Middle-aged people, and not just the elderly, have a dramatically higher risk of dying or developing serious illness from COVID-19, new research from Britain showed Tuesday.The findings came in a new comprehensive analysis of virus cases in mainland China.Researchers from Britain analyzed more than 3,600 confirmed COVID-19 cases as well as data from hundreds of passengers repatriated from the outbreak city of Wuhan. The authors of the research said that while this was significantly lower than previous estimates, COVID-19 is still several times deadlier than previous pandemic viruses, such as H1N1. “Our estimates can be applied to any country to inform decisions around the best containment policies for COVID-19,” said Azra Ghani, a study co-author from Imperial College London. “There might be outlying cases that get a lot of media attention, but our analysis very clearly shows that at aged 50 and over, hospitalization is much more likely than in those under 50, and a greater proportion of cases are likely to be fatal.”Billions of people have been confined to their homes around the world as governments desperately try to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. As of 1900 GMT Monday the virus had killed 36,374 people out of 757,940 cases globally.That would mean 4.8 percent of all confirmed COVID-19 infections have proven deadly. But experts stress that without widespread testing it is impossible to know how many people may have become infected and recovered. This means the true mortality rate is likely much lower, in line with The Lancet study and previous research from China. The Lancet study showed that 18.4 percent of patients in their 80s were hospitalized in China. This compared to 4.3 percent for 40 to 49-year-olds and roughly 1 percent for people in their 20s. ‘Wrong path’ According to their modeling, the authors estimate that 50-80 percent of the global population could contract COVID-19 — but that came with several caveats, as modeling can’t account for behavioral changes such as hand washing and social distancing. Devi Sridhar, professor and chair of Global Public Health, at the University of Edinburgh’s Medical School, said that the assumption that most people would become infected was leading governments, including in Britain, to abandon measures that could help slow the pandemic. She tweeted on Tuesday that the models “resulted in the UK giving up on containment too early & assuming everyone will get it. “Planning & preparing for unprecedented testing & using big data/apps for tracing were taken off the table. In my view, we went down the wrong path,” she said. Topics : They found that age was a key determining factor in serious infections, with nearly one in five over-80s requiring hospitalization, compared to around 1 percent among people under 30.Taking into account estimates of the number of cases that may not have been clinically confirmed — that is, mild or asymptomatic infections — the data showed the hospitalization rate of patients in their fifties was 8.2 percent. The study, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, estimated that the mortality rate from confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China was 1.38 percent. If unconfirmed cases were taken into account, the death rate dropped to 0.66 percent.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J In a complete 180, the Qantas engineer’s union has advised its members to pick up their speed and get the carrier’s seven grounded aircraft back into action after weeks of implementing ‘go-slow’ policies and over time bans.Over the past two months the carrier’s operations and passengers have not only faced walk-out disruptions but a backlog in aircraft maintenance has built up forcing the airline to ground seven aircraft and cancel up to 500 flights. However, late yesterday the Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA) federal secretary Steve Purvinas said in an online statement that the Group has called off industrial action for three weeks and is encouraging engineers to catch up on lost hours.“With immediate effect all industrial action is called off for three weeks,” the statement read.“Members are requested to accept all overtime offered.“Please assist wherever possible in getting the seven grounded aircraft back in the air.”The news comes hours after Qantas sent a public message out to the union that the pay offer made in March this year is still on the table.According to the carrier, negotiations with the union has surpassed 12 months, with the two parties hosting up to 15 unsuccessful negotiations before Fair Work Australia. Qantas Group operations executive Lyell Strambi said the carrier remains committed to reaching an agreement but cannot meet “demands” that would “restrict” the carrier’s business.“The union is demanding guarantees that old work practices remain in place despite new generation aircraft requiring less maintenance, less often,” Mr Strambi explained. “If this was agreed to it would make Qantas significantly less competitive and hold us back from introducing modern maintenance techniques used by airlines around the world.”Australia’s flag carrier said it has offered the union a three percent pay increase each year for three years as well as improvements to working conditions.However, according to the carrier the union asked for a claim worth up to $165 million plus $95 million to build a new hangar and a 15 percent rise in wages and allowances over the next three years.“We urge the unions to drop their ongoing industrial campaign and come back with realistic claims for the sake of all Qantas employees, our shareholders and the Australian travelling public,“ Mr Strambi added. Meanwhile the carrier’s Transport Workers Union has advised ground and catering staff baggage handlers, ground handlers, catering staff and other transport employees to walk-off the job on Tuesday 25 October and Wednesday 26 October this year.Strikes will run for up to one hour, commencing in Brisbane from 7.00am and Melbourne at 8.00am on the Tuesday.While the Wednesday will see Sydney members strike for up to three hours from 7.00am and one hour in Canberra and Cairns from 4.30pm and 7.00am. The carrier said it is assessing the impact of the action and is contacting any passengers that will experience cancellations or significant delays.