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Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advice

A place to post daily news of Kurdistan from valid sources .

Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Apr 05, 2020 10:12 pm

Italy, France record
lower coronavirus deaths


France records 357 deaths
    lowest daily increase in a week
Italy reports 525 deaths
    the lowest in over two weeks
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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Apr 06, 2020 11:14 pm

The snood that could
mask you from infection


A germ-trapping 'snood'—a scarf that covers both the nose and the mouth — which claims to deactivate the coronavirus could be the latest way to protect yourself from the pandemic

Unlike ordinary masks, say researchers from the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, the Virustatic Shield can be worn comfortably for hours at a time, and is reusable, washable and harmless to touch after being exposed to germs.

The key behind its effectiveness, says Professor Sabine Flitsch, who worked on the snood, is a special chemical coating on the fabric, which makes the virus stick to it, where it is then deactivated.

The snood is coated with protein compounds similar to those found on the human upper respiratory tract — the series of passages running through the mouth, nose, sinuses, throat and windpipe — which help us fight off infections.

Unlike ordinary masks, say researchers from the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, the Virustatic Shield can be worn comfortably for hours at a time, and is reusable, washable and harmless to touch after being exposed to germs

'When a virus such as the c­oronavirus gets into a person's upper respiratory tract, chemicals on the virus particles bond with compounds in this protein layer — that's how the virus then begins to infect cells,' explains Dr Alan Green, a biologist and director of the company that makes the Virustatic Shield.

'However, when the virus lands on the surface of the snood, although the same chemical reaction occurs, there are no cells to infect. It's just fabric. So the virus is deactivated immediately and dies.

'This way it both protects people wearing it from inhaling anything, and prevents them from s­preading droplets outwards.'

The reason this doesn't happen when the virus lands on a surface such as a table or a phone is because, without the protein layer, there are no chemical changes to the virus. So there is nothing to deactivate it.

'With conventional masks, the virus still lives on the surface,' says Dr Green. 'So when the wearer puts it down, the surface becomes contaminated, the hands are contaminated and that's one of the big problems with them — they don't stop transmission.'

'With conventional masks, the virus still lives on the surface,' says Dr Green. 'So when the wearer puts it down, the surface becomes contaminated, the hands are contaminated and that's one of the big problems with them — they don't stop transmission'

The snood's protein coating, which is said to trap viruses in airborne droplets 15 times smaller than a human hair, has been the subject of ten years of research and was originally designed and tested with live flu viruses at Manchester University and Imperial College London.

Scientists say they are confident it can protect against the coronavirus because it attaches to the same place in the human respiratory tract as the flu viruses the mask has been shown to protect against in previous studies.

The snood, which is available to buy online for £20, is slipped over the head and pulled up over the nose. It's designed to mould to the face so it doesn't slip down.

Its inventors claim the protein c­oating offers '96 per cent protection against airborne viruses'.

Professor John Oxford, a virologist from Queen Mary University of London, said that, although he welcomed more types of mask to protect against the coronavirus, he would like to see standard testing of the snood against the virus itself — with resulting convincing data to prove it works.

He admits, however, that with li­mited time it would be difficult to do this in the current crisis. 'My other concern is that it is claimed to be 96 per cent effective,' he says.

'It really has to be 99.9 per cent — that's true of all d­isinfectant products. Otherwise it's not good enough to reliably protect against the virus. But it may be better than nothing.'

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/arti ... ction.html
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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:30 pm

Executive reveals exit strategy
to ease UK out of lockdown


A former WHO executive and Number 10 advisor has today revealed his four-step strategy to ease Britain out of its draconian coronavirus lockdown.

Professor Karol Sikora, ex-director of the UN body's cancer unit and former member of the Department of Health's Expert Advisory Group on cancer, said the first step would be to let small businesses with fewer than 50 staff open again on April 27.

Downing Street should then allow all schools to reopen and ease social distancing measures rolled out across the UK on May 4, he said.

Offices, bars and restaurants could then open again on May 18, allowing millions of cooped up Brits to finally start enjoying their summer.

The final step ministers should take would be to ease restrictions on international travel and mass gatherings on June 1, Professor Sikora - who is an oncologist and not an epidemiologist (a scientist who specialises in disease outbreaks) - said.

In a message of hope to anxious Brits, he added that the lockdown is working and that 'we are flattening the curve'.

But Professor Sikora said we 'need to see an exit strategy' - and posted his opinion on 'how it could be done safely', which was praised by dozens of social media users for giving them a sense of relief.

He tweeted: 'With more testing, no mutation of the virus and compliance with the rules I think this is a feasible timetable.'

Professor Sikora warned his timeline is based on the outbreak peaking this weekend and people 'behaving themselves' and following the current rules.

Professor Karol Sikora, ex-director of the UN body's cancer unit, said the first step would be to let small businesses with fewer than 50 staff open again on April 27

Professor Karol Sikora, ex-director of the UN body's cancer unit, said the first step would be to let small businesses open again on April 27

LOCKDOWN IS WORKING

King's College London scientists today suggested Number 10's lockdown is working, with figures showing suspected cases have plummeted in a week.

Data from a symptom-tracking app shows there are now around 1.4million Brits with tell-tale signs of the deadly infection - down from 1.9million on April 1.

KCL researchers, who developed the COVID Symptom Tracker app, say it suggests that people staying at home is starting to slow the outbreak down.

The app - downloaded by 2million Brits - works by the public filling out forms which describe their health and ask about possible coronavirus symptoms.

Healthy people, those who think they may have COVID-19, and those who have been officially diagnosed are all encouraged to take part in it.

