Your Health Page
Confirmed Monkeypox Cases
Hit US, Europe, Australia,
May 20th, 11:01am (FNA)
Cases of Monkeypox are being investigated in
European countries, as well as the US,
Canada and Australia, according to
health authorities and local
A case of monkeypox has been confirmed in
Melbourne, while a probable case in Sydney
remains under investigation, the Australian
ABC News reported on Friday.
Canada has confirmed its first two cases of
monkeypox, both in the province of Quebec,
the country's Public Health Agency said in
a statement issued on Thursday.
On Wednesday, the US Massachusetts Department
of Public Health said it had confirmed a single
case of monkeypox virus infection in a man
who had recently traveled to Canada.
Several European countries have also reported their
first confirmed monkeypox cases, including the UK,
Sweden, Italy, Spain and Portugal.
The outbreak spread in Europe after cases
were initially reported in the UK.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA)
confirmed that an individual.. has been
diagnosed with monkeypox in England
who has traveled from Nigeria, where
they are believed to have contracted
the infection, before travelling to
Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease that occurs
primarily in tropical rainforest areas of Central
and West Africa and is occasionally exported
to other regions, according to the World
Health Organization (WHO).
The WHO said monkeypox is usually a self-limited
disease with the symptoms lasting from 2 to 4
weeks, but severe cases can occur.
Monkeypox causes fever, body aches,
enlarged lymph nodes and eventually
"pox," or painful, fluid-filled blisters
on the face, the hands, and feet,
according to medical experts.
Most people recover from the illness (which is
endemic in parts of central and western
Africa and usually the result of close
contact with infected animals)
within a few weeks,
but it can be
One of its versions is deemed deadly and kills
up to 10% of those people infected, but the
version spreading presently in the UK, is
said to be milder with a 1% fatality rate.
John Ioannidis: 'Public Health
Officials Need To Declare
The End Of The Pandemic'
by Tyler Durden
Authored by Ross Pomeroy
via RealClear Science,
April 2nd, 12pm (ZeroHedge)
John Ioannidis, a Professor of Medicine, of
Epidemiology and Population Health and
by courtesy, of Statistics & Biomedical
Data Science at Stanford University,
lauded for championing evidence-
based medicine, has been harshly
criticized over the past two years.
Like many highly-credentialed health experts,
Ioannidis made some predictions during the
pandemic that eventually proved incorrect.
During a once-in-a-century pandemic replete
with unknowns, that is to be expected. But
perhaps.. the greatest reason he has come
under fire is for questioning the orthodoxy
of strict lockdowns, divisive vaccine
mandates, and other restrictive
measures to manage the
Ioannidis is sure to court more controversy with
a new commentary published to the European
Journal of Clinicial Investigation, in which he
argues that it's time to declare the end of
the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This does not mean... that the problem is
inappropriately minimized or forgotten,
but that our communities move on
with life," he writes.
"Pandemic preparedness should be carefully
thought and pre-organized, but should not
While Ioannidis recognizes that there are
no quantitative definitions for the end of
a pandemic like COVID-19, he contends
that the amount of immunity now
present worldwide exceeds the
threshold needed to declare
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that
causes COVID-19, endemic
– constantly present but
not a public health
"By the end of 2021, probably 73-81% of the
global population had been vaccinated,
infected or both," he says. Pockets of
low immunity, such as in places that
pursued zero-COVID policies and/or
with limited access to effective
vaccines, may persist, causing
regional outbreaks but we will
likely never see COVID-19
again trigger a global
Declaring the pandemic phase of COVID-19
to be concluded means understanding and
accepting a new "normal".
"A decrease of COVID-19 deaths back to typical
seasonal influenza levels may not necessarily
happen in 2022 or even beyond," Ioannidis
cautions. "With an increasingly aging
global population, "normal" may still
correspond to higher death counts..
This should not be mistaken as a
continued pandemic phase."
Easing out of the pandemicm, requires a
widespread mental shift, as well. This
means focusing more on indicators
such as hospital intensive care
admissions to guide policy,
rather than just infections.
"If the perception of risk focuses on the number
of documented cases, the spurious perception
of emergency situations may be difficult to
quell," Ioannidis writes.
Exiting the pandemic, also means reducing
fearmongering coverage of COVID-19 in the
popular media, the propagation of which,
undoubtedly contributed to the public's
warped perception of COVID's risks
throughout the pandemic.
On average, Americans believed in early 2021
that 8% of deaths had occurred, in people
under the age of 24. The real percentage
as of today, is 0.3%. Moreover, a third of
the population has consistently
believed that COVID leads to
hospitalization in over half
of infections. During the
most recent Omicron
wave, the proportion
was 3% or lower.
Declaring an end to the pandemic phase of
COVID-19 has benefits, Ioannidis says. For
example.. it could allow public health
organizations... to refocus their time
and money, on more pressing global
health issues like poor nutrition and
hunger, which collectively claim the
lives of 9 million people each year,
including 3.1 million children.
For comparison, at least 6.2 million people have
died from COVID-19 over the past two years,
the vast majority over age 65. Accepting
endemicity and reducing societal
restrictions & disruptions would
also permit economies to
stabilize more rapidly
easing inflation and
Lastly, moving on from the pandemic could
ease some of the political divisions that
have fractured societies across
Good hydration may reduce
long-term risks for heart
failure – Study
by Pavel López Lazo
March 30th, 4:28pm (Prensa Latina)
UK scientists strongly recommended
staying well-hydrated to reduce the
risk of developing heart failure, a
specialized source reported
''Similar to reducing salt intakes, drinking enough
water and staying hydrated, are ways to support
our hearts, and can help reduce long-term risks
of heart disease,'' the European heart Journal
The team assessed how hydrated the
participants were by analyzing serum
sodium levels which increases when
fluid levels decrease. This can be a
useful marker for identifying
individuals at risk of
The research also helped pinpoint older adults
at higher risk of developing both heart failure
and left ventricular hypertrophy.
“Serum sodium and fluid intake can easily be
assessed in clinical exams and help doctors
identify patients... who may benefit from
learning about ways to stay hydrated,”
the experts said.
Distribution of pathogenic
materials from Ukraine will
lead to pandemic-like situation
March 24th, 10:11am (TASS)
Sending pathogenic biomaterials from Ukraine to Europe
...could lead to a situation comparable to the COVID-19
pandemic the chief of Russia's radiation, chemical
and biological protection force, Igor Kirillov,
said on Thursday.
"The current situation... with the distribution
of pathogenic biomaterials from Ukraine to
European countries, could result in death
and create a hotbed of epidemiological
instability, the scale of which would
be comparable to the COVID-19
pandemic," Kirillov said.
Obesity may impact on
mental and emotional
by Pavel López Lazo
March 17th, 4:43pm (Prensa Latina)
A study revealed that excess weight is closely
related to people´s mental and emotional
health, who can suffer from depression,
insecurity and low self-esteem, a
specialized media reported
Other psycho-social damage linked to obesity
include problems getting a job, falling asleep,
poor sex life, social isolation,
Infosalus.com website pointed out that personal
looks, shape and weight are all-important
elements in the 21st century.
Excessive weight and feeling bad creates more
anxiety, we generate cortisol levels, so this
sustained situation causes low moods,
causing an overweight person to be
worse off, with greater emotional
lability which can appear with
an uncontrollable burst
Sometimes depressed people tend to have a
huge binge, take refuge in food; so this will
cost much more when dating or socializing.
Obesity not only affects psychologically, but
also socially, emotionally, and personally,
NHS healthcare staff in UK
quit at record 400 a week
February 26th, 7:25pm (PressTV)
New research has revealed that a record
number of ''more than'' 400 healthcare
staff in the United Kingdom, have left
the National Health Service (NHS)
to revive their work-life stability
over the past year.
The findings emerged, in an assessment of the
health service compiled by John Hall, a former
strategy director at the Department of Health
and Social Care, for the Engage Britain
charity on Saturday.
Concerns over the state of the workforce came
top of its list as it investigated the public’s
attitude towards health and social care
services, which remain under pressure
in the wake of the pandemic.
“The workforce crisis in the NHS has
clearly penetrated the public
consciousness,” Hall said.
“The UK has long had significantly lower
numbers of doctors and nurses, per
capita than comparable systems''
''More recently, the impact of working conditions
is showing an increasing impact on the ability
of the NHS to retain staff. Around 50 in every
10,000 staff working in hospitals and
community health services in June
2021 left the service within the
next three months, citing work
-life balance as the reason.
This was a new record.”
The mass departures come as the workforce
is complaining of burnout and cases of post-
traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following
two years of battling the COVID-19 pan-
demic, raising fears that the exodus is
impacting the quality of care, as the
Omicron variant keeps spreading
across the country.
More than a quarter of adults have said they
or an immediate family member, received
inadequate care due to the healthcare
Analysis of NHS Digital figures found that at
least 400 staff... are leaving every week in
the UK to improve their work-life balance.
It comes alongside evidence of high turn
-over among social care workers. Recent
estimates show more than a third (34%)
of care workers left their roles...
Earlier this month, former Health Secretary
Jeremy Hunt, said the government had
“missed an opportunity” to alleviate
the workforce crisis in the NHS and
social care -------- after rejecting the
Commons health select committee
recommendation, to overhaul
workforce planning.... Staff
shortages -- were the main
driver of worker burnout''
Julian McCrae, Engage Britain’s director,
said frontline health and care workers
were now “running on empty” and a
plan for boosting the workforce
Data from the NHS has already shown..
that the British government has faced
the highest level of hospital staff
absence - in early January -
since the vaccine rollout.
Vitamin D3 helps strengthen
defenses against Covid-19
by Pavel López Lazo
February 24th, 7:41pm (Prensa Latina)
Vitamin D3 could balance people's immune
system and help strengthen defenses
against viral infections including
Covid-19, the Swiss publication
Frontiers in Immunology
In a collaborative study by the Universities of
Surrey & Brighton, researchers investigated
the impact of vitamin D supplements – D2
and D3 – taken daily over a 12-week
period on the activity of genes in
Those involved in the research, contrary to
widespread opinion, found significant
differences between the two vitamin
D supplements, as they discovered
that vitamin D2... leaves a
questionable mark on
“Vitamin D3 appears to stimulate the type I
interferon signaling system in the body –
a key part of the immune system that
provides a first line of defense...
against bacteria and viruses.''
Thus, a healthy vitamin D3 status may help
prevent viruses and bacteria from gaining
a foothold in the body,” said Professor
Colin Smith, lead-author of the study
from the University of Surrey.
“Our study suggests that it is important that
people take a vitamin D3 supplement, or
suitably fortified foods, especially in
the winter months.”
Although some foods are fortified with vitamin
D, like some breakfast cereals, yogurts, and
bread, few naturally contain the vitamin.
Vitamin D3 is produced naturally in the
skin from exposure to sunlight or
artificial ultraviolet UVB light,
while some plants and fungi
produce vitamin D2.
Many people have insufficient levels of vitamin
D3... because they live in locations where
sunlight is limited in the winter, like the
UK. The Covid-19 pandemic has also
limited people’s natural exposure to
the sun, due to people spending
more time in their homes.
Withholding vaccine safety
data ‘morally indefensible,’
medical journal says
January 22nd,, 4:17pm (RT)
The British Medical Journal (BMJ), has urged public
health regulators & pharma majors to immediately
release all raw data from Covid-19 vaccine trials
for independent scrutiny --- arguing that
“complete data transparency” is a
matter of “public interest.”
Branding Big Pharma as “the least trusted industry,”
a recent op-ed by BMJ editors stated that it was
“morally indefensible” that this information
remains inaccessible to doctors, public,
and researchers -- despite the global
rollout of vaccines and treatments.
In the scathing editorial, the writers – senior BMJ
editor Peter Doshi, former editor-in-chief Fiona
Godlee and her successor Kamran Abbasi –
accuse pharmaceutical companies... of
“reaping vast profits without adequate
independent scrutiny of their
At least 3 of the many companies making Covid-19
vaccines have past criminal and civil settlements
costing them billions of dollars. One pleaded
guilty to fraud. Other companies have
no pre-Covid track record.
