"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 16th Jul 2020

Isolation Tips
Coronavirus: 'Social isolation' of new parents during lockdown
New parents have been left "socially isolated" during lockdown and unaware of how to get help, the National Childbirth Trust has claimed. Bethan Sayed, who gave birth in April, said the support she has received was "sporadic". The member of the Senedd warned of a long-term impact on new mothers' mental health. The Welsh Government said perinatal community services had continued through the pandemic. But there have been calls for better support in the event of a second lockdown.
How children in the UK are coping with the coronavirus lockdown
Since lockdown began in the UK, Cathy Creswell at the University of Oxford and her colleagues have been surveying thousands of families to find out how they are affected by the covid-19 pandemic. The Co-SPACE Study has now published its first findings from a longitudinal study that questioned people over several months. More than 10,000 people have now taken part. Our first report was at the beginning of April, looking at the first 1500 people.
Can mental health services cope with the devastating effects of Covid-19?
More staff are badly needed as a ‘tsunami’ of referrals looms in the UK – but myths that the sector is dangerous to work in puts many off
Keeping Your Temper While Stuck at Home
A behavioral economist answers questions about quarantine stress, dieting while working from home and getting over a break-up.
Hygiene Helpers
Hipkins urges use of contact tracer app - 'Step up your efforts'
Health Minister Chris Hipkins has appealed to New Zealanders to use the contact tracer app, saying he believes there is a degree of complacency in this country, even as the risk grows every day. Speaking at today's press conference, where it was revealed there were two new cases in managed isolation facilities, Hipkins said contact tracing was a core public health response, and the Ministry was training its staff to do case investigation. He said the contact tracer app was one part of a whole system of contact tracing that required everyone to take part, and about 596,000 New Zealanders have so far done this. The information provided is only used by the Ministry and only for contact tracing, he said. "Please step up your efforts, scan wherever you go and keep a record of your movements."
Masks part of the Melbourne look for a long time to come
Melburnians may need to wear masks on public transport and in other busy public spaces until there is a widely available vaccine for coronavirus. As another person died and Victoria recorded 238 new infections on Wednesday, University of NSW epidemiologist Mary-Louise McLaws said wearing face masks would be a significant cultural shift for Victorians, but a necessary means of protection in the battle against COVID-19.
Belgium, once hard-hit, reports zero coronavirus deaths for first time since March
Belgium, which has reined in the coronavirus after becoming the worst-hit mid-sized country in the world, reported zero new coronavirus-related deaths in 24 hours on Tuesday for the first time since March 10. As in many European countries that were hard hit by the pandemic in March and April, Belgium sharply reduced infections by imposing a lockdown, which is now being lifted. The total number of deaths reported by the national public health institute Sciensano remained at 9,787. In the country of 11.5 million people, that works out to around 850 deaths per million, the worst in the world apart from the tiny city state of San Marino. The peak daily death toll was 343 on April 12.
Wearing a mask doesn't just protect others from COVID, it protects you from infection, perhaps serious illness, too
The Missouri hair salon case was published in this week's Morbidity and Mortality Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It's an example of the power of face masks to stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. On May 12, a hair stylist at a Springfield Great Clips salon developed respiratory symptoms, but kept working for eight days until a COVID-19 test came back positive. Another stylist started getting sick three days later and worked for another seven days before testing positive and staying home. Both colleagues wore masks only when customers were present. Six close contacts of the first stylist ended up coming down with COVID-19. But in the salon, where 98% of clients wore masks, things played out differently. Of the 67 clients exposed to one or both of the stylists and tested for COVID-19, not one tested positive.
