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"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 12th Oct 2020

News Highlights

Low cost Covid-19 strip test approved in India

A new low-cost paper-based Covid-19 strip test called Feluda, named after a beloved fictional Bengali detective, has been approved for commercial launch by the Drugs Controller General of India. The test will cost 500 Indian rupees, or around six Euros, and kits are expected to reach the market soon.

Rising virus cases in Madrid as government declares state of emergency

Spain's national government has declared a state of emergency in Madrid, on Friday, and the capital now faces severe restrictions to fight a growing number of Covid-19 cases in this second wave. The move will give Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's government new powers to enforce regulations in Madrid and take over from regional authorities that were so far resisting calls for travel restriction in the region.

China to join WHO's Covax programme, U.S. still resists

China has said that it will join the Covax programme, a WHO initiative to ensure equitable distribution of the coronavirus vaccine when it comes out. Hua Chunying, China's foreign ministry spokeswoman, said in a statement that the country was joining the initiative to help developing countries and hoped other 'capable' countries would also join the initiative. However, the U.S. and Russia are two of the major nations that have still not joined the programme.

Italy may require mandatory Covid-19 tests by UK visitors

Italy is considering adding the UK to its list of countries whose citizens may require a mandatory coronavirus test to enter the country. At the moment, Italy requires mandatory testing only from travellers from countries it considers to be high risk. However, with current guidelines expiring on October 15, the government is debating a new decree that may add the UK to the list of high-risk countries including Spain, France and Belgium.

Alert level raised in France as several cities shut bars and restaurants

A near-record of 18,129 new Covid-19 cases has forced the French government to place the cities of Lyon, Lille, Grenoble and Saint-Etienne under a state of maximum alert from Saturday and enforce several restrictions on the regions, including closure of bars and restaurants. France has been battling a severe spike in new daily infections lately, and Paris and Marseille have already been placed under similar restrictions.

Lockdown Exit
Australia Warns COVID-19 Border Closures Could Last Into Late 2021
In a further blow to the travel industry, Australia is warning its international borders are likely to stay closed because of COVID-19 restrictions until “late next year.” Foreign nationals were banned in March to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, and Australian citizens must get official permission to leave the country. Last year, about 9 million overseas travelers arrived in Australia. The largest groups came from China, New Zealand and the United States. The pandemic has seen those numbers collapse.
Australia – Workplace mental health and wellbeing in decline amid Covid-19, Hays finds
Approximately 42% Australia’s workforce rate their current mental health & wellbeing as positive, down from 63% pre-Covid-19, according to a survey from Hays. The survey was based on a polling of 4,000 people, released in advance of World Mental Health Day on 10 October. According to the survey, 87% of professionals in industry, resources & mining rate their current mental health & wellbeing as either positive or neutral, down 7% since before the outbreak. At the other end of the scale, 55% of sales professionals rate their current mental health & wellbeing as positive or neutral, down from 90% pre-pandemic. The fall of workers’ mental health & wellbeing fell despite 72% of employers increasing their organisation’s focus on this area during the pandemic.
What South Africa's teachers brought to the virtual classroom during COVID-19
The decision by the Ministry of Basic Education to shut down schools in response to the pandemic forced teachers to adapt and innovate to ensure that learning continued despite the challenges faced. South African schools are clustered into quintiles ranging from one to five. This was done to ensure an equal and fair distribution of resources across schools. Schools in the lower quintiles are often based in under-served communities where resources are limited, while quintile five schools are well resourced. This approach was introduced to address past inequities which affected schools. Regional variances, therefore, exist in terms of access to computer labs and related computing resources. Although many rural and peri-urban schools have some form of computing or information technology resources, some have none at all.
‘There are no words’: As coronavirus kills Indigenous elders, endangered languages face extinction
The old man knew he was dying. The disease he'd been warning of for weeks had taken hold, and it wouldn't be long now. He looked to his son, who would soon be the leader of what remained of their people. The old man was fluent in five languages, but the one he chose to speak now was one that virtually no one else in the world could understand. “Awiri nuhã,” Aritana Yawalapiti, 71, said in the language of the Yawalapiti, an Indigenous tribe in the Amazon rainforest. “Take care of the people. Take care of the land. Take care of the forest.”
Hotspots of resurgent Covid erode faith in ‘herd immunity’
For a short time the Brazilian city of Manaus, in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, offered a glimmer of hope in the search for herd immunity from Covid-19. After a devastating wave in May killed about 3,400 people and infected many more, the prevalence of the virus subsided rapidly, leading some scientists to theorise that the city of 2m had reached a form of collective immunity. That hypothesis is now in doubt as a resurgence in cases in Manaus poses fresh challenges to the authorities and difficult questions for the scientists and policymakers worldwide who have been edging towards herd immunity policies as an alternative to harsh lockdowns.
Young people will 'carry the burden' of coronavirus into the future. How are they coping?
Experts say one in five workers aged between 15 and 24 lost their jobs during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Young people will also "carry the burden" of the pandemic into the future. But amid job losses and cancelled plans, many young people are still optimistic about their futures
UK travellers may soon need mandatory coronavirus tests to enter Italy
People travelling from the UK to Italy may soon be required to take a mandatory coronavirus test in order to enter the country. At the moment, Italy only requires mandatory testing for travellers from countries it considers high risk, including Spain, Greece and certain regions of France. But the existing guidelines are expiring on 15 October and the government is currently debating a new decree to replace it. The list of high risk countries is expected to be reviewed as part of this new decree, local media reported. Drafts show that, following a recent spike in cases, the UK will be added to Italy’s list of high risk countries alongside the Netherlands and Belgium, il Fatto Quotidiano reported.
How effective ‘traffic-light’ systems have been in managing the coronavirus outbreak in other countries
The coronavirus pandemic has reached a second wave, as infection rates continue to ramp up all over Europe. In England, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham is one of the leading figures to criticise the Government’s approach to local lockdowns informed by its “traffic light system” – placing the majority of the north and midlands under a raft of fresh lockdown restrictions. While the system has been met with contempt by some local leaders, it is not just the UK who have employed a traffic light-style guide to provide the public with clear messaging on the social distancing measures in place in different areas. Similar systems have been employed in France, the Canadian province of Quebec, New Zealand and Spain to name a few countries, although with varied effect.
