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I never heard this in US except that 1st phase trial of vaccination is going on.


Have University Of Pittsburgh Scientists Found Potential Coronavirus Vaccine? | ABP News
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In a great news, the scientists of the University of Pittsburgh have claimed that they have found a potential vaccine for the deadly Coronavirus. The researchers said that the vaccine will be rolled out soon and it will help in containing the disease. The vaccine was tested on mice and it produced anti-bodies in a huge number. This test is believed to be successful and hence will help in defeating the virus.
 

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University of Pittsburgh scientists believe they’ve found potential coronavirus vaccine
By Vincent Barone
April 2, 2020 | 8:12pm | Updated



Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine believe that they’ve found a potential vaccine for the new coronavirus.
The researchers announced their findings Thursday and believe the vaccine could be rolled out quickly enough to “significantly impact the spread of disease,” according to their study published in EBioMedicine.
The vaccine would be delivered on a fingertip-size patch. When tested on mice, the vaccine produced enough antibodies believed to successfully counteract the virus.
The scientists say they were able to act fast because they had already done research on the similar coronaviruses SARS and MERS.
“These two viruses, which are closely related to SARS-CoV-2, teach us that a particular protein, called a spike protein, is important for inducing immunity against the virus,” read a statement from co-senior author Andrea Gambotto, M.D., associate professor of surgery at the Pitt School of Medicine.
Enlarge ImageA researcher at the University of Pittsburgh works on a COVID-19 vaccine.UPMC/Handout via REUTERS
“We knew exactly where to fight this new virus.”
The vaccine follows the traditional approach of ordinary flu vaccines, using lab-made pieces of viral protein to build immunity.
While the mice have not been studied over a long period of time, the vaccine was able to deliver enough antibodies against the coronavirus within two weeks, according to the researchers.
The study’s authors are now applying for an investigational new drug approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. They hope to start human clinical trials within the next few months.
Researchers said they sided with using a patch, rather than a traditional needle, to deliver the spike protein to the skin, which elicits the strongest immune reaction.
The patch contains 400 tiny “microneedles” made of sugar and protein pieces. It would be applied like a Band-Aid with the needles dissolving into the skin.
The vaccine would be “highly scalable” for widespread use, the researchers said in a news release.
“For most vaccines, you don’t need to address scalability to begin with,” Gambotto said. “But when you try to develop a vaccine quickly against a pandemic, that’s the first requirement.”

University of Pittsburgh scientists believe they’ve found potential coronavirus vaccine
 

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When will a coronavirus vaccine be ready?

Human trials will begin imminently – but even if they go well and a cure is found, there are many barriers before global immunisation is feasible

Laura Spinney

Fri 3 Apr 2020 09.06 BSTLast modified on Fri 3 Apr 2020 15.59 BST



When will a coronavirus vaccine be ready? Illustration by James Melaugh.

When will a coronavirus vaccine be ready? Illustration by James Melaugh. Illustration: James Melaugh/The Observer



Even at their most effective – and draconian – containment strategies have only slowed the spread of the respiratory disease Covid-19. With the World Health Organization finally declaring a pandemic, all eyes have turned to the prospect of a vaccine, because only a vaccine can prevent people from getting sick.

About 35 companies and academic institutions are racing to create such a vaccine, at least four of which already have candidates they have been testing in animals. The first of these – produced by Boston-based biotech firm Moderna – will enter human trials imminently.

This unprecedented speed is thanks in large part to early Chinese efforts to sequence the genetic material of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. China shared that sequence in early January, allowing research groups around the world to grow the live virus and study how it invades human cells and makes people sick.

But there is another reason for the head start. Though nobody could have predicted that the next infectious disease to threaten the globe would be caused by a coronavirus – flu is generally considered to pose the greatest pandemic risk – vaccinologists had hedged their bets by working on “prototype” pathogens. “The speed with which we have [produced these candidates] builds very much on the investment in understanding how to develop vaccines for other coronaviruses,” says Richard Hatchett, CEO of the Oslo-based nonprofit the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (Cepi), which is leading efforts to finance and coordinate Covid-19 vaccine development.

Coronaviruses have caused two other recent epidemics – severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) in China in 2002-04, and Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers), which started in Saudi Arabia in 2012. In both cases, work began on vaccines that were later shelved when the outbreaks were contained. One company, Maryland-based Novavax, has now repurposed those vaccines for Sars-CoV-2, and says it has several candidates ready to enter human trials this spring. Moderna, meanwhile, built on earlier work on the Mers virus conducted at the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland.
Sars-CoV-2 shares between 80% and 90% of its genetic material with the virus that caused Sars – hence its name. Both consist of a strip of ribonucleic acid (RNA) inside a spherical protein capsule that is covered in spikes. The spikes lock on to receptors on the surface of cells lining the human lung – the same type of receptor in both cases – allowing the virus to break into the cell. Once inside, it hijacks the cell’s reproductive machinery to produce more copies of itself, before breaking out of the cell again and killing it in the process.

Donald Trump and Dr Fauci at the National Institutes of Health’s Vaccine Research Center in Maryland, 3 March.


Donald Trump and Dr Fauci at the National Institutes of Health’s Vaccine Research Center in Maryland, 3 March. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images
All vaccines work according to the same basic principle. They present part or all of the pathogen to the human immune system, usually in the form of an injection and at a low dose, to prompt the system to produce antibodies to the pathogen. Antibodies are a kind of immune memory which, having been elicited once, can be quickly mobilised again if the person is exposed to the virus in its natural form.
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Traditionally, immunisation has been achieved using live, weakened forms of the virus, or part or whole of the virus once it has been inactivated by heat or chemicals. These methods have drawbacks. The live form can continue to evolve in the host, for example, potentially recapturing some of its virulence and making the recipient sick, while higher or repeat doses of the inactivated virus are required to achieve the necessary degree of protection. Some of the Covid-19 vaccine projects are using these tried-and-tested approaches, but others are using newer technology. One more recent strategy – the one that Novavax is using, for example – constructs a “recombinant” vaccine. This involves extracting the genetic code for the protein spike on the surface of Sars-CoV-2, which is the part of the virus most likely to provoke an immune reaction in humans, and pasting it into the genome of a bacterium or yeast – forcing these microorganisms to churn out large quantities of the protein. Other approaches, even newer, bypass the protein and build vaccines from the genetic instruction itself. This is the case for Moderna and another company which has a presence in Boston, CureVac, both of which are building Covid-19 vaccines out of messenger RNA.
Cepi’s original portfolio of four funded Covid-19 vaccine projects was heavily skewed towards these more innovative technologies, and last week it announced $4.4m (£3.4m) of partnership funding with Novavax and with a University of Oxford vectored vaccine project. “Our experience with vaccine development is that you can’t anticipate where you’re going to stumble,” says Hatchett, meaning that diversity is key. And the stage where any approach is most likely to stumble is clinical or human trials, which, for some of the candidates, are about to get under way.
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Clinical trials, an essential precursor to regulatory approval, usually take place in three phases. The first, involving a few dozen healthy volunteers, tests the vaccine for safety, monitoring for adverse effects. The second, involving several hundred people, usually in a part of the world affected by the disease, looks at how effective the vaccine is, and the third does the same in several thousand people. But there’s a high level of attrition as experimental vaccines pass through these phases. “Not all horses that leave the starting gate will finish the race,” says Bruce Gellin, who runs the global immunisation programme for the Washington DC-based nonprofit, the Sabin Vaccine Institute.
There are good reasons for that. Either the candidates are unsafe, or they’re ineffective, or both. Screening out duds is essential, which is why clinical trials can’t be skipped or hurried. Approval can be accelerated if regulators have approved similar products before. The annual flu vaccine, for example, is the product of a well-honed assembly line in which only one or a few modules have to be updated each year. In contrast, Sars-CoV-2 is a novel pathogen in humans, and many of the technologies being used to build vaccines are relatively untested too. No vaccine made from genetic material – RNA or DNA – has been approved to date, for example. So the Covid-19 vaccine candidates have to be treated as brand new vaccines, and as Gellin says: “While there is a push to do things as fast as possible, it’s really important not to take shortcuts.”

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits to the Mologic Laboratory in the Bedford technology Park, north of London.

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Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits to the Mologic Laboratory in the Bedford technology Park, north of London. Photograph: Jack Hill/AFP via Getty Images
An illustration of that is a vaccine that was produced in the 1960s against respiratory syncytial virus, a common virus that causes cold-like symptoms in children. In clinical trials, this vaccine was found to aggravate those symptoms in infants who went on to catch the virus. A similar effect was observed in animals given an early experimental Sars vaccine. It was later modified to eliminate that problem but, now that it has been repurposed for Sars-CoV-2, it will need to be put through especially stringent safety testing to rule out the risk of enhanced disease.
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It’s for these reasons that taking a vaccine candidate all the way to regulatory approval typically takes a decade or more, and why President Trump sowed confusion when, at a meeting at the White House on 2 March, he pressed for a vaccine to be ready by the US elections in November – an impossible deadline. “Like most vaccinologists, I don’t think this vaccine will be ready before 18 months,” says Annelies Wilder-Smith, professor of emerging infectious diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. That’s already extremely fast, and it assumes there will be no hitches.
In the meantime, there is another potential problem. As soon as a vaccine is approved, it’s going to be needed in vast quantities – and many of the organisations in the Covid-19 vaccine race simply don’t have the necessary production capacity. Vaccine development is already a risky affair, in business terms, because so few candidates get anywhere near the clinic. Production facilities tend to be tailored to specific vaccines, and scaling these up when you don’t yet know if your product will succeed is not commercially feasible. Cepi and similar organisations exist to shoulder some of the risk, keeping companies incentivised to develop much-needed vaccines. Cepi plans to invest in developing a Covid-19 vaccine and boosting manufacturing capacity in parallel, and earlier this month it put out a call for $2bn to allow it to do so.
Coronavirus: the week explained - our expert correspondents put a week’s worth developments in context in one email newsletter
Once a Covid-19 vaccine has been approved, a further set of challenges will present itself. “Getting a vaccine that’s proven to be safe and effective in humans takes one at best about a third of the way to what’s needed for a global immunisation programme,” says global health expert Jonathan Quick of Duke University in North Carolina, author of The End of Epidemics (2018). “Virus biology and vaccines technology could be the limiting factors, but politics and economics are far more likely to be the barrier to immunisation.”
The problem is making sure the vaccine gets to all those who need it. This is a challenge even within countries, and some have worked out guidelines. In the scenario of a flu pandemic, for example, the UK would prioritise vaccinating healthcare and social care workers, along with those considered at highest medical risk – including children and pregnant women – with the overall goal of keeping sickness and death ra tes as low as possible. But in a pandemic, countries also have to compete with each other for medicines.
Chinese President Xi Jinping visits the Academy of Military Medical Sciences in Beijing.


Chinese President Xi Jinping visits the Academy of Military Medical Sciences in Beijing. Photograph: Ju Peng/AP
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Because pandemics tend to hit hardest those countries that have the most fragile and underfunded healthcare systems, there is an inherent imbalance between need and purchasing power when it comes to vaccines. During the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic, for example, vaccine supplies were snapped up by nations that could afford them, leaving poorer ones short. But you could also imagine a scenario where, say, India – a major supplier of vaccines to the developing world – not unreasonably decides to use its vaccine production to protect its own 1.3 billion-strong population first, before exporting any.
Outside of pandemics, the WHO brings governments, charitable foundations and vaccine-makers together to agree an equitable global distribution strategy, and organisations like Gavi, the vaccine alliance, have come up with innovative funding mechanisms to raise money on the markets for ensuring supply to poorer countries. But each pandemic is different, and no country is bound by any arrangement the WHO proposes – leaving many unknowns. As Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, points out: “The question is, what will happen in a situation where you’ve got national emergencies going on?”
This is being debated, but it will be a while before we see how it plays out. The pandemic, says Wilder-Smith, “will probably have peaked and declined before a vaccine is available”. A vaccine could still save many lives, especially if the virus becomes endemic or perennially circulating – like flu – and there are further, possibly seasonal, outbreaks. But until then, our best hope is to contain the disease as far as possible. To repeat the sage advice: wash your hands.






Read more
• This article was amended on 19 March 2020. An earlier version incorrectly stated that the Sabin Vaccine Institute was collaborating with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (Cepi) on a Covid-19 vaccine. It was further amended on 30 March to remove an incorrect reference to CureVac being a “Boston company”; its world headquarters are in Tübingen, Germany.
Due to the unprecedented and ongoing nature of the coronavirus outbreak, this article is being regularly updated to ensure that it reflects the current situation as best as possible. Any significant corrections made to this or previous versions of the article will continue to be footnoted in line with Guardian editorial policy.




When will a coronavirus vaccine be ready?
 
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University of Pittsburgh scientists believe they have a potential coronavirus vaccine

University of Pittsburgh researchers believe they found a cure
By Herb Scribner@HerbScribner Apr 3, 2020, 1:00pm MDT


This is the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center headquarters in downtown Pittsburgh, Thursday, March 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)


This is the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center headquarters in downtown Pittsburgh, Thursday, March 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) AP

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine said they believe they have found a vaccine for the coronavirus after studying a similar virus.

What’s happened:
  • Scientists from University of Pittsburgh announced in a new study Thursday that they believe they could roll out a new vaccine quickly to “significantly impact the spread of disease.”
  • You would get the vaccine through a patch about the size of your finger.
  • The vaccine was tested on mice. It offered enough antibodies to defeat the virus. However, the mice were not tested for the long-term yet. There’s no clue what the side effects of the vaccine would be.
  • These scientists said they have previously done research on coronaviruses like SARS and MERS, which led to the discovery.
  • Dr. Andrea Gambotto, associate professor of surgery at the Pitt School of Medicine, said in a statement: “These two viruses, which are closely related to SARS-CoV-2, teach us that a particular protein, called a spike protein, is important for inducing immunity against the virus. We knew exactly where to fight this new virus.”
Next steps
  • The scientists will need to receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration before they clear it for human trials. They can start those trials in the next few months.
  • The scientists feel a patch would be better than a needle because the patch would send “microneedles” into bodies to defeat the virus, according to a press release.
  • The researchers said the cure would be “highly scalable” for the entire country.
  • Gambotto said: “For most vaccines, you don’t need to address scalability to begin with. But when you try to develop a vaccine quickly against a pandemic, that’s the first requirement.”
  • Testing would need at least a year if not longer to see any side effects, the researchers said.
University of Pittsburgh scientists believe they have a potential coronavirus vaccine
 

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Why a coronavirus vaccine takes over a year to produce – and why that is incredibly fast
A researcher works in a lab at the Duke-NUS Medical School, which is developing a way to track genetic changes that speed testing of vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Singapore March 23, 2020. Picture taken March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Joseph Campbell - RC2AQF9KBIDT


Image: REUTERS/Joseph Campbell

03 Apr 2020
  1. Elissa Prichep
  2. Project Lead Precision Medicine, World Economic Forum

  • The international community is working together like never before to produce a coronavirus vaccine.
  • If a vaccine is developed in the timeline predicted, then people will have a preventative option should COVID-19 recirculate next year.
  • Protection from the virus will save lives and help society return to functioning as normal.

As several companies race to develop a coronavirus vaccine, the public is repeatedly reminded that the finish line is at least 12 to 18 months away. This timeline feels excruciatingly long as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the world around us. But it deserves some context. New technologies combined with international cooperation to fight infectious diseases are enabling faster responses to new disease outbreaks, shaving several years from traditional vaccine development timelines. Here are the key steps in the path to developing a vaccine against coronavirus and an outline of what they mean for time saving and for you.
How Vaccines Work
Vaccines reduce the risk of disease by preparing the immune system – the body’s natural defense network – to recognize, fight and destroy certain bacteria and viruses. While there are different types of vaccines, they work by introducing enough identifying information about a bacteria or virus to cause an immune response in the body without causing illness (though they sometimes cause symptoms). In response to a vaccine, the body sends immune cells to fight this foreign invader. The first time the body encounters a new virus or bacteria, it takes time to develop an appropriate immune response but, once the invader is eliminated, certain immune cells remain that will recognize and be prepared to protect the body from this invader in the future.