One of the app's developers, Professor Tim Spector, said: 'It is really encouraging to see that the rate of new symptoms being reported is beginning to fall.

'Even though hospital admissions and deaths are still on the rise, we hope that these figures offer a much needed light at the end of the tunnel.

Professor Spector and his colleagues say that hospital admissions and deaths should start to fall in about two weeks as long as social distancing continues.

They believe the two week lag is caused by the delay between the start of symptoms and the illness becoming very severe.

Downing Street today announced the lockdown measures will be reviewed around the three-week mark on Easter Monday.

Number 10 imposed the strict measures on March 23, in a desperate attempt to slow the escalating crisis and get the outbreak under control.

Leading scientists believe the situation is now levelling off, with the number of new infections yesterday (3,634) being the lowest since March 31.

The UK's chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance last night sparked hope, saying it was possible the UK was 'beginning to see' the curve flattening.

But he added it would be another 'week or so' before they could be sure, indicating lockdown measures would not be eased before then.

And King's College London scientists today suggested the lockdown is working, with figures showing suspected cases have plummeted by 500,000 in a week.

But de-facto PM Dominic Raab warned 'taking our foot off the pedal' would be the 'worst thing' the country could do at this stage in the outbreak.

His concerns were echoed by the WHO's regional director for Europe this morning, who warned against lifting strict lockdowns imposed across the continent.

Dr Hans Kluge described the current situation as 'very concerning' and very clearly added: 'Now is not the time to relax measures.'

Around half of the 1.4million COVID-19 cases recorded around the world have been in Europe, with Spain, Italy, Germany, France and the UK the five hardest-hit nations.

Daily numbers of new patients also appears to be levelling off in Britain despite more people being tested than in the earlier stages of the outbreak.

The COVID Symptom Tracker works by taking people through a questionnaire about how they are feeling and whether they have the typical symptoms of coronavirus. Currently, tests are mostly being rationed to people who are in hospital

WHO EXPERT WARNS AGAINST LIFTING LOCKDOWNS

A World Health Organization (WHO) expert today warned against lifting strict lockdowns in place across Europe and said it was 'dangerous' to think the crisis is slowing down.

Dr Hans Kluge, the UN body's regional director for Europe, described the current situation on the continent as 'very concerning', adding: 'Now is not the time to relax measures.'

Around half of the 1.4million COVID-19 cases recorded around the world have been in Europe, with Spain, Italy, Germany, France and the UK the five hardest-hit nations.

In a press briefing this morning, Dr Kluge said: 'To think we are coming close to an end point is a dangerous thing to do.

'The virus leaves no room for complacency. Relaxing lockdown measures requires careful consideration.'

He added the upcoming Easter weekend was 'not the time' to relax restrictions, despite the promise of good weather across much of Europe.

Dr Kluge said: 'This is not the time to lower our guard. We must soldier on. We are in this together and we will get through this together.'

There were 3,634 more positive tests announced yesterday - the lowest number for a week and a 40 per cent drop from the peak of 5,903 on Sunday.

The daily death toll hit a new record high of 786 yesterday, however, as infected Brits continue to die and confirmations filter through from the past fortnight.

Professor Sikora tweeted: 'If, as I believe, we have reached the peak of infections, the focus will soon turn to how we can safely escape the lockdown.

He warned 'extreme caution' would still be needed when the measures were lifted, in case the crisis began to accelerate again.

The last of his measures was the easing of restrictions against international travel - the Foreign Office currently advises against all but essential international travel.

Number 10 has yet to release an official exit strategy for Britain to get back on its feet and out of the lockdown.

Antibody tests are considered vital for getting the UK back on its feet and are now being used in Italy, one of the world's worst-hit nations.

The blood tests, which can confirm if someone has already had COVID-19 and could be immune, are different to the swabs currently being used by the NHS.

But none of the kits trialled by health chiefs have yet to be proved to be accurate enough for mass-use, the Government claims.

Britons praised Professor Sikora for sharing his plan, with one saying: 'This gives me hope from escaping this living hell.'

Another said: 'Even reading this gives a sense of relief and can make the lockdown a bit more bearable.'

One Twitter user described Professor Sikora - who labels himself an optimist - as an 'absolute breath of fresh air'.

Another social media user responded to his plan with: 'Can someone please appoint you as a Government advisor?'

It comes after a bleak prediction yesterday said the UK may suffer more than 60,000 coronavirus deaths and be hit harder than any nation in Europe.

University of Washington researchers estimated that Britain's death toll would be at least three times more than Italy because of its shortage of hospital beds.

But the alarming projection does not take into account the thousands of beds that will become available at the new NHS Nightingale hospitals.

The number is also in stark contrast to the prediction by the UK's scientific advisers, who warned around 20,000 people will die during the crisis.

The University of Washington prediction also said April 17 would be the day with the highest number of deaths in the UK (2,932).

In other promising developments in the pandemic, Wuhan - the Chinese city where the crisis began in December - today lifted its lockdown.

People living in the city, home to 11million people, were allowed to travel elsewhere for the first time since it was sealed off on January 23.

Downing Street DELAYS decision on ending lockdown: Stay-at-home rules could go on for weeks amid claims coronavirus peak is still a week-and-a-half away - but some ministers hint schools could reopen after Easter

WILL OUTBREAK PEAK THIS WEEKEND?

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said last Friday the deadliest peak of Britain's coronavirus outbreak could be on Easter Sunday.

When asked about reports that the death rate could peak on April 12, Hancock told Sky: 'I defer to the scientists on the exact predictions, I'm not going to steer you away from that. That is one perfectly possible outcome.'

There was a glimmer of hope this week when daily death rates fell for two days in a row, leaving some thinking the UK was past its peak already.

But today that number spiked again to more than 900 new deaths in a single day.

And Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK's Chief Science Adviser, said on March 30 that the lockdown measures were already working but that the worst was still to come.

Modelling by researchers at the University of Washington predicts the UK will hit its peak on April 17, a week on Friday.

Fears over a power vacuum at the heart of government were fuelled today as the coronavirus lockdown looks set to stretch on for weeks.

Downing Street has confirmed the draconian restrictions will not be reconsidered on Easter Monday as scheduled, with warnings the peak of the outbreak might not come for another week and a half.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said today that the UK was 'nowhere near' lifting the controls, while Welsh ministers disclosed their lockdown will stay in place longer. The World Health Organisation has also offered a dire warning about the 'dangerous' consequences of relaxing too early.

However, ministers have suggested they are keen for schools to reopen after Easter if the situation does stabilise, with claims they have little impact on the spread and could help revive the crippled economy.

Boris Johnson is 'stable' and 'responding to treatment' after a second night in intensive care, with his fever said to have dipped as he remains under constant observation at St Thomas' in central London.

However, there are fears that even the best outcome from his coronavirus struggle will see him out of action for weeks, with experts warning he could need a 'phased return' to work.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has been 'deputised' to fill in for the PM, but the potential issues caused by Mr Johnson's absence have been underlined as the crucial review of lockdown measures was postponed.

Downing Street merely said there will be a review 'on or around' the three-week mark - with the law requiring a technical extension by April 16.

On another rollercoaster day of developments in the crisis engulfing the globe:

The streets around Westminster were deserted today as Britons obeyed the orders from the government to stay at home

Residents in Brighton were watching the world go by from behind glass as the lockdown looks set to continue for weeks

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (pictured in Whitehall today) has been 'deputised' to fill in for the PM, and chaired the government's daily coronavirus meeting this morning

Full Article - Charts:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... kdown.html
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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Apr 08, 2020 5:22 pm

16 Kurdish cities under quarantine

Northern Kurdistan is particularly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic because of its proximity to Iran and Eastern Kurdistan

Turkish health authorities started to carry out first tests in the region only last week. The extent of the tests is extremely limited, for example only 500 tests were conducted in the city of Amed (Diyarbakır) with a population of almost two million. In Şırnak, 600 to 700 people are in hospital or quarantine. In Urfa 20 people tested positive, three people died from the virus, while 150 people are in hospital under suspicion of corona.

Entering and leaving four major Northern Kurdish cities including Van was banned and local quarantine measures have been in place in 16 settlements in the region since 7 April.

In Amed, 148 people are in hospital because of Coronavirus. Four sick people are in acute danger of their lives and are in intensive care. In the last two days nine inhabitants of the city have died of the virus.

Small number of tests

Şiyar Güldiken, co-chair of the Union of Health and Social Service Workers (SES) in Amed told the Mezopotamya news agency (MA) that about 500 tests had been conducted in the city: "This figure, however, is not certain as there is unfortunately no transparent procedure. Many more tests should be conducted. Worldwide experience shows that the more tests, the more cases are detected. The more accurately the number of new infections is recorded, the faster it can be brought under control."

Şırnak: Up to 700 people in quarantine

In the province of Şırnak, the number of infections is increasing day by day. According to information from the medical association of Şırnak, 600 to 700 people are in quarantine in the dormitories and hospitals. Since the day before yesterday, 16 people have tested positive in the city. The doctors in the city complain about a lack of protective equipment. The health centres lack masks, gloves, aprons and protective goggles.

No test centre in Urfa

The Medical Chamber of Urfa reports that 150 people with suspected corona are in the hospitals. The Chamber says that health authorities in the region are taking the pandemic lightly and have still not set up a test centre in Urfa.

Is there a discrimination?

MP Garo Paylan said it is absolutely incomprehensible why, in a city like Amed with its two million inhabitants, only 500 people have been tested in the past 27 days. He asked in a parliamentary question whether Amed and the other Kurdish provinces are discriminated against in the distribution of the tests.

Local quarantine in 16 cities

Apart from the ban on entering the four major cities in Northern Kurdistan, local quarantine measures were imposed in the following 16 provinces:

    Adiyaman: The village of Şahintepe in the district of Kahta

    Ağrı: The villages of Melehesen, Mêrze, Xirbesork, Cemalvêrdi, Hecîbotî, Şemê and Hacıyusuf in the Tutak district

    Amed: The village of Bistîn (Aynalı) in Çermik district, a rural neighborhood in Silvan; the hamlet of Taştepe in Ergani district

    Batman: The village of Altındere and three other localities in the district of Sason

    Bingöl: The village of Döşlüce in the Adaklı district

    Bitlis: The village of Koyunlu in Mutki district, and the villages of Yumurtatepe, Örenlik, Çanakdüzü and Dönertaş in Tatvan district

    Dersim: The village of Geçitveren in Mazgirt district

    Erzincan: The villages of Muratboynu, Eskibağlar and Gediktepe im Kemah district

    Kars: The neighborhood of Merkez in Dağpınar town, Türkmeşen village in Digor district, Erdağı village in Susuz district, Karabağ village in Kağızman district and Benliahmet village in Selim district

    Malatya: The village of Ilıca in Darende district, the Egnir village in Arapgir district, Kozdere village in Hekimhan disiitrict, and 5 more neighborhoods in the districts of Darende, Hekimhan, Arapgir, Pütürge and Kuluncak

    Mardin: The village of Yetkinler im Mazıdağı district and the village of Derinsu in Derik district

    Muş: The villages of Yazla, Alagün und Yüzbaşı

    Siirt: The villages of Akgeçit, Taşyaka, Kayahisar, Kayalı, Bindal and Ankebir

    Sivas: The villages of Şenbağlar, Boyalı, Dilekli, Kurşunlu, Yağcılar, Boyalıca, Gökçekaş, Üyük, Darıkol und Tuzlagözü

    Urfa: Four neighborhoods in Suruç and other central districts

    Van: The villages of Ilıcak, Belliyurt, Esenyamaç and Örmetaş in Başkale district; Han village in Çaldıran district; Çemik and Tellikaya hamlets in Çatak district.
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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Apr 08, 2020 11:28 pm

A city emerges from lockdown

For the first time in months, people have been allowed to leave the Chinese city of Wuhan

The authorities have hailed this moment as a success - but residents had markedly different experiences of what is arguably the largest lockdown in human history.

It took 76 days, but Wuhan's lockdown is now at an end. The highway tolls have reopened, and flights and train services are once again leaving the city.

Residents - provided they're deemed virus free - can finally travel to other parts of China.

"During the past two months, almost no-one was on the streets," delivery driver Jia Shengzhi tells me.

"It made me feel sad."

Wuhan has endured one of the most extensive and toughest set of quarantine restrictions on the planet. To begin with, people were allowed out to shop for food but by mid-February, nobody was allowed to leave their residential compounds.

Delivery drivers became a vital lifeline.

"We sometimes received phone calls from customers asking for help such as sending medicines to their ageing parents," Mr Jia says.

As the head courier at one of e-commerce company JD.com's Wuhan delivery stations, he worried that such an order wouldn't reach the customer on time if sent via the normal method.

"So, I rode on scooter, went to the pharmacy, picked up the medicine and took it to his father. "

It's a story of pulling together in a crisis that would be music to the ears of the Chinese authorities.
Anger as criticism muted

But you don't have to look hard in Wuhan to find voices that are not quite so on message.

"The cover-up by small group of Wuhan officials led to my father's death. I need an apology," Zhang Hai tells me, before adding: "And I need compensation."

His 76-year-old father, Zhang Lifa, died of Covid-19 on 1 February, having contracted the virus in a Wuhan hospital during routine surgery for a broken leg.

"I feel very angry about it," Mr Zhang says, "and I believe other victims' families are angry too."

In the early days of the outbreak, officials silenced doctors in the city who voiced concerns about the spread of the virus.

But Mr Zhang is particularly angry that, even today, the authorities still appear to be trying to mute criticism of their actions.

Train operation while the train from Xi'an to Guangzhou stops in Wuhan on April 8,2020 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The Chinese government lifted travel restrictions from April 8, after almost 11 weeks of lockdown to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Before he could pick up his father's ashes, he says he was told that officials had to accompany him throughout the whole procedure.

"If we were allowed to go unaccompanied then the families would be able meet, discuss it together and ask for an official explanation," he says.

"We also used to have a WeChat group for victims' families, but the police disbanded the group and the organiser was taken to the police station."

Mr Zhang has refused to collect his father's ashes and says he'll do it, alone, at a later date.

"Collecting his ashes is a very private thing, it's a family thing, I don't want other people to be with me," he says. 'Do not blame our government'

Mr Jia, the delivery driver, says none of his family or friends became infected by the virus.

It's a testament to the effectiveness of the lockdown which, despite doubts over the accuracy of the official figures, has undoubtedly slowed the infection rate dramatically.

Over the past few weeks, some of the restrictions inside Wuhan have been slowly relaxed with some people being allowed out of their residential compounds and businesses beginning to reopen.

Now the final step has been taken and Wuhan's transport links to China have been restored.

But although there's evidence that there may be other ways to contain the spread of infection other than harsh lockdowns, both men believe China is on the right path.

"Generally speaking we have won, but we can't become complacent," Mr Jia says.

"All citizens should continue to protect themselves by wearing masks, taking their temperatures, scanning the mobile health code apps, always washing hands and avoiding gatherings."

In the balance between containing the epidemic and restarting the economy, the risk of another spike in infections remains.

Mr Zhang, who blames local officials for his father's death, insists he has no axe to grind with the national government.

Foreign governments though, he insists, are not free from blame.

"Westerners cannot blame our government for their severe death toll," he says.

"They didn't want to wear masks at the beginning dues to their habits... they have a different set of beliefs and a different ideology from us."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-52197054
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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Apr 09, 2020 9:39 pm

Nearly half of us have
seen false claims


Nearly half of UK adults online have been exposed to false or misleading information about coronavirus in the last week, a report from Ofcom has said

New research by the media regulator found many people are also struggling to tell what is TRUE or FALSE in relation to Covid-19.

It follows calls from senior MPs and other organisations to better hold social media companies to account over disinformation.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden is meeting tech giants this week to discuss how they could clamp down further on content as a range of false claims about the virus continue to spread online.

According to Ofcom, since the lockdown began, 35% of adults online have seen the false claim that drinking more water can flush out the infection, while around 24% saw false claims that gargling with salt water or avoiding cold food or drink can stop the virus.

Although more than half (55%) say they are ignoring false claims - with 15% using fact-checking tips - one in 14 said they were forwarding on disinformation.

Forty percent of those surveyed also said they found it hard to determine what was true or false about the virus, a figure which rises to more than half (52%) of 18 to 24-year-olds.

Younger people were also found to be following official advice less closely, Ofcom said, with only 43% of those aged 18-24 saying they were following hand-washing advice very closely.

Nurses and others - employed by the NHS and any other part of health and care - we have never needed them more.

