India devises Covid-19 management course in Bangla for Bangladesh
Bangladesh Post | 30th April
 
India is offering a unique COVID-19 management course in Bangla for Bangladesh.
The High Commission said this is part of India’s ‘Neighborhood First’ policy and the collaborative approach taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to combat the disease collectively in the region through SAARC initiative.
The e-ITEC course on Covid19 Management has been designed by All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bhubaneswar, India especially for participants from Bangladesh, it said.

 

COVID-19 leaves over 60,000 workers jobless in Myanmar
Myanmar Times | 28th April
 
Over 60,000 workers across the country have lost their jobs due to factory shutdowns caused by cancelled orders and the COVID-19 pandemic’s disruption of raw material supplies.
U Myo Aung, permanent secretary of Labour, Immigration and Population, said on April 29 that 175 factories had stopped operations since the virus outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December. “Over 60,000 people are unemployed,” he said.

 

Infections amongst healthcare workers increase by 75pc in a week
Dawn | 1st May
 
At least 191 more healthcare providers and medical workers have tested positive for the coronavirus within a week, according to data shared by the National Emergency Operation Centre.
An earlier report shared by the centre on April 23 had revealed that at least 253 healthcare workers in the country had been infected by the coronavirus. That number has now jumped by 191, or 75 per cent, to 444.

 

AFGHANISTAN

 
‘No more mediation to end Ghani-Abdullah standoff’
Afghanistan Times | 29th April
The parliament’s two houses say they had stopped mediating efforts to solve political problems between President Ashraf Ghani and his rival in last year’s election Abdullah Abdullah over the results of polls that announced Abdullah the loser.
Both lawmakers and senators said Wednesday that Ghani and Abdullah did not obey their efforts to end the crisis.
Some Kabul media reported Wednesday that only a four-people group led by Hamid Karzai is continuing mediation between Ghani and Abdullah.
 
Afghanistan records 232 new positive cases of coronavirus in past 24 hours
The Khaama Press | 30th April
Afghanistan recorded 232 new positive cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) across the country in the past hours, the public health officials said.
Waheed Majroh, deputy minister for public health ministry, told reporters that the authorities recorded 232 new positive cases in the past 24 hours.
Majroh further added that the public health authorities recorded 45 of the new cases in Kandahar, 41 in Balkh, 34 in Herat, 20 in Kabul, in Ghazni, 10 in Paktiya, 10 in Logar, 9 in Panjshir, 9 in Samangan, 8 in Takhar, 7 in Kunduz, 5 in Baghlan and 5 in Nangarhar, 4 in Badghis, 4 in Wardak, 3 in Laghman, 2 in Parwan, 2 in Paktika, 1 in Sar-e Pul and another case in Faryab.
 
Miller to Taliban: Stop violence or face consequences
Afghanistan Times | 29th April
The US and NATO lead mission top commander, Gen. Scott Miller has warned the Taliban to halt violence or they would face a strong reaction. Visiting the Afghan National Army’s Special Force’s Corps, Miller called on the Taliban to take advantage of the peace opportunity and stop further harm to the Afghanistan people.
“If the Taliban continue violence, they should be expecting a response,” Miller said. “They (Taliban) should reduce violence.”

 

BANGLADESH

 
Bangladesh Railway to operate special parcel trains from Friday
Prothom Alo | 29th April
Bangladesh Railway will operate special parcel trains on three routes from Friday, aiming to ensure smooth supply of agricultural goods, vegetables, food, and perishable goods during the crisis created over coronavirus pandemic, reports UNB.
Three pairs of trains will run on Dhaka-Chattogram-Dhaka, Dhaka-Dewanganj-Dhaka and Khulna-Dhaka-Khulna routes from 1 May, said a press release from the ministry.
 
Coronavirus: Police use drones to track, monitor citizens in Satkhira
Dhaka Tribune | 30th April
Police have achieved success while using drones to monitor people's movement and make sure that they're following lockdown rules in Debhata upazila of Satkhira.
Locals were reprimanded by police on Wednesday morning for violating the social distancing regulations that have been put place to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.
Besides, tasks that deliberately put law enforcement in danger of contracting the virus such as market monitoring and enforcing social distancing measures are also possible thanks to the new drone technology. 
 
 

BHUTAN

 
13,006 receive the Druk Gyalpo’s Relief Kidu
Kuensel | 1st May
To mark an auspicious beginning for the Druk Gyalpo’s Relief Kidu, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering yesterday deposited the relief kidu funds to the bank accounts of 108 beneficiaries.
Assessments have been carried out only for 18,880 applications from all 20 dzongkhags received between April 14 and 23. Of that, 13,006 have been assessed as beneficiaries. Others are under further review.
The monthly relief kidu comes in two categories: a full amount of Nu 12,000, and partial amount Nu 8,000. Of the total kidu recipients, 9,716 were assessed as being eligible for the full amount.

 

MALDIVES

 
Chinese Government Deploy Over 100 Workers to Build Temporary Quarantine Facilities in Maldives
Maldives Times | 28th April
Chinese Ambassador to Maldives Zhang Lizhong has announced that the Chinese government will deploy over 100 workers to aid the Maldives government in building additional temporary quarantine facilities.
The Ambassador said that the aid was provided in response for a request issued from the Maldivian government and that efforts were underway to complete the task as quickly as possible.
 
COVID-19: Maldives extends closure of government offices
The Edition | 30th April
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih extended the closure of all government offices until May 14, over the 14-day extension of the Greater Male' Region lockdown to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in Maldives.
The president's directive stated despite the temporary closure of public institutions, that all essential services to the public must continue without interruption, per the President's Office.
He reiterated his appeal to all state employees to fully support and cooperate with the government's efforts to control the transmission of COVID-19 in the country.
 
