Americans not worried about H1N1 but will get vaccineMore than 60% of Americans say they are not worried about the novel H1N1 flu, but 55% plan to get the H1N1 vaccine for themselves or someone in their household, according to a Washington Post ABC News Poll. The poll indicates that about one in eight Americans is very worried that the pandemic will affect his or her family, while twice as many are not at all worried, the Post reported. Nearly 75% were confident that the government will be able to cope effectively with the epidemic.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/19/AR2009081901585.htmlAug 19 Washington Post storyMany British firms have had H1N1-related absencesIn a survey of 429 small and medium-sized British companies, 72% said they had weathered staff absenteeism because of the H1N1 flu and 38% expected that their sales would suffer, Reuters reported yesterday. The survey by the law firm Eversheds also found that one in five businesses said they expected to have to close or partially close premises, and 87% said they had introduced new sanitation measures to combat the virus.http://www.reuters.com/article/internal_ReutersNewsRoom_ExclusivesAndWins_MOLT/idUSTRE57I42920090819Aug 19 Reuters reportCanada expects November vaccination launch, adequate supplyCanadian officials hope to license the country’s novel flu vaccine and begin immunizing people in November, the Canadian Press reported yesterday. Canada’s vaccine supplier, GlaxoSmithKline, will ship about 10 to 15 million doses and will be able to quickly replenish supplies as healthcare workers administer the vaccine to patients. Officials project that GSK’s antigen production will outpace its fill-and-finish capacity but said finishing the vaccine elsewhere would cause delays.Australian doctors question country’s vaccination plans Australia’s major infectious disease society is questioning the safety of the country’s novel H1N1 vaccination plans, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported today. In a letter to the government, the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases cited a risk of cross-contamination when using multidose vials and said the flu epidemic has subsided, so the campaign needn’t be rushed. A spokeswoman for vaccine maker CSL countered that the single-dose approach would be slower and more expensive.http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/08/20/2662321.htm?section=justinAug 20 Australian Broadcasting Corp. storyNovel H1N1 deaths in Latin America exceed 1,300Deaths from H1N1 flu in Latin America, the world’s hardest-hit region, have reached 1,303, more than 70% of the global total of 1,799 listed by the World Health Organization, Agence France-Presse reported yesterday. Argentina has had 404 deaths, the second-highest toll after the United States’ 477, and Brazil has 368, the story said. Trailing Brazil are Mexico, with 164 deaths; Chile, 105; and Peru, 62.Zimbabwe, Belarus report first novel flu casesZimbabwe’s health ministry today announced the confirmation of the country’s first novel H1N1 cases, in five private-school children who got sick in early August, Agence France-Presse reported. Doctors at Zimbabwe’s state hospitals are on strike over wage and allowance issues, but the health minister said the medical system is coping. Meanwhile, Belarus confirmed its first novel flu case yesterday, in a Chinese man who had recently returned from visiting China, the Interfax news agency reported.
The Public Infrastructure Ministry has recommenced talks with its Surinamese counterparts on the much-anticipated bridge which will link the two countries.In an interview with this publication on Tuesday, the subject Minister, David Patterson, explained that the technical aspect of the project is currently being discussed while details are yet to be sorted out with regards to the project’s “foreign affairs” aspect.Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson“It’s an existing MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) that was signed under the previous Administration that we are working with so there’s a working group with the Surinamese and our Ministry on the technical details and that has been ongoing”.Patterson added, “Of course there are not only technical details, it’s a bilateral component which has to go through Foreign Affairs so I am dealing with the technical details of it but the bilateral agreement will have to go through Foreign Affairs”.He explained that the Guyanese Government has been working closely with its Surinamese counterparts on this project and usually meets about twice annually to discuss progress.The Minister admitted that progress has been slow even as he was hesitant to say whether the groups have met for this year.The bridge had been in the works for a number of years under the PPP/C Administration with both countries looking to capitalise on the current brisk trade expected to increase manyfold when the structure becomes operational.MV CanawaimaThe bridge, according to Patterson, will have a similar arrangement as the Guyana-Suriname Ferry in that it is jointly owned. This, he explained, would, therefore, mean that the project will pass through several stages before it can be completed.As a result, he was unable to say when a contract would be inked to allow these works to commence. There are reports that the bridge is likely to be erected at Moleson Creek or Orealla.In May, several passengers were left stranded after the ferry, which plies the Guyana to Suriname, route encountered mechanical issues.The Guyana-Suriname Ferry CrossingThe vessel, MV Canawaima, officially suspended its services on May 27. The Minister had explained that the vessel was being powered by a tug for some time, which encountered some issues.The ferry’s services still remain in limbo as this newspaper understands that parts are yet to be sourced to rectify the vessel’s issues.The Canawaima Ferry Service Inc was introduced to Guyana on October 28, 1998, under the Companies Act Number 29 of 1991 of the Laws of Guyana. It is jointly owned by the Governments of Guyana and Suriname as each country owns 50 per cent of the issued share capital.