SENEGAL

Image

SENEGAL

11,872

Total Cases

249

Total Deaths

7,615

Total Recovered

4,008

Total Active Cases

+5

New Deaths

+132

New Cases


via journalducameroun08/14/2020

Covid-19: Community transmission takes hold in Senegal - Journalducameroun.com - English

Senegal, one of the 15 African countries with the highest number of cases of the new coronavirus, is working to halt the growing volume of community cases.By Ibrahima Dione  It has been a ritual since the virus erupted on March 2 that every morning, a health official reads a press release on the evolution of […]

via science.sciencemag.org08/13/2020

Africa's pandemic puzzle: why so few cases and deaths? - Science

> Science's COVID-19 reporting is supported by the Pulitzer Center and the Heising-Simons Foundation Although Africa reported its millionth official COVID-19 case last week, it seems to have weathered the pandemic relatively well so far, with fewer than one confirmed case for every thousand people and just 23,000 deaths. Yet several antibody surveys suggest far more Africans have been infected with the coronavirus—a discrepancy that is puzzling scientists around the continent. “We do not have an answer,” says immunologist Sophie Uyoga of the Kenya Medical Research Institute–Wellcome Trust Research Programme. After testing more than 3000 blood donors, Uyoga and colleagues estimated in a preprint last month that one in 20 Kenyans aged 15 to 64—or 1.6 million people—has antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, an indication of past infection. That would put Kenya on a par with Spain in mid-May, when that country had 27,000 official COVID-19 deaths. Kenya's official toll stood at 100 when the study ended. And Kenya's hospitals are not reporting huge numbers of people with COVID-19 symptoms. Other antibody studies have yielded similarly surprising findings. From a survey of 500 asymptomatic health care workers in Blantyre, Malawi, immunologist Kondwani Jambo of the Malawi–Liverpool Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme and colleagues concluded that up to 12.3% of them had been exposed to the coronavirus. Based on those findings and mortality ratios for COVID-19 elsewhere, they estimated that reported number of deaths in Blantyre at the time, 17, was eight times lower than expected. Scientists who surveyed about 10,000 people in two cities in Mozambique, Nampula and Pemba, found antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in 3% to 10% of participants, depending on their occupation; market vendors had the highest rates, followed by health workers. Yet in Nampula, a city of approximately 750,000, a mere 300 infections had been confirmed at the time. Mozambique only has 16 confirmed COVID-19 deaths. Yap Boum of Epicentre Africa, the research and training arm of Doctors Without Borders, says many people in Cameroon have COVID-19 antibodies as well. So what explains the huge gap between antibody data and the official toll? Part of the reason may be that Africa misses many more cases than other parts of the world because it tests far less. Kenya tests about one in every 10,000 inhabitants daily for active SARS-CoV-2 infections, one-tenth of the rate in Spain or Canada. Nigeria tests one out of every 50,000 people per day. Even many people who die from COVID-19 may not get a proper diagnosis. But in that case, you would still expect an overall rise in mortality, which Kenya has not seen, says pathologist Anne Barasa of the University of Nairobi. Uyoga cautions that the pandemic has hamstrung Kenya's mortality surveillance system, however. Marina Pollán of the Carlos III Health Institute in Madrid, who led Spain's antibody survey, says Africa's youthfulness may protect it. Spain's median age is 45; in Kenya and Malawi, it's 20 and 18, respectively. Young people around the world are far less likely to get severely ill or die from the virus. And the population in Kenya's cities, where the pandemic first took hold, skews even younger than the country as a whole, says Thumbi Mwangi, an epidemiologist at the University of Nairobi. Jambo is exploring the hypothesis that Africans have had more exposure to other coronaviruses that cause little more than colds in humans, which may provide some defense against COVID-19. Another possibility is that regular exposure to malaria or other infectious diseases could prime the immune system to fight new pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2, Boum adds. Barasa, on the other hand, suspects genetic factors protect the Kenyan population from severe disease. More antibody surveys may help fill out the picture. A French-funded study will test thousands for antibodies in Guinea, Senegal, Benin, Ghana, Cameroon, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. And 13 labs in 11 African countries are participating in a global SARS-CoV-2 antibody survey coordinated by the World Health Organization. If tens of millions of Africans have already been infected, that raises the question of whether the continent should try for “herd immunity” without a vaccine, Boum says—the controversial idea of letting the virus run its course to allow the population to become immune, perhaps while shielding the most vulnerable. That might be preferable over control measures that cripple economies and could harm public health more in the long run. “Maybe Africa can afford it,” given the apparent low death rate, he says. But Glenda Gray, president of the South African Medical Research Council, says it could be dangerous to base COVID-19 policies on antibody surveys. It's not at all clear whether antibodies actually confer immunity, and if so, how long it lasts, Gray notes—in which case, she asks, “What do these numbers really tell us?”

