Chinese experimental coronavirus vaccine safe in first stage trials

A Chinese experimental vaccine against COVID-19 developed by the Institute of Medical Biology under the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences shows safe in a first-stage clinical trial. In Stage 1 of the clinical trial in 191 healthy participants between the ages of 18 and 59, vaccination with the institute’s experimental vaccine showed no serious side effects, the researchers said in their pre-publication.

The most common side effects reported by participants in the trial of this Chinese vaccine were mild pain, slight fatigue and redness, itching and swelling at the site of the vaccine. The candidate vaccine elicited an immune response.

All the evidence from this trial suggests that this inactivated vaccine is safe and elicits an immune response and is encouraging in further studies of its effectiveness in the future,” the researchers said in their report.

China has vaccinated hundreds of thousands of workers in key sectors, as well as people in high-risk groups, with other experimental coronavirus vaccines, although their clinical trials have not yet been completed, raising concerns among experts about their safety. China has at least four experimental vaccines in the final stages of clinical trials.

People around the world 3D-printing masks for healthcare professionals and staff

Image: 3Dverkstan

Many people around the world have come together to produce protective medical tools for healthcare professionals and staff on the frontline of COVID-19. An initiative by Jenny Sabin of Cornell University has reached architecture studios, factories, and homes across the world in a very short time. People who don’t know how to help joined the effort and started to print their own masks at their homes. The network, which includes firms that own 3D printers, engineers, designers and software developers, came together on social media to ensure the production of medical parts, tools, and equipment by using the power of 3D printers at home or workplaces, soon coordinated and started production.

Image: 3Dverkstan

After the drawing of the medical equipment was made, the prototype was produced and shared with the people joining the network on social media, the volunteers started to produce protective face shields/masks for the healthcare workers with 3D printers from their homes and companies. Designers, engineers and many more based their products on the open-source design from the Swedish 3D printing firm, 3Dverkstan. The shields can be printed in less than 20 minutes and are made of only two elements: a 3D printed frame and a semi-rigid plastic sheet that can be easily placed on.

While 3D printer owners can join the network through the website, healthcare professionals, hospitals and healthcare organizations can also submit medical parts requests. Sponsors who want to provide rubber, PETG transparent protective plate, and filament support can also be included in the supply network. As manufacturers cannot meet the increasing demand for the mask, this effort and collaboration of people will help immensely to healthcare professionals and staff.


If you want to join this effort, you can find free-to-use files and instructions available here.

French healthcare professionals are suing the government for negligence

So far in France, there are 2,606 deaths and 40,174 reported cases of COVID-19 (numbers of March 30th), and thousands of healthcare professionals are infected, and six doctors are already dead from the disease, anger is rising among staff and medical personnel against the government. The French Government, like governments across Europe, initially tried to downplay the disease and intentionally withheld vital information from the public. In return, hundreds of health-care professionals are filing a suit charging top officials of the government with criminal negligence.

The crisis exploded after former Minister of Health Agnès Buzyn spoke to Le Monde accusing Prime Minister Édouard Philippe of not calling off the first round of local elections on March 15 and claimed that she warned the general health directorate. On January 11, she sent a message to the president and on January 30, she warned Édouard Philippe that elections should be held/postponed for now.

Buzyn claimed that top French officials knew and hid the truth by not calling for a lock-down for COVID-19’s spread and as a result, they are responsible for exposing themselves and French people to danger.

She stated: “From the start, I was thinking of just one thing: the coronavirus. We should have stopped everything. We were playing a masquerade. The last weeks were a nightmare. Every time I went to a public meeting, I was terrified.” and added: “There will be thousands of deaths.”

As the number of death skyrocketed, growing anger and disappointment with the Macron government made healthcare professionals file a suit against Philippe, Buzyn and other top officials. Hundreds of doctors and health staff represented by Fabrica di Vizio filed a suit to the Court of Justice of the Republic which has the jurisdiction to investigated high crimes by government officials. Di Vizio claimed that they are suing based on Article 233, part 7 of the Criminal Code, which declares that anyone who voluntarily doesn’t take or launch measures that would allow, without risk for himself or third persons, for fighting a catastrophe that could threaten physical persons is punished with 2 years in jail and a 30,000 euro fine.

