US tests possible virus vaccine in humans

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US tests possible virus vaccine in humans





© EFE
Spain will collaborate with the United States to achieve coronavirus vaccines and therapies. (Efe)

The Government has taken a further step in its attempt to stop the coronavirus with the closure of land borders. The Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, has announced that “as of 00:00 tonight and until the declaration of the state of alarm concludes” only entry will be allowed to the national territory by land “to Spanish citizens, to residents in Spain, to cross-border workers and to those who prove causes of force majeure and necessity”. In order to guarantee supply, entry restrictions they will not affect the transport of goods.Marlaska has also strengthened the repatriation of the Spaniards abroad. They will have “all the capacity for movement that is possible and feasible”, since the Government will make available “the possible mechanisms so that Spaniards who are anywhere in the world and wish to return to their residence in our territory can do so in as soon as possible. “

The total number of people infected by coronavirus in Spain amounts to 9,191 and there are already 309 deaths notified until Monday. Of the total infected, 3,215 – 40% – are admitted, while the rest remain in their homes with medical follow-up and, at least, 432 are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of their respective hospitals. This was detailed in a press conference by the director of the Coordination Center for Health Alerts and Emergencies, Fernando Simon, who has placed special emphasis on the Community of Madrid, where the positives have gone from 3,554 to 4,665, which translates into an increase of more than 1,000 cases in just 24 hours.

“Right now lethality is around 3% “Although “it is normal for it to decrease” as new cases are detected, Simon explained in a press conference, which has clarified that the data depends, to a large extent, on the affected population groups. “In communities where young people who have traveled to risk areas have been infected, mortality is lower. In places where the outbreaks have been in nursing homes or hospitals, mortality has been higher.”

WHO calls on countries to increase the number of tests to detect the virus

In the same vein, the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has acknowledged that, although the population with the highest risk of mortality from the new coronavirus is people over 60 years of age, there are young people, and even children, who have died. Thus, has urged countries to increase Covid19 screening tests.

The vaccine is already tested in humans

But it was all bad news this Monday. From the US they have ensured that as of today it is already testing a possible vaccine against the coronavirus causing Covid-19 in humans. Specifically, as reported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through a statement, phase 1 of the clinical trial to evaluate an investigational vaccine designed against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19 ) has started at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle and is expected to last up to six weeks.

For its part Spanish science is committed to work to improve the diagnosis and treatment of the disease caused by the new coronavirus, as well as in the search for an effective vaccine. In the field of diagnosis, the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII) and the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2) are working, while in the field of treatment three Spanish hospitals are going to participate in an international clinical trial to test the efficacy of the drug Remdesivir against Covid-19.

Seizures and new infected politicians

Back to what happens outside the laboratories, the deputy director of the Civil Guard, Laurentino Cena, has reported the seizure of 150,000 masks in a factory in Alcala La Real (Jaen), which will go to the Infanta Sofia Hospital in Madrid. During the last night, the transport of 86,000 masks that arrived at their destination on Monday was carried out, while the rest will be moved throughout the day.

For its part, the Madrid Municipal Police has evicted this Monday a telecommunications company in the Fuencarral district because the employees did not keep the recommended distance nor did they have the appropriate equipment. Also in Madrid, the National Police have arrested several people for violating the restrictions imposed by the state of alarm, including a man who showed a false military card to justify that he was on the street and another who refused to leave a playground. where I was drinking.

In addition, this Monday the name of two other leaders who have tested positive at Covid-19 has also been known. This is the President of the Generalitat, Quim Torra, and the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Diaz Ayuso, who join a diverse list of infected political representatives, which also includes the Minister for Equality, Irene Montero; that of Territorial Policy, Carolina Darias; the former president of the Congress, Ana Pastor; the Vice President of the Govern and national coordinator of ERC, Pere Aragones; and two of the main Vox leaders, Santiago Abascal, and Javier Ortega Smith.

The last to confirm his case has been the Catalan president, who is confined in the Casa dels Canonges, the units adjacent to the Palau de la Generalitat, with cough and fever. Just hours before, his counterpart in the Community of Madrid announced that he suffered from the disease through a video on his Twitter profile. “As I tested negative on the Covid test, I have been working tirelessly for weeks now and in the end … I also test positive. We will continue to lead this fight against the invisible enemy … But isolated. Let’s go for it ! “, Ayuso shared.

Crowds at rush hour

This “unprecedented and enormous health crisis” reaches such a point that the Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, decreed on Saturday the alarm status, an exceptional measure to “contain the progression of the disease and strengthen the public health system” that leaves the country in the hands of four ministers: the head of Health, Salvador Illa; that of Defense, Margarita Robles; the one of Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska; and that of Transport, Jose Luis Abalos. All of them appeared telematically this Sunday to explain the actions to be taken in their respective areas.

For example, the Minister of Transport, Jose Luis Abalos, expressed that Renfe would reduce to a third the offer of seats on its high-speed trains to guarantee the safety distance between passengers, which together with the initial cut of 50% expected in the Royal Decree approved by the Council of Ministers, the total capacity would be seen decreased by 85%. “Mobility is conditional on everyone’s obligation, which is to reduce the risk of contagion,” he reported.

The Government also cut in half the offer of public transport services for passengers by road, rail, air and maritime competition of the State, except for those of Railways, whose offer, in principle, would be greater to guarantee mobility in the conditions that the health authorities advise. Paradoxically, the main stations of Madrid have dawned this Monday with crowded platforms and the Nearby trains they were full at rush hour, which has caused dozens of complaints throught social media given the impossibility of following the recommendations.

In addition to the high volume of passengers, Renfe trains in Atocha, for example, have been passing with a frequency greater than 20 minutes, which has caused such a concentration of citizens that it was impossible to maintain the safety distance. This situation is not only experienced in the capital. In Barcelona, the wagons of the most common lines such as the L-5 wave L-1, which also have reduced service, have dawned flooded with travelers.

“We are aware that there has been a specific operational problem that has caused a feeling of crowding among people on a particular train,” admitted the Secretary General for Transport and Mobility, Maria Jose Rallo, who has counted between 20 and 30% the occupation of this means of transport. “Operational technical problems occur probabilistically from time to time. It is inevitable that it happens from time to time, but we are working to try to minimize it in these sensitive moments. “Specifically, he has announced the reinforcement of the services of the Madrid line C5.

The Army, in 14 cities

The Military Emergency Unit (UME) began this Sunday to perform “pre-recognition” in seven citys where they have installed their battalions – Madrid, Valencia, Seville, Zaragoza, Leon, Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife – and this Monday has extended its deployment to seven others: Malaga, Burgos, Valladolid, Logrono, Huesca, Teruel and Guadalajara. The Ministry of Defense has also put all its medical resources at the service of the Ministry of Health, starting with the Gomez Ulla General Defense Hospital and the Zaragoza Hospital, as well as the activation of some 220 military health personnel in the reserve.

It has also ordered the military pharmacy to increase the preparation of the hydroalcoholic disinfectant solution, as well as other generic medications that are necessary. But also, the Armed Forces will put all their capabilities at the disposal of the Government for transfers, logistics or matters related to air and maritime spaces, while they may collaborate with the National Police and the Civil Guard “if necessary” in the surveillance of streets to ensure that alarm state restrictions are met. “I hope that everyone’s responsibility prevents this from having to be done,” acknowledged Margarita Robles.

In collaboration with the Ministry of Social Affairs, members of the Military Emergency Unit and the Army will serve the homeless who see their situation worsened by the state of alarm to provide them with the necessary food resources. In this line, the Madrid City Council has enabled 150 seats at the Ifema fairground for homeless people who do not have symptoms of coronavirus, as deputy mayor Begona Villacis reported on Monday.

Private health intervention

The declaration of the state of alarm has allowed the Government to place private health facilities in the hands of the regional Health Departments, in such a way that they can enable public and private spaces that they meet the necessary conditions for both consultation and hospitalization. In addition, private agents have had a “non-extendible” term of 48 hours since yesterday to communicate their ‘stock’ of medical devices of interest or if they have the capacity to manufacture them.

Along the same lines, Salvador Illa has announced an “important” effort to increase the logistical capacity to practice tests coronavirus “quickly and safely” after it has been done more than 30,000. The minister considers that the increase in the payments on account to the communities and the departure of up to 1,000 million that will be handled by the Ministry of Health will allow to face the first measures to contain the disease, after which he stressed that “whatever it takes will be done , where it is necessary and when it is necessary “.

Along the same lines of collaboration, the AMA Board of Directors, the mutual of health professionals, have stated that they will cover free of charge the Professional Civil Liability (RCP) insurance of all those healthcare providers who have been mutualists or have been insured by AMA and that they are not currently covered by any insurance, as long as they are officially required to carry out tasks that combat the Covid-19 virus.

Interior isolates prisons

For his part, the Interior Minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, has issued an order for Penitentiary Institutions isolate all Spanish prisons prohibiting exit permits and also communications, although in compensation the number of telephone calls that the inmates have authorized with relatives and lawyers will be expanded. As Prisons has clarified, “inmates classified in the third degree or who have applied the flexibility regime may leave exclusively to carry out the activities related to article 7 of the Royal Decree”, which is what regulates the assumptions to be able to skip the limitation of freedom of movement for people across the country, including getting to and from work.