via allafrica08/11/2020

How Covid-19 Affects Reproductive Health of Senegal Young People - AllAfrica.com

Women are reportedly afraid to go to hospitals for fear of contracting the novel coronavirus, children are no longer vaccinated because rumours say that the vaccine would be tested in Africa, and as hospitals limit the number of hospital visits per day, pregnant women are failing to gain access to primary health care. There are calls for hospitals to be better equipped for reproductive health needs, especially with regards to contraception, says Senegalese activist Christine Sarr, one of 25 young change-makers from around the world gathered by SheDecides 25x25.

via allafrica08/11/2020

West Africa: How Covid-19 Affects the Reproductive Health of Young People - AllAfrica - Top Africa News

Interview - The reproductive health of adolescents in West Africa, like so many regions, is being negatively impacted by Covid-19 with maternal mortality being the second cause of death among adolescents in Senegal. allAfrica's Sethi Ncube interviewed Christine Sarr, one of 25 young change-makers from around the world gathered by SheDecides 25x25.Emphasising that reproductive health is a necessity for development, Sarr is calling on governments in both Senegal and the wider region to prioritise and commit funding to t


via voanews08/07/2020

Senegalese American Community Rallies After 5 Die in Denver Fire - Voice of America

Senegal’s president sent condolences Thursday after five members of a Senegalese family living in the U.S. died earlier this week when a fire swept through their home in Denver, Colorado. Police and fire officials are investigating the fire, which they suspect might be arson, Joe Montoya, division chief of investigations for Denver police, told the Associated Press. He did not elaborate. President Macky Sall tweeted: “I extend my heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and wish speedy recovery to the injured.

via voanews08/04/2020

Africa’s COVID-19 Chaos Opens Door for Opportunistic Extremists - Voice of America

As a pandemic rages and weakens fragile societies, terrorists lie in wait to pounce on vulnerable people, especially on the African continent, says a top U.S. military commander.  U.S. military officials say their work on the continent has continued unabated, but that extremists are actively seeking every opportunity to gain a foothold, from Senegal to Somalia. Violent extremist organizations, or VEOs, are seizing on Africa’s coronavirus chaos to advance their goals in vulnerable societies, from Nigeria to Mozambique, says the head of U.S. Special Operations Command Africa, Maj. Gen.

via voanews08/03/2020

Attacks, Abuses On the Rise in Africa’s Sahel Region - Voice of America

While global attention remains centered on the coronavirus, a U.S. special envoy is sounding the alarm about crises in Africa’s Sahel region, especially the political unrest in Mali, and the growing number of alleged human rights violations and abuses in the troubled region. Amid the world focus on the coronavirus pandemic, another force is bringing death and destruction to the vast, arid region of Africa known as the Sahel.  J. Peter Pham, the U.S.

via cpj.org08/14/2020

Senegalese newspaper Les Echos office vandalized over COVID-19 report - CPJ Press Freedom Online

