"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 22nd Jun 2020

Isolation Tips
Quarantine salad: 'What two weeks in an isolation hotel has taught me about eating well with less'
In the hotel food is provided, left outside your door three times a day and signalled by a little knock. I will not complain about the food. I know they’re trying to appease everyone with the rotation of meals – sushi, roast beef and polenta, and Greek salad with smoked salmon are among some of the fancier dishes. A Russian roulette of global cuisine in 14 days, as chosen by catering companies assigned to feed the masses. Admirable.
Kerrisdale kids illustrate children's book for charity on isolating during COVID-19
A class of Grade 1 and 2 students in Vancouver's Kerrisdale neighbourhood have helped create a children's book about staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The book, Why am I Still at home? A curious tale of quarantine, features stories and pictures that take the reader through the joys and challenges for families isolating at home. Helena McShane, an author and communications manager, says she began writing the story early into her family's self-isolation. "It came together pretty quickly," said McShane. "You know there's a lot of kind of funny situations in a day that us parents aren't quite used to having, so it was kind of an unstoppable writing project."
When we were quarantined
Three months into the COVID-19 way of life, even as a national crisis of conscience rises up alongside a still surging pandemic, writers are doing what they are compelled to do: create new narratives. Often those take the shape of essays, flash poetry or novels still in gestation. But with enough time now gone by, we can also discern a rising meta-narrative from daily accounts like those collected here — a series of quarantine diaries The Times began to commission a week into California’s shutdown.
Hygiene Helpers
COVID-19: Supporting your recovery
This resource has been developed by a group of multi-disciplinary health professionals at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals. The purpose of the website is to support patients with their initial recovery once discharged from hospital following treatment for COVID-19. Although hospital admission is referred to throughout this resource, it can also be used for patients who remain in their own homes and we hope that the information and advice provided will assist all patients and their families starting their rehabilitation journey following COVID-19. This information should not replace any individual advice you may have received on discharge from hospital. If you have any concerns about ongoing or worsening symptoms, please seek advice from either your GP or the NHS 111 website.
NYC virus tracing off to a bumpy start: report
New York City’s effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus through contact tracing has been hampered by the reluctance of some people with the virus to provide information to tracers
Pope says coronavirus should spark new environmental awareness
The drastic reduction in pollution during coronavirus lockdowns around the world should lead to greater concern for the environment as restrictions are lifted, Pope Francis said on Sunday. At his Sunday address in St. Peter’s Square, Francis said the pandemic made many people reflect on their relationship with the environment. The square reopened to the public a month ago and Italy’s last travel restrictions were lifted on June 3. “The lockdown has reduced pollution and revealed once more the beauty of so many places free from traffic and noise. Now, with the resumption of activities, we should all be more responsible for looking after our common home,” he said, using his term for the Earth.
California mandates masks for most public activity as coronavirus numbers surge
Face coverings are "critical to keeping those who are around you safe, keeping businesses open and restarting our economy," Gov. Gavin Newsom said.
Community Activities
Afghan health workers deliberately targeted during pandemic: UN
A UN report registered a dozen attacks on health workers at the height of Afghanistan's coronavirus outbreak. Targeting the health care system during the pandemic was ''particularly reprehensible,'' the world body said.
Under lockdown, LGBTQ Russians were more isolated than ever. Then, the Zoom parties started
On April 12, hundreds of people logged in to Zoom. The organizers asked attendees to shout out where they were from. The chat pinged with cities and regions all over Russia, the former Soviet Union and beyond. “People weren’t afraid to turn their cameras on,” said Dyakova. “They were dancing in their underwear, waving LGBTQ flags, and the atmosphere of acceptance was fully present.” The 350-person gathering provided many young people with a means to escape the claustrophobic situations they had suddenly found themselves in.
Coronavirus: Why the new 'normal' is merely a thin veneer
It now looks likely the UK will suffer a longer lockdown than European neighbours, a worse economic hit and a higher death toll.
Working Remotely
How to request to continue working remotely after COVID-19
Our recent work-from-home report showed that two-thirds of folks who were forced to work remotely would prefer to be in the office. But that leaves the remaining one-third, who aren’t looking forward to coworkers who chew loudly and don’t understand the concept of inside voices. If you fall into that group, you might be considering asking your manager if you can continue to work remotely even once everyone else goes back to the office. Some companies, including tech giants such as Twitter, are adjusting their work-from-home policies. But others just won’t. If your company doesn’t plan on letting people continue to work remotely, you’ll have to ask.
