Retno calls on FPGH to be ‘positive force’ for equitable vaccine access

first_imgOther nations with more limited resources have opted to band together under multilateral initiatives to procure future vaccines or have secured bilateral agreements with vaccine-producing countries.Read also: New reckoning for WHO vaccine plan as governments go it aloneIndonesia is no exception, as it has ordered 30 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine for delivery by the yearend and up to 340 million doses for delivery next year in deals with China and the United Arab Emirates.The World Health Organization (WHO) stated that the ideal goal was for each country to receive enough vaccines to inoculate 20 percent of its population, starting with health workers and the most vulnerable groups regardless of nationality. Retno said that meeting domestic needs and securing access to affordable vaccines could go hand in hand, highlighting that a global effort was necessary to overcome and recover from the pandemic together.“[The FPGH] must continue to stand behind multilateral initiatives such as the global allocation framework [of] the COVAX Facility to speed up vaccine development and ensure equitable and fair allocation,” she said. “No one and no country should be left behind.”The COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) is an initiative led by the Gavi vaccine alliance in coordination with the WHO and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to purchase 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines for equitable distribution to countries around the world in 2021. It has secured 300 million doses to date, reports AFP.WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who attended Thursday’s FPGH meeting, said that the COVAX effort had only managed to secure less than 10 percent of global needs.He also underscored the danger of “vaccine nationalism” in compromising equitable access to future COVID-19 vaccines for all countries.Read also: Efficacy and safety first: Experts urge government not to put vaccines on pedestal”Once we have an effective COVID-19 vaccine, it’s vital that we also use it effectively. And the best way to do that is to ensure that some people in all countries receive it, rather than all people in some countries,” Ghebreyesus tweeted.The head of the global health authority lauded Indonesia’s efforts as the 2020 FPGH chair in advocating for “affordable health care for all”.The FPGH comprises Brazil, France, Indonesia, Norway, Senegal, South Africa and Thailand. Established in 2006, the forum has agreed to fully support global efforts to bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic through global health and foreign policy harmonization.In a related development, Retno also attended the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Thursday, during which representatives of the world’s top economies sought international cooperation over easing travel restrictions and reopening borders.Read also: G20 foreign ministers discuss easing travel restrictions“This effort needs collective global leadership. Efforts to revive and reconnect our economic cooperation must be supported, [but] without sacrificing strict health protocols,” the minister said in her remarks.During the meeting, the ministers discussed the “importance of coordinating precautionary measures” across borders to protect lives and livelihoods, the G20 said in a joint statement following a virtual meeting hosted by Saudi Arabia.Topics : Indonesia has called on fellow members of the seven-nation Foreign Policy and Global Health (FPGH) forum to push for equitable access to vaccines, especially at a time when poorer countries may lose out to their richer neighbors in securing access to any future COVID-19 vaccines.“Meeting the domestic need for vaccines is a necessity, but we must not do so at the expense of others. […] We must be a positive force for accessible and affordable vaccines for all,” Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said in an official transcript of the forum’s virtual meeting on Thursday.Retno’s remarks come as a number of developed countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, European Union members, Canada and Japan, have reserved an estimated 3.1 billion doses of experimental vaccines for themselves, before the clinical trials have even finished.last_img read more

Indian Premier League Virat Kohli lucky to have survived as RCB captain: Gautam Gambhir

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Indian Premier League News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: Virat Kohli is not a “shrewd captain” who could be compared to his national team deputy Rohit Sharma or former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who have won three IPL titles each, feels former KKR captain Gautam Gambhir. The former India opener, who led Kolkata Knight Riders to two IPL trophies in 2012 and 2014, feels that in result oriented franchise environment, Kohli has been “lucky” to have survived despite Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) never winning the coveted title in his eight years as skipper.”I don’t see him as a shrewd captain. I don’t see him as a tactful captain (tactician). And he hasn’t won the IPL. So ultimately, a captain is only as good as his record,” Gambhir told on host broadcasters’ ‘Star Sports’ show ‘GamePlan’.Gambhir’s comments is specific to Kohli’s success as a leader in IPL since he is the first captain who has led India to a Test series win on Australian soil.”There are people who have won the trophy three times. MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma. So I think he has a long way to go. You cannot compare him to someone like Rohit or Dhoni at this stage,” Gambhir said.”He has been a part of RCB, and captaining RCB for the last seven to eight years, and he has been very lucky and should be thanking the franchise that they stuck with him. Because not many captains have got such a long rope where they haven’t won a tournament,” said Gambhir, who had to part ways with KKR in 2018 after seven long years and two titles.Gambhir’s last IPL season was with Delhi Daredevils where he stepped down from captaincy midway after his run in the tournament went from bad to worse. However, another former skipper Sourav Ganguly, who had a tumultuous time as KKR captain, felt that there should be no questions about Kohli’s captaincy.  “If you talk about Virat Kohli and keeping him as a captain, just look at what he has done. What he has done with the bat in every format of the game. Absolute champion. And he deserves to be captain of RCB for whatever period of time. I am sure he will turn it around,” Ganguly said.  last_img read more

