Speed and scopeAnd testing capacity differs hugely, even among rich nations. Cecile Viboud, an epidemiologist at the US National Institutes of Health, singled out South Korea for praise. After a surge in cases in February, Korean authorities boosted testing capacity and implemented stringent measures to prevent further transmission.”A real turning point was the strong increase in testing that they did,” she told AFP. “You need to know where you are in the epidemic to be able to do something about it. And to do that, you need to test.”World Health Organization head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus echoed the sentiment on Monday with a simple message for all countries: “test, test, test”.”If they test positive, isolate them & find out who they have been in close contact with up to 2 days before they developed symptoms & test those people too,” he said on Twitter.Sharon Lewin, head of the world-leading Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity at the University of Melbourne, said another good example of testing and then tracing contacts of patients occurred in Singapore.”Very early on they did aggressive testing and chased down cases through contact tracing, and very aggressively quarantining contacts,” she told AFP. “They did some social distancing measures, but not as extreme. They closed schools for a while, but only for two or three weeks. They banned meetings, but people still went to work.”But there is only a small window of opportunity to shut down an outbreak once a cluster of cases emerges.These seem to have caught authorities in Italy and Spain — the two European countries worst hit by the pandemic — off guard. As of Wednesday Italy had carried out 165,000 tests, compared with roughly 42,000 in France.Ultimately, the true impact of the disease worldwide cannot be known until tests for COVID-19 antibodies — for example those patients who had it and recovered — are established.There are several currently in development. The lack of available tests for COVID-19 means the world is effectively fighting the pandemic blind and may not know the true extent of infection for months if not years, experts said Thursday. Because COVID-19 is so infectious — roughly 2.5 times that of the common cold — but not everyone presents symptoms, the figure of more than 200,000 confirmed cases tells only a fraction of the story. Jerry Shaman, a diseases expert at the University of Columbia, told AFP it was “likely” that developed nations are identifying between one in five and one in 10 true infections. Shaman said there was a variety of reasons, including “test availability, capacity, ignorance [not taking the issue seriously], arrogance [national pride].”On Tuesday the British government conceded it was likely there were already more than 55,000 COVID-19 infections in the country, far lower than the more than 2,600 confirmed cases so far.While the number of undetected or non-symptomatic cases likely mean the virus is less deadly than initially feared, low detection rates are a huge problem for governments looking to slow the spread and reduce the strain on health systems.”Many of these infections are mild but still contagious. So they go about their normal routine — go to work, use public transportation, go shopping — and spread the virus in the broader community,” said Shaman. “They unwittingly take the virus to new places by auto, train or plane.”While it is generally accepted that patients showing symptoms are more contagious than those exhibiting no sign of infection, the idea of millions of infected people mixing with vulnerable groups will not comfort governments. Topics :
Brad Binder created a series of firsts as he won the Czech MotoGP on Sunday to make come true “a day I dreamed about since I was a little boy”. It was the 24-year-old Binder’s first MotoGP win in only his third race in the elite division, it was also a first victory at this level by a South African and for the KTM team.Binder opened his MotoGP account at the main expense of Italian Franco Morbidelli on Yamaha’s satellite SRT bike and Frenchman Johan Zarco on a Ducati-Avintia who came third. Topics : “My team put an absolutely insane motorbike underneath me this weekend,” said Binder.”I had no idea we were capable of winning but I had a feeling it could be good.”Behind closed doors on a hot and sunny afternoon, Frenchman Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha-SRT), winner of the first two rounds of the season and world championship leader, finished seventh to increase his lead in the riders’ standings to 17 points over Spaniard Maverick Vinales (Yamaha) who was only 14th in the GP.With reigning champion Marc Marquez still absent nursing a broken arm, Binder followed Quartararo in grabbing his chance. Binder was the first rookie MotoGP winner since Marquez in 2013 and he was followed home by two more surprising front-runners.For Morbidelli it was a first podium finish.”It was a nice race overall, I started well, I did what was in my plan, to make my rhythm and don’t overcook the tyres,” he said.Afer Binder overtook him on lap 13 and pulled clear, Morbidelli concentrated on preserving his first podium finish.”I won’t do anything silly and try to bring the bike to the end and catch my first podium.”Zarco started from pole but dropped down the field with a poor start. He held on to third despite disintegrating tyres and a penalty imposed for a collision with Pol Esparago which put the Spanish KTM man out of the race.”He went wide. I was in, keeping the line and when we touch,” said Zarco. “I did not expect it and I think that he crashed.”The officials judged the Frenchman was at fault and he had to ride a ‘long lap’ which meant following an outside lane on the big seventh turn.”When I did the long lap, I expected three riders to overtake me. No one overtook and at that moment, I said, OK that can be good,” Zarco said.While it was Zarco’s seventh podium it was a first for Avintia the team he joined after he struggled with KTM last season.In Moto2, Italian Enea Bastianini of Kalex led from start to finish to claim a second straight victory and climb to the top of the world championships.Britain’s Sam Lowes was second while Joe Roberts of the United States third.Another Italian, Dennis Foggia of Honda, won his first Grand Prix in the third tier Moto3 level earlier, while second placed Albert Arenas extended his world championship lead.A second Honda rider, the Japanese Ai Ogura, came third for his second podium of the season. The motorcycling caravan heads to Austria for two events at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg on August 16 and 23. The MotoGP field will again be without the recuperating Marquez as well as Italian Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati-Pramac), who fell in practice at Brno on Friday and broke a leg.