More than one-third in Japan have worked remotely amid coronavirus pandemic: survey
A Japanese government survey has found 34.6 percent of respondents experienced teleworking due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Cabinet Office said Sunday. The survey also showed that many young residents in the Tokyo metropolitan area are interested in moving to other regions. In the Tokyo area, 55.5 percent of the respondents regularly or sporadically worked remotely. Regarding what should be done to further the spread of teleworking, many mentioned changes to staff meetings and decision making, digitization of documents and accelerated moves to paperless offices, as well as improvements in access to internal systems at companies.
Older Americans face another pandemic risk: Most can't work remotely despite COVID-19
Mari Madlem says she has plenty of worries about going back to work during the coronavirus pandemic. But the 69-year-old from Portland, Oregon, doesn’t have the option of telecommuting since she works as a cosmetics saleswoman at an upscale department store. “I really have a lot of contact with people,” she says, adding that she’s anxious about whether co-workers and customers will take precautions like wearing masks. “If I don't go back, I'm out of work.” Despite her fears, Madlem is planning on returning because her monthly Social Security benefit of $1,240 isn’t enough to live on. Although her employer hasn’t given her a return date, she expects to be back at the store this summer.
Working from home: The pros, cons and potential pitfalls of it becoming permanent
Employers had to scramble when the pandemic took hold in mid-March, emptying out workplaces and sending workers home to do their jobs for what was expected to be at most two or three months. But the coronavirus outbreak has persisted, productivity hasn’t taken a big hit, and a large percentage of workers actually prefer skipping the commute. More employers are extending remote work assignments, and in some cases, planning to make them permanent. “Some of my clients are thinking about more permanent remote work situations. I have one client who is giving up all leases and letting everyone work remotely,” said Elizabeth Wylie, a partner at Snell & Wilmer in Denver specializing in employment law.
Experts say Canadians permanently working from home should expect salary changes
When Mark Zuckerberg hosted a townhall in late May with Facebook‘s 48,000 employees, some were tuning in from new cities they had scrambled to move to as the pandemic hit. Zuckerberg had a clear message for them: if you plan to stay, expect a change to your pay. “That means if you live in a location where the cost of living is dramatically lower, or the cost of labour is lower, then salaries do tend to be somewhat lower in those places,” he said on the video conference, where he announced more employees would be allowed to work remotely permanently. Zuckerberg gave Canadian and American workers until Jan. 1, 2021 to inform the company about their location, so it can properly complete taxes and accounting and use virtual private network checks to confirm staff are where they claim.
Zoom sees 900% user growth in UAE as remote working picks up amid Covid-19
“At Zoom, we continue to have conversations with the region’s governments about how [it] is a valuable tool that helps increase productivity and growth, meets the highest standards of security for its users, and can support the development of a digitally-based global economy,” Sam Tayan, managing director for the Middle East and Africa at Zoom, said. The company is “leaning into the Gulf and is very optimistic about the growth potential in the Middle East", he added. In March, UAE authorities eased restrictions on the usage of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) platforms including Microsoft’s Skype, Google Hangouts and Zoom to facilitate remote work and distance learning amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The internet is so bad in this community some people drive to Zoom meetings
Working from home during COVID-19 has highlighted the internet woes in the Musquodoboit Valley
Virtual Classrooms
Better training needed to instruct classes online in Newfoundland and Labrador: teachers
Some teachers in the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District (NLESD) say they are frustrated and concerned with the lack of training for teachers on how to deliver online education. “They’re spinning wheels. They’re not focused on the problem,” said Teacher 1, who was granted anonymity in fear of repercussions for speaking out. Come September, the teacher says, if the COVID-19 pandemic keeps the doors of the schools closed, teachers will not be prepared to teach classes online. “(Teachers) had one day of training on Google Meet and Google Classroom,” Teacher 1 said, adding that no actual teaching happens on these platforms. “Google Classroom is just a place (where) teachers make comments and go in and post notes,” Teacher 1 said. “There’s no actual (teaching) going on, it’s just a platform to communicate with the students.”
America wasn't ready to move school online.
After three months of school closures, data about the impact of the coronavirus on learning is starting to trickle in. It’s far from reassuring.
How Covid has impacted higher education sector
Covid-19 pandemic-impacted higher education will be different mainly in the mode of teaching and evaluation. Nationally there was a call for a de facto switch to virtual teaching, learning and evaluation, pushing a huge number of teachers into an unfamiliar mode. Online mode, formerly allowed only in open universities and varsities graded 3.5 onwards, is now licensed for all universities to run their UG and PG programmes accordingly.
