As the world neared 12 million COVID-19 cases, new infections are accelerating in at least two World Health Organization regions, with illnesses recently topping 6 million in the Americas and cases in Africa passing the 500,000 mark.The global total today climbed to 11,910,220 cases, and 545,980 people have died from their infections, according to the Johns Hopkins online dashboard.Americas cases surge, burden shows some shiftAt a Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) media briefing yesterday, director Carissa Etienne, MBBS, MSc, said cases increased 20% last week compared to the previous week, and about 100,000 cases a day are reported from the region. However, she noted that new patterns are emerging. Two months ago, the United States made up 75% of cases in the region, but this past week it reported under half of the cases, with cases in Latin America and the Caribbean area accounting for about 50% of cases.Brazil alone accounts for 25% of the cases outside of the United States. Brazil yesterday reported more than 45,000 cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University case list. Other Latin America countries such as Mexico, Peru, and Colombia also reported high daily totals yesterday.Etienne said battling the COVID-19 threat requires strong coordination across the region, a deep understanding of epidemiological trends, clear guidance, and a steady supply of medical products. She said the region took early steps that kept cases low early, but now it faces persistent challenges.Protecting healthcare workers with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) is a top priority, she said, noting that it’s also important to prevent stigma so that people seek care as soon as they have symptoms, which enables earlier and better contact tracing. “This is our best hope for controlling the pandemic,” she said.Leaders should allow evidence to guide their actions, with a focus on what works and uniting people around common goals, Etienne said.Africa’s death numbers pass West Africa’s Ebola fatality totalIn Africa, a growing number of countries are reporting sharp rises in cases, and in less than 5 months, the virus led to 11,959 deaths, which is more than the 11,308 reported in West Africa’s massive Ebola outbreak.Cases in 22 countries have more than doubled over the last month. Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa make up about 71% of the continent’s cases, with South Africa as the hardest hit country, reporting 43% of all cases. Yesterday, it added more than 10,000 cases to its total, according to the Johns Hopkins University dashboard.Matshidiso Moeti, MBBS, director of the WHO’s African regional office, said in a statement, “With more than a third of countries in Africa doubling their cases over the past month, the threat of COVID-19 overwhelming fragile health systems on the continent is escalating.” She added that so far, countries have avoided disaster scenarios, but they can slow the spread of the virus by shoring up key public health steps such as testing, tracing contacts, and isolating cases.About 80% of all infections are in people younger than age 60, likely reflecting Africa’s younger population, Moeti said. However, the likelihood of death rises with age and underlying medical conditions.Cases rise again in Central Asian countriesHealth officials in Uzbekistan today announced they would impose another lockdown, to start on Jul 10 and last 3 weeks, following a surge in cases after initial measures were relaxed in May, Reuters reported. Kyrgyzstan also recently imposed a second lockdown.In other global developments:Serbia’s plans to reimpose a lockdown prompted protests in front of the parliament in Belgrade that drew thousands of people and injured police officers and protesters, ReutersRomania today reported a record daily high of 555 cases, pushing its total past 30,000, though a state of alert is slated to end on July 15. The country’s main hot spots are the cities of Bucharest, Suceava, and Brasov.The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) today announced that it expanded its partnership with China-based Clover Pharmaceuticals to speed the development and manufacturing of its candidate protein-based S-trimer COVID-19 vaccine. In a statement, CEPI said the extra $66 million investment would support preclinical studies, phase 1 study, and preparing for an efficacy trial. Also, the deal would scale-up manufacturing capacity to produce hundreds of millions of doses per year. The initial agreement in April covered preparations for and the start of a phase 1 clinical trial that began enrolling participants on June 19.
