Calls mount for revival of national outbreak committee over coronavirus fears

first_img“We need to revive such a committee, which would be tasked with building communication bridges between departments [of different ministries and agencies] and be filled with people competent in their respective fields,” he told The Jakarta Post recently.”The committee can provide answers to international doubts because if it [COVID-19 control] is under the Health Ministry alone, people will continue casting doubt about whether [the measures taken] have been subjective.”He also proposed that such a committee could function as a centralized platform for the government to report on measures taken — including on laboratory test results.Other than a panel of experts, the Komnas FPBI also consisted of cross-sectoral ministers. In late 2010, Komnas FPBI was turned into the National Committee for Zoonosis Control, focusing on any diseases passed from animals to humans, before it was permanently dissolved in 2016 by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo because it had overlapping tasks with several ministries and agencies. Second opinions from independent experts are essential to help solve a problem, said Amin Soebandrio, the director of the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology who led the Komnas FPBI’s expert panel.The government has set procedures for coronavirus testing, but he said experts had yet to know whether they were implemented without errors as there was no information available to them, Amin said.Indonesia had tested 143 specimens as of Saturday, apart from the 188 World Dream cruise ship crew members who had started a two-week observation period on Sebaru Kecil Island off the coast of Jakarta on Friday. The ministry is also planning to test the 69 Diamond Princess cruise ship crew members previously quarantined in Japan, bringing the total number of tests close to 400.The number, however, pales in comparison with that of neighboring Malaysia, which had tested 1,092 cases as of Feb. 24, although the Health Ministry’s disease control and prevention directorate general secretary, Achmad Yurianto, claimed that its laboratory, the only one in the country authorized to conduct the tests, could do up to 1,700 per day.Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto has said budget efficiency was a concern and that lab tests would only be done on those with symptoms who also had travel records and contacts with infected countries or people, in line with World Health Organization guidelines.Indonesia’s testing capability appeared to be an issue also raised by the international community, with a document circulating among foreign diplomats obtained by the Sydney Morning Herald showing that inadequate transportation of specimens was among the concerns.Saudi Arabia also listed Indonesia as one of the countries where “the spread of the [COVID-19] coronavirus is a danger” according to its health authorities, making it subject to the kingdom’s suspension of tourism visas.Malaysian and New Zealand authorities said on Friday that two recently confirmed cases had been to Indonesia before testing positive for the coronavirus in the respective countries, in addition to a Chinese man and a Japanese tourist who tested positive days after they went out of Indonesia.Amin of the Eijkman Institute said that, although the government had followed WHO procedures in conducting tests on those with symptoms only, budget efficiency should not be a top priority this time.Eijkman and several other laboratories were ready to partner with the ministry to run lab tests, but they were waiting for the government’s invitation.The effectiveness of the ministry’s laboratory came into question recently after a hospital in Semarang, Central Java, and another in Batam, Riau Islands, each reported the death of a patient who had symptoms similar to those of COVID-19.Both patients’ tests came back negative, officials said, with the Semarang patient succumbing to bronchopneumonia, whom Minister Terawan later confirmed had the H1N1 virus, which is a known cause of swine flu. The Batam patient, meanwhile, was said to have died from “another illness”.In early February, Health Ministry disease control and prevention director general Anung Sugihantono claimed the ministry was also actively looking into deaths from pneumonia, claiming there had been no significant increase in such deaths. He did not immediately provide the relevant data.The Post, however, obtained a ministry letter showing that it requested for hospitals’ data on their pneumonia patients and deaths recorded between Dec. 1 and Feb. 25 only on Feb. 26, despite its previous claim.Yet, Yurianto said that letter was merely issued to create better data management.”All this time hospitals send the reports to the health service directorate general. We want them to also send us the same reports so we can manage the data,” he said. “The one in the health service directorate general is mixed up with other illnesses, so it takes a long time to map them.”Topics : Calls are mounting for the government to form a national outbreak committee that involves experts to help the Health Ministry in the battle against the COVID-19 coronavirus as questions abound about the country having zero confirmed cases.The committee is expected to have a similar role as the now-defunct National Committee for Avian Influenza Control and Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (Komnas FPBI) that was set up to contain the bird flu between 2006 and 2010, which also involved experts.A biochemistry researcher at Airlangga University, Chairul Anwar Nidom, who was a member of Komnas FPBI’s expert panel, said giving the Health Ministry alone the role of dealing with the coronavirus was one of the government’s “weaknesses”.last_img read more

