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What’s missing in the coronavirus response

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In the age of coronavirus, Americans are being told to stay home and wear masks outside. The federal government has made way for hospitals to treat patients in repurposed hotels and dormitories. Private companies are working to push out new diagnostic tests.But the national effort has been disorganized, relying heavily on state action, said health systems experts and public health researchers. That approach has fallen short, they assert.“We’re in a lot more trouble than we need to be,” said Dr. Donald Berwick, who ran the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services during the Obama admini…

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COVID-19

COVID-19, smell and taste – how is COVID-19 different from other respiratory diseases?

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In March 2020, Google searches for phrases like “can’t taste food” or “why can’t I smell” spiked around the world, particularly in areas where COVID-19 hit hardest. Still, many of us have experienced a temporary change in the flavor of our food with a common cold or the flu (influenza). So, is COVID-19 – the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus – somehow special in the way it affects smell and taste?

We are researchers who study the relationships between human behavior and the sensations people experience from chemicals in daily life. Upon learning that COVID-19 might differentially affect taste and smell, we thought our expertise might be relevant, so we got to work.

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COVID-19

Tokyo weighs scaled-back Olympics, says governor

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Tokyo 2020 officials are looking at ways to scale back next year's postponed Olympics, the city's governor said Thursday, amid reports the opening ceremony could be streamlined and spectator numbers cut.

Yuriko Koike told reporters that organisers were weighing up what could be "rationalised and simplified" as costs spiral for holding the first postponed Games in history.

The International Olympic Committee announced in March the Games would be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands and brought international travel to a virtual halt.

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COVID-19

Record virus deaths in Brazil, Mexico spur defense efforts

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Brazil and Mexico reported record daily coronavirus death tolls as governments in Latin America battled to fortify defenses against the accelerating pandemic with fresh lockdown orders and curfews.

European nations are emerging from months of devastation with some borders re-opening, but South and Central America have become the new hotspots in a crisis that has claimed at least 385,000 lives worldwide.

 

AFP / ADEK BERRY Indonesian fire fighters spray disinfectant at a business center on the last day of the lockdown amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in Jakarta

Mexico on Wednesday announced more than 1,000 coronavirus deaths in a day for the first time, while Brazil reported a record 1,349 daily deaths.

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