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SWITZERLAND: The ‘gradual separation’ of freight activities from the national railway operator has taken a further step, with SBB Cargo AG being managed as an independent company within the SBB Group since the start of the year. This is intended to pave the way for the introduction of third-party participation in the freight business.SBB announced last year that it was looking for outside partners to take a minority financial stake in SBB Cargo AG. It reported on January 18 that market soundings had attracted interest from various parties, both domestic and international. These offers are currently being examined and negotiations are underway with a view to final decisions being taken during the course of 2019.Undertaken within the 1999 legislation which established SBB Cargo AG as a ‘private law’ joint stock corporation, unbundling the business as an independent group company is intended to allow the minority investors to play a more active role in shaping the future direction of rail freight operations. SBB Cargo International remains 75% owned by SBB Cargo AG and 25% by intermodal operator Hupac.Following the separation, SBB Cargo AG has its own board of directors, and its CEO no longer sits on the SBB Group management team. A ‘renewal’ of the board is envisaged as part of the ‘opening up’ of the company, with recruitment underway for an external director to be appointed in the next few months. A new Chairman is to be named once the external partner(s) have joined the business.Nevertheless, SBB says the freight business will continue to work closely with the Group leadership on all matters relating to freight transport, including service agreements with the federal government, network and timetable planning, and the SmartRail 4.0 next-generation traffic management project.SBB says the reforms are intended ‘to further increase the competitiveness of SBB Cargo AG’, and enable greater multi-modal integration with other partners. This would allow the operator to continue providing its customers with high quality services while making the business more competitive.An ongoing restructuring and development programme has enabled the freight business to significantly improve its commercial performance following a ‘financial setback’ in 2017. SBB Cargo AG reported a 1·7% increase in revenue during 2018 compared with the previous year, which allowed it to finish the year in profit, two years ahead of the original target in the restructuring plan. With public support finishing this year, the objective is to be able to support sustainable investment by 2023.Noting that wagonload traffic declined by a further 2·4% last year and ‘remains under increasing pressure’, SBB Cargo says it is currently discussing service options with its customers, but insists that ‘there will be no surprises’.
INNOTRANS: The Malaysian rail industry will be represented on a combined stand for the first time at InnoTrans 2020.The stand in Hall 11.2 will feature 10 companies.‘Over recent years, developments and growth in the Malaysian rail sector have certainly exceeded expectations’, explains Badrul Hisham Hilaly, trade commissioner at Malaysia External Trade Development Corp. ‘The country’s rail industry has developed and attained an international standard and recognition.‘By taking part in InnoTrans 2020, Malaysia aims to position itself as a reliable partner in engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning for international OEMs.‘MATRADE has developed a strategy in order to give the country’s rail industry a strong impetus, by encouraging companies to demonstrate their expertise at leading international trade fairs such as InnoTrans’.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInThe Council’s Education Committee (24 November 2015) agreed to support the phase 1 projects of Dumfries Learning Town. The Council Administration also stressed its commitment to completing phase 2.Councillor Jeff Leaver, chairman of the Education Committee, said, “Providing the best start in life for all our children is a priority for our Council and we’re committed to giving all local children an equal chance to fulfil their potential. Dumfries Learning Town is key to this. I’m very pleased that the Education Committee agreed to support the phase 1 projects. I can also state that the Council Administration is absolutely committed to delivering phase 2.”The Education Committee (17 September 2015) agreed the designs for the 3 projects in phase 1 of Dumfries Learning Town. The committee also agreed to receive a report at the Education Committee (24 November 2015) after the costs had been developed and presented to Policy and Resources Committee (17 November 2015).http://egenda.dumgal.gov.uk/aksdumgal/users/public/admin/kab12.pl?cmte=EDU&meet=60&arc=71Due to a range of factors, the scope and cost estimates for these projects have increased as detailed in the Dumfries Learning Town financial update report presented to Policy and Resources Committee (17 November 2015): http://egenda.dumgal.gov.uk/aksdumgal/images/att38985.pdfFor more info on Dumfries Learning Town see: http://www.dumgal.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=11765
Dancehall star Sean Paul has donated JMD $1 million to fellow Jamaica DJ, Shaggy, for his foundations for the Bustamante Children’s Hospital.Paul, a past performer at Shaggy’s Shaggy & Friends Show made the pledge at the ScotiaBank tent, through booking agency Headline Entertainment, as he was unable to attend the show.The donation was made during the charity concert on the lawns of Jamaica House in St Andrew, last Saturday.
