency
Fund it has established under the chief secretary.
was emerged in a meeting of the committee of the fund held under the
chairmanship of Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah at the New Sindh Secretariat.
members of the committee including Finance Secretary Hassan Naqvi, Dr Abdul
Bari of the Indus Hospital, Faisal Edhi of the Edhi Foundation and
philanthropist Mushtaq Chhapra also attended the meeting.
committee also approved another Rs5.5m for purchase of kits and necessary
equipment for testing and treatment of coronavirus patients.
meeting was told that till last week Rs3.55 billion had been generated,
including Rs2.87bn donated by government entities and Rs68.44m by private
entities and people. The donations are pouring in the fund every day, the
meeting was told.
committee, according to its terms of reference, shall roll-out different
measures for rehabilitation, long-term welfare and financial well-being of the
coronavirus affected persons and their families.
chief secretary said that each and every penny of the fund would be spent on
the recommendation of the committee and the utilisation of the funds would be
audited by leading auditors.
investigate UK far-right groups over anti-Muslim coronavirus claims
police in the UK are investigating far-right groups accused of trying to use
the coronavirus crisis to stoke anti-Muslim sentiment.
monitoring group Tell Mama said that in March it recorded dozens of incidents
of far-right groups allegedly trying to put blame on British Muslims for the
spread of the virus.
group said it had had to debunk numerous claims made on social media that
Muslims were breaching the lockdown by continuing to attend mosques to pray.
There were also incidents where Muslims were attacked, it said.
tweet from a prominent white nationalist, claims were made that Muslims were
breaching the lockdown by congregating outside a mosque in Wembley. Tell Mama
debunked this claim, and after it encouraged others users to report the
content, Twitter removed the tweet and placed restrictions on the account.
video shared on Telegram by Tommy Robinson, the founder and former leader of
the English Defence League (EDL), was alleged to show a group of Muslim men
leaving a “secret mosque” in inner-city Birmingham. The video was watched
10,000 times on the platform. The claims were subsequently dismissed by West
Yorkshire police similarly dismissed images allegedly showing Muslims attending
Friday prayers, pointing out they were taken before the lockdown was announced.
police took action after a tweet from a far-right-leaning account maliciously
claimed that a mosque was flouting the lockdown. The content was also reported
Atta, the director of Tell Mama, said: “These extremists are using coronavirus
to get their pervasive message across that somehow the Muslim communities are
to blame for the spreading of the virus.
is mainly repeat offenders – individuals who are already known to hold
anti-Muslim views – who are repeatedly seeing this as a way to cause community
turmoil and tension. It is at times like this when there are pressures in
society that some people manipulate this to fuel hate and division across
accounts linked to spreading malicious rumours against Muslims have included
those of Katie Hopkins and the former Ukip leader Gerard Batten.
shared a video of police in India assaulting people for congregating at a
mosque, tagging in Humberside police. She wrote: “Indian police assisting young
‘men of peace’ to disperse from crowded mosque during lockdown. Something to
aspire to hey @Humberbeat?”
tweet that went viral, Batten suggested mosques would remain open as the
government would be “too afraid” to close them. Batten has also promoted
conspiracy theories about Covid-19 being a Chinese “bioweapon”.
another incident reported to Tell Mama, a Muslim woman said she was approached
by a man who coughed in her face and claimed he had coronavirus.
alleged assault in Croydon, south London, on 18 March has been reported to the
Metropolitan police. The woman, who wears a hijab, said she tried to avoid her
attacker but the man turned towards her and “got in her face”.
informed him she had already contracted virus and recovered and was therefore
immune, after which he swore at her and used a racial slur before leaving.
Jamieson, the police and crime commissioner for the West Midlands, said
counter-terrorism police were looking into reports that rightwing groups were
trying to use the pandemic to create division.
have become aware that this is being used as an opportunity by rightwing groups
to point the blame at some ethnic groups. It does not take a lot for these
things to break down and for tensions to arise in these communities. It’s
something we are monitoring very closely,” Jamieson said.
