Time to end inaction on safety of schools

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion I stared at the TV screen in horror. A breaking news report read: “School Shooting in Greenville.” Children had been rushed to nearby Greenville Medical Center, conditions unknown. I was barely able to breathe, for my grandsons attend school in Greenville, N.Y.  Their father, a physician, owns Greenville Medical Center near the school.It wasn’t until I heard the words “in Greenville, South Carolina” that I stopped shaking. My heart broke, however, for the parents in South Carolina. Their lives were changed forever, and for a few minutes, I understood their agony. Recently, in Texas, more children were killed in school. Every community faces this crisis. High school students are begging officials to make schools safe. They want safety devices to stop a shooter from entering their school, killing innocent children and staff. “Do something,” our lawmakers tell one another – but nothing is getting done.There are a number of suggestions to deter school shooters. Do we put armed officials in schools? Screen students? Use X-ray machines? Do we use security card access and searches? Entry-control equipment? It’s well past the time to implement school safety plans.We all agree something must be done. Why not create a strategy for our own neighborhood schools? Hold community forums to gather ideas from our students, teachers and taxpayers. Create a plan for our students’ safety. Set up funding to implement it. These are our schools and our children.  It’s time to “do something” ourselves.Shelly DobskiRotterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Car hits garage in Rotterdam Sunday morning; Garage, car burnlast_img read more

Read More »

Borrowed time

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Read More »

US worries put brake on UK rental growth

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Read More »

Littlewoods stays put as M&S keeps looking

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

Read More »

Core City yields harden

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

Read More »

Control of Lionsgate passes to Sovereign

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Read More »

Photo finish

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Read More »

China toll leaps past 1,600 as first death reported outside Asia

first_imgAn 80-year-old Chinese tourist died from the new coronavirus, French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said Saturday.Only three other deaths have been recorded outside mainland China — in the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Japan.The death toll in China, meanwhile, rose to 1,662 Sunday after Hubei reported 139 new deaths.Several countries have banned arrivals from China and major airlines have cut services to the country. The death toll from the new coronavirus outbreak surpassed 1,600 in China on Sunday, with the first fatality reported outside Asia fuelling global concerns.More than 68,000 people have now been infected in China from a virus that emerged in central Hubei province in December before spreading across the country and some two dozen countries.Amid criticism over the handling of the crisis, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for tighter policing to protect social stability, while Beijing ordered people returning to the capital to self-quarantine for 14 days in the latest drastic measure aimed at containing the virus. The biggest cluster outside China is on a quarantined cruise ship off Japan, with 285 infections now as dozens more cases were confirmed. A US State Department spokesperson said Americans stranded on the vessel would be evacuated, and would face a further quarantine of two weeks in the United States.- More police -The virus spread last month as millions travelled across the country for the Lunar New Year holiday, which was extended by three days — more than a week in some cities — in an effort to prevent further contagion.People have slowly started to return to work in the past two weeks, though many are doing their jobs from home and schools remain closed.Beijing’s municipal government enacted a rule on Friday requiring all people coming to the capital to quarantine themselves for 14 days, warning that violators would be punished, according to official media.It was unclear how authorities would enforce the measure.Chinese authorities have placed some 56 million people in Hubei and its capital Wuhan under quarantine, virtually sealing off the province from the rest of the country in an unprecedented effort to contain the virus.A number of cities far from the epicentre have also imposed tough measures limiting the number of people who can leave their homes.The government must “increase use of police force and strengthen the visible use of police”, to ensure stability during the crisis, Xi said in a February 3 speech published by state media on Saturday.In another drastic preventive measure, China’s central bank said Saturday that used banknotes were being disinfected with ultraviolet light or high temperatures, and stored for up to 14 days before they are put back into circulation.The scale of the epidemic ballooned this week after authorities in Hubei changed their criteria for counting cases, retroactively adding thousands of new patients to their tally.- New cases fall -Hubei added more than 14,000 cases in a single day this week after officials there started counting people clinically diagnosed through lung imaging, in addition to those with a positive lab test result.On Saturday, the National Health Commission reported 2,641 new cases of the COVID-19 strain, with the vast majority in Hubei.The number, however, was almost half those reported the previous day, and World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the body has asked China for details on how diagnoses were being made.”China has bought the world time. We don’t know how much time,” he said.”We ask all governments, companies, and news organisations to work with us to sound the appropriate level of alarm without fanning the flames of hysteria.”He said he was concerned by the continued increase of cases in China as well as “the lack of urgency in funding the response from the international community”.The number of new confirmed cases has been steadily falling outside Hubei.A top Chinese scientist had predicted that the epidemic could peak by the end of this month after the number of new cases had fallen earlier in the week.But the WHO has cautioned that it was “way too early” to make any predictions about the disease’s trajectory.An international team of WHO experts will arrive in Beijing this weekend for a joint mission with Chinese counterparts.Topics :last_img read more

