Updates

October 23, 2020

Roll Out Of Rapid Testing Could Be A 'Game Changer' For Africa-Devex

African nations are planning to ramp up the use of rapid diagnostic tests as part of their national strategies for testing for COVID-19, according to Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization regional director for Africa. Throughout the pandemic, African nations were advised to use polymerase chain reaction, or PCR tests, to identify COVID-19 cases because they are considered the most accurate. But following WHO’s recent approval of rapid diagnostic tests for use in surveillance, … Continue Reading


October 23, 2020

How Coronavirus Is Reshaping America's Job Market-Politico

The coronavirus recession is forcing a sweeping overhaul of the U.S. workforce, triggering permanent job losses at an extraordinary rate and forcing millions of Americans to seek employment in entirely different industries. Just two-thirds of Americans were working for the same employer in September as they were in February, with the rest either landing new jobs or unemployed. Politico, … Continue Reading


October 23, 2020

US Regulators Seek Advice On Thorny Issues As Vaccines Near-The Associated Press

The Food and Drug Administration may have to decide by year’s end whether to allow use of the first vaccines against the coronavirus. Facing growing public fears that politics may override science, the FDA took the unusual step of assembling more than a dozen independent scientists to review if its standards are high enough to judge the shots. The panelists generally supported guidelines for the vaccines that the FDA recently issued, over White House objections. The Associated Press, … Continue Reading


October 23, 2020

U.S. Records Second-Highest Single-Day Rise In COVID-19 Infections Since Pandemic Began-Reuters

The number of new COVID-19 cases reported in the United States on Thursday was the second highest on record, coming in just short of a midsummer peak as the spread of the novel coronavirus accelerates in nearly every region of the country. Reuters, … Continue Reading


October 23, 2020

Universal Mask Use Could Save 130,000 U.S. Lives By The End Of February, New Modeling Study Says-STAT

Back in April, President Donald Trump picked out a single computer model of coronavirus spread as his oracle of choice. Unsurprisingly, that simulation initially had rosier estimates than other algorithms, projecting many fewer Covid-19 deaths — and its unconventional calculations and fluctuating estimates drew sharp criticism from epidemiologists. But the statisticians behind it have since changed their methods, and their new numbers, published Friday, bolster what scientists have long been … Continue Reading


October 22, 2020

US Jobless Claims Drop To 787,000, But Layoffs Remain High-The Associated Press

The number of laid-off Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 787,000, a sign that job losses may have eased slightly but are still running at historically high levels. Last week’s figure was down from 842,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said Thursday. The Associated Press, … Continue Reading


October 22, 2020

In WHO Overhaul Push, EU Urges Changes To Handling Of Pandemics-Reuters

The European Union wants the World Health Organization to become more transparent about how states report emerging health crises, a draft proposal on reforming the U.N. agency says, following criticism of China’s initial handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. The paper, drawn up by the German government after discussions with other member states, is the latest to outline the EU’s months-long plans to address the WHO’s shortcomings on funding, governance and legal powers. Reuters, … Continue Reading


October 22, 2020

World Bank Aims To Maintain Momentum Of Digital Infrastructure Partnerships-Devex

The COVID-19 pandemic could help fast-track the partnerships needed to spread broadband internet access, Makhtar Diop, World Bank vice president for infrastructure, said at last week’s World Bank annual meetings. Recent months have seen a surge of initiatives to boost affordable connectivity. Telecom companies, for example, are increasing internet speed and capacity at no added cost to their consumers. Devex, … Continue Reading


October 22, 2020

As Covid-19 Intensifies, Shortages Of Staple Drugs May Grow Worse-STAT

You can add a new worry to the health concerns caused by Covid-19: a sustained shortage of medicines needed to combat the coronavirus and countless other illnesses. Across the U.S. and Europe, 29 out of 40 drugs used to combat the coronavirus are currently in short supply. And those shortages are expected to grow even worse as the number of Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations surge in the coming winter months. STAT, … Continue Reading


October 22, 2020

CDC Reduces Consecutive Minutes Of COVID-19 Exposure Needed To Be A 'Close Contact'-NPR

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has broadened the definition of what it means to be a "close contact" of a person with COVID-19. Previous language defined a close contact as someone who spent at least 15 minutes within 6 feet of a person with a confirmed case. The CDC now defines a close contact as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. NPR, … Continue Reading


