Tokyo cancels flights, trains ahead of Typhoon Faxai

Typhoon Faxai, a woman’s name in Lao, could dump as much as 300 millimeters of rain in the next 24 hours. (File/AFP)
Updated 08 September 2019

Tokyo cancels flights, trains ahead of Typhoon Faxai

  • National broadcaster NHK warned that high-speed winds could fell power lines and damage homes
  • Heavy rains could trigger flooding and landslides

TOKYO: Japan braced for Typhoon Faxai on Sunday canceling trains and flights in Tokyo with destructive winds of up to 216 kph (134 mph) and heavy rain expected to hit the region overnight, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.
Faxai, a woman’s name in Lao, could dump as much as 300 millimeters of rain in the next 24 hours, said the agency.
“Winds and rains could pick up suddenly, causing severe storms at sea, and there is a risk of record-breaking winds in the capital and other regions,” it said on its website.
National broadcaster NHK warned that high-speed winds could fell power lines and damage homes, while heavy rains could trigger flooding and landslides.
In preparation, the Central Japan Railway company said it would cancel or suspend around 50 bullet train services between Tokyo and Osaka from 0900 GMT and warned of the possibility of additional delays and destination changes due to the storm.
Japan Airlines it had canceled around 20 flights to and from Tokyo’s two airports on Sunday, and warned of more cancelations and delays.
ANA Holdings said it had canceled all flights on Sunday to Hachijojima, a small island located around 300 km (186 miles) south of Tokyo, adding that some flights to and from Tokyo may be delayed or canceled on Sunday and Monday.


Sanofi offers 100 million doses of hydroxychloroquine in coronavirus fight

Updated 10 April 2020

Sanofi offers 100 million doses of hydroxychloroquine in coronavirus fight

  • Proposals to put hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to use immediately for more patients have proven highly controversial

PARIS: French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi said Friday it would offer 100 million doses of hydroxychloroquine, a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, to governments worldwide if studies show it can safely to be used to treat COVID-19 patients.
Both hydroxychloroquine, which Sanofi sells under the brand name Plaquenil, and the related compound chloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, are being studied worldwide as potential weapons in the coronavirus fight.
But proposals to put them to use immediately for more patients have proven highly controversial, with many experts warning there is not yet enough evidence of their safety or effectiveness against COVID-19.
A French doctor in particular, Didier Raoult, has raised hopes by treating patients with a combination of hydroxychloroquine (HQC) and the antibiotic azithromycin, an initiative that many health officials refuse to endorse in the absence of more rigorous studies.
On Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron met Raoult and his team in Marseille to discuss their latest findings, though the president did not comment publicly on the meeting afterward.
Sanofi acknowledged that “interpretations of the available preliminary data on hydroxychloroquine in the management of COVID-19 differ widely.
“While hydroxychloroquine is generating a lot of hope for patients around the world, it should be remembered that there are no results from ongoing studies, and the results may be positive or negative.”
But chief executive Paul Hudson said in a statement, “If the trials prove positive, we hope our donation will play a critical role for patients.”
Other companies have also pledged to offer the drugs, with Switzerland’s Novartis proposing 130 million doses of chloroquine, and Israeli generic producer Teva promising 10 million doses of HQC for US hospitals.
Sanofi is also working on a potential vaccine for the new coronavirus, which has killed more than 94,000 people worldwide since cases were first reported in China last December.