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Hope for managing hospital admissions of COVID-19 cases

By on March 1, 2021

first_img ‘I thought: This is going to be interesting’ ‘Faster protection with less material’ Organized to fight the pandemic The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. How a new vaccine adjuvant might eventually help to shorten the race to COVID-19 immunity One College student adjusts to life on a deserted campus and another to being unexpectedly home a continent away President Bacow, now recovered, shares own experience having COVID-19 Related This is part of our Coronavirus Update series in which Harvard specialists in epidemiology, infectious disease, economics, politics, and other disciplines offer insights into what the latest developments in the COVID-19 outbreak may bring.Projected COVID-19 caseloads at the state’s largest health care system indicate that social-distancing measures have worked well enough that Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) will be able to avoid the kind of harrowing situation Northern Italy faced when a surge of patients outstripped the region’s ability to respond, a top emergency-preparedness physician said Thursday.Paul Biddinger, medical director for emergency preparedness at Partners Healthcare and vice chairman for emergency preparedness in Mass General’s Emergency Medicine Department, said the most recent modeling indicates the epidemic’s peak will stretch but not overwhelm the 1,000-bed hospital’s beds, staff, and equipment — in particular its supply of ventilators for patients who need help breathing.“Roughly about a week to two after the implementation and then strengthening of social distancing — physical distancing — instructions from the governor, from multiple mayors here in Eastern Massachusetts, we now have seen that our curve of arriving patients, both with general illness and critical illness, has decreased,” said Biddinger, who is also associate professor of emergency medicine at Harvard Medical School and visiting senior preparedness fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.Biddinger said there are currently 220 to 230 COVID-19 patients at MGH, 110 of them in intensive care. The hospital has about 150 critical-care beds and the capacity to increase that to 300. Of the COVID-19 patients in those beds, more than 100 are on ventilators — all of the traditional devices the hospital has and roughly twice the number it regularly has in use. Biddinger said the hospital expects 200 critical-care patients at the epidemic’s peak, but has access to enough transport ventilators and anesthesia machines, which can perform the same function, to support the demand.“Now, for about a week or so, our data no longer looks as much as it did like a Northern Italian situation,” said BiddingerHe said modeling shows that the Boston region, where MGH and other Partners Healthcare facilities are located, is one to two weeks away from peak demand. The apex for intensive care would lag that by a few days, due to the extra time it takes for a case to become serious.Besides Mass. General, the Partners chain also includes Brigham and Women’s Hospital and several smaller and specialty facilities, such as McLean Hospital, Spaulding Rehab, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, and North Shore Medical Center.“We are cautiously optimistic that, with the numbers we are anticipating, we will have enough ventilators and we will have enough Intensive Care Unit spaces,” Biddinger said.Biddinger cautioned that anticipating a flattened peak does not mean the crisis is over. He said that MGH’s staff is holding up, though tired from the extraordinary effort. Some are anxious about the possibility of contracting the disease, but confidence in protective equipment and procedures will likely grow, barring a spike in health-care worker infections. Despite that anxiety, he said there’s also a sense of purpose that is apparent when he walks the halls and realizes how the facility and its people have responded to the challenge.“You can really feel the mission, especially on these floors that have been turned into ICU spaces,” Biddinger said. “You might think people are overwhelmed or scared, and it’s exactly the opposite. It’s extraordinary. A lot of people do feel proud to be able to take care of patients during this time.”The COVID preparations extend throughout the Partners Healthcare system, Biddinger said, including places like the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, which has loaned staff and bed space to MGH next door. If there are available beds in the Partners system, they will be made available to other hospitals should they reach capacity.“We’ve done an extraordinary amount of work. Hundreds and hundreds of people have done yeoman’s work to open up new ICU spaces, to move ventilators around, to come up with contingency plans, to work exceptionally hard … to help us be in the position we’re in,” Biddinger said. “There are many, many more weeks of hard work ahead of us.” To stem the coronavirus crisis, Harvard Medical School scientists forge ahead on six key fronts The way we live nowlast_img read more

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In land of big data, China sets individual privacy rights

