Tag Archives: expert

MORNING ACTIVITY REPORT: The future of air travel | News | Instant News

The Morning Business Report is sponsored by Access Health CT Small Business. (WFSB) – This is the Morning Business Report for April 2. Demand for air travel One year after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and a few months after the vaccine was deployed, demand for air travel remains anemic. According to the International Air Transport Association, passenger traffic fell 72% in January compared to the same period in 2019. IATA warned last month that airlines as a group could spend as much as $ 95. billion dollars in cash this year, roughly The Future of Air Travel So what does the future of air travel look like? Former United Airlines director Robert Crandell said the government could establish rules governing maximum density of seats on planes and minimum service requirements for small airports. American Airlines is trying to persuade the TSA to allow facial recognition and mobile apps to perform “contactless” check-in. This will likely increase the cost of flights. damaged for good with Zoom by taking part of it. University of Nebraska associate professor of aviation Becky Lutte said airlines wo not need a COVID vaccine to travel, but international is different. countries have already said they will need proof of vaccination to enter. The forecast for an industry return is around 2023 or 2024, to return to pre-COVID travel levels. The future always looks strong. Boeing forecasts the need for more than 43,000 new aircraft delivered globally over the next 20 years. Copyright 2021 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. .

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Covid 19 coronavirus: Five ways New Zealand can strengthen its borders | Instant News

Public health experts have multiplied calls for a “benchmarking exercise” with Australia on Covid-19 and border management. Photo / Dean Purcell

Public health experts have multiplied calls for a “benchmarking exercise” with Australia on Covid-19 and border management, after picking out more than a dozen New Zealand failures so far.

In a blog post published todayThe University of Otago research team argues that New Zealand still does not have optimal control over its borders against Covid-19, and defines five ways to combat further leakage – including offering vaccinations to arriving travelers.

Their analysis found that, since last July, there have been 13 identified border failures, along with six failures that occurred in managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) facilities.

The largest resulted in August’s Auckland cluster, which involved 179 cases and three deaths – and was one of two failures that forced the city to be isolated on three occasions.

The researchers cited official estimates that put the daily costs of locking Auckland up to $ 75 million in GDP, along with 250 job losses.

Overall, however, they said New Zealand had done “very well” with the pandemic response, which was among the best in the world.

While the vaccine rollout that started with border workers was a welcome development, they said a “green zone” of New Zealand’s quarantine-free travel to form with Australia would present more challenges.

“This green zone means our biosecurity status will be more linked to Australia,” they said.

Therefore, it is even more important to reduce the risk of border failures that could disrupt green zone travel, especially if the outbreak is initially insufficiently contained.

“This situation provides us with an opportunity to compare our current measures with those used by the eight states and territories in Australia.”

Among the five measures they recommend is slashing the number of infected travelers arriving at MIQ facilities – something that means receiving fewer arrivals from “red zone” countries such as the US, UK and India, along with extra measures such as pre-departure testing.

All returnees may also be offered vaccination on arrival.

“While this will only offer partial immunity while in MIQ, it may still be of benefit.”

They are again making a case for only using MIQ facilities in major cities for the lowest-risk travelers – such as those from Australia until the bubble opens – and exploring purpose-built facilities away from city centers.

In addition, they said all MIQ areas that were shared, such as those used for sports and smoking, were removed, with the requirement for returnees to stay in their rooms as was the case in Australia.

“There should be practical support for returnees who wish to exercise in their rooms, and smokers should be offered nicotine replacement therapy and other smoking cessation care and support.”

Finally, they are calling for a daily PCR-based saliva testing mandate for MIQ workers.

“This option could also be explored for travelers in MIQ in addition to the current testing regimen to allow for comparative assessments,” they said.

“This test is used in parts of Australia and in other countries.”

The researchers go on to suggest New Zealand should aim to have a “failure rate” compared to Australia.

“As of March 29, New Zealand’s MIQ system had a seven-day average turnover of four new positive cases per day – suggesting that the risk of transmission in MIQ may still be large,” they said.

“To ensure the success of the upcoming quarantine-free green zone between New Zealand and Australia, more preventive interventions are needed to reduce the frequency of these failures.

