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Comparing different approaches to Covid-19 containment

by Frank Schnittger Wed Apr 22nd, 2020 at 01:05:52 AM EST


Table 1 - countries listed in order of cases per million people (Source Real Clear Politics). All data taken at midnight GMT 21/22 April.

We are used to seeing these league tables with the USA, Italy, Spain, France and the UK on top, but when you adjust the data for population size, it turns out that Luxembourg, Spain, Belgium, Ireland and Switzerland are the hardest hit so far. Of course that may also be due to the fact that these countries have tested more than others - see table 4 below.



Table 2 countries listed in order of deaths/million

However if you sort the table by deaths/million, it turns out that Belgium, Spain, Italy, France and the UK are the hardest hit. Why do these countries have a higher fatality rate? Part of the reason may be the date the disease first arrived in a country, but the fatality rates vary enormously from country to country.


Table 3 lists countries  in order of confirmed case fatality rate.

It turns out that Belgium, the UK, Italy and France are up there with Nicaragua and Algeria as having the highest confirmed case fatality rates - is that because their health care systems are overwhelmed, or because they have tested only on hospital admission with the result that many milder infections aren't included in the denominator resulting in a higher % death rate?


Table 4: Countries listed in order of tests/million people. (Source: Worldometer).

Well none of these countries are anywhere near the top of the list of countries listed in order of their testing rate/ million inhabitants. So why is it that predominantly smaller and/or island countries dominate this table - Iceland, Faroe Islands, Falkland Islands, UAE and Malta? How come they don't appear to have been effected by shortages of testing kit and reagents? Could it be that many larger more populous countries simply gave up on wider testing as part of their containment strategies?

Certainly the UK only bothered to test on hospital admission, with the result that their testing rate, at 7,886/million is only a third of the Irish rate, 22,598 /million despite the fact that Ireland had difficulty sourcing testing equipment and reagent until recently.

And how have the low testing rate countries been faring in terms of deaths? France, UK, Iran, Brazil, Turkey and Sweden have all got testing rates below 10,000 /million population, and all have been moving up the deaths table.

So how come Ireland is so high up the deaths/million table, despite having a relatively high testing rate and a very comprehensive contact tracing operation? Firstly, it was a very open country with a lot of international movement of people. The Dublin strain of the virus is associated with northern Italian skiing resorts, the Cork Strain is identical to that in Boston, and the Limerick strain is the same as the Copenhagen strain.

Secondly, 60% of Irish deaths have been in nursing homes and residential settings with a median age of 83. Clearly there was a problem with infection control in these institutions, an issue which is only now being belatedly addressed in a systematic way.

Thirdly, while relatively quick to cancel mass sporting events and closing schools and businesses, some high profile events slipped under the radar, Thousands of Irish racing fans attended the Cheltenham festival in England (10-13 March) which has now been shown to have been a major vector of infection. And although the Ireland Italy rugby match (7th. March) was cancelled, thousands of Italian Rugby fans (primarily from Northern Italy) had bought tickets and still made their way over to Dublin for the week-end.

The good news is that the Irish epidemic may be under control: Deaths appear to have peaked and new cases have been declining for some days:


The peak in deaths on the 20th. April actually relates to the correction of an undercount over the previous 18 days).

Similarly, the peak in new cases on the 10th. April actually relates to a catching up of the analysis system with samples taken over the previous two weeks. Most new infections now appear to be confined to nursing home settings resulting in a high death rate, but also, hopefully, making it easier to contain further spread in the wider community.

In common with much of Europe, the Irish government is now talking about relaxing some restrictions on May 5th. Let's hope its not a false dawn and we won't be hit with further waves of infection. The Irish government is also hoping to agree on a suite of measures with the N. Ireland authorities to enhance controls at air and sea ports to prevent further vectors entering the island.

So far the available evidence suggests that while the infection began in both parts of Ireland within 24 hours of each other, the death rate in the republic of Ireland is two thirds the N. Ireland rate.

Whether we like it or not the island of Ireland has become a laboratory experiment for two approaches to Covid-19 infection and mortality control, and so far the focus on earlier closure of schools and businesses and much greater testing and contact tracing in the south has been shown to have resulted in a one third lower mortality rate.

Display:
My first reaction would be there is no level playing field of reliable number of deaths.

The Netherlands only registers in RIVM Stats the deaths in hospitals of patients tested. The true numbers is nearly 60% higher. Same is for England which sees huge number of deaths unregistered in homes and nursery homes. Both the UK and US are 2-3 weeks yet to go in spread of the virus and number of deaths.

The Republic of Iran has listed a very unreliable number. Where is the listing of China? What is their number of deaths per 1M?

The early explosion of clusters developed due to sporting events: football matches, carnaval, church gatherings, wintersport in ski resorts of the rich and more fortunate. Watching a report from Saaremaa, an Island off the coast of Estonia ... overwhelmed by extreme number of cases ... started by the volleyball matches with Italian teams further expanded by a social gathering.

Best performance by nations dependent on early detection, health structure where testing could be rolled out and where the leadership set policy not on short term economic principle, but the importance to save lives foremost. Tackle the pandemic to block its ravaging through communities and a centralized and coordinated approach.

I have mainly focused on The Netherlands with Mark Rutte and became aware early on of close ties to the Conservatives of Boris Johnson and by extension with the America of Trump.

In yesterday's press meeting in The Hague, PM Mark Rutte has done a 180 degree turn-around ... saving lives at all cost, also of the citizens above 65 years of age. The lockdown of the economy is set to continue until the risk of outbreak has diminished further. His approach of herd immunity on March 16 is only 6,000 lives ago. Tears!

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Wed Apr 22nd, 2020 at 06:20:34 AM EST
See my earlier post where I extrapolated some numbers for number of expected deaths in the UK (13,400) and the US (70,000).

