1 Mar

Keeping safe from pandemic during the holidays

first_imgWith the coronavirus pandemic worsening again,  the holidays are going to be a challenge this year, so a Harvard epidemiologist offered something of a survival guide for navigating travel, family gatherings, and other autumnal activities.William Hanage, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said it’s important to remember the advice we’ve already been given about limiting the size of gatherings, using masks, avoiding crowds, and sanitizing hands. He also urged people to remember the importance of adequate ventilation, even if it means cracking open doors and windows when sitting down to a family dinner in November or December.“It may be somewhat cold in the room, but this is an opportunity to get out those fall sweaters we all like to wear,” Hanage said during a Facebook Live event co-sponsored by The Forum at Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health and PRI’s “The World.”Cases of COVID-19 have been rising nationally over the last few weeks, with more than 10 million by Nov. 9, while estimated deaths reached 238,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Coronavirus transmission is heightened in poorly ventilated indoor spaces, where people aren’t distancing or using masks, Hanage said. That explains recent outbreaks linked to restaurant dining and highlights the upcoming hazards of the holidays, when far-flung families gather for meals.“We can see the way holidays have the potential to be a real serious problem in pandemic transmission,” Hanage said. He offered this advice for the weeks ahead:Travel: Welcoming college students home for the holidays doesn’t have to be a risky endeavor. Hanage said some institutions are doing a good job keeping outbreaks off campus and, when they do occur, stamping them out before they spread widely. The result, he said, is that some campuses have lower incidence of the disease than their surrounding communities. Holiday travelers should consider getting tested before they leave and, in the event of a negative test, refrain from viewing it as a free pass — false negatives are possible, and the virus can be picked up en route. That means it’s still important that travelers use masks, distance, sanitize their hands, and take other routine precautions.Thanksgiving and beyond: When gathering for family dinners, Hanage said it’s important to remember that the risk of developing a serious illness increases rapidly for those over 40. A 50-year-old’s risk of dying from COVID-19 is 200 times higher than normal, Hanage said. It has long been recognized that a surge in cases of invasive pneumococcal disease — which can cause pneumonia or meningitis — in older individuals typically occurs after the holidays, likely due to contact with younger people with mild illness. That highlights the importance of ensuring that any gathering takes place in a safe setting, preferably one with plenty of ventilation, even if it means opening a window six inches despite chilly outdoor temperatures.Hanage said he understands that “pandemic fatigue” is real and acknowledged that he’s felt it himself. But he said that people don’t have to dread a future of lockdowns if they accept that this once-in-a-century event can be managed using less-stringent steps, like masking and distancing, applied universally, to keep cases low and avoid straining the health system capacity.“We have a long winter ahead of us and I’m not going to say it’s going to be fun,” Hanage said.last_img read more

18 Jan

Illegal Border Crossings on the Rise in Nimba

first_imgIllegal border crossings at the Liberia-Guinea border is becoming alarming and state security appear to be unable to control it.The illegal crossings intensified due to the closure of the Liberia-Guinea border since the Ebola outbreak began to escalate in the Mano River countries in July 2014.Even though the main border points are said to still be closed, there are many smaller crossing points especially beginning from Ganta to Yekepa that are still active.Around the Ganta main border, there are about four illegal border points with active traffic, including the daily smuggling of goods taking place.Gasoline, rice and other commodities are said to be smuggled into Guinea in huge quantities, while at the same time the smugglers bring in cotton and other agricultural produce to Liberia.During a visit by this reporter to one of the illegal crossing points around the Ganta Community called Glanyeelu on 17th January, there was a lot of cross-border activity on the Liberian side of the border while on the Guinean side, illegal traders, including some Guinean security, were seen with goods such as petroleum products, crossing them over from Liberia.The actual controllers of these crossing points are yet to be identified, but upon the visit of this reporter to the crossing points, several youth were seen in work clothes close to the crossing points, which nearby residents noticed as the youth involved in crossing smugglers with the consent of the security assigned in Ganta.Even though the youth couldn’t tell me what really they were doing there at that time, one of them said, “Presently, we are not doing anything so every day we come here to do our hustle.”The City of Ganta extends as far as the border with Guinea, which makes it hard for the security to track down the smuggling and the illegal crossings.Every day containers of gasoline, rice and other commodities from Ganta are seen in large quantities on vehicles or motorcycles heading for the Guinea border, but how they can get to the border without the consent of the security is yet to be established.On 23rd January, the Immigration, with support from the Gbarnga Hub, raided several illegal crossing points around Ganta and seized huge quantities of goods (agriculture produce) from smugglers.The next day the goods were turned over to the Customs authorities at the Ganta main border for duty payment, something the custom authorities had been carrying on whenever goods from Guinea are seized by security operatives working in Ganta since the government closed the border.However, the head of the joint security in Ganta, Maj. Betty Benson, has said that those who operate crossing points were the locals and they were doing so illegally without any regard for authority.She said whenever they raid them and destroy their rafts, the next day they would open another area and begin crossing people again at their own will.Illegal crossings since the closure of the border, led to the recent spill over of Ebola to Yekepa in December last year where the two main victims subsequently succumbed to the deadly disease at the Ganta ETU.Since the closure of the border, illegal border crossing has been ongoing along the Liberia – Guinea border daily.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

