The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that exceptional efforts can dramatically accelerate the clinical development of vaccines. We propose that it is time to also take immediate actions to improve clinical trials in other areas to better serve all patients.
Herd immunity is a key concept for epidemic control. It states that only a proportion of a population needs to be immune (through overcoming natural infection or through vaccination) to an infectious agent for it to stop generating large outbreaks. A key question in the current COVID-19 pandemic is how and when herd immunity can be achieved and at what cost.
The Eastern Cape health system is reeling as health workers fearing for their own safety refuse to treat Covid-19 patients, putting added pressure on state and private hospitals scrambling to meet requirements ahead of an expected spike in coronavirus cases. On Friday, Frere Hospital in East London was ordered to immediately shut down over concerns that measures for stopping Covid-19 including access control were inadequate, and the Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa) believes this situation is only the tip of the iceberg. The health crisis has been brought into focus by the death of five health workers in the province, including the wife of Amathole district municipality mayor Khanyile Maneli, a nurse at Victoria Hospital in Alice, which has created a culture of fear among their colleagues, many of whom have tested positive for the virus themselves.
The World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund today convened African leaders, bilateral partners, and multilateral institutions to spur faster action on COVID-19 response in African countries. H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Director General of the WHO Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Africa Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, and officials of individual countries outlined their policy plans for effective use of resources, multilateral organizations including the United Nations pledged their continued support, and bilateral partners reemphasized their commitment to a debt standstill beginning May 1, 2020. This comes in response to calls from the World Bank Group President Malpass, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Georgieva, and other partners for creditors to suspend debt repayments in order to provide much-needed support to the poorest countries.
A shadow hangs over the struggle to understand the COVID-19 pandemics different problems a shadow of necropolitics that puts some people and risks in the obscure background, while others are highlighted, in the foreground. Social activists and primary care professionals are working hard to help people stay safe and providing basic necessities like food, water or soap. Meanwhile, far-right protesters, some from the better-off classes who protest from the safety of their cars, but also daily workers, Uber drivers and street traders are out against the lockdown, in protests described as nearing a military coup. They want workers to get back to work, contrary to public health recommendations. The elites want the economy to be re-opened, so they can go back to profiting, while the precariously-employed are torn between the need to stay safe and the need to return to work in the absence of alternative means of survival. The question of survival marks the edges of the pandemic. Edges or borders (Bhattarcharya 2018) are where rights and freedoms are differentiated for different groups of people. Bordering is not only about the control of migration, or about the differences between the global north and the global south. Bordering takes place within states, within public institutions and even within the public sphere. Brazil is rapidly becoming a front-runner in the horrible reversal of the ideal of justice playing out across the world the last are coming first in experiencing the brunt of mass ill-being, fear, insecurity, and death. Necropolitical assumptions run through current scientific models and conceptions of society, especially those that model society as synonymous with economy. The aggregated statistics of pandemic monitoring offer an impersonal universalizing language of a single population or economy. Science, law and ethics are complicit when they universalize in ways that disguise
During the 20 years that Alejandro Carrillo has worked in the United States, he has always sent money home. Earnings from his time with construction crews in Florida were enough to provide food and an education to each of his seven children and to build his wife a house in which to raise them. It was also enough to later help his 33-year-old son, José Carrillo, purchase a small, green car to start a taxi business. Funds sent back to Central America from migrants who work in economically developed countries are a lifeline to families like the Carrillos. Remittances represent a steady cash flow which keeps receivers out of poverty and provides a safety net in times of crisis.
The Great Plague hit London in the spring of 1665 and scythed away full a quarter of its population. In the built-up area between the City, Westminster and Southwark, 100,000 died. It was the last gasp of a fatally persistent pandemic that had first struck the timbered medieval metropolis in 1348. What follows are some extracts from my book London: A Travel Guide through Time, in which I bring hopefully in an uncomfortably vivid way to life what it was like to live in, or at least visit, the capital at the height of the Plague, when buboes were sprouting on peoples necks, armpits and groins like there was no tomorrow.
Ive been a matron at University College Hospital (UCH) in London since 2011 but had actually been on secondment for six months at The Lister Hospital before COVID. I returned to work at UCH on Monday 2 March, the day we received the letter to intensive care hospitals from Italy saying start preparing now we havent stopped since. We expanded massively within a very short space of time, going first from 35 to 86 critical care beds then creating a further 22 up on one of the wards. Im responsible for the 3rd floor as we call it, which is the critical care area and the theatre area. On our busiest days so far, weve seen up to eight new COVID patients, with around 62 critically ill patients.