(LONDON) #Coronavirus Report: Dominic Cummings tried to bypass the usual awarding process and fast-track a £530,000 government grant at the start of the pandemic, leaked emails suggest #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – June.23: Further emails show civil servants had concerns about the timeframe and whether it was in line with the rules: The government said due diligence was followed in awarding the grant:

#CoronavirusNewsDesk – Dominic Cummings tried to bypass rules over £530k grant, emails suggest in an email, the PM’s ex-top aide told civil servants to “immediately” issue the cash with “no procurement, no lawyers, no meetings, no delay” and in a series of emails detailing discussions of the grant requested by Our World in Data were leaked to the BBC’s File on 4, the Guardian and Source Material.

Mr Cummings, who left his role in No 10 in November 2020, has been contacted for comment.

By File on 4
BBC News

Dominic Cummings
The PM’s former top aide told staff to “immediately” issue a £530,000 grant with “no procurement”

“We take these checks extremely seriously to ensure our contracts deliver results and value for money,” the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.

The grant was eventually issued to the project: Our World in Data, a research project run by a charitable organisation with academics at Oxford University, in four instalments from summer 2020:

They begin with an email sent by the founder of the project, Max Roser, to William Warr, the prime minister’s health adviser, who had requested details on the funding it needed.

The organisation said it had to retain key members of staff who were generating data on the pandemic. It also wanted to hire extra contractors and needed financial support for the rising costs of servers and technical infrastructure. 

The request was passed to Health Secretary Matt Hancock and a minute after he received the email he emailed Matthew Gould, the CEO of NHSX – the unit tasked with the NHS’ digital transformation – saying he supported the grant.

‘No delay’

An email from Mr Cummings to Mr Gould followed a couple of hours later, saying: “Someone please ensure that they have the 530k within 24 hours from now and report back to me it’s been sent.

“No procurement, no lawyers, no meetings, no delay please – just send immediately.”

Further emails suggested this caused disquiet among the civil servants because of the request to pay out the grant money much faster than was normal.

The DHSC’s internal guidance, seen by the BBC, says that directly awarding grants without any form of competition is discouraged. But ministers – such as Mr Hancock – have wide-ranging powers to do so.

The guidance is also clear that all grants should be subject to a series of timely checks and criteria. It says in some instances grants of more than £100,000 should be referred to an advice panel in the Cabinet Office.

These safeguards are in place to ensure value for money for taxpayers and to guard against corruption.

PA MediaHealth Secretary Matt Hancock gave his support to the grant

The following day, Mr Gould said his team could meet the request through the DHSC “and have the money in place by tomorrow”, but it would mean “waiving the normal grant-giving process”.

“I don’t want to do anything untoward, but given the secretary of state’s and Dom Cumming’s strong steer I’d really welcome your help/advice/green light,” he wrote to a colleague. 

‘Processes weren’t followed’

A more junior civil servant responded saying the team needed to make the appropriate checks “to avoid leaving the accounting officer overly exposed”.

Then, more than 24 hours later, the same civil servant suggested possible solutions, setting out the minimum criteria that needed to be met if the grant was to be paid.

But he wrote: “Matthew [Gould], I need your help please to progress this to a point where there is enough air cover to justify a decision to proceed.”

Peter Smith, a former government commercial director and former senior adviser to the National Audit Office, said the “air cover” reference “means you’re doing something that… is going to go down badly with the media or the public so you need to have some backup, some explanation”.

The civil servant’s final email said: “I’m sorry I couldn’t just ‘make this happen’, but I share your concern about doing anything untoward.”

In fact, the organisation that had been looking for the money then put the brakes on the application. Our World in Data asked for more time to understand the implications of accepting government money and to consult its trustees. 

It went on to receive the grant in instalments and the project said it complied with its own procedures.

Max Roser, the founder and director of the project, told the BBC a full grant application was submitted on 25 March 2020 and this was followed by an agreement dated 30 April 2020.

“I have no way to know the internal processes inside the government,” he said.

The project said its work had added value in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, with its testing and vaccination data web pages receiving about 65 million visitors.

Whitehall source told the BBC they had been instructed not to share information about the grant discussion: In my view that’s because it is so damaging to the NHSX: Dominic Cummings, Matt Hancock… everyone is just being very blatant that due process, and procedures, are being thrown out the window,” the source said.Speaking after being shown the leaked emails, Mr Smith said it was “quite clear that processes weren’t followed”, saying: “The attempt was to do it so quickly, clearly there was no time to do a proper due diligence.”He said senior people had put colleagues in the DHSC “into a very difficult position”.”So I think it was unethical, immoral, really, and yes, it was an abuse of power.”

Jolyon Maugham QC, director of the Good Law Project, said: “The government guidance talks about extra safeguards for sums above £100,000. This was well above £100,000.”There was no process that I can see before the decision was made to award this very substantial sum.”

The DHSC said: “Officials carried out due diligence and followed appropriate processes before this grant was awarded.”Every contract agreed by the government with partners has proper due diligence carried out on it.”Mr Warr has been contacted for comment.Reporting by Anna Meisel, Paul Connolly and Emma Harrison.

#AceHealthDesk report ……..Published: Jun.23: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts from Twitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#covid19, #dhsc, #govuk, #london

(LONDON) JUST IN: #Coronavirus Report: The British government has been accused of aiming to covertly implement a national ID programme, after it partnered with a company that has advocated turning vaccine passports into a multi-purpose document #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – June.22: Entrust, an IT firm that bills itself as a “global leader in identities, payments, and data protection,” was awarded a contract by the Department of Health and Social Care last month to work on the UK’s Covid-19 vaccine certificate system.

#CoronavirusNewsDesk – ‘UK govt gave contract to IT firm that is ‘openly plotting’ to turn vaccine passports into a national ID card, privacy group warns but opening up society after #COVID19 will come at a cost’

21 Jun, 2021 10:35  / Updated 2 hours ago

UK govt gave contract to IT firm that is ‘openly plotting’ to turn vaccine passports into a national ID card, privacy group warns

The company was given £250,000 ($346,000) to provide cloud-computing services for the government’s Covid-status certification scheme, iNews reported. The contract is due to expire in March 2022, but the government has the option of extending it for an additional year.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock stated last month that proof of vaccination will be “necessary” for international travel, and in recent weeks reports have emerged claiming that the UK government may require the document of people attending sporting events or other large gatherings. 

Judging from Entrust’s own stance on the issue, it’s possible that the government may have even more ambitious plans for the digital certificate. In a February blog post published on the company’s website, Jann Markey, Entrust’s product marketing director, argued that the advent of the vaccine passports could be used as an opportunity to roll out a national ID as part of “the infrastructure of the new normal.” Vaccine passports, voter ID and anti-protest laws are marching the UK into authoritarianism, but why should I bother resisting?

“Consider a national ID strategy: With the infrastructure and investment necessary to ensure a viable vaccine passport, why not redeploy this effort into a national citizen ID programme that can be used for multiple purposes including the secure delivery of government services, secure cross-border travel, and documentation of vaccination,” the blog, which explores vaccine passports in the “post-pandemic world,” states. 

Notably, the US-based company has already helped Albania, Ghana and Malaysia deploy national ID systems, iNews said. 

Entrust’s partnership with the UK government has already raised alarm among civil liberties organisations and lawmakers. 

Tory MP David Davis, a member of the anti-lockdown Covid Recovery Group, demanded an explanation from the government. He told iNews that it was “extraordinary” that the health department could ink deals with such companies without first getting permission from Parliament, adding that it was particularly worrying that a contract could be given to a firm “with this sinister attitude to surveillance of citizens.”

Former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith echoed similar displeasure, claiming that the contract contradicts the “stated position of the government” and should be nixed. Biopolitical surveillance regimes’: Vaccine passports reveal the growing authoritarian tendencies of Western governments

Big Brother Watch, a privacy and civil liberties group, said the Entrust contract represents an attempt by the government to issue ID cards “by the backdoor.”  

“The fact that the government has done a deal with Entrust, a company which is openly plotting a route from vaccine passports to digital identity cards, only underlines what a serious threat Covid passes would be to our civil liberties and our privacy,” the organisation’s head of research, Jake Hurfurt, warned. 

A health department spokesperson insisted that the NHS app used to certify vaccination status will not be used as a national ID system, describing the scheme as a “simple and secure means” to allow for international travel. Entrust declined to comment when contacted by iNews.

#AceHealthDesk report ………Published: Jun.22: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#it, #london, #passport, #u-k, #vaccine

(WASHINGTON) FDA REPORT: Approval of the first drug for ‘Alzheimer’s Disease’ in 20yrs that shows substantial evidence that it reducesamyloid beta plaques in the brain” and that this “is reasonably likely to predict important benefits to patients #AceHealthDesk report

#AceNewsReport – June.09: Aducanumab targets the underlying cause of Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, rather than its symptoms:

US approves first new Alzheimer’s drug in 20 years: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said there was “substantial evidence that aducanumab reduces amyloid beta plaques in the brain” and that this “is reasonably likely to predict important benefits to patients”

Aldo Ceresa, who took part in the trial, says he’s “heading in the right direction”

Charities have welcomed the news of a new therapy for the condition.

But scientists are divided over its potential impact because of uncertainty over the trial results.

At least 100,000 people in the UK with a mild form of the disease could be suitable for the drug if it were to be approved by the UK regulator. 

Controversial trial

In March 2019, late-stage international trials of aducanumab, involving about 3,000 patients, were halted when analysis showed the drug, given as a monthly infusion, was not better at slowing the deterioration of memory and thinking problems than a dummy drug.

But later that year, the US manufacturer Biogen analysed more data and concluded the drug did work, as long as it was given in higher doses. The company also said it significantly slowed cognitive decline.

Aducanumab targets amyloid, a protein that forms abnormal clumps in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s that can damage cells and trigger dementia, including:

  • memory and thinking problems
  • communication issues 
  • confusion

‘Heading in right direction’

Aldo was one of just a handful of UK patients in the trial

Aldo Ceresa, who took part in the trial, first noticed problems differentiating between left and right 10 years ago.

