WHO concludes global research and innovation forum on novel coronavirus

UNTV News   •   February 13, 2020   •   210

The Global Research and Innovation Forum held by the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak concluded on Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland.

The two-day forum attracted scientists and representatives of health institutions from around the world to attend or participate in remote discussion.

“We also identified transmission and epidemiology as an important priority to be studied fairly quickly, because we really need to understand this virus, of course, where it originated and how it jumped to humans, but also about its transmissibility, the age groups that affects, what are the underline conditions or the environmental conditions that sometimes makes this disease more severe in some people as opposed to others,” said Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist of the WHO.

Chinese scientists who are on the front lines of the fight against the epidemic joined the forum via remote links to share their research findings on and treatment experiences of the virus, promoting a consensus among scientists of all countries for cooperation, the WHO said.

“The Chinese scientists and researchers participate in this meeting because they have the hands-on experience of what is happening. Most of the working groups have Chinese scientists as part of the groups, so I think the outcomes of the meeting were very much influenced by the contribution of the Chinese scientists,” said Swaminathan. (Reuters)

China’s approach to containing epidemic contributes to global medical community — WHO

UNTV News   •   February 25, 2020

China’s bold approach to contain the rapid spread of the new respiratory pathogen has changed the course of a rapidly escalating and continuously deadly epidemic, said an official with the World Health Organization (WHO) Monday.

Speaking at a press conference in Beijing, Bruce Aylward, head of WHO Experts Advance Team, said China has undertaken aggressive efforts in effectively fighting the virus and its experience will contribute to the global medical community’s knowledge in tackling the virus.

Experts led by Aylward and those from China have just completed a joint mission starting from Feb. 16 and returned from central China’s Wuhan City, the center of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

He said, “But what we found was even though every province was suffering outbreaks and was getting infected, the governors were prioritizing the movement of medical teams and PVE out to Hubei and Wuhan. That’s a very important message for the rest of the world about how we work in the kind of solidarity, collaborative action that’s going to be needed to beat this virus. And the opinion of the joint mission, after looking at it very, very closely and in different ways, that there is no question that China’s bold approach to the rapid spread of this new respiratory pathogen has changed the course of what was a rapidly escalating and continuously be a deadly epidemic.”

China’s efforts have reduced at least 10,000 or even tens of thousands of possible infected cases, and its efforts can be recommended to the rest of the world, he added.

Apart from Wuhan, the 25 experts also visited Beijing, south China’s Guangzhou City and southwest China’s Sichuan Province, and talked to officials, medical workers and the public.

The joint mission found that even though people of all ages can be infected by the virus, the average age of patients is 51. Even as over 3,000 medical staff have been infected, new confirmed cases are on the decline.

“So first of all, the purpose of the mission right now was to look at what works, I’m not avoiding the question, but the purpose was what works. The single biggest lesson is speed, speed is everything. But what worries me most is, has the rest of the world learned the lesson of speed,” he said. (CGTN / CCTV VIA REUTERS CONNECT)

9 dead in Turkey after earthquake hits Iran border area

UNTV News   •   February 24, 2020

BASKALE, TURKEY (FEBRUARY 23, 2020)DAMAGED HOMES

Nine people died and hundreds of buildings collapsed in southeastern Turkey on Sunday (February 23) after a magnitude-5.7 earthquake struck near the border with Iran, injuring dozens in villages and towns in both countries, government officials said.

Three of those killed were children and 37 Turks were injured, including nine critically, Turkey’s health ministry said.

The shallow tremor caused more than 1,000 buildings to collapse in Turkey, prompting a brief rescue effort to find those trapped under rubble.

The quake damaged buildings some 90 km (56 miles) to the west in the Turkish city of Van, and to the east in dozens of villages in Iran, where state TV said 75 people were injured including six in hospital, though there were no fatalities.

Crisscrossed by major fault lines, Iran and Turkey are among the most earthquake-prone countries in the world.—Yesim Dikmen via Reuters Connect

British TV presenter Flack died by hanging — inquest hears

UNTV News   •   February 19, 2020

Caroline Flack

British television presenter Caroline Flack was found hanged in her London flat on Saturday (February 15) and paramedics were unable to revive her, an inquest into her death heard.

The suicide of the 40-year-old former presenter of the hugely popular “Love Island” dating show has reignited a debate in Britain about the conduct of the tabloid press and social media trolls.

Coroner’s Officer Sandra Polson told the court that police had been flagged down on the street by an unidentified person who had led them to a residential address. There, a woman was found lying on her back.

An ambulance arrived and paramedics attempted CPR but were unable to revive her. She was pronounced dead at 1436 GMT on Saturday.

An autopsy determined that the cause of death was suspension by ligature. The coroner adjourned the rest of the inquest until Aug. 5. (Reuters)

(Production: Marissa Davison)

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