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US declares monkeypox a public health emergency

The declaration, which is initially effective for 90 days but can be renewed, came as nationwide cases topped 6,600 on Thursday

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US declares monkeypox a public health emergency
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Washington: The United States on Thursday declared monkeypox a public health emergency, a move that should free up new funds, assist in data gathering and allow the deployment of additional personnel in the fight against the disease.

“We’re prepared to take our response to the next level in addressing this virus, and we urge every American to take monkeypox seriously and to take responsibility to help us tackle this virus,” Health and Human Services secretary Xavier Becerra said in a call.

The declaration, which is initially effective for 90 days but can be renewed, came as nationwide cases topped 6,600 on Thursday, around a quarter of them from New York state.

Experts believe the real number could be much higher in the current outbreak since the symptoms can be subtle, including single lesions.

The US has so far delivered some 600,000 JYNNEOS vaccines – originally developed against monkeypox’s related virus, smallpox – but this number figure is still far short of the approximately 1.6 million people considered at highest risk and who need the vaccine most.

Some 99 percent of US cases have so far been among men who have sex with men, the Health and Human Services department said last week, and this is the population authorities are targeting in the national vaccination strategy.

In contrast to previous outbreaks in Africa, the virus is now predominantly spread through sexual activity – but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says other routes are also possible, including sharing bedding, clothing, and prolonged face-to-face contact.

The US declaration comes after the World Health Organization also designated the outbreak an emergency last month – something it reserves for diseases of highest concern.

Also Thursday, US Food and Drug Administration commissioner Robert Califf said his agency was mulling a move that would allow clinicians to administer five doses of vaccine based on one dose of existing vials.

The vaccine is currently administered subcutaneously, but the new approach would involve administering it intradermally, at a shallower angle.

This “means basically sticking the needle within the skin and creating a little pocket there into which the vaccine goes, so this is really nothing highly unusual,” said Califf.

SOURCE: AFP

Pakistan

PM Shehbaz Sharif grieved over losses; seeks report on flood-hit areas of Balochistan

The prime minister also directed the concerned authorities to expedite the rescue and relief operations

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PM Shehbaz Sharif grieved over losses; seeks report on flood-hit areas of Balochistan

Islamabad: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday expressed his deep grief and sorrow over the human and financial losses caused by recent flash floods in Qila Abdullah after another heavy monsoon rainy spell lashed Balochistan province.

Seeking an immediate report on the affected areas, the prime minister also directed the National and Provincial Disaster Management Authorities to expedite the rescue and relief operations in the flood-hit areas.

A directive was also issued for the submission of a complete report regarding breaches in two dams and the subsequent damages caused by flood water.

The prime minister is soon expected to visit the flood-affected areas of Qila Abdullah.

The prime minister also desired that people trapped in floods should be shifted immediately to the safer areas, besides ensuring arrangements for food and tents for the affectees.

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Pakistan

Met Office predicts more torrential rains in Sindh, Balochistan, South Punjab in coming days

"Heavy rains may generate urban flooding"

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Met Office predicts more torrential rains in Sindh, Balochistan, South Punjab in coming days

Islamabad: The Pakistan Meteorological Department has predicted more torrential rains in Sindh, Balochistan and South Punjab in coming days.

In a weather advisory today (Saturday), the Met Office informed that depression has developed in Arabian Sea which is likely to move towards the west along Makran coast.

Due to this weather system, monsoon currents are continuously penetrating in southern parts of the country.

Another low pressure is likely to approach Sindh on Tuesday.

Under the influence of this weather system rain-wind/thundershower with few heavy falls is expected in Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab, Islamabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan and Kashmir from tomorrow till Tuesday with occasional gaps.

It said the heavy rains may generate urban flooding, advising all concerned authorities to remain alert and take necessary precautionary measures.

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Sports

Premier League: Manchester United suffer humiliating 4-0 loss

It was the first time since 1960 that United have conceded at least six goals in their first two matches of a top-flight season

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Premier League: Manchester United suffer humiliating 4-0 loss

A shambolic Manchester United side conceded four goals in the opening 35 minutes in a 4-0 drubbing at Brentford on Saturday as their woeful start to the Premier League season continued.

United's seventh successive away league defeat was assured long before the interval as Brentford took ruthless advantage of a catalogue of errors by the visitors.

The rout began in the 10th minute when United keeper David de Gea allowed a weak shot by Josh Dasilva to slip past him.

Things got worse for United eight minutes later when De Gea played the ball out to former Brentford player Christian Eriksen who was caught in possession and Mathias Jensen slotted home.

When United's defence failed to deal with a corner and Ben Mee glanced in a close-range header to make it 3-0 the Brentford fans were ecstatic while United's new manager Erik ten Hag looked ashen-faced in his technical area.

Brentford's fourth was a gem as Ivan Toney delivered a diagonal ball to Bryan Mbeumo from a counter-attack and Mbeumo calmly beat De Gea.

Ten Hag made three substitutions at halftime with Raphael Varane, Tyrell Malacia and Scott McTominay coming on but despite a slight improvement United offered little fight.

Brentford's fans serenaded their players with "Hey Jude" at the final whistle while United's players looked crestfallen as they trudged off rock bottom of the table having also lost their opener at home to Brighton & Hove Albion.

It was the first time since 1960 that United have conceded at least six goals in their first two matches of a top-flight season and the first time they have lost their opening two matches since 1992 when they went on to win the title.

WOEFULLY INADEQUATE

This side, however, looks woefully inadequate to mount any kind of challenge and Ten Hag, who was taunted by the Brentford fans, appears to have a huge job on his hands.

The Dutchman is the first Manchester United manager to lose his first two games in charge since John Chapman in 1921.

"It's easy to dismantle this United side, just be organised and fight and you're there," said former United player and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville said.

For Brentford, whose starting line-up cost in the region of 55 million compared to the more than 400 million of United's, have picked up four points in their first two games.

"It was just hard work. We knew the high press would affect them. It was clear to see that if you work hard, you get the result," Toney told Sky Sports.

"We know they have great talent in there and have some players who can change the game. When you work like we did today and run all over them, you get a result like we did."

United has Cristiano Ronaldo back in their starting line-up but the Portuguese forward barely got a look in.

The confidence drained out of United from the moment De Gea allowed Dasilva's shot to end up in the back of the net.

Eriksen, who got a mixed reception from Brentford's fans, then inadvertently gifted his former club their second as United looked shellshocked by the energy of their hosts who went on to record their biggest top-flight victory since 1938.

Things will not get any easier for United whose next game is against Liverpool.

"It was a horrible day," De Gea said. "I should have saved the first shot and then the result may have been different.

"Other teams concede one goal and win 5-1. We have to react much better. It was a poor performance."

SOURCE: REUTERS

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