"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 8th Jan 2021
COVID-19: What a winter lockdown means for mental health - and tips for coping
After two national lockdowns in the spring and autumn of 2020, England is preparing for another - but this time it will fall in the darkest days of winter. Experts have raised concerns about the impact less sunlight, uncertainty about the new coronavirus variant and more restrictive measures coming into force again could have on people's mental health. Sky News unpicks the problems and looks at some tips for coping
How to mitigate the impact of a lockdown on mental health
The Covid-19 pandemic is impacting people's mental health. But what helps and hinders people in getting through a lockdown? A new study led by researchers at the University of Basel addressed this question using data from 78 countries across the world. The results hint at the pivots and hinges on which the individual's psyche rests in the pandemic. At the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, little was known about the impact of population-wide governmental lockdowns. What was known was taken from restricted quarantines of small groups of people. "On the one hand, such drastic changes to daily routines can be detrimental to mental health," explains Professor Andrew Gloster from the University of Basel, co-leader of the study now published in PLOS One. "On the other hand, because the entire population was more or less equally affected during the lockdown, it remained unclear whether this impact would occur." To address this question, Gloster and his international colleagues conducted an online survey in 18 languages. Almost 10,000 people from 78 countries participated, giving information about their mental health and overall situation during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Moderna's coronavirus vaccine likely prevents infection for 'a couple of YEARS,' CEO says
Moderna Inc CEO Stéphane Bancel said on Thursday the firm's coronavirus vaccine will likely protect for at least 'a couple of years.' He says this is because levels of antibodies against COVID-19 in humans decreases very slowly. Although more research is needed, Bancel said enough evidence shows there is no 'nightmare scenario' of the jab working for just a month or two. Bancel says the biotechnology company is currently working on research that will show it protects against the new variants from the UK and South Africa
England to require travellers to show negative COVID tests
Britain’s government will require people entering England to present a negative COVID-19 test result on arrival starting next week to protect against new strains of the coronavirus from other countries, the government said on Friday. Passengers arriving by boat, plane or train will have to take a test up to 72 hours before departing for England, the transport ministry said, mirroring measures taken by many other countries around the world. “We already have significant measures in place to prevent imported cases of COVID-19, but with new strains of the virus developing internationally we must take further precautions,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said in a statement. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a new lockdown for England this week after a surge in cases linked to a new variant of the coronavirus believed to have originated in the country.
Covid-19: Stale air can transmit the coronavirus
A Cambridge doctor says he wants the government to do more to warn the public that infected air is a major source of transmission of Covid-19 and that ventilating rooms is just as important as washing hands. He warned that the need to open windows and ventilate indoor spaces to disperse the virus is not being publicised enough by the government when research shows eight out of ten cases are caused by breathing in infected air. And he says cloth masks offer only “minimal protection” against these tiny particles which can stay floating in the air.
More than 1000 Swindon residents volunteer for coronavirus vaccine studies
The rollout of the coronavirus vaccine is under way across the UK, giving hope for a way out of the crisis which changed our lives nearly a year ago. But developing a vaccine wouldn't have been possible without a pool of volunteers from across the four nations, with more than 1,000 people from Swindon putting their name forward to be a part of the effort. Researchers need people to take part in studies to find out which potential vaccine is most effective, and those involved are required to visit a hospital or research site every few months.
Trust in COVID-19 vaccine grows after months of decline, polls show
Confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine is growing, a USA TODAY analysis of dozens of polls and scientific papers shows. Surveys in recent weeks show close to 60% of respondents saying they’d get the COVID-19 vaccine, up from a low of 1 in 2 Americans polled in September. A Pew Research Center survey of 12,648 Americans in late November showed 60% said they’d get the vaccine if it were available today, up from 51% polled in September. The Kaiser Family Foundation noted a similar increase, with 71% of the 1,676 surveyed indicating they’d accept a COVID-19 vaccine, up from 63% in September. USA TODAY's analysis drew on methods used by Duke University and Florida State University researchers and by the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to summarize vaccine polling.
Increased socializing may have jeopardized lockdown benefit in England
Researchers in the UK report that much of the potential beneficial impact of the November 2020 English National lockdown on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic was likely undermined in many areas due to increased socializing in the days running up to its implementation. They say that information leaked about the intended lockdown five days prior to its implementation led to increased socializing in areas that had been categorized as Tier 1 and tier 2 as part of the country’s three-tier system.
France Has Lockdown Lessons for Boris Johnson
Optimism about Covid-19 vaccines has quickly turned to pessimism about how slowly they’re being rolled out — and the grim realization that stay-at-home restrictions will be with us for longer as a result. This is being felt acutely in Europe, where Brits are now in their third national lockdown, barely a month after the second one ended. Ireland has also reintroduced tougher curbs. Both countries have seen cases and hospitalizations pile up this winter.
Hang in there, Australia—we're in great shape, but we're only halfway through the COVID marathon
In the midst of the anxiety over the latest outbreaks in NSW and Victoria, it is easy to forget the wider context of Australia's privileged COVID position. Relative to most Western countries, some of which are losing someone to COVID every 60 seconds, we live in a largely COVID-free oasis. This puts us in an incredibly good position to carefully exit from the COVID crisis and manage a steady return to nationwide normality, without the suffering seen in other nations. But we have 12 months or so to go.
Nation of small-business owners adapts to England lockdown No 3
A year ago, yoga teacher Brenda Ward would have been dashing between hotels, gyms and schools to deliver her classes but as England entered a third national lockdown, she stepped into her living room and greeted students by video call. Having switched all her yoga and wellbeing classes online, the 53-year-old has joined a host of small-business owners finding ways to adapt and thrive despite lockdowns that have upended high streets and downed economic activity. “I’m probably busier (than before the pandemic),” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from her home-turned-studio in northwest England.
Coronavirus Northern Ireland: We may never return to normality despite success of vaccine, warns Professor Young
After almost a year living under the shadow of a pandemic, the approval of two Covid-19 vaccines finally brought some hope to a world weary of coronavirus. There isn't a part of our lives that hasn't been affected by Covid-19 - schools are closed for the third time, life-saving operations are being cancelled, the business community is on its knees, even the simple act of giving a loved one a hug is no longer acceptable. Throughout everything that Covid-19 has thrown at us, we've held on to the day when a vaccine would be rolled out and lives could finally return to normal.
Some Israeli Arabs, Jerusalem Palestinians wary of coronavirus vaccine
As Israel leads the world in the rate of coronavirus vaccination, some of its Arab citizens and Palestinians in annexed East Jerusalem are regarding the shot with suspicion. In what officials see as a result of misinformation about possible side effects or supposed malicious properties, turnout for vaccines has been low among Arabs, who make up 21% of Israel’s population, and Jerusalem Palestinians. “I will not be vaccinated because I don’t know what is in there. No one explained it to me,” said Marouf Alyino of East Jerusalem. “Everyone is looking at Facebook and social media, where we hear about someone dying (after getting vaccinated).”
Patients refusing Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine to 'wait for English jab', doctor claims
People are reportedly delaying getting the potentially life-saving jab as the UK hit the highest number of coronavirus deaths today since the first wave in April
Wellington named among world's best cities for remote working in 2021
Wellington has been recognised as one of the world’s top destinations for remote workers and digital nomads, ranked alongside the likes of Bali and Bermuda. Travel website Big 7 Travel put the capital at 50 on its list of the 50 best places for remote working in 2021, based on criteria such as affordability, internet access, and whether visas for remote workers are available.
The impact working from home has on your body - and how to reverse it
Since the start of the pandemic, the percentage of people working from home has risen from 5% to 71% in the UK and with many making do with makeshift work areas, so it is unsurprising that one in five home workers are reporting musculoskeletal disorders as a result. OneWelbeck consultant orthopaedic surgeon Simon Owen-Johnstone, highlights the strain put on our bodies thanks to the reduced movement and poor posture involved with working from home. Together with occupational therapist David Baker, they are offering their solutions to help you avoid long-term musculoskeletal damage, including reincorporating a morning commute.
Three ways to move more while working from home
Though people with office jobs often sit for up to 80% of the working day, many still manage to get an average of 3,616 steps daily, largely thanks to many small opportunities for activity throughout the day. But with many of us now working from home during the pandemic, this means that any exercise we might have had during our day – whether cycling to work, or walking to get lunch – may no longer exist. While the way we work has changed, that doesn’t mean we can’t easily find ways to be more active during our work day if we look at how we managed to get active while working in an office. Here are a few things you can try to get you to move more while working from home
We’ve been working from home for nearly a year. Here’s how to keep doing it without losing your mind
A year into the coronavirus pandemic and several national lockdowns later – while working from home gave many of us the privileged opportunity to stay employed and/or maintain some form of an income when others were out on the frontline – it’s also left many of us feeling exhausted, demotivated, and generally pretty awful. Despite the challenges, there are things that we can do, such as boundary-setting and being mindful of motivation levels, to give us a bit of peace, and help us look after ourselves as we WFH through the rest of this crisis. Here are a few things you can try.