Developing a Vaccine with New Technology
Around 10 January, Chinese scientists developed and shared a full genetic sequence of SARS-Cov2, the virus that causes COVID-19, colloquially called coronavirus. Several companies are using this information to develop vaccines that will contain a small amount of genetic code. Certain cells in the body will take up this genetic information and produce elements of the virus, not infecting the person but triggering the immune system to respond.



________________________
VACCINES, HEALTH AND HEALTHCARE, GAVI
What is the World Economic Forum doing about access to vaccines?
In 2000, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance was launched at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos, with an initial pledge of $750 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The aim of Gavi is to make vaccines more accessible and affordable for all - wherever people live in the world.
Along with saving an estimated 10 million lives worldwide in less than 20 years,through the vaccination of nearly 700 million children, - Gavi has most recently ensured a life-saving vaccine for Ebola.

At Davos 2016, we announced Gavi's partnership with Merck to make the life-saving Ebola vaccine a reality.
The Ebola vaccine is the result of years of energy and commitment from Merck; the generosity of Canada’s federal government; leadership by WHO; strong support to test the vaccine from both NGOs such as MSF and the countries affected by the West Africa outbreak; and the rapid response and dedication of the DRC Minister of Health. Without these efforts, it is unlikely this vaccine would be available for several years, if at all.
________________________



DNA or RNA based vaccines are not made with a weakened or deactivated virus, nor elements of the virus, so they can be produced in the lab. This approach is faster and more reliable than traditional vaccine processing, which uses virus grown in eggs or cell cultures. For example, Moderna, in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (USA), developed the first COVID-19 vaccine in clinical trials using a genetic platform called messenger RNA (mRNA). It took only 42 days to move from vaccine design to human testing – an industry record.
While genetic platforms are promising and fast, there are currently no such vaccines approved for human use. In addition to the many companies pursuing vaccines on this platform, other companies are exploring different vaccine approaches such as using a deactivated version of the virus. The benefit of developing and trying multiple potential vaccines is the increased chance that one of them will be approved for public use. First, however, they must go through clinical trials.

Safety, Efficacy and Approval
Vaccines are given to healthy people to prevent disease. While a COVID-19 vaccine is very much needed, a rush to market without appropriate testing could put healthy people at risk. One area of risk is vaccine enhancement, meaning the disease is more harmful to a vaccinated person.
The clinical trial process is designed to test whether new vaccines are both safe and effective before making them available to the public. The process typically involves several phases and takes approximately ten years, but governments and industry are making efforts to expedite the process, and even intersperse animal testing throughout, while maintaining safety and efficacy standards, as follows:
  • Phase I: A small study in healthy people that evaluates the vaccine for safety and immune response at different doses. For COVID-19 trials, this is expected to take three months; it can typically take one to two years.
  • Phase II: A randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study of hundreds of people that further evaluates safety, assesses efficacy and informs optimal dose and vaccine schedule. For COVID-19 trials, this is expected to take eight months; it can typically take two to three years.
  • Phase III: A randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study of thousands of people that evaluates safety and efficacy. For COVID-19 trials, this may be combined with Phase II; it can typically take two to four years.
  • Regulatory review: The governmental body that approves new vaccines reviews the trial data and other information in the licensing application. This typically takes one to two years but is likely to be expedited to take only a few months.
  • Phase IV: Post approval studies that monitor effectiveness in real world conditions.

HEALTH, PANDEMICS, EPIDEMICS
What is the World Economic Forum doing about fighting pandemics?


Manufacturing

The final step in speeding up production of mass quantities of vaccine is early and robust manufacturing.If manufacturing begins during trials, then a vaccine will be available to the public upon approval.However, vaccines that are manufactured before they are approved are done so at risk.A manufacturer loses significant resources if approval does not come or a vaccine is no longer needed in the marketplace.The more vaccines produced, the more risk incurred.
To mitigate this risk and encourage manufacturing, governments, industry and international organizations are working together. CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, made an urgent call for $2 billion in funding to support vaccine development, trials and enhanced manufacturing capacity. Gingko Bioworks committed capacity to manufacturing DNA or RNA based vaccines.Government officials are discussing funding support as well.



