Tag Archives: elimination

NCAA changes format for CWS to guarantee play on both weekends College | Instant News

“We are optimistic and we hope,” said Altier, who is also director of athletics at Stetson.

Uncertainty has not prevented NCAA decision makers from looking to the future.

Support Local Journalism

Your subscription enables our reporting.


The revised CWS schedule (starting in 2022) is something that has spent a lot of time discussing over the past few months, trying to analyze all the factors, according to Altier.

They heard from the coach suggesting that the old format created a scenario where the team would have two or three consecutive days without competition. That’s not ideal.

They heard reports from fans who were hesitant to stay in Omaha until the second weekend, especially if no matches were scheduled for Saturday or Sunday. And midweek matches are always more difficult for fans to attend, if they’re traveling or if they’re local.

Altier said ESPN executives took part in the discussions and seemed encouraged about the potential to capture new audiences by pairing series coverage with MLB content over the weekend.

“Our goal is to ensure that this is a good decision for all of us,” said Altier.

Jack Diesing, chairman of CWS Inc., said in a statement that the change would benefit local businesses as there would be a second weekend game guaranteed to attract visiting fans to stay or attract new ones to travel.


image source

The elimination of class-based divisions in education, the government’s top priority: PM | Instant News

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that eliminating existing class-based divisions in the country’s education sector was the government’s top priority at the moment.

The uniform education system is not only a necessity of modern times but also a basic right of every child, he added.

The prime minister expressed this view while chairing a meeting here on the uniform curriculum.

The meeting was attended by Minister of Federal Education and Professional Education Shafqat Mehmood, Minister of Education of Punjab Province Murad Ras, Minister of Higher Education of Punjab Province Yasir Humayun, Minister of Education of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Province Shehram Tarkai, Parliament Secretary of Federal Ministry of Education Mohtarma Wajiha Ikram and senior officers.

The prime minister said the new generation should fully realize the life and sunnah of the Prophet (s) because “Hazrat Muhammad is the only role model for us and His Sunnah is a beacon of light for us”.

He emphasized that the National Education Policy in addition to bringing an increase in the quality of education will also empower all levels of society and provide equal opportunities.

However, the prime minister added that the success of the system depends on the selection of teaching staff and increasing their capacity.

He said that the new policy would enable quality education in Pakistan, while the uniform education system would serve as a role model for other countries in the region to follow suit.

Federal Minister Shafqat Mehmood said at the meeting that the introduction of a uniform curriculum at the national level aims to foster students’ analytical and creative abilities.

Apart from promoting curricular education and Pakistanism, the new system also aims to equip students with golden principles such as honesty, justice, tolerance, respect, mutual harmony, awareness of the environment, democracy, human rights, sustainable development and self-defense. .

The meeting emphasized the need for character building of students to be given special attention in the uniform education system.

During the meeting it was informed that the new curriculum has been formulated with reference to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and will be implemented in all public and private schools and religious seminaries across the country.

“The promotion of Islamic teachings, Islam will be taught as a separate subject in the curriculum from grades 1 to 12. For minority students subjects have been introduced to separate subjects, namely religious education which will be taught in Grade One,” said the meeting.

The meeting also discussed that the focus of uniform curricular education is to equip students with contemporary needs and in that the consultation process with all stakeholders has been completed.


image source

Can we push Australia’s coronavirus cases back down to zero – and stay there? | Instant News

It took nearly five months, millions of people locked up, and a huge amount of sacrifice.

But on Sunday, for the first time since June, Australia reached a day without any locally acquired COVID-19 cases.

This was impressive and – as the Victorians put it – a hard-earned achievement.

But it’s also short-lived: Yesterday New South Wales recorded one new case of COVID-19, and several warnings were issued for Western Sydney.

However, with the lowest number of new cases in months, is it possible for Australia to go back down to zero – and stay there? And even put coronavirus elimination in our sights?

Suppression is more ‘realistic’ than elimination

Australia’s approach to COVID-19 has never pursued elimination – it is generally considered 28 days of no locally acquired infection (from unknown sources).

Instead, we chose to tackle the epidemic with a strategy known as “aggressive suppression”.

Target, as described by the Federal Government, is having no community transmission – with the warning that some cases will emerge, and outbreaks remain a risk.

The success of this strategy depends on finding new cases early and stopping the chain of transmission.

Part of the challenge of getting rid of COVID-19 is that it can spread undetected at low levels because you can transmit the virus even if you don’t have any symptoms.

But even with none or very low cases, infectious disease epidemiologist James McCaw said the elimination strategy was essentially futile while the pandemic raged abroad.

