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Interim COVID-19 Contact Tracing Communications Toolkit for Health Departments

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This page will be updated as new resources become available.

Main Message

We all need to work together with health departments to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Contact tracing and self-quarantining of infected individuals and close contacts are critical to help tackle transmission of COVID-19 in our communities.

The messages in this toolkit use COVID-19, but you may want to use “coronavirus” instead of COVID-19 if that’s the term most often used in your community.

Consider developing promotional messages to incorporate in communications to your community. Examples are included below.

  • Answer the call to slow the spread*
  • Now that we’ve worked together to flatten the curve, it’s time to slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • Cancel COVID.
  • Choose to be part of the solution: slow the spread.

* Credit: Massachusetts Community Tracing Collaborative.external icon

Talking Points

  • General Messages
    • We all need to work together with health department staff to slow the spread of COVID-19.
      • Now that we’ve worked together to flatten the curve, it’s time to slow the spread of COVID-19.
      • Be part of the solution to slow the spread.
      • Help your health department tackle transmission in your community.
    • Your actions make all of us safer. Public health workers are here to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • Messages for people who have been diagnosed with COVID
    • If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, an employee (case investigator) from the health department might call you to check-in on your health, discuss who you’ve been in contact with and, and ask you to stay at home to self-isolate.
      • Unless you give permission, your name will not be revealed to those you came in contact with, even if they ask.
      • The health department will ask you to stay at home and self-isolate.
        • Self-isolation means staying at home in a specific room away from other people and pets, and using a separate bathroom, if possible.
        • Self-isolation is critical to protecting those who you live with as well as your community.
        • Self-isolation helps slow the spread of COVID-19 and can help keep your friends and neighbors healthy.
        • If you need support or assistance while self-isolating, then your health department or community organizations may be able to provide assistance.
      • Seek medical care if symptoms become severe. Severe symptoms include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face.
  • Messages for Close Contacts
    • If you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, an employee from the health department (contact tracer) might call to inform you that you’ve been exposed. They will ask you to stay at home and self-quarantine.
      • Close contact means you were within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes.
      • You should stay at home and self-quarantine for 14 days, starting from the most recent day that you were possibly exposed to COVID-19. The contact tracer will inform you of the dates of your self-quarantine.
        • Self-quarantine means staying home, monitoring yourself, and maintaining social distancing (at least 6 feet from others at all times). You should remain in a specific room separate from other non-exposed people and pets in your home, and use a separate bathroom, if possible.
        • If you need to be around other people or animals in or outside of the home, wear a cloth face covering.  This will help protect the people around you.
        • If you need support or assistance with self-quarantine, then your health department or community organizations may be able to provide assistance.
        • Self-quarantine helps slow the spread of COVID-19 and can help keep your friends and neighbors healthy.
      • You should monitor yourself for any symptoms of COVID-19 and notify your health department if you develop symptoms. Seek medical care if symptoms become severe. Severe symptoms include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face.
  • Key Actions:
    • Pick up the phone when your health department calls.
    • Follow health department guidance.
    • Notify your healthcare provider if you become ill.
    • Call your healthcare provider if you start to feel ill and you have not been tested for COVID-19.
    • If you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, you should stay at home and self-quarantine for 14 days, starting from the most recent day that you were possibly exposed to COVID-19. Monitor yourself, and maintain social distancing (at least 6 feet) from others at all times.
    • Notify those who you had close contact with recently if you become ill.
    • Know what symptoms mean you need to go to the hospital right away.
    • Seek medical care if symptoms become severe. Severe symptoms include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face.
  • The bottom line: Making a choice to help your health department in the fight against COVID-19 keeps you, your family, and your community safe.

Sample Public Service Announcements

15 second

The [insert health department name] is working hard to slow the spread of COVID-19. If you have been exposed, we will call you and ask you to self-quarantine at home based on when you were exposed. Help us tackle transmission and answer the call to slow the spread.

