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"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 10th Jul 2020

News Highlights

Coronavirus outbreak in Melbourne leaves many in lockdown again

As the number of infections worldwide surged past 12 million, Melbourne, Australia's second largest city, went back into lockdown just weeks after it had eased restrictions, in order to contain a new flare-up of Covid-19 cases. Police are patrolling the city and setting up checkpoints to prevent people from travelling to rural areas and spreading the disease.

Areas of New York may have achieved 68% immunity and may be protected from fresh outbreaks

Tests conducted in different areas of New York seem to indicate that a large percentage of the population may have developed antibodies to Covid-19, which scientists say may protect them from a second wave of the virus. 68% of people tested in a neighbourhood in Queens tested positive for antibodies, the highest rate anywhere in the world, followed by regions in Italy and Austria which have recorded about a 50% antibody test rate.

Cases continue to rise steeply in U.S., Brazil and India

The U.S., Brazil and India together account for over 60% of all new Covid-19 infections, with these three countries alone contributing well over 100,000 cases a day over the last few days. India's cases have steadily increased and close to 25,000 cases have been added daily over the pst week, as the virus continues to cripple nations around the world.

Poll finds one third of Brits may refuse a covid-19 vaccination

Results from a new poll of 1,663 British adults indicate that close to one third of them may probably or will definitely turn down a coronavirus vaccination if and when it comes out. Scientists believe between 70 and 90 percent of the population will have to get vaccinated against Covid-19 in order for it to be effective, a disease which has killed over half a millions people around the world in just five months.

Lockdown Exit
Some economies are bouncing back. But recoveries can easily go wrong
Most forecasters reckon that advanced-economy output, after plunging in the first half of 2020, is likely to regain its pre-crisis level some time after 2021. But not all recoveries will be equal. Some rich countries, such as Germany and South Korea, look best placed to bounce back—a “v-shaped recovery”, in the jargon. The path of gdp elsewhere may look more like an l or a w. The Economist’s analysis of real-time mobility data also shows how easily economic recoveries can go wrong, as consumers react to the possibility of fresh outbreaks.
In race to bring vaccine to market, big pharma struggles to protect its intellectual property rights
The pharmaceutical industry is being careful to not set any dangerous precedent that may weaken their future intellectual property rights, Milena Izmirlieva from IHS Markit said. The World Health Organization said 21 candidate vaccines are in clinical trials at the moment, meaning they are being tested on human volunteers. Three of them are said to be in the third phase of those trials, according to the WHO.
Coronavirus: Sweden's death rate falling faster than the UK's
Sweden's death rate is falling despite the country avoiding lockdown altogether On June 9 the country had the highest deaths per million figure in Europe, at 4.11 and since then it has come down to 1.6, a change of 2.51. In the same time the UK's death rate fell by just 1.88, and is now at 1.4 per million. Britain's death rate has largely stalled since lockdown started being lifted.
125 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore, including 21 in the community and 1 imported
There are 125 new coronavirus patients confirmed as of Thursday noon (July 9), taking Singapore's total to 45,422. They include 21 community cases, comprising four Singaporeans or permanent residents and 17 work pass holders, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). Of these 21 cases, five were close contacts of earlier cases and had already been placed on quarantine, MOH said. Epidemiological investigations are being done for the other cases.
Asia Today: India’s cases jump, transmission rate increases
India reported nearly 25,000 new coronavirus infections Thursday and its transmission rate is increasing for the first time since March. The new cases bring the total in the world’s third worst-affected country to 767,296. India’s health ministry said the COVID-19 death toll had risen to 21,129. Research by the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai shows that India’s virus reproduction rate ticked up in the first week of July to 1.19 after steadily falling from peak transmission of 1.83 in March. The rate needs to be below one for new cases to start falling.