English lockdown might have reduced COVID-19 infections more than thought, scientists say
The reproductive number of COVID-19 in England may been lower than previously thought in May, research published by British scientists said on Wednesday, suggesting the government’s COVID-19 lockdown worked to reduce infection rates. The study - which is a “pre-print”, meaning it has yet to be peer-reviewed - found there were on average 13 positive cases for every 10,000 people, with an overall reproduction number of 0.57. That is lower than the government’s official figures for that time, estimating a so-called “R” number of 0.7-0.9 when lockdown was eased. An R number of less than 1 indicates an epidemic is shrinking. “Our level of adherence in the UK, and the overall average behaviour was very effective at reducing transmission of the virus,” Steven Riley, Professor of Infectious Disease Dynamics, Imperial College London, told reporters.
‘There's a direct relationship’: Brazil meat plants linked to spread of Covid-19
Brazilian meat plants helped spread Covid-19 in at least three different places across the country as the virus continues to migrate from big cities to the country’s vast interior, experts have said. At the beginning of this week the country was second only to the US with 1.88 million confirmed Covid-19 cases and 72,833 deaths. Its powerful agribusiness sector is allied with the country’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, who has dismissed the pandemic as a “little flu”. The beef sector is worth $26bn (£20.7bn), according to the Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock (CNA), while its chicken industry is worth another $8bn.
Which U.S. States Meet WHO Recommended Testing Criteria?
If a positivity rate is too high, that may indicate that the state is only testing the sickest patients who seek medical attention, and is not casting a wide enough net to know how much of the virus is spreading within its communities. A low rate of positivity in testing data can be seen as a sign that a state has sufficient testing capacity for the size of their outbreak and is testing enough of its population to make informed decisions about reopening. Which U.S. states are testing enough to meet the WHO’s goal? The graph below compares states’ rate of positivity to the recommended positivity rate of 5% or below. States that meet the WHO’s recommended criteria appear in green, while the states that are not testing enough to meet the positivity benchmark are in orange.
Coronavirus NSW, Victoria: What happens if COVID-19 does not go away?
Experts have painted a grim picture of what life could look like in NSW and Victoria if the coronavirus is not brought under control. The resurgence of the virus has led to increasing calls for authorities to adopt an elimination strategy rather than a suppression strategy. All of Australia’s states and territories have managed to effectively eliminate the virus except for NSW and Victoria. NSW got close before Victoria’s outbreak spread north, resulting in an increasing number of cases of community transmission in Sydney. Both states would have to get active cases down to zero for at least two weeks before the virus is considered to be eliminated. While some experts have noted that it’s unlikely the virus will be completely eliminated, if the number of cases was brought to zero, it means authorities can jump on any small outbreaks as they appear.
Community Activities
One million Brits have quit smoking during covid pandemic
One million Brits have quit smoking since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, charity Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) says. Ash has calculated that 1,036,000 smokers and recent ex-smokers had quit or continued their abstinence since coronavirus cases started circulating in the UK in March. The charity surveyed more than 10,000 people across England, Wales and Scotland, including 1,700 smokers and people who had quit in the last four months. It found that younger smokers were more likely to have stopped than older smokers – 17 per cent of smokers and recent ex-smokers aged between 16-29 said they had quit compared to seven per cent of those older than 50. A further 13 per cent of those aged 30 to 49 quit during the pandemic, too.
Most Brits just won't wear face masks — here's why
According to YouGov data just 38% of Britons said they wear masks in public places. By comparison, 88% of people in Spain and 83% in Italy said they do so. Meanwhile, 90% of people in Singapore wear masks in public, as do 82% in China.
Alarm as Covid-19 reaches recently contacted Amazon tribe
At least six coronavirus cases have been recorded among the Nahua people, who have lived mostly in voluntary isolation since they were first contacted in the 198os. Fewer than a thousand members of the group live in the Kugapakori-Nahua-Nanti territorial reserve, an expanse of 4,556 sq km (1,763 sq miles) in Peru’s southern Amazon. The report has prompted alarm among Amazon indigenous activists who have repeatedly warned that coronavirus could cause a disastrous repeat of previous pandemics that devastated their populations.
Fertility rate: 'Jaw-dropping' global crash in children being born
It has nothing to do with sperm counts or the usual things that come to mind when discussing fertility. Instead it is being driven by more women in education and work, as well as greater access to contraception, leading to women choosing to have fewer children. In many ways, falling fertility rates are a success story.
Working Remotely
Four Tips for Call Centers to Embrace Long-Term Remote Work Productively
After months of wide-spread lockdowns in response to the novel Coronavirus, many countries and companies are beginning to lift restrictions. As this process begins, it’s clear that many things will look different than before the pandemic. This is especially true for the workplace, where many people are expected to work from home indefinitely. In a call center environment where employees work in tight spaces using shared equipment, the need to facilitate a new normal will be especially noteworthy. Research into the implications for call center employees produced grim results, prompting Paul Stockford, research director for the National Association of Call Centers, to implore call centers to “get your agents home immediately.”
COVID-19: How long will working from home last?
COVID-19 has triggered a new age of remote working. A survey by UK startup network Founders Forum looks at the trend and shows what employers and employees think about working from home. A realistic post-pandemic work scenario could involve 3 to 5 days of remote work a week, with a couple dedicated in-office days for the entire team. The majority of respondents had seen their working hours increase during this time, with opinion split on whether it's more or less productive.
82 per cent of Companies to let Employees Work Remotely for the time being: Gartner
The figures are contained in a Gartner survey from early June of 127 company leaders, representing HR, Legal and Compliance, Finance and Real Estate. For many organisations with employees working both onsite and remotely, adapting to a new, more complex hybrid workforce is the challenge to how people work together to get their job done evolves. According to Gartner VP research and advisory for Asia Pacific, Aaron McEwan, “The question now facing Australian organisations is not how to manage a remote workforce, but how to manage a more complex, hybrid workforce.” “Australia led the way with flexible working. More than five years on, Telstra’s All Roles Flex approach still stands as a best practice example that others have followed,” he said.
Barbados wants you to work from its beaches during the pandemic
But even as the pandemic continues to rage, the government of Barbados, a country in the eastern Caribbean, is sending a very different message: Come here, not just for a holiday, but for up to a year. Bring your laptop. Soak up the sun, the sea, the sand — and forget about the coronavirus.
IMF: 100 million people unable to do their jobs remotely
COVID-19 has forced tens of millions of workers to lose their jobs and millions more out of the labor force altogether. The IMF has investigated the feasibility of working from home in a large sample of advanced and emerging market economies. It estimates that nearly 100 million workers in 35 advanced and emerging countries could be at high risk because they are unable to do their jobs remotely. Workers in food and accommodation, and wholesale and retail trade, are the hardest hit for having the least “teleworkable” jobs.
Will the remote work craze sparked by COVID-19 sound a death knell for office buildings?
Elliott Holt was always firmly opposed to letting employees work from home. “There’s no control over it,” says the CEO of a Nashville-based medical records company. “We like to be in control.” With MediCopy growing at breakneck speed, its work-in-the office ethos spelled a feverish expansion of its physical presence in Nashville. After adding a second office two years ago, the firm was poised to lease a third last month. But since the coronavirus pandemic has forced nearly all of MediCopy's 200 employees to work from home, Holt has had an abrupt change of heart. He says he’ll let staffers continue to telecommute for the long term, prompting him to relinquish both of the additional offices, convert his headquarters into a training center, and save $350,000 a year in leasing costs.
Banks back to work-from-home as Hong Kong sees third wave of coronavirus
After serving as a test run globally for how to return to the office safely, banks in Hong Kong reinstated work-from-home arrangements for many of their staff this week as a “third wave” of coronavirus cases hit the city. HSBC, the biggest of three banks authorised to issue currency in the city, “strongly encouraged” its staff to work remotely beginning on Wednesday until further notice, particularly those with pre-existing medical conditions. “To support flexible working, employees who must work from HSBC premises should discuss working arrangements, including staggered arrival and lunch times, with their line manager,” HSBC said in a memo late on Tuesday.
