“I’m almost 60 and I’m still angry. Everyone told me I would mellow”

“This planet is for everyone, borders are for no one. It’s all about freedom.”

“Real men cry, real men have feelings.”

“Nothing is as it seems. Seeing is not believing. Sometimes… you have to feel, touch, experience… and use your intelligence.”

“ Rap comes from the oral tradition. The oral tradition gives voice to those whould’ve been otherwise voiceless”

Benjamin Zephaniah

Benjamin Zephaniah (Born 1958)

Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah is a British writer, playwright, dub poet and Rastafarian. I had known about him for many years, but it’s been a real privilege to spend time learning about him, listening to his work and being thoroughly moved by the experience.

He was born and raised in the Handswoth district of Birmingham (UK) which he has called the “Jamaican capital of Europe”. His father was from Barbados and his mother from Jamaica. He was severely dyslexic, and he attended a special school but left at the age of 13 unable to read or write. He received a criminal record with the police as a young man and served a prison sentence for burglary. Tired of the limitations of being a black poet communicating with black people only, he decided to expand his audience, and headed to London at the age of twenty-two.
He writes that his poetry is strongly influenced by the music and poetry of Jamaica and what he calls “street politics”.

He is a vegan, passionately ant-racist, an upholder of human rights around the world and he identifies himself as an anarchist. He is a spoken word performance poet. He was one of the most exciting poets to come out of the UK in the last half of the 20th Century and he has influenced a generation of younger poets and writers. He was asked why speaking his poetry was so important and why he went on tour. “I like the directness, everything and even when governments and dictators start banning and burning books you know we can still speak poetry”

When asked to describe his poetry he said “Its direct, it can be a bit angry, it’s political, it can be a bit funny and sometimes it can be all those things in one poem, most of all I’m really trying to connect with people who don’t normally like poetry, a lot of my followers, I was going to say fans but I don’t really have fans, I have sympathisers they will say that they don’t normally like poetry or I’m the only poet that they read”

A Dub poet is named after a version of a reggae record. When they used to make reggae records in the past, they couldn’t afford to record the B side, so they would do an instrumental version, a type of remix and then they would employ people like Benjamin to come and speak his poetry over the dubbed version.

It’s imperative that you watch the videos at the end of each poem. Only then will you get the whole experience!

The British

Take some Picts, Celts and Silures
And let them settle,
Then overrun them with Roman conquerors.

Remove the Romans after approximately 400 years
Add lots of Norman French to some
Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Vikings, then stir vigorously.

Mix some hot Chileans, cool Jamaicans, Dominicans,
Trinidadians and Bajans with some Ethiopians, Chinese,
Vietnamese and Sudanese.

Then take a blend of Somalians, Sri Lankans, Nigerians
And Pakistanis,
Combine with some Guyanese
And turn up the heat.

Sprinkle some fresh Indians, Malaysians, Bosnians,
Iraqis and Bangladeshis together with some
Afghans, Spanish, Turkish, Kurdish, Japanese
And Palestinians
Then add to the melting pot.

Leave the ingredients to simmer.

As they mix and blend allow their languages to flourish
Binding them together with English.

Allow time to be cool.

Add some unity, understanding, and respect for the future,
Serve with justice
And enjoy.

Note: All the ingredients are equally important. Treating one ingredient better than another will leave a bitter unpleasant taste.

Warning: An unequal spread of justice will damage the people and cause pain. Give justice and equality to all.

Watch the Video

Faceless

You have to look beyond the face
to see the person true,
Deep down within my inner space
I am the same as you;
I’ve counted since that fire burnt
the many lessons I have learnt.
You have to talk to me and not
the skin that holds me in,
I took the wisdom that I got
to make sure I would win;
I’m counting weaker folk than me
who look but truly cannot see.
I’ve seen compassion from the blind
who think with open eyes,
It’s those that judge me quick you’ll find
are those that are unwise;
why judge the face that I have on
just value my opinion
Friends will come and friends will go,
now I need friends who feel.
My friends have changed so much and so,
I make sure they are real;
I took the ride and paid the price,
I can’t afford to do that twice.
I came to here from ignorance
I cannot call it bliss,
and now I know the importance
of loving me like this;
To leave behind that backward state
of judging looks is very great.
I’m beautiful,
I’m beautiful
this minor fact I know,
I tell you It’s incredible
near death has made me grow;
Look at me, smile, you are now seeing
a great thing called a human being.

Watch Benjamin Zephaniah recite Faceless Poem

Money Rant

Money make a rich man feel like a big man
It make a poor man feel like a hooligan
A one parent family feels like a ruffian
An those who have it won’t give you anything
Money makes your friend become your enemy
You start to see things very superficiall
Your life is lived very artificially
Unlike those who live in poverty
Money affects your ego
But money brings you down
Money causes problems anywhere money is found
Food is what we need
Food is necessary
Let me grow my food
An dem can eat dem money
Money can save us
But yet we feel doomed
Plenty money burns in a nuclear mushroom
Money can make you happy
Money can help you when you die
An those who have it continually live a lie
Children are dying
Spies are spying
Refugees are fleeing
Politicians are lying
An deals are done
An webs are spun
An no one keeps the third world on the run
An the brother feels better than the brothers next door
Cause his brothers got money an his brothers got more
The brother thinks a brother’s not a brother cause he’s poor
When a brother kills another that is economic war
Economic war we call it economic war
It may not be the east and west anymore
But the north and south third world far lord
Coffee an isle
That’s what it’s about
Economic war
Economic war
Shots fired from the stock market floor
So we work for a livin’
An we try an we try
With so little time for chillin’
Like we’re livin a lie
Money makes a dream become reality
Money makes real life like a fantasy
Money has a habit of going to the head
I have some for the rainy day underneath me bed
Money problems make it hard to relax
Money makes it difficult to get down to facts
Money makes you worship vanity and lies
Money is a drug with legal highs
The parents of poor kids
Some are not coping
Some are just managing
Books that need balancin’
Property is theft
No money means death
You pay for your rent
An then nothing left
Some will pick your pocket
Some will pay to stop it
Those who will pay to stop it
They happy cause they got it
Some go out an fight for it
Some claim they got the right to it
An people like my grandparents
Live long but never side it
Money made me go out an rob
Then it made me go looking for a job
Money made the nurse
And the doctor emigrate
Money buys friends you love to hate
Money made slavery seem alright
Money brought the Bible
An the Bible shone the light
Victory to the penniless
The gospel shows us
We come to mash those market forces
The paper giant called market forces

Benjamin Zephaniah reads ‘Money’

Talking Turkeys

Be nice to yu turkeys dis christmas
Cos’ turkeys just wanna hav fun
Turkeys are cool, turkeys are wicked
An every turkey has a Mum.
Be nice to yu turkeys dis christmas,
Don’t eat it, keep it alive,
It could be yu mate, an not on your plate
Say, Yo! Turkey I’m on your side.

I got lots of friends who are turkeys
An all of dem fear christmas time,
Dey wanna enjoy it, dey say humans destroyed it
An humans are out of dere mind,
Yeah, I got lots of friends who are turkeys
Dey all hav a right to a life,
Not to be caged up an genetically made up
By any farmer an his wife.

Turkeys just wanna play reggae
Turkeys just wanna hip-hop
Can yu imagine a nice young turkey saying,
‘I cannot wait for de chop’,
Turkeys like getting presents, dey wanna watch christmas TV,
Turkeys hav brains an turkeys feel pain
In many ways like yu an me.

I once knew a turkey called…Turkey
He said “Benji explain to me please,
Who put de turkey in christmas
An what happens to christmas trees?”,
I said “I am not too sure turkey
But itÕs nothing to do wid Christ Mass
Humans get greedy an waste more dan need be
An business men mek loadsa cash’.

Be nice to yu turkey dis christmas
Invite dem indoors fe sum greens
Let dem eat cake an let dem partake
In a plate of organic grown beans,
Be nice to yu turkey dis christmas
An spare dem de cut of de knife,
Join Turkeys United an dey’ll be delighted
An yu will mek new friends ‘FOR LIFE’.

Benjamin Zephaniah Talking Turkeys

Dis Poetry
Dis poetry is like a riddim dat drops
De tongue fires a riddim dat shoots like shots
Dis poetry is designed fe rantin
Dance hall style, big mouth chanting,
Dis poetry nar put yu to sleep
Preaching follow me
Like yu is blind sheep,
Dis poetry is not Party Political
Not designed fe dose who are critical.
Dis poetry is wid me when I gu to me bed
It gets into me dreadlocks
It lingers around me head
Dis poetry goes wid me as I pedal me bike
IÕve tried Shakespeare, respect due dere
But did is de stuff I like.
Dis poetry is not afraid of going ina book
Still dis poetry need ears fe hear an eyes fe hav a look
Dis poetry is Verbal Riddim, no big words involved
An if I hav a problem de riddim gets it solved,
IÕve tried to be more romantic, it does nu good for me
So I tek a Reggae Riddim an build me poetry,
I could try be more personal
But youÕve heard it all before,
Pages of written words not needed
Brain has many words in store,
Yu could call dis poetry Dub Ranting
De tongue plays a beat
De body starts skanking,
Dis poetry is quick an childish
Dis poetry is fe de wise an foolish,
Anybody can do it fe free,
Dis poetry is fe yu an me,
DonÕt stretch yu imagination
Dis poetry is fe de good of de Nation,
Chant,
In de morning
I chant
In de night
I chant
In de darkness
An under de spotlight,
I pass thru University
I pass thru Sociology
An den I got a dread degree
In Dreadfull Ghettology.
Dis poetry stays wid me when I run or walk
An when I am talking to meself in poetry I talk,
Dis poetry is wid me,
Below me an above,
Dis poetry’s from inside me
It goes to yu
WID LUV.

Watch Benjamin Zephaniah recite Dis Poetry

We Refugees

I come from a musical place
Where they shoot me for my song
And my brother has been tortured
By my brother in my land.

I come from a beautiful place
Where they hate my shade of skin
They don’t like the way I pray
And they ban free poetry.

I come from a beautiful place
Where girls cannot go to school
There you are told what to believe
And even young boys must grow beards.

I come from a great old forest
I think it is now a field
And the people I once knew
Are not there now.

We can all be refugees
Nobody is safe,
All it takes is a mad leader
Or no rain to bring forth food,
We can all be refugees
We can all be told to go,
We can be hated by someone
For being someone.

I come from a beautiful place
Where the valley floods each year
And each year the hurricane tells us
That we must keep moving on.

I come from an ancient place
All my family were born there
And I would like to go there
But I really want to live.

I come from a sunny, sandy place
Where tourists go to darken skin
And dealers like to sell guns there
I just can’t tell you what’s the price.

I am told I have no country now
I am told I am a lie
I am told that modern history books
May forget my name.

We can all be refugees
Sometimes it only takes a day,
Sometimes it only takes a handshake
Or a paper that is signed.
We all came from refugees
Nobody simply just appeared,
Nobody’s here without a struggle,
And why should we live in fear
Of the weather or the troubles?
We all came here from somewhere.

Watch the Video We Refugees

People Need People

People need people,
To walk to
To talk to
To cry and rely on,
People will always need people.
To love and to miss
To hug and to kiss,
It’s useful to have other people.
To whom to moan
If you’re all alone,
It’s so hard to share
When no one is there.
There’s not much to do
When there’s no one but you.
People will always need people.

To please
To tease
To put you at ease,
People will always need people.
To make life appealing
And give life some meaning,
It’s useful to have other people.
It you need a change
To whom will you turn.
If you need a lesson
From whom will you learn.
If you need to play
You’ll know why I say
People will always need people.

As girlfriends
As boyfriends
From Bombay
To Ostend,
People will always need people-
To have friendly fights with
And share tasty bites with,
It’s useful to have other people.
People live in families
Gangs, posses and packs,
Its seems we need company
Before we relax,
So stop making enemies
And let’s face the facts,
People will always need people,
Yes
People will always need people.

Listen to him recite People Need People

Other videos to watch

Five Minutes With: Benjamin Zephaniah: BBC Interview

I can’t find the words but please listen to Benjamin Zephaniah reading “Pencil me in”

Benjamin Zephaniah Presents a BBC Film “I am not the Problem”on modern racism

Please take the time to watch Benjamin Zephaniah recite Dylan Thomas’s Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night

Today’s Post
New articles published in Rural and Remote Health:
6074 – North America – Differences in US COVID-19 case rates and case fatality rates across the urban–rural continuum
This analysis uses publicly available county level COVID-19 data to predict case fatality rates by county, across the rural continuum. While acknowledging limitations in calculation of case fatality rates where county-level testing rates are unavailable, the authors report that the mortality burden of COVID-19 is exceptionally high in rural areas in the US, despite their overall lower rate of cases. Many rural areas face substantial challenges in disease surveillance, testing, and treatment. Case fatality rates can provide information beyond crude case rates and numbers of deaths to identify vulnerable and underserved rural populations, so that resources can be allocated more equitably.
5826 – Africa – What factors shape doctors’ trustworthiness? Patients’ perspectives in the context of hypertension care in rural Tanzania
There is increasing evidence that improving patient trust in doctors can improve patients’ use of healthcare services, compliance and continuing engagement with care – particularly for chronic diseases. However, few studies on this issue have been conducted among rural populations in low-income Africa, where health service delivery, cultural norms and patient expectations differ from those in high-income countries. This study examined patients’ perspectives of factors that shape doctors’ trustworthiness in rural Tanzania in the context of hypertension care.

1. Africa: WHO: COVID-19 in Africa: marking six months of response
Communities, health workers, governments rally to combat the COVID-19 pandemic
On 14 February 2020, Africa confirmed its first COVID-19 case in Egypt. Since then, more than 1 million cases have been reported and every country on the continent has been affected. African governments were quick to adopt public health measures in line with WHO guidelines and instituted other restrictions such as lockdowns and curfews. While most countries have been spared the exponential growth witnessed in other regions, these measures have come at a heavy social and economic cost and as countries have started to open their borders, some have started to see cases rise.
WHO is coordinating the regional response, providing advice on critical preparedness, readiness and response measures for COVID-19 as well as diagnostics, surveillance, treatment and community engagement.
https://www.afro.who.int/covid-19-africa-marking-six-months-response
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2. Africa: WHO: Guidance Document for a Differentiated Response to COVID-19 Outbreak in Urban and Rural settings
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak is
rapidly evolving in Africa. The continent recorded its first case in Egypt on 13 February 2020. Three months into the outbreak in the continent, all countries have reported COVID-19. The initial confirmed cases were imported through international travel, however, now more than a half of the countries in the region are experiencing community transmission of COVID-19. There are also increasing incidents of cross-border transmission of COVID-19
between countries mainly through long-distance truck drivers and illicit movement through porous borders. The numbers of reported cases and deaths have been increasing exponentially in recent weeks, raising fears that Africa
might be the next global epicenter of the pandemic, with severe public health consequences and devastating societal and economic disruptions. This latest trend calls for African governments and all stakeholders, using a whole of government and whole of society approach, to step up their readiness and response measures, focusing on decentralizing interventions to subnational levels and to all communities.
https://www.afro.who.int/sites/default/files/Covid-19/Techinical%20documents/Guidance%20Document%20for%20a%20Differentiated%20Response%20to%20COVID-19%20Outbreak%20in%20Urban%20and%20Rural%20settings.pdf
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3. International: Care: CARE International expresses alarm over lack of funding for GBV in COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan
Today’s update of the Global Humanitarian Response Plan (GHRP), which aims to deliver a comprehensive and coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic, does not go far enough to ensure that Gender-based Violence (GBV) is a response priority, says humanitarian organization CARE International.
A severe lack of funding and insufficient prioritization by the UN continues to hamper humanitarian response efforts to address the alarming increase in violence against women and girls during the COVID-19 pandemic, which the UN Secretary-General has categorized as a shadow pandemic. Though 1 in 3 women experienced violence even before COVID-19’s spread, projections suggest that for every three months that lockdown measures continue, an additional 15 million GBV cases could be expected globally. However, gender-based violence has not been prioritized in the Global Humanitarian Response Plan, which includes only USD$43million to deliver GBV programs for women and girls in only 16 of 63 countries that are spiraling into a humanitarian emergency due to COVID-19.
https://www.care.org/news-and-stories/press-releases/care-international-expresses-alarm-over-lack-of-funding-for-gbv-in-covid-19-global-humanitarian-response-plan/
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4. Nigeria: WHO: COVID-19 response in southern Nigeria boosts surveillance of other diseases
In many countries, tackling the COVID-19 pandemic has taken cues from other disease approaches, such as lessons from protecting communities against Ebola. But in Nigeria’s Niger Delta, health workers have found inspiration from guarding against the coronavirus. They have exploited the rigorous surveillance standard set by the COVID-19 response to keep from losing sight of other priority diseases. Mostly what they have learned is how not to divide their attention. The unifying surveillance strategy they have enveloped is quickly producing significant and – possibly oddly – uplifting results. “I recorded my first acute flaccid paralysis case since last year while I was following up on the contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19,” says Sarah Oladimeji, a Diseases and Surveillance Notification Officer in charge of finding cases of preventable and infectious diseases in Oredo Local Government Area of Nigeria’s Edo State. When COVID-19 crept into the southern Delta region in April, health workers had to learn to overcome their worries and hunkered down to the needed work. The odds seemed stacked against the six states that make up the South-South zone: Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Rivers. COVID-19 cases increased daily while community attitudes towards the virus grew lax. Health workers scrambled to manage the time and resources available to respond to both COVID-19 and other endemic-prone diseases.
http://whotogo-whoafroccmaster.newsweaver.com/JournalEnglishNewsletter/1lfdye05qv3?lang=en&a=2&p=57606881&t=31103707
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5. UK: BBC: Coronavirus will be with us forever, Sage scientist warns
Coronavirus will be present “forever in some form or another”, a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has said.
Sir Mark Walport said people would need to be vaccinated at regular intervals.
His comments come after the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said he hoped the pandemic would be over within two years, as the Spanish flu had taken two years to overcome. Sir Mark said denser populations and travel meant the virus spread easily. He also said the world population was now much larger than in 1918.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Sir Mark said that, in order to control the pandemic, “global vaccination” would be required, but coronavirus would not be a disease like smallpox “which could be eradicated by vaccination”.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53875189
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6. International: NBC News: Global coronavirus death toll surpasses 800,000, WHO hopes it will be over in two years
“We hope to finish this pandemic (in) less than two years,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. Global coronavirus deaths surged past 800,000 people on Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University data, which came less than 24 hours after the World Health Organization said it hoped the pandemic would last for less than two years. Cases took an upward turn in eastern European countries Saturday as Ukraine recorded 2,328 new cases and 37 deaths between Friday and Saturday, figures from the national council of security and defense showed.
It prompted President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to urge people on Saturday to adhere to health advice, wear masks and maintain social distancing as data showed daily infections had risen to a record level.
“Please help doctors, be careful,” Zelenskiy said in a televised interview. “We really did not have the first wave (of infections) when it happened in Europe. Now it is coming.” The head of Israel’s coronavirus task force also urged Ukraine on Saturday to ban an annual pilgrimage in which tens of thousands of Hasidic Jews descend on the central Ukrainian town of Uman, for the Jewish New Year in September.
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/global-coronavirus-death-toll-surpasses-800-000-who-hopes-it-n1237764
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7. Ghana: WHO: Video: How Ghana is maintaining essential healthcare services during COVID-19

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8. Europe: European Journal of General Practice: Family medicine in times of ‘COVID-19’: A generalists’ voice
The novel coronavirus epidemic is transforming the world in which we live. This pandemic will bring sweeping changes everywhere, not least in the field of primary care medicine. Like one of our colleagues said: ‘after this crisis, perhaps even our calendar needs to be redefined. From now on, “BC” might stand for “Before Coronavirus”’. This quote puts into perspective just how significant the current times are for our profession. In this editorial, we will discuss challenges and tasks the COVID-19 crisis presents for family medicine.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7241505/
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9. Europe: European Journal of General Practice: Challenges, priorities and tasks for the generalists at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic
We read with interest the Editorial of de Sutter and colleagues [1], highlighting coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) challenges and implications for Family Medicine and Primary Care.
Therefore, we would like to share our reflections on issues of high relevance to Family Medicine and Primary Care, grouping them into key priority areas, i.e. research, healthcare policymaking and clinical practice.
A commonly used term, representing an intensely debated concept, is vulnerability. Most reports in the evidence base, including for observational studies conducted for COVID-19, utilise this term in reference to the frequency of co-existing chronic diseases, including diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Less attention has been given to the psychosocial factors, and the role they play to increase vulnerability or, conversely, to confer a protective effect, reducing COVID-19 severity and shortening its duration. Research conducted by the University of Crete has attempted to identify such determinants for chronic conditions, including for CVD [2]. Study design should allow correlation of exposures to protective factors, with data being harvested from electronic health records. Such type of evidence generation will contribute to evidence-based practice and shared decision-making.
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13814788.2020.1791073?scroll=top&needAccess=true
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10. Argentina: La Nacion: Coronavirus en la Argentina: registran 118 muertos y 7759 nuevos contagios
Coronavirus in Argentina: 118 deaths and 7759 new infections registered
Tras dos jornadas con más de 8000 contagios registrados, el Gobierno informó que son 7759 las personas que dieron positivo al test de coronavirus Covid-19 en las últimas 24 horas y los casos acumulados llegaron a 336.802. Además, se reportaron 118 muertos y el total de fallecidos es de 6848. En el extremo opuesto, los recuperados suman 245.781.
Una situación poco habitual se dio hoy, a 173 días del primer contagio que se confirmó el 3 de marzo. Todas las provincias tuvieron nuevos contagios, según el parte emitido por el Ministerio de Salud de la Nación.
https://www.lanacion.com.ar/sociedad/coronavirus-argentina-nid2428564
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11. France: Reuters: Coronavirus spread largely among under 40-year-olds in France, minister says
The new coronavirus is circulating four times more among people under 40 in France than over among 65-year-olds, France’s health minister said, though he warned that contamination was on the rise among the elderly and more vulnerable too.
France reported a 3,602 hike in new COVID-19 infections over the past 24 hours on Saturday, a smaller rise than the previous day. Earlier in the week, however, the number of daily cases reached a post-lockdown high.
The number of people being hospitalised and needing intensive care has gone up and down.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-france-idUSKBN25I0SS
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12. USA: Wall Street Journal: How Face Masks Work and Which Types Offer the Best Covid-19 Protection
Breaking down different types of coverings, the proper way to take them on and off and how to tell if a mask is professional grade
Face masks are a simple way to help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus through talking, coughing or sneezing, scientists and public-health specialists say. But they need to be worn properly.
While some types of masks are more effective than others, public-health officials say any face covering—even a bandanna—is better than nothing.
Here’s how different types of masks stack up, and how they are meant to be used.
Cut from different cloth
Common masks fall into three categories: cloth masks or coverings like gaiters, intended to prevent an infected person from spreading the virus by catching large droplets; surgical masks, with a more sophisticated design also meant to prevent the wearer from spreading diseases; and N95 masks, which protect the wearer as well, and fit tightly to the face.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-face-masks-work-and-which-types-offer-the-best-covid-19-protection-11595946178
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13. India: Foreign attendees of Markaz were made scapegoat: HC
The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court has said that the foreign nationals, who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat event held in Delhi in March this year, were made ‘scapegoats’ and allegations were levelled that they were responsible for spreading COVID-19 in the country. A division bench of Justices T V Nalawade and M G Sewlikar made the observations on August 21 while quashing the first information reports filed against 29 foreigners, who had attended the event.
The bench also noted that while the Maharashtra police acted mechanically in the case, the state government acted under ‘political compulsion’.
The 29 foreign nationals were booked under various provisions of the IPC, the Epidemic Diseases Act, Disaster Management Act and Foreigner’s Act for allegedly violating their tourist visa conditions by attending the Tablighi Jamaat congregation held at Nizamuddin in the national capital. The bench in its order noted that there was a big propaganda against the foreigners who had come to the Markaz in Delhi.
“A political government tries to find the scapegoat when there is pandemic or calamity and the circumstances show that there is probability that these foreigners were chosen to make them a scapegoat,” the court said in its order.
https://www.rediff.com/news/report/foreign-attendees-of-markaz-were-made-scapegoat-hc/20200822.htm
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14. UK: The British Academy: How to hold elections safely and democratically during the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic poses major challenges for those charged with overseeing electoral processes, but the innovative ways in which practitioners are addressing these challenges indicate that elections can be safely held even under pandemic conditions. These innovations also represent opportunities for strengthening electoral practices and making them more resilient to a variety of other risks.
This briefing draws on existing experience of elections held during the COVID-19 pandemic and previous health crises to address five areas of vulnerability: inclusive and accountable electoral management, poll worker safeguarding, interinstitutional collaboration, feasible and effective election observation, and the risk of electoral violence. The analyses indicate that there are a large number of things that electoral practitioners can do to hold elections safely under pandemic conditions. Most of these are techniques that have been employed previously in some form, and we caution against the introduction of entirely new and untested approaches at the current time. The most useful innovations are those such as widening poll-worker recruitment, inter-institutional coordination and hybrid election observation that build on existing practice. The analyses also highlight the importance of not losing track of the need to bolster the transparency, accountability and security of electoral practices. Far from there being a trade-off between making elections safe in pandemic conditions and achieving these other aims, we argue that efforts to maximise electoral integrity and to preserve electoral peace will also help to ensure that democratic elections can be safeguarded from the risks associated with COVID-19.
https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/publications/covid-19-how-to-hold-elections-safely-democratically-during-pandemic/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=publications%20%7C%20shape-future%20%7C%20%20%7C%20International&utm_content=International&utm_term=20200819
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15. International: Blog: Video:THE CLIMATE MOVEMENT AND COVID-19
Webinar recorded March 18, 2020
Important connections can be made between the novel Covid 19 pandemic and climate change and doing it in a good way requires nuance and skill or risk appearing hard-hearted and opportunistic.
Health professionals on the front-lines of the pandemic who have also spent much of their careers making the links between climate and health discuss what to expect from Covid-19, some of the best connections that can be made between Covid-19 and climate change, and what else the pandemic may mean for the climate movement.
https://www.climateandcoronavirus.com
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See also: Lessons from COVID-19 that can help us ignite a healthier and cleaner planet

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16. USA: American Journal of Infection Control: What are the sources of exposure in healthcare personnel with coronavirus disease 2019 infection?
In our facility, 25% of personnel with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) had a higher-risk exposure to an infected patient or co-worker and 14% reported a higher-risk exposure in the community. All higher-risk exposures to infected patients occurred on non-COVID-19 units, often when there was a delay in diagnosis because COVID-19 was not initially suspected. Higher-risk exposures to co-workers with COVID-19 often involved lapses in compliance with masking in non-patient care areas such as nursing stations and staff work or break rooms.
• Healthcare personnel are at risk for nosocomial acquisition of COVID-19
• We evaluated the exposure history of hospital personnel with COVID-19
• 25% of personnel with COVID-19 were exposed to an infected patient or co-worker
• Exposure to infected co-workers occurred in non-patient care settings
• 14% of personnel with COVID-19 were exposed in the community
https://www.ajicjournal.org/article/S0196-6553(20)30769-0/fulltext
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17. Spain: Washington Post: Spain is becoming a coronavirus cautionary tale, again
At first, the Spanish government was slow to respond to the coronavirus, and certainly underestimated the weak and risky position of the country — with its decentralized, underfunded health system, its aging population and its flows of international visitors. But as covid-19 tightened its deadly grip on the country, the government imposed one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe. After the country managed to flatten the curve faster than some of its neighbors, it began phasing out restrictions.
Spain never flirted with the idea of herd immunity, as the United Kingdom and Sweden did. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez never pushed for dubious treatments or questioned science, as President Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro have done. As manuals of epidemiology recommend, Sánchez left the daily messages to one person, an epidemiologist and public servant. The vast majority of Spaniards wear mask, and have been doing so even before it was mandatory in all public spaces (indoors and outdoors). There have been protests against restrictions, but never as large as the ones in Germany and the United States.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/08/21/spain-is-becoming-coronavirus-cautionary-tale-again/?utm_campaign=wp_to_your_health&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_tyh&wpmk=1&pwapi_token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJjb29raWVuYW1lIjoid3BfY3J0aWQiLCJpc3MiOiJDYXJ0YSIsImNvb2tpZXZhbHVlIjoiNWU4YWMxZTY5YmJjMGYwYTJlNzk3ODE3IiwidGFnIjoiNWY0MDJmZTBmZTFmZjY1ZTExODY3ZTExIiwidXJsIjoiaHR0cHM6Ly93d3cud2FzaGluZ3RvbnBvc3QuY29tL29waW5pb25zLzIwMjAvMDgvMjEvc3BhaW4taXMtYmVjb21pbmctY29yb25hdmlydXMtY2F1dGlvbmFyeS10YWxlLWFnYWluLz91dG1fY2FtcGFpZ249d3BfdG9feW91cl9oZWFsdGgmdXRtX21lZGl1bT1lbWFpbCZ1dG1fc291cmNlPW5ld3NsZXR0ZXImd3Bpc3JjPW5sX3R5aCZ3cG1rPTEifQ.Gyj_jOIZX-9jcxkYp_tUdpxH3XGjusRq2akVGJRlCWM
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18. UK: British Heart Foundation: Heart scans could lead to better treatment for patients in hospital with coronavirus
Half of Covid-19 patients who received a heart scan in hospital showed abnormalities in heart function, according to new research funded by us.
The study, published in the European Heart Journal – Cardiovascular Imaging, found that around one in seven showed severe abnormalities likely to have a major effect on their survival and recovery.
It also showed that one in three patients who received an echocardiography scan had their treatment changed as a result.
The findings suggest that heart scans could prove crucial for identifying patients who may benefit from additional treatments to improve their Covid-19 recovery and prevent potential long-term damage to their heart.
Professor Marc Dweck, British Heart Foundation Senior Lecturer and Consultant Cardiologist at the University of Edinburgh, said:
“Covid-19 is a complex, multisystem disease which can have profound effects on many parts of the body, including the heart. Many doctors have been hesitant to order echocardiograms for patients with Covid-19 because it’s an added procedure which involves close contact with patients. Our work shows that these scans are important – they improved the treatment for a third of patients who received them.”
https://www.bhf.org.uk/what-we-do/news-from-the-bhf/news-archive/2020/july/heart-scans-abnormal-in-covid-19
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19. India: Reuters: Migrants return to Delhi as India’s COVID-19 deaths top 50,000
India’s COVID-19 deaths topped 50,000 on Monday, five months after the country reported its first such fatality, as migrant workers poured back into major cities in hopes of regaining work after the easing of anti-virus restrictions.
Hundreds of migrant workers from the countryside who had left the capital New Delhi in droves after losing their jobs in a nationwide lockdown in March returned in buses on Monday and were made to wait in lines for rapid COVID-19 tests.
Those who tested positive were sent to quarantine centres while the rest were allowed to leave the city’s busy inter-state bus terminus with their luggage. Almost all of them wore masks or covered their nose and mouth with scarves or handkerchiefs, though in the countryside such virus-fighting measures have become tough to enforce and the infection rate has surged.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-india-cases-idUSKCN25D0W0
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20. Europe: The Guardian: Global report: alarm over Covid case rates in 19 European countries
Countries cross threshold for cumulative 14-day totals, with Spain particularly worrying
Nineteen European countries have crossed a key threshold of new coronavirus infections, with Spain’s figures particularly worrying.
According to data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the countries have recorded cumulative 14-day infection totals higher than 20 per 100,000 inhabitants, considered an early alarm level by many health experts.
Luxembourg and Spain have reported more than 100 new cases per 100,000 people in the past two weeks, the figures show, with Malta recording more than 80, Belgium more than 60, and France and the Netherlands more than 40. The UK has 20.7.
Spain reported on Monday a total of 1,833 new infections in the past 24 hours, bringing its seven-day total to 32,329. The daily figure provided by the health ministry was lower than Friday’s post-lockdown record of 2,987, but infection statistics in many European countries often dip on Mondays due to diagnosis and reporting delays on Sunday.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/17/global-report-alarm-over-covid-case-rates-19-european-countries
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21. USA: CNN: Coronavirus hasn’t stopped groups from gathering, but it has led to grim consequences
Despite frequent warnings from health officials that big gatherings can spread Covid-19, large groups continue to congregate across the United States leading to outbreaks in communities, on college campuses and beyond. Universities in at least 15 states have reported outbreaks, some tied to large group gatherings. Following what the dean of students and head of public safety called “incredibly reckless behavior,” 23 Syracuse University students were suspended Thursday after gathering on the campus quad at night. The next day, citing “a rapidly escalating increase” in the percentage of people testing positive for the virus, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced that testing would be implemented for three residence halls.
Meanwhile, at least 26 cases of coronavirus in three states are being linked to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which drew thousands of people to South Dakota earlier this month.
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/23/health/us-coronavirus-sunday/index.html
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22. International: The Guardian: Female-led countries handled coronavirus better, study suggests
Analysis points to earlier lockdowns and lower death rates under likes of Jacinda Ardern and Angela Merkel
Countries led by women had “systematically and significantly better” Covid-19 outcomes, research appears to show, locking down earlier and suffering half as many deaths on average as those led by men.
The relative early success of leaders such as Germany’s Angela Merkel, New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern, Denmark’s Mette Frederiksen, Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen and Finland’s Sanna Marin has so far attracted many headlines but little academic attention.
The analysis of 194 countries, published by the Centre for Economic Policy Research and the World Economic Forum, suggests the difference is real and “may be explained by the proactive and coordinated policy responses” adopted by female leaders.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/18/female-led-countries-handled-coronavirus-better-study-jacinda-ardern-angela-merkel
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23. Europe: Washington Post: Coronavirus infections are rising in Europe and vacationers may be partly to blame
For a fleeting period this summer, Europe nearly resembled its old borderless self, with people zipping across the continent, unburdened by restrictions or mandatory quarantines, as they vacationed along the French Riviera or on the Greek islands.
But Europe’s travel free-for-all lasted just a matter of weeks.
With coronavirus cases rising after an early-summer ebb, governments across the continent are abruptly rethinking the wisdom of an open Europe, while reinstituting quarantines and other border controls.
The changes reflect a sense that travel — and the attempt to reboot the Mediterranean’s tourism economy — has undercut Europe’s fight to control the virus.
Vacation-popular Greece and Croatia, which largely missed Europe’s first wave, have seen cases surge in some of their most visited regions and are now dealing with their largest outbreaks to date.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/europe-travel-coronavirus/2020/08/20/a426b6e4-e23e-11ea-82d8-5e55d47e90ca_story.html?utm_campaign=wp_to_your_health&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_tyh&wpmk=1&pwapi_token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJjb29raWVuYW1lIjoid3BfY3J0aWQiLCJpc3MiOiJDYXJ0YSIsImNvb2tpZXZhbHVlIjoiNWU4YWMxZTY5YmJjMGYwYTJlNzk3ODE3IiwidGFnIjoiNWY0MDJmZTBmZTFmZjY1ZTExODY3ZTExIiwidXJsIjoiaHR0cHM6Ly93d3cud2FzaGluZ3RvbnBvc3QuY29tL3dvcmxkL2V1cm9wZS9ldXJvcGUtdHJhdmVsLWNvcm9uYXZpcnVzLzIwMjAvMDgvMjAvYTQyNmI2ZTQtZTIzZS0xMWVhLTgyZDgtNWU1NWQ0N2U5MGNhX3N0b3J5Lmh0bWw_dXRtX2NhbXBhaWduPXdwX3RvX3lvdXJfaGVhbHRoJnV0bV9tZWRpdW09ZW1haWwmdXRtX3NvdXJjZT1uZXdzbGV0dGVyJndwaXNyYz1ubF90eWgmd3Btaz0xIn0.2G1SdOLycxi_RlfJ37lHOjZn5_lrJoyaTCdoT-Zx9jQ
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24. India: Indian Journal of Medical Ethics: The “invisible” among the marginalised: Do gender and intersectionality matter in the Covid-19 response?
The spread of Covid-19 and the lockdown have brought in acute deprivation for rural, marginalised communities with loss of wages, returnee migrants and additional state-imposed barriers to accessing facilities and public provisions. Patriarchal norms amplified in such a crisis along with gender-blind state welfare policies have rendered women in these communities “invisible”. This has impacted their access to healthcare, nutrition and social security, and significantly increased their unpaid work burden. Several manifestations of violence, and mental stress have surfaced, diminishing their bare minimum agency and rights and impacting their overall health and wellbeing. This article looks at these gendered implications in the context of rural, tribal and high migrant areas of South Rajasthan. We have adopted an intersectional approach to highlight how intersections of several structures across multiple sites of power: the public, the private space of the home and the woman’s intimate space, have reduced them to ultra-vulnerable groups.
https://ijme.in/articles/the-invisible-among-the-marginalised-do-gender-and-intersectionality-matter-in-the-covid-19-response/
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25. Singapore: BioRxiv: Seeding of outbreaks of COVID-19 by contaminated fresh and frozen food
An explanation is required for the re-emergence of COVID-19 outbreaks in regions with apparent local eradication. Recent outbreaks have emerged in Vietnam, New Zealand and parts of China where there had been no cases for some months. Importation of contaminated food and food packaging is a feasible source for such outbreaks and a source of clusters within existing outbreaks. Such events can be prevented if the risk is better appreciated.
https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.08.17.255166v1
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26. France: New York Times: Beaten Back, the Coronavirus Regains Strength in France
Faced with an increase in infections, especially among young adults, French health officials are expanding mask rules and warning against complacence.
Faced with a recent resurgence of coronavirus cases, officials have made mask wearing mandatory in widening areas of Paris and other cities across the country, pleading with the French not to let down their guard and jeopardize the hard-won gains made against the virus during a two-month lockdown this spring.
The signs of a new wave of infection emerged over the summer as people began resuming much of their pre-coronavirus lives, traveling across France and socializing in cafes, restaurants and parks. Many, especially the young, have visibly relaxed their vigilance and have not followed rules on mask wearing or social distancing.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/17/world/europe/france-coronavirus.html
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27. UK: RCGP Learning: COVID-19 GUIDANCE FOR HEALTHCARE IN SECURE ENVIRONMENTS: RECOVERY
This advice aims to provide practical answers for clinicians working in secure environments. It has been informed by national guidance and by primary care clinicians with expertise in the context of secure environments. It does not supersede advice from PHE, NHS England and NHS Improvement, HMPPS or local operational guidance. Healthcare professionals in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will have specific governance arrangements but principles of care will be relatable.
https://elearning.rcgp.org.uk/pluginfile.php/148864/mod_page/content/81/COVID-19_GUIDANCE_HEALTHCARE-SECURE_ENVIRONMENTS_UPDATE_finaldraft_CW04082020_.pdf?utm_campaign=1507334_COVID-19%20Weekly%20Roundup%20-%2017%20Aug%202020&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Dotmailer&dm_i=49LX,WB2E,GBWR3,3ZGZL,1
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28. UK: RCGP Learning: How can I stay safe from coronavirus in prison as lockdown is lifted? A guide for prison residents
Keeping safe in prison as lockdown eases
https://elearning.rcgp.org.uk/pluginfile.php/148864/mod_page/content/78/RCGP_patient_FAQs_RecoveryUpdate_July2020_v3.pdf?utm_campaign=1507334_COVID-19%20Weekly%20Roundup%20-%2017%20Aug%202020&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Dotmailer&dm_i=49LX,WB2E,GBWR3,3ZGZL,1
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29. China: Journal of Internal Medicine: Review of the Clinical Characteristics of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
In late December 2019, a cluster of cases with 2019 Novel Coronavirus pneumonia (SARS-CoV-2) in Wuhan, China, aroused worldwide concern. Previous studies have reported epidemiological and clinical characteristics of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The purpose of this brief review is to summarize those published studies as of late February 2020 on the clinical features, symptoms, complications, and treatments of COVID-19 and help provide guidance for frontline medical staff in the clinical management of this outbreak.
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11606-020-05762-w?utm_source=facebook
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30. Argentina: La Nacion: Coronavirus en Argentina: casos en Moreno, Buenos Aires al 16 de Agosto
Coronavirus in Argentina: cases in Moreno, Buenos Aires as of August 16
La pandemia de coronavirus COVID-19 se ha expandido por casi todos los distritos y departamentos de la Argentina. Al 16 de agosto en Moreno, Buenos Aires, se registran 5.861 casos de infectados desde el inicio de la pandemia.
Estas cifras son recopiladas diariamente en base a reportes diarios de los partidos de la Provincia entre el equipo de LN Data y la Agencia AUNO de la UNLZ. Como no todos los partidos informan de manera proactiva la cantidad de casos, pueden diferir de los casos informados para la provincia de Buenos Aires por el Ministerio de Salud de la Nación. La contabilización de casos por partido o departamento se realiza bajo el criterio de lugar de residencia que figura en el DNI del paciente. Puede suceder que la persona no se encuentre en ese partido o departamento.
https://www.lanacion.com.ar/sociedad/coronavirus-en-argentina-casos-en-moreno-buenos-aires-al-16-de-agosto-nid2422527
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31. Nature: Age-dependent effects in the transmission and control of COVID-19 epidemics
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown a markedly low proportion of cases among children. Age disparities in observed cases could be explained by children having lower susceptibility to infection, lower propensity to show clinical symptoms or both. We evaluate these possibilities by fitting an age-structured mathematical model to epidemic data from China, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Canada and South Korea. We estimate that susceptibility to infection in individuals under 20 years of age is approximately half that of adults aged over 20 years, and that clinical symptoms manifest in 21% (95% credible interval: 12–31%) of infections in 10- to 19-year-olds, rising to 69% (57–82%) of infections in people aged over 70 years. Accordingly, we find that interventions aimed at children might have a relatively small impact on reducing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, particularly if the transmissibility of subclinical infections is low. Our age-specific clinical fraction and susceptibility estimates have implications for the expected global burden of COVID-19, as a result of demographic differences across settings. In countries with younger population structures—such as many low-income countries—the expected per capita incidence of clinical cases would be lower than in countries with older population structures, although it is likely that comorbidities in low-income countries will also influence disease severity. Without effective control measures, regions with relatively older populations could see disproportionally more cases of COVID-19, particularly in the later stages of an unmitigated epidemic.
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0962-9?utm_campaign=wp_to_your_health&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_tyh&wpmk=1&pwapi_token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJjb29raWVuYW1lIjoid3BfY3J0aWQiLCJpc3MiOiJDYXJ0YSIsImNvb2tpZXZhbHVlIjoiNWU4YWMxZTY5YmJjMGYwYTJlNzk3ODE3IiwidGFnIjoiNWY0MDJmZTBmZTFmZjY1ZTExODY3ZTExIiwidXJsIjoiaHR0cHM6Ly93d3cubmF0dXJlLmNvbS9hcnRpY2xlcy9zNDE1OTEtMDIwLTA5NjItOT91dG1fY2FtcGFpZ249d3BfdG9feW91cl9oZWFsdGgmdXRtX21lZGl1bT1lbWFpbCZ1dG1fc291cmNlPW5ld3NsZXR0ZXImd3Bpc3JjPW5sX3R5aCZ3cG1rPTEifQ.9MCp7t4YLeoV4sB3sxEq7Eylqel2Gy2tiTR0nsQvcaA
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32. The Lancet: Physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection to prevent person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes COVID-19 and is spread person-to-person through close contact. We aimed to investigate the effects of physical distance, face masks, and eye protection on virus transmission in health-care and non-health-care (eg, community) settings.
The findings of this systematic review and meta-analysis support physical distancing of 1 m or more and provide quantitative estimates for models and contact tracing to inform policy. Optimum use of face masks, respirators, and eye protection in public and health-care settings should be informed by these findings and contextual factors. Robust randomised trials are needed to better inform the evidence for these interventions, but this systematic appraisal of currently best available evidence might inform interim guidance.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32497510/
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33. USA: CNN: Video: Trump says he’s looking at unproven Covid-19 therapeutic
President Donald Trump and Mike Lindell, the creator of MyPillow and an avowed supporter, participated in a July meeting at the White House regarding the use of oleandrin as a potential therapeutic for coronavirus, Lindell confirmed to CNN.
https://edition.cnn.com/videos/politics/2020/08/17/trump-oleandrin-lindell-my-pillow-collins-nr-sot-vpx.cnn
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34. UK: BBC: Coronavirus smell loss ‘different from cold and flu’
The loss of smell that can accompany coronavirus is unique and different from that experienced by someone with a bad cold or flu, say European researchers who have studied the experiences of patients. When Covid-19 patients have smell loss it tends to be sudden and severe. And they usually don’t have a blocked, stuffy or runny nose – most people with coronavirus can still breathe freely. Another thing that sets them apart is their “true” loss of taste. It’s not that their taste is somewhat impaired because their sense of smell is out of action, say the researchers in the journal Rhinology. Coronavirus patients with loss of taste really cannot tell the difference between bitter or sweet.
Experts suspect this is because the pandemic virus affects the nerve cells directly involved with smell and taste sensation. The loss of smell that can accompany coronavirus is unique and different from that experienced by someone with a bad cold or flu, say European researchers who have studied the experiences of patients.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-53810610
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35. USA: Journal of Rural and Remote Health: North America- Differences in US COVID-19 case rates and case fatality rates across the urban-rural continuum
This analysis uses publicly available county level COVID-19 data to predict case fatality rates by county, across the rural continuum. While acknowledging limitations in calculation of case fatality rates where county-level testing rates are unavailable, the authors report that the mortality burden of COVID-19 is exceptionally high in rural areas in the US, despite their overall lower rate of cases. Many rural areas face substantial challenges in disease surveillance, testing, and treatment. Case fatality rates can provide information beyond crude case rates and numbers of deaths to identify vulnerable and underserved rural populations, so that resources can be allocated more equitably.
https://www.rrh.org.au/journal/article/6074
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36. Brazil: BBC: O segundo maior perigo global à saúde humana (depois da covid-19) que encurta nossa vida em quase 2 anos
The second biggest global danger to human health (after covid-19) that shortens our lives by almost 2 years
A poluição do ar por material particulado reduz em 1,9 ano a expectativa média de vida em todo o mundo. Atualmente, é o segundo maior risco à saúde humana, perdendo apenas para a covid-19, mas deve voltar a ser o primeiro quando a pandemia for controlada.
A conclusão é da nova edição do relatório Air Quality Life Index (AQLI), elaborado pelo Energy Policy Institute, da Universidade de Chicago, dos Estados Unidos.
The second biggest global danger to human health (after covid-19) that shortens our lives by almost 2 years
Air pollution from particulate matter reduces average life expectancy worldwide by 1.9 years. Currently, it is the second greatest risk to human health, second only to covid-19, but it should return to being the first when the pandemic is controlled.
The conclusion is the new edition of the report Air Quality Life Index (AQLI), prepared by the Energy Policy Institute, of the University of Chicago, in the United States.
https://www.bbc.com/portuguese/geral-53782795
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37. USA: Philstar Global: The post-pandemic home
If there’s one notion that’s gone out the window along with cocktail hour and rock concerts it’s the idea of one’s home as merely a pit stop between the workplace and the rest of your life.
People, particularly those who bought into a lifestyle centered around a busy mall or bar-lined high street, have had to rethink their future living in a tiny box among hundreds of other residents living in more tiny boxes. The crowded elevators and cemented common spaces had all been tradeoffs for living 10 to 15 minutes away from work, play, or preferably both. Traffic was the enemy then. Now it’s an equally insurmountable virus.
https://www.philstar.com/lifestyle/modern-living/2020/08/15/2035306/post-pandemic-home
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38. Nature: COVID-19: unravelling the host immune response
Using next-generation sequencing tools, scientists are exploring how SARS-CoV-2 interacts with the immune system to better understand the disease, identify those at higher risk, and minimize its impact.
Most people who develop COVID-19 symptoms will have only mild to moderate disease. However, a significant minority will develop serious complications1. Around 15% of patients will progress to severe pneumonia and about 5% eventually develop acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock and/or multiple organ failure2. But anywhere between 40% and 80% of infected individuals will have no symptoms at all. Emerging evidence suggests that these asymptomatic patients mount a weaker immune response to the virus.
These differences in response to infection do not appear to be related to variation in viral genetics. “The virus that is circulating right now appears to be relatively stable,” says Alessandra Renieri, director of the Medical Genetics Unit at the University of Siena, Italy. “So there must be reasons on the host side that can help to explain this huge variability in disease susceptibility and outcomes.”
https://www.nature.com/articles/d42473-020-00323-5?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=bcon-illumina_article_11&utm_content=11_SARSCov2_nrg_CustA_UK%2CIE%2CDE%2CFR%2CDK%2CIT%2CJP%2CNL%2CNO%2CES%2CCH%2CSE%2CFI%2CBE%2CAT%2CPT%2CLU%2CHU_Facebook-Feed
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39. USA: Scientific American: Nine COVID-19 Myths That Just Won’t Go Away
From a human-made virus to vaccine conspiracy theories, we rounded up the most persistent false claims about the pandemic
As the world continues to battle the coronavirus, it is also fighting a different sort of epidemic: misinformation. This “infodemic” is just as harmful as COVID-19 itself, leading people to downplay the severity of the disease and ignore public health advice in favor of unproved treatments or “cures.” A recent survey by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Gallup found that four in five Americans say the online spread of misinformation is the biggest problem facing the media. Even with widely available evidence to the contrary, beliefs are hard to change. Here are some of the most insidious falsehoods about the pandemic, and why they are wrong.
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/nine-covid-19-myths-that-just-wont-go-away/
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40. Spain: El Diario: Solo 70 de los 240 rastreadores de la Región de Murcia tienen dedicación exclusiva: “Es claramente insuficiente”
Only 70 of the 240 trackers in the Region of Murcia have exclusive dedication: “It is clearly insufficient”
Usuarios de la Sanidad ha solicitado el número exacto de rastreadores de la Consejería de Salud y del Servicio Murciano de Salud; ya que 170 de ellos están destinados en Atención Primaria y tienen que atender también otras labores asistenciales
Health users have requested the exact number of trackers from the Ministry of Health and the Murcian Health Service; since 170 of them are assigned to Primary Care and have to also attend to other care tasks
Las cifras de rastreadores de la COVID-19 aportadas por la Consejería de Salud en la Región de Murcia no han dejado de bailar en las últimas semanas; lo que ha llevado a la Asociación de Usuarios de la Sanidad Pública a reclamar el número exacto de personas destinadas a estas labores en la Comunidad. El 21 de julio el Ejecutivo murciano aseguraba haber destinado 170 rastreadores a Atención Primaria (un equipo de médico y enfermero por cada centro de salud). Seis días después añadían 33 rastreadores dependientes de Epidemiología. Este martes esa cifra ascendía a 45, y se anunciaban 25 nuevas contrataciones, según cifras aportadas por la Consejería de Salud, un total de 240.
