|

"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 15th Jun 2020

Isolation Tips
New Coventry isolation group launches in lockdown - and wants lonely people to join in
Lockdown restrictions are slowly starting to lift, but many of us might continue to feel isolated and anxious as the country adjusts to the new normal
Tips on handling the Covid-19 isolation from a solo sailor
Artist Pete Hogan has sailed solo around the world alone for long periods of time. He shares his thoughts on the Covid-19 lockdown and the isolation it has brought to many.
Therapists are under strain in COVID-19 era, counseling clients on trauma they're also experiencing themselves
"I can't be both a really worried human and a good therapist at the same time."
Coronavirus: Child psychologists highlight mental health risks of lockdown
It comes after an opinion piece in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health warned of the damaging long-term consequences of a lack of face-to-face contact among young people and their peers. Prof Ellen Townsend, professor of psychology at the University of Nottingham, who organised the letter, said mental health problems such as anxiety were already rising in young people before lockdown. She told the BBC there was evidence that growing feelings of loneliness and social isolation as a result of school closures during the pandemic could be making that worse, especially among teenagers. And she described hearing some "heart-breaking stories" of children struggling. The letter also points to evidence that children are at low risk from Covid-19.
How COVID-19 lockdown has altered sleep in the US and Europe
Two new studies show that relaxed school and work schedules and more time spent at home has led people to sleep more on average with less 'social jetlag' as indicated by a reduced shift in sleep timing and duration on work days versus free days. But, at the same time, one of the studies also finds that the pandemic has taken a toll when it comes to self-reported sleep quality.
Hygiene Helpers
Coronavirus: Face coverings compulsory on public transport in England
Anyone travelling on public transport in England must wear a face covering from Monday under a new rule. More than 3,000 extra staff including police officers are being deployed at stations to make sure people comply. Passengers without a covering will be asked to wear one, or will face being refused onboard or fined £100. People with certain health conditions, disabled people and children under the age of 11 will be exempt from the rule. In the coming days, hundreds of thousands of free coverings will be handed out at railway stations. The government says masks can be homemade, such as a scarf or bandana.
Uber makes face coverings mandatory for all UK passengers and drivers
Uber has announced that all drivers and passengers must wear face coverings in the UK from Monday. The popular minicab app firm said it was taking the new measures to ensure customers "stay safe and healthy" when they use Uber. Uber’s policy is in line with the Government’s decision to make face coverings mandatory for public transport users in England from June 15. Drivers in London will be required to submit a photograph of themselves to verify they are following the new rule before they can begin working.
Masks significantly reduce infection risk, likely preventing thousands of COVID-19 cases -study
Requiring the wearing of masks to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in areas at the epicenter of the global pandemic may have prevented tens of thousands of infections, a new study suggests. Mask-wearing is even more important for preventing the virus’ spread and the sometimes deadly COVID-19 illness it causes than social distancing and stay-at-home orders, researchers said, in the study published in PNAS: The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. Infection trends shifted dramatically when mask-wearing rules were implemented on April 6 in northern Italy and April 17 in New York City - at the time among the hardest hit areas of the world by the health crisis - the study found.
Face masks could be a better defence against Covid-19 than hand washing
Study of US ship outbreak shows benefits of face masks in protecting against coronavirus, After weeks with almost no new coronavirus infections, Beijing has recorded dozens of new cases in recent days, all linked to a major wholesale food market, raising concerns about a resurgence of the disease. The capital is taking steps to try to halt the outbreak including ramping up testing. On Sunday night Beijing ordered all companies to supervise 14-day home quarantine for employees who have visited the Xinfadi market or been in contact with anyone who has done so. A restaurant chain selling traditional Beijing noodles shut down a few outlets after two employees tested positive. There had been almost no new coronavirus cases in the city for almost two months until an infection was reported on June 12, and since then the total number has climbed to 51, including eight reported in the first seven hours of Sunday.
Facemasks slow spread of coronavirus by 40 per cent, study shows
The research was able to use the staggered introduction of masks in shops and public transport across Germany as a natural experiment to test how effective they were. By looking at new cases in the days that followed, the researchers concluded that there is “strong and convincing statistical support” that the masks “strongly reduced the number of incidences”. However, other scientists cautioned that the findings were still not robust enough to support the widespread use of masks, arguing that too many other factors could explain the results. The study, published as a discussion paper for the Institute of Labour Economics, addresses one of the most controversial areas of science during the pandemic — one that has led to a split in opinion among researchers.
U.S. government to send nearly 100 million face coverings for transit passengers
The U.S. Department of Transportation unveiled plans on Friday to send nearly 100 million face coverings to airports, transit agencies and U.S. passenger railroad service Amtrak over the coming weeks, in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The cloth coverings will be provided as a supplement for passengers, DOT said in a statement. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing face coverings in enclosed public spaces, which are reopening after months-long shutdowns aimed at stemming the spread of the highly infectious coronavirus.
Coronavirus contact tracing apps were tech's chance to step up. They haven't.
Most states are giving the cold shoulder to smartphone apps, though some developers think there's still a chance for them to catch on.
Few N95 masks, reused gowns: Dire PPE shortages reveal COVID-19's racial divide
Health care workers are still facing major shortages of N95 respirators, gowns and other safety gear, especially at hospitals in minority communities.
Coronavirus: wheels come off China’s mask-making gravy train, as low-end manufacturers count their losses
Many fly-by-night entrants to China’s mask business are left with materials and machines worth a fraction of their investment, as the gravy train has ground to a halt.
Japan aims to launch coronavirus contact tracking app next week
Japan aims to launch a smartphone app based on technology from Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google next week to help curb the spread of coronavirus by tracking close contact with those infected, the health ministry said on Friday. Smartphones with the app installed can detect each other via Bluetooth short-range wireless and log those who have come in close contact. If a phone user is found to be infected, people who spent more than 15 minutes within a radius of one meter (3.3 feet) of that individual sometime over the previous 14 days will be notified that they were in close contact with a coronavirus-infected person, and be prompted to seek medical consultation.
Two hairstylists who had coronavirus saw 140 clients. No new infections have been linked to the salon, officials say
No cases of coronavirus have been linked to two Missouri hairstylists who saw 140 clients last month while symptomatic, county health officials said. Both stylists worked at the same Great Clips location in Springfield. The clients and the stylists all wore face coverings, and the salon had set up other measures such as social distancing of chairs and staggered appointments, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department said this week. Of the 140 clients and seven co-workers potentially exposed, 46 took tests that came back negative. All the others were quarantined for the duration of the coronavirus incubation period. The 14-day incubation period has now passed with no coronavirus cases linked to the salon beyond the two stylists, county health officials said.
Coronavirus: What does a working 'test and trace' system look like?
There is no need to look as far as Singapore, South Korea or even Germany for one; an extremely successful example can be found much closer to home. Guernsey has not recorded a new coronavirus case in 43 days and there are no active Covid-19 patients in the island. This has led to significant easing of its lockdown rules and the Channel Island's 63,000 residents can go shopping, get a haircut and meet up with friends and family. Such is the success of the response, from 20 June the government will remove nearly all lockdown restrictions and life will effectively return to normal, with no social distancing requirements for businesses or restrictions on gatherings.
Spain: Coronavirus Outbreak in Girona being Investigated by Catalan Authorities
According to the Catalan Public Health Agency, there is a suspected outbreak of coronavirus in the La Garrotxa region in Girona. Reports suggest that as many 31 people in the area have been infected. 20 of those suspected of having the virus work together in a company local to the area. The remaining 11 are their further contacts. It is believed that the outbreak has been caught early and those affected are observing self-isolation in their respective homes.
Poland and Sweden are the only EU countries who have not passed COVID-19 peak: ECDC
Poland and Sweden are the only EU countries to have not yet passed their COVID-19 peak, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) flagged on Thursday. "The initial wave of transmission has passed its peak in all countries apart from Poland and Sweden," the ECDC wrote in its latest rapid risk assessment. The EU health agency said that lockdown measures across the EU/EEA — which also includes Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway — and the UK have led to an 80% decline in the virus's 14-day incidence since the peak on April 9. But in Poland and Sweden, the 14-day incidence "was at the highest level yet observed".
Community Activities
COVID-19 social media vigilantes: A valid or harmful way of dealing with rule breakers?
What would you do if you saw someone not wearing a mask in public? Mind your own business, or perhaps advise the person to wear a mask because it is now required by law and helps reduce the spread of COVID-19? Another option might be to report the infringement to the authorities. However, some people have decided on a different approach: Snap a photo and post it on social media. With numerous Facebook groups and Telegram chats providing a platform for this in Singapore and elsewhere, experts CNA interviewed have explained why online vigilantism has appeared to become more prevalent during the pandemic. They said some see it as a social responsibility borne out of genuine concern for public health, while others cannot stand seeing others get away with breaking the rules as they themselves are compliant.
View from the Frontline: the firefighter delivering PPE
London Fire Brigade worker Winston Douglas talks about delivering PPE to organisations in need all over the city.
Vietnam schoolgirl creates art from the chaos of the coronavirus
Stuck at home with school suspended, Nguyen Doi Chung Anh made the most of a lockdown in Vietnam by using art to demonstrate tragedy, resilience and chaos in the world’s battle against the coronavirus. The work of 10-year-old Chung Anh shows how events unfolded globally, depicting the devastation with drawings of the coronavirus attacking landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, Big Ben and the Leaning Tower of Pisa as it spread through Europe, the United States and beyond.
Caring for coronavirus COVID-19 patients in Tegucigalpa | MSF
As numbers of COVID-19 cases rise in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, a team from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has started caring for patients with severe symptoms of the disease in an annex of the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH). Working in coordination with Honduran health and emergency authorities, MSF teams aim to prevent the capital’s hospitals from becoming overcrowded. In the hospital annex, which has been adapted into a specialist 20-bed coronavirus ward, the MSF medical team is caring for patients who need oxygen support. Patients are transferred there from local hospitals and from two other coronavirus wards set up within the university, where mild and asymptomatic patients are being cared for by staff from the Ministry of Health and the National Emergency Department. The MSF team is also providing patients and their families with psychological support over the telephone. As of 11 June, a total of 7,360 COVID-19 cases have been officially confirmed in the country; 23 per cent of them in the Francisco Morazan department, where Tegucigalpa is located.
Somalia's Islamist group al Shabaab says sets up COVID-19 treatment centre
Somalia’s Islamist group al Shabaab said on Friday they had set up a COVID-19 treatment centre in the country, and said the disease posed a grave threat, citing international health authorities. “Al Shabaab’s corona(virus) prevention and treatment committee has opened a COVID-19 centre,” the group said in a broadcast on their radio Andalus, adding the centre had been set up in Jilib, about 380 kilometres (236 miles) south of the capital Mogadishu. “International health organisations said COVID-19 is terribly spreading in countries of Africa continent.” For more than a decade the group has been fighting to topple the Horn of Africa’s Western-backed central government and establish its own government based on its own strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law.
Working Remotely
Coronavirus: Asia not yet ready to work from home
Many companies in Asia are slowly sending their employees back to the office as the world reopens. But with the coronavirus infections soaring past seven million and growing, working remotely will continue to be a facet in the region. Most firms are resorting to flexible work schedules so that at least half the staff can continue working from home, while the rest can return to the office. The goal is to avoid densely packed work spaces that facilitate viral spread. Staff will certainly return to the office once the pandemic eases.
It’s time to reopen – but your employees are scared to return. What should you do?
There’s still a very real and deadly virus going around. You’re complying with all the necessary guidelines. You’ve got masks, sanitizer. It’s not ideal, but it’s what it is. So you tell your employees your company is open for business and you look forward to seeing them at work. And most of them come to work. Unfortunately, a few don’t. Despite all that you’re doing, they still don’t feel safe. They’re afraid of getting sick. They’re afraid of getting their families sick. So what do you do? This is a growing dilemma among many of my clients. Unfortunately, there’s no clear answer.
6 Reasons Most Want To Work From Home Even After Coronavirus
59% of us who are currently working at home due to COVID-19 are just fine with the arrangement, thank you very much, and plan to continue it as long as possible. Interestingly, at 62%, men are slightly more likely to want to stay working from home, while 57% of women say the same. A bigger problem?
Is the office age over? How work could change after coronavirus
Businesses share their back to work tips to reduce spreading Covid-19. Expert warns resuming work too quickly could create a toxic environment. Navitas shares advice on making the work space Covid compliant. Study shows 82% of businesses are now considering permanent remote working
Virtual Classrooms
Survey shows desire for virtual classroom
The 2020-21 calendar took center stage at the Midland ISD board meeting last week. It was the topic du jour for board members and staff for more than three hours. And while the calendar had everyone’s attention, there was other news that came from a district survey that will impact the upcoming school year. District leaders learned that 22.4 percent of parents surveyed “would choose” a virtual learning option, and another 33.4 percent said “maybe” or “it depends.” Also, 28.7 percent of teachers responded they would wish to be considered to teach in a virtual setting, and another 37.1 percent said “maybe” or it “depends.”
Pee Dee summer camps go virtual due of COVID-19
Summer camps in the Pee Dee are turning virtual in order to give kids an opportunity to have some fun over the summer. With a drastic rise in positive COVID-19 cases in South Carolina, summer camps are trying new ways to host campers while keeping them safe. Starting June 14, the Lynches River County Park will start its virtual summer camp program. The program will be held through its Environmental Discovery Center. The center will have two virtual camps that anyone can participate in. According to officials at the center, they plan to post their lessons on their YouTube channel and will be available to answer any questions kids may have.
COVID-19: Education goes online
In Kenya, this closure of learning institutions has inspired an evolution in education. Teachers now hold online classes in a bid to keep the country’s students learning. CGTN Africa visited one school in Nairobi offering online education as students and pupils remain holed up in their homes as a way of further preventing the spread of COVID-19. “It was not easy for us at the beginning because we work with very young children. Some of our children are 18 months, to six-year-olds. And so, when we launched that to the parents, that we would be going on with the virtual classes, we had quite a lot of anxious parents who doubted that was for them, for their ages, but yes, we had the will and so we pushed for it. And luckily the parents along the way, yes, supported that. And so it has a sort of now worked, it is working,” said Phyllis Kamau, the Director at Pink Tower Children’s House.
UK language students prepare for virtual year abroad in their bedrooms
Some universities have cancelled overseas trips amid coronavirus fears and others are trying to think of alternatives
Course welcomes COVID-19 experts into virtual classroom - Cornell College
“Barbara adapted this course to be about COVID-19 in a matter of just a couple of weeks, which is amazing and really can only be done because on the block plan,” said Junior Sam Sande of Powell, Wyoming. “She has done so much in terms of making this course totally unique and personal.”
Public Policies
The Lancet’s editor: ‘The UK response to coronavirus is the greatest science policy failure for a generation’
There is a school of thought that says now is not the time to criticise the government and its scientific advisers about the way they have handled the Covid-19 pandemic. Wait until all the facts are known and the crisis has subsided, goes this thinking, and then we can analyse the performance of those involved. It’s safe to say that Richard Horton, the editor of the influential medical journal the Lancet, is not part of this school.
Coronavirus: Lockdown shouldn't be eased more until 'effective' contact tracing in place, says WHO official
WHO's regional European director Hans Kluge says the UK is in a "very active phase of the pandemic".
