23 injured in field hospital tents collapse in Qatar

Doha: 23 workers were injured in a Qatari hospital when tents attached to the hospital collapsed in order to expand to treat Covid-19 patients due to a strong storm, according to local media.

The winds, which reached a speed of 72 kilometers per hour on Thursday, led to the collapse of two tents that had been established on the campus of Hazm Mabrik General Hospital in the Qatar Industrial Area, according to the Gulf Times newspaper.

None of the patients were injured and most of the injured were hospital employees who were slightly injured during the operation of transporting patients at the facility, which is located 20 km southwest of central Doha, according to the newspaper quoted the Ministry of Health.

The strong winds in Qatar caused the “Boeing 787” belonging to Qatar Airways to collide with the Boeing I350 at Hamad Airport in Doha, and the material damage was limited.

The densely populated industrial area, home to the majority of migrant workers, was the epicenter of the outbreak of the Corona Virus in Qatar.

Qatar, which has hundreds of thousands of foreign workers working on projects related to the 2022 World Cup, has reported 12 deaths and 14,096 cases of Covid-19.

Hospital director Hussain Ishaq said the incident was being treated “very seriously” and an investigation had been opened.

He was quoted by the Gulf Times newspaper as saying that hospital staff “helped ensure that none of the patients who were safely transferred to other hospitals were infected.”

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Saudis dream of shining in England with Newcastle

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The acquisition of the English club Newcastle would allow Saudi Arabia to offer a prestigious showcase in the Premier League. But the operation aroused significant reluctance, among human rights defenders as among some regional rivals in Saudi Arabia.

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia had not yet officially emerged when the Newcastle United Football Club (NUFC) won the English championship for the last time. Since 1927, this club in the North East of England has been trying to get back to the top of the bill, narrowly failing twice, in 1996 and 1997, behind Manchester United. At that time, NUFC had in its ranks the top scorer in the championship, the Englishman Alan Shearer. Since then, the club has had to settle for only a third place in 2003, and it has known some difficult periods punctuated by several passages in the second division. “The supporters have been suffering for a long time because the club has won nothing for decades,” Miguel Delaney, head of the football section for the daily newspaper The Independent, told France 24.

Back in the Premier League since 2017, the “Magpies” had a rather slow season (13e out of 20 after 29 days), before it was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It could however remain in the annals of this club if the consortium led by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), which is pilot Crown Prince Mohammed Ben Salmane (MBS), manages to buy this historic club. According to the English press, a non-repayable advance of around 20 million euros has already been paid to the owner of the club, Mike Ashley, in the context of a takeover offer for 80% of the club for a total amount of 345 million. euros.

It is now up to the English Premier League (EPL), the institution responsible for the English Championship, to validate this operation. It is currently facing major economic difficulties caused by the pandemic and the arrival of a new major player logically represents good news for the economy of English professional football. But it must check whether the potential buyers also meet other criteria which are not of a financial nature.

This is not the case according to the non-governmental organization Amnesty International which sent a letter Premier League president Richard Masters to warn him of his institution’s image risk. “As long as these questions [sur les droits de l’Homme en Arabie saoudite] will not be resolved, the Premier League risks being fooled by those who want to use the prestige and glamor of the Premier League to cover deeply immoral actions, “wrote Kate Allen, British director of Amnesty. the NGO called “disastrous” The country’s human rights record and several associations accuse Riyadh of wanting to wash with petrodollars its image considerably tarnished by the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018.

Sport to change its image

Qatar, too, has written to the presidents and leaders of the English championship clubs, asking them to open an investigation to determine whether the officials of this Saudi consortium were “the right people” to lead Newcastle. For more than fifteen years, this small country neighboring Saudi Arabia has made sport one of the axes of its diplomacy. This policy has notably resulted in a massive investment in certain clubs abroad, such as PSG, the creation of the audiovisual group beIN Sports, specialized in the acquisition and management of television rights, and the organization of events. major, the next one being the Football World Cup in 2022. However, Qatar claims that Saudi Arabia has implemented a system of pirating its sports channels since 2017 and has complained to the World Trade Organization against the Wahhabi kingdom for “intellectual property violations”.

This approach illustrates the growing rivalry in the field of sport between Doha and Riyadh, which experienced a severe diplomatic crisis in 2017. These two countries are investing very heavily in this sector, both to diversify their economies which are very dependent on oil rents and for project another image on the international scene. And Saudi Arabia has been particularly active in recent months, as evidenced by the organization in January of the final of the Spanish Supercup or the Dakar rally.

Owning a club playing in the prestigious English football championship would be an important victory for the Saudi government. He could thus imitate the Saudi prince Abdullah Bin Mossaad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saoud who, after a long legal battle, became at the end of 2019 the majority shareholder of the club of Sheffield United Football Club, brilliant this season. Saudi businessmen who probably dream of one day achieving the same success as Cheikh Mansour. This member of the Emirati royal family offered himself in 2008 the club of Manchester City, with which he already won four titles of champion of England, as well as numerous national cups.

Newcastle fans logically hope for a similar fate for the Magpies. But as Miguel Delaney notes, many fans are divided. “They are aware of the criticisms leveled against Saudi Arabia. But some are delighted and already display on their twitter profile portraits of MBS or the Saudi flag,” said the British journalist. They want only one thing: that Newcastle now plays the leading roles in English and European football, like the other clubs of the Old Continent which have already largely benefited from the money of the Gulf States.


Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences: COVID decline will occur after infection of 70-80 percent of the population

“Healthy carriers of the infection act as a natural vaccine”

– Felix Ivanovich, many parents are now worried about their children. They believe that they did not have enough spring sun, which means that in the fall immunity will be reduced. Is it possible to say that in September the consequences of quarantine will affect the body’s resistance to infections and there will be a surge in SARS?

– Where does this thought come from? I think if you check, it may turn out that many children – in the same Moscow, having become infected, became carriers of this virus, and then they were safely asymptomatic ill. I believe that the young generation without consequences will get out of the situation associated with the pandemic.

– And the fact that they now do not receive the necessary solar energy will affect their health later?

– You know, most of them get insolation. Not everyone is sitting in four walls, someone goes to the balcony, someone walks with dogs. Most in suburban areas now. Only playgrounds are closed. But this is done so that children do not overshoot others from “risk groups”. Indeed, now there are a lot of asthmatics and often sick children with SARS, for whom infection is dangerous.

– The coronavirus has long been known to mankind, but before it was not so feared.

— Not surprising. Of the hundreds of viruses, he was one of the most harmless. Coronoviruses used to be considered a “small childhood infection.” They occasionally gave complications. The disease mainly went unnoticed or easily. It was in the last century. And in this century came and went first SARS, then MERS. These were all coronavirus species. But COVID-19 was the most aggressive – it caused a pandemic.

– What is the main strength of COVID-19?

–This infection is very contagious (contagious). Fortunately, mortality from it is relatively small. However, nationwide, these 0.3% may look monstrous. Look, in those countries where they did not immediately take strict measures, a fire started. In England they decided: who should be ill – will be ill, and who should die – will die. And they did not take into account that among the population there are many elderly citizens with poor health.

– Are there any similarities between flu and coronavirus? Indeed, influenza, in my opinion, is impossible to get asymptomatic. If a person gets sick, then he gets sick.

– I would not agree. A contingent of young flu carries on its feet (with a mild, at first glance, course). And this is a big mistake, because the youngest have the highest mortality rate and the complications are caused by the flu later. The flu doesn’t like silly jokes like: “Untreated flu goes away in a week, and treated – in seven days” . This is the difference between coronavirus and influenza. Old people suffer from the first, young people from the second. I was amazed when I looked at statistics on the last flu epidemic in 2009. Swine flu, if you remember. Then there was a large percentage of mortality of the young.

– What are the similarities between flu and coronavirus?

– They both belong to ARVI. There is much in common between them, but flu as an infection is two heads taller than the crown. Both in mortality and in complications. As one of the doctors said, the flu is our constant companion. He has been living with us since the time of the father of medicine – Hippocrates. For many centuries, regular outbreaks of influenza have been called “catarrh of the upper respiratory tract,” because viruses have not yet been discovered. And coronavirus “showed teeth” only in the 21st century. Before that, he was quiet and modest.

– Until I found myself an exotic source …

– Yes, MERS had camels as a source, and COVID-19 had bats. And now the idea that the Chinese released it by chance is becoming more and more insistent. And the first case, that is, zero, was just working in a laboratory in Wuhan. This is very difficult to prove. And then COVID-19 is completely unsuitable for bakurasiyu. He is weak for this.

– But the production of synthetic viruses is very popular now, so to speak.

– Yes, already in the twenty-first century we made a synthetic polio virus, reproduced one to one flu, which caused the “Spanish flu”.

– Under what conditions and when can this pandemic decline?

– Provided that 70-80 percent of the population will be infected. Now the virus is spread by healthy carriers. They serve as a natural vaccine and contribute to the creation of collective immunity. On the one hand, it would seem good, but on the other it is very dangerous, because carriers infect both old and chronically sick people, and these people cannot withstand such a viral load. They die first. The vaccine is, of course, safer, but not yet available.

– In Russia, they are just about to find out the percentage of patients who have been ill with the help of serum.

– I think it will be a very important work, but very expensive and difficult. You need to create cans of serums. The truth of the spread of coronavirus will be revealed when antibodies are tested in everyone, both sick and healthy. The pandemic will decline when 70-80% of the population has immune defense against coronaviruses.

– It turns out according to the logic of things that if people are not allowed to infect each other by 80%, then this virus will again raise its head in a few months. Because there will not be a layer of those who have been ill.

“That seems to be so.” But let’s hope for a more optimistic scenario.

– Only by the presence of antibodies can we understand that a person has been ill?

– Not only. I find it useful to test the interferon system for an alarm. Interferons do not allow the virus to penetrate into the cells, and if it has already penetrated, interferon does not allow it to multiply. Congenital immunity plays a crucial role in protecting against coronaviruses. People with strong immunity are protected as well as carriers.

– In summer, the same active spread of coronavirus is possible? Warm weather doesn’t scare him?

– It’s hard for me to judge. Influenza is a disciplined virus, it knows the rules of the game and activates in the autumn-winter period. But even though he knows “his place”, up to 650 thousand people on the planet die from him every year. Today, 100 thousand have died from coronavirus.

– Coronavirus then turns out an undisciplined virus?

– Our body is not yet used to it. The past flu pandemic was exactly 100 years ago, in 1920, when 100 million people died. During this time, science came up with both vaccines and effective drugs against it. And people know how to behave when a flu epidemic begins … It is believed that every fourth person on the globe every year is ill with the flu. Here is such a global reach. Therefore, we have long been familiar with the flu. We have the so-called residual immunity to past diseases. With coronavirus, the situation is completely different. We do not know how he will behave further and how to defend himself from him.