South Korea finds just one case of coronavirus antibodies out of 3,000 tested
Just one person in a South Korean survey of more than 3,000 people showed neutralizing antibodies to the novel coronavirus, health authorities said on Thursday, indicating the virus has not spread widely in the community. While the sample size is small it is believed to be a reliable indicator of a low infection rate among the 51 million people of a country held up as a coronavirus mitigation success story. “The results indicate that each citizen has taken an active participation in tough social distancing,” Kwon Jun-wook, the deputy director of the Korea Centers for Disease and Prevention (KCDC), told a briefing.
LME trading floor to stay closed despite Britain's lockdown easing
The easing of social distancing in England will not allow the London Metal Exchange (LME) to reopen its open-outcry trading floor, which has been closed for more than three months, the exchange said on Wednesday. The exchange, the world’s oldest and largest market for industrial metals, said last month it would examine whether it could reopen the floor, known as the ring, after the government announced less strict social distancing rules, which took effect on July 4.
Coronavirus: Pandemic costs world's economy $3.8TRILLION
Researchers studied the global impact of coronavirus and lockdown measures The impact was worse due to the interconnected nature of the world economy The airline and wider travel industry was hardest hit by coronavirus lockdown Global wages dropped by $2.1 trillion or about 6 per cent of worldwide income $536 billion or 21 per cent was lost because of a reduction in international trade The team say that easing coronavirus lockdown measures prematurely could have more severe and prolonged economic impacts than remaining in lockdown
Exit Strategies
Coronavirus: Pools, gyms, team sport and outdoor gigs to return
Dowden said normal life was "slowly returning" and that this was an important milestone for the country's performers and artists, who had been "waiting in the wings since March". "I'm really urging people to get out there and to play their part," he said. "Buy the tickets for outdoor plays and musical recitals, get to your local gallery and support your local businesses." But the culture secretary warned the measures were conditional and reversible, adding that the government would impose local lockdowns if cases started to spike.
Can big countries realistically eliminate COVID-19 without a vaccine? Four experts discuss
The UK should change its COVID-19 strategy to try to eliminate COVID-19 even without a vaccine rather than simply managing the disease, according to Independent SAGE, a group of scientists set up as an alternative to the government’s advisory body. New Zealand has effectively managed to eliminate the virus, but can states with much larger, denser populations that have experienced much bigger outbreaks hope to do the same? Or is it more realistic to accept that the disease is likely to continue to circulate at some level and plan for that? We asked four experts for their views.
Coronavirus Cases Show No Sign of Slowing in Worst-Hit U.S., Brazil and India
India on Thursday reported nearly 25,000 new coronavirus infections, as the disease continued its ominous spread through the nation of nearly 1.4 billion people. The virus is showing no signs of slowing in the worst-affected countries: the United States, Brazil and India. The three nations are accounting for more than 60% of new cases, according to recent tallies from Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. reported nearly 59,000 new daily cases, just short of the record 60,000 cases set a day earlier, as President Donald Trump insisted that schools reopen in the fall. Brazil reported nearly 45,000 new cases. The virus has also been spreading rapidly in South Africa, which reported nearly 9,000 new cases in its latest daily update. A provincial health official said 1.5 million grave sites are being prepared and it’s the public’s responsibility “to make sure that we don’t get there.”
Morocco to Start Reopening Borders After Strict Lockdown
Morocco will start gradually reopening its air and maritime borders next week after one of the world’s strictest border lockdowns, which trapped tourists inside the country and left thousands of Moroccans stranded abroad and unable to come home. Only Moroccan citizens and expatriates living in Morocco will be allowed to travel in the first stage of the reopening starting July 14, according to a government statement Thursday. National airlines will schedule as many flights as necessary to return Moroccans living abroad as well as foreigners living in Morocco. Passengers are required to present both a PCR virus test taken within fewer than 48 hours of the flight, as well as an antibody test, before boarding planes heading for Morocco. Ferries from the French port Sete and Italian port Genoa will be allowed to resume serving Moroccan ports. All other ports will be excluded from this operation for now.
Scotland is entering phase 3 in the route map out of lockdown, but when will hairdressers reopen again?
The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced on Thursday 9 July that Scotland can now enter into phase 3 in the easing of lockdown restrictions, with hairdressers able to reopen their doors on Wednesday 15 July. Ms Sturgeon also announced she stressed that beauticians and nail salons will be able to open on Wednesday 22 July. The First Minister reminded the Scottish public that face masks are now compulsory on public transport and will become mandatory in shops from Friday 10 July.
How does Melbourne's coronavirus lockdown compare with overseas responses to community transmission?
The hard lockdowns placed on Melbourne's public housing towers may be a first in Australia, but similar scenes have played out in countries around the world. Acting Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said earlier this week the tower block lockdown was a "major escalation" and something we had not seen in the country before. But he said it was a similar decision to those made by officials in other parts of the world, such as "New York, China and in Europe". "The way [the increase in cases in Victoria] will come under control is very clear, we know how to do that, it is led by the data," Professor Kelly said. "Testing, trace and isolate [are] crucial and fundamental public health responses."
Warning of possible virus resurgence, France rules out another 'total lockdown'
The French government on Wednesday warned that a surge in coronavirus cases in coming months remained a distinct possibility, though it ruled out another nationwide lockdown that would further cripple the country's economy. "My aim is to prepare France for a possible second wave while preserving our daily life, our economic and social life," Jean Castex, the newly appointed prime minister, said in an interview on RTL television. "But we're not going to impose a lockdown like the one we did last March, because we've learned... that the economic and human consequences from a total lockdown are disastrous," he said. Instead business closures or stay-at-home orders would be "targeted" to specific areas, Castex added.
Popular Australian ski resorts closed due to coronavirus concerns
Two popular Victorian ski resorts have closed effective immediately due to the coronavirus crisis in the state. Falls Creek and Mount Hotham ski resorts have closed as a result of new restrictions and the NSW border lockdown. "We have made the difficult decision to suspend operations at Hotham and Falls Creek, effective Thursday July 9 through to at least August 19," Vail Resorts, the US company which owns the ski fields, said in a statement. "We recognise the impact this has on our guests, employees and communities and did not make this decision lightly." Vail Resorts cited the recent rise in cases of coronavirus and say public health and safety is their key motivator.
Australia to release most from COVID-19 high-rise lockdown despite surge
Australia’s second-most populous state will relax restrictions on many of the 3,000 people locked down in nine public-housing towers despite surging numbers of COVID-19 cases, state premier Daniel Andrews said on Thursday. Victoria state on Saturday confined residents of the towers in their homes amid a spike in COVID-19 cases, prompting widespread criticism from residents. Andrews said that after testing all 3,000 people in the towers, residents in eight of the high-rise buildings would be allowed to leave their homes for essential reasons, the same rules in force throughout the state. “There are such numbers of positive cases, together with known close contacts, that the assumption has got to be that everybody in that tower is a close contact of someone who is positive,” Andrews said of the tower that will remain in lockdown.
Safety for students, staff and teachers key to reopen schools
Now President Donald Trump and U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos are threatening to cut funding unless we fully reopen with in-person instruction, without regard for safety. The Washington state Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction, Department of Health, and Labor & Industries have provided scientifically based guidance for safely reopening schools. Districts across the state are making decisions about which model to offer in accordance with that guidance. Very few districts are finding that five days a week of in-person instruction is safe or appropriate given the increasing number of COVID-19 cases. No matter the model, Washington Education Association and our local associations are advocating that school administrators guide their decisions based on what is best and safest for students and educators. Health and safety must remain the priority. Science and guidance from health experts must direct and inform reopening decisions. Schools must employ effective screening and cleaning protocols and provide protective equipment to keep students, staff, families and communities safe. We’ll need more school nurses to provide health checks and monitoring, and custodial staff to clean and sanitize buildings.