After his diagnosis, the 68-year-old, who is originally from Glasgow and now lives in Oxfordshire, close to his family, had to give up his job as a surgeon. 

Mr Ceresa took aducanumab for two years before the trial was halted – and then had to wait almost as long for another trial, at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, in London, to begin.

“I’m quite happy to volunteer,” he says.

“I really, really enjoy this journey that I’m going through – and obviously the benefits I’m getting from it, which I’m very, very grateful for.”

He is convinced the drug has helped him.

“I feel like I’m not quite as confused. Although it’s still there, it’s not quite as bad. 

“And I’m just getting that bit more confident now.”

Mr Ceresa says his family has noticed improvements too.

“Before, if I was going to get something, I couldn’t remember, you know, where to find things in the kitchen. 

“That has become less of a problem,” he says.

“I haven’t caught up to the level that I was before – but I’m heading in the right direction.”Aldo’s brain was scanned regularly to see the effects of aducanumab

More than 30 million people around the world are thought to have Alzheimer’s, with most aged over 65.

For around 500,000 people affected in the UK, those eligible for aducanumab will be mostly in their 60s or 70s and at an early stage of the disease.

‘Very cautious celebration’

We need to keep our feet on the ground. 

This is not a miracle drug, nor a cure for Alzheimer’s but it is the first treatment which tackles the destructive mechanism in the brain that drives the destruction of neurons.

And that makes this a landmark moment.

But scientific opinion both here and the United States is divided. While some have welcomed approval, calling it a milestone for millions living with Alzheimer’s, others believe the drug will only have marginal benefits. 

Alzheimer’s charities say they will be pressing for an early decision in the UK – but that could take another year.

Lastly, we don’t know how much aducanumab will cost – it could be tens of thousands of pounds per patient each year. And if approved, access will be limited to those who’ve had specialist brain scans to confirm their diagnosis.

Despite all the caveats, this is moment for very cautious celebration. 

Prof Bart De Strooper, director of the UK Dementia Research Institute, said the decision to approve aducanumab marked “a hugely significant milestone” in the search for treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.

In the past decade, more than 100 potential Alzheimer’s treatments have flopped. 

But while he hoped it would prove a turning point for millions of people with the condition, he said there were “still many barriers to overcome”. 

Prof John Hardy, professor of neuroscience at University College London, said: “We have to be clear that, at best, this is a drug with marginal benefit which will help only very carefully selected patients.”

‘Grave error’

And Prof Robert Howard, professor of old age psychiatry at UCL, went further calling the drug’s approval “a grave error” that could derail the ongoing search for meaningful dementia treatments “for a decade”. 

He said the FDA had ignored data from the trial which showed no slowing of decline in cognition or function.

However, Alzheimer’s Society said the drug was “promising” but added it was “just the beginning of the road to new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease”.

Another charity, Alzheimer’s Research UK, said it had written to the Health Secretary Matt Hancock asking the government to prioritise the fast-track approval process for the drug in the UK.

Chief executive Hilary Evans, said: “People with dementia and their families have been waiting far too long for life-changing new treatments: It is now essential that regulatory authorities assess the evidence to decide whether they believe the drug is safe and effective for use in the UK.” Although many doctors are doubtful of aducanumab’s benefits, its US approval could be a huge boost to dementia research, which is traditionally underfunded compared with cancer or heart disease.Aldo has a magnetic-resonance-imaging (MRI) scan

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

#AceHealthdesk report ….Published: Jun.09: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#alzheimers-disease, #fda, #ucl, #washington

(LONDON) #Coronavirus Report: Faith in #COVID19 vaccines is highest in the UK, with nearly nine in 10 saying they trust the jabs, a survey of people in 15 countries suggests with Japan the lowest #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – June.04: Israel, where 83% expressed faith in vaccines, came next. Japan reported the lowest levels of trust at 47%.

#CoronavirusNewsDesk – UK ‘most trusting’ country on #COVID19 vaccines with only 47% trusting Japan according to Imperial College London team, who have tracked people’s attitudes to the vaccinations since November, say overall trust has climbed.

8 hours ago

Reuters

But they say there is still work to be done to boost confidence in vaccines:

The survey, in collaboration with YouGov, involved more than 68,000 people. 

Safety concerns

It found – in countries where vaccines were not yet widely available – the most common reason for not having a jab was not being eligible for one. 

The UK and Israel are among the nations which have administered the highest number of vaccine doses to date. 

In the UK, where 87% of survey respondents reported they had faith in the jab, more than half of all adults have now had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine.

In contrast, Japan’s vaccination drive started late and was hampered by supply shortages and organisational hurdles.

Follow current COVID-19 rules where you live: EnglandScotlandWalesand Northern Ireland.

To prevent new COVID variants from entering the UK, you should not travel to amber or red list countries.

To understand the risks in a country follow FCDO Travel Advice.

When you return, follow the rules to enter the UK from abroad (except from Ireland).

Travel to Japan is subject to entry restrictions

  • New entry to Japan by foreign nationals from the majority of countries, including the UK, is currently not permitted. Foreign residents of Japan returning to Japan may re-enter, unless they have visited these countries within the past 14 days
  • All those entering Japan currently need to provide written evidence of a negative COVID-19 test conducted within the 72 hours before your flight departure time. Arrivals from most countries will further be required to undergo a COVID-19 test on arrival and to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival at a designated location (such as a hotel or your own home) even if the test result is negative. If you are coming from the UK, from 7 June you will also be required to spend the first 6 days of that in self-isolation in a government-provided hotel, with further COVID-19 tests on the third and sixth days. All arrivals are also asked to sign a pledge to abide by quarantine rules, with penalties for those who fail to comply with its requirements
  • Japan’s visa waiver system for anyone travelling on a British passport remains suspended

See Entry Requirements for more information before you plan to travel.

Japan is on the amber list for entering England. Check what you must do to enter England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Check our advice on foreign travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and sign up for email alerts for this travel advice.

If you’re planning travel to Japan, find out what you need to know about coronavirus there in the Coronavirus section.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) guidance on foreign travel insurance.

For information about COVID-19 vaccines, see the Coronavirus page.

330,000 British nationals visited Japan in 2018. Most visits are trouble free.

Follow the British Embassy Tokyo on Facebook and Twitter for updates and more information about Japan.

There’s a continuous risk of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis throughout Japan. Latest warnings and advisories are published on the Japan Meteorological Agency website. See Natural disasters

On 21 April 2018, North Korea announced a halt to nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile testing. However, the level of tension on the Korean peninsula can change with little notice, and there is a risk of a further increase in regional tensions which may affect Japan. You should keep in touch with news broadcasts, follow the advice of the local authorities (Cabinet Secretariat Civil Protection Portal Site) and keep up to date with this travel advice.

For updates on political events on the Korean peninsula which could affect travellers to Japan, you should read FCDO travel advice for South Korea.

The Japanese authorities continue to maintain some exclusion zones around the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear facility. Travel through these zones on some designated trunk roads is allowed. Follow local signs and instructions while travelling in this area. See Fukushima

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Japan, attacks can not be ruled out. See Terrorism

To contact the emergency services call 110 (police) or 119 (fire and ambulance). Calls are free of charge from any phone, including pay phones.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

Other concerns highlighted in the survey revolved around potential side-effects and safety. 

It also suggests confidence in health authorities varied:

  • People in the UK had the highest level of confidence that health authorities would provide them with an effective vaccine, at 70%
  • In South Korea, the figure was 42% 

Sarah Jones, one of the project leaders at Imperial College London, said she was encouraged that trust was increasing. 

“However, our findings show that there is still much work to be done to reassure the public of the safety and effectiveness of coronavirus vaccines,” she said.

“We hope that sharing the concerns people have raised will spur timely and targeted responses from governments that will inform and educate the public about the importance of vaccination.”

Melanie Leis, who co-led the project, said: “From our data we can see that people trust different Covid-19 vaccines to different extents.

“This is an opportunity for leaders to respond and help boost confidence in all approved vaccine brands, enabling vaccination programmes to reach more people and more effectively curb the pandemic.”

#AceHealthDesk report ….Published: Jun.04: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#london, #vaccines

(LONDON) #Coronavirus Roadmap Report: There are five things you need to know about the #COVID19 #pandemic after opening up yesterday morning #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – May.18: We’ll have another update for you this evening:

#CoronvirusNewsDesk#COVID19 PM’s caution as lockdown rules ease and foreign holidays return

1. PM’s caution as lockdown rules ease

“We must take this next step with a heavy dose of caution”, says Prime Minister Boris Johnson as coronavirus lockdown restrictions ease in England, Wales and most of Scotland. Indoor eating and drinking at pubs, restaurants and cafes is back, and the ban on foreign travel has also been lifted and replaced with new rules. Millions of people will hug loved ones again and be able to socialise indoors. The rules vary in each of the nations but most people will be able to do more than they have been able to do for months. Northern Ireland will review its lockdown rules on Wednesday.

Sue and Alan Rickett hug their grandchildren Ben (left) and Isaac (right) for the first time in over a year, in anticipation of lockdown restrictions being eased in England.

2. Thousands set to travel overseas as holiday rules ease

As the ban on foreign holidays is lifted, holidaymakers are expecting to jet off for some early summer sun. Travellers will now be able to visit 12 destinations on the government’s green list, including Portugal, without isolating on their return. But the vast majority of tourist destinations remain on the amber and red lists, meaning travellers would have to quarantine when they got back. This has hit demand for holidays, with online travel agent Thomas Cook saying the number of people booking to travel abroad is “still small”.

3. India’s Covid crisis hits vaccine-sharing scheme

The international scheme to ensure equal access to Covid-19 vaccines is 140 million doses short because of India’s continuing Covid crisis. The Serum Institute of India, the largest single supplier to the Covax scheme, has made none of its planned shipments since exports were suspended in March. The UN children’s agency Unicef buys and distributes vaccines for Covax. It is urging leaders of G7 nations and EU states to share their doses.

4. YouTube launches vaccination ad campaign

YouTube has launched a multimillion-pound advertising campaign to encourage young people in the UK to get vaccinated against Covid-19. It said the partnership with the NHS would involve ads on buses, billboards, bus stops and YouTube, with the video-sharing site paying for them.

5. Post-lockdown socialising without breaking the bank

If just the thought of checking your bank balance is making you feel a little bit queasy right now then you’re not alone. Planning loads of nights out felt like a good idea when we were in lockdown, but it seems like we’ve forgotten they’re actually really expensive. Maddie Ainsworth tells Radio 1 Newsbeat “I just can’t believe how much I’m spending, I spent like £100 sat outside one bar”.

#AceHealthDesk report ………Published: May.18: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#coronavirusnewsdesk, #london, #roadmap

(HONG KONG) HKU REPORT: The University announced on Friday that its research team had found a mutant strain of #COVID19 at the early phase of the pandemic with the characteristics of an attenuated vaccine, bringing a major breakthrough in the further development of related vaccines #AceHealthDesk report

#AceNewsReport – May.16: According to the researchers, findings of the study also suggested that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is a cross-species event of infection from animals

#CoronavirusNewsDesk – HKU finds mutant strain that may shed light on virus vaccine: ‘In the study with hamsters, researchers from the State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases of the university found that the mutant strain of SARS-CoV-2 with no basic amino acid motif is almost non-pathogenic to hamsters’ These findings have recently been published in the science journal Nature Communications.

HKU REPORT:

This handout illustration image obtained Feb 27, 2020 courtesy of the National Institutes of Health shows a transmission electron microscopic image that shows SARS-CoV-2. (HANDOUT / NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH / AFP)

HK-led study finds hepatitis C drug as potent COVID-19 treatment

Hamsters that have been infected with the mutant virus can completely resist the re-infection of the wild-type virus, suggesting that this non-pathogenic mutant strain of the SARS-CoV-2 has the characteristics of an attenuated vaccine, the study revealed.

The research also found that in human cell culture, the virus with the mutant strain has a reproductive rate even higher than that of the prototype virus, which is of great significance for the preparation of inactivated vaccines from the new coronavirus.

HKU shares quick COVID-19 testing technology with the world

According to the researchers, findings of the study also suggested that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is a cross-species event of infection from animals.

Chen Honglin, a professor from the university’s department of microbiology and also a member of the research team, said the study indicated that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is still in the process of adapting to humans, and more mutant strains will occur in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“At the same time, the mutant virus that loses the basic amino acid of the spike protein has low pathogenicity and higher reproductive ability in cultured cells than the original wild-type virus, and is an ideal strain for use in the production of inactivated vaccine,” Chen said.

#AceHealthDesk report ……Published: May.16: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#covid19, #hku, #hong-kong, #vaccine

(SCOTLAND) #Coronavirus Report: More than one billion items of PPE have been issued by Scotland’s health service since the start of the pandemic, new figures show #AceHealthDesk report

#CoronavirusNewsDesk#Covid19 in Scotland: One billion items of PPE issued during the pandemic: The latest NHS Scotland figures show that between 1 March, 2020 and 5 May this year, more than 1.07 billion items of PPE had been issued to the NHS and care homes.

By Andrew Picken
BBC Scotland News

Monklands Hospital
Scotland Pandemic

The protective equipment has been used by the NHS and social care sector in the fight against Covid: The increased use of masks, gloves, gowns and hand sanitiser has cost the taxpayer more than £320-million:

A further £7m in new contracts to deal with the extra waste generated has also been awarded by the NHS: This includes nearly 200 million masks and more than 320 million pairs of gloves:

PPE

Getty Images: Some of the PPE items issued

  • 664.8mGloves (singles)
  • 190.9mType IIR masks
  • 187.1mAprons

Source: Scottish government

An analysis done for Audit Scotland shows that, as of early February 2020, the NHS in Scotland was distributing 96,911 items of PPE every week. Equivalent to five million a week. 

By the first week of April this haul of protective equipment had reached 24.4m – 200 times the usual amount. 

Unprecedented worldwide demand for PPE saw prices soar and, as of December 2020, the additional cost of the equipment was put at £320m by health boards and the social care sector. 

As well as the PPE, waste collection costs have gone up as a result of the pandemic.

The NHS has awarded extra contracts worth more than £7m to collect used PPE and waste generated by the vaccination and testing programme. 

This is in addition to the Scotland-wide £100m NHS waste contract run by Spanish-owned Tradebe Healthcare. 

NHS figures show that in April this year the health service dealt with 1,633 tonnes of waste, up more than 200 tonnes on the same month in 2020. 

‘Sudden increase’

A spokeswoman for NHS National Services Scotland said: “The NHS Scotland response to Covid-19 witnessed a sudden increase in both the overall volume of healthcare waste and the type of healthcare waste produced right across the UK. 

“All NHS healthcare waste producers were impacted, as well as healthcare waste service providers. 

“During 2020, Covid-19 planning anticipated further waves. Appropriate accelerated resilience measures were therefore put in place via these direct awards, in order to provide support to the existing healthcare waste infrastructure and mitigate any risks to critical front line services.”

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

#AceHealthDesk report ……Published: May.09: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#nhs, #ppe, #scotland

(PAKISTAN) #Coronavirus Report: Country has declared an eight-day partial lockdown ahead of the celebration of Eid al-Fitr next week as #COVID19 cases rise #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – May.09: Under Pakistan’s partial lockdown, all but essential shops, businesses and markets will close until 16 May: Transport in and between regions and cities is restricted to private vehicles, taxis and trains, all with reduced capacity:

#CoronavirusNewsDesk PAKISTAN: Enters partial lockdown as Eid nears as non- essential businesses and tourism sites must close and travel across the country is restricted from 8-16 May: The country is currently battling a third wave of #COVID19 infections, recording more than 140,000 cases and 3,000 deaths in April and health officials had warned restrictions could be necessary given neighbouring India’s devastating surge in cases.

Pakistan recorded an additional 4,109 positive cases on Saturday, according to the health ministry. The actual number of infections is likely to be higher because of under-reporting as fears of ‘impending doom’ as Covid threatens Pakistan

Covid map: Where are cases the highest?

16 minutes ago

A body of a Covid-19 victim is moved to an ambulance in Rawalpindi, Pakistan
April was the deadliest month of the pandemic for Pakistan, with more than 3,000 confirmed deaths

Officials are keenly aware that people could spread the virus as they gather to celebrate Eid with their families this week. On Friday Dr Faisal Sultan, who advises Prime Minister Imran Khan on health, said that the country was facing a “critical period” as the holy month of Ramadan draws to a close.

While he said there were “very initial signs of some stability” in cases, infections could again surge if measures were not taken now.

While local authorities have been imposing restrictions to try to contain the spread of the virus, Prime Minister Imran Khan has resisted another nationwide lockdown, saying last month he wanted to avoid such measures because of the harm it could cause to the economy. 

But Pakistani officials are mindful of neighbouring India’s ongoing battle with a deadly second wave. Inside India’s rundown rural hospitals unable to cope with the Covid crisis

Countries around the world are sending medicines, oxygen and ventilators by the planeload to try to ease the crisis gripping India’s health system. The country has recorded hundreds of thousands of new cases each day for weeks, and infections are now spreading from cities to the countryside. 

Asad Umar, Pakistan’s federal minister for planning, posted a series of tweets on Saturday warning that “the entire region is exploding with cases & deaths”. 

“The need for caution is clear,” he tweeted. “The danger is higher than ever and knocking at our doors.”

Thousands of people would normally travel to Pakistan from all over the world for Eid, however travel restrictions are in place for many countries.

For those travelling to Pakistan from abroad, countries have been categorised into three tiers, from those deemed low risk and not requiring a Covid-19 test, to others restricted from entering Pakistan.

It is currently on the UK’s red list, which means anyone travelling to Pakistan must pay to quarantine in a designated hotel upon returning to the UK.

#AceHealthDesk report …..Published: May.09: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#health, #pakistan

(LONDON) #Coronavirus Travel Report: Check what you need to do to travel internationally and countries included or excluded #AceHealthDesk report

#CoronavirusNewsDesk – Travel abroad: step by step: #Covid19 firms reject ‘overly cautious’ green list: The travel industry has expressed disappointment that so few countries are on the UK government’s green list for travel, describing the announcement as “overly cautious”

These are countries on GREEN LIST: Portugal, Israel. Singapore , Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Iceland, Gibraltar, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, South Georgia, Sandwich Islands, St Helena, Tristan de Cuna, & Accension Islands and the list will be reviewed every three weeks. Countries can be added or removed at short notice.

There’s different guidance if you are travelling for business in the EU or driving professionally abroad.

All Steps Below:

  1. Step1:Plan your trip, Showthis section
  2. Step2:Get your passport, visas and permits ready, Showthis section
  3. Step3:Get travel insurance and check if you need vaccinations or inoculations, Showthis section
  4. Step4:Travel safely and check for travel disruption, Showthis section
  5. Step5:Going through border control, Showthis section
  6. Step6:When you are abroad, Showthis section
  7. Step7:Return to the UK, Showthis section
  8. andWhen you arrive in the UK , Show

25 minutes ago

Beachgoers crowd Praia da Duquesa in Cascais, Portugal
Portugal is one of just four European countries on the green list

The traffic light system means travel abroad from 17 May will not be illegal.

The 12 green list countries, which include Portugal, Gibraltar and Israel, will not require people to quarantine on return to England.

Firms said leaving the US off the list would risk the UK “falling behind”.

Travel to amber or red lists countries is not advised.

The change in travel rules applies to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have not said when they might ease their strict travel rules.

Only four of the countries on the green list are in Europe, and Portugal is the only large holiday destination from the continent on the list. 

Israel and Singapore are also included, but Australia and New Zealand – which are approved as safe by the UK government – are not currently allowing in visitors from abroad.

France, Greece, Italy and Spain, normally hugely popular holiday destinations for UK travellers, are not included on the safe list.

Andrew Flintham, managing director of holiday firm TUI, said: “While we were expecting to see just a handful of destinations on the green list, this is an overly cautious start.”

Airlines UK, representing UK carriers, described it as “a missed opportunity” and “a reopening of air travel in name only” which left the UK “at risk of falling behind”.

And Easyjet chief executive Johan Lundgren said: “The decision to put so few European countries into the green tier is simply not justified by the data or the science, and is inconsistent with the approach to reopen the domestic economy.”