Virtual tour replaces parents’ class ritual
Several reputable schools have abandoned an age-old practice parents look forward to: their first meeting with the teachers after their child’s entry into a school. The interactive session has gone virtual. The visit to the school, sitting in the classroom and meeting the teachers have been replaced by a presentation and sometimes a virtual tour of the campus that schools have prepared to give parents an introduction to what is expected of them and what schools do. Institutions like Modern High School for Girls, South Point School and Mahadevi Birla World Academy conducted an orientation programme with parents online for the first time this year.
Failure in the Virtual Classroom
The remote-learning experiment isn’t going well. This month the University of Washington’s Center on Reinventing Public Education published a report looking at how 477 school districts nationwide have responded to the Covid-19 crisis. Its findings reveal widespread neglect of students. The report found only 27% of districts required teachers to record whether students participate in remote classes, while remote attendance has been abysmal. During the first two weeks of the shutdown, some 15,000 Los Angeles students failed to register attendence
Public Policies
All Covid cases to now be put in institutional quarantine in Delhi
Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal Friday issued an order making five days of institutional quarantine “mandatory” for “each case under home quarantine”, while striking down a Delhi government contract with a private home healthcare company for remote monitoring of patients under home isolation.
Covid 19 coronavirus: Quarantined travellers angry at being sent to Rotorua with no warning
Returning travellers are outraged after hopping on a bus they thought was going to Auckland's CBD for managed quarantine - but ended up in Rotorua. They say they were given no warning of where they were going and weren't given any time to go to the toilet or even get a bottle of water before being herded onto the bus. "Everyone responded in disbelief, they thought it was some kind of joke. But it became clear once we really were out of the city limits that we were on our way to Rotorua," one traveller, who did not want to be named, told the Herald. The Government's National Emergency Management Agency confirmed two new managed isolation facilities had been set up in Rotorua this weekend to cater for more arrivals.
Garuda to drop face masks after passengers complain they can’t see cabin crew’s smiles - The Jakarta Post
National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia is planning to replace the face masks worn by its flight attendants with an alternative form of personal protective equipment (PPE) after passengers complained that the masks affected their perception of the cabin crew’s hospitality. Since the airline resumed domestic flights on May 7, flight attendants have worn face masks and gloves as part of the health protocols put in place to prevent COVID-19 transmission. However, Garuda president director Irfan Setiaputra said the company received many complaints from passengers saying that they could not see the faces of the cabin crew clearly when they had face masks on.
Coronavirus: Palestinian Authority closes two West Bank cities after virus spike
The Palestinian Authority on Saturday said it was temporarily closing the cities of Hebron and Nablus in the occupied West Bank to contain the spread of coronavirus after a sharp rise in infections. "The government decided to close the governorate of Hebron to prevent anyone from entering or exiting, with the exception of the transport of merchandise," Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said. He told a news conference that Hebron would be closed for five days and Nablus for 48 hours, AFP reported.
Saudi Arabia to reopen Mecca mosques as cases surpass 150,000
Saudi Arabia will allow more than 1,500 mosques to reopen in the holy city of Mecca more than three months after they were closed to congressional prayers. The Ministry of Islamic Affairs said Friday that personal prayer rugs and social distancing will be required among worshippers. Gulf News reports that volunteers have posted signs on carpets showing the distances that must be kept during prayers. Saudi Arabia confirmed an additional 4,301 cases of the virus Friday, bringing the total 150,292. Health officials say 1,184 people have died of the virus.
Germany struggles to impose local lockdowns as coronavirus infections spike
Authorities in Germany’s Goettingen and North Rhine Westphalia regions have called on police to enforce quarantine measures following a rise in local coronavirus infections and trouble getting people to adhere to isolation rules. Health authorities needed police reinforcement to maintain lockdown conditions at a tower block in Goettingen after a riot broke out on Saturday where around 700 people had been placed into quarantine. “Around 200 people tried to get out, but 500 people complied with quarantine rules,” Uwe Luehrig, head of police in Goettingen, said at a press conference on Sunday. In the ensuing fracas, eight police officers were injured after residents started to attack law enforcement officials with bottles, fireworks and metal bars, Luehrig said.
