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    • COVID linked to heart inflammation in college athletes, small study suggests

    The condition was detected in athletes with mild or asymptomatic cases of COVID-19.

    Growing evidence suggests that the coronavirus can damage the hearts of even the young and physically fit.

    Research published Friday in the journal JAMA Cardiology found that 4 out of 26 college athletes had signs of a heart condition called myocarditis after recovering from COVID-19.

    Scott Gilbert, a spokesman for Penn State Health, told NBC News that Sebastianelli had misstated the findings at the time and apologized for any confusion. Gilbert added that Penn State was not involved with the research, and that there have been no cases of myocarditis in COVID-19 positive student-athletes at the school.

    In fact, the new study was conducted by doctors at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, who were considering the safest ways to send athletes back in the fall. Ultimately, the Big Ten Conference, which includes both Ohio State and Penn State, decided against playing this fall.

    “We were asked this question as to what would be the safest way to send them back to competitive play,” study co-author Dr. Saurabh Rajpal, a cardiologist at Ohio State, said. “We decided in our own group that in addition to the usual recommendations, which was a clinical exam and looking for symptoms, we would also do a cardiac MRI to get more information and to see what the virus does to athletes' hearts.”

    The research included both male and female athletes in basketball, lacrosse, track, soccer and football. All were confirmed to have recovered from COVID-19, and none required hospitalized or specific treatments. Twelve of the athletes reported mild COVID-19 symptoms, including a sore throat and shortness of breath or fever, while the remaining 14 were asymptomatic.

    To study the virus’s effects on the heart, the athletes had several tests as well as a cardiac MRI to image the heart.

    The MRIs revealed that four athletes — all men with no pre-existing conditions — had signs of myocarditis. Two reported having mild COVID-19 symptoms; the other two were asymptomatic.

    It was surprising that not all of the athletes with myocarditis had symptoms of COVID-19, Dr. Brett Toresdahl, a sports medicine physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, said. This was because myocarditis was initially recognized in patients hospitalized with COVID-19.

    “What this study shows is that myocarditis can also occur after less severe and even asymptomatic cases" of COVID-19, said Torsedahl, who was not involved with the research. “Therefore, an athlete’s risk of myocarditis may not be related to the severity of their symptoms.": https://www.nbcnews.com/health/healt...gests-n1239875
    • Coronavirus Cases: 28,683,966

    Deaths: 920,264

    Underreported US death count: 197,421

    US conflicts and 911 Casualties………

    World War I - 116,516
    Vietnam War - 58,209
    American Revolutionary War – 8,000
    Iraq War - 4,576
    War in Afghanistan - 2,216
    911 Casualties – 2,977

    Total US Casualties in the conflicts above and 911 Casualties: 192,494

    Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
    it's been blown way out of proportion.

    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

    Comment


      • A COVID-19 Vaccine May Be Only 50% Effective. Is That Good Enough?

      As we get closer to a COVID-19 vaccine, it's exciting to imagine a day when the virus is gone. But a vaccine will not be a magic bullet. In fact, it may be only about 50% effective.

      Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief of the National Institute of Health and Infectious Disease, has tried to set realistic expectations when discussing the importance of a vaccine. "We don't know yet what the efficacy might be. We don't know if it will be 50% or 60%," Fauci said during a Brown University event in August.

      "I'd like it to be 75% or more," Fauci said, but he acknowledged that may not be realistic.

      The Food and Drug Administration has said that once a vaccine is shown to be safe and at least 50% effective, it could be approved for use in the U.S.

      So what does 50% efficacy mean?

      "When we talk 'vaccine effectiveness,' what we're talking about is, 'How effective was the vaccine at preventing actual disease?' " explains scientist L.J. Tan, chief strategist of the nonprofit Immunization Action Coalition.

      In other words, Tan says, "If you vaccinate 100 people, 50 people will not get disease."

      This may not sound like an impressive rate of infection prevention, but there are other potential benefits to individuals and the community from getting vaccinated.

      "It's possible that the [COVID-19] vaccine will reduce the severity of disease" in the other 50% who do get sick, says physician Bill Miller of The Ohio State University College of Public Health. "It may mean that people are less likely to be hospitalized, require ICU care or die."