Chevron Junior Tennis Development Programme to Serve off July 22

first_imgThe first phase of the Chevron Junior Tennis Development programme is set to serve-off on Monday, July 22 at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club. The coaching programme will also take place in target Chevron communities across Nigeria as well as in Abuja.The programme which will cover 100 potential stars between the ages of 12 and 16 years will be run by certified national coaches and coaches from the community who will be trained to institute and continue the training of outstanding talent.“It is important that we find ways to keep our youth engaged during the weekends and holidays to wean them from negative pursuits and bad habits. Sport is one sure way to achieve that,” Godwin Kienka, director of the International Tennis Academy, organisers of the programme, said. Adding, “Sports is the second largest employer of labour in the world and the programme has an empowerment component where we identify the best talents and help groom them to stardom. At this time when the winner of the Wimbledon Championship, for instance, is getting $3million USD (N1trillion) we owe it to our children all over the nation to position them to compete for all the monies in the sports world.”The Chevron Junior Tennis Programme is expected to round – off in October with the Chevron National Junior Championship.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

How the NBA is handling coronavirus: the biggest questions

first_imgBut the loss of salary to NBA players, as much money as that might represent, probably is not as dire as the loss of salary to literally thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of people who work in arenas and live paycheck-to-paycheck. So far, this has been handled market-by-market. Cuban has said he will create a program to support those employees. In Cleveland, Cavaliers forward Kevin Love announced he would donate $100,000 to support arena workers and the Cavaliers indicated they are working to compensate their event staff. The Pistons told The Detroit News that they would pay workers throughout the hiatus.So far there’s been no coordinated plan announced by the NBA or its billionaire owners on the structure of any kind of employee support – it’s anticipated that it will be handled on a market-by-market basis. With both the Lakers and Clippers based in Staples Center, there could be a joint effort if Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and Lakers owner Jeanie Buss decide to pursue a support program for arena workers. Because the length of the hiatus is extremely fluid, that might complicate how teams approach helping those workers.Staples Center officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment. As of Thursday afternoon, a Lakers spokesperson said the team was still gathering information before providing comment. The Clippers did not have a comment outside of the team’s social distancing measures.Can fans with tickets receive refunds? The Lakers announced Wednesday that their scheduled Thursday game against the Houston Rockets would be refundable at point of purchase. Beyond that, there has been no system outlined for how mass refunds of game tickets would take place, but there are indications that will happen at least on a small scale.Both the Lakers and Clippers asked fans to hold onto tickets for upcoming games, saying they would be refunded from the point of purchase if the games were canceled or played without fans. With the NBA unlikely to resume for at least a month, it seems difficult to imagine Sunday’s Lakers-Nuggets game or Friday’s Clippers-Nets games finding new dates.Staples Center released a statement on social media: “We realize that our fans and guests have a variety of questions regarding their ticket purchases for various events. We are asking that all fans please hold on to their tickets as we work with our teams and partners on refund policies. We appreciate your patience during this time, and we will continue to update and provide details as they become available.”Mirjam Swanson contributed to this report. Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Clippers goal in restart against Lakers Thursday is to rebuild ‘winning habits’ AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersWith a player testing positive for COVID-19, and with no immediate means of knowing who else had been exposed or gotten the virus, there was no way forward for NBA competition on Wednesday.One thing everyone agrees on: It will be at least a month. That timeline is probably contingent on player testing. The league has to know its players don’t have the virus before competition can resume.It’s not a matter of simply making sure that Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell and whoever else is infected now is OK. The league must also take into account any new cases of the coronavirus which come up among players, coaches and assorted essential staffers in the next few weeks. If a player is diagnosed three weeks from now, that potentially sets back the recovery timeline for the league another 14 days (the suggested quarantine period). It’s a relatively safe assumption that the spread of COVID-19 in the NBA will somewhat reflect the spread in the United States at large – after all, NBA players interact with regular people too, not just those who work in the league.There are further complicating factors, such as if the league and all of its teams and employees are healthy, do they allow fans in the building? Even if players are healthy enough to compete, there still could be a societal risk of getting large gatherings of fans together in arenas before the pandemic curve flattens out. Games without fans are still in play even if the league resumes.Is there a cutoff point when