• On brink of coronavirus crisis, Japan PM offers masks, gets social media roasting

    On brink of coronavirus crisis, Japan PM offers masks, gets social media roasting

    Facing calls to declare a coronavirus state of emergency, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe was flamed on social media on Thursday for instead offering people free cloth masks, pointing to growing frustration for some over his handling of the crisis. Abe’s offer of masks two per household came the day after experts had warned Japan […]

    02-Apr-2020 Intellasia | Reuters | 1:15 PM
  • Trump says China’s coronavirus numbers seem ‘on the light side’

    Trump says China’s coronavirus numbers seem ‘on the light side’

    US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the coronavirus statistics China was reporting seemed “a little bit on the light side,” while his national security adviser said Washington had no way of knowing if Beijing’s figures were accurate. The comments came after a senior Republican lawmaker cast doubt on Beijing’s data and Bloomberg News said […]

    02-Apr-2020 Intellasia | Reuters | 1:04 PM
  • ‘Shoot them dead’Philippine leader says won’t tolerate lockdown violators

    ‘Shoot them dead’Philippine leader says won’t tolerate lockdown violators

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has warned violators of coronavirus lockdown measures they could be shot for causing trouble and said abuse of medical workers was a serious crime that would not be tolerated. In a televised address, Duterte said it was vital everyone cooperates and follows home quarantine measures, as authorities try to slow the […]

    02-Apr-2020 Intellasia | Reuters | 12:33 PM
  • South Korea to allow absentee voting for coronavirus patients in parliamentary elections

    South Korea to allow absentee voting for coronavirus patients in parliamentary elections

    South Korea will allow coronavirus patients to vote by mail or as an absentee in this month’s parliamentary elections, as campaigning started on Thursday and the country grappled with a steady rise in new infections. Voters will go to the polls on April 15 to elect 300 members of the National Assembly for the next […]

    02-Apr-2020 Intellasia | Reuters | 11:26 AM
  • COVID-19: S’pore hits 1,000-mark with new high of 74 cases, 2 more clusters including nursing home

    COVID-19: S’pore hits 1,000-mark with new high of 74 cases, 2 more clusters including nursing home

    The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed on Wednesday (1 April) 74 more coronavirus cases here the highest number of cases in a single day to date bringing the country’s total to 1,000. Two new clusters have also been identified: Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home at 1 Thomson Lane with 11 cases and a dormitory […]

    02-Apr-2020 Intellasia | Yahoo News Singapore | 10:44 AM
  • China has fewer new coronavirus infections, starts posting symptom-free tally

    China has fewer new coronavirus infections, starts posting symptom-free tally

    Mainland China reported dwindling new infections on Wednesday in a global coronavirus pandemic, and started to publish the daily change in cases that are free of symptoms, although the latter could complicate the picture of trends in the disease. Almost all of Tuesday’s 36 new cases involved arrivals from overseas, the National Health Commission said, […]

    02-Apr-2020 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:02 AM
  • China and Australia target Pacific with coronavirus aid

    China and Australia target Pacific with coronavirus aid

    Beijing has ramped up its diplomatic push into the Pacific, pledging coronavirus aid and medical advice, although its efforts are being impeded as islands close borders to stop the spread of the disease from hotspots including China. Chinese embassies have held cheque presentation ceremonies in multiple Pacific islands, after Beijing pledged to provide $1.9 million […]

    02-Apr-2020 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:02 AM
  • Thousands of Korean workers for US military put on leave in cash row

    Thousands of Korean workers for US military put on leave in cash row

    Around 4,000 South Koreans working for the US military in their country were put on unpaid leave Wednesday as Seoul and Washington bicker over funding for US forces. Washington stations 28,500 troops in the country to defend it against the nuclear-armed North, but the security allies’ relationship has been strained by US demands that the […]

    02-Apr-2020 Intellasia | AFP | 6:02 AM
  • Three teens arrested after early morning firebomb attack on HK police station

    Three teens arrested after early morning firebomb attack on HK police station

    Three students have been arrested after five petrol bombs were thrown into a police station in northern Hong Kong in the early hours of Wednesday, the third firebomb attack on the city’s force in the past 10 days. The attack on Tai Po Police Station happened shortly before 2.30am, and was the second of its […]

