Richard Agar self-isolating after member of Leeds Rhinos’ coaching staff tests positive for coronavirus | Rugby League News

first_imgRichard Agar will miss the Rhinos’ play-off game against the Dragons Richard Agar one of three people in Rhinos organisation self-isolating to comply with the national track and trace guidelines; A statement from Leeds read: “All three members of the coaching staff currently isolating are due to return to work after next weekend” By PA SportLast Updated: 06/11/20 6:26pm Webster is leaving Leeds at the end of the season and focusing on his other coaching role with Featherstone but will hope to guide the team to the semi-finals before handing back the reins to Agar, who will have to watch next Friday’s game from his home.Webster will be assisted in the preparations for the Catalans game by former St Helens and Great Britain scrum-half Sean Long, who will replace him at Headingley next season and who began work with the club on Friday.A statement from Leeds read: “All three members of the coaching staff currently isolating are due to return to work after next weekend.”- Advertisement – Richard Agar will miss the Rhinos' play-off game against the Dragons
Richard Agar will miss the Rhinos' play-off game against the Dragons

Gareth Southgate says Jack Grealish and Declan Rice will flourish for England after switch from Republic of Ireland | Football News

first_imgValencia teenager Yunus Musah is one current example, with the talented 17-year-old preparing to link up with the United States senior team for their upcoming friendlies having been with the England Under-19 squad just lastmonth.“I know John (McDermott, assistant FA technical director) has spoken with the family and they know where we sit with it,” Southgate said.“But also we want to get that balance right of not just pushing him up the age groups quicker than we think is right because we’ve got other boys in the system as well, and we don’t want to promise things that we can’t fulfil.“It sounds as though he’s going to meet with America this time and experience that. That doesn’t rule him out of being with us moving forward.“So, we’ve just got to make sure that the boy and the family know that we think he’s a good player, that he’s on a good trajectory.“We’re monitoring him. He’s been with us in the last couple of months and we’d very much like his future to be with us.” Aston Villa skipper Grealish played for Ireland up to under-21s level and turned down a senior call-up in 2015, before committing to England later that year and eventually making his senior bow in September 2020.Rice did represent the Irish senior side on three occasions but those caps came in friendlies, allowing the West Ham midfielder to declare for the Three Lions in February 2019 and go on to win 11 caps.“In terms of Declan, well, we’ve got the same situation with Jack and the same situation with Michael Keane (who represented Ireland at youth level), really, so we’ll have to play somebody!” England boss Southgate said.- Advertisement – “But I think the three boys we have with us, they look as if they can have good international careers with us and we’re just focusing on that part of it, really.”Former boss Roy Hodgson and ex-Football Association technical director Dan Ashworth were key in persuading Grealish to join up with England, while Southgate played an important role in bringing Rice over.The Three Lions boss says it would be “arrogant” to assume that players would choose them in a time when so many within the system can represent one or more other countries. Gareth SouthgateImage:Gareth Southgate played a role in persuading Declan Rice to play for England “But I can’t think too much about that. We’re obviously playing in an empty stadium which makes things a little bit different but I understand the interest in these players.“We’ve got a lot of these situations. We played Wales last month and they had a couple of players who were with us as youngsters: Tyler Roberts and Ethan Ampadu. We didn’t want to lose them.“I think everybody is facing these challenges with dual nationality players and we’ve always got to get the balance right of not capping them too early, just to stop them going somewhere else – we want to be fair to them so they can have a career.- Advertisement – Gareth Southgate believes Jack Grealish and Declan Rice will have successful careers with England as the pair prepare to face the Republic of Ireland for the first time since switching sides.After New Zealand pulled out of a friendly on Thursday due to coronavirus-shaped travel complications, Ireland will instead be lining-up at Wembley ahead of the conclusion of the Nations League group phase.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola urge Premier League to allow five substitutes | Football News

