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"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 5th Aug 2020

News Highlights

No plans to impose full lockdown, says Vietnam

Vietnam, which has been seeing a recent uptick in Covid-19 cases, will not be imposing a widespread lockdown on its populace, according to a government spokesperson. However, social distancing and selective lockdown measures in areas considered virus epicentres could be implemented to contain the virus and boost the economy at the same time.

Young and middle-aged people hit by new Spanish virus wave

Spain was one of the countries hit by the coronavirus pandemic at the beginning of the year, with the elderly and people with comorbidities especially hard hit. However, since lockdown restrictions have eased, the ones hardest hit by the new wave of the virus seem to be younger people desperate to resume socializing after months of being cooped up.

WHO frowns on Russian coronavirus claims

The WHO has warned Russia not to rush production of a coronavirus vaccine that the country's health officials say is effective against the virus. Russia is planning to go ahead with mass vaccinations in October, despite the WHO saying that the vaccine, produced by the Gamaleya Research Institute, is only in Stage 1 of its clinical trial.

Trump, Fauci disagree on further lockdown measures

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert leading the U.S. coronavirus response, said that states with high infection counts should reconsider imposing lockdown restrictions. However, President Donald Trump cited the growing numbers of cases in Australia, and several other countries in Europe, as proof that permanent lockdowns are not a solution.

Lockdown Exit
UK coronavirus cases experience highest daily increase since June
The number of new coronavirus cases in the UK has risen by 938 across 24 hours – the highest daily increase in confirmed infections since late June, the government has confirmed. The latest figures from the department of health and social care (DHSC) brought the total number of cases since the beginning of the UK’s outbreak to 305,623. The daily increase in cases is the highest confirmed figure since 26 June, part of a gradual upward trend in infections since the bulk of lockdown measures were eased in early July.
Lockdown leaves 85 per cent of parents stressed and seeking family life changes, poll finds
More than eight in 10 parents are feeling stressed about family life and want to make changes after the lockdown, a new poll reveals. Eighty-five per cent of the 2,000 parents questioned said they felt more anxious during the pandemic, with 87 per cent concerned about their children’s emotional heath. The research was commissioned by parenting coach Zoe Blaskey, founder of the Motherkind podcast. She has launched a “family reset plan” after coaching families through lockdown
Amidst quieter streets and ongoing uncertainty, Paris and its post-lockdown tourists forge a new normal
A friend phoned me from Paris after a particularly dystopian morning in April. She had walked almost two miles east to venture into Bois de Vincennes and, as she approached the sprawling park, a drone buzzed overhead. “Go home,” was its strange disembodied order. My friend, an interpreter by profession, ran all the way there. The coronavirus crisis has stolen much of normal life this year. France curbed its social ways with a stern lockdown to try to tame the killer virus. In a matter of months and in time to salvage some summer holidays, the country found a better way than many others to rise above the dread. In the early days, personal travel was restricted to less than a mile and then only for essential needs—which is how my friend got in trouble. Travel limits eased as infections noticeably fell and when most citizens seemed to comprehend COVID-19 as a resilient foe.
France reports 3,376 new COVID-19 cases over three-day period
France has reported 3,376 new confirmed COVID-19 cases over the last three days, the country’s health department said on Monday, while the number of people being treated in ICUs for the disease is creeping higher. The seven-day moving average for new cases has held above the 1,000 threshold for the fifth day in a row, meaning the country is experiencing levels not seen since a two-month lockdown. France’s total number of cases now stands at 191,295. The 1,125 daily average of cases seen since the beginning of August is more than twice as high a June’s 435 figure and a third higher than July’s 746. Earlier on Monday, French Prime Minister Jean Castex urged people not to let down their guard in the fight against COVID-19. Lille, one of France’s biggest cities, has ordered people to wear masks outdoors in busy pedestrian streets.
Manufacturers make headway as lockdown restrictions are eased
Factory output rose at its fastest pace in nearly three years in the UK last month, a closely watched survey has suggested. The IHS Markit/CIPS manufacturing purchasing managers’ index climbed further above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction, rising from 50.1 in June to 53.3 in July. The figure was also broadly in line with an earlier flash estimate. Output, new orders and business confidence all improved last month as large parts of the economy started to reopen. The output component climbed to 59.3, its highest level since November 2017. Rob Dobson, a director at IHS Markit, said: “The UK manufacturing sector started the third quarter on a much firmer footing, with output growth hitting a near-three-year high and new orders rising for the year
Cardiff Bay: Young people not taking pandemic 'as seriously as others'
A minority of young people who have caused trouble in public spaces since lockdown was eased are spoiling it for the majority, it is claimed. The BBC spoke to a number of small groups enjoying a quiet drink in the sun at Cardiff Bay's Roald Dahl Plass. Two people in their 20s were arrested after a large gathering at the weekend. Welsh government minister Eluned Morgan has said there is evidence young people are not taking coronavirus as seriously as others. Since the easing of lockdown restrictions, hundreds of young people have been gathering, drinking alcohol in large groups in Cardiff Bay.
June death toll in Lancaster below usual levels as lockdown eased
Fewer deaths were recorded in Lancaster in June than a year ago, despite thousands of excess deaths elsewhere as lockdown was eased in England. But a new report is calling for "intense preparations" to ready the NHS for winter, with fears a second coronavirus wave could lead to 120,000 deaths nationally. Office for National Statistics figures show 101 deaths were recorded in Lancaster during June. That was seven fewer than the number recorded in June 2019, a drop of 6%.
Covid-19: Man is brutally beaten with baseball bats by gang of 4 men after asking them to wear masks
The attack happened in Soisy-sous-Montmorency, a town north of Paris . Victim, who asked to be named Augustin M., was attacked in a launderette. He asked one of his attackers to put on a mask but he refused and turned angry. A verbal argument broke out, and a few minutes later one of the men involved returned with three friends, two of whom brandished baseball bats
EasyJet increases flights as summer demand takes-off despite Covid-19 uncertainty
Greater than expected demand has led easyJet to increase the number of flights it is offering over the summer, despite continuing uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic. The budget airline expanded its schedule to 40% of normal capacity between July and September rather than the 30% previously expected. The carrier said it has seen strong demand from UK holidaymakers flying to Greece, Turkey and Croatia.
Exit Strategies
Hong Kong third wave: universal Covid-19 testing tougher than it sounds, say health experts, who urge targeted screenings, continued social distancing
While mainland help has raised testing capacity significantly, a full multi-day lockdown would be required in order to test all city residents effectively. ‘If you don’t have a good plan for testing, then a lot of the tests will waste resources,’ pandemic adviser says
Australian state to impose hefty fines to compel COVID-19 isolation
Australia’s second-most populous state Victoria said on Tuesday that anyone breaking COVID-19 isolation orders will face hefty fines, as high as A$20,000 (10,899 pounds), and that more military personnel will be deployed to fight the spread of the virus. Australia, once heralded as a global leader in containing COVID-19, is desperately trying to slow the spread of the virus in Victoria to prevent a national second wave of infections. Victoria earlier this week imposed a night curfew, tightened restrictions on people’s daily movements and ordered large parts of the local economy to close to slow the spread of coronavirus. But nearly a third of those who contracted COVID-19 were not home isolating when checked on by officials, requiring tough new penalties, Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said on Tuesday.
What We Know About The Two New 90-Minute Covid-19 Tests
When it comes to testing for Covid-19, there are two new kids on the block: LamPore and DnaNudge. But what are they, how do they work, and who can benefit from them? The two tests, which give results in 90 minutes, are to be rolled out in healthcare settings in the coming months. They can detect both Covid-19 and flu, which will be invaluable come winter when the NHS faces the burden of seasonal illness. Here’s a quick guide to what they do.
COVID-19 reshapes back-to-school spending
Parents are buying less dressy clothing and more basics for their kids, while stepping up purchases of masks and other protective equipment as well as electronics. They're also holding back on spending amid uncertainty over what the school year will look like. The back-to-school season typically kicks off in mid-July and peaks in mid-August. This year, experts predict the peak will hit in late August and spill into most of September. “We are definitely seeing a delay," said Jill Renslow, senior vice president of the Bloomington, Minnesota-based Mall of America, which reopened in mid-June with social-distancing protocols. “People just don’t know what they need."
Returning Covid-19 patients to care homes slammed
A campaigner for the elderly in Northern Ireland has said decisions which led to covid-positive patients being sent from hospital back to care homes must not be repeated. The Belfast Telegraph reported on Saturday how seven patients with Covid-19 were returned to care facilities at the height of the pandemic. It has now emerged that hundreds of others were not tested at all. A Freedom of Information request by the Local Democracy Reporting service found that the Northern Trust discharged six people with coronavirus into nursing homes between March 1 and April 15, before the change in government guidance.
Covid-19: Why are scientists concerned about Test and Trace?
