Ebola Infections ‘Slowing in Liberia,’ WHO Now Says

Ebola Infections ‘Slowing in Liberia,’ WHO Now Says

CATEGORIES:

first_imgBarely days after the World Health Organization (WHO) made the alarming prediction of 90,000 Liberian deaths from Ebola by mid-December contrary to credible reports on the ground indicating a slowing down of the virus, WHO yesterday made an incredible U-turn. WHO now agrees that the virus is waning in Liberia, supporting government officials’ position that progress in the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease is being made.Commented journalist Alvin Worzi of the Daily Observer, “It shows we are making progress and what we need now are holding centers where those who are suspected of the virus can isolate themselves for the required period.”  Liberians are pleased that sustained efforts coupled with preventive measures have resulted in our progress in the fight against Ebola and must be continued, Worzi said.  In its editorial yesterday,  the Daily Observer examined the implications of the alarming and apocalyptic predictions of not only the WHO but also the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Yale Scientists, reported by the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, which also warned that by mid-December 171,000 will be infected and 90,000 not might, but will die.“It would then suggest that we were doing nothing here,” said 22-year-old university student, James Kollie, who spoke to the Daily Observer yesterday.Mr. William K. Guyan, 66, told the Daily Observer that with the change of position, WHO is confirming what Liberian officials have said that progress is being made, noting, “It means we must continue the fight to defeat the virus.”  Mr. Arthur Solomon, 38, a street vendor commented that “WHO’s reversal means that now they have correct information to agree with Liberian officials that their efforts are paying off.” “It’s also due to the effective global response, including tracing infected persons as well as those they might have come in contact with, that the WHO is able to calm the fears of Liberians by stating that infections are slowing down,” stated Richelieu Barclay, 42, of Monrovia.In a release yesterday, WHO’s Assistant Director General, Bruce Aylward, said he is confident the response to the virus is now gaining the upper hand, but warned against any suggestion that the crisis was over, the identical position of Liberian officials, including James Dorbor Jallah, head of Logistics at the Incident Management System. Aylward said the new number of cases globally was 13,703 and that the death toll, expected to be published yesterday, would probably exceed 5,000. The figure of 13,703 is a significant leap on the previous WHO situation report on Saturday, which showed cases rising above 10,000 for the first time to 10,141.  But Dr. Aylward said that this increase was due to data being updated with old cases, rather than new cases being reported. Saturday’s situation report put the death toll at 4,922.  Liberia’s Red Cross said its teams collected 117 bodies last week, down from a high of 315 in September. Treatment centers also have empty beds available for patients.The slowdown is real  Dr Aylward said: “It appears that the trend is real in Liberia and there may indeed be a slowing.”  “Do we feel confident that the response is now getting an upper hand on the virus? Yes, we are seeing a slowing rate of new cases, very definitely.”  Dr Aylward said there had been “a huge effort to inform the population about the disease, to change the behaviors that put them at risk”.  And he said there had been “a real step up in the work to put in place safe burials”.  But Dr Aylward said the data was still being examined and cautioned against thinking the crisis was over.  He said: “A slight decline in cases in a few days versus getting this thing closed out is a completely different ball game. It’s like saying your pet tiger is under control.”  The vast majority of cases and deaths from the disease have been in three countries, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.  On Wednesday, South Africa’s first black billionaire, Patrice Motsepe, donated $1m (£620,000) to Guinea to help the country fight Ebola.  The mining magnate said he hopes the donation will assist with clinical management, social mobilization and other key steps in controlling the deadly virus. His donation was announced as the US welcomed the international aid effort.  America’s UN envoy Samantha Power, who has been concluding her visit to the region, praised the efforts of Ebola-hit nations and foreign donors and urged them to continue to help. Her final stop was the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response in Accra, Ghana. She will now fly on to Brussels.A winnable war  Meanwhile, a source at the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare told the Daily Observer late last night that nationwide, there are 279 confirmed cases, and urged Liberians and all to be vigilant in taking measures because, “it is a winnable war, if we continue the fight.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img

