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Links for 2020-04-07

  • How long SARS-CoV-2 can live on surfaces, and how to disinfect

    Summary of the latest data on best practices for disinfecting, from a Lancet paper: the virus lasts longest — up to seven days — on stainless steel, plastic, and surgical masks.

    (tags: covid-19 disinfecting cleaning sars-cov-2 facemasks health)

  • WHO endorses voluntary patent pool to develop Covid-19 products

    The World Health Organization director-general has endorsed the idea of creating a voluntary pool to collect patent rights, regulatory test data, and other information that could be shared for developing drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics. The concept was proposed two weeks ago by Costa Rican government officials amid mounting concerns that some Covid-19 medical products may not be accessible for poorer populations. By establishing a voluntary mechanism under the auspices of the WHO, the goal is to establish a pathway that will attract numerous governments, as well as industry, universities and nonprofit organizations. “I support this proposal, and we are working with Costa Rica to finalize the details,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a statement on Monday. “Poorer countries and fragile economies stand to face the biggest shock from this pandemic, and leaving anyone unprotected will only prolong the health crisis and harm economies more. I call on all countries, companies and research institutions to support open data, open science, and open collaboration so that all people can enjoy the benefits of science and research.”

    (tags: patents covid-19 who ip medicine pharma science research open-data open-science collaboration)

  • Private Contact Tracing Protocols Compared: DP-3T and CEN

    it’s critically important to prevent the creation of new surveillance infrastructure […] But contact tracing will be a critical part of COVID-19 recovery, particularly in the period after the surge of cases, but before widespread immunity prevents transmission. So it’s been incredibly exciting to see how many people have been working on this problem in a spirit of radical collaboration. Some of these projects are mentioned in our previous post on design tradeoffs in contact tracing systems. At the Zcash Foundation, we’ve been collaborating with existing efforts on the CEN Protocol, originally started as a joint effort between two projects, CoEpi and Covid-Watch. And earlier this week, a group of European academics from eight universities announced a new effort called DP-3T. These protocols are very similar, and it would be great if they could both evolve towards a common standard. To support that goal, this post will compare and contrast the current designs of the DP-3T and CEN protocols.

    (tags: contact-tracing protocols crypto covid-19 dp-3t cen security privacy)

  • The 1700s Plague Cure That Inspired an Uncannily Contemporary Cocktail

    Sounds like Green Chartreuse is the closest modern equivalent to Plague Water

    (tags: chartreuse cocktails booze plague-waters pandemics epidemics history)

  • Special Report: Johnson listened to his scientists about coronavirus – but they were slow to sound the alarm

    A behind-the-curtain story on the UK’s disastrous COVID-19 response.

    Until March 12, the risk level, set by the government’s top medical advisers on the recommendation of the scientists, remained at “moderate,” suggesting only the possibility of a wider outbreak. “You know, there’s a small little cadre of people in the middle, who absolutely did realise what was going on, and likely to happen,” said John Edmunds, a professor of infectious disease modelling and a key adviser to the government, known for his work on tracking Ebola. Edmunds was among those who did call on the government to elevate the warning level earlier. [….] “I do think there [was] a bit of a worry in terms you don’t want to unnecessarily panic people.” […] Minutes and interviews show Britain was following closely a well-laid plan to fight a flu pandemic – not this deadlier disease.
    March 12!! What a staggering screwup.

    (tags: covid-19 coronavirus fail uk disasters pandemics diseases history)

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