Coronavirus: Filling middle plane seats may DOUBLE transmission
A new statistical model shows COVID-19 infections rising on commercial flights The MIT produced model shows nearly double the transmissions with middle seats filled, and more than 80 additional deaths from COVID-19 a year. Without federal guidelines, airline policy on middle seat sales is inconsistent
Partisan Exits
CDC feels pressure from Trump as rift grows over coronavirus response
The June 28 email to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was ominous: A senior adviser to a top Health and Human Services Department official accused the CDC of “undermining the President” by putting out a report about the potential risks of the coronavirus to pregnant women. The adviser, Paul Alexander, criticized the agency’s methods and said its warning to pregnant women “reads in a way to frighten women . . . as if the President and his administration can’t fix this and it is getting worse.” As the country enters a frightening phase of the pandemic with new daily cases surpassing 57,000 on Thursday, the CDC, the nation’s top public health agency, is coming under intense pressure from President Trump and his allies, who are downplaying the dangers in a bid to revive the economy ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election. In a White House guided by the president’s instincts, rather than by evidence-based policy, the CDC finds itself forced constantly to backtrack or sidelined from pivotal decisions.
UK has opted out of EU coronavirus vaccine programme, sources say
The UK government has rejected the chance to join the European Union’s coronavirus vaccine programme due to concerns over “costly delays”, according to sources. The EU is planning to spend around €2bn (£1.8bn) on the advance purchase of vaccines that are undergoing testing on behalf of the 27 member states. Negotiations with Brussels have been ongoing but Alok Sharma, the business secretary, is believed to have opted out of the opportunity, according to The Daily Telegraph. The European commission is expected to be notified of on Friday. The decision not to participate is expected to provoke a backlash among opposition MPs, who believe that ministers are reluctant to collaborate with the EU on projects after Brexit. Government sources told the newspaper that officials fear signing up to the scheme could delay the rollout of a vaccine by up to six months while talks on distribution took place.
UK Government’s post-lockdown economic rescue package meets with mixed reaction in Borders
UK chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak’s post-coronavirus lockdown rescue package for the British economy has met with a mixed reaction among politicians in the Borders.
Serbia bans mass gatherings after virus lockdown protests
Serbian authorities on Thursday banned gatherings of more than 10 people in the capital, Belgrade, after two nights of violent clashes between police and thousands of demonstrators protesting coronavirus lockdown measures. Thousands of people defied the ban to stage a sit down protest Thursday night in front of Parliament, along with other peaceful gatherings in towns elsewhere in Serbia. Many protesters wore white T-shirts with the inscription, "Sit Down, Don't Be Set Up" — referring to widespread claims that the violence the previous nights was staged by hooligan groups close to the authorities to smear the opposition groups' image. "This is how the protest should really look like, without their mad dogs present," said one of the main opposition leaders, Dragan Djilas.
Serbia mulls anti-virus rules as clashes erupt over lockdown
Serbian authorities on Thursday banned gatherings of more than 10 people in the capital, Belgrade, after two nights of violent clashes between police and thousands of demonstrators protesting coronavirus lockdown measures. Thousands of people defied the ban to stage a sit down protest Thursday night in front of Parliament, along with other peaceful gatherings in towns elsewhere in Serbia. Many protesters wore white T-shirts with the inscription, “Sit Down, Don’t Be Set Up” - referring to widespread claims that the violence the previous nights was staged by hooligan groups close to the authorities to smear the opposition groups’ image.
Virus-ravaged states clamor for more funds from Modi
This week India surpassed Russia to become the third worst-hit country with more than 740,000 Covid-19 infections. The surging virus numbers have all but overwhelmed the public health system, which the states are responsible for. It’s also piling on pressure on local governments at a time when they’re scrambling to restart economic activity. The country’s sudden lockdown -- imposed without consulting state governments -- shattered the already troubled economy. All non-essential activity stalled and state tax collections fell sharply, pushing local governments to ask the federal government for funds in order to avoid racking up debt. The money crunch is putting everything -- from the salaries of government employees to their ability to fight the virus -- at risk.
