Monthly Archives: January 2020

    La Organización Mundial de la Salud eleva el nivel de riesgo tras evaluar la situación de emergencia que se vive en todo el mundo.

    El comité de emergencia de la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) finalmente ha declarado este jueves la emergencia sanitaria internacional por el brote del nuevo coronavirus responsable de la neumonía de Wuhan (China) — que ya ha causado 170 muertes y 7.700 casos confirmados—, tras haber descartado esta opción la semana pasada.

    El pasado 23 de enero, la OMS optó por no declarar esta alerta internacional al ser “demasiado pronto”, según dijo el presidente del comité Didier Hussin. Uno de los motivos esgrimidos fue que el brote estaba contenido en China. Sin embargo, en la última semana ha cruzado fronteras: “En los últimos días nos ha preocupado el progreso del virus, con casos de transmisión entre humanos en países como Alemania, Vietnam o Japón“, apuntaba el director general de la OMS, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

    Una emergencia internacional intensifica las medidas de prevención y coordinación de las autoridades sanitarias en todo el mundo, aunque la OMS ya determinó la semana pasada que el brote constituye un riesgo “alto” a nivel global.

    No obstante, en la práctica de los profesionales y las instituciones sanitarias “no habría ningún tipo de impacto”, según ha asegurado el experto en enfermedades transmisibles de la Sociedad Española de Enfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiología Clínica (Seimc), Benito Almirante, ya que el protocolo sanitario ya está establecido.

    Para declarar la emergencia sanitaria la OMS exige tres criterios: que se trate de un evento extraordinario, que constituya un riesgo de rápida expansión en otros países, y que requiera una respuesta coordinada internacional.

    ¿Cuántas emergencias se han declarado?

    La última vez que la OMS declaró una emergencia de este tipo fue con el brote de ébola del Congo del pasado verano. Otras ocasiones en las que se ha llegado a este extremo han sido el brote de H1N1 asociado a la famosa gripe A y el virus del Zika.

    El brote del síndrome respiratorio agudo grave (SARS por sus siglas en inglés) provocado por otro coronavirus de invierno de 2003 fue una de las emergencias internacionales más relevantes de los últimos años, hasta el punto de que cualquier brote de SARS será considerado como una emergencia así automáticamente.

    ¿Qué implica para los ciudadanos?

    Supone que la OMS destina un comité específico al seguimiento y tratamiento del brote infeccioso dentro del país afectado con objetivo que no se extienda, y destina recursos específicamente para cumplir las metas de tratamiento.

    La ayuda de la OMS fue crítica para atajar el brote de ébola en África, pero el caso del SARS, se produjeron fricciones de índole política al rechazar China la injerencia del organismo internacional en sus decisiones. Con la neumonía de Wuhan, sin embargo, la OMS ha elogiado a Pekín por su “total transparencia”.

    ¿Afecta a Puerto Rico, Espana, Santo Domingo

    No, al no ser un país directamente afectado por el coronavirus: aquí regirán los protocolos diseñados desde el ministerio de Sanidad y actualmente en vigor. Sin embargo, la emergencia internacional sí puede afectar a los viajes e importaciones entre Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, España y China, ya que la OMS puede abogar por restricciones en estos desplazamientos.

    ¿Qué es un coronavirus?

    Según informan Víctor Escribano y Antonio Broto de la Agencia EFE, son una familia de virus que recibe este nombre debido a unas formaciones con aspecto de espinas que los rodean, similares a una corona.

    Hasta ahora, se conocían seis tipos de coronavirus: cuatro de ellos causaban síntomas similares a un resfriado común, y otros dos eran los responsables de enfermedades más graves, como el síndrome respiratorio agudo y grave (SARS, también originado en China) y el síndrome respiratorio de Oriente Medio (MERS).

    Al tratarse de un virus, sólo puede multiplicarse a través de las células de otros organismos. El de Wuhan es designado oficialmente por la OMS como “nuevo coronavirus” (2019-nCoV) al no haberlo identificado previamente en humanos.

