Day: June 17, 2020

Health minister says app should roll out by winter

NHS Covid-19 app
NHS Covid-19 app

A government minister has said the NHS coronavirus contact-tracing app is “not a priority” and he was not sure it would be out by winter.

The app, which has been trialled on the Isle of Wight, was initially expected to launch nationally weeks ago.

The BBC can also reveal that the project’s two lead managers – NHSX’s Matthew Gould and Geraint Lewis – are stepping back.

And Simon Thompson – a former Apple executive – is joining to manage it.

Mr Thompson is currently chief product officer at the online grocer Ocado. He has been appointed to Baroness Dido Harding’s Test and Trace team, where he will have other duties in addition to the app.

Mr Gould and Mr Lewis had always expected to move back to their other duties this month, however they had intended for the app to have had its national rollout by now.

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These products won’t protect you from coronavirus. But they will make you laugh

The COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis of the unknown. Our understanding of the disease and the best ways to fight it seem to change from week to week. This murky information environment creates opportunities for entrepreneurs offering the promise, if not always the reality, of safety.

You can find many of those entrepreneurs on crowdfunding sitessuch as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, where catchy-sounding ideas can go viral on the basis of nothing more than a demo video, raising millions of dollars from would-be customers eager to be first in line.

Right now, if you’re so inclined,, you can throw your cash at a mask that only covers your nose, or a wearable plastic bubble, or a keychain to touch elevator buttons for you.

But would you actually be backing something made of science, or just something science-flavored?

We rounded up some of the most questionable innovations and presented them to Paula

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Kate Middleton Leads Online School Assembly About Feeling ‘a Little Bit Better’ During Lockdown

Kate Middleton is going back to school on Thursday — and she’s bringing a special message along with her.

The royal mom of three will lead a morning assembly for the Oak National Academy — an online classroom and resource hub created by teachers — to speak about the importance of mental wellbeing among children.

Oak National Academy has provided more than 12 million video lessons and given free resources to parents and teachers during lockdown. The service’s weekly assembly enables students across the U.K. to experience a key part of the normal school routine.

In her video speech,  Kate says, “Talking to someone, whether it’s a friend, family member, or teacher, is something you can do to make yourself feel that little bit better. And you can also play your part in helping others to feel better too, whether offering a friendly ear, or helping someone in need. Small

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Why do some infected with the coronavirus escape COVID-19 unharmed? It’s probably their genes

Researchers are diving deep into human genetics, hoping to find clues that might explain why many people brush off COVID-19 without even knowing they have it, while others are hospitalized or even die from the disease.

For inspiration, geneticists are looking to HIV. The absence of one gene called CCR5 makes people unlikely to catch HIV even if exposed. Other genes allow some people’s immune systems to control the virus once infected, escaping its ill effects.

There may not be such powerful genetic twists with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. But researchers hope by identifying genes that seem to be involved in different reactions to the disease they will learn more about which patients need the most aggressive treatment, and which drugs may be most effective. 

Coronavirus Covid-19 virus in a laboratory. Global pandemic risk due to coronavirus outbreak
Coronavirus Covid-19 virus in a laboratory. Global pandemic risk due to coronavirus outbreak

If researchers can identify a protective genetic factor, for example,

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Father’s Day Offers Hopes to Beleaguered Retailers

Click here to read the full article.

Fingers crossed: the coronavirus may actually provide a boost to Father’s Day sales this year — at least that’s the hope of some major men’s wear retailers.

With COVID-19 fatigue in full force and stores reopening nationwide, merchants are seeing some major upticks in their men’s wear sales — in person, curbside and online — as shoppers seek gifts for their dads. But don’t expect a lot of ties and dress shirts to be wrapped up on Sunday. With many people still working from home for the foreseeable future, it’s not surprising that activewear is among the most purchased gifts this year. Other popular choices include tech gadgets, golf shirts and hats, and comfortable basics.

This bump in men’s sales is also providing a flicker of hope to retailers about what they can expect for the remainder of the year. Although the situation

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7.3% Of State Has Been Tested For Coronavirus: Maryland Governor

MARYLAND — In Maryland, officials say 7.3 percent of the population has been tested for the new coronavirus.

“Baltimore City, still currently in Stage One of recovery, is above the state average with 8.1% of its population tested,” Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement Wednesday morning, as the state’s new high-volume testing site opens at the Baltimore Convention Center.

The rest of the state is in stage two of recovery, with businesses such as nail salons and banks able to open with restrictions and indoor dining permitted at 50 percent capacity.

Hogan has expressed his concern about Baltimore lagging behind the rest of the state in allowing businesses to reopen.

“I think it’s absolutely absurd that there are thousands of people gathering in the streets and yet a small business can’t open their doors,” Hogan said at a news conference announcing the return of indoor dining a week ago.

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COVID Couture. Covidiot. Coronavirus trademark hopefuls flood patent office

The worst pandemic in modern memory has inspired a massive effort to harness intellectual property rights.

More than 1,500 trademark applications have been filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for variations on the COVID-19 and coronavirus theme.

They range from the serious to the silly, from the innovative to the not so much. Examples abound, and these are just some of the slogans: “She whooped the mess out of the coronavirus, yes she did.” “Be Covidgilant.” “COVID Couture.” “It’s not just clean, it’s COVID clean.” “Covidiot.” “Generation COVID.” “Social Distancing Social Club.”

Intellectual property experts say they’ve never seen anything like it.

“I’ve done some of my own searching just to see what happened during other disasters in the past. And I didn’t find anywhere near this many,” said Jeffrey Pearlman, director of the Intellectual Property & Technology Law Clinic at the USC School of Law. Pearlman said

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How will dentist appointments change?

Photo credit: svetikd - Getty Images
Photo credit: svetikd – Getty Images

From Netdoctor

Routine dental treatments have been put on hold since 23 March, the day that the the UK went into lockdown to help curb the spread of coronavirus. In England, dentists were allowed to reopen from 8 June if they put in place appropriate safety measures. However, a survey found only a third of dental surgeries felt ready to open, citing a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) as the biggest concern.

Here is everything you need to know about when dentists will reopen in the UK.

When will dentists reopen in the UK?


Dental practises in England were allowed to reopen from 8 June. However, according to a survey of more than 2,000 surgeries by the BDA, only 36 per cent felt ready to open by that date due to a lack of PPE available.

Patients with dental emergencies who cannot

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Assad’s British wife and 38 others hit by US sanctions as Trump tries to squeeze regime

Asma al-Assad was designated for the first time by the US government, which described her as “one of Syria’s most notorious war profiteers.” - AFP
Asma al-Assad was designated for the first time by the US government, which described her as “one of Syria’s most notorious war profiteers.” – AFP

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s British wife and dozens of members of his inner circle were on Wednesday hit with US sanctions, as the Trump administration heaped pressure on the beleaguered regime.

Asma al-Assad, who was born and grew up in the UK, was designated for the first time by the US government, which described her as “one of Syria’s most notorious war profiteers.”

The sanctions came into force on Wednesday under the Caesar Act – legislation which has been years in the making and named after a Syrian defector who documented horrific human rights abuses carried out by the regime.

The first batch of designations target 39 people or entities with ties to the government, including Assad’s sister Bushra, brother and military commander Maher, as

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5 meaningful Father’s Day ideas amid Black Lives Matter, Pride Month and the COVID-19 pandemic

Father’s Day 2020 is another occasion that feels significantly different than the year prior.

Sunday, the day devoted to dads may conjure up thoughts of George Floyd, a father whose death in police custody ignited nationwide protests demanding justice and racial equality. Or perhaps, one might think of his daughter Gianna, 6, who, as seen in a clip that has gone viral, understands “Daddy changed the world.”  

There are also those still separated from their fathers due to the global health crisis. Some who live close to dad might be staying away to reduce his risk of infection. Others might not feel safe traveling to see pops just yet. 

June is also  Pride Month when members of the LGBTQ community come together to recognize the progress they’ve made since the 1969 Stonewall Riots. 

Here are some ways to have a meaningful Father’s Day:

Celebrating Pride Month and rallying for racial

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