How well to understand this question of Swedish approach to such situations is very understandable. Not so long in past, there was a very loud and nasty conflict between Dänish and Swedish authorities regarding the large at that time influx of Immigrants. The Sweds stuck to their open borders and suffered the long term consequnces and tried to fix the blame on Dänmark as for not taking in more numbers to match that of Sweden.
Now with this new issue of this Virus, of course the Sweds know every thing and will not listen to reasonable advice, and as before, now suffer the consequence of being just mule stubborn.
Thank you for your reply Karl. What is the Danish approach today. Similar to the German or Dutch ones or do they have a Danish corona strategy?
Thank you for your interest with question. The Dansk manner of controling this virus outbreak is fairly much simular to both your Nederland and German, but with a stronger dose. The matter of approach is the motto: Act Fast and Act with Force.. With this though Dänmark has not been spared from this deadly desease in as well as others.
Since this is the easiest thread on Corona to reach, here is a Belgian-Dutch study, (I had to scoop Pieter on this story! )
Belgian-Dutch Study: Why in times of COVID-19 you can not walk/run/bike close to each other. Jurgen Thoelen
Apr 7 · 3 min read
What is a safe distance when running, biking and walking during COVID-19 times? It is further than the typical 1–2 meter as prescribed in different countries! In a lot of countries walking, biking and jogging are welcome activities in these times of COVID-19. However, it is important to note that you need to avoid each other's slipstream when doing these activities. This comes out of the result of a study by the KU Leuven (Belgium) and TU Eindhoven (Netherlands). (1)(2)(3) The typical social distancing rule which many countries apply between 1–2 meters seems effective when you are standing still inside or even outside with low wind. But when you go for a walk, run or bike ride you better be more careful. When someone during a run breathes, sneezes or coughs, those particles stay behind in the air. The person running behind you in the so-called slip-stream goes through this cloud of droplets. The researchers came to this conclusion by simulating the occurrence of saliva particles of persons during movement (walking and running) and this from different positions (next to each other, diagonally behind each other and directly behind each other). Normally this type of modelling is used to improve the performance level of athletes as staying in each other air-stream is very effective. But when looking at COVID-19 the recommendation is to stay out of the slipstream according to the research. The results of the test are made visible in a number of animations and visuals. The cloud of droplets left behind by a person is clearly visible. “People who sneeze or cough spread droplets with a bigger force, but also people who just breathe will leave particles behind”. The red dots on the image represent the biggest particles. These create the highest chance of contamination but also fall down faster. “But when running through that cloud they still can land on your clothing” according to Professor Bert Blocken.
The COVID-19 Battle A Look at the Treatments Currently Being Used against the Coronavirus In the fight against COVID-19, doctors and health workers are testing drugs and treatments whose efficacy has been proven against other illnesses. We take a look at the most prominent ones and the early findings. By Heike Le Ker 09.04.2020, 18:14 Uhr
First things first: There is no drug that has been proven to be effective against SARS-CoV-2. The outbreak is too recent and the virus has only been known for a short time. Nonetheless, there are a number of drugs that are being used in patients, mostly as part of clinical studies. The study register Clinicaltrials.gov currently lists 366 studies under the keyword COVID-19.
These include well-known methods such as plasma therapy, in which infected persons are given infusions of blood plasma from people who have recovered from the illness. The antibodies contained in that blood plasma have the potential to protect people against the virus. The antimalarial drug chloroquine is also on the list, as are flu and HIV drugs in addition to a drug used in the fight against Ebola.
The World Health Organization (WHO) launched a large-scale series of studies - under the name "Solidarity” - into the four most promising compounds in March. The goal is for doctors around the world to participate with as little bureaucracy as possible.
As urgently as drugs to fight COVID-19 are needed, however, it is still unclear whether the remedies, some of which date from the last century, are effective against the novel coronavirus. Scientists warn against using drugs too quickly and bypassing previously accepted standards, and against using drugs whose effectiveness has not been proven.
