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COVID-19 risk 3 times higher for front-line health workers as than public, study finds

COVID-19 risk 3 times higher for front-line health workers as than public, study finds

Health
July 31 (UPI) -- Front-line healthcare workers in the United States and Britain were more than three times as likely to report a positive COVID-19 test during the first few weeks of the pandemic, an analysis published Friday by The Lancet Public Health found. The findings are based on self-reported data from nearly 100,000 American and British clinicians using the COVID Symptom Study smartphone app, recorded between March 24 and April 23, according to the researchers. Advertisement Preliminary results also suggest that healthcare workers' ethnic background and clinical setting, as well as the availability of personal protective equipment, or PPE, were important factors in their likelihood of testing positive for COVID-19, the researchers said. "Previous reports from public health authorit...
Care homes and public told to immediately stop using brand of coronavirus test kit

Care homes and public told to immediately stop using brand of coronavirus test kit

Technology
The government has told care homes and the public to immediately stop using coronavirus testing kits produced by a healthcare firm after safety problems were discovered.The government said all labs must pause the use of COVID-19 test kits produced by Randox laboratories "with immediate effect until further notice". It said the tests, which were used as part of the NHS system, failed to meet safety standards.Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there had been a problem with the swabs but there was no suggestion that test results were affected.He told the Commons on Thursday: "We've identified some swabs that are not up to the usual high standard that we expect, and we'll be carrying out further testing of this batch as a precautionary measure. ...
WHO warns against ‘complacency’ in COVID-19 battle amid protests, public gatherings

WHO warns against ‘complacency’ in COVID-19 battle amid protests, public gatherings

World
June 8 (UPI) -- The head of the World Health Organization warned Monday that governments should guard against complacency in the battle against the spread of COVID-19, especially because of public gatherings and protests worldwide. "More than six months into this pandemic, this is not the time for any country to take its foot off the pedal," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday in a press briefing from Geneva, Switzerland. Advertisement Worldwide, the number of reported infections passed 7 million, Sunday, with more than 400,000 deaths. Tedros said that although some countries in Europe are seeing progress with the slowing of the disease, the number of cases worldwide is still increasing with more than 100,000 positive cases reported every day for nine of the past 1...
Coronavirus: WHO advises to wear masks in public areas, reversing policy

Coronavirus: WHO advises to wear masks in public areas, reversing policy

World
The World Health Organization (WHO) has changed its advice on face masks, saying they should be worn in public to help stop the spread of coronavirus."We have evidence now that if this is done properly it can provide a barrier for potentially infectious droplets," Dr Maria Van Kerkhove told Reuters. "And we specify a fabric mask - that is, a non-medical mask," she added.The WHO had previously said there was not enough evidence to say that healthy people should wear masks.The organisation had always advised that medical face masks should be worn by people who are sick and those caring for them.Globally, there have been 6.7 million confirmed coronavirus cases and nearly 400,000 deaths since the outbreak began late last year, accord...
Coronavirus: Public told to cut water use amid surge in lockdown demand

Coronavirus: Public told to cut water use amid surge in lockdown demand

Science
Water companies are urging people to use water more carefully during the coronavirus lockdown. They are asking people to avoid hoses and sprinklers, and not to fill paddling pools. However, so far a full hosepipe ban has not been imposed.Companies are responding to a double water whammy from the record dry spring and a surge in demand as people spend more time at home during the lockdown. February this year was the wettest on record and you might have thought the UK had enough H2O - following a drenching winter, rivers and reservoirs were full.But then it barely rained for three subsequent months – another record. Then came coronavirus and lockdown meant people stayed home in the sunshine. May was sunniest UK month on record Water firm 'can't keep up' w