Nurses suffer burn-out, psychological distress in COVID fight - association
Many nurses caring for COVID-19 patients are suffering burn-out or psychological distress, and many have faced abuse or discrimination outside of work, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) said. Supplies of personal protective equipment for nurses and other health workers in some care homes remain insufficient, it said, marking World Mental Health Day on Saturday. “We are extremely concerned about the mental health impact on nurses,” Howard Catton, a British nurse who is the ICN’s chief executive, told Reuters Television at the association’s headquarters in Geneva.
LGBT Australians at higher risk of depression, suicide and poor access to health services during coronavirus pandemic
As his home town of Newcastle grappled with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Taryn Dorrough was having a personal battle with his mental health. "I struggled to get out of bed and would then struggle to have a shower and get ready. I found myself tired a lot of the time, and just lacking motivation to get anything done," he said. The recent university graduate said his job prospects and social life evaporated. His existing disordered eating worsened, and he found it difficult, as a trans man, to access critical health services.
Is COVID-19 being used as a weapon against Indigenous Peoples in Brazil?
Today, according to the Brazil's Indigenous People Articulation, more than 27 000 Indigenous people have been infected with COVID-19, of which 806 have died from the disease (situation as of Sept 15, 2020), giving a mortality rate of 3%. This pan­demic already affects 146 different Indigenous groups across the country.3 On Aug 5, 2020, the Supreme Federal Court recognised the failure of the government of President Bolsonaro to deal with the effects of the epidemic on Indigenous communities.3 The latter was ordered to put in place an emergency plan for the benefit of the Indigenous populations, as well as to adopt the necessary measures to remove invaders from their territories (illegal miners and loggers are not only vectors of diseases, but also cause environmental destruction, in particular through mercury pollution).4 Faced with inaction from the Brazilian Government, some nations, such as the Paiter Suruí and Parque Indigena do Xingu peoples, have placed themselves in voluntary isolation since March, 2020.
COVID-19 halting crucial mental health services in Africa, WHO survey - World
Critical funding gaps are halting and disrupting crucial mental health services in Africa, as demand for these services rise amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a new World Health Organization (WHO) survey shows. The survey of 28 African countries was undertaken as part of the first global examination of the devastating impact of COVID-19 on access to mental health services. It underscores the urgent need for increased funding. Of the countries responding in the African region, 37% reported that their COVID-19 mental health response plans are partially funded and a further 37% reported having no funds at all. This comes as the COVID-19 pandemic increases demand for mental health services. “Isolation, loss of income, the deaths of loved ones and a barrage of information on the dangers of this new virus can stir up stress levels and trigger mental health conditions or exacerbate existing ones,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “The COVID-19 pandemic has shown, more than ever, how mental health is integral to health and well-being and must be an essential part of health services during outbreaks and emergencies.”
Brazil’s coronavirus deaths pass 150,000 as infection rate slows
Experts say number of new cases falling but rate it still slow compared with countries in Europe and Asia, suggesting it may still be in its first wave. Brazil’s has surpassed 150,000 deaths from coronavirus, according to the country’s health ministry, but there were signs that the rate of infections continued to slow in the South American country. The toll came as Latin America and the Caribbean marked 10 million cases on Saturday and more than 360,000 deaths. The region is the worst hit in terms of fatalities, according to official figures.
Vacancy: Prices at NY hotels down $200 with more pain to come
The Midtown Hilton has been closed since March. Same for The Edition, a brand new Times Square boutique. You can get a room at the Pierre, just don’t expect the full-suite of white-glove services that have made the hotel a Manhattan landmark since 1930. Autumn in New York, a season so inviting that it inspired a jazz standard, is grim this year, with the city’s tourism market among the worst in the U.S. The pandemic has canceled live events like Fashion Week and the New York City Marathon, repelled business travelers and international visitors and blown gaping holes in a tourism market that generates $70 billion in economic activity in a typical year.
Australia in travel talks with Japan, Korea as coronavirus cases ease
Australia is in talks with Japan, South Korea, Singapore and South Pacific nations on reopening travel as coronavirus infections ease, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Sunday. Australia shut its borders in March to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus and is looking to revive tourism to help pull the country out of its first recession in nearly three decades. While Australia has managed to contain the outbreak better than others, it is facing a second wave in the state of Victoria, where Melbourne remains under a tight lockdown. But infections there have been falling since early August.
Exit Strategies
Covid-19: South Africa drops to 10th in the world for total infections
While South Africa's continued downward trajectory in active Covid-19 cases is cause for optimism, appropriate protocol including social distancing, the wearing of masks and hand sanitising remains in place
Selling flowers out of her VW Beetle helps Rio woman survive COVID-19
You can’t miss the green 1969 Volkswagen Beetle parked at the corner, orchids and ferns crowding its open bonnet, sunflowers sticking out of windows, potted plants on the roof. Turning her car into a flower shop was Valcineia Machado’s survival plan after her business collapsed in the COVID-19 pandemic, and she is has become a hit in Rio’s Copacabana beach district. At 51, she has reinvented herself, moving from real estate to selling roses and other flower on a busy corner.
Top five countries with highest number of Covid-19 infections
The total number Covid-19 infection has now reached to 36,785,758, as per the figures published by the John Hopkins University. While more than a million others have succumbed to the disease.
How & Why Bengaluru Is Emerging as India’s Worst Hit COVID-19 City
Statistically speaking, Pune has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in India, as on 7 October. Bengaluru has the third-highest number of cases. However, at present, Bengaluru is the city worst affected by COVID-19 in India, and perhaps in the world. The key to understanding the severity of Bengaluru’s COVID situation is in the number of cases reported in a 15-day period – between 23 September and 7 October, to be precise.