30 second

The [insert health department name] is working hard to slow the spread of COVID-19. If you have been exposed to COVID-19, we will call you to notify you. You should self-quarantine at home and follow our instructions. Making a choice to help us in the fight against COVID-19 keeps you, your family, and your community safe. Help us tackle transmission and answer the call to slow the spread. For more information, visit [insert URL]. This is a message from the [insert health department name].

Additional COVID-19 Public Service Announcements

  • COVID-19 Everyday Prevention Actions
  • COVID-19 Readiness
  • Cleaning and Disinfecting Surfaces

Sample Social Media Posts

Twitter

  • We can work together to help slow the spread of #COVID19. You can do your part by answering your phone if the health department calls and self-quarantining if ill or exposed. Learn more: [insert link].
  • You can help your health department in the fight against #COVID19 to help keep you, your family, and your community safe. Answer the call to slow the spread.
  • If you have been in close contact with someone with #COVID19, someone from [insert health department name] might call you to inform you that you’ve been exposed and ask you to stay at home and self-quarantine. Answer the call to slow the spread.
  • If a contact tracer contacts you and says you’ve been exposed to #COVID19, plan to self-quarantine for 14 days. Stay home, remain in a room separate from other non-exposed people and pets in your home, and use a separate bathroom, if possible.
  • Contact tracing is essential to slowing the spread of #COVID19. Any information collected by public health workers is confidential. Learn more about how contact tracers will work with you to help slow the spread of COVID-19 [insert link].
  • Contact tracing is essential to slowing the spread of #COVID19. If you have COVID-19, public health workers won’t reveal your identity to your close contacts, even if they ask. Help us slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • If you are sick with #COVID19, someone from [insert health department name] might contact you to check on your health, discuss who you’ve been in contact with and ask you to stay at home to self-isolate. Answer the call to slow the spread.

Facebook

  • We can work together to help slow the spread of COVID-19. If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, we will call you and ask you to self-quarantine at home for 14 days from the day that you were exposed. Do you part to keep your family and your community safe: answer the call to slow the spread.
  • If you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, someone from [insert health department name] might call you to inform you that you’ve been exposed and ask you to stay at home and self-quarantine. Staying at home helps keep you, your family, and your community safe. Choose to be part of the solution and help us slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • If you are sick with COVID-19, someone from [insert health department name] might call you to check on your health, discuss who you’ve been in contact with and ask you to stay at home to self-isolate. This information is collected for health purposes only and will not be shared with any other agencies, like law enforcement or immigration. Your name will not be revealed to those you came in contact with, unless you give permission. Do your part to keep your family and your community safe from COVID-19: answer the call to slow the spread.
  • If you are sick with COVID-19, plan to self-isolate for 14 days. Self-isolation means staying at home in a room away from other people and pets, and using a separate bathroom, if possible. Self-isolation is critical to protecting those who you live with, as well as your community. If you need support or assistance while self-isolating, we may be able to assist. Choose to be part of the solution and help us slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • If you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, an employee from [insert health department name] might call you to inform you that you’ve been exposed and ask you to stay at home and self-quarantine. Choose to be part of the solution and help us slow the spread of COVID-19

Questions & Answers

What information will you share with people I’ve had close contact with?

We will only notify your close contacts that they might have been exposed to COVID-19. Your name will not be revealed to those you came in contact with, unless you give permission.

I feel fine. Why should I stay at home?

People who are infected with COVID-19 can still spread the virus even if they don’t have any symptoms. If you came in close contact with someone who had COVID-19, it is critical that you stay home for 14 days from the last day that you were in close contact with that person. Staying home and distancing (at least 6 feet) from others at all times helps your health department in the fight against COVID-19 keeps you, your family, and your community safe.

What do I do if I feel sick?

If you become ill, notify your family and friends who you had close contact with recently. Notify anyone who you were within 6 feet of for 15 minutes or more in the two days before you first developed COVID-19 symptoms. Seek emergency care if you have trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in your chest, confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face.

