Government response: UK government response to Pfizer/BioNTech’s publication of efficacy data of their COVID-19 vaccine

first_imgPfizer/BioNTech today (Monday 9 November) published positive efficacy results from Phase 3 studies of their potential Covid-19 vaccine, showing it to be more than 90% effective in preventing coronavirus in participants.A government spokesperson said: Read Pfizer’s full announcement. The results from Pfizer/BioNTech are very promising and we have procured 40 million doses of their vaccine. While we are optimistic of a breakthrough, we must remember that there are no guarantees. We will know whether the vaccine meets robust standards of safety and effectiveness once the safety data have been published, and only then can the medicines regulator consider whether it can be made available to the public. Once approved, the NHS stands ready to begin a vaccination programme for those most at risk, as currently recommended by the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), before being rolled out more widely.last_img read more

Foreign workers feel the pain of ‘corona job cuts’ in Japan

first_imgThe coronavirus pandemic has hit Japan’s economy hard and many factories, including those of carmakers, are scaling back production.Foreign workers are particularly vulnerable, with a weaker support network and language barriers that prevent them from seeking government help.Union groups, labor lawyers and nonprofit organizations say foreign workers such as Yamashita are the first to lose jobs in “corona cuts”, which they fear may expand to the kind of mass layoffs seen in the 2008 financial crisis.Last month, the Japan Center for Economic Research estimated that if Japan’s GDP contracted by 25 percent this year, the unemployment rate would reach 5% and about 2 million people could lose their jobs. Topics : In March and April, a labor organization based in Mie, a manufacturing center about 300km west of Tokyo, received 400 consultations from laborers who were affected by the coronavirus. About 330 were foreign workers.”Foreign workers on short-term contracts are laid off first,” because they’re easier to fire, Union Mie organizer Akai Jimbu said.Last year, 34.5 percent of foreign employees in Mie were temporary workers, compared with the national average of 2.5 percent.”It’s almost like they’re hired so that they can be fired when the going gets tough,” Jimbu said. “They’re just a spare bolt in the eyes of the employer.”‘First to go’Japan has become increasingly reliant on foreign labor. With a third of its population over 65 and a smaller working population, the government has eased some immigration restrictions.More than 1.6 million foreign workers supported the Japanese economy as of October 2019 – a four-fold increase from 2008.A labor ministry official told Reuters the ministry does not officially track the number of foreign workers laid off because it provides “support to all workers” regardless of their nationality.Still, the government recently allocated 370 million yen ($3.46 million) to improve multilingual support for foreigners at unemployment offices and online.But most foreign workers don’t turn to the government for help. While Union Mie handled hundreds of consultations this year through mid-April, the local labor ministry office saw only seven.Kaori Nakao, a Japanese-Brazilian woman, sought help from the union when her employer laid her off from a car component factory at the end of March.The company told her she was being fired because of coronavirus-related production cuts. Nakao, 38, was also ordered to leave her company apartment.Pregnant with her fourth child and with no savings, she asked Union Mie for help.Last month, union members and Nakao protested outside her employer’s office and the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Thermal Systems factory where she worked.Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Thermal Systems declined to comment because it did not employ Nakao.”I just want to work,” Nakao said. “I have zero money and I can’t even buy food for my children.”Yamashita, who is still looking for jobs, said he had found an open position at another car parts factory a few weeks ago.The contract was only for three months – maybe even less. Still, Yamashita said, it was something. He interviewed for the job, and was looking forward to a respite from searching.But then he got a call. The position wasn’t available anymore.”We are the first to go,” he says of foreigners working in Japan. “I already know about that.”center_img Eight years after arriving from Brazil, Rennan Yamashita sat in a government office in central Japan, filling out forms for unemployment insurance after losing his job for the ninth or 10th time – he has lost count.Some weeks earlier, he was laid off from his job at a car parts factory. He only held that job for four months.”If they need you, they hire you; if they don’t need you, they’ll fire you. It’s simple like that,” said Yamashita, 31.last_img read more