In particular, the editorial collective calls out Pfizer,
Moderna and AstraZeneca for not providing “timely
access” to “anonymized individual participant
data” from their clinical trials.
This granular data is available to regulators like the
US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which told
a judge last month to give it 75 years to publish all
data relating to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
But the BMJ said Pfizer – whose trial was “funded
by the company and designed, run, analyzed, and
authored by Pfizer employees” ------ has indicated
that it will not entertain data requests until May
2025, a full two years after the primary study
This lack of access to data is “consistent across
vaccine manufacturers,” the editors write,
noting that the industry is not “legally
required” to honour requests from
Further, they point out that regulatory bodies like
Health Canada and the European Medicines
Agency, do not even “receive or analyze”
trial data, whereas the UK’s Medicines
and Healthcare Products Regulatory
Agency does not “proactively
release” such info.
“The purpose of regulators is not to dance to
the tune of rich global corporations... and
enrich them further; it is to protect the
health of their populations,”
Ireland: To Fully Lift
January 21st, 11:50pm (teleSUR)
Irish Prime Minister, Micheal Martin, announced
that COVID-19 restrictions that have been in
place for almost two years, are now lifted.
Micheal Martin, Irish Prime Minister disclosed that
the governments decided that almost all COVID-19
restrictions placed for about two years, are lifted.
Ireland is placed among the countries with the highest
rate of COVID-19 infections in Europe, and now also,
the continent's highest uptake of booster vaccines,
which made possible the number of seriously ill
people remained below the previous peak.
"We have weathered the Omicron storm," the minister
stated, on Friday's televised address --- in which he
noted, booster vaccines had "utterly transformed"
the country's situation. "I have stood here and
spoken to you on some very dark days. But
today is a good day," he added.
Ireland was one of the most cautious countries
in Europe about the risks of COVID-19, having
some of the longest-running restrictions on
travel and hospitality. According to public
health officials' advice, the government
decided: that bars and restaurants will
no longer need to close at 8pm, a rule
held late last year when the Omicron
wave struck, or to ask customers
for proof of vaccination.
The full capacity has been restored for the indoor
and outdoor events --- paving the way for full
crowds, for next month’s Six Nations rugby
championship. Martin highlighted that the
measure which decreed.... the need of
wearing masks in public places will
remain at least until the end
The Irish hospitality sector, which has been
hit by one of Europe’s toughest lockdown
regimes, has welcomed the decision.
[and in Wales?]
Bye Bye, Mask and Covid Pass:
Boris Johnson --- Announces
End of Plan B Restrictions
January 19th, 1:43pm (Sputnik)
UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced
on Wednesday the end of the so-called Plan B
implemented in England since December, to
prevent the spreading of the Omicron
variant of the SARS-CoV-2.
Addressing Parliament, Johnson said.. that the
working from home guidance, the requirement
to wear face masks, and the use of COVID
passports, in some settings, will be
dropped, next week.
"This government got the toughest decisions right,"
the prime minister told lawmakers, adding that the
government "will trust the judgment of the British
people" ...when it comes to social distancing
measures and face mask covering... to
prevent the spreading of the virus.
The so-called Plan B was originally rolled out in
December to combat the spread of the highly
Reacting to the announcement, the leader of
the Labour Party, Keir Starmer, called it an
attempt to distract the public’s opinion on
the crisis the prime minister is facing...
following revelations, that he and his
staff in Downing Street held parties
during the COVID-19 lockdown.
[Rhondda Records adds - and in Wales?]
Booster programs... will
prolong COVID pandemic,
not end it, WHO chief
January 17th, (various media)
Blanket vaccine booster programs are likely to
prolong the COVID-19 pandemic, as inequity
in access to jabs, could lead to more
mutated variants that drag out the
crisis, the head of the World
[The UK and others in the West...
simply don't care, Rhondda
Cannabis could prevent
Covid --- study claims
January 12th, 2:57pm (RT)
The next breakthrough in stopping Covid-19, may
come not from Big Pharma, but from the humble
pot plant. Researchers in Oregon in the US,
discovered that two compounds found in
the devil’s lettuce can stop the virus
in its tracks.
Rather than attempting to smoke their way
to immunity, a team of scientists at Oregon
University isolated two compounds from
hemp -- cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) and
cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) -- and found
they bind to the coronavirus’ spike
protein and stop it from binding
to the outer membrane of
This latter binding process, is normally how the
virus enters the human lungs and other organs.
The two compounds are precursors to CBG and
CBD, which are widely legal, and available to
consumers. The CBG and CBD cannabis oils
and extracts are commonly used to treat
anxiety, sleep disorders, epilepsy, and
a wide range of other ailments.
CBGA and CBDA “are not controlled substances like
THC... the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana and
have a good safety profile in humans,” said Richard
van Breemen, a researcher with Oregon State’s
Global Hemp Innovation Centre. Van Breemen
added that these compounds “can be taken
orally,” and “have the potential to prevent
as well as treat infection” by
Van Breemen and his team published their research in
the Journal of Nature Products on Tuesday. However,
they have a long way to go before doctors begin
writing hemp oil prescriptions en masse. While
the study found CBGA and CBDA effective
against both the Alpha & Beta variants
of the coronavirus, it was carried out
on human cells in a laboratory rather
than actual human test subjects.
Still, the scientist sees these hemp compounds
eventually being used alongside vaccines... to
make “a much more challenging environment”
for Covid-19. One of the main criticisms of the
current crop of vaccines is that they use the
original spike protein of the virus as an
antigen, meaning that when variants
emerge... with new spike protein
mutations, they are more likely
to evade the protection
offered by a vaccine.
“These variants are well known for evading antibodies
against early lineage [Covid-19].... which is obviously
concerning given that current vaccination strategies
rely on early lineage spike proteins as an antigen,”
said van Breemen. “Our data show CBDA & CBGA
are effective against the two variants we looked
at, and we hope that trend will extend to other
existing and future variants.”
UK government gives NHS
to private companies
to ''help''with Covid
January 10th 10:52am (PressTV)
The National Health Service (NHS), the publicly funded
healthcare system in the UK, is seeking ''help'' from
private health companies to deliver critical treat-
ments... such as cancer surgery.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has ordered England's
NHS to strike a ''3-month'' agreement with private
health companies --- to allow patients to get
specific treatments, as the NHS hospitals
are ''overwhelmed'' with COVID-19.
David Sloman, NHS England chief operating officer
and COVID incident director, said on Monday the
deal “places independent health providers on
standby to provide further help should
hospitals face unsustainable levels of
hospitalizations or staff absences.”
The agreement includes Practice Plus Group, Spire
Healthcare, Circle Health Group, and several other
leading private companies, according to the NHS.
Circle CEO Paolo Pieri said the company has been
helping the NHS, since the first COVID wave in
March 2020, performing urgent treatments
for over 400,000 NHS patients.
According to the Spire Healthcare, under the agreed
deal the company “will grant NHSE access to 100%
of its facilities and teams on a local, regional or
national basis, in the event of a surge of
COVID-19 patients in NHS hospitals
The Spire said the deal ''expires'' on March 31st, 2022.
The new plan comes in the wake of the highest level of
hospital staff absence in England, since the vaccine
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has expressed
sorrow over the “terrible toll” of more than 150,000
deaths inflicted by the coronavirus in the UK.
The UK’s death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic
has reached more than 150,100, making it the
world's seventh worst official pandemic toll.
PM Boris Johnson confirmed the number and
expressed sorrow over the fatalities last
weekend. He said the coronavirus has
“taken a ‘terrible toll’ on the country.
Housing Secretary Michael Gove was at pains
to assert that there is mounting pressure on
British hospitals... and the country is ''not
yet'' in a position to live with
UK care sector declares
‘red’ alert amid Covid
January 5th, 1:42pm (RT)
Over 11,000 care home workers are currently unable
to work, amid the spread of the Omicron strain, with
staffing shortages leaving the UK sector struggling
to cope and infections delaying hospital discharges.
Government data shows that, across England, 9.4% of
care home staff are temporarily off work, with around
3% self-isolating due to Covid. Although the figures
could be higher, having been undercounted... due
to the festive period and bank holiday weekend.
The situation has forced more than 90 care operators
to declare a “red” alert, meaning that they don’t have
the staff to meet patient demands. This has been
exacerbated by a shortage of PCR tests,
delaying workers from getting test
results and forcing them to
isolate at home longer
Barchester, one of the UK’s largest care home
operators, running 250 establishments, has
warned: that it is facing Covid outbreaks
in 105 of its homes. Under government
guidelines, care homes with active
outbreaks cannot accept hospital
discharges, creating a backlog
and preventing the struggling
NHS from clearing beds.
Staffing shortages have forced care agencies to offer
up to £80 ($108.31) an hour for temporary staff – four
times the normal cost – as well as resulting in homes
poaching staff from other providers at the last minute.
“The spread of Omicron across the country will bring
more care homes into outbreaks, put huge pressure
on the already compromised staff group, and mean
those who need care, do not get it,” said Vic
Rayner, the chief executive of the
National Care Forum.
To address the situation, one care operator in
Yorkshire, Mike Padgham, called on the UK
government to establish a “volunteer
army”... of retired nurses, doctors,
and carers who could potentially
fill shifts at short notice.
Despite the situation in care homes, the chief
executive of Barchester, Pete Calveley, says
that the virus is not causing serious illness
and death among the majority of residents
....with most only showing “minor or
Growing evidence that
Vitamin K improves
by Pavel López Lazo
January 2nd, 5:27pm (Prensa Latina)
New Edith Cowan University (ECU) research
has found that people who eat a vitamin K-
rich food... have up to a 34% lower risk of
disease, the US magazine
Researchers examined data from over 50,000
people taking part in the Danish Diet, Cancer,
and Health study, over a 23-year period.
They investigated whether people who ate
more foods containing vitamin K, had a
lower risk of cardiovascular disease
related to atherosclerosis (plaque
build-up in the arteries).
There are two types of vitamin K found in foods
we eat: vitamin K1 comes mainly from green
leafy veggies and vegetable oils, while
vitamin K2 is found in meat, eggs,
and fermented foods, such
The study found.... that people with the highest
intakes of the vitamin K1.. were 21% less likely
to be hospitalized with cardiovascular disease
closely related to atherosclerosis.
For vitamin K2, the risk of being
hospitalized was 14% lower.
University of Western Australia researcher Dr. Jamie
Bellinge, the first author on the study, said the role
of vitamin K in cardiovascular health, and
particularly in vascular calcification,
is an area of research... offering
promising hope for the future.
“Current dietary guidelines for the consumption of
vitamin K are generally only based on the amount
of vitamin K1 a person should consume, to
ensure that their blood can coagulate,”
explained ECU researcher and
senior author on the study,
Dr. Nicola Bondonno.
However, there is growing evidence that intakes of
vitamin K - above current guidelines - can afford
further protection against the development of
other diseases, such as atherosclerosis.
“Although more research is needed to fully
understand the process, we believe that
vitamin K works by protecting against
the calcium build-up in the major
arteries of the body leading to
“Cardiovascular disease remains a leading cause
of death in Australia... and there’s still a limited
understanding of the importance of different
vitamins found in food and their effect on
heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral
artery disease,” Dr. Bellinge said.
Chinese Think Tank:
US Most Likely Origin
December 25th, 1:50pm (FNA)
The US is most likely the country where the
coronavirus originated and it is most
responsible for the fast global
spread of the deadly viral
pathogen, according to
a research report.
The report titled... ‘US Responsible for Global Spread
of COVID-19’ was jointly released by the Intelligence
& Alliance Think Tank and the Taihe Institute in
China ,on Friday.
China's official Xinhua news agency, published
the report’s findings, saying data from multiple
sources had shown that the US was to blame
for the coronavirus out-break as its political
manipulation of the disease had made the
global anti-pandemic efforts, difficult
“Evidence indicating COVID-19 originated from
the United States has kept cropping up,” the
“For example, the timeline of the outbreak in the
United States has been continuously backdated,
the role of the US military is implicated in the
origin and spread of COVID-19, and early
cases, in many countries, are linked to
the United States,” it added.
