Tag: covid-19

Spain sees new COVID-19 cases double

As Spain saw new COVID-19 cases inch up for the second day in a row on Wednesday, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said Spain’s economy is the world’s most susceptible to damage from a second wave of the pandemic.

On Tuesday, Spanish doctors diagnosed 167 COVID-19 cases, according to the Ministry of Health data published Wednesday. On Monday 84 cases were detected, and on Sunday the number hit a record low of 48 cases.

The number of new contagions still remains a fraction of what it was at its peak of nearly 10,000 per day in late March.

So far, a total of 242,280 people have been confirmed to have contracted the virus in Spain. Of this group, 27,136 people have died, according to official statistics which have not been effectively updated for weeks.

Besides the loss of life and costs to the healthcare system, new economic projections released by the OECD give Spain even more reason to worry about a second outbreak.

The organization suggests that Spain would be the most economically affected economy in the world if a second coronavirus wave were to occur. It estimates that country’s GDP would plummet by 14.4%.

According to the report, fall in domestic demand due to job destruction and paralyzed activity would be a key driver of the historic slump. It also predicts that tourism losses this year will weigh heavily on the country’s economy.

Current projections by the Bank of Spain suggest the country’s GDP will drop this year by a minimum of 9%.

And while the coronavirus’s national spread has seemingly come under control for now, once Spain opens its borders to international travel on July 1, containing the pandemic could become more complicated.

Globally, the virus is spreading more rapidly now than earlier this spring. Last Sunday saw the confirmation of over 136,000 COVID-19 cases, the highest daily number since the pandemic began.

Meanwhile, Spain’s government has also put into law the post-lockdown scenario. To help prevent a second wave, face masks, hygiene measures and physical distance will remain mandatory until an effective treatment or vaccine is discovered.

The Guardian: Which UK companies are cutting jobs in the coronavirus crisis?

The coronavirus lockdown has virtually halted international travel and tourism, hitting airlines and other travel companies, aerospace and auto manufacturers and oil companies hard.

As these businesses adjust to dramatically reduced revenue projections, job losses are starting to mount alarmingly. More than 40,000 redundancies have already been announced across these sectors, with more than 10,000 likely to be in the UK.


The jet-engine manufacturer has confirmed that 3,000 job cuts, of a planned 9,000 worldwide, will be made in the UK. Rolls-Royce will make the first round of redundancies through a voluntary programme, with about 1,500 posts being lost at its headquarters in Derby, as well as 700 redundancies in Inchinnan, near Glasgow, another 200 at its Barnoldswick site in Lancashire, and 175 in Solihull, Warwickshire.

The Guardian: Donations to Black Lives Matter UK and other groups top £1m

Black Lives Matter UK has said it is touched by people’s generosity after donations towards combating the causes and consequences of racism reached more than £1m.

By Tuesday afternoon, six days after launching a fundraising drive, Black Lives Matter UK (BLMUK) had raised more than £750,000. Money pledged to other groups, including organisations helping black people with their mental health, providing legal assistance for protesters and holding memorials for loved ones who have died from Covid-19, took the total figure to more than £1m.

A spokesman for BLMUK said: “BLMUK have been overwhelmed and greatly touched by the generosity of communities and individuals across the country. We have received messages from small villages and towns organising fundraisers, workplaces or community organisations and black parents desperately concerned about the safety of their children. The safety of the people protesting is our priority and we are working with other groups to ensure this.

Perspectives on the Pandemic | The (Undercover) Epicenter Nurse | Episode Nine

Erin Marie Olszewski is a Nurse-turned-investigative journalist, who has spent the last few months on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic, on the inside in two radically different settings. Two hospitals. One private, the other public. One in Florida, the other in New York. And not just any New York public hospital, but the “epicenter of the epicenter” itself, the infamous Elmhurst in Donald Trump’s Queens. As a result of these diametrically opposed experiences, she has the ultimate “perspective on the pandemic”. She has been where there have been the most deaths attributed to Covid-19 and where there have been the least. Erin enlisted in the Army when she was 17. She deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. Part of her duties involved overseeing aid disbursement and improvements to hospital facilities. While in country she received the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service, and was wounded in combat. Erin eventually retired as a sergeant, and became a civilian nurse in 2012. Erin is a medical freedom and informed consent advocate. She co-founded the Florida Freedom Alliance but no longer has any connection with the organization.

