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Canada

Poor protective equipment in the red zone

Gloves that are too small, masks for simple procedures or even gowns with holes: nurses at a CHSLD in Montérégie-Est denounce the poor condition of the personal protective equipment provided to them.

“People in CHSLDs have little procedural masks, the same ones you wear when going to the grocery store, in paper! We learned on Tuesday that every other visor headbands were loose and were falling off. When you’re in isolation, you can’t really play yourself through your hair to fix that. It’s really cheap material, ”denounces Brigitte Petrie, from the Union of Healthcare Professionals of Montérégie-Est.

During the night from Monday to Tuesday, nurses at the Accommodation Center at Hôtel-Dieu-de-Saint-Hyacinthe, one of the largest CHSLDs, refused to work to denounce their working conditions.

In addition to being stuck with inadequate protective gear, such as undersized gowns and gloves that leave skin exposed, employees are overwhelmed by being understaffed. Members of the night shift staged a sit-in on Monday night when they saw there were only three nurses, including two auxiliaries, for 64 patients in the COVID zone.

For the vice-president of the Interprofessional Health Federation of Quebec (FIQ), Linda Lapointe, it is essential that employers provide quality equipment to their front-line workers who do not feel protected.

“We know we are short of manpower. If the employees are contaminated in addition because of the protective equipment, there is still the risk of having a shortage of personnel, ”she laments.

Not a protective screen

For his part, the president of the Association des microbiologistes du Québec, Christian Jacob, recalls that without adequate equipment, health care workers are exposed to contamination.

“If you wear a gown or gloves that are supposed to be a shield against outside contaminants, but there is some skin that is exposed, well, you are not protected. So we can’t talk about effective protective equipment, “says Dr.r Jacob.

For these employees, the management of the Integrated Health and Social Services Center (CISSS) of Montérégie-Est clearly puts them in danger, which leads many to fall in battle.

– With the QMI Agency

In Granby, the situation continued to worsen on Tuesday at the CHSLD Villa-Bonheur, where there are now 70 residents and employees contaminated by COVID-19. Several workers say they are on the verge of exhaustion and are calling for help.

Inadequate working conditions

Several visors received by healthcare workers cannot be used because the system that must hold them on the forehead breaks. As a result, the visor does not stay in place and falls on employees’ noses instead of protecting their foreheads.

Instead of having N95 masks, employees have surgical masks that do not protect them well from the COVID-19 particles circulating in the air.

The gowns provided by the employer are not suitable and prevent proper protection of the arms since the skin is exposed to contaminants. In addition, employees also noted that three out of four jackets have holes or have no cord to tie them.

Protective gloves are not long enough, which also prevents effective protection of employees from contaminants since their skin is exposed to air and contact.

Categories
Canada

Nurses’ sit-ins in CHSLDs: “cheap” and “too small” protective equipment

Nurses from a unit of Quebec’s largest CHSLD, the Hôtel-Dieu-de-Saint-Hyacinthe Accommodation Center, refused to work last night to denounce their working conditions.

• Read also: [EN DIRECT 1ER DÉCEMBRE 2020] All developments in the COVID-19 pandemic

It was the members of the night shift, tired of being understaffed, who organized a sit-in, when they noticed that there were only three nurses (including two auxiliaries) for 64 patients in the COVID zone.

The fed up is complete, says their union, especially as the infection prevention measures are not optimal, especially those concerning personal protective equipment which would be of poor quality.

“People in CHSLDs have little procedural masks, the same ones you wear when going to the grocery store, in paper! We learned yesterday that the headbands of every other visor do not hold and fall. When you’re in isolation, you can’t really play yourself through your hair to fix that. This is really “cheap” material, denounces Brigitte Pétrie, of the Union of Healthcare Professionals of Montérégie-Est.

It also ensures that the gowns are too small, that the gloves do not cover the wrists, thus making healthcare professionals more vulnerable to the virus.

As for the fabric jackets, “they are so old, there are holes in them!”, Denounces Ms. Pétrie.