The top ten best countries in the world to work from home in 2021 revealed
Canada has been named the best country in the world to ‘work from home’ in 2021, thanks to its combination of fast broadband speeds, relatively affordable rents and migrant-friendly visa policies. The Great White North comes top of the world league of destinations for so-called digital nomads, who have been able to embrace the trend towards full-time remote working accelerated by the pandemic.
Télétravail: France revises its guidelines on remote-working
In a nod to the fact that the health crisis is far from over, France has revised its guidelines on télétravail, or remote working. Before the pandemic, people working remotely from home or another space outside the office was relatively rare in France and all télétravail (remote working) was subject to a strict protocol and agreements in advance between employer and employee. During the months of lockdown and 'stay home' orders that followed, working from home became the norm for many people, and emergency protocols came into force to increase flexibility on this topic. The government has revised its home-working protocol to suggest that people go into the workplace for one day per week - if they want to and if their employer agrees.
Virtual university experience 'not worth it' as students left feeling 'isolated' and 'trapped'
Welsh university students said their learning experience is "not worth it" and that studying from home is taking its toll on their mental health. Megan Horn - a student in her second year at Cardiff University - said learning remotely has been "isolating" while Finlay Bertram from Newport said he feels as though students have been "forgotten". Where possible, universities have moved learning online to avoid the risk of spreading coronavirus among students and staff.
Remote learning: 9 safeguarding issues to focus on
We learned a lot during the last lockdown and, while the most vulnerable children will be in school, we know from experience that this does not mean safeguarding issues will remain within the school. Here, designated safeguarding lead (DSL) Ceri Stokes outlines nine key areas for schools to consider.
North-east council offers virtual English language courses
Aberdeenshire Council’s community learning and development team (CLD) is offering free courses taking place virtually using Google Meet and Google Classroom for speakers of other languages who want to learn English. The sessions last up to two hours and are offered at various times to fit in with work and childcare. Around 40 different languages are spoken by English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) learners in the region, who are offered an initial assessment to determine their level of English, and then matched with the best provision for them.
Promoting equity in virtual learning
Over the past nine months, we've witnessed the largest disruption of the U.S. education systems in history. As parents review report cards and face another semester of learning amid a global crisis, Jennifer Darling-Aduana, assistant professor of learning technologies at Georgia State's College of Education & Human Development, is looking at what we've learned about virtual instruction and what is possible for the future.
8 ways to create virtual classroom routines
In the classroom, routines support student learning and build efficiency. The same is true with online and distance learning. At a time when students — and parents — may be feeling a little anxious, overwhelmed, or uncertain about the new school year, classroom routines can provide a sense of structure, stability, and control. Classroom routines let students and parents know what to expect and when. This predictability not only reduces stress, but it improves students’ learning and their relationships with their teachers. Here are eight ways to create more clarity and consistency in online classrooms, and help students feel at ease and valued in an online learning environment.
COVID: Schools are in lockdown and e-learning is a struggle
Germany is notorious for lagging behind in digitalization. Now, students have technical troubles as schools remain closed. But even countries with a better track record are having problems with remote learning. German schools have long been struggling with digitalization, says Nina Brandau from German IT and telecommunications industry group Bitkom. An existing school digitalization plan was ramped up in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic in July 2020, bringing the joint state and federal efforts to about 7 billion euros ($8.6 billion.)
English health chief says people will get COVID booster shots after guidance change
The head of England’s National Health Service reassured people that they would get their second COVID vaccinations after some appointments were cancelled in order to prioritise giving out more initial doses of the shot. “People will get their second jabs (shots), whether that’s Pfizer or AstraZeneca,” said Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of the National Health Service (NHS), when asked by Reuters at a news conference about the change in guidance which delays second shots for most people to up to 12 weeks after the first dose. He added that the reprioritisation of shots would mean that twice as many people would be offered first doses of the vaccine over the next several weeks.
British health minister defends decision to space COVID-19 vaccine doses
Britain’s move to delay the second doses of COVID-19 vaccines will help save lives as more people will be able to get some initial protection, health minister Matt Hancock said on Thursday, defending a policy shift questioned by some scientists. The abrupt change of tack on Dec. 30 meant people who had been due to receive their second vaccine doses had their appointments cancelled in favour of scheduling more initial shots for others. Some scientists expressed doubts about the decision to alter proven dosing regimes. Hancock said partial protection for more people would do more good than full protection for a select few. “The justification is really clear and straightforward, which is that it saves more lives, and ultimately, that is the public health justification,” Hancock told lawmakers.
Covid-19: PM sets out Covid vaccine rollout plan
PM says he has "no doubt" there is enough supply to vaccinate the first four priority groups by 15 February. NHS CEO Sir Simon Stevens says there will be a "huge acceleration" in the vaccination programme over the coming weeks. Army logistics expert Brigadier Phil Prosser says his mission is to get vaccines "in arms not on shelves." A further 1,162 people have died in the UK within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is being rolled out to hundreds of GP-run vaccination centres in England. Nearly 1.5 million people across the UK have now had their first dose, Boris Johnson says. A weekly doorstep round of applause returns at 20:00 GMT - under the new name of Clap for Heroes
Spain tightens virus curbs but rules out lockdown
Spain's regions stepped up virus restrictions this week but the government remained adamant it would not impose a lockdown despite an expected post-Christmas surge in infections, a minister said Thursday. Outgoing Health Minister Salvador Illa said the situation was causing "a great deal of concern", warning there were "complicated weeks ahead and people must remain on high alert".
Australia's vaccine rollout will now start next month. Here's what we'll need
Australia’s COVID vaccine rollout will now begin in mid- to late February. Vaccination will commence with workers dealing with international arrivals or quarantine facilities, frontline health workers and those living in aged care or with a disability. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government “optimistically” aims to vaccinate 80,000 Australians a week, and four million by the end of March. The first vaccine doses were initially planned for March, but the rollout has now been brought forward, pending the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine, anticipated by the end of January.
Canada’s Quebec imposes curfew, extends lockdown as COVID-19 cases soar
Canada’s Quebec province will impose a curfew starting on Saturday and extend an existing lockdown through Feb. 8, to curb the spread of the coronavirus, as it works to speed up a vaccination campaign to counter soaring cases of COVID-19. The new curfew will run from 8 pm to 5 am, even as non-essential businesses remain shut and home gatherings are prohibited as part of a “shock treatment” to save lives and the province’s health network, Premier François Legault said on Wednesday. Schools will remain open, he said. Quebec is wrestling with more than 2,500 COVID-19 cases a day, a surge that threatens to increase hospitalizations beyond their spring peak in the next few weeks.
Rush to administer coronavirus vaccine to all hospital staff
Hospitals have been told by NHS England to immediately step up efforts to vaccinate all their staff.Yesterday GPs started administering the Oxford Astrazeneca vaccine to protect care home residents
Pharmacies set for role in Wales coronavirus vaccination plan
Pharmacies in Wales are set to become involved in the process of vaccinating people against coronavirus, with discussions going on over how that will happen, says Wales' Chief Medical Officer. Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, like its counterparts across Wales, has been checking the suitability of community and other venues across Gwent that might be suitable for use as mass vaccination centres, and GP surgeries will also play a central role. The challenge in Wales, as it is across the UK, is to provide sufficient vaccination sites to enable as many people in the priority groups to be vaccinated as quickly as possible - and Wales' CMO Dr Frank Atherton said all health boards in Wales are developing plans to "rapidly increase the vaccine coverage".
15,000 Covid-19 vaccines administered in Ireland
More than 15,000 people have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine in Ireland to date. The country’s health chief said a total of 35,000 people will have received the Pfizer BioNTech jab by the end of the week. Paul Reid described the State’s coronavirus vaccination programme as the “great light” and “great hope” as the country faces the weeks ahead. A total of 15,314 people have been given vaccinated since December 29. “It has given a great lift to the country and it has given a great inspirational lift to our healthcare workers,” he said.
Most vulnerable to get vaccine by mid-Feb as Covid deaths soar
The UK has recorded more than 1,000 new coronavirus deaths overnight for the second day in a row while hospital admissions have risen above the peak of the first wave, new figures show. Some 3,600 Covid-19 patients were admitted to hospital in the UK on January 3, the first time it has been higher than the peak of 3,565 recorded on April 1. It comes as London’s hospitals are on the verge of being overwhelmed as health bosses scramble to find more beds to deal with a surge in infections across the country. The sobering figures were published as Boris Johnson admitted that the UK roll-out of Covid vaccines is a “challenge on a scale like nothing we’ve seen before”.
GPs struggling with Covid vaccine delivery timing uncertainties
GPs are having to do a ‘huge amount’ of cancellations and rebooking of Covid vaccine appointments amid last-minute changes to vaccine delivery times, regional GP leaders have claimed. LMC leaders said this was giving practices ‘a headache’ and called for some ‘assurance’ about ‘when vaccine will be supplied’. This week, GP sites in wave five of the rollout were expecting their first vaccine deliveries between Wednesday and Friday, while sites in wave six will be told today (Thursday 7 January) whether they have passed their ‘readiness assessment’ to commence vaccinations next week. Slides presented in an NHS England webinar for GPs on Tuesday evening said ‘site-specific delivery dates have been confirmed’.
Nicola Sturgeon confirms covid vaccine to be rolled out to all over 80s in next four weeks
All over-80s in Scotland will receive their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine in the next four weeks, Nicola Sturgeon has announced. Speaking at today's daily briefing, the First Minister confirmed that 113,459 people have received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, with the Oxford/AstraZeneca inoculation being first used on Monday. She said: "I can confirm that this shows that by Sunday, the 30th of January, 113,459 individuals had received their first tools of the Pfizer Covid vaccine.
Hancock: 'We're working with Pfizer and AstraZeneca to increase Covid-19 vaccine supply'
Health Secretary Matt Hancock visited a GP surgery in London to promote the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines. Mr Hancock said they were working with the Pfizer and AstraZeneca to increase the supply.
Covid-19: Vaccine rollout widens as hospital pressure rises
GPs in England are receiving doses of the Oxford Covid jab as medics warn about overstretched hospitals. The rollout of the Oxford vaccine is part of the NHS's biggest-ever effort and aims to offer jabs to 13 million by mid-February - including all over-80s. But Health Secretary Matt Hancock admitted vaccine supply was a "rate-limiting" factor. Birmingham's NHS said there are enough supplies with more to come as politicians warned doses may run out. Some hospitals in England are at risk of becoming Covid-only sites, with rising admissions for the virus forcing trusts to cut back on other services.
Ireland tightens lockdown as COVID-19 'tsunami' threatens hospitals
Ireland announced its strictest lockdown measures since early last year on Wednesday as a “tsunami” of infections caused by a new COVID-19 variant pushed hospitalisations to a record high and sparked fears the healthcare system could be overwhelmed. Ireland’s 14-day infection rate has quadrupled in the past 10 days to 819 cases per 100,000, fueled by a new more transmissible COVID-19 variant first identified in Britain and the relaxation of restrictions ahead of Christmas. Officials reported a record high of 7,836 cases on Wednesday. “Already exhausted healthcare workers now face a tsunami of infection even greater than the first wave,” Prime Minister Micheal Martin told a news conference announcing the new measures. “In addition we have a more infectious strain of the virus in our midst... which can rapidly lead to growth well beyond previous worst case scenarios.”
Covid vaccine: National vaccination booking system will be launched in the UK
A new national system allowing the public to book a Covid-19 vaccination will be launched in the UK to make it easier to roll out the immunisation programme, Boris Johnson has announced. The Prime Minister said during a press conference on Thursday that nearly 1.5 million people have now been vaccinated against coronavirus in the UK, including 1.26 million in England. The process of getting a vaccination will be made easier, he said, by the launch of the new national appointment booking service – but did not reveal any further details about how it would work.
Pharmacies to roll out Covid vaccine in ‘Herculean effort’ to immunise Britain
High street pharmacies will form a major part of the “Herculean effort” to vaccinate the nation against coronavirus, the vaccines tsar has announced. Nadhim Zahawi, the minister for Covid Vaccine Deployment, told BBC’s Today programme that community pharmacy networks will be “very much involved” in plans to vaccinate 13.4m Brits by mid-February. Current government plans will see vaccines given to GPs to be rolled out to the public, then national vaccination centres, and then distributed across local pharmacies, Zahawi announced. “The NHS has a very clear plan and I’m confident that we can meet it,” he said, adding that it would require a “Herculean effort” to roll out the jab to the most vulnerable in just seven weeks’ time. It comes after ministers were yesterday accused of ignoring an army of trained vaccinators at pharmacies. Simon Dukes, the chief executive of the Pharmaceutical Negotiating Services Committee, told the Telegraph the NHS was “scrabbling around” for vaccinators while trained medics in the pharmaceutical industry were ready to help.
How Nine Covid-19 Vaccines Work
Researchers are testing 64 coronavirus vaccines in clinical trials on humans. Here are explanations about how nine of the leading vaccines work.
CureVac teams up with Bayer to accelerate development of Covid vaccine
Germany’s CureVac has teamed up with the country’s largest pharmaceuticals company Bayer to accelerate the development and production of its Covid-19 vaccine. The Tübingen-based company, whose vaccine uses a similar technology to the ones developed by BioNTech and Moderna, said on Thursday it had entered into a collaboration and services agreement that would help it deliver several hundred million doses. CureVac, the oldest of the trio of companies working on messenger RNA technology to develop vaccines, was among the first to announce it was working on a product to deal with Sars-Cov-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. But it has since lagged far behind its competitors, both of which have already won authorisations in the US and EU.
UPDATE 1-Roche, Sanofi arthritis drugs reduce death rates among sickest COVID-19 patients
LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Treating critically ill COVID-19 patients with Roche’s Actemra or Sanofi’s Kevzara arthritis drugs significantly improves survival rates and reduces the amount of time patients need intensive care,
Critically ill Covid-19 patients to receive new potentially life-saving drugs
Critically ill Covid-19 patients admitted to intensive care units across the UK will be able to receive new drugs that can “significantly” reduce the risk of death as well as time spent in hospital by up to 10 days. NHS patients will have access to tocilizumab and sarilumab – which are typically used to treat rheumatoid arthritis – under updated guidance due to be issued tomorrow by the Government and the NHS to Trusts across the UK. It comes after results from the Government-funded REMAP-CAP clinical trial showed that both drugs reduced the risk of mortality by 8.5% when administered to patients within a day of entering intensive care alongside a corticosteroid, such as dexamethasone.
Babraham Institute study of Oxford University’s Covid-19 vaccine underscores importance of second dose
A study involving mice suggests the second dose of Oxford University and AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine will be particularly important to generate an effective immune response in older people. Immunologists at the Babraham Institute studied the effect of age on the immune response to the vaccine. Their findings agreed with vaccine trial data, published in The Lancet, that showed two doses are required for younger and older people to have a similar immune response. Dr Michelle Linterman, a Babraham Institute group leader and lead on the research study, said: “As we get older, our immune system function declines and we become more vulnerable to infectious disease. “The current pandemic has highlighted how much of a health imbalance this can cause. This work has allowed us to analyse the immune system response to the vaccine at cellular resolution and learn more about how age affects this.”
Covid: New study claims five-day warning ruined last England lockdown
On September 21, the UK government’s Science Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) published a document calling for a national circuit-breaker lockdown to curb the steadily increasing cases of COVID. The Sage scientists warned that “not acting now to reduce cases will result in a very large epidemic with catastrophic consequences in terms of direct COVID-related deaths and the ability of the health service to meet needs”. Instead of heeding the warnings of their own scientists, the government instead solicited the fringe views of “experts” who advocated for controlling the effects of the virus with less restrictive measures, while shielding society’s most vulnerable.
Coronavirus vaccine Scotland: NHS advice for pregnant women
The NHS in Scotland has published guidance surrounding the coronavirus vaccine for pregnant women. As of January 3, 113,459 people in the country have received their first dose of the jab, according to Nicola Sturgeon. However, the risks to mums-to-be are still unknown, with the vaccine not yet been tested on pregnant women. According to NHS Inform, the vaccine is not recommended under a precautionary approach.
Sinovac’s Covid-19 Vaccine Is 78% Effective in Brazil Late-Stage Trials
China’s shot also gives 100% protection against severe cases of the disease, said Brazil’s Butantan Institute, raising hopes that it can be widely used in the developing world.
COVID-19 was circulating silently in Wuhan even after the city reported no cases
COVID-19 may have continued to spread silently in Wuhan, China, during the spring of 2020, even after official government tallies had suggested the coronavirus had been stamped out, a new study suggests. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was first discovered in Wuhan in December 2019, and the city soon became the epicenter of what would become the COVID-19 pandemic. Cases peaked in Wuhan in February 2020 but soon declined rapidly, with just a few cases reported in late March. By early April, the city's lockdown had ended, and later that month, Wuhan was declared coronavirus-free.