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Yoyogi park: Olympic’s public viewing area in Tokyo to become vaccination centre –Governor



2020 Olympics: public viewing area in Tokyo to become vaccination centre –Governor

Tokyo wants to use a park supposed to host public viewing for the Olympic Games as a coronavirus vaccination centre, governor Yuriko Koike told the city parliament on Tuesday, according to local media.

Koike, however, didn’t say if the Yoyogi park will still be used for public viewings during the postponed Games, set to start on July 23.

Critics fear the virus will spread if hundreds of people get together to watch the competitions on large screens in a cordoned-off “Olympic Live Zone” in the middle of the park as planned.

Trees have already been trimmed for this purpose, which also caused criticism. Tokyo is planning 12 public viewing locations, according to the media.

In spite of the extremely slow start of the vaccination process in Japan, Tokyo is planning to begin a larger-scale vaccination of 60,000 police officers and firefighters from June 8.


However, the area will be used for transport purposes during the Olympic Games and will be closed from the end of June.

According to Koike, the public viewing area at the Yoyogi park will be used for vaccinations from July instead.

Japanese prime minister, Yoshihide Suga is under pressure domestically because of the slow vaccination process and defended himself against criticism of the coronavirus and Olympics policies.

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“It is my duty to protect people’s lives and health. The priority will not be put on the Olympic Games,” Suga said at a committee meeting on Tuesday, local media reported.

Suga added that the conditions for the Games were the safety of the people after appropriate measures had been taken against coronavirus infections among athletes and tournament officials.

In January, the prime minister said that the Games would serve as proof “that humanity defeated the coronavirus”. This idea hasn’t changed, Suga was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

The number of new coronavirus infections had been decreasing in some areas such as Tokyo, but Suga said that overall, the situation remained “unpredictable.”

Tokyo is currently under a coronavirus state of emergency until June 20.

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



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



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.


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



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.


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