Sunday Feature: Freewill Baptist Church and Theurer’s Auction/Realty are on the move

first_imgIn the 1990s It was 1999 when Brooks — who grew up in McAlister, Okla. and was living in Wichita — received a phone call from a church, which was in desperate need of a pastor.Desperate may be an understatement. Freewill at the time was the smallest church in Wellington. How small? Call it four members small.At one point Freewill Baptist Church had four members. Today it has more than 300.It hadn’t always been like that. Freewill Baptist had an interesting beginning. It started in 1957 and was the first church built by Roe Messner, who would build more than 1,700 churches worldwide. Messner was the second husband of Tammy Faye Bakker – who you may remember as the high-profile evangelist caught up in a scandal with her first husband Jim Bakker.The church had survived for four decades, but by Jan. 3, 1999 the congregation was down to a woman, a man, and a husband and wife.“They met with me and wanted to pay me $50 a week,” Brooks said. “I so wanted to be a pastor in Wellington I would have paid them $50 a week.”He said one woman in particular made a huge difference — Inez Russ. Even though the church had dwindled to near extinction, Russ never gave up hope. Some Sundays she would come in turn on the lights. No one else would show up – no other member, no preacher. She would pray by herself, turn off the lights and go home.“Her family in Alva, Okla. pled with her to go to a different church,” Brooks said. “She said ‘no, this was her church.’”Brooks said after the four members all voted “yes” to become their pastor, Russ gave him the one small key to the church put it in his hand, and told him “it’s yours.”The thing is three months later, Russ suffered a stroke and would never be the same.Brooks thinks back reflectively.“The Bible says timing is everything,” Brooks said. “Had she had her stroke three months later I may have never found a church to go to, this building may have been sold to someone else, I would have never moved to Wellington and my whole life would have been different.”For Larry Theurer, his circumstances were different. Theurer’s, located in downtown Wellington, was looking at expanding. The auction business was booming. Farm sales, collectibles, personal property — you name it — there was a need to move wares from one owner to the next.Lying vacant in east Wellington with a huge parking lot was the old Wal-Mart building. It was a perfect match. Theurer needing the space and at the old Wal-Mart there was plenty of real estate to work with. Theurer’s made the move to the 28,000 square foot building and started to hold big auctions.“This building was ideal for what we were doing at the time,” Theurer said. “We were holding live auctions three to four times a month.” Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (10) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +21 Vote up Vote down citizen · 318 weeks ago I praise God for giving this town Pastor Zane Brooks. He is a wonderful, compassionate man who lives his life with a passion to see souls saved. It’s good to see that church grow the way it has. Report Reply 0 replies · active 318 weeks ago +19 Vote up Vote down Local · 318 weeks ago What a great story! God is so good. Report Reply 0 replies · active 318 weeks ago +14 Vote up Vote down JustMe · 318 weeks ago I’ve ran into pastor Zane a couple of times, and have always been impressed by him. I’m not really the church going type of person, but I’m glad to see things are working out his way. Report Reply 0 replies · active 318 weeks ago +14 Vote up Vote down crusader pride · 318 weeks ago Pastor Zane and I exchange a hug every time we meet. I don’t go to his church as I have my own I attend regulatory. He respects my religion and the fact I worship and am saved. He is just a neat man that cares about everyone. Also congrats to Larry and his team. A Wellington business well worth thanking for years of service and dedication to the community. Report Reply 0 replies · active 318 weeks ago +6 Vote up Vote down Scott Campbell · 318 weeks ago I thank the Lord every day for Pastor Zane and the First Free Will Baptist Church. Excited about this move into the new location. The Lord is in the restoration business and we can help. There is hope for the hopeless. Scott Campbell Report Reply 0 replies · active 318 weeks ago +5 Vote up Vote down Georgia · 318 weeks ago Yes Pastor Zane is the greatest. He loves everyone. We are very Blessed to have him. Report Reply 0 replies · active 318 weeks ago +4 Vote up Vote down terry sizemore · 318 weeks ago Praise the Lord for this opportunity tohelp more people know the Lord.Am so proud to be going to the First Freewill Baptist Church and am very proud of the man who leads us by the grace of God. Report Reply 0 replies · active 318 weeks ago +3 Vote up Vote down Chef Bismark · 318 weeks ago splendid!!!!!!!! Super excited for this transition and what God has in store for our wonderful community!!! Great Job Tracy! Report Reply 0 replies · active 318 weeks ago +3 Vote up Vote down Larry · 318 weeks ago Such a great write up. THANK YOU LORD! for guiding us to the First Free Will Baptist Church, Pastor Zane, & all the wonderful people that attend. Not to mention the most talented gospel singing you’ll ever hear! Report Reply 0 replies · active 318 weeks ago +6 Vote up Vote down Alishia · 318 weeks ago I remember the year The Brooks family came to Wellington. Before he started preaching here, I got this phone call looking for my mother. When I told him that she was at a different number, he didn’t get off the phone right away. The guy doesn’t know any strangers, only friends. Glad that the church is still growing. Means that God’s not dead! 🙂 Report Reply 0 replies · active 318 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Things changed…Brooks took the job of being pastor of Freewill and ran with it. And whether it was the Holy Spirit at work or the fact Brooks has a dynamic, passionate personality that draws people to him, Freewill grew and grew to over 300 regular worshipping members.Zane Brooks, pastor at Freewill Baptist Church.By 2004, a new sanctuary and foyer was built.Today, the church has outgrown its premises. The location – once ideal for its small congregation – is now a problem. For one thing the church is landlocked.