HR tools help to halt brain drain

first_imgHR tools help to halt brain drainOn 26 Feb 2002 in Personnel Today Health company Gambro has cut its turnover of top management staff byintroducing performance measures for HR. The firm, which has 17,000 staff across 90 countries, had to improverecruitment and retention because it was expanding and needed to increaseproduction capacity by 15 per cent a year. The reduction in management turnover to 5 per cent was one of the benefitsof introducing key HR performance indicators, HR director Karsten Jurkowskitold delegates. Other initiatives resulting from the move in the past two years include anevaluation of 150 top management positions, management surveys, a recruitmentstrategy and a compensation plan for the top 150 managers, based onbenchmarking with competitors. “Three years ago we were not able to say if we paid our top managers acompetitive salary or not,” said Jurkowski. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. last_img read more

NEWS REVIEW OF THE YEAR

first_imgSEPTEMBERPret A Manger revealed that its new SlimPRET half sandwiches accounted for 12% of its overall sandwich turnover, after a roll out to all stores. Pret started trials of the product last year.Sandwich chain O’Briens completed a £600,000 upgrade of its 145 outlets. Greencore Pizza consulted unions over plans to restructure its business, closing its Deeside bakery where it makes pizza crusts. Bakery Services revealed it had spent a second year in the red as it posted its results for the year to March 31, reporting pre-tax losses of £55,854. Rank Hovis announced it was raising its flour price by between £10 and £12 a tonne, effective from September 25. It said it was responding to rising overheads.Harry Kear said he had spent £500,000 on refurbishing the three Rathbone Kear bakeries in Wigan, Wakefield and Middlesbrough. He said he planned to develop the Rathbones brand on bread.UK supermarkets are among the world’s cheapest, figures from the Economist Intelligence Unit, suggested. A loaf of bread costs 59p in a supermarket in London, compared to £3.14 in a supermarket in Tokyo, Japan – the most expensive city in the world. London was the 19th cheapest city for supermarket bread, out of 127 cities surveyed around the world. DSM Bakery Ingredients was renamed GB Ingredients following its change of ownership. Warburtons overtook Kingsmill as the UK’s number two bread brand on sales, with Hovis remaining in the top spot, according to data from TNS. Warburtons notched up £200m-£205m sales, around £5m more than the Kingsmill brand over the year to June 19. But if Allied Bakeries’ £10- £15m Allinsons brand is included, Allied draws ahead of Warburtons. Hovis sales were worth £245-£250m.Cafe chain Druckers said it planned to double its estate by 2009, rolling out a new “softer” colour scheme. Peter Knowles, chairman of Peters Cathedral Bakers, was named Baker of the Year at the Baking Industry Awards. Bakery Food Manufacturer of the Year went to La Fornaia.The British Confectioners’ Association celebrated its 100th anniversary. RHM unveiled a new advertising campaign for Hovis Best of Both, featuring talking ducks. The Food Standards Agency warned consumers to be vigilant after a spate of incidents where bread produced at Allied Bakeries’ Orpington site was deliberately contaminated. Allied Bakeries received five complaints of fragments of glass or sewing needles in Kingsmill sliced bread.Scottish company Aulds suffered a major fire at its frozen desserts factory in Inchinnan. Caffé Nero claimed to be the UK’s fastest growing coffee chain as it posted its preliminary results for the year to May 31. It said its market share grew 1% to 12% over the year. Operating profit grew 155% to £6m, with sales up 39% to £70.1m.RHM Bread bakeries discontinued its Lower Salt loaves, with 50% less salt, due to lower-than-expected sales. Allied Bakeries appointed Brian Robinson as CEO, effective from November. CEO Des Pullen was promoted to group human resources director for parent Associated British Foods. Canterbury Foods started a strategic review of its business after a £11.5m half-year loss. Chief executive Paul Ainsworth said he aims to reduce debt and focus on pastry and food ingredients. Krispy Kreme MD Don Henshall said it was on track to break even in the UK – a year ahead of its three-year target.last_img read more

