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Now, I found that the world is round
And of course it rains everyday
Living tomorrow, where in the world will I be tomorrow?
How far am I able to see?
Or am I needed here?
Now, I found that the world is round
And of course it rains everyday
If I remember all of the things I have done
I’d remember all of the times I’ve gone wrong
Why do they keep me here?
Courtesy: Bee Gees – World (From the 1968 Album, Horizontal)
Arrangements for families hit by Covid-19 were thrust into the spotlight this past week when a flare-up of cases enveloping part of the expatriate community on Hong Kong Island, affecting international school teachers, bankers and lawyers, forced many children into quarantine. They are among about 120 children and teens currently isolated at the government facilities.”
Coronavirus: Hong Kong grants quarantine exemption allowing children of infected US consulate staff to join them in hospital https://t.co/JSOs6DeteQ
— SCMP Hong Kong (@SCMPHongKong) March 16, 2021
Coronavirus: daughter of US consulate couple tests positive, prompting school to close; residential buildings locked down after 11 new Covid-19 cases in #HongKong https://t.co/xq7jRvztos pic.twitter.com/wsNAdcFtKx
— Bien Perez (@BienPerez) March 18, 2021
On March 15, 2021 the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong and Macau was informed that two Consulate General employees tested positive for COVID-19. We have closed the Consulate General to perform a deep disinfection and cleaning while contact tracing is conducted. The Consulate employees that tested positive for COVID-19 do not work in offices that interact with the public. We are aware that many U.S. citizens in Hong Kong are concerned about local government testing, quarantine, and hospitalization procedures, particularly in regard to the possible separation of children from their parents. The U.S. Consulate General is actively addressing these concerns at the highest levels of the Hong Kong government to advocate for the U.S. citizen community. We urge U.S. citizens in Hong Kong to comply with all instructions from the Hong Kong Center for Health Protection.
“Yes, so we’ve been informed that two consulate general employees have tested positive for COVID-19, but due to privacy concerns, we’re not able to share additional information. When it comes to disinformation about these two not complying to quarantine, that is absolutely false.”
“… The cases have been admitted to the hospital for isolation, and all staff members and visitors who have been present at the relevant premises are required to undergo testing according to the relevant legislation. The two preliminary positive cases belong to the same family. Having learnt that the two patient are staff members of the US Consulate General in Hong Kong, the Government has immediately liaised with the Consulate General; the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) has also contacted the relevant persons, and arranged them to be admitted to the hospital for isolation and medical treatment according to the mechanism.
The US Consulate General in Hong Kong has been fully co-operative with the Government on all the above action items to combat COVID-19.”
“Today’s update identifies 24 PRC and Hong Kong officials whose actions have reduced Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, including 14 vice chairs of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee and officials in the Hong Kong Police Force’s National Security Division, the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, and the Office for Safeguarding National Security. Foreign financial institutions that knowingly conduct significant transactions with the individuals listed in today’s report are now subject to sanctions.”
WATCH: WHO officials respond to media reports of U.S. Sec. of State Pompeo claiming the health agency chief was "bought" by China.
"The comments are untrue and unacceptable and without any foundation for that matter," WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says. pic.twitter.com/5zkw1IMPiS
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) July 24, 2020
The WHO's Dr. Tedros rejects Mike Pompeo's suggestion that he has been bought by China: “The comments are untrue and unacceptable and without any foundation, for that matter…Our sole focus…is on saving lives."https://t.co/e9dMJIm7S0
— Jonathan Cheng (@JChengWSJ) July 24, 2020
British coronavirus victims died because the head of the World Health Organisation was ‘bought’ by China, U.S Secretary of State tells MPs https://t.co/XhKkIUvEbB
— Daily Mail U.K. (@DailyMailUK) July 22, 2020
The US government is evolving into a dangerous threat to global peace and security. By attacking the institutions that guard and promote international cooperation, the USG is promoting the conditions for instability and conflict. https://t.co/LxQZJs643N
— richard horton (@richardhorton1) July 22, 2020
On Sunday, July 12, Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei announced the following updates to restrictions in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:
New health alert system: Guatemala will launch a tiered system of health alerts on July 27, providing updated information on levels of health risk in the country based on locality and time. The threat ranking will be as follows:
TYPE OF ALERT THREAT LEVEL
The Embassy advises U.S. citizens in Guatemala to familiarize themselves with changes to the threat level in their areas. For the next two weeks before the official launch, these alerts are meant to be informational only. Following the official launch, Guatemalan authorities may impose specific restrictions to travel or activities in a given area based on its threat level. Current health alerts and additional information can be found on the Ministry of Health’s website, via the following link: https://mspas.gob.gt.