“Elimination is not a bad thing … but there is a difference between accepting elimination and making it a strategy – as we hoped [the virus] will come back in. “

Professor McCaw, who is an expert adviser on Australia’s Main Committee on Health Protection (which advises the National Cabinet), said even a watertight quarantine system is not a guarantee for preventing COVID-19.

“Hotel quarantine system, [which lasts] 14 days, is the world’s best practice – about 99 percent of people are no longer infected after those 14 days, “he said.

“But if you have hundreds of thousands of people coming to this country, and we already have more than 100,000 people going through the hotel quarantine system … 1 percent is still quite a lot of people.”

Infectious disease epidemiologist Meru Sheel agrees, saying without a COVID-19 vaccine, emphasis remains on a more realistic approach than elimination.

“I don’t think in the current climate, and from what we have seen globally, that elimination is a viable option,” said Dr Sheel, of the Australian National University.

“New Zealand, which is going to elimination, after a few months they are seeing cases.

“Focusing on strong bullying and active responses is probably a more realistic way of looking at it.”

Same goal, different approach

Epidemiologist Tony Blakely is one of several public health experts called on Australia to change tactics to eliminations in July, as a blow to Victoria’s second wave.

Proponents of elimination argue that tighter lockdowns in the short term allow for longer periods of economic prosperity and looser social boundaries.

Professor Blakely said that occasional viral reintroduction – as has been seen in New Zealand – should not make elimination a useless strategy.

“Elimination is any kind of process,” he said. “You’re basically aiming to eliminate community contagion, and then when it pops up again, you land on it and get rid of it again.”

Jacinda Ardern holds a piece of paper while speaking to the media at a press conference.
New Zealand, which has adopted an elimination strategy, detected COVID-19 after more than 100 days without community transmission.(Getty Images: Hagen Hopkins)

Even so, Professor Blakely said he had changed his mind about Australia since July, and realized that aggressive bullying was the best way to go.

“I think in the Australian context, because of the number of people here, the country’s different borders, and the politics … a less intense approach than the one used in New Zealand is better,” he said.

As strategy progresses, elimination and aggressive suppression have “the same thing in the tool kit”, says Professor Blakely.

The difference is in how intensive and how long you apply the steps.

“It’s trying to figure out what’s best for your society given how politics works, population size, the fact that you have open or closed borders,” he said.

“Either of these approaches of oppression that is being adopted in East Asia and Australasia – all of them have the possibility of achieving community abolition, that possibility only differs from how intensely you apply that strategy.”

Australia is one of the few jurisdictions – including mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Fiji and New Zealand – that is pursuing the suppression or elimination of COVID-19.

Past experience with SARS, or in the case of Australia, being “the bottom of the world” and having “a few weeks left to react”, put these countries on track to suppress case numbers, said Professor Blakely.

“We have taken a different path towards what Europe and North America have … where we are trying to keep the numbers really low,” he said.

“That means you have to use locks on both ends – to control disaster but also to lower your numbers – and it hurts.

Accept the risk when the country’s borders open

Despite lacking an elimination strategy, most Australian states and territories have managed to achieve a sustained period of several months without locally acquired cases.

Epidemiologist Jodie McVernon said Australia’s ability to contain new coronavirus infections has surprised even public health experts.

“Going back to the beginning, we wanted to flatten the curve and maintain it [COVID-19] in public health and our clinical capacity, “said Professor McVernon, director of epidemiology at The Doherty Institute.

“Elimination was a surprising byproduct of that first set of controls.”

Professor McVernon, who is also an expert adviser at the AHPPC, said Victoria and New South Wales “will always have a hard time” because of their size and population density, and higher international arrival rates.

He said the experiences of the two countries showed why aggressive repression was the right approach.

“[NSW] is a good model for saying: You can still have relative openness to society and the economy, but still be in control, “said Professor McVernon.

“This is a pragmatic strategy that recognizes that we are still connected to the wider world… and that the infection will spread again.”

The blue NSW Government sign on the train station reads: "Stay home if you are sick."
Physical distancing measures will remain in place until a vaccine is available, experts say.(Getty Images: James D. Morgan)

Professor Blakely said the chances of Victoria or New South Wales achieving eliminations were less than 50 percent, but that further enforcement of the restrictions would be disproportionate to the current situation.

“If [Victoria] not yet open … the probability of elimination will increase. But so are the social and economic costs, “he said.

“With the borders to be opened, [the virus] going to jump around much easier.

“But it doesn’t work [elimination] impossible. The likelihood of that happening now depends largely on how well contact tracing is, how well the population is behaving, and a lot of luck. “

Way ahead

Under an aggressive suppression strategy, Professor McCaw said Australia should hope to see small clusters of coronavirus emerge until a vaccine is available. arrived.

“We hope to see them because the virus is still there and difficult to detect, and sometimes flares up,” he said, “or we just completely eliminate it for a period of time and then come back in.”

