British passenger David Abel, who became a minor celebrity with his upbeat video messages in the early days of the quarantine – including a cheeky request to the captain for whisky – typified the mood shift aboard.”It’s all getting to us now and it’s not just me, it’s the other passengers as well. It’s the not-knowing factor that is the real challenge. Mentally, it’s now taking its toll. Right now, it’s very hard to remain focused on anything,” he said.He later announced he and his wife Sally had tested positive.China announced Wednesday there were 1,749 new infections, the lowest number of new cases this month. All but 56 new cases were in the epicenter of Hubei province.Michael Ryan, head of WHO’s health emergencies program, said the outbreak was “very serious” and could grow, but stressed that outside Hubei, it was “affecting a very, very tiny, tiny proportion of people.”There have been 900 cases around the world, with five deaths in France, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan and Hong Kong.But in Japan, some have raised concerns about allowing people from the cruise ship to board flights home or spread out into the notoriously crowded Japanese capital.Kentaro Iwata, a professor at the infectious diseases division of Kobe University, blasted the on-ship quarantine as a “major failure, a mistake”.”It is highly likely secondary infections occurred,” Iwata told AFP, saying skepticism from abroad of the quarantine was “only natural”.He later said in a video published online that he was self-quarantining after a brief visit to the ship where he raised major concerns about the procedures on board.”It was completely chaotic,” he said.Several countries appear to have lost patience with the on-board quarantine and have prepared chartered planes to bring back their citizens.In the first such evacuation Monday, more than 300 Americans flew home even though 14 of the passengers had tested positive.Early Wednesday, South Korea flew six of its nationals plus a Japanese spouse to Seoul. They will be placed in isolation for 14 days, the Yonhap news agency reported.Britain, Hong Kong and Australia are among other countries that have vowed to repatriate people from the ship but will insist on a further 14-day quarantine on home soil.Nathalie MacDermott, a medical expert at King’s College London, stressed the importance of continued quarantine even after leaving the ship.”Given the circumstances on board the Diamond Princess, those passengers leaving the boat should be managed in a similar manner to those individuals departing a highly affected city or region,” said MacDermott.She recommended “further 14-day self isolation or quarantine period would be advisable even in the absence of symptoms.”Disembarkation is expected to take around three days as more test results become available. Anyone who has had contact with an infected passenger will have to undergo 14 more days in quarantine.In addition, the crew will begin a new quarantine when the last passenger has disembarked.But people in Yokohama appeared supportive of the decision to allow the passengers out despite the virus fears.”I am sure those people on board must be really worried. I hope they can go back to their normal life soon,” said 51-year-old Isamu Habiro.”As a Yokohama resident, I don’t want them to be treated unfairly. I want to cheer for them,” Habiro told AFP.Topics : For some 500 passengers allowed to disembark after testing negative, a difficult 14-day quarantine period has come to an end after their dream cruise turned into a nightmare of fear and crushing boredom confined in many cases to small windowless cabins.”NEGATIVE! Me, son, husband, mom and dad! Thank you Lord for protecting us… So emotional now,” tweeted passenger Yardley Wong, who has been cooped up with her six-year-old son.Those with no symptoms and a negative test received an official certificate saying they posed “no risk of infection of nCoV, as the said person has also presented no symptoms including fever at the time of infection.”But not everyone was so lucky. Relieved passengers began leaving a coronavirus-wracked cruise ship in Japan on Wednesday after testing negative for the disease that has now claimed more than 2,000 lives in China.The Diamond Princess has proved a fertile breeding ground for the virus with at least 542 positive cases, and there is mounting criticism of Japan’s handling of quarantine arrangements as passengers ready to disperse into the wider world.The ship is the biggest cluster outside China, where new figures showed the death toll surging beyond 2,000 with more than 74,000 infected. Hundreds more cases have been reported in two dozen countries.
King Willem-Alexander will visit several places in Indonesia with one of them being Lake Toba in North Sumatra. Is there any particular reason for choosing Lake Toba? First of all, Lake Toba is very beautiful. But the region is also connected to the subject we spoke about. There is the question of deforestation and sustainability because of intensive agriculture around Lake Toba and the water is getting polluted more and more. And there again we face a very comparable challenge. The Netherlands has a very productive and intensive agricultural sector. But if the farmers don’t treat wastewater in the way they should, our famous canals and rivers will get polluted.Topics : Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will visit Indonesia from March 10 to 13 at the invitation of President Joko Widodo. In the lead-up to the state visit, the Dutch Foreign Ministry recently invited The Jakarta Post’s Yuliasri Perdani and several other Indonesian journalists to the Netherlands to talk with Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister Stef Blok about the two countries’ relationship and future cooperation. Below are excerpts from the interview: Question: Starting this year, the Netherlands has stopped sending development aid to several countries, including Indonesia. What is your hope for this new chapter of bilateral relationship? Answer: I am very positive about it. Essentially, that is good news because Indonesia has become a middle income country, and this doesn’t mean we will cooperate less. A large number of Indonesian students come to the Netherlands each year. Within Europe, we receive most Indonesian students – which makes me very happy because it is one of the strongest people-to-people bonds imaginable.We share the same challenges in important fields like coastal protection, water purification and waste treatment. Of course, Indonesia is much bigger both in surface and population but a large part of Indonesia faces the same challenge as the Netherlands does of having a large population on a limited area of land.For a long time, Indonesia and the Netherlands have been cooperating on the possibility of coastal protection in front of Jakarta and also on providing drinking water and treating waste. What sectors will be prioritized in the