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"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 5th Jun 2020

News Highlights

Encouraging signs as Spain reports zero deaths for second day running

Spain, one of the countries worst affected by the coronavirus with 27,127 deaths, reported zero deaths for the second day in a row, amidst signs that the country has seen off the worst. At the peak of the pandemic, Spain saw hundreds of deaths every day from the virus.

UK lockdown brings cleaner air and relief for asthma sufferers

Millions of people suffering from respiratory conditions like asthma may have benefited from the cleaner air and clearer skies with the halting of industry and reduction of traffic due to the UK lockdown. According to the British Lung Foundation, a survey of 14,000 people with lung conditions revealed that one-in-four asthmatics felt relief in their symptoms with children seeming to benefit the most.

AstraZeneca inks deal with partners to produce and distribute vaccine

The drug company AstraZeneca stated it intends to partner with CEPI and Gavi to manufacture and distribute 300 million doses of an experimental Covid-19 vaccine created by Oxford University, if the vaccine is shown to be safe and effective. AstraZeneca also reached a licensing agreement with the Serum Institute of India, which has committed to providing 400 million vaccine doses to low and middle income countries by 2020 end.

Exemptions for film crew sparks furore in New Zealand

Director James Cameron and 55 crew members of the film 'Avatar 2' flew into New Zealand under a recently announced exemption based on economic value, while thousands who already have temporary visas are unable to enter. Local politicians and immigration experts have criticised this exemption for the Hollywood workers, who will complete two week quarantine and then commence shooting.

Lockdown Exit
Tunisians Emerge From Lockdown Into Mosques and Cafes
Tunisians returned to mosques and cafes on Thursday as the country ended most lockdown restrictions after largely containing the spread of the novel coronavirus for now. Sitting with friends at the Brazil coffeeshop in the Ibn Khaldoun district of Tunis, schoolteacher Nizar Jamal said he was glad to resume his daily chats with friends.
Parents' view on children's first week back at school in Surrey as lockdown measures lifted
The message to reopen primary schools to allow pupils in reception, year one and year six back was not lost on local authorities, teachers and parents up and down the country as it sparked an outburst of concern that they would not be ready in time. Indeed, it came to light that as many as 18 councils would rebel against the proposals and keep classrooms shut, The Guardian reported. Here, in Surrey, the county council broke its silence to say it would not sanction any parents for keeping their children at home, and schools will "only open to more students when it is safe to do so".
UK Zoos May Never Reopen Post-Lockdown: 'Our Future Hangs In The Balance'
Across the UK, zoos have been ordered to remain closed for the foreseeable amid the coronavirus pandemic, sparking urgent requests for donations to save them from permanent closure. Chester Zoo launched a ‘Save Our Zoo’ JustGiving page on Wednesday after admitting it is facing debt in excess of £24m by the end of 2020. ZSL – which runs zoos in London and Whipsnade – is also urging the public to donate to its regular fundraising page, so the sites stand a chance of reopening once restrictions are lifted. Many other zoos across the country are facing a similar predicament, according to The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA).
Coronavirus lockdown: Levels of anxiety and depression in the UK fall as restrictions ease
Ongoing UCL study of over 90,000 adults shows that depression levels have decreased particularly among the under-60s
‘I’m happy just to be with them again’: Families reunite but tourists stay away as Italy reopens its borders
Italy has reopened travel between regions as well to and from European countries, in a bid to lure tourists back in time for the summer season. This next phase marks an important milestone for a country where the virus walloped communities, killing over 33,000, and sent the economy into a tailspin.
Change to death registration criteria cuts recorded Covid-19 deaths in Spain significantly, with no deaths reported for two days
Spain, holding its breath as it emerges from lockdown, reported no deaths for the second day in a row since the pandemic started. One of the hardest-hit countries by Covid-19, it was positive news for Spaniards who had lived through dark times when hundreds of people lost their lives each day to the virus.
