BY rafael m. manueco
The director of the Russian control body Rospotrebnadzor, Anna Popova, said yesterday during a meeting of the presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences that “we have evidence that a person who has already recovered from covid-19 continues to excrete the virus for up to 90 days”.
Popova clarified that “the observations made in Russia indicate that the patient cured of the disease continues to secrete the virus for about 48 days, although scientists from other countries have determined that this period can be extended to 90 days.” Therefore, the head of Rospotrebnadzor recommended establishing a period of at least 90 days of prevention against the presumed contagions that may be caused by those who suffered from covid-19. Popova explained that the recovered patients “are people who do not have symptoms, the indicators of their blood tests are excellent, but they secrete the virus through the nose.”
Speaking to the RIA-Nóvosti agency, the Russian virologist, Anatoli Alstéin, pointed out that a former coronavirus patient “remains dangerous for his environment for an average of two weeks, but there are exceptions. There are those who retain the ability to continue infecting for much longer. According to Alstéin, “there are not even total guarantees against reinfection after being vaccinated (…) the vaccine only increases the chances of avoiding contagion”.
Popova also made reference yesterday to the possibility of Covid-19 becoming a seasonal disease and accompanying us every year. In her words, “the covid is acquiring seasonality (…) for now it is a forecast that such an assumption is confirmed, but it is quite objective. In the southern hemisphere the incidence of the disease increased during the winter while in the northern hemisphere the peak moments have been during spring and now in autumn.
On the other hand, the Russian Minister of Health, Mikhail Murashko, said yesterday that more than 300 people have already been vaccinated in Russia on a voluntary basis with the Spútnik V and, according to his words, “approximately 14% of them complained of certain feeling of general weakness, slight muscle aches and fever in some cases. However, Murashko said that all these side effects “are predictable reactions.”
Meanwhile, infections continue to increase in Russia. Since yesterday, Tuesday, 5,670 new positive cases have been registered, which is 141 more than the previous day. The total number of infected in Russia since the beginning of the pandemic thus amounts to 1,079,519 patients, of whom 890,114 were cured. Since yesterday there have also been 132 new deaths, which puts the total number of deaths at 18,917. It assumes, according to official sources, a mortality of 1.7%, which is 17 times higher than that of seasonal flu (0.1%).
Germany agrees to pilot phase with spectators in Bundesliga
BY JUAN CARLOS BARRENA
The governments of the 16 German federal states have reached an agreement to initiate an experimental phase that allows spectators to return to the football fields and basketball or handball halls, among other sports, despite the coronavirus epidemic. From now on, for six weeks and coinciding with the start of the new Bundesliga season, public access to the stands is authorized up to a maximum of 20% of its capacity, but at least a thousand spectators. A rule that will apply in the same way to sports that are played indoors in closed pavilions. The agreement contemplates strict hygiene and physical distance rules, but also a series of restrictions such as the issuance of personalized tickets to facilitate the tracking of possible infectious outbreaks, the prohibition of the sale of tickets to fans of the visiting team, the total suspension of the sale of alcoholic beverages or control of access to the pitch and stands to avoid crowds. It will be mandatory to wear a mask until reaching the assigned seat in the stands and keeping a minimum distance of one and a half meters with other spectators.
In the event that more than 35 infections per 100,000 inhabitants are registered in a population within a week, the prohibition of spectators will be automatically imposed on all its playing fields and sports halls, the German regional governments also agreed. The different federations have also agreed to carry out a scientific monitoring of the experimental phase so that by the end of October it can be decided whether to continue allowing the presence of the public in the stands or even about the possible increase in the number of spectators. The federated states of Saxony and Mecklenburg-Antepomerania already authorized the presence of the public on the football fields last weekend on the occasion of the tie for the German Cup. In Leipzig it was played with 8,500 spectators while in Rostock 7,500 people were allowed to attend the stadium.
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), responsible for coordinating the fight against the coronavirus epidemic in Germany, expects that in the future several different vaccines will be available in this country to combat the Sars-Covid-19 virus. “In view of the large number of potential candidates for a vaccine, it is likely that in the end several will be licensed in Germany,” says Sabine Wicker, vice president of the RKI Permanent Commission on Vaccination, in statements to the Funke media group. Wicker stresses that possibly some vaccines will be inoculated to specific groups of the population, for example the elderly, in view, for example, of their side effects.
A strong coronavirus outbreak in the Bavarian town of Deggendorf, where 275 people have so far been ordered to quarantine, may have originated from a doctor who continued to practice despite having clear symptoms of the disease, according to a statement issued by the authorities of said population. The doctor did not leave his job until a test confirmed that he is a carrier of the Sars-Covid-19 virus, local authorities said. The Deggendorf prosecution has taken up the case to investigate whether there is an alleged crime. The health authorities of the city of 37,000 inhabitants indicated that five people in direct contact with the doctor have tested positive and these had contact in turn with at least 275 other people, who are already in home isolation and who have begun to perform tests to see if they also carry the virus. The tracking of health officials determined that one of the five people who tested positive is a high school student, where all her classmates were quarantined, as well as all the people who traveled with her on public transport when she was going to the school.
Back to school collapses testing system in parts of UK
BY iñigo gurruchaga
The Minister of Health and Social Assistance, Matt Hancock, has announced that the test structure created in recent months will give priority to patients and staff of hospitals and nursing homes. The minister had to answer an urgent question from the opposition, in a day in which long queues formed in test centers created in parking lots and other public spaces.
The ‘Daily Mail’ found on Tuesday that there were no tests available in 46 of the 49 towns where there are outbreaks that have led to increased restrictions. The system gives a high test figure, 227,075, but its total capacity, which would exceed 300,000, is not met on any day. The car test spaces remain empty and there are multiple instances of appointments being offered many kilometers away from the applicant’s residence.
The opening of schools would be behind the increase in applications. Schoolchildren return home with sneezing, colds, fever, … which can be interpreted as symptoms of covid-19. Minister Hancock has acknowledged that the problem will not be resolved for “a few weeks”. And he has promised that at the end of October there will be 500,000 daily tests. But he has not offered a transparent explanation of the bottlenecks of the system that reassures the population.
Another possible reason for the increase in test requests is the feeling of alarm promoted by the Government to contain the increase in cases. The Minister of the Interior, Priti Patel, has advised that neighbors who violate the rule of not meeting more than six people inside homes be denounced and also that the two families who are in a park and start to chat will be fined a while, if the total sum exceeds six.
The number of schools and classes closed in France increases
Fifteen days after going back to school in France, the centers and classes closed for suspected or positive cases of covid-19 increase throughout the country, according to the latest balance of the French Ministry of Education.
“At the moment, there are 81 closed establishments and a little more than 2,100 closed classes. And there are 1,200 new cases of covid-19 in students ”compared to last week, announced the French Minister of Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, in an interview with the LCI chain. The previous week there were 28 centers and 262 classes closed due to coronavirus throughout the country.
The minister considered that the number of closed schools and institutes is still very low, considering that there are about 60,000 centers in total. “When we have 0.13% of schools closed and 0.3% of classes closed, it is good news,” said Blanquer, who recalled that France, unlike other countries, has opted for a return to school with classes in person.
The minister recalled the protocol to be followed in schools. “In general, from three cases of covid-19 per class, this class closes” but this may vary. The local health authorities are the ones that decide, case by case, whether or not to close a class or a center. In the event of closure, distance classes will be used during this period to guarantee the pedagogical continuity of the students.
On the other hand, cases of covid-19 in universities also continue to increase in France, although, for now, the ministry has not specified the number of schools or classes closed due to infections.
The National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA, in its acronym in French) of Toulouse has decided to close its doors for two weeks and go on to teach only distance classes, after 127 positive cases have been detected in this center.
Since the pandemic began, 30,999 people have died in France from covid-19 and 395,104 have tested positive for coronavirus, according to the latest balance of Santé Publique France, the national public Health agency.
France is the third European country with the highest number of deaths from covid-19, after the United Kingdom (41,753) and Italy (35,633). Spain (30,004) ranks fourth in the European ranking, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University in the United States.