    02-Apr-2020 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM
  • US military aircraft fly near Taiwan for 4th time this month

    US military aircraft fly near Taiwan for 4th time this month

    A United States military aircraft was reported flying near Taiwan’s southern airspace Tuesday, marking the fourth time this month a US warplane had been spotted operating near the country. The US Navy P-3C submarine-hunting aircraft was operating in the South China Sea, according to a flight chart posted on Twitter on Tuesday by Aircraft Spots, […]

    02-Apr-2020 Intellasia | FocusTaiwan | 6:02 AM
  • US, Korea seek last-minute deal as thousands of civilian workers face April 1 furlough

    US, Korea seek last-minute deal as thousands of civilian workers face April 1 furlough

    Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo headed to the White House on Tuesday morning in an effort to keep thousands of South Korean civilians who work for the US military in South Korea from being furloughed on Wednesday, April 1, according to two US defense officials. The US and South […]

    02-Apr-2020 Intellasia | NBCNews | 6:02 AM
  • Europeans on UN Security Council condemn N Korean tests

    Europeans on UN Security Council condemn N Korean tests

    The European members of the UN Security Council on Tuesday condemned North Korea’s latest missile tests, describing the launches as “provocative actions.” Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Poland, and the United Kingdom “are deeply concerned by the repeated testing of missiles, using ballistic missile technology,” by North Korea on March 2, 9, 21 and 29, read […]

    02-Apr-2020 Intellasia | AFP | 6:02 AM

Society

COVID-19 cases and deaths rising, debt relief needed for poorest nations WHO

COVID-19 cases and deaths rising, debt relief needed for poorest nations WHO

The head of the World Health Organization voiced deep concern on Wednesday about the rapid escalation and global spread of COVID-19 cases from the new coronavirus, which has now reached 205 countries and territories. WHO director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that his agency, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund backed debt relief to […]

Global lockdown tightens as virus deaths mount

Harsh lockdowns aimed at halting the march of the coronavirus pandemic extended worldwide Monday as the death toll soared past 37,600 amid new waves of US outbreaks. Despite slivers of hope in stricken Italy and Spain, the tough measures that have confined some two-fifths of the globe’s population to their homes were broadened. Moscow and […]

Coronavirus: the nine most important questions being asked by scientists

Scientists have put together what they deem to be the nine most important questions on the coronavirus. Virtually unheard of at the start of the year, the new strain has spread well beyond the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus is thought to have emerged at a seafood and live animal market at the […]

Health

WHO message to youth on coronavirus: ‘You are not invincible’

Coronavirus can sicken or kill young people as well and they must also avoid mingling and spreading it to older and more vulnerable people, the World Health Organization said on Friday. With more than 210,000 cases reported worldwide and a death toll of 9,000, each day brings a “new and tragic milestone,” WHO director-General Tedros […]

New coronavirus can survive on some surfaces for days: study

The novel coronavirus can survive on some surfaces for days or in the air for several hours, according to a US-government funded study published Tuesday. Scientists found that the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease had similar levels of viability outside the body to its predecessor that caused SARS. This means that other factors like […]

People with blood type A may be more vulnerable to coronavirus, China study finds

People with blood type A may be more vulnerable to infection by the new coronavirus, while those with type O seem more resistant, according to a preliminary study of patients in China who contracted the disease known as Covid-19. Medical researchers in China took blood group patterns of more than 2,000 patients infected with the […]

FinanceAsia

Asian stocks slip as Trump warns of horrors to come

Asian equities fell for a second session on Thursday, after a dire warning about the US coronavirus death toll had investors looking to the safety of dollars and bonds and bracing for more bad news from US jobless figures. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.2%. Japan’s Nikkei extended Wednesday’s heavy drop […]

Asia markets fall, HSBC tumbles to lowest level since 2009 as investors are ‘flat-out bundle of nerves’ about coronavirus

Asia markets slid Thursday, following a sell-off on Wall Street sparked by growing worries about global economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic. The US key benchmarks all fell 4.4 per cent, as US factory activity hit its lowest level since August 2009 and President Donald Trump floated the idea of air travel restrictions for hotspot […]

Asia markets extend Wall St losses as traders eye growing crisis

Equity markets fell in Asia on Thursday, tracking a sharp drop on Wall Street as the deadly coronavirus sweeps the planet, with the infection rate fast approaching one million and forcing countries to tighten already strict lockdown measures aimed at containing the disease. After two weeks of much-needed gains fuelled by trillions of dollars in […]

Regional

Masks are everywhere in Asia, but have they helped?