So let’s show them some love, and create a living map of gratitude from every corner of Britain.

By dropping a heart on this map, you’re saying you appreciate the efforts undertaken daily in the NHS.

According to the study of 2,000 people, almost all of adults online in the UK are getting news and information about Covid-19 every day, with one in four doing so 20 or more times a day.

The survey found that the BBC's TV, radio and online services (82%) were the most common places people turned to for news on the pandemic, followed by other broadcasters (56%).

Official sources such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), the NHS and the Government were the next most popular sources of information, used by 52% of people.

Strikingly, the figures suggest that more people are turning to social media than newspapers - with 49% saying they used social media platforms to get news compared with 43% who looked to the papers.

Fifteen percent of those polled also said they used close messaging groups, such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, to get information.

Social media platforms and other internet services have taken some steps to curb the spread of misinformation, such as promoting official advice and banning some types of content, but critics have said much more needs to be done.

Last week, a number of phone masts were damaged across the UK after theories spread online that 5G mobile technology was linked to the spread of Covid-19.

This was despite there being not a single piece of evidence suggesting a link, and numerous scientists describing such a process as "both a physical and biological impossibility".

Yih-Choung Teh, Ofcom's group director for strategy and research, said: "People are turning to public authorities and traditional broadcasters for trusted information about Covid-19, and the vast majority say they're closely following official advice.

"With so much false information circulating online, it's never been more important that people can cut through the confusion and find accurate, trustworthy and credible sources of news and advice."

Ofcom said it has created a set of resources on its websites to provide people with guidance on how to navigate news and information about Covid-19.

These include debunking misconceptions and harmful claims, as well as tips on how to find reliable content and identify fact from fiction.
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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Apr 10, 2020 9:45 pm

Scaremongers

The dotted line on the chart below indicates the current trend of beds needed for COVID-19 in New York

Image

At present, only 18,279 are in use.

The professional forecasters all projected that beds would be a multiple of the beds actually needed.

Notice not one model came in under the actual number.

These are all professional fearmongers who alarmed the country about a virus that appears to be in line with a severe flu season.
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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Apr 10, 2020 9:52 pm

Walled-in world

RT documentary (remotely) visits people bringing optimism to those in lockdown

A new RT documentary looks at the every-day side of the Covid-19 lockdown, by gauging the experience of those whose main contribution to the fight against the disease is staying home while trying to stay sane.

As the whole world stands still facing the deadly and frightening pandemic, stay-at-home heroes tirelessly seek out new and inventive ways to keep themselves (and those of us in our own homes) entertained through these truly bizarre times.

“I was getting sick and tired of seeing all these tragic shots on TV,” says Marina Kosareva, the RT correspondent behind the project. Marina, who had just taken nine months off to have a baby, adds, “It would be a great way to come back from maternity leave with something more positive to balance the drama all around.”

In Russia, non-essential workers have been told to self-isolate and if possible work remotely, since March 30. Those who return from abroad have to observe a strict quarantine for 14 days. One of them is Marina’s brother Roman. Via Skype, she asks him how it feels when you can’t set foot outside your front door. “I’m going crazy. I’m walled in. My route in the last twelve days was bedroom, kitchen, the balcony and back and not necessarily in that order,” he wails.

Roman is not the only one driven mad by “house arrest.” Many have posted online videos of their creative attempts to reach out. Kosareva showcases some of the hits and misses, with a special mention going to the Chinese man who organized a chicken parade. Our homebound host gets to know a Parisian opera singer who serenades his neighbors with Italian arias from his balcony, and tries hanging out with total strangers at an online bar.

Marina finds herself holed up in her apartment with her husband, baby boy and mother-in-law. As a result, her captive audience unwittingly get roped into her film.

“What surprised me was how efficient we can all be without having to go to work,” she admits. Without travel time or the wait for footage to be translated, she manages to put together her documentary in record time.

In the absence of a professional cameraman, she discovered all “the different ways you can record yourself at home, the screen monitors that I’d never used before.” “It’s such a home-made project, and yet it looks like... a film,” says the correspondent, who confesses she didn’t expect the reactions she got to ‘Mass Isolation’.

For Marina Kosareva, one downside is that “when you work from home, you end up working more.” It’s difficult to switch off when work and home life merge.

https://www.rt.com/news/485494-coronavi ... cumentary/

You can watch the full documentary here:

https://youtu.be/gJjItLly7Yc
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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Apr 10, 2020 10:57 pm

New York ICU admissions
LOWER than before virus


More hope for New York as hospitalizations and ICU admissions drop

New York's ICU admissions fell again on Thursday to lower than they were before the coronavirus crisis began, another indication that the state has hit its peak and is now on the road to restarting the economy with antibody tests, thousands of which will become available next week.

Hospitalizations increased slightly from 200 new admissions on Wednesday to 250 on Thursday but the three-day average is still down. ICU admissions were -17 on Thursday - the first time ICU admissions are a negative number since coronavirus gripped the state.

The death toll rose to 7,844 - an increase of 777 which is some 20 less than the previous day. The number of infections also rose by 10,575 to 170,512.

All of the signs show that New York is now on the way down from its peak and that the crisis is finally coming to an end.

Gov. Cuomo said on Friday: 'To use an overused term, we are cautiously optimistic that we are slowing the infection rate. That's what the data suggests.

'The change in total hospitalizations is down, not relative to yesterday but in its three day average.

'The change of ICU admissions is a negative number for the first time since we started this intense journey. That means fewer people are in intensive care statewide than there were before. That's good.

'Intubations is a little tick higher than it has been. The bad news is we continue to lose a tremendous number of lives. 777. That this situation should exceed 9/11 is still beyond my capacity to fully appreciate.

'Overall, New York is flattening the curve.'

He said that the state has far exceeded what any of the projections predicted because people were so vigilant about staying home.

Among the various models he examined in planning for the crisis was one which said 140,000 people would need hospital beds at any given time.

The number of new ICU admissions in New York was fewer on Thursday than it was before the coronavirus crisis began, another sign that New York has hit its peak and is coming out of the worst of the pandemic

New York's total hospitalization rates were projected to be as high as 136,000 but in fact are only 18,569 as of Friday

The three day average of hospitalizations is still lower than this time last week. Cuomo said on Friday he hoped New York has seen the worst of the pandemic

Cuomo cautiously optimistic that NY infections slowing

The state scrambled to add 40,000 beds to its existing capacity of 53,000 but as of Friday 18,569 were being used.

'They couldn't count the spirit of New Yorkers and the love of New Yorkers. That's what their computers couldn't count on,' Cuomo said on Friday.

The next phase will be rolling out an antibody test that should tell if a person has had the virus and recovered from it which will allow people to 'gradually' get back to work.

The State Department of Health currently has the capacity to do 300 of the tests a day - it is unclear where and how they are being done.

By next week, Cuomo said enough will have been made to do 1,000 a day, and the following week will see production ramp up to do 2,000 a day.

It will still not be enough to test the millions who need it in order to get back to work, and now Cuomo wants the federal government's help to scale it up.

'Why can't New York just develop more tests and do more testing? How do we get it to scale. That's an issue we've been working on. It's harder than it sounds.

'We need certain materials. It's very hard to get these reagents. We need an unprecedented mobilization where government can produce these tests in the millions.

Cuomo said on Friday that the projections did not count on New Yorkers and how seriously they would take social distancing

Bodies are removed from a refrigerated morgue at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn on Friday

'We have nine million people we want to get back to work. You need more than several thousand tests per week.

'Private sector companies on their own, I don't believe, will be able to come to scale.'

It remains unclear why other states like California - where 3,200 have been done privately by Stanford University doctors and where hundreds more are being done today - seem to be further ahead.

In Colorado, one local couple who run a lab have done 6,000 tests on residents in their county.

A spokesman for the governor's office did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com's inquiries about the rate of production on Friday morning.

Cuomo is working to ramp up production of finger-prick antibody tests that will become available next week but he did not give any information about where people could get them

Cuomo said that when people do start to go back to work, it will not be done in one fell swoop.

'It's not going to be, "everybody goes back next Thursday." It's going to be a gradual, phased process reliant on testing of antibodies for diagnostic results and testing on a scale that we have not done before,' he said.

The current shutdown order will remain in place until April 29, which he announced earlier this week.

Despite the encouraging new data, Cuomo said that people must continue to practice social distancing.

'We hope we have seen the worst. We don't know because the infection rate is purely in our control. You tell me what New Yorkers do today, I will tell you what happens to the infection rate in two or three days.

'We are in control of how many people die. We're all in control of that. It is a consequence of the action that we take - we will determine how many people live and die,' he said.

Scientists are awaiting the results of thousands of antibody tests that have already been carried out in California and Colorado - where one test identified eight people out of 986 who had recovered from coronavirus

Thousands of people in California and Colorado have been tested for coronavirus antibodies in a series of studies across different states which scientists are now eagerly awaiting the results of in the hope that they may hold the key to restarting the economy.

In California, a study led by Stanford has already tested 3,200 people for the antibodies using finger-prick tests that were developed by Premier Biotech.

In Los Angeles, the county health department will begin a pilot testing program on Friday which tests hundreds of people at random to determine.

And in San Miguel County in Colorado, all residents are being provided with tests by United Biomedical executives who are local to the area.

One of the tests that is being used is a Premier Biotech finger test which gives a result in just 10 minutes. It was used in the Stanford study in California

Eight thousands tests have been done already there already but the company's labs are backed up processing the results.

They have managed to return 986 results which found eight people who had the antibodies, according to the county's officials.

Dr. Evan Bendavid from Stanford has tested 3,200 people as part of his study. He has not yet released the results

Twenty-three people's results were deemed borderline or 'indeterminate' and 955 tested negative.

New York is yet to roll out its own antibody test despite being by far the worst-hit region in America.

The State Department of Health has developed its own test through its own scientists, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he is now working to get it brought to scale.

World leaders are hopeful that the tests hold the key to rebooting the economy, but an effective one is yet to be found.

In Europe, thousands of tests have proved to be ineffective, including in Spain where it was found to only work in 30 percent of cases.

The problems are believed to lie in the fact that the tests might not be sensitive enough to detect if a person has immunity to the virus.

There are still many unanswered questions surrounding the virus like how long a person remains immune to it and whether or not you can be re-infected once you recover from it.

Dr. Eran Bendavid, the Stanford scientist leading the effort in California, told ABC's Diane Sawyer he is hopeful that the test will clarify some of these questions.

'I think this [study] has very important implications for how we understand the epidemic, for how we move it forward.

Lou Reese and his wife Mei Mei Hu run United Biomedical which is paying for an entire county in Colorado to be tested

'From our survey really the most important piece of information is, how many people in our country have been infected?'

He tested 3,200 volunteers in Santa Clara County last week and is now waiting for the results.

The Stanford study took place across three sites; a church and two parks. Clinical and non-clinical volunteers staffed the labs.

They found participants by running targeted ads on Facebook to attract a demographic that represent the county.

'This service exploded.

'The number of participants doubled every few minutes. We were seeing them in real time, and I was panicking. I said, ‘Close [registration] right now. Take it off so that we can re-evaluate,"' Dr. Bendavid told The Stanford Daily.

Everyone who took part got a $10 Amazon gift card. If the scientists find anti-bodies in their blood, they will call them within a week, Bendavid added.

The tests were carried out last Friday and Saturday.

Dr. Bendavid did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com's inquiries on Friday morning about when the results would be known.

Premier Biotech, the lab which makes the tests, says on its website that the results are available within 10 minutes of the sample being taken and that the results remain valid for 20 minutes.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... sions.html
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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Apr 11, 2020 10:09 pm

Kurdistan gives food
parcels to 5,000


A Kurdish NGO has distributed food packages to thousands of Kurdistan families struggling to make ends meet under the added pressure of a coronavirus lockdown

The 5,000 packages have been provided by the Rwanga Foundation, an NGO established in 2013 whose work focuses on young people and other vulnerable groups.

Each box contains 50 kilos of rice, 25 kilos of flour, 12 liters of cooking oil, 12 cans of tomato paste, and 10 kilos of sugar, among other items - enough to feed "a family of four for more than two months,” Rwanga's general manager Abdulsalam Madani said.

“The campaign covers all Kurdistan [Region], not only in a single province. We have coordinated with governors, mayors, JCC [Joint Crisis Centre], and even general directorates of labor and social affairs [ministry] because they have their own list of poor families,” he said.

The aid is being provided first and foremost for society's most marginalised, including widows, families with members who have special needs, and those living in temporary accommodation, Rwanga's Sulaimani office head Amanj Ahmed told Rudaw.

Lockdowns to curb spread in the virus in the Kurdistan Region's two biggest cities of Erbil and Sulaimani were first implemented on March 13, before expanding to become region wide.

Restrictions on movement have exacerbated already difficult living conditions for the Kurdistan Region's poorer residents. With work deemed non-essential grinding to a halt, many have been deprived of their main source of income.

A number of other organizations have distributed aid to economically disadvantaged communities in a bid to ease the pressure of lockdown, including the Barzani Charity Foundation, which works regionwide with refugees, the internally displaced and other vulnerable people.

"I hope the humanitarian organizations come to the camp and see our situation,” resident of Duhok's Domiz camp Sherzad Osman told Rudaw last week. “We need assistance at this time, because there are no jobs for us, since no one is coming out of their houses. Everyone is worried about their health and that of their children.”

Kurdistan Region camps house 787,705 Iraqi IDPs and 264,720 Syrian refugees, according to the latest available Kurdistan Regional Government data.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/11042020
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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:18 am

Kurdish president dispatches
medical aid to West Kurdistan


The Kurdistan Region has dispatched medical equipment for two coronavirus testing labs, as well as training staff, to Western Kurdistan on Thursday, Rudaw has learned

Mazloum Abdi, commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), sent thanks to the President of the Kurdistan in a tweet for his "swift and generous response” in the provision of medical equipment for two coronavirus testing labs.

According to an official from the Kurdistan Region Presidential office, the commander requested assistance for the people of northeast Syria, known to Kurds as Rojava, in a phone call made last week to President Nechirvan Barzani.

President Barzani decided to send medical aid to Rojava following the phone call, dispatching equipment for two COVID-19 testing laboratories to Rojava on April 9, said the official. Two medical teams were also sent on the same day to train 26 medical lab employees there to train them on how to fully operate the labs.

The Kurdish-controlled northeast is less damaged by war than other parts of Syria. But unlike Syria's rebel-held northwest, where UN aid enters via Turkey, the northeast is deprived of cross-border channels for UN medical assistance.

Rojava has in recent months become increasingly reliant on Damascus for aid after Russia blocked proposals to renew the mandate for humanitarian to be routed through the border with Iraq, insisting that aid be come through Damascus, where it can be controlled and conditioned by the Syrian government.

Aid groups say the move has effectively left the region under a blockade that "could lead to one of the most severe outbreaks in the world."

Abdi also hailed Barzani's promise to provide them with "more medical assistance in support of our efforts to combat this pandemic."

Although no cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the area, measures needed to respond in case of an outbreak are scarce.

Syria has so far recorded 25 cases of COVID-19, including two deaths as of Sunday morning, according to World Meters.

Dr. Juwan Mustafah, co-chair of the Health Authority of Northern and Northeastern Syria, told Rudaw they have already "requested the provision of medical assistance from the WHO many times,” but have yet to receive a response.

Last week, Abdul Hamid al-Mahbash, a co-chair of the Executive Body of The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (NES) Western Kurdistan, warned of a "humanitarian catastrophe" if the international community did not respond to their medical needs.

Mahabash urged the the United Nations, the World Health Organization and other international organizations to provide them with the necessary medical and health equipment needed to combat the spread of the virus.

The NES has already extended the Kurdish enclave’s curfew until April 21, which began on March 23.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/12042020
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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Apr 13, 2020 11:44 pm

190 patients recover in Erbil

Kurdish officials prepare to ease lockdown measures

Twenty-two people have recovered from COVID-19 in Kurdistan Region’s capital city of Erbil, according to a statement from local health officials, bringing the total number of recoveries to 190.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases stands at 331, including 190 recoveries and four deaths, according to the Region’s health ministry. The total number of active cases is currently 137.

The ministry said in a statement late Monday that they conducted 1,792 tests across the region on Sunday, all of which were negative.

One new case was confirmed shortly afterwards after a 65-year-old man in Sulaimani contracted the virus.

Currently, Erbil province is the Region's epicenter of the virus, following the infection of more than a hundred people who attended two illegal wakes on March 21 and 23. A total of 169 cases have been recorded in Erbil since the outbreak began, and 74 have recovered.