CAF Champions League: Wasteful Enyimba held by 10-man Al-Hilal in Aba

first_imgRelatedPosts Plateau United target 2021 CAF champions league berth Plateau United dedicates continental ticket to fans Breaking: NFF adopts PPG, sets new date for league kick off Enyimba International Football Club of Aba were held to a disappointing goalless draw by 10-man Al-Hilal FC of Sudan in Sunday’s CAF Champions League Second Preliminary Round first leg clash in Aba. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Peoples Elephant were dominant all through the duration of the match, but lacked the cutting edge on the final third. Enyimba fired an early warning to Al-Hilal FC when Nelson Ogbonnaya planted his headed effort from Stanley Okorom’s free kick into the side netting just five minutes after the start. The visitors heeded the warning and applied caution in their defensive approach, absorbing all that the hosts threw at them at the end of a one-sided first half. Enyimba again came close to breaking the deadlock two minutes later when Okorom hit the side netting from a free kick almost on the same spot as the first. Ghana import, Daniel Darkwa, drifted up field and just when he was about getting a clear sight on goal, he was tripped by Abuaagla Named. Enyimba’s centre-back, Ifeanyi Anaemena, added his name to the list of those who missed scoring opportunities when he swept his glorious chance waywardly over the crossbar in the 12th minute. This was after Onuwa Emeruwa’s sleek touch off Dimgba’s cross from the right. On the quarter hour mark, Stanley Okorom stung the gloves of goalkeeper Salim Macoola with a rising strike from distance, but the shot stopper did well to push the ball away for a corner. Five minutes later, Al-Hilal were reduced to 10 men with Nazar Nassr was shown a straight red card for violent conduct when the defender stepped on Enyimba’s defender, Daniel Darkwa. With the numerical advantage, Enyimba patiently worked and waited for the breakthrough as they encamped in their opponent’s territory and continued to pile countless pressure on Al-Hilal’s defence. Obi Damson had his effort parried by the goalkeeper in the 42nd minute and the ball came back gloriously for him. Unfortunately, his second bite at the cherry went wide off target. For the first time in the game, the visitors sneaked behind Enyimba’s back line with Barnet Named getting to the byline, but his left foot effort was easily caught by goalkeeper Theophilus Afelokhai. Perhaps, the best chance of the half fell on Dimgba who found his way into the crowded Al-Hilal box. He twisted and turned all the defenders who virtually got fixed on a spot but his shot towards the far post went wide to the consternation of the packed stands that included Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State. Both sides went into the break on equal terms. The restart followed same pattern as the first with Enyimba in absolute control of the game but were unable to break down the visitor’s resolute defence. Al-Hilal found an opportunity for a counter attack with Mohammed Darac firing a left foot drive that went marginally wide, with Afelokhai fully stretched in the 51st minute. In a frantic move to shore up his attack, Coach Usman Abdallah substituted Obi Samson for Bashir Abdulrahman and Martins Usule for Onuwa Emeruwa. The move almost paid off as Abdulrahman came close to finding the back of the net with a fierce strike from close range, but the goalkeeper reacted brilliantly, pushing the ball for a corner. With seven minutes remaining on the clock, Stanley Dimgba fired a ferocious shot from the edge of the box but Macoola went down early enough to gather. Al-Hilal displayed tremendous composure, organisation and confidence as they repelled every Enyimba offensive till the final whistle. The Peoples Elephant will travel to Sudan for the return leg on September 29.Tags: Al-Hilal FCCAF Champions LeagueDaniel DarkwaEnyimba International FClast_img read more

VIDEO: McDan Open West Africa starts on a thrilling note

first_imgThe McDan Open West Africa Tournament saw thrilling start with All Africa Games gold medalist Wisdom Na-Adjrago qualifying for the next stage.The tournament sponsored by McDan Shipping, Rush Energy Drink from Twellium Industries and West Blue Consulting, has a total prize money of  $5000 and is drawing a lot of enthusiasm. Wisdom Na-Adjrago who is also the current top seed, showed early signs of a leap into the final stages after seeing off fellow countryman Charles Asmani 6-1, 6-1. In an interview with Joy Sports, Na-Adjrago said his win was as a result of thorough preparations.  had done a lot of training . “I am prepared for every player in this tournament. I worked very hard and want to show it in my performances. My opponent is tough and can easily frustrate you with his play but I kept my cool and played well.”He was excited on his performance and is looking forward to replicating it as he progresses. “I played well today and kept the ball on the court. so it was good. I am looking forward to winning,” he said.In other results, Emmanuel Plange beat Bernard Ashitey Armah 6-1, 6-2. Isaac Titriku beat Francis Gbolonyoh in the best of three sets.Francis Akpese staged a spirited fight but was not strong enough for Isaac Dapaah, with the game ending 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-2. The tournament’s first winner Japhet Bagerbaseh also booked a place in the next stage of the competition in two straight sets. Some big games are expected on Tuesday on Tuesdayh the likes of Nigeria’s Wale Babalola facing Ghana’s Andrews Appiah, Togo’s Kantanga John Paul will pit his strength against Ghana’s Stephen Nartey. Ghana’s Daniel Quartey plays  Kulibali Frederick of Cote d’Ivoire while Joel Meda of Burkina Faso faces B. Fumi of Ghana.Another Ivorian, Guillaime Kofi will seek qualification to the next phase as he battles Cedric Dzelu with Togo’s Bernard Alipoe playing Nii Noi Ababio.In other fixtures, Nigeria’s Michael Moses will pay Albert Nti of Ghana, while Benjamin Palm and Felix Hammond face off in an all Ghanaian tie.VIDEO   –Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoySportsGH. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more