October 21, 2020

European Nations Mixed In Their Response To Virus Spikes-The Associated Press

Countries across Europe are battling coronavirus infection spikes with new lockdowns, curfews, face mask orders and virus tracking smart phone apps. In a small indication of success, Spain’s government said it won’t extend a state of emergency in the Madrid region when it expires Saturday, but will look to more local measures. But as a resurgence of the global pandemic sweeps across the continent, local and national governments also are facing swelling opposition to the new measures. The … Continue Reading


October 21, 2020

How The Pandemic Is Forging A New Consensus On Globalization-Politico

The coronavirus crisis did what President Donald Trump’s protectionist trade wars could not for years. It did what anti-globalization advocates could not for decades. The pandemic threw a harsh spotlight on the shortcomings of globalization, one so intense that it set off an urgent search for new approaches across the political spectrum — from Washington to Brussels to Beijing. Politico, … Continue Reading


October 21, 2020

White House, Democrats Face Senate Republican Opposition On Coronavirus Aid-Reuters

The White House and congressional Democrats kept up negotiations on Wednesday on a fresh coronavirus relief bill, though their effort faced opposition in the Republican-controlled Senate, where conservatives object to the trillion-dollar-plus price tag. Reuters, … Continue Reading


October 21, 2020

Covid-19’s Wintry Mix: As We Move Indoors, Dry Air Will Help The Coronavirus Spread-STAT

It’s not just the cold, it’s the humidity.Winter in the northern United States will soon drive even the most diehard outdoor diners and backyard socializers indoors, bringing with them heightened risk for contracting and spreading Covid-19. The worry is not just that people might mingle more closely inside, but that the air they breathe will make the virus more dangerous. STAT, … Continue Reading


October 21, 2020

Are The Risks Of Reopening Schools Exaggerated?-NPR

Despite widespread concerns, two new international studies show no consistent relationship between in-person K-12 schooling and the spread of the coronavirus. And a third study from the United States shows no elevated risk to childcare workers who stayed on the job. NPR, … Continue Reading


October 20, 2020

How Obesity Could Create Problems For A COVID Vaccine-Nature

When Jesús Ojino Sosa-García looks out over the people being treated for COVID-19 in his hospital’s intensive-care unit, one feature stands out: “Obesity is the most important factor we see,” he says. Sosa-García works at Hospital Médica Sur in Mexico City, which has been battling a COVID-19 outbreak for six months. “Every day, we receive patients,” he says. And many of those showing up with severe cases come from Mexico’s growing population of obese individuals — currently 36% of adults. … Continue Reading


October 20, 2020

Argentina Passes 1 Million Cases As Virus Hits Latin America-The Associated Press

At the edge of Argentina in a city known as “The End of the World,” many thought they might be spared from the worst of the coronavirus pandemic. Sitting far from the South American nation’s bustling capital, health workers in Ushuaia were initially able to contain a small outbreak among foreigners hoping to catch boats to the Antarctic at the start of the crisis. But as Argentina passed 1 million virus cases Monday, it is now smaller cities like Ushuaia that are seeing some of the most … Continue Reading


October 20, 2020

U.S. FDA Meeting On COVID-19 Vaccines To Discuss Criteria For Emergency Nod-Reuters

The U.S. health regulator’s criteria for allowing emergency use of a COVID-19 vaccine and plans to monitor its safety after a regulatory go-ahead, are among the topics to be discussed at a closely watched meeting scheduled for Thursday. Details posted on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) website showed the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention has formulated plans to monitor safety and effectiveness of a vaccine even after the FDA allows for its emergency use. Reuters, … Continue Reading


October 20, 2020

What Do People In BRICS Countries Think About A COVID-19 Vaccine?-Devex

Vaccine hesitancy will prove a steep challenge for global efforts to find a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine and ensure its equitable distribution, new evidence suggests. About 28% of 13,400 individuals from 19 countries would hesitate to get, or completely refuse, a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a study published Tuesday on the opening day of the 51st Union World Conference on Lung Health. The study surveyed respondents from some of the countries hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, … Continue Reading


October 20, 2020

‘At A Breaking Point’: New Surge Of Covid-19 Cases Has States, Hospitals Scrambling, Yet Again-STAT

Here we go again. As hospitalizations for Covid-19 inch up around the country, some states are readying plans for field hospitals. Communities are delaying reopening plans and even imposing new measures, though some governors remain opposed to additional restrictions. Deaths — currently standing about 220,000 — have not surged again yet, but that might just be a matter of time. STAT, … Continue Reading

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