When life happens, immediate funds availability offers quick access to funds from deposited checks

first_imgIn today’s 24/7 world, consumer expectations for convenience and real-time service have never been higher. When life happens – unexpected expenses, a forgotten bill or a big purchase – people sometimes need same-day access to funds from deposited checks.This capability is so important, one in five consumers are taking their checks to alternative financial providers to get immediate access, according to a 2015 Lieberman Research study sponsored by Fiserv. However, most people would prefer to use their financial institution for this service, with 58 percent of respondents saying a service that accelerates funds availability at a financial institution is “extremely appealing.” Fifty-three percent of these consumers say they would use it at least once a month if it was available.People need access to quicker funds for a variety of reasons:42 percent cite unexpected expenses31 percent say they need to pay bills on time31 percent need to avoid being charged late fees continue reading » 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Meet ‘Pops’: The man making a difference in students’ lives

first_imgKIRKWOOD (WBNG) — When students walk through the doors of Floyd Bell Elementary in the Windsor Central School District, they’re sure to get a warm welcome. “The kind of love that comes from them is different than the kind of love that comes from a parent, or a teacher, or even a guardian, aunt or uncle,” said LaMantia. Pops follows a routine, bringing food down to the class first thing in the morning. “I hope not. As long as I got my health, and I’m able to get around, I’ll be here,” he said. “It means a lot to me. He makes me proud,” said LaMantia “He needed something to get up for everyday and I think I found it,” said LaMantia. And four years later, he has only missed a handful of days. “He sets the breakfast up and he wakes up and he puts the breakfast on the table,” said student and Pops’ great granddaughter Lena. His daughter, a teacher at Floyd Bell, suggested he come in and help serve her students breakfast to help him get out of the house and pass some time. “Well we were married 56 years. When you lose ’em, my children are all grown up, you come home to that big house all the time. It’s tough,” said Pops. Pops doesn’t plan on stopping his daily visits anytime soon.center_img He’s better known as Pops. “He says hello to them, ‘morning Pops,’ is what you hear. ‘Morning Pops!’ There’s a lot of hugs,” said his daughter and pre-K teacher Sharon LaMantia. But his mornings are filled with a lot more than eating, creating a relationship with every student who takes a seat. “I just fell in love with the job. Well it’s not a job. The kids, they’re super kids. I enjoy being around them,” said Pops. “They’re little magnets. You enjoy coming down and seeing them. Even the kids I’ve had two, three, four years ago. They come up this hall in the morning and say ‘hi Pops!’ They come over and give you a hug, it makes you feel good.” 84-year-old Edward Segrue is long out of school, but he holds a nickname in the Floyd Bell halls. A familiar face by now, Pops starts his mornings at the school essentially everyday. His story started when he needed the kids the most, after his wife passed about four years ago. Good thing, because year after year and class after class, he teaches things that may not be in the lesson plan, like love. And he sure has shown that when it comes to his friendships with students, age is just a number.last_img read more