UK citizens risked missing out on bookings for hotels if other European tourists were permitted to travel, he added. 

Making the announcement, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the easing of restrictions was “necessarily cautious” in the light of the threat from new variants of Covid-19.

He said the UK’s success in combating the virus was not matched in many other countries.

However he said the list would be reviewed every three weeks by the Joint Biosecurity Centre – the team set up last year to monitor the threat from the virus.

Some firms had hoped the rapid roll out of the vaccination programme in the US would allow summer travel to resume there more quickly.

“There is no reason for the US to be absent from the green list. This overly cautious approach fails to reap the benefits of the UK’s successful vaccination programme,” a spokesperson for Virgin Atlantic – one of the airlines which relies heavily on UK-US traffic – said.

“A transatlantic travel corridor is vital to deliver a much-needed boost to economic recovery,” the spokesperson added.

But British Airways predicted that more countries would be included before the summer.

“What’s clear is that with high levels of vaccination in the UK being matched by other countries, we should see more destinations going ‘green’ before the end of June,” BA chief executive Sean Doyle said.

“We cannot stress more greatly that the UK urgently needs travel between it and other low-risk countries like the US, to re-start the economy, support devastated industries and reunite loved ones.”

‘A happy moment’

Meanwhile, Ryanair, Easyjet, Tui and British Airways all said they would be increasing their flights to Portugal and other destinations on the green list. 

Tourist-dependent firms in Portugal were quick to welcome the news.

“No-one enjoys a holiday more than the British people,” said Miguel Campino, owner of Maria’s Restaurant – a beach venue on Praia do Garrão Poente.

“They bring a colourful atmosphere to all the restaurants, bars and hotels. This is a happy moment for everyone, for Portugal, for England… it’s great news.””No-one enjoys a holiday more”: A restaurant owner in Portugal is excited to welcome back tourists from England

João Fernandes, president of the Algarve Tourism Bureau, also said the region was ready to welcome UK visitors back.

“We are obviously delighted with the news,” he said. “It’s a recognition of the remarkable work Portugal has done in reducing levels of Covid to be able to restart the economy safely.”

It comes as ministers continue talks with Uefa about holding the Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester City in the UK, after host nation Turkey was added to England’s travel red list.

From 04:00 BST on Wednesday 12 May, travellers from Turkey, as well as those from the Maldives and Nepal, will have to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days on their return.

Environment Secretary George Eustice told BBC Breakfast that the UK had offered to host the match but that it would “ultimately be a decision for Uefa”.

However, the UK consumer body Which? warned that practical difficulties over taking a holiday abroad would remain.

“Travellers will have an expectation that these new government rules should protect their health and their money, yet serious issues around lengthy airport queues and a broken testing system remain unresolved,” Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said.

Although international travel has been heavily restricted since January, returning travellers have experienced long delays at border control when arriving at Heathrow, sometimes waiting for up to six hours. 

Private firms offering Covid tests to returning travellers have been criticised for failing to deliver tests and results on time. 

“Travellers should also be aware that there is still some financial risk involved in booking travel plans, depending on how you book and which company you choose,” said Mr Boland.

“In a summer when further disruption can be expected, travel companies must be honest about the risks holidaymakers may be taking on. Crucially, holidaymakers also need to do their research before booking, as choosing the right provider could be the difference between getting hundreds of pounds back or just getting the run-round.”

A further 15 deaths in the UK within 28 days of a positive test were reported on Friday, bringing the total to 127,598. There were 2,490 new cases.

More than 35 million first doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been given and more than 16.7 million second doses.

Which countries are on the green list for foreign holidays?

18 hours ago

Getty Images

From 17 May, people in England will be allowed to take holidays abroad in a small number of countries.

Portugal and Israel are among the permitted destinations on the government’s green list, which tourists will be able to visit without having to quarantine on their return.

What’s been announced?

Countries are in three categories – green, amber and red. Green countries have the fewest rules.

Their status depends partly on the number of Covid-19 cases in each country and the success of their vaccine rollout.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have not yet announced plans to restart foreign holidays.

Which countries are holidaymakers allowed to visit?The government advises that not all the green list destinations are currently open to UK tourists and it is travellers’ responsibility to check. For example, travel to mainland Portugal and the Azores is currently for essential purposes only. This could change, as in March the Portuguese government said it hoped to welcome UK tourists in May.The 12 countries and territories on the green list are:

What are the rules for visiting a green country?

Take a private Covid test in their holiday destination before returning home – this can be a lateral flow or PCR testFill in a passenger locator form online before leaving their destinationTake a private PCR test on or before day two of their arrival in EnglandThere will be no need to quarantine when back home, or take additional tests, unless the post-arrival test is positive.The cost of private PCR tests vary between suppliers, but the transport secretary said he hoped prices could come down to less than £50 per person. Tui Group is offering test packages for between £20 and £90.People should not be travelling to amber countries for leisure.Take a private Covid test before returning to EnglandFill in a passenger locator form online before heading homeSelf-isolate at home for 10 daysTake a private PCR test on or before day two of their arrival in England and again on day eightThey could end self-isolation early by taking an optional PCR test on day five, under the existing test to release scheme.You should not be travelling to red countries for leisure.Forty-three countries are now on the red list, including Turkey, India, Pakistan, Nepal, the Maldives, Brazil and South Africa.People can only enter the UK if they are a UK or Irish national (or UK resident).Take a private Covid test before returning to EnglandFill in a passenger locator form online before they head homeBook a 10-day hotel quarantine and testing package for each member of their group before departureTake a private PCR test on or before day two of their arrival in England and again on day eightCountries can be added to the red list at short notice. If a country’s status changes while you are visiting, you would have to follow the stricter rules on your return.What have other countries said about holidays?The European Commission has recommended allowing travel for anyone who has received the last dose of an EU-approved vaccine at least two weeks beforehand. Vaccines used in the UK would qualifyGreece’s tourism minister tweeted that tourism will reopen on 14 May, but with five security levelsPortugal and Cyprus hope to welcome UK tourists from mid MaySpain hopes to open up from JuneFrance says tourists with a French Covid-19 “health pass” (TousAntiCovid) will be allowed from 9 JuneHow can travellers prove they’ve been vaccinated?From 17 May, the main NHS app will include a feature allowing users to demonstrate they have had two vaccine doses.It’s hoped the app can be used as proof of vaccination when people holiday abroad. A letter can also be requested.The app is not the same as the NHS Covid-19 one – currently used for contact tracing.What are the vaccine passport plans for holidays? What about UK holidays?Getty ImagesHolidaying in England, Scotland and Wales is now possible, but there are still rules to follow. When, where and how can I go on holiday in the UK?What are the current international arrival rules?At the moment, people in England face a £5,000 fine for having a holiday abroad and must fill in a travel declaration form with a valid reason for their journey.You must take a Covid-19 test (in the three days before your departure). You must book and pay for two PCR tests for your UK quarantine, unless you are exempt and complete a passenger locator form.You must travel directly to your home/place you’re staying and not leave for 10 days.Only use public transport if you have no other option.Day one of quarantine is your first full 24-hour day in the UK. Rule-breaking fines are £10,000.Common Travel Area arrivals (Ireland, Channel Islands, Isle of Man) do not have to arrange tests, fill out the locator form or quarantine.There is separate advice for quarantining in:ScotlandWalesNorthern IrelandWhen would I need to quarantine in a hotel?Anyone allowed to enter England from a red list country (or who has passed through one in the previous 10 days) must quarantine for 10 full days in a managed facility, rather than a private address.You will need to agree to book and pay for a quarantine package in advance.10-day (11-night) rate for one adult in one room is £1,750Additional rate for one adult (or child over 11) is £650Children aged five to 11 are charged £325You can be fined £10,000 or jailed for not providing accurate details of countries you visited.Please upgrade your browser

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#AceHealthDesk report ………Published: May.08: 2021:

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#coronavirus, #london, #travel

(LONDON) #Coronavirus Report: Working in partnership with Bolton Council, NHS Test and Trace is providing additional testing and genomic sequencing in targeted areas within the BL3 postcodes #AceHealthDesk report

#CoronavirusNewsDesk – ‘Surge testing to be deployed in Bolton: Additional surge testing and genomic sequencing deployed where a small number of confirmed cases of variants of concern have been identified’

It comes as a small number of cases of the variant first identified in South Africa (B.1.351) and a cluster of cases of the variant first identified in India (B.1.617.2) have been identified.

This follows the classification of the variant first identified in India as a variant of concern by Public Health England, and a public health assessment showing a rise in transmission in parts of Bolton. Confirmed cases have been asked to self-isolate and their contacts have been identified.

Everybody who resides or works in these postcodes is strongly encouraged to take a COVID-19 PCR test, whether they are showing symptoms or not.

Enhanced contact tracing will be used for individuals testing positive with a variant of concern. In these instances, contact tracers will look back over an extended period in order to determine the route of transmission.

By using PCR testing, positive results can be sent for genomic sequencing at specialist laboratories, helping us to identify variant of concern cases and their spread.

People with symptoms should book a free test online or by phone so they can get tested at a testing site or have a testing kit sent to them at home. Those without symptoms should visit the local authority website for more information.

People in this area should also continue using twice-weekly rapid testingalongside the PCR test as part of surge testing.

PHE health protection teams are working with local authorities, Directors of Public Health (DsPH) and NHS Test and Trace to detect cases and limit onward spread.

Background information

More information about the reclassification of the B.1.617.2 variant

#AceHealthDesk report ………Published: May.08: 2021:

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#bolton, #covid19, #genomic, #london, #nhs

(LONDON) #Coronavirus Travel Report: Grant Shapps announces that Chelsea & Manchester City fans should not travel to Turkey as it placed on the rest list of countries in a conference from Downing Street on Friday evening #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – May.08: Chelsea and Manchester City fans should not travel to Turkey for the Champions League final, says transport secretary Grant Shapps, after he added the country to England’s travel red list:

#CoronavirusNewsDesk Champions League Final: ‘Fans should not travel to Turkey says UK Government: European Football last hosted the Champions League final in 2005, when Liverpool beat AC Milanas the biggest game in European football is set to take place in Istanbul on 29 May’

Istanbul last hosted the Champions League final in 2005, when Liverpool beat AC Milan
Champions League

Schapps said Covid-19 red list countries “should not be visited except in the most extreme circumstances”.

