COVID-19: Possible community spread sparks fears of wider contagion in Indonesia

first_imgThe government reported the first possible community transmission of COVID-19 on Tuesday, after a citizen with no link to certain confirmed cases or a history of travel to affected countries tested positive for the virus. The 33-year-old man was Indonesia’s 27th confirmed COVID-19 patient.Nusa Indah Room where the isolation room of a patient No. 25 foreign nationals infected with the COVID virus 19 who died after being treated at Sanglah Hospital on 2.45 pm at the Bali Governor’s Office Wednesday 11/03/2020. (JP /Zul Trio Anggono )“We suspect that [Case 27] is a local transmission. We are currently tracking the source of transmission because this is not an imported case and it’s still unknown which cluster he is part of,” said the Health Ministry’s Disease Control and Prevention director general, Achmad Yurianto.The government’s latest announcement seemed to have confirmed the disconcerting possibility of there being an entire swath of undetected COVID-19 cases who may have come into contact with other individuals within their circles, therefore starting a cycle of so-called community transmissions that would go on to affect other regions within and even beyond the country’s borders. The country’s 27th confirmed COVID-19 patient was only the latest in a growing string of cases involving local citizens who might have contracted the virus from an unknown source, making transmissions of its kind particularly difficult to trace.A Flourish survey visualizationThe Australian state of Victoria announced on March 8 its latest confirmed COVID-19 case involving a 50-something Indonesian woman who tested positive for the coronavirus.The woman, identified only as Case 12, flew from Jakarta to Perth on Feb. 27 – four days before the Indonesian government’s official announcement of the first two COVID-19 cases in the country.The Victoria administration then urged locals to avoid the vicinity of a Vietnamese restaurant where the woman was known to have dined on March 6 to avoid the risk of viral transmission.Yurianto claimed that the woman could have contracted the virus in the Vietnamese restaurant, but some have doubted the claim, saying the woman was diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 8 and had already shown symptoms on Feb. 29. With the incubation period ranging from 14 to 28 days, it is more likely that the woman was infected in Indonesia.  Two days later, the Singaporean Ministry of Health announced that two of its most recent COVID-19 patients likely contracted the virus in Indonesia.A 65 year-old Indonesian man – identified as Case 152 – was an imported case who arrived in Singapore on March 7, according to the ministry.Prior to his arrival in Singapore, the man reported early symptoms on Feb. 28 and sought treatment at a hospital in Jakarta on March 2, but it was still unclear whether he undertook tests for the coronavirus. He was only later found to have tested positive for COVID-19 on March 8 in Singapore.On the same day, the Singaporean government announced Case 153, a Singaporean woman who was likely to have contracted the virus in Indonesia while she visited her sister who had pneumonia from Feb. 25 to 28 – three days before the official announcement of the first confirmed COVID-19 cases in Indonesia.West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil (center) monitors information related to the spread of COVID-19 at the Command Center as well as the COVID-19 Information and Coordination Center in Bandung, West Java, Tuesday, March 10, 2020. (JP /Arya Dipa)The above cases, along with their elusive points of viral transmission, have raised concerns regarding possible community transmissions by which a number of Indonesian citizens had already contracted the coronavirus from undetected cases in the country prior to their overseas trips.An Indonesian medical scientist based in Singapore, who declined to be named, said he believed a wider contagion had taken place in Indonesia than what has been reported.“It is possible that many cases go undetected in Indonesia based on what we know so far from the imported cases from Indonesia in Singapore and Australia,” he said.He argued that while the disease may not be as deadly as many people fear, we should not take the virus outbreak lightly. “This disease disproportionately kills the elderly. If you are infected, it may not be a problem, but you can transmit it to your parents.”Community transmission is considered a game-changer in any epidemic in that it subverts previously discernible patterns, since specific sources of viral transmission become difficult to track down, according to the World Health Organization.Bayu Krishnamurthi, who headed the National Committee for Avian Flu Control and Pandemic Preparedness from 2006 to 2010, previously told the Post that community transmission “is a more serious situation” than direct transmission.Bayu, however, cautioned that it was too early to conclude that community transmission had taken place. “We need to check if a community transmission truly occurred,” he said. “If it did, then new measures to [handle the virus] are needed.” Syahrizal Syarief, an epidemiology expert from the University of Indonesia, said that conducting contact-tracing on the country’s 27th confirmed COVID-19 case would be difficult because the point of transmission remained unknown.The expert, however, said the situation was still under control.“As long as the government follows the standard procedures, I don’t think it will be a problem. Standard protocol entails conducting contact-tracing as early as possible to contain the spread,” he said, adding that Singapore had 17 cases with no clear origins of infection.Indonesia reported its first death from the coronavirus on Wednesday, a 53-year-old COVID-19 patient and foreign citizen identified as Case 25.By Wednesday, there were 34 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country. Within the first few weeks of the initial COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei province, China in January, the Indonesian government took several measures to prevent its citizens from coming into direct contact with individuals from the outbreak epicenter and other regions with confirmed cases.These measures included grounding all flights to and from mainland China, as well as issuing a travel ban on countries that have reported confirmed COVID-19 cases as the government attempted to maintain its then-zero-case record.The playing field has changed, however, as Indonesia has now been made to confront the possibility of “community transmissions” – in which a patient with no travel history to countries with virus outbreaks or no specific contact with other infected patients – within its borders since the announcement of the first confirmed COVID-19 cases on March 2.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Pension fund for Dutch pharmacists seeks merger to increase scale

