New research further undermines UK quarantine scheme | News

first_imgAn RT-PCR test, three days pre-departure reduces the infectious days by 36 per cent.The analysis also finds a ‘test and release’ regime on day three is significantly more effective in minimising infectious days (60 per cent reduction in infectious days with a RT-LAMP test) than the 14-day policy (25 per cent), and also more effective than ‘test and release’ after five days (53 per cent) or seven days (45 per cent) currently under consideration.Applying the latest assumptions, based on real-world evidence, the three days option balances between ensuring sufficient time for Covid-19 to become detectable and a swift enough result to inform the non-compliant infected individuals in the community of their infectious status, thus ensuring they go into isolation.George Batchelor, cofounder and director of Edge Health, said: “The current policy of 14-day quarantine is the least effective strategy due to human behaviour, with returning travellers often failing to comply and risking community transmission. “Our modelling finds a much more effective path in passenger testing, which if it’s applied as a ‘test and release’ regime, performs the best at reducing infectious days after three days quarantine. “This balances the detectability of Covid-19 and new evidence of quarantine non-compliance.”Unsurprisingly, airlines were quick to support the research. Shai Weiss, chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, said: “This new modelling provides yet more evidence that the government is significantly underestimating the efficacy of passenger testing. “But it also shows that the current 14-day quarantine policy is fundamentally flawed in ignoring human behaviour and compliance with the rules. “Half a million UK jobs depend on a fully functioning aviation industry; therefore it is vital that policy decisions are based on the latest possible evidence.”He added: “The ultimate goal must be to safely remove quarantine and it is encouraging that the transport secretary this week recognised effective testing as a way to do this. “A real-world trial of pre-departure testing is the next step to generate much-needed data and the industry stands ready to deliver this, having already proven it can deliver rapid, point of care tests without diverting vital NHS resources.” OlderCelebrity Cruises launches new inclusive pricing model New research suggests the current 14-day quarantine policy employed by the UK government for international arrivals, which involves no test, is less effective than previously considered. Factoring in recent evidence of individuals failing to adhere to the full period of quarantine, the policy is less effective than all other passenger testing regimes currently under consideration. – Advertisement – Just 25 per cent of ‘infectious days’ are prevented through the policy, which has been in effect since July.Transport secretary Grant Shapps is expected to announce changes to the quarantine regime in the coming days, with a ‘test and release’ system the most likely system moving forward.This will likely see passengers tested after five to seven days, with quarantine curtailed if a negative results is returned. – Advertisement –center_img New modelling from Edge Health and Oxera applies the latest evidence of quarantine non-compliance and test sensitivity to consider the effectiveness of the current quarantine policy against a range of passenger testing regimes, applying the metric of ‘infectious days screened’. Using a London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) model as a starting point, the researchers applied recent real-world Covid-19 prevalence rates and air passenger volumes to produce a comprehensive picture of policy options.When evidence of non-compliance is considered, a single test on arrival would reduce infectious days by 51 per cent – more than double the current policy. – Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

