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The WHO says coronavirus is a once-in-a century crisis that will impact lives for decades

Deaths from coronavirus as at early August 2020

The WHO says coronavirus is a once-in-a century crisis that will impact lives for decades, SBS World News, 2 Aug 20 The World Health Organization committee “highlighted the anticipated lengthy duration of this COVID-19 pandemic”.

The World Health Organization has warned the coronavirus pandemic is likely to be “lengthy” after its emergency committee met to evaluate the crisis six months after sounding the international alarm.

The committee “highlighted the anticipated lengthy duration of this COVID-19 pandemic”, the WHO said in a statement, and warned of the risk of “response fatigue” given the socio-economic pressures on countries.

The panel gathered Friday for the fourth time over the coronavirus crisis, half a year on from its January 30 declaration of a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) – the WHO’s highest level of alarm………

Warning over crisis fatigue

Several countries around the world have imposed strict lockdowns in a bid to control the spread of the respiratory disease, plunging economies into sharp contraction.

The committee urged the WHO to provide nuanced, pragmatic guidance on COVID-19 management “to reduce the risk of response fatigue in the context of socio-economic pressures”.

The panel urged the WHO to support countries in preparing for the rollout of proven therapeutics and vaccines.

Warning over crisis fatigue

Several countries around the world have imposed strict lockdowns in a bid to control the spread of the respiratory disease, plunging economies into sharp contraction.

The committee urged the WHO to provide nuanced, pragmatic guidance on COVID-19 management “to reduce the risk of response fatigue in the context of socio-economic pressures”.

The panel urged the WHO to support countries in preparing for the rollout of proven therapeutics and vaccines.

It called for improved understanding of the epidemiology and severity of COVID-19, including its long-term health effects.

And the committee wanted more light shed on the dynamics of the virus, such as “modes of transmission, shedding, potential mutations; immunity and correlates of protection”.

The near six-hour gathering was hosted at the WHO’s headquarters in Geneva, with some participants joining via video-link.

The committee will reconvene within the next three months……..https://www.sbs.com.au/news/the-who-says-coronavirus-is-a-once-in-a-century-crisis-that-will-impact-lives-for-decades

August 2, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health | Leave a comment

The potential for a new coronoavirus, with bats as a possible transmitter

The next coronavirus may already be circulating in bats, study suggests, by Tom Avril, Philadelphia Inquirer,  July 29, 2020   While the exact origin of the coronavirus remains murky, scientists have been racing to determine how it jumped from animals to humans so they can prevent another pandemic.

The next one could just be a matter of time, a study published this week suggests.   The authors said a virus with similar ability to infect humans may already be out there, carried by a type of bats known for having horseshoe-shaped “leafs” on their noses.

Scientists made that prediction after constructing a family tree of the coronavirus — tracing its ancestry by comparing its genetic code with that of other coronaviruses found in bats, humans, and a scaly animal called the pangolin.

The lineage of the virus that causes COVID-19 appears to have branched off from its closest viral relatives about 40 to 70 years ago, the authors wrote in Nature Microbiology. And other viruses in the same branch of the family likely share a similar ability to latch onto cells in human airways, said Maciej F. Boni, a Pennsylvania State University biologist and lead study author.

“It’s very likely there are lots of other lineages that nobody knows about, because nobody has sampled, that are circulating quietly in bats,” he said. “Potentially all of them could have this ability to infect human cells.”……

 by using a battery of statistical techniques, the scientists identified three genetic regions in the coronavirus that appeared to have remained intact for decades. They identified the same three regions in another coronavirus that came from a bat found in Yunnan, a province in southern China near Laos.

That virus cannot infect humans but is otherwise highly similar to the one causing the pandemic, which was first identified in human patients in the city of Wuhan. The two viruses seem to have branched apart in the family tree sometime in the 1960s, and almost certainly have undiscovered cousins with the potential to infect humans, said Boni, who collaborated with scientists in Europe and China…….

By itself, the presence of similar coronaviruses in bats would not mean another pandemic is imminent, said Kevin Olival, vice president for research at EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit that works with scientists worldwide to protect people and animals from infectious disease…….

What is not in dispute is that viruses have been jumping from animals to humans for centuries, and that it will happen again.

And coronaviruses carried by bats are a prime suspect.

Similar predictions have been made before — such as in 2013, when a Science magazine article was headlined “Bats May Be Carrying the Next SARS Pandemic.”