first_imgSPOA, the €1.5bn occupational pension fund for public pharmacists in the Netherlands, is looking to join PMA, the €2.5bn scheme for pharmacist staff, depending on the results of an ongoing survey.BPOA, the occupational association responsible for the pharmacists’ scheme, said it signed a declaration of intent with independent pharmacist industry group VZA and the association of employed general practitioners (LAD) to investigate whether all public pharmacists could join PMA.It said the mandatory accrual of employed and independent pharmacists’ pension rights was needed to secure “lasting mandatory, collective and affordable” pension arrangements.BPOA said the stakeholders aimed to increase efficiency, improve quality and cut costs through the benefits of scale, adding that employers would also benefit from a single pensions window, as well as from uniform labour conditions for all workers. In the Netherlands, the number of employed pharmacists now exceeds that of independent pharmacists.BPOA warned that this could jeopardise mandatory participation in the occupational pension plan and argued that, if all public pharmacists accrued their pensions through a single industry-wide scheme, mandatory participation could be preserved.The stakeholders said they were also examining the effects of transferring existing pension rights to PMA.According to BPOA, the gaps between the pension arrangements and funding ratios at SPOA and PMA have narrowed this year.SPOA’s official policy funding stood at 104.3%, as of the end of June.The pharmacists’ scheme, however, has had to apply four successive rights cuts of 5%, 7%, 6.8% and 4.6% since 2011.PMA’s policy coverage was 105.8% at the end of the second quarter.last_img read more

Caribbean Urged to Brace for Continued Drought and Higher Temperatures

first_imgBRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Not only will several Caribbean islands have to endure heatwaves this summer, but many will also have to prepare for continued drought conditions through to September, this according to Barbados-based Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH).According to the CIMH’s latest Caribbean Climate Outlooks publication, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao (ABC Islands) Belize and the Lesser Antilles will continue to experience drought situations and that “a progressive increase in wet spells are expected throughout the region, however possibly fewer than in most wet seasons.“The spells may bring some level of drought relief, but also concern for flooding. Peak heat stress will likely be experienced between August and September, especially during heatwaves. Episodes of Saharan dust incursion are expected,” CIMH reported.It said that as of June 1, severe, or worse, drought has developed in northern Belize, eastern extremities of Cuba, coastal French Guiana, the northern Leewards, western parts of Trinidad on the shorter term, and in Barbados, southern Belize, southernmost, Dominican Republic , French Guiana, southwestern Haiti, and Martinique and Trinidad on the long term.Long term concerns are also evolving in Dominica, French Guiana, Martinique, Sint Maarten and Trinidad, and is possible in Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. Barbados, most of Belize, northern Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, St. Lucia, Tobago and the United States Virgin Islands.Just last month, Cédric Van Meerbeeck, climatologist at CIMH warned Caribbean nationals to prepare for the heat season that can impact the health of citizens.“The heat season is something that didn’t happen in the past. Yes, people feel more comfortable and sometimes even cold around Christmas time and you know that it gets hotter towards September. But it’s not really common knowledge that there is a six-month period that noticeably warmer than the other part of the year and that is May to October.And during that heat season, you find that the levels of heat discomfort and heat stress [increases] so that’s impacting your health, also the health of some animals,” Van Meerbeeck said.Over the last weekend, Kingston, Jamaica recorded its highest temperature ever, a sizzling 39.1 degrees Celsius leaving Jamaican health authorities to warn nationals about the excessive heat.last_img read more

