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Vol. 34 • No. 13 • 16 Pages (2 sections) • 50 cents • 713-774-5140 • www.voiceofasia.news • E-mail: voiceasia@aol.com

Gunmen storm SikhHindu temple in ongoing Kabul assault

US Senate, W.House agree on $2 trillion rescue for virus-hit US economy

Stay Home - Work Safe order issued for Houston, Harris County

by Michael Mathes

W

Afghan personnel arrive at the site of an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Image Credit: AP

by Emal Haidary

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ABUL, Afghanistan | AFP | 3/25/2020 Gunmen stormed a Sikh-Hindu temple in central Kabul on Wednesday and were locked in an ongoing battle with security forces, an official said, in the latest assault on the Afghan capital.

The attack comes as Afghanistan is facing myriad crises including a raging insurgency, political deadlock, a massive cut in US aid, a flailing peace process and rising coronavirus cases. “At around 7:45 am (0315 GMT), a number of attackers entered a Hindu-Sikh temple,” interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian told AFP. “People are stuck inside the building and (security forces) are trying to rescue them.” The Taliban denied any involvement in the attack. While no other group immediately claimed responsibility, Islamic State jihadists frequently orchestrate assaults on the country’s

K AUSHAL P ATEL A SSOCIATES F ORENSIC D ATA C ONSULTANT

ASHINGTON | AFP | Wednesday 3/25/2020 The Senate and White House have reached agreement on a $2 trillion stimulus package for the US economy and millions of Americans ravaged by the coronavirus crisis, top lawmakers said early Wednesday.

“At last, we have a deal,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, hailing the massive “wartime level of investment religious minorities. into our nation” reached after “There are about 150 people five days of arduous and tense inside the temple. Families are negotiations. living there and they usually “We have a bipartisan agreegather to offer prayers in the mornings,” said Anarkali Kaur ment on the largest rescue packHonaryar, a Sikh member of the age in American history,” top Senate Democrat Chuck SchumAfghan parliament. er said shortly after McConnell “Some people inside the tem- spoke. ple are hiding and their phones “So many people are being are off. I am very concerned.” put out of work through no fault IS has a history of targeting of their own. They don’t know Afghan Sikhs and Hindus in- what their future is going to be cluding a suicide bombing in like, how are they going to pay Jalalabad in July 2018 that killed the bills,” Schumer added. 19 people and wounded 21. “Well, we come to their resAround 1,000 Sikhs and Hin- cue.” dus are estimated to reside in The Senate and House of Repwhat is otherwise an overwhelmresentatives still need to pass the ingly Muslim nation. legislation before sending it to Earlier this month, IS jihadists President Donald Trump for his killed 32 people and wounded signature. dozens more in an attack at a poMcConnell said the Senate litical gathering in Kabul. will vote on the measure later To add to the country’s woes, Wednesday. Washington slashed the amount Continued on Page 3 of aid to the country this week.

Harris County Executive Lina Hidalgo and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner during a press conference on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, at TranStar in Houston announcing the Stay Home - Work Safe Order to be effective until April 3. (KTRK Screen grab).

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ARRIS COUNTY Tuesday, March 24, 2020 (KTRK) - A Stay Home - Work Safe Order has been issued for Houston and Harris County residents to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

The order will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. and will last until April 3. It applies throughout Harris County, including unincorporated areas and all cities within the county.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said in a tweet that people should stay home except for essential needs. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner echoed what Hidalgo said.

health and safety of our community,” Hidalgo said.

“I can say to you without reservation that @HarrisCoJudge and I are standing together on this order. This is a public health The decision was announced crisis,” Turner wrote. Tuesday at a joint press conferAccording to the federal govence with Hidalgo and Turner. ernment’s Cybersecurity and “To put simply, this means that Infrastructure Security Agency all of us should stay home unContinued on Page 3 less our jobs are essential for the

H ARRY P ATEL CFE, CTRS, EA, CBA IRS T AX P RACTIONER


Page 2 • VOICE OF ASIA (Section A)

FRIDAY, March 27, 2020

VOICE OF ASIA

COMMUNITY Second Front Page

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Sewa International responds on crisis footing to the coronavirus pandemic

OUSTON, March 24, 2020 – The Indian American community of Houston has joined together to respond to the coronavirus pandemic on a war-footing. Rasesh Dalal of Vallabh Priti Seva Samaj (VPSS) is coordinating the community leaders meeting. “We have good plans of action to fight Covid-19. Our next meeting, on March 29, will be via video conferencing.”, said Dalal.

sisting international students. The Indian Consulate in Houston and the Indian Embassy in Washington, DC are also forwarding help requests to Sewa about international students. Sewa International had 20,000 masks in their warehouse as part of its disaster preparedness plan. They immediately began distributing those masks to medical facilities all over the country including in Houston, Phoenix, Atlanta, the Bay Area, and New Jersey. In fact, San Mateo County in California offered to send an airplane to pick up a few thousand masks which highlights how dire the situation is. Sewa International is now in the process of procuring three million additional masks and is actively seeking funds to support this important purchase.

Sewa International is leading the ground operations on behalf of the Indo-American organizations. Devendra Mahajan of Arya Samaj said, “I cannot say enough about the quality of service Sewa International provided during the Harvey Floods in Houston. They made us very proud as Indian Americans. They deserve all the help and support in their fund-raising campaign.” “This is a dire situation, people are dying, and we need to do everything that we can,” said Gitesh Desai, President of Sewa International, Houston Chapter. He told the group that “Sewa has set up four regional non-medical helplines for a coordinated national response,

Sewa International distributed 20,000 masks from its disaster preparedness plan to medical facilities nationwide

where people can call in for as- and New Jersey. sistance. Regional hubs include Sewa services a wide range of Houston, the Bay Area, Atlanta, issues on the helplines, includ-

ing aiding individuals reporting Covid-19 symptoms, checking in on family members, purchasing food and groceries, and as-

Sewa International is also coordinating the delivery of 200 meals a day to first responders. Sewa International is in the process of setting up a system of regularly checking on 1000 senior citizens in a safe and hygienic way. Sewa International is hosting informational video sessions with doctors, lawyers, Chartered Public Accountants

(CPAs), family therapists, and yoga/meditation experts. Ramesh Bhutada, a leading philanthropist, has pledged to donate $25,000 and the community leaders raised over $50,000 for the cause during their meeting last week. Patanjali Yogpeeth, Arya Samaj, Hindus of Greater Houston, and Hindu Worship Society were also among the early supporters of the fundraising campaign. A large scale COVID-19 response needs volunteers and financial assistance. If you are interested in volunteering with Sewa, please join us directly by contacting a Sewa International USA member or through a partnering temple or organization. We also have an immediate financial need of $500,000 in Houston and $3.5 million nationally to continue these efforts and to support our community at every level during this pandemic. You may donate directly at the Sewa International USA website (https://www.sewausa.org/ Donate) or on our Facebook (https://bit.ly/FBDonateSewa),” Gitesh Desai said.

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Page 3 • VOICE OF ASIA (Section A)

Section 2

Business

Email: voiceasia@aol.com

www.voiceofasia.news

FRIDAY, March 27, 2020

Tel: 713-774-5140

US Senate, W.House agree on $2 trillion rescue for virus-hit US economy of “nickeling and diming at a time people are dying.”

Continued from Page 1

The deal aims to buttress the teetering economy by giving roughly $2 trillion to health facilities, businesses and ordinary Americans buckling under the strain of the coronavirus pandemic.

Any relief package that passes the Senate will need to clear the Democratic-led House too before going to Trump. Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled a more generous, roughly $2.5 trillion counterproposal that included ambitious elements like guaranteed paid and family medical leave, student loan forgiveness and oversight of the $500 billion earmarked for corporations.

The measure will put cash directly into the hands of Americans hard hit by the crisis, provides grants to small businesses and hundreds of billions of dollars in loans for larger corporations including airlines, and expands unemployment benefits.

But she signalled the House may simply take up the Senate bill and try to pass it.

It will also inject some $130 billion into what Schumer calls “a Marshall Plan for hospitals” and health care infrastructure, referring to the huge American aid program to rebuild Europe after World War II.

“Much of what we have in our bill is reflected in this supposed agreement,” Pelosi said. According to Schumer, the compromise legislation includes an oversight mechanism for the company loans, and expanded unemployment provisions for workers laid off or sickened during the pandemic.

With viral outbreaks spreading coast to coast, hospitals have been in dire need of equipment like protective gear, intensive care beds and ventilators. US stocks had already surged Tempers ran high on Capitol Hill prior to the bill’s Senate passage. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images Tuesday on expectations of an agreement. package. reach a compromise that pro“The longer it takes, the harder fected 55,000 and killed nearly vides relief for hundreds of mil- it will be to start up our econo- 800 in the US alone. On Wednesday, Tokyo’s NikMnuchin had shuttled between lions of Americans. my. Our workers will be hurt!” kei closed up eight percent after the Capitol offices of the SenAs the hours ticked away the stimulus deal was reached. ate’s leaders as they and staffers President Donald Trump called - ‘Stop negotiating’ Tuesday, several lawmakers Oil prices rallied in Asia. hammered out the language of for an immediate resolution to voiced their anxiety. Democrats rejected the origthe stalemate. McConnell and Schumer ne- the bill. inal package, arguing it put “Pass the damn bill. Stop negotiated the deal with Treasury The agreement followed mul“Congress must approve the corporations ahead of workers, gotiating. Enough is enough,” a Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other White House officials amid tiple failed attempts to advance deal, without all of the nonsense, including health professionals visibly angry Republican Senadays of bitter partisan infighting a Republican-led proposal, and today,” he said Tuesday on Twit- on the front lines of the battle tor Lindsey Graham said on the against a pandemic that has in- floor, after accusing Democrats over what to put into the final pressure had soared to swiftly ter.

Stay Home - Work Safe ... Continued from Page 1

than 340.

the next step.

guidelines, there are 16 sectors “My destiny is in your hands. “Shelter-in-place is not the considered essential: Your destiny is in my hands. right term for our region,” she Where we go from here is de- said. • Communications pendent on how we recognize Tuesday morning, Turner also the crisis we are in,” the mayor • Chemical said the shelter-in-place termisaid. nology should not be used. • Critical Manufacturing Hidalgo said a fine or up to 180 “We have faced major storms. days in jail will be enforced for • Commercial Facilities We have faced mass shootings. violating the order. We have faced chemical releas• Dams Still, the Harris County Sher- es. And in those times, we have iff’s Office said there is no de- asked people to shelter in place. • Defense Industrial Base sire to arrest people. Instead, the And that terminology ‘shelter hope is that people will volun- in place’ should be reserved for • Emergency Services tarily comply. shootings, explosions, major storm events, mainly events like • Energy However, citations are a possi- Harvey, when we ask people to bility, with HCSO’s Jason Spen- shelter in place. This is another • Financial cer saying the enforcement fo- type of crisis,” the mayor said. cus, if any, will be on businesses • Food & Agriculture open in violation of the order, Dallas County Judge Clay Jen• Government Facilities not necessarily individuals. kins issued a shelter-in-place order that took effect Monday • Healthcare & Public Health After the press conference, night at 11:59. Houston police chief Art Acev• Information Technology edo spoke. Hidalgo addressed claims made by Jenkins about Harris • Nuclear Reactors, Materials “First of all, let’s just make County’s order before it was isand Waste something clear. The city is not sued. locked down,” Acevedo said. • Transportation Systems “That couldn’t be further from “Obviously, I know Judge Jenthe truth.” kins made a comment, I believe • Water last night. You know we’re all “We’re going to ask people in constant communication. (I) Under the order, grocery stores when we think they’re doing will stay open, with Turner say- something that’s in violation of can’t control what other folks ing the food supply chain is this order, we’re going to ask say,” Hidalgo said. “Judge Jenkins and I generally work very sound. people to comply, and we be- closely together. I work most Parks will remain open, but no lieve that by using some com- closely with Mayor Turner, with playgrounds, benches, exercise passion and common courtesy, Judge George, our regional judgequipment or basketball courts we’ll be able to be just fine,” es. I’ve been in touch with other counties, and we’re working may be used. People who enjoy Acevedo said. together on this, but of course the outdoor spaces must mainThree Houston police officers we’re also in touch with the largtain social distancing. have tested positive for corona- er counties, whether that be TarRestaurants can continue pro- virus due to job-related expo- rant or Dallas or Travis. We are viding takeout and drive-thru sures. The officers are at home all in constant communication.” service, but must maintain social in self isolation, but are in good Hidalgo was also asked whethdistancing between customers as spirits. er she had left Harris County well. HFD Chief Sam Pena is also over the weekend. “No, I did In order to safely social dis- asking that the public use 911 not. We’ve all been working, tance, you must stay six feet prudently and for true emer- you know, almost 24/7.” gencies. But if you do call 911, away. and someone in your home has “We aren’t exaggerating when Day cares who provide care for flu-like symptoms, please let we say staying at home and soemployees of essential business- dispatchers know so that first re- cial distancing is a matter of sponders can be prepared. life and death,” Hidalgo told es can remain open. reporters. “Please, unless you Pena said Tuesday over 30 absolutely need to be out, stay Religious and worship services are to be streamed online only, firefighters are in quarantine af- home.” but one-on-one counseling be- ter one of their colleagues testDr. Umair Shah with Harris tween leaders and parishioners is ed positive for coronavirus. The firefighter who tested positive County Public Health said we allowed in an effort to help with had worked a 24-hour shift. are seeing the virus spread in the mental health. community now. Of the cases Hidalgo first addressed the in Harris County, about half of The goal is to “flatten the curve” and to limit exposure and stay-at-home order in a press them were community spread. spread of the virus that has killed conference Monday, saying that “We’ve got to slow this virus eight Texans and infected more authorities are still working on

“Every American worker who is laid off will have their salary remunerated by the federal government, Schumer said. Pelosi suggested the measure might even pass the House by unanimous consent. But getting 435 lawmakers to swallow a gargantuan rescue package without debate could be an uphill proposition in a sharply divided chamber.

Houston restaurant staff face unemployment -- or risky gigs by Julia BENARROUS

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OUSTON, Texas | AFP | Tuesday 3/24/2020 Until last week, Ashlyne Collins worked as a bartender at a restaurant in Houston. But the coronavirus epidemic has shut the place down and the 22-year-old is out of work.

Of course, like millions of Americans, Collins still needs to work so she can pay her monthly rent of $1,800. And her boyfriend was also laid off. Her options are limited: the best seems to be delivering takeout or stocking shelves in a supermarket -- in full knowledge that she may be putting her health at risk. “I’m probably going to have to leave my apartment and sell my truck or something,” Collins told AFP. “I don’t know... my parents have offered for us to move in with them.” - ‘Really risky’ The sweeping measures in place across large swathes of the United States to curb the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus have put many Americans on the back foot.

down. Please do everything you can to stay at home. Please do everything you can to limit your interactions with others,” Dr. Shah said. Hidalgo also addressed releasing people from jail in the county who are not a threat to the public. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said last week that his office would look to increase “compassionate” releases to avoid COVID-19 from getting inside the jail and spreading quickly. Hidalgo also addressed releasing people from jail in the county who are not a threat to the public. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said last week that his office would look to increase “compassionate” releases to avoid COVID-19 from getting inside the jail and spreading quickly.

Food delivery jobs are a new options for laid off restaurant workers in the United States during the coronavirus crisis -- this bike courier is seen in New York (AFP Photo/Angela Weiss)

Small businesses like the restaurant where Collins worked have closed their doors -- and could end up not reopening at all if the two-week shutdown now in place is extended. Collins says she has applied for unemployment benefits, but the $1,000 a month she could receive is about a third of her usual salary, which relies heavily on tips. Major US companies such as Walmart and Kroger are hiring people in droves, especially those who can restock shelves overnight, after panicked shoppers load up during the day. But Collins is worried about her health. “I think it’s dangerous -- I understand they’re offering people jobs but you’re coming within two inches of another person and you don’t know if they have it or not,” she said. “There’s no hazard pay.” Nevertheless, Collins applied at a few places in Houston, the most populous city in Texas with more than 2.3 million people, but she figures her application will get lost in the shuffle. For her, food delivery services such as Uber Eats and DoorDash -- with their near-instant online application processes -- seemed more doable, even if it seems “really risky” to be in contact with customers. - ‘Nobody knows when’ -

Jessica Kunzat is in the same situation. The 23-year-old university student was laid off last week from her part-time job as a waitress at a seafood restaurant, which she started at age 16. For Kunzat, who is studying mechanical engineering, Uber Eats and the like are a workable solution in the short term -- as long as restaurants are allowed to continue offering meals for delivery. Her employer, Floyd’s Cajun Seafood, did promise to rehire everyone when the restaurant reopens but “nobody knows when that will happen,” Kunzat said. For now, she is keeping her second job, as a reporter for student media at the University of Houston. The campus is shut down, and classes are being held online, which could affect that work in the coming weeks. “To be in this worldwide crisis and then lose your job in the middle of it, it makes you feel very insecure,” Kunzat said. As of Monday evening, Texas had more than 400 confirmed coronavirus cases, according to state health authorities. About half of those are in the greater Houston area. So far, Governor Greg Abbott has not instituted a statewide stay-at-home order, like his counterparts in New York, California or Illinois, leaving it up to local officials.


Page 4 • VOICE OF ASIA (Section A)

FRIDAY, March 27, 2020

Family Health

Section 2

Email: voiceasia@aol.com

New Coronavirus strategy – stop the spread and mitigate the impact

by Dr. Samba Reddy

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OUSTON, March 23, 2020 - The latest coronavirus strategy is to stop the spread and mitigate the impact of infection. Now, it is more critical and very urgent to stay home, stop the spread, and save lives.

The Coronavirus has incited panic and fear worldwide, with very rapid and uncontrolled positive cases in many cities worldwide. Now, we are fighting a global war with an invisible enemy, the COVID-19 virus. It is the most catastrophic event we ever witnessed in our lifetime. It has already is devastated many countries and spreading rapidly in India and both Telugu states. Coronavirus is about 50-times more serious and lethal than flu viruses. Presently, there is no medical treatment and no vaccine available for combating this respiration infection. Scientists have never seen anything like this before; there is long way head and we must adapt to rapid responses with daily information or updates. The coronavirus mainly spreads through airborne droplets (such as from coughs, sneezes, spit, laughter, or talking) between people who are within about 6 feet of each other. It can also transfer from infected surfaces to the mouth, eyes, or nose through direct contact or intermediate contact via the hands, after touching surfaces that have the virus on them, such as objects, phones, or doorknobs. Mild or serious signs may appear within 3 days to 13 days after exposure. The most common symptoms are fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, fatigue or

body pains; these can eventually progress to serious lung damage and death. Not all people show the same set of symptoms. Coronavirus affects everyone, including children and adults. It is fatal to older people and adults with health conditions (diabetes, BP, cancer, heart & kidney ailments, asthma and lung diseases) are more susceptible to serious infections or death. Lymphocytopenia (reduced white blood cells) is observed early and then pneumonia occurs in severe cases. Men are at more risk than women. It is also affecting children with serious outcomes. How to survive from this virus. Here are some tips to stop the spread and mitigate the impact of coronavirus. Avoid crowds and keep your distance from others (social distancing). Since this virus can be transmitted through the air (spreads by air droplets from coughs, sneezes, laughter, etc.) the best way to limit its spread is through “social distancing” or keeping a safe distance from other people. Since we do not know who is infected or carrying the virus until they are tested positive or show serious symptoms (fever, cough, breathing problems), the safest option is to stay home for a few weeks to limit risk of exposure. The chances of catching infection are higher from breathing air in crowded or contaminated places (the virus is viable for 3 h in the air). It is highly contagious than the flu; it takes 4 to 14 days to show full-blown symptoms such as high fever. It spreads from both symptomatic (with fever and cough) and asymptomatic (no symptoms yet) persons. If you urgently need to go a public or crowded place with a suspected outbreak, use a scarf or facemask, avoid large crowds and stay at least 6 feet away from others. Frequently wash hands with soap in the home, office, and travel (good hygiene). Since this virus is airborne, infected droplets can settle and persist on the surface of common objects like metal doors and utensils for 4 to 72 h, a thorough hand washing can clear such contamination. At every place, frequently wash your hands with soap and water frequently for at least 20 sec-