Goa govt to rope in AYUSH doctors to treat Covid-19 patients
India reported 73,272 coronavirus cases and 926 deaths in the last 24 hours ending 8 am on Saturday. With this, the total number of infections rose to 69,79,424 including 1,07,416 deaths, 8,83,185 active cases and 59,88,823 recoveries, according to the Union Health Ministry. The recovery rate has risen to 85.81 per cent and the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.54 per cent. Kerala, the first state to get the novel coronavirus, took four-and-a-half months to record its first 10,000 infections. This Wednesday, it reported more than 10,000 infections in a single day. There was a time Kerala was feted globally for effectively containing the spread of the virus. Over the past few weeks, it has seen more cases every day than any other state barring Maharashtra and Karnataka.
China, Indonesia to enhance COVID-19 vaccine cooperation
China and Indonesia have vowed to strengthen cooperation on COVID-19 vaccine during talks between Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Indonesian President's special envoy and the country's Coordinator for Cooperation with China. The pair met Friday in southwest China's Yunnan Province. Saying that vaccine cooperation is the current focus of bilateral anti-epidemic cooperation, Wang said China is willing to work with Indonesia to comprehensively promote the research and development, production and use of the vaccine, and jointly contribute to the availability and affordability of vaccines in the region and the world.
How Australia will take 30 years to pay off the coronavirus recession
Economist Andrew Charlton fears it will take 30 years to pay off Australia's debt He was an economic adviser to Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd during the GFC His former boss ended a string of ten consecutive surpluses in its first term
Millions of Brazilians at risk of slipping back into poverty
Many people in Brazil are struggling to cope with less pandemic aid from the government and jumping food prices, with millions expected to slip back into poverty. Brazil’s government, starting this month, halved the amount of its monthly emergency cash transfers to help Brazil’s poor withstand the hardship of the economic meltdown, down to 300 reais ($54). As the government winds down the programme through year-end, with unemployment still high, many of those people who benefitted will become newly impoverished, according to Marcelo Neri, director of the social policy centre at the Getulio Vargas Foundation, a university and think-tank. Half of them are expected to fall into poverty in October alone, he said. The programme, which started in April, has been the main driver behind lifting 15 million people from poverty, including two million from July to August, according to a report the university published on Friday. Poverty, which the FGV defined as income equal to half a minimum monthly salary, or 523 reais ($95), has reached its lowest level since at least the 1970s, according to Neri, the report’s author.
'No way this room was sanitized': Despite assurances, hotels get mixed reviews on COVID-19 cleanliness, masks
No one wants to find a dirty rag in their sink when checking into a hotel room. But during the coronavirus pandemic – when guests expect their rooms to be spotless and free of germs – finding a room that hasn't been fully sanitized is even more concerning. "No way was this room sanitized, much less 'cleaned' properly," Danielle Bocage wrote in a Facebook post criticizing her recent stay at a Hilton hotel in Georgia. "I am completely disappointed at the lack of attention my room had." "The guest brought concerns about her room to the property’s attention on the second day of her stay, and we understand received a personal apology, an offer to move rooms, and an offer to service the room," Hilton spokesperson Nigel Glennie told USA TODAY. "The guest declined these offers but did accept a refund for one her three nights."
South Africa is the continent's COVID epicenter. Here is how it is transitioning into recovery mode
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa looked appropriately dour, and sounded appropriately cautious, as he appeared on national television [recently] to warn of the dangers of a second wave of infections and to urge the public against relaxing their guard against the virus. And yet the president’s key message was a simple, optimistic and impressive truth. “We have succeeded in overcoming the worst phase of this epidemic,” he declared.
Germany Donates $1 Million in Medical Equipment to Peru Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
Germany has donated just over $1 million in medical equipment to Peru to help people in remote sections of the Amazon cope with the coronavirus pandemic. Thursday’s humanitarian gift of oxygen concentrators, digital thermometers, oximeters and more than 32,000 coronavirus tests for health professionals aims to help some 90,000 people from underserved communities in the Indigenous and rural areas of Peru’s Amazon. Pilar Mazzetti of Peru's Health Ministry thanked Germany for donation, saying it opens the possibility to tend better to the indigenous communities, which have always been left behind, and which are difficult to tend to due to the distance. The donation, part of binational agreements signed in August, aims to provide primary health care to majority of the Indigenous communities, which have no health center.
Australia expects COVID-19 vaccination is still a year away
Australia considered a rollout of a coronavirus vaccine no sooner than mid-2021 a best-case scenario in its pandemic planning that would save the economy tens of billions of dollars, the treasurer said on Wednesday. The Treasury and Health Departments developed economic modelling based on an assumption that a vaccine would be widely available in Australia toward the end of next year, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said. “These are very uncertain times and as a government, we have taken every step possible to give Australia the best possible chance of getting a vaccine,” Frydenberg told the National Press Club.
China's successful control of COVID-19
According to a July survey by the Pew Research Center, two-thirds of Americans believe that China has done a bad job dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. It is clearly not an opinion shared by WHO. In a press conference in September, Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, offered “deepest congratulations...to the front-line health workers in China and the population who worked together tirelessly to bring the disease to this very low level”.
Wealthy Argentines Flee Taxes, Politics to Settle in Uruguay
Catalina Jack, a 37-year-old Argentine economist with two masters degrees, unceremoniously pulled up stakes in Buenos Aires three months ago and boarded a fast ferry to Uruguay. She got a job with a software firm and now looks out on the world from a home she rents near the beach resort of Punta del Este. Her brother and his family had settled nearby a few weeks before. Two dozen friends have made the move or are doing so.
World Mental Health Day: New Red Cross survey shows COVID-19 affecting mental health of one in two people
Half of all respondents – 51 percent – in a seven-country survey said that the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected their mental health, an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) survey found. In a new report – "The greatest need was to be listened to: The importance of mental health and psychosocial support during COVID-19," – the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement demonstrates how the pandemic is adding an extraordinary level of stress and suffering on communities around the world. The outbreak is worsening existing mental health conditions, triggering new ones, and making access to mental health services even more scarce. It calls for urgent and increased funding for mental health and psychosocial support within humanitarian responses.
Partisan Exits
NZ’s PM Ardern touts success in tackling pandemic in poll push
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Sunday burnished her leadership credentials on the back of her successful response to the coronavirus pandemic at a campaign rally six days before the country’s election on October 17. Polls show Ardern’s Labour Party is expected to win the election with a wide lead over the conservative National Party, and could form government in a coalition with the Greens and New Zealand First.
