"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 17th Mar 2020

Community Activities
BBC halts plans to charge over-75s for licence fee due to coronavirus Millions of pensioners have begun receiving letters telling them that they must pay the £157.50 fee from June, but this is now on hold
BBC halts plans to charge over-75s for licence fee due to coronavirus Millions of pensioners have begun receiving letters telling them that they must pay the £157.50 fee from June, but this is now on hold
UK hotels could be turned into hospitals during the coronavirus outbreak
Rob Paterson, chief executive officer of Best Western Great Britain, said: "We are in unprecedented territory so we would be willing to take unprecedented steps to support the national effort. "If the NHS wants additional bed space, and we can partner with other companies to provide the right medical equipment and supplies, and we can do it safely, then we would be willing to start having those conversations immediately. "Whatever we can do to help."The move would create additional bed space for the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Supermarkets to introduce shopping hours for elderly
Lidl and Tesco are to introduce dedicated shopping hours for older and vulnerable customers. The German discount retailer will prioritise elderly customers from 9am to 11am each day starting tomorrow. There will be prioritised queuing and additional assistance in-store for customers. Lidl says the measure is to help protect more vulnerable shoppers due to increased demand and has asked all customers to respect the dedicated shopping hours each morning. A run of coronavirus panic-buying has gripped several countries, emptying shelves of basic goods despite pleas by authorities to stop.
For millions of low-income seniors, coronavirus is a food-security issue
For older people with sufficient resources, the message is clear: stay home, stock up on food and supplies, and avoid group activities. However, these recommendations fail to address the struggle of millions of low-income older adults who lack access to healthy food and adequate nutrition on a daily basis. And although social distancing is necessary to help limit the spread of the virus, anything that deters people from accessing group meals at senior centers or food banks puts low-income seniors in danger of malnutrition and hunger. Millions of them also typically cannot afford to stock up on food or supplies, and if they can, many need transportation assistance to and from grocery stores. In light of this, federal, state, and local responders need to consider targeted solutions to ensure that food-insecure and socially isolated older adults (as well as other populations with barriers to food access) can stay fed and healthy during the crisis.
How to survive coronavirus lockdown as a parent, especially moms who carry the burden
Whether children are in or out of school, the threat of the coronavirus has made managing family life a much bigger job. Odd are, moms are taking on more of this emotional and domestic labor. On top of this, women are more likely to do what experts call "worry work," An expert explained. Moms are more likely than dads to anticipate the needs of the family and plan ahead for worst case scenarios. (Listen closely, and you can hear the hum of "what's next?" on a constant loop in most moms' heads.) Start tag teaming -- splitting work days and house management as much as possible, and it is making life much better. If there is a silver lining in all this, or at least a lesson that we might want to impart to our kids, it's this. In our cities, our workplaces, our classrooms, and our homes, we are being forced to realize that life works better when we can depend on one another. Parents: When you tell your children to wash their hands, don't just say they need to do it in order keep themselves or the family healthy. Tell them they need to wash their hands in order to keep everyone healthy, and explain why. Then maybe leave a note for an elderly neighbor asking if they could use any help.
Coronavirus: PM says everyone should avoid office, pubs and travelling
The key new government measures are: a) Everyone should avoid gatherings and crowded places, such as pubs, clubs and theatres b) Everyone should work from home if they can c) All "unnecessary" visits to friends and relatives in care homes should cease d) People should only use the NHS "where we really need to" - and can reduce the burden on workers by getting advice on the NHS website where possible f) By next weekend, those with the most serious health conditions must be "largely shielded from social contact for around 12 weeks" g) The UK is now "three weeks" behind Italy - the worst-hit country in Europe h) If one person in any household has a persistent cough or fever, everyone living there must stay at home for 14 days i) Those people should, if possible, avoid leaving the house "even to buy food or essentials" - but they may leave the house "for exercise and, in that case, at a safe distance from others" j) Schools will not be closed for the moment
Amazon ramps hiring, opening 100,000 new roles to support people relying on Amazon’s service in this stressful time
Company will invest over $350 million globally to increase pay by $2/hour in the U.S., £2/hr in the UK, and approximately €2/hr in many EU countries for employees and partners who are in fulfillment centers, transportation operations, stores or those making deliveries so that others can remain at home.
What it's like to have coronavirus: A first-hand account from CBS News' Seth Doane
"I coughed a little bit, just enough to worry the people I was with here. We were out working covering this story. I started to have a little bit of a cough that worried me. For the most part, I feel okay. As we know, this is a deadly virus. It can be incredibly serious, a major respiratory illness. So far I've been lucky. I've had a chest pressure almost like you feel like you've done a big chest workout. I've had a little bit of a cough. I had a relatively mild fever. I've had kind of weird aches and pains in places I'm not used to. But honestly, I feel like I've had colds and flus worse than this. I've never been totally out for the whole day in bed. I've been up, able to talk with people. So for me, luckily, it's been quite mild.
Working Remotely
Hit the precaution button not the panic button
1) Restrict handshakes and practice ‘hello’ from a great distance. 2) Ask your employees to practice sneezing and coughing etiquette 3) Clean your workplace desk or workstation often 4) Promote hygienic washroom practice 6) Disseminating tissues, dustbin and pocket sanitizers to the employees 7) Hygienic office canteen 8) Basics First - Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Coronavirus: Stuck At Home? Here’s The Tech To Get You Through It
If you find you suddenly have some unexpected time at home, there are technological solutions to help you make the most of it. This applies for keeping in touch, video-conferencing that meeting with your colleagues, or FaceTime calls to friends and family, especially if they’re overseas. But the right gadgets can make your sudden enforced solitude more pleasant, too, from using your iPad to watch Netflix if the TV in your bedroom isn’t up to snuff to installing a video doorbell so you don’t need direct contact with the guy at the door.
Coronavirus: 8 ways to look after your mental health
1 - Seek accurate info from legitimate sources 2 - Set limits on news about COVID-19 3 - Look after yourselves 4 - Reach out to others and support those around you 5 - Maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking 6 - Acknowledge your feelings 7 - Take time to talk to the children about COID-19 8 - Ask for professional support if and whenever you need it
What Can Be Learned From 'Virtual' Firms as Coronavirus Necessitates Remote Work? | The American Lawyer
Brick-and-mortar firms weren't built with remote work in mind, say the leaders of distributed firms, so they face obstacles both physical and cultural as more attorneys log in from home to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Virtual Classrooms
Coronavirus: Simple tips for better online teaching
1. Record your lectures - don't stream them - 2. Show your face during the teaching session 3. - Keep videos short 4 - Test out slides 5. - Using exisiting resources 6. Make sure they are open access 7. Give specific instructions 8. Provide interactive activities 9. Set reasonable expections 10. Use auto-checking to measure attendence 10. - Use group communication carefully 11. - Let students take control 12 - Don't hide your feelings & Repeat
Middle East discovers value of the virtual classroom amid coronavirus threat
In the UAE, where more than 80 coronavirus cases have been reported so far, the Ministry of Education ordered the closure of all schools and universities for a period of four weeks starting from March 8. Soon afterwards, Saudi Arabia’s education ministry announced the closure of all educational institutions, including public and private schools as well as technical and vocational training institutes. Many institutions in the Kingdom intend to ensure uninterrupted education through digital learning methods in tandem with other measures to reduce the spread of the virus through movement and public interaction.
All students could soon be learning in 'virtual classrooms'. Here's how they work
The virtual school uses Adobe Connect to web conference, Office 365 and G-Suite for cloud-based document sharing and classwork. Teachers issue and mark homework using OneNote, where they can supervise student progress with tasks in real time. Students can break out into smaller online discussion groups and teachers can mute the class to communicate one-on-one with a student who needs help. Each teacher works with a headset, laptop, desktop computer, webcam and a document camera - which functions like a digital projector - but principal Chris Robertson said they could carry out most tasks with a laptop alone. Students also have access to Oliver, a fully digitised school library whose librarian works on the NSW South Coast, and the school can reach thousands of students at a time with live streams. Last year it reached over 25,000 primary school students during two live online presentations on eSafety, and streamed HSC workshops to 11,000 senior school students via 654 simultaneous online connections.
NYC Plans To Feed All Students, Deliver Laptops For Remote Learning
The grab-and-go program is one of the main tenets of Mayor Bill de Blasio's schools shutdown plan. As pressure mounted over the past week to close schools during the novel coronavirus outbreak in the city, de Blasio repeatedly emphasized that one major obstacle was the fact that hundreds of thousands of public school students depend on the free breakfasts and lunches offered at school. On Sunday de Blasio announced that schools are closed through the end of Spring Break on April 20th, and they may remain shuttered for the rest of the school year. Remote learning is to begin March 23rd for the system's 1.1 million students. Meanwhile, the grab-and-go program rolled out Monday morning and is available every weekday from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to any child under 18, no matter what school they actually attend, be it charter, private or public, Carranza said. The city is also running the program at every school site for this week, and students don't need to go to their actual home institution but can pick up the food at whatever school is convenient. The plan is to then switch to centralized hubs for food service as the city does during summer breaks.
How a top Chinese university is responding to coronavirus
Although online teaching is no longer a novelty, we are aware that not all faculty members are equally adept at harnessing related technology and managing virtual classrooms. As part of the quality assurance process, ZJU organized a series of training sessions in mid-February for 3,670 faculty members. An instructor of one of our most popular MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) courses was invited to demonstrate how he adapted pedagogy to online tuition and forged a strong sense of community. Student success is what online teaching efforts are all about. It is, therefore, crucial to ensure no one is left out. Seeking to bridge the digital divide, since January ZJU has funded access to online learning for more than 1,000 disadvantaged students. The university has also negotiated deals with several network providers to subsidize the data plans of its faculty and students. For students without access to live streaming or grappling with shaky internet connections, ZJU provides them with lecture playbacks and courseware packages.
COVID-19 pushes universities to switch to online classes—but are they ready?
While the work to transition face-to-face instruction to online environments would mean an initial massive increase in working hours, the results for some educators and some students so far are promising. In the emerging and ever-changing COVID-19 context, New York University Shanghai and Duke Kunshan University offer examples of successful adaptation and rapid deployment of educational technology products, like the video-conferencing platform Zoom and online course provider Coursera. Significantly, these universities had existing experience with these technologies that they were able to expand; they weren't starting from scratch with new and untested tech solutions.
Healthcare Innovations
COVID-19 Vaccine Test Begins With US Volunteer
“We’re team coronavirus now,” Kaiser Permanente study leader Dr. Lisa Jackson said on the eve of the experiment. “Everyone wants to do what they can in this emergency.” The Associated Press observed as the study’s first participant, an operations manager at a small tech company, received the injection inside an exam room. Several others were next in line for a test that will ultimately give 45 volunteers two doses, a month apart. “We all feel so helpless. This is an amazing opportunity for me to do something,” said Jennifer Haller, 43, of Seattle. She’s the mother of two teenagers and “they think it’s cool” that she’s taking part in the study.
'Healthcare on brink of collapsing': Doctors share stories from inside the Italy coronavirus quarantine
I'm just back from Italy and "enjoying" my first day of self-isolation. Getting a real picture of how bad the situation is, especially in Lombardy and the north, has been really difficult for TV news because movement is so restricted, access to the overwhelmed hospitals impossible and the danger of infection so great. But it's really important people understand just how bad things are, not least because it is where we may be headed. So I will continue to write here about conversations, emails or recordings with those who are still under quarantine in Italy. Some will be Britons who have stayed on, some Italians, some doctors. I start with a voice recording of two Milanese doctors speaking on WhatsApp about the situation at their hospitals.
They’ve Contained the Coronavirus. Here’s How.
Since identifying the first infections (all imported) on their territories — on Jan. 21 in Taiwan and on Jan. 23 in both Hong Kong and Singapore — all three governments have implemented some combination of measures to (1) reduce the arrival of new cases into the community (travel restrictions), (2) specifically prevent possible transmission between known cases and the local population (quarantines) and (3) generally suppress silent transmission in the community by reducing contact between individuals (self-isolation, social distancing, heightened hygiene). But each has had a different approach.
Wuhan-style hospital could be built from scratch in Milan as area runs short of facilities amid coronavirus outbreak
A 500-bed Wuhan-style hospital could be built from scratch in Milan to resuscitate coronavirus patients as northern Italy runs out of facilities to keep the most seriously ill alive. As the region grapples with a wave of critical cases that shows no sign of slowing down, Lombardy governor Attilio Fontana said the new hospital would be “fundamental” for the region’s capacity to treat urgent patients. “The progression [of the contagion] continues, so it’s clear we have to prepare ourselves to create many new resuscitation beds,” he said last night. Lombardy is at the epicentre of Europe’s biggest Covid-19 outbreak, with Italy the second worst-hit country after China, seeing 24,747 cases and 1,809 deaths by yesterday.
Imperial College Modelling Paper - Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID19 mortality and healthcare demand
Two fundamental strategies are possible: (a) mitigation, which focuses on slowing but not necessarily stopping epidemic spread – reducing peak healthcare demand while protecting those most at risk of severe disease from infection, and (b) suppression, which aims to reverse epidemic growth, reducing case numbers to low levels and maintaining that situation indefinitely. Each policy has major challenges. We find that that optimal mitigation policies (combining home isolation of suspect cases, home quarantine of those living in the same household as suspect cases, and social distancing of the elderly and others at most risk of severe disease) might reduce peak healthcare demand by 2/3 and deaths by half. However, the resulting mitigated epidemic would still likely result in hundreds of thousands of deaths and health systems (most notably intensive care units) being overwhelmed many times over. For countries able to achieve it, this leaves suppression as the preferred policy option.
Ten-Minute Coronavirus Test for $1 Could Be Game Changer for Africa
Using technology from home pregnancy and malaria tests, its saliva and finger-prick kit could be ready for sale by June for less than $1 apiece. In Africa, they will be manufactured in Senegal by diaTropix, a newly built diagnostics manufacturing facility run by the director of the Pasteur Institute, Amadou Alpha Sall, who has led training around the continent for coronavirus testing. “We are ensuring that these tests are made accessible at the cost of manufacture,” said Joe Fitchett, medical director of Mologic, which received a $1.2 million grant from the U.K. government to develop the test.
Ventilator Maker: We Can Ramp Up Production Five-Fold
“We could increase production five-fold in a 90- to 120-day period,” says Chris Kiple, chief executive of Ventec Life Systems, a Bothell, Wash. firm that makes ventilators used in hospitals, homes and ambulances. He’d have to tool up production lines, train assemblers and testers and get parts. Accelerating the parts delivery might be the toughest task, he says. The ventilator industry is getting a burst of desperate orders from China and Italy. The U.S. hasn’t seen that yet, although manufacturers are bracing for it. “The time for action by the government is now,” says Kiple. “[Covid] is most likely to get worse next fall.”
Coronavirus Treatment Beings Human Trials in China
China has kick-started a clinical trial to speedily test a drug for the novel coronavirus infection as the nation rushes therapies for those afflicted and scours for vaccines to protect the rest. Remdesivir, a new antiviral drug by Gilead Sciences Inc. aimed at infectious diseases such Ebola and SARS, will be tested by a medical team from Beijing-based China-Japan Friendship Hospital for efficacy in treating the deadly new strain of coronavirus, a hospital spokeswoman told Bloomberg News Monday. Trial for the drug will be conducted in the central Chinese city of Wuhan — ground zero of the viral outbreak that has so far killed more than 360 people, sickened over 17,000 in China and spread to more than a dozen nations. As many as 270 patients with mild and moderate pneumonia caused by the virus will be recruited in a randomized, double-blinded and placebo-controlled study, Chinese news outlet The Paper reported on Sunday.
Isolation Tips
Hong Kong to quarantine arrivals from all foreign countries
Travellers arriving in Hong Kong from any foreign country from Thursday will be put under home quarantine, the city’s leader has said, as she extended a red travel alert to cover all overseas nations. Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor noted on Tuesday that the coronavirus outbreak had become a pandemic , and the total number of infections abroad had exceeded the total in China. She said that in the previous two weeks, Hong Kong had recorded 57 new infections, 50 of them imported. “If we exclude these imported cases, we only have seven local cases in the past week,” she said.
Covid-19: Everything you need to know about social distancing
For those of us not in self-isolation, social distancing is one of the ways we can stop the spread of Covid-19. This is a step by step guide explaining how to do it.
Coronavirus latest: UK told to stop non-essential contact and avoid public spaces
Key points from the Prime Minister's announcement were: a) Anyone living with someone who has a cough or a fever should also stay at home for 14 days b) All people should work from home if they can and avoid unnecessary travel c) The Government will no longer support mass gatherings with emergency workers d) People should avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other social gatherings e) Those classed as 'vulnerable' will be asked to remain at home for 12 weeks f) Schools are not being closed yet
Social distancing prevents infections, but it can have unintended consequences
What effects, if any, might be caused by social distancing in response to the coronavirus is an open question. “I have a couple competing hypotheses,” Holt-Lunstad says. “On the one hand, I am concerned that this will not only exacerbate things for those who are already isolated and lonely, but also might be a triggering point for others to now get into habits of connecting less.” A more optimistic possibility, she says, is that heightened awareness of these issues will prompt people to stay connected and take positive action. “We’d love to be collecting data on that,” she says.
How to Prevent Loneliness in a Time of Social Distancing
Recent research by the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health paints a more nuanced picture: how you use such platforms seems to matter more than how much you do so. We can all benefit from developing digital habits that support meaningful human connections—especially now that it may be our only option until the outbreak calms. Whether you are quarantined, working remotely or just being cautious, now is the perfect time to practice using technology in socially healthy ways.
Hygiene Helpers
Coronavirus elderly advice: How can I look after my older relatives?
Age UK says it is also important to think of "practical" ways to help, such as running errands on relatives' behalf or picking up supplies such as food and medication. Simon Hewett-Avison, from charity Independent Age, also says families need to make sure elderly people have the supplies they need but urges a "balanced approach" rather than panicked stockpiling. Both the government and supermarkets have urged people not to stockpile goods. Carers UK says those who cannot visit elderly relatives should think of other ways of spending time together - setting up a family group chat, for example, or playing games online. "If online communication isn't possible, never underestimate the value of a regular simple phone call to offer social contact and support," it says.
European distillers turn to making sanitisers to tackle shortage (paywall)
Spirits makers from France’s Pernod Ricard to small craft gin distilleries in the UK are joining efforts to boost production of hand sanitisers to help fight the spread of the coronavirus. The move comes as the UK government prepares regulatory changes to aid a switch in production, and as healthcare systems, businesses and customers in Europe struggle to secure to procure sanitisers, as well as other medical supplies, as infection rates rise. Stocks of isopropyl alcohol, a vital ingredient for hand gels and alcohol wipes, is also in short supply in Europe, with prices for the chemical jumping sharply.
Coronavirus guidance
If you have paid care workers, cleaners or other helpers coming into the home of the person you care for: Ensure that they are following stringent hygiene and infection control measures as set out by the NHS. If they are employed through an agency and you have any doubts, contact the agency to ask them about what protective measures they are taking. Talk to the person you care for about the hygiene and infection control measures they should expect someone coming into their home to follow. They should not be afraid to insist that these are followed. If possible, ensure soap is made readily available and towels are frequently changed.
Reducing the spread of coronavirus starts with basic hygiene
Turns out Mom was right. Health experts say the best, simplest ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that has killed more than 3,200 people and affected more than 100,000 around the world, follow the tried and true cold-season admonishments given out for generations. Wash your hands. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Avoid touching your face. Stay home if you are sick. But some of the advice has gotten a little more specific. COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets, which typically travel about three to six feet and settle on surfaces, where they can live for a few hours up to several days, according to the World Health Organization. There is a risk of catching the disease by inhaling those particles, but there is a more significant risk of getting it by touching surfaces, such as desks, handrails, or doorknobs, where those droplets may have settled. “The disease transmission goes from a cough or sneeze to a surface to your hand to your face, and that’s how people get infected,” said Paul Biddinger, director of the Emergency Preparedness Research, Evaluation, and Practice Program, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “Good hand washing really matters. If people cough or sneeze into their elbow, that limits the spread of respiratory secretions. What all of us can do together is follow basic hygiene measures that will actually slow the spread of disease in communities.”
Social enterprises help out with coronavirus across Asia
After teaming up with a local partner and activating a network of volunteers, Soap Cycling now provide hygiene kits and masks to about 3,000 of the city’s 21,000 street cleaners. Other businesses for good are tackling education.This week, Hong Kong prolonged its suspension of schools until April but with an artificial intelligence )AI) learning platform that can be accessed from tablets or phones at home, more than 12,000 students in China, Hong Kong and Vietnam are continuing to learn. “When serious disruption occurs, from natural disasters to outbreaks of disease, education has traditionally suffered drastically,” said Priya Lakhani, founder of London-based Century Tech, which offered its product for free to affected students.
Public Policies
Is the government moving fast enough on coronavirus? – podcast
Britain has changed its approach to the coronavirus outbreak after coming under intense pressure as surrounding countries raise their response levels, close schools, shut borders and put in place measures for social distancing. Britain had moved more slowly, with medical experts preparing for the long haul and recommending a more gradual scaling up of policy responses. But yesterday it stepped up its response with a series of new guidelines. The Guardian’s health editor Sarah Boseley has been talking to scientists who defend both approaches and tells Anushka Asthana that a definitive answer is simply not possible, but the pressure is now mounting on the UK to show its modelling data and explain why it is diverging.
Romney proposes sending $1,000 checks to every American to ease coronavirus economic pain
GOP Sen. Mitt Romney proposed on Monday sending every American adult $1,000 to ease the financial pain of the coronavirus pandemic that has tanked global markets and threatens to grind U.S. economic activity to a halt. “While expansions of paid leave, unemployment insurance, and SNAP benefits are crucial, the check will help fill the gaps for Americans that may not quickly navigate different government options,” Romney said in a statement. In an opinion article in The Wall Street Journal published earlier this month, Harvard University economist Jason Furman proposed sending $1,000 to every taxpaying resident or citizen, and $500 to every child.
COVID-19: unravelling the host immune response
Using next-generation sequencing tools, scientists are exploring how SARS-CoV-2 interacts with the immune system to better understand the disease, identify those at higher risk, and minimize its impact.

"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 18th Mar 2020

COVID19 News Highlights

  • The head of the Australian Medical Students' Assocation suggested integrating the country's medical students into the fight against coronavirus
  • T-Mobile says it plans to ramp up bandwidth and speeds for customers as the coronavirus forces them to work remotely from home
  • In Argentina, teaching educational software company GOSchool is offering its virtual classroom services to schools across the country for free
  • Nature Medicine says researchers have found the novel SARS-CoV2 virus, commonly referred to as CVID19, is a product of natural evolutionary selection and is not a laboratory construct or purposefully manipulated
  • In Italy, an experiment in aggressive testing for coronavirus of all 3,300 inhabitants of the town of Vo, near Venice, regardless of symptoms, has helped completely stop the spread of the illness
  • CBS News reported that the Executive Director of the U.S. National Nurses United, Bonnie Castillo, said that 'nurses are being asked to reuse masks due to shortages'
  • Israeli scientists at the IIBR believe they've completed the initial phase of a vaccine for COVID-19, though, a number of trials still have to be conducted before it could be deemed as safe
  • A combination of two anti-HIV drugs have proved successful in coronavirus positive cases in Rajasthan
  • An academic study indicates that over the counter anti-malaria med Chloroquine may be highly effective at treating the coronavirus
  • Dutch scientists say they have found an antibody against COVID19 at Erasmus MC and Utrecht University
  • UK doctors are criticising the government for not letting the NHS test staff
  • U.S. Treasury Secretary said that the U.S. could see a global unemployment rate of 20% as coronavirus plunges the economy into a recession
  • In Italy, there are the first signs of a slowing down in the rate of spread in the coronavirus
Community Action
'A potential solution': Training doctors ready to join fight
Australia’s 17,000 medical students are ready to join the coronavirus fight, the head of the Medical Students’ Association says, but must be integrated carefully to avoid long-term damage to patients and the health system.As Australia prepares for a worst-case scenario of 15 million coronavirus infections, Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday announced 20,000 student nurses would enter the workforce immediately.
To Track Virus, Governments Weigh Surveillance Tools That Push Privacy Limits
As the country scrambles to control the rapidly spreading coronavirus, government agencies are putting in place or considering a range of tracking and surveillance technologies that test the limits of personal privacy. The technologies include everything from geolocation tracking that can monitor the locations of people through their phones to facial-recognition systems that can analyze photos to determine who might have come into contact with individuals who later tested positive for the virus, according to people familiar with the matter. Data-mining firm Palantir Inc., which was credited with helping to find Osama bin Laden, is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to model the virus outbreak. Other companies that scrape public social-media data have contracts in place with the agency and the National Institutes of Health, documents show.
Giant Stores In Maryland Modify Hours, Add Time For Older Adults
The grocery store chain with 91 stores in Maryland is changing some of its operations due to the new coronavirus - with time set aside to allow the elderly and most vulnerable the chance to shop first thing
What’s the Risk of Coronavirus to Pregnant Women? Gynaecs Explain
Dr Priya Jayachandran, who works in Rajiv Gandhi Government Hospital in Chennai, however, tells The Quint that while studies are yet to be conducted on this, expectant mothers are generally at a higher risk of contracting respiratory diseases. “Pregnant women sometimes have low immunity and need more oxygen than women who are not pregnant. This makes them susceptible to respiratory infections like flu. While there is no need to panic, expecting mothers should take precautions.”
Working Remotely
Chinese students flock home as coronavirus shuts Western campuses
Packed onto a plane full of fellow Chinese students heading home from the United States, 20-year-old Harvard University undergraduate Roger Zhang wore goggles to ward off the coronavirus for hours until they became just too uncomfortable. Zhang is among tens of thousands of overseas Chinese students making the journey back to China, where the coronavirus emerged late last year, as fears of it grip Western countries and schools and campuses shut their gates. "I can't predict the future, but it has seemed relatively more under control in China," the Shenzhen native told Reuters.
T-Mobile has a plan to temporarily hike the speed of its 4G LTE and 5G networks during the crisis
With the coronavirus forcing adults to work from home and students to stream virtual lessons, T-Mobile expects demand for its network capacity to rise sharply causing traffic bottlenecks and slower data speeds. To prevent excess traffic from slowing its 4G LTE data speeds, T-Mobile is borrowing 600MHz spectrum to increase capacity. By renting the additional 600MHz spectrum, T-Mobile will increase its 4G LTE capacity allowing those working or studying from home to experience faster data speeds than they might have otherwise had to deal with. And with T-Mobile possibly using the borrowed 600MHz holdings for both 4G LTE and 5G, the additional airwaves are very much welcome especially in markets where it can be quickly put to use. The companies loaning the spectrum to T-Mobile include Bluewater; Channel 51; Comcast; Dish; Grain Management affiliate NewLevel, LLC; LB Holdings and Omega Wireless, LLC. This list includes half of the 10 largest holders of 600MHz spectrum in the U.S. The spectrum will be borrowed by T-Mobile for a period of 60 days.
Coronavirus, what are the necessary protocols to follow for work? What are the best recommendations for businesses, what rules must employees follow
Il Fatto Quotidiano lists and explains the 13-point worker protocol backed by the government, unions and business - which details safety best practices for employees during the current coronacrisis
Virtual Classrooms
Faced with the suspension of teaching educational software company GoSchool offers its virtual classroom services for free to schools across the country
With the measures being implemented by the national government in the face of the advance of the Covid-19 coronavirus, leading to the suspension of classes at different educational levels throughout Argentina, many now realise they need to turn to virtual classrooms and teaching. Although there are free resources, the platforms have a certain complexity for those who are not accustomed to their use, which generates a predisposition on paid services. In this framework, a Mendoza-based company, GoSchool, dedicated to improving and streamlining academic management, has decided to offer its virtual classroom software at no cost to schools and teachers across the country to face quarantine.
Coronavirus in Argentina: virtual classrooms, apps and social networks so that the children are up to date while there are no classes
Coronavirus in Argentina: virtual classrooms, apps and social networks so that the children are up to date while there are no classes. Some schools are already sending content and activities online, but in many others the implementation of virtual classrooms has been delayed. As another prevention measure against the advance of the coronavirus , which in Argentina has already caused two deaths and more than 50 infections, the national government announced several prevention measures on Sunday night, including the suspension of classes until 31 of March.
In Uruguay, ANEP and Ceibal have created a virtual classroom to cover classes for two weeks
The National Administration of Public Education ( ANEP ) reported that during the two-week suspension of classes, by government decision to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, the educational centers will remain open with four-hour shifts in administrative, management, service or teacher support. Meanwhile, the 1,026 rural schools across the country will remain closed. For this reason, ANEP together with Ceibal have created a virtual classroom so that the children can take advantage of the time on these days and talking to a teacher is encouraged. It will be switched on from this Tuesday; and although there is no obligation to enter the website, families are encouraged to get their children to use it during the suspension of classes.
Healthcare Innovations
Researchers say COVID-19 product of ‘natural evolution’ not a ‘laboratory construct’
According to the journal Nature Medicine, researchers have found that the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus, also commonly referred to as COVID-19, is a product of natural evolutionary selection and is not a “laboratory construct or purposefully manipulated” coronavirus. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19. The new research into the origins of the virus comes as the COVID-19 pandemic has infected more than 190,000 people globally, killing more than 7,500 around the world. Cases of the virus have been confirmed in all 50 states in the U.S.
Lessons From Italy’s Hospital Meltdown. ‘Every Day You Lose, the Contagion Gets Worse.’
The coronavirus is pushing a wealthy region with high-tech health care toward a humanitarian disaster. The coronavirus is devastating Bergamo and pushing a wealthy region with high-tech health care toward a humanitarian disaster, a warning for the U.S. and other developed countries. The city’s experience shows how even advanced economies and state-of-the-art hospitals must change social behaviors and prepare defenses ahead of a pandemic that is upending the rules.
Medical company threatens to sue volunteers that 3D-printed valves for life-saving coronavirus treatments
A medical device manufacturer has threatened to sue a group of volunteers in Italy that 3D printed a valve used for life-saving coronavirus treatments. The valve typically costs about $11,000 from the medical device manufacturer, but the volunteers were able to print replicas for about $1. A hospital in Italy was in need of the valves after running out while treating patients for COVID-19. The hospital’s usual supplier said they could not make the valves in time to treat the patients, according to Metro. That launched a search for a way to 3D print a replica part, and Cristian Fracassi and Alessandro Ramaioli, who work at Italian startup Isinnova, offered their company’s printer for the job
Aggressive testing helps Italian town cut new coronavirus cases to zero
An infection control experiment that was rolled out in a small Italian community at the start of Europe’s coronavirus crisis has stopped all new infections in the town that was at the centre of the country’s outbreak. Through testing and retesting of all 3,300 inhabitants of the town of Vò, near Venice, regardless of whether they were exhibiting symptoms, and rigorous quarantining of their contacts once infection was confirmed, health authorities have been able to completely stop the spread of the illness there.
MetroHealth Medical Center can now test COVID-19 samples, results available in 2 hours
MetroHealth Medical Center becomes the first hospital in the state that can now test COVID-19 samples at its laboratory with results available after just two hours. MetroHealth President Akram Boutros said supplies are limited and the hospital is working with its vendors to obtain the supplies needed to expand testing.
Coronavirus cases have dropped sharply in South Korea. What’s the secret to its success?
South Korea has emerged as a sign of hope and a model to emulate. The country of 50 million appears to have greatly slowed its epidemic; it reported only 74 new cases today, down from 909 at its peak on 29 February. And it has done so without locking down entire cities or taking some of the other authoritarian measures that helped China bring its epidemic under control. Behind its success so far has been the most expansive and well-organized testing program in the world, combined with extensive efforts to isolate infected people and trace and quarantine their contacts. South Korea has tested more than 270,000 people, which amounts to more than 5200 tests per million inhabitants—more than any other country except tiny Bahrain, according to the Worldometer website. The United States has so far carried out 74 tests per 1 million inhabitants, data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show.
Coronavirus pandemic straining medical supplies, forcing nurses to reuse masks with "no protection"
As hospitals across the U.S. brace for a surge in patients, health care workers say the protective measures taken over the next few weeks will be critical, according to CBS News' Carter Evans. Some government leaders worry the coronavirus pandemic could stretch hospitals to their breaking point while medical equipment shortages threaten to put doctors, nurses and patients at risk. "Nurses are being asked to actually reuse masks, including surgical masks, which provide no protection," Executive Director of National Nurses United Bonnie Castillo said. She told CBS News that one of the group's main concerns is a shortage of N-95 masks, which filter out 95% of airborne particles. Last week, the CDC posted new guidelines saying health care workers could use looser-fitting surgical masks as "an acceptable alternative."
How U.S. coronavirus testing stalled: Flawed tests, red tape and resistance to using the millions of tests produced by the WHO
When Olfert Landt heard about the novel coronavirus, he got busy. Founder of a small Berlin-based company, the ponytailed 54-year-old first raced to help German researchers come up with a diagnostic test and then spurred his company to produce and ship more than 1.4 million tests by the end of February for the World Health Organization. “My wife and I have been working 16 hours a day, seven days a week, ever since,” Landt said by phone about 1 a.m. Friday, Berlin time. “Our days are full.” By contrast, over the same critical period, U.S. efforts to distribute tests ground nearly to a halt, and the country’s inability to produce them left public health officials with limited means to determine where and how fast the virus was spreading. From mid-January until Feb. 28, fewer than 4,000 tests from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were used out of more 160,000 produced.
Israeli Scientists to Announce Development of Coronavirus Vaccine
Over 50 experienced PhD scientists from the Israel Institute for Biological research (IIBR; Ness-Ziona, Israel) are working to produce a vaccine and antibody for the novel coronavirus. ccording to reports, scientists at IIBR have had a significant breakthrough in understanding the biological mechanism and qualities of the coronavirus and are expected to announce the completion of the development of a vaccine for COVID-19. However, a number of pre-clinical and clinical trials will have to be conducted for months before the vaccination can be deemed as effective or safe to use. Nevertheless, in view of the global emergency over the coronavirus pandemic, the trials could be accelerated to vaccinate a majority of the people who are at the highest risk of contracting the coronavirus.
Combination of two anti-HIV drugs proved crucial in Coronavirus treatment, Rajasthan official
A combination of two anti-HIV drugs has proved crucial in the treatment of coronavirus positive cases, a senior official of the Rajasthan government said. Additional Chief Secretary (Medical and Health) Rohit Kumar Singh said the patients' condition improved after they were administered the anti-HIV drugs. Three of the four patients in the state have now been declared coronavirus-free. Singh said the first two patients tested positive for the virus were an Italian couple "Their symptoms were flu-like so they were initially given anti-malaria and anti-swine flu drugs," he said. "All this while, our doctors were in touch with the Indian Council of Medical Research and the Drug Controller General of India. Since the structure of coronavirus is similar to that of HIV to some extent, so they tried a combination of the two anti-HIV drugs," he added.
New academic study reveals over-the-counter anti-malaria med Chloroquine may be highly effective at treating coronavirus
There is good news today that an existing anti-viral medication may be effective at treating the COVID-19. According to a new academic study presented by Thomas R. Broker, (Stanford PhD), James M. Todaro (Columbia MD), and Gregory J. Rigano, Esq., in consultation with Stanford University School of Medicine, UAB School of Medicine, and National Academy of Sciences researchers, shows that over the counter anti-malaria pills Chloroquine may be highly effective at treating coronavirus COVID-19.
Unique discovery in Erasmus MC: antibody against corona
A world premiere from Erasmus MC and Utrecht University: they found an antibody against COVID-19. The scientific publication of the group of ten scientists is ready for assessment by the leading journal Nature. In the summary, the scientists describe an antibody to SARS2, the coronavirus causing the current pandemic (COVID-19). The antibody can help detect and prevent this type of corona infection. It is a world’s first. Disclaimer: The antibody still has to be tested on humans (and this will take months) and the article is under peer review before Nature will publish it. But Grosveld is hopeful: “We expect an email any moment”, says the Spinoza Prize winner in his lab on the tenth floor.
People with Type A blood are significantly more likely to catch coronavirus according to Chinese outbreak study
People with Type A blood are significantly more likely to catch coronavirus than those with Type O, Chinese academics have found. The study in Wuhan - the epicentre of the disease - also found those with Type A blood are more likely to die from COVID-19. In the general population Type O blood (34%) is more common than A (32%). However, among COVID-19 patients, people with Type O accounted for just 25%, whereas Type A made up 41%. People with Type O blood made up a quarter (25 per cent) of deaths in the research. Normally, Type O people make up 32 per cent of people in Wuhan. The controversial correlation has yet to be scrutinised by other academics in peer review and the researchers are unable to explain why infection varies by blood type.
Dutch researchers find antibody which may lead to anti-corona medicine
Researchers from the University of Utrecht and the Erasmus medical centre have developed a human antibody which, they say ‘offers potential for prevention and treatment of COVID-19’. It is important not to give false hope but the discovery is promising, research leader Berend-Jan Bosch says on the UU website. ‘But it is still too soon to speculate about its eventual working on people.’ The research is currently awaiting peer review before it can be published in the prestigious science journal Nature. The researchers are now trying to get a pharmaceutical company on board that can produce the antibody on a large scale as a medicine.
Doctors push for treatment of coronavirus with blood from recovered patients
In the absence of vaccines or antiviral drugs, researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore say the key to slowing and treating the coronavirus might be hidden in the blood of those who’ve already recovered from the disease. The method of using “convalescent serum” — essentially harvesting virus-fighting antibodies from the blood of previously infected patients — dates back more than a century, but has not been used widely in the United States in decades. During the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, scientists reported that transfusions of blood products obtained from survivors led to a 50 percent drop in deaths among severely ill patients. A similar strategy was used to treat and slow the spread of polio and measles outbreaks decades ago, but the technique fell out of favor in the 1950s with the innovation of modern vaccine science and antiviral drugs, said Dr. Arturo Casadevall, chair of the molecular microbiology and immunology department at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
China closes makeshift hospitals as virus cases plunge
China has closed most of the makeshift hospitals opened to receive coronavirus patients in the epidemic's epicentre as the number of new infections in the country hit a record low. There were 40 new cases nationwide, the National Health Commission said Monday, the lowest number of fresh cases since it started reporting the data in January. Most of the new cases, as well as 22 new deaths, were in Hubei, the central province at the epicentre of the outbreak. The deaths -- which were all in Hubei except one -- bring the country's toll to 3,119.
Isolation Tips
Household isolation, social distancing and shielding – who should do what and for how long?
Household isolation - If anyone is symptomatic – with a high temperature or a continuous cough – the whole household should stay at home for 14 days to avoid the spread of infection. Who needs to undertake “social distancing” measures? Everyone has been asked to undertake social distancing measures to delay the spread of the virus. People who live alone should isolate themselves for seven days.
Coronavirus emergency kit: Social distancing to flatten the curve
According to the WHO, the most common symptoms are fever, fatigue and a dry cough. Some patients may experience aches and pains, nasal congestion, a runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea. Current estimates of the incubation period - the amount of time between infection and the onset of symptoms - range from one to 14 days. Most infected people show symptoms within five to six days. However, infected patients can also be asymptomatic, not displaying symptoms despite having the virus in their system. The elderly, and those with underlying medical problems such as high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness.
Coronavirus empties out Berlin's public spaces
The coronavirus pandemic is throttling social and cultural life in Germany's public spaces. Chancellor Angela Merkel's message to the nation to reduce travel, stay at home and keep social distance is also being heeded in Berlin.
Coronavirus: "Social distancing" visualizations on the Internet
For some people, especially children, it is difficult to understand why we suddenly have to isolate ourselves socially in times of Corona. Animations in social networks explain why this is so important.
Hygiene Helpers
How do I know if I have coronavirus?
People who are showing particular symptoms are being told to self-isolate in order to stop the coronavirus from spreading further. If you have a fever or a persistant cough, you and the rest of your household have to remain at home for 14 days and have food and medicine delivered to you. But how do you know if you’re just ill, feeling a bit ropey or if you have the symptoms of coronavirus? What do the symptoms of coronavirus feel like? BBC News’ Health and Science Reporter, Laura Foster, takes a look.
‘There is a policy of surrender’: doctor on UK’s Covid-19 failures
Mark Gallagher, a consultant cardiologist, is at home with a temperature of 38 and is pretty certain he has Covid-19. But the NHS will not test him for it. Instead, he has paid for a test kit from a private UK clinic and a colleague in China is sending him another. Gallagher has been in and out of his London hospital every day for the last 28 in a row. In the past couple of weeks he saw maybe 70 people in outpatients, he said. He cannot understand why the NHS will not test him or other healthcare workers who are put at risk by their work and risk infecting other vulnerable patients in turn, as well as their families. “The policy is that I don’t need to be tested and even the people who have been in contact with me aren’t going to be tested,” he said.
Public Policies
Global recession begins: A FIFTH of US workers have already lost wages due to coronavirus
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has reportedly warned that the US could see an unemployment rate of 20 per cent as the coronavirus plunges the economy into a recession. On Tuesday, it was revealed that a global recession has already begun due to the spread of COVID-19 as major companies begin laying off employees worldwide and a fifth of US workers say that they have already lost wages due to the crisis.
Museums Association Urges UK to Launch Emergency Fund with $145M Earmarked for Brexit Festival
“We are calling for an emergency fund to be created to support museums through this difficult period,” Sharon Heal, director of MA, told the Art Newspaper. “The government had earmarked £120m for a ‘festival of Britain’ in 2022; we believe this should now be made available to support museums at risk of permanent closure as a result of the coronavirus epidemic.” The organization is also asking for clarity regarding the safety measures the government is implementing—specifically whether institutions are being asked to close or ordered to close—and demanding that the UK do more to protect culture workers whose livelihoods are at risk following the shuttering of arts museums and businesses for what could be weeks or months. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a speech on Monday, March 16, informing the public that stricter public health measures need to be taken including the limiting of social contact and mass gatherings. The speech presumably led major UK institutions—including the British Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Tate galleries—to begin closing their doors.
In Italy, first signs of a slowdown in the spread of the coronavirus
Italian civil protection data show a decrease in the increase, even more marked in the first regions placed in containment. This is the first - relatively - good news in the terrible health crisis that Italy has been facing for the past three weeks: according to statistics, the progression curve of Covid-19 finally seems to be slowing down, revealing the positive effects of the choice of containment of the population, gradually since March 8. The trend has been detected for two days by observers of the epidemic, but no one has yet dared to come forward to announce it publicly, preferring to wait until the figures were looking more solid.
Rutte can no longer laugh at the facts
I called Prof. Jaap Goudsmit, one of the top epidemiologists in the world, professor at Harvard, known for his work to combat Sars and HIV, among others. A swift testing of the population is what is needed he told me.Jaap Goudsmit is a cordial man who generously shares his knowledge. He explained that immediately a broad population test is needed; at least one hundred thousand people, preferably one million. They should be diagnosed as to whether they have been infected with coronavirus and see if they have recovered, so we know how many serious cases have occurred, and how the different age groups have responded to the infection. It takes huge numbers of test kits, and if not, they need to be made by industry with the utmost urgency, regardless of cost. Regional GGD laboratories can analyze the samples, and the data can then be interpreted by experts such as Jaap Goudsmit. As long as we do not know exactly how many have been infected, as I understood from Prof. Goudsmit, how far the infection has spread, especially in children and young adults, we cannot sensible remedial measures because we do not know the hard figures for each age group.
Chaos in Manila as Philippines launches coronavirus quarantine measures
A rise in patient numbers across the region – where nations had initially recorded relatively few cases – follows a ramping up of testing efforts. The increases have cast doubt on suggestions that warmer weather may stop the virus, and prompted a growing number of governments to introduce curbs on movement.
What Will It Take to Stop Coronavirus?
Efforts are underway to find a vaccine, but even the most optimistic timelines suggest several months of scientific development before human clinical trials can begin. With no vaccine or treatment, the most effective way to stop 2019-nCoV’s spread is to limit transmission by identifying infected individuals as quickly as possible and isolating them for treatment before they can infect others. This strategy worked against the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic in 2003. Global and national health authorities are implementing the approaches used during the SARS crisis, but, other measures also need to be taken because 2019-nCov is already widespread in China.
French lockdown comes into force in bid to curtail spread of deadly virus
France entered a 15-day lockdown at midday on Tuesday that will require people to remain at home except for essential outings in a bid to curtail the coronavirus outbreak. The French government has said tens of thousands of police will be patrolling streets and issuing fines of 38 to 135 euros for people without a written declaration justifying their reasons for being out.

"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 19th Mar 2020

News Highlights

  • Top UK COVID-19 expert self-isolates after developing symptoms
  • NHS Trusts gave staff wrong advice on self-isolation
  • Shortage of face masks, swabs and basic supplies threatening challenge for U.S.coronavirus testing
  • Bergamo laments a generation lost to the coronavirus
  • UN FAO working on tasks at hand, but since Tuesday, all remotely
  • Liechtenstein school lessons moving online
  • Darmstadt taking advantage of new online platform from start-up founder
  • UK - evictions of renters falling behind with landlords will be suspended during crisis
  • Russia's 'silence' on coronavirus outbreak starting to cause increasing concern
  • As China's new virus cases reach zero, experts look to second wave from 'imported cases'
  • UK faces massive shortage of ventilators - says Swiss manufacturer
  • Danish supermarket invents new way of stopping people hoarding goods
  • Chinese say Avigan effective in treating coronavirus patients
  • Confusion over where to take Ibuprofen or not for COVID-19 symptoms
  • Italian tests on the effectiveness of Tolicizumab for 33 coronavirus patients to start
  • Europe is repeating errors made in Wuhan, say Chinese medics
  • Top 60 coronavirus treatments under development
  • Everyone in Iceland to be tested for the coronavirus
  • 99% of those killed by the coronavirus in Italy had other underlying pathologies says study
  • Spain worried that it does not have enough virus diagnostic kits and protective medical equipment
Isolation Tips
Top UK Covid-19 expert self-isolates after developing symptoms
One of the government’s top coronavirus experts has had to self-isolate after developing coronavirus symptoms and revealed he was probably infectious when he attended a Downing Street press conference on Tuesday. Prof Neil Ferguson, from Imperial College London, tweeted that he has a persistent cough and high fever, and had been forced to self-isolate in his central London flat for seven days. Ferguson, head of the modelling programme at Imperial’s MRC centre for global infectious disease analysis, who has been working round the clock with a team of experts advising the government, tweeted: “Sigh. Developed a slight dry but persistent cough yesterday and self-isolated even though I felt fine. Then developed high fever at 4am today. There is a lot of Covid-19 in Westminster.”
Coronavirus: NHS trusts gave staff the wrong advice on self-isolation
Staff at several NHS hospitals were wrongly told to go to work when they should have been self-isolating, it has emerged. Doctors and nurses were advised they could work even if someone else in their home had symptoms of coronavirus – despite official guidance being that their household should self-isolate for 14 days if anyone shows signs of the symptoms. On Monday night, after the advice to the public had changed, the Worcestershire Acute Hospital, in the West Midlands, sent out a briefing to staff saying: “We have been told that this guidance will not apply to healthcare workers.”
Le Monde answers questions about the new laws governing confinement in your home in France
With so many French people unsure and uncertain about what to do in this new situation they find themselves in, le Monde tackled the most common questions that readers are asking explaining how things will work in the coming weeks
Coronavirus. Conditions for going out to play sports - what must you do
You need to apply for certificate or permit to leave the home, it does enable you to go jogging or cycling but you must stay within the close proximity to your home
Hygiene Helpers
Morning!! Working on a "red zone" ward today, with my amazing FY1 Rebecca. This is a ward for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID19.
Morning!! Working on a "red zone" ward today, with my amazing FY1 Rebecca. This is a ward for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID19. We're keeping a big smile on our faces and have @BBCRadio2 on in the doctor's room. Dizzy symbol Send us some love!
Shortages of face masks, swabs and basic supplies pose a new challenge to coronavirus testing
CDC tells health-care workers to use bandannas if they don’t have face masks. As the federal government scrambles to rapidly boost the nation’s capacity to test for the novel coronavirus, cutting red tape and leaning on the speed and technology of the private sector, new delays are developing because of a shortage of raw materials and vital items: chemical solutions, swabs and even face masks for health-care workers. From coast to coast, local and state officials complain that shortages of everyday supplies are disrupting efforts to sharply ramp up testing, which is key to identifying the spread of disease. The scarcity is hampering both the ability of health-care workers in hospitals to draw samples to send to laboratories and the ability of those laboratories to confirm infection.
Community Activities
Want To Avoid Spreading Coronavirus Misinformation? Think Like A Science Journalist
No one wants to spread bad information—but for non-scientists, it can be hard to distinguish facts from rumors. I asked a couple of experts in the ethics of science journalism on how best to use social media responsibly in the age of coronavirus. Here are a few guidelines they shared:
Panic buying forces British supermarkets to ration food
Britain’s biggest supermarkets, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda, limited purchases of all food products on Wednesday after frantic shoppers stripped shelves to prepare for possible isolation during the coronavirus outbreak.
The picture that shames selfish Britain:
Stooping to check his shopping list, this elderly man is faced with a shocking reality – most of the stock has been stripped from the supermarket shelves by selfish customers. The gentleman is therefore left to wonder where exactly he will be able to pick up his essentials as shops suffer from a surge in stockpiling by uncaring shoppers. The picture was taken in a Sainsbury's store in Epsom, Surrey, but the increase in panic buying has hit all major supermarkets.
Coronavirus: Cheltenham staff had symptoms while working at racing festival
Cheltenham Festival punters and staff have been struck down by symptoms consistent with coronavirus, sparking fresh fears that hundreds of racegoers could be infected and spreading the illness. Housemates Andrew Maclean, 24 and Scott Saunders, 25, have quarantined themselves inside their home after coming down with a fever, cough and shortness of breath. Mr Maclean and Mr Saunders, from Cheltenham, developed symptoms when they were working at a restaurant and bar, respectively, at the festival - at first thinking they only had colds - and now fear they passed their infection on to others. The pair have questioned why Cheltenham went ahead despite the worsening crisis and the calls for it to be cancelled to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
'A generation has died': Italian province struggles to bury its coronavirus dead
Coffins awaiting burial are lining up in churches and the corpses of those who died at home are being kept in sealed-off rooms for days as funeral services struggle to cope in Bergamo, the Italian province hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. As of Wednesday, Covid-19 had killed 2,978 across Italy, all buried or cremated without ceremony. Those who die in hospital do so alone, with their belongings left in bags beside coffins before being collected by funeral workers. In Bergamo, a province of 1.2 million people in the Lombardy region, where 1,640 of the total deaths in the country have taken place, 3,993 people had contracted the virus by Tuesday. The death toll across the province is unclear, but CFB, the area’s largest funeral director, has carried out almost 600 burials or cremations since 1 March. “In a normal month we would do about 120,” said Antonio Ricciardi, the president of CFB. “A generation has died in just over two weeks. We’ve never seen anything like this and it just makes you cry.”
Working Remotely
Italy COVID-19 lockdown does not halt work of UN agriculture agency
Italy has been hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak, with nearly 28,000 confirmed cases of the disease and 2,503 deaths, according to the latest statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO). While a national quarantine has the country in lockdown, it has not halted the work of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), based in the capital, Rome. Most staff have been working remotely since last Tuesday, although a skeleton team remains at the building to ensure critical business continuity. It too will be reduced this week as FAO moves to complete telecommuting. The new arrangements mean new ways of working. Teams are using technology not only to get the job done but also to keep in touch. FAO has provided staff with licenses for Zoom, the remote conferencing service, thus facilitating virtual meetings and collaboration. Colleagues are calling each other, instead of emailing, to discuss work matters but also to maintain human contact. Daily check-ins, weekly meetings, and WhatsApp groups are also helping to foster team spirit.
The ins and outs of working from home in the age of COVID-19
As the marketing director for Ignite Northwest, a company that supports entrepreneurs, Cyndi Donahue said most if not all of the people she works with regularly work from home, with one glaring exception: Donahue herself. But with officials advising to “hunker down” to curtail the spread of COVID-19, Donahue is doing just that. Luckily for her, her husband is an old pro and helped her get situated in their home’s guest room. He’s helped her set up the technology, and they’re putting their children on a schedule for structure, but the thing Donahue is struggling with is missing people.
Virtual Classrooms
Homework now comes via WhatsApp
On Monday, school lessons in Liechtenstein were moved home. The Liechtenstein schools have found different solutions to provide the pupils with tasks. These measures have been taken to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Classes should therefore take place by distance learning until the Easter holidays - or longer depending on the how the health crisis evolves. Students are currently sent homework and weekly plans with instructions to be solved via WhatsApp and email. The time window required for this is tailored to each individual as is the form of the task and its size.
Darmstadt: virtual classroom on online platform
The free online platform schulforum.info is based on tingtool, which the start-up founder Peter Fischer developed in Darmstadt. According to its press statements this Internet application, which is free of charge for schools and teachers in Darmstadt, enables virtual classrooms to be set up within ten minutes without the need for software to be preinstalled on the home computer. Tingtool is a cloud-based tool for meetings and discussions in virtual space and, according to the information, was specially developed by Darmstadt to force the digital networking of actors from the school and education sector. Around three months ago, the interactive platform schulforum.info was already given to the Darmstadt City Parents' Advisory Board by the digital city of Darmstadt, for its own use
Public Policies
Scientists have been sounding the alarm on coronavirus for months. Why did Britain fail to act?
In January The Lancet published a report from China. 'The Chinese scientists pulled no punches. “The number of deaths is rising quickly,” they wrote. The provision of personal protective equipment for health workers was strongly recommended. Testing for the virus should be done immediately a diagnosis was suspected. They concluded that the mortality rate was high. And they urged careful surveillance of this new virus in view of its “pandemic potential”. That was in January. Why did it take the UK government eight weeks to recognise the seriousness of what we now call Covid-19?'
Coronavirus: New evictions banned to help renters during crisis
The government is promising emergency legislation to suspend new evictions from social or rented accommodation for the duration of the coronavirus crisis. Under urgent new laws, landlords will not be able to start proceedings to evict tenants for at least three months, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Ministers have also confirmed the three-month mortgage holiday announced on Tuesday will be extended to landlords whose tenants are experiencing difficulties due to coronavirus.
Coronavirus protest in Brazil sees millions bang pots from balconies
People in Brazil have expressed anger at President Jair Bolsonaro's handling of the coronavirus pandemic by banging pots and pans together on balconies. Millions of protesters in the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro appeared at windows on Wednesday evening calling for the president to step down. It was the biggest protest against Mr Bolsonaro's government to date. There are over 500 cases of the virus in Brazil, including two government ministers. Four people have died. Mr Bolsonaro, who has previously dismissed precautions taken against the novel coronavirus as "hysteria" and "fantasy", has been criticised for his response to the deadly outbreak. The president has been tested for the virus twice, but said on both occasions the results were negative. However 14 people who travelled with him to Florida to meet President Trump have tested positive for the virus.
Uncounted among coronavirus victims, deaths sweep through Italy's nursing homes
As the official death toll from Italy’s coronavirus outbreak passes 2,500, a silent surge in fatalities in nursing homes, where dozens of patients a day are dying untested for the virus, suggests the real total may be higher. Official data show that nearly 30,000 people have been confirmed as positive for the coronavirus in Italy, the highest number outside China where the virus first emerged. But strict testing rules mean only patients hospitalized with severe symptoms are normally being swab tested. While no detailed data is available, officials, nurses and relatives say there has been a spike in nursing home deaths in the worst affected regions of northern Italy since the virus emerged, and they are not showing up in coronavirus statistics. “There are significant numbers of people who have died but whose death hasn’t been attributed to the coronavirus because they died at home or in a nursing home and so they weren’t swabbed,” said Giorgio Gori, mayor of the town of Bergamo.
Russia's coronavirus count under scrutiny as Putin government denies hiding cases
Even the president of Belarus, often seen as Russia's closest neighbour, has questioned the low numbers, suggesting that Russia is "ablaze" with coronavirus. Senior Russian officials, including Putin, the country's prime minister and the mayor of Moscow, all insist the Russian figures are accurate. The official TASS news agency quoted Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova as suggesting the situation was a result of "restrictive and prohibitive measures" adopted by Russia, including an early closure of the border with China and other restrictions on people entering Russia from Asia. But several doctors and health-care workers contacted by CBC News believe the real caseload is far higher and that Russia could be hiding hundreds of coronavirus deaths by labelling them as something else.
Trudeau unveils $82B COVID-19 emergency response package for Canadians, businesses
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a massive $82-billion aid package to help Canadians and businesses cope with the global COVID-19 pandemic, including income supports, wage subsidies and tax deferrals. The package includes $27 billion in direct supports and another $55 billion to help business liquidity through tax deferrals. Combined, the package represents more than three per cent of Canada's GDP. Trudeau said the deep spending and delayed federal revenue will not drive the country into recession, insisting "prudent" decisions made over the last five years have put Canada on a strong economic footing to weather the crisis.
As China’s Virus Cases Reach Zero, Experts Warn of Second Wave
China has no new infections of the coronavirus domestically for the first time since the start of a crisis that has sickened over 80,000 Chinese people. But what could be a sign the country has defeated the fatal pathogen is likely to just be a temporary reprieve. While the outbreak’s epicenter has shifted to Europe, where there are now more cases being reported daily than at the height of China’s crisis, epidemiologists warn that the Asian giant could face subsequent waves of infections, based on patterns seen in other pandemics.
China uses soft power to position itself as a leader in tackling coronavirus
In the last few weeks, China has donated coronavirus testing kits to Cambodia, sent planeloads of ventilators, masks and medics to Italy and France, pledged to help the Philippines, Spain and other countries, and deployed medics to Iran and Iraq. The Chinese president, Xi Jinping, has offered comforting words, telling the Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, that “sunshine comes after the storm”, and adding that the two countries should step up cooperation and exchanges after the outbreak. As the coronavirus outbreak spreads and countries struggle to respond, China has positioned itself as a leader and benefactor in public health, building the kind of soft power Beijing needs at a time of intensifying US-China rivalry and scrutiny of Chinese influence around the world.
A chilling scientific paper helped upend U.S. and U.K. coronavirus strategies
Immediately after Boris Johnson completed his Monday evening news conference, which saw a somber prime minister encourage his fellow citizens to avoid "all nonessential contact with others," his aides hustled reporters into a second, off-camera briefing. That session presented jaw-dropping numbers from some of Britain’s top modelers of infectious disease, who predicted the deadly course of the coronavirus could quickly kill hundreds of thousands in both the United Kingdom and the United States, as surges of sick and dying patients overwhelmed hospitals and critical care units. The new forecasts, by Neil Ferguson and his colleagues at the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team, were quickly endorsed by Johnson’s government to design new and more extreme measures to suppress the spread of the virus.
How many people could die from the coronavirus - scientists answer the question
The database used in the scientists' research is maintained and updated by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University. The data is divided into cases of infection, remission and fatalities. The database is updated frequently and contains details such as dates and geographic distribution. From these parameters, the rates that entered the model were calculated. The components of the model applied to the coronavirus epidemic result in very rapid contagion. Data from Italy show that an infected person passes the virus to, on average, between 3 and 4 people before they recover or die from the infection, thereby doubling the number of cases every 4 days. Professor Lyra explains that there are only two ways to end this epidemic. “The first is when many people have been infected and have developed immunity in healing. When this happens, there are no more susceptible people and, therefore, according to rule (A) of the model, there are no new possible infections. Obviously this case is terrible, practically the entire population would have to be infected at some point during the epidemic and the death toll from this would be frightening,” warns Lyra.
UK faces 'massive shortage' of ventilators - Swiss manufacturer
Britain faces a “massive shortage” of ventilators that will be needed to treat critically ill patients suffering from coronavirus, after it failed to invest enough in intensive care equipment, a leading ventilator manufacturer said on Wednesday. “England is very poorly equipped,” said Andreas Wieland, chief executive of Hamilton Medical in Switzerland, which says it is the world’s largest ventilator maker. “They’re going to have a massive shortage, once the virus really arrives there,” he told Reuters in an interview. Ventilators, running in the thousands of dollars per unit, are used to help people with respiratory difficulties to breathe. They are high-tech versions of the “iron lungs” that kept people alive into the 1950s during fierce polio epidemics.
Coronavirus cases soar in Brazil: there are 428 infected and 4 dead It is the largest daily jump in the number of cases in that country. Most of the infections are concentrated in Sao Paolo
The Brazilian Ministry of Health reported that 428 have been infected with coronaviruses in that country, including four people who have died. Most of the cases are concentrated in Sao Paulo, where 240 infections have already been registered. The São Paulo State Health Secretariat reported that three of the four dead had problems with hypertension and other chronic diseases
Maintaining Services
Australia has given the elderly an hour in the mornings to do their shopping so they can avoid panic buying caused by the #coronavirus
"Even though it was just for 1 hour, it gave us a chance to slowly do our shop." Australia has given the elderly an hour in the mornings to do their shopping so they can avoid panic buying caused by the #coronavirus
10,000 extra troops to join British army's Covid support force
The Ministry of Defence is to double the size of the military’s civil contingency unit to create a 20,000-strong Covid support force, the defence secretary has announced. An additional 10,000 troops will be added to the 10,000 routinely held at higher readiness in case of a civil emergency, and reservists could also be called up, Ben Wallace said on Wednesday. There are fears about the ability of the police and NHS, which are both already at full stretch, to deal with the scale of the crisis. While the government has been reluctant to highlight such a bleak prospect, the armed forces need to be prepared for the threat of a breakdown in civil order given that troops have been deployed in other countries to enforce lockdowns and prevent looting of shops.
Coronavirus in London: Why is the outbreak worse in the capital?
Many streets and pubs are eerily quiet as London records more confirmed cases of COVID-19 than anywhere else in the country. London has been hit the worst by the coronavirus outbreak - with 953 of the UK's 2,626 confirmed cases and at least 35 of its 104 deaths. The spread of COVID-19 has all but emptied streets that are normally packed, monuments appear eerily deserted and tourist attractions, museums and theatres continue to close.
Sainsbury’s to close its meat, fish and pizza service counters to free up staff
Sainsbury’s to close its meat, fish and pizza service counters to free up staff. The supermarket is aiming to bolster its delivery network to cope with unprecedented demand
A supermarket in Denmark got tired of people hoarding hand sanitizer, so came up with their own way of stopping it.
A supermarket in Denmark got tired of people hoarding hand sanitizer, so came up with their own way of stopping it. 1 bottle kr40 (€5.50) 2 bottles kr1000 (€134.00) each bottle. Hoarding stopped! #COVID19 #coronavirus #Hoarding
Coronavirus: Water firms issue blockage warning as people use toilet paper 'alternatives'
Drains and sewers are in danger of becoming blocked as people use wet wipes, paper towels - and possibly even newspaper - because they can't find loo roll at the supermarket. Water companies in the UK and Australia have warned against using alternatives which are unflushable. They say if there is no other option, wipes and kitchen roll should be disposed of in the bin. Social media campaigns are urging people to stick to toilet roll as some people panic-buy and strip shelves bare during the coronavirus outbreak.
HealthCare Innovations
Coronavirus: Japanese anti-viral drug effective in treating patients, Chinese official says
A Japanese anti-viral drug appears to be effective in treating coronavirus patients, Chinese medical officials have found. Favipiravir, also known as Avigan, was approved for use in Japan in 2014 and is active against a range of illnesses, including influenza strains, yellow fever, Ebola and foot-and-mouth disease. Now it has shown encouraging results in treating patients with Covid-19 in clinical trials involving 320 people in Shenzhen and Wuhan. “It has a high degree of safety and is clearly effective in treatment,” Zhang Xinmin, an official at China’s science and technology ministry, told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday. The 35 patients who received the drug in Shenzhen appeared to test negative for coronavirus in a median of four days, compared to 11 days for the 45 who did not receive it.
WHO Now Officially Recommends to Avoid Taking Ibuprofen For COVID-19 Symptoms
The World Health Organization recommended Tuesday that people suffering COVID-19 symptoms avoid taking ibuprofen, after French officials warned that anti-inflammatory drugs could worsen effects of the virus. The warning by French Health Minister Olivier Veran followed a recent study in The Lancet medical journal that hypothesised that an enzyme boosted by anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen could facilitate and worsen COVID-19 infections. Asked about the study, WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told reporters in Geneva the UN health agency's experts were "looking into this to give further guidance." "In the meantime, we recommend using rather paracetamol, and do not use ibuprofen as a self-medication. That's important," he said.
AIFA will start starting testing the effectiveness of Tolicizumab on 33 coronavirus patients on Thursday
The agency plans to launch a test on 330 patients with coronavirus. This Phase 2 testing will be to assess how effective the drug Tolicizumab is and if it works in these coronoavirus cases.
Europe’s Doctors Repeat Errors Made in Wuhan, China Medics Say
Key among them is inadequate protection for medical workers, leading to a high infection rate among doctors and nurses. In Wuhan, a lack of understanding of the disease and a shortage of protective equipment in the early weeks of the outbreak in January led to thousands of health-care workers being infected while treating patients. At least 46 have died. “Our European colleagues are contracting the disease in their daily practice, and the proportion is quite similar to the earlier situation in Wuhan,” said Wu Dong, a gastro-enterology professor at the Peking Union Medical College Hospital. Wu spoke from Wuhan with journalists in Beijing on Monday, alongside three other top Chinese doctors. “We need to protect our medical staff.”
New analysis breaks down age-group risk for coronavirus — and shows millennials are not invincible
In general, the U.S. experience largely mimics China’s, with the risk for serious disease and death from Covid-19 rising with age. But in an important qualification, an analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Wednesday underlines a message that infectious disease experts have been emphasizing: Millennials are not invincible. The new data show that up to one-fifth of infected people ages 20-44 have been hospitalized, including 2%-4% who required treatment in an intensive care unit. Still, the most severe cases, and the highest rates of death, are among the elderly. Although 17% of the U.S. population is 65 or older, 31% of cases were in that age group, CDC experts concluded in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. While it is possible that the elderly have more chances to be infected than younger people, such as by living in nursing homes, that is considered unlikely, since younger adults encounter many others at work and school.
"Respiratory viruses often see a reduction in transmission power in warmer weather, but for this pandemic that won't be true"
Mauricio Rodríguez Álvarez, professor of Virology at UNAM, analyzes some of the facts and fiction surrounding the coronavirus. The virus has already crossed over different latitudes around the world with varying temperatures and the infection process remains very little changed. Some places (like Mexico) have several flu peaks now and the infections continue throughout
Coronavirus: Scientists reveal how the body fights back against infection
Scientists in Australia say they have for the first time mapped how the body's immune system responds to coronavirus, an important step in the possible creation of an effective vaccine. Researchers at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne were able to test blood samples at four different time points in an otherwise healthy woman in her 40s, who presented with COVID-19 and had mild-to-moderate symptoms.
China sends masks, gloves to help France fight virus - French minister
China is sending 1 million surgical masks and gloves to France to help it fight the coronavirus, the French foreign minister said on Wednesday. A first plane arrived via Belgium earlier on Wednesday and a second will arrive on Thursday, Jean-Yves Le Drian said in an interview with BFM TV. France, which has a shortage of masks and gloves, provided China with some 17 tonnes of equipment after the virus broke out in China’s Wuhan province.
Catching Up to Coronavirus: Top 60 Treatments in Development
More than two dozen of the 60 COVID-19 treatments in development are therapies that have emerged or made public just in the two weeks since GEN published its original A-List summarizing COVID-19 therapies in the works.
Everyone In Iceland Can Get Tested For The Coronavirus. Here's How The Results Could Help All Of Us.
As countries around the world scramble to fight back the spread of the coronavirus, Iceland is doing things a little differently from the rest — and the approach could have a much larger impact on our understanding of the virus. The small island nation of 364,000 is carrying out large-scale testing among its general population, making it the latest country to put aggressive testing at the heart of its fight against the pandemic. But — crucially — the testing also includes people who show no symptoms of the disease. Iceland’s government said it has so far tested a higher proportion of its citizens than anywhere else in the world. The number of individuals tested by the country’s health authorities and the biotechnology firm deCode Genetics — 3,787 — roughly translates to 10,405 per million, which compares to about 5,203 in South Korea, 2478 in Italy, and 764 in the UK. "Iceland’s population puts it in the unique position of having very high testing capabilities with help from the Icelandic medical research company deCode Genetics, who are offering to perform large scale testing," Thorolfur Guðnason, Iceland’s chief epidemiologist, told BuzzFeed News. "This effort is intended to gather insight into the actual prevalence of the virus in the community, as most countries are most exclusively testing symptomatic individuals at this time." Of 3,787 individuals tested in the country, a total of 218 positive cases have been identified so far. "At least half of those infected contracted the virus while travelling abroad, mostly in high-risk areas in the European Alps (at least 90)," the government said on Monday. Those numbers include the first results of the voluntary tests on people with no symptoms, which started last Friday. The first batch of 1,800 tests produced 19 positive cases, or about 1% of the sample. "Early results from deCode Genetics indicate that a low proportion of the general population has contracted the virus and that about half of those who tested positive are non-symptomatic,” said Guðnason. “The other half displays very moderate cold-like symptoms." “This data can also become a valuable resource for scientific studies of the virus in the future,” he added.
Scientists say mass tests in Italian town have halted Covid-19 there
The small town of Vò, in northern Italy, where the first coronavirus death occurred in the country, has become a case study that demonstrates how scientists might neutralise the spread of Covid-19. A scientific study, rolled out by the University of Padua, with the help of the Veneto Region and the Red Cross, consisted of testing all 3,300 inhabitants of the town, including asymptomatic people. The goal was to study the natural history of the virus, the transmission dynamics and the categories at risk. The researchers explained they had tested the inhabitants twice and that the study led to the discovery of the decisive role in the spread of the coronavirus epidemic of asymptomatic people. When the study began, on 6 March, there were at least 90 infected in Vò. For days now, there have been no new cases.
More than 99% of those killed by the coronavirus in Italy had other pathologies
More than 99% of coronavirus deaths in Italy were from people with previous medical conditions , according to a study by the country's national health authority. After deaths from the virus reached more than 2,500, with a 150% jump in the past week, health authorities have been analyzing the data to extract useful information to combat the spread of the disease. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte's government is considering extending national confinement beyond the beginning of April, newspaper La Stampa reported on Wednesday. Italy has more than 31,500 confirmed cases of coronavirus.
The coronavirus epidemic hits Spain which does not have enough virus diagnostic testing kits
The problem is serious, warn the experts consulted, although it is mitigated by social distancing which has already been decreed throughout Spain by the government. Carrying out as many tests as possible has been shown to be the key tool in slowing down the virus in countries such as Germany or South Korea . Distancing reduces the circulation of the virus, but knowing who is infected remains key. Each diagnosis means investigators can see is a chain of infections and can act to ensure that they no longer reach an old folks home, avoid unnecessary hospitalizations and, ultimately, reduce the number of deaths”, explains a person responsible for microbiology at a large Madrid-based public hospital.

"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 20th Mar 2020

Isolation Tips
Please help us (#nhsworkers) to help you... by staying at home
Please help us (#nhsworkers) to help you... by staying at home and avoiding other people you are preventing spread of Covid-19, reducing #NHS work, and saving the lives of vulnerable fellow humans! @Suffolk_PC @SuffolkGPFed @WestSuffolkNHS @NHSWSCCG @IESCCG
Simple Food Swaps For When You Run Out Of Ingredients
Has a coronavirus quarantine emptied your kitchen? These are the best substitutes for butter, eggs, milk, onions, lemon, sugar, flour, broth and more.
When it’s all too much, here’s how to quell coronavirus anxiety, according to experts
There are so many sources of stress during the COVID-19 pandemic (pandemic!), it’s normal to feel some anxiety when a global infectious disease is impacts every realm of your life. Here are some ways to cope with stress and anxiety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
I'm an Italian mom under coronavirus lockdown. Here's what I wish I had done differently before things got bad
Italy has been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak that's rapidly spreading worldwide.The country is on lockdown, its 60 million citizens have been instructed to remain indoors, and all public gatherings have been canceled. Katherine Wilson, a mother of two who lives in Rome, said she wished that she and other Italians had listened to warnings about the coronavirus. She warned Americans not to make "similar misguided choices."
Coronavirus: How to help the elderly and other vulnerable people during the outbreak
‘There are some simple steps we can all take that will make a huge difference,’ says Caroline Abrahams at AGE UK...
It's Totally Normal To Feel Weird, Anxious Or Scared Right Now. We're In A Period Of Grief
Therapists explain us how we can maintain some form of control – no matter how big or small – in our lives.
Hygiene Helpers
How long can the novel coronavirus survive on surfaces and in the air?
A new study shows that SARS-CoV-2 can linger in the air for hours and on some materials for days
Covid-19: Clon Distillery to produce sanitiser – and free for local charities
CEO Mr Scully said ‘We are adhering to HSE specifications, creating sanitisers with an alcohol content of 63% ABV. Fortunately, we already have suitable 500 ml PET bottles and equipment in place, which means that we are ready to go into production immediately. We expect to have our first batch of 5,000 bottles ready within the next week.’
Denmark to send out coronavirus self-test kits to homes
Denmark will start offering take-home kits to collect samples to test for the new coronavirus, in order to get a better view of its spread, health authorities said on Wednesday.
Community Activities
Concert pays homage to health workers.
Concert pays homage to health workers. Musicians and singers living in a building in the Barbès district of Paris improvise a concert from their windows, in homage to the medical staff on the front line against the #coronavirus epidemic
Ok this was sweet - Israelis on their balconies clapping and cheering for the doctors and nurses
Ok this was sweet - Israelis on their balconies clapping and cheering for the doctors and nurses fighting the Coronavirus pandemic
Coronavirus: A million people demand NHS workers get priority testing
More than a million people have signed a petition calling for NHS staff to be prioritised for coronavirus testing so they can continue to work. NHS staff with a cough are facing the dilemma of being unable to work for a week or infecting patients with COVID-19.
Retailers who inflate prices because of Coronavirus could be prosecuted, CMA warns
The watchdog added that it would consider asking the Government to introduce price controls if needed as products, including hand sanitiser, sell out at hundreds of supermarkets nationwide
Coronavirus: Bangladesh mass prayer event prompts alarm
Tens of thousands of people gathered in Bangladesh for a mass prayer session on Wednesday, despite fears it posed a risk of spreading the new coronavirus. Local police chief Tota Miah told AFP news agency that 10,000 Muslims had gathered in Raipur town to pray "healing verses" from the Koran. But some eyewitnesses told the BBC the figure was closer to 30,000. A similar religious event in Malaysia in February has been confirmed as the source of more than 500 infections.
Facebook has a coronavirus problem. It's WhatsApp.
The platform is being used to spread messages that often contain a mixture of accurate and misleading claims that have been debunked by medical experts. The problem is now so acute that world leaders are urging people to stop sharing unverified information using the app. "I am urging everyone to please stop sharing unverified info on WhatsApp groups," Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said Monday on Twitter. "These messages are scaring and confusing people and causing real damage. Please get your info from official, trusted sources."
Twitter to remove harmful fake news about coronavirus
Twitter will remove tweets that run the risk of causing harm by spreading dangerous misinformation about Covid-19, the company has said, after weeks of criticism that its policies on misinformation were too lax.
Coronavirus: The med students who want to help
With the NHS under pressure because of coronavirus, medical students at the University of Liverpool are hoping to use their skills to volunteer at hospitals during the crisis.
Working Remotely
Virtual Classrooms
Coronavirus homeschooling? Five ways to keep your kids learning, happy and healthy
Tom Rose and Jack Pannett are qualified teachers and sports coaches and run an activity business that helps children learn. They also broadcast their own podcast. Here, they set out their five top tips on how to keep your kids engaged, learning, healthy and happy while schools are closed because of coronavirus...
Are you a parent trying to find activities for kids home from school?
Are you a parent trying to find activities for kids home from school? Or someone stuck at home looking for fun distractions? Here are some fun, free science and nature resources you can use at home. I’ll be adding to this list over time.
Public Policies
The coronavirus pandemic began in China. Today, it reported no new local infections for the first time
China has reported no new locally transmitted coronavirus cases for the first time since the pandemic began, marking a major turning point in the global battle to contain Covid-19. At a news conference on Thursday morning, officials from China's National Health Commission announced there had been just 34 new cases in the past 24 hours -- all imported from overseas -- and eight new deaths, all in Hubei, the province where the virus was first identified. There were there no new reported cases in Hubei at all on Wednesday.
Coronavirus: "The way the epidemic was managed in South Korea should serve as an example"
In a country, where shops and transport have not been closed, the epidemic has been brought under control thanks, in particular, to the civic spirit of the population, in contrast to the atmosphere of panic in the West, observed, Christophe Gaudin, a French academic based in Seoul.
Coronavirus: NHS staff 'at risk' over lack of protective gear
NHS staff say they are being put at risk during the coronavirus outbreak because of a lack of protective gear. One doctor told the BBC that frontline healthcare workers felt like "cannon fodder" as they do not have access to equipment such as face masks. Health workers also expressed concerns that not enough of them were being tested for the virus.
Coronavirus: UK urged to pay for workers' wages
The government has been urged to step in immediately to pay firm's wage bills to prevent mass unemployment. MPs across all parties are warning that small and medium sized businesses are facing a "catastrophic" loss of revenue because of anti-virus measures.
Coronavirus: Government 'looking at' £151-a-week benefit to stop workers facing destitution
Extra support is expected to be announced for workers either on Friday or Saturday - and ministers today said the radical £151-a-week idea is one of those under consideration
Federal government wants to provide 40 billion euros in emergency aid for small businesses
The self-employed and small businesses are hard hit by the consequences of the corona crisis. According to SPIEGEL sources, the state is now putting together an aid package for them.
Ecuador Mayor orders cars to park on airport runway to stop planes arriving in panic over coronavirus
Referring to an Iberia plane which had no passengers, she said: "There were no fewer than 11 crew members arriving from Madrid, who were going to stay in a hotel in Guayaquil until they could take off on Friday. How is it possible that the plane was going to be allowed to land today so that they could stay in our city coming from theirs with a high number of coronavirus cases?"
China ramps up coronavirus help to Europe (paywall)
Brussels has thanked China for offering to provide more than 2m medical masks and 50,000 coronavirus testing kits, as Beijing escalates its help to European countries grappling with the growing pandemic.
Social distancing working in Italy but epidemic could be determined by population demographics
The effects of the lockdown in Lodi — near Milan in northern Italy — enacted in late February shows a flattening of the curve of the epidemic, says researchers at the University of Oxford. "While cases in the province of Bergamo began to increase from Feb 24th - in contrast to Lodi - no shutdowns or restrictions were imposed," the Oxford sociologists note in a study on how demographics can affect the epidemic. The entire province of Lombardy, which includes Lodi and Bergamo, was instead shut down roughly two weeks later on March 8. Cases in Bergamo have surpassed those in Lodi.
Maintaining Services
A Superstar Epidemiologist's Plan to Fight Coronavirus
The only way we’re really going to flatten the curve is: a) a massive at-home testing effort b) using cell phone location data to tell people who may have been exposed to self-isolate c) allowing people who have known immunity (from having had it) back into the workforce once we know via blood test that they can’t get it or spread it anymore. That way, they can keep everything running while others fall sick.
London paramedics rationed to one face mask between two
Paramedics attending people who could be infected with the coronavirus were told only one person in each team of two could wear a face mask, with the other instructed to stand two metres away from the patient if “clinically appropriate”.
How can we protect healthcare workers?
How can we protect healthcare workers? Evidence suggests risks of #COVID19 to providers grow when healthcare systems get overwhelmed. In Italy 9% of all infections are among medical personnel. In Lombardy alone, 20% of providers were infected.
Healthcare Innovations
King’s Critical Care –Evidence SummaryClinical Management of COVID-19
This is a summary of the evidence available internationally on the management of COVID-19 disease which clinicians may find useful.
Coronavirus: The detectives racing to contain the virus in Singapore
Contact-tracing isn't new - it's been used for decades to track patients who may have passed their illness to others during their stay. But Singapore's use of the system during this crisis was praised by Harvard epidemiologists in early February, who described it as a "gold standard of near-perfect detection". The World Health Organization has also praised Singapore for being proactive even before the first case was detected. Singapore, unlike the US and much of Europe, started contact tracing early to stay ahead of community spread.
China's coronavirus lockdown strategy: brutal but effective
Nearly two months on, Beijing’s lockdown approach for the coronavirus appears vindicated. China has reported its first day with no domestic transmissions of the disease; all newly identified cases had been imported from abroad, health authorities say. Countries with their own exponentially-growing outbreaks are imposing similar measures, from Italy and Spain to Germany and California, though none are as strict as Wuhan’s
Coronavirus looks different in kids than in adults
A paper released this week in the journal Pediatrics, based on 2,143 young people in China, provides the most extensive evidence on the spread of the virus in children, and there is bad news and good news. The study provides confirmation that coronavirus infections are in fact generally less severe in kids, with more than 90 percent having mild to moderate disease or even being asymptomatic. But it contains worrisome information about one subset — infants — and suggests that children may be a critical factor in the disease’s rapid spread.
COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic has a natural origin
An analysis of public genome sequence data from SARS-CoV-2 and related viruses found no evidence that the virus was made in a laboratory or otherwise engineered.
Chloroquine: is a 70-year-old treatment for malaria the key to beating coronavirus?
Doctors in France offer glimmer of hope as they reveal a positive result from treatment.
Yes, Young People Are Falling Seriously Ill From Covid-19
In the U.S., 705 of first 2,500 cases range in age from 20 to 44. Despite initial data from China that showed elderly people and those with other health conditions were most vulnerable, young people — from twenty-somethings to those in their early forties — are falling seriously ill. Many require intensive care, according to reports from Italy and France. The risk is particularly dire for those with ailments that haven’t yet been diagnosed.
Scots scientist says one million coronavirus vaccines will be available by end of the year
The Scottish scientist developing a lifesaving vaccine for coronavirus says one million doses will be available for distribution by the end of the year with first responders, medical staff and those with underlying medical conditions given priority.
A Potential COVID-19 Vaccine Begins Clinical Trial
NPR's Mary Louise Kelly speaks with Moderna Therepeutics' Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tal Zaks about the COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial, which started on Monday in Seattle.
Trials to begin on Covid-19 vaccine in UK next month
Researchers hope to conduct animal tests next week and safety trials as early as next month
Nearly 40 Percent of U.S. Hospitalized Coronavirus Patients Are Age 20 to 54
Data released Wednesday night by the CDC shows that of the 508 patients known to have been hospitalized in the U.S. for COVID-19, about 20% of those were ages 20 to 44 and another 18% were between the ages of 45 and 54. However, COVID-19 is still significantly more dangerous in older patients, as 80% of deaths associated with coronavirus are adults over the age of 65.
Coronavirus: Australian scientists map how immune system fights virus
Scientists in Australia say they have identified how the body's immune system fights the Covid-19 virus. Their research, published in Nature Medicine journal on Tuesday, shows people are recovering from the new virus like they would from the flu. Determining which immune cells are appearing should also help with vaccine development, experts say.

"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 23rd Mar 2020

Isolation Tips
WHO Health Alert brings COVID-19 facts to billions via WhatsApp
WHO Health Alert on COVID-19
Coronavirus symptoms: how quickly do they show and what to look out for
This guide on coronavirus symptoms, underpinned with advice from leading health experts, is designed to protect you and your family
One doctor’s straight talk about the coronavirus strikes a chord with anxious Americans
A Chicago epidemiologist is drawing praise for her comments at a Friday news conference that outlined with clarity and urgency how seemingly small sacrifices today will prevent deaths of loved ones and strangers next week.
Stress, Anxiety and Depression Associated With the Coronavirus COVID-19 Disease
The current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is a particular and rare situation. It can affect people physically, but also psychologically. In this type of context, many people will experience stress, anxiety and depression reactions. This page should be seen as a resource that can help you to minimize the repercussions of these kinds of reactions on your life.
How to deal with stress and anxiety induced by the coronavirus epidemic
CNN's Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta speak with psychologist Gretchen Schmelzer during a CNN town hall about how to cope with stress induced by the coronavirus outbreak. #CNN #News
Listen to these medical professionals - join them and save lives - its easy STAY AT HOME
Save lives stay at home
Self-isolating in style - Sally and Ken from Penzance are both in their 80s, both have dementia but she loves to play the piano - no sheet music! - and he loves to dance
This is self-isolating in style - Sally and Ken from Penzance are both in their 80s, both have dementia but she loves to play the piano - no sheet music! - and he loves to dance Smiling face with heart-shaped eyes #coronavirus #selfisolating
Recruiting adults in the UK to answer weekly 10-15min online surveys about their psychological & social experiences during Covid-19.
*** NEW COVID-19 STUDY *** Recruiting adults in the UK to answer weekly 10-15min online surveys about their psychological & social experiences during Covid-19. Results will help identify the effects of social isolation & how to support mental health. http://covid19study.org
Tired of all the bad news?: 10 good news about the coronavirus
Tired of negativity ?: 10 good news about the coronavirus; we know what the virus is, we know how to detect it, China just saw two days in a row without a new infection, 80% of the cases are mild, most are cured, children and young people 'seem to be' less affected, washing your hands regularly can deactivate any virus traces on them, there are hundreds of published scientific articles, a vaccine to prevent it is getting closer, there are already more than 80 clinical trials with antiviral medicines seeking to combat it
Traffic and Pollution Plummet as U.S. Cities Shut Down for Coronavirus
In cities across the United States, traffic on roads and highways has fallen dramatically over the past week as the coronavirus outbreak forces people to stay at home and everyday life grinds to a halt. Pollution has dropped too. A satellite that detects emissions in the atmosphere linked to cars and trucks shows huge declines in pollution over major metropolitan areas, including Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, Chicago and Atlanta.
Hygiene Helpers
Song about how social distancing & handwashing can help us work together to beat the coronavirus (subtitles)
Song about how social distancing can help us work together to beat the coronavirus (subtitles)
Hygiene Helpers - website resource for parents on coronavirus issues - University of Florida
Meet the Helpers is a website working to keep families safe from the Coronavirus. Learn what is The best way to help is to develop and reinforce good hygiene routines.
How to wash your hands like a pro
Video explaining how to wash your hands like a pro
Get social distancing now, it is how you can help flatten the curve in the number of cases & make it manageable for our health services - be your community's champion
Doctors warn coronavirus could overwhelm NHS ‘within weeks’ - Intensive care audit shows sharp rise in admissions to critical care as London hospitals struggle to cope
You must social distance as soon as possible. It's the only way to stop our key healthcare workers getting infected too. They risk their lives helping you. Let's help them by social distancing now
Coronavirus: 'Healthy' NHS nurse, 36, in intensive care after contracting COVID-19
Animated match-burning video shows how social distancing can stop the spread of Covid-19
Spanish graphic designer Juan Delcan created an animated video to demonstrate how social distancing can stop the spread of Covid-19. He hopes the video will encourage the viewers to stay home amid the pandemic.
Stay home flatten the curve!
Stay home flatten the curve!
Police vow to enforce virus pub ban as some in UK continue to gather
Scotland says it will enforce law; Northern Ireland deals with end-of-school parties; Wales boosts NHS measures
Last night the NYPD visited 6,900 bars & restaurants. NO summonses or arrests, and NO enforcement action needed. 4,900 locations were already closed
New Yorkers: Always adapt. Always at our best in a crisis. Last night the NYPD visited 6,900 bars & restaurants. NO summonses or arrests, and NO enforcement action needed. 4,900 locations were already closed. Thank you, NYC
Brilliant #NHSCovidHeroes doing a much better job at messaging Covid
Brilliant #NHSCovidHeroes doing a much better job at messaging on Covid than the government, despite the latter’s access to millions and the ears of all the top lobby journos #StayHomeSaveLives
Community Activities
Bristolians are self-organising a phenomenal coronavirus fight back in ways that will outlast pandemic
Noah Goldman is a bar worker who describes himself as “the person who happened to set up a Facebook group” on 12th March. That group, Bristol Community Care – Covid-19 Mutual Aid, now has thousands of members and has helped spawn a Facebook group for almost all postcode areas in Bristol. “I was talking to a friend in Italy about how they were dealing with the outbreak, and thought we need to do something now to collectively defend ourselves,” he says. The response has been overwhelming. “People have organised in an organic way that I wouldn’t have considered a possibility last week,” he adds. “Where the government has failed, we are now looking across the street for answers.” He’s now buckling down to support the BS5 group, which has one thousand members.
Here are some of the heroes rising from the coronavirus pandemic
Here are some of the ways people are lending a hand through individual acts and large-scale efforts: Feeding children who depend on school to eat, Contributing to hourly workers' wages, Providing resources to those most affected, Some people are using music to bridge the distance the outbreak has imposed on their communities,
Voice of the People: Coronavirus will only be defeated by acts of humanity
As a nation, we have never been here before. And we cannot be sure, beyond hope, where or how we are going to end up.
Somerset Facebook group helping vulnerable during pandemic goes viral
More than 10,000 people have joined Coronavirus Community Help Taunton on Facebook to help elderly and vulnerable people during the coronavirus outbreak
'It's loneliness that kills, not the virus': volunteers step forward to help
From musicians to dog walkers, people from all walks of life are mobilising to support people coping with isolation
Big applause hour for NHS 26th March 8pm
This made me cry just reading it. It’s going to be quite a moment. Please share far and wide #CoronaCrisis
Acts of kindness amid coronavirus pandemic
From supermarkets establishing "elderly hours" to people singing from their balconies in a show of solidarity, here are some random acts of kindness that help keep spirits up during tough times
Spaniards applaud their healthworker heroes each day at 8pm from their balconies and their windows
Spaniards applaud their healthworker heroes each day at 8pm from their balconies and their windows. This lifts everyone's spirits and expresses the solidarity most feel towards the Spanish health service battling the coronavirus sweeping the country
Video - police in Mallorca on lock down rounds entertain the people
The Police in Mallorca, Spain making rounds around villages on lock down to do this To alleviate the anxiety of the people and to keep them entertained
Social distancing - Mumbai, India: Empty platforms at Nahur station on central line in Mumbai
Mumbai: Empty platforms at Nahur station on central line in Mumbai. #JantaCurfew #CautionYesPanicNo
Chino Hills High School Chamber Singers recorded “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from their homes while #PhysicalDistancing in #California.
Chino Hills High School Chamber Singers recorded “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from their homes while #PhysicalDistancing in #California. 19 students *individually* filmed their a cappella parts, then synched up their videos in a virtual performance.
Cornavirus: Britain's rural towns warn 'don't come here to escape COVID-19'
People have been told to stay home but many are trying to find isolation elsewhere, placing strain on small towns.
Coronavirus: what your insurance may (and may not) cover
Travel has been a big issue for many people – but your policy could also help with weddings, income and rent
A senior NHS boss has accused panic buyers of depriving healthcare staff of the food supplies they need, adding: “Frankly we should all be ashamed.”
A senior NHS boss has accused panic buyers of depriving healthcare staff of the food supplies they need, adding: “Frankly we should all be ashamed.” NHS England national medical director Stephen Powis’​ comments, at a Downing Street press conference, came after days in which supermarkets have seen their shelves stripped of food by shoppers fearful of running out during the coronavirus shutdown.
When you buy too much, you cause problems in the resupply chain. This hurts the vulnerable. Stop panic buying.
When you buy too much, you cause problems in the resupply chain. This hurts the vulnerable. Stop panic buying.
NHS staff dancing - these amazing people keep us all safe (click to see video)
The spirit of NHS staff is absolutely astonishing - Please RT if you’re proud. WE WILL BEAT THIS!
The best financial resources during the coronavirus crisis
The newspaper lists a series of useful tips for dealing with the financial crisis which has been caused in many households because of the coronoavirus pandemic
Seeking to register volunteers to help the elderly and single people in Russia during any coronavirus quarantine period
The government strongly encourage everyone over the age of 60 to self-isolate at home for at least 3 weeks in a bid to shield them from the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. NGOs are calling for volunteers to make sure that elderly and vulnerable neighbors have everything they need. In each region of the country, regional coordinators of volunteer headquarters for the elderly in the coronavirus situation have been identified.
Working Remotely
Coronavirus: tidy up your books, we’re all watching remotely
We know that adventurer Ben Fogle colour-co-ordinates his bookshelves. Like remote-working Kevin McClouds, we will snoop during these isolated times. How much more will the boundaries between life and work break down? Next week, the children are home, so we will find out.
An online ambience that recreates the sound of your local cafe to help you work better
Coffitivity recreates the ambient sounds of a cafe to boost your creativity and help you work better. Proven and peer reviewed, see the research to learn more.
Virtual Classrooms
10 strategies for online learning during a coronavirus outbreak
Members of ISTE’s professional learning networks have been hard at work identifying key practices for successful online learning. Here are some of the best ideas from educators from around the world, many of whom have already been teaching during coronavirus closures.
Public Policies
Coronavirus: What could the West learn from Asia?
Take it seriously and act quickly - amke tests extensive and affordable - trace and isolate - early social distancing - keep public well-informed and onside - it is down to individuals and their attitudes and responses to this
Coronavirus: Sturgeon issues warning to pubs refusing to close
The First Minister said pubs and clubs who had not yet shut were 'putting lives at risk'.
Coronavirus: behind the scenes of the standoff between Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson
By Friday evening everything was ready to close the border between France and the UK. Emmanuel Macron called Boris Johnson, to warn him: if he persisted in taking no measures to stop the progression of the coronavirus pandemic on his territory, France would have no other choice to refuse entry to its territory to all travelers from the UK and all other EU countries would have done the same. The UK's 'policy of benign neglect' was endangering lives
Norway Parliament Grants Government Limited Emergency Powers
Norway’s parliament has agreed to give the government emergency powers to fight the coronavirus pandemic, but added restrictions to the administration’s initial proposal, party leaders told reporters in Oslo on Saturday.
The federal government is considering offering direct financial help to tenants,
The federal government is considering offering direct financial help to tenants, as well as to parents in expected payment difficulties because of the corona crisis. For example, a ban on evictions and a child supplement payment are under discussion
Germany tears up fiscal rule book to counter coronavirus pandemic (Paywall)
Berlin is planning to raise €150bn in new debt to bolster the ailing economy during this time of coronavirus crisis. Finance minister Olaf Scholz will also present the German cabinet with plans to create a new €500bn bailout fund to rescue companies hit by the outbreak, according to three people familiar with the plans.
The medical team that stopped the coronavirus in China recommends tightening the quarantine in Italy right now: "There are too many people on the street,
The medical team that stopped the coronavirus in China recommends tightening the quarantine in Italy right now: "There are too many people on the street, I don't understand what authorities are thinking by letting them do this" - "In Wuhan, just a month after the total closure we saw the first results, case levels dropped and our hospitals were able to treat patients with the necessary measures and we reduced infections," he added.
German states move closer to near-total lockdowns
Germany's state and federal leaders are yet to decide on whether to impose a nationwide coronavirus lockdown. Bavaria has introduced drastic measures of its own, but other states have also edged closer to curfews.
Government to Pay 80% of Staff Wages
The Chancellor has today announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), under which all employers can apply to HMRC for a grant to pay 80% of the wages of retained staff who are not working (known as "furlough”) up to a maximum of £2,500 per worker per month. The CJRS will be backdated to 1st March 2020 and will remain in place until at least the end of May 2020.
Coronavirus: Germany bans gatherings of more than two people
Germany will ban public meetings of more than two people as the nation works on slowing the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, the premier of North Rhine-Westphalia state has announced.
How Singapore waged war on coronavirus (paywall)
“We used the lead time that China gave us by its massive shutdown to really refine our readiness,” said Dale Fisher, professor of infectious diseases at the National University of Singapore. “By the time we had one of our cases, we were able to do tests and within a week, tests were available in all major hospitals.”
Harsh steps are needed to stop the cornonavirus experts say
No one is certain why the virus travels in this way, but experts see an opening nonetheless. “You can contain clusters,” Dr. Heymann said. “You need to identify and stop discrete outbreaks, and then do rigorous contact tracing.” But doing so takes intelligent, rapidly adaptive work by health officials, and near-total cooperation from the populace. Containment becomes realistic only when Americans realize that working together is the only way to protect themselves and their loved ones.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has just announced a four level alert system for COVID-19 and has asked all people to stop non-essential travel.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has just announced a four level alert system for COVID-19 and has asked all people to stop non-essential travel. These guidelines are set out below:
Merkel goes into quarantine after doctor tests positive for coronavirus
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will go into self-quarantine at home after a doctor who gave her a vaccination tested positive for the coronavirus. A government spokesperson said Sunday the doctor had given the chancellor a "prophylactic pneumococcus vaccine" on Friday afternoon. The chancellor was informed of the positive test after she announced strict new rules across the country on Sunday aimed at containing the virus, the spokesperson said.
Yuval Harari: This is the worst epidemic in 'at least 100 years'
The bestselling author of "Sapiens", Yuval Noah Harari tells Christiane Amanpour that the coronavirus is the worst global health threat we have faced in at least a century.
Yuval Noah Harari: the world after coronavirus (Paywall)
The decisions people and governments take in the next few weeks will probably shape the world for years to come. They will shape not just our healthcare systems but also our economy, politics and culture. We must act quickly and decisively. We should also take into account the long-term consequences of our actions. When choosing between alternatives, we should ask ourselves not only how to overcome the immediate threat, but also what kind of world we will inhabit once the storm passes
Maintaining Services
Tens of thousands of Spaniards have to break their confinement to work each day. We collect testimonies from those employees who cannot stay at home: this is the story of the workers who are most exposed in the midst of a pandemic
Every day at eight in the evening, millions of Spaniards applaud from their windows and balconies across the country. This is Spain shut down by the coronavirus, which welcomes and thanks with applause the work of health professionals such as Carmen, health workers who fight in hand-to-hand combat against the coronavirus and its effects on the health of the population as a whole
My @WHO colleagues and I are so glad to see these aggressive moves by @Twitter to end misinformation and help keep the world safe from #coronavirus
People urgently need reliable and accurate information about #COVID19. This is why my @WHO colleagues and I are so glad to see these aggressive moves by @Twitter to end misinformation and help keep the world safe from #coronavirus
We’ve pivoted to solely produce surgical masks and medical garments
I have been fruitlessly trying to reach your office regarding helping with NY’s medical supply shortages. We’ve pivoted to solely produce surgical masks and medical garments. We have the capacity to make 2 million masks a day, and would love to help. E-mails have had no response.
Companies are scrambling to build more ventilators (partial paywall)
In one category of product, scarcity is all too real. Overwhelmed health services are desperately short of mechanical ventilators to help the roughly 10% of sufferers with severe symptoms to breathe. Political leaders are urging existing specialist producers to ramp up production. Germany’s government ordered 16,000 new machines from two domestic producers. Others, like Britain’s prime minister, Boris Johnson, want manufacturers of all stripes to retool and help out. That is easier said than done
‘The government threw us under the bus’: How Bristol food businesses are working to survive coronavirus
Small businesses, especially in hospitality, face bankruptcy as Bristol goes into self isolation, but some are finding innovative ways to respond to the coronavirus crisis.
Governments and Companies Race to Make Masks Vital to Virus Fight
President Trump resists using emergency powers to compel production, saying companies will voluntarily provide much-needed protective gear. It is unclear whether enough new masks and other protective gear will be available before health care facilities start getting overwhelmed by an anticipated flood of infected patients.
UK government draws up plans to buy airline shares, that would eventually be sold back to private investors, to keep them afloat during Covid-19 !
UK government draws up plans to buy airline shares, that would eventually be sold back to private investors, to keep them afloat during Covid-19
Healthcare Innovations
South Korea has set up 'phone booths' that can test people for the #coronavirus in just 7 minutes.
The country has earned praise for its mass testing amid the #Covid19 pandemic.
Indonesia turns athletes village to emergency hospital as coronavirus cases rise
Indonesia has turned its “Athlete’s Village” built for the 2018 Asian Games into an emergency hospital with a capacity to hold more than 4,000 patients, authorities said on Sunday, as coronavirus cases and deaths in the country rose. Four out of 10 towers in the Athlete’s Village, located in the country’s capital city, have been converted into a medical facility that would house more than 7,000 people, including a coronavirus task force, medical staff and up to 4,208 patients.
Baden-Württemberg wants to take in Corona patients from France
According to “Schwäbische Zeitung”, Baden-Württemberg has agreed to admit seriously ill coronavirus patients from France to its clinics. The Ministry of Health asked the hospitals to report how many vacant ICU beds it had. Prime Minister Kretschmann is pledging Baden-Württemberg support
Spain is going to try robotic testing for COVID-19 to increase the volumes of testing so urgently needed
Raquel Yotti, director of Carlos III Public Health Institute, earlier said the first devices were being distributed on Saturday and added the government was working on acquiring four robots that could bring the number of daily tests to 80,000. That would be up from 15,000-20,000 a day at the moment. Robots are helpful as they can conduct automated testing, she said. Authorities also said they were acquiring more medical equipment, including 700 ventilators. Around 1.3 million protective masks were distributed on Saturday across Spain for healthcare staff and patients.
FDA authorizes first rapid, 'point of care' coronavirus test
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first coronavirus diagnostic test that can be conducted entirely at the point of care. The test from California-based Cepheid will deliver results in about 45 minutes — much faster than current tests that require a sample to be sent to a centralized lab, where results can take days. The test has been designed to operate on any of Cepheid's more than 23,000 automated GeneXpert Systems worldwide, of which 5,000 are in the U.S., the company said. The systems are already being used to test for conditions such as HIV and tuberculosis.
Doctors Turn to Malaria Drugs as Potential Coronavirus Treatment
Some studies of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have shown early signs of improving symptoms and manufacturers are donating drugs or looking at an increase in supplies
Coronavirus, the geopolitics of the vaccine race. And the first volunteers already try it
Oxford University will start testing next month. The hVivo labs in London offered £3,500 to citizens willing to collaborate. 20 thousand replied. In Seattle on Monday, the Kaiser Research Institute began testing a vaccine on volunteers. "It's a great opportunity to make myself useful," said Jennifer Haller, 43, after receiving the injection
The coronavirus vaccine being developed in Spain is the "most advanced" but it will take time before it becomes available
The vaccine against the new coronavirus that is being developed at the National Center for Microbiology (CNB) which is one of the "most advanced" labs in the world, according to the Minister of Science and Innovation, Pedro Duque, but the Minister warns that it will take time to arrive. "The virus is being synthesized in other laboratories with which the CNB collaborates, the network is testing to find ways to eliminate the most active and virulent portions of the virus and beginning steps to create a vaccine"
Coronavirus: China's vaccine is successfully tested on monkeys
The South China Morning Post claims that Chinese scientists have made great strides after a group of infected monkeys effectively developed immunity to the coronavirus from a newly tried vaccination
Coronavirus treatment research is being held up by Trump’s ban on the use of fetal tissue
A government-employed researcher has requested an exemption from the policy in order to begin testing coronavirus therapies.
Israeli rapid COVID-19 lab diagnostic kits in production
A hospital lab kit to diagnose COVID-19 in 50 minutes is nearing the market, while a home kit will be ready within four months, says BATM founder.
Lost Sense of Smell May Be Peculiar Clue to Coronavirus Infection
Doctor groups are recommending testing and isolation for people who lose their ability to smell and taste, even if they have no other symptoms.
A Silent Hero of the Coronavirus Crisis
Technology has been the true champion in the fight against the spread of COVID-19. Here, I don’t mean the ICUs and respirators without which severely ill patients would not stand a chance. I mean the new data-driven technologies that enabled responsible governments to track the infected, contact them, and quarantine them early. These technologies have been the target of much criticism in recent years. Now, when they are helping us save lives, they deserve our praise.

