Hundreds pray in Malaysia for missing Franco-Irish teen

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Members of Malaysian rescue team prepare for a search and rescue operation for the missing the 15-year-old Franco-Irish girl Nora Quoirin in Seremban on August 8, 2019. (AFP)
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People attend the Friday prayer dedicated for the safety and recovery of the missing 15-year-old Franco-Irish girl Nora Quoirin at a mosque near the search and rescue area in Seremban on August 9, 2019. (AFP)
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Royal Malaysian Police participate in a search and rescue operation for the missing 15-year-old Franco-Irish, Nora Quoirin in Seremban on August 8, 2019. (AFP)
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People attend the Friday prayer dedicated for the safety and recovery of the missing 15-year-old Franco-Irish girl Nora Quoirin at a mosque near the search and rescue area in Seremban on August 9, 2019. (AFP)
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A Royal Malaysian Police officer hands a poster to a motorist bearing a portrait of the missing 15-year-old Franco-Irish girl Nora Quoirin during a search and rescue operation in Seremban on August 9, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 10 August 2019

Hundreds pray in Malaysia for missing Franco-Irish teen

  • They have questioned around 20 people and are examining fingerprints found on a window pane

SEREMBAN, Malaysia: Hundreds of Muslims held a special prayer session Friday for a Franco-Irish teen who went missing from a Malaysian resort, as a massive search team scoured the jungle for a sixth day.
Nora Quoirin, a 15-year-old with learning difficulties, disappeared Sunday a day after checking into the resort with her London-based family.
They believe she was abducted, but police have classified it as a missing person case.
A search team of more than 260 people backed by helicopters, drones and sniffer dogs is poking through dense jungle next to the resort in southwestern Malaysia but have not found any trace of the teenager.
Some 300 people, many wearing Muslim prayer caps, knelt in prayer during a session dedicated to the teen at a mosque in a nearby town.
“What we’re doing today is to help our friends in the search effort,” said Mohamad Taufek Awaludin, who led the session.
“We hope that the family... will be patient. This is a test from Allah.”
Several police officers and firefighters were among the group. Roughly two-thirds of Malaysia’s 32 million inhabitants are Muslim.
Officials have played a recording of the girl’s mother, Meabh Quoirin, calling out “Nora, Nora darling, mummy’s here” through loudspeakers in the hope of drawing her out of the jungle, if she is still there.
Members of a special police commando unit arrived Friday to help in the search.
Senior police official Che Zakaria Othman conceded the search team had not uncovered any “concrete” clues about the girl’s disappearance.
But he added: “The security forces have not, to this day, given up.”
The daughter of a Franco-Irish couple, Nora went missing from the 12-acre (five-hectare) Dusun Resort, which lies near a forest reserve not far from Kuala Lumpur, in the foothills of a mountain range.
Her family says it would be extremely unusual for the reserved youngster to have wandered off on her own. While officially treating it as a missing person case, police say they have not ruled out other possibilities.
They have questioned around 20 people and are examining fingerprints found on a window pane.


UK to trial 5 new drugs in coronavirus fight

Updated 13 sec ago

UK to trial 5 new drugs in coronavirus fight

  • Drugs may reduce the need for intensive care treatment and the use of ventilators
  • The scientists are seeking hundreds of volunteers to take part in the trials for the new drugs

LONDON: British scientists are set to trial five new drugs in 30 hospitals across the country in the fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The scientists are seeking hundreds of volunteers to take part in the trials for the new drugs, which they hope will reduce the need for intensive care treatment and the use of ventilators.

The new drugs include Heparin, which is used for blood thinning, and new medicines in clinical trials for conditions including muscular, lung and blood disorders, which have been shown to hold other antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects.

The tests will include the new medicine Medi3506, an anti-inflammatory injection developed for skin disorders and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It has also been used in trials for asthma by its producer AstraZeneca.

The studies are part of the Accord (accelerating COVID-19 research and development) program, which includes large swathes of Britain’s scientific research and development community, including workers from the National Health Service (NHS), the National Institute for Health Research (NHIR) and the UK Research and Innovation body.

“We are looking for a signal of both safety and efficacy, something that could reduce the severity of the disease, shorten its duration and prevent patients going into the intensive care environment,” said Tom Wilkinson, a respiratory medicine professor and consultant and the Accord academic lead, from the NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre.

He added that the program is still searching for patients to join the trial, with few people currently signed up.

“These are small, rapidly deliverable studies if we get patients in, so we’re looking only to achieve around 60 patients for each arm of the trial to receive one of the drugs compared to usual standard of care,” he said.

The hospitals taking part in the trial include St. Thomas’ in London, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson was treated.

Other major hospitals in Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Leicester and Glasgow are also involved.

Coastal hospitals such as Southend are also participating amid concerns of new spikes emerging following crowded gatherings on beaches in recent weeks.