Thu, 26 May 2022

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday met with visiting Sri Lankan Minister of Trade Bandula Gunawardena to discuss bilateral and economic relations, the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan said.

During the meeting, the Pakistani foreign minister highlighted the importance of strengthening the existing fraternal relations between the two countries through high-level exchanges, it said in a statement. (Pakistan-Sri Lanka-Relations)

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COLOMBO -- Sri Lanka's Health Ministry said on Monday it is looking into the possibility of proceeding with legal action against those who do not take booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Anver Hamdani, director of Medical Technological Services and ministry coordinator in charge of COVID-19 at the Health Ministry, told reporters that the health minister had sought the advice of the attorney general in this regard.

"Accordingly, we hope to work within a legal framework in the future based on that legal advice," Anver said. "The aim of imposing a fine or implementing such laws pertaining to the third dose of the vaccine is to safeguard the people." (Sri Lanka-COVID-19)

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SUVA -- Samoa extended on Monday its nationwide lockdown by 72 hours after five new COVID-19 positive cases were reported in the Pacific island country.

According to a report by the newspaper Samoa Observer, Samoan Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa announced the five new cases in a national address, saying the infections were detected in the frontline workers who were monitoring 10 air passengers testing positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday last week. (Samoa-COVID-19-Lockdown Extension)

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JAKARTA -- Indonesia has allowed quarantine-free cross-border travel between Singapore and the two Indonesian cities of Batam and Bintan, with an aim to revive the tourism sector in both areas, an official said on Monday.

"The government has encouraged the travel bubble between the cities of Batam, Bintan and Singapore to boost the recovery of the tourism industry," Coordinating Minister for the Economy Airlangga Hartarto told a virtual press conference. (Indonesia-Singapore-Travel bubble)

---- MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan -- Contrary to alleged reports of women being confined to home under Afghanistan's Taliban administration, nearly a dozen women and girls are seen hard at work in a confectionery shop in the northern city of Mazar-I-Sharif.

The owner of the shop, Sayed Abas, told Xinhua that 10 women and girls work there regularly, making cakes and biscuits. (Afghanistan-Women FEATURE)

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