Friday October 18, 2019

International Team Arrives in Pakistan to Probe HIV Outbreak

But national and international experts were not satisfied with the investigations so far largely being carried out by experts from the University of Karachi

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AIDS, Indonesia, HIV
Students with their faces painted with messages pose during an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign to mark the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial, in Chandigarh, India, May 20, 2018. (VOA)

An international team, comprising experts from the World Health Organization (WHO), Center for Disease Control (CDC), Unicef and Unaids, will arrive in Pakistan on Tuesday to probe the latest HIV outbreak in Sindh province.

“Led-by Oliver Morgan, Director of Health Emergency Information and Risk Assessment, in the Health Emergencies Programme of WHO, a 12-member international team comprising experts from CDC Atlanta, Georgia, Unicef and Unaids is landing today in Karachi to investigate the root cause of the latest HIV outbreak in Ratodero area of Larkana”, an official of the WHO told The News International.

As of Monday, 700 people including 576 children were tested positive for HIV since the outbreak was first reported on April 25.

HIV patients take part in an awareness session at Pakistan Society, a nongovernmental organization drop-in center, in Karachi, Nov. 30, 2013. Pixabay

The Sindh health department blamed “quacks” or unqualified practitioners for reusing syringes which is one of the major source of HIV spread among the general population, especially children.

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But national and international experts were not satisfied with the investigations so far largely being carried out by experts from the University of Karachi.

Fearing a ‘foul play’ in the recent HIV outbreak in Larkana, officials associated with the international health organisations said that although the “reuse of syringes” was emerging as “most likely cause of HIV outbreak” in Larkana, epidemiologists both in Pakistan as well as around the globe were not “satisfied” and have several questions as to why such a large number of children are infected, which is an unusual pattern. (IANS)

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Pakistan Pushes Cyber Warfare Against India on Twitter

Using network analysis, research team discovered there was a significant level of activity from Pakistan related to #GoBackModi

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Cyber Warfare
Pakistan aggressively ups sinister propaganda against India on Twitter. Pixabay

Pakistan is aggressively pushing sinister propaganda against India via ramping up cyber warfare on Twitter, a new report said on Monday.

According to tech startup Logically AI, unscrupulous agents from Pakistan spread misinformation via #GobackModi campaign on Twitter during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Chennai.

Using network analysis, the research team discovered there was a significant level of activity from Pakistan related to #GoBackModi.

This involved Pakistan-based accounts posing as Tamil and Marathi accounts, and accounts along with bots engaging with authentic tweets to boost their engagement.

“Social media has become a hotbed for spreading ‘fake news’. These accounts are generally operated through fake profiles created cross borders. The primary objective to spread misinformation and disinformation through these accounts is to disturb the civil discourse,” Lyric Jain, Founder of Logically, said in a statement.

Cyber Warfare
Regarding Cyber Warfare, Twitter said that the company is committed to the principles of openness, transparency and impartiality and no one is above its rules. Pixabay

“This is the second instance where Logically was able to discover fake accounts that trace back to Pakistani IP addresses. Prior to this, during general elections, we had busted fake news and accounts which also originated from China and Pakistan,” Jain added.

According to Twitter, the company is committed to the principles of openness, transparency and impartiality and no one is above its rules.

“We enforce our policies judiciously and impartially for all individuals — regardless of their political beliefs, professional position or background,” a Twitter spokesperson told IANS.

Giving a befitting reply to Pakistan’s cyber warfare, Netizens in India trended “DontGoBackModi” as the Prime Minister met Jinping in Tamil Nadu’s Mamallapuram.

Earlier in August, Pakistan admitted that 333 Twitter accounts were suspended for writing on Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370.

Cyber Warfare
After Pakistan’s request, Twitter agreed to alert the Pakistan government before it suspends official accounts. Pixabay

The handles were suspended by Twitter following the objection by the Indian authorities in view of false and provocative content being disseminated through the accounts.

Pakistan’s Dawn reported in August that some 200 Twitter accounts were suspended for apparently posting about Kashmir. The claim came from journalists, activists, government officials and fans of the military tweeting.

After Pakistan’s request, Twitter agreed to alert the Pakistan government before it suspends official accounts.

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After abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution from Jammu & Kashmir on August 5, The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), public relations wing of the Pakistan armed forces, began spreading fake news related to Kashmir and sow seeds of discord among security forces and fuel hatred among citizens in India. (IANS)