Parliament approves govt request to borrow MVR 4.2 billion from MMA
Maldives Times | 27th April
The Parliament on Sunday approved the suspension of the Fiscal Responsibility Act provisions for a one-year period, allowing the government to borrow MVR 4.2 billion from the central bank, as a measure to counter the COVID-19 economic slowdown.
Last week, Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer requested the parliament to suspend Article 32, section (a), (d), and (e) of the Fiscal Responsibility Act for a one-year period. The request was granted on Sunday’s session with a majority of 60 votes, out of the 69 MPs present.
 
Maldives records most cases in a day after 116 more test positive
The Edition | 30th April
The Health Protection Agency (HPA), announced 116 more cases of COVID-19 in the capital city of Male, setting a new record for the highest number of cases reported in a single day.
HPA disclosed that Thursday's newest 95 cases consisted of 61 Bangladeshi citizens, 32 Indian citizens and two individuals from Nepal. The remaining individuals were Maldivian citizens.
All aforementioned individuals were living in a residence placed under surveillance by the Maldives Police Service after being flagged as vulnerable by the state.
 
 

MYANMAR

 
Myanmar Military Condemns EU and UK Moves to Continue Sanctions
The Irrawaddy | 30th April
The Myanmar military said a recent decision by the European Union to extend sanctions against Myanmar military officers, and the UK’s support for those sanctions, have hurt the position and dignity of the military as it works to implement its “Standard Army” reforms.
The EU on April 23 decided to keep sanctions in place against 14 top-ranking Myanmar security personnel. The UK Treasury made the decision public on April 27. The UK left the EU on Jan. 31 but is bound under its exit agreement to continue applying the bloc’s sanctions for the rest of this year.
 
Myanmar election likely in November
Myanmar Times | 28th April
The general parliamentary election in Myanmar is likely to be held in November, a member of the Union Election Commission said on April 28.
U Myint Naing, a member of the Union Election Commission (UEC), told the Myanmar Radio and Television (MRTV) the actual date would be announced later.
“The 2020 general election is likely to be held in November like before,” he said. “The 2020 general election must be held. We’ll announce the date just like before, neither too early nor too late.”
 
Myanmar Govt Offers to Pay Factory Workers 40% During COVID-19 Inspection Closures
The Irrawaddy |30th April
Myanmar’s Ministry of Labor, Immigration and Population says it will provide 40 percent of workers’ salaries where factories have been closed since April 20 for COVID-19 inspections.
Workers must be registered with the government social safety net and compensation will be based on the days their factories were closed.
 
 

NEPAL

 
PM criticises media, networking sites for inviting instability, in his May Day address
The Himalayan Times |1st May
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli in his May Day speech has criticised ‘some’ media and social networking sites for inviting instability through dissemination of content against the course of recent achievements.
Like in most of his recent speeches, PM Oli spent a good amount of time highlighting efforts made by a few ‘elements’ to misuse the trying times to hamper stability through media and networking sites.
 
Air quality improves in world’s major cities, including Kathmandu, under Covid-19 lockdowns
Kathmandu Post | 1st May
The global Covid-19 pandemic has forced the public indoors and pushed general life to a halt around major cities of the world for several weeks now.
A slew of stringent measures enforced by countries to contain the spread of coronavirus has seen improved air quality worldwide, including in Kathmandu, according to a latest study that looked into changes in air quality in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic in the major cities.

 

PAKISTAN

 
ECNEC okays projects worth Rs250b
The Express Tribune | 1st May
Despite expressing serious reservations about inflated expenditures, the federal government on Thursday conditionally approved the Diamer-Bhasha dam land acquisition project for Rs175 billion, which was triple the original estimate.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved four major projects costing nearly Rs250 billion, including in-principle approval for the Diamer-Bhasha land acquisition scheme, according to a statement issued by the finance ministry.
 
PM Imran, Pres Rouhani hold telephonic discussion regarding COVID-19 situation, locust spread across Pak-Iran border
The Nation | 29th April
Prime Minister Imran Khan received a telephone call from President of Iran, Dr. Hassan Rouhani, in the context of greetings for the Holy month of Ramazan.
The two leaders had exchange of views on recent situation of COVID-19 and locust spread in the bordering areas of Pakistan and Iran, a statement issued by PM Media Office here said.
 
 

SRI LANKA

 
President stress strengthening COVID–19 control program by identifying and corecting shortcomings
Colombo Page | 1st May
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has stressed that the COVID-19 control activities should be strengthened by identifying and rectifying the shortcomings and omissions during a discussion with members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID–19 prevention held at the Presidential Secretariat.
Quoting the renowned pathologist Prof. Malik Peiris, resident in Hong Kong, doctors told the gathering that measures taken by the Government to prevent the spread of the disease have elevated Sri Lanka to the forefront in the battle against the virus.
 
COVID-19 spread under control in general: President
Daily Mirror | 30th April
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said the spread of COVID-19 is under control in general, and that immediate remedial steps have been taken following the sudden spike in recent positive cases, the President's Media Division said.
President Rajapaksa said this in response to a query by the Acting Ambassador and Chargé d'affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Colombo, Hu Wei, when he called on the President at the Presidential Secretariat.
 
China assures to support Sri Lanka’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery
Colombo Page | 29th April
The Chargé d’affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka, Hu Wei, has assured Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa that China is ready to assist Sri Lanka’s economic recovery following the -COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chargé d’affaires called on President Rajapaksa to conduct an in-depth discussion on the joint efforts of the two countries to fight the epidemic and strengthen economic and trade cooperation.

 

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