Masks are everywhere in Asia, but have they helped?

The use of face masks in Asia during the coronavirus outbreak has been far more widespread than in the West, where governments have urged people to reserve supplies for frontline medical staff, so have they helped limit infections? Experts agree that the ordinary surgical masks commonly worn in parts of Asia during cold and hayfever […]

Asia’s factory activity plunges as coronavirus shock deepens

Factory activity contracted sharply across most of Asia in March as the coronavirus pandemic paralysed economic activity across the globe, with sharp falls in export power-houses Japan and South Korea overshadowing a modest improvement in China. Manufacturing gauges also tumbled in Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, Purchasing managers’ Index (PMI) surveys showed on Wednesday, underscoring […]

Vietnam to offer up to $1.27 billion in cash to virus-hit families

Vietnam will offer 28 trillion-30 trillion dong ($1.19 billion to $1.27 billion) in cash to low-income earners hit by the coronavirus pandemic, the government said on Tuesday. Poor families and household businesses forced to close during the pandemic will each receive 1 million dong a month in the second quarter this year, it said in […]

China

Trump says China’s coronavirus numbers seem ‘on the light side’

Trump says China’s coronavirus numbers seem ‘on the light side’

US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the coronavirus statistics China was reporting seemed “a little bit on the light side,” while his national security adviser said Washington had no way of knowing if Beijing’s figures were accurate. The comments came after a senior Republican lawmaker cast doubt on Beijing’s data and Bloomberg News said […]

China’s coronavirus health code apps raise concerns over privacy

As millions of people in China emerge from weeks of lockdown, their freedom of movement is largely dependent on phone apps. The “health code” service run on the ubiquitous platforms Alipay and WeChat and developed for the Chinese government give users colour-coded designations based on their health status and travel history, and a QR code […]

China’s mobile payments to see rebound as offline vendors reopen after coronavirus lockdowns

Home quarantine policies to curb the spread of Covid-19 in China have been a boon for most digital services, including remote work apps, e-learning and mobile gaming, but one online technology has not fared so well: mobile payments. The problem started during Chinese Lunar New Year holiday in January, when most Chinese stayed at home […]

Malaysia

World Bank cuts Malaysia GDP forecast

Uncertainties arising from the large-scale disruptions to economic activity due to the Covid-19 pandemic, has resulted in the World Bank slashing Malaysia’s 2020 GDP growth projection to negative 0.1%. This is a sharp downward revision from its previous expectation of GDP growth of 4.5%. The World Bank, in a report, said the revision incorporated slower […]

Malaysian ministry apologises for ‘avoid nagging’ lockdown tips

Malaysia’s government has apologised after its advice for women to wear makeup and not nag their husbands during the coronavirus lockdown sparked anger and mockery online. The country has ordered citizens to stay at home to stem the spread of Covid-19. In a series of Facebook posts, the women’s ministry offered tips on how wives […]

Malaysia’s stay-at-home order preventing major spikes in COVID-19 cases, says government

Malaysia’s stay-at-home order has prevented major daily spikes in coronavirus infections, the government said on Tuesday (March 31), but the World Bank warned the trade-reliant country’s economy would shrink this year for the first time in more than a decade. Malaysia recorded 140 new coronavirus cases and six deaths on Tuesday, taking the total number […]

Indonesia

Govt urges Indonesians abroad to stay put, promises aid during COVID-19 pandemic

The government is urging millions of Indonesians overseas to stay in the countries in which they are living and has promised to send supplies instead of repatriating them during the COVID-19 pandemic. Coordinating Human Development and Culture minister Muhadjir Effendy said on Tuesday that the return of Indonesians abroad to their homeland should be voluntary […]

Jokowi announces free electricity, discounts for households hardest hit by COVID-19 impacts

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has announced that Indonesia’s poorest households will receive free electricity and discounts to help them cope with the economic shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Jokowi said Tuesday that state-owned electricity company PLN would supply free electricity for three months starting April for 24 million households in the 450-volt ampere (VA) […]