When Trump gets coronavirus, Chinese Americans pay a price
News of President Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis is fueling renewed attacks against Asian Americans and hostility toward China across social media, according to researchers with civil rights group the Anti-Defamation League. In an analysis of 2.7 million tweets in the three days after Trump announced his and first lady Melania Trump’s diagnosis on Twitter, the ADL found elevated language associated with hostility against Asians, compared with the previous day. In the 12 hours after Trump’s announcement, ADL saw an 85 percent spike in such language. The announcement sparked thousands of online conversations blaming China for trying to purposefully infect the president, the researchers found.
Fauci calls White House event a coronavirus ‘superspreader’
The United States’ top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci has said an event held in the White House on September 26 was a “superspreader event” that is suspected to have infected numerous people, including President Donald Trump, with the novel coronavirus. “I think the data speak for themselves. We had a superspreader event in the White House,” Fauci said during an interview with CBS News Radio. “And it was in a situation where people were crowded together and were not wearing masks, so the data speak for themselves.”
As Virus Surges in Europe, Resistance to New Restrictions Also Grows
France has placed cities on “maximum alert” and ordered many to close all bars, gyms and sports centers on Saturday. Italy and Poland have made masks compulsory in public. The Czech Republic has declared a state of emergency, and German officials fear new outbreaks could soon grow beyond the control of their vaunted testing and tracing. Across Europe and beyond, Covid-19 has come roaring back, and, as happened last spring, officials are invoking restrictions to try and suppress it. But this time is different. Still reeling from the economic, emotional and physical toll of nationwide lockdowns that brought the Continent to a virtual standstill, government officials are finding that the public might not be so compliant the second time around.
'The data speak for themselves': Dr. Anthony Fauci says White House held a 'superspreader event' for coronavirus
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Friday that the White House held a "superspreader event," apparently referring to the Rose Garden ceremony where President Donald Trump announced the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court and where multiple attendees later tested positive for the coronavirus. Fauci made the remark after being asked in a CBS News Radio interview what the recent coronavirus outbreak at the White House said about the importance of wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. "I think the data speak for themselves," Fauci said. "We had a superspreader event in the White House, and it was in a situation where people were crowded together, were not wearing masks."
Coronavirus Indonesia: People caught without facemasks forced to dig graves and get into coffins
People caught breaking COVID-19 rules in Indonesia are being made to dig graves and get into coffins. The punishments being handed out in East Java and Jakarta follow a surge in infections. The country is the fourth most populous in the world and has the highest COVID-19 death rate in Southeast Asia.
China Joins WHO-Led Global Coronavirus Vaccine Effort As U.S. Sits It Out
China has joined a global effort aimed at fair and equitable distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine once one becomes available — an effort the Trump administration has shunned. The COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility, known as COVAX, is jointly led by the World Health Organization and Gavi, an alliance promoting access to vaccines. "This is an important step China has taken to uphold the concept of a shared community of health for all and to honor its commitment to turn COVID-19 vaccines into a global public good," Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a news conference Friday.
Here’s more evidence of China’s strong recovery from coronavirus
The recovery in China’s service sector activity extended into a fifth straight month in September, an industry survey showed on Friday, with hiring increasing for the second month in a row. The Caixin/Markit services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 54.8 from August’s 54.0, the highest reading since June and staying well above the 50-mark that separates monthly growth from contraction.
Bolsonaro’s Addiction to Covid Cash Could Make Brazil Go Bust
Latin America responded ambitiously, if not always efficiently, to the coronavirus pandemic, with many countries spreading cash, credit and tax deferrals to vulnerable companies and households. The emergency stimulus has injected bountiful resources into listing economies — 12% of gross domestic product for Peru, 18% in Brazil, 5% in Argentina — and helped those who were already struggling as well
In the U.S., states — not science — decide what counts as a coronavirus outbreak
In Michigan, two coronavirus infections in the same workplace constitutes an outbreak. In New York City, public school buildings must close when two people in two different classrooms catch the virus. But Iowa will not announce coronavirus outbreaks at many businesses unless 10 percent of employees are actively infected, and even 10 percent of students becoming ill may not be enough to close a school. The nation’s patchwork pandemic response has led to wide disparities in data reporting and even in definitions for basic medical concepts. In the absence of federal standards, states have adopted divergent and sometimes scientifically questionable approaches to disease control, which experts say have allowed the virus to spread.
Continued Lockdown
FiercePharmaAsia—Eli Lilly rushes to FDA with its COVID-19 antibody for emergency green light, reveals new cocktail therapy data
Eli Lilly is seeking FDA emergency use authorization of its COVID-19 antibody cocktail upon an interim analysis of the phase 2 Blaze-1 trial, which showed the combo reduced viral load, symptoms, and the rate of hospitalization and ER visits. The therapy combines LY-CoV555, from a collaboration with AbCellera, and LY-CoV016, which Lilly licenses from China’s Junshi Biosciences.
Coronavirus pandemic fuels child labor in India as desperate families send kids off to work
When India's government imposed a strict lockdown in March to try to curb coronavirus infections, Sagheer Shah, a tailor in the small town of Faizabad, had to close his shop. For three months he didn't earn a penny, burning through his savings to put food on table for his family. He was able to reopen when restrictions started easing in July, but only saw a fraction of his previous trade resume. To make ends meet, he decided to send his 14-year-old son Asif, whose school was closed anyway, hundreds of miles away to Delhi to work in a car painting shop.
Scientific Viewpoint
Britain is at a coronavirus tipping point, says deputy chief medical officer
Britain is at a “tipping point” in the coronavirus crisis and the country must act now to stop history repeating itself, the deputy chief medical officer for England said on Sunday, urging people to follow the rules. With the number of cases rapidly rising particularly in the north of England, ministers are readying a new set of rules to try to tackle the crisis that will include handing more power to local leaders to track the virus’ spread.
UK study tests if BCG vaccine protects against COVID
The widely used BCG tuberculosis vaccine will be tested on frontline care workers in Britain for its effectiveness against COVID-19, researchers running the UK arm of a global trial said. Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine, used to protect against tuberculosis, induces a broad innate immune-system response and has been shown to protect against infection or severe illness with other respiratory pathogens. “BCG has been shown to boost immunity in a generalised way, which may offer some protection against COVID-19,” Professor John Campbell, of the University of Exeter Medical School, said.
Coronavirus can survive for a MONTH on surfaces including banknotes and mobile phone screens
CSIRO, Australia's science agency, found that Covid can survive up to 28 days. Research found that the virus survived better in colder temperatures. Results could improve risk mitigation procedures to prevent the disease spread
Scientists investigate possible coronavirus mutation in Chile
Scientists in Chile are investigating a possible mutation of the coronavirus in southern Patagonia, a far-flung region near the tip of South America that has seen an unusually contagious second wave of infections in recent weeks. Questions have arisen as the remote region of Magallanes, which accounts for only one percent of the country’s population, reported nearly 20 percent of Chile’s total cases so far, suggesting a potential mutation of the novel virus.
WHO says want to avoid 'punishing' coronavirus lockdowns
The World Health Organization's top emergencies expert said on Friday that authorities should try to avoid punishing lockdowns, as many countries see a sharp rise in the number of Covid-19 infections Read more at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/78579160.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst
Explained: When will we have a Covid-19 vaccine, and why does October hold the key?
When will an antidote against Covid-19 finally become widely available? The answer to this question may eventually be found this month as a handful of coronavirus vaccine candidates near the end of late stage clinical trials. At least two vaccine frontrunners — Pfizer and Moderna Inc — are set to release late-stage and Phase 2 results this month. While experts have said vaccines were likely to reach the general public in the March-April 2021, drugmakers have been more ambitious with their calculations, with some firms like Moderna Inc eyeing the emergency-use authorisation route to launch their shots by year end. In fact, Pfizer may also file for US FDA approval of its vaccine this month itself, Bloomberg reported.
'Brain fog': the people struggling to think clearly months after Covid
For Mirabai Nicholson-McKellar, Covid-19 brought an onslaught of symptoms from chest pains to an 11-day migraine, three positive test results, and a period in hospital. Seven months later, the rollercoaster is far from over: the 36-year-old from Byron Bay, Australia is still experiencing symptoms – including difficulties with thinking that are often described as “brain fog”.
Public Health Experts Urge Caution on China's COVID-19 Vaccines
China said on Friday that it had joined a global COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan backed by the World Health Organization, becoming the biggest economy to date to pledge support to distribute the shots fairly. Meanwhile, the country is holding separate talks with the WHO to have its COVID-19 vaccines assessed, a step toward making them available for international use. Public health experts welcome the Chinese move, yet caution potential safety concerns. They are calling on China to publish all its clinical trial data to ensure transparency and gain public trust, saying rushing out a vaccine without adequate efficacy and safety testing is a recipe for disaster.
Brazil eagerly awaits China-developed COVID-19 vaccine as infections reach 5 million
A total of 9,000 volunteers in Brazil have participated in trials of China-developed COVID-19 vaccines as the country reports more than 5 million COVID-19 cases as of October 7, following the US and India. The trials involve a vaccine developed by Chinese company Sinovac Biotech LTD, which started in July in Brazil and are scheduled to be completed by October 15. According to Brazil media reports in early October, a primary report on the trials has been submitted to the Brazil national health authority. João Doria, governor of the Sao Paulo state, where part of the trials have taken place, had previously said that vaccinations on volunteers would involve 9,000 people and be completed on October 15, and the vaccine, if approved, would hopefully be available to the public on December 15.
China is doubling down in the global push for a coronavirus vaccine
The global push to develop a coronavirus vaccine is gathering pace, but much to the likely frustration of US President Donald Trump, caution exercised by American drug makers and regulators has put China out in front ... for now. Moderna, a leading coronavirus vaccine maker, said this month it will not be ready to apply for emergency use authorization until at least November 25. Meanwhile, the US-based trial sites of another frontrunner, AstraZeneca, have placed testing on hold after a participant in Britain developed a serious illness last month, further undermining Trump's hopes that a vaccine would be ready in time for Election Day on November 3.
China Joins WHO Initiative to Distribute COVID Vaccine to Developing Countries
China said Friday it is joining a World Health Organization international initiative to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to the developing world. China, Russia and the U.S. had said they were not joining the alliance to help two-thirds of world’s population receive the vaccines by 2022. China’s reversal makes it the largest country to participate in what is known as the COVAX deal. “We are taking this concrete step to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines, especially to developing countries, and hope more capable countries will also join and support Covax,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement.
What China’s decision to join the WHO’s vaccine scheme means
Beijing signing up for the Covax distribution scheme stands in sharp contrast to Washington’s refusal to join. Scheme is intended to ensure poorer countries do not miss out. Foreign ministry says Beijing is committed to the equitable distribution of vaccines
Risk of ADE with new Covid-19 vaccine candidate low, Chinese researchers say
Antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) is a side-effect of inoculation that can make a virus more harmful. Team from Institute of Medical Biology say they cannot conclude their product will not cause ADE, but ‘likelihood as a result of inoculation with this vaccine is small’
China joins WHO-backed vaccine programme COVAX rejected by Trump
China has joined a global scheme for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine backed by the World Health Organization (WHO), it said on Friday, giving a major boost to an initiative shunned by U.S. President Donald Trump. Beijing’s latest bid to join the global fight against the coronavirus follows criticism over its handling of the pandemic, which has contributed to a growing unfavourable view of China in advanced nations, a recent survey showed. “We are taking this concrete step to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines, especially to developing countries, and hope more capable countries will also join and support COVAX,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement.
