Curbing climate change could save millions of lives – WHO
admin • December 6, 2018 • 2847
FILE PHOTO: The World Health Organization (WHO) logo is pictured at the entrance of its headquarters in Geneva, January 25, 2015. REUTERS/PIERRE ALBOUY
The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday (December 5) that mitigating climate change would save millions of lives at a global level.
According to WHO, exposure to pollution results in seven million deaths every year. The organization says climate change affects a number of diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, lung cancer, stroke or ischemic heart diseases.
Speaking during COP24, United Nations talks on climate change in Katowice, Poland, WHO’s head of environmental determinants of health, Maria Neira said a number of pulmonary and heart diseases caused by pollution were not included in decision-making processes and documents related to climate change.
Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, a team leader for climate change and health with WHO, added that health benefits of meeting the 2 Degree C Goal, which aims to cap a rise in average surface temperatures at 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), are approximately twice the value of what it would cost to implement that mitigation at the global level.
COP24 talks are billed as the most important U.N. conference since the landmark Paris 2015 deal on climate change. Over the next two weeks, the aim is to make an end-of-year deadline for agreeing on a rule book on how to enforce global action to limit further warming of the planet. — Reuters
Huge swarms of locusts took over the skies of Northern and Central India on Monday (May 25) and Sunday (May 24), affecting agricultural lands.
The pests were mostly seen across large states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
On Sunday, actions were taken in the city of Mandsaur, in central India, to contain the swarm by spraying pesticides.
One of the deadliest pests for farms produce, locusts are known to destroy crops and vegetables, and whatever they find in their way, in search of food.
Animals also get affected by eating the same leaves as the locusts and can suffer from diarrhoea.
Locust swarms are not new in East Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. But climate scientists say erratic weather linked to climate change has created ideal conditions for the insects to surge in numbers not seen in a quarter of a century.
If allowed to breed unchecked in favourable conditions, locusts can form huge swarms that can strip trees and crops over vast areas. (Reuters)
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Countries around the world are considering to further ease restrictions imposed to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) despite that the global confirmed infections surpassed 5.2 million.
According to a report from the World Health Organization (WHO), the global confirmed cases of COVID-19 reached 5,206,614, including 337,736 deaths, as of 19:07 CEST Sunday.
The United States continues to be the country with the most confirmed cases and deaths caused by COVID-19 in the world, followed by Brazil and Russia.
The number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. topped 1.64 million as of 23:32 EST on Sunday, reaching 1,641,585, and the death toll of COVID-19 rose to 97,686, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.
Brazil has emerged as world’s second-worst hit country for coronavirus cases, with 363,211 confirmed cases registered.
Brazil registered 653 deaths from the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll to 22,666, the Ministry of Health reported Sunday evening local time.
The largest country in Latin America also registered 15,813 new cases in the last 24 hours.
Russia confirmed 8,599 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, raising its total number of infections to 344,481, its coronavirus response center said in a statement Sunday.
The death toll climbed by 153 to 3,541, while 113,299 people recovered, including 5,363 over the last 24 hours, according to the center.
As of Sunday, more than 8.6 million COVID-19 tests had been conducted in Russia.
Russian Health Ministry’s chief epidemiologist Nikolai Briko said on Sunday that Russia currently is not ready to lift all restrictions.
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin signed an order to subsidize regional budgets in the amount of 100 billion rubles to compensate for the reduction in regional fiscal revenue, according to a report from TASS on Sunday.
The funds will be distributed among 56 entities of the Russian Federation, whose tax and non-tax receipts as of May 1, 2020 were below those in the previous two years.
In the United Kingdom, another 118 COVID-19 patients died as of Saturday afternoon, bringing the total coronavirus-related death toll in the country to 36,793, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Sunday.
The figures include deaths in all settings, including hospitals, care homes and the wider community.
Chairing Sunday’s Downing Street daily press briefing, Johnson confirmed that primary schools in England will partially reopen for pupils from June 1, including the Reception, Year One, and Year Six in primary schools.
He added that he intends for secondary schools to provide some contact for Year 10 and Year 12 students to help them to prepare for exams next year from June 15.
Italy’s Civil Protection Department said on Sunday that another 50 COVID-19 patients died in the past 24 hours, bringing the country’s death toll to 32,785, out of total infection cases of 229,858.
The number of recoveries rose to 140,479, an increase of 1,639 compared to Saturday. Nationwide, the number of active infections fell by 1,158 to 56,594, according to the department.
Of those active infections, 553 are being treated in intensive care, a decrease of 19 compared to Saturday, and 8,613 people are hospitalized with symptoms, down by 82 over the past 24 hours.
The remaining 47,428 people, or 84 percent, are in isolation at home without or with only mild symptoms.
Italy has about 60 million population, and about 21.98 million of them have conducted COVID-19 test.
Italy entered the second phase of its coronavirus lockdown on May 4. Stores, restaurants, barber shops and museums reopened last Monday. Staring from this Monday, gyms will reopen as well.
The Spanish Ministry of Health, Consumer Affairs and Social Welfare said on Sunday that the coronavirus death toll rose by 70 to 28,752 in the country.
According to the ministry, 70 people lost their lives in the 24 hours until midnight on Saturday, 22 more than the number reported a day earlier.
Meanwhile, the number of confirmed cases in the country rose to 235,772 from 235,290, it said.
Starting Monday, Spain will further ease some COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, allowing some shops and stores at commercial centers, as well as schools in some areas to reopen. It will also reduce restrictions on travel.
The Community of Madrid and the city of Barcelona – areas that did not move from Zero to Phase One before – will also start to reopen parks, museums, religious sites, and outdoor dining places under strict prevention measures.
The number of patients hospitalized for the COVID-19 infection in France rose by seven to 17,185 in the last 24 hours, the first such increase since mid-April, according to data released on Sunday by the Health Ministry.
The number of patients in intensive care continued the downward trend, falling by 10 to 1,655.
The number of confirmed cases, meanwhile, rose to 144,921, an increase of 115 – the lowest daily increase since mid-March.
The overall death toll in hospitals increased by 36, while the death toll in social and medico-social establishments will be updated on Monday.
The French government this week will announce plans on loosening restrictions, especially plans for the summer vocation, French Transport and Environment Minister Elisabeth Borne said in an interview on Sunday.
People can travel within the country, but may still face restrictions on traveling abroad.
The Japanese government plans to fully lift the state of emergency in the Tokyo metropolitan area and Hokkaido on Monday, economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said Sunday.
The decision came as the number of new COVID-19 cases is on a declining trend and the medical system also improved.
Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama and Hokkaido were the last remaining areas under the state of emergency among the country’s 47 prefectures.
The confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country increased by 26 to reach 16,569, according to the latest figures from the health ministry and local authorities on Sunday.
The number excludes the 712 cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama near Tokyo.
In Tokyo, 14 new infections were reported on Sunday, raising the total number in the prefecture to 5,152 so far, while nine deaths were confirmed on the same day. (Reuters)
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