Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 29th 2016 Contents A35
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Pakistani authorities have banned all
broadcast advertisements for contra-
The regulator, Pakistan Electronic Media
Regulatory Authority (Pemra), said there
had been public complaints that they
prompted curiosity in "innocent children".
Pakistan is a socially conservative country
and such commercials were already rare.
Last year a specific advert for Josh con-
doms was banned as "immoral".
Pakistan, the world s sixth most pop-
ulous nation, has a lower rate of access
to birth control than the average for the
region, according to the World Health
Pakistan bans TV contraceptive adverts
The summer Olympic
Games in Rio de Janeiro should
be postponed or moved "in the
name of public health" due to
the widening Zika outbreak in
Brazil, more than 100 promi-
nent doctors and professors
said last Friday in an open let-
ter to the World Health Organ-
"We make this call despite
the widespread fatalism that
the Rio 2016 Games are
inevitable or too big to fail, "
the writers said in the letter
addressed to WHO Director-
General Margaret Chan.
"Our greater concern is for
global health. The Brazilian
strain of Zika virus harms
health in ways that science has
not observed before."
The letter shows a growing
gap within the medical field on
what to do about the games.
Last Thursday, Dr Tom Frieden,
director of the US Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention,
said, "There is no public health
reason to cancel or delay the
The CDC s current recom-
mendation is that pregnant
women should not travel to
areas where the virus is spread-
ing and that men with the virus
who have pregnant partners
should use condoms when hav-
ing sex for the duration of the
pregnancy. "We re working
closely with the USOC and
Brazilian health authorities, and
will update our guidance if
needed," Frieden said in a state-
ment in response to the new
The WHO released a state-
ment saying that based on its
current assessment, "canceling
or changing the location of the
2016 Olympics will not signif-
icantly alter the international
spread of Zika virus."
The organisation noted that
Brazil is one of almost 60 coun-
tries that have reported con-
tinuing transmission of Zika by
"People continue to travel
between these countries and
territories for a variety of rea-
sons. The best way to reduce
risk of disease is to follow pub-
lic health travel advice," the
The International Olympic
Committee has said it has no
plans to cancel or postpone the
There have been calls in
recent months for a delay or
postponement of the Olympics,
but what makes Friday s letter
different is the scope and num-
ber of physicians, professors
and bioethicists who signed it---
from Japan to South Africa,
Norway to the United States.
The officials said the Zika
virus has "more serious medical
consequences than previously
known" and has worsened in
the Rio area despite widespread
mosquito treatment pro-
"It is unethical to run the
risk," the letter said. "It is
therefore imperative that WHO
conduct a fresh, evidence-based
assessment of Zika and the
games, and its recommenda-
tions for travellers."
The Olympics are set to begin
in just over two months, run-
ning from August 5 to August
21. More than 500,000 people
are expected to travel to Brazil
from around the world.
Olympic-related travel rep-
resents just 0.25 per cent of the
total 40 million travellers
between the US and countries
where the Zika virus is circu-
lating, according to the CDC.
Friday s letter was written by
four prominent professors and
had the backing of more than
100 well-known doctors and
Dr Ford Vox, a CNN contrib-
utor and physician who works
in brain injury medicine with
the Shepherd Center in Atlanta,
said he signed the letter because
he believes a delay or postpone-
ment is necessary.
"In my opinion, non-essen-
tial travel to Zika endemic areas
should be deferred until the sit-
uation improves, and the
Olympics are not essential," he
The World Health Organiza-
tion (WHO) has played down
concerns over the spread of the
Zika virus, amid calls for the
Rio Olympics in August to be
Senior WHO official Bruce
Aylward said that risk assess-
ment plans were in place, and
reiterated that there was no
need to delay the games.
The mayor of Rio said dis-
ease-carrying mosquitoes were
The officials were responding
to an open letter by scientists
saying it was "unethical" for
the games to go ahead.
The letter also said the global
health body should revisit its
The Zika virus is linked to
severe birth defects.
Between February and April,
Brazil registered more than
90,000 likely cases of Zika.
The number of babies born
with Zika-linked defects stood
at 4,908 in April.
Dr Aylward, who heads the
WHO s emergency programme,
said that it was already carrying
out a risk-assessment pro-
gramme "about this disease and
the risks it poses both to indi-
viduals who get and those who
might be subsequently exposed".
In addition, he said, inde-
pendent experts had reported
to the WHO on the implications
of the outbreak for travel and
"Those are two of the exact
measures that that group has
asked for and that is exactly
what is being done, and clearly
we need to have better com-
municated that." (BBC)
WHO says there is no reason to move Games
Doctors: Postpone or move
Olympics due to Zika
A vintage World War Two aircraft
has crashed in the Hudson River
between New York and New Jersey.
The plane---a single-seater P-47
Thunderbolt---went down two miles
(3.2km) south of George Washington
Divers later recovered a body---
believed to be that of the pilot---from
the submerged plane.
The cause of the crash has not been
confirmed, but engine failure has been
cited as a possible cause.
The plane was one of three that flew
from an airfield in Farmingdale, east
of New York City.
They were taking part in shooting a
promotional video to mark the 75th
anniversary of the American Airpower
The two other aircraft---a P-40 and
a plane taking the photographs---
returned safely to the airfield.
Scuba divers recovered the body of
a 56-year-old man three hours after
the crash. New York police identified
the man as William Gordon of Key
In 2009, the pilot of an airliner with
155 passengers and crew made an emer-
gency landing in the Hudson. All those
on board were later rescued in what
later became known as the "Miracle
on the Hudson". (BBC)
crashes in NY river
Officials place a plane on the Wall Street Heliport pier after removing it from the
Hudson River after it crashed yesterday in New York.
The World War II vintage P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft being fished out of the river.
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