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Inside Covid-19: More than 1m dead; saving children; Adrian Gore on innovation amid gloom – Ep 90 - BizNews
The Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Centre indicates that at at least 1 million people have now died from Covid-19.
Its been six months since SA went into lockdown to stem the spread of Covid-19. As the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Centre indicates that at at least 1m people have now died. South Africa has the 10th highest official number of Covid-19 infections in the world, with more than 670,000 people having tested positive for the disease. Around 16,400 in South Africa have Covid-19 on their death certificates. The US has the highest number of reported deaths, at 205,000, In this episode, we reflect on the development of the disease that has turned our lives upside down and put the South African economy into ICU, looking back at the first deaths in the country and the strict lockdown. We speak to Western Cape Premier Alan Winde and Nick Hudson, outspoken member of PANDA, a thinktank of actuaries, mathematicians and other professionals who have identified holes in Covid-19 models. Paediatric specialist Dr André Hattingh, who has been helping children who need urgent medical attention but haven’t been getting it because resources have been diverted for Covid-19, speaks to BizNews reporter Linda van Tilburg. We look at the people who have been infected with Covid-19 twice – and we hear from Discovery’s co-founder Adrian Gore that the world has seen remarkable innovation and positivity emerge in periods of negativity. – Jarryd Neves & Jackie Cameron
- Global Covid-19 cases topped 33 million as infections in India reached the 6 million mark. The official death toll has hit one million worldwide, though experts say the real tally may be almost double that, says Bloomberg.
- Germany will face more than 19,000 new Covid-19 cases a day by the end of December if the current trend in infections isnt halted, Chancellor Angela Merkel warned on Monday. The country recorded about 11,000 cases last week. The country must act quickly to avoid the same rapid rise in cases that has been seen in neighboring countries such as France, which has been reporting an average of about 12,000 cases each day, Merkel told leaders of her party, says the news agency.
- France will match 2020s record debt sales next year as the country combats the economic fallout from the pandemic. The euro areas second-largest economy will issue 260 billion euros ($303 billion) of medium and long-term debt in 2021, Agence France Tresor is reported as saying.
- A Conservative Party rebellion against Boris Johnsons emergency coronavirus powers is gaining momentum after opposition parties signaled their support. The House of Commons plans a vote Wednesday on renewing legislation that allows ministers to impose new rules to combat the pandemic without first seeking parliamentary approval. But a growing band of Tory rebels want to amend the law to put a check on the governments power.
- Moscow has started to reopen temporary hospital wards after daily coronavirus infections in the Russian capital soared, says Bloomberg. The region reported 2,217 new cases of Covid-19 in the last day, with the number of daily infections up 3.5 times since the start of September.
- Hong Kongs latest coronavirus wave, says Bloomberg, is showing signs of subsiding after months of social-distancing measures, posting single-digit increases in daily confirmed cases for seven of the last eight days. That has pushed the rolling seven-day average daily infection rate down to about 5, the lowest since the end of June and well before the start of the current surge of infections.
- Diageo Plc said it expects business in July to December to improve versus the first six months of the year as bars and restaurants reopen following coronavirus lockdowns. Business has improved in all regions since June, and the U.S. is ahead of expectations, Chief Executive Officer Ivan Menezes said in a statement.
- Beijings city government is requiring companies to stop importing frozen food from countries with serious coronavirus outbreaks, according to a statement on the local commerce bureaus website. The statement didnt name any nations.
- Coronavirus vaccines now in development are likely to be partially protective but wont prevent everyone whos inoculated from becoming infected, said Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The expectation is that this vaccine is going to be partially protective, a lot like the flu vaccine, where for certain people it will provide full immunity, but for other people its not going to provide as much protection, Gottlieb said on CBSs Face the Nation.
- About 40 universities around the UK have had reports of coronavirus cases and thousands of students are self-isolating as the new term begins, reports the BBC.
- The impact of Covid-19 on the lungs and the rest of the respiratory tract has been evident since the early days of the pandemic, reports the journal Science, adding that “the name of the virus that causes the diseasesevere acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)tells us as much”. Eric Topol, MD, a practicing cardiologist who is also founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute and executive vice president at Scripps Research, summarises existing evidence showcasing the diverse spectrum of heart abnormalities that SARS-CoV-2 infection can cause. “While no other human coronaviruses have been shown to impact the heart, people with SARS-CoV-2 have developed complications such as myocarditis (inflammation of the heart), necrosis of the heart cells (cell death leading to injury), improper heartbeats and even heart failure.” The true prevalence of these heart manifestations is yet to be determined, it continues. As Topol points out, around 40 percent of SARS-CoV-2 infections occur without symptoms, and so far, not enough imaging studies have been conducted in people who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 or are seropositive without exhibiting symptoms, to determine the full impact of silent infections on the heart.
- It is possible that Sars-CoV-2 is a generalist virus, capable of spreading through a wide range of species. So says Connor Bamford, Research Fellow, Virology, Queens University Belfast. Since the original investigations into the beginnings of Sars coronaviruses in 2002, horseshoe bats in south-east Asia have been implicated as the reservoir hosts, and a virus (RmYN02) that is extremely similar to Sars-CoV-2 has already been found in bats, he says. However, similar viruses have also been found in pangolins, raising the possibility that Sars-CoV-2 may not have jumped directly from a bat. Also, Sars-CoV-2 has already spread to cats, dogs, tigers and mink, and for Sars-CoV-1 (the virus that caused the 2002-04 Sars epidemic), farmed civet cats and raccoon dogs acted as intermediate hosts, bringing a bat virus into proximity to humans. It is possible that Sars-CoV-2 is a generalist virus, capable of spreading through a wide range of species.
MIS-C: The rare virus threatening children who’ve had Covid-19 - BizNews
Most children infected by Covid-19 show mild symptoms but some have ended up with serious symptoms, caused by multisystem inflammatory syndrome.
Even though children who contract Covid-19 normally don’t develop anything more than a mild sickness, a number of young patients have presented with serious symptoms, weeks after being infected with Covid-19. MIS-C – multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children – attacks a number of organs and bodily functions, including the eyes, heart and gastrointestinal system. It may be rare, but the condition has already infected more than 790 individuals in the United States and claimed the lives of 16 children (as of September 3rd). – Jarryd Neves By Ritu Banerjee* While most children who get Covid-19 develop little more than a mild illness, several hundred have ended up in hospital intensive care units with alarming symptoms that begin appearing weeks after the initial infection. This new condition progresses rapidly and can strike multiple organs and systems, including the heart, lungs, eyes, skin and gastrointestinal system. Its known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C. More than 790 U.S. cases had been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of Sept. 3, and 16 of those children have died. I have been consulting on MIS-C cases as a pediatrician who specializes in infectious diseases. There is still a lot we dont know about this illness. Treatments that have worked on similar illnesses have helped most of these children get better, but its too soon to say if there will be long-term consequences. A new international review of MIS-C cases offers a sketch of how this rare and troubling illness is affecting children. Among the findings: Even children who were asymptomatic have developed MIS-C. Half the young patients had no underlying medical conditions. And many of the patients hearts appeared normal on their initial echocardiograms but quickly weakened within days. Here are answers to some common questions about multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children and what to watch for. What is multisystem inflammatory syndrome? MIS-C is a rare but severe condition that can develop in children and adolescents who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. It usually appears about 2-4 weeks following the infection. As the name suggests, MIS-C affects multiple systems within the body. Young patients can develop a persistent fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, conjunctivitis, cardiac damage and shock. They typically will have signs of inflammation, and some will have a decrease in the white blood cells called lymphocytes that protect the body from infection. Unfortunately, we dont yet understand why a small fraction of children develop MIS-C while the overwhelming majority of children with Covid-19 recover without problems. Nationwide, more than half a million children had been diagnosed with Covid-19 by early September, and fewer than 0.2% developed MIS-C. What happens inside the body to produce such a wide range of symptoms? MIS-C appears to be caused by dysregulation of the immune system, in which the bodys immune response gets out of control and harms the body itself. Doctors and scientists are trying to figure out why this happens. The hyperinflammation can affect multiple organs at the same time. More than 70% of patients who are hospitalized are in the ICU, and about a quarter of those needed equipment to help keep their hearts and lungs functioning. Read also: Covid-19 in children: different from adults While the symptoms overlap a little with Kawasaki disease, another inflammatory condition, there are distinct differences. For example, MIS-C is more common in elementary school-age children, with an average age of around 8, while Kawasaki disease tends to affect children under 5. The low white blood cell counts found in children with MIS-C also arent as common in Kawasaki disease. Its becoming clear that MIS-C also has a range of illness, from milder forms that resemble Kawasaki disease to more severe forms that affect multiple organs and result in shock. How is MIS-C treated, and can it cause long-term damage? Doctors have been treating MIS-C with approaches that have worked for other diseases. These include intravenous immunoglobulin a blood product with antibodies that suppresses the immune response aspirin and steroids, which are also used to treat Kawasaki disease. Sometimes children with MIS-C are given blood thinners, medicines to support blood pressure, and other medicines to dampen the immune response. Doctors dont yet know whether children with MIS-C will have long-term damage Certainly, children with heart problems connected to the illness should have close follow-up exams with cardiologists. It is not yet known if children with milder forms of MIS-C are also at risk for cardiac injury. Who develops MIS-C? Racial and ethnic minorities are overrepresented among the children who have developed MIS-C in the U.S. and Europe. This may be because some groups have genetic factors that predispose them to the illness. However, social and demographic factors likely play a large role in this disparity. Read also: The Covid-19 vaccine race is fierce. But what happens when we have one? Racial and ethnic minority groups are more likely to be front-line workers who are not able to work from home or social distance at work, and therefore are more likely to get Covid-19 and transmit it to their household members, including children. According to CDC data, in the first six months of the pandemic, nearly five times as many Hispanic and Black U.S. residents were hospitalized for Covid-19 as white residents. What can parents do to keep their kids safe? Parents should be aware of the symptoms. If a child has trouble breathing, has severe abdominal pain, feels chest pain or pressure that doesnt go away, has a bluish tint to the lips or face or exhibits new confusion or trouble staying awake, take the child to a hospital immediately. Other symptoms include bloodshot eyes, a rash, neck pain, diarrhea, vomiting and fever. Everyone has a part in preventing more children from developing MIS-C by preventing Covid-19 infections in the first place. If we all wear masks, social distance and wash our hands frequently, we can reduce transmission of Covid-19 to others in our households and in our communities. (Visited 132 times, 132 visits today)
How to prevent the spread of Covid-19 indoors: fresh air – Wall Street Journal - BizNews
In addition to handwashing, masks and social distancing, researchers say indoor ventilation should be on the list of measures against Covid-19.
In addition to steps like handwashing, masks and social distancing, researchers say indoor ventilation should be on the list of measures against Covid-19.
First case of Covid-19 reinfection: Why you don’t need to panic - BizNews
News of the first recorded case of Covid-19 reinfection has caused concern about progress in the fight against the virus. Here's why you shouldn't worry.
Recently, a man from Hong Kong tested positive for Covid-19 for the second time, making him the first recorded case of a reinfection. The 33-year old tested positive earlier in the year and made a full recovery. After travelling to Europe recently, the individual came back and tested positive the second time. This has raised concern about its implications for our fight against Covid-19. However, there is a crumb of comfort to be had from this recent discovery. The Hong Kong man showed no symptoms of Covid-19, suggesting not that he is immune to the virus, but possibly has become an “inhospitable host”. This highlights the importance of maintaining the simple avoidance measures: continue to wash your hands, wear a mask and practice social distancing. – Jarryd Neves By Zania Stamataki* Scientists in Hong Kong have reported the first confirmed case of reinfection with the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, reportedly backed up by genetic sequences of the two episodes of the 33-year-old mans infections in March and in August 2020. Naturally people are worried what this could mean for our chances of resolving the pandemic. Heres why they shouldnt worry. Nearly nine months after the first infection with the novel coronavirus, we have very poor evidence for reinfection. However, virologists understand that reinfection with coronaviruses is common, and immunologists are working hard to determine how long the hallmarks of protective immunity will last in recovered patients. The rare reports of reinfection so far were not accompanied by virus sequencing data so they could not be confirmed, but they are quite expected and there is no cause for alarm. Inhospitable hosts Our bodies do not become impervious to viruses when we recover from infection, instead, in many cases, they become inhospitable hosts. Consider that beyond recovery, our bodies often still offer the same cell types such as cells of the respiratory tract that viruses latch onto and gain entry for a cosy haven to uncoat and begin producing more viruses. These target cells are not altered in any substantial way to prevent future infections months after the virus has been cleared by the immune response. If antibodies and memory cells (B and T cells) are left behind from a recent infection, however, the new expansion of the virus is rather short lived and the infection is subdued before the host suffers too much or even notices at all. Read also: You can contract Covid-19 twice university researchers This appears to be the case with the Hong Kong patient, who did not present any symptoms of the second infection, which was discovered following routine testing at the airport. Would he ever know that he had been reinfected had he not travelled? Probably not. A more interesting question is, was he contagious during his asymptomatic second infection? There is mounting evidence that asymptomatic and presymptomatic people are contagious and this is why the sensible official advice is to wear face coverings to avoid infecting other people and to keep our distance to avoid getting infected. Coronaviruses from previous colds have endowed some of us with memory T cells that can also mobilise against the novel coronavirus, and this could explain why some people are spared severe disease. Three potential outcomes So how should we receive the news on reinfection of recovered individuals? There are three possible outcomes of reinfection with a similar virus: worse symptoms that lead to more severe disease, the same symptoms as the first infection, and improvement of symptoms leading to milder or no disease. The first outcome is known as disease enhancement and is noted in patients infected with similar strains of viruses such as dengue. There is no evidence for this for the novel coronavirus, despite over 23 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide. The second outcome, where the patient suffers the same disease twice, indicates that there is no sufficient immunological memory left behind to protect from reinfection. This could happen if the first infection did not require antibodies or T cells to be resolved, perhaps because other rapidly deployed immune defences were enough to control it. Premium: Scientists investigate why some test positive for Covid-19 twice The Wall Street Journal The final outcome is milder infection thanks to a healthy immune system that generated antibodies and memory B and T cell responses that persisted long enough to be of value during the second exposure. Given the diversity of antibody and T cell responses reported in different Covid-19 patients, we anticipate that immune protection if efficient may vary in different people. Of course, this has implications for the potency and duration of herd immunity, the idea that when we reach a large number of recovered patients immune to reinfection, this will protect the most vulnerable. Therefore vaccination is critical to induce and sustain protective immune responses in the long term. Vaccination can elicit more potent and longer-lasting immune responses compared with natural infection, and these can be sustained by booster vaccinations when necessary. This is why scientists were not surprised to hear of evidence of reinfection. The lack of symptoms experienced by the Hong Kong patient is very good news. The latest Covid-19 figures in South Africa are as follows: Just over 613,000 positive cases have been identified, with around 520,000 recoveries. Currently, over 13,000 people have succumbed to the virus so far. (Visited 4 times, 4 visits today)
Why overweight people are vulnerable to Covid-19; how doctors can help – Wall Street Journal - BizNews
Doctors have long known that combating obesity involves a combination of approaches. But recent research has deepened the understanding of each strategy.
Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.
Decoding antibody testing – Why you could have Covid and not know it - BizNews
BizNews talks to Dr Noluthando Nematswerani about antibodies, and the current limitations of antibody testing in South Africa.
BizNews talks to Dr Noluthando Nematswerani of Discovery about antibodies, and the current limitations of antibody testing in South Africa.
MSCs: The wonder cell that could be the treatment that beats Covid-19 - BizNews
Looking down new biological avenues, scientists search tirelessly for a Covid-19 treatment. So far, "medicinal signalling cells" (known as MSCs) give hope.
Looking down new biological avenues, scientists search tirelessly for a Covid-19 treatment. So far, “medicinal signalling cells” (known as MSCs) give hope.
Can Covid-19 stay in the body after recovery? Here’s what we know - BizNews
A recent study found that Covid-19 is like HIV as the antibodies we produce in response don’t destroy the virus. So, how long does it stay in the body?
Certain strains of viruses can remain in the human body for many years after the initial infection. The most vulnerable areas are the eye; brain; testes and placenta where inflammation can be deadly. However, these areas, known as ‘immune privileged sites’ have mechanisms that protect the tissues from immune-mediated damage. The brain is critical for survival, so a balance between defence from pathogens and damage caused by inflammatory responses is needed. In a study conducted in Germany, it was found that the antibodies we produce in response to Covid-19 dont destroy the virus, making it similar to HIV. William Petri explores what we know about the virus and it’s ability to spread from person to person. This article originally appeared on The Conversation. – Claire Badenhorst By William Petri* As millions of people are recovering from Covid-19, an unanswered question is the extent to which the virus can ‘hide out’ in seemingly recovered individuals. If it does, could this explain some of the lingering symptoms of Covid-19 or pose a risk for transmission of infection to others even after recovery? I am a physician-scientist of infectious diseases at the University of Virginia, where I care for patients with infections and conduct research on Covid-19. Here I will briefly review what is known today about chronic or persistent Covid-19. What is a chronic or persistent viral infection? A chronic or persistent infection continues for months or even years, during which time a virus is being continually produced, albeit in many cases at low levels. Frequently these infections occur in a so-called immune privileged site. What is an immune privileged site? There are a few places in the body that are less accessible to the immune system and where it is difficult to eradicate all viral infections. These include the central nervous system, the testes and the eye. It is thought that the evolutionary advantage to having an immune privileged region is that it protects a site like the brain, for example, from being damaged by the inflammation that results when the immune system battles an infection. An immune privileged site not only is difficult for the immune system to enter, it also limits proteins that increase inflammation. The reason is that while inflammation helps kill a pathogen, it can also damage an organ such as the eye, brain or testes. The result is an uneasy truce where inflammation is limited but infection continues to fester. A latent infection versus a persistent viral infection But there is another way that a virus can hide in the body and reemerge later. A latent viral infection occurs when the virus is present within an infected cell but dormant and not multiplying. In a latent virus, the entire viral genome is present, and infectious virus can be produced if latency ends and the infections becomes active. The latent virus may integrate into the human genome as does HIV, for example or exist in the nucleus as a self-replicating piece of DNA called an episome. A latent virus can reactivate and produce infectious viruses, and this can occur months to decades after the initial infection. Perhaps the best example of this is chickenpox, which although seemingly eradicated by the immune system can reactivate and cause herpes zoster decades later. Fortunately, chickenpox and zoster are now prevented by vaccination. To be infected with a virus capable of producing a latent infection is to be infected for the rest of your life. How does a virus become a latent infection? Herpes viruses are by far the most common viral infections that establish latency. This is a large family of viruses whose genetic material, or genome, is encoded by DNA (and not RNA such as the new coronavirus). Herpes viruses include not only herpes simplex viruses 1 and 2 which cause oral and genital herpes but also chickenpox. Other herpes viruses, such as Epstein Barr virus, the cause of mononucleosis, and cytomegalovirus, which is a particular problem in immunodeficient individuals, can also emerge after latency. Retroviruses are another common family of viruses that establish latency but by a different mechanism than the herpes viruses. Retroviruses such as HIV, which causes AIDS, can insert a copy of their genome into the human DNA that is part of the human genome. There the virus can exist in a latent state indefinitely in the infected human since the virus genome is copied every time DNA is replicated and a cell divides. Viruses that establish latency in humans are difficult or impossible for the immune system to eradicate. That is because during latency there can be little or no viral protein production in the infected cell, making the infection invisible to the immune system. Fortunately coronaviruses do not establish a latent infection. Could you catch SARS-CoV-2 from a male sexual partner who has recovered from Covid-19? In one small study, the new coronavirus has been detected in semen in a quarter of patients during active infection and in a bit less than 10% of patients who apparently recovered. In this study, viral RNA was what was detected, and it is not yet known if this RNA was from still infectious or dead virus in the semen; and if alive whether the virus can be sexually transmitted. So many important questions remain unanswered. Ebola is a very different virus from SARS-C0V-2 yet serves as an example of viral persistence in immune privileged sites. In some individuals, Ebola virus survives in immune privileged sites for months after resolution of the acute illness. Survivors of Ebola have been documented with persistent infections in the testes, eyes, placenta and central nervous system. The WHO recommends for male Ebola survivors that semen be tested for virus every three months. They also suggest that couples abstain from sex for 12 months after recovery or until their semen tests negative for Ebola twice. As noted above, we need to learn more about persistent new coronavirus infections before similar recommendations can be considered. Could persistent symptoms after Covid-19 be due to viral persistence? Recovery from Covid-19 is delayed or incomplete in many individuals, with symptoms including cough, shortness of breath and fatigue. It seems unlikely that these constitutional symptoms are due to viral persistence as the symptoms are not coming from immune privileged sites. Where else could the new coronavirus persist after recovery from Covid-19? Other sites where coronavirus has been detected include the placenta, intestines, blood, and of course the respiratory tract. In women who catch Covid-19 while pregnant, the placenta develops defects in the mothers blood vessels supplying the placenta. However, the significance of this on fetal health is yet to be determined. The new coronavirus can also infect the fetus via the placenta. Finally, it is also present in the blood and the nasal cavity and palate for up to a month or more after infection. The mounting evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 can infect immune privileged sites and, from there, result in chronic persistent but not latent infections. It is too early to know the extent to which these persistent infections affect the health of an individual like the pregnant mother, for example, nor the extent to which they contribute to the spread of Covid-19. Like many things in the pandemic, what is unknown today is known tomorrow, so stay tuned and be cautious so as not to catch the infection or, worse yet, spread it to someone else. (Visited 10 times, 10 visits today)
AstraZeneca promises people before profits as it rolls out Covid-19 vaccine - BizNews
Almost 10,000 people in the UK have been given an experimental Covid-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford.
AstraZeneca – which has a drug at the forefront of the Covid-19 vaccine race – has promised profits before people. There’s huge money in developing vaccines that can rid the world of Covid-19, a virus that has shaved at least 5% of Gross Domestic Product off the world’s economy. AstraZeneca says it will aim to produce reasonable profits where it disributes the vaccine in richer countries and will keep the costs to an absolute minimum for poorer countries. South Africans have been investing in the Sygnia Oxford Sciences Innovation Fund, through their living annuity, retirement annuity and endowment options for as little as R50,000, Magnus Heystek, founder of Brenthurst Wealth Management, recently said at a BizNews Finance Friday webinar. – Editor By Suzi Ring (Bloomberg) — Almost 10,000 people in the U.K. have been given an experimental Covid-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford, a key step toward finding a shot that will help control the pandemic. AstraZeneca is also well on its way to administering shots to 5,000 volunteers in a late-stage trial in Brazil and may scale up the size of its studies there, Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot said Thursday in an interview with Bloomberg TV. Subjects are being enrolled in South Africa, and a test in the U.S. is about to begin. The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine is among the leaders in the race to develop an immunization against the coronavirus pandemic thats killed almost 670,000 people worldwide. The U.K. drugmaker will sell the vaccine at cost during the crisis, and price it at low cost in poor and middle-income countries when the outbreak is under control, Soriot said. Wealthier nations will have to pay more, he said. We intend to make a profit, but a reasonable profit, in the richer countries, he said in the interview. Our pricing will be appropriate, it will be reasonable, because we really want people to be able to get vaccinated. Price Point Soriot wouldnt say what Astras vaccine would cost. Last week, the U.S. government said it agreed to a $1.95 billion deal to buy 100 million doses of a vaccine from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE if it is approved by regulators. That deal suggests a price of $19.50 a dose, or $39 for a two-dose regimen, though the government will make it free to the public. Operators work on the pre-filled syringes assembly line at AstraZeneca Plc’s new Biologics factory in Sodertalje, Sweden, on Thursday, April 11, 2019. Photographer: Mikael Sjoberg/Bloomberg A key player in the pandemic response, Astra is also testing two of its drugs — Calquence and Farxiga — for treatment of Covid-19. Sales of drugs for cancer — Tagrisso, Imfinzi, and Lynparza — exceeded expectations for the quarter, helping results released Thursday beat analysts estimates. The shares rose as much as 3.5% in London. They had gained 13% this year through Wednesday, while the Bloomberg Europe 500 Pharmaceuticals Index lost 2.7% over the same period. Enduring Need The CEO indicated that the need for shots to prevent coronavirus may last for years. The virus may be here to stay, perhaps like the flu, he said in the interview. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla has also said that demand for coronavirus vaccines may endure. Concerns about the deadly virus have raised the international race for protection to new levels, with allegations from the U.K. that vaccine developers were a target of Russian cyber-attacks. Russian officals have denied the claims, and AstraZeneca said theres no evidence its been hit. We havent seen any sign that we have been hacked in the context of this vaccine, Soriot said. (Visited 204 times, 204 visits today)
Take control of your life in Google-ubiquitous world: George Cocolas, brilliantly unwoke - BizNews
In a fit of anger at the brazen manipulation that Google uses to subvert and suppress information, George Cocolas decided to switch search engines.
