"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 23rd Sep 2020

Isolation Tips
Flu and Covid-19 at same time significantly increases risk of death
The evidence for the double whammy is currently limited and comes mostly from a study with small numbers – 58 people – carried out in the UK during the early phase of the pandemic. “As I understand it, it’s 43% of those with co-infection died compared with 26.9% of those who tested positive for Covid only,” said England’s deputy chief medical officer, Prof Jonathan Van-Tam. These were people who had been hospitalised and had been tested for both viruses, he said, and so were very ill – but the rate of death from Covid alone in the study between January and April was similar to the known rate of Covid hospital mortality generally of around 25% or 26%.
Colds Nearly Vanished Under Lockdown. Now They’re Coming Back
Data from Australia and across Europe indicate a surge of at least one other ailment that has been lying mostly dormant: the common cold. Colds are caused by many viruses, but the culprits, at this point, are largely rhinoviruses. That isn’t especially surprising. Rhinoviruses are ubiquitous bugs that normally spread this time of year as schools and day care centers reopen, which in many places they have. “This is exactly what we’d expect during a normal back-to-school season,” says Catherine Moore, a virologist at Public Health Wales.
Australians stranded overseas 'betrayed', says a man telling of months of injury, illness and homelessness
For months Mr Hargreaves had been seriously ill, basically homeless, and stranded in a nightmare — unable to return to his home in Berry on the New South Wales South Coast. Mr Hargreaves and his wife travelled to France to house-sit in January. As concern around the pandemic spread in February his wife returned home, but he felt obliged to stay a few more weeks to honour his commitment.
Hygiene Helpers
Fewer than 40% of Americans plan to get a coronavirus vaccine as soon as one is available
In a new poll, 39% of US adults said they are not likely to get the coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available, down from 53% surveyed last month. About 43% of Democrats and 41% of Republicans said they were likely to get the jab during the rollout, a drop from 56% and 49%, respectively. Just 9% of surveyors said they were 'very likely' to be immunized with the first available vaccine, a decrease from 17% in August. Thirty percent of respondents said they would wait a few months before being given the shot while nearly one-quarter said they will not get the shot at all
Potential risk model could see 4.5m people shielding from COVID-19 this winter
People’s health, weight, age and sex will determine whether they will need to shield from COVID-19 over the winter months, according to reports. The Sunday Telegraph has said that up to 4.5million people will be advised to stay at home as part of the government’s new shielding plan. The risk model is still being considered, although Professor Peter Openshaw, an adviser to the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has urged experts to “act fast” because he said a delay of just a “few days” could be dangerous. In an interview with Sophy Ridge on Sunday’s Sky News he said he thought the country was on the “edge of losing control”. He added: “It’s a bit like water seeping through a dam. It starts as a trickle and if you don’t do something about it, it can turn into a real cascade.”
As Covid Fatigue Fuels Infections in Europe, Italy Resists the Second Wave
Months after Italy’s lockdown against the coronavirus ended, Enrica Grazioli still sanitizes everything that comes into her Milan apartment, wears face masks diligently and limits interactions between her sons and their grandparents. The 16 health areas with an incidence rate above 1,000 cases but that are not under the new restrictions are: Lavapiés, Canillejas, García Noblejas, San Isidro, Rafael Alberti, Orcasitas, Vicálvaro-Artilleros, Campo de la Paloma, Villaamil (all located in the city of Madrid); Doctor Trueta and Miguel Servet (both in Alcorcón); Las Fronteras (Torrejón de Ardoz); Panaderas (Fuenlabrada); Villa del Prado (in the municipality of the same name); Alcalde Bartolomé González (Móstoles); and Sierra de Guadarrama (Collado Villalba).
Spain to cut coronavirus quarantine to 10 from 14 days, SER radio says
The Spanish government and regional authorities are set to cut the quarantine imposed on those who have had contacts with people tested positive to coronavirus to 10 days from a previous 14 days, Cadena SER radio station reported on Tuesday. Spain has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in western Europe and regional authorities have ordered a partial lockdown from Monday in some Madrid neighbourhoods and other regions are taking measures to curb contagion.
French universities' new rules seek to prevent new COVID-19 clusters
Face masks are obligatory, there are separate entrances and exits on campus and many on-site facilities are restricted or closed. But despite a range of sanitary measures at universities in France, at least a dozen COVID-19 clusters have emerged since some classrooms re-opened earlier this month. September marks the start of a new academic year and the French government says children and students should return to the classrooms again. But in a post-lockdown France, where cases are surging again, lectures look and sound very different.
Community Activities
Bebe Neuwirth to Host Dancing Classrooms' Virtual MAD HOT BALL
The New York City dance education organization Dancing Classrooms will hold its popular annual fundraiser, known as The Mad Hot Ball, in a virtual format on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 6:30pm EST. The online gala will be hosted by Emmy and Tony Award winning actor Bebe Neuwirth. Guests who make donations of at least $500 will receive an exclusive invitation to join the VIP Cocktails with Neuwirth, which will feature a mixologist and exclusive performance
‘Provide food to sex workers during lockdown’: SC tells Centre, states
Moved by the plight of lakhs of sex workers rendered jobless and without an alternate source of livelihood following the Covid-19 lockdown, the Supreme Court gave a week’s time to the states to respond on providing them free ration and asked Centre if something could be immediately provided to them in the exercise of its powers under the National Disaster Management Act.
'Bring it on': New Zealand tourist hotspots bank on holidays to ease Covid pressures
Covid-19 restrictions have been dropped and school’s almost out for a fortnight – to the delight of mayors in New Zealand’s tourism hotspots, where there are hopes the holidays will boost coffers in the struggling tourism sector. “Bring it on, bring it on,” said David Trewavas, the mayor of Taupō district – an area in the central North Island that is home to some of the country’s most famed skiing and hiking. “You can even have a mass gathering down here.” He added: “Hopefully the [Ministry of] Health boys have got it all under control, which I’m sure they have.” The removal of restrictions in New Zealand highlights the dilemma for governments trying to balance exhortations from struggling businesses to allow them more freedom, with the views of health experts, many of whom have urged more caution.
Populism and Ostracism: Living with COVID-19 in India – Byline Times
Aday after declaring the world’s strictest lockdown on 24 March, India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, said that India would win the war against the Coronavirus in 21 days. The country has now passed five million recorded cases of COVID-19, with more than 87,000 reported deaths. In the past 21 days (28 August to 17 September), India added 1.7 million infections to its numbers – more than the total case count in Russia, the fourth worst affected nation. When India just had more than 500 cases, a 21-day lockdown was declared by Modi, giving 1.3 billion people a mere four hours’ notice to prepare themselves. All activities were brought to a halt, including public transport. The result was a 23.9% contraction in the country’s GDP. Experts warned that it was too early for India to go into lockdown. It didn’t help to ‘flatten the curve’ of the pandemic either.
Working Remotely
Almost 50 per cent of the UK workforce are now remote working
The Office for National Statistics found that around 47 per cent of people in employment did some work at home in April 2020. Around 86 per cent of these were due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More people are working from home than ever before, and for most a full move back to the office is looking unlikely. According to Alphawise, the research unit for Morgan Stanley, the vast majority (over 82 per cent) who worked from home during the pandemic would like to continue remote working.
'We won't return to how things were' - Apple CEO on where remote working has worked and where it hasn't
Apple employees will likely not return to a complete office-based working environment after the pandemic, according to CEO Tim Cook. In an interview with The Atlantic, Cook said that between 10 and 15 per cent of Apple employees are working in offices at the moment, with the rest working remotely.
'Work from home': Johnson starts shutting down Britain again as COVID-19 spreads
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will tell people on Tuesday to work from home and will impose new curbs on pubs, bars and restaurants in a bid to tackle the swiftly accelerating second wave of the coronavirus outbreak.
Spain's home working draft bill to make employers pay for expenses
The Spanish government has agreed with unions and business leaders that employers must cover home working expenses after the coronavirus pandemic caused millions to work from their living rooms. “It was fundamental to regulate remote working to protect the rights of workers,” Deputy Prime Minister Pablo Iglesias told state-owned TV channel TVE on Tuesday. “This new rule will boost productivity and the competitiveness of the Spanish economy”, as well as the working conditions of the Spaniards who partly worked from home in 2020, Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz told a news conference later.
What remote jobs tell us about inequality
Not every worker in every job can hit the ground running in a home-work set-up. That could be a problem for certain individuals – and even entire economies.
Making friends with coworkers when you're working remotely
Love them or hate them, your coworkers have a big influence over how much you like your job. While they may have less impact when you’re working at home, since you’re not necessarily affected by somebody fun or annoying sitting next to you, work relationships still matter, says Shasta Nelson, author of The Business of Friendship: Making the Most of Our Relationships Where We Spend Most of Our Time.
Cisco: Ensure Collaboration to Better Survive Remote Working
Speaking on a Cisco webinar, Wendy Nather, head of advisory CISOs, said there is need for collaboration over control, as “control presents greater cost for the enterprise.” Asking what you can ask users to take care of on the security side, and what can you no longer enforce, Richard Archdeacon, advisory CISO for Cisco EMEA said there is a chance CISOs are “losing control anyway and will need to become collaborative in order to secure their organizations.” Fellow advisory CISO J. Wolfgang Goerlich said we have seen the workforce has become more savvy, and this has led to “creative things” in terms of the way the business works with the employees. Goerlich said the idea of collaboration is sound, and asked how can we introduce constraints, yet still have good relations with the workforce? “Also, how can we leverage this savviness of the workforce that it is developing, and how can we embrace our shadow so to speak?”
Companies scramble to reverse UK back-to-office plans
Companies across England were left scrambling to reverse plans to return thousands of staff to their offices on Tuesday after the government abandoned its push to get more people working in towns and city centres. The government has encouraged workers to return to offices since August, ramping up the pressure on businesses to bring back employees after schools returned at the start of September. But just three weeks later, the prime minister announced an abrupt U-turn following a surge in Covid-19 infections, leaving companies frantically rethinking plans for office staff.
Apple CEO Tim Cook Exemplifies The Current Trend Of Cautiously Balancing Working Remotely Versus Returning To The Office
Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, was one of the few remaining holdouts against the work-from-home movement. Cook is similar to his fellow tech-titan CEOs of Amazon, Google and Facebook that have either leased, purchased or are in the process of building corporate space, while simultaneously telling employees that they could work from home. You can’t blame him for wanting staff to come into the office, as Apple has some magnificent and costly corporate accommodations.
The contagious risks and rewards of remote working
Netflix’s solution was to hire and keep the most talented team members, which encouraged laggards to raise their game. On to this “talent density”, the group layered radical candour — “only say about someone what you will say to their face” — and transparency, sharing even sensitive financial information with all staff. The Netflix approach fits the growing consensus that transparency is bracingly positive. It helps discourage bad behaviour (“Sunlight is the best disinfectant”, in US Supreme Court judge Louis Brandeis’s famous dictum). It aligns people with the corporate culture. It encourages trust and responsibility.
Virtual Classrooms
Virtual learning: How to improve student participation
Mark Ndagijimana, a teacher at GS Ruhango Catholique, Southern Province, says that the virtual nature of the class can leave students feeling disconnected and disengaged from the material, therefore, knowing how to ensure all students participate fully in the classroom is essential.
Metro Tunnel welcomes students to the virtual classroom
Education Program Manager Cherida Longley said providing a Metro Tunnel experience to students wherever they may be during lockdown had been a focus. “We delivered our first series of remote sessions to Year 9s from Mullauna College, Mitcham,” she said. “Like many schools, their scheduled city experience week had to be cancelled, so we moved their bookings online” Cherida expects that with excursions on hold, the free remote learning sessions will continue to be popular. “Schools just make a booking inquiry as normal and let us know what they’d like us to focus on,” she said. “Once the booking is confirmed, the school just sends us a link so we can join their class online.”