“And when a new flu mutant appears, are we protected?”

– Of course. It suppresses immunity to those strains that used to be. The flu in the genome has 8 fragments of individual sections of RNA – from birds, domestic animals, and humans. They are constantly shuffled and new strains appear .. And for coronaviruses, the genetic apparatus is simpler, so they cannot change quickly. This will play into our hands in the future. Because abrupt mutations are less likely.

– But now it has arisen – a mutation.

“Yes, that’s why this virus broke through the defenses.” If in due time all of humanity had SARS, we might not have noticed this coronavirus. Because SARS and COVID have common RNA sites. And then a little sick people.

– There are a total of about 200 viruses – Reno, Entero, and so on. Can one expect “surprises” from them too?

– Once this is possible, but not necessary in our century.

– A few more words about the “crown”. It affects not only the lungs, but also the nervous system?

– Yes, and this is another of his features. In conclusion, I want to express my confidence that this pandemic is gradually coming to an end and, I think, by the fall it will seem to us just a terrible dream.


To date, 2321 types of viruses have been discovered. This number includes viruses of vertebrates, plants, invertebrates, bacteria, fungi, archaea, as well as viruses of algae and protozoa.

25 families and 87 genera of viruses pose a danger to humans,

which contain thousands of types and subtypes.

But the number of individual viral particles of each species, type, subtype or even strain of the virus can not be counted.

In general, the number of viruses trillions of times exceeds the number of all plants and animals combined.

There is a direct correlation between the size of the body and the number of individuals that inhabit our planet. It is known that the number of people at present is approximately 7.5 billion. Such a quantity of viruses is easily placed in 10 drops of water, and it is not difficult to get it in the laboratory. At the end of the needle, the number of viral particles is equal to the number of fans in a huge stadium during meetings of popular football teams.

Viruses are so small that they cannot be seen even in the most powerful optical microscopes. For a long time, the existence of viruses was judged only by the diseases that they caused. Scientists have repeatedly tried to see tiny killers under a microscope, but even the 1,500-fold increase that can be obtained with a conventional optical microscope was clearly inadequate. Only half a century after the discovery of viruses, there was a real opportunity to see how they look!

This was possible only after the creation of an electron microscope – “the most important invention of the twentieth century”, as stated in a decision of the 1986 Nobel Committee, which awarded engineer E. Rusk this highest prize.

Tens of thousands of times larger, deadly viruses look like innocent snowflakes, sticks, balls, polyhedra and threads. Such a “portrait gallery” of viruses to an inexperienced viewer would be more like an exhibition of simple geometric shapes.


Gulf countries close off or expel illegal immigrants

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait return home Ethiopians, Indians and Egyptians, even if they carry the virus.

Egyptians in Kuwait, confined to a school.
Egyptians in Kuwait, confined to a school. YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP

Located at the northern tip of the Arabian peninsula but just opposite Iran severely hit by the virus, the tiny emirate of Kuwait closed its borders on March 12, but did not hesitate to dismiss foreign workers usually essential to the economy, now considered “Proliferating”.

Several thousand Indians, Filipinos and Egyptians, often in an irregular situation, have been repatriated to their country of origin. “The authorities wanted to free resuscitation beds for the benefit of the Kuwaitis, when there are not enough of them to deal with the peak of the epidemic which is now happening, explains an expatriate on the phone in Kuwait City. The state then grouped these foreigners in hotels, paid the bill and even offered plane tickets to return to India, Egypt and the Philippines, including workers in an irregular situation. “, he adds.

Problem: today, India and Egypt no longer agree

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Countries are said to have bought World Cup: overwhelming evidence against Russians and Qatar

The prosecutors have never said it so clearly: bribes are said to have flowed around the World Cup awards to Russia and Qatar. Due to the further episode in the FIFA scandal, the World Cup host is in need of explanation.

What has been a dark assumption for many years seems to be true: Russia and Qatar bought the World Cup in 2018 and 2022, respectively. The US law enforcement authorities are shedding new light on a perfidious system of corruption and dependency in an expanded indictment on the FIFA process – many dubious officials of the world association had bribed themselves with millions of euros before the 2010 World Cup double award.

The New York City Prosecutor’s Office announced details for the first time in its recently published mammoth document dated March 18 (“Superseding Indictment”). “Some members of the Executive Committee have been offered bribes or have accepted them,” it says under the particularly explosive point 92 of the 70-page indictment.

The Fifa South America Group from Julio Grondona (Argentina / deceased 2014), Nicolas Leoz (Paraguay / deceased 2019) and the notorious Brazilian string puller Ricardo Teixeira have therefore held out their hands intensely for their votes in favor of Qatar. Sums are not mentioned in connection with the former top executives of the South American continental association Conmebol.

And Jack Warner again

When it comes to deep pocket politics, an old acquaintance is again at the forefront: Jack Warner (Trinidad and Tobago), a key figure in the scandal anyway, which led to the overthrow of World Association President Joseph S. Blatter in 2015. The FIFA unscrupulous vice is said to have pocketed five million dollars (4.6 million euros) for his vote per Russia through a network of bogus companies. Rafael Salguero from Guatemala, also an ex-member of the 2010 double award, received a million dollars (920,000 euros) for his vote.