To minimize the possibility of clusters or outbreaks increasing, he said we must all continue to observe social distancing rules and “act in a way that is safe from COVID”.

The four epidemiologists agree that Australia’s contact tracing has improved, and that increased knowledge of the virus means health authorities are in a better position to keep the number of cases down.

Dr Sheel said placing a “ring fence” around each new case and tracing contacts is essential for managing future COVID-19 clusters.

“The speed at which we respond to each cluster really plays a role now.”


image source

New Zealand copy or risk of repeated locking Australia: Bill Bowtell – PM | Instant News

New Zealand’s hard lock shows it’s not impossible to get rid of the virus and that is a lesson for Victoria and New South Wales as they deal with the latest outbreak, said public health strategist Bill Bowtell. He said the risk in Melbourne is, if they don’t get rid of the virus this time, they can go to the third round of locking. He also said that nationally, the public message was not as good as it should be, lacking imagination and strong visuals. He questioned why countries should wait for triple digit daily infections before strongly advocating for public adoption of important strategies such as wearing masks.


image source

Why New Zealand decided to use coronavirus in full | Instant News

Michael Baker, the doctor who designed the aggressive New Zealand coronavirus response, explains what inspired his successful strategy.


June 23, 2020

By Alice Klein

Wellington, New Zealand, in May when restrictions began to subside

Marty Melville / AFP through Getty Images

New Zealand has been widely praised for its aggressive response covid-19. At the time of writing, this country has only 10 active cases. But Michael Baker, the doctor who formulated the New Zealand elimination strategy, said that even some of his colleagues initially thought it was too radical a plan and rejected its application. “Some people liken it to using a sledgehammer to kill fleas,” he said.

The first case of covid-19 in New Zealand was recorded on 28 February. Like most countries, it initially planned to gradually tighten its control measures as the virus gained momentum. But Baker, a public health expert at Otago University who is on the government’s 19-member advisory panel, believes that this is the wrong approach. “I think we should do it in reverse order and throw everything at the pandemic at the start,” he said.

Baker was inspired by the World Health Organization’s report on a joint mission to China in February, which documented how the country was largely containing covid-19 when it was in full flight. This convinced Baker that New Zealand could also stop the spread of the virus and even remove it entirely if it implemented a tight lock as soon as possible.


However, other experts argue that New Zealand must take a lighter approach like Sweden, which is never fully locked. Many believe that the spread of covid-19 is inevitable and that elimination strategies will never work, Baker said. Others think that locking the country will cause mass unemployment, poverty and suicide, which will outweigh the benefits of fighting the virus.

The government finally decided to follow Baker’s advice, perhaps because of his public health track record. In the 1980s, for example, he helped establish the world’s first national needle exchange program, which meant that HIV rates among injection drug users in New Zealand were some of the lowest globally.

“I think we should do it in reverse order and throw everything at the pandemic at the start”

On March 25, when New Zealand only had 205 cases and no deaths, the government implemented one of the most stringent lockouts in the world, only allowing people to leave their homes with important reasons such as buying food and going to the doctor. This follows the closure of the New Zealand border to
non-citizens on March 19.

Baker felt “deeply touched” by the government’s decision, but also worried, because he did not know whether it would work. “As a scientist, you feel very worried if you give advice when the evidence base is not yet fully available, especially when it is something that can endanger people,” he said.

However, putting the whole country into house quarantine from the outset of community transmission blackouts and giving authorities time to strengthen testing and contact search capacity, which at first was “really very sad”, Baker said.

The country has recorded only 1515 cases-19 and 22 deaths to date, and has not had new cases locally acquired since May 22. The current active case is that all citizens in quarantine are monitored after returning from overseas. On June 8, New Zealand lifted all of its restrictions except for its border control measures. “There’s this incredible feeling of relief,” Baker said.

He is proud of New Zealand’s success, but said it was important not to be complacent or arrogant. Baker warned that other countries that appeared to have overcome the virus, such as China and South Korea, had experienced the next outbreak.

Last week, New Zealand was shaken by news that two women tested positive for Covid-19 after returning from England and were allowed to leave quarantine early to visit a dying relative. Extensive contact tracing is now in progress.

To guard against the second wave in New Zealand, Baker thought the mask had to be worn on public transportation, airplanes, and at border and quarantine facilities. For him, one positive thing to get out of pandemic is that it shows how proactive government actions can protect the public from avoidable dangers. Baker hopes this will inspire more ambitious actions climate change and biodiversity loss.

“People say, ‘I can’t wait to get back to business as usual’, but there are many things we must do better,” he said. “I hope that is the lesson we learn from this terrible event.”

Michael Baker is a professor of public health at Otago University, New Zealand, and adviser to the New Zealand government.

More about this topic:


image source