Wednesday’s meeting was held to formulate measures to ensure stability during the outbreak.Read also: Jokowi must make case for lockdown as COVID-19 may spark social unrest: ReportBaintelkam state security director Brig. Gen. Umar Effendi said that, based on the police’s internal studies, there was a risk of an increase in crime that could disrupt public order and security.“There will always be potential for riots and crimes, especially at a time like this. Therefore, we [the police] are coordinating efforts down to local police forces to conduct supervision and [public] education,” he said in the statement. Umar asserted that the police would stand on the front line to keep the public safe.“We would use a preventive and persuasive approach for security, stability and public order. We would also help the government by escorting the distribution of social aid for impacted residents,” Umar added.Read also: Social aid crucial to prevent unrest during lockdown: EconomistsEconomists have warned that government must safeguard social aid and food supplies to prevent social unrest as the pandemic has had a severe impact on workers and households.The government has set aside Rp 436.1 trillion (US$26.36 billion), equivalent to 2.5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, for stimulus packages that are focused on healthcare spending, social protection and economic recovery.Topics : The State Palace is bracing for social unrest ahead of Ramadan amid the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit people’s purchasing power and put many out of work.The Executive Office of the Presidential held an online meeting with the National Police’s Security Intelligence Agency (Baintelkam) on Wednesday to discuss various economic measures and prepare for an increase in crimes and security threats.“Security is one of the issues the [Executive Office of the President] monitors. [We must prepare for] the increase in unemployment, so that the impact will not result in social and security conflicts,” the office’s undersecretary for politics, law, defense and human rights, Jaleswari Pramodhawardani, said in a statement on Thursday.
… Pakistani Babar Azam replaces injured Chris LynnTHE Guyana Amazon Warriors began a seven-day training programme yesterday as part of preparations for the August 4 start of the much-anticipated Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 tournament.Fourteen of the 17 members started the training camp at the Guyana National Stadium under head coach Roger Harper, assistant coach Esaun Crandon, strength and conditioning trainer Clinton Jeremiah along with the Warriors technical support team.Under Harper, the Guyana Amazon Warriors will be looking to win the tournament for the first time.The Warriors have been the most consistent team in the history of CPL cricket, but never managed to win a single title after four years. They reached the final in 2013, 2014 and 2016, and were one of the semifinalists in 2015.Meanwhile, Crandon told media operatives that the camp is more than an acquaintance exercise for the players.Crandon, who is also the Guyana Jaguars head coach, pointed out that the camp, a customary practice for teams preparing for competitions, is a vital one for the local franchise.Pakistani Babar Azam has replaced Chris LynnHe further related that they will look to pack a heavy workload in the next week with the aim of getting to peak condition for the fifth edition of the League.“Preparation is always important. We have a week together so we will try and put in as much as we could together. We have an assessment in the morning (today) so there we will have a look with the guys and see where they are at present,” Crandon said.Meanwhile, it was confirmed from the Warriors management unit that Pakistani batsman Babar Azam has replaced the injured Australia middle-order batsman Chris Lynn.Azam is an exciting young batsman who has come up through the ranks of junior cricket in Pakistan and is already touted as one of the best young batsmen.Azam first made a mark when he captained the Pakistan team at the Under-19 World Cup of 2012, where he ended up as the highest run-getter for his side scoring 287 runs from six games. He is expected here on tomorrow.Further, Pakistani all-rounder Sohail Tanvir, New Zealand opener Martin Guptill, will arrive today.This year the Warriors have retained Tanvir, Guptill, Lynn (out injured), Trinidad and Tobago all-rounder Rayad Emrit, Trinidad and Tobago batsman Jason Mohammed, Guyanese trio of Veerasammy Permaul, Assad Fudadin and Steven Jacobs and Trinidad and Tobago wicketkeeper/batsman Steven Katwaroo.They have raked in six newcomers in their squad, Jamaican wicket-keeper/batsman Chadwick Walton, Afghanistan all-rounder Rashid Khan, ICC Americas opener Steven Taylor, along with Barbados all-rounder Roshon Primus and the Guyanese pair, batsman Gajanand Singh and fast bowler Keon Joseph.Joseph was called in as a replacement for the injured Ronsford Beaton in the Guyana Amazon Warriors squad in 2013. However, he did not play a match.Further West Indies Under-19 World Cup Champions player Keemo Paul has been selected as a replacement for Shimron Hetmyer.Hetmyer, who was initially selected by the Guyana Amazon Warriors as the West Indies Youth Player will be on West Indies Senior Team duties and as such Paul has been chosen as his replacement.The squad will depart for Fort Lauderdale, Florida on August 2. During the Florida leg, the Warriors will play St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in two games before returning to the Caribbean.Guyana home games are billed for August 17, 19, 20 and 22 at the Guyana National Stadium.The host team (Guyana Amazon Warriors) take on the Jamaica Tallawahs on August 17 from 20:00hrs; Trinbago Knight Riders on August 19 from 12:00hrs; Barbados Tridents on August 20 from 18:00hrs and St Lucia Stars on August 22 from 18:00hrs.
One of the many African medical practitioners who came to Liberia to help save lives during the height of the nation’s Ebola crisis, Dr. Atai Annae Omoruto, has died of pancreatic cancer, the New Vision, a local Ugandan daily reports.Dr. Omoruto passed away at 3a.m. Thursday at the Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda, New Vision said.Dr. Atai, as she was affectionately known in Liberia, was at the head of a team of Ugandan medical specialists comprising two doctors and seven nurses who came to the country in June 2014 during the height of the deadly Ebola virus epidemic. She, along with her colleagues from Uganda and several Liberian medical practitioners, helped to save many lives when they began operating the Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU), a 35-bed Ebola facility located at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Sinkor. Looking at the rate of infection at the time, she had told our Health Correspondent in June 2014 that the disease would still be around up to December that year. The disease was still around, even though its rate of infections dwindled. The Ugandan, who was a practicing family physician, and her team were later moved to the Island Clinic ETU on Bushrod Island, where many lives were also saved because of their intervention. She and her colleagues departed Liberia following the drastic reduction of the virus’s transmission. Speaking with the Daily Observer, Ms. Liliane Luwaga, a Ugandan working with the World Health Organization (WHO) office in Liberia, said: “Dr. Atai was among the first brave ones who came to Liberia when most people were running from this country. “Dr. Atai was very courageous; she had a selfless spirit. She had the passion to help save every sick Ebola patient that she came across. She trained many Liberian health workers. We are going to miss her. Africa, including Liberia, will miss her so dearly.”Speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Health, Deputy Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah stated that her loss is a global loss to the public health and medical arena because of her vast experience in handling infectious diseases such as Ebola, Yellow Fever and Marburg disease.He added: “Her experience in dealing with viral hemorrhagic diseases is something that would be irreplaceable for a very long time.” He also praised her for working closely with the Ministry of Health in saving “hundreds of lives at the Ebola treatment units in JFK compound and Island Clinic.”He lamented that the African medical community had lost a “very resilient health worker, an Ebola guru,” adding that she will be greatly missed.Mr. Nyenswah disclosed that Dr. Atai was “a very strong advocate for Ebola healthcare workers to be treated with respect and dignity.”Her profile posted by the Public Health Department of the Makerere University said: “Dr. Atai Annae Omoruto was the Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the Makerere University College of Health Sciences. She was also the Chair of the Community Health Department at the adjoining teaching hospital, Mulago National Referral Hospital. “At the College of Health Sciences, Dr Atai-Omoruto and team ran the postgraduate program in Family Medicine leading to the award of Med Family Medicine and Community Practice, and supervised students throughout the program. “As well as being a founding member of the Association of Family Physicians of East Africa, Dr Atai was President of the Association of Family Physicians of Uganda. “She participated in various forums for the promotion of the discipline of Family Medicine in the Medical Schools in Eastern and Southern Africa region in conjunction with the Belgian Association of Family Medicine Departments (VLIR) and the South African Family Medicine Consortium (FAMEC). “She also conducted research in the field of infectious diseases, including tuberculosis, HIV and malaria.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
…says BBCI toll increase a clear “political gimmick”Former Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall believes the actions of the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Administration has negatively impacted the two major economic activities in Berbice, which in turn has significantly reduced spending power and may even be the reasons behind the Berbice River Bridge not earning revenues. Following previously failed talks with Government, the Berbice Bridge Company Incorporated (BBCI) last week went ahead and announced new toll increases. These include $8040 for cars and minibuses; $14,600 for pickups, small trucks and four-wheel drive vehicles; $27,720 for medium trucks; $49,600 for large trucks; $116,680 