Asian countries teaming up to thwart avian flu

first_imgDec 21, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – Overcoming the threat of avian influenza is the single most pressing agricultural and public health issue facing Southeast Asia, Singapore’s minister of state for national development, Cedric Foo, said yesterday in opening a regional meeting on the disease, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports.In his address to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Singapore, Foo made a point others have raised in recent months: that combating the deadly avian flu will require regional collaboration.”A coordinated regional approach to prevent, control and eradicate HPAI [highly pathogenic avian influenza] is crucial to overcoming this threat,” AFP quoted Foo as saying.The ASEAN members agreed today to focus on several activities for preventing and controlling avian flu, according to Xinhua, the Chinese news service.The report said tasks were split out this way: Singapore will share information on regional epidemiologic studies; Thailand will attend to disease surveillance and alerts as well as diagnostic abilities; and Malaysia is to focus on disease-free zones, containment, and emergency preparedness. Coordinating countries will make detailed work plans.Members of the ASEAN task force on avian flu will meet next in Thailand in May, the story added.United Nations activitiesThe Vietnamese government and the United Nations announced on Dec 18 that they would set up a task force to coordinate efforts against avian flu. It will include the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and Vietnam’s ministries of health and agriculture, according to an online report by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.The WHO sounded a similar tone on Dec 15 in announcing the opening of a pandemic emergency response center at WHO headquarters in Geneva, according to the United Nations News service.The emergency response center is a $5 million room that can be reorganized quickly to address diseases that threaten to become pandemics, such as avian flu. It is wired for a variety of communications aimed at linking far-flung laboratories and specialists, and can function even if local electrical and phone service are interrupted, the news release said.The lab will allow the WHO to muster “a targeted public health response anywhere in the world in 24 to 48 hours,” the WHO’s Dr. Michael J. Ryan said in the news release.Virus reported in wild birdsThe push for partnerships and improved surveillance comes against a drumbeat of concern about the persistence of H5N1 flu in Southeast Asia. In the last week, a grey heron was found dead from that flu strain in Hong Kong, according to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Tests of poultry farms within 5 kilometers of the dead heron found no indication of avian flu.In Thailand, scientists have found evidence of the virus in wild native birds not previously known to harbor it, according to a Dec 14 story in the Bangkok Post. Ten of 1,011 bird samples tested recently were positive, including samples from pigeons, Asian open-billed storks, a cormorant, a red-collar dove, a scaly breasted munia, and a black drongo.Although the WHO has not confirmed any human cases of H5N1 since the 32 deaths and 44 total cases noted by Oct 25, scientists in Japan say poultry workers and a health worker there might have been infected with the virus during a poultry outbreak last February.None of the five people who might have been infected became seriously ill, according to articles posted on ProMED-Mail, a Web site of the International Society of Infectious Diseases. Researchers found antibodies to avian flu in blood samples taken in February and March, but hadn’t determined whether the five had contracted the disease.The Japanese health ministry is expected to release a detailed report Dec 22.In other developments, AFP reported today that 3,680 chickens in southern Vietnam died or were killed recently after showing symptoms that suggested H5N1 avian flu. The chickens were on farms in the Mekong Delta’s Can Tho city, the report said.Tests for the virus were conducted on several other farms in the area, and results were being awaited, according to the story.See also:UN News report on emergency response centerlast_img read more

Talk of the towns

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

COVID-19: Govt prohibits civil servants from going on on ‘mudik’

first_imgThe government has prohibited civil servants from participating in the annual Idul Fitri mudik (exodus) to their hometowns, in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.In a circular issued on Monday, Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Minister Tjahjo Kumolo said that civil servants and their families were prohibited from going on mudik until the country “is free of COVID-19”.He also asked the staff development officers of ministries, agencies and regional administrations to ensure that their civil servants stayed in their respective regions and did not participate in the mudik. The officers were also asked to formulate a COVID-19 relief policy for civil servants and their families. “If civil servants have to travel outside of their region, they have to acquire permission from their supervisor,” the circular said, adding that civil servants who violated the regulation would be subject to disciplinary sanctions.Civil servants were also asked to urge their neighbors not to participate in the mudik or to go out of town during the COVID-19 outbreak period and to heed the government’s appeal to keep a distance in social interactions and adopt a healthy lifestyle.The government has not prohibited the mudik for the general public, citing economic considerations.Many public health experts have advised against the practice as it risks further transmitting the disease to regions with low healthcare capacity. Two of Indonesia’s largest Islamic mass organizations, Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah, have also advised people against participating in the mudik.According to 2019 data from the National Civil Service Agency (BKN), there are 4.28 million civil servants across the country.According to the official government count, there were 2,738 cases of COVID-19 in the country as of Tuesday, with 221 deaths.Topics :last_img read more

