Tag Archives: Diseases and conditions

German disease control center urges vigilance as virus escalates | World | Instant News

The country’s three-point strategy to “contain, protect, mitigate” to rapidly track outbreaks, maintain cleanliness and safety rules, and effectively treat infections requires public help to continue to succeed, he said.

“We have a good strategy in Germany which we followed from the start,” said Wieler. “We are all affected by this pandemic and we can only get through it together.”

Since the start of the pandemic, Germany has recorded 392,049 cases with 9,905 deaths, according to the Robert Koch Institute.

Germany’s lockout spring is much lighter than in many other European countries. It has reopened schools across the country, as well as shops, restaurants and other businesses, albeit with mask regulations in some places, limiting how many people can gather in one place and other precautions.

German states have started implementing stricter rules in recent weeks, as their numbers have increased again.

On Thursday, the government broadly expanded the number of countries it deems as coronavirus “risk areas,” meaning anyone traveling to Germany from these places must undergo mandatory COVID-19 testing and can be subject to quarantine.

The revised list includes all of Great Britain, Ireland, Switzerland, Poland, and most of Italy and Austria.


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Means to achieve goal: AFL, NRL playing title matches in Australia | Instant News

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) – A championship match in the biggest soccer league down Under will be played this weekend to end the season like no other.

The Australian Football League will hold its grand final on Saturday in Brisbane in an area called the Sunshine State, ending a tradition of more than a century. It has been moved from its regular home at the 100,000-capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground due to the surge in the coronavirus pandemic in the state of Victoria, where the top-flight grand finals have been held since the Australian rule game was discovered.

While the National Rugby League final will be played at the site of the regular Olympic stadium in Sydney on Sunday, only about 40,000 spectators will be allowed in the 85,000 seat venue due to continued social distancing and crowd restrictions.

The AFL finals will feature two Victoria-based clubs, the Geelong Cats and the Richmond Tigers. To sustain their season, the Cats have had to spend nearly three months at their bio-secure hub in Perth, Western Australia – 3,300 kilometers (2,030 miles) from their home stadium near Melbourne.

Likewise Melbourne Storm, who will play Penrith Panthers in the NRL finals, is spending four months away from the capital city of Victoria. They are based on the Sunshine Coast north of Brisbane in the state of Queensland. And while they play most of their “home” matches at the small stadium there, they also make a flying trip to Sydney for matches which results in the team often not arriving back at their liaison hotel until 3am.

But the tough task away from home seems to be helping to revive their team and lead them to their respective grand finals.

Geelong’s championship hopes did not look good as they won only one of their first three games in Western Australia. But Cats captain Joel Selwood said the six straight wins that helped them secure a place in the top four came because of the team ties on their seemingly endless run.

“We started playing the footy which I knew we could do,” said Selwood. “Maybe it was on the back of the leg that I thought, ‘we’re going to run here.'”

Storm’s motto for the 2020 NRL season is “adapt and tackle” and backing Nelson Asofa-Solomona said the team definitely did.

“It was something that was raised at the start of COVID in the meeting room,” Asofa-Solomona told the Australian Associated Press. “We talked about the many potential obstacles we will face.

“It makes work a lot easier when a lot of us boys don’t complain – we all know what we want, which is to reach the grand finals and be winners.”

In the last 10 weeks they have only been allowed to escape their strict biosecurity bubble for only 24 hours. Asofa-Solomona said such difficulties would make a grand final victory even sweeter.

“We ran into some hurdles along the way, but we chose to run through those walls,” said Asofa-Solomona, one of 11 Storm players still in the squad from the 2018 grand final defeat to the Sydney Roosters. The Roosters retained the title in 2019 but were beaten in the playoffs two weeks ago to end a three-peat chance.

Richmond will hope to successfully defend its 2019 title in Gabba – not at the MCG – where the audience will be limited to 30,000. The Melbourne-based AFL, known as the Victorian Football League before its national expansion, has played nearly all of its championship matches at the Melbourne Cricket Ground since 1897.

The MCG was not used during World War II after the government requested military assistance. In 1991, the grand final was played at another stadium in Melbourne as the MCG was upgraded.

As for the audience comparison the last time Richmond and Geelong met in the grand final, there really isn’t. In 1967 at the MCG, 109,392 spectators watched Richmond beat Geelong by nine points – 16.18 (114) to 15.15 (105).

One person excited about the location of the grand final is Brisbane-based Ash Barty, the world’s top ranked woman and a fan of the Tigers No. 1 which describes itself.

He was asked by Richmond president Peggy O’Neal to present the trophy to coach Damien Hardwick and captain Trent Cotchin if the Tigers win their third AFL title in four years.

“I was surprised and felt very honored when Peggy asked me to present the trophy,” said Barty.

Barty will not face the disgrace by presenting the trophy to captain Geelong Selwood if his beloved Tigers are to lose. That task will be handled by Geelong’s 72-year-old former captain, Ian Nankervis.


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Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


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Nonprofit app aims to help unblock global air travel | World | Instant News

The CommonPass project, implemented in collaboration with the World Economic Forum based in Switzerland, aims to establish a standard way of verifying lab results and, subsequently, vaccination records, even if governments continue to set different health criteria.

Scientists warn there are concerns about the accuracy of some rapid tests. People can be contagious for several days before they develop symptoms, and these people can also test negative. The project’s chief medical officer, Dr. Brad Perkins, said that two tests during long-distance travel – one 72 hours before departure and one on arrival – will cover an incubation period. Testing technology may continue to evolve during a pandemic.

