Coronavirus infects 24,000 S.African health workers

Johannesburg (AFP) Some 24,000 health workers in South Africa have contracted the coronavirus, 181 of whom have died, since the pandemic hit the country in March, the health minister announced on Wednesday. South Africa is the hardest-hit country in Africa with at least 521,318 infections diagnosed so far, accounting for more than half the continent's … Continue reading Coronavirus infects 24,000 S.African health workers

Up to 300,000 left homeless by Beirut blast: Governor

BEIRUT (AFP) - A huge blast in Beirut has left 300,000 people homeless and caused damage across half of the city estimated to cost more than US$3 billion (S$4.1 billion), its governor told AFP on Wednesday (Aug 5). "I think there are between 250,000 and 300,000 people who are now without homes," said Marwan Aboud, adding that … Continue reading Up to 300,000 left homeless by Beirut blast: Governor

Spain’s ex-king Juan Carlos told friends his exit is only temporary, papers say

MADRID (REUTERS) - Former king Juan Carlos's sudden exit is only temporary, he told friends from aboard a jet carrying him away from Spain, La Vanguardia newspaper reported on Wednesday (Aug 5), as confusion mounted over the ex-monarch's plans. "I'm not on holiday and I'm not abandoning Spain. This is just a parenthesis," he said … Continue reading Spain’s ex-king Juan Carlos told friends his exit is only temporary, papers say

Russia’s coronavirus cases surpass 865,000

MOSCOW (REUTERS) - Russia reported 5,204 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday (Aug 5), bringing its nationwide tally to 866,627, the fourth-largest caseload in the world. Russia has the fourth highest number of Covid-19 cases in the world.PHOTO: EPA-EFE Russia's coronavirus taskforce said 139 people had died over the last 24 hours, pushing … Continue reading Russia’s coronavirus cases surpass 865,000

UK tells drug makers to stockpile six-week Covid-19 medicine supply for Brexit

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) - The UK government urged pharmaceutical companies to stockpile a six-week supply of medicines before the country finally leaves the European Union's customs regime at the end of the year, in an effort to avoid shortages of drugs. "Holding additional stock in the UK provides a further buffer against some disruption," said Steve … Continue reading UK tells drug makers to stockpile six-week Covid-19 medicine supply for Brexit

Why does Donald Trump want to ban TikTok? The saga explained

BEIJING/WASHINGTON (NYTIMES) - What exactly is going on with TikTok? The wildly popular app is known for hosting short videos where teenagers, celebrities and creators often dance or lip-sync to viral audio clips. It all seems innocuous, fun and sometimes even silly. But in recent days, President Donald Trump has talked of banning TikTok from … Continue reading Why does Donald Trump want to ban TikTok? The saga explained

UK invests $25 million in Scottish Covid-19 vaccine site

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) - The UK has agreed to invest in a Scottish factory that will make French biotech firm Valneva's Covid-19 vaccine, in a move to secure domestic production of the shot. The British government and Valneva will each invest 14 million pounds ($25.16 million) in the existing plant, according to a person with knowledge … Continue reading UK invests $25 million in Scottish Covid-19 vaccine site

Effectiveness of Europe’s coronavirus contact-tracing apps in question

DUBLIN/BERLIN (REUTERS) - Europe's experiment in using technology to fight coronavirus has achieved some early successes: millions of people have downloaded smartphone tracker apps and hundreds have uploaded the results of positive Covid-19 tests. Yet most European countries so far lack solid evidence that their apps - which identify close contacts via Bluetooth connections with … Continue reading Effectiveness of Europe’s coronavirus contact-tracing apps in question

Fine art and face masks: London’s Victoria and Albert Museum reopens amid Covid-19 pandemic

LONDON (REUTERS) - Five thousand years of art and design history will be joined by some more modern items when London's Victoria and Albert (V&A) museum reopens on Thursday (Aug 6) - hand sanitiser dispensers and protective screens. Mask-wearing visitors will be allowed to tour exhibits on two of the museum's floors, strolling through 250 … Continue reading Fine art and face masks: London’s Victoria and Albert Museum reopens amid Covid-19 pandemic

Global coronavirus deaths exceed 700,000, one person dies every 15 seconds on average

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The global death toll from Covid-19 surpassed 700,000 on Wednesday (Aug 5), according to a Reuters tally, with the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico leading the rise in fatalities. Nearly 5,900 people are dying every 24 hours from Covid-19 on average, according to Reuters calculations based on data from the past … Continue reading Global coronavirus deaths exceed 700,000, one person dies every 15 seconds on average

Second person used Covid relief money to buy a Lamborghini, US prosecutors say

NEW YORK (NYTIMES) - A Texas man this week became the second person in less than two weeks to be accused by federal prosecutors of using Covid-19 relief money to buy a Lamborghini.  The man, Lee Price III, 29, of Houston, received more than US$1.6 million (S$2.19 million) under the federal Paycheck Protection Programme after he … Continue reading Second person used Covid relief money to buy a Lamborghini, US prosecutors say

Lebanon, small Mid-east country mired in tragedies

BEIRUT (AFP) - Lebanon, a small multi-confessional country which endured a devastating 15-year civil war, has often been caught in the crossfire of regional conflicts. The tragic explosions at Beirut port on Tuesday (Aug 4) struck with the country mired in its worst economic crisis for decades, marked by the collapse of its currency and … Continue reading Lebanon, small Mid-east country mired in tragedies