China reports 57 new confirmed, 9 asymptomatic COVID-19 cases for June 13
After weeks with almost no new coronavirus infections, Beijing has recorded dozens of new cases in recent days, all linked to a major wholesale food market, raising concerns about a resurgence of the disease. The capital is taking steps to try to halt the outbreak including ramping up testing. On Sunday night Beijing ordered all companies to supervise 14-day home quarantine for employees who have visited the Xinfadi market or been in contact with anyone who has done so. A restaurant chain selling traditional Beijing noodles shut down a few outlets after two employees tested positive. There had been almost no new coronavirus cases in the city for almost two months until an infection was reported on June 12, and since then the total number has climbed to 51, including eight reported in the first seven hours of Sunday.
France to reopen for business as Emmanuel Macron declares 'first victory' over Covid-19
France will reopen for business on Monday after President Emmanuel Macron announced a 'first victory' against coronavirus. In an upbeat live TV address on Sunday night, the head of state said virtually all lockdown restrictions for bars, restaurants and cafes would end at the start of this coming week. Schools, colleges and nurseries will then be back with all their pupils in a week's time.
Mexico City to begin gradual exit from lockdown on Monday
“We think next week the city can begin a process of very orderly transition,” said Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, noting there had been a slight drop in hospital occupancy rates and that the city’s contagion alert level was close to coming down a notch. Curbs on vehicle traffic and public transport are due to be eased on Monday and factories will start opening on Tuesday under strict sanitary protections, the city government said. On Thursday, small shops will have permission to reopen, while professional services and scientific workers linked to “industry” can go back as of Friday, it added. If conditions are deemed suitable, street markets and the historic center of the city will reopen the week of June 22-28.
Botswana Reinstates Strict Coronavirus Lockdown in Capital City
Botswana brought back a strict coronavirus lockdown in its capital city, Gaborone, and surrounding areas after the southern African country recorded 12 new cases of the virus, a senior health official said late on Friday. Diamond-rich Botswana ended a 48-day national coronavirus lockdown late last month, allowing businesses and schools to reopen under controls, but its borders are still closed apart from for returning citizens and imports of essential goods. But Malaki Tshipayagae, the country's director of health services, said in a televised announcement that officials had recorded four new imported cases at its borders and eight at a private hospital in Gaborone, bringing cumulative cases to 60.
Government ignored warning to stockpile PPE as Covid-19 spread
Watchdog also confirms 25,000 hospital patients were sent to care homes before testing became routine
France unveils plan to reopen non-Schengen borders
France will gradually reopen its borders to countries outside the Schengen zone from July 1, the interior and foreign ministers said in a joint statement on Friday. The borders were shut in mid-March to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, but the European Union recommended on Thursday that the bloc reopen to some countries in the Balkans from July 1. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said in their statement that France's reopening would be in harmony with the rest of the EU. "This opening will be gradual and will vary according to the health situation in each of the third countries, and in accordance with the arrangements that will have been agreed at European level by then," the ministers said.
Health Minister Stepanov: Ukraine may backtrack as COVID-19 cases grow in number
Health Minister Maksym Stepanov predicts Ukraine may return to previous stages of the coronavirus-related quarantine as the country has lately seen a surge in COVID-19 cases per day, which means the return of the respective restrictions. "Main criteria include an incidence and the growth that we see along with the number of confirmed cases with symptoms, as well as hospital bed occupancy, adequate systemic response, and medical assistance," he told the TV news service TSN. "I will give you an example: bed occupancy in Kyiv's hospitals designated for COVID-19 treatment was 35% as of June 1, but it's 46% today. Eleven percentage points in 11 days is a lot."
