Israel has successfully conducted an artificial intelligence (AI) pilot project to locate coronavirus outbreaks by testing sewer water, the Hebrew-language daily newspaper Israel Hayom reported on Friday.
According to the report, the project was carried out in the southern city of Ashkelon, by Kando, an Israeli company of smart wastewater management solutions, along with the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) and Ben Gurion University.
The researchers used Kando’s technology, which can identify the outbreaks’ location and intensity, providing the data needed to develop and deploy effective responses.
This technology includes an array of sensors, along with advanced algorithms, AI, Internet of Things (IoT) and advanced data modeling methods.
Thus, after placing the sensors in sewage pits throughout Ashkelon, the researchers were able to locate remnants of the coronavirus.
The results indicated an ability to identify early outbreaks at neighborhoods and even at specific streets, by detecting high concentrations of the virus.
Kando CEO Ari Goldfarb told the newspaper that “monitoring sewage water is like conducting a blood test for a whole city.”
Sexual violence: Mrs Akeredolu pledges to partner stakeholders
The wife of Ondo State Governor, Mrs Betty Akeredolu, has pledged her readiness to partner with relevant stakeholders to end cases of sexual violence in the state.
Akeredolu spoke on Tuesday in Akure at a stakeholders meeting on gender-based sexual violence
According to her, an action plan must aim at addressing the issue of rape in the state holistically.
The governor’s wife, therefore, advised stakeholders to collectively come up with a reasonable action plan that would end the menace.
Mrs Titi Adeyemi, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, said the essence of the meeting was to have a follow up forum on the previous meeting with stakeholders on rape and gender based violence.
Adeyemi noted that the spate of rape cases and gender-based violence was becoming alarming.
“It has become so worrisome, especially during the coronavirus period, which concerns every individuals.
“There has been an upsurge on issue of rape and all hands must be on deck to curb it.
” That is the main reason Mrs Akeredolu and relevant authorities have shown great concern at this time.
“We have put a team of experts together, people who have technical knowledge on gender-based violence issues to look for a lasting solution.
“We have a whole range of stakeholders coming together to evolve an action plan to tackle the menace, and I believe that this move is going to assist the state and the society at large,” she said.
Adeyemi said her ministry had concluded plans with the Ministry of Budget to include funds for gender-based violence management in its budget.
She also said that a desk for management of gender based violence cases would be created while government would build the capacity of care givers as well as empower victims.
The commissioner commended the governor’s wife for contributing to the proactive measures put in place to curb the menace in the state.
Mrs Bola Ogundadegbe, the Chairperson of Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) in the state, disclosed that the 112 rape incidents recorded since 2017 had been charged to court.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that stakeholders at the meeting included representatives from Ministries of Justice, Education, Health, Women Affairs as well as representatives of non governmental organisations specialising on rape cases.
Edited By: Muftau Adediran/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)
Ford Motor’s CEO steps down amid waning investors’ confidence
The Chief Executive Officer of Ford Motor Company, Jim Hackett, is stepping down on Oct. 1 after three years at the helm.
In a statement on Tuesday, the American multinational automaker said Hackett would be succeeded by Jim Farley, its Chief Operating Officer.
According to reports, Hackett’s exit is coming amid the company’s $11 billion (N4 trillion) global restructuring programme said to be floundering.
Reuters reports that the No. 2 United States carmaker also “faces slumping demand in China, its second-largest market’’.
The 65-year-old outgoing CEO failed to secure investors’ confidence in his leadership amid a sharp crash in the value of the company’s stock under his watch.
Under his leadership, Ford has struggled with product launch problems involving the Ford Explorer, the Lincoln Navigator and the Police Interceptor.
But shares of the company rose by 2.8 per cent in early trading, on Tuesday, according to the news agency.
He will be the Ford’s fourth chief executive officer since the 2008 economic crash, reports say.
Edited By: Josephine Obute/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
Spain records lower unemployment in July
The Spanish Government on Tuesday said the rate of unemployment declined slightly in July compared to the previous month, in spite drastic measures implemented to fight the spread of the coronavirus.
According to the Labour Ministry, the number of unemployed people declined by 2.3 per cent, or circa 90,000 people, to 3.8 million.
However, analysts were surprised by the result, as predictions had said the number would rise by 20,000.
The figures indicate the Spanish labour market was recovering after unemployment numbers rose by 302,000 in March and 283,000 in April, but only 26,500 additional people were reported unemployed in May and 5,100 in June.
This, they said, marked an ever smaller increase in the rate of unemployment in the country.
The impact of the coronavirus crisis was more apparent in comparison to 2019, however, unemployment in July was 25 per cent higher than in July 2019.
Edited By: Yahaya Isah/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)
Philippine capital, surrounding provinces return to lockdown
More than 27 million people in the Philippines on Tuesday went back under stricter lockdown measures as the Health Department reported a record number of new coronavirus cases.
The department reported 6,352 additional coronavirus infections, pushing the country’s total caseload to 112,593.
The department added that death toll also rose to 2,115, following 11 additional deaths.
Meanwhile, almost half of the additional cases were confirmed in the Metro Manila region, which has been placed under what is locally called modified enhanced community quarantine for the next 15 days.
The protocol was also imposed in the four surrounding provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal.
Also, public transport, private and government offices and other commercial services were suspended in the five regions, while people were prohibited from leaving their homes unless for essential trips.
Dine-in services in restaurants were also suspended, and some of the 16 cities in Metro Manila re-imposed a ban on alcohol.
Catholic churches were once again closed to the public, as well as beauty salons and gyms.
Coronavirus cases in the Philippines have been increasing since the government began to ease restrictions in June in a bid to revive the economy.
One of the doctors who joined the call warned that if the infections were not halted, the country would be the next New York City, where people die on stretchers due to lack of space in hospitals.
Health Undersecretary Maria Vergeire urged the public to follow minimum health standards of wearing face masks, frequent handwashing and maintaining physical distance.
“We all know the situation in the country. We all know that as long as there is no vaccine or cure, we have to learn to live with the virus.
“That is why we are always reminding the public to follow health protocols,” she said.
Edited By: Yahaya Isah/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)