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"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 26th Mar 2020

Isolation Tips
Staying at home will reduce the spread of #COVID19 and will save lives. But what does that mean? What’s open? What’s closed?
Staying at home will reduce the spread of #COVID19 and will save lives. But what does that mean? What’s open? What’s closed?
Coronavirus: Prince Charles tests positive but 'remains in good health'
The Prince of Wales has tested positive for coronavirus, Clarence House has announced. Prince Charles, 71, is displaying mild symptoms "but otherwise remains in good health", a spokesman said, adding that the Duchess of Cornwall, 72, has been tested but does not have the virus. Charles and Camilla are now self-isolating at Balmoral.
Hygiene Helpers
Washing your hands: University hygiene expert on coronavirus and cultural shifts
Panic buying is underway, the hand washing posters are up, and we’re on the frontline of the coronavirus battle. But just what should we be doing to ensure victory? Here, Dr Derek Watson, Professor in Cultural Management at the University of Sunderland, reveals how this is more about winning a cultural mind-shift war.
Hands down, men worse at bathroom hygiene that prevents coronavirus: Study
The spread of the new coronavirus is shining the spotlight on a little-discussed gender split: Men wash their hands after using the bathroom less than women, years of research and on-the-ground observations show. Only 31% of men wash their hands after they've been to the bathroom surveys show
Community Activities
Coronavirus shortages see elderly look to online good Samaritans
Mr McKee said he stumbled upon a new community support group called Adopt a Nan or Pop connecting the elderly with healthy young people and families. "Sharon and Mel turned up with bags of groceries. Sharon contacts me every day to make sure I'm OK," he said. "My freezer is full, my fridge is full, my pantry is full, just from what they've done for me so far.
BBC announces Culture In Quarantine programming amid Covid-19 lockdown
The BBC has announced a “virtual festival of the arts” that aims to give people access to culture while they isolate themselves in their own homes during the coronavirus lockdown. Cultural content will be made available to the public on television, radio and online as part of the broadcaster’s Culture In Quarantine programming.
Book sales surge as self-isolating readers stock up on ‘bucket list’ novels
Paperback fiction sales rose by 35% last week, with a notable interest in challenging classics. Book sales have leapt across the country as readers find they have extra time on their hands, with bookshops reporting a significant increase in sales of longer novels and classic fiction.
Coronavirus: More than half a million sign up to be NHS volunteers
Boris Johnson hails the public's response and says the volunteers will be "absolutely crucial" in the fight against COVID-19.
'People are so thankful': how delivery drivers became the new emergency service
Just a month ago, they were deemed unskilled workers. Now they are essential in the fight to control coronavirus. But what is it like driving down increasingly deserted streets to make sure everyone – including elderly and vulnerable people – has what they need?
This is the moment a whole street in Southampton sang 'Happy Birthday' to 8-year-old Sophia as people remain at home during the #coronavirus pandemic.
This is the moment a whole street in Southampton sang 'Happy Birthday' to 8-year-old Sophia as people remain at home during the #coronavirus pandemic.
Clitheroe landlady cooks up storm for locals amidst coronavirus outbreak
Laura Smithies, who along with husband Phil, runs the Brown Cow in Clitheroe, is lending a helping hand to residents in and around the town who have been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. Mrs Smithies is providing a selection of main meals, daily, for free, for people self-isolating or those financially affected by the coronavirus,
Var police officers came to the Sainte-Musse hospital, flashing beacons of the lit vehicles, applaud the nursing staff and the hospital staff to thank them and pay them tribute
Just last night, Var police officers came to the Sainte-Musse hospital, flashing beacons of the lit vehicles, applaud the nursing staff and the hospital staff to thank them and pay them tribute (Video HervP ) #confinement #Toulon #COVID19 #herosduquotidien
Amir Khan offers his £5m wedding venue in Bolton to the NHS to treat those affected by coronavirus
Amir Khan has pledged to give his £5m wedding venue in Bolton to the NHS to help those affected by the coronavirus. The Bolton boxer made the announcement on Twitter earlier this afternoon. The 33-year-old said he is prepared to offer up the four-story building as he is “aware of how difficult it is for the public to get a hospital bed at this time”.