Thousands of protesters clash with police in Belgrade over threat of second lockdown
Thousands of protesters fought running battles with riot police outside the parliament building in Belgrade on Tuesday after the Serbian president announced plans to reinstate a coronavirus lockdown. Chaos erupted as demonstrators responded to tear gas being fired at them by hurling flares, stones, bottles and eggs. A number of them briefly forced their way inside the government building before being pushed back by the police. It followed President Aleksander Vucic’s announcement on Tuesday that the Balkan country may once again be placed under weekend curfew after health officials reported the highest single-day death toll of 13 amid 299 new Covid-19 cases. Opponents blame the surge on his earlier decision to lift the restrictions in the first place.
Behind New Covid-19 Outbreaks: America’s Patchwork of Policies
The rising tide of coronavirus cases in the U.S. South and West, coming four months into the outbreak, emerged amid a patchwork of often confusing or conflicting rules across government that have proved inconsistent and often difficult to enforce, making the pandemic harder to halt. With the federal government handing off many decisions over reopening, the states have been the primary drivers behind moves with the most impact on the coronavirus’s spread. States, in turn, have often given responsibility for many of those decisions to counties, cities and businesses. The result is a dizzying mix of rules and guidelines that can differ widely from one region to the next. It is a reflection of the American system of governance that limits federal power and distributes power across states and localities, but to health officials it is an ineffective way to manage a pandemic.
Continued Lockdown
Holidaymakers left fuming as Foreign Office tells ALL tourists not to go on cruises due to coronavirus risk - after previously urging only over-70s to avoid them - just as restrictions on travel are lifted
Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) urges against travel on cruise ships Government previously urged over-70s to avoid cruise ships due to coronavirus The FCO says new position comes following advice from Public Health England Consumer groups has warned decision will lead companies to cancel sailings
UK universities receive record number of applications in lockdown
A record 40.5% of all 18-year-olds in the UK have applied to go to university, with numbers rising significantly during lockdown, according to the university admissions service Ucas. It is the first time that more than four out of 10 students (40.5%) had applied by 30 June to go to university and the figures will offer some comfort to universities bracing themselves for the Covid-19 aftershock. At the same point in the admissions cycle last year, the figure was 38.9%, and Ucas points out that between mid-March and the end of June, when the pandemic was at its height in the UK, applications rose by 17%.
Traffic fell more in Britain than in any other European country during lockdown
They compared traffic data for February with records for March to June. UK came out bottom for post pandemic recovery out of 19 European countries. Recovery in major cities London, Belfast and Manchester also proved anaemic
Palestine tightens lockdown after recording 2 new COVID-19 deaths
Palestine tightened the precautionary measures all over the West Bank on Wednesday after recording two new COVID-19 deaths, raising the total fatalities to 24 since March 5. On Wednesday, a full lockdown dominated the West Bank after the Palestinian government decided earlier to extend it for another five days to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. The Palestinian Authority's Ministry of National Economy announced earlier on Wednesday that it fined 15 owners of industrial and commercial establishments for not abiding by the precautionary measures to combat coronavirus. The Palestinian police also announced that they had shut down 121 stores, seized 55 vehicles, and arrested 13 citizens for not abiding by the state of emergency and lockdown.
Scientific Viewpoint
Coronavirus pandemic is ‘still accelerating’, WHO director-general warns
The coronavirus pandemic is “still accelerating”, the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO’s director-general, said the virus was “not under control” in most parts of the world. “It is getting worse,” he said on Thursday. Speaking at a weekly member state briefing, he said more than 11.8 million Covid-19 cases had been reported to the WHO.
Coronavirus Vaccine Race: Moderna or Vaxart?
Let's talk about two companies developing COVID-19 vaccines that are much different from the ones we're generally used to. These two aren't going the traditional route of injecting a weakened version of the pathogen into the body. They have new ways of addressing the problem. You've probably heard of Moderna by now. Moderna has taken center stage over the past few months as it became the first company to bring a COVID-19 vaccine into human trials. The biotech company is developing a vaccine that harnesses the power of messenger RNA to instruct the body to make proteins to defend itself.