      "That's certainly the case with the influenza vaccine," Miller adds. "People who get the vaccine may still get the flu, but, for the most part, their disease is milder than if they hadn't had the vaccine."

      Michael Ison, an infectious disease physician at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, echoes that sentiment. While it's true that 50 out of 100 people who get the vaccine could still end up getting infected with the coronavirus, "hopefully, the majority will have milder disease," Ison says. But he cautions there's a lot to learn in that regard, given that the studies of COVID-19 vaccine candidates are still very much underway.

      "We really need to get some information from the trials that are ongoing to best understand what the impact will be," he says. Ison is a member of the research team at Northwestern that is conducting studies on COVID-19 and on influenza vaccines.

      And here's the next reality check: The extent to which any vaccine that emerges will help halt the COVID-19 pandemic depends on how many people get the immunization.

      In order to put this pandemic in the rearview mirror, a large percentage of the population needs to either be vaccinated or gain immunity via an infection with the virus (a much riskier route that would include many more deaths).

      When a large portion of the population has immunity to the virus because of this sort of "herd immunity," it's unlikely to keep spreading. Even people who haven't been vaccinated (such as very young babies and those with compromised immune systems) are protected once this level of immunity in a population is achieved, because the illness has little opportunity to spread within the community — most people who run into the virus in this scenario are immune.

      For the coronavirus, Ison says, " 'herd immunity' is seen when we have somewhere between 60% to 70% of the population having some degree of protection."

      So — here's a little math — if 20% of the U.S. population ends up getting exposed to the virus and developing an infection before we have a vaccine (as is estimated to be the level of immunity in the New York City metro area right now), then we would still need an additional 40% of the population to gain protection via a vaccine.

      And in order to get 40% of a population immune through vaccination — if you have a vaccine with 50% efficacy — "you're going to have to vaccinate 80% of the population," says Carlos del Rio, an infectious disease expert at Emory University. "So it's not going to happen right away."

      For starters, Michael Ison says, there are logistical challenges to getting everyone vaccinated, given the mammoth undertaking of manufacturing and distributing a vaccine.

      "It's going to take us months to get the entire population vaccinated if they are willing to get vaccinated," he says — which is another big "if." An NPR/PBS/Marist poll in August found that more than a third of Americans — 35% — say they won't get vaccinated when a vaccine comes available.

      What's more, most of the candidate vaccines now being tested would require two separate doses to trigger their most effective protection, Ison says. So at a minimum, he notes, you've got a full month between the two doses of vaccine and a short period of time after the second dose before someone who was been vaccinated would be protected.

      It's also still not known how long the immunity gained through any of the current COVID-19 vaccine candidates will last or to what extent the virus might mutate or change in a way that makes that vaccine less effective.

      "What we will only know once we have the vaccine [approved and rolled out] is how effective it is, how long lasting the protection is and how much pressure it applies to the virus to change, to escape the pressures of the vaccine," Ison says.

      Despite all these remaining unknowns, it is safe to say that any such vaccine against the coronavirus could play a significant role in reducing the spread of the virus.

      "If a vaccine is 50% effective, that's still good," Miller says. That means that you have a good possibility of being protected. He says we should think about its effectiveness the way we do about the benefits of cancer treatments, for example.

      "In some severe cancers, we'd be pretty happy to get a drug that gets us to 50% effectiveness," he notes.: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-...at-good-enough
      • Coronavirus Cases: 28,871,184

      Deaths: 922,918

      Underreported US death count: 197,916

      US conflicts and 911 Casualties………

      World War I - 116,516
      Vietnam War - 58,209
      American Revolutionary War – 8,000
      Iraq War - 4,576
      War in Afghanistan - 2,216
      911 Casualties – 2,977

      Total US Casualties in the conflicts above and 911 Casualties: 192,494

      Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
      it's been blown way out of proportion.