Must-have home gadgets you can buy now » Gadget Flow

first_imgFall is a great time to upgrade your home and make it more comfortable for you and your family. So today, we’re rounding up some of our favorite must-have home gadgets. And the best part is, all of these products are available to buy right now.It’s always nice to spruce up your home before winter and the holidays arrive. Luckily, there are so many great products that can make your home cozier, more secure, and convenient. That’s why today we’re rounding up some of our best must-have home gadgets you can buy now.Related: 2020 Ultimate smart speaker guide for your home- Advertisement – As you can see, there are so many great ways you can upgrade your home for this season and all those to come. Do you have any home gadgets that you can’t live without? Let us know about them in the comments. Want more tech news, reviews, and guides from Gadget Flow? Follow us on Google News, Feedly, and Flipboard. If you’re using Flipboard, you should definitely check out our Curated Stories. We publish three new stories every day, so make sure to follow us to stay updated! Lauren has been writing and editing since 2008. She loves working with text and helping writers find their voice. When she’s not typing away at her computer, she cooks and travels with her husband and two daughters. Awair Element Air Quality TrackerAwair Element air quality tracker in a work setting Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 Bluetooth Speaker Moona Active Cooling Pillow PadThe Moona Active Cooling Pillow Pad will help you stay cool throughout the night if you sleep a little too warmly. It features an active thermoregulation system that keeps your pillow cool and comfortable all night. The Nest Thermostat Smart temperature Control 2020 comes at a cheaper price tag than previous Nest models. It’s also simpler to operate and doesn’t automatically learn your daily routine.Philips Hue Iris Table LampThe Philips Hue Iris Table Lamp is another great item on our list of must-have home gadgets. It provides rich, ambient lighting in beautiful colors. What’s more, it has super-low dimming options. Control this lamp via Bluetooth or pair it with the Hue bridge. AmazonBasics Humidifier Aroma Diffuser Meural WiFi Photo Frame Eureka Mignon Silenzio Espresso Grinder Meural WiFi Photo FrameMeural WiFi Photo Frame digital picture frame with a photo The Meural WiFi Photo Frame allows you to easily send your favorite photos from your phone to the frame. This way, you can keep your memories with you instead of hidden away on your phone. Vifa Stockholm 2.0 Wall-Mountable SpeakerThe Vifa Stockholm 2.0 Wall-Mountable Speaker made our list of must-have home gadgets because you can hang it on the wall. It also integrates perfectly with other Vifa devices for a whole-home sound system. Its gorgeous design comes in Nordic-inspired colors.ēdn SmallGarden Indoor Connected GardenThe ēdn SmallGarden Indoor Connected Garden lets you grow fresh herbs and other greens in your kitchen. Best of all, this gadget is easy to manage since it connects to Wi-Fi. The app lets you know when your SmallGarden needs to be watered and when your produce is ready for harvest. Eve Energy Smart Plug & Power Meter Intelligent Outlet The Gadget Flow Daily Digest highlights and explores the latest intech trends to keep you informed. Want it straight to your inbox?Subscribe ➜ Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 Bluetooth Speaker Eureka Mignon Silenzio Espresso GrinderEureka Mignon Silenzio espresso grinder in a kitchen – Advertisement – Level Touch Keyless Door Lock Nest Thermostat Smart Temperature Control 2020- Advertisement – Comcast Xfinity xFi Pod Wi-Fi ExtenderThe Comcast Xfinity xFi Pod Wi-Fi Extender is on our list of must-have home gadgets because it speeds up the internet throughout your house. With tri-band Wi-Fi radio, it makes sure fast speeds reach all your devices. Yves Béhar FORME Life Connected Fitness MirrorThe Yves Béhar FORME Life Connected Fitness Mirror is one of our must-have home gadgets that helps you stay fit. It has a built-in weight-training system and connects you to life-sized trainers.Elo at-Home Hot Stone Spa ExperienceThe Elo at-Home Hot Stone Spa Experience although this product is for preorder, we couldn’t resist mentioning it here. This set gives you hot-stone therapy right at home. The hand-shaped volcanic stones relieve tension and sore muscles. The customizable light rings set the mood. Awair Element Air Quality Tracker Comcast Xfinity xFi Pod Wi-Fi Extender Moona Active Cooling Pillow Pad Comcast Xfinity xFi Pod Wi-Fi Extender Eve Energy Smart Plug & Power Meter Intelligent OutletEve Energy Smart Plug & Power Meter intelligent outlet in a child’s room Level Touch Keyless Door LockLevel Touch keyless door lock on a front door Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 Bluetooth SpeakerBang & Olufsen Beolit 20 Bluetooth speaker on steps Philips Hue Iris Table Lamp Elo at-Home Hot Stone Spa Experience AmazonBasics Humidifier Aroma Diffuser ēdn SmallGarden Indoor Connected Gardenēdn SmallGarden indoor connected garden on a countertop The items on this list are in-stock and ready to buy. There’s a lovely WiFi photo frame that lets you easily display the albums from your smartphone. And a humidifier that adds moisture to your air as well as relaxing aromas. So have a look at the roundup below for some of the best devices you can currently buy to make your home the place you want to be.Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 Bluetooth SpeakerFirst up on our list of must-have home gadgets is the Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 Bluetooth Speaker. This speaker gives you an authentic listening experience and offers a satisfying bass range. ēdn SmallGarden Indoor Connected Garden Comcast Xfinity xFi Pod Wi-Fi ExtenderComcast Xfinity xFi Pod Wi-Fi extender on a desk Elo at-Home Hot Stone Spa ExperienceElo at-home hot stone spa experience in a darkened room Awair Element Air Quality Tracker Philips Hue Iris Table LampPhilips Hue Iris table lamp on a piece of furniture Elo at-Home Hot Stone Spa Experience Moona Active Cooling Pillow PadMoona Active Cooling Pillow Pad on a nightstand AmazonBasics Humidifier Aroma DiffuserAmazonBasics Humidifier aroma diffuser on a desk Eve Energy Smart Plug & Power Meter Intelligent OutletThe Eve Energy Smart Plug & Power Meter Intelligent Outlet lets you manage your appliances from anywhere. Simply connect this outlet to a HomePod or Apple TV to monitor your appliances and track your energy consumption. Eve Energy Smart Plug & Power Meter Intelligent Outlet Meural WiFi Photo Frame Level Touch Keyless Door Lock Level Touch Keyless Door LockThe Level Touch Keyless Door Lock is one of our must-have home gadgets that’s great for home security. It lets you enter your home with a fingerprint. It also has plenty of safety features, including auto-lock, which locks your door automatically after a specified period of time. AmazonBasics Humidifier Aroma DiffuserThe AmazonBasics Humidifier Aroma Diffuser adds helpful moisture to the air in your home. And for relaxation, you can add scents to the unit, such as jasmine, lavender, and more. Moona Active Cooling Pillow Pad Eureka Mignon Silenzio Espresso GrinderAnother must-have home gadget is the Eureka Mignon Silenzio Espresso Grinder. This coffee grinder is quiet and has a distraction-free interface that won’t bother anyone in the house who might still be sleeping. Philips Hue Iris Table Lamp Awair Element Air Quality TrackerThe Awair Element Air Quality Tracker monitors your home’s temperature, humidity, Co2 levels, VOCs, and PM2.5. Its compact size blends seamlessly into your home’s decor. ēdn SmallGarden Indoor Connected Garden Meural WiFi Photo Frame- Advertisement – Eureka Mignon Silenzio Espresso Grinderlast_img read more

