This Wednesday wakes up with data reasonably hopeful in Spain, with an average increase in cases of 2%, a magnitude that could be less as soon as the information from all the communities is consolidated this noon autonomous. Therefore, slowing down the rate of new infections and recoveries maintain the optimistic trajectory of the last weeks. The government valued last Tuesday’s data as a “ray of hope” in the fight against the pandemic, since “every day that passes saves lives and slows the spread of the coronavirus somewhat more.” The Community of Madrid will have 14 million FPP2 masks to distribute among all Madrid residents, now with the certainty that surgical models will cost less than one euro (0.96 euros, VAT included). The multiplication rate of new cases, which is developed daily by the SM Reputation Metrics blog, drops to the index to 1.09 (far from the 7.5 it was just before confinement). As soon as this variable reaches unity, it will mean the end of new infections and the official start of the decline. The same comparative concept stands in Italy at 1.07, a country that has two consecutive days with falls in infections, with a new record of recovered patients included. Despite the seriousness of the situation in the United States, the giant has achieved the best result in 24 hours since last February, with a infection increase of just 3%.
1. Oxford begins this Thursday to test its vaccine with humans
The eyes of the scientific community point to the University Hospital of Southampton where a group of scientists from the University of Oxford begin tests on humans of a vaccine against COVID-19 this Thursday. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Assistance, Matt Hancock, has granted the pilot all the blessings after acknowledging that his executive is “betting everything” on the vaccine, to the point of injecting 20 million pounds (22 million euros) to promote the unpronounceable ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 project. Previously, the United Kingdom provided £ 22.6 million (25.5 million euros) to another job at Imperial College. The fact that this British vaccine is burning stages at high speed invites optimism about the future effective response against the pandemic. The professor at the same university, Sarah Gilbert, contributes to this by venturing that, in the best case scenario, a million doses of the vaccine could be produced starting next September. Hancock made no secret of his satisfaction in calling the University of Oxford (in collaboration with the Jenner Institute) trials “brilliant” and stressed that his government will invest in the manufacture of any successful vaccine that can save British lives as soon as humanly possible. The work is in excellent hands, as it is the same team that responded very quickly to the Ebola outbreak in Africa in 2014. Now, in the human testing phase, researchers will measure the reactions of their vaccine project with adults between the ages of 18 and 55 recruited last March.
2. Pharmaceutical and biotech donations against COVID-19
The Novartis company has made its oncohematological drug ruxolitinib available to the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS) to treat patients with severe pneumonia caused by COVID-19, ideal for patients with life-threatening respiratory complications. According to the company, ruxolitinib is a well-established JAK inhibitor that reduces inflammation levels in patients with pathologies such as myelofibrosis, as reported by Europa Press. Broadly speaking, the medicine could reduce the number of severely coronavirus patients requiring intensive care and mechanical ventilation. Through the donation, “the company intends to respond to the healthcare needs of Spanish patients and to release the health burden by reducing the volume of serious cases.” Thus, Novartis will provide hospitals that request it with medication for seriously ill patients with Covid-19, through the AEMPS platform for medications in special situations, according to the conditions described in said platform. At the same time, Novartis is accelerating the arrival of solutions that bring significant benefit to these patients and healthcare systems. Thus, at the moment, it is promoting several international studies to evaluate the efficacy of ruxolitinib in the treatment of patients with coronavirus.
For its part, the biotech company Amgen will donate, through its foundation, 11.5 million euros to various global initiatives in the fight against the coronavirus. In the Iberian Peninsula, it will carry around 500,000 euros between the aid of the Amgen Foundation and other local initiatives to purchase medical supplies for Unicef Spain and Cruz Vermelha Portuguesa – Donation of Amgen Iberia. 70,000 euros will also be allocated each month that the confinement lasts with funds to the #yomecorono research initiative in Spain, as well as to nursing homes and the Fire Service in Portugal in Portugal. The same foundation will allocate 200,000 euros to other local initiatives that will be especially aimed at the purchase of medical equipment in Spain, along with the delivery of 3,000 cooling bags to the Health Department of the Junta de Castilla y León for the shipment of drugs to patients who cannot go to hospitals.
3. Never before has technology been so human
The phrase that serves as title to these lines is taken from the latest Samsung campaign, a spot in which family images of confinement occur, of people in their homes connected to their loved ones thanks to devices, generally demonized for stealing our time and isolating ourselves. However, reality also shows the kindest face of these wonderful gadgets that – for good and bad – are an intimate part of our lives. The audio of the Samsung Spain campaign says the following: “They said that technology separated us. Today we are witnesses that it is exactly what holds us together. They said that social networks were changing our habits. Today we see that nothing can change us They said that technology would one day steal our work and now it is precisely what many allow us to continue keeping it. They said that we had become selfish because we were stuck on our phones. Today, thanks to them, we got no one left behind. Technology has never been so human before. And it is at times like this that we realize most that there is nothing more human than being connected. Connected to what really matters. ”
Telefónica shares in Peru a beautiful ad television, under the motto “Life calls you”, where he describes an experiment carried out among 117 people who were asked to leave their mobile phones away from a table with a landline telephone. They were asked to make a call to whoever they wanted, aware that the address book was stored on the smartphone at that time not available. What happened showed that “we keep many numbers on our cell phones but only one in our hearts.”
On the other hand, and also in video format, the Snippet platform, specialized in generating highly individualized videos, has launched the initiative “I want to say thank you” so that the population can personally thank the effort, work and dedication of all those who are struggling , in one way or another, against the Coronavirus in Spain. In a matter of seconds, the web allows to generate a dedicated video and exclusive to all health, military and law enforcement, journalists, or cleaning personnel.
4. Two new models of respirators in Andalusia
Siemens’ technology will save new lives in the coming months thanks to its collaboration in the production of a new Andalusian respirator, designed to combat COVID-19 by different Malaga centers and organizations. This is the Andalucía Respira project, whose medical device has just received approval from the Agency for Medicines and Health Products. In this smart fan, carried out in just 20 days, Siemens will contribute with the control and connectivity part of the equipment. The objective of the initiative is to achieve a production of 480 units and thus respond to the main demand for new equipment from hospitals, first Andalusians and then Spanish and the rest of the world. The Andalusian Government, the technological Fujitsu, the Malaga Institute of Biomedical Research (IBIMA), a team of doctors from the Regional University Hospital, the Virgen de la Victoria Hospital in Malaga and the University of Malaga also participate in the respirator.
For its part, the University of Huelva has developed a prototype of a high-flow pressure-controlled ventilator for use in Pneumology and ICU, still pending approval. This is a BPAP-type mechanical-electronic respirator known in Spanish as a positive two-level airway pressure or a positive bipressure system. In the implementation of the prototype, in addition to the University of Huelva, the Ministry of Health and Families and the Juan Ramón Jiménez University Hospital have participated.
5. Virtual roses for a Sant Jordi for healthcare purposes
With a view to the celebration of Sant Jordi next Thursday, a party where the gift of a book and a flower is one of the most beloved traditions in Catalan and Spanish society, a group of six young people has launched a happy idea. Aiming to combat the lack of medical supplies in hospitals, workers at startup Stripe propose the #capsantjordisenserosa solidarity initiative. The idea is to keep the traditional gift of the rose, but in virtual format, and all of them designed by more than ten illustrators, including María Sobirà, Gala Ponts, Sit Cantallops or l’Esther Carbonell. The roses -customizable with a message- are already on sale through their website to give as a gift to whoever wishes. The most important thing is that, with each sale, a donation of three euros is made to go to the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona.