COVID-19 pandemic

People protesting against COVID-19 lockdown arrested in Melbourne

Officers said the "most significant activity" took place at the Queen Victoria Market where protesters chanting "freedom" were met with a heavy police presence.

The demonstrators at one point linked arms as they were surrounded by police officers.

Scuffles broke out as arrests were made.

A Victoria Police spokesman said there were between 200 and 250 people involved in the protest activity, and 176 were fined.

Nations heading in wrong direction with COVID-19, says WHO

Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, "too many countries [were] headed in the wrong direction".

Cases were rising where proven measures were not adopted or followed, he added.

The Americas are the current epicentre of the pandemic. The US has seen a rise in cases amid tensions between health experts and President Donald Trump.

The US, the worst affected country, has over 3.3 million confirmed cases and more than 135,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

What has the WHO said?

No saliva to shine the ball in cricket

Several other interim measures designed to ensure the safety of players and match officials have been ratified by the ICC Chief Executives Committee -- including allowing home umpires in international series.

International cricket will resume next month when West Indies face England in a three-match test series.

The tourists arived in Manchester today and will go into quarantine before the first game scheduled for July 8th.

Additional K8m for COVID-19 response

Made available through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), this brings the total U.S. government assistance to nearly K12 million ($3.5 million). 

USAID awarded K6 million (USD $1.75 million) to FHI360 to support clinics in the National Capital District, building capacity on infection prevention and control, supporting facilities, expanding testing capacity, establishing response teams, upgrading WASH facilities and facilitating contact tracing.

COVID-19 pandemic affecting commodity prices

Central Bank Governor Loi Bakani said this will affect the revenue for government and foreign exchange inflows into the market and to BPNG.

He said PNG, being a price taker, cannot do much about commodity prices.

Mr Bakani also stressed that even domestic tax and customs revenues will be lower given the slowdown of economic and business activities and an increase in jobs loss.

He explained that the only alternative source is external financing.

COVID-19: Pacific Community Updates

Globally, nations are taking actions to reduce and control the spread of the virus. 

Between 31 March and 03 April 2020, 36 new cases have been confirmed in the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs).

As of 03 April 2020, 6 countries (Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas (CNMI), Papua New Guinea, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam and New Caledonia) in the PICTs have reported 153 cases including 4 deaths, excluding the number of cases from USS Theodore Roosevelt currently docked in Guam.

 

Confirmed global coronavirus cases pass one million

More than 51,000 people have died and more than 208,000 have recovered, according to the university's figures.

The US accounts for the most cases; Italy the highest death toll.

The disease, Covid-19, first emerged in central China three months ago.

Though the tally kept by Johns Hopkins records one million confirmed cases, the actual number is thought to be much higher.

It took a month and a half for the first 100,000 cases to be registered. A million was reached after a doubling in cases over the past week.

Aust commits to tackle COVID-19 with Pacific

Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marise Payne, says it is a challenge the Australian government is committed to tackling with its Pacific partners, in the long-term interest of the stability, prosperity and resilience of the region.

“Prime Minister Morrison told G20 leaders on 26 March that the Pacific needed to be a focus of international support. As the world’s economies, large and small, grapple with a pandemic that does not recognise national borders, cooperation will be critical,” she stated.

SIM deactivation deadline pushed back

In an interview with this newsroom, Communications & Information Technology Minister, Timothy Masiu, said the deadline, which was initially set for the end of this month, has been extended for another four months.

“By the end of July, the 31st of July, we should review whether we continue to give it some more time or we will definitely close it then,” Masiu stated.

“So that is the announcement from my Ministry and from NICTA.