South Korea is talking with Singapore about opening its first “travel bubble” next month, which would allow vaccinated travelers on direct flights to bypass quarantine.
South Korean health officials yesterday said that the nation has also proposed “bubbles” with Taiwan, Thailand and the US Pacific territories of Guam and Saipan as they look to ease COVID-19-pandemic-related traveling restrictions to revive ailing tourism and airline industries.
South Korea mandates two-week quarantines on most passengers arriving from abroad.
South Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare official Yoon Tae-ho said that the country would initially open its “travel bubbles” only to fully vaccinated travelers arriving on direct flights and group tours who could be monitored by their travel agencies.
Officials said that talks on opening the “travel bubbles” might not proceed quickly in places where the virus situation is fluctuating.
Meanwhile, Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, is to emerge from its fourth pandemic lockdown tomorrow.
However, some restrictions will remain and the 5 million residents of the city will not be allowed to travel to regional centers in Victoria state.
State officials say that the lockdown is being ended after two weeks following only one new COVID-19 case being detected in the latest 24-hour period linked to a Melbourne cluster.
The new case brought the number of infections in the cluster to 68.
Children would be able to return to school and travel restrictions are to be changed to allow Melbourne residents to travel up to 25km for non-essential reasons rather than 10km.
Offering Sinovac Biotech COVID-19 vaccines to the public in Singapore for the first time since Friday, several private clinics reported overwhelming demand for the Chinese-made shot, despite already available rival vaccines having far higher efficacy. Singapore has vaccinated almost half its 5.7 million population with at least one dose of the vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Both have shown efficacy rates of well over 90 percent against symptomatic disease in clinical trials, compared with Sinovac’s 51 percent. Earlier this week, officials in Indonesia said that more than 350 medical workers have caught COVID-19, despite being vaccinated with Sinovac and dozens have been
CROWDED HOSPITALS: Deaths have begun to pick up as the COVID-19 hospitalization rate exceed 70 percent in 87 cities across the country, government data showed Indonesia’s COVID-19 cases are nearing 2 million, with hospitals starting to fill up as the country grapples with the highly transmissible Delta variant of the virus. The government confirmed 13,737 new cases on Sunday, bringing the total to 1.99 million. Deaths have begun to pick up as the COVID-19 hospitalization rate exceed 70 percent in 87 cities across the country, with 371 people dying from the disease on Sunday — the worst since April, government data showed. “Because this is concentrated in certain regencies and cities, we can still mobilize resources from other areas,” Indonesian National Nurses Association chairman Harif Fadhillah said. “If
A Singaporean woman who starved, assaulted and ultimately killed her domestic worker was yesterday sentenced to 30 years in prison, with the judge describing the case as “among the worst types of culpable homicide.” The abuse inflicted on Burmese national Piang Ngaih Don, 24, was particularly awful and captured on closed-circuit television installed in the family’s home. The domestic worker was stamped on, strangled, choked, battered with brooms and burnt with an iron, court documents showed. The domestic worker died in July 2016, after her employer, Gaiyathiri Murugayan, repeatedly assaulted her over several hours. Gaiyathiri, 41, pleaded guilty in February to 28 charges, including
‘CONSPIRACY’: Three environmentalists of advocacy group Mother Nature were arrested for documenting waste drainage into Phnom Penh’s Tonle Sap River A Cambodian court has charged four environmental advocates with insulting the king and plotting against the government, an official said on Monday, after three of them were arrested for documenting waste run-off into a river. Use of royal defamation laws in Cambodia is a relatively new phenomenon, with the legislation only enacted in 2018. The three environmentalists — Sun Ratha, Ly Chandaravuth and Yim Leanghy of advocacy group Mother Nature — were on Wednesday arrested for documenting the draining of waste into Phnom Penh’s Tonle Sap River. Over the weekend, they were “charged with conspiracy to plot and for insulting the king,” Phnom