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  • Limited virus testing in Japan masks true scale of infection

    first_imgJapan’s low level of confirmed infections has enabled Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to maintain a relatively relaxed stance on the outbreak compared with South Korea and China, where more than 78,000 cases and over 2,700 deaths have been recorded.Unlike other countries in the region, Japan hasn’t imposed travel bans on citizens from highly infected nations — including China — and Abe has encouraged, but not enforced, the cancellation of major public events. Many people in Tokyo continued to commute to work in packed trains. As public criticism mounted, Abe announced Thursday evening that schools will be shut from next week to April.“In order to grasp the current situation, we should test,” said Kazuhiro Haraguchi, a lawmaker with Japan’s opposition Democratic Party for the People. “Tests are not 100% reliable, but we need to know the facts.”Minister Kato said that public health centers had refused to test some people for the virus, probably because they were concerned they didn’t have sufficient capacity.Reflecting growing concerns over the outbreak in Japan as well as globally, the Nikkei 225 dropped as much as 3.5% in Friday morning trade and is down more than 9% so far this week.Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, right, covers his face next to Taro Aso, deputy prime minister and finance minister, while attending a budget committee session at the lower house of parliament in Tokyo, Japan, on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. (Bloomberg/Kiyoshi Ota)As cases mount, Japan rapidly becomes a coronavirus hotbed The country has already come under fire for not testing the Diamond Princess passengers more extensively, with at least two Japanese testing positive for the virus after they returned home. Both had used public transport and been out in the general public after disembarking from the ship.There’s also rising anxiety over the number of Japanese virus patients whose infection routes can’t be traced. For example authorities have not yet been able to identify connections between those who got infected in the northern island of Hokkaido, which has now grown to become the biggest outbreak in Japan with 54 cases.Unlike some other Asian countries, Japan didn’t see a widespread local outbreak during the SARS and MERS virus epidemics. That lack of experience may have left it ill-equipped for dealing with the novel coronavirus, which is thought to be more infectious than those diseases, though less deadly.An employee, center, uses a sewing machine while making {reusable-type} face masks at the Clever Co. factory in Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. (Bloomberg/Kiyoshi Ota)How the novel coronavirus can (maybe) infect You: QuickTakeUnlike South Korea and many other developed countries, Japan doesn’t have a Center for Disease Control, meaning virus prevention and outbreak control is in the hands of bureaucrats from the health ministry, aided by a group of experts.While there is a national benchmark for how testing for the virus should be undertaken, some cities and regions are applying different standards.The official guidance is for anyone with mild symptoms to stay at home. Those with serious conditions are told to contact a hotline, where they can be linked to an appropriate medical facility. Doctors can recommend testing at Japan’s local public health centers if they suspect a coronavirus infection.Approach criticizedSome public health centers — including in Tokyo, the city of Nagoya and the Wakayama prefecture — say they haven’t had consistent supplies of testing kits to meet requirements. Wakayama, which has confirmed 11 virus infections, is using its own parameters to decide when testing is needed.Hospitals and clinics could also be concerned that if a case is confirmed on site, they’ll be forced to shut down for disinfection, according to opposition lawmaker Haraguchi, who wants the government to compensate operators in these cases.Even a member of the government’s expert panel on the virus has criticized their efforts on diagnosis. Hitoshi Oshitani, a professor at Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, said last week that Japan’s initial efforts at testing were like using a pen light to hunt for a ping pong ball in the Tokyo Dome baseball stadium.The handling of the Diamond Princess virus outbreak had already undermined trust in the government’s capacity to handle the crisis. After discovering cases of the virus, Japan locked the ship down for 14 days, a move that some public health experts said probably fueled the spread on board. About a fifth of the ship’s 3,700 passengers and crew have tested positive for the virus.Workers in protective gear walk near the Diamond Princess cruise ship, operated by Carnival Corp., docked in Yokohama, Japan, on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. Japan confirmed 41 more cases of the new coronavirus aboard the quarantined cruise ship, and denied entry to another vessel as it sought to control the spread of the deadly infection, with thousands now stranded on stricken luxury liners. (Bloomberg/Toru Hanai)‘Get tested’Health minister Kato told parliament this week the government is working on a system to support the private sector to conducts tests so that more people can be tested for the virus.With trust in authorities eroded, a broader testing regime is now needed to calm public unease, said Kenji Shibuya, director of the Institute for Population Health at King’s College London, and a former chief of health policy at the World Health Organization.“Scientifically we should target and prioritize the patients,” he said by email. “But it is now beyond that — we are dealing with public fear, and to tackle it, we need to give people an opportunity to get tested.” Topics : “For every one who tests positive there are probably hundreds with mild symptoms,” said Masahiro Kami, chair of the Medical Governance Research Institute in Tokyo, and a practicing doctor. “Those with mild symptoms are not being tested.”While the government says it has the capacity to conduct 3,800 tests a day, only 5,700 were actually carried out between Feb. 18-23, Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato told parliament Wednesday. That included the tests made on passengers and crew of the Diamond Princess, where Japan’s attempt to quarantine the boat resulted in an explosion in infections to more than 700 cases.An ambulance travels away from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, operated by Carnival Corp., docked in Yokohama, Japan, on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020. Aircraft chartered by the U.S. State Department are to arrive Sunday in Japan to evacuate about 400 citizens from the Diamond Princess. (Bloomberg/Toru Hanai)No banscenter_img Japan is becoming a center of concern as the coronavirus spreads globally, with the country’s official infection tally suspected to be the tip of the iceberg of a much wider outbreak.As of Friday, Japan had about 200 confirmed cases of the pneumonia-causing virus, excluding those that erupted on the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship quarantined for weeks in Yokohama harbor. In neighboring South Korea, however, the number of infections has swelled rapidly, reaching almost 1,800 after the government tested tens of thousands of people to get a clearer picture of the deadly outbreak.That divergence has experts — and members of the public — concerned about Japan’s approach to diagnosis.last_img read more

