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COVID-19 strain in Beijing outbreak may have come from SE Asia: Harvard study

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first_imgThe three genomes showed the greatest resemblance to cases in Europe from February to May, and to cases in South and Southeast Asia from May to June.They were also similar to a small number of infections seen in China in March, suggesting the strain could have appeared first in China and then returned to the country three months later, the authors said.”As the most recent cases in these branches are almost exclusively from South(east) Asia, this could suggest that the new cases in Beijing were re-introduced by transmissions from South(east) Asia,” they wrote.The outbreak traced to Beijing’s huge Xinfadi wholesale market on June 11 had infected 329 people by the end of Wednesday. Quarantine restrictions and large-scale testing of residents began soon after the first cases were identified, and China also required all shipments of imported meat to be tested for COVID-19 before they could leave its ports.The SARS-CoV-2 virus was believed to have originated in a market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December last year and has now infected more than 10 million people and killed more than 500,000 worldwide.However, some studies suggest it could have been circulating much earlier after crossing the species barrier from horseshoe bats native not only to southwest China, but also Laos and Myanmar. A strain of COVID-19 that has infected more than 300 people in Beijing since early June could have originated in South or Southeast Asia, according to a study by Harvard University researchers.The outbreak in Beijing has raised concerns about China’s vulnerability to a “second wave” of infections. The virus found in Beijing cases is an imported strain of COVID-19, according to the China Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.The Harvard study, published on the preprint website medRxiv.org on Tuesday and which has still to be peer-reviewed, took three of the SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences collected in Beijing last month and compared them to 7,643 samples worldwide.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Tourism stakeholders focus on infrastructure, long-term investment amid slump

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first_imgWith the lengthy recovery, the government will focus instead on developing infrastructure at tourist spots, including creative hubs at so-called “super-priority” tourist destinations, slated to be completed by next year. The creative hubs would showcase art projects and market local products to visitors, Hari said.“We are running a rebound program for super-priority tourist destinations through the Clean, Health, Safety and Environmental protocol and through the construction of creative hubs,” he said.The government has been working to develop five super-priority tourist destinations as part of its effort to make the tourist industry one of the new drivers of the country’s economic growth. The destinations are Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Borobudur in Central Java, Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara, Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara and Likupang in North Sulawesi.The COVID-19 pandemic has depressed foreign tourist arrivals to Indonesia, which plummeted 59.96 percent to 3.09 million in the first half of the year amid international border closures and travel restrictions, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data show. The government is focusing on improving infrastructure and bringing long-term investments to tourist destinations this year, as it projects pandemic-related pressures to continue affecting the sector in the coming years.The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry’s deputy of destination and infrastructure development, Hari Santosa Sungkari, said on Aug. 7 that the ministry expected a full recovery of foreign tourist arrivals by 2025.This year, it estimates foreign tourist arrivals to reach between 2.8 million and 4 million visitors, well below the government’s initial target of 18 million. Amid the tourism slump, Lake Toba Tourism Authority Board (BOPDT) director Arie Prasetyo said the government was currently running several infrastructure projects to improve travel between the destinations.For example, near Lake Toba is the expansion of Sisingamangaraja XII International Airport, as well as Sibisa Airport construction.“We are also revitalizing our national roads, which have reached the 90 percent progress mark,” he said.According to Arie’s presentation document, the government is running two national road projects near the lake, the Lake Toba ring road and Samosir ring road, set to be completed this year.The government is also in the process of completing a master plan for Labuan Bajo and preparing basic tourism infrastructure at the destination to host the G-20 Summit and ASEAN Summit in 2023.Meanwhile, state-owned Indonesian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), the developer of tourist destination Mandalika, projected the area’s basic infrastructure projects to reach completion by 2022.“We have submitted a proposal for a state-fund injection to the government and investment proposals to private entities to fund the island’s [infrastructure development projects],” ITDC development director Edwin Darmasetiawan said on Aug. 7.ITDC presentation documents show that the company plans to build two five-star hotels, two villa compounds and a convention hall for the G-20 and ASEAN summits.The state-owned firm previously signed agreements with 12 investors, such as global hotel chains Pullman, Marriott and Paramount, to build lodging in the region with a total investment commitment of around Rp 2.8 trillion (US$190.6 million).ITDC had also signed an investment deal in 2018 with French construction company Vinci Construction Grands Projets to build hotels, entertainment districts and a hospital with a total investment of Rp 14.2 trillion.However, ITDC also reported that negotiations with the Walt Disney Company to build a theme park on the island had faltered.“We’ve approached Disney about building a theme park in Mandalika, but they said it’s not the right time because visitor traffic was low,” Edwin said.Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) investment planning coordinator Nurul Ichwan acknowledged on Aug. 5 that attracting investment in the tourism sector would be difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic and developers should change their marketing narratives.“We should prepare investment proposals that emphasize [the destinations’] long-term potentials,” he told The Jakarta Post during an online discussion held by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).According to BKPM data, foreign investment in hotels and restaurants fell 57.9 percent year-on-year (yoy) in the second quarter of 2020 to $48.7 million. Domestic investment in the sector also fell, by 43.6 percent yoy to Rp 2.45 trillion during the same period.Topics :last_img read more