He added that the government was open to hosting the game in England.

Schapps said that the Football Association is in talks with Uefa about switching the game, but that it is “ultimately a decision for Uefa”.

“The UK has a successful track record of hosting matches with spectators so we are well placed to do it,” he said.

“So we are very open to it, but it is actually in the end a decision for Uefa to make. But given it is two English clubs in the final, we look forward to hearing what they have to say.”

The BBC understands that the government will look at solutions for whatever circumstances arise around the final, including exploring travel exemptions for players and club staff.

UK citizens returning from red list countries are required to quarantine at a government-approved hotel for 10 days.

If the final was to switch to England, Wembley Stadium, the most obvious host venue, is already set to host the Championship play-off final on 29 May.

#AceHealthDesk report …….Published: May.08: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#covid19, #football, #london, #travel

(LONDON) #Coronavirus Travel Report: UK travellers returning from “red list” countries are flying home via Turkey to avoid hefty hotel quarantine #AceHealthDesk

#AceHealthReport – May.06: Travellers from countries on the red list would otherwise face bills of up to £1,750-per-person to isolate in a hotel if they flew to the UK directly:

#CoronavirusNewsDesk#Covid19 Britons fly via Turkey to avoid costly quarantine: Passengers are breaking their journey in Istanbul, and staying in hotels there for a fraction of the cost they would have to pay in Britain but are they endangering other peoples lives?

21 hours ago

By Sue Mitchell
BBC News

Aerial photograph of Istanbul
Istanbul in Turkey is under a lockdown but foreign tourists are exempt

Those using the route must still quarantine at home once back in the UK.

One hotel worker in Istanbul said he had seen British nationals flying in from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh – which are all on the UK’s red list.

The BBC has also spoken to travellers returning from Pakistan to the UK, many of whom were attending weddings or funerals and say they couldn’t afford the cost of quarantining once the rules changed.

As long as they isolate at home for 10 days after returning from a non-red list country, they are not breaking the UK government’s Covid rules.

‘Red list’ countries

The UK has a so-called red list with travel heavily restricted to countries on it – usually those with high coronavirus rates.

Any British citizen arriving home who has been to a country on the list in the past 10 days must then pay to quarantine in a government-approved hotel.

The cost is £1,750 for a single adult, while a family of four with teenage children would pay £3,700. Guests are largely restricted to their rooms for the duration.

By comparison, anyone arriving in the UK from a country not on the list is told to self-isolate at home – so long as they’ve not been in a red list country in the past 10 days.

SuppliedHashir, a student, said he could not afford the cost of quarantining in the UK

One travel agent in Bradford said some of his clients who had travelled to Pakistan had been left facing a hefty bill to return home after the country was placed on UK’s banned list on 9 April. 

“I’ve got customers who can’t afford to come back,” said Ascher Khawaja of Oltrax Travel, citing UK quarantine costs. To ease the burden on his clients, Mr Khawaja says he has arranged 15-20 journeys home via Turkey. 

The country brought in a three-week lockdown last week because of rising infections – but it has not been added to the UK’s red list. “With the hotel factored in, it works out at around £600 compared to £1,700-plus,” he said. 

Anyone entering Turkey must have had a negative Covid test within 72 hours. They also must have a negative PCR test to leave the country. Foreign tourists are, however, exempt from Turkey’s current lockdown rules. 

TV and a fridge

Bradford businessman Mohammad Saad travelled to Pakistan on 23 March to attend his nephew’s funeral and had been due to fly home on 10 April – the day after Pakistan was added to the red list. 

When he couldn’t change his flights, he and his 16-year-old son flew to Turkey instead. The cost was about £450 for 10 days in Istanbul, he said.

“It’s like an extra holiday. Then you can fly back into the UK from Istanbul without any hotel quarantine.”

Hashir, a 21-year-old student returning from Pakistan, said he had met other Britons at the airport when he arrived in Istanbul. 

“There’s no way I have that money, I’m a university student,” said Hashir, referring to the cost of returning directly to the UK. He is due back in the UK on 7 May.

Zulfiqar Ali, a 45-year-old taxi driver from Leeds, travelled from Pakistan to Istanbul on 24 April. “I paid £100 for 11 nights. It’s a double bed, a TV and a fridge. It was online and food was very cheap.”

He said he was returning to the UK on 5 May.

SuppliedZulfiqar Ali paid £100 for 11 nights in Istanbul

The BBC has also spoken to staff at hotels in Istanbul. One accommodation worker in the old city said British travellers were using the country as “a bridge”.

His hotel had booked British passport holders travelling from Pakistan, Bangladesh and India – all on the red list, he said.

Turkey has since tightened its rules on people arriving from India, who must now quarantine in designated dormitories.

A manager at another hotel in the city said, through his membership of an international booking website, he could see there had been a rise in people travelling from Pakistan and India to Istanbul. 

Bradford MP Naz Shah said others had been unable to book family rooms on the UK hotel quarantine booking system. She said she was “deeply concerned” about children potentially missing school because their parents can’t afford to fly home.

The UK’s Department for Transport said people who had not been in a red list country for the past 10 days were not prevented from entering the UK – but should isolate at home.

It said the rules were aimed at stopping people – other than British residents – entering the UK from red list countries.

Additional reporting by BBC Turkish Service.

#AceHealthDesk report …Published: May.06: 2021:

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#coronavirus, #london, #travel, #turkey

LONDON) GOVUK Press Release Statement Report: India’s fight against a surge in #coronavirus cases will be reinforced by new Government support announced by the Boris Johnson today #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – May.05: This is in addition to 200 ventilators, 495 oxygen concentrators and 3 oxygen generation units the UK announced we were sending to India last week:

#CoronavirusNewsDesk – NEW DELHI: India’s fight against a surge in #COVID19 cases will be reinforced by addtional UK Government support announced by the Prime Minister today with another 1,000 ventilators will be sent from the UK’s surplus supply to Indian hospitals after the first batch arrived to help the most severe cases as figure reaches 2-million infections on Tuesday’

  • The UK will send 1,000 more ventilators for use in India’s hospitals
  • The Chief Medical Officer, Chief Scientific Adviser and NHS staff have given help and advice to their Indian counterparts
  • Fresh assistance follows medical relief sent by the UK last week and a surge in support from the British people to India
  • On Tuesday the Prime Minister will hold a virtual meeting with Indian Prime Minister Modi to discuss deepening cooperation between the UK and India

Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance have also spoken to their Indian counterparts to provide advice, insight and expertise to the Indian healthcare system as it deals with the world’s worse surge in Covid levels.

NHS England is also establishing a clinical advisory group led by Chief People Officer Prerana Isaar to support India’s Covid response. The group will work with Indian institutions such as the All India Institute of Medical Sciences to share experience on managing Covid outbreaks. The group will include researchers in public and global health, alongside nursing and other health professionals who have experience of the Indian healthcare system.

In a powerful demonstration of what Indian Prime Minister Modi has called the ‘living bridge’ between our countries, over the last week British people have come to the support of India in huge numbers. Businesses, civil society and the wider public have responded to appeals for help and launched funding drives.

This includes the British Asian Trust’s ‘Oxygen for India’ emergency appeal, which is raising funds for oxygen concentrators to be rapidly deployed to Indian hospitals. The BAT appeal, which has been personally backed by the Prince of Wales, has raised more than £1.5m in the last week.

Virgin Atlantic also flew 200 boxes of oxygen concentrators to Delhi on Saturday, after partnering with Khalsa Aid. Further cargo space will be given free of charge on 6 flights to India in the next week, in association with The Red Cross.

India has also provided support to the UK throughout the coronavirus pandemic. As the ‘pharmacy of the world’ the country has kept its borders open to supply the UK with vital medicine and PPE – exporting over 11 million face masks and 3 million packets of paracetamol over the course of 2020.

On Tuesday the Prime Minister will hold a virtual meeting with Prime Minister Modi to agree a huge range of commitments to deepen cooperation between the UK and India, including on fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

The terrible images we have seen in India in recent weeks are all the more powerful because of the close and enduring connection between the people of the UK and India.

I am deeply moved by the surge of support the British people have provided to the people of India and am pleased the UK Government has been able to play our part in providing life-saving assistance.

The UK will always be there for India in its time of need.

The world is safer and stronger because of work between the UK and India. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, for example, was developed in the UK, is currently being produced in the millions by India’s Serum Institute and will be distributed to the world at cost through COVAX.

It is those shared values of openness and the pursuit of knowledge and scientific advancement for the betterment of our societies that lie at the heart of the relationship between the UK and India. During his call with Prime Minister Modi, the Prime Minister will emphasise the importance of working with India to promote our shared values.

India is the largest democracy in the world, a fellow Commonwealth country and in June Prime Minister Modi will travel to the UK to attend the G7 Summit as a guest – one of four world leaders invited to join the Summit of leading democracies.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:

This support will help urgently meet some of India’s acute needs, particularly oxygen for patients. We are determined to help our Indian friends in their hour of need.

We need to all work together to defeat Covid-19. No one is safe until we are all safe.

Further information

A number of other UK charities are running their own appeals for India’s Covid crisis, including ActionAid, Action Against Hunger, the British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International, Christian Aid, Concern, Age UK, Islamic Relief, Oxfam, Plan UK, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision.

#AceHealthDesk report …..Published: May.05: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#govuk, #india, #london

(LONDON) GOVUK Press Release Statement Report: More than 34 million people have had at least one jab while 15 million have had both doses of the vaccine #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – May.05: Health services across the UK administered a total of 50,089,549 million vaccines between 8 December 2020 and 2 May 2021, including 34 million people with their first dose and 15 million with their second:

#CoronavirusNewsDesk – Over 50 million doses of the #COVID19 vaccine have been administered in the UK, with over a quarter of adults having received both doses’

  • Over 50 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered
  • Over 29% of all UK adults have received the strongest possible protection

Data from Public Health England (PHE)’s real-world study shows the vaccines are already having a significant impact in the UK, reducing hospitalisations and saving more than 10,000 lives in England alone by the end of March.