A Kremlin spokesman categorically rejected the allegations: Russia had legally delivered the “best soccer World Cup in history”. The organizers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar also contested “the allegations contained in the court documents on Tuesday evening”. The statement also said: “Despite years of false claims, no evidence has ever been provided that Qatar has won the rights to host the 2022 World Cup unethically or by means that violate FIFA’s strict application rules.”

Warner fights extradition to the United States in his home country. Teixeira is based in Brazil, after years of silence he recently announced to CNN that he was not aware of any guilt. The new document also casts a very bad light on the media industry. In the expanded indictment, two former top executives of the US giant Fox are accused for bribing officials for the first time. It is Hernan Lopez, former managing director of the International Channels division, and the former Latin America boss Carlos Martinez.

Charge is “fiction”

Both belonged to 21st Century Fox, which later became part of the Disney group. The duo are also accused of having secured English-language TV rights for the World Cup finals through illegal use of inside information. Both deny the allegations: the charge is “fiction,” said a lawyer. On the 70 pages, however, a system of money laundering, bribery and concealment with many main and secondary characters is unrolled in a total of 53 cases.

The prosecution will bring new impetus to the FIFA trial. In the wake of the 2015 scandal, numerous former officials were charged in the United States. The trial took place in 2017 and some were convicted. After that it became comparatively quiet. Fifa itself announced in a statement on Tuesday that it supports “all investigations into criminal misconduct” and will continue to “work with the judicial authorities”. Former FIFA boss Joseph S. Blatter dismissed the allegations and referred to a failed gentlemen’s agreement within the executive committee, but Qatar had his share in the failure. An internal FIFA investigation by chief investigator Michael J. Garcia also concluded in 2017 that there were no indications for the purchase of votes.

Bribes in awarding the 2010 World Cup to South Africa have been proven. Also in connection with the awarding of the 2006 World Cup to Germany, irregularities should have occurred with a payment of 6.7 million euros. Qatar is particularly in the twilight: allegations of corruption and reports of the exploitation and death of foreign workers have accompanied the efforts of the desert emirate to get the largest possible stage in football for at least ten years. In the 2010 election in Zurich, Qatar prevailed in the fourth round with 14: 8 votes – against the United States, which did not want to subside. “The prosecution documents the continued will of the authorities to paralyze corruption on the top floors of football,” said New York City Attorney Richard P. Donoghue.


Indictment in the FIFA trial (neue-deutschland.de)

Two and a half years before the World Cup in Qatar, the controversial host and the FIFA World Cup are shaken by explosive details in the ongoing US process. Bribery of a total of four former officials, conspiratorial e-mails, payments through straw companies in the Caribbean: the prosecutor’s office outlines the alleged fraud in the World Cup awards to Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022 in an official indictment on 70 pages.

After years of investigations and more than 40 charges in the FIFA corruption scandal, the allegations are putting pressure on the Qatari World Cup organizers in particular. Upon request, neither FIFA nor the organizers in the desert state initially commented. Three Brooklyn media rights dealers and a Uruguayan company are accused of remittance and money laundering charges in a Brooklyn federal trial released Monday.

Explosives can also be found in the other sub-items of the investigation. Accordingly, three South American officials received money for their vote in Qatar: Nicolás Leoz, who has since died, then head of the South American continental association; Ricardo Teixeira, former soccer boss of Brazil, who has been banned from life for other crimes by FIFA; and an unidentified co-conspirator who held high positions in FIFA and Argentine football. Two and a half years ago, key witness Alejandro Burzaco, head of an Argentine sports marketing company, testified that former FIFA vice-president Julio Grondona should have received more than 800,000 euros when Qatar was awarded the World Cup. Gianni Infantino did not draw any conclusions: »Unfortunately there is a bad past. We have to learn and look ahead, «said the head of the international association in December 2017.

The awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia again makes serious accusations. According to the indictment, Jack Warner, who has now been suspended for life, received $ 5 million for his vote – paid through ten offshore straw companies in more than two dozen transfers. The name of the demonstrably corrupt former FIFA Vice President from Trinidad and Tobago also appeared in the scandal surrounding the 2006 World Cup. The indictment quotes from emails that the partner of an adviser to former FIFA chief Joseph Blatter said to Warner’s assistants: “Kindly remind him that” what was agreed will be done this week. ” the “dear friend” not keeping “promises” would cause the writer “personally extreme difficulties”.

An investigation led by former head of the FIFA Ethics Committee, Michael Garcia, had uncovered many suspicious details about the award to Russia and Qatar. However, the report published in autumn 2014 also found that there was “no evidence in the logs” for a link between the payment and the Qatar application. dpa / nd


Allegations in US trial for World Cup awards to Russia and Qatar

Z.Two and a half years before the Winter World Cup in Qatar, the controversial host and the world football association Fifa are shaken by explosive details in the American trial thriller. Bribery of a total of four former officials, conspiratorial emails, payments via straw companies in the Caribbean: as clear as never before the prosecution outlined on 70 pages in an official indictment also the alleged fraud in the World Cup awards to Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022.

After years of investigations and more than 40 charges in the FIFA corruption scandal, the allegations by the American law enforcement agencies are putting pressure on the Qatar World Cup organizers – and could revive calls for consequences. From an expert point of view, a new award is unrealistic. Fifa announced on request that it would seek further information from the US Department of Justice and continued to promise “full cooperation” with the authorities. The organizers in the desert state initially did not comment, in the past they had always rejected such allegations.