A Coronavirus Vaccine Won’t Work if People Don’t Take It
If a vaccine for the coronavirus is developed tomorrow, will you take it? Many people won’t. According to recent polls, half to three-quarters of Americans intend to get the vaccine if one becomes available — woefully short of what we’ll need to protect our communities. As a pediatrician, I meet with all kinds of parents who have concerns about vaccines generally; many have told me they won’t trust a coronavirus vaccine, and that they and their children won’t take it, at least in the short term. They question the safety of a vaccine developed on an accelerated timeline, and in the shadows of political pressure — a concern that has also been raised by staunchly pro-science, pro-vaccine experts. A few families even buy into the conspiracy theory that microchips will be implanted into the vaccine.
Here's how to sign up to test the first potential coronavirus vaccines in clinical trials
The leading coronavirus vaccine candidates are weeks away from entering the pivotal phase of testing. To determine if a vaccine actually prevents infection or disease, researchers will soon start recruiting tens of thousands of volunteers into clinical trials. The US National Institutes of Health is coordinating most of this research, launching this week the COVID Prevention Trials Network.
Up to one third of people in UK may refuse coronavirus vaccine, new poll finds
Almost a third of people in the UK may refuse a coronavirus vaccine if one is developed, according to a new poll. Nearly one in five British adults say they would either probably or definitely turn down a vaccine, according to the YouGov poll of 1,663 adults, and another 15 per cent say they don't know yet how they feel about it. A coronavirus vaccine is seen by many as the only way out of the pandemic, and hundreds are at various stages of development across the globe. However, scientists say that between 70 and 90 per cent of the population will have to get the new vaccine for it to be effective in stopping the spread of Covid-19, which has killed half a million people since erupting in China six months ago. It is hard to put an exact figure on how many will need to get the vaccine, because it depends on how effective it turns out to be - if one can be developed at all. For measles, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that 95 per cent of the population get the jab.
Scots wanted for coronavirus vaccine trial as more than 10,000 volunteers needed
Scots are being urged to volunteer for vaccine tests as health officials continue in their quest to find a cure for coronavirus. The study, which is run by the University of Oxford, is looking to recruit more than 10,000 volunteers to take part in the 12-month long trial.
Osivax receives funding for universal flu vaccine
Osivax receives public funding to apply its vaccine technology to protect against COVID-19 and future coronavirus strains.
COVID-19 cases surge higher in Americas and African regions
At a Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) media briefing yesterday, director Carissa Etienne, MBBS, MSc, said cases increased 20% last week compared to the previous week, and about 100,000 cases a day are reported from the region. However, she noted that new patterns are emerging. Two months ago, the United States made up 75% of cases in the region, but this past week it reported under half of the cases, with cases in Latin America and the Caribbean area accounting for about 50% of cases.
UK could face second lockdown 'within months'
The UK faces a second wave of coronavirus in as little as a few weeks, according to a professor of global public health. Devi Sridhar, who acts as the public health adviser for Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon, warned of “constant outbreaks” as lockdown restrictions ease across the country. She tweeted: “I know that everyone wants the economy to go full steam ahead in the UK. But I fear we will be in another lockdown within months, if not weeks…“Eliminate the virus over the summer then open up safely. Otherwise enter winter & flu season in a dangerous halfway house.”
Scientists hail 'stunning' results that show areas of New York may have reached 68 percent immunity
Areas of New York have recorded a nearly 70 per cent rate of immunity to Covid-19, in what scientists have described as “stunning” findings that suggest they could be protected from any second wave. Some 68 per cent of people who took antibody tests at a clinic in the Corona neighbourhood of Queens received positive results, while at another clinic in Jackson Heights, 56 per cent tested positive. The results, shared by healthcare company CityMD with the New York Times, appear to show a higher antibody rate than anywhere in the world, based on publicly released data. The next closest is the Italian province of Bergamo, which recorded 57 per cent, followed by Alpine ski resort Ischgl, the site of Austria's biggest coronavirus outbreak, which reported 47 per cent....
