Number five seed Alexander Zverev overcame a listless start to secure a thrilling 3-6 2-6 6-3 6-4 6-3 United States Open semi-final win over Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta on Friday.
Victory enabled the German to reach his first Grand Slam final.
Zverev, with his back against the wall, raised his game just in time to deny the Spanish 20th seed and create an upset from being two sets down.
In doing so, he secured his first career victory from two sets down on his second match point after a rogue backhand by Carreno Busta.
The German looked headed for certain defeat after committing 36 errors through the first two sets.
But he used his versatile game to pick himself up and looked like a completely different player the rest of the way.
“I was actually looking at the scoreboard when I was down two sets to love and I was like ‘I can’t believe it, I am playing in the semi-final where I am supposed to be the favourite and I am down two sets to love’,” said Zverev.
“I knew that I had to come up with better tennis and I knew that I had to be more stable …. But I am now through to my first Grand Slam final and that’s all that matters.”
After Zverev levelled the match at two sets apiece, Carreno Busta took a medical timeout to have his back tended to.
The German, with a sudden swagger in his step, got the break he needed in the first game before cruising home.
Carreno Busta was locked in early as he held at love to open the match.
He turned aside a break-point on his next service game, and broke twice for a 5-1 lead before securing the first set.
Things kept going the Spaniard’s way in the second set.
He pushed Zverev’s back to the wall with three consecutive breaks for a 5-0 lead during a lopsided set in which the mishitting German made 22 unforced errors.
But Zverev flipped a switch and suddenly looked the more confident of the two.
He broke Carreno Busta four times over the next two sets while leaning on his serve to put the pressure on the Spaniard’s shoulders.
Zverevnis bidding to become the first German Grand Slam champion since Boris Becker won the 1996 Australian Open.
He will now face either 2019 United States Open finalist Daniil Medvedev or second seed Dominic Thiem in Sunday’s final.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
Health Minister says 10% of COVID-19 cases are under-19
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire says records show that 10 per cent of all positive COVID-19 cases treated are below the age of 19 years.
According to him, with regard to COVID-19 and growing complacency, it is important to stress that, even though adults, especially those 60 years and above are more vulnerable, complications do occur in all age groups.
“Records show that 10 percent of all positive cases we have treated are below the age of 19 years.
” They are also the same mobile group that can be without symptoms, but can easily spread the disease.
“Therefore, as schools begin to reopen in some areas, I urge caution and adherence to the protocols and advisories for reopening schools, to prevent COVID-19 surge,” he said.
Speaking on the need for testing, the minister noted that it was important for the country to generate national and international confidence in the nation’s data by conducting more targeted testing before conclusions were drawn.
“It means that all States and local government areas must cooperate with NCDC by raising sample collection rate, using criteria listed, to increase testing to a desired rate and to report promptly; as we are still far from the target of two million tests.
“In this regard, we can support States with community volunteers for contact tracing, case finding and investigation.
“While stepping up surveillance and case finding, states can also ensure that suspected symptomatic COVID cases are sent for treatment in time or supported before then with medical oxygen, to save lives and reduce fatalities.
“The recommended criteria for testing are: persons who have been in contact with a COVID positive patient or are associated with a cluster of persons of interest, those who have any of the four classical symptoms of fever, persistent cough, loss of sense of taste or smell and breathlessness; anyone facing surgery, as well as for any other compelling reason. Testing for travel is assigned to private laboratories.”
He also stated that the distribution of oxygen concentrators and ventilators to various health institutions commenced with training of about 176 intensive care specialists, and biomedical engineers, who would use or maintain them in the hospitals.
Ehanire disclosed that the ventilators and training were courtesy of the United States government and it shall complement what they have at the ICUs.
The minister also commended health workers in JOHESU, for putting an end to their industrial action, adding that it was his desire to work with them to resolve issues of concern.
Edited By: Felix Ajide
NCDC, NIMR, partners to conduct COVID-19 antibody tests in 4 states
Abuja, Sept. 21, The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the Nigeria Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) and their partners are conducting anti-bodies household surveys in four states in Nigeria.
Speaking at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on Monday in Abuja, the Director general of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu said the tests are being conducted to better understand the burden of COVID-19 infection in Nigeria.
