Philippines sets back theater, arcade reopenings

MANILA, Philippines — The approval for a lot of Philippine film theaters, online game arcades and different leisure companies to reopen has been postponed one other two weeks after mayors expressed concern it’s going to convey new coronavirus infections.

They’ve been closed since final year in a lot of the Philippines, which has suffered a pandemic-wrought recession since.

The authorities had introduced it might permit them to reopen Monday, however the delay got here after a meeting of native Manila and nationwide officers.

Most mayors beneath the Metro Manila Development Authority expressed apprehension over the reopening of cinemas and online game arcades. Philippine officers mentioned mayors and well being officers ought to draw guidelines to make sure security amid the easing of quarantine restrictions in additional public areas, together with museums, libraries, parks and historic websites.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque later mentioned in a televised information briefing that the reopening of film homes can be moved to March 1 to permit consultations and extra time to craft security pointers.

“We agree that the economy should gradually be reopened because more people now are going hungry than those who get sick or die due to COVID,” he mentioned.



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SEOUL, South Korea — A pet cat has develop into the primary animal confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus within the South Korean capital.

Seoul official Song Eun-cheol mentioned Monday the cat was discovered to have been contaminated the day before today, after the household that owns her had been all identified with the illness.

He says the cat had suffered vomiting and lethargy. It’s being quarantined at a city-run facility.

Seoul final week started offering free coronavirus checks to pet canine and cats, which come into contact with contaminated people and present signs. The step got here after a cat within the southeastern metropolis of Jinju turned the nation’s first animal confirmed to have COVID-19 final month. Many different native governments launched comparable free virus checks for pet canine and cats.

Seoul officers say they’ve since examined three different pet canine however all of them examined detrimental for the virus.

Seoul officers say there isn’t a proof that animals transmit the virus to people. But they are saying authorities will check pets, not all animals, as a result of they’re in shut contact with people.

Earlier Monday, South Korea reported 344 new virus instances, taking the nation’s whole to 83,869 with 1,527 deaths.


COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Health officers are urging harder coronavirus restrictions and a partial lockdown in components of Sri Lanka after sufferers had been confirmed to have a extra contagious variant.

Patients in a number of components of the Indian Ocean island nation have been confirmed to have a variant that first emerged within the United Kingdom, well being officers mentioned Saturday.

“There is a greater risk of spreading the new variant into others areas unless tough and effective measures including lockdowns are taken immediately as already the number of positive cases are rising,” President of the Public Health Inspectors Association Upul Rohana mentioned Monday.

Sri Lanka had a one-month lockdown final March when the primary optimistic case was detected. A lockdown within the capital and its suburbs was imposed once more in October after two contemporary outbreaks erupted.

Sri Lanka has now confirmed 75,653 instances with 397 fatalities.


ISLAMABAD — Pakistan has begun registering individuals aged 65 or older to vaccinate them in opposition to COVID-19.

Pakistan’s minister for planning and growth, Asad Umar, mentioned Monday on Twitter their vaccinations will begin in March.

Currently, Pakistani authorities are vaccinating solely frontline well being staff after receiving 500,000 doses of China’s Sinopharm vaccine.

Pakistan additionally has reported one in every of its lowest each day tolls in current months, with 26 deaths and 1,048 new instances.

The nation has had 12,333 fatalities due to COVID-19 amongst 564,077 instances of the coronavirus since February 2020.


CANBERRA, Australia — Australia will start vaccinating its inhabitants in opposition to COVID-19 subsequent week after its first cargo of Pfizer vaccine was delivered on Monday.

More than 142,000 doses had arrived at Sydney airport, the federal government mentioned. Health care, aged care and quarantine staff shall be among the many first to be vaccinated from Feb. 22.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison may also be among the many first to obtain a dose in a bid to boost public confidence in this system.

Australia determined in opposition to accelerating the vaccine regulator’s approval course of with the intention to enhance public confidence that the Pfizer product was protected.

So far, Pfizer is the one vaccine accepted to be used in Australia. But the regulator is predicted to additionally approve the AstraZeneca vaccine quickly.

Australia is contracted to obtain 20 million Pfizer doses and to obtain or manufacture at residence 53.8 million AstraZeneca doses.

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