Several dead in Kenya market fire Courtesy: Euronews SA Courtesy: Euronews SAMount Kenya Trust, MKT, has launched an appeal for funds to help arrest spreading fires on the slopes of the famed Mount Kenya.The trust, an organization dedicated to helping preserve and protect Mount Kenya on Wednesday started a fundraiser within Kenya seeking help douse the raging fires.The fires, it said, had been raging for the past five days and efforts to quell them was getting out of hand hence the need to seek funding to curtail a looming danger.Throughout the past five days, winds and extremely dry conditions have burnt hectares of moorlands and the fire is dangerously close to the forest. In some areas, the forest is starting to catch – along with the bamboo regions.We are struggling to regain control. We are working with the Kenyan government and local partners around the clock, but resources and funding for the scale of the problem are scarce.They announced local money transfer lines through which people could donate as well as their bank details. As at Wednesday evening, its crowdfunding appeal dubbed ‘Mount Kenya Fires had raised about £2,200 out of a target of £15,000.The flexible nature of the funding module means they receive donations as and when they are made. Persons in organizations in the United States are also urged to donate via a fellow conservation outfit, the Tusk Fund.Mount Kenya is burning and we urgently need funds to put out the fires raging on the northeastern slopes, the appeal page read.Related Kenya readies itself for fight against drought Chinese road construction firm saves Kenya market from fire
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInDumfries and Galloways Council’s Communities committee [11 June 2019] will consider a report on the final outcome position for the Land Asset Capital Programme 2018/19.In February 2018, the Council agreed a funding allocation of £1.092m. During 2018/19, projects in the programme also received £44k through the Property/Buildings [other] Asset Class, resulting in a total net allocation of £1.136m.The total spent on agreed land asset class projects in 2018/19 was £632,916:• £91,267 on burial ground maintenance• £112,447 on burial ground development• £120,801 on parks, gardens and amenity space maintenance/development• £119,332 on play areas and playing fields• £189,069 on developing the first phase of Inclusive Play ParksThere will be a carry forward of £503,526 to 2019/20, allocated to specific projects unless otherwise agreed by members.Councillor Andy Ferguson, chair of the Communities committee, said: “ As a Council we are committed to improving our land assets. This report shows a prudent use of the allocated budget and traditionally has had a carry forward as not all projects are active simultaneously.”Councillor John Martin, vice chair, said: “It’s a priority for us to be an inclusive Council, so I’m pleased to see the investment in Inclusive Play Parks and anticipate the balance being spent in the coming year.”
36 Views no discussions Share EntertainmentLocalNews Marathon of Lies coming to Arawak by: – September 18, 2013 Sharing is caring! A marathon of theatrical plays centered around lies both men and women often tell will be staged at the Arawak House of Culture from Thursday 19th September at 8pm by Téyat Pawòl.Four plays; Woman Can Lie I, Woman Can Lie II, Man Does Lie I and Man Does Lie II, will be staged within four days. Tickets for the four plays cost $60.00, nightly price $20.00 and $10.00 for students and teachers on Thursday.“We are really excited because we get the feeling that we are into some novelty movement where it has not been done where a drama group on the island of Dominica has done four plays consecutively,” founder of Téyat Pawòl, Alex Bruno said in an interview with Dominica Vibes.He said patrons can expect to be thrilled over the four days and invited theatrical lovers to come out and support the event.“We see this as an awesome responsibility which we intend to execute to the fullest of our ability”.The cast and crew members who have been rehearsing for over four months includes three stalwarts; Racheeda Gachette, Michael Ferrol and Emile Serrant who “are basically the ones driving the production”.Cast members also include Giselle Gabriel, Lisa Philbert, Marja Jeffers, Amanda Dejean, Naomi Azille, Shannon John, Colymore Daniel and Selena Cuffy.“The fact is if the individuals who are reading this publication do not come out and hear about what is happening at the Arawak you may live to regret it,” Mr Bruno said.He noted further that this is a once in a lifetime occurrence implored the public to come out and support good theatre from young people.There will also be some guest artistes who will merge with Dominican artiste “to bring this cultural clash on stage”.DA Vibes Inc and Vibes Radio are two major partners with Téyat Pawòl in staging this marathon of plays.Dominica Vibes News Share Tweet Share
Share 113 Views no discussions Sharing is caring! Share Tweet Lennox Fagan, Immediate Past President of the Beekeepers CooperativeLennox Fagan, Immediate Past President of the Beekeepers Cooperative has revealed that over fifty percent of beehives on island was lost as a result of Hurricane Maria’s passage last September.This he said during a one day stakeholders conference highlight the Beekeepers Coopertative organized by the Cooperative Division of the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs, Family and Gender Affairs in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries on Tuesday 24 July, 2018 at the Prevo Cinemall.However, this was not beekeepers’ first brush with loss of their beehives. Beekeepers he explained once suffered a major setback with the infestation of Varroa Mites destroyed about ninety-five percent of hives on the island between 1994 and 2000. “Approximately fifty hives survived; between 1994 and 1996 the government of Dominica through the Ministry of Agriculture provided assistance to treat the hives. The varo mite was something alien to us, we didn’t know about it, it took us by surprise.”A friend and partner was found in Mr. Kent Coipel of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), he said. Mr. Coipel presented a proposal to the Canada fund for local initiative to replace the hives lost. Forty hives were replaced and training was organized for young and female beekeepers who received a hive on completion. Seventeen years later, he said, “Due to hurricane Maria about sixty-five percent of hives were destroyed.” Currently there is an estimated two hundred and fifty hives remaining on island. BusinessLocalNews Over 50% of beehives lost due to Maria by: Dominica Vibes News – July 24, 2018 Share