Working Remotely
How Covid-19 led to a nationwide work-from-home experiment
Millions of Chinese employees are working from home for the first time, as the nation tackles Covid-19. Will it change conservative corporate culture?
Covid-19 could cause permanent shift towards home working
Covid-19 could permanently shift working patterns as companies forced to embrace remote working by the pandemic find that their employees do not want to return to the office once the closures are lifted.
Tips for working remotely amid COVID-19 | Stanford News
Stanford employees are being asked to work remotely whenever possible amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are some tips to help you do so effectively.
5 Tips for Working From Home Amid COVID-19
We’ve heard all the advice from experts on social distancing and making sure we wash our hands. What we discuss less is the psychological disruption working from home has on millions around the world.
Covid-19: Tips for successful remote working | HRD America
Leaders will need to adopt flexible work options and self-care for themselves – not just their employees
Covid-19: NCSC issues secure remote working guidance
With hundreds of thousands likely to be working remotely for some time, the UK’s NCSC has issued best practice guidance to enable security teams to support them
Video lessons to indoor rugby - how Edinburgh is coping with working from home
People from all over Edinburgh have found themselves spending more time at home than ever before in the wake of government lockdown to avoid the spread of coronavirus. We asked Evening News readers about how they were keeping themselves entertained during this unprecedented period of isolation and working from home
Virtual Classrooms
How Aussie schools are preparing for a COVID-19 shutdown
Officially, public schools, at least in NSW are still open; yet the advice on offer realistically means children for the most part are being kept home. Household broadband is now the primary connector as the nation shuts down. So how well-placed are schools to deal with a surge in demand, particularly in light of the technical glitches with NAPLAN online platform last year?
1.37 billion students now home as COVID-19 school closures expand, ministers scale up multimedia approaches to ensure learning continuity - World
Over the past 10 days, the number of students affected by school and university closures in 138 countries has nearly quadrupled to 1.37 billion, representing more than 3 out of 4 children and youth worldwide. In addition, nearly 60.2 million teachers are no longer in the classroom. Opening the meeting, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay stressed that the “the responsibility to act is a collective one,” and announced the forthcoming establishment of a Global Covid-19 Education Coalition to further mobilize the expertise of multiple partners and strengthen support to national educational responses.
Chandigarh: School classrooms all set to go virtual amid Covid-19 lockdown
Amid the coronavirus outbreak some schools in the Tricity region are moving to the April academic year, albeit digitally. Teachers are recording online assignments and live or recorded classed for senior students. teachers are also sharing activities with their respective classes of other schools. Tools used include live classes, recorded lectures, online worksheets, voice messages, audible stories, daily quizzes and fun tips, vocabulary and maths
'Panic-gogy': Teaching Online Classes During The Coronavirus Pandemic
As colleges across the country pivot online on very short notice, there are a host of complications — from laptops and Internet access to mental health and financial needs. Digital learning experts have some surprising advice: do less.
COVID-19 pandemic | Are virtual classrooms a window into the future?
Besides technical issues, such as broadband and bandwidth, there are other factors that impact the setting up of virtual classrooms. Some of these factors are social and cultural, peculiar to India, over and above the economic factors.
Amid Covid-19 lockdown, Lucknow switches to virtual classrooms
City Montessori School (CMS) is using the Google Classroom platform, a free web service that aims to simplify creating, distributing and grading assignments in a paperless way.
Taking or teaching online classes because of COVID-19? Here are some tips and tricks.
However, these are unprecedented times, and we’re fortunate enough to have unprecedented technology to answer the challenge. As America’s students and educators begin to transition to a virtual classroom, here are a few early notes from my experience.
Local school moves to online learning in response to the coronavirus
It's the middle of March, which is a time for students to typically be in the classroom, but as the coronavirus pandemic has closed schools, it has forced faculty and staff to transition to virtual classrooms. Tandem Friends School officials announced the transition to online classes last Friday, just as Governor Ralph Northam ordered Virginia schools to close for two weeks.
As classes move online during COVID-19, what are disconnected students to do?
Closing schools and transitioning to online learning is critical to stymying the spread of the virus, but experts agree that the transition won’t be easy. Among the many challenges—from providing meals for low-income students to finding child care for essential workers—relying on remote learning and online classes also exposes the country’s deep digital divides. Simply put, too many American children live without essential internet services.
