4,000 Recovered COVID-19 Church Members in South Korea Declare Donation of $83 Billion Worth Plasma for Cure

Published in World
Monday, 29 June 2020 12:38

A South Korea-based religious group named the Shincheonji Church of Jesus said that over 4,000 members of the church recovered from COVID-19 are willing to donate plasma for developing a new treatment.

The amount of blood will be about $83 billion worth if the 4,000 patients donate 500ml individually, according to the current transaction in the United States. “It is difficult to accelerate developing a medicine for COVID-19 with only 200 recovered patients who expressed their will to donate blood. The massive donation from the recovered patients in the Shincheonji Church will solve the problem of the lack of blood for research,” said an official from Green Cross Pharma, a biopharmaceutical company in South Korea.

For the first quarter of this year, the rapid virus spread hit the church members in Daegu of South Korea, where the early signs of the crisis appeared with the controversy over the massive visitors from China before the infection of church members.

Mr. Man Hee Lee, founder of the Shincheonji Church, said that members of the church are advised to donate plasma voluntarily. “As Jesus sacrificed himself with his blood for life, we hope that the blood of people can bring positive effects on overcoming the current situation,” said Mr. Lee.

“We had a discussion with the health authorities and tried to establish a plan with details for donation. Some of the recovered members have already donated individually, feeling thankful for the assistance from the government and medical teams. They expressed their will to make contribution to the society,” said an official in the church.

Some local governments in South Korea recently brought lawsuits against the church with allegations that the church did not cooperate with the authorities by not submitting the full list of church facilities and members. 

“No evidence has been found that Shincheonji supplied missing or altered lists. And there were only minor differences,” said Kim Kang-lip, vice-minister of Health. Academic researches on Shincheonji and COVID-19 stated that the church “provided the list of its South Korean members six days after it was requested” and “it was initially unclear whether shut down facilities and properties should be included” when the government asked for the lists of real estate.

(Shincheonji and Coronavirus in South Korea: Sorting Fact from Fiction - A White Paper https://www.eupoliticalreport.eu/covid-19-and-the-shincheonji-church-in-south-korea-a-white-paper-reveals-the-truth/)

A Shincheonji media coordinator said the church will cooperate fully with investigations from government agencies.

South Korea reported 12,535 confirmed cases and 281 deaths from COVID-19.

Press Release of the HWPL

"Team Europe" global response to COVID-19: Council welcomes the mobilisation of almost €36 billion and approves conclusions

Published in Economics
Thursday, 18 June 2020 12:24

The European Council approved conclusions on the "Team Europe" package that is part of the EU's global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In its conclusions the Council expresses its deep concern about the global spread of the COVID‑19 pandemic, which continues to claim lives worldwide and have far-reaching social and economic effects.

The Council stresses the urgency of protecting the lives and livelihoods of all people, leaving no-one behind, and of prioritising efforts in partner countries that are most in need. In light of that the Council fully supports the "Team Europe" approach and welcomes the announcement that almost 36 billion euro have now been mobilised and will be used to address the devastating effects of the COVID-19 crisis in partner countries and regions.

The "Team Europe" package was launched on 8 April 2020 to support EU partner countries in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. The financial support initially pledged was around 20 billion euro and combined resources from the EU, its member states, and financial institutions, in particular the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

source: https://www.euneighbours.eu/en/east-south/stay-informed/news/team-europe-global-response-covid-19-council-welcomes-mobilisation

 

Giorgi Gakharia: Every citizen of the country should call a doctor and get PCR tested on COVID-19 as soon as feverish or suspecting other respiratory symptoms

Published in Health
Friday, 12 June 2020 11:22

Giorgi Gakharia, Prime Minister of Georgia instructed respective institutions to extend the coverage of COVID-19 tests in parallel with re-opening of the economy and on the background of increased epidemic risks. Head of the Government of Georgia held a working meeting today on the topic.

On the background of COVID-19 circulation and restrictions being lifted in the country, greater importance is acquired by the timely detection and treatment of possible cases. Every citizen should immediately call 112 or a family doctor and get PCR tested on COVID-19 if and when gets fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing or other respiratory symptoms.

As of June 11, 2020 the country has identified 6 new cases, out of which 4 are not traceable and thus contain an outright threat. Hence, Government of Georgia and healthcare professionals once again urge the population to strictly adhere to the pre-defined measures.