Restrictions on Vehicular Mobility: In the departments of Guatemala, Escuintla, Sacatepequez, Suchitepequez, Izabal, El Progreso, Zacapa, Santa Rosa and Quetzaltenango, all personal vehicles with license plates that end in an odd number (for example P001AAA) are permitted to circulate Monday, July 13; Wednesday, July 15, Friday, July 17; Tuesday, July 21; Thursday, July 23, and Saturday, July 25. All personal vehicles with license plates that end in an even number (for example P002AAA) are permitted to circulate on Tuesday, July 14; Thursday, July 16; Saturday, July 18; Monday, July 20; Wednesday, July 22; and Friday, July 24. Motorcycles, pedestrians, and other modes of non-vehicular transportation are exempt from these restrictions. All private vehicular mobility will be restricted on Sunday, July 19 and Sunday, July 26.
Curfew Hours: Guatemala’s national mandatory curfew remains in place, running from 6:00 p.m. each evening through 5:00 a.m. the following day. In addition, an extended curfew will be in place on weekends, beginning Saturday, July 18 and Saturday, July 25 at 2 p.m., and extending through 5:00 a.m. the following Monday. This means that a full 24-hour curfew will be in place on Sunday, July 19 and Sunday, July 26. Every individual in Guatemala — including U.S. citizens — is required to remain inside their domicile during curfew hours (with exceptions for health and security, restaurant delivery services, certain media and legal personnel in pursuit of their duties, and patients receiving urgent treatment for chronic conditions).
Guidance on Inter-Department Travel: The suspension on inter-departmental travel has been lifted, but government of Guatemala the urges individuals to avoid travel into, out of, or between the departments of Guatemala, Escuintla, Sacatepequez, Suchitepequez, Izabal, El Progreso, Zacapa, Santa Rosa and Quetzaltenango.
Operating Hours for Essential Businesses: Supermarkets, grocers, other markets, and essential businesses are permitted to operate from 6:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m. Shopping malls and large commercial centers remain closed.
Mandatory Use of Masks in Public: All individuals must wear masks in public spaces, including in grocery stores and on the street, to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 virus. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in fines of up to 150,000 quetzales.
Closing of Borders: The Guatemalan government is currently barring entry to most non-Guatemalans (with specific exceptions for accredited diplomatic personnel, health and security personnel, and exceptional cases as designated by the Guatemalan government) – by its land, sea, and air borders. Airport operations and routine commercial flights out of Guatemala have been suspended. The U.S. Embassy continues to work with Guatemalan authorities to allow passengers manifested on outgoing commercial flights to travel to the airport in Guatemala City. These passengers will receive letters requesting safe passage from their commercial carrier.
Suspension of Public Transportation: Public transportation within Guatemala is suspended.
Suspension of Public and Private Sector Labor Activities: Public and private sector labor is suspended, with the exceptions for certain essential government and health personnel, and for specific industries and utilities whose activities are essential to Guatemala’s security, food production, sanitation or infrastructure.
Prohibitions on Alcohol: The sale and purchase of alcohol is permitted only during limited hours. Consumption of alcohol in public areas is prohibited.
Other Restricted Activities: All beaches, lakes, rivers, and other tourist sites in Guatemala remain closed. Public religious gatherings and celebrations of any size are prohibited. Visits to individuals in hospitals or prisons are prohibited. Academic activities at all levels are suspended until further notice.
Additional Department and Municipality-Level Restrictions: Beyond the national-level restrictions mentioned above, different municipalities within the country may adopt additional restrictive measures on travel and outdoor activities. Please monitor local news reports to receive the latest information.
State of Prevention: The government of Guatemala has announced an extension of the State of Prevention, until July 30, 2020, for the municipalities of Nahualá, Santa Lucía Utatlán, and Santa Catarina Ixtahuacán, of the Department of Sololá. The State of Prevention is due to the ongoing security situation in the area caused by territorial disputes. Increased military and police presence can be expected in the area throughout the State of Prevention period.
