Trump offers Putin help with Siberian wildfires — Kremlin

Heavy smoke covers the center of the eastern Siberian city of Chita, Russia, Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019, as Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visits the region. Russian authorities have declared a state of emergency in five areas, including all of the Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk regions, which lie north of Mongolia. (AP)
Updated 01 August 2019

Trump offers Putin help with Siberian wildfires — Kremlin

  • The Kremlin said the two leaders had spoken by phone at Washington’s initiative
  • Putin ordered the Russian army to help firefighters battle the wildfires

MOSCOW: US President Donald Trump offered his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin help in putting out vast wildfires that are raging in Siberia, the Kremlin said late on Wednesday, a move it said Putin took as a sign that battered ties can be restored.
The Kremlin said the two leaders had spoken by phone at Washington’s initiative, hours after Putin ordered the Russian army to help firefighters battle the wildfires.
The fires have spread to around 3 million hectares of mostly remote forest, an area almost the size of Belgium, according to the Federal Forestry Agency, wafting smoke across Siberia and prompting several regions to declare states of emergency.
“The US president offered Russia cooperation in fighting forest fires in Siberia,” the Kremlin statement said.
“President Putin expressed his sincere gratitude for such an attentive attitude and for the offer of help and support.”
Putin told Trump that Moscow would take him up on his offer if necessary, the Kremlin said, adding: “The Russian president took this step from the US president as a sign that in the future we can restore full-scale ties between our two countries.”
Russia has long been keen to try to start rebuilding battered US-Russia relations, which remain strained by everything from Syria to Ukraine and allegations of Russian interference in US politics, which Moscow denies.
The two leaders agreed to continue their contacts over the phone and in face-to-face meetings, the Kremlin said.
The White House confirmed the two men had spoken by phone and said they had discussed the wildfires as well as trade between their two nations.


UK testing ibuprofen as coronavirus treatment

Updated 04 June 2020

UK testing ibuprofen as coronavirus treatment

  • Anti-inflammatory properties of the drug could treat breathing difficulties

LONDON: Scientists in London are running a drugs trial to test if ibuprofen is an effective treatment for hospital patients with COVID-19.

The teams at Guy’s and St. Thomas’s hospital and researchers from King’s College London believe that the anti-inflammatory properties of the drug could treat breathing difficulties.

Struggling with breathing, and the demand on ventilators in intensive care units, have been two major challenges regarding COVID-19. Researchers hope that the low-cost painkiller could reduce the reliance on ventilators.

The trial, called Liberate, will treat half the patients with ibuprofen on top of their usual care. The researchers will use a special formulation of ibuprofen that some people already take for arthritis.

Previous studies in animals have shown that it might treat acute respiratory distress syndrome, which is one of the complications caused by severe COVID-19 infections.

Prof. Mitul Mehta from the King’s College London team said: “We need to do a trial to show that the evidence actually matches what we expect to happen.”

At the onset of the pandemic, there were concerns that ibuprofen would aggravate the infection, with French Health Minister Oliver Veran advising patients to take paracetamol instead.