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CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Key points

  • Covid-19 emerges in China's Wuhan in Dec '19, declared a pandemic on March 11
  • Over 5.7 million infected globally; more than 356,000 dead, over 2.3 million recovered
  • 62,689 cases reported in Pakistan; 1,283 dead, 20,231 recovered
  • Click here for Dawn's coronavirus coverage
Latest
1:02 AM

UN chief wants broader debt relief effort, urges IMF to mull liquidity boost

12:50 AM

Renault to cut 15,000 jobs in 2bn euro cost-cutting plan

12:36 AM

WATCH: Celebrities reveal the first thing they want to do post-quarantine

12:24 AM

French coronavirus cases jump by 3,325 due to systems update

May 28, 2020
11:55 PM

We want money not medals, say protesting French health workers

11:40 PM

Norway allows work-related trips and some kids sports

11:27 PM

UK PM Johnson says groups of six people can meet outside from Monday

11:12 PM

Turkey's Erdogan says many facilities to reopen on June 1

10:58 PM

Coronavirus patients flood hospitals in Indonesia's second-largest city

10:43 PM

France to reopen restaurants, bars and beaches from June 2

10:28 PM

Moscow court jails journalist for one-person protest during coronavirus lockdown

10:16 PM

French cat survives coronavirus infection

10:02 PM

Will present your point of view at next NCC meeting, Sindh CM assures traders

9:46 PM

US Senator Tim Kaine tests positive for coronavirus antibodies

9:32 PM

Italy records 70 new virus deaths, 593 new cases

9:18 PM

Philippines' Duterte eases lockdown in capital from June 1

9:03 PM

Doctor in charge of Quetta hospital's trauma centre dies of coronavirus

8:25 PM

Kuwait Airways to lay off 1,500 foreign employees

8:24 PM

Business activities to continue in Sindh as per prevailing timings until May 31: minister

8:10 PM

Trump marks 100,000 US coronavirus deaths milestone on Twitter

7:53 PM

Zurich airport plans robot cleaners, mask dispensers as travel curbs ease

7:38 PM

Mumbai DJ swaps deck for doctor's scrubs to fight coronavirus

7:23 PM

World will come out of Covid-19 crisis unscathed if it is dealt as a global issue, says PM Imran

7:15 PM

Help for developing countries has to be 'much bigger' than currently being envisaged: PM

7:02 PM

Developing world does not have fiscal space to care for its vulnerable sections: PM Imran

6:52 PM

LIVE: PM Imran addresses UN virtual event on Financing for Development in Covid-19 era

6:30 PM

Air France-KLM to resume flights to Italy from June 1

6:30 PM

Bulgaria pins hopes on TB vaccine against coronavirus

6:15 PM

WATCH: Indian photo studio making masks with 'faceprints'

6:01 PM

UK police close case against Cummings over 'minor' lockdown breach

5:45 PM

359 Covid-19 cases, 7 deaths reported in KP

5:42 PM

Africa hit by sustained community spread of coronavirus: disease centre

5:29 PM

Do not cut health spending during downturn, WHO warns

5:14 PM

Montenegro becomes first European country to declare itself 'free from coronavirus'

4:59 PM

Virus could push 14 million into hunger in Latin America: UN

4:44 PM

Spike in European deaths since March linked to Covid-19, says WHO official

4:29 PM

2 Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation employees succumb to Covid-19

4:14 PM

WATCH: Sign in Times Square shows number of deaths that could have been prevented if Trump acted earlier

4:01 PM

'No evidence' reopening of Finland schools has spread virus faster

3:41 PM

Pakistan's Covid-19 tally surpasses 62,000

3:28 PM

Sindh's Covid-19 tally tops 25,000 after 1,103 new cases reported in 24 hours

3:03 PM

Ajmal Wazir says KP govt is 'on the frontline' in fight against Covid-19

2:57 PM

LIVE: Ajmal Wazir speaks to media over coronavirus measures

2:52 PM

Ajmal Wazir announces Rs1m for journalist Fakhruddin Syed's family

2:38 PM

PTI will stand against PPP if lockdown is imposed in Karachi, says Khurram Sher Zaman

