VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: May 11, 2020
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PAKISTAN
Pakistan opens markets amid steep rise in cases: DAWN

As Pakis­tan embraces further relaxation in lockdown amid a sharp rise in death toll and coronavirus cases last week, the government hopes that the virus will not spread as rapidly as previously had been estimated but takes measures to prepare the nation for the worst. Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar at a media briefing on Sunday said that besides easing the restrictions, the government was taking certain steps including the use of latest technology to identify Covid-19 hotspots and ensure ‘smart’ lockdown in order to control local transmission. Click here to read....

AFGHANISTAN
'Taliban Maintains Close Ties to Terror Groups': Afghan NDS Chief: TOLO News

Taliban’s relations with other terrorist groups “continue to be close and mutually beneficial which is against the spirit of the peace agreement the group had signed with the United States," said the head of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), Afghanistan's intelligence agency. “The Taliban’s leadership is still thinking of a comeback to power by military means. They do not value things like mutual tolerance and peace,” the NDS chief Ahmad Zia Saraj told Afghan senators during a briefing about the security situations of the country on Sunday. Click here to read....

BANGLADESH
Govt to bear costs of private hospitals treating Covid-19 patients: Dhaka Tribune

The government has decided to bear the operational costs of undersigned private hospitals treating Covid-19 patients. Medical professionals and others working at these hospitals will be paid by the government. However, private medical professionals will not be eligible for the same financial facilities as government employees. Government medical professionals are set to receive bonus salaries and will also get monetary aid if they contract or die from Covid-19. Click here to read....

MYANMAR
Govt expects COVID-19 response plan to cost $2 billion: Myanmar Times

Myanmar will receive up to US$2 billion (K2.8 trillion) in international aid from its development partners to implement the CERP, according to the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations. “The cost of all action plans in CERP is estimated to be around $2 billion. The estimated amount of assistance that 4-5 partners agreed to provide has reached nearly $2 billion so far,” U Set Aung, Deputy Minister for Planning, Finance, and Industry, said on social media on May 9. Click here to read....

NEPAL
Boundary issues with India require a lasting solution that addresses all disputes, say analysts: The Kathmandu Post

Six months after the Kalapani uproar, Nepal is in the midst of yet another boundary row with the southern neighbour—this time over India building a road via Lipulekh, a territory that Nepal claims as its own. As boundary disputes like these are a consistent feature of Nepal’s relationship with India, it is time for the authorities to seek a more lasting and permanent solution, say foreign policy analysts. Click here to read....

BHUTAN
Big holes in Thimphu Thromde accounts: RAA report: Kuensel

The financial audit of Thimphu Thromde’s current deposit account for the financial year 2018-19 revealed that the thromde had made excess, over, inadmissible payments and also payments for work not done to various contractors amounting to Nu 7.596 million in the construction and maintenance of roads, drains and footpaths. (for all works) Click here to read....

SRI LANKA
Work to commence in Colombo and Gampaha today whilst curfew in force: Daily Mirror

Curfew in the high risk districts of Colombo and Gampaha will remain in force, however work will commence from today and both public and private sector employees can travel to work by showing their office identification, an email, sms or Whatsapp message on their mobile phones, showing their proof of employment to the thousands of military and police personnel who will be deployed on the roads to maintain the health guidelines. Click here to read....

CHINA
More Virus Cases Reported in Northern China, Hubei Province: The Epoch Times

Chinese authorities reported new CCP virus cases in northern China and the virus’s initial hot spot of Hubei Province over the weekend. Click here to read....

Coronavirus: China faces historic test as pandemic stokes fears of looming unemployment crisis: South China Morning Post

Years of social progress in China are at risk of being undone as the country grapples with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, a black swan event that has lashed the world’s second biggest economy and driven unemployment to historic highs. Click here to read....

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