Effects of Coronavirus Disease 2019 on Organ Transplantation – AlKhaleej Today

Last Updated on November 1, 2020 by

Transplant Proc. 2020, September 15: S0041-1345 (20) 32741-X. doi: 10.1016 / j.transproceed.2020.09.006. Online before printing.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As the novel coronavirus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), emerged as a virus pandemic, data is emerging on the clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection who develop a Undergo organ transplant. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the currently published literature on the management, clinical course and outcome of SARS-CoV-2 infection in recipients of liver, kidney and heart transplants.

METHODS: We conducted a systematic review to assess the currently published literature regarding the management, clinical course, and outcome of SARS-CoV-2 infection in liver, kidney, and heart organ transplant recipients. Articles published up to June 2020 were searched in the MEDLINE, ClinicalTrials.gov and PubMed databases. We identified 49 eligible studies involving a total of 403 organ transplant recipients.

RESULTS: Older age, male sex, and pre-existing comorbidities, including hypertension and / or diabetes, were the most common predominant characteristics in organ transplant recipients. The clinical presentation ranged from mild to severe illness, including multiple organ failure and death. We found an overall mortality of 21%.

CONCLUSION: Our analysis suggests that all-cause mortality in organ transplant recipients receiving immunosuppressive therapy is not increased or is worse than mortality in the general SARS-CoV-2 surgical population. Our results suggest that transplant surgery and its immunosuppressive effects should not interfere with proper surgical care for patients in the SARS-CoV-2 era.

PMID: 33127076 | DOI: 10.1016 / j.transproceed.2020.09.006

Ireland one of only four countries in Europe where Covid-19 incidence rate is down – Irish Post

Last Updated on November 1, 2020 by

IRELAND IS outperforming all but a handful of countries in Europe when it comes to controlling the spread of Covid-19. 

According to the World Health Organization, Ireland is one of only four countries on the continent to record a decrease in the seven-day coronavirus incidence rate compared to figures from last week. 

The data released by the WHO shows the seven-day rate has decreased by 36% in Ireland. 

By contrast, 24 other European nations have recorded a rise in the seven-day rate, with increases ranging from 2% to 59%. 

Ireland is 20th out of 28 European countries in terms of the seven-day rate. 

Only eight other countries have recorded a lower seven-day incidence of the virus. 

Despite the positive data, there was a note of caution regarding the new figures, with incidence rates increasing among older cohorts just as they have declined among younger age groups. 

According to the latest data, the incidence in the 75-84 age group has risen from 70 per 100,000 of population to 184 over the past few weeks. 

Ireland did report an overall decline in case numbers, however, with the reproduction or ‘R’ number now standing at somewhere around one. 

Hospital admissions and the numbers being taken into intensive care are also rising more slowly than in the period prior to Ireland’s lockdown. 

As of today, 322 people with Covid-19 are being treated in Irish hospitals – an increase of just 10 on the previous day. 

There were 32 new admissions in the past 24 hours with 26 people discharged. 

There are 41 Covid-19 patients in intensive care, with 26 on ventilators.  

That leaves 47 critical care beds available while there have been no Covid-19 related deaths among healthcare workers in Ireland since July. 

Speaking at a press conference in the Department of Health, Professor Philip Nolan warned against complacency. 

“This is the first time in three months that I’ve been able to report positive indications that we are starting to suppress transmission of the virus,” he said, 

“When we achieve this sort of suppression, the important thing is to make it last.” 

BD bracing for coronavirus, dengue infections in winter – thedailynewnation.com

Last Updated on November 1, 2020 by

News Desk :
The number of dengue cases has increased when it is supposed to drop ahead of winter as Bangladesh, like the other countries, continues to battle the novel coronavirus, reports bdnews24.com.
Generally, cases of the mosquito-borne dengue fever peak during monsoon in the middle of a year, but this time most infections were reported after the end of the rainy season. As many as 602 people, including 516 in Dhaka city, were diagnosed with the disease this year in Bangladesh until Thursday.
The highest number of cases, 138, was reported in October, with the rate rising in the past 10 days, according to the Directorate General of Health Services. One of the October patients, Zahidur Rashid Sumon, a physician, died on Oct 25 in hospital care.
After the emergence of the disease in 2000, Bangladesh recorded the highest number of dengue cases during last year’s outbreak.
More than 100,000 people were infected and nearly 175 of them died in 2019, according to government data. Experts believe the actual figure was much higher because many people did not undergo test.
Only a few cases were reported during monsoon this year amid the coronavirus lockdown and the restrictions on public movement that followed. Entomologist Dr Kabirul Bashar believes the number of dengue cases peaked in October due to a change in the pattern of rainfall caused by climate change.
It rained more than usual in October, which led to an increased breeding of Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries the dengue virus, according to Dr Bashar who is a professor of Jahangirnagar University’s zoology department.
“And more people are going to hospital as the coronavirus situation has improved. This development has led to a spike in the number of reported dengue cases,” he added, emphasising mosquito-killing programmes throughout the year.
Mayor Atiqul Islam said Dhaka North City Corporation is aware of the rise in the number of dengue cases.
He said the city corporation would resume a programme to kill mosquitos on Nov 2, focusing on the areas where the cases were reported and the surrounding of hospitals.
“We also have data where the Aedes larvae were found the most last year. We will prioritise those areas as well,” he said.
He urged citizens to keep their surroundings clean and free from stagnant water and pots where mosquitos can breed.
“We are conducting mobile court drives besides adulticiding and larviciding,” said Md Abu Naser, a spokesman for Dhaka South City Corporation.

Scientists Introduced A Chemically Altered Face Mask To Halt The Spread Of The Coronavirus – Forbes

Last Updated on November 1, 2020 by

For most of us 2020 has been an unprecedented and challenging year due to the unexpected global pandemic which spread throughout the whole globe. Mentally it may be hard to conceptualize what it means to be in a truly global pandemic and how the virus could spread globally. Usually, when we think about the word ‘global’ the first thing that comes to mind is telecommunications because it is through telecommunications that we perceive the world to be global, as it allows to connect with the rest of the world simultaneously, through messaging and media. This simultaneous nature of telecommunications is what makes it ‘global’ because for something to be global it must spread very quickly through space. In much the same way electromagnetic waves travel quickly through space to allow telecommunications , the spread of the Corona virus is spread due to the fast diffusion of virus particles through air, thus making Corona virus a global phenomenon. Luckily, scientists at Northwestern University have come up with a simple way of altering the mask in such a way that would change the chemical composition of the exhaled droplets, thereby helping to halt the spread of this virus. According to Jiaxing Huang, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University, the vulnerability of the virus lies in its structure: “virus structures are actually very delicate and ‘brittle,’ if any part of the virus malfunctions, then it loses the ability to infect.”

It is pricelessly this brittle nature of the virus that allowed researchers to come up with an idea that would lessen the spread of the virus by altering the composition of the exhaled droplets. As we know, the way to control the spread of the Corona virus is through various precautions such as social distancing and wearing a mask. However, one problem is that Corona virus is airborne and spreads through the diffusion of virus particles through space even from asymptomatic carriers, or people who may not show any symptoms of the Corona virus. “Where there is an outbreak of infectious respiratory disease, controlling the source is most effective in preventing viral spread,” said Haiyue Huang, an author in the study. “After they leave the source, respiratory droplets become more diffuse and more difficult to control.” 

To do so, they introduced a chemical layer in the mask, which would modify the mask layer with anti-viral chemicals, thereby sanitizing the exhaled air of the mask wearer and controlling the exhaled droplets. After experimenting with several chemical substances, researchers selected two anti-viral and non-volatile chemicals that would create a local environments which would react with the exhaled air, and modify the composition of the droplets. Additionally, they ensured that these chemicals could not be vaporized and then inhaled by the wearer. Through growing a thin layer of the polymer on the mask, a favorable chemical environment was created. Testing various materials, researchers found that the droplets are indeed modified, with different results according to fabric. About 82% of the droplets were modified for tighter fabrics such as lint-free wipes and about 28% for very loose fabrics, such as medical gauze. Thus, this method seemed promising in modifying and sanitizing the air droplets. 

One other promising aspect of this research is that, just like the Corona virus is a global pandemic, the researchers also hope that this effort would be a global one. “Our research has become an open knowledge, and we will love to see more people joining this effort to develop tools for strengthening public health responses” said Huang.

Can solar fridges helping vaccinate African children work for COVID-19? – Reuters

Last Updated on November 1, 2020 by

BOSTON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Dozens of children at a clinic in North Kivu, on the eastern border of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), received a measles vaccine in May, made possible by a quiet revolution in refrigeration that keeps vaccines cold, even in places without reliable electric power.

The “solar direct-drive” refrigerators – plain, box-like coolers that do not require fuel or batteries – have helped boost child vaccinations in DRC’s poorest rural provinces by 50% in the past year, according to global vaccine alliance Gavi.

That has helped cut child mortality in DRC to half of what it was two decades ago. More than 18 million children were vaccinated last year against a deadly measles outbreak, which has slowed dramatically in recent weeks.

Now the world is looking to launch a far bigger immunisation push once vaccines for COVID-19 become available.

Delivering millions of inoculations in Africa, a sprawling continent with fragile health systems and a lack of electricity to power them, will be a daunting task.

And it remains unclear whether existing off-grid fridges can keep the vaccines cold enough to help.

Refrigeration is essential for vaccine distribution.

Most vaccines require cooling at between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius (35-46 degrees Fahrenheit), but nearly half of the leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates under development will require cold storage as low as minus 80C, researchers say.

In addition, a cold chain distribution network for COVID-19 vaccines will require seamlessly low temperatures from manufacturers to airports to remote rural villages.

Despite advances that have likely saved millions of lives by keeping vaccinations cold in recent years, most African countries still have enormous gaps in such networks.

“It’s probably the biggest logistical challenge the world has ever faced, and it’s an especially immense challenge for sub-Saharan African countries with significant rural populations,” said Toby Peters, a professor specialising in cooling systems for food and medicine at Britain’s University of Birmingham.

DELIVERY ‘REVOLUTION’

When William Clemmer, a doctor with faith-based nonprofit IMA World Health, arrived in the DRC in the 1990s, many health centers were using outdated kerosene-powered refrigerators that would often break down, damaging or destroying vaccines.

First-generation solar refrigerators were an improvement, but they required storage batteries that often stopped working after two to three years and were hard to replace.

Solar direct-drive refrigerators changed that, starting about a decade ago.

Costing between $3,500 and $9,000, they are wired directly to solar photovoltaic panels, which provide thermal energy to freeze a thick lining of water, with the ice layer keeping the vaccines inside cool for many days, no matter the weather.

In 2016, only 16% of DRC’s rural health centers had working refrigerators, according to Gavi.

Today close to 80% are equipped, many with direct-drive solar units. They have enabled 24,000 monthly immunisation sessions in the nine poorest provinces in the past year, a 50% jump from 2018.

“They’ve essentially revolutionized vaccine delivery for children in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Clemmer.

Karan Sagar, a doctor who heads the health systems and immunisations strengthening team at Gavi, credits the off-grid equipment for achieving a 25% jump in child vaccination rates in Africa from a decade ago.

Since 2017, a $250-million effort led by Gavi has delivered more than 15,300 solar direct-drive fridges to three-dozen African countries, including nearly 3,400 units to the DRC and 5,400 to Nigeria.

Sagar said 87% of children in those African countries received the first dose of a vaccine last year for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough).

“This is a testament to the ability of supply chains to reach even the most remote communities in the world,” he said.

FACTORY TO VILLAGE

It is not only ultra-cold temperatures for COVID-19 vaccines that Africa may need to contend with.

Solar refrigerators are only the last of many steps that will be required to move the vaccines quickly and safely from centralized manufacturing sites – whether inside or outside Africa – to urban and rural destinations across the continent.

At every step along the way – airplanes, warehouses, trucks, motorbikes, bicycles, canoes and even drones – the vaccines must be kept at specific, very cold temperatures, just like other perishable products.

And substantially larger volumes will be needed.

While child vaccination campaigns typically reach about 115 million infants annually worldwide, the COVID-19 vaccine will need to reach as many as 750 million people in Africa alone, health experts predict.

To prepare for this challenge, cold chain expert Peters is leading a government-backed effort to evaluate Africa’s needs in delivering an eventual COVID-19 vaccine, working with nonprofit, commercial and academic partners.

They are drawing on lessons from Rwanda, a central-east African country that has made enormous progress in recent years building efficient, climate-friendly cold chains for food and vaccine delivery.

Its system evolves around one warehouse that serves as a cooling hub for vaccines that are distributed to district hospitals, health centers and remote rural health posts, of which dozens are using solar fridges.

The vaccines are reaching more than 95% of the population, according to the World Health Organization.

But replicating Rwanda’s success will be a formidable task. “Rwanda is small – countries like Nigeria are much more difficult,” Peters said.

FOOD MODEL

Food cold chains where larger-scale commercial capacity is more established will be the kind of model needed, he added.

“We know how to move hundreds of millions of tonnes of fresh food from small farms across Africa to the fridges of consumers in Europe,” Peters said. “We need to take this expertise and transfer it to vaccines.”

But that is before factoring in the potential ultra-cooling needs COVID-19 vaccines may require – which solar direct-drive fridges are typically not equipped to handle.

Rwanda and the DRC do have firsthand experience of vaccines needing ultra-cold storage in the form of a new vaccine that helped end the Ebola outbreak this past summer.

“Super thermos” coolers, filled with blocks of synthetic alcohol ice, kept the vaccine at minus 60-80C for up to 6.5 days. But the amounts involved were a tiny fraction of what would be needed for an effective COVID-19 vaccine.

“Few African economies have any ultra-cold chain capacity at all,” Sagar noted.

Peters is hoping COVID-19 vaccines will require only the standard cold storage at 2-8C, which solar direct-drive refrigerators can provide at rural health centers.

“If mainstream cold chains have to get below that, we have a massive new challenge,” he said.

Reporting by Peyton Fleming; editing by Megan Rowling. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit news.trust.org/climate

Bats practice social detachment when sick, study finds – 10/31/2020 –… – AlKhaleej Today

Last Updated on November 1, 2020 by

New research shows that bats distance themselves socially when they are sick, spending less time around others and interacting with less group mates.

The behavior had previously been observed in the laboratory, but researchers at Ohio State University in the United States have now verified the same with wild vampire bats in Belize, Central America. The study was published in the journal Behavioral Ecology.

The scientists monitored a group of bats that lived inside a hollow tree, equipping them with tiny proximity sensors to find out how they interacted socially.

The researchers even injected 16 bats with a substance called lipopolysaccharide, which caused their immune systems to temporarily react as if they were sick, to see if their behavior would change.

In total, there were 31 bats on the tree. The remaining 15 animals received saline injections that did not interfere with their immune system.

The researchers say that none of the bats were injured during the experiment.

Less social interaction

It was observed that “sick” bats interacted with about four fewer bats than healthy animals.

They did not want to participate in rituals and reciprocal care, they moved less and acted more drowsily than others.

This behavioral difference decreased six hours after the injection and when the bats slept or went out in search of food.

After 48 hours, the effects of the injection disappeared completely, and the bats were as social again as before.

By feeling bad, bats would reduce the likelihood of spreading a virus by spending less time with healthy bats, say the researchers.

The study’s lead author, Simon Ripperger, calls this “passive social detachment” and believes that this behavior may be more common in the animal kingdom than we know.

“The sensors gave us a surprising new window on how the social behavior of these bats changed from hour to hour and even from minute to minute during the day and night, even while they were hiding in the darkness of a hollow tree,” said Ripperger .

Passive social detachment is compared to what humans do when they are in bed when they feel bad, instead of being around other people.

The behavior is useful for the general health of a group of animals, because it makes a disease less likely to spread.

These were the details of the news Bats practice social detachment when sick, study finds – 10/31/2020 –… for this day. We hope that we have succeeded by giving you the full details and information. To follow all our news, you can subscribe to the alerts system or to one of our different systems to provide you with all that is new.

It is also worth noting that the original news has been published and is available at time24.news and the editorial team at AlKhaleej Today has confirmed it and it has been modified, and it may have been completely transferred or quoted from it and you can read and follow this news from its main source.

SARS-CoV-2 hereditary changes may have made COVID-19 more infectious – Microbioz India

Last Updated on November 1, 2020 by

SARS-CoV-2 hereditary changes may have made COVID-19 more infectious

Overview

  • Post By : Kumar Jeetendra
  • Source: University of Texas at Austin
  • Date: 31 Oct,2020
  • <!–

  • Pros: Quo te partem nusquam salutatus, nobis oratio vel ut. Duo te quod salutatus.
  • –>

A study involving over 5,000 COVID-19 patients in Houston finds the virus which causes the disease is accumulating genetic mutations, one of which may have made it longer infectious. According to the paper published in the peer reviewed journal mBIO, that mutation, known as D614G, is found in the spike protein that pries open our cells for viral entry. It is the largest peer-reviewed study of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences in one metropolitan region of the U.S. thus far.

The paper reveals”the virus is mutating because of mixture of neutral drift — that just means random genetic changes that don’t help or hurt the virus — and pressure from our immune systems,” said Ilya Finkelstein, associate professor of molecular biosciences at The University of Texas at Austin and co-author of the analysis. The study was carried out by scientists at Houston Methodist Hospital, UT Austin and elsewhere.

During the initial wave of the pandemic, 71 percent of this publication coronaviruses identified in patients in Houston had this mutation. When the second wave of the outbreak hit Houston during the summer, this version had leaped to 99.9% prevalence. A study published in July based on more than 28,000 genome sequences discovered that variants carrying the D614G mutation became the worldwide dominant form of SARS-CoV-2 in about a month. SARS-CoV-2 is the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

So why did strains containing this mutation outcompete those that didn’t have it?

Perhaps they’re more contagious. A study of over 25,000 genome sequences in the U.K. discovered that viruses with the mutation tended to transmit slightly faster than those without it and caused larger clusters of infections. Natural selection would favor strains of this virus which transmit more easily. But not all scientists are convinced. Some have suggested another explanation, known as”founder’s consequences.” In that situation, the D614G mutation could have been more common in the first viruses to arrive in Europe and North America, essentially giving them a head start on other strains.

The spike protein is also continuing to collect additional mutations of unknown significance. The Houston Methodist-UT Austin team also revealed in lab experiments that at least one such mutation allows spike to prevent a neutralizing antibody that humans naturally produce to resist SARS-CoV-2 infections. This may allow that variant of this virus to more easily slip past our immune systems. Even though it is not clear yet if that translates to it also being more readily transmitted between individuals.

The fantastic thing is that this mutation is infrequent and doesn’t seem to make the disease more severe for infected patients. According to Finkelstein, the team did not see viruses that have learned to evade first-generation vaccines and therapeutic antibody formulations.

“The virus continues to mutate as it rips through the world,” Finkelstein said. “Real-time surveillance efforts like our analysis will make sure that global vaccines and therapeutics are always 1 step ahead.”

The scientists noted a total of 285 mutations across thousands of infections, though most don’t appear to have a substantial effect on how severe the disease is. Ongoing studies are continuing to surveil the third wave of COVID-19 patients and to characterize the way the virus is adapting to neutralizing antibodies that are made by our immune systems. Each new disease is a roll of the dice, an additional chance to develop more dangerous mutations.