Trump urges slowdown in COVID-19 testing, calling it a 'double-edge sword'
U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday told thousands of cheering supporters he had asked U.S. officials to slow down testing for the novel coronavirus, calling it a “double-edged sword” that led to more cases being discovered. In his remarks, Trump used terms such as “Kung Flu” virus and “Chinese virus” to refer to COVID-19. “That name gets further and further away from China, as opposed to calling it the Chinese virus,” he said.
Public Health Experts Reject President’s View of Fading Pandemic
Contrary to Trump’s recent comments, specialists say, recent increases are real, and the virus is like a “forest fire” that will burn as long as there is fuel.
Coronavirus Attacks the Lungs. A Federal Agency Just Halted Funding for New Lung Treatments.
The shift, quietly disclosed on a government website, highlights how the Trump administration is favoring development of vaccines over treatments for the sickest patients.
Dubai allows foreign tourists to enter from July 7
Those entering would have to present certificates to show they had recently tested negative for the coronavirus. Citizens and residents would be permitted to travel abroad from Tuesday June 23
Spain reopens its borders as state of emergency comes to an end
Passengers wearing masks and wheeling suitcases arrived at Madrid’s main airport and French people crossed the border to buy bargain alcohol and tobacco on Sunday as Spain opened its borders to most European countries and ended a state of emergency imposed to contain COVID-19.
Covid 19 coronavirus: Ashley Bloomfield moves to allay fears as fifth case confirmed in a week
Director general of health Ashley Bloomfield is seeking to allay fears about catching Covid-19 from people in isolation in light of five confirmed cases in the past week in returnees in managed isolation or who have just left isolation. It appears the fears of some residents living in 149 Stamford apartments about potential contact with returnees may have scuppered a new six-month deal the Stamford hotel had with the Government as an isolation facility. Hotel staff last night told some residents they had been ordered to close the hotel and would be losing their jobs. The hotel and apartments have separate entrances, and the only shared space would have been the service lift and emergency exit.
‘We've Done the Impossible:' Emotional Cuomo Clears NYC for Phase 2 in Last Daily COVID Briefing
Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave the final go ahead for New York City’s entry into Phase II Monday during an impassioned address on Friday, his final daily COVID briefing after 111 straight since New York City confirmed its first case on March 1.
U.K. lowers coronavirus alert level to 'epidemic' from 'exponential'
The Joint Biosecurity Centre recommended the Covid-19 alert level should move to level 3 - a Covid-19 epidemic is in general circulation - from level 4. The United Kingdom has a Covid-19 death toll of more than 50,000 based on official data including fatalities where it is mentioned on death certificates, making it one of the worst hit countries in the world.
Singapore lifts most virus lockdown restrictions
Malls, gyms, massage parlours, parks and other public facilities reopened their doors on Friday in Singapore after nearly three months of coronavirus lockdown. While observing strict social distancing and healthy safety rules, Singaporeans can wine-and-dine at restaurants, work out at the gym and hold social gatherings of up to five people with the removal of most lockdown restrictions. Tuition classes also resumed, except for singing lessons. Minor prohibitions remain including contact sports and places of worship.
Mexico virus cases, deaths continue high, reopening remote
The planned next stage of reopening of businesses in Mexico appeared to be put off once again Friday, as new confirmed cases and deaths continued at near-record levels. The Health Department reported 5,030 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 647 more deaths, both numbers down just slightly from Thursday. The daily death toll has been hovering around 700 for much of this week, while the daily case load increase has hovered near 5,000. Mexico now has 170,485 confirmed cases and 20,394 deaths, though both numbers are considered undercounts due to extremely limited testing. The country had been hoping to authorize a broad new round of openings for businesses like hotels, restaurants and shopping malls. But authorities in Mexico City, which has been hardest hit by the pandemic, said hospital occupancy and case numbers had not decreased to the point where reopening malls and street markets would be possible. The city has about 70% of its hospital beds occupied.
Costa Rica halts reopening as coronavirus infections rise
Costa Rica’s government will halt reopening the country’s economy due to an increase in the number of coronavirus cases over recent days, a senior official said on Friday, in a blow to the Central American nation which has already lost 100,000 jobs. “These are not numbers to think that nothing is wrong and that we can continue with the reopening,” Health Minister Daniel Salas said during a news conference. Over the last 24 hours, Costa Rica has registered a record 119 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 2,058. Twelve people have died from the highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the virus.