Other Questions to Consider

Health departments should provide answers based on jurisdiction-specific policies.

  • I need help with self-quarantining. What services do you offer?
  • How do I know that the person calling is from the health department?
  • Will the health department share information with my employer?
  • How can I be sure that my health information is safe?
  • What financial assistance is available for people who are asked to stay home but can’t telework or don’t have sick leave?

Source: https://tools.cdc.gov/api/embed/downloader/download.asp?m=403372&c=407691

Covid19

AllStar Health Brands Announces Updates on Covid Testing Initiatives

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Miami, FL, April 2, 2021 – OTC PR WIRE — AllStar Health Brands Inc. (OTC Pink: ALST) (“AllStar Health” or the “Company”), a specialty pharmaceutical and nutritional supplements company, is pleased to update current and prospective shareholders on the status of the Company’s ON-Going Business Operations including Covid-19 testing Initiatives in several countries.

“As a Distributor for TPT Medtech, we are continuing to work in other countries including South Africa with the goal of introducing the ‘QuikPASS’ and ‘QuikLAB’ systems to offer definitive testing solutions in these countries,” stated Dr. Bagi, CEO of AllStar.

AllStar is a Distribution partner for TPT MedTech products and services in Jamaica. BayWest Wellness Center in Jamaica has contracted with TPT MedTech to utilize its “QuikPASS” and Check & Verify Passport technology systems at the Montego Bay Airport to verify that individuals have been tested to leave the county of Jamaica.  Baywest Wellness secured the Covid 19 testing contract with the Montego Bay Airport in February 2021 and executed its technology deal with TPT MedTech in February as well.

About AllStar Health Brands

AllStar Health Brands Inc. is a Nevada Corporation established in 2017, and headquartered in Miami, Florida. AllStar is a specialty HealthCare Products Company dedicated to improving health and quality of life by offering select, nutritional supplements, over the counter remedies, and medicines all across the Americas and Europe. AllStar’s goal is to bring additional products to the market and provide new, innovative options for better health and wellbeing.

For more information, please contact Investor Relations at (305) 423 7028.

Safe Harbor Statement

Statements about the Company’s future expectations and all other statements in this press release other than historical facts, are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company intends that such forward-looking statements be subject to the safe harbors created thereby.

The above information contains information relating to the Company that is based on the beliefs of the Company and/or its management, as well as assumptions made by any information currently available to the Company or its management. When used in this document, the words “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “plans,” “projects,” and similar expressions, as they relate to the Company or its management, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements reflect the current view of the Company regarding future events and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties, and assumptions, including the risks and uncertainties noted. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove to be incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein as anticipated, believed, estimated, expected, intended or projected. In each instance, forward-looking information should be considered in light of the accompanying meaningful cautionary statements herein. Factors that could cause results to differ include, but are not limited to, successful performance of internal plans, the impact of competitive services and pricing and general economic risks and uncertainties.

SOURCE: AllStar Health Brands Inc.

Public Relations
EDM Media, LLC
https://edm.media
(800) 301-7883

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Source: https://otcprwire.com/allstar-health-brands-announces-updates-on-covid-testing-initiatives/

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Covid19

Enerkon Solar International (ENKS) Names New Board and Scientific Committee Members and Announces New FARA Filing in support of Commercial Aspirations

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New York, April 1, 2021 – OTC PR WIRE – Enerkon Solar International (OTC PINK: ENKS) Names New Board and Scientific Committee Members and Announces today New FARA Filing in support of Commercial Aspirations in North Africa and other Important Updates regarding the new SARS2-COVID 15 Second “Insta-Test”.

