The World Health Organization walked back comments made Monday when one of its top scientists said transmission of the coronavirus by people who never developed symptoms is “very rare,” which drew skepticism from physicians and others across social media.
That admission sent shock waves throughout the world, much of which has been locked down for months for fear of spreading the virus by people who show no signs of illness.
Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, said Tuesday that asymptomatic spread is a “really complex question” and much is still unknown. “We don’t actually have that answer yet,” she said.
“I was responding to a question at the press conference. I wasn’t stating a policy of WHO or anything like that. I was just trying to articulate what we know,” she said on a live Q&A streamed across multiple social media platforms. “And in that, I used the phrase ‘very rare,’ and I think that that’s misunderstanding to state that asymptomatic transmission globally is very rare. I was referring to a small subset of studies.”
Doctors have urged the government to make face coverings compulsory in all places where social distancing is not possible, not just on public transport.
All passengers on public transport in England must wear a covering from 15 June, the government said on Thursday.
But the British Medical Association, the doctors’ union, said masks “should not be restricted” to transport.
It also said the risk from coronavirus would be “much less” if the rule started now, not later in the month.
Face coverings – which can be homemade – must be worn on buses, trams, trains, coaches, aircraft and ferries.
Passengers will not be allowed to travel without one, and if they do not wear one they could be fined.
Very young children, disabled people and those with breathing difficulties will be exempt.
Members of a government behavioural science advisory group have expressed concern that the revelations that Dominic Cummings appears to have broken the UK’s coronavirus restrictions and the government’s subsequent handling of the crisis has undermined the government’s authority and could encourage people to break the rules themselves
Prof Michael Levitt, of Stanford University, believes the modelling which ushered in the UK’s lockdown exaggerated the potential coronavirus death toll by “10 or 12 times”
A UK coronavirus vaccine trial now only has a 50% chance of success, a leading scientist has warned.
Professor Adrian Hill, whose team at Oxford University are racing to develop a jab, had originally hoped their efforts would be proved successful by September.
But the researchers have suffered a setback because as coronavirus infections plummet in the UK, they cannot be sure their inoculation works, the Telegraph reports.
Lockdown caused more deaths than it saved, a Nobel laureate scientist said on Saturday, as he predicted the UK would emerge from Covid-19 within weeks.
Michael Levitt, a Stanford University professor who correctly predicted the initial trajectory of the pandemic, sent messages to Professor Neil Ferguson in March telling the influential government advisor he had over-estimated the potential death toll by “10 or 12 times”.
Hundreds of doctors wrote a letter to President Trump this week asking him to end the coronavirus shutdown, saying it is a “mass casualty incident” spurring deaths from other factors such as substance abuse and suicides.
The letter, shared online, estimates about 150,000 Americans each month that the shutdown remains in place would have had new cancer detected, millions more are missing dental exams that could discover problems linked to heart disease, while others are experiencing domestic violence like child abuse.
It appears we went into lockdown based on the modelling of one man – and his team. Neil Ferguson from Imperial College London. His workings predicted that, if nothing were done to prevent the spread of COVID, half a million people would die in the UK.
His prediction shaped the response of many countries around the world, definitely in the UK and the US. So, where did this half a million-figure come from? On a related note, the two million figure for the US is something which makes no sense at all.
This is because the US has five times the population of the UK. Thus, everything else being equal, in the US number should be two point five million. Even I can multiply 500,000 by five.
Getting back to Ferguson, and his model. So far, he has refused to release the data underpinning his model. Which, considering the impact it has had, is completely unacceptable. I think I would have given him a Chinese burn, at the very least, to get him to show me how he worked things out.
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The top US infectious diseases doctor has warned senators that the coronavirus will spread further if the country opens up too soon.
Dr Anthony Fauci said if federal guidelines to reopen were not followed, “little spikes” would become outbreaks.
He also said the real US death toll is probably higher than the official figure of 80,000.
His message is at odds with the upbeat tone of President Donald Trump who is keen to get the economy going again.
Dr Fauci was speaking via video to a Republican-led committee of the US Senate.
He was referring to the White House’s Opening Up America Again plan, which includes three 14-day phases that states are urged to consider implementing as they allow schools and businesses to reopen.
In a powerful interview by “Elevate” with Dr. Judy Mikovits, the esteemed virologist and former employee of Dr. Anthony Fauci tells all in a breathtaking and horrifying interview that with shock and horrify you.