Categories
Bollywood

Priyanka Chopra shares pic in a face shield, protective goggles and a mask, kickstarts her work weekend in London


Actor Priyanka Chopra has shared a new picture from London. She took to Instagram Stories to share a picture with her fans to show how she began work in London.

Priyanka shared a selfie from her car on Saturday morning. She was seen wearing all the protective gear possible. She had a face shield on, a pair of clear goggles and a blingy mask. London is currently under a second lockdown after a spike was registered in coronavirus cases recently.

“Early morning work weekend. Let’s gooooo!,” she wrote with her picture. On Friday, Priyanka had shared another picture of a trippy staircase in London. “Home @chasefoster,” she wrote. Priyanka and her singer husband Nick Jonas had also celebrated Diwali in London. She shared a picture of herself in a saree and of Nick in casuals, holding two lit lamps in their hands. “Happy diwali to everyone celebrating. From our family to yours,” she captioned her post.

Priyanka will soon be seen in We Can Be Heroes and is looking forward to audiences reaction to the film. Billed as an action-adventure, We Can Be Heroes features her as the nemesis to a group of children who team up to save the planet and their superhero parents who are kidnapped by aliens.

The film is written, directed and produced by Robert Rodriguez, who helmed the blockbuster hit Alita: Battle Angel. Priyanka on Thursday shared the teaser of the movie on Twitter and reminisced her time on the sets. “I had the best time shooting this movie, especially with Robert Rodriguez and these amazing super kids!! Loved playing their nemesis…. who do you think is going to win, them or me?! Streaming on Netflix New Years Day,” she tweeted.

Also read: Anushka Sharma enjoys tea-time with father in Virat Kohli’s absence, refuses to crop him out of photo despite his request

Apart from Chopra, the film features actors Pedro Pascal, Christian Slater, Boyd Holbrook, Sung Kang and veteran actor Christopher McDonald. Child stars Akira Akbar, Nathan Blair, Andrew Diaz, Andy Walken and Hala Finley are also part of the cast.

Priyanka also has The White Tiger up for release on Netflix. She also recently shot for Matrix 4 in Berlin.

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Tech News

Google at Odds With US Over Protective Order for Firms Tied to Lawsuit


Alphabet’s Google and the US Justice Department have failed to reach agreement over a protective order for third parties like Microsoft that provided data to the government for its lawsuit against the search and advertising giant.

Google is pressing for two in-house attorneys to have access to the confidential data while the Justice Department and state attorneys general involved in the lawsuit have disagreed, Google said in a court filing on Friday.

Google stated it needed the information to prepare an effective defense. It offered to ensure that any confidential information would be made available solely to two in-house attorneys at the offices of Google’s outside counsel or in another secure manner, adding that it would promptly report any disclosure.

The government said in a separate filing that allowing Google’s staff attorneys to review “strategic plans related to rival voice assistants, and other commercially sensitive information” was dangerous because they could misuse the information to squash potential competition.

The government also said that highly confidential files in the last big technology antitrust case, which involved Microsoft about 20 years ago, were only available to the company’s outside counsel.

The companies whose documents are in dispute in the Google case also include Oracle, AT&T, Amazon.com, Comcast, and others. They have until next Friday to make their proposals for the terms of a protective order.

Judge Amit Mehta of the US District Court for the District of Columbia is hearing the Justice Department’s case against Google. The government sued Google in October, accusing the $1 trillion company of illegally using its market muscle to hobble rivals in the biggest challenge to the power and influence of Big Tech in decades.

© Thomson Reuters 2020


Which is the best TV under Rs. 25,000? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

 



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Bollywood

Anushka Sharma’s fans form protective circle around her after Virat Kohli’s RCB loses IPL match, share pics of her cheering him on


Actor Anushka Sharma was spotted cheering for husband, cricketer Virat Kohli, during Monday’s Indian Premier League match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals. Anushka is currently posted in the UAE, where the ongoing season of the IPL is being played.

Pictures from the match, which show Anushka in the stands, have been shared online. The images show the actor wearing a white dress. Her fans were protective of her, as Anushka has been needlessly dragged into conversations about Virat’s form in the past. RCB lost the match.

“NO NEGATIVITY AROUND HER TODAY PLEASE NO MATTER WHAT,” one person wrote in a tweet. “Protect anushka sharma at any cost,” wrote another.

    

 Earlier, Anushka had taken a firm stand against former cricketer Sunil Gavaskar’s remarks against her. Gavaskar, commenting on Virat’s form, had implied that he was out of practice because the only deliveries he’d faced during lockdown had been bowled by his wife. Gavaskar was making a reference to a viral video of the couple, which showed them playing a casual game of cricket on the terrace of their home.

Anushka called the comments ‘distasteful’ and wrote in a social media post, “That, Mr Gavaskar, your message is distasteful is a fact but I would love for you to explain why you thought of making such a sweeping statement on a wife accusing her for her husband’s game? I’m sure over the years you have respected the private lives of every cricketer while commentating on the game. Don’t you thing you should have equal amount of respect for me and us?”

Also read: Virat Kohli asks Anushka Sharma from the field if she has eaten, watch their cute exchange

Previously, the cameras captured a cute exchange between the couple, when Virat asked Anushka, through gestures, if she’d eaten. The actor is pregnant with her first child. She has been a regular fixture at Virat’s matches.

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Headlines UK

Dossier reveals ministers UNDERBOUGHT then threw £6.75billion at protective clothing


Jonathon Bennett is as confused as he is angry. A veteran textile importer, he works for Metropolitan Pacific, a long-established Hong Kong firm. 

When the clarion call sounded for personal protective equipment as the first wave of the coronavirus engulfed Britain, he stepped forward.

His contacts in China, the world’s biggest manufacturer of PPE, are extensive. 

As the crisis raged in April and May, he repeatedly tried to secure a contract to deliver surgical masks, at prices well below those of other bidders. But he was to be disappointed.

Mr Bennett, 75, said: ‘I wasn’t looking to make a load of money, but we knew exactly how to do this – and yet, it seemed the Government just wasn’t interested.

‘I’m angry. I wouldn’t mind who they gave the contracts to, provided they knew what they were doing. 

So inefficient has the Government been in purchasing PPE that, according to its own figures, it has amassed a stockpile of 32billion items, purchased at a cost of £6.75billion – and rising

‘Instead, it seems they’ve let some firms supply stuff we just don’t need. I blame systemic incompetence, coupled with panic.’

At the end of April, he was offering two types of masks: specialist FFP2s for £1.70 each and the simpler IIR type for 39p. 

Another company, Ayanda Capital, was offering the masks at £3.10 and 65p respectively.

Guess who got the deal? Clue: it wasn’t Mr Bennett. 

Welcome, then, to the murky and labyrinthine world of Whitehall procurement in which it is nigh on impossible to know how decisions are made.

So inefficient has the Government been in purchasing PPE that, according to its own figures, it has amassed a stockpile of 32billion items, purchased at a cost of £6.75billion – and rising.

The stockpile equates to more than seven times as much as has been distributed to the NHS and care homes in England since the start of pandemic.

But isn’t that good planning by a bureaucracy caught short in the early stages of the pandemic? Not quite. 

There are big questions over the Government's apparently panic-stricken approach to procurement, sparking judicial reviews and calls from politicians for the awarding of some of these deals to be the subject of a public inquiry

There are big questions over the Government’s apparently panic-stricken approach to procurement, sparking judicial reviews and calls from politicians for the awarding of some of these deals to be the subject of a public inquiry 

According to Jolyon Maugham QC, of the Good Law Project, which tries to enforce accountability through the courts, much of this PPE stockpile will never be deployed, because it will pass its use-by dates.

And there are big questions over the Government’s apparently panic-stricken approach to procurement, sparking judicial reviews and calls from politicians for the awarding of some of these deals to be the subject of a public inquiry.