onds. Hand sanitizers or sprays containing >60% alcohol are an alternative when soap and water are not available. Avoid shaking hands when greeting others. Proper sanitation of surfaces with disinfectants like Clorox and Lysol are extremely helpful to kill settled virus particles. Frequently clean common points of contact like doors, elevator knobs, kitchen surfaces, toilets, and home entry surfaces with Clorox or Lysol solution. Also, surface clean all objects brought into the home, including cloths, objects and grocery bags. A mild soap water is good for cleaning vegetables brought from the street or flea markets. Clean all kitchen utensils with soap water and more frequently wash clothes. Avoid sharing utensils and objects with others. A household bleach is also effective to cleanse the virus when properly diluted. This virus can stay alive in refrigerator for many days; use a cloth soaked with Clorox solution (1 ml in 1000 ml water) to disinfect the stuff in the refrigerator. Since this virus enters the body through the nose and mouth (from contaminated air and objects), limit touching or rubbing your face with your hands, especially around the nose, mouth, chin and eyes. Touching facial mucous membranes – the nose, eyes and mouth – gives the virus a source of entry into your body. Face washing is helpful every time you come home from outside. We are at unprecedented time with big uncertainty. It is hard to predict when this epidemic will end, but do your best to increase your chances to stay healthy for next 3-4 weeks. Stay home; take balanced food rich in probiotics (curd, yogurt). Also, get plenty of sleep and stop drinking and smoking for better combating infection. Again, minimize trips to crowds or markets to reduce your chances of exposure. -----------------------------The author, Dr. Samba Reddy, is a reputed medical scientist in Texas. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this scientific article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy of any institute or agency or the U.S.

Coronavirus and Alzheimer’s: What Family Caregivers Need to Know The COVID-19 pandemic threatens the health of millions in this country and around the world, but the novel coronavirus presents unique challenges for more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s and more than 16 million family members and friends serving as their caregivers. “Public health strategies aimed at limiting contact with others are nearly impossible for people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias who rely on family caregivers and others to live their daily lives,” says Beth Kallmyer, vice president, care and support, Alzheimer’s Association. “This reality affects these individuals across all settings, including home, adult day services, residential and assisted living facilities and nursing homes.” To help family caregivers navigate the complex COVID-19 environment, the Alzheimer’s Association is offering additional guidance to families, including: • Foster safe hygiene habits. People living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias may forget to wash their hands or follow other precautions to ensure safe hygiene. Caregivers are encouraged to be extra vigilant in helping individuals practice safe hygiene. • Monitor sudden or sustained behavior changes. People living with Alzheimer’s and other de-

-Photo source: Courtesy of Alzheimer’s Association

mentias may not be able to communicate if they are feeling bad or showing early symptoms of illness. Caregivers should monitor family members closely and respond quickly to any signs of distress, discomfort or increased confusion. These signs do not necessarily indicate a serious condition like COVID-19, but it’s important to determine the underlying cause. • Prepare for potential changes in care and support. As public health containment strategies for COVID-19 escalate, families need to anticipate that less help may be available. It’s important for families to anticipate these changes and make plans for filling gaps in caregiving. • Be calm and create a nurturing environment. The current

COVID-19 pandemic is creating added anxiety for everyone. Do your best to remain calm, particularly in your interactions with family members living with dementia. These individuals often take their cues from the people around them. Creating a calm environment will help them feel safe and protected. • Play gatekeeper with outside caregivers and guests. Carefully monitor who is coming into the home to ensure all who enter are healthy. Be proactive in asking outside caregivers and guests about their current health status and make sure they are not experiencing any early or recent symptoms of illness. • Ask residential care facilities

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Insurance Companies will cover Testing of Coronavirus Cigna and Aetna said they are waiving consumer co-pays, cost sharing and other out-of-pocket costs. Insurers are voluntarily covering the diagnostic testing of the coronavirus, according to the Board of Directors for America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). Health insurers will cover needed testing when ordered by a physician. They are taking action to ease network referral and prior authorization requirements, and/ or waiving patient cost-sharing, as per AHIP AHIP said it is also working with public and private-sector partners so that out-of-pocket costs are not a barrier to people seeking testing and treatment for COVID-19. The trade association is also working with state and federal policymakers to provide more guidance and flexibility for preventive services, benefit design and treatment options. In a separate statement, Cigna said its customers will have access to coronavirus testing, as prescribed by health practitioners, and the company will waive all co-pays or cost-shares to help fight the rapid spread of the virus. Cigna will cover the medical test similar to a preventive benefit for fully-insured plans, thereby waiving co-pays, coinsurance or deductibles for customers. CVS Health also said it is providing COVID-19 diagnostic testing with no out-of-pocket costs or cost sharing for Aetna members. Also, Aetna members will have access to telemedicine visits with no out-of-pocket costs or cost sharing, Current testing is available through the Centers for Disease

Control and Prevention and is being offered at no cost. Testing is expected to expand shortly as more commercial testing becomes available at a designated lab approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. President Trump today signed an $8.3 billion coronavirus funding package. Funding, insurer and policy efforts are aimed at stopping the spread of the virus. One way this is being done is through a provision in the spending package to waive telehealth restrictions for Medicare beneficiaries.

Sudhir Mathuria HEALTHLIFE 360 713-771-2900

On February 29, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration issued a new, streamlined policy for certain laboratories to develop their own validated COVID-19 diagnostics. This second HCPCS code may be used for tests developed by these additional laboratories So that labs and providers get when submitting claims to Medireimbursed for testing, the Cen- care or health insurers. ters for Medicare and Medicaid The Medicare claims-processServices has developed a second Healthcare Common Procedure ing systems will be able to accept Coding System code that can be these codes starting on April 1 for used to bill for certain COVID-19 dates of service on or after Februdiagnostic tests. The second ary 4. HCPCS billing code (U0002) alThe coronavirus has infected lows laboratories to bill for nonCDC laboratory tests for SARS- over 100,000 worldwide and several hundred people in the U.S. CoV-2/2019-nCoV. Source: AHIP Last month, CMS developed To choose the right Medicare the first HCPCS code (U0001) to bill for tests and track new cases Advantage Plan, Medicare Supof the virus. This code is used plement Plan or Medicare Prespecifically for CDC testing labo- scription Drug Plan including Inratories to test patients for SARS- dividual or Small Business Group Health Plan, contact Sudhir MathuCoV-2. ria 713-771-2900 AHIP said it is encouraging the use of telehealth, at-home care and other technology-enabled options to expand access to care while avoiding the potential risk of infection.

Criminals taking advantage of coronavirus anxiety to defraud victims online

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YON, France – INTERPOL is encouraging the public to exercise caution when buying medical supplies online during the current health crisis, with criminals capitalizing on the situation to run a range of financial scams.

With surgical masks and other medical supplies in high demand yet difficult to find in retail stores as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, fake shops, websites, social media accounts and email addresses claiming to sell these items have sprung up online. But instead of receiving the promised masks and supplies, The outbreak of COVID-19 has led to a rise in counterfeit face masks unsuspecting victims have seen and other personal protection and hygiene products (Italy). INTERPOL their money disappear into the hands of the criminals involved. Telephone fraud – criminals - Blocking and recovering This is one of several types of call victims pretending to be fraudulent payments financial fraud schemes connect- clinic or hospital officials, who Monetary loses reported to INed to the ongoing global health claim that a relative of the victim crisis which have been reported has fallen sick with the virus and TERPOL have been as high as to INTERPOL by authorities in request payments for medical hundreds of thousands of dollars in a single case, and these crimes its member countries. treatment; are crossing international bor- COVID-19 fraud schemes Phishing – emails claiming to ders. Scams linked to the virus in- be from national or global health INTERPOL’s Financial Crimes authorities, with the aim of trick- Unit is receiving information clude: ing victims to provide personal from member countries on a credentials or payment details, or near-daily basis regarding fraud to open an attachment containing cases and requests to assist with malware. stopping fraudulent payments. In many cases, the fraudsters Targeted victims have primarily about communication policies. impersonate legitimate com- been located in Asia, but the crimTo protect the health of residents, panies, using similar names, inals have used bank accounts many facilities are restricting ac- websites and email addresses in located in other regions such as cess to outside visitors. Ask the their attempt to trick unsuspect- Europe, to appear as legitimate facility about alternative com- ing members of the public, even accounts linked to the company munication methods during the reaching out proactively via which is being impersonated. crisis, including phone calls, emails and messages on social In one case, a victim in Asia video chats or emails. If your media platforms. made payments to several bank family member is unable to en“Criminals are exploiting the accounts unknowingly controlled gage in calls or video chats, ask fear and uncertainty created by by criminals in multiple Europethe facility how you can connect COVID-19 to prey on innocent an countries. With INTERPOL’s with staff to get health updates. citizens who are only looking to assistance, national authorities For more information, visit protect their health and that of were able to block some of the alz.org, the website of the Alz- their loved ones,” said INTER- payments, but others were quickheimer’s Association or call its POL Secretary General Jürgen ly transferred by the criminals to second and even third bank free 24/7 Helpline at 800-272- Stock. 3900. “Anyone who is thinking of accounts before they could be traced and blocked. Many primary caregivers are buying medical supplies online should take a moment and verify INTERPOL has assisted with not good about asking for help even as care responsibilities es- that you are in fact dealing with some 30 COVID-19 related fraud calate. It’s important for family a legitimate, reputable compa- scam cases with links to Asia and members and friends to be pro- ny, otherwise your money could Europe, leading to the blocking of active during the current crisis in be lost to unscrupulous crimi- 18 bank accounts and freezing of asking caregivers how they can nals,” concluded the INTERPOL more than $730,000 in suspected Chief. fraudulent transactions. help.