The Virtual Classroom - Best Practices
Set the Professional Stage - Just because you’re not physically present in a classroom doesn’t mean your students don’t expect a professional atmosphere. Make sure that the space that you host the call in is neutral and well organized, with minimal opportunity for interruption or noise. Most people are surprised to learn that lighting also has a major impact on the quality of a video call lesson. Your student should be able to see you properly, without any shadows to obstruct their view. By securing appropriate lighting, you’re creating a feeling of trust between you and your student.
2020 Year of Crisis: The Virtual Classroom
The Covid-19 pandemic has shaped the way students learn. Technologies that have catered to virtual learning have seen a demand like never before. It has given rise to new startups and investment opportunities, as well as shone a light on major disparities in broadband access within the U.S. We explore the seismic shift from in-classroom to virtual learning; how Silicon Valley is rethinking the education ecosytem; and how technology can help or hinder learning access for all
As Schools Go Remote, Finding ‘Lost’ Students Gets Harder
Early data for the new school year suggests that attendance in virtual classrooms is down, possibly because students are working or caring for siblings.
TDSB hires 350 teachers as it scrambles to fill classrooms for virtual school
The Toronto District School Board has hired 350 new teachers as it scrambles to meet a rising demand for online learning that has resulted in some students being left without a classroom. The TDSB had previously pushed back the start of online learning on two separate occasions due to higher than expected demand. On Tuesday, virtual school finally began for many students, one week after those who opted for in-person instruction began to return to classrooms.
Teachers complain parents are appearing behind students in online classrooms half-dressed, smoking or drinking
Florida parents appearing half-dressed, drinking or smoking during their kids' virtual classrooms has prompted teachers at Boca Raton Elementary to speak up during a school board meeting this week. Edith Pride was one of the first to make a public comment on the matter.
Inside Scarsdale High School -Signs, Distancing, Masks and Virtual Learners
September 18, 2020 marked the first day of school for students in Cohort A at Scarsdale High School. As students shuffled into school with masks wrapped around their faces, they followed stickers that showed them which direction to walk and to remain six feet apart. Many changes can be seen around the high school such as the new safety guidelines featured on signs all throughout the building. As one steps inside, one’s eyes are immediately attracted to the Old Commons, an area once filled with noisy students one next to another in the morning, sitting in tables preparing for their classes, and feasting on a protein bar or two before class started. Now, the lounge area has become filled with empty rows of seats separated from each other. As one enters into the classrooms, one can notice that the rooms all consist of the same layout, rows of chairs with several feet of distance between them. An empty chair is placed in the front of the classroom for the teacher to place his or her laptop for all virtual students to watch the lesson, while other teachers chose to display the virtual students on the smartboard.
Public Policies
People infected with both flu and Covid-19 have serious and increased risk of death, experts warn
Those infected with both flu and Covid-19 have a serious increased risk of death, new research has found. Public Health England (PHE) warned that both illnesses could be circulating at the same time as they urged people who are eligible to get vaccinated.
Coronavirus: Boris Johnson reveals new COVID-19 rules on face masks, fines, pubs and working from home
Face masks will become compulsory for bar staff, shop workers, waiters and taxi passengers in an effort to combat the rise in coronavirus cases in England, the prime minister has announced. Fines for failing to wear a face mask will rise to £200 and will be extended to customers when they are not seated at a table, Boris Johnson told MPs.
Covid UK: scientists at loggerheads over approach to new restrictions
Rival groups of scientists are at loggerheads over how government should handle the Covid pandemic, with one advising that only over-65s and the vulnerable should be shielded, while the other backs nationwide measures. The conflicting advice to the UK government and chief medical officers (CMOs) came in two open letters issued on Monday by the rival camps. It came as Prof Chris Whitty, England’s CMO, and the chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance made a national TV broadcast to set out the risk of the virus spreading exponentially, with a corresponding increase in cases and deaths, if public behaviour does not change. Thirty-two scientists signed one letter warning the government is heading down the wrong road and must reconsider its policy to suppress the virus, adopting a targeted approach instead.
UK recession expected to continue until spring amid Covid-19 surge
Britain’s economy is heading for a prolonged recession lasting until next spring as the number of coronavirus infections climbs and tougher restrictions are introduced to contain the virus. As a Covid-19 second wave spreads and the government launches fresh measures to restrict business and social life, City economists warned that the fightback from the deepest recession in history begun this summer was running out of steam. Dashing hopes that the Covid recession could be among the shortest downturns in history, analysts from Bank of America said growth in gross domestic product (GDP) would probably stall in the fourth quarter and the first three months of 2021.
New coronavirus restrictions - will Nicola Sturgeon go further than Boris Johnson with 'Lockdown II'?
08.30am - Boris Johnson chairs UK cabinet to sign off new lockdown measures which could be a mild as making pubs close at 10pm in England from Thursday and limiting pubs to table service only. 09.00am - Keir Starmer makes a speech in Doncaster to the online Labour conference, before rushing back to the Commons. The Labour leader’s speech is likely to be overshadowed on a big political day. 10.00am - Cobra crisis meeting with relevant cabinet members, experts and leaders of the devolved parliaments. It will be the first Cobra for four months and Nicola Sturgeon and other leaders have demanded a session in light of the rising numbers of infections. Having spoken to the First Ministers by telephone yesterday the PM will hope for a smoother session. However, London mayor Sadiq Khan has not been asked to attend which will cause fury in the capital. Neither have any regional English mayors, adding to the impression that Whitehall doesn’t get how devolution is changing the UK.
‘More masks, less alcohol’: German state that led first lockdown to re-impose rules as cases surge
The southern German state of Bavaria was the first one to announce a complete shutdown of public life in March, after people failed to heed warnings to stay home and practice social distancing. On Tuesday, Bavarian state premier Markus Söder and his cabinet approved a number of new restrictions aimed at curbing a recent surge in coronavirus infections. Söder said in a press conference that returning holiday makers are a key reason for the spike in the numbers, as well as general carelessness, especially among young people. The tighter regulations, which Söder described as the basic principle of “more masks, less alcohol” will come into force later this week for areas, municipalities and communities with a high instance of new infections — areas reporting more than 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants per week.
Covid-19 incidence exceeds 1,000 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 16 areas of Madrid with no new restrictions
The coronavirus pandemic continues to rapidly expand across Madrid. According to data published on Tuesday by the regional government, 16 health areas in the region have a Covid-19 incidence rate above 1,000 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Despite this, these hotspots are not subject to the new restrictions on mobility that came into effect in 37 basic health areas on Monday. A basic health area is much smaller than a city district and can include several primary healthcare centers. There are around 286 basic health areas in the Madrid region, according to the regional health department.
Spanish army to enforce lockdown in Madrid
Spain deploys army to Madrid to help enforce lockdownTelegraph.co.ukLockdown measures and rising anger in Madrid as Covid-19 takes hold againThe GuardianProtests in Madrid over coronavirus lockdown measuresThe GuardianSpain ready to take further action to fight Madrid's second Covid waveFinancial TimesView Full coverage on Google News
Get serious! Careless French public riles COVID medics
David Fleyrat had almost cleared his Marseille hospital’s intensive care ward of COVID-19 patients during the summer lull in new cases. Now the private unit is filling fast again and Fleyrat can barely conceal his frustration. “It’s not doing our job that is tiring. What’s tiring is a second wave because people do not respect social distancing,” Fleyrat, who is managing director of the private Clinique Bouchard-Elsan told Reuters. Marseille is at the epicenter of a resurgence in novel coronavirus cases throughout France. Intensive care wards in the Mediterranean city’s public hospitals are full and so hospitals like Fleyrat’s are handling the spillover.
Chhattisgarh enforces strict lockdown in 10 districts after coronavirus cases, deaths spike
Ten districts in Chhattisgarh went into a strict lockdown for a week that is ending on September 28 after the state witnessed a spike in coronavirus cases and deaths. State capital Raipur has been declared a containment zone to facilitate the lockown after the Union home ministry announced in Unlock 4 lockdowns would not be possible without consulting the Centre.
Czech PM regrets early lifting of Covid-19 measures
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis has admitted that his government had made a mistake when it eased restrictions aimed at containing Covid-19 over the summer. His comments came as governments across Europe struggle with a second wave of Covid-19 infections following the holiday months in which the number of cases began rising sharply. "Even I got carried away by the coming summer and the general mood. That was a mistake I don't want to make again," the billionaire populist said in a televised speech.
Large parts of Wales to go into lockdown
Large parts of Wales will go into lockdown from 1700 GMT on Tuesday as the novel coronavirus spreads. Coronavirus laws are being tightened in four Welsh authorities – Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport – following a sharp rise in cases, Health Minister Vaughan Gething said. People will not be allowed to enter or leave these areas without a reasonable excuse, such as travel for work or education, and people will only be able to meet others they don’t live with outdoors for the time being.
FDA poised to announce tougher standards for a covid-19 vaccine that make it unlikely one will be cleared by Election Day
The guidance is part of an effort to boost transparency and public trust as polls show many are skeptical a vaccine will be safe and effective.
Russia offers UN staff free coronavirus vaccines
What do you do when Vladimir Putin offers you Russia’s new coronavirus vaccine for free? United Nations staff in New York and around the world are now facing that choice, after the Russian president offered Tuesday to provide them the Sputnik-V vaccine in a speech to this year’s General Assembly marking the body’s 75th birthday. Only results from small early studies on Russian vaccine have been published, raising concerns among some scientists that the vaccine isn’t ready yet for widespread use -- and prompting worldwide memes about potential bizarre side effects. “Any one of us could face this dangerous virus. The virus has not spared the staff of the United Nations, its headquarters and regional entities,” Putin said in a prerecorded speech from Moscow. The coronavirus pandemic means this year’s General Assembly is a work-from-home production, for the first time in its history.
COVID-19: US reaches ‘unfathomable’ 200,000 death toll
The US death toll from the coronavirus topped 200,000 on Tuesday, a figure unimaginable eight months ago when the scourge first reached the world’s richest nation with its sparkling laboratories, top-flight scientists and stockpiles of medicines and emergency supplies. “It is completely unfathomable that we’ve reached this point,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, a Johns Hopkins University public health researcher.
Maintaining Services
Covid-19: number of schools in England 'not fully open' quadruples
The number of schools in England badly affected by Covid-19 cases among students and staff has quadrupled in the space of a week, and the number of pupils absent rose by 50%, according to estimates released by the Department for Education. The DfE’s figures revealed that 4% of state schools were classed as “not fully open” last week because of Covid-19, compared with 1% of schools seven days before, including cases where entire year groups had been sent home. Around 20 schools were closed outright for Covid-related reasons. Nine hundred schools were affected, in a week during which many headteachers and parents complained they were unable to access coronavirus tests, forcing those showing symptoms to be kept away from the classroom and self-isolate. Including independent schools at a similar rate would bring the figure for England close to 1,000 schools.
‘Shop as normal’: Panic-buying resumes as UK braces for new lockdown measures
Shoppers have been urged to remain calm in the nation’s supermarkets amid fears of a return to the panic-buying seen in the days approaching the UK’s March lockdown. Some supermarkets across the UK have been left with empty shelves in certain aisles - with toilet roll depleted - in scenes reminiscent of the run on shops that occurred in ahead of the first introduction of coronavirus restrictions. A spree of panic-buying in the early stages of the nation’s outbreak saw some forced to turn to foodbanks after being unable to get the essentials they needed to get by.
No COVID-19 test, no grape harvest in Spain's Basque Country
All wine industry workers in Spain’s Rioja-producing region of Alava must undergo a coronavirus test before they start work to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks putting the grape harvest at risk. Grape pickers, who have dubbed 2020 the “harvest of the masks”, will be given their own equipment, including baskets and scissors, which cannot be exchanged, to avoid infections, said a spokeswoman for the Rioja wine regulatory board. Authorities in the Basque Country have made it compulsory for wine estates to provide a list of workers. The health department then carries out the PCR tests.
France's weak spot: Virus infections rise at nursing homes
Confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths are rising again in France’s nursing homes for the first time in months. French President Emmanuel Macron, who visited a nursing home in the town of Bracieux in central France on Tuesday, tweeted shortly after his arrival that “our elders, more fragile, are more exposed to the virus. We must collectively redouble our attention.” Families fear that French authorities have not absorbed the lessons from earlier in the pandemic, when nursing homes across the country shuttered elderly residents inside and were short of protective equipment for employees.
Property leaders' plea: Open the borders, end the lockdown
Leaders in the property, retail and hospitality sectors have called for border closures to be abandoned across the country and for Victoria's strict lockdown to be eased more quickly, warning the economic harm of a prolonged recession far outweighs any medical benefit from the controls. With Victoria recording just 11 new coronavirus cases on Monday, property executives are urging the southern state to accelerate plans to reopen the economy. As well, Queensland's border closure is ringing alarm bells over the future of that state's tourism sector as summer approaches.
Filipinos return to work in Australia as lockdown eases
With the easing up of lockdowns, the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) on Tuesday reported that most Filipino workers in Australia have returned to their respective jobs. The labor department cited the report of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Canberra to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III saying, “workers have now resumed their employment which gives hope to OFWs in Australia to continue holding on to their aspirations for a better life here.” POLO Canberra launched a series of online consultations with OFWs all over Australia since last month to reach out to Filipino workers whose employment were affected by the pandemic
UK’s hospitality sector warns new lockdown would be ‘nail in coffin’
Hospitality bosses in the UK have warned that restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus could be the “nail in the coffin” for the industry, which had only just begun to recover from the first period of lockdown. Fears of further curfews or a second shutdown on the sector sent share prices of leisure and travel businesses tumbling on Monday, before the government said it would impose a 10pm curfew on pubs starting Tuesday. Operators urged the government to provide evidence their establishments were the cause of a sharp uptick in cases over the past week.
China's second wave of coronavirus outbreak in winter is 'inevitable', Chinese expert warns
Dr Zhang Wenhong, who led Shanghai's COVID-19 fight, made the stark warning A looming second wave of coronavirus outbreak is 'inevitable' in China, he says The expert also predicted the world would need 'at least a year' to reopen again
Healthcare Innovations
Imperial’s coronavirus vaccine could be approved by middle of next year, professor reveals
Imperial College London's coronavirus vaccine could be approved for use by the middle of next year, an expert has said. Professor Robin Shattock, who is leading the university’s vaccine effort against Covid-19, told the European Parliament trials are showing promising results. He said human volunteers seem to be “responding well” to the jab and the aim is to launch a large 20,000-person trial before the end of the year.
Scientists plead for clarity on AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine trial
Scientists are demanding to know why AstraZeneca’s trial of its Covid-19 vaccine is still on hold in the US while it has been restarted elsewhere, worrying it could damage public trust. The trial was originally halted because a UK participant developed a serious inflammatory condition. In the US it has been on hold for almost two weeks, while trials in other countries including the UK have restarted. Ashish Jha, dean of the school of public health at Brown University, said: “Normally, companies wouldn’t give out information in the middle of a trial, but this is an exceptional case and we need to have radical transparency. Otherwise, there is a risk the public will lose confidence in the whole process.”
Chinese state-backed firm expects coronavirus vaccine approval for public use within months
State-backed vaccine maker China National Biotec Group (CNBG) is hopeful of two of its novel coronavirus vaccine candidates receiving conditional regulatory approval for general public use within the year, its vice president said on Tuesday.