"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 15th Sep 2020

Isolation Tips
Indonesia to provide more self-isolation centers for asymptomatic, mild COVID-19 cases - The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian government is set to provide more facilities to house asymptomatic coronavirus patients or those with mild symptoms to self-isolate, as the number of daily COVID-19 transmissions continues to hit new highs in the country. “The government has prepared quarantine centers for those who test positive for COVID-19, with or without symptoms, so that no one will self-isolate at home," President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said during a Cabinet meeting on Monday.
Coronavirus swept through Jo's house. Here's how he managed to dodge it
When Jo Sumic's wife Laura tested positive for coronavirus, his whole family went into quarantine. When his two daughters later tested positive as well, Jo resigned himself to the fact it would get him too. But it never did. Despite the notoriously infectious virus sweeping through his Melbourne home, taking down family members one by one, Jo is now out of quarantine and back at work. Here's how it unfolded.
Coronavirus: stay indoors or be fined under planned quarantine rules
Boris Johnson is drawing up plans to fine people who breach self-isolation rules amid mounting concern that Britain is facing a second wave of coronavirus. The prime minister is considering enforcing the measure after evidence suggested that people were routinely ignoring advice and leaving their homes. The move, described as a realistic next step, would be part of a “carrot and stick” approach in which people could also be given bigger payments while they were isolating. The approach is likely to mirror quarantine measures for those returning from holidays, which require isolation for 14 days. Police can issue fines of up to £1,000 for breaching quarantine, although the powers have barely been used. Only 34 people have been fined since the measures were introduced.
Hygiene Helpers
Coronavirus Australia: Melbournians escape stage four restrictions by moving to countryside
Melburnians are taking extreme measures to escape the city’s stage four lockdown by upping and moving to the countryside, which has recorded far fewer cases of coronavirus. Real estate agents and academics have noticed an uptick in interest in regional centres around Melbourne, particularly concentrated in areas like Castlemaine and Bendigo. The demand for rural properties is so high that sometimes a property is listed in the morning and it’s sold by the afternoon, according to Rob Waller from Waller Realty in Bendigo.
Philippines 30cm distancing rule seen as 'reckless'; deaths hit record
Experts described as dangerous and premature on Monday the Philippines’ decision to cut the social distancing minimum to 30 centimetres (12 inches) on public transport, as the country saw another daily record in newly confirmed COVID-19 deaths. Reducing gaps between passengers incrementally to a third of the 1 metre minimum could backfire, experts and medical professionals warned, and prolong a first wave of infections that the Philippines has been battling since March. The new rules took effect on Monday, when the country reported 259 new confirmed deaths, a record for the second time in three days. Total fatalities increased to 4,630, while infections have doubled in the past 35 days to 265,888, Southeast Asia’s highest number.
Community Activities
Cities count cost of lasting exodus from offices
Employers are bringing increasing numbers of white collar staff back to their offices, but they are also planning radical shifts in working patterns that risk inflicting permanent economic scars across the UK. Working from home became a reality for millions of employees during the coronavirus lockdown, and despite calls by Prime Minister Boris Johnson for staff to now return to offices, future arrangements are highly uncertain because of a resurgence in Covid-19 cases and a lack of clarity on when a vaccine will be ready. But Financial Times research has found that business leaders are proposing big changes to working patterns that will have far-reaching consequences for the urban economy.
Vaccine Makers Keep Safety Details Quiet, Alarming Scientists
Researchers say drug companies need to be more open about how vaccine trials are run to reassure Americans who are skittish about getting a coronavirus vaccine.
Extreme poverty 'will double by Christmas' in UK because of Covid-19
Britain’s largest food bank network has warned that UK destitution rates will double by Christmas alongside an explosion in demand for charity food parcels, as coronavirus job and income support schemes are wound down. The Trussell Trust predicts that at least 670,000 extra people will become destitute in the last three months of the year – a level of poverty that leaves them unable to meet basic food, shelter or clothing needs – if the government withdraws Covid support for low-income households. Despite unprecedented demand for charity food since lockdown – 100,000 people used food banks for the first time between April and June – the trust said ending furlough in October would trigger a rise in food bank use of at least 61% – equivalent to a year-on-year increase of 300,000 parcels.