Page 5 • VOICE OF ASIA (Section A)

Section 2

Email: voiceasia@aol.com

FRIDAY, March 27, 2020

LEGAL

www.voiceofasia.news

Personal Injury:

YOUR IMMIGRATION LAWYER

FAULT IN A FAILURE TO YIELD AUTO COLLISION

Mala Sharma

I

f you or a loved one has been injured in an accident from a negligent driver who failed to yield to traffic, you are entitled to recover all damages, including punitive damages.

In Texas, failure to yield means an automobile driver operator failed to follow Texas traffic laws regarding the right of way, subject to all penalties and consequences. These failure to yield violations include punishment where possibly two points are added to the negligent driver’s license and a fine up to $200.00. Further, if there was an accident with injury, the penalty could possibly go up to three points added to the negligent driver’s license with a fine not exceeding $2,000.00. Typically, the more serious the injury, the higher the fines will go, including as much as $4,000.00. This penalty for failure to yield by a Texas driver follows him/her even when the violation is committed out of state. Most failure to yield accidents are usually caused by the negligent driver being distracted, failing to control their speed, or driving recklessly. These accidents can be extremely dangerous and may be easily avoidable. Texas right of way laws state that a prudent driver must always yield to another auto driver as follows: • Drivers must yield to all emergency first responders, including fire trucks, ambulances, and police vehicles • When a reasonable driver is on a private road, driveway, or other smaller road and attempting to turn onto the main road, a reasonable driver must yield the right of way to oncoming traffic from the main road • When attempting to make a right turn, a reasonable driver must always yield to traffic and any pedestrian walk-

ing on the street • When making a left turn at an intersection, a reasonable driver must yield the right of way to any oncoming traffic moving in the opposite direction as well as any pedestrian • At an intersection on unpaved road, a reasonable driver must yield the right of way to auto drivers on paved road • At an intersection with no controlled traffic lights, a reasonable driver must yield the right of way to traffic already existing at the intersection as well as any traffic to the driver’s right side • All reasonable drivers must yield at railroad crossings to all trains Additionally, even if one driver was found negligent for failure to yield, the other driver may still hold partial fault if he/she was distracted, speeding, or as a result of some other negligent activity. Texas follows the modified comparative fault standard where if one driver was found at fault for less than 51% of the accident, then he or she may still recover their damages. However, any recovery would be reduced by his or her percentage of fault. For example, if a driver was found 30 percent at fault for an accident with an award of damages of $10,000.00, then his/her recovery is limited to $7,000.00. In all Texas cases, one injured in an accident may recover all damages from any and all parties who are contributorily negligent, including employers, trucking companies, negligent drivers, etc. Those injured from a trucking accident will have tremendous amounts of economic damages including medical bills, lost wages, property damage, rehabilitation, disability, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional and mental distress, physical pain and suffering, and more. In order to protect your or a significant other’s interest and recover all damages caused by a negligent, careless, reckless truck driver on the road, the claim must be filed immediately. In Texas, there is a two year statute of limitations to file a personal

injury claim. If you do not file before this deadline, you will not be able to recover all damages you deserve. Even if you lost a family member in a trucking accident, you are also entitled to recover damages for the loss. Do not delay! Insurance companies use any excuse to not pay you full compensation or even try and you contributorily at fault. Do not allow any insurance company to take advantage of you or a loved one. A competent attorney will be able to work aggressively to hold the delivery trucking company and driver accountable for all damages caused due to their negligence, and take those accountable to court if needed. About the Author: Mala Sharma has been practicing family law and personal injury with her family at the Law Offices of Sharma & Associates, founded in 1997. Mala has been appointed leadership roles for the American Bar Association GP Solo and GP Solo YLD division, is Board member of the Houston Trial Lawyers Association, Past President of the Houston Northwest Bar Association, and prior board member of the South Asian Bar Association. She is also a member of the Houston Bar Association. Mala Sharma has been selected to the 2019 Texas Rising Stars by Super Lawyers. Mala has also been selected as 10 Best Attorneys by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorney for 20182019, Top 40 under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers for 2018-2019, and Texas Top 10 Personal Injury Attorney by Attorney and Practice Magazine for 2019. Disclaimer:

This material is available for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you require advice on any particular legal question, you may contact Sharma & Associates at 281-893-8644 or by email at mala@sharmalaws.net to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

US orders first shutdown of website over coronavirus fraud

Tel: 713-774-5140

by Sharlene Sharmila Richards, Immigration Lawyer Email at srichardslaw@aol.com

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT H-1B SPECIALTY OCCUPATION VISA – PART II Sharlene Sharmila Richards

Q: What is the H-1B Cap registration? A: For this Fiscal Year 2021 H-1B cap season, USCIS has implemented a new electronic pre-registration requirement as a pre-requisite for the lottery process and filing of an H-1B petition. Petitioners seeking to file an H-1B cap subject petition must pay a $10 fee per electronic registration submitted to USCIS for the H-1B cap selection process. The registration process will be opened from March 1st, 2020 through March 20th, 2020. Those who registered will then be entered into the lottery. Once the lottery has been conducted, and the registration is selected, USCIS will notify the employer to file the full H-1B petition within a 60-days filing period. The employer then files the Labor Condition Application and includes the certified LCA with the H-1B package to be filed with USCIS. Q: What happens if my pre-registration was not selected by the random selection process? A: Under this new $10.00 registration process, if your registration was not selected under the lottery, there is nothing further you can do, if you are subject to the cap. Your employer has the option re-file the H-1B petition for you for the next fiscal year. Q: Under the new registration system for the H-1B lottery, how many registrations can be submitted for each Beneficiary? A: The employer can only submit one registration for each Beneficiary. If the employer has several Beneficiaries, then they must submit a separate registration for each Beneficiary. The employer cannot submit duplicate registrations for a Beneficiary in order to gain an advantage in the lottery system. If the employer submits duplicate or multiple registrations for the same employee, then all the registrations for that same employee will be rejected. Note: Multiple or different employers may however submit their own registration for the same

Beneficiary. Q: During the registration process, does the employer need to provide details of the proposed H-1B position? A: Information about the proposed H-1B position is not required for the registration process. However, it is important to make sure in advance that the Beneficiary of the proposed H-1B petition does have the required qualifications for the position when the petition is filed, assuming that the registration was selected under the lottery. Q: How will the lottery be conducted by USCIS? A: Under this new system, USCIS will first conduct the lottery for the 65,000 visa numbers and this will include all registrations which include the both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees or higher. Then USCIS will conduct a second lottery for the 20,000 visa numbers for the Masters degrees. This is to increase the chances of those who hold master’s of higher degrees from US institutions of higher learning to be selected under the lottery. Q: Do I meet the educational requirements for an H-1B visa if I have a two-year Associates Degree and about 10 years of work experience in the field? A: Typically, an H-1B Beneficiary must hold at least a Bachelor’s Degree. In most cases, this typically means a 4 year degree. However, if you have a 2-year Associate’s Degree, you may use your work experience to obtain an equivalency to a Bachelor’s Degree. Generally, three years of work experience equates to one year of university education. If you already have 10 years work experience in the field, then you should be able to obtain an equivalency of a Bachelor’s Degree for H-1B purposes. Q: I am presently on OPT (Optional Practical Training) with an employer. My OPT will expire this summer. My employer is unaware about the H-1B visa option for me. What should I do? A: Please immediately approach your employer to initiate a discussion with them

about the possibility of filing an H-1B visa petition for you. The employer, if unfamiliar with such a visa and the procedures involved in the filing may then take action to seek appropriate advice or make inquiries to learn about the options under this visa category. In view of the fact that the H-1B registration period for the lottery is now ongoing and will end on 03/20/2020, you should initiate these discussions with your employer as soon as possible. Q: Is it true the currently USCIS will deny H-1B petition filed for specialty occupations using the Level 1 Prevailing Wage? A: USCIS has been treating H-1B petition with position offering Level 1 Prevailing Wage quite harshly. As such, for all H-1B petitions, it is not recommended that the Level 1 Prevailing Wage be used. If your employer is not able to offer a higher prevailing wage, it may make sense to file the petition as a Part-Time position instead but with the higher prevailing wage. Disclaimer Any advice provided in this article is general in nature and not intended to constitute legal advice for any specific case. Please consult with an immigration lawyer about the specific circumstances of your case. My Bio Sharlene Sharmila Richards is a licensed Immigration Lawyer practicing in Houston, Texas. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2000 and is a member of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and a member of the US Supreme Court. If you require advice or assistance, you may contact her at telephone number 713-6238088 or by email at srichardslaw@aol.com to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

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ASHINGTON | AFP | Monday 3/22/2020 The US Department of Justice announced Sunday it had shut down a website claiming to sell a coronavirus vaccine, in its first act of federal enforcement against fraud in connection with the pandemic.

Lawsuits had been filed against the site coronavirusmedicalkit. com, which claimed to sell vaccines for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, when in fact there is no such vaccine, the Justice Department said in a statement. A Texas federal judge on Saturday ordered the site to shut down, according to the statement. Its homepage, however, was still accessible as of Sunday evening. “Due to the recent outbreak for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) the World Health Organization is giving away vaccine kits. Just pay $4.95 for shipping,” read a statement on the homepage. It was followed by a place to leave bank account information to pay shipping fees. The Justice Department did not specify how many people fell victim to the scam, but the investigation is ongoing to identify who is behind the fraud and how much money was stolen.

US authorities are working to combat the spread of misinformation that has blossomed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic (AFP Photo/Alastair Pike)

The intervention by the federal judiciary system is part of ongoing efforts by US authorities to combat the spread of misinformation that has blossomed since the start of the pandemic. Attorney General Bill Barr last week urged federal prosecutors to make stopping misinformation a priority and called US civilians to report all such abuses to the National Center for Disaster Fraud. He also warned citizens against a variety of scams including selling fake treatments

online, imitating emails from the WHO or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) intended to collect personal data, and asking for donations for imaginary organizations. Simultaneously, the US judicial system is on the warpath to combat price gouging of products such as hand sanitizer or hygienic masks. More than 33,000 people have been infected by the coronavirus in the US, and 416 have died, according to a tracker managed by Johns Hopkins University.

www.voiceofasia.news


Page 6 • VOICE OF ASIA (Section A)

Young Life

Section 2

Email: voiceasia@aol.com

Elkins High School’s Company EVO wins second place at Think Tank 2020

www.voiceofasia.news

FRIDAY, March 27, 2020

Tel: 713-774-5140

Teachers and students find purpose through leadership programs

Lead4Change student leaders. Elkins High School’s Company EVO wins second place at Think Tank 2020.

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ORT BEND ISD (March 18, 2020) – Elkins High School’s Junior Achievement (JA) company, EVO, earned second place at the Think Tank 2020 finals. The event is hosted annually by the Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Houston’s C.T. Bauer College of Business and welcomes 10 Texas JA companies in competition for a chance to own a business, receive a mentor and prize money. As second place winner in this year’s competition, EVO received a $2,000 cash award. The company’s chief executive officer Alyssa Le also won the Best Presenter award.

“Elkins High School’s EVO has produced one of the most innovative products you’ll ever come across,” said Tania Daniel, Senior Director of Entrepreneurship Initiatives, Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas. “Throughout the JA Company Program this year, EVO dominated in many competitions and emerged as one of the strongest companies JA has

ever produced.” EVO is looking forward to scaling its production, expanding its market outreach to include restaurants and additional corporate clients and diversifying its product portfolio during the 2020-21 school year. Daniel is also recommending the company try out JA’s Accelerator Model next school year.

The EVO company members presented their product, ThreEVO, that focuses heavily on sustainability and biodegradability with use of their custom wheat box and assortment of bamboo straws. The Think Tank judges collectively agreed that the EVO team represented themselves well and “looked like a solid professional unit” and that the presentation was “like a really good college presentation” and Elkins EVO at Think Tank contest. “one of the strongest presentations seen at UH.”

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any teachers are drawn to education for the opportunity to make a difference in their students’ lives. However, when faced with guiding students through trying times in order to meet their big goals, teachers need resources that strengthen social and emotional skills.

At Port Chester Middle School in Port Chester, NY, teacher Allison Silverman faced this very challenge and used the lessons in the Lead4Change program to be successful. Lead4Change is a free student leadership curriculum offering the chance to submit a student-led service learning project for a grant of up to $10,000. Its series of leadership lessons provides opportunities for strong student engagement through collaboration, critical thinking, problem-solving and reflection. Such programs offer students numerous benefits. An independent research study found that participating in Lead4Change caused significant growth in areas such as leadership skills (60 percent of students improved), respect for others (54 percent) and ambition and innovation (53 percent). However, teachers can have equally transformative experiences. When Silverman and her students formed the “PC Hunger

The House that Shines Guidance by Sushanth Byru

O

n our fifth session to the Houston Lighthouse on January 18, we as a team have learned a lot about the events that take place at this establishment. After hearing our speaker, Sandhya Rao, talk on the amount of struggle she had to face to get a good education and the struggles of her trying to settle in life along with her parents, our group was very inspired. She went over the condition she

had and how that caused many obstacles to appear all throughout her life, and then told her life story on the things she has done to overcome those obstacles. Even though the speaker can’t see herself, we saw the passion, commitment, and emotional attachment she had to her job. Her will to help others just like her was really huge. Sandhya Rao has worked very hard from her childhood to get where she is right now, as a law clerk. The struggles to get from high school to the famous

YLDP Batch of 2020 with guest Speaker Sandhya Rao

Stanford University were enormous and when she got out she didn’t care about all the hatred and discrimination she faced, and instead she pursued what she wanted to do and ended up today in an amazing facility helping more people that have conditions like her. The session taught our team that all of us as a population should try to understand each other and feel compassionate towards each other. This a quality that makes a special leader since connecting with the people around you

is a major key in leadership. From this session, Ms.Rao has taught my team to never judge someone by their appearances and instead get to know the person and accept them with kind hearts, and this is a major skill that a leader has. Ms.Rao has made it clear that it is not what’s on the outside that matters, but what the person inside character is, and my team has learned that this will be a useful skill as a leader and that it is very important.

Fighters” team, her students studied the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals and together, came to consensus on creating a vertical garden using upcycled materials, aiming to help the 200,000 food insecure individuals in their county. Then, Silverman heard from a student participating in the program. “I received a very desperate call from one of our students,” she recalls. “There had been a shooting the night before and a 26-year-old Port Chester resident was killed. The student knew this man. I remember sitting on the bench next to my school garden and crying. I cried so hard. I had no idea what to do, or what to tell the kids.” “I thought about how insignificant our ‘little gardens’ would be alongside challenges like poverty and violence,” Silverman says. The students coped with the tragedy by using the Lead4Change’s lessons in communication, overcoming barriers and working as a team. They knew more could be done because of what they’d practiced. “I cancelled our celebration scheduled for the following day and instead met in the boardroom with the kids. For three hours, we talked about injustices and inequalities, pledging to continue to work together to fight these things and make a real difference. We realized our project was important,” says Sil-

verman. Their efforts were awarded as one of the grand prize-winning teams, earning a $10,000 grant, though their participation was a reward in and of itself because of the leadership skills they mastered. This is just one of the hundreds of stories unfolding nationwide. “The Lead4Change experience was as valuable to me as it was for the students,” shares Thomas Loner, a teacher from South Carolina-located Bates Middle school, whose “Bates’ Bodacious Bantams” student team helped a local homeless shelter by collecting supplies. “This program forced me to give up ‘control’ of my classroom and let students become leaders.” Teacher Holly Hartman in Lebanon, PA continues to experience the program’s benefits after years of participation. “This journey not only helps my students grow, but somehow also manages to help me become a bit wiser with each experience,” she says. For more information about the Lead4Change Student Leadership Program, visit lead4change.org. Leadership curriculum will not only prepare students for a future of increasingly complex social issues, but also serve as a catalyst for helping teachers and students alike find purpose and meaning. - StatePoint

Indian American hoteliers join hands to help Indian students stranded in US

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sian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) from across the US has pledged over 2000+ rooms for stranded Indian students in the US as the campuses across the country are closed and stringent travel restrictions are in place. They are facing one of the toughest challenges in their lives themselves with plummeting occupancy rates across properties because of the Covid19 crisis and lockdown across America. But that is not stopping the Indian American hoteliers, who together own around one in every two hotel properties in the US, from stepping in to help Indian students stranded in the US with campuses shut down and stringent travel restrictions are in place. “We started the initiative early this week after the Indian diplomatic missions approached us to help thousands of Indian students stranded in college towns across the US. I put out the appeal through our social media groups with fellow hoteliers and already have members of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) from across the US pledging over 2000+ rooms for this initiative. And the numbers are going up. The students are in trouble and have no place to go and as members of the Indian community we all feel it’s our responsibility to help,” says Kalpesh

Joshi, a Chicago based hotelier and regional director of AAHOA, upper Midwest region. Initially, the AAHOA members had decided to offer the rooms at a minimum cost requirement with their own overhead expenses in mind. “But most of us have now decided to offer them free of cost and help the larger Indian community in whatever way we can,” added Joshi who owns two hotel properties and will be providing accommodation to Indian students. He added that he and other hoteliers in the region were reaching out to the students through the Indian consul general in Chicago Mr Sudhak Dalela. In San Francisco, Kamlesh Patel, a second generation hotelier and AAHOA regional director for north Pacific region, too is offering rooms to students. “This state of California has a large population of Indian students and as the campuses are shutting down completely and jobs drying up, many of them will face financial hardships and may not be able to pay rents. There is going to be a big demand for rooms in the next few days,” says Patel. He adds that as the son of immigrant parents who came to the US from Surat with almost nothing and built up their lives and business in America, it was his duty to help members of the Indian community in tough times.


Page 8 • VOICE OF ASIA (Section A)

FRIDAY, March 27, 2020

TRAVEL

133 from cruise ship in Airlines headed for ‘apocalypse’ without aid: IATA Australia tested positive

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ENEVA, Switzerland | AFP | Tuesday 3/24/2020 - The coronavirus pandemic could spell “apocalypse” in the airline industry without urgent government aid, the global aviation association said Tuesday, warning that carriers could lose more than $250 billion in revenues this year alone.

The International Air Transport Association said its latest analysis showed that annual passenger revenues will fall by $252 billion if severe travel restrictions remain in place for three months. That would mark a 44-percent drop compared to 2019 revenues, and is more than double the $113 billion drop previously predicted by IATA before countries around the world began introducing sweeping travel restrictions. “It is the deepest crisis we ever had in our industry,” IATA chief Alexandre de Juniac told reporters in a virtual briefing, calling on governments to quickly step up and provide desperately needed liquidity.

