"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 30th Nov 2020

Isolation Tips
Pandemic inflames violence against women
No country has been spared the coronavirus epidemic, nor the scourge of domestic violence, which has surged during lockdowns. From a spike in rapes in Nigeria and South Africa, increased numbers of women missing in Peru, higher rates of women being killed in Brazil and Mexico and overwhelmed associations in Europe: the pandemic has aggravated the plague of sexual violence. According to UN data released in late September, lockdowns have led to increases in complaints or calls to report domestic abuse of 25% in Argentina, 30% in Cyprus and France and 33% in Singapore. In essentially all countries, measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus have resulted in woman and children being confined at home. “The house is the most dangerous place for women,” Moroccan associations noted in April as they pressed authorities for “an emergency response”.
Hygiene Helpers
How 'Dictator Dan' Defied a Dangerous Murdoch Media and Led Australia to COVID Victory
Australia is on the verge of eliminating the Coronavirus now that the epicentre of its second wave – Melbourne – has recorded its twenty-eighth consecutive day of no new cases. It is a milestone epidemiologists say signals the elimination of COVID-19 in the community, leaving the city of five million residents now without a single active case. The land of Down Under has become the world’s benchmark for managing the pandemic: following the science, placing faith in bona fide public health experts and rejecting the kind of unthinking, know-nothing, right-wing populism pushed by Rupert Murdoch-employed pundits in the media and members of the country’s right-wing Government, the Liberal Party.
'COVID-passport' for tourists who have had a coronavirus vaccine is in final stages of development amid reports airlines will BAN anyone who has refused the injection
A leading travel industry association is developing a digital passport for international plane passengers who have been vaccinated for COVID-19. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said Saturday that it is in the final phase of developing the infrastructure for the passport, which could become an essential component in rebuilding the shattered tourism industry. 'Testing is the first key to enable international travel without quarantine measures. The second key is the global information infrastructure needed to securely manage, share and verify test data matched with traveler identities in compliance with border control requirements,' Alexandre de Juniac, IATA CEO, said
More than 1,300 wrongly told they have Covid after Test and Trace lab error
More than 1,300 people were wrongly told they had coronavirus due to a lab error with the government’s Test and Trace service. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said 1,311 people who took a test from 19-23 November across the UK were incorrectly told they received a positive result. It said there was an issue with a batch of testing chemicals which meant their results were void. A DHSC spokesman said: “Swift action is being taken to notify those affected and they are being asked to take another test, and to continue to self-isolate if they have symptoms. This laboratory error was an isolated incident and is being fully investigated to ensure this does not happen again.” The DHSC did not comment on whether the error affected regionalinfection rate figures.
Community Activities
How an anti-lockdown 'truthpaper' bypasses online factcheckers
When the factcheckers tried to find the source of a viral photo that was spreading across Facebook, they were confused. The picture – which had been uploaded by users in the UK, US, Australia and elsewhere in the world - showed a headline that made the false claim that a US government agency had declared Covid-19 did not exist. It appeared to be from a real print newspaper, but no credible outlet would publish such a claim. It turned out the headline was from a new self-published conspiracy theorist “truthpaper” called the Light, edited by a man from Manchester who runs a business selling anti-vaccine T-shirts and 9/11 conspiracy merchandise. The outlet, which has published three issues since it first appeared in September, draws heavily on the gloop of long-running online conspiracies about a new world order, which have attached themselves to the current pandemic. Among other things it encourages people to stop wearing masks and disobey lockdown on the basis that the coronavirus is a hoax.
Suspected North Korean hackers targeted COVID vaccine maker AstraZeneca - sources
Suspected North Korean hackers have tried to break into the systems of British drugmaker AstraZeneca in recent weeks, two people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, as the company races to deploy its vaccine for the COVID-19 virus. The hackers posed as recruiters on networking site LinkedIn and WhatsApp to approach AstraZeneca staff with fake job offers, the sources said. They then sent documents purporting to be job descriptions that were laced with malicious code designed to gain access to a victim’s computer. The hacking attempts targeted a “broad set of people” including staff working on COVID-19 research, said one of the sources, but are not thought to have been successful.
This Black Friday, a global coalition is holding Amazon to account
Black Friday is here once again, and bargains abound. With widespread lockdowns preventing crowds at brick-and-mortar stores, online sales are expected to soar. One merchant, in particular, stands to profit greatly: Amazon’s chief executive, Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, at the helm of one of the world’s most powerful companies. But this year’s Black Friday not only presents an opportunity for Bezos to make extraordinary pandemic profits. It also marks the arrival of a new global movement linking warehouse workers, environmental activists and advocates for racial, tax, and data justice around the world in a common mission to #MakeAmazonPay.
Working Remotely
Hawaii seeks to be seen as a remote workplace with a view
Software engineer Raymond Berger begins his work day at 5 a.m., before the sun comes up over Hawaii. Rising early is necessary because the company he works for is in New York City, five hours ahead of Maui where he is renting a home with a backyard that's near the beach. “It’s a little hard with the time zone difference,” he said. “But generally I have a much better quality of life.” The pandemic is giving many workers the freedom to do their jobs from anywhere.
Pandemic pushes remote work into the long term
Trish Jackson is the new interim head of development for The New School in New York City. She leads a team of 21 employees and spearheads the 9,150-student university’s fundraising — from a spare bedroom at her home in Norwich and without having set foot in Manhattan. Nor is Jackson sure she ever will as part of her new job. “I hope I’ll get to the campus at some point, but I may not,” said Jackson, who previously held development positions at Brown University in Providence, R.I. — where she had to live during the week and commute home on the weekends — and at Dartmouth College. “I don’t think development officers, especially for fundraising, are going back to offices.”
Remote work: how are you feeling?
Nonetheless, almost 10 months into the pandemic, Jake, who does not want to use his real name, is “physically fatigued, stressed” and disengaged from his work. Pre-pandemic he would work long hours, but intense spurts would be followed by quieter times, allowing him to recover. Now colleagues don’t think twice about calling at 7am. Technology has ballooned communication. “When the ping of a new email arrives,” he says, “if I don't answer that email pretty much immediately then there’s a different ping of a new instant message arriving over Microsoft Teams. If I let that go unanswered, then you can bet on a phone call.”
Most people working remotely are unhappy with their home office set-up
New research from GoCompare Home Insurance has found that most people working from home are unhappy with their workspace set-up. Some 63 per cent of homeworkers have experienced issues due to their inadequate set-up, leading to embarrassing Zoom calls and even home office shaming by colleagues. As a result, 19 per cent now say they are fed-up with homeworking and 15 per cent say they are suffering from stress. To restrict the spread of the coronavirus over the winter, the Scottish Government has asked those who can, to continue working from home.
Working remotely from different states? You could face additional state taxes next year
Whether you worked from your living room or an out-of-state relative’s abode, you could be on the hook for state taxes if you didn’t update your withholding. Seven out of 10 people polled by the American Institute of CPAs were unaware that working remotely in other states could affect the amount of state taxes they owe. Be upfront with your employer about where you’re working during the pandemic. Keep track of where you worked remotely this year, and update your state tax withholding accordingly.
Work from home brings new freedom, new distractions and new definition of 'the office'
The office of When I Work, a downtown Minneapolis software company, looks like many other trendy workplaces with its industrial-chic design, minimalist sofas, bright kitchen and free coffee. Its leaders have decided workers no longer have to work in it. Ever. “This is how we’ll be forever,” said Martin Hartshorne, the company’s chief executive. “We are indefinitely remote.” Hartshorne isn’t giving up on the office entirely, but it won’t be the flywheel of When I Work, which makes software that manages schedules of hourly workers.
Bosses concerned about isolation among remote workers
A new survey shows that the isolation of staff and a lack of cohesion of teams who are working remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic are among the chief concerns of business leaders. The survey from the Institute of Directors in Ireland shows that only 12% of respondents expressed concern about remote working productivity rates, which has sometimes been cited in the past as a potential barrier to increased remote working practices. The IoD research also finds that 64% of business leaders believe the majority of their staff will be back in the company workplace by the end of September 2021.
Virtual Classrooms
'Scrapping my plans was the best thing I've ever done'
Teaching plans were thrown out of the window in lockdown – but this primary teacher says it was a positive experience
Virtual learners struggle to adapt
Earlier this month, approximately 362 virtual students had returned to on-site instruction. Kristy Sanders, chairman of the Ready for Learning Committee, said during the November school board meeting that the district had engaged numerous staff members in an effort to track down students that were having trouble with virtual learning and talked to them and their parents to encourage the students to come back to school for on-site instruction. Guess said he noticed a struggle with the district's virtual learning after the first nine-week grading period ended on Oct. 15. During that time, 24% of the elementary students receiving virtual instruction were failing one or more instructional areas, and 40% of secondary students receiving virtual instruction were failing one or more subjects. Guess said an alarming percentage of students had D's and were approaching failure.
How a hands-on, student-led schooling model translated into the virtual learning environment
Lake Ridge Elementary’s Montessori program took disruptions from coronavirus in stride, carefully planning how to shift its curriculum for at-home students.
Her classroom is a school change room. Here's how she's making online teaching work
She's hunkered down in the girls' change room at St. Mary's Catholic School, in Elora, Ont., converted into her Grade 5 virtual classroom. She lives with her parents, who are older and more vulnerable to COVID-19, so she opted to teach online this year. "It's strange because I am kind of just in here talking to a computer," she said. But she's made it work. "I have my en suite, which is my own private bathroom, and I'm set up in here pretty well." The province estimates as of mid-October, some 450,000 students were learning online. O'Drowsky, or Ms. O as students call her, is one of the teachers making it happen. It's been a steep learning curve, as teaching online is an entirely new concept for most teachers and many of Ontario's school boards. For the first few months, O'Drowsky was working and planning lessons pretty much whenever she was awake. She's now mentoring in-class teachers in case everyone has to pivot.
Public Policies
Covid: PM agrees to publish data behind England's new tier system
Boris Johnson has agreed to publish the health, economic and social data behind England's new tier system later, as he seeks to avert a Commons rebellion. MPs will vote on the measures on Tuesday, and numerous Conservative MPs have demanded to see the data the government is basing its new system on. Writing to members of the Covid Research Group of MPs - who are sceptical of the new rules - Mr Johnson asked them to show "unity and resolve".
Covid infections in England fall by 30% over lockdown - React study
Coronavirus infections in England have fallen by about a third over lockdown, according to a major study. Some of the worst-hit areas saw the biggest improvements - but, despite this progress, cases remained high across England. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the data showed the country could not "take our foot off the pedal just yet". The findings by Imperial College London were based on swabbing more than 100,000 people between 13-24 November. The React-1 study is highly respected and gives us the most up-to-date picture of Covid-19 in the country.
France must review COVID-19 crowd limits on church attendance
France’s State Council, the country’s highest court, on Sunday ordered the government to review a law limiting the number of people in churches during religious services to 30. The Council said in a statement that the measure was not proportionate to coronavirus infection risks. Last week, the government announced that a nationwide lockdown in place since Oct. 30 would be unwound in phases.
Austrians to face further 'massive restrictions' after lockdown - Kurz
Austria should expect further heavy restrictions when its current lockdown measures expire in just over a week, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told Austrian paper Kleine Zeitung. Austria’s nationwide lockdown is due to be lifted on Dec. 7, but it is not yet clear what that will mean for the ski industry - cornerstone of a tourism sector which accounts for some 15% of economic output - or overall life in Austria. Speaking to Kleine Zeitung, Kurz said Austrians would need to contend with further restrictions for weeks and months, adding new measures to be announced on Wednesday depended on COVID-19 case developments.