    ¿De dónde viene?

    Los coronavirus son virus zoonóticos, es decir, se originan en animales y de allí saltan al ser humano bien por consumo de carne, contacto, por vía aérea u otras formas de transmisión. El coronavirus causante del SARS se originó en civetas, un pequeño mamífero salvaje similar a un gato, y el MERS, en dromedarios.

    Por ahora no está claro el origen del 2019-nCoV, pero el jefe del equipo chino de expertos que lo investiga, el reputado neumólogo chino Zhong Nanshan, afirmó que el virus es muy similar a uno encontrado en murciélagos en 2017, aunque no habría llegado directamente a los humanos: habría un animal “intermediario” que por ahora no se ha identificado.

    Los primeros casos en humanos, 27 personas infectadas en Wuhan, fueron reportados por China a la OMS el 31 de diciembre de 2019, y muchos de esos pacientes habían visitado un mercado de marisco, pescado y animales exóticos en esa ciudad a orillas del río Yangtsé, que ya ha sido clausurado.

    ¿Qué mortalidad tiene?

    Según la OMS, al ser un coronavirus, las vías de transmisión más probables son el contacto directo o por fluidos corporales generados en esputos o estornudos, así como a través de objetos inertes que pueden contaminarse con virus como prendas usadas o ropa de cama, aunque el virus puede estar activo en ellos sólo un tiempo.

    Está confirmado que el contagio entre humanos, que aumenta el riesgo de epidemia, es posible. Las cifras apuntan a que el de Wuhan se propaga mucho más rápido que anteriores coronavirus que generaron alertas internacionales, pero que su letalidad (un 2 % de los pacientes han fallecido) es menor que en el caso del SARS (10 %) o del MERS (35 %).

    ¿Hay tratamiento?

    La OMS reconoce que no hay un tratamiento específico para el nuevo virus debido precisamente al conocimiento incompleto que aún se tiene de él, aunque matiza que eso no lo hace incurable: los pacientes reciben tratamiento con antivirales genéricos que contienen la infección, y algunos se han recuperado y fueron dados de alta.

    El desarrollo de vacunas presenta el mismo problema, aunque laboratorios tanto dentro de China (en Shanghái, Hong Kong, Pekín) como en otros países (Rusia, Estados Unidos) ya investigan al respecto, con las previsiones más optimistas apuntando a que podrían lograrse resultados concretos en el plazo de unos 40 días.

     

      Dijo que la gente, la industria y el comercio ya han pagado demasiado

      La gobernadora Wanda Vázquez dijo hoy que se deberán “buscar otras alternativas” para pagar la deuda que mantiene la Autoridad de Energía Elécrica con sus bonitas, pero que no será mediante un aumento en el costo de la luz.

      “Si hay algo que el pueblo de Puerto Rico puede estar seguro, nuestro gobierno, vamos a proteger a los más vulnerables. La gente, la industria y el comercio ya ha pagado demasiado y yo como gobernadora no voy a tomar acciones que vayan en prejuicio del pueblo de Puerto Rico, así que sé y reconocemos que no se está pagando la deuda de Energía Eléctrica. Sabemos que hay una cantidad que se paga 25 centavos por kilovatio pero no se está pagando la deuda. Hay que buscar las alternativas pero no puede ser a costa del pueblo puertorriqueño. Esa es nuestra posición. Los bonistas, pues cuando se negocie que tenga en consideración que hay que tomar las medidas pero no puede ser a costa del pueblo puertoriqueño”, dijo previo a concluir su mensaje durante la convención de tecnología TechXpo del Centro Unido de detallistas.

       

       

        LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Investigators will continue after sunrise Tuesday to sift through the wreckage of Kobe Bryant’s ill-fated helicopter that crashed in California, killing the former NBA star, his daughter and seven others on board, as they try to answer both the why and how of the accidentAn 18-member National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) team, assisted by FBI forensic specialists, began mapping the wreckage site Monday with drone aircraft and examining debris scattered across the hillside where Bryant’s chopper went down on Sunday.