OVERTIME

first_imgBILL NEAL :10 Curtis Martin will go into the NFL Hall of Fame as quiet and soft spoken as any man can and for those of us that had the pleasure of knowing him you know two things about Curtis is true. No. 1 He is a soft spoken man and No. 2 he was a tough, quick, no excuse, get it done, never say die, consistent, durable running back. Who among us, who can think back to his days at Allderdice or for that matter at Pitt, thought that he would become one of the top five running backs in Pro Football history? Congratulations Curtis, you deserve all you’ve achieved; and Congrats to you too “Mama Rochella” you played a major role in your son’s success.:09 I am rolling this in at #9 because… If it ain’t the Steelers it don’t matter…but I told ya the Giants would beat New England. Oh shut up and just check your Courier last week and you’ll see it. New York won the game not because of Eli Manning but because they have a tough hardnosed defense and you all know defense wins championships.:08 Speaking of the Super Bowl, I don’t know where you watched the game but you should have been at J.T’s Restaurant at “The Club” in Monroeville. We kicked it off with a special two hour taping of “Champions Live” sports talk show followed up by a great crowd enjoying the game with the best soul food money can buy.:07 Speaking of the club…are you starting to see the flow here? Artistree blew up the Champions First Friday old School Par-tay with their classic old school style, great stage presence and second to none vocals. Then you throw in the unbelievable voice of veteran performer “Chico,” a super talent who got the crowd heated up…not warmed up, the craziness of Pittsburgh comedian “Frog” and of course the fabulous Diamond Models. Now you mix that all together with 250 of our best First Friday supporters and MAN you got a PAR-TAY!!!:06 There’s one way and one way only to stop Lebron James but it’s not legal and you will get jail time. Another 30-point game…Lebron C’MON MAN!:05 It’s a shame that I have to keep reminding you all of this but I do what I have to do. Get out and support your local high school basketball team. The playoffs are coming and “OUR KIDS” need your support so stop with your excuses and get off your “BUTT” and go to the games. And not just one…keep going until they are done!!!:04 Eli Manning now joins a super group of elite quarterbacks that have won two or more Super Bowl MVP’S including Terry Bradshaw, Bart Star, Joe Montana and Tom Brady. What’s wrong with this picture? And for the record I could challenge if Eli was the MVP of the Super Bowl. It could have been running back Ahmad Bradshaw or punter Steve Weatherford.:03 If Coach Herman Edwards knows so much about football how come he didn’t show it when he was coaching. I don’t usually do this but here’s your second… C’MON MAN!!!:02 Pitt Basketball is back, that’s it, I told you they would be.:01 AT THE BUZZER:•Don’t’ miss “Champions Live” sports talk show on PCTV channel 21.•Five Starr Corporation/Champion Enterprises “Tip-Off” Reception at the Cambria Suites Hotel Feb. 17, 6-10 p.m. Meet and greet Pittsburgh’s African-American authors, Artistree and The Fabulous Diamond Models. Cash bar, cash kitchen, free parking, photos with your favorite star. $20 donation celebrating Black History Month.•“Volley With The Stars” volleyball tournament coming soon. Get your team ready for more fun than you can stand. More info coming next week.~Game Over~last_img read more

