The irritation being expressed by microbiologists and their colleagues who are critical of the government is not over the quality of labs or people’s willingness to dig in and help. Rather, it is to do with how testing for Covid-19 has been managed, particularly at a national level. As the chances of reaching 100,000 tests per day by the end of April grow ever slimmer, the UK’s sorry predicament is only becoming clearer.
An insider with direct knowledge of the process said that the basic products are now unlikely to be cleared for use in the UK against Covid-19. “Pretty much all the basic new designs are not going to get through the Covid approval process. The government spin is the ‘clinical need’ changed, but the reality is that it was always misguided to think you could develop and create these ventilators,” the person said. “Starting the process in this way was unwise. It has gradually become more sensible.”
Analysis of the PEPP-PT contact tracing project architecture by the DP-3T project
‘A modeling study on the new coronavirus warns that intermittent periods of social distancing may need to persist into 2022 in the United States to keep the surge of people severely sickened by Covid-19 from overwhelming the health care system. The research, published […] in the journal Science, looked at a range of scenarios for how the SARS-CoV-2 virus will spread over the next five years.’
Airlines are required to provide passengers with information on their rights. Where flights are cancelled passengers must be offered the choice of: a refund; or re-routing (alternative flights) at the earliest opportunity; or re-routing at a later date (subject to availability). It is important that airlines assist passengers by clearly setting out these options to them. In addition, it is open to airlines to offer incentives to passengers to encourage them to fly at a later date, for example through providing vouchers of a higher value. We recognise that, at present, it may be difficult for airlines to provide alternative flights, for example, where government advice is to avoid travel to particular destinations affected by COVID-19. A refund for the passenger may therefore be the only practical option available.More: https://www.flightrights.ie/news/guidance-note-on-airline-flight-cancellations-%e2%80%93-regulation-eu-2612004.1043.html (via Brian Brazil)
via Zeynep Tufekci: ‘Amazing study, supporting droplet (rather than aerosol) as key means of transmission. One asymptomatic person infected 10 (out of 91) at restaurant—but *only* if they were in direct line of air pushed by the air conditioning.’
The rift has opened up over a German-led initiative, called Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP-PT https://www.pepp-pt.org), which has been criticised for being too centralised and thus prone to governmental mission creep. [….] “Solutions which allow reconstructing invasive information about the population should be rejected without further discussion,” the scientists said in their letter. Among the signatories was Michael Backes, head of Germany’s CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security, which pulled out of PEPP-PT at the weekend. Swiss researchers have also publicly dissociated themselves from PEPP-PT, citing concerns over centralisation and privacy. Critics have also questioned PEPP-PT’s assertion that seven European countries – Austria, Germany, France, Italy, Malta, Spain and Switzerland – had come on board. Spain and Switzerland now back rival DP-3T, government and research sources said.