Archive | COVID-19

Scientists at the Serum Institute in Pune, India, working on a bioreactor. Inside is a promising coronavirus vaccine candidate.

Indian Billionaires Bet Big on Head Start in Coronavirus Vaccine Race

The world’s largest vaccine producer, the Serum Institute, announced a plan to make hundreds of millions of doses of an unproven inoculation. It’s a gamble with a huge upside. And huge risks.

Scientists at the Serum Institute in Pune, India, working on a bioreactor. Inside is a promising coronavirus vaccine candidate.
Scientists at the Serum Institute in Pune, India, working on a bioreactor. Inside is a promising coronavirus vaccine candidate. Credit…Atul Loke for The New York Times
Jeffrey Gettleman

By Jeffrey Gettleman
Aug. 1, 2020

PUNE, India — In early May, an extremely well-sealed steel box arrived at the cold room of the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine maker.

Inside, packed in dry ice, sat a tiny 1-milliliter vial from Oxford, England, containing the cellular material for one of the world’s most promising coronavirus vaccines.

Scientists in white lab coats brought the vial to Building 14, carefully poured the contents into a flask, added a medium of vitamins and sugar, and began growing billions of cells. Thus began one of the biggest gambles yet in the quest to find the vaccine that will bring the world’s Covid-19 nightmare to an end.

The Serum Institute, which is exclusively controlled by a small and fabulously rich Indian family and started out years ago as a horse farm, is doing what a few other companies in the race for a vaccine are doing: mass-producing hundreds of millions of doses of a vaccine candidate that is still in trials and might not even work.

But if it does, Adar Poonawalla, Serum’s chief executive and the only child of the company’s founder, will become one of the most tugged-at men in the world. He will have on hand what everyone wants, possibly in greater quantities before anyone else.

His company, which has teamed up with the Oxford scientists developing the vaccine, was one of the first to boldly announce, in April, that it was going to mass-produce a vaccine before clinical trials even ended. Now, Mr. Poonawalla’s fastest vaccine assembly lines are being readied to crank out 500 doses each minute, and his phone rings endlessly.

  • Thanks for reading The Times.

National health ministers, prime ministers and other heads of state (he wouldn’t say who) and friends he hasn’t heard from in years have been calling him, he said, begging for the first batches.

“I’ve had to explain to them that, ‘Look I can’t just give it to you like this,’” he said.

Adar Poonawalla, Serum’s chief executive, says that he will split the hundreds of millions of vaccine doses he produces 50-50 between India and the rest of the world.
Adar Poonawalla, Serum’s chief executive, says that he will split the hundreds of millions of vaccine doses he produces 50-50 between India and the rest of the world. Credit…Atul Loke for The New York Times

With the coronavirus pandemic turning the world upside down and all hopes pinned on a vaccine, the Serum Institute finds itself in the middle of an extremely competitive and murky endeavor. To get the vaccine out as soon as possible, vaccine developers say they need Serum’s mammoth assembly lines — each year, it churns out 1.5 billion doses of other vaccines, mostly for poor countries, more than any other company.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, COVID-19, Featured, Features, Health, International, Local, News, Regional, Science/Technology0 Comments

patriot-daily-press

…to protect human lives against the evil, demonic forces behind Big Pharma

Reprint

(Natural News)
After bravely taking a stand for health freedom at the recent “White Coat Summit” put on by America’s Frontline Doctors in Washington, D.C., Dr. Stella Immanuel, a black woman from West Africa, is enduring an endless barrage of abuse from leftists, which are relentlessly mocking both her ethnic heritage and her Christian faith.

Headlines such as, “Trump’s New COVID Doctor Says Sex With Demons Makes You Sick,” compliments of the far-left The Daily Beast, are running rampant. And white liberals everywhere are sharing these headlines on social media, and openly making fun of Dr. Immanuel for her deliverance ministry.

In an attempt to make her sound as ridiculous as possible – and exploiting her skin color and West African heritage in order to do so, all while claiming to be “anti-racists” – the “science”-worshiping left is using phrases like “alien DNA” and “demon sperm” to caricature Dr. Immanuel’s medical philosophies and experiences, many of which are based on her experiences working with demon-possessed patients in Africa.

“I do not know the culture of Nigeria where Dr. Immanuel trained but I know witchcraft and child sacrifice are very real things in Uganda,” wrote The All Natural Parents group on Facebook. “I also know this woman had to leap over tall buildings and be twice as smart as her counterparts to retrain and be allowed to practice in the states.”

“Though they imply it … she isn’t stupid,” this same page adds, offering the dignity and respect to Dr. Immanuel that the far-left mainstream media would never offer. “In her culture, she is very in tune with her people.”

Dr. Immanuel is correct: Big Pharma’s “FunVax” aims to remove humanity’s “God gene,” making people not believe in God

Dr. Immanuel is being so heavily attacked for her religious and health beliefs by the left that she recently took to Twitter with a cry for help.

