Archive | COVID-19

Microsoft-start-logo

The Fast-Spreading New COVID-19 Subvariant XBB Is Part of a ‘New Class’ of Omicron

Reprint

Note by TMR Editor: We bring this and other articles making some introductory observations to our readers. We bring these for the information and education our readers can get so they are informed and know how to conduct and protect themselves and their families as well as their communities. What we would like to see more of is how people of this world can protect themselves from the dangerous people whose main interest in our health, is money. It is suspicious that they mostly push without giving the alternative we allude to, the “vaccine”.

Korin Miller 

For the past several months, Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 have dominated COVID-19 cases in the U.S. But now, there’s a class of new COVID subvariants on the rise and one, in particular, is getting plenty of attention. It’s called XBB—or Gryphon—and there’s a chance it could overtake everything else out there.

View on Watch

XBB is getting a lot of buzz because it spreads fast—and seems to be able to evade immunity that people have built up from having a previous COVID-19 infection or getting the vaccine, says William Schaffner, M.D., an infectious disease specialist, and professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Still, Dr. Schaffner says, “it’s early days and we have a lot to learn.”

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/health/medical/the-fast-spreading-new-covid-19-subvariant-xbb-is-part-of-a-new-class-of-omicron/ar-AA133Y9C?ocid=winp1taskbar&cvid=72c19d6ec07540d0a41f2092c9efaaa2&fullscreen=true#image=1

XBB or Gryphon is a new COVID-19 Omicron subvariant that’s soaring in Singapore. Here’s what you need to know about the mutated version of the Omicron variant.© Olga Siletskaya – Getty Images

Here’s what we know about XBB so far, and why doctors are keeping a close eye on it.

What is the XBB COVID variant?

XBB is one of the “new class” of Omicron variants that are spreading fast right now, says Thomas Russo, M.D., professor and chief of infectious disease at the University at Buffalo in New York. That includes BQ.1.1, BQ.1, BQ.1.3, BA.2.3.20, and XBB, he says.

“XBB is a hybrid version of two strains of the BA.2 form of Omicron,” explains Amesh A. Adalja, M.D., a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. It’s currently “spreading efficiently in Singapore,” he adds.

The variant was first detected in August 2022 in India, and has been detected in more than 17 countries since then, including Australia, Bangladesh, Denmark, India, Japan and the U.S., per Singapore’s Ministry of Health.

XBB is thought to have the best ability to evade antibody protections of these newly emerged COVID variants, according to a pre-print study from researchers in China. That study said that the new strains of Omicron, and XBB in particular, “are the most antibody-evasive strain tested, far exceeding BA.5 and approaching SARS-CoV-1 level.” (SARS-CoV-1, in case you’re not familiar with it, is the strain of coronavirus that causes SARS, a respiratory virus that can cause severe illness.)

Meaning, the vaccine and having previously had COVID-19 are not thought to offer the same level of protection against XBB as they have with previous strains of COVID-19. Antibody drugs like Evusheld and bebtelovimab may also not be very effective against XBB, the pre-print study says.

“These variants are evolving to evade protection,” Dr. Russo says. The bivalent booster is “likely going to be protective against severe disease” with XBB, but will be “imperfect against preventing infection,” Dr. Russo says.

Don’t panic, though. “When it comes to evasion of vaccine protection, it’s important to recognize that vaccine protection is not all or none,” Dr. Adalja says. “Even with immune-evasive variants, vaccine protection against what matters most—severe disease—remains intact.”

XBB variant symptoms

So far, symptoms of XBB seem to be similar to what they’ve been with COVID-19 in general. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those can include:

· Fever or chills

· Cough

· Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

· Fatigue

· Muscle or body aches

· Headache

· New loss of taste or smell

· Sore throat

· Congestion or runny nose

· Nausea or vomiting

· Diarrhea

How contagious is the XBB subvariant?

Like other strains of Omicron, XBB is thought to be very contagious. Singapore’s Ministry of Health notes that the variant now makes up 54% of COVID-19 cases in the country, up from 22% the week before.

Singapore’s Ministry of health says that XBB is “at least as transmissible as currently circulating variants” but adds that “there is no evidence that XBB causes more severe illness.”

When will the XBB subvariant peak?

There are a lot of unknowns about XBB right now. While it’s been detected in the U.S., BA.5 and BA.4.6 continue to be the dominant variants in this country, per CDC data.

Other variants are also started to spread at the same time, Dr. Adalja says, and it’s unclear which will displace BA.4.6 and BA.5 in the U.S., if they will at all. “It’s likely to spread to some degree in the U.S. but unclear if it—or some other related variant such as BQ.1.1—will become dominant,” he says.

Dr. Schaffner says there is “some concern” about XBB and fellow variants on the rise. “Watching what happens over the next several weeks is important,” he says.

This article is accurate as of press time. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly evolves and the scientific community’s understanding of the novel coronavirus develops, some of the information may have changed since it was last updated. While we aim to keep all of our stories up to date, please visit online resources provided by the CDCWHO, and your local public health department to stay informed on the latest news. Always talk to your doctor for professional medical advice.

Posted in COVID-19, Health, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

image-1

New Covid variant XBB hits 18 UK cases – all you need to know about the deadly ‘nightmare’ strain

MS Start =

Chronicle Live

Chronicle Live

by Adam May & Aaron Morris – 

The XBB strain may be a factor in the recent spike in cases because it spreads quickly and appears to evade people’s vaccine protection © PA

A new strain of Covid-19 dubbed the ‘nightmare’ variant has reached 18 known cases in the UK – with scientists and experts urging residents to stay up to date with eligible vaccines.

The warning comes after cases of the XBB strain were detected across Great Britain, out of a global total of 1,086,639 samples uploaded from Singapore.

It is thought the mutated variant may be a slight factor in the recent spike of Coronavirus cases, as it spreads at a rapid pace and appears to evade vaccine immunity.

Read more: The rules on going to work or staying home if you test positive for Covid-19

The Mirror reports that while the XBB strain has not been designated as a variant of concern just yet, experts are monitoring the situation closely. It comes as one of two new strains of the global virus which have entered the UK, with the second being the new BQ.1 variant.

There have been more than 700 cases of the latter logged in the UK to date.

Dr Meera Chand, Director of Clinical and Emerging Infection at the UK Health Standards Agency (UKHSA), said: “It is not unexpected to see new variants of SARS-CoV-2 emerge. Neither BQ.1 nor XBB have been designated as variants of concern and UKHSA is monitoring the situation closely, as always.

Related video: XBB strain detected in 17 countries: Is there a need for variant-specific booster vaccines?

XBB strain detected in 17 countries: Is there a need for variant-specific booster vaccines?

View on Watch

“Vaccination remains our best defence against future Covid-19 waves, so it is still as important as ever that people come take up all the doses for which they are eligible as soon as possible.”

XBB was initially discovered in India back in August, since being located in Bangladesh, Japan, Singapore, and at least 13 other countries – including Denmark and Australia. It has also been detected in Hong Kong.

Singapore’s Ministry of Health said that XBB went from being responsible for some 22 percent of Covid-19 cases to 54 percent in the space of a week. Almost 80 percent of those in Singapore are also fully vaccinated.

While Singapore’s health ministry says that there is no evidence that XBB causes more severe illness, it appears to be resistant to treatments. Ong Ye Kung, said that the country is in turn likely to see 15,000 daily cases on average by mid-November.

Infectious disease expert John Swartzberg previously told the San Francisco Chronicle : “We are seeing a slew of new variants that are using a similar approach to survive — they are finding ways to evade the way we get immunity from vaccines and previous infection with changes on the spike protein.

“XBB is no different from the others.”

XBB is a mutation on Omicron BA.2. 23 cases of XBB have been detected in the USA. Natalie Thornburg, CDC lead respiratory virus immunology specialist said: “XBB is a chimera. I think there have been a couple of sequences identified in the United States.

“But it’s way, way, way, way below that one percent threshold. I mean, it’s really like a handful of sequences.”

Read next:

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, COVID-19, Environment, Health, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

mail online logo

More evidence Covid WAS engineered in a lab?

Another explosive study dismisses natural origin theory – but experts say it’s just more ‘uninformed nonsense’ –

Comment: Jus wonderin – Is this a case of ‘Follow the Money’?

Researchers studied Covid’s genome and compared it to other coronaviruses

Team detected ‘peculiar patterns’ that are hallmarks of a man-made virus, they say

Dr Alex Washburne said the lab leak theory can’t be ruled out based on results

View comments

The coronavirus was likely made in a lab, according to the latest explosive study to shed light on the possible origins of the pandemic.

Researchers in the US and Germany studied Covid’s genome — the virus’ instruction manual — and compared it to dozens of previously detected coronaviruses.

‘Peculiar patterns’ were visible in the building blocks of the pandemic-causing virus, which they say are hallmark signs that it was manufactured. The team described it as having a ‘synthetic fingerprint’.

Study author Dr. Alex Washburne, a mathematical biologist, said the lab leak theory can’t be ruled out based on the results of his controversial study.

Each test his team performed ‘decreased the odds of SARS-CoV-2 having a natural origin’, he said.

However, Dr Washburne noted his team don’t identify which lab that was the source of the outbreak and insisted that the virus looks more ‘like an accident’ rather than a ‘bioweapon’.

Some experts called the results ‘troubling’ and claimed they offered the ‘strongest piece of evidence’ yet that the virus was man-made. 

But dozens of others, including leaders in the field, have hit out at the findings, sparking a fierce row. One virologist said the research is ‘so deeply flawed that it wouldn’t pass kindergarten molecular biology’. 

Another said the study was ‘very poorly controlled, cherry-picked and making a big deal out of lumps and bumps that are of no significance to the virus’. One described it as ‘tinfoil-hat bonkers’.

The study is the latest addition to the fierce argument around how the virus came to sweep the world in 2020.

Most leading virologists believe the coronavirus jumped to humans from an infected animal, potentially in the ‘ground zero’ wet market in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Others think it leaked from a secretive laboratory in the same city. Whether or not it was deliberate or accidental is an even more contentious part of the ‘lab leak’ theory.

Scientists argue it is vital to find out the origins of the virus so steps can be taken to prevent future pandemics. But many doubt the root source of the pandemic will ever be uncovered, with China accused of trying to conceal investigations.

Researchers in the US and Germany studied Covid's genome ¿ the virus' instruction manual ¿ and compared it to dozens of previously detected coronaviruses. The team detected a 'peculiar patterns' in the building blocks of the pandemic-causing virus, which they say are hallmarks that it was manufactured in a lab. These include a more organised structure than naturally-occurring viruses and mutations that suggest the virus was assembled in a lab. Study author Dr Alex Washburne, a mathematical biologist, said the lab leak theory can't be ruled out based on the results of his controversial study. However, he noted his team don't identify which lab that was the source of the outbreak. Pictured: the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which is at the centre of the lab leak theory

Researchers in the US and Germany studied Covid’s genome — the virus’ instruction manual — and compared it to dozens of previously detected coronaviruses. The team detected a ‘peculiar patterns’ in the building blocks of the pandemic-causing virus, which they say are hallmarks that it was manufactured in a lab. These include a more organised structure than naturally-occurring viruses and mutations that suggest the virus was assembled in a lab. Study author Dr Alex Washburne, a mathematical biologist, said the lab leak theory can’t be ruled out based on the results of his controversial study. However, he noted his team don’t identify which lab that was the source of the outbreak. Pictured: the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which is at the centre of the lab leak theory

The top graph shows the average length of the longest fragment in a coronavirus genome (shown by grey line in the middle of bars). The coloured dots show the longest fragment length in the genome of Covid (red) and 10 other genetically engineered coronaviruses. The researchers said Covid's longest genome segment length is 'well below' what would be expected if the virus had evolved naturally and 'right within the narrow range of fragment number we find in engineered coronaviruses'. The bottom graph compares the virus fragment length in relation to how many standard deviations ¿ the difference from the average length ¿ the lab-made viruses are from naturally occurring coronaviruses. The researchers said this shows Covid 'appears more likely to have been engineered' than other viruses that are known to be man-made

The top graph shows the average length of the longest fragment in a coronavirus genome (shown by grey line in the middle of bars). The coloured dots show the longest fragment length in the genome of Covid (red) and 10 other genetically engineered coronaviruses. The researchers said Covid’s longest genome segment length is ‘well below’ what would be expected if the virus had evolved naturally and ‘right within the narrow range of fragment number we find in engineered coronaviruses’. The bottom graph compares the virus fragment length in relation to how many standard deviations — the difference from the average length — the lab-made viruses are from naturally occurring coronaviruses. The researchers said this shows Covid ‘appears more likely to have been engineered’ than other viruses that are known to be man-made 

RELATED ARTICLES

DID COVID LEAK FROM A WUHAN LAB? THE EVIDENCE FOR AND AGAINST 

Evidence for Wuhan lab-leak theory

An article in the respected Science journal on May 14 2021 kick-started the surge in interest for the lab-leak theory.

Some 18 experts wrote in the journal that ‘we must take hypotheses about both natural and laboratory spillovers seriously until we have sufficient data’.

Later that month, a study by British Professor Angus Dalgleish and Norwegian scientist Dr Birger Sørensen claimed it had ‘prima facie evidence of retro-engineering in China’ for a year.

The study included accusations of ‘deliberate destruction, concealment or contamination of data’ at Chinese labs.

It followed statements from the WHO Director General, US and EU that greater clarity about the origins of this pandemic is necessary and feasible to achieve.

Previously, the theory had been dismissed as conspiracy by most experts, partly because of its association with President Donald Trump.

President Joe Biden in May 2021 ordered a full investigation into the origin of the pandemic virus and demanded scientists work out whether there is truth to the theory.

In December 2021, Harvard scientist Dr. Alina Chan told the UK’s Science and Technology Select Committee that it is ‘reasonable’ to believe that Covid was genetically engineered in China. 

She also said that the Chinese Communist Party’s cover-up of the initial outbreak in Wuhan two years ago and attempts to sabotage the World Health Organisation’s inquiry into the origins of the pandemic made the lab-leak theory likely. 

The head of the World Health Organization insisted just a day earlier that the theory that Covid emerged from a Wuhan lab has not been ruled out — as he said China should help solve the mystery out of ‘respect’ for the dead.

The body’s director-general, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, suggested that Beijing had not cooperated fully as he urged more ‘transparency’ in the continuing investigation.

And a senior Government source claimed in June 2022 that the WHO boss privately believes the pandemic kicked off following a leak from a Chinese lab. 

In September 2022, leading medical journal the Lancet admitted the virus may have been leaked from a lab, including those in the US. 

Evidence against the theory

Most of the scientific community say the virus is most likely of natural origin.

A series of papers point to the virus evolving in animals before being transmitted to humans, in the same way as all other previously discovered coronaviruses.

The first study, published in Scientific Reports, showed some 47,000 wild animals from 38 species were sold across four markets in Wuhan between May 2017 and November 2019.

The authors, including Dr Chris Newman, an evolutionary ecologist at Oxford University, claimed the evidence showed the conditions for animal-to-human transmission were in place in Wuhan.

But they acknowledged there was no proof Sars-CoV-2 was present or originated in any of these animals.

A joint World Health Organization-China investigation also concluded it was ‘very likely’ the virus jumped from bats to humans via an as-yet-unknown intermediary animal.

And a June 2022 report by the WHO sets out that Covid most likely originated in bats before infecting humans.

The scientists, including Dr Washburne from Montana-based research institute Selva Analytics and Professor Antonius VanDongen, a pharmacology expert at Duke University, in North Carolina examined the SARS-CoV-2 genome — the virus’ genetic material.

The team also included Valentin Bruttel, an immunologist who is attached to the gynecology department at the University of Würzburg in Germany. 

While human genomes are made of double-stranded DNA and are 3billion letters long, Covid has a single short RNA strand that is just 30,000 letters long.

Some researchers create viruses in lab experiments to study how they behave and develop drugs and vaccines to treat them, in case of an outbreak.

They do this by making small segments of the viral genome and stitching them together — with the joins known as restriction sites. 

While restriction sites tend to be randomly scattered throughout the genomes of naturally-occurring viruses, scientists building a virus in a lab add more in and tend to spread them out evenly, according to the researchers. 

To determine whether Covid evolved naturally or was manufactured, the team looked at the number and length of stitching points in Covid’s genome to compare it to 70 coronaviruses found in nature, as well as man-made versions.

Their findings, published on the pre-print website bioRxiv, set out that the pattern of Covid’s restriction sites are ‘typical’ of man-made viruses and different from naturally-occurring coronaviruses.

They found that the restriction sites on Covid’s genome were evenly spread rather than randomly spaced out, making it an ‘outlier’.

Meanwhile, the average length of Covid’s genome fragments were the smallest out of the dozens of coronaviruses that the researchers looked at.

Covid also has so-called silent mutations in its restriction sites, which are a hallmark of a manufactured virus, according to the researchers. 

It is ‘is extremely unlikely’ this ‘synthetic fingerprint’ appeared ‘by random evolution’, they wrote.

The experts concluded Covid’s genome is similar to ‘many’ engineered coronavirus genomes and ‘differs from closest relatives’ found in nature.   

They wrote: ‘We report a high likelihood that SARS-CoV-2 may have originated as an infectious clone assembled. 

‘The type of mutations (synonymous or silent mutations) that differentiate the restriction sites in SARS-CoV-2 are characteristic of engineering.

‘And the concentration of these silent mutations in the restriction sites is extremely unlikely to have arisen by random evolution.

‘Both the restriction site fingerprint and the pattern of mutations generating them are extremely unlikely in wild coronaviruses and nearly universal in synthetic viruses. 

‘Our findings strongly suggest a synthetic origin of SARS-CoV2.’

And they called for more research to investigate the origins of the virus, noting that ‘further tests may reject our theory’. 

The team noted they could have drawn on a wider pool of coronaviruses to compare Covid against to better understand similarities and differences. 

Nonetheless, Dr Washburne said the lab leak theory — which certain corners of the scientific community have repeatedly tried to dismiss since the beginnings of the pandemic — can’t be ruled out based on the results of this study.

However, he noted that his team do not identify which lab that was the source of the outbreak. This would also be near impossible. 

And he said the virus ‘looks like an accident’ rather than being a ‘bioweapon’ or gain of function research — modifying organisms to enhance how they work, such as making a virus more deadly or more transmissible. 

But he drew parallels with a recent controversial study at Boston University, which saw scientists create a hybrid Covid strain — combining the original strain and Omicron — that killed 80 percent of mice in a study. 

Dr Washburne said: ‘Making chimeric viruses in vitro [in a lab] carries risks.

‘We encourage transparency from researchers studying CoVs in Wuhan. We strongly encourage global coordination on biosafety.’

Mr Bruttel told German TV channel n-tv that the results ‘show that this virus is 99.9 percent an artificially created copy of a natural virus’.                                                                              

While China has insisted the virus originated elsewhere, academics, politicians and the media have contemplated the possibility it leaked from a high-level biochemical lab in Wuhan - raising suspicions that Chinese officials simply hid evidence of the early spread

+4

View gallery

While China has insisted the virus originated elsewhere, academics, politicians, and the media have contemplated the possibility it leaked from a high-level biochemical lab in Wuhan – raising suspicions that Chinese officials simply hid evidence of the early spread

The question of whether the global outbreak began with a spillover from wildlife sold at the market or leaked out of the Wuhan lab just eight miles across the Yangtze River has given rise to fierce debate about how to prevent the next pandemic. Studies point to a natural spillover at the Huanan wildlife market. Positive swab samples of floors, cages and counters also track the virus back to stalls in the southwestern corner of the market (bottom left), where animals with the potential to harbour Covid were sold for meat or fur at the time (bottom right)

+4

View gallery

The question of whether the global outbreak began with a spillover from wildlife sold at the market or leaked out of the Wuhan lab just eight miles across the Yangtze River has given rise to fierce debate about how to prevent the next pandemic. Studies point to a natural spillover at the Huanan wildlife market. Positive swab samples of floors, cages, and counters also track the virus back to stalls in the southwestern corner of the market (bottom left), where animals with the potential to harbour Covid were sold for meat or fur at the time (bottom right)

Experts slam Boston lab where scientists have created a new deadly Omicron strain with an 80% kill rate in mice

Boston University scientists were today condemned for ‘playing with fire’ after it emerged they had created a lethal new Covid strain in a laboratory.

DailyMail.com revealed the team had made a hybrid virus — combining Omicron and the original Wuhan strain — that killed 80 per cent of mice in a study.

The researchers were attempting to discover whether the spike protein on the Omicron variant – responsible for making it the most transmissible of Covid strains to date – is also behind the virus having a particularly mild effect on infected hosts, with most suffering only slight illness.

The resultant chimera was only slightly less deadly than the Wuhan strain, indicating that the spike protein is not behind the attenuation of its effects on hosts.

The team behind its creation announced that as well as ‘inflict[ing] severe disease’ it also ‘robustly escapes vaccine-induced humoral immunity’, indicating that the recombinant virus retained the most dangerous properties of its parents.

The revelation exposes how dangerous virus manipulation research continues to go on even in the US, despite fears similar practices may have started the pandemic.

Professor Shmuel Shapira, a leading scientist in the Israeli Government, said: ‘This should be totally forbidden, it’s playing with fire.’

Gain of function research – when viruses are purposefully manipulated to be more infectious or deadly – is thought to be at the center of Covid’s origin.

Professor Francois Balloux, an infectious disease expert based at University College London, said the findings appear ‘solid, both conceptually and methodologically.

He said: ‘The distribution of restriction sites in SARS-CoV-2 is highly atypical when compared to related viruses in circulation, and far more in line with previous lab-engineered coronaviruses. 

‘This is a troubling finding, which requires scrutiny.

‘These findings are not “final and dispositive”, but they can’t be ignored either. 

‘To me, this is by far the strongest piece of evidence to date against a simple scenario of strict zoonotic origin for SARS-CoV-2.’

However, Professor Kristian Andersen, a virologist at research facility Scripps Research in California, said the study is ‘so deeply flawed that it wouldn’t pass kindergarten molecular biology’.

He said: ‘The study is a clear example of motivated reasoning with a heavy dose of technobabble to make it sound legitimate — but it’s nothing more than poppycock dressed up as science. 

‘In plain language — this is uninformed nonsense and it’s simply not worth engaging with.’

Dr. Benjamin Neuman, a virologist at the of Texas A&M University, said the study is ‘very poorly controlled, cherry-picked and making a big deal out of lumps and bumps that are of no significance to the virus’.

He said: ‘It’s about as illuminating an approach as converting the genome to digits, adding up the digits, and comparing that to the “number of the Beast”. 

‘This isn’t really evidence for or against the discredited idea of a lab-origin virus.

‘The study looks for patterns of nucleotides that people have found useful because they can be cleaved by restriction enzymes.

‘Essentially, this study looks at an irrelevant trait that would not be useful to either the virus or a person trying to assemble the virus using modern technology.’

Dr Neuman added: ‘There is no reason a person assembling a genome would need to assemble the sequence in gene-sized chunks that start or end exactly at gene boundaries. It’s tinfoil-hat bonkers.

‘The methodology is nonsense, as are the conclusions. There are thousands of different Coronavirus genomes now, and this study cherry-picks fewer than forty that make its point.’

Since China originally alerted the world to a mysterious virus circulating in Wuhan in December 2019, debate has been raging over its true source. 

China has repeatedly insisted the virus spilled naturally into humans from bats, with most scientists agreeing Covid most likely had natural origins.  

But some say it’s possible the coronavirus leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), where researchers were conducting controversial research on the world’s most dangerous pathogens.

The WIV has been carrying out gain-of-function work for years before the Covid outbreak.

China insisted early and often that the virus did not leak from the lab, claiming that crossover to humans must have occurred at a ‘wet market’ in Wuhan that sold live animals.

Perhaps driven by animosity for then-US President Donald Trump, who embraced the lab leak theory early on, mainstream media and academics in the West heaped scorn on the possibility, calling it an unhinged conspiracy theory.

Read more:

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, COVID-19, Environment, Health, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

image

Covid: Man shares ‘the backbone’ of protection that kept him Covid-free – It’s ‘easy’

Reprint… abstracts

WITH COVID infections rising throughout the country, many are catching the virus all over again. The current wave is fuelled by Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 that have been linked to reinfection. However, a man swears by an “easy” safety measure that kept him safe through travelling, flying and attending conferences.

Read usefull comments at end

By DIANA BUNTAJOVA – Jul 6, 2022

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.539.0_en.html#goog_1563739160

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

As BA.4 and BA.5 appear to be able to reinfect even those who’ve recently had Covid, some hospitals in the UK started making masks mandatory again. And they might be onto something. Eric Kennedy explained that his N95 face covering managed to keep him safe through weeks of travelling and attending conferences.

RELATED ARTICLES

Mr Kennedy shared on Twitter: “I know it feels impossible to avoid Covid these days, but I just travelled for four weeks, took 10 flights, gave four in-person presentations, and attended three conferences without catching Covid.”

What’s more, the Assistant Professor of Emergency Management shared that “you can too”.

If you’re looking for a way to protect yourself from the current rising cases, Mr Kennedy recommended an N95 mask.

An N95 mask describes a special type of face covering, also known as a respirator.

READ MORE: Cancer warning: Popular UK drink can cause ‘several types’ of cancer – ‘strong agreement’

Covid: Man shares N95 mask is ‘the backbone' of protection against the virus.
Covid: Man shares N95 mask is ‘the backbone’ of protection against the virus. (Image: GETTY)

This type is believed to offer the highest level of protection.

Mr Kennedy penned: “Because Covid is airborne, two rules formed the backbone of my protection:(1) Wear a well-fit N95, (2) Don’t not wear a well-fit N95.

“#1 is relatively easy. #2 can be hard.

“A high-quality mask is your best defence against not just [again] Covid, but also other airborne infections.”

Furthermore, research looking into coronavirus and masks does support this technique that managed to keep Kennedy Covid free.

DON’T MISS

Covid symptoms: Seven reasons people could have avoided infection – doctor explains [INFORMER]

David Harbour: Stranger Things actor on being sent to an ‘institution’ for mental health [INFORMER]

Cancer warning: Popular UK drink can cause ‘several types’ of cancer – ‘strong agreement’[INFORMER]

TRENDING

READ MORE

Evidence has shown that masks are able to filter out respiratory droplets and particles, protecting the wearer and others.

This is meaningful as Covid is an airborne virus that spreads through droplets and particles released into the air when coughing, sneezing or speaking.

However, the research also stresses that not all masks offer the same level of protection.

Experts recommend certified masks, such as FFP2 or N95 masks as they are able to filter out between 94 to 98 percent of aerosols, including airborne viruses like coronavirus.

READ MORE: David Harbour: Stranger Things actor on being sent to an ‘institution’ for mental health

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=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%3D%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1544319858304753675&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.express.co.uk%2Flife-style%2Fhealth%2F1636168%2Fcovid-protection-n95-mask-coronavirus&sessionId=005b02004be77e61fc3962abe8c8fffdfb4708e5&theme=light&widgetsVersion=1c23387b1f70c%3A1664388199485&width=550px

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FW6Giz6WQAAbZDF?format=png&name=small

READ MORE

Mr Kennedy also explained that it’s not just the highly-effective mask that’s important but also the way you wear it.

He said: “Every time I put it on, I spend a minute bending the nose piece to make sure it doesn’t leave any gaps around my nose/eyes.

“I shave my face daily to ensure it gets a good seal. And, I run my fingers around the edge of the mask to make sure it’s pulled snug to my face.”

As masks are no longer required by the law, he has to decide when he needs it.

RELATED ARTICLES

See the latest Covid vaccine stats below and visit InYourArea for all the Covid vaccine latesthttps://www.inyourarea.co.uk/widgets/established/coronaVirus?fixedheight&webexpressnews&theme=express

He shared what helps him decide. Mr Kennedy said: “The easiest thing for me to do is think of Covid like cigarette smoke.

“I ask myself, ‘If someone was smoking/had smoked here, might I smell it?’ If the answer is yes, I put on my mask.

“Alone outside? Probably wouldn’t smell a cigarette. But, a crowded patio? Absolutely.”

So throughout the travelling, conferences and even presentations, he was wearing his mask.

He explained that the rule#2 ‘Don’t not wear a well-fit N95’ is harder and more tempting to break but breaking it means the virus can strike.

“Covid is highly transmissible, but it’s not magic,” he added.

RELATED ARTICLES

Coronavirus

Never Eat These 7 Foods Please! They Cause CancerHome Tricks|

22 Foods That Help In Relieving Constipation – Which to Eat (Most People Ignore)ZenLifeMag.com|

Drink This At Night To Remove Belly Fat In Just A Week!Kingdom Of Men|

Not consuming Enough Protein can Cause Serious Problems Healthsupportmag.com|

Conversation

FOLLOW THIS CONVERSATION TO BE NOTIFIED WHEN NEW COMMENTS ARE POSTEDFOLLOWLOG IN

 | SIGN UP

Jump to log in or sign Up

Commenting is subject to our house rules.

  • ALL COMMENTS 22

newest

All Comments

  1. View the profile of "Pished.Artist"Pished.ArtistJULY 7, 2022I have never had covid, your point is ?REPLY 0SHAREFLAG
    • GUGuyWJULY 7, 2022The maximum safe level of CO2 according to the H&S is 6,000ppm and a tight fitting N95 mask will produce a CO2 level of over 13,000ppm which will cause harm. Dizziness, nausea, and the reduced immune response, increased heat in the facial cavity and greater chance of respiratory infection.REPLY 0SHAREFLAG
      • THThornInTheSideJULY 7, 2022The N95 mask must be perfectly fitted to be effective, as any leaks whatsoever around the edges render it useless. And a perfectly fitted N95 mask is not at all a comfortable wear as it leaves marks on the skin, restricts air flow causing you to re-breathe your own exhaled breath, and produces stress on the lungs and respiratory system. Many people wearing N95 masks properly complain of headaches as a result.Lastly, the N95 can not be worn for long periods of time as the body must be given rest from it – medical personnel who have to wear such masks can only wear them for short periods of time.I doubt this fellow wore a properly fitted N95 mask given his description of how he used it.REPLY 0SHAREFLAG
          ADVERTISEMENT
        • Your avatarCONTENT DEACTIVATED1 REPLY
          • THThornInTheSideJULY 7, 2022Reply to DeadmanwalkingThat really works!REPLY 1SHAREFLAG
          Jump to log in or sign Up
        • BBbbcphobiaJULY 6, 2022People who are quadrupled jabbed and wear masks catch covid and die. So you have to be seriously gullible to believe either the jab or the mask are any use.REPLY 4SHAREFLAG

          LOAD MORE COMMENTSOpen ad privacy settings

          This website stores cookies on your computer. These cookies are used to collect information about how you interact with this website and allow us to remember you. We use this information in order to improve and customize your browsing experience and for analytics and metrics about visitors both on this website and other media. To find out more about the cookies we use, see our Privacy Policy.Enable personalized adsClose ad privacy settings

          Powered by

          Your Nails Can Tell You a Lot About Your Personality. What Kind of Nails Do You Have?5 Min Tricks|

          Sponsored

          15 Foods That Are Killing You SlowlyKingdom of Men|

          Sponsored

          The One WD40 Trick Everyone Should Know AboutMyHealthReads.com|

          Sponsored

          Single mom adopts a daughter – then she gets such shocking news!The Family Breeze|

          Sponsored

          Chrissy Metz Is So Skinny Now And Looks Gorgeous5minstory.com|

          Sponsored

          Huge blow to Starmer as MP’s resignation rocks Labour PartyExpress

          New blow for Liz Truss as Mordaunt leads cabinet rebellionExpress

          Lioness Asks Photographer For Help – He Is Shocked To Find Out WhyWorldFamilys.com|

          Sponsored

          This Snake Does Something No Human Should Have To WitnessThe Travel Breeze|

          Sponsored

          If Your Cat Bites You, Here’s What It Really MeansHandy Tricks|

          Sponsored

          Rare Pics Of Princess Diana That Tell Us What We Knew All Along BestFamilyMag.com|

          Sponsored

          Carol Kirkwood left ‘gutted’ as tearful BBC star bids farewellExpress

          Putin to ‘disappear’ as elites turn on Russian despot over Ukraine warExpress

          Tattoo Fails (:12 May Never Be Employed).Petsbehome|

          Sponsored

          He decided to eat cucumber every day. See the result.Kingdom Of Men|

          Sponsored

          What type of learner are you?Babbel|

          Sponsored

          The Worst Cars According To MechanicsHouse Coast|

          Sponsored

          Should Boris Johnson come back as Prime Minister? POLLExpress

          The UK regions vulnerable to Russian nuclear attack – MAPPEDExpress

          15 Make-Up Tips For The Older WomenBestWomensMag.com|

          Sponsored

          Seeing This Insect in The House, Do Not Try to Kill It Little-Tricks.com|

          Sponsored

          Christina Aguilera New Skinny Photos Confirm The Rumors  MyHealthReads.com|

          Sponsored

          These Are The Most Loyal Dog Breeds For SeniorsSenior Mag|

          Sponsored

          Acholic stools are ‘the most common’ sign of pancreatic cancerExpress

          What it means when doctor gives cause of death as ‘old age’Express

          This Is What Willl Happen To Your Body When You Eat 3 Eggs Every Day  HealthSupportMag.com|

          Sponsored

          Cat Wears Same Collar For Years, It’s Owner Screams When She Realizes What’s InsideFresh-Story.com|

          Sponsored

          The Twenty WD40 Trick Everyone Should Know AboutKingdom Of Men|

          Sponsored

          He Put a Camera in His Room. when He Saw Why His Cat Was Watching Him All Night, He Immediately Called the Authorities.WorldFamilys.com|

          Sponsored

          Starmer hit with devastating resignation just hours after facing TrussExpress

          State pensioners need to report to DWP or lose £92 a weekExpress

          A Heart Attack Can Happen At Any Moment Due To Eating This Food5minstory.com|

          Sponsored

          If you are going to travel during the holidays, read thisCapital One Shopping|

          Sponsored

          Most read in Health

          Latest videos

          liz truss kwasi kwarteng mini budget tax cuts tory mps general election

          ‘Madness’: Truss and Kwasi urged not to cave over two weeks of ‘confected hysteria’

          red bull star sergio perez fia budget cap f1 news

          Red Bull star Sergio Perez hastily deletes awkward tweet as FIA budget cap saga continues

          putin missiles ukraine energy electricity blackouts kiev

          ‘Used everything’: Putin humiliated as missiles ‘completely failed’ to ‘take down’ Ukraine

          Roger Moore needed drugs booze James Bond scene Spy Who Loved Me stuntman died

          Heartstopper NTA snubbed outrage Trigger Point

          Heartstopper fans outraged as Netflix favourite ‘robbed’ at NTAs ‘Deserved to win!’

          javascript:”<html><head><script src=’https://securepubads.g.doubleclick.net/tag/js/gpt.js’ async></script></head><body><div id=’proper-ad-northernandshell_signal_300x250_1′></div></body></html>”

          More Stories

          Putin to ‘disappear’ as elites turn on Russian despot over Ukraine war

          FIA ‘make Hamilton title decision’ as investigation details emerge

          Italian Air Force scrambles to intercept four Russian fighter jets

          Liz Truss makes major gaffe in letter thanking Kwasi

          The One WD40 Trick Everyone Should Know AboutMyHealthReads.com

          If Your Cat Bites You, Here’s What It Really MeansHandy Tricks

          covid booster autumn coronavirus vaccine poll result spt

          Covid booster mandate rejected by readers despite rising infection rates across UK

          covid booster vaccine side effects pain in the arm

          Expert on how to ease most common side effect of Covid booster – seen in 92% of patients

          pancreatic cancer signs symptoms acholic grey coloured greasy stools

          Acholic stools are ‘the most common’ sign of pancreatic cancer in ‘initial’ stages

          Not consuming Enough Protein can Cause Serious Problems Healthsupportmag.com

          by Taboola

          Sponsored Links

          statins side effect hypercalcaemia polyuria

          Statins: Polyuria may signal a potentially ‘fatal’ calcium leak into the bloodstream

          Drink This At Night To Remove Belly Fat In Just A Week!Kingdom Of Men

          by Taboola

          Sponsored Links

          high cholesterol peripheral artery disease

          High cholesterol: Three signs of a build-up that have ‘tremendous’ impact on daily tasks

          high cholesterol signs symptoms pain in leg calf thigh buttock

          The ‘first noticeable symptom’ of cholesterol build-up is pain in four areas – how to spot

          prevent tooth decay bad breath chocolate

          Dentist says chocolate could prevent tooth decay and bad breath – which type is best?

          eye conditions winter dry eyes blurred vision

          Three eye conditions more likely to occur during the winter – when to call your doctor

          menopause weight gain belly diet portion control davina mccall

          Davina McCall shares food and exercise tips she found useful to help with menopause belly

          paracetamol side effects melena black tarry stools

          Paracetamol warning as the painkiller can cause melena – side effect that strikes on loo

          fatty liver disease cirrhosis symptoms muscle twitches hepatic encaphalopathy

          ‘Muscle twitches’ could be a sign of irreversible liver damage – and other strange signs

          diabetes drinks non sugar sweeteners manage blood glucose

          Drinks containing non-sugar sweeteners can be ‘useful tool’ in managing diabetes – expert

          dementia symptoms signs problem solving tasks reaction times pair matching

          New study finds 5 ‘early’ signs that could appear ‘nine years ahead of dementia diagnosis’

          stroke hot flashes night sweats brain health

          ‘Sleep hyperhidrosis’ could raise stroke risk by 70% – may reflect ‘lesions’ in the brain

          dementia risk reduction diabetes drug thiazolidinediones tzds

          Study finds dementia risk drops by 22 percent after taking diabetes drug for a year

          high blood pressure morning walk lower reading

          Morning walks ‘may be as effective at lowering high blood pressure as taking medication’

          Posted in COVID-19, Health, International, Local, News, Opinions, Regional, Science/Technology0 Comments

          image-6

          15 Signs You May Have Already Had Covid-19, Doctors Reveal

          MSN News

          The Healthy

          by Denise Mann, MS – Sept 22, 2022

          TMR Editor: We maintain with the sanction and advice of super medical authority that much of what follows here, if observed early (and even now) and managed accordingly, Montserrat could have been the model of least affected by the pandemic.
          See – the old saying still holds “Prevention is better than cure”. Vaccine eventually mentioned, (we caution -check the risks) but our experts still say, from the beginning, it is 100% a priority to become familiar with “you and your health – the best prevention…

          Recently, you felt exhausted and had a major stuffy nose and headache. Could it have been Covid-19?

          Most of us are aware of the history: the Covid-19 pandemic began in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. Fast-forward almost three years, and in the second half of 2022, according to Johns Hopkins University, there have now been almost 600 million documented Covid-19 cases around the globe. This includes over 93 million confirmed cases in the U.S. and counting. More than one million people have died from Covid-19.

          If you haven’t been diagnosed with Covid-19 by now, it might feel like you’re one of the lucky few. Or maybe, just maybe, you already had Covid and didn’t realize it because your symptoms were so mild. (This might have made any Covid-19 booster side effects worth it!)

          If you have felt a little “off” in recent months but didn’t know quite what was going on, here are 14 silent signs that you may have been infected with Covid-19—and what that means for you now.

          Have Acne, Eczema or Psoriasis? Know This About Your Monkeypox Risk, and a Doctor’s Prevention Tips

          15 Signs You May Have Already Had Covid-19, Doctors Reveal
          © kasto80/Getty Images

          Covid-19 sign: You’ve got natural antibodies

          Matthew B. Laurens, MD, MPH, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, says no one is recommending routine antibody testing to see if you have had COVID-19 or have mounted a response to the COVID-19 vaccines at this time. However, these tests are available. “There is an antibody test that can tell you if you have been exposed to natural infection, and there is a different antibody test that looks at response to the COVID-19 vaccine,” Laurens explains.

          Specifically, antibodies to nucleocapsid protein only appear if you have recovered from Covid-19, while vaccines and natural infection produce an antibody to spike proteins. “If you are positive for antibodies to the spike protein and negative for antibodies to nucleocapsid protein, you have been vaccinated, but not exposed,” he says—adding: “If you are positive for both, you have had COVID-19 and you may or may not have been vaccinated.”

          There is still a lot research is discovering about antibodies, including how long they last and what level is considered most protective…or, for how long.

          Covid-19 sign: You were feeling run down a few months back 

          Fatigue is a common symptom—and lingering effect—of Covid-19. But for those of us with busy lives (that’s just about everyone!), sometimes it’s simply hard to tell typical tiredness from something more serious. “If you didn’t feel sick enough to consider getting tested, you could have had Covid-19 and recovered without an official diagnosis.”

          Screenshot our infographic for handy reference anytime.

          Spotting Covid 19 Graphic
          © Grace Luxton/The Healthy, Getty Images567

          Covid-19 sign: Brain fog

          Changes related to the brain—undiagnosed or uncharacteristic depression, confusion or trouble focusing, as examples—are pervasive Covid-19 symptoms that haven’t gotten a great deal of attention. Read What Is Covid-19 Brain Fog—and How Do You Get Rid of It?

          Covid-19 sign: Your fever and cough weren’t the flu

          You had a fever for days, a hacking cough, and were exhausted, but your flu test was negative. It could have been Covid-19, says Adam Spivak, MD, an infectious disease doctor at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, noting that flu season and the Covid-19 pandemic overlapped.

          In the past year, doctors have seen cases of flurona. “If you weren’t tested at the time or you were negative for other tests such as the flu, it could have been Covid-19,” Spivak says. “There is so much overlap with colds or flu and coronavirus symptoms, which is why testing for Covid-19 has been so emphasized.” (We’ve broken down the flu vs. coronavirus symptoms here.)

          Covid-19 sign: You suddenly lost your sense of smell or taste

          You’ve heard this: loss of sense of smell or taste is a hallmark of Covid-19 infection with earlier variants. What you may not know is that these symptoms are not a slam dunk by any stretch, says Benjamin Singer, MD, an assistant professor in pulmonary and critical care at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

          Covid-19 sign: Your hair is falling out in clumps

          If you’re noticing hair loss, it could be due to a past infection with Covid-19, says Alexis Young, MD, a dermatologist at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. “This phenomenon is known as telogen effluvium and occurs when physical or psychological stress causes hair roots to be pushed into a resting state prematurely,” she explains. “It’s not specific to Covid-19, but I am seeing lots more of it among people who are recovering from Covid-19, including some who may not have known they were infected in the first place.”

          The good news is that your hair will likely come back. “Hair follicles aren’t permanently damaged with telogen effluvium,” this dermatologist says. “Shedding can continue up to six months, and full recovery can take up to 18 months because hair grows back so slowly.”

          Covid-19 sign: You’ve got hives 

          Post-Covid-19 hives are a phenomenon health professionals have observed, Young says. “We are also seeing viral exanthems, which is a skin rash that is often related to a viral infection after Covid-19,” she says.

          These seem to be more common in children than adults and can even occur if you didn’t have any noticeable Covid-19 symptoms. These hives and rashes usually resolve on their own with judicious use of moisturizer or topical steroids, if the itch is particularly bothersome.

          Covid-19 sign: Your loved ones were infected

          If Covid-19 passed through your house taking no prisoners except you, it’s possible you were infected and didn’t realize it. Many people who are infected with this virus have mild or no symptoms, and Omicron reportedly produces even milder symptoms than other variants—especially among people who are vaccinated or boosted, says Dr. Len Horovitz.

          Covid-19 sign: You just didn’t test at the right time

          It’s possible you missed the infection even if you were tested, Horovitz says. “Any test you take is snapshot of the past 12 to 24 hours, and you can’t extrapolate from a single test,” he says. “Depending on when and how you tested, you may not have caught the infection.” At-home Covid-19 antigen tests aren’t that sensitive either, so you may have received a false negative.

          Covid-19 sign: Your toes were affected

          “Covid toes” can happen, Dr. Singer says. Covid toes are marked by purple or red, itchy wounds. “Skin manifestations, particularly of the toes, could be something that makes people who weren’t tested look back and say, ‘Was that a manifestation of Covid-19?'” he says.

          He cautions that toes with this appearance aren’t a sure sign of Covid-19, as there could be other causes. If you have questions, talk to your doctor.

          Adult woman being sick
          © Brothers91/Getty Images

          Covid-19 sign: Your stomach was acting up

          Covid-19 is a respiratory illness, but not everyone coughs or gets short of breath. For some, diarrhea may be the only sign of infection, Dr. Horovitz says.

          If you have digestive symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting and were in contact with individuals infected with Covid-19, you should have a higher index of suspicion, he says. (Also, these remedies for diarrhea may help.)

          Covid-19 sign: You had a stroke out of the blue

          There’s a link between Covid-19 and stroke risk, even among younger patients. Here’s what doctors and researchers know so far about stroke risk and coronavirus.

          Also, here are the warning signs of stroke, and what to do if you suspect a stroke.

          Covid-19 sign: You woke up with pink eye

          Pink eye infection, or conjunctivitis, may be a sign of coronavirus—but this has been relatively rare, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. If you develop pink eye, don’t panic. “Call your ophthalmologist to let them know and follow their instructions for care,” the Academy suggests.

          Covid-19 sign: You’ve got cotton mouth

          Is your dry mouth a symptom of Covid-19?

          Maybe. As many as 40 percent of people with Covid-19 may experience symptoms of dry mouth during or after the illness, according to a study in the Journal of Dental Research. And now research in the journal Nature Medicine provides clues as to how Covid-19 affects the mouth and saliva.

          Researchers from Wellcome Sanger Institute in Cambridge, U.K. and other organizations in the U.S. and U.K. identified the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor, or ACE2 receptor, in cells of the salivary glands and tissues lining the mouth. This is the protein that SARS-CoV-2 locks into for entry into the body.

          They also found that the virus can multiply in the cells of your salivary glands.

          Covid-19 sign: You’re experiencing “phantom smells”

          Some people recovering from Covid-19 report that they constantly smell smoke, garbage, or even skunk-like odors that aren’t really there. These phantom smells tend to become more common over time, with recent figures suggesting that about 25 percent of people experienced these otherwise unexplainable smells soon after diagnosis, according to the preprint server medRxiv. (This information has not yet been peer-reviewed.)

          How to prevent Covid-19 infection

          There is still a huge role for prevention, Horovitz says. “Get vaccinated and boostered when you are able to,” he says. “Wear masks when inside public spaces and places and practice social distancing.” (Here’s why you still need to wear a mask indoors if you’re vaccinated.)

          Also be sure to wash your hands with soap or water before, during, and after preparing food or eating. Also wash after caring for someone at home who is sick, treating a cut or wound, going to the bathroom, changing diapers, blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If a sink isn’t available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

          Next, find out who is at highest risk from Covid-19.

          Follow The Healthy on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. Keep reading:

          Next, find out who is at highest risk from Covid-19.

          Follow The Healthy on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. Keep reading:

          The post 15 Signs You May Have Already Had Covid-19, Doctors Reveal appeared first on The Healthy.

          Posted in COVID-19, Education, Featured, Health, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

          The Daily Beast

          Dreaded Side Effect Rears Its Ugly Head in Latest COVID Variant

          The Daily Beast

          The Daily Beast

          David Axe – 

          All over the world, the rates of death and hospitalization from COVID keep dropping. But our successful mitigation of the worst outcomes of the 33-month-old pandemic belie a growing crisis.

          Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty© Provided by The Daily Beast

          More and more people are surviving COVID and staying out of the hospital, but more and more people are also living with long-term symptoms of COVID. Fatigue. Heart problems. Stomach problems. Lung problems. Confusion. Symptoms that can last for months or even a year or more after the infection clears.

          As many as 21 percent of Americans who caught the SARS-CoV-2 virus this summer ended up suffering from long COVID starting four weeks after infection, according to a new study from City University of New York.

          That’s up from 19 percent in figures the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in June.

          Compare those numbers to the recent rates of death and hospitalization from COVID in the U.S.—three percent and .3 percent, respectively. Long COVID is by far the likeliest serious outcome from any novel-coronavirus infection. And possibly getting likelier.

          The CUNY study, which is not yet peer-reviewed, focused on American adults, but the results have implications for the whole world. Globally, long-term symptoms are partially replacing COVID deaths. After all, more COVID survivors means more people at risk of long-term symptoms. And long COVID is cumulative—people get sick and stay sick for a while.

          “Despite an increased level of protection against long COVID from vaccination, it may be that the total number of people with long COVID in the U.S. is increasing,” epidemiologist Denis Nash, the CUNY study’s lead author, told The Daily Beast. That is, every day more people catch long COVID than recover from long COVID.

          But understanding long COVID, to say nothing of preventing it, isn’t a priority in the global epidemiological establishment. That needs to change, Nash said. “I believe it is long past time to be focusing on long COVID in addition to preventing hospitalizations and deaths.”

          In recent weeks, authorities have logged around half a million new COVID cases a day, worldwide. That’s not quite as low as the 400,000 new cases a day health agencies tallied during the biggest dip in case-rates back in February 2021. But it’s close.

          What’s really remarkable, however, is how few of those half-a-million-a-day COVID infections are fatal. Lately, just 1,700 people have been dying every day—that’s a fifth as many died daily in February last year when the number of new infections every day was only slightly greater.

          Related video: Study reveals more long-term effects of COVID-19 View on Watch – https://www.msn.com/en-gb/video/health/study-reveals-more-long-term-effects-of-covid-19/vi-AA10UZcS?ocid=winp1taskbar&category=foryou

          Hospitalizations for serious COVID cases are down, too. Global statistics aren’t available, but in the U.S., COVID hospitalizations dropped from 15,000 a day 19 months ago to just 3,700 a day now.

          It’s not hard to explain the decrease in the death and hospitalization rates. Worldwide, around two-thirds of adults are at least partially vaccinated. Billions of people also have antibodies from past infections they survived. Every antibody helps to blunt the absolutely worst outcomes.

          But the incidence of long COVID appears to be ticking upward. The high reinfection rate could be one reason. Currently, one in six people catches the virus more than once. Repeated infections come with the elevated risk of a whole host of problems that, not coincidentally, match the symptoms of long COVID, a team of scientists at Washington University School of Medicine and the U.S. Veterans Administration’s Saint Louis Health Care System concluded in a study this summer. The more reinfections, the more long COVID.

          Crunching the numbers from back in July, Nash’s team concluded that 7 percent of all American adults—that’s more than 18 million people—had long COVID at the time. If the same rate applies to the whole world—and there’s no reason to believe it doesn’t—the global caseload for long COVID could’ve exceeded 560 million this summer.

          That number is probably a lot higher now, considering the summer spike in infections resulting from BA.5—a million worldwide new cases a day in July.

          One thing that surprised Nash and his teammates is that the risk of long COVID isn’t uniform across the population. Young people and women are more likely to catch long COVID, the CUNY team found. Nash said the higher vaccination rate among older adults and seniors could explain the former. But the latter remains a mystery. “Further study of these groups may provide some clues about risk factors,” he said.

          Why there’s a sex gap in long COVID risk is just one unanswered question that scientists and health officials could be trying to answer. They could also be working up new vaccine strategies and public-health messaging specifically for long COVID.

          But by and large, they’re not doing much to address the risk of long-term symptoms, Nash said. Nearly three years into the COVID pandemic, authorities are still overwhelmingly focused on preventing hospitalizations and deaths—and only preventing hospitalizations and deaths.

          “Exclusively focusing on these outcomes could arguably make the long COVID situation worse,” Nash explained, “since there is a substantial amount of long COVID among people that have only had mild or less severe SARS-CoV-2 infections.”

          In that sense, long COVID is a silent crisis. One that affects potentially more than half a billion people, but which isn’t a major focus of research or public health policy. “It’s certainly valuable to save lives, but quality of life is very important, too—and that can be lacking in people who have long COVID,” Cindy Prins, a University of Florida epidemiologist, told The Daily Beast.

          We’re not powerless to prevent long COVID, of course. The same tools that can prevent hospitalization and death from COVID can also reduce the likelihood of long-term symptoms—all by lowering the chance of any COVID, short or long. Get vaccinated. Keep current on your boosters. Mask up in crowded indoor spaces.

          But given the trend in SARS-CoV-2’s evolution, long COVID could become a bigger and bigger problem even among the most careful people—and a problem begging for specific solutions. The virus is still mutating. And every new variant or subvariant has tended to be more contagious than the last, meaning more and more breakthrough infections in the fully-vaccinated and boosted.

          If you’re currently up to date on your jabs, the chances of COVID killing you or putting you in the hospital are low. But the chances of it making you sick, potentially for a very long time, are substantial—and apparently getting higher.

          Posted in COVID-19, Health, International, Local, News, Regional, Travel0 Comments

          image-2

          Is this the end of COVID?

          https://www.msn.com/en-gb/health/medical/is-this-the-end-of-covid/ar-AAYgkOi?ocid=winp1taskbar&cvid=afb6e10222f0468c8adfe5779fb9463a

          Is this the end of Covid?

          MSN Sorcha Bradley – 

          Members of the public look at a wall of remembrance for Covid-19 victims Dan Kitwood
          Getty Images© Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

          WHO gives most upbeat assessment yet of the global battle against the virus

          The end of the global Covid-19 pandemic is “in sight”, said the World Health Organization (WHO), after data revealed that worldwide weekly deaths are at their lowest level since March 2020.

          In the week to 11 September, there were just under 11,000 Covid deaths, according to the WHO’s website, the lowest level since the UK entered its first national lockdown two years ago. And in the UK the number of infections has dropped to its lowest level “for nearly 11 months”, said Sky News.

          WHO director-general000000000000 Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic – we are not there yet, but the end is in sight.

          “We can see the finish line, we’re in a winning position. But now is the worst time to stop running. Now is the time to run harder and make sure we cross the line and reap the rewards of all our hard work.”

          He added: “If we don’t take this opportunity now, we run the risk of more variants, more deaths, more disruption, and more uncertainty. So let’s seize this opportunity.” 

          This is the UN agency’s “most upbeat assessment” since it declared Covid-19 an international emergency in January 2020, said Reuters. But it has warned that the virus remains an “acute global emergency” and highlighted that during the first eight months of 2022 more than a million people died from Covid-19.

          The latest data

          According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), around 944,700 people in private households are estimated to have had coronavirus in the week to 28 August. This represents the lowest UK total since the week to 2 October 2021, when the number was 942,600.

          Related video: WHO chief says end in sight for Covid-19 pandemic

          WHO chief says end in sight for Covid-19 pandemicUnmute

          View on Watch 

          In the week ending 2 September, there were 8,868 deaths in England and Wales, of which 314 mentioned “novel coronavirus”, accounting for 3.5% of overall deaths, said The Guardian.

          The paper reported that infections “hit 3.8m in early July this year during the spread of the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants”, but these figures have been “on a broadly downward path in recent weeks”.

          What drove the summer wave?

          The summer wave was fuelled largely by new Omicron variants, BA.4 and BA.5, the ONS said.

          Danny Altmann, a professor of immunology at Imperial College London, told The Guardian that Omicron is “poorly immunogenic, which means that catching it offers little extra protection against catching it again”.

          “This suggests that even if you had Omicron during the Christmas and New Year’s wave, it is still possible that you will catch the virus again,” The Independent reported.

          Another factor was “pandemic fatigue” leading to less cautious behaviour which, combined with the end to restrictions, meant people who had previously avoided Covid were more likely to catch it over the summer months.

          Autumn booster campaign

          While the summer wave of Covid-19 infections seems to have peaked, “another wave is anticipated in the autumn as people move inside with the colder weather”, said The Guardian.

          As a result, an autumn booster campaign will offer another vaccine dose to: adults aged 50 and over; those aged five to 49 with health conditions that put them at higher risk, including pregnant women; care home staff; frontline health and social care workers; carers aged 16 to 49; and household contacts of people with weakened immune systems, said the BBC.

          As well as Covid, The Guardian reported that “public health officials fear flu may bounce back hard and early this year, given the experience in Australia, making vaccinations for both flu and Covid a high priority in the autumn”.

          Vaccine progress

          In more welcome developments, trial results have suggested that Moderna’s new Covid-19 vaccine is five times better at boosting antibodies than its original jab.

          The pharmaceutical firm said early clinical trials showed that the next-generation jab produced 9,500 units of antibody in vaccinated individuals compared to a maximum of 1,800 units with an original booster jab.

          The company’s chief medical officer told The Telegraph that the new vaccine could boost a person’s antibodies to such an extent that a booster may only be needed annually.

          Posted in COVID-19, Featured, Health, International, Local, Regional, Science/Technology0 Comments

          Express

          Boris Johnson faces fight for political life: Tory MPs want NEW PM by Autumn

          BORIS Johnson will have to fight for his political life if the Tories suffer disastrous local elections this week.

          By JONATHAN WALKER – SUNDAY EXPRESS DEPUTY POLITICAL EDITORDAVID WILLIAMSON – SUNDAY EXPRESS DEPUTY POLITICAL EDITOR 05:01, Sun, May 1, 2022 | UPDATED: 12:22, Sun, May 1, 2022

          Fear: Boris Johnson

          Conservative foes of the Prime Minister want to see a leadership election with a new Prime Minister in place in time for the autumn party conference. Tories fear they will lose control of a raft of councils in London and that councillors across the country will be ousted from their seats. A poor result would likely lead to letters being sent to the 1922 Committee in an attempt to unseat him as leader, it was warned.

          RELATED ARTICLES

          Mr Johnson’s opponents in the party want him to face a confidence vote before recess starts on July 21 so a leadership election can be held and a new PM installed in time for the autumn party conference.

          A bullish Mr Johnson defended the Tories’ record in local government and fired a new salvo in the so-called culture wars, saying: “The choice on May 5 is clear. Labour and Lib Dems who fritter away your council tax on deciding which statues to tear down or Conservatives, delivering value for money and delivering on your local priorities.”

          Conservative hopes of avoiding disastrous results may well hinge on whether Mr Johnson can persuade Tory-leaning voters not to make a protest vote or sit the election out.

          A Conservative MP warned: “It’s voter apathy that’s going to be the killer this time, it really is.”

          Mr Johnson put the focus on street-level issues, saying: “The elections next Thursday matter. People are voting for councillors and councils who decide how often bins are collected, how many potholes are repaired and how much council tax is paid.”

          He claimed “Conservative councils on average fix four times as many pestilent potholes as Labour councils” and said they “recycle more of your rubbish than Labour too”.

          Conservative party chairman Oliver Dowden boasted that Tory councils charge the “lowest council tax in the country” and blasted rival parties, saying: “Woke lefties running Labour and Lib Dem councils obsess about changing street names while leaving councils like Labour-run Croydon bankrupt.”

          Decisive: Sir Keir Starmer
          Decisive: Sir Keir Starmer (Image: GETTY)

          Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “When Sunday Express readers go to the polls this week I hope they will elect hard working local Conservatives who have a proven record of managing money well, delivering high quality local services, and who support good local jobs.”

          The raft of local elections taking place on Thursday are held against the backdrop of the cost of living crisis, with both the Conservatives and Labour rocked by allegations of breaking Covid restrictions.

          Labour last week admitted that Angela Rayner, the party’s deputy leader, was at an event where Sir Keir Starmer was filmed drinking a beer.

          Conservative MP Richard Holden has asked Durham Police to reconsider its assessment that no offence was committed during the April 30 event last year.

          Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson yesterday said Mr Holden should “know better than to waste police time on this nonsense”. Mr Holden accused Labour of hypocrisy for suggesting investigating concerns about Covid breaches is a waste of police time “when it’s all we’ve heard from them for months”.

          Former Conservative chief whip Mark Harper, who called for Mr Johnson to step down after he received a fixed penalty notice for attending a birthday celebration in No 10, expects the council elections may be a “mixed bag” and “inconclusive” but said: “Before the summer recess, all my Conservative colleagues should have enough information to make a decision on who they want to lead us into the next general election.

          “Do we stick with an uncertain course led by someone who is making good and decent Conservatives across the country defend the indefensible? Or do we get a new team in place to lead a revitalised Government, focused on Conservative priorities who will treat the electorate with respect?

          TRENDING

          “We have a large majority, it’s time we started to use it properly to deal with the country’s challenges using Conservative principles.”

          Another leading Conservative critic of Mr. Johnson said the “general view” now was that Mr. Johnson should face a confidence vote if councils are lost. They said a leadership contest over the summer with a new PM in place in time for the autumn conference was the “logical timetable”.

          A Conservative MP warned that the Tories could face “annihilation” in London, the Home Counties and “Lib Dem-facing seats”.

          However, they were wary of staging an election for a new leader, saying: “I think a leadership contest is by its nature at least a three-month contest. It’s going to be a massive distraction from some fairly big issues at the moment.

          “I’m not sure the public will thank us at the end of it, when probably at least half of voters will be no happier with a new Prime Minister than they are with the old one.”

          A further concern is that a raft of cabinet ministers would throw their hats into the ring and look “more focused on a leadership contest than on Ukraine, rebuilding the NHS or whatever else they are supposed to be doing”.

          Another Conservative MP who represents a seat in the so-called “red wall” of former Labour constituencies acknowledged how the party mood could turn against the PM after a bad night.

          MOST COMMENTED – JOIN THE DEBATE

          They said: “[When] MPs start having their own membership, activists, councillors, or maybe recently former councillors after next Thursday, on at them, I’m not sure how quickly the mood might turn. [I] think the emotional impact for people who have been working really hard to make gains or hold seats in some of these tougher areas and get trounced, that’s going to be very hard to swallow for some people.”

          Conservative insiders are braced for attempts by Mr Johnson’s internal critics to oust him in the wake of bad results but are in no doubt that he will fight to stay.

          A source said: “The PM is not going anywhere. He will fight on.”

          However, a party insider did nothing to play down the scale of the challenge facing the Conservatives.

          They said: “We are expecting it to be a tough night for us. We are 12 years into government…

          “London is looking very tough for us. Places like Barnet and Wandsworth and Westminster are looking very, very difficult for us to hold.”

          High profile victories in London will boost the spirits of Labour supporters but the party will look for signs that under Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership it is winning back voters it lost in 2019. Failure to score major successes outside London could trigger renewed criticism about his strategy.

          The Tory insider said: “We do expect [Labour] to do well in London and probably take some councils off us but the test will be how’s he doing in areas of the Midlands and the North that they lost in 2019.”

          They said: “[When] MPs start having their own membership, activists, councillors, or maybe recently former councillors after next Thursday, on at them, I’m not sure how quickly the mood might turn. [I] think the emotional impact for people who have been working really hard to make gains or hold seats in some of these tougher areas and get trounced, that’s going to be very hard to swallow for some people.”

          Conservative insiders are braced for attempts by Mr Johnson’s internal critics to oust him in the wake of bad results but are in no doubt that he will fight to stay.

          A source said: “The PM is not going anywhere. He will fight on.”

          However, a party insider did nothing to play down the scale of the challenge facing the Conservatives.

          They said: “We are expecting it to be a tough night for us. We are 12 years into government…

          “London is looking very tough for us. Places like Barnet and Wandsworth and Westminster are looking very, very difficult for us to hold.”

          High profile victories in London will boost the spirits of Labour supporters but the party will look for signs that under Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership it is winning back voters it lost in 2019. Failure to score major successes outside London could trigger renewed criticism about his strategy.

          DON’T MISS

          ‘Germany’s white elephants’ Scholz torn apart as ‘complex’ tanks may be USELESS to Ukraine.

          Horror as Putin’s men rape girl, 14, and leave her pregnant in ‘systematic’ Bucha attack‘Forgive us!’

          Putin shamed as Russian soldiers write prayers in Ukraine

          Russia dealt major blow as Ukraine forces obliterate Putin’s crafts off Snake Island – VID

          Mariupol troops ‘soaking up a huge amount of Russian combat’ as Ukraine defence continues

          Putin’s evil knows no bounds: Russian troops kidnap paramedics on way to Mariupol bombing

          Putin could declare World War 3 in days in final push to defeat Ukraine, Ben Wallace warns

          Putin on brink as Russian army ‘may not survive in Donbas’ amid struggling invasion

          POLL: Is Germany doing enough to support Ukraine after sending potentially useless tanks?

          Putin ‘to face coup’ after men blow chance in key battle ‘The Russians have fizzled’

          Volodymyr Zelensky refused to leave Kyiv as Russian assassination squads entered capital

          Bandaged British ‘mercenary’ captured in Ukraine paraded on Russian state TV

          Germany’s white elephants’ Scholz torn apart as ‘complex’ tanks may be USELESS to Ukraine

          Horror as Putin’s men rape girl, 14, and leave her pregnant in ‘systematic’ Bucha attack

          Forgive us!’ Putin shamed as Russian soldiers write prayers in Ukraine

          Russia dealt major blow as Ukraine forces obliterate Putin’s crafts off Snake Island – VID

          Mariupol troops ‘soaking up a huge amount of Russian combat’ as Ukraine defence continue

          Putin’s evil knows no bounds: Russian troops kidnap paramedics on way to Mariupol bombing

          Putin could declare World War 3 in days in final push to defeat Ukraine, Ben Wallace warns

          Putin on brink as Russian army ‘may not survive in Donbas’ amid struggling invasion

          POLL: Is Germany doing enough to support Ukraine after sending potentially useless tanks?

          Putin ‘to face coup’ after men blow chance in key battle ‘The Russians have fizzled

          Volodymyr Zelensky refused to leave Kyiv as Russian assassination squads entered capital

          Bandaged British ‘mercenary’ captured in Ukraine paraded on Russian state TV

          The Tory insider said: “We do expect [Labour] to do well in London and probably take some councils off us but the test will be how’s he doing in areas of the Midlands and the North that they lost in 2019.”

          RELATED ARTICLES
          Comment by Guy Opperman, Minister for Pensions

          One month ago the Sunday Express helped us launch our campaign to boost the number of people getting Pension Credit. Thanks to its support we’ve seen an increase in the numbers visiting our online Pension Credit calculator.

          But we’re not stopping tere. Pension Credit can be worth over £3,300 a year for those over State Pension age and on a low income. It also opens up access to other support.

          Over the coming months we’ll be going all out to raise awareness of Pension Credit and showing how easy it is to claim. And we want Sunday Express readers to keep helping us too.

          We are calling on everyone with retired family and friends to encourage them to check if they qualify and help them make a claim if they do.

          With rising costs, it’s never been more important to make sure that people are receiving all the support they can get.

          Boris JohnsonLabour PartyConservative Party Sir Keir Starmer

          Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, COVID-19, International, Local, News, Politics, Regional, UK - Brexit0 Comments

          real-masquerades140259404_459073465461663_1808658859849793871_o-1

          Montserrat reopens its borders but discriminates on Quarantine

          No gathering today would look like this one – the good old days of Plymouth

          The following release headed as follows really does little more than remove the requirement to apply for ‘permission’ to enter Montserrat. “It’s still so easy to be a COVID-19 criminal…”

          THE GOVERNMENT OF MONTSERRAT RELAXES SOME COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS

          No restrictions on the number of persons allowed to gather, Border Reopens, No quarantine period for Fully-Vaccinated Persons among other changes

          Thursday, March 31, 2022 – The Government of Montserrat has made some significant relaxation adjustments to the COVID-19 suppression regulations since the implementation of these measures in 2020.

          As of today Thursday, March 31, 2022, at 5:00 a.m. the Public Health (COVID-19 Suppression) (No.3) Order, (S.R.O 19 of 2022) took effect bringing an end to restrictions on the number of persons allowed to gather in a public place and removing the ‘Allowed to Enter Category’ which previously stipulated who is permitted to enter Montserrat, among other changes.  

          Persons traveling to Montserrat are no longer required to fill out an online declaration form for permission to enter.  The pre-travel online declaration form is only required to be completed and submitted by non-resident technicians who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated.

          As it relates to an individuals’ COVID-19 status, the new regulations maintain the requirements for persons entering Montserrat to present a negative COVID-19 test result.  The negative test result document must include all the information previously stipulated regarding the laboratory details; full name, address, and date of birth of the person tested; the date the test was conducted and it must now also include the date the sample was taken. 

          The pre-entry requirements are as follows:

          • A person who intends to enter Montserrat shall take a COVID-19 test no earlier than three days prior to entry into Montserrat.

          (2)  The following persons are exempted from this requirement:

          (a)  a child under five years of age;

          (b)  a person entering Montserrat in circumstances related to a medical evacuation; and

          (c)  a person who has been granted permission by the Minister to enter Montserrat for the purpose of aiding with preparations for a disaster or after a disaster,

          The owner of a vessel or aircraft must ensure that persons traveling are in possession of a copy of a negative PCR COVID-19 test or a negative RNA COVID-19 test or else the owner will be committing an offence.

          Persons arriving on Montserrat are required to answer all questions asked by the Medical or Health Officer and may be required to undertake health checks and screenings.  Individuals who are fully vaccinated must provide the Medical or Health officer with proof of their vaccination status. If this evidence is not provided, then the individual will be regarded and treated as not being fully vaccinated.

          A fully vaccinated person is required to be tested for COVID-19 on entry into Montserrat.  If the result indicates that the person is not infected with COVID-19 then the individual is not required to self-quarantine or isolate. However, if the test result is indeterminate (unknown/inconclusive) then the fully vaccinated person must go directly home, place of occupancy, designated quarantine facility, or place of isolation and shall remain there to await the results of further COVID-19 tests.

          If further testing reveals that the fully vaccinated person is infected then he or she is required to self-quarantine or isolate until:

          (a) he/she is not infected with COVID-19; or

          (b)  he/she leaves Montserrat.

          The regulations for a fully-vaccinated person will also apply to a fully-vaccinated non-resident technician.

          Persons not fully vaccinated – entry into Montserrat

          Individuals who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated upon arrival after undergoing the necessary COVID-19 screenings are required to go directly to his/her home or place of occupancy, designated quarantine facility, or place of isolation and self-quarantine for 10 days.

          Between eight and ten days after entering Montserrat the individual will be tested for COVID-19 to determine if he/she is negative and can therefore be released from quarantine on day 10.

          If the individual is required to leave Montserrat before the 10 days have elapsed, then he/she will be allowed to do so.

          Not fully vaccinated – Non-resident technician

          The previously established COVID-19 testing requirements for a non-resident technician who is not fully vaccinated to be tested within 24 hours of entry into Montserrat remain in place.

          Prior to entering Montserrat, the unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated non-resident technician is required to apply to the Minister of Health for approval to enter Montserrat before submitting the online declaration. To apply for approval, an unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated non-resident technician should send an email outlining details of intended travel to Montserrat to mehcsmail@gov.ms.

          The non-resident technician who is not fully vaccinated is not required to self-quarantine but must be guided by the following:

          1. only be in a public place for the purpose of traveling to and from the place where he is undertaking work as a non-resident technician;
          2. wear a mask at all times while at the place where he is undertaking work as a non-resident technician;
          3. practice social distancing while at the place where he is undertaking work as a non-resident technician; and
          4. remain at his place of occupancy at all times except when traveling to and from the place where he is undertaking work as a non-resident technician.

          All persons entering Montserrat are required to pay the requisite fees for the COVID-19 test(s), where applicable.   Additionally, antigen tests have been added to the list of COVID-19 tests accepted for entry into Montserrat; the other two are RNA and PCR. However, antibody tests are not accepted.

          Persons who enter Montserrat under the current order will not be allowed to switch to the new order S.R.O 19 of 2022.

          Protocols for Children  

          The new SRO also makes amendments to regulations pertaining to children.  Under the new order, if a child under the age of 18 enters Montserrat, the child will be treated like the adult who accompanied the child when entering the island.  Additionally, a child two years and under is not required to take a COVID-19 test.

          Protocols-Bus drivers and taxi operators

          As it relates to bus drivers and taxi operators, the new order stipulates that the owner or driver of a bus or taxi shall place or cause to be placed a hand hygiene station in a conspicuous (visible) place at the entrance of the bus or taxi.  The owner or driver must also mandate that passengers use the hand hygiene station before entering the bus or taxi; ensure regular refilling of containers or regular refilling and maintenance of the equipment at the hand hygiene station and ensure that a passenger wears a face covering in a bus or taxi.

          Under the new SRO, face-coverings are still mandatory in public places, hand hygiene stations are still mandatory at the entrance of public and private buildings; restrictions on visitations to a patient in the hospital, a residential care facility, and a detainee in prison remain in place, except with permission or prior approval from the Heads of these institutions.

          Previously established protocols for the operation of business establishments such as bars, restaurants, religious establishments, hair salons, spas, and other similar businesses, gyms, and sports clubs are no longer in place.

          S.R.O 19 of 2022 will expire on Wednesday, August 31, 2022, at 5:00 a.m.

          S.R.O 19 of 2022 is available on the Government website, under the Attorney General’s page. The S.R.O. can be accessed at the following direct link:  

          Public Health (COVID-19 Suppression) (No.3) Order (www.gov.ms)

          Additionally, please note the date of effect for S.R.O 19 of 2022 was amended in S.R.O 22 of 2022.  A link to the amendment order is provided below:

          Public Health (Covid-19 Suppression) (No. 3) (Amendment) Order (www.gov.ms)

          Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, COVID-19, Crime, Featured, International, Local, News, OECS, Regional, Religion, TOURISM0 Comments

          BBC Travel logo

          The Caribbean’s crowds-free ‘Irish’ isle

          Tourism-dependent Montserrat is attracting remote workers with a year-long digital nomad visa (Credit: obertharding/Alamy)
          The British overseas territory of Montserrat is joining the trend of island states pushing to attract remote workers to come and stay awhile.
          (Image credit: obertharding/Alamy)
          https://www.bbc.co.uk/

          By William Fleeson 25th March, 2022

          The British overseas territory of Montserrat is joining the trend of island states pushing to attract remote workers to come and stay awhile.

          Compared with the rest of the world, the Covid-19 pandemic has given Montserrat a pass. A British overseas territory, the volcanic eastern Caribbean island has suffered negligible rates of Covid, with fewer than 200 infections and just two deaths among its population of 5,000 people, known as Montserratians.

          Montserrat’s government now wants to turn its containment success into a tourist draw through a year-long digital nomad visa. After a lockdown in 2021, its tourism-dependent economy is joining the trend of island states pushing to attract remote workers to come and stay a while as Covid persists elsewhere.

          Launched in April 2021, the programme, called the Montserrat Remote Worker Stamp, offers a “best of both worlds” approach that balances nature and connectivity, said Rosetta West-Gerald, Montserrat’s new director of tourism.

          Longer-term, she said, the island hopes the scheme will foster extended relationships – and a deeper economic impact.

          “Beyond 2022, it is our hope that some of the remote workers will fall in love with the island and be converted into homeowners or residential visitors,” West-Gerald said.

          Why should I go now?

          As Covid rates begin to wane globally, the island’s appeal has only grown. At its launch last year, the visa set itself apart by requiring a minimum stay of two months, rather than a maximum duration found in similar schemes. Then in early 2022, the two-month minimum was scrapped. Digital nomads can stay for a year or a week, as they prefer.

          That flexibility perhaps stems from a need to boost visits by all possible means. “[During the pandemic] the closure of the island drastically affected the economy,” said Clover Lea, who runs the Gingerbread Hill bed and breakfast in the village of St Peter’s. Her reservations fell by 80%.

          Gingerbread Hill does shopping, grocery pick-up and other errands for quarantining guests (Credit: Hemis/Alamy)
          Gingerbread Hill does shopping, grocery pick-up and other errands for quarantining guests (Credit: Hemis/Alamy)

          Others are more sceptical of the digital nomad scheme so far. “I don’t know if the remote worker thing has really had much of an effect,” said Margaret Wilson, proprietor of Olveston House, a hotel. Yet she recognises the island’s appeal, even if the scheme remains a work in progress.

          “Why visit Montserrat now? Don’t ask me, I’m biased,” Wilson said. “To me, it’s paradise.” 

          Apart from pandemic-related changes, Montserrat’s appeal is rooted in history, which may be disappearing as hyper-development and overtourism transform other Caribbean islands. Its best-known qualities include its famous friendliness, an outsized musical tradition and pride in its Irish heritage.

          In the 17th and 18th Centuries, thousands of Irish Catholics sought opportunity beyond persecution in Britain and colonial America, betting their futures on Montserrat’s export-focused – and slave-based – economy. Today’s Montserratians express pride in their combined Irish and African family trees. Montserrat is the only location outside Ireland to make St Patrick’s Day a national holiday. The festival, which also marks the anniversary of a 1768 slave rebellion, has become a key touchpoint of Montserratian culture and identity.

          At the festival’s heart are culinary standouts like goat water (actually a stew), Montserrat’s national dish. It’s a reflection of the island’s combined African and Irish ancestries: a riff on Irish goat stew with a mix of old-world African spices like Scotch bonnet chilli powder – topped with a decidedly new-world shot of rum. Since the recipe calls for hours of simmering, goat water is usually prepared only for special occasions.

          In 1995, blasts from the Soufrière Hills volcano covered Montserrat's southern half in ash and soot (Credit: MichaelUtech/Getty Images)

          In 1995, blasts from the Soufrière Hills volcano covered Montserrat’s southern half in ash and soot (Credit: MichaelUtech/Getty Images)

          The island is in many ways still recovering from a more recent historical shock. Jolted by a series of volcanic eruptions that began in 1995, the blasts from the Soufrière Hills volcano covered the island’s southern half in ash and soot. Thousands of islanders fled to safety, many relocating to the UK. Today, the island’s population is half what it was pre-eruption.

          This is the Caribbean like it used to be

          But the same reality – the island’s sparse population – makes Montserrat a rare crowds-free Caribbean locale.

          “This is the Caribbean like it used to be,” Lea said.

          Travel with no trace 

          For so small an island, Montserrat’s menu for sustainable tourism runs long. In Centre Hills, a forest reserve unscathed by the volcanic blasts, visitors can hike up to achieve cinematic views of the island and surrounding ocean. In February, the British government announced plans for a £35m “climate-resilient” port at Little Bay, on the island’s north-west side.

          For families with children, the Montserrat National Trust in October launched the EcoPlay Park, an outdoor space and learning centre within the island’s botanical garden. The site includes playgrounds and an “orchid wall” describing the endemic Monserrat orchid. EcoPlay “expresses who we are and where we live”, according to Yasmin Shariff, an architect involved in the project.

          The Oriole Walkway trail is Montserrat's most popular hike (Credit: Hemis/Alamy)

          The Oriole Walkway trail is Montserrat’s most popular hike (Credit: Hemis/Alamy)

          Kids of all ages might get enthusiastic about Montserrat’s diverse animal life. The Oriole Walkway trail, named after the yellow-breasted national bird, is Montserrat’s most popular hike. Animal watchers can scout for other exotic fauna: the galliwasp, a species of lizard; and the “mountain chicken” – actually a frog, whose name suggests its size (among the world’s largest) and its past use as a food source by Montserrat’s mountain populations.

          In the near future, the island will be rolling out a tourist-focused environmental programme that will showcase its highland ecosystems, birdwatching and volcano viewing. The programme will allow visitors to learn about Montserrat’s full breadth of natural diversity, West-Gerald said. 

          Know before you go

          As many pandemic precautions remain in place, the inter-island ferry service for Monserrat, nearby Antigua and Barbuda and other islands is suspended. Travellers can fly via Antigua before an onward 15-minute hop to Montserrat. Private charters can be arranged at FlyMontserrat.com.

          Fully vaccinated visitors, while allowed to visit the island, are required to quarantine for five days, with a mandatory test required before being allowed to cease isolation. (Montserrat previously required a quarantine of 10 days.)

          Many accommodations are offering reduced rates and added services to assist quarantining guests. Gingerbread Hill has begun to do shopping, grocery pick-up and other errands for their guests. Olveston House – once owned by Beatles record producer George Martin – offers similar services.

          — 

          Join more than three million BBC Travel fans by liking us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

          If you liked this story, sign up for the weekly bbc.com features newsletter called “The Essential List”. A handpicked selection of stories from BBC Future, Culture, Worklife and Travel, delivered to your inbox every Friday.

          Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, COVID-19, Featured, International, Local, News, Regional, Volcano0 Comments

          TMR print pages

          Newsletter

          Archives

          https://indd.adobe.com/embed/2b4deb22-cf03-4509-9bbd-938c7e8ecc7d

          A Moment with the Registrar of Lands