WHO says it suspends clinical trial with hydroxychloroquine on COVID-19 patients - cgtn.com
The World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday that a clinical trial of
An image of Hydroxychloroquine, a medicine being tested to fight against Covid-19.(Photo by GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images) The World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday that a clinical trial of malaria drug hydroxychloroquine on COVID-19 patients came to “a temporary pause” while the safety data is reviewed by the Data Safety Monitoring Board. According to the WHO chief, the medical journal The Lancet has on Friday published an observational study on hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine and its effects on COVID-19 patients that have been hospitalized. The authors of the study reported that among patients receiving the drug, when used alone or with a macrolide, they estimated a higher mortality rate. “The Executive Group of the Solidarity Trial, representing 10 of the participating countries, met on Saturday and has agreed to review a comprehensive analysis and critical appraisal of all evidence available globally,” Tedros told a virtual press conference. The review will consider data collected so far in the Solidarity Trial and in particular robust randomized available data, to adequately evaluate the potential benefits and harms from this drug, he said. “The Executive Group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the Solidarity Trial while the safety data is reviewed by the Data Safety Monitoring Board. The other arms of the trial are continuing,” Tedros added. WHO initiated the Solidarity Trial, a plan to evaluate the safety and efficacy of four drugs and drug combinations against COVID-19 more than two months ago, which include hydroxychloroquine. According to the WHO, over 400 hospitals in 35 countries are actively recruiting patients and nearly 3,500 patients have been enrolled from 17 countries under the Solidarity Trial. Tedros added that the safety concern over the drug related only to the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine in COVID-19, and “these drugs are accepted as generally safe for use in patients with autoimmune diseases or malaria.” “WHO will provide further updates as we know more,” he said.
Man United loanee Odion Ighalo set for Shanghai Shenhua return after failed negotiations - CGTN
Odion Ighalo celebrates at full time during the Premier League clash between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford, England, March 8, 2020. /VCG Odion Ighalo celebrates at full time during the Premier League clash between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford, England, March 8, 2020. /VCG Back in late January, when Odion Ighalo picked up a phone call from his agent confirming that he has sealed a last-gasp loan move to Manchester United from Shanghai Shenhua, the striker ecstatically declared it was "a dream come true." Over three months later, as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the world, putting the Premier League and almost all sporting events on hold, Ighalo's dream journey is inevitably set to come to a premature end. According to multiple British media outlets, United failed to agree a loan extension with Shenhua after rounds of negotiations, which means Ighalo will return to the Chinese Super League (CSL) after his loan deal expires on May 31. Manchester United's Odion Ighalo trains on his own again in a public park in Cheshire, England, May 15, 2020. /VCG Manchester United's Odion Ighalo trains on his own again in a public park in Cheshire, England, May 15, 2020. /VCG A lifelong United fan, Ighalo was signed on a temporary contract in the winter transfer window by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær, who is keen to find a replacement for Marcus Rashford, who was sidelined with a back injury. The 30-year-old quickly adapted to his new life during his short stint at Old Trafford, scoring four goals in eight appearances. Solskjær had indicated he would like to keep him for the rest of the season, while Ighalo also had made it clear he wants to see out the campaign and potentially win a trophy with the English giants. However, Shenhua proved strong-willed during negotiations and insisted the player return as planned as the new CSL season is expected to kick off in late June after a coronavirus-forced postponement. Ighalo's United future was also not helped by the fact that Rashford is fit again after recovering well from the injury and Solskjær is focusing on longer-term targets, instead of short-term solutions. Odion Ighalo dribbles during the China Super League clash between Shanghai Shenhua and Hebei China Fortune at Shanghai Hongkou Football Stadium, March 10, 2019. /VCG Odion Ighalo dribbles during the China Super League clash between Shanghai Shenhua and Hebei China Fortune at Shanghai Hongkou Football Stadium, March 10, 2019. /VCG Shenhua's determination to bring Ighalo back is well-founded. The lethal target man had scored 33 goals in 82 games for Premier League side Watford before moving to Changchun Yatai in 2017. After two seasons with the CSL strugglers, he then transferred to Shenhua and netted 10 goals in 19 games. A Nigerian international, Ighalo has scored 16 goals in 35 games for his country, and played in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Idris Elba to host Africa Day Concert with Africa's superstars. - cgtn.com
British actor Idris Elba together with ViacomCBS Networks Africa and YouTube will host an Africa
MTV Base Africa/twitter British actor Idris Elba together with ViacomCBS Networks Africa and YouTube will host an Africa Day benefit concert with Africas biggest stars on Monday 25 May, to raise COVID-19 funds for food and health assistance in Africa. The Africa Day Benefit Concert At Home aims to raise funds to help families and children in the continent affected by the coronavirus pandemic by donating all proceeds raised. Taking a moment to shine a light on African arts to benefit the African homeland and its people. A continent of this size should find a way to dig deep and stand up for one another at a time like this. Its important for the future and history will not forget, Elba said. According to Senior Vice President for ViacomCBS Networks Africa, Monde Twala, COVID-19 has affected the livelihoods of millions across the continent and is going to require a massive collaborative effort if we are to make it through. We are coming together as Africans to take care of our own. The two-hour concert will bring together a star-studded line up of Africas superstars like Burna Boy, Sho Madjozi, Tiwa Savage, Sauti Sol, Diamond Platnumz and many more. It will be streamed and broadcasted to millions of viewers in Africa and around the world on MTV and YouTube channels. Africa Day commemorates the successes of the Organization of Africa Unity in the fight against colonialism and apartheid as well as the progress Africa has made.
Climate change is turning Antarctica green, study finds - CGTN
Parts of the Antarctic Peninsula will change color as "green snow" caused by blooming algae is expected to spread with increases in global temperatures, research showed Wednesday.
Parts of the Antarctic Peninsula will change color as "green snow" caused by blooming algae is expected to spread with increases in global temperatures, research showed Wednesday. Although often considered devoid of plant life, Antarctica is home to several types of algae, which grow on slushy snow and suck carbon dioxide from the air. Researchers from the University of Cambridge and the British Antarctic Survey combined satellite imagery with on-the-ground observations to detect the current extent of green algae in the world's most barren continent. They identified more than 1,600 separate green algae blooms on snow across the peninsula, with a combined surface area of 1.9 square kilometres. "Even though the numbers are relatively small on a global scale, in Antarctica where you have such a small amount of plant life, that amount of biomass is highly significant," Matt Davey from Cambridge's Department of Plant Sciences, told AFP. "A lot of people think Antarctica is just snow and penguins. In fact when you look around the fringe there is a lot of plant life." The team calculated that algae on the peninsula currently absorb levels of CO2 equivalent to 875,000 average car journeys. They also found that the majority of algae blooms were within five kilometres (three miles) of a penguin colony, as the birds' excrement is an excellent fertilizer. The polar regions are warming far faster than other parts of the planet and the team predicted that low-lying coastal areas of Antarctica would soon be free from algae as they experience snow-free summers. But that loss will probably be offset by a preponderance of large algae blooms as temperatures rise and snow at higher altitudes softens. "As Antarctica continues to warm on small low-lying islands, at some point you will stop getting snow coverings on those in the summer," said Andrew Gray, lead author and researcher at the University of Cambridge and NERC Field Spectroscopy Facility, Edinburgh. "Conversely, in the north of the peninsula we saw some really large blooms and we hypothesize that we are likely to see more of these larger blooms." Gray told AFP that the green snow blooms on higher ground would "more than offset" the effect of sea-level algae losses. While more algae means more CO2 is absorbed, the plants could have a small but adverse impact on local albedo -- how much of the Sun's heat is reflected back from Earth's surface. Whereas white snow reflects 80 percent of radiation that hits it, for green snow that figure is closer to 45 percent. The team however said the reduced albedo is unlikely to impact Antarctica's climate on any meaningful scale. "There will be more carbon locked up in future just because you need snow to be in a slushier state for algae to bloom," said Evans. "We expect there to be more suitable habitat and overall more carbon sequestration." (Cover image via VCG) (If you want to contribute and have specific expertise, please contact us at [email protected])
NASA begs astronaut launch spectators: 'Please stay home!' - CGTN
NASA and SpaceX urged spectators on Friday to stay home for the first home launch of astronauts in nearly a decade because of the coronavirus pandemic.
NASA and SpaceX urged spectators on Friday to stay home for the first home launch of astronauts in nearly a decade because of the coronavirus pandemic. Top officials warned the public against traveling to Florida for the May 27 launch of two NASA astronauts aboard a SpaceX rocket to the International Space Station. It will be the first launch of astronauts from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in nine years ever since the last space shuttle flight in 2011. It also will be the first attempt by a private company to fly astronauts to orbit. Hundreds of thousands of spectators typically descend on Kennedy Space Center and nearby beaches during space launches, said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. "The challenge that we're up against right now is we want to keep everybody safe," he said. "And so we're asking people not to travel to the Kennedy Space Center, and I will tell you that makes me sad to even say it. Boy, I wish we could make this into something really spectacular." Bridenstine urged the public to watch the launch online or on TV from home. "We don't want an outbreak," of COVID-19, he told reporters during a remote news conference. SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell agreed it's a shame more people won't be able to enjoy the launch from Florida. But she encouraged people to "be there for the ride with us." "We'll be together in spirit more so than in physical space," she said. Local officials are still mulling whether to allow people on beaches, parks and roadways on launch day. NASA and SpaceX already are limiting the number of employees near astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken. Anyone coming close must wear masks and gloves, and their temperatures are checked. The astronauts also are staying away from all but the most important training events. Hurley said the two are disappointed their families and friends will have to miss the launch in person, but "obviously, it's the right thing to do in the current environment." Both astronauts said they have already been in quarantine for weeks along with their wives and young sons, so those few family members can join them at Kennedy for the launch. The pair will go into full quarantine two weeks before liftoff, first at Johnson Space Center in Houston and then at Kennedy. In both the NASA and SpaceX flight control rooms, staff will be spaced at least 6 feet (2 meters) apart on launch day and throughout the mission, and plenty of hand sanitizer, masks and gloves will be available. NASA turned to private companies in the wake of the space shuttle program to get cargo to the space station. Next up are the crew deliveries. Russian Soyuz capsules, meanwhile, have been the sole means of crew transportation to the orbiting lab. Boeing also is working to launch astronauts under NASA's commercial crew program; its first crew flight is still months if not a year away.
Number of deaths from Malaria could double: W.H.O - cgtn.com
Today marks World Malaria Day. This year’s theme is Zero malaria starts with me. It
Today marks World Malaria Day. This year’s theme is Zero malaria starts with me. It is a grassroots campaign that aims to keep malaria high on the political agenda, mobilize additional resources, and empower communities to end the disease. But this year, the coronavirus pandemic is threatening gains made against Malaria in recent years. Already, the World Health Organisation has warned the number of deaths from the mosquito-borne disease could double. Severe disruptions to insecticide-treated net campaigns, and in access to antimalarial medicines, could lead to a doubling in the number of malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa this year compared to 2018, according to a new modelling analysis released by WHO and partners ahead of World Malaria Day. The analysis supports the W.H.O call to minimize disruptions to malaria prevention and treatment services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lets focus on Zimbabwe.