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U.S. health official dismiss Wuhan lab leak theory of COVID-19-media

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By Gistflash

June 4, 2021

Director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health Francis Collins appeared to have dismissed the Wuhan lab leak theory of COVID-19 as a conspiracy in an email in 2020.

This was according to recent media report on Friday.

Citing a newly released email in April 2020 from Collins to Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, U.S. magazine Newsweek reported  on  Wednesday that the subject line of Collins’ email to Fauci was titled “conspiracy gains momentum.’’

Most of the message was redacted, aside from a link to an article related to a claim that COVID-19 could have originated from a Chinese lab, said Newsweek.

Fauci’s response email was also redacted, according to the report.

In an interview published in May 2020 by National Geographic, Fauci said, “If you look at the evolution of the virus in bats and what’s out there now, (the scientific evidence) is very, very strongly leaning toward this could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated.’’

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Gastroenteritis infection: Bauchi records 28 deaths, spreads to 13 LGAs — Official

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By Gistflash

June 3, 2021

The Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (BSPHDA) says Gastroenteritis Infection has spread from nine to 13 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the  state with 28 deaths.

Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, Chairman of BSPHDA, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Bauchi.

NAN recalls that the first index case of  Cholera in the state was  confirmed  on April 24.

Gastroenteritis is a short-term illness triggered by the infection and inflammation of the digestive system. Symptoms can include abdominal cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting.

Mohammed said the state had recorded 732 cases from May 25 as at  the time of compiling the report.

He said that Bauchi and Toro LGAs had the highest cases with 507 and 73, respectively.

He said out of the cases, 21 samples of the Gastroenteritis were confirmed to have the positive of Vibrio cholera.

He said the LGAs included, Bauchi, Darazo, Dass, Giade, Ganjuwa and Jama’are.

Others were,  Misau, Ningi, Shira,Tafawa Balewa, Warji and Zaki LGAs.

“About 732 cases and 28 deaths were recorded across the 13 LGAs of  the state.

“Bauchi LGA and Toro LGA have recorded high numbers with 78.6 per cent.

“Case fatality is 3.8 per cent, 56 per cent are male and 44 per cent female,” he said.

The chairman said  the state had embarked on chlorination of wells in affected communities.

He said that drugs and other medical consumables had been deployed to all general hospitals in the state.

The chairman also said that response  was supported by various line ministries, departments and agencies.

Mohammed acknowledged the support of  the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF.

NAN

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Plant diseases rob global economy of $220bn annually – UN study

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Plant diseases rob global economy of $220bn annually – UN study

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), an agency of the United Nations says plant diseases rob the global economy of more than 220 billion dollars annually.

A study supported by FAO and published on Wednesday,  indicated that 40 per cent of global crop production is currently lost to pests.

The UN agency added that invasive pests cost countries at least 70 billion dollars annually.

The study further said that the invasive pests were one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss.

“Species such as fall armyworm, which feeds on crops that include maize, sorghum, and millet, have already spread due to warmer climate.

“Others, such as desert locusts, which are the world’s most destructive migratory pests, are expected to change their migratory routes and geographical distribution.

“Movements like these threaten food security as a whole, and small holder farmers, as well as people in countries where food security is an issue, are among those especially at risk,” the study said.

Speaking at the launch of the report, FAO, Director-General, Qu Dongyu said preserving plant health was fundamental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Sustaining plant health is an integral part of our work towards more efficient, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable agri-food systems,’’ Dongyu said.

The authors of the study found out that climate change was making pests which ravage important agricultural crops even more destructive, heightening threats to global food security and the environment.

The authors outlined several recommendations to mitigate the impact of climate change, starting with stepping up international cooperation, as effective management of plant pests in one country affects success in others.

As half of all emerging plant diseases are spread through travel and trade, improved measures to limit transmission, while adjustments to plant protection policies are also critical.

They also stressed the need for more research, and more investments in strengthening national systems and structures related to plant health.

The scientific review looks at 15 plant pests that have spread or may spread due to climate change.

Risks are increasing, the authors warn, with a single, unusually warm winter capable of providing conditions suitable for insect infestations.

“The review clearly shows that the impact of climate change is one of the greatest challenges the plant health community is facing.”

The study was prepared by Prof. Maria Lodovica at the University of Turin in Italy, along with 10 co-authors from across the globe, under the auspices of the Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention, which FAO hosts.

The report is among the key initiatives of the International Year of Plant Health, which ends in June.

NAN

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COVID-19: NCDC confirms 25 additional infections

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By Gistflash

June 3, 2021

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed 25 new Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 166,560.

The NCDC indicated this late Wednesday via its official Twitter handle. It added that the new infections were recorded in five states.

The public health institute said that with 39,818 tests processed across the nation in one week, the country had now conducted a total of 2,133,061 tests since the first case relating to the disease was announced in 2020.

It stated that of the new cases, 10 were found in Lagos, 9 in Taraba, 3 in Kaduna, 2 in Rivers, and 1 in Kwara.

According to it, today’s report includes a backlog of data from Taraba from  March 21 to date.

The agency also reported no COVID-19-related deaths in the previous 24-hour period. Thus, the total number of fatalities remains 2,099.

The NCDC added that 11 people had been successfully treated and discharged from isolation centres across the country in the past 24 hours. This brings Nigeria’s number of recovery up to 159,946.

According to the agency, a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC), activated at Level 2, continues to coordinate the national response activities.

NAN

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