The dangers of technology, another lesson from covid-19

The uselessness of technology in some cases or its dangerousness in the absence of adequate governance are some of the lessons that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus continues to leave.

This was indicated this Thursday by the Italian professor Andrea Renda, who participated in the webinar “The revolution in artificial intelligence from covid-19”, organized by the delegation of the European Union in Uruguay.

“I do not believe that artificial intelligence has been the center of our response to COVID,” said the expert, who also pointed out that both this and digital technology “can help”, although that “is not going to solve the problems.”

Renda said that at this time in many countries cell phones have been used to monitor the movement of people, to make self-reports on covid-19, to report symptoms and to obtain QR codes that are intended to be able to access certain places, among other things.

However, he pointed out that “there is no democratic country” that has enjoyed these technologies “sufficiently.”

“We need a very high level of diffusion of this technology and the one we use, which is Bluetooth, is not quite accurate, it has a lot of problems of many kinds,” he said.

For Renda, so far artificial intelligence has been used to find many solutions, but, from his point of view, “there is no alternative” to the tests that are carried out.

For this reason, he stated that “the solution to covid is what the World Health Organization said: tests, tests, tests.”

Beyond this, the expert assured that in the future it will be possible to share data “of all kinds” at a global level in order, through artificial intelligence, to detect, for example, the existence of a pandemic “much earlier” than what was done in this case.

“I think artificial intelligence is going to make a paradigm shift, an incredible acceleration in the years to come. If we use it properly it will prevent many pandemics in the future,” he concluded.


Trump White House communication director resigns

The White House communication director, Alyssa Farah, announced her resignation on Thursday, which apparently has nothing to do with any disagreement or controversy but does imply a tacit recognition that the days in power of President Donald Trump are numbered.

Farah, who had been communications director since April, will leave her position this Friday to create her own consulting firm focused on the political, corporate and defense fields.

“It has been my lifetime honor to serve in the Trump Administration for the past three years,” Farah, who also served as a spokesman for Vice President Mike Pence and a spokesman for the Pentagon, said in a statement.

At 31, Farah is the first person in history to have played those three roles in a single US administration, and also the youngest spokesperson the Pentagon has ever had, according to The Washington Post.

According to that newspaper, Farah had long considered leaving the White House and initially planned to leave before the November elections.

Although his resignation is apparently not due to internal disagreements, it comes at an uncomfortable time for many of the White House workers.

Trump has less than seven weeks left in power, but he refuses to acknowledge President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, something most of his advisers and aides have already assumed, and are now pondering what to do as of January 20.

In his final statement, Farah emphasized the Pentagon-related issues he has worked on, with the intention of carving a niche for himself in Washington’s defense-related apparatus.

“Under this Administration, the caliphate of the Islamic State was destroyed, many American hostages were returned home, NATO is stronger than ever, we have negotiated historic peace agreements in the Middle East, and I was in Kabul for the announcement of a settlement agreement. Historic peace between the Afghan government and the Taliban, with the aim of ending America’s longest war, “Farah wrote.


Ministry of Health reports 60% of Covid-19 cases are registered in three provinces

The Ministry of Public Health reported during its customary press conference on Wednesdays, that 60 percent of all Covid-19 cases have occurred in three provinces.

The geographic demarcations named were the National District, Santiago and Santo Domingo, which in turn, are registering a greater increase in positivity and in the number of cases.

The Public Health authorities headed by the minister, Plutarco Arias; the Vice Minister of Collective Health, Ivelisse Acosta; Covid-19 advisor Eddy Pérez Then and epidemiology director Ronald Skeewes Ramm reported that they are closely monitoring what is happening with the increase in positivity that has been occurring in the last two weeks.

In addition, they said that there are different sectors, especially in Greater Santo Domingo, which are the ones that are contributing the most cases, among them Santo Domingo Este, Los Mina, Honduras, among other places.

Today, a record was broken for the number of samples processed in the last 24 hours. The number of Covid-19 samples was 9,770, the highest number of samples processed in the country since the pandemic began.

The Public Health authorities called on the population to avoid mobility, since there is an increase in cases that goes with the increase in mobility. They also call to maintain control, avoid crowds and follow the measures.

Minister Plutarco Arias made a special call to young people to take care of their elderly. He alleged that young people are the ones who are bringing the virus home and making them sick.


Hipólito Mejía and his wife, Mrs. Rosa Gómez, positive for Covid-19

Santo Domingo, RD.