Ranney Robotics Club Competes in Top Tournament

first_imgTINTON FALLS – The Ranney School Robot­ics Club has been working hard all year to design, build and drill their robots for multiple competitions. All their hard work paid off recently when one of the Upper School robotics teams, led by Raymond Moser ’15 of Shrewsbury, had the opportunity to travel to Anaheim, Calif., and compete in the VEX World Robotics Championship.Members of the Ranney School Robotics Club.More than 15,000 people, including students, teachers, coaches and industry leaders attended the event, representing 24 countries. Approxi­mately 700 teams competed at the middle school, high school and college level.  Simply qualifying for the championship meet meant that the Ranney team ranked in the top 9 percent of all teams worldwide.The event was streamed live and part of it was shown during the April 18 Ranney School Lower School Science Fair on the RSPA Panther Hall and Roberts Stage screen.“The experience was extre­me­ly valuable because we learned many different methods of improving our robot’s speed, size and agility for next year,” said Noel Delgado, dean of students, who attended the competition with robotics team coach Raymond Moser. “With a larger robotics space planned for next year, a 2013-2014 robotics class offering, as well as several supporting gifts from families, our team will be larger, more enthusiastic, better equipped and superbly prepared for next year’s tournament. Our goal is to bring two of our teams to next year’s world championship.”last_img read more

Selkirk College Saints Keep Focus on Work Ethic

first_img“I chose Selkirk College because the strong programs and smaller class sizes,” says Iles, who will either take the Forest Technology Program or the Heavy Mechanical Foundation Program. “I also chose Selkirk College because I love living in the Kootenays and playing for a prestigious team like the Saints is an honour.”Iles is a two-way forward who is known for his ability to win faceoffs, but Heaven says it’s the overall style of play that made the Whistler native stand out.“He has an ability to get under the skin of his opponent while still contributing offensively,” says Heaven, who is heading into his third season as head coach. “His tenacious persistence will be a huge asset to our roster given his record of being a leader on every team over his junior career.”Harding is a six-foot defenceman who played Junior A last season with the Elliot Lake Wildcats in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL).“Connor is an extremely hard working individual with a desire and commitment to physical fitness,” says Heaven. “He competes extremely hard, has a great first pass and plays with edge. Connor should bring another level of excitement to our defensive core.”Harding will enter the Business Administration Program when classes begin this coming September on the Castlegar Campus.“I decided to return to British Columbia and attend Selkirk College for the quality education and championship history of the program,” says Harding, who is originally from West Kelowna.After winning a historic four straight BCIHL championships, the Saints’ drive-for-five was stopped short this past spring when they were defeated in the league semi-final by the Trinity Western University Spartans. The 2017-2018 BCIHL season begins in September. A culture of hard work is what has contributed to the massive success for the Selkirk College Saints over the last few seasons and the team has added a pair of recruits that will help continue the trend.Grant Iles and Connor Harding have committed to play for the Saints in the upcoming British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) season, both arriving with a proven record of tenacity and grit during their junior hockey careers.“There are not very many nights over the course of the season where our team gets out-worked,” says Saints head coach Brent Heaven. “Both of these players have shown that they will fit in very well because of their commitment to compete hard every shift.”Iles arrives to Selkirk College after finishing his junior eligibility with the Creston Valley Thunder Cats of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL). The 20-year-old forward scored 14 goals and added 18 assists while playing under former Saints head coach Jeff Dubois.last_img read more

Nelson Legion supports Granite Pointe hosting of BC Juvenile Golf Championship

first_imgGranite Pointe at Nelson is hosting the top young players in the BC as the Rosemont Course plays host to the BC Juvenile Golf Championship August 15-18. To help with the cost of the tournament, Nelson Legion generously made a $1,000 to the organizing committee. Making the presentation was Royal Canadian Legion Nelson Branch President Bill Andreaschuk to Granite Pointe Club President Barry Auliffe and Granite Pointe GM/Pro David Belling.last_img