Argentina battles coronavirus spike as pandemic grips poverty-hit 'villas'
The early success Argentina had in slowing the pandemic is in the balance, with new cases soaring in recent weeks and a new daily record set on Thursday. The total has more than doubled to nearly 38,000 since the start of June, though it still stands well below the number of cases in neighboring countries including Brazil and Peru. The official death toll is nearing 1,000, while President Alberto Fernandez was put into partial isolation at his official Olivos residence this week due to the risk from rising cases. The government, unnerved by the recent surge, has moved to contain the spread. Some villas have faced periods of mandatory isolation, while authorities have done mass testing programs, first in Villa 31 and then in other vulnerable areas. "Thanks to these tests we are now learning about the number of infected we have," said Daniel David López, a resident of the Fuerte Apache villa and president of the Santa Clara football club.
Ireland says international quarantine to remain at least until July 9
Ireland’s 14-day quarantine for people arriving from other countries will remain in place at least until July 9 and the government will review the issue at a meeting next week, acting prime minister Leo Varadkar said on Friday. “My ambition ... is to reopen between countries where the virus is as suppressed as it is here, but we want to do that in a coordinated fashion with other European countries, but that hasn’t quite happened yet,” Varadkar told journalists.
Ireland speeds up plan to reopen economy
Ireland on Friday announced another acceleration of the reopening of its economy from COVID-19 restrictions, with the reopening of churches, gyms and team sports brought forward to June 29, acting prime minister Leo Varadkar said. Gatherings of up to 50 people indoors and up to 200 people outdoors will be allowed from June 29 with gatherings of up to 100 people indoors and 500 people outdoors from July 20, he said.
Switzerland lifts most remaining coronavirus restrictions
From Monday 22, events drawing up to 1,000 people will be allowed (as opposed to 300 at present), provided contact tracing can be guaranteed. Only gatherings of more than 1,000 remain banned until the end of August. Restrictions on when businesses such as bars and restaurants can be open will also be lifted. People will no longer be required to sit down inside. From tomorrow civil and political gatherings and demonstrations will be allowed but people are required to wear masks. The government is also ending its recommendation that people work from home wherever possible. It will be up to employers to decide and put the necessary safety measures in place.
Macron wants to find quick agreement on EU recovery fund in July: French official
French President Emmanuel Macron told European Union leaders it was necessary to find a quick agreement on a proposed 750 billion-euro recovery fund in July to maintain the current momentum, a French official said on Friday. Failing to agree on the recovery plan would send the wrong signal, Macron said, according to the same official. In the same call with EU leaders, the French president added that out of 750 billion euros, preserving the 500 billion euros in grants was France’s top priority, in line with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. France finds possible and legitimate to link grants with national reforms, though not through Troika-type mechanism, the official added.
Covid-19 news: UK coronavirus alert level lowered from four to three
The UK’s chief medical officers today said the country’s coronavirus alert level has reduced from four to three. This level of the alert system corresponds to the virus being in general circulation, but at a level where it’s possible to gradually relax some restrictions. However, restrictions in England have already been progressively relaxed throughout June, even while the alert level remained at four – which corresponds to high or exponentially rising levels of the virus and warrants continued social distancing. For the first time, the government today published the daily rate at which coronavirus infections are growing, alongside the UK’s R number, which remains unchanged at around 0.7 to 0.9. For the UK as a whole, the growth rate is believed to be anywhere between -2 per cent and -4 per cent, meaning that infection numbers are declining slightly. At a regional level there is a chance that new cases may be growing in London. However, the government’s science advisers believe that growth in infection numbers is unlikely.
Nation's capital could move to phase 2 reopening next week
Mayor Muriel Bowser said Wednesday that she would make a final decision and announcement on Friday. But if the numbers continue "trending in the right direction," Bowser said she expects to launch phase two next week. Playgrounds, libraries, gyms and nail salons would be able to reopen on a limited basis. All nonessential businesses would be allowed to let customers inside up to 50% capacity. Restaurants will be able to seat diners indoors, also at 50% capacity. "We always have the ability to turn up or turn down our reopening," Bowser said. "This virus is not gone. It is still here. It is still spreading."
Maintaining Services
UK reviews social distancing rules as COVID-19 cases fall
The review follows warnings from the hospitality sector that businesses and jobs could be severely affected when they reopen if the current restrictions remain in place.
Britain's 14-day quarantine for foreign travellers is 'completely useless', top scientist warns
Professor Peter Piot said the rule would damage to the economy for no benefit. He is the director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Caught the virus himself, and says quarantine rule would have worked in March.