LATEST POSTS

Waterhouse veteran McCallum retires

first_imgExperienced campaigner Richard ‘Spoon’ McCallum has retired as goalkeeper of Red Stripe Premier League club Waterhouse FC. He is now acting general secretary at the Drewsland-based club. “I have retired because of personal reasons, to pursue a bachelors degree in production and operation,” said McCallum, who stood between the sticks at Waterhouse for 12 years, during an interview with The Gleaner yesterday. “The club was notified two months ago, and it is effective as at December 31, 2015,” he added. McCallum was approached to take up a position as general secretary, at the club because Felix Porter has vacated the post due to health reasons. “The club (Waterhouse) approached me to be acting general secretary, and I duly accepted the post,” McCallum informed. He said the players in the senior team at the club expressed regrets with him leaving at this time. “I spoke to the players, and some have expressed regrets and want me to delay the decision, but I have to think about life after football. I can’t continue to focus on goalkeeping and school at the same time,” McCallum said. McCallum also represented Invaders FC for one year and Seba (now Montego Bay United) for three years, before journeying from St James to St Andrew. He made his international debut for Jamaica in 2006, and also represented the country at the Under-17, Under-20 and Under-23 levels.last_img

Jamaica can top medal table in Rio – Blake

first_img He considers both Hansle Parchment and Omar McLeod, who finished second and sixth, respectively, in the World Championships, as potential Olympic champions. “If he (McLeod) performs to his real technical excellence, I don’t see why he shouldn’t be up there among the medals,” said Blake in reference to McLeod, who was far from his best in Beijing. Regarding Parchment, Blake said, “He keeps getting better every time he performs in the big events.” “He should also be there,” concluded the JAAA President, “as a medal contender for the gold.” He welcomed the Government-funded athlete support programme and reported that his association is currently looking for sponsors to contribute to a feeding programme. “Right now, we’re looking sponsorship to put in a feeding programme, so that the clubs can optimise the performance of their athletes,” said Blake. Jamaica’s best-ever medal tally at an Olympic Games came in 2012 in London when 12 medals (four gold, four silver, four bronze) were secured, all in athletics. Potential champs Athletics chief Warren Blake believes that Jamaica can top the track and field medal table at this summer’s Olympic Games. Blake, president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), says the 110-metre hurdles and the men’s 4×400-metre relays are the events that could make the difference. The JAAA president is quietly confident about the prospects for the nation’s athletes for 2016. Reflecting on the seven gold-medal haul achieved by Jamaica at last year’s World Championships in Beijing, Blake stated: “If we had gotten another gold, and there are places where we could have gotten another gold but it just didn’t work out, we would have topped the medal table.” In Beijing, Jamaica won gold medals courtesy of Usain Bolt in the men’s 100 and 200 metres, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in the ladies’ 100m, Danielle Williams in the 100m hurdles, both 4×100 metres relays and the ladies’ 4×400 metres. However, Kenya edged Jamaica to top the table by one gold medal. Blake is, however, foreseeing a change for the better. “Strategically, we think that come the Olympics this year, we are really in a good position to top the athletics medal table,” Blake said. “If you look at the areas in which we did well in 2015, we are set to still do well in those areas and we have a good crop of 400m runners coming up,” he added. “Our hurdlers,” Blake continued, “both on the male and female sides, are expected to do well again this year, and, with a bit of luck, we can do better in the male hurdles.”last_img

