January 30, 2020
The coronavirus outbreak has been declared a global public health emergency by the World Health Organisation - just hours before an evacuation flight to bring British nationals back to the UK is due to leave the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Coronavirus Declared A Global Health Emergency By World Health Organisation
It is the sixth time the World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued the emergency declaration in just over a decade, following outbreaks of zika, ebola (twice), swine flu and polio.
More than 170 people have died in China and around 7,700 have been infected, with cases detected in countries including the US, Japan and South Korea.
In response to the WHO announcement, the four chief medical officers of the UK have increased the risk level of coronavirus from low to moderate, adding they “do not think the risk to individuals in the UK has changed” but that the government should “plan for all eventualities”.
In Britain, an evacuation flight to bring UK nationals back to the UK from the Chinese city at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak will leave shortly.
Speaking at a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, director general of the WHO Tedros Adhanom said: “Over the past few weeks, we have witnessed the emergence of a previously unknown pathogen, which has escalated into an unprecedented outbreak, and which has been met by an unprecedented response.
“As I have said repeatedly since my return from Beijing, the Chinese government is to be congratulated for the extraordinary measures it has taken to contain the outbreak, despite the severe social and economic impact those measures are having on the Chinese people.
“We would have seen many more cases outside China by now – and probably deaths – if it were not for the government’s efforts, and the progress they have made to protect their own people and the people of the world.”LIVE: Press conference on the Emergency Committee meeting on #2019nCoVhttps://t.co/hTQam7RWc9— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) January 30, 2020Last week, WHO said it was “too early” to declare an international public health emergency but on Thursday said action was needed to help countries to prepare for the possibility of it spreading further.
The new virus has now infected more people in China than fell ill during the 2002-2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) outbreak. The number of cases has jumped to 7,711, surpassing the 5,327 people diagnosed with Sars.
A letter from the chief medical officers said: “We have been working in close collaboration with international colleagues and the World Health Organisation to monitor the situation in China and around the world.
“In light of the increasing number of cases in China and using existing and widely tested models, the four UK chief medical officers consider it prudent for our governments to escalate planning and preparation in case of a more widespread outbreak.
“For that reason, we are advising an increase of the UK risk level from low to moderate. This does not mean we think the risk to individuals in the UK has changed at this stage, but that government should plan for all eventualities.
“As we have previously said, it is likely there will be individual cases and we are confident in the ability of the NHS and HSC in Northern Ireland to manage these in a way that protects the public and provides high quality care.”
The officers are Prof Chris Whitty for England, Dr Frank Atherton for Wales, Dr Catherine Calderwood for Scotland and Dr Michael McBride for Northern Ireland.Swine fluThe first declaration happened in April 2009, with H1N1, or swine flu, spreading around the world and killing more than 200,000 people.
Britain recorded 214 deaths, while 20 people died from swine flu in Ireland.
Initially travellers returning from Mexico, where the virus originated, were met by authorities at the airport and hygiene measures were recommended by the Health Protection Agency.PolioIncreased wild polio numbers in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria led to an emergency being declared in May 2014, a remarkable step given that the disease was thought to have been almost eradicated.
There have been no domestic cases of polio in the UK since 1982.EbolaThe deadly disease broke out in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with an emergency declared from August 2014 to March 2016. Almost 30,000 people were infected and more than 11,000 died.
The UK made a significant contribution after the outbreak by working with the Wellcome Trust on an experimental vaccine which the European Medicines Agency approved to treat Ebola in November last year.
A vaccination programme is under way in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) North Kivu province.
A second emergency was declared, after months of hesitation, in July after it was confirmed that Ebola had spread to Goma, the capital of North Kivu, where DRC’s international airport is located.
The government said at the time that the Britain was “providing expertise and support” to help the WHO “in a very insecure region”.ZikaThe life-threatening virus was first identified in a monkey in Uganda in 1975.
Its spread by mosquitoes in the Americas led the WHO to declare it an emergency from February to November 2016.
The first emergency from a mosquito-borne disease is thought to have been responsible for 2,000 possible cases of birth defects and 29 infant deaths in Brazil.
The UK largely escaped the virus, with just two travel-associated cases confirmed in 2018.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated. Follow HuffPost UK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Related... This Is What It's Like To Be British, Quarantined And Pregnant In China Right Now British Nationals To Be Evacuated From Wuhan On Friday, Foreign Secretary Confirms Bat Soup, A Secret Vaccine, Thousands Dead? The Coronavirus Myths We Need To Shut Down
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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