UK secures two million more doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine
Britain has secured two million doses of Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, to be available in Europe as early as the spring, the government said on Sunday, in addition to the 5 million doses it secured from the U.S. company two weeks ago. The new deal came a day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson named Nadhim Zahawi, a junior business minister, to be minister responsible for the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines. Britain now has access to enough doses of Moderna’s vaccine candidate for around 3.5 million people. Overall, it has access to 357 million doses of vaccines from seven developers, according to government statement.
Swedes question Covid-19 approach as second wave hits
Sweden’s centre-left government has long seemed happy to allow Anders Tegnell, the state epidemiologist, to be the public face of the country’s distinctive approach to handling the Covid-19 pandemic. But as the second wave has hit Sweden, which resisted a formal lockdown, much harder than its Nordic neighbours — contrary to predictions made by Mr Tegnell in the spring and summer — so the government in Stockholm has stirred into action. Stefan Lofven, the Swedish prime minister, announced two weeks ago what he called the most intrusive measures in “modern times” in banning public gatherings of more than eight people. That night, Mr Tegnell told Swedish radio that it was not his public health agency “putting our foot down”, and that the ban was less wide-ranging than the prime minister had suggested.
UK regulator set to approve Covid-19 vaccine next week
The UK is poised to become the first western country to approve a Covid-19 vaccine, with the independent regulator set to grant approval within days. Deliveries of the vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer would begin within hours of the authorisation, according to government officials. The first injections could take place from December 7. The UK has ordered 40m doses of the two-shot product, which preliminary data found to be more than 95 per cent effective in preventing disease. Vaccines would normally be authorised by the European Medicines Agency until the end of the Brexit transition on December 31. However the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has the power to temporarily authorise products, in cases of urgent public need.
Covid-19: Mass testing a 'distraction' from vaccine rollout - health leaders
Mass testing plans in England threaten to be a "distraction" from other priorities such as the rollout of a vaccine, health leaders have warned. The PM has said mass community testing, as seen in Liverpool, will be offered to all areas in tier three after lockdown ends. But experts have questioned whether this is possible due to the "enormous" resources it requires. The government said it will work with local authorities to support plans. In a joint statement, the Faculty of Public Health and the Association of Directors of Public Health said improving NHS Test and Trace must remain the top focus for testing.
Germany hits 1 million COVID cases as lockdown rules are extended
More than 1 million people across Germany have been infected with coronavirus, officials revealed on Friday. The Robert Koch Institute, the country’s disease control center, said 22,806 cases were reported the previous day across the nation’s 16 states, bringing the total number of reported infections to 1,006,394. The grim milestone was announced the same day officials revealed Germany had recorded its second consecutive record daily death toll overnight.
Italy loosens COVID restrictions in five regions, including Lombardy
The Italian government will ease anti-COVID restrictions in five regions from Sunday, including in the country’s richest and most populous region Lombardy, the Health Ministry said. Lombardy, Piedmont and Calabria will be downgraded from red to orange zones, while Sicily and Liguria will drop from the orange to the yellow zone, which has least restrictions. Friday’s decision follows a gradual decline in hospitalisations from coronavirus in much of Italy over the past week, with the number of new cases also retreating from highs seen earlier this month.
Towns and villages could be ‘decoupled’ from nearby coronavirus hotspots
In England, the government is reportedly considering plans to allow towns and villages to be “decoupled” from nearby coronavirus hotspots. Rural areas with low levels of Covid-19 infections could be removed from the tier 2 and 3 restrictions they were placed under because of their proximity to cities with high numbers of cases, The Daily Telegraph reports. The tier system of restrictions is expected to remain in place for several months in an attempt to drive down the rate at which the virus is spreading throughout England.
Lithuania extends lockdown as COVID-19 cases surge
Lithuania on Wednesday extended its coronavirus lockdown until Dec. 17, when the new government is expected to take over. The outgoing government said the lockdown had stabilised new infections at about 11,000 per week, twice as high as during the week of Nov. 4 when the three-week lockdown was announced. “The spread has slowed somewhat, but the situation remains really serious,” Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga said during a televised cabinet session.
Ireland to lift COVID-19 curbs ahead of many European countries
Ireland will allow shops, restaurants, gyms and pubs serving food to reopen next week, and permit travel between counties from Dec. 18, to facilitate a “different but special” Christmas, Prime Minister Micheal Martin said on Friday. Ireland became one of first European countries to reimpose tough COVID-19 constraints six weeks ago when the government shut non-essential retail and limited pubs and restaurants to takeaway service under its highest level of restrictions. From Tuesday, however, the economy will begin to be one of the most open across Europe after a sharp cut in the 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 people to below 100, behind only Finland and Iceland across the continent.
U.S. vaccine plans take shape but no let-up on restrictions
U.S. health authorities will hold an emergency meeting next week to recommend that a coronavirus vaccine awaiting approval be given first to healthcare professionals and people in long-term care facilities. The meeting, announced on Friday by a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) committee on immunizations, suggests that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may be close to authorizing distribution of the long-awaited medication, at least to those considered most vulnerable.
Maharashtra Covid-19: Existing lockdown restrictions extended till Dec 31
The Maharashtra government on Friday extended the lockdown on account of coronavirus in the state till the midnight of December 31, 2020, an official release said. In the last couple months, the government has eased several lockdown restrictions
Panicking Kim Jong Un has had two people executed and locked down Pyongyang as he tries to tackle coronavirus and its economic damage, South Korea claims
Kim Jong Un is taking 'irrational measures' against Covid-19, South Korea says North Korea executed a high-profile money changer in Pyongyang last month Key official was executed in August for bringing in goods from abroad, NIS says
Maintaining Services
Pressure on critical care facilities in covid-19 patients in India
The covid-19 pandemic has presented multiple challenges to healthcare systems around the world. We want to highlight the difficulties in Kerala, India, of providing palliative care for patients with pre-existing advanced disease who are infected with coronavirus. There are difficult ethical issues related to triage and care rationing when resources are limited and demand is high, alongside the logistical challenge of making such decisions. The pandemic has now laid bare issues about futile and inappropriate medical interventions in certain contexts.
GPs step up in 2020 to tackle Covid-19
After the toughest year ever for general practice, Nicola Merrifield reflects on how GPs have stood up to be counted. This year’s battle with Covid-19, has meant GPs have had to be more dedicated and adaptable than ever. They have taken on new ways of remote working and run outdoor or socially distanced clinics, often with smaller teams due to staff self-isolating. There has also been a monumental effort to maintain normal services as far as possible, at a time when GP numbers continue to fall – down by 1.2% on last year, with 334 fewer full-time-equivalent GPs in England, according to the latest official NHS data from September.
South Korea bans year-end parties, some music lessons, as virus spikes again
South Korean authorities announced a ban on year-end parties and some music lessons on Sunday and said public saunas and some cafes must also close after coronavirus infections surged at their fastest pace since the early days of the pandemic. South Korea has been one of the world’s coronavirus mitigation success stories but spikes in infections have reappeared relentlessly, triggering alarm in Asia’s fourth-largest economy. Authorities reported 450 new infections on Sunday after more than 500 cases were recorded for three days in a row, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said. What authorities are calling a third wave of infections is spreading at the fastest rate in nearly nine months, driven by outbreaks at military facilities, a sauna, a high school and churches.
With no action by Washington, states race to offer virus aid
Faulting inaction in Washington, governors and state lawmakers are racing to get pandemic relief to small-business owners, the unemployed, renters and others whose livelihoods have been upended by the widening coronavirus outbreak. In some cases, elected officials are spending the last of a federal relief package passed in the spring as an end-of-year deadline approaches and the fall COVID-19 surge threatens their economies anew. Underscoring the need for urgency, the number of new COVID-19 cases reported in the United States reached 205,557 on Friday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University – the first time its daily figure topped the 200,000 mark. Its previous daily high was 196,000 on Nov. 20.
Covid: Hospitals could be overwhelmed without new tiers, says Gove
Hospitals in England could become "overwhelmed" with Covid cases if MPs do not back new restrictions, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove has said. Many Tory MPs oppose the tougher tier system, which begins on 2 December. But writing in the Times, Mr Gove said MPs - who will vote on the measures next week - need to "take responsibility for difficult decisions". Labour is yet to decide whether it will support the new restrictions. It has warned, however, that areas in tier three will be stretched to "breaking point" without further financial support from the Treasury. It comes as a further 479 deaths within 28 days of a positive test were reported in the UK, bringing the total to 58,030. There were also a further 15,871 positive cases registered in the past 24 hours.
Shops reopen in France as national lockdown eases
Queues formed outside hairdressers’ shops and department stores sold gifts and Christmas decorations on Saturday as France partially reopened after a month-long lockdown. Shops selling non-essential goods, such as shoes, clothes and toys, reopened in the first easing of national restrictions since 30 October. Bars and restaurants remain closed until 20 January. As a condition for reopening, the government reduced the number of people allowed in shops. Many small business owners complained it was hard to operate under the new rules
England's hospitals could be overwhelmed without new tier system - minister
England needs tough restrictions after its current lockdown ends if hospitals are not to become overwhelmed, a senior minister said, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote to lawmakers to say the measures would end in February to try to quell opposition. Britain upped preparations for a vaccine roll-out on Saturday as Johnson named Nadhim Zahawi as a new health minister to oversee its deployment and the Financial Times reported that the UK is set to approve the BioNTech Pfizer vaccine next week. But despite progress on the vaccine, the government still needs to convince lawmakers to back its new tougher tiered measures which will put 99% of English people into the highest two levels of restrictions when the current national lockdown ends on Dec. 2.
Queues at barber shops as France eases coronavirus lockdown
People eager to get a haircut stood in line outside barber shops and department stores selling gifts and Christmas decorations were busy on Saturday as France partially reopened following a month-long lockdown. Shops selling non-essential goods such as shoes, clothes and toys reopened in the first easing of a nationwide lockdown that started on Oct. 30 and will remain in place until Dec. 15. Bars and restaurants remain closed till Jan. 20,
MPs raise concerns over vaccine supply after Pfizer shuts cold storage site
Concerns have been raised about the risk of disruption to supplies of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine and added costs after the drugs company shut a cold storage facility in the south of England ahead of the end of the Brexit transition period next month. Britain has ordered 40 million doses of the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, its German partner, which unveiled breakthrough interim results from a late-stage trial this month. Operations at a Pfizer vaccine packaging and distribution plant in Havant have been winding down before a transfer to a manufacturing site at Puurs in Belgium in October
Here’s why pubs reopened in July – and why it’s different now
The UK’s hospitality industry is not happy with the new Covid-19 plan to be adopted from December 2 in England. On the opposite end of the debate, academics and doctors have expressed reservations about pubs being allowed to reopen at all. Neil Ferguson, an Imperial College epidemiologist and former government adviser, suggested that the decision might lead to a rise in infection levels. The decision to reopen pubs on July 4 was taken after a data-crunching tool built by British artificial intelligence firm Faculty flagged up that “large numbers of pubs” risked going out of business due to the lockdown restrictions, according to Faculty’s chief operating officer Richard Sargeant.
WHO warns countries with falling COVID cases to stay alert
Even if countries see a fall in coronavirus cases, they need to stay vigilant, Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization’s technical lead for COVID-19, said on Friday. “What we don’t want to see is situations where you are moving from lockdown to bringing (the virus) under control to another lockdown,” she told a virtual briefing in Geneva. Nearly 61 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally and 1.4 million have died, according to a Reuters tally. “It is in our power to keep transmission low,” she said. “We have seen dozens of countries show us that it can be brought under control and kept under control.”
Lockdown in Los Angeles: LA County asks its 10 million residents to stay home for THREE weeks - but churches and protests are exempt
Los Angeles County confirmed 24 new deaths and 4,544 new cases on Friday Officials banned most gatherings but stopped short of full shutdown on stores Restrictions were brought on by average of 4,751 cases a day for last five days Residents of nation's most populous county are being urged to stay home People are also not allowed to gather with those from outside their household Exceptions are being made for church services and protests, officials said Non-essential retail businesses could stay open, but at 20 per cent capacity
Healthcare Innovations
Malaria gains at risk from COVID-19 pandemic: WHO
Funding shortfalls and disruptions to treatment in sub-Saharan Africa as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic risk tens of thousands more lives being lost to malaria, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned in its annual report on the mosquito-borne disease on Monday. The UN’s health agency said it was concerned that even moderate disruptions in access to treatment could lead to a “considerable loss of life”. A 10-percent disruption in access to effective anti-malarial treatment in sub-Saharan Africa could lead to 19,000 additional deaths, the report found. That number rose to 46,000 with a 25-percent disruption in access and 100,000 at 50-percent disruption. “Progress has stalled,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “COVID-19 threatens to further derail our efforts to overcome malaria, particularly treating people with the disease. Despite the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on African economies, international partners and countries need to do more to ensure that the resources are there to expand malaria programmes which are making such a difference in people’s lives.”
Why Oxford's Covid-19 vaccine could do more for the world than other shots
In the days since Oxford University and AstraZeneca unveiled the results of the partnership's Phase 3 Covid-19 vaccine trials, a growing number of questions have emerged. The stated 70% average efficacy was significantly lower than the 94.5% to 95% reported by the other two leading candidates, Moderna and Pfizer. Yet this vaccine could still prove to be more valuable for the world than the other two in the coming months. If the questions over its results are answered and it receives approval, it may lead the way in providing vaccine coverage in poorer countries where it is urgently needed.
Covid vaccine trials did NOT monitor whether participants took other steps to prevent infection like wearing masks and social distancing
A participant in Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine trials told Business Insider that the firm did not monitor the participants behavior if they didn't feel sick. Moderna also did not specify how to behave or track data on the participants' actions during its trial It was left up to individuals to wear masks or socially distance - behaviors that are estimated to reduce the risk of spreading or catching COVID-19.
Europe coronavirus: Second wave began in Spain before spreading via tourists, study suggests
Europe was hit hard by a coronavirus second wave that saw cases rise faster than on any other continent. Scientists have identified a new viral strain they believe is to blame for much of the wave, which first emerged among fruit pickers in northern Spain before being passed to tourists as borders reopened. Tourists took the new strain home, where it spread like wildfire among local communites as rules were relaxed. Strain now accounts for up to 70 per cent of cases in Switzerland, Ireland, and the UK, and is 'prevalent' in Norway, Latvia, the Netherlands, and France
Why Covid-19 patients with diabetes or heart disease are more likely to die
Researchers studied the role of cholesterol in coronavirus infection. Found the presence of high cholesterol is linked to increased infection of cells. Believed the coronavirus binds to cholesterol and hijacks a lift to the cell surface Once here it can then easily attach to ACE2, the receptor which allows the virus into human cells
Type O blood linked to lower COVID risk, taking Vitamin D unlikely to help
The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.
Does the AstraZeneca Vaccine Also Stop Covid Transmission?
Vaccines can prevent symptoms, but some can also keep people from spreading infection. That’s critical, and no one knows if the new vaccines do it.