While this suspension is in effect, the Embassy will provide passport services on an emergency basis only. U.S. citizens with expired or soon-to-expire passports who have imminent travel plans to the United States may request an emergency appointment at the Embassy through the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Embassy urges U.S. citizens to communicate all requests and confirm all appointment times through this e-mail; for health and safety reasons, the Embassy may not be able to accommodate walk-in requests.
The Embassy continues to accept adult passport renewal applications by mail. For more information on this process, please click here.
Due to reduced operations at U.S. domestic facilities, U.S. citizens who have previously applied for routine passport or Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) services may expect delays in receiving their documents. Applicants with documents in transit who have imminent travel plans to the United States may apply for emergency passports by scheduling an emergency appointment through the email address listed below. As a reminder, U.S. citizen children do not require a CRBA to qualify for an emergency passport.
VIDEO: Riding motorcycles or other vehicles, groups of armed citizens patrol the streets of Guatemala's San Vicente Pacaya to conduct temperature checks and enforce a curfew imposed to fight COVID-19 and the violence that plagues them pic.twitter.com/yNoQNLApNh
— AFP news agency (@AFP) July 10, 2020
Seems to need repeating: Checking for temperature or symptoms does next to nothing to tell how many COVID-19 cases if *not testing* given how many asymptomatic- @ICEgov has spread coronavirus globally thru deportations after only taking temps before flight https://t.co/Ffud4E40SM
— Molly O'Toole (@mollymotoole) July 13, 2020
We spoke to Covid-19 positive deportees in India, Haiti, Guatemala and El Salvador. Three were sent back to their home countries even though they had been showing symptoms for the virus. https://t.co/ZWQmHf40oM pic.twitter.com/JQYNKrzSrL
— Barbara Marcolini (@babimarcolini) July 10, 2020
The U.S. delivered 25 COVID-19 extraction kits to four public health laboratories in #Erbil, #Baghdad, #Najaf and #Basrah. These kits will enhance Iraq’s public health laboratories ability to accurately identify and improve the rate of detection of the coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/k2SAOhAWES
— U.S. Consulate General Erbil (@USConGenErbil) May 27, 2020
Heart breaking – tale of two continents. Tale of two different styles of leadership.
➡️ But we can conquer it. With all-states mask mandates, massive ramp up of pooled testing, of PPE production, & investment in school infrastructure. We shall overcome.pic.twitter.com/3i6Eq6ZEsl
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) July 14, 2020
New Quarantine Measures: The Kazakhstani Government has announced that quarantine restrictions will be reinstated throughout the country starting July 5. These restrictions will be in effect for at least 14 days, and may be extended or strengthened. Other municipalities may introduce restrictions beyond the below and with little or no notice; for the latest information, see your respective city’s website. Links are provided on our COVID-19 page.
· Transportation: Regional bus service will be suspended, and municipal transportation will be limited. Rail travel will be limited. Domestic and international air travel will remain at current levels.
· Businesses Shuttered: Most business will be closed, including beauty salons, gyms and fitness centers, pools, closed markets, beaches, cultural facilities, museums, exhibits, entertainment centers, religious facilities, movie theaters, food courts, and recreational facilities.
· Essential Businesses Exempt: Some essential business will continue to operate, including grocery stores, open-air markets, and pharmacies. Health centers will offer services by appointment. Limited enterprises, such as companies in construction, agriculture, auto service, and commercial banks will remain open. Restaurants will be open for delivery or take-out; summer patios will remain open.
· Personal Movement Limited: All large events and family gatherings are prohibited. Individual outdoor fitness activities are permitted, and people may walk in parks and other public spaces in groups of three or less. Individuals older than 65 years old are limited from leaving their residence.
For U.S citizens who need to travel by vehicle from areas with restricted movement in order to reach an airport with international flights, the only assistance we can provide is to request passage through the checkpoints from the Government of Kazakhstan (GoK). Based on the GoK’s requirements, you must provide us the below information at least four business days before your scheduled flight. Address this information to the following addresses: AlmatyUSCitizen@state.gov or Nur-SultanUSCitizen@state.gov. This information will be shared with the Kazakhstani Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
On March 14, 2020, the Department of State authorized the departure from any diplomatic or consular post in the world of US personnel and family members who have been medically determined to be at higher risk of a poor outcome if exposed to COVID-19.
