Detailed guide: Day 2 and day 8 testing for international arrivals: minimum standards for providers

first_img3. The test device must be permitted to be put into service in accordance with part 4 of the Medical Devices Regulations 2002, other than solely by virtue of regulation 39(2) of those regulations.This requirement is to ensure that the testing device has a CE marking (or, following the UK’s exit from the European Union, a UK marking) and do not benefit from a derogation from those standards.A CE mark is a logo that is placed on in vitro diagnostic (IVD) medical device to show that it conforms to the requirements of the In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices Directive 98/79/EC. A CE mark shows that the testing device is fit for its intended purpose stated and meets legislative requirements relating to safety.From 1 January 2021, a test with a UKCA mark can be used. Tests with a CE mark can be used until July 2023.Further information is available on: The laboratory completing the self-declaration will self-declare on behalf of themselves and all of the organisations they’re working with to provide these tests. You will need to list all organisations that you will be working with (whether by sub-contract or otherwise) in order to carry out this service. You will also need to list any organisations you will be working with (whether by sub-contract or otherwise) to carry out genomic sequencing.If you wish to change the list of organisations you are working with to provide the service and/or genomic sequencing, you will need to notify the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) of the nature of the arrangement and the name of this organisation.Minimum standards that apply to day 2 and day 8 tests1. Requirement for a medical director and healthcare scientistThe provider of the test must have a designated resourced role that has oversight and approval of medical practices undertaken by the provider and responsibility for reporting medical issues. The individual must be a registered medical practitioner ‒ registered with the General Medical Council.The provider must also have a designated resourced role that has oversight of clinical practices undertaken by the provider and responsibility for reporting clinical issues. The individual must be a registered medical practitioner or a healthcare scientist, registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. The same individual may fulfil both roles (medical and clinical), providing they are duly registered.2. Requirement for effective system of clinical governanceThe provider of the test must have an effective system of clinical governance in place, which includes appropriate standard operating procedures in relation to the carrying out of the tests being provided for mandatory testing for international arrivals.For example: the date of their arrival in the UK their coach number, flight number or vessel name (as appropriate) the date on which they last departed from or transited through a country or territory outside the common travel area the country or territory they were travelling from when they arrived in the UK, and any country or territory they transited through as part of that journey from 6 April 2021, the sample specimen ID number from 6 April 2021, whether the test was for day 2, day 8 or Test to Release Specifically, the assay must have been independently validated as having the required sensitivity and specificity using at least 150 positive clinical samples and 250 negative clinical samples against a laboratory-based RT-PCR test that is itself within the within the performance specification of the MHRA TPP for laboratory based SARS-COV-2 PCR tests. The viral load of the 150 positive samples should span the dynamic range of the assay in equal proportions (high, medium and low CT values).Independent validation must have been conducted, no more than 18 months before the test is provided, by one of: you get symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) – get an NHS coronavirus (COVID-19) test from www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test and self-isolate until you get the results you’re going into hospital (self-isolating until the date you go in) someone you live with tests positive you have been traced as a contact of someone who tested positive CE marking UKCA marking in-vitro diagnostic medical devices 4. Reporting of coronavirus test results, as a notifiable diseaseThe provider must have a system in place for reporting positive, negative and inconclusive test results cases in accordance with their obligations under public health legislation. All results of tests for this purpose must be reported within 24 hours of them becoming available.More information is available in PHE guidance on the reporting of notifiable diseases.At booking, the provider (or sub-contractor, if relevant) will need to have a system in place to collect the following data fields from international arrivals: full name sex date of birth NHS number (if known and applicable) ethnicity home address, including postcode, and the address at which they intend to quarantine (if different) email address telephone number vaccination status Together with data required to be reported under public health legislation, the provider (or their subcontractor, if relevant) will need to have a system in place to collect from the international arrival and report the following additional data fields: clear governance and lines of accountability such as senior responsible officer, clinical lead, quality lead, training lead staff are appropriately trained and there is evidence of competency assessment and participation in relevant external quality assessment (EQA) liability and indemnity cover for staff for laboratory testing, a verification report for the laboratory element of the test (known as the assay), in line with national protocols (for laboratory-based testing) information management systems to monitor sample delivery and tracking systems to meet the provisions for handling, transportation and analysis of test samples for laboratory testing, working to containment level CL3 or CL2+ with Health and Safety Executive (HSE) approval systems, processes and record management to support the delivery of safe and reliable service process that data for a purpose that would be incompatible with the purpose for which the data was initially collected. Further processing the data for your own commercial or research objectives are examples of an incompatible purpose in these circumstances DHSC will issue the provider with a unique booking reference prefix for day 2 and day 8 testing during onboarding to the GOV.UK list.10. Issuance of booking referenceFrom 6 April 2021, providers must only issue a booking reference to a customer once payment has been taken.11. Sub-contractors or organisations you are working withIf the test provider arranges with another provider or person (for example a sub-contractor) to carry out any element of the single end-to-end testing service on their behalf, the test provider must ensure that such person complies with the necessary requirements as relevant to the carrying out of that element of the service. This must result in the full end-to-end process meeting all of the relevant minimum standards.12. Notification of test result: providers must issue the result of tests in a set notification which instructs the international arrival on whether they are required to quarantineForm A: negative test resultYour coronavirus (COVID-19) test result is negative. You did not have the virus when the test was done.If you took the test on day 2 of your quarantine you must continue to quarantine until you have completed the 10-day quarantine period and received a negative test result for a test taken on day 8. If you took the test on day 8 you may stop quarantine when you have completed your 10-day quarantine period.You should self-isolate again if: a 5-letter prefix unique to the provider, followed by a 7-digit suffix unique to the booking made by the international arrival specificity greater than 95% (or 95% 2-sided confidence interval entirely above 90%) sensitivity greater than 95% (or 95% 2-sided confidence interval entirely above 90%) limit of detection less or equal to 1,000 SARS-CoV-2 copies per millilitre (≤1000 Copies/ml) clinical sensitivity greater than 99% (or 95% 2-sided confidence interval entirely above 97%), and clinical specificity greater than 99% (or 95% 2-sided confidence interval entirely above 97%) limit of detection less than or equal to 1,000 SARS-CoV-2 copies per millilitre (≤1000 Copies/ml) an independent laboratory which is accredited by UKAS to ISO 15189 or ISO/IEC 17025 for detection of SARS-Cov-2 virus RNA (an ‘independent laboratory’ is one that is independent of both the test manufacturer and the laboratory for which the validation is being conducted – i.e. the laboratory that will be sending this validation to DHSC through the self-declaration process) a scientific committee which is overseen by DHSC, including the Technologies Validation Group retain that data for longer than is necessary in order to fulfil your role as a test provider operating in accordance with these standards Providers must be or use a United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) accredited or applicant laboratory to ISO 15189 or ISO/IEC 17025 (Medical Laboratories – requirements for quality and competence) for the performance of molecular methods. Providers must be or use a UKAS accredited or applicant laboratory to ISO 15189 or ISO/IEC 17025 for genome sequencing. Additionally, samples must be taken by a provider (or sub-contractor, if relevant) who is UKAS accredited or an applicant to ISO standard ISO15189 or ISO/IEC 17025. AcceptableTransport of sample from collection point to test site at 4°C using standard cold box systems in virus transport medium (VTM) within 6 hours.Use a standard flock or sponge swab designed for PCR.Purpose designed and validated swab and VTM kits should be used by test providers.More information is available.The courier should maintain and evidence the storage conditions, including temperature logging. For day 2 tests, the following additional data must also be reported by the laboratory conducting genome sequencing: PreferredTransfer of the original extract used for the PCR should be frozen at -20°C.The provider should maintain and evidence the storage conditions, including temperature logging. UKAS accreditation provides an assurance of the competence, impartiality and integrity of laboratories. This accreditation is an important element in establishing and maintaining confidence in a testing service.For polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or other lab-based testing, all samples must be processed by a UKAS accredited or applicant laboratory (the laboratory is accredited or has applied for UKAS accreditation but has not yet achieved it) and have quality management systems operating according to ISO 15189 or ISO/IEC 17025. Samples must also be taken by or under the written instruction of, a provider (and their sub-contractors, if relevant) that is applicant to ISO 15189 or ISO/IEC 17025. This requirement does not prevent issue of tests which are self-swabbed or self-administered since those samples would be taken under written instruction from the person responsible for taking the samples.UKAS appraisal status (‘stage 2’) became mandatory for commercial providers coronavirus (COVID-19) testing on 31 January 2021, or 4 weeks after they become a UKAS applicant and have self-declared on the gov.uk website confirming they meet minimum requirements. UKAS appraisal status is an assessment of compliance with the minimum requirements published by DHSC for fulfilment of stage 2. UKAS accreditation (‘stage 3’), which is full accreditation to the relevant ISO standard, will become mandatory for commercial coronavirus (COVID-19) testing by 1 July 2021, or 4 months after they have gained UKAS stage 2 appraisal status.2. Use of tests that meet minimum performance characteristicsThe provider must use established molecular detection methods that have been independently validated by a laboratory with a UKAS accredited SARS-COV-2 RT-PCR method, or an ISO15189 or ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratory with the following performance characteristics as a minimum: Providers must be or use a UKAS accredited or applicant laboratory to either ISO 15189 (Medical Laboratories – requirements for quality and competence) or ISO/IEC 17025 (General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories) for the performance of molecular methods. Additionally, samples must be taken by a provider (or sub-contractor, if relevant) who is UKAS accredited or an applicant to ISO standard ISO15189 or ISO/IEC17025. Further guidance explaining how both virus and antibody tests work has been published by the MHRA.3. Use of tests that are suitable for identification of SARS-COV-2 variantsThe assay must be semi quantitative and include a minimum of 2 distinguishable SARS-COV-2 gene targets not including S gene or performance reference controls.4. Date tests can be provided or administeredProviders may only provide or administer the day 8 tests to international arrivals on or after the eighth full day of their isolation period. The provider should base the start of the isolation period on the day the international arrivals arrives in England as declared on their booking form, meaning that the day of arrival is day 0.Tests delivered to managed quarantine facilities must be self-swabbed.5. Turnaround timeThe provider should endeavour to provide test results within 48 hours of sampling. 14. Self-swabbing tests for individuals in managed quarantine facilitiesProvider must provide self-swabbing tests to individuals in managed quarantine facilities.Minimum standards specific to day 2 tests1. Provider accreditation requirements IntroductionAll international arrivals to England must quarantine for 10 days, unless they have a job that qualifies for an exemption.All international arrivals in quarantine are required to take a test on or before day 2 (of their quarantine period), for variant surveillance, and a test on or after day 8 (of their quarantine period).Private providers may provide tests for day 2 and day 8 testing for international arrivals travelling from countries that do not have a travel ban (non ‘red list’ countries).From 26 April, private providers may provide tests for day 2 and day 8 testing for international arrivals who have been in or transited through a ‘red list’ country in the 10 days before their arrival.By law, all tests privately provided on day 2 and day 8 for international arrivals must meet minimum standards as outlined in the guidance below. The first section sets out minimum standards that apply for both day 2 and day 8 tests. The second section sets out additional specific standards for day 2 tests and the third section sets out additional specific standards for day 8 tests.International arrivals who have arrived from countries that do not have a travel ban, non ‘red list’ countries, will still be able to opt in to Test to Release for international travel to shorten their quarantine period. Providers for Test to Release must also meet certain minimum standards.Self-declarationProviders must also complete a declaration that their tests meet all of these standards. All SARS-CoV-2 genomes must have minimal sequencing coverage of 50% at >= 30x coverage. For samples with a CT <20, defined as viral genome copy number equivalent of <1,000,000 viral genome copies per ml, 95% of samples should have a reference genome coverage breadth of>97% at >=30x coverage. For CT above 20, defined as viral genome copy number equivalent of >1,000 per ml, 95% of samples should have a reference genome coverage breadth of >75% at >=30x coverage. UKAS accreditation provides an assurance of the competence, impartiality and integrity of laboratories. This accreditation is an important element in establishing and maintaining confidence in a testing service.For PCR or other lab-based testing, all samples must be processed by a UKAS accredited or applicant laboratory (the laboratory has is accredited or has applied for UKAS accreditation but has not yet achieved it) and have quality management systems operating according to ISO 15189 and/or ISO/IEC 17025. Samples must also be taken by or under the written instruction of, a provider (and their sub-contractors, if relevant) that is applicant to ISO 15189 and/ or ISO/IEC 17025. This requirement does not prevent issue of tests which are self-swabbed or self-administered since those samples would be taken under written instruction from the person responsible for taking the samples.UKAS appraisal status (‘stage 2’) became mandatory for commercial providers COVID-19 testing on 31 January 2021, or 4 weeks after they become a UKAS applicant and have self-declared on the gov.uk website confirming they meet minimum requirements. UKAS appraisal status is an assessment of compliance with the minimum requirements published by DHSC for fulfilment of stage 2. UKAS accreditation (‘stage 3’), which is full accreditation to the relevant ISO standard, will become mandatory for commercial COVID-19 testing by 1 July 2021, or 4 months