Human cases of H5N1 avian flu may have been missed

first_imgJan 5, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – A new study of human cases of H5N1 avian influenza in Thailand suggests that a number of cases might have gone undetected and that the disease may prey on children disproportionately.Thai investigators reviewed 610 illness cases that occurred from January through March of 2004 and had features suggesting possible H5N1 infection. Twelve of those were confirmed as H5N1, and 7 of the 12 patients were children younger than 14 years, according to the report, published online by Emerging Infectious Diseases.Because up to 61% of rural residents in Thailand have regular contact with backyard poultry flocks, “The 12 cases we report likely represent the end result of hundreds of thousands of potential exposures and an unknown number of human cases,” the report states. It was written by Tawee Chotpitayasunondh, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health in Bangkok, and colleagues.They suggest that H5N1 cases are not easily detected because the disease has few distinctive clinical features and specific diagnostic tests are not widely available. The illness typically involves pneumonia, but pneumonia due to other causes is fairly common in rural Asia.”Human infections with highly pathogenic avian influenza may be easy to miss in the context of the regular incidence of pneumonia in much of rural Asia, where the capacity to make specific etiologic diagnoses remains limited,” the report says. The authors suggest that these circumstances may explain why “human cases have been few and have been reported only from Vietnam and Thailand.”The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized 44 human cases of H5N1 avian flu in the past year, including 27 in Vietnam and 17 in Thailand. Twenty cases in Vietnam and 12 in Thailand have been fatal. The official WHO count does not include two cases reported in Vietnam in the past week. A case in a 16-year-old girl was reported last week, and news services today reported a fatal case in a 9-year-old boy.Disease experts fear that the H5N1 virus may spark a human flu pandemic if it finds a way to spread easily from person to person. Only one possible case of person-to-person transmission has been recorded so far.The Thai investigators examined all cases in the first 3 months of 2004 in which patients were hospitalized with pneumonia or influenza after exposure to sick poultry. They classified cases with laboratory evidence of H5N1 infection as confirmed. Cases in which patients had been exposed to sick poultry and had either severe pneumonia or laboratory evidence of influenza A, but without confirmation of H5N1, were defined as suspected.The researchers found 12 confirmed and 21 suspected H5N1 cases among the 610 potential cases reported from 67 of Thailand’s 76 provinces. Eight of the 12 confirmed case-patients died. The median age of the confirmed patients was 12 years (range, 2 to 58) and that of the suspected patients was 33 (range, 1-67).All the confirmed patients came from villages where abnormal chicken deaths had occurred, and nine lived in houses where backyard chickens had died unexpectedly, the article says. Eight patients had had direct contact with dead chickens.All the case-patients had fever, cough, and dyspnea when they were hospitalized, and 5 of the 12 had myalgia and diarrhea. Chest radiographs were abnormal in all the cases. In the late stages of the illness, nine patients suffered respiratory failure and five had cardiac failure. The patients who died had a significantly lower lymphocyte count at hospital admission than those who survived.The 12 patients were all treated with broad-spectrum antimicrobials, and seven were also treated with the antiviral drug oseltamivir. Two of the patients who received oseltamivir survived the illness. The survivors started oseltamivir treatment a median of 4.5 days after the onset of symptoms, versus 9 days for those who died despite treatment with the drug.”We advocate using this agent in the early treatment