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

Rare opportunity to buy neighbouring Gold Coast properties in Mermaid Beach

first_imgThey’re only a short walk to the beach. Both properties have been owned by a local dentist for 25 years. MORE NEWS: Top five properties made for horse lovers Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:29Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:29 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenWays to get into the property market for less00:29 More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa10 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day agoOne property is a house and the other is a duplex. They have a combined footprint of 810sq m. Professionals John Henderson Real Estate partner Luke Henderson was marketing the sites with Matt Maguire.He said the properties with a combined 810sq m footprint offered a rare opportunity to buy in the exclusive beachside suburb.“For those people wishing to build a substantial family home with room for a backyard or a swimming pool in Mermaid Beach, the opportunities to secure a suitable site are few and far between,” said Mr Henderson.“And with these particular properties, the appeal is even greater because they sit exceptionally close to the beach.” Both Mermaid Beach properties at 7 and 9 William St have hit the market, offering house hunters a rare opportunity in the area.HOUSE hunters and investors are being offered a rare opportunity to snap up two neighbouring Mermaid Beach properties metres from the sand and surf.The duplex and shack at 7 and 9 William St have hit the market with the option of buying them together or separately.Gold Coast dentist Barry Young has owned the residences for 25 and 21 years respectively and decided it was time to sell them as part of a restructure of his investments. They will go under the hammer together but can also be purchased separately. All three residences are rented out for more than $300 a week each.The duplex at No. 7 includes a three-bedroom unit, which is rented for $330 a week, and a two-bedroom unit, which is rented at $310 a week.The trendy beach shack at No. 9 has three bedrooms and is rented for $440 a week.Both sites will go under the hammer at the agency’s Spring Auction Spectacular on September 10 at the Mermaid Beach Bowls Club. Mr Henderson said they would initially go to auction together but could be purchased separately. MORE NEWS: Extravagant castle going under the hammerlast_img read more

John Roughan: Why the ‘health approach’ to marijuana won’t work

first_imgNZ Herald 5 May 2019Family First Comment: Well said by John Roughan“By the time we come to the referendum we might be seeing what the “health approach” to methamphetamine and other drugs really means. It means implied approval, causing increased use and public liability for addiction. At that point we might decide the criminal law gives the best, cheapest and healthiest message after all.”#saynopetodopeCampaigners for legalising marijuana used to be amiable libertarians who asked for nothing more than the right to grow or buy their drug of choice and the freedom to smoke it without risk of prosecution as drinkers of alcohol can do.Anyone who thinks that is all they will be voting for at a referendum next year is going to be surprised when the Government announces some details of what is proposed, possibly today.The people who have been leading the campaign to legalise marijuana in recent years are definitely not libertarians. They probably don’t even smoke pot or anything else.They are puritans who regard all pleasurable drugs as a problem demanding tighter regulation and much more health treatment.The reason they give for wanting to decriminalise marijuana is that they believe the criminal law has failed to stamp it out and merely discouraged users from seeking the treatment they need.But just quietly, they are also excited by the prospect of designing a regulatory regime that may be applied to all drugs, especially alcohol. A “model drug law” it was called in a report produced by the NZ Drug Foundation for the 2017 election.It will be interesting to see how much of that report’s proposals have been adopted in the regime the Government will put to the referendum. One News has had a tip that a minimum purchasing age of 20 will be set for legalised marijuana.That, of course, was the age public health professors urged Parliament to set for alcohol when they attempted to reduce its availability in 2010. They have never accepted that defeat and will try again at some stage with a new Parliament.The Drug Foundation’s “model law” for marijuana goes much further than any restrictions the public health professors proposed to the previous Government for alcohol. Licensed outlets would be more strictly limited and be “as uninteresting as possible”.READ MORE: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12227735last_img read more