“Conducting MIQ benchmarking exercises and broader border management measures in Australian states and territories can identify potential improvements in policy and practice in both countries.”

Yesterday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern – who will announce a start date for next week’s bubble – said arrangements with Australia were still being worked out.

While he did not share specifics on the criteria for closing borders in a particular outbreak, Ardern pointed out the importance of providing predictability to tourists.

That includes telling them how prepared they are, if they have to stay where they are in the event of a border closure.

He also gave some indications of how New Zealand might interact with the separate states.

“Yes, there really is a possibility that if a country has an outbreak, if we believe that border controls are in place, we can shut down that state, while continuing to travel elsewhere.”


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South China Sea military risk: New Zealand must not be complacent – experts | Instant News

Chinese ships in the disputed South China Sea. Photo / AP

By Tess Brunton from RNZ

Military leaders say trade routes in the South China Sea face increased risk and New Zealand cannot be complacent about that.

The two-day Asia Pacific Security Innovation Summit has drawn military, diplomatic and other influential officials from around the world to discuss security.

The Covid-19 pandemic has not stopped the security threats faced in our region, said the chair of the Asia Pacific Security Innovation forum Dr Anita Abbott.

He said there was an increasing security risk at sea, particularly in the South China Sea.

“Many players are arming themselves. For what? Is it for cooperation, competition or for the common interest? For example, securing the sea from piracy or terrorism, or securing sea lanes for energy?”

The South China Sea lies between China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia.

Five years ago, an international court rejected China’s claim to sovereignty over a large portion of the water mass.

Sky Canopy Consulting founder Pamela Williamson said the conflict could not be ignored by Aotearoa.

“We are not that far away. Our supply chain depends on trade routes that remain open through Asia for us. There is real difficulty in assuming that because of our distance we can somehow be immune or distant from the global conflict in that area,” Williamson said.

Hunter Stires, of the Hattendorf Maritime Historical Research Center, said the US and its maritime partners – including Aotearoa – depend on access to the sea for security.

“So if China succeeds in canceling maritime freedoms and if it then succeeds in shifting trade overland to the continental trading ground they built in the interior of Eurasia to the Belt and Road, the United States and our maritime partners will be left outside,” Stires said.

Last month, China introduced a new Coast Guard law that allows them to forcibly board disobedient foreign vessels they claim to be illegally engaged in economic activity in waters it claims. This allows them to use all means necessary, including violence, to stop foreigners who are found to be violating Chinese sovereignty.

Hunter Stires says it’s designed to be intimidating.

“They are basically trying to say that whatever they claim belongs to them – that is 90 percent of the South China Sea, which they have codified – in their domestic law that they have undeniable sovereignty over it. That’s what I think they are trying to do. to knock hands – not even to knock hands, that’s what they basically say, is ‘we are ready to use force against any foreign, civilian or military ship’, “Stires said.

Retired Sergeant Major Anthony Spadaro said security in the Asia Pacific region needs to be on the radar of the people.

“When you look at the Asia Pacific in the world, it touches everywhere. So if there is one area we need to concentrate on – everyone matters – but when you look at the Asia Pacific region, it touches the world. So that should be how we found some answers. this, “said Spadaro.

He wants the public to become more involved with discussions about security and collaboration, saying it is damaging when these issues are not brought up.

“Then we will never grow, that’s devolution. I see it hurts us when we start closing borders, and that’s my fear, are we closing and we lose dialogue. We lose openness. We lose transfer of ideas,” he said.

The US Navy patrols the South China Sea.  Photo / AP
The US Navy patrols the South China Sea. Photo / AP

Retired German Army Major General Gert-Johannes Hagemann says the world faces uncertain times, and 2021 will be a T-junction.

“A critical crossroads. “When it comes to risks, but also opportunities when we contemplate within 10 years, we will most likely look for the origin of the crisis or 2020 and the decisions taken this year,” he said.

Tomorrow’s summit will focus on strategic thinking, leadership and strengthening security resilience through alliances.