of case-patients with suspected H5N1 influenza, in agreement with the recommendations of WHO,” the authors say.The investigators advocate specific testing for H5 influenza when a patient has a history of contact with sick poultry, young age, pneumonia and lymphopenia, and progression to acute respiratory distress syndrome.The researchers suggest that recent H5N1 cases have been more severe than the 18 H5N1 cases that occurred in Hong Kong in 1997. Six, or 33%, of the Hong Kong patients died, as compared with 68% of patients reported in 2004 at the time the report was written. “Several lines of evidence indicate that the H5N1 viruses have evolved to more virulent forms since 1997, with different antigenic structure, internal gene constellations, and an expanded host range,” the report states. “This virologic evolution may be a factor in the persistence of H5N1 viruses in the avian populations.”Chotpitayasunondh T, Ungchusak K, Hanshaoworakul W, et al. Human disease from influenza (H5N1), Thailand, 2004. Emerg Infect Dis 2005 Feb;11(2) [Full text]last_img read more

45th Indonesian avian flu death confirmed, team investigates possible cluster

first_imgAug 17, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – A World Health Organization (WHO) reference laboratory confirmed today that a 9-year-old Indonesian girl from the remote Garut district in West Java province who died on Aug 15 had H5N1 avian influenza virus.The girl’s symptoms developed on Aug 1 and she was hospitalized the day before she died. Recent chicken deaths were reported in her household. She becomes Indonesia’s 58th case and its 45th fatality. Indonesia has the world’s highest number of avian flu fatalities, and the girl’s case is the country’s third case in 2 weeks.Investigators are assessing recent bird-flu related events in three hamlets in the girl’s village, which is about 93 miles southeast of Jakarta. The 17-year-old boy who was Indonesia’s 57th case (confirmed by the WHO on Aug 14) is from the same village but lives in a different hamlet. The WHO said the boy is recovering.When the boy became ill, his 20-year-old cousin developed severe respiratory symptoms but died on Aug 5 before he could be hospitalized or tested for the H5N1 avian influenza virus. “Based on epidemiological and clinical findings, however, infection with the H5N1 virus is strongly suspected,” the WHO said in its report.The boy and his cousin developed symptoms on Jul 26, and investigators assume they acquired their infection from the same environmental source. The WHO pointed out that the currently recognized incubation period for H5N1 infection of 2 to 8 days makes human-to-human transmission between the two highly improbable.Teams that include authorities from the local health department, the Indonesia Ministry of Health, and the WHO are in the three hamlets investigating these cases. Animal health experts are also on the scene. Recent unexplained poultry deaths have occurred in the village, and exposure to sick chickens was documented in all three cases.Local publicity surrounding the recent avian influenza events, along with the presence of the investigative teams, have prompted additional patients to be screened for presence of the H5N1 virus. The WHO said rumors of additional late July and early August deaths from respiratory disease in the hamlets are being investigated.Initial media reports noted that the hamlets were difficult to reach by road or phone, but the WHO said good field communications have been established with the Ministry of Health.An Associated Press (AP) report today said that a total of seven confirmed or suspected bird flu deaths have occurred in the village. Health officials told the AP they were awaiting lab results for a girl who was hospitalized yesterday in West Java’s capital, Bandung, where she received the antiviral drug oseltamivir. Besides the 20-year-old man mentioned in the WHO report, the AP said three others from the same area died before testing for the H5N1 virus could be performed.See also:Aug 17 update on Indonesia situation read more

Indonesia reports two avian flu cases

first_imgNov 13, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Two new human cases of H5N1 avian influenza, one of them fatal, were reported in Indonesia today, raising the country’s toll to 74 cases with 56 deaths.A 30-month-old boy from Karawang in West Java province died of the illness today, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported, citing information from the Indonesian health ministry. The boy became ill Nov 5 and was hospitalized Nov 10.An initial investigation turned up reports of chicken deaths near the boy’s home in the days before he got sick, the WHO said.The other new case is in a 35-year-old woman from Tangerang in Banten province, also on Java, the WHO said. Her illness began Nov 7, and she has been hospitalized since Nov 10. Officials are trying to learn how she was exposed to the virus, the WHO said.An official from Indonesia’s avian flu information center said the boy had been in contact with poultry but could not say whether the same was true of the woman, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report published today.AFP said the woman is being treated at Jakarta’s Sulianti Saroso hospital.The two H5N1 cases are the first reported in Indonesia since Oct 16, when the WHO reported three fatal cases, all on Java. The two illnesses have increased the WHO’s global avian flu tally to 258 cases with 153 deaths. Indonesia has the most deaths of any country, but Vietnam still has the most cases with 93.See also:Nov 13 WHO update read more

Inhaled anthrax vaccine is said to work in animals

first_img In both the mice and the guinea pigs, the vaccine also generated high levels of antibodies against lethal toxin, another key anthrax protein. Tiny droplets of vaccine, 200 to 300 nanometers in size, pass through the nasal membranes to initiate a protective immune response, according to an Aug 15 press release from the University of Michigan. The researchers report that the vaccine induces both systemic and cellular immunity, as well as muscosal immunity in the nose and lungs. Bielinska AU, Janczak KW, Landers JJ, et al. Mucosal immunization with a novel nanoemulsion-based recombinant anthrax protective antigen vaccine protects against Bacillus anthracis spore challenge. Infect Immun 2007 Aug;75(8):4020-29 [Abstract] The US-licensed anthrax vaccine, Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AVA), is a whole-microbe vaccine that has been in use since the 1950s and is given in six doses over 18 months, followed by annual boosters. It has spurred protests in the US military because of concerns about negative side effects; some troops have complained of chronic health problems triggered by the vaccine. The researchers working on the inhaled anthrax vaccine say it requires two doses rather than six. They contend that the vaccine will be well tolerated, because the adjuvant contains only nontoxic ingredients. The duration of protection appears to be another advantage of the nanoemulsion vaccine, the researchers wrote. Guinea pigs that received the vaccine had immunoglobulin-G (IgG) responses after the first dose, and levels continued rising after a second dose at 4 weeks. Immunity lasted for at least 6 months. See also: The vaccine contains a recombinant form of a Bacillus anthracis protein called protective antigen (rPA), combined with an adjuvant consisting of a “nanoemulsion” of water, soybean oil, alcohol, and a surfactant, according to the study. The report was published in the August issue of Infection and Immunity. Sep 14, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Researchers from the University of Michigan recently reported promising results in animal tests of an inhaled anthrax vaccine, offering hope for a vaccine that would cause fewer side effects and be easier to store and administer than the licensed vaccine. Though the researchers concluded that it is difficult to compare responses to various adjuvants and routes of administration, the nanoemulsion vaccine appeared to be at least as effective as others. May 30 CIDRAP News story “VaxGen stops work on anthrax vaccine, seeks partner” In challenge trials, conducted at biosafety level 3 and 4 labs in Ohio and Texas, groups of guinea pigs were vaccinated with 10-, 50-, and 100-mcg doses of rPA mixed with 1% nanoemulsion adjuvant. When the researchers injected the animals with a very high dose of anthrax spores, all the vaccinated guinea pigs survived, but the controls did not. Other guinea pigs were given high intranasal doses of anthrax; 40% to 70% of the immunized animals survived this challenge, but all the control animals died. The survival rate was similar to that seen with other anthrax vaccines, the investigators reported.center_img The investigators also vaccinated groups of guinea pigs with one or two doses of vaccine containing 10, 50, or 100 mcg of rPA, plus a 1% concentration of adjuvant in saline. Their antibody responses were measured at 3- to 4-week intervals for up to 22 weeks. Other researchers have encountered problems developing new anthrax vaccines. Last December the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) cancelled an $877.5 million Project Bioshield contract with VaxGen Inc, a Brisbane, Calif., company, after problems with potency delayed the start of clinical trials of its rPA vaccine. CIDRAP anthrax overview The vaccine induced both serum and bronchial antibody responses in mice after one or two doses, the report says. Antibody titers were lower in the 0.1% and 0.5% adjuvant groups, but there was no significant difference between the 1% and 2% formulations. When the researchers compared the different adjuvants, they found that titers were higher for the nanoemulsion group than for the other three adjuvants. No antibodies were detected in the group that received vaccine without adjuvant. The researchers immunized groups of mice with either one or two 20-microgram [mcg] doses of the intranasal vaccine (with the second dose 3 weeks after the first), and then monitored them for adverse reactions and antibody responses at 3- to 4-week intervals for up to 12 weeks. The vaccine doses contained 20 mcg of rPA mixed with a 0.1%, 0.5%, 1%, or 2% concentration of the nanoemulsion adjuvant in saline. Other groups of mice were given two doses of vaccines that included rPA and one of three other adjuvants, including aluminum hydroxide, or no adjuvant. One of the next steps in testing the inhaled vaccine is to see if it can generate immunity in primates, the University of Michigan said. Safety studies in humans are in early planning stages, officials added. “Anthrax spores can remain in the environment or even in the lungs of exposed individuals for some time,” said Anna Bielinska, PhD, lead author of the study and a researcher at the Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences. “Nasal vaccination could be given to build up immunity after anthrax exposure and improve the outcome of other treatments.” Aug 15 University of Michigan press release The National Institutes of Health has been supporting anthrax vaccine research by Avecia, based in Manchester, England. The vaccine involves the same recombinant approach as VaxGen’s candidate. A phase 2 trial is under way, and the company received a grant to develop a more stable version of the vaccine. The inhaled vaccine does not require refrigeration, the researchers say. Such a vaccine, if effective in humans, could be given along with antibiotics to people exposed in an anthrax attack, the University of Michigan statement said.last_img read more

