WHO Declares Zika Virus Outbreak An International Emergency

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared an international public health emergency over the explosive spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus. It was announced after WHO’s emergency meeting o: independent experts headed by WHO Director-General Ms. Margaret Chan. The meeting was convened in Geneva. Switzerland on February 1, 2016 to assess the outbreak of the virus which is linked to birth defects in the Americas The declaration will trigger funding for research to try to establish whether the Zika virus, spread by mosquitoes, is responsible for the large numbers o: babies born with abnormally small head- in Brazil. It will also put resources behind a massive effort to preven: pregnant women becoming infected anc. through mosquito control, stop the virus spreading. Ms. Chan called the birth :: thousands of babies with microcephuT




France Declares
Economic Emergency  an extraordinary event and a public health threat to other parts of the world. Ms. Chan called for countries to refrain from imposing any sort of travel restrictions on those Latin American countries where the Zika virus is spreading. Brazil has recorded nearly 4,000 cases of microcephaly, a serious and normally rare birth defect that may be linked to Zika, since the start of 2015. Around a third of these have been in the state of Pernambuco.

A member of the genus Flavivirus, Zika virus is responsible for causing Zika fever. The virus is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. The illness is like a mild form of dengue fever and usually lasts from four to seven days. The sickness is treated only with bed-rest and cannot be prevented by drugs or vaccines. An estimated 1.5 million Brazilians have caught Zika, a virus first detected in Africa in the 1940s and unknown in the Americas until it appeared in May 2015.

France Declares
Economic Emergency

French President Mr. Francois Hollande on January 18, 2016 pledged to redefine France’s business model and declared what he called “a state of
economic and social emergency,” unveiling a 2 billion euro ($2.2 billion) plan to revive hiring and catch up with a fast-moving world economy. The measures he proposed, however, are relatively modest, and he said that they would not “put into question” the 35-hour workweek. With his country under a state of emergency since extremist attacks in November 2015, Mr. Hollande did not’ seek to assume any new emergency powers over the economy. In an annual speech to business leaders, Mr. Hollande laid out plans for training half a million jobless workers, greater use of apprenticeships, and aid for companies that hire young workers. Under a two-year scheme, firms with fewer than 250 staff will get subsidies if they take on a young or unemployed person for six months or more. In addition, about 5,00,000 vocational training schemes will be created. France’s unemployment rate is 10.6%, against a European Union average of 9.8% and 4.2% in Germany. Mr. Hollande said that money for the plan would come from savings in other areas of public spending. Mr. Hollande said that France had been faced with structural unemployment for two to three decades and this required that
creating jobs becomes their one and only fight. France was facing an “uncertain economic climate and persistent unemployment” and there was an “economic and social emergency”, he said. The president said recently that the country’s social emergency, caused by unemployment, was as serious as the emergency caused by terrorism. The president also addressed the issue of labour market flexibility.

Mr. Hollande’s Socialist government has struggled to boost long-stagnant French growth or reduce chronic unemployment, which has been around 10 percent for years. His chances of winning a potential second term may hinge on whether jobs pick up before next year’s, presidential vote.

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