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26
June

photo : bbc

Volunteers are being sought from NHS staff and other public service workers for a study into the effectiveness of Covid-19 antibody home testing kits. A number of the rapid response kits are to be studied, including one from a consortium including Oxford University. The test to see if someone has already had coronavirus has been described by the prime minister as a game changer to get people back to work. Public Health England has begun looking for 2,500 volunteers for the study. Experts have questioned the usefulness of the tests because little has been known about whether antibodies protect people from the virus but the government said the study would help its understanding of Covid-19. A Department of Health spokesman said that no reliable home test has yet been found, and they do not know whether antibodies indicate immunity from reinfection or transmission. In March, the government bought 3.5 million antibody home tests but scientists at Oxford University found they were unreliable. Public Health England (PHE) has since launched a separate study of 10,000 healthcare workers which involves antibody blood tests to learn more about immunity to the virus. PHE has been planning to recruit 2,500 volunteers to see how effective and easy tests would be to use, with initial results expected in late summer//BBC

26
June

photo : bbc

More than 100 people in northern India have been killed by dozens of lightning strikes across two states in recent days, officials say. The disaster management team in Bihar state said 83 were killed there, while another 20 were in hospital with injuries. At least 20 more people are reported dead in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh. Lightning strikes are common in India during heavy monsoon rains. Meanwhile the rain and thunderstorms have caused widespread damage to trees and property. More than 2,300 people were killed by lightning in India in 2018, according to the National Crime Records Bureau, and at least 2,000 people have died in lightning strikes every year since 2005. One of the reasons cited for the high number of deaths is the large number of people working outdoors in India compared to other parts of the world, which makes them more vulnerable//BBC

26
June

photo : reuters

Government experts believe more than 20 million Americans could have contracted the coronavirus, 10 times more than official  counts, indicating many people without symptoms have or have had the disease.The estimate, from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, is based on serology testing used to determine the presence of antibodies that show whether an individual has had the disease. CDC Director Dr Robert Redfield told reporters that right now is that for every case that was reported, there actually were 10 other infections. This was because testing was restricted to people with symptoms and asymptomatic carriers were not tested. The estimate was based on the number of known cases, between 2.3 million and 2.4 million, multiplied by the average rate of antibodies seen from the serology tests, about an average of 10 to 1. If true, the estimate would suggest the percentage of U.S. deaths from the disease is lower than thought. More than 120,000 Americans have died from the disease since the pandemic erupted earlier this year//Reuters

26
June

photo : bbc

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has grounded 150 pilots over claims they may not hold a valid licencePakistan's aviation minister told parliament on Wednesday that a large number of commercial pilots hold fake licences or cheated in exams. It comes as an initial report into a PIA crash that killed 97 people last month found the cause to be human error by the pilot and air traffic control. Pakistan has a chequered aviation safety record with a number of crashes. Aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan shared the findings of an initial report into May's crash on Wednesday, but also referred to a wider government probe, which had been launched after a different crash. Khan said investigations had found that more than 260 of the country's 860 active pilots had either fake licences or had cheated in their exams//BBC