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Ghanaian In Wuhan Writes: Two Months Of A Complete Lockdown, So Far, So Good

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Today, 23rd March 2020 is exactly two months since authorities in Central China city of Wuhan in Hubei Province announced a lockdown on 23rd January 2020. When the lockdown was announced, many of us were wondering how we are going to survive under such conditions. Lo and behold, we have already spent 60 days in the lockdown (staying indoors). During this period, I had opportunity to go out of my hostel only twice on permission. This happened in the first week of the lockdown and first week of February by which time it was possible to go out of the students’ hostel to buy food stuffs from the neighbourhood on condition that one was in a nose mask.

Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province has a population of 11.08 million people and Hubei Province has a population of around 61 million people which is just like the total population of Italy which is a little over 60 million people. At the time the lockdown was announced in Wuhan and its neighbouring cities, the number of confirmed infected people were 571 with 17 deaths in Mainland China. On that day, 95 people were in critical condition and 393 suspected cases of the virus infections according to the National Health Commission (NHC).

Public transport such as buses, metro trains, flights and taxes were withdrawn by 10am. By the following week, the restrictions became more tighter, so the few stores that were operating half-day during the Chinese New Year started closing down. This was the point panic buying of goods like foodstuffs, nose masks, hand sanitizers etc began because one could only access what were available in the next store or supermarket near you. Initially, there were shortages of basic necessities such as nose masks, hand sanitizers, food supplies in Wuhan so the city authorities had to appeal to central government to assist them with 40 million face masks and 5 million protective gowns to meet the demand. So, we also experienced shortages of basic necessities during the first two weeks of the lockdown, so prices of available items started going up but thankfully, the Chinese government stepped in to ensure that less affected areas in China stepped up production and the govt made sure that supply of basic necessities were enough in Wuhan and Hubei Province till date.

Two weeks ago, China even increased the production of nose masks to 116 million per day just to ensure that shortages do not occur any longer.

The lockdown really helped the Chinese government to control the wide spread of the virus to every nook and cranny of the country. However, it is important to note that, for a complete lockdown to be impactful and effective, both the government/state and the citizens all have big roles to play. The authorities must first of all ensure the availability of essential services. For instance, there must be reliable potable water supply, there must be reliable supply of electricity, food stuffs, places of convenience, accessible information and tips to guide the people while staying indoors among others. Putting in place these measures are important and pre-requisite in a lockdown to ensure compliance because a complete lockdown cannot happen in a vacuum. For a complete lockdown to effectively work, the citizens also need to comply fully with the control or containment measures rolled out by the authorities. But compliance and adherence to preventive measures would become a big problem, if the people in the lockdown areas do not have access to the aforementioned basic necessities or services. The absence of basic essentials would likely push the people to agitate and some will ultimately defy the containment rules or protocols.

Life certainly in the lockdown is unpalatable because it’s like living under house arrest or a semi prison of sort. It is very stressful and difficult to cope with but if it has to be done to protect the lives of the people or the masses, why not.Therefore, the only option under such a lockdown situation is cooperation, compliance and adherence. Citizens cooperation, compliance and adherence to the lockdown conditions in Wuhan and many other parts of China greatly helped the Chinese government to do effective rapid detection, isolation and quarantine of people who were either confirmed or suspected to have the virus. The situation would have been a different thing today if this lockdown had not taken place. On hindsight, I think the lockdown was the best remedy in controlling the fast spread of the virus infection. During the 60 days lockdown and counting, people are not able to go to work except those who provide essential services like health workers, security and those supplying basic necessities to the communities, residential areas, hospitals and schools. Right now, school is in session across China but everyone is home except those of us who are international students who are studying in our hostels. Classes take place via online platforms. Laboratory discussions and meetings all take place via online platforms. Here in China, over 10 million senior students are preparing to right college entrance exams in 74 days from today. This was announced by the Chinese Ministry of Education on 17th March 2020. The ministry further indicated that, schools are not reopening until the outbreak is under control. What also helped in the provision of essential services were online delivery services during the lockdown. But as the lockdown became intensified along the line, onlinepurchasing and door-to-door delivery services were also affected and the number of online shopping services that could do door-to-door delivery were drastically reduced to only few companies within Wuhan. At this point, the Chinese govt boosted the supply of food. Our universities also did great job in terms of the supply of since it became impossible to steep out of the main gate of students’ hostel.