Sure enough, as the world now knows too well, that came true.  https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/covd19-bats-china-virus-origin-penn-state-rna-genetics-20200729.html

August 2, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health | Leave a comment

United Arab Emirates new nuclear power risks further destabilising the Gulf region

New York Times 1st Aug 2020, The UAE’s investment in these four nuclear reactors risks further
destabilizing the volatile Gulf region, damaging the environment and
raising the possibility of nuclear proliferation,” Paul Dorfman, a
researcher at University College London’s Energy Institute, wrote in an
op-ed in March. Noting that the U.A.E. had other energy options, including
“some of the best solar energy resources in the world,” he added that
“the nature of Emirate interest in nuclear may lie hidden in plain sight
— nuclear weapon proliferation.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/01/world/middleeast/uae-nuclear-Barakah.html

August 2, 2020 Posted by | politics international, United Arab Emirates | Leave a comment

Costs of Vogtle nuclear expansion just keep going up, Coronavirus making this worse

Costs of nuclear expansion at Georgia power plant spiking, Sun Herald, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, AUGUST 01, 2020 ATLANTA

The costs of expanding Georgia Power’s nuclear plant are growing, and at least part of the price hike is tied to the coronavirus outbreak and the rising number of workers diagnosed with the COVID-19 disease.

Southern Company, the Atlanta-based parent company for Georgia Power, forecasts it will cost $149 million more than previous projections for its share of expanding Plant Vogtle, which was already billions of dollars over its original budget and years behind schedule.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the company said Georgia Power could eventually ask state regulators to charge customers for the latest price tag increase.

Southern Company said the pandemic continues to affect work at Vogtle……. https://www.sunherald.com/news/business/article244660932.html

August 2, 2020 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Gorbachev renews call to oppose nuclear weapons

Gorbachev renews call to oppose nuclear weapons Asahi Shimbun 

August 1, 2020   A message to participants of the International Symposium for Peace 2020 “The Road to Nuclear Weapons Abolition” on Aug. 1, 2020, at Nagasaki

Dear participants of the symposium,

Dear Nagasaki Mayor Taue,

Dear representatives of The Asahi Shimbun,

To my important colleagues and friends,

I feel very happy to be able to address all of you taking part in this symposium seeking a world without nuclear weapons. It is symbolic that this meeting is taking place in the city of Nagasaki. Like Hiroshima, Nagasaki 75 years ago suffered great damage from the atomic bomb explosion, which killed tens of thousands of victims and left behind people with disabilities on the scorched earth. I once visited the city, and those memories have remained with me until now……….    http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13584606

August 2, 2020 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Experts wonder why Oil-rich UAE is opening the Arab world’s first nuclear power plant.

Oil-rich UAE opens the Arab world’s first nuclear power plant. Experts question why, By Ivana Kottasová and Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN, August 1, 2020, Why oil rich UAE is developing nuclear power 02:35

The United Arab Emirates has launched a nuclear energy plant on Saturday, the first such project in the oil-rich Arab world.

Unit 1 of the Barakah plant in the Al Dhafrah region of Abu Dhabi started producing heat on Saturday, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation said in a statement. Unit 1 is the first of the plant’s four nuclear reactors to launch. The corporation said the construction of Unit 2 has finished recently, while the other two reactors are still being built — even though the original schedule called for the plant to become operational by 2017…….
some experts have questioned the need for the nuclear power plant given the country’s potential to develop solar energy and the tensions surrounding nuclear power in the Middle East.
Paul Dorfman, who heads the Nuclear Consulting Group and is a research associate at UCL’s Energy Institute, has warned the UAE’s investment into the plant “risks further destabilizing the volatile Gulf region, damaging the environment and raising the possibility of nuclear proliferation.”
In an opinion piece published earlier this year, Dorfman argued that the investment into the new plant is “strange” given the falling prices of renewable energy technology and rising costs of nuclear power generation.
“Since new nuclear seems to make little economic sense in the Gulf, which has some of the best solar energy resources in the world, the nature of Emirate interest in nuclear may lie hidden in plain sight — nuclear weapon proliferation,” he wrote.
Jim Krane, an energy studies fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute, said that based purely on costs, the nuclear plant was “an uncompetitive choice” for the UAE. ……

August 2, 2020 Posted by | politics, United Arab Emirates | Leave a comment

August 2 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “‘Getting Back To Normal’ Is The Last Thing Governments Should Be Doing” • Normal is a society with 99% of the wealth owned by 1% of the people. Normal is pollution that kills more Americans each year than Covid-19. Normal is a Senate that funds fighter jets before human beings. America may not […]

via August 2 Energy News — geoharvey

August 2, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment