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Health News Roundup: Singapore COVID-19-testing 'SwabBot' pushes boundaries; EU air safety head says in-flight COVID infection risks marginal and more

Canada schools debate how to act on common cold symptoms Just four days into the new school year, Trevor Boutilier's five-year-old son was sent home from his Ottawa kindergarten with a runny nose and slight cough, and told to stay away until he'd had a COVID-19 test and was symptom free.

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 25-09-2020 18:45 IST | Created: 25-09-2020 18:28 IST
Health News Roundup: Singapore COVID-19-testing 'SwabBot' pushes boundaries; EU air safety head says in-flight COVID infection risks marginal and more
Representative image Image Credit: ANI

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

COVID-19 outbreak hits EU patrol boat docked in Italy

Some 51 out of 186 crew members of a European Union naval vessel on Friday tested positive for the coronavirus, the EU's Irini military mission said in a statement, adding the infections were discovered following routine testing. The mission operates in the Mediterranean to stop arms from reach warring factions in Libya, enforcing an embargo imposed by the U.N. Security Council to stop military clashes and facilitate the peace process in the African country.

Trump signs U.S. healthcare executive orders that may have little impact

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday signed two executive orders on healthcare for Americans that lawyers said will carry little weight, as the president seeks to boost his flagging credibility with voters on the hot-button issue ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election. Trump signed the twin orders implementing his "America First Healthcare Plan" in an airport hangar in Charlotte, North Carolina, amid an audience that included medical professionals.

Over 80% of Britons not heeding COVID-19 self-isolation rules, study finds

Over 80% of people in Britain are not adhering to self-isolation guidelines when they have COVID-19 symptoms or had contact with someone who has tested positive, a study has found. A majority were also unable to identify the symptoms of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus.

Exclusive: AstraZeneca gets partial immunity in low-cost EU vaccine deal

European governments will pay claims above an agreed limit against AstraZeneca over side-effects from its potential COVID-19 vaccine, under different terms to a deal struck with Sanofi, an EU official told Reuters. The deals reflect different strategies by two of the world's top drugmakers for protecting themselves as a debate rages about liabilities for vaccines aimed at ending the pandemic.

EU air safety head says in-flight COVID infection risks marginal

The risks of air travellers catching COVID-19 on a passenger aircraft are "very marginal" provided health measures are applied, Europe's top aviation safety regulator said on Friday. Only seven out of three million passengers on flights in recent weeks showed symptoms of the virus while on board, according to the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said.

Runny nose, stay home? Canada schools debate how to act on common cold symptoms

Just four days into the new school year, Trevor Boutilier's five-year-old son was sent home from his Ottawa kindergarten with a runny nose and slight cough, and told to stay away until he'd had a COVID-19 test and was symptom free. The local testing center was overrun, so Boutilier drove his son miles out of the city to a small town for the test. They waited for four days for the result, which came back negative.

Singapore COVID-19-testing 'SwabBot' pushes boundaries (and nasal cavities)

Seeking to improve the sometimes uncomfortable process of getting a COVID-19 test, a Singapore company has developed an automated swab-testing robot which could also cut risks facing healthcare workers during the pandemic. To use the SwabBot, a patient places their nostrils onto two disposable plastic nose pieces, which contain an extendable swab stick to collect samples from the nasal passageway.

The ventilators never came: How graft hampered Brazil's COVID-19 response

As COVID-19 patients flooded Rio de Janeiro's public health system from early April to late May, Dr. Pedro Archer found himself making gut-wrenching decisions. People struggling to breathe needed ventilators, he said, but there weren't enough to go around; those with a slim chance of recovery were passed over.

U.S. vaccine program chief backs stricter rules for emergency use of COVID-19 shot

The scientific head of the U.S. government program designed to speed development of COVID-19 vaccines said on Thursday he supports stricter rules to grant emergency use of new inoculations against the novel coronavirus. Speaking at a virtual Town Hall with Black physicians and community leaders, Operation Warp Speed scientific lead Dr. Moncef Slaoui said he supports recommendations being drafted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that companies wait two months after the last administration of their vaccine before seeking emergency use authorization (EUA) of their products.

U.S. records over seven million COVID-19 cases as Midwest outbreak surges

The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States topped 7 million - more than 20% of the world's total - as Midwest states reported spikes in COVID-19 infections in September, according to a Reuters tally. The latest milestone on Thursday comes just days after the nation surpassed over 200,000 COVID-19 deaths, the world's highest death toll from the virus. Each day, over 700 people die in the United States from COVID-19.


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