Former President Hipólito Mejía reported that he tested positive for Covid-19 with his wife, Mrs. Rosa Gómez de Mejía.

“I make it public knowledge that both I and my wife have been diagnosed with COVID-19,” said former President Mejía in a post on his account on the social network Twitter.

The ex-president also wrote that they were in good condition “of health and soon with the help of God and the doctors we will be healthy.”

“I make it public knowledge that both myself and my wife have been diagnosed with COVID-19. We are in good health and soon with the help of God and the doctors we will be healthy ”, wrote the ex-president.


The most active cyclone season in history ends today

This November 30, the most active cyclonic season of those on record ends, with a total of 31 tropical cyclones, of which 30 were named, surpassing that of 2005, which formed 28 phenomena.

The director of the National Meteorology Office Gloria Ceballos explained that with the average climatological relationship of cyclonic formations from 1981 to 2010, this year 2020 has exceeded the number of cyclones.

He said that the average is that at least 12 named cyclones are formed, but this year 30 have reached the category of tropical storm, that is, with winds between 63 to 118 km / h and of those 13 have been major hurricanes, when usually only six are formed and one reached category 5.

He referred that in 2005 where there were 27 named cyclones, worse this year the number was surpassed with a 3. “Positioning itself as the most active cyclonic season in the entire registry of existing tropical cyclones.”

This season that began on June 1 broke records, even reaching the end of the names that the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) had given in 2018 for hurricanes, which forced the use of the Greek alphabet to name the last cyclones formed later as Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Zeta, Eta, Theta, and Iota.

The latter formed in September, which was “the month with the most tropical cyclone formations on record, with 10 named formations,” said the director of Onamet.

Lota was the one that reached category 5 and caused destruction in Nicaragua.

The names that were sold out were Arthur, Bertha, Cristóbal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna, Isaías, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, René, Sally, Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred,

Damage to Dominican Republic

Although no hurricane directly impacted the Dominican Republic as hurricanes there were damages, floods and at least five deaths from the impact of two tropical storms.

“We have had a direct impact with Laura and Isaías, even as a tropical storm. In addition, there was an indirect influence from Hurricane Teddy (category 3) that generated dangerous waves on the north coast and distant indirect effects of Hurricane Eta (it impacted Central America), with abundant rainfall on the southern coast of the Dominican Republic for the month of November ”.

Other records from this hurricane season

The engineer Gloria Ceballos said that this cyclonic season broke several records, with the number of tropical cyclones hitting the United States, with a total of 16, surpassing the 9 that affected that territory in 1916. “It is also the fifth consecutive season in the one with at least one category 5 hurricane. Also 27 tropical storms broke the record for earliest formation, according to the order number of the storms ”.

Factors that influenced

Several factors have influenced this season to have the formation of so many named cyclones, as previously reported by meteorological agencies, according to Gloria Ceballos.

Global warming, which has caused temperatures to be higher and higher, where each month that has passed has been warmer than the previous one for which there was record and all this influences to have increasingly active cyclonic seasons and the formation more intense hurricanes.

In the Atlantic Ocean, 2 and 3 degrees above normal; and in the Caribbean Sea, since the warm nucleus is fundamental for the formation of these meteorological phenomena. He also cited, among others, the La Niña phenomenon, which began to have an impact as of May and made cyclones more likely to form in the Atlantic.


EXPRESSIONS – The “business” of COVID

Almost at the same time as the emergence of the coronavirus, some citizens, in several countries, began to question the veracity of it. Some said it was an invention. Others that, a business devised by international organizations and large businessmen to increase their wealth. Some say the virus was created in order to find a vaccine to cure it while reducing the world’s population. I do not particularly doubt the virus or the consequences it leaves. But, seeing the race that the big laboratories and the dominant nations have to have the primacy in the vaccine, it is evident that a desire for business. To that group, it seems, is now added the Pan American Health Organization-PAHO- This is evidenced in the statements released by EFE and attributed to Ciro Ugarte, director of Health Emergencies of that organization. I believed that for PAHO, human health was above mercury. However, what this man says about Venezuela forces me to change my mind. Ugarte assures and reviews the EFE agency, that Venezuela will not be able to acquire the vaccines against COVID, because it owes 11 million dollars to the revolving fund of PAHO. Holy God!. Reviewing what most nations do, diverting resources to the health sector to preserve lives, it is painful to read this and know that it comes from a spokesperson for an entity created to ensure good human health. Reading these statements, one wonders if it is worth more for PAHO to collect that debt of 11 million from Venezuela than the lives of millions of Venezuelans. How is it possible that PAHO thinks so commercially in the face of a global crisis like the current one?