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Three Brooklyn media rights dealers and a Uruguayan company are accused of remittance and money laundering charges in a Brooklyn federal trial released Monday. Explosives can also be found in the other sub-items of the investigation. Accordingly, three South American officials are said to have received funds for their votes to Qatar: Nicolás Leoz, who has since died, then head of the South American continental association; Ricardo Teixeira, the former head of football in Brazil, who was banned by FIFA for life because of other crimes; and an unnamed conspirator who held high positions in FIFA and Argentine football.

“With corruption, it is always important that a payment is associated with an action. We are not one step further, ”said anti-corruption expert Sylvia Schenk on the allegations surrounding the Qatar surcharge. “There is a lack of essential facts: who paid how much and how was the link.” The head of the Sports Working Group at Transparency International Germany does not expect the World Cup to be awarded again: “Due to the financial consequences and the expected duration of the procedure, every court in the world can decide that this will not be reversed. ”However, the unsuccessful applicants may be entitled to compensation if they complain.

Almost two and a half years ago, key witness Alejandro Burzaco, the former head of an Argentine sports marketing company, testified that former FIFA vice-president Julio Grondona should have received more than 800,000 euros when Qatar was awarded the World Cup. Gianni Infantino saw no reason to take new steps against Qatar: “Unfortunately there is a bad past. We have to learn and look ahead, ”said the FIFA boss in December 2017.

There are also serious allegations surrounding the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia. According to the indictment, Jack Warner, who has now been banned for life, has received a $ 5 million kickback for his vote – paid through ten offshore straw companies in more than two dozen transfers. The name of the demonstrably corrupt former FIFA vice from Trinidad and Tobago also appeared in the scandal surrounding the 2006 World Cup in connection with a draft contract. A Kremlin spokesman rejected the allegations “categorically”. The former head of the Russian World Cup organizing committee, Alexei Sorokin, also emphasized that no officials had been bought. “That’s just an opinion of lawyers,” he said, looking at the indictment.

This quotes from emails that the partner of an adviser to former FIFA President Joseph Blatter is said to have written to Warner’s assistant: “Kindly point out that what has been agreed will be done this week.” dear friend ”not keeping“ promises ”would cause“ extreme personal difficulties ”for the writer. The former official Rafael Salguero from Guatemala is said to have been offered at least one million US dollars for his vote to Russia.

An investigation led by former FIFA’s ethics committee chief Michael Garcia had revealed many suspicious details about the award to Russia and Qatar, but could not prove bribery of the electorate. For example, two million US dollars went to the account of a ten-year-old daughter of a member of the FIFA executive, the report said when the report was published in 2017. However, the report also found that there was “no evidence in the minutes” for one Give connection of payment to Qatar application.

After the first arrests of Fifa officials shortly before the re-election of the then world leader Blatter in May 2015, there were charges against 42 people, 26 were publicly known. Former continental president Juan Àngel Napout is in prison in Florida. The former head of Brazilian football, José Maria Marin, was last released from custody because of the coronavirus pandemic. Numerous defendants are still awaiting judgment.


Gulf economies face new crisis

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The six Arab Gulf States are also hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. About 4,500 Covid-19 positive cases have been reported by health authorities. Over 30 deaths have also been recorded. In this context, containment measures were decided in each of the monarchies. These lead to an overall slowdown in economic activity, felt differently depending on the State.

The countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are trying to coordinate their action. Numerous financial measures have been adopted at the national level to mitigate the economic repercussions of a global health crisis. But not all states are on an equal footing.

Oman and Bahrain facing the crisis

The fragile economy of the Sultanate of Oman, for example, is far less armed than that of its neighbors. From the start, the sultanate has taken strict measures to stop the spread of the virus. A winning strategy since less than 300 Covid-19 positive cases have been recorded in the country. But these measures lead to an inevitable slowdown in economic activity while the country has faced a critical financial situation since 2014. It is therefore the first major challenge for the new sultan Haitham ben Tarek al-Said who succeeded his cousin on January 11, 2020. Because according to Scott Livermore, chief economist in charge of the Middle East within the research firm Oxford Economics, the sultanate “ must save where possible. Significant debt repayments must occur over the next two years

Bahrain is also expected to fare better than its neighbors. Manama has nevertheless adopted a variety of measures to support its economy. ” Measures similar to those adopted in Europe and which give companies a good chance of survival in the face of the crisis “Says Scott Livermore. These companies ” can thus contribute to the country’s economic recovery “Continues the economist.

An opinion shared by Cinzia Bianco, researcher associated with the European Council on Foreign Relations. According to her, “ the country will probably be able to count on external donors such as Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates ” for helping him.

Strengthen financial measures to support the economy

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and also Kuwait are indeed in a more favorable situation. A note from the research firm Oxford Economics published on March 31 moreover estimates that these countries ” are financially sound and can therefore afford more budget support ” Tax measures to counter this crisis are, however, “limited” in these countries. They only amount to 1.4% of GDP in the best of cases, compared to 26.6% in Bahrain.

Economist Scott Livermore therefore warns: The authorities acted decisively and early, but the consequences of the coronavirus evolved rapidly. Without greater and broader political support, the risk is that many businesses, particularly SMEs, will cease to operate. This could have longer-term consequences and affect the ability of the GCC to recover from the economic impact of the coronavirus.

For its part, Qatar ” is relatively less vulnerable “Says the economist. In fact, the latter benefits from a budget surplus obtained last year, and also has significant available reserves to finance future deficits. But Scott Livermore also nuances there: Qatar is ” far from safe

The shadow of the oil price war

On March 6, Moscow refused to cut oil production. A refusal to which Riyadh responded by announcing considerably increase its own. As a direct result, the price of a barrel has dropped significantly. It’s about ” of the worst possible time to have oil prices at their lowest in 17 years “, Cinzia Bianco believes. For Scott Livermore, ” if oil prices remain at current levels indefinitely, [les pays du Golfe] will have to make budgetary adjustments

Another economic crisis is therefore hovering over the petro-monarchies of the Gulf.


Coronavirus: Richard Wilkins tests positive while the Australian death toll is now five years old

  • Buyers urged to avoid storing goods
  • Lifting the veil of secrecy over Hillsong

Australian television icon Richard Wilkins tested positive for the deadly coronavirus.

The Weekend today the guest, who disappeared from the screens this weekend, contracted the virus after meeting Rita Wilson while he was in Sydney.

The singer-actress self-isolated with her husband, Tom Hanks, after being positive for the infection on Thursday.

He made a guest appearance Extra today and at the Sydney Opera House when he performed on March 7th.

Radio presenter Ben Fordham confirmed that Wilkins tested positive on Twitter last Sunday.

He published: “Breaking – Big love to @RichardWilkins, which tested positive for coronavirus.”

Confirmation of his infection comes when the virus states the death of two other people in Australia: two elderly women, aged between 90 and 77, who died in New South Wales.

NSW Health confirmed the deaths on Sunday, bringing the nation’s death toll to five.

“A 90-year-old woman residing in Dorothy Henderson Lodge – died (Saturday),” said a spokeswoman.

“Tests confirmed that he had COVID-19.”

It is understood that the other woman, from Noosaville on the Sunshine Coast, died on Friday in a Sydney hospital.

Health authorities believe he contracted coronavirus from his daughter who had returned from San Francisco two weeks earlier and was not known at the time that both women had COVID-19.

The woman had been on a flight to Sydney on March 13 when her condition deteriorated significantly.

She was taken to the hospital immediately after landing but was not revived.

“The woman had recently arrived in Sydney and tests confirmed that the woman had COVID-19,” said the spokesperson.

NSW Health is working with state health authorities to trace the close contacts of the deceased woman.

“Our condolences are with the family and friends of both women at the moment.”


The shortage between Coles and Woolworths nationwide is prompting supermarket giants to introduce new restrictions to ensure more customers have access to goods.

Coles has announced that Sunday shoppers will now be able to purchase only two packs of pasta, flour, rice, paper towels, handkerchiefs, hand sanitizer and mince – including beef, pork, lamb, chicken and turkey – for shop “to allow everyone the opportunity to buy basic items”.

Its new restrictions follow the limits imposed on purchases of toilet paper last week after panic shoppers left the shelves empty nationwide.

As the situation around Coronavirus continues to develop, we want to make sure you have the latest information on …

Posted by Coles Saturday 14 March 2020

“Toilet paper remains limited to 1 package per customer. There may also be additional limits for certain items in each store, for more information visit the local Coles, “said Coles on his website.

“We will also temporarily suspend our change of mindset policy to discourage excessive purchases.”

Woolworths has taken a more restrictive position, limiting purchases of rice, paper towels, napkins and wipes to one per shop per customer.

However, when it comes to dry pasta, flour, handkerchiefs and hand sanitizer, customers will be able to purchase two at a time.

media_cameraWoolworths has temporarily paused its Pick Up service. Picture Woolworths website

“We have temporarily suspended our” Pickup “and” Deliver Now “online services due to temporary shortages on a number of items and to allow our teams to focus on customer service in the store,” reads the Woolworths website.

“These new additions will help ensure that more of our customers have access to essential goods in the face of unprecedented demand for certain products.

“Woolworths encourages customers to continue purchasing only what they need.”


Customers booked on Qantas and Jetstar flights will be able to cancel their bookings in exchange for travel credit following the coronavirus epidemic.

On Sunday, the Qantas group announced that customers with new and existing reservations on domestic and international flights would have the option to cancel and receive travel credit.

“Qantas and Jetstar have introduced greater flexibility for customers who wish to change their travel plans, following the increase in travel restrictions implemented by various governments around the world due to the changing coronavirus situation,” he said. stated the Qantas Group in a note.

The changes are available for Qantas, Jetstar and QantasLink flights and apply until March 31 for travel until May 31.


Life in China is returning to normal as the coronavirus epidemic spreads globally, state media report.

According to Xinhua, 1117 out of 1119 nationally closed highway entrances and exits were reopened over the weekend, along with 549 blocked national, provincial, national and city roads.

Most health and quarantine stations – 11.11198 of 12.028 – have also been removed.

A total of 28 provinces resumed inter-provincial road passenger transport on March 1 and 126 prefecture-level cities and 192 county-level cities resumed public ground transport operations.

According to Xinhua, of the 41 cities that have opened urban rail transport, 36 cities normally manage rail transport.

These cities include Beijing, Shanghai, Canton and Shenzen.

78 million migrant workers also returned to work.


China’s update comes when Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison bans international cruise ships from arriving in the nation’s ports for 30 days and introduces a series of social removal measures.

Even travelers to Australia from abroad must now self-isolate for two weeks.

Morrison said the measures are part of the “targeted action phase”.