Gradual lifting of restrictions and resumption of the economy should not serve as a basis of lessening the effort or lead to an illusion that a virus has been defeated. Examples of various countries have been discussed at the working meeting, which have had repeated epidemic outbreaks. Significance of joint efforts and high degree of responsibility has been underlined in the process of tackling the global pandemic.

Prime Minister of Georgia and management officials of the National Centre for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC) discussed the current stance at Fever Centers and inbound calls to 112, along with the resources required for the greater extension of testing practices. It was noted that as of today 18 labs in Georgia perform the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and this number will increase to 24 in July 2020. Average daily number of tests performed in the country is around 1500, which is expected to increase to 4500 in the nearest future. By autumn daily indicator of tests will reach 6000-8000. Along with possible cases, tests at present will be performed among some number of groups, which will be defined in the nearest future under the Government Resolution. In line with the instructions issued by the Head of Government of Georgia, stock of test kits will be periodically increased. NCDC is also replenishing its material-technical base.

 

Press Service of the Government Administration

Georgian and Armenian Foreign Ministers have once again exchanged views on COVID-19 pandemic situation

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 09 June 2020 16:03

Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani spoke over the phone with his Armenian counterpart, Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan. The Armenian Minister expressed his gratitude for the Georgian government’s active communication with Armenia.

The two ministers exchanged information on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak situation and on actions taken by the Georgian and Armenian governments to prevent its further spread.

On behalf of the Georgian Prime Minister, David Zalkaliani once again offered assistance to the Armenian side in the fight against the pandemic.

Speaking on behalf of the Armenian Prime Minister, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan expressed his appreciation regarding the offer. He said that he highly values the Georgian people’s support in these difficult times. The two ministers agreed to continue active communication, including through the active involvement of sectoral agencies.

Exchanging information on security issues, the parties underlined that regional and global security taken on an increasingly meaningful focus during the pandemic.

Conversations also included issues of cooperation in bilateral and multilateral formats, including within the Eastern Partnership

Special note was taken of the special importance of Eastern Partnership for the countries involved in it. The Ministers said that they look forward to exchanging high-level visits once the pandemic is over. Zohrab Mnatsakanyan invited David Zalkaliani for a visit to Armenia.

Preventing COVID-19: Council of Europe supports prison systems in Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro and North Macedonia

Published in World
Tuesday, 09 June 2020 15:42

In response to the emergency of COVID-19 pandemic and to the need of providing urgent support to inmates and prison staff, in the context of its cooperation programmes, the Council of Europe has donated protective materials to five member States: Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro and North Macedonia.

In Georgia, donations included 6,500 masks, 2,500 face shields and 500 litres of sanitizer and antiseptic liquid, 20 pulse oximeters; 5,000 disposable plastic shoe covers; and 3,000 medical disposable headcovers.

A total of 13,760 masks; 2,500 facial shields; 1,240 litters of disinfectant/sanitizer for hands and surfaces; 84,000 gloves; 99 infrared thermometers; 2 oxygen generators; 5 portable saturometers; 10 bactericide lamps; 50 medical uniforms; 100 protective glasses, 20 pulse oximeters; 3,000 head covers; 5,000 shoe covers were delivered to prison administrations in the mentioned countries. 850 pieces of disinfectants and 5,000 gloves are also under way of delivery in North Macedonia, and additional items are expected to be purchased in Montenegro and Azerbaijan until end of June 2020.

These donations aim at supporting the commitment of the Council of Europe member States and their national prison administrations to adhere to the CPT statement of principles for the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty (see the statement also in Georgian here), in accordance with the World Health Organization guidelines in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The donations were delivered following requests from the Ministries of Justice and prison administrations within the framework of the cooperation activities implemented by the Criminal Law Cooperation Unit, Action against Crime Department, Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law.

The donation to Georgia was possible in the framework of the project Enhancement of Human Rights and Health-Care Support to Penitentiary System (financed through CoE Action Plan for Georgia 2016-2019).

Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan and family test positive for COVID-19

Published in Health
Monday, 01 June 2020 11:42

Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced this morning that he and his family tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday. They are self-isolating in the Prime Minister’s residence.

The PM said that they were not showing any symptoms and that he would continue to work from self-isolation.

Pashinyan said he was tested for the virus because he was planning a visit to ‘the frontlines’. 

He stated that he believed he was infected during a government consultation for coronavirus prevention work during which glasses for water were set on the table by a staff member who was not wearing gloves and who has since tested positive for the virus. 

source: https://oc-media.org/armenian-pm-nikol-pashinyan-and-family-test-positive-for-covid-19/

Georgia reports 707 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 456 patients recovered

Published in Health
Wednesday, 20 May 2020 10:30

Georgia reported five new cases of COVID-19 today bringing the total number of infected people to 707.

The date has recently been updated on a special web page stopcov.ge created by the Georgian government.

The number of recovered persons is 456. Twelve patients died. Three persons are brought from abroad for medical treatment. There are 3914 people in quarantine, 340 – inpatient care.

China announces concrete measures to boost global fight against COVID-19 as Xi addresses WHA session

Published in World
Tuesday, 19 May 2020 10:51
BEIJING, May 18 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday announced concrete measures to boost global fight against COVID-19 including providing international aid and making the country's COVID-19 vaccine a global public good when available.
 
Xi made the announcement as he addressed the opening of the 73rd session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) via video link.
 
"China will provide 2 billion U.S. dollars over two years to help with COVID-19 response and with economic and social development in affected countries, especially developing countries," Xi said.
 
China will work with the United Nations to set up a global humanitarian response depot and hub in China, ensure the operation of anti-epidemic supply chains and foster "green corridors" for fast-track transportation and customs clearance, he said.
 
Besides, China will establish a cooperation mechanism for its hospitals to pair up with 30 African hospitals and accelerate the building of the Africa CDC headquarters to help the continent ramp up its disease preparedness and control capacity, said Xi.
 
"COVID-19 vaccine development and deployment in China, when available, will be made a global public good," said the president.
 
"This will be China's contribution to ensuring vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries," he added.
 
Moreover, China will work with other G20 members to implement the Debt Service Suspension Initiative for the poorest countries, Xi said, adding that China is also ready to work with the international community to bolster support for the hardest-hit countries under the greatest strain of debt service so that they could tide over the current difficulties.
 
The WHA is the decision-making body of the WHO. The 73rd session of the WHA, scheduled from Monday to Tuesday, is held via video link due to the impact of the current pandemic.
 
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), its agenda was condensed only to essential issues, such as COVID-19 and the executive board members selection.
 
Currently, COVID-19 has hit over 210 countries and regions, affected more than seven billion people around the world and claimed over 300,000 precious lives.
 
"China stands for the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind," said Xi, adding that China takes it as its responsibility to ensure not just the life and health of its own citizens, but also global public health.
 
China has all along acted with openness, transparency and responsibility in the fight against COVID-19, said Xi, adding that the country "has done everything in our power to support and assist countries in need."
 
Noting that "nothing in the world is more precious than people's lives," Xi urged all countries to put the people first and do everything they can for COVID-19 control and treatment.
 
He expressed China's staunch support to the WHO, calling on the international community to increase political and financial support for WHO so as to mobilize resources worldwide to defeat the virus.
 
"At this crucial juncture, to support WHO is to support international cooperation and the battle for saving lives as well," Xi said.
 
Xi called on the world to provide more material, technological and personnel support for African countries, saying that "helping them build capacity must be our top priority in COVID-19 response."
 
Furthermore, Xi said the international community must strengthen global governance in the area of public health.
 
"China supports the idea of a comprehensive review of the global response to COVID-19 after it is brought under control to sum up experience and address deficiencies," said Xi.
 
"This work should be based on science and professionalism, led by WHO and conducted in an objective and impartial manner," he added.
 
He also proposed to restore economic and social development and strengthen international cooperation.
 
Noting that the mankind is facing the most serious global public health emergency since the end of World War II, Xi said "solidarity and cooperation is a sure way through which we, the people of the world, can defeat this novel coronavirus."
 
He called on the international community to work as one and make concerted efforts to protect the life and health of people in all countries, safeguard planet Earth and build a global community of health for all.
 
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and leaders from other countries addressed the opening via video link, expressing their support to the WHO and multilateralism, as well as enhanced joint efforts in the global fight against COVID-19.

