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More than 200 cases of monkeypox worldwide: EU disease agency

The United Kingdom has 71 confirmed cases

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More than 200 cases of monkeypox worldwide: EU disease agency
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Stockholm: The number of confirmed cases of monkeypox worldwide has reached 219 outside of countries where it is endemic, according to an update released by the European Union’s disease agency.

More than a dozen countries where monkeypox is unusual, mostly in Europe, have reported at least one confirmed case, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in an epidemiological note released Wednesday night.

“This is the first time that chains of transmission are reported in Europe without known epidemiological links to West or Central Africa, where this disease is endemic,” the note said.

It added that most of the cases were detected in young men, self-identifying as men who have sex with men.

The United Kingdom – where monkeypox’s unusual appearance was first detected in early May – currently has the largest bulk of confirmed cases, 71.

It is followed by Spain with 51 cases and Portugal, 37.

Outside of Europe, Canada has 15 and the United States has nine.

The total number of cases reported Wednesday has increased fivefold since its first count on May 20, when the EU agency said there were 38 cases.

Contagion risk is “very low”, the ECDC said earlier this week, but warned that people who have had multiple sexual partners – regardless of sexual orientation – are more at risk.

“The clinical presentation is generally described to be mild,” it said, adding that there has been no deaths.

Monkeypox – a less severe disease compared to its cousin smallpox – is endemic in 11 countries in West and Central Africa.

It spreads by a bite or direct contact with an infected animal’s blood, meat or bodily fluids, and initial symptoms include a high fever before quickly developing into a rash.

People infected with it also get a chickenpox-like rash on their hands and face.

No treatment exists but the symptoms usually clear up after two to four weeks, and it is not usually fatal.

Maria Van Kerkhove, the emerging disease lead for the World Health Organization, said Monday that monkeypox is a “containable situation”.

SOURCE: AFP

Pakistan

Govt set to announce comprehensive National Solar Policy on Aug 1

"The government was committed to making the country self-reliant in energy generation"

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Govt set to announce comprehensive National Solar Policy on Aug 1

Islamabad: The government is set to announce a comprehensive National Solar Policy on August 1 to provide cheap and environmental-friendly electricity to the general public.

The decision was taken by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif as he chaired a high-level meeting of the Energy Task Force aimed at addressing the problems of energy shortage in the country.

The implementation of the National Solar Policy will be subject to approval by the Council of Common Interests.

The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Energy Engineer Khurram Dastagir, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, Petroleum Minister Mussadik Malik, and the officials concerned. The chief secretaries of four provinces joined the meeting through a video link.

PM Sharif directed the task force to get feedback from the provinces on the draft solar policy and stressed ensuring unanimity of views at the provincial level on the projects of alternative energy generation.

Also, it was decided to shift the Prime Minister’s Office and the PM House to solar energy within one month.

The prime minister said the government was committed to making the country self-reliant in energy generation.

He mentioned that solar power was a clean and green way of electricity generation and said the solar projects would mitigate the issues such as distribution losses, power theft, and circular debt.

PM Sharif said affordable solar power would reduce the burden of inflation on the common man.

The meeting was informed that a proposal for converting the fuel-based powerhouses and the 2,000 feeders of 11 KV to solar generation was on the cards.

Switching the government buildings to solar power generation was also discussed in detail.

It was told that in the next 10 years, solar plants with 1,000 megawatts generation would be installed at the government buildings on a BOOT (Build-Own-Operate-Transfer) basis.

The meeting also discussed the proposals for B2B (business-to-business) and mini solar grids.

It was highlighted that a plan to convert 30,000 tube wells in Balochistan to solar power was under consideration with a cost of Rs 300 billion.

The meeting also discussed the proposal to provide solar plants to individuals with a facility of net-metering.

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Pakistan

Pakistan Railways announces 30% reduction in train fares on Eid

Passengers facing difficulties due to late arrival of trains can fully refund their tickets from the nearest reservation offices. 

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Pakistan Railways announces 30% reduction in train fares on Eid

Islamabad: Pakistan Railways has announced a thirty percent reduction in the fares of all trains on the eve of Eid-ul-Adha.

According to the notification issued by Pakistan Railways, the passengers will be able to get benefit from this facility during the three days of Eid in all classes of trains including economy, standard AC, Business and AC Sleeper. 

Meanwhile, Pakistan Railways has also announced that passengers facing difficulties due to late arrival of trains can fully refund their tickets from the nearest reservation offices. 

The passengers having E-Tickets can also refund their tickets through mobile application. 

 

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Cop martyred in KP grenade blast 

The injured have been shifted to the nearby hospital.

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Cop martyred in KP grenade blast 

Peshawar: In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, one police personnel was martyred while four others including two citizens got severely injured in a hand grenade blast on a Police check post in Mardan on Thursday.

According to Rescue 1122, the injured have been shifted to the nearby hospital.

Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan has strongly condemned the incident and sought a report in this regard from the Police authorities.

He directed the authorities concerned to take necessary steps for immediate arrest of the culprits involved in the incident.

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