Tag Archives: covid-19

United Kingdom ‘s four nations to relax COVID-19 restrictions to save Christmas | World News

LONDON: The four nations of the United Kingdom have agreed to relax COVID-19 restrictions for Christmas to allow up to three households to meet at home for five days.

England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have taken differing approaches to handle the pandemic so far but the leaders of the devolved nations reached an agreement with London on Tuesday on rules governing the festive period.

Three households will be able to form a “Christmas bubble”, allowing them to meet up at home, places of worship and in outdoor public places but not at indoor hospitality or entertainment venues from December 23 until December 27 under the plans.

“People want to be with their loved ones and those close to them for what is the most important holiday of the year,” senior minister Michael Gove said on Tuesday.

Limits on travel will also be scrapped so that people can meet up, with an additional day on either side for those going to and from Northern Ireland.

A national lockdown in England is due to end next week after which different parts of the country will face varying restrictions as part of a tiered system announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

A decision is expected later this week on which areas will fall into the different categories.

The United Kingdom has one of the highest tolls from the coronavirus pandemic, reaching 55,838 deaths within 28 days of a positive test, according to government data published on Tuesday.

“The virus won’t take time off, so please be cautious,” said Scotland`s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. “If you can, stay at home with your own household.”

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Second Covid-19 Wave Looms, Some Parties Busy in Protests: Uddhav Thackeray

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday deprecated the conduct of “some parties” for putting the lives of people at risk by agitating on roads ahead of a second wave of COVID-19 and said they should be asked to not play politics at this crucial juncture. Speaking during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s video conference meeting with chief ministers of eight states which have reported high COVID-19 cases, Thackeray said the PM or Union Home Minister Amit Shah should convene a meeting of all parties to tell them about the seriousness of the situation.

Thackeray did not name any party, but his remarks came in the backdrop of the Maharashtra BJP staging street protests for reopening of temples in the state and on the issue of inflated electricity bills in the recent past. Thackeray informed the prime minister that the Maharashtra government has formed a task force to manage the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine once it is available.

The second wave of COVID-19 is coming and we are restoring life to normalcy with appropriate precautions as per the Centre’s instructions. “But some parties are toying with the lives of people by protesting on streets by breaking rules.

They should be given an idea of the situation and asked to not play politics, an official statement quoted Thackeray as saying at the meeting. The chief minister said on one hand his government is asking people to wear face masks and maintain social distancing, but on the other, political parties are taking to streets to play politics.

This will fail all our efforts and invite the COVID- 19 wave, he added. Thackeray said some months ago Maharashtra, the worst- hit state in the country, used to report around 24,000 COVID- 19 cases per day, but now the situation has now improved.

The number has now come down to 4,700 to 5,000 cases daily, the chief minister added. Thackeray said though the daily tally of COVID-19 patients has come down, the state government has asked the people to exercise caution and not be caught off-guard.

The chief minister said a task force has been set up to oversee the distribution and vaccination in Maharashtra and the government is in constant touch with Adar Poonawalla of Serum Institute of India to track development of its vaccine for coronavirus, the statement said quoting Thackeray. Poonawalla is the CEO of Pune-based Serum Institute of India, which has partnered with pharma major AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford for manufacturing a vaccine for COVID-19.

He said the task force will discuss aspects such as availability of the vaccine, its side effects, cost and distribution. Thackeray said his governments My Family, My Responsibility campaign has received good response from people and succeeded in containing the spread of the disease.

He said the state government has with it data of 11.92 crore people, which will help prepare a health map of the state. Thackeray said there is a need to pay attention towards health issues faced by people who recover after being infected by COVID-19.

He said 70,000 to 80,000 tests are being conducted in the state daily at present and added instructions have been issued to increase the number of RT-PCR tests, considered the most reliable tool to detect the virus. The statement said that, according to the presentation made by the Union health secretary, the number of daily patients in Maharashtra has dropped over the past two weeks and added it is placed last in the table of eight states which account for bulk of the nationwide cases.

The reduction in the number of patients is 76 per cent, it said.

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President Xi Jinping says China ready to boost global COVID-19 vaccine cooperation | World News

BEIJING: President Xi Jinping said on Saturday that China is ready to step up global COVID-19 vaccine cooperation, and called for better international coordination on policies to facilitate the movement of people.

Pharmaceutical companies and research centres around the world are working on potential COVID-19 vaccines, with large global trials of several of the candidates involving tens of thousands of participants underway. China has five home-grown candidates undergoing Phase III trials.

“China is willing to strengthen cooperation with other countries in the research and development, production, and distribution of vaccines,” Xi told the G20 Riyadh Summit via video link.

“We will fulfil our commitments, offer help and support to other developing countries, and work hard to make vaccines a public good that citizens of all countries can use and can afford,” he said.

He also called for stronger international policy coordination to establish travel “fast tracks” that would facilitate orderly global movement.

With that in mind, Xi said China would propose the creation of a mechanism by which travellers` coronavirus test results were recognised internationally through digital health codes.

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Donald Trump’s vaccine team will not brief Joe Biden administration: US senator | World News

WASHINGTON: Officials from Donald Trump’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution effort have not briefed anyone on President-elect Joe Biden`s transition team, and have no plans to do so, a Democratic US senator said after a White House call Thursday.

“Just off a conference call with Trump Administration vaccine distribution team,” Senator Chris Murphy said on Twitter. “They confirmed that they have not briefed anyone on President-elect Biden`s team and have no plans to do so. This is potentially catastrophic.”

The call, for all senators, was conducted on Thursday morning by General Gustave Perna and Dr Moncef Slaoui, leaders of “Operation Warp Speed,” the administration`s vaccine-development effort, a Congressional aide said.

Asked for comment, White House spokesman Brian Morgenstern did not address whether Biden`s team would be briefed, saying vaccine distribution plans from the Centers for Disease Control and state governors were publicly available.

“Manufacturing is well underway, and Dr. Slaoui confirmed that 20 million Americans are on track for vaccinations in December with tens of millions per month thereafter,” Morgenstern said. A wave of coronavirus infection has gripped the United States and the death toll surpassed 250,000 this week. A vaccine may be available in the coming months, but distributing it to over 300 million Americans might be complicated by special storage and transport conditions.

Biden said on Wednesday that a range of information had not been made available to his campaign, including the distribution plan for COVID-19 vaccines. His administration is scheduled to take over the U.S. government on Jan. 20, when he is inaugurated. Failure to promptly share critical COVID-19 data with Biden`s team will cause needless, deadly delays in tackling the pandemic, leaders of the U.S. medical establishment said in a letter to Trump Tuesday.

Biden`s transition team did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Emily Murphy, administrator of the General Services Administration, a generally little-known agency that keeps the U.S. government running, has so far refused to “ascertain” the winner of the Nov. 3 presidential election between Biden and Trump, a condition for releasing funds and resources to the winner.

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Despite a clear margin of victory for Biden, Trump has refused to concede, and his legal challenges are fizzling. But he has been backed up by many of his fellow Republicans, both in Washington and around the country.

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How To Name A Disease (Like COVID-19)

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We’ve changed – and standardized – the way diseases get named because the old way was often stigmatizing and confusing.

Thanks also to our Patreon patrons and our YouTube members.
To learn more, start your googling with these keywords:
Coronaviruses (CoV): a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as COVID-19.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): an infectious disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus that was discovered in 2019 and named a pandemic in 2020.
2009 H1N1 Flu: a pandemic disease that emerged in 2009 caused by the H1N1)pdm09 virus, which was different from any other influenza strain circulating at the time.
World Health Organization (WHO): an organization that directs and coordinates international health within the United Nations system.
1918 Flu: often referred to as the “Spanish flu,” the 1918 influenza pandemic was the most severe pandemic in recent history and caused by an H1N1 virus. There are competing theories for its place of origin, but public health experts agree it did not actually originate in Spain.
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS): a spectrum of conditions caused by infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It was first named “gay-related immunodeficiency disease (GRID),” despite the fact anyone, regardless of sexuality, is susceptible.
Stigma: a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.
Pandemic: the worldwide spread of a new disease.
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Credits (and Twitter handles):
Video Writer and Narrator: Julián Gustavo Gómez (@thejuliangomez)
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Ballantyne, C. “Will Egypt’s plans to kill pigs protect it from swine—sorry, H1N1 flu.” Sci Am News Blog (2009).

World Health Organization. “World now at the start of 2009 influenza pandemic.” (2009).

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The 2009 H1N1 pandemic: summary highlights, April 2009-April 2010.” Official Online Article Published by the Centers for Disease Control 4 (2010).

Selyukh, A. “Pork industry still reeling from swine flu.” ABC News (2009).

World Health Organization. “Naming the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the virus that causes it” (2020).

World Health Organization. “World Health Organization Best Practices for the Naming of New Human Infectious Diseases” (2015).


What If It Takes Two Years for a COVID-19 Vaccine?

What If It Takes Two Years for a COVID-19 Vaccine?

COVID-19 has affected the entire world. It’s infected millions, and killed hundreds of thousands. Not only that, but it’s also changed the way we live, work, and interact with others. But when will things finally get back to normal? For some people, that might not be until a vaccine is developed, which could take up to two years, or more. What will your life be like until then? What would this vaccine do to your body? And when will things start to go back to normal?

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IMPORTANT: This video is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have seen on this channel. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, the ambulance or the police immediately. Underknown does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned in this video. Reliance on any information provided by Underknown is solely at your own risk.

What If is a mini-documentary web series that takes you on an epic journey through hypothetical worlds and possibilities. Join us on an imaginary adventure through time, space and chance while we (hopefully) boil down complex subjects in a fun and entertaining way.

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covid-19 in children

Does your child have COVID-19? See now what the symptoms are!

Although there are notable exceptions, most evidence suggests that infection with the new type of coronavirus is less dangerous for children than for adults and infants. In other words, while COVID-19 tends to be less severe in older children, this protection does not extend to babies, who may be as vulnerable to this disease as adults.

Knowing the symptoms of COVID-19 in children, regardless of their age, can help parents identify warning signals and seek optimal care and early treatment.

This article shows the symptoms that can be caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus infection in children so that it can be detected as soon as possible. Also, some potential complications are presented, but also when the visit to the doctor is necessary.

CoVID-19 symptomatology in children

Health experts are investigating how SARS-CoV-2 virus infection affects children. So far it has been established that the risk of severe illness is lower in children than in adults, but this should not be a reason to let your guard down.

In addition, current evidence suggests most children with COVID-19, regardless of age, will have mild symptoms similar to those of a cold. However, there may be cases in which the little ones may be asymptomatic or may develop manifestations that will indicate admission to intensive care units.

Although most adults report fever in the case of COVID-19 infection, this manifestation is less common among children. In addition to fever, children may experience coughing, breathing difficulties, rhinorrhea and sore throat. However, these symptoms are also rarer in children than in adults. In addition, there may also be loss of taste and smell, as well as digestive symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhoea or nausea.

Children with COVID-19 may also develop muscle or head pain, as well as behavioural changes. Thus, it can be observed that the little ones will cry more often and will have an altered mood. Anxiety can be present, especially if the child understands that COVID-19 infection can be dangerous.

Regarding the symptomatology of COVID-19 in babies, it is also characterized by the manifestations of an infection of the upper respiratory tract. Thus, coughing, fever, sore throat, rhinorrhea and sneezing may also be present in this case. Also, muscle aches can cause frequent crying and sleep disturbances. In addition, pain and fever can cause digestive problems such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pain.

The mood and the usual behaviors can be changed. Loss of olfactory sense cannot be expressed by the little ones verbally but can be manifested by changing eating habits. Mild pneumonia can be revealed by dry cough, tachycardia and dyspnoea. Babies who develop more serious symptoms usually do so within a week of mild symptoms.

Severe manifestations are cyanosis, tachycardia, oxygen saturation less than 92%, severe organic insufficiency. The severity of these symptoms can progress rapidly, so careful monitoring is essential.

Potential complications

Children with comorbidities, e.g. lung disease, heart disease or immunodepression, are more likely to develop serious complications associated with infection with the new type of coronavirus. Despite these complications, specialists suggest that the risk of death due to COVID-19 in children is very low.

Among the potential complications that can occur in children are organ failure, severe dyspnea and the need for artificial ventilation, sepsis, heart failure and coagulation disorders. Skin rashes, stomach pain, hematemesis and diarrhoea may also be present. Emergency medical assistance is necessary when children are confused and have a fever, sore throat, dyspnoea, cyanosis, lipotimia and feeling of pressure or chest pain.

When is a doctor’s visit indicated?

Most children will not develop symptoms or they will be mild to moderate. Thus, most of the time, children will not end up being admitted or tested for COVID-19.

However, parents should notify their doctor if their children show symptoms characteristic of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection. Also, the doctor should be informed when the child seems very ill, when he develops rashes, when the symptoms improve and then worsen again, etc. It is important that the doctor is notified by phone, as physical contact raises the risks. Any symptom associated with COVID-19 infection should be a sign of alarm and must come with even stricter social isolation.

Children should be urgently consulted when they have breathing problems, indicating respiratory distress. Some examples of such symptoms are represented by dyspnoea, cyanosis and tachypnea. Confusion, lethargy and feeling of pressure or pain in the upper chest are other symptoms that should be sent to the doctor.

In the case of babies, parents need to be much more careful, as they cannot express the difficulties they encounter. Thus, any signs of respiratory distress or alteration of organ functions, e.g. arrhythmias and anuria, should be observed. Skin rashes, changes in consciousness, excessive sleepiness, confusion, lethargic behavior and inability to eat are other manifestations that should point to seeking medical help.


At the moment there are no known drugs to cure people with COVID-19, and current treatments are aimed more at relieving symptoms. Research is in full swing to obtain curative treatment, but it is estimated that a fairly long period of time is still needed. However, most children will heal and have a good evolution, especially if certain indications are followed.

For example, children should be encouraged to rest and should consume plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. They should also be checked constantly and the doctor should be informed of their condition. Depending on the evolution, doctors may prescribe medicines that reduce fever or pain or relieve unpleasant symptoms.

Although most children have a favorable evolution, it should be known that there may be serious cases. Thus, doctors may indicate the administration of oxygen, intravenous fluids or steroid-based drugs. In very rare cases, children may require fans to breathe properly.


Most children who develop COVID-19 will make light forms. However, COVID-19 is a potentially dangerous condition for babies, although most will recover without serious complications. Thus, this period can be even more difficult for parents and can cause anxiety and worry.

Surveillance of young children is very important, and any symptoms characteristic of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection should point to the discussion with the doctor. It can properly assess the situation and provide the best advice.