18 Dec

South African appointed president of global tourist guide body

first_imgDuring the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations convention, a South African guide was named president. Alushca Ritchie will be in the position for the next two years and thinks it is a great opportunity.Alushca Ritchie, a tour guide in the Western Cape, is appointed president of the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations in February 2017 for a two-year term. (Image: Department of Tourism)Brand South Africa reporterA South African has been appointed the president of the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA).Western Cape tour guide Alushca Ritchie was appointed during the 17th biennial WFTGA convention. It took place recently in Tehran, Iran.Ritchie said she was looking forward to representing all tourist guides on a global platform. “This will be a great opportunity to learn and to promote a sector which is very rarely recognised as a profession, although it is an integral component of the tourism value chain.”Travel and foodHer passion for travel intersects with her love for food. She described herself to News24 as an “oenophile and coffee lover of note, as well as a complete bibliophile and an avid foodie”.Because of her interest in food, Ritchie enjoys showing travellers the vast variety of cuisine on offer in South Africa. “Our huge array of different ways to eat, things to eat and places to eat at are all unbelievably diverse,” she said.Her travels had helped her realise how diverse South Africa was. “It’s something truly special,” she said. “Arriving home from an international trip always warms one’s soul.”An achievement“We are very proud of this global leadership achievement,” said Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom, congratulating Ritchie.“This presents another opportunity for us to elevate the status of the guiding profession and to acknowledge the important role that our tourist guides play in providing superb visitor experiences,” he said.The organisationThe WFTGA is a non-profit organisation comprising tourist guide associations, individual tourist guides, educational institutions and others that have a direct or indirect association with tourist guides. It is also an affiliate member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization.The president of WFTGA serves a two-year term and is supported by an executive board made up of delegates from Australia, Iran, the USA, Canada and the UK.The organisation’s convention was attended by about 350 participants and delegates from more than 40 countries.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

29 Nov

In lieu of White House visit, Warriors take kids to museum

first_imgGolden State Warriors’ Draymond Green, right, reacts as a foul is called against him next to teammates Stephen Curry, left, and Kevin Durant during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)WASHINGTON — With an offer to visit the White House as NBA champions rejected and rescinded, Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors instead spent their day off in the nation’s capital touring the National Museum of African American History and Culture with local students.In town ahead of their game against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night, Warriors players, coaches and front office executives met with students from Durant’s hometown of Seat Pleasant, Maryland, which is 8 miles from the White House. Traditionally, the reigning champs will be feted by the president when they play at Washington.ADVERTISEMENT AFP official booed out of forum LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico MOST READ “The kids — their smiles lit up the room,” Kerr said. “Our guys understand how much of an impact they can make on these kids. It’s a reminder of how powerful sports can be and how transformative sports can be for change.”Warriors guard Stephen Curry said in September that he would not visit the White House if invited. President Donald Trump then announced on Twitter that the “invitation is withdrawn!”Golden State visited the White House at the invitation of President Barack Obama after its 2015 championship.Curry said that going to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened in 2016, offered the Warriors a better use of their time than meeting with a president whose policies they disagree with.“Rhetoric and hate and just general disdain from the top, trying to be divisive and whatnot, has had the opposite reaction from what it intended,” Curry said. “We’ve done our part, I think, to try to further that message.”ADVERTISEMENT Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving Neymar to undergo foot surgery in Brazil Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa The Warriors didn’t want to wade into much political talk at their pregame shootaround Wednesday, a day after they went to the museum.Did they miss the pomp and circumstance of the customary White House visit?“No,” Durant said. “Not at all.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHis teammate David West simply shook his head when asked the same question. Coach Steve Kerr? “You’re not going to get me to go down that path, sorry,” was his reply.The Warriors spent Tuesday at the museum with 40 students from Seat Pleasant and 10 more from the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, which helps children who have lost loved ones that served in the military. The private museum tour lasted three hours.center_img Read Next Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

27 Oct

Video: Georgia Commit Jake Fromm Finds 5-Star WR Jalen Hall For Crazy 1-Handed Catch At The Opening

first_imgTwo Georgia Bulldogs football helmets sitting on a field.CLEMSON, SC – AUGUST 31: Two Georgia Bulldogs helmets sit on the field prior to the game against the Clemson Tigers at Memorial Stadium on August 31, 2013 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)When you get together a giant group of four and five-star recruits, you’re bound to have some crazy plays. The 7-on-7 competitions didn’t disappoint. During a Saturday game, five-star 2018 wide receiver Jalen Hall, the top player at that position in his class, made a phenomenal one-handed touchdown catch on a great throw by Georgia commit Jake Fromm.The only thing that might top the catch is the coordinated double-backflip celebration from Tyjon Lindsey and future Fromm teammate Richard LeCounte III.#AlphaPro acrobatics from @LilEasy_35 & @tyjonlindsey at @TheOpening. pic.twitter.com/3o9TsKDsnO— B/R The Future (@BR_TheFuture) July 10, 2016Pretty much everything that happened in this video was super athletic and impressive.last_img read more