Virtual Classrooms
'It is not safe to return to the classroom.' Teachers union lobbies for full distance learning
After two months of negotiations, the Palo Alto Unified teachers union is urging the district against reopening schools this fall and instead is asking for a return to full distance learning. In an open letter to the school board and top district leaders, the union cited a list of concerns about the logistics, risks and limitations of in-person instruction, as well as the local spike in coronavirus cases. Santa Clara County reported 192 new cases of the COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing its total to 6,725. "While we have been negotiating since May in good faith about how to structure a return to school, we have increasing concerns whether this can be done while maintaining the health and safety of our students and staff as this pandemic shows no signs of going away," the union wrote. "As much as we love our students and miss teaching in person, it is not safe to return to the classroom at this time."
Iowa City schools will start school year online only as COVID-19 cases rise in Johnson County
Decision to keep students at home 'will have cascading effects,' interim superintendent acknowledges
HISD to begin 2020-2021 academic school year online for 6 weeks
Houston ISD students won't be heading into the classroom anytime soon. All students will begin the school year virtually when classes begin on Sept. 8. HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan made the announcement Wednesday on the district's Facebook page. Online instruction will continue for six weeks through Oct. 16, according to Lathan. She said the decision was based on the increased number of COVID-19 cases in Houston and Harris County. "Given the threat of COVID-19, we will not put the health and safety of our students and staff at risk," she said during a briefing hours after the announcement was released.
Some Teachers Head to Virtual Summer School to Learn How to Teach Remotely
Remote classes are continuing this summer, including classes for educators who are working hard through their summer break to try to get a better handle on virtual teaching. “Everybody is trying so hard to be prepared going into the fall, and to give students the best education possible, whether it’s remote, whether it’s in the classroom, or whether it’s both,” said Kim Kaplan, a practicum coordinator at Lasell University.
Clayton Schools parents prefer virtual classes amid pandemic
An overwhelming majority of Clayton parents and district staff told the south metro Atlanta school system in a recent survey that they prefer at-home instruction over coming into school buildings if the spread of the virus continues to worsen, Superintendent Morcease Beasley said Tuesday.
RCS parents can choose in-person or virtual classes this school year
Parents in the Richmond Community Schools system who don't feel comfortable having their kids in the district's buildings because of the novel coronavirus pandemic can choose to enroll in a new virtual learning option instead this school year. That choice between traditional in-person instruction and the at-home program is one of the major changes included in RCS' reopening plan that was approved unanimously by the board of trustees Tuesday. Parents have until July 21 to fill out a form on the district's website to request that their children use virtual instruction. Any requests that come in after that date will be subject to availability.
With Rising COVID-19 Cases, Teachers at Santa Barbara Unified Call For Remote Classes
A parade of teachers called on the Santa Barbara Unified School District Board of Education to start the academic school year with remote learning. The district, just five weeks before the start of the Aug. 18 semester, has not yet cemented a plan for how to teach students. About three weeks ago, the board approved a hybrid model, but with the recent large increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalization rates, and school districts across the nation, including Los Angeles Unified School District moving to online-only in the fall, district officials are scrambling to figure out what to do.
LA Public Schools Will Start Year Online, as Virus Rises in State
Los Angeles and San Diego public school districts said Monday they will begin the year online, as California grapples with mounting Covid-19 cases and the WHO issued cautionary statements regarding coronavirus and kids.
Online tutoring improves disadvantaged school pupils performance and wellbeing in lockdown
A Bocconi University and Harvard program also raised disadvantaged pupils' aspirations, wellbeing and socio-emotional skills, showing that the educational gap can be addressed even with limited resources
Public Policies
India sends 375million people back into lockdown
India has ordered 375million people back into lockdown as the country suffered another record spike in coronavirus cases today. Health officials announced 29,429 new cases this morning, bringing the total from 906,752 to 936,181 with India on the brink of becoming the third country after the US and Brazil to pile up a million infections. The death toll jumped by 582, rising from 23,727 to 24,309, with nearly half of all fatalities recorded in the state of Maharashtra which includes Mumbai.
