Asia News Today | Vietnam and Hong Kong vaccine passports postpone elections

In Vietnam, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has issued guidelines for implementing the second phase of its COVID-19 vaccine passport pilot program to welcome international tourists. The second phase will continue until the full reopening of tourist activities by air. , land and sea, which is set for March 15. During this period, Vietnamese and overseas Vietnamese citizens, as well as foreign nationals, are eligible to participate in the pilot program through international scheduled, commercial and charter flights. Tourists must carry a COVID vaccination certificate or a COVID cure certificate recognized in Việt Nam. The second dose of vaccine should take place between 12 months and 14 days from the date of departure, while those who have recently recovered should be discharged from hospital no more than 6 months before departure. Tourists are also required to have proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure and to have medical insurance that covers COVID-19 treatment with a minimum liability of US$20,000.


In China, the Winter Olympics have come to an end, but the controversy surrounding the games will continue, as the public continues to debate who the real winners and losers are on the world’s biggest stage. For a quick perspective on Beijing 2022, the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony took place in Beijing last night, officially bringing the games to a close. Norway finished first overall with a total of 37 medals, Germany came second with 27 medals, followed by the United States with 25 medals overall. Meanwhile, hosts China have won 9 gold medals, one more than their main rival, the United States, securing third place in the official Olympic medal table. Germany came second with 12 gold medals, and Norway finished first, topping the Olympic podium sixteen times since the games began on February 4. The games have drawn fierce criticism from the international community over China’s human rights record, with a group of Asia-Pacific countries staging a diplomatic boycott, including the US, UK , Canada, India, Australia and several other European countries. This year’s Winter Games shone a light on the US-China rivalry, while shining a spotlight on Russia’s ongoing doping offenses, including child athletes. Notably, American-born freestyle skier Eileen Gu competed for China, winning gold in the Big Air and Halfpipe events, sparking intense debate over her nationality and allegiance. Competing for the United States, Chinese-American Nathan Chen won gold in the men’s singles event. Meanwhile, young Russian figure skating prodigy Kamila Valieva has been cleared to continue competing after it emerged a blood sample had tested positive for at least one banned substance. The Paralympic Winter Games will take place from March 4 to 13 in Beijing. The next Winter Olympics will be held in February 2026 Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.


In Taiwan, the sports administration announced yesterday that national team athletes must abide by a new code of conduct to compete in the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou, China in September. The new code of conduct is being drafted in response to the unpatriotic behavior of Taiwanese speed skater Huang Yu-ting (黃郁婷) on the international stage. Huang, who was Taiwan’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony, drew ire from domestic audiences for his actions and comments made before and during the Beijing Winter Olympics. Ahead of the games, the two-time Olympian uploaded a video to Instagram of herself wearing the Chinese speed skating team’s uniform during practice in Salt Lake City, Utah. During the 1,500m speed skating race on February 7, Huang told the Beijing Daily that she was touched by the enthusiasm of the audience, saying it “felt like competing at home”. . Then, after Thursday’s 1,000m race, Huang thanked his supporters on Facebook, saying “the comments section is now open for haters and trolls.” She posted the same remark on Chinese microblogging website Sina Weibo, but added that “there are no trolls in the comment section.” The sports administration said it would bring together representatives of the Chinese Taipei Skating Union and the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee to discuss Huang’s case and determine whether she should be penalized in the coming weeks. Current regulations do not prohibit Taiwanese athletes from expressing themselves freely on social media. media and wearing the uniforms of other countries during training sessions, and therefore do not constitute grounds for disqualification. The current national team handbook does not stipulate how athletes should behave and no guidance is given during the athlete briefing prior to international competition.