“Airlines are fighting for survival in every corner of the world,” he said in a statement, pointing out that “travel restrictions and evaporating demand mean that, aside from cargo, there is almost no passenger business.” “For airlines, it’s apocalypse now. And there is a small and shrinking window for governments to provide a lifeline of financial support to prevent a liquidity crisis from shuttering the industry.” IATA has not been shy about sounding the alarm in the crisis, and last week warned that up to $200 billion would be needed to rescue the world’s airlines. On Tuesday it said that while some governments were stepping up, it was still far from enough to cover the needs. “We need money,” Juniac told reporters. He stressed that IATA fully supported government measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, which has now infected nearly 400,000 people worldwide and

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ELBOURNE - Health officials in Australia have reported 133 coronavirus infections and one fatality among people from a cruise ship that docked in Sydney last Thursday. Locals are questioning the authorities’ handling of the case as many of them were confirmed to be infected after they were allowed to disembark. Diamond Princess (Reuters)

Government of India issues circular on Travel restrictions related to COVID-19

About 3,800 passengers and crew were on board the Ruby ties announced three people on Princess. On Friday, authori- board had tested positive, but passengers had already been allowed to disembark the day before. Officials say that was because their risk of infection was low, given the small number of killed close to 17,000, according cases in New Zealand, their preto an AFP tally based on official vious stop. data. Many passengers developed “But we need them to under- symptoms after getting off the stand that without urgent relief, ship and turned out to be posimany airlines will not be around tive. to lead the recovery stage,” he The vessel is operated by the said. same company that runs other He pointed out that some 2.7 virus-hit cruise ships, including million airline jobs were at risk, the Diamond Princess which with 24 times that number of was quarantined in the Japanese jobs on the line down the travel port of Yokohama. and tourism value chain. - NKH JAPAN News

STATEPOINT CROSSWORD THEME: MYSTERIES AND THRILLERS

Week of March 27, 2020 HOROSCOPE.COM

ACROSS 1. Wire danger 6. Part of a circumference 9. Nashville’s Keith 13. In a cold manner 14. Prefix for something revived 15. Paralyzing disease 16. Mulled wine 17. Egg cells 18. A do-nothing 19. *”Alphabet Series” detective novels author 21. *”It’s close to midnight, and something evil’s lurking in ____ ____” 23. Second mo. 24. Fabricca Italiana Automobili Torino 25. Not don’ts 28. Popular Japanese soup 30. *Agatha Christie’s famous sleuth 35. Wood sorrels 37. “Through” in text 39. Give sheep a haircut 40. Raise the roof 41. Wall or pedestal support 43. Cogito, ____ sum 44. Drink like a cat, two words 46. Be inclined 47. Commotions 48. Bewitch or beguile 50. Jack and Jill’s water jug 52. Put to work 53. *James Patterson’s “____ the Girls” 55. “Jack and the Beanstalk” Giant’s disapproval 57. *Hitchcock classic 61. *Poe’s “Tales of ____ and Imagination” 65. In the know 66. *Subject of Roswell’s mystery 68. Cocoon dwellers 69. King Julien XIII of “Madagascar,” e.g. 70. Bubble source 71. Possible allergic reaction 72. Gaelic tongue 73. Store posting, for short 74. Oceanic trenches

DOWN 1. Google alternative 2. Maple genus 3. Capital on the Baltic Sea 4. Blindman’s ____ 5. International ____ of Units 6. In a little while, old-fashioned 7. Once around 8. Raccoon’s South American cousin 9. *The Demon Barber 10. Spanish earthen pot 11. Coffin stand 12. *New ____, setting of “The Alienist” 15. Michelangelo’s famous Vatican statue and others like it, e.g. 20. Death reports, for short 22. Deli offering 24. Baby extractor 25. *Sherlock Holmes creator 26. Continental divide 27. Planktonic tunicate 29. *”Who ____ J.R.?” 31. Actress Perlman 32. “Lost” in Paris 33. Mar-a-___, pl. 34. Having a toothed margin 36. Undesirable location 38. Forearm bone 42. Enlighten 45. Slower 49. Oil drilling apparatus 51. Spoke with a speech defect 54. Make a murmuring sound 56. Chopin’s composition 57. Wide river valley 58. Water carrier 59. L.A. footballers 60. *HBO’s “____ Detective” 61. *Pamela Voorhees and Norma Bates, e.g. 62. D’Artagnan’s sword 63. Stairway alternative 64. Those not opposed 67. *Remus Lupin’s occasional body cover

SOLUTION: MYSTERIES AND THRILLERS on Page 15


Page 9 • VOICE OF ASIA (Section A)

FRIDAY, March 27, 2020

SMALL BUSINESSES / CLASSIFIEDS BUSINESS DIRECTORY ACCOUNTANTS

RESTAURANTS

M.D. Associates LLP

COMPUTER SERVICES

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A full service CPA firm

2 Locations to serve you Houston 713-774-6533 Spring 281-251-2205

visit us at: www.mdassociatescpas.com

Home & Business, on site, Microsoft MCSE & A+ certified, low flat rates, free estimates, pickup & delivery, www.PCNetworkGuru.com Call Amit at 832-971-6807

We cater from 10 people to 800 people for all occasions. We deliver to your venue.

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Payroll processing & Payroll tax payments l Filing 940, 941, 1099, TWC reports l Filing of Sales Tax & Franchise Tax Return Manish Gaglani Ph: 346-317-7409. Email: accuratebookkeeping2018@gmail.com 7011 Harwin Dr Suite 230 Houston, TX 77036

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We can help you get faster results though our online listing. Call 713-774-5140

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Email Obituaries to us at: voiceasia@aol.com Deadline for publication: Tuesdays by 5pm.

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List Your Business CALL TODAY 713-774-5140 CRIME

Investigation into shooting at 6110 Kenilwood Drive

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ouston police are investigating the shooting of a juvenile that occurred at 6110 Kenilwood Drive about 8:30 a.m. today (March 24).

The female victim, 12, was transported to an area hospital in stable condition. HPD Major Assaults & Family Violence Division Officers J. De La Torre and A. Carroll reported: Officers responded to a reported shooting at the above address. Witnesses stated there

was a small group of juveniles in a bedroom and one was in possession of a pistol. While putting the pistol away, the juvenile, possibly accidentally, fired the weapon, striking the victim in the leg. The juvenile who fired the pistol fled the location before officers arrived. Currently, there a no charges in this case as the investigation is continuing. Anyone with information in this case is urged to contact the Major Assaults & Family Vio-

lence Division at 731-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222TIPs. JKS/KJS 3-24-20 Inc. #039737020

Local authorities worried about inmates being released due to coronavirus fears in jail

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ARRIS COUNTY, Texas — COVID-19 is impacting the Houston-area community as well as the criminal justice system.

At the Harris County Jail, there hasn’t been a confirmed case ** Website (http://www.housof COVID-19, but that hasn’t tontx.gov/police) stopped an attorney from argu** Twitter (http://www.twitter. ing his client is at risk for expocom/houstonpolice) sure. ** Facebook (http://www. “I can’t imagine how victim’s facebook.com/Houstonpolice) families would feel,” said Andy Kahan, Director of Victims Services at Crime Stoppers. “I think it’s, obviously, from our perspective, COVID-19 related and where it stops? I don’t know.” Kahan said he’s seeing violent offenders being released on public recognizance bonds. Meaning, they don’t have to pay a dime as long as they show up for court. “Some of the cases I’m picking up are extremely disturbing,” Kahan said. One case got Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo tweeting. David Cruz, a man charged with murder, was released on a PR bond after his attorney said in court documents, “The current COVID-19 virus is certainly going to strike the Harris County jail population and spread like wildfire among inmates.” “I’m scratching my head going

Accounting Assistant

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ax Consulting Firm’s accepting resumes from qualified entry level accounting graduate for “Accounting Assistant” Position. The position challenge to all aggressive accounting graduates who would like to apply their accounting knowledge. Please forward your resume for review to: P. O. Box 36770, Houston, TX 77236-6770.

E-mail: HarryTax@aol.com through all these cases, going, ‘This makes zero sense,’” Kahan said. Kahan’s concern is how many more cases are coming. “It’s just a matter of time before one of these offenders, (who is) released on PR bond continues their criminal career,” he said. David Cunningham is the defense attorney who represented Cruz. He said the coronavirus was not the reason his client was released on bond. “Mr. Cruz has been in jail a long time,” Cunningham said. “The state was not ready and has not been ready.” Judge Desean Jones, who pre-

sides over the 180th Criminal Court, also released a statement. “In every case, Judges must be neutral and unbiased otherwise the presumption of innocence is no more than a legal fiction. Judges cannot comment on the particulars of active cases. Plus, we are bound by the law. Hearsay is not evidence. Bail is governed by Article 1, Section 11 of the Texas Bill of Rights. It reads, in part, “if the accused is not accorded a trial upon the accusation ... within sixty (60) days from the time of his incarceration upon the accusation, the order denying bail shall be automatically set aside, unless a continuance is obtained upon the motion or request of the accused.” - CrimeStoppers.com

STATEPOINT CROSSWORD SOLUTION

Answers:

MYSTERIES AND THRILLERS from Page 14


Page 10 • VOICE OF ASIA (Section A)

FRIDAY, March 27, 2020

US/WORLD

Billion-plus Indians under lockdown as virus delays Olympics

First known child death in US from coronavirus

Trump requests virus test kits from South Korea: Seoul

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OS ANGELES | AFP | 3/24/2020 - The first known death of a child due to the novel coronavirus in the United States was reported Tuesday, despite the disease not typically proving severe for juveniles.

The death of a “youth under the age of 18” from Lancaster, just north of Los Angeles, was confirmed in a statement by county health officials. “COVID-19 does not discriminate by age, race or income level,” said Los Angeles County President Trump holds the daily briefing on the coronavirus at the White public health director Barbara House on Monday. Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images Ferrer, using the scientific term for, the disease caused by the SARS-coV-2 virus. EOUL, South Korea | AFP a test developer in Seoul.