for Art trucks; $1680 for freight, and $401,040 for boats passing through the bridge.The new tolls are to take effect from November 12 and according to Chairman of the Bridge Company, Dr Surendra Persaud, who is a close associate of AFC, it has nothing to do with the impending Local Government Elections (LGE) which will be held on the same day. He explained that the Bridge Company has incurred losses in excess of GY$2.8 billion, and has never paid dividends to its ordinary shareholders.However, Nandlall has posited that the blame of the Bridge Company experiencing huge losses squarely lies at the feet of Government for destroying the economy of Regions Five (Mahaica-Berbice) and Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).“The driving economic forces of Regions Five and Six are the sugar and rice sectors. The Government is closing down the sugar sector and is killing the rice sector by imposing VAT (Value-Added Tax) on agricultural equipment and increasing the rates and rents for rice lands by several hundred per cent,” he stated.According to the former Attorney General, the Mahaica/Mahaicony/Abary-Agriculture Development Authority (MMA-ADA) is unable to maintain the infrastructural dams in the rice cultivation areas while the Drainage and Irrigation Authority, along with MMA, have completed neglected the drainage system in the rice industry.“All of this culminates in economic stagnation in these two regions so there is no money circulating and this obviously will have a negative impact on the revenue generated by the bridge. In short, people simply are travelling less so we go right back to the Government being responsible,” Nandlall contended.He went on to call the proposed toll increases a “political gimmick” and an “electoral stunt” being engineered by the coalition Administration, noting that a number of factors can support this reality. Political gimmickNandlall stressed that there was no way Government, through its Infrastructure Ministry, did not know about the increases when the subject Minister, David Patterson, and the BBCI Chairman are executive members of the AFC party.“When the announcement was made by Dr Persaud, Minister Patterson came out with a statement that he is unaware [of the toll increases]. One has to be extraordinarily gullible to believe that Dr Persaud would not have communicated his decision to his party colleague before making it public. So when Minister Patterson came out claiming ignorance, it was laughable,” Nandlall stated.He further posited that it is also a strain on the intellect of the average Guyanese to accept that the bridge company sought and obtained legal advice from a reputable senior counsel to raise the tolls when only the minister can levy an increase in the toll.Furthermore, the Opposition parliamentarian outlined that it cannot be coincidence that the proposed increases are scheduled to take effect on the same day Local Government polls will be held.“Is it that no other date could have been chosen? And simultaneously, it cannot be a coincidence that there is a plethora of comments both from the Government and the paid PR personnel, both in the press and social media, blaming the People’s Progressive Party for the increase,” he continued.This entire fiasco, Nandlall noted, was staged to drive fear into the people of Berbice with this mammoth increase.“Then we will see the Government stepping in like a knight in shining amour and quash the increases, and take credit for it so as to garner votes especially from these two regions because they sense that they would be soundly thrashed at the Local Government Elections,” he stated.The proposed toll increases have been the subject of much criticisms with Government saying that it would not accept.However, outspoken political activist and former Presidential Advisor Ramon Gaskin is suggesting a total buyout of the bridge company by Government so as to resolve the issue.The BBCI, in which the National Insurance Scheme has majority voting rights on the Board of Directors, was forced to push for the increase in tolls in order to protect its investment. To this end, Gaskin suggested that an alternative can be for Government and the NIS to solely own the bridge, thus buying the shares from all the other shareholders.On the other hand, one of the shareholders told this newspaper that it recognises that BBCI is in serious financial jeopardy, given that debts have reached maturity and few options are available to stave off bankruptcy.Another noted that if an agreement cannot be reached, them it is recommended that the Government buy back the bridge and compensate investors in keeping with the financial model and other investment documents. (Vahnu Manikchand)