Better air during China’s mass lockdowns may have reduced hospital visits
Lower levels of harmful PM2.5 particles could have resulted in an estimated 5,000 fewer hospital admissions from late January to February, study finds. Researchers also estimate there were 60,000 fewer respiratory illnesses like asthma attacks in the period
China to purchase COVAX vaccines for 1% of population, says foreign ministry
China will purchase COVID-19 vaccines for 1% of its population, or 15 million people, via a global scheme backed by the World Health Organization, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday. Beijing’s move to join the COVAX programme means China “will be procuring vaccines through the facility for a proportion of their own population, just as with other countries”, a spokesman for GAVI, which co-leads the scheme, said earlier. The first batch of vaccine available under the plan will be in short supply, so there would be less for other countries if China had secured doses for a large number of its 1.4 billion people, ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a news briefing
Health Canada to start real-time review of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
Health Canada will start a real-time review of Germany's BioNTech SE and Pfizer Inc's experimental COVID-19 vaccine, the companies said on Friday. The companies said they would submit safety and efficacy data from the trial of their COVID-19 vaccine to Canada's health ministry under a rolling submission as and when it becomes available. A rolling review allows researchers to submit findings in real time, without waiting for studies to conclude. Canadian health minister Patty Hajdu last month signed an order allowing companies developing COVID-19 vaccines to submit information as it becomes available.
U.S., AstraZeneca strike deal for COVID-19 antibody treatment touted by Trump
The U.S. government has awarded $486 million (£372.7 million) to AstraZeneca Plc AZN.L to develop and secure supplies of up to 100,000 doses of COVID-19 antibody treatment, a similar class of drug that was used in treating President Donald Trump. The agreement, under the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, is for developing a monoclonal antibody cocktail that can prevent COVID-19, especially in high-risk population like those over 80 years old, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said. The treatment has come under the spotlight after Trump was treated with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals' REGN.O antibody drug last week. The president has also released a video on Twitter touting its benefits.
Coronavirus vaccine in India: Covaxin, Sputnik-V makers asked to submit revised proposals for human trials
Pharmaceutical firms Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL), Bharat Biotech, and Biological E (Bio E) have been directed by an expert committee set up under India’s top drug regulatory to revise proposals pertaining to conduct human trials of their Covid-19 candidates. The DRL sought approval to hold late-stage clinical trials of the Russian candidate Sputnik V. Bharat Biotech was seeking a nod for late-stage human trials for its inactivated Coronavirus vaccine candidate Covaxin. Bio E tendered an application for early-stage trials for its vaccine candidate being developed with Houston’s Baylor College of Medicine
Lilly's rheumatoid arthritis drug cuts COVID-19 deaths in trial, data shows
Eli Lilly and Co said on Thursday fewer deaths were reported among COVID-19 patients taking a combination of its rheumatoid arthritis drug and Gilead Sciences Inc's remdesivir in a clinical trial, compared to only remdesivir. Lilly said the effect was most pronounced in patients on oxygen therapy, according to data from a U.S. government-backed trial, which however, was not designed to measure the effectiveness of baricitinib in preventing death.
Coronavirus in Africa: Five reasons why Covid-19 has been less deadly than elsewhere
Many African countries have been praised for waging an effective campaign to combat the spread of coronavirus despite their reputation for having fragile state heath systems. The continent, which has a population of more than one billion, has had about 1.5 million cases, according to data compiled by the John Hopkins University. These figures are far lower than those in Europe, Asia or the Americas, with reported cases continuing to decline. Africa has recorded about 37,000 deaths, compared with roughly 580,000 in the Americas, 230,000 in Europe, and 205,000 in Asia.
Covid-19 Vaccine: Brazil Guarantees 140 Million Doses in First Semester 2021
The Ministry of Health announced on Thursday, October 8th, the purchase of 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine and another 40 million doses from the COVAX Facility of the W.H.O.
Cheaper, faster: India’s Feluda Covid-19 test gets approval
An accurate and low cost paper-based strip test for Covid-19 has been approved for commercial launch by the Drugs Controller General of India. Indian scientists have come up with a new testing method called Feluda, a test which is similar to taking samples through a PCR swab test but is more reliable and simpler to use. It will cost 500 Indian rupees – about 6 euros. Kits are expected to reach the market shortly. The test was named after a famous fictional Bengali detective, though its full name is: Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) Feluda test.
Vaccine suppliers given indemnity for 'inevitable' side effects
The Morrison government has given the suppliers of two COVID-19 vaccines indemnity against liability for rare side effects that experts say are "inevitable" when a vaccine is rolled out. But the government will not set up a statutory compensation scheme, which the president of the Australian Medical Association, Omar Khorshid, said meant Australians who suffered "extremely rare" side effects from the vaccines would face a tough battle to seek compensation.
Another potential Chinese COVID-19 vaccine appears safe
In a race to produce medicine to treat deadly COVID-19, one more vaccine being developed by Chinese scientists has shown “safe” results in the first phase of trials. The project funded by the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences has done “in-depth investigation of the safety and immunogenicity” of an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus) vaccine. A paper published Tuesday by the Chinese scientists on medRxiv, a well-regarded server that quickly publishes preprints of medical research while they are undergoing peer review, said the phase I trails were conducted on 191 healthy participants aged between 18 and 59. “The safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine were evaluated within 28 days,” the paper said adding that the participants were administered three doses each.
China's experimental COVID-19 vaccine appears safe - study
A Chinese experimental coronavirus vaccine being developed by the Institute of Medical Biology under the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences was shown to be safe in an early stage clinical trial, researchers said. In a Phase 1 trial of 191 healthy participants aged between 18 and 59, vaccination with the group’s experimental shot showed no severe adverse reactions, its researchers said on Tuesday in a paper posted on medRxiv preprint server ahead of peer review.
Coronavirus Resurgence
India's coronavirus infections cross 7 million ahead of festivals
India’s coronavirus caseload topped 7 million on Sunday when the health ministry reported 74,383 new infections in the previous 24 hours, with a rise in infections in southern states offsetting a drop in western regions. Deaths from COVID-19 rose by 918 in the last 24 hours to 108,334, the ministry said. India added a million cases in just 13 days, according to a Reuters tally of government data, and it has the second-highest number of infections, behind the United States which is approaching the 8 million mark.
French daily COVID cases set new record at almost 27,000
The number of new coronavirus infections in France jumped over 26,000 in one day for the first time since the start of the epidemic, health ministry data showed on Saturday. The ministry reported 26,896 new infections, taking the cumulative total to 718,873 since the start of the year. The number of deaths from the virus increased by 54 to 32,684.