What, though, are the benefits of the drugs currently being used? And most importantly: What do initial findings suggest about their efficacy? Blood Plasma Treatment Doctors at a number of hospitals around the world are testing how the administration of blood plasma from coronavirus survivors affects the course of the disease. It takes an average of seven days after infection for antibodies to be detected in the blood of a patient infected with coronavirus. The idea behind the treatment is for the antibodies in the donated blood plasma to bridge the gap and begin attacking the virus sooner.
So far, the findings have been exclusively individual case descriptions from just a handful of patients. In one account, two elderly South Korean patients recovered following plasma therapy. One had initially been treated unsuccessfully with antimalarial drugs and the other was also administered a medication for treating HIV. After receiving plasma infusions combined with corticosteroids, which have long been known to reduce inflammation in the body, the patients recovered.
There have been similar reports from China, where doctors treated 10 severely ill COVID-19 patients with blood plasma from patients who had recovered from the disease, but only after an average of 16 days and in combination with other antiviral agents. According to the authors of the study, symptoms such as respiratory distress decreased within three days, oxygen saturation also improved and damage to the lungs improved to vary degrees after seven days. The physicians were no longer able to detect the coronavirus following treatment and also did not observe any serious side effects.
The individual accounts, however, are not yet sufficient to prove that the plasma therapy was the cause of the patients' improvement. The Chinese scientists wrote in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that plasma therapy could possibly improve the condition of patients by neutralizing the virus. "The optimal dose and time point, as well as the clinical benefit of CP therapy, needs further investigation in larger well-controlled trials," they wrote.
The Ebola Drug The antiviral drug remdesivir was originally developed by the pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences to combat Ebola. The drug inhibits the replication of the genetic material of RNA viruses, a category which includes both the Ebola pathogen and the novel coronavirus. The WHO identified the drug in January as one of the most promising candidates among treatment options. Starting in February, this resulted in the launch of studies in numerous places around the world, some of which are offering some hope.
Because these studies are showing initial indications of efficacy against SARS-CoV-2, the European drug authority EMA recommended last Friday that the drug be used as a possible treatment for seriously ill patients. On Tuesday, the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) also approved the use of remdesivir in Germany for seriously ill COVID-19 patients.
But even with remdesivir, it’s still not completely certain whether it is actually effective against SARS-CoV-2. Health officials in Germany hope to find out for sure in three clinical trials that have been approved by the BfArM. "All patients included in these studies are moderately to seriously ill and are being treated as inpatients," the Institute wrote.
The Antimalarial Agent Chloroquine, also known by its brand name Resochin, has been used since the 1930s as a preventative measure against malaria. But the pathogens have developed resistance to it and the German pharmaceuticals company Bayer ceased marketing the drug in 2019. The company says it is now "ramping up” production again because there are early indications that chloroquine could be effective against SARS-CoV-2.
However, those findings have been derived largely from experiments with cultured cells. It is believed that the drug can block the coronavirus pathogen from invading cells. But it is still unclear how effectively it can combat SARS-CoV-2 in the human body. The fact that the United States president has been touting it without much reflection doesn’t change such doubts - because even if chloroquine or the closely related hydroxychloroquine are generally safe for patients, in rare cases it can lead to retinal problems, restlessness, sleep disorders and gastrointestinal problems. This risk is only worth it if COVID-19 patients really benefit from taking it.
According to Clinicaltrials.gov, at least 13 studies are either planned or have already been carried out on the substances. The BfArM has also approved three clinical trials with hydroxychloroquine against COVID-19. "In one of these studies, people with mild cases of the COVID-19 disease are treated as outpatients," the Institute wrote. "The other two studies include moderately to severely ill inpatients." Medications for Combating HIV The HIV drugs ritonavir and lopinavir are also seen as a source of hope in the fight against COVID-19, mostly stemming from the fact that during the SARS outbreak in 2002-2003, there were indications this drug cocktail could be helpful. For example, lopinavir has been proven to inhibit the completion of viral proteins. Used in combination with lopinavir, ritonavir enhances this effect. The hope is that these drugs can help fight not only the HIV virus, but also SARS-CoV-2. The advantage of these medications is that they have already been in use for years and the possible side-effects are well-known.
A number of international studies looking at the effectiveness of these drugs are already in progress. In some cases, doctors are also using a further medication, interferon beta-1b, a transmitting agent that has an anti-inflammatory and antiviral effect and is used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis and other maladies.
However, the results of a first clinical trial with severely ill COVID-19 patients provided no evidence that the drugs are beneficial. But that doesn’t mean that they are not effective or that they won’t help other patients at a different stage or severity of the disease.
Since there are so many limitation with access to the grocery in Europe people wait outside and it is sometimes more dangerous since long lines are formed and these people spend a lot of time waiting in line
The Portuguese Miracle How Lisbon Has Managed the Corona Crisis While Spain continues to battle a dire coronavirus outbreak, the situation is vastly better in neighboring Portugal. But why? By Alexander Smoltczyk in Lisbon 09.04.2020, 18:12 Uhr
The famous Streetcar 28 in Lisbon: Self-discipline, the early reaction from public institutions and the country's geographical location at the edge of Europe.Mario Cruz/ EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
There are a number of different theories for why the coronavirus has caused so much less suffering in Portugal than in neighboring Spain. The hardest to disprove is the following: "We have Fátima. The Spanish don't have anything like it."
The reference is to the pilgrimage site of Fátima, located between Lisbon and Coimbra. In 1917, the Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd boys there on several occasions, entrusting three secrets to them - including, allegedly, the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in 1981.
"When a friend told me of this theory, I realized how much damage the virus has already done to people's minds," says António de Sousa Mendes, a retiree with a grand family history. As the consulate in Bordeaux, his father saved thousands of people from the Nazis and arranged for their escape through Spain to Lisbon. "For me, it's like a flashback to the year 1940," says Sousa Mendes over the phone. "The huge number of deaths across the border in Spain. The lines at the border crossing." The only difference being that they are now waiting in mobile homes instead of in horse carts, back when Portugal was the final sanctuary for many Europeans fleeing the oncoming German army.
Knowing this history also helps understand the Portuguese government's decision - unique in Europe – to allow access to the country's health-care system for all migrants and refugees whose asylum requests have not yet be resolved.
A Better Response It was the fear of developments similar to those seen in Spain that drove Portugal to adopt precautionary measures early on. In early March, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was the first head of state to go into voluntary quarantine. Luckily, it was a false alarm, but it served its purpose as a warning. Supermarket chains like Pingo, Doce, Continente and Lidl began only allowing small groups of customers inside at a time. Shoppers were surprisingly disciplined and the darker the news from Madrid, Barcelona and Milan grew, the larger became the distances between people waiting in line.
A tent set up in front of a hospital in Lisbon. Patricia De Melo Moreira/ AFP
As of Thursday, Portugal had 13,141 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 380 people having died from the disease. With a population of 10 million, those numbers aren't bad at all. Despite a less robust health-care system - Portugal has 6.4 intensive-care beds per 100,000 residents versus Germany's 33.9 – the mortality rate among coronavirus patients stands at 2.7 percent.
In Spain, by contrast, the mortality rate is 9.8 percent – with 10 times the number of positive cases. The result: the number of fatalities is almost 40 times as high in Spain as in Portugal. Every new statistical report coming from Johns Hopkins University provides yet more confirmation that Lisbon's response has been better than its big brother Madrid.
In Portugal, 87 percent of those who have died were over 70 years old and two-thirds were over 80, numbers that are similar to statistics elsewhere. The vast majority of suspected cases or patients with mild symptoms are kept at home, amounting to 85 percent of those who have tested positive. It is a prudent strategy, given that in northern Italy, the virus frequently spread in hospitals, despite all of the precautions.
"It is fear that has led to people behaving relatively responsibly," says Ana Girbal, an epidemiologist in Lisbon and director general at the Portugal branch of the Italian pharmaceuticals company Italfarmaco. Most of her staff are now working from home. "The state is paying 66 percent of people's salaries if they have children to care for," she says. No Vapor Trails in the Sky Self-discipline, the early reaction from public institutions and the country's geographical location at the edge of Europe may be the primary reasons for the relatively mild outbreak in Portugal thus far. In addition, no mass events have been held in the country recently, such as the March 8 Women's Day demonstration in Madrid. And there is a further possible explanation: In contrast to Spain and Italy, seniors in Portugal are generally vaccinated against tuberculosis. A recent study has found a possible correlation between countries where such a vaccine is mandatory and a lower COVID-19 morbidity rate.
