IS ILOILO READY? Exec sounds ‘virus alarm’ as Dinagyang draws near

first_imgTIGHT SCREENING. As two alert airport security personnel watch, newly-arrived airline passengers pick up their baggage from conveyors after undergoing x-ray inspection at the Iloilo Airport in Cabatuan, Iloilo. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN The region’s other internationalairports are the Iloilo Airport in Cabatuan, Iloilo and Boracay Airport inCaticlan, Malay, Aklan. This new virus has spread from WuhanCity (there are 440 confirmed cases, with the origin a seafood market) in Chinato several Chinese provinces, as well as the US, Thailand and South Korea.Yesterday the city of Macau also reported its first confirmed case of thevirus. Citing Mayor Jerry Treñas, Zaldivarsaid the city government will provide free pneumonia vaccination to allemployees of the city hall. It may take time before the resultswould be known, said Cuachon. The virus, known also as 2019-nCoV, isunderstood to be a new strain of coronavirus that has not previously beenidentified in humans. The SARS (severe acute respiratorysyndrome) virus that killed nearly 800 people globally in the early2000s was also a coronavirus. The airport’s thermal scanner detectedthem with fever. Throat swab specimens were collectedfrom the three foreigners then these were sent to the Research Institute forTropical Medicine in Manila for analysis. The three Chinese nationals werereferred to the Dr. Rafael S. Tumbukon Memorial Hospital (DRSTMH), said Dr.Glenn Alonsabe, DOH regional epidemiologist. The Dinagyang, he said, attractsvisitors from other countries thus the risk of the China virus entering thecity should not be downplayed. “The quarantine procedure is part ofour alert system to protect the public,” said Alonsabe. The Department of Health (DOH)confirmed early this week that three Boracay Island-bound Chinese visitors whoentered the country through the Kalibo International Airport were placed underquarantine in Kalibo, Aklan. “They are already doing controlmeasures. They are on heightened alert checking our travellers,” she said./PN “The 29 years old Chinese was advisedto stay overnight at the DRSTMH while the young girl was considered anoutpatient. The 65-year-old patient, on the other hand, is currently beingchecked at the hospital,” said Cuachon. Zaldivar pointed out that thehighlight of the Dinagyang Festival is drawing closer – the crowd-drawing ati tribes competition on Sunday, Jan.26. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnessesranging from the common cold to more severe disease. It’s not yet clear how badthis new coronavirus is. Signs of infection include respiratorysymptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. The first to be quarantined, accordingto Dr. Cornelio Cuachon of the Aklan Provincial Health Office, was a29-year-old Chinese national. This was on Jan. 17. The second was athree-year-old girl on Jan. 18.The most recent, on Monday, was a 65-year-old Chinese. ILOILO City – Does the city governmenthave “screening and sanitation systems” to protect people from the possibleentry of a new virus from China that has also brought a handful ofpneumonia-like cases in Thailand, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and the US? The Kalibo International Airport servicesflights direct from China. “We do not want to put our health atrisk,” said Zaldivar, emphasizing that prevention is better than cure. The Bureau of Quarantine has personnelin the airports and even seaports, said Dr. Mary Jane Juanico, head of DOHRegion 6’s infectious disease section. “As a neighboring country of China, wemust be vigilant and swiftly take the necessary precautions,” said CouncilorAllan Zaldivar, chairperson of the Committee on Health in the SangguniangPanlungsod.last_img read more

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Gripping Rainoil Clay Court Tennis Final Shows Potential of Nigerian Tennis Â

first_imgIn a clash of power and skill versus experience and guile, it was the former that won on Sunday as Benue State star Henry Atseye crushed Nigerian No. 2 and Davis Cup player Joseph Imeh in the final set of the maiden Rainoil Clay Court Tennis Tournament at the Lagos Country Club. Spectators were in raptures as the hard-hitting Atseye pounded his higher-ranked opponent, winning the decider 6-2 after earlier taking the first set 6-3 and dropping the second 7-5. Trundling around the court with the deceptive speed of a grizzly bear, the in-form Atseye, who had won the doubles crown a day earlier, had an answer for everything his opponent threw at him. It was an inspired display that drew gasps and cheers from an appreciative audience. I f you missed this year’s event, you can expect to see more fascinating contests again next year as the tournament sponsor, and CEO of Rainoil, Gabriel Ogbechie, committed to a bigger and better second edition. That’s high fives for the downstream energy player as our tennis stars need more of these tournaments if they are to emulate the feats of legends like Nduka Odizor, Tony Mmoh, David Imonitie, Veronica Oyibokhia and other top Nigerian stars of the 80s and 90s. There is too much money in the global game today for our best talents not to be taking a healthy slice of the cake.I followed the match with a number of friends who themselves are tennis buffs, comparing notes as we digested the more memorable moments. Mostly though I watched from a different perspective. As ferociously struck winners and brilliant passing shots rained down both sides of the court it amazed me that there were boys who could play the game this beautifully in Nigeria, yet outside the industry they were unknown to anyone. I thought, a tad sadly, that given the on-court passion and the delight in the stands, the show put up by both players deserved a wider audience.I could visualize a proper filming of the match on national television, and was sure it would create a decent buzz. Like we did at the arena, fans would have debated about who the better player was; what the winner did best and what the loser could have done better; whether the surface influenced the outcome or whether the rankings made any sense; and why Nigerians were not making a bigger impact on the world stage. Then, invariably, attention would have switched to the next tournament with all sorts of themes playing up in the media, including those of revenge and the bounce back of fallen favourites.Indeed there were a few surprises. Top players like Sylvester Emmanuel, Thomas Out and reigning CBN men’s champion Abdulmumuni Babalola fell by the wayside. The same would have played out in the women’s side of the draw where reigning CBN Open champion Sarah Adegoke avenged her defeat at the Dala Open to Blessing Samuel, by taking the crown in straight sets.Still I cannot stress the need for more money in our domestic sports. More sponsors need to realize that getting behind tournaments like this is a way of building lasting value within. A healthier wealthier society is good for everyone as well as their businesses. The players particularly need to earn more money to be able to finance their careers. While Atseye headed home with about N800,000 for his double singles-doubles win, Adegoke got N300,000. In the way we view sports in Nigeria that is ‘big money’ for the winners, but in the reality of a sports career that buys you little.This is no attempt to take any shine off the magnanimity of Rainoil, who must be thanked for investing a good few millions in the game in these austere times, but a call for others to follow their lead. I am sure the players would have been very appreciative, especially as national tournaments are even fewer. The reality is that the making of sports champions involves a whole lot more than our players can afford. Many times I see people compare our players to foreign professionals and conclude that ours are lazy and unserious. I vehemently disagree with that view, and I have said here in the past that such arguments are akin to comparing the Nigerian army with those of the United States, the UK, and Russia.If our players can perform at the level that Atseye and Imeh displayed, then imagine how much better they can be if they could afford personal physical trainers, dieticians, physiotherapists, top class coaches, the right nutrition, the right facilities to train, and the mentality that comes with knowing your next meal or kit or house rent or mode of transportation is not a problem. Calculate how much it would take to pay for these and you would get a fair picture of what our players should earn in a year.Ogbechie himself alluded to that when he noted that international players like Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal have earned over $100m (N3.6b) just playing the game and that Nigerian stars deserved more. He is right. Even small time players from Europe, America, Asia and South America, dwarf our players in earnings. They also have better facilities, better coaching, and a better all-round support system.Well paid stars are also great for the marketability of the sport. I have often argued here that no sport can succeed without them. While fans love sports, it is the stars they follow and are preoccupied with. If 100 people follow Rainoil Tennis on Twitter, Atseye and Imeh would probably have about 3000 followers each. Cristiano Ronaldo has almost 20 times more followers on Twitter than La Liga. Wayne Rooney has more Twitter followers than the English Premier League. Same trend is reflected across all social media hubs. Major sponsors go where the fans are, and the fans follow the stars.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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