Three years into the pandemic, nearly everyone in Japan is wearing a mask most of the time in public, and in South Korea it is legally required indoors.
Now these two Asian champions of mask-wearing say it is time to move on. Officials in Tokyo and Seoul on Friday called for easing of mask protocols, overriding concerns from some who say the practice still saves lives and keeps away a variety of ailments.
To help society mount a collective defence against pathogens, researchers say that leaders should enlist human-behaviour specialists to play a much bigger part in health policy. This has been the Achilles heel of governments during the COVID-19 pandemic, says Armand Balboni, an infectious-disease researcher and chief executive of pharmaceutical firm Appili Therapeutics in Halifax, Canada. “Social scientists, anthropologists and psychologists were not used nearly enough,” Balboni says.
On the contrary, over 30,000 Americans appear to have been killed by mechanical ventilators or other forms of medical iatrogenesis throughout April 2020, primarily in the area around New York.
This result is not altogether surprising, as subsequent studies revealed a 97.2% mortality rate among those over age 65 who were put on mechanical ventilators in accordance with the initial guidance from the WHO—as opposed to a 26.6% mortality rate among those over age 65 who weren’t put on mechanical ventilators—before a grassroots campaign put a stop to the practice by the beginning of May 2020.
As one doctor later told the Wall Street Journal, “We were intubating sick patients very early. Not for the patients’ benefit, but in order to control the epidemic… That felt awful.”
To put this in perspective, patients over age 65 were more than 26 times as likely to survive if they were not placed on mechanical ventilators.
This guideline was developed before the COVID-19 pandemic. It covers diagnosing and managing pneumonia in adults who do not have COVID-19. It aims to improve accurate assessment and diagnosis of pneumonia to help guide antibiotic prescribing and ensure that people receive the right treatment.
July 2022: We reinstated this guideline, which was temporarily withdrawn in May 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and plan to update it.
This guidance is intended for clinical laboratory and support staff who handle or process specimens associated with COVID-19. Guidance for Point-Of-Care Testing can be found here.
All laboratories should perform a site-specific and activity-specific risk assessment and follow Standard Precautions when handling clinical specimens. See Biological Risk Assessment: General Considerations for Laboratories
Refer to List Nexternal icon on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website for EPA-registered disinfectants that have qualified under EPA’s emerging viral pathogens program for use against SARS-CoV-2.
Cultures of SARS-CoV-2 should be handled in a Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) laboratory using BSL-3 practices, and inoculation of animals with infectious wild-type SARS-CoV-2 should be conducted in an Animal Biosafety Level 3 (ABSL-3) facility using ABSL-3 practices and respiratory protection.
Suspected and confirmed SARS-CoV-2 positive clinical specimens, cultures, or isolates should be packed and shipped as UN 3373 Biological Substance, Category B.
- December 9 – UK authorities confirmed 2 cases of anaphylaxis after vaccination
- December 18*, 2020 – CDC has identified 6 case reports of anaphylaxis following Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine meeting Brighton Collaboration criteria for anaphylaxis
- Persons with anaphylaxis following COVID-19 vaccination should not receive additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is no longer recommending testing for everyone who’s been exposed to Covid-19, saying people who don’t have symptoms “do not necessarily need a test.”
The CDC has quietly revised its guidance on coronavirus testing to say that people without symptoms who were exposed to an infected person might not need to be screened.
The agency previously recommended testing for anyone with a “recent known or suspected exposure” to the virus even if they did not have symptoms.
The CDC’s previous guidance cited “the potential for asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission” as a reason why people without symptoms who were exposed to the virus be “quickly identified and tested.”
Working safely during COVID-19 in offices and contact centres, published 24 June 2020, states:
6. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and face coverings(Emphasis mine)
Unless you are in a situation where the risk of COVID-19 transmission is very high, your risk assessment should reflect the fact that the role of PPE in providing additional protection is extremely limited.
6.1 Face coverings
There are some circumstances when wearing a face covering may
be marginally beneficial as a precautionary measure. The evidence
suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect you, but it
may protect others if you are infected but have not developed
It is important to know that the evidence of the benefit of using a face covering to protect others is weak and the effect is likely to be small…
Advice for offices and contact centres: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb97e7686650c278d4496ea/working-safely-during-covid-19-offices-contact-centres-240620.pdf
Advice for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb96e8e86650c278b077616/Keeping-workers-and-customers-safe-during-covid-19-restaurants-pubs-bars-takeaways-230620.pdf