Local officials are planning to ease the current lockdown, saying the Region has passed the worst stage of the virus. The lockdown expires on Thursday and it will be eased step-by-step.

Erbil Governor Firsat Sofi announced earlier today that lockdown measures in his province will be slowly eased from April 16 onwards. KRG Health Minister Saman Barzanji appeared to second Sofi's caution on the relaxing of lockdown measures, saying the disease had yet to be "completely controlled".

"We are still in danger," the health minister said.

"We need time to study the situation. But the test results are promising," he added.

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The yellow Hazmat suits in Kurdish hospitals are a great deal more secure and easy to use than the protective clothing in UK hospitals
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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:01 am

France’s in lockdown untill May 11

France will remain locked down until at least May 11, PM Emmanuel Macron has revealed, calling on citizens to continue to respect the rules his government has imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus

Macron announced the lockdown extension during a public address on Monday as the growth of the epidemic in France was appearing to plateau, with 574 new deaths declared in the preceding 24 hours.

Also on rt.com Lockdown in France will last as long as ‘it needs to’ as peak of pandemic not yet reached – French health minister

Admitting the country had not been prepared for the outbreak, the PM nevertheless praised those in front-line occupations for working overtime to save lives and called on the French to continue to stay home and maintain social distancing. Economic assistance would be stepped up for workers in those sectors that had to remain closed, he added, promising a specific plan for the tourism, hotels, restaurant, and culture sectors.

Macron pledged that May 11 would represent “the beginning of a new step,” after which schools, daycares, and other educational institutions would be progressively reopened.

At that time, “the vast majority” of French will be able to begin returning to work, he explained, though restaurants, cafes, and other public gathering places would remain shuttered. Festivals and other large gatherings will remain postponed until at least mid-July. The situation will be reevaluated weekly.

Borders with non-European countries will remain closed until further notice. The government hopes to have face masks available for everyone by May 11, and their use by professions having frequent contact with the public will be mandatory.

France has been locked down since mid-March and has a total of 133,685 confirmed cases of coronavirus, ranking behind only the US, Spain, and Italy in terms of casualties. Almost 15,000 people have died with the disease, though the death rate among hospitalized patients has slowed over the weekend and the number of patients being treated in intensive care has declined for several days.

The nation’s economy has taken a beating from the pandemic-induced shutdown, with the Bank of France recently reporting its worst first-quarter performance since World War II. The last two weeks of March specifically saw a 32 percent drop in economic activity, according to the central bank, which expects the economy to continue shrinking by 1.5 percent for every two weeks the nation spends under lockdown.

https://www.rt.com/news/485713-macron-a ... ronavirus/
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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:18 am

UK faces another three weeks
of coronavirus restrictions


Secretary of State Dominic Raab, who is deputising for Boris Johnson while the PM recovers from his fight with the bug, will tell Britons they face at least three more weeks of restrictions

Image

Mr Raab is expected to liaise with the leaders of the devolved countries at a Cobra meeting on Thursday, where he will ask for a UK-wide approach in setting a deadline. Senior ministers are thought to be split on when is best to end the lockdown and let people start returning to work.

The strict measures with police enforcing the lockdown in London are having a devastating impact on the economy, with unemployment levels rising and fewer people than the government hoped working from home.

Any decision to end the lockdown - implemented by the PM on March 23 - has to be balanced with the health consequences of letting people back come into close contact again. The latest death toll figures took the UK number of victims to 11,329, but the daily total of fatalities has now dropped for three days in a row for the first time since the epidemic struck.

Link to Full Article:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... tions.html
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Re: Coronavirus: we separate myths from facts and give advic

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:51 am

Covid-19 pandemic
tops 2 MILLION


More than two million people have contracted Covid-19 globally since the lethal outbreak began last December, passing another dark milestone as the World Health Organization is pulled into a war of words between the US and China

The worldwide coronavirus case count now stands at over two million, the latest figures from AFP showed on Wednesday. More than half of this number relates to outbreaks in European nations, but globally the worst-hit country is the United States, with almost 610,000 identified Covid-19 patients. The US death toll stands at over 26,000 or over 28,300, depending on whether revised numbers that include “probable Covid-19 deaths” from New York since March 11 are added.

As the pandemic rages on in some 185 countries, Washington has escalated a rhetorical offensive on Beijing, blaming Chinese officials for concealing information about the virus from the international community, while pulling the World Health Organization (WHO) into the fray. On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump announced a funding freeze for the health body, accusing it of abetting a Chinese “cover-up” and “severely mismanaging” its response to the pandemic.

The United Nations, which oversees the WHO, soon shot back, insisting the organization needs all the support it can get at the moment, when thousands of personnel are on the “front lines” of the war against the virus in dozens of countries around the world.

“It is… not the time to reduce the resources for the operations of the World Health Organization or any other humanitarian organization in the fight against the virus,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement, though he refrained from addressing Washington or Trump directly.

Ahead of Trump’s move to halt the WHO’s funding – which may resume pending a “review” of the agency’s actions and allegedly questionable ties to China – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned against “attempting to politicize the issue of the coronavirus,” not only when it comes to the WHO, but in terms of accusations against other countries as well.

    I would advise right now to focus on certain steps to stop the pandemic, its spread, and on minimizing the damage it does, first and foremost to the health and lives of people
WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus previously said much the same, urging the US president to stop treating the virus as a political football, warning it could only create “many more body bags” at a time when international cooperation is paramount.

https://www.rt.com/news/485834-coronavi ... ion-cases/
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