Who to Watch; Opening Day, September 26

first_imgBlog by Zoe MetzAll the anticipation can mean only one thing.  The Autumn Meet is upon us…We kick off the meet on September 26th the best way we know how; FIVE Grade I “Win and You’re In” races with a berth to the 2015 Breeders’ Cup World Championships up for grabs.The Races2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic Winner, Bayern (photo by Zoe Metz)The Awesome Again is one of the final chances (as well as a prep race for the boys, 3 years old & up) to earn a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Some familiar names have won this race such as Game On Dude and Shared Belief. Horses among this year’s running include Bayern, Global View, Hard Aces, Hoppertunity, Imperative, Point Piper, Sammy Mandeville and Smooth Roller.The Zenyatta Stakes, named after the one and only Zenyatta, is a race for the older fillies and mares to reserve their spot in the Ladies’ Distaff. The last two Zenyatta Stakes have been swept by two time Eclipse Champion, Beholder. Other notables for the race include 2015 Santa Anita Oaks winner Stellar Wind, My Sweet Addition and Warren’s Veneda (all Grade I winners over the Santa Anita surface).The FrontRunner Stakes gives a chance to see the young up-and-coming two-year-old boys. You never know where the winner of this race could end up. For example, American Pharoah; he proved he could win in the Del Mar Futurity, showed his professionalism in the FrontRunner, and proved his greatness capturing the Triple Crown. Trainers Bob Baffert and D. Wayne Lukas are tied with 9 winners in the Chandelier StakesThe Chandelier Stakes is a glimpse of the young fillies trying to make their journey on to the first Friday in May. Numerous fillies have used this race to pave their way into running strong races in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, amidst those fillies are Halfbridled, Stardom Bound, Serena’s Song and Blindluck. Fun Fact: D. Wayne Lucas and Bob Baffert are tied for most wins in the Chandelier Stakes, both have had 9 winners.The Rodeo Drive Stakes has been won by fillies and mares that have made their name in the racing world on the grass. In 1998 a mare of the name of Fiji (GB) won this race, later on became Eclipse Award Champion Grass Mare. Other notable past winners include Tranquility Lake, Wait a While (only mare to win the race twice), and Nashoba’s Key. Fun Fact: Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel won this race 3 consecutive years in a row (2003-2005) with Tates Creek, Light Jig (GB) and Megahertz (GB).Ones to WatchHoppertunity during morning workouts (photo by Zoe Metz)This could be his opportunity to steal the show, or rather a Hoppertunity. Hoppertunity has been up against some of the toughest competitors the west coast has seen like Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome, the small but mighty Shared Belief and in his most recent start, the best mare around, Beholder. You couldn’t ask for a horse with more consistency than Hoppertunity, he has never been worse than 5th (his debut) in his 13 career starts. Can he punch his golden ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Classic with a win in the Awesome Again stakes?Beholder will make an attempt to capture her third consecutive Zenyatta Stakes. She is the mare that can do just about anything, proving just what kind of horse she is by beating the boys with flying colors in the Pacific Classic. She is hands down one of the best mares the world has seen winning 14 of 19 starts. Beholder has not only captured everyone’s attention but she has captured everyone’s hearts with her love and ability to run.Beholder working under Hall of Fame jockey, Gary Stevens (photo by Zoe Metz)Nyquist remains undefeated after three starts, including his graded wins in the Best Pal Stakes and Del Mar Futurity. He has continued the success of Mario Gutierrez and Reddam Racing, LLC over the summer, can he keep the streak alive? Mario and Reddam Racing teamed up for  a victory in the FrontRunner Stakes back in 2013.Songbird proved she is all business in the Del Mar Debutante. She is trained and ridden by Hall of Famers that believe she is something special. She too is also unbeaten and will try to keep her good fortune for owners Fox Hill Farm, Inc.Sharla Rae during morning workouts (photo by Zoe Metz)Sharla Rae is taking on older fillies and mares for the first time to secure her spot in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf. She is fresh off an impressive win in the Grade I Del Mar Oaks. Sharla Rae is very familiar with running in stakes company and just continues to improve. Can she make the grade against older females?Opening day is this Saturday, don’t forget first post is at 12:30pm!last_img read more