first_imgThe Liverpool manager has rejected claims reintroducing the five substitutes rule, which was briefly used last season after Project Restart, could favour the ‘big six’ teams in the Premier League and insists player welfare should be the priority this season. 5:29 “All the teams have to understand why it’s so helpful. It’s not an advantage, it’s a necessity. 100 per cent,” said Klopp.“In all other countries it happens and here we make a bit more fun of the competition by having only three subs. That is really incredible, so we have to talk again.”Alexander-Arnold will have a scan on Monday and is expected to withdraw from the England squad for their games against the Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Iceland later this month. “If we continue like this and hopefully we can play the Euros in the summer… if they happen, let’s see who will be part of that.”Manchester City have used all three of their substitutes twice this season and only two clubs have made fewer total substitutions, but manager Guardiola says he fully agrees with Klopp that the limit must be increased.“All around the world it’s five substitutions, but here we believe we are more special people,” said Guardiola.“We don’t protect the players, and that’s why it’s a disaster. In this calendar, especially. I will demand, if the people allow, we have to come back to five substitutions.“If not, it’s difficult to sustain it.”Keane: Very difficult for Man City to win the league Roy Keane believes Manchester City lack the firepower needed to win the Premier League this season, after their 1-1 draw with Liverpool.Pep Guardiola’s side were a distant second to the Reds last season and eight games into the 2020/21 campaign they already trail Liverpool by five points, sitting 11th in the table, six off early leaders Leicester City.Interestingly, Man City have scored 17 goals fewer than they had at the same stage of last season, and Keane believes with Sergio Aguero struggling with injuries, they aren’t able to make their dominance count in matches – and criticised them for not investing in a striker in the summer.“I know there were other positions they wanted to fill, a centre-half I suppose was a priority. They’ve got nobody but themselves to blame for being short on strikers. You have to have strength in depth – particularly if you’re expected to challenge for all the major trophies. I don’t see City winning the league this year.” 0:43 Klopp believes the Football Association should take action over the substitutes rule, or risk having more international players ruled out through injury.“In my understanding it is a lack of leadership,” Klopp added. “It is the only big league where you have only three subs. Surprise.“The FA has to be involved. Tonight we lost Trent Alexander-Arnold. I’m pretty sure Gareth Southgate is not fine [with that]. FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City’s draw with Liverpool in the Premier League Trent Alexander-Arnold went down with a suspected calf injury in the 63rd minute of Sunday's draw against Manchester CityImage:Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold suffered a suspected calf injury in Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Manchester City 3:00 preview image David Moyes had made no secret of his desire to strengthen his options at the back – Advertisement – West Ham manager David Moyes had previously been in favour of only using three substitutes in a match, but he now admits he would prefer the option of being able to put up to five replacements on due to increasing concerns over player welfare preview image Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says it is “necessity” for clubs to have five substitutes per match in the Premier League, while Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has labelled the current three sub limit a “disaster”.Klopp and Guardiola renewed their calls for the rules to be changed after Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold suffered a suspected calf injury during Sunday’s 1-1 draw at the Etihad.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Roy Keane, Jamie Carragher and Micah Richards discuss Manchester City’s chances of winning the Premier League this season. Roy doesn’t think City have a chance of winning the title – Advertisement –last_img read more

Masters Moments: Tiger Woods ends 11-year wait for 15th major win at Augusta National | Golf News

first_img Woods trailed third-round leader Francesco Molinari by two shots going into the final round Woods trailed third-round leader Francesco Molinari by two shots going into the final round

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and team-mates sleep on airport floor ahead of Africa Cup of Nations qualifier | Football News

first_imgThe Germany international recently insisted Aubameyang was not a good role model because he donned a mask – inspired by the film Black Panther – after he scored against Rennes in the Europa League back in March 2019.Aubameyang had previously pulled out a number of different masks to celebrate goals during his time at Borussia Dortmund. Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrated his second goal against Rennes in the Europa League in March by wearing a mask of the Marvel Comics character the Black PantherImage:Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrated his second goal against Rennes in the Europa League in March by wearing a mask of the Marvel Comics character Black Panther The Gabon delegation were told they were not allowed to leave the airport because of an administrative problem and were forced to sleep on the floor before being allowed to leave in the morning after government intervention.No reason was given for not allowing the team to exit the airport and head to their hotel after arrival. Gabon’s federation posted pictures of the incident to its Facebook page but without any comment.“Nice job CAF, it’s as if we were back in the 1990s,” Aubameyang posted on Twitter in a reference to previous foibles blamed on the Confederation of African Football.- Advertisement – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and his Gabon team-mates were forced to spend the night sleeping on the airport floor ahead of their vital Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Gambia.Aubameyang used social media to highlight their plight after arriving at Banjul airport on Sunday, ahead of Monday’s Group D clash in the Gambian capital.- Advertisement – Kroos, speaking on the Einfach mal Luppen podcast via Sport Bild, made the comment: “Aubameyang once celebrated and took out a mask. That’s where it ends with me.“I don’t think that’s a good role model either. What nonsense.”While initially reluctant to respond to Kroos, Aubameyang then took aim at the World Cup winner.Aubameyang said: “By the way. Does this @ToniKroos have Kids? Just to remember I did it for my son few times and I will do it again.“I wish you have Kids one day and make them happy like this Junior School pupils. Talk and don’t Forget #maskon #staysafe.” “This will not demotivate us but people need to know and CAF need to take responsibility. [It is] 2020 and we want Africa to grow but this is not how we will get there,” the Arsenal striker added later.Gabon are top of the group standings, three points ahead of Gambia, who are seeking to reach the Nations Cup finals for the first time. The top two teams in the group, which also includes Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo, advance to the finals in Cameroon in early 2022.Aubameyang hits back at Kroos for mask criticismLast week Aubameyang hit back at Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos for criticising his choice of celebration.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