England's Covid-19 frontlines: the race to prevent local lockdowns
At the end of last week, the race was on. Blackburn with Darwen council was identified as an area of “concern” by Public Health England. With the number of infections rising,an emergency meeting of the Local Resilience Forum, which brings together NHS, councils across Lancashire, emergency services and other agencies, was called last Thursday to devise a plan. After the meeting, Blackburn’s public health director, Profe Dominic Harrison, told the Guardian he was determined to stop the outbreak without resorting to a Leicester-style lockdown. “A lockdown of the whole borough would be entirely inappropriate and wouldn’t be a solution to the problem we’ve got,” he said.
Bastille Day: France honours health workers amid pandemic
France has honoured its health workers at scaled-down events to mark the national celebration Bastille Day, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Authorities cancelled the traditional military parade but instead held a tribute to those tackling the virus. Invited audience members included families of French workers who died of Covid-19. The annual events mark the storming of Bastille prison on 14 July 1789, seen as the start of the French Revolution. It is the first time officials have called off the annual military parade through the capital Paris since the end of World War Two in 1945.
Morocco timidly re-opens borders after Covid-19 lockdown
Morocco cautiously re-opens its borders to the outside world as from 15 July, but only to Moroccan nationals and foreign residents of the kingdom. Only two airlines are authorised to carry out flights between Morocco and some selected destinations, including France, but at a prohibitive price.
As Bihar Goes Into A 15-Day Lockdown, A List Of What's Open, What's Not
Bihar will go into a complete lockdown from Thursday as coronavirus cases in the highly populated state saw an "alarming surge" in the last three weeks. Detailed guidelines have been released by the state government setting down strict rules of what can remain open and what cannot. The 15-day lockdown in the state from July 16 to July 31 was confirmed by Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi saying the Nitish Kumar government had ordered that "all city municipalities, district headquarters, block headquarters will stay under lockdown".
Coronavirus Success Story: How Rwanda Is Curbing COVID-19 : Goats and Soda
Comprehensive contact tracing is a task that has overwhelmed countries with far more resources than Rwanda. Rwanda's per capita income is roughly $2,000 per year. Yet all testing and treatment for the virus is provided for free. It costs the government between $50 and $100 to run a single coronavirus test, Nsanzimana says. In order to test thousands a day, Rwanda has started using a process called "pool testing." Material from 20-25 nasal swabs are all put into one vial and run through the machine. This allows them to test far more samples at once. If they get a positive result, then all the swabs that went into that initial vial are tested individually to pinpoint the person who's infected. Nsanzimana says Rwanda's experience dealing with other infectious disease outbreaks is helping it now during the pandemic.
Rules once lifted are reimposed to try to curb new outbreaks
Virus restrictions once lifted are being reimposed, shutting businesses and curbing people's social lives as communities try to curb a disease resurgence before it spins out of control. Residents of Australia's second-largest city were warned on Wednesday to comply with lockdown regulations or face tougher restrictions. Melbourne's 5 million people and part of the city's semi-rural surroundings are a week into a new, six-week lockdown to contain a new outbreak there.
Fauci warns young of Covid-19 risks and says crisis could match 1918 flu
“We have a serious situation here in the United States,” Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said at the online event. The US has so far witnessed more than 3.4m cases of Covid-19 and more than 136,000 deaths, with cases now rising in 37 states; record numbers of new cases in Florida, Arizona and Texas; and California shutting down many businesses statewide after recent reopenings. Fauci warned students at Georgetown that young people must not be “part of the problem”. Fauci has maintain a higher approval rating among the public than members of the administration. A New York Times poll, for example, found that 67% of respondents trusted Fauci’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak compared with only 26% who trusted Trump.