Calling the United States "the main force of global
COVID-19 spread", the report said... the country
missed the best time to contain the pandemic
at an early stage... and its open-door policy
as well as its irresponsible repatriation
of immigrants... had exacerbated the
global spread of the virus.
Xinhua also said that the US troops stationed
overseas have repeatedly violated epidemic
prevention protocols and accelerated
The country's failure to control COVID-19 in
international events, has led to "super-
spreading" of the virus and its
unilateral sanctions have led
to a humanitarian crisis,
Stressing that the US political manipulation has made
the global fight against the pandemic more difficult,
the report said the country shirked responsibility
for pandemic prevention, which undermined
international anti-pandemic efforts.
“The United States has been obsessed with political
self-interest and evaded due responsibility,” Xinhua
cited the report as saying, adding that political
polarization harmed both America and the
world at large.
Underlining that the US should abandon its obsession
with political self-interest, and reflect on epidemic
prevention and control, the report called on the
country to stop politicizing the coronavirus
and undermining international anti-
pandemic cooperation.... and
actively share its vaccines
with the world.
It also urged the US, to conduct origins tracing
research in a scientific manner and facilitate
global economic recovery, so that the
COVID-19 pandemic will be
The theory that the contagion had leaked from a
Chinese lab was originally hyped up by, among
others... the administration of former US
President Donald Trump, as part of his
hawkish anti-China policies.
Since infecting its first victims in the central Chinese
city of Wuhan, in late 2019, the pandemic has
spread to nearly every country across the
globe, causing more than 278 million
infections and nearly 5.4 million
Last week, Trump said the US should make China pay
for the COVID disaster, demanding that the US tariffs
on Chinese goods be increased “very substantially”
as reparation payments for the chaos unleashed
by the virus.
China has repeatedly called on the US to give a full
clarification on its bio-military activities at home
and abroad, a matter of concern shared by
Russia and others.
NHS Leader Warns: England
Hospital Units May Close as
Staff Revolt over Jab Mandate
December 20th, 12:33pm (FNA)
Entire hospital units could be forced to shut because
of staff quitting in protest at the government’s order
that they must all be vaccinated against COVID-19,
a senior NHS leader warned.
Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers,
said that - at one hospital trust in England -
40 midwives were refusing to get jabbed,
raising fears that the maternity unit
may have to close, The Guardian
“Trust leaders are acutely aware that -- from April
onwards, when COVID vaccinations will become
mandatory -- decisions by staff to remain
unvaccinated could – in extreme
circumstances – lead to patient
services being put at risk,”
“If sufficient numbers of unvaccinated staff in
a particular service in a particular location
choose not to get vaccinated, the viability
and/or safety of that service could be at
risk,” Hopson added.
Hopson did not name the trust. But he cautioned that
its maternity unit is “one representative example” of
potential closures on grounds of patient safety that
the government’s decision to compel NHS staff in
England to be vaccinated or risk losing their job
could lead to.
Hopson said, “I was talking to a [trust] chief executive
who said that 40 of the midwives on their midwifery
service … were saying they were not prepared to
be vaccinated. Those staff, given their skills and
their expertise, are not easily redeployed, but
they’re also extremely difficult to replace."
The trust’s chief executive “is seriously concerned
about the safety of the service” because of the
potential exodus of midwives.
Maternity staff quitting over compulsory jabs posed
a particular challenge because of the NHS-wide
shortage of midwives, Hopson said.
NHS England estimates that maternity services need
2,000 more whole-time equivalent midwives, while
the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) puts the
figure at 2,500.
The Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, and NHS England
need to “be clear well in advance how we will
resolve the - hopefully - small number of
instances where service viability and
safety could be at risk”, because of
frontline personnel leaving rather
than getting immunised,
The new rule applies to any staff who have face-to-
face contact with patients, but also non-clinical
staff, including hospital porters.
Javid told the Commons last Tuesday that “despite
the incredible effort to boost uptake across the
country... there are still approximately 94,000
NHS staff who are unvaccinated. It’s critical
to patient safety that health and care staff
get the jab”.
However, the number of NHS workers who have had
a first dose since the government first announced
in September that it was adopting a policy of
compulsory jabs, has risen since by 55,000,
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)
impact assessment of its policy, found that as
many as 126,000 unvaccinated staff could
lose their job when the rule comes into
force.... on April the 1st.
The House of Lords... has raised concerns about the
policy. Its secondary legislation scrutiny committee
has warned that the DHSC’s definition of “face-to-
face” is too vague, that it had no obvious
contingency plans to “cope with
expected staff losses” and
that the potential loss of
was “likely to be
The RCM said, “We don’t yet have a number for
midwives who have yet to be vaccinated.
However, to meet the statutory require-
ment, they will need to have their first
vaccination by February the 3rd. The
RCM will represent members. But
there are very limited options."
“We are concerned that this will inevitably deepen
maternity staff shortages... and severely impact
those midwives and maternity support workers
left behind in services already struggling with
acute staffing shortages,” it added.
The DHSC did not respond directly
to Hopson’s comments.
A spokesperson said, “We are grateful to all
our NHS staff who work incredibly hard."
“Vaccinations remain our best defence against
COVID-19. This is about patient safety and it’s
our duty to ensure that they are as safe as
can be," the spokesperson added.
“Working with organisations... in the health and care
sector, we will continue to support those who have
not yet received the vaccination... to take up the
offer to protect themselves, their loved ones
and their patients,” the spokes-
...and in Wales?
Pets don’t spread COVID to humans,
mustn’t be excuse for animal
abandonment, expert says
December 15th, 12:04pm (TASS)
Cases when pets catch COVID-19 are rare and they
don’t infect humans and so there is no reason to
throw them out on the street over the fear of
contamination, Vice President of the
Russian Academy of Sciences,
Irina Donnik, said
"It is most important that we may sleep peacefully and
animals should not be thrown out on the street and
certainly, domestic animals must not be handed
over. However, when news broke that domestic
animals get infected, the number of homeless
animals in the streets, and the owners who
throw them out grew 25-fold," Donnik said.
The scientist explained that cats and dogs get infected
with their own coronaviruses and don’t pass these
viruses to humans. Meanwhile, the infected
humans should better limit contacts
According to her, people in markets create conditions
that could not be present in a natural environment,
where animals of non-crossing species have
contact with each other. This creates risks
of COVID-19 transmission between wild
animals and humans. The key
transmitters of the virus,
are bats and camels.
"Bats are an ideal incubator of new pathogenic
viruses, including coronaviruses, as they can
be asymptomatic virus carriers because of a
limited immune and inflammatory response,"
Doctor who flagged Omicron
advises against harsh
December 14th, 1:23pm (RT)
There is ''no need'' to impose tougher restrictions over
the Omicron variant as the cases are “predominantly
mild”, the head of South Africa Medical Association
Dr. Angelique Coetzee, has said.
The South African GP was the first medic who raised
concern about the new Covid-19 variant four weeks
ago. Answering questions of the UK Parliament’s
Science & Technologies committee on Tuesday,
Dr Coetzee said... that “we don’t have all the
answers” and that “we need to see how
this virus progresses”.
However, the current picture shows that Omicron is a
“mild disease”, & less dangerous than Delta variant,
thought it might be more transmissible, she added.
Dr Coetzee said that the existing data, though
limited, shows that the symptoms in Omicron
patients, even in those who are hospitalized,
are milder, they get better quicker & there
have been no cases of long COVID in
Therefore, she noted that, before imposing travel bans
and other tough restrictions, it would make sense for
governments to take measures internally: to get
more people vaccinated, make sure that they
are wearing masks, avoid crowded places,
and keep social distance.
Saying that South Africa is “still on the same level of
restrictions”, she underlined that “we don't see
the need for stricter restrictions."
“The virus is everywhere. Maybe, in a way, we
need to learn how to live with this,” she said.
Earlier, in an article for Daily Mail, Dr. Coetzee was
even more straightforward.. in her criticism of
what she called “knee-jerk reactions”, to the
news of discovery of the new COVID variant.
The UK was one of the first countries to
impose bans on travel from South
Africa in the aftermath of the
“Indeed, I am disappointed by such knee-jerk
reactions. They bear no relation to what we
are seeing in surgeries in South Africa,
where people rarely even discuss
As one Twitter user commented:
'Covid's become a UK neurosis’”,
Omicron causes pneumonia
2-3 times faster ...than
December 8th, 1:23pm (TASS)
The Omicron coronavirus strain can cause pneumonia
2-3 times faster than previously known coronavirus
strains, said Alexander Semyonov... who heads
the Yekaterinburg Research Institute of Viral
Infections (affiliate of the Vector Centre
of the Federal Service for Surveillance
....on Consumer Rights Protection
and Human Wellbeing),
"What’s not good about the Omicron strain, is that
just like Delta it has more tropism, meaning, it is
capable of interacting with the epithelium of
lungs, the lower respiratory tract. This is
why Omicron descends into the lungs
faster, causing pneumonia.''
''This is very alarming. With the infection with the ‘old’
coronavirus, an individual had up to 10-11 days from
the moment of infection, to pneumonia. This time it
was possible to come from the most remote village
to a hospital where one can obtain qualified help.
Now it’s 3-5 days," the expert explained.
According to him, the spread of the strain will not
strongly impact the effectiveness of vaccines.
"It is possible that it will be somewhat lower but
not critically so. There are no exact data yet
....only the preliminary ones. According to
some data the effectiveness decreases,
yet no more than by 40%, not several-
fold. According to other data, it
decreases even less," the
The scientist noted that overall, the scenario of the
development of the pandemic now exclusively
depends on the immunization rate of
"If vaccination rates increase with the same speed
they’re increasing with now, then we can expect
another small increase and then the incidence
will go down, flaring up from time to time. If the
rates do not increase, then it is possible to
expect another rise in incidence closer to
spring," he explained.
The expert also said that after the end of the current
pandemic, new coronaviruses will emerge, ready to
break through interspecies barriers and come
"Recently, an expedition of Paris’ Pasteur Institute and
the Lao Academy of Sciences worked in a hard-to-
access unpopulated region between Vietnam,
Laos and China.''
''These are mountains covered with jungles, caves,
forest, swamps, waterfalls - impassable places.
The scientists took samples from wild bats
there and isolated coronaviruses ---
surprisingly similar to SARS-CoV-2.''
''And these new viruses also can effectively infect
human cells, this was verified under laboratory
conditions. They are waiting for their moment.
There are also several groups of viruses that
are also standing on the threshold of the
interspecies barrier... and are ready, to
break through it, and come to humans.''
''We have to realize that this may happen in the
near future and be prepared for it," he said.
Over half Omicron cases
in England --- are in
the double jabbed
by Pavel López Lazo
December 3rd, 7:16pm (Prensa Latina)
More than half of those infected with the Omicron
coronavirus variant, in England, were double
jabbed, health officials have said, as the
number of cases detected in the UK
continues to rise sharply.
According to the UK Health Security Agency (UKSA),
12 of the 22 known cases up to November 30th had
been fully vaccinated, and two others received the
first jab, 15 days earlier.
Six of the remaining eight positive cases were not
vaccinated, while no data is available on two of
None of the cases is known to have been hospitalized
or died, but the UKHSA said that “most of the cases
have a specimen date that is very recent and that
there is a lag between the onset of infection and
hospitalization and death.”
UK has so far confirmed at least 43 Omicron cases,
most of them in Scotland, where a gig by pop
music group, Steps in Glasgow, could have
been the focus of transmission.
The National Statistics Office (NSO) on Friday
announced that, despite fears unleashed by
the new Omicron variant, the Delta strain,
continues to be the predominant variant
in the country, being responsible for
99% of positive cases reported
In the last 24 hours, as many as 50, 584 new cases,
and 143 deaths were reported, totaling 10.3 million
people infected and 145,424 deaths, since the
beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Study names major
risks for vapers
December 1st, 2:36pm (RT)
Men who vape or use e-cigarettes are more than twice
as likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction than those
who have never used the popular nicotine-based
smoking alternatives, a new study has found.
