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CDC is cutting length of quarantines for Americans who have been exposed to Covid-19 - it could be 7 days - Business Insider South Africa
"Hopefully, people would be better able to adhere to quarantine if it was, for example, seven to 10 days," the CDC's Dr. Henry Walke told the WSJ.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is planning to shorten the recommended time Americans should quarantine for after exposure to COVID-19. Currently, the CDC recommends that people quarantine for 14 days after coming into contact with someone that has the coronavirus. But CDC officials are now finalizing plans for a new quarantine period that could be as short as seven days, Dr. Henry Walke, the agency's incident manager for COVID-19 response, told the Wall Street Journal Tuesday. "Hopefully, people would be better able to adhere to quarantine if it was, for example, seven to 10 days," he said. People would also need to take a COVID-19 test to ensure they don't have the virus before they came out of quarantine, he added. Walke said agency officials are discussing exactly how long quarantine should last, and the type of test a person would be given to come out of self-quarantine. "We do think that the work that we've done, and some of the studies we have and the modeling data that we have, shows that we can with testing shorten quarantines," he said. If someone tests negative for COVID-19 "then their probability of going on and developing an infection after that is pretty low," he added. The CDC didn't immediately respond to a request from Business Insider comment. In October, CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield said in a briefing that the agency was looking at cutting the length of quarantine by up to a week, per NBC News. "Obviously we don't want people to be quarantined 14 days unnecessarily," Redfield said. Along with a 14-day quarantine period, the CDC also currently advises Americans to wear a mask and social distance from other people to suppress the spread of the virus. Health officials estimate that the coronavirus has a 14-day incubation period. People who are infected might not show any symptoms during this time but could still spread the virus to others. The CDC's announcement came as coronavirus cases in the US surge. More than 12.6 million people have been infected with the virus, and nearly 230,00 have died, according to the New York Times COVID-19 tracker. The World Health Organisation (WHO) advises a 14-day quarantine for anyone who may have come into contact with someone that has COVID-19. However, officials are reviewing the data, a WHO spokeswoman told the Journal. Read more:Drugmakers behind 3 coronavirus vaccines say they work. Here's everything we know about the race for a vaccine and when you might be able to get a shot. Across the Atlantic, European countries are cutting down the quarantine time for those who've been in contact with a COVID-19 case. In September, France reduced quarantine from 14 to seven days, while Germans were told they must self-isolate for 10 days instead of 14 on November 8 — although individual states decide if they want to follow the advice. Belgium shortened its quarantine period to seven days on October 1, but then increased it to 10 days on October 19 after a surge in cases. The UK still mandates a 14-day self-isolation, but the country plans to cut the period incoming travelers must quarantine for from 14 to five days, if they pay for a test and test negative for COVID-19. Loading Something is loading.
AstraZeneca and Oxford University announced 3rd working Covid-19 vaccine, which they say is 70% effective - Business Insider South Africa
The news follows recent announcements that the vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna, both of which showed greater effectiveness.
The Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and The University of Oxford is 70% effective, according to large-scale trial results reported by the BBC on Monday. Researchers said the large-scale trial of more than 20,000 volunteers showed the vaccine stopped people from developing symptoms about 70% of the time. The news follows recent announcements that the vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna were 95% effective. According to the BBC, although less effective overall, this Oxford/AstraZeneca is cheaper to produce and easier to store than the other two. This is a breaking news story, check back for updates.
Xbox shipping delays may continue until April 2021, warns Microsoft executive - Business Insider South Africa
"I think we'll continue to see supply shortages as we head into the post-holiday quarter," Xbox CFO Tim Stuart said about the Xbox Series X and S.
Microsoft may not be able to ship enough new Xbox consoles to meet demand until April next year, one Microsoft executive has said, while another has apologised for shipping delays. "The number one request I get over and over is, 'It's so hard to get the consoles right now,' and you know I really apologise for that," Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, said on Saturday, per Video Games Chronicle, The new consoles hit the market 10 November, but shipping dates for some Amazon pre-orders were pushed back until later in November or December. Microsoft may not be able to make enough consoles to meet all demand until April, Tim Stuart, Xbox's chief financial officer, said at a conference on 12 November, in comments reported by The Verge Monday. "I think we'll continue to see supply shortages as we head into the post-holiday quarter," Stuart said, referencing the first quarter of next year, ending 31 March. The supply shortage had been somewhat expected. In late October, Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood told investors to expect "very strong demand" when the consoles launched, according to a conference call transcript provided by the company. Hood said she projected a 40% spike in hardware revenue for the holiday quarter. Xbox's production teams will "have supply cranking" over the next six months to be able to meet all demand by April, Stuart told analysts at the Jefferies Interactive Entertainment Virtual Conference, according to a transcript. "And that's when I expect to see, really, that demand profile start to be met, which will be really, really great," Stuart said. Getting the Series X and Series S into gamers' living rooms is just part of the equation, Jefferies analysts Alex Giaimo and Brent Thill said in a research note sent to clients after the conference. Xbox launches are now about "more than just the hardware," and the company's gaming subscription service — Xbox Game Pass — is the new "North Star" metric, the analysts said. Sony's new console, the PlayStation 5, has faced its own problems. It was nearly impossible to buy the PlayStation 5 at launch, in part thanks to reseller bots.
Netflix is testing a new feed of short, funny videos on iPhones and iPads - Business Insider South Africa
Social-media giants like TikTok and Instagram have already seen success with short-form vertical videos. Now, Netflix might be joining the pack.
Netflix is testing a new vertical video feature called "Fast Laughs" with audiences throughout the US and UK, TechCrunch reported on Thursday. Fast Laughs provides Netflix users with a feed of 15-second to 45-second clips taken from Netflix shows, movies, and comedy specials. As users view an excerpt, they can bookmark the full-length show or movie for later. READ | Half the price of Netflix: Here’s how Telkom and the SABC’s new service compares "We're always looking for new ways to improve the Netflix experience. A lot of our members love comedy so we thought this would be an exciting new way to help them discover new shows and enjoy classic scenes," Netflix said in a statement to Business Insider. The move is new territory for the streaming service, which generally provides users with access to full-length television shows and movies. But social-media platforms like TikTok has already demonstrated the power of vertical short-form video. The platform has over 690 million monthly users globally, Business Insider previously reported. And other social media giants like Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, have integrated video feeds of their own as well. But unlike many social media companies, where engagement translates to advertising revenues, Netflix has a different goal in rolling out the service: helping users discover new shows to watch. At the moment, Fast Laughs is only available to some adult users, specifically those without parental controls, viewing Netflix from an iOS device. The feature is currently in beta testing, and may or may not be rolled out more widely. "We experiment with these types of tests in different countries and for different periods of time — and only make them broadly available if people find them useful," Netflix said in a statement to Business Insider. Read the full story from TechCrunch here.
Elon Musk says he tested positive for Covid-19 but also tested negative and is suspicious of the tests - Business Insider South Africa
"I'm getting PCR tests from separate labs. Results will take about 24 hours," Elon Musk tweeted on Thursday night.
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McDonald's unveils its future: from new packaging to high-tech, triple-drive thru stores - Business Insider South Africa
Up to 70% of McDonald's orders have come through drive-thrus in some markets during the pandemic.
McDonald's is testing new drive-thru concepts and streamlining designs, the international fast-food giant said on a recent investor call. McDonald's will test different drive-thru concepts that let customers order through a new app, skip lines, park in special pickup spaces, and some restaurants will be delivery and takeout only. The company says that the concepts could be tested in as many as 10,000 stores in the coming year. Drive-thru orders have grown across the fast-food industry since the pandemic closed many dining rooms, and McDonald's has been quietly working to shorten wait times since March. During COVID, McDonald's says that 70% of sales in top markets are drive-thru orders. By October, wait times had dropped 20 seconds over the quarter. McDonald's is already a drive-thru heavy hitter, with 25,000 worldwide, with plans for "increasing the speed of service … making it more personal… making it more convenient" McDonald's head of digital customer engagement Lucy Brady said on the call. Along with increasing drive-thru efficiency and simplifying the menu, McDonald's introduced new packaging that will rollout to every restaurant in the next two years, for what it says will be a consistent look, "so no matter where you are in the world, you can spot the same bag," the company said in a press release. Take a look at the new packaging and drive-thru concepts here. Go to the Business Insider front page for more stories.
Pfizer's CEO cashed out 60% of his stock on day company unveiled its Covid-19 vaccine trial results - Business Insider South Africa
The 52-week-high for Pfizer stock is $41.99, which means the CEO sold his shares close to their highest level this year.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla sold 62% of his stock on the same day the company announced its experimental Covid-19 vaccine succeeded in clinical trials. The announcement sent Pfizer's shares soaring almost 15% on the day. Bourla sold 132,508 shares at an average price of $41.94 per share, or $5.6 million, according to filings registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The 52-week-high for Pfizer's stock is $41.99, meaning Bourla sold his stock at almost its highest value in the past year. His stock sale was carried out through a routine Rule 10b5-1, a predetermined trading plan that allows company staff to sell their stocks in line with insider trading laws. Bourla's sale was part of a pre-set plan adopted on August 19, the filing showed. He continues to own 81,812 Pfizer shares. Pfizer did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment. On Monday, Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech said their Covid-19 vaccine was found to be over 90% effective in preventing illness, based on 94 observed cases. The pharma firms are the first to report positive results from pivotal Covid-19 vaccine trials. Pfizer is already working on a workaround powder-form vaccine to address the current one's biggest limitation: having to be stored at extremely low temperatures. The vaccine, which involves two doses administered three weeks apart, won't be distributed immediately, as it still needs to be evaluated and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Read the original article on Business Insider
UK scientists want to add vitamin D to bread and milk to fight Covid-19. Here's why. - Business Insider South Africa
Evidence suggests vitamin D may help prevent severe coronavirus infection. Researchers say adding it to common foods could prevent deficiency
A group of researchers in the UK are calling for the government to encourage vitamin D supplementation in common grocery items like bread and milk, citing evidence that the nutrient can help fight the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Gareth Davies, an independent medical researcher, is among a group of scientists that have been investigating the role of vitamin D in Covid-19 prevention for months, and are now urging officials to take action, The Guardian reported. The UK is currently facing a second round of lockdowns and a growing number of infections. As many as half of all UK residents may be deficient in vitamin D, and research suggests vitamin D deficiency could be a factor is severe Covid-19 cases. The human body naturally produces vitamin D in response to sunlight, and it's also found naturally in foods like fatty fish and egg yolks. Countries like the US already fortify milk and similar products with vitamin D, and residents of those nations get a substantial amount of the nutrient from fortified foods. But many people could still benefit from supplementing, experts say. Davies has previously recommended that every adult get 4,000 IUs of vitamin D per day, 10 times the current dose recommended by health officials. Extensive evidence links adequate vitamin D to better coronavirus outcomes Davies led previous research, released as a pre-print in June, which found getting enough vitamin D could significantly improve Covid-19 outcomes, particularly in vulnerable groups such as the elderly. There's since been even more studies supporting the theory that vitamin D could be beneficial against the virus. A small study published last month found that coronavirus patients who were given a highly potent form of vitamin D were significantly less likely to need intensive care, and none of them died. That indicates the nutrient could reduce the severity of Covid-19 infection and lower the risk of complications, the researchers said. Multiple studies have found an association between vitamin D levels and Covid-19 outcomes, although they did not establish a causal link. A study published in September found that patients with sufficient vitamin D were significantly less likely to face dangerous complications of the virus, such as difficulty breathing or unconsciousness. And another small study found people with a vitamin D deficiency were twice as likely to be infected in the first place. While this growing body of evidence is promising, more research is needed to better understand how vitamin D could play a role in preventing infection, or helping to heal patients. At least one study found no apparent connection between the nutrient and the virus. It's well-documented that large doses of vitamin D aren't a cure-all for this or any other illness, and can in fact have serious side effects. Countries like the US, which do fortify milk, still get less vitamin D than recommended Research has also shown that vitamin D deficiency is a global issue that can cause serious health problems, including weakened bones and a dampened immune system. As researchers like Davies have said, fortifying common foods like milk and bread can help. In countries that already fortify milk, including the United States, Canada, and Finland, residents get a significant amount of their daily vitamin D from those products, according to research. In the US, nearly all commercial milk is fortified with vitamin D and has been since the 1930s. Still, even many Americans don't get enough vitamin D, according to data. That's led US health officials such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to recommend supplementing vitamin D, particularly in the winter when fewer people spend time outdoors in the sunshine. Go to the Business Insider front page for more stories.
The PlayStation 5 has a tiny detail that pays homage to the console's roots - Business Insider South Africa
The PlayStation 5 is almost here, and it looks... distinct! But there's one amazing little detail you almost certainly haven't noticed.
The PlayStation 5 is set to launch November 12. But when it was first unveiled back in June, after months of speculation and teases, its design caused quite a stir. It's a tall, asymmetrical console with a black and white color scheme — a pretty major departure from the last several generations of PlayStation consoles. The PS5 is unique looking to say the very least and reactions to its design have been divided. The look has been widely compared to an internet router, and memes began circulating widely soon after its reveal on June 11. But in all the conversation about the PlayStation 5's design, one neat little detail has been overlooked: In the video revealing the new PlayStation console, you can see tiny little PlayStation symbols providing texture. Here's a closer look: We're talking, of course, about Sony's now iconic triangle/circle/cross/square symbols — the same symbols that Sony has used since the original PlayStation. Here's another closeup of the PlayStation's new DualSense controller, seen in person on a review unit sent by Sony to Business Insider. These guys: The symbols were spotted by at least one Twitter user on the new PlayStation 5 gamepad, the DualSense, after the trailer debuted, and we've since confirmed the detail with a review unit sent by Sony. The trademark PlayStation texture also appears across several PlayStation 5 accessories, from the new HD camera to the gamepad charging dock. Check out the full PlayStation 5 console reveal from back in June right here:
A mutated strain of Covid-19 causes most new infections in Europe, spread by tourists - scientists - Business Insider South Africa
The coronavirus variant, known as 20A.EU1, has been identified in 12 European countries as well as in Hong Kong and New Zealand, scientists said.
The majority of new COVID-19 cases in Europe stem from a mutated strain of the coronavirus that has been traced back to Spain and was spread across the continent over the summer by tourists, scientists said in a report Thursday. The variant most likely originated in farm workers in northeastern Spain, where it was first recorded in June, they said. The team of scientists from the University of Basel, ETH Zürich in Basel, and SeqCOVID in Spain said a suspected "superspreader" event accounted for early proliferation of the virus, which was then spread abroad by tourists and other travelers. By October, the variant had been identified in 12 countries across the continent, as well as in Hong Kong and New Zealand, they said. There is no data yet to suggest this variant is more deadly, they said. The variant of SARS-CoV-2, known as 20A.EU1, had spread to at least six European countries by late July. Hundreds of variants of the virus are present in Europe, but few are as widespread as the 20A.EU1 cluster, the scientists said. "This variant, 20A.EU1, and a second variant 20A.EU2 ... account for the majority of recent sequences in Europe," the scientists said. Read more: Airline CEOs say it doesn't matter how well they protect passengers from COVID-19 — travel demand won't bounce back until the pandemic ends Holidaymakers returning from Spain played a significant role in the spread of the virus across Europe, the researchers said. More than four in five new cases of the virus in the UK have come from this variation, and the scientists linked this to about 250 individual transmissions of the virus to the country in July and August. In comparison, analysis of viral sequences in Hong Kong suggests infections there came from just one source, and the New Zealand samples could be from as few as three separate transmissions from Europe. The variant is mainly contained within Europe because of the lack of intercontinental travel during the pandemic, the scientists said. Authorities allowed quarantine-free travel within the continent for parts of the summer. The rise in prevalence of 20A.EU1 across Europe "implies that the summer travel guidelines and restrictions were generally not sufficient to prevent onward transmission of introductions," the scientists said. The variant could be more infectious than the usual SARS-CoV-2 strain, the team added, but they said it's "particularly difficult" to conclusively determine why the variant was spreading so quickly. The scientists don't know whether the variant is more severe because of a lack of data, they added. Genomic surveillance allow them to detect and track this cluster, they said, but "the absence of consistent and uniform sequencing across Europe has still limited our efforts." Governments should take the data into account when planning a return to travel across Europe, the researchers added. The report comes after France and Germany announced tougher lockdown restrictions Wednesday. The countries will face a one-month lockdown in which bars and restaurants will have to close again. In France, nonessential shops also aren't allowed to remain open, while in Germany, hotels can't host tourists, and gyms and theaters must shut. Loading Something is loading.