The Tory government 🇬🇧 are far above and beyond ... a best performance 😡
And Trump in America does his very best to extend the spread of the outbreak, so we won't see the final numbers until early November 2020 🤡 🇺🇸

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Wed Apr 22nd, 2020 at 06:52:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ranking by best performance:
Iceland, Faeroe Islands, Falkland Islands, United Arab Emirates, Malta, Gibraltar, Luxembourg, Bahrain, San Marino ... all above 50K per 1M.

The UK at 8K, The Netherlands at 10K and the US at 13K are lagging far behind. Shameful.

[Data Worldometer]

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Wed Apr 22nd, 2020 at 07:11:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The ONS stats show an 8,000 extra "allegedly unexplained" deaths over the usual average for the week ending 10th April - which makes a running total of around 15,000 deaths by the end of that week, which again is about half the number of official in-hospital tested NHS deaths.

So the total by that death is already around 30k. And the number of "unexplained" deaths has been slightly-more-than-doubling each week.

If that continues there will be an extra 16,000 "unexplained" deaths by April 17th, putting the total over 60k.

The ONS are investigating the discrepancy, but apparently the inquiry could take... years. Because it includes some people who would normally go to a doctor/hospital but didn't.

I would guess that's not a very big number compared to "unexplained" Covid deaths, but I'm not working for the ONS.

The FT is a little more generous: Coronavirus death toll in UK twice as high as official figure

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2020 at 10:25:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An argument here is that deaths from other causes are being improperly grouped with coronavirus deaths. That is hard to untangle in the short term.

The proof will be in the total death rate for 2020 compared to 2019.

by asdf on Sun Apr 26th, 2020 at 12:43:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One in 3 death certificates were wrong before coronavirus. It's about to get even worse.
Up to 1 in 3 death certificates nationwide were already wrong before COVID-19, said Bob Anderson, chief of the mortality statistics branch at the National Center for Health Statistics in an interview with the USA TODAY Network.

"I'm always worried about getting good data. I think this sort of thing can be an issue even in a pandemic," Anderson said.

Experts say the inaccuracies are part and parcel of a patchwork, state-by-state system of medical examiners, coroners and doctors who have disparate medical backgrounds, and in some cases none at all.
[...]
A 2017 review of Missouri hospitals, for example, found nearly half of death certificates listed an incorrect cause of death. A Vermont study found 51% of death certificates had major errors. Nearly half of the physicians the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed in 2010 admitted that they knowingly reported an inaccurate cause of death.
[...]
Despite this, Anderson said, some physicians will simply list the cause of death as pneumonia when the pneumonia likely came after a COVID-19 infection. But he hopes fewer do.

archived
FluView | Pneumonia and Influenza Mortality Surveillance from the National Center for Health Statistics Mortality Surveillance System
"failure to thrive"
Classification and Its Consequences
by Cat on Sun Apr 26th, 2020 at 01:29:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The ONS-stats are all-cause. There are separate break-outs for causes, demographics, and so on, but that's not the point here - which is that all-cause deaths were 80% higher compared to a five-year average in the most recent week of available data.

So it would be astounding if the final death toll for the year wasn't significantly higher than average. Even if some people shuffle off a few months early, most will be dying some number of years before they would usually.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Apr 26th, 2020 at 07:20:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes but they do tend to net off deaths that would have happened at some stage in the year anyway against actual Covid-19 deaths as measured by actual diagnosis in widespread community testing regimes. Some of the latter  might have died anyway from co-morbidities or age, but it doesn't mean they can be subtracted from Covid-19 stats or that ONS data is directly comparable to actual Covid-19 stats.

Ireland has recently added non-confirmed but probable covid-19 deaths to its Covid stats - in line with international disease diagnostic conventions which has increased its Covid deaths by another 20% on top of its confirmed numbers. With a median age of 83 and with the vast majority having underlying conditions, may of these would not be regarded as "excess morbidity" in ONS type statistical exercises.

In the US deaths are often just recorded as respiratory failure or pneumonia related and not counted in Covid-19 stats unless confirmed by tests, and there are reports of doctors being pressurised not to note Covid on death certs. So there seems to be a concerted effort in US and UK to minimise the pandemic impact probably largely for political and PR reasons.

Some dry statistical report on "excess morbidity" won't have the same impact when released in a years time. Statistical probabilities don't have names and faces and families...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Apr 26th, 2020 at 08:16:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes the systematic undercounting of deaths by the inclusion only of hospital deaths in the headline figures has been one of the big scandals of this crisis and I have been amazed at the supine way in which the mass media have continued to report UK data as in any way comparable to any other.

This has gone long past the stage of initial teething problems in data collation and appears to be a deliberate PR strategy to make the UK performance look less bad than it actually is. Right wing sources have also tried to confuse the issue by comparing with deaths that would/might have occurred due to seasonal flu or other factors in any case as if this mitigated the extent of the public health failure.

Other right wing sources have sought to confuse the issue by referring to the age and number of underlying conditions of the deceased as if having a co-morbidity was a disqualifying factor for being considered a Covid-19 fatality.

At least some countries, such as France, have sought to remedy the initial exclusion of non-hospital based deaths by including them in more recent daily totals. It is extraordinary in this day and age of online data collection that we may never know the true death toll in some allegedly advanced societies with comprehensive health care systems such as the UK.

I know there have been various data collection issues in other countries as well some of which can be attributed to regional authorities simply being overwhelmed by the scale of the disaster in their areas. It is understandable that data collection is not a primary concern when you are struggling to deal with the afflicted.

But the politicisation of death, the fact that for some people deaths matter less if they are among the aged, otherwise ill, otherwise marginalised communities, and outside the formal hospital system, and thus more hidden or deniable is the scandal of the age.

We see it in the anti-lockdown protests in the US and Brazil, supported by their Presidents which place the economic interests of the majority above the lives of minorities.

In Ireland, too, a couple of headbanger right-wing journalists, who have received less than 1% of the vote whenever they have stod for election, have brought a legal challenge against the constitutionality of emergency legislation unanimously passed by parliament on the grounds that it infringes their unalienable right to infect others.

Crises bring out the best in people, but they also bring out the very worst.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2020 at 11:02:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pushed by media reports about increasing death tolls in nursing homes around the country, the French government has been providing two mortality figures during its daily briefing for the past two weeks now: deaths in hospitals and deaths in nursing homes.

As of tonight, April 22, the figures are:

  • Deaths in hospitals: 13,236 (+336 in the last 24 hours)
  • Deaths in nursing homes: 8,104 (+208 in the last 24 hours)

A total of 21,340 deaths attributed to COVID-19.

Today's fatalities number for the UK is: 18,100 (+759), but these are only the deaths in NHS hospitals; nursing homes deaths are still not tallied.

In international comparisons, France is always shown ahead of the UK because of the higher "total" figures. However, counting only the hospital deaths in the UK is skewing the comparison as you point out: by that figure (deaths in hospitals) the UK has been well ahead of France for over a week now.

The other extreme is Belgium where just about any death that can be attributed to C-19 is counted, which gives the country one of the highest rates of deaths per million of total population.

As you pointed out, counting, undercounting, not counting, all these follow different political motives; mostly trying to hide the lack of preparation and slow responses under the carpet.

by Bernard on Wed Apr 22nd, 2020 at 08:32:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's why I keep posting the ONS stats, because they're far more likely to be reliable. Although they're still underreporting the true picture, because they don't include figures for Scotland or Ni.

At a minimum the UK is well over 30,000 deaths by now, and the true total could easily be twice that - which puts it second only to the US, with around a fifth of the population.

Scandal doesn't begin to cover it. But here we are - with a far-right political culture that thinks PR, flag-waving bullshit, and impression management are the hallmarks of effective government.

As long as they're in place practical details will look after themselves. And if they don't it doesn't matter - as long as you control the narrative.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Apr 23rd, 2020 at 12:21:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My calculation from the CBS - Dutch National Statistics 2020 compared to avg. of two previous years:

Deaths per 1M Pop.

Belgium    665
Holland    535
Spain      531
Italy      467
UK         405
France     377
Sweden     263
Ireland    256
USA        196
Germany     79

These numbers make more sense, UK and USA catching up.

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Fri May 1st, 2020 at 07:01:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Fri May 1st, 2020 at 07:34:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why can't every country produce decent statistics well present like Iceland?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat May 2nd, 2020 at 08:47:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because the politicians do not want decent information.  It would seriously impair their value to the 1%.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed May 6th, 2020 at 02:47:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A good point of comparison, especially as time goes on, is excess mortality relative to the usual death rate. The euromomo project shows which countries are having a crisis. Data is limited for central European countries but the usual suspects show a spiking mortality rate. Also a difference between the North and South of Ireland.

In other news, some states in Germany are reopening shopping malls because individual shops are under the agreed limit of 800m²... A shopping Sunday in Cologne was canceled only after outcries. And they said caution has to be the order of the day. Sometimes I wonder whether humanity will survive this century. Is this the big filter?

Schengen is toast!

by epochepoque on Wed Apr 22nd, 2020 at 05:41:35 PM EST


Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Wed Apr 22nd, 2020 at 08:55:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
{Global Warming -> Climate Change -> Weather Change} will be the big filter.  Land area between 30 degrees North and South of the equator, or roughly where 80% of the global population lives will be severely affected.  Political, social, and economic instabilities - think "Arab Spring," the rise of ISIS, etc. - caused by food and water shortages are certain.  

In fact we're already starting to see such happening along the India/Pakistan border over control of the Indus river basin.  India recently grabbed control of the headwaters of the Indus: Kashmir.  Thus India now controls who, where, and how irrigation can happen in the Indus valley. Pakistan simply cannot allow India stay in control since it would mean submitting to covert or overt rule of Pakistan by the BJP.

Prognosis in the long run: war


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed May 6th, 2020 at 03:13:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Using the French national statistical service's tally of deaths,, comparing to the announced number of hospital deaths of people who tested positive for COVID, it looks like that number represents about half the death rate, at 10th April. The official number which includes rest home deaths looks like it's about 25% short of the real number which we will know eventually.

The first graph gets the peak in the daily toll in roughly the right place compared to government figures.

Bearing in mind that the difference in daily mortality is mostly about seasonal influenza at this time of the year, and that this year's flu is fairly mild, we can compare to 2019 and be within a few hundred when estimating the excess deaths from COVID. The most recent data cover about 90% of the population (the communes that file death reports electronically, rather than through the post).
Annual deaths so far by year :

10 April 2020 : 79665
10 April 2019 : 64210
10 April 2018 : 70997

So, inflating by 10% (though that may be excessive, since the communes mailing it in will be smaller rural ones, with low death rates), 16 or 17 thousand extra deaths at that date,  compared to 8598 hospital COVID deaths, or a government number of 13197 total COVID deaths to 10th April.

So the official French numbers look like less of an undercount than I expected.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Apr 23rd, 2020 at 01:34:39 PM EST
Also bearing in mind that some of those who died of Covid-19 would have died of other/natural causes in any case and would, in other years, have been part of the "normal" 64-70k deaths up to 10 April. Do all death certs in France give a doctor's opinion on cause of death, and would deaths caused by respiratory failure be presumed covid related in the absence of a positive test?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Apr 23rd, 2020 at 02:01:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The standard "Certificat de décès" form must be filled in by a MD; it does always include a section "causes du décès", be it "mort naturelle" or a specific diagnosed illness. The doctor may order an autopsy, but I'm not sure if she may order a post-mortem C-19 test. In any case, testing the patients (or deceased people) with COVID-like symptoms has become routine, in hospitals obviously, but also in nursing homes.
by Bernard on Thu Apr 23rd, 2020 at 08:00:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Another complicating factor is that the social distancing techniques used to limit coronavirus also limit other diseases, so their rates may be lower than usual this year.
by asdf on Sun Apr 26th, 2020 at 12:46:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's not what US presses have been reporting the last couple of weeks. Indeed, reporters' eagerness to quote random MD speculations of NEW! syndromes and deferred chronic illness complications increases by each day added to LOCKDOWN.

