Indonesia is in a race against time to contain the COVID-19 outbreak as patients overrun health facilities and medical workers are overwhelmed, but primary efforts to break the chain of transmission are still far from expected, epidemiologists say.Testing, tracing and isolation are key to containing COVID-19. But these measures remain weak in Indonesia, largely because of limited testing capacity, an insufficient number of COVID-19 tracers and people’s reluctance to open up to these workers.On Oct. 7, a total of 44,212 specimens from 32,167 people were tested, according to the Health Ministry. On the same day, the ministry recorded 142,213 suspected cases. No data is available on the number of probable cases. Suspected cases are those with acute respiratory illness who have recently traveled or been exposed to a confirmed case, while probable cases are suspected cases with severe symptoms clinically consistent with COVID-19.Both still have no laboratory evidence, but probable cases also include those with inconclusive test results.Indonesia currently has 376 laboratories with a combined testing capacity of around 40,000 specimens in a day.Masdalina Pane of the Indonesian Epidemiologists Association (PAEI) said that having a high number of suspected cases on the waiting list for diagnostic tests would definitely delay contact tracing, quarantine and treatment. She said health authorities should reduce testing turnaround times and deploy more tracers or use more volunteers for COVID-19 surveillance. “Having no conclusive diagnostic status is a big problem. But if the capacity of labs remains limited, [health authorities] should make priorities on who to be tested — preferably probable and suspected cases with severe symptoms and they should get the lab results within 24 hours,” she said on Wednesday.COVID-19 testing in Indonesia is at 70.13 percent of the World Health Organization (WHO) benchmark of one per 1,000 people per week, according to the government’s COVID-19 spokesman Wiku Adisasmito on Tuesday.Read also: Contact tracing the missing link in Indonesia’s battle with COVID-19On Thursday, Wiku said the main reasons why to date Indonesia had yet to meet the benchmark were the limited number of tracers and supporting facilities, difficulties in reaching out to all contacts due to Indonesia’s vast and scattered regions, as well as persistent COVID-19 stigma. Wiku called on local health authorities to strengthen the role of Puskesmas and the public to report to health authorities about their history of contact with confirmed or suspected cases.“We need the help of people to report their own history of contact with known cases,” he said.A WHO situation report on Indonesia, published on Oct. 1, reported that a survey of 259 surveillance workers in the country found that 65 percent of respondents said they were able to trace close contacts of more than 80 percent of confirmed cases.The report said, based on a focus group discussion with surveillance-related stakeholders held in East Java last month, the main issue that was still looming over contact tracing was the stigma surrounding COVID-19. Limited numbers of traces was another problem, the report said.Masdalina suggested authorities strengthen the role of community health centers (Puskesmas) as they are the most capable to perform tracing adequately.Puskesmas are the backbone of public health across the nation, particularly in remote areas. But as they struggle with a lack of tracers, Masdalina urged them to recruit local residents to help with tracing efforts.“Local communities usually have appointed their own health volunteers, who can be trained and help Puskesmas with contact tracing, rather than deploying people from nowhere and who have no basic knowledge on this,” she said.Indonesia currently has 376 laboratories with a combined testing capacity of around 40,000 specimens in a day. (JP/Swi Handono)Epidemiologist Dicky Budiman from Australia’s Griffith University said efficient reporting and data collecting of tracing results also matter much — otherwise, containment would fail and cases would continue to multiply.For many health surveillance workers in the country, tracing is laborious work, as 86 percent of the workers surveyed revealed they still used paper-based methods, while only 9 percent used locally developed applications, the WHO report said. The remaining 5 percent did not document the procedure.Maulidiya Muliawati, 23, a health volunteer at Puskesmas Grogol Petamburan in West Jakarta, said she was primarily assigned to promote health awareness. But lately she has been helping surveillance workers to input data due to a heavy workload in contact tracing.“It took me around 2.5 hours to input data from around 30 questionnaires into one platform,” she said recently, adding that the work for surveillance officers requires them to input data into at least five different platforms, including on a website and a spreadsheet.“It could be hundreds on busy days,” she added.Due to the manual work, the WHO report said “it is important to develop a national-level electronic system to uniformly monitor and evaluate contact tracing across the districts”.“There is no other way [to contain COVID-19] than improve testing and tracing capacity […] We could have found more [people infected with the virus] with a more effective process,” Dicky said.Topics :
