Category: News

[Open Access] Is ethnicity linked to incidence or outcomes of covid-19?

“Clear evidence to confirm or rule out an association between ethnicity and outcome in covid-19 is important not only for the UK but also for other regions such as South Asia and Africa, where the pandemic is at an earlier stage. Efforts must be coordinated to collect an international data set that includes ethnicity. If an association is confirmed, further research will be needed to determine the causes.”

[Open Access] Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups in England are at increased risk of death from COVID-19: indirect standardisation of NHS mortality data

“ur analysis adds to the evidence that BAME people are at increased risk of death from COVID-19 even after adjusting for geographical region. We believe there is an urgent need to take action to reduce the risk of death for BAME groups and better understand why some ethnic groups experience greater risk. Actions that are likely to reduce these inequities include ensuring adequate income protection (so that low paid and zero-hours contract workers can afford to follow social distancing recommendations), reducing occupational risks (such as ensuring adequate personal protective equipment), reducing barriers in accessing healthcare and providing culturally and linguistically appropriate public health communications.”

[Open Access] Global call to action for inclusion of migrants and refugees in the COVID-19 response

“”Lancet Migration calls for migrants and refugees to be urgently included in responses to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Many of these populations live, travel, and work in conditions where physical distancing and recommended hygiene measures are impossible because of poor living conditions and great economic precarity. This global public health emergency highlights the exclusion and multiple barriers to health care that are faced by migrants and refugees, among whom COVID-19 threatens to have rapid and devastating effects.”

[Open Access] Racism and discrimination in COVID-19 responses

“The strength of a health system is inseparable from broader social systems that surround it. Epidemics place increased demands on scarce resources and enormous stress on social and economic systems. Health protection relies not only on a well functioning health system with universal coverage, but also on social inclusion, justice, and solidarity. In the absence of these factors, inequalities are magnified and scapegoating persists, with discrimination remaining long after. Division and fear of others will lead to worse outcomes for all.”

[Open Access] Travel health risk perceptions of Chinese international students in Australia – Implications for COVID-19

This research provides insights into Chinese international students as visitors to friends and relatives (VFR) travellers. It confirms students could be a risk population for importations of infections such as COVID-19 because of low risk perception and lack of seeking travel health advice. This can inform health promotion strategies for students.

[Open Access] COVID-19 Vaccine Development: Time to Consider SARS-CoV-2 Challenge Studies?

While a human challenge study holds the prospect of accelerating the development of a vaccine for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, it may be opposed due to risks of harm to participants and researchers. Given the increasing number of human deaths and severe disruption to lives worldwide, we argue that a SARS-CoV-2 challenge study is ethically justifiable as its social value substantially outweighs the risks. Such a study should therefore be seriously considered as part of the global research response towards the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper contributes to the debate by addressing the misperception that a challenge study would lower scientific and ethical standards for vaccine research as well as other ethical concerns. Information that need to be disclosed to prospective participants to obtain their consent are set out.

[Open Access] Mapping population mental health concerns related to COVID-19 and the consequences of physical distancing: a Google trends analysis

Monitoring Google trends shows promise as a means of tracking changing public concerns. In weeks to come it may enable policy makers to assess the impact of their interventions including those aiming to limit negative consequences, such as government funded financial safety nets.

[open access] Covid-19: how a virus is turning the world upside down

Covid-19 has taught us that health is the basis of wealth, that global health is no longer defined by Western nations and must also be guided by Africa and Asia, and that international solidarity is an essential response and a superior approach to isolationism. We may emerge from this with a healthier respect for the environment and our common humanity. All citizens, governments, businesses, and organisations must heed these lessons. Covid-19 is the virus that is turning the world upside down. It will destroy the world as we know it; in the process we may learn to hold it together.

[Open Access] COVID-19 control in low-income settings and displaced populations: what can realistically be done?

“Whenever vaccines or improved therapeutics for COVID-19 become available, these must be allocated equitably to low-income and crisis-affected populations. Until then, it is imperative that low-resource countries and humanitarian responses plan and roll out evidence-based, long-term strategies to mitigate their COVID-19 epidemics, starting now. Approaches such as containment of importation are likely to have exhausted their potential in the immediate future; not all interventions are of equal value, and the opportunity costs of emphasising one over the other should be considered. The price of inaction may be high. Sub-optimal, inefficient control interventions could however be just as costly.”

[Open Access] Targeting COVID-19 interventions towards migrants in humanitarian settings

Millions of refugees and migrants reside in countries devastated by protracted conflicts with weakened health systems, and in countries where they are forced to live in substandard conditions in camps and compounds, and high-density slum settings. Although many such settings have yet to feel the full impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the pandemic is now having an unprecedented impact on mobility, in terms of border and migration management, as well as on the health, social, and economic situation of migrant populations globally. An urgent coordinated effort is now needed to align these populations with national and global COVID-19 responses.