World Briefs: Nearly 15,000 measles cases in Philippines

Nearly 15,000 measles cases in Philippines

MANILA • The number of measles cases in the Philippines has almost reached 15,000, even as the government steps up its campaign against a health scare surrounding the dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.

The government had recorded 14,938 cases and 238 deaths from measles as of Feb 28, Health Department Undersecretary Eric Domingo said, adding that "the number of cases is still rising".

The Philippines declared a measles outbreak in Manila early last month as infections and fatalities from the highly contagious respiratory viral disease spiked.

The vaccine scare was triggered by deaths allegedly caused by Dengvaxia, which has since been banned in the country. The deaths drove many parents to shun the government's free immunisation drive.


Bangladesh hands over Myanmar soldier

DHAKA • Bangladesh forces handed over a Myanmar soldier yesterday, more than two months after he strayed across the border into a jungle in the Muslim-majority nation, a senior official said.

Aung Bo Bo Thein, 30, was detained by Bangladeshi security forces on Jan 24 near the southern town of Naikhongchhari.

Ties between Bangladesh and Myanmar have soured since about 740,000 Rohingya Muslims fled the Buddhist-majority country for Bangladesh after a military clampdown in 2017 in restive Rakhine state.

Dhaka had already been hosting 300,000 Rohingya, who earlier took refuge in squalid camps in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar district after previous bouts of violence.


Migrants who boarded ferry in Calais held

LILLE • French police have arrested 44 migrants who had climbed aboard a ferry while it was docked at the port of Calais, a Pas-de-Calais prefecture official said yesterday.

The migrants entered the protected port area last Saturday night and used ladders to climb aboard a ferry that had arrived from Dover, Britain.

The migrants are being held at the Calais police headquarters. Police officials continued to search the ship yesterday morning.

The prefecture and humanitarian organisations estimate that several hundreds of migrants are living in the Calais area, all hoping to find a way to get to Britain.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 04, 2019, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe