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UK declares NCoV ‘imminent threat’ to public health

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London, Feb 10 : The UK government on Monday declared the deadly coronavirus a “serious and imminent threat” to public health, as it announced new powers to fight its spread.

Under the measures, people can now be forcibly quarantined and will not be free to leave, the BBC reported.

In a statement, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Arrowe Park Hospital, on the Wirral, and Kents Hill Park conference centre, in Milton Keynes, have been designated as “isolation” facilities in the UK.

It comes after the Foreign Office chartered two repatriation flights out of the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak.

On Sunday, around 200 British and foreign nationals evacuated on the UK’s final rescue flight arrived at RAF Brize Norton.

Evacuees were taken to Kents Hill Park for 14 days of quarantine. Britons evacuated on an earlier flight from Wuhan are currently in quarantine at Arrowe Park Hospital.

A Department of Health spokesman said on Monday: “We are strengthening our regulations so we can keep individuals in supported isolation for their own safety and if public health professionals consider they may be at risk of spreading the virus to other members of the public.

“This measure will rightly make it easier for health professionals to help keep people safe across the country.”

There have been more than 40,000 cases of the virus globally, mostly in China, with four so far in the UK.

The total number of deaths in China is now 908.

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Russia registers Covid vax, Putin’s daughter in test group

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Russian President Vladimir Putin

In what could alter the course of the Covid-19 pandemic that is still creating mayhem across the world, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday said the country has registered the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine that “forms stable cell and antibody immunity”.

According to a report in the Tass news agency, Putin said that the vaccine was registered on Tuesday morning.”As far as I know, this morning for the first time in the world a vaccine against the novel coronavirus infection was registered,” Putin was quoted as saying as he opened a meeting with the state officials.

Putin informed that one of his daughters tested the Russian Covid-19 vaccine on herself and she is feeling well. The Russian President has two daughters — Maria who was born in 1985 and Katerina who was born in 1986.

“I know this very well, because one of my daughters got vaccinated, so in this sense, she took part in testing,” Putin said.After the second shot, she had a slight fever again, and then everything was fine. She is feeling well and has a high [antibody] count,” the President informed.

Putin pointed out that “some people did not have any symptoms at all” after getting a vaccine shot. The overall number of global coronavirus cases has surpassed the 20 million-mark, while the worldwide death toll has increased to over 734,000, according to data released by the Johns Hopkins University.

Russia’s coronavirus cases rose by 4,945 to 897,599 in the past 24 hours. The new daily cases dropped below the 5,000-mark for the first time since April 23.

Russia said on Monday that it was going ahead with its plan to register the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine this week before it starts mass vaccination in October, despite safety concerns raised from several quarters, including the World Health Organization (WHO).

Russia is the fourth worst-hit nation by the pandemic after the US, Brazil and India. The vaccine has been jointly developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian Defence Ministry.

On August 3, a “final medical examination” of participants in clinical trials of the vaccine took place at the Burdenko Main Military Clinical Hospital, the Russian Defence Ministry had earlier said in a statement.

The results clearly showed that all volunteers had a clear immune response resulting from vaccination, the ministry said, adding that there were no side effects or abnormalities in the work of the volunteers.

Of the six Covid-19 vaccine candidates that have reached the Phase 3 level according to the WHO, three are from China and the other three include the ones developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, Moderna, and one jointly developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.

Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko had earlier said that clinical trials of the vaccine developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Healthcare Ministry were over.

Russia is facing international scepticism due to its fast approach in developing the vaccine.

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Daily mouthwash may cut Covid transmission risk: Study

The findings showed that three mouthwashes reduced it to such an extent that no virus could be detected after an exposure time of 30 seconds.

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London, Aug 11 : In the fight against the novel Coronavirus, a team of German scientists has claimed that Sars-Cov-2 viruses can be “inactivated” using commercially available mouthwashes.

According to the study, published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, high viral loads can be detected in the oral cavity and throat of some Covid-19 patients.

The use of mouthwashes that are effective against Sars-Cov-2 could, thus, help to reduce the viral load and possibly the risk of Coronavirus transmission over a short term, the researchers said.

“Gargling with mouthwash cannot inhibit the production of viruses in the cells, but could reduce the viral load in the short term where the greatest potential for infection comes from, namely in the oral cavity and throat,” said study researcher Toni Meister from Ruhr-Universitat Bochum in Germany.

For the findings, the research team tested eight types of mouthwashes with different ingredients that are available in pharmacies or drugstores in Germany.

They mixed each mouthwash with virus particles and an interfering substance, which was intended to recreate the effect of saliva in the mouth.

The mixture was then shaken for 30 seconds to simulate the effect of gargling.

The researchers then used Vero E6 cells, which are particularly receptive to Sars-Cov-2, to determine the virus titer.

In order to assess the efficacy of the mouthwashes, the team also treated the virus suspensions with cell culture medium instead of the mouthwash before adding them to the cell culture.

All of the tested preparations reduced the initial virus titer, the study said.

The findings showed that three mouthwashes reduced it to such an extent that no virus could be detected after an exposure time of 30 seconds.

However, the authors maintained that mouthwashes are not suitable for treating Covid-19 but could reduce the viral load in the short term where the greatest potential for infection comes from.

“Whether this effect is confirmed in clinical practice and how long it lasts must be investigated in further studies,” the study authors wrote.

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97,000 US children test positive for Covid-19 in last two weeks of July, a sharp rise: Study

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The Washington Post overnight have had more details of this study by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, which claims that More than 97,000 U.S. children tested positive for the coronavirus in the last two weeks of July, more than a quarter of the total number of children diagnosed nationwide since March, according to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

There’s a slight caveat here, that the word children can conjure up images of the very young, but the data is from 49 states, many of whom defined children as younger than 19 years old.

It remains a small fraction of the number of cases recorded nationally – at around 8.8%. A reminder that it was Donald Trump’s false claim that kids were ‘almost immune’ from the illness that prompted Twitter to temporarily ban the president’s re-election campaign account and Facebook to take down one of his posts.

Chelsea Janes reports for the Post that:

The jump in pediatric cases comes as children are entering close quarters for the first time in months as some schools open their doors to students again. For months, teachers, parents and politicians have argued over whether the risks that the novel coronavirus pose to children outweigh the benefits of in-person learning.
Many school districts have chosen to operate entirely remotely until case numbers drop. Some have opted for hybrid learning systems in which children attend school in-person only a few days a week to limit crowding. But even schools with measures limiting crowds have suffered outbreaks already.

The push to reopen schools has sparked demonstrations by educators, students and parents. 70% of the new cases in children were reported in southern and western states. Pediatric deaths from Covid-19 remain mercifully rare, accounting for just 1% of the national total.

You can read more here: Washington Post – Coronavirus cases in children rise sharply in the second half of July, with more than 97,000 infections

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