"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 25th Jun 2020

Isolation Tips
COVID-19: Seven mental health coping tips for life during a pandemic
There are actions that individuals can take at home to help ease loneliness, depression
The real reason lockdown is exhausting
Whether schooling children at home or facing many months living alone, lockdown has proven to be challenging for large numbers of people. At the start of May people in many countries, including the US, India, Canada, Japan, France and Germany, were in favour of lockdown measures being prioritised to protect health rather than the economy. About two-thirds of Britons said they could cope well with a lockdown that lasted until July, but might struggle with much more. More recent polling, however, suggests that adherence to lockdown measures began to wane even before restrictions were eased. Clearly, people’s patience has been tested. Video calls, bizarre dream-filled nights’ sleep and reduced exposure to daylight have all been blamed for lockdown lethargy. But another unforeseen problem could be tiring you out – the disruption to your daily habits. With daily routines shaken up – and likely to remain so for the foreseeable future even after restrictions are eased – we are now making many more little decisions about our daily lives. This can cause “decision fatigue”.
Hygiene Helpers
Essential cleaning tips in the wake of COVID-19 - Marketplace
There are areas in a long-term care facility that are touched frequently by residents and staff. Some are obvious: light switches, door handles, railings, TV remote controls, the tops of chairs and handles on cabinets, etc. But did you know floors can also be a high-touch area? In a study at a hospital in Wuhan, China, the CDC reports that “floors can be a strong source of cross-contamination. Gravity and airflow cause virus droplets to fall to the ground, where medical staff pick it up and potentially tracks it throughout the facility.” Every time a resident or a staff member touches a high-touch surface — and if that surface is contaminated — those pathogens can collect on hands, starting the spread of cross-contamination.
Healthy Habits We've Learned From COVID-19
Washing our hands better, cooking more at home, and using telemedicine can help protect us now and later
Social distancing remains vital to our battle against COVID-19
Many of us are guilty of relaxing and wishfully thinking that the coronavirus pandemic is nearing the end. Summer can bring thoughts of family vacations and trips with friends. People are planning these getaways — some responsibly and others less so — because we are tired of quarantining. However, this virus is still dangerous, and the risks of unfettered spread remain. We’ve paid a heavy price for containing this virus; it would be a tragedy to let it run wild now. Our economy will improve. There will be a time again when social distancing is something that lives only in the past. But at this moment, caution and smart thinking remain vitally important.
Don’t listen to Trump. Mask-wearing is essential.
All Americans, and all businesses, want the country reopened. Mr. Trump has framed the issue falsely, as a choice between economic revival and public health. In fact, the goal is to reopen intelligently, without triggering a fresh tsunami of infections. That will require responsible decision-making by state and local leaders as well as companies and individuals. Wearing masks is an essential place to start.
Judge orders Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro to wear a mask
President Bolsonaro has been ordered by a federal judge to wear a mask in public after he attended political rallies in Rio de Janeiro without any face covering. Renato Borelli said that Mr Bolsonaro could be fined 2,000 reais ($387) a day if he continued to disobey a federal district ordinance meant to slow the Covid-19 outbreak. Facemasks have been mandatory in public in the city since April. Last week Abraham Weintraub, the education minister, was fined for failing to wear a face mask at a rally in Brasilia, the capital. He shook hands and posed for pictures with demonstrators, many of whom also went without masks. Brazil is facing one of the worst outbreaks of coronavirus, with more than 1.1 million cases so far and more than 50,000 deaths. Mr Bolsonaro has resisted calls for lockdowns, saying that his country’s economy could not survive.
Community Activities
70% in Japan want telecommuting to continue after pandemic, survey finds
A recent survey has found that 70.0 percent of respondents are in favor of telecommuting even after the coronavirus is contained, with many happy with the reduction in commuting. Those in favor comprise 24.8 percent who fully think telecommuting should be promoted after the pandemic and 45.2 percent who somewhat think so. Asked to describe good things about remote work, with multiple answers allowed, 68.2 percent said they have no stress from commuting and 50.6 percent said they can live in and work from places with cheaper housing costs. Being able to work even when caring for family members or others was mentioned by 47.7 percent, followed by less time spent on unproductive overtime by 42.4 percent, and better working environments for people with physical disabilities by 41.6 percent.
French connections - Life after lockdown: Exploring the 'new normal' in France
As France eases out of lockdown, people are heading back to their old ways of life, but these feel so unfamiliar. Though the places are the same, the way the French are supposed to navigate life is just different, whether it's wearing a mask or avoiding a kiss to say hello. What long-term impact are the coronavirus and the two-month lockdown going to have on French society? In this episode of French Connections Plus, Genie Godula and Florence Villeminot take a look at the "new normal" in post-lockdown France.
Disneyland Resort delays reopening of Anaheim theme parks amid COVID-19 concerns
Disneyland Resort announced on Wednesday that it will delay the reopening of the theme parks and hotel. There was no new date given. "The State of California has now indicated that it will not issue theme park reopening guidelines until sometime after July 4. Given the time required for us to bring thousands of cast members back to work and restart our business, we have no choice but to delay the reopening of our theme parks and resort hotels until we receive approval from government officials," Disneyland said in a statement. Disneyland employee unions had asked the state to delay the park's expected reopening in July out of concerns for health and safety.
Could Covid-19 upheaval help film and TV industry respond to climate change?
Spain’s lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic was one of the strictest in Europe. The easing of the safety measures has been organised in very specific stages, region by region. Cinemas in some regions have been allowed to open since May 25 at just 30% occupancy. Some independent theatres in Madrid and Barcelona have been open since June 21 but the major chains are not due to open untl the last weekend in June. Cinemas are required to clean thoroughly in between each screening, offer disinfectant gel dispensers at each entrance, have assigned seating for all screenings in a way that allows for physical distancing and all tickets are sold online where possible. Government support for the decimated exhibition sector has included a €13.3m emergency fund and a reduction on the VAT on cinema tickets to 4% from 10%. To encourage audiences back to the cinemas, distributors and exhibitors and their respective associations – the Federación de Cines de España (FECE) and the Federación de Distribuidores de Cine (FEDICINE) – have joined forces to launch a publicity campaign on social networks: #yovoyalcine, underlining the joy of cinema-going with clips from movies including La La Land, The Shawshank Redemption and Cinema Paradiso.
Working Remotely
Eight in 10 UAE residents will work remotely after Covid-19, says report
Seventy-nine per cent of people in the UAE are expecting to work remotely more often even after the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, and of those 63 per cent feel this will be permanent, according to a new survey that analysed the impact of the pandemic on work culture. Meanwhile, 85 per cent of those surveyed are currently working from home, compared to just 2 per cent before movement restrictions were introduced in March, US-based telecommunications firm Ciena, which commissioned market research company Opinium to conduct the survey last month, said. “The data overwhelmingly shows that the lines between our personal and professional lives are becoming increasingly blurred as we adapt to working from home more often,” Jamie Jefferies, Ciena's general manager and vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said.
Two-thirds of UK adults to work remotely more often after Covid-19
Research commissioned by Ciena reveals how coronavirus pandemic will likely change UK internet usage, as increased use of online home working applications is complemented by commemorate rise in online education
80% of organizations did not have a remote work program before COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic completely altered the way of work, changing the landscape for hiring and daily business operations, Mind Edge and Skye Learning found.
Covid-19 sparks exodus of middle-class Londoners in search of the good life
The 2-metre rule may be about to be diluted in England, but job-hunters and home buyers are seeking a more profound form of social distancing post-lockdown by restarting their lives in less densely populated areas. A surge in the number of people looking for jobs outside London in the last two weeks has been mirrored by a spike in city dwellers looking for new homes in more isolated locations. The number of jobseekers wanting to get out of the capital has more than doubled in the last fortnight compared with the same period in 2019, according to the Escape the City careers advisory service. Meanwhile, the proportion of London buyers registering with estate agencies outside of the capital almost doubled in April.
Lost in translation? Supporting emotional wellbeing while remote working
A sudden shift to remote working has seen the workforce adapt to new ways of communicating. However, human interaction is about more than just words. Some of these extra cues, like tone and non-verbal communication, are lost when we cannot speak face-to-face. For employees – especially new or junior team members – establishing meaning through in-person contact is crucial. When they rely on email alone, it can lead to crossed wires and confusion and, as a result, trigger stress and overworking. Plus, face-to-face communication has additional benefits, like allowing responsive conversations. When we’re unable to respond in real-time or ask questions, we feel anxious. Employees may worry about annoying colleagues by double-emailing or worry over unanswered questions.
Virtual Classrooms
Turns Out You Can Build Community in a Zoom Classroom
How that played out in my own courses, which just wrapped up this month, may be of use to faculty members looking for ways to better connect with students online in the fall. My biggest surprise was the effectiveness of personal essays in building relationships in a Zoom classroom. I teach creative writing, but this kind of writing assignment could achieve the same ends in teaching any subject. One of my spring courses was a graduate nonfiction class. It was fairly easy to build community in that course because I knew most of the students and they knew one another. We all agreed that, except for sharing snacks during class and liquid socializing afterward, class online was much the same as face to face. We met at our regularly scheduled time on Zoom, though for a shorter duration than usual. The students posted their work for others to read and offer critiques.
COVID-19: Make UK develops new manufacturing online training | Technology
Make UK the manufacturers’ organisation, collaborates with Fujitsu UK and IOSH to help organisation maintain business continuity with online training.
Greenville County Schools to allow young students to take virtual classes in the fall
More Greenville County parents will be able to enroll their children in virtual school this fall, the district announced Wednesday. In prior years, the Greenville County school district only offered virtual high school courses. Now, students in kindergarten through 12th grade will be able to complete their work online. The announcement comes as schools across South Carolina are trying to determine how to have classes in the fall while coronavirus cases are on the rise.
64% parents favour starting online classes for young children: Survey
Sixty four per cent of parents and grandparents are in favour of starting online classes for young children, a survey said. However, most want to limit the virtual classes to 2 hours per day, LocalCircles survey also showed. The physical classes currently remain out of bounds for children amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. While online mode of classroom teaching has been currently adopted in most states, it's a non-starter in some others amid fear among parents that it will subject young children to screens. Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh have banned it for under Grade 5 and Maharashtra for under Grade 2.
Al-Qalam starts virtual lessons
Al-Qalam University, Katsina has launched an online lecture platform to transform learning in the COVID 19 lockdown. A statement by the institute’s Head, Public Affairs, Atiku Akilu, said the university suspended academic activities in March 2020 in compliance with the directives of the National Universities Commission (NUC).
COVID-19 has proven that parents need online education options
The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted new challenges for parents when it comes to their children’s education. Amid stay-at-home orders, social distancing, and travel restrictions, parents have to make important and potentially tough decisions about their children’s education in the fall.
Public Policies
Any decision on re-imposing Bengaluru lockdown only after consulting experts: Ministers
Any decision on re-imposing lockdown in the city in view of surging COVID-19 cases will be taken only after consulting experts, several Karnataka Ministers said on Wednesday, amid speculations that the government is planning such a recourse. A day after setting off a debate saying the government may have to consider lockdown, Health Minister B Sriramulu maintained that if the cases in the city continued to increase, the matter would be discussed with the expert committee, with Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and a decision would be taken. "We have an expert committee, and if the cases continue to increase, we will discuss with them, with the Chief Minister and take a decision. The Central government will also be consulted," he told reporters in Bengaluru.
Chile celebrated success against the coronavirus — and began to open up. Infections have soared.
It wasn't that long ago that Chilean President Sebastián Piñera boasted that the country was ready for the coronavirus. "Far better prepared than Italy," is how he put it in March. And after locking down the population, bolstering hospitals and testing aggressively, the country did appear to be faring well against the pandemic. With a comparatively advanced health-care system, it kept numbers of cases and deaths lower than in neighboring Brazil, Ecuador and Peru. By April, officials were touting plans to distribute a first-in-the-world “immunity passport,” enabling Chileans who had recovered from covid-19 to get back to work. They now appear to have been overconfident. After weeks of soaring infections, Chile has now reported more than 250,000 cases of the coronavirus, seventh in the world, and 4,500 deaths. Officials said over the weekend that 3,000 more deaths were probably caused by covid-19. Its 1,338.9 cases per 100,000 people lead Latin America.
Nicola Sturgeon: no 'reckless race' with rest of UK on lockdown easing
Nicola Sturgeon has said she is not prepared to put lives at risk “in some kind of reckless race with other parts of the UK”, as she faced criticism for maintaining the 2-metre rule for businesses despite having announced plans for school pupils to return from August with no distancing in place. Scotland’s first minister set out indicative dates for further easing of the country’s lockdown rules – including lifting the five-mile travel restriction from next Friday and reopening beer gardens from the following Monday – as weekly data from the National Records of Scotland showed a reduction in deaths for the eighth consecutive week. Continuing to urge caution, she told the Scottish parliament: “Our pace is slightly slower than England but it is, in my view, right for our circumstances and, I hope, more likely to be sustainable than if we went faster now.”
The way Boris Johnson has eased lockdown sends all the wrong messages
At the last daily press conference on Covid-19, Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, pleaded with the public: “If people don’t take mitigation seriously, if people hear a distorted version of what’s been said – that says ‘this is all fine now, it’s gone away’ – and start behaving in ways that they normally would have before this virus happened, yes we will get an uptick for sure. So it is absolutely critical that people stick to the guidance that has been given.”
Coronavirus: 'Extraordinarily risky' to lift lockdown measures now, warns ex-chief scientific adviser
Lifting lockdown measures now in England risks a second wave of coronavirus during the winter, a former chief scientific adviser to the government has warned. “I think it’s extraordinarily risky,” Sir David King told Sky News. “If we take the long view we know that the winter is a likely period when the virus takes off again. We must therefore aim to completely get rid of the virus from this country before the winter.” His warning came a day after Boris Johnson announced the most significant relaxation of the Covid-19 lockdown so far, telling the public that pubs, cinemas, hairdressers and restaurants will reopen on 4 July, and that the two-metre rule will be eased.
Beware second wave of coronavirus, medics warn Britain
A second coronavirus wave is a real risk for Britain and local flare-ups are likely, major health bodies said on Wednesday, in one of the strongest warnings yet to Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he eases lockdown to help the economy. Britain has one of the world’s highest death tolls from COVID-19 but infections have fallen. The government plans to lift many restrictions in England from July 4 to help an economy facing the deepest contraction in three centuries. With fears of renewed spikes of infections concerning leaders around the world, some of Britain’s most eminent health leaders want urgent preparations for such a possible scenario. “The available evidence indicates that local flare-ups are increasingly likely and a second wave a real risk,” the medics said in a letter in the British Medical Journal.
Coronavirus: WHO warns UK of ‘year of living differently’ as Boris Johnson set to further ease lockdown
World Health Organisation (WHO) officials have warned “this is the year of living differently” and urged caution in the UK ahead of further easing of lockdown restrictions. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce on Tuesday that the hospitality industry can reopen from 4 July, with the two-metre social distancing rule set to be halved. While the UK has made progress in suppressing the virus, Dr Margaret Harris cautioned that the pandemic is not over, adding that there is a link between rising reproduction rates and the easing of lockdown measures.
Colombia extends coronavirus lockdown measures until July 15
Colombia's lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus will continue until July 15, President Ivan Duque said in a nightly broadcast on Tuesday. The Andean country has reported more than 73,500 cases of coronavirus and 2,404 deaths. "The current conditions of obligatory isolation, where we are returning to productivity and moving towards the re-opening of businesses, will continue as they are today until July 15," Duque said. Duque first declared a national quarantine to control the spread of the new coronavirus in late March. While certain restrictions have been relaxed, the quarantine was due to lift on July 1
Putin declares a Russian victory over coronavirus, but warns 'epidemic isn't over yet'
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that further social support measures and incentives for businesses will be introduced as he hailed the nation's response to the coronavirus pandemic in the run-up to a vote that could extend his rule until 2036. Speaking in a televised address, Putin declared that Russia has successfully gone through the most dangerous phase of the outbreak. "Together we have proven that we are capable to fulfil the most difficult tasks," he said.