2:32 PM

'Lockdown is not the solution,' insists Khurram Sher Zaman

2:30 PM

People bash footballer Troy Deeney for expressing concerns over restarting Premier League

2:29 PM

LIVE: PTI's Khurram Sher Zaman criticises PPP measures to curb virus

2:15 PM

VIDEO: Masks are the new essential accessory everyone needs

2:00 PM

Singapore jails taxi driver for 4 months for Covid-19 Facebook post

May 29, 2020 01:02am

UN chief wants broader debt relief effort, urges IMF to mull liquidity boost

UN chief Antonio Guterres has called for debt relief to be offered to all developing and middle-income countries amid the coronavirus pandemic and urged the International Monetary Fund to consider boosting global liquidity by issuing a new allocation of its Special Drawing Rights currency.

“Alleviating crushing debt cannot be limited to the Least Developed Countries,” Guterres told a UN meeting on the pandemic's economic fallout.

“It must be extended to all developing and middle-income countries that request forbearance as they lose access to financial markets.”

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May 29, 2020 12:50am

Renault to cut 15,000 jobs in 2bn euro cost-cutting plan

French auto giant Renault plans to cut around 15,000 jobs worldwide, including 4,600 in France, as part of a two billion euro cost-cutting plan over three years, sources said.

The plan, which is set to be announced publicly on Friday, was explained to unions by the company on Thursday evening, multiple sources with knowledge of the matter told AFP.

The company hopes to bring about the job cuts without redundancies through voluntary departures, internal mobility measures and retraining, the sources added.

Its annual global production capacity will be reduced from a current figure of four million vehicles to around 3.3m.

May 29, 2020 12:24am

French coronavirus cases jump by 3,325 due to systems update

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in France has jumped by 3,325 to 149,071, though the increase is not due to a rise in daily infections but is a result of the inclusion of data from a new tracking system, the health ministry said in a statement.

“The increase compared to yesterday is due to more efficient tracking, not to the epidemiological situation in France,” the ministry said.

May 28, 2020 11:55pm

We want money not medals, say protesting French health workers

Hundreds of healthcare workers demonstrated outside a hospital in Paris to demand better pay and more resources for a public health sector that is on the frontline of the Covid-19 pandemic.

French health workers attend a demonstration in Paris. — Reuters
French health workers attend a demonstration in Paris. — Reuters

Doctors and nurses wearing face masks, clanging bells and banging pans gathered in front of the Robert Debre Hospital, in the north of the city, some carrying banners reading: “no medals, no tear gas but beds and money!”

“The difficulties of public hospitals started quite long ago,” said intensive care pediatrician Stephane Dauger.

According to Reuters, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has promised healthcare workers significant pay hikes as part of the planned reform of the country's public health system.

May 28, 2020 11:40pm

Norway allows work-related trips and some kids sports

Norway says it will scrap quarantine requirements for work related travel to all Nordic countries starting next week, and allow kids to return to organised sports practice.

To curb the spread of the new coronavirus, Norwegians returning from abroad and foreigners that are allowed to cross the closed border are subject to a 10-day mandatory quarantine period.

But starting Monday, those travelling for work to and from the Nordic countries will be exempt from the requirement.

May 28, 2020 11:27pm

UK PM Johnson says groups of six people can meet outside from Monday

Groups of up to six people will be able to meet outside in England from Monday if they maintain social distancing, Reuters reports.

“These changes mean that friends and family can start to meet their loved ones, perhaps seeing both parents or grandparents at once,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

May 28, 2020 11:12pm

Turkey's Erdogan says many facilities to reopen on June 1

Turkey will lift restrictions on intercity travel and allow restaurants, cafes, parks and sports facilities to reopen from June 1 as it eases restrictions imposed to curb the coronavirus outbreak, President Tayyip Erdogan said.

Museums and beaches will also open from June 1, Erdogan said after a cabinet meeting. He said restrictions would remain in place on the movements of those aged over 65 and under 18.

The virus has killed nearly 4,500 people in Turkey, with more than 160,000 infections.

“Under the new normal order, let us not neglect masks, distancing and hygiene,” Erdogan said in a televised address.

May 28, 2020 10:43pm

France to reopen restaurants, bars and beaches from June 2

France will allow restaurants, bars and beaches to reopen from June 2, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said.

