Topics : The resignation of Indonesia’s top doctor from the COVID-19 task force has prompted questions as to whether the government is seriously involving health experts in its pandemic response.Urologist and professor at the University of Indonesia’s (UI) Faculty of Medicine, Akmal Taher, has tendered his resignation as the task force’s health division head, saying that he would continue contact tracing and testing — two measures he believed as essential in curbing COVID-19 — elsewhere.”It’s true that I have resigned […] For me, tracing and testing must be absolutely improved and I believe this must be done at community health centers,” he said in a discussion organized by the Center of Indonesia Strategic Development Initiatives (CISDI) on Saturday. During Saturday’s discussion, Akmal, despite acknowledging the government’s efforts to accelerate testing for a possible vaccine, said that he personally could not make any promises about vaccines being soon developed given that clinical trials were still underway.His remarks stand in stark contrast to the more optimistic outlook of some government officials who claimed a vaccine could be ready by December. A proven COVID-19 vaccine currently does not exist.Akmal said it was “quite too early” for the government to start talking about vaccine availability, even if it only intended to remind people not to lose hope.”The danger is that there are people who are misreading it,” he said, suggesting that it could result in complacency over adhering to health protocols.Read also: Efficacy and safety first: Experts urge government not to put vaccines on pedestalAkmal’s resignation came not long after President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo instructed his Cabinet members and agency heads – including Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan, Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto and National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) head Doni Monardo – to focus on suppressing coronavirus transmission and death rates in the country’s nine hardest-hit provinces.Doni has been leading the national COVID-19 task force since March. Akmal was previously a part of the task force’s expert team.In July, when the government formed the COVID-19 handling and national economic recovery committee to streamline strategic policies on countering the pandemic, Doni retained his position as task force head while Akmal was promoted to lead the task force’s health division.The COVID-19 response task force has since been put under the committee, along with the economic recovery task force led by State-Owned Enterprises Deputy Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin.Read also: Govt criticized for forming COVID-19 response team late in the gameChairing the committee is Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto, with State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir as its executive chairperson. Among its six deputy chairs are Luhut and Terawan.Pointing to the military’s greater involvement in the country’s pandemic response, a coalition of dozens of civil society organizations has demanded that the government hand back response efforts to public health experts.Masdalina Pane of the Indonesian Epidemiologists Association (PAEI) said the task force had yet to properly implement existing guidelines and regulations on containing the disease, saying that it also had little experience in handling outbreaks.Read also: Indonesian Military deployed for coronavirus fightThe COVID-19 task force, according to a list released in April, has 72 experts in fields ranging from medicine, public health and medical device technology to laboratory diagnostics and law. Three experts are epidemiologists and four are biostatisticians.The expert team is led by Wiku Adisasmito, a professor at UI’s School of Public Health and infectious disease researcher who was part of the National Commission for Bird Flu Control and Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (Komnas FBPI).Wiku is also the COVID-19 task force’s spokesperson, after having replaced the Health Ministry’s disease control and prevention director general, Achmad Yurianto.However, three expert team members from different fields who requested anonymity said that invitations to team discussions were often last-minute, resulting in experts not being able to attend. They also said their advice on postponing the regional elections was ignored.Read also: COVID-19 now a real threat to year-end pollsOne of the experts said that “probably three out of 10″ suggestions were heard. Another expert said that the discussions were reactive as they were centered on issues that generated buzz among the public.”I feel that, now, [discussions] emphasize economic interests. Discussions remain poorly planned,” one expert said.Meanwhile, Luhut, upon being assigned by Jokowi to oversee COVID-19 control in the nine hardest-hit regions, told a press briefing on Sept. 18 that he was assisted by many “bright, young people” including epidemiologists. “These are things I’ll do in any future place I work, because I think we haven’t done them.”Indonesia’s testing rate remains low, with 0.10 tests per 1,000 people over a rolling seven-day average, lower than India’s 0.71 and the Philippines’ 0.31, according to data from ourworldindata.org as of Sept. 23.Read also: Contact tracing the missing link in Indonesia’s battle with COVID-19Akmal did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the former director of Jakarta-based Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital indicated that he disagreed with the current pandemic response measures.