The govt of Ghana also came in along the line to support Ghanaians in Hubei and other parts of China especially students with some food stuffs and money through the Ghana Mission in Beijingjust like many other countries did for their compatriots here in Wuhan. Many individuals, friends and family relations from all over the world continue to reach out to me ever since, I am sincerely grateful to you all for your support and prayers.

All these gestures are well appreciated. Stimulus packages should be extended to companies by govts that have the capacities to produce basic necessities under Covid19 and a lockdown situation such hand sanitizers, face and nose masks, foods etc as was done here by the Chinese government.

To effectively confront #Covid19, the Chinese government mobilized 42,000 doctors and nurses with a total of 34 medical teams from other parts of China to Wuhan and the Hubei Province. I provided the breakdown of the 42,000 health workers Chinese government assembled to fight #Covid19 last week in one of my Facebook posts, so I do not wish to repeat those statistics. The health workers did fantastic job and deserve so much commendation from all especially those of us in Wuhan and Hubei and China as a whole. The Chinese government demonstrated strong leadership and commitment resulting in the containment of the situation and equally deserves lots of commendation.

The latest updates as far as #Covid19 in Mainland China is concerned are follows: Wuhan which is or was known as the epicentre of #Covid19 for the past week has not recorded any new case.

As at last night, Sunday 22-03-2020, Mainland China reported 39 new infections and all these were imported cases, thus people coming into China from other countries. Now, total imported infections into China are 353 according National Health Commission of China, today Monday 23-03-2020. As at yesterday Sunday, 9 new deaths were recorded all in Hubei Province making the total number of deaths in Mainland China 3, 248 people. In the past 24 hours, reported new suspected cases were 47, and a total of 459 people have been discharged from hospitals after recovering.

A total of 688,993 close contacts had been traced as at last night Sunday. Additionally, 10,701 close contacts people are currently under medical observation as at yesterday Sunday 22-03-2020. Hubei Province recorded 67, 800 confirmed cases of #Covid19 since the outbreak and recorded 3, 153 deaths. This means that, out of the total of 3,248 deaths in Mainland China, 3,153 deaths are from Hubei Province, thus representing 97.1% of the total deaths in Mainland China. It also means that, out of 81,093 total confirmed cases in Mainland China, 83.6% of these cases came from Hubei Province. These breakdowns will you appreciate the severity of the situation Wuhan and Hubei Province were in for the past two weeks but thankfully, the situation has improved drastically.

At present, a total of 1, 714 patients were still in critical condition. A total number of people who have recovered are now 72,703 representing 89.7% of the total infected people in China. By the grace of Allah, things are better now even though we are still indoors. Fantastic job done by the Chinese govt.

Proper coordination, monitoring, surveillance, education and sensitization of the general public, and access to information about #Covid19 and all the preventive measures helped greatly in the containment process here in China in my candid opinion. Chinese government deployed all available resources, especially material and human resources including 4000 medics from the People’s Liberation Army (Chinese Military) to confront the virus outbreak.

Technology was heavily employed and deployed in the fight against the virus, for instance, an app was launched which could give you real time information including locations of every infected personaround one’s locality. While being indoors, it easy to know, from one’s surroundings, where infected persons were living or quarantined within the city and province of Hubei. China has only 3 telephone companies such China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom and all these networks are constantly giving updates about the outbreak from official sources in the form of text messages.

As the world continues to battle with #Covid19, I do sincerely hope that, other countries affected by #Covid19 would learn useful lessons from China especially the effective measures China adopted to contain the outbreak early. I do not know if Italy acted a bit late in locking down the areas that got affected early in their country but clearly, the situation suggests so and other nations must learn useful lessons from Italy as well. A total population of over 1.4 billion is no joke and the situation would have been worse today but for those drastic measures key of which has been the lockdown.