France takes first small steps to normality after Covid-19 crisis
The renaissance of cafe society in France has taken cautious first steps amid hopes for gradual economic recovery but also apprehension about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the risk of a second wave. In Paris, on theIf keeping the distance between tables is impractical, dividing screens are installed and throughout the country, people took advantage of warm weather and the relaxation of restrictions to dine out or enjoy drinks on terraces on Tuesday for the first time since the president, Emmanuel Macron, ordered a lockdown in mid-March.
Parisians decided to settle on the coast as France eases Covid-19 lockdown measures
As France continues to ease its lockdown measures in place to curb the coronavirus pandemic, some Parisians decided to move away from the highly-dense capital and settle in the coast, like in the city of Sables-d’Olonne, known for its sea-side activities and which is particularly visited during summer.
Moscow malls & parks open after 65 days of lockdown (PHOTOS)
Full body disinfection cabins for customers and no walking without masks and gloves. Muscovites are being forced to wake up to a new reality after self-isolation. On June 1, Moscow eased the self-isolation regime introduced on March 28, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Shopping malls, car showrooms, churches and city parks finally reopened after 65 days, while Muscovites are allowed to walk “on schedule”. This is how it looks.
Foot traffic at Russia's leading malls jumps as rebound gets underway
The volume of foot traffic in Moscow’s leading malls increased sharply on June 1 as the lockdown restrictions in Russia’s capital start to be eased and residents go to the mall. Foot traffic volumes had collapsed by 65%-75% year on year during the lockdown, but rebounded on June 1 and were down only 43.1%, according to Watcom, which uses cameras to measure foot traffic at leading Russian malls in real time. As bne IntelliNews reported, the recovery in shopping traffic is part of a broader visible Russian rebound that has got underway in the last few days and seen the ruble break below RUB70 to the dollar for the first time in months, among other things.
China’s air pollution overshoots pre-coronavirus concentrations as life resumes after lockdown
Air pollution in China has risen above the levels measured in the same 30-day period last year, according to new data. Air pollutant levels dropped dramatically in February when China was under strict lock down measures to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic and reached its lowest levels in March. As restrictions eased, and travel and industry resumed, air pollution is now overtaking the levels prior to the pandemic. The drop in air pollution during global lockdown led to clearer skies and a drop in emissions, not only in China, but around the world, offering a small glimmer of hope during the unprecedented crisis. People shared photos from Los Angeles to the Himalayas of skylines coming into crystal-clear view once the smog had cleared.
New Zealand rapped for classifying 'Avatar 2' crew 'essential workers' - Insider
Over the weekend, director James Cameron and 55 film crew members flew into. New Zealand on a private plan to begin filming "Avatar 2." They are currently undergoing a two-week quarantine in Wellington, New Zealand's capital. They were allowed to enter the country under a recently announced exemption based on economic value, while thousands who already have temporary visas are unable. The exemption for Hollywood workers has sparked criticism from local politicians and immigration experts. David Seymour, the leader of a right-wing libertarian party, said Avatar's exemptions were an "insult to working New Zealanders," according to Stuff.co.nz.
COVID-19: Strict lockdown's economic benefits starting to show - economist
New Zealand's fast and hard lockdown is starting to show signs it was the right move not just from a health perspective, but an economic one, according to economist Shamubeel Eaqub. The New Zealand dollar (NZD) is rising against foreign currencies, increasing Kiwis' purchase power. The NZD is now trading at 64.1 US cents, up from 62c a week ago and 57c when we went into alert level 4, temporarily crippling the economy in order to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
Peru Reopens More Industries, Undeterred by Almost 5,000 Deaths
Peru authorized more parts of the economy to reopen even as deaths from the virus surpassed 5,000 and hospitals in Lima begin running low on oxygen for patients. The government said a wide range of sectors, from roadbuilding to beermaking and printing, could restart, along with inter-provincial transport services, according to decree published Thursday. Seven of the country’s 25 regions were exempted from the measure given their high prevalence of Covid-19 cases. President Martin Vizcarra said the move would see 80% of the economy reopened, up from close to 50% now. ”We can’t support 100% of the country’s needs with just 50% of the economy’s output,” he said.