Quarantine: airport coronavirus test proposed to swerve self-isolation
An airport ground-handing company is asking the government if travellers arriving in the UK could gain exemption from self-isolation by taking a Covid-19 test. Swissport is proposing that a £140 test, claimed to be to NHS hospital standards, should replace the need for a passenger to remain at home for 14 days from the day following arrival. On 8 June, mandatory quarantine began for almost all arrivals at UK airports, ferry ports and international rail terminals.
Coronavirus: Hairdressers wait for reopening instructions while Britons learn to make do
Desperation to be done with dodgy lockdown hairdos has prompted a surge of home cuts but it's thought they may not always be the work of a fellow householder. The sight of certain footballers, television stars and MPs emerging with neatly coiffed hair has prompted questions about how they managed to get a trim during the COVID-19 pandemic. Clive Collins is director of 25 Hob salons across the country and has been inundated with calls for him to break the rules, while he is forced to keep his doors closed and his income at zero.
High risk of coronavirus second wave as Australian shops and workplaces reopen, report says
Workplaces pose a high risk of triggering a resurgence of Covid-19 cases in Australia, which means people should continue to work from home as long as they can, a report from public policy thinktank the Grattan Institute says. Published on Sunday evening, the report, Coming out of Covid-19 Lockdown: the Next Steps for Australian Health Care, says schools can safely remain open as long as policies are in place to reduce the risk of outbreaks.
Apple to shut some U.S. stores again due to rising COVID-19 cases
Apple Inc said on Friday it is temporarily shutting some stores again in Florida, Arizona, South Carolina, and North Carolina in the United States, as novel coronavirus cases continue to rise in the country. Shares of the company, which said the closure would affect 11 stores in these states, were down 0.5%. Apple had planned to reopen about 100 U.S. stores, mostly with curbside pickup but some with walk-in service, in late May as lockdown restrictions began to ease. However, cases in the United States have been steadily rising, with over 2.2 million people infected and at least 118,396 people dead.
Coronavirus: R number jumps to 1.79 in Germany after abattoir outbreak
A public health institute confirmed the rate was now far above what is needed to contain the outbreak over the longer term.
Coronavirus: 75 staff at Anglesey chicken plant positive
More workers have tested positive for coronavirus after an outbreak at a chicken factory on Anglesey. All staff at the 2 Sisters meat processing plant in Llangefni are self-isolating after a number of workers were confirmed to have the virus on Thursday. On Saturday the number had risen to 75, Public Health Wales confirmed. Health officials said the number of cases were expected to rise and samples have been taken from about 350 staff. Testing sites were set up at Llangefni and Holyhead, and at an existing facility in Bangor, following the outbreak. All staff and contractors working at the processing plant, which has 560 workers, have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days, and are being contacted for testing.
Mannequins and decontamination chambers: Future of dining after coronavirus
Mannequins will be set up at tables, customers will have to undergo temperature checks and there will be plenty of outdoor dining when the coronavirus lockdown is eased to allow bars and restaurants to finally reopen
Spain to 'freely' welcome Britons without 14-day Covid-19 quarantine
The Spanish government has said British visitors will not need to undergo a 14-day quarantine when the country reopens its borders, and called on the UK government to show similar reciprocity. Travellers from the EU and Schengen area will be allowed back into Spain from Sunday as the country’s three-month state of emergency ends. Although the Madrid government had previously said it was considering a two-week quarantine for UK visitors in response to Britain’s decision to require all international arrivals to self-isolate for 14 days, it announced on Saturday evening that they would be “freely” welcomed back to Spain.
How England is planning to reopen pubs and restaurants
Under possible new measures drinkers could be encouraged to order pints on smartphone apps and pubs could be patrolled to ensure social-distancing measures are enforced. The plans don't automatically apply in Wales, however, where it is still unclear when and how pubs and restaurants will reopen. Yesterday Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford announced the country's largest easing of restrictions yet, allowing non-essential retail to reopen on Monday along with certain other sectors. No timeline was given for the hospitality sector though, with the industry only being told that discussions would take place around the next review of restrictions on July 9. This week restaurant and cafe owners in Wales called for clarity for the industry, with some saying they are being forced to consider redundancies as a result of the uncertainty. Wales will also end the five-mile restriction on travel next month and allow holidaymakers to return a week later.
Nursing homes represent more than 1 in 4 COVID-19 deaths in US
As federal data collection becomes more robust, a clearer picture is emerging of the ravages of COVID-19 in nursing homes.