Unai Emery admits Marco Asensio injury is ‘bad news’ in Arsenal’s pursuit of Dani Ceballos

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first_imgUnai Emery admits Marco Asensio injury is ‘bad news’ in Arsenal’s pursuit of Dani Ceballos Arsenal have been closing in on the loan signing of Real Madrid’s Dani Ceballos (Picture: Getty)Unai Emery admits he’s concerned that Marco Asensio’s knee injury during Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Real Madrid may have ended their chances of signing Dani Ceballos.Asensio was taken to hospital with a suspected ruptured cruciate ligament in the 62nd minute at Washington’s FedExField and it appears the attacking midfielder is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.Alexandre Lacazette opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 10th minute and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang doubled Arsenal’s lead with a composed finish midway through the first half.Second-half substitute Gareth Bale pulled a goal back for Madrid and Asensio leveled for the La Liga giants before going down in a heap after an innocuous tussle with Aubameyang.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTAsensio was in tears as he was stretchered off the pitch and Arsenal will no doubt be sweating over their move for Ceballos, with Madrid losing a player in attack.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityArsenal were on the verge of a season-long loan deal for Ceballos but, after the final whistle, Emery claimed that Asensio’s injury could be ‘bad news’ for the Gunners.Asked whether the Ceballos deal could be affected by Asensio’s injury, Emery replied: ‘I don’t know.‘Really our target in the match was not to take injuries and they have maybe a big injury with Asensio, it’s bad news for them and also for us.‘I don’t know if it can change something.’ Asensio broke down in tears as he was stretchered off the pitchMadrid boss Zinedine Zidane admitted Asensio’s injury put a dampener on an otherwise entertaining match in Washington.‘We’re a little worried ]by Asensio],’ Zidane said.‘It’s the knee. He went straight to the hospital to get tested and see. But it looks bad.‘It’s the bad thing of the day for us. because we lose a player and we are a little touched, yes.’ Advertisement Asensio went down in the 62nd minute after tussling for the ball with Aubameyang Comment Emery praised Aubameyang and Lacazette after the draw (Picture: Getty)On the success of the tour, Emery said: ‘Really we are very happy we finished today that match with the same spirit we played before and also you see different players taking minutes, taking confidence and I think the result is not important.‘But really, really I think also we play one match today showing a good level and when we needed young players also the performance was perfect.More: FootballBruno Fernandes responds to Man Utd bust-up rumours with Ole Gunnar SolskjaerNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira moves‘I’m really, really, happy, the players are working really well every day.‘The tour was perfect for us to be here in the United States and also because we have a lot of supporters here in LA, in Denver, in Charlotte and here and it is really great to feel them is for us, important.’MORE: Unai Emery sends message to Manchester United over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang transfer Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterWednesday 24 Jul 2019 7:57 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1.1kShareslast_img read more

UCLA looks to sweep Utah

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first_img Associated Press For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25___This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.com UCLA looks to sweep Utah LEADING THE WAY: Utah’s Timmy Allen has averaged 17.6 points and 7.2 rebounds while Rylan Jones has put up 10.1 points and 4.4 assists. For the Bruins, Chris Smith has averaged 13.3 points and 5.5 rebounds while Jalen Hill has put up 9.1 points and 6.8 rebounds.SOLID SMITH: Smith has connected on 31.3 percent of the 64 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 6 of 19 over his last three games. He’s also made 85.8 percent of his foul shots this season.UNDEFEATED WHEN: UCLA is a perfect 14-0 when it holds an opponent to 68 points or fewer. The Bruins are 1-11 when opponents score more than 68.STREAK SCORING: Utah has won its last four home games, scoring an average of 66.8 points while giving up 57.8.DID YOU KNOW: UCLA is ranked first among Pac-12 teams with an offensive rebound percentage of 35 percent. The Bruins have averaged 12.2 offensive boards per game.___center_img Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditUCLA (15-11, 8-5) vs. Utah (14-11, 5-8)Jon M. Huntsman Center, Salt Lake City; Thursday, 10:30 p.m. ESTBOTTOM LINE: Utah seeks revenge on UCLA after dropping the first matchup in Los Angeles. The teams last faced each other on Feb. 2, when the Bruins outshot Utah from the field 49 percent to 39.3 percent and made 13 more foul shots on the way to the 73-57 victory. February 19, 2020last_img read more

No. 6 Women of Troy face No. 18 Baylor Lady Bears

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first_imgAfter dropping a match to crosstown rival UCLA this past weekend, the USC women’s tennis team looks to get back to its winning ways today against Baylor. The match will be the Women of Troy’s last non-conference contest  before USC flies out to face Colorado in Boulder, Colo. for the first official match of Pac-12 conference play. The No. 6 Women of Troy (9-3) fell to No. 3 UCLA, 5-2, on their home court last Friday. Though the loss was disappointing, it was an improvement from the last time these two teams matched up this season, when the Bruins swept the Women of Troy, 4-0, in the quarterfinals of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Team Indoor Championships in Charlottesville, Va. on Feb. 8.USC’s top-ranked doubles pair, made up of juniors Zoë Scandalis and Giuliana Olmos, fell to UCLA’s top doubles pair, Robin Anderson and Jennifer Brady, 8-6. But Scandalis, ranked the 30th-best singles player in the country, beat No. 3 Anderson in singles play by a score of 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (6-1). Scandalis was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week on March 5 for her strong play the week before.Scandalis played on court one against UCLA in place of junior Sabrina Santamaria, whose season was recently cut short by an ACL tear. Santamaria also previously paired with senior Kaitlyn Christian on court one in doubles, after the duo won the national championship together last year. USC is still adjusting to the loss of Santamaria and will look to work out the kinks in the lineup against Baylor today.The Baylor Lady Bears come into Marks Stadium ranked as the No. 18 team in the country, sporting a 9-4 record. The Lady Bears are led by doubles pair Victoria Kisialeva and Blair Shankle, ranking as the 42nd-best tandem in the country and owning a 9-1 record in match play so far this year. On the singles side, 38-ranked Kiah Generette leads the Lady Bears with an 8-3 individual record.Some members of USC’s women’s team were spectators at Marks Stadium on Sunday, when the men’s squad took on Baylor’s men’s team. The Trojans were able to pull off a 5-2 win over the 12th-ranked Bears.The Women of Troy’s only other losses this season also came at the ITA National Team Indoor Tournament at the hands of the Florida Gators, ranked No. 2 in the country according to the most recent ITA poll. The Women of Troy did come away from the tournament with a signature win over Alabama, however, currently ranked fourth in the nation. Other notable wins for USC in the early season include a victory over No. 24 Texas as well as No. 16 Cal.Though Cal and UCLA are both a part of the Pac-12, those matches are considered non-conference matches as they happened in tournaments and not standard conference play.Along with USC, UCLA and Cal, Stanford will be an early-season contender for the conference championship. Stanford is ranked ninth in the country and doesn’t play USC until hosting the Women of Troy on April 5. After going undefeated in Pac-12 play last year, the Women of Troy look to repeat as undefeated conference champions before heading into the NCAA Tournament.USC’s match against Baylor begins at 1:30 p.m. today at Marks Stadium.It will be the last match at home for the Women of Troy until March 28, when they return from a series of Pac-12 road trips to host Oregon.last_img read more