Thus, the president of Òmnium Cultural, Jordi Cuixart, has been the only one of the prisoners condemned by the Supreme Court in the 1-O trial who went out to work this Monday, because although they all enjoy the benefits of applying the article 100.2, which allows them to go out to work, Cuixart is the only one who has been able to go out to perform functions that “only he can carry out”.

In Spanish prisons there are five positives in Covid-19 to date: an employee of the prison labor entity and three workers from the Madrid VI, Madrid IV and Melilla centers, as well as an inmate from the Alava prison. The decision is not anecdotal if one takes into account that in Italy, the mirror where Spain is viewed, several dozen prisoners sThey escaped from a prison in Foggia (Apulia) and revolts took place in prisons across the country.

Fines for ‘runners’ and tourists

The streets across the country were emptied this Sunday, with the sole exception of some cyclists, runners and passersby they defied common sense and risked penalties ranging from 600 euros to 30,000, or even prison terms of three months to one year in case of disobeying the State Security Forces and Corps. In addition to the National, local or regional Police patrols, the authorities have used drones equipped with loudspeakers to urge the laggards to stay behind.

Isolation has not stopped the vandalism in Valencia, where the Kingdom of Valencia-Duke of Calabria fault, one of the three in the Special section that, next to the monument in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento de Valencia, was planned to burn “behind closed doors” due to the impossibility of dismantling the piece that was already planted, it has dawned burned, according to sources of the firemen.



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© Provided by El Confidencial
This is how the Kingdom of Valencia-Duke of Calabria fault has remained. (EFE)

This is how the Kingdom of Valencia-Duke of Calabria fault has remained. (EFE)

Spain is already a quarantined country. Its 47 million inhabitants are obliged to pstay home as long as possible, while the stores and retail stores are closed to the public. Only grocery stores are spared; pharmaceutical, medical, optical, orthopedic and hygienic products establishments; press and stationery kiosks; gas stations; watertight; pet food stores; sale of technological and telecommunications equipment, dry cleaners and laundries.

The Executive finally decided incorporate the closure of the hairdressers to the restrictions introduced by the state of alarm in force since last midnight in Spain, but it will allow this service to be provided to the elderly in their homes for hygiene. This is how sources from the Palacio de La Moncloa advanced, which frame this rectification in the reflection that Sanchez has made after listening to the suggestions of the autonomous presidents, with whom he held a videoconference on Sunday morning.

Basque and Galician elections postponed

The regional elections in the Basque Country and Galicia have been suspended without there being a new date for either of them. This has been decided by the parties with representation in the Basque Parliament and in the Xunta de Galicia after two meetings with the Lehendakari, Inigo Urkullu, and the Galician President, Alberto Nunez Feijoo.

The Basque parties have communicated the decision through a joint note in which it is justified that “in the current situation of emergency declaration and state of alert elections cannot be held with due guarantees both for public health and for the exercise of the right to vote. “Consequently, it was agreed to” cancel the call for elections to the Basque Parliament on April 5 by decree of the Lehendakari “by means of a decision that” will be adopted and published in the Official Gazette of the Basque Country before the start of the electoral campaign “, scheduled for this Thursday at 00:00.

Shortly afterwards, the president of Galicia, Alberto Nunez Feijoo, did the same at a press conference, who, together with the other candidates for the Xunta, agreed to postpone the appointment. “Everyone agreed that there is no point in holding the elections for April 5,” said Fejoo, who at the moment does not offer a date to retake the elections. “Elections cannot be held until the state of alarm decreed by the central government and the state of health alert decreed by the Xunta ends.”

Welcome Mr. Xi

Europe is already the epicenter of the coronavirus. The old continent registers more infections and deaths than the rest of the countrys together, excluding China, where the rate of contagion has slowed dramatically and imported cases are now more concerned than local ones. The Chinese have known for a long time what it is to go through a situation such as the one experienced by Spaniards or Italians, which is why during the last weeks they have been massively mobilized in the face of the dramatic situation of health professionals to send them vans full of disinfectant masks, gloves and gels.

This is just the outpost of the Chinese ‘Marshall plan’, a diplomatic strategy with which the country chaired by Xi Jinping aspires to move the tectonic plates of global geopolitics after the pandemic. The Ministry of Health has been resorting to Chinese suppliers since last week before the paralysis of the European Union to face the crisis. Especially dormant was the initial refusal of Germany and France to provide assistance to the European countries hardest hit by the disease.

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