- US President Donald Trump goes on to claim that there will be a coronavirus vaccine in weeks, contradicting the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- The UN warns that coronavirus may be more prevalent in Syria than official data suggest, where nearly 90 percent of cases cannot be traced to a known source.
- The world’s largest rubber glove manufacturer – Malaysia’s Top Glove – is expected to announce record profits as the pandemic increases demand.
- More than 29.7 million people around the world have been diagnosed with coronavirus, and 938,820 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. About 20.2 million people have recovered.
Here are the latest updates:
Thursday, September 1
05:15 GMT – Study finds that people in Asia blame certain groups for COVID-19
Almost one in two people in four Asian countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Pakistan – blame certain groups for spreading COVID-19 including foreigners, people attending religious ceremonies, and those who do not follow the rules in matters such as wearing mask or physical distance.
Viviane Fluck, coordinator of Community Engagement and Accountability at the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Asia Pacific, who conducted the study, described the results as alarming.
“We are very concerned that vulnerable groups such as migrants and those who cannot afford protective equipment may be discriminated against because of stigma and fear,” she said in a statement. The study also found nearly four out of five people distrusted social media, despite it being one of the leading sources of information about the virus.
05:00 GMT – Travel not the destination, airlines offer flights to nowhere
Several of Asia Pacific’s fought airlines are offering “flights to nowhere” as the pandemic causes international travel, according to the Reuters news agency.
Qantas is the latest to join the trend, offering a seven-hour flight over Australia’s Outback and Great Barrier Reef, which apparently sold out in 10 minutes despite a starting price of 787 Australian dollars ($ 575). Taiwans EVA Airways and Japan’s ANA have also offered special sightseeing flights.
Tough border restrictions to keep coronavirus under control have led to a 97.5 percent number of international trips in the region, according to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines.
04:40 GMT – Syria may be much higher than the numbers suggest: UN
The UN’s top humanitarian official says coronavirus could be much more prevalent in Syria than official figures suggest.
Mark Lowcock told the UN Security Council in New York on Wednesday that it would only be possible to get a clearer picture of the situation once the test was intensified. He noted that the source of nearly 90 percent of the confirmed cases could not be traced to a known source, suggesting the prevalence of societal transmission.
Syria has confirmed 3,618 cases of the virus.
# COVID19, food insecurity, economic deterioration and insecurity continue to take a terrible human toll in #Syria.
Despite risks, humanitarian lifesaving provides assistance to over 4 million people each month. My remarks to the Security Council: https://t.co/He8XTpg6Lj pic.twitter.com/hTofn80Cs8
– Mark Lowcock (@UNReliefChief) September 16, 2020
04:30 GMT – India breaks daily record for coronavirus cases – again
India has reported another record jump in daily cases of coronavirus, confirming 97,894 cases in the last 24 hours, according to the Ministry of Health.
Deaths, which have been relatively low so far, are also rising. The country has recorded more than 1,000 deaths every day for the past two weeks.
04:10 GMT – Burberry launches first virtual London Fashion Week
London Fashion Week is expected to kick off later on Thursday with a livestreamed show from the luxury British brand Burberry.
The show airs online at 12:00 GMT with Riccardo Tisci, its Italian designer promising an uninhabited wilderness show in collaboration with German artist Anne Imhof, who has been described as a “radical encounter between fashion and art”.
About 80 designers will present their latest collections during the six-day event, but only a handful will stage the kind of physical shows that in the pre-COVID times hordes of industry insiders, celebrities and journalists from around the world.
Explore the work of Anne Imhof, the internationally acclaimed artist invited by Riccardo Tisci to take part in the upcoming # BurberrySpringSummer21 show experience
. # BurberryShow #Burberry pic.twitter.com/1yTo1bRNLV
– Burberry (@Burberry) September 15, 2020
03:50 GMT – The world’s largest glove maker reporting record profits
Malaysia’s Top Glove is due to report record profits later on Thursday thanks to an increase in sales as a result of coronavirus.
Analysts expect the company – the world’s largest maker of rubber and nitrile gloves – to announce a surplus of at least 1 billion Malaysian ringgit ($ 241 million) in the three months ended August 31, its fiscal fourth quarter.
Top Glove benefits from higher prices and an increase in demand due to coronavirus, but it has also been criticized for its treatment of migrant workers. U.S. customs authorities imposed an import ban on its products in July due to forced labor.
03:40 GMT – Relief for Australian sport as NSW eases restrictions
Crowds of as many as 40,000 people will soon be able to attend major sporting events in Sydney, after the government of New South Wales announced a relaxation of coronavirus restrictions.
