Health

Health
EU calls for swift reform of WHO
EU calls for swift reform of WHO
Credit: © Yann Forget / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.5)

German Health Minister Jens Spahn said at a press conference that "the current pandemic challenges us very acutely, but it is very important that the [WHO] reform debate is to be held in parallel".

The draft EU document, which will represent the bloc's position at a WHO assembly in mid-November, calls on the agency to make public more quickly how and whether its member countries meet their obligations on information sharing in health crises.

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First coronavirus vaccines 'may not prevent infection', UK task force head warns
First coronavirus vaccines 'may not prevent infection', UK task force head warns
Credit: unsplash.com / National Cancer Institute

Kate Bingham, the chair of the UK's vaccine task force, has warned that a first-gen Covid-19 vaccine "is likely to be imperfect" and "may not prevent infection."

"The Vaccine Taskforce aims to ensure that the UK population has access to vaccines as soon as possible, while working with partners to support equitable access for populations worldwide, whether rich or poor," Bingham wrote on The Lancet. "However, we do not know that we will ever have a vaccine at all. It is important to guard against complacency and over-optimism. The first generation of vaccines is likely to be imperfect, and we should be prepared that they might not prevent infection but rather reduce symptoms, and, even then, might not work for everyone or for long."

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Over 43m Covid-19 cases and over 1m deaths globally

There have been more than 43 million confirmed Covid-19 infections and over 1,15 million deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to data of the Johns Hopkin's University.

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AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine trial volunteer that has been given placebo dies
João Pedro Feitosa
João Pedro Feitosa Credit: Facebook Reproduction

A volunteer in the clinical trial of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University has died on October 15 in Brazil, the Brazilian health authority (Anvisa) announced.

The volunteer, João Pedro R. Feitosa, has died due to complications from Covid-19. Still, according to the Brazilian newspaper, O Globo Feitosa has been given a placebo and not the trial vaccine.

Oxford confirmed the clinical trial would not be paused, stating that after careful assessment "there have been no concerns about the safety of the clinical trial."

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Study: Covid-19 survives five times longer on skin than flu
Study: Covid-19 survives five times longer on skin than flu
Credit: unsplash.com / F Cary Snyder

Japanese researchers have found that the SARS-CoV-2 virus strain can survive for nine hours on human skin, while the flu survives 1.8 hours.

They state that "the longer survival of SARS-CoV-2 on the skin increases contact-transmission risk", though "hand hygiene can reduce this risk".

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Fitness influencer Dmitriy Stuzhuk dies from Covid-19 after denying its existence
Fitness influencer Dmitriy Stuzhuk dies from Covid-19 after denying its existence
Credit: Courtesy of Instagram

Dmitriy Stuzhuk, a fitness influencer promoting healthy living, had contracted Covid-19 on a trip to Turkey. After his return to Ukraine, he had tested positive and subsequently been taken to a hospital. After eight days of treatment, he had been discharged but rushed back soon after due to heart complications.

His ex-wife has announced his death via Instagram stating that "only warm memories remain, three beautiful kids and valuable experience".

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US reports 70,000 new Covid-19 cases in one day, highest single-day increase since July

According to the New York Times data, the United States have recorded over 70,450 new Covid-19 cases in one single day, the highest single-day increase since July 24. Among the states that set a single-day case record are Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin, West Virginia, North Dakota, Indiana, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado.

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US surpasses 8m Covid-19 cases; 220,000 virus related deaths
US surpasses 8m Covid-19 cases; 220,000 virus related deaths
Credit: New York National Guard (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

On Friday, the United States have surpassed 8 million confirmed Covid-19 cases, and almost 220,000 people have died from the virus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. President Donald Trump has insisted that the virus would "peter out" and that the country was "rounding the turn."

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Spanish Congress unanimously supports outlawing of forced sterilizations of people with intellectual disabilities
Spanish Congress unanimously supports outlawing of forced sterilizations of people with intellectual disabilities
Credit: Emnamizouni / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

In a plenary session the Spanish Congress unanimously approved a bill that seeks to reform the penal code to outlaw non-consensual sterilizations of judicially incapacitated persons. All the parliamentarians present in the House stood up and applauded the unanimous support for this initiative that will now return to the Senate for its final ratification.

With 348 votes in favor, it seeks to eliminate the second paragraph of Article 156, which currently decriminalizes non-consensual sterilizations of persons whose legal capacity has been modified when authorized by a judicial body.

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Austria reports 1,552 new Covid-19 cases, highest daily record since start of pandemic

Austria has recorded 1,552 Covid-19 cases within a 24-hour period on Thursday – the highest daily number since the start of the pandemic in March.

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Chinese city Qingdao to test all its 9m citizens
Chinese city Qingdao to test all its 9m citizens
Credit: Painjet / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Chinese city of Qingdao will be testing all of its 9 million citizens following the discovery of 12 cases linked to a hospital, including six asymptomatic infections. All of the city's citizens will be tested within 5 days, so the National Health Commission.

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Czech Republic enters partial lockdown, schools and bars closed
Old Town Square during COVID-19 pandemic
Old Town Square during COVID-19 pandemic Credit: Aktron (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Under a new imposed three-week partial lockdown, the Czech Republic is closing schools, bars and clubs. Restaurant service will be limited to deliveries and takeaways. Until the end of the shutdown on November 3, public consumption of alcohol will also be banned.

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First death from Covid-19 reinfection reported by Dutch researchers
First death from Covid-19 reinfection reported by Dutch researchers
Credit: unsplash.com / Ashkan Forouzani

Researchers from the Netherlands have reported the death of a woman, aged 88 years, that has died from a reinfection of Covid-19. After her first hospitalization due to Covid-19 early in 2020 the woman had tested positive again nearly two months later and subsequently died to the sympthoms.

The woman is the first known patient to die from a reinfection of Covid-19.

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India: Coronavirus cases surpass 7 million mark
India: Coronavirus cases surpass 7 million mark
Credit: Javed Anees / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons CC0 Waiver)

India's Health Ministry confirmed the country has surpassed 7 million Coronavirus cases, after registering another 74,383 infections on Sunday. It's expected that India will surpass the United States as the worst-hit country in the coming weeks.

Government health expert Dr. Randeep Guleria: “We have been able to keep the curve rise slow, but I do agree that we have not been able to get it to move aggressively down. That’s related to our population density, diversity of our country and socioeconomic challenges in our country.”

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Study: Commercially available air purifiers can remove 90% of the aerosols in school classes
Study: Commercially available air purifiers can remove 90% of the aerosols in school classes
Credit: unsplash.com / Taylor Wilcox

An experimental study found that installing four commercial air purifiers in a classroom reduces aerosol concentrations by 90%. The team around Joachim Curtius of the Experimental Atmospheric Research Group of the Goethe University Frankfurt used one H13 filter in each of the devices, which can filter particles in a size of 0.1 particles in a size of 0.1 µm to 0.3 µm from the air.

Respiratory viruses such as SARS-CoV2 are transmitted by droplet infection, touch and aerosols. Air filters can serve as a protective measure against aerosols that are incompletely retained by masks.

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The Nobel Peace Prize 2020 goes to World Food Programme (WFP)
The Nobel Peace Prize 2020 goes to World Food Programme (WFP)
Credit: Courtesy World Food Programme

The Nobel Peace Prize 2020 has been awarded to the United Nation's World Food Programme (WFP) "for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict".

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Cavani revealed that he had coronavirus and asked Tabárez not to be called to the Uruguayan National Team
Cavani revealed that he had coronavirus and asked Tabárez not to be called to the Uruguayan National Team
Credit: Jimmy Baikovicius (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Soccer star Edinson Cavani revealed he contracted Covid-19 weeks ago, after spending a few days on vacation in Spain. After a dinner with former PSG colleagues, his girlfriend began to feel the symptoms.

He also said he told Óscar Tabárez, Uruguayan national team coach, that he was not fit to play in the World Cup Qualifiers.

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France: 18,746 new cases, highest number of daily Coronavirus cases
France: 18,746 new cases, highest number of daily Coronavirus cases
Credit: Worldometers, Photo via Pendect

France sees an increase in Coronavirus cases, reporting 18,746 cases over the past 24 hours: a all-time daily high. Cases almost doubled since Tuesday.

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New COVID-19 record in Romania with 2.958 daily cases

A record of 2.958 new COVID-19 cases has been registered in the past 24 hours in Romania with the total case number reaching 142.570. This record was followed by a new record of Covid-19 related deaths counting 82. One of the people that died was an 18-year-old who supposedly suffered from underlying conditions.

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WHO: Coronavirus fatigue is increasing
WHO: Coronavirus fatigue is increasing
Credit: © Yann Forget / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

"Based on aggregated survey data from countries across the Region, we can see, not surprisingly, that fatigue among those surveyed is increasing," World Health Organization's Europe director Hans Kluge said in a statement Tuesday. "Although fatigue is measured in different ways, and levels vary per country, it is now estimated to have reached over 60% in some cases."

While increasing fatigue levels were expected, Kluge urges "to reinvigorate and revive efforts to tackle the evolving COVID-19 challenges."

