IAEA and French Society of Nuclear Medicine Sign Practical Arrangements to Promote Collaboration in Nuclear Medicine

The PAs provide a framework for collaboration in the area of capacity building for nuclear medicine and molecular imaging, or any allied disciplines, particularly for professionals from French-speaking countries. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

The finalization and signing of these PAs are the latest development in a shared history of successful collaboration between the Agency and the SFMN which stretches back more than a decade.

In recent years the SFMN has invited IAEA experts to participate in its Annual Meetings and helped to host and place IAEA fellows into clinical and scientific research centres across France. In particular, the SFMN trained five African fellows in 2017, through the National Institute for Nuclear Science and Technology (INSTN) platform.

Additionally, the SFMN has supported the IAEA’s technical cooperation programme through the identification of French-speaking experts and cost-free experts, who in turn have supported Africa Member States as they draft and subsequently adopt clinical protocols for expanding the scope of nuclear medicine services and capabilities.

The Practical Arrangements will provide new opportunities to not only strengthen nuclear medicine capacities in the region, but to establish new collaborative avenues in other, related support areas for nuclear medicine, such as mentorship, networking, building remote or virtual training systems, the use and development of software platforms and data management.

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Chicago, Denver Tighten Limits; French Deaths Soar: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — Germany is looking at closing restaurants and prohibiting large events as governments across Europe seek to tackle rising infections and fatalities while avoiding full-scale lockdowns. Italy reported a record number of new cases, while deaths in France were the highest since April.

In the U.S., Covid-19 hospitalizations have risen at least 10% in the past week in 32 states and the nation’s capital as the month-old viral surge increasingly weighs on America’s health-care system. Chicago and Denver tightened restrictions in an attempt to stem outbreaks.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said the company may know by the end of October whether or not its vaccine is effective. Cadila Healthcare Ltd., one of two Indian companies trying to develop a vaccine, is in talks with potential partners to ramp up production.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases top 43.4 million; deaths exceed 1.15 millionSlow Covid recovery stalks health industry as new cases surgeAll-in push for vaccine in U.S. raises risk virus will lingerEuropean governments running out of options to avoid lockdownsVaccine Tracker: Vaccine trials restart, providing hope

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on coronavirus cases and deaths.



chart, histogram: Seven-day average of U.S. death toll is at 800 again


© Bloomberg
Seven-day average of U.S. death toll is at 800 again

El Paso Hospitals Fill With Virus Patients (5:30 p.m. NY)

More than 40% of the hospital beds in El Paso, Texas, are occupied by virus patients as the worsening outbreak in the state’s biggest hot spot tested the region’s health-care infrastructure.

Just a week ago, the Covid-19 census in El Paso-area facilities was under 25%, state health department figures showed. Federal and state agencies have opened field hospitals and deployed 1,000 nurses and other personnel to aid locals. Outbreaks are also accelerating in Lubbock and Amarillo, where more than 20% of hospital beds are taken by virus victims.

Statewide, hospitalizations have risen in seven of the past eight days and are now at levels not seen since late August. Texas hospitals housed 5,512 virus patients as of Tuesday, a 65% increase since the start of the month.

California’s Theme Parks Staying Closed (5 p.m. NY)

California Governor Gavin Newsom said he is hesitant to allow theme parks, including Disneyland, to reopen as coronavirus cases surge again across the world.

Walt Disney Co. and other theme park operators have been pushing the state for permission to resume operations, particularly after Florida parks started operating again in June. But Newsom said Tuesday that other states and countