state

North Korea’s Kim pledges thousands of new homes in storm recovery effort: state media

By Sangmi Cha

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un promised to help typhoon-hit areas recover and to build at least 25,000 houses over the next five years, state media said on Wednesday.

Visiting one of the worst-hit areas of North Korea, Kim expressed regret over the more than 50-year-old houses in which people have been living and urged the military to embark on a more ambitious construction plan, KCNA said.

The visit came after Kim appeared to shed tears at the weekend as he thanked citizens for their sacrifices, in the most striking demonstration yet of how he is relying on his “man-of- the-people” persona to tackle his country’s deepening crises.

The military has reached a construction level of 60% for at least 2,300 houses in the Komdok area in South Hamgyong province, northeast of the capital, Pyongyang, the state media said.

Kim said new houses were now only built when the old ones were brought down by natural disasters, and called for a “revolution” in construction plans, starting with building 25,000 houses during his five-year plan set to be unveiled in January.

Last week, Kim called on his country to embark on an 80-day “speed battle” – to attain economic goals before a congress in January to decide the new five-year plan.

North Korea has had a tough year because of the impact of anti-coronavirus measures, international sanctions and several typhoons that battered towns.

(Reporting by Sangmi Cha; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Source Article

Continue Reading

State Highway 3/Napier Rd improvements to go ahead

A plan to improve safety on State Highway 3/Napier Rd is moving ahead, with funding secured for detailed design and consenting work.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is developing a package of safety improvements along a 3.4km section of Napier Rd, between Keith St and Stoney Creek Rd, and including Roberts Line intersection.

Regional relationships director Emma Speight says the improved saftey of the road will go ahead following investigation and consultation on options.

“I’m pleased that we can now move into the detailed design and consenting phase of this project.”

“This is a positive step towards making the road safer and more accessible for the everyone.

“We’ve had lots of feedback from locals who say the area feels unsafe, and we’ve taken their feedback into consideration when making decisions about ways that we can improve safety.

“We heard that it is difficult for cyclists and pedestrians from Kelvin Grove to cross the road and access the Manawatū River pathway on the other side, so to make access easier and safer for all road users, we will be installing traffic signals at the intersection of Roberts Line and SH3/Napier Rd.

“There is also a shared path planned between Sutton Place and Roberts Line.

“This will be an off-road facility connecting the Manawatū River pathway with the Kelvin Grove residential area.”

Palmerston North City Council chief executive, Heather Shotter says the council welcomes the funding as it addresses a part of the transport network that the community has been concerned about for many years.

“We will work with Waka Kotahi to ensure the design reflects the urbanisation of this part of the city, and the plan to remove the state highway network from travelling through the city via the proposed regional freight ring road.

“We look forward to the project progressing

Continue Reading

State lifts curbs on indoor visits to senior homes, but urges caution

Despite an alarming surge in coronavirus cases, Gov. Tim Walz’s administration is rolling back a heart-wrenching policy that prevented families from visiting their loved ones in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities during the pandemic.

The Minnesota Department of Health issued new guidelines Monday that allow indoor visits at most senior homes that have not had new COVID-19 infections in the preceding two weeks and the infection rate in the surrounding county is no more than 10%. But the state recommends that long-term care facilities limit how many visitors a resident can have at one time, as well as the duration of indoor visits.

The guidance was issued in response to a new federal policy and significantly eases restrictions in place since March, when nursing homes and assisted-living complexes across the state shut down and barred family visits in an attempt to protect older residents who are particularly vulnerable to the respiratory infection. As the pandemic wore on, advocates for residents and their families have been clamoring for an end to the lockdown, noting that many elderly residents have suffered anxiety and depression, as well as physical decline since the ban was imposed.

In Minnesota, and across much of the nation, the seven-month lockdown has turned many senior homes into small fortresses, with only staff and essential caregivers allowed inside. For months, many anguished residents have only been able to talk to their relatives via remote video feeds or through cracks in windows. Such limited interactions have failed to ease the anxiety of many who suffered from dementia, or those who simply wanted to hug or kiss their relatives, say eldercare advocates.

“We are really looking to make sure that we do everything that we can to have the residents and families be able to connect with one another,” said Lindsey

Continue Reading

Nearly three times more COVID deaths in Mississippi’s for-profit nursing homes, analysis shows | State Government

Twice as many residents caught COVID-19 at Mississippi’s for-profit nursing homes, and nearly three times more died there, an analysis of health data by the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting shows.

The average number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in these for-profit homes? Four in 10 residents.

One possible factor: 80% of Mississippi’s nursing homes had already been cited for infection-control problems before the pandemic hit.

Charlene Harrington, a professor emeritus at the University of California at San Francisco who discovered similar results in a just-released study of nursing homes in California, said the current pandemic is exposing problems that have persisted for decades. “We’ve just looked the other way for 30 years,” she said.

OSHA has been investigating three nursing homes in Mississippi, all of them for-profit, for workplace catastrophes or fatalities, including Lakeside Health & Rehabilitation Center in Quitman. One of the home’s nursing assistants, Carole Faye Doby of Stonewall, died of COVID May 15, and two residents also died of the disease.

A week or more before she contracted the coronavirus, Doby warned her family that “things were getting bad at the nursing home, and that we didn’t need to come around,” recalled her daughter, Shenika Jackson of Clinton.

She said her mother shared that a fellow worker and a resident (who later died) had both come down with the disease.

On May 6, Doby was tested for COVID. Days later, they saw her on Mother’s Day, Jackson said. “We did see her on Sunday, Mother’s Day. We sat outside the porch and ate lunch. She was inside the window.”

By May 11, her mother still didn’t have results and continued to get sicker so she saw a doctor, who had her rushed to the hospital by ambulance, Jackson said.

Because of COVID, she couldn’t visit with her

Continue Reading

Montana’s care homes struggle with staffing and ever-changing regulations as COVID-19 cases rise | State & Regional

During the first three months of the pandemic, Coe kept a bed in his office because he didn’t want to infect his family and wanted to reassure his staff he was there for them.

“Health care and our industry didn’t bring this to the state, but we’re living with choices everybody makes whether you gown up, mask up, you wash your hands — whatever happens, if it gets into the facility, we have to live with whatever happens,” Coe said.

‘Staff doesn’t grow on trees’

The Montana Health Care Association serves long-term care facilities in the state, and many have reached out to get answers and support, according to Rose Hughes, the association’s executive director.

“To me it has just brought forth a whole new experience and lots of questions about how should these things be handled,” Hughes said in an interview in September. “What can you do? Because staff doesn’t grow on trees and facilities have trouble hiring staff as it is.”

Hughes said that several assisted living facilities have reached out for help.

She said the association has asked DPHHS multiple times for written guidance for assisted living facilities.

“Usually the response was, well, they need to follow CDC guidance,” she said. But, trying to navigate the CDC website for answers can be daunting.

Source Article

Continue Reading