Dozens dead as heavy rains trigger floods in India

Robie de Guzman   •   October 1, 2019   •   574

Floods triggered by torrential rains have left almost 50 people dead in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, an official told Reuters on Saturday (September 28).

The state, India’s largest, has witnessed constant rainfall in recent days and rivers have been flowing several notches above warning levels.

On Sunday (September 29) vehicles were abandoned and submerged in flood water while people were being evacuated by the National Disaster Response Force in the neighbouring state of Bihar.

India’s monsoon usually starts retreating at the start of September but has been delayed by a month this year.

Intense rainfall in many parts of the country has triggered floods that have swamped cane and rice fields. (Reuters)

(Production: Aiden Nulty)

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WHO issues emergency use listing for India’s Covaxin COVID-19 jab

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 4, 2021

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday, Nov. 3, granted emergency use listing (EUL) to India’s homegrown COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin.

Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech, is the eight COVID-19 vaccine validated by WHO.

WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) recommended that Covaxin should be used in two doses, with a dose interval of four weeks, in all age groups 18 and above.

The said vaccine was found to have 78% efficacy against COVID-19 of any severity, 14 or more days after the second dose, and is extremely suitable for low- and middle-income countries due to easy storage requirements.

WHO Assistant-Director General for Access to Medicines and Health Products Dr. Mariângela Simão said Covaxin was assessed under the WHO EUL procedure based on the review of data on quality, safety, efficacy, a risk management plan and programmatic suitability.

“This emergency use listing expands the availability of vaccines, the most effective medical tools we have to end the pandemic. We must keep up the pressure to meet the needs of all populations, giving priority to the at-risk groups who are still waiting for their first dose, before we can start declaring victory,” Simão said.

Meanwhile, available data on vaccination of pregnant women with the vaccine are insufficient to assess vaccine safety or efficacy in pregnancy; studies in pregnant women are planned, including a pregnancy sub-study and a pregnancy registry. AAC

 

 

 

 

Philippines to lift travel ban on 10 countries starting September 6

UNTV News   •   September 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to lift the current travel restrictions on travelers from 10 countries starting September 6, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announced in a statement on Saturday.

These countries are namely:  India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Nonetheless, international travelers coming from the said countries shall comply with the appropriate entry, testing and quarantine protocols, depending on the country’s approved “listing,” Roque said.

He added that the IATF has adopted the “Yellow” and “Red” classifications, in addition to the “Green List” countries/jurisdictions/territories.

Roque said this is based on the countries’ respective incidence rates and case counts as primary criteria, and testing data as secondary criteria.  The incidence rate is the cumulative new cases over the past 28 days per 100,000 population while case counts are cumulative new cases over the past 28 days.

The government first imposed the travel restrictions on India in April then later expanded to include more countries to stem the spread of Delta variant, the highly transmissible strain of COVID-19.

 

Garbage still main cause of flooding in NCR — MMDA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Garbage is still the main cause of flooding in the National Capital Region (NCR), according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos Jr. reported there are low areas in the NCR that are prone to flooding but other areas have clogged drainages due to wastes.

He also said that the MMDA is repairing and declogging the pumping stations for the flood water to go to Pasig River.

Sa ngayon ay ginagawa natin ang mga pumping station para i-pump out ang mga tubig na bumabaha. Pero paano mo ipa-pump out kung talagang heavy ang siltation, barado dahil sa basura” he said.

(Presently, we are repairing the pumping stations to pump out the floodwater. But how will you pump it out if there is heavy siltation and it’s clogged due to the garbage.)

In San Andres Pumping Station, around 8 to 10 cubic meters of garbage are collected per day during the rainy season.

The MMDA reminds the public to avoid throwing garbage on the streets. -AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.) 

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