How Safe Is Flying in the Age of Coronavirus?
With many governments loosening travel restrictions to restart economies, airlines have begun restoring flights that were put on hold as the coronavirus pandemic spread. Business is slow, as would-be passengers worry about being stuck in a cabin for an extended time with possibly infectious strangers. The record shows the risks aren’t negligible.
Airlines' legal challenge of UK quarantine policy to be heard early July, lawyers say
A legal challenge by British Airways (ICAG.L), easyJet (EZJ.L) and Ryanair (RYA.I) against the UK government’s decision to introduce a 14-day quarantine for travellers will be heard in early July, barristers involved in the case said on Friday. “The airlines claim that the regulations are irrational and disproportionate. A hearing has been listed for early July,” Blackstone Chambers said in a statement.
Poland to lift restictions on numbers of aircraft passengers
Poland will allow aircraft to fly with all their seats occupied as of July 1, Deputy Prime Minister Jadwiga Emilewicz has said. However, critics have argued that it is too early to lift all restrictions as it could trigger more infections leading to deaths. Poland has been easing lockdown restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic and opened its borders with other European Union countries on June 13. Despite that many countries have opened their economies, the epidemiological threat has not subsided yet and virus hotspots have sprouted in various parts across the world. In Poland, over 31,300 people have been infected so far resulting in over 1,300 deaths and more than 15,000 recoveries. Around the world, the virus has infected over 8.6 million, resulting in over 457,000 deaths and more than 4.5 million recoveries.
French celebrity chef unveils elaborate anti-COVID restaurant ventilation system
French celebrity chef Alain Ducasse on Thursday unveiled a novel air ventilation system in one of his smallest Parisian restaurants to try to overcome the distancing restrictions related to the coronavirus. The system, which has cost 50,000 euros to install at the Allard, on Paris’ chic left bank, aims to dramatically reduce the risk of airborne virus transmission using technology from hospitals — with a touch of Parisian style. Ducasse unveiled the system ahead of a French government announcement later this week on the opening of restaurant interiors to diners,
Healthcare Innovations
Glaxosmithkline's coronavirus vaccine starts human trials | Business
A coronavirus vaccine being developed in partnership with Glaxosmithkline has begun human clinical trials. The FTSE 100 drugs company is providing its adjuvant technology as part of a collaboration with Clover Biopharmaceuticals, of China. After promising pre-clinical results in animals, the vaccine has begun a phase one study in Perth, Australia. Glaxo and Clover are planning a more in-depth phase two trial, which it is hoped will start later in the year. The partnership with Clover is one of several Covid-19 vaccine projects involving Glaxo, which also include a venture with Sanofi, of France. Glaxo, based in west London, is a leading player in the global vaccines market, along with Sanofi and the American companies Merck and Pfizer.
NHS Pathways coronavirus triage
This is a summary of the assessments completed using NHS Pathways in support of NHS 111 and 999 telephone services, and NHS 111 online, where potential coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms were reported.
Longitudinal Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 RNA Among Asymptomatic Staff in Five Colorado Skilled Nursing Facilities: Epidemiologic, Virologic and Sequence Analysis
SARS-CoV-2 emerged in 2019 and has become a major global pathogen in an astonishingly short period of time. The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 also has been notable due to its impacts on individuals residing within skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) such as rehabilitation centers and nursing homes. SNF residents tend to possess several risk factors for the most severe outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection, including advanced age and the presence of multiple comorbidities....
Genomewide Association Study of Severe Covid-19 with Respiratory Failure
We identified a 3p21.31 gene cluster as a genetic susceptibility locus in patients with Covid-19 with respiratory failure and confirmed a potential involvement of the ABO blood-group system.
From Oxford to an Italian lab, one race for coronavirus vaccine is gaining backers
Oxford manufactured its own vaccine for use in the earliest small trial known as Phase 1. But for the far larger ongoing trials — involving tens of thousands of people — it turned to Advent, a division of a larger group known as IRBM, which for a decade has focused on making one particular type of experimental vaccines, using adenoviruses. The notion of having a vaccine so quickly — when the process of experimentation and approval normally takes a decade — might have seemed fanciful at the beginning of the outbreak. But given the scale of the pandemic and the speed at which scientists are racing ahead, European countries are lining up behind the Oxford University project, saying the early signals give grounds for optimism.
