Sat, 21 May 2022

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday held a telephonic conversation with Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and discussed matters of shared concern including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and polio eradication in Pakistan, the Prime Minister's Office said.

Khan reaffirmed that eradication of polio remains a key priority of the government and efforts are underway to intensify the anti-polio campaign across the country despite challenges related to the COVID-19, the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement. (Pakistan-Bill Gates-Polio-COVID-19)

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KUALA LUMPUR -- The bus and flight tickets under the land and air Vaccinated Travel Lane between Malaysia and Singapore have resumed with immediate effect, Malaysian Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said on Friday.

However, the volume of tickets has been halved with only 50 percent of the capacity of vehicles plying the routes allowed, as part of measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, he said in a statement. (Malaysia-Singapore-COVID-19-Travel)

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SYDNEY -- The Solomon Islands has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases for the first time, with leaders warning of a worse situation.

The country has reported no COVID-19 fatalities throughout the pandemic.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said 48 locally transmitted cases were reported on Thursday, bringing the tally to 81. (Solomon Islands-COVID-19-Surge)

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WELLINGTON -- The number of people crossing the New Zealand border, driven by an increase in departures, went up in November 2021, the country's statistics department Stats NZ said on Friday.

There were 28,700 border crossings in November 2021, including 12,300 arrivals and 16,400 departures which were up by 1,300 and 6,600 respectively compared with the previous month, Stats NZ said. (New Zealand-COVID-19)

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