  • Japan PM returns to hospital as he breaks term record

    first_imgAbe’s health has been the subject of growing speculation, with reports before his check-up that he had been vomiting blood.The prime minister resigned just a year into his first term in 2007, citing his health among other factors.He was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and spent months undergoing treatment.Upon his return to power, he said he had overcome the illness. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday set a new record for the longest consecutive term in office but faced growing speculation about his health as he returned to hospital.Abe, 65, spent more than seven hours at a Tokyo hospital last week during a previously unannounced medical check-up that his aides insisted was routine.Local media cited sources as saying Abe’s return visit Monday was to receive the results of that check-up, but no further information was provided. Government spokesman Yoshihide Suga has denied Abe is sick, but members of the prime minister’s party have expressed concern about his health.The return to hospital comes as Abe breaks the record for the longest consecutive term as prime minister.He was already the country’s longest-serving prime minister, counting his first and second terms in office.But as of Monday, he has been in power for 2,799 uninterrupted days, breaking the record previously set by his great uncle Eisaku Sato.The record comes at a difficult time for Abe, who in addition to his possible health woes faces plummeting public support thanks to his handling of the coronavirus.A poll published Sunday by the Kyodo news agency found the approval rating for his cabinet stands at 36 percent, the second lowest since he returned to office in 2012.The survey conducted over the weekend found 58.4 percent were unhappy with the government’s handling of the coronavirus.While Japan has seen a comparatively small outbreak — with nearly 62,000 infections and close to 1,200 deaths — Abe has been slammed for his economic response as well as a widely mocked program to distribute reusable cloth face masks.center_img Topics :last_img read more