The study, which analyzed self-reported data from
almost 14,000 US men aged between 20 and 65,
found that regular e-cigarette users were
around 2.2 times more likely to
experience impotence than
The findings were published in the American
Journal of Preventive Medicine on Wednesday.
The risk was found to be 2.4 times greater in a smaller
sample of men younger than 65 – with normal body
mass indexes and no history of heart disease –
when compared to non-vapers. The study did
not include data on whether the respondents
were taking medications that can raise the
risk of erectile dysfunction.... such as
antidepressants or heart medication.
Researchers noted the “abundant evidence” already
linking smoking and nicotine to sexual dysfunction
and theorized that the particularly high level of
nicotine in vaping liquid reduces blood flow
to the penis and interferes with the normal
functions of blood vessels, though they
didn’t definitively prove the link.
Nonetheless, the study’s authors – from New York
University and Johns Hopkins University – noted
that vaping enthusiasts needed to be warned
about the potential impact on their
Citing research based on rodent models, the
researchers also noted that another
“plausible” link was exposure to
e-cigarette “refill liquids.. with or
without nicotine.” These contain
chemicals that may reduce
testosterone levels in the
human body and impair
normal erectile function.
“Overall, e-cigarettes are likely less harmful than
smoking cigarettes to the degree that they
substitute cigarette smoking,” the study’s
lead author, Omar El Shahawy, told Insider.
He added that men who view vaping as a
healthier alternative should try to “limit”
the habit as it is “simply not risk free.”
The study comes as England gears up to become
the first country to prescribe e-cigarettes as a
method to help smokers kick the habit. In
October, the UK’s Medicines and Health-
care products Regulatory Agency issued
updated guidance.. that would allow the
products to be offered through the NHS.
But El Shahawy warned that the relationship
between vaping and impotence needs to be
“fully investigated” in further studies. The
study did not detail whether the risk of
erectile dysfunction was comparable
to that posed by smoking.
Report: Tens of Thousands
Missed Cancer Referrals
in UK ''Due to COVID-19''
December 1st, 11:43am (FNA)
The NHS may be missing more than 9 million
referrals, while patients face - a “postcode
lottery” for cancer treatment and routine
operations, a parliament watchdog
Millions of patients... have either avoided, or been
unable to obtain healthcare during the pandemic
leaving the NHS with a potential unknown back-
log of operations, which could push the
national waiting list to 12 million by
2025, The Independent reported.
A report from the government’s National Audit Office,
on Wednesday, also warned that patients across
England are facing a postcode lottery in terms
of waits - with some hospital waiting lists far
larger than others following the pandemic.
The findings come ahead the government’s plan to
tackle the NHS’ treatment and surgery backlog,
which is expected to be published this week.
In November the NHS recorded its highest
ever waiting list, at 5.8 million.
According to the NAO’s analysis NHS services in
Birmingham and Solihull have racked up the
longest waiting lists - with 51 percent of
patients waiting more than 18 weeks,
compared to 20 percent in Surrey.
Birmingham and Solihull also had the worst for
cancer waiting times according to the data,
with 57 percent waiting more than three
months compared to Surrey, Kent
The NAO said variations may reflect, differences in
areas, such as poverty levels and rates of routine
operations, prior to March 2020, as well as the
direct impact of the pandemic.
The findings come after NHS data in November,
revealed the number of patients waiting more
than two years for treatment following a
referral, rose to a record 12,491.
The report also estimated there were between 240,000
and 740,000 “missing” urgent GP referrals for
patients with suspected cancer between
March 2020 and September 2021 and
up to 60,000 patients, missing first
treatments, in the same period.
The NAO warned, “The NHS was doing more work
year-on-year, before the-pandemic, but the
demand for its services was increasing...
even faster. To keep pace, it would have
needed either more beds and more staff
or a different way of working, or most
likely, a combination of all three.”
When COVID-19 first hit England, the NHS rapidly
agreed a deal with 27 private sector hospitals to
carry out routine operations.... amid fears
hospitals would be overwhelmed.
Under this national contract, during 2020-21, the NHS
will have paid £2.1 billion to private sector providers
in return for 3.3 million completed treatments,
according to the NAO’s report.
Between March 2019 and February 2020,
independent providers carried out 8%
of routine operations for the NHS.
Following the pandemic... the NAO said there was
a “sharp” reduction in operations carried out by
private sector hospitals in the initial stages of
the pandemic but that this increased to pre-
pandemic levels from June 2021.
It is not clear how many operations and treatments
were expected to be carried out by private
providers under the £2.1 billion contract,
and NHS England has never officially
released this information.
However, in November last year, the Health Service
Journal reported just one third of capacity paid
for by the NHS in private hospitals was used
following the first pandemic wave.
Eve Byrne, head of campaigns and public affairs,
at Macmillan Cancer Support, said, “This report
confirms what we hear --- day in, day out, from
people living with cancer.... Chronic staffing
shortages are already having a devastating
impact on cancer patients, and we have
major concerns that is only set to
worsen without urgent action."
She said the government’s plan to tackle
the operations backlog must be backed
up by steps.... to ensure enough
“Without these critical pieces of the puzzle, we
risk increasing numbers of people facing later
diagnoses, poorer care and potentially worse
chances of survival. This has to change,”
As part of its recommendations the NAO has said
the government, NHS England and education
body Health Education England, should
develop a detailed plan to address
shortages in the workforce over
the next 12 months to 3 years.
The recommendation comes just after the government
rejected an amendment to the Health and Care Bill by
MP Jeremy Hunt which would have required the
Secretary of State for Health and Care to
publish independent assessments of
NHS workforce gaps, every 2 years.
Dr Tim Mitchell, vice president of the Royal College
of Surgeons of England said, “The NHS faces huge
challenges as staff continue to treat COVID-19
patients, while trying to reduce the vast
waiting list for planned care.
He called for the government’s upcoming plan to
include guidance --- on how it would set up
“surgical hubs” and separate planned
surgery from emergency care... to
allow for operations to continue
safely during the pandemic.
The royal college vice president added, “Also we urge
the government to amend the Health and Care Bill, to
ensure there are independently verified assessments
of workforce numbers. It will take investment both
in surgical hubs and staff to bring waiting times
down to acceptable levels.”
An NHS spokesperson said, “Treating more than half
a million patients in hospital for COVID... as well as
delivering a world-leading vaccination programme,
has inevitably had an impact on some routine and
non-urgent care, yet, since the pandemic began,
the NHS has performed millions of routine
procedures, and over 450,000 people
have started treatment for cancer."
“NHS staff are now pulling out all the stops to recover
elective activity levels, making good use of additional
resources to open new surgical hubs and diagnostic
centres, develop innovative ways of working and
perform more operations, tests, checks and
scans, so anyone who is concerned about
their health should come forward so the
NHS can help you,” the spokes-
(Rhondda Records adds: and in Wales?)
Long-term efficacy of Russian
Sputnik V jab revealed
November 24th, 6:32pm (RT)
The Russian-made Sputnik V Covid vaccine
has demonstrated high long-term efficacy,
according to data collected in San Marino.
The jab remains around 80% effective
against the disease 6 to 8 months
after being administered.
The data was revealed on Wednesday by the
Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), the
sovereign wealth fund which bankrolled
the vaccine’s development.
Evaluation of the vaccine’s performance is based
on analysis of real-world experience obtained in
the Republic of San Marino. About 70% of the
microstate’s 34,000-strong population have
received the Russian-made vaccine.
“The data is based on the number of Covid infections
in San Marino, in November 2021. Efficacy was
calculated based on data obtained from over
18,600 individuals fully vaccinated with
Sputnik V not less than five months
before November,” the RDIF said
in a statement.
The analysis shows that the vaccine remained some
“80% effective against coronavirus infection from
6 to 8 months, after administering the second
dose.” Hospitalization rates among those
Sammarinese who got vaccinated with
Sputnik V have been extremely low,
with “only 0.75 per 1,000 people”
ending up in hospital, over the
span of the mass vaccination
campaign, from February
to November 2021.
“This rate is more than two times lower than that
of any other vaccine used in the country,” the
“Efficacy of Sputnik V in 6-8 months, is much higher
than the officially published efficacy of mRNA
vaccines,” the fund added.
Multiple studies have raised the alarm: about the
waning efficacy of mRNA vaccines - with the US
Pfizer jab in particular, faring rather poorly over
a long period of time. According to a study,
bankrolled by Pfizer itself - and published
in the leading medical journal the Lancet
-- the jab demonstrated 88% efficacy in
the first month, after full vaccination,
dropping to only 47% after 5 months.
The study was based on analyzing a large amount
of data, harvested during vaccination campaigns
in the US.
A competing mRNA vaccine, the Covid-19 shot by
Moderna, another US company, has apparently
shown significantly better long-term efficacy
than Pfizer’s shot. According to the firm’s
own claims, the jab remains some 93%
effective... six months after full
vaccination, compared to the
shot’s initial efficacy of 94%.
These estimates have been corroborated by
research from the US Centres for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC).
The research showed the Pfizer jab’s efficacy
falling from 91% to 77% over the 120-day
period after vaccination, compared to
Moderna’s shot -- demonstrating a
decline from 93% to 92% during
the same period.
An analysis of effectiveness of the mRNA shots over
a longer period of time, however, has produced
worrying results. According to a study, based
on data from of nearly 800,000 US veterans
and published in the Science journal early
this month, both Pfizer and Moderna jabs
demonstrated ''a major decline'' in
efficacy, over a 7-month period.
While effectiveness against the disease was
some 89% for Moderna and 87% for Pfizer
in March, it dropped to 58% and 43%
respectively, by September.
only for vaccinated,
euthanasia association says
November 24th, 9:21am (RT)
Anyone wishing to be euthanized now, has to first
present proof of vaccination, or recovery from
Covid, as per the new guidelines issued by
Germany's euthanasia association.
A statement put out by the Hamburg-based group on
Friday reads... “assisted suicide and the preliminary
examination of a patient’s ability to make decisions
freely implies physical closeness between people.
However, that is precisely the precondition for
the spread of Covid.”
In February 2020, Germany's top court overturned
a ban on providing euthanasia as unconstitutional.
A number of German regions have put in place strict
curbs, banning the unvaccinated from most public
places. Across the country, only recovered or
inoculated people can enter restaurants,
museums, and similar venues, while
those even with a negative Covid
test cannot. Amid the surge in
cases, the German states of
Saxony and Bavaria have
both cancelled.... all
German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, told her fellow
party members on Monday that the current wave
of Covid in Germany, was worse than any
previous one, and called for stricter
measures to contain it.
The country’s health minister, Jens Spahn, went
even further, claiming that “by the end of this
winter, everyone in Germany will either be
vaccinated, recovered, or dead.”
Those statements came as the seven-day infection
rate per 100,000 people broke a new grim record
on Wednesday, reaching the 404.5 mark.... as
reported by Germany’s disease control and
prevention authority, the Robert Koch
Covid jab compensation
claims soar in Australia
November 17th, 3:15pm (RT)
Australia’s government could be forced to spend tens
of millions in payouts - after receiving over 10,000
compensation claims from people who suffered
side effects and a loss of income, due to
Under a no-fault indemnity scheme, eligible claimants
can apply for compensation amounts... of between
AU$5,000 (US$3,646) to AU$20,000 (US$14,585)
to cover medical costs and lost wages, as a
result of being hospitalized, after getting
the shot. The scheme’s online portal
is scheduled to be launched
Official figures suggest, however, that over 10,000 people
have already indicated their intention to make a claim,
since registration opened on the health department’s
website in September. If each claim was approved,
the government could face a bill of at least
AU$50 million (US$36.46 million).
There were around 78,880 adverse events to Covid-related
vaccination in Australia as of November 7th, according to
the Therapeutic Goods Administration, which regulates
national health products. The majority of side effects
were minor, including headaches, nausea, and
Only people who experienced a moderate to significant
adverse reaction that resulted in a hospital stay of at
least one night are eligible for coverage under the
government’s scheme. Those seeking $20,000
or less have to provide proof their claims are
vaccine-related – although there has been
no information, as yet, on exactly what
evidence would be acceptable.