Argus PearceArgus Pearce, 95, of Argonia died, Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at the Sumner Regional Medical Center in Wellington.Funeral Services will be held at 10 a.m., Friday at the Friends Church in Argonia, KS. Visitation will be at the Friends Church in Argonia from 1 p.m. until 8 p.m., Thursday, October 3, 2013 with the family receiving friends from 6 until 8 p.m. A memorial has been established with the Argonia Friends Church and may be left with the Hawks-Shelley Funeral Home. For further information or to send a condolence please visit www.hawksfuneralhome.Argus Daniel Pearce was born January 13, 1918 the son of Joseph and Violet (Conn) Pearce in Argonia. He graduated from the Argonia High School in 1938. Argus was united in marriage to Melva (Pohlenz) on February 4, 1939 at Rose Hill. He served his country in the US Army during WW II. Argus was a farmer all of his life as well as a carpet layer. He enjoyed fishing, hunting and being outdoors. Argus loved to carve wood and built a lot of oak furniture, giving most of it away. Argus was an active member of the Argonia Friends Church. He loved to sing at his church and sang for many funerals as well as in quartets. Most of all, he loved spending time with his family.He is survived by his loving wife of over 74 years, Melva Pearce of the home, daughters, Barbara Warner and husband Bill of Wellington, KS and Christi Powers of Argonia, KS; 5 grandchildren, Daniel Warner and his wife Lesley of Argonia, KS, Lecia Retter and husband Jeff of Newberg, OR, Brad DeLano and wife Kellie of Casper, WY, Allison Tipton and husband Beau of Cody, WY and Kelli Wisniewski and husband John of Rifle, CO; and 13 great grandchildren.Argus is preceded in death by his parents, four sisters and three brothers.
Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello is going to step down after a popular uprising derailed his career.The announcement came soon after the Speaker of the House in Puerto Rico called for an emergency session to start impeachment proceedings.He said the resignation goes into effect at 5:00 p.m. on August 2nd and that Secretary of Justice Wanda Vázquez would succeed him.Thousands of protesters have been demonstrating for more than a week, and on Saturday, hundreds of thousands turned out to call for Rossello to step down.The move comes after a leak of about 900 pages of his private texts and chats went public.The texts revealed him and his lieutenants disparaging a political opponent as a “whore,” mocking an obese man and joking about feeding a corpse from a morgue to a critic.Before the scandal, the governor faced severe criticism for his handling of 2017 hurricanes Maria and Irma in which the island has not fully recovered from the devastation caused by hurricanes Maria and Irma in 2017.
Facebook16Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Emily Kolano for Congressman Denny Heck (WA-10)For the seventh annual Valentines for Veterans Drive, Congressman Denny Heck (WA-10) is encouraging local students to design and decorate valentines to thank veterans and first responders in the South Sound community. Congressman Heck and his office will deliver the cards to veterans’ organizations and first responders on Valentine’s Day.Over the previous six Valentines for Veterans drives, Congressman Heck’s office has collected more than 30,000 valentines to distribute to local heroes.“Every year, I’m impressed with the incredible artwork and heartfelt messages South Sound students pack into their cards to first responders and veterans,” Heck said. “Our students know the service and sacrifice involved in keeping our community safe, and they’re always eager to share their gratitude.”Students of all grade levels and ages are welcome to participate. Participants can drop off Valentine’s Day cards at Congressman Heck’s district offices between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, January 24 – February 8. Teachers and school districts can contact the Pierce County office at (253) 533-8332 or the Thurston/Mason County office at (360) 459-8514 to arrange an appointment for large pickups.The Pierce County office is located in the Lakewood City Hall:6000 Main Street SW, Suite 3BLakewood, WA, 98499The Thurston/Mason County office is located on the third floor of Lacey City Hall:420 College Street SE, Third FloorLacey, WA 98503Press interested in covering the Valentine-making process at area schools or the delivery to local veterans and first responders can contact Lauren Adler at [email protected] or 253-363-0527.