Meanwhile in Hong Kong, the government has postponed the upcoming election of its next leader for six weeks, citing the need to tackle a wave of new covid infections in the region. Hong Kong’s embattled chief executive Carrie Lam announced on Friday that the election of her successor had been pushed back from March 27 to May 8, to avoid “public health risks”, despite a committee of just 1,462 people are involved in the election. .Hong Kong reported more than 6,000 new cases on Saturday, and the government announced it would turn the Kai Tax cruise terminal into a covid treatment facility, with 1,000 beds to help ease the burden on public hospitals. John Lee, the city’s top civil servant, wrote on Sunday that the government had “entered a state of full combat” against the virus. In Hong Kong, the post of chief executive is elected by a committee of lawmakers, representatives of various professions and industries, and Hong Kong members of the Chinese legislature, as well as other pro-Beijing representatives.


In Hong Kong, the government has postponed the upcoming election of its next leader for six weeks, citing the need to tackle a wave of new covid infections in the region. Hong Kong’s beleaguered chief executive Carrie Lam has announced that the election of her successor has been pushed back from March 27 until at least May 8, to avoid “public health risks”, despite the fact that a committee of only 1,462 people are involved in the election. Hong Kong reported more than 6,000 new cases last Saturday, and the government announced it would turn the Kai Tak cruise terminal into a covid treatment center, with 1,000 beds to help ease the burden on public hospitals . John Lee, the senior civil servant city manager, says the government had “entered a state of all-out combat” against the virus. In Hong Kong, the post of chief executive is elected by a committee of lawmakers, representatives of various professions and industries, and Hong Kong members of the Chinese legislature, as well as other pro-Beijing representatives.


Indonesia’s proposal to G20 countries to establish a global health care fund has received a positive response from other G20 countries and the World Health Organization. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said existing systems are not providing the funds needed to address current health issues, while a lack of funding for preparedness has left the world more vulnerable to future pandemic outbreaks. She says a financial intermediary fund would provide a dedicated knowledge base with accountability, directing resources to this outsourced problem. The fund could also encourage low- and middle-income countries to leverage existing national or regional resources for health spending.


Roger Ng, a Malaysian national and former employee of Goldman Sachs, testified in US court about his business dealings with Malaysian financier Jho Low, who is still wanted for his role in the looting of the public fund, the notorious 1MDB. Ng’s testimony shed light on the bank’s lavish parties and the involvement of his ex-boss, Tim Leissner, who is also a star witness in the trial. Leissner pleaded guilty in 2018 to violating U.S. anti-money laundering and anti-corruption laws and faces a lengthy prison sentence when convicted later this year. The US District Court in New York trial of the Malaysian national is the first foreign jury hearing centered on the Southeast Asian country’s plunder of billions of dollars of public funds. The track comes at a critical time for former prime minister Najib Razak, who was convicted of the scam and is currently out on bail, but continues to consider a potential second term as Malaysia’s prime minister.


In Thailand, the government has warned private hospitals not to reject Covid-19 patients before planned changes to universal coverage schemes for emergency patients take effect. The current universal coverage system stipulates that patients of Thai nationality can be treated in any hospital for the first 3 days, before being transferred to a hospital covered by their social state or their insurer. The rule does not apply to foreign nationals. From March 1, Covid treatment for patients who are not critically ill will NOT be covered. If they wish to be treated in private hospitals, they will have to pay for it. But not before the new policy takes effect on March 1. The government has warned that private hospitals that reject treatment for covid patients will be penalized under the Medical Facilities Act. In Thailand, the cost of covid treatment may be covered by state welfare schemes. , such as university health coverage and social security. But private hospitals have been known to turn away patients who aren’t covered by private health insurance, citing a lack of beds.


Asia-Pacific is set to become the largest data center region in the world over the next decade. Sydney, Singapore and Hong Kong are currently ranked among the top 10 global data center markets, according to a report by Cushaman and Wakefield. Northern Virginia in the United States is currently the largest data center in the world, with Singapore ranked second globally, Hong Kong… ranked 6th globally, and Sydney… ranked 8th globally. Meanwhile, construction continues to surge globally, with ongoing projects in covered markets totaling 4.1 gigawatts, up from 2.9 gigawatts in the previous year’s report. Larger customers are demanding bigger builds, with 100 megawatt campuses becoming more common.

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