Philippe said that in “green” areas where the virus circulates slowly — most of continental France — the only limit will be that of a minimum distance of 1 metre between restaurant tables.

In “orange” areas such as the Ile de France region around Paris, bars, restaurants and cafes will only be allowed to open their outdoor terraces, Reuters reports.

May 29, 2020 02:51am

Moscow court jails journalist for one-person protest during coronavirus lockdown

A Moscow court has jailed a prominent anti-Kremlin journalist for a one-person protest during the city's coronavirus lockdown, sentencing him to 15 days in prison.

Ilya Azar, a journalist at the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, which is critical of the Kremlin, was detained by police on Tuesday as he stood alone outside the Russian capital's police headquarters to protest against the criminal prosecution of a popular blogger.

Such one-person protests are usually legal in Russia, but Sergei Sobyanin, the city's mayor, has banned public events during the coronavirus epidemic and said that people only have the right to leave their homes for specific tasks, which do not include political protests.

May 28, 2020 10:16pm

French cat survives coronavirus infection

Papille purrs contentedly as her owner rubs the back of her head, her coat glossy and her eyes a piercing green — back to her old affection-seeking self after recovering from Covid-19, Reuters reports.

The nine-year-old cat is the first known case of a pet being infected by the coronavirus in France. There have only been a handful of other known cases globally. The likely source of infection; her owners, themselves Covid-19 sufferers.

May 28, 2020 10:02pm

Will present your point of view at next NCC meeting, Sindh CM assures traders

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah assured the trader community that he would present their point of view regarding lifting lockdown measures in the next meeting of the National Coordination Committee (NCC).

The chief minister said this while speaking to a delegation of traders at the CM House. The delegation urged the chief minister to allow business activities in the province to resume and gave assurances that they will follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) agreed upon to curb the spread of the virus.

Shah said that imposing lockdown measures was a decision taken by federal government in consultation with the provinces. He assured the traders that he will present their point of view in the next NCC meeting.

May 28, 2020 09:32pm

Italy records 70 new virus deaths, 593 new cases

Deaths from the Covid-19 epidemic in Italy climbed by 70, against 117 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, while the daily tally of new cases edged up to 593 from 584 a day earlier, according to Reuters.

The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on February 21 now stands at 33,142, the agency said, the third highest in the world after those of the United States and Britain.

The number of confirmed cases amounts to 231,732, the sixth highest global tally behind those of the United States, Russia, Spain, Britain and Brazil.

May 28, 2020 09:18pm

Philippines' Duterte eases lockdown in capital from June 1

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte approved a recommendation to ease the lockdown in the capital Manila from June 1, resuming much-needed activity in an economy on the brink of recession, Reuters reports.

Strict restrictions on commerce and movement since mid-March have ravaged Philippines' economy.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. — Reuters
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. — Reuters

May 28, 2020 09:03pm

Doctor in charge of Quetta hospital's trauma centre dies of coronavirus

A doctor who was in charge of the Trauma Centre of Bolan Medical Complex Hospital in Quetta has died of the coronavirus, becoming the second doctor in Balochistan to lose his life to the disease.

Dr Zubair Ahmed had tested positive for the deadly virus a few days ago and was admitted to Sheikh Zayed Hospital Quetta for treatment, according to Waseem Baig, the spokesman for the provincial Covid-19 cell.

In Balochistan, 150 doctors and 34 health professionals have so far tested positive for the virus.

May 28, 2020 08:25pm

Kuwait Airways to lay off 1,500 foreign employees

State-owned Kuwait Airways says it will lay off 1,500 expatriate employees due to “significant difficulties” caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“In dealing with the coronavirus crisis and its negative impact on commercial operations ... Kuwait Airways announces the termination of around 1,500 non-Kuwaiti employees,” the airline said on Twitter.

It said the decision comes as part of a “comprehensive plan” to deal with the pandemic's economic impacts which meant the company is facing “significant difficulties”.

May 28, 2020 08:53pm

Business activities to continue in Sindh as per prevailing timings until May 31: minister

Sindh Information Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah has announced that business activities across Sindh will continue as per the prevailing timings until May 31.

In a statement, he said the Supreme Court had issued directions on May 18 for businesses to continue functioning without any hindrance until May 31.