ENKS Chairman Mr. Ballout stated that since the company Nominated a New Scientific Committee and Board Members this week, the company issue the first name selections today which are:

  • Senator Roberto Lario Rodriguez (Ret.) – (El Salvador) Advisory Bord Member for South and Central America
  • Dr Ibrahim El Nattar – (Egypt) Advisory Board Member for Renewable Energy in Africa
  • Dr Mark Schutz – Bioscience – (MD 0- USA), Graphene and Passive Immunity and Medical Advisory Board member
  • Michael Vishmidt (Israel/Ukraine) – Scientific Advisory Board Member for New Technology and Research
  • Dr Vasily Muraveynik, (Ukraine) – New Biomedical Science Advisory Board Member
  • Isaac Ray (Cal. USA) Special Scientific Advisor for Industrial Emission Suppression Technology
  • Nural KARAVELİOĞLU – (Turkey) – Consulting Board Member for Renewable Energy, Hydrogen and Government Relations”
  • Omar Mabruk Ilhayam (UK) – Advisory Board Member on Commerce and Energy for North Africa (Libya – Egypt – Algeria – Morocco – Tunisia) supporting Solar – Hydrogen – Energy Industry new Technology Transfer / Commercialization

Mr. Ballout Commented: “Our Great New Scientific and Regional Advisory Board will enhance Shareholder Value through supporting growth and expansion of ENKS and its Diverse Holdings – CVs and other information will be posted on the company website this week as well as other information on new opportunities and expansion plans.”

ENKS is comprised of 6 (Since the Sale of East Africa Unit to AL Fada Equity Holdings Last week)  -Companies, including corporate wholly or majority owned divisions – Corporate information for each will be posted on the company website for ease of search as some shareholders or investors have mentioned it was difficult to locate some of the data online, causing the possibility for others posting wrong or misleading information online –  therefore the company shall post additional legal documents and status information on line for all to have access”

Mr. Ballout Stated: “The company is proud of its New commercial relationship with companies and government personalities in Libya and Today, we have added an additional Statement of Registration with the US DOJ FARA National Security Division Agency for our work with the new, UNSMIL backed Government of Libya – This in support of our Compliance requirements for disclosure and in furtherance of our commercial aspirations in North Africa, related to Renewable Solar Energy, Hydrogen and other Commercial Interaction with the Region and in pre opposition to any Fake news, state clearly that the company has NO signed contracts with the government yet while we are hopeful that we will in the near future either via commercial entities or PPP structures we have for North Africa”.

“A technical call remains scheduled, with the new ChNPP director regarding the Chernobyl Special Exclusion Zone technical points and contents of this call which will be video recorded will explain better to the general public what Solar,  Co-Generation is (the use of Solar Power (about 500 MW or less to Power Electric Steam Boilers which in turn are planned to supply the pressure needed to drive the 3 Turbine Electric generators on the ChNPP Site whereby each generator has a tolerance of nearly 1 Gigawatt – and further auxiliary power from the solar array will power a 50 and later a 100MW Electrolysis Driven Green Hydrogen Plant to supply buyers of Green Hydrogen. The company, has already received expression of interest letters from German, Green Hydrogen Buyers and we shall post these letter(s) on the company website in coming days as well.”

Additional Support for the Modernization of the Ukraine Metals industry, will entail plans for Titanium Production and mining modernization – and Carbon Anode Sourcing for their Aluminum Industry – including Graphite Electrodes for their  Steel Industry modernization plans in the future (a letter from the Vice Prime minister of Ukraine regarding our cooperation on the Titanium Industry has already been received by the company some weeks ago – expressing appreciation and explaining the many jobs and social benefits of such cooperation to future development in Ukraine.

ENKS will Name a New Auditor Next Week once the File is Opened and Started for our last two years and current year Audit – in addition it is noted that this Auditor shall be retained on a continuous basis for all quarterly and Annual Reports in support of compliance requirements upon our planned up listing – this information will be added to the OTC Disclosures Site Page under Professional Service Providers (Auditor).

NEWS: Regarding the SARS2-COVID 15 Second “Insta-Test” device already produced for clinical trials and approvals (Owned by Graphene Leaders Canada and Distributed by KrowdX who has co sales agreements with the Coviklear International Holdings (UK) Unit Purchased before last week.