after they have gained UKAS stage 2 appraisal status.2. Use of tests that meet minimum performance characteristicsThe provider must use test devices with extracted molecular methods that have the following performance characteristics as a minimum: Further guidance explaining how both virus and antibody tests work has been published by the MHRA.3. Use of tests that are suitable for identification of SARS-COV-2 variantsThe assay must be semi quantitative and include a minimum of 2 distinguishable SARS-COV-2 gene targets not including S gene or performance reference controls.The assay should amplify more than one gene target in distinct regions and each gene target must be identifiable as a separate CT value or equivalent.Must include routine in silico assurance against variants of concern.The supplier should perform a minimum biweekly check of the amplification region and primer probes against new variants of concern reported by GISAID or Public Health England and report (within 48 hours) new variants that impact on the amplification target region, including primers, probs and amplicon.The test solution must provide extracted nucleic acid that is suitable for whole genome sequencing using a specified method.4. Targeted sequencing methodsSequencing shall be performed using a targeted sequencing method specific to SARS-CoV-2 or equivalent amplicon or sequence bait capture methods.An amplicon is defined as an amplified product of a PCR reaction.Sequence bait capture is defined a method for enriching a sample for a target of interest before sequencing using long single stranded nucleotide sequence ‘baits’ that bind to complementary sequence in the target.5. Data provision to MHRA confirming variant sequencing capabilityThe provider should ensure test manufacturers are providing data to the MHRA demonstrating the suitability of the device for identifying SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern.6. Sequencing of samples with a <30 CT valueAll samples with cycle threshold (CT) values of <30 (defined as equivalent to ~10,000-1,000 viral genome copies/ml) must be sequenced.7. Coverage of genome sequencingThe percentage of target bases which should have been sequenced for a given number of times is set out below, as the coverage breadth: This self-declaration must only be completed by laboratories that will be conducting diagnostic test evaluation for mandatory coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for international arrivals. In addition, test devices must have been independently validated as having a sensitivity of at least 95% and a specificity of at least 95% for at least 150 positive clinical samples and 250 negative clinical samples against a RT-PCR test that is itself within the within the performance specification of the MHRA TPP for laboratory based SARS-COV-2 PCR tests. The viral load of the 150 positive samples should span the dynamic range of the assay in equal proportions (high, medium and low CT values).Independent validation must have been conducted, no more than 18 months before the test is provided, by one of: Definitions of VOCs and VUIs can be found in the PHE variant guidance.5. Reporting test salesYou must complete a daily report that details your cumulative test sales for each date covering the following 14 days. Test bundle sales should be reported by the traveller’s date of arrival in England. If, from 6 April, an international arrival only purchases a day 2 test this can be reported as a single sale.This will need to be filled in by each customer facing provider that is selling tests directly to international arrivals. If you are a laboratory selling tests directly to the public, you will also be required to fill in the number of tests you have sold directly to international arrivals for this purpose.These reports will be required daily through the DHSC live form, provided to testing providers who meet minimum standards.This information will not be used for any commercial purposes.6. Relevant systems in place to report adverse test incidentsThe provider must be able to demonstrate that it has systems in place to identify any adverse incidents or quality control issues in respect of the test device and be able to report them in a timely manner to the relevant regulatory body. Medicines & Healthcare productsRegulatory Agency (MHRA) has a dedicated coronavirus (COVID-19) yellow card portal to report adverse incidents with medicines, medical devices and diagnostics.7. Use of age-appropriate test devicesThe test device should be age-appropriate, so it should be suitable to administer or provide a test to a person of the same age as the international arrival.8. Sales of testsDay 2 and day 8 tests may be sold separately from 6 April for international arrivals staying for fewer than 10 days, or as a single bundle including the day 2 and day 8 test. Where a test kit is broken, is not delivered or gives an inconclusive or invalid test result, the provider should offer a replacement test.Genome sequencing must be included within the cost of any product that contains day 2 testing.9. Reference number formatAt the time the test bundle is booked, the test provider must provide a single test reference number to the person booking the test. If the provider sells multiple bundles to one person, each bundle will require its own booking reference.From 6 April 2021, the booking reference must be in the format of: an independent laboratory which is accredited by UKAS to ISO 15189 or ISO/IEC 17025 for detection of SARS-Cov-2 virus RNA (an ‘independent laboratory’ is one that is independent of both the test manufacturer and the laboratory for which the validation is being conducted - i.e. the laboratory that will be sending this validation to DHSC through the self-declaration process) a scientific committee which is overseen by DHSC, including the Technologies Validation Group. 8. Upload of BAM filesFor sequenced samples, the provider must report a sorted BAM file containing all reads aligning to the SARS-CoV-2 reference genome with unaligned reads removed and human reads removed.Upload of BAM files for sequenced samples will be required from 15 March.Further information will be provided on reporting BAM files to PHE shortly.9. Preservation and transport of test materialProvider must preserve and transport test material to support sequencing. Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing: guidance for employers and third-party healthcare providers ICO FAQs 10. Removal of human readsProvider must have a process in place to remove human reads from any data submitted to a public repository.11. Availability of samples for dual sequencingThe provider must make samples available for dual sequencing on the request of NHS Test and Trace or the COVID-19 UK Genomics Consortium (COG-UK) and partake in assurance processes on request.12. Date tests can be provided or administeredProviders must administer the tests to international arrivals within the first 2 days of their isolation period. The provider should base the start of the isolation period on the day the international arrival arrives in England as declared on their booking form, meaning that the day of arrival is day 0.Tests delivered to managed quarantine facilities must be self-swabbed.13. Turnaround timeThe provider should report the viral genome within 72 hours of sample collection.14. Requirement for a bioinformaticianThe provider should have a bioinformatician supervising genome sequencing. The same individual that fulfils the medical director and/or clinical oversight roles may also fulfil this role.Minimum standards specific to day 8 tests1. Provider accreditation requirements It is for you to satisfy yourself, taking legal advice as necessary, that you have met all the relevant legal and regulatory requirements relating to data protection. However, you will want to take full account of the fact that the processing of an individual’s health data is subject to additional levels of protection by Article 9 of the GDPR and can only be disclosed where it is necessary and proportionate for one of the specific purposes set out in that Article.You are also reminded that you run a risk of breaching Article 5 of the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 and being subject to significant regulatory penalties if, having obtained health data from an individual under these standards, you: from 6 April 2021, the same sample specimen ID number reported by the diagnostic laboratory whether a variant of concern (VOC) has been identified whether a variant under investigation (VUI) has been identified For advice on when you might need to self-isolate and what to do, go to www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19 and read ‘Self-isolation and treating symptoms’.It’s a legal requirement to quarantine when you arrive in England. If you are contacted by the enforcement authorities or the police after you have received this negative result please show them this notification.Form B: positive test resultYour coronavirus test result is positive. You had the virus when the test was done.Even if you have not had symptoms of coronavirus, you must self-isolate for 10 days from the day after your test date. Your test sample may be genome sequenced to check whether you have a virus variant of concern.People you live with or are travelling with should also self-isolate for 10 days from the day after you took a test.If you received a positive test result for the test taken on or before day 2, you do not need to take the day 8 test. People you are travelling with must still take a day 8 test.You may be contacted for contact tracing and to check that you, and those who you live or are travelling with, are self-isolating.You must not travel, including to leave the UK, during self-isolation.Contact 111 if you need medical help. In an emergency dial 999.Form C: unclear test resultYour coronavirus test result is unclear. It is not possible to say if you had the virus when the test was done.You must take another test or self-isolate for 10 days from the day after your test date.You may be contacted to check that you are self-isolating.13. Compliant with all legal and regulatory requirements, for sample collection, processing and sharing of results including the requirements of data protection legislationThe Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has set out FAQs on data collection and data protection relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) that provide further information, including GDPR considerations:last_img read more

Flexible Fabinho eases burden on Liverpool’s injury-hit defence

first_imgFabinho had played at right-back, where he has recently started for Brazil, and as a defensive midfielder for the Ligue 1 side, where he caught Klopp’s eye.Yet the German also saw his potential as providing cover in the centre-half positions, an observation that became particularly important at Brighton.Alongside the immaculate Van Dijk, Fabinho turned in a mature display as Liverpool kept a 13th clean sheet in 22 Premier League games to maintain an important four-point cushion over their closest rivals Manchester City.“Some weeks ago, I knew this could be an option because we had some players out injured and we only had two centre-backs available,” Fabinho told the Liverpool website.“When Dejan got injured, I knew it would be logical that I’d play in that position.“I had some training sessions playing in that position, which helped me adapt better and pick up certain aspects, like positioning and movements you need to be natural at to play in this position.”Fabinho had to be patient to make an impact on the Premier League.Not until late October at struggling Huddersfield did Klopp hand him his league debut off the bench and a first start followed a week later against Cardiff in his more natural midfield role.But the Brazilian has since started a further eight league games and his adaptability and versatility suggests he will have a considerable role to play in Liverpool’s bid for honours both in the Premier League and Champions League with Van Dijk suspended for the first leg of their last-16 tie against Bayern Munich next month.str/kca/jcShare on: WhatsApp Liverpool, United Kingdom | AFP | An untimely series of injuries to defenders has left Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp short-handed at the back as he tries to keep the Premier League leaders on track for a first title in 29 years at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday.Right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold joined a growing injury list with a knee problem picked up in the warm-up ahead of last weekend’s 1-0 win at Brighton that could keep the English international out for up to a month.Centre-backs Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip are still working their way back to fitness, while the decision to let Nathaniel Clyne leave on loan to Bournemouth earlier this month has been questioned.However, Klopp has been able to rely on the versatility of summer signing Fabinho to cover both at the heart of defence alongside the commanding Virgil van Dijk, and at right-back.The 25-year-old, signed for nearly £40 million ($51 million) from Monaco, took his time to adapt to English football, something Klopp predicted would happen as far back as July when Fabinho made his pre-season debut against non-league Chester.But recent weeks have shown that Klopp’s vision for Fabinho to serve as a vital and versatile cog in his championship-challenging squad have come to fruition.“Fabinho is a brilliant player. To have a good footballer in that position when you have the ball is great,” said Klopp.“He has a defensive brain and can play in a lot of positions.”last_img read more

Trump Says DOJ Should “Rescue” Kavanaugh After New Allegation

first_imgChristine Blasey Ford, a California professor and the first Kavanaugh accuser to come forward, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he sexually assaulted her at a party when they were teenagers. Kavanaugh also denied that allegation.Trump said at the time that Kavanaugh was “under assault.”Conservatives largely supported Kavanaugh, who was confirmed in October to take former Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat after a 50-48 Senate vote. President Donald Trump is asking the Justice Department to “rescue” Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, after The New York Times published an excerpt from a new book detailing alleged sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh, which he has already denied.The excerpt from “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation,” written by Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, revisits an allegation by Deborah Ramirez that was raised during Kavanaugh’s confirmation process last year.Ramirez accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her at a party at Yale University, which Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied.The book also contains a new allegation made to Pogrebin and Kelly by a former male classmate who allegedly told the FBI and senators about an incident he witnessed.Trump tweeted Sunday:last_img read more

Harlequin Productions Taking Applications for Non-Profit Community Partners

first_imgFacebook8Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Harlequin ProductionsHarlequin Productions is taking applications now through October 31, 2014 for their Community Partnership Program 2015. Non-profit partners receive 150 tickets to Harlequin Productions’ final dress rehearsals, which they may sell as a fundraiser or give as thank you gifts to donors or volunteers. The intention is to provide a win-win for our non-profit partner and Harlequin Productions.Our non-profit partner gets an opportunity to raise money or to thank their generous donors or dedicated volunteers. In return, Harlequin’s cast and crew will benefit greatly by having a full audience for its final dress rehearsal.The non-profit pays a minimal fee in the amount of $200 and commits to filling their allotted seats. Five final dress slots are available in our 2015 season, commencing with The 39 Steps which opens January 22, 2015.For more information or to sign up, visit www.harlequinproductions.org/outreach.last_img read more

Fabregas ban reduced to one match following ‘bizarre’ red card

first_imgChelsea playmaker Cesc Fabregas has had his three-match ban reduced to just one, with Chelsea successfully arguing the initial punishment was excessive following his ‘bizarre’ sending off against West Brom.The Spain midfielder was shown a straight red card in Monday’s 3-0 defeat at the Hawthorns after kicking the ball against Chris Brunt’s head during a break in play.He will now only miss Sunday’s final day clash against Sunderland, when champions Chelsea will lift the Premier League trophy at Stamford Bridge.A statement from Chelsea read: “The standard sanction would have been a three-match suspension.“However, following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing earlier today, the club’s claim that a three-match suspension is excessive was successful.