People gather at a pharmacy in Mumbai following the Indian prime minister’s announcement of a government-imposed nationwide lockdown © AFP / Indranil MUKHERJEE

by Bhuvan Bagga and AFP bu- pression” would trigger suicides. reaus around the world “Many people -- in my opinEW DELHI | AFP | ion, more people -- are going to 3/24/2020 - India on die if we allow this to continue,” Tuesday ordered its bil- he said. lion-plus population to stay inside, But many state authorities bringing a third of the world under have decided that the temporary lockdown as the coronavirus pandemic forced Japan to postpone pain is worth it to stem the virus. Nearly 130 million Americans, the Olympics. or 40 percent of the population, Financial markets soared after are under or will soon come a brutal month as the US Con- under some lockdown order, gress looked set to pass a stimu- including in the largest state of lus bill, joining the world’s cen- California. tral banks in major injections of - Markets rebound on stimulus cash in the face of the crisis. Global markets on Tuesday Despite US President Donald Trump’s hopes that the economy recouped some of the month’s will be back to normal within brutal losses. The Dow Jones weeks, more governments are Industrial Index surged 11.3 pertaking unprecedented action to cent, its biggest rally in percentstop potential virus-carriers go- age terms since 1933 during the Great Depression. ing out and about. The massive rise comes as US Just as China, where the new virus emerged last year, began legislators reported headway on to loosen some controls, neigh- a $2 trillion rescue package that bouring India ordered its 1.3 bil- would be the largest emergency lion people -- the world’s second spending effort ever and inject biggest population -- to stay at cash both into the hands of consumers and businesses. home for three weeks. “At this point, of the few outPrime Minister Narendra Modi’s “total lockdown” call standing issues, I don’t see any doubled the number of people that can’t be overcome in the around the globe under some form of movement restriction to more than 2.6 billion people. “To save India, to save its every citizen, you, your family... every street, every neighbourhood is being put under lockdown,” Modi said in a televised address. He spoke as the epidemic conby Johannes LEDEL tinued to cut a swathe through TOCKHOLM, Sweden | the world’s sporting, cultural and AFP | Tuesday 3/24/2020 social agenda, forcing the Tokyo -While most of Europe is 2020 Olympics to be pushed firmly locked down in a bid to curb back to next year. the spread of COVID-19, Sweden Japanese Prime Minister is taking a softer line, keeping priShinzo Abe tried to sound an mary schools, restaurants and bars optimistic note, vowing that the open and even encouraging people 2021 Olympics would be “a tes- to go outside for a nip of air. tament to mankind’s defeat of This stands in stark contrast the new virus”. to the urgent tone elsewhere It marks the first time that the and has sparked heated debate world’s biggest sporting event, whether Sweden is really doing set to open on July 24, has been the right thing. delayed in peacetime. “We cannot allow the human The Games had come under growing pressure as Olympians desperation in Wuhan and Berfrom the United States, Canada gamo to be repeated in Sweden. and Australia pressed for a delay, That would be a gamble that viwarning not only of uncertainties olates society’s most fundamenthis year but of athletes’ inability tal principle: that every person to practice during the pandemic. has an inherent value,” the editor-in-chief of Sweden’s biggest - ‘You can destroy a country’ - newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, Across the planet, the grim wrote on Sunday, calling for eiCOVID-19 toll continued to ther tougher measures or more mount, with more than 18,000 widespread coronavirus testing. deaths and 400,000 declared in- ‘Take reponsibility’ fections, half of them in Europe according to an AFP tally. Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, Many governments are listen- in a televised speech on Sunday, ing to health experts who warn urged people to “take responsithe only way to slow the epi- bility” and follow the governdemic -- and save the lives of the ment’s recommendations. elderly and vulnerable -- is by imposing “social isolation” meaThose include working from sures on a population. home if you can, staying home But Trump is not convinced if you feel sick, practice social that the move is worth the enor- distancing, and stay home if you mous economic cost of send- belong to a risk group or are over ing workers home and closing the age of 70. “non-essential” businesses. Gatherings of more than 500 “A lot of people agree with people have been banned -- comme. Our country -- it’s not built pared to more than two people in to shut down,” Trump told Fox Britain and Germany -- and the News. “You can destroy a coun- government has advised secondtry this way by closing it down.” ary schools and universities to He voiced hope that the Unit- close their facilities and conduct ed States would be back “raring classes online. to go” by Easter, which falls on On Tuesday, the government April 12 for most Christians. announced that restaurants and Trump -- who faces re-election bars would only be allowed to in November after three years of provide table service to avoid touting economic growth -- said crowding but stopped short of that a “massive recession or de-

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next few hours,” top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said after meeting Trump’s negotiator, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The US Federal Reserve earlier unveiled an unprecedented bond-buying programme, in a move not seen since the global financial crisis more than a decade ago. And on Tuesday, finance ministers and central bank chiefs of the Group of Seven major industrial democracies vowed to “do whatever is necessary to restore confidence and economic growth and to protect jobs, businesses, and the resilience of the financial system”. There were also reassuring signs on the health front. China lifted two months of travel restrictions on more than 50 million residents of Hubei province -- the initial epicentre of the disease. The travel shutdown will be eased on April 8 for Wuhan, where the virus was first detected, apparently triggered by a meat market that butchered exotic animals.

Lockdown can wait: Sweden goes its own way

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| Wednesday 3/25/2020

During their phone call Moon No further information was - US President Donald given, including the victim’s age Trump has requested novel coro- told Trump the equipment or sex, or whether they had other navirus test kits from South Ko- could require US FDA approvhealth conditions. rea, his counterpart Moon Jae-in al, which Trump said he would said Wednesday, as Washington seek “within the day”, the Multiple studies have found pushes for a quick reopening of South’s presidential Blue House said earlier in a separate stateCOVID-19 disproportionately the world’s biggest economy. ment. affects older patients and those The South was once the hardwith underlying conditions. “If there is a domestic surplus, est-hit country outside China, I will support as much as possiwhere the virus first emerged, A recent Centers for Disease ble,” Moon told Trump. Control and Prevention (CDC) but appears to have brought its outbreak under control thanks to No indication was given on report found juveniles “appear to have milder COVID-19 illness,” a huge testing and contact-trac- quantities, or whether the supplies would be donated or prowith no intensive care admis- ing effort. sions or deaths in the US as of By midnight on Tuesday more vided on a commercial basis. March 16. than 367,000 people in the South The White House confirmed had been tested -- processes that that the two leaders spoke on “Similar to reports from other are free to anyone referred by countries, this finding suggests doctors, those who have links to Tuesday, but did not say whether that the risk for serious disease a confirmed case, and individu- Trump made any such request. Trump, who is keen to get his and death from COVID-19 is als who test positive. reelection campaign back on higher in older age groups,” it The US has the third-high- track, on Tuesday said social found. est number of confirmed cases distancing has caused too much Only two known cases of mi- globally with 55,000, behind pain to the US economy, adding nors dying from the disease in China and Italy, and did little “we lose thousands and thouChina have been recorded. In testing initially. sands of people a year to the flu. one case, an infant had a pre-exTrump’s request for test kits We don’t turn the country off.” isting intestinal condition. The came as he called for a quick Seoul and Washington are in a other’s situation was not known. end to social distancing and desecurity alliance but their rela“The risk for serious disease clared the beginning of the end tions have recently been strained by the Trump administration’s and death in COVID-19 cases of the health crisis in the US. among persons in the United “President Trump of the Unit- demands the South pay billions States increases with age,” the ed States... made a request to us of dollars more towards the costs CDC report added. for the urgent provision of quar- of 28,500 US troops stationed in antine items such as diagnostic the country to protect it from the California has been one of the kits,” Moon said while visiting nuclear-armed North. worst-hit US states during the pandemic.

Iran rejects ‘foreign’ help as virus death toll nears 2,000

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EHRAN, Iran | AFP | Tuesday 3/24/2020 - A senior Iranian official Tuesday ruled out “foreign” help on the ground to deal with the coronavirus epidemic after an offer from a France-based medical charity, as the country’s death toll from the illness neared 2,000.

ficial death toll from the coronavirus after Italy, China and Spain but, unlike those countries, it has yet to impose any lockdown on its citizens.

On the contrary, the country is in the midst of the two-week Persian New Year holiday when the country’s roads fill with people visiting “Due to Iran’s national mobilisa- family. tion against the virus and the full Despite the authorities’ appeals use of the medical capacity of the for people to stay home and the armed forces, it is not necessary closure of shopping and leisure for now for hospital beds to be centres, many people have taken set up by foreign forces, and their to the roads as usual this year. presence is ruled out,” Alireza VaJahanpour, however, announced habzadeh, advisor to Iran’s health that when government offices reminister, said on Twitter. open on Tuesday, many civil serDoctors Without Borders (MSF) vants will be working from home. Draconian measures don’t help, authorities argue (AFP Photo/Anders had said Sunday that it planned “Only around a third of governto send a nine-member team and WIKLUND) equipment to set up a 50-bed ment staff are authorised to work hospital, stirring opposition from in the office and only for adminisultra-conservative circles in the trative tasks vital to the public,” he actually closing them. the pandemic, Swedish poli- Islamic republic who charged that said, adding that all offices would ticians respond that the gov- MSF staff would serve as “spies”. practise “social distancing”.

Health authorities also urged ernment will take its cue from The country’s supreme leader Health ministry spokesman Kipeople to reconsider trips to visit experts at the country’s Public Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has urged anoush Jahanpour earlier said a relatives over Easter. Health Agency. Iranians to follow state instrucBut for many, life is carrying The agency has yet to call for on close to normal. stricter measures, arguing that the elderly should stay home, not Bars and restaurants were full children. at the weekend, and Stockholm’s city buses have been jam-packed “As soon as the Public Health at rush hour despite the social Agency requests that the govdistancing recommendations. ernment make a decision, we will do it this quickly,” Health In contrast, neighbouring Nor- Minister Lena Hallengren, snapway two weeks ago rolled out the ping her fingers, said earlier this “most intrusive measures” seen month. in peacetime, including banning sports and cultural events, and But not everybody shares the shutting down schools and busi- government’s faith in the agennesses. cy, with some accusing it of putting lives at risk. Sweden’s parliament has so far simply fast-tracked a bill alThis has led to a stream of vitlowing for the closure of prima- riol on social media directed at ry and pre-schools -- if deemed the agency and its main spokesnecessary. person, state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell. However, in line with the rest with the rest of the European The amount of hateful comUnion, Sweden has shut its bor- ments became so overwhelming ders to non-necessary travel. that the agency’s director, Johan Carlson, felt compelled to de- Experts rule fend Tegnell, saying: “I think it’s close to unworthy, what he has Grilled by media about their been subjected to”. apparently relaxed response to

record 1,762 new cases have been confirmed in Iran over the past 24 hours and 24,811 people are now known to have been infected with the new coronavirus.

tions “so that Almighty God will put an end to this calamity for the Iranian people, for all Muslim nations and for all mankind”.