Yeasterday, for example, USAToday headlined a mysterious SURGE of strokes among (5) NYC patients < 40 y.o. a couple of academic promptly attributed novel properties to coronavirus, activated by intercourse with hemoglobin with effect of instant polycythemia. Further studies proposed.

by Cat on Thu Apr 30th, 2020 at 11:42:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
More graphs here on Franceinfo:

Article in French, but the graphs are easily readable. They show a 3-year comparison of daily deaths for March and early April, bearing in mind that the 2018 seasonal flu epidemic had been particularly severe in February-March of 2018.

Plenty of other graphs: for instance, the Southwestern regions have been largely spared by the pandemics and one can still see the effects of the Evangelical gathering in Mulhouse (Haut Rhin, Alsace), back in February, which helped spreading the virus all over the country.

by Bernard on Thu Apr 23rd, 2020 at 08:09:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The UK has finally started adding the number of COVID-19 deaths in care homes to their daily reporting. As a result, the number of deaths to date (26,097) jumped ahead of the same figure for France (24,087) who had started reporting the two figures since early April.

The Economist came up with a report tracking "excess deaths across countries". Their conclusion:
Official covid-19 death tolls still under-count the true number of fatalities

They also compared the excess mortality with the reported COVID-19 deaths by each country's authorities.

But how accurate, or not, is each country's official numbers? Their estimates:

In Italy, "the official numbers captured 48% of the true estimated excess."

In Spain, "the official numbers captured 67% of the estimated excess."

In France, "the official numbers captured 86% of the estimated excess."

In Britain, "the official numbers captured 71% of the estimated excess."

In the Netherlands, "the official numbers captured 48% of the estimated excess."

In Sweden, "the official numbers captured 90% of the estimated excess."

In Belgium, "the official numbers captured 93% of the estimated excess."

In Austria, "the official numbers captured 57% of the estimated excess."

by Bernard on Wed Apr 29th, 2020 at 08:49:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent report with clarity in graphs. 😊

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Thu Apr 30th, 2020 at 06:39:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Swedish death rates for Corona seems to match well the excess mortality rate.

The Swedish Agency for statistics has put their spreedsheet on reported deaths online and just eyeballing it, until the beginning of april it is about the same and then the usual level of 220-320 deaths/day jumps to 300-360. (I am not including the last few days, as SCB notes that their numbers lag, and demonstrates it in table 8.)

This matches fairly well the Corona mortality reported to have climbed to around 100/day and which looks right now to be stagnating at that level. So far, it is mainly Stockholm that is worst hit.

Healthcare in Sweden has expanded the amount of intensive care that can be provided and has plans to expand more if needed. Much of the hospitals can be converted to ICUs. Equipment has been a problem, but it looks like it is now the amount of and endurance of the staff that will be the real limiting factor. There has been succesful recruiting for temporary exoansion, inventories has been made among existing staff and crash courses has been established to get doctors and nurses up to speed to work in ICU departments, but in the end there is limits here to what can be done in a short time if the staff is to be able to handle it. So far, the health care system is handling it. People are dying from the disease, not from lack of healthcare.

Btw, I am uncertain on how much Sweden really differs in amount of social distacing, and how much is just a difference in approach. Instead of bans and legislation Sweden has mainly used agency recommendations, broadcasted at two o'clock every afternoon. Most people seems to be following the recommendations.

Most everyone who can work from home do, social distancing is to a large extent observed and most establishments has taken action to enforce a minimum distance of one anf a half meters. Grocery stores has marked out recommended distance on the floor, restaurants has made sure (under threat of this being included in food and safety inspections) to space out tables or close of every other table, etc etc.

Main difference is in keeping schools and daycare for kids open. The agency in charge of people's health argues (from research) that it should be enough if everyone with symtoms self-isolate until symtoms has passed and then another 48 hours. Regulation for staying home with ill kids has been amended, so has regulations for staying home ill, and payments has been made slightly more generous. At any time, some 25-30% of kids in schools, teachers in schools, staff at most places were you can't work from home, are home with symtoms or self-isolating for 48 hours.

In general, the approach seems to work as markets are crashing. People may go out to eat, but they are not. People may travel, but they are not.

Almost every organisation I am a member of has scrapped all physical meetings and are learning to have digital meetings instead (the virus arrived just in time for the big meeting season). They may hold physical meetings, but they are not.

A neighbour who is a painter (the kind that paints interior walls and puts up wallpaper) says that no one wants a stranger coming into their house right now. He's not worried though, the mix of government support coming in will tidy him over. Government printing press is running like if we hadn't had three decades of arguments about how money doesn't grow on trees, etc.

The reasoning behind the more volountary approach is that this way will have a high enough percentage of people following the recommendations, while generating less opposition. I don't know what works better, but I sure hope it will work.

by fjallstrom on Fri Apr 24th, 2020 at 10:56:38 AM EST
Sweden also has a couple of natural advantages - very low density of population outside a few main cities, very high proportion of single person households, a good public health and social case system. Correct me if I am wrong, but I get the impression that social mores also included less protracted hugging and kissing than in Spain, for example. So social distancing may come a little more naturally.

I also get the sense that there is still a relatively high level of social cohesion and respect for rules etc. in Sweden which means social distancing doesn't have to be enforced quite so much as in other countries. In Spain thousands of fines have been handed out to people breaking the rules, in France you have to fill out paperwork, in the UK there has been some slightly heavy handed policing.

Ireland also followed a largely more voluntary approach with "advice" rather than legal enforcement the norm. Emergency legislation giving the police powers of enforcement has only recently been activated, and so far has been sparingly used.

Generally speaking government and public health communications have been good and have engendered trust, although this was not helped when the Minister for Health mistakenly referred to Covid-19 having 18 progenitors. He thought the 19 referred to the number of previous corona virus diseases, not the year in which it emerged!

That put him in the same boat as Trump advisor Kelly-Amm Conway in the good old USA. In fairness he has abjectly apologised for his mistake. He wouldn't have gotten away with trying to brazen it out, Trump style.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Apr 24th, 2020 at 01:52:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, that is all true. For example, you do not sit down next to a stranger on the bus if there is any seat left where you don't have to sit next to somebody.

I think the main disadvantage Sweden has had was a large number of starting cases in early March as there is a one week Spring break in late february where you traditionally go skiing. And being able to afford going to the Alpes instead of our domestic mountains, is a sign of wealth. So we had a bunch of conspicous consumers going back and forth to Italy there. I think that is one reason - in addition to more public transport - that Stockholm has been worst hit. I was surprised that there was no quarantine, I think that would have postponed and flattened the outbreak here. That would probably been considered extreme then, but that was almost months ago.

Politically, when it comes to the disease the government is mostly pointing at the expert agency and Anders Tegnell, the state epidemologist, has become a household name (I doubt people knew we even had a state epidemologist before this). So the prime minister holds speaches about the importance of following the experts advice.

by fjallstrom on Fri Apr 24th, 2020 at 02:12:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Grim Truth About the "Swedish Model" - Hans Bergstrom - Project Syndicate
But let's not turn causality on its head. The government did not consciously design a Swedish model for confronting the pandemic based on trust in the population's ingrained sense of civic responsibility. Rather, actions were shaped by bureaucrats and then defended after the fact as a testament to Swedish virtue.

... Through it all, Sweden's government remained passive. That partly reflects a unique feature of the country's political system: a strong separation of powers between central government ministries and independent agencies. And, in "the fog of war," it was also convenient for Löfven to let Tegnell's agency take charge. Its seeming confidence in what it was doing enabled the government to offload responsibility during weeks of uncertainty. Moreover, Löfven likely wanted to demonstrate his trust in "science and facts," by not - like US President Donald Trump - challenging his experts.

... Now that COVID-19 is running rampant through nursing homes and other communities, the Swedish government has had to backpedal.

But how is it gonna play out in the long term? Final tally is still a while off. Meanwhile, focusing on better protecting those care homes could do the trick. But there may also be a darker sociological explanation for the approach:



Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Fri Apr 24th, 2020 at 11:05:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dutch Glory with Rutte and Hoekstra ...

Coronavirus will drive Dutch budget deficit up to 12% of GDP: Hoekstra | Dutch News |



Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Fri Apr 24th, 2020 at 02:55:00 PM EST
A Chara,
Dr GRAHAM GUDGIN's  letter, (Covid-19 - one island with very different death rates?, Letters, April 24), is a masterpiece of obfuscation.

He breezily dismisses Prof Mike Tomlinson (Opinion & Analysis, April 22nd) comparison of Hospital Covid-19 deaths, north and south, on the grounds that "this means little since we do not know how many people are moved into hospital from care homes or the wider community in each jurisdiction."

But we know precisely how many people with confirmed Covid-19 have been hospitalised in each jurisdiction. A the time of writing, this is 2,424 in the south, of which 392 sadly died. The corresponding figures for N. Ireland are 3,454 hospitalized of which 2,765 have been discharged, and 263 have died (Source: PHA and N. Ireland Department of Health).

Adjusting these figures for population size, this results in a rate of 80 deaths per million in the south, and 140 deaths per million in the Northern Ireland.

The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) has has also reported the TOTAL number of deaths  in Northern Ireland involving Covid-19 up until April 17, as  276 deaths,  64 more than previously reported. The equivalent figure for Ireland on the 17th. April was 531. Again, adjusting for population size, this results in a figure of 108 deaths per million in Ireland, and 147 deaths per million in N. Ireland.

The lack of testing in the community in N. Ireland may also result in a considerable number of deaths there not being recorded as Covid-19 related. Dr GUDGIN refers to "excess mortality" statistics but these may be influenced by many factors - age profiles, seasonal flus or underlying morbidities. Irish Covid-19 fatality statistics are not adjusted downwards for those who might have died in any case due to age or underlying conditions over the period of this pandemic.

One of the scandals of the crisis so far has been the attempt by the UK government to pass off UK hospital deaths as comparable to all deaths in other jurisdictions. For instance France is always shown in international comparisons as having a higher total of deaths, 21,340 as of April 23rd. compared to 18,100 for the UK. But the French total is made up of  13,236 deaths in hospitals, and 8,104 deaths in nursing homes, whereas the UK total ignores deaths in nursing homes and in the community and included only deaths in hospitals. The true comparison is therefore 18,100 (UK) vs. 13,236 (France).

Every one of those numbers refers to a loved one lost to friends and family forever. It should not matter where they died. It should not be beyond the capability of a modern state and health care system to accurately test and account for all Covid deaths, wherever they occurred, and to report them transparently in the media. Dr GUDGIN's time would be better spent advising his former employer, the First Minister in Northern Ireland, on policies which can more effectively control the pandemic on the whole island of Ireland.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Apr 24th, 2020 at 03:32:55 PM EST
Through "Project Syndicate" (see above), I also discovered a piece by old friend Varoufakis:

Solidarity Is Not What Europe Needs - Yanis Varoufakis - Project Syndicate

The idea for such bonds is neither new nor complicated. What is new is that, during this pandemic, the call for Eurobonds was couched in terms of solidarity with the stricken southerners.

... The outcome isn't hard to explain. The nine heads of government gambled that their portrayal of the bonds as the financial embodiment of European solidarity would win the day. It was a bad bet.

... Alas, Hoekstra is right: Solidarity is a poor justification for Eurobonds or any other form of debt mutualization. When I encounter suffering individuals or communities, I may feel compelled to give money, offer shelter, or provide a large, long-dated, cheap loan when no bank will help. That's solidarity. But solidarity does not, and cannot, compel me to go into debt with them.

So far I can follow but in the end the pleas to rationality re. "Euro was made [artificially] cheaper and better for Northerners by soft-currency Southerners" is a bit weak.

Dutch and German savers need to recognize that their savings would be much, much lower had indebted Italians, Greeks, and Spaniards not shared the euro with them. After all, it is southern deficits that keep the euro's exchange rate low enough for Germany and the Netherlands to maintain their net exports. Eurobonds' merit thus has nothing to do with solidarity. By shifting debt from deficit countries to a strong Union and, in the process, shrinking total eurozone debt (thanks to the lower long-term interest rates implied by the EU's greater creditworthiness), Eurobonds would keep a country like Italy in the euro - thereby preventing Dutch and German savings from vanishing.

... The way to avoid northern vetoes is to appeal to what Smith would call their "self-love," while making it clear that self-harming northern policies also will be vetoed.

That one doesnt 'hold much currency' with the Northerners, either. There needs to be something easier and more convincing. Something like investment that will pay for itself. Or full monetization no problem, I don't know.

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Fri Apr 24th, 2020 at 11:19:04 PM EST
There is no doubt that having a common currency like the Euro has been a net benefit for most members, most of the time. For a net exporting country like Germany it eliminates one barrier (currency fluctuations and exchange costs) to trade. For a small economy like Ireland it can also avoid the wild fluctuations in currency value experienced by our previous currency, the punt, which could be gamed by a medium sized hedge fund. Businesses crave predictability and eliminating exchange rate fluctuations and costs helps provide that.

On the downside, a 'one size fits all' currency exchange rate with outside currencies and ECB monetary policy can be wildly inappropriate for some countries some of the time. The low interest rates required to fund German re-unification also boosted an Irish property bubble which led, in significant part, to the Celtic Tiger crash.

Then again, there is no way a small economy like Ireland could now borrow at near 0% if we had our own currency. Currency traders (and hedge fund) knowledge of smaller economies is patchy at best and there will always be a risk premium attached to borrowing in a smaller currency.

Greece should, of course, never have been allowed to join the Euro at all. It's structural deficits (and false accounting) were bad enough even when it did have its own currency. The Euro brought in an era of cheap credit and orgy of borrowing that would never have been possible with the Drachma. It's introduction required the adoption of Germanic disciplines and controls on borrowing that simply wasn't part of the culture. Interestingly Greece has decided to stick with the Euro even after all the pain it endured. If you are a trading nation heavily dependent on tourism having a common currency with your customer base has a lot of attractions. Tourists can get their cash at any ATM with minimal if any transaction costs (although banks have been trying to re-introduce them).

Italy is the really hard case. It has suffered a structural relative economic decline ever since it joined the Euro. Whether this would have happened in any case due to Asian competition for much of its industry is hard for me, as an outsider, to judge. But there is no doubt that the value of the Euro - too low for Germany, too high for Italy - didn't help. Draghi's policies helped to reduce the cost of its huge debt pile but didn't solve the underlying problem.

I am unconvinced that continually devaluing your currency or regularly defaulting on debts a la Argentina is any more viable a strategy even if it has its short term attractions. "Once off" devaluations or debt defaults have a habit of recurring as they tend not to to resolve underlying issues. One way or the other, the problem of competitiveness has to be addressed, if you are going to allow relatively open trade on a global basis. In any case the problems caused by trying to exit the Euro could make Brexit look like a walk in the park.

Varoufakis is right to criticise the moralistic northern European habit of ascribing virtue to lenders and fecklessness to borrowers. Every lender needs a borrower and every net exporter needs a net importer. Having a common currency and interest rate regime reduces the tools policymakers have to correct those imbalances which would normally be "managed" via currency devaluations and or interest rate differentials both of which can be painful, but perhaps not as painful as prolonged deflation.

In practice, wage rate and public service level differentials are now doing much of the work of adjusting for differences in competitiveness. Again this has little to do do with virtuous work ethics or public sector efficiencies and a lot to do with how well positioned an economy is to take advantage of economies of scale, technological innovation, market dominance and high margin industries like financial services and pharmaceuticals. It doesn't help social cohesion either at regional or international level within the EU when this results in even greater inequalities and imbalances.

Debt mutualisation could improve cohesion and reduce the total cost of borrowing by creating economies of scale and reducing perceived lender risk but does little to address these underlying structural imbalances. The suspicion in net surplus countries will always be that any interest cost reduction for high deficit countries will be at their cost either through reduced income on their savings, or an increase on their cost of borrowing relative to what their own national bonds would have cost.

But it doesn't have to be an either or. The issue of a mutual EU wide "Corona bond" to fund specific pandemic related costs to a set maximum value in any one economy could be an important demonstration of solidarity while not replacing national bonds for everything else. It would also demonstrate that some EU members are not seeking to benefit from the misfortune of others by charging the high interest rates associated with some previous alleged "bail-out" funds. Italy wouldn't be able to refinance its 135% debt GDP ration using Corona bonds, but at least any additional borrowing necessitated by the pandemic would be at the lowest possible rate currently around 0%.

I do not pretend to fully understand the issues around "helicopter money" and the ECB simply printing huge amounts of cash and giving it to member states or its citizens at a time of crisis. Certainly the traditional fear of it generating inflation hardly seems to be  "le problème du jour". It could be a short term solution, and certainly be preferable to default, but we do not know where the limits of such a policy lie.

Ultimately, a stable monetary union requires a stable political Union and at least a degree of fiscal union which can replace the other stabilisers of differential currency and interest rates that a monetary union removes. If the current management of the pandemic teaches us anything, we are a long way off that in the EU at the moment. Health care is still primarily a national, and often a regional competency. Perhaps one way of progressing a fiscal union is to expand the role, budget and scope of the EU in public healthcare, pandemic preparedness and management, and pharmaceutical and medtech research and procurement. Viruses don't respect boundaries, and neither should out health care systems.


Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Apr 26th, 2020 at 10:39:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Monetary financing of deficits is a funny thing. It seems it's OK when anglo-saxons do it.

The US has based its prosperity in the modern era on it. The Bank of England has no qualms about directly buying the UK government's debt (and the government wouldn't dream of telling them not to : that would be political interference...)

If poorer countries do it, it's inflationary and ruinous.

