Harvey Weinstein tests positive for coronavirus 

NEW YORK — Former Hollywood producer and convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein has tested positive for coronavirus while in prison. He is now in isolation, according to Michael Powers, president of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association. Weinstein was found guilty of rape and sexual assault last month and sentenced to 23 years in prison. His lawyers have vowed to appeal against his conviction. Weinstein is being held at Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo in upstate New York. Two prisoners at the facility tested positive for the virus on Sunday, an officer who did not wish to give his name told Reuters news agency. Powers told Reuters that several members of staff had been quarantined. He expressed concern for corrections officers who he claims lack proper protective equipment. 

First coronavirus cases in the Palestinian Gaza Strip

GAZA – The first two cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the densely-populated Gaza Strip, Palestinian health officials said on Sunday. The two Palestinian men, both in their 30s, tested positive for the virus after returning from Pakistan via Egypt late on Saturday and were being held in a quarantine areas set-up in the border town of Rafah, the Gaza health ministry said. They were in stable condition, it said. “Thank God, the circle of contact wasn’t big,” Salama Marouf, chairman of the Gaza government media office, told Reuters. All those who were in contact with the two men had also been quarantined, he said, without immediately giving a number. Schools, public markets and event halls have all been shut in Gaza over the past two weeks to minimise the risk of coronavirus transmission. The coastal enclave, measuring 375 square km is home to around two million Palestinians.

Asia steps up efforts as second wave of virus strikes

GENEVA  – From Australia’s Bondi Beach to the streets of New Delhi, authorities across Asia ramped up efforts this weekend to stem the coronavirus amid fears of a second wave of infections in places where outbreaks had appeared under control. Tighter travel restrictions were imposed in several countries while Malaysia deployed its army to enforce a lockdown as the number of cases in the region soared past 95 000 – a third of the world’s infections, an AFP tally shows. Outside China – where the virus was first detected in December and infected more than 80 000 people – South Korea is the hardest-hit country in Asia with over 8 500 cases. While the number of infections in China has been falling for weeks, other countries are seeing the toll gather pace as the highly contagious virus takes hold. Cases rose by roughly a third in Thailand overnight to nearly 600.

Macron threatened UK entry ban without tight measures 

PARIS – French president Emmanuel Macron threatened to close France’s border with Britain on Friday if PM Boris Johnson failed to take more stringent measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak, a French newspaper reported. On Friday evening, Johnson ordered pubs, restaurants, theatres, cinemas and gyms to shut their doors to slow the accelerating spread of the disease, days after other European countries put their citizens on lockdown. French newspaper Liberation, citing sources in Macron’s office, said Johnson’s decision came after the French leader gave him an ultimatum on Friday morning, threatening an entry ban on any traveller from the UK if there were no new measures. Contacted by Reuters, Macron’s office declined to comment. But a source close to Macron confirmed there was a phone call between the two leaders on Friday. 

 – Nampa-AFP-Reuters-BBC News

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