India coronavirus cases pass 6 million

first_imgTopics : The virus initially hit major metropolises including the financial hub Mumbai and national capital New Delhi, but has since spread to regional and rural areas where healthcare systems are fragile and patchy.Despite the continued march of the illness, the government is unlikely to reimpose the lockdown it has gradually lifted, after the harsh restrictions battered the economy and wrecked the livelihoods of millions of people, particularly the poor.Some schools have reopened, and trains, metros, domestic flights, markets and restaurants have been allowed to operate with restrictions.Anand Krishnan, a community medicine professor at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi, said the focus should be on treating people who contract the virus.”The infection is well-entrenched in the community,” he told AFP.”The only thing that we can do is take care of people who are ill — identify them faster and treat them better. And follow the social-distancing norms. Beyond that, I don’t think there is anything specific that can be done.”Some locals AFP spoke to in Delhi said while they remained cautious, their fears about the pandemic had lessened since the start earlier this year.”I’m out of the house all day because of my work. I don’t step out of the house for anything else,” said 23-year-old medical store worker Umang Chutani.”The future is uncertain but one can only be cautious and follow all safety protocols.” Himanshu Kainthola, 61, who recovered from the virus last month after testing positive with two other relatives, said his family’s fears “have reduced substantially”.”We have made peace with it. We take the necessary precautions and invest in increasing our immunity rather than being anxious or scared of it.” Creative writing student Santosh added that the virus was now “part of our lives”.”You cannot shutdown every business, because the economy cannot collapse… COVID-19 is not going to pay the rent,” he told AFP. The nation of 1.3 billion people is home to some of the world’s most densely populated cities and has long been expected to record a large number of COVID-19 cases.India has been adding 80,000 to 90,000 fresh infections each day since it started reporting the world’s highest daily rises from late August.Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called on people to keep wearing face coverings when they venture outside of their homes.”These rules are weapons in the war against corona. They are potent tools to save the life of every citizen,” Modi said in his monthly radio address.center_img India on Monday reported the number of coronavirus cases in the country had passed six million, as the pandemic rages across the vast South Asian nation.With 6.1 million infections according to the health ministry, India is on course to pass the United States in the coming weeks as the country with the most cases. It has also recorded close to 100,000 deaths.last_img read more

Governor signs executive order for state surge plan

first_imgStatewide— Governor Eric J. Holcomb signed an executive order on Monday that details Indiana’s plan for the anticipated spike in COVID-19 cases. The executive order allows the following professionals who do not currently hold an active license to practice:medical professionals who retired or became inactive in the last five yearsmedical professionals who hold licenses in other statesmedical professionals who held licenses in other states and retired or became inactive in the last five yearscertain medical students and graduatesThese professionals must register with the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency and will be able to assist in screenings, telemedicine and other basic procedures to allow regularly licensed medical professionals to be on the frontline.In Indiana, the baseline number of critical care hospital beds is 1,432. As of Monday, hospitals have already taken steps to increase the number of critical care hospital beds to 1,940. Overall, the state’s plan is to double the number, if needed, by taking existing noncritical care hospital beds, recovery rooms, operating rooms and outpatient facilities, turning them into critical care hospital beds.In Indiana, the baseline number of ventilators is 1,177 ventilators. As of Monday, hospitals have identified another 750 ventilators that can be used for critical care patients. Overall, the state’s plan is to double the number, if needed, by repurposing ventilators from operating rooms, ambulatory care centers, EMS and the Indiana National Guard.If needed, after all of these steps are exhausted, Indiana will be prepared to put patients in alternative facilities. The Indiana National Guard and Department of Homeland Security, in conjunction with FEMA, are in charge of these plans.The state of Indiana has been working on plans related to COVID-19 since January, and each hospital has a disaster plan in place. Planning has become more specific for state health and hospital officials as models of the projected impact of coronavirus became available. Based on those models, Indiana’s patient surge is expected to begin soon and the peak is expected to be mid-April to mid-May.last_img read more

Arsenal announce record shirt deal with Emirates

first_img“Emirates are again demonstrating their great belief in our approach and ambition and their significantly increased investment will help us continue to compete for trophies and bring more success to the club and our fans around the world.”Emirates president Sir Tim Clark said: “Arsenal’s strong appeal and influence around the globe, combined with their ambitions as a club, make them an ideal partner for Emirates, with values that reflect ours as a brand.“As a long-standing supporter of football, we are passionate about the game and are a proud partner to the team.”Emirates have held naming rights to Arsenal’s 60,000-seater stadium since the Gunners moved in during 2006, with that deal set to run until 2028.Arsenal, currently sixth in the Premier League table, eight points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, are desperate to secure Champions League football for next season after missing out this year.On Sunday they meet Premier League leaders Manchester City in the final of the League Cup at Wembley.Deloitte’s “Money League” report last month ranked Arsenal in sixth place behind the likes of Manchester United and Real Madrid but a separate study said Arsenal had greater financial muscle than any club in world football with the exception of Manchester City.Share on: WhatsApp London, United Kingdom | AFP | Arsenal announced the club’s biggest-ever sponsorship deal worth a reported £200 million on Monday, extending their shirt partnership with Dubai-based airline Emirates by five years.The Gunners confirmed the branding of Emirates, which began its sponsorship agreement with the north London club in 2006, would continue to feature on the shirts and training kit of all of their teams until the end of the 2023/2024 season.The size of the deal, quoted by the BBC as being worth more than £200 million ($280 million) reportedly puts the club level with Premier League rivals Chelsea, behind only Manchester United, who have a seven-year agreement with Chevrolet worth $559 million. “Our shirt partnership is the longest-running in the Premier League and one of the longest relationships in world sport,” said Ivan Gazidis, chief executive of Arsenal, who have not given a figure for the deal.“This mutual commitment is testimony to the strength and depth of our unique relationship.”last_img read more