The new rules – which make it possible to fill stadiums to 50 percent capacity – will take effect on October 1, when the National Rugby League and Rugby Championship approach the end of their seasons.
Stadium Australia, the arena built for the 2000 Olympics, will be able to welcome 40,000 fans, the new Western Sydney Stadium in Parramatta 15,000 and the Sydney Cricket Ground 23,000.
Fans will have to wear face masks entering the stadiums but will be able to take them off inside where they will be seated in “chessboard” events to allow for physical distance, the NSW government said.
02:45 GMT – ‘Puntouched, hit, kicked, pushed, deliberately spat on ‘
New research shows that holders of temporary visas in Australia suffered increasing racist abuse after being left out of government financial support schemes, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it was time to go home.
In a survey of more than 6,000 temporary visa holders, a quarter said they had experienced racist abuse, and a quarter reported that people avoided them because of their appearance.
“Over 1,600 participants described being targeted with xeonphobic slur, treated as if they were infected with COVID because they looked Asian or harassed for wearing a face mask,” said Prof Bassina Farbenblum, an associate professor at UNSW Law who worked on the study with Laurie Berg, associate professor at UTS Law. The two are co-directors of the Migrant Worker Justice Initiative. “Many reported that because of their Asian appearance they were beaten, hit, kicked, pushed, deliberately spat on or coughed by passers-by on the street and on public transportation.”
More than one million people live in Australia on temporary visas including international students, backpackers and refugees. The survey showed that 70 percent of respondents lost all or most of their jobs as a result of the pandemic, with one in three international students expecting their funds to run out by next month.
The government’s lack of support for these vulnerable people has the potential to profoundly affect Australia’s global reputation – Recent research by UTS Laws Laurie Berg and @UNSWLaws Bassina Farbenblum on COVID’s impact on international students: https://t.co/el0EZqPC4F pic.twitter. com / 2SKtwF86Ho
– UTS Faculty of Law (@UTSLaw) 16 September 2020
02:15 GMT – Brazil’s Bolsonaro appoints general health minister new
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has appointed a general with no experience in health as the country’s new health minister.
General Eduardo Pazuello got the job temporarily four months ago, but will now be made permanent. He has been more willing to go along with Bolsonaro’s approach to the pandemic than his predecessors, including recommending doctors to prescribe hydroxycholoroquine for the treatment of COVID-19 despite the fact that there is no evidence that it is effective.
Bolsonaro, who has dismissed the virus as a “small flu”, swung a box of the drug when Pazuello was sworn in at the office in Brasilia.
01:35 GMT – Australia’s tensions are rising against citizens stranded abroad
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the number of people allowed in Australia will increase by 2,000 from next Friday, according to public television station ABC.
The states that will have to house arrivals in hotel quarantine have not yet given their approval.
About 4,000 people currently have access to Australia each week, but at least 25,000 are stranded abroad due to the ceiling on arrival. Many Australians also say they have been repeatedly repulsed by domestic flights.
The state must not leave any stone unchanged; in addition to increasing the ceiling, they can charter additional flights, use RAF resources, use airports other than Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane or use federal quarantine facilities to increase the capacity of people to isolate themselves.
– Joel Clark 🕯️🏳️🌈 (@JoelM_Clark) September 17, 2020
00:30 GMT – New Zealand reports record decline in GDP
New Zealand has just released economic data for the second quarter when the country was in lockdown and it is not beautiful.
The figures show that gross domestic product fell by 12.2 percent compared to the previous quarter, the largest record fall. The country is now in its worst recession since 2010.
00:00 GMT – Trump contradicts CDC chief over vaccine
US President Donald Trump has directly contradicted Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over the timing of any coronavirus vaccine.
While Redfield told a U.S. Senate committee that a vaccine would probably not be ready until mid-late 2021, Trump said it would be much faster and accused the CDC chief of making a “mistake” and being ” confused “. He told the press conference that a vaccine could be announced as soon as October.
Trump has pushed for a vaccine ahead of the November election, prompting security concerns. Vaccine development usually takes years and there is no guarantee of success. The process has been accelerated for coronavirus, and there are a number of candidates currently in large-scale phase three human trials designed to test efficacy and safety.
COVID-19 vaccine: Safety considerations when countries rush to obtain protection
Hello and welcome to Al Jazera’s continued coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I am Kate Mayberry and Kuala Lumpur.
Read all the updates from yesterday (September 16) here.