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Minister says Covid deaths ‘very low’ and defends not implementing ‘plan B’ measures

A government minister has defended not implementing the plan B contingency measures to stem the spread of Covid, claiming death rates were “still very low”. As cases topped 50,000 for the first time for three months, Gillian Keegan, a health and social care minister, also claimed the link between cases and deaths had been “broken” — despite government scientists repeatedly only going as far to say the link has been weakened. Asked why the government was not putting in place plan B — as ministers also warn cases could reach 100,000 per day — Ms Keegan told Sky News: “We’ve laid down plan A and plan B, and we’ve just started five weeks ago with plan A. “The most important thing: get that vaccine rolled out, get those booster rolled out.” Ms Keegan said “of course” there was a plan B in reserve, involving mandatory face masks, working from home advice and vaccine passports, but insisted the government’s focus was on the booster jab programme and rolling out new anti-viral treatments for Covid. “When we opened up on 19 July, we did that because we’d shown we’d broken the link between the cases and the deaths — and that’s still the case, the cases are high and obviously we’re not complacent about that, but the death rate is still are very low.” According to official government figures, 912 deaths were recorded within 28 days of a positive test — up 10 per cent on the previous week. Hospitalisations are also recording with a 15 per cent rise on people being admitted from last week. Ms Keegan was also quizzed about the lack of Conservative MPs wearing face masks in the Commons — before Sajid Javid, the health secretary, told a press conference that politicians should “set an example”. “Throughout the summer not many of us have had masks on,” she said. “You’ll find more and more as we go into winter, people will be wearing masks. But we shouldn’t be making it this sign of virtue or not, people have to make sensible choices.” Amid reports the delay between the second dose of the Covid vaccine and the booster jab could be reduced from six to five months, Ms Keegan stressed it would depend on the advice of the experts on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). In the Commons on Thursday, the government faced intense criticism from Labour for the “stalling” booster programme, while the former health secretary Jeremy Hunt urged ministers to look at cutting the wait between a second Covid jab and a booster. “The JCVI look at all the data,” Ms Keegan said. “They’ve advised us six months. Of course they continually look at the data but they are the only people who can really answer this question. “If they advise us, our job then would be to get ready to do whatever they say. But at the moment it is six months. It is not unknown, the JCVI have changes over periods of time and have reacted.” Read More Inside Politics: Javid warned of ‘tsunami of unmet need’ in social care Boris Johnson ‘selling out’ workers, says Labour - follow updates live Wait before Covid booster jabs ‘could be cut to five months’ to speed up rollout Call for ban on charities fighting animal experiments to be ditched PM accused of ‘selling out’ workers over failure to support fire and rehire bill Tories won’t wear masks in Commons as they ‘know each other’, Jacob Rees-Mogg says

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Bosnia's Serb leader Dodik unveils plans to dismantle 'failed country'

After more than 25 years of uneasy peace, the leader of Bosnia's Serbs Milorad Dodik has begun making moves to

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Evergrande relief, earnings support European stocks

(Reuters) - European stocks opened higher on Friday as a surprise interest payment by debt-ridden China Evergrande Group buoyed global

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Tissue maker Essity beats profit expectations as pandemic highlights hygiene

By Anna Ringstrom STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -Essity, the world's second-biggest maker of consumer tissue paper, surprised on the upside on Friday,

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China's soyoil hit near 10-year high, crush margins swing back to profit

By Hallie Gu and Gavin Maguire BEIJING/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - China's soybean oil prices hit a near 10-year peak this week

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FTSE 100 rises as miners rebound; JD Sports top gainer

(Reuters) - London's FTSE 100 gained on Friday, as mining stocks rose on easing concerns over Chinese property market, although

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Forces exchange fire in Srinagar amid spike in violence

A police officer said the terrorists involved in the exchange of fire could have escaped under the cover of darkness

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Russia Wants to Protect the Planet and Gazprom at Climate Summit

(Bloomberg) -- Russia will seek sanctions relief on green investment projects for state-run energy giants such as Gazprom at next

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On the right track: Scotland’s new bike-friendly trains are opening up Argyll to cyclists

