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Showing posts from May 5, 2020

Balochistan Youth Against Corona: A community support system in Pakistan

The dramatic rise of COVID-19 has disrupted lives across the world and Pakistan is no exception. UNDP ranks Pakistan at 152 out of 189 countries in the Human Development Index, making its population one of the more vulnerable in terms of coping with the crisis. We are witnessing job losses, loss of daily wages, paucity of medical care affordability among others. These factors put people at the bottom of the pyramid most vulnerable.  While this holds true for majority of Pakistan’s 200 million population, there are still some segments of this population who are the most vulnerable even within this strata. Balochistan is the South-Western province of Pakistan which covers almost half of Pakistan’s land area bordering Iran and Afghanistan. According to the National Human Development Report, it ranks at the bottom. 31 out of 32 districts in Balochistan are among the worst areas in terms of access to education, healthy life and standard of living. Moreover, the province has a rigid terrain

NGO provides cash to families in poor Balochistan district

Published   May 05, 2020   05:58am A CORRESPONDENT QUETTA: A local NGO with the aid of UN’s World Food Programme is providing cash assistance of Rs8,500 to families in Balochistan’s most impoverished district, Washuk. According to a press release issued on Saturday, the vast and barren Washuk district has very low livelihood opportunities for its people and lately has been imperilled by drought and the new coronavirus pandemic due to which the border it shares with Iran has been closed resulting in severe economic decline in the area. NGO Azat Foundation’s project “Relief to Drought and Covid-19-affected Population of Balochistan” is facilitating the needy families in the form of cash assistance in two cycles through UBL Omni distribution centres at Kharan and Basima cities and also includes women, disabled and elderly people. Under this project, approximately Rs 130 million would be distributed in more than 5,100 households. According to their statement, the distribution centers are d

Balochistan to only test suspected COVID-19 patients showing symptoms

SAMAA |  Asim Khan Posted: May 5, 2020 | Last Updated: 25 mins ago Photo: Online The Balochistan Health Department has changed its policy regarding coronavirus testing in the province. It will only test people showing symptoms for the virus now. The department has closed down the Fatima Jinnah Laboratory, the only lab where residents could get themselves tested for COVID-19. Those people who are suspected of having contracted the virus will only be tested after they have completed a quarantine period of 14 days at their homes. The decision was taken following a lack of testing capacity at the laboratory. Results of more than 2,000 tests have already been delayed. Balochistan has reported more than 1,300 coronavirus cases so far

Balochistan govt extends lockdown for 15 more days Pakistan Web Desk May 05, 2020 Balochistan government Spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani urges isolation and social distancing for curbing the spread of virus Share Next Story >>> QUETTA: The Balochistan government has extended the ongoing lockdown for 15 more days in view of the mounting coronavirus cases across the province. Balochistan government Spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani said that the coronavirus is spreading at an alarming rate and in order to stem it, effective measures such as social distancing and isolation should be practiced. He said that the provincial government is extending the lockdown until May 19. The Balochistan government had earlier warned that it would extend the lockdown due to the rise in cases. Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal had said that the number of locally-transmitted cases in the province were increasing slowly but that lockdown restrictions could only be eased if people cooperated with the government. It was through random testi

How will COVID-19 affect China's Belt and Road Initiative?

Source: World Economic Forum As the ripple effects of the coronavirus pandemic are felt across the globe, the nature, pace and scope of China's Belt and Road Initiative will also be affected. Image: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 04 May 2020 Bee Chun Boo Partner, Mergers and Acquisitions, Baker & McKenzie LLP Martin David Principal, Finance and Projects Practice Group, Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow Ben Simpfendorfer Founder and CEO, Silk Road Associates COVID-19 has affected the world in an unprecedented way. This includes China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that looks at globalising Chinese investment. This article covers the biggest changes to BRI, including a change in supply chains, the digitizing of the BRI itself and the rise of private sector involvement. COVID-19 has already significantly impacted the global economy, affecting manufacturing, supply chains and the movement of people and goods. As China mobilizes resources to manage the containment of the virus, it

New brand of Chinese Diplomats

" You have a new brand of Chinese diplomats who seem to compete with each other to be more radical and eventually insulting to the country where they happen to be posted... They've gotten into fights with every northern European country with whom they should have an interest, and they've alienated every one of them." In the latest iteration of the new Chinese narrative, the enemy — the virus — did not even come from China, but from the US military, an unsubstantiated accusation made by China's combative Foreign Ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian. Chinese diplomats are encouraged to be combative by Beijing... The promotion of Zhao to spokesman and his statement about the US Army "signals to everyone in China that this is the official line, so you get this megaphone effect". In recent days, Chinese state media has run numerous inflammatory statements, saying that Australia, after announcing its desire for an inquiry into the virus, was "gum stuck to the