the league would cancel the season entirely? Morning Wrap: Full coverage from Lakers-Clippers thriller; Angels, Dodgers going in different directions; Whicker pays tribute to legendary Mike Gillespie LOS ANGELES — The arenas are empty. The schedule is clear. The only thing accruing about the NBA is uncertainty.A day after the league took the unprecedented step of suspending the season, there were countless unknowns. While the general consensus of league sources who spoke to Southern California News Group is that the NBA will not resume for a minimum of 30 days, no one yet knows a precise timeline for a return or how the league would handle ramping back up to its schedule, including the postseason. Speaking on TNT on Thursday night, Commissioner Adam Silver indicated it’s possible the rest of the season could be canceled.While there aren’t yet many concrete answers, there are pieces of the discussion that are critical to understanding what’s next for the NBA as it navigates an unprecedented existential challenge. Here are the biggest questions surrounding the league’s handling of the coronavirus public health concern, some necessary context and what we know and don’t know:When will the NBA resume?center_img LeBron James’ clock is ticking, but Lakers hope the restart is time enough to win it all Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Kawhi Leonard’s playmaking is more than a passing fancy for Clippers The NBA calendar is a near-non-stop buzz of activity, and with even a month’s delay, a suspended season starts eating into the offseason business of the league. The draft is scheduled for June 25. Free agency begins the evening of June 30. Summer league is held in early July. This presents some strange questions, such as: If contracts typically expire at the end of June, how does that affect 2020 free agents who are playing in the playoffs if those games runs into July or beyond?On the other hand, there are big bottom-line reasons the NBA would want to salvage its postseason. The league has been substantially hurt already by a loss of business in China, and the relationship is essentially at a standoff because the Chinese government is allocating its attention and resources to its own outbreak. Commissioner Adam Silver said last month that the league has lost perhaps as much as $400 million from the brouhaha with China. Added to losses of television revenue and arena gates from the coronavirus, the NBA’s estimated $9.5 billion in annual revenue is taking huge hits. Team owners – and by extension players who would face a salary hit – would be motivated to make up as many games as possible and recoup the revenue.Asked by ESPN if NBA Finals games could be played into August, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said: “Absolutely.”The problem the NBA is going to face, however, is if the delay begins to butt up against other items on the calendar. The WNBA season begins May 16, and the Sparks will then try to share tenancy with the Lakers and Clippers, who are both expected to make deep playoff runs. The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to begin July 24 (assuming they go on as scheduled), which could mean that the players in the Team USA pool could shrink, or perhaps it would be composed of non-playoff players. There is usually a dead time in August and early September when the entire league goes on vacation before training camp resumes in late September and the season begins in October. How much space is needed before a new season resumes? Will there even be an offseason?What measures are teams taking? Who is being tested?As of Thursday afternoon, The Athletic was first to report that the league was taking social distancing measures through March 16 to limit exposure to players: no group workouts or practices, remaining at home as much as possible, no out-of-market travel and checking in with team medical staff once a day. So in the short-term, basketball, even behind closed doors has essentially stopped.Teams that came into contact with Gobert and the Jazz have been more proactive: The Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics have reportedly gone into self-quarantine after both teams played games against Utah in the previous week. The Chicago Bulls similarly announced they were going into self-quarantine, even though none of their players had shown any signs of illness.Testing is a trickier question. COVID-19 tests are not available in mass supply. In many places, including California, tests won’t be given unless symptoms manifest. As recently as Tuesday, Lakers coach Frank Vogel said he wasn’t aware that the team was offering testing or that anyone in the building had asked for them. While the perception is that NBA teams have the budget to pay for tests, that doesn’t necessarily reflect how they are distributed. While players were tested in Oklahoma by the local department of health, others are still waiting to learn if they’ve been exposed.Some players have received test kits, including Lakers players, a source with knowledge of the situation told SCNG, but they’ve not been mandated to take the test immediately.It seemed as though others were still feeling uncertainty about accessibility to testing. Clippers forward Patrick Patterson tweeted at the NBA on Thursday morning: “So.. are we all not gonna get tested or what?”Are players being paid? What about arena staffers and part-time employees?In the short term, NBA players are expecting checks through March 15, with more updates to follow. The league seems to still be working on a long-term strategy toward resuming play, given that most of the measures to this point run through the next week. NBA front offices are still in communication with players, keeping them abreast of developments league-wide.Related Articleslast_img read more