Coronavirus, Italy changes strategy: second in the world for testing people | Repubblica

“Only UAE is ahead of us regarding the relationship between test and population. In Italy, 1.75 million tests: daily tests have quadrupled in a month. Ricciardi and Brusaferro were against it, but the Veneto model proved to be more effective than the Lombard one.”

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A new sensor detects corona viruses in the air | Der Bund

“The new Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus is transmitted by droplets, possibly even tiny floating droplets, as some studies suggest that have been published on the subject in recent weeks. These so-called aerosols stay in the air longer than larger droplets that are released when coughing or sneezing and which therefore also quickly fall to the ground. The new corona virus may even be transmitted when you speak.

An announcement by the Swiss Federal Institute for Materials Science and Technology Empa hence is timely. A team of researchers led by nanotechnologist Jim Wang has developed an optical biosensor that can determine the concentration of the new corona virus in the air. In the future, such a sensor could be used where many people move, for example in large train stations or in hospitals.”

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Swift Covid-19 vaccine within reach, say Swiss scientists | Swissinfo

“A team of researchers at the University of Bern is hoping to be the first to produce a vaccine against Covid-19 and inoculate the entire Swiss population in October.

“We have a realistic chance of being successful,” said Martin Bachmann, head of immunology at the Swiss university via a web conference with ACANU, the United Nations press association. “Switzerland has a history of being pragmatic and is more interested in finding a compromise to get the vaccine faster.”

Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak and its designation by the World Health Organization as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) at the end of January, most international health experts and authorities have said a vaccine should not be expected for about a year to 18 months – at the earliest.”

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Coronavirus attacks lining of blood vessels all over the body, Swiss study finds | SCMP

“Researcher says virus enters ‘defence line’ and causes circulation problems, which can lead to multiple organ failure. In addition to a vaccine, he suggests strengthening vascular health may be key to tackling Covid-19.”

Alibaba to invest $28 billion in cloud services after coronavirus boosted demand | Reuters

“Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) said it will invest 200 billion yuan ($28 billion) in its cloud infrastructure over three years – a plan that follows a boom in demand for business software as the coronavirus outbreak peaked in China.

The company said in a statement it will spend the funds on semiconductor and operating system development as well as building out its data centre infrastructure.”

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‘It all feels a little off’: Caution as post-virus China reopens | Al Jazeera

“Even as new cases have plummeted, fears of a second wave of infections have prompted the imposition of restrictions that are even more strict than before including mandatory quarantines.

President Xi Jinping has identified the city as a top priority in virus prevention efforts.

“The security and stability of the capital city is directly related to the overall work of the party and country,” he said in a recent speech.

Daily life is now accompanied by new restrictions and small inconveniences, most of which have been welcomed as an indication that the crisis is being properly managed.

Masks are mandatory – those who attempt to leave their homes without one can expect to be reminded not only by local security guards, but by other residents.”

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Coronavirus: Stockholm could have ‘herd immunity’ by next month, Swedish health chief claims George Martin George Martin | Yahoo News

“The population of the Swedish capital Stockholm could achieve “herd immunity” from coronavirus within weeks, a health chief has claimed.

Dr Anders Tegnell, the man responsible for drawing up the country’s, controversial coronavirus strategy, said infection rates in the capital are slowing because people had developed a resistance.

“According to our modellers, we are starting to see so many immune people in the population in Stockholm that it is starting to have an effect on the spread of the infection,” he told local media.

“Our models point to some time in May.””

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China’s Wuhan revises coronavirus death toll up by 50 percent | Al Jazeera

“Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus first emerged late last year, revised sharply upwards its death toll from the disease, admitting people died at home and cases were missed as hospitals struggled to cope in the early days of the outbreak.

The adjustment, detailed in a social media post by the city government on Friday, increased the death toll by 1,290 – about 50 percent – bringing the total to 3,869. The revision brought the number of dead across China to 4,632.”

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Coronavirus: China’s economy shrank for the first time since 1976 in first quarter | SCMP

“China’s economy shrank by 6.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2020, the first contraction since the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1976, confirming the economic damage done by the coronavirus pandemic.”

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China’s initial coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan spread twice as fast as we thought, new study suggests | SCMP

“The new coronavirus could have been twice as contagious as previously thought when it spread from its initial epicentre in central China, a fresh look at the early stages of the outbreak has suggested.

Epidemiologists had previously estimated that each person with Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, infected two to three people on average, based on early cases in the city of Wuhan.


The new estimation by Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico is that those who carried the coronavirus in Wuhan were passing it on to 5.7 people on average.”

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China’s exports are down 6.6 percent | Die Zeit

“As a result of the corona virus pandemic, China’s exports fell significantly again in March. According to the authorities, the decrease was 6.6 percent compared to the previous year. This was less than in January and February, when exports slumped 17.2 percent. Because of the Chinese New Year, the two months are counted as a single period.”

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This battlefield has no limits | Die Zeit

“China is the origin of the corona pandemic. Now the government is staging itself as a helper to other countries in need. It follows the strategy of unrestricted war.”

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Research initiatives to fight COVID-19 | EPFL

“The EPFL COVID-19 academic committee has given the green light to a dozen research projects directly addressing the COVID-19 crisis. In their research, teams from all the Schools work on priority aspects of the pandemic: preventing or tracking contagion, cure and vaccines, diagnostics and testing, and policy and data. Several teams are working together with partner institutions in Switzerland.”

Read the full information @ EPFL:

Beijing tightens grip over coronavirus research, amid US-China row on virus origin | CNN

“China has imposed restrictions on the publication of academic research on the origins of the novel coronavirus, according to a central government directive and online notices published by two Chinese universities, that have since been removed from the web.
Under the new policy, all academic papers on Covid-19 will be subject to extra vetting before being submitted for publication. Studies on the origin of the virus will receive extra scrutiny and must be approved by central government officials, according to the now-deleted posts.
A medical expert in Hong Kong who collaborated with mainland researchers to publish a clinical analysis of Covid-19 cases in an international medical journal said his work did not undergo such vetting in February.”

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Coronavirus: China’s export showroom Yiwu grinds to a near halt as global pandemic restrictions bite | SCMP

“China’s famed Yiwu International Trade Market, a barometer for the health of the nation’s exports, has been hammered by the economic fallout from Covid-19. Export orders have dried up amid sweeping containment measures in the US and Europe and restrictions on foreigners entering China have shut out international buyers.”

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Tencent unveils investments for virus-hit Wuhan | Phnom Penh Post

“Tencent Holdings Ltd has announced a string of investment plans in Wuhan, the city where the novel coronavirus first emerged and which has just lifted months-long lockdown.

The internet giant pledged to invest in digital government, online education, smart transportation and artificial intelligence in the city, with a goal of quadrupling the number of employees in five years.

Tencent will push ahead with the Tencent (Wuhan) Digital Industry Headquarters in the city, where it aims to embark on digital governance and smart city initiatives.”

Read the full article @ The Phnom Penh Post:

Chinese cities on alert over rising COVID-19 cases from Russia | Sixth Tone

“An uptick in imported COVID-19 cases, mostly from Russia, has raised concerns in several Chinese cities about a fresh wave of infections.

On Monday, health authorities in the northeastern Heilongjiang province said that all 49 newly reported imported coronavirus cases were among Chinese nationals returning from Russia. The border province had recently raised concerns over China’s COVID-19 prevention and control work, after an increasing number of coronavirus infections were found in locals arriving through the city of Suifenhe.”

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EU Ambassador to China: “Chinese Virus” is a meaningless blaming game | Phoenix News

“Italy, Spain, Germany, France … In the spring of 2020, the new coronavirus is rampant in Europe. Many readers feel that medical development is as developed as in Europe, and it is difficult to escape. They also recognize that the European epidemic prevention thinking is different from China.

So as the world’s most integrated regional organization, what work does the EU do in the fight against the epidemic? What kind of cooperation exists between China and the United States? What is the attitude towards the controversy about the source of the virus and the closure of the city? 2020 is a year of China-EU cooperation. Will the China-EU summit consultations continue under the epidemic? Where does the bilateral agreement go? How to cooperate in the post-epidemic era?

On April 3, 2020, Phoenix Network ’s Interview with Diplomats took these questions and talked to the European Union Ambassador to China Mr. Nicolas Chapuis.”

Read and watch the full interview (in English, English subtitles) and article @ Phoenix News:

COVID-19: genetic network analysis provides ‘snapshot’ of pandemic origins | University of Cambridge

“Researchers from Cambridge, UK, and Germany have reconstructed the early “evolutionary paths” of COVID-19 in humans – as infection spread from Wuhan out to Europe and North America – using genetic network techniques.

By analysing the first 160 complete virus genomes to be sequenced from human patients, the scientists have mapped some of the original spread of the new coronavirus through its mutations, which creates different viral lineages.”

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Wang Yi held separate telephone conversations with the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, the Swiss Federal Councillor and Foreign Minister | People’s Daily

“On April 7, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a telephone conversation with Swiss Federal Councillor and Foreign Minister Cassis.

Wang Yi said that China is doing everything in its power to provide support to countries around the world in the fight against epidemics, and has established a green channel to ensure the rapid and convenient delivery of anti-epidemic materials. Switzerland and other countries are suppliers of important components for ventilators, hoping to increase their supply substantially, help enterprises increase production, and alleviate the urgency of countries. This can not only provide material security for the global anti-epidemic struggle, but also help maintain the stability of the global industrial chain and supply chain. The Chinese side is also willing to strengthen cooperation in the research and development of medicines and vaccines with the Swiss side.

Cassis said that Switzerland is willing to strengthen cooperation with China in ventilator production, drug and vaccine research and development, and jointly ensure the stability of the industrial chain and supply chain to reduce the impact of the epidemic on the economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.”

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