The carriage doors open to reveal a scrum of unsympathetic passengers glowering at my wheels. Through the sardine crowd I see the pokey bike space already nabbed. Sound familiar? Mercifully, the nightmares of train travel with a bike are in the past on the Glasgow-Oban line, thanks to the green shoots of Britain’s first dedicated cycle carriages; a new sustainable artery into Argyll’s mountain and ocean-sparkled network of cycling trails. Often cyclists are, at best, a begrudged afterthought. Not here. Real thought – and design (the striking exterior is the work of Scottish artist Peter McDermott) – has gone into the ‘Highland Explorer’ carriages, with a wide passageway either side of racks holding up to 20 cycles. There are 24 seats too – for a small supplement you get a trail map table, snack box and hot drink, though you avoid the supplement sitting elsewhere. The timing of the initiative is ideal, with Glasgow on the cusp of holding COP26 in November. Carron Tobin of Argyll & The Isles Tourism Cooperative explains the thinking: “We have always had an interest in promoting a more sustainable and responsible approach to tourism across Argyll and the Isles, respecting our outstanding environment and supporting our local communities, and believe this new carriage could be transformational if we and our businesses grasp the opportunity.” One of the beauties of the Highland Explorer is that you can hop off at any intermediate station. Tobin’s organisation and sustainable transport body Sustrans Scotland have conjured up a Rail and Trail map that highlights some of the attractions en route: how about Ardlui for Loch Lomond, or Taynuilt to link into the Loch Etive Loop cycle, or the gravel Fearnoch Loop MTB test? My target was Oban to tackle a section of the sweeping 234-mile Caledonia Way, which soars up from Campbeltown, through Oban and across the Great Glen to Inverness. Seeking fuel, I dipped into the new Taste of Place Trails and discovered businesses grabbing the opportunity Tobin hailed. I joined a sprinkling of cyclists in the vegan and vegetarian Little Potting Shed Café, where I tucked into ‘no chicken tikka masala’ and an Argyll-roasted, sustainably-sourced proper coffee at newcomer Hinba, an instant cyclists’ favourite. Often cyclists are, at best, a begrudged afterthought. Not here I met Mark of Oban Cycles at Hinba, a font of knowledge on the dizzying network of Argyll cycling options – they can sort you out a bike too. Mark is a huge fan of the Caledonia Way, but advised I divert slightly, wise advice that soon had me immersed in greenery, with hulking hills beckoning. Dropping down over the Connell Bridge the landscape opened up – those gnarly mountains vying for attention with the salmon-rich Loch Etive, the Atlantic and Argyll’s isles shimmering to the west. Scotland the postcard, one I was easing through on two wheels. The Caledonia Way veered away from the road to Fort William straight after the bridge, gaining pace on the old railway. Zooming through old tunnels, catching sight of a buzzard and slowing for a deer, I only stopped to study the information boards highlighting the railway history, and bountiful local flora and fauna. More temptation awaited at Highland Fold, another of the local produce-driven new businesses opening up to cater to cyclists – fresh meadowsweet ice cream, anyone? Barrelling on, I crossed another bridge spanning Loch Creran, before leaving the Caledonia Way behind to join the Port Appin Loop. I hugged the coast, finding a spot just to stop. An otter furrowed along the heavily indented rock-strewn coast and I caught a fleeting glimpse of a flighty porpoise. Port Appin is the end of the road, but not the end of adventure, as a wee children’s TV-esque ferry bundles over the narrows. As I waited I tucked into boat-fresh sustainable Argyll seafood at the bike-friendly Pierhouse Hotel, scanning the waters for marine mammals, and chatted to cyclists from Yorkshire who’d taken the Highland Explorer, but whose adventures had been waylaid – they’d popped in for coffee, but were tucking into a heaving seafood platter. I’d expected the boatman to be grumpy heaving my bike on, but he couldn’t have been cheerier and lifted another trio on, with more cyclists than Lismore island residents among the half dozen passengers. The ‘Great Garden’ is appositely named, a verdant velvet blanket strung out over rocks millions of years old, bringing life to the often inhospitable Hebrides. Easing south I encountered more sheep than people and not a single car - bliss. And the views. Pound for Scottish Pound Lismore perhaps offers some of the best panoramas in the Inner Hebrides: as Lismore is low-lying you gaze to the ridges of Glencoe, lofty Ben Nevis and to ever-mysterious Morvern. They were all bathed in sunshine; Mull skulking in the mist to the south, more Hollywood Scotland. Pound for Scottish Pound Lismore perhaps offers some of the best panoramas in the Inner Hebrides The cinematic scenery continued as I puttered back to Oban on a larger ferry I rolled my own bike on to, the 50-minute crossing enough to catch sight of dolphins and search for sea eagles. And to meet Hendrik and Ana: this Dutch couple insisted I “had to go across to Kerrera too, it’s so beautiful, our favourite cycling island”. So I did. Picking up my teenage daughter the next morning, we grabbed a 100 per cent Argyll picnic from Food from Argyll on Oban’s pier and pedalled a couple of miles south to tinkle over to Kerrera on another dinky ferry. There was space for one car, a moot point when you’re not allowed to bring a vehicle over; in Argyll, the car is refreshingly often not king. I had no expectations of Kerrera, but it delivered anyway. To a ridiculous degree. We sauntered south as school stress and work hassles drifted off across the glass-calm waters. We passed a boat wrecked before by daughter was born, watched a heron fishing for lunch, and were ambushed by Castle Gylen. Edging around a grassy corner, one of the most strikingly located castles in Scotland seared into my senses, vaulting atop a rocky outcrop. There is no road to a castle Disney can only dream of. We sat alone in the stoic ruins of this old MacDougall stronghold playing name the island and losing count of the passing seabirds - an experience you’d never get to savour if you couldn’t even force your bike on to a sardine-packed train. We toasted the Highland Explorer with locally smoked salmon sandwiches and unfeasibly large homebaked gluten-free cakes. Very Argyll. Travel essentials Scotrail tickets and bikes are bookable through the website. From London you can take bikes on the overnight Caledonian Sleeper to Glasgow. Visit wildaboutargyll.co.uk for more information. Read More How my Instagram walking holiday turned into the trip from hell Plastic-free paddling: A kayak adventure with a twist in Suffolk This idyllic Scottish road trip gets you away from the crowds 10 of the UK’s best quirky hotels for when the travel ban lifts Why I’ve embraced Frodsham in all its uncontrollable oddness #hometowns Birmingham’s bold bid to host the first carbon neutral Commonwealth Games

