EScAPE Newsletter, Issue #3

Reports that are of interest for the week

Ghana re-imposes restrictions to curb COVID-19 spread
On the evening of 31st January, 2021, the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced the re-imposition of restrictions on public gathering to help control the increasing rate of COVID-19 infections.

In his televised speech, he said that funerals, weddings, concerts, theatrical performances, and parties are banned. He restricted on private burials with no more than 25 persons. He added that beaches, night clubs, cinemas, and pubs would also remain closed.

Airlines to pay $3,500 fine for each COVID-19-positive passenger they fly into Ghana
The management of the Ghana Airports Company (GAC) has cautioned airlines to adhere strictly to the COVID-19 safety protocols by flying only passengers with a COVID-19 negative PCR test result from an accredited laboratory in the country of origin to the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), Ghana or risk paying a fine of US$3,500 for any passengers who disembarks with a positive PCR test result in Accra.

Scientists call for fully open sharing of coronavirus genome data
This article talks about how the studies around the SARS-CoV-2 should share the information that they discover globally. It describes confidential ways to share the information found, reasons researchers are not doing so, and why they should be

What we’ve learned from communicating our science during the pandemic
Esther Choo and Neil A. Lewis, Jr talked about how they feel it is important for scientists to share their knowledge with the public and their journey with doing so.

Politicians must be held to account for mishandling the pandemic
Dr. Kamran Abbasi writes about his views regarding politicians’ actions. There is arguments that the reactions of politicians can be considered “social murder” and the politicians lack of action is unacceptable.

California Has a Rule to Protect Workers Against Pandemics. Here’s How It’s (Not) Working
Molly Peterson described in both writing and an interview how California has been following the Aerosol Transmissible Disease Standard as well as what this standard actually entails. She says that the government has been enforcing in a more educational way rather than punishing if they do not follow the standard.

Why won’t Biden listen to the science?
This is an opinion article written by Kaylee McGhee White that informs us about Biden’s refusal to let schools open without the teachers getting vaccinated first.

Science and politics
This author talks about the dynamics between policy and science and compares the Philippines to the United States, which have reacted fairly similarly so far (according to the article).

China’s COVID-19 vaccine drive is falling behind the US and Europe
According to this article, China’s distribution of the vaccine has been falling behind at about two doses per 100 people. This is due to a lack of action taken by the people to get the vaccine as they fear it isn’t safe.

Why Ontario will ease province-wide COVID-19 lockdown regionally
Premier Doug Ford announces that he will be easing lockdown restrictions regionally based on areas he knows he can open safely and need more help economically.

Scientists use the knowledge from climate system models to help fight COVID-19 pandemic
A professor from Lanzhou University in China did a study using models from climate systems to help with the pandemic. He found that the “ EEMD-ARMA method can be directly used to predict the number of daily new cases in countries''.

Science board member warns against South Africa COVID-19 variant
This article talks about the variant from South Africa and particularly how much more of a dangerous variant it is. That specific variant “demands eight to 10 times more antibodies but vaccines still stop them”.

Covid reinfections may be more common than realized. Why isn’t the US tracking them?
Though chances of getting reinfected with COVID are low, they are still possible. This article goes into how often they occur and how we may not be tracking it as well as we should be.