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FLU CONFERENCE COVERAGE New disease-control rules follow reminders of risks

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first_imgJun 18, 2007 – TORONTO (CIDRAP News) – Ten years after H5N1 avian influenza first began to raise fears of a potential pandemic, the world has a stronger set of tools to contain that virus and similar threats, but also a fresh awareness of humanity’s vulnerability to fast-spreading diseases, experts said yesterday at an international conference on flu. Heymann said the old rules “were actually a very passive system” and “a system which countries did not adhere to. Very few countries would report diseases under the International Health Regulations because when they reported those [three] diseases, or any other diseases for that matter, they were penalized with decreased trade and decreased tourism.” “We really are not much further ahead today than we were in 1918,” Dr. David Heymann, the WHO’s assistant director-general for communicable diseases, said in the conference’s keynote address. “We don’t have the vaccines we need. . . . We have some antivirals. But we do have one thing that we did not have in 1918, and that is the International Health Regulations, that now provide for proactive collective action for the H5N1 threat to global public health security.” The Options for the Control of Influenza Conference takes place in Toronto this week on the 10th anniversary of the first human cases of H5N1 flu, which were discovered in Hong Kong between May and December 1997, and one month after the multi-country odyssey of an Atlanta lawyer infected with an almost untreatable form of tuberculosis. The new rules also encourage countries to enforce disease control at their borders while respecting the rights of international travelers. And they reinforce countries’ responsibility to report and contain disease by allowing states to look over each other’s fences: For the first time, the WHO will accept reports of outbreaks not only from national governments but also from third parties ranging from Internet search engines to other states. During the 2003 SARS outbreak, for instance, Southeast Asia lost an estimated $18 billion in gross domestic product and possibly $60 billion in revenues and demand, Heymann said. The new rules, which were enacted in 2005 and became effective Jun 15, update an earlier and much weaker set of regulations that have been in force since 1969. In a change from the earlier rules—which emphasized control of only cholera, plague, and yellow fever—they commit WHO members to monitoring all potential public health threats, and particularly emphasize smallpox, polio, SARS, and novel flu strains, including H5N1. “It is important to maintain vigilance and not get so focused on one threat, like H5N1, that we don’t miscue on the emergence and virulence of another,” Dr. David Butler-Jones, Canada’s chief public health officer, said at the conference opener. He called the XDR TB patient’s four-country odyssey “a stark reminder of our collective vulnerability to communicable diseases. . . . The world seems to continue to be smaller, with diseases having no respect for borders, cultures or politics.” See also: Conference attendees said the porousness of borders to disease has been sharply underlined by two recent events: the emergence on the Wales-England border of an H7N2 strain of avian flu that infected at least four humans and killed a number of poultry despite being judged “low pathogenic,” and the saga of Andrew Speaker, who detoured through several countries so that he could obtain treatment in the United States for his newly diagnosed case of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR TB). The new regulations improve on the old not only by emphasizing more diseases but also by committing states to building up their public health infrastructure so they can detect and respond to outbreaks, and to maintaining real-time surveillance of health information so that it can be transmitted to the WHO within 24 hours. But the conference’s opening ceremonies yesterday evening also came 2 days after the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) new International Health Regulations took effect. The voluntary contract marks the first time that the WHO’s 193 member states have agreed to immediately acknowledge and attempt to control any public health emergencies—in their own country or any other territory—that could provoke international concern. Jun 15 CIDRAP News story “New global disease-control rules take effect”last_img read more

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Bumi Armada Wins Third FPSO Project in India

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first_imgMalaysia-based Bumi Armada has secured a contract from India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) to provide a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel.Namely, the company’s joint venture Shapoorji Pallonji Bumi Armada Godavari Private Limited(SPBAG) received a Notification of Award for the FPSO, that will operate off the west coast of Kakinada, India.The charter hire and operations deal is for a fixed period of nine years, valued at around USD 2.1 billion (MYR 8.8 billion). ONGC has the option to extend the contract for up to seven years. On an annual basis and if fully exercised, the extensions would be worth USD 655 million (MYR 2.7 billion).“The JV with SPOGPL has been a very successful partnership, this being our third FPSO project together in India and fourth in total,” Leon Harland, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, said.“This is a positive result for the group and the project will add value to Bumi Armada going forward,” Harland added.SPBAG is a 30:70 joint venture between Bumi Armada and Shapoorji Pallonji Oil & Gas Private Limited of India.last_img read more

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FIFA backs GFF as transfer window extended to August 23

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first_imgTHE GFF 2020/2021 Pre-season Transfer Window has now been extended to August 23, 2020 in order to accommodate any hindrances that interested parties might have experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic situation.This decision was made in consultation with its Regional Member Associations (RMA), affiliates and Elite League Clubs and endorsed by FIFA following an official request from the GFF.According to the FIFA correspondence dated August 5, the endorsement was granted “consistent with (i) the guidelines and decisions regarding COVID-19 approved by the Bureau of the Council on  April 6 2020 and (ii) FIFA circular No. 1720.Meanwhile, GFF president Wayne Forde said the GFF “…is actively drawing up plans for a robust restart of football nationally and would like to give each registered club the opportunity to prepare for a competitive season. The GFF will be announcing these plans once the COVID-19 Task Force and the Ministry of Public Health provide the requisite clearance for the resumption of competitive sports. In the meantime, we urge our members to continue to respect the COVID-19 guidelines.”The original 2020/2021 Pre-season Transfer Window opened on June 1, 2020 and closed at midnight on July 31, 2020.GFF general secretary, Ian Alves, in his correspondence to the members urged the use of electronic communication for the processing of transfers: “In light of the continuing situation concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, and the public advisories as issued by the relevant government agencies, and the fact that the GFF secretariat is only opened on a need-to basis, having only essential staff on duty on any given day, RMAs, clubs, and other interested.last_img read more

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Dorset pair are England Golf Trust champions

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first_img A pair of Dorset women golfers have won the national England Golf Trust stableford competition, which has raised over £5000 to support young people who need financial help to play the game.Sarah Holt and Sarah Lethbridge, from Sherborne (image © Leaderboard Photography), teamed up to score 47 points in the betterball final at King’s Norton Golf Club, Worcestershire.They won by two points from the team from Belton Woods, Lincolnshire, who took second place on countback from Redditch, Worcestershire. Fourth place went to Perranporth, Cornwall, on 41 points, also securing their spot on countback.The competition was designed to raise funds for the Trust which provides grants and bursaries for young men and women in education or aged up to 21. Over 100 clubs entered the competition, which began with a club qualifying round, and around 80 more also made donations to the Trust.Trustee Ian Watkins commented: “The competition and the support we have received has been brilliant. We’ve raised just over £5000 from entry fees and donations and that means around 30 grants for young people.”Sarah Holt, who plays off 16 (pictured left) said: “We’re absolutely delighted to win – and stunned! We didn’t really get into any trouble, but if one of us did the other scored well. We just dovetailed.”Sherborne are regular supporters of the Trust and Sarah Lethbridge, a 22-handicapper, added: “If raising money helps young people stay in golf and gets more people playing golf, it has to be good.”She took up golf about three years ago and says: “It keeps me sane! I’m a chef and I work very long hours, so golf gets me out in the fresh air and makes me shut off from my job.”Click here for more information about the England Golf Trust 17 Aug 2016 Dorset pair are England Golf Trust champions last_img read more

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