Non-Anglo mature economies can't do it because... it's verboten.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Apr 29th, 2020 at 04:39:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Speaking of which, Thomas Piketty has been making the rounds, presenting his proposal for a "coalition of the willing" for issuing joint debt, something that has been opposed by the "frugals" in the latest EU Council meetings. This could start by joint issuing between, say, Portugal, Spain, France and Italy.

More details (in English) in Politico.eu:

Thomas Piketty: Willing EU countries should spearhead fiscal union

He also said that opposition from Germany and the Netherlands should not discourage France, Italy and Spain from issuing joint debt, known as eurobonds or corona bonds, as a way to tackle the fallout from the coronavirus crisis.

"It is perfectly possible for two countries, or three and four countries -- France, Italy, Spain -- to create corona bonds," Piketty said about European answers to the crisis, and thus "mutualize interest [rates]."
[...]
Asked whether such a multispeed approach would not risk a break-up of the eurozone, Piketty said Europe had more to fear from rocketing interest rates in countries such as Italy -- which threatened to delay the recovery and propel the EU into another debt crisis -- than from asymmetrical fiscal or political integration.

by Bernard on Wed Apr 29th, 2020 at 05:24:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tomas Pueyo has another series of three articles about the stop-and-go strategies being considered when exiting lockdowns.

As usual, he is aggregating a lot of information from many sources, with focus on Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore.

by Bernard on Wed Apr 29th, 2020 at 05:28:12 PM EST
Colorado's leftist democrat governor has announced a lockdown lifting process, even though the statistics do not come close to supporting such a move. As soon as it was announced, distancing practices collapsed. He has said now that enforcement of the new rules might be necessary.

People will jump ahead of whatever the timeline is for relaxing the guidelines. Keeping them inside in the summer is going to be impossible.

by asdf on Thu Apr 30th, 2020 at 04:33:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Berlin tries to cool coronavirus tensions near French border
Germany's foreign minister sought to reassure France on Thursday after reports that Germans in a border region have lashed out at French commuters over fears of them spreading coronavirus.

Germany began to restrict its borders with EU neighbors in mid-March due to concerns about the pandemic, but made exceptions for certain travelers and the transport of goods.

In the tiny western region of Saarland, which borders France and Luxembourg, local media have in recent days reported clashes dating back to late March, including cars with French license plates being scratched or pelted with eggs, and Germans yelling: "Fucking Frenchmen, go back to your fucking corona country!"

by Bernard on Fri May 1st, 2020 at 08:31:34 PM EST
Did Bouillon get the tone wrong? Saar politicians demand dismissal

But the Saarland political scene ran hot throughout the day. The European political spokesman for the Saar-Liberals Francois Simons said: "Minister Boullion's statements lack the decency required for his office. With the statements in Today's Journal, he fuels resentment in an extremely sensitive European political situation. "

Simons concluded his statement by saying: "As a minister in the most European of all federal states, Boullion no longer has a place. He must correct his statements immediately. Otherwise, the ball lies with Tobias Hans, who then has to decide that Boullion can no longer be part of the Saarland state government "

The Saarbrücken SPD member of the Bundestag, Josephine Ortleb, was critical: "The statement by Saarland's interior minister Klaus Bouillon is dangerous for Saarland. With his testimony, he tears the Franco-German bond of friendship to shreds, tearing everything we have historically managed with our neighbors. Such rhetoric is unacceptable - it must have consequences. Prime Minister Hans must finally dismiss Klaus Bouillon as Minister."

'We are on a war footing' - Inside one of France's coronavirus cluster zones | The Local |

    Jean-Luc Reitzer, the local MP for the Haut-Rhin department who was the first French lawmaker to test positive for the virus, is among those in intensive care.

    Local authorities said late Monday that there were 193 cases of coronavirus in the Haut-Rhin region where Mulhouse is located, one of the highest concentrations in France.

    Most of the cases in all of eastern France were linked to the meeting of the Christian Open Door Church in Mulhouse from February 17th to 24th, a statement by the local authorities said.

Coronavirus: The Five Days at an Evangelical Super Church That Set a Time Bomb in Europe | Haaretz |

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Fri May 1st, 2020 at 10:48:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Local and Haaretz articles date back from March. I had also commented on the Mulhouse Evangelical gathering back then.

The number of cases, people in hospital and in ICU beds, have been decreasing continuously nationwide for the past ten days now, including the northeastern "Grand Est" region, but it is still one of the heaviest hit regions in France, while the western and southwestern regions have been relatively spared.

The government has published a "de-confinement" map, or rather a series of color coded maps (would have been too simple, wouldn't it?) showing selected criteria, such as "virus in active circulation", "tension on the hospital beds, and ICU beds capacity", "percentage of ER visits with suspicion of C-19", etc... You can see that the "red zones" still skew heavily to the north and east of the country, plus of course, the heavily populated Paris region. The maps are supposed to be updated and revised daily. Regions in red will keep stricter measures, even after May 11, while the green ones will be more relaxed.

by Bernard on Sat May 2nd, 2020 at 10:37:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Like most of Europe, France appears to have the pandemic under control, provided pre-mature loosening of lock-downs doesn't allow infections to spike again. Ireland has just published a quite comprehensive 23 page staged relaxation of lock-down measures plan. Hopefully we won't have to roll back any of the measures.

PS - did you get my email?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat May 2nd, 2020 at 11:39:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Stop-and-go strategies, or "hammer and dance" as Tomas Pueyo describes them, could, in theory, prevent a second wave to spike again, provided that social distancing (with face masks) is well respected, plus a lot of testing and contact tracing to quickly isolate the infected people and quarantine the potentially infected ones. No easy stuff.
by Bernard on Sat May 2nd, 2020 at 03:21:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A second wave is inevitable.  Too many people are incapable of rational analysis.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed May 6th, 2020 at 03:16:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
After The Economist, Politico has a stab at the 'International Morbidity League Tables', using the 'excess deaths' method, because:

How to measure the real toll of the novel coronavirus has been a persistent question since the outbreak began.

There are a number of difficulties. Some countries test more per capita while others test less. And governments collect their statistics differently, making any cross-border comparisons -- be it infections, recoveries, or deaths -- inexact.