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has said that the system is working but it has been criticised for not reaching enough people who have tested positive or their close contacts. So what is the Test and Trace service and why are scientists concerned about it? The authors of a new modelling study said that without appropriate levels of testing and contact tracing, reopening of schools together with gradual relaxing of the lockdown measures are “likely to induce a second wave that would peak in December 2020 if schools open full-time in September”. The study, published in The Lancet Child And Adolescent Health, warned that in a worst-case scenario a second wave could be 2.3 times higher than the first. But its authors said that “with increased levels of testing… and effective contact tracing and isolation, an epidemic rebound might be prevented”.
Direct Relief Joins Solidarity Fund to Help South Africans Overcome COVID-19 Crisis
Direct Relief has joined the fight against COVID-19 in South Africa, throwing its financial and organizational support behind the Solidarity Fund, a South African public benefit initiative. The Solidarity Fund was formed in March 2020 as a rapid response vehicle to augment the South African government's response to COVID-19. It is focused on reducing coronavirus transmission, including through communications driving behavioral change; health response, including obtaining personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline health workers; and humanitarian response, including food relief for people who have lost their means of sustenance.
Testing key to prevent Covid-19 lockdowns across region, say councils
After new lockdown rules were brought into play in large parts of northern England, council leaders and public health bosses have said widespread testing is now more important than ever to reduce the prospect of similar action in the region. Birmingham, Coventry, Sandwell, Solihull, Dudley, Walsall and Wolverhampton councils are urging people who have Covid-19 symptoms or who have come into contact with anyone who has tested positive to get tested. The seven local authorities also reiterated the importance of businesses contacting Public Health England as a case is identified – either confirmed or suspected – in a staff or customer.
China Says It Can Boost Hong Kong Virus Testing by 20 Times
China aims to boost Hong Kong’s coronavirus testing capacity to 20 times its current ability, said the leader of a support team sent from Guangdong province to aid the city in its worst outbreak ever. he Chinese testing team of about 60 people will work with the Hong Kong government and three mainland Chinese testing companies to process 100,000 to 200,000 samples every day, said Yu Dewen in a state media video interview released on Monday. “Our main mission is to help the Hong Kong government conduct testing on a large scale for the population,” said Yu, who is an official with Guangdong’s health commission. Yu also led the Guangdong delegation earlier sent to help Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the virus first emerged
The countries which could be removed from UK's list of safe holiday destinations | ITV News
Summer plans for thousands of British holidaymakers have been thrown into disarray by the coronavirus pandemic. At the start of lockdown, the government was advising against all but essential travel to almost every country in the world, meaning thousands of plans were cancelled. With the lifting of lockdown some countries became safe holiday destinations, according to the government, and people again began to book trips. But cases of Covid-19 are beginning to rise again, with spikes in Europe resulting in Spain and Luxembourg being removed from the UK's list of safe countries. The government has warned it will react "rapidly" to any spike in cases and it is likely more countries will be removed from the safe list and added to the list of destinations from which returnees must quarantine for 14 days.
90 minute COVID-19 tests: Government orders 5.8 million DnaNudge kits
The government has placed a £161 million order for 5.8 million high-speed DnaNudge COVID-19 test kits to be used in NHS hospitals from September. This major order will see DnaNudge’s lab-free, rapid and reliable PCR test, which delivers results in under 90 minutes and can work in about an hour, rolled out nationally in urgent patient care and elective surgery settings, with further deployments in out-of-hospital settings.
Partisan Exits
Singapore’s quick response to coronavirus saved thousands of lives. There’s no excuse for the UK’s failure
In February I travelled to Singapore to visit an old university friend. So it was chance that I found myself in the safest part of the world, where they knew what to do and acted with great speed to aggressively suppress the lethal virus
Trump says nationwide lockdown would 'ultimately inflict more harm than it would prevent'
President Donald Trump insisted Monday that shutting down the United States in an attempt to curb the coronavirus would cause more harm than good. He said the U.S. only initially shut down to prevent the overflow of hospitals and to allow U.S. health officials and scientists to learn more about the new virus, including developing effective treatments to fight it. While Trump said he would not shut down the U.S., he urged Americans to stay “vigilant” against the coronavirus as U.S. officials begin to see new “flare-ups.”
Mass test general population to avoid another lockdown, says former PM
Tony Blair said a mass testing regime is the only way to control the virus. A mass testing regime is essential to avoid the need for another lockdown, Tony Blair has said. Without a vaccine or an effective treatment, mass testing is the only way to control the spread of Covid-19, the former prime minister said. His comments come as researchers said the NHS Test and Trace programme needs to be scaled up in order to reopen schools safely. A new modelling study has implied that reopening schools in September must be combined with a high-coverage test-trace-isolate strategy to avoid a second wave of Covid-19 later this year.