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Covid 19 coronavirus: Fake foreign virus test results highlight a shortage of pre-departure testing, experts say | Instant News

New Zealanders have reportedly been offered a false negative Covid-19 test result certificate in an attempt to comply with the Government’s pre-departure testing regime.

And the regime is being questioned by experts, who agree that it is not functioning the way it should.

Health Director General Dr Ashley Bloomfield said officials were checking the system, as more people tested positive for Covid-19 on their first day in managed isolation, even though it had produced negative results abroad.

Although the overhaul of the system may prove difficult, as it relies on the Covid-19 testing capabilities of other countries, this is “the most important measure for New Zealand,” according to one expert.


This was when University of Auckland microbiologist Dr Siouxsie Wiles revealed that he had been notified of someone being offered a false negative pre-departure test certificate for a fee.

This led him and epidemiologist Dr Michael Baker to raise questions about the effectiveness of the pre-departure testing system.

The pre-departure rules, which came into effect in late January, aim to “better protect New Zealand from Covid-19,” said Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins at the time.

The rules mean a returnee must show a negative Covid-19 test certificate to come to New Zealand.

They were announced at the same time as the expansion of the managed isolation testing regime, under which nearly all returnees will receive a 0/1 day test.

According to Ministry of Health data, a large number of people who returned positive results for Covid-19 upon returning to New Zealand did so on day 0/1.

According to Wiles, this data tells two stories.

The first is that the Government is right to introduce the 0/1 day test rule.

“It’s clear from the number of positive 0/1 day tests we got that their introduction is a good idea,” said Wiles.

But the data also show that the pre-departure testing regime is not working as expected.

“For those who test negative, it just tells us they were negative at the time of testing,” said Wiles.

“That doesn’t mean they aren’t incubating the virus or won’t be infected in the time between their tests and arriving in New Zealand.”

And there’s another problem: fake test results.

“I’m sure unscrupulous people will also offer false negative pre-departure test certificates for a fee.

“Someone contacted me to inform me that their relative had been offered in France but was turned down.”

Baker said the government needed to do more work to improve the pre-departure system, given how important it was to New Zealand’s Covid-19 defense.

“Finding ways to manage this risk is perhaps the most important action for New Zealand, in terms of managing Covid.”

There are several ways that can be done, he said.

University of Auckland microbiologist Dr Siouxsie Wiles revealed that he had been notified of someone being offered a false negative pre-departure test certificate for a fee.  Photos / Files
University of Auckland microbiologist Dr Siouxsie Wiles revealed that he had been notified of someone being offered a false negative pre-departure test certificate for a fee. Photos / Files

For example, returnees could be asked to sign a statement saying that they had been in isolation for a week prior to their departure and that they had regularly worn a mask.

In announcing his policy of pre-departure testing, Hipkins said: “It is important to remember that this will not stop Covid-19 from entering New Zealand.

“We will still see people show up at the border who later test positive – our goal is to reduce the number of people arriving with Covid-19.”

Nonetheless, Bloomfield told reporters on Friday that the Government was examining a pre-departure testing regime.

Although “very few” people return to New Zealand without evidence of pre-departure testing, he said the nature and reliability of the tests vary around the world.

But it’s something that’s always assumed and, therefore, that’s why the 0/1 day test rule was enforced.

He said the Government did not specifically look at one country’s pre-departure testing regime because officials did not have all the information on different testing approaches.

“But we’re really taking, at face value, a valid certification from the fact that someone is undergoing a pre-departure test, which does require fairly specific information.”

Testing data shows some countries clearly have significantly worse pre-departure testing regimes than others.

India, for example, has a particularly poor track record with around 40 people testing positive for Covid-19 on day 0/1 upon their return to New Zealand since the pre-departure rules came into effect.

The figure was even higher when the 3rd day test was taken into account.

Unfortunately, there appears to be little New Zealand that can do about the flawed pre-departure system, said Wiles.

“In an ideal world, we would watch where people get tested so we know the results are reliable, and we have the facilities to isolate people before they board the plane to minimize the chance of getting infected in transit.”

But it is effectively moving the MIQ system offshore, Wiles said.

“We know how difficult it is to run the system here in New Zealand so the idea that we can outsource overseas is completely impractical.”