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Attack in Earlsfield leaves man in serious condition with stab wounds

A man was stabbed during a knife attack in Earlsfield on Thursday. The 22-year-old was found with a stab wound and taken to a London hospital. Police were called about 2.30pm to the assault on Garratt Lane in south London. The man’s condition is not life threatening. A Met spokesperson said: “At this early stage, there have been no arrests.” Read More London TikToker recreates Salt Bae’s gold steak and reveals true cost Man accused of murdering MP Sir David Amess to appear at Old Bailey The seven-year-old Londoner trying to save the planet from his bedroom

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Did The Weeknd shade his ex on ‘Moth To A Flame’? Fans call singer ‘toxic f**ker’

The Weeknd has dated quite a number of gorgeous women in the past. The prominent ones include Bella Hadid and Selena Gomez

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Asian markets swing but Evergrande payment report provides boost

Markets in Asia fluctuated Friday following a record-breaking lead from Wall Street, while a report that troubled developer China Evergrande

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Bank of Ireland buys KBC's Irish assets in 5 billion euro deal

DUBLIN (Reuters) -Bank of Ireland on Friday agreed to buy "substantially all" of KBC's Irish performing assets for 5 billion

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India reports 15,786 new Covid-19 cases; active cases lowest in 232 days

Friday's infection count is 2,668 less (over 14%) than that of Thursday's, when 18,454 cases were reported, the highest single-day spike since October 14. Also, the daily positivity rate that has remained below 3% for the last 53 days touched 1.19% during the day, the health ministry said.

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Mumbai cinemas reopen after 18 months as life swings back

Movie theaters in India’s entertainment capital Mumbai have reopened after more than 18 months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic

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In South Sudan, flooding called 'worst thing in my lifetime'

This is the third straight year of extreme flooding in South Sudan

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Alec Baldwin fires prop gun on movie set, killing cinematographer

By Bhargav Acharya and Alexandra Ulmer (Reuters) -Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin fatally shot a cinematographer and wounded a director when

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Taguig has second highest COVID-19 incidence rate in NCR — OCTA

Taguig City had the second highest coronavirus disease (COVID-19) incidence rate in the National Capital Region (NCR) in the past seven days. This is according to Dr. Guido David of OCTA Research, which published an NCR COVID-19 update on Oct. 21 based on the Department of Health’s Data Drop. Based on the data, Taguig had an average daily attack rate (ADAR), or incidence, of 11.68 new daily cases per 100,000 from Oct. 15 to 21, classified by OCTA Research as high risk. This is the second highest in the NCR during the period after San Juan, which had 13.58 new daily cases per 100,000. According to OCTA Research, Taguig recorded 102 daily average number of new cases from Oct. 15 to 21, the third highest in NCR but its one-week growth rate decreased by 44 percent from Oct. 8-14 to Oct. 15-21. Taguig has an infection rate, or reproduction number, of 0.49, the third highest in Metro Manila, according to the report. Its health care utilization and intensive care unit (ICU) are at 29 percent and 38 percent, respectively. According to OCTA Research, the seven-day average in new cases in Metro Manila continued to decrease to 1,044, while the reproduction number was down to 0.46. “One week ago, the 7-day average in cases was 1,824, while the reproduction number was 0.59. The positivity rate in the NCR remained at 8 percent. Healthcare utilization (HCUR) for COVID-19 continued to drop to just 40 percent, from 47 percent a week ago, while ICU occupancy also decreased to 52 percent (from 61 percent one week ago),” according to OCTA. The ADAR (incidence) in the number of new daily cases per 100,000 from Oct 15- 21 in the NCR, according to OCTA Research: 1. San Juan -13.58 (number of new daily cases per 100,000 from Oct 15- 21) 2. Taguig – 11.68 3. Mandaluyong – 11.46 4. Pasig – 9.28 5. Quezon City – 8.29 6. Makati – 8.23 7. Paranaque – 8.17 8. Valenzuela – 7.88 9. Marikina – 7.36 10. Pateros – 7.23 11. Pasay – 6.64 12. Las Pinas – 6.58 13. Manila – 6.27 14. Muntinlupa – 5.85 15. Caloocan – 4.89 16. Navotas – 4.80 17. Malabon – 3.28

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Halyna Hutchins and Joel Souza: What we know about the victims of the Alec Baldwin Rust shooting

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died on Thursday (21 October) after actor Alec Baldwin misfired a prop gun on a film set in New Mexico. Hutchins was transported to the University of New Mexico hospital where she was pronounced dead by medical personnel. She was 42 at the time. The film’s director, Joel Souza, was also injured in the shooting. He is currently undergoing treatment at a local hospital where he is reportedly in emergency care. There has been an outpouring of grief on social media, as Hutchins’s friends and colleagues paid tribute to her. Director Adam Egypt Mortimer, who worked with Hutchins on the 2020 superhero mystery-thriller Archenemy, tweeted: “I’m so sad about losing Halyna. And so infuriated that this could happen on a set. She was a brilliant talent who was absolutely committed to art and to film.” Mortimer has previously said that Hutchins’s tastes and sensibility of what is cinematic were a huge asset for the Archenemy project. Her other film credits included Michael Nell’s racially-charged police drama Blindfire, Cate Devaney’s horror movie The Mad Hatter, Adriana González-Vega’s To the New Girl and The Walking Dead actor Pollyanna McIntosh’s horror film Darlin’. Born in Ukraine in 1979, Hutchins grew up in a Soviet camp in the Arctic Circle “surrounded by reindeer and nuclear submarines”. She graduated from the Kyiv National University with a degree in international journalism. Hutchins worked as an investigative journalist on British documentary productions in Europe for a while, before she relocated to Los Angeles. An alumni of the American Film Institute Conservatory, Hutchins was recognised as one of American Cinematography magazine’s “rising stars” in 2019. Hutchins’s friend and fellow cinematographer Elle Schneider called Hutchins a “rising star” in a tweet. “Halyna was shooting the Western Rust when she died,” Schneider wrote. “Women cinematographers have historically been kept from genre film, and it seems especially cruel that one of the rising stars who was able to break through had her life cut short on the kind of project we’ve been fighting for.” Hutchins posted a photograph from the set of Rust one day before her death. She also shared a video of herself, enjoying her day off, horse-riding on the same day. Rust director Souza made his feature debut in 2019 with the R-rated police drama Crown Vic. The 48-year-old filmmaker is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lives with his wife and two children. Baldwin was filming the forthcoming Western at Bonanza Creek Ranch, a popular filming location south of Santa Fe, when the tragic incident occurred. Written by Souza, Rust also stars Travis Fimmel, Brady Noon, Frances Fisher and Jensen Ackles. According to a Deadline report, the 63-year-old actor was questioned by investigators and released. An official from the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department told the publication that no arrests or charges have been filed. Read More First trailer of new Aaron Sorkin film on Lucille Ball gets mixed reviews online Kate Beckinsale says her high IQ is a ‘handicap’ in Hollywood Halle Berry told X-Men director Bryan Singer to ‘kiss my Black ass’

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Director of photography killed, movie director injured after Alec Baldwin discharged prop firearm on movie set

A film crew member has died and another was injured after actor Alec Baldwin discharged a prop firearm on the set of the movie "Rust" in New Mexico on Thursday, according to a law enforcement statement provided to CNN.

