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Algeria shuts schools for 10 days amid COVID surge

The country is battling infections from both the delta variant and highly contagious omicron variant. 

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Algeria shuts schools for 10 days amid COVID surge
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Algiers: Algeria has directed all elementary and high schools to be closed for 10 days amid surging COVID-19 infections in the North African country, starting Thursday (today). 

The decision, taken by Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune to cancel classes, came after an emergency meeting Wednesday of the Council of Ministers, members of the COVID-19 scientific committee and the country's security officials. 

As per an official statement, university staff and health authorities have been instructed to decide themselves whether to continue with in-person classes.

The country is battling infections from both the delta variant and highly contagious omicron variant. 

On Wednesday, heath officials reported a daily record of 1,359 omicron cases and 12 deaths. 

In 2021, Algeria started requiring a vaccine pass to enter many public venues, in a bid to overcome public’s vaccine hesitancy that has left millions of dosses unused. 

The vaccine passport is also required for anyone entering or leaving Algeria, as well as for entering various sites including sports facilities, cinemas, theaters, museums and town halls.

In the meantime, Hong Kong will also suspend face-to-face teaching in secondary schools from Monday because of a rising number of coronavirus infections in several schools in the Chinese-ruled territory.

The government, however, halted classes in primary schools and kindergartens early this month, and imposed curbs, such as a ban on restaurant dining after 6 pm and the closure of venues such as gyms, cinemas and beauty salons.

Mehak Javed

Mehak Javed is immensely creative and an enthusiastic journalist, contributing in the publication of timely and accurate news. She is a skilled writer along proven history of achievement in the field with several years of professional experience. Mehak is working with GNN since 2020.

World

Israeli forces shoot and kill Palestinian teen in West Bank: health ministry

The death raises to five the number of Palestinian teenagers killed during Israeli military operations in the West Bank in a month

Published by Faisal Ali Ghumman

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Israeli forces shoot and kill Palestinian teen in West Bank: health ministry

The Palestinian Health Ministry said Israeli forces shot and killed a teenager during an operation in a town near Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.

The ministry identified the slain teen Zaid Ghunaim, 15. It said he was wounded by Israeli gunfire in the neck and back and doctors failed to save his life.

The death raises to five the number of Palestinian teenagers killed during Israeli military operations in the West Bank in a month. Israeli-Palestinian violence has intensified in recent weeks with near-daily arrest raids in Palestinian-administered areas of the West Bank and tensions around a Jerusalem holy site sacred to both Muslims and Jews.

The official Palestinian news agency, Wafa, cited witnesses as saying Ghunaim came upon the soldiers in al-Khader and tried to ran away but the troops fired at him. Online videos purportedly of the aftermath of the shooting show bloodstains near a white car parked in a passageway.

There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military, which has stepped up its operations in the West Bank in response to a series of deadly attacks inside Israel.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said Israeli forces “deliberately” shot at Ghunaim with the intention to kill him.

On Sunday, Israeli ultranationalists plan to march through the main Muslim thoroughfare of the Old City of Jerusalem. The compound houses Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam. The hilltop site is also the holiest for Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount.

The march is meant to celebrate Israel’s capture of east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war. Israel subsequently annexed the area in a step that is not internationally recognized. The Palestinians claim east Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.

SOURCE: AP NEWS

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Pakistan committed to promote environment of peace, stability in South Asia

"Pakistan adheres to the latest international standards on export controls and maintains the highest standards of nuclear safety and security"

Published by Siddra Sumreen

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Pakistan committed to promote environment of peace, stability in South Asia

Islamabad: Pakistan is committed to the promotion of an environment of peace and stability in South Asia while preserving its capability to ward off aggression or adventurism in any form.

In a press release in connection with Youm-e-Takbeer being observed on Saturday, Foreign Office Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said the tests conducted in 1998 not only demonstrated the resolve of the Pakistani nation to safeguard the country's territorial integrity, independence, and sovereignty, but also the desire to preserve strategic balance in South Asia.

He said we are partners in international efforts to strengthen the global non-proliferation regime based on the principles of non-discrimination and equal security for all states.

The spokesperson said Pakistan adheres to the latest international standards on export controls and maintains the highest standards of nuclear safety and security.

He also paid tributes to its scientists, engineers and technicians in ensuring Pakistan's security saying that the nation also deeply appreciates the contributions of Pakistan's nuclear programme to the country's socio-economic development.

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More than 200 cases of monkeypox worldwide: EU disease agency

The United Kingdom has 71 confirmed cases

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More than 200 cases of monkeypox worldwide: EU disease agency

Stockholm: The number of confirmed cases of monkeypox worldwide has reached 219 outside of countries where it is endemic, according to an update released by the European Union’s disease agency.

More than a dozen countries where monkeypox is unusual, mostly in Europe, have reported at least one confirmed case, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in an epidemiological note released Wednesday night.

“This is the first time that chains of transmission are reported in Europe without known epidemiological links to West or Central Africa, where this disease is endemic,” the note said.

It added that most of the cases were detected in young men, self-identifying as men who have sex with men.

The United Kingdom – where monkeypox’s unusual appearance was first detected in early May – currently has the largest bulk of confirmed cases, 71.

It is followed by Spain with 51 cases and Portugal, 37.

Outside of Europe, Canada has 15 and the United States has nine.

The total number of cases reported Wednesday has increased fivefold since its first count on May 20, when the EU agency said there were 38 cases.

Contagion risk is “very low”, the ECDC said earlier this week, but warned that people who have had multiple sexual partners – regardless of sexual orientation – are more at risk.

“The clinical presentation is generally described to be mild,” it said, adding that there has been no deaths.

Monkeypox – a less severe disease compared to its cousin smallpox – is endemic in 11 countries in West and Central Africa.

It spreads by a bite or direct contact with an infected animal’s blood, meat or bodily fluids, and initial symptoms include a high fever before quickly developing into a rash.

People infected with it also get a chickenpox-like rash on their hands and face.

No treatment exists but the symptoms usually clear up after two to four weeks, and it is not usually fatal.

Maria Van Kerkhove, the emerging disease lead for the World Health Organization, said Monday that monkeypox is a “containable situation”.

SOURCE: AFP

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