1585984966741.png





What does this mean for you?
The international community is working together like never before to produce a coronavirus vaccine. If a vaccine is developed in the timeline predicted, then people will have a preventative option should COVID-19 recirculate next year. Protection from the virus will save lives and help society return to functioning as normal.
If the virus fizzles out, the innovative and cooperative multistakeholder approaches taken to develop a vaccine will still have a lasting impact. They led to the fastest time from vaccine design to trial, and may lead to the first approvals of vaccines based on genetic platforms. This technology could fundamentally change how scientists are able to develop vaccines that protect people from new diseases – making discovery faster, production more reliable and vaccines potentially more cost effective.

Contributors: Professor Gareth Baynam. Clinical Geneticist, Head Western Australian Register of Developmental Anomalies; Program Director, Undiagnosed Diseases Program, Genetic Services of WA; Adjunct Genomic Policy Advisor, Office of Population Health Genomics, WA Health; Ministerial Council for Precision Health



Why a coronavirus vaccine takes over a year to produce – and why that is incredibly fast
 

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Coronavirus Outbreak: Best Business Practices to Implement Right Now

We've put together a handy guide on best practices companies and human resources departments should deploy to help their employees avoid exposure to the new virus strain


Coronavirus Outbreak: Best Business Practices to Implement Right Now

Image credit: Pixabay

Aparajita Saxena
Aparajita Saxena

ENTREPRENEUR STAFF

Deputy Associate Editor, Asia Pacific
With the coronavirus still continuing to spread across the world, we’ve put together a handy guide on best practices companies and human resources departments should follow to help their employees stay healthy and infection-free.

Effective Communication is Key
HR departments should pull together information pertaining to the coronavirus to create a ready-to-refer instructional guide for employees that not only educates them about the viral infection, but also enlists ways to avoid it.
The communication strategy should be multi-pronged and use all channels of communication available.
“You are looking at bulletins, sticking posters on the wall, emails, chat groups, town hall, infographics, videos, and any mode of media that could help to effectively communicate the message to all employees,” says Adrian Tan, a veteran HR practitioner and APAC leader of PeopleStrong, an India-based Enterprise HR SaaS platform.
Information gathered should only be from credible and verified sources, such as the page, the CDC website, and reputable news outlets that clearly attribute their information to either statements made by governmental agencies, or health professionals engaged in researching the virus.
Check out this Bloomberg story that busts some myths and highlights false information about coronavirus making the rounds online.

Implement Flexible Working Arrangement Plans, or BCP Protocols
For those in the thick of it - like countries that share a border with China, or have multiple reported cases of a coronavirus infection - allowing employees to work from home is the best way to prevent contamination given that human-to-human transmission is possible.
“By implementing flexible working arrangements, you are not just eliminating the possibility of transmission at the office but also during commute. This is especially so for densely populated cities such as Hong Kong where you are literally inches away from someone’s face in the MTR during peak hours,” says Tan.
This holds true for many other countries with packed urban centres as well.

“Given the better infrastructure that we have today, it is much easier to be “business-as-usual” with chat platforms, project management dashboards and other platforms that are online or on the cloud,” he adds.
This might not be possible for work that is location-dependent though, but the CDC and WHO websites have laid out ways to avoid viral infections by using non-invasive implements such as face masks, alcohol-based hand sanitisers, and maintaining good personal hygiene.

Reconsider Leave Policies
The last thing a company would want is for an infected employee to turn up to work because they didn’t have enough paid time off left. That not only hurts the sick employee who has had to stress him/herself out to get to work, but also their colleagues, as well as everyone and everything they encounter and touch on the way.
“If the company is results-driven, whether the employee works from home or in the office should not matter as long as the work is being delivered. Given the developments in technology today, there is a suite of solutions for companies to use such that meetings, discussions and day-to-day work can go on per normal,” Tan says.
For employees that are suspected of being sick, or start feeling ill during the day, particularly those that have been travelling, calling and notifying health authorities should be a priority. Fear mongering and forcing the employee into isolation, against their will, should be avoided at all costs, until advised by a medical authority.

Using Tech to Avoid Human Contact Might not be such a bad thing
Platforms that allow teams to collaborate and communicate effectively can be used during work-from-home days. Meetings can be done over Skype, Google Hangouts, or Zoom, while real-time collaborations can be done using free platforms like Collabedit.
(Read about more collaborative tools you can use here and here.)