Esmond Birnie: We must avoid a further lockdown
Sometimes we face agonising dilemmas between terrible alternatives. We should try to avoid getting into such situations. In the UK at present we should avoid an uncontrolled second wave of Covid-19 which kills tens of thousands and also a second general lockdown knocking billions off the economy. How might we evaluate the current lockdown? First of all, there is the undoubted success in terms of lives saved. A death toll of about 850 in Northern Ireland (NI) was grievous but contrasts to the projection made in March that 15,000 might be lost. What about the cost? Given all the ethical and philosophical difficulties relating to trying to put a cash value on a human life I avoid placing a monetary value on the "benefit" of the lockdown in number of lives saved. What can be done is to measure the implied economic cost per life saved and compare that to the standard NHS/National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline that the cost of treatment should not exceed £30,000 per year of life.
Trump criticizes Covid lockdowns and falsely claims US 'doing very well'
Donald Trump used his White House coronavirus press conference on Monday to repeat his opposition to lockdowns as a means of bringing the contagion under control, claiming falsely that under his leadership the US has done “as well as any nation”. On a day that the US had surpassed 4.7m confirmed cases of infection – more than a quarter of the global total – Trump tried to deflect criticism of his administration’s handling of the pandemic on to other countries. He cited Spain, Germany, France, Australia and Japan as countries experiencing “significant flare ups” as the virus surges again. In fact, while Australia and Japan are experiencing renewed surges, their total incidence of disease remains a fraction of the catastrophe now sweeping across the US.
Coronavirus: Donald Trump cites Australia to justify anti-lockdown stance
US President Donald Trump has cited the worsening coronavirus situation in Australia to justify his stance that a lockdown “would inflict more harm than it would prevent”. Speaking to reporters at today’s White House briefing, Mr Trump reeled off a list of countries he said were suffering “flare-ups” after thinking they had the virus under control. “It’s important for all Americans to recognise that a permanent lockdown is not a viable path toward producing the result that you want, or certainly not a viable path forward, and ultimately would inflict more harm than it would prevent,” the President said. “As we’re seeing in foreign countries around the world, where cases are once again surging. You have many places where we thought they were under control and doing a great job – and they are doing a great job. But this is a very tough, invisible enemy
Fauci Supports Birx’s Coronavirus Assessment After Trump Criticizes Her
Speaking during a news conference with Gov. Ned Lamont of Connecticut, Dr. Fauci called the community spread “insidious” and noted that it was happening outside of confined spaces like nursing homes and prisons. In backing up Dr. Birx, the Trump administration’s coronavirus response coordinator, Dr. Fauci indirectly put himself at odds with the president. Earlier on Monday, Mr. Trump had called Dr. Birx “pathetic” on Twitter and suggested that her comments about a “new phase” were an effort to curry favor with Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Trump says 'permanent lockdown' not viable path to combat coronavirus
President Donald Trump said on Monday that a “permanent lockdown” policy is not a “viable path forward” in combating the coronavirus pandemic. Trump, speaking with reporters, as he pushed to reopen the country, argued that lockdowns do not prevent future infections and other countries have seen resurgence in cases after lockdowns.
COVID-19 Is Tearing Through Nursing Homes. Mitch McConnell Wants to Give Their Owners Legal Immunity.
For months, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has upheld an ultimatum about passing new COVID-19 relief legislation this summer: No economic stabilization package will pass the Senate unless it protects businesses from coronavirus-related lawsuits. “We need to provide protection, litigation protection, for those who have been on the front lines,” McConnell said during a Fox News interview in April. “We have a red line on liability.” Last Monday, a bill introduced by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and coauthored by McConnell clarified exactly which front lines Senate Republicans are interested in defending. The proposal, titled the Safe to Work Act, would make it harder for workers and customers to sue companies for negligently exposing them to the coronavirus and raises the bar for patients to sue healthcare providers for coronavirus-related malpractice. It also extends “front line” protections to healthcare executives, including nursing home owners, until 2024.
Continued Lockdown
Lack of special border measures before UK coronavirus lockdown was 'serious mistake'
The government’s failure to impose special border measures such as mandatory self-isolation in the run-up to the UK coronavirus lockdown was “a serious mistake” that significantly increased the pace and scale of the epidemic, MPs have concluded in a damning report. Between January and mid-March, non-mandatory guidance to self-isolate for 14 days was issued to travellers from designated high-risk countries, including China, Iran and Italy, but not Spain. Yet on 13 March this guidance was withdrawn. Evidence suggests thousands of new infections were brought in from continental Europe in the 10 days between the withdrawal of guidance and the introduction of lockdown on 23 March, the home affairs select committee says in the report. “It is highly likely that this contributed to the rapid increase in the spread of the virus in mid-March and to the overall scale of the outbreak in the UK,” the MPs say.
Scientific Viewpoint
Covid-19 survivors should be exempt from having to self-isolate, government scientific advisers say
Sage studied evidence which found it's likely survivors can't be infected again. But admitted it is unclear how long this coronavirus 'immunity' would last for Experts dismissed idea of immunity passports, an idea once floated by ministers
Radical shift in COVID-19 testing strategy needed to reopen schools and businesses, researchers say
“America faces an impending disaster,” says Rajiv Shah, president of the Rockefeller Foundation. Testing, he says, needs to focus on “massively increasing availability of fast, inexpensive screening tests to identify asymptomatic Americans who carry the virus. Today, we are conducting too few of these types of tests.” Rebecca Smith, an epidemiologist at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), agrees. To stop outbreaks from overwhelming communities, she says, “we need fast, frequent testing,” which could mean faster versions of existing RNA tests or new kinds of tests aimed at detecting viral proteins. But researchers say the federal government will need to provide major financial backing for the push.
We're thinking about Covid-19 the wrong way. It's not a 'wave' – it's a wildfire
We have no previous experience with a worldwide coronavirus pandemic, so when Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, began spreading, public health experts leaned on our experiences with influenza pandemics to inform their predictions. These pandemics are often described in terms of “waves” and “troughs”. We have now seen enough to replace the ocean analogy with a better one: wildfire.
NHS clinicians given access to online training for treating Covid-19 patients
NHS doctors and nurses in England are being given access to training in treating Covid-19 patients from some of UK-based technology companies. A consortium called Resilient XR has provided the health service with interactive videos that allow healthcare staff to rotate the content 360 degrees and view it from any angle. The group is a collaboration between industry, academia and government. It is made up of Microsoft, volumetric production studio Dimension, digital technology innovation centre Digital Catapult, content distribution platform VISR VR, mixed-reality development agencies Fracture Reality and Make Real, the University of Leeds’ Centre for Immersive Technologies, and University College London. Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust and Health Education England (HEE) are advising and contributing to Resilient XR to ensure the content is accurate, informative and up to date.
Coronavirus: WHO urges caution over Russian vaccine claims
Russia is planning to go ahead with mass vaccinations in October - something the World Health Organization (WHO) has raised concerns about, APA reports citing BBC. About 140 vaccines across the world are in early development, and around two dozen are now being tested on people in clinical trials, including the Russian vaccine. There are generally three main phases of human testing before a vaccine can be approved for general use. The final stage, phase 3, involves trials among a much larger group of volunteers. Six potential vaccines have reached this third stage. One, developed by the University of Oxford, appears safe and triggers an immune response in humans. Early results from two trials in the US, run by the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and biotech company Moderna, also appear to produce a good immune response in volunteers. However, they are all still under testing and none have received approval. According to a document release by the WHO last week, the Russian jab, which has been developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute, remains far behind and is still in phase 1.
Global report: Covid risks 'generational catastrophe' warns UN; Latin America exceeds 5m cases
The UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres, said the world was at a “defining moment” with the world’s children and young people. He said the decisions governments took during the pandemic over education would have lasting impacts on hundreds of millions and on the development prospects of countries for decades to come. Guterres said that as of mid-July schools were closed in 160 countries, affecting more than 1 billion students, while at least 40 million children had missed out on pre-school. This came on top of more than 250 million children already being out of school before the pandemic and only a quarter of secondary school students in developing countries leaving with basic skills. “We face a generational catastrophe that would undermine decades of progress and exacerbate intrenched inequalities,” he said, warning of “deeply concerning” knock-on effects on child nutrition, child marriage and gender equality. The warnings came as Guterres launched a new campaign titled “Save our future” calling for action on reopening schools once local transmission is under control, and prioritising financing for education.
Fauci says states seeing surge in COVID-19 cases should reconsider some lockdown measures
The U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, on Monday said states with high coronavirus case counts should reconsider imposing lockdown restrictions, emphasizing the need to get cases to a low baseline before the fall flu season. In some states with moderate case counts, experts are seeing “that same insidious increase in percent positive that we had seen and pointed out ... in states like Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Minnesota and others”, Fauci said during an interview with the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Fauci said last week that he was seeing signs the surge of COVID-19 cases could be peaking in the South and West while other areas were on the cusp of new outbreaks. Those states should consider pausing or rolling back reopening efforts, though they don’t necessarily need to revert to full lockdown, he said.
Coronavirus: Doctors warn Germany already in 'second wave' of pandemic
Germany is already experiencing its second wave of coronavirus infections, according to the head of the Marburger Bund, the doctors trade union. "We are already in a second, flat wave," Marburger Bund chairwoman Susanne Johna told the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper in an interview published on Tuesday. Johna added the second surge in infections is not comparable in intensity to the first coronavirus wave, which hit Germany in March this year. However, she warned that the there is a danger Germany will “gamble away the successes we have achieved so far” as people get tired of the rules and want to get back to normal life. “We all long for normality. But we are in a state that is not normal, ” Johna told the newspaper. “As long as there are no drugs to treat COVID-19, the spread of the virus must be curbed. "
1.5 Million Italians Had Coronavirus, Lockdown was Critical in Stemming Infection: Antibody Test
The results of nationwide antibody tests conducted on nearly 65,000 Italians indicate that some 1.5 million individuals or 2.5% of the population have had the coronavirus, health officials said on Monday. That figure is six times the number of confirmed cases in Italy's official virus tally. The results - viewed with the country's overall death toll of close to 35,000 -align with the 2.3% estimated mortality rate of the virus. Dr Franco Locatelli, a key scientific government adviser, said the tests were designed to understand the virus' circulation nationwide and not whether Italians with antibodies were safe from the virus.
One scientist's six-point recovery plan to tackle COVID-19 anxiety
Fernando T. Maestre was diagnosed with anxiety during Spain’s coronavirus lockdown. A change in approach to work, life and parenting helped to restore his health.
Coronavirus: Don’t rush vaccines to market, Russia told
Russia has been warned by the World Health Organisation not to rush its vaccines to market after Moscow announced plans to start swiftly producing Covid-19 jabs. Denis Manturov, the industry minister, claimed that it would produce “several million” doses a month of a vaccine trialled by the Gamaleya institute in Moscow which he said was at an advanced stage. “We are very much counting on starting mass production in September,” he said. Christian Lindmeier, a WHO spokesman, said: “There are established practices and there are guidelines out. Any vaccine . . . for this purpose should be, of course, going through all the various trials and tests before being licensed.
Second COVID wave 'highly likely' to hit France this year, scientists say
After strict lockdown measures pushed down infection rates ... with cities such as Lille and Nice ordering people to wear masks in busy pedestrian streets. France has reported 3,376 new confirmed COVID-19 cases over the last three days and the number ...
Brits were less likely than French or Italians to follow lockdown guidelines
Only 71% of Brits, Americans and other English speakers around the globe followed guidelines set by their governments during the Covid-19 lockdown, according to a new study from Durham University Business School. This was drastically lower than French and Italians – where 89% of respondents followed guidelines. The research was conducted at the end of April 2020, the height of the global pandemic, when many countries were at the strictest stage of their lockdowns. Sascha Kraus, Professor of Entrepreneurship at Durham University Business School, Andrés Davila, Professor at ESCE Paris, and an international team of academics research the topic to understand people’s views towards Covid-19 voluntary compliance behaviours, and who was most likely to follow these. The researchers also found that only 70% of native English speakers were happy to take preventative steps such as wearing a mask indoors, social distancing, avoiding crowds, staying at home and washing their hands frequently.
Lockdown study reports surge in health anxieties
New research into people's coping strategies faced with Covid-19 highlights the mental health toll for those shielding. Coronavirus and the imposition of lockdown this year 'significantly raised' mental health challenges, particularly so for the most vulnerable groups, including those shielding, according to the first study to look at people's coping styles in face of the pandemic. The new research has been published in the journal American Psychologist. It draws on survey responses from over 800 people recruited online and via social media who answered questions over a ten-day period when the UK was in full lockdown (from 17 - 26 April 2020).
New Zealand moved to its own Stage 4 with less than 100 daily cases. Should Victoria have acted sooner?
The adoption of tough Stage 4 coronavirus restrictions in Melbourne has prompted questions about whether the Victorian government should have acted earlier. Melbourne was put under a Stage 4 lockdown on Sunday after recording 671 new infections. The rest of Victoria is set to re-enter Stage 3 restrictions at 11:59 on Wednesday. Some, such as physician and broadcaster Dr Norman Swan, have compared Melbourne's situation with New Zealand, which went into its own version of a Stage 4 lockdown before daily cases reached 100.
'It's not going to be easy': experts on what Australia must do to curb Covid's spread
As of 2 August Australia had been experiencing average rates (smoothed over five days given how fluctuating daily counts are) of 500 to 600 per day in Victoria – although we may have just passed the peak with numbers perhaps beginning to fall in the last few days. But we still have a long way to go. Moreover, there are anywhere between 50 to 100 “mystery” cases a day – those cases that pop up and you can’t work out where they got it from. They are concerning, as it means transmission has gone “underground” in asymptomatic cases, and it reflects out-of-control community infection. Meanwhile, New South Wales and Queensland, teetering on the precipice of community transmission, are flaring up.
'An endless game of COVID-19 whack-a-mole': a New Zealand expert on why Melbourne's stage 4 lockdown should cover all of Victoria
The restrictions in place for metropolitan Melbourne now are in some ways stricter than those that were in force during New Zealand’s COVID-19 lockdown. A curfew is in place and most people have to wear masks when they leave their home – neither of which happened in New Zealand. But the state of Victoria has lost valuable time to bring the outbreak under control. Stage 3 restrictions that came into force on July 8 for everyone living in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire provided too many opportunities for the virus to spread. As a result, there are now around 7,000 active cases, and still several hundred new cases each day. For more than 2,000 cases, contact tracers don’t yet know where people were exposed to the virus.
What We Don’t Know About COVID-19 Can Hurt Us
To successfully avoid ongoing disruption, we need to harness the variability of COVID-19 outbreaks—and the control measures countries have introduced—to make more sense of how the infection starts, spreads and ends. This variability was damaging and unpredictable in the spring, but going into the fall, this same diversity could help us target the weak links in the infection process.
Convalescent Plasma Reduced Death Rate Among Covid-19 Patients, Study Data Signals
Hospitalized patients who got earlier transfusions of blood plasma rich in antibodies to the coronavirus show a lower mortality rate
Coronavirus Resurgence
Victorian nurses ask for urgent PPE as more than 730 health workers sick with Covid-19
The letter to the premier, seen by Guardian Australia, states “the situation is still inadequate months after the outbreak started”. It was written by a member of the College of Mental Health Nurses, Claire Hudson-McAuley, who detailed stories shared by nurses, including a nurse working in a surgeon’s rooms who said only surgeons were provided with protective N95 masks.
80% of new Covid-19 cases in part of Greater Manchester are among white people
Eleanor Roaf, the director of public health in Trafford, made the claims. But she warned most cases in Trafford were in the 'nice leafy suburbs. 'She suspects young people are catching the virus after going out to pubs. They are then spreading the coronavirus to their parents in small households
Spain's new wave of infections hits the young, middle-aged
Like most Spaniards, Emma Gaya thought the worst of the pandemic was behind her. Spain’s government had ended a three-month lockdown after an COVID-19 onslaught that claimed at least 28,400 lives in the European Union nation. To kickstart its stalled economy, Spaniards were encouraged to cautiously resume their lives under a “new normality” based on wearing face masks, washing hands and social distancing. The respite didn’t last long. Outbreaks among farm workers and young people desperate to resume socializing after being cooped up have spread across northern Spain, spawning what some health officials fear could be the start of a dreaded “second wave” of infections.
Return to full lockdown remains on the table in Israel - Health Ministry
Returning to a full lockdown remains an ‘option’, Israel’s most senior public health official warned on Tuesday as the country grapples with how to respond with its second wave of coronavirus cases. Health Ministry director-general Chezy Levy said in an interview with Army Radio that: “A partial or complete lockdown are still options. “Lockdown is a tool that can reduce morbidity; on the other hand, the price we’ll pay for a complete lockdown is clear to all of us,” he added. Mr Levy also noted that Israeli decision-makers were considering ordering localised lockdowns of cities with high infection rates, similar to steps taken in the UK and Spain.
Expats on Spain’s Costa del Sol Fear Another Lockdown as Pandemic Accelerates
Expats on Spain’s Costa del Sol now fear another lockdown could be on the cards as the pandemic seems to be accelerating. According to the Ministry of Health, over the last two weeks, there have been 29,598 new cases of the coronavirus. This apparent acceleration is more notable in regions such as Madrid, Catalonia, Aragon and Navarra, but it does not mean that the situation could not get out of hand on the Costa del Sol. All it takes for this virus to spread like wildfire is one social and Covid-positive individual who goes around town for a few days without knowing they are infected.