        Los Angeles County coroner’s investigators, working alongside aviation NTSB inspectors, said they had recovered the first three bodies collected from the crash site and were searching for more remains.

        Officials said that they would be on the scene for about five days collecting perishable evidence and would not draw any conclusions in the near term, also noting that the craft was not equipped with a flight data recorder called a “black box.”

        In a sign limited visibility was of particular interest to investigators as reports indicated foggy conditions, NTSB board member Jennifer Homendy appealed to the public to come forward with any photographs that might help document local weather conditions at the time of the crash.

        But Homendy told reporters that weather was just one factor.

        “We take a broad look at everything in an investigation – man, machine and the environment. And weather is just a small portion of that,” she said at a late-afternoon news conference in Calabasas, California, about mile from the crash site, roughly 40 miles (65 km) northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

        Bryant, who won five National Basketball Association championships in his 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers, was known since his playing days to travel frequently by helicopter to avoid the Los Angeles area’s glacial traffic.

        In addition to the charismatic 41-year-old and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, three other families linked to the Mamba Sports Academy perished on their way to a girls’ basketball tournament: a husband and wife with their 13-year-old daughter; a mother and her 13-year-old daughter; and a basketball coach who was also a mother.

        The ninth victim was the pilot, Ara Zobayan, an experienced former flight instructor who was instrument-rated, or qualified to fly in fog, according multiple media accounts.

        The company that owns the chopper, Island Epress Helicopters, said the pilot had more than 10 years experience and has logged more than 8,000 flight hours.

        Witnesses recounted thick fog over the foothills where the helicopter went down. The fog was so bad that both the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department grounded their helicopter fleets, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing officials.

        Air traffic controllers gave the pilot “Special Visual Flight Rules,” or clearance to fly in less than optimal weather around the Burbank airport.

        A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) official noted a pilot “does not get a general, or blanket, clearance from the FAA to fly in these conditions. A pilot is responsible for determining whether it is safe to fly in current and expected conditions.”

        The NBA canceled a game scheduled for Staples Center on Tuesday between the Lakers and their crosstown rivals, the Clippers, as fans mourned.

        Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Writing by Rich McKay in Atlanta; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

         

        LIVONIA, Mich. (Reuters) – Ask Victor Burch about the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, and he will rattle off a string of issues of more pressing concern to him, starting with making a living as a barber in this northwestern suburb of Detroit

        “You’ve got elderly who need help. You’ve got veterans who need help. You’ve got poor people who need help. Impeachment doesn’t really help a person who is struggling,” said Burch, 40, who took up cutting hair after he lost his job at a plastics factory in the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

        Burch, an undecided African-American voter, added: “Close up the barber shop and say: ‘Let’s just sit and hold hands and watch and see if Trump is going or not’? We can’t do that. We don’t live in that type of tax bracket.”

        Voters like Burch and places like Livonia will be at the epicenter of November’s presidential contest. Michigan itself is a crucial battleground state that Trump carried unexpectedly in 2016 by about 11,000 votes, propelling him to the White House along with wins in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

        But interviews with two dozen voters in Livonia over recent days showed that months of impeachment hearings, testimony and political storms in Washington had done almost nothing to alter their views. Instead, many were focused on issues of the day, such as jobs, healthcare, immigration and education.

        In some ways, the suburb is a microcosm of the country, with opinion polls showing that support for removing Trump for office is largely split along party lines.

        While the presidential impeachment proceedings, which have culminated in just the third such Senate trial in U.S. history, have consumed Washington, many voters across the country, including in Michigan, see the outcome as a foregone conclusion, with the Republican-controlled Senate unlikely to convict.

        Trump has remained defiant and denied wrongdoing in the face of Democratic accusations that he abused his office by pressuring Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading Democratic contender seeking to challenge him in the Nov. 3 election.

