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Johns Hopkins researchers urge US to ‘reset’ coronavirus approach | USA News

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Scientists in the United States have urged the government to reset its approach to the coronavirus pandemic, warning that the world’s hardest-hit country was “not on course to get control” of an outbreak that has so far killed 150,000 people and infected 4.4 million.

Wednesday’s call from researchers at Johns Hopkins University came as the US reported its highest single-day jump in COVID-19 deaths since May, with the states of California, Texas and Florida all setting one-day records for fatalities.

The scientists’ policy brief said that while the US had managed to bring down cases in May by implementing stringent stay-at-home orders, the current spike in infections was overwhelming hospitals in many parts of the country and “stressing many sectors of society, from business to education to healthcare”.

Hospitalisation rates for COVID-19 in most states now match or exceed numbers seen in New York City, the previous epicentre of the outbreak in the country during the peak months of March and April.

“Unlike many countries in the world, the United States is not currently on course to get control of this epidemic. It’s time to reset,” the brief said, outlining 10 actions required to stem the virus’s spread.

Chief among them was a recommendation for the universal use of masks, physical distancing, hand hygiene and avoidance of large gatherings.

“Without having these measures in place, it will be difficult to maintain control of outbreaks or turn the corner on an outbreak that is accelerating,” the brief said.

“COVID-19 has reached a point in the United States where these protective actions should no longer be called a matter of individual choice, but measures of societal responsibility.”

Stay-at-home orders

In areas where the outbreak is worsening, officials must reinstate stay-at-home orders until numbers improve for at least two weeks, the brief said. Such a decision will be disruptive, it acknowledged, and therefore leaders must prioritise clear and transparent communications to convey to the public the motivations and anticipated timelines for the closures.

Other recommendations included bolstering supplies of personal protective gear and diagnostic testing kits at healthcare facilities. The scientists also called for better analyses of epidemiological data and scaling up contact tracing across the country.

“The coronavirus pandemic is the most serious epidemic threat to the United States in a century,” the brief said.

“The United States has reached a critical point in the outbreak trajectory, and serious consideration needs to be given to ways in which the response can be improved. The time is now to move forward to reduce transmission and save lives.”

The brief echoes the advice of many health experts who say the US outbreak could be brought under greater control if guidelines to maintain physical distancing and wear masks in public were enforced nationwide.

But President Donald Trump has rejected a federal mask order, and while he was initially reluctant to be seen wearing one, he has recently come round to the idea.

The president is also pushing states to fully reopen schools when the academic year begins in the autumn, but teacher unions and local officials have called for students to stay home and for classes to move online.

Experts meanwhile say the new surge in cases is hampering the country’s economic recovery effort.

“We have seen some signs in recent weeks that the increase in virus cases and the renewed measures to control it are starting to weigh on economic activity,” the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, said on Wednesday.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Court Dismisses Appeal by Former Coffee Marketing Board Employees

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A panel of three justices of Court of Appeal have dismissed with costs an appeal filed before them by three representatives of 1,568 workers who were retrenched between 1992 to 1998 and entitled to payment as per Auditor General report of 13th November 2009.

These rushed to the Court of Appeal challenging the High court decision in which Government was ordered to compensate them but they didn’t agree with the interest rate which was imposed on the said money.

The three applicants (now appellants) Basiima Kabonesa, Solome Adumo and James Musoke, in 2014 dragged the Government of Uganda (Attorney General) and the Management of Uganda Coffee Marketing Board (under liquidation)  to court on behalf of other 1,568 workers seeking to be compensated more than ten billion shillings with damages and costs

On 22nd July 2015, the parties entered into a consent Judgment where it was agreed that the plaintiffs shall be paid a sum of ten billion three hundred thirty million thirteen thousand five hundred six (Shs 10,330,013,506) as total terminal benefits with an additional ten million shillings each as damages.

High Court would later okay this decision in which it awarded the plaintiffs aggravated damages totaling ten billion shillings which had to be shared equally by all of them with 10% interest per annum on Principle sum from the date of consent Judgment up to full payment and 6% on aggravated damages from judgment date up to full payment.

However, these were not satisfied with the total sum of aggravated damages awarded to them as well as the interest on the Principal sum which they described as “very low.”

The appellants also claimed that the trial judge erred when he awarded interest on Principal sum from judgment date to full payment instead of running from date of retrenchment to full payment.

In their unanimous judgment, justices Remmy Kasule, Godfrey Kiryabwire and Monica Mugenyi noted that the trial judge exercised under the law by awarding interest on terminal benefits from date of judgment.

“In terms of provisions in section 26(2) of the CPA for award of interest from date of suit, it seems to be resolved that so far, as the consent Judgment resolved, the dispute between the parties inter-allia leaving out the claim of aggravated damages and terminal benefits, the date of consent judgment redefined as between them,” reads part of the judgment.

The justices also concurred with the High Court decision of awarding the plaintiff one billion shillings as costs that have to be shared equally by all beneficiaries since the trial judge based on the condition that the consent was against the Government and  already made concessions involving colossal sums of public money.

Each party was ordered bare its costs at High Court well as the appellants were ordered to pay the costs at the appeal level.

The post Court Dismisses Appeal by Former Coffee Marketing Board Employees first appeared on ChimpReports.



Source – chimpreports.com

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Britain’s unequal troop commemorations due to ‘pervasive racism’ | Racism News

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Inquiry by Commonwealth War Graves Commission finds Black and Asian troops who fought for Empire were not properly memorialised.

As many as 350,000 Black and Asian service personnel who died fighting for the British Empire might not have been commemorated in the same way as their white comrades because of “pervasive racism”, a report has concluded.

The inquiry commissioned by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), in its report released on Thursday, says that between 45,000 and 54,000 individuals of predominantly Asian, Middle Eastern and African origin who died during World War I were commemorated “unequally”.

“A further 116,000 casualties [predominantly, but not exclusively, East African and Egyptian personnel] but potentially as many as 350,000, were not commemorated by name or possibly not commemorated at all,” the report said.

The CWGC works to commemorate those from Commonwealth forces who were killed in the two world wars and to ensure all those killed are remembered in the same way, with their name engraved either on a headstone over an identified grave or on a memorial to the missing.

It issued an apology in the wake of the inquiry’s findings.

“The events of a century ago were wrong then and are wrong now,” said Claire Horton, head of the CWGC. “We recognise the wrongs of the past and are deeply sorry and will be acting immediately to correct them.”

‘Watershed moment’

The CWGC commissioned the report in December 2019 after Unremembered, an investigative television documentary presented by opposition Labour Party MP and shadow justice secretary David Lammy.

The Unremembered investigation found that Africans killed in World War I had not been treated equally and revealed an example of a British governor saying: “The average native of the Gold Coast would not understand or appreciate a headstone.”

It also uncovered how African soldiers’ graves were abandoned in Tanzania, while European officers’ resting places continued to be maintained.

According to Thursday’s report, another officer, who later worked for the CWGC’s predecessor – the Imperial War Graves Commission, had said: “Most of the natives who died are of a semi-savage nature”, and concluded that erecting headstones would be a waste of public money.

The inquiry said decisions that led to the failure to commemorate the dead properly – or even at all – was the result of a lack of information, errors inherited from other organisations, and the opinions of colonial administrators.

“Underpinning all these decisions, however, were the entrenched prejudices, preconceptions and pervasive racism of contemporary imperial attitudes,” the report concluded.

The United Kingdom’s Secretary of Defence Ben Wallace was expected to address Parliament about the findings later on Thursday.

Lammy hailed the report as a “watershed moment”.

“No apology can ever make up for the indignity suffered by the Unremembered,” he tweeted.

“However, this apology does offer the opportunity for us as a nation to work through this ugly part of our history – and properly pay our respects to every soldier who has sacrificed their life for us … The arc of history is long but it bends towards the truth.”





Source – www.aljazeera.com

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OPINION: Leave Katikkiro Alone Until the Person Who Appointed Him Thinks Otherwise

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By Dr Roy Mayega

One of the ‘Prima Facie’ principles of Medical Ethics is ‘Autonomy’. Autonomy includes confidentiality and privacy. Confidentiality means non-disclosure unless permitted by the patient.

Privacy means “having control over the extent, timing and circumstances of sharing oneself with others.” You cannot for instance, as a practitioner, order the patient to immediately dress down in the public area and to bend over so that you stick your fingers up their rectum when everyone is watching.

You need to give them ample time to organize themselves; to do the necessary ‘local’ preparations before they feel comfortable to be undressed; and to get a sufficiently private space.

One of the biggest dilemmas faced by a person who has received a diagnosis of a chronic disease is when, how much, and to whom to disclose. It’s not a simple pedestrian matter: It’s a real hassle – the publics always stigmatize everyone with a chronic disease however moderate it is.

The time it takes for people to process their medical situation and to decide to expose themselves varies widely between individuals and is based on the type of disease, their personality, sensitivities, the medical information they have, their values, their prognosis, and the desire to protect others close to them. Some people want to ‘wait and see’.

Being ‘Prima Facie’, ethical principles are inherently binding, unless they clash with another ethical principle in which case there is an ethical dilemma to be re-solved. There is no ethical dilemma here! Ethics is not freaking morals – leave your self-righteousness to yourself. Ethics is not freaking gut feelings; and neither is ethics about culture. Beliefs and morals die, ethics doesn’t.

I have seen many social media idlers blaming the Katikkiro for ‘not taking the pedestal several months ago to describe what was wrong with the Kabaka.

The Katikkiro cannot unilaterally issue a communique without the freaking permission of his boss! And none of the idlers has any evidence to show that his boss told him to announce and he categorically refused – don’t be publicly silly.

Secondly, people have no right to deny a diagnosis of ‘Allergies’ on the basis of pedestrian medicine. Patients are not examined in videos and diagnoses are not validated by rumors. Doctors are much more sophisticated than that.

Let his physicians be the ones to dissent, or let the Kabaka’s wife declare that what was said was wrong.

Severe allergic reactions and autoimmune diseases can be severe enough to cause anything, independently in their own right, without having to collaborate with social media witchery.

It’s so funny how social media has suddenly caused an upshot in ‘male rumor-mongers’ and ‘cyber-sorcerers’.

Leave the Katikkiro alone, until the person who appointed him thinks otherwise. The person who appointed him has never been devoid of grey-matter.

Good thing is that all of you will one day grow older and experience your own chronic diseases – then we will see if you can willingly stick out your private ‘parts’ in public whenever the publics demand so. Some of you cannot even tolerate a routine prostate exam and you are here asking others to undress?

Read: Questions Abound About Kabaka Mutebi’s Health

The post OPINION: Leave Katikkiro Alone Until the Person Who Appointed Him Thinks Otherwise first appeared on ChimpReports.



Source – chimpreports.com

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