Shah added that the federal government will convene a meeting of the National Coordination Committee (NCC) before the month's end in which decisions will be taken regarding the future of the lockdown.

May 28, 2020 08:10pm

Trump marks 100,000 US coronavirus deaths milestone on Twitter

US President Donald Trump has marked the coronavirus pandemic milestone of 100,000 US deaths in a Twitter post, a day after the threshold was reached and his silence noted.

“We have just reached a very sad milestone with the coronavirus pandemic deaths reaching 100,000. To all of the families & friends of those who have passed, I want to extend my heartfelt sympathy & love for everything that these great people stood for & represent. God be with you!” Trump said.

May 28, 2020 07:53pm

Zurich airport plans robot cleaners, mask dispensers as travel curbs ease

Travellers at Zurich’s airport will encounter robot cleaners, face mask vending machines and extra room to queue for boarding when flight operations resume in earnest as coronavirus curbs ease, officials said.

To help avoid crowds forming, overflow levels at security checkpoints will open, passport control will operate in as many booths as possible, and queuing areas will be made more spacious to help ensure physical distancing, Reuters reports.

May 28, 2020 07:38pm

Mumbai DJ swaps deck for doctor's scrubs to fight coronavirus

As India’s financial capital Mumbai battled a growing number of coronavirus cases, local DJ Sanjay Meriya set aside his turntable and dusted off a long-unused medical degree in order to help out.

Meriya, 30, known as The Spindoctor in Mumbai music circles, began work last month as a medical volunteer after spotting a government newspaper ad asking for help.

Sanjay Meriya plays music inside his home after returning from a temporary health centre where he coaches slum dwellers on the precautions they should take to avoid being infected with Covid-19, in Mumbai, India, May 25. — Reuters
Sanjay Meriya plays music inside his home after returning from a temporary health centre where he coaches slum dwellers on the precautions they should take to avoid being infected with Covid-19, in Mumbai, India, May 25. — Reuters

He has chiefly been visiting a slum in one of Mumbai’s worst-hit suburbs, clad in a protective suit and gloves, to instruct local residents about the precautions they should take to ward off the coronavirus.

Read more here.

May 28, 2020 07:23pm

World will come out of Covid-19 crisis unscathed if it is dealt as a global issue, says PM Imran

Prime Minister Imran Khan has told a high-level UN virtual event that the world will recover from the coronavirus crisis if it is treated as a global problem.

"I am sure if the developed countries put their minds together and treat this as a global situation, we will come out of it unscathed," he said.

The premier stressed that the crisis has to be dealt with holistically as "a global problem with global solutions" to provide relief to the developing world's six billion people.

May 28, 2020 07:15pm

Help for developing countries has to be 'much bigger' than currently being envisaged: PM

Prime Minister Imran Khan says although he appreciates the G20 countries for taking the initiative to give debt relief to developing countries, the measures must be "thought through".

"This stimulus, this help to the developing world, I am afraid has to be much bigger than so far it is being envisaged," he said.

"The world is not going to recover from this recession if the bigger part of the world's population is wallowing in poverty."

May 28, 2020 07:36pm

Developing world does not have fiscal space to care for its vulnerable sections: PM Imran

Prime Minister Imran Khan says unlike Western countries, nations in the developing world do not have the fiscal space to revive their economies and look after their vulnerable segments.

Addressing a virtual United Nations event on Financing for Development in the era of Covid-19 and Beyond, he said the money set aside by his government for "ambitious" programmes to fight climate change and revive tourism got diverted to combat the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

He said the government had "doled out" $8 billion to stimulate the economy and provide cash to the most vulnerable sections of society, but he noted that the country's falling exports and remittances are adding to the pressure.

May 28, 2020 06:30pm

Air France-KLM to resume flights to Italy from June 1

Air France-KLM will resume flights to and from Italy from June 1 as Europe emerges from its coronavirus lockdown ahead of the vital summer tourist season, the French-Dutch carrier said.

The group will gradually resume flights to Rome, Milan, Venice, Bologna, Florence, Naples and Bari, the company said, adding that by the end of June, 78 Air France and KLM weekly flights to Italy would be operational.