More women than men left jobless post-lockdown
The adverse impact of the pandemic-induced lockdowns and restrictions on the livelihood of women is reflected in the responses of 3,221 women workers from the informal sector in a new survey report covering 20 Indian states.
Stuck on the launchpad: How coronavirus is trapping our young people
Ms Thomas, 19, is not alone. She is among the 320,000 people aged between 15 to 24 whose jobs disappeared between March and May. While in other parts of Australia the recovery is under way, Victoria’s youth employment numbers are bumping along the bottom. According to research by Dr Jenny Chesters from the University of Melbourne’s Youth Research Centre, being out of work at the beginning of their productive lives could have long-term consequences for young people. The damage to self esteem from years of rejection stayed with them.
Working Remotely
Companies are turning to restaurants, cafes and even algorithms to help staff work from anywhere
As some offices remain closed, corporations are looking at co-working spaces and even cafes and restaurants for employees. Staff working remotely are now used to saving time on their commutes and are unlikely to want to return to offices permanently, with a hybrid model likely for some businesses. One New York real estate firm has turn to an algorithm to calculate who gets to go back to the office and for how much time.
30% of workers in Wales could might never return to the office
Around 30% of workers in Wales could regularly work from home even after the coronavirus pandemic, the Welsh government has said. During the worst of the crisis, people from across the UK were told to work at home if possible, a move that resulted in less road congestion and pollution as well as limiting the spread of the coronavirus. Ministers in Wales have said working remotely can also improve the work-life balance and potentially drive regeneration and economic activity in communities. The plan is for staff to work in the office, at home, or in remote working hubs within easy distance of their homes. It comes after the UK government instructed workers to return to the office last month, concerned about the economic effect of commuters being absent from city centre
Working from home could be keeping Covid-19 at bay – for proof, look at London
With the number of Covid-19 cases increasing across the country, regional inequalities in lab-confirmed cases have remained stark. Currently, the rate is highest in the north-west (at 824.7 per 100,000 population), Yorkshire and the Humber (726.9), the north-east (689) and West Midlands (576.5). For London, the rate is lower, at 481.9. This is curious because the population density of the capital is more than 10 times greater than other regions – ideal for a virus that spreads fastest between people who are close together. It is also a reversal of an earlier trend – up until mid-April, London had the highest fatality rate of any region. Why is the capital now doing better at containing the disease while places including Blackburn, Bolton, Bradford, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Preston and Rochdale have faced greater restrictions and local lockdowns?
Covid-19 has shown how easy it is to automate white-collar work
This could be said of the impact of digital technology on white-collar work in the age of Covid-19. In this crisis, white-collar workers have been using technology in ways and to an extent that would have seemed barely imaginable until recently.
Virtual Classrooms
After Covid-19, millions of girls may not return to the classroom. We can help them
Crises like the Covid-19 outbreak reveal the frailty of our systems and the strength of our promises. Beyond the health and economic effects, our world now faces a growing education emergency – and our response will impact generations of children. Most countries around the world have closed their schools in response to the pandemic at some point this year. While this disruption to education has far-reaching effects for all, the impact is particularly detrimental to the most disadvantaged students and their families, especially in poorer countries. The educational consequences of coronavirus will last beyond the period of school closures, disproportionately affecting marginalised girls.
Quarter of university students unhappy with remote work, poll finds
Students began returning to campus for the start of term today after months of remote learning, as a survey suggested nearly one in four are not positive about the quality of digital teaching. Eleven per cent of students say they do not feel they have access to online course materials whenever they need them, according to the poll by Jisc, the education technology not-for-profit organisation. Guidance released by the Department for Education last week recommended that universities offer a mix of face-to-face tuition and online lessons as the “default position” when campuses reopen.
A class of 100? COVID-19 plans overwhelming some teachers with huge virtual classes
With family members at high risk to COVID-19, Norma Hernandez felt she had no choice but to keep her three kids at home for the school year, rather than send them to school in person. It’s a decision most parents have had to contemplate this year, but the virtual option comes with worrisome trade-offs. In Hernandez’s case, her son's fourth grade class in a virtual program in Gilbert, Arizona, has as many as 55 students, an “overwhelming” load for his teacher, she said. "My son is lucky he has me at home," she said.