“Adverse events, even though they happen to a tiny
proportion of people, for the people it does impact
it’s really quite devastating,” Clare Eves, head of
medical negligence at injury compensation firm
Shine Lawyers, told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Among the adverse reactions covered... are the blood
clotting disorder “thrombosis with thrombocytopenia
syndrome (TTS)” linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine
and... the “myocarditis and pericarditis” heart
conditions associated with the Pfizer vaccine.
Other reportedly accepted side effects are Guillain-Barré
syndrome, a rare neurological condition, and immune
thrombocytopenia (excessive bleeding due to low
Claims for over $20,000, including those for vaccine-
related deaths, will be assessed by an independent
legal panel of legal experts and compensation
paid on its recommendations. Nine people
have reportedly died after an adverse
reaction to one of the 3 vaccines
in the country.
Eves told the Morning Herald that her firm was
representing a number of litigants over the
vaccine side effects, including several
who are not eligible for the scheme.
Ambulance Logjams Leave
Patients Dying With 12,000
Annually Suffering 'Severe
Harm', Says NHS Report
November 15th, 3:30pm (Sputnik)
Although the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is
known to have struggled for a long time to meet
'recommended ambulance response times' for
patients who have suffered a stroke or severe
burns – classified as Category 2 – in recent
months some patients have been forced to
wait for nearly an hour, after calling 999.
Increasingly long times to hand patients arriving in
ambulances, over to the Accident & Emergency
department (A&E) are resulting in more people
either dying or suffering a permanent setback
to their health, according to a damning report
by the UK NHS ambulance service.
Long periods of waiting before patients can be admitted
to hospitals --- because of bed shortages caused by
COVID-19, delays in discharging patients and
record demand for care, could be affecting
up to 160,000 patients annually, said the
report, cited by the daily newspaper,
Clarifying that a typical handover, takes much longer
than the projected 15 minutes, an estimated 12,000
of the aforementioned patients, suffer “severe
harm”, stated the document, drawn up by the
Association of Ambulance Chief Executives
(AACE) and based on official NHS figures.
The conclusions were drawn after all handover delays
of more than an hour, spanning 10 ambulance trusts
on January 4th - and the ensuing harm – had been
The data was used to estimate... how many patients
annually suffer a deterioration in their health, or a
condition necessitating more invasive treatment
such as surgery, as a direct result of
“When very sick patients arrive at hospital and then have
to wait an excessive time for handover to emergency
department clinicians to receive an assessment and
definitive care, it is entirely predictable and almost
inevitable that some level of harm will arise. This
may take the form of a deteriorating medical or
physical condition, or distress and anxiety,
potentially affecting the outcome for
patients and definitely creating a
poor patient experience,”
states the document.
Those patients who finally get admitted to hospital after
languishing in the back of an ambulance or waiting in
their home after dialing 999, are increasingly not
saved - because paramedics are overwhelmed
at A&E departments.
Although stopping short of saying how many patients
die annually because of ambulance logjams, the
report is cited as adding:
“We know that some patients have, sadly, died while
waiting outside ED [emergency departments], or
shortly after eventual admission to ED, after
a wait. Others have died while waiting
for an ambulance response in
The AACE report also estimated that because of the
pressure that hospitals are under, about 190,000
handovers a month – around half the total –
take longer than they should.
Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth was cited
by the outlet as deploring the scale of harm being
done to patients thanks to “years of Tory NHS
neglect”. In the wake of the report, a
Department of Health and Social
Care spokesman was cited
“We are committed to supporting ambulance crews who
work tirelessly, responding to emergencies every day.
NHS England and Improvement, has given ambulance
trusts an extra £55 million to boost staff numbers for
winter, helping them to bolster capacity in control
rooms and on the frontline.”
The UK Department of Health and Social Care, also stated
it had pledged support to the NHS to meet unprecedented
challenges amid the coronavirus pandemic. It cited
record investments this year, including an extra
£5.4 billion over the next six months to support
the COVID-19 response, and £36 billion for
“health and care over the next 3 years”.
Latest scientific discovery may
lead to a cure for Alzheimer’s
November 15th, 11:11am (RT)
A team of scientists from the UK and Germany has
managed to reverse memory loss in mice... and
says the treatment could, potentially, lead to a
breakthrough in fighting Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers used the “humanized” therapeutic
antibody called TAP01_04, and the vaccine
According to a study published in Molecular Psychiatry,
both drugs triggered “a striking reduction” in the
formation of harmful deposits of protein, that
prevent communication between neurons
of the human brain.
Previous drugs for Alzheimer’s have a similar
mechanism, but have shown little success
and have sometimes produced negative
One of the study’s authors, Mark Carr, a professor
from the Institute of Structural and Chemical
Biology at the University of Leicester, said,
“While the science is currently still at an
early stage, if these results were to be
replicated in human clinical trials,
then it could be transformative.”
The researchers are now looking for a
commercial partner to run the anti-
body, and the vaccine, through
clinical trials on humans.
UK: NHS Waiting List at Record High
as 5.8mln Still Waiting for Treatment
November 11th, 2:14pm (FNA)
More than 5.8 million patients were waiting for routine
surgery by the NHS, in England, by the end of
September, new data revealed.
This is the highest figure since August 2007 and comes
as hospital leaders have warned: the health service is
at “breaking point”, The Independent reported.
Ambulance services answered 82,000 emergency 999
calls in October, which was more then any other
month on record, while response times
The average response time for category two patients
who needed emergency, but not life threatening,
care such as strokes, was nearly 54 minutes -
the longest average waiting time since
records began in 2017.
Response times for urgent calls - such as late stages of
labour, non-severe burns and diabetes - averaged three
hours, nine minutes and 58 seconds. This is up from
two hours, 35 minutes and 45 seconds in September,
and again is the longest average since current
The Independent has previously revealed ambulance
response times doubled during the pandemic, amid
a spike in patient deaths recorded by services.
Patients waiting for more than 12 hours in A&E also
reached the highest levels ever in October, with
7,059 waits recorded. This is more than five
times higher than the number of 12 hour
waits recorded in October 2020, which
saw 1,268 patients waiting.
Meanwhile there were 121,000 patients waiting over
four hours in A&E, following a decision to admit,
during the same month. Which is the highest
number on record.
The number of patients waiting more than year for
treatment has also risen for the first time in five
months, from 292,138 in August to more than
300,566 in September.
A total of 12,491 people in England were also waiting
more than two years to start routine hospital
treatment at the end of September 2021.
This is up from 9,754 at the end of August and is more
than four times the 2,722 people who were waiting
longer than two years in April.
NHS England has told hospitals to eliminate all waits
of more than two years by March 2022 and is due to
publish a plan on how the NHS will recover its
growing backlog of routine operations, later
For key diagnostic tests like X-rays and MRI scans, NHS
England data shows almost 370,000 people have waited
longer than six weeks. This is an improvement on
September 2020, when there were 419,841.
But in September 2019, before the pandemic, there were
just 38,802 people waiting longer than six weeks for a
The NHS has been given £5 billion to reduce NHS backlogs
including opening 100 community diagnostic hubs to try
and carry out more tests away from hospitals.
The number of urgent cancer patients who waited more
than two weeks to see a doctor was the highest-ever
on record in September, as was the number of
people who were left waiting more than a
month for treatment.
However, the numbers of people starting treatment for
cancer, in September, had risen.... compared to
pre pandemic levels.
Responding to figures, head of policy at Macmillan Cancer
Support Minesh Patel, stated it was “deeply concerning”
to see record numbers of people waiting too long for
specialist cancer treatment, in addition to this
she said “progress to clear the
Professor Stephen Powis, medical director for the NHS
noted, “there is no doubt pressure on the health
service remains incredibly high”
He added, “But, despite high demand, NHS staff are
going above and beyond to see more patients and
deliver millions more tests, checks, treatments
“Increasing numbers are coming forward for
treatment and this is expected to go up, but
it remains really important -- people do not
delay seeking help from the NHS, if they
feel unwell,” he continued.
Tim Gardener, senior fellow for think tank the Health
Foundation said, “Today’s figures provide further
evidence of the increasingly serious pressures
facing hospitals across the country."
“The government has said that the NHS is under
‘sustainable pressure’, but it would be extra-
ordinary to look at what’s happening in the
NHS right now.... and claim that it is
sustainable," Gardener continued:
“That we are facing pressures this significant,
before we have reached the peak of winter, is
concerning, particularly as cases of seasonal
viruses, and rising staff absences, are likely
to add further pressure.”
New symptoms that could
help doctors diagnose
by Pavel López Lazo
November 10th, 5:10pm (Prensa Latina)
Researchers at the University of Oxford, UK, have
identified a series of symptoms associated with
pancreatic cancer, including two previously
unrecognized symptoms - feeling thirsty
and having dark urine.
The study has confirmed a further 23 signs of pancreatic
cancer, after looking at data from 24,230 patients who
were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in England
between 2000 and 2017, using a large electronic
The research, which is the largest study of its kind,
found 23 symptoms linked with the diagnosis of
PDAC... (yellowing of the skin, bleeding in the
stomach or intestine, problems swallowing,
diarrhea, change in bowel habits, vomiting,
indigestion, abdominal mass, abdominal
pain, weight loss, constipation, fat in
stool, abdominal swelling, nausea,
flatulence, heartburn, fever,
tiredness, loss of appetite,
itching, back pain, thirst,
and dark urine).
Nine symptoms were linked with PNEN (yellowing of
the skin, blood in stool, diarrhea, change in bowel
habits, vomiting, indigestion, abdominal mass,
abdominal pain, and weight loss).
“When pancreatic cancer is diagnosed earlier, patients
have a higher chance of survival. It is possible to
diagnose patients when they visit their GP, but
both patients and GPs... need to be aware of
the symptoms associated with pancreatic
cancer.” Dr. Weiqi Liao said.
While most symptoms were not specific to pancreatic
cancer and could be due to other benign conditions,
the researchers found patients diagnosed with
pancreatic cancer, had a higher chance of
experiencing some of these non-specific
symptoms, one year before diagnosis.
Dr Liao said: “These new findings enable us to conduct
further work on understanding symptoms that could
suggest pancreatic cancer. This will help GPs to
make decisions - about who to refer for urgent
tests, especially when patients have several
seemingly non-specific symptoms.”
Care Homes in England Set to Lose
50,000 Staff as COVID Vaccine
and in Wales?!!!)
November 10th, 2:31pm (FNA)
Tens of thousands of care home residents face
losing vital support, as unvaccinated carers
clock off for the last time, before double
jabs become mandatory.
About 50,000 care home staff who have not had
two doses in England will not be allowed to
work from Thursday. Analysis by the
Guardian suggests that on current
staff/resident ratios without other
measures to tackle the problem
------ the care of about 30,000
people could be affected.
Care operators and health chiefs have warned: staff
shortfalls could prevent thousands of people from
being discharged from hospitals this winter ---
limiting admissions and clogging up wards.
They say it will increase pressure on remaining care
staff to work longer hours, despite many being
One of the largest not-for-profit operators, MHA,
estimates-about 750 care homes may have
already stopped taking new admissions..
because of the staffing crisis. Seven of
its homes are closed to new entrants
and it is losing up to 150 staff
because of the vaccine
policy, this week.
“It is scary, as we head into winter and the concern
is there will be a buildup of people in hospital who
can’t be discharged,” said Sam Monaghan,
MHA chief executive.
The National Care Forum said providers are
running at 17% average staff vacancy rates.
Matthew Taylor, the chief executive of the NHS
Confederation, which represents healthcare
organisations, said people who were
medically fit to leave risked longer
hospital stays than necessary, at
a time when capacity is crucial.
“As we head towards what could be the most
challenging winter on record, we hope the
government has assessed the possible
knock-on impact of this policy,”
The Department of Health and Social Care said
councils will help care operators with staff
shortages, that it has provided town halls
with over £1bln of additional funding for
social care this year, and is running a
TV recruitment campaign.