Coronavirus outbreak forces new area in Spain to reintroduce restrictions
A coronavirus outbreak in Spain’s northeastern region of Aragón has forced regional authorities to take a new step back in the deescalation process. A day after moving three comarcas – administrative divisions smaller than a province – back to Phase 2 of the national deescalation plan, the regional government announced on Tuesday that the comarca of Bajo Aragón-Caspe would also return to an earlier stage. The move, aimed at curbing coronavirus contagions, comes in response to an outbreak detected among fruit pickers in Huesca province.
A tale of two pandemics: how Germany got it right, and Britain flailed
By 23 June, according to official figures, Britain had sustained 306,210 confirmed cases of Covid-19, compared with Germany’s 190,862. In Britain 42,927 people had died from the virus. In Germany the figure on the same day stood at 8,895 deaths. In Britain, according to Johns Hopkins University data, the current death rate per 100,000 people stands at 64.27. In Germany, the rate is 10.73. It is a stunning difference. Germans have been six times less likely to die from Covid-19 than British people. What explains it? One underlying reason is that the UK’s health spending level per head of $4,000 is only approximately two-thirds that of Germany. Another more immediate one is that Germany was much quicker to lock down: most German schools closed from 13 March, a week before all parts of the UK; shops and restaurants closed from 16 March, again a week before Britain. As a result, Germany was able to begin lifting parts of its lockdown at the end of April.
Germany put 500,000 people back under lockdown after a spike in coronavirus cases
Germany has reimposed lockdown restrictions on two districts, affecting more than 500,000 people, according to the BBC. Coronavirus cases have spiked in Gütersloh and Warendorf, including at a meatpacking plant where more than 1,500 employees have tested positive. People in those districts can now only meet one other person in public, and schools and cultural venues are all due to close. Germany's R0 number skyrocketed to 2.88 over the weekend
Why New Zealand decided to go for full elimination of the coronavirus
Baker felt “very moved” by the government’s decision, but also anxious, because he didn’t know if it would work. “As a scientist, you feel very worried if you’re giving advice when the evidence base isn’t totally there yet, particularly when it’s something that could be harmful to people,” he says. However, putting the entire country into home quarantine early on extinguished community transmission and gave authorities time to strengthen testing and contact tracing capacities, which were initially “really quite woeful”, says Baker. The country has recorded only 1515 covid-19 cases and 22 deaths to date, and hasn’t had any new, locally acquired cases since 22 May. The current active cases are all citizens in supervised quarantine after returning from overseas. On 8 June, New Zealand lifted all its restrictions except for its border control measures. “There was this amazing sense of relief,” says Baker. He is proud of New Zealand’s success, but says it is important not to become complacent or smug. Baker warns that other countries that have seemingly got on top of the virus, such as China and South Korea, have experienced subsequent outbreaks.
Climate crisis: Green recovery ‘only option’ to return to economic prosperity after coronavirus recession, government warned
A green recovery is the only option to ensure a resilient economy can emerge amid the prospect of the “biggest economic shock for a generation” due to the coronavirus crisis, the government has been told. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has said the tragedy of the Covid-19 pandemic can still become “a historic turning point in tackling the global climate crisis”, and position the UK as a true leader on environmental policy. In its annual report to parliament, the committee said urgent steps must be taken in the months ahead to deliver rapid climate progress and accelerate the transition to a cleaner, net-zero emissions economy that will strengthen the country’s resilience to the impacts of climate change.