On August 3, 2020, at least five individuals entered the office of the privately owned Les Echos newspaper in Dakar, Senegal, and destroyed at least $15,000 worth of equipment, including eight computers and a television, according to Alassane Dramé, a reporter with the paper who spoke to CPJ via messaging app, and a statement by...

via science.sciencemag.org08/13/2020

Africa's pandemic puzzle: why so few cases and deaths? - Science Magazine

> Science's COVID-19 reporting is supported by the Pulitzer Center and the Heising-Simons Foundation Although Africa reported its millionth official COVID-19 case last week, it seems to have weathered the pandemic relatively well so far, with fewer than one confirmed case for every thousand people and just 23,000 deaths. Yet several antibody surveys suggest far more Africans have been infected with the coronavirus—a discrepancy that is puzzling scientists around the continent. “We do not have an answer,” says immunologist Sophie Uyoga of the Kenya Medical Research Institute–Wellcome Trust Research Programme. After testing more than 3000 blood donors, Uyoga and colleagues estimated in a preprint last month that one in 20 Kenyans aged 15 to 64—or 1.6 million people—has antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, an indication of past infection. That would put Kenya on a par with Spain in mid-May, when that country had 27,000 official COVID-19 deaths. Kenya's official toll stood at 100 when the study ended. And Kenya's hospitals are not reporting huge numbers of people with COVID-19 symptoms. Other antibody studies have yielded similarly surprising findings. From a survey of 500 asymptomatic health care workers in Blantyre, Malawi, immunologist Kondwani Jambo of the Malawi–Liverpool Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme and colleagues concluded that up to 12.3% of them had been exposed to the coronavirus. Based on those findings and mortality ratios for COVID-19 elsewhere, they estimated that reported number of deaths in Blantyre at the time, 17, was eight times lower than expected. Scientists who surveyed about 10,000 people in two cities in Mozambique, Nampula and Pemba, found antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in 3% to 10% of participants, depending on their occupation; market vendors had the highest rates, followed by health workers. Yet in Nampula, a city of approximately 750,000, a mere 300 infections had been confirmed at the time. Mozambique only has 16 confirmed COVID-19 deaths. Yap Boum of Epicentre Africa, the research and training arm of Doctors Without Borders, says many people in Cameroon have COVID-19 antibodies as well. So what explains the huge gap between antibody data and the official toll? Part of the reason may be that Africa misses many more cases than other parts of the world because it tests far less. Kenya tests about one in every 10,000 inhabitants daily for active SARS-CoV-2 infections, one-tenth of the rate in Spain or Canada. Nigeria tests one out of every 50,000 people per day. Even many people who die from COVID-19 may not get a proper diagnosis. But in that case, you would still expect an overall rise in mortality, which Kenya has not seen, says pathologist Anne Barasa of the University of Nairobi. Uyoga cautions that the pandemic has hamstrung Kenya's mortality surveillance system, however. Marina Pollán of the Carlos III Health Institute in Madrid, who led Spain's antibody survey, says Africa's youthfulness may protect it. Spain's median age is 45; in Kenya and Malawi, it's 20 and 18, respectively. Young people around the world are far less likely to get severely ill or die from the virus. And the population in Kenya's cities, where the pandemic first took hold, skews even younger than the country as a whole, says Thumbi Mwangi, an epidemiologist at the University of Nairobi. Jambo is exploring the hypothesis that Africans have had more exposure to other coronaviruses that cause little more than colds in humans, which may provide some defense against COVID-19. Another possibility is that regular exposure to malaria or other infectious diseases could prime the immune system to fight new pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2, Boum adds. Barasa, on the other hand, suspects genetic factors protect the Kenyan population from severe disease. More antibody surveys may help fill out the picture. A French-funded study will test thousands for antibodies in Guinea, Senegal, Benin, Ghana, Cameroon, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. And 13 labs in 11 African countries are participating in a global SARS-CoV-2 antibody survey coordinated by the World Health Organization. If tens of millions of Africans have already been infected, that raises the question of whether the continent should try for “herd immunity” without a vaccine, Boum says—the controversial idea of letting the virus run its course to allow the population to become immune, perhaps while shielding the most vulnerable. That might be preferable over control measures that cripple economies and could harm public health more in the long run. “Maybe Africa can afford it,” given the apparent low death rate, he says. But Glenda Gray, president of the South African Medical Research Council, says it could be dangerous to base COVID-19 policies on antibody surveys. It's not at all clear whether antibodies actually confer immunity, and if so, how long it lasts, Gray notes—in which case, she asks, “What do these numbers really tell us?”


via therahnuma08/10/2020

COVID-19: Mohun Bagan's Diawara leaves for Senegal after being stuck - The Rahnuma Daily

Kolkata, Aug 9 (IANS) I-League champions Mohun Bagan’s Senegalese forward Baba Diawara on Sunday left for his home after being stuck here since March due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the club said in a statement. “We are pleased to inform today, August 9, 2020, Baba Diawara along with his family left for his country. The club …

via menafn08/09/2020

COVID-19: Mohun Bagan's Diawara leaves for Senegal after being stuck - MENAFN.COM

Kolkata, Aug 9 (IANS) I-League champions Mohun Bagan's Senegalese forward Baba Diawara on Sunday left for his home after being stuck here since March due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the club said in a statement.

We are pleased to inform today, August 9, 2020, Baba Diawara along with his family left for his country. The club arranged for his travel

via science.sciencemag.org08/06/2020

Potent neutralizing antibodies from COVID-19 patients define multiple targets of vulnerability - Science Magazine

Antibodies that neutralize severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) could be an important tool in treating coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Brouwer et al. isolated 403 monoclonal antibodies from three convalescent COVID-19 patients. They show that the patients had strong immune responses against the viral spike protein, a complex that binds to receptors on the host cell. A subset of antibodies was able to neutralize the virus. Competition and electron microscopy studies showed that these antibodies target diverse epitopes on the spike, with the two most potent targeting the domain that binds the host receptor. Science , this issue p. [643][1] The rapid spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has had a large impact on global health, travel, and economy. Therefore, preventative and therapeutic measures are urgently needed. Here, we isolated monoclonal antibodies from three convalescent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients using a SARS-CoV-2 stabilized prefusion spike protein. These antibodies had low levels of somatic hypermutation and showed a strong enrichment in VH1-69, VH3-30-3, and VH1-24 gene usage. A subset of the antibodies was able to potently inhibit authentic SARS-CoV-2 infection at a concentration as low as 0.007 micrograms per milliliter. Competition and electron microscopy studies illustrate that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein contains multiple distinct antigenic sites, including several receptor-binding domain (RBD) epitopes as well as non-RBD epitopes. In addition to providing guidance for vaccine design, the antibodies described here are promising candidates for COVID-19 treatment and prevention. [1]: /lookup/doi/10.1126/science.abc5902

via expressnews08/03/2020

List 4/4 of sports events affected by coronavirus pandemic - San Antonio Express-News