Mandatory double vaccination for care workers in
homes for older and younger adults has boosted
vaccine protection, with close to nine out of 10
staff getting both jabs. But in areas including
Thurrock, Nottingham and Manchester -- a
fifth of staff are still not fully protected.
NHS staff and domiciliary care staff who look after
people in their own homes, will not need to be
fully vaccinated... until April 1st, 2022, the
government announced on Tuesday.
Claire Callender, 42, a short-staffed care home
manager in Warwickshire, who has already
closed 12 of her 27 bedrooms, said she
was laying off another care worker on
Wednesday because of the vaccine.
“The [situation] is absolutely ridiculous,” Callender
said, adding - “I have to turn a healthcare worker
away if they are not vaccinated, but not visitors
[who do not need vaccination].
Katie Madden, who worked night shifts at the Greenways
care home, cried when she told the Guardian about
leaving. She worked through a COVID outbreak at
the home and was sick with the virus for weeks.
She had planned to get the vaccine but was
anxious about it making her ill again.
“The decision was taken out of my hands …
and I thought, no, I’m not ready,” she said.
She washes residents, prepares them for bed
and checks on them through the night.
“This is a job I am going to be really upset about leaving,”
she said, adding, “I built a relationship with them all. We
were all there, through thick and thin, when everyone
was poorly … I could have run away when there was
coronavirus, but the old people were getting it and
it was breaking my heart. But I went there,
breaking my back to help, and it turns
from that, to – ‘you can go now’.
I feel really let down.”
Neil Russell, the chairman of PJ Care, which provides
neurological care for adults, said he was losing 14
staff across three sites on Wednesday and
potentially... another dozen by December
24 unless they could persuade doctors
they are medically exempt.
Carers are allowed to self-certify a medical exemption
until Christmas, but must leave after that date, if it is
Those leaving this week are going to new jobs including
in the NHS, and handling parcels at Amazon and John
Lewis warehouses, he said.
The Care Quality Commission, which regulates care
homes, will enforce the vaccine mandate with “a
proportionate approach, to ensure the welfare
and safety of people who use services”, it
has told operators.
“We will always treat each matter individually and
consider the individual circumstances when
undertaking an assessment and deciding
on any possible next steps,” it said.
Swedish doctors sign petition
to stop Pfizer rollout
over suspected fraud
November 9th, 9:36am (PressTV)
A group of doctors from Sweden, along with researchers
have signed a petition demanding the suspension of
vaccination with Pfizer jabs --- over reports of
violations in the trial of the vaccine.
In the petition, a group of 16 Swedish medical
practitioners have expressed grave concern
over what they call “gigantic” side effects
of the Pfizer vaccine --- amid reports of
a suspected research fraud.
It comes as the British Medical Journal (BMJ), a weekly
peer-reviewed medical journal from the UK, last week
cited a whistleblower as saying that a subcontractor
to Pfizer falsified data and failed to promptly follow
up on adverse events reported during the crucial
phase III trial of the vaccine last autumn.
Brook Jackson, who served as the regional director at
the Ventavia Research Group, told the BMJ that the
company unblinded patients, and employed
inadequately trained vaccinators.
According to the report, staff members who conducted
quality control checks were “overwhelmed by the
volume of problems they were finding.”
An employee at a US-based contract research company
helping to carry out Pfizer’s pivotal covid-19 vaccine
trial was fired, after reporting massive clinical trial
violations, a report says.
The group of Swedish doctors considered the
report surrounding Pfizer “extremely serious”.
“It undermines confidence in Pfizer, which is responsible
for testing the vaccine and for the safety of the vaccine
currently used by Swedes, including hundreds of
thousands of children,” the petition said.
The health experts also suggested that the extent of
the number of reported suspected side effects of
Pfizer jabs, is “gigantic”.
They put the number of suspected side effects reported
during the 10 months that vaccination has taken place,
at 83,744 ------ 10 times more than all the side effects
reported, per year.
“The strong suspicion, that parts of the clinical trial of
Pfizer's vaccine were not performed in a scientifically
acceptable manner, and where the study results can
not be considered reliable, combined with the large
extent of reported suspected side effects, after
vaccination - many of a serious nature - makes
us, as doctors, researchers & immunologists
--- deeply concerned,” the petition stated.
UK Senior Adviser Says
Dying of COVID Due
to Waning Immunity
November 8th, 11:46am (FNA)
Double-jabbed vulnerable and elderly people are
dying from COVID-19 due to the efficacy of the
vaccine waning, a senior adviser said.
The effects of coronavirus vaccines are known to
wane some five or six months after the second
dose, as discovered in multiple studies
during the pandemic, PA news
It comes as the government launches a campaign
to encourage take-up of booster jabs this autumn.
While most of those dying with COVID-19 are
unvaccinated, reports last week said Number
10 was concerned about hospital admissions
& deaths among double-vaccinated people
rising, due to waning immunity.
Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser at the UK
Health Security Agency... told the BBC’s Andrew
Marr Show there are deaths among the elderly
because around 5% remain unvaccinated.
She added, “We’re still seeing deaths in mainly the
unvaccinated population ... but increasingly,
because of immune waning effects, there
are deaths in the vaccinated group
She added that the majority of deaths are occurring
in the older age-groups --- particularly the over-70s,
and also among the clinically/extremely vulnerable
and those with underlying medical conditions.
She continued, “As we’ve mentioned, the immune
effects wane and what we see is, especially in
the older or the vulnerable groups, those are
the people whose immunity will wane
“So, if you’re a healthy 30-year-old, then two doses
will protect you for a longer period. That’s why
those people need to come forward for their
third dose as soon as possible,” she added.
Patients over 50 and those most at risk from COVID-19
are currently eligible for a booster six months after
their second jab.
More than seven in 10 people aged 80 and over have
had their boosters while almost three in five people
50 and over have also had their top-ups,
according to NHS figures
From Monday, booster jabs can be booked
one month earlier than previously allowed.
Under previous rules, people could only book their
booster six months after receiving their second
dose. Now, they will be able to arrange an
appointment after five months, and
attend as soon as the six-month
period is up.
The move is meant to accelerate the programme by
making it easier for people to book their inoculation.
Dr Hopkins said that, while the uptake of booster jabs
has been “quite good”... it has also been slower
than with previous doses.
“I think.. that may be due to people thinking they’re already
protected, which is why we’re giving a lot of public health
messages about why it’s so important for them to come
forward for that third dose,” she added.
She added, “We know the virus is circulating at very
high levels in our community. So... unless people get
vaccinated, we will have a long and difficult winter.”
Veteran care worker loses job
over vaccine mandate, blasts
November 8th, 7:07am (RT)
A UK care worker who worked in the field for over a dozen
years, decried the Covid-19 vaccine mandates, after her
refusal to be vaccinated cost her... her job. The story
has grabbed national headlines.
Louise Akester, 36, worked at Alderson House in Hull for
the last three years and in the healthcare field for 14
years, but has now lost her job, due to her non-
compliance with a mandate stating that all
care workers must be fully vaccinated
after November 11th, unless they
receive a medical exemption.
Opponents of vaccine mandates have argued that this
approach could lead to major staffing issues over
the winter months, while supporters insist it will
offer more protection to vulnerable care
In a video she reportedly took... on Friday afternoon,
after her final shift, Akester tearfully explained how
losing her job and walking away from the people
she has cared for, was the hardest thing she
has ever done.
“I just can't believe what the bloody government
is doing to us, I just don't get it, I don't
understand,” she said.
Akester said the situation is unfair, as residents and
guests are not required to be vaccinated under the
new rules. She claimed residents at her facility
are “crying their eyes out” over her departure,
and noted that she has been tested for
Covid-19 regularly --- and has worn
proper protective gear at her job.
Thousands could lose their jobs after November 11th,
and Akester, who said she made the minimum wage
at her last job, said she has received lots of
messages of support.
“It’s nice to know I’m not alone - that there’s
other people in my shoes,” she said.
Akester insisted that she is not against vaccines,
but is not ready to be vaccinated for Covid-19
just now. She previously told the Daily Mail
she is waiting -- due to concerns over the
potential long-term side effects.
“This choice should be my basic human right.
I do not deserve to be punished for saying
no,” she said.
However, she did not rule out being
vaccinated for Covid-19... at some
point in the future.
Covid-19 causes hearing
and balance disorders
by Pavel López Lazo
November 4th, 8am (Prensa Latina)
A team of experts disclosed that the SARS-CoV-2
virus causes hearing and balance disorders ---
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“Coronavirus can infect cells of the inner ear, including
hair cells, which are critical for both hearing and
balance, causing hearing loss and tinnitus,”
In both human inner ear samples and stem cell-derived
cell models, specialists found that certain cells
(ciliated and Schwann) express proteins
necessary for the SARS-CoV-2
virus to enter.
A new study... from MIT and the Massachusetts Eye and
Ear provides evidence that “these two proteins include
the ACE2 receptor, which is found on the cell surface,
and two enzymes called furin and serine 2
transmembrane protease, which help the
virus to fuse with the host cell.”
Damage to cochlear hair cells, which can cause hearing
loss, is generally assessed by measuring otoacoustic
emissions, sounds made by sensory hair cells when
they respond to auditory stimulation.
Possible pathways for the virus to enter the ears include
the Eustachian tube, which connects the nose to the
The virus can also escape through the nose via small
openings surrounding the olfactory nerves. That
would allow the virus to enter the brain and
infect the cranial nerves, including the
one connected to the inner ear.
According to the Reports Nature’s Scientific journal,
Covid-19 causes more than 50 negative effects in
humans. These discomforts can last for weeks
and even months after a patient’s recovery is
decreed. The list of complaints is led by
fatigue, headache, attention disorder,
hair and tooth loss, shortness of
breath, loss of taste, smell,
cough, chest discomfort,
the decreased ability to
sleep apnea.... and
Patients may also have heart disorders such
as arrhythmias and myocarditis; in addition
to tinnitus (when a ringing or other noise is
felt in one or both ears) and night sweats
...in addition to neurological disorders,
including dementia, depression,
anxiety... and obsessive-
High efficacy of Russia’s Sputnik V
vaccine in protecting the elderly
confirmed by the large
November 1st, at 10:57am (RT)
A real-world study carried out in Argentina's capital
of Buenos Aires, has proven the high efficacy of
Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19
in those aged above 60, the distributor of
the jab has said.
The results of the large-scale research by the Ministry
of Health of the City of Buenos Aires were published
in the prestigious, peer-reviewed Journal of the
American Medical Association (JAMA)
The study included more than 660,000 elderly residents
of Buenos Aires who'd been vaccinated with Sputnik V,
AstraZeneca, and Sinopharm jabs, between June the
1st and June the 15th, 2021.
According to the paper, infection rates decreased by
over 88% among those fully vaccinated, while
mortality dropped by 96.6%.
Two-dose vaccination also contributed to a 94.2%
reduction of all-cause deaths among those aged
80 and over, and a 98.2% reduction among
those aged between 70 and 79.
Sputnik V was the leading vaccine in the survey,
with over 63% of the participants injected with
the Russian-designed jab.The Argentinean
study: “reconfirms the great efficacy of
Sputnik V, in protecting the elderly,”
the Russian Direct Investment
Fund (RDIF), which funded
the development of the
Russian jab, and now
...said in a statement.
The RDIF pointed to other research by the Buenos
Aires health ministry that was published in June
...and revealed the single-shot Sputnik Light
vaccine had an efficacy of 78.6–83.7%
among people aged between
60 and 79.
Sputnik V has been one of the main vaccines used in
Argentina’s immunization drive. Russia's jab has
contributed to Covid-19 cases in the capital
dropping “at least 15 times”, over the
last five months, the RDIF said.
Its high efficacy of 97.6% in those fully vaccinated
and its lack of any significant known side effects
has generated praise in the international
scientific community --- including from
the prestigious medical magazine,
The Russian jab is already registered in 70 countries
but still lacks authorization from the EU's regulator,
the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and the
World Health Organization (WHO).
In late October, the WHO said it was resuming the
approval procedure after a month-long pause
...caused by the claimed discovery of
''irregularities'' at one of the plants
where Sputnik V is manufactured.