Mario Lama says covid incentive to health personnel will only be until December

The director of the National Health Service (SNS), Mario Lama, revealed that this entity only has a budget to pay the covid incentive to health personnel until December and that it is difficult for that compensation to be extended.

“It is unsustainable. 1,775 million of covid incentives have been delivered to personnel who are inside hospitals, and without any type of controlsActually, for the simple fact, as it should be, being in a hospital is a risk factor, but extending that incentive infinitely would be very difficult, I am not saying it is not fair, because health personnel are personnel who are exposed, earns very little, “said Lama when interviewed on the program Despierta with CDN.

He said that a doctor earns barely 53 thousand pesos a month, a nurse less than 35 and they are people who are exposing their lives, working overtime with great determination and who have been the support of this crisis.

“Hopefully we can add funds to continue,” he said, noting that they only have a budget until December 31.

He also denied that the SNS is canceling doctors and said that for the otherwise they have created places for doctors who held administrative positions.

Hospitals in poor condition

The director of the SNS revealed that 54% of the country’s hospitals are in deplorable conditions, less than 10% are in good condition.

He said that the current authorities are strengthening the hospital system, with equipment and adding human resources.

He revealed that they made a tender to improve 25 emergencies, but that the repair of the hospitals will be gradual so as not to generate more chaos in the hospitals.


Schools are being tracked to detect possible cases of Covid-19

The health authorities reported yesterday that the Covid-19 management protocol with prevention, isolation and tracking of cases in the different schools of the country, in the face of information that accounts for the contagion of teachers and administrative personnel in schools after the start of the school year in the remote mode.

They pointed out that in high school Pan American Union Two infections were detected in collaborators of the administrative staff and therefore in that center, as in the others where cases have been detected, they are applying the Covid management protocol, as well as preventive actions in all centers nationwide.

This was explained Ivelis­se Acosta, Vice Minister of Collective Health and Ronald Skeewes, General Director of Epidemiology, when interviewed on the subject when leading a press conference held at the headquarters of the Ministry of Public Health to give details of the behavior of Covid-19 in the country.

“The administrative management protocol of Covid is one only in the country, if there is an outbreak anywhere, it is intervened, and that consists of going to the place, taking the samples, contact tracing, isolating those who are positive”, Acosta explained.

Both officials explained that these same actions, as established by the protocol, are being applied in San Francisco de Macorís, Duarte province, and other provinces where increases in cases are registered.


The Dominican Association of Teachers (ADP) only registers 15 cases of Covid-19 notified between positives and suspects in teachers of different schools and high schools nationwide, according to the president of the entity, Xiomara Guante, yesterday.

The union member said that in Santo Domingo Este there were six positive cases. Four of them at the José María Serra school, in Los Frailes and two at the Concepción Bona school, in El Almirante.

In the municipality of Cotuí, Sánchez Ramírez province, 6 positive cases were detected from 10 teachers who performed the PCR test at the Juan Pablo Duarte school in the same town, Guante explained.

He stated that from the direction of the José Francisco Peña Gómez school, located in Los Girasoles, in Santo Domingo Oeste, has not reported cases of Covid that the media have confirmed.

He also said that in San Francisco de Macorís there are 16 intervened centers of which await the results of the tests to have a complete report of those infected. There they detected some positive cases.

ADP measures

In the coming days, the directors of the ADP will meet with the Deputy Minister of Education, Ligia Pérez, to decide the measures they will take together in order to prevent coronavirus infections in schools where cases have not yet been reported.

However, Guante said that one of the main measures is to isolate teachers who tested positive for the virus as well as those who had contact with them.

He considered that those who do not present serious symptoms and feel well within their conditions “could teach from home”, while those who do not feel in conditions would be given a license.

ADP on face-to-face teaching

In no way can we think to return in all this time not even to the semi presence “Guante reiterated when asked about the uncertainty of returning to the classroom.

He stressed that the contagion that has been unleashed in the teachers in the classrooms without returning in person or semi-in-person to the centers is a sign not to think about the option of teaching physical class.