Hungary's health care services to restart on June 15: minister
All restrictions on Hungary's health care services will be lifted next Monday, while the measures on anti-epidemic preparedness remain in force, the country's Minister of Human Capacities Miklos Kasler announced here on Friday. "Practically this means that in hospitals, 80 percent of the beds previously set aside for the care of coronavirus-infected people can be re-used for other treatments, but 20 percent should still be reserved for the care of COVID-19 patients," Kasler said at a press conference. Appointments to seek the help of specialist doctors will still have to be requested by phone, patients will be triaged for their appointments, and suspected COVID-19 patients will be monitored, according to the minister. Kasler said that Hungary's health care system will need about two months to catch up on surgeries that had to be postponed during the state of emergency. According to official figures, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Hungary stood at 4,053 on Friday, with 2,447 recoveries and 555 fatalities
Spain's Galicia to be first region to exit coronavirus lockdown
Spain’s northern region of Galicia will be the first to exit the country’s coronavirus lockdown from Monday, Health Minister Salvador Illa said on Friday, part of a gradual opening up that Spain hopes can save its summer tourism season. A state of emergency, declared country-wide in mid-March, will be effectively lifted in Galicia, while it remains in force in all the other 16 of Spain’s regions. The government will lift some restrictions in other regions, which have been following a four-phase plan to gradually exit from lockdown as the epidemic ebbs. “From Monday, as many as 34 million citizens will be in the last phase, that’s three out of four Spaniards,” Illa told a news conference.
EU sets out plans for advance orders of coronavirus vaccines
The European Union has laid out plans to place advance orders for coronavirus vaccines currently under development to ensure supplies for member states. The bloc’s executive body has proposed that its 27 member states negotiate as a united bloc with pharmaceutical companies, and offer upfront financing to speed development and ensure priority access to any successful vaccine. “We pay up front a significant part of the investment needed in exchange for a commitment from the pharmaceutical manufacturer to give us a vaccine when is available,” an EU official explained
Outbreaks halt economic reactivation in parts of Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s efforts to revitalize its economy through domestic tourism have been hampered as the National Emergency Commission (CNE) declares orange alerts for parts of the country. The alert was issued last week for the cantons of Pococí and Upala, and the districts of Peñas Blancas, Cañas, Bebedero, Las Juntas, Los Chiles and La Fortuna. Wednesday, the district of Paquera was added to the ever-growing list. Even as the Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT) begins to promote domestic vacations, the orange alerts have effectively shut down that sector in several tourism-heavy towns. Commercial businesses can’t open on weekends, evening driving is banned, and — in perhaps the most impactful change affecting domestic tourism — hotels largely cannot operate in locations under orange alerts. “We are in a phase in which, if we stray, we could have widespread community transmission, but we can still have control of the situation,” Claudia Rosales, a regional director of the Health Ministry, explained to San Carlos Digital.
Maintaining Services
Airlines are suing the U.K. to lift self-isolation rules for travelers
A group of airlines in the United Kingdom is challenging the British government to lift what they say are onerous travel restrictions that will destroy jobs and devastate the tourism industry. British Airways, Ryanair and EasyJet are suing to force judges to review a new rule from the British Home Office that requires all incoming travelers to self-isolate for 14 days.
Coronavirus: Boris Johnson orders review of two-metre social distancing rule in UK
Boris Johnson has ordered a comprehensive review of the two-metre social-distancing rule amid calls it should be scrapped. Easing the restriction is seen as vital if businesses such a restaurants and pubs are to be able to re-open sustainably. The Mail on Sunday reported the review would effectively take control of social-distancing guidelines out of the hands of the British Government’s scientific advisers, who have been deeply reluctant to countenance relaxation. The move comes as thousands of non-essential shops in England are set to re-open on Monday for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown was imposed in March.
'Disinfecting non-stop' as Italy faces two new virus outbreaks
Yellow police tape -- a familiar sight across Italy since the coronavirus began sweeping the country in March -- reappeared at the weekend outside a Rome squat where around 15 new cases have emerged. Health workers insist the outbreak among squatters including a Peruvian family is under control, at a time when Italy is cautiously relaxing measures to contain the disease that has claimed more than 34,000 lives. A second outbreak was far bigger and occurred at a hospital on the western edge of Rome, with 109 cases and five deaths. Rome's regional COVID-19 crisis centre said all those who tested positive for the virus at the illegally occupied building had been transferred. All their contacts were identified and 108 tests were carried out.