Coronavirus: The inside story of how UK's 'chaotic' testing regime 'broke all the rules'
As Britain sought to assemble its coronavirus testing programme, all the usual rules were broken. In their effort to release rapid data to show the increase in testing capacity, officials from Public Health England (PHE) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) "hand-cranked" the numbers to ensure a constant stream of rising test numbers were available for each day's press conference, Sky News has been told. An internal audit later confirmed that some of those figures simply didn't add up
'It's going to happen again,' says former New Zealand PM Clark tasked with WHO COVID-19 review
New Zealand’s former prime minister Helen Clark warned if the world remained “flat-footed” in its response to pandemics it faces future economic, social and political crisis, after she was appointed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to lead a review of the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. WHO announced late on Thursday that Clark and Liberia’s former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will lead a panel scrutinising the global response. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called both women “strong-minded, independent leaders”, aiming to underscore their freedom in assessing his agency’s and governments’ COVID-19 responses.
As Vaccine Skepticism In U.S. Grows, Experts Recommend Strategies For Covid-19 Vaccination Campaign
Experts blamed the influence of "anti-vaxxer" groups, which have capitalised on the fear and uncertainty around the pandemic
COVID-19 trial progresses, as 'cautious optimism' grows for RNA vaccine | Imperial News
More than 300 participants have been screened for Imperial's COVID-19 vaccine trial as its lead speaks of "cautious optimism". Professor Robin Shattock and his team, including chief investigator Dr Katrina Pollock and senior clinician Dr David Owen, have successfully administered first doses to 15 trial volunteers. The group's self-amplifying RNA vaccine technology is cheap, highly scalable and has the potential to deliver many effective doses next year, should the trials succeed. Imperial is continuing to recruit participants for the trial, which will deliver two doses to 300 people in the current phase, with plans for a further efficacy trial involving 6,000 people to start in October. Imperial and Professor Robin Shattock have partnered with Morningside Ventures to launch a social enterprise, VacEquity Global Health, to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine as cheaply and as widely as possible.
Lessons in contact tracing from Germany
Germany built on existing local infrastructure to get ahead of the covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic situation in Germany is often compared favourably with that in other European countries, particularly the UK. According to the World Health Organization, the rate of infection reported in Germany by 23 June was almost half the rate reported in the UK (230 cases/100 000 population v 451/100 000), and the reported mortality from covid-19 was a sixth of that in the UK (10.7/100 000 v 63.2/100 000). Care must be taken when comparing data from different countries,1 and various reasons may explain the observed differences.2 But from a public health perspective, experience with SARS3 suggests that Germany’s intensive system of testing, contact tracing, and quarantine were critical to successful control of the outbreak, especially given the role of super spreading events that seem to shape the current epidemic in Germany, with the most recent ones in meat plants.
Coronavirus Resurgence
Australia considers slowing return of citizens amid virus spike
Australia’s national cabinet met on Friday to discuss slowing the number of citizens allowed to return to the country from overseas, as authorities grapple with a COVID-19 outbreak in the country’s second most populous state.
China's new strategy to tame second-wave virus outbreaks
A recent coronavirus outbreak in Beijing sowed fears of a second wave of infections in China, but officials appear to have beat back the disease with a new targeted strategy. Authorities did not repeat the drastic nationwide shutdown seen when the virus first spread from Wuhan earlier this year. Instead, they sealed off a limited number of residences and focused on mass testing, eventually screening more than half of the capital's 21 million people
Covid 19 coronavirus: What New Zealand can learn from Melbourne's outbreak
An epidemiologist based in Melbourne, which has just gone into a six-week lockdown, says we need to learn from their mistakes and protect our borders. This morning Melbourne residents woke up to their first day in strict lockdown. Panicked shoppers have once again stripped shelves of toilet paper as another 134 cases were confirmed in the state of Victoria yesterday and 165 today. The state's total stands at 3098 after nine previous cases were reclassified.
As parts of Australia go back into lockdown, what hope is there for the rest of the world?
This week, Australia's second largest city, Melbourne, went back into lockdown, as the country closed the boundary between the states of Victoria and New South Wales for the first time in 100 years. Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, health officials are racing to contain a third wave of cases, after weeks of no local infections. While the number of cases in both places pales in comparison to the daily figures reported across the United States or in parts of Western Europe, it raises even more questions about when the areas worst hit by the virus will ever be able to return to normality, such is the difficulty of keeping the pandemic contained even under the best of circumstances.