"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 24th Mar 2020

Isolation Tips
Coronavirus: how to self-isolate
What to do if you have symptoms of Covid-19, have travelled to a badly affected area, or have been in contact with someone who has the disease
How to talk to your child about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) 8 tips to help comfort and protect children.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by everything you’re hearing about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) right now. It’s also understandable if your children are feeling anxious, too. Children might find it difficult to understand what they are seeing online or on TV – or hearing from other people – so they can be particularly vulnerable to feelings of anxiety, stress and sadness. But having an open, supportive discussion with your children can help them understand, cope and contribute
People self-isolating must ask for help says Norfolk’s public health chief
"If you are self-isolating, ask other people for help, for example to fetch groceries, collect deliveries, post mail and walk the dog.” People helping should maintain good hygiene, such as regularly washing their hands and should leave items outside people’s homes, rather than seeing them in person.
Taking care of your mental health during coronavirus
Feeling anxious and fearful with all this uncertainty, or angry, frustrated and confused is pretty common. "These are normal reactions to a not-normal time," says the mental health foundation, Headspace. With that in mind, we've collected a bunch of tips from the most reputable organisations, on how you can best protect your mental health while we all grapple with COVID-19.
Being Positive during a Pandemic: 5 tips for getting through the coronavirus as a better person
The arrival of COVID-19 to Milwaukee brought a great deal of uncertainty in its wake. Beyond the obvious health risks is an economic vulnerability that has not been experienced before. Many people feel that the routine of daily life has been sidelined, because COVID-19 has shut down educational institutions, entertainment venues, public events, places of business, and leisure activities. Dr. Malika Siker was a recent guest of the GoGedders Podcast on the subject of the coronavirus. She offered suggestions for people seeking ways to cope, and those eager to help others. These 5 tips expand on that advice.
Caring for mental health during the pandemic
During a time in which individuals are urged to stay inside whenever possible, it may become harder to care for one’s mental health. According to the CDC, natural responses to stress during a pandemic may include anxiety surrounding the health of themselves and loved ones, changes in sleep or eating patterns, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, worsening of chronic health problems, and an increased use of substances such as alcohol. The following advice on how to care for one’s mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic is compiled from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the WHO, the National Alliance on Mental Health, and the CDC.
Don’t neglect your mental health during this pandemic
Just as we are moving rapidly to safeguard our physical health, we must act with equal urgency to preserve our mental health and make psychiatric care accessible. We have the technology we need to allow doctors to stay in touch with patients they can’t see in person. Now, we must act quickly to remove the obstacles posed by regulations and insurance bureaucracies, so doctors can provide critical mental health care.
Full guidance on staying at home and away from others
When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. That is why the government is now (23 March 2020) introducing three new measures. 1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes 2. Closing non-essential shops and community spaces 3. Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public
Hygiene Helpers
How to Protect Yourself and Prepare for the Coronavirus
The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus a pandemic, and the number of cases continues to rise worldwide. These basic steps can help you reduce your risk of getting sick or infecting others.
How to protect yourself from the coronavirus Good hygiene and social distancing remain the top two tactics.
"The no. 1 thing you can do to prevent any respiratory illness is to practice good personal hygiene." Washing your hands correctly -- using soap and water and washing for at least 20 seconds -- or using hand sanitizer when soap and water aren't available, still stands as the best way to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, according to the CDC
Community Activities
Pill volunteers canvas village to provide coronavirus help
A group is distributing leaflets throughout Pill and Easton-in-Gordano in an effort to help those who have had to self isolate in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Here to Help - back our campaign to support communities amid coronavirus
David Powles, editor of the EDP and Evening News, said: “We know that when we face upheaval, our communities pull together in their time of need. The outbreak of this virus is no exception, and already we’re seeing the kind gestures being made by businesses and people across Norfolk and Waveney. “But we want to encourage everyone, where possible, to be involved. We might not be able to nip round someone’s house or pop over for a chat, but there are plenty of safe ways we can help others, whether’s that’s picking up the phone for a chat to lift someone’s spirits or offering to collect a prescription.
The great Aussie spirit: Facebook group allows people to 'adopt' a healthcare worker
Chris Nicholas launched Facebook group 'Adopt a Healthcare Worker' last week. Its mission is to 'support those who support us', particularly during COVID-19. So far 17,693 have joined the group and offered their services up to others. People are walking their pets, buying their groceries and childminding
Auckland woman creates coronavirus care packages for elderly struggling during COVID-19 pandemic
On Thursday, Mellissa Richardson posted on Facebook about her plan to create care packages of essential items and drop them off to vulnerable people in her community. Richardson told Newshub she has received numerous large donations since her post. "I was thinking of just little care packs and it's slowly turning into my second job. We have had large donations of canned food, hand sanitiser, and groceries which is great."
How you can help during the coronavirus outbreak
Several nonprofit organizations could use your time and money to make sure vulnerable populations are cared for during the pandemic
“We are not the frontline in this battle. We as healthcare workers stand in the back. We’re the LAST line of defense. The frontline of this epidemic is YOU, the people in the community, tasked with the challenge of keeping each other safe.”
We’re the LAST line of defense. The frontline of this epidemic is YOU, the people in the community, tasked with the challenge of keeping each other safe.”
#Covidiots trends on Twitter as people urge others to stay inside amid coronavirus outbreak
Around the world people have taken to social media with a newly coined word #covidiots to describe those who behave badly during the global pandemic.
Scouse Army: Thousands sign up to help city's most vulnerable in coronavirus fight
Council inundated with offers as new foodbank production hub is planned
In #Turkey, people have started to leave food packets on the road for the poor and the needy who cannot earn due to #COVIDー19 lockdown.
In #Turkey, people have started to leave food packets on the road for the poor and the needy who cannot earn due to #COVIDー19 lockdown. Love you #Turks for representing us. #coronavirus #COVID19 #Italy #MulikaCorona #coronaviruskenya
Look For the Helpers: Stepping Up to Stomp Out COVID-19
Fighting the coronavirus requires people to socially distance themselves, but it also calls on community members to help one another—and that’s exactly what’s taking place all around the globe. To answer the call for help, a network of Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers have stepped up to support and shield people in need. Teams are doing everything they can to aid their communities.
Chennai-based app Alserv provides doorstep services for the elderly
Alserv, a Chennai-based startup app, promises to provide essential services, like healthcare and maintenance, to senior citizens at their doorstep
Working Remotely
As coronavirus forces millions to work remotely, the US economy may have reached a 'tipping point' in favor of working from home
Companies are enabling remote work to keep business running while helping employees follow social distancing guidelines. A typical company saves about $11,000 per half-time telecommuter per year, according to Global Workplace Analytics. As companies adapt to their remote work structures, the coronavirus pandemic is having a lasting impact on how work is conducted.
Could remote working be the future of work?
As all the normal rules for business and social interactions are shredded daily by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, working remotely has become a lifeline for UK businesses. Many organisations that have previously ignored remote working are making an overnight u-turn, or those that only allowed hybrid working when team workloads overflowed, now need a framework, some rules and fast ideas for keeping morale up.
Virtual Classrooms
Schools conduct lessons via virtual classrooms for pupil
Many platforms are providing their services free of cost to enable teachers and students to conduct live online classes, share learning material, address student queries, share assignments, conduct quizes and exams, record attendance and a whole lot more to conduct online classes seamlessly
'Let your kids get bored': emergency advice from teachers on schooling at home
School may have closed for the foreseeable future, and all exams cancelled, but children still need to be educated and entertained – as well as reassured. Many schools plan to send work home and there are lots of free resources available via online platforms such as BBC Teach.
Our first virtual assembly for our Degerloch Lower School students took place on Friday
Our first virtual assembly for our Degerloch Lower School students took place on Friday! #distancelearning #virtualassembly #ISStuttgart
Covid-19 in UAE: Virtual classrooms would be just like real ones
Though classes will go online from today, the general setup would resemble real classrooms, educators have told Khaleej Times. The classes would entail a proper routine and students will learn from a setup similar to the desk-and-chair one they are used to in schools. Classes would be conducted as per timetables shared with parents and students previously.
Online Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic
What do we gain and what do we lose when classrooms go virtual?
‘Normal school day’: Perth students trial virtual classrooms amid crisis
Instead of being herded into a classroom on Thursday morning as the school bell rang, some WA students stayed at home and logged in online to their new-look virtual lessons. Although WA schools still remain open amid the COVID-19 pandemic, up to 30 per cent of WA students are staying home, and at least one private school has started trialling virtual classrooms.
Public Policies
China to Lift Lockdown Over Virus Epicenter Wuhan on April 8
China’s Hubei province said it will allow transportation to resume for the city of Wuhan on April 8, effectively lifting a mass quarantine over the city where the coronavirus first emerged last December. People in Wuhan will be allowed to leave the city and Hubei province, according to a statement on the provincial government’s website Tuesday.
Coronavirus: What are the new restrictions and why are they needed?
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a series of new restrictions to fight the coronavirus outbreak in a televised address from 10 Downing Street.
In Italy Bergamo's streets are empty as it deals with a devastating number of coronavirus-related deaths – and the Mayor calls on people in the UK to learn and get social distancing now
In Italy Bergamo's streets are empty as it deals with a devastating number of coronavirus-related deaths – and the Mayor calls on people in the UK to learn and get social distancing now
Iceland, able to test its entire population, found half of those who tested positive had no symptoms #TestTestTest
Coronavirus’ silent spreaders — Iceland, able to test its entire population, found half of those who tested positive had no symptoms #TestTestTest
Policymakers Can’t Afford to Neglect Home Care Providers During COVID-19 Pandemic
“What we’ve seen, now more than ever, is that home care is a critical component in the prevention and spread of this virus,” Emma Dickison, CEO and president of Home Helpers, told HHCN. “By being in the home, we are the first to notice any changes in the health of the clients that are the most vulnerable to this virus. As a result, we are able to help them seek care earlier.”
Anthony Fauci’s Plan to Stay Honest
Fauci has advised six presidents since he became the head of NIAID in 1984. But he’s never seen a disease quite like COVID-19, nor has he ever worked for a president quite like Trump. Our conversation has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
Why Singapore reopened schools despite coronavirus: They used science
Schools in Singapore reopened on Monday, March 23, after the students’ regular March holidays, despite the rising number of novel coronavirus cases in the city-state.Singapore Education Minister Ong Ye Kung on Sunday, March 22, outlined Singapore’s reasons for deciding to reopen classes, providing a glimpse into how decisions are made to fight the coronavirus in Singapore. Their decision was based on science, as well as careful analysis of their society.
As Coronavirus Cases Add Up, California Frantically Counts Tests, Beds and Masks
Across a state with many large biotechnology companies, the promise of widespread access to testing for the coronavirus has not materialized.
Asylum seekers and refugees in Australia in detention anxious and scared of a Covid-19 outbreak write to PM asking for release
Asylum seekers and refugees said they were “anxious and scared” of a Covid-19 outbreak inside detention, saying they were being held “in a potential death trap in which we have no option or means to protect ourselves”.
Coronavirus: How to apply for government business support
The government has released details about the £350bn package of financial support which Chancellor Rishi Sunak has promised to UK business to deal with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Coronavirus: Govt hasn't run ads on pandemic from official social media accounts
The government has been offered as many free adverts on Facebook and Instagram accounts as it needs to promote its policies of lockdown and the protection of public health. To date, the government has failed to run a single advert.
Healthcare Innovations
UK is mass-producing a coronavirus antibody and antigen test in the UK and Senegal which can tell you if you've ever had the infection or if you're currently ill
The UK Government is working with the inventors of the home pregnancy test to develop a coronavirus testing kit in Britain and Senegal. Mologic was granted £1million to produce two different types of test which reveal if someone has ever had the deadly virus in the past. The kits – one will look for antigens in spit, the other will scour blood for antibodies – could also tell if a person currently has the infection. But the company, who laboratory in Bedfordshire was visited by Prime Minister Boris Johnson this month, estimates it will be up to six months before Brits can use them
Germany's low coronavirus mortality rate intrigues experts
While the pandemic has hit Germany with full force, with Johns Hopkins University noting 22,364 confirmed infections by Sunday morning, only 84 people are so far reported to have died. This means Germany currently has the lowest mortality rate of the 10 countries most severely hit by the pandemic: 0.3% compared with 9% in Italy and 4.6% in the UK.
Taiwan Case Study - COVID-19 can be defeated, we just need a radical change of strategy
Taiwan had its first case of COVID-19 at the end of January. Today it has just 168. This shows COVID-19 can be defeated, we just need a radical change of strategy from our government.
Valencia announces the first move of a Coronavirus patient from an intensive care unit to a normal ward at the Hospital General in Castellón. Via @GVAsanitat
Valencia announces the first move of a Coronavirus patient from an intensive care unit to a normal ward at the Hospital General in Castellón. Via @GVAsanitat
CDC says coronavirus survived in Princess Cruise ship cabins for up to 17 days after passengers left
The coronavirus survived for up to 17 days aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, living far longer on surfaces than previous research has shown, according to new data published Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Coronavirus, the Istituto Superiore di Sanità: from the initial data we have reviewed "Only 12 people died who did not have previous underlying pathologies"
The data in this statistical analysis can help experts better appreciate the aggressiveness of the virus, while at the same time, it reinforces the government's call to the people of Italy not to let down their guard.
COVID-19: 5 reasons to be cautiously hopeful
In the context of this global pandemic, feeling overwhelmed by all the negative information is a natural response. But researchers are also hard at work trying to understand, treat, and prevent the new coronavirus. We take a look at some of their results.
COVID-19: Recovered patients may have partially reduced lung function in some cases
A small study of 12 patients discharged from hospital showed that two or three had reduced lung function. However, it is too early to confirm any long-term effects. "In some patients, lung function could decline by about 20 to 30% after recovery," says Dr. Owen Tsang Tak-yin, medical director of the Infectious Diseases Centre at Princess Margaret Hospital in Hong Kong. In confirms earlier findings from Wuhan in early February where researchers examined scans of 140 patients
1 in 5 hospitalized coronavirus patients is between 20 and 44 years old, CDC report finds
A new study shows young people are developing serious complications from the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. On Wednesday, the CDC released a report to detail the complications in the US from the disease. The study took a look at 508 patients who had been hospitalized from the virus and found 20 percent were aged 20–44 years.
Human immune systems respond to coronavirus in the same way it fights flu: Researchers
As scientists scramble to develop a vaccine, researchers at Australia's Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity said they had taken an important step in understanding the virus by mapping the immune responses from one of country's first coronavirus patients. By examining the blood results from an unidentified woman in her 40s, they discovered that people's immune systems respond to coronavirus in the same way it typically fights flu.

"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 25th Mar 2020

Isolation Tips
Chris Hadfield and other astronauts share self-isolation tips during coronavirus
On Saturday, Hadfield posted a video called Astronaut's Guide to Self Isolation to help those struggling with working from home or just feeling stir-crazy during the pandemic.
How to self‑isolate: coronavirus advice and tips for over‑70s
The Times offers basic steps for people self-isolating to reduce risk, protect their immune system and stay healthy throughout the coronavirus crisis
Tips for handling work and kids during COVID-19 isolation
The combination of working and supervising children during a pandemic has the potential to create stress and family conflict. Experts say that the best route forward is to maintain some semblance of structure, while allowing that this is an unprecedented situation.
In coronavirus self-isolation? 8 top health tips to keep you sane and strong
As the covid-19 pandemic forces people out of their daily routines and into quarantine, stress and anxiety is rife here are some ideas to help you get through it
Coronavirus lockdown: An introvert's guide to self-isolation
Firstly, this is the biggest of big ones: You need a to-do list. You need a structure to your day, a plan and a goal. This is not only good for getting things done, but it’s also great for your mental health and feeling you’ve achieved something – feeling there is a point to your day. If you are actively working from home many of these things may be defined by your job. If you’re simply stuck at home with nothing to do, remember: There is never nothing to do!
Hygiene Helpers
Have I already had coronavirus? How would I know and what should I do?
Covid-19 symptoms vary widely, and undertesting in many countries means that many people may have already had the coronavirus without having received a positive diagnosis. Is it possible to find out, and how should you behave if you think you may have been infected?
Coronavirus Ireland: Foods and vitamins to boost your immune system amid crisis
Support your body through the stress of the situation with these ingredients We have entered a new world order and as the uncertainty of the coronavirus ... from our health to our business’. So what foods should we be fuelling our bodies with at this tough time? As we become accustomed to self isolation, here are the top foods to boost ...
Community Activities
Very inspiring. Rotterdam's Philharmonic Orchestra plays 'Ode to Joy' together, whilst in isolation.
Very inspiring. Rotterdam's Philharmonic Orchestra plays 'Ode to Joy' together, whilst in isolation. We do love our EU, don't we?
Lancaster Royal Grammar School and city hotels offer free beds for NHS and other key workers
Hotels and the grammar school in Lancaster are offering beds for hospital key workers to reduce the risk of them infecting their families with coronavirus.
Working Remotely
The internet’s resilience to mass homeworking
This week, as people who could work from home did, the Underground emptied out and the internet filled up. By March 15th, a day before the prime minister asked people to telecommute, British internet traffic was already up 12% compared with the beginning of February, according to data from Cloudflare, a big network-infrastructure provider. Ridership on the Tube, meanwhile, slumped.
Adjusting to Remote Work During the Coronavirus Crisis
The right technology tools and clear and constant communication are more important than ever. She recommends that managers do an official remote-work launch, carefully plan and facilitate virtual meetings, and pay extra attention to workers’ behavior. For individual contributors, it’s critical to maintain a routine but also embrace flexibility, especially if you’re in the house with family.
A Swiss hotel is offering a luxury quarantine package — including a $500 coronavirus test
Le Bijou, a high-end Swiss hospitality company that’s part luxury hotel, part serviced apartment, that has meant launching the Covid-19 Service — a customizable stay with add-ons such as in-room coronavirus testing, doctor visits and 24/7 nurse care.
Virtual Classrooms
Philly students will receive laptops during coronavirus shutdown
“We are looking into acquisition and distribution over the next couple of weeks,” Hite said. While the task may seem impossible, the New York City Department of Education distributed 175,000 laptops, Chromebooks, and iPads over the last few weeks and began online learning Monday.
Online classes and activities children can take part in during the coronavirus outbreak
From cries of ‘I’m bored’ to knowing ‘do you want to draw another picture?’ is just not going to cut it, the reality of having so many hours to fill is certainly hitting home. Thankfully though, celebrities and other digital influencers have been stepping in to fill the boredom void, offering a wealth of online classes and activities to keep kids busy in these trying times. From Joe Wicks keeping children fit to Professor Brian Cox making physics fun, here’s our run-down of all the online resources your kids can access today and onwards.
No Classroom, No Problem: Students Adjust to Virtual High School
A charter school in Kearny Mesa is showing its flexibility and innovation in dealing with the school closures due to the coronavirus by turning its regular school classrooms into virtual classrooms over the weekend. "I’m at home inside my bedroom,” said Ms. Erica Gibson who teaches 12th grade English at School for Entrepreneurship and Technology (SET) High School in Kearny Mesa. “We have class online. We’re learning about The Crucibles."
Coronavirus: Academic City Adopts Virtual Classroom For Students
Academic City University College, a premium STEAM and Entrepreneurial tertiary education has resumed active teaching and learning sessions online to enable students continue their education. This is as a result of the shut-down of the physical university due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Prof. Fred McBagonluri, President of Academic City explained that the university has adopted a virtual classrooms mechanism to create an environment where faculty and students can engage, interact and discuss presentations and assignments in the comfort of their homes.
STEMROBO Technologies Announces Launch Of Online Virtual Classrooms Amid Coronavirus
To bring the solutions for k-12 students, India’s Ed-tech startup STEMROBO Technologies working in the field of STEM education for K-12 students has announced that they have started providing online virtual cloud-based Learning Management Model through its Tinker learning platform for students without any cost. Through this initiative, students in class 4-12 can learn, program and experiment in the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) at home. The objective to start the online classes is to provide all the STEM learning facilities which students were getting in schools from Atal Tinkering Labs and also to maintain stability in their studies so that their flow won’t get a break by this amidst a crisis.
Public Policies
Coronavirus: Wuhan's recovery offers UK some reasons to be cheerful
As the UK goes into lockdown, the Chinese city where the pandemic started is to lift its restrictions.
Why Estonia Was Poised to Handle How a Pandemic Would Change Everything
Estonia declared a state of emergency on March 12th. The next night, two companies, in coöperation with the government, launched a forty-eight-hour idea-collection session, called Hack the Crisis. Five of the ideas would receive startup funds of up to five thousand euros, for immediate execution. “Do not stop at anything,” the organizers wrote.
Mass Testing is the Vaccine Until there is a Vaccine' and Could Prevent 70% of Deaths' say NHS Consultants
Stephen Colegrave reports on why two NHS doctors have written to Boris Johnson with their recommendation that only mass testing can now prevent a significant number of COVID-19 deaths in the UK.
'Kiwis – go home': New Zealand to go into month-long lockdown to fight coronavirus
New Zealand is preparing to enter a month-long nationwide lockdown from Wednesday night, with the entire country ordered to stay home apart from those in essential services. On Monday the nation was given two days to prepare for schools, businesses and community services to turn off the lights in a desperate bid to stem the spread of the coronavirus. The move came after the number of cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand rose past 100.
500 British Transport Police officers deployed to remind Tube and rail passengers of non-essential travel ban
Five hundred British Transport Police officers have been deployed to remind passengers that only those making essential journeys for work should be using the rail and Tube networks. In London, there has been growing concern about rush hour Tube carriages remaining packed, despite requests for only key workers to use public transport to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Moscow's mayor warns Putin that regional officials don't understand coronavirus risks and says low levels of testing could explain Russia's small number of confirmed cases
At a meeting with the president on Tuesday, Sobyanin warned that “not all regions understand” the necessity of tough measures because of the low number of detected infections. Moscow’s mayor pointed out that the small number of confirmed cases could actually be due to a low level of testing. “The testing volume is very low and nobody knows the real picture,” Sobyanin explained.
Maintaining Services
There are 20,000 Black cab drivers kicking their heels. @BorisJohnson why don't you use them to collect & drive #keyworkers to & from work rather than make them risk getting #COVID19 on public transport?
There are 20,000 Black cab drivers kicking their heels. @BorisJohnson why don't you use them to collect & drive #keyworkers to & from work rather than make them risk getting #COVID19 on public transport?Man shruggingThe drivers can be paid & key workers stay safe to help us. #SaveOurNHS
The new supermarket rules - here's what you need to know about the social distancing restrictions
Supermarkets are asking customers to stay 2m from each other and installing screens
Coronavirus: Supermarkets limit shoppers as rules tighten
Visit a supermarket today and you're likely to be greeted outside by a member of staff. They'll be ensuring you stick to the new strict social-distancing rules that have applied since Monday evening. At Waitrose you'll be met by a marshal, while at M&S they're called greeters. Asda will also station more staff at its shop doors to "greet" customers. Their jobs are exactly the same: to ensure only a limited number of shoppers enter stores at any one time. They also check people are queuing responsibly and that shoppers wait patiently and stand two metres away from each other.
Coronavirus: Waitrose and Lidl deploy 'two-metre marshals' and checkout screens as contactless limit to be raised
Waitrose and Lidl are among chains to enforce distancing measures as supermarkets remain open for spending on lockdown essentials.
Please keep donating': NHS urges people to keep giving blood and says it is an 'essential form of helping the vulnerable'
The NHS has urged people to keep donating blood during the UK-wide coronavirus lockdown as it is essential to patients and a form of helping the vulnerable. NHS figures reveal a 15 per cent drop in whole blood donations since the draconian measures limiting movement came into force across Britain. Following the tightening of restrictions announced last night there are fears the number of blood donations may continue to plummet.
Coronavirus: Pharmacies urge public to only buy medicines they need amid panic buying
Pharmacies have urged the public to only buy medicines they need to avoid "creating difficulties" for others following panic buying across the UK. There is no overall shortage of prescription medicines, but there has been an increase in demand for all types of products - particularly hand sanitisers, paracetamol and thermometers.
Ford joins GE, 3M in speeding up ventilator, respirator production
Ford and GE Healthcare will expand the production of GE’s ventilator design to support patients with respiratory failure or difficulty breathing caused by the pathogen. In addition, they are developing a simplified design that Ford could begin making at one of its plants. The plan is to get the new design approved quickly by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Tom Westrick, vice president and chief quality officer at GE Healthcare, said on a conference call. Ford also is evaluating a separate effort not involving GE with the British government to make additional ventilators.
Healthcare Innovations
Welsh doctor uses military experience to design ventilator that will help coronavirus patients
Ventilators that could save the lives of thousands of people suffering from coronavirus across the UK are being made in Carmarthenshire. The device has been designed by a senior consultant at Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen and an engineering company in Ammanford. The implement, called a Covid Emergency Ventilator, has been given the go-ahead by the Welsh Government and it is hoped that a hundred of them can be manufactured in just one day, something that could potentially save a huge number of lives. The machine helps patients to breathe and also cleans a room of viral particles, ensuring that patients are only supplied with purified air.
OxVent: could this prototype ventilator save thousands of lives?
Meet the mega-brain engineers, clinicians, students and manufacturers from Oxford University and King’s College who have built a machine that could be key to the battle against COVID-19.
The coronavirus isn’t mutating quickly, suggesting a vaccine would offer lasting protection
The coronavirus is not mutating significantly as it circulates through the human population, according to scientists who are closely studying the novel pathogen’s genetic code. That relative stability suggests the virus is less likely to become more or less dangerous as it spreads, and represents encouraging news for researchers hoping to create a long-lasting vaccine.
Why Germany’s coronavirus death rate is so much lower than other countries’ rates
“At the beginning, when we had relatively few cases, when it came to finding them and isolating them, we did quite well in Germany,” said Reinhard Busse, head of the department of health care management at the Berlin University of Technology. “That’s the major reason.” Other factors, such as the age of those infected and the timing of Germany’s outbreak, also play a role in the differing death rates. But testing widely has been key.
Pharma firm Anges and Osaka University to begin testing coronavirus vaccine on animals
Japanese biopharmaceutical firm Anges Inc said on Tuesday that it and Osaka University had completed development of a DNA vaccine against the new coronavirus and that it would begin testing it in animals soon.
PhRMA, BIO campaign champions members' determination to beat COVID-19
BIO has launched a co-sponsored print and digital campaign titled “Our Commitment to Beat Coronavirus” that lays out the six key steps biopharma companies are taking to combat the novel coronavirus. Those are: screening existing medicines for usefulness, putting top scientists on the case, sharing information with each other and government agencies, expanding manufacturing capabilities, donating supplies and medicine, and working to ensure any new treatments or vaccines are accessible and affordable.
New symptom tracking app aims to slow spread of coronavirus
Kings is today launching a new app which tracks symptoms related to novel coronavirus (COVID-19), allowing anyone to self-report daily.
Google asks users about symptoms for Carnegie Mellon coronavirus forecasting effort
Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Monday that over the last three days it had surveyed some users about their health at the request of Carnegie Mellon University researchers aiming to forecast the spread of coronavirus infections. Google’s Opinion Rewards app, which exchanges responses to surveys from Google and its clients for app store credit, queried users about whether anyone in their household has “a fever of at least 100 degrees along with a sore throat or a cough,” according to a question seen by Reuters.

"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

"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 27th Mar 2020

Isolation Tips
Seniors: Tips on coping with COVID-19 isolation | Coronavirus
Ryan Hastings, Program Director, said “It is important to find ways to connect and engage in activities to help mitigate symptoms of anxiety and depression during this time. We put together these quick tips to share with our communities and hope they will encourage self-care and support.” Quick tips for older adults experiencing social isolation
Tips for surviving self-isolation and social distancing
There is no denying that the new coronavirus is changing the way we go about our daily lives, which in itself is unsettling and scary – never mind the threat of getting sick. But remember you are not alone (even if you are self-isolating), we are all in this together. Here is a handy guide to surviving the social symptoms of Covid-19.
Coranavirus: Is video calling the key to happiness during the COVID-19 lockdown?
Video calling is one way of keeping up communication, but is it as effective as seeing someone in real life? The good news for people under the COVID-19 lockdown is, apparently so. Professor Sophie Scott, Director of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London, told Sky News that video calling has been proven to be just as good for your brain and happiness as being in the same space.
Coronavirus: In Space, at Sea - Tips on Self Isolation From the Pros
With billions of people around the world suddenly adjusting to social distancing measures as part of the battle to slow the spread of COVID-19, some professionals who are used to confinement have some tips. From astronauts to submariners, here are some practical ways to boost your well-being and stave off cabin fever during those weeks stuck at home.
Find Your Quiet, and 6 Other Isolation Tips From a Submarine Commander
How to work from home with the same people for a long, long time
Phil Sharp: Tips to succeed in isolation
Key messages can be transferred from ocean racing to land as people move into isolation to support the fight against COVID-19. Adapting to change is a daily routine for an offshore sailor, and so solo ocean racer Phil Sharp shares his top tips on how to live productively in an isolated and turbulent environment:
Covid-19: weathering the storm
David Oliver counsels against political point scoring: there will be time enough for that when this is over, he says. So we should for the moment focus on things that will help us weather the impending storm. An urgent return to community contact tracing, says Allyson Pollock. Testing of frontline healthcare workers, says Julian Peto. Lowering the baseline of underlying illness, say Robert Hughes and colleagues. To these, like Mary Black, I would add three more necessary things: candour about the scientific and political uncertainties, kindness to ourselves and each other, and courage.
Hygiene Helpers
How to fight infection by turning back your immune system's clock
Your immune system ages too, weakening as you get older and making you more susceptible to infections. Fortunately, we are discovering plenty of things you can do to turn back the clock and stay healthy
How to Talk With Children About COVID-19 | At the Smithsonian
An early childhood education expert provides tips about how to explain the ongoing pandemic to children
You could be spreading the coronavirus without realising you’ve got it
Research published last week by Jeffrey Shaman of Columbia University in New York and his colleagues analysed the course of the epidemic in 375 Chinese cities between 10 January, when the epidemic took off, and 23 January, when containment measures such as travel restrictions were imposed. The study concluded that 86 per cent of cases were “undocumented” – that is, asymptomatic or had only very mild symptoms. The researchers also analysed case data from foreign nationals who were evacuated from the city of Wuhan, where the first cases were seen, and found a similar proportion of asymptomatic or very mild cases. Such undocumented cases are still contagious and the study found them to be the source of most of the virus’s spread in China before the restrictions came in. Even though these people were only 55 per cent as contagious as people with symptoms, the study found that they were the source of 79 per cent of further infections, due to there being more of them, and the higher likelihood that they were out and about.
Doctors demand 'clarity' on whether to wear protective gear to see all patients
'GPs across the country have never been more concerned, not just for the safety of themselves and their teams, but for patients too,' says Royal College of General Practitioners
Community Activities
Sanitation workers and garbagemen continue to work in Iraq amid COVID-19 fears, so a restaurant owner in Karbala delivers them free lunch everyday. #StayHome #Iraq #coronavirus
Sanitation workers and garbagemen continue to work in Iraq amid COVID-19 fears, so a restaurant owner in Karbala delivers them free lunch everyday. #StayHome #Iraq #coronavirus
Thousands of people across the UK clap from their homes to say a nationwide thank you to NHS staff and carers battling the spread of #coronavirus. #ClapForOurCarers #ClapForNHS.
Thousands of people across the UK clap from their homes to say a nationwide thank you to NHS staff and carers battling the spread of #coronavirus. #ClapForOurCarers #ClapForNHS.
David Beckham leads the charge with his family as footballers join rest of UK in #ClapForNHS
David Beckham has led the charge among footballers to give support to the NHS staff working tirelessly to save lives during the coronavirus crisis. The country came together as one at 8pm on Thursday night to stand on their doorsteps and hold a minute of applause and cheer for workers in the health industry who are battling on the front line.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Jorge Mendes donation to fight coronavirus worth £1m and enable three new intensive care units to be built
The Portuguese footballer has combined with his super agent to aid their country in their battle against covid-19
Staying Inside - group sets the Bee Gees famous song to a new context and advises people to stay alive by staying inside
Staying Inside - group sets the Bee Gees famous song to a new context and advises people to stay alive by staying inside
Coronavirus: Government launches coronavirus chatbot to stop fake news
Professor Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England, said the coronavirus chatbot would ensure the public had access to the latest health guidance, ‘providing assurance that they are not misled by any of the false information circulating.’
People Around the World Are 3D-Printing Face Shields to Battle the Coronavirus
An informal network of thousands of printers is emerging to provide critical medical supplies
Coronavirus in Ireland – Calls for volunteers to get involved helping their local and national community amid
A NATIONAL Covid community response team has been launched to assist volunteers helping in local communities during the coronavirus in Ireland. The group was set up to help coordinate both national and community initiatives in their fight against Covid-19 under the tag line 'One community, together'.
Optimism in the time of Covid-19. "It will be all right" can become even more contagious than Covid-19. "It will be all right" message is starting to spread“
Optimism in the time of Covid-19. "It will be all right" is a message gaining traction and becoming viral by itself. "The mail box of our editorial team has been literally bombarded by drawings, photographs and messages. Like the one from little Agnese from Carpignano Salentino and Mattia da Nardò. Whole families, such as one including mom Annalisa and dad Carmine, together with their two-year-old daughter Chiara, drew us a "colorful" invitation to positivity. Moreover, from a medical perspective, it is well known that optimism can prove therapeutic and contribute to strengthening the immune system.“
Working Remotely
Working Remotely for the First Time? These Seasoned Experts Have Advice for You to Follow
You need to stay productive, maintain communication and connection, and take care of yourself. We explain how
More than 30,000 USAA employees are working remotely during COVID-19 pandemic
More than 80 percent of employees and contractors with possibly the largest employer in the city are working from home. According to USAA, more than 30,000 employees are working remotely across the country and the number is increasing daily. In San Antonio, a majority of the 17,000 are also working from home.
6 Tips for Staying Successful While Working Remotely
We know a thing or two about working remotely. In fact, it’s one of the foundational cornerstones of our company. Over the years, we’ve found the secret recipe that enables us to spend ample time with those we love, while still having fulfilling careers. When working from home is done right, we know that remote workers can be more productive than those in an office.
Keep calm and carry on working (remotely)
Buffer, a company specializing in social media content, surveyed 2,500 remote workers on the benefits and challenges associated with teleworking. The number one challenge, at 22%, was the ability to unplug after work. While appreciating this statistic, I suspect many office-bound workers who regularly take laptops home probably suffer from this issue as well. Number two on the list, at 19%, was loneliness, closely followed by collaboration and/or communication at 17%.
The Art Of Working Remotely: How To Ensure Productivity
Most of us have been conditioned to work and focus because of outside constraints. Meetings force us to adhere to certain schedules, office hours dictate our start and end time and a manager’s watchful eye keeps our internet surfing to a minimum, for the most part. Once on your own, you may find yourself floundering a bit to stay productive. Here are some tips to set yourself up for success.
While working remotely, chaplains aim to give COVID-19 patients rare human touch
With a ‘new normal’ causing most clerical duties to be conducted via phone or video chat, spiritual caregivers try to adapt without changing what works most
The secret to landing a remote job — and who is hiring right now
To help those who want to shift away from working in the office to working from home, CNBC spoke to FlexJobs to find out the best way to search for a remote job, sell your skills and prepare for the interview — and which companies are hiring remote workers right now.
Virtual Classrooms
Government makes provision for virtual learning during lockdown
The departments of communications and digital technologies and basic education have joined forces, to ensure virtual learning is a reality during the nation-wide lockdown. This was announced by communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, detailing the interventions undertaken by her department to mitigate some of the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the education system.
Schools Closed: CA Teachers Connected in Virtual Classrooms
Thanks to technology, even though she can’t be in her Brea classroom, Fanning Academy of Science and Technology teacher Lisa Esparza can still teach from a distance. Talking online can have some lag and takes some patience, but the screen—which might never replace the white board—still allows her to see their faces. “They would love to be next to me or next to each other in the classroom, but they’re eager to jump on,” said Esparza.
What professors are learning about virtual classrooms
Some of the lessons Richmond-area professors are learning in the first few days of running virtual classrooms relate directly to thousands of workers who are currently teleworking from home. Dr. Kelly Lambert, a neuroscience professor at the University of Richmond, taught her first online class Tuesday. Lambert said all of her students “Zoomed” into their online meeting from places like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
Broadcast lessons important step to bridge education inequalities
Communications and digital technologies minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has announced plans to broadcast school lessons on TV during the lockdown. Her announcement must be commended, the author comments
Nobel International School Algarve opens virtual classrooms
Having anticipated this closure, the school’s leadership teams for both national and international sections began meeting to plan a move to online learning in February and was ready to launch a virtual learning programme for students aged five to 18 on the first day of closure, Monday, March 16.
Making School Work at Home: Local Advice on Adjusting to Remote Learning
It’s not easy for teachers to adjust curriculum plans to remote learning and what feels like a moving target of expectations and needs, and it’s not easy for students of any age – or their families – to figure out how to help make learning work. Patience with each other and ourselves will be key in helping the Montclair school community find successful outcomes this spring.
Education remains uninterrupted with shift to virtual classrooms — Nuaimi
Education Minister Tayseer Nuaimi on Sunday said that the learning process in the Kingdom is continuing despite the suspension of classes at schools. During a joint press briefing with Minister of State for Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh and Minister of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship Muthana Gharaibeh at the National Centre for Security and Crisis Management, Nuaimi announced the launch of online educational platform Darsak via www.darsak.gov.jo, which will provide services from 7am until 4pm. The Darsak platform provides educational content for students from grade one to 12, he said, noting that access to the platform is free.
Public Policies
UK government and Bank of England tell banks to keep lending
British banks must keep lending to businesses through the coronavirus crisis to ensure viable companies do not fail, the government and Bank of England said on Wednesday, after promising 330 billion pounds ($389 billion) in loan guarantees.
Rishi Sunak orders banks to help firms amid claims they are 'profiteering' from coronavirus crisis
Rishi Sunak has told banks they must do more to help firms on the brink of collapse because of the coronavirus pandemic, as MPs hit out at "profiteering" by financial giants. A joint-letter from the Chancellor, Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey and Financial Conduct Authority boss Chris Woodard said banks should take "all action necessary" to pass on state support to struggling firms and consumers.
Coronavirus: The chancellor's lifeline for self-employed explained
Who is eligible to get help and when will they get it? Sky News examines the package of support for the nation's sole traders.
Coronavirus: How do you stop COVID-19 in a country where people have other problems?
How can South Africa convince some of its poorest people that a virus is more of a threat than the poverty they live in every day?
Coronavirus: Around 10 more UK sites could become makeshift hospitals
Officials are looking to convert around 10 more sites across the country into makeshift coronavirus hospitals similar to the ExCel exhibition centre in London, Sky News understands. Military planners are already examining five locations in support of the Department of Health and Social Care, a Whitehall source said.
UK virus models based on many people still going to work Britain’s modeling for the spread of the coronavirus through the country is based on the assumption that many people would still need to go to work, England’s chief medical officer said on Wednesday. “The modeling we have done here ... was based on the idea that quite a lot of people would have to go to work,” Chris Whitty said at a news conference alongside Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Refugees to the rescue? Germany taps migrant medics to battle virus
Saxony's regional medical board reported on Monday that 300 volunteers had responded to its appeal for help, including "many foreign doctors whose licensing procedures are not yet completed, whose help is very welcome." As of Tuesday, there were 31,554 cases of coronavirus in Germany, with 149 deaths, the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases said. The government says Germany is still at the beginning of the epidemic.
UK has enough intensive care units for coronavirus, expert predicts
Neil Ferguson at Imperial College London gave evidence today to the UK’s parliamentary select committee on science and technology as part of an inquiry into the nation’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. He said that expected increases in National Health Service capacity and ongoing restrictions to people’s movements make him “reasonably confident” the health service can cope when the predicted peak of the epidemic arrives in two or three weeks. UK deaths from the disease are now unlikely to exceed 20,000, he said, and could be much lower.
Coronavirus, infections on the decline for the third consecutive day but deaths up slightly - are we getting close to the peak of this pandemic? | Is there reason for slight optimism?
There remains strong insistence that social distancing, a total lockdown and strict observance of all hygiene measures remain in place to prevent the spread of the virus from the pandemic epicentre in the north of the country to the south
Maintaining Services
At work: in a Tunisian factory, 150 people, mostly workers, locked up with something to live in almost self-sufficient, in order to continue to manufacture masks and protection for caregivers fighting the new coronavirus!
Confinées... at work: in a Tunisian factory, 150 people, mostly workers, locked up with something to live in almost self-sufficient, in order to continue to manufacture masks and protection for caregivers fighting the new coronavirus!
Coronavirus 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. Scientists say accurate tests could be crucial in the fight against the pandemic
Coronavirus: NHS uses tech giants to plan crisis response
Data collected gathered via the NHS's 111 telephone service is to be mixed with other sources to help predict where ventilators, hospital beds, and medical staff will be most in need. The goal is to help health chiefs model the consequences of moving resources to best tackle the coronavirus pandemic. Three US tech firms are aiding the effort - Amazon, Microsoft and Palantir - as well as London-based Faculty AI. The plan is expected to be signed off by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
Children eligible for free school meals to get weekly vouchers worth £15 instead
Children entitled to free meals at school will get weekly supermarket vouchers in their place to help them eat amid coronavirus closures. The pupils are set to receive the £15 payments as part of a national scheme being rolled out next week, according to Schools Week. The vouchers work out at £3 per day - 70p more than what schools are paid to provide meals - and are believed to have the backing of all major supermarkets.
'Military drafted in to deliver PPE' to medics on coronavirus frontline
The military have been drafted in to deliver vital personal protective equipment (PPE), including 10 million masks, to medics on the coronavirus frontline, the Housing Secretary has told ITV's Peston. Robert Jenrick said the Government were "ramping up efforts very significantly" in order to meet the extra demand for PPE, he told Anushka Asthana. "We need to get more PPE out to people working on the frontline, that's in hospitals, it's in social care, it's in pharmacies and GP's surgeries," he said.
Schools asked to donate science goggles for NHS to use as face shields
Schools across England are being asked to donate science goggles and other apparatus to the NHS due to a shortage of protective equipment for doctors dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. The Guardian has heard from a number of schools and teachers who are responding to urgent messages from NHS trusts that need face shields.
Healthcare Innovations
Summer heat unlikely to halt coronavirus, EU body says
The European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) cited research which it said suggests that the virus does not become less dangerous in hot and humid conditions, reducing hope that the northern hemisphere could get a respite when the summer arrives. “There is no evidence to date that SARS-CoV-2 will display a marked winter seasonality, such as other human coronaviruses in the northern hemisphere,” the ECDC said in a report, using the name for the novel virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. The document cited preliminary analyses from the outbreak in China which found the virus was able to maintain high levels of reproduction in tropical places with high humidity, such as Guangxi and Singapore.
Coronavirus from Rimini, one of the researchers hunting for the vaccine. "We are going to defeat this"
The Rimini-born virologist Giacomo Gorini, a pupil of Burioni, works in Oxford and talks about his mission in the laboratory
Malaria Drug Chloroquine No Better Than Regular Coronavirus Care, Study Finds
Hydroxychloroquine, a medicine for malaria that President Donald Trump has touted as a treatment for coronavirus, was no more effective than conventional care, a small study found. The report published by the Journal of Zhejiang University in China showed that patients who got the medicine didn’t fight off the new coronavirus more often than those who did not get the medicine. The study involved just 30 patients. Of the 15 patients given the malaria drug, 13 tested negative for the coronavirus after a week of treatment. Of the 15 patients who didn’t get hydroxychloroquine, 14 tested negative for the virus.
Coronavirus: Gtech designs prototype ventilator
Worcester-based manufacturer Gtech has designed a prototype ventilator which could be mass produced to help patients with coronavirus. The company, best known for its vacuum cleaners, spent a week working on the ventilator design after it was asked by the government to help out. The company's managing director, Nick Grey said he'd be making public the technology behind the design so others could use it.
How this South Korean company created coronavirus test kits in three weeks
In the basement of Seegene's headquarters in Seoul lies the key to the company's coronavirus success. There the company houses an artificial intelligence-based big data system, which has enabled the firm to quickly develop a test for coronavirus. Tests known as assay kits are made up of several vials of chemical solutions. Samples are taken from patients and mixed with the solutions, which react if certain genes are present. Without the computer, it would have taken the team two to three months to develop such a test, said Chun. This time, it was done in a matter of weeks.
Should scientists infect healthy people with the coronavirus to test vaccines?
Radical proposal to conduct ‘human challenge’ studies could dramatically speed up vaccine research
Lancaster University scientists develop 30 minute coronavirus detection app
The researchers believe that the device would be operated by ambulatory care professionals, nurses, and biomedical scientists.

"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 30th Mar 2020

Isolation Tips
Five Tips To Decrease Social Isolation For Older People During COVID-19
It turns out that approximately one-third of those 65 and older may have never used the internet and may not have internet access at home; among those who do use the internet, almost half need someone's help when it comes to setting up or using a new device. And substantial differences in the adoption of technology adoption exist based on factors such as income and educational level.
Managing your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic
With many people staying at home and many self-isolating Bay Health and Care Partners want to share a few tips on how to look after your mental health through these trying times.
How to help people who are isolated during the coronavirus outbreak
Some simple but effective things we can all do to help include: - Collect and deliver shopping or medicines - leaving deliveries on the doorstep or safe place to avoid close physical contact. - Putting out bins or taking in parcels. - Help others to use Skype or FaceTime so they can see a friendly face, helping to reduce their isolation.
Clitheroe barber shares his tips on how men can maintain their hair during isolation
Life in self-isolation, which could go on for months, is almost certainly going to take a toll on men's hair ...especially for some who tend to visit the barbers every fortnight!
My tip for self-isolation? It’s best not to stockpile books
From apocalyptic themes to audiobooks – pointers from a specialist in staying at home
Joe Wick's Fitness Tips For Self-Isolation
NPR's Michel Martin speaks with fitness coach Joe Wicks about his new at-home, online workout for kids, "P.E. with Joe."
Jodie Whittaker: thanks, Doctor Who, for top tips from self-isolation
From home, the actor has produced her own mini DIY episode of the BBC series, in which she reminds fans that darkness never prevails
Hygiene Helpers
Don’t panic about shopping, getting delivery or accepting packages
A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine is making people think twice about how they might be exposed to covid-19 if they open a box delivered by UPS, touch packages at the grocery store or accept food delivery. The risk is low. Let me explain.
Coronavirus: The latest NHS advice on COVID-19 symptoms
The NHS updates its advice on dealing with COVID-19 as the outbreak continues to grow and the government escalates its response.
How long can the coronavirus persist on surfaces?
How long can coronavirus persist on surfaces such as door handles or hospital nightstands? How can the virus be destroyed effectively? A research team from Greifswald and Bochum, Germany, collected the answers scientists can currently offer to these and other pertinent questions and published them in the Journal of Hospital Infection.
Community Activities
750,000 people sign up to join NHS volunteer army in less than a week
Three quarters of a million people have signed up as volunteers to help the vulnerable get through the coronavirus crisis, in less than a week. The Royal Voluntary Service will now pause applications to allow processing with NHS England so the “volunteer army” can get up and running. The body said it was “absolutely overwhelmed” by the response to the biggest plea for volunteers in England since the Second World War.
Find a group to help the elderly and those in most need - website resource to locate groups near you
Find a group to help the elderly and those in most need - website resource to locate groups near you
Chester Zoo streams live virtual tour in ‘best lockdown pick-me-up’
The facility - of the UK’s largest zoo - is sharing a sneak peak of its sprawling grounds and range of animals to entertain the public during the coronavirus lockdown. The walkabout, livestreamed on Facebook, kicked off at 10am with a close-up look at its red pandas. Twitter users shared their joy at the fluffy critters, with one tweeting that watching them was “the best lockdown pick-me-up.”
Clap for carers: applauding the NHS – in pictures
People across the UK have taken part in a mass round of applause in support of the NHS workers battling the coronavirus pandemic. In the Clap For Carers initiative people took to their doorsteps and balconies applauding, banging pans and letting off fireworks. Notable buildings around the country were also lit up in blue
Kylie Jenner Donates $1 Million to Buy Masks and Face Shields for Coronavirus First Responders
Kylie Jenner has donated $1 million to help medical professionals purchase face masks and other necessary protective gear amid the coronavirus pandemic. In a heartfelt Instagram post on Wednesday, Dr. Thaïs Aliabadi — a physician and OB-GYN at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles — thanked the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star for the sizable donation, which she said will help with the purchase of “hundreds of thousands of masks, face shields, and other protective gear” used by first responders who are working to fight against the global outbreak.
This will move you to tears..and afterwards you will feel extraordinarily uplifted. Together we win!
This will move you to tears..and afterwards you will feel extraordinarily uplifted. Together we win!
Working Remotely
How to set yourself up for remote working
Bigger businesses with lots of employees are seeing that sending everyone home to work remotely can, and does work effectively. While you might expect it to be counterproductive, many businesses that have adopted this way of working have claimed to see productivity go up, rather than down.
What are the real challenges tech workers face with working remotely?
Fear of the coronavirus is prompting more companies to have their employees work remotely. But what are the real challenges workers face when working from home and trying to communicate with colleagues?
A guide to working remotely by locals who do it daily
After 11 years of living locally while operating remotely in a virtual world, the 83 Degrees team and many of our friends, especially those working in tech and online media, are experienced at making it successful. Here are our top tips for first-time remote workers to consider while we all keep our distance and await the outcome of #COVID19.
Coronavirus: Remote working software crashes on first day of mass working from home
Users of the popular Microsoft Teams remote-working software struggled to access the program on Monday as thousands switched to working from home in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Microsoft admitted that it was investigating “messaging-related functionality problems” with the software. A spokesman said: “We’ve taken steps to address an issue that a subset of our customers may have experienced. Our engineering teams continue to actively monitor performance and usage trends.”
First Time Working Remotely? Here’s How To Ease Into It
The good news is that most workplaces are establishing guidelines and plans for how employees may adjust to working remotely. Ready to ease into working from home, whether it’s on a temporary or slightly more long-term basis? Here’s what you need to do to transition into becoming a telecommuter:
How coronavirus COVID-19 is accelerating the future of work
The coronavirus is forcing enterprises to rethink the way they do business and dust off policies for security, business continuity, and remote workers. Chances are that some of these efforts will stick
Italy Working Remotely During Lockdown Get A Preview Of The Future Of Energy
“Saying that working from home is not sustainable because houses will have to be heated during the day is a bit unwise, as offices would have been heated instead. For sure, smart working has a positive energy impact, mainly driven by a drop in transports.” Indeed, the climate think tank Ember reported a dramatic fall in electricity demand everywhere in Europe - with Italy on top. They saw Italy's electricity demand drop by 25% in three weeks, followed by Spain 10-15% and Germany, UK and Poland 8% so far.
Finding Your Motivation When Working Remotely For the First Time
Both new and veteran remote workers are finding it challenging to work from home these days. So we’ve gathered a few tips to help you find and sustain your motivation to keep you going. You can read about what tools to use elsewhere; here, we’re going to talk about some different things you can do to get your mojo back.
'Is the dog about to bark?' The perils of home broadcasting in the Covid-19 crisis
Although news media is considered an “essential service” – meaning reporters can still go to the office to do their jobs if necessary – many are opting to work from home. Ferguson – who had a rarely used direct line to Radio New Zealand’s studios installed in her office years ago, when she became co-host of the Morning Report programme – is among them.
Virtual Classrooms
RTÉ launches daily virtual classroom for primary school children during Covid-19
RTÉ has announced a new Home School Hub across its television and online platforms, which will provide primary school children with fun daily lessons from the comfort of their homes. RTÉ and Macalla Teo, with support from Mary Immaculate College, have collaborated to introduce a cross-platform teaching initiative for primary school kids across the country. This is available on RTÉ2, RTÉ Player, and rte.ie/learn. Children will be able to watch, download and engage with curriculum-based content, project work, and fun activities that will keep them entertained and learning.
1.37 billion students now home as COVID-19 school closures expand, ministers scale up multimedia approaches to ensure learning continuity
Meanwhile, several ministers highlighted that the current crisis is also ushering in new thinking around the practice of education. “We have made more progress with digital and distance learning in the past 10 days than in the past ten years. Without a doubt this crisis will change the way we think about the provision of education in the future,” said Egypt’s Minister Tarek Shawki, while France’s Minister underlined the impact of new approaches and mindsets. “Education is a key answer to the crisis and to the rebuilding of our societies after.”
Updated: Free Resources for Schools During COVID-19 Outbreak
The Academy of Active Learning Arts and Sciences and the Flipped Learning Global Initiative have published the "Rapid Transition to Online Learning," a roadmap for making the rapid shift to online learning during school closures. The resources include a checklist for administrators, another for IT managers, a transition plan and video tutorial for teachers and access to an international team of volunteers who have stepped forward to answer questions.
Universities are closing worldwide, forcing instructors to turn to remote teaching. Here’s some expert advice on how to embrace the digital classroom.
With technological help from colleagues at NYU Shanghai, he developed a strategy for teaching remotely from the other side of the world. Each day, using a program called Voice-Thread, he records several short videos of himself explaining maths concepts, adding up to 15–30 minutes collectively. During their day, the students watch the videos on a website and, in turn, insert videos they make of their assigned theorem proofs, for example, or a question, a comment or a critique of a classmate’s proof. Together, Rolla and his students produce an interactive, if asynchronous, class recording.
The COVID-19 online pivot: Adapting university teaching to social distancing
As universities respond to the COVID-19 outbreak by closing campuses and shifting to online forms of distance learning, many institutions and educators are scrambling to develop online engagement plans. In this repost, Martin Weller (Professor of Education Technology at the Open University) brings together a number of useful for resources for anyone looking to develop online learning courses and questions why it has taken the current crisis for distance learning to be taken seriously.
3 ways the coronavirus pandemic could reshape education
These changes have certainly caused a degree of inconvenience, but they have also prompted new examples of educational innovation. Although it is too early to judge how reactions to COVID-19 will affect education systems around the world, there are signs suggesting that it could have a lasting impact on the trajectory of learning innovation and digitization. Below, we follow three trends that could hint at future transformations:
How universities and schools are going online amid the COVID-19 outbreak — and the hurdles they face
“These are trends that have been in place for a long time,” said Eric Burns, CEO of Seattle-based Panopto, a company supporting digital lectures and meetings. “We’ve been in this space for over 13 years. It’s been a long slow build up. This is a trigger that causes organizations to hit the gas.” The UW, which serves 46,000 students across three Puget Sound-area campuses, provides instructors with three main tools for online instruction:
Online tools for teachers and students to hold virtual classes during the COVID-19 pandemic
Classdojo is a free educational app that enables teachers, students and parents to interact online. It allows teachers to create a virtual classroom in which they can share videos and pictures. An account on the app can be created only by the teacher. The student can access the virtual classroom with an access code sent by the teacher. EkStep is an on-demand platform that allows educators to create, share and distribute free community-sourced educational content for K-12 class students. The app is loaded with several educational videos that students can access any time and learn in a self-paced way. Khan Academy provides complete course material from K-12 that can be accessed by students at their own pace. The app also tracks student’s progress in each lesson.
Public Policies
China’s Factories Work 24/7 to Build Ventilators for Milan, New York
After meeting the country’s needs two weeks ago, its factory lines have been working flat out on orders from overseas for its life-saving ventilators. With three shifts and even research and development staff working the production line, the company’s machines have been going non-stop. “There’s literally no country in the world that doesn’t want to buy a ventilator from China right now.” said Li Kai, director of Beijing Aeonmed, “We have tens of thousands of orders waiting. The issue is how fast we can make them.”
A green dividend? Emissions after covid-19
The dip could offer an opportunity to speed up a shift towards a greener economy, but only if governments seeking to stimulate growth decide to spend their cash on boosting climate-friendly sectors such as renewable power, green transport and technologies that suck CO2 out of the atmosphere. They failed to do this after the financial crash of 2007-09, which only extended the climate crisis. One can only hope for more foresight this time around.
The Times view on the use of technology in the coronavirus crisis: Data Response
The Times view on the use of technology in the coronavirus crisis: Data Response
Economic patriotism is back amid the coronavirus crisis
This week, France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire stoked further suspicions that charity really begins at home in the EU by calling on retailers to be "economically patriotic" and favor products from French farmers. "I call on major distributors to make a new effort: Stock up on French products," he said on France Info radio.
I'm pleased to announce, with @USAmbUN Kelly Craft, the donation to the USA of 250,000 protective face masks, just located in storage at the @UN.
I'm pleased to announce, with @USAmbUN Kelly Craft, the donation to the USA of 250,000 protective face masks, just located in storage at the @UN. These masks will be given to medical professionals in NYC working courageously & tirelessly in response to #COVID19.
Coronavirus outliers: four nations with very different approaches to the crisis
Not every nation has suffered to the same grim extent. Some have avoided lockdowns but have still not suffered huge leaps in case numbers. Others have introduced strict monitoring and contact tracing of infected individuals and have managed to contain the disease so far. Here we look at the ways four very different nations have reacted.
Coronavirus: Government to set up new supply line to deliver protective equipment to frontline NHS staff
‘We should not ask people to be on the frontline without the right protective equipment,’ admits communities secretary Robert Jenrick
New York orders thousands of manually operated pump ventilators as coronavirus cases surge: 'This is the alternative'
The Empire State anticipates requiring 140,000 hospital beds and 30,000 ventilators when the outbreak reaches its peak in 14 to 21 days, Cuomo said in a Saturday press conference. If the state is short on ventilators, COVID-19 patients will need to use bag valve masks, which must be manually operated by health-care professionals.
'We have the red carpet rolled out': First shipment of PPE supplies from China arrives in Dublin
An Aer Lingus plane carrying €28 million worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) for Irish healthcare workers from China has landed at Dublin Airport. The Airbus A330-302 plane was loaded with PPE including masks, gowns and goggles in Beijing before making the over 8,000 km flight back to Ireland. The shipment, worth an estimated €28 million, is made up of 11 million masks, 2.3 million eye protections, 2.4 million gowns, and nine million gloves. This is the first delivery flight of the HSE’s €208 million order of PPE from China.
Offline: COVID-19 and the NHS—“a national scandal”
The UK Government's Contain–Delay–Mitigate–Research strategy failed. It failed, in part, because ministers didn't follow WHO's advice to “test, test, test” every suspected case. They didn't isolate and quarantine. They didn't contact trace. These basic principles of public health and infectious disease control were ignored, for reasons that remain opaque.
Ministers were warned NHS would be stretched to 'breaking point' by pandemic in 2016 practice run
The NHS failed a test of its ability to withstand a major pandemic three years ago but the results were not made public, it has emerged The Sunday Telegraph reports that a three-day cross-government practice run found Britain would be quickly overwhelmed by an outbreak and flagged a shortage of personal protective equipment, morgue capacity and critical care beds. The test - codenamed Exercise Sygnus - was carried out in October 2016 - but the paper reports that its findings were deemed too sensitive to be made public
U.S. group bombards doctors with coronavirus petition to cut 'red tape'
Thomas McGarity, a professor of administrative law at the University of Texas, said the text message campaign was part of a longstanding effort by some on the political right to neuter the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and put more decision-making power into the hands of patients and doctors that drug companies could pitch to directly.
Why is Germany's #coronavirus death rate so low compared to other countries? As @c_drosten — one of the country's leading virologists — explains, it mainly comes down to one basic thing. Testing
Why is Germany's #coronavirus death rate so low compared to other countries? As @c_drosten — one of the country's leading virologists — explains, it mainly comes down to one basic thing. Testing
Maintaining Services
Coronavirus news: 20,000 retired NHS staff to return to fight outbreak as government warns partial lockdown could last six months
The UK could remain on partial lockdown for six months, deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries has said, warning of a second peak if such measures are ended too quickly. Boris Johnson has written a letter to every household in the UK to urge the public to stay at home during the coronavirus “national emergency”, raising the possibility of even stricter lockdown measures being introduced.
LA received 170 broken ventilators from the national stockpile. Rather than complaining, we put them on a truck, drove them up overnight, and had @Bloom_Energy get to work fixing them.
LA received 170 broken ventilators from the national stockpile. Rather than complaining, we put them on a truck, drove them up overnight, and had @Bloom_Energy get to work fixing them. Monday they‘ll back in LA--fixed. That’s the spirit of CA.
Coronavirus: Is the NHS ready for its toughest seven days ever?
One chief nurse at a hospital in the midlands told The Independent what was now being considered for intensive care “would have been unthinkable in normal times. This is going to push staff who aren’t used to this sort of acute care of patients to the limits.” Nicki Credland, chair of the British Association of Critical Care Nurses (BACCN), added: “We are doing everything we possibly can, but we simply do not have enough intensive care nurses. We are going to have to accept we can’t save everyone.”
Healthcare Innovations
Ventilator Challenge UK to start production in Covid-19 fight
Ventilator Challenge UK, a consortium of 14 firms including Airbus and Rolls-Royce, is expected to say that it has secured a formal order for two types of machine. The government has 8,175 ventilators but has turned to British industry to help produce 30,000 in a matter of weeks, to combat an expected surge in new cases.
Royal Mint to make 4000 visors a day for NHS staff battling Covid-19
The Royal Mint has started mass manufacturing medical visors to protect frontline NHS staff battling the coronavirus pandemic. Engineers at the organisation created a successful prototype within just 48 hours, with moves now underway to produce 4,000 units a day. Since news of the visor production emerged, the Royal Mint has received requests to supply hospitals across the UK.
MIT Will Post Free Plans Online for an Emergency Ventilator That Can Be Built for $100
The team, called MIT E-Vent (for emergency ventilator), was formed on March 12, 2020, in response to the rapid spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Its members were brought together by the exhortations of doctors, friends, and a sudden flood of mail referencing a project done a decade ago in the MIT class 2.75 (Medical Device Design). Students working in consultation with local physicians designed a simple ventilator device that could be built with about $100 worth of parts. They published a paper detailing their design and testing, but the work ended at that point. Now, with a significant global need looming, a new team, linked to that course, has resumed the project at a highly accelerated pace.
Italian medics convert snorkelling masks into 'homemade' ventilators during coronavirus crisis
Italian medics are converting snorkelling masks into makeshift ventilator masks in order to plug the shortage of medical equipment during the coronavirus outbreak. As hospitals face an overload of COVID-19 patients struggling to breathe, innovative medical staff have used 3D printed valves to adapt ordinary full face snorkelling masks from sports stores such as Decathlon into live saving equipment.
How the COVID-19 pandemic is 'driving innovation' in Canada and around the world
"Without innovation, we'd still be living in the dark ages." Jason Kindrachuk, an associate professor at the University of Manitoba and Canada research chair in emerging viruses, says the pandemic is bringing people from different fields together — and that's a good thing. "What we have is a crisis that's driving the merger of different disciplines to come up with really quick solutions to very complex problems," he said.
ICU Eyewear and Contour Optik Heed the Call and Expand Production Capacity to Hundreds of Millions of PPE and COVID-19 Test Kits
"We are working with our partner companies in China to assist them in going through the FDA regulatory process. This ensures that our products meet U.S standards so they can be imported and placed into the hands of the providers who need them," says ICU CEO Kirk Hobbs. ICU is able to produce and ship the following in mass quantities: - N95 face masks - KN95 (Emergency Use authorization from the FDA for the KN95 is underway) - ASTM Levels 1, 2, and 3 face masks - Goggles, face shields, gloves and other protective equipment
3D Printing Firms Join Fight Against Coronavirus-Led Disaster
The rising demand for 3D-printed materials to combat the global pandemic is also setting the stage for wider use of additive manufacturing in the medical field in the post-coronavirus era. The medical emergency is giving rise to more research and experimental productions with 3D printers. The importance of 3D-printed materials in the medical field is being realized on a larger scale. Rapid production of materials is making 3D-printed protection gears a necessity in these difficult times.
Carmakers churn out machines, masks to help fight coronavirus
Auto companies and suppliers around the world are ramping up production of critical healthcare products and machines - everything from cloth face masks to sophisticated ventilator systems - to meet a critical shortage of those items at hospitals and care facilities in North America, Europe and Asia. Here is a look at what some companies have announced.
Abbott Launches 5-Minute Virus Test for Use Almost Anywhere
Abbott Laboratories is unveiling a coronavirus test that can tell if someone is infected in as little as five minutes, and is so small and portable it can be used in almost any health-care setting.
Hockey equipment company Bauer begins making face shields for medical workers
With a factory that was already equipped to manufacture plastic visors at their disposal, Bauer simply had to run some trial-and-error tests to produce a working prototype for the masks. "Our specialists designed molds to create the prototypes, which we presented to a doctor who is the father of one of our employees," Bourgeois said. "We wanted to test the safety and comfort levels of our visor, which resembles a mask normally used to perform welding work. We have refined our visor and arrived with the model that we are ready to produce."
"I don't think I've ever seen anything like this": what it's like to be working on a Covid-19 vaccine
At the family dinner table, viruses were "shop talk." Now my dad is working on a coronavirus vaccine—and talks social distancing, what keeps him going, and unprecedented global collaboration
Emergency Use Authorization for COVID-19 test
French in vitro diagnostics company bioMérieux announced that its subsidiary, BioFire Defense, has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of its BioFire COVID-19 test for use in CLIA moderate and high complexity clinical laboratories to detect the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
An open-source respirator for 40 Euros - from a 3D printer
Ventilaid is an unusual project straight out of Poland and just in time for the COVID crisis19: a team of engineers has developed and made available free of charge on the Internet a breathing apparatus that can be printed with a 3D printer for the modest sum of 40 euros. The project uses inexpensive and widely available components – it could save the lives of thousands of people in places where access to such devices is difficult. The beta version of the device is ready to be deployed, while work on a second prototype is almost complete. At this stage, the support of specialists like doctors and engineers is necessary. Those who want to help can apply directly via the project’s website.

"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 31st Mar 2020

Isolation Tips
Coronavirus confinement: Thirteen tips to make self-isolating easier
In the days ahead many of us will be spending a lot more time in our homes. Some people will be working from home, some people will be self-isolating and too many people will be sick. For those who are well but struggling to cope with the confinement (and we include ourselves in that cohort, to be honest) thought we’d look for some diversions that will hopefully not only help us through the tough days ahead but might also save us a few bob. And – all going well – we’ll learn how to play the ukulele too.
Coronavirus and your wellbeing
If you are staying at home more than you usually would, it might feel more difficult than usual to take care of your mental health and wellbeing. These are some ideas which may help:
'We have to get used to a new normality' - looking after our mental health as Covid-19 lockdown continues
People with existing mental health conditions may struggle to adjust to a 'new normality' if the UK remains in lockdown for many months, according to the boss of a charity. Olivia Craig, CEO of Devon Mind, says a lengthy spell of isolation will be challenging for people who rely on seeing friends and family as a way to cope with life. Many people might struggle to access vital medication, while some therapy sessions are having to be postponed or delivered online.
Coronavirus: What are social distancing and self-isolation?
Strict rules have been placed on people's personal movement to limit the spread of coronavirus. Rules for those showing symptoms were already in place, as well as measures to protect the most vulnerable.
How to survive isolation with your roommates, your partner, your kids – and yourself
In 2017, engineer Ansley Barnard spent eight months living in an isolated dome habitat with five other scientists as part of Nasa’s Hi-SEAS program, which was developed to simulate the experience of traveling to Mars. During that time, she learned several lessons applicable to anyone living with roommates.
Coronavirus self-isolation: The latest advice for anyone with COVID-19 symptoms
As ministers prepare to ban mass gatherings as part of the delay stage of the UK's response to coronavirus, people across the country will be self-isolating to help prevent the virus spreading. We look at the latest advice to anyone forced keep themselves away from other people.
Hygiene Helpers
Coronavirus: How to clean your groceries and stay safe when food shopping
Supermarkets are notoriously busy places that are filled with products touched by a number of people and while retailers are doing their best to employ measures to help shoppers keep their distance from one another, customers are left wondering what the risk of exposure to the virus is when doing their shopping. Here is everything you need to know about grocery shopping amid the outbreak.
Coronavirus hygiene advice: don’t use cash, do wash veg
While you need to keep frequently used areas clean, you do not need a thorough deep clean of all parts of the house. You can’t get infected by touching a contaminated surface, only if you touch your mouth, eyes and nose. “Be sensible about where you are going to come into contact with infection,” says Sally Bloomfield, honorary professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and chairwoman of the International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene (IFH). “If you sneeze and it lands on the floor, you or someone else is not necessarily going to touch the floor with their hands. Focus on cleaning surfaces and banisters.” Clean and disinfect toilet seats and flush handles, especially after defecating.
Coronavirus: Helping The Helpers
We’re all being advised to limit social contact and decrease our time in public places in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. For some people, this advice is impossible to follow because they are the people who care, protect and support society on a daily basis. So, how can we help the helpers?
Mum's thoughtful coronavirus cleaning tip to protect postmen goes viral
A mum's thoughtful cleaning tip to help "keep our postmen safe" has gone viral. Jo Byford posted the considerate plea to the ' coronavirus in Devon ' Facebook group, encouraging others to clean their letterboxes, gate handles, door bells and knockers with anti-bacterial cleaner. The 44-year-old from Tiverton now lives in Nottingham with her husband, who works for Royal Mail, but wanted to spread the message far and wide as she believes it is not something that people would usually think of on their own.
Community Activities
The Nouvelle-Aquitaine region launches a regional platform to connect producers, food craftspeople and consumers during the Covid-19 outbreak
While local producers are finding it increasingly difficult to sell their fruits, vegetables, fresh products and other meats, consumers are struggling to find these same products near their homes. A new community assistance platform opens Tuesday to make these two needs meet. Home delivery is offered and local producers can plug into the service to keep these essential services going
Bristol food and drink businesses collaborate in times of crisis
Chefs from restaurants in Bristol that have closed due to the coronavirus crisis are working together to cook in six kitchens in order to feed homeless people and vulnerable adults. The team, currently made up from businesses including the Pony & Trap, Poco, the Gallimaufry and Box-E, are currently figuring out how to provide a daily hot meal to NHS staff at Southmead Hospital.
Thousands join army of council volunteers as emergency food parcels are delivered to more than 50 of Bristol's most vulnerable residents
An army of volunteers has been delivering emergency food parcels to Bristol's most vulnerable people during the coronavirus pandemic. A delivery of emergency goods supplied by central government was received at City Hall on Saturday morning (March 28) before being packed into individual bags by Bristol City Council workers and volunteers. These parcels were then distributed by local taxi drivers to 53 residents across the city who are being shielded with no food and support. Following a call for volunteers to help during the Covid-19 crisis, nearly 3,000 people signed up on Can Do Bristol. From that group, 75 people said they were available to help pack food on Saturday.
Booths launches community delivery service to help those in need
Booths has launched a next day delivery service to help the elderly and isolated to access key groceries throughout the coronavirus
From masks to meal boxes, businesses step in to help medics battling coronavirus
In response to the crisis, businesses with a social conscience have been scrambling to help, from the Spanish shoemakers producing facemasks to the Malaysian social enterprise hiring refugees to make meals for hospital staff. “It’s the least we can do,” said Lucia Cáscales, a nursing assistant who is making masks in Alicante in the south of Spain, one of the countries worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic. “You have to help people at this very serious time.” The Spanish initiative was started by a group of women volunteers who normally stitch shoes in their own homes. They have now sent more than 5,000 face masks they made to local hospitals to help plug acute shortages.
Everyone in Cornwall asked to donate £1 to help county's NHS coronavirus fight
Two friends from Cornwall have set up a fundraising campaign for Royal Cornwall Hospitals Charity and are urging everyone in the county to donate just £1. Natalie Pain and Louise Hopes, who both live in Helston, were so moved by the hard work carried out by NHS staff that they wanted to help. They hope to raise half a million pounds for the county's medical workers.They came up with the idea that if every household in Cornwall donated £1 per person they could raise £500,000
Bicester community rallies together to help those in need as coronavirus outbreak continues
Now, a community page has been set up on Facebook where people and local businesses have volunteered to deliver food and items to the vulnerable. The group, called Coronavirus Helpers Bicester and Surrounding Areas, is creating a huge list of all the people who need help such as the elderly, who have specifically been told to stay home. The support is not just for practical help including shopping but to make sure that people have someone to talk to in times of isolation and heightened anxiety
Working Remotely
Radio Corona: managing remote work in the era of Covid-19
In this episode of Radio Corona, we'll be helping you learn how to better connect in this time of remote work and isolation. Tanya Basu, a senior reporter at MIT Technology Review covering the intersection of humans and technology, will host a Q&A with Rajesh Amandan, the CEO of Ultranaut, and Ali Rayl, the VP of customer experience at Slack.
What do I need to work from home due to coronavirus?
If you are paying for your own kit, you may want to take an economical approach. But if the company is insisting that you work from home, ask for ergonomic equipment. This often costs more, but is worth it in the long run.
Big tech firms ramp up remote working orders to prevent coronavirus spread
Facebook (FB), Google (GOOG), Twitter (TWTR) and Amazon (AMZN) have implemented remote working policies for many or all of their employees around the globe. Google parent company Alphabet is recommending that all employees in North America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East work remotely. Twitter has made working from home mandatory for all workers globally. The company is also in communication with its San Francisco staffers after an employee from that office developed symptoms consistent with coronavirus, though no official diagnosis has been made, according to a company spokesperson.
What are you wearing while working from home?
For some it will make sense to dress even more smartly than you might to the office, via pinstripe shirts and proper shoes. For others it will mean dressing for work with your top half, the sofa with your bottom half; otherwise known by a multitude of other names: “conference call dressing”, “dressing from the top up”, “telecommutercore” and “news anchor dressing”.
Virtual Classrooms
France launches Operation Learning Nation
French television stations, Radio France, Arte and National Education are mobilizing to provide teachers, students from their families with quality programs linked to school program curriculums under the banner Learning Nation in France The programs broadcast on the air will thus be identifiable by the visual "Learning Nation".
Will the coronavirus make online education go viral?
How realistic is it to suddenly shift large amounts of teaching online? Are the university leaders surveyed by THE right to assume that students will see the virtual student experience as a poor substitute for the real thing? Or might it be that online higher education becomes the new normal far earlier and to a far greater extent than any experts were previously predicting?
As coronavirus closes schools, teachers and families brace for massive experiment in online education
"Even those of us who are strong advocates of having this option have to believe that it will not be done well or smoothly in many — perhaps most — places," he said. "You can't simply snap your fingers and say, 'Tomorrow you're going fully virtual.' It takes planning and training, and we don't have time for that." Many teachers and their students are likely to learn — as teachers in Northshore did last week — that there are creative and effective ways to teach and learn remotely.
The Coronavirus Outbreak And The Challenges Of Online-Only Classes
A massive shift like this is unprecedented in higher education. It's led to an onslaught of questions for online learning specialists such as Karen Costa. "I think like many folks there has been a lot of shock and stress on a personal and professional level," Costa says. "My first instinct after that initial shock was how can we get our students and faculty the support that they need to navigate this crisis?" She has been fielding questions on twitter, giving webinars online, and uploading youtube tutorials, all in hopes of easing this transition — which she admits is less than ideal. "To ask someone to go from a land based course to an online course without any previous online teaching experience is a huge ask and it's not something that can be done overnight," Costa says. "And we're trying to do it overnight."
The school of Mum and Dad
Many educationalists were arguing long before the coronavirus crisis that the school system needed drastic change. This is a time to put new ways of learning to the test, thinks Andy Salmon, the creator of the SirLinkalot spelling app. "Online is the way forward. You have to get into the child's world to inspire them, and that is online." But like the school day, it is important to establish a routine, says Sarah Dove, a teacher who works online with children who cannot attend school.
What Happened When Hong Kong’s Schools Went Virtual to Combat the Spread of Coronavirus
A temporary solution during months-long school shutdowns, the online classrooms may be an experiment the rest of the world can learn from
‘Classroom to Cloud’: What happened when coronavirus forced my kid’s school to go online
While this new online model, which the district has dubbed “Classroom to Cloud,” doesn’t have the predetermined structure of the traditional school day, some of the changes that come with it are welcoming. Besides some bits of scheduled live instruction, my daughter is generally able to go about her day in a way that works for her as long as she completes all of her assignments. That’s a good thing, because she can take a break when she needs one and dig into math when she’s ready. She can take her time eating lunch rather than being rushed out of the cafeteria door.
Public Policies
Restrictions Are Slowing Coronavirus Infections, New Data Suggest
A database of daily fever readings shows that the numbers declined as people disappeared indoors.
China's Lifting of Restrictions Has Worked, Flu Expert Says
China's lifting of restrictions related to the coronavirus has been successful, according to research by Imperial College in London. "As movement increased and China restarted their economy, we didn't see an increase in transmission," says Dr. Kylie Ainslie, research associate in influenza dynamics in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial. She speaks on "Bloomberg Markets: European Open."
A decline in conflict, much lower pollution levels, a fall off in delinquency ... the positive surprises of the coronavirus pandemic
The coronavirus is wreaking havoc on populations and is bringing the economies of the world's major powers to their knees. On a more positive note, it is causing social and political upheaval that diplomats, politicians, unions, demonstrators and NGOs had never previously dreamt of as being possible
Coronavirus: Questions over testing as minister claims UK is 'right at the top of the league table'
As the government aims to test 25,000 a day, Germany is estimated to already be conducting as many as 500,000 tests per week,
Maintaining Services
La Comédie Française launches its online channel with new shows and programs
The troupe will be offering its web TV accessible via its website and via its Facebook page from this Monday. On the scheduled programming: members playing the announcers, readings for works and analysis of texts for high school graduates, children's stories, reruns of popular shows
China Pushes to Churn Out Coronavirus Gear, Yet Struggles to Police It
Companies big and small that once manufactured other items are now in the business of making anti-coronavirus gear — and regulators in China are struggling to enforce standards while encouraging the flow. Those tensions blew into the open internationally this week. Officials in Spain said testing kits it bought from a Chinese company had only a 30 percent accuracy rate, rather than the 80 percent rate they had expected.
World academies call for global solidarity on COVID-19 pandemic
The current COVID-19 outbreak was first reported on 31 December 2019. On 11 March 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic. Today, under the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP), 140 medical, scientific and engineering academies from around the world call on the scientific and policymaking communities to come together to help control the spread of infection. IAP's aim is to encourage better and faster use of research and its outputs for the global public good.
NHS trusts call for detail on ventilator capacity as new order placed for 10,000
Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents healthcare trusts, said it was clear ventilator numbers needed to “significantly increase”. Welcoming steps to source more devices he added “extra capacity will take time to deliver” and said it would be “helpful” if forecasts on numbers could be shared with trusts.“It would be helpful if national NHS leaders and the Government shared more of the detail on how they see ventilator capacity growing, what the constraints for the immediate next few weeks are likely to be, and how these constraints will be managed.”
Coronavirus: Nigeria's Edo state prepares for a massive coronavirus testing exercise
The Coordinator of World Health Organisation (WHO), in the State, Mrs. Faith Ireye, disclosed that 71 contacts are listed for the two confirmed cases in the state, adding that the government looks inward to keep over list rather under list. She said 13 persons have been identified with their samples taken to Irrua Specialist Hospital for testing.
Healthcare Innovations
Sanofi and Regeneron expand trials of potential treatment for Covid-19
Sanofi and the American company Regeneron are extending the scope of their program for clinical trials of the drug Kevzara in the treatment of Covid-19. The French laboratory announced on March 30 the treatment of a first patient outside the United States.
Ford to produce 50,000 ventilators in Michigan in next 100 days; partnering with GE Healthcare will help coronavirus patients
Ford Motor Company, in collaboration with GE Healthcare, announced today it will begin producing in Michigan a third-party ventilator with the goal to produce 50,000 of the vitally needed units within 100 days and up to 30,000 a month thereafter as needed. Ford will provide its manufacturing capabilities to quickly scale production, and GE Healthcare will provide its clinical expertise and will license the current ventilator design from Airon Corp. – a small, privately held company specializing in high-tech pneumatic life support products
Formula One's united front to fight ventilator shortage could be the sport's finest hour
What might be perceived as a lost season for Formula One could yet emerge as one of the sport’s finest hours. Such is the warp speed of its response to the Covid-19 pandemic that world champions Mercedes, one of seven teams working to redress the country’s ventilator shortages, have already unveiled a breathing aid to keep coronavirus patients out of intensive care. This type of feat – involving prototyping, regulatory approval and mass production – is one that would usually take years. But in extraordinary circumstances, it has been accomplished in just seven days. For Mark Gillan, the co-ordinator of “Project Pitlane”, as F1’s reaction to the emergency is known, it is an unprecedented display of solidarity.
NHS developing coronavirus contact-tracing app after successful use in Singapore
A coronavirus contact-tracing app, which alerts people if they have been near an infected person within 21 days, could be developed in the UK after the success of a similar model in Singapore. The city state has deployed an app called TraceTogether to help contain the spread of the virus by automatically recording who people have come into contact with via their smartphones. The app uses Bluetooth connections to log other phones in close proximity – so, when a user tests positive for Covid-19, the data can be used to tell those they have been in contact with to self-isolate.
Debate flares over using AI to detect Covid-19 in lung scans
A series of studies, starting as a steady drip and quickening to a deluge, has reported the same core finding amid the global spread of Covid-19: Artificial intelligence could analyze chest images to accurately detect the disease in legions of untested patients. The results promised a ready solution to the shortage of diagnostic testing in the U.S. and some other countries and triggered splashy press releases and a cascade of hopeful headlines. But in recent days, the initial burst of optimism has given way to an intensifying debate over the plausibility of building AI systems during an unprecedented public health emergency.
Engineers gather to produce ‘battlefield’ ventilator in war on Covid-19
A team of engineers and specialists in medical devices gathered in Galway are finalising the prototype of an emergency ventilator for use in treating critically-ill Covid-19 patients. They hope the “battlefield” ventilator will help ease a likely surge in demand for these life-saving devices in Ireland, and yet be capable of manufacture all over the world. They are being supported by a number of multinationals, including medical devices company Boston Scientific which are based in the city – and by medical experts, notably anaesthetists who deploy the technology.
New York's Central Park and harbor are now home to makeshift hospitals
New York transformed a grassy meadow in Central Park into a makeshift hospital and welcomed a Navy hospital ship as officials scrambled to bolster a medical system becoming overwhelmed by coronavirus. Central Park's East Meadow on the Upper East Side, normally a spot for picnickers and sunbathers, was converted Sunday into a 68-bed field hospital designed as a respiratory care unit. And on Monday morning, the USNS Comfort navigated past the Statue of Liberty into New York Harbor, where it will provide another 1,000 hospital beds. "This is like an additional hospital just floated right up to our shores, and now it's going to help to save lives," New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
The U.S. Just Signed A $450 Million Coronavirus Vaccine Contract With Johnson & Johnson
The Trump administration is spending nearly half a billion dollars on one company in the race to find a coronavirus vaccine. That’s according to a $456 million order with Johnson & Johnson’s Pharmaceuticals arm Janssen, which specified a “new vaccine asset for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19),” Forbes found. It’s the largest reported amount spent on a vaccine project to date, even though the pharma giant hasn’t yet started any clinical trials as other firms have.
Devon college uses 3D printers to make Personal Protective Equipment for local hospitals
A college in Devon is using its own technology to help staff at Torbay Hospital tackle the coronavirus. The team at South Devon College are making face shields and other protective gear to help keep doctors and nurses safe on the front line. 3D printers are being used to produce the headbands by staff at the college's Hi Tech & Digital Centre in Paignton.The college is working with Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, which urgently need more protective medical equipment to keep staff and patients safe.

"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 1st Apr 2020

Isolation Tips
PM Jacinda Ardern answers Kiwis' self-isolation questions
Jacinda Ardern has answered Kiwis' self-isolation questions as the country enters week two of the COVID-19 lockdown. The Prime Minister hosted a Facebook livestream on Tuesday where she gave an update on the Government's coronavirus response, as well as taking the time to answer questions.
Top tips for self-isolation from Dr Helen Sharman
Dr Helen Sharman, CMG OBE CChem HonFRSC, the first British astronaut, is no stranger to isolation, uncertainty, and confined spaces. As many of us around the globe prepare for several weeks of lockdown, Helen shares with us her top tips for keeping spirits up, staying connected, and making the most of a difficult situation.
Coronavirus: Geoff Thomas gives isolation tips after cancer recovery
A former England footballer has been giving tips on how to self-isolate, after having to do that himself when he was diagnosed with leukaemia. Midfielder Geoff Thomas, who played for clubs including Wolves, Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest, was given three months to live. But after being diagnosed in 2003, he overcame the disease two years later. Thomas set himself "little goals" and advised "doing little jobs you've been putting off for probably years". A strong tip would be exercise, he said.I've been getting on my static bike. It gives you the virtual sort of experience of getting out on the road.
In isolation, Brits find unity
One of the epidemiologists advising the government, Neil Ferguson, warned that the isolation measures aimed at reducing the spread of novel coronavirus could continue until early June. Then, England’s deputy chief medical officer said it may be six months before life returns to normal. Both estimates extend well beyond April 14, the date when the British government is expected to reassess the restrictions.
Coronavirus: social distancing could save millions of lives, study says
Researchers from Imperial College in London say that without steps such as social distancing Covid-19 could have killed 40 million people this year. Study warns governments will have to make ‘challenging decisions’ but limiting social contacts could halve the death toll
Hygiene Helpers
COVID-19 Hygiene Tips: deliveries and post
Government guidance on staying at home, social distancing and shielding very vulnerable people is being updated daily, so even if you have read it once, check again to stay safe. Furthermore, there are now more requirements for us all to simply stay at home. These blogs are written to help you follow the advice by giving some simple and practical tips about commonly asked questions on how to bust the journey of the germ. Some people may think some of my suggestions may be excessive, but we are in a critical situation, and over the top hygiene is becoming the new normal, because that and social distancing is what we need to do.
Coronavirus hygiene advice: don't use cash, do wash veg
Don’t deep clean your home - While you need to keep frequently used areas clean, you do not need a thorough deep clean of all parts of the house. You can’t get infected by touching a contaminated surface, only if you touch your mouth, eyes and nose. “Be sensible about where you are going to come into contact with infection,” says Sally Bloomfield, honorary professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and chairwoman of the International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene (IFH).
Community Activities
The beautiful story of the New Yorker who tries to seduce his neighbor despite the confinement
Jeremy Cohen, New York photographer, redoubles his inventiveness to seduce his neighbor Tori Cignarella, despite the period of extended confinement.
The cleaning staff at our hospitals are hardly ever mentioned and they also deserve a tribute!
The cleaning staff at our hospitals are hardly ever mentioned and they also deserve a tribute!
The Montreux Jazz festival unveils 50 free streaming concerts
With the postponement of the next edition of the festival the organizers have decided to invite themselves into your own homes and offer you the chance to see up to 50 free streamed concerts for free
Polish society rallies to help medical staff and the vulnerable during coronavirus shutdown
Several groups offer help with pet care, childcare and homeschooling assistance or running errands. One such community, Widzialna Ręka (Visible Hand), was founded on 11 March when schools and universities were closed and has now reached over 80,000 members. Group founder Filip Żulewski estimates that there are now over 150 spin-offs, with thousands more members grouped by specific towns and cities across the country. There is also one for Poland’s large Ukrainian community. Some are also using the I Help You app to offer voluntary support to the needy.
Two Indian chefs are cooking meals for doctors and nurses in Poland
An Indian restaurant in Warsaw has been providing up to 90 free meals a day for staff at local hospitals. Its owner, Suresh Goyal, has lived in Poland 15 years and says he "feels a responsibility to help. It doesn't matter where you're from". We interviewed Goyal - who for years has been providing free food for Warsaw's homeless - in our article on how Polish society has been rallying to help those affected by coronavirus and medics on the front line. You can read it here:
Polish police dancing in the street to YMCA to entertain kids in lockdown
Polish police dancing in the street to YMCA to entertain kids in lockdown
Community rallies together to help those in need as coronavirus outbreak continues
The group, called Coronavirus Helpers Bicester and Surrounding Areas, is creating a huge list of all the people who need help such as the elderly, who have specifically been told to stay home. The support is not just for practical help including shopping but to make sure that people have someone to talk to in times of isolation and heightened anxiety.
Coronavirus - More than 4000 children of caregivers welcomed in facilities across the Ile-de-France
"We are civil servants above all else, we must embrace the public service ethic. "We welcome a dozen students. A rotation is organized between the teachers, they each come in for half a day per week. " We help the children with their homework and we organize games," the rector explains. In Paris, more than 400 teachers have volunteered, according to the school
Sewing scrubs for NHS staff
A new voluntary group has been set up to make and deliver much-needed scrubs to NHS staff in Bristol and Weston-super-Mare. ScrubHub Bristol is helping to tackle the national shortage of scrubs in the NHS. Set up by Amanda George at We Make Bristol, a gift shop in Westbury-on-Trym, ScrubHub Bristol is a voluntary group of sewers making new sanitary uniforms for staff working in the city, now everyone is stuck indoors.
Land needed as Bristol’s grassroots growers seek to increase production
Market gardener Humphrey Lloyd currently grows on a one-acre patch, Edible Futures, in Stapleton and is one of many that has had to change his business model in response to the outbreak. He is now urgently seeking more land to increase production and keep communities stocked up.
Courtyard by Marriott Warsaw Airport helps doctors. The hotel provides its rooms
The coronavirus outbreak is a very difficult time for healthcare workers. Lots of patients, and so a lot of work and hours of on-call time. The Warsaw Hotel has decided to help the doctors and is sharing its rooms so that they can relax and protect their families from possible infection
Photos of our Community Policing Unit from Donnybrook & Irishtown assisting our elderly & vulnerable residents.
Photos of our Community Policing Unit from Donnybrook & Irishtown assisting our elderly & vulnerable residents. We are here to help in any situation please don’t hesitate to contact us donnybrook.community@garda.ie. #StayAtHomeAndStaySafe #HereToHelp
The Liverpool coronavirus heroes that are a beacon of light in hard times
This is a good time to follow the famous phrase 'look for the helpers' - those people who are doing their best to make a difference in challenging times. The NHS workers, the social carers, the children sticking hand-drawn rainbows in their bedroom windows, the neighbour who always takes the time to wave from a socially-separated safe distance, the teachers sending messages to their pupils from afar. Whenever there are hard times you will find them - and never more than in Merseyside, where people have a reputation for looking out for each other.
Polish couple use 3D printers to produce protective masks for medical personnel
A Polish couple have been praised for using their 3D printers to produce hundreds of protective visors for medical personnel during the current coronavirus pandemic. Łukasz and Justyna Więcek from Zielona Góra in western Poland came up with the initiative to 3D-print masks in response to a government appeal for help from private entrepreneurs to manufacture medical supplies, reports Gazeta Wyborcza.
Working Remotely
The Coronavirus Is Creating a Huge, Stressful Experiment in Working From Home
Even before the pandemic struck, remote work was accelerating in the U.S. But the next few months will be a very strange test of our white-collar future.
What if we just carried on teleworking?
In this article we discuss a possible knock on effect from the coronavirus pandemic and compulsory containment, with millions of employees working from home. Could we see a future working from home revolution just around the corner?
Vague remote work policies won’t cut it during the coronavirus pandemic
As a result of the coronavirus, organizations should and likely will move away from arbitrary discretion and toward companywide, objective policies on which jobs can be done remotely and under what circumstances.
Coronavirus: five tips on running a remote working drill
Firms have been running work from home tests in preparation for enforcing such arrangements as the crisis worsens. Here’s how to get this right
How to set up remote teams during coronavirus
The CEO of HackerOne, which features a community of over 600,000 people working remotely, offers tips for the best ways to set up remote workers to succeed.
Virtual Classrooms
Line Numa-Bocage: Confinement can it become an educational opportunity?
"The situation of confinement forces us all to introduce and perfect new forms of teaching practice," explains Line Numa Bocage, professor at the University of Cergy. "It updates the creativity and inventiveness of teachers." Would confinement have a positive effect on teaching practices to the point of changing the way the schools operate in practice? We discuss
Coronavirus: toddlers are taking online preschool classes
-Schools across the country have closed to slow the spread of coronavirus, but teachers are still working and trying to connect with students, even toddlers as young as two years old. It's hard to imagine a dozen or more toddlers on a Zoom video call, so parents and teachers told Business Insider what the transition to digital learning has been like.
Under Coronavirus, Not All Virtual Learning Is the Same
The so-called Homework Gap has taken on crippling dimensions now that closed school districts have been trying to maintain a semblance of instruction by putting teachers or course materials online. Internet-savvy school systems that serve connected populations appear to be moving ahead relatively smoothly with the new order of business. At the same time, some districts that lack infrastructure and serve heavily poor populations have given up altogether on remote learning. Still others are hesitant to pursue online instruction out of fear they might be hauled into court for offering course materials to which broadband-deprived families cannot gain access.
Coronavirus: 11 tips for using Google Classroom
Many of the international schools that have closed already due to Coronavirus have opted to use Google Classroom to teach remotely. Here they give their top tips.
Public Policies
Coronavirus: How London's NHS Nightingale Hospital was built in a fortnight
A 21st century global pandemic requires an unprecedented response and the NHS Nightingale is just that.
Coronavirus: Australia unveils $114b scheme to guarantee wages for six million workers
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday (March 30) announced a A$130 billion (S$114 billion) scheme to provide replacement wages to up to six million people who may lose their jobs otherwise due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Describing the package as an "economic lifeline," Mr Morrison said the aim was to ensure that struggling businesses retained staff while the economy went into hibernation. The six-month scheme will be offered to almost half the workforce and will provide people with A$1,500 per fortnight, or about 70 per cent of the average wage
Social distancing appears to be slowing the spread of coronavirus in some areas but crisis won't end soon, officials say
The two top infectious disease experts on the White House coronavirus task force think social distancing measures appear to be helping but reminded Americans they are going to have a significant effect on how many people in the Unites States die. "It's communities that will do this. There's no magic bullet (for Covid-19), there's no magic vaccine or therapy, it's just behaviors," said Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the task force. "Each of our behaviors translating into something that changes the course of this viral pandemic over the next 30 days."
Portugal coronavirus: Migrants and asylum-seekers given full citizenship rights during outbreak
Portugal has temporarily given all migrants and asylum seekers full citizenship rights, granting them full access to the country's healthcare as the outbreak of the novel coronavirus escalates in the country. The move will "unequivocally guarantee the rights of all the foreign citizens" with applications pending with Portuguese immigration, meaning they are "in a situation of regular permanence in National Territory," until June 30, the Portuguese Council of Ministers said on Friday.
Coronavirus: UK labs 'can process tens of thousands more tests'
The UK has the capacity to process tens of thousands more tests for coronavirus but has failed to organise itself properly, a former director at the World Health Organization has said. Anthony Costello, a global health professor at University College London, called for the UK to make use of testing machines in every university and big hospital around the country, setting up mobile testing units like Ireland, which is testing far more people per head of population.
South Korea keeps covid-19 at bay without a total lockdown
That life in South Korea has not ground to a complete halt is mostly owing to an early and aggressive response to the covid-19 pandemic. The country’s disease-control authority approved the first test kit for the virus in early February, less than a week after the application was filed. By the time the number of cases began to rise a couple of weeks later, it had the capacity to test thousands of people a day and get results within a few hours from a network of labs across the country.
Maintaining Services
France24 on video reports on the arrival of millions of medical supplies from China - including 10m facemasks for healthworkers flown in by the Chinese
France24 on video reports on the arrival of millions of medical supplies from China to help the French battle the Covid-19 virus. This included 10m facemasks for healthworkers flown in by the Chinese
Exclusive: Retail logistics firm put in charge of crisis-hit PPE deliveries
- Clipper Logistics chosen to manage PPE-only supply channel - Trust deliveries due to begin daily from Tuesday - Community deliveries anticipated to begin next week
Fall in Covid-19 tests putting lives at risk, critics claim
UK fails to reach goal of 10,000 daily tests, prompting accusations ministers are misleading public
Coronavirus: Supermarket vouchers to go out to children entitled to free school meals
The move comes as schools have been closed as part of measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19 across the UK.
Healthcare Innovations
Spanish researchers have managed to sequence the SARS-CoV-2 virus genome in two patients in Barcelona
Researchers from the Vall d'Hebron Hospital in Barcelona have successfully sequenced the complete genome of two strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus from two patients, which will allow the tracking of disease sequencing between different populations and countries to see how the virus changes as it progresses and spreads through a population. What should have been a year-long project has turned into a race against time to stop the pandemic and in just 15 days the research group in Liver Diseases of the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) and the Respiratory Virus Unit of the hospital's Microbiology Service have sequenced the complete genome of two strains of SARS-CoV-2 from two patients.
Four treatments being tested against the coronavirus: which labs will be able to produce them?
The four treatments tested on a large scale are the following molecules: remdesivir (antiviral initially designed for Ebola), lopinavir in combination with ritonavir (drug used against HIV), the same combination but associated with interferon beta to try to lower the inflammatory process and hydroxychloroquine (cousin of chloroquine , but with less risk of toxicity and adverse effects). The first patient assessments will begin after a fortnight of treatment, in about a week. In particular, we will be able to measure the improvement in their state of health, the evolution of the presence of the virus in their organism, and the possible adverse effects of treatment by comparing these results with those observed with patients who have taken a placebo, a drug. not containing any active substance. Pending these results, pharmaceutical companies able to produce these various drugs, in case their effectiveness on Covid-19 patients is proven, are on the warpath.
“10,000 liters of hydroalcoholic solution per day”: in Paris, a pharmacy sets up a laboratory in the street to help stock pharmacies running low
A pharmacy in the 6th arrondissement has installed an open-air laboratory to manufacture hydroalcoholic products. An initiative authorized by the authorities, which allows many professionals to restock their pharmacies and avoid shortages in the face of the coronavirus epidemic
Covid-19 patients treated with the blood of recovered patients
In the United States, doctors have been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, in certain cases, to use blood infusions of antibody-laden blood from patients who can be shown to have recovered from the COVID-19 infection to promote healing in the most serious cases. Researchers believe that this method could even be used to create an immunity in people at risk, even if its effectiveness is less reliable than a peventative drug or vaccine in itself.
Century-Old Vaccine Investigated as a Weapon Against Coronavirus
A vaccine that’s been used to prevent tuberculosis is being given to health-care workers in Melbourne to see if it will protect them against the coronavirus. With an immunization specifically targeted against the pandemic-causing Covid-19 disease at least a year away, the World Health Organization says it’s important to know whether the BCG vaccine can reduce disease in those infected with the coronavirus, and is encouraging international groups to collaborate with a study led by Nigel Curtis, head of infectious diseases research, at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne.

