Professor Sarah Gilbert believes that the spread of zoonotic diseases has become more likely due to our lifestyles – with increasing population density, increased international travel and deforestation in particular.
It is a mutated strain of coronavirus said to be “10 times more contagious” has been found in Indonesia as well as in neighboring Singapore and Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Nicola Sturgeon admitted she grew more anxious as cases in Scotland hit a three-month high.
“Risk of spreading zoonotic diseases increased by population density and air travel”
In case you missed it earlier:
The professor behind the Oxford coronavirus vaccine has warned of the growing risk of disease outbreaks that pass from animals to humans.
Sarah Gilbert, who is leading the work to find a vaccine that confers immunity to the coronavirus, believes the spread of zoonotic diseases has become more likely due to our lifestyles.
In particular, growing population density, increasing international travel and deforestation are to blame.
Jane DaltonAugust 31, 2020 2:06 PM
Sturgeon are ‘anxious’ as Scottish cases peak in three months
A three-month peak in coronavirus cases in Scotland is “without question of concern,” said Nicola Sturgeon.
The Prime Minister said she felt “a greater sense of anxiety today” than at any time “probably in the past two months”.
In the past 24 hours, 160 new cases of Covid-19 have been recorded, the highest total since May 16 and an increase from the 123 announced on Sunday. This brings the total number of cases in Scotland since the start of the pandemic to 20,478. The death toll remains at 2,494.
Most of the new cases are in the central belt, 69 in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Board of Health area and 27 in Lanarkshire.
Ms Sturgeon said: ‘The number of cases we’re seeing right now reminds us all that the virus is still a very real risk, it’s a development that concerns me and it’s one that we take very seriously.
Jane DaltonAugust 31, 2020 13:54
A Uyghur woman arrested in China at the height of the pandemic says she was crammed into a cell with dozens of other women and forced to drink medicine that made her weak and nauseous.
The woman claimed that she and the others were also required to undress once a week and cover their faces while the guards sprayed them and their cells with a “firefighter” disinfectant.
“It was hot,” the woman from Xinjiang said by telephone, refusing to be named for fear of reprisals. “My hands were damaged, my skin is peeling.”
Chiara GiordanoAugust 31, 2020 13:16
Residents of all counties in England and Wales are overwhelmingly prepared to support local lockdowns if the coronavirus breaks out in their area, according to a new investigation.
Many restrictions have been lifted after signs of success in preventing the spread of the infection, but the strategy depends on the willingness of local populations to temporarily give up freedoms that people elsewhere in the country may enjoy.
Today’s YouGov survey suggested that only a minority of adults across the country would “oppose” or “strongly oppose” local lockdowns if called into their area.
Chiara Giordano31 August 2020 13:00
Scientists see downsides to major Covid-19 vaccines
The high-level Covid-19 vaccines developed in Russia and China are based on a common cold virus to which many people have been exposed, potentially limiting their effectiveness, some experts say.
CanSino Biologics’ vaccine, approved for military use in China, is a modified form of adenovirus type 5 or Ad5.
The company is in talks to get emergency approval in several countries before completing large-scale trials, the le journal Wall Street reported last week.
A vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Institute in Moscow, approved in Russia earlier this month despite limited testing, is based on Ad5 and a second, less common adenovirus.
Anna Durbin, vaccine researcher at Johns Hopkins University, said: “I am concerned about Ad5 just because a lot of people are immune.
“I don’t know what their strategy is… maybe it won’t be 70% effective. It could be 40% efficient, and that’s better than nothing, until something else happens. “
Vaccines are considered essential to end the pandemic.
Chiara Giordano31 August 2020 12:30
Herman Cain’s Twitter account indicated that Covid-19 was “not as deadly” as claimed, just weeks after the Republican presidential candidate died from the virus.
The prominent conservative businessman died in July from the virus after spending weeks in critical condition.
Cain’s Twitter account continued to post several times a day after his death, most often to share posts from the questionable Journal occidental, one of which served as the basis for Monday’s claim against the coronavirus.
Chiara GiordanoAugust 31, 2020 12:08 PM
EU donates € 400 million to vaccine initiative
The European Commission has announced that it will contribute 400 million euros to an initiative led by the World Health Organization to buy Covid-19 vaccines.
The initiative, dubbed COVAX, aims to purchase 2 billion doses by the end of 2021 of potential Covid-19 vaccines from several vaccine manufacturers.
The European Commission is negotiating advance vaccine purchases with several drugmakers on behalf of the 27 EU states and has said in recent weeks that EU governments cannot purchase vaccines under the parallel purchasing programs.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said: “Today the Commission announces a contribution of 400 million euros to COVAX to work together to purchase future vaccines for the benefit of low-income countries and intermediate. “
The Commission added in a statement that it was ready, together with EU states, “to put the expertise and resources to work within COVAX to accelerate and intensify the development and manufacture of a global supply of vaccines to citizens around the world, in rich countries. ”
Chiara GiordanoAugust 31, 2020 11:52
Students risk exclusion for “malicious cough”
Students risk being kicked out for “malicious coughing” or for making “inappropriate” jokes about the coronavirus pandemic, some schools have warned.
Ark Alexandra Academy in Hastings, East Sussex, has established a list of ‘coronavirus redlines’ that will result in fixed-term exclusions for students if violated.
These include “deliberate or malicious” coughing or sneezing, “humorous and inappropriate comments or statements” related to Covid-19 and “deliberate physical contact with any other person”.
In a letter to parents in August, Jerome Scafe, associate director of the network, said: “Any student who needs a fixed-term exclusion during the pandemic will not return to mainstream traffic until a risk assessment and we can be assured that the student will meet all of our expectations. ”
Meanwhile, Ark Byron Primary Academy in Acton, west London, said in its letter to parents that if a student refuses to follow hygiene routines and social distancing instructions, he will be “immediately transferred to a separate area ”.
He said: “Some behaviors (eg, deliberately coughing on another person) that were previously ‘just’ antisocial, are now potentially extremely serious. “
Chiara Giordano31 August 2020 11:30
A senior public health official has made extraordinary revelations about the tracking and tracing system for travelers arriving in the UK, Simon Calder reports.
After 16 cases of the coronavirus were linked to TUI flight 6215 from Zakynthos in Greece to Cardiff on Tuesday 25 August, Public Health Wales decided to go public in order to trace the 193 passengers and crew on board.
Anyone arriving in the UK is required to complete a ‘Passenger Tracking Form’ (PLF) providing full contact details, as well as flight number and time of arrival.
However, Dr Gwen Lowe, communicable disease consultant with Public Health Wales, told the BBC Today program whereby some travelers will not be contacted until a week after the flight.
Chiara GiordanoAugust 31, 2020 11:14
As the coronavirus pandemic “threatens the survival” of British seaside towns, it could be a historic opportunity to transform long neglected communities – for the benefit of the whole country, experts have said. Independent Colin Drury.
Chiara GiordanoAugust 31, 2020 10:55