BURLINGTON, Vt.–Ecopixel, a Web services firm in Burlington, Vt., announced in January the launch of a new commercial Web site at www.Skimaven.com(link is external). The site features a ski blog written by local skier and writer Kris Surette. It provides ski trip reports and images, information on resorts and backcountry trails, and insight into on-snow activities around Vermont. Providing Vermont businesses with a new online advertising venue, Skimaven.coms target audience is alpine, backcountry and cross-country skiers, both inside and outside of the state.Ecopixel is a Web services firm that delivers compelling, easy-to-manage Web sites, reliable hosting, and targeted online visibility and marketing.
Many of them had travelled from other cities for now-cancelled appointments and can’t go back due to transport restrictions under the nationwide lockdown that began on March 25.Outpatient departments at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) closed, forcing cancer patients and others with deadly ailments to take shelter in a grimy pedestrian subway and under canvas.Though aid groups have provided some food and medicines, it had been 12 hours since Saryu Das had eaten when AFP met him.His son, who had mouth cancer, lay on a thin mattress with his face covered by a scarf. Flies hovered around him. Four days later, he died.Waste littered the subway floor that is now home to more than 10 families unable to get back to their hometowns, with the mattresses so close that social distancing was impossible.The AIIMS did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the death and the patients outside. But hospitals across the vast country of 1.3 billion people have been put on alert and its virus death toll is now above 280.When Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the lockdown, he gave millions of Indians taking life-saving drugs only four hours’ notice.Amulya Nidhi, a health activist based in Madhya Pradesh state, told AFP the government knew that vulnerable patients -– including those with silicosis and tuberculosis, which kills tens of thousands each year in India, as well as pregnant women — were at risk.”I’m getting distress calls from across India over access to basic medicines and treatment,” said Nidhi.”It is important to expand healthcare facilities to fight COVID-19. At the same time, hospitals and ambulances have to be available for patients with other problems,” he said.In February, 39-year-old Maitri Lakra was found to be in the initial stages of tongue cancer. Being HIV-positive only added to her woes.Doctors at AIIMS referred her to their campus in Haryana state for pre-surgery tests, which started mid-March. But 10 days later, she was told that all radiology appointments were postponed.As her condition deteriorated -– bleeding from the tongue and in unbearable pain -– she filed a petition with the Delhi High Court and has finally been admitted to AIIMS.”Her cancer is at stage three now. Had she received treatment on time, this would not have happened,” her son Debashish Dag said.Vinay Shetty, from the Mumbai-based Think Foundation that works with people with the blood disease thalassaemia and organises blood donation camps, said those needing transfusions are among the most vulnerable.”Those needing drugs may not have a problem, but anybody needing blood will,” Shetty said, adding the government had to encourage blood donors.Public health expert Anant Bhan said India’s focus on COVID-19 could lead to other diseases such as tuberculosis spreading.”Family members in lockdown with tuberculosis patients are at risk. After the lockdown is removed and people start social interactions, it could spread the infection the same way COVID-19 patients could spread infection,” Bhan said.”Deaths because of COVID-19 and not directly of it is something that we need to worry about. We need to ensure those who need essential services have it,” he said.And time is already running out for Shahjahan’s fellow patients in the subway and tents outside AIIMS.”The doctors told me they could not do my chemotherapy session now and that they’ll call me when the lockdown is lifted. That call may take weeks,” said 25-year old Rampur resident Mohammed Shan-e-Alam.”Now I can’t go home and I can’t go to the hospital.”Topics : “The authorities just left her to die. Even when they referred us to another hospital, they refused to give us an ambulance,” said Mohammad Khalid, a relative of Shahjahan.The capacity of medical facilities around the world has been stretched by the surge of COVID-19 patients as outbreaks worsen in many countries.It can cause people with other life-threatening diseases to miss out on vital care — especially in places like India, where healthcare systems are shakier.Dozens of people with serious medical conditions are camped outside India’s national medical institute in tents set up by the Delhi government. Liver patient Shahjahan’s family feared the worst when a New Delhi public hospital told her to leave because her bed was needed in a coronavirus unit.The 40-year-old mother had been on a ventilator with an acute infection for almost two weeks when she left Lok Nayak hospital on Tuesday night.She died at her family home in Delhi the next morning. Other hospitals had turned her away because of the pandemic.
Council members are prepared to make cuts to the budget. (Photo: Franklin County Government)Officials in Franklin County are considering different methods to cut the county budget by $1.5 million.Franklin County Council was instructed by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance in January that the deficit in the budget could be made up by spending the county’s investment money, however that has been retracted, according to the Franklin County Observer.The money that officials thought could have been used is not part of the general fund, which now forces the county to search for cuts.The Observer reported that council weighed several options including rescinding the promised 50 cent an hour raise to county employees, potentially cut part time county employees or slash the budget for each department funded by the general fund by 19%.Councilwoman Becky Ogelsby suggested a less aggressive approach by making $500,000 in cuts now, and review the budget again in May. She also mentioned the prospect of increased revenue from taxes with the potential of new businesses coming to the county, such as the rumored Walmart in Batesville.Another option is to raise taxes, but Councilman Joe Sizemore said he would not vote for a tax hike, according to the online newspaper.The consideration of budget cuts could only effect county departments that receive money from the general fund, so the highway department will not be impacted.No decision was made and a reduction meeting will be held Tuesday, March 11 at 7:00 p.m. at the Franklin County Government Center.
CHAIRMAN of the National Sports Commission (NSC) Ivan Persaud has urged the four NSC scholarships awardees, Owen Adonis, Emanuel Archibald, Alque Stanley and Natrena Hooper to take the programme seriously and be worthy ambassadors of their country. Persaud made the appeal yesterday when the four awardees visited the NSC headquarters on Homestretch Avenue, where they met with Director of Sport Christopher Jones.The four awardees were each given a four-year scholarship late last year, with Adonis, Archibald, and Hooper, attending the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona Campus in Jamaica, while Stanley is at the GC Foster College also in Jamaica.“For the recipients, I want you guys to understand that it’s very important that you take this very seriously, and to make sure that you perform more than your best, not only academically, but also in your respective sport.“Make sure that you understand that you are a role model for a lot of youngsters who are coming into sport now … and be a good ambassador for Guyana,” Persaud said.According to the NSC chairman, the initiative is really needed for the development of sport locally.“We cannot have elite athletes without scholarships, without being afforded the opportunity to have free meals, free accommodations, free studies, and most of all, the opportunity to train at the highest level if we want to not only participate, but to really compete at international sports,” Persaud pointed out.The initiative was coordinated by NSC Commissioner and UG Sports Administrator, Lavern Fraser-Thomas, who said that the scholarships were based on University of Guyana’s performances at the UWI invitational track and field competition last year in Jamaica.Apart from training, Adonis will be studying for a Bachelor’s Degree in Management Studies, Archibald will pursue a Bachelors’ in Sociology, while Stanley will be pursuing a Bachelor’s in Education and Hooper a Bachelor’s in Social Science (Gender Development Studies).The four awardees, while accepting that the training is much different from what they have been accustomed to, promised to make full use of the opportunity offered.The scholarships are expected to cost the NSC some $16M.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines now has nine active COVID-19 cases, all imported or import-related. So far, the island has recorded 38 COVID-19 cases with 29 recoveries and zero deaths. NEMO said that in view of the significant number of new COVID-19 cases related to flight AA 945 last week Saturday and the worsening situation relative to COVID-19 in the United States, especially Miami, Florida, the origin of the American Airlines flight, the Health Services Subcommittee of the National Emergency Committee has indicated that as of Saturday, all passengers arriving on AA 945 from Miami International Airport will be subject to five days mandatory quarantine. “Adherence to the recommendations for the conduct of mass gatherings, especially the smart use of masks, keeping a registry of persons attending events and hand hygiene, are extremely important as more persons from countries with active COVID-19 community spread, arrive in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.” The new cases bring to nine the number of COVID-19 linked to the flight, which brought 155 passengers to the country. All passengers testing negative on arrival had to undergo 24 hours’ mandatory quarantine while awaiting the result of their PCR test. KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – St. Vincent and the Grenadines has recorded three new cases of the coronavirus (COVID019), with officials indicating that two of the cases were nationals who returned home on an American Airlines flight last week and initially tested negative for the virus. It said the other AA 945 passengers who were in close contact on board the flight with known positive cases, or were otherwise identified as high risk, received a second PCR test on day 5 or 6. All of these second PCR tests are negative. “The new positive cases are in quarantine, having been identified as high-risk travellers on arrival, or a contact of a known positive case. They will be in isolation until they are cleared by two negative PCR tests. All of the contacts of these new positive cases have been informed and will be quarantined until cleared by a negative PCR,” NEMO said in a statement. NEMO said that everyone must remain vigilant, comply with quarantine and isolation orders and all of the recommendations issued, relative to COVID-19. “The public is reminded that persons are placed in quarantine for stipulated periods based on their ongoing possibility of being COVID-19 positive, even after a previous negative COVID-19 result. The Health Services Sub-Committee of the National Emergency Committee urges all Vincentians to be aware of their health and to report any feelings of being unwell to health care providers.” CMC The National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) late Friday night said that the other case is a contact of one of the original positive cases who arrived on the same flight on July 11. “Passengers who arrive without a PCR result will have a PCR test done at the AIA. A second PCR test may be done between day 5 and day 7 to determine further continuation of quarantine. Port Health Officers will make the final determination,” NEMO said. As a result, the health officials are now enforcing five days mandatory quarantine for all arriving passengers. Previously, passengers arriving with a negative PCR test for the viral illness conducted within three days of their arrival, did not have to undergo any quarantine.
Lamar livin’ his BEST LIFE on the beach 🤣 @Lj_era8 (via wrush34/IG) pic.twitter.com/uf0WYgzrMe— Overtime (@overtime) June 14, 2020Jackson could not successfully hurdle the Jet Ski like he would any other defender, as the vehicle tripped him up, stopping him before he could break off another signature 50-yard run. Lamar Jackson can juke and outrun almost everything … except a Jet Ski.In a video that surfaced Sunday, the reigning NFL MVP was seen playing football on a beach alongside others. As he is wont to do, Jackson took off running, heading straight for the waterline — and the goal line — before disaster strikes. Per reports, Jackson is fine, so you can catch your breath, Ravens fans. He’ll be back to terrorizing defenses should the NFL season get underway this year.A video of #Ravens QB Lamar Jackson tumbling over a jet ski while playing beach football was posted on Instagram on Sunday. Jackson is fine and did not get injured, per @jamisonhensley. There’s no word on whether the team will restrict Jackson from playing beach football.— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) June 15, 2020 Jackson posted the video on his own Instagram story with a laughing emoji, so clearly he’s in good spirits and not bummed he was taken down by an inanimate object.You know Bill Belichick is keeping his eyes on that jet ski heading into the 2021 draft.
As the consideration of the 2019 Budget Estimates continued on Thursday, Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence was grilled by the parliamentary Opposition on the construction of a new head office for her Ministry, as well as for the construction of a state-of-the-art laboratory for the Government Analysis-Food and Drug Department (GA-FDD).Under the Ministry’s Policy Development and Administration programme, there was an allocation of $438.9 million for “provision for buildings” under Capital Expenditures and according to Minister Lawrence, some $150 million of thisPublic Health Minister Volda Lawrence in the National Assembly on Thursdayamount has been allocated to the construction of the new head office for the Public Health Ministry. She explained that the project, which cost a total of $365.487 million, is being carried out in phases and is currently in the first phase.Opposition parliamentarian, Dr Frank Anthony pointed out that this is a multi-year project and funds were also allocated in the 2018 Budget as such, he enquired about the cost of each phase.However, the Minister said they do not have the “costing for the other two phases”.At this point, Dr Anthony asked about the design and engineer’s estimate. “I would imagine that a Ministry steep in planning would be able to [provide cost of each phases] and more so, that they have phased the construction. Can the Minister please explain to us about the design and the overall cost? If there isn’t an engineer’s estimate, what are we doing in phase one?”In response, Lawrence reiterated that the cost for the other two phases of the project is not available. But she did note, however, that works will commence in 2019 for the design of the second phase.The 2017 Auditor General’s report had reported that the $365 million contract was awarded to the lowest of the eight bidders, against the engineer’s estimate of $546.751 million. However, the Auditor Generak had flagged that despite an advance payment of $71.365 million, the construction of the Ministry’s new head office was at a standstill almost one year after the contract was signed.Meanwhile, Dr Anthony continued grilling the Public Health Minister, questioningOpposition MP, Dr Frank Anthonyher about the construction of the Food and Drug Lab. According to Minister Lawrence, of the allocated $438.9 million, some $210 million will be injected into this project, which will kick off next year.“This is very first time, we the citizens of Guyana, will be building a state-of-the-art laboratory. As a result, we sought to engage persons with the technical knowledge and persons with the experience that would have built such a facility. In 2019, we are going out for tender and according to our plan, by end of first half of 2019 we should be breaking ground to start to put that building,” she stated.Again, however, the Opposition MP pointed out that monies were allocated for this project in 2018. To this end, the Public Health Minister went on to detail that during last year works including: site preparation were completed; a temporary bridge; land clearing and grubbing of building footprint and construction of retaining wall on eastern end of compound were all done to the tune of $69.4 million. She added too that $8 million was expended for the construction of temporary perimeter fence around the construction site and a geo-technical investigation was completed for $2.9 million.Based on requests from the Opposition parliamentarian, the Minister further disclosed that $20 million each was paid for consultancy services for both the construction of the laboratory as well as for the Ministry’s head office.Lawrence further explained that the design for the new head office building, which is located on Brickdam, commenced in house but they later sought the services of an external consultant – Vicab Guyana Limited – at the cost of $5 million. Meanwhile, she noted that another $12.5 million was expended on consultancy services for the Food and Drug Lab, which was awarded to Jamaican company, William Harris TTSL.According to the Public Health Minister, while the design for the laboratory is completed, the one for the Ministry’s head office is now undergoing some corrections.Juan Edghill, a second-bencher on the Opposition’s side, enquired whether if at the time of the contract signing for phase one of works on the new head officer, the contractor was given a design to work along with. The Minister responded in the affirmative but noted that corrections had to be made.Nevertheless, following the consideration of the estimates for the other programmes under the Public Health Ministry, the Committee of Supply on Thursday evening approved the budgeted sum allocated for the Ministry.