By Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo August 11, 2020 The Ecuadorean Navy (AE, in Spanish) and the National Police (PNE, in Spanish) work relentlessly to counter narcotrafficking and related crimes. This is reflected in the seizures of nearly 3 metric tons of cocaine June 23-27, with the cooperation of Colombia and the United States.“It is true that the existing technology deployed by the United States, together with our neighboring sister nation Colombia, has facilitated a technological network [to] identify groups that are prone to commit illicit activities,” Ecuadorean Navy Rear Admiral Lenin Sánchez, director of the Department of Marine Areas, told Diálogo. “The movement of our units is now done with full knowledge of where they have to go when deployed, because they will find positive results […].”The Ecuadorean Navy, together with the Colombian Navy and the U.S. military, intercepted a vessel that carried 1 metric ton of cocaine in Esmeraldas province, on June 23, 2020. (Photo: Ecuadorean Ministry of Defense)Thanks to cooperation between the police forces of Ecuador and Colombia, authorities captured three individuals and found 1 metric ton of cocaine in Guayllabamba, on June 27, the PNE said via Twitter. The drug was intended to be shipped by sea to Central America, and later to the United States.According to the report Ecuador: A Cocaine Superhighway to the U.S. and Europe, by InSight Crime, a non-profit journalistic and investigative organization that specializes in organized crime in Latin America and the Caribbean, more than a third of the Colombian cocaine produced enters Ecuador via two routes: the Pacific and the Amazon. There “is a complex, fluid underworld” of routes operated by a mixture of Ecuadorean, Colombian, Mexican, and European criminal networks that make deals based on the amount of drugs taken to points of dispatch or delivery, the report says.The Ecuadorean Ministry of the Interior reported that the ENP found a clandestine airstrip in Jama on June 24, where authorities seized more than 273 kilograms of cocaine and detained three individuals. Also on June 24, the Ecuadorean newspaper El Universo reported that authorities had destroyed two other illegal airstrips in Santa Elena, on the Pacific Coast, west of Guayaquil. El Universo added that the Anti-narcotics Police also found a stranded speedboat with 706 kg of cocaine nearby in Salinas.On June 23, through information exchange with the Colombian and U.S. navies, the AE reported via Twitter that authorities had captured three people in another operation in Miusne, Esmeraldas province. The detainees carried 1 metric ton of cocaine bound for Central America and the United States, El Universo reported.
Jun 28, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The Chinese Ministry of Health is conducting its own investigation into the report of a man who died of H5N1 avian influenza in late 2003, according to a report today by Agence France-Presse (AFP). The case was first described by eight Chinese researchers in the Jun 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).The Chinese Ministry of Health said it was conducting its own tests to try to confirm the case, Roy Wadia, World Health Organization (WHO) spokesman in China, told AFP. The date given for the case, November 2003, was 2 years before China officially reported any human H5N1 cases to the WHO.The Ministry of Health said it was unaware of the case until the researchers’ report appeared in NEJM, Wadia told AFP. He said the WHO has asked the health ministry to determine where the man caught the H5N1 virus and whether there were other deaths. He also said it was unclear why the scientists, who work at state institutions, did not report their findings to the health ministry.Adding to confusion about the case, the NEJM reported last week that the authors had e-mailed the journal requesting that the report be withdrawn, but the request was too late. Karen Pederson, NEJM spokeswoman, told CIDRAP News today that the journal then asked the researchers to explain the rationale for their withdrawal request.The journal took the withdrawal request seriously, Pederson said, because one of the e-mail messages requesting withdrawal came from the real address of one of the researchers. She said the authors responded that they stood by their report and none of them said they had e-mailed a request to withdraw it.In the AFP article, Wadia declined to speculate about a cover-up by the Chinese government. “We are just waiting for further information as to when exactly it was confirmed and why was it not conveyed to the Ministry of Health,” Wadia told AFP.The November 2003 death of a 24-year-old Beijing man attributed last week to avian influenza was originally thought to be from severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), according to the authors of the NEJM report. The case is significant because, if confirmed, it revises the timeline and geographic pattern of human cases of avian flu (see link to Jun 22 CIDRAP News story below).See also:Zhu Q-Y, Qin E-D, Wang W, et al. Fatal infection with influenza A (H5N1) virus in China (letter). N Engl J Med 2006 Jun 22;354(25):2731-2 [Full text]Jun 22, 2006 CIDRAP News story “Report: China had human H5N1 case in late 2003”
Mar 10, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Egypt’s health ministry announced recently that an 8-year-old boy has been hospitalized with an H5N1 avian influenza infection, the country’s second such illness in a child in less than a week.Egypt’s health ministry said on Mar 8 that the boy, from Fayoum governorate, about 53 miles south of Cairo, was admitted to a hospital after he got sick with a fever, breathing difficulties, and pulmonary inflammation, Reuters reported 2 days ago. If his case is confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO), he will be listed as Egypt’s 47th case-patient.Abdel Rahman Shaheen, a health ministry spokesman, said the boy was moved to a Cairo hospital where he is receiving oseltamivir (Tamiflu), according to the Reuters report.A 25-year-old woman, also from Fayoum governorate, died of an H5N1 infection earlier this month, according to a Mar 4 WHO report, which did not list the exact date of her death. However, a health official said there appeared to be no connection between the boy and the woman.News reports on the boy’s illness did not list a possible source of his H5N1 infection. Most patients in Egypt who have contracted H5N1 have been women or girls, who are the primary caretakers of poultry. However, the past two infections have been confirmed in boys.In the past 2 weeks Egypt has reported four H5N1 cases. One, in the 25-year-old woman, was fatal; the other three occurred in children.A recent report from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) said the spread of the H5N1 virus in Egypt is related to a large and quickly moving poultry supply chain, for which biosecurity levels are low, according to a report today from the Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), part of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.The FAO publication said recent outbreaks are apparently related to the close proximity of ducks and chickens raised on rooftops and backyards to industrial poultry facilities, according to the IRIN report, which also noted that ducks were instrumental in the spread of the H5N1 virus.Abdel-Nasser Abdel-Ghafar, a health ministry official on Egypt’s avian influenza committee, told IRIN that though Egyptian laws prohibit raising birds in urban areas, not everyone abides. In urban areas, the birds raised on rooftops are relatively isolated, he said. However, he said in villages, people and chickens often live in the same space.”Changing the culture of people is not easy,” Abdel-Ghafar told IRIN. “[Some] people don’t believe [the dangers of avian influenza], and they of course will not believe until something happens to them.”See also:FAO report on socioeconomic impacts of cross-border animal diseases
Super Eagles Captain, John Obi Mikel, has revealed that he hascancelled his contract with Chinese Super League club, Tianjin Teda, a year before the agreement between club and player was due to run out.The former Chelsea midfielder did not travel with the Tianjin Teda first-teamers to Spain for pre-season training as he is negotiating with the club to break his contract.In an interview with Tianjin TV Sports New Vision programme, Mikel said: ‘’I broke the contract with the club, which means I will leave Teda. As for my next stop, I am not sure yet, maybe I will return to Europe, maybe stay in China. Anyway, I would like to wish the Teda team good luck next season.’’ Mikel performed well for Tianjin Teda in the first half of the 2018 season but struggled with injuries in the second half after representing Nigeria at the World Cup.Throughout his stay in China, the central midfielder cum defender featured in 31 Super League matches, scoring three goals and three assists.Meanwhile, Super Eagles Manager, Gernot Rohr, has finally admitted uncertainty over the future of Mikel Obi with the Nigerian national team.Although Rohr had all along maintained that he and Mikel are in regular contact over the midfielder’s decision to regain full fitness before returning to international duty, the gaffer is now sounding less certain.Such that Rohr stopped short of affirming whether the Eagles’ skipper will be available for the team’s first two matches of 2019, as he failed to give any exact date for the star’s return.Instead of confirming that Mikel will be invited for the last Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Seychelles in Asaba on March 22, 2019, and the international friendly against Egypt four days later, Rohr declared in a media chat that he does not know the Teda star’s schedule.With Mikel also failing to fix any particular date on his much-expected return to the Eagles, Rohr has now opted to play safe on his comments about the former Chelsea star, who was riddled with several fitness issues last season in the Chinese Super League.Unlike before when Rohr would boldly declare that he is aware of his skipper’s plans and doused talk about the icon heading for retirement, Rohr simply stated this time, “We don’t know yet when or if Obi Mikel wants to join the Eagles.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram