European Data Protection Board: Letter concerning the European Commission’s draft Guidance on apps supporting the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic
Farzad Mostashari on Twitter: “Last week I posted about automated digital contact tracing apps- lots of discussion since. now lemme talk about the other kind of contact tracing app, tools that increase the efficiency & ease of contact tracing: enhanced directories, multichannel messaging applications, real-time translation services, symptom reporting & isolation monitoring”
Turn your favourite regex into FAT32. ‘Haha OS-driven regex engine go brrrrr’
on 12 March, the government alarmed many public health experts by abruptly abandoning containment and announcing that community case-finding and contact-tracing would stop. The aim was no longer to stop people getting it, but to slow it down while protecting the vulnerable. The evidence underpinning the government’s decision appears in a report from 9 March summarising the potential impact of behavioural and social interventions. The report did not consider the impact of case-finding and contact-tracing, but it did suggest that the biggest impact on cases and deaths would come from social distancing and the protection of vulnerable groups. And yet social distancing was not recommended then. That day, 12 March, after hearing with disbelief the government announcement that didn’t include widespread social distancing, I recommended to my team at Imperial that they should work from home for the foreseeable future. Indeed, I have not been to my office since. Neither the advice nor the science were followed that week. My colleagues, led by Neil Ferguson, published a report on 16 March estimating that without strong suppression, 250,000 people could die in the UK. The government responded that day with a recommendation for social distancing, avoiding pubs and working from home if possible. But there was still no enforcement, and it was left up to individuals and employers to decide what to do. Many people were willing but unable to comply as we showed in a report on 20 March. It was only on 23 March that a more stringent lockdown and economic support was announced. Between 12 and 23 March, tens, if not hundreds of thousands, of people will have been infected. Boris Johnson himself may well have been infected that week, and his stay in the intensive care unit may have been avoided if the government had shifted to remote working on 12 March. The current best estimate is that around 1% of those infected will die.
‘measures to contain viral spread should aim at droplet-, rather than fomite-based transmission’; ‘ the majority of patients in the present study seemed to be already beyond their shedding peak [first 5 days] in upper respiratory tract samples when first tested, while shedding of infectious virus in sputum continued through the first week of symptoms. Together, these findings suggest a more efficient transmission of SARS-CoV-2 than SARS-CoV through active pharyngeal viral shedding at a time when symptoms are still mild and typical of upper respiratory tract infection.’ However this study did not include any severe cases.