- ‘Sanctions should be eased’ He announced 122 new deaths from the virus, raising the official On Tuesday, the UN rights chief toll to 1,934 in one of the world’s called for any sanctions imposed worst hit countries. on countries like Iran facing the In a statement, MSF said it had new coronavirus pandemic to be obtained the necessary permis- “urgently re-evaluated” to avoid sions from the Iranian authorities, pushing strained medical systems and voiced its “incomprehension” into collapse. at its offer of help being rejected. Iran has been under crippling Two cargo planes had already US sanctions in connection with arrived in Tehran carrying the its nuclear programme. necessary equipment to build the “At this crucial time, both for facility, it added, while “an in- global public health reasons, and ternational team of nine people, to support the rights and lives of including two intensive care doc- millions of people in these countors, had already arrived in Esfah- tries, sectoral sanctions should an, where they were welcomed by be eased or suspended,” Michelle the local health authorities”. Bachelet said. The NGO said it was ready “to Even before the pandemic, she rapidly redeploy its emergency pointed out that human rights reteam and treatment capacity else- ports had repeatedly emphasised where in Iran, or to quickly trans- the impact of sectorial sanctions fer them to other countries in the on access to essential medicines region, where they are urgently and medical equipment in Iran, inneeded”. cluding respirators and protective Iran has the fourth highest of- gear for healthcare workers.


Page 11 • VOICE OF ASIA (Section A)

ATTENTION CUSTOMERS

281-988-4566

www.worldfoodmart.com THE LARGEST INDO-MEDITERRAEN GROCERY STORE IN NORTH AMERICA As the global effect of coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, World Food is firmly committed to the health and safety of our customers and employees, and serving our communities. We are closely monitoring the changing situation, and complying with public health guidance. As many of o you have noticed, we’ve experienced a surge of business during this time. As a result, we’ve taken steps to control the number of customers in our store and asked that customers and employees practice social distancing. We’ve increased our protocols in sanitizing surfaces, including shopping cart handles, merchandise shelves, front-end belts and registers. Limits have been implemented on certain items to help ensure more customers are able to access the merchandise they want and need. Our buyers and suppliers are working to ensure in-demand merchandise as well as everyday favorites are available in our store. We are working round the clock to re-stock our shelves. We have re-stocked 90% of our shelves. As other stores are out of merchandise, we have been able to procure them for our customers. We thank you for your patience and cooperation during this hard times. As new developments occur, be assured we are committed to taking care of our customers and employees by providing quality merchandise and exceptional service. We extend our sincere thanks to customers and employees for their ongoing support and loyal dedication during this challenging time. Thank you Mansur Kaiser President & CEO

14625 Beechnut St., Houston, TX 77083

FRIDAY, March 27, 2020


Fort Bend View

Page 12 • VOICE OF ASIA (Section A)

FRIDAY, March 27, 2020

Sugar Land, Katy, Stafford, Missouri City, Richmond, Rosenberg and Meadows Place Email: voiceasia@aol.com

Fort Bend County issues ‘Stay Home’ order for residents

www.voiceofasia.news

Katy ISD provides thousands of free meals to Katy children Next week, the District will add two new locations and hot food entrée option.

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ATY [March 22, 2020] – Over the past week, Katy Independent School District has had the privilege to serve 33,102 meals, both breakfast and lunch, to Katy area families during this difficult time of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Fort Bend County KP George addressing a press conference on Tuesday, March 24 declaring the ‘stay-at-home’ order to go into effect at 12 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25. (KTRK Screen grab).

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ORT BEND COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) - Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - A Stay Home - Save Lives Order has been issued for Fort Bend County residents to help fight the spread of COVID-19. The order will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24 and will last until April 3. It applies throughout Fort Bend County, including unincorporated areas and all cities within the county. Fort Bend County KP George said in a press conference on Tuesday that he had no choice but to issue the order due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the county. The decision was made hours after Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo issued a Stay Home - Work Safe Order for Houston and Harris County residents.

doctor, going to the grocery store, getting medicine, engaging in outdoor activities, caring for a family member or pet in another household or going to work for an essential business. According to the federal government’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency guidelines, there are 16 sectors considered essential: Communications Chemical Critical Manufacturing Commercial Facilities Dams Defense Industrial Base Emergency Services Energy Financial Food & Agriculture

Judge George says the order Government Facilities does not prohibit people from performing tasks essential to their Healthcare & Public Health health and safety like going to Information Technology the doctor, going to the grocery Nuclear Reactors, Materials and store, getting medicine, engaging in outdoor activities, caring for a Waste family member or pet in another Transportation Systems household or going to work for an Water essential business. “This order allows for essential Judge George says the order does not prohibit people from businesses to operate as long as performing tasks essential to their they comply with the necessary health and safety like going to the order,” Judge George said.

For this upcoming week, Katy ISD will move one meal distribution site and adding an additional school to expand our assistance to the community. The District will also provide a hot entrée in the lunch meal, beginning Tuesday, March 24. (The hot entrée is to expand the options, and the meal will remain grab and go style.) “During this closure we want students to continue receiving their meals as well as the nutrients they need to stay healthy,” said Katy ISD Executive Director of Nutrition and Food Services, Donna Pittenger. “Children do not need to be enrolled in a Katy ISD school to receive the meals. We simply ask parents and children to come to one of our grab and go locations. Individuals will not be asked for proof of residency nor identification,” added Pittenger. As a reminder, grab and go breakfast and lunches are available Religious and worship services are to be streamed online only. Parks will remain open, but no playgrounds, benches, exercise equipment or basketball courts may be used. People who enjoy the outdoor spaces must maintain social distancing. Day cares who provide care for employees of essential businesses can remain open. Restaurants can continue providing takeout and drive-thru service, but must maintain social distancing between customers as well. In order to safely practice social distancing, you must stay six feet away from another person.

to all Katy area children, up to 18 years of age, free of charge.  The meals are served at the campuses listed below from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. All meals are provided curbside outside the campuses’ covered walkway area, where buses pickup and drop off students.  Families will not be able to enter the campus during the meal service. Meal ‘Grab and Go’ Locations: · Bear Creek Elementary: 4815 Hickory Downs Dr, Houston, TX 77084 · Golbow Elementary: 3535 Lakes of Bridgewater Dr, Katy, TX 77449 · Hutsell Elementary: 5360 Franz Rd, Katy, TX 77493 · Mayde Creek Elementary: 2698 Greenhouse Rd, Houston, TX 77084 · Memorial Parkway Elementary: 21603 Park Tree Ln, Katy, TX 77450 · Paetow High School*: 23111 Stockdick School Road, Katy, TX 77493 · Schmalz Elementary*: 18605 Green Land Way, Houston, TX 77084 · Sundown Elementary: 20100 Saums Rd, Katy, TX 77449 · West Memorial Elementary: 22605 Provincial Blvd, Katy, TX 77450 · Williams Elementary: 3900 S. Peek Rd, Katy, TX 77450 · Tompkins High School: 4400 Falcon Landing Blvd, Katy, TX 77494 *Beginning this past Monday, March 23, curbside meal service has moved from Bethke Elementary to Paetow High School. On Wednesday, March 25, Schmalz Elementary will begin distributing “grab and go” meals.

Tel: 713-774-5140

Indian American mother charged after small boy dies from knife wound The woman’s husband found the four-year-old child upstairs after returning home

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UGAR LAND, Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - A local woman has been charged after her young son was found dead Saturday morning at the family’s home in Sugar Land.

Sugar Land Police were called to the 5200 block of Weatherstone Circle in Gardens of Avalon around 10:40 a.m, after the woman’s husband came home. Ritika Rohatgi Agrawal, 36, is charged with murder. Investigators said Agrawal was walking around the house with wounds to her body. Meanwhile, her 4-year-old child was upstairs. He had died from a knife wound to the throat, police said. The woman was taken to the hospital, and police said she’s expected to survive. Investigators said her wounds appear to be self-inflicted. On Monday afternoon, Ritika Rohatgi Agrawal was discharged from hospital and transported to the county jail. On Tuesday, she is expected

Ritika Rohatgi Agrawal (City of Sugar Land Police Dept. photo)

to be produced before a magistrate inside the jail for a bond hearing. If Ritika does not have a counsel, county’s indigent defense attorney will represent her. Bail in capital murder cases are rare, though not always denied. It is likely that the judge may impose a high bond to ensure that she is not a flight risk. The investigation is ongoing. - VOA

Holley Elementary receives Lighthouse School distinction from Leader in Me

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ORT BEND ISD (March the community. 18, 2020) - Holley EleAmong the criteria Lighthouse mentary has received the Lighthouse School distinction for Schools meet are: implementation of the Franklin• Ongoing leadership developCovey Leader in Me program.

ment for school administraThis special honor is given tors and staff to only the top 5% of schools around the world who have • School-wide opportunities to implemented the program. To learn, engage and celebrate be recognized as a Lighthouse leadership for students School, Holley has shown that Parents, students and communi- the Leader in Me program has Student-led learning through ty members with additional ques- had a significant positive impact self-assessment of needs, tions, should email questions to on not only its students, teachers goal-setting and implementation and staff, but also parents and of action plans. coronavirus@katyisd.org

Profile for VoiceOf Asia

VOA E - Paper 03-27-20  

Voice of Asia is based in Houston since 1987. We reach South Asian and Asian American families in Houston and surrounding areas in Texas. We...

VOA E - Paper 03-27-20  

Voice of Asia is based in Houston since 1987. We reach South Asian and Asian American families in Houston and surrounding areas in Texas. We...

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