Ever since country declared a national emergency on March 18, the city of Lisbon has been unrecognizable. Or, to be more precise, it can once again be recognized as the special place it once was. The tuk tuks are gone as are the drunk tourists on Rossio Square. The souvenir shops have closed, the cruise ships are absent, and the mobs of tourists have thinned out.
There are no vapor trails in the sky, no honking, no laughing and in the evenings, only rarely does one hear a car in the old town. It's just the screeching of the seagulls and, these days, the sound of the wind.
A Lisbon resident in the Barrio Alto neighborhood. Mario Cruz/ EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
A completely empty streetcar 28 rumbles past the cathedral. Avenida da Liberdade, Lisbon's answer to the Champs-Elysées, looked on Saturday as though it was the set for a post-apocalypse film. The center of the boulevard was left to the joggers, the homeless and the cats, but everything else was completely empty. Airplanes flying in have become an exotic sight and those who can have headed for the countryside. Three-quarters of the restaurants and hotels in Portugal are closed.
An Economic Disaster Most air and sea connections to Madeira and the Azores have been cancelled and most border crossings to Spain are also closed. Instead of 500 international flights taking off from Portugal each day, there are just 24, including only a single connection to Germany. All airports have been closed over the Easter holiday weekend and trips to other cities are prohibited - part of the effort to limit the traditional Easter visits of Portuguese living abroad.
From an economic point of view, of course, all of these measures are disastrous, especially for a city like Lisbon, which has only just managed to recover from the dark days of the financial crisis, largely thanks to tourism. Indeed, the corona crisis has struck Portugal just as the most important economic indicators began rising and an "economic miracle" was being evoked. The country's budget deficit is lower than it has been in decades, unemployment has been on the decline and austerity measures recently loosened. And now this.
President Rebelo de Sousa has demanded the bank sector provide loan assistance for small and family-owned companies. Referring to the bank bailouts of 2015, he said: "The banks are indebted to the country. Every Portuguese contributed (back then) to keeping the banks from collapsing."
The Social Democratic Prime Minister António Costa, for his part, has been reserved in joining calls from his Italian and Spanish counterparts for corona bonds, opting for a milder tone: "We aren't clinging to names or descriptions like some magic fetish," he said last week. The most important thing, he said, is that the EU holds together - and the first steps toward that goal have already been taken. The moderate tone, of course, can partially be explained by the fact that Portuguese Finance Minister Mário Centeno is head of the Euro Group.
Portugal had just begun recovering from the financial crisis. And now this. Mario Cruz/ EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
But the country also has a certain hard-boiled approach to catastrophes. Portugal survived the financial crisis just as it did the earthquake of 1755. "Bury the dead and feed the survivors," were the orders allegedly delivered back then by the Prime Minister, the Marques de Pombal. A monument to him stands in the center of Lisbon.
One of the first measures taken by the Lisbon city administration was to waive rent payments until the end of June for all renters in publicly owned housing. Food coops have been set up along with shelters for the homeless and the validity of monthly public-transportation tickets has been extended.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Costa was to announce whether schools might be reopened in early May on a trial basis. They might even go back into operation on May 13, the anniversary of the Virgin Mary appearance in Fátima. The day of miracles. You never know.
Trump is talking about Chloroquine as like this was a cure for everything. But this drug suppresses the immune activation, so it is only good for people who have hyperactive immune response, not for these who are elderly.
Adding to Kai's excellent work on finding and posting this serious Belgian-Dutch research. My lack of knowledge about that research shows a weakness in the Dutch media. They are so much focussed on government and virologist statements, the US and Asia, that they forget to look into their own backyard. Good work Kay. We sometimes do not even know what our own medical scientists, researchers and universities are doing. It is great that an American pointed me at this excellent research of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Catholic university of Leuven, KU Leuven) in Flanders, Belgium. and the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (TU) (Eindhoven University of Technology) in the province of Northern Brabant in the Netherlands.