During his address to the G20 summit over the
weekend, Russian President Vladimir Putin
urged the world’s leading nations to work
out a mechanism: to efficiently update
vaccines against Covid-19. in light of
the new variants and accelerate the
recognition of each other’s jabs.
Competition in the area of vaccines, only
undermines global vaccination efforts,
and exacerbates inequality in access
to the jab, he pointed out.
Putin again highlighted the high effectiveness
of Sputnik V, and said its single-component
version could be used as a booster shot...
to vaccines produced by other countries.
One rule for them? UK minister
claims MPs can choose whether
to wear masks after govt urges
public to wear face coverings
October 21st, 2:28pm (RT)
UK ''Health'' Minister, Edward Argar, has defended MPs
who fail to wear masks in Parliament -- claiming they
can make an “informed view”, on whether to follow
guidance, despite the health secretary asking
the public to wear face coverings.
Speaking on Thursday, Argar rebuffed criticism that
MPs are not following government guidance, by
claiming that politicians are entitled to adopt
an “informed view”, about whether advice
to wear one in enclosed places,
applies to Parliament.
“There’s clearly a leadership role for members of
Parliament on all sides,” Argar said, adding, “I
think it’s for those individual members of
Parliament to read the guidance,
consider it, bear in mind what
Sajid [Javid] has said, and
reach their own views.”
Conservative MPs... have largely stopped wearing
masks during debates in the House of Commons
while opposition politicians were seen without
face coverings, during the indoor Labour
Party conference, earlier this year.
The defence put forward by Argar comes after the
UK’s Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, urged the
public in England, to wear face coverings in
“crowded” areas for the foreseeable future
...amid rising Covid cases and fatalities
in the UK.
Issuing a warning, Javid stated at the Downing Street
press conference, that Covid restrictions would be
“more likely” to be legally reintroduced if people
fail to take proper safety precautions, such as
wearing masks “when they really should.”
Liberal Democrats spokesperson Layla Moran blasted
the Conservative government --- for showing “utter
hypocrisy” -- by advising people to wear masks
“while Conservative MPs refuse to do so.”
Pandemic-hit NHS -- wastes over
£560mn yearly on ‘unnecessary’
and addictive pills with severe
withdrawal symptoms – study
October 19th, 2:46pm (RT)
Despite the Covid pandemic, the NHS is reportedly
wasting as much as £568 million yearly on habit-
forming drugs like painkillers and sleeping pills
that the majority of patients do not need,
leading to dangerous addictions.
Doctors in England, are unnecessarily pushing
dependency-causing opioids, antidepressants
and other pills, according to a new study by
the Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry.
Researchers found that 3 in 4 prescriptions
were totally unnecessary in some cases.
The study, published Tuesday in the journal Addictive
Behaviours, revealed that, for many patients, their
symptoms... were not severe enough to warrant
such medication. In other cases, safer options
of treatment such as counselling or less toxic
drugs, were not fully explored, while there
were also instances of patients who were
put on the pills for longer than required.
“Money is being wasted at a time when the health service
is strapped for cash. The NHS, is not taking this problem
seriously and many doctors don’t appreciate the extent
to which withdrawal from these medicines is a
problem,” Dr James Davies, the study’s
co-lead author, told the
Between 2015 and 2018, the study estimated, there
was a taxpayer bill of £1.7 billion for prescriptions
for... antidepressants, opioids, gabapentinoids,
benzodiazepines and Z-drugs (sleeping pills).
The total costs accounted for the price of the
drugs, the average consultation cost (about
£33) of seeing a General Practitioner (GP),
and dispensing fees.
NHS figures reportedly show that nearly 17 million people
a year, in the country, are getting a prescription for such
drugs. The level of waste is so colossal that it could go
towards paying the salaries of another 10,000 GPs or
20,000 nurses, according to the Daily Mail, which
reported that the Department of Health and
Social Care is yet to finalise plans to
tackle the issue.
Nearly half the taxpayer money being wasted each year
– to the tune of £288 million – goes towards highly
addictive opioid painkillers followed by £158
million a year for gabapentinoids. But the
researchers, at Roehampton University,
Greenwich University, plus University
College London, warn that it is likely
the total amount lost is far higher
than the “conservative”
estimates in the study.
In addition, the study does not account for the significant
costs related to harms caused by habit-forming drugs.
These include higher disability payments and lost tax
revenues, as well as workplace absenteeism and
Besides the financial losses, unnecessary prescription also
exacts a human cost: when people try to kick the habit, they
suffer severe withdrawal symptoms --- including stomach
cramps, blurred vision & loss of appetite. For instance,
studies on benzodiazepine usage reportedly show that
50% of those on the drugs for as little as four weeks
suffer anxiety, dizziness, concentration problems,
nightmares and weakness. That figure rises to
100% for people taking the medication for
over six months.
Commenting on the study, the Tory MP Danny Kruger, who
chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed
Drug Dependence, said a “fraction of these wasted
costs should now be invested in a helpline and
dedicated withdrawal support services.”
In 2019, a Public Health England report revealed that
“hundreds of thousands” of patients... .had become
dependent on medicines.. and recommended face-
to-face support, better training for doctors on the
risks of drug dependency, and a 24-hour helpline
on how to reduce medication.
While little action has occurred since, a Department of
Health and Social Care spokesman told the Daily Mail
that ministers are finally backing plans for a helpline
and will be “working closely” with the NHS to
implement the recommendations.
Psychosis Cases Soar in England
as Pandemic Hits Mental Health
October 18th, 3:22pm (FNA)
Cases of psychosis have soared over the past two years
in England... as a rising number of people experience
hallucinations and delusional thinking, amid the
stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic.
There was a 75% increase in the number of people referred
to mental health services for their first suspected episode
of psychosis between April 2019 and April 2021, NHS
data shows, The Guardian reported.
The rise continued throughout the summer, with 12,655
referred in July 2021, up 53% from 8,252 in July 2019.
Much of the increase has been seen over the last year,
after the first national lockdown, according to data
analysed by the charity Rethink Mental Illness.
More than 13,000 referrals were made in May
2021, a 70% rise on the May before, when
there were 7,813 referrals.
The charity is urging the government to invest more
in early intervention for psychosis to prevent any
further deterioration in people’s mental health,
from which... it could take them years
It says the statistics - provide some of the first concrete
evidence... to indicate the significant levels of distress
experienced across the population in the pandemic.
A study earlier this month, found that anxiety & depression
around the world, increased dramatically, in 2020, with an
estimated 76mln extra cases of anxiety and 53mln extra
cases of major depressive disorder than would have
been expected.. had COVID not struck. Women and
young people were disproportionately affected,
the researchers said.
Psychosis can involve seeing or hearing things that other
people do not (hallucinations) and developing beliefs that
aren't based on reality (delusions), which can be highly
distressing. It can be a symptom of mental illness...
such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or severe
depression, but psychosis can also be a
one-off, potentially triggered by a
traumatic experience, extreme
stress or drug and alcohol
Despite the continued pressure on mental health services,
Rethink Mental Illness is highlighting the importance of
rapid access to treatment to prevent further episodes
of psychosis... and reduce people’s risk of
developing severe mental illness.
Nice guidelines for people experiencing a suspected
first episode of psychosis state they should receive
an assessment within two weeks. However, the
charity fears that if the increase in referrals is
sustained, more people will have to wait
longer for vital treatment.
Brian Dow, the deputy chief executive of Rethink Mental
Illness, said, “Psychosis can have a devastating impact
on people’s lives. Swift access to treatment is vital to
prevent a further deterioration in people’s mental
health... which could take them years to
“These soaring numbers of suspected first episodes of
psychosis are cause for alarm. We're now, well beyond
the first profound shocks of this crisis and it’s deeply
concerning, that the number of referrals remains so
high. As first presentations of psychosis typically
occur in young adults, this steep rise raises
additional concerns about the pressures
the younger generation have faced
during the pandemic," he added.
“The pandemic has had a ''gamechanging'' effect on our
mental health and it requires a revolutionary response.
Dedicated additional funding for mental health and
social care must go to frontline services to help
meet the new demand, otherwise thousands
of people could bear a catastrophic cost,”
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social
Care said, “It is vital everyone can get the right support
when they need it and we are delivering the fastest
expansion in mental health services in NHS
history, backed by an additional £2.3bln a
year, by 2023/24, benefiting hundreds
of thousands more people.
“On top of this, we’ve invested an additional £500mln
this year to help people whose mental health has
been particularly impacted by the pandemic. All
NHS mental health providers have established
24/7 urgent helplines, which have answered
around three million calls... during the
pandemic,” the spokesperson said.
COVID Testing Lab in UK...
Suspended as Over 40,000
People May Have Received
October 15th, 11am (Sputnik)
In mid-September, reports cited observers of COVID-19
data voicing concerns over unusually quick dropping
of case numbers in the South-West, while people
were increasingly getting a positive lateral
flow test, followed by a negative PCR.
According to the UK's National Health Service (NHS) Test
and Trace, an estimated 43,000 people, mostly in South
-West England... but also including some in the South-
East and Wales, may have been given an incorrect
COVID-19 test result, at the Immensa Health
Clinic, in Wolverhampton.
The samples had been processed beween September 8th
and October the 12th. Operations at the laboratory have
been suspended, after an investigation revealed the
Individuals who tested negative through the lab in the past
week or two will now be contacted by Test and Trace and
advised to take another test. The same advice applies to
the individuals' close contacts who are symptomatic.
A probe had been initiated by the UK Health Security Agency
(UKHSA) after reports last week pointed to a growing number
of people at the lab, awarded a £120million government deal
in November 2020 to carry out PCR tests, testing negative
after earlier receiving a positive lateral flow result.
The UK Health Security Agency insisted there are "no
technical issues" with the lateral flow or PCR tests.
Allaying concerns, it said other labs are "working
normally". The development was described as
an "isolated incident attributed to
Public health incident director at the UKHSA,
Dr Will Welfare, was cited as saying:
"We have recently seen a rising number of positive LFD
results subsequently testing negative on PCR... If you
get a positive LFD test, it's important to make sure
that you then get a follow-up PCR test to confirm
you have COVID-19. If you have symptoms of
COVID-19, self-isolate and take a PCR test."
CEO of Immensa Health Clinic Ltd, Andrea Riposati said:
"We are fully collaborating with UKHSA on this matter.
Quality is paramount for us. We have proudly
analysed more than 2.5M samples for NHS
Test and Trace, working closely with the
great teams at DHSC and UKHSA. We do
not wish this matter or anything else, to
tarnish the amazing work done by the
UK, in this pandemic."
The developments come as fully vaccinated passengers
arriving in the UK from states not on the red list have
been allowed, as of October 24th, to take the both
quicker and cheaper lateral flow test, allowing
them... to subsequently take a photo of their
test and send it to prove they are negative.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps was cited by Sky News
as urging "honesty" from passengers... while describing
the test and verification procedure as "straightforward
and pretty quick to do".
Arriving individuals who had not yet received their
COVID-19 jabs will still be required to take a PCR
test, on the second day after entering the UK,
and quarantine for 10 days at home.
López Obrador - again - asks WHO to
recognize all anti-Covid-19 vaccines
October 14th, 4:30pm (Prensa Latina)
President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador,
asked today, again, the World Health Organization
(WHO)... to approve the anti-Covid-19 vaccines
that have already been positively tested.
In the morning press conference at the National Palace,
the president said that, if it is already proven they are
not harmful, but quite the opposite, that they help
people and the efficacy is also proven, why are
they not yet ''authorized'', he wondered.
In the case of the United States, there is already some
advance... since they stopped talking about allowing
entry to that country only to those vaccinated with
locally made immunizers. Previously, they said
only Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, but now
they accept AstraZeneca and others.
Apparently they will allow the entry of people vaccinated
with those authorized by WHO. It is no longer a single
country deciding, but a world organization, and
it must be without political or ideological
interests, but exclusively supported
It should not be possible, he said, that there is an effective
vaccine in a country with a different political system and
they try to marginalize it, as that resource is used in
many other countries and has shown it helps.