Coronavirus: How will secondary schools reopen safely?
As some Year 10 and Year 12 pupils in England prepare to go back to school on Monday, secondary head teachers are having to overcome an array of challenges. Plans shared with the BBC suggest the arrangements will vary widely. More than 300 schools and colleges told us they were mainly offering between five and 30 hours of face-to-face teaching each week. Some are making the return gradual, starting with pupils who are struggling the most, with many providing individual pastoral sessions to check on mental health. The Sixth Form Colleges Association says schools and colleges should ensure that extending face-to-face teaching does not impact on support for pupils who are still at home.
Covid 19 coronavirus: Thailand eyes travel bubble with New Zealand
Thailand is considering forming travel bubbles with countries that have comparably low Covid-19 rates of infection, government officials said this week. The country closed borders at the beginning of April, which devastated the tourism industry and led to millions of job losses. The tourism industry alone accounts for 20 per cent of the country's GDP. Now, in an attempt to revive the economy, the country is looking at establishing travel bubbles with countries with low rates of coronavirus, including China, South Korea, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand.
How will clothing stores and other shops ensure customer safety once lockdown rules are eased?
Clothing stores will begin opening in phases next week from Monday, June 15, after being closed since the lockdown began on March 23. Retailers have been told to work to make shopping as safe as possible, and ensure customers can socially distance in stores to avoid spreading Covid-19. The government has provided safety advice for stores to help them comply with social distancing guidelines.
Covid 19 coronavirus: Thailand eyes travel bubble with New Zealand
Thailand is considering forming travel bubbles with countries that have comparably low Covid-19 rates of infection, government officials said this week. The country closed borders at the beginning of April, which devastated the tourism industry and led to millions of job losses. The tourism industry alone accounts for 20 per cent of the country's GDP. Now, in an attempt to revive the economy, the country is looking at establishing travel bubbles with countries with low rates of coronavirus, including China, South Korea, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand.
From ditching restaurants to public transport and malls: the COVID changes set to become permanent
National Australia Bank surveyed 2,000 people about their COVID-19 changes. Restaurants, shopping malls and public transport are set to go out of fashion. Even more Australians are set to demand the right to work remotely from home.
Coronavirus could push global poverty past one billion mark, new study suggests
The number of people in extreme poverty around the world could rise beyond 1 billion as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, new analysis has suggested. Figures from the World Bank suggest that 736 million people currently live in destitution, surviving on less than $1.90 a day (£1.53). But in a study published on Friday, researchers at King’s College London and Australian National University have warned that the pandemic could trigger “substantial” poverty increases and reverse decades’ worth of progress.
Coronavirus: almost all Dubai government employees return to offices
Government workers who are immuno-compromised, elderly, pregnant or have chronic diseases or a disability can work from home. Almost all Dubai government employees returned to their workplaces on Sunday. But employees with compromised immunity and chronic health conditions, pregnant women and people with disabilities will continue to work remotely from home. Fifty per cent of Dubai government staff resumed work at offices from May 31, with the entire workforce returning to the office on Sunday, June 14. The majority of employees who returned to their offices today said they felt safe and happy to interact with their colleagues in person again. Fahad Ahli, who works for Smart Dubai Government, said he had missed meeting his colleagues “face-to-face”.