“Parking here is horrendous.” Brooks said. “We don’t have enough of it. And people have to park too close to other people’s driveways. I know if I lived around here, I wouldn’t like it.”The fellowship hall is too small. The Sunday School rooms are too small. Both he, and his wife Charlotte share a cramped office.Then there is the address at 1219 N. Plum which creates great confusion with another church Wellington Baptist Temple, located just two blocks south at 1022 North Plum St.,“You don’t know the half of it,” Brooks laughs over the confusion of the two churches.Brooks said the church could no longer grow at its current location.The first thought was to build a new church on the east edge of town. But the cost to procure property and construct a new temple would be $1.5 to $2 million — to pricey for what Freewill could afford. There was a chance to expand by buying neighboring property. Again, it was a dead- end.“I didn’t see much sense in buying a house for $100,000 only to tear it down,” Brooks said.So Freewill Baptist started looking at existing buildings.Theurer was ready to sell.When the auction/realty center started the Market Center in 1992, the personal nature of auctioneering was dominate and the World Wide Web had yet to make itself known. That changed quickly.The E-bay website was created and all its knockoffs arrived. And suddenly instead of going to an auction, people could bid on items within the compounds of their own home.“Today, more than 90 percent of home buyers begin their search for properties on the Internet before actually contacting an agent,” Theurer said. “They search online rather than spending hours at a live auction. Because of the Internet, we no longer need to warehouse personal property in order to sell it at auction.”Thus, Theurer’s no longer needed the space or the expense of maintaining such a big building.So when Freewill Baptist ready to buy, Theurer’s was happy to sell. They looked elsewhere and found the 3,000 square-foot Tan Express Building – which was a venerable tan salon and gift shop run by Lisa Allton before she closed the business in 2011.It was a perfect fit for Theurer’s.This picture, taken in 2011, was Tan Express. It will soon be the future home of United Country Theurer Auction/Realty. by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — A church and a real estate auction company are not normally linked so closely together. But in Wellington it marks the evolution of change.Freewill Baptist Church, under the leadership of Pastor Zane Brooks, is buying the Theurer Marketing Center building at 802 E. 16th Street in Wellington. In turn, United Country Theurer’s Auction/Realty is moving east to 1101 E. 16th  to the former Tan Express Building.“An opportunity like this doesn’t present itself very often,” said Larry Theurer, owner of Theurer Auction.It’s an example of one business, and yes a church is a business, needing a bigger building and another needing a smaller building.And whether it’s the work of the Lord or the realities of tomorrow, Freewill Baptist and Theurer’s will now forever be linked. The future…Brooks looks wistfully into the future. The opportunities of expansion is endless.“The goal is to bring Wellington closer to God,” Brooks said. “We will be so much more visible in our new building. I want someone to drive by and see our big sign and our new church and think to himself: ‘man I need to so something with my life, because what I’m doing is not working.’“I believe there is a heaven and there is a hell and most people want to go to heaven. And that’s why we are here.”The sale is expected to close in the near future. Brooks said the church would like to move east and open in January or February of 2015.What about the old church building? Brooks said that has been quite a process finding some takers. After calling every church in town, and actually having a trade out in the works a couple of years ago, the church had yet to sell. However, Brooks is pleased to say that two parties are interested and one offer is on the table — which is actually church related.“We aren’t going to make any money on this building, but we have to do what we have to do,” Brooks said.As far as the new building is concerned, there’s a lot of work to be done Brooks said.“I want it to look as if no one would recognize that it was once the old Wal-Mart building,” Brooks said. “We have extensive remodeling in front of us.”As for Theurer’s, the company will continue to do what they always do – auction and real estate. They will emphasize their online auctions. You can see the latest online auctions by clicking on their ad on the right side of this page that is linked to their website.Their live and online auctioning of farm machinery, heavy equipment, personal property, commercial property, will continue.“Since 1976, our ‘golden rule of service’ has been, ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” Theurer said. “We are dedicated to that principle.”As far the community of Wellington is concern, a larger question now persists — where will large groups of people gather? Theurer’s was the host of several community functions throughout the year including the Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce banquet and the annual Kansas State Catbacker banquet. With the Wellington Steakhouse reception rooms still vacant, and Memorial Auditorium still without air conditioning, the need for a large space for gatherings becomes more significant.Theurer Market Center has hosted several large community functions throughout the years including the K-State Catbackers Banquet held last week.But just as the winds of change came to both Freewill Baptist and Theurer’s, now comes a new issue for the community of Wellington.Follow us on Twitter.last_img read more

Thrilling rides at Tommys MerryGoRound

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Young and old alike flocked to ‘Tommy’s Merry-Go-Round’ in Agra Road, Aloe Park, this past weekend to do some socialising and have fun on the various thrilling rides.There was the Big Wheel and lots of other attractions to enjoy.The little ones especially had a great time, being spoiled by their parents and going on ride after ride.A kaleidoscope of lights and hypnotic music filled the air as everyone chatted away merrily and soaked up the carnival atmosphere.This year saw new specials and new rides for all to take advantage of.The funfair is set to be in town until March 11, which gives everyone enough time to try out all the rides on offer and get together with friends at the same time.Click to receive news links via WhatsApp. Or  for the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Join us there!last_img read more