News: Preferred Hotel Group launches Beyond Green brand

first_imgLindsey Ueberroth, chief executive of Preferred Hotel Group, has confirmed the North American company will launch a new hotel brand, Beyond Green. – Advertisement –last_img

Vietnam avian flu cases spark concern as WHO gives numbers

first_imgMar 11, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The recent series of cases of avian influenza in a single province in Vietnam has increased concern about whether the nature of the illness is changing.At least eight people from the northern province of Thai Binh have tested positive for H5N1 flu since this outbreak began in December 2004, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP), and two have died. Overall, 25 laboratory-confirmed cases, 14 of them fatal, have occurred in Vietnam and Cambodia since mid-December 2004, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today in an update on the case count.The Thai Binh cases include two people who tested positive for avian flu despite having no symptoms. Both have family members who contracted avian flu.”It’s too early to say whether these cases are any different from previous cases or not,” said Dr. Peter Horby, a WHO epidemiologist in Hanoi, in an Associated Press (AP) story yesterday. Referring to the asymptomatic cases, he added: “The two people with atypical infections could be related to improved testing, or it could relate to some difference in the virus. We won’t know till we isolate the virus. It’s too early to be raising alarms.”A local health official told AFP that people in Thai Binh need more information.”What worries us most is that people don’t have enough information on bird flu transmission and on poultry-raising,” Dang Duc Rieu, director of the provincial animal health department, said in an AFP report on Mar 9.He said local people, including local authorities, are very worried because more human cases of avian flu have occurred this year even as the toll on poultry has been lower than last year. “We are closely monitoring the infected people and places where the poultry outbreaks were reported,” he said.In the Thai Binh village of Thuy Luong, Le Thi Nhuan told AFP that people are avoiding her and her family members because three of them had avian flu. Her father-in-law is the 80-year-old man with confirmed H5N1 but no symptoms. The health department was to have given her family members masks, but hadn’t yet done so, she said.”Ever since they were discovered to be infected, villagers don’t want to stay close to us,” she said.In today’s update, the WHO said the Vietnam Ministry of Health has confirmed 10 human cases of H5N1 avian flu, of which 3 were fatal. Some of the cases were detected this month, while others date back to late January, the WHO said. Today marked the first update of the WHO’s case counts since early February.”This notification of cases follows new reporting procedures established within the Ministry of Health in collaboration with WHO staff in Hanoi,” the WHO said.Overall, the WHO has logged 69 human cases, including 46 deaths, since January 2004. Those include 51 cases and 33 deaths in Vietnam, 17 cases with 12 deaths in Thailand, and one fatal case in Cambodia.The statement said cases have occurred in three phases: from January through March 2004 (35 cases, 24 deaths), from August through October 2004 (9 cases, 8 deaths), and December 2004 to the present (25 cases, 14 deaths).On the prevention front, authorities in three countries have announced new plans to stem the advance of avian flu in poultry as well as people.Vietnam’s Institute for Veterinary Research will vaccinate ducks in the southern Mekong Delta region in April, using vaccines imported from China and the Netherlands, China’s Xinhua news service reported yesterday.Hong Kong announced a plan to increase oseltamivir supplies more than five-fold, spending $33.1 million (US) on a stockpile big enough for roughly 1 million people, according to a Xinhua story yesterday. An amended flu preparation plan calls for more than 20.5 million doses to be stockpiled over the next 12 months.Other countries, including France, Britain, New Zealand, Sweden, Canada, and the United States, have also announced plans to order the same drug, Reuters news service reported today.In Thailand, authorities have already begun stockpiling oseltamivir, an antiviral treatment thought to reduce the severity of H5N1 flu in people, Reuters reported. However, the cost of purchasing oseltamivir from Swiss drug maker Roche is prompting Thailand to contemplate making its own supply.”Hopefully, if the active ingredient which we are importing from India proves to be good quality, we will be able to produce the drug in an emergency case in six months,” Suwit Wibulpolprasert, a senior advisor on health economics at the Thai Healthy Ministry, told Reuters.A Thai doctor with the WHO office in Bangkok told Reuters that the challenge of delivering the drug within 48 hours of illness is daunting in countries such as Cambodia and Vietnam because of a lack of awareness or sophisticated disease surveillance.Oseltamivir is less effective if initiated more than 48 hours into the illness, said Dr. Somchai Peerapakorn. “It’s still not a very good tool, but it’s the only tool.”See also: Mar 11 WHO statementhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2005_03_11/en/last_img read more

Study says new H5N1 strain pervades southern China

first_imgNov 3, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – A new subtype of H5N1 avian influenza virus has become predominant in southern China over the past year, possibly through its resistance to vaccines used in poultry, and has been found in human H5N1 cases in China, according to researchers from Hong Kong and the United States.The rise of the “Fujian-like” strain seems to be the cause of increased poultry outbreaks and recent human cases in China, according to the team from the University of Hong Kong and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. The researchers also found an overall increase of H5N1 infection in live-poultry markets in southern China.”The predominance of this [Fujian-like] virus appears to be responsible for the increased prevalence of H5N1 in poultry since October 2005 and recent human infection cases in China,” says the report, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.But other disease experts said they could see no evidence that the new strain increases the risk of a human influenza pandemic or is more virulent than other H5N1 strains. Meanwhile, Chinese authorities rejected the report, while a World Health Organization official in China renewed previous complaints that the Chinese have been stingy with information about H5N1 in poultry.Infection rate in market poultry risesThe research team, including Yi Guan of the University of Hong Kong and Robert Webster of St. Jude’s, tested more than 53,000 birds from live-poultry markets in six southern Chinese provinces from July 2005 through June 2006. About 2.4% of the birds (1,294 of 53,220) tested positive for the H5N1 virus, more than double the 0.9% positive rate in the preceding 12 months, according to the report.The researchers analyzed the genomes of 390 (30%) of the 1,294 virus isolates and found that 68% (266 of 390) of them were in the new Fujian-like lineage. The prototype of this lineage was detected in March 2005, and few viruses like it were found in the ensuing few months. But the prevalence of the strain increased dramatically starting in October 2005, until it constituted 103 of 108 isolates tested from April through June of this year.The team also determined that the hemagglutinin genes of five recent human H5N1 viruses from different Chinese provinces belong to the new strain. In addition, 16 poultry and wild-bird viruses from Hong Kong and two poultry isolates from Laos and Malaysia were of the same type.To assess the effects of China’s poultry vaccination program, the scientists tested serum samples collected from 1,113 market poultry in two provinces between November 2005 and April 2006. Hemagglutination inhibition testing showed that 16% (180) of the samples had antibodies against a 2002 strain of H5N1.A subset of 76 of the 180 positive samples was then tested for neutralizing antibodies against the Fujian-like strain and two other recent H5N1 strains. Most of the samples had low levels of antibodies against the Fujian-like strain, though they had relatively high levels for the other two strains. The findings suggest that chickens in southern China “are poorly immunized against [Fujian-like viruses in comparison with other sublineages,” the report states.All the analyzed Fujian-like viruses had molecular characteristics that indicated sensitivity to oseltamivir, the first-choice antiviral drug for H5N1 infection. In addition, only six of the viruses had a mutation that confers resistance to amantadine, an older antiviral drug used to treat flu.The authors contend that their findings show that the spread of the Fujian-like strain “has initiated a new transmission wave in Southeast Asia,” comparable with the first wave in the region in early 2004 and the spread of H5N1 to Europe and Africa following China’s Qinghai Lake outbreak in the spring of 2005. They say it is to blame for recent poultry outbreaks in Laos, Malaysia, and Thailand and for recent human cases in Thailand.They also argue that poor results in China’s poultry immunization program might have contributed to the rise of the new strain. “Serological studies suggest that H5N1 seroconversion in market poultry is low and that vaccination may have facilitated the selection of the Fujian-like sublineage,” they write.”The predominance of this virus over a large geographical region within a short period directly challenges current disease control measures,” the authors conclude.Experts see no effect on pandemic riskBut the new findings do not signal an increase in the already serious risk of a human flu pandemic, according to Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of the CIDRAP Web site.”The key piece to the situation documented in this paper is that while there is a new strain, there’s no evidence that it’s more pathogenic or virulent than other existing strains, and there’s no evidence that somehow we’ve selected out for a strain that is more likely to be transmitted to and by birds,” Osterholm said.”At this point, I see no data that support that this will contribute to increasing the risk of a human pandemic or worsening the situation with wild birds and domestic poultry in Asia,” he added.Michael Purdue of the World Health Organization’s global influenza program expressed similar views, according to an Oct 30 Bloomberg News report. “We know that strains of flu supplant and replace other subtypes over time,” he told Bloomberg. “In terms of human risk, there’s nothing to suggest that there’s more or less risk than there was before.”Joseph Domenech, chief veterinary officer for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said the FAO is checking whether vaccines in China are effective against the Fujian-like strain, according to the Bloomberg story.Chinese officials reject studyChinese officials rejected the study this week. The nation’s Agriculture Ministry called the researchers’ claims “totally different from the real situation,” according to a report yesterday by China Daily.”Gene sequence analysis shows that all the variants of the virus found in southern China share high uniformity, meaning they all belong to the same gene type,” the ministry said. “No distinctive change was found in their biological characteristics.”The research report prompted Julie Hall, a WHO official in Beijing, to complain that China has been too reluctant to share H5N1 virus information and samples from poultry, according to news services.”There’s a stark contrast between what we’re hearing from the researchers and what the Ministry of Agriculture says,” Hall told the Associated Press. “Unless the ministry tells us what’s going on and shares viruses on a regular basis, we will be doing diagnostics on strains that are old.”The Agriculture Ministry, in the statement quoted in China Daily, insisted it has been freely sharing virus information and related developments with the world.Smith GD, Fan XH, Wang J, et al. Emergence and predominance of an H5N1 influenza variant in China. Proc Natl Acad Sci 2006 (published online Oct 30) [Abstract]last_img read more

FAO says avian flu entrenched as new outbreaks appear

first_imgJun 27, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today said H5N1 avian influenza virus is entrenched in some places and will continue to spread, despite improved control efforts.As if to underscore the message, new poultry outbreaks were reported today in the Czech Republic and Bangladesh, and more wild birds were reported infected in Germany.Joseph Domenech, the FAO’s chief veterinary officer, said the response to the virus has improved significantly over the past 3 years, but it remains entrenched in several countries and will continue to spread, according to an FAO news release.Domenech spoke at a press conference in Rome on the first day of the Technical Meeting on Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza and Human H5N1 Infection, which continues through Jun 29. The meeting was organized by the FAO and several other international agencies.He said that except in Egypt and Indonesia, human H5N1 cases have been very sporadic. “This achievement is the most important demonstration of the effects of worldwide efforts to contain the H5N1 virus,” he said.In the approximately 15 countries in Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East where the virus has cropped up in the past 6 months, it was rapidly detected and eliminated or controlled, Domenech said.”Most countries have been very open about new outbreaks,” he said. “They are better prepared today and have improved their response systems.”But Domenech cited the recent H5N1 outbreaks in birds in Bangladesh, Ghana, Togo, the Czech Republic, and Germany as illustrations of the need to shun complacency. The threat of a human flu pandemic can’t be ruled out as long as the disease persists in poultry, he said.He said containment and eradication of the virus will demand a long-term financial and political commitment, especially in the face of the “high risk poultry production and marketing practices that still continue in many countries.” For example, Indonesia has more than 13,000 live poultry markets where birds from different places are brought together.Domenech also called for increased monitoring of the virus, especially in countries that vaccinate poultry.”The H5N1 virus is not stable and keeps constantly changing. On one occasion in China last year a new virus strain appered with different immunologic characteristics which made it necessary to modify vaccines used in the region concerned,” he said. “This emergence of a new strain may have happened again more recently in Indonesia.”Domenech’s warnings come a few days after experts at a flu meeting in Toronto last week voiced worries that the public is losing interest in avian flu, which could cause funds for fighting the disease to dry up.In the Czech Republic, meanwhile, another H5N1 outbreak in poultry was reported near the town where the country’s first poultry was reported last week, according to a Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA) report today.Sixty broiler chickens in a flock of 27,800 on a commercial farm in the village of Norin tested positive for H5N1, the report said. The village is about 4 kilometers from Tisova, the site of the outbreak reported on a turkey farm last week. Both farms are owned by the same company, DPA reported.The whole flock on the Norin farm was to be destroyed, along with other birds owned by Norin residents, the story said.In Bangladesh, avian flu was reported in another district, forcing the culling of 5,000 chickens, according to a Reuters report today. Abdul Motalib of the fisheries and livestock ministry said the outbreak was in a village in Thakurgaon district, 500 km northwest of the capital, Dhaka.The virus was first found near Dhaka, in central Bangladesh, in March and has since spread to northern regions, the story said. Sixteen of 64 districts have been affected.In Germany, three wild swans in Leipzig in the eastern state of Saxony tested positive for H5N1 yesterday, according to another Reuters report today. Those cases follow the discovery of six infected wild birds last weekend in the southern city of Nuremberg. The latter marked the country’s first cases since August 2006, when a swan in the Dresden zoo was found infected.Agriculture Minister Horst Seehofer said the virus’s reemergence in wild birds “has surprised us in terms of the time,” according to the story.German authorities said they were comparing the viruses from the wild birds with those from outbreaks in Hungary and the Czech Republic in an effort to learn how the virus entered the country.See also:Jun 27 FAO news releasehttp://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2007/1000615/index.htmlJun 26 FAO statement on avian flu technical meetinghttp://www.fao.org/avianflu/news/tech_meet.htmlJun 21 CIDRAP News story “Animal-health experts fear loss of interest in avian flu”last_img read more

Indonesia to keep withholding virus samples for now

first_imgAug 9, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Indonesian health officials said this week they will continue withholding samples of the H5N1 avian influenza virus at least until a new virus-sharing mechanism is worked out at an international meeting in November.The statements came in response to criticism earlier this week from a World Health Organization (WHO) official, who said Indonesia was endangering global health by withholding the viruses.In December, Indonesia stopped sharing its H5N1 samples with the WHO as a protest against the cost of commercial vaccines derived from such samples. The samples are needed for tracking the mutations and spread of the virus and for developing vaccines.Indonesia said it would resume sharing its H5N1 samples in May when the World Health Assembly passed a resolution asking the WHO to establish an international stockpile of H5N1 vaccines and create an interdisciplinary working group to draw up new “terms of reference” for the sharing of flu viruses by WHO collaborating centers and reference laboratories.At that juncture the country sent three H5N1 samples to the WHO, which appeared to end its embargo. However, David Heymann, the WHO’s assistant director-general for communicable diseases, said at a press conference Aug 6 that the samples contained no live viruses.”Indonesia is putting the public health security of the whole world at risk because they’re not sharing viruses,” Heymann said in the press briefing. The briefing dealt with a WHO-sponsored meeting in Singapore last week, where a working group of officials from 23 countries drew up virus-sharing proposals to be considered further at the November meeting.Triono Soendoro, Indonesia’s deputy health minister for research, told the Financial Times yesterday that the samples the country sent the WHO in May were adequate for determining if a viral mutation had occurred.Indonesia will resume sending samples only when a formal system is established that ensures developing countries receive equitable access to affordable vaccines made from the samples they share, Soendoro told the Times. “If that’s not all ready and we send samples, anything could happen. It’s a simple request to be transparent, to be accountable,” he said.It wasn’t clear if Indonesia would begin sharing viruses again once the working group’s plan is completed at the WHO intergovernmental meeting in November or when the final agreement is approved at the World Health Assembly next May, the Times reported.However, Lily Sulistyowati, an Indonesian health ministry spokesperson, said the country would wait for the new virus-sharing mechanism to be approved at the November meeting before resuming sending virus samples, the Jakarta Post reported today.”However, anyone who needs the virus can file a special request to us officially,” she told the Post. Sulistyowati also said she couldn’t understand why the WHO didn’t complain earlier about the samples Indonesia sent in May, according to the Post report.See also:Aug 7 CIDRAP News article “WHO: Indonesia’s withholding of viruses endangers world”Aug 1 CIDRAP News story “WHO working group grappling with virus-sharing issues”last_img read more