Mr. Ballout Stated:“ Great strides have been made in the development of the project supporting the commercialization of the SARS2-COVID Graphene Nanotech Based – 15 second “Insta-Test” – this being owned by GLC Canada and Distributed by KrowdX of Montreal – We are pleased to update that Pre Orders are due in very soon from ENKS /Coviklear partners abroad for the benefit of Krowdx and GLC to fulfill upon and after FDA Approval which is expected very soon (within just weeks as clinical trials of the already produced pre-production device is near completion during the next 10 days or so. – The Market for this device to Governments world wide cannot be understated, as it is the fastest test so far in the world and uses a much superior testing system, which takes only 15 seconds maximum time and uses a novel nanotech graphene biosensor to accomplish the amazing feat so fast, with such accuracy, (estimated at more than 97+ Percent) – Covillear Parent company  – ENKS also is in final talks with DGI in New York, for Financial Support to guarantee order fulfillment – supply chain management and other administrative support where needed, if asked to help, by the Owners and Distributors – This being our expression of confidence, as while we have already spent $5 Million USD to purchase Coviklear in a Debt Equity Swap before last week we are ready to engage much greater amounts of capital from our third party financial resources to support Factoring Order Fulfillment – Purchase order finance and other tools that may support the commercialization world wide for this groundbreaking disruptive Technology. It is noted that this is NOT a PCR test, and it does NOT use Reagents, or any chemicals whatsoever, its is based on electrical impedance using Nano Tech Graphene substrate, to send analysis to the device output at a very fast and high rate of efficacy – being far superior to PCR and similar tests, including all other DNS/RNA Tests – The test is NON-Invasive and safe.”

GLC Medical Inc. – Insta Test Initial Version

GLC Medical Inc. – Insta Test Updated Version

Governments and related PPPs / NGOs and others have expressed serious and immediate interest in ordering this new device which is now a reality, minus only its EUA (Emergency Use Application Green light at the FDA/HC and WHO) and this includes the KrowdX proprietary SES and STS solution for Airports – Sea Ports, Land Borders and other access and entry points between cities states provinces and otherwise to regain control of the Pandemic and free the world´s population again.

These details will be released by the Distributor KrowdX /Covikear, as they mutually agree, in the coming days/Week(s).

“Needless to say, the market value for this new device and technology is absolutely enormous, subject only to the contingencies mentioned above and we are absolutely excited about it all.”

“Stay Tuned for more updates on all of these new developments during the coming days and week(s)”

Lastly:

The Company expect to name an Auditor as previously mentioned above, during late next week if all goes well, in the company cost and – time – to – completion negotiations, going on now.

“Loyal ENKS Shareholders, are the ‘ENKS ARMY’, and the company will always support their best interests working to enhance shareholder value and steady growth.”

The foregoing statements are forward looking statements, and as such, they may or may not reflect the results which could transpire in the future which should be negative or not transpire at all due to circumstances or other reasons and investors, shareholders, or others should not rely on these forward-looking statements to ascertain any value if any of ENKS or to make any investment decisions and to take note that this is not an offer to buy or sell securities or an endorsement of ENKS for investment purposes as all investment carry a risk of loss sometimes a total loss of your investment in Micro cap shares markets or any market and therefore such statements or plans should not be relied upon for any business decisions of any kind – Approval and permissions required by federal regulations may or may not be approved and if not approved may result in the loss of all value and all investments in products requiring such regulatory permissions to market and sell. These statements are made as forward-looking statements for educational purposes only in accordance with the rules and regulations which pertain to the same.