Passengers can use the app to find participating laboratories and testing sites, retrieve lab results, and complete health certifications. The application and associated data platform can confirm that the results match the requirements of the destination and generate a QR code that the authorities can use to confirm compliance.

The foundation says the system protects privacy because people don’t have to share their health information, only compliance or non-compliance. In addition, CommonPass can be used by countries without waiting for broader international agreements.

This system is meant to be adaptable whenever requirements change.

Meyer said that capability will be important after the arrival of vaccines, which may vary in terms of number of doses and duration of effectiveness.


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Update: Fishing crews arriving in New Zealand catch the virus | Instant News

A number of fishing crews who flew to New Zealand on chartered planes have contracted the coronavirus

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – A number of fishing boat crews flying to New Zealand on charter planes have contracted the coronavirus.

Health officials said Tuesday that 11 have tested positive so far and another 14 cases are being investigated.

The crew members have been quarantined at a hotel in Christchurch since they arrived, and tested positive during routine testing, officials said. The news could be a blow to New Zealand’s efforts to restart its fishing industry, which has struggled to find local workers to become crew on ships.

Jeremy Helson, chief executive of Seafood New Zealand, said all the men tested negative before flying to New Zealand. “While we are waiting to see how many cases there are, the fact that they were all detected in quarantine indicates the system is working properly,” Helson said in a statement.

The origins of the infected crew members were not immediately clear, although a number of fishing crews had arrived in New Zealand in recent days from Russia and Ukraine.

New Zealand has successfully eliminated the spread of the virus from the community.



– Angry Trump opposes Fauci’s disease experts and polls showing he follows Biden in major states 2 weeks before Election Day

– Argentina is the 5th country to surpass 1 million cases, and another 3 in Latin America approaching a bleak milestone

– Some progress is said to have been made on Washington’s negotiations for a new coronavirus assistance package, but the same core issues remain

– A World Series like no other opens on Tuesday night with Major League Baseball feeling relieved to reach the pandemic’s delayed season championship

– Follow coverage of the AP pandemic at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak



NEW DELHI – India has added more than 46,000 cases of coronavirus infection and 587 deaths in the past 24 hours.

With 7.59 million cases, India’s total detected cases are second in the world, behind only the US. Although the number of new infections detected daily in the country has fallen in the past month, independent experts have warned against weakness.

They pointed out that people who don’t wear masks or keep their distance during the upcoming festival season, combined with the cold weather, could cause a spike in cases.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that India was devising a strategy to immunize its population using a digital health plan, under which everyone gets an identity card containing all health-related information.


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Pakistan Opposition launches movement to overthrow Imran Khan government | National | Instant News

ISLAMABAD – A broad alliance of Pakistani opposition groups on Friday launched a movement to overthrow Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government which it says failed to do.

Tens of thousands of political workers attended the first rally of the Pakistan Democratic Movement – an alliance of 11 opposition parties, in Gujranwala, the political stronghold of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The venue, a cricket stadium with a capacity of more than 35,000 people, is overcrowded beyond capacity despite health warnings amid a second wave of new coronavirus infections in the country. Local media also showed pictures of a large number of people standing outside the stadium.

PDM leaders discussed the failure of the Khan government. Sharif gave a speech from London via video link but his speech was banned in local media by the authorities.

Sharif, who is already facing sedition charges for criticizing the military for meddling in political affairs, crossed new boundaries by naming incumbent military commander General Qamar Javed Bajwa. Politicians in Pakistan generally avoid naming military commanders, who are considered untouchable in the country, and attribute them to any wrongdoing.

Sharif accused Bajwa and the head of the state’s spy agency, Inter-Service Intelligence, of being behind his overthrow.

“General Bajwa is responsible for 2018 (election) fraud, media restrictions, kidnapping journalists and forcing judges to give decisions of his choice,” he said, adding that the military commander should be held accountable for such acts.

Talking about the sedition accusations against him, Sharif said it was nothing new because “dictators” always label politicians as traitors.

The audience responded to Sharif’s speech with chants that expressed a commitment to continuing the struggle to achieve goals.

“(The establishment) must accept the wishes of the people,” said Pakistan People’s Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

“Today’s march has given its verdict that Imran Khan’s time is over now,” said Maryam Nawaz, PML-N leader and daughter of Sharif.

The next rally is scheduled for Sunday in the southeastern province of Sindh.

After pressuring Khan with a series of countrywide rallies in the coming months, the PDM plans to launch what opposition party leaders describe as a decisive march in the capital Islamabad early next year.

In the past, such political alliances have succeeded in overthrowing Pakistan’s military rulers.

“The PDM and the rallies are the result of targeted government efforts to corner opposition politicians,” Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, president at Pakistan’s Institute for Legislative Development and Transparency, told dpa.

After such an impressive show, “the establishment can also withstand bold support for the PTI government if they realize that the public mood is turning against the government,” said Mehboob.

Previously, there were signs the government was trying to thwart the protests because the road to the venue was blocked and several protesters and local leaders were arrested.

At least 6,000 police officers were deployed to the rally for security reasons, Mohammad Imran, a spokesman for the Gujranwala police, told dpa.

Pakistan, one of the few democracies in the Muslim world and a nuclear power, has been ruled by generals for nearly half of its existence, periodically breaking the path of democracy.

Prime Minister Khan came to power in 2018 in a controversial election marred by allegations of military fraud.

(c) 2020 German Press Agency GmbH (Hamburg, Germany)

Distributed by the Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

PHOTO (for assistance with images, call 312-222-4194): PAKISTAN-OPPOSITION

Copyright 2020 Tribune Content Agency.


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