“We have given this virus a lot of chances,” lead author James Musser of Houston Methodist told The Washington Post. “There is a massive population size out there right now.”

The UT Austin team tested different genetic variants of this virus’s spike protein, the part that allows it to infect host cells, to gauge the protein stability and to determine how well it binds to a receptor on host cells and to neutralizing antibodies. Earlier in the year, McLellan and his group at UT Austin, in collaboration with researchers at the National Institutes of Health, developed the first 3D map of the coronavirus spike protein for an innovation that currently factors into several leading vaccine candidates’ designs.

The researchers found that SARS-CoV-2 was introduced into the Houston area many times, independently, from diverse geographic regions, with virus strains from Europe, Asia, South America and elsewhere in the United States. There was widespread community dissemination soon after COVID-19 cases were reported in Houston.

This study was supported by the Fondren Foundation, Houston Methodist Hospital and Research Institute, the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Welch Foundation, the National Science Foundation and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Ilya Finkelstein is a CPRIT scholar in cancer research, funded by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.

Source:

Journal reference:

Wesley Long, S., et al. (2020) Molecular Architecture of Early Dissemination and Massive Second Wave of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus in a Major Metropolitan Area. mBio. doi.org/10.1128/mBio.02707-20.

Young people helping to suppress Covid-19 numbers, says leading doctor – The Streetjournal

Last Updated on November 1, 2020 by

A further 416 cases has brought the number of Covid-19 cases in October to almost 25,000 for the month.

The total of 24,866 surpasses that of the previous record month of April when there were 17,377 recorded cases.

Five more deaths were reported on Saturday bringing the final number for the month to 112. There were 1,141 deaths in the month of April.

The number of people in hospital this month went from 130 at the beginning to 322 at the end of the month peaking on October 27th when there were 354 people in the State’s hospitals with Covid-19.

The new cases and deaths notified by the National Public Health Emergency Team on Saturday brings to 61,456 the total number of infections in the Republic, and the number of coronavirus-related deaths to 1,913.

The numbers in intensive care units increased by one to 42. Of the new cases confirmed as of midnight on Friday, 64 per cent were among people under 45 years of age, with 34 the median age; 186 were men and 230 were women.

Some 87 cases were located in Dublin, followed by 62 in Cork, 41 in Mayo, and 37 in Galway. The remaining 189 cases were spread across 20 other counties.

There were 320 coronavirus patients in hospitals as of 2pm on Saturday, 41 of whom were in intensive care. There has been 19 hospital admissions in the last 24 hours.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohansaid nationally the R-number, which is the reproductive rate of the virus, has dropped to about 1.

This means for every person who contracts the disease they will pass it on to an average of one other individual, suggesting the spread of the virus has slowed following the national lockdown.

“We are making progress in suppressing the current rise of Covid-19. Ireland is currently one of only four countries in the EU with a reduction in its seven-day incidence,” said Dr Holohan.

“We are working collectively to achieve suppression, but it is too early to ease our efforts. The incidence is decreasing in young adults but it continues to rise in those aged over 75. We have more to do but we are on the right track,” he said.

Cavan still has the highest incidence rate of the disease at 645.9 per 100,000 people, with 492 cases in the last 14 days. Meath has the second highest incidence at 500.9, followed by Westmeath, Sligo, Cork, Galway, then Donegal.

Dublin has the 15th highest incidence rate in the country, at 237.7 per 100,000 people, and 3,203 cases in the last 14 days.

Meanwhile, young people have reduced their contacts by half in recent weeks leading to a significant fall in Covid-19 infections, according to the National Public Health Emergency Team ’s Dr Mary Favier.

Dr Favier said there has been a notable change of behaviour among the youth and that the public at large had reduced their close contacts. Moreover, the ban on visiting other households is already having a beneficial effect, she added.

