Sunday, 29 November 2020
Tuesday, 24 November 2020
it's hard to believe that the UK government did not know this as schoolchildren are well known as asymptomatic carriers of flu
Largest COVID-19 contact tracing study to date finds children key to spread, evidence of superspreaders
Sept. 30, 2020
A study of more than a half-million people in India who were exposed to the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 suggests that the virus’ continued spread is driven by only a small percentage of those who become infected.
Furthermore, children and young adults were found to be potentially much more important to transmitting the virus — especially within households — than previous studies have identified, according to a paper by researchers from the United States and India published Sept. 30 in the journal Science.
Researchers from the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI), Johns Hopkins University and the University of California, Berkeley, worked with public health officials in the southeast Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh to track the infection pathways and mortality rate of 575,071 individuals who were exposed to 84,965 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. It is the largest contact tracing study — which is the process of identifying people who came into contact with an infected person — conducted in the world for any disease.
Lead researcher Ramanan Laxminarayan, a senior research scholar in PEI, said that the paper is the first large study to capture the extraordinary extent to which SARS-CoV-2 hinges on “superspreading,” in which a small percentage of the infected population passes the virus on to more people. The researchers found that 71% of infected individuals did not infect any of their contacts, while a mere 8% of infected individuals accounted for 60% of new infections.
“Our study presents the largest empirical demonstration of superspreading that we are aware of in any infectious disease,” Laxminarayan said. “Superspreading events are the rule rather than the exception when one is looking at the spread of COVID-19, both in India and likely in all affected places.”
The findings provide extensive insight into the spread and deadliness of COVID-19 in countries such as India — which has experienced more than 96,000 deaths from the disease — that have a high incidence of resource-limited populations, the researchers reported. They found that coronavirus-related deaths in India occurred, on average, six days after hospitalization compared to an average of 13 days in the United States. Also, deaths from coronavirus in India have been concentrated among people aged 50-64, which is slightly younger than the 60-plus at-risk population in the United States.
The researchers also reported, however, the first large-scale evidence that the implementation of a countrywide shutdown in India led to substantial reductions in coronavirus transmission.
The researchers found that the chances of a person with coronavirus, regardless of their age, passing it on to a close contact ranged from 2.6% in the community to 9% in the household. The researchers found that children and young adults — who made up one-third of COVID cases — were especially key to transmitting the virus in the studied populations.
“Kids are very efficient transmitters in this setting, which is something that hasn’t been firmly established in previous studies,” Laxminarayan said. “We found that reported cases and deaths have been more concentrated in younger cohorts than we expected based on observations in higher-income countries.”
Children and young adults were much more likely to contract coronavirus from people their own age, the study found. Across all age groups, people had a greater chance of catching the coronavirus from someone their own age. The overall probability of catching coronavirus ranged from 4.7% for low-risk contacts up to 10.7% for high-risk contacts.
The study, “Epidemiology and transmission dynamics
of COVID-19 in two Indian states,” was published Sept. 30 by the journal
Science. The work was supported by the National Science Foundation and
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Tuesday, 17 November 2020
Monday, 16 November 2020
WARNING CREDIT CARD SCAM - Mastercard and Visa cards
Monday, 9 November 2020
Status of COVID-19: As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious disease (HCID) in the UK.
Status of COVID-19
As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious disease (HCID) in the UK.
The 4 nations public health HCID group made an interim recommendation in January 2020 to classify COVID-19 as an HCID. This was based on consideration of the UK HCID criteria about the virus and the disease with information available during the early stages of the outbreak. Now that more is known about COVID-19, the public health bodies in the UK have reviewed the most up to date information about COVID-19 against the UK HCID criteria. They have determined that several features have now changed; in particular, more information is available about mortality rates (low overall), and there is now greater clinical awareness and a specific and sensitive laboratory test, the availability of which continues to increase.
The Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) is also of the opinion that COVID-19 should no longer be classified as an HCID.
The need to have a national, coordinated response remains, but this is being met by the government’s COVID-19 response.
Cases of COVID-19 are no longer managed by HCID treatment centres only. All healthcare workers managing possible and confirmed cases should follow the updated national infection and prevention (IPC) guidance for COVID-19, which supersedes all previous IPC guidance for COVID-19. This guidance includes instructions about different personal protective equipment (PPE) ensembles that are appropriate for different clinical scenarios.