      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

      Comment


        • Coronavirus Cases: 28,925,361

        Deaths: 923,936

        Underreported US death count: 198,012

        US conflicts and 911 Casualties………

        World War I - 116,516
        Vietnam War - 58,209
        American Revolutionary War – 8,000
        Iraq War - 4,576
        War in Afghanistan - 2,216
        911 Casualties – 2,977

        Total US Casualties in the conflicts above and 911 Casualties: 192,494

        Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
        it's been blown way out of proportion.
        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

        Comment


          • AstraZeneca resumes UK trials of COVID-19 vaccine halted by patient illness

          AstraZeneca AZN.L has resumed British clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine, one of the most advanced in development, after getting the green light from safety watchdogs, the company said on Saturday.

          The late-stage trials of the experimental vaccine, developed with researchers from the University of Oxford, were suspended this week after an illness in a study subject in Britain, casting doubts on an early rollout.

          “On 6 September, the standard review process triggered a voluntary pause to vaccination across all global trials to allow review of safety data by independent committees, and international regulators,” AstraZeneca said.

          It added that safety reviewers had recommended to Britain’s Medicines Health Regulatory Authority (MHRA) that it was safe to resume the British trials.

          The patient involved in the study had been reportedly suffering from neurological symptoms associated with a rare spinal inflammatory disorder called transverse myelitis.

          AstraZeneca, based in Cambridge, said it could not disclose further medical information.

          “The Company will continue to work with health authorities across the world and be guided as to when other clinical trials can resume to provide the vaccine broadly, equitably and at no profit during this pandemic,” AstraZeneca said.

          It declined to elaborate further on when other global trials were expected to restart.

          The Serum Institute of India said it would restart its trials once it had permission from the Drugs Controller General of India.

          Brazil’s health regulator ANVISA said on Saturday evening it had approved the resumption of trials after reviewing data sent by the MHRA.

          The Federal University of Sao Paulo, which is conducting the paused trials, said in a statement that 4,600 of the planned 5,000 volunteers have been recruited and vaccinated without any of them reporting any serious health issues.

          Governments around the world are desperate for a vaccine to help end the pandemic, which has caused more than 900,000 deaths and global economic turmoil. The World Health Organization (WHO) had flagged AstraZeneca’s as the most promising.

          The vaccine is in late-stage clinical trials in the United States, Britain, Brazil and South Africa and additional trials are planned in Japan and Russia.

          ‘WAKE-UP CALL’

          The pause of the trials came after reports that the United States was aiming for fast-track authorization or approval of a vaccine before November’s presidential election.

          Leading U.S. and European vaccine developers have pledged to uphold scientific safety and efficacy standards for their experimental vaccines and not bow to political pressures to rush the process.

          AstraZeneca has already agreed to supply close to three billion doses to governments across the globe - more than any other vaccine project.

          The WHO’s chief scientist said the pause in the trials should serve as a “wake-up” call that there would be ups and downs in the development of a vaccine.

          “Inevitably with such a large trial there will be times when safety issues arise,” said Peter Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London.

          “We must all hope that there are no future events and that the vaccine proves both safe and effective.”: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-h...-idUSKBN2630O9
          • Coronavirus Cases: 28,956,580

          Deaths: 924,799

          Underreported US death count: 198,128

          US conflicts and 911 Casualties………

          World War I - 116,516
          Vietnam War - 58,209
          American Revolutionary War – 8,000
          Iraq War - 4,576
          War in Afghanistan - 2,216
          911 Casualties – 2,977

          Total US Casualties in the conflicts above and 911 Casualties: 192,494

          Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
          it's been blown way out of proportion.
          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

          Comment


            • China has quietly vaccinated more than 100,000 people for Covid-19 before completing safety trials

            China has taken a shortcut in the global sprint to develop and deliver vaccines for the novel coronavirus. Sinopharm, the state-owned company developing two of China’s leading vaccine candidates, told China National Radio on Monday that it has already vaccinated hundreds of thousands of Chinese citizens — even though the company’s phase 3 clinical trials have not yet concluded.

            Individuals received one of two Sinopharm vaccines in development in an emergency use program launched by the Chinese government in late July, which also authorized a third vaccine, CoronaVac, developed by the privately owned drugmaker Sinovac Biotech. Under Chinese vaccine law, such authorization is allowed within a certain scope and time frame during a health emergency. China’s top vaccine official mentioned front-line medical workers and customs officials when he first announced the program, implying these high-risk groups had been prioritized to receive the still-experimental vaccines.

            Phase 3 clinical trials, which look at the efficacy of a vaccine candidate at preventing a virus from spreading in a community, for the three Chinese vaccines had just begun overseas when they were approved for emergency use domestically. In July, Sinopharm initiated phase 3 trials for its two vaccine candidates in the United Arab Emirates; one of the vaccines also began trials in Morocco and Peru in August, according to the New York Times vaccine tracker. Sinovac launched CoronaVac’s phase 3 trials in July in Brazil, followed by Indonesia the following month. (The trials are being conducted outside of China because the vaccines’ protectiveness can be better evaluated in regions where Covid-19 transmission is high.)

            China and Russia are the only countries that have provisionally greenlit vaccines that have yet to be deemed safe and effective through phase 3 trials.

            In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has told states to prepare to distribute vaccines to high-risk groups by the end of October or early November, stirring concerns that the vaccine approval process may be politicized ahead of the 2020 election. However, nine leading vaccine developers pledged to not submit their vaccines for approval until data from phase 3 trials shows that they meet predetermined safety and efficacy thresholds. No Chinese companies signed the pledge.

            So far, China has not reported any serious issues with its emergency vaccine program. But vaccine experts told Vox that skipping or shortening phase 3 trials is risky and could subject citizens to an ineffective or unsafe vaccine. The risks are even higher in China, where vaccine producers have a history of scandals and the media is largely unable to play a watchdog role because of state control.

            Although transmission has reportedly been very low in China since February, controlling local hot spots is still a priority for the government, said Yanzhong Huang, a professor of global health at Seton Hall and author of Toxic Politics, an examination of China’s environmental health crisis. “They have this strong incentive to develop vaccines to show Chinese high-tech capacity, and also [to] give people the sense of national pride,” Huang added.

            Here’s what we know about how China’s emergency vaccine program is playing out so far.

            China’s stealth emergency use vaccine program, explained

            In the crowd of pharmaceutical companies that have jumped into the vaccine effort, Chinese companies got a swift and aggressive start. Of the 211 vaccines in development worldwide as of September 11, nine vaccines are in phase 3 trials, and four of the nine are from Chinese companies.

            These trials allow scientists to determine the vaccines’ efficacy and identify side effects that may not have appeared in phase 1 or phase 2 trials.

            But rather than waiting for trial results, the Chinese government started allowing certain workers to be vaccinated on a separate track.

            The emergency program was only made public in late August during a carefully orchestrated segment on China’s vaccine development that aired on the country’s state-run television station CCTV. The program had been approved by the State Council on June 24 and was officially launched on July 22, Zheng Zhongwei, the leader of China’s vaccine program, explained on air.

            Zheng said the program applies only to certain groups of people, pointing to medical workers treating Covid-19 and other illnesses, customs officials, food market workers, transportation workers, and some service industry personnel. The emergency use program is regulated through nine plans covering medical consent, the monitoring of side effects, and compensation, Zheng said.

            The extent of the program had remained under wraps until early September, when new information revealed that participation had not been as limited as the government initially suggested. Sinopharm disclosed that hundreds of thousands of people have received their vaccines as part of the program. The CEO of Sinovac, the other vaccine maker involved, said 90 percent of the company’s employees and their family members — up to 3,000 people — have taken the vaccine voluntarily, Reuters reported. To justify the vaccine’s emergency use, the CEO explained it would help ensure the company’s workers could continue to produce vaccines.

            The protocol for who, exactly, gets to receive the vaccine under the emergency program remains unclear. “That is still pretty much shrouded in mystery,” said Huang.

            Outside of this official emergency program, the Chinese military in late June authorized the use of a vaccine candidate created by CanSino Biologics for military personnel. Separately, workers of state-owned companies traveling overseas were also allowed to take one of the two Sinopharm vaccines in June.