Read More »

With bird sacrifices and chants, Cuba’s Santeria seek protection from coronavirus

first_imgTopics : Rituals via social media Some Santeria devotees are also coordinating, largely via social media, small simultaneous rituals performed in self-isolation at home.These are also being done in other Latin American countries like Venezuela where the religion has gained a following.The rollout of mobile internet in Cuba, where most homes do not have online connections, is enabling spiritual communion in times of self isolation.On March 22, for example, Santeria devotees heard they should light two candles at a precise hour and pray to the Orishas for their protection.”May Obatala [one of the main Orishas] protect us from the pandemic,” wrote Magdalena Barrera Valdes on a Facebook group for Santeria practitioners worldwide with 44,000 followers, posting a photo of her candles, on which 76 people commented “ashe” meaning “may it manifest” in Yoruba.Later that day, some Santeria priests, known as babalawos, were said to be imploring Iku, the spirit of death, to not take any more victims. Devotees warned one another to cover their heads to protect themselves as Iku swept across earth during and after the ceremony.”Religion is mainly about faith,” said Rodriguez, “and we want to give people hope.” The risk of spreading the virus has ruled out the large ceremonies of drumming and dancing that characterize Santeria, a religion that fuses Yoruba beliefs and traditions, brought to Cuba by African slaves, with elements of Catholicism.But devotees – of which there are millions in the Caribbean island nation – are turning to their pantheons of Yoruba deities called Orishas for strength in intimate family ceremonies or individual rituals at home.”Every day when I get up, I stand on the porch, look up to the sky and ask God to … send the epidemic away,” said Montoya, who in normal times runs a weekend school teaching Cubans to get in touch with their divine gifts like the ability to hear or see spirits.”Then I light a candle and pray to my Orishas for the whole world,” she said, her thick, twisted Afro locks wound up into a white scarf, as mandated for such Santeria ceremonies.center_img The family of Emilia Montoya, 79, sacrificed four white doves and two roosters, chanted in the African language Yoruba and pounded a wooden staff rhythmically on the floor in a ceremony to protect Montoya from coronavirus.The small gathering in her Havana home appealed to their ancestors and honored Inle, the deity of health in Santeria, a ritual-filled Afro-Cuban religion. Montoya does not have the virus though Cuba has so far reported 170 confirmed cases.”We are calling these blessings upon her to keep her healthy,” said her nephew Henry Rodriguez, 40, leading the ceremony. “But this ceremony isn’t just for us; it’s also for global health.”last_img read more

Read More »

Why are some S. Koreans who recovered from the coronavirus testing positive again?

first_imgSouth Korean health officials are investigating several possible explanations for a small but growing number of recovered coronavirus patients who later test positive for the virus again.Among the main possibilities are re-infection, a relapse, or inconsistent tests, experts say.South Korea had reported 141 such cases as of Thursday, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). Topics : Re-infection or relapse? Although re-infection would be the most concerning scenario because of its implications for developing immunity population, both the KCDC and many experts say this is unlikely.Instead, the KCDC says it is leaning toward some kind of relapse or “re-activation” in the virus.A relapse could mean that parts of the virus go into some kind of dormant state for a time, or that some patients may have certain conditions or weak immunity that makes them susceptible to the virus reviving in their system, experts said.center_img A recent study by doctors in China and the United States suggested the new coronavirus can damage T lymphocytes, also known as T cells, which play a central role the body’s immune system and ability to battle infections.Kim Jeong-ki, a virologist at the Korea University College of Pharmacy, compared a relapse after treatment to a spring that snaps back after being pressed down.”When you press down a spring it becomes smaller, then when you take your hands off, the spring pops up,” he said.Even if the patients are found to have relapsed rather than to have been re-infected, it could signal new challenges for containing the spread of the virus.”South Korean health authorities still haven’t found cases where the ‘reactivated’ patients spread the virus to third parties, but if such infectiousness is proven, that would be a huge problem,” said Seol Dai-wu, an expert in vaccine development and a professor at Chung-Ang University.Limits of testing Patients in South Korea are considered clear of the virus when they have tested negative twice in a 48-hour period.While the RT-PCR tests used in South Korea are considered generally accurate, experts said that there are ways they could return false or inconsistent results for a small number of cases.”RT-PCR tests boast an accuracy of 95%. This means that there still can be 2-5% of those cases that are detected false negative or false positive cases,” Kim said.Remnants of the virus could remain at levels too low to be detected by a given test, Seol said.On the other hand, the tests may also be so sensitive that they are picking up small, potentially harmless levels of the virus, leading to new positive results even though the person has recovered, Kwon Jun-wook, deputy director of KCDC said at a briefing on Tuesday.The tests could also be compromised if the necessary samples are not collected properly, said Eom Joong-sik, professor of infectious diseases at Gachon University Gil Medical Centre. last_img read more

Read More »