“We are being attacked, ridiculed and discredited,” she wrote, lamenting the fact that leftists, many of whom are white and claim to support black people, and especially black women, are tearing her to shreds while ignoring and rejecting what she has to say.

“We need our patients to SPEAK UP,” she added. “If you have been cured by this drug, share your story online using this hashtag. #HCQWorks.”

It is no secret that the left is doing everything possible to keep the public in the dark about hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), simply because President Donald Trump recommended it early on in the plandemic. Anthony Fauci, the head of Trump’s coronavirus task force, has likewise denigrated the drug, instead, pointing people towards face masks, remdesivir – in which he holds stock – and future Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines produced by Bill Gates.

This is unfortunate because HCQ really does work, especially when coupled with zinc. And the best part is that it costs next to nothing to manufacture and distribute because it is a generic drug that has been around for many decades.

To try to steer people away from HCQ, and specifically away from Dr. Immanuel’s powerful testimony as to its effectiveness, the left is picking apart everything she has ever said or done, including by mocking her claim that some vaccines are being developed to try to rid people of their religious beliefs.

While it might sound crazy to the uninformed and ignorant, there actually is a vaccine known as “FunVax” that we, too, reported on, which its creators say will deactivate the “God gene” inside people’s bodies, making them reject their belief in God.

In other words, Dr. Immanuel is right, and rather than take an honest, dignifying look at her work, these mostly-white liberals are ripping her to shreds and, quite frankly, exhibiting the type of anti-black racism that they claim to oppose.

For more related news about the liberal left’s intolerance towards people with different belief systems than them, be sure to check out LiberalMob.com.

Sources for this article include:

NaturalNews.com
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This article was originally published by Naturalnews.com. Read the original article here.

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

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Communiqué of the 96th Meeting of the Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank

Issued: 24 July 2020

The Ninety-Sixth Meeting of the Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) was held on 24 July 2020, via videoconference, under the Chairmanship of Dr the Honourable Timothy Harris, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Saint Christopher
(St Kitts) and Nevis.

  1. Monetary Stability

The Monetary Council received the Governor’s Report on Monetary and Credit Conditions in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) for the period January to June 2020.

The Council was apprised of the following:

  1. In 2020, global economic activity is expected to contract by at least 4.9 percent as the world deals with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Growth in Advanced Economies is projected at negative 8.0 percent in 2020, compared with 1.7 percent in 2019.
  2. The ECCU economy has been severely disrupted and will contract between 10.0 and 20.0 percent in 2020 before starting to recover in 2021.  Key risks to the anticipated recovery include: a delay in the global rebound; permanent job losses and business closures; natural disasters; and increasing credit and liquidity risks in the financial sector.
  3. Monetary and credit conditions in the ECCU deteriorated in the first half of 2020. That is, both the level of money available and credit extended decreased. This trend is projected to persist for the remainder of the year.
  4. Strong foreign exchange buffers, as a consequence of the ECCB’s prudent management of foreign reserves, coupled with financial stability will support gradual improvement in economic, monetary, and credit conditions.

Having received the Governor’s Report and recommendations, the Council decided to:

  1. maintain the Central Bank’s Discount Rate at 2.0 percent; and
  2. maintain the Minimum Savings Rate at 2.0 percent.
  • Financial Sector Stability

The Monetary Council received the Financial Stability Report for the ECCU for the period January to June 2020.  The key highlights of the Report were: 

  1. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to place significant pressure on the economies of the ECCB member countries.  However, the ECCU banking sector remained stable.   
  2. The reduction in the ECCB’s Discount Rate will ease borrowing conditions for commercial banks and help to support liquidity if needed.
  3. Commercial banks and credit unions are likely to experience a significant increase in default risk, market risk, and liquidity risk. Figure 1 below shows the percentage change in Domestic and Private Sector credit conditions in the ECCU from 2017 – 2020.

Figure 1: ECCU Domestic and Private Sector Credit – 2017-2020

Data as at May 2020 | ECCB Estimates for June 2020

Framework for Macro-Prudential Regulation

The Council was apprised of the ECCB’s work on articulating an optimal framework for the ECCU financial system given the urgent need for comprehensive and coordinated oversight, especially of systemically important financial institutions, and adequate consumer protection.

  • Fiscal and Debt Sustainability

The Council was apprised that the total public sector debt of the region is expected to rise in both nominal terms and as a percentage of GDP during 2020. Convergence to the Debt-to-GDP target of 60.0 percent by 2030 will require substantial acceleration of growth and/or the generation of sustainable primary surpluses in the medium to long term.

The Council lamented the reversal of the significant progress made by member countries to meet the Debt-to-GDP target of 60.0 percent by 2030.  At the end of 2019, the Debt-to-GDP ratio stood at 65.0 percent.