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advocacy group Hope not Hate said it had also identified an anti-Muslim
misinformation campaign alleging that mosques were still open in defiance of
spokesperson said: “Far-right activists in the UK are increasingly united in
their view that globalisation and immigration are to blame for the ongoing
pandemic. They are also relishing the opportunity to promote racist stereotypes
and conspiracy theories about Chinese people on extreme message boards and
PM Boris Johnson admitted to hospital for Covid-19 tests
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been admitted to hospital for tests, 10 days
after testing positive for coronavirus.
the advice of his doctor, the Prime Minister has tonight been admitted to
hospital for tests. This is a precautionary step, as the Prime Minister
continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus ten days after testing
positive for the virus," the spokesperson said.
Prime Minister thanks NHS staff for all of their incredible hard work and urges
the public to continue to follow the Government's advice to stay at home,
protect the NHS and save lives, the spokesperson added.
had extended self-isolation as he gave an update on his health via social media
on Friday, which should have marked the end of the stipulated seven-day
self-isolation period after his Covid-19 diagnosis last week.
said he still has a temperature, one of the symptoms associated with
coronavirus, and would therefore have to stay in isolation for longer.
I'm feeling better and I've done my seven days of isolation, alas I still have
one of the symptoms, a minor symptom, Johnson said in a new video message.
still have a temperature and so, in accordance with government advice, I must
continue my self-isolation until that symptom itself goes," he said.
was last seen, still looking quite poorly, when he made a brief appearance at
Downing Street on Thursday night to join the national clap for carers applause
in appreciation of the hardwork of National Health Service (NHS) workers on the
frontline of the fight against the outbreak.
that incredible clapping again last night for our fantastic NHS. We're doing it
to protect them and to save lives. Let's focus on doing everything we can. Stay
at home folks, protect our NHS, save lives," he said.
With You: Barking Mosque a real pillar of the community during coronavirus
this being a time Of fear and worry, Ash Siddique from Barking Mosque says
people are really showing their “humanity”.
a trustee of the mosque for 25 years – is now part of a volunteering network
that is helping hundreds of people in
one of the faith groups working on the BD Can initiative with Barking and
Dagenham Council, mosque secretary Ash believes that “local authorities are
starting to really see the power of voluntary organisations who work quietly in
of food delivered by Barking mosque to 200 homes in the community. Picture: Ash
SiddiqueCrates of food delivered by Barking mosque to 200 homes in the
community. Picture: Ash Siddique
adds that it is also starting to see the benefits of an 18-month-old parenting
programme, with parents and children now both seeking advice from the mosque on
how to manage living in such close quarters.
service involves reaching the elderly in the community,
whom Ash says the mosque has always had a “strong relationship.
volunteers are calling the elderly or going to their homes to talk to them from
a safe distance. We want them to stay connected – so far we have helped between
With You - the Barking and Dagenham Post's campaign to help everyone get
through coronavirus crisis.There With You - the Barking and Dagenham Post's
campaign to help everyone get through coronavirus crisis.
days ago, we met up with an organisation who had a healthy supply of fresh
fruit and vegetables. We delivered it to over 200 homes.”
is dedicated to continuing the hard work, and is proud of the fact that Barking
Mosque does not discriminate with respect to whom it helps
prices could rise again in Bradford as Ramadan approaches
month, as the coronavirus crisis began to take a hold, a number of independent
supermarkets were accused of profiting from price hikes on essential everyday
items amid uproar from regular customers.
of green chillies with extortionate price tags emerged on social media, while
one woman reported how she was charged £9.50 for toilet roll.
said: "As we go through the most difficult time, being affected by the
current crisis facing our nation, it was heartbreaking to learn that some of
the businesses were taking advantage of such a difficult times and they had
increased their prices substantially.
the families in my ward are already living in one of the most deprived areas
and at times when the income remained the same but expenses had increased due
to selfish businesses having increased their prices, I was worried that there
would be some children and families who may not get some food due to price
was one report of a chicken worth £10 being sold for £60. Some of the
businesses have been selfish and greedy in what we are all going through at the
and my colleagues will not hesitate to be the voice against, oppression,
misuse, abuse and those taking advantages of current crisis."
Supermarket said a shortage of supply of essential items forced them to up
prices, as manufacturers were struggling to keep up with demand.
panic buying took hold across the country, most major supermarket chains were
forced to bring in restrictions to ensure everyone was able to buy the
essentials. Bradford Council urged people to stop stockpiling and leader Susan
Hinchcliffe hit out at price rises.