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Civil society, experts join hands to tackle climate change and coastal vulnerability | Instant News

Climate change seriously threatens Pakistan’s coast belt and poses serious threats to livelihoods, health, the economy and the ecosystem as a whole, experts say and call for public action involving youth, women, grassroots level activists and frontline communities to lead the struggle.

They say humanity has only 10 years left to radically transform economies and societies to deal with the climate emergency that is threatening millions of people into hunger and poverty. They add that the climate crisis is here and now, and it is disproportionately affecting the world’s poorest people, youth, women, indigenous peoples and other marginalized groups.

Public action is key to unlocking greater ambition on climate change and youth engagement has an important role to play because they are the leaders of the future, they said while speaking at a seminar on youth engagement in addressing coastal climate vulnerability held at Karachi University.

This event was jointly organized by Oxfam and WWF-Pakistan as part of a national campaign called the “CLIMATE project”. It is a community-driven movement, the premier campaign of agile communication that connects and amplifies the voices of women, grassroots activists and frontline communities leading the fight against climate change. Such mobilization will create a change in major climate justice measures during the current pandemic and demonstrate public support for systemic change.

Welcoming the guests, Oxfam Climate Campaign Leader Shirin Abbasy said, “The damage related to climate change is a powerful story of inequality and injustice in both cause and impact. It is a crisis that touches almost every aspect of life, provides an opportunity to connect with our work on hunger, poverty and food systems, and link to land rights, rights in crisis, and access to health care.

“We know firsthand that the crisis is here and now, and we have responded through our humanitarian and emergency response work. We are here to celebrate and support women who stand at the forefront of this crisis as climate heroes. We support climate justice and fair climate action, not only against the climate crisis. “

Dr Tahir Rasheed, wildlife director, WWF-Pakistan, said that the severe impacts of climate change are being felt in the Indus Delta, which is a hotspot for rich biodiversity and home to the seventh largest mangrove forest in Asia. He said the delta was now at greater risk due to the inadequate supply of fresh water from the Indus River, vulnerability to climate change, pollution and other anthropogenic pressures. The impacts of climate change are also impacting the loss of biodiversity in the delta region, he added.

Dr Rasheed highlighted the main results of the joint WWF-Pakistan and Oxfam GB initiative in the Indus Delta and shared that two sectoral Local Adaptation Action Plans (LAPAs) have been developed based on a Vulnerability Risk Assessment (VRA). This will be a guiding mechanism for policy makers to support the development of resilience in communities that depend on natural resources.

Young people who can inspire hope, must come forward to reverse climate change and protect the mangrove ecosystem in the Sindh delta area, he added.

Abdul Rahim Soomro, secretary of the agriculture, supply and price department, Government of Sindh, appreciated Oxfam and WWF-Pakistan’s efforts to engage young people and raise awareness about the issue of climate change and its impact on coastal communities.

The role of youth, he continued, is very important in overcoming climate vulnerability in the future. This generation will also witness some of the grim impacts of climate change and thus increasing their capacity and knowledge of these issues will become instruments for future adaptation plans and strategies.

Waqar Hussain Phulpoto, additional director of the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa), provided an overview of the agency and said they are working to reduce the effects of climate change by adopting the 3R (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) concept.

Sugara Hajani, a 70-year-old local resident from Kakapir, Karachi, who cares for a mangrove nursery in Sandspit, shared that coastal women are well aware of the fact that their survival depends on mangroves that protect them from natural disasters and are an important source of fisheries.

Other women from the Sindh coastal belt shared their stories and experiences in supporting mangrove conservation and improving their livelihoods through small-scale interventions at the community level.

Arif Ali Khokhar, conservator at the Sindh Forestry Department; Aamir Alamgir, Professor of Environmental Sciences, Karachi University; Shoaib Kiyani, Professor of Marine Science at Karachi University; Khalid Mahmood, Director of the Fisheries Development Agency; Hamera Aisha, Conservation Manager, WWF-Pakistan; Jawad Umair Khan, WWF-Pakistan Coordinator; Shabina Faraz, environmental writer and Kalsoom Siddique, UNEP Youth Leader, also spoke at the occasion.


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