“To help keep up with this curve. We will impose a mandatory universal self-isolation obligation on all international arrivals in Australia starting at midnight tonight, “he said on Sunday.

“The Australian government will prohibit cruise ships from foreign ports from arriving at Australian ports after the first 30 days and which will continue on an ongoing basis.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison (left) and Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly. Image: Joel Carrett
media_cameraPrime Minister Scott Morrison (left) and Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly. Image: Joel Carrett

“The national cabinet also approved the HPCC board to introduce additional social removal measures.”

Mass meetings of over 500 people will be banned, while previously the government had only recommended that they would not take place.

This will happen on Monday, but does not apply to schools, workplaces, universities, supermarkets or public transport.

We also recommend rigorous social removal measures to all, such as being 1.5 m away from people, not shaking hands and limiting close interactions.

Schools and universities will remain open for the time being, as this is one of the key issues that the new national cabinet will consider when it meets Tuesday evening.

The cabinet will also consider changes to the aged care visit, the problems remote communities face to further limit meetings.

Morrison said the government is planning that coronavirus will impact the country for six months and that slowing down the transmission speed is a top priority.


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“By slowing down the spread, the bed is freed,” Morrison said.

“This is what happens when you do it well.”

Morrison echoed a comment that Australian chief medical officer Brendan Murphy told the media last Sunday.

He said Australians who have not recently returned from abroad or have been in contact with a coronavirus case can still shake hands, go on public transportation or visit the cinema. However, the board is likely to change.

Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy added that health officials do not suggest that people should stop using public transportation at the moment.

Sunday’s meeting came when the number of virus cases rose to over 300 in Australia, with the death toll remaining at three.

More than 150,000 people have been infected with COVID-19 worldwide, with over 5600 deaths.


Health authorities are trying to contact passengers who were on a flight from the UK with a Qantas flight attendant who has tested positive for coronavirus.

A Qantas International crew member is in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 after returning from abroad.

The crew member recently flew from the UK to Australia as a passenger and asked for medical attention after experiencing mild symptoms.

Qantas said in a statement that Sunday’s health authorities will contact those seats in the immediate vicinity of the flight, as was the standard procedure for all confirmed Coronavirus notifications.

Qantas stated that the team member was not symptomatic when operating as a crew on any Qantas flight.

The announcement comes when the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Queensland rises to 61, a public health emergency has been reported in South Australia and six campus locations on the University of Sydney are being cleaned intensively after a student is coronavirus has been diagnosed.

NSW Health and the university released a joint statement on Sunday confirming that he was in the hospital “recovering and doing well” after feeling bad and tested positively for COVID-19 at the weekend.

“NSW Health and the University of Sydney identified around 80 people who were in close contact with the student while on campus, who were asked to self-isolate for 14 days,” the note says.

“Staff and students are asked to be alert for COVID-19 symptoms which include fever, cough, runny nose or shortness of breath and telephone in front of their family doctor.”

In the past 24 hours, the number of confirmed cases in New South Wales has increased by 22, bringing the total number of infected people in the state to 134.

On Sunday, the SA total increased by one to 20 confirmed cases; Victoria rose from 8 to 58, with eight recovering, and Tasmania suspended all cruise ship visits to its ports after the island state registered its sixth coronavirus case.

In WA, there have been 18 confirmed cases of coronavirus, 5424 negative tests and one death from the virus.

Thousands of Australians to work from home

Thousands of Australians will be invited to work from home for the first time this week in what is likely to be the largest test on the national broadband network so far.

But telecommunications experts warn that some workers would be much better off than others and urged NBN Co and Government to “press the switch” at higher speeds for all users during the coronavirus crisis.

Several companies in Australia, including Telstra, Dropbox and Twitter, will not only offer the opportunity to work from home, but will give it to all employees who can work off-site this week.

On Sunday there was news that the online portal of Deakin University in Melbourne was down due to the influx of users.

Telstra spokesman Alex Badenoch said the move, which will affect more than 20,000 staff members, was taken as a precaution rather than a reaction to a COVID-19 infection.

A usually crowded Sydney harbor is now quiet and without tourists. Image: David Swift
media_cameraA usually crowded Sydney harbor is now quiet and without tourists. Image: David Swift

“This unprecedented situation requires decisive action and it is important that we are flexible and ready to adapt to this changing situation,” he said.

“Moving on with things now means that we will be ready if the problem escalates quickly.”

Dr Kathryn Snow, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of Melbourne, praised initiatives to temporarily change the workforce, stating that “these types of social exclusion measures” have helped to contain infections in other countries.

But veteran telecommunications analyst Paul Budde has warned that he has so many people working from home, participating in video conferencing and watching life flows would put “further stress” on NBN in what could be his biggest test.

He predicted that users of NBN fiber optics would be fine, but those who use fixed HFC, copper, satellite and wireless NBN connections may suffer from lower speeds due to congestion and downtime.

“Some parts of the network will be better than others,” he said.

“People who have been connected to the NBN and have not encountered any problems will have the best chance of maintaining a good quality service.

Empty seats during Round 6 AFLW match between Western Bulldogs and Fremantle Dockers at Whitten Oval in Melbourne. Image: Natasha Morello
media_cameraEmpty seats during Round 6 AFLW match between Western Bulldogs and Fremantle Dockers at Whitten Oval in Melbourne. Image: Natasha Morello

“Those who fought on fiber optic networks could see things get worse if there are significant increases in traffic in their area.”