Coronavirus Australia: Cases that could flag NSW lockdown
NSW has recorded a spate of mystery cases in the past week, with a top doctor warning a rise in this number could spark harsher restrictions for the state. Deputy chief medical officer, Dr Nick Coatsworth, said if there is an increase in cases without links to known outbreaks then that will be a major cause for concern. “The concern becomes when there is unlinked people, people who don’t have an obvious link to someone else who had COVID-19,’ he told Nine’s Today. “And by and large that’s being kept around about one per day in NSW. Which of course is a phenomenal effort for the public health service. If that starts to increase that’s a concern.”
Vietnam says it has no plans for widespread lockdown
Vietnam has no plans for a widespread lockdown and will only put areas considered epicentres under strict quarantine, the government’s spokesperson said on Monday. “We will only implement social distancing in areas considered virus epicentres, and will not pursue a widespread lockdown,” Mai Tien Dung, the government’s spokesman, told a monthly press conference on Monday. Dung said selective lockdown measures would allow the government to achieve the dual goals of containing the virus and boosting the economy at the same time. “If there’s an infection in a hamlet, we will lock down that hamlet only, not the whole district or the whole province,” he said.
New Lockdown
Philippines back under lockdown as virus cases continue to surge
Philippine police deployed road blocks on Tuesday to enforce a tough new lockdown on about 28 million people in the capital Manila and nearby provinces as the Southeast Asian country reported the region’s biggest daily rise in coronavirus cases. The area, which accounts for most economic activity in the country and a quarter of the population, has gone back into lockdown for two weeks after restrictions were relaxed in June. The eased restrictions, in an effort to revive the economy, led to infections soaring more than six-fold to 112,593 and deaths more than doubling to roughly 2,100, piling pressure on a beleaguered healthcare sector.
Millions back under lockdown in Philippines amid surge in virus cases
Millions of people in the Philippines were ordered to stay home Tuesday as global coronavirus infections kept soaring, with the World Health Organization warning against relying on a vaccine "silver bullet" to end the pandemic. More than 18 million people worldwide have been infected with the virus since it first emerged in China late last year and it shows no sign of slowing down. Desperate to contain the spread and relieve pressure on overwhelmed hospitals, some countries such as the Philippines have resorted to reimposing economically painful restrictions on travel and businesses. Commuter trains, buses and other public vehicles stayed off the main roads of the capital Manila on Tuesday and police were again staffing checkpoints to restrict public travel as surging virus cases forced another lockdown.
Manila’s new lockdown as Duterte accuses doctors of seeking ‘revolution’
Return to stringent ‘modified enhanced community quarantine’ will force most businesses to close, inflicting further pain on the economy. Philippine president took aim at ‘troublemakers’ who recorded and shared a Tagalog version of Do You Hear The People Sing from Les Miserables
Coronavirus Australia: Melbourne lockdown will see a million workers remain at home
Around a quarter of a million people in Australia’s second most populous state will be told to stay at home as businesses begin to close in Melbourne on Wednesday evening to stem the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.
Coronavirus: Melbourne police 'assaulted and baited' over lockdown rules
Authorities in the Australian city of Melbourne have warned of a "dangerous" rise in people resisting lockdown measures, sometimes violently. Police said this trend included so-called "sovereign citizens" - who espouse an anti-government ideology - confronting officers. In one case a woman repeatedly smashed a policewoman's head into the ground. Authorities have increased fines for repeated rule breaches as Melbourne endures a deadly virus second wave. More than half of Australia's 18,300 cases have been recorded in the past month in Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital. There have been 226 deaths nationally. Melbourne has recently mandated wearing masks and tightened a stay-at-home order to reduce transmissions. But authorities said many people were breaking rules, including some who claimed to be "above the law".
Philippines fears for economy, income as tough lockdown returns
Tens of millions of people in and around the Philippine capital will go back to a strict lockdown from Tuesday, threatening incomes and hopes for reviving a once dynamic economy as authorities take drastic measures to halt surging virus cases. Before the coronavirus pandemic, the Philippines was one of Asia’s fastest growing economies, but tough restrictions from mid-March to May pushed it to the brink of recession, and hopes for a swifter recovery are looking bleak with the return of measures set to squeeze commerce. The lockdown in Manila and nearby provinces is being reinstated for an initial two weeks after a prominent medical group warned the healthcare system could collapse from soaring COVID-19 cases that scaled new records on four straight days until Monday.