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DOJ coordinating with PNP for files of thousands more of 'drug war' ops cases

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice is coordinating with the police to get thousand more case files on anti-narcotics operations that resulted in deaths, but officials admit they are undertaking “cumbersome” work, and a review of the “war on drugs” may be a task for the next administration.With less than a year left in the term, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra vowed they will “try to examine as many [cases] as we could.”So far, the DOJ review of “war on drugs” operations that resulted in deaths, which started in June 2020, have examined files of some 350 cases. The first review covered 300 cases in on a few provinces with the highest incidence of police operations resulting in deaths, particularly in Bulacan and Pampanga.The second part of the review looked into 52 files from the Philippine National Police’s Internal Affairs Services, where it found direct liability on cops involved in the deadly “war on drugs” operations. A matrix on this was made public on Wednesday.READ: DOJ told: Matrix on 'drug war' review 'barely scratched surface'With just a few months left in the administration, Guevarra admitted that the review will “[depend] on the manpower resources that we can muster and the extent of cooperation that the PNP will extend to us.”“We may also consider random sampling of cases from all regions. It is possible that certain patterns may be observed without having to examine each and every case file,” he added in a message to reporters.Latest government figures show that as of August 31, 6,191 persons died in anti-narcotics operations. The government has maintained that those who were killed had resisted arrest but the DOJ-led review has raised questions on the "nanlaban" narrative used by the police.For the rest of the thousands of other cases, Guevarra said: “We are currently making arrangements for the examination of the rest. I have discussed the matter with the PNP chief [General Guillermo Eleazar], who has committed to cooperate.”For the next administrationThe DOJ is poring over case file after case file, which is a “cumbersome” process, Justice Undersecretary Adrian Sugay admitted in an interview with ONE News’ The Chiefs.“I guess it becomes more a political issue because it would depend on maybe the next administration to maybe look into this, and maybe look into what happened during this anti-illegal drug campaign, to really examine it to really see what went wrong if there were issues really,” he added.The DOJ chief meanwhile, is holding off commenting whether the department review will look into whether there is a pattern of policy of the killings, pending submission of defense of cops involved.“To get the picture, let’s wait for what the respondent police officers will say in their defense,” Guevarra said.RELATED: Callamard: DOJ-led review of 'drug war' deaths must go 'beyond who pulled the trigger'If, however, there is a bigger investigation launched into the killings, Sugay said they are willing to help.“If at the end of the day, there is a bigger investigation into this whole thing, after we’ve done our part and investigating as much as we can and to really look very earnest into what happened and what this is all about, well you know we’ll gladly help when the time comes, we’ll cross the bridge when we get there,” he said.The International Criminal Court has launched an investigation into allegations of crimes against humanity against President Rodrigo Duterte and his officials over his bloody “war on drugs.”

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Prop gun fired by Alec Baldwin kills woman on set: police

US actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun that killed a cinematographer and wounded the director on a film set

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Tacloban to regulate cemetery visits starting Oct. 23

Manila, Oct. 22 -- The local government here will limit the number of visitors to cemeteries starting Saturday as precautionary measures against the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). Mayor Alfred Romualdez signed on Thursday Executive Order No. 2021-10-038, enforcing temporary closure of cemeteries, columbaria, and memorial parks from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2, 2021 except for burial and necrological services. The city government will regulate the access to cemeteries since many people are expected to visit graves ahead of the closure to honor the dead in observance of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. "Starting October 23, 2021, the number of visitors that will be allowed to enter private and public cemeteries will be limited to a maximum of fifty percent of the estimated capacity, to ensure physical distancing at all times," the directive read. Vendors and peddlers will not be allowed inside the premises of cemeteries and memorial parks as authorities will strictly enforce physical distancing at all times, according to the directive. "Police and traffic enforcers are tasked to regulate the number of persons entering cemeteries, monitor compliance of health protocols, and require the presentation of a duly registered QR code and proper identifications," the order added. The city has six public and private cemeteries - Tacloban City Old Cemetery, Tacloban City New Cemetery, Chinese Cemetery, Holy Cross Memorial Gardens, Leyte Memorial Park, and Superior Memorial Gardens. For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at contentservices@htlive.comCopyright 2012. Philippines News Agency

