Lab Escape Possible But Unlikely
Its possible, of course, that the Chinese are lying about the database, negative coronavirus test results of WIV staff and that WIV or another facility had SARS-CoV-2 or its precursor in one of its labs.
Lab escapes of dangerous pathogens have happened in the past, including multiple instances with SARS-CoV-1 in China. Its nevertheless the case that there has never been a lab accident that sparked a pandemic or led to an outbreak of a novel pathogen, nor has there ever been a known breach at the WIV.
The WHO team was not able to independently verify the labs virus collection or safety records, although that was never the mandate for the organizations origins studies.
Some scientists would nevertheless like a more comprehensive investigation.
Ralph Baric, an epidemiologist and coronavirus researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who previously collaborated with Shi and was a signatory on the Science letter criticizing the WHO, told us in a statement that the genetic structure of SARS-CoV-2 points to the virus originating in natural wildlife populations, most likely bats,thatpassed fromanimals to humans but that more investigationand transparency are necessary to define the origin ofthe pandemic.
Despite the storys suggestion that Lipkin might no longer agree with the Nature Medicine papers conclusion that the virus was not bioengineered, he confirmed to FactCheck.org that he did.
New Tool To Analyse Covid
2 April 2020
The COVID-19 Health System Response Monitor online platform is a joint undertaking between the WHO Regional Office for Europe, the European Commission and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. It will systematically map and analyse responses, offer cross-country comparisons and track wider public health initiatives.
A joint project with WHO/Europe, & , the new platform will provide policy-makers and governments with clear, comparable evidence to: inform policy strengthen their capacity to respond to #COVID19
Video Summarises Key Moments In The Response So Far
6 May 2020
Since first learning of a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China on 31 December, WHO has been responding rapidly, working to help countries, communities and individuals keep safe from COVID-19. WHO has issued guidance, convened scientists, called for more equipment for health workers and more.
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Azerbaijan Welcomes Who Mission
12 March 2020
During its 5-day mission, a team of WHO experts worked with the national response committee on developing a national preparedness and response plan for COVID-19.
The Government of Azerbaijan is contributing to global efforts to address COVID-19, coordinating with neighbouring countries, and has pledged US$ 5 million to WHOs strategic preparedness and response plan.
Launch Of #safehands Challenge
13 March 2020
WHO launched the #SafeHands Challenge to promote the power of clean hands fo fight the coronavirus.
To support the challenge to encourage people to clean their hands with soap or alcohol-based hand rub, Twitter created a new #HandWashing emoji.
Heads of State, footballers, singers and more have already taken part, with more people nominated to join the challenge every day.
There are several measures you can take to protect yourself from #COVID19. One of the most important ones is regular & safe hand hygiene. Here are the steps recommended by Show the where and how you wash your hands. Join the WHO #SafeHands challenge!
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
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How Far Has It Spread
China felt the initial brunt of the Covid-19 epidemic. At the peak of its outbreak in mid-February, the country saw more than 5,000 cases in a single day. As of May 27, Chinese health authorities had acknowledged over 84,103 cases and 4,638 deaths most of them within the province of Hubei. Since March, however, the country has seen a remarkable slowdown. On March 17, China recorded just 39 new cases of the virus. Most of the country’s new cases are imported from elsewhere in the world for now at least, it appears that China has its outbreak under control.
But while things were slowing down in China, the outbreak started picking up in the rest of the world. There are now confirmed cases in at least 200 countries and territories. The US has seen the highest number of cases. The country which has been criticised for its slow rollout of testing and confused approach to the crisis now has 1,681,418 confirmed infections and 98,929 deaths. With 370,680 confirmed cases and 3,807 deaths, Russia’s mortality rate appears to be particularly low. The true death toll may be underreported because the country’s statistics only include the deaths of people directly attributed to Covid-19.
While the number of new cases continues to rise sharply, people are also recovering from the infection. Globally, 2,288,965 people have recovered from Covid-19 about 41 per cent of all of the people who had confirmed infections, although the true number of coronavirus cases will be much higher.
Omicron Case At German Nightclub During Christmas Party Puts Hundreds Into Quarantine
From CNN’s Chris Stern
A nightclub owner in northern Germany has informed at least 622 people that they must quarantine for 14 days after at least one Omicron infection was detected at a celebration over Christmas.
The “Joy” dance club was holding the event in the Segeberg district of Schleswig-Holstein state. Only people with proof of vaccination, those who recovered from Covid-19 in the past six months plus a negative test, were allowed to enter under Germany’s so-called 2G-plus rule. No masks or social distancing were required.
At least one guest was confirmed to have a Covid-19 infection with the Omicron variant, Segeberg district officials said in a news release Wednesday. Officials added that the 2G-plus rules were correctly enforced.
“We have implemented all applicable requirements since September and have done our best to prevent a situation like this,” club manager Joey Claussen said in the news release. But we always knew that there is no such thing as 100 percent security. And now we have to try together to prevent greater damage,” Claussen added.
Claussen informed 622 visitors with online tickets by email on Wednesday. Around 200 other guests bought their tickets at the box office. To locate these guests, the disco manager is asking the 622 contacted guests for help.
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#askwho On Breastfeeding During Covid
11 May 2020
Dr Pura Rayco-Solon, from WHO’s Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health, answered questions on breastfeeding during the COVID-19 pandemic. She emphasised that there is no evidence so far that the virus is transmitted through breastfeeding. Breastfeeding provides numerous health and developmental benefits for both infants and mothers.
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What Will Happen Next
As the number of daily infections and deaths has plateaued in many places, European countries are taking tentative steps to ease their lockdown measures with varying approaches.
Italy’s daily coronavirus death toll is at its lowest since March 14 and since May 4, citizens are allowed to visit their relatives in small numbers. Factories and construction sites are allowed to reopen, but schools will remain closed until September. From June 3, the country will also be welcoming tourists back in the country. In Spain, citizens are allowed to exercise and walk outdoors, and since May 25, restaurants, bars, shopping malls, museums, and places of worship are starting to re-open at 30 to 50 per cent capacity. Borders will remain closed to foreign tourists until July.
The UK will remain on lockdown until at least June 1, however, prime minister Boris Johnson announced on May 10 that construction and manufacturing workers in England should start returning to work. If the reproduction number remains below 1, he said, the country might be in a position to begin the phased re-opening of shops and get primary pupils back into schools in June. Some cafes and restaurants with outdoor space, places of worship, theatres and cinemas might open their doors again from July with extra hygiene and social distancing measures.
Matt Reynolds is WIRED’s science editor. He tweets from
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Bangkok Airways News And Announcement On Covid
Bangkok Airways announces the temporarily cancellation of some flights as well as announces its continued measures to facilitate passengers affected by the COVID-19 situa…
You Cannot Fight A Fire Blindfolded
16 March 2020
Countries should test every suspected case of COVID-19.
If people test positive, they should be isolated and the people they have been in close contact with up to 2 days before they developed symptoms should be sought out, and those people should be tested too if they show symptoms of COVID-19.
WHO also advises that all confirmed cases, even mild cases, should be isolated in health facilities, to prevent transmission and provide adequate care.
But we recognize that many countries have already exceeded their capacity to care for mild cases in dedicated health facilities.
In that situation, countries should prioritize older patients and those with underlying conditions.
“We have a simple message for all countries:testtest.Test every suspected #COVID19 case. If they test positive, isolate them & find out who they have been in close contact with up to 2 days before they developed symptoms & test those people too”-#coronavirus
World Health Organization
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Launch Of Be Ready Campaign
5 March 2020
WHO launches a new social media campaign called Be Ready for COVID-19, which urges people to be safe, smart and kind.
‘Be Ready’ was launched because everyone can prepare for COVID-19, including individuals, governments and businesses.
We’re calling on people to Be Safe by remembering tried & tested public health measures, like regular hand washing & staying at least 1 metre from anyone coughing or sneezing. These ordinary measures are extraordinarily effective at fighting COVID-19.
We’re asking people to Be Smart about COVID-19 by rejecting rumours & taking care to only share information from trusted sources. Everyone should keep informed about what is happening in their area and follow the recommendations of local authorities.
We’re reminding people to Be Kind through addressing stigma and looking out for one another – especially the most vulnerable and those in isolation. Compassion can combat #COVID19.
Below is a tweet from footballer Paul Pogba getting involved with the campaign.
Launch Of The Un Covid
8 April 2020
The Secretary-General Antonio Guterres brought all UN agencies together to contribute to the Supply Chain Task Force, which will focus on dramatically scaling up the supply of life-saving tools and matching supply with needs.
World Health Organization
The WHO Director-General appealed for national unity and global solidarity in responding to COVID-19.
: . , . appeals for unity over #COVID19
To help alleviate suffering and save lives, WHO has been working night and day in five key ways:
1. Helping build countries’ capacity to prepare and respond
2. Providing accurate information and fight the infodemic, together with numerous partners
3. Ensuring supplies of essential medical equipment for frontline health workers.
4. Training and mobilizing health workers.
5. Accelerating research and development.
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Do Your Part To Stop Stigma And Combat Covid
25 February 2020
The WHO Director-General has repeatedly called for “solidarity, not stigma” to address COVID-19.
WHO has worked with UNICEF and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies on a guide to preventing and addressing the social stigma associated with the disease.
It’s vital to fight stigma because it can drive people to hide the illness, not seek health care immediately and discourage them from adopting healthy behaviours.
This guide includes some tips and messages, as well as dos and don’ts on language when talking about COVID-19.
Given that #COVID19 is a new disease, it is understandable that its emergence and spread cause confusion, anxiety and fear among the general public. These factors can give rise to harmful stereotypes.#coronavirus
World Health Organization
Hydroxychloroquine Arm Of Solidarity Trial Stops
17 June 2020
WHO announced that the hydroxychloroquine arm of the Solidarity Trial to find an effective COVID-19 treatment was being stopped.
The trial’s Executive Group and principal investigators made the decision based on evidence from the Solidarity trial, UK’s Recovery trial and a Cochrane review of other evidence on hydroxychloroquine.
Data from Solidarity and the recently announced results from the UK’s Recovery trial both showed that hydroxychloroquine does not result in the reduction of mortality of hospitalised COVID-19 patients, when compared with standard of care.
Investigators will not randomize further patients to hydroxychloroquine in the Solidarity trial. Patients who have already started hydroxychloroquine but who have not yet finished their course in the trial may complete their course or stop at the discretion of the supervising physician.
This decision applies only to the conduct of the Solidarity trial and does not apply to the use or evaluation of hydroxychloroquine in pre or post-exposure prophylaxis in patients exposed to COVID-19.
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Considerations For Public Health And Social Measures In The Workplace
10 May 2020
New guidance from WHO outlines measures to protect against COVID-19 in workplaces.
It covers carrying out a workplace risk assessment and outlines measures for all workplaces in the areas of hand and respiratory hygiene physical distancing reduction and management of work-related travel regular environmental cleaning and disinfection risk communication, training and education and management of people with COVID-19 or their contacts. There are also specific measures for workplaces and jobs at medium and high risk.
In addition, the guidance provides an overview of the rights, duties and responsibilities of workers and employers, as well as advice on developing action plans for COVID-19 prevention and mitigation.
This document is an Annex to existing WHO guidance on ‘Considerations in adjusting public health and social measures in the context of COVID-19’.
“WHO issued detailed new workplace guidelines, which recommend all places of work carry out a risk assessment for workers potential exposure to #COVID19. This includes the implementation of measures to prevent the spread of the virus”-
World Health Organization May 11, 2020
Who Results Report Launched
18 May 2020
The Results Report provides a comprehensive picture of what WHO, its Member States and partners have achieved in the past two years.
It gives updates based around three strategic priorities: 1 billion more people benefiting from universal health coverage 1 billion more people better protected from health emergencies, and 1 billion more people living with better health and well-being.
Now more than ever, the world needs . WHO is committed to building a healthier, safer, fairer world for everyone, everywhere.
World Health Organization May 18, 2020
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How To Protect Yourself
There are COVID-19 vaccines available, and you are encouraged to be vaccinated when it becomes available to you. You should still try to limit your contact with other people. CDC guidelines suggest:
- Work from home if you can.
- Avoid travel when possible. This is especially important if you or someone you live with is older or has a health condition that raises the chances of serious COVID-19 illness.
- Visit with family and friends by phone and computer instead of in person.
- If you must go out, stand at least 6 feet away from people.
- Wear a face mask when you go out if you are not vaccinated.
- If youre sick, stay in a separate bedroom away from others in your home.
- Do your shopping, especially for groceries or drugstore items, online if possible.
- Keep your pets away from people and animals outside your home. Cats should stay indoors as much as possible.
- Clean up pet waste properly. Wash your hands afterward and after you touch them, their food, or their toys.
- If you have COVID-19 symptoms, limit contact with your pet. If you cant have someone else take care of your animals, wear a face mask when youre around them, and wash your hands before and after you interact with them.
Remainder Of World Juniors Hockey Tournament Canceled Due To Covid
From CNN’s David Close
Organizers of the 2022 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship have abruptly canceled the ongoing men’s hockey tournament due the spread of Covid-19 within the teams participating.
The tournament was being held in Alberta, Canada.
“The sportive integrity of the event has been compromised,” IIHF stated, blaming the spread of the Omicron variant in an announcement made on Wednesday.
The IIHF said a member of the Russian national team tested positive for Covid-19, which forced the team into mandated quarantine. Positive tests and subsequent quarantines had already forced organizers to cancel two previously planned preliminary games Switzerland vs. Team USA and Finland vs. Czechia .
On Tuesday, Team USA was forced to forfeit their game against Switzerland following two positive Covid-19 tests within the US team.
We owed it to the participating teams to do our best to create the conditions necessary for this event to work, said IIHF President Luc Tardif. Unfortunately, this was not enough. We now have to take some time and focus on getting all players and team staff back home safely.
Hockey Canada President Scott Smith and CEO Tom Renney said, “Although we know this is the right decision, we sympathize with all participants who have earned the opportunity to represent their countries on the world stage and that will not be able to realize that dream in its entirety.
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