5 ways to support online homeschooling through the coronavirus pandemic
This fall, some elementary and high school students will continue with online learning due to COVID-19. When classrooms went online due to COVID-19, this marked not only a major transformation in kindergarten to Grade 12 education, but a shift in parents’ involvement in their children’s education. Schools communicated primarily online via email and social media (or sometimes the phone) to keep in touch with parents, and every family had to determine to what extent supporting remote learning was possible.
Another N.J. school district switches to remote classes after student tests positive for COVID-19
Schools in at least 6 N.J. districts announce schedule changes over student, staff COVID-19 cases. Find all of the most important pandemic education news on Educating N.J., a special resource guide created for parents, students and educators.
Classroom attendance strong under virtual model
Online classrooms have resumed for districts across the state this week, with several reporting attendance above 90%. Following Gov. John Carney’s August announcement that schools could open with hybrid learning — a mixture of in-person and remote instruction — it was up to districts and charters to determine what was best for them. Decisions were varied, but regardless of whether students are at their desks or learning from home, there is a greater reliance on virtual learning for the fall.
The future of the classroom is online
There is a silver lining, the global lockdown has helped to highlight the importance and necessity of online education in the global academic discourse, with vigour like never before. Of course, there are a plethora of deeper problems, more pronounced in the developing countries, like the digital divide and exclusion, underinvestment and poor infrastructure. The viability of the online mode of teaching as a substitute for face-to-face methods is in question. What is extremely important here is the meaningful debate itself; without which the challenges faced by the online education so far were left ignored and, thus, scopes untapped.
Meet the students who say school remote learning in the pandemic is a big win
Since the country entered its unprecedented distance learning experiment this spring, there’s been a growing contingent of students who’ve found themselves actually enjoying their cyberspace syllabus more than the physical version. “I’m an introvert who deals with a lot of social anxiety,” said Maude, a 20-year-old special care counseling student in Quebec who has been taking remote classes since March and into the new school year. “In an online classroom, I don’t have to be around people or feel apprehensive about asking the teacher questions. Instead, I’m as calm as I can be, in my safe space at home.” While teachers, parents, and experts have voiced concerns over how digital school will impact students’ development, many have pointed out that some students are thriving in the new environment. “I can’t say enough about how this closure has changed my entire approach to teaching because I see how it has been an amazing respite for so many students,” said Rosie Reid, California’s 2019 Teacher of the Year, in an interview with Edutopia.
Kicking off virtual fall teaching — with a little help from McGraw
While Princeton students have just begun the fall semester, their professors have been working for months to reimagine how classes are taught in our new virtual world.
Public Policies
Coronavirus: vaccine scandals haunt China’s winter flu shot drive
Yi has never had a flu jab before – even though her company pays for it – but this year she has called several clinics to make an appointment. “I’m always too busy. But this year is different. I must get a jab,” Yi said. The rush is on to get inoculated before a possible winter revival of the coronavirus pandemic, which could overwhelm the health system. China is ramping up production of the shots in anticipation of much higher domestic demand but even if all the doses are used, only a small proportion of people will be vaccinated, with many deterred by cost, lack of access and fresh memories of pharmaceutical scandals.
China says no need to vaccinate entire population against Covid-19 at this stage, only frontline workers
Not everyone in China will need to get vaccinated against Covid-19, according to the country's top medical official, as Beijing looks to prioritize frontline workers and high-risk populations in a move that underscores rising confidence among policy-makers of their ability to contain the virus. "Since the first wave of Covid-19 appeared in Wuhan, China has already survived the impact of Covid-19 several times," Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said at a vaccine summit in the city of Shenzhen on Saturday, according to state-run news agency China News Service.
A COVID-19 Vaccine May Be Only 50% Effective. Is That Good Enough?
