Indonesia wants legal pact on sharing H5N1 samples

first_imgMar 14, 2007 (CIDRAP News) –Indonesia vowed today not to share H5N1 avian influenza virus samples with the World Health Organization (WHO) until it has a “legally binding” guarantee that the samples won’t be used to develop vaccines that the country can’t afford, according to news services.Indonesian Health Minister Siti Failah Supari told reporters in Jakarta today,”We will not share our virus sample, without a change in the rules,” the Associated press (AP) reported. The statement signaled the continuation of a standoff that has lasted several weeks.Indonesia has not supplied any H5N1 samples to the WHO since the end of 2006, the WHO has said. Steps toward resolution of the problem have been reported twice in the past month, but no final agreement has been reached.Researchers need current H5N1 samples to trace changes in the virus, map its spread, and develop vaccines in preparation for the threat of a human flu pandemic.Supari complained that WHO regulations give countries no control over how their viral samples are used, according to a Bloomberg News report. “Vaccine makers will try to produce and sell them [vaccines] to us at high price,” she said. “Poorer countries shouldn’t become a commercial target.”The WHO announced early in February that Indonesia had stopped sharing H5N1 isolates. After a Feb 16 meeting, officials said they had agreed in principle that Indonesia would resume sharing samples while the WHO would work to ensure that developing countries have access to vaccines based on their samples.In a Feb 28 letter, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan promised Indonesia that its viral specimens would be used “for public health risk assessment purposes only,” the AP reported. She also promised that, pending a formal agreement, the WHO would obtain Indonesia’s permission before sending any samples to a vaccine producer.But Supari said the letter was not enough, according to the AP. “That’s just an agreement in principle,” she said. “We need one that is legally binding.”Supari said Asia-Pacific health ministers will meet in Jakarta Mar 27 and 28 to propose changes in the WHO’s virus-sharing system, the story said.According to a Reuters report today, Supari said the proposed changes also would need to be discussed at a WHO advisory board meeting in May. She suggested that would be the earliest that the country would resume providing samples.The WHO’s Southeast Asia director, Samlee Plianbangchang, voiced confidence that the meeting later this month in Jakarta would do much to resolve the problem, the AP reported.See also:Feb 16 CIDRAP News story “Indonesia to resume sharing H5N1 samples with WHO”last_img read more

Japan welcomes Olympic flame as doubts swirl over Games

first_imgTopics : But some 200 local children that were due to welcome the flame were kept away as part of what organizers called the “heartbreaking” decision to pare back events as the world battles the virus that has killed nearly 10,000 people.After a speech by chief organizer Yoshiro Mori, the former Olympians lit the cauldron with the torch, also designed to represent Japan’s cherished cherry blossom.”Children had planned to welcome the Olympic flame, but we decided to scale it down, giving priority to their safety,” Mori said.The actual torch relay begins on March 26, starting from the J-Village sports complex in Fukushima that was commandeered as a base by workers scrambling to contain the fall-out from the nuclear meltdown. “The Olympic flame relay is the biggest event ahead of the Olympics. It is very important for us to carry it out at any cost,” said Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto ahead of the ceremony.But organizers have been forced to scale back what should have been a key event to raise awareness and excitement ahead of the July 24 opening ceremony.While spectators are allowed to watch from the roadside, fans have been urged to “avoid forming crowds”, with organizers warning there could be a change of program in the event of “excessive congestion”.Daily arrival and departure ceremonies are closed to the public and all torch-bearers will have their temperatures taken before participating in the relay, which is scheduled to visit every part of Japan on a 121-day journey before entering Tokyo. The Olympic flame arrived in Japan Friday to a muted reception, what should have been a joyous celebration dramatically scaled down due to the coronavirus pandemic that has cast doubt over whether the Tokyo Games can even go ahead.The flame landed on a special charter flight into Matsushima Air Base in Miyagi province, chosen as part of the “Recovery Olympics” to showcase the region’s revival after the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown.Former Japanese Olympians Saori Yoshida and Tadahiro Nomura collected the flame from the aircraft and took it to a cauldron in the shape of a cherry blossom on a stage in front of selected guests. ‘Bigger than the Olympics’ The virus has already played havoc with the traditional early stages of the torch relay in Greece — the lighting ceremony in ancient Olympia took place without spectators and was watched by a severely reduced delegation from Tokyo.Organizers were then forced to scrap the Greek leg of the relay after large crowds mobbed Hollywood actor Gerard Butler as he lit a cauldron in the city of Sparta.With borders shut in Europe — which has become the epicenter of the crisis — Tokyo officials did not travel to collect the torch, with former Olympic swimmer Naoko Imoto representing Japan at the official handover.As the flame arrived, there are increasing clouds over the Games, with some athletes past and present attacking the International Olympic Committee for insisting there is no need for “drastic” action such as postponement or cancellation.Japan Olympic Committee member and former Olympic judoka Kaori Yamaguchi was the latest prominent figure to suggest a postponement in a newspaper interview published the day the flame landed.”It should be postponed under the current situation where athletes are not well prepared,” Yamaguchi, a JOC executive board member, told the Nikkei daily.As well as wiping out the global sporting calendar, the coronavirus has also put paid to many athletes’ training schedules, leading some to propose a postponement.The IOC, which will take any decision over the fate of the Games, has encouraged all athletes to train for the Games “as best they can”, stressing it is “fully committed” to holding the event as planned.Nevertheless, IOC president Thomas Bach has admitted that qualifying is becoming a problem as competitions are scrapped.He said in an interview with the New York Times published Friday that the IOC was “considering different scenarios” for the Games but stressed that the Olympics were still four and a half months away.last_img read more