Venezuela reimposes strict lockdown in capital, Miranda state | English.news.cn
Venezuela's government on Tuesday decided to reimpose strict lockdown measures in the capital Caracas and the central state of Miranda, after a recent spike in the number of COVID-19 cases. "President Nicolas Maduro communicated the decision to take the capital district and Miranda state to level one of strict lockdown, starting tomorrow July 15, to the presidential commission on COVID-19, due to the rise in cases and for the sake of the people's health," Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said on Twitter. The government is confident that the measure can "sever the chains of transmission from the outbreak these central regions are undergoing," said Rodriguez.
Lockdown restrictions reimposed in California, Hong Kong and Australia as virus cases spike
California has reimposed sweeping lockdown restrictions ordering all bars and indoor restaurant dining to shut amid a surge in coronavirus cases. Most indoor religious services, gyms and hair and nail salons have also been told to close after experts warned of the extent to which the virus can be transmitted doors. Governor Gavin Newsome has repeatedly implored people to refrain from social gatherings and expressed frustration that many are not following the guidance.
Thousands of Catalans return to lockdown as Spain fights new virus clusters
Barcelona may bring back some restrictions on daily life after the number of coronavirus cases tripled in a week, its mayor said on Wednesday, as around 160,000 people in another part of Catalonia went back under lockdown to stem a new surge in cases. Just weeks after a nationwide lockdown was lifted and life returned largely to normal as infection rates dropped, Spain’s second-most populous region reported on Tuesday three deaths and 938 new coronavirus cases. Some 63% of those new cases were detected in Barcelona and its surroundings, stirring fears the regional capital and popular tourist destination might again become an epicentre of the virus.
Coronavirus in Scotland: Biggest relaxation of rules take place
Scotland has begun its most significant relaxation of coronavirus measures since the country went into lockdown in March. Hairdressers and barbers, bars and restaurants, cinemas, tourist attractions, places of worship and childcare settings can now all reopen. Nicola Sturgeon said it is "the biggest step so far" in exiting lockdown. But she warned she would "not hesitate" to close bars and restaurants again if the coronavirus starts to spread. The reopening of indoor spaces requires anti-virus precautions to be in place and all customers will be asked to provide their name and a phone number, as part of the NHS Test and Protect scheme. The first minister warned it was now more important than ever to stick to public health measures.
NZ could go into regional lockdown if Covid-19 re-emerges in community, says PM
New Zealand would move to regionalised lockdowns, rather than the the whole country in the first instance in the event of re-emergence of Covid-19 cases in the community. PM outlines next steps in case of Covid-19 community outbreakPlay Video
Maintaining Services
How investment in infrastructure can bring tourism back to post-COVID Latin America
The travel and tourism sector in Latin America and the Caribbean is projected to take a $110 billion hit due to COVID-19, says a new World Economic Forum report. Investment in infrastructure could bring back tourism as well as rebuild the economy. Public-private partnerships, improving technology and investing in infrastructure resilience are keys to building back better in the post-pandemic world.
China's economy seen growing 2.5% in second quarter as lockdowns end, stimulus kicks in: Reuters poll
China’s economy likely returned to modest growth in the second quarter after a record contraction, as lockdown measures ended and policymakers announced more stimulus to combat the shock from the coronavirus crisis, according to a Reuters poll.
As rowdy tourists flout coronavirus laws, residents in some Spanish resorts fear new surge in cases
Scenes of drunken young tourists cavorting without masks, jumping on cars and chanting aggressively on the streets of a resort town have raised concerns in Spain as the country teeters on the edge of a fresh coronavirus surge. Authorities say such incidents, video of which was shared by a local journalist but hasn't been verified by CNN, are isolated. But locals who endured heavy restrictions to limit the spread of the disease fear that ill-behaved visitors could undermine their earlier sacrifices
A Resurgence of the Virus, and Lockdowns, Threatens Economic Recovery
Failure to suppress a resurgence of confirmed infections is threatening to choke the recovery and push the country back into a recessionary spiral — one that could inflict long-term damage on workers and businesses large and small, unless Congress reconsiders the scale of federal aid that may be required in the months to come. The looming economic pain was evident this week as big companies forecast gloomy months ahead and government data showed renewed struggles in the job market. A weekly census survey on Wednesday showed 1.3 million fewer Americans held jobs last week than the previous week. A new American Enterprise Institute analysis from Safegraph.com of shopper traffic to stores showed business activity had plunged in the second week of July, in part from renewed virus fears.
