Tag Archive : ‘Covid’

/ ‘Covid’

A Covid-19 expert says huge events such as Cheltenham Festival and massive weddings likely won’t happen again for a “few years” due to the threat still posed by the virus.

Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, said Britons should expect some changes to large gatherings for some time despite the mass vaccination programme.

Spectators are currently banned from attending sporting events and large weddings cannot take place under existing restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus.

In 2020, the four-day Cheltenham Festival, which ended just over a week before England was plunged into its first lockdown, controversially went ahead despite calls for it to be scrapped as the Covid crisis rapidly worsened.

Large crowds at the Cheltenham Festival on March 13
Cheltenham Festival was blamed for helping to acceleratae the spread of Covid in the UK (Image: Getty)

The mass gathering, of more than 250,000 people over the four days, likely helped “accelerate the spread” of coronavirus across the UK and contribute to an increase in Covid-19 deaths, it has been claimed.

Other large gatherings and sporting events, including Premier League and Champions League football matches with packed stadiums, were still being held at that time.

In recent months, police forces have shut down a number of large weddings that breached lockdown rules, including one attended by about 150 people at the Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls’ School in north London.

Professor Spector said on Sunday that some changes to large gatherings are likely to be in place for “the next few years”.

He told Times Radio: “I can’t see us suddenly having another Cheltenham Festival with no regulations again, I can’t see us having massive weddings with people coming from all over the world, I think for the next few years those days are gone.

“I think we should still continue to do the easy things, keeping our distance from each other in public, masks, handwashing etc, these things don’t cost really anything to do.”

He added: “I think we need to get used to that and that will allow us to do the things we really want to do more easily and more readily.”

Addressing infection rates as seen in his Zoe Covid Symptom Study UK Infection Survey, he said: “We’re moving towards where rates are generally much lower everywhere, we’re seeing about one in 170 people on average affected.”

Asked at what level he would say it is sensible to start easing restrictions, he replied: “I think around one in 250 would be where I start to become more comfortable, but it also depends on the context at the time and things like hospitals and death rates as well, because I don’t think we should be fixated on any one particular parameter, we’ve got to look at the overall picture.”

Professor Spector said he believed reinstating the rule of six allowing people to meet outdoors should be “definitely encouraged” around the same time as primary schools begin to return.

Schools in England are expected to reopen from March 8 with a staggered return of pupils.

Under the Government’s three-phase plan for easing the third national lockdown, pubs and restaurants could be allowed to reopen in April, though there will still be some restrictions, it is reported.

It is said that punters will be encouraged to drink outside.

From the coronavirus to Brexit, this is an era of great change and uncertainty. Events in Parliament have rarely been so crucial – or confusing.

Our daily politics newsletter is there at 8.30am to guide you through these turbulent times.

Written by the Mirror’s Head of Politics Jason Beattie it includes sharply-written commentary, a concise overview of events in Westminster and a sprinkling of gossip. There’s then a 4.30pm bullet-point update with the day’s headlines.

Asked about whether private gardens were safer than outdoor pubs or restaurants, he said: “My personal view, and I’m not speaking for anyone here, is actually sometimes a beer garden is more controlled than people’s homes and gardens.

“Generally most establishments are well behaved and I think they clean the tables and people keep their distance and I see no reason why we couldn’t move towards that in places that are well set up for it.”

As the UK emerged from the peak of the pandemic’s first wave in April last year, Sir David King, the Government’s chief scientific adviser from 2000 to 2007, said Cheltenham Festival could have helped to “accelerate the spread” of coronavirus.

In May last year, Professor Spector said Cheltenham Festival and Liverpool’s Champions League match against Atletico Madrid, attended by about 52,000 people at Anfield, contributed to an increase in coronavirus deaths in the UK.

He said the events had “caused increased suffering and death that wouldn’t otherwise have occurred”.

Data from his Zoe app showed that Cheltenham and the North West both became “key hotspots” for the virus, he added.

By then several European countries and cities had already imposed lock downs.

Mass gatherings were banned just over a week later when the first lockdown was imposed.

The Government and the racing industry have said they followed the advice available at the time.

Cheltenham insisted it was not possible to know how or where people had contracted the virus.


A group of COVID-19 patients in Sabah had to take matters into their own hands and help clean filthy toilets after realising that there were no cleaners around

On 9 January, Facebook user Jimmy Chin wrote, “When I first went to the bathroom at the quarantine centre in Likas, the hygiene there was just so miserable that I almost vomited the char siew rice I had last week. No one came to clean the place, it felt as if we were left to fend for ourselves.”

Meanwhile, another patient at the centre also wrote about the incident on Facebook. Samson Liew said, “Jimmy Chin made a suggestion the other day that we should clean the toilet by ourselves since no one is doing the cleaning. At first, I thought that he had lost his mind and I thought he was joking.”

“This morning he took action and really went to do the cleaning by himself. Seeing his little action, some of us decided to join in on the cleaning.”

Photos uploaded on social media show that the place was in terrible condition.The sinks were clogged, shower stalls were dirty, and there was trash in the drain.

In the same post, Liew wrote, “Yes, the toilets were horrible. There were days where water supply was cut off, people started to use bottled water to do some basic cleaning in the toilet, empty bottles were not thrown away in the right place after use.”

He also added that used soap bars and cigarette butts were left on the floor. Meanwhile, sinks and toilet bowls were clogged.

In total, the men spent about two hours cleaning the toilet.

They then asked health officials on duty if there was no one around in charge of the cleaning.To their surprise, the health officials said they would do the cleaning themselves when there aren’t too many patients to attend to.

Liew expressed his disappointment by saying, “The Ministry of Health (MOH) workers have to take care of a ward that is almost full with over 100 patients. They need to send food, pack the laundry, monitor patients’ health, and with the situation where there is lack of manpower, is it right to blame that they do not clean the toilet as well? They are human and they will feel tired as well, won’t they?”

Authorities have since addressed the issue and the patients said that health officials have moved in to clean up the toilets

According to The Star, Sabah Health Department director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi assured that the matter would be resolved.

Jimmy Chin shared an update saying thank you to MOH for taking swift action to clean the toilets.

“I hope you will continue to keep it clean like this in the future,” he wrote.


Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today asked the nation to pray that Malaysia will not be put under initial partial lockdown called movement control order (MCO) again like it was in March, amid the new third wave of Covid-19 cases.

He also justified the conditional MCO (CMCO) for Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya which begins at midnight as a pre-emptive measure, even as most of the districts in the state and federal territories are still not Covid-19 “red zones”.

“Firstly, I would like to say please pray no MCO, even though some may like it to happen or want to sit at home with their husbands or wives but this will bring a big effect in the economy and social sector a big impact to our country too,” he told the media.

“If there is a second MCO we need a bigger sum of money…but currently in our strategy we are not even thinking of that (MCO). We are focused in preventing the third wave from getting worse rather than thinking of spending for a potential lockdown (MCO).

“If things get worse, we will find a way to help the people, we are prepared but let us go through this phase first,” he added, during a special virtual press conference with the media this evening.

Meanwhile, Muhyiddin also admitted the government’s shortcomings, especially the delay in imposing curfews in Sabah.

The third wave of Covid-19 had hit the state on September 20, but restrictions such as banning interstate travel from Sabah was only implemented on September 27.

“I admit there was a delay on our end but never mind, we have taken steps to contain the situation now. Whatever it is we’ve got all areas covered for now. The death toll from Covid-19 counts … it is not on the rise it is still under control,” he said.

Muhyiddin also justified Putrajaya’s decision to impose CMCO in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya by saying it had to be done before the situation got worse.

“We had to call for CMCO as a preemptive and proactive measure from our end. If we don’t take these measures, cases will increase.

“Based on our experiences this preemptive measure will give us leeway to stop cases from rising if tomorrow some places turn to yellow zone or red zone we won’t wait so long and will immediately impose CMCO.

“A loss is a loss to Malaysia. A single loss is a high loss to a country . So we are taking preemptive measures,” he said.


GEORGE TOWN, Oct 6 — The Penang Remand Prison has taken immediate action to isolate and quarantine all inmates and staff believed to have been in close contact with an inmate who was reported to have died in the prison yesterday.

Its director, Mohamed Jusoh Ismail, when contacted, confirmed the matter but refused to give any details on whether or not the male inmate had died of Covid-19.

When asked whether those who were in close contact with the inmate would be required to take Covid-19 test, he said there was a possibility but he refused to comment further.

Meanwhile, Penang Health director Dr Asmayani Khalid, when contacted, also refused to comment or verify.

It is learned that an 85-year-old inmate fell unconscious in the prison yesterday before being taken to Penang Hospital where he was pronounced dead. 

“I can only say that the prison has taken necessary action by isolating and placing those who were in close contact with the inmate under quarantine to prevent untoward incidents.

“Whether or not the inmate died of Covid-19, I cannot comment. You have to wait for the Ministry of Health’s statement,” he said.


A recent study that analyzed the COVID-19 outbreak in Brazil found a link between the virus and previous outbreaks of the dengue fever.

It suggests that exposure to dengue may possibly provide some level of immunity from COVID-19.

The unpublished study, exclusively shared with Reuters, was spearheaded by Miguel Nicolelis, professor at Duke University.

The study draws parallels with geographic distribution of COVID-19 and the spread of dengue in 2019 and 2020.

It found that places with lower coronavirus infection and growth rates were also places that suffered dengue outbreaks recently.

Nicolelis said that the results of the study are fascinating because of how previous studies have found that people with dengue antibodies in their blood have a tendency to test falsely positive for COVID-19 antibodies although they’ve never been infected by the virus.

“This indicates that there is an immunological interaction between two viruses that nobody could have expected, because the two viruses are from completely different families.”

“If proven correct, this hypothesis could mean that dengue infection or immunization with an efficacious and safe dengue vaccine could produce some level of immunological protection against the coronavirus,” he said.

According to Nicolelis, his team came across the connection between the two viruses by accident while researching COVID-19 in Brazil.

A breakthrough came when the team began to compare the COVID-19 free areas to dengue dense areas.

“It was a shock. It was a total accident,” Nicolelis said.

“In science, that happens, you’re shooting at one thing and you hit a target that you never imagined you would hit.”

Although this is very promising, further studies are needed to prove and solidify the connection.


NEW DELHI – Seorang kanak-kanak lelaki berusia enam tahun menyumbang dana berjumlah 54,000 rupee (RM3,060) bagi memerangi wabak koronavirus (Covid-19) di Mumbai, India hasil daripada jualan lukisannya sendiri.

Kavir Mody, dilaporkan menjual 24 buah lukisan abstrak untuk membantu pertubuhan bukan kerajaan (NGO), Shrimad Rajchandra Love and Care (SRLC) dalam usaha membantu mangsa Covid-19 dan pelarian di bandar itu.

Menurut laporan Times Of India, Kavir yang merupakan anak tunggal seorang ahli perniagaan tidak pernah menghadiri sebarang kelas seni lukis tetapi mampu menghasilkan lukisan abstrak yang menarik.

Menurut ibunya, Urvashi, hanya dalam tempoh tiga bulan, mereka berjaya menjual kesemua hasil lukisan kanak-kanak itu melalui laman sosial.

“Pada mulanya kami menjual lukisan-lukisan itu pada harga 6,000 rupee (RM340) sebelum kami menerima panggilan daripada ahli perniagaan dan beberapa individu dari dalam dan luar negara yang berminat untuk membeli hasil lukisannya,” katanya.

Kavir turut memberitahu ingin meneruskan usahanya dalam menghasilkan lukisan-lukisan untuk dijual dan hasil jualan tersebut akan disumbangkan kepada orang yang memerlukan.


SHAH ALAM – Semua pihak yang masih berdegil dan cuba curi-curi untuk pulang ke kampung berhari raya perlu mengambil iktibar dari kes wanita hamil yang disahkan positif koronavirus (Covid-19) selepas pulang ke kampungnya di Kuala Krai, Kelantan untuk bersalin pada 15 Mei lalu.