She said the number of contacts that the average teenager who tested positive has had dropped from 20 six weeks ago to 12 a fortnight ago and now to six.

“Young people have been vilified and they have subject to a lot of very negative messages. We have made much more progress. They have lost a lot and they have the most to lose,” she said.

Dr Favier, who is Covid-19 adviser to the Irish College of General Practitioners told The Irish Times that close contacts in the general population has dropped from six to three, meaning that most close contacts now are people in the same household.

“We are in the best part of nine days into the restrictions. We are now seeing a real tightening in terms of people’s levels of contacts,” she said. “We know from previous experience in March that is what really makes the difference.”

However, she cautioned that while numbers of Covid-19 infections in young are declining, they are increasing in the over-65s which are most affected by the disease.

Taiwan Has Just Marked 200 Days Without Any Locally-Transmitted Coronavirus Cases – LADbible

Last Updated on November 1, 2020 by

Taiwan has just marked its 200th consecutive day without a locally-transmitted case of coronavirus, highlighting its successful approach to keeping the virus under control as cases continue to rise elsewhere.

According to The Guardian, the country’s Centre for Disease Control last reported a domestic case on 12 April – now 202 days ago.

As of Thursday, it has also recorded just 553 cases since the pandemic first broke out, with 55 of these being local transmissions. The country has also seven deaths, which, while tragic, is a minute figure compared to other nations.

Peter Collignon, an infectious disease physician and professor at the Australian National University Medical School, told CNN: “Taiwan is the only major country that has so far been able to keep community transmission of Covid eliminated.

People wear face masks as they walk through a shopping district in Taipei, Taiwan. Credit: PA
People wear face masks as they walk through a shopping district in Taipei, Taiwan. Credit: PA

Collignon added that Taiwan probably had the best result around the world‘, something he said iseven more impressive for an economy with a population about the same size as Australia’s, with many people living close to one another in apartments.

Various reasons have been credited to Taiwan’s coronavirus response, with the country’s authorities praised for acting quickly to stop the spread of the disease, bringing in strict control measures and pouring resources into testing and tracing

The country shut down to all non-residents back in March, and has maintained tight border control since, with Jason Wang, director of Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention, telling Time: “Taiwan’s continual success is due to strict enforcement of border control.”

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Remote Marshall Islands Record First Two Cases Of Coronavirus

published at2 days ago

Taiwan’s previous exposure to the SARS epidemic meant it had faced something similar before, while its nature as an island nation is also something that worked in its favour – as did having an epidemiologist as vice-president.

Meanwhile, over in Europe many countries are tackling a second wave of the virus, with countries such as France, Germany and Belgium recently announcing national lockdowns.

President Macron said curfews in Paris and other major cities had failed to stem the tide of infections, saying in a televised statement: “Our target is simple: sharply reducing infections from 40,000 a day to 5,000 and slowing the pace of admissions to hospital and intensive care.”

He added: “No matter what we do, nearly 9,000 people will be in intensive care by mid-November.”

While Macron acknowledged that the new restrictions are ‘heartbreaking’, he said he ‘could never stand by and see hundreds of thousands of our citizens die’.

AI can detect COVID-19 by listening to your coughs – Engadget

Last Updated on November 1, 2020 by

The AI is highly accurate in early tests. After the team trained its model on tens of thousands of cough and dialog samples, the technology recognized 98.5 percent of coughs from people with confirmed COVID-19 cases. It identified 100 percent of people who were ostensibly asymptomatic, too.

There are clear limits. The technology isn’t meant to diagnose symptomatic people, as they might have other conditions that produce similar behavior. And while it’s quite capable, you wouldn’t want to use this for a definitive verdict on whether or not you’re infected.

This isn’t a theoretical exercise, though. The scientists are developing a “user-friendly” app that could be used as a prescreening tool for the virus. You might only have to cough into your phone each day to determine if it’s safe for you to head outside. The researchers even suggest this could put an end to pandemics if the tool was always listening in the background, although that’s a big “if” when it would likely raise privacy issues.