Biosafety lapses reported at 3 more Texas labs

first_img The documents suggest that the potentially exposed lab workers received anthrax vaccine booster shots and were monitored by student health services. However, it appears they declined prophylactic antibiotic treatment because they believed the vial that leaked was a blank that didn’t contain B anthracis. No infections were reported. In August, the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce announced plans to hold a hearing in early October to examine the risks associated with the nation’s growing number of labs that handle dangerous microbial agents. Disturbing pattern or normal events?Edward Hammond, Sunshine Project director, said in the group’s news release that though lab accidents aren’t unexpected, the scarcity of accident reports is a concern because it gives a false impression of how safe the biodefense lab environments are and how big a risk the facilities pose to communities. He said the recent dates of the incidents at the three UT facilities raise suspicions that the schools began documenting lab accidents only after biosafety problems surfaced in April at Texas A&M. “We surmise that until the Texas A&M scandal, some of the University of Texas institutions had a de facto policy of not recording accidents with bioweapons agents, probably for fear of the potentially embarrassing and costly consequences,” Hammond stated. Sep 19, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Three University of Texas facilities have recently had laboratory accidents with dangerous pathogens, including the agents of anthrax, tularemia, and shigellosis, according to a statement yesterday from the Sunshine Project, a nonprofit group that monitors biodefense research safety. No active research was being conducted when the workers entered the lab without protection, and researchers who conducted experiments with the agent the previous night performed routine decontamination procedures afterward, the documents suggest. The workers were advised to seek prophylactic antibiotic treatment, which they reportedly received from their personal physicians, according to the documents. On follow-up, none of the workers reported infection symptoms. Changes UT at Austin said it has made include adding new training procedures and programs, establishing a rapid-response team to handle lab accidents, providing more staff to the school’s biosafety committee, and reviewing how the university manages its research programs. Though the university didn’t believe the incident represented a release, loss, or theft of a select agent—events that require CDC notification—it submitted a report on the safety violation anyway, according to the documents. The Sunshine Project said it supports closer federal oversight of US biodefense labs, including legal reforms, mandatory accident reporting, and increased transparency. The group was established in 1999. Problem at San Antonio facilityOn Apr 12, workers at a lab at UT in San Antonio entered a tularemia lab without wearing any gloves or respiratory protection to inspect faulty air filters, according to documents from the school, also made available on the Sunshine Project’s Web site. The new incidents closely follow mishaps that occurred at Texas A&M University’s BSL-3 lab, which prompted the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to suspend biodefense work there until CDC inspectors verify that the school has corrected problems identified in a recent agency investigation. The accidents at Texas A&M involved Brucella and Coxiella burnetti and were also were revealed through the Sunshine Project’s ongoing investigation of safety at biodefense labs. David Bates, director of media relations at UT Health Science Center in Houston, told CIDRAP News that the center’s environmental health and safety department has an outstanding safety compliance record, a proactive training system, and biosafety and incident response plans that are constantly reviewed. The center is known for its strong safety record, he said. Its environmental health and safety team was recently called on to review Texas A&M’s lab procedures in the wake of the recent lab accidents. Anthrax exposure risk at Houston labOn Apr 13, workers at the UT Health Science Center in Houston were potentially exposed to aerosolized B anthracis when liquid from vials leaked inside an unshielded tabletop centrifuge. Documents posted on the Sunshine Project’s Web site indicate that the school reported the accident to the CDC. Two of the locations—University of Texas (UT) Health Science Center at Houston and UT at San Antonio—perform “select agent” work in biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) labs. The third site—UT at Austin—does not do biodefense work, but some of the university’s work is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which expects labs to follow guidelines for reporting lab accidents, the Austin American-Statesman reported yesterday. Sep 6 CIDRAP News story “Texas A&M chief vows to fix biodefense lab problems” Francisella tularensis, another category A bioterrorism agent, at UT at San Antonio In a statement released yesterday, UT at Austin said that this past spring the NIH asked the school about lab accidents that had occurred since January 2000, and a systematic review revealed 13 incidents in the university’s laboratories during that period. Of five involving Shigella, four resulted in worker illnesses; all the workers have recovered. Sep 18 University of Texas at Austin press releasecenter_img It would be wrong to characterize the anthrax incident at the UT Health Science Center as a failure of procedures or training, Bates said. He said the lab notified the appropriate authorities, and the CDC told the safety team the center’s institutional response was appropriate. A Twin Cities-based laboratory expert who asked not to be named told CIDRAP News today that rare human infections from work with pathogens are not entirely unexpected in a laboratory setting, as is true of nosocomial infections in hospitals. The incidents were revealed as a result of Texas freedom-of-information requests made by the Austin-based Sunshine Project. The lab accidents involved: Shigella, a food- or waterborne category B agent, which the Sunshine Project says may have been genetically engineered, at UT at Austin Shigella sickens workers at Austin siteHowever, a series of lab accidents at UT in Austin involving Shigella appears more serious. The Sunshine Project said it had submitted a freedom-of-information request to the university, but the university revealed the laboratory accidents to the Austin American-Statesman hours before a deadline for releasing documents to the watchdog group. According to the newspaper accounts, UT at Austin officials said there were at least four lab-acquired infections between 2002 and 2005 that were not properly documented, investigated, or reported. In one of the incidents, a lab worker was checking Shigella samples in June 2003 and found that caps had shaken off test tubes, which might have contributed to airborne exposure, a Sep 15 story said. The worker got sick and was treated with antibiotics, the report said. The number of Shigella infections at UT Austin is high, but may not be entirely abnormal, the lab expert said, adding, “But if it was the same strain each time, it might suggest a continuing problem that hasn’t been fixed.” The source said the incidents involving tularemia and anthrax, however, do appear to represent lapses in safety monitoring procedures or training. UT at Austin records suggested that that and other exposures to Shigella could have been prevented if workers had been wearing protective glasses and face shields, the news report said. The NIH request, as well as the freedom-of-information requests, prompted UT Austin to review laboratory policies and procedures at the nearly 1,000 facilities on campus, the statement said, adding, “The University and sponsoring entities, such as NIH, and the public must be assured that safe laboratory research, training, and education are being conducted at and by the University.” “Whatever dangers these incidents may have presented to the laboratory workers, I see no evidence that problems represented any danger to the broader community,” the expert added. Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the US government has boosted the number of biodefense labs. For example, in 2003 federal officials announced plans for 11 new biodefense facilities. Much of the biodefense work has been funded by Project BioShield, a $5.6 billion program established in 2004 to speed the development of medical treatments for the effects of biological and other unconventional weapons. See also: “What we are witnessing in Texas is not bad luck, it is the crumbling of the biodefense lobby’s safety façade,” Hammond said in the report. Aerosolized Bacillus anthracis, a category A bioterrorism agent, at UT Health Science Center in Houston Though the Sunshine Project’s work raises valid safety issues, which are worth exploring, “I’m not certain the problems reach the level of a crisis,” the expert said. “Area monitoring ensured that no materials were released from the lab containment area,” Bates said. “The safety of our employees and students is a priority one concern.”last_img read more

