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jaagnet (8)

Platinum Level Contributor


The anti-inflammatory drug colchicine, usually used to treat gout, will be included in the UK’s nationwide RECOVERY trial program aimed at seeking a cure for the coronavirus infection, its researchers have said.

Colchicine will be tested in a randomized trial involving 2,500 patients across the UK who will receive the drug in addition to the existing standard of care for a total of 10 days, the RECOVERY (Randomised Evaluation of Covid-19 Therapy) program said on its website.

The data received from the 2,500 volunteers will then be compared to the treatment results of at least 2,500 other patients, who will receive only standard treatment. The major goal of the study is to assess whether the drug can reduce the mortality rate in severe Covid-19 cases within the scope of 28 days since the start of the treatment. Other parameters assessed will involve an impact on hospital stay and the need for lung ventilation. 

Colchicine is commonly used as an anti-inflammatory treatment against gout. Since severe inflammation caused by an overactive immune system is still a major aspect of the most serious Covid-19 cases, which can lead to lung damage and death, the researchers hope that the drug could reduce some of the most dangerous symptoms. 

“We’ve already shown that treatment with one anti-inflammatory drug, dexamethasone, can reduce deaths in the most severely ill Covid-19 patients,” Professor Martin Landray from the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford, who co-leads the trial, said.

The drug is relatively cheap and readily available, the scientists note, adding that, if successful, it could provide an immediate boost to anti-Covid efforts around the globe. “Colchicine is an attractive drug to evaluate in the RECOVERY trial as it is very well understood, inexpensive and widely available,” Professor Peter Horby, another member of the Nuffield Department of Medicine and the study co-chair, said. 

Colchicine is not the only drug being investigated within the UK program, involving 176 hospital sites across the country and with over 18,000 patients recruited so far. The list includes anti-inflammatory medicine tocilizumab, plasma from donors who have recovered from Covid-19 and have antibodies against the disease, and the pain relief drug aspirin, which the scientists plan to use against blood clotting in Covid-19 patients. 

Another experimental treatment involves the Regeneron antibody cocktail used to treat US President Donald Trump when he contracted coronavirus. The RECOVERY trials of an antibiotic called azithromycin, which has already been recommended for use against Covid-19 in some countries, including Russia, is also in full swing. Enrolment of patients ended on Friday and scientists are collecting data.

The news about colchicine came as the UK registered 16,022 new cases on Friday. The UK death toll from the virus now stands at 57,551. The UK government said earlier on Friday that it had asked national regulators to assess a vaccine candidate developed by the British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca, expecting that four million jabs could be ready for rollout in December. 

Concerns over the vaccine remain, however, as the clinical trial results showed some surprisingly diverging data depending on the dosage. AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday that the jab would be tested again, adding that it would probably not delay the vaccine’s authorization.


Published on on 27th November 2020

Link to Original Article


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Silver Level Contributor

A Premier League ball is sprayed with disinfectant at Wolves’ training complex. Photograph: Wolverhampton Wanderers FC/Getty Images


Project Restart has shrunk the sport to an elite pursuit within a sterile bubble, throwing up questions no one can answer

Well done, everyone: we did it. They said it wasn’t possible. They said it wasn’t safe. They said it would be tactless to start up one of the world’s most lucrative sports leagues while thousands are dying. They said it wouldn’t be a fair competition. They may still be right about all of this, of course. More on that in a moment.

But for now, football is back. Watch it. Drink it in. Lose yourself in a pure six-week football bender: 92 Premier League fixtures, spread across every day of the week and every conceivable time slot, all of it live on television, much of it free to air. Take that, null-and-voiders; dry your tears, PPG; up yours, Troy Deeney. Football is back and all it took was the spectre of financial catastrophe and the sight of Germany handling things far more adeptly.

The first point to make is that football is hardly striking out alone. Snooker and horse racing are planning to begin behind closed doors on Monday. Professional golf, cricket and rugby league will be back by August. The resumption of the 2019-20 season was probably a foregone conclusion from the moment the prime minister offered his backing this month and heaven knows the government would be grateful of a little popular distraction right now.

Even so many have been surprised by the speed and bombast which the game has managed to coalesce around the terms of its return. Crisis has a marvellous way of focusing minds. Envy, too. Stung not just by the urgency of the balance sheet but the largely frictionless resumption of the Bundesliga and the resolute noises coming out of Spain and Italy, the 20 Premier League clubs managed to set aside their trademark factionalism for just long enough to approve the contours of Project Restart.

Full contact training was unanimously approved on Tuesday. Thursday brought a provisional schedule, beginning on 17 June with Aston Villa v Sheffield United and Manchester City v Arsenal. On Friday came the announcement of a rescheduled FA Cup final on 1 August. It’s fine to be straightforwardly delighted about this. This, after all, is what we’re here for: the spectacle, the moment, the Barclays.

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Originally posted by:
Jonathan Liew
The Guardian
May 30th, 2020

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Silver Level Contributor



People in England should aim to wear face coverings on public transport and in some shops from Wednesday, the UK government has said.

A document outlining the new lockdown rules suggests masks are worn in enclosed spaces where social distancing with others is not always possible.

It is the first time the UK government has issued the advice, but the Scottish government already recommends masks.

People are also allowed to meet one person from another household outside.

It comes as Boris Johnson announced on Sunday a "conditional plan" to begin lifting England's coronavirus lockdown.

Scotland and Wales - which have their own powers over the lockdown - have not changed the advice for people to stay at home, and have rejected No 10's new "stay alert" slogan.

Mr Johnson will speak to Parliament at 15:30 BST on Monday. He will then lead the government's daily Downing Street press briefing which, due to the Commons statement, has been moved to 19:00.

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Originally posted by:
BBC News
May 11th, 2020

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Silver Level Contributor

Hundreds of people have told that they have been rejected by HM Revenue & Customs' eligibility tool for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), despite believing they fit the eligibility criteria.

The tool has told many people that they're not eligible for any help via SEISS, one of the Government's coronavirus support schemes, raising concerns that many people who thought they would be covered would now feel disheartened and not knowing what to do.

Complaints have flooded in over the past 24 hours – including from people whose income is well below the £50,000 earnings threshold. HMRC has told MoneySavingExpert that the tool is working accurately.

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Originally posted by:
Kit Sproson
May 6th, 2020

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Silver Level Contributor

Research has shown millions of renters are choosing between paying rent or putting food on the table during the lockdown. Photograph: Paul Maguire/Alamy Stock Photo


Thinktank wants three-month suspension during Covid-19 pandemic to protect financially vulnerable

More than a million renters in Britain risk losing their jobs in the coronavirus pandemic and should be protected by an immediate rent freeze, according to a thinktank.

Calling on the government to suspend all private rents for three months as an emergency measure to protect those most at risk, the New Economics Foundation (NEF) said 1.2 million people living in privately rented homes could fall into severe financial hardship otherwise.

These people are among 5.6 million it identified who will miss out from the government’s Covid-19 job retention scheme, due to having their hours cut or being made redundant rather than being furloughed. It also includes people ineligible for the self-employed income protection scheme.

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Originally posted by:
Richard Partington
The Guardian
May 4th, 2020

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Silver Level Contributor

The competition watchdog has received almost 21,000 complaints linked to coronavirus since early March and 80% of those it's now getting are about cancellations and refunds, with concerns that travel firms are making refunds hard to claim and pressuring customers to accept vouchers instead.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has set up a Covid-19 taskforce to watch and respond to consumer and competition problems arising from the pandemic.

And in its latest update, the taskforce says while a large proportion of complaints received were originally focused on unjustifiable price increases, the bulk now are about cancellations and refunds.

The watchdog hasn't given a precise figure for the number of complaints it's getting about travel refunds, but it's likely to be thousands. It says four out of every five complaints it now receives are about cancellations and refunds, with travel a particular area of concern, and overall it averaged more than 600 complaints a day last week. 

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Originally posted by:
Callum Mason
April 24th, 2020

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Silver Level Contributor

Including languages, guitar, Open University courses & more


With most of us staying home over the coming weeks, we've heard from MoneySavers looking to use this time as an opportunity to develop new skills or broaden their knowledge  so I've rounded-up some free ways to learn something new at home.

There are tons of free online and app-based resources that can help you learn and develop new skills in a fun way, from free courses, to tutorials and quizzes. Of course, I can't cover everything, so I've picked some favourites below...


Learn a new language


Whether you want to learn a whole new language or just see how much you can remember from your French test at school, here are some suggestions for how you can pick up a second (or third, fourth) language for free.

A favourite with MoneySavers is Duolingo (also available as an app for Android / iOS / Windows). You can learn 30+ languages such as Spanish, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Greek. For Game of Thrones fans, there's even High Valyrian, and Trekkies can brush up on their Klingon.

Each bite-size lesson has a mix of learning methods, and you can generally complete a lesson in under 10 minutes. You can also ‘compete’ with fellow users or friends which helps motivate you to carry on.

There is a paid-for version of the app which gives a few added features, but it's not necessary and you can do an entire course for free.



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Originally posted by:
Laura Berry
March 23rd, 2020

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Silver Level Contributor

The Mental Health Foundation is part of the national mental health response providing support to address the mental health and psychosocial aspects of the Coronavirus outbreak, alongside colleagues at Public Health England and the Department of Health and Social Care.


Infectious disease outbreaks, like the current Coronavirus (COVID-19), can be scary and can affect our mental health. While it is important to stay informed, there are also many things we can do to support and manage our wellbeing during such times.

Here are some tips we hope will help you, your friends and your family to look after your mental health at a time when there is much discussion of potential threats to our physical health.


Looking after your mental health while you have to stay at home


The government is telling us to stay at home and only go outside for food, health reasons or essential work, to stay two metres (six feet) away from other people and wash our hands as soon as we get home.

This will mean that more of us will be spending a lot of time at home and many of our regular social activities will no longer be available to us.

It will help to try and see it as a different period of time in your life, and not necessarily a bad one, even if you didn’t choose it.

It will mean a different rhythm of life, a chance to be in touch with others in different ways than usual. Be in touch with other people regularly on social media, e-mail or on the phone, as they are still good ways of being close to the people who matter to you. 

Create a new daily routine that prioritises looking after yourself. You could try reading more or watching movies, having an exercise routine, trying new relaxation techniques, or finding new knowledge on the internet. Try and rest and view this as a new if unusual experience, that might have its benefits.    

Make sure your wider health needs are being looked after such as having enough prescription medicines available to you.


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Last updated: March 24th, 2020

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