Tens of thousands rally in Israel calling on Netanyahu to resign
For months, demonstrators have been staging protests against prime minister for alleged corruption and his government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Tens of thousands of Israelis have once again demonstrated to demand Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s resignation, saying he is unfit to rule while on trial for corruption charges and accusing him of mismanaging the response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Russia reports record single-day rise in coronavirus cases
Russia’s coronavirus cases rose by 12,846 on Saturday, a new daily record since the start of the outbreak early this year. The latest figures pushed the overall total number of infections in the country to 1,285,084. The previous record of 12,126 new cases was registered on Friday.
Germany tightens COVID-19 restrictions as numbers surge in Europe
Authorities in Germany have rolled out new restrictions to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus in the capital, Berlin, and Frankfurt, as the number of cases surges in the country and other parts of Europe. Bars and restaurants are to close at 11:00pm local time (21:00 GMT) in Berlin until October 31 in a partial curfew, a measure already imposed – but starting an hour earlier – in Frankfurt.
Germany warns of ‘exponential’ rise in Covid infections
Angela Merkel has raised the prospect of far-reaching restrictions on public life in some of Germany’s biggest cities, as authorities grapple with an alarming rise in coronavirus infections across the country. Ms Merkel said Germany was facing a make-or-break moment, and what happened next would reflect “whether we can keep the pandemic under control . . . or whether that control will slip away from us”. The chancellor was speaking after a video conference with 11 German mayors where it was agreed a further round of regulations would be imposed in areas where new infections exceed a threshold of 50 cases per 100,000 population in a week.
Fauci warns the US could see 300-400K coronavirus deaths
Dr Anthony Fauci said that models suggest the US COVID-19 death toll could reach 300,000 or 400,000 during an American University webinar Tuesday. He warned that the US needs to brace for fall and winter with more mask-wearing and social distancing to slow the spread of the disease. Coronavirus has already killed more than 210,000 Americans since the pandemic began in January. He said that the White House outbreak 'could have been prevented' and is proof that coronavirus is 'not a hoax'
Florida will be 'like a house on fire' in weeks with loose coronavirus restrictions, infectious disease expert says
As health officials in Florida reported nearly 3,000 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, the state is bracing to become "like a house on fire," an infectious disease expert says. "Florida is ripe for another large outbreak," said Mike Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. "What they've done is opened up everything as if nothing had ever happened there and you and I could be talking probably in eight to 10 weeks, and I will likely bet that Florida will be a house on fire," Osterholm told CNN's Jake Tapper. Health officials in Florida reported 2,908 new cases of Covid-19 and 118 deaths on Friday, according to data from the Florida Department of Health. The agency has reported at least 2,200 new cases daily for four consecutive days.
COVID-19 Is Now the Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.
“It affects virtually nobody,” President Donald Trump said of the novel coronavirus on September 21—a few hours before U.S. deaths from COVID-19 exceeded 200,000 and less than two weeks before he tested positive. Unlike the president, the numbers don’t lie. The human toll underlying that milestone figure is a number about as big as the population of Salt Lake City or Birmingham, Ala.—and greater than the deaths in any U.S. conflict except for the Civil War and World War II.
Urgent health alert as a Sydney NURSE is diagnosed with COVID-19 and authorities reveal cases visited one of Australia's biggest shopping centres
A nurse at Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital has been confirmed to have COVID-19 The nurse worked a single shift on Wednesday October 7 while infectious Shoppers who visited Westfield Sydney have also been placed on high alert Confirmed infected people visited the shopping mall October 6 and October 7 In the 24 hours to 8pm Friday, NSW reported three new cases of coronavirus
WHO daily cases set new record at more than 350,000
The world has set a record for the number of new daily coronavirus cases confirmed across the globe with more than 350,000, according to the World Health Organization. In a press briefing from Geneva on Friday, WHO emergencies chief Dr. Michael Ryan acknowledged that even as COVID-19 cases increase worldwide, "there are no new answers," and he stressed that governments must ensure the most vulnerable people are protected. The tally showed that nearly a third of the new daily reported coronavirus cases were from Europe at more than 109,000.
Brazil nears 5m Covid-19 cases, epidemiologist fears second wave
Brazil approached the mark of 5 million confirmed Covid-19 cases on Wednesday as it approached 150,000 deaths in the second most deathly coronavirus outbreak outside the United States. Though the number of cases has come down from a peak in July, public health experts warn that Brazil is ignoring social distancing precautions and faces the danger of a second wave by returning to normal everyday life too quickly. The Health Ministry reported on Tuesday 41,906 new cases, raising the total to 4,969,141, and 819 death, bringing the toll to 147,494 dead. The rolling daily average for last week was 658 deaths a day, down from 1,073 deaths per day in the last week of July. Average new cases were 26,140 day, almost half the rate of late July.
Spain brings military discipline to COVID-19 contact tracing
Various European countries have used their armies for logistical support in tackling COVID-19, but hard-hit Spain is now bringing military discipline to a process that health experts say is key in stemming the spread of the pandemic: contact tracing. At five army bases in Madrid, 150 volunteer soldiers spend their days calling people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, mapping recent social interactions, and asking those potentially infected to stay at home. “We try to impress upon them the idea that their help is vital to bringing an end to the chaos we are living through this year as soon as possible,” Lt. Hector Sanchez said at the Goloso military base on the outskirts of Madrid, where he is in charge of 30 tracers.
Covid-19 infections spike in Germany, Portugal as Italy mulls more measures
Infection rates in Germany and Portugal are rising to levels not seen since the height of the first wave of the pandemic, health officials in both countries said Friday, as authorities in Italy consider applying more measures, including a curfew and closures of restaurants and cultural venues, after making masks mandatory this week. Faced with spiraling infections across the continent, the French government’s scientific advisory board has warned that the pandemic is likely to continue until next summer
Italy tops 4,000 daily coronavirus cases for first time since mid-April
Italy has registered 4,458 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Thursday, the first time the country has exceeded 4,000 cases in a single day since mid-April. There were also 22 COVID-related deaths on Thursday against 31 the day before -- far fewer than at the height of the pandemic in Italy in March and April. They increased by around 1,000 on Wednesday, when there were more than 3,000 daily cases for the first time since April 24. Italy is still recording significantly fewer daily cases than several other large European countries, such as France, Spain and Britain. The last time Italy saw more than 4,000 cases in a day was on was April 12, with 4,092 infections reported around a month before the government allowed restaurants, bars and shops to reopen. On that same day, some 431 people died.
Coronavirus death rate in Bali could mean no Australian tourists
The virus is spreading as Indonesians are now allowed to move between islands In July, Bali's active cases sat at 1914 before soaring to 3671 in September The confirmed cases are believed to be only a fraction of actual infections
South Africa: Mkhize Concerned About Covid-19 Death Spike in SA
The Number of Covid-19 deaths continues to climb after 160 more people succumbed to COVID-19 on Thursday. Meanwhile, Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, has expressed his concern about the noticeable spike in the number of deaths in recent weeks. However, according to the Minister, the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) confirmed there have been no excess deaths for three weeks in a row. "We, therefore, consulted the provinces to ascertain the reason for the increased numbers. We have received reports that the provinces are implementing the recommendations of the SAMRC to reconcile the data with Home Affairs deaths data," the Minister explained. "Also, provinces are auditing the deaths data either by mining data from the DATCOV surveillance reports and identifying unreported deaths or auditing the facilities on the ground."
India's coronavirus infections rise by 70,496 to 6.91 million
India’s total coronavirus cases rose by 70,496 in the last 24 hours to 6.91 million on Friday morning, data from the health ministry showed. Deaths from COVID-19 infections rose by 964 to 106,490, the ministry said. India’s death toll from the novel coronavirus rose past 100,000 on Saturday, only the third country in the world to reach that bleak milestone, after the United States and Brazil, and its epidemic shows no sign of abating.
India’s daily coronavirus cases drop a fifth in three weeks
India’s daily coronavirus infections have fallen almost 20 per cent over the past three weeks, raising hopes that the pandemic may be peaking in the cities that were among the hardest hit in the world. The seven-day rolling average of new daily cases in India peaked at 93,300 in mid September. That average has now dropped to 75,000 new cases a day. But epidemiologists are cautious, noting that the virus was spreading from big cities into smaller towns and rural areas that have weaker healthcare systems and far less testing capacity.
Coronavirus: Bars to shut in four more French cities with alert level raised
The French government has imposed tighter coronavirus restrictions in four more cities with high infection rates, as a number of European countries see a surge in cases. The cities of Lyon, Lille, Grenoble and Saint-Etienne will become zones of maximum alert from Saturday. Bars and restaurants will have to close, as they did in Paris earlier this week and Marseille last month. The measures were announced as France saw a near-record 18,129 new cases. "The situation has deteriorated in several metropolises in recent days," French Health Minister Olivier Veran said at a news conference on Thursday. "Every day, more and more people are infected."
German hospitals warn of staff shortages amid surging coronavirus cases
German hospitals warned of staff shortages on Friday, saying the sharp rise in new coronavirus infections also meant medics, nurses and support staff were getting sick or needing to isolate, leading to strains in providing care for patients. Germany, which has managed to keep the number of cases and deaths lower than many of its neighbours, is now seeing the biggest jumps in new infections since April, with more than 4,000 on both Thursday and Friday. At the Frankfurt university hospital, twice as many employees caught the virus in the past two weeks as in the three months before, its medical director Juergen Graf said at a news conference in Berlin. “This will be the bottleneck in the care supply,” he said.
New Lockdown
Iran tightens COVID-19 curbs as infections continue to rise
Iran has imposed additional restrictions for capital Tehran and set penalties for people flouting the rules as coronavirus cases continue to surge in the country. A partial shutdown implemented in Tehran a week ago was extended on Saturday until October 16 as the authorities classified the city as red in a colour-coded scale denoting the severity of the pandemic.
Coronavirus: Spain imposes state of emergency on Madrid
The Spanish government has ordered a 15-day state of emergency to bring down Covid-19 infection rates in the capital, after a court overturned a partial lockdown imposed a week ago. Madrid and nearby cities will see restrictions enforced by 7,000 police. The capital has been at the centre of a political row, with the centre-right city authorities challenging the Socialist-led government's demands. Cases are down and a state of emergency is unjustified, say city officials. Madrid health minister Enrique Ruiz Escudero insisted that measures already in place were working and that the national government order was "a measure no Madrileño will understand".
Spain Declares COVID-19 State of Emergency in Madrid
Spain’s government declared a state of emergency in Madrid Friday, taking control of efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19 from local authorities after a regional court struck down restrictions as the region faces one of the most significant outbreaks in Europe. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s government took the step at a special cabinet meeting as he imposed his authority on regional officials, who have resisted his calls for restrictions on travel in the region. The move gives Sanchez extraordinary powers to order new constraints on life in the capital, where efforts to control a surge in infections have been complicated by the standoff. The step forced Madrid authorities to restore restrictions they had ignored following the court ruling.
The need for detailed COVID-19 data in Spain
The COVID-19 epidemic has impacted the population of Spain far more than most feared or projected. As of Sept 25, 2020, more than 700 000 individuals had tested positive, and more than 31 000 deaths with a positive test had been recorded.1 Earlier in this pandemic, the Spanish Ministry of Health provided data by age and sex for the whole country in its daily COVID-19 situation updates (in Adobe PDF format), as well as daily data on total hospitalisations, intensive care unit admissions, discharges, and deaths by region. However, since May 19, 2020, disaggregated data have not been provided in the daily updates.1 In recent months, data improvements have been made by the National Centre of Epidemiology (CNE), and open data on total counts by region are updated and revised daily.2 However, at the time of writing, age-specific data from the CNE is given only in weekly publications (as Adobe PDF files), without geographic detail or retrospective corrections, and with cumulative counts tabulated only from mid-May onwards. Therefore, properly merging age-specific time series after the first wave is difficult or impossible.
Jordan enters 48-hour nationwide coronavirus lockdown
Jordan entered a nationwide 48-hour lockdown starting on Friday for the first time in months as health officials worry a spike in coronavirus infections could threaten its stretched healthcare system, officials said. The country has seen what officials say an “exponential” rise, with about 10,000 cases confirmed in just more than a week – a near-doubling of the total number of infections since the first cases in early March and a reversal of what had been among the lowest infection and death rates in the Middle East.