Italians on the move again as lockdown restrictions ease
Italians were allowed to travel to other regions of the country on Wednesday for the first time in nearly three months, in a further relaxation of lockdown restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.
Exit Strategies
Coronavirus: ROI expected to ease lockdown further on Monday
The taoiseach (Irish prime minister) said he believes Ireland will move to the next phase of its Covid-19 relaxation measures on Monday. This includes reopening small retail outlets where social distancing is possible and an increase in travel restrictions to 20 kilometres. Leo Varadkar said he was concerned by some calls to accelerate the five-stage relaxation plan
Breaking Down Wuhan's Blueprint for Lifting Lockdown
People were restricted to their compounds from Jan. 23 when Wuhan went into a lockdown that lasted 76 days. Extensive surveillance infrastructure and strict housing registration rules already in place helped to facilitate implementation of the restrictions and the easing of them later. Now, Wuhan residents live and move under the auspices of coloured QR codes embedded in WeChat and Alipay smartphone apps that use automatically collected travel and medical data. A green rating allows for unrestricted movement in and out of residential compounds and public areas, while orange and red signify a quarantine for seven and 14 days respectively.
Thousands of homeless people face being evicted as lockdown is loosened
Crisis urged the Government to step in with contracts between local authorities in England and hotels are due to finish at the end of June, when current state funding runs out. Almost 15,000 people are now in emergency accommodation such as hotels, according to the latest Government figures, after local authorities moved people into safe accommodation during the coronavirus crisis. But Matt Downie, Crisis’ director of policy, says the vast majority of contracts between local authorities and London hotels are due to expire at the end of June. He believes it is a similar picture for the rest of the country. He claimed that the charity has received ‘no indications at all’ from the Government that more money is forthcoming to extend the Everyone In scheme.
Parents' view on children's first week back at school in Surrey as lockdown measures lifted
The message to reopen primary schools to allow pupils in reception, year one and year six back was not lost on local authorities, teachers and parents up and down the country as it sparked an outburst of concern that they would not be ready in time. Indeed, it came to light that as many as 18 councils would rebel against the proposals and keep classrooms shut, The Guardian reported. Here, in Surrey, the county council broke its silence to say it would not sanction any parents for keeping their children at home, and schools will "only open to more students when it is safe to do so".
Coronavirus: Thousands of homeless 'back on streets by July'
Thousands of homeless people who have been housed during the coronavirus pandemic could return to the streets by the end of June, a charity has warned. Since the lockdown began, more than 14,500 people who were on the streets or at risk of sleeping rough have been given emergency accommodation. But Crisis has warned contracts between local councils and hotels are due to end as government funding runs out. The government said councils must continue to provide accommodation. But councils have asked the government to be clear on what extra practical support they will get.
What phase of lockdown is the UK in - what does phase 3 entail?
The UK is slowly easing its way out of coronavirus lockdown restrictions, with some non-essential shops and services having re-opened this week while some primary school years returned to the classroom. Under the new rule, people in England can also meet outdoors in groups of up to six, provided social distancing measures are maintained – while other non-essential retail is preparing to re-open from 15 June. The measures are being introduced in a phased easing of lockdown – but what phase are we in now and when will we move on to the next one?troUK/
Coronavirus: Stormont gives green light to more lockdown easing
The easing of more lockdown restrictions in Northern Ireland has been given the green light by the Stormont Executive. The move, which was expected, was dependent on the R-number staying below one when ministers met on Thursday. From Monday, vulnerable people advised to shield will be allowed outdoors. Large retailers including car showrooms and shops in retail parks can also reopen, and outdoor weddings with 10 people present will be allowed. The executive has also confirmed that from Monday, anyone who enters Northern Ireland from outside the Common Travel Area will have to self-isolate for 14 days.
Coronavirus: Boris Johnson says easing lockdown restrictions depends on public following rules as he warns of second UK wave
In a message to the millions watching at home, he said: “We want to take some more steps to unlock our society, and try to get back to as normal as possible. Eventually I would like to do such things as reducing the two-metre rule for instance. But all those changes, all that future progress, depends entirely on our ability to keep driving down the disease, and that depends on us following basic rules – wash your hands, self-isolate, if you have symptoms take a test, and observe social distancing”.