Many of these contracts were awarded without the usual legal requirements for competitive tendering. 

Some, leaked documents suggest, were won by firms designated as ‘VIP’ bidders, meaning they bypassed layers of scrutiny.

Our investigation reveals:

From bust to boom with the help of state contracts worth £272m

Steve Dechan will move his firm, P14 Medical, from its tiny office to a new warehouse on Monday.  

The reason? Government contracts worth £272million for PPE.

According to its accounts filed last year, the Gloucestershire-based firm had ‘negative assets’.

It was £485,000 in debt.

Steve Dechan (left)has seen his PPE manufacturing firm transformed by Governmnent contracts worth £272million

Steve Dechan (left)has seen his PPE manufacturing firm transformed by Governmnent contracts worth £272million

Its fortunes have now been transformed. 

On top of a £116million order for visors, it was awarded a second contract worth £156million for coverall isolation suits.

Managing director Mr Dechan, a former Conservative councillor, revealed he will be employing 25 new staff in Stroud.

Mr Dechan, circled in a picture with former Chancellor Sajid Javid, said: ‘I’m proud of the work we have done to support the NHS in its time of need.

‘The team at P14 have been working non-stop for six months to support the NHS.

‘All P14’s contracted orders have been delivered on time and to standard.’

He added that although his firm was small, it was able to win the contracts because of its skills and experience.

He said: ‘P14 has been supplying the NHS for almost a decade. 

‘We have a strong supply chain thanks to long-term relationships with manufacturers. 

‘P14 has members of the team working in the areas where our manufacturing takes place, so we were able to develop the capacity the NHS needs.’

  • The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) admits that even if the current exceptional demand continues until the start of March, there would still be 30billion items of the stockpile left over.
  • Many of the 400 officials in the ‘PPE sourcing unit’ had never worked in medical procurement before.
  • They were told they could pay up to 25 per cent above their official ‘benchmark’ price list without asking any questions.
  • Contracts worth hundreds of millions were awarded to tiny firms and start-ups, while more experienced suppliers offering lower prices were rebuffed.

The Good Law Project is challenging some of these contracts through judicial review. As the Mail revealed last week, it is also taking action over contracts awarded to boost Boris Johnson’s Operation Moonshot project.

Former Brexit secretary David Davis said: ‘The pressure caused by the pandemic may have been an excuse to short-circuit the bidding process, but it wasn’t a good reason to remove quality control, ensure we got the best prices, or to go to people without any relevant experience in procuring PPE.

‘Billions have evidently been wasted. This will have to figure in the eventual public inquiry in which the Government’s decisions will face a reckoning.’

Rachel Reeves, Labour’s Cabinet Office spokesman, said the party was demanding an investigation by the National Audit Office into the Government’s ‘strange procurement decisions’.

She added: ‘People deserve to know what this Government is doing with public money, where it is going and what it is delivering. 

‘Not only were some of these “VIPs” paid over the odds, they were awarded contracts at the height of the crisis when our NHS workers needed urgent, high-quality PPE.

‘We’ve seen this Government issue contract after contract without competitive tender, meaning businesses who are experienced and qualified have been shut out.’

Mr Maugham said: ‘It’s becoming clear the DHSC went on a massive supermarket sweep at the top of the market, leading to money being wasted on an epic scale.’

According to experts at Tussell, a data provider on government contracts and spending, the value of PPE contracts whose details have been published is £6.75billion. 

But DHSC officials admit some contracts have yet to be published, so the total is certain to rise. 

The department says enough PPE to last for the next four months – about two billion items – is ready for use. 

That leaves another 30billion ordered items in the stockpile, either on their way from manufacturers or stored in warehouses.

To take one example, more than £711million has been spent on around 30million hazmat-style isolation suits or ‘coveralls’ – but DHSC figures show only 545,000 have so far been distributed. 

No wonder: doctors and nurses find them dreadful to work in.

One intensive care consultant said: ‘Isolation suits become very hot and sticky after a short period of time. 

