A REJUVENATED West Indies entered this summer’s World Cup as a balanced unit, who are not favourites, but yesterday’s performances against Pakistan definitely signalled that they will be no pushovers either, during this mega event.The West Indies, led by Jason Holder, gave a good account of themselves. The bunch of maroon-clad underdogs had definitely displayed a united fighting force, anxious and able to show the world they are not to be written off or even taken lightly.They whipped the Pakistanis by seven wickets in a one-sided World Cup match at Trent Bridge, with the two-time champions showing they are a resurgent force in the one-day game.The win was set up by the West Indies pacers, in which Oshane Thomas took four wickets, as Pakistan were bundled out for their second-lowest World Cup total of 105 in just 21.4 overs.West Indies cruised to victory in just 13.4 overs, Chris Gayle top-scoring with 50. He reached his half-century off 33 balls with three sixes and six fours.During his innings Gayle, who calls himself the ‘Universe Boss’, broke the record for the most sixes hit in World Cup history.He now has 40 maximums, three more than retired South African batsman AB de Villiers.Nicolas Pooran smashed paceman Wahab Riaz for a huge six over the square-leg boundary, to give the 1975 and 1979 world champions an ideal start to their campaign – a start which challenges the ‘underdogs’ tag prior to the start of the tournament.Inderjeet PersaudMeanwhile, three local and regional cricket commentators share their respective thoughts with Chronicle Sport pertaining to the Windies performance.Brig Parasnath, who is a Trinidad-based Guyanese cricket writer, commentator/analyst, said: “The West Indies fast bowlers exploited the conditions well. The bowlers extracted considerable bounce that startled the Pakistan batsmen whose injudicious stroke play brought about their downfall and allowed the West Indies team to celebrate a wonderful morale-booster.”He went on to say, “The experienced Chris Gayle showed his world class ability with an attractive 50 while talented Nicholas Pooran exhibited excellent form. Those are encouraging signs and it will help to boost the West Indies overall confidence for the upcoming matches.”Local commentator Matthew Kissoon feels the Windies had done their homework against the Pakistanis.“To bowl short-pitched deliveries against the Pakistanis I feel they had done their homework on them (Pakistan). So while the victory was somewhat surprising, I believe that the West Indies would perform well in this tournament … as long as they can get all the components flowing good together they will perform well.“They got very good quality professional cricketers in the side, and they should be able with their experience to perform beyond expectations. I don’t consider them as a dark-horse team because I don’t look at ranking, I look at performance at the given day, and because English conditions are totally different, I think they will adapt to the conditions, and also flow with the team plan well,” Kissoon pointed out.Inderjeet Persaud made mention of the ruthless display by the Windies fast bowlers, adding that Pakistan’s batting unit repeatedly struggled against short deliveries, of which the Caribbean side fast bowlers took full advantage.
The free community event featured dance competitions, rugby quizzes and entertainment by local band The Clan, who entertained the crowd with famous covers and original songs.As proud broadcasters of the upcoming NRL season, Digicel PNG CEO, Maurice McCarthy said it was fantastic to see Mt Hagen residents enjoy the fun community event.“Digicel has proudly hosted three NRL in the Park events since late January and it’s been thrilling to see the events be so well-received by the local towns” he said.“The success of the Hagen event highlights PNG’s love of NRL and is helping to build excitement for the upcoming season throughout the country.“The Digicel Play Box is selling fast in the regions as NRL fans purchase in preparation for viewing the games at home, when the live broadcast begins on Digicel Play.”Digicel’s Top Up & Win promotion also proved to be popular on the day, with many purchasing the K3.30 and K5.50 flex cards as well as Alcatel handsets for K49 and portable solars for K79.The next NRL in the Park will be held at Goroka this Sunday 14 February.Further events will take place at Madang (Saturday 20 February), Buka (Saturday 27 February) and Kokopo (Saturday 27 February).
With the World Health Organization (WHO) alarming that the death toll in West Africa as a result of the Ebola Virus Disease, could rise to over 20,000 before the disease is contained, the National Ebola Response Taskforce here has put in vogue a robust strategy that will help in fighting the virus effectively.In an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer, the National Coordinator of the Taskforce, James Dorbor Jallah said, to ensure that all of the various groups in the fight against the Ebola scourge work in an coordinated fashion in fighting the various, a national Ebola fight strategy has been evolved.The structure of the strategy, Jallah said, places the Taskforce at the head with three key parts below. The three parts are health, security and outreach. The National Response Coordinator (NRC) headed by Jallah will primarily be responsible for coordinating all of the work and functions of the three components of the strategy.Under the health component, the Ministry of Health (MOH), which is the epicenter, will supervise all teams delivering health related services. This will essentially include the collection of sick and dead bodies caused by the contraction of the EVD. The cremation and the burial of the dead as well as the formulation of a distribution plan of the medications, protective gears and related material use in the Ebola fight. The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) and the Ministry of Information will head the outreach segment of the strategy. In this realm, the MIA will help in the collection of the dead Ebola bodies as well as help in the tracking of contacts made with the dead body caused by the EVD.Moreover, the two ministries will liaise and work with other local and international groups in outreach activities relative to the fight against the Ebola malady. The security arm of the strategy will be headed by the Ministry of National Defense (MOD). All security apparatuses lined up in the fight against the deadly scourged will work in sync with the MOD, Jallah divulged.The youthful and energetic NRC head said putting this structure in place was key to the successful operation of the National Ebola Taskforce.The strategy he said was intended to avoid any form of confusion and duplication and overlapping of functions. He further that, the strategy will be very instrumental in tracking all of the interventions and work that international partners are making in this battleThe strategy, Jallah asserted, has inherent in it a framework for a chain of communication amongst all members of the Taskforce and the various ancillary groups that are working in various sphere in trying to contain the virus. The NRC will coordinate the works of the various structures inbuilt in the strategy which has become a roadmap in the fight of the EVD.All strategy employed by the taskforce will be replicated in the counties where there are cases of Ebola Virus, Jallah said. He however informed the Daily Observer that, at the moment, Ebola bodies in the counties are been buried and not cremated.By the current strategy, each county has a burial team, treatment centers, and contact tracing teams working along with the health team and the Taskforce across the country.Health Facilities OverwhelmedAddressing concerns that the Taskforce was responding to calls for the removal of dead bodies and the conveyance of the sick to treatment centers in slow manner, Jallah agreed that the complains were genuine but attributed it to the limitation on the communication chain and logistics.To improve on the situation, Jallah explained that, the number of bed normally available at treatment centers in previous Ebola outbreak instances have been 40. But the available treatment centers have been overwhelmed thus prompting the increment of the beds to 180 at some centers. At ELWA withholding Center alone, there are plans to increase the number of bed to 300 to accommodate more cases.The rate at which people are contracting the virus has caused the Taskforce to embark on a fast track approach to developed additional treatment facilities at the Island Hospital, the Unity Conference Center, Omega Navigations Station and the JFK Medical Center.Experts from the American Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have stated that the outbreak of EVD spread in Liberia is unprecedented and sometimes terming it deceptive. These two institutions have years of experience but observed that the level of the EVD in Liberia must be dealt with strategically.Part of the reasons adduced for the initial slow response, according to Jallah, was that the rate at which cremation was ongoing could not allow for the accommodation of more dead bodies owing to the limited space at the India Consul General Crematorium which is currently being used to dispose of the dead.He narrated that there is a mismatched of the rate of Ebola dead to the space at the crematorium thus affecting the body collection.He indicated that there is no withholding space at the crematorium thus prompting vehicles conveying dead bodies to park and wait with the corpses on board until the crematorium is decongested. After the vehicles are offloaded before they are sent back in the field to collect more dead bodies. But this sad development will soon be a thing of the past with the Japanese government provision of incinerators.Incinerators to Help in CremationBecause of the increase in the number of people succumbing to the virus and the attendant disposal constraints, Jallah divulged that the Japanese government has made an overture to donate five mobile incinerators to help in cremating the dead.Jallah said, two of the incinerators will be deployed in Montserrado County owing to the death rate in the county, while the rest will be deployed across the country.Liberians disposal of the dead has always been by burying and not by cremation. The only crematorium here is not spacious enough to dispose off large number of dead at the rate that the current incident is inducing.Call CentersTo assuage the problems picking up patients and fast track the collection and disposal of Ebola bodies, Jallah said, the Call Center established in the GSA yard, will be used to route all calls for both Ebola bodies and patients.There are about 130 staffs at the Call Center working on a 24 hours three shifts schedule to receive and forward calls either for collection of patients or Ebola Bodies. With 35 staff on a shift, the Call Centers helps immensely in collecting patients and disposing off of the dead bodies.Currently, the center is averaging around 2,000 daily. Plans are underway to have Ebola call centers in each county.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)