Australian schools and universities preparing for shutdowns over coronavirus
Following a meeting with state premiers on Friday, the prime minister, Scott Morrison, announced mass gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. But schools, universities, public transport and airports were exempt from the advice, Morrison said, because they were essential services.
As COVID-19 pushes classes online, some students are caught in the broadband gap
As COVID-19 spreads within the United States and across the globe, public health officials are calling for fewer public gatherings — which is pushing many activities online. The issue is particularly severe for schools, where the risk of spreading the disease is high. But as many US schools try to shift to online lesson plans, they’re running into the limitations of our threadbare broadband networks, which leave many students unable to connect to their new online classrooms.
Public Policies
Coronavirus: why France is not testing more
A major tool in the fight against the Covid-19 epidemic, testing/screening the population for positive cases has so far been carried out on only a small scal, due to technical and logistical difficulties.
How Germany is helping Europe in the Covid19 crisis
The Federation and Länder are demonstrating European solidarity by treating intensive care patients from Italy and France, helping stranded EU tourists return home and supplying essential materials.
Coronavirus Shutdowns Causing Huge Drops in Traffic, Air Pollution
The novel coronavirus that has caused a global pandemic is also having an enormous impact on the environment, according to new satellite data. As governments around the world have restricted people from moving, industry, air travel and vehicular traffic have grinded to a halt, causing pollution levels to plummet, according to The New York Times.
State aid: Coronavirus: €1.3 billion Danish scheme
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “The self-employed are hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak. With this scheme, Denmark will compensate up to 75% of the expected loss of turnover for the self-employed with a maximum compensation of DKK 23,000 (€3000) per month and per person. The economic impact of the pandemic is severe. In this context, the Commission is working with all Member States to find workable solutions, in line with EU rules.”
Coronavirus: What are new antibody tests bought by government and when will they be available?
Professor Sharon Peacock, director of Public Health England’s National Infection Service, told MPs on Wednesday the tests were being checked for accuracy in laboratories this week and could be ready to use within a matter of days. She said they would be distributed to the public through Amazon and pharmacies. But the UK’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, later dismissed suggestions the kits could be available to buy online as soon as next week. He stressed frontline NHS workers would be prioritised for tests once they are available.
How coronavirus took just weeks to overwhelm Spain
Health workers, who account for about 14% of the country’s coronavirus victims, are complaining about a lack of basic protective equipment; a Madrid ice rink has been converted into a makeshift morgue; and the capital’s flagship conference centre has gone from hosting the Cop25 climate conference to sheltering the sick as it is repurposed into an enormous field hospital.
Telecom companies urge people to 'Stay Home' in messages sneaked onto their phones' home screens
Telecom companies are resorting to new methods to help encourage the world to stay home amid an ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Mobile operators including Vodafone and Orange S.A. have now started to include 'Stay Home' messages in the snippet of text that usually displays network information at the top left corner of one's device.
Covid-19: call for fast-track registration of refugee doctors in UK
Hundreds of refugee doctors have called on the government and the General Medical Council to fast-track their accreditation so they can help the NHS tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. The doctors, who gained their qualifications overseas, say some of them have been forced to work as taxi drivers or in takeaways because the reaccreditation process in the UK takes too long, and is both expensive and onerous.
UK Government launches a WhatsApp 'coronavirus chatbot' to give millions of Britons easy access to information on the ongoing pandemic
WhatsApp has partnered with the UK Government to provide a 'coronavirus chatbot' to offer official guidance to people for free. The service will easily connect millions of WhatsApp users in the UK with information directly sourced from the authorities. It is hoped that the new chatbot service will help reduce the burden on the NHS when it launches, which will be live as soon as the technology can get online. People can use the service by messaging 'hi' to the number 07860064422.
UK government fends off criticism with plan to pay self-employed
The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is expected to announce that the taxpayer will pay self-employed workers up to 80% of their recent earnings to help contain the economic impact of coronavirus, as 470,000 extra benefits claims sparked warnings of an “unemployment crisis”.
Working hours, partial unemployment, paid holidays… Labor law shaken up by ordinances
Three texts to amend the law in the midst of the coronavirus crisis were presented to the French Council of Ministers on wednesday. The rules on working hours and paid holidays will be revised by these proposed changes.