Sometimes, a country does change its numbers reporting criteria: France started adding deaths in nursing homes to the ones in hospitals from April 4. The UK only started doing the same (only for England & Wales, apparently) last week, and both the COVID-19 cases and fatalities numbers suddenly jumped ahead of France (both countries have about the same population, around 66 millions).

A major rationale for this approach is that there's a lot of confusion around counting COVID-19 deaths, with different countries using different methodologies. Some apply broad definitions that include all possible cases, while others use narrower standards. That latter approach, however, has sometimes led to accusations that deaths are under-counted to downplay the crisis.

By contrast excess deaths can, in theory, cut through these uncertainties by providing a reliable figure.

by Bernard on Sat May 2nd, 2020 at 03:33:28 PM EST
by Cat on Sat May 2nd, 2020 at 03:49:33 PM EST
US press corps gearing NIAID competitive ebola marketing strat.
Uncle Sam wants YOU! to enroll in Gilead's floor wax Phase 3 living lab

China may be keeping coronavirus data for commercial gain: Trump adviser

"One of the reasons that they may not have let us in [BWAH!] and given us the data [?] on this virus early, is they're racing to get a vaccine and they think this is just a competitive business race, it's a business proposition so that they can sell the vaccines to the world," Navarro told Fox Business Network.

"But we're going to beat them [!]. We're going to beat them because of President Trump's leadership. We're going to beat them because HHS has already got a five-company horse race [!]," said Navarro, referring to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


archived abnormal psych, projections
Wed Jan 29th, 2020
Sat May 12th, 2018
"It was not possible to collect biological samples from people who received the vaccine in order to analyse their immune response."
by Cat on Sat May 2nd, 2020 at 04:15:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]

technical expertise

by Cat on Sat May 2nd, 2020 at 04:40:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump wants to deliver 300 million doses of coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year. Is that even possible?
Six: The number of rhesus macaque monkeys inoculated with single doses of the Oxford vaccine in March at the National Institutes of Health's Rocky Mountain Laboratory.

elements of a typical Harper's Index

by Cat on Sun May 3rd, 2020 at 01:54:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FDA | Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) Of Remdesivir  For Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Not a lot of people have taken remdesivir.  Serious and unexpected side effects may happen.

like hydroxycholoroquine, but not

by Cat on Sun May 3rd, 2020 at 03:32:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One notable difference between the two: hydroxychloroquine is in the public domain, Remdesivir may bring a lot of money to GILD shareholders. This may impact the PR efforts in the corporate media.
by Bernard on Sun May 3rd, 2020 at 03:37:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ahem.

"Remdesivir" (brand name of licensed USAMRID patent) appeared in the "public domain" ostensibly to treat ebola in 2014 and again 2018 to present, I might have mentioned more than once.

Neither it nor hydroxycholorquine (compound generic) is approved by FDA for treatment of COVID-19. And both are EAU authorized by FDA for ("off-label") treatment of COVID-9, cover-story, clinical trial of "investigational" (formerly known as "experimental") drug. NIAID's trial design (linked above) is suspiciously comprehensive and detailed, given purported inexperience with this "biologic" drug's active ingredients, forensic disposition, and therapeutic efficacy.

FDA's public notice alerts prospective trial-subjects and parents [?!] to known and unspecified side-effects that may occur with application. While such notice does not represent an informed consent agreement, I note with interest that the US Congress is preparing to indemnify any and all commercial establishments from tort claims relating SARS-COv-2 infection to exposure on premises. One several "trial balloons" floated by press in last three weeks, U.S. Republicans push for coronavirus lawsuit immunity for business, to which no opposition has appeared.

by Cat on Sun May 3rd, 2020 at 05:31:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
May Day And The Other Government - TPM
Part of the myth of the American identity is the extreme loathing of government. Somewhere in our history, government came to mean, specifically, the state. Private government, or the private sector, was positively not the government. The idea of private government, i.e. an institution that controls a large portion of our lives, has never been more important than it is now.

In "Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (And Why We Don't Talk About It)," Elizabeth Anderson discusses at length how the free market, as imagined by 18th and 19th century thinkers such as Adam Smith and Thomas Paine, was supposed to be a "levelling" force that gave more liberty to individuals. They imagined a society comprised mostly of people who worked for themselves, or companies that were quite small. Smith's famous pin factory in which he explained his theory of division of labor had 10 people and it was thought to be large. The massive corporations of today and the power they exert do not reflect that vision.

by Bernard on Sun May 3rd, 2020 at 08:24:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
hmm, yes, well, file in "most ignorant" or between preserved letters by the sainted gentleman farmer, Tho. Jefferson.

#WhereIsOSHA is not trending, and @ewarren is flogging another plan for a plan, billed as the "Essential Workers Bill of Rights" notwithstanding the imprimatur of random "Black or African American" clergy and URGENCY of enforcing OBSCURE provisions of 29 U.S.C., one might suppose.

by Cat on Mon May 4th, 2020 at 12:41:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
US government will decide where remdesivir goes amid coronavirus outbreak, drugmaker says
remdesivir was found to shorten the duration of illness [by 30%!] in patients with severe COVID-19, but it had no statistically significant effect on whether patients died.
[...]
Gilead has donated 1.5 million vials of the drug, O'Day said, which amounts to between 100,000 and 200,000 treatment courses, depending on how long patients take it.

"This donation will be made available to patients here in America in the United States and across the world, as other regulatory decisions are taken for those countries," he said.
[...]
In a press release on Friday, Gilead said its goal is to produce at least 500,000 treatment courses by October and more than a million by December.

The FDA-authorized drug is infused through an IV, and its use is limited to hospitalized patients with severe disease. But O'Day said Gilead is looking at other formulations of remdesivir too -- including an inhaled version that could be given outside of the hospital.

by Cat on Mon May 4th, 2020 at 01:47:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Provisional Death Counts for Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), w/e 2 May 2020
CDC numerology, Classification and Its Consequences
by Cat on Mon May 4th, 2020 at 12:26:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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