Omaha defeats Oral Roberts 74-67 with second-half comeback

first_img WE RECOMMEND Last Updated: 5th January, 2020 11:09 IST Omaha Defeats Oral Roberts 74-67 With Second-half Comeback Wanjang Tut scored 17 points as Nebraska Omaha won its seventh consecutive home game, defeating Oral Roberts 74-67 on Saturday night. SUBSCRIBE TO US Wanjang Tut scored 17 points as Nebraska Omaha won its seventh consecutive home game, defeating Oral Roberts 74-67 on Saturday night. Tut hit 8 of 10 shots. Marlon Ruffin had 15 points for Nebraska Omaha (9-8, 2-0 Summit League). JT Gibson added 13 points and Zach Thornhill had 12 points for the Mavericks.Omaha trailed 41-33 at halftime and fell behind by eight early in the second half. Gibson and Ruffin made two 3-pointers each in a 12-3 run that gave the Mavericks a 61-57 lead with 7:49 to go.Oral Roberts was within one point, 66-65, after a layup by Emmanuel Nzekwesi with 3:15 to go but the Golden Eagles managed only two free throws by Kevin Obanor the rest of the way.Kevin Obanor had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Golden Eagles (7-8, 0-2). Emmanuel Nzekwesi added 14 points and 10 rebounds. Nebraska Omaha plays at North Dakota on Wednesday. Oral Roberts faces North Dakota State at home on Thursday. 8 months ago Katrina Kaif’s photos that made us want to pack our bags and head to the beach Associated Press Television News 8 months ago Hume scores 22 to carry N. Colorado past Montana 74-66 COMMENT LIVE TV FOLLOW US 8 months ago Johnson helps Lightning beat Senators 5-3 for 6th straight Written By 8 months ago Ranveer Singh’s extravagant sneakers which you would want to steal from his closet WATCH US LIVE First Published: 5th January, 2020 11:09 ISTlast_img read more

Guyana relaxes closing time for bars and night clubs during Christmas…

first_imgGEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – The Guyana government says it has decided to relax the time for the closure of night sports and other places of entertainment here for the Christmas Season in response to calls from the business community and nationals returning home for the festive season.Open later than 2:00 a.m. to Jan 8.The Ministry of Public Security said that the 2.00 am (local time) closing has been relaxed and that it will come back into effect on January 8. “The Ministry of Public Security wishes to announce that, in conjunction with the Guyana Police Force, it will seek to relax the enforcement of the 2:00 am business deadline for bars, night clubs and other places of entertainment.“It is a time for celebration and knowing the Guyanese spirit the Ministry is persuaded and sees the need for this relaxation. The period during which the deadline will not be in effect is from December 21st, 2018 to January 7th, 2019. “Drinking and driving still prohibitedThe government said that while it has agreed to relax the closing time, “it must be pointed out, however, that all other laws especially those prohibiting drinking and driving and noise nuisance will be thoroughly enforced through more vehicular patrols and policemen outside partying spots.“Party goers are advised to get a designated driver and ensure noise levels at partying spots are not excessive. Everything in moderation is what is called for,” The Ministry of Public Security said, urging citizens to be particularly safety-conscious during this busy season, especially on the roadways.last_img read more

Reds’ Yasiel Puig addresses trade rumors: ‘I don’t know what’s going to happen’

first_imgYasiel Puig is focused on his performance on the field.The Reds are reportedly considering moving the 28-year-old outfielder before this week’s deadline. Puig was asked about the rumors when he met with reporters Tuesday before Cincinnati’s game against the Pirates. MLB trade rumors: Braves interested in Reds’ Yasiel Puig Puig spent the first six years of his MLB career with the Dodgers before he was sent to the Reds in a December trade.The Braves are reportedly interested in acquiring Puig while the Reds could also move starter Tanner Roark. “When I’m going into each AB, (I’m) looking for something I can hit, something in the zone that I can make contact (with),” Puig said earlier this month about his approach this season, via Cincinnati.com. “In the first couple of weeks, I go into there to try to get hits and swing at every ball. Now, I slowed down myself, try to put the ball in play and that’s helped me out a lot.”center_img MLB trade rumors: Yankees, Phillies among teams interested in starter Tanner Roark “I try to do my job,” Puig said, via Cincinnati.com. “I don’t know what’s going to happen with that. I don’t know if I’m going to stay here or if I’m going to the teams that need (me). I’m happy here with my teammates. I enjoy hanging out here with my teammates, but at the end of the day, this is part of the job and business.”Puig is slashing .255/.305/.480 with 22 home runs and 60 RBIs in 99 games with Cincinnati this season. He has also scored 51 runs and stolen 13 bases. Related Newslast_img read more