            Much more: https://www.vox.com/2020/9/11/214314...-authorization
            • Coronavirus Cases: 29,026,729

            Deaths: 925,668

            Underreported US death count: 198,213

            US conflicts and 911 Casualties………

            World War I - 116,516
            Vietnam War - 58,209
            American Revolutionary War – 8,000
            Iraq War - 4,576
            War in Afghanistan - 2,216
            911 Casualties – 2,977

            Total US Casualties in the conflicts above and 911 Casualties: 192,494

            Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
            it's been blown way out of proportion.
            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

            Comment


            • Coronavirus Cases: 29,153,843

              Deaths: 927,696

              Underreported US death count: 198,470

              US conflicts and 911 Casualties………

              World War I - 116,516
              Vietnam War - 58,209
              American Revolutionary War – 8,000
              Iraq War - 4,576
              War in Afghanistan - 2,216
              911 Casualties – 2,977

              Total US Casualties in the conflicts above and 911 Casualties: 192,494

              Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
              it's been blown way out of proportion.

              Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

              Comment


              • All natural Thai-Myanmar borders closed to curb Covid-19 cases

                Maj-General Thakad Lordsiri, commander of the Surasi troop which patrols the Thailand-Myanmar border in Prachuap Khiri Khan, checked the barbed wire fences placed in different parts of the province, including the Dang Singkhon pass, which is only used to transfer goods for now.

                All natural Thai-Myanmar borders closed to curb Covid-19 cases

                Maj-General Thakad Lordsiri, commander of the Surasi troop which patrols the Thailand-Myanmar border in Prachuap Khiri Khan, checked the barbed wire fences placed in different parts of the province, including the Dang Singkhon pass, which is only used to transfer goods for now.

                Surveillance in this area has increased in response to rising Covid-19 cases in Myanmar.The Army has placed a tight control over all border points, including 39 natural channels between Hua Hin and Bang Saphan Noi districts. Of these, 18 checkpoints are on 24-hour surveillance, while officials conduct random patrols to catch migrants trying to enter from the Myanmar side.He confirmed that so far, no Covid-19 cases have been brought into the province from Myanmar.: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/...ernal_referral

                Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
                Perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Golden Land.

                Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

                Comment


                • Thailand - New stimulus package to boost spending power of low-income groups

                  The government will this week consider measures to increase the purchasing power of low-income groups and support small businesses.

                  Lavaron Sansnit, the director-general of the Fiscal Policy Office, said on Sunday that the Finance Ministry would urge the government’s centre for economic situation administration to approve the latest stimulus measures on Wednesday or Thursday.

                  Earlier, the government had said that it planned to spend Bt45 billion to boost consumption among grass roots people and support small businesses.

                  The Finance Ministry is working out details of the shopping stimulus. The government will support half of the daily consumption spending by low-income groups. The measure is expected to be implemented from October to December.

                  “We want to support as many people as possible, and people are expected to be invited to register for the scheme soon. The measure is aimed at supporting daily spending and reducing the cost of living; it is not a one-time spending on big items,” he clarified.

                  The concept is that each person will get about Bt3,000 from the government to partially pay for consumer daily spending with their own money, and consumers have to spend the money at small shops, as the government wants to support small businesses, he said.

                  Meanwhile, Anusorn Tamajai, an economist at Rangsit University, suggested that the government target low-income and small businesses, because shopping stimulus packages in the past had mostly benefited large businesses.

                  Anusorn said the government should target the 15 million consumers who hold state welfare cards.

                  Each cardholder may receive grants of about Bt2,500 to Bt5,000 cash handout or credit transferred to e-wallet, he said.

                  If the government spends Bt45 billion, then it would increase transactions in the market to Bt180 billion to Bt270 billion, boosting economy growth by 0.3 percentage point.

                  The Bank of Thailand has forecast that the economy will shrink by 8.1 per cent this year due largely to the fallout from Covid-19. More workers are expected to be laid off if economic recovery is delayed by the threat of a second wave of infections.

                  Anusorn said the United Kingdom's Brexit deal will also affect Thailand’s export. Currently Thailand’s exports to Britain are worth about US$4 billion annually, representing 1.3 to 1.4 per cent of total exports.

                  The trade talk tensions between the EU and Britain have worried investors that it may lead to a no-Brexit deal when deadline is reached in December this year.

                  If there is no deal, Britain will allow 60 per cent of imported goods to have no tariffs in line with World Trade Organisation rules. If so, about 50 to 60 per cent of Thai products to Britain would have a lower tariff burden. These products would cover dog and cat foods, equipments to receive electronic signals, and jewellery, he added.:
                  https://www.nationthailand.com/busin...ernal_referral

                  Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
                  Perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Golden Land.

                  Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by S Landreth View Post
                    Coronavirus Cases: 29,153,843

                    Deaths: 927,696

                    Underreported US death count: 198,470

                    US conflicts and 911 Casualties………

                    World War I - 116,516
                    Vietnam War - 58,209
                    American Revolutionary War – 8,000
                    Iraq War - 4,576
                    War in Afghanistan - 2,216
                    911 Casualties – 2,977

                    Total US Casualties in the conflicts above and 911 Casualties: 192,494

                    The total number of military and civilian casualties in World War I was about 40 million: estimates range from around 15 to 22 million deaths[1] and about 23 million wounded military personnel, ranking it among the deadliest conflicts in human history.
                    116,516 dead seppos

                    Vietnam war casualties
                    Total deaths: 1,353,000
                    58,290 dead seppos

                    Iraq war casualties
                    109,032 deaths including 66,081 civilian deaths.
                    3,836 dead seppos.

                    Afghanistan War Casualties
                    Est. 200,000~
                    2,216 dead seppos
                    Dont get sick of me just yet, for I will be here for quite a while

                    Comment


                      • China says no need to vaccinate entire population against Covid-19 at this stage, only frontline workers

                      Not everyone in China will need to get vaccinated against Covid-19, according to the country's top medical official, as Beijing looks to prioritize frontline workers and high-risk populations in a move that underscores rising confidence among policy-makers of their ability to contain the virus.

                      "Since the first wave of Covid-19 appeared in Wuhan, China has already survived the impact of Covid-19 several times," Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said at a vaccine summit in the city of Shenzhen on Saturday, according to state-run news agency China News Service.

                      The question of vaccinating the public was one of balancing "risks and benefits," he added, pointing to factors like cost and potential side effects. There isn't currently a need for mass vaccination at this stage -- though that could change if another serious outbreak takes place, Gao said.

                      The policy marks China apart from many Western governments, most notably Australia, that have outlined plans to introduce mass public vaccination drives.

                      China's reported virus numbers have stayed low since the spring. There have been a few flare-ups -- clusters in the northeastern Jilin province in May, an outbreak in Beijing in June, and another in the Xinjiang capital of Urumqi in July -- but these were met with immediate lockdown measures and mass testing, and the outbreaks were contained within a few weeks.

                      Gao cited these brief outbreaks as evidence of China's effective containment measures. "The facts have proven that we have several magic weapons to respond to the epidemic," he said, according to China News Service.

                      Any potential vaccine would instead be prioritized for those on the front lines, he added: medical workers, Chinese nationals working overseas in virus hostpots, and people working in dense, high-risk environments like restaurants, schools or cleaning services.

                      On Saturday, China's National Health Commission only recorded 10 new symptomatic confirmed cases, all imported from overseas. It also reported 70 new asymptomatic cases, which are counted separately, also all imported.: https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/14/asia/...hnk/index.html
                      • Coronavirus Cases: 29,206,669

                      Deaths: 928,830

                      Underreported US death count: 198,520

                      US conflicts and 911 Casualties………

                      World War I - 116,516
                      Vietnam War - 58,209
                      American Revolutionary War – 8,000
                      Iraq War - 4,576
                      War in Afghanistan - 2,216
                      911 Casualties – 2,977

                      Total US Casualties in the conflicts above and 911 Casualties: 192,494

                      Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
                      it's been blown way out of proportion.
                      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

                      Comment


                      • Asia’s economy to shrink, first time since 1960s

                        Developing Asia’s coronavirus-battered economy will shrink for the first time since the early 1960s, with the level of output next year still seen below pre-pandemic projections even as growth recovers, according to the Asian Development Bank.

                        The region’s gross domestic product will decline by 0.7% in 2020, down from June’s projection of an increase of 0.1%, the Manila-based bank said in a report Tuesday. A contraction this year would be the first since 1962, Yasuyuki Sawada, the ADB’s chief economist, said in a live-streamed briefing.