Other HR Initiatives, Apart From Handing Out Free Masks, According to Tan
  • Beside provisioning free masks and sanitisers, the cleaning schedule of the office can be increased.
  • Senior management has to walk the talk to ensure they mask up wherever appropriate to.
  • Temperature taking could be incorporated so that everyone in the office would have a peace of mind and not be paranoid that their co-workers may be infected. Such information should be openly available so that employees have complete trust in the information provided.
  • Lastly, lunch could be catered so as to minimize employees exposure to crowded areas like the food centre.

Coronavirus Outbreak: Best Business Practices to Implement Right Now
 

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Pakistan gets Chinese underwear as N95 masks
Pakistan said 'China ne choona laga diya' as they claim China ended up sending N95 masks which are made out of underwear to Pakistan, according to a Pakistan news channel
By : Anjali Singh Deswal
Apr 4, 2020 15:30 IST


In a rather hilarious and an uncanny incident, China, the now 'fair-weathered' friend of Pakistan, had promised 'top quality' medical aid to Pakistan for fighting the deadly coronavirus infection has ended up sending N95 masks made out of underwear. China actually duped Pakistan as its 'top quality' aid failed to be of any help for Pakistan.

Reporting the news, the anchor of the Pakistani news channel said, "China ne chuna laga diya," which in English means China actually conned us (Pakistan).

N95 masks

N95 masks

This also pointed at the lackadaisical approach of the Pakistani Government as these masks were sent to the hospitals without checking the consignment that came in from China. Pakistan's friend China had promised to send top-quality N-95 masks to the country affected by Coronavirus.
In a Tweet posted by Maj (Retd) Gaurav Arya, it is stated that China sent N95 masks made out of underwear. This was reported by the Pakistan media.

Major Gaurav Arya (Retd)

✔@majorgauravarya

https://twitter.com/majorgauravarya/status/1246278491735113730

China promised to send top quality N-95 masks to Pakistan. When the consignment landed, Pakistanis found that China had sent masks made of underwear.

Pakistani anchor says “China ne Choona laga diya”. #ChineseVirusCorona

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Maj Arya's Tweet
China urged Pak to open border for allowing flow of medical aid
China had urged Pakistan to open the border between the two countries for one day on Friday for letting the medical supplies and aid get into Pakistan.
The Chinese embassy in a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, "The governor of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China would like to donate a batch of medical materials to Gilgit-Baltistan." This was reported by an international daily.

China's President Xi Jinping


China's President Xi Jinping speaks during the ceremony to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the China's People's Liberation Army at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China August 1, 2017.REUTERS/Damir Sagolj


The letter further stated that the governor had donated 200,000 ordinary face masks, 2,000 N-95 face masks, five ventilators, 2,000 testing kits and 2,000 medical protective clothes mainly used by doctors and paramedics to fight with the virus. These were all manufactured in China in 2019.
Going by the numbers; on Saturday morning, Pakistan reported 2,686 cases. The Pakistani Army has urged its citizens to be indoors and avoid unnecessary travel.
It should be noted that this is not the first time when China has stooped to such a sloppy level. It had sent testing kits to Spain that were useless and were returned back to China earlier this month.
China was the epicentre of coronavirus with several cases and over 3000 deaths reported, which is also being doubted by many as there is mobile phone users' record stating that China lost mobile phone subscribers in millions when it was hit by a coronavirus. However, the mystery remains unsolved.


Pakistan gets Chinese underwear as N95 masks
 

cat

Senior Billi
Re agriculture crops in India...I noticed last night, big WHO conference [including IMF], when speaking about support for countries that are most vulnerable with food security and health systems, it was mentioned that much nutritional support foods and ingredients used by WHO and UNICEF etc. are sourced from India and France and now there is a problem with supply, because production and supply logistics is seriously affected by lockdowns/etc....when it is now needed more than before.
 

cat

Senior Billi
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And the comments refer. Much more. Other countries that also hijacked shipments / sometimes outbidding. Much about USA, differences between states (the usual messy stuff with federal systems.)

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LOL at kebabs:

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