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World Health Organizations that 10% of the world's people have been infected with Covid-19
World Health Organizations that 10% of the world's people have been infected with Covid-19
Credit: unsplash.com / Clay Banks

Dr. Michael Ryan, the head of emergencies at the World Health Organization, has stated that by "best estimates" around 10% of all people worldwide may have been infected with Covid-19 already.

This number is over 20 times higher than the number of confirmed and reported cases.

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Excel caused almost 16,000 Covid-19 test results to be lost
Excel caused almost 16,000 Covid-19 test results to be lost
Credit: unsplash.com / Mika Baumeister

Public Health England (PHE) in the United Kingdom have used an old file format known as XLS for the reporting templates for Covid-19 test results. As a consequence, each template could handle only about 65,000 rows of data rather than the one million-plus rows that Excel is actually capable of.

16,000 positive Covid-19 cases have gone unreported and have only now - days later - been submitted.

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Paris: Alert set to maximum after surge in Coronavirus cases, bars will close from Tuesday on
Paris: Alert set to maximum after surge in Coronavirus cases, bars will close from Tuesday on
Credit: unsplash.com / Yannis Papanastasopoulos

The French government has raised the Coronavirus alert of Paris to maximum after a period of a high number of infections. As a result, bars, gyms and swimmings pools with close from Tuesday for at least two weeks. Restaurants can remain open with strict hygiene rules.

Police chief Didier Lallement said that braking measures were needed "because the epidemic is moving too fast" and to "slow it down so that our health system is not overwhelmed."

Health
~20,000 US Amazon workers have tested positive for Covid-19 since March
Amazon lab clinicians process samples
Amazon lab clinicians process samples Credit: Amazon

Amazon recently revealed that 19,816 of its US Amazon and Whole Foods Market front-line employees have tested positive for Covid-19, equating to 1.44% of the company's 1.37 million workers. The company made a quarterly profit of $5.2 billion, in the three months ending in June.

"We compared COVID-19 case rates to the general population, as reported by Johns Hopkins University for the same period, accounting for geography and the age composition of our employees to make the data as accurate as possible. Based on this analysis, if the rate among Amazon and Whole Foods Market employees were the same as it is for the general population rate, we estimate that we would have seen 33,952 cases among our workforce," the company wrote in a blog post.

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Covid-19 database illegally used by Ontario police, civil rights groups finds

Police forces across Ontario engaged in broad, illegal searches of a now-defunct Covid-19 database, two civil rights groups alleged Wednesday, claiming the use of the portal violated individual privacy rights for months.

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Covid-19: More than 1 million people worldwide have died
Covid-19: More than 1 million people worldwide have died
Credit: Alex Pazuello/Semcom

As of Monday, 1,000,555 people worldwide have died from Covid-19, according to Johns Hopkins University's data.

The first coronavirus-related death recorded was on January 9, the world reached half a million deaths 24 weeks later, and 13 weeks after it reached 1 million.

Johns Hopkins' tally shows the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico account for more than 50% of the deaths worldwide.

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Study: Watching cute animals is good for health
Study: Watching cute animals is good for health
Credit: unsplash.com / Manja Vitolic

The University of Leeds has conducted a study looking at the effects of watching videos of puppies and kittens on personal health.

The study observed the heart rate, anxiety and blood pressure of the participants go down, 30 minutes after they watched a video with different animals.

Dr. Andrea Utley, an associate professor at the University of Leeds has stated that she has been "quite pleasantly surprised that during the session, every single measure for every single participant dropped some".

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India surpasses 6 million Coronavirus cases
India surpasses 6 million Coronavirus cases
Credit: unsplash.com / Lisa Therese

As of Monday, India has over 6 million confirmed Coronavirus cases and almost 100,000 deaths. Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to keep wearing face masks when outside. These rules are weapons in the war against corona. They are potent tools to save the life of every citizen," Modi said.

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Spain: Government warns of "serious risks" for Madrid residents without tougher restrictions
Meeting between Spanish Government and Madrid Covid 19 task force
Meeting between Spanish Government and Madrid Covid 19 task force Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

The Spanish government has warned that Madrid's residents will face "serious risk" if the city's authorities don't implement tougher Coronavirus restrictions.

Spain's Health Minister Salvador Illa said that Madrid's authorities need to "put the health of citizens first" and to control the pandemic as "there is a serious risk for inhabitants, for the neighbouring regions." Illa urged authorities to "act with determination."

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The U.S. surpasses 7 million Covid-19 cases
The U.S. surpasses 7 million Covid-19 cases
Credit: CDC

The United States have surpassed seven million Covid-19 cases on Friday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, and over 200,000 people have lost their lives to the virus. The U.S. has been averaging around 40,000 daily new cases, resulting in an increase of 1 million cases since August 31.