Shafiq said while prices of items like meat, rice, fruit and toilet paper have
now been brought back to "normal prices" the campaign will not stop
as concerns have been raised that some retailers also hike their prices during
the month of Ramadan, which this year is due to begin on the evening of
Thursday, April 23.
urge our communities to always get a receipt when purchasing any food from
businesses as a proof of purchase," Cllr Shafiq said.
thanks for extraordinary efforts to allow 104-year-old's Islamic funeral to
centenarian from Coventry who passed away with coronavirus has been laid to
rest after an extraordinary effort from one of the city’s biggest mosques.
Jan, 104, was given a final farewell in accordance with her family’s Islamic
beliefs after the Al-Madinah Institute trained and equipped a new team to meet
stringent health and safety guidelines issued in response to the Covid-19
grandmother’s funeral went ahead with her family’s blessing after the mosque
and community centre, in Queen Mary’s Road, launched its Covid-19 Funeral
Service to meet the new advice aimed at preventing further spread of the
had arisen among Britain’s Muslim community that restrictions around health and
hygiene would mean they would not be able to bury loved ones in accordance with
the ceremony took place after the mosque took a range of measures, including
using full personal protective equipment (PPE) to meet the guidance.
Arif, Mrs Jan’s son, expressed his gratitude to the “thoroughly professional”
team in a message shared on its Facebook page.
Arif said: “People often speak about professionals and those on the frontline.
I was part of something yesterday that deserves more than a mention between
were all worried about the Ghusul [washing] and Janazzah [funeral prayers] but
one special group of individuals at the Al-Madina Masjid on Queen Mary’s Road,
Coventry, helped and guided us through the process.
Nabeel Afzal Qadri, Khalid, Gohar and the other individuals were thoughtful,
caring, supportive and above all thoroughly professional.”
Jan was taken into hospital on March 3 after suffering a stroke and passed away
on March 27 having testing positive for Covid-19. The funeral was the first
held by the mosque, which is a registered charity, under the new Government
restrictions, and it has since conducted two more.
institute has switched its focus after closing for general worship under the
measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and is also running a community
outreach service aimed at providing food, medicine and support for elderly and
Nabeel Afzal said: “When the news first came out that funerals would be
affected by the Covid-19 outbreak there was deep concern in the Muslim community
that families would not be able to hold funerals in accordance with their
beliefs or that cremations would have to be held instead of burials.
were a lot of things being said on social media and the thought that loved ones
would be buried without being washed, showered or without prayers being said
was something many people in the local community found distressing.
got in contact with the NHS and Coventry City Council and after consulting
medical experts and looking at the Government guidelines we found that we could
handle bodies as long as health and safety precautions are in place, including
PPE and the use of disinfectant and hand-sanitisers.
also put precautions in place for the transport of the deceased and for prayers
to take place in the car park with two to two-and-a-half metre spacing between
a limited number of mourners from the immediate family only. With these rules
in place we have been able to ensure that families can fulfil their obligations
and the last rites are fulfilled in the traditional way.”
Health England (PHE) has said there is a "small but real risk" of
Covid-19 being transmitted from a dead body to a human, which has implications
for the Catholic, Muslim and Jewish faith groups who practice final rituals
involving close contact with the deceased.
include those in close contact with the deceased wearing the correct PPE and
social distancing between limited numbers of mourners. Mohamed Omer, board
member of Gardens of Peace, welcomed the new PHE guidance earlier this week.
Omer said: “We welcome the new guidance from PHE and would like to reiterate
that it is essential that we maintain social distancing at all times, including
at funerals. We should also severely curtail the numbers who attend the funerals
so as to ensure that staff working at burial sites and others are protected. If
circumstances dictate then we should contemplate, as hard as it may seem, no
attendees at funeral time.
is also welcoming to note that we can perform our ritual wash as long as we
observe the necessary precautions of wearing the right PPE and follow the
process included in this guideline. It is hoped that there will be uniformity
now in the whole system so that there is no confusion and conflicting reports
on the risk of handling a Covid-19 deceased person.
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