India’s coronavirus cases have crossed 800,000 with the biggest spike of 27,114 cases in the past 24 hours, causing nearly a dozen states to impose a partial lockdown in high-risk areas.
The new confirmed cases took the total cases to 820,916.
The Health Ministry on Saturday also reported another 519 deaths from the virus infection, taking the death toll 22,123.
A surge in infections saw the cases jumping from 600,000 to more than 800,000 in nine days.
The ministry said the recovery rate was continuing to improve at more than 62percent.
Eight of India’s 28 states, including the worst-hit Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and New Delhi, account for nearly 90percent of all infections.
The most populous state of Uttar Pradesh, with nearly 230 million people, imposed a weekend lockdown while several others announced restrictions in districts reporting major spikes.
The mob of over 150 people who forcefully took Muhammad Yunus’ cadaver from a hospital in eastern Indonesia thought it was impossible that the 49-year-old Islamic preacher could have died from coronavirus. He had always washed his hands, worn a mask and followed health protocols issued by the government, according to local residents.
So when he died the day after going to the hospital on Sulawesi island with chest pains and having trouble breathing, his followers were determined to retrieve his body for what they considered a proper Muslim burial.
Over 100 people broke into the hospital, threatened nurses and eventually carried Yunus’ corpse away less than 30 minutes after his death, reports AP.
“What we have done is noble in God’s eyes, but despicable in the eyes of the law,” said a community member identified by the police only as Ramli.
As Indonesia’s virus death toll rises, the world’s most populous Muslim country finds itself at odds with protocols put in place by the government to handle the bodies of victims of the pandemic. This has led to increasing incidents of bodies being taken from hospitals, rejection of COVID-19 health and safety procedures, and what some experts say is a lack of communication from the government.
But with corpses of coronavirus victims thought to possibly be contagious, government protocols for handling bodies have meant that rituals typically performed by families have fallen on the shoulders of those handling the country’s dead.
Corpse handling officer Sahrul Ridha said his job has changed since the outbreak. “Even though it is an emergency situation, we should wash the bodies, do the ablution and shroud the infectious bodies properly,” said Ridha.
Indonesia has confirmed more than 68,000 cases of the coronavirus, including over 3,350 deaths, the most infections and fatalities in Southeast Asia.
Maulana said that if families ask him to perform final prayers, he usually does, as long as he has time to clean himself and prepare for the next burial.
Daisy Indira Yasmine, a sociologist at the University of Indonesia, said that while rituals regarding death have traditionally been a private matter in Indonesia, the pandemic has caused the government to intervene with health and safety procedures.
Bodies of coronavirus victims have also been stolen in other places across Indonesia.
China has agreed that the World Health Organization (WHO) will send experts to Beijing to exchange ideas with Chinese scientists and medical experts on science-based cooperation to trace the origin of the COVID-19 virus, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Wednesday.
Noting that WHO experts will be traveling to China to prepare scientific plans for identifying the zoonotic source of the disease, Zhao told a daily press briefing that experts from both sides will develop the scope and Terms of Reference for a WHO-led international mission, reports Xinhua on Thursday.
"Virus source tracing is a scientific issue that should be studied by scientists through international research and cooperation across the globe," Zhao said, adding that it is also the view of WHO that it is an ongoing process probably concerning many countries and localities, and WHO will conduct similar trips to other countries and regions in light of the actual need.
Zhao said that the WHO and China have maintained communication and cooperation since the start of the pandemic.
Heavy rains that already caused deadly floods in southern Japan was moving northeast Wednesday, battering large areas of Japan's main island, swelling more rivers, triggering mudslides and destroying houses and roads.
At least 58 people have died in several days of flooding.
Footage on NHK television showed a swollen river gouging into the embankment, destroying a highway, while in the city of Gero, the rising river was flowing just below a bridge.
As of Wednesday morning, the death toll from the heavy rains starting over the weekend had risen to 58, most of them from the hardest-hit Kumamoto prefecture. Four others were found in Fukuoka, another prefecture on Kyushu, Japan's third-largest island.
Across the country, about 3.6 million people were advised to evacuate, although evacuation is not mandatory and the number of people who actually took shelter was not provided.
Rain subsided by Wednesday afternoon in many areas, where residents were busy cleaning up their homes and work places.
Though the rains were causing fresh flooding threats in central Japan, flooding was still affecting the southern region. And search and rescue operations continued in Kumamoto, where 14 people are still missing.
Tens of thousands of army troops, police and other rescue workers mobilized from around the country to assist, and the rescue operations have been hampered by the rains, flooding, mudslides and disrupted communications.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga urged residents to use caution. “Disasters may happen even with little rain where grounds have loosened from previous rainfalls,” he said.
Suga pledged continuing search and rescue effort, as well as the government:s emergency funds for the affected areas.
Japan is at high risk of heavy rain in early summer when wet and warm air from the East China Sea flows into a seasonal rain front above the country. In July 2018, more than 200 people, about half of them in Hiroshima, died from heavy rain and flooding in southwestern Japan.
China’s legislative body has adopted the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).
Chinese lawmakers on Tuesday voted to adopt the "landmark" law on safeguarding national security in Hong Kong.
The law was passed unanimously at the 20th session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature.
President Xi Jinping signed a presidential order to promulgate the law, which goes into effect on the date of promulgation.
With 66 articles in six chapters, the law clearly defines the duties and government bodies of the HKSAR for safeguarding national security and four categories of offences -- secession, subversion, terrorist activities, and collusion with a foreign country or external elements to endanger national security -- and their corresponding penalties.
According to the law, the central government will set up an office in the HKSAR for safeguarding national security.
The HKSAR will establish a committee for safeguarding national security, which is under the supervision of and accountable to the central government. To be chaired by the HKSAR chief executive, the committee shall have a national security adviser designated by the central government. The Hong Kong police force will also set up a department for safeguarding national security, according to the law.
After the law was passed, the NPC Standing Committee consulted its HKSAR Basic Law Committee and the HKSAR government, and adopted on Tuesday afternoon, by a unanimous vote, a decision to list the law in Annex III to the HKSAR Basic Law.
The newly-adopted decision stipulates that the law shall be applied locally in the HKSAR by way of promulgation by the region.
HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam said in a statement that the HKSAR government welcomes the passage of the law.
"I am confident that after the implementation of the national security law, the social unrest which has troubled Hong Kong people for nearly a year will be eased and stability will be restored, thereby enabling Hong Kong to start anew, focus on economic development and improve people's livelihood," she said.
Addressing the closing meeting of the NPC Standing Committee session, Li Zhanshu, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, said the unanimous passage of the law and the decision has reflected the common will of the Chinese people including Hong Kong compatriots.
Stressing that national security, social stability and the order of rule of law are the premises of the development of Hong Kong, Li said the legislation represents the aspirations of the people and an irresistible trend of the times.
In a statement, the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council voiced firm support for the law, calling it a "milestone" event that will usher in a turning point for Hong Kong to end chaos and bring back order.
Nearly 2.93 million Hong Kong residents earlier signed a petition in support of the national security legislation during an eight-day campaign starting May 24.
The Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council said in its statement that for a tiny number of people endangering national security, the law will be a "sharp sword" hanging over their heads.
But for the vast majority of Hong Kong residents including foreigners in Hong Kong, the law will be a "guardian" that protects their rights, freedoms and peaceful life, said the office.
According to the law, people convicted of the national security crimes could face up to life imprisonment.
Convicted criminals will be disqualified from running for public office, and people in public office who are found guilty of the crimes will be removed from their posts.