Schools have low coronavirus infection rate, German study finds
A study of 2,000 children and teachers at schools in the German state of Saxony has found very few antibodies among them. The study was carried out in May by the Medical Faculty of the TU Dresden and University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus. The results of the first test phase were released Monday.
Officials seek options for when hospitals run out of ICU beds
The shortage of hospital beds for coronavirus patients in some areas of the US has officials looking at where they will put people when more come in. In one Texas city, the federal government is going to turn a hotel into what is called a surge hospital. In Georgia, the governor said the state is working unceasingly to prevent hospital bed shortages. The head of a hospital system in hard-hit Miami-Dade County, Florida, told CNN that they plan to convert some regular rooms into ones that can handle the most serious coronavirus patients should the growth in cases continue. Carlos Migoya said the situation is "very, very tight" at Jackson Health System, but they have stopped doing elective surgeries to help save beds. "This room is not going to last forever," if the numbers keep rising, he said.
Extended Lockdown May Not Be Best Strategy Against Covid-19; We Need Scientific Approach
India has now become the third worst-hit nation by the Covid-19 pandemic. Only the US and Brazil are ahead of India in terms of total coronavirus infections. In just three weeks, India went from being the sixth worst-affected country to the third. It’s mid-July and the Covid cases are expected to rise further in the coming weeks. In my earlier column, I had recommended a phased re-opening of activities across the country from April 15 based on the risk profiling. Now, after analysing global Covid data tillJune 30, things are becoming increasingly apparent. We, perhaps, went too far without scientific evidence-based planning, and maybe, it is time to go back to the drawing board and rework our strategies.
Healthcare Innovations
Covid-19 pandemic: the need for second-generation vaccines
It is astounding how quickly Covid-19 vaccines have progressed into and through clinical trials. However, there are concerns that these vaccines may not be particularly effective at preventing Covid-19 infections in the long-term, leading to the need for improved, next-generation vaccines against this novel coronavirus. One pair of companies working on the next phase of vaccine development are sister biotechs NantKwest and ImmunityBio.
Oxford's Covid-19 Vaccine Is the Coronavirus Front-Runner
The University of Oxford candidate, led by Sarah Gilbert, might be through human trials in September. AstraZeneca has lined up agreements to produce 2 billion doses. Could this be the one?
More than 150 countries engaged in COVID-19 vaccine global access facility
Seventy-five countries submit expressions of interest to COVAX Facility, joining up to 90 further countries which could be supported by the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC). The COVAX Facility, and the AMC within it, is designed to guarantee rapid, fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for every country in the world, rich and poor, to make rapid progress towards slowing the pandemic Interest from governments representing more than 60% of the world’s population offers ‘tremendous vote of confidence’ in the effort to ensure truly global access to COVID-19 vaccines, once developed
Early-stage trial data on AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine due Monday - Lancet
Early-stage human trial data on a vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University will be published on July 20, The Lancet medical journal said on Wednesday. The vaccine candidate is already in large-scale Phase III human trials to assess whether it can protect against COVID-19, but its developers have yet to report Phase I results which would show whether it is safe and whether or not it induces an immune response. “We expect this paper, which is undergoing final editing and preparation, to be published on Monday, July 20, for immediate release,” a spokeswoman for the journal said. The Lancet’s statement came after reports earlier on Wednesday that the Phase I data could be released as soon Thursday.