By on October 19, 2020

first_imgChina is poised to enshrine individuals’ rights to privacy and personal data for the first time, a symbolic first step as more of the country of 1.4 billion people becomes digitized – and more vulnerable to leaks and hacks.The legislation is part of China’s first civil code, a sweeping package of laws that is being deliberated during the annual meeting of parliament, which began on Friday after a delay of more than two months due to the coronavirus.According to a recent draft, an individual has a right to privacy and to have their personal information protected. Data collectors have a duty to protect an individual’s personal information and cannot obtain, disclose or conduct transactions of such data without consent.The push to shore up data privacy in China is widely seen as an effort to protect and legitimize the country’s fast-growing internet sector and place safeguards on the movement of valuable Chinese data overseas.The legislation will need to be followed by detailed regulation spelling out how those rights will be protected, and this gives no protection from increasingly pervasive surveillance by a government that wields total control over the country’s digital sphere.Nevertheless, lawyers and legal experts say the recognition of digital privacy rights is an important first step allowing individuals who suffer from leaks to seek readdress. “When the law hasn’t set a definition for personal information, then a lot of disputes are very hard to resolve because there’s no way to sue,” said Xu Ke, a professor at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.The legislation places China among a minority of countries building legal frameworks governing individual data privacy, although individual protections currently in place are not as strong as Europe’s General Data Protection Regulations, said Chen Lei, a law professor at the City University of Hong Kong.Legal experts say existing Chinese laws do not provide adequate protection for individuals because they don’t impose significant punishment for companies responsible for breaches.Chinese courts also have been inconsistent on privacy cases, which some blamed on inadequate regulations and guidance for a rigid court system that limits judges’ scope to make new interpretations in law.In one high-profile case, a group of 42 people sued Amazon in 2017 for breach of their personal data by scammers.Yanming, one of those who sued the U.S. e-commerce giant, said he fell victim when a person called him with the exact order number for products he purchased. The person said there was a problem and offered a refund, luring Yanming to a phishing website planted within Amazon’s website that siphoned 247,000 yuan ($34,627) from Yanming’s account.Chinese courts have ruled twice against Yanming – who requested his last name be withheld for privacy – and the other plaintiffs, however, stating that a criminal case must take place first before a civil case can start.”The court’s decision is such that companies won’t value personal information protection, or digital safety practices,” said Wang Congwei, the victims’ lawyer.Parliament plans to roll out separate legislation specifically on protection of personal information later this year, and lawyers say Beijing needs to set stronger penalties for breaches or leaks in order to provide effective protection.”[The civil code] will help, whether from the perspective of civil suits, or from the perspective of safeguarding rights for the victim, it’s more clear, and for the courts this is a clearer standard,” said Wang.center_img Topics :last_img read more

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Chevrolet Performance pays cash bonuses to crate engine powered IMCA track champions

By on September 23, 2020

first_imgEligible IMCA Modified, IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock, Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod and Smi­ley’s Racing Products Southern SportMod drivers winning track championships will earn bonuses of $250 while tracks sanctioning any combination of those divisions and displaying Chevrolet Perfor­mance banners become eligible for cash bo­nuses of their own. The 2019 season is the third in the current three-year agreement with Chevrolet Performance. Driver bonuses are paid after point standings become official while track bonus checks are mailed through­out the season. GRAND BLANC, Mich. – For a 15th consecutive season, IMCA drivers competing exclusively with crate engines and winning track championships will receive cash bonuses from Chevrolet Perfor­mance. That program expanded to include Modified, Hobby Stock and Southern SportMod divisions, then be­gan paying track championship bonuses in 2010.  One hundred and seventy-four track championship-winning IMCA drivers earned shares of a rec­ord $43,500 in bonuses paid in 2018. Chevrolet Performance bonuses totaling more than $280,000 have been paid since the crate engine bonus program began with Northern SportMod cash awards in 2005. center_img “Chevrolet Performance has really emphasized this program with IMCA and it continues to be a high priority for them,” IMCA Marketing Director Kevin Yoder observed. “All conversations this off-season have revolved around maintaining this partnership and working toward a renewal in 2020.”  Information about the Chevrolet Performance bonus program is available from Marketing Director Kevin Yoder at the IMCA home office, 319 472-2201. “The addition of the Late Model option in the rules package will certainly be a subject of conversa­tion moving forward and we hope to be able to add bonuses for those drivers when we make fu­ture plans,” he added.last_img read more

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Judge says AG’s behaviour insulting, disrespectful

By on January 12, 2020

first_imgBy Vahnu ManikchandOne week after High Court Judge, Justice Franklin Holder stormed out of the courtroom following an exchange with Attorney General Basil Williams, President David Granger has revealed that the AG has been asked to formally give a detailed explanation of the incident.Speaking publicly for the first time on the issue, the Head of State told media operatives at State House on Thursday that Williams has since submitted his explanation.“The Attorney General has responded. I have asked for an explanation of the matters which were reported to me and when I have that opportunity, I will respond to him and the Chancellor of the Judiciary,” he stated.Nevertheless, President Granger indicated to reporters that he was confident the matter would be resolved, after hearing from all the parties involved.“You know in law, there is a principle of hear the other side so you mustn’t jump to conclusions; so I want to hear both sides. We heard one side in the media and I’ve asked the Attorney General for his side,” the Head of State noted.Newly-appointed acting Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards told reporters on Tuesday that she was in receipt of information on the matter and the issue was currently “being addressed”.Justice Holder has formally complained to the Chancellor of the Judiciary that he abruptly walked out of the courtroom last Thursday as a result of statements made by the Attorney General.The AG was quoted as saying, “I could say what I want to say and however I want to say it, I have always been like that”, and “…The last Magistrate who did that to me was later found dead”.According to Justice Holder in his complaint filed on Friday last, he felt disrespected by the Attorney General’s behaviour.The High Court Judge said he “took umbrage to his (Williams’) tone and what he was insinuating, which was in effect that the court was being selective in recording the evidence”. The Judge said Williams responded by saying that the last person who told him what he should not say was a magistrate and he was now dead.“He further said all morning Mr Nandlall disrespecting you and you have not done anything about it,” Holder wrote, adding that this was not a true statement of what had occurred. “This was followed by a most egregious statement by Mr Williams which is: ‘I could say what I want to say and when I want to say it; I have always been like that’,” the Judge complained.At this point, Justice Holder said he left the bench without adjourning the matter. “Immediately after hearing these words, I rose from the bench and went into my chambers. I did not adjourn the matter, nor did I give any instructions to the parties,” Justice Holder outlined in the letter, while expressing that the Attorney General should apologise to him in an open court.However, the State’s chief legal adviser has expressed an unwillingness to do so when asked at a press conference on Wednesday, telling reporters, “What? I don’t know about apology.”Despite the Judge saying that the Attorney General was the reason for him walking off the bench, Williams is holding out that he is not to be blamed for what happened. “(Anil) Nandlall was the one who caused the problem…we can’t allow Nandlall to create this problem and leave it unresolved. The Judge and I will resolve this issue,” Williams insisted.In fact, the Attorney General even defended his actions and his statements. “Everything I dealt with in that short time was to disabuse the learned Judge’s mind that his interpretation was not (so),” he stated.Williams believed that the Judge fell prey to “transferred frustration” as a result of Nandlall’s “barracking” of nearly three hours.“Perhaps his detaining the learned Judge again as he was preparing to leave the bench, seeking clarity on whether the witness’s answer of ‘no’ was recorded, induced certain misapprehensions in the Judge’s mind in all the circumstances and the Attorney General became the victim of transferred frustration,” the AG said at a press conference following the incident.Moreover, Williams also insisted that his comment was not a threat even though the defence lawyer at the time, Anil Nandlall described it as one.The incident occurred during the trial of Carvil Duncan, who had moved to the court to block the work of a presidential tribunal that was set up to determine whether he should be removed from his post as Chairman of the Public Service Commission in light of his criminal charges, one of which has since been dismissed at the Magistrate’s Court. High Court drama– President demands explanation from AGlast_img read more

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