“Returning to the Bel Paese is a great pride for us and confirms the importance of the Italian market for the Air France-KLM Group,” said Stefan Vanovermeir, Air France-KLM East Mediterranean General Manager.

May 28, 2020 06:30pm

Bulgaria pins hopes on TB vaccine against coronavirus

In the worldwide battle against Covid-19, scientists are investigating whether a century-old tuberculosis vaccine might offer some additional protection against the novel coronavirus, according to AFP.

Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) was developed by two French researchers, Albert Calmette and Camille Guerin, in 1921 as a vaccine against tuberculosis.

The WHO, for its part, said last month that there is no evidence that BCG protects people against infection with Covid-19.

Nevertheless, Bulgarian scientists suggest that the Balkan country's high rate of BCG vaccination — as well as an early lockdown — helped it to escape the worst of the pandemic.

“BCG generates a powerful immune stimulation. And while we are waiting for a specific treatment or vaccine against the novel coronavirus, we must put our bets on immunity,” immunology professor Bogdan Petrunov told BNT public television.

May 28, 2020 06:01pm

UK police close case against Cummings over 'minor' lockdown breach

UK police say Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top aide Dominic Cummings committed a “minor” breach by driving to a beauty spot at the height of the coronavirus lockdown and have closed the politically explosive case.

Durham police, in northeast England, said there “might have been a minor breach of the regulations that would have warranted police intervention”, but added that they have “no intention to take retrospective action” against the Brexit campaign mastermind.

May 28, 2020 05:42pm

Africa hit by sustained community spread of coronavirus: disease centre

Cases of community transmission of the new coronavirus are growing in Africa, particularly in Ethiopia, and a new strategy for testing is needed to prevent this, the head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has said.

Community transmission refers to cases where patients had no travel history or known contact with infected people — worrying for health workers because it means the virus is moving undetected through the population.

John Nkengasong said countries should modify the way they test their population — instead of focusing on testing people arriving at airports, governments should switch to surveillance testing of those with flu-like symptoms.

May 28, 2020 05:29pm

Do not cut health spending during downturn, WHO warns

European governments should not cut healthcare spending during the current economic crisis sparked by the coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdowns, the World Health Organisation has warned.

“We are concerned that countries will respond to this crisis in the same way they did to the recession 10 years ago ... by cutting public spending on health,” WHO regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge, told a press conference.

“Countries that took the path of cuts to health spending struggled to recover from the economic shock and we must learn from the mistakes of the past.”

May 28, 2020 04:59pm

Virus could push 14 million into hunger in Latin America: UN

The UN World Food Programme is warning that upward of at least 14 million people could go hungry in Latin America as the coronavirus pandemic rages on, shuttering people in their homes, drying up work and crippling the economy, according to AP.

New projections estimate a startling increase: Whereas 3.4 million experienced severe food insecurity in 2019, that number could more than quadruple this year in one of the world’s most vulnerable regions.

“We are entering a very complicated stage,” said Miguel Barreto, the WFP’s regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean. “It is what we are calling a hunger pandemic.”

Read more here.

May 28, 2020 04:44pm

Spike in European deaths since March linked to Covid-19, says WHO official

About 159,000 more people in 24 European countries have died since early March than would have ordinarily been expected, a World Health Organisation (WHO) official has said, with a “significant proportion” of the spike linked to Covid-19.

While the figure for excess deaths takes into account all mortality causes, Katie Smallwood, a WHO emergency official, said its timing — recorded as thousands of people were dying in intensive care units in places like northern Italy, France, Spain and Britain — points to Covid-19’s deadly impact.

“What we have seen very clearly is that the peak in excess mortality corresponds in those countries to the peak of the transmission of Covid-19,” Smallwood told reporters, according to Reuters. “This gives us a very good indication that a very significant proportion of this excess deaths is linked and due to Covid-19.”

May 28, 2020 04:29pm

2 Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation employees succumb to Covid-19

Two employees of the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) have died after contracting Covid-19, according to Radio Pakistan.

The report identified the deceased as senior broadcast engineer Muhammad Ashfaq and Urdu newscaster Huma Zafar.

May 28, 2020 04:01pm

'No evidence' reopening of Finland schools has spread virus faster

Finland has seen no evidence of the coronavirus spreading faster since schools started to reopen in the middle of May, the top health official has said.

