MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Department of Health has announced 461 new COVID-19 cases and eight additional deaths Sunday.
The additional cases bring the state’s total positive cases to 32,92…
UK could see up to 120,000 additional coronavirus deaths this winter, scientists warn – CNBC
In a worst-case scenario, the experts said there could be 119,900 additional hospital deaths in the U.K. this winter.
The U.K. government must prepare for a potential new wave of Covid-19 infections that may be more serious than the first, a group of scientists has said, warning that the country could see nearly 120,000 further coronavirus deaths this winter.
In a report published Tuesday, an advisory group of 37 experts from the Academy of Medical Sciences stressed that “intense preparation” was urgently needed throughout the rest of July and August to reduce the risk of the National Health Service being overwhelmed this winter.
Their modeling suggests Covid-19 infections in the U.K. will rise again in the fall and peak in January and February, the busiest time of year for the NHS.
In a worst-case scenario, the experts said there could be 119,900 additional hospital deaths this winter at least double the number from the first wave.
The models do not consider the use of drugs, treatments or potential vaccines. It also excludes deaths in care homes and the community.
To date, the U.K. has recorded more than 291,000 cases of the coronavirus, with 44,915 related deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The “Preparing for a challenging winter 2020/2021” report was requested by Patrick Vallance, the British government’s chief scientific adviser, to model a “reasonable” worst-case scenario.
“The modelling suggests that deaths could be higher with a new wave of Covid-19 this winter, but the risk of this happening could be reduced if we take action immediately,” Stephen Holgate, a respiratory scientist from University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, said in the report.
“With relatively low numbers of Covid-19 cases at the moment, this is a critical window of opportunity to help us prepare for the worst that winter can throw at us,” he added.
Holgate, who chaired the report, said the findings were not a prediction of what is likely to happen, but a scenario of what may happen if the virus is allowed to surge and little is done to protect the NHS and social care services.
The report calls for a public information campaign, a reorganization of health and social care staff facilities to ensure Covid-19-free zones, and increased capacity of the country’s “test, trace and isolate” program.
It also says the U.K. government should consider a “comprehensive, near-real-time, population-wide surveillance system to monitor and manage a winter wave.”
Health experts have said previously that they expect cooler weather conditions in winter to trigger a more intense transmission of the Covid-19 infection, saying the disease was “very likely” to show a similar seasonal pattern to other coronaviruses.
In winter, people tend to spend more time indoors clustered together, with less ventilation and less personal space than in summer.
Respiratory infections, such as coronaviruses, are spread by droplets that are released when a person coughs or sneezes. And, health experts say colder and drier conditions in winter strongly affects the transmission of flu-like illnesses.
The World Health Organization said last week it was also reviewing new evidence on whether the coronavirus can spread through particles in the air.
“Every winter we see an increase in the number of people admitted to hospital and in the number of people dying in the U.K.,” Anne Johnson, professor of infectious disease epidemiology at University College London and vice president of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said in the report.
“This is due to a combination of seasonal infections such as flu, and the effects of colder weather, for example, on heart and lung conditions,” Johnson continued. “This winter we have to factor in the likelihood of another wave of coronavirus infections and the ongoing impacts of the first wave. We have to be prepared that we might also experience a flu epidemic this year.”
The WHO has previously warned world leaders that the pandemic is still not under control and is getting worse.
Speaking at a news conference from the health agency’s Geneva headquarters on Monday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “Let me be blunt, too many countries are headed in the wrong direction.”
He said it appeared many countries were “losing gains” because proven measures to reduce the risk were either not implemented or followed.
More than 13.1 million people had contracted the coronavirus as of Tuesday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, with 573,042 deaths due to the virus worldwide.
State leaders address recent spike in COVID-19 cases – KTVA
Gov. Mike Dunleavy and Chief Medical Office Dr. Anne Zink, well-known figures in the state’s ongoing efforts to battle the pandemic, spoke to Alaskans Monday evening in another livestreamed address.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink, well-known figures in the state’s ongoing efforts to battle the pandemic, spoke to Alaskans Monday evening in another livestreamed address.
The duo was joined by public health director Heidi Hedberg and Dr. Joe McLaughlin, the state’s chief of epidemiology.
Dunleavy touted the state’s more positive data: Alaska is fifth in the country when it comes to testing per capita and is the state with the lowest COVID-19 death count.
He noted governors in other states where cases are on the rise are implementing restrictions and statewide mask mandates but did not indicate he would be following suit.
“We don’t need to take draconian actions here in Alaska,” he said.
Dunleavy urged Alaskans to take small steps to reduce the spread, including practicing social distancing and wearing a mask.
“If we all just make a couple small adjustments, we can keep our numbers within a range that will keep our hospitalization and our death rates down,” he said.
McLaughlin said people in their 20s consistently have more cases than any other age group, followed by people in their 30s. He said there is not a clear reason why young adults are driving cases in Alaska, but they might be more likely to congregate in risky social settings.
“We really want to make sure that we’re messaging to these younger adult groups in a way that they really get and really understand and really compel them to do their part, because that’s what we’re asking is that all people just do their part,” he said.
As of Monday, people in their 20s and 30s remain the highest age groups testing positive for the disease, with 23% and just over 19% of the total cases, respectively.
In Anchorage, 28 more people were reportedly diagnosed with COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the city’s total to 444 active cases.
Mayor Ethan Berkowitz the same day issued a statement, pleading with Alaskans to adhere to renewed public health advisories:
“We are in the middle of a significant COVID-19 case spike. Our contact tracing capacity has been overwhelmed, and we must defend our hospital capacity. Contact tracing is critical because it allows us to know where the virus is and who has it so we can better contain it. Hospital capacity allows us to safely treat those who have become infected.
We know that this public health crisis poses a threat to our jobs and businesses, and we know what works to keep us safe. Mask up. Stay six feet apart. Wash hands. Keep our social bubbles small. Flattening the curve is how we stop the increase in cases. And, as we have seen in so many other states, it’s what we need to do so we won’t have to start shutting things down.”
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
Copyright 2020 KTVA. All rights reserved.
LATEST CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:
Laser-Etched Metal Purifies Contaminated Water Using Sunlight With Greater Than 100% Efficiency – SciTechDaily
By etching metal with ultrashort laser bursts, Rochester researchers demonstrate a way to purify water without wasting energy. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, people in developed countries are assured of ample supplies of clean water to wash their hands as oft…
A laser-etched, energy absorbing, water wicking metal surface, continually angled directly at the sun, provides a cheap, efficient way to purify water from sunlight. The technology was developed by the lab of Chunei Guo at the University of Rochester. Credit: H.M. Cao/University of Rochester
By etching metal with ultrashort laser bursts, Rochester researchers demonstrate a way to purify water without wasting energy.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, people in developed countries are assured of ample supplies of clean water to wash their hands as often as needed to protect themselves from the virus. And yet, nearly a third of the world’s population is not even assured of clean water for drinking.
University of Rochester researchers have now found a way to address this problem by using sunlight—a resource that everyone can access—to evaporate and purify contaminated water with greater than 100 percent efficiency.
How is this possible?
In a paper in Nature Sustainability, researchers in the laboratory of Chunlei Guo, professor of optics, demonstrate how a burst of femtosecond laser pulses etch the surface of a normal sheet of aluminum into a superwicking (water-attracting), super energy-absorbing material.
When placed in water at an angle facing the sun, the surface:
- Draws a thin film of water upwards over the metal’s surface
- Retains nearly 100 percent of the energy it absorbs from the sun to quickly heat the water
- Simultaneously changes the inter-molecular bonds of the water, significantly increasing the efficiency of the evaporation process even further.
“These three things together enable the technology to operate better than an ideal device at 100 percent efficiency,” says Guo, who is also affiliated with the University’s Physics and Materials Science programs.
Using sunlight to boil has long been recognized as a way to eliminate microbial pathogens and reduce deaths from diarrheal infections. But boiling water does not eliminate heavy metals and other contaminants.
Experiments by the lab show that their new method reduces the presence of all common contaminants, such as detergent, dyes, urine, heavy metals, and glycerin, to safe levels for drinking.
The technology could also be useful in developed countries for relieving water shortages in drought-stricken areas, and for water desalinization projects, Guo says.
Solar-based water purification: Seeking an efficient method
Solar-based water purification can greatly reduce contaminants because nearly all the impurities are left behind when the evaporating water becomes gaseous and then condenses and gets collected.
The most common method of solar-based water evaporation is volume heating, in which a large volume of water is heated but only the top layer can evaporate. This is obviously inefficient, Guo says, because only a small fraction of the heating energy gets used.
A more efficient approach, called interfacial heating, places floating, multilayered absorbing and wicking materials on top of the water, so that only water near the surface needs to be heated. But the available materials all have to float horizontally on top of the water and cannot face the sun directly. Furthermore, the available wicking materials become quickly clogged with contaminants left behind after evaporation, requiring frequent replacement of the materials.
The panel developed by the Guo lab avoids these inefficiencies by pulling a thin layer of water out of the reservoir and directly onto the solar absorber surface for heating and evaporation. “Moreover, because we use an open-grooved surface, it is very easy to clean by simply spraying it,” Guo says.
“The biggest advantage,” he adds, “is that the angle of the panels can be continuously adjusted to directly face the sun as it rises and then moves across the sky before setting” —maximizing energy absorption.
“There was simply nothing else resembling what we can do here,” Guo says.
Latest in a series of applications
Guo, who is also affiliated with the University’s physics and materials science programs, has long envisioned an array of humanitarian applications for an efficient solar-based purification method. “This is a simple, durable, inexpensive way to address the global water crisis, especially in developing nations,” he says, noting that it could help relieve water shortages in drought-stricken areas and be helpful in water desalinization projects, he adds.
“The Army and its warfighters run on water, so there is particular interest in basic materials research that could lead to advanced technologies for generating drinking water,” said Evan Runnerstrom, program manager, Army Research Office, an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory. “The superwicking and light-absorbing properties of these aluminum surfaces may enable passive or low-power water purification to better sustain the warfighter in the field.”
In addition to using femto-second laser etching technology to create superhydrophobic (water repellent), superhydrophilic (water-attracting), and super energy absorbing metals, the Guo lab has created metallic structures that do not sink no matter how often they are forced into water or how much it is damaged or punctured.
Prior to creating the water attracting and repellent metals, Guo and his assistant, Anatoliy Vorobyev, demonstrated the use of femto-second laser pulses to turn almost any metal pitch black. The surface structures created on the metal were incredibly effective at capturing incoming radiation, such as light. But they also captured light over a broad range of wavelengths.
Subsequently, his team used a similar process to change the color of a range of metals to various colors, such as blue, gold, and gray. The applications could include making color filters and optical spectral devices, using a single laser in a car factory to produce cars of different colors; or proposing with a gold engagement ring that matches the color of your fiancee’s blue eyes.
The lab also used the initial black and colored metal technique to create a unique array of nano- and micro-scale structures on the surface of a regular tungsten filament, enabling a light bulb to glow more brightly at the same energy usage.
Reference: “Solar-trackable super-wicking black metal panel for photothermal water sanitation” by Subhash C. Singh, Mohamed ElKabbash, Zilong Li, Xiaohan Li, Bhabesh Regmi, Matthew Madsen, Sohail A. Jalil, Zhibing Zhan, Jihua Zhang and Chunlei Guo, 13 July 2020, Nature Sustainability.DOI: 10.1038/s41893-020-0566-x
In addition to Guo, coauthors include lead author Subhash Singh, Mohamed ElKabbash, Zilong Li, Xiaohan Li, Bhabesh Regmi, Matthew Madsen, Sohail Jalil, Zhibing Zhan, and Jihua Zhang, all of the Guo Lab. Among them, four are undergraduate students.
The project was supported by funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the US Army Research Office.
Health3 weeks ago
Jump in number of new COVID-19 cases in Pierce County stirs concern – KOMO News
Business3 weeks ago
One Weird Trick Could Transform Entire Global Offshore Wind Industry – CleanTechnica
Health3 weeks ago
Two doses of Oxford University Covid-19 vaccine produces stronger immune response than one – Daily Mail
Entertainment3 weeks ago
Castle employees play house — and clean toilets — in grand estate closed to visitors – CNN
Health3 weeks ago
Dane County health officials report highest number of COVID-19 cases ever – Channel3000.com – WISC-TV3
Business3 weeks ago
Olympus throws in the towel and exits the camera business – The Next Web
Health3 weeks ago
Indiana coronavirus: Why some counties are and are not requiring masks – Journal & Courier
Health3 weeks ago
Spike in coronavirus comes with economic reopening in California – SF Gate