Two more H5N1 cases from Pakistan cluster verified

first_imgApr 3, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) today confirmed two more cases of H5N1 avian influenza from a family cluster that surfaced in Pakistan last fall, supporting the previous finding that the virus probably spread among four brothers but went no further.Serologic (antibody) testing confirmed that two brothers, one of whom died and the other survived, had the virus, the WHO reported. In addition, the agency said another brother who died had a probable case, but no samples from him were available for testing. The WHO had confirmed one case—Pakistan’s first known H5N1 infection—in late December.The four cases were among at least eight suspected cases in northern Pakistan that were first widely reported Dec 16. The other suspected cases have since been ruled out, according to WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl.The Pakistan cluster had raised fears that the virus was improving its ability to infect humans, but the WHO said after an initial investigation in December that there was no evidence of sustained person-to-person transmission.Today the agency stated, “These laboratory test results support the epidemiological findings from the outbreak investigation in December 2007, and the final risk assessment that suggested limited human to human transmission events reported previously. This outbreak did not extend into the community, and appropriate steps were taken to reduce future risks of human infections.”The tests were conducted by the WHO’s H5 reference lab in Egypt (US Naval Medical Research Unit 3) and at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.Cases started with cullerOne of the two cases confirmed today was in a man who was previously identified as a veterinarian and had helped cull chickens in an avian flu outbreak area. He became ill on Oct 29 and later recovered, the WHO said.The other three brothers all fell ill after having close contact with the veterinarian, and none of them had had contact with sick or dead poultry, the agency reported. The second brother in the cluster—whose case is listed as probable—became ill on Nov 12 and died a week later. The other two brothers both got sick on Nov 21; one of them died Nov 28, but the other fully recovered. Officials previously said the brothers helped care for one another during their illnesses.The man who died Nov 28, listed as the third patient, is the one whose case was confirmed in December. He was identified as a 25-year-old from the Peshawar area. Polymerase chain reaction was used to verify his case.Serologic tests were used to confirm the two latest cases because no respiratory samples were available, Hartl confirmed today. Explaining why the results were delayed, he told CIDRAP News via e-mail, “Serology takes awhile because the virus has to be grown in sufficient quantity to perform [the] test with sera.”Hartl said the virus in the third Pakistani patient was identified as a clade 2.2 strain of H5N1. Clade 2.2 viruses have been found in birds in more than 60 countries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and have caused human cases in Azerbaijan, China, Egypt, Djibouti, Iraq, Nigeria, and Turkey, as well as Pakistan, according to a recent WHO report.The cases in Pakistan sparked concern in the United States after another brother of the infected men, a man living on Long Island, attended the funeral of one of the victims. After his return home, he reported possible exposure to the virus and went into voluntary home quarantine. He was tested and found to be free of the virus.Latest Indonesian cases confirmedYesterday the WHO recognized the three human H5N1 cases—two of them fatal—reported earlier this week by authorities in Indonesia. The agency said the cases, which have not been linked epidemiologically, involve:A 15-year-old boy from Subang district, West Java province, who fell ill Mar 19 and died Mar 26An 11-year-old girl from Bekasi in West Java who got sick Mar 19 and died Mar 28A 21-month-old girl from Bukit Tinggi in West Sumatra; she became ill Mar 17, was hospitalized Mar 22, and is currently recovering.Indonesia has had 132 confirmed H5N1 cases, of which 107 were fatal, the WHO said.With the addition of the two Pakistan cases and the three in Indonesia, the WHO’s global H5N1 count has risen to 378 cases with 238 deaths.See also: Apr 3 WHO statementhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2008_04_03/en/index.htmlJan 3, 2008, CIDRAP News story “WHO: initial analysis of Pakistani H5N1 suggests no dangerous mutations”Dec 27, 2007, CIDRAP News story “WHO confirms H5N1 case in Pakistan cluster”Dec 17, 2007, CIDRAP News story “Possible H5N1 family cluster probed in Pakistan”Apr 2 WHO statement on Indonesian H5N1 caseshttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2008_04_02/en/index.htmlFebruary 2008 WHO report “Antigenic and genetic characteristics of H5N1 viruses and candidate H5N1 vaccine viruses developed for potential use as human vaccines”http://www.who.int/influenza/resources/documents/H5VaccineVirusUpdate20080214.pdflast_img read more