"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 2nd Apr 2020

Isolation Tips
Tips for maintaining your sanity during self-isolation
With all of us thrust indoors, maintaining our sanity during isolation should now be our focus. Here’s how to not go cuckoo.
Tips On How To Cope With Self-Isolation If You’re Struggling With Mental Health
Unfortunately, those activities are now exactly what we are being urged not to do. Isolation is, by definition, a lonely prospect. And while maintaining social distancing is vital to help tackle the spread of coronavirus, it can still be tough on mental health. To help address this issue, Stephen Buckley, Head of Information at mental health charity Mind, has shared with UNILAD some tips on how to maintain good mental health and stay connected while social distancing.
Turn self-isolation into family bonding time: Tips to keep kids engaged during lockdown
Presenting pitches from your sofa, collaborating on team decks remotely and bringing your laptop to the breakfast table. Working from home is an adjustment for many. But adding children to the mix brings its own complexities. How do parents keep their children entertained and engaged while they juggle team video conference calls and draft presentations? What happens to snack time, play-time and me-time? ETPanache spoke to a few pediatricians, counsellors and parenting consultants
Podcast - Tips on coping with self-isolation stress in Suffolk | Latest Suffolk and Essex News
Listen as PTSD sufferer John and Amy talk to head of news Natalie Sadler here, discussing quarantine, fitness and homeschooling, and explaining how they are keeping the dream of a gap year in South East Asia alive.
The Beat Goes On, Even During a Pandemic: Can You Add to My Family's Music Playlist?
As we head further into the unknown, the one thing in our house that remains consistent, reliable and makes us all mostly happy is music. So as homeschooling mostly wraps for the day, dinner plans are laid out and and that oh-so-welcoming adult beverage slides into our hands. Then, we play an album, record, CD (whatever you want to call it) throughout the house nightly. Recently, we’ve been reaching back a decade or two or more. Some stuff my wife grew up on, some stuff I grew up on. Some our parents played for us – maybe their parents even played for them – but nonetheless, since we have the time we thought we’d expose the kids to some of our seminal soundtracks.
Surrey County Council share tips on isolation
Surrey County Council (SCC) have shared tips with residents to help them get through the lockdown measures imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus. SCC also directed residents towards a number of services available to all residents that are easily accessible from home like mental health support services or E-books from the county's libraries.
A cabin in my living room or why do confined children build hiding places?
A hidden virus, more schooling and friends to play with, parents ... in order to cope with this new environment, some children are building inner shelters. So many ways to smooth staying at home
Confinement: an Azurean woman runs a marathon on her balcony
An Azurean woman from Saint-Jeannet has just completed a marathon ... on her 6m long balcony. Confinement needs must she launched this crazy bet and held up her end. Here is the story of this incredible positive sporting moment.
The five secrets of happy containment according to the Finns
The happiest citizens of the planet, the Finns know how to keep morale high in all circumstances. Here we have their recipe for helping you to continue bubbling with confidence
Three Useful Ways to Fight Boredom, Coronavirus During Self-Isolation
On Monday, the Science Alert website cited several options through which people can help experts in tackling COVID-19. The first option is by playing Foldit, an online game designed in 2006 by researchers at the University of Washington. It challenges players to fold proteins to better understand their structure and function. The Foldit team is now challenging citizen scientists to design antiviral proteins that can bind with the coronavirus. The second option allows people to track the influenza infection by partaking in the online surveillance project FluTracking. By completing a 10-second survey each week, participants will aid researchers in monitoring the prevalence of flu-like symptoms across Australia and New Zealand. It could also help track the spread of the coronavirus and its influenza-like symptoms.
Hygiene Helpers
WHO - Basic protective measures against the new coronavirus
Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority. Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others. Take care of your health and protect others by doing the following:
How to coronavirus-proof your home
Life under coronavirus means staying at home as much as possible — but you’ll likely need to make a trip to the grocery store or pharmacy at some point. Download or print this tip sheet to make sure you don’t bring the virus back home with you.
Community Activities
6 Ways You Can Help Your Community Fight The Impacts Of Coronavirus
Although no one can single-handedly obliterate the virus or halt its wide-ranging impacts, there are still plenty of ways to help. Charities, nonprofits and community aid networks across the D.C. region are mobilizing to help the most vulnerable people among us.
Museum Asks People To Recreate Paintings With Stuff They Can Find at Home, Here Are The Results
Even though most of us are stuck at home during Coronavirus quarantine and can’t go out and enjoy art in museums, that doesn’t mean that life has to be boring or uncultured. The Getty Museum in Los Angeles challenged art fans to post photos of themselves recreating their favorite works of art from the safety of their homes. People responded with a lot of enthusiasm and flooded social media with their unique artistic interpretations. Scroll down to see the best examples!
How to help others in Tampa Bay during coronavirus lockdown
Give blood, make face masks, support food banks and these and other ways to assist others while we keep our distance is recommended
Animal Crossing: Couples hold wedding ceremonies on New Horizons after coronavirus cancellations
People are throwing elaborate ceremonies on the hit Nintendo Switch game after the pandemic derailed plans worldwide
James O'Brien salutes a real hero of the fight against coronavirus
Colonel Ashleigh Boreham is not a name many people know, but James O'Brien picked him out as a hero in the fight against coronavirus - as he is the man who organised the building of the NHS Nightingale Hospital.
1.5 Million Israelis Using Voluntary Coronavirus Monitoring App
Around 1.5 million Israelis have downloaded a mobile app in the past week that alerts users who have crossed paths with a coronavirus patient, according to the Health Ministry, helping to improve tracking of the pandemic. The app "HaMagen" - Hebrew for The Shield - is sparking interest from abroad with approaches from Germany, Italy, Britain, Australia and Chile so far, ministry deputy director general Morris Dorfman said Wednesday. Under a ministry initiative, developers created the app using open-source tools so it can be quickly deployed in other countries at no cost, he told Reuters.
Coronavirus: Entire street joins together for 'socially-distant' dancing outside homes
Families in a Cheshire street have been sharing a novel form of daily exercise during the coronavirus lockdown, by assembling outside their homes each morning for some "socially-distant" dancing. Video shows people living on the road in Frodsham demonstrating their best moves after venturing out of their front doors for the bout of communal activity to music.
Wanted: Army of helpers to help vulnerable in Middlesbrough
AN army of volunteers took to the streets yesterday to spread the word of support available in the midst of the Covid-19 outbreak. Officers from across Middlesbrough Council were joined by representatives from Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation, totalling 150 people, to hand deliver nearly 70,000 leaflets on the Help Boro initiative, which calls for volunteers and vulnerable people that need support to come forward.
Working Remotely
27+ Tools That Make Working Remotely a Breeze
Are you working remotely because of COVID-19? Take a look at these great tools for collaboration, safety, and task management.
The brave new world of remote work | The Hill
Laboring off-site has been a trend for the last several decades, enabled by a host of varied and ever more powerful technologies. A variant of remote work (also known as telecommuting) is distributed work in which virtual teams – many scattered across the globe – collaborate on projects under the direction of their employer.
How Managers Can Support Remote Employees
In a poll of my coaching clients last week about their biggest challenges, their key themes were about how to stay connected with each team member, help manage their own and others’ stress, maintain team morale and motivation, run engaged meetings, track and communicate progress, and help their team shed nonessential work.
Virtual Classrooms
Bringing Pandemic Lessons to the (Virtual) Classroom
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact so many aspects of people's lives, University of Arizona faculty members from a range of disciplines are finding ways to use the global health crisis as a teachable moment in their courses.
Public Policies
White House advisor Fauci says coronavirus vaccine trial is on target and will be 'ultimate game changer'
The first human trial testing a potential vaccine to prevent COVID-19 is “on track” with public distribution still projected in 12 to 18 months, which would be the “ultimate game changer” in the fight against the pandemic, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday. U.S. health officials have been fast-tracking work with biotech company Moderna to develop a vaccine to prevent COVID-19. They began their first human trials on a potential vaccine March 16.
Japan to give face masks to 50 million households to fight virus
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Wednesday the government will distribute reusable cloth face masks to roughly 50 million households as stocks of disposable masks have run out at drugstores and other shops amid the coronavirus outbreak. The government will begin distributing the masks from next week, starting in the prefectures that have the highest number of infected patients.
US firm given MILLIONS in taxpayer cash to design low-cost coronavirus ventilator has instead been selling it overseas
A US company that pocketed $14 million in tax dollars to make "game-changing" ventilators needed to fight the coronavirus has been selling versions of them overseas. There is not a single Trilogy Evo Universal machine available for Americans as the pandemic continues to take thousands of lives every week, according to ProPublica.
ARTICLE19 briefing: How to tackle misinformation about COVID-19
Professional journalism, ethical journalism, independent media, transparency from those in power, media literacy and the free flow of information are the best antidote to misinformation and conspiracy theories about the spread of COVID-19 across the globe. In that particular context, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomed the policy brief recently issued by ARTICLE19.
Coronavirus is forcing Nigeria’s leaders to confront the broken health system they rarely use
Without the option of traveling abroad this time, affected Nigerian government officials will reckon more closely with an underfunded and under-equipped healthcare system that regular Nigerians have become all too familiar with. Despite annual budgets running into hundreds of millions of dollars for public health, stories of oxygen shortages in public hospitals and surgeries being conducted without electricity remain commonplace in Nigeria. Similarly, strike actions by public healthcare workers protesting low and unpaid salaries by the government are a frequent occurrence.
Finland taps social media influencers during coronavirus crisis
The drive is a collaboration between the Finnish government, the country’s national emergency supply agency and PING Helsinki, a social media influencer consultancy. Though nobody could predict the coronavirus pandemic, Finland has been preparing for a crisis of its magnitude for decades. The country's national emergency supply agency joins forces with the public sector and industry to secure the country's key functions during a national emergency. PING Helsinki edits the government’s messages into a social media-friendly format, and sends it to its networks of some 1,500 influencers. Influencers are free to use the messages and images as they want.
Maintaining Services
Scott Morrison announces free childcare for working parents
Scott Morrison has announced anyone still working across Australia will be given free childcare during the coronavirus pandemic. “If you have a job in this economy then that is an essential job, in my view, in terms of running of the economy,” Mr Morrison said. “It is important that all of those parents who have children, that they get access to the childcare and those facilities will be there for them in the many months ahead.” He said 13,000 childcare centres would be financially supported to remain open during the outbreak after attendance numbers plummeted in recent weeks.
Occitanie: the success of candied dishes delivered to the confined
During this period of containment, Occitan companies selling cassoulets and other local candied dishes respond to a significant demand for home deliveries.
Coronavirus: WHO pays tribute to the "extraordinary" work bing carried out at the Ifema hospital
The Ifema hospital in Madrid was described as "extraordinary" by Bruce Aylward, chief Covid-19 expert from the World Health Organization (WHO). On a visit to Madrid he commented during a visit to the field hospital, which is alleviating the healthcare pressure from other Madrid hospitals facing the Covid-19 coronavirus challenge. His tour of the ICU led to him commenting the way the hospitals and the courage shown by the health professionals reminded him of how the Chinese tackled the outbreak a while back
Lack of childcare 'forcing key workers to stay home'
Schools, nurseries and childminders were told to close their doors last week to all except vulnerable children and the children of key workers, such as NHS staff and delivery drivers. But many nurseries say staying open for such small numbers of children has not been financially viable. They also say staff need better protection from the coronavirus. The National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) estimates around half of nurseries have completely closed for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.
Free childcare guaranteed to all essential workers in Colorado through May 17
All essential workers will have the opportunity to get free child care through May 17, according to an announcement Monday morning by the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS). On Monday, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced that the state will extend a full, 100% tuition credit to anybody defined as an essential worker in the Colorado stay-at-home public health order.
Healthcare Innovations
Hull coronavirus researcher says he has developed Covid-19 test that takes five minutes and costs just £2
Professor Maneesh Singh says the coronavirus test costs just £2 and could take as little as five minutes
Coronavirus: Chinese tests suggest nearly 80 per cent of cases are without symptoms
Dr Robert Lambkin-Williams, an independent virologist, said people who are asymptomatic can still be infectious
Coronavirus: cardiac symptoms that aid in the transmission of Covid-19
Evidence so far indicates that the Covid-19 coronavirus can have fatal consequences for people with underlying cardiovascular disease. It is now also believed that it can cause heart damage, even in patients without underlying heart conditions, thanks to a study published in JAMA Cardiology by experts from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston.
Respiratory Pathogen Emission Dynamics
This newer understanding of respiratory emission dynamics has implications for mask and respiratory design, social distancing recommendations, and other public health interventions during and after the COVID-19 pandemic
Coronavirus in the UK: The 'flat-pack' ventilator ready for mass production that could save thousands of lives
A joint team from Oxford University and King's College London is awaiting government approval to mass produce the OxVent

"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 3rd Apr 2020

Isolation Tips
Seven crucial research findings that can help people deal with COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has delivered the world into uncharted waters, and researchers, health-care workers and public health authorities are scrambling to keep up. “It’s a rapidly changing landscape,” says University of California, Irvine, psychologist Roxane Cohen Silver, PhD. While the new pandemic is unique in many ways, there are lessons to be learned from a significant body of literature on the psychological and behavioral health responses and consequences of disaster events.
A Viennese physiotherapist has found a social-distancing workaround. His clients follow instructions and work with him from inside a box made of plexiglass
A Viennese physiotherapist has found a social-distancing workaround. His clients follow instructions and work with him from inside a box made of plexiglass
Hygiene Helpers
How to Clean and Disinfect All Your Gadgets
Whether you want to protect against COVID-19 or just give all your gadgets a deep-clean while you’re stuck at home, now’s the ideal time! Here’s how you can safely clean your tech gadgets, without damaging anything.
Cosmetics during coronavirus: The do's and don'ts
Keeping up with cosmetics during the coronavirus pandemic can be difficult, as non-essential businesses remain closed. However, it is essential to allocate time for personal care. "Personal care is something we can't neglect, you know, during this time," said Gina Petak, education manager for European Wax Center. "You know, personal care makes you feel good about yourself."
These Coronavirus Exposures Might Be the Most Dangerous
People should take particular care against high-dose exposures, which are most likely to occur in close in-person interactions — such as coffee meetings, crowded bars and quiet time in a room with Grandma — and from touching our faces after getting substantial amounts of virus on our hands. In-person interactions are more dangerous in enclosed spaces and at short distances, with dose escalating with exposure time.
Experimental treatments for coronavirus should only be used in a hospital setting
Thirty cases of suspected adverse reactions to medicines tries are being analyzed. Hydroxychloroquine is suspected of being involved in five of these cases, three of which proved to be fatal. ANSM said "In no case should these drugs be used either for self-medication or on by prescription from a city doctor, or self-prescribed by a doctor for himself, for treatment of Covid-19.
Community Activities
BBC radio stars lead the nation in a mass singalong
UK radio listeners formed a nationwide choir on Thursday, as five BBC stations teamed up for a communal singalong. For the first time, Radio 1, Radio 2, 6 Music, 1 Xtra and Asian Network all broadcast the same programme, designed to lift spirits during the lockdown. "This is a unique moment," said Radio 1's Greg James. "Isolation doesn't mean you have to be lonely." Songs were suggested by listeners, with choices including Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline and Prince's Raspberry Beret.
Not every hero wears a cape - a giant Polish grafitti mural tribute to healthcare staff
Not every hero wears a cape - a giant Polish grafitti mural tribute to healthcare staff
Working Remotely
Coronavirus: Seven essential tips if you have to work from home
Not going into the office is an effective way of preventing the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, because it minimises the risk of you coming into contact with someone carrying the disease. Many companies are suggesting workers who can get the job done from home do just that. Some technology companies which produce software used by remote workers, including Zoom and Slack, have subsequently received a bump in share prices in recent days.
David Ainsworth: How to work remotely in a time of coronavirus
This article is intended to take a look at the technological solutions which enable effective distributed working, and the adaptations to culture and ways of working that are involved. It’s based on learning from our own organisation. Catalyst is a charitable initiative incubated at CAST, a charity set up for remote working. We’re distributed by default. For most people that means four days based at home, and only one in the office
There is no workplace like home
As the coronavirus spreads across the globe, forcing more people to work from home, has the outbreak kickstarted the world’s largest workplace experiment?
How to work from home during the coronavirus outbreak
As the coronavirus outbreak grows, more people are working from home. Tech giants including Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Twitter announced earlier this week, that most of their staff are mandated to work remotely due to the coronavirus. Business Insider has highlighted some tips that will help your staff remain productive while working from home.
Virtual Classrooms
IPA, WHO and UNICEF launch Read the World on International Children's Book Day to support children and young people in isolation
Much-loved children’s authors are joining an initiative to read extracts of their books to millions of children and young people currently living in isolation amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the World is a collaboration between the International Publishers Association (IPA), the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF. It kicks off today, on International Children’s Book Day, at 15.00 GMT/17.00 CET with Italian author Elisabetta Dami, creator of the popular character Geronimo Stilton.
COVID-19 Webinar: A New World Opens To Teachers, On The Front Line Of Education
On March 27, UNESCO dedicated its second webinar on the educational response to Covid-19 to those working on the front lines to ensure continuity of learning: 63 million teachers from 165 countries, plus educational staff. This symposium brought together participants from all regions of the world to study a wide range of issues, ranging from training and support to provide teachers to the problem of distance learning in remote or rural areas with access weak or even zero on the Internet.
VIDEO. Coronavirus: JK Rowling launches "Harry Potter at Home", a free hub for your children
If you don't know how to keep your kids occupied during confinement, JK Rowling has thought of you - and it's free! Harry Potter at Home is a hub on which you will find quizzes, games and the whole world of Hogwarts with free access.
Public Policies
Thierry Breton says he is convinced that Europeans "will pool financial resources", in order to avoid any sort of "food supply risk" because of the coronavirus epidemic
European Commissioner Thierry Breton said he was convinced on Thursday that the 27 would be find a way to converge the financing of new instruments in the fight against the coronavirus crisis and has ruled out any "food supply risks" in the 'European Union. "We will certainly have to have a fund, we can call it an industrial European stimulus fund, for example, which will make it possible to issue bonds which will make it possible for governments to access additional funding", he said on France Inter. "I am convinced our interests will converge," added the European Commissioner responsible for industrial policy and the internal market. "The only word that matters here is solidarity."
COVID-19 and "telework": consequences for frontier workers and carriers
French authorities have defined teleworking so that it is possible to define the role an employee does on behalf of an employer and the instructions given to the employee, and this forms the basis of whether they are entitled to compensation under the government's scheme for any loss of job or earnings - a lawyer explains
Gov't to extend unemployment benefit to cover entrepreneurs
The government's legislative proposal seeks to extend the right to the unemployment benefit to all entrepreneurs, including those who have employees on the payroll. The current system requires business people to shut down their companies if they want to draw on unemployment benefits. However under the proposed new rules they would not need to close up shop to receive the benefit and they would also be entitled to income from ongoing operations without losing the entire benefit.
Coronavirus: Matt Hancock sets aim of 100,000 tests a day by end of April
The government is aiming to carry out 100,000 coronavirus tests a day in England by the end of April, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said, as he announced a "five-pillar" testing plan. It comes as the government was criticised for not increasing the number of tests more quickly. Currently, there are around 10,000 tests being carried out a day. The new target includes swab tests, which are already in use, and blood tests, which are yet to be launched. It was originally thought the target would be for the whole of the UK, but the government later issued a correction saying the goal will only be for England.
Maintaining Services
Coronavirus: Medicines delivered to your home for one euro, La Poste's new service
La Poste announced on Tuesday that it had entered into a partnership with the Aprium Pharmacy network and the delivery specialist Stuart. Objective: to offer a brand new medication delivery service called Aprium Express. For just one euro, it is now possible to have medicines delivered to your home in less than two hours, reports BFM TV . Delivery is even free for nursing staff.
Coronavirus has encouraged companies to add mental health benefits
The novel coronavirus pandemic may drive companies to invest more heavily in mental health benefits. Some companies, like Starbucks and PwC, have already updated their benefits in response to the virus. Companies that provide mental health tools for individuals and workers have seen an uptick in the number of people requesting services. Younger generations, like millennials and Gen Zers, are driving the push for more mental health care at work.
Coronavirus: NHS Nightingale becomes world's largest critical care unit
With 80 wards, the temporary facility at the ExCel Centre in London's Docklands is now the world's largest critical care unit.
Healthcare Innovations
Coronavirus: Pharmaceutical boss says two patients prepared for trials of vaccine
Hugo Fry, UK managing director for Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of the multinational pharmaceutical company Sanofi, said the firm has existing products which could help treat people with COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus. He added the firm was "working closely" with the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to get "things moving" in Britain and two people were currently being lined up for vaccine trials.
Scientists developing coronavirus vaccine delivered via fingertip-sized patch
A fingertip-sized patch could be a potential vaccine for coronavirus, researchers say. Scientists suggest that when tested in mice, it produced antibodies specific to Covid-19 in quantities thought to be sufficient for neutralising the virus.The vaccine is described in a paper published in EBioMedicine, which is published by The Lancet, and is thought to be the first to be reviewed by other scientists.
Just breathing or talking may be enough to spread COVID-19 after all
Large droplets are still a means of infection, but researchers now say that tiny airborne particles may also carry infectious virus. “Currently available research supports the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 could be spread via bioaerosols generated directly by patients’ exhalation,” researchers from the U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine wrote in an April 1 report to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. If the coronavirus is airborne, that could help explain why it is so contagious, and can spread before people have symptoms
Coronavirus: there two solid candidate molecules to prevent the virus from infecting cells
While no treatment has yet been developed against the Sars-CoV-2 virus, which is responsible for Covid-19, many clinical avenues have been explored, including that of focusing upon the receptors expressed by the target cells.
Asymptomatic Carriers if We’re Going to Beat Coronavirus
ProPublica’s health reporter Caroline Chen explains what the conversation around asymptomatic coronavirus carriers is missing, and what we need to understand if we’re going to beat this nefarious virus together.
The world is seeking an answer for Covid-19
More than 130 therapeutic trials are already underway around the world against the virus, some modest, others international. But what can we expect from this overflowing of scientific effort?
Scientist donates £1,000,000 to massively increase UK coronavirus testing
A British entrepreneur has donated £1,000,000 of his own money to establish a network of labs that could dramatically increase coronavirus testing. Mike Fischer CBE has launched the Covid-19 Volunteer Testing Network, which aims to use common pieces of equipment found in thousands of labs across the UK to test for the illness.
Coronavirus antibody tests to identify immune people are crucial
New tests can identify people who have recovered from COVID-19 by searching for coronavirus antibodies in the blood. They could available in the US within weeks. Such tests can provide results in 15 minutes or less, after a single finger prick. They are also easier to produce than the diagnostic tests that check for active infections. Experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci have expressed confidence that recovered coronavirus patients will be immune, though further research is needed to be sure. That means identifying people who have recovered is critical in getting people back to work and school.