By George Cocolas* This past week I finally got to experience the taste of defeat. The unique flavours of humble pie. The tart tang of frustrations salty tears as they coursed down my cheeks. (Well, I am exaggerating a tad on that last one). And all this for what? Well, in a fit of anger at the brazen, craven manipulation that Google uses to subvert, suppress or de-platform information that I am seeking out, I decided to switch Search engines from Google to Microsofts Bing. Oooooh I hear you say. Thats brave. Well, yes. It was. George Cocolas I follow many websites or writers that do not kow-tow to the current groupthink as decided by deeply liberal social media and search curators. Or I visit sites and seek news that offer deeper and contrarian insight into the stream of News” that we are being spoon-fed. News it kills me to even use that misnomer. And yes, Im talking to you, the average reader (sheep) getting his newsfeed from Facebook (bless) or from Google news or Twitter (sigh). For many years I have followed a number of the highest-respected think-tanks, writers, websites, periodicals – in all facets of life: Business, ethics, current events, philosophy. You name it and I probably read it. Well, at least they were highly respected until the NYT and Google and Facebook and Twitter decided they were no longer fit for my consumption. Thanks Big Daddy. And we, the people, you and I, have allowed it to happen. Why have people just put their feet up and stopped thinking? Why have they stopped questioning? Why have they ceased utilising that innate human trait and ability to discover the truth. My truth. Your truth. Our truth. And not Googles or Bill Gates or Jack Dorsey or Amazons or CNNs version of the truth. Monopoly much? As Bucks Fizz commandingly sang in their winning 1981 Eurovision entry Making your (own) mind up!!! To which we have Jack Nicolson from A few good men reply You cant handle the truth! The American Spectator, The Gateway Pundit, – These websites no longer come up in a search. Article references and articles from such websites have been scrubbed. Breitbart News well, as of writing it has lost 99.7% of its Visibility Index. Do you want to see videos of Joe Bidens latest brain-freeze as he dodderingly shuffles towards senility? Well, youre not going to easily find them. Like Bidens brain, Google search is barren unless you are highly surgically precise in what you search for. Want to see video of the horrific violence in Portland, USA. Sorry darlings. What violence? Take a chill-pill. Same for South African farm murders. No outrage there. They died from biltong overdose. Of course in this case, the underlying unspoken narrative is They deserved whats coming to them. Oh? OK. Social Media is now Judge, Jury, and certainly, the Executioner. PREMIUM: 67% of SAs use Google Chrome but you should stop right now: Wall Street Journal It reminds me of the very opposite of the No shoes, No shirt, No Problem paradigm. Except now it is No Groupthink, No MSM- narrative, No way Jose. Give up your job security badge at the front desk. Thank you for flying Air STTW (Submit-to-the-Few). Orwells 1984 seems positively myopic in comparison. Come on now Georgie-boy. Now think Big! Bigger! Biggest! when you think of writing the sequel to 1984. So back to this articles title. How was the experience of cruising the internet on Bing? It was pathetic. It was as useless as a big penis on a eunuch. Or on a woman. Careful. There were so few pictures. So little information. Such denuded search results. Practically no links to arbitrary and obscure information sources. As for the shopping. well, the less said about that the better. Even search results pointing to Amazon products were a snooze-fest. News Dont bother. Its even worse than Google or NYT. Propaganda and special interests claims the day. As for Social Media entertainment. Its pathetic. So you stalk alone my dears. No prey for you to vicariously observe and dissect out there on Bing. I ran back to Google (market share 92,5%) quicker than an ANC politician scoping out his latest prey. Really Really fast. (What chance poor SOEs with such predators on the loose?). So how to slay the beast? Or at least evade its sticky manipulative and political correct tentacles. Go directly to the website that you enjoy and read all their news right there and then. Sign up for direct emails from your favourite websites. Use a VPN network for most things. Make it as hard as possible for them to commoditise you. Keep your Twitter if you must. But join Parler, where free speech is a founding pillar of the communication network. You will see news videos, photos and commentary that has been aggressively shut-out from your eyes. Including SA farm murder footage. Share your findings with your friends via links in direct emails. Yes you, you lazy sods. Not on Social Media. Yes the snail-mail of the 1970s will protect your information sharing. At least for now. Finally, and most importantly, repeatedly remind yourself that free choice, unimpeded thought and free speech is your birth right as a human being. It is not to be decided on your behalf by “Da Man”. Googles corporate motto was Dont Do Evil. Ha. Give me a break you supreme hypocrites. Tune in next week to read my latest article: Even though I hate social media and the selective curation of information, I still managed to swallow my salty tears and invest in these companies. For shame!
- George qualified a chartered accountant with Arthur Andersen (Oops) and then went on to become a rated sell-side analyst. He has worked for Merrill Lynch, CLSA and Banque Paribas. He now lives on the Athens Riviera with his husband and a brace of borzois and greyhounds.