                        “The economic threat posed by the Covid-19 pandemic remains potent, as extended first waves or recurring outbreaks could prompt further containment measures,” Sawada said. Downturns across developing Asia are more widespread than previous crises, with three-quarters of economies in the region tipped to shrink this year, he said.

                        China will buck the trend and is forecast to expand 1.8% this year -- unchanged from June’s projection -- as successful public health measures provide a springboard for growth, according to the ADB. Growth is forecast to accelerate to 7.7% in 2021, up from a previous forecast of 7.4%.

                        In India, where lockdowns have stalled private spending, GDP will shrink by 9% this year, sharply down from June’s forecast of -4%, the ADB said. There were also big downgrades for the Philippines and Thailand, which are now projected to contract 7.3% and 8% respectively.

                        The downgrades took into account that the pandemic has been “more serious” than initially anticipated, Sawada said in an interview Tuesday with Bloomberg TV’s Haslinda Amin and Yvonne Man. “Having said that, our baseline assumption is that health risks will be basically contained within this year.”

                        “Large-scale” fiscal stimulus has helped cushion the blow and provides a base for a rebound, Sawada said.

                        Coming Rebound

                        Growth in Developing Asia -- a region that excludes advanced nations like Japan, Australia and New Zealand -- will rebound to 6.8% in 2021, in part because it will be measured against a weak 2020, Sawada said. That will still leave next year’s level of GDP below pre-coronavirus projections, implying that the recovery is only “partial” and “not full.”

                        Virus containment “seems to be translated into growth performance,” and a prolonged pandemic remains the biggest downside risk this year and the next, he said.

                        US-China trade tensions and technology conflicts and financial vulnerabilities amid the pandemic also weigh on growth, Sawada said.

                        Policies focused on protecting lives and livelihoods, and ensuring a safe return to work and restart of businesses, are crucial to ensuring a sustained recovery for the region, he said.: https://www.bangkokpost.com/business...ince-1960s-adb

                        Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
                        Perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Golden Land.

                        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

                        Comment


                        • ADT targets 200m trips in 2021

                          The government should aim high in the domestic tourism market by targeting at least 200 million trips next year if Thailand wants to extend a lifeline to the industry, says the Association of Domestic Travel (ADT).

                          "It's useless if the government doesn't set an ambitious goal, as we already witnessed soft domestic demand and insufficient stimulus this year could not save the vast majority of operators, nor those in the supply chain," said ADT president Thanapol Cheewarattanaporn.

                          Some 30% of tour operators nationwide have left the business, while 50% remain temporarily closed, he said.

                          Previously the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) predicted local tourists would make 100 million trips in 2021.

                          Mr Thanapol said while 200 million trips are far more than the 70 million trips estimated for this year, and the 167 million trips recorded in 2019, if Thailand maintains a conservative target the industry will continue to suffer.

                          "There's a greater risk those 50% of operators that are temporarily closed will permanently exit the industry," he said.

                          To aid the ailing industry, ADT urged the government to amend the domestic tourism stimulus by allowing users to buy tour programmes from agents and receive 40% discounts, capping the subsidy at 8,000 baht per head.

                          As the 22.1-billion-baht domestic campaign still has plenty of budget remaining after just 17% of 5.05 million registrants used benefits, this is a shortcut to help save the tourism industry.

                          Mr Thanapol said the ongoing scheme doesn't create inclusive benefits as the majority are left behind, such as local communities that don't have marketing tools or a budget to reach customers, as well as tour bus operators and local guides.

                          He said his organisation acknowledges that people prefer independent travel as only 10% of travellers use tour services, but if the government can subsidise the tour packages, ADT is confident it can create new products to meet the requirements of consumers, particularly health-oriented programmes and programmes tailored for the elderly.

                          "With a subsidy of up to 8,000 baht, consumers can get a premium package worth 10,000 to 20,000 baht with quality not that different from a luxury outbound trip," said Mr Thanapol.

                          This plan calls for the proportion of tour services to increase to 30% of the total next year, helping more of the industry, he said.

                          Mr Thanapol said such a scheme will lead half of the 11 million outbound tourists who spent 430 billion baht abroad last year to take domestic trips because they cannot leave the country.