The Council recognised that Member Governments will need to contract additional debt to fund critical support for their economies during this difficult period. The combination of economic contraction and the necessity of additional borrowing means a rise in the Debt to GDP Ratio in the short term.

The Council renewed calls for more financial support from the international community, at this time when the ECCU’s dominant sector, Tourism, is largely shut.

  • Growth and Competitiveness

The Council was advised that:

  1. The outlook for the ECCU in 2020 had changed profoundly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Real GDP for the ECCU is projected to decline within a range of 10.0 percent to 20.0 percent this year, a stark contrast to pre-COVID anticipated growth of 3.3 percent. Figure 2 below shows economic growth (percentage) in global, advanced, and ECCU economies for 2019 – 2021. Figure 2 below shows economic growth (percentage) in global, advanced, and ECCU economies for 2019 – 2021.

Figure 2: Economic Growth for Global, Advanced and ECCU Economies 2019-2021

Data as at May 2020 |ECCU worst-case scenario shown in chart
  1. The economic decline is largely due to the decline in Tourism. The recovery of this dominant sector is expected to be protracted with performance unlikely to revert to pre-pandemic levels before 2023.

2. The pandemic has resulted in a drastic reduction in jobs and incomes, lower government revenues and elevated unemployment.

5.0 Programme of Action for Recovery and Resilience

The Council agreed that the COVID-19 pandemic offers an opportunity to unite around a Programme of Action for making the region’s economies more competitive, productive and resilient.  The Programme of Action will include the following:

  1. Enactment of modern insolvency and bankruptcy legislation to support the efficacious restructuring of businesses to protect jobs and to preserve financial stability;
  2. Determination of the optimal regulatory framework for the financial system of the ECCU and the enactment of a financial stability framework;
  3. Fast-tracking of the Caribbean Digital Transformation Programme;
  4. Launch of the EC Digital Currency (Cash) Pilot with an early expansion to all eight member countries;
  5. Enactment of modern Payment System and Services legislation; and
  6. Enactment of all outstanding legislation already approved by the Monetary Council including the Credit Reporting Bill.
  • Enhanced Coordination for Collective Action

In the context of the significant challenges facing the ECCU, the Council agreed to convene more frequently to address matters of critical importance and to work even more closely with the OECS Commission.  The areas to be addressed at the upcoming Special Meetings would include:

  1. Tourism
  2. Labour Markets
  3. Digital Transformation
  4. Business Support;
  5. Citizen by Investment Programmes (CIP)
  • Report from the Technical Core Committee on Insurance (BAICO and CLICO)

BAICO

The Council approved a funding proposal of US$1.4 million to support the payment of outstanding claims to 250 policyholders under the Policyholder Assistance Scheme (PAS), which was established in 2013 when SAGICOR purchased the portfolio.  The PAS was established to help settle surrenders, maturities, claims, and bonus payments owed to policyholders at the time of sale.

CLICO  

The Council was updated on the steps being taken to pursue and protect the interest of ECCU policyholders by pursuing an application, under Section 60 of the Barbados Insurance Act, for the winding up of CLICO International Life Insurance Co. Ltd.

  • Date and Venue of 97th Meeting of the Monetary Council

The Council agreed that the 97th Meeting of the Monetary Council will convene on
Friday, 23 October 2020 at 9:00 a.m. via videoconference. 

  • Attendance

Council Members attending the meeting were:

  1. Dr the Honourable Timothy Harris, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Saint Christopher (St Kitts) and Nevis (Chairman)
  2. The Honourable Dr. Ellis Lorenzo Webster, Premier and Minister for Finance, Anguilla
  3. The Honourable Gaston Browne, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Antigua and Barbuda
  4. The Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, the Commonwealth of Dominica
  5. Dr the Right Honourable, Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Grenada
  6. The Honourable Easton Taylor-Farrell, Premier and Minister for Finance, Montserrat
  7. The Honourable Allen Chastanet, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Saint Lucia
  8. The Honourable Camillo Gonsalves, Minister for Finance, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

24 July 2020

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PAHO

Three out of 10 people in the Americas are at increased risk of severe COVID-19 because of underlying conditions, PAHO Director says

Diabetes, kidney disease, hypertension, immunosuppression, and TB, place people at increased risk for more severe disease. Many of these conditions are widespread in the Americas.

Washington, D.C., July 21, 2020 (PAHO) — In the Americas, three out of ten people – or nearly 325 million – are at increased risk of developing severe COVID-19 illness due to underlying health conditions, Pan American Health Organization Director (PAHO) Carissa F. Etienne said.

Certain underlying, chronic conditions like diabetes, kidney disease, and hypertension, as well as infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, or immunosuppression, place people at increased risk for more severe COVID-19 disease.

“Unfortunately, many of these medical conditions are widespread in the Americas, which leaves our region more vulnerable to severe illness,” Etienne told a media briefing today.

To help address this, PAHO has developed a new data model in partnership with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine that provides a more accurate picture of the prevalence of health conditions in the Americas.