New Zealand police to patrol quarantine hotels after breakouts
Police officers will patrol New Zealand’s quarantine hotels around-the-clock after a number of people – including a man who tested positive for coronavirus – escaped the managed isolation facilities. In two separate incidents in Auckland hotels guests in isolation left their quarantine hotels, with one woman escaping over a hedge, and another man over a small fence. The 32-year-old man – who was away for 70 minutes and visited a busy inner-city supermarket – tested positive for Covid-19. He has since been charged under new public health legislation. He faces a large fine or six months in prison.
New Lockdown
Millions under Australia lockdown as global cases hit 12 million
Millions of people in Australia's second-biggest city went into lockdown on Thursday to battle another coronavirus outbreak, as the number of infections worldwide surged past 12 million. Caseloads and death tolls have risen relentlessly in many of the world's biggest nations, with three million confirmed cases in the United States alone. In Melbourne, five million people began a new lockdown just weeks after earlier restrictions ended as Australia battles a COVID-19 resurgence, with residents bracing for the emotional and economic costs.
Localized lockdowns show that we're in the most complex phase of coronavirus yet
From English cities to the Spanish seaside and Australian housing estates, local lockdowns are cropping up all over the world as countries ease restrictions only to encounter new coronavirus outbreaks. After months of closures, governments are eager to reopen schools and businesses to allow people to get on with their lives. But fresh clusters of infection have seen leaders forced to reimpose restrictions in some hotspots, even as rules are eased elsewhere in the same country. Beijing re-entered a partial lockdown in mid-June after a new coronavirus outbreak linked to a food market in the Chinese capital, while at least 24 states in the US are pausing or rolling back their reopenings as cases accelerate, amid fears that earlier restrictions were relaxed too fast
Coronavirus: Hundreds flee Victoria for South Australia before midnight border lockdown
A man faces being fined after it's believed he allegedly tried to cross the border from Victoria into South Australia last night without permission. At midnight, the border between the states closed after hours of traffic banking up as people fled the coronavirus-stricken state before the new restrictions began. The traffic slowed to a trickle late last night but a 9News camera filmed one man allegedly breaking the rules to drive to South Australia.
'This lockdown seems different': second time around, Melbourne is on edge
Melbourne residents will be locked down from midnight on Wednesday. It is both easier and much harder this time around. Easier because remote working routines have already been established and because, this time, we know what to expect. And harder, because we know what to expect. Gone is the optimism that powered the first Australia-wide lockdown in March, where people spoke of flattening the curve and experimented with baking sourdough and bought jigsaw puzzles for their children after the prime minister declared them “absolutely essential”. The curve has flattened, bent, and bounced back up. The jigsaw puzzles have all been completed, and children who were prepared to go along with the first seven-week lockdown being a fun adventure are now anxious. Holidays were cancelled, again.
Millions of Australians back in lockdown amid Melbourne virus outbreak
Australia's second largest city, Melbourne, went back into lockdown at midnight on Wednesday, forcing five million Australians to stay home for all but essential business for the next six weeks to contain a flare-up of coronavirus cases. State police were patrolling the city and setting up checkpoints on major roads to stop people heading out to regional areas and spreading the virus from what is now Australia's pandemic epicentre, with 860 active cases. "The window for police discretion is very small and is closing as the threat to public health and safety created by those breaching the Chief Health Officer's directions is too great," Victoria police said in a statement. Cafes, bars, restaurants and gyms which only recently reopened had to shut again. Police had no comment on whether anyone has been stopped or fined since midnight.
Australian city wakes to another lockdown as more state borders close
Australia’s second-most populous state will relax restrictions on many of the 3,000 people locked down in nine public-housing towers despite surging numbers of COVID-19 cases, state premier Daniel Andrews said on Thursday
Melbourne shop owners fear the worst as second lockdown begins
Locals accept the decision to reimpose Covid-19 restrictions but say they need help to get through it