HHS issues pandemic planning guide for states

first_imgMar 14, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) unveiled a comprehensive pandemic influenza guidance document for states yesterday with the first of three live Web seminars (webinars) designed to assist state officials with planning activities.Introducing the state guidance were William Raub, PhD, science advisor to HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt, and other officials from federal agencies that have central roles in national pandemic planning. The federal role in assisting the states was spelled out in the Bush administration’s national pandemic influenza strategy plan, released by the White House’s Homeland Security Council in May 2006. HHS hosted the webinar on the Web site, where the agency also posted the guidance document and other resources for state planners.Three overarching goalsThe 132-page state guidance document reflects the input of 14 federal departments and includes suggestions received from several states at five regional meetings that were sponsored by the National Governors Association (NGA).Guidance materials outline three overarching strategic goals that states plans should address: ensuring continuity of state government and agency operation, protecting citizens, and maintaining critical infrastructure and key assets. Several operating objectives are included in each goal. For example, for maintaining critical infrastructure, states are encouraged to build private-public partnerships and beef up protection and information sharing.”Pandemic influenza begins as a health issue . . . but it becomes a matter of continuity for the whole society,” Raub said.Christa-Marie Singleton, MD, MPH, associate director for science in the division of state and local readiness at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said states, territories, and the District of Columbia are required to submit their pandemic plans to HHS so that the agency can establish a baseline for each state’s pandemic preparedness and help each identify gaps in planning. The guidance walks states through each issue to consider and includes details on how to format and submit their plans to the HHS.Singleton said the federal government might withhold some 2009 funding for states that don’t submit their pandemic plans. The guidance document says the plans are due on Jun 16.Webinar participants said federal officials would be available to help states prepare their pandemic plan submissions. Also, HHS will host two more webinars on state pandemic planning, on Apr 2 and Apr 30.Chris Logan, program director in the NGA’s homeland security and technology division, participated in yesterday’s HHS webinar. He told CIDRAP News that he hadn’t had a chance to read the entire document, but he lauded the government’s work on the state guidance.”To their credit, they reached out to states pretty significantly. In our workshops, they took a lot of input,” he said.Governors’ group cites progress, gapsMeanwhile, a recent NGA report says states have already made much progress toward pandemic preparations, but they have voiced concern about several gaps. The report is an interim assessment from the NGA’s first five regional workshops on pandemic planning, which included representatives from 27 states and territories.According to the report, participants could describe the complex nature of a pandemic and the challenges states would face. State officials could also predict possible disruptions in education and public safety and what the role of the National Guard would be. They could also identify what areas of state economies would be affected.However, the report found several gaps and shortcomings in how states would respond to and recover from a pandemic. For example, on the topic of school closures, states haven’t adequately considered how the measure would affect other states, and there is no consensus among states on how to communicate with the public.States are unclear about what federal resources would be available during a pandemic and what triggers would prompt the federal government to assume certain roles and responsibilities, the report said.Feedback from the workshops revealed that state plans rely heavily on privately held infrastructure, volunteer networks, and other organizations that are outside state control. However, the report states that most state plans don’t define the roles and responsibilities of these groups.Officials from various states were aware of potential shortages of critical goods and services during a pandemic, but they have not developed solutions and coordination with the private sector to ensure the availability of key products across state and national borders.Logan said the NGA would publish a final assessment report on state pandemic preparedness after all 10 regional workshops are completed.See also:HHS state pandemic planning guidance read more

D-Resort Šibenik has become part of a prestigious international association – Small Luxury Hotels of the World

first_imgD-Resort Šibenik has become part of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, a prestigious international association that brings together just over 520 small luxury hotels in 80 countries.On a global scale, Small Luxury Hotels of the World is synonymous with a superior guest experience, combining the best destinations, the highest level of service quality and the uniqueness of each hotel. “It was the emphasis on the specifics and “personality” of each hotel that was the incentive for us to become a member of this association because we want to continue to develop our own style of personalized service and additional content”Said Nenad Tatarinov, General Manager of D-Resort Šibenik, adding that membership in this association will open new markets, primarily the United States and enable a stronger positioning in the UK market.Small Luxury Hotels of the World brings together hotels that meet very high criteria, and every year their experts check the level of quality of the offer and service of their members. In addition to worldwide promotion, SLH also opens access to some of the most famous agencies in the luxury tourism segment, such as Virtuos and Signature, which will bring more guests of higher purchasing power to Šibenik. In addition to SLH, D-Resort Šibenik has become part of Stories, Croatian Unique Hotels, a Croatian brand of luxury hotels that provide guests with a unique stay experience.In the first seven months of this year, D-Resort Šibenik recorded 81 percent more overnight stays compared to the same period last year, which is due to a large increase in interest from guests from the UK, the Benelux countries, Germany and Croatia. “The international regattas United Sailing Week and the European Championship races in the Melges 20 and Melges 32 classes, which will be held in July and hosted by the D-Marina Mandalina marina, also contributed to the increase in demand. Booking for the post season is also on the rise, especially in the business tourism segment, where D-Resort Šibenik has positioned itself in a very short time as an ideal place to organize smaller, more exclusive events. ” Tatarinov concluded.last_img read more

The largest business tourism fair in the world opens in London

first_imgThe WTM fair is held every year in London and is the largest business tourism fair in the world, with 5500 exhibitors from 180 countries and visited annually by more than 50 tourism professionals, tourism ministers and other close departments and media representatives.Last year, according to estimates, a total of around 2.5 billion pounds of tourist business was contracted within WTM, and this fair marks the beginning of the “official” season of fair appearances, as well as other types of promotional activities with the aim of preparing the next tourist year.The season of fair performances begins with the WTM fairThe British market is important for our country, and interest in Croatia is growing from year to year. Thus, in the first nine months of this year, there were 8% more arrivals and overnight stays than last year, ie 850.000 arrivals and 4.4. million overnight stays of guests from the UK. They mostly stayed in hotels and then in household facilities, while they spent the most nights in Dubrovnik, Split, Konavle, Pula and Poreč. The average daily consumption of tourists from the UK according to the TOMAS survey is 139 Euros, which puts them in second place in terms of consumption, immediately from guests from the USA who on average achieve the highest daily consumption of 158 Euros.”On one of the largest tourist scenes in the world, Croatia will present its numerous offers, which from year to year win the status of one of the most popular tourist destinations. This is also an opportunity to further position ourselves in the United Kingdom market, which is one of our largest and most promising markets, with great potential for further growth. Guests from the UK travel significantly in the pre- and post-season, mostly staying in hotels of high and higher category, and their daily consumption is significantly higher than the average of other markets, so we will continue to focus on this, extremely important to us. market.Said Tourism Minister Gary Cappelli.Promotion of new official uniforms of the CNTBPhoto: Darko Tomas / CROPIXIt is at the WTM fair today that the official premiere of the new tourist uniforms of the Croatian National Tourist Board, which took place a few days ago in the Zagreb Mimara Museum, has a preview as part of a humanitarian fashion event called “It simply came to our notice then”.  The latest collection of tourist uniforms of the Croatian National Tourist Board was created by the fashion duo Elfs. See more about the new tourist uniforms in the attachment./ / / NEW OFFICIAL TOURIST UNIFORMS OF CNTB PRESENTEDlast_img read more

Two million euros will be invested in the Fortress Visitor Center

first_imgIt is a regional reception info-tourist center that would contribute to the recognizability of the Fortress and Osijek with its contents. Construction of the center should begin in the fall of this year, and the project is part of the integrated territorial investment “ITU specific goal – the restoration of brownfield sites.” In addition to HRK 15 million for the Tvrđa Visitor Center, a project to renovate the Old Bakery and Vatroslav Lisinski Square worth around HRK 66 million is underway, as well as the design of five locations worth around HRK 5 million. Recently, a contract worth 90 million kuna was signed for the project “Development and improvement of the Osijek Fortress”. In addition to the mentioned 170 million, the City of Osijek expects, in addition to EU co-financing, the reconstruction of the Lower Armory, worth about 150 million. The projects that the City of Osijek is currently implementing with EU co-financing weigh 506 million kuna, with the share of European funds as much as 375 million kuna. At this place, cyclists will also get their interior, where they will be able to refresh themselves and leave or repair their bikes. It will also be a space where there will be a multimedia hall, a souvenir shop, a shop for local, regional and national products, an exchange office and a catering facility with a large toilet, and next to it there will also be a stop for buses, taxis and cars. In the next two years, Osijek should get the Tvrđa Visitor Center, a project worth two million euros. On an area of ​​40 thousand square meters, the center will be located in the area of ​​the outer defense ring of the Fortress, and it is a reconstruction of the old Austro-Hungarian stables. center_img The visitor center is part of a comprehensive project to restore Osijek’s historic core worth 500 million kuna, which, in addition to tourists, should benefit many Osijek residents. Reconstruction and upgrading of the area along the eastern entrance to the Fortress should begin in the fall, the deadline for completion of works is two years, and the Osijek City Administration hopes that the new facilities for receiving tourists will be ready earlier.  “We will submit the project for evaluation this quarter and if everything goes according to plan, the tender for the contractor will be during the summer, and the first works should start in the fall. Although we planned that the realization would take two years, we hope that it will be completed earlier”Concludes Mlinarević. “The future Center will be a point that will represent the tourist facilities of the whole of eastern Croatia. Construction should begin in the fall of this year, and the Center will provide tourist information related to the city of Osijek, Osijek-Baranja County and the wider region and a high standard of service to visitors and tourists, parking spaces for buses and cars, shopping area for local , regional and national products, sanitary facilities, travel agencies, services for cyclists, space for tourist guides and other facilities”, Said Kornelija Mlinarević, Head of the Osijek Administrative Department for European Union Programs for Voice of Slavonia.last_img read more