“What we see is worrisome,” she noted. “We are talking about 186 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean,” and in the U.S. Canada and Mexico, one in three people are at increased risk of severe COVID-19.

In the Americas, there are 43 million people at high risk, “which means they would require hospitalization due to their underlying health conditions. And within this group, men are twice as likely as women to be at high risk of developing severe COVID-19,” she said.

People over the age of 65 are at greater risk of experiencing more severe disease, since the likelihood of developing multiple health conditions increases with age, PAHO’s director said. “But working-age adults – which refers to people from 15-64 – are not immune, as many of them live with one or more underlying health conditions. Diabetes and chronic kidney disease, in particular, are especially prevalent among adult populations,” she added.

Strategies to protect people with comorbidities

The new tool developed with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine will help countries with specific data “to adapt their COVID-19 responses and better protect vulnerable populations from chronic conditions that threaten their health,” Etienne said.

Strategies to protect people with underlying conditions, which range “from self-isolation with assistance, to providing adequate resources and support systems,” can help countries reduce deaths among vulnerable groups, flatten the curve and preserve the capacity of health services, Dr. Etienne added.

“With the surge in COVID-19 patients, many health systems lack the staff, space, and supplies to adequately offer routine care. Such disruptions have delayed treatments for cancer patients and dialysis for those with chronic kidney disease. People with diabetes are running out of insulin, and HIV patients have to worry about continuing their treatment,” she said.

“With the new tool, countries can tailor their response to protect vulnerable groups from risk and implement innovative programs to help people safely and more consistently manage their conditions. This includes increasing telemedicine capabilities and establishing surge points for care, which allows people with chronic conditions to be seen by a doctor away from suspected COVID-19 patients.

Countries should ensure that vulnerable groups are advised to connect with their health care providers to ensure they have the medications and supplies they need to safely manage their conditions, she said.

“This is also the time to rely on their friends and families to run errands so they can minimize trips outside their homes. And as much as possible, people should maintain a healthy routine at home that includes regular exercise and nutritious food,” Etienne added.

The pandemic is not slowing down

As of July 20, 7.7 million cases have been reported and more than 311,000 people have died in the Americas. In the last week alone there were almost 900,000 new cases and some 22,000 deaths, most in Brazil, Mexico, and the United States.

In the Amazon basin, COVID-19 continues to spread with significant surges in localized hot spots in Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, and Pero, she noted, while Central American countries “are reporting their highest weekly increases of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.”

Links

Director’s remarks- Media briefing: https://www.paho.org/en/media/weekly-press-briefing-covid-19-situation-americas

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

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GSK actions to support the global response to COVID-19

GSK is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and is supporting global efforts to tackle the virus. Since the outbreak, we have been actively exploring ways to help, with our science and expertise, alongside protecting the health and wellbeing of our people and managing our global supply chains to support patients and consumers who depend on our products.

Using our science, technology, portfolio, and resources to support the development of products for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 and the overall global response.

Our COVID-19 solutions PDF – 698.2KB

Hear from our CEO, Emma Walmsley

Hear from our CEO, Emma Walmsley

Emma discusses GSK’s response to COVID-19 including our collaboration with Sanofi to develop an adjuvanted COVID-19 vaccine, our commitment to access and investment in long-term pandemic preparedness.

Supporting research and production of candidate COVID-19 vaccines

We are collaborating with companies and research groups across the world working on promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates through the use of our innovative vaccine adjuvant technology. The use of an adjuvant is of particular importance in a pandemic situation since it may reduce the amount of vaccine protein required per dose, allowing more vaccine doses to be produced and therefore contributing to protecting more people.

We announced on 14 April that GSK has joined forces with Sanofi, bringing together two of the world’s largest vaccines companies in an unprecedented collaboration to fight COVID-19. The two companies will combine innovative technologies to develop an adjuvanted COVID-19 vaccine, which is expected to enter clinical trials in the second half of 2020 and, if successful and subject to regulatory considerations, aim to complete the development required for availability by the second half of 2021. This would be a significantly faster timeline than for normal vaccine development and teams from both companies are starting work on this urgently. 

One of the important parts of this collaboration is our combined scale. Both companies bring significant manufacturing capacity and whilst we have a lot of work to do, given this is at an early stage of development, we believe that, if successful, we will be able to make hundreds of millions of doses annually by the end of next year. Both GSK and Sanofi have a long history of making our vaccines available to people all around the world and we are committed to making any vaccine that is developed through this collaboration affordable and through mechanisms that offer fair access for all people.

In addition to Sanofi, we are also collaborating with the University of Queensland, Clover Biopharmaceuticals and Xiamen Innovax Biotech Co., Ltd. We believe that more than one vaccine will be needed and we’re hoping that there will be a number of successful vaccines developed with our pandemic adjuvant technology. 

On 19 June, the scientific collaboration with Clover, using GSK’s pandemic adjuvant in combination with COVID-19 vaccine candidate SCB-2019, moved into phase I clinical trials. Over the next few months, we expect to see data from many of these collaborations.

On 7 July, we announced a new collaboration with Canadian biopharmaceutical company, Medicago, to develop and evaluate a COVID-19 candidate vaccine combining Medicago’s recombinant Coronavirus Virus-Like Particles (CoVLP) with GSK’s pandemic adjuvant system. CoVLPs mimic the structure of the virus responsible for COVID-19 disease, allowing them to be recognised by the immune system. The companies will use Medicago’s innovative plant-based production technology to manufacture the COVID-19 vaccine antigen. This innovative technology uses the leaves of a plant as bioreactors to produce the protein for use in the CoVLP vaccine candidate. It is highly scalable and can support the production of large amounts of vaccine in a significantly shortened timeline. The vaccine candidate will enter into Phase I clinical trials in mid-July.

We have confirmed our intention to manufacture 1 billion doses of our pandemic vaccine adjuvant system, in 2021, to support the development of multiple adjuvanted COVID-19 vaccine candidates. This follows the completion of a review conducted across our global supply network. We will manufacture, fill, and finish adjuvant for use in COVID-19 vaccines at sites in the UK, US, Canada, and Europe.

Overall GSK does not expect to profit from our portfolio of collaborations for COVID-19 vaccines during this pandemic. As any short-term profit generated will be invested in support of coronavirus related research and long-term pandemic preparedness, either through GSK’s internal investments, or with external partners. Making our adjuvant available to the world’s poorest countries will also be a key part of our efforts, including donations of this adjuvant, by working with governments and the global institutions that prioritise access. 

Our approach to pricing and making our adjuvant available

We have announced our approach to pricing and making our adjuvant available as part of our COVID-19 vaccine collaborations. Here, we explain some of the thinking behind it.

What is an adjuvant?

What is an adjuvant?

An adjuvant is added to some vaccines to enhance the immune response, thereby creating a stronger and longer-lasting immunity against infections than the vaccine alone. The use of an adjuvant is of particular importance in a pandemic situation since it can reduce the amount of antigen required per dose, allowing more vaccine doses to be produced and made available to more people. 

Screening and research into new medicines

In addition to Vaccines we are also supporting screening and research into potential medicines for COVID-19.

In April we announced a collaboration with Vir Biotechnology to use Vir’s monoclonal antibody platform technology to accelerate existing and identify new anti-viral antibodies that could be used as therapeutic or preventative options for COVID-19. Subject to regulatory review, the companies plan to proceed directly into a phase 2 clinical trial within the next three to five months.

GSK is also evaluating its marketed pharmaceutical products and medicines in development to determine if any could be used beyond their current indications in response to the pandemic. This includes medicines with potential direct anti-viral activity and those with possible utility in prevention or treatment of secondary complications of COVID-19.

Following this evaluation, we started a phase II clinical trial in May 2020 at sites in the United States (US) to assess whether one of our medicines currently in development – a monoclonal antibody – can help treat patients who are affected by secondary complications associated with COVID-19. In addition to the US, we intend to conduct the trial at sites in Europe, South America, and Africa.

GSK is a member of the collaborative research effort, the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator. The aim of the Accelerator is to bring pharmaceutical companies and expert academic institutions into coordinated research programs, with the aim of bringing the most promising molecules forward that could be used to treat cases of COVID-19. GSK will contribute by making available compounds from its libraries for screening for activity against COVID-19.

What is antibody therapy?

What is antibody therapy?

Our immune system fights infections by recognising antigens on the surface of invading viruses and bacteria. It makes antibodies to destroy antigens. Antibody therapy uses monoclonal antibodies which are produced, or cloned, from immune cells in a lab. By targeting specific antigens, they could help our immune system fight diseases such as COVID-19.

Helping frontline health workers and offering expertise

GSK is donating $10 million to The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, created by the UN Foundation and WHO, to support WHO and partners to prevent, detect, and manage the pandemic, particularly where the needs are the greatest. Amongst its objectives, the fund will enable distribution of essential supplies such as personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline health workers. GSK is also donating surplus reagents to support diagnostic testing to several countries and is preparing to do the same for surplus PPE.

We have also initiated new volunteering processes for people working at the company, to enable those with medical expertise to provide support to frontline health workers, whilst at the same time ensuring we protect supply and development of our medicines and vaccines. Initiatives have also been started to use salesforce personnel to help with the delivery of PPE and testing equipment, and for specialists, such as procurement leaders, to work with national governments on developing supply chains.

Taking action to deliver high-demand consumer healthcare products

GSK Consumer Healthcare is prioritising actions in its supply chain to deliver more products that are in high demand, due to COVID-19. This includes increasing production for pain relief brands such as Panadol and multi-vitamins and dietary supplements such as Emergen-C and Centrum.

GSK Consumer Healthcare has also entered into a collaboration with Mammoth Biosciences to develop a consumer-friendly test for active COVID-19, using CRISPR technology. The two companies have started work on the test and are aiming to have a device submitted for FDA Emergency Use Authorization before the end of 2020.

Supporting and strengthening UK COVID-19 testing capability 

In April 2020, GSK joined with AstraZeneca and the University of Cambridge to create a state-of-the-art, high-throughput testing laboratory in Cambridge. This Centre complements the Lighthouse Centres’ testing efforts and will support the UK Government’s comprehensive COVID-19 plan of “test, track, and trace.” In particular, the Cambridge Testing Centre is introducing state-of-the-art robotics, automation, and other diagnostic innovations to optimise COVID-19 testing. In the long-term, these innovations will inform and strengthen the UK’s diagnostics capability.

Further actions and updates

We will provide regular updates on our progress and our efforts to support the global response to COVID-19. We continue to monitor the situation closely and will take further actions to develop our response to the pandemic, including ideas and support for long-term, global pandemic preparedness. In doing so, we will continue to put the needs of patients and our people first at all times.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, COVID-19, Featured, Features, Health, International, Local, Travel0 Comments

Coronavirus: Boris Johnson vows £3bn NHS funding boost to get NHS ‘battle ready’ for winter

Coronavirus: Boris Johnson vows £3bn NHS funding boost to get NHS ‘battle-ready’ for winter

Coronavirus: Boris Johnson vows £3bn NHS funding boost to get NHS ‘battle ready’ for winter

Number 10 said ministers were “fully aware that winter will present further challenges” for the NHS.

Matt Honeycombe-Foster

Matt Honeycombe-Foster

matt_hfoster

Boris Johnson is promising a £3bn spending boost to get the NHS “battle-ready for winter“ as the country continues to grapple with coronavirus.

Number 10 said the additional funding would be “available immediately”, with Mr. Johnson also using a press conference on Friday to bulk out the Government’s Covid-19 “road-map” recovery plan and promise a further boost to testing.

The funding comes after a government-commissioned report this week urged ministers to make “intense preparation” over the next two months to get the NHS ready for a winter spike of Covid-19 cases which could lead to 119,000 hospital deaths. 

Downing Street said the cash would allow the NHS to both carry on using private hospital capacity and maintain extra support in the largely-unused new Nightingale hospitals.

Mr. Johnson is also set to publish a new chapter for the Government’s coronavirus “road map”, and confirm plans to increase antigen testing capacity — detecting whether a person currently has the virus — to half a million a day by the end of October.

Related

Extend free childcare to one-year-olds to protect vulnerable from coronavirus fallout, ministers urged

Extend free childcare to one-year-olds to protect vulnerable from coronavirus fallout, ministers urged By Kate Forrester – 4 hr

It has been reported that the Prime Minister will also use Friday’s press conference to signal a shift in the Government’s advice on returning to work — although Sir Patrick told MPs on Thursday that there was “absolutely no reason” for companies to change their policy if it was not detrimental to business.
 
A Number 10 spokesperson said: “Thanks to the hard work and sacrifices of the British people, the virus is under control and we have eased restrictions in a cautious, phased way.
 
“But the Prime Minister is clear that now is not the time for complacency, and we must make sure our NHS is battle-ready for winter.
 
“Tomorrow, he will set out a broad package of measures to protect against both a possible second wave and to ease winter pressures and keep the public safe.”

A report by the Academy of Medical Sciences, commissioned by the UK’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, said this week that the health service should brace for a peak in hospital admissions next January to February “of a similar magnitude” to the first wave earlier this year.

And it estimated that there could be 119,000 hospital deaths between September 2020 and June 2021 — “over double the number that occurred during the first wave” — if steps are not taken to ready the NHS.

Pressure in the health service is typically at its most intense in the winter, and the report warned that a “generalised increase” in flu cases could “rapidly overwhelm” the NHS’s test and trace capacity.

Number 10 said ministers were “fully aware that winter will present further challenges”, and said a new marketing campaign would be launched “shortly” to increase public awareness of access to testing for Covid-19.
 
Officials have been modeling scenarios for the winter and looking to “assess what the UK can learn from other nations”, it said, while the Government is auditing stockpiles of personal protective and other equipment to ensure the health service has the tools it needs.

The funding boost has been welcomed by the Local Government Association, which represents councils.

But chairman James Jamieson warned: “If this awful pandemic has proved one thing it is that there cannot be a sustainable NHS without a sustainable adult social care system. You cannot protect one and not the other. 

“Adult social care services remain on the frontline of this crisis and need parity of esteem with the NHS. We urge the Government to also further address the immediate financial pressures facing the sector.”

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Ministers should be fixing Universal Credit, not glossing over its huge problems

Ministers should be fixing Universal Credit, not glossing over its huge problemsBy Neil Coyle MP15 JulCoronavirusPress releases15 JulHeathrow unveils further measures to keep the UK’s front door COVID-secureBy Heathrow14 JulNew GGF consumer campaign – “Stay safe with MyGlazing”By Glass and Glazing Federation14 JulOnly as ‘last resort’ should police get involvedBy Police Federation of England and Wales

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

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The Mirror’s must read rundown of today’s news, advice and stories

Replicated from the Mirror, UK

Office staff will NOT have to wear masks at work

Welcome to tonight’s briefing…
Office workers in England will not have to wear face coverings, Matt Hancock has said.
Face coverings will be mandatory in shops and supermarkets from July 24
But the Health Secretary said there were no plans to extend the requirement to workspaces and schools.
“It is something we’ve looked at and rejected,” he said.

He added: “When you’re in close proximity with somebody that you have to work closely to, if you’re there for a long time with them, then a mask doesn’t offer that protection.

“The same logic applies for schools – we’re not recommending masks for schools because if you’re in a classroom with kids all day then a mask doesn’t give you protection.”

In other developments today: 
• Boris Johnson has committed to holding an independent inquiry into the Government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.
• The Queen will attend her first face-to-face public engagement since the lockdown to knight Capt Tom Moore at Windsor Castle on Friday.
• The charity Action on Smoking and Health says more than one million people have given up smoking since the start of the Covid outbreak.
• Starbucks and McDonald’s are among the firms to cut prices after the VAT reduction started today. VAT on food and drink has been cut from 20% to 5%.
• The infection rate in England fell dramatically before the easing of the lockdown in May, according to a study by Imperial College, London. It found the R rate was down to 0.57 – lower than the official estimate of between 0.7 and 1.
• The luxury fashion firm Burberry is to axe 500 jobs from its UK and global workforce.
• DisneyLand Paris reopened today with social distancing rules in place and visitors aged over 11 required to wear face coverings.
• Spanish authorities have closed the Punta Ballena party strip in Magaluf after tourists flouted rules on social distancing and face coverings.

People in Blackburn have been banned from visiting each other in groups of more than two and told they must not shake hands following a spike in new Covid-19 infections.

Health bosses warn that unless the number of new cases goes down, Blackburn with Darwen may have to follow Leicester back into lockdown.

The measures – which also include advice to wear face coverings in all enclosed public spaces – will be in place for the next month.

The authority’s director of public health, Dominic Harrison, said a lockdown similar to that in Leicester is “a real possibility” after the infection rate rose to 47 cases per 100,000 from 31.6 in just seven days.

The authority is third on the list of highest weekly rates, behind Leicester, which has a rate of 118.2 cases per 100,000 and is subject to a local lockdown, and nearby Pendle, with a rate of 76.6.

And here’s how NOT to mask

Discount fashion website Pretty Little Thing has been slammed for selling a “useless” bedazzled face mask

The online retailer was mocked for its Black Diamante Fishnet Mask with shoppers ridiculing the product on Twitter and many branding it “ridiculous”.

Images taken from the Pretty Little Thing Website show the £10 mask as worn by a model and it is made from a fishnet style material, with rhinestones dotted across the front.

The “statement mask” provides absolutely no coverage over the mouth or nose, leading many to criticise the design.

Among those to question, the product was Twitter user Imogen Jayde from Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

Emma Pharoah from Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, retweeted the image saying: “PLT are really f* up atm aren’t they?”

One user named Eden Loise fumed: “Companies who see masks as a trend rather than a necessity in helping prevent thousands of people dying. What is this @OfficialPLT, wise up.”

And another user from Glasgow named Rebekah dubbed it: “The most useless thing I’ve ever seen.”

Thank you for reading The Mirror’s Coronavirus Briefing. We’re proud to campaign seven days a week for a fair and equal society for all. Share your stories at webnews@mirror.co.uk. If you were sent this email by a friend and would like to sign up, you can do so here.

See full article here: https://email.trinitymirror-news.co.uk/w1pfEz5HIUHEgPbOVJ53nhdphMndx1EWNGaM2XMF7CF/WebView.aspx

Posted in COVID-19, Environment, Features, Health, International, Local, Regional, TOURISM0 Comments

Reverse story of need for negative COVID-19 test certificate to enter Antigua

Reverse story of need for negative COVID-19 test certificate to enter Antigua

by Bennette Roach

We are pleased to say we rush to reverse a story where we hurried yesterday the headline “Travelers to face Negative COVID-19 Test to enter Antigua”, from a Montserrat GIU release.

We dutifully published,While entering Montserrat has taken on visa-styled requirements to enter the island, leaving Montserrat is equally involved as health certificates become necessary to enter Antigua.

The Ministry of Health and Social Services is notifying travelers from Montserrat to Antigua, of the need to have a negative COVID-19 test prior to traveling.