“The time has been short, but so far we have seen no evidence,” Mika Salminen, director of health security at the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Finland started to reopen schools and daycare centres from May 14 following an almost two-month shutdown.

May 28, 2020 03:41pm

Pakistan's Covid-19 tally surpasses 62,000

Pakistan's Covid-19 has surpassed 62,000 after Sindh and Punjab collectively reported more than 2,000 cases over the past 24 hours.

May 28, 2020 03:28pm

Sindh's Covid-19 tally tops 25,000 after 1,103 new cases reported in 24 hours

Sindh's coronavirus cases have topped 25,000 after a record 1,103 cases were reported during the last 24 hours, according to Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.

Shah said that 4,101 tests were conducted, of which 1,103 came back positive, taking the province's total to 25,309.

He said that 16 more people died from the virus, taking the total fatalities to 396. He added that 227 patients are in critical condition while 39 are on ventilators.

The chief minister said that 1,924 people recovered from the virus in the last 24 hours and were sent back to their homes.

May 28, 2020 03:03pm

Ajmal Wazir says KP govt is 'on the frontline' in fight against Covid-19

KP CM's aide Ajmal Wazir addresses the media. — DawnNewsTV
KP CM's aide Ajmal Wazir addresses the media. — DawnNewsTV

KP CM's aide Ajmal Wazir has criticised PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif for "shutting" himself in a room.

"You said you came to Pakistan to fight the virus, but have you visited any isolation centre, any hospital to show solidarity with the people? The coronavirus is as much of [a danger] to us as it is to you but we are on the frontline."

He added that he had attended Fakhruddin Syed's funeral earlier today.

May 28, 2020 02:52pm

Ajmal Wazir announces Rs1m for journalist Fakhruddin Syed's family

Adviser to KP Chief Minister Ajmal Wazir has expressed grief over the death of journalist Fakhruddin Syed, saying that journalists inform people about standard operating procedures despite the danger.

He said that Rs1 million will be given to the journalist's family, who passed away after contracting Covid-19.

May 28, 2020 02:38pm

PTI will stand against PPP if lockdown is imposed in Karachi, says Khurram Sher Zaman

Khurram Sher Zaman has warned the Sindh government against imposing a lockdown in Karachi, saying that the ruling PTI will stand against the provincial government if such a decision is made.

"You (PPP government) want to disturb the Centre by locking Karachi, you want to cause economic damage to the federal government by shutting down Karachi," he alleged.

He said that the federal government has given relief to millions of businesses by waiving off utility bills for a few months.

May 28, 2020 02:32pm

'Lockdown is not the solution,' insists Khurram Sher Zaman

PTI leader Khurram Sher Zaman has dished heavy criticism on Sindh government and its policies to curb the novel coronavirus in the province.

He questioned the decision to close stores at 5pm, saying the measure will not help curb the virus. Citing examples of the United States and Europe — where millions have been infected and thousands have died from the virus — he said that the world was coming to the conclusion that "lockdown is not the solution".

May 28, 2020 02:30pm

People bash footballer Troy Deeney for expressing concerns over restarting Premier League

English footballer Troy Deeney says that he has received abuse from public for voicing concerns about restarting the Premier League season.

According to CNN, the footballer has received comments from people wishing his five-month-old son gets infected. The news outlet quoted the footballer as saying: "I saw some comments in regards to my son, people saying: 'I hope your son gets corona[virus]. That's the hard part for me. If you respond to that, people then go: 'Ah, we've got him' and they keep doing it."

May 28, 2020 02:00pm

Singapore jails taxi driver for 4 months for Covid-19 Facebook post

Singapore authorities have jailed a taxi driver for four months over a Facebook post in which he falsely claimed food outlets would close and urged people to stock up due to impending Covid-19 restrictions.

Kenneth Lai Yong Hui, 40, deleted the message sent to a private Facebook group with around 7,500 members after 15 minutes, case records show, but the public prosecutor called for a sentence that would deter others.

“The psychological fight to allay fear and hysteria is just as important as the fight to contain the spread of Covid19,” deputy public prosecutor Deborah Lee said in her sentencing submission, according to case records.