10 must-reads for today

People queueing in designated spots at a grocery store in Faridabad yesterday, the first day of India's nationwide lockdown.
People queueing in designated spots at a grocery store in Faridabad yesterday, the first day of India's nationwide lockdown.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (centre) at the US Capitol on Tuesday.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (centre) at the US Capitol on Tuesday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

1 India's lockdown troubles

India is facing serious challenges in implementing a three-week lockdown that started at midnight yesterday. Essential services are exempt from the lockdown, but there were reports of police crackdowns on vegetable vendors and delivery trucks, and panic buying was reported at grocery stores.

2 Cases in S'pore set to rise

With some of the 200,000 overseas Singaporeans returning home, there will be a rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in the coming weeks, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong. The number of cases in Singapore has more than doubled in the past week. Almost 80 per cent of these new cases were imported.

3 Malaysia extends curbs

Movement curbs in Malaysia have been extended from March 31 to April 14 as coronavirus infections continued unabated, putting the most vulnerable in the country at risk of financial ruin. Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has also brought forward the launch of a stimulus package to tomorrow from March 30.

4 US seals $2.9t relief deal

The United States Senate and White House yesterday finalised a US$2 trillion (S$2.9 trillion) relief package to stimulate the economy and help workers, small businesses and industries hit by the pandemic. The deal is the country's biggest move yet to combat the coronavirus.

5 Hybrid response for virus

After the severe acute respiratory syndrome and Middle East respiratory syndrome outbreaks, one would think the world had enough time to prepare. But besides preparation, resilience comes from acting decisively and in sync with societies. Hybrid approaches that strike the right balance seem to be a best practice, says Professor Patrick Reinmoeller.

6 MPs keep safe distance

New safe distancing arrangements were seen in Parliament yesterday as its members sat farther apart in the House, with some sitting in galleries on other levels and not in the chamber. MPs also had to take their refreshments in separate groups and use separate restrooms to maintain good personal hygiene. Members of the public and the media in the galleries were also seated at spaced intervals.

7 HSA warning on 3 products

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has warned the public against buying and taking three products touted as being able to improve sexual ability and which pose serious health risks. The products are Kopi Jantan Ali Macca, Kopi Panggung Al-Ambiak and Berry Jaga chewable candy.

8 Protecting supply chains

Singapore is working closely with six other nations to tackle disruptions to trade and supply chains that could impede the delivery of vital goods, including food and medicine. Singapore and its partners in the initiative - Australia, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, Myanmar and Brunei - pledged yesterday to ensure that trade lines for land, air and sea freight remain open.

9 Relief for S'pore athletes

While Singapore athletes are relieved that the Tokyo Olympics will be postponed to next year because of the coronavirus crisis, they face many adjustments. They have to rejig their training arrangements, competition schedules and - for those who have not done so - prepare for the qualifiers.

10 TV host Lee Teng engaged

Home-grown television host Lee Teng is engaged to his girlfriend Gina Lin, an advertising executive nine years his junior. She is from Taiwan and is also based in Singapore. The 36-year-old Lee has posted photos of the proposal and engagement ring on Instagram, where many local celebrities have congratulated him.


Inside Italy's coronavirus hospital

"It was literally bursting with patients with serious respiratory problems... not an inch of floor space was visible," says Dr Antonio Castelli, head of the resuscitation unit at the Luigi Sacco Hospital in Milan. str.sg/blurb285


Living under quarantine in the island of Luzon

The Philippine island of Luzon was placed under "enhanced community quarantine" last week after measures to contain the coronavirus by sealing the capital's borders had failed. str.sg/blurb286

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 26, 2020, with the headline '10 must-reads for today'. Subscribe