SOFTBALL Men’s World Cup in Auckland, New Zealand from Feb. 20-28, 2021 postponed to Feb. 19-27, 2022. SUMO Spring Basho in Osaka from March 8-22, no spectators. Summer Basho in Tokyo from May 10-24 postponed to May 24-June 7, canceled. Nagoya Basho from July 5-19 moved to Tokyo from July 19-Aug. 2. SURFING World Surfing Games in El Salvador from May 9-17 postponed to June 6–14 postponed to May 8-16, 2021. TABLE TENNIS World team championships in Busan, South Korea from March 22-29 postponed to June 21-28 postponed to Sept. 27-Oct. 4 postponed to Feb. 28-March 7, 2021. World championships in Houston from June 17-26, 2021 postponed. Asian Cup in Hainan, China from Feb. 28-March 1 postponed. Polish Open in Gliwice from March 11-15, from March 13, Day 3 of 5, suspended. Italian Open in Riccione from April 1-5 postponed. Caribbean championships in Havana from April 3-8 suspended. Asian Olympic qualifying tournament in Bangkok from April 6-12 postponed to 2021. European Olympic qualifying tournament in Moscow from April 8-12 postponed to 2021. Latin American Olympic qualifying tournament in Rosario, Argentina from April 15-19 postponed to 2021. Oceania Olympic qualifying tournament in Brisbane, Australia from April 19-20 postponed to 2021. Japan Open in Kitakyushu on April 21-26 canceled. Slovenia Open in Otocec from April 22-26 postponed. Hong Kong Open from May 5-10 postponed. South American championships in Cucuta, Colombia from May 6-10 suspended. Central American championships in San Jose, Costa Rica from May 12-16 suspended. China Open in Shenzhen from May 12-17 postponed. South Korea Open in Busan on June 16-21 suspended. Australian Open in Geelong on June 23-28...

via thepoint.gm08/03/2020

Covid-19 updates in Senegal and Africa - The Point - The Point

Senegalese Ministry of Health yesterday registered 60 positive cases bringing total number to 10,344 positive cases; 6,838 have recovered, 209 deaths, 3296 under treatment. Africa has registered 874,036 cases and 18,498 deaths. The world has 17,170,1446 registered positive and 669,321 deaths.


via defenceweb.co.za08/13/2020

Africom continues to combat terrorism in Africa amidst COVID-19 - defenceWeb

The United States, primarily through its Africa Command (Africom) continues to combat terrorism and extremism on the continent in spite of the coronavirus pandemic, especially as it sees terrorism expanding along Africa’s east coast. The US Department of State recently held a special digital briefing with commander of US Special Operations Command Africa, Major General […]

via allafrica08/11/2020

How Covid-19 Affects Sexual Health of Senegal's Young People - AllAfrica.com

Women are reportedly afraid to go to hospitals for fear of contracting the novel coronavirus, children are no longer vaccinated because rumours say that the vaccine would be tested in Africa, and as hospitals limit the number of hospital visits per day, pregnant women are failing to gain access to primary health care. There are calls for hospitals to be better equipped for reproductive health needs, especially with regards to contraception, says Senegalese activist Christine Sarr, one of 25 young change-makers from around the world gathered by SheDecides 25x25.

via cjr.org08/10/2020

Abandoning business as usual in coverage of coronavirus relief spending - Columbia Journalism Review

On Friday, President Trump invited members of his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, to attend a press conference there, in apparent violation of the state’s coronavirus guidelines. The makeshift crowd, Politico’s Meridith McGraw writes, wore “pastel-colored polo shirts and golf cleats,” and sounded, at times, “like a sitcom laugh track for the president’s jabs […]

via voanews08/07/2020

US Senegalese Community Mourns Denver Fire Victims in Suspected Arson Case - Voice of America

Senegal’s president sent condolences Thursday after five members of a Senegalese family living in the U.S. died earlier this week when a fire swept through their home in Denver, Colorado. Police and fire officials are investigating the fire, which they suspect might be arson, Joe Montoya, division chief of investigations for Denver police, told the Associated Press. He did not elaborate. President Macky Sall tweeted: “I extend my heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and wish speedy recovery to the injured.

via science.sciencemag.org08/06/2020

COVID-19 in Africa: Dampening the storm? - Science

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread rapidly and extensively to most countries in the world, resulting in considerable mortality in Europe and the United States, as well as in numerous upper-middle-income countries in South America and Asia. Experts predicted millions of COVID-19 deaths in Africa because many countries in the continent rank poorly on the United Nations Development Programme's Human Development Index. However, more than 4 months after the first cases in Africa were detected, prevalence and mortality are still low. It remains unclear if Africa is really spared from substantial cases and deaths. However, differences between Africa and the most affected countries in reliable reporting and death registration, lockdown stringency, demography, sociocultural aspects, environmental exposures, genetics, and the immune system could help to explain the experience of COVID-19 in Africa. Africa faces major health and socioeconomic challenges that should have allowed rapid transmission of COVID-19. These include a weak health system (per capita health expenditure of <$50 in most West African countries compared with >$2500 in Europe and the United States), population crowding, poverty, and unhygienic conditions ([ 1 ][1]). Population densities are very high in most African capital cities such as Dakar (12,617 persons/km2), Abidjan (11,155 persons/km2), or Lagos (13,909 persons/km2), whereas New York City has 7101 persons/km2. However, although community transmission was reported in many major African cities months ago, the predicted number of cases and deaths has not yet been observed (see the figure). Low case numbers are often attributed to insufficient testing. However, many African countries implemented testing early on, and, based on the Our World in Data database ([ 2 ][2]), more tests per the number of cases were carried out than in other countries at similar phases of the epidemic (see the figure). Regarding the number of deaths, few functional civil registration services and thus statistics exist on the continent, raising questions about the reliability of mortality data. Potential underreporting of COVID-19–associated deaths would not be specific to Africa, but the margin of error could be wider. To date, African countries have not indicated acute health emergencies; however, reliable age-stratified data are needed to fully grasp the COVID-19 situation in Africa to allow appropriate measures to be taken. Measures such as travel restrictions, curfews, and school closures were implemented early in Africa compared with other continents, often before an African country had detected a case (fig. S1). These early responses might have resulted in fewer imported cases and reduced intracountry transmission, allowing sufficient time to prepare the constrained health systems for diagnosis and to prepare strategies for quarantine, contact tracing, and social distancing on a continent that already has experience in such practices to control epidemics such as Lassa fever and Ebola. Although it is likely that the early lockdown in Africa contributed to the slow spread, containment measures are not fully respected in many countries. Most people work in the informal business sector, such as in traditional markets, making strict lockdown measures impossible to implement. Recently, some African governments have been pressured to relax lockdown measures, for example, to carry out congregational prayers in mosques in Senegal. It remains unknown whether relaxation of containment measures will result in increased cases or if other factors are at play. The majority of COVID-19–associated deaths occur in older people. Africa has a comparatively young population, with a median population age of 19.7 years for the continent versus 38.6 years for the United States. Africa's youthful population is reflected in the structure of age-stratified cases (fig. S2). Based on global age-specific case fatality rates for COVID-19 and the age demographics of Africa, COVID-19 deaths would be expected to be only four times ([ 3 ][3]), rather than the observed 40 times, lower than in Europe or the United States. However, no aggregated data on age-specific case or death rates are available for the continent. There is substantial intergenerational mixing in Africa, and, with more cases of subclinical infections in the young, it could be a matter of time before expansive numbers of cases and deaths are recorded. Alternatively, a more rapid development of herd immunity among the youthful population might lead to fewer severe cases. Data from antibody tests (serosurveys) should clarify if transmission was more widespread with a high rate of asymptomatic and mild cases in African countries than in other countries. The genetic characteristics of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and human genetics may be among the reasons for low incidence of severe COVID-19 in Africa. Although the relative contribution from Africa to the SARS-CoV-2 GISAID (Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data) sequence database is small, the isolates found in Africa are representative of the different clades of SARS-CoV-2 found on other continents (fig. S3). Thus, it is unlikely that strains of SARS-CoV-2 in Africa have reduced virulence. Moreover, African-Americans constitute a disproportionate burden of deaths in the United States, so it seems unlikely that the lower mortality from COVID-19 in Africa is due to genetic factors. Nonetheless, the COVID Human Genetic Effort consortium aims to elucidate whether genetics can play a role in the patterns of disease worldwide. SARS-CoV-2 infection leads to a heterogeneous outcome. About 80% of symptomatic cases are mild to moderate, whereas ∼20% can develop severe respiratory disease and display high rates of mortality ([ 4 ][4]). The development of an effective adaptive immune response can limit viral infection, whereas uncontrolled activation of innate immune cells leads to a “cytokine storm” and hyperinflammation in the lungs, ultimately leading to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and multiorgan failure ([ 4 ][4], [ 5 ][5]). Being able to suppress viral infection early or to temper excessive inflammatory responses are likely complementary mechanisms to prevent severe disease. Most convalescent symptomatic COVID-19 patients develop virus-specific neutralizing antibodies as well as specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses ([ 5 ][5]). The efficiency and adequacy of these adaptive responses to clear viral infections depends on multiple factors, including past or concurrent infections with other pathogens. For example, antibodies directed to the four human coronaviruses that cause “common colds” could cross-react and neutralize SARS-CoV-2 in humans ([ 6 ][6]), and preexisting cross-reactive T cells can be found in individuals that have not been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 ([ 7 ][7]), suggesting previous exposure to related human coronaviruses could generate immunological cross-reactivity ([ 7 ][7]). There are considerable differences in environmental exposures in Africa, compared with Europe or the United States. Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)—such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and type 2 diabetes—are risk factors for severe COVID-19. These environmentally and behaviorally driven conditions are increasingly recognized in urban centers in Africa, and most COVID-19 deaths in Africa have been in older people with NCDs. However, infectious diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, and other respiratory infections or those caused by helminths (parasitic worms) are prevalent in Africa, but there is currently little information on whether, or how, these infections affect COVID-19 disease progression. ![Figure][8]</img> COVID-19 distribution and cases versus testing The distribution of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases and deaths per 1 million inhabitants per continent reveals surprisingly low rates in Africa (left). This is despite comparable levels of testing per confirmed cases across continents (right). The dotted lines show the number of tests performed per number of detected cases. Data are from European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control COVID-19 situation updates, United Nations World Population Prospects 2019, and Our World in Data ([ 2 ][2]). GRAPHIC: X. LIU/ SCIENCE It is increasingly recognized that the immune system is shaped not only by genetics but also by environmental factors, such as exposure to microorganisms and parasites. This educates the immune system to protect against invading pathogens not only specifically but also nonspecifically through, for example, “trained immunity,” which involves the reprogramming of innate cells that, on secondary encounter with a pathogen, can show a stronger response ([ 8 ][9]) or “virtual memory” ([ 9 ][10]). Virtual memory T cells (TVM cells) expand in response to cytokines such as helminth-induced interleukin-4 (IL-4), rather than through pathogen-specific antigens, leading to enhanced antiviral effector functions ([ 9 ][10]). Thus, it can be envisaged that TVM cells are more prevalent in people in Africa owing to the higher exposure to such pathogens. This could contribute to the control of SARS-CoV-2. Additionally, as postulated by the “hygiene hypothesis,” early and chronic exposure to pathogens leading to relentless immune cell activation in harsh environments induces a strong regulatory immune response to counteract excessive inflammation ([ 10 ][11]). The ability to prevent excessive inflammation could be a critical parameter that is associated with COVID-19 outcome. Recent data suggest that inflammatory alveolar macrophages (AMs), which can arise from differentiation of recruited monocytes upon infection, are increased in the lungs of patients with severe COVID-19 ([ 11 ][12]). It is unclear whether these monocyte-derived AMs are an important source of the cytokine-release syndrome observed during SARS-CoV-2 infection or whether they are involved in the pathogenesis of ARDS. However, monocyte and macrophage inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-6, have been repeatedly observed to be a marker of severe COVID-19, and myeloid cells are thus likely to be associated with the hyperinflammation. Monocytes from African individuals with high exposure to pathogens can be less proinflammatory ([ 12 ][13]). Thus, their recruitment into the lungs might prevent high cytokine production and therefore lead to better outcomes of COVID-19. Moreover, the airway microbiota, as well as more distal gut microbiota, could play important roles in preventing or potentiating respiratory tract infections and modulating virus-induced inflammation, as has been shown for several respiratory viruses ([ 13 ][14]). The known variations in microbiota across geographical areas could thus also participate in modulating disease severity and should be studied. Africa should be part of the roadmap for COVID-19 research. Although there are no available data on the immune responses in African COVID-19 patients, studies show clear differences in the activation, proinflammatory, and memory profiles of the immune cells not only in Africans versus Europeans but also among Africans with high and low exposure to microorganisms and parasites ([ 14 ][15]) (fig. S4). Does the difference in immunological profiles matter for the outcome of COVID-19 in Africa? This needs further investigation, and the pattern of COVID-19 in urban and rural Africa could be informative. There are differences in opinion about whether the pattern of SARS-CoV-2 spread is different in Africa compared with that in the United States and Europe. So far, despite a paucity of data, it appears that the virus is spreading differently and potentially with an attenuated outcome in Africa. There has been limited testing of asymptomatic cases or of antibody titers. Therefore, it is unknown whether early interventions were successful in preventing transmission or whether there are differences in susceptibility between populations of different regions. Perhaps the COVID-19 pandemic can emphasize the need for widespread implementation of public health tools, such as high-quality data, accurate diagnostics for track and trace, good communication, and an effective vaccine. Early testing of vaccines in different regions of Africa is essential because the high degree of exposure to pathogens can limit some vaccine responses ([ 15 ][16]). The first COVID-19 vaccine testing is starting in South Africa (Ox1Cov-19 Vaccine VIDA-Trial), and others are planned. Hopefully, this will stimulate the full participation of Africa in research into the critical factors that hold the key to innovative solutions in the fight against the pandemic. [science.sciencemag.org/content/369/6504/624/suppl/DC1][17] 1. [↵][18]1. M. Martinez-Alvarez et al ., Lancet Glob. 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via sfchronicle08/03/2020