Keep safe and adhere to all preventive measures. The basic principle of life is SELF PRESERVATION. It is better to cede certain basic rights and privileges in times of emergency like #Covid19 in order to possibly be alive than to hold onto all your liberties and rights that could possibly expose you to infection and death. Rights and privileges are only meaningful to the living not the dead. May Allah have mercy on all of us and the entire world to defeat #Covid19. Amen. #KeepSafe.#StayHome as much as possible or avoid crowded places, use nose masks if you are out of home and adhere to all preventive measures.

 

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NPP elections: Don’t fall to scam or emotional blackmail, Musah Superior to electors – ghanapublisher.com

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The Deputy C.E.O for Ghana Forestry Commission, Hon. Iddrisu Musah Superior has advised the NPP Constituency delegates not to fall to tricks towards the upcoming constituency elections which starts today.

The former Temale Mayor aspiring to be the next NPP General Secretary has advised the electors not allowed to be influenced by power, money or feel intimidated.

In a post cited on Facebook, he said the delegates should not fall to scam or emotional blackmail but rather elect party faithfuls who are loyal, selfless, discipline and hardworking to Great NPP the party.

According to hm, the 2024 general elections will be tricky, crucial and difficult. Therefore the NPP party must assemble the most appropriate various constituencies to anchor the efforts in the local organization to win 2024 elections.

Source: www.ghanapublisher.com

 

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Fourteen (14) Regions Devastated by Illegal Mining Activities – Dr. Solomon Owusu Reveals to Government

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The Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) problems in Ghana are very challenging, especially as they become intensified and difficult to solve day-by-day. Currently, ASM activities have seriously affected the lands and waterbodies in fourteen (14) out of the sixteen (16) regions in Ghana. Surprisingly, the actual causes of the menace are poorly understood by the government, hence focusing on unnecessary expenditures that do not yield any significant outcome since 2017.

Lots of the country’s farmlands have been destroyed by illegal mining operations and waterbodies silted, polluted and contaminated with dangerous chemicals like mercury, cyanide, lead and arsenic. These have led to skyrocketing costs of water treatments for human consumption. Also, there are lots of water-borne and grievous diseases such as typhoid, hepatitis, trachoma, ulcer, cancer, kidney diseases, lung diseases, liver damage, polio, among others.

Ghana is dominated by two main mining sectors, including the Large-Scale Mining (LSM) and Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM). The operations involved in the ASM sector include (i) Legal or Licensed Small-Scale Mining (ii) Illegal or Unregulated Mining, popularly known in the local parlance as “Galamsey” and (iii) Newly Established Community Mining. The only two regions without ASM operations are Greater Accra and Volta.

Unfortunately, all the three categories of ASM activities lead to uncontrolled land degradations and water pollutions. Although a number of research works have been completed and published, none of them have detailed the number of regions affected by ASM operations. The regions in Ghana with some major cities that ASM operations are prevalent are the following:

1. Ashanti Region: Obuasi, Adansi Akrokerri, Adansi Akrofuom, Amansie, Manso Nkwanta,
Manso Adubia, Agroyesum, Esaase Bontefufuom, Ntobroso, Diewuoso, Aduaneyede,
Gyimiso, Mampamhwe, Patakro, Fomena, etc.
2. Western Region: Tarkwa, Prestea, Bogoso, Asankragua, Wassa Akropong, Wassa Japa,
Mpohor, Damang, Nkroful, Teleku Bukazo, Anhwiaa, Axim, Ewereko, Daboase, Atieku-
Akyempim, etc.
3. Western North Region: Aowin, Bibiani, Enchi, Sefwi Bekwai, Sefwi Wiawso, Sefwi
Akontombra, Suaman, etc.