agreement? I prefer agreements to be as broad as possible. Agreements like this have to be beneficial to all parties involved – European countries and Indonesia. Indonesia and the European Union (EU) are in negotiations on the Indonesia-European Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IEU-CEPA). What do you think of this expected partnership? I think it will be very beneficial both to Indonesia and the Netherlands if there is a trade agreement between the EU and Indonesia.Indonesia has a strong presence as an exporting country here in the Netherlands. I believe we are the eleventh country of destination for Indonesian goods. And we are number 66 in the world according to population size – meaning we have strong trading relations. The Netherlands is also the largest European investor in Indonesia.The trade agreement can only help us. As an EU member, trade agreements on behalf of the Netherlands are always negotiated by the EU. I understand that there will be new rounds of talks in March, and I sincerely hope that it will be successful. Here in the Netherlands we are crowded with more than 17 million people on a very tiny piece of land – most of it beneath sea level. The experience we have here can be shared with Indonesia. There has been frictions between Indonesia and the EU over Indonesia’s curbs on exporting nickel and other raw materials and the EU’s palm oil policy, which Indonesia has deemed discriminatory to its palm oil sector. Do you have any suggestions on how to resolve this dispute? Of course, I regret that there is a dispute. But now that there is a dispute, it is wise that those subjects have been put in the hands of the World Trade Organization (WTO). There should be consultations now and to find a way forward.When I visited Indonesia much more than a year ago, we spoke extensively about palm oil. And I realize that a large number of Indonesian companies – especially small holders – are very much dependent on palm oil. So the Netherlands is not in favor of a ban on the import of palm oil. We are cooperating with Indonesia. We signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote sustainable palm oil production and especially could benefit those small holders. I am convinced that the only way forward is to work towards sustainable palm oil production. Consumers in Europe – also in the United States and Canada – want the products they buy to be produced in a sustainable way.The Indonesian government is in the process of moving the capital from Jakarta to Kalimantan. How do the Netherlands see it in terms of business and investment opportunities? Creating a whole new city offers the possibility of creating a completely sustainable city. In the Netherlands, we put a lot of effort to create what people call a smart city – that means not only making the city sustainable but also integrating Information Technology (IT), for instance, to handle traffic congestion. Of course, it will be worthwhile to avoid this in the new capital. The other sectors include water treatment and implementing renewable energy. These are challenges both for universities to contribute their knowledge and for the private sector. The new capital, no doubt, will be an interesting subject for the representatives of Dutch companies who will be joining the state visit to Indonesia.
Sharing is caring! Share Share Tweet 23 Views one comment Share LocalNews Resident judge appeals for establishment of juvenile center in Dominica by: – April 2, 2012 Justice Birnie Stephenson-Brooks speaking at the UWI Dominica Open Campus recognition ceremony for graduates last week Thursday.A High Court judge has issued a plea to the government of Dominica to consider establishing a juvenile center on the island.Justice Birnie Stephenson-Brooks issued that appeal at the closing of the January Criminal Assizes at the High Court of Justice on Monday.There are 12 juveniles forming part of the male population 3 of whom are convicted and 9 who are on remand.“I am sending out a plea for the consideration of the establishment of a juvenile detention facility for young offenders. I am not prepared to deal with juveniles unless they are charged with murder, jointly charged with an adult, as an adult or with treason”.She also urged lawyers to “stand their ground in the Magistrate Court” and insist that matters involving juveniles are dealt with by a magistrate.She also highlighted the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Dominica is a signatory to noting that it advocates for the protection of children’s rights, and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential.The January 2012 Criminal Assizes officially closed after completing two cases, aborting two and traversing a number of cases to the May Criminal Assizes.Justice Stephenson-Brooks also noted with “regret” the number of matters which had to be traversed through no fault of the Court.The two completed cases were the State verses Manuela Williams, Loretta Xavier and Herbert Xavier who each received a 15 year sentence after they were found guilty of murdering their brother Harrison Williams at Soufriere in 2010 and Kenrick Tyson who received a life sentence after being found guilty of murdering Cecil James in Concord in 2009.Justice Stephenson-Brooks also announced that she is in the process of preparing a “white paper” which she will present to media practitioners on the “do’s and don’t’s of court reporting”.She explained her reason for creating such a document is to motivate “responsible and accurate” media reporting on the island.The May Criminal Assizes is scheduled to commence on May 8th, 2012.Dominica Vibes News
BACOLOD City – A P5,000 fine or jail time of six months will await anyone in this city found to have discriminated against health workers on the frontline of fighting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The Sangguniang Panlungsod has approved on third and final reading an ordinance prohibiting acts that cause stigma, disgrace, shame, humiliation or discrimination against COVID-19 health workers. Mayor Evelio Leonardia may be able to sign the ordinance this week and issue an executive order for its implementation. Councilor Cindy Rojas, author of the ordinance, said “with the emergence and continued spread of COVID-19, public stigma formed not only against persons who have contracted the said disease but also against health workers taking care of them and others working on the frontlines.” “There is an urgent need to combat this stigmatization and protect frontline workers, especially health workers, from all forms of discrimination, harassment and abuse,” she stressed. Such discrimination that the ordinance is referring such as prohibiting frontline workers from entering an establishment ; refusal to provide services or goods to frontline workers; evicting or forcing the frontline workers to leave , temporarily or preventing from entering on his or her apartment or dormitory; and others./PN