One dies, hundreds flee their homes as floods inundate Bandung

One dies, hundreds flee their homes as floods inundate Bandung

Heavy downpour that lasted hours on Monday evening has caused floods that inundated at least 9,285 houses in six districts of Bandung regency, West Java, forcing hundreds of people to flee their homes and causing at least one fatality. National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesperson Agus Wibowo said the floodwater in the southern part of […]

Singapore

Indonesian man becomes fourth person to die of COVID-19 in Singapore

COVID-19 claimed its fourth life in Singapore this morning, the health ministry announced. The 68-year-old Indonesian man died at 6:43am today, more than a week after he was admitted to the National centre for Infectious Diseases, or NCID, and testing positive. He was in the Intensive Care Unit from March 26. The man had a […]

Singapore kids shed shirts, learn in PJs as weekly homeschooling begins

Singaporean primary school students woke up to a different kind of life on April Fool’s Day. Instead of putting on uniforms and hopping onto a school bus, they jumped straight into online lessons clad in their pajamas (some without) and faced technical glitches along the way. The first of rotating days for students to alternate […]

Palm View Primary School student contracts COVID-19, home-based learning extended

A Primary 2 student from Palm View Primary School has tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the school to extend home-based learning for all students to Thursday (2 April). The student contracted the virus from a family member and has not travelled during the March school holidays, the school’s principal Ming Kum said in a letter […]

Thailand

104 more Covid patients, three new deaths

The government on Thursday reported 104 new local cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections, bringing the total to 1,875, with three new deaths raising the toll to 15. Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman of the government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said one of the three deaths was a Thai man, 57, who returned from […]

Bad air worsens plight

Bad air worsens plight

The bushfires that have been raging near the tourist city of Chiang Mai over the past few days are heightening concerns for both residents and the authorities with the risk they pose of extreme air pollution, coming on top of worries about the coronavirus. The levels of ultra-fine dust, known as PM2.5, which like Covid-19 […]

120 new Covid cases, 2 more deaths Wednesday

There were 120 new local cases of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) announced on Wednesday, raising the total to 1,771, while the death toll went up by two to 12. The daily increase was slightly lower than the 127 new cases reported on Tuesday, the 136 new cases reported on Monday and the 143 cases reported on […]

Philippines

Government can tap P800 B for COVID-19 fight from budget, dividends, securities deal

The government can tap more than P800 billion from budgets of agencies, unreleased funds, dividends, and a repurchase deal with the central bank for its campaign against the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19), a Malacanang report submitted to Congress showed. Data from President Rodrigo Duterte’s report on the implementation of the Luzon-wide lockdown showed that more […]

‘No politics in P200 billion aid release’

There should be no politics involved in the distribution of the P200 billion aid earmarked by the government for poor families and displaced workers during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, according to Sen. Bong Go. As chair of the Senate committee on health and member of the joint oversight committee overseeing the implementation of […]

‘Shoot them dead’Philippine leader says won’t tolerate lockdown violators

‘Shoot them dead’Philippine leader says won’t tolerate lockdown violators

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has warned violators of coronavirus lockdown measures they could be shot for causing trouble and said abuse of medical workers was a serious crime that would not be tolerated. In a televised address, Duterte said it was vital everyone cooperates and follows home quarantine measures, as authorities try to slow the […]

Japan

Japan expands entry ban to more countries, will ask all visitors to quarantine

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday the government was expanding a ban on the entry of non-Japanese people to cover 73 countries as policymakers try to contain the coronavirus outbreak. The number of countries was increased by 49, including the United States, China and South Korea, he said. Abe also said that everyone […]

No masking the mockery: Japan two-mask pledge ripped online

A pledge by Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe to send two reusable cloth face masks to every household as the country battles the coronavirus outbreak has been met online with derision and humour. Within hours of the announcement, the hashtag “Abenomasks”, a play on the prime minister’s signature “Abenomics” economic policy, was trending on Japanese […]

On brink of coronavirus crisis, Japan PM offers masks, gets social media roasting

On brink of coronavirus crisis, Japan PM offers masks, gets social media roasting

Facing calls to declare a coronavirus state of emergency, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe was flamed on social media on Thursday for instead offering people free cloth masks, pointing to growing frustration for some over his handling of the crisis. Abe’s offer of masks two per household came the day after experts had warned Japan […]