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Balik Probinsya recipients hope for 'fresh start' in Agusan Sur

Manila, Oct. 22 -- sa Program" (BP2) program has paved the way for a fresh start for many Filipinos looking for a reset, 60-year-old Lucrecia Andres said. Andres, one of the latest BP2 beneficiaries, said she has faced immense challenges while selling vegetables amid pandemic-induced restrictions last year. "Matanda naman na ako pero heto ako at nagtitinda ng gulay para may maipakain sa mga apo ako. Mas maganda pa sa probinsya, mas maraming pwedeng gawin kahit matanda ka na. (I'm already old but I'm still here selling vegetables to put food on the table. Life is better in the province since you can do more things there even if you're old)," Andres said. Andres has been attending to the needs of her three young grandchildren, whose parents left home for greener pasture. "Hindi na nga ako umaasa pa na maaprubahan, pero sa awa ng Diyos ito kami ngayon at pauwi na. Malaki ang pasasalamat namin. (I was not even hoping to be approved but here we are. We express our deep gratitude)," Andres said. All the beneficiaries bound for Agusan del Sur, four of whom are minors, underwent reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RRT-PCR) tests on Oct. 21 to ensure that they are not infected with Covid-19. After testing negative for Covid-19, the recipients departed from the BP2 Depot in Quezon City on Friday morning and were flown via air travel to Butuan Airport in the afternoon. Institutionalized under Executive Order 114, series of 2020, the BP2 program is an initiative of the national government created to address the congestion in Metro Manila's urban areas. Government agencies guide the beneficiaries throughout this transition by providing additional support and incentives on transportation, livelihood, family needs, subsistence, education, housing, and others. The BP2 program has sent families back to Leyte, Isabela, Davao del Norte, Apayao, and parts of Bicol. Families and individuals who want to go back to their home provinces for good to start a new life with the aid of the BP2 program may contact 0919-0657896 or 0919-0692530, Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/balikprobinsya.ph or via the official website www.en.balikprobinsya.ph. For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at contentservices@htlive.comCopyright 2012. Philippines News Agency

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Russia working to hike Sputnik V deliveries to PH: envoy

Manila, Oct. 22 -- Russia is working to gradually increase the delivery of its Sputnik V coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine doses to the Philippines. "First of all, I like to say that we are slowly and steadily increasing the amount of supplies of our vaccines and this is a very important message to the Philippines that we are glad to help the Filipino people in (this gallant) struggle against the disease," Russian Ambassador to Manila Marat Pavlov told reporters on the sidelines of the arrival of government-procured 400,000 Sputnik V doses at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 on Thursday night. The latest shipment that arrived via Qatar Airways Flight QR 92B consists of 200,000 doses of Component I and 200,000 Component II jabs. The biggest shipment of Russian-made Covid-19 jabs in the Philippines so far arrived on October 16, totaling 720,000 doses. Pavlov, meanwhile, expressed hope that the Philippines would also procure their one-dose Sputnik Light vaccine. "The Sputnik Light is a one-shot jab. It is very efficient. We are confident that in your side of the vaccination, (National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar), Secretary (Carlito) Galvez will conduct the negotiation very fast and the Philippines (would get) another Russian vaccine," the envoy said. He said Sputnik V is effective against new Covid-19 variants, such as Delta, while Sputnik Light can be used as a booster shot. The country's Food and Drug Administration approved in August the emergency use authorization of Sputnik Light. Meanwhile, Galvez expressed his appreciation to the Russian government for the latest delivery of Sputnik V jabs. "We are very thankful to the Russian government, also to the Russian Direct Investment Fund, for giving us another major delivery. As of this moment, we have received 1.7 million Sputnik V Gamelaya vaccines and for this month, we are so happy that more than one million has been delivered to us. And they are committed to delivering more and we are looking forward to deliveries of over one million," he said. Galvez added that many provinces have requested Sputnik V jabs and that this request would be met. "In Isabela, they have requested 200,000 of this, and it will be delivered. Some of the different provinces that will be needing the vaccine, please tell us, call us and we will immediately deliver," he added. For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at contentservices@htlive.comCopyright 2012. Philippines News Agency

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