One key figure was Max Cairnduff, director of the Cabinet Office's 'complex transactions team'

One key figure was Max Cairnduff, director of the Cabinet Office’s ‘complex transactions team’

‘They’re pretty much useless unless it’s absolutely necessary, because wearing them is almost unbearable. 

‘We normally use a gown with mask, visor or goggles, and gloves. We’d wear a suit if we were treating an Ebola patient because if you catch it the risk is much more deadly. 

‘But if you’re reasonably young and healthy, Covid is much lower risk. Most of us working in intensive care have already had it, anyway.’

Some of the coverall awards went to small firms that had few assets before the pandemic. 

One that won an isolation suit contract worth £24million was Jersey-registered SG Medical Recruitment Ltd. 

A director of its parent company, the Sumner Group, is Lord Chadlington, chairman of Witney Conservative Association and a close friend of David Cameron. 

Neither firm responded to requests for comment.

Other very small firms and start-ups won contracts for other types of PPE, some worth many tens of millions. 

Some are now the subject of legal challenges by the Good Law Project.

So who is behind these purchasing decisions?

Many PPE contracts were awarded without the usual legal requirements for competitive tendering (Pictured: A nurse at a clinic in Grimsby wears PPE while taking blood from a patient)

Many PPE contracts were awarded without the usual legal requirements for competitive tendering (Pictured: A nurse at a clinic in Grimsby wears PPE while taking blood from a patient)

Step forward the PPE sourcing unit, whose 400 staff were drawn from several government departments, including the Foreign Office, the Ministry of Defence, the DHSC and the Cabinet Office.  

One key figure was Max Cairnduff, director of the Cabinet Office’s ‘complex transactions team’, which he joined in 2018. 

Before that, he had been an associate at law firm Freshfields, where he worked on a satellite project in South Africa and various infrastructure schemes. 

There is no evidence he was involved in the SG Medical contract – though the emails that rebuffed Mr Bennett came from Mr Cairnduff.

Asked whether they and their colleagues had the right experience to lead such a crucial drive, a DHSC spokesman said: ‘A cross-government PPE sourcing unit was established… to secure new supply lines from across the world and establish rigorous standards.’

Be that as it may, seasoned business people with decades of experience – such as Mr Bennett – were shut out.

How Mail Force got it right – by being fussy 

The Mail Force charity, set up with the help of this newspaper, has raised more than £11million and provided millions of pieces of PPE.

In plugging gaps in provision, we had strict caveats: our kit could not come from producers already supplying the NHS. 

The Mail Force charity, set up with the help of this newspaper, has raised more than £11million and provided millions of pieces of PPE

The Mail Force charity, set up with the help of this newspaper, has raised more than £11million and provided millions of pieces of PPE 

It had to come from established suppliers at a level price and pass muster with the Department of Health before we imported it.

In other words, we were fussy. It took a little longer but it worked.

According to staff working for Miss Reeves, otherss in a similar position have come forward to her.

Yet some of the published contracts suggest the Government PPE buyers were not merely paying more than the prices offered by unsuccessful firms, but well above the official benchmark.

One of several confidential papers leaked to the Good Law Project says, for example, that on April 29, the benchmark price for IRR type masks was 41p. 

That was the day the Government signed its £252million contract that included an order for 150million IRR masks with Ayanda Capital, owned via a firm in Mauritius by financial mogul Tim Horlick – a deal originally brokered by Andrew Mills, a former adviser to Trade Secretary Liz Truss.

Averaged out, this part of the contract – which the Good Law Project is seeking to challenge in court – meant each mask was priced at 65p. 

As Mr Maugham points out, this suggests the Government paid £36million more than the appropriate total suggested by its own benchmark. 

There is no evidence Ayanda did anything wrong in setting its price.

Mr Horlick has said he does not believe Mr Mills’s former official role ‘had any influence’ on Ayanda winning the contract’. 

Mr Mills has also said his position had no effect on the awarding of the contract.

More leaked documents suggest there were other wrinkles in the procurement process. 

One ‘checklist’ says that if bidders suggest prices up to 25 per cent higher than the benchmark, no questions had to be asked – only if the variation was greater than this was an explanation required.

Other documents describe some providers as ‘VIPs’, suggesting these should be given their own ‘VIP routes’.

The Mail put a series of questions about these documents to the DHSC, but it refused to answer. 

A spokesman said only: ‘We have been working tirelessly to deliver PPE to protect our health and social care staff… Proper due diligence is carried out.’

Asked about the stockpile, another spokesman added: ‘We don’t know how long the pandemic is going to run on for so we have ordered enough to meet any demand and maintain stockpiles for future use.’



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Headline USA

Much more than vitamin C Why are citrus fruits so beneficial and protective for health? | The NY Journal


Citrus fruits are a feast for the senses and a nutritional treasure. Not only do they stimulate immunity, they are of great healing power, an unmatched medicinal ally

Citrus fruits are characterized by their benefits to protect the cardiovascular, digestive, nervous and immune systems.

Photo:
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay / Pixabay

The nature is wise and through food puts within our reach pure medicine. It is for this reason that numerous nutrition trends, which are considered a powerful health tool and they have one factor in common: promote an abundant consumption of fruits and vegetables. And it is no coincidence, it is proven that following a diet based on natural foods is more important than ever; not only provide the essential nutrients to ensure the good functioning of the organism, are key in disease prevention.

Among the top ones on the list are citrus fruits, which are incredibly delicious and aromatic, and also a nutritional treasure. They are originally from Tropical and subtropical Asia and through its main variants: orange, lemon, lime, tangerines and grapefruits, are recognized thousands of years ago for their medicinal properties. Among its main benefits stand out for its high content in vitamin C and citric acid, at the same time they are powerful antioxidants.

They are fruits that are characterized by their prominent sour taste and also for his only content in essential oils. They also provide other very important nutrients such as fiber, carotenoids and flavonoids, which contain all citrus fruits to a greater or lesser extent.

While citrus fruits are known as the queens of vitamin C, which gives them great qualities to strengthen the immune system and protect the body against the attack of pathogens that cause various diseases and flu. The good news is that complementary to your exceptional protective power, citrus fruits are also related to other healing wonders.

  • They exercise a powerful antioxidant action that protects the body from damage caused by free radicals.
  • Its high content of vitamin C is key in collagen synthesis, which is related to skin and the tissues.
  • Integrate into your daily eating routine consumption of citrus fruits is a great alternative to increase the consumption of vitamins and minerals in the diet. And naturally revitalize the body, strengthen tissues, prevent diseases, stimulate glandular secretions and balance blood pressure.
  • A good consumption of vitamin C is essential to ensure a correct absorption of iron and zinc.
  • Citrus fruits are a extraordinary ally of the digestive systemor, its high fiber content and antioxidant carotenoids they intervene regulating intestinal transit. At the same time they are fruits with great disinfectant properties that inhibit the presence of bacteria.
  • They stand out for their immense diuretic properties, which benefits weight loss and favors the elimination of retained toxins and fluids.
  • Citrus fruits are great for promote blood circulation and they are also a great ally of cardiovascular health. Its high content in vitamin C and antioxidants, is related to benefits to maintain the elastic and healthy vascular walls. Specifically, its content in a carotenoid called betacryptoxanthin, is of great help in the prevention of all kinds of cardiovascular disorders.
  • While each citrus fruit has a unique composition, all its variants have the peculiarity of regulating and reducing the high levels of cholesterol and uric acid in the blood.
  • They are a good ally in blood glucose control, this is due to its low glycemic index and its ability to control possible hypoglycemia.
  • They stand out for their purifying power, especially have a wonderful effect on detoxify the liver Y stimulate liver function.

Now you know The citrus they will not only be your best ally for boost immunity in cold winter, they are a complete package in nutritional and medicinal issues. Consume them regularly and through morning remedies, will take your health to another level. Best of all, they are very versatile, it is very noble and accessible integrate them into the diet.

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