Coronavirus: EU considers barring Americans from travel list
EU ambassadors are to continue talks on Friday to plan reopening external borders on 1 July, and travellers from the US could be among those not allowed in. Some European countries are keen to open up to tourists but others are wary of the continued spread of the virus. On Wednesday US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he expected a solution "in the coming weeks". The virus is spreading in the US, so it is likely Americans would be barred. The 27-member bloc must first agree the measures that non-EU countries should meet before deciding on a safe list. Brazil, Russia and other countries with high infection rates would also be left off a safe list, according to reports from Brussels.
Scotland Joins Rest of U.K. Easing Lockdown Amid Economic Pain
Minister Boris Johnson on Monday, are earlier than planned and come as a report showed the economy may not recover until 2024 in a worst-case scenario. “Our pace is slightly slower than England’s, but it is, in my view, right for our circumstances,” Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on Wednesday. Progress in tackling coronavirus means Scots could get back to normality “more quickly than we could have imagined a few weeks ago.”
Virus Surges Across U.S., Throwing Reopenings Into Disarray
Newly diagnosed cases of Covid-19 and other indicators of the pandemic’s spread soared in hot spots across the U.S., driving city and state officials to consider slowing or reversing reopening plans. Cases are surging in Texas, Florida, Arizona and in California, which on Tuesday broke its record for new cases for the fourth day in the past week. Even in New Jersey, where numbers have been falling, Governor Phil Murphy warned that the transmission rate is “beginning to creep up.”
EU goes easy on GMOs in race for COVID-19 vaccine
Brussels is ready to loosen its stance on GMOs in order to avoid bottlenecks in clinical trials for a coronavirus vaccine involving multiple countries. Current GMO legislation does not foresee situations of urgency, resulting in very complex and time-consuming procedures, the Commission argues, saying “there is considerable variety across member states in the national requirements and procedures implementing the GMO directives.” Potential vaccines currently under development by pharmaceutical companies such as Astra Zeneca and Johnson & Johnson contain or consist of GMOs. The proposed derogation, which still needs to be voted by the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers, will last for as long as COVID-19 is regarded as a public health emergency, the Commission said. The relaxed rules will apply not only for clinical trials on a COVID-19 vaccine but also for treatments, the Commission’s communication reads, although compliance with good manufacturing practices (GMPs) and an environmental risk assessment of the products will still be carried out before their marketing authorisation.
Maintaining Services
Coronavirus: Government to tear up red tape to allow more outdoor drinking and dining
A bonfire of red tape is being unveiled by Boris Johnson in a move to help the economy to recover from coronavirus and the nation to enjoy the summer sunshine outdoors. On the day temperatures are set to soar to a record 34C - hotter than the Caribbean and Morocco - the government is publishing new legislation sweeping away dozens of planning regulations. The result will be more food and alcohol on sale outdoors, more outdoor markets, car boot sales and summer fairs, all allowed without the burden of restrictive planning and licensing laws. A Business and Planning Bill, packed with deregulation proposals, is being introduced in the Commons, with ministers claiming it will help businesses get back on their feet and get people back in their jobs safely.
Vacant seats, pre-packed snacks: UK's Odeon seeks to woo guests as cinemas reopen
Britain’s Odeon Cinemas will reopen its theatres from July 4 with pre-packaged food and drinks and vacant seats between guests to reassure them of its safety measures, as England begins to ease its coronavirus lockdown. The cinema operator, owned by the U.S.-based AMC Entertainment (AMC.N), said on Thursday it will initially reopen 10 sites, followed by another 88 by July 16, just in time for the summer blockbusters. Operators, including rival Cineworld (CINE.L) and premium cinema group Everyman Media (EMANE.L), have laid out plans to reopen theatres after closing them in March to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Theatres will have contactless ticket checks and till payments to buy snacks, along with ‘Grab & Go’ kits that include a bottled drink, popcorn and a bag of sweets to speed up service, Odeon said.