Medical workers resort to parking-lot deals and DIY projects to get safety gear
Medical shortages in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, have left many healthcare workers in a desperate hunt for medical supplies. Community clinics, nursing homes and independent doctors, in particular, find themselves on the fringe of the supply chain for masks, gowns, gloves and ventilators. Desperate administrators wire money to offshore banks to acquire supplies. Most medical supplies – from isolation gowns to the filtration components of N95 masks – originate in China in factories that manufacture so-called spunbond polypropylene out of toxic chemicals. Decades of honing has turned the supply chain into an efficient
Public health workers fighting COVID-19 are threatened with violence, forced out of jobs
In the battle against COVID-19, public health workers spread across states, cities and small towns make up an invisible army on the front lines.  But that army, which has suffered neglect for decades, is under assault when it’s needed most. Officials who usually work behind the scenes managing tasks like immunizations and water quality inspections have found themselves center stage. Elected officials and members of the public who are frustrated with the lockdowns and safety restrictions have at times turned public health workers into politicized punching bags, battering them with countless angry calls and even physical threats. On Thursday, Ohio’s state health director, who had armed protesters come to her house, resigned. The health officer for Orange County, California, quit Monday after weeks of criticism and personal threats from residents and other public officials over an order requiring face coverings in public.
Coronavirus patients 'treated worse than animals': India court
Supreme Court also expresses concern over handling of bodies as cemeteries and crematoriums hold hurried last rites.
Thermal imaging and e-forms: How Spain will screen for Covid-19 when the travel ban is lifted
If everything goes according to plan, the first tourists will arrive this coming Monday as part of a pilot project in the Balearic Islands. Then, on July 1, Spain will officially lift travel restrictions at the border, including the quarantine requirement. Despite the travel ban, a total of 33,500 people entered Spain during the month of May through air and maritime borders, thanks to exceptions made for specific workers, residents returning to their homes, and certain emergency situations. But this number is expected to soar as soon as the country reopens, and authorities are scrambling to get health teams ready in time to detect all incoming cases.
Norway snubs COVID-19 hotspot Sweden in lifting travel curbs
Norway will allow travel to and from Finland, Iceland and the Swedish island of Gotland from Monday, but maintain travel restrictions on mainland Sweden due to its higher level of COVID-19 cases, amid concerns of a second wave of infections. Denmark, Finland and Norway have lifted some of the controls on leisure travel they imposed to slow the coronavirus pandemic, but have kept most of those imposed on Sweden, the richest and most populous of the Nordic countries.
Canada to mandate temperature checks for airline passengers, Trudeau says
“Temperature checks will not be detecting people with COVID-19,” Trudeau said in a news conference. “It’s an extra layer of safety to encourage people who might feel sick to stay home and not put others at risk.” The screening will be phased in, with those arriving in Canada being screened by the end of June, and then for those leaving the country as well as for domestic travelers at the country’s four biggest airports by the end of July. If a traveler is found to have a fever after two separate measurements 10 minutes apart, they will be asked to rebook after 14 days have passed, the transport minister said.
Healthcare Innovations
Agenda: We should follow Estonia's lead in the digital revolution
BEFORE Covid-19, the Scottish Government was active in fostering existing and new relationships with our Nordic and Baltic neighbours. Now that the world has been turned upside down by the horror of this pandemic, connections with these smaller northern nations seem all the more important in terms of what we can learn from their individual responses to the crisis. Estonia is a case in point, a small nation state with a population of 1.3million, with one of the fastest-growing economies in the EU and one of the highest standards of living in the world. This success is in no small part due to its digitisation and e-governance revolution since becoming independent in the 1990s, adding leading digital nation status to its many accolades.
Repurposing drugs for treatment of Covid-19, Singapore News & Top Stories
As scientists worldwide race to develop vaccines and drugs to prevent and treat Covid-19, some members of the public have resorted to remedies they see on social media which have no basis in science. Accidental injuries have been reported in some countries, where people consumed methanol or snorted disinfectants in the belief that this could prevent infection. There is an urgent need to develop effective and safe drugs against this virus which has wrought havoc around the world.
Several Coronavirus Treatments Besides Remdesivir Show Promise : Shots
Right now, there is only one drug shown by rigorous scientific testing to be helpful for treating COVID-19. That drug is the antiviral medication called remdesivir, made by Gilead Sciences. But remdesivir's proven benefits are modest: reducing hospital stays from 15 to 11 days. So there's an urgent need for better therapies. The good news is that there are some on the horizon. Some are being tested now, some will be begin testing soon, and others are in the beginning of the pipeline.