Germany unveils €130bn coronavirus recovery package | World news
Germany has unveiled a €130bn (£116.4bn) package of tax and spending measures designed to boost the country’s economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis. Announcing measures to drag Europe’s largest economy out of recession as lockdown measures are removed, Angela Merkel’s government said it would use the package of sweeping temporary tax cuts and increase benefits to turbocharge its recovery. Measures included a cut in VAT until the end of this year and substantial payments for every child in the country designed to help ordinary German families, alongside the launch of a €50bn fund to tackle global heating and finance new technologies. A state financial incentive to buy an electric car has been doubled to €6,000.
Coronavirus: Italy's Conte offers hope as travel restrictions end
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte offered a hopeful message as the country moved to its final stage in easing lockdown restrictions. "We deserve to smile, to be cheerful, after weeks of great sacrifice," he said on Wednesday. He added that now was the time for the country to enact economic reforms. With more than 33,600 fatalities and almost 234,000 cases since the coronavirus outbreak began, Italy has been one of the hardest-hit countries. Only the US and the UK have recorded higher death tolls. Mr Conte's comments came the same day as the country entered its final phase in easing lockdown restrictions, allowing domestic travel between regions and opening its international borders.
Sweden’s Dr. No-Lockdown denies ‘tactical retreat’
The debate over Sweden’s controversial no-lockdown coronavirus strategy flared again after its architect, state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, appeared to suggest the country's approach had been flawed. “If we encountered the same disease, with what we know about it today, I think we would end up doing in between what Sweden did and what the rest of the world did," Tegnell told public service radio station Sveriges Radio in an interview broadcast Wednesday. “Clearly there is room for improvement.”
Spain to open land borders with Portugal, France from June 22
Spain played down the possibility of reopening its land borders on June 22 after a government minister announced earlier on Thursday it would do so, prompting confusion in neighbouring Portugal, which asked for clarification. Frontiers with France and Portugal have been shut to most people since Spain went into lockdown to stem the spread of the coronavirus in mid-March, faced with what was then one of the world's worst outbreaks of the virus. A government source said Madrid was still considering the plan to reopen land borders and would discuss it with France and Portugal, rowing back on remarks by Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto earlier in the day.
Shops to reopen in June as coronavirus lockdown restrictions ease
Non-essential shops can reopen in England from 15 June if they meet guidelines to protect staff and shoppers – but what will social distancing rules mean for the way we shop for clothes, books and more? All shops in England will be able to open with social distancing measures in place from Monday 15 June, provided that the government continues to consider that its five key tests are being met.
France scraps Bastille Day military parade over coronavirus
Members of France's military will not march down the Champs-Elysée this year, as they usually do on Bastille Day, in order to ensure social distancing guidelines are respected. Instead, 2,000 participants and 2,500 guests will take part in a ceremony held at Place de la Concorde, where the traditional parade usually ends. "The ceremony will include an aerial parade and will honor the participation of our armies in the fight against COVID-19," an Elysée official said in reference to troops setting up field hospitals and other efforts to manage the pandemic. The ceremony will also pay homage to healthcare workers as well as other professions that took part in the fight against coronavirus. More than 29,000 people have died from coronavirus in France. The country is gradually lifting its lockdown and life is slowly getting back to normal with social distancing rules still in place.
Coronavirus and the EU: Lockdown tensions between Italy and its neighbours rise as countries only reopen borders to some tourists
Northern neighbour Austria has said it would end border controls for all countries except for Italy
Italy calls for reciprocity from EU partners as borders reopen over Covid-19 lockdown
As Italy reopens its borders for EU citizens, Italian government has called on partners to do the same as reciprocity measures, after the whole continent decided lockdown measures to curb the coronavirus pandemic. French ministers were the first officials to make the trip across the Alps, as FRANCE 24’s Rome correspondents report
Coronavirus: Executive to confirm if lockdown easing can proceed
The Stormont Executive is to meet later to confirm whether some planned changes to Northern Ireland's lockdown can start on Monday. Vulnerable people advised to shield should be allowed outdoors from 8 June,
When Will the TV and Film Industry Emerge From Lockdown?