The government remains on track to offer a jab to all adults by the end of July.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

Now we’ve delivered the 50 millionth jab, and 29.4% of the adult population have had the strongest possible protection of 2 doses, we have hit yet another incredible milestone in our vaccination programme.

The vaccine is our way out of this pandemic and the rollout had been a huge national effort. I want to pay tribute to the heroic NHS staff and volunteers who have worked tirelessly to deliver vaccines in every corner of the United Kingdom at a phenomenal pace.

We are on track to offer a jab to all adults by the end of July but our work is not over yet. We are now inviting everyone over 40 to get their jab. I had mine last week – it’s simple and easy and I encourage everyone else who is eligible to get the jab.

Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said:

The UK’s vaccination programme has been a huge success so far with more than 50 million doses administered – a fantastic achievement.

We have one of the highest uptake rates in the world and over 15 million people have now received 2 doses and maximum protection from this dreadful virus.

Every jab brings us one step closer to putting this pandemic behind us. I urge everyone to come forward as soon as they are eligible – the vaccine is safe, effective and could save your life.

An extra 60 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine have been secured by the UK government to help support preparations for the booster COVID-19 vaccination programme from the autumn, if clinically needed.

All vaccines being used in the UK have undergone robust clinical trials and have met the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s strict standards of safety, effectiveness and quality.

Approved vaccines are available from thousands of NHS vaccine centres, GP practices and pharmacies. Around 98% of people live within 10 miles of a vaccination centre in England and vaccinations are taking place at sites including mosques, community centres and football stadiums.

Select from the following links to view:

#AceHealthDesk report ……Published: May.05: 2021;

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#government, #london, #nhs, #phe, #u-k-coronvirusnewsdesk

(BRUSSELS) #Coronavirus Report: France is the first EU member state in ‘Europe-Wide-Scheme’to begin testing a ‘Digital #COVID19 Certificate’ to allow people to travel more freely within the bloc this summer #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – May.03: The TousAntiCovid app, part of the country’s contact tracing programme, has been upgraded to store negative #COVID19 test results on travellers’ mobile phones and is being trialled on flights to Corsica and overseas départements from this week:

#CoronavirusNewsDesk – France Becomes First EU Country to Test Digital Coronavirus Vaccine Passport: ‘The trial will be extended from 29 April to include vaccination certificates, officials told Le Monde, and the system could eventually be adopted for public events such as concerts, festivals and trade fairs, although not for bars and restaurants’

Source

The French trial will form one part of a “reinforced, consolidated and standardised” Europe-wide system, the minister for digital transition, Cédric O, said, with talks already under way with several countries and airlines to ensure early recognition.

The European commissioner for justice, Didier Reynders, said last week he expected the EU’s “digital green certificate” to be operational by by 21 June. The certificate is an urgent priority for southern European member states whose economies have been devastated by the pandemic.

The scheme has deliberately not been called a “vaccine passport” to avoid discriminating against people not yet offered a shot. Brussels has stressed that while it should make travel easier, it must not become a pre-condition of free movement.

The certificate should mean travellers will not need to quarantine and will allow travellers to store on their phones evidence that they have been vaccinated, have recently tested negative, or have antibodies after recovering from Covid-19.

In France, people taking a coronavirus test from Tuesday will receive a text message or email giving them access to a state-certified online document that can be downloaded and either printed off or stored in the TousAntiCovid app.

The same will apply to those being vaccinated from next week, with a complete database of past tests and vaccinations open for download by everyone from mid-May. Antibody test results should be incorporated at a later stage.

The app will generate a secure QR code containing a range of information including the traveller’s name, the date and type of their test or vaccine, and details of the relevant doctor or laboratory, all of which can be checked against a national database.

#AceHealthDesk report …….Published: May.03: 2021:

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#brussels, #passport

(LONDON) Press Release Statement Report A new study led by PHE & NHS Test and Trace will help increase understanding of how effective daily contact testing could be for people who are contacts of positive #COVID19 cases. It is to be used as an alternative to self-isolation #AceHealthDesk report

#CoronavirusNewsDesk – Government to launch 40,000 person daily contact testing study: New study to offer daily rapid testing to contacts of positive #COVID19 cases

Daily coronavirus tests will be given to as many as 40,000 people who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, in a new government-backed study designed to gather evidence on safe alternatives to self-isolation for people who are contacts of positive COVID-19 cases.

If successful, the study – led by the UK Health Security Agency (including Public Health England and NHS Test and Trace) – could provide evidence to help to reduce the length of time people who are contacts of positive COVID-19 cases need to self-isolate, as parts of the economy and society reopen through the Roadmap. A reduction in the period of self-isolation from 10 days could help prevent individuals having to miss work, while allowing people to continue to safely participate in society.

The launch of the England-wide exercise builds on the research pilots taking place in businesses, hospitals and schools. Since December over 200 schools, 180 workplaces and over 800 individuals have participated in daily testing pilots, which have proved effective in reducing the need for people to self-isolate, while detecting cases of Covid-19 that would not have otherwise been found. Participants of pilots have been able to safely reduce the length of time spent in self-isolation upon receipt of a negative daily test result.

Currently, anybody who has been notified through NHS Test and Trace as a contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate for 10 days. For those contacts without symptoms, the new study aims to find out if people can replace the need to self-isolate by taking a test every day instead.

Close contacts of people with COVID-19 will be contacted by phone and sent 7 days’ worth of lateral flow tests (LFDs). The contacts are required to test themselves each morning for 7 days. People who test negative and develop no symptoms will be exempt from the legal duty to self-isolate that day and can leave their home to carry out essential activity.

They will need to take another test the next morning to see if they need to self-isolate that day or continue to be exempt. Individuals will still have to adhere to current restrictions, including following the rules on hands, face and space, and only those formally enrolled in the research study will be exempt from usual legal duties.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

With around 1 in 3 people not showing any symptoms, regular testing is already playing a critical role in helping us reclaim our lost freedoms – quickly spotting positive cases, helping identify new variants and squashing any outbreaks.

At every stage of this global pandemic, the British public has stepped up and made huge sacrifices – including self-isolating when they are asked. This new pilot could help shift the dial in our favour by offering a viable alternative to self-isolation for people who are contacts of positive Covid-19 cases, and one that would allow people to carry on going to work and living their lives.

Alongside the phenomenal progress of our vaccination rollout – with over 48 million vaccines administered so far – rapid testing is allowing us to get back to doing the things we all love.

When it launches on Sunday 9 May the study will offer people in England who are identified as a close contact of a positive case the opportunity to take part in the study, providing they do not have COVID-19 symptoms, are above the age of 18 and are not in full-time education.

The aim of the study is to compare two approaches to routine testing of contacts in order to determine the potential for onward transmission. The study will take the form of two randomly split groups, one of which will be given one PCR test and asked to self-isolate for the full 10-day period. The second group of participants will be given two PCR tests and 7 LFDs to test daily.

Ahead of the formal launch, the study is starting to collect evidence now on the effectiveness of daily contact testing while there is still prevalence of COVID-19 in the community.

Professor Isabel Oliver, National Infection Service Director at Public Health England and study lead, said:

We know that isolating when you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 is challenging but it remains vitally important to stop the spread of infection. This study will help to determine whether we can deploy daily testing for contacts to potentially reduce the need for self-isolation, while still ensuring that chains of transmission are stopped.

Contacts of cases are at higher risk of infection so testing them is a very effective way of preventing further spread. This study will play an important part of our evaluation of daily contact testing and how the approach to testing might evolve.

With around 1 in 3 people not showing any symptoms of COVID-19, using regular testing, along with vaccines and social-distancing, are helping us keep infection rates low as restrictions are eased. Everyone in England is now able to access free, rapid, twice-weekly testing using LFDs. Since rapid testing was introduced, 145,765 positive cases of COVID-19 have been detected that would not have otherwise been found.

Since the end of February, there has been a robust surveillance programme in place and regular testing is helping us understand the level of virus circulating in the community. This daily testing study is part of the government’s efforts to control the virus and accelerate the return to a safe, secure normality. Only those formally enrolled in the research study will be exempt from usual legal duties.

ENDS

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

#AceHealthDesk report…….Published: May.03: 2021:

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#london, #nhs, #phe, #test-trace

(NEW DELHI, India.) #Coronavirus Report: Ashish Poddar kept an ice pack on hand as he waited outside a New Delhi hospital for a black market dealer to deliver two drugs for his father, who was gasping for breath inside with #COVID19 #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealhtReport – Apr.29: Poddar had been told by the private hospital treating his father, Raj Kumar Poddar, that remdesivir, an antiviral, and tocilizumab, a drug that blunts human immune responses, were needed to keep the 68-year-old man alive:

But the drugs never arrived, the ice that was intended to keep the medicines cool melted and his father died hours later:

AP News

As Indians turn to black market, unproven drugs as virus surges: As India faces a devastating surge of new coronavirus infections overwhelming its health care system, people are taking desperate measures to try to keep loved ones alive.

In some cases they are turning to unproven medical treatments, in others to the black market for life-saving medications that are in short supply.

Like most hospitals and pharmacies in the Indian capital, stocks had run out. Desperate, Poddar turned to a dealer who promised the medicines after taking an advance of almost $1,000.

“It’s nearby” and “coming” read some of the texts that Ashish received as he waited. 

“I wish he had at least told me that he isn’t going to come. I could have searched elsewhere,” the grieving son said.

India set another global record in new virus cases Thursday with more than 379,000 new infections, putting even more pressure on the country’s overwhelmed hospitals. The country of nearly 1.4 billion people has now recorded over 18 million cases, behind only the U.S., and over 200,000 deaths — though the true number is believed to be higher.

Death is so omnipresent that burial grounds are running out of space in many cities and glowing funeral pyres blaze through the night.

The few medicines known to help treat COVID-19, such as remdesivir and steroids in hospitalized patients, are scarce. The most basic treatment —oxygen therapy — is also in short supply, leading to unnecessary deaths. Even hospital beds are scarce. There were just 14 free intensive care beds available in New Delhi, a city of 29 million people, on Thursday morning.