Advertisement Advertisement Mikel Arteta is making steady improvements to his Arsenal side (Picture: Arsenal FC via Getty Images)Arteta has long been clear on how he wants to see his team play as a manager, telling Arsenal magazine as far back as 2016: ‘My philosophy will be clear.‘I want the football to be expressive, entertaining. I cannot have a concept of football where everything is based on the opposition.‘We have to dictate the game, we have to be the ones taking the initiative, and we have to entertain the people coming to watch us. I’m 100 per cent convinced of those things, and I think I could do it.’MORE: Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud admits beating Arsenal in Europa League final was extra specialMORE: Dennis Bergkamp claims Arsene Wenger made a tactical mistake that sparked Arsenal’s declineFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Dennis Bergkamp let’s Mikel Arteta know where he has been going wrong at Arsenal Comment Metro Sport ReporterSaturday 30 May 2020 6:08 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1.8kShares Dennis Bergkamp feels Mikel Arteta needed to tweak his tactics at Arsenal (Picture: Getty Images)Dennis Bergkamp feels there was an obvious problem with Mikel Arteta’s tactics when he watched the Spaniard’s first home game in charge of Arsenal.The Dutchman watched the Gunners lose at home to Chelsea back in December and immediately noticed a ‘hole’ in the team which needed filling.Bergkamp, who won three Premier League titles with Arsenal, scoring 120 goals for the club, feels Arteta is working on the problem, but it is not a quick-fix.‘I watched Arteta’s first game in charge at home (against Chelsea). In that game it was clear to see what his intentions were with the team,’ Bergkamp told Sportsmail. AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘The front four would chase the ball and put pressure on the opponents, but the midfield stayed behind.‘There was a big hole. I don’t know if you remember the AC Milan of Arrigo Sacchi, with Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard. ‘In training, they’d have ropes between them, so the distance between the players was always similar on the pitch. ‘That was fantastic in our team as well. There was always a connection. There were no holes.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityThe former striker feels for Arteta because he feels it is clear work is being done, but the players might not be up to it.‘He’s working on it, but it needs time and maybe different players. Slowly you can see them trying to play a possession game,’ continued Bergkamp.‘Everyone on the ball has three options, triangles on the pitch. It’s much better than before. But it’s a different culture which will take time. You have to put the hours in, like how we did with Arsene.’
As an inspiration to the Egyptian team, Omar Assar believes Egypt would be the team to beat to the overall title in Morocco.“I do believe that Egypt is the strongest country in African table tennis and I trust my teammates and coaches that we can achieve that in Morocco. I am looking forward to a classic final between Egypt and Nigeria and this kind of match has always been every fun to play and to watch for the spectators. I can also see that Tunisia now has a better team,” stressed Assar.He threw light more about his preparations for the battle in Morocco.“I have been preparing very well for this event and I am looking forward to a great performance. I had two weeks of physical, mental and technical preparation in Germany where I had my last training camp so I can say I am looking forward to a good performance in Morocco.”Assar admitted that Nigeria’s Arna Quadri has the capacity to also do well at the Championship. “Well, I must acknowledge that Quadri Aruna has been playing in a good level in the French league and international events so it will be interesting to see our match in Morocco especially in the men’s singles.”Having tasted an unexpected defeat against Nigeria in the final of the men’s team event of 2015 African Games in Brazzaville, Omar Assar is not ruling out the possibility of a rematch, which he says would be in Egypt’s favour. “I expect a good start with my teammates in the team event first, and in the singles, I am very hungry to show a very good performance because when it comes to representing Egypt, you always look for gold medal not only in Africa but everywhere else.”With the excellent display by Dina Meshref at the 2016 Women’s World Cup, Omar Assar is hopeful that the Egyptian female team would be unbeatable in Morocco. “Our women team is very strong and stable however some injuries can affect the team but as I see that there are some new young stars that are coming up now and they are fresh and hungry to win. Also Dina Meshref has been playing in high level and she showed that she is one of the best African female players of all time.”The Men’s singles defending champion is excited with the attention table tennis is getting in Africa. “Table tennis in Africa has taken a different shape since the President of African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF); Khaled El-Salhy took charge as his efforts to promote the sport have paid off. I am very happy that I can see that ITTV is covering the African events almost everywhere. But we are waiting for much more and expecting more promotion locally in Egypt and Nigeria and particularly in Egypt.”As a Pan Africanist, Omar Assar believes in having an African team to compete against the world’s best players. “I would love to see that there is a formation of Team Africa that will compete against teams from Europe and Asia from time to time.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Egypt’s Omar Assar is heading to the 2016 ITTF African Senior Championship in Morocco, a wounded lion.The 2015 African Games gold medalist has been shaping up in Germany for the championship and hopes his preparation would be good enough to aid his success in Morocco.Assar was beaten in the final of the 2016 African Top 16 Cup in Sudan earlier this year by his continental arch-rival, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri and was again bundled out in the second round of the Rio Olympic Games by Turkey’s Lei Kou. It is these defeats in the past months that are making the African champion to want to be at his best in Morocco to regain his pride.
Facebook9Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by the YWCA of OlympiaDid you find time for some spring cleaning? If so, the YWCA of Olympia will take your donations of gently used bagged clothing items for delivery to Value Village-Lacey in the month of June. This special once-per-year drive will begin on Monday, June 2nd and end on Monday, June 30th. For each bag donated, Value Village-Lacey will make a donation directly to the YWCA of Olympia and their programs which empower women and girls.Clothing can be dropped off at the YWCA (220 Union Ave) in bags Monday through Thursday between the hours of 9:00am and 5:00pm between June 2 and June 30 ONLY. The YWCA will take all donations to Value Village Lacey on Wednesday, July 2 and Value Village will donate back to the YWCA for every single donation you bring in! The agency is working with Auto Mall Mini Storage for the entire month to secure and collect all of your generous donations. What are we looking for?ClothingShoesAccessories (Ties, belts, scarves, purses, socks, wallets)Bed & Bath (towels, sheets, drapes, yarn, pillows, blankets)We also welcome hygiene product donations of toothpaste for the Other BankFor more information contact (360) 352-0593 or [email protected]