“It’s an honor to welcome this highly trained K-9 team to our unit,” Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden said in a released statement. This team, Golden continued, “will prove to be a great asset to Monmouth County and local police departments when it comes to bolstering homeland security capabilities, by playing a vital role in protecting our country against criminal and terroristic threats.”The sheriff ’s office K-9 unit currently has seven handlers and eight K-9 members, making up the unit’s two explosives/patrol teams, three narcotics/patrol teams, one explosives team, one tracking team and one narcotics team, according to the office.The unit is called upon to assist local police departments with narcotics and explosive detection and criminal and missing persons searches. The unit in 2015 responded to 109 explosives calls, 212 tracking and 256 narcotics calls. In addition, the unit presented 147 K-9 demonstrations for last year. The State Police established its Canine Unit in 1987, as part of the department’s Investigation Section. In 2004 the unit was re-assigned to the State Police’s Special Operations Section within its Homeland Security Branch.The State Police’s Canine Unit presently has 24 teams. They’re regularly assigned to assist federal, state, county and local law enforcement agencies on an as-needed basis.Along with those responsibilities, the state teams are responsible for enhancing the security at the Statehouse Complex, Trenton, and are assigned to the New Jersey Turnpike and Atlantic City Airport. During their time at the academy, the duo was among 22 teams to complete training and graduate, having met the state Office of Attorney General’s guidelines for the program.The teams participated in areas such as tracking scent and patrol, narcotics detection, explosives detection and fire patrol. As part of their training the teams were on State Police boats at Liberty State Park, Jersey City, and utilized vacant buildings and lots.The two-legged team members were instructed at the academy on criminal case law, crime scene preservation, basic canine obedience, agility and environmental training as well as working with their four-legged partners on socialization with crowds. By John BurtonFREEHOLD – Another partnering of officer and man’s best friend recently arrived at the Monmouth County Sheriff ’s Office.Sheriff ’s Officer Ralph Irizzary and his K-9 team member, Fuze, a two-year-old German shepherd, in June graduated from the New Jersey State Police Canine Training Academy, Hamilton.Irizzary and Fuze completed the 33-week course that involved intensive training in such areas as explosive detection and patrol.Irizzary and Fuze will be part of the office’s explosives detection team, where they will specialize in response when dealing with potentially dangerous situations, according to the Sheriff ’s Office.“I’m grateful to the Monmouth County Sheriff ’s Office for providing Fuze and me with this great opportunity,” to be part of this team, said Irizzary in a released statement.
The L.V. Rogers Bombers will make a run at a provincial berth during the Kootenay High School Senior Girl’s Basketball Zone tournament this weekend in Castlegar.The Bombers, the top ranked team in the Kootenay zone, take to the court for an important semi final match Saturday, followed by the final, if successful, Mallard’s Source for sports would like to give the Bombers a boost with Team of the Week honours.The members of the team include Sian Nielsen, Shannon Oothuyzen, Allie Zondervan, Naomi Perkins, Ansleigh Dergousoff, Christina Champlin, Roxanne Baker, Katherine Bailey, Katharina Schmidt (Germany), Claire Young and coaches Chris Dergousoff and Willis Parnell.
Pistorius was also a finalist for the World Breakthrough of the Year Award, which was won by Northern Irish golfer Rory McIlroy. Pistorius is the third South African to be named a winner of the Laureus World Sportsperson with a Disability Award. Wheelchair racer Ernst van Dyk was honoured in 2006 and swimmer Natalie du Toit won in 2010. Laureus chairman Edwin Moses praised Pistorius after his win, saying: “Oscar is a remarkable human being, one of the most impressive people I have ever met. When you think of the challenges he has faced in his life, and overcome, and gone on to break new ground, you can only be impressed. “This is just a great privilege to be nominated, it is really humbling to be here,” said Pistorius after receiving the winner’s statuette from skateboarding legend Tony Hawk and Spanish actress Elsa Pataky. Previous South African winners He added: “And he is now also a Laureus Ambassador and has shown his determination to support the cause of sport for good. I congratulate him on this well-deserved award.” He was up against stiff opposition for the title in the form of two-time Laureus winner, Dutch tennis star Esther Vergeer; five-time London Marathon wheelchair winner David Weir; Russian cross-country skier Irek Zaripov, a winner of five medals at the 2010 Winter Paralympics; Brazilian swimmer Daniel Dias, who won the Disability Award in 2009 and won seven gold medals at the 2010 IPC Paralympic Swimming World Championships; and visually impaired sprint star Terezinha Guilhermina, also of Brazil. ‘Well-deserved award’ Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material 7 February 2012 This year’s Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to English football legend Sir Bobby Charlton, while Rai Souza Vieira de Oliveira, a former Brazilian footballer, now a social justice campaigner, won the Laureus Sport for Good Award. He also made the semi-finals of the individual 400 metres in Daegu, the only South African to advance that far, after clocking a fast 45.39 seconds in the heats. South African athlete Oscar Pistorius received the Laureus World Sportsperson with a Disability Award at a gala function in London on Monday evening. The Laureus Sports Awards are the biggest awards on the international sporting calendar, with the Academy that selects the winners made up of 47 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time. They include South African adventurer/explorer Mike Horn, golf legend Gary Player, who won the Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003, and former Springbok captain Morne du Plessis. He was recognised for his feat of becoming the first amputee to win a non-disabled World Championship track medal at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, as part of the South African 4×400 metres relay team that claimed the silver medal behind the USA. 2012 LAUREUS AWARDS WINNERS London Olympic GamesKnown as the “Blade Runner”, because he runs on prosthetic limbs, Pistorius has long been one of the leading lights in the world of the Paralympics. Now, after his success in Daegu, he is aiming to qualify for and make his mark at the 2012 London Olympic Games. World Sportsman of the Year: Novak Djokovic World Sportswoman of the Year: Vivian Cheruiyot World Team of the Year: FC Barcelona World Breakthrough of the Year: Rory McIlroy World Comeback of the Year: Darren Clarke World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability: Oscar Pistorius World Action Sportsperson of the Year: Kelly Slater
Jabu Kunene, seen here at the Gauteng Camerata auditions, has passed his Grade Five music theory exam, and says he’d like to continue playing for as long as possible. The Masote family – Sheila, Kutlwano and Michael – have nurtured the musical aspirations of hundreds of young South Africans.(Images: Janine Erasmus) The Soweto Youth Orchestra in action.(Image: Acosa) Abel Selaocoe, a promising cellist, earned himself a scholarship to the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.(Image: Al Jazeera)MEDIA CONTACTS • Acosa+27 11 472 7413Janine ErasmusFormal music training and classical music was at one time in South Africa viewed as the domain of the elite, but in recent years a number of organisations have worked to tap into the wealth of musical talent in South African communities. The African Cultural Association of South Africa (Acosa) is one of them.The non-profit organisation, based on the West Rand, was established in 1947 and its vision remains the same as it was back then – to reach out to the community in the form of formal music education, both choral and instrumental, and to bring music lovers together to create beautiful sounds.Acosa today is headed by South African music legends Michael and Sheila Masote. Distinguished National Order laureate Michael is a pioneer in the development of youth orchestras and choral ensembles – he was the first black South African to complete a BMus degree from Unisa, and brought classical music on a wide scale to Soweto with the formation of the Soweto Youth Orchestra.It is said that he taught himself how to conduct the orchestra by disguising himself as a janitor and sneaking into the rehearsals of the former National Symphony Orchestra at the city hall in Johannesburg.The Soweto Youth Orchestra evolved into the semi-professional Soweto Symphony Orchestra, which in turn produced world-class successes such as trumpeter Prince Lengoasa and the evergreen Soweto String Quartet, all of whom learned their trade under Michael Masote.Now Masote is inspiring a new generation of musicians – including his own children and one of his grandchildren – with his work as director of music at Acosa. This organisation, too, has spawned musical talent such as the all-girl Ntombizodwa String Ensemble, who have performed for Queen Elizabeth II, among others, and sensational young cellist Abel Selaocoe from Sebokeng, who is presently studying at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, on a scholarship.They are proof that music is for everyone, and are the living embodiment of everything that Acosa stands for.“Acosa aims to create youth orchestras where everyone has access,” says Sheila Masote. “We provide teachers if the musician doesn’t have one, and we also want to train more teachers. Too many kids need teachers, and there are not enough good teachers to go around.”The demand for tuition is immense. “We can’t stretch ourselves far enough,” she adds.A sense of belongingBesides the Soweto Youth and Soweto Symphony orchestras, Acosa has established a number of other ensembles over the years – they include the Soweto Children’s Orchestra, the Acosa Wind Band, the Acosa Brass Ensemble, and most recently the Gauteng Camerata, a youth development orchestra of 20-somethings.“The kids get a sense of belonging to a group that gives back to the community,” explains Michael Masote. “They feel unique, and they feel hope for the future.”Accomplished Acosa alumni have taught and studied overseas, and graduates of the wind and brass groups have been accepted into the highly rated national bands of the South African navy, army and police.Auditions are currently under way for the Camerata, with one of the goals being to recruit wind and brass players to add to the string ensemble, as this will also enable the expansion of the repertoire. The first round has just concluded, but there will be more auditions in the near future.If you’re a young musician who’s interested in auditioning for this vibrant ensemble, contact Acosa for more details on 011 472 7413, email [email protected], or visit the website.Bringing music to the peopleAcosa’s motto is “Ke fa go re o fe” (Setswana, meaning “power is knowledge diffused to others”). In keeping with this sentiment, the organisation has plans to go national, which will uncover more homegrown musical talent, and encourage the further documentation of South African music.In the meantime, it works in Gauteng through various venues including the Soweto Music Conservatoire, which has a colourful history of its own, starting up in 1947 in the home of choral conductor and, later, Pan Africanist Congress president Zepheniah Mothopeng – Sheila Masote’s father – in defiance of the apartheid laws of the time.The Soweto conservatoire concept has been duplicated in the Acosa Tsa Lapeng Conservatoire near Hammanskraal in northern Gauteng, and the Acosa Sebokeng Music School at Mojalathuto Primary School in Sebokeng, about 57km south of Johannesburg. The organisation also gives classes in four primary schools in Soweto, and at its main facility, Acosa House, in Roodepoort.Acosa teaches choral and classical music on instruments such as the cello, violin, viola, double bass, guitar and piano. Not all students can afford their own instrument, and in these cases Acosa is able to arrange the extended loan of instruments to deserving musicians. Exams are set according to the Royal School of Music in London.Musicians are expected to be committed to and serious about their art. “This is not recreational music,” says Kutlwano Masote, son of Michael and Sheila, and mentor and conductor of the Camerata.“We aim to instil a sense of excellence in our musicians, which will help them to get bursaries to schools such as St John’s College, which teaches music as an academic subject and as an extracurricular activity.”The younger Masote is a pioneer too, graduating from the International Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland and becoming the first black member of the National Symphony Orchestra in 1998.Acosa has received funding from the National Lotteries Board – this has been allocated to the purchase of a permanent home for the school, the further development of its music programmes, and minibuses to transport musicians and equipment to and from their homes in places as far away from the school as Daveyton on the East Rand, and Sebokeng.Next in the plan is a media centre, which will allow the young musicians to learn music software such as Sibelius. They can then create their own arrangements and learn to compose.“We envision six or seven terminals,” says Kutlwano Masote, adding that it’s not all work for the students, as there are fun activities too and hopefully, a tour to Botswana in the coming months.
An agreement reached in California will save consumers an estimated $1 billion a year in energy costs by making television set-top boxes a lot more efficient, The Los Angeles Times reports.The voluntary agreement announced on December 23 followed a year of talks between environmental advocates, government regulators, and the cable and satellite TV industry. The deal will reduce the amount of electricity used by the 230 million set-top boxes in the U.S. by as much as 45% by 2017, according to a blog written by Noah Horowitz of the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) office in San Francisco.That’s enough electricity to power 700,000 homes, the NRDC said.A TV set-top box is an electronic device that captures a signal from a satellite or cable system, for example, and routes it to the television for display. It uses electricity even when the television is turned off, and it’s one of a number of common electrical devices that sap electrical energy without a homeowner’s knowledge.“It’s extremely significant when household names like Comcast, Motorola, DirecTV, and AT&T all acknowledge that their TV set-top boxes are using billions of dollars’ worth of electricity each year,” Horowitz told the newspaper. Until now, no incentives to make devices more efficientIn his blog, Horowitz writes that a 2011 study found set-top boxes collectively use at least $3 billion worth of electricity a year. The boxes are installed by pay-TV providers, who have had little incentive to pay attention to energy consumption, he says, because homeowners paid the power bills. But publicity generated by the study eventually helped get the talks started.Horowitz’s blog contains a number of details about the agreement, including provisions on a “light sleep” function for DVRs and “energy use disclosures” that will help consumers find out how much energy the devices use.“Today’s voluntary agreement is an important first step to reducing national set-top box energy use,” he writes. “We hope it will not only translate to near-term savings, but the next-generation boxes and their associated new features will be designed to be efficient from the start — and not erode much of the hard-earned energy savings that this agreement is designed to deliver.
LATEST STORIES LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City 2 gov’t execs wary of having separate dep’t for disaster risk reduction PLAY LIST 03:102 gov’t execs wary of having separate dep’t for disaster risk reduction00:50Trending Articles00:51Clarkson on being PH flag-bearer: One of the happiest moments in my career01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Knicks put cap on Carmelo Anthony era in NY Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa MOST READ Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James answers questions during the NBA basketball team media day, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Independence, Ohio. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)LeBron James said he would love Dwyane Wade to join the Cleveland Cavaliers.Wade and the Chicago Bulls have reached a buyout agreement and Cleveland is among his potential destinations. James and Wade won a couple of NBA titles together with the Miami Heat and are close friends.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president View comments Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad The two played four seasons together and had as many finals appearances with the Heat. Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients READ: Wade, Bulls agree on buyout“I would love D-Wade to be a part of this team. I think he brings another championship DNA, a championship pedigree, brings another playmaker to the team who can get guys involved and can make plays and also just has a great basketball mind and I think it would be great to have him here,” said James.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe 32-year-old James, who is entering his 15th NBA season, said Monday at the Cavaliers media day that he has spoken to Wade, and plans to again.“I think it will be great to have him here and obviously our front office has done some great things throughout this summer so honestly, obviously, I’ve talked to D-Wade all summer and I probably will reach out to him as well, but it’s really not up to me, it’s kinda up to D-Wade,” James said. “If he can clear waivers then it’s up to our front office but I hope that we can bring him here. I would love to have him. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight