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Ebola Fight Needs $430m to End Record Outbreak-WHO

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More than $430 million will be needed to bring the worst Ebola outbreak on record under control, according to a draft document laying out the World Health Organization’s (WHO) battle strategy.

The plan sets a goal of reversing the trend in new cases within two months, and stopping all transmission in six to nine months.

It requires funding by governments, development banks, the private sector and in-kind contributions, according to the document obtained by Bloomberg News.

The current outbreak, which has killed 1,427 people in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, may soon exceed all previous Ebola outbreaks combined.

The sum now being sought is six times more than the $71 million the WHO suggested was needed in a plan published less than a month ago.

“There is reason to be concerned about whether the proposed resources would be adequate,” said Barry Bloom, a public health professor at Harvard University who also questioned whether the funds would be made available face enough, and whether the organization’s latest plan would ensure the expertise from WHO that is needed.

“The WHO plans to publish the plan by the end of this week at the earliest and details may change,” said Fadela Chaib, a spokeswoman for the Geneva-based agency. United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon this month appointed health crisis expert David Nabarro to coordinate the UN response.

WHO criticized The European Commission and aid groups including Doctors Without Borders have criticized the WHO for a lack of leadership in coordinating the fight against the outbreak.

Clearly WHO didn’t foresee this outbreak and while the Ebola crisis was clear in March, it didn’t act until August to declare an emergency, Bloom said in an e-mail. J. Stephen Morrison, director of the global health policy center at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, had a different view.

The scale of the disease’s devastation goes far beyond what health officials had seen previously, he said in a telephone interview.

“It’s not a question of incompetence or complacency,” according to Morrison, who said the WHO should be able to raise the money needed. It’s the fact we’re catching up with the unknown, and it’s way ahead of us. Treatment centers More than half the cost will be needed for the treatment, isolation and referral centers that are bearing the brunt of the epidemic, according to the WHO plan. Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are among the world’s poorest countries, and weak health systems combined with a lack of experienced health-care workers has contributed to the epidemic, the WHO has said.

“The response at the beginning wasn’t robust enough,” David Heymann, a professor of infectious diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine who worked on the first recorded Ebola outbreak in 1976.

It’s a step forward that they’ve made the plans and I’m glad they’re emphasizing rapid containment as a start.

The WHO this month declared Ebola in West Africa a public health emergency of international concern. A separate outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed as many as 13 people, the government in that country said on Monday.

In West Africa, more than 240 health care workers have been infected and 120 have died, the agency said in a statement yesterday. Among them is Abraham Borbor, the deputy chief medical officer of Liberia’s John F. Kennedy Medical Center, who died despite being treated with Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc.’s experimental ZMapp medicine, the nation’s information minister said. Experimental drug Borbor was one of three Liberian health-care workers being treated with ZMapp, the same drug that was used on two American aid workers who were evacuated to the US after being infected in Liberia.

Closely held Mapp, based in San Diego, has said its supply of the drug is exhausted. A British health worker, William Pooley, was flown home for treatment at London’s Royal Free hospital after being infected in Sierra Leone, Public Health England said in a statement on Monday.

Pooley is receiving excellent care, his family said in a statement on the hospital’s website, as it asked everyone to remember those in other parts of the world suffering with Ebola who do not have access to the same health-care facilities as Will.

A Senegalese disease-tracker working with the WHO in Sierra Leone also became infected, making him the first of the agency’s 400 workers in the affected countries to fall ill with the deadly virus, the WHO said. Evolving epidemic The epidemic continues to evolve in alarming ways, with the severely affected countries, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, struggling to control the escalating outbreak against a backdrop of severely compromised health systems, significant deficits in capacity and rampant fear, according to the draft of the WHO’s so-called road map.

Clearly a massively scaled and coordinated international response is needed to support affected and at-risk countries. The document has been shared with the WHO’s partners for comment and will be published once their feedback has been received, Chaib said.

The final document will include a country- by-country plan for dealing with the outbreak, she said. Bloomberg


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NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution

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Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has warned telecom consumers to desist from using illegal GSM boosters.

NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution

The commission also said that anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.

GSM boosters are devices that transmit and receive telecommunications signals and can therefore interfere with other radio frequency equipment.

Ikechukwu Adinde, director, public affairs, NCC, said in a notice published on NCC website, that only licensed network operators are allowed to use GSM boosters.

The booster, also known as amplifier or repeater is made up of three main elements – exterior antenna, amplifier, and interior antenna.

They form a wireless system to boost cellular reception

“Members of the public should note that, willful interference with any wireless telegraphy is an offence under Section 16 of the Telegraphy Act, 2004,”it said

The agency said it will not condone any flagrant breach of this law.

It has also enforced measures to prosecute offenders.

Accordingly, monitoring mechanisms have been put in place and anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.

“Any member of the public with useful information regarding the illegal use of GSM Boosters should contact the Commission on 09-4617000/7351 or send an email to [email protected],” the notice said.

“Individuals desirous of using GSM Boosters should note that they can only do so in conjunction with licensed network operators,” it added.

 

 


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Tizeti Selects Nokia to Provide LTE Fixed Wireless Access Solution for High-Speed internet Services in Nigeria

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Tizeti announced that it selected Nokia’s Fastmile Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology to enable usprovide superior internet services to over 1 Million subscribers in Port Harcourt, Edo and Ogun in Nigeria.

Tizeti Selects Nokia to Provide LTE Fixed Wireless Access Solution for High-Speed internet Services in Nigeria

Tizeti will deploy Nokia’s AirScale Base Station TDD-LTE and FastmileFixed Wireless Access (FWA) gatewaysto deliver premium internet and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services to Residential, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The solution will also enable Tizeti’sto deliver a more robust, high-speedinternet service to subscribers and the flexibility to seamlessly evolve to 5G Fixed Wireless Access when needed.

Nokia’s FWA solution enables Tizeti to fast-track broadband access and provide a best-in-class broadband experience to its subscribers.

Nokia’sAirScale Base Stations ensure high-quality connectivity and coverage and enablesTizeti to evolve the network in line with customer demand.

Nokia’sFastmilegateways connect wirelessly to the existing network to createa fastbroadband connection and enhanced Wi-Fi experience in the home.

The Nokia Network Services Platform will help Tizeti to simplify operations and quickly respond to changing market demands.

Kendall Ananyi, Tizeti, said:“We are committed to providing the best-in-class network experience to our subscribers. We are confident that Nokia’s proven technology and expertise will help us differentiate our services based on quality. This a crucial project for us as it introduces LTE in our networks and allows us to bring new and innovative services to our subscribers.”

Eniola Balogun, Nokia, said:“We are thrilled to work with Tizeti on the initiative to upgrade their network to bring the latest products and services to its subscribers. Nokia Fastmile will help Tizeti to cost-effectively enhance the customer experience.

The project will also enable them to delight their subscribers by providing more reliable data services.

On the other hand, Tizeti will benefit by adding new revenue streams.”

 

 


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Risk Assets Push Higher on Vaccine Hopes; Eyes on the Fed

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By Hussein Sayed, Chief Market Strategist at FXTM,

After two consecutive weeks of back-to-back declines, global stocks kicked off Monday with solid gains amid a surge in M&A activity and positive signs towards vaccine developments. Currency markets were little changed ahead of a busy week of monetary policy announcements, while Oil and Gold ticked slightly higher.

The two big deals announced over the weekend were Softbank’s plan to sell chipmaker ARM to Nvidia for more than $40 billion and Gilead Sciences to acquire Immunomedics for a price tag of $21 billion. Meanwhile, on the vaccine front, AstraZeneca resumed its phase-3 trial on Covid-19 after being suspended last week following a neurological illness developed in one participant, and Pfizer announced that its vaccine could be distributed before year-end if found safe and effective.

 

Central Banks will take centre stage this week with the Federal Reserve, Bank of England and Bank of Japan all due to announce policy decisions. Out of the three meetings, the Fed is likely to be the most watched following its historic shift towards average inflation targeting. The big question remains how will the FOMC put this policy into action?

 

From what we know now, the Fed is set up to keep interest rates near zero for a long time, possibly for several years. Given the new framework, any spike in inflation won’t translate into immediate rate hikes as the Fed wants to compensate for the lost years when they have failed to hit the target. The dot plot will be the key guide for investors and traders alike. If inflation projections remain at 2% or below for the foreseeable future, this will solidify market expectations for a low rate environment for many years to come. That said, Jay Powell would still have to explain in more detail how the new framework will be translated into policy action.

 

In June’s economic projections, the Fed anticipated unemployment would be at 9.3% by year-end, but, in August, unemployment was well below that forecast at 8.4%. Many other economic data surprised to the upside during the June – August period in a clear sign that most economists were overly pessimistic towards the strength of the recovery. However, there is still a considerable amount of uncertainty given the latest surge in Covid-19 cases worldwide and the US, especially as we get closer into the winter season. A second wave will undoubtedly put the recovery at risk in the final quarter of the year and it will be interesting to see the Fed’s view on that issue.

 

As for the market selloff over the past two weeks, the Fed isn’t likely to show any signs of concern. In fact, policymakers should be satisfied with the pullback as the risk of a bubble in several assets has been growing due to the Fed’s extremely accommodative policies. Unless we see another 10 -15% drop, do not expect the Fed to intervene.


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