        When Reuters visited Livonia in October, just weeks after the U.S. House of Representatives’ decision to launch a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump, interviews with voters at the time showed they were dug in on the issue.

        Steve King, 65, who plays Democratic and Republican political events in Michigan with his band, Steve King and the Dittilies, said nothing he had seen since then had altered his view. He called the Senate trial “kind of pointless”.

        “There’s a sense of frustration. You’re doing all this and it’s not going to change anything,” said King, a self-described independent political junkie who plans to vote for whoever emerges as the Democratic nominee.

        His advice for the Democratic presidential candidates: “Trump is Trump. You have to ignore him completely and just focus on the policies.”

        IMPEACHMENT AN ‘AFTERTHOUGHT’

        That seems to be just what Democratic Party officials in Michigan and volunteers in the state for the Democratic presidential contenders are doing.

        Larry Nearhood, a 31-year-old volunteer for Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign from the northern Detroit suburb of Huntington Woods, said that in his conversations with voters, impeachment was an afterthought.

        “It mainly only comes up after we’re done talking about everything else,” Nearhood said. “It’s just in the background.”

        Local Trump backers are more willing to call attention to impeachment, hoping it will help the Republican president on Election Day.

        While Democrats charge that Trump abused his power in the Ukraine affair and obstructed Congress in its investigation, his defense has warned against removing a president less than 10 months before Americans vote on whether to give him a second term.

        “A majority will not have their minds switched,” said Ben Hirschmann, 24, from Fraser, who gathered in downtown Detroit on Saturday with about two dozen other Trump supporters from the suburbs to protest the impeachment.

        Hirschmann, who was wearing an American flag sweater and waving a ‘Trump 2020’ flag, said he had not been moved by the trial.

        “A bunch of the stuff they (Democrats) have is based on hearsay, which doesn’t stand up in court. Speculation doesn’t stand up either,” he said.

        Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Peter Cooney

         

          WASHINGTON/KABUL (Reuters) – The United States on Tuesday recovered the remains of individuals from a U.S. military aircraft that crashed in Afghanistan and was in the process of confirming their identities, U.S. and Afghan officials told Reuters on Tuesday

          On Monday, the U.S. military said an E-11A aircraft had crashed in the province of Ghazni, but disputed claims by the Taliban militant group that they brought it down.

          Earlier on Tuesday, Afghan forces and Taliban fighters clashed in a central region where the U.S. military plane crashed as the government tried to reach the wreckage site in a Taliban stronghold.

          The U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said multiple attempts had been made to recover the remains but they had been hampered by the terrain and weather.

          The official said the remains were believed to be of two service members who were on the plane.

          The Pentagon declined to comment.

          Ghazni provincial police chief, Khalid Wardak, told Reuters that two bodies were airlifted by U.S. forces from the crash site on Tuesday.

          Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said Afghan forces backed by U.S. military support had tried to capture the area around the crashed aircraft and clashed with fighters of the Islamist militant group.

          The attempt was repelled, he told Reuters, but the Taliban would allow a rescue team access to recover bodies from the crash site.

          “Taliban fighters on the ground counted six bodies at the site of the U.S. airplane crash,” he said, adding that while there could have been more, the militant group could not be certain, as fire had reduced everything to ashes.

          Speaking on condition of anonymity, U.S. officials said the plane was carrying fewer than five people when it crashed, with one official saying initial information showed there were at least two.

          The crashed jet, built by Bombardier Inc, is used to provide communication capabilities in remote locations.

          The incident came as the Taliban and the United States have been in talks to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan.

          Trump has long called for an end to U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, which began with an American invasion triggered by the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that al Qaeda launched from then-Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.

          Additional reporting by Rumpam Jain; Writing by Gibran Peshimam; Editing by Clarence Fernandez, Jonathan Oatis and Bernadette Baum

           

            La Organización Mundial de la Salud no ha declarado una emergencia internacional a la vista de las estrictas medidas adoptadas por el país

            Pekín – El número de muertos por el nuevo coronavirus causante de la “neumonía de Wuhan” se ha elevado a 41 entre los 1,287 contagiados diagnosticados en China, informó hoy la Comisión Nacional de Sanidad.

            Hasta la pasada medianoche local, el organismo aseguró que se habían detectado casos en todas las provincias chinas menos en el Tíbet, y que 39 de las 41 muertes han ocurrido en la provincia de Hubei, de la que Wuhan es capital y epicentro del brote.

            Esto supone un incremento de 16 muertes y 444 nuevos casos con respecto al informe emitido por la comisión 24 horas antes.

            Según la fuente, 237 pacientes se encuentran en estado grave, mientras que 38 personas han sanado y han sido dadas de alta.

            Las autoridades sanitarias han realizado seguimiento médico a 15,197 personas que han estado en contacto cercano con alguno de los infectados, de las que 13,967 continúan en observación.

            Fuera de China, por el momento se han registrado 4 infectados en Tailandia (dos de los cuales, curados), 3 contagios en Taiwán e igual número en Singapur y Francia, y dos en cada uno de los siguientes países: Japón (uno curado), Corea del Sur, Estados Unidos y Vietnam. Asimismo, hay uno en Nepal.

            Los síntomas del nuevo coronavirus, denominado 2019-nCoV provisionalmente por la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS), son en muchos casos parecidos a los de un resfriado, pero pueden venir acompañados de fiebre y fatiga, tos seca y disnea (dificultad para respirar).

            Por el momento, la OMS ha decidido no declarar una emergencia internacional por el virus a la vista de las estrictas medidas adoptadas por China, que incluyen la suspensión total de los transportes en una decena de ciudades de la provincia de Hubei que suman millones de habitantes o la cancelación de las celebraciones del Año Nuevo chino, que hoy comienza.

             

              Democratic presidential candidates former Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., greet each other Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, before a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN and the Des Moines Register in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

              NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders has been steadily climbing in popularity this year and is now tied with former Vice President Joe Biden for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination among registered voters, according to a Reuters/Ipsos national poll

              The online poll, released Thursday, shows that 20% of registered Democrats and independents said they would back Sanders over 11 other candidates to run in the general election against President Donald Trump, an increase of 2 percentage points from a similar poll that ran last week.

              Another 19% supported Biden, 12% said they would vote for Senator Elizabeth Warren, 9% backed former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and 6% said they would support Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

              Sanders and Bloomberg have increased their level of support in each of the last three Reuters/Ipsos polls starting in mid-December, while support for Biden, Warren and Buttigieg has remained flat.

              The poll also shows that about one in five potential primary voters remain undecided. And among those who have picked, nearly two out of three say they are open to changing their minds.

              Sanders, an independent who built a national network of fervent supporters while running for the party’s nomination in 2016, has consistently ranked among the most popular candidates since he entered the race.

              The poll shows that standing does not appear to have been hurt by his recent confrontation with Warren over Sanders’ views of women and politics.

              Warren, who is aligned with Sanders on a variety of issues, has accused him of telling her in 2018 that a woman could not be elected president. Sanders disputes that claim, and the two sniped at each other after this week’s presidential debate about how they were framing the conversation in public.

              The dispute has the potential to reconfigure a Democratic nomination race that has stagnated for months with no single candidate emerging as the clear front-runner.

              According to Reuters/Ipsos polling from December to January, women are the party’s biggest swing group: they are more than twice as likely as men to say they are undecided about which candidate to support. Among those women who have picked a candidate, nearly two out of three say they are open to changing their minds.

              So far, Sanders’ and Warren’s support remains unchanged among women, with about 15% supporting Sanders and 11% supporting Warren.

              The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted in English throughout the United States from Jan. 15-16. It gathered responses from 681 Democrats and independents, including 552 who were registered to vote. The poll has a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of about 5 percentage points.

              Reporting by Chris Kahn; Editing by Tom Brown

               

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