Как украинский бизнес и волонтеры спасают народ от COVID-19

Published in Health
Monday, 18 May 2020 12:20

Глобальная пандемия стала испытанием для Украины, которая пытается реформировать свою систему здравоохранения. Как обычно, гражданское общество, волонтеры и предприниматели подставили плечо. «UkraineWorld» наблюдала за тем, как они объединяют усилия против распространения COVID-19 и помогают наиболее уязвимым группам населения.

Евромайдан и война России против Украины показали, что украинцы умеют противостоять противнику. Однако, на этот раз враг невидимый. Пока правительство дожидается гуманитарной помощи из Китая и финансовой поддержки международных фондов, украинцы      делают      то, что могут     . С самого начала карантина, 17 марта, заработали многочисленные частные и общественные инициативы поддержки работников здравоохранения, пожилых и людей с инвалидностью.

По состоянию на конец марта, по данным главного санитарного врача Украины Виктора Ляшко, украинские больницы, включая клиники, перепрофилированные для приема больных коронавирусной инфекцией, имели в своем распоряжении менее 4000 аппаратов искусственной вентиляции легких (ИВЛ).

Острая потребность в аппаратах ИВЛ и базовых средствах защиты для медперсонала побудили частных предпринимателей прийти на помощь системе здравоохранения.

Ведущий украинский почтовый оператор «Нова Пошта» начал действовать одним из первых. Компания передала 25 миллионов гривен (899425 американских долларов) на оборудование больниц в Полтавской области. «Бизнес в нашей стране никогда не работал в      идеальных условиях     , – сказал совладелец компании Владимир Поперешнюк. – Но сейчас речь идет о выживании и сохранении рабочих мест». Инициаторы призвали других предпринимателей присоединиться, и многие отозвались на призыв. Футбольный клуб «Ворскла» и горнодобывающая компания «Ferrexpo» согласились оказать финансовую помощь.

Благотворительные и социальные акции компаний стали службой спасения в городах по всей Украине. Во Львове, туристической жемчужине на западе Украины, одна из крупнейших ИТ-компаний, «SoftServe», направила10 миллионов гривен на приобретение лекарств, оборудования и всего необходимого для больниц в тех городах, где расположены ее офисы. Другие коллеги по отрасли последовали их примеру, в том числе компания «Intellias», которая создала специальную группу для отслеживания ситуации с пандемией в Украине и заявила о приобретении 10 000 систем для тестирования на коронавирус.

На национальном      уровне к борьбе с коронавирусом присоединились банки, крупные бизнесмены и даже олигархи. «Приватбанк» и основатель «Monobank» собрали деньги и направили их на приобретение аппаратов ИВЛ для больниц. Многие начали предоставлятьбесплатные консультации, онлайн-курсы и скидки, чтобы облегчить жизнь тем, кто вынужден продолжать трудиться, или помогает улучшить ситуацию, оставаясь дома.

В Одессе группа добровольцев под названием «Корпорация Монстров» вместе с предпринимателями и благотворителями помогает местным больницам. Руководитель организации, Катерина Ножевникова, регулярно информирует о ситуации на своей странице в Facebook. Добровольцы уже передали тысячи комплектов защитного снаряжения и основных предметов гигиены и начали помогать пожилым людям, которые подвергаются наибольшему риску.

«В Одессе более 5500 пенсионеров нуждаются в особом уходе. И они никак не могут покинуть свои дома», – написала в посте Юлия Каназирская, координатор проекта «Добрый обед». Антикризисный штаб в Одесской области, «Одесса vs. COVID» мобилизовал местных предпринимателей на поддержку наиболее социально незащищенных сограждан товарами первой необходимости и продуктами. Этим занимаются также организации «Старенькие», «Жизнелюб», община Святого Эгидия и «Помоги бездомному».

Кроме того, различные группы добровольцев шьют защитные маски, пытаясь компенсировать их нехватку. Некоторые инициативы, возникшие в 2014 году с целью помогать снабжению украинских солдат на передовой одеждой и снаряжением, теперь собирают деньги на защитное снаряжение и аппараты ИВЛ, а также шьют маски для борьбы с распространением смертельного вируса.

В то время как десятки НГО и новых инициатив, таких как «Солидарность», прилагают все усилия для противодействия распространению инфекционного заболевания, местные органы власти по всей Украине были вынуждены отвечать на проблемы, возникшие в связи с эпидемией коронавируса.

