Processed meat can cause cancer, red meat probably can — WHO

admin   •   October 26, 2015   •   2702

Employees make sausages at a meat processing plant run by the Belarussian Republican Union of Consumer Societies in the town of Kletsk, Belarus July 1, 2015. REUTERS/VASILY FEDOSENKO

Employees make sausages at a meat processing plant run by the Belarussian Republican Union of Consumer Societies in the town of Kletsk, Belarus July 1, 2015.
REUTERS/VASILY FEDOSENKO

Eating processed meat can cause bowel cancer in humans while red meat is a likely cause of the disease, World Health Organization (WHO) experts said on Monday in findings that could sharpen debate over the merits of a meat-based diet.

The France-based International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the WHO, put processed meat like hot dogs and ham in its group 1 list, which already includes tobacco, asbestos and diesel fumes, for which there is “sufficient evidence” of cancer links.

“For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal (bowel) cancer because of their consumption of processed meat remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed,” Dr Kurt Straif, Head of the IARC Monographs Programme, said in a statement.

Red meat, under which the IARC includes beef, lamb and pork, was classified as a “probable” carcinogen in its group 2A list that also contains glyphosate, the active ingredient in many weedkillers.

The lower classification for red meat reflected “limited evidence” that it causes cancer. The IARC found links mainly with bowel cancer, but also observed associations with pancreatic and prostate cancer, it said.

(Reporting by Gus Trompiz; Editing by Andrew Callus)

WHO reports one-day record of COVID-19 cases as infections surge

UNTV News   •   July 13, 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported a record one-day increase for global coronavirus cases on Saturday, with the United States, Brazil, India and South Africa posting the highest increases.

The WHO received reports of 230,370 confirmed COVID-19 infections around the world, marking a new high in infections over a 24-hour period, and bringing the total to 12,552,765 cases, including 561,617 deaths, as of 16:49pm CEST on Sunday.

The United States saw 59,904 new cases and 442 new deaths in 24 hours.

The total confirmed infections in the country reached 3,301,820 and the death toll rose to 135,171 as of 19:34 EST (23:34 GMT) on Sunday, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

The state of Florida reported 15,299 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, shattering not only its own previous single-day records, but also those of any other state as the pandemic continued to rage in the country.

The mind-boggling number brought the total infections to 269,811 in the Sunshine State, with the death toll reaching 4,346, according to the Florida Department of Health.

The recent surge was the result of increased testing and widespread transmission as the state prematurely loosened lockdown measures, as a result of which people were seen gathering in crowds, no longer heeding anti-virus guidelines such as maintaining social distance or wearing face coverings.

Apart from Florida, the infections in states such as Texas, California and Arizona are surging as well, replacing New York state as the new epicenters.

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb predicted on Sunday that the southern states will reach the apex in the next two or three weeks and will experience a high number of infections for a while.

Brazil on Sunday said its nationwide COVID-19 death toll reached 72,100, with 631 more patients having succumbed to the novel coronavirus in the previous 24 hours.

The country reported 24,831 new cases in the same period, bringing the total number of infections to 1,864,681, the health ministry said.

Brazil registers a mortality rate of 3.9 percent, and 1,123,204 people have recovered from COVID-19 in the past four months, according to the ministry’s daily updated COVID-19 dashboard.

The most populous state of Sao Paulo is the epicenter of the pandemic, with 371,997 cases of infection and 17,848 deaths.

India reported the highest single day spike in the number of fresh cases in the country, India’s federal health ministry said on Monday morning.

India’s federal health ministry said 500 new deaths due to COVID-19 and 28,701 new positive cases were reported during the past 24 hours across the country, taking the number of deaths to 23,174 and total cases to 878,254.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the country reached 849,553 and the death toll 22,674 on Sunday morning.

According to ministry officials, so far 553,471 people have been discharged from hospitals after showing improvement.

The country has entered its Unlock 2.0 phase, though restrictions remain in full force inside the COVID-19 Containment Zones. Commercial international flights to and from India are suspended until July 31.

Last week, the government of Uttar Pradesh, the country’s biggest state in terms of population, had decided to impose a weekend lockdown from Friday night until Monday morning, to cut the chain of transmission of COVID-19.

The state decided on Monday it would continue with similar lockdowns every weekend.

Russia registered 6,615 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking its total to 727,162, the country’s coronavirus response center said in a statement on Sunday.

The country’s death toll has risen by 130 to 11,335, while 501,061 people have recovered, including 3,615 over the last 24 hours, according to the statement.

Data also showed that Russia had conducted over 23 million tests nationwide by Sunday.

The confirmed COVID-19 cases in Japan increased by 407 to 21,991 on Sunday, while the deaths stood at 983, according to the latest figures from Japan’s national broadcasting organization NHK.

The data also showed that Tokyo reported 206 new infections on Sunday, topping the 200 mark for the fourth straight day. So far, Tokyo had a total of 7,927 infections.

Yukio Edano, the leader of Japan’s largest opposition party – the the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan – said that the government should issue a state of emergency again for Tokyo and the surrounding areas.

South Korea reported 62 more cases of COVID-19 as of 00:00 on Monday local time compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 13,479.

The daily caseload rose above 60 in five days amid the continued small cluster infections and imported cases.

Of the new cases, 43 were imported from overseas, lifting the combined figure to 1,872. It continued to increase in the double digits for 18 straight days.

Small cluster infections were found linked to religious gatherings and door-to-door sales businesses.

No more death was confirmed, leaving the death toll at 289, and its total fatality rate stood at 2.14 percent.

South Korea ended its mask ration system on Sunday after a four-month operation, as the supply of face masks stabilized. With the termination of the scheme, citizens are able to buy an unlimited number of masks at market prices.

South Korea will re-apply the ration system if there is a sudden rise in demand. Meanwhile, South Korea will punish mask stockpiling.

Also on Sunday, Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kang Min-seok said that South Korea will form an inter-agency organization this month for the so-called Korean-version New Deal project aimed at creating jobs and fostering economic growth against the impact of the pandemic. (Reuters)

18 countries issue joint statement supporting WHO; criticize US withdrawal

UNTV News   •   July 13, 2020

A total of 18 countries in Europe, the Caribbean, and South America convened a video conference and issued a joint statement on July 10, stating their strong support for the United Nations, especially the World Health Organization (WHO), and criticizing U.S. withdrawal from WHO.

The meeting was initiated by the European Union, France, and Spain. The EU countries participating in the meeting include Germany, Croatia, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, and Sweden, while the Latin American countries attending the conference are Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and Dominica.

The 18 countries believed that WHO plays a key role in the global collaborative fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Cooperation and solidarity are at the core of responding to the pandemic.

The countries jointly support WHO in carrying out coordinated actions, conducting a fair, independent and comprehensive assessment and summarizing the experience of the international community in responding to the pandemic. (Reuters)

Global COVID-19 deaths top 556,000 while total infections reach 12.32 million

UNTV News   •   July 13, 2020

The global new infections and deaths of COVID-19 in a day increased by about 220,000 and 5,200 respectively in 24 hours, raising the worldwide total infections to 12,322,395 and deaths to 556,335, as of 14:19 CEST, Saturday, according to data released by the World Health Organization (WHO).

There were 3,242,073 cases of coronavirus infection and 134,729 people died from the virus in the United States by 19:34 Eastern Standard Time (EST) Saturday, according to statistics from Johns Hopkins University.

CNN reported the surge of new infections from the week before in at least 29 states, and Florida is the epicenter of current outbreak of the pandemic.

Florida reported 10,383 new cases on Saturday, bringing the total infections in the state to 254,511, including 4,197deaths, making it the third hardest hit state in the country.

Florida has been doing more tests, and 2.4 million residents, about one ninth of its population, have received testing, Governor Ron DeSantis said at Saturday’s press briefing.

The Disney World in Orange County reopened on Saturday, but requires that all visitors age above two must wear a mask and receive temperature check.

The Disney World also limited the number of visitors.

Brazil registered over 70,000 deaths and 1.8 million cases of COVID-19, the government reported on Saturday.

According to its Ministry of Health, in the last 24 hours 1,071 deaths were recorded, bringing the total number of deaths from the virus in the country to 71,469.

Additionally, 39,023 new cases were recorded in the same period, raising the total infections in the country to 1,839,850.

Brazil records the most rapid surge of confirmed infections in the world, and sees no sign of decreasing.

The health ministry data also showed that the number of confirmed infections in the past three weeks doubled.

In India, the total number of COVID-19 cases surpassed the 800,000-mark on Saturday, reaching 820,916, while the total deaths stood at 22,123, according to the data released by the country’s federal health ministry.

Experts attributed the rise mainly to intensified testing nationwide and people’s carelessness.

According to the ministry data, 519 new deaths of COVID-19 besides fresh 27,114 positive cases were reported during the past 24 hours across the country. This is the highest single day spike in terms of new cases in the country so far.

Presently, the country has entered the Unlock 2.0 phase, though restrictions remain in full force inside the COVID-19 Containment Zones. Due to the reopening of several manufacturing and economic activities across the country, people have started moving out of their houses, with usual crowds being visible again at the market places.

Local governments at several areas have decided to impose a lockdown amid increasing incidence of infections.

Patna, the capital city of eastern state of Bihar, will be observing lockdown from July 10 to July 16, and Pune, one of the major cities in southwestern state of Maharashtra, decided to observe lockdown from July 13 to July 23.

Russia registered 6,611 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, raising its total infections to 720,547, the country’s coronavirus response center said in a statement on Saturday.

Russia’s death toll has risen by 188 to 11,205, while 497,446 people have recovered, including 8,378 over the last 24 hours, according to the statement.

Moscow, the country’s worst-hit region, reported 678 new confirmed cases, taking its tally of infections to 228,678.

On Friday, 277,896 people were still under medical observation, while over 22.7 million tests have been conducted nationwide, Russia’s consumer rights and human well-being watchdog said Saturday in a separate statement.

The Japanese capital of Tokyo reported 206 new COVID-19 infections on Saturday, the third straight day that new cases have topped 200, said the Tokyo metropolitan government.

The latest daily figure is slightly down from the record of 243 set a day earlier, when the government relaxed its guidelines for holding large sporting and other events, despite rising concerns over a second wave of infections.

The average daily increase of newly confirmed cases in Tokyo over the past seven days stood at 152.4, according to the metropolitan government. As of Friday, 487 people were hospitalized, including five with severe symptoms.

Since a nationwide state of emergency was completely lifted on May 25, the capital of 14 million people has seen an upward trend in new infections.

The metropolitan government said that downtown entertainment districts in Shinjuku and Ikebukuro have become hotbeds for the virus’ latest resurgence.

It warned those patronizing such nightspots in these districts to ensure the establishments are taking the necessary measures to prevent the further spread of the virus.

Tokyo has now confirmed a cumulative total of 7,721 COVID-19 cases, the highest among Japan’s 47 prefectures and accounting for more than one third of the country’s total cases.

So far, Japan has recorded 21,584 infections, including 386 new infections in 24 hours, and 983 deaths, Japan’s national broadcasting organization NHK said on Saturday.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the African continent reached 559,079 by the end of Saturday (East Africa Time), the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said.

In its latest situation update, the Africa CDC disclosed that as of Saturday afternoon, the death toll from the COVID-19 outbreak had rose to 12,756 while 273,984 people who were infected with COVID-19 had recovered across the continent.

The highly affected African countries in terms of positive cases include South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, Algeria and Morocco.

As of the stated period, a total of 264,184 cases were reported in South Africa with 13,497 new cases recorded over the past 24 hours. More than 8,000 new confirmed cases were reported daily in the country for the past 10 days.

Moreover, in Nigeria where 31,323 confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported, domestic flights were resumed recently after about three months of restrictions, but schools remain closed.

Kenya’s Ministry of Education has also announced that the country’s primary and secondary schools would be closed until next January. (Reuters)

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