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Coronavirus

Report Finds BAME Patients Are More Vulnerable To COVID-19

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A report has indicated that COVID-19 patients from BAME backgrounds are more vulnerable to coronavirus.

The report by the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre found that 34% of coronavirus patients in critical care were from black or minority ethnic backgrounds (BAME).

Census data from 2011 indicated that Ethnic minorities made up 13% of the population, this appears to show that BAME patients are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 patients.

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledged that current data suggests that “black populations might be disproportionately affected by COVID-19”.

Non – Hispanic Black People Disproportionately Affected By COVID-19 Hospitalisations
Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Prof Kamlesh Khunti, Professor of Primary Care Diabetes and Vascular Medicine, University of Leicester, said:

“Data from UK and US has recently shown that Black Minority Ethnic Groups are more likely to have a severe disease form of COVID-19 requiring admission to intensive care unit.”

Experts and charitable organisations have acknowledged that BAME communities may be disproportionately impacted for a variety of factors such as dense populations and higher risk factors for several medical conditions.

Cultural Factors

Ahmed Afzal who lives in Birmingham said that cultural reasons could be a possible factor.

He said;  “As Muslims, we tend to live as extended families” and a lot of us go to work so “we have a greater risk of catching the virus” and bringing it back home.

Government statistics show that 30% of Bangladeshi households and 15% of black households were classified as overcrowded compared to 2% of white British households.

Ahmed was keen to learn if the higher risk factory was due to large numbers of NHS workers being of an ethnic minority or if diet and immune response played a part.

Prof Khunti said: “There may also be socio-economic reasons in view of BAME populations living in more deprived areas and also cultural reasons including BAME populations living with extended families which may make it difficult to socially distance and self isolate.”

NHS England has advised trusts to ‘risk assess’ frontline BAME workers

Coronavirus

Eight in 10 Britons Ignore COVID-19 Self-Isolation Rules, Survey Finds

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A new survey indicates more than 80% of people living in Britain with COVID-19 symptoms or who have had contact with someone who has tested positive are ignoring self-isolation guidelines.
 
The survey, released Friday and conducted by Kings College London and the National Health Service (NHS), found that only 18.2% of people who reported having symptoms of COVID-19 in the previous seven days have stayed isolated since their symptoms developed, and only 11.9% requested a COVID-19 test.
 
The research also shows fewer than half those surveyed were able to identify the symptoms of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus.
 
The research also found that only 10.9% of people told to self-isolate after close contact with a COVID-19 case had done so for 14 days as required.
 
In a statement, the survey’s senior author, Kings College researcher Dr. James Rubin, said the research indicated that while the public seems to have good intentions to adhere to the test, trace and isolate guidelines, financial constraints are the most common reason given for non-compliance, among other factors.
 
Britain this week introduced fines of up to $12,780 for breaking self-isolation rules, and it is offering nearly $640 in support payments to low-paid workers who lose income from quarantining.
 
The study shows other reasons for non-compliance ranged from not knowing government guidance to being unable to identify the symptoms.
 
Kings College says the data was collected through surveys conducted among 30,000 people living in Britain between March and August of this year.

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Coronavirus

UK’s Coronavirus Vaccine Is Safe And Induces An Immune Reaction

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The UK’s Coronavirus Vaccine is safe and induces an immune reaction, according to preliminary results.

Results published today in the journal Lancet show that the early stage Oxford University trial has found that the vaccine is safe, causes few side effects, and induces strong immune responses in both parts of the immune system.

The trial of 1,077 healthy adults found that the vaccine induced strong antibody and T cell immune responses up to day 56 of the ongoing trial. 

Explaining how the vaccine works, study lead author Professor Andrew Pollard, University of Oxford, UK, said;

“The new vaccine is a chimpanzee adenovirus viral vector (ChAdOx1) vaccine that expresses the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. It uses a common cold virus (adenovirus) that infects chimpanzees, which has been weakened so that it can’t cause any disease in humans, and is genetically modified to code for the spike protein of the human SARS-CoV-2 virus.

This means that when the adenovirus enters vaccinated people’s cells it also delivers the spike protein genetic code. This causes these people’s cells to produce the spike protein, and helps teach the immune system to recognise the SARS-CoV-2 virus.” 

The current results focus on the immune response measured in a laboratory, and scientists say further testing is needed to confirm whether the vaccine effectively protects against infection.

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Another 1.5 Million File For Unemployment As States Continue To Reopen Economies, Totaling 44 Million People Unemployed

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(NPR) — The pain in the job market continues as an additional 1.5 million sought jobless benefits for the first time last week, down 355,000 from the prior week. Continued claims fell by 339,000 to 20.9 million, a sign that more people are returning to work as the economy reopens after pandemic lockdowns.

More than 44 million first-time claims have been filed in the past 12 weeks.

The Federal Reserve is projecting that the unemployment rate will be more than 9% by year end, falling to 6.5% by the end of 2021.

That’s down from last month’s lower-than-expected 13.3% rate but up sharply from a nearly 50-year low of 3.5% earlier this year before the coronavirus crisis shut down much of the economy. Employers added 2.5 million jobs in May, but they slashed 20.7 million just a month earlier.

“The May employment report, of course, was a welcome surprise,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday. “We hope we get many more like it. But I think we have to be honest. It’s a long road.”

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