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mazri_2008

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While vast numbers of countries have told citizens to stay home and practice social distancing, there is growing concern about the millions of prison inmates who remain stuck inside cramped and often squalid facilities, Rebecca Ratcliffe, the Guardian’s south east Asia correspondent, reports.

Footage taken inside a prison in Cambodia, released by Amnesty International, shows inmates lying side-by-side, in some cases with limbs stretched over another, because there is such little space.


Last month, the UN high commissioner for human rights Michelle Bachelet urged governments to reduce overcrowding, warning that the virus risks “rampaging through such institutions’ extremely vulnerable populations”.

Some countries have taken action, including Iran, Indonesia and India. In Cambodia, some prisons are thought to be up to 463% over capacity.

“These conditions were never acceptable. Today they are completely unconscionable,” said David Griffiths, director in the office of the secretary-general at Amnesty International.
 
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Despite fears that the official figures may be seriously underestimating the number of deaths in Spain, the latest statistics from the country’s health ministry suggest that the lockdown strategy is continuing to work and that the virus is being slowed in its tracks, writes Sam Jones in Madrid.

Between Thursday and Friday, 605 people died from the virus - down from 683 during the previous 24 hours. The numbers were also well down on earlier this week, when the death toll rose about 740 for two consecutive days.

The growth rate of new cases is currently 3%, compared with a daily average of 12% at the end of March and 20% in mid-March.

Spain has now recorded 157,022 cases of Covid-19 and 15,843 deaths.
However, questions persist over the numbers: recently released data from judicial authorities in Madrid suggest that 6,600 more people than usual died in the last two weeks of March, compared with the official tally of 3,500 Covid-19 deaths in the region.


A cleaner fumigates with water and bleach at ‘Arco de la Macarena’ in Seville, Spain, on Thursday Photograph: Niccolo Guasti/Getty Images

On Thursday, the Spanish congress approved another extension of the national lockdown that has been in force since a state of emergency was declared on 14 March. The confinement period will now last until 26 April, although the prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, has said another extension seems inevitable.

“I’m sure that in two weeks’ time I’ll have to extend the state of emergency again,” he told parliament.
 

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While vast numbers of countries have told citizens to stay home and practice social distancing, there is growing concern about the millions of prison inmates who remain stuck inside cramped and often squalid facilities, Rebecca Ratcliffe, the Guardian’s south east Asia correspondent, reports.

Footage taken inside a prison in Cambodia, released by Amnesty International, shows inmates lying side-by-side, in some cases with limbs stretched over another, because there is such little space.


Last month, the UN high commissioner for human rights Michelle Bachelet urged governments to reduce overcrowding, warning that the virus risks “rampaging through such institutions’ extremely vulnerable populations”.

Some countries have taken action, including Iran, Indonesia and India. In Cambodia, some prisons are thought to be up to 463% over capacity.

“These conditions were never acceptable. Today they are completely unconscionable,” said David Griffiths, director in the office of the secretary-general at Amnesty International.
Yg berdiri tu kesian ...... Nak duduk pun tak de tempa
 

mazri_2008

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French army reports 50 cases aboard aircraft carrier

Fifty crew members aboard France's flagship aircraft carrier the Charles de Gaulle have tested positive for the new coronavirus, the armed forces ministry said on Friday.

In a statement, it added that three sailors had been preventively evacuated by air to a military hospital in Toulon, southern France, home port of the carrier.
 

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Air Zimbabwe to put workers on unpaid leave

Zimbabwe's state-owned airline will put workers on indefinite unpaid leave after revenue dried up with the new coronavirus outbreak virtually grounding global air travel, according to an internal notice to employees seen by Reuters news agency.

With $300 million of debt, Air Zimbabwe was already facing financial trouble before the outbreak of the virus. The perennially loss-making national carrier said it would retain skeleton staff for adhoc operations and airworthiness compliance, adding that wages remained its biggest cost. Employees would, however, receive their April salaries.

Air Zimbabwe spokesman Firstme Vitori confirmed the airline was putting workers on indefinite leave because there was no money to "fund financial obligations, including staff salaries".


City health workers spray disinfectant at a bus terminus during a 21 day nationwide lockdown to limit the spread of coronavirus in Harare, Zimbabwe [Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters]
 

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Iran's death toll from coronavirus outbreak rises to 4,232

Iran's total death toll from the new coronavirus outbreak has risen to 4,232 with 122 new dead in the past 24 hours, according to a health ministry spokesman.

The total number of people diagnosed with the disease increased by 1,972 in the past 24 hours to a total of 68,192, the spokesman, Kianoush Jahanpur, said on state TV, adding that 3,969 people were in critical condition.

Iran is the country most affected by the pandemic in the Middle East.
 

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Ireland set to lift lockdown step-by-step when restrictions ease

Ireland will potentially ease stay-at-home restrictions and allow some shops to reopen in the coming weeks as part of a step-by-step scaling back of the country's coronavirus lockdown, a senior health official has said.

Irish Health Minister, Simon Harris, has said he expects to be advised on Friday to keep the current restrictions in place for "a period of weeks" after citizens were ordered late last month to stay home until at least Sunday.

Prior to that, Ireland had banned all non-essential travel within the country and shut clubs, gyms, and hairdressers. Other retailers like DIY stores were allowed to remain open and people could travel beyond the current 2-km radius limit from their house and visit family, once they maintained social distancing.
 

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Malaysia extends movement curbs until April 28

Malaysia has extended movement and travel restrictions that have been put in place to contain a coronavirus outbreak for two more weeks, until April 28.

The curbs, first imposed on March 18, were originally set to end on April 14. Malaysia has the highest number of coronavirus infections in Southeast Asia with more than 4,200 reported, including 118 new cases on Friday.

"It may take a few months before we can say we are free of the virus," Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said in a televised address.


Medical workers in protective suits entering a building under lockdown in downtown Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia [Vincent Thian/The Associated Press]
 

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Indonesia reports 219 new cases, bringing total to 3,512

Indonesia reported 219 new coronavirus cases and 26 new deaths, a health ministry official Achmad Yurianto has told reporters.

This brings the total number of cases and deaths to 3,512 and 306, respectively.
 

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Kazakhstan to extend state of emergency to end of April

Kazakhstan will extend the state of emergency declared over the coronavirus outbreak until the end of April, Interfax news agency has reported, citing parliamentary deputy Vladimir Bozhko who is on its emergency commission.

The state of emergency, which has allowed the government to lock down all provinces and major cities and shut down many businesses, was originally due to end on April 15.


A worker wearing a protective face mask carries meat at a local food market, also known as bazaar, in Almaty, Kazakhstan in March [Pavel Mikheyev/Reuters]
 
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