Covid 19

At least 23 dead after 'oxygen tank explodes'

Dozens of others were injured in the blaze, which erupted at the Ibn Khatib hospital on Saturday night.

Reports say an accident had caused an oxygen tank to explode, sparking the blaze.

Videos on social media show firefighters scrambling to extinguish the flames as people flee the building.

Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi called for an immediate investigation into the causes of what he called a "tragic accident".

NZ Pasifika business looking at new approach to recruitment in Covid era

Momoisea Horticulture Services Limited is a family-owned contracting company in the Hawkes Bay, providing orchards with workers to prune, thin and help with harvesting fruit.

The family have lived in Napier and served the area for over 20 years. The business started off with only their immediate family members and an average of 15 employees. It has since grown as an emerging industry in the area.

Business Commercial Manager, Theresa Momoisea, said there was a high demand for harvest workers and they were desperately seeking locals for jobs.

PNG confirms new Covid-19 cases

There are now seven confirmed coronavirus cases in PNG.

One of the new cases had been confirmed by the Emergency Controller, Police Commissioner David Manning, yesterday.

Prime Minister, James Marape said the seven people who have contracted the disease are all well.

"This includes the, first imported case, a male adult Australian mine employee who is now in Australia who have recovered. And the second local in the East New Britain Province."

He said all the new cases were consistently positive after repeated tests.

Fiji confirms two new Covid-19 cases, Suva will go into lockdown

Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama confirmed the two cases at a news conference, bringing the national total to seven.

The couple are hairdressers, and their cases are unrelated to the country's five other cases. The pair and their daughter are being isolated at Navua Hospital.

Tracing teams are now trying to locate people who may have come into contact with the family.

The prime minister confirmed that Suva would go into lockdown from 5am on Friday, in a similar fashion to Lautoka, on Viti Levu's west coast, which has been sealed off for two weeks.

Coronavirus: British Airways suspends all Gatwick flights

It follows EasyJet's suspension of flights after the government advised against all but essential travel.

British Airways told staff it was facing a challenging market environment in "unprecedented circumstances", according to an email seen by the BBC.

The airline said it would contact customers to "discuss their options".

"Due to the considerable restrictions and challenging market environment, like many other airlines, we will temporarily suspend our flying schedule at Gatwick," the airline said in a statement.

All schools ordered to close in Solomon Islands

The Solomon Star reported the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Education, Franco Rodie issued the directive, as part of the country's Covid-19 response strategy.

Dr Rodie said the mass repatriation of people from the capital to their home provinces following the declaration of a State of Public Emergency last week was causing anxiety and confusion for schools and education authorities.

Because of this Dr Rodie ordered all schools to close with a tentative return date set for the 27th of April.

Guam with at least 51 Covid-19 cases

On Friday six people tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total to 51.

13 of the cases are currently in hospital.

Last week a 68 year old woman became the first Covid-19 death in the region.

There are also at least 36 people from the USS Theodore Roosevelt who have tested positive for Covid-19 which is docked in Guam.

Figures on the military aircraft carrier were not included in the US territory's official count.

The USS Theodore Roosevelt had more than 5,000 people on board.

Will Greenwood reveals COVID-19 has claimed the life of his aunt

Greenwood wrote in his newspaper column that she had fallen ill with the virus last week but broke the sad news that she had passed away due to the illness on Saturday morning.

“Many of you have been so kindly asking me about my Aunty Jean.

“I had mentioned in a newspaper and on my podcast that she was poorly with COVID-19.

“Aunty Jean passed away yesterday morning.”

“Eldest of 3 sisters. Aunty Jean was in her 80s but had so much living to do.

Covid-19: PNG shuts down sports stadiums

The PNG Sports Foundation announced the closures today after consultations with national sporting federations and the Department of Health.

The foundation's chief executive, Peter Tsiamalili Jr, said he knew how passionate Papua New Guineans were about sport and that the decision was not taken lightly.

But the risk of the coronavirus spreading through large congregations of people at sporting events was just too high, Mr Tsiamalili said.