В одном только Киевеболее 12 тысяч одиноких пожилых людей, о которых нужно позаботиться. Мэр Киева Виталий Кличко сообщил, что город организовал снабжение одиноких пенсионеров продуктами, средствами гигиены и лекарствами.

Подобные меры предприняли и в других областях. Например Ровенский областной совет принял решение снабжать людей с инвалидностью и пожилых людей всем необходимым, чтобы уберечь их от контактов. Украина пытается также задействовать свои государственные предприятия. Почтовая компания «Укрпошта» и служба Liki24.com в период карантина начали бесплатно доставлять лекарства в отдаленные города и села Украины.

С введением карантина движение общественного транспорта было серьезно ограничено и вскоре приостановлено вследствие чрезвычайной ситуации. Поэтому Львовский городской совет даже заключил соглашениес автосервисами Uklon, Bolt и Uber о предоставлении бесплатных поездок медицинским работникам тех больниц, где лечат пациентов с коронавирусом. В конце марта киевский сервис Uber Shuttle превратился в Shuttle Heroes и предоставляет медработникам бесплатные поездки. Воспользоваться этой услугой можно с помощью промокода, который распространяют через управления здравоохранения и государственную онлайн-службу.

Когда ограничили работу общественного транспорта, прежде чем заработали государственные мероприятия, украинские водители сами начали бесплатно подвозить медработников”.

В Киеве, Черновцах, Львове, Ровном и других областях они сразу ж создали специальные каналы в мессенджерах и группы в Facebook, чтобы помогать медицинским работникам добраться до рабочих мест. Андрей Дидун, ужгородский бизнесмен, первым выступил с почином, когда в Ужгороде (Закарпатская область) остановили общественный транспорт. Сегодня «Подвези медика» (или «Помоги медику») – массовое движение солидарности по всей Украине, которое помогает работникам здравоохранения выполнять свою работу.

Невзирая на грозящие им финансовые трудности, малые предприятия не остались в стороне. Андрей Дидун, который продает аксессуары для мобильных телефонов сумел, вместе с другими предпринимателями, собрать деньги и купить необходимое защитное снаряжение и средства первой необходимости для инфекционных отделений и больниц.

«В инфекционных больницах нет ничего – ни перчаток, ни масок, ни специальных костюмов», – рассказал предприниматель «UkraineWorld». Он считает, что ситуация с защитной одеждой осложняется тем, что в Интернете было много предложений спекулятивного характера. «Эти костюмы защищают от химических веществ, но не от вирусов. Все же их можно использовать, если нет других вариантов. У меня есть друзья в региональных больницах, и там ситуация катастрофическая», – добавил Дидун.

Желание помочь – с этого начинается солидарность. Кристина Жук из Львова решила развесить в своем районе объявления. «Я написала, что могу пойти в продуктовый магазин или аптеку, выгуливать собак и кошек для людей из групп высокого риска, беременных или тех, кто страдает сердечно-сосудистыми заболеваниями». Немногие обратились к ней за помощью. «Пока ситуация еще не такая критическая», – считает Кристина, – наверное, мало кто воспринимают это всерьез».

Тем не менее, как начальница маркетингового отдела пиццерии «Ла Пьец», Кристина инициировала в компании бесплатную доставку пиццы в инфекционные отделения и больницы скорой помощи во Львове, Ивано-Франковске и Виннице. «Когда я увидела, что в Италии бесплатно доставляют медикам пиццу, то подумала, что это прекрасная идея!, – рассказала она «UkraineWorld», – и мы сейчас тоже этим занимаемся».

 

Эта статья была впервые опубликована на «UkraineWorld».

 

ИРИНА МАТВИИШИН

журналистка и аналитик «UkraineWorld» и «Интерньюз-Украина»

Frontline medical workers in Georgia receive protective equipment

Published in Health
Friday, 15 May 2020 11:18

On 14 May, the EU and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) delivered 7,500 protective face shields to the Emergency Situations Coordination and Urgent Assistance Centre of the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia.

Manufactured by a Georgian company with support from the EU and the UNDP, the adjustable and reusable face shields will help ensure that emergency crews in Tbilisi and other regions are able to do their job safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. The face shields are made from recycled plastic bottles.

This assistance is part of a larger programme whose aim is to support healthcare staff, civil servants and other at-risk personnel across Georgia, and provide people with essential healthcare and other services.

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