And yet, there are more eyeballs on screens than ever before, because the coronavirus has dramatically accelerated the shift that had already begun toward streaming devices as the viewing point of choice for consumers. In our new pandemic world, when so many people are stuck at home, streaming devices have become our main source of information, education and entertainment. So even as revenue from movie theaters has dried up, cash is flowing fast and furiously to the streamers. And deal-making in Hollywood, says entertainment attorney Tara Kole, has continued apace.
Study reveals slow easing of lockdowns might be good for global economy - ​Easier rebound
The study found that stricter lockdowns imposed earlier - such as the two-month lockdown imposed in China - are economically preferable to more moderate lockdowns imposed for four or six months, as the duration of lockdown matters more to economies than their severity. This is because businesses can absorb the shock of a brief lockdown better by relying on reserves and because shorter lockdowns cause less disruption to regional and global supply chains. This is the first peer-reviewed study to comprehensively assess potential global supply chain effects of Covid-19 lockdowns, modelling the impact of lockdowns on 140 countries, including countries not directly affected by Covid-19.
Breaking down Wuhan's blueprint for lifting COVID-19 lockdown
From outbreak to lockdown and reopening, the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus emerged late last year, has been through all stages of dealing with the health crisis. Specific characteristics allowed Wuhan to impose some of the tightest restrictions in the world on its 11 million residents until the outbreak was under control. Much of the city, the capital of Hubei province, is organised in residential compounds of apartment blocks, outdoor spaces, convenience stores and other basic services. The compounds are often walled off from the street and gated.
Uzbekistan eases COVID-19 lockdown restrictions
Uzbekistan has further lifted lockdown restrictions, allowing restaurants, clothing markets and kindergartens to reopen starting from June 15 depending on the sanitary and epidemiological situation of COVID-19, the country's Special Republican Commission to Combat Coronavirus said Thursday. Uzbekistan has divided the country into red, yellow and green zones depending on the level of quarantine severity. It also allowed resumption of domestic tourism, educational, recreational and sports centers in green zones starting from Friday. In green zones, people are also allowed to hold weddings and other ceremonies with no more than 30 relatives, and inter-regional bus commuting will reopen.
China reopens to more foreign airlines after coronavirus lockdown
China will allow more foreign airlines to resume flights to its cities, in a move that comes a day after the US government threatened to bar Chinese carriers if the country did not reopen to American passenger aircraft. Foreign airlines that were at present unable to send international flights into China would now be able to fly to one city each week from Monday next week, the country’s transport regulator said on Thursday. The Civil Aviation Administration of China did not refer to specific countries. But it said the measures would apply to any foreign airlines not included in a plan unveiled in March that rationed international flights. That plan barred US carriers from mainland China.
The Latest: New Zealand on verge of eradicating virus
New Zealand is on the verge of eradicating the virus from its shores after it notched a 13th straight day with no reported new infections. Only a single person in the nation of 5 million people is known to still have the virus, and that person is not hospitalized. However, it remains likely that the country will import new cases once it reopens its borders, and officials say their aim remains to stamp out new infections as they arise. The country has already lifted many of its virus restrictions and could remove most of those that remain, including limiting crowd sizes, next week. Just over 1,500 people have contracted the virus during the outbreak, including 22 who died.
June 15 to mark New Zealand's COVID-19 elimination day
New Zealand finally has a date for when it will achieve its lofty goal of elimination of COVID-19: June 15. After weeks of urging by public health experts and government wrangling, the Ministry of Health has settled on a definition of elimination of the deadly virus. New Zealand has followed an elimination policy path since the arrival of the virus, eschewing lighter approaches by countries including Australia.
Will Warm Weather Slow Spread of Novel Coronavirus?
We’ll obviously have to wait a few months to get the data. But for now, many researchers have their doubts that the COVID-19 pandemic will enter a needed summertime lull. Among them are some experts on infectious disease transmission and climate modeling, who ran a series of sophisticated computer simulations of how the virus will likely spread over the coming months [1]. This research team found that humans’ current lack of immunity to SARS-CoV-2—not the weather—will likely be a primary factor driving the continued, rapid spread of the novel coronavirus this summer and into the fall. These sobering predictions, published recently in the journal Science, come from studies led by Rachel Baker and Bryan Grenfell at Princeton Environmental Institute, Princeton, NJ. The Grenfell lab has long studied the dynamics of infectious illnesses, including seasonal influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Last year, they published one of the first studies to look at how our warming climate might influence those dynamics in the coming years
Partisan Exits
Coronavirus: Would a new Irish government lift lockdown faster?
Hotels in the Republic of Ireland are currently due to reopen on 20 July, the same day as those in Northern Ireland, but hotel bars will remain closed. Reopening hotels, subject to social distancing rules, is part of phase four of the Irish government's five-stage plan to relax Covid-19 restrictions. The plan was announced on 1 May. It says hotels can reopen "initially on a limited occupancy basis (or number of people per square metre), and then increasing over time". Restaurants and cafes in the Republic of Ireland are currently due to reopen on 29 June as part of phase three of the recovery plan but "must comply with social distancing and strict cleaning protocols".
Containment zones would have checked COVID with less harm to economy
The government’s subsequent attempts to justify the imposition of the lockdown by contending that in the absence of such lockdown, the COVID-19 cases would have grown exponentially, is both misleading and poses a false binary.
'Draconian lockdown' exposed us to the 'worst of both worlds': Rajiv Bajaj to Rahul Gandhi
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that the lockdown in India is the only kind in the world 'where the disease is increasing after we are opening up.'
Rajiv Bajaj says India should have followed Japan and Korea⁠— calls the lockdown ‘draconian’
In a conversation with Rahul Gandhi, the Bajaj Auto MD, Rajiv Bajaj, said that India ended up having the worst of both the Covid-19 and the economy as the effect of a draconian lockdown. "The lockdown flattened the wrong curve, that being the GDP curve."
Continued Lockdown
Coronavirus: 'I can't get lifeline cancer trial in lockdown'
Because of lockdown, most trials have stopped taking on new patients or have halted completely. "If you've got advanced cancer it's often a lifeline for you," said Lesley. "You're basically taking away a life or death option." What began as a persistent cough for Lesley was eventually diagnosed as metastatic breast cancer. Scans showed the disease had spread to her lungs, liver and bones, and later to her brain. By October 2015, she was told to put her affairs in order as she had exhausted most forms of NHS treatment. However after being accepted for the last place on a drugs trial, Lesley said she felt a difference almost immediately.
Chris Whitty says lockdown 'is not over' as he sets out UK's multi-layered defence against coronavirus
The UK's chief medical officer has explained the UK's 'multi-layered' response to coronavirus and why the lockdown is not over yet. Professor Chris Whitty said the nation will have to 'live alongside' COVID-19 for many months, which is why we need a 'multi-layered defence' against it. He went on to set out a number of measures that will remain in place to explain that the lockdown is 'not over', despite an easing in England last Monday (June 1). Some schools have reopened, many non-essential traders have been allowed to open and up to six people can now meet outdoors.
Coronavirus lockdown halts surge in UK slavery
The number of suspected modern slavery victims identified in the UK has fallen for the first time in four years due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Home Office has said. Officials said the decrease “is understood to have been influenced by the effects of restrictions implemented in the UK as part of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic”. The UK’s national referral mechanism (NRM), the official system through which victims of modern slavery are identified and provided with support, received 2,871 referrals of potential victims in the first quarter of 2020 – a 14% fall from the previous three months. This is the first quarter-on-quarter fall since 2016.