Nigerian researchers announce COVID-19 vaccine
"The vaccine is real. We have validated it several times. It is targeted at Africans, but will also work for other races. It will work. It cannot be faked. This is a result of the determination. It took a lot of scientific efforts," Kolawole told reporters at Adeleke University in Nigeria's Eda state Friday. "The population of those that need vaccines is more than those that need drugs. That is why the research focused on a vaccine," he noted. The study that the vaccine was based on was initially funded by the Trinity Immunodeficient Laboratory and Helix Biogen Consult, Ogbomosho, with roughly 7.8 million Nigerian nairas ($20,000), according to the report. Kolawole went on to say that his team had worked extensively on the virus's genome from samples across Africa to select the best potential vaccine candidates. The researchers of the team had made the possible latent vaccine constructs, Kolawole revealed, without naming the vaccine. He added that it would take a minimum of 18 months to release the vaccine for widespread use, due to a large amount of research, analysis and approvals required by medical authorities.
New Study Casts More Doubt on Swedish Coronavirus Immunity Hopes
Sweden's hopes of getting help from herd immunity in combating the coronavirus received a fresh blow on Thursday, when a new study showed fewer than anticipated had developed antibodies. Sweden's has opted for a more liberal strategy during the pandemic, keeping most schools, restaurants, bars and businesses open as much of Europe hunkered down behind closed doors. While Health Agency officials have stressed so-called herd immunity is not a goal in itself, it has also said the strategy is only to slow the virus enough for health services to cope, not suppress it altogether. However, the study, the most comprehensive in Sweden yet, showed only around 6.1% of Swedes had developed antibodies, well below levels deemed enough to achieve even partial herd immunity.
Fergus Walsh: At last some good news about coronavirus
The study that dexamethasone is part of is called Recovery - Randomised Evaluation of Covid-19 Therapy. Clinical trials usually take months, even years to get under way and involve a few hundred patients. The Recovery trial was set up in nine days, and has recruited 11,500 Covid patients in 175 hospitals across the UK. Speed was vital in order to catch the rising wave of hospital admissions here and to do so before doctors were overwhelmed. The UK has had Europe's worst coronavirus outbreak with a terrible death toll. But that has also meant there were sufficient patient numbers here to create what is the world's biggest trial of Covid-19 treatments. The trial is led by Prof Peter Horby, who had spent recent years looking at how best to prepare for and respond to disease X, an unknown pathogen that could cause a pandemic.
China Publishes Coronavirus Genome Data After Latest Beijing Outbreak
Details published on China's National Microbiology Data Center website revealed the genome data was based on three samples - two human and one environmental - collected on June 11. That was the same day Beijing reported its first new local COVID-19 infection in months. In the eight days since, the city has reported a total of 183 cases, linked to the sprawling wholesale food centre of Xinfadi in the city's southwest. "According to preliminary genomic and epidemiological study results, the virus is from Europe, but it is different from the virus currently spreading in Europe," Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) official Zhang Yong said in an article published on Friday. "It's older than the virus currently spreading in Europe."
CureVac Begins Human Trials of Optimized mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine
CureVac AG (Tübingen, Germany) has received regulatory approval from the German and Belgian authorities to initiate Phase 1 clinical trial of its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate. CureVac, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a new class of transformative medicines based on optimized mRNA, has received approval from the German Health Authority Paul-Ehrlich-Institute (PEI) and the Belgian Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMHP) to begin the Phase 1 clinical trial for its vaccine program to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. The trial will be conducted in Germany and Belgium.
Rules for Clinical Trials in a Pandemic
A new study finds that adding a simple steroid to the treatment of severe Covid-19 cases can significantly reduce deaths. That’s another milestone in the battle against the virus. It shows a path for reducing Covid deaths faster through medical innovation and for keeping the health-care system from being overwhelmed as the epidemic spreads.The U.S., unlike Europe and Asia, seems to have decided not to crush the virus but try to reduce its spread to a controllable level.
You May Have Antibodies After Coronavirus Infection. But Not for Long.
It’s a question that has haunted scientists since the pandemic began: Does everyone infected with the virus produce antibodies — and if so, how long do they last? Not very long, suggests a new study published Thursday in Nature Medicine. Antibodies — protective proteins made in response to an infection — may last only two to three months, especially in people who never showed symptoms while they were infected. The conclusion does not necessarily mean that these people can be infected a second time, several experts cautioned. Even low levels of powerful neutralizing antibodies may still be protective, as are the immune system’s T cells and B cells.