Enerkon Solar International Inc.

www.enerkoninternational.com

info@enerkoninternational.com

New HQ Address in New York at:

Enerkon Solar International Inc

477 Madison Avenue

New York, NY 10022 USA

Tel. +1 (877) 573-7797

Tel. +1 (718) 709-7889

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Source: https://otcprwire.com/enerkon-solar-international-enks-names-new-board-and-scientific-committee-members-and-announces-new-fara-filing-in-support-of-commercial-aspirations/

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Blockchain

Qtum Partners with Vaccine Forward to Boost Global COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts

QTUM

The blockchain platform Qtum has announced the partnership with Vaccine Forward to help the fundraising initiative to raise vaccines for distribution to over 92 countries. The goal of the partnership is to raise $2 billion to speed the vaccination process through some of the world’s poorest countries, with the Qtum Chain Foundation committing to match […]

The post Qtum Partners with Vaccine Forward to Boost Global COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts appeared first on Blockonomi.

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The blockchain platform Qtum has announced the partnership with Vaccine Forward to help the fundraising initiative to raise vaccines for distribution to over 92 countries.

The goal of the partnership is to raise $2 billion to speed the vaccination process through some of the world’s poorest countries, with the Qtum Chain Foundation committing to match the total number of vaccines raised by Vaccine Forward.

Vaccine Forward is a Swedish-based initiative aiming to fight this inequality having raised over 12k vaccinations ever since its start and has now looked for the support of the blockchain and crypto industry in collaboration with Qtum Chain Foundation, which has provided half of the total vaccinations.

Elisabeth Thand Ringqvist, Vaccine Forward founder, referred to the partnership by stating:

“As a grass-roots organization, Vaccine Forward is proud to receive the biggest donation so far, effectively doubling the amount of raised vaccinations, from 6 000 to 12 000 with Qtum’s donation. We are also very happy for Qtum’s challenge to the Blockchain-space at large to do the same.”

The organization depends on private and corporate donations to make it possible to help countries who need the vaccines to ensure the health of their citizens, which are distributed via the Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI).

Soon, donors will also be able to contribute to this mission by making donations using cryptocurrency directly on Vaccine Forward’s website, facilitating the process for people around the world who might not be able to donate with fiat otherwise.

Crypto As a Tool for Equality

While developed countries have moved forward with vaccination efforts, countries with poor economies and strong political relationships have struggled to vaccinate their citizens, creating a high level of inequality among a pandemic that affects all countries equally.

One of the pillars of the crypto movement on its inception and till this day has been to provide people around the world with access to financial services and platforms without the need for centralized authorities having power over them, which has made crypto a lifeline for residents of countries under extreme poverty, dictatorships, or economic sanctions.

Cryptocurrency has been used by organizations like AirTm to help citizens from countries like Venezuela to receive economic assistance from people abroad by bypassing legal sanctions and economic restrictions placed by their country and foreign governments, highlighting some of the benefits of decentralization.

Similarly, projects designed to allow charities to receive donations from interested parties have also become increasingly popular in the crypto ecosystem, which has proven to be invaluable for charities over the last years.

Qtum Co-Founder, Jordan Earl, referred to the potential the industry has to help the transition out o the pandemic by saying:

“We hope that we can inspire our industry to do the same and also match Vaccine Forwards fundraising to help in the effort of vaccinating people who need it the most. We at Qtum are global problem solvers with an open platform and therefore, I think the grass-roots organization Vaccine Forward is an amazing solution to a complex global problem.”

The Qtum Ecosystem Continues to Grow

Qtum has experienced increasing success over the past year, which has not only been reflected by its cryptocurrency’s gain in value but also by the expansion of its ecosystem.

The most recent news came in the form of an announcement of its commitment to provide Filecoin with smart contracts capabilities through the Qtum network, something that while not only benefits users of the platform but also Qtum itself as part of its portfolio controls about 10% of Filecoin’s mining power.

Great Options for New Markets

Qtum is also looking into launching NFT support to compete against networks like Ethereum by offering lower prices, which has been an increasing pain for projects running on the Ethereum network.

With major networks like Cardano, Polkadot, and Ethereum getting closer to the release of their next updates, Qtum is looking forward to becoming a major competitor in the growing crypto ecosystem.

The network’s coin, QTUM, has gained over 700% in value over the last year according to Coingecko data, with a 90% over the last month which has seen most of the big projects in the crypto market go through a bearish trend.

1,274

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Source: https://blockonomi.com/qtum-partners-vaccine-forward/

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Covid19

France Imposes 3rd National Lockdown As COVID-19 Again Surges

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Young people gathered Wednesday by the Seine River in Paris, largely without masks and without social distancing. French President Emmanuel Macron has ordered the country into a third lockdown because of the continued spread of COVID-19. Eleanor Beardsley/NPR hide caption

toggle caption

Eleanor Beardsley/NPR

PARIS – Calling the new, faster-spreading variants of the coronavirus “an epidemic within the epidemic,” French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday extended a lockdown to the entire country and closed schools through the end of April.

In a televised address to the nation, Macron said a “more dangerous, contagious and deadly” virus surging in France left him no choice.

“If we are choosing to close down the whole country it’s because no area of the country is spared,” Macron said. “Everywhere the virus is spreading faster and faster and everywhere, hospitalizations are rising.”

Gatherings inside and outside are also banned and people will not be allowed to travel more than 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from their homes. Macron said unlike the first confinement last spring, people who leave their homes will not have to fill out a form with the time, date and purpose of their outing. “We are choosing to have confidence in people’s sense of responsibility,” he said.

“Everyone has to make sure not that they close themselves in, but that they limit, to the maximum, their contacts, meetings and time spent with others,” said Macron.

The president’s announcement was entirely anticipated. France’s intensive care units are at capacity with more than 5,000 COVID-19 patients health officials say, and hospitalizations have already surpassed the second wave of this past winter. They are on track to surpass even the first deadly wave of last spring.

Over the weekend, several dozen emergency room doctors signed an open letter in the newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, warning that if something is not done, hospitals would soon have to begin choosing which patients receive treatment. “We cannot remain silent without betraying our Hippocratic oath,” they said.

Jacob Kirkegaard, who studies health care systems as a senior fellow with the German Marshall Fund, says the new strains of the virus are forcing countries to step up their public health measures. Britain, Germany and Italy are also in various forms of lockdown.

“When COVID cases in a country are suddenly much more contagious, the lockdowns need to be adjusted and made much tougher,” he said.

Kirkegaard said vaccinations in France have not yet increased to a level which would make a difference in transmission. Thirteen percent of the French have received one dose of a vaccine. Only 4% have been fully vaccinated. But Macron said the pace of vaccination would go faster very soon.

“We are putting all our means behind vaccinating, vaccinating, vaccinating,” he said, “on Saturday and Sunday just like during the week.” Macron said some 250,000 health professionals – doctors, pharmacists, veterinarians and fire fighters – will be involved in the massive vaccination effort across the country.

Over the last few warm, spring days, the banks of the Seine River in Paris have looked a lot like Venice Beach, Calif., with young people working-out and sunbathing, their masks under their chins. Macron said there will be patrols enforcing restrictions on alcohol consumption in public and plenty of fines given. Bars and restaurants have been closed since last fall.

Doctors say COVID-19 patients in France’s ICUs are younger and younger, often without any underlying health problems. Macron said 44% of patients in intensive care are younger than 65.

The country’s Scientific Council, which advises the government on measures to combat the virus, called for a strict lockdown in January. Macron defended his decision not to lock the country down then, saying people had benefitted from “precious weeks of liberty.”

But he said the accelerating pandemic propelled by new variants meant France had to set a new course for the coming months.

Writing of the gravity of the situation this week in the newspaper Libération, Patrick Bouet, president of the National Council of the Order of Doctors, called on Macron to institute stricter measures. “The virus is winning and we have lost control of the pandemic,” Bouet said.

France is now approaching 100,000 coronavirus deaths. “That’s the equivalent of wiping the city of Nancy from the map,” wrote Bouet.

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Source: https://www.npr.org/2021/03/31/983157525/france-imposes-3rd-national-lockdown-as-covid-19-again-surges

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