Jennifer Ellison-Brown: The best training methods

first_img STRENGTH TRAINING This is used to develop strength, power, muscular endurance, and speed. Methods used include weights and plyometrics. Weight training Using weights as a form of resistance training, ( either free weights or weights in machines). Any weight-training programme can take account of your current state of fitness – the amount of weight, the number of repetitions, and the recovery periods can all be adjusted to progressively load muscles. Training for strength involves high resistance (weights) and few repetitions. Training for muscular endurance involves low resistance and many repetitions. Plyometrics This is a series of explosive movements designed to improve muscular power (explosive strength). This involves rebound jumping (on to and off boxes), bounding, leaps, and skips, press-ups with claps, hopping, throwing, and catching a medicine ball. Exercises that involve the contraction of muscles from a stretch position are known as plyometric. Plyometric training puts great stress on the muscles and joints and should only be attempted as part of an organised training programme. CIRCUIT TRAINING This involves a number of different exercises at work stations, which affects the different components of fitness. A circuit usually involves six to10 exercises or activities that take place at the stations. Circuits should be designed to avoid working the same muscle groups at stations that follow one another. The number of work stations, repetition, and the rest periods should add up to 15-20 minutes for one complete circuit. Repeat three to six times, depending on their length. Circuits can be designed for a particular sport. For example, a skill circuit can be constructed for games players wherein exercises can be replaced by short skill practices. FARTLEK TRAINING The name Fartlek comes from Swedish meaning ‘speed play’. It involves ‘run as you please’, alternating fast and slow effort over varied terrain such as grass, sand, flat, hills, etc. Fartlek training doesn’t precisely control the work and rest periods. This is very good for game players since games have many changes in speed. The mix of fast and slow work can be changed to suit the sport and energy system. It is used to improve aerobic and anaerobic fitness, depending on how the training is done. There are a wide variety of training methods based on the ways in which the body adapts to regular exercise. All the methods can be adapted to suit particular training programmes.center_img CONTINUOUS TRAINING This involves the aerobic system and improves endurance. The aerobic system includes the heart, lungs, and vascular system. Activities such as brisk walking, jogging, running, dancing, cycling, swimming, and rowing are ideal examples of aerobic training. The oxygen demand must be matched by oxygen intake. Continuous means you do not stop to rest. It is submaximal, meaning you do not work flat out. This type of training should last for at least 12 minutes in order to achieve adaptations. The intensity of training can be judged from the heart (pulse) rate. Therefore, if you train within certain target heart rate training zones during aerobic exercise, the most efficient gains in aerobic fitness will be achieved without starting to work anaerobically and developing an oxygen debt. This is dependent on age, gender, and resting heart rate of the individual. The target heart training rate zone is worked out by subtracting your age from 220 and then aiming to keep your heart rate between 60% and 85% of this maximum figure. For example, for a person of 45 years who wants to exercise for 20 minutes, three times per week: Max Heart Rate = 220 – 45 = 175 60% of 175 = 105 85% of 175= 150 approximately. Therefore, the person should aim for a target heart rate of 105-150 beats per minute during exercise. INTERVAL TRAINING This involves exercising at a certain rate (work interval) for a certain time then resting for a certain period (rest interval) in order to recover and then repeating the process. Sessions of interval training can be organised into sets with longer rest intervals between sets. For example, running 200 metres in sets of six with a one-minute jog round between each one then resting for a longer period of 10 minutes before repeating the whole process another two times. Both the aerobic and anaerobic systems can be improved using this method. The length of the rest-recovery period depends on how hard you exercise (intensity) during the work interval.last_img

Nadal on course in Monte Carlo

first_imgMONACO (AP):A ninth Monte Carlo Masters title is getting closer for Rafael Nadal with most of his rivals out of the way – including Roger Federer, who again misses out on one of the few trophies not already in his glittering collection.But Federer – a four-time runner-up on the French Riviera – was not too disappointed, considering that his priority was to come back safely after more than two months out following knee surgery.Nadal beat Stan Wawrinka 6-1, 6-4 yesterday to set up a third semi-final here against Andy Murray. Federer lost 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, despite being two points from victory when 5-4 up in the decider, with Tsonga 15-30 down on his serve.This was Federer’s first tournament play since arthroscopic surgery on his left knee for torn cartilage on February 3, and defeat was softened by relief at avoiding any relapse.”It was good to play back-to-back, yesterday and today, good to play 2 hours 10 (minutes) today,” Federer said. “It was nice to play an intense match. I’m happy how the body reacted.”With top-ranked Novak Djokovic and Wawrinka – the French Open champion – also out, Federer himself picked Nadal when asked about the favourite.Nadal leads Murray 16-6 in career meetings and 6-1 on clay. For the other two semi-finalists, Nadal is 11-2 up on Gael Monfils – 4-0 on clay – and 8-4 on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, having beaten him here in the semi-finals three years ago. Nadal went on to lose the 2013 final to Djokovic, who was stunned in the second round this year by Czech Jiri Vesely, an unheralded Czech player ranked 55th.In a one-sided contest between former champions, Nadal broke Wawrinka four times and made the semi-finals for the 11th time.Murray took out Milos Raonic 6-2, 6-0 for the second time this year.The Briton thinks patience will be the key factor against the nine-time French Open champion.last_img

Leave a Comment