4. Eastern Region: Adeiso, Akwatia, Anyinam, Akyem Asunafo, Akwaboaso, Akroful,
Awerenare, Kwabeng, Kyebi, Kibi, Oda, Ofoase-Ayirebi, Osino, New Abirem, Nkatieso, etc.
5. Central Region: Dunkwa, Ayanfuri, Assin Asaman, Assin Fosu, etc.
6. Ahafo Region: Duayaw Nkwanta, Kenyasi, Ntotroso, Yamfo, etc.
7. Bono Region: Dormaa, Kyeremasu, Wamfie, etc.
8. Bono East Region: Donkoro Nkwanta, Kintampo, Nkoranza, etc.
9. Savannah Region: Banada Nkwanta, Dollar Power (Border town), Ntereso, etc.
10. Upper West Region: Lawra, Cherikpong, Tanchara, Sissala East, etc.
11. Upper East Region: Talensi, Bolga, etc.
12. North East Region: Nanguma, Mamprugu, etc.
13. Northern Region: Bole, Bamboi, Dakurpe, Tinga, etc
14. Oti Region: Worawora (Alluvial mining)

Ghana is an undisputed mining hub, ranked first (1 st ) in gold production across Africa and sixth (6th) in the world. The ASM operations contribute to 30% to 40% of gold produced in Ghana. It is a lucrative venture that has provided millions of jobs for the youth and supported the local economics of the respective communities. The high unemployment rate and the continuous global demand for minerals, particularly precious metals have led to the massive youth participation in the sector.

Presently, the detrimental effects of ASM operations far outweigh the economic and social justifications provided by the sector. However, the problems can be resolved and ASM can become a critical state revenue generation sector, if the government engages the services of mining professionals with the requisite knowledge and experience to systematically and comprehensively tackle the real problems from technical point of view. Pragmatic measures need to be put in place immediately to address this issue of national concern.

The fight against galamsey has become the usual political rhetoric with no reasonable action taken. Referring to the Minerals and Mining Act 2006, Act 703, Section 83 (a), only Ghanaian citizens can acquire license to operate ASM. The big question is; why are foreign nationals currently engaging in ASM activities in the country? Amazingly, some of the traditional leaders release lands to foreigners to operate illegal mining, including nationals from China, India, Turkey, Senegal, Nigeria, Niger, Mali, Cote D’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Sierra Leone, etc.

In order to solve the problem, the fundamental mining engineering procedures applied in the large-scale mining sector to extract minerals from the ground, need to be integrated into the ASM sector to bridge the gap between the two sectors, in terms of minimal degradation. Politicization of the fight against galamsey will continuously urge the problem to remain standstill without any obvious positive outcome but practical guidance from a strong mining team can help in addressing the issues.

To address the challenges, the following outlined holistic approach can be considered and executed correctly: (1) Strategizing to avoid concession encroachment (2) Proper land acquisition (3) Rightful registration plan (4) Legitimate, expedited and decentralized permitting process (5) Development of standard operating procedures (6) Establishment of standardized mining regulations (7) Introduction of pollution-free mining strategy (8) Development of corruption-free tax collection system (9) Effective monitoring and (10) Indiscriminate law enforcement.

Implementation of these suggestions can help ensure environmentally-friendly small-scale mining operations. Also, it can yield significant results in sustained economic growth, lucrative employment opportunities, poverty alleviation and important source of tax revenue generation across the mineral wealth regions in Ghana. The onus lies on the government to act, as the nation loses a minimum of $250 million each year from the ASM sector.

Solomon Owusu, PhD | Mining Consultant | Colorado, USA | Email: oaksolo@yahoo.com

Source: www.ghanapublisher.com

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Mike Tyson loses his cool and unleashes punches on passenger ‘who wouldn’t stop talking to him’ on flight

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Mike Tyson was seen repeatedly a punching a fellow passenger on a flight from San Francisco to Florida on Wednesday night, leaving the man with a bloody forehead.

Cell phone footage, obtained by TMZ, shows the former heavyweight champion smacking an allegedly over-eager fan seated directly behind him.

That man initially had a cordial exchange with Tyson, according to TMZ. A witness says the man and a friend greeted the 55-year-old boxing legend as they boarded the plane and even got their picture taken with Tyson.

Tyson soon grew tired of engaging with the fan and reportedly asked him to be quiet.

When the man continued talking, Tyson then stood, turned, and threw several punches to the man’s face and forehead.

‘Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey Mike, come on, stop that,’ a witness is heard saying on the cell phone footage.

Another video from the flight shows the aftermath of the incident, with the man sporting traces of blood on his forehead.

‘My boy just got beat up by Mike Tyson,’ said the man shooting the video. ‘Yeah, he got f***ed up. Just trying to ask for an autograph. I don’t know what happened.’

The victim reportedly received medical attention and went to the police over the incident, but there has been no word yet if Tyson is being investigated.

DailyMail.com has reached out to spokespeople for Tyson and JetBlue but has yet to receive a response from either.

The incident took place after Tyson recently shared a bizarre theory while high on marijuana during a recent podcast.

During Friday’s installment of The Joe Rogan Experience, a stoned Tyson said he ‘really believes’ that the rich abduct vagrants to chase and hunt them on large private estates, unbeknownst to the uninitiated 99 percent.

After the pair smoked weed – appearing to light up two separate joints while sitting across from each other – Tyson told Rogan that ‘whatever you think a human did to another human being – it happened. Whatever it is, it happened.’

‘Somewhere in history?’ Rogan asked.

‘Yeah, and sometimes these special camps and stuff it happens,’ Tyson continued. ‘These people own these thousands of acres and nothing grows on ’em.’

‘Right, weird ranches where people do rituals and s***,’ Rogan encouraged.

‘Might want to hunt a motherf*****,’ Tyson said.

‘That’s not outside the realm of possibility!’ Rogan replied, shocked.

‘I know, that’s why I’m throwing it at you,’ Tyson said.

‘I guarantee you there’s been someone, somewhere in the world who paid someone to hunt a person,’ Rogan said. ‘I guarantee you that’s happened!’

Tyson is rumored to be working on an exhibition fight with YouTuber Jake Paul, but the two sides have yet to finalize anything. In January The Sun reported the two were nearing a deal for a bout that could be worth upwards of $50 million.

‘Mike and Jake are on board for an exhibition bout in Las Vegas,’ a business associate of Tyson’s told The Sun.

‘A verbal deal has been struck to get it on, but like all forms of sports business, now it’s all about the contracts and money split.

‘Mike is looking for a certain figure to get into the ring with a profit share guarantee.

‘Jake obviously has that on his mind but is keen to show the world that stepping into the ring with a man once called, ”the baddest man on the planet,” takes his boxing career to the next level.’

Obviously it’s the 30-year age difference that would make this potential bout unique.

‘This fight bridges the gap between old school boxing fans and the new generation of followers,’ the source told The Sun.

The 30-year age gap aside, Tyson (50-6-2) holds a considerable advantage in experience having fought in 58 professional bouts against actual boxers.

Paul, on the other hand, is 5-0 against another YouTuber, former NBA star Nate Robinson, and MMA fighters Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley, the latter of whom was knocked out in their rematch last month.

Unlike those, though, this would be an exhibition fight, in which knockdowns — let alone any knockouts — are quite rare.

The Sun’s source believes the bout can generate as much as much as £36million ($49 million) between live and pay per view broadcasts.

Tyson previously speculated about another exhibition following his split decision draw against retired boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. in 2020. At the time, he thought he’d be back in the ring in February, but it now looks to be taking place later in 2022.

‘I am going to have a return fight in February and we are pretty skeptical about the opponent but it will be a really stimulating opponent,’ Tyson told the Sun.

According to Tyson, the money for fighting one of the well-known Paul or his brother Logan would be too much to refuse.

‘That is the fight for the money,’ Tyson said in 2021. ‘Those are the money-making fights, those guys got 35 million people to watch.

‘Hell, I would fight them,’ he continued. ‘They would fight me. That would make a lot of money.

‘Hundred million dollars, they do anything, they don’t mind getting beat up for a hundred million dollars.’

While a win over Tyson would be Paul’s first against a legitimate boxer, it might not impress those within the sport.

Even aside from his age, Tyson’s reputation as the scariest man in boxing was laid to rest since 1990, when he was knocked out by James ‘Buster’ Douglas in Tokyo.

Prior to that, things were considerably different for Tyson, who was once so scared of killing his opponents in the ring that he often needed to have sex with groupies before fights to take the edge off his rage, his former bodyguard and chauffeur has claimed.

‘He had to get laid to disengage some of the strength he had,’ Rudy Gonzalez told The Sun in November. ‘So I had girls tucked away in bathrooms and changing rooms.

‘Sometimes he’d go in with them for a minute, bang the s*** out of them, snap his neck and say: ”Okay this guy is going to live tonight.”’

The strategy may have worked. Tyson, now 55, never did kill anyone in the ring, although he bit off a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear in 1997, leading to a disqualification in their infamous rematch.

As Gonzalez explained, the ritual of pre-fight sex was born out of the heavyweight champion’s fear of killing another boxer.

‘His biggest fear was that he would kill someone in that ring,’ Gonzalez said. ‘He knew he could do it.

‘It is no exaggeration to say Mike was like a train hitting these guys. Having sex was his way of disengaging that power and loosening up a bit.’

In addition to rage and sex, Tyson’s pre-fight routine was also defined by intense anxiety and sorrow.

‘He had an anxiety problem where he would be in despair with anxiety of not feeling good enough or not wanting to screw it up,’ Gonzalez said.

‘Mike had the fear that if he screwed this up, he would end up back in his old neighborhood or be locked up.’

And Tyson had reason to fear his former life.

Abandoned by his father at birth, and orphaned at 16 when his mother passed away, Tyson grew up in Brooklyn’s rough Brownsville neighborhood in the 1970s and had the physical and emotional scars to prove it.

According to several accounts, Tyson was targeted for his short stature and his lisp at a young age, and he responded by getting arrested 38 times by age 13.

He was eventually enrolled at the Tryon School for Boys in Johnstown, New York, where a corrections officer named Bobby Stewart introduced him to boxing and legendary trainer Cus D’Amato, who would become Tyson’s legal guardian.

Tyson would soon become the youngest heavyweight champion in boxing history by beating Trevor Berbick in 1986 at age 20.

But his aside from his prodigious power (44 of his 50 career wins ended by knockout), Tyson will also be remembered for disappointments inside and outside the ring.

He steamrolled over lesser opponents in the late 1980s, but his one-year marriage to actress Robin Givens ended with allegations of abuse against Tyson.

In 1990, in what was thought to be a warmup fight for his much-anticipated bout with Holyfield, Tyson was stunned by Douglas, a 40-to-1 underdog.

Douglas would promptly lose his titles to Holyfield, rendering a rematch pointless, but Tyson got back on the winning track with three straight knockouts and a unanimous decision victory over Donovan Ruddock in their rematch.

However, before Tyson could step into the ring with Holyfield, he would be accused and convicted of raping an 18-year-old beauty pageant contestant in an Indianapolis hotel room.

He would return to the ring in 1995, but Tyson was never the same.

After winning four easy bouts upon his release, Tyson would go 5-5 over the remainder of his career, including two losses to Holyfield and a knockout defeat to Lennox Lewis. His career ended in 2005 with a an embarrassing loss to unheralded Kevin McBride.

In retirement, Tyson has changed his public persona, launching a one-man show in 2013 in which he discussed his often traumatic upbringing and adult life. He’s also started charities for children from broken homes, appeared in movies, such as The Hangover series, and is now a cannabis entrepreneur.

He’s also opened up about past drug use, which he said centered on cocaine, but also included the venom from a poisonous toad that he said actually left him legally dead for a brief moment.

‘In my trips I’ve seen that death is beautiful,’ Tyson told the New York Post recently. ‘Life and death both have to be beautiful, but death has a bad rep. The toad has taught me that I’m not going to be here forever. There’s an expiration date.

‘I did it as a dare,’ Tyson sad of ingesting the psychedelic. ‘I was doing heavy drugs like cocaine, so why not? It’s another dimension. Before I did the toad, I was a wreck. The toughest opponent I ever faced was myself. I had low self-esteem. People with big egos often have low self-esteem. We use our ego to subsidize that. The toad strips the ego.’

A year ago, Tyson stepped into the ring for an exhibition against former multi-weight division title-winner Roy Jones Jr. The WBC unofficially called the bout a draw.

 

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