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Flights cancelled as Typhoon Trami approaches Japan

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typhoon trami japan
A picture taken in the city centre of Naha, Okinawa prefecture, on September 29. (Photo Credit- AFP)

Tokyo, Sep 29: Over 380 flights were cancelled in Japan on Saturday ahead of Typhoon Trami’s arrival. It is expected to make landfall on Kyushu island on Sunday bringing heavy rains, strong winds and high waves.

Trami, the 24th typhoon of the season in the Pacific and classified as “very strong”, was situated around 80 km southwest of Naha at 11.45 a.m. on Saturday, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

Weather conditions forced Japanese airlines to cancel at least 386 flights to and from Naha Airport in Okinawa, public broadcaster NHK reported.

The gubernatorial election on Sunday suffered a set back as many polling booths were forced to shut down.

Kansai International Airport in Osaka plans to temporarily close its two runways from early Sunday, several hours ahead of Trami’s landfall, to avoid a repeat of August when Typhoon Jebi flooded a runway and terminals, trapping thousands of passengers.

Trami is moving at a speed of 20 kmph in a northerly direction, carrying wind gusts of up to 216 kmph, Efe news reported.

The storm is expected to pass through Honshu island, where Tokyo is situated, between Sunday and Monday and leave the northern island of Hokkaido by Monday midday.

Japan has been hit by a number of typhoons in 2018, including Jebi — the most powerful storm to make landfall in 25 years — and Prapiroon, which caused torrential rains in July causing more than 220 deaths in western and southern Japan.

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WHO Board to get 1st update from Covid panel on Oct 5-6, report next year

A diplomat said it is improbable that the independent panel set up by the WHO would be severely critical of the WHO’s handling of the disease in context of China

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Xi Jinpin and UN Chief

The independent panel on Covid-19 announced by World Health Organisation director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in July will submit its first update to the world body’s executive board at its meeting on 5-6 October.

The panel was set up at the World Health Assembly against the backdrop of sharp criticism aimed at the WHO chief and Beijing for their handling of the contagious virus that is believed to have originated in China’s Wuhan. Beijing locked down domestic travel in the early weeks of the infection but allowed flights to freely leave the country, spreading virus across the globe.

At last count, John Hopkins University tracker of Covid-19 infections across the world indicates the virus has infected more than 31 million people worldwide and almost killed a million people. China, from where the disease started late last year, has reported only a small proportion of infections, less than even Oman’s 95,000 cases. The United States and India are among those hit hardest.

The US had led the demand for an independent review of WHO’s response that was seen to have let Beijing guide its hand in the early days of the pandemic. At the UN General Assembly this week, Donald Trump – who pulled out the US from the world health body over its handling of the disease – lashed out at China again and asked the UN to hold China “accountable” for unleashing “this plague” on the world.

Diplomats in New Delhi and Geneva, however, suggest that this is unlikely to happen. One of them said it was improbable that the independent panel – co-chaired by former Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark and former President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – would be critical of the WHO’s handling of the disease in context of China.

Already, Tedros and the independent panel have made it clear that the exercise was not a fault-finding exercise but an effort to improve the world’s response to the next pandemic.

“While we are clear that The Independent Panel must shed light on what has happened and why, this exercise is not a blame game” said Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand and Co-Chair of the Panel at its first meeting last week, according to an official statement.

The panel’s co-chair Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said she hoped their report would lead to “bold, credible, robust and implementable solutions that ensure our world is better prepared for the next pandemic”.

The panel is scheduled to submit its final report before the next World Health Assembly (WMA) in May next year but will come up with regular updates for other meetings. Like when the WHO’s top policy-making body, the WMA, resumes its meeting on 9-14 November.

The US isn’t part of the panel. Preeti Sudan, a retired civil servant who was India’s Union health secretary when the coronavirus disease broke out, is a member of the WHO panel.

China has sent Zhong Nanshan, the pulmonologist who is credited by Chinese media for having spearheaded the country’s fight against the outbreak of a new coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

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Experts say second wave of Covid-19 at peak in Delhi, says CM Kejriwal

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Arvind Kejriwal Delhi

New Delhi: The second wave of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) is at its peak in Delhi right now, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Thursday. He also said that “experts feel that number of cases will decline in the coming days”.

“From July 1 to August 17, cases were in control. We noticed that cases increased and it reached 4,500 new Covid-19 cases on September 17 and are now coming down. So experts are believing that the second wave of coronavirus which had hit Delhi is now on peak and its intensity will be less in the coming days,” news agency ANI quoted the Delhi chief minister as saying.

Kejriwal also said that the daily testing of samples for Covid-19 has been increased in the national capital to 60,000 from the earlier 20,000 a day mark.

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“When new Covid-19 cases were reported in the large number, we had controlled the coronavirus cases with the help of the central government, NGO, and Delhites. I want to thank everyone for their efforts,” Kejriwal said.

Speaking about a high-level virtual meeting to review Covid-19 management with the Prime Minister, the chief minister said that it was fruitful.

As of Wednesday, Delhi’s Covid-19 caseload is at 2,56,789, including 2,20,866 recoveries and 5,087 deaths, according to the figures published by the state health department.

Since the last week of August, there has been a resurgence of Covid-19 infection in the city. However, for the last four days, the number of daily cases has been below the 4,000 mark, indicating a drop in the spread.

The daily average test positivity rate for the infection too has dropped to 6.89 per cent in the seven days ending Wednesday, from 7.18 per cent recorded over the seven days before that.

On Wednesday, Delhi recorded 3,714 new Covid-19 cases and 36 deaths in the 24 hours.

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COVID-19 : India Cross 57 Lakh Cases

The total recoveries surged to 46,74,987 in the country so far.

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Coronavirus India

New Delhi: India’s COVID-19 caseload raced past 57 lakh, while over 46 lakh people have recovered from the disease pushing the national recovery rate to 81.55 per cent, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.

The total coronavirus cases mounted to 57,32,518 with 86,508 people testing positive in a day while the death toll climbed to 91,149 with 1,129 people succumbing to the disease in a span of 24 hours, the data updated at 8 am showed.

The COVID-19 case fatality rate due to the coronavirus infection was recorded at 1.59 per cent.

There are 9,66,382 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country which comprises 16.86 per cent of the total caseload, the data stated.

India’s COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and and it went past 50 lakh on September 16.

According to the ICMR, a cumulative total of 6,74,36,031 samples have been tested up to September 23 with 11,56,569 samples being tested on Wednesday.

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