“Fabregas will therefore now only miss our final game of the season against Sunderland on Sunday and will be available for selection from the start of the 2015/16 campaign.”Fabregas was dismissed after a seemingly harmless 20-yard punt hit Brunt on the head while referee Mike Jones spoke to Gareth McAuley and Diego Costa after they grappled in the area.A stumped Jose Mourinho questioned the referee’s decision, saying following the game: “I really don’t understand, a three game ban for this? Jesus Christ!“Harsh? Of course it’s harsh! Three games? Jesus. Where is the danger of the situation, where is the aggression in the situation to get the red card?”A statement from the Football Association on Wednesday read: “A claim by Chelsea that the three-match suspension for Cesc Fabregas is excessive has been upheld by an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing.“Fabregas was dismissed for violent conduct during the West Bromwich Albion FC v Chelsea FC fixture on 18 May. The Regulatory Commission has reduced the Chelsea midfielder’s suspension to one match, to be served with immediate effect.” 1 Chelsea playmaker Cesc Fabregas last_img read more

Chelsea ‘will loan De Bruyne to Southampton’

first_imgChelsea will loan Kevin de Bruyne to Southampton so he can gain Premier League experience, The Sun report.De Bruyne, 20, was signed from Genk for £7m in January and is tipped to join the newly promoted Saints.FC Twente defender Douglas, who is said to be a target for Chelsea, believes Newcastle are looking to sign him.The 24-year-old Brazilian told NuSport: “Five clubs are interested and there’s a bigger club than Newcastle. I cannot still say anything about it, but I hope soon to have my new club.”Meanwhile, the Daily Star report that out-of-contract midfielder Danny Murphy is set to sign a new contract at Fulham.French media have reported that QPR are interested in Bordeaux left-back Benoit Tremoulinas.The 26-year-old, apparently rated at £10m, has two years of his current contract left to run and is said to want to move to England.The Daily Mail say Rangers are keen on former Everton and Portsmouth midfielder Manuel Fernandes, who is potentially available on a free transfer after a contract dispute with BesiktasThe Mail also say QPR captain Joey Barton is confident he will not be charged after being arrested following an incident in Liverpool over the Bank Holiday weekend.The Sun suggest Barton will be sacked by the club if he is found guilty. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Two thumbs up for Midmar Mile

first_img11 February 2008Despite rainy weather throughout Saturday, the 2008 Midmar Mile weekend was a roaring success, with excellent racing, fun and drama, slickly put together into a professional package that kept competitors and spectators well entertained at the world’s largest open water swimming event.A significantly upgraded commentary set-up worked brilliantly. For the first time, big screen televisions covered the action at both the start and finish. Race commentary was provided by people at the start, top swimming coaches in boats on the water, the pilot of a helicopter over the dam, and more commentators at the finish.Besides being broadcast over a far-reaching sound-system, the commentary also went out on 100.5 FM over a 30-kilometre radius around the Midmar Dam.Into focusWith the massive fields of swimmers out in the dam, causing splashes reminiscent of a sardine run on the KwaZulu-Natal coast, the comprehensive coverage of the event helped bring into focus the action in the water, at the start and at the finish. Outstanding!The introduction of the Mr Price timing chip played a massive role in making the job of the commentators an easy one. Identifying swimmers, with each of them wearing caps, is not an easy job, but a quick glance at a number and running it through a computer made matters relatively easy.As competitors crossed the timing mats at the finish, their times and names became available, which allowed the commentators to personalise their comments.Ultimately, it made for a warm and feel-good production which made everyone a part of the event.Men’s titleThe primary men’s title, in the category 14-30 years, was claimed by open water swimming star Shaun Dias in a fantastic sprint finish across the timing mat, just ahead of Chad Ho.Dias went out fast from the start, picking up hotspots wins as the 400 metres, 800m, and 1 200m marks. The final 400 metres, however, saw Ho drawing up alongside Dias to match him stroke for stroke as the finish drew near.On the banks, the crowds edged closer to the water, excitement palpable in the air, to watch the drama unfold. Dias was first to his feet, fractionally ahead of Ho. Both immediately turned on the afterburners in a race for the line, with Dias winning in 19:05, only one second ahead of Ho.Visiting Hungarian swimmer Csabo Gersack captured third place in 19:19.Women’s championVictory in the women’s 14-30 went Hungary’s way as Erika Hajnal out-duelled South Africa’s Melissa Corfe to win in her first go at the Midmar Mile.There were shades of 2007 as Hajnal adopted a similar line to the one used by Australia’s Melissa Gorman when she won a year earlier.Corfe took up a line that was as much as 100 metres apart from Hajnal but, after realising the Hungarian was on a better course, she moved inwards in an effort to close the gap. It was too late.Despite a furious finishing burst by Corfe, she couldn’t catch Hajnal, who won in 20:27, three seconds ahead of the South African. Melanie Greyling took third place in 21:48.CharityMembers of the 8-Mile Club, including three-time winner Gareth Fowler, two-time champion Terence Parkin and former Springbok prop Adrian Garvey, completed every race in their distinctive gold caps as they raised money for charity.The Game Charity Challenge swimmers were also prominent with their pink caps as they too swam for charity. In the company relay, 87 