"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 6th Apr 2020

Isolation Tips
The Science Behind A 14-Day Quarantine After Possible COVID-19 Exposure
If you're one of the many people who are being asked to quarantine for a fortnight, you might be asking: Why 14 days, exactly? The answer has to do with how viruses invade cells and replicate.
Coronavirus: how not to go crazy with the whole family in isolation
“Very strange times have come. We are trying to overcome them and not lose our temper,” says 34-year-old Annie Reedout. She and her husband and three young children are in isolation after two of the children develop symptoms of coronavirus. Usually Annie conducts online training courses for groups of different ages, now she pays special attention to her school children and compiles a daily schedule for them.
Top tips for coping with the coronavirus lockdown
Helena and Marissa, two members of MS Trust team who live with MS, chat about how they are coping with self-isolation, and the things that are helping them get through this very strange time.
Pros and cons of quarantine: a psychologist with experience shares tips
The two largest cities of Kazakhstan - Almaty and Nur-Sultan are quarantined, many have switched to remote work, some have chosen a self-isolation mode, and some have been isolated forcibly for medical reasons. Now there's a need to understand how not to succumb to fear and maintain an upbeat frame of mind in such a difficult situation? Psychologist Victoria Chebotnikova, PhD in Psychology, with experience of 14 years, shares her advice with correspondents from MIA Kazinform.
Hygiene Helpers
How to coronavirus-proof your home
Life under coronavirus means staying at home as much as possible — but you’ll likely need to make a trip to the grocery store or pharmacy at some point. Download or print this tip sheet to make sure you don’t bring the virus back home with you.
Your Guide to Grocery Shopping for a Family in the Pandemic
We spoke with experts about how to stay safe while grocery shopping during the pandemic. Here are their top seven tips for keeping the coronavirus (and the disease it causes, COVID-19) at bay.
Should You Keep Wearing Contacts During Coronavirus? Eye Doctors Say Glasses May Be a Better Choice
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recently revealed that conjunctivitis—aka pink eye, an irritation of the eye that can cause redness, swelling, and discharge—may be a rare, early symptom of COVID-19. Now, the AAO is issuing a number of coronavirus eye safety tips—and one includes opting out of wearing contact lenses for the time being.
Some in-car tips for surviving COVID-19
One of the reasons all this cleaning is so essential is that some now believe the virus can “live” on some surfaces. In fact, we’ve been pretty much inundated with headlines — written, of course, to maximize the scare factor — that the bug can last for up to three days on certain surfaces. All these stories are quoting a National Institutes of Health study that says, in laboratory conditions, the novel coronavirus could survive for up to three days on plastic and stainless steel.
8 Essential Hygiene Tips to Follow Right Now, According to Experts
The coronavirus outbreak has nearly everyone super conscious about what sort of germs and viral detritus they are traipsing into their home after spending time outside. After all, no one wants to bring any unwanted contagion into their house. So, what are the best practices for keeping your living space safe and virus-free? Here are some essential coronavirus hygiene tips to follow right now.
CNN's @drsanjaygupta demonstrates how to properly disinfect your groceries
@drsanjaygupta demonstrates how to properly disinfect your groceries - The risk of contracting coronavirus from handling food or food packaging is very low, but for those who are concerned, here are a few guidelines: Any household cleaner will do. Be sure to have a clean area and a dirty area. And if you wear gloves, be sure to take them off the right way so you don't contaminate yourself.
Crucial hygiene tips to get through the coronavirus crisis
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, sales of hand sanitisers have soared. It’s become such a sought-after product that pharmacies and supermarkets have started limiting the number that people can buy at one time. New York state has even announced it will start producing its own hand sanitiser to meet demand. Though hand sanitisers can help reduce our risk of catching certain infections, not all hand sanitisers are equally effective against coronavirus.
Community Activities
Coronavirus: 1,000 volunteer therapists sign up to provide free support to NHS workers
A group of therapists set up the website frontline19.com so doctors, nurses and other NHS staff can access counselling services online during the Covid-19 lockdown. Organisers said 2,000 NHS staff had registered for help in the first three days alone, with a further 10,000 people attempting to access the service in the past two days.
Video applauding and celebrating the medical workers on New York
Video applauding and celebrating the medical workers on New York
Coronavirus: Edinburgh Airbnb flats help solve homelessness crisis
Housing bosses in Scotland’s capital have finally moved all homeless families with children out of unsuitable B&Bs after Airbnb properties and hotel rooms were left empty by the coronavirus lockdown. With assistance by charity Streetwork, 120 hotel bedrooms, currently empty due to the lockdown, and 65 flats including former Airbnb properties, have been transformed into safe accommodation for Edinburgh’s homeless families and rough sleepers.
'Dalek' spotted on UK street telling humans to 'stay inside' and 'self isolate'
One thing that we really didn't expect to see in all of this was a Dalek from Doctor Who, parading the streets telling everyone to self-isolate. Yes. That is something that has actually happened and was captured by Twitter user Ben and at the time of writing has already been viewed more than 2 million times.
Coronavirus: Elton John launches $1 million fund to help protect people with HIV during pandemic
Elton John has launched a new $1 million (£815,000) fund to help protect those who have HIV during the coronavirus pandemic. On Saturday, the singer shared a video on his social media accounts to announce the launch of the “Covid-19 Emergency Fund”, which has been made available by his non-profit organisation the Elton John Aids Foundation.
This Brooklyn Landlord Just Canceled Rent for Hundreds of Tenants
Mr. Salerno said in an interview on Thursday that he did not care about losing his rental income in April, nor did he care to calculate the amount that he would not be collecting from his 80 apartments. He said he had about 200 to 300 tenants in total. He is likely forgoing hundreds of thousands of dollars in income by canceling April rent. His only interest, he said, was in alleviating stress for his renters, even those who were still employed and now working from home.
Thousands of landlords offer free homes to NHS workers
Merilee Karr, a co-founder of the Short Term Accommodation Association, set up NHS Homes a fortnight ago. The site aims to put health staff in touch with landlords willing to offer properties for free or next to nothing. Mrs Karr, who also runs the luxury letting service Under the Doormat, said the the short-term letting market was down by 90 per cent. As a result, many in the industry had empty properties and were willing to help out. About 400 rooms are now listed through NHS Homes, worth a combined total of £1.2m in rent a month.
North Bristol NHS Trust staff thank public in new video
Staff at Southmead Hospital have thanked members of the public for staying inside in a new video filmed at the hospital. “You’ve clapped for us, now it’s our turn,” said Hannah Cook, video co-director. To the tune of I’ll Be There For You by The Rembrandts, best known as the theme from Friends, North Bristol NHS Trust staff dance and sing through Southmead Hospital.
Thanks to the virus. 15 things that suddenly became free on the Internet
Various companies and services and famous people make their content free so that users around the world, while quarantined, have something to do in their free time.
Working Remotely
People are sharing their work stations as they adjust to working remotely
Creating and organizing home office spaces can be a great way to find balance in places that once signified rest and privacy, but have more recently been split between peoples’ professional and personal lives. For some workers, this has meant bringing pieces from their workplace offices to their home work stations, while others seek ways to make their work stations feel cozy and inviting.
CFOs Plan To Permanently Shift Significant Numbers Of Employees To Work Remotely — Survey
Finance leaders, scouring balance sheets for costs to cut, are considering reducing the need for office space by permanently shifting a portion of employees to working remotely, according to a survey released Friday. Allowing employees to work from home, which was once considered a perk for senior employees or hotly sought after hires, is now a lifeline for countless companies hoping to keep operations running amid social-distancing measures aimed at slowing the COVID-19 outbreak.
Goldman Sachs CEO: Remote work policies could 'attract' new employees after the coronavirus pandemic is over
Even after the coronavirus pandemic calms down, Solomon believes the company will continue to see an increase in the use of video conferencing and become more comfortable with that type of technology. “It will make us more comfortable in providing more flexibility to employees, which, by the way, makes this a more attractive place for people to work,” said Solomon.
Virtual Classrooms
The coronavirus pandemic is reshaping education
Students will take ownership over their learning, understanding more about how they learn, what they like, and what support they need. They will personalize their learning, even if the systems around them won’t. Schleicher believes that genie cannot be put back in the bottle. “Real change takes place in deep crisis,” he says. “You will not stop the momentum that will build.”
Coronavirus: a 5-point model to deliver online learning
When I took a fresh look at Rosenshine's Principals of Instruction, I saw that there was enormous potential in using them as guiding principles for setting work remotely in a way that would have the greatest chance of helping pupils to learn at home. This is what I learnt
Teachers must lead schools' response to Covid-19
One of the world’s leading educationalists outlines 17 points that may have been overlooked by system-leaders in the rush to react to coronavirus
BBC offers biggest online education push 'in its history'
The BBC will offer daily programmes to help parents and children with schoolwork at home during the lockdown. Starting on 20 April, videos, quizzes, podcasts and articles will appear on BBC Bitesize Daily via the BBC iPlayer, red button, BBC Four and BBC Sounds. Children's lessons will feature presenters including Oti Mabuse, Katie Thistleton and Karim Zeroual. BBC director general Tony Hall called it "the biggest education effort the BBC has ever undertaken."
How To Deal If Your Kid Hates Remote Learning During The Coronavirus Pandemic
Even so, getting him to sit down and actually do it has been hard at times. Typically, he’s the kid who runs into the classroom every morning without looking back at us once. He loves his teachers and his classmates. But Zoom morning meetings with a bunch of fidgety 5-year-olds on mute are painful. His father and I don’t have the skills or the patience to make even his super simple math exercises fun. Often, he’ll resist, begging for Legos again. Or TV. Anything but learning with mom and dad.
What the Shift to Virtual Learning Could Mean for the Future of Higher Ed
By freeing resources from courses that can be commoditized, colleges would have more resources to commit to research-based teaching, personalized problem solving, and mentorship. The students would also have more resources at their disposal, too, because they wouldn’t have to reside and devote four full years at campuses. They would take commoditized courses online at their convenience and at much cheaper cost.
#myfreedomday starts: This is what freedom means for students all over the world
Italian students and students all over the world back CNN's #MyFreedomCampaign which highlights the plight of some young people without it across the world and encourages the young to become knowledgeable about how to recognise it and how to help. With the advent of virtual schooling as a consequence of the coronavirus lockdown, events like this have growing importance in educating and informing young people about how they can get involved
Public Policies
Tokyo wrestles with possible lockdown
The Northeast Asia democracies – Japan, South Korea and Taiwan – have so far resisted China- or Europe-style lockdowns in their major cities to counter the spread of the novel coronavirus. Now, Tokyo is quietly making preparations for exactly that. However, Tokyo’s governor, lacking legal mechanisms, may have to rely on Japanese culture to empower her move. As a result, it is not clear whether the lockdown – if, indeed, it happens – will come in the form of a polite request from the city governor for Tokyoites to stay home, or will be backed by tough measures with police on the streets and public transport at a standstill.
Coronavirus Drug Trials: India Ban on Hydroxychloroquine, Malaria
U.S. president has continued to tout the unproven remedy - Hydroxychloroquine not approved in U.S. for Covid-19 treatment
Coronavirus: Sweden determined it has smarter strategy for dealing with COVID-19
Some scientists back the government in not bringing in a lockdown but others fear the nation is blindly heading for a cliff edge.
Coronavirus: Most workplaces to close, schools will move to full home-based learning from next week, says PM Lee
Explaining why the Government decided to take such a step, the Prime Minister said Singapore has routinely seen more than 50 new cases daily over the past two weeks, despite best efforts of the authorities to curb the outbreak. "Initially, many of the new cases were imported from overseas, mostly returning Singaporeans. Then last week, we began to have more local cases. Furthermore, despite our good contact tracing, for nearly half of these cases, we do not know where or from whom the person caught the virus," he said. "This suggests that there are more people out there who are infected, but who have not been identified. And they may be passing the virus unknowingly to others," he said.
WHO Warns of Cycle of Virus Lockdowns Following Hasty Exits
The World Health Organization warned countries against abruptly dropping restrictions aimed at slowing the new coronavirus’s march around the world, saying that careful planning is needed to prevent an economically destructive cycle of repeated lockdowns. A transition strategy is vital to avoid repeated quarantines, Mike Ryan, the head of the WHO’s emergencies program, said at a press briefing in Geneva. “If we lurch from lockdown to poor control back to lockdown and back to poor control, that is not what anybody needs right now,” Ryan said.
Maintaining Services
Coronavirus: New anti-viral disinfectant used to clean London's transport network
A new anti-viral disinfectant that protects for up to 30 days is being used on London's public transport network, Transport For London (TFL) has said. The product has been used on "our entire fleet of over 600 Tube trains, all our London Underground stations that are open, Dial-a-Ride fleet, Victoria Coach Station and 33 of our key bus stations," TFL said.
Coronavirus: Uber to give NHS staff free trips and meals
Uber will give away hundreds of thousands of free trips and meals to NHS staff working on the frontlines during the coronavirus outbreak. The taxi and food delivery company said that as of Monday 30 March, it will offer 200,000 complimentary trips and 100,000 meals to medical staff in order to support them while they work with patients who have been infected by Covid-19.
[Photo] Samsung says it's been helping mask companies with production processes
The Samsung Group has announced that it has been providing technical and production support to companies making protective masks to alleviate the national shortage. Samsung said that it has been sending production experts to small and medium-sized firms to help them streamline their production processes. Samsung has also been directly making mask production molds and providing them to companies. Samsung claims that its aid has helped companies produce 20% more masks and cut down on distribution time by 50%.
Healthcare Innovations
U.S. Hospitals Have a Ventilator Shortage. A Team of Rice Engineers Say They Have a Solution.
The device they’ve designed has piqued the interest of government officials and large manufacturers hoping to address the coronavirus crisis.
Sleep apnea machines could help less severe COVID-19 patients during ventilator shortage
Vanderbilt University doctors and engineers have created a DIY ventilator made of a windshield wiper motor and plywood which can be easily replicated. Another potential solution -for less severely ill patients- could be machines which help treat an ailment affecting millions of Americans; CPAP and BiPAP machines. Both machines create positive airway pressure which helps to prevent the collapse of airways.
Auburn University design adapts CPAP machines into emergency ventilators
A group of Auburn University engineers has developed a way to quickly and inexpensively convert CPAP machines into ventilators, one of the most important tools hospitals have for helping COVID-19 patients. Continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machines are commonly used to help people with obstructive sleep apnea breathe more easily during sleep. The Auburn design, called RE-INVENT, is an accessory that would safely repurpose a CPAP into a functional ventilator. Ventilators are in short supply at hospitals across the nation as the number of patients requiring respiratory assistance due to COVID-19 rises.
Coronavirus: Bristol and Harrogate Nightingale hospitals announced
Two more Nightingale hospitals are to be opened to help deal with the rising number of coronavirus cases, the NHS has said. The new sites, in Bristol and Harrogate, will provide up to 1,500 extra beds for patients with Covid-19. Similar hospitals are also due to open at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre and Manchester's Central Complex. A 4,000-bed facility at London's ExCel centre is due to open later. The new hospitals will be used to treat patients from around their respective regions.
Formula 1 comes up with a breathing machine for covid-19 patients
ne team, Mercedes-AMG, obtained approval for a device which it can quickly manufacture by the thousand. The machine is not a ventilator, but a breathing aid of a type known as a continuous-positive-airway-pressure (CPAP) device. These are typically used to assist people who have breathing problems to sleep more soundly. The machine delivers air at slightly above atmospheric pressure via a mask placed over the nose and mouth.

"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 7th Apr 2020

Isolation Tips
This Is How People Who Are Self-Isolating Are Looking After Their Mental Health
The coronavirus pandemic is a world event unlike any experienced in a generation, with countries all over the world — including the UK — taking unprecedented measures to stop its spread. But as the names suggest, the practices of self-isolation and social distancing can begin to quickly take a toll on people’s mental health and wellbeing, from not being able to visit family members who may be sick to being unable to do something as normal as walk to the supermarket. It’s therefore crucial that amid it all, we strive to maintain a life of normalcy — even when the current situation is anything but.
Coronavirus UK: People share positive experiences of self-isolation
Most of us have now spent several weeks in self-isolation and it’s completely normal to feel like you’re going a little stir-crazy. But it’s not all doom and gloom out there – in fact, for many people, self-isolation has brought positive experiences. Suddenly, we find ourselves with so much time on our hands – so, what are people doing? Because it’s Friday and we all need some light in the coronavirus darkness, we asked 13 people to tell us how self-isolation has improved their lives. Here’s what they told us.
No flour, eggs or butter? No problem! 23 cake recipes for when you're missing an ingredient
Cake has taken on a new significance now that most of us are stuck at home all day, every day. We’re comfort-eating and baking like there’s no tomorrow. But what do you do when you fancy a sponge, but can’t find eggs or your oven is broken and no one will fix it? Here are some recipes to get you through every ingredient shortfall.
Ex-astronaut launches training kit for coping with self-isolation
A former Nasa astronaut, Jay Buckey, has launched an online self-help toolkit aimed at replicating the kind of training designed to help astronauts cope with confinement in small spaces for extended periods. “It’s challenging to be isolated with a small group of people and to not be able to get away,” said Buckey, who flew on a 16-day Space Shuttle Columbia mission that orbited the Earth 256 times. “Outer space and your own living room might be drastically different physically, but emotionally the stressors can be the same.”
10 miniature clay homes created in self-isolation
Instagram users have shared the tiny clay versions of their ideal homes they created to keep busy while in isolation. The clay sets were created for a competition that Brooklyn designer Eny Lee Parker launched on Instagram, just as New York began to tighten measures amid the coronavirus pandemic. "I started three weeks ago when New York City started to quarantine," Parker told Dezeen.
Coronavirus: 'How I'm coping with self-isolation'
Maddy's top tip for not allowing the isolation to overwhelm you is to stay in touch with family through voice notes. "It's nice to hear someone's voice - not everyone wants to pick up the phone and ring all the time so short voice notes can really help." She's also been video chatting with her mates but says she's learning to enjoy the silence too. "It's been nice to get a bit of time away from my phone and having to be in constant contact with people. Now, I can just chill by myself and spend a few hours cross-stitching."
#CopingWithCovid19: The ups and downs of self-isolating and social distancing
Just a few weeks ago, a life of social distancing and self-isolation was unimaginable. Covid19 has flipped our lives on its head. How are we coping?
Hygiene Helpers
Authorities’ shifting advice on face masks adds to confusion in coronavirus crisis
Differing official guidance across the EU has left citizens confused, contributing to a general impression that basic coordination in the bloc was missing at the height of a major health crisis. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said face masks should be worn only by those who are already sick and those caring for them. But given that people could be infectious without showing symptoms, everybody should wear one as a precaution, advocates of the measure argue.
Mask or no mask - what is the official coronavirus advice in France?
As the situation has developed and more is learned about the virus, the situation has become a little less clear. Many countries are now advising the wearing of masks and France's Director General of Health Jérôme Salomon has said that 'alternative' masks, rather than medical ones, are now being manufactured. He said on Friday: "We encourage the general public, if they so wish, to wear (...) these alternative masks which are being produced."
To help stop coronavirus, everyone should be wearing face masks. The science is clear
Even people without symptoms can infect other just by speaking but a simple cloth covering can stop us spreading harmful droplets
Sydney dentist shares dental hygiene tips to lower the risk of spreading coronavirus
Toothbrushes, the celebrity dentist explains, can be a breeding ground for bacteria, so it’s beneficial to run the brush head under hot water for 30 seconds before using the brush and to use mouthwash. Many people rinse their brushes after cleaning, but it’s common to apply toothpaste to the brush before adding water. Mr Verdian recommends adapting the daily oral hygiene routine slightly to accommodate 30 seconds of rinsing with hot water in the morning and evening. He also stressed that washing the hands frequently with soap and water was crucial. As well as preventing the toothbrush from becoming a potential point of contact, Mr Verdian claims that reducing contact with harmful bacteria improves the chances of the immune system being able to fight a bacterial infection or a virus, such as COVID-19.
Can you catch coronavirus from takeaway food and food packaging?
Should you still have takeaway food delivered to your house as the UK ramps up its response to the coronavirus pandemic, and how careful do you need to be about food packaging? We asked Bill Keevil, Professor of Environmental Health at the University of Southampton – a microbiologist and food safety expert who has studied the behaviour of coronavirus strains on surfaces – for his advice.
Community Activities
Sewing NHS scrubs out of old bed sheets
Sewing machines across Shetland have been busy in an effort to help the NHS. A high turnover in hospital uniforms because of coronavirus hygiene rules is being addressed by a small army of sewing volunteers. The scheme has seen some wild and wacky designs for "scrubs" as the garments are known, even including a One Direction duvet.
The Vietnamese community has donated 350 hand-made medical masks to the Śródmieście District council
The Vietnamese community in Poland decided to join the fight against coronavirus and, as part of a gesture of solidarity and help, it has donated 350 masks sewn by hand to the Śródmieście District. The masks were handed over as part of the campaign #VNJesteśmyzWami, to the mayor of the district, Aleksander Ferens, who said on behalf of the district he was very grateful for the gift.
Working Remotely
10 Tips For Working Remotely During Coronavirus
If you enjoyed having daily social interaction with co-workers, feelings of isolation and loneliness could set in. Given that this is the new normal, here are ten tips for working remotely that will make your experience less stressful and more productive.
3 ways to manage conflict when you work remotely
A 2017 United Nations report found that 41% of telecommuters were stressed since working remotely can lead to longer office hours and an increased overlap of one’s work and personal life. Add new concerns over COVID-19, a struggling economy, homeschooling children, and shaky job security, and remote workers may find themselves mired in fear and anxiety, creating fertile ground for conflict.
Effective Time Management While Working Remotely During The COVID-19 Pandemic
Time management is one of the most common issues in the way of productivity under normal circumstances. But we are operating in strange times. Working from home automatically comes with its own additional time management challenges under regular circumstances. But we are all dealing with time management on top of the undeniably chaotic events that are unfolding due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Popular Time-Blocking or Time-Management Techniques You Can Use While Working Remotely
Adapting to remote work can be difficult, especially for those of us who have spent years commuting to the office week after week. Managing time is extremely valuable for working remotely, where distractions abound. Let’s look at some new ways you can manage your time to make the most out of your new workday:
Office Obsolescence - Why Working Remotely is the Future of Business
With technological advancements in recent years, more people than ever are choosing to work from home. What was once but fantasy is now a reality, and people all around the world are able to get their work done on the run. Remote working has completely changed the way businesses operate, allowing employees the freedom and autonomy to work from wherever they choose. In today’s article, we have a look at why working remotely is the future of business
8 Steps to Have a Good Day When Working Remotely Whether you are a member of senior management or a few months into your startup, these strategies can help you look forward to your workday.
Covid-19 pushes traditional airfreight training into the virtual classroom
Strategic Aviation Solutions International (SASI), which offers air cargo training programmes, including the Air Cargo Development Programme, under the aegis of Tiaca, is also speeding up its migration to an online format. “We were in the process of converting,” confirmed SASI president & CEO Stan Wraight. According to Mr Careen, the switch to an online framework is not very challenging and around 90% of IATA’s training programmes could be converted.
Remote working could put an end to the office as we know it
The ongoing pandemic has brought about the world’s largest remote working experiment, with tens of millions forced to participate worldwide – and its outcome will likely have repercussions that will reverberate long after the last quarantine restrictions are lifted.
Virtual Classrooms
Virtual classrooms go online
LearnCoach, a platform for online schooling, has launched virtual classrooms for secondary schools across the country to enable students to keep abreast of their NCEA studies. "We've packaged over 100 online NCEA courses into a personalised platform for teachers, giving them everything they need to run classes directly through LearnCoach," he said, adding that the Covid-19 lockdown would have a massive impact on the young people of New Zealand who were trying to study. "We wanted to find a way to help minimise the damage that is going to do," he said.
Remote Learning in South Plainfield: Sandy Doyon's Virtual Kitchen Classroom
A lifelong resident of the borough, Sandy Doyon has taught first grade at Kennedy for most of her career and her classroom is filled with all the necessary teaching tools. “There are a lot of great online resources, but I miss having the books to read myself to the class, the manipulatives for hands on learning, and the ability to just grab something whenever I need it,” said Doyon, noting that since virtual learning began three weeks ago, she, like most South Plainfield teachers and their students are learning to work with what they have.
COVID-19 school closure: What will a virtual classroom look like?
The province announced this week schools will be closed until at least early May — but teaching will resume for students online.
7 Free Virtual Cooking Classes To Take During Self-Isolation
Because of the internet, celebrity chefs have — in lieu of working in restaurants — turned their home kitchens into virtual classrooms for our benefit. It’s a horrible time for the restaurant industry, one we hope can be salvaged with our support. The same chefs responsible for creating stellar dining-out experiences are now doing what they can to replicate that magic in your own home.
Virtual Classrooms At Giis Are Transformative Way Of Schooling: Chairman Atul Temurnikar
Global Schools Foundation has totally adopted Virtual Classrooms across its campuses getting its entire 15,000 cohort onboard this new way of schooling, successfully delivering education online at the time when Covid-19 is causing large-scale disruptions in the education sector as well. Students of Singapore, India, Malaysia and Japan campuses will or have been conducting 100% virtual classroom learning with everyone operating from their homes, while GSF schools in UAE will soon jump on-board. Students are having their daily lessons delivered online, in a similar way to being in an actual classroom, and interacting with teachers and peers through their devices.
Public Policies
China reports zero daily deaths from coronavirus for the first time since January
China has reported zero new Covid-19 deaths for the first time since January, despite struggles with ongoing outbreaks including in Wuhan where dozens of residential blocks have been locked down just one day before travel restrictions were set to be lifted. On Tuesday, the National Health Commission reported 32 new cases across China, all of which were arrivals from another country. There were also 30 new asymptomatic cases reported. However, for the first time since the commission began publishing its figures in January, there were no new deaths reported.
How do you restart an economy? Germany has a plan
Even as the novel coronavirus continues to spread around the world, European governments are starting to think about how to re-open factories, offices and schools while minimizing the chance of further outbreaks. Austria on Monday said it would gradually begin to reopen shops after Easter, becoming the first country in Europe to do so. Pressure is building on governments to explain their plans because of the mounting economic costs of measures designed to contain the coronavirus. It's compounded by fears that food supplies and health care provisions could be undermined if the restrictions are in place for too long.
Austria set to be first European country to ease lockdown (Paywall)
Austria has set out plans to become the first country in Europe to ease its lockdown against the coronavirus pandemic, with shops due to reopen as early as next week. Flanked by senior government ministers, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on Monday presented a timetable to restart the Austrian economy, detailing a series of phased steps to normalise life while minimising the risk of a surge in new infections.
NYC will fine people $1,000 for not social distancing. What are fines in other states?
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday that he’s raising the maximum fine for violating social distancing rules to $1,000, media outlets reported. “It’s not about your life,” Cuomo said at a news conference, according to CNBC. “You don’t have the right to risk someone else’s life.” “You don’t have the right, frankly, to take healthcare staff and people who are literally putting their lives on the line and be cavalier or reckless with them,” Cuomo said. “You just don’t have the right.”
Coronavirus: why the Nordics are our best bet for comparing strategies
There is no knowing at this stage how the interventions adopted by Sweden and the other Nordic nations will play out. But within weeks, this will start to become clear. From this, we will learn much about the delicate balance between strategic under- and overreaction in the face of an infectious disease pandemic.
This Is What The South Korean Government Comfort Package For Quarantined People Looks Like
An Imgur user who goes by the nickname Uvzxkwq recently shared photos of the care package the South Korean government provided him with on his second day of quarantine. The package contained not only hygiene essentials such as face masks and hand sanitizer but fresh produce as well as a precautionary measure to ensure people in quarantine don’t leave home to shop for essentials. They are giving out care packages to people who are quarantined to avoid exposure to confirmed cases
How Rome is holding up to the coronavirus: zero infection possible by the end of April could be a possibility?
Councilor for Health Alessio D'Amato stressed that a lot depended upon responsible behaviour by those in the city but he felt that progress was being made with the lockdown and that such an ambitious target was at least throeretically achievable
Maintaining Services
UK councils face lawsuits over access to education in lockdown
Government pressed to ensure poorer pupils have laptops and broadband for home learning
How remote leaders can keep workers calm and connected in a crisis
If you're new to leading a remote team, there are three crucial things you must do to ensure employee happiness and productivity — especially during a time of crisis like the COVID-19 outbreak. It's crucial to drive home the mission and to be transparent about what's going on at each level of the company. Keep company culture alive with virtual parties and celebrations, and help new hires along the way by using a buddy system.
Coronavirus: why the Nordics are our best bet for comparing strategies
There is no knowing at this stage how the interventions adopted by Sweden and the other Nordic nations will play out. But within weeks, this will start to become clear. From this, we will learn much about the delicate balance between strategic under- and overreaction in the face of an infectious disease pandemic.
Healthcare Innovations
The Health System Response Monitor (HSRM) has been designed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak to collect and organize up-to-date information on how countries are responding to the crisis.
The Health System Response Monitor (HSRM) has been designed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak to collect and organize up-to-date information on how countries are responding to the crisis. It focuses primarily on the responses of health systems but also captures wider public health initiatives. This is a joint undertaking of the WHO Regional Office for Europe, the European Commission, and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies.
WHO says coronavirus vaccine and treatment research has 'accelerated at incredible speed'
More than 70 countries have joined WHO’s trial to accelerate research on effective treatments, Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. He said about 20 institutions and companies “are racing to develop a vaccine.” Tedros said the WHO will be announcing an initiative soon for the accelerated development and equitable distribution of vaccines.
Greece suggests EU buy patent rights for vaccines and coronavirus tests - FAZ
Greece has suggested EU member states jointly buy patent rights for vaccines against COVID-19 and rapid tests under development to help ensure that if they are effective they are quickly distributed to those in need across the bloc. In an article published in German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said finding a solution for a rapid distribution of vaccines, when they are available, is difficult but also urgent. At least 20 vaccines against COVID-19 are under development, many of which are subsidised by individual governments or charities, he told FAZ. "Ideally, once their efficacy has been proven, such vaccines should be distributed as quickly and fairly as possible, and at a reasonable cost," he said, according to a press release.
GSK to collaborate with Chinese biotech on COVID-19 vaccine
GlaxoSmithKline has announced plans to collaborate with China’s Xiamen Innovex on a potential vaccine to treat the COVID-19 coronavirus. The companies are testing a recombinant protein-based coronavirus vaccine candidate, known as COVID-19 XWG-03, which is being developed by Innovax with Xiamen University. GSK will provide Innovax with the adjuvant need for a preclinical test of the vaccine which is based on a series of truncated S (spike) proteins from the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that causes the respiratory disease known as COVID-19.
Bill Gates to Spend Billions on Coronavirus Vaccine Development
Mr. Gates, a billionaire philanthropist who is one the richest people in the world, said the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will work with seven makers of a possible vaccine to build these factories. Mr. Gates, who announced the efforts in an appearance on “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” Thursday, acknowledged that billions of dollars would be wasted on vaccines that won’t pan out. “Our early money can accelerate things,” Mr. Gates said. “Even though we’ll end up picking at most two of them, we’re going to fund factories for all seven, just so that we don’t waste time in serially saying which vaccine works and then building the factory.”
Clinical trials for Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine start September
Johnson & Johnson says it has selected a lead candidate vaccine for the new coronavirus that would move to human trials by September and could be ready for emergency use by early next year. The pharmaceutical company has signed an agreement with the US government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to invest $1 billion in the effort, it said in a statement. J&J began working on the vaccine under investigation, Ad26 SARS-CoV-2, in January using the same technology it used to develop a candidate vaccine for Ebola.
A 100-yr-old vaccine is being tested against the new coronavirus. Can it work?
On Monday, scientists in Melbourne, Australia, started administering the BCG vaccine or a placebo to thousands of physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and other health care workers — the first of several randomized controlled trials intended to test the vaccine’s effectiveness against the coronavirus. “Nobody is saying this is a panacea,” said Dr. Nigel Curtis, head of infectious diseases at Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, who planned the trial. “What we want to do is reduce the time an infected health care worker is unwell, so they recover and can come back to work faster.” A clinical trial of 1,000 health care workers began 10 days ago in the Netherlands, said Dr. Mihai Netea, an infectious disease specialist at Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen. Eight hundred health care workers have already signed up. (As in Australia, half of the participants will receive a placebo.)
Coronavirus breakthrough as ‘Achilles heel’ may lead to vaccine
A new study compared samples between SARS and coronavirus attacking antibodies. The research may pave the way towards a possible vaccine. Scientists examined an antibody from a SARS patient and tracked how it latched on to a specific area of the SARS virus. The team then observed how the SARS antibody gripped on to the same spot on the coronavirus sample. The scientists observed this at a "near-atomic-scale resolution". The antibody that latched on in the coronavirus sample wasn’t identical to the SARS sample, but it did help identify a spot of weakness. The study was lead by Dr Ian Wilson, who told the San Diego Tribune of the potential breakthrough. He said: "The knowledge of conserved sites like this can aid in structure-based design of vaccines and therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2. “These would also protect against other coronaviruses—including those that may emerge in the future.” The discovery was published on Friday in the journal called Science.
Coronavirus vaccine patch shows promise in mice
When tested in mice, the vaccine—delivered through a fingertip-sized patch—produces antibodies specific to SARS-CoV-2 at quantities thought to be sufficient for neutralizing the virus. The paper appears in EBioMedicine and is the first study describing a candidate vaccine for COVID-19 to be published after critique from fellow scientists at outside institutions. The researchers were able to act quickly because they had already laid the groundwork during earlier coronavirus epidemics. “We had previous experience on SARS-CoV in 2003 and MERS-CoV in 2014. These two viruses, which are closely related to SARS-CoV-2, teach us that a particular protein, called a spike protein, is important for inducing immunity against the virus. We knew exactly where to fight this new virus,” says co-senior author Andrea Gambotto, associate professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (UPMC).
Coronavirus: Australian scientists begin tests of potential vaccines
Scientists in Australia have begun testing two potential coronavirus vaccines in "milestone" lab trials. The vaccines, made by Oxford University and US company Inovio Pharmaceutical, have been cleared for animal testing by the World Health Organization. Australia's national science agency will assess if the vaccines work, and if they would be safe for humans. The first human trial took place in the US last month, but skipped a stage of animal testing. There are several other vaccine developments occurring around the world at the moment at extraordinary speed. But Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) says its tests will be the first comprehensive pre-clinical trials of the vaccines to use an animal model.
UK scientists enrol volunteers for coronavirus vaccine trial
Oxford scientists are enrolling the first volunteers to test a UK coronavirus vaccine, in a dramatic acceleration of the typical pace of drug development. The trial will recruit up to 510 healthy adults, aged 18 to 55, to test the vaccine called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. The participants will not receive the vaccine for some weeks. While screening of participants takes place, the vaccine will continue to be assessed in animal trials at the Public Health England (PHE) laboratory at Porton Down, near Salisbury and, simultaneously, be manufactured to clinical grade standard at a University of Oxford facility.

"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 8th Apr 2020

Isolation Tips
'Start a daily routine – and make the weekends different': the isolation experts' guide to lockdown living
It can feel daunting to think about the weeks ahead. But many people have not only lived but thrived in similar circumstances. A polar scientist, a monk, a solo sailor and more offer tips
Tips to survive self-isolation from citizen scientists on a remote Norwegian island
For more than seven months, Sunniva Sorby and Hilde Fålulm Strøm have self-isolated by choice in a one-room wooden cabin in Svalbard, Norway — a cluster of islands midway between continental Norway and the North Pole. With their nearest neighbor about 100 miles away and with no running water or electricity, Sorby and Strøm have found a few tricks to cope with being alone together. Those tricks could come in handy, as people around the world spend more time with roommates and family during the COVID-19 pandemic.
4 Tips for Handling COVID-19 Isolation When Working From Home
Yes, working from home is isolating, and it’s easy to see how those technologists used to an office can feel increasingly depressed by the isolation—and stress—of working alone during a global pandemic. Fortunately, there are some ways to mitigate some of those feelings during this difficult time.
Calming Tips for Parents During Social Isolation
We humans are exceptionally resilient. We have a remarkable capacity to adjust, accommodate, invent, and adapt, even with little warning or preparation when we are nimble and willing to come to terms with the reality in front of us. Here are a few things parents can to do to help us find greater calm and stability during the Covid-19 crisis.
Coronavirus: How to ensure your relationships survive self-isolation
Struggling to cope with spending extended periods at home? Experts share their tips on maintaining good relations with children and partners
Top 10 tips to surviving self-isolation from a NASA spacesuit tester
Some people suffer from uncontrollable giggling. Others become selfish, with their worse personality traits emerging,’ NASA spacesuit tester Benjamin Pothier says on the subject of self-isolation. The 46-year-old from France has travelled all over the world to remote locations to study isolation and investigate how astronauts adapt to living in confined environments for months at a time. He once spent six weeks living on a research station in the high Arctic during the winter months when it stays dark 24/7. ‘I’m not mad,’ he jokes, ‘I was there to find out how one adapts to coping in such extreme conditions.’
Must-read tips for boosting concentration, energy and immunity in self-isolation
Viva! are the UK’s leading vegan campaigning charity and their experts from Viva! Health have compiled a simple list of key foods that will help you to stay focused, maintain energy levels and support your immune system whilst in self-isolation.
Hygiene Helpers
Advice on the use of masks in the context of COVID-19
This document provides advice on the use of masks in communities, during home care, and in health care settings in areas that have reported cases of COVID-19. It is intended for individuals in the community, public health and infection prevention and control (IPC) professionals, health care managers, health care workers (HCWs), and community health workers. This updated version includes a section on Advice to decision makers on the use of masks for healthy people in community settings.
COVID-19 Update: Ineffective Surgical Masks / WHO Guidance on Masks / More Evidence on Convalescent Plasma
Surgical and cotton face masks appear ineffective for blocking SARS-CoV-2 when COVID-19 patients cough, according to a small study in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Four patients with COVID-19 in South Korea coughed onto petri dishes about 20 cm (8 inches) away while not wearing a mask, then wearing a surgical mask, then a cotton mask, and then no mask again. Researchers measured viral load in the petri dishes and also from swabs taken from the outside and inside of the masks. For three patients, the petri dishes had detectable virus when surgical masks were worn, and for two patients, petri dishes were also positive when cotton masks were worn. Additionally, for all patients, the outer surface of both masks was positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the inner surface didn't always have detectable virus).
Coronavirus laundry rules: tips on when and how to wash your clothes to avoid contamination
The coronavirus can survive for hours on various surfaces including your clothing, so your laundry is an important part of your hygiene. Experts offer tips on how often to wash, how hot the water should be and how to handle dirty clothes
Coronavirus face masks Q&A: is the advice changing?
Many health authorities, previously discouraged the public from wearing masks to avoid COVID-19. However, emerging evidence has caused the World Health Organization, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the UK government to reconsider whether the public should wear masks. There are of course different types of face masks, and we are mainly considering disposable surgical masks.
New study says coronavirus can survive up to 7 days on a face mask
A pair of new coronavirus studies looki