Coronavirus UK: NHS holidays cancelled amid second wave fears
The Royal Cornwall Trust admitted it was denying its staff holidays in October NHS bosses fear second wave could threaten to overwhelm hospitals in autumn Comes as 16 of UK's leading medics today penned a letter to the Prime Minister Demanding he starts preparing for 'very real risk' of a second, more deadly spike
Face masks and class ‘bubbles’: Spain prepares plans for a safe return to school
Spanish education officials have for weeks been debating how to get non-university students safely back to school in the fall for in-person classes. Schools shut down across Spain in March due to the coronavirus pandemic and classes were moved online, but educators have been warning about the gaps in access to technology and the risk that some students could be left behind. Central and regional officials are now working toward the goal of getting all children in pre-university studies back to school despite the logistical problems involved. One of the main issues is how to maintain a safe physical distance between students in facilities with large class sizes and reduced space.
No name, no pint - new rules for England's pubs after lockdown
Drinkers in England’s pubs will have to give their name before they order a pint, and there will be no live acts or standing at the bar, the government said in advice for reopening the sector next month. Pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will have to keep a record of customers for 21 days to assist the state health service’s test and trace operation, which aims to identify and contain any local flare-ups of COVID-19 and stop a second wave of infections. Live performances, including drama, comedy and music, will also not be allowed, the government said. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday said that pubs, restaurants and hotels could reopen in England on July 4, easing the coronavirus lockdown that has all but shut the economy.
More than a third of BAME doctors have not had Covid-19 risk assessment -
In the survey of 7,500 doctors, carried out last week, more than a third of BAME doctors said they still have not had a Covid-19 risk assessment, two months after NHS England recommended them in April. However, it did show that BAME doctors are more likely to have received one. Also, 46% of BAME doctors said they felt less likely to feel fully protected from Covid-19, compared with 29% of their white colleagues. Four in 10 BAME doctors ‘often’ or ‘sometimes’ felt pressured to see patients without proper PPE, while two in 10 of their white counterparts said the same. More than 90% of GPs who have died with coronavirus came from a BAME background, according to the BMA’s records.
Healthcare Innovations
Scientists want UK city to lift lockdown completely to see what happens
Scientists have proposed lifting lockdown completely in a UK city about the size of Southampton to see if coronavirus can be controlled through the weekly testing of residents. A demonstration study is needed on a “medium-sized city” of around 250,000 people to see if regular testing and local quarantines could tackle Covid-19 outbreaks, according to a paper published in the Royal Society Open Science journal. “It is a deep mystery to me why this idea has not gained traction,” said Julian Peto, professor of epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who co-authored the paper with 10 other experts.
Chinese Covid-19 Vaccines Cleared for Final Testing in U.A.E.
Beijing-based China National Biotec Group Co. was awarded approval on Tuesday to conduct Phase III trials for its Covid-19 vaccines in the Middle Eastern country, the company said in a statement posted on its official WeChat account.
First Vaccinations Begin in Africa for Covid-19 Trial
Africa’s first participation in a COVID-19 vaccine trial started Wednesday as nervous volunteers received injections, while officials said the continent of 1.3 billion people cannot be left behind. The large-scale trial of the vaccine developed at the University of Oxford in Britain is being conducted in South Africa, Britain and Brazil. South Africa has nearly one-third of Africa’s confirmed cases with more than 106,000, including more than 2,100 deaths. The country late Tuesday reported its biggest one-day death toll of 111. “I feel a little bit scared but I want to know what is going on with this vaccine so that I can tell my friends and others what is going on with the study,” one of the vaccine trial volunteers, Junior Mhlongo, said in Johannesburg.
Coronavirus: Human trial of new vaccine begins in UK
About 300 people will have the vaccine over the coming weeks, as part of a trial led by Prof Robin Shattock and his colleagues, at Imperial College London. Tests in animals suggest the vaccine is safe and triggers an effective immune response. Experts at Oxford University have already started human trials. The trials are among many across the world - there are around 120 vaccine programmes under way.
Testing ALL of Britain for coronavirus every week 'could prevent second lockdown'
Testing everyone for coronavirus every week could drive out the coronavirus without a second wave or another lockdown, according to scientists. Researchers led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said routine testing, contact tracing and household isolation could stop Covid-19 'quite quickly'. They said Britain should do a single-city trial of the system to see whether it could bring down new infections and deaths faster than the current situation.