Di Vizio claimed that health staff discovered that the government’s assurances about protective equipment such as face masks were lies. He claimed: “The government told them at the end of February that the masks would arrive. At the beginning of March, when they understood that the masks were not coming, they started hearing from the government that masks were not really needed… This was simply an admission of impotence and a lie. The plain truth is that the government had stocked no supplies.”

Although French firms are producing face masks, the British government placed their orders first, so French has to wait. As a result of this, for the entire month of March, French healthcare professionals and staff did not receive any masks and many got sick and 6 doctors died.

The fight to hold government officials accountable for this fatal mistake of underestimating and downplaying the dangers of COVID-19 pandemic has big support in the working class, which can be seen in polls: %70 of the French people does not believe that the government is telling the truth and being transparent about the pandemic.

‘Big Brother Germany’ contestants have no idea about coronavirus but they are going to find out live on TV

Coronavirus is affecting many aspects of our lives, some are less important than others. Many movies and series sets are on hold due to Coronavirus. Many shows, movie releases, concerts are postponed. Reality shows are no different. One of many popular reality shows, Love Island Summer edition has been canceled because of coronavirus.

The ones that are planned to be published in the future are being canceled, what about currently ongoing shows? Many reality shows have policies that prevent contestants using cell phones, tv and severe their link with the real world: kind of an involuntary quarantine. Are the producers of the shows inclined to tell the contestants about the situation?

The Big Brother Canada cast was recently told by the producers about the pandemic. Another very popular TV reality show, Survivor Turkey still did not make aware their contestants of the virus and producers did not comment on whether they are going to tell the contestants soon or not. The contestants are currently in the Dominican Republic without any knowledge of the virus and the situation. There are already 21 cases and 1 death in the country so far.

The contestants of Big Brother Germany’s season 13th has no idea what’s going on outside the apartment since February 6. New additions to the cast, 4 other contestants came into the apartment before March 6th, days before things got serious in Germany. There are currently over 7.600 cases in Germany with 20 people dead.

The producers of the show explained to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung that they have a strict policy of keeping the news from the contestants unless there is a death in the immediate family. Yet, they decided to inform the contestants of the pandemic in a special live episode on Tuesday and let them ask questions about the situation and receive video messages from their relatives to relieve them, due to the backlash on social media by the viewers.

On Twitter, many viewers are discussing whether is it ethical to not tell the contestants right away or not and how they are excited and planning to watch during their quarantine because this episode is going to be worth watching. 

You don’t have to sing “Happy Birthday” twice anymore: New handwashing infographics generator

The Coronavirus (COVID-19), which first appeared in Wuhan, China in December 2019, spread to the whole world in a few months. As of now (13 March 2019), 145,337 Coronavirus cases have occurred and 5,416 people have died. Unfortunately, each day the number of cases and death is increasing. There is no known cure for it and the world is in panic and chaos.

The main measures proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO) against coronavirus (COVID-19) are: washing hands frequently, maintaining the distance between other people, keeping the airway clean by sneezing our elbow, and finally not touching the eyes, nose, and mouth. Paying attention to these measures and turning them into a habit will both increase our individual health and cleanliness and ensure that all are protected against COVID-19.

Infographics and educational videos showing how to wash hands in detail started to surf on the internet. Professionals stated that the hands should be washed in detail for more than 20 seconds. To make it easy to keep in mind, 20 seconds were often explained as “the amount of time passing by singing Happy Birthday twice.”

You may be sick of singing Happy Birthday twice: Wash Your Lyrics generator offers a solution. The Wash Your Lyrics website is an online infographic preparation tool that if you put in the name of the song and the artist you want to match, the website generates an infographic for you by matching desired lyrics to hand washing steps.

Developed by 17-year-old British software developer and designer William Gibson, the generator works on the principle of finding lyrics and placing them on the visual. It soon became a meme and was shared by many famous artists with its own lyrics and used as a tool to remind hand washing. According to William, 348,471(+) posters were created so far.

You can reach the site via this link and sync your favorite songs with a 20-second hand wash ritual: Wash Your Lyrics