Irena Perišić Živadinov, Kvarner Tourist Board: Although the tourist year will be challenging, the announcements of our partners confirm that the interest of guests, especially from Germany, in Kvarner will not wane

first_imgRELATED NEWS: “Appearances at this year’s fairs and presentations in our strongest markets – Germany, Austria, Italy and Slovenia – gave us a good insight into the beginning of this tourist year and what tourism workers in Kvarner can expect. Although the tourist year 2019 will be challenging for many destinations, the announcements of our partners confirm that the interest of guests, especially from Germany, for Kvarner will not wane”Concludes Perišić Živadinov. Even according to the announcements of Kvarner hoteliers, representatives of camps and a large number of employees from the tourism sector in general, which preceded Easter, good and positive numbers were expected in Kvarner. And that came true. According to the official data of the eVisitor system, during 4 holidays (from Good Friday to Easter Monday) there were 28.500 guests in Kvarner who spent 99.000 nights, which is even 100% more when compared to the Easter holidays in 2018. In hotels, most of which were opened on the Opatija Riviera, almost half of overnight stays (49.000) were realized. 23.000 overnight stays were realized in household facilities, and 22.000 overnight stays in camps, mostly on the Kvarner islands. Most overnight stays were realized on the island of Krk (32.300), followed by the Opatija Riviera (23.400), the island of Lošinj (15.500), the Crikvenica-Vinodol Riviera (10.000), Rijeka and its surroundings (6.300), the island of Rab (5.500), and the island of Cres. (5.300) and in Gorski kotar (850).     Guests from Germany, Croatia, Austria, Italy and Slovenia stayed in more than 100 open hotels and as many as 25 camps, as well as a large number of holiday homes and apartments. At the same time, German guests realized 25% of the total number of overnight stays, while domestic guests and guests from Austria realized 14% of the total number of overnight stays, and guests from Italy 11%. center_img That a record number of guests stayed in Kvarner during Easter this year is also proven by comparisons with 2017 or 2016. So this year there were 37% more overnight stays compared to 2017, when the Easter holidays were in the same period of April and even an incredible 147% more compared to 2016, when the Easter holidays fell at the end of March. Namely, Kvarner continues with positive tourist results in the pre-season period, which is the main goal of all Kvarner tourist workers in the last few years, and in the first 4 months of this year it is currently recording 10% more overnight stays. From year to year, the Kvarner Tourist Board, together with the system of tourist boards and our tourist economy, the main focus is to create motives for the arrival of guests in Kvarner in the pre- and post-season, says the director of the Kvarner Tourist Board, Ph.D. Irene Peršić Živadinov adds: “In the last 8 years, if we look only at the pre-season periods, we are talking about a jump of as much as 90%, while in the total number of overnight stays for the same period we have achieved an increase of 50%. This pronounced trend of increasing the number of guests, both foreign and domestic, shows us that we have a well-established Development Strategy on which our activities and programs are based, with an emphasis on filling the period outside the main summer tourist season.” OVER HALF A MILLION NIGHTS WERE ACHIEVED DURING THE EASTER HOLIDAYS OPERATIONAL PLAN FOR DEVELOPMENT OF CYCLOTURISM IN KVARNER SIGNEDlast_img read more