On the other hand, he agreed that the decision to return to normal should be studied when the positivity of the virus is less than 5 percent, as suggested by the director of Public Health epidemiology, Dr. Ronald Skewes.

Finally, he urged parents and the population to be patient with the health situation due to the new Coronavirus pandemic.


Authorities activate control


Rafael Amador Figaris, Regional Director of Education # 15, told Listín Diario that as a preventive measure, more educational centers will intervene to prevent the spread of possible cases of coronavirus.


The Ministries of Education and Public Health will carry out virus tests today at the Hogar Rosa Duarte and Santa Teresa de Jesús educational centers in the National District.


The Antonio Duvergé Prepara, Alba Luz Casilla Díaz, Aníbal Ponce (night basic) schools, the Salomé Ureña and Francisco del Rosario Sánchez Centers of Excellence will be intervened during the week as a preventive measure.


Senate of the Republic approved purchase of the vaccine against covid-19 from AstraZeneca

The Senate of the Dominican Republic approved this Wednesday the contract for the advance purchase of the vaccine against the new coronavirus, Covid-19, which is being developed by the British laboratory AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

The initiative was signed by the Dominican State and establishes that a total of 10 million doses will be requested to be distributed among 50 percent of the population.

Ivan Silva Fernádez, senator from La Romana, had the floor during the knowledge of the proposal and stated that with the purchase of the vaccine, information would be provided to the full Senate on the tests on animals, results of the double-blind comparative studies with placebo, as well as the percentage of side effects from the vaccine.

He also said he believed “firmly” that the vaccine was tested in children and the elderly to verify its effectiveness.

Silva Fernandez considered that the pharmaceutical AstraZeneca should be responsible for the damage that its product may cause in the population, especially in those vulnerable such as children, the elderly, diabetics and cardiovascular patients.

For his part, the senator for the province of La Altagracia, Virgilio Cedano, questioned the investment of 40 million dollars in the purchase of the “potential vaccine” and described the government’s interest in acquiring it as precipitous.

The senator pointed out that it is hasty to buy a product that is not yet finished.

“We are going to buy a product that does not exist,” Cedano highlighted, while explaining that nine other laboratories are also in the testing phase to obtain the vaccine.

Contrary to Cedano, the president of the upper house, Eduardo Estrella, said that the government has pondered the situation on several occasions and “more than acting in a hurry, it is acting responsibly.”

The initiative, which had a positive report from the health commission and one approved in the Chamber of Deputies, ended up being approved with 18 votes in favor.


Pharmaceutical AstraZeneca announced Monday that its prototype coronavirus vaccine showed “70% efficacy” in testing, raising hopes that an accessible, relatively inexpensive and easy-to-store inoculation will soon be available.

The results are based on a preliminary analysis of a vaccine developed in Great Britain and Brazil by the University of Oxford and the pharmaceutical company. Among the volunteers who received the experimental vaccine, none were hospitalized or suffered from acute cases of Covid-19.

AstraZeneca is the third pharmaceutical company to release promising results from a prototype vaccine against the disease. But unlike the others, the Oxford-AstraZeneca remedy does not have to be stored in freezing temperatures, which facilitates its distribution especially in developing countries.


People go out to recreate in popular London park amid national lockdown

Despite the national confinement in England, hundreds of people gathered in one of the busiest parks in the English capital, London.

Regent’s Park, which covers 166 hectares, was maintained with a large flow of people who took advantage of the sunny autumn day in London.

In the United Kingdom the use of masks in open spaces is not mandatory, and it is for this reason that few citizens are seen wearing the mask.

Primrose Hill, one of Regent’s Park’s most visited attractions, was also one of the areas where visitors flocked and where the lack of social distancing and other measures imposed by the British government could be seen.

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, reported that during the confinement that is supposed to end on December 2, people would be allowed to go out to the parks to recreate.

According to the mandate, you can exercise and meet in public places with a person who lives in the same house or with a friend.

Additionally, Johnson recommended minimizing outings outside the home.

Since last November 5 hundreds of shops and restaurants closed their doors during the second national lockdown lived in England since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

The only exceptions are schools and some universities that continue to provide classes face-to-face; supermarkets and pharmacies, among other essential businesses.

Restaurants and cafeterias only accept home delivery or take away orders. Eating is not allowed inside the business.

In the United Kingdom, more than one and a half million cases of coronavirus have been reported and on average 55,000 deaths from the disease.