  • Governor Wolf: Restore Pennsylvania Will Help Lancaster County Battle Blight

    first_img March 20, 2019 Governor Wolf: Restore Pennsylvania Will Help Lancaster County Battle Blight Infrastructure,  Press Release,  Restore Pennsylvania Columbia, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf outlined the components of the most aggressive infrastructure plan in generations, Restore Pennsylvania. The governor’s plan will help communities in Lancaster County address blight, expand broadband access, mitigate the effects of localized flooding, and expand green infrastructure, restoring communities after long neglect.“My vision for Pennsylvania includes vibrant towns and cities with new development, opportunities in rural and disadvantaged areas, and a modern, interconnected commonwealth,” said Governor Wolf. “Unfortunately, after decades of neglect and declining federal investment, Pennsylvania is falling behind, and we need a bold plan to get us back on track.”To achieve these goals, Governor Wolf announced an ambitious infrastructure initiative, Restore Pennsylvania, funded by the monetization of a commonsense severance tax. Restore Pennsylvania will invest $4.5 billion over the next four years in significant high-impact projects throughout the commonwealth to help catapult Pennsylvania ahead of every state in the country in terms of technology, development, and infrastructure.Encompassing new and expanded programs to address five priority infrastructure areas including high speed internet access, storm preparedness and disaster recovery, downstream manufacturing, business development, and energy infrastructure, demolition, revitalization, and renewal, and transportation capital projects, Restore Pennsylvania projects will be driven by local input about community needs. Projects identified by local stakeholders will be evaluated through a competitive process to ensure that high priority, high impact projects are funded and needs across Pennsylvania are met.Restore Pennsylvania will increase resources for addressing blight by providing financial resources at the local level to establish land banks and acquire and demolish blighted buildings in order to create new development opportunities or provide new green space. The funding will be administered by entities established by the legislature as land banks or demolition funds.“This infrastructure proposal couldn’t come at a more important time,” according to Matthew Sternberg, executive director of the Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority. “Lancaster County has come a long way in understanding the problems and putting good mechanisms in place to address them. Our County Land Bank, Redevelopment Authority and Economic Development Company work closely with our planners and communities to determine effective solutions. But financial resources are scarce. A reliable funding stream over four years will go a long way to bolster investment and position our communities for success.”In 2016, Lancaster County launched the Lancaster County Land Bank Authority and began work within the boroughs of Columbia and Marietta. Still, municipalities are struggling with funding and the demolition and reinvigoration of blighted and abandoned properties. In Columbia, the governor outlined how Restore Pennsylvania will help the borough and Lancaster County address blight.“Blighted homes threaten residents’ health and safety, cost local governments for enforcement and maintenance, reduce property values and tax revenue, and make communities less attractive for investment,” said Governor Wolf. “Some of these blighted properties are in desirable locations but a lack of funding has prevented communities from large initiatives that would allow them to be redeveloped. Restore Pennsylvania is needed to property support our communities.”View the full Restore Pennsylvania plan here.center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

  • Gobernador Wolf: La Secretaria de Salud firma la orden que establece medidas de seguridad para los edificios para combatir la COVID-19

    first_img Español,  Press Release,  Public Health Conforme a su autoridad como Secretaria del Departamento de Salud que le permite tomar todas las medidas adecuadas para el control de las enfermedades y proteger al público de la propagación de enfermedades infecciosas, la Dra. Rachel Levine firmó hoy una orden que brinda instrucciones sobre el mantenimiento y la limpieza de los edificios de las empresas autorizadas a mantener el funcionamiento con personal según las órdenes de soporte vital que el gobernador y ella anunciaron el 19 de marzo.De acuerdo con la orden sobre las Medidas de seguridad de los edificios, “los servicios de limpieza, desinfección y otros servicios de mantenimiento y seguridad realizados por los empleados de servicio de los edificios son fundamentales para proteger la salud pública al reducir las infecciones por COVID-19 en la comunidad”.“Teniendo en cuenta la manera en que la COVID-19 se propagó en la comunidad y en el mundo, y su peligro para los residentes de Pennsylvania, he determinado que la medida adecuada para controlar la enfermedad es la instrucción de redactar las medidas de seguridad que se describen en esta orden para prevenir y controlar la propagación de la enfermedad”, escribió la Dra. Levine.Las medidas descritas en la orden son para los propietarios de edificios que tienen al menos 50,000 pies cuadrados utilizados para empresas comerciales e industriales, que incluyen, entre otros, instalaciones para almacenamiento, fabricación, oficinas comerciales, aeropuertos, tiendas de comestibles, universidades, colegios, dependencias gubernamentales, hoteles y edificios residenciales con un mínimo de 50 unidades.Además de mantener los protocolos de limpieza preexistentes, la orden describe estos nuevos protocolos:Limpiar y desinfectar las áreas de alto contacto de manera rutinaria, según lo indican las guías de los CDC, en los espacios a los que acceden los clientes, los inquilinos u otras personas.Mantener los protocolos de limpieza preexistentes establecidos en el edificio para todas las demás áreas del edificio.Garantizar que el edificio tenga un número suficiente de empleados para realizar los protocolos mencionados anteriormente de manera eficaz y de una manera que garantice la seguridad de los ocupantes y los empleados.Garantizar que el edificio tenga un número suficiente de empleados de seguridad para controlar el acceso, mantener el orden y hacer cumplir el distanciamiento social de al menos 6 pies, siempre que los empleados de seguridad estén a cargo de hacer cumplir dichas órdenes.La orden entra en vigencia a las 12:01 a.m. del 6 de abril.Ver la orden completa en PDF aquí o en Scribd.Ver esta página en inglés aquí. SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Gobernador Wolf: La Secretaria de Salud firma la orden que establece medidas de seguridad para los edificios para combatir la COVID-19center_img April 05, 2020last_img read more