Sky News: Health minister Helen Whately blames scientists for care home deaths – then quickly rows back

A minister said the government could pin the blame on scientific advisers for ministers’ handling of the coronavirus in care homes, before quickly rowing back.

Health minister Helen Whately was challenged over the effect of COVID-19 in adult social care during an interview with Sky News.

She told Kay Burley@Breakfast that there was guidance for care homes “very early” in the coronavirus pandemic.

“At all points in this we follow the scientific guidance as to what is the right thing to do,” Ms Whately added.

When it was put to the minister that “you can’t stick this on the scientists”, she replied: “Well, I can.”

New Scientist: How the coronavirus pandemic is fuelling online trolls and scams

AS GOVERNMENTS battle to contain the transmission of covid‑19, they have also struggled to stymie the spread of related online misinformation and vitriol.

The pandemic has resulted in the rapid propagation of conspiracy theories that pose a risk to public health, a surge in online anti-Asian hate speech and a proliferation of covid-19 scams.

Much of the misinformation shared online about coronavirus is being disseminated by sites that have peddled conspiracy theories about other topics, such as vaccines and the 9/11 attacks, says John Gregory at NewsGuard, a …

Financial Times: Ministers target June 22 for reopening of England’s pubs and restaurants

Ministers have identified June 22 as the date when they hope to reopen England’s pubs and restaurants serving customers outdoors, amid fears of mass job losses if the hospitality sector misses out on the lucrative summer season. Chancellor Rishi Sunak is among half a dozen ministers, calling themselves the “save summer six”, seeking to accelerate the reopening of the economy. The hospitality sector was not due to open until July 4. Downing Street said on Monday that the government “continued to follow the road map” published by the government last month, which said the hospitality sector would open no sooner than July 4, but three senior Whitehall officials said the target date was June 22.

Sky News: Watchdog to investigate racial inequalities in British COVID-19 deaths

The initial review found BAME Britons were more likely to die than white people, but no recommendations were made.

An inquiry is being launched by the human rights watchdog to address racial inequalities highlighted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has announced it will carry out the inquiry after Public Health England (PHE) published a review into the disparities within ethnic minorities from COVID-19.

The initial review, commissioned by the government, left many with “widespread concerns” and “doesn’t go wider to address inequalities that exist”, the chairman of the EHRC said.

BBC News: Rumours, fear and rising Covid deaths in Pakistan

Doctors in Pakistan are warning that the country’s already weak healthcare system could soon be overwhelmed by coronavirus patients.

So far, with fewer than 2,000 deaths, the outbreak hasn’t been as deadly as some initially feared. But with the rates of new cases and new fatalities at their highest levels yet, and lockdown restrictions lifted, doctors say intensive care units are now being stretched almost to capacity in many major hospitals.

In Karachi, a city of 15 million people, data shows only a handful of ICU beds still available for Covid-19 patients. Whilst in Lahore, a doctor recounted to the BBC being forced to turn away a patient who needed a ventilator, after he had already been rejected by two other hospitals. Medics in Peshawar and Quetta described being under similar levels of pressure.

Officials acknowledge some hospitals are full but insist there are still large numbers of beds available elsewhere, and are making public information about where are they are, whilst new facilities are in the process of being built in Karachi. But doctors fear the number of critical cases will continue to rise, and say their efforts to treat patients are being hampered by conspiracy theories and mistrust.

The Guardian: Coronavirus lockdown halts surge in UK slavery

Number of suspected victims of modern slavery falls for first time in four years

The number of suspected modern slavery victims identified in the UK has fallen for the first time in four years due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Home Office has said.

Officials said the decrease “is understood to have been influenced by the effects of restrictions implemented in the UK as part of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic”.

The UK’s national referral mechanism (NRM), the official system through which victims of modern slavery are identified and provided with support, received 2,871 referrals of potential victims in the first quarter of 2020 – a 14% fall from the previous three months. This is the first quarter-on-quarter fall since 2016.

Travel restrictions by other countries on people coming to the UK, increasing numbers of people self-isolating and businesses shutting after the lockdown on 23 March are understood to be some of the factors behind the decline.

Ministers have said people referred through the NRM will continue to be able to access support and government-funded accommodation through the pandemic.

Potential victims would usually be assisted to find new accommodation after 45 days, but will be able to remain for three months to protect them from Covid-19.

Daily Mail: Britain announces 176 more coronavirus deaths as daily data shows Covid-19 is still killing more people in the UK than in the rest of the EU combined

  • NHS England saw 115 more deaths in hospital patients who tested positive – the youngest a 26-year-old
  • Scotland posted nine Covid-19 deaths in all settings, followed by eight in Wales and one in Northern Ireland
  • Britain’s outbreak has slowed dramatically in the past few weeks – yesterday 359 new deaths were recorded
  • But statistics show only 345 deaths were recorded in the 27 EU countries yesterday, including 81 in France
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Britain today announced 176 more coronavirus deaths, taking the total number of victims to 39,904 –  as separate shock data suggests the UK’s outbreak is still killing more people each day than the rest of the EU countries combined.   

The UK’s death toll is now on the brink of passing the 40,000 mark, but the epidemic has slowed dramatically in the past few weeks. For comparison, last Thursday there were 377 Covid deaths, and 338 the week before that.

Blog: The crazy world of social media debating

Why is it that people with no prior knowledge on a specific subject, choose to interject during an ongoing debate but complain when their argument gets pulled apart by those who know their stuff or just more up to date?  The usual get-out of jail card sounds something like “imagine how you’d feel…” or “shut up you [insert negative label here]”. 

Curiously, the most common behaviour is to turn on their opponent and list a series of negative traits, usually in the vein of “you’re never wrong are you”, “you just have to be right all the time” or even bringing up old personal skeletons (this one above all demonstrates the lowest form of intelligence – if you want to call it that). 

Like, frustration alone is good enough to somehow open the heavens and be appointed the winner, or at least neutralise the conversation and call a draw.  Like, there was no Aristotle, there was no Newton, or Einstein.  Like our science only works in hospitals, construction sites and rockets, but in all other places, science is a more caring, living entity that takes your feelings into account and deep-down, recognises everyone as a winner.  Rather than interject blindly, why don’t these people use the opportunity to learn something new?  Debates are a great source for new reading topics.  People seem to only use them to get their daily hit of endorphins by winning, whether they actually do or not is irrelevant to them. When you have more information than over a million combined Alexandria libraries at the touch of a thumb in your pocket, ignorance becomes a choice!

How is it that we are so far gone that even logical syntax can vary from person to person?  That’s right, people with no clue who Aristotle even is, are just making up their own logic syntax patterns as they go along.  You give some people 2+2 and all they ever throw out is sixes and sevens.  There are a number of contributing factors to this problem and make no mistake, it is a huge problem and the very root to most of society’s problems today. 

To some extent, I blame participation-trophy culture and similar modern-day practices that play a big part in the shaping of society.  The result is someone with no clue on a subject, but will interject anyway, lose spectacularly, then insult everyone at the table for not seeing it how they want it to be.  Even though there is an accepted way to go about things including, the scientific method and a logic syntax that has endured for thousands of years.  Most young adults and teens today have had a childhood of adult mediators intervening in arguments, forcing a truce even though one person was usually in the wrong.  This principle has made it’s way into everyday life and the result is sitting right there on your social media feed.

Today, unless you have a specific career in mind, there is no real incentive to have further education, to grow your vocabulary, your knowledge, your intelligence, to continue independent learning. It isn’t rewarded proportionately either.  Nay, in many schools it is even fashionable to be a total dumbass!  Nowadays, you can mess around in school, fail your tests or not even turn up to your exams, spend your 20s partying hard and you can still salvage a life and even start a career that requires very minimal intelligence and live a comfortable life.  There is no real incentive to continue learning after school years, for most people, learning is a part of childhood and adults just get on with the slow dumbing down process.  

Blame the education system, which on a structural level has changed very little since the days of the orphan workhouses.  Blame a pop culture that supports “beauty” over brains.  A music scene that gives the biggest platform to the simplest musical structures and lyrics.  I bet half the parents who let their little kids listen to Little Mix haven’t even heard the lyrics properly.  We have been educated to believe we are entitled to be right.  That your opinion is like your own little Light of Earendil against the Shelob.  Sadly, it’s not. 

This part is so cool. Frodo does know some Elvish... (With images ...
your opinion is like your own little Light of Earendil against the Shelob

I wouldn’t have gone to the effort to write this article, but ignorance and stupidity is rife, it needs to be recognised as a debilitating trait in human society.  It’s the only real pandemic I have seen this year and it doesn’t seem to be showing sign of letting up any time soon.