swimmers from Game Stores took to the water, with Game donating R1 000 for each swimmer that took part.Event one on Saturday decided a number of titles, including those of the Ironman and Ironwoman. The Ironman/Ironwoman is made up of the previous year’s Comrades Marathon, the Dusi Canoe Marathon, and the Midmar Mile, while the biathlon part of the competition includes the Midmar Mile and Dusi Canoe Marathon, as well as the Midmar Mile and the Comrades Marathon.Ironman titlesRoy Delhove claimed the Ironman title, including all three events, while Kerry Koen was crowned women’s champion.The men’s Ironman biathlon title, including the Comrades and Midmar Mile, went the way of Bruce Gore, while Kerry Koen was again the winner among the women.The Ironman biathlon title, including the Dusi and Midmar Mile, saw Dusi great Hank McGregor top among the men and Angela Scrooby coming out on top among the ladies.Gareth Fowler led Terence Parkin across the finishing line.Included in the field were 30 swimmers from the Sobantu development programme, a success story which was started thanks to the support of the Midmar Mile and the organising club, Pietermaritzburg Seals.Team relaysUnilever Wave defended their title in the company relay, with Brett Clark leading their challenge by finishing third behind 8-Milers’ Fowler and Parkin, who weren’t officially in the running for victory.Event three, the non-company relay, is closely watched as an indicator of the form of the leading swimmers ahead of the main men’s and women’s races on Sunday.Charl van Zyl took victory in 19:45, ahead of JC Thompson and Wesley Gilchrist, but perhaps the most telling result was Melissa Corfe ending sixth overall, the first woman across the line, in 20:05.USN-Spike retained their title.Family relayThe final event on Saturday, the family relay, was won by the Dias family, with Shaun taking first, Paul fifth, and Gareth sixth.Courtney and Kirsten Mower, part of the defending champion team, put the pressure on by ending second and third respectively, with Connie and Caitlyn Mower finishing a little way back to ensure the Mower family finished as runners-up.True magicIt was at the back end of the family relay that the true magic of the Midmar Mile was revealed. Watching spouses, siblings, parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, exiting the water together, with mile-wide smiles, pride and love plastered across their features was lump-in-the throat theatre.Here and there messages in marking pens were written on swimmers’ bodies: “4 mum + dad”, “4 dad-zn”, and other more humourous offerings, such as “Learner, please pass”.Much as the true spirit of KwaZulu-Natal’s other major mass-participation events – the Comrades Marathon and the Dusi Canoe Marathon – is to be found among the entrants competing to finish the events, rather than racing to win, so the heart-warming spirit of the Midmar Mile became clear in the family relay.Age group winnersSunday morning’s first event, the women’s 13-and-under and 31-and-over, was won by Kira Hauptfleisch, an under-13 entrant, in a time of 21:27.Stacey Bowley topped the 31-40 age group, while Lulu Cochran, a visitor from the United Kingdom, was number one in the 41-50 section. Rita Townsend won the 51-60 event.The men’s event in the same age divisions was won by Ryno Markgraaff after a fantastic dice against Gregg Price that had the spectators enthralled.Markgraaff’s win saw him take the 31-40 title, while Price won in the 41-50 age group. Lliam Hunt was the top under-13 finisher.Veteran starsLorna Cochran lifted the women’s record for the oldest finisher to 84 years of age, while Mike “Buthy” Arbuthnot swam the Mile for the 35th year in succession. Having been a part of the 8-Mile Club previously, he has swum the race 65 times in total!Apart from Adrian Garvey swimming all eight events, a few other ex Springbok rugby players were in attendance. Former captain Gary Teichmann swam the first race, while Os du Randt was on hand to support his wife, Hannelie, who in her younger days won her national colours for swimming. Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Movie review: Yeh Khula Aasmaan

first_imgYeh Khula AasmaanCast: Raghuveer Yadav, Raj Tandon, Anya Anand, Yashpal Sharma, Manjusha Godse, Kishor Nadalskar, Nitin KerurDirection: Gitanjali SinhaRating:  A teenager grapples with his no-show in academics. The pressure to qualify for IIT is killing him. Mom and dad are too busy to pay attention and the boy has no one to turn to.You get the familiar picture of urban crisis this film is trying to set up. It’s not really the first time that Bollywood has tapped the subject, and debutant Gitanjali Sinha tries narrating her coming-of-age tale with a retrospective twist. When life gets messed up on the fast lane, get far away from the maddening crowd. Head back to the village for a pep dose of self-discovery.Debutant Raj Tandon plays Avinash, the young hero of the film who is lonely, depressed and confused. The turnaround in his story comes when Avinash visits his Dadu, Gulab Rai (Raghuveer Yadav). The boy finds a support system in the grandfather. Realising Avinash’s problem is psychological, Dadu – a kite running champ in his heydays – decides to instil self-realisation in the boy using the sport as a template.The kite-flying metaphor used to unravel lessons on life, love, friendship and hope are, however, predictably drawn. That bit is a snag, as is the snail’s pace of the narrative. Yeh Khula Aasmaan could have been watchable fare had its makers worked at a tighter screenplay.Raj Tandon makes a fine debut, and Raghuveer Yadav’s Dadu is credibly essayed. The actors, though, can’t save the tedious show.advertisementlast_img read more

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