“These seroprevalence surveys, which will be carried out in Gombe, Enugu, Nasarawa and Lagos states would provide the best evidence yet, on the extent of COVID-19 infection in the country.
“The seroprevalence surveys are used to identify the occurrence of disease in a population by estimating the presence of antibodies in individuals who have had the disease.
“This is done by testing blood samples in randomly selected households in selected states.
“In addition to this, study participants will also have a rapid malaria test and receive treatment if the test is positive,” he said.
Ihekweazu, said, this is the first set of household surveys to be conducted for COVID-19 in Nigeria and as part of ongoing public health research activities.
“The surveys will increase the current understanding of COVID-19 transmission patterns, the burden of infection in the population, and the age groups most affected.
“This information will help inform COVID-19 response decisions by the Government of Nigeria and partners as part of measures towards ending the pandemic.
” The surveys will also estimate the proportion of people who have COVID-19 but are not showing any symptoms, that is asymptomatic.
“Through this, the country can identify risk factors for infection and measure the transmission of COVID-19 within households,” he explained.
By administering rapid malaria tests, he said, the surveys will also assess malaria infections and their possible relationship to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The results from the surveys, he added, will inform the response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria.
He also stated that the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (US-CDC) and the University College London (supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) are supporting the NCDC and NIMR in implementing these surveys.
The News Agency of Nigeria, reports that the surveys will be conducted between September and November, and preliminary results are expected to be released by December 2020.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza https://nnn.ng/ncdc-nimr-partners-to-conduct-covid-19-antibody-tests-in-4-states/
53 security personnel forces killed as violence escalates in Afghanistan
At least 53 members of the Afghan security forces were killed in overnight attacks by the Taliban in five provinces, officials said on Monday.
A further 51 were wounded in the clashes that occurred in the Afghan provinces of Uruzgan, Takhar, Kapisa, Maidan Wardak and Balkh, according to the officials.
The deadliest incident was in southern Uruzgan province, where more than two dozen Afghan security forces were killed, according to local media reports corroborated by a provincial councillor.
Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry said that 98 civilians were killed and 230 others were injured by violence throughout Afghanistan in the past two weeks.
The surge in attacks comes in spite of peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government in the Gulf state of Qatar and as the world observes International Day of Peace.
The United States envoy for Afghan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, who orchestrated the talks, called the escalation regrettable.
“Over the last few days, there has been a clear rise in violence in Afghanistan,’’ Khalilzad tweeted.
The Chairman of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah, called on the Taliban to accept a ceasefire.
“Our homeland has been burning in war and conflict for more than 40 years and many lives have been lost in this endless war,’’ Abdullah said in a statement.
There is no doubt that people hate and are tired of the ongoing war and conflict in the country, he added.
Historic peace talks started on Sept. 12 in Doha, bringing together delegations from the warring sides for the first time in 19 years.
In spite of this, however, people in Afghanistan are killed every day.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Abdulfatah Babatunde
S/Africa seeks continent’s permanent representation at UN Security Council – Ramaphosa
South Africa advocates for the continent to have permanent representation on the UN Security Council, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday.
Ramaphosa said this ahead of his address for the high-level week of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly.
The 75th session of the General Assembly opened on Sept. 15. The high-level week will run from Monday until Sept. 29.
“We … need to strengthen bodies like the UN, ensure they are properly resourced and that they are representative.
“We must use this 75th anniversary to push ahead with the reform of the UN and particularly its Security Council, which does not give equal voice to the different regions of the world.
As South Africa, we will use our virtual presence in New York to continue to advocate for Africa – a continent of more than a billion people – to have permanent representation on the UN Security Council,” the statement read.
Earlier this year, a similar idea was voiced by Cairo.
In particular, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry proposed that two permanent seats be allocated to the African continent in the UN Security Council with full powers, including veto, following its reformation.
So far, there are five permanent members at the UN Security Council that have the right to veto — China, Russia, the United States, France and the UK.
The other 10 members of the UN body are non-permanent and elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly.
South Africa was elected as a non-permanent member for 2019 to 2020.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Sadiya Hamza