As we get closer to a COVID-19 vaccine, it’s exciting to imagine a day when the virus is gone. But a vaccine will not be a magic bullet. In fact, it may be only about 50% effective. Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief of the National Institute of Health and Infectious Disease, has tried to set realistic expectations when discussing the importance of a vaccine. “We don’t know yet what the efficacy might be. We don’t know if it will be 50% or 60%,” Fauci said during a Brown University event in August. “I’d like it to be 75% or more,” Fauci said, but he acknowledged that may not be realistic. The Food and Drug Administration has said that once a vaccine is shown to be safe and at least 50% effective, it could be approved for use in the U.S.
UK's autumn Covid-19 redundancies could exceed 700,000
Close to half a million redundancies are likely to be announced in the autumn, although the number could end up exceeding 700,000, according to a study that lays bare the scale of the Covid-19 jobs crisis facing the UK. These job cuts are on top of 240,000 redundancies officially recorded by the government up until June. That means the total redundancy figure for 2020 could top one million.
Chief scientist 'told off' for lockdown plea
The government's chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance has said he was rebuked for arguing strongly in favour of imposing Covid lockdown restrictions earlier this year, it has emerged. In an email uncovered by a BBC Freedom of Information request, Sir Patrick reveals he was given a "telling off" from other senior officials. Some scientists argue lives could have been saved had a lockdown been introduced earlier. The government insists there was "no delay". In a statement, the Department of Health and Social Care said government policy had been "guided by the advice of world-renowned scientists".
Sweden’s Covid-19 experiment holds a worldwide warning
Only a fool would draw strong conclusions from sketchy data. The biggest fools this year were those who prematurely declared the spike in Swedish infections from April until June as evidence that the Swedish decision not to lock down their economy was wrong. I recall many armchair epidemiologists hyperventilating about Sweden’s obstinate refusal to follow the rest of the world. Over the summer, Sweden took other steps to control the virus, including local lockdowns, and cases started to rise again in other parts of Europe. Now, Sweden’s new infection statistics look better than much of the EU. But we shouldn’t draw any conclusions yet. It was wrong two months ago to condemn the Swedish strategy based on that data, and it would be equally wrong to draw the opposite conclusion now.
‘We’ve learned how we need to act’: Spain braces for second wave of Covid
An hour or so before lunch on Thursday, Ángela Falcón stepped out of the church of Our Lady of the Assumption and on to the hot and busy streets of Parla. “I’m scared and I very seldom come out but when I do, I stop by the church to pray,” said the 71-year-old. Like many in Parla, a satellite city of 130,000 people a half hour’s drive southwest of Madrid, Falcón is taking no chances with the coronavirus and its second wave.
France's Bordeaux imposes stricter measures to curb coronavirus spread
Marseille and Bordeaux, two of France’s biggest cities, faced stricter rules on Monday for beach gatherings, visiting the elderly in care homes and attendance at outdoor public events as part of efforts to contain a surge in COVID-19 cases. In the past few weeks, France has seen one of the sharpest accelerations in the number of new cases in western Europe. Daily confirmed cases hit record levels last week. “We will reach the point where cases are doubling every eight days,” Philippe de Mester, president of the regional health authority covering the southern city of Marseille, told a news conference. At the peak of the first wave in the spring, new cases doubled every 3.5 days. Even so, doctors say intensive care wards in Marseille are close to full capacity.
CNN lauds Taiwan's healthcare system for defeating coronavirus
CNN journalist Fareed Zakaria on Sunday (Sept. 13) praised Taiwan for its extraordinary handling of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) and suggested that its universal healthcare system played in an important role. In a program titled "On GPS: Learning from Taiwan's Covid-19 response," Zakaria pointed out that Taiwan is almost always at the top of any list of countries that have handled the pandemic extremely well, with less than 500 cases and only seven deaths. Zakaria observed that the U.S., in contrast, has had 2,000 times the number of deaths and 1,000 times the number of infections as Taiwan per capita.
India considers emergency authorisation of vaccine as COVID-19 cases surge
India said on Sunday it was considering granting an emergency authorisation for a COVID-19 vaccine, particularly for the elderly and people in high-risk workplaces, as the country’s number of reported infections passed 4.75 million. India, which has consistently reported over 1,000 COVID-19 deaths daily this month, has now recorded 78,586 fatalities from the disease. It lags only the United States globally in overall number of infections, but it has been adding more daily cases than the United States since mid-August. “India is considering emergency authorisation of a COVID-19 vaccination,” said Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. “If there is a consensus we may go ahead with it, especially in the case of senior citizens and people working in high-risk settings.”