India’s latest treatment guidelines mirror those of the World Health Organization and the United States with a key exception: India allows mildly ill patients to be given hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin, drugs used for certain tropical diseases. 

There is little evidence they work against COVID-19, and the WHO strongly recommends against hydroxychloroquine’s use for COVID-19 of any severity and against using ivermectin except in studies.

While India is a leading producer of medicine globally, its regulation of drugs was poor even before the pandemic. And mounting despair is driving people to try anything.

Dr. Amar Jesani, a medical ethics expert, said many prescription drugs can be bought over the counter, including emergency drugs greenlit by Indian authorities for COVID-19. 

“Hospitals and doctors are so used to having a ‘magic bullet’ that will cure you,” he said, explaining the use of unproven drugs as COVID-19 cases skyrocket.

When Suman Shrivastava, 57, was infected with the virus, her doctor in Kanpur city in Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state, prescribed ivermectin. When her symptoms worsened, her doctor then asked her to take favipiravir, an antiviral, though it is unproven against COVID-19.

Her nephew, Rajat Shrivastava, said that drug was hard to find but he eventually located it in a pharmacy which was rationing its supplies by giving a single strip daily to each patient. He eventually bought extra doses from an online volunteer on Twitter and now his aunt is doing well.

Dr. Anant Bhan, who researches public health and ethics in the city of Bhopal, warns there are risks in the do-it-yourself approach. Bhan said antivirals and steroids should be taken in a hospital setting due to the risk of side effects. And drugs that are life-saving at one point could be harmful at another, depending on timing and how severe the symptoms are. 

“It’s scary because these aren’t vitamin pills,” he said.

Black market prices for remdesivir, which is produced by several Indian companies, have increased up to 20-fold to about $1,000 for a single vial, said Siddhant Sarang, a volunteer with Yuva Halla Bol, a youth activist group which is helping patients find medicines and hospital beds. 

In September, federal data showed that Indian drug makers had made over 2.4 million vials of the drug. But when cases dipped in September, companies destroyed much of their expired stock and production declined. 

India was then slow to respond to the uptick of infections in February, and production was only scaled up in March. Earlier this week, Merck announced a deal with five makers of generic drugs in India to produce molnupiravir, an experimental antiviral similar to remdesivir, which is given by IV, but in a more convenient pill form. It’s unclear when that might become available.

With demand high, black market dealers are insisting on cash upfront, said Sarang. 

“People are going to dealers with 200,000 to 300,000 rupees ($2,700-$4,000) in a suitcase,” he said.

Authorities have started cracking down on the dealers. In New Delhi, for instance, raids are being carried out on shops or people suspected of hoarding oxygen cylinders and medicines.

Despite all the desperate efforts, medicines that work remain unavailable to many. 

Virus-blocking antibody drugs, widely used elsewhere, aren’t yet authorized in India. Roche, which works with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals on marketing one such treatment, said Wednesday it is negotiating with India to speed up emergency use. American drug maker Eli Lilly, which makes a similar treatment, said it is in discussions with the Indian government. 

Stuti Bhardwaj, 37, went from one pharmacy to another in southern New Delhi this week. Her parents, both in their seventies, were not able to get tests but showed symptoms of COVID-19 and had dangerously low oxygen levels. A doctor advised a host of medications, including hydroxychloroquine.

She eventually found it and bought it, aware it was unlikely to work.

“My parents are dying,” Bhardwaj said. “I am desperate.”

___

AP Chief Medical Writer Marilynn Marchione in Milwaukee contributed to this report.

___

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.′

#AceHealthDesk report …….Published: Apr.29: 2021:

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#coronavirus, #covid19, #delhi, #india, #youtube

(SCOTLAND) #Coronavirus University of Glasgow Report: Scottish scientists have identified two cases where humans are thought to have passed #COVID19 to their cats #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Apr.27: Researchers at the University of Glasgow said both cats developed the virus after their owners:

#CoronavirusNewsDesk – Scientists find more evidence of human-to-cat transmission: They were of different breeds and lived in separate households. One displayed mild symptoms but the other had to be put down.

Scientists now want to improve understanding of whether pets can play a role in infecting humans: The cases were found as part of a screening programme of the feline population in the UK: Researchers believe both pets were infected by their owners, who had Covid-19 symptoms before the cats became unwell.

Ragdoll kitten
The first case was a four-month-old Ragdoll kitten (stock photo)

The study, published in the Veterinary Record, said there is currently no evidence of cat-to-human transmission or that cats, dogs or other domestic animals play any appreciable role in the epidemiology of human Covid infections.

But the scientists said domestic animals could potentially act as a “viral reservoir” allowing continued transmission, and said it was important to improve understanding of whether pets can play a role in infecting humans.

‘Relatively low risk’

Prof Margaret Hosie, from the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research who was lead author of the study, said: “These two cases of human-to-animal transmission, found in the feline population in the UK, demonstrate why it is important that we improve our understanding of animal Sars-CoV-2 infection.

“Currently, animal-to-human transmission represents a relatively low risk to public health in areas where human-to-human transmission remains high.

“However, as human cases decrease, the prospect of transmission among animals becomes increasingly important as a potential source of Sars-CoV-2 reintroduction to humans.”

She added: “It is therefore important to improve our understanding of whether exposed animals could play any role in transmission.”

Getty ImagesThere have been reports of cats from Covid-positive households in countries including Hong Kong, Belgium, the USA, France and Spain

Researchers at the centre worked in partnership with the Veterinary Diagnostic Service (VDS) at the university’s School of Veterinary Medicine on the study.

The first cat was a four-month-old female Ragdoll kitten from a household in which the owner developed symptoms that were consistent with Covid at the end of March 2020, although they were not tested.

The kitten was taken to a vet with breathing difficulties in April 2020 but its condition deteriorated and it later had to be put down.

Post-mortem lung samples revealed damage consistent with a viral pneumonia and there was evidence of Sars-CoV-2 infection.

Mild symptoms

The second cat was a six-year-old female Siamese from a household where one owner tested positive for Covid-19.

The cat was taken to the vet with nasal discharge and conjunctivitis, but its symptoms remained mild and the cat later recovered.

Covid-19 infection was confirmed in a retrospective survey of swabs submitted to VDS between March and July 2020 for routine pathogen testing.

Scientists believe the two cases are likely to be an underestimate of the true frequency of human-to-animal transmission, as animal testing is limited.

MRCThe study was led from the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research

Since the pandemic began there have been reports of cats from Covid-positive households in countries including Hong Kong, Belgium, the USA, France and Spain that tested positive for the virus and were presumed to be infected from their owners.

Prof James Wood, head of the Department of Veterinary Medicine at Cambridge University said: “These are important and interesting findings, adding to the body of evidence that humans can infect their pets, in some cases, as here, leading to clinical disease in the animals.

“Cats and dogs have been reported to be infected. This is a high quality study, including whole genome sequencing to confirm transmission links.”

The study was funded by the Wellcome ISSF Covid Response Fund and supported by the Medical Research Council. 

#AceHealthDesk report ………Published: Apr.27: 2021:

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#coronvirusnewsdesk, #covid19, #scotland

(TOKYO) #Coronavirus Report: Japan has declared a third #COVID19 related state of emergency for the capital and three western prefectures, just three months ahead of the Olympics which is due to start #AceNewsDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Apr.24: Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced the emergency for Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo from April 25 through May 11, as the coronavirus variant first identified in the UK spreads in the four prefectures:

#CoronavirusNewsDesk – Japan declares third COVID-19 state of emergency, just three months before Olympics as the U.K. variant spreads into Tokyo and 4-prefectures’

Posted Yesterday at 9:25pm, updated 9h ago

A Japanese man holding up a sign which says "Stay Home"
Pandemic prevention measures such as staying at home and wearing masks remain optional.(Reuters: Issei Kato)

Daily infections in Japan briefly dipped in March, but have since risen to exceed 5,000 by Wednesday: Osaka recorded 1,162 new COVID-19 cases Friday, while Tokyo had 759.

Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games will be like no other, with athletes required to wear a mask at all times unless they are eating or sleeping and organisers wanting people to show their support by only clapping, not by chanting or singing.Read more

The step is largely intended to be “short and intensive” to stop people from traveling and spreading the virus during Japan’s “Golden Week” holidays, from late April through the first week of May, Mr Suga said.

“I sincerely apologise for causing trouble for many people again,” said Mr Suga, who earlier had pledged to do his utmost to prevent a third emergency.

This latest state of emergency comes only a month after an earlier emergency ended in the Tokyo area.

Experts, municipal leaders call for stronger prevention measures

A crowded restaurant in Tokyo with people outside in face masks
Restaurants are obliged to operate with shorterned hours under the state of emergency.(ABC News: Jake Sturmer)

Japan, which has had about half a million cases and 10,000 deaths, has not enforced lockdowns.

Mask-wearing, staying home and other COVID-safe measures for the public remain non-mandatory, and experts worry if they will be followed.

The state of emergency now allows prefectural governors to issue binding orders for businesses to shorten hours or close in exchange for daily compensation of up to 200,000 yen ($2,393), while imposing fines of up to 300,000 yen ($3,589) for violators.

There are also shutdown requirements for bars, department stores, shopping centres, theme parks, theatres and museums.

Schools will stay open, but universities are asked to return to online classes.

But people are becoming impatient and less cooperative and have largely ignored the ongoing measures as infections have accelerated.

This has prompted experts and local leaders to urgently call for tougher steps. 

Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura, who on Tuesday requested the emergency, said the semi-emergency measures were not working and hospitals were overflowing with patients.

COVID-19 treatment is largely limited to a handful of public-run hospitals, while many small private institutions are not assisting or even prepared to mobilise for infectious diseases.

The Japanese Government has also been criticised for a slow vaccine rollout, with only a tiny fraction of the population innoculated.

Mr Suga said he would ensure enough vaccines are delivered to local municipalities so all of the country’s 36 million senior citizens can receive their second shots by the end of July — a month behind an earlier schedule.