https://www.eldiario.es/murcia/sociedad/usuarios-sanidad-reclama-cifra-exacta-rastreadores-contradicciones-gobierno-murciano_1_6163534.html
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41. USA: Washington Post: Q&A with Dr. Fauci: ‘We will get out of this and we will return to normal. Don’t despair.’
Every Friday and many Tuesday afternoons, national arts reporter Geoff Edgers hosts The Washington Post’s first Instagram Live show from his barn in Concord, Mass. So far, he has interviewed, among others, actress Tracee Ellis Ross, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and journalist Dan Rather. Recently, Edgers chatted with Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Here are some excerpts from their conversation.
Top infectious-disease expert Anthony S. Fauci shared his thoughts with The Washington Post about the mysteries of the virus, sending children back to class, his newfound folk-hero status and what really makes the 79-year-old immunologist’s blood boil.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/qanda-with-dr-fauci-we-will-get-out-of-this-and-we-will-return-to-normal-dont-despair/2020/08/20/e986cca8-e232-11ea-b69b-64f7b0477ed4_story.html?utm_campaign=wp_to_your_health&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_tyh&wpmk=1&pwapi_token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.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.ldJpcL0TkQRt_e6WRVaDqW0LbdIvkBs_WKMb2_FabKc
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42. USA: National Geographic: Measure the risk of airborne COVID-19 in your office, classroom, or bus ride
Can kids go back to crowded schools? Is it safe to eat dinner with friends? Use this mathematical model to help provide some clues.
AMID THE PANDEMIC, once normal activities are now peppered with questions and concerns. Can kids go back to crowded schools? Is it safe to eat dinner with friends? Should we worry about going for a run?
A recent modeling effort may help provide some clues. Led by Jose-Luis Jimenez at the University of Colorado Boulder, the charts below estimate the riskiness of different activities based on one potential route of coronavirus spread: itty-bitty particles known as aerosols. (Read more about what “airborne coronavirus” means and how to protect yourself).
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/08/how-to-measure-risk-airborne-coronavirus-your-office-classroom-bus-ride-cvd/
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43. Sweden: The Guardian: Sweden’s Covid-19 strategist under fire over herd immunity emails
Anders Tegnell appears to have asked if higher death rate for older people might be acceptable. Sweden’s light-touch approach to Covid-19 has come under renewed criticism after emails show the country’s chief epidemiologist appearing to ask whether a higher death rate among older people might be acceptable if it led to faster herd immunity.
Speculation about the views of Sweden’s leading public health officials was further fanned after it also emerged that Anders Tegnell, the architect of the country’s no-lockdown strategy, had deleted some of his emails.
Tegnell has repeatedly insisted the government’s objective was not to achieve rapid herd immunity but rather to slow the spread of the coronavirus enough for health services to be able to cope.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/17/swedens-covid-19-strategist-under-fire-over-herd-immunity-emails
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44. USA: New York Post: New COVID-19 cases in nursing homes soar past peak levels
Nursing homes have seen a disturbing spike in coronavirus infections — with the number of new cases surpassing the peak level that occurred in the spring, new data shows.
There were 9,715 new COVID-19 cases recorded among nursing home residents the week of July 26, up from 9,421 for the same period on May 31, according to a report Monday from the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL).
The spike was driven by new infections from the Sun Belt states, some of which have become hot spots for the virus.
At least 78% of the infected nursing home residents in late July were in the Southern region that spans from California to Florida, the data shows
https://nypost.com/2020/08/17/new-covid-19-cases-in-nursing-homes-soar-past-peak-levels/
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45. UK: BBC: Coronavirus: Severe mental health problems rise amid pandemic
Doctors are seeing a rise in people reporting severe mental health difficulties, a group of NHS leaders says.
It follows a more than 30% drop in referrals to mental health services during the peak of the pandemic.
But there are predictions that the recent rise will mean demand actually outstrips pre-coronavirus levels – perhaps by as much as 20%.
The NHS Confederation said those who needed help should come forward.
But the group, which represents health and care leaders, said in a report that mental services required “intensive support and investment” in order to continue to be able to help those who needed it.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-53742121
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46. USA: Web MD: Lasting Immunity to COVID Found in Early Studies
Scientists say they are seeing signs of lasting immunity to the coronavirus, even in those who only experience mild symptoms of COVID-19.
A slew of studies show that disease-fighting antibodies, as well as B-cells and T-cells that can recognize the virus, appear to persist months after infections have run their course, The New York Times reported.
“This is exactly what you would hope for. All the pieces are there to have a totally protective immune response,” said Marion Pepper, an immunologist at the University of Washington and an author of one of the new studies, which is now undergoing review by the journal Nature.
“This is very promising,” said Smita Iyer, an immunologist at the University of California, Davis, who is studying immune responses to the coronavirus in rhesus macaques, told the Times. “This calls for some optimism about herd immunity, and potentially a vaccine.”
https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200817/lasting-immunity-to-coronavirus-reported-in-early-studies#1
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47. UK: The Guardian: NHS needs thousands of British Asians to join Covid-19 vaccine trials
Diversity of first phase uptake branded ‘disappointing’ as just 3% are from Asian backgrounds
The NHS is launching a fresh attempt to recruit tens of thousands of volunteers from British Asian communities to its coronavirus vaccine trials following a “disappointing” uptake in the first phase.
The government’s vaccines taskforce announced on Monday that more than 112,000 people had signed up for trials which could begin as soon as next month.
However, only 3% of the volunteers were from British Asian backgrounds, said Dr Dinesh Saralaya, one of the directors of the recruitment programme, describing the low uptake as “very worrying”.
Saralaya, a consultant respiratory physician, said the researchers needed to do more to reach communities who may not speak English as a first language or watch mainstream television news and may be unaware of the vaccine trials.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/17/nhs-needs-thousands-of-british-asians-to-join-covid-19-vaccine-trials
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48. USA: CNN: Former FDA commissioner calls US Covid-19 response “disappointing”
A former US Food and Drug Administration commissioner has called the US response to Covid-19 “disappointing” and said there was no good excuse for it because people have been practicing for this very scenario.
“There have been efforts now over a number of decades, truly, to better prepare our nation against a range of biological threats, to invest in certain critical resources, but also to practice against simulations of threats,” former FDA commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said Monday during a American Society for Microbiology briefing. “By every sort of assessment that had been done about preparedness, we had expected that, while hardly perfect, we would have been better prepared than we were,” she said.
https://edition.cnn.com/world/live-news/coronavirus-pandemic-08-17-20-intl/h_3e8b05a508b1691fa7b28dd5b1222394
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49. USA: CNN: The US has had the worst response to Covid-19 of any major country, expert says
The US has had the worst response to Covid-19 of any major country, Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Institute of Health, said Monday.
“I think it’s pretty fair to say we may have the worst response of any major country,” Jha said during a Center for American Progress webinar. While he said that it could be argued that Brazil’s response has been as bad or worse, competing with Brazil for that title is “not where you want to be.” “We didn’t get here overnight. This has really been one mishap after another,” Jha said. “The single factor that really differentiates us from everybody else is denialism that has pervaded our entire approach.” Jha said that the US has gone from believing that coronavirus was a hoax, to believing it was the flu, to now thinking the pandemic is nearly over because a vaccine is two months away. “One message,” he said. “The vaccine is not two months away and we are nowhere near done with this pandemic.”
https://edition.cnn.com/world/live-news/coronavirus-pandemic-08-17-20-intl/h_b734550713424b43211b83f16cc7405e
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Once again
Best wishes to you all
John Wynn-Jones

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