Maintaining Services
UAE announces emergency approval for use of Covid-19 vaccine still under trial
Emergency use of the vaccine, which is still being tested, was granted after a set criteria and after it had been tested on 31,000 volunteers, the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority. The announcement comes amid a surge in new COVID-19 cases in the UAE
Vietnam speeds up production of Covid-19 vaccine
The Covid-19 vaccine research and development project in Vietnam has shown positive progress with a fairly high immune response to the vaccine antigens. Vietnam is striving to accelerate the progress of Covid-19 vaccine research, Kinh Te & Do Thi reported. Vietnam’s Prime Minister has asked the Ministry of Health to focus on coordinating with ministries and agencies to disseminate and guide the implementation of measures to prevent the Covid-19 pandemic in the new normal.
Britain bets on another coronavirus vaccine with £1.3billion investment in Scottish factory
Valneva is creating a vaccine using damaged versions of the coronavirus. Company will manufacture 190million doses in Scotland as part of its deal. The jab is expected to have two doses, meaning UK would need 133million
Coronavirus: Marseille's Covid-19 hospital beds 'close to saturation'
The use of hospital beds by Covid-19 patients in the French city of Marseille is "close to saturation" amid a sharp spike in infections. Surgeries are being reduced to cope with an incidence rate that has risen to 312 per 100,000 since September. New limits on gatherings are being introduced around Marseille and in the south-western city of Bordeaux. The two cities are the main new hotspots in a country that on Saturday recorded a big surge in cases. The 10,561 new infections over 24 hours represented the biggest rise since large-scale testing began.
Not enough Covid vaccine for all until 2024, says biggest producer
The chief executive of the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer has warned that not enough Covid-19 vaccines will be available for everyone in the world to be inoculated until the end of 2024 at the earliest. Adar Poonawalla, chief executive of the Serum Institute of India, told the Financial Times that pharmaceutical companies were not increasing production capacity quickly enough to vaccinate the global population in less time. “It’s going to take four to five years until everyone gets the vaccine on this planet,” said Mr Poonawalla, who estimated that if the Covid-19 shot is a two-dose vaccine — such as measles or rotavirus — the world will need 15bn doses.
Britain's universities have been abandoned to fight Covid-19 alone
Universities usually welcome everyone to the new academic year with a big smile, amid genuinely upbeat talk of “challenges” and “opportunities”. It’s still like that this year, but the smile has something of a manic rictus to it, and the talk is based on every single finger and toe being crossed by every single vice chancellor. Here’s where universities have got to: almost all of them are offering some form of “blended learning”, flipping between face-to-face classroom and online seminars. Big traditional lectures are out: recorded resources are in.
Cancer tests and procedures halved during lockdown, Medicare data shows
New evidence has shown a sharp drop off in the number of cancer tests and procedures being performed during Australia's first lockdown due to COVID-19. Medicare data from April to May shows that diagnostic services for some of the most common types of cancers fell by up to 50 per cent, according to a report from Cancer Australia. The findings follow months of warnings from health experts that patients should not delay accessing vital health services during the pandemic. According to the report, from March to April the number of colonoscopies – used to diagnose bowel cancers - halved. The number of procedures used to diagnose breast cancer also fell by 37 per cent and treatments for skin cancers were down by 30 per cent, the report showed.
The coronavirus crisis highlights the urgency of closing the broadband gap
As millions have been forced into lockdowns around the world, virtually everything from grocery shopping to work and school moved online. But what if you don’t have any internet access? A lack of internet would be unimaginable for many, especially those living in sprawling urban centers, but this is indeed the sad reality for at least 16 million Americans lacking access to high-speed internet — or any internet at all. If this gap in internet access is not urgently addressed, this will only lead to even more socio-economic inequality. Many scholars and human rights organizations now agree that internet access is a basic human right, similarly to the right to health and freedom.
Working Parents And Closed Schools: The Childcare Struggle During COVID-19
Sierra’s 9-year-old son is attending school remotely this fall, because the local school district has deemed it unsafe to reopen for in-person instruction. While she and her husband placed their toddler in daycare, they haven’t found a spot for their son. Sierra works full-time at an assisted living facility, and her husband works on trains. “The places that are just like smaller-run facilities or just home centers, they're filled because they aren't set up to take all these school-aged kids,” Sierra says. “And then the places that aren't filled they're outrageously expensive. I mean, they're more than our rent and our car payment combined.” With some school districts operating remotely, parents like Sierra are scrambling to find childcare. Childcare centers are trying to meet the demand while also operating as safely as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Still closed, Irish pubs show shortcomings of slow lockdown exit
Ireland’s plan to reopen its economy at a slower pace than most was supposed to ensure a more sustainable rebound from the COVID-19 crisis. Tell that to pub owner Paul Moynihan. Eagerly awaiting a promised July 20 reopening of non-food pubs, he spent 10,000 euros ($11,855) on a beer garden at his establishment in the village of Donard hoping some late summer trade would help compensate the sudden March closure. But the government moved the date three times and those pubs are now only due to open their doors on Sept. 21 - even though infection rates are 10 times more than late July.
Healthcare Innovations
Researchers gain head start in coronavirus vaccine race
Cell and gene therapies have made impressive progress in recent years but have rarely grabbed the headlines. Now the coronavirus pandemic, and the race to develop vaccines and treatments, have pushed them into the global spotlight. Advocates say that their potential efficacy, and the speed with which testable doses can be developed, may give them the edge over more conventional approaches.
China Begins Human Trial for First COVID-19 Nasal Spray Vaccine
China has approved a nasal spray COVID-19 vaccine candidate for clinical trial in humans that could be more effective in stopping the spread of the coronavirus through the respiratory tracts and serve as an alternative to painful injections. The nasal spray vaccine candidate against COVID-19 has been developed by the State Key Laboratory for Emerging Infectious Diseases of the University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong) in partnership with the Xiamen University (Fujian, China) and Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise Co. (Beijing, China).
It’s time to focus on potential long-term organ damage from covid-19
New cases of covid-19 are declining across the country, so it's tempting to wonder whether the worst of the pandemic is behind us. Not by a long shot. Even as cases decline, it is possible we could soon be grappling with the burden of prolonged or permanent organ damage among the millions of people who have survived covid-19. There’s still a lot we don’t know about the long-term effects of this disease, but they could cripple not just these “survivors" but also our health-care system and our economy, too. The latest research suggests that this novel coronavirus does widespread damage to blood vessels far beyond the lungs — and is thus far more dangerous than previously thought.
Drugmaker says anti-inflamatory medicine may shorten COVID-19 recovery time
A drugmaker announced Monday that its arthritis drug shortens the number of days in the hospital for COVID-19 patients when used in combination with Remdesivir, another drug already used widely to treat the disease.
Oxford University scientists to carry out first major trial of a tailor-made Covid-19 'antibody cocktail' on hospitalised patients to see if it treats the disease
The therapy REGN-COV2 will be trialled on up to 2,000 people in UK hospitals. It was developed using immune system antibodies from real recovered patients. Oxford University's RECOVERY trial to compare the drug to standard care. RECOVERY has already proven life-saving potential of steroid dexamethasone
AstraZeneca resumes COVID-19 vaccine trials in UK; awaits regulators elsewhere
AstraZeneca has resumed UK clinical trials for its Oxford coronavirus vaccine, having paused all trials last week for a safety review. Other late-stage global trials, however, remain on hold while AstraZeneca waits for regulators in each market.
At least 2000 patients to receive new Covid-19 therapy in clinical trial
An antibody treatment that could lessen the impact of Covid-19 is to be trialled on patients in UK hospitals. The Recovery trial, co-ordinated by the University of Oxford, will assess the impact of giving patients REGN-COV2 alongside usual standard care to see if it lessens the severity of Covid-19 and can reduce deaths. In June, the Recovery trial, which includes 176 UK hospital sites, found that a cheap steroid called dexamethasone could save the lives of people with severe Covid infection. In the new phase 3 study, at least 2,000 patients will be randomly allocated to receive REGN-COV2 plus usual care, and the results will be compared with at least 2,000 patients not on the therapy.
Tracing asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carriers among 3674 hospital staff:a cross-sectional survey
A total of 3764 hospital staff were included in this single-center cross-sectional study. Among them, 126 hospital staff had abnormal findings, and the proportion of asymptomatic infection accounted for 0.76% (28/3674). There were 26 staff with IgM+, 73 with IgG+, and 40 with ground glass shadow of chest CT. Of all staff with abnormal findings, the older they are, the more likely they are to be the staff with abnormal results, regardless of their gender. Of 3674 hospital staff, the positive rate of labor staff is obviously higher than that of health care workers (HCWs) and administrative staff (P<0.05). In the course of participating in the treatment of COVID-19, there was no statistically significant difference in positive rates between high-risk departments and low-risk departments (P>0.05). The positive rate of HCWs who participated in the COVID-19 knowledge training was lower than those did not participate in early training (P <0.01). Importantly, it was found that there was no statistical difference between the titers of IgM antibody of asymptomatic infections and confirmed patients with COVID-19 in recovery period (P>0.05). During 3 weeks follow-up, all asymptomatic patients did not present the development of clinical symptoms or radiographic abnormalities after active intervention in isolation point.
UK signs €1.4bn deal for Valneva coronavirus vaccine
The UK government has inked a €1.4bn (£1.3bn) deal to secure up to 190m doses of a coronavirus vaccine being developed by French biotech firm Valneva. Under the terms of the deal, Valneva will supply the government with 60m doses in the second half of 2021 at a cost of €470m. The UK then has options over 40m doses in 2022 and a further 30m to 90m up to 2025, with total possible revenue of €900m.
Coronavirus: UK to test inhaled vaccines
UK researchers are to begin trials of inhaled coronavirus vaccines. Delivering doses directly to the lungs might give a better immune response than conventional jabs, they say. The Imperial College London team will use two frontrunners already in development - the Oxford one recently paused in trials and one from Imperial that entered human testing in June. There are nearly 180 candidates being explored globally - but none has yet reached the end goal.
Coronavirus vaccine could give 'positive results' by Christmas and 'roll out in 9 months'
A coronavirus vaccine could be rolled out in the UK nine months from now - with trials hoping to report 'positive' results before Christmas, a leading scientist has said. Prof Peter Openshaw, who advises the government's SAGE group, said there were reasons for a glimmer of hope after a major trial was restarted following a patient's unexplained illness yesterday. But he and other scientists made clear a vaccine will not be ready in time for any second wave this winter. Prof Openshaw said "before the winter of 2021/22", there may a vaccine that is effective. But he also cautioned that it would not be available that soon in every country in the world.
Moderna's Late-Stage Coronavirus Vaccine Study Hits 78% Enrollment
Moderna Inc, which is one of the three companies outside of China to have moved its coronavirus vaccine candidates into late-stage trials, is close to completing targeted enrollment into the study. As of Friday, Moderna said it has enrolled 23,497 participants — or roughly 78% of the targeted number of 30,000 — into the Phase 3 study dubbed COVE, which is evaluating its mRNA-1273 against the novel coronavirus. The company further said about 27% of the participants enrolled in the study are from diverse communities. "Working together with collaborators, the company hopes to achieve a shared goal that the participants in the COVE Study are representative of the communities at highest risk for COVID-19 and of our diverse society," Moderna said.
Pfizer proposes expanding Covid-19 vaccine trial to include more diversity as race for a vaccine continues
The race for a coronavirus vaccine shows no signs of slowing as more companies move their vaccine candidates through clinical trials, growing closer to determining which will be considered safe and effective. One such candidate is in development by the American pharmaceutical company Pfizer, which announced along with its German partner BioNTech on Saturday they proposed expanding Phase 3 clinical trials to include 44,000 participants and more diverse patient populations, including people as young as 16. That's up from the initial plan of 30,000 participants, a benchmark they plan to meet next week, according to a news release. The proposal, which would need approval by the Food and Drug Administration, would allow the companies to collect more data on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine candidate while diversifying the pool of participants.