Australia is contributing funds to help Sri Lanka combat its worst outbreak of dengue fever, which has claimed 250 lives and infected nearly 100,000 people so far this year in the Indian Ocean island nation.
Visiting Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop on Wednesday night said that Australia is giving A$475,000 (US$377,000) to the WHO to implement immediate dengue prevention, management and eradication programs in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka’s hospitals are overcrowded with patients, and the government has deployed soldiers, police and health officials to inspect houses and clear rotting garbage, stagnant water pools and other potential mosquito-breeding grounds across the country.
Health officials blamed the public for their failure to clear puddles and piles of trash after last month’s heavy monsoon rains.
The number of infections nationwide is already 38 percent higher than last year, when 55,150 people were diagnosed with dengue and 97 died, according to the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health. Cases were concentrated around Colombo, though they were nationwide.
Bishop is on a two-day visit and was scheduled yesterday to meet with government leaders.
She said Australia is offering an additional A$1 million for a research partnership between Australia’s Monash University and the health ministry to test the introduction of naturally occurring Wolbachia bacteria to eradicate dengue fever from Sri Lanka.
The bacteria “prevent transmission of dengue virus between humans” and that it has shown success during the past six years in several nations, she said.
THE ANSWER? The drug uses neutralizing antibodies produced by the human immune system, which the team isolated from the blood of 60 recovered patients A Chinese laboratory has been developing a drug it believes has the power to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to a halt. A drug being tested by scientists at Peking University could not only shorten the recovery time for those infected, but even offer short-term immunity from the coronavirus, researchers said. Sunney Xie (謝曉亮), director of the university’s Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics, said that the drug had been successful in animal testing. “When we injected neutralizing antibodies into infected mice, after five days the viral load was reduced by a factor of 2,500,” Xie said. “That means this potential drug has [a]
It was a much-anticipated milestone likely hastened by COVID-19: New Zealand has reached a population of 5 million people, after citizens and residents rushed home when borders began to close due to the pandemic. New Zealand grew from 4 million to 5 million in 17 years, the quickest rate of growth in the nation’s modern history, Statistics New Zealand said. Migration has been the chief driver for the population of the island-nation, which increased by half a million people in the past six years alone. “The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused unusual international travel and migration patterns in recent months,” Statistics New
‘SERIOUS QUESTIONS’: Three US senators sent a letter to the US commerce secretary asking whether the project ‘takes into consideration national security requirements’ US Senator Chuck Schumer and two other Democratic colleagues have written to top US administration officials asking for details of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd’s (TSMC) plan to build a US$12 billion fab in Arizona. Hsinchu-based TSMC on Thursday last week announced that it would build a plant to make 5 nanometer chips by 2024 that would have the capacity to produce 20,000 semiconductor wafers per month. The world’s biggest contract chipmaker already has one chipmaking fab in Camas, Washington, and design centers in Austin, Texas, and San Jose, California. It said it planned to start construction in Arizona next year and
MOM’S LONG CAMPAIGN: Mao Yin had been brought up in Mianyang, Sichuan Province, without any idea that he was the target of a decades-long, high-profile search A Chinese man who was stolen from his family as a toddler has been reunited with his parents after 32 years. Mao Yin (毛寅), then two-and-a-half years old, was snatched in 1988 when he was walking home from nursery with his father. His parents finally embraced him again on Monday in Xian, where he was born. After Mao vanished, his mother Li Jingzhi (李靜芝) quit her job and launched a decades-long search for her son, that included sending out more than 100,000 flyers and appearing on numerous TV shows. That long campaign helped 29 other families find their own missing children and made