Queues for Spain's food banks swell as coronavirus cases dwindle
Queues for food banks have swollen in Spain as the coronavirus crisis has left hundreds of thousands of people teetering on the edge of poverty. the coronavirus lockdown, now in its 13th week, made it impossible for Mediavilla to get a job, and with a second newborn boy in tow, she and her mother Alicia rely on the help of a group of parishioners called Maria Auxiliadora, or Mary of Succour. The volunteers, who are associated to Santa Anna church in central Barcelona, gathered funds to provide Mediavilla’s son Julian with special glasses. They also helped her land a job as an admnistrative assistant in a laboratory, which she began last week.
Chile prolongs Santiago lockdown as daily virus deaths rise
Chile's government said Wednesday it was prolonging a three-week shutdown of the country's capital Santiago as the COVID-19 death toll reached a new daily record. Health officials said 87 people had died in the previous 24 hours, and nearly 5,000 new infections were recorded. The South American copper-exporting nation has now registered more than 113,000 infections and 1,275 deaths. Health Minister Jaime Manalich confirmed the government was extending a three-week lockdown of the capital for another week.
Covid-19: Concern about emotional impact of lockdown in care homes
The commissioner for older people has expressed concern about the lack of social contact in care homes. Eddie Lynch told the Stormont health committee that he was worried about the emotional impact on residents.
Lockdown prompts surge in Germans seeking help for alcoholism
When the coronavirus lockdown started in Germany, all Marco wanted to do was get drunk. The musician from Berlin, 38, was downing roughly a bottle of gin every night. “I was like, why not, come on! It’s quarantine, let’s party!” But as the days went on, he started to see things differently. “Because of quarantine you’re forced to look at yourself and realize, wait a second, this is not OK. This is actually a problem, this is addiction.” Marco — speaking on condition of anonymity — reached out to a local Alcoholics Anonymous group and made the decision to get sober after 20 years of drinking heavily almost every night
Met feared 'serious disorder' if lockdown rules were enforced at racism protest
Britain’s top officer has said police feared there would be violence if they tried to intervene with protesters in London angered by the brutal death of George Floyd at the hands of an American officer. Demonstrators at protests in London on Sunday and Tuesday flouted coronavirus lockdown rules on how many people can gather together. But the Metropolitan police commissioner, Cressida Dick, said that with feelings running high over the police brutality case in the US and because of the effects of the coronavirus lockdown, officers feared serious and violent disorder if they stepped in to enforce lockdown rules.
South Africa's lockdown: a great start, but then a misreading of how society works
When South Africa’s Covid-19 lockdown began on 27 March, opposition from some quarters was inevitable. What was not expected was that the most vehement resistance would be aimed at a ban on selling tobacco products. Only around 1 in 5 South Africans smoke and previous government limits on smoking were not controversial. The ban generated such heat because, when the government began relaxing the lockdown, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that tobacco sales would be allowed. Then, at the apparent prompting of the minister responsible for lockdown rules, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the decision was reversed; the ban is still in force.
Scientific Viewpoint
Cleaner air during UK lockdown relieves asthma for millions
Two million people in the UK with respiratory conditions such as asthma have experienced reduced symptoms during the coronavirus lockdown, according to the British Lung Foundation. A survey by the charity of 14,000 people with lung conditions found one in six had noticed improvements in their health. Among children, the figure was higher, with one in five parents saying their child’s condition had been alleviated. Asthma sufferers in particular reported benefits, with one in four noting relief.
After coronavirus, another hidden respiratory disease lurks in the buildings we left behind
Global outbreaks of coronavirus have forced the closing of schools, gyms, offices and other buildings at a scale never seen before. Now, as countries start reopening after lockdown, those previously abandoned buildings could have become a breeding ground for another infection – Legionnaires’ disease. Legionnaires’ disease is caused by inhaling water droplets that contain the Legionella pneumophilia bacteria. It’s quite rare, but the long periods of inactivity in buildings during lockdown greatly increases the risk of outbreaks.