Ahli Jawatankuasa Pusat, Persatuan Doktor Islam Malaysia (Perdim), Dr Zubaidi Ahmad berkata, apa yang berlaku itu boleh dijadikan pengajaran agar penularan jangkitan wabak itu dapat disekat.

“Yang belum balik kampung, saya nasihatkan tak perlu balik tetapi kalau perlu balik buat pemeriksaan kesihatan terlebih dahulu terutamanya yang ada simptom.

“Namun jika sudah berada di kampung, awasi pergerakan anak-anak, ibu bapa, atau sesiapa sahaja bagi mengelakkan risiko jangkitan wabak itu,” katanya ketika dihubungi Sinar Harian semalam.

Terdahulu, wanita hamil yang pulang ke kampung dari Ampang ke Kuala Krai baru-baru ini untuk bersalin anak kedua didapati positif Covid-19 sedangkan dia langsung tidak menunjukkan simptom demam atau batuk.

Dr Zubaidi berkata, bagaimanapun yang menjadi masalah ketika ini, terdapat individu yang positif Covid-19 tetapi tidak menunjukkan sebarang simptom.

Katanya, apabila mereka itu pulang ke kampung kemudiannya menjangkiti pula orang lain yang mempunyai ketahanan diri lebih rendah seperti orang tua yang berusia 60 tahun ke atas, yang ada sakit kronik, turut menyebabkan komplikasi sehingga terdapat kes meninggal dunia.

Sementara itu, ketika mengulas sama ada mereka yang pulang ke kampung menerusi Gerak Malaysia baru-baru ini perlu dibuat ujian pengesanan Covid-19, Dr Zubaidi berkata, beliau tidak melihat keperluan perkara itu buat masa ini.

“Kena faham bahawa saringan seperti ujian swab ambil masa dua hari untuk peroleh keputusan.

“Sebagai contoh, yang balik ke Kelantan saja pun cecah lebih 100,000 orang, jadi kalau nak buat saringan hasilnya tidak efektif atau tidak berapa baik,” katanya.

Katanya, untuk kes wanita hamil yang dikesan positif itu pula, fokus perlu dibuat kepada pengesanan kontak rapat pada peringkat ini.


A pair of newborn twins in India have been named ‘Corona’ and ‘Covid’, after the deadly coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic that has already infected over a million people all over the world

The newborn twins were born during the ongoing nationwide lockdown at Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Memorial Hospital in Raipur, the capital city of the Indian state of Chhattisgarh.

According to news outlet The New Indian Express, the husband, Vinay Verma, had to rush his wife, Preeti, to the government-run hospital, where she gave birth to a boy and a girl.

“Both the mother and newborn babies are doing fine. The infants weigh 2.9kg and 2.7kg. A team of doctors and medical staff performed a caesarean section on her after she complained of labour pain and complications,” a public relations officer at the hospital was quoted as saying.

“We couldn’t find any vehicle and faced a tense and challenging moment.”

“My husband took me to the hospital on his motorcycle. It was around midnight and we were stopped at various check-points raised by the traffic police,” the wife told the outlet.

The unusual names were chosen to symbolise triumph over hardship

The parents of the newborn twins said that it would remind them about all the hardships they conquered amid the lockdown, ahead of the successful delivery, reported The Hindu.

“We have named them Covid (boy) and Corona (girl) for now. The delivery happened after facing several difficulties and therefore, I and my husband wanted to make the day memorable,” the wife said.

According to her while the COVID-19 virus is dangerous, the pandemic has made people take note of the importance of hygiene and practice good habits to keep safe.

“Indeed the virus is dangerous and life-threatening but its outbreak made people focus on sanitation, hygiene and inculcate other good habits. Thus, we thought about these names. When the hospital staff also started calling the babies as Corona and Covid, we finally decided to name them after the pandemic,” the 27-year-old mother of the newborn twins said, giving reasons for their unusual decision.

The couple, however, said they may change their decision and rename the kids later.