Korea

S. Korea reports 89 new virus cases, total at 9,976. Death toll hits 169

South Korea reported 89 new cases of the novel coronavirus Thursday, down from 101 new cases a day earlier, bringing the nation’s total infections to 9,976. The 89 new cases of COVID-19, detected Wednesday, marked the 21st consecutive day that new infections hovered around 100 or fewer additional cases, according to the Korea Centers for […]

US, Korea scramble to seal defence cost-sharing deal as thousands put on unpaid leave

The commander of US troops in South Korea on Wednesday called for negotiators to quickly resolve a cost-sharing dispute that has put more than 4,000 local workers on unpaid leave, with South Korean officials suggesting an agreement could come soon. About half of the nearly 9,000 South Koreans employed by the US military command were […]

Korea’s coronavirus crackdown a boon for Moon ahead of polls

South Korea’s fierce battle against the coronavirus has turned the pandemic into an unlikely boon for President Moon Jae-in and his ruling party as campaign season kicks off on Thursday ahead of parliamentary elections on April 15. By the time South Korea was hit by the first major outbreak outside of China in February, approval […]

Hong Kong

Coronavirus: HK government adds karaoke lounges, mahjong parlours to list of temporarily closed venues

Coronavirus: Hong Kong shuts karaoke lounges, mahjong parlours and nightclubs to control outbreak Hong Kong suddenly shut down karaoke lounges, mahjong parlours and nightclubs on Wednesday, getting tougher on growing community-spread coronavirus infections as the city confirmed another 51 Covid-19 patients, 17 of them with no recent travel history. Most of the new infections were […]

Coronavirus: pet cat in HK tests positive after owner becomes infected

A domestic cat in Hong Kong has tested positive for the coronavirus the second in the world to do so after its owner became infected, according to the city’s animal welfare authority. Oral cavity, nasal and rectal samples taken from the pet returned positive readings on Monday, said a spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and […]

Boss at HK love match firm arrested for allegedly inflating membership numbers,pctage of women clients

The proprietor of Hong Kong matchmaking agency Loveaholic, recently called out at a press conference by a group of alleged victims, was arrested by customs officers on Tuesday for exaggerating the company’s number of memberships more than five times over. Arrested for making false trade descriptions, the man learned by the Post to be Wong […]

Taiwan

Taiwan’s COVID-19 response could reach NT$1 trillion: premier

The Taiwan government’s response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic could reach as much as NT$1 trillion (US$33 billion), Premier Su Tseng-chang told a legislative hearing on Tuesday. Such a figure would more adequately reflect the global nature of the crisis than the NT$60 billion special budget the Executive Yuan proposed in February, when the impact […]

Number of furloughed workers up to nearly 8,000 in late March

The number of furloughed employees in Taiwan rose sharply to nearly 8,000 in the last two weeks of March due to the economic impact of the global spread of the new coronavius disease (COVID-19), the Ministry of Labour (MOL) said Wednesday. As of March 31, a total of 7,916 workers at 308 companies had agreed […]

Taiwan one of only 6 countries on Earth where schools are open

A survey of students posted by a British woman on Facebook found that Taiwan is one of only six countries in the world where schools are still open due to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. A British teacher based in Sweden, on Monday (March 30) posted a survey in the Facebook group English Teachers asking […]

Vietnam

Nam A Bank the first bank aims to reduce profit by 14pct in 2020

According to the document submitted to the shareholders’ meeting in 2020, Nam A Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Nam A Bank) set a target of 800 billion dong of pre-tax profit, down 14 percent from the previous year, although other indicators still grew. This bank expects total assets to increase by 23 percent to 116 trillion […]

Da Lat demolishes illegal hotel construction

The authorities in Da Lat City have started a forced removal of an illegally-built four-star resort project at Tuyen Lam Lake. On March 30, Vo Ngoc Trinh, vice chair of Da Lat City People’s Committee, said they had worked with related agencies to remove the construction forcibly which were being built at the national tourism […]

Sunshine Group launches super-luxury apartments project overlooking Saigon River

Sunshine Venicia, a super-luxury condo project in District 2 of Sunshine Group one of Vietnam’s leading real estate developers will be rolled out to the market in April. As the group’s most premier development in HCM City, Sunshine Venicia features a complimentary design that gives 100 per cent of the apartments 6 to 12 light-receiving […]