At 1.45 p.m. today Premier Farrell reiterated the information in the Government release which three hours later we discovered the following news from Antigua News Room which completely contradicts the information confirmed by the  Hon Premier Farrell in his press conference where he announced the reduction of conditions resulting in full lockdown and curfews including the closure of the borders of Montserrat to travel in and out of Montserrat.

The Cabinet has agreed to establish what is known as “a travel bubble” that will allow citizens from identified states to travel to Antigua without the necessity to have Covid-19 tests undertaken and certificates presented upon entry.

The citizens of the O.E.C.S. and Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Jamaica will be accorded the privilege of being included in this “bubble”. Reciprocity is also deemed to be a requirement. The number of infected persons in these jurisdictions is deemed sufficiently low so as not to cause a threat, although the citizens of these CARICOM countries, upon entry, will be made to undergo non-invasive temperature tests. Only two of the states have opened their borders since the Covid-19 epidemic.

All other persons of every citizenship who intend to travel to Antigua, after yesterday, July 7, 2020, are required to undertake a Covid-19 test that is no more than 7 days old prior to travel, and to have a certificate showing that they have tested negative.

 



Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, COVID-19, Features, International, Local, Regional, TOURISM, Travel0 Comments

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This happens to your body when you eat ginger every day for a month

We didn’t know ginger is so healthy

We all know that fruit and vegetables are really good for us. It is known that we should eat colored food several times a day, but did you know that certain spices also have many health benefits? Take ginger, for example. When you eat ginger every day, a lot of good things happen to your body.

Ginger

Ginger is a spice with a very strong taste. Ginger is not only very tasty but also has a lot of good qualities. Ginger contains gingerol, shogaol, zingiberene, and a whole range of vitamins and minerals. It is therefore not surprising that ginger has a long medicinal history. Centuries ago, ginger was used to cure all kinds of ailments. In addition, eating ginger regularly also helps to keep your body healthy.

Good qualities

Ginger contains gingerol, a bio-active substance that helps to reduce symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. This substance also helps to reduce swollen joints. Ginger also contains shoagol, a substance with an analgesic effect that also helps against cancer and heart disease. Zingiberene in ginger is particularly good for digestion. But not only this: ginger also has an anti-diabetic effect and improves brain function and the immune system.

Ginger every day

Are you planning to eat ginger every day for a month? Then we will not stop you! Eating ginger daily has many health benefits. Side note: you do not have to nibble on a piece of ginger every day. Cut a large piece – about 1.5 centimeters – into small pieces and mix it with your smoothie, tea, or Asian dish. Wondering what this does to your body? We will explain it to you.

…Does this to your body:

Anti-inflammatory: Inflammation in the body is reduced faster. This is due to the anti-inflammatory effect of ginger.

Nausea disappears: are you often nauseous in the morning? We bet that eating ginger every day will help you! By eating ginger daily, the nausea will soon subside. Tip: Especially pregnant women and people undergoing chemotherapy can benefit from this.

Reduction of muscle pain: Do you have muscle pain or pain in the limbs? Eating ginger can have a good influence on this. Consuming ginger daily will gradually ease the pain.

Promotes bowel movements: Eating ginger on a daily basis does a lot of good for your bowel movements. Do you regularly suffer from constipation? Then this might help you.

Menstrual pain: Are you in constant pain during this time of the month? Then eating ginger daily may help you. The spice is similar to taking pain medications, which can help relieve acute abdominal pain.

Lowers cholesterol: Eating ginger every day for a month can help lower “bad” cholesterol in the body. The amount of triglycerides in the blood is reduced by the substances in ginger.

Boosts the Immune System: The anti-inflammatory properties in ginger strengthens the immune system. Have you already been affected by a cold or virus? Then ginger can help you recover faster.

Posted in COVID-19, Education, Features, Health, International, Local, OECS, Regional0 Comments

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Travelers to face Negative COVID-19 Test to enter Antigua

by Bennette Roach

While entering Montserrat has taken on visa-styled requirements to enter the island, leaving  Montserrat is equally involved as health certificates become necessary to enter Antigua.

The Ministry of Health and Social Services is notifying travelers from Montserrat to Antigua, of the need to have a negative COVID-19 test prior to traveling.

This became necessary as advised in a release today from the Government Information Unit (GIU) whereby, “In accordance with the Government of Antigua public health protocols, all passengers arriving in Antigua must have a negative COVID -19 test taken within seven days of their arrival. This includes passengers transiting through Antigua to other final destinations.”

To facilitate the established protocols; The Ministry of Health and Social Services will facilitate the testing of prospective travelers.  As such “Residents who are booked to travel must contact Dr. Georgette Skerritt at telephone number (664) 496-9724 to make an appointment, to be sampled for testing.

“Sampling will occur each Friday, and test results are anticipated to be available by Wednesday of the following week. At present, there is no cost associated with sampling and testing.”

The public is asked to review their travel dates and be guided accordingly to ensure a smooth transition through Antigua.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, COVID-19, Government Notices, Health, International, News, Regional0 Comments

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