❗️COVID-19 and Travel Update
U.S. Mission Kazakhstan (July 8, 2020)https://t.co/ywmtxX2r3e
— U.S. Embassy to Kazakhstan (@USembassyKAZ) July 8, 2020
How not to do Covid: Kazakhstan first country in the world to fully return to lockdown https://t.co/Tr7gC7OepA
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) July 5, 2020
#Kazakhstan reports of non-#Covid19 pneumonias: @WHO notes "there have been >10,000 confirmed cases over the past 7 days. (Code for: maybe Covid)
"We are currently in contact with the authorities in Kazakhstan to understand situation developments & provide support as needed."
— Helen Branswell (@HelenBranswell) July 9, 2020
‘Unknown pneumonia’ deadlier than coronavirus sweeping Kazakhstan, Chinese embassy warns https://t.co/nKeD5MZSZc
— SCMP News (@SCMPNews) July 9, 2020
VIDEO At a coronavirus call centre in 🇰🇬 Kyrgyzstan's capital volunteers are under siege.
Bishkek is a new virus epicentre that has re-emerged with a vengeance since Kyrgyzstan and neighbours Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan began relaxing stay-at-home orders https://t.co/ebleXrqzhx pic.twitter.com/P2bS6eX3v1
— AFP news agency (@AFP) July 8, 2020
Why does @StateDept issue statements like this? “International Students are Welcome in the U.S.”? Really? It’s like when they release statements praising the US treatment of refugees or claim America leads the world’s response to Covid-19. Why do this? To confuse historians? https://t.co/vzH0avchfU
— Nahal Toosi (@nahaltoosi) July 7, 2020
ICE is telling international students on F-1 and M-1 visas that if their school is doing online-only courses they must leave the country or transfer to a place with in-person instruction—or they'll be deemed in the US illegally and subject to deportation. https://t.co/O0T8QITNKG
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) July 6, 2020
This is bad. ICE just told students here on student visas that if their school is going online-only this fall, the students must depart the United States and cannot remain through the fall semester. https://t.co/8DteVzexLB pic.twitter.com/OfkWRKFZZE
— Aaron Reichlin-Melnick (@ReichlinMelnick) July 6, 2020
International student visas are at risk as schools switch to online classes.
— Bloomberg TV (@BloombergTV) July 7, 2020
@USAmbBR Chapman teve um almoço privado, no dia 4 de julho, com o presidente @JairBolsonaro, 5 ministros e o deputado @BolsonaroSP. O embaixador não apresenta nenhum sintoma, mas está tomando as precauções, fará os testes e seguirá os protocolos de rastreamento dos @CDCgov. (1/2)
— Embaixada EUA Brasil (@EmbaixadaEUA) July 7, 2020
Nossos dois governos mantêm comunicação contínua, incluindo sobre esse caso. Desejamos as melhoras ao presidente @jairbolsonaro. (2/2)
— Embaixada EUA Brasil (@EmbaixadaEUA) July 7, 2020
Muito honrado em receber o senhor presidente @jairbolsonaro este #4deJulho para celebrar os 198 anos das relações entre 🇧🇷 e 🇺🇸 e os 244 anos da independência dos Estados Unidos. Continuamos #TrabalhandoJuntos! pic.twitter.com/CpzlarGgyS
— Embaixador Todd Chapman (@USAmbBR) July 4, 2020
As President Bolsonaro waits for his covid test results, the U.S. Embassy in Brazil says the Ambassador Todd Chapman does not show any symptoms, but he is taking the necessary precautions and will be tested.
They had lunch together for the July 4 celebration. No one wore a mask. pic.twitter.com/v1nngHBdr4
— Raquel Krähenbühl (@Rkrahenbuhl) July 7, 2020
Presidente Jair Bolsonaro com sintomas de covid-19. No fim de semana, viajou para SC e almoçou na casa do embaixador dos EUA no Brasil, Todd Chapman, com ministros, como Ramos e Braga Netto. Tiraram fotos que aparecem um ao lado do outro, todos sem máscara. Ft: Isac Nóbrega/PR pic.twitter.com/DM3SkeXmx8
— Sarah Teófilo (@Sarahteofilo) July 6, 2020
A photo taken during a Fourth of July party shows President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil sitting next to the United States Ambassador to Brazil, Todd Chapman, giving a thumbs-up sign at a table decorated for the holiday. Neither man was wearing a mask. https://t.co/HukXuQDcEQ
— New York Times World (@nytimesworld) July 7, 2020