List 4/4 of sports events affected by coronavirus pandemic - San Francisco Chronicle

SOFTBALL Men’s World Cup in Auckland, New Zealand from Feb. 20-28, 2021 postponed to Feb. 19-27, 2022. SUMO Spring Basho in Osaka from March 8-22, no spectators. Summer Basho in Tokyo from May 10-24 postponed to May 24-June 7, canceled. Nagoya Basho from July 5-19 moved to Tokyo from July 19-Aug. 2. SURFING World Surfing Games in El Salvador from May 9-17 postponed to June 6–14 postponed to May 8-16, 2021. TABLE TENNIS World team championships in Busan, South Korea from March 22-29 postponed to June 21-28 postponed to Sept. 27-Oct. 4 postponed to Feb. 28-March 7, 2021. World championships in Houston from June 17-26, 2021 postponed. Asian Cup in Hainan, China from Feb. 28-March 1 postponed. Polish Open in Gliwice from March 11-15, from March 13, Day 3 of 5, suspended. Italian Open in Riccione from April 1-5 postponed. Caribbean championships in Havana from April 3-8 suspended. Asian Olympic qualifying tournament in Bangkok from April 6-12 postponed to 2021. European Olympic qualifying tournament in Moscow from April 8-12 postponed to 2021. Latin American Olympic qualifying tournament in Rosario, Argentina from April 15-19 postponed to 2021. Oceania Olympic qualifying tournament in Brisbane, Australia from April 19-20 postponed to 2021. Japan Open in Kitakyushu on April 21-26 canceled. Slovenia Open in Otocec from April 22-26 postponed. Hong Kong Open from May 5-10 postponed. South American championships in Cucuta, Colombia from May 6-10 suspended. Central American championships in San Jose, Costa Rica from May 12-16 suspended. China Open in Shenzhen from May 12-17 postponed. South Korea Open in Busan on June 16-21 suspended. Australian Open in Geelong on June 23-28...