Use strap to secure purse in your cart

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionI thought I would share my experience while recently grocery shopping at my local market.I was wandering up and down the aisles, when an older gentleman came up to me and politely chastised me for leaving my purse in the child’s seat of the cart and turning my back on it.He suggested that I take the child’s restraint strap and loop it through the handle on my purse. Such a simple thing. And since my purse is very heavy to keep on my shoulder while shopping, this was a great idea.I thanked the gentleman for giving me such a handy tip. This way, no one can walk off with your purse. Since the man was so kind, I thought I would share his idea.Marty ShantyCharlton More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Schenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%last_img read more

Please re-lease me

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Uruguay and Costa Rica: Beacons of Latin American virus success

first_imgIn Latin America, a region experiencing ever-increasing growth in the number of coronavirus infections and deaths, Uruguay and Costa Rica stand out as success stories.Despite never declaring a general lockdown, Uruguay had recorded 749 cases and 20 deaths by Thursday among a population of 3.4 million.In Costa Rica there have been just 903 cases and 10 deaths in a country of five million. Topics : On Thursday, President Luis Lacalle Pou announced schools will resume classes in June, saying “we are convinced that the risk is minimal.”Uruguay’s reproduction number — the rate of infection — is 0.74, according to a model developed by engineer Andres Ferragut and mathematician Ernesto Mordecki, who are working with the government as advisors. Anything under 1.0 means the infection is under control.”In an ideal world” that means the virus will disappear from the country, Ferragut told AFP.”It depends on a ton of things: the natural contagiousness of the virus but also  societal behavior and the measures taken.”On March 29 visits to cafes, theaters and shopping centers were down 75 percent, while visits to parks, beaches and public squares were down 79 percent, according to a report by Google Mobility.However, there are fears that with success comes complacency.Those two figures had dropped to 36 and 53 percent respectively in Google Mobility’s latest report on May 9.”This is day to day. We need to be prudent, cautious,” said Vignolo.”Coronavirus has come to stay” and will be here “until there is a comprehensive solution.” Aiming for self-sufficiency In Costa Rica, scientists and laboratories have been working on a range of solutions to tackle the outbreak, not least to reduce the country’s dependence on imported goods amid global scarcity.Costa Rica’s success in warding off the novel coronavirus can be attributed to the involvement of all sectors of government, a quick response, and a strong health care system as well as the commitment of its citizens, said Maria Dolores Perez-Rosales, the World Health Organization representative in Costa Rica.”Therein lies the key, in broad strokes, to why Costa Rica is managing the pandemic in this way,” she said.The country has done so well that it’s the first in the region to have restarted its football league, albeit behind closed doors.Costa Rican scientists have developed protective equipment, ventilators, capsules to transport infected patients and even specialized medication.The arrival of the disease prompted a combined effort by the private and public sectors to work together “in order to achieve self-sufficiency in medical equipment,” Science and Technology Minister Adrian Salazar told AFP by video.Salazar says those efforts ensured that Costa Rica was sufficiently stocked with needed medical supplies.While the mortality rate has been low, Costa Rica has still been preparing for the worst-case scenario, developing ventilator prototypes that are in the final stage of testing.It’s also made progress in testing and the production of swabs used to carry out the tests.”The main goal is to be able to produce swabs locally given there’s scarcity on a global level … and if necessary, do widespread testing for COVID-19,” said Jose Pablo Carballo, a student at the University of Costa Rica involved in the development program. The numbers don’t lie, and the outbreak in Uruguay “is currently under control,” said epidemiologist Julio Vignolo, citing the country’s rapid response.The same day that Uruguay recorded its first four cases, March 13, the government declared a health emergency, shuttering schools and closing borders.The government also encouraged voluntary isolation, which was widely adopted in a country with low population density.Intensive care units have spare beds and the health system has never come close to creaking, let alone collapsing.last_img read more