Budde said that the flood of new remote workers would also highlight problems with the NBN’s pricing structure, where connections were artificially slowed down according to how much users were willing to pay, and called on the Morrison government and NBN Co to provide higher speeds for the duration of the health emergency.

“In a crisis like this, all services should be available at least 50 megabits per second,” he said.

“They can do it with the touch of a switch.

“They can make the network cheaper during a crisis situation that could last two or three months. This would also give us an even better test of the network.”

A woman arriving in Brisbane International Airport, wearing a mask. Picture: Attila Csaszar
media_cameraA woman arriving in Brisbane International Airport, wearing a mask. Picture: Attila Csaszar

Professor Reg Coutts, president of the telecommunications agency TelSoc, said that this week’s NBN test, as well as new requests for teleassistance during the coronavirus pandemic, should highlight the need to plan infrastructure updates.

“Eventually, the NBN’s obsolete technology will have to be replaced right through the network,” he said.

“Given the needs of the medical profession right now, it would make sense for the government to assign NBN Co to make doctors, health centers and hospitals its top priority for a technological upgrade.”

Budde also warned that having so many office workers and students working from home for the first time could also uncover unexpected problems for businesses and universities.

“There will be no time for proper evaluation, training and improvement,” he said.

“It will be interesting to see what the fallout of many misadventures will be once the virus retreats.”


Spain has been blocked, France has joined some parts of Germany in the closure of restaurants, cafes and cinemas and Norway has closed its airports.

Europe has taken unprecedented measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus after it has become the epicenter of the pandemic.

The United States extended the ban on travel to Europe to include the United Kingdom and Ireland, and France began wiping out business closings across the county on Sunday.

Northern Ireland was considering closing schools for 16 weeks, while Britain was slammed for herd immunity plan – effectively hoping that 60% of the population will get the virus to prevent it from returning to school. British winter.

An empty parking lot in a commercial area of ​​San Sebastian de los Reyes on the outskirts of Madrid, Spain. Picture: Bernat Armangue
media_cameraAn empty parking lot in a commercial area of ​​San Sebastian de los Reyes on the outskirts of Madrid, Spain. Picture: Bernat Armangue

But the Italians who were forced to be locked up for a week have become creative with ways to entertain themselves, with bursts of dance parties on the balcony and phone calls on the roof.

However, the country’s hospitals are in crisis, with only 20 ICU beds in the region of Lombardy, hit hard, according to the newspaper La Repubblica, and the death toll rose from 175 to 1441 on Sunday.

The 60 million people in Italy are actually forced home until at least April, while the country frantically tries to slow down its devastating spread of the coronavirus.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced the closure of restaurants, cafés and non-essential activities on Sunday from 9 AEDT on Sunday, when the country’s death toll hit 91 out of 4500 cases.

A woman selling disinfectant gel as a preventive measure in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic, in Guatemala City. Picture: Johan Ordonez / AFP
media_cameraA woman selling disinfectant gel as a preventive measure in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic, in Guatemala City. Picture: Johan Ordonez / AFP

“I decided to close all the non-essential locations, in particular cafes, restaurants, cinemas, discos and shops. We must absolutely limit our movements, “he said.

Meanwhile, Syria, which has had no reported cases, has postponed elections in the war-torn country.

Spain will follow Italy’s example, blocking the whole country from 22:00 AEDT on Sunday for 15 days as the country’s confirmed cases exceed 10,000, with 193 people dead.

Some flights from the UK to Spain were shot in mid-air as non-essential travel was strongly discouraged.

Qatar and Dubai were planning to stop issuing visas, while Jordan canceled all international flights.


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Norway has announced that it will close its airports from 22:00 AEDT on Sunday, while Greece has closed schools and shops and has banned all flights from Italy until 23 March.

Berlin and Cologne have closed bars, shops and restaurants, with each regional area in Germany responsible for making decisions about its restrictions.

The Italians’ videos show the residents all standing on their balconies and celebrating together.

In a viral video of Naples in southern Italy, a man is seen walking through his neighborhood, showing dozens of people dancing on the roofs and balconies to a DJ who turns “I can’t take my eyes off” from his balcony.

Just above the DJ, an old man still in his dressing gown played along with his guitar.

Despite being blocked inside, the neighborhoods come alive while the Italians are forced to stay inside, choosing instead to use their balconies as places to socialize.

In another video from Rome, dozens of people are standing on the balcony and applauding for the work that resonates through the neighborhood.

“I have lived in this neighborhood for 1.5 years, this is the liveliest I have ever seen on this street,” said Yemi Adeyeye.

Doctors and nurses were also praised with Italians across the country who gave their standing ovations to everyone who walked around.

Italy introduced further repressions this week, including the closure of all stores except supermarkets and pharmacies.

There have been long lines for supermarkets, with customers allowed to enter only one at a time.

The UK has seen another huge jump in its coronavirus cases to 1,140 people. Ten more people died in 24 hours, bringing the UK death toll to 21.

The government’s chief medical adviser said the patients were all in “risk” groups across England.

The UK continues to be slammed for its response to the coronavirus while other countries in Europe are closing schools and universities in an attempt to slow down the spread.

In an open letter sent to the British government, a group of 198 academics in mathematics and science called for a greater response to the coronavirus.

“At this point, looking for” herd immunity “doesn’t seem like a viable option, as this will put the national health service at an even higher level of stress, risking many more lives than necessary,” reads the letter.