Definition of HCID
In the UK, a high consequence infectious disease (HCID) is defined according to the following criteria:
- acute infectious disease
- typically has a high case-fatality rate
- may not have effective prophylaxis or treatment
- often difficult to recognise and detect rapidly
- ability to spread in the community and within healthcare settings
- requires an enhanced individual, population and system response to ensure it is managed effectively, efficiently and safely
Classification of HCIDs
HCIDs are further divided into contact and airborne groups:
contact HCIDs are usually spread by direct contact with an infected patient or infected fluids, tissues and other materials, or by indirect contact with contaminated materials and fomites
airborne HCIDs are spread by respiratory droplets or aerosol transmission, in addition to contact routes of transmission
List of high consequence infectious diseases
A list of HCIDs has been agreed by a joint Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England HCID Programme:
|Contact HCID||Airborne HCID|
|Argentine haemorrhagic fever (Junin virus)||Andes virus infection (hantavirus)|
|Bolivian haemorrhagic fever (Machupo virus)||Avian influenza A H7N9 and H5N1|
|Crimean Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF)||Avian influenza A H5N6 and H7N7|
|Ebola virus disease (EVD)||Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)|
|Lujo virus disease||Nipah virus infection|
|Marburg virus disease (MVD)||Pneumonic plague (Yersinia pestis)|
|Severe fever with thrombocytopaenia syndrome (SFTS)||Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)*|
*No cases reported since 2004, but SARS remains a notifiable disease under the International Health Regulations (2005), hence its inclusion here
**Human to human transmission has not been described to date for
avian influenza A(H5N6). Human to human transmission has been described
for avian influenza A(H5N1), although this was not apparent until more
than 30 human cases had been reported. Both A(H5N6) and A(H5N1) often
cause severe illness and fatalities. Therefore, A(H5N6) has been
included in the airborne HCID list despite not meeting all of the HCID criteria.
The list of HCIDs will be kept under review and updated by PHE if new HCIDs emerge that are of relevance to the UK.
HCIDs in the UK
HCIDs, including viral haemorrhagic fevers (VHFs), are rare in the UK. When cases do occur, they tend to be sporadic and are typically associated with recent travel to an area where the infection is known to be endemic or where an outbreak is occurring. None of the HCIDs listed above are endemic in the UK, and the known animal reservoirs are not found in the UK.
As of February 2020, 2019, the UK has experience of managing confirmed cases of Lassa fever, EVD, CCHF, MERS
and monkeypox. The vast majority of these patients acquired their
infections overseas, but rare incidents of secondary transmission of MERS and monkeypox have occurred in the UK.
Thursday, 5 November 2020
This has a lot to do with the weird locdown rules - over the years the collapse of the conomy (which will be blamed on the virus) and the environmental crisis will normally lead to more and more protests and the Governments of this country and elsewhere do not want that
The Guardian November 3 2020
Expected move is met with fierce criticism from campaigners and human rights groups
Protections for protesters are set to be removed from the coronavirus rules under the second national lockdown, it has emerged, provoking anger from human rights groups and campaigners.
An exemption that permits demonstrations to take place with additional conditions designed to mitigate the spread of the virus is expected to be omitted from fresh regulations being drawn up for the lockdown that will commence from this Thursday.
There have been a series of a high-profile protests since the pandemic erupted in the UK including rallies for racial equality led by the Black Lives Matter movement, racist counter-demonstrations and marches against lockdown measures directed by conspiracy theorists and extremists.
While there will be no explicit ban on protests in the regulations, the removal of the exemption will render organising large-scale lawful protest almost impossible.
The expected move, first revealed by the Times, has been met with fierce criticism from campaigners and human rights groups.
Tyrek Morris, the co-founder of All Black Lives UK, a youth-led campaign group born out of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, said: “With regards to protesting, and protesting through the pandemic, one thing that is clear, we have no support from the government in any way shape or form.”
Morris said protests organised by All Black Lives UK had faced a heavy handed response, despite meeting the criteria set out by the exemption.
“Since the BLM movement arose again, the government has been completely against our protest, against protest full stop, and at every chance possible have tried to stop us. But we’ve always found a way around it. They could stop us protesting, but they can’t stop us fighting for our own rights.”
Morris said criticism of the current government was implicit in the All Black Lives UK protests. “We have criticism for the way the government has mishandled the coronavirus pandemic, for how black people are more likely to suffer from this pandemic, we’ve been very vocal about Boris Johnson and his racist tendencies, his previous comments. So this does not come as a shock to me. They don’t want to hear us talk.”