Ireland beat Zimbabwe in thriller

first_img The Sussex batsman was twice dropped, while he edged his first ball just short of slip, but was otherwise imperious as he hit nine fours and three sixes. He joined in a third-wicket partnership of 138 with Andy Balbirnie, who was only three runs away from following Joyce to three figures after he was run out during the late-over scramble. Ireland took 108 from the final 10 overs to reach their highest ODI score, surpassing the 329 for seven they racked up during their famous World Cup win over England in Bangalore four years ago. When Zimbabwe then crashed to 74 for four in reply Ireland were in total control only for Taylor and Williams to turn the momentum of the match in a 149-run stand. Taylor reached his century from 79 balls and Ireland’s attack was looking toothless until Cusack produced a slower ball to fool the Zimbabwe skipper into spooning a catch to mid-on. Williams kept the scoreboard ticking over and had reduced the task to a manageable 32 from 20 balls when Mooney’s controversial catch was claimed. It was a critical moment and while Mupariwa made Ireland sweat, as he hit Kevin O’Brien for back-to-back fours and then a six, Cusack cleaned up the tail in a thrilling finale. The third umpire was called to judge the catch, although Williams did not remain on the field of play after he instead opted to take the word of Mooney that he had taken the catch inside the rope. There was still drama to follow as number 10 Tawanda Mupariwa slapped 19 from the penultimate over, delivered by Kevin O’Brien, to leave Zimbabwe needing seven from the last six balls. However, Alex Cusack held his nerve as he claimed the final two wickets, first getting Regis Chakabva to drag on before Mupariwa skied a catch William Porterfield gratefully accepted. While Joyce’s 112 earned him the man-of-the-match award Cusack’s four for 32 was just as invaluable, especially after he removed Zimbabwe skipper Brendon Taylor for 121. Victory was Ireland’s second over a full-member nation at the tournament after they opened their campaign with a win over West Indies. They will, however, most likely need to pull off one more shock in their final two pool games against India and Pakistan. Pakistan’s surprise win over South Africa earlier in the day did Ireland few favours and their clash in Adelaide on March 15 looms as a potential decider. Joyce became the fourth Ireland player to score a World Cup century although he was given a helping hand by a sloppy Zimbabwe fielding display. Press Association Ed Joyce’s third one-day international century helped Ireland post 331 for eight – their highest ever score at a World Cup – but Zimbabwe looked like running down the record chase until a debatable John Mooney catch. Replays appeared to show Mooney had stepped on the rope when he held on to remove Sean Williams, who was four short of a century and seemingly in control of the pursuit. Ireland clung on to claim a controversial five-run win over Zimbabwe to keep their bid to reach the World Cup quarter-finals on track.last_img read more

Misbah named Pakistan head coach, Waqar new bowling coach

first_img(REUTERS) – Former captain Misbah-ul-Haq was named Pakistan’s head coach as well as the chief selector on a three-year contract yesterday, with pace great Waqar Younis joining him as the team’s new bowling coach.Misbah and Waqar have worked together in the past when the former was Pakistan captain and the latter was head coach.“It is very humbling for me to join a select group of some of the very best to have coached the Pakistan national sides in the past,” Misbah, who scored over 10 300 international runs in 75 Tests and 162 one-dayers, said in a statement. “It is an honour and more than that, a massive responsibility as we live and breathe cricket.“I know expectations are high, but I am absolutely ready and up for the task, otherwise I would not have thrown my name in the hat for one of the most challenging and coveted roles in Pakistan cricket.” Misbah will wield tremendous influence in Pakistan cricket after also taking over as the chairman of selectors with head coaches of the six first-class association sides as his fellow selectors.On the 45-year-old’s recommendation, former captain Waqar returned to the coaching staff on a three-year contract.“We have exciting young fast bowlers in our ranks and there is no better person than Waqar to transform them into modern-day stars,” Misbah said.“Both Waqar and I had a candid and frank discussion and we agreed on a number of things, including roles and responsibilities as well as how to take things forward.” The overhaul of the backroom staff follows the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) decision to not renew head coach Mickey Arthur’s contract after the team’s failure to reach the semi-finals of this year’s World Cup.During the tournament, the PCB had promised a robust review and analysis of the side’s performances, and that of the team support personnel, over the past three years.Last month, Misbah took charge of a national training camp ahead of the new international season.His first assignment as the new head coach will be the limited overs home series against Sri Lanka, which will be played from September 27 to October 9. Pakistan’s first series as part of the inaugural World Test Championship will be in Australia, where Pakistan will play in Brisbane (November 21-25), followed by a day-night Test in Adelaide (November 29-December 3).Misbah, Pakistan’s most successful and longest serving Test captain, retired from international cricket in 2017 after a distinguished career, but played for Peshawar Zalmi in this year’s Pakistan Super League Twenty20 tournament.last_img read more

Tipperary feature strongly in Under 21 Football awards

first_imgThe Tipp players included in the EirGrid 21 are goalkeeper Evan Comerford, defenders Ross Mulcahy and Bill Maher, midfielders Steven O’Brien and Colin O’Riordan and forward Kevin O’Halloran. While All-Ireland winners Tyrone lead with seven, six Tipperary footballers have been selected as recipients of the inaugural ‘EirGrid 21 U21 Awards’.The awards honour the twenty-one standout players from the 2015 U21 All-Ireland Championship as selected by members of the Gaelic Writers Association.In addition to the 21 U21 awards, EirGrid are asking fans of the championship to select their Player of the Year. Tipp captain Colin O’Riordan and the Tyrone duo of Lee Brennan and Cathal McShane are the nominees.last_img read more