                          The government can use this opportunity to distribute tourism revenue to various destinations by encouraging operators who wish to receive the subsidy to include local attractions in their programme, he said.

                          Mr Thanapol said national parks should waive the entrance fee for all visitors for a year.

                          The government can allocate a budget for park preservation as these sites already suffer from lower income without international tourists, he said.: https://www.bangkokpost.com/business...erbox#cxrecs_s

                          Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
                          Perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Golden Land.


                          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

                          Comment


                            • Eli Lilly's drug cuts COVID-19 recovery time in remdesivir-combo study

                            Eli Lilly and Co said on Monday its rheumatoid arthritis drug shortened the time to recovery in hospitalized COVID-19 patients when used along with Gilead Sciences Inc’s remdesivir.

                            The drug baricitinib, branded as Olumiant, cut the median recovery time by about a day when added to remdesivir, compared to patients treated with the antiviral alone, Lilly said.

                            Remdesivir was granted an emergency use authorization (EUA) in May after trial data showed it helped shorten hospital recovery time by 31%.

                            Lilly said it plans to discuss the potential for an EAU for baricitinib with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, based on the results from the trial, which tested more than 1,000 patients.

                            “As an already approved and available drug, we believe baricitinib could serve as an important additional treatment option as the medical community continues to learn how to best manage patients hospitalized with COVID-19,” said Mizuho analyst Vamil Divan.

                            The drug, licensed by Lilly from Incyte Corp, could help suppress a potentially lethal immune response to COVID-19 called “cytokine storm”.: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-h...-idUSKBN2651KW
                            • Coronavirus Cases: 29,522,468

                            Deaths: 934,165

                            Underreported US death count: 199,216

                            US conflicts and 911 Casualties………

                            World War I - 116,516
                            Vietnam War - 58,209
                            American Revolutionary War – 8,000
                            Iraq War - 4,576
                            War in Afghanistan - 2,216
                            911 Casualties – 2,977

                            Total US Casualties in the conflicts above and 911 Casualties: 192,494

                            Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
                            it's been blown way out of proportion.
                            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

                            Comment


                            • The total number of military and civilian casualties in World War I was about 40 million: estimates range from around 15 to 22 million deaths[1] and about 23 million wounded military personnel, ranking it among the deadliest conflicts in human history.
                              116,516 dead seppos

                              Vietnam war casualties
                              Total deaths: 1,353,000
                              58,290 dead seppos

                              Iraq war casualties
                              109,032 deaths including 66,081 civilian deaths.
                              3,836 dead seppos.

                              Afghanistan War Casualties
                              Est. 200,000~
                              2,216 dead seppos
                              Dont get sick of me just yet, for I will be here for quite a while

                              Comment


                                • Pfizer says late-stage coronavirus vaccine study shows moderate side effects

                                Pfizer Inc said on Tuesday participants were showing mild-to-moderate side effects when given either the company’s experimental coronavirus vaccine or a placebo in an ongoing late-stage study.

                                Over 12,000 study participants had received a second dose of the vaccine, Pfizer executives said on an investor conference call.

                                The company has enrolled more than 29,000 people in its 44,000-volunteer trial to test the experimental COVID-19 vaccine it is developing with German partner BioNTech.

                                Pfizer said it was continuously scrutinizing the safety and tolerability of the vaccine in its study.

                                An independent data monitoring committee could recommend pausing the study at any time, but has not done so till date, the company said.

                                The comments follow rival AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine trials being put on hold worldwide on Sept. 6 after a serious side effect was reported in a volunteer in Britain.

                                AstraZeneca’s trials resumed in Britain and Brazil on Monday following the green light from British regulators, but remain on hold in the United States.: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-h...-idUSKBN26631T
                                • Coronavirus Cases: 29,639,973

                                Deaths: 936,399

                                Underreported US death count: 199,795

                                US conflicts and 911 Casualties………

                                World War I - 116,516
                                Vietnam War - 58,209
                                American Revolutionary War – 8,000
                                Iraq War - 4,576
                                War in Afghanistan - 2,216
                                911 Casualties – 2,977

                                Total US Casualties in the conflicts above and 911 Casualties: 192,494

                                Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
                                it's been blown way out of proportion.
                                Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

                                Comment

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