Political issues should not be mixed with those of health
and science, he reiterated. Hopefully, all (vaccines) in
progress, finish the analysis and are approved and
authorized by WHO... and we can travel
To a question about Cuba's 'Abdala' and its application in
children, the president said there is an agreement with
the government of Havana, to acquire their vaccines,
but it has not yet been possible, and reiterated the
optimal relationship of bilateral cooperation in
the field of medicine, and that they will
continue to work together.
It is the 2nd time the president addresses the issue
due to the delay of WHO... to approve numerous
vaccines from other countries, outside those
where the drugs are already authorized.
He said the world institution has to act
with rectitude, without political or
ideological bias, and with
adherence to science.
Concerning the case of Mexico and the reopening of
borders with the United States, the problem is the
large number of Mexicans vaccinated with
Russian and Chinese drugs -- which have
not yet been approved by WHO, despite
their wide and generalized use.
López Obrador asked WHO to hurry, because they have
been in the process for a long time, and there are
vaccines being applied by millions of doses that
have saved lives. And most importantly, there
is no report in the world, that they have
Users Unable to Access
NHS App, Website
& COVID Pass
October 13th, 3:48pm (Sputnik)
Brits were stranded in airports on Wednesday, unable
to access their Covid-19 vaccination records, due to
The National Health Service (NHS) reported problems
with user access to the Covid Pass on the NHS app
and the website, adding that the issue is being
The NHS Covid Pass is used to prove one's vaccination
record and allows people to travel, as well as access
events and venues in the UK and other countries.
Travellers took to social media on Wednesday to
complain and fume about the incident, saying
they couldn't take their trips, take tours,
or go to museums.
The NHS said it would update users
on the matter "as soon as we can."
‘Alarming’ drop in life expectancy
in England --- even before Covid
pandemic hit, new university
October 13th, 12:53pm (RT)
Life expectancy across the UK was falling even before
the Covid pandemic hit, with researchers finding an
“alarming” drop over the past decade, according
to a study published by Imperial College
Having examined around 8.6 million death records in
England from 2002-2019, ICL found life expectancy
decreased in one of five communities for women
and one in nine areas for men, over the
The analysis, published on Wednesday, comes after
the Office for National Statistics (ONS), released a
report earlier in 2021, estimating life expectancy
for men had fallen for the first time in 40 years...
due to the Covid pandemic.
However, ICL researchers found it had actually
started to decline, years before the pandemic
“There has always been an impression in the UK that
everyone's health is improving, even if not at the
same pace,” said Professor Majid Ezzati, who
led the study, but “data show that longevity
has been getting worse for years, in large
parts of England.”
For such declines to be seen in 'normal times'
--- before the pandemic --- is alarming.
Beyond the national picture across England... the study
outlined the stark difference between life expectancy
in different parts of the country. At the most extreme
point, there was a 20-year gap between women
living in the London borough of Camden and
Leeds, West Yorkshire, while there was a
27-year gap between Kensington and
Chelsea and Blackpool, Lancashire.
The analysis, released in the peer reviewed Lancet
journal, blamed the differences in life expectancy
on poverty, employment issues, welfare support,
and healthcare, urging the government to boost
investments in areas that have the lowest life
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his government
recently pledged to tackle inequalities between
different regions --- laying out his so-called
‘levelling-up’ agenda, which will seek to
providing funding to towns, cities and
rural areas, giving local authorities
''greater control'' over how
(Rhondda Records adds: twenty years ago, the
Rhondda's life expectancy was worse than
Ruanda's - want to guess what Wales'
figures are now?)
Phthalates in toys, shampoo,
makeup, linked to early
deaths in US
October 12th, 8:21pm (PressTV)
A new study has found that the chemical phthalates
used commonly in various industries, has been
causing early deaths in the United States.
According to the study published on Tuesday
in Environmental Pollution: Phthalates, also
known as plasticizers, may contribute to
some 91,000 to 107,000 premature
deaths a year, among people
ageD 55 to 64 in the US.
The lead author of the study, Dr. Leonardo Trasande,
said the research confirmed earlier studies showing
that Phthalates exposure, led to a range of health
Trasande, who is a professor of pediatrics, environmental
medicine, and population health at NYU Langone Health
in New York City, said industries needed to stop, or at
least reduce, the use of the hazardous man-made
chemicals found in hundreds of consumer
products, including food storage
containers, shampoo, makeup,
perfume, and children's toys.
"This study adds to the growing database
on the impact of plastics on the human
body, and bolsters public health and
business cases --- for reducing or
eliminating the use of plastics."
Several earlier studies had shown that Phthalates
exposure was linked to obesity, diabetes, heart
disease, and cancer.
According to the National Institute of Environmental
Health, phthalates can interfere with important
hormone functions: affecting the immune and
reproductive systems, as well as the brain,
liver, and other organs.
People are exposed to phthalates almost everywhere
because they are added to most consumer products.
Exposures commonly come from breathing contaminated
air, or eating or drinking foods that came into contact
with the plastic, according to the US Centres for
Disease Control and Prevention.
Nearly 20% of critically-ill Covid
patients in England... are
women: as medics beg
mothers to get jabbed
October, 11th, 2:54pm (RT)
Doctors in England have urged expectant mothers to get
jabbed against coronavirus, after data showed that 17%
of Covid patients receiving treatment through a special
lung-bypass machine, were pregnant women, yet to
On Monday, Dr Viki Male, reproductive immunology expert
at Imperial College London, told Sky News that "from an
evidence point of view ... our advice [is that] the right
time to get vaccinated, is as soon as you can."
"The evidence says that it doesn't make any difference to
the safety or efficacy of the vaccine… so today, today is
the best day [to get the vaccine]," she added.
Male said that, while concerns about protecting babies are
valid, and especially so, during the first trimester, women
should not wait until their 12- or 20-week scan to get the
vaccine, as anecdotal reports suggest many are doing.
GP David Lloyd also weighed in, explaining that that
the demographic is a particularly high-risk group.
"Women's immune systems when they're
pregnant are very different from when
they're not pregnant", he said,
reiterating that it is "so, so
safe and so important" for
them... to complete the
The renewed calls for gestating mothers to get inoculated
comes after new data from NHS England showed that
between July 1st and September 30th, 17% of Covid
patients requiring a special lung machine, were
pregnant women who had not had at least
one shot of a coronavirus vaccine.
Statistics also showed that, out of all women in intensive
care, aged between 16 & 49, almost a third (32%) were
pregnant women on extracorporeal membrane
oxygenation (ECMO) - equipment used when
a patient's lungs are so damaged by the
virus that a ventilator cannot maintain
oxygen levels. The figure has
increased by 6%, since the
outbreak of the pandemic.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid welcomed
the data indicating that over 81,000 pregnant women
had received their first dose of a Covid vaccine,
while 65,000 are double-jabbed, but said
"more needs to be done."
[Ed.: and Wales figures?]
Iceland Halts Moderna Jabs...
over Heart-Inflammation Fears
October 10th, 10:47am (FNA)
Iceland, on Friday... suspended the Moderna
coronavirus jabs citing a slightly increased
risk of cardiac inflammation, going further
than its Nordic neighbours which,
previously, only limited the
use of the vaccine.
"As the supply of Pfizer vaccine is sufficient in
the territory ... the chief epidemiologist has
decided not to use the Moderna vaccine
in Iceland," said a statement published
on the Health Directorate website,
This decision owes to "the increased incidence of
myocarditis and pericarditis after vaccination with
the Moderna vaccine, as well as with vaccination
using Pfizer/BioNTech", the chief epidemiologist
said in a statement.
For the past two months, Iceland has been administering
an additional dose "almost exclusively" of the Moderna
vaccine to Icelanders vaccinated with Janssen, a
single-dose serum, marketed by America's
Johnson & Johnson, as well as to elderly
and immunocompromised people, who
received 2 doses of another vaccine.
This will not affect the vaccination campaign in the island
of 370,000 inhabitants, where 88% of the population over
12 years old, is already fully vaccinated.
Since Thursday, Sweden & Finland have also suspended
the use of Moderna vaccine, but only for those under 30,
because of a risk of inflammation of the myocardium,
the heart muscle, and the pericardium, the
membrane covering the heart.
Denmark and Norway... have formally
advised against it, for those under 18.
According to the Swedish authorities, most of these
inflammations are benign, and pass on their own,
but it is recommended that medical advice be
sought, should symptoms occur.
Image by Holger Langmaier
Study: Covid has caused
dramatic rise in anxiety,
October 9th, 11:44am (PressTV)
Cases of depression and anxiety went up by more than
a quarter worldwide, in 2020, due to Covid-19, shows
Cases of major depression and anxiety around the world
increased dramatically in 2020 due to the Covid-19 crisis,
according to the first global estimate of the impact of
the pandemic on mental health.
The study, published in the Lancet medical journal, is the
latest to suggest the pandemic has taken a serious toll
on mental health, with an estimated 76 million extra
cases of anxiety and 53 million extra cases of
major depressive disorder, than would have
been expected, had Covid not struck.
In 2020, cases of major depressive disorder and anxiety
disorders increased by 28% and 26%, respectively.
Women were affected more than men, and
younger people were more affected than
older age groups, according to the
Countries with high Covid-19 infection rates, and major
reductions in the movement of people - a consequence
of measures such as lockdowns and school closures –
had the greatest increases in the prevalence of major
depressive disorder and anxiety disorders.
The head of the research group from the Queensland
Centre for Mental Health Research, School of Public
Health, University of Queensland, Australia, said,
“This study is the first to quantify the prevalence
and burden of depressive and anxiety disorders
by age, sex, and location globally in 204
countries and territories, in 2020.”
Women and young people are more likely to be affected
than men or older people. The study showed... that
almost 52 million of the added cases for anxiety
during the first Covid year were accounted for
among women, contrasted with 24 million
“We believe [that] is because women are more likely to
be affected by the social and economic consequences
of the pandemic,” said the lead author, Dr. Damian
Santomauro of the University of Queensland.
“Women are more likely to take on additional career and
household responsibilities, due to school closures, or
family members becoming unwell. Women also tend
to have lower salaries, less savings... and less
secure employment than men.... and so, are
more likely to be financially disadvantaged
during the pandemic,” he said, adding: a
rise in domestic violence, may also
play a role.
Although Covid caused more death and serious illness
among older people, it was younger people who faced
the greatest burdens of depression and anxiety.
The category with the highest burden, the 20 to 24-year
age bracket, had an estimated 1,118 added depression
cases per 100,000 people, and 1,331 more per 100,000
“School closures and wider restrictions limiting young
people’s ability to learn and interact with their peers,
combined with the increased risk of unemployment,
also meant that young people were also more
heavily impacted by major depressive
disorder and anxiety disorders
during the pandemic,” says
Alize Ferrari, one of the
University of Queens
“We are hoping that these findings encourage more dialogue
by policy makers, governments, researchers and people
considering resource allocation and planning for
mental health responses…. It is crucial --- that
policymakers take underlying factors such as
these into account... as part of measures
to strengthen mental health services,”
Armed police... drag passenger off
Eurostar train - after staff member
accused him of wearing the
‘wrong type of mask’
October 8th, 1:46pm (RT)
Eight armed, uniformed French police boarded a
Eurostar train on Thursday afternoon, after it
made an emergency stop in Lille, to forcibly
remove a passenger who was accused of
“not wearing the right type of mask.”
The incident occurred on a Eurostar service that was
traveling from Paris Gare du Nord to St. Pancras on
Thursday afternoon but was halted in Lille after a
train manager reportedly got into an aggressive
argument with a man over his face mask,
according to passengers.
Following the confrontation, the manager stated that
they would be informing the police at Lille, for his
failure to follow Covid regulations, with the train
making an emergency, unscheduled stop at the
station where eight officers forcibly removed
As he left the train, the passenger, thought to be in
his 40s, claimed he had been accused of “not
wearing the right type of mask” and would
now “be left alone in France,” calling it
“very cruel treatment.”
A spokesperson for Eurostar defended the response to
the situation, claiming that “the passenger became