War veterans and centenarians raise funds in the battle against COVID 2
Tom Moore and Zinaida Korneva are just a couple veterans that are raising funds for COVID efforts. Photo by REUTERS/Peter Cziborra/File Photo, Reuterr Handout
Culture

War veterans and centenarians raise funds in the battle against COVID

Plus, Jerusalem's Noble Sanctuary reopens to worshippers, a Brazilian baby miraculously recovers from COVID, and Indonesian teachers find ways to reach their students. BY JACS T. SAMPAYAN
ANCX | May 31 2020

As the world remains mired in COVID-19 case counts and alarming updates, it’s hard to look past everyone’s grim newsfeeds. But opening our eyes wider to a bigger world that is, albeit slowly, starting to stand up should give us hope—or at least an easier day. ANCX will regularly gather positive developments in different corners of the globe to show that, in trying to move forward, we can confidently train our eyes upward.

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War veterans and centenarians are raising money to help COVID families in need

Walking around 14 miles in one week, a 95-year-old Ghanaian World War II veteran raised funds for healthcare workers in Africa. Each day, Joseph Hammond walked around two miles to reach his target earlier this week in Accra, Ghana’s capital. Speaking in a video on his JustGiving crowdfunding page, Hammond said he fought in a war that ended 75 years ago, and would now help to fight the pandemic in this “invisible war.” The former soldier says that he was inspired by Tom Moore, who raised USD 40 million to help his country’s National Health Service by walking 100 laps around his 25 meter garden before he turned 100. Other veterans and centenarians raising money for the COVID cause include 97-year-old Zinaida Korneva, who recounts war stories on social media to help out families of frontliners, and 100-year-old Dabirul Choudhury, who fasted and also walked laps. Hammond has so far raised around four percent of his USD 613,000 goal, which will be used to support veterans like him and frontline workers involved in the battle against COVID.

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Jerusalem’s Noble Sanctuary reopens, allowing worshippers to pray

Known as the third holiest site in Islam, the Al-Aqsa mosque reopened today after being closed for two and a half months because of COVID. Muslims in Jerusalem have had to observe Ramadan and the Eid al-Fitr holiday without visiting Al-Aqsa, which they refer to as the Noble Sanctuary, as social distancing restrictions were put in place. But as the spread of the virus has slowdown, the 35-acre site was allowed to reopen. There are still protective measures in place: worshippers must wear face masks and bring their own prayer rugs. At dawn, around 700 were in attendance to pray at the Al-Aqsa, a site where muslims believe the Prophet Mohammad ascended to heaven.

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Indonesian teachers find ways to help students who have no access to online classes

With COVID keeping students from going to their respective physical classrooms in Indonesia, many schools have turned to virtual classrooms, or TVRI, the state-run channel which now broadcasts educational programs. But for a lot of remote villages of the 270 million strong country, these tools are out of reach due to challenges in internet and TV connectivity. But some educators are now finding ways to bring knowledge to their students. Despite not being paid regular salaries, teachers like Rahima Malik and Ridwan Sitorus have taken to visiting their students to give them assignments so that these children could make the most of the lockdown. While social distancing protocols are in place in the country, some restrictions are modified depending on the location including time-limits on visits. There are, however, special allowances made for teachers, such as longer visiting time.

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After being put in a month-long coma, Brazilian baby recovers from COVID

A five-month old baby in Brazil has miraculously recovered from COVID-19 after spending 54 days in a hospital. The baby, named Dom, was diagnosed with the virus a few months after being born when his parents noticed he had difficulty breathing. Of his almost two month stay at Pro-Cardiaco hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Dom was placed in an induced coma and connected to a ventilator for 32 days. The largest country in Latin America has reported 25 COVID-related infant deaths. Brazil currently has 465,166 confirmed cases and 27,878 deaths. It is a miracle that the baby survived, according to his parents Wagner and Viviane.

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Pakistan pharma company plans to sell COVID treatment drug Remdesivir

Karachi-based pharmaceutical manufacturing company AGP Ltd is planning to sell the COVID treatment Remdesivir, a drug that been shown to improve recovery among the infected within months. This comes a few weeks after the medication’s creator, California-based Gilead Sciences Inc., signed agreements with generic drug manufacturers in India and Pakistan. Since last month, AGP has also sold around 100,000 anti-body test kits with 100,000 more still in stock. Pakistan, which recently reopened shopping malls and retail shops ahead of Eid al-Fitr, has almost 70,000 cases and more than 1,300 deaths.

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Dubai opens a humongous property specifically for e-commerce

With online shopping taking center stage amid COVID lockdown restrictions, the government of Dubai is preparing to open a new free trade zone that will help digital sellers along. Called the Dubai Commercity, the USD 870 million development will be split into three clusters: business, logistics, and social. The whole property will be roughly the same size as New York’s Grand Central Station and will be have office and logistics spaces as well as commercial units such as restaurants and cafes. Online sellers who will be tenants at Commercity will pay no income or corporation tax, and will benefit from support services like immigration, healthcare, administration, and banking. The first structures in the developments are projected to open by November, and the entire project is set to complete by 2023.

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