How the Pandemic Will End
In 2018, I wrote a story for The Atlantic arguing that America was not ready for the pandemic that would eventually come. In October, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security war-gamed what might happen if a new coronavirus swept the globe. And then one did. Hypotheticals became reality. “What if?” became “Now what?”
Hospitals consider universal do-not-resuscitate orders for coronavirus patients
The conversations are driven by the realization that the risk to staff amid dwindling stores of protective equipment — such as masks, gowns and gloves — may be too great to justify the conventional response when a patient “codes,” and their heart or breathing stops.
The Coronavirus Crisis: Care Homes Look After Some of Our Most Vulnerable – They Must Be Prioritised
On Monday, the Spanish Defence Ministry said that elderly patients in retirement homes had been found abandoned and, in some cases, dead in their beds by the military while it was disinfecting care homes. Fortunately, the situation in the UK looks much better and the sector more resilient, but we must ensure that care home managers and staff are properly supported at this difficult time.
Maintaining Services
10 Covid-busting designs: spraying drones, fever helmets and anti-virus snoods
Companies the world over are directing their ingenuity at the fight against the coronavirus. Here are the front-runners, from sanitising robots to a 3D-printed hospital ward
Aldi paying staff 10% bonus to say thanks for work during coronavirus pandemic
Aldi is set to pay a 10% bonus to its workforce across the country, it has emerged. The German supermarket is a huge employer across Birmingham and throughout the Black Country, as well as the wider Midlands. The retailer is offering a 10 per cent bonus to its staff members across the UK. It comes in a bid to say thanks for working hard during the coronavirus pandemic which is currently sweeping the UK, forcing a huge lockdown. Aldi said the extra money will be backdated to March 9, 2020.
Coronavirus Ireland: Aer Lingus to fly Airbus A330 planes to China 60 times to collect medical supplies
Aer Lingus is to fly five of its largest aircrafts packed with health supplies from China in a daily coronavirus mercy mission for Ireland. Dozens of its pilots who volunteered to help with the humanitarian operation were sorting their visas in the Chinese Embassy in Dublin on Wednesday. The airline plans to send over its Airbus A330 passenger planes to Beijing up to 60 times to collect medical equipment ordered by the HSE. And the Aer Lingus' crew made up of pilots and engineers won't be able to get off the aircraft - as they'll be quarantined if they do.
‘Risk of danger to residents’ prompts some Toronto condos to ban Airbnbs amid COVID-19 crisis
After years of struggling or failing to stop their buildings from being used as de facto hotels for short-term rental operators, some Toronto condos are finally banning Airbnbs because of concerns about the spread of COVID-19.
Coronavirus: New antibody tests will be given to NHS staff and key workers first
Fifteen-minute tests to determine whether people have had a case of coronavirus – and therefore are thought to be immune – will be given to NHS staff and key workers as a priority, according to the chief medical officer. The government has purchased 3.5 million tests for coronavirus antibodies, which are currently being assessed for accuracy. If they work, the tests would allow doctors and nurses to determine whether they could return to work – and, in the long term, see social distancing restrictions relaxed sooner.
Ocado introduces strict delivery rules amid UK lockdown - can you still order Waitrose?
Ocado is an online supermarket that is widely known for delivery products from retailers including Waitrose. The coronavirus - also known as COVID-19 - pandemic has led to a UK-lockdown, which has caused a demand in delivery services, and the company has introduced new rules for customers.
London construction sites halt work to ease Tube pressure during coronavirus pandemic
Major construction sites across London halted work today to ease pressure on the transport network but Tube carriages remained dangerously overcrowded on some lines this morning. Sadiq Khan said the London Underground was 30 per cent less busy in the early rush hour compared with yesterday, but medical staff took to social media to complain of being hemmed into carriages packed with non-essential workers.
UK government orders 10,000 ventilators from Dyson
Britain has ordered 10,000 medical ventilators designed at breakneck speed by vacuum cleaner-maker Dyson, billionaire founder James Dyson said, as the country tries to boost the number of devices available to treat coronavirus patients.