  • UK DB liability hedging surges 23% year-on-year

    first_imgUK defined benefit pension schemes are choosing to hedge more liabilities in spite of rock-bottom bond yields, with the volume of liabilities being hedged increasing by 23% in 2016 to £908bn (€1,024bn), according to a new study by KPMG.Its June 2017 UK Liability Driven Investment (LDI) Market Survey, which uses 2016 data, also showed that the number of pension schemes using LDI as a risk management tool climbed to 1,808 from 1,423 a year before.Barry Jones, head of LDI at KPMG, said: “This year‘s KPMG LDI survey confirms that LDI remains the most important de-risking tool for UK defined benefit pension schemes, with growth continuing to be relentless despite record low yields.”Established providers still dominated the market for LDI products, he said. The survey showed that LGIM was still the largest provider, with the firm hedging 42% of Total UK DB liabilities.LGIM, Insight and BlackRock continued to be the largest managers within segregated LDI, the study revealed.Within pooled LDI, these three managers along with BMO and Schroders were the biggest providers, the data showed.“Unless the insurance industry creates a lot more capacity for pension schemes, there will be an increased need for well-funded schemes to create their own risk controlled annuity payment streams over the long-term,” Jones said.KMPG expected LDI to become increasingly important in the current environment and predicted further LDI growth in the years to come, he said.“Furthermore, LDI managers appear to be on the front foot in developing cash-flow delivery solutions to operate alongside their existing LDI ranges and build on their credentials in cash-flow modelling and hedge design,” he said.According to the study, providers are continuing to develop new types of product in the LDI market segment, with new LDI funds being launched last year which combine LDI with growth assets such as equities or diversified growth funds.In the survey, 82% of LDI managers said regulation was the most important issue facing the LDI industry in 2017.Some 44% of managers said the central clearing of derivatives was the most important issue facing the sector, and 38% cited other regulatory or legislative changes.Commenting on the survey results, Shaj Alam, head of solutions research, UK LDI at AXA IM, said that even though some £900bn of liabilities were now hedged, there was around £1trn that remains to be hedged, which meant there was still plenty of room for growth. “The survey confirms that a quiet revolution is afoot – pensions schemes are maturing and increasingly need to meet pension payments from their assets,” he said.This had translated to demand for LDI managers to respond with solutions that generate cash, leading to innovation in the industry, Alam said.last_img read more

  • Bulldogs Grapplers Open Up Season With Cubs

    first_imgThe Batesville High School Wrestling Team opened their season Thursday night facing off against the Madison Cubs.The night started off in the 113 lb class with bulldog freshman Laiken Hanna winning by pin giving the bulldogs a 6-0 lead. Jackson Wooldridge entered the mat next falling short to his opponent by a score of 7-2 giving the Cubs 3 team points. Sophomore Michael Deal faced off against state ranked Chayce Young losing by pin in the second period. Nick Schneider received a forfeit earning the team 6 more points bringing the team score to 12-9. Freshman Drew McCleod wrestled in the 145 lb class losing by pin but came away with some great varsity experience. Sophomore Xavier King fell short after wrestling three hard periods by a score of 8-4. Senior Neal Nobbe helped the team even the score 18-18 by pinning his opponent in just 47 seconds starting off his senior on a positive note. The bulldogs were unable to fill the 170 lb class giving the Cubs 6 more team points. Senior Will Amberger wrestled well keeping his opponent scoreless in all three periods winning the match 6-0. Levi Nordmeyer, John Kurtz, and Allen Hudepohl all wrestled hard but fell by pins to their Madison opponents. The final match of the night ended in the 106 lb class with sophomore Hunter Fetters earning a solid pin in 1 minute and 29 seconds. The final score of the match was Batesville 27 and Madison 42.Batesville’s next match will be at home on Saturday for their annual Super 6-way.Courtesy of Bulldogs Coach Chris Deal with Wendy Deal.last_img read more

  • Franklin County sees 6 new positive cases of COVID-19

    first_imgBrookville, IN—Franklin County Health Officials announced receiving six new positive results for COVID-19, bringing Franklin County’s total positive cases to 50.  All six new cases are adults.  No further information about the patients will be released due to privacy laws.Health Department officials also announced that seven more individuals met the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for release from quarantine. Officials urge citizens that as the weather gets warmer, it is still vital to stay at home except for essential travel.last_img read more

  • Everton sign Brazil midfielder from Napoli

    first_imgRelatedPosts Fulham keen on Lookman loan deal Pirlo not out to copy anyone after Juventus’ comfortable opening win Napoli Coach: Osimhen young lad with old brain English Premier League clubside Everton on Saturday said they have signed Brazil midfielder Allan from Italian side Napoli on a three-year deal.Financial details of the deal were not disclosed, but British media reported Everton had paid a fee of around 25 million pounds to Napoli for the 29-year-old. Allan scored 11 goals and grabbed 16 assists in more than 200 appearances for Napoli across all competitions, helping them claim the Coppa Italia last season.“It is a real pleasure to sign for Everton. I am immensely happy to be here,” Allan said in a club statement.“I hope I will, like I have done in my entire career, contribute with my performances together with my teammates and that I put in some great games, great performances and win important things.”Reuters/NAN.Tags: AllanBrazilCarlo AncelottiEvertonNapoliPremier Leaguelast_img read more

  • Wenger happy with attacking options

    first_imgArsenal manager Arsene Wenger is confident he has the “many solutions” in attack needed to secure a successful end to the season, but warned against expecting too much too soon from Theo Walcott. The Gunners secured a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 2-0 win over Hull on Sunday, the team they defeated in the 2014 final at Wembley. Chile forward Alexis Sanchez impressed again, stroking home his 16th goal of the season with eight minutes left, while on another day Walcott – making a first start since the serious knee injury which kept him out for almost a year – would have netted a brace himself but for some rusty finishing. Press Association With Olivier Giroud having now completed his three-match suspension and England forward Danny Welbeck expected to shake off his thigh injury ahead of the visit of Stoke on Sunday, which could also see German playmaker Mesut Ozil involved after three months out, Wenger certainly has plenty of options going forwards. The Gunners boss, who has allowed Lukas Podolski to join Inter Milan, said on Arsenal Player: “We have many options when you think of the players who still have not played (against Hull), we have many solutions up front. “It is a very important period now. We have had many injuries until now and hopefully everybody will be back.” Wenger, though, will be cautious with Walcott’s rehabilitation. “You cannot expect much [from Walcott yet], but fitness-wise he was good,” the Gunners boss said. “Theo had good chances, made some good runs. He has to get used to contact again and that will take a little bit of time.” Arsenal are expected to add to the squad in the January transfer window, with Saint-Etienne defender Loic Perrin having claimed contact has already been made over a potential move. France under-21 forward Yaya Sanogo could be allowed to leave on loan to get some match experience, and Wenger may also decide to add more attacking cover, although already has back-up in Joel Campbell and 19-year-old Chuba Akpom, who has come off the bench in the last two matches. Wenger reported after Sunday’s win that midfielders Mathieu Flamini and Aaron Ramsey both had a chance to be involved for the Stoke game following their respective injury lay-offs. Captain Mikel Arteta, however, remains sidelined by a niggling calf problem which saw the Spaniard limp out of the Champions League tie against Borussia Dortmund on November 26. Writing in his programme notes, Arteta said: “I have started running this week, so let’s see where this progress is going to take me. “My aim is always to play and be on the pitch as quickly as possible, because I really miss it. “I love competing, I love being out there and it has been a difficult time for me.” Wojciech Szczesny was replaced in goal against Hull by David Ospina. Press Association Sport understands reports the Poland keeper was banned and fined following a dressing room bust-up after the 2-0 Barclays Premier League defeat at Southampton on New Year’s Day are incorrect. last_img read more

  • Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber pulls out of Indian Wells

    first_imgIndian Wells: Former world number ones Simona Halep and Angelique Kerber have pulled out of next week’s BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells after failing to recover from injuries. The tournament is the season’s first Premier Mandatory event and Romanian Halep, the reigning Wimbledon champion, has not shaken off a foot problem.”I’m incredibly disappointed to have to withdraw from the 2020 BNP Paribas Open,” Halep, the world number two, said in a statement on the tournament’s Twitter handle. “Unfortunately, the foot injury that I picked up before Dubai is still causing me trouble and I will be unable to recover in time to travel to Indian Wells.” AgenciesAlso Read: Simona Halep wins Dubai title for second time Also Watch: NDFB-S General Secretary B R Ferenga likely to join UPPL party soonlast_img read more