Suga says IOC is the reason why the Olympics is still going ahead

A person in a white t-shirt bearing the Tokyo Olympics logo holding the golden Olympic torch
Japan has already postponed its Olympics by a year because of the pandemic.(AP: Thanassis Stavrakis)

The May 11 deadline for the latest round of emergency measures occurs ahead of an expected visit by International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, triggering speculation that the government is prioritsing the Olympic schedule over people’s health.

Mr Suga said Japan had no choice but to follow the IOC decision to hold the games.

“The IOC has the authority to decide and the IOC has already decided to hold the Tokyo Olympics,” Mr Suga said.

“We aim to hold the games while taking strong measures to protect people’s lives from the further spread of infections.”

Yoshihide Suga in a suit and tie wearing a white mask speaks infront of microphones
Mr Suga had earlier tried to prevent another state of emergency.(AP: Koji Sasahara)

Mr Suga has been reluctant to hurt the already pandemic-damaged economy and faced criticism for being slow to take virus measures.

Japan’s inoculation campaign lags behind many countries, with imported vaccines in short supply while its attempts to develop its own vaccines are still in the early stages.

Inoculations started in mid-February but progress has been slow amid shortages of vaccines and healthcare workers.

The rapid increase in patients flooding hospitals has raised concerns of a further staff shortage and delay in vaccinations.

AP

#AceHealthDesk report ………Published: Apr.24: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#coronavirus, #covid19, #health, #japan, #olympics, #tokyo

(WASHINGTON) NIH & HHS Report: Announce change to ending ‘taxpayers funding’ for experimental research that uses fetal tissue derived from aborted babies #AceHealthDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Apr.23: The National Institutes of Health (NIH), an agency under the authority of HHS, announced Friday an “Update on Changes to NIH Requirements Regarding Proposed Human Fetal Tissue Research”:

n this photo taken Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015, Cate Dyer, chief executive officer and founder of StemExpress, poses at the company's office in Placerville, Calif. StemExpress is a broker in human tissue, which includes the fetal tissue that is at the heart of the Planned Parenthood video controversy.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Biden Administration to Ramp Up Experiments Using Aborted Baby Body Parts: The administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it is reversing the Trump administration’s decision to end taxpayer funding for experimental research that uses fetal tissue derived from aborted babies.

16 Apr 2021AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

On June 5, 2019, HHS announced that NIH intramural research that requires new acquisition of human fetal tissue from elective abortions will not be conducted. Simultaneously, HHS announced new requirements for documentation and review by an Ethics Advisory Board of extramural research applications for NIH grants, cooperative agreements, and R&D contracts proposing the use of human fetal tissue obtained from elective abortions.

This notice informs the extramural research community that HHS is reversing its 2019 decision that all research applications for NIH grants and contracts proposing the use of human fetal tissue from elective abortions will be reviewed by an Ethics Advisory Board. Accordingly, HHS/NIH will not convene another NIH Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board.

The announcement refers to the fact that, in addition to ending internal research with fetal tissue from elective abortions, the Trump administration applied a rigorous ethics review protocol in considering funding for research outside of its department – both of which the Biden-Harris HHS is overturning.

According to the Hill, on Thursday Planned Parenthood ally Xavier Becerra, HHS secretary, indicated during a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing the announcement of the reversal of the Trump administration policy would be forthcoming.

“We believe that we have to do the research that it takes to make sure that we’re incorporating innovation and getting all of those types of treatments and therapies out there to the American people,” Becerra said.

The announcement comes on the heels of a letter this week from abortion industry allies and Democrat lawmakers Reps. Suzan DelBene (WA), Jan Schakowsky (IL), and Mark Pocan (WI), who urged Becerra to “immediately revoke the Trump Administration’s policies restricting fetal tissue use in biomedical research.”

“Fetal tissue is an irreplaceable resource for research that has led to numerous scientific and medical advances and contributed to the development of new therapies for many devastating diseases, including COVID-19,” the pro-abortion members of Congress wrote, adding the Trump administration’s bans on taxpayer-funded research using the body parts of aborted babies “continue to threaten scientific and medical advances.”

“The Trump Administration’s policy was politically motivated and unnecessary,” the lawmakers said, claiming as well that tissue from aborted babies is required to create treatments for “Zika, HIV, and COVID-19,” as well as “Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), spinal cord injury, and Parkinson’s disease.”

As AFP reported, in March 2020, Becerra, the former attorney general of California, organized a coalition of attorneys general from 14 other states to lift the Trump administration’s ban on taxpayer-funded fetal tissue research under the guise tissue from aborted babies would be required to develop vaccines for the coronavirus.

National pro-life researchers and leaders have long warned of the co-dependent relationship between abortion industry leaders such as Planned Parenthood and Democrat politicians.

Dr. Tara Sander Lee, senior fellow and director of life sciences at the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute, said in a statement the Biden-Harris administration’s “decision to resume experiments using the body parts of aborted children defies both the best ethics and most promising science.”

Lee asserted the claims of Democrats that tissue from the bodies of aborted babies is essential to develop essential drugs are false:

Exploiting the bodies of these young human beings is unnecessary and grotesque. Fetal tissue was not, and has never been, used for polio or any other vaccine, nor to produce or manufacture any pharmaceutical. There are superior and ethical alternatives available such as adult stem cell models being used by countless scientists worldwide to develop and produce advanced medicines treating patients now, without exploitation of any innocent life. All scientists should reject the administration’s attempts to prey on fears related to the pandemic to advance the practice of harvesting fetal tissue.

Secretary Becerra will open the floodgates to federal taxpayer funding and trafficking of baby body parts. His actions are reckless, dangerous and harmful to innocent unborn life.
7/7https://t.co/OCKNU0gnQh

— Charlotte Lozier Institute (@LozierInstitute) April 16, 2021

@HHSGov planning to open the floodgates to more baby body part experiments. Such decisions are foolish. Read more: https://t.co/bSuRInRjy3 https://t.co/MMfhOiAqen

— Dr. Tara Sander Lee (@DrTaraSanderLee) April 16, 2021

Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser also said in the statement that Biden and Harris are “working hand-in-glove with radical appointees like Xavier Becerra” and are “moving rapidly to pay back their abortion industry allies and wipe out pro-life progress made under the Trump-Pence administration.” Dannenfelser added:

From day one they have sought to expand abortion on demand, funded by taxpayers, against the will of the strong majority of Americans. Now they would force Americans to be complicit in barbaric experiments using body parts harvested from innocent children killed in abortions, with no limits of any kind.

Last week, legal watchdog organization Judicial Watch provided a nearly 600-page report that included uncovered emails of conversations between Food and Drug Administration (FDA) employees and the California-based biomedical company Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR). The emails revealed the U.S. government had been buying and trafficking “fresh” aborted baby body parts.

According to the report, the FDA purchased the body parts, which were derived from babies aborted at up to 24-weeks’ gestation, in order to engineer humanized mice and perform experimental drug research.

The Federalist reported on the Judicial Watch revelation:

Emails between FDA officials and ABR employees reveal disturbing conversations as they collaborate to buy and sell aborted fetuses. Records indicate ABR was paid $12,000 upfront per baby, some survivable out of the womb, between the gestational age of 16-24 weeks. Most purchases are for intact thymuses and livers shipped “Fresh; on wet ice.”

With the callousness of picking a cut of meat from a butcher shop, an FDA doctor requests tissue samples be procured from a baby boy, as they claim “It is strongly preferred to have a male fetus if at all possible … [but] undetermined sex or female is better than no tissue.”

“With the callousness of picking a cut of meat from a butcher shop, an FDA doctor requests tissue samples be procured from a baby boy…” Trump ended this. Will Biden try to do it again?https://t.co/MBduWHbXT7

— Stephen Billy (@Stephen__Billy) April 15, 2021

In August 2018, a report at CNSNews.com noted FDA signed a contract with ABR a month earlier and paid the company $15,900 for the fetal tissue from abortions, according to a General Services Administration contract.

The report followed several years of congressional investigation into the abortion industry’s alleged complicit relationship with biomedical companies, such as ABR, that purchase the body parts of aborted babies.

The U.S. Department of Justice was supposed to have launched an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices with regard to the sale of fetal body parts last December 2017, but further information about the investigation never materialized.

In December 2016, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley wrote in a letter to Obama-era Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former FBI director James Comey, informing them he was referring “the paid fetal tissue practices of the following organizations…to the FBI and the Department of Justice for investigation and potential prosecution.”

ABR was among the organizations named:

  • StemExpress, LLC;
  • Advanced Bioscience Resources, Inc.
  • Novogenix Laboratories, LLC
  • Planned Parenthood Mar Monte
  • Planned Parenthood Los Angeles
  • Planned Parenthood Northern California
  • Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest

Grassley said in a statement at the time.:

I don’t take lightly making a criminal referral. But, the seeming disregard for the law by these entities has been fueled by decades of utter failure by the Justice Department to enforce it. And, unless there is a renewed commitment by everyone involved against commercializing the trade in aborted fetal body parts for profit, then the problem is likely to continue.

The Center for Medical Progress (CMP), with project lead David Daleiden, conducted an undercover investigation exposing the alleged illegal practices of Planned Parenthood and its partners in the fetal tissue procurement industry.

“This type of experimental research is a gross violation of human dignity and is not where the majority of Americans want their tax dollars being spent,” said Tom McClusky, president of March for Life Action. “The government has no business creating a marketplace for aborted baby body parts.”

“The Biden administration is making it once again clear that it places no value on the inherent dignity of human life. Their actions deny the truth that every human life, born and unborn, possesses inherent dignity and deserves to be treated with respect.” @tperkins

— Family Research Council (@FRCdc) April 16, 2021

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins also said:

As expected, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, a fanatical advocate for abortion, announced the Biden administration will now force American taxpayers to pay for barbaric experiments using the body parts of aborted babies. Instead of using ethical and effective alternatives, Biden is choosing to reinstate a policy that traffics in the grizzly remains of what would have been our next generation.

“The fact is that the remains of aborted babies have not been used to create the cure of a single disease,” Perkins added. “It’s clear that the NIH under President Biden means to do the opposite of ‘follow the science.’”

#AceHealthDesk report ……….Published: Apr.23: 2021:

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