Healthcare Innovations
Dyson and Airbus expect green light to start making ventilators
The companies will start making up to 30,000 ventilators from next week to help the NHS fight Covid-19
Coronavirus test: UK to make 15-minute at-home kits available within days
New 15-minute home test kits for coronavirus will be made available to the British public within days, said a Public Health England (PHE) director. Thousands of tests will be sold in chemists such as Boots or delivered by Amazon to people with symptoms who are self-isolating as soon as next week. Professor Sharon Peacock, director of the national infection service at PHE, told MPs on the science and technology committee that once the tests are cleared, they will be “distributed to the community”.
Coronavirus: Turning windscreen wiper motors into emergency ventilators
A group of Spanish innovators is attempting to alleviate the Covid-19 ventilator crisis by developing an ultra-simple machine that uses a car windscreen-wiper motor to turn a manual resuscitation bag into automated breathing aid. The machine can be made in four hours by an untrained person, using simple materials such as wood, acrylic or aluminium. “You don’t need special tools. All you need is a saw,” says Lluís Rovira Leranoz, a Barcelona-based robotics maker at prototyping company Protofy, one of the leads on the OxyGEN project.
Coronavirus vaccine: Slow mutation suggests jab could offer ‘immunity for a long time’, says scientist
‘The mutation rate of the virus would suggest that the vaccine developed for Sars-CoV-2 would be a single vaccine, rather than a new vaccine every year like the flu vaccine,’ molecular geneticist says
Isinnova shares 3D printed adapter to turn snorkeling mask into a non-invasive ventilator
It’s been only a few days since the world learned about the life-saving effort by a young team of engineers to design and 3D print venturi valves in order to save COVID-19 patients’ lives at an Italian Hospital. As further recognition that 3D printing has the potential to deliver fast solutions in emergency situations, the Isinnova team now developed and successfully tested a 3D printed adapter to turn a snorkelling mask into a non-invasive ventilator for COVID-19 patients.
UK coronavirus home testing to be made available to millions
Prof Sharon Peacock, the director of the national infection service at PHE, told MPs on the science and technology committee that mass testing in the UK would be possible within days, saying evaluation of the fingerprick tests should be completed this week. The government later took a more cautious line, saying that the tests would not be available so quickly. The UK government has bought 3.5m tests – which reveal whether someone has had the virus and is therefore thought to have some immunity – and is ordering millions more, it has said.
Coronavirus map LIVE: New hospital to open in just DAYS as death toll hits 422
CORONAVIRUS death-toll has soared in the UK today accelerating calls for a new hospital to be built to deal with the influx of new patients, with London's Excel centre being eyed as the location for a 4000 bed field hospital in a bid to deal with the crisis.
Coronavirus: How Germany became Europe’s first country to flatten the curve
High levels of testing, age of patients and a strong healthcare system may explain country’s low coronavirus mortality rate,
FDA will allow doctors to treat critically ill coronavirus patients with blood from survivors
The Food and Drug Administration will allow doctors across the country to begin using plasma donated by coronavirus survivors to treat patients who are critically ill with the virus under new emergency protocols approved Tuesday.
VR firm to urgently retrain 15,000 NHS workers to cope with coronavirus
A British virtual learning start-up plans to retrain more than 15,000 NHS nurses, doctors, cleaners and porters over the next two weeks to help them deal with an expected deluge of coronavirus cases. Virti, a Bristol-based virtual and augmented reality firm with offices in Texas and California, said it was in talks with NHS trusts in south-west England to rapidly instruct medical and support staff on how to protect themselves from Covid-19.
Fast, portable tests come online to curb #coronavirus pandemic
RT @Sciguy999: Fast, portable tests come online to curb #coronavirus pandemic Note: @US_FDA Warns Consumers Against At-Home Coronavirus Testing
NHS data 'not sophisticated enough' to identify all those at high risk from covid-19
Trusts and GPs are being asked to help identify patients at high risk from coronavirus because the NHS’ central data sets are “not sophisticated enough” to track all vulnerable groups, NHS England has said.
[Updating] Italian hospital saves Covid-19 patients lives by 3D printing valves for reanimation devices
Italian hospital saves Covid-19 patients lives by 3D printing valves for reanimation devices. The supply chain was broken, staff and the 3D printing machine rose to the occasion