Rosalind Comyn, the policy and campaigns manager at Liberty, the human rights group, said: “We should all be able to stand up for what we believe in. In a healthy democracy protest is one way we do that, and that’s why any measures which stop people expressing dissent are deeply worrying and should be treated with suspicion.
“We have always supported proportionate measures to protect lives, but people must not be criminalised en masse for voicing opposition to government action – even in the context of a pandemic. What’s more, parliament has been sidelined at every turn of this government’s pandemic response, making protest even more important than ever to ensure everyone’s voices are heard.
“The government and police must commit to uphold their duty to facilitate protest so we can stand up to power.”
A spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion UK, which has staged climate protests since the pandemic outbreak, said: “Only a government keenly aware of its epic failing would bring in such extreme restrictions to protest.
“These are the actions of a government not willing to listen to its citizens. Studies over the last year have found that protests held outdoors do not lead to spikes in infection rates. This is clearly a political choice at a time when the government needs to be held to account on many fronts.”
When the regulations were refreshed for the new three-tiered system in England, the wording explicitly said a clause about gatherings of more than six was applicable to protests.
The clause in effect permitted individuals to gather in a group of more than six for the purposes of protest as long as the following rules were satisfied:
The gathering has been organised by a business, a charity, a benevolent or philanthropic institution, a public body, or a political body.
The organiser of the protest has carried out a risk assessment that meets the requirements of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
The organiser has taken all reasonable steps to limit the risk of transmission of coronavirus, in line with the risk assessment and with any relevant government guidance.
But while the clause remains in the new lockdown regulations, which
were published late on Tuesday, the explicit reference to “protests” has
Whitehall sources told the Guardian the change was spearheaded by the Covid-19 taskforce and was designed to make the rules simpler.
But a senior police source told the Guardian they feared being “left in the middle” by any dropping of the protections for protests and also would rather there was a clear-cut regulation, rather than something vague and open to interpretation. “It’s going to be difficult,” the source said.
Police are saying they are already under strain from trying to impose existing Covid regulations, with regular crime returning to normal levels, having plunged during the first lockdown.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “The right to peaceful protest is one of the cornerstones of our democracy. In these unprecedented circumstances, any gathering risks spreading the disease, leading to more deaths, so it is vital we all play our part in controlling the virus.
“People must follow the rules on meeting with others, which apply to all gatherings and therefore protests too. As they have done throughout the pandemic, the police and local authorities will engage, explain and encourage people to follow the rules before moving on to enforce the law.”
Quick guide: What you can and can't do in England's new national Covid lockdown
New national restrictions are due to come into effect in England on Thursday, after MPs vote on them, and remain in place at least until 2 December.
- For childcare or education, where it is not provided online.
- To go to work unless it can be done from home.
- Outdoor exercise either with household members or with one person from another household.
- For all medical reasons and appointments.
- To escape injury or harm, such as domestic abuse.
- To provide care for vulnerable people or volunteer.
- To shop for food and essentials.
- To see people in your support bubble.
- Children will still be able to move between homes if their parents are separated.
Government say the list is not exhaustive, and other permitted reasons for leaving home may be set out later. People could face fines from police for leaving their home without a legally permitted excuse.
No, not unless they are part of an “exclusive” support bubble, which allows a single-person household to meet and socialise with another household.
Parents are allowed to form a childcare bubble with another household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is 13 or under.
People are allowed to meet one person from another household socially and for exercise in outdoor public spaces, which does not include private gardens.
Up to 30 people will still be allowed to attend funerals, while stone settings and ash scatterings can continue with up to 15 guests.
Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are not permitted except in “exceptional circumstances”. Places of worship must remain closed except for voluntary services, individual prayer and other exempt activities.
Most outbound international travel will be banned. There is no exemption for staying away from home for a holiday. This means people cannot travel internationally or within the UK, unless for work, education or other legally permitted exemptions.
Which businesses will close?
Everything except essential shops and education settings, which include nurseries, schools and universities, will close.
Entertainment venues will also have to close. Pubs, restaurants and indoor and outdoor leisure facilities will have to close their doors once more.
However, takeaway and delivery services will still be allowed, while construction and manufacturing will stay open.
Parents will still be able to access registered childcare and other childcare activities where reasonably necessary to enable parents to work. Some youth services may be able to continue, such as one-to-one youth work, but most youth clubs will need to close their doors.
Public services, such as jobcentres, courts, and civil registration offices will remain open.
There is no exemption for grassroots organised team sports. Elite sports will be allowed to continue behind closed doors as currently, including Premier League football matches.