Brazil to test vaccine as Europe emerges from lockdown
The UN body also said it would resume trials of hydroxychloroquine a week after halting them following a study in The Lancet medical journal that suggested the drug could harm COVID-19 patients. The U-turn came after The Lancet itself cast doubt on the study after it was widely contested by scientists. Another study published in the New England Journal of Medicine Wednesday suggested that taking hydroxychloroquine shortly after being exposed to COVID-19 does not help prevent infection in a statistically meaningful way, however. The WHO has been holding clinical trials to find a treatment for COVID-19, which has killed more than 382,000 people and wrought vast economic damage since emerging in China late last year.
4 ways Australia’s coronavirus response was a triumph, and 4 ways it fell short
Australia’s response to the coronavirus outbreak so far has been among the most successful in the world. From a peak of more than 400 cases a day, the rate has fallen to fewer than 20 new cases a day.
Four ways Australia's coronavirus response was a triumph – and four ways it could have done better
Australia’s response to the coronavirus outbreak so far has been among the most successful in the world. From a peak of more than 400 cases a day, the rate has fallen to fewer than 20 new cases a day. Australia has avoided the worst of the pandemic, at least for now. Comparable (albeit larger and more densely populated) countries, such as the UK and US, are mourning many thousands of lives lost and are still struggling to bring the pandemic under control. The reasons for Australia’s success story are complex, and success may yet be temporary, but four factors have been important.
Face coverings to be made compulsory on public transport in England
Passengers face fines from 15 June for flouting new rule to stop spread of coronavirus
Vaccines group raises $8.8 billion for immunisation plans for poor countries
The GAVI vaccines alliance said on Thursday it had raised $8.8 billion from international donor governments, companies and philanthropic foundations to fund its immunisation programmes through to 2025. At a funding summit in London, GAVI said the pledges had exceeded its target of $7.4 billion, and would “help immunise 300 million more children in the world’s poorest countries against diseases like measles, polio and diphtheria”. The vaccines alliance also said it had raised $567 million towards an initial goal of $2 billion from international donors for an Advanced Market Commitment to buy future COVID-19 vaccines for poor countries.
AstraZeneca lays out plans to produce 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine
The drug giant AstraZeneca said Thursday that it has found partners to manufacture and distribute 2 billion doses of the experimental Covid-19 vaccine created by Oxford University, inking a series of deals with non-government organizations and another manufacturer. AstraZeneca said that CEPI and Gavi, public-private partnerships aimed at developing and distributing vaccines, would spend $750 million to manufacture and make available 300 million doses of the vaccine to distribute by the end of the year — assuming the vaccine is shown to be safe and effective. It also reached a licensing agreement with SII, previously known as the Serum Institute of India, to supply 1 billion doses of the vaccine to low- and middle-income countries. SII committed to provide 400 million doses before the end of 2020.
COVID-19 Can Last for Several Months
The disease’s “long-haulers” have endured relentless waves of debilitating symptoms—and disbelief from doctors and friends.
Remdesivir: Ebola drug endorsed as a coronavirus treatment in Australia
The antiviral drug remdesivir has been recommended for the treatment of Covid-19 patients in Australia, by the national taskforce bringing together the country’s peak health groups. The National Covid-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce said Australian doctors treating adults with moderate, severe or critical Covid-19 should consider using the drug to aid recovery times. The antiviral drug is the first medication to be recommended as a considered treatment for patients treated in hospital after contracting coronavirus.
COVID-19 lockdowns worsen childhood obesity, study finds: Research finds obese kids under lockdown in Italy ate more junk food, watched more TV at expense of physical activity
Lockdowns implemented across the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic have negatively impacted diet, sleep and physical activity among children with obesity, according to new research.
Coronavirus Resurgence
South Korea confirms 39 more coronavirus cases
South Korea has confirmed 39 additional cases of the coronavirus, all but three of them reported in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area as authorities are struggling to contain a resurgence of the COVID-19. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the newly reported cases raised the country’s total to 11,629 with 273 deaths. The agency says 10,499 of them have recovered while 857 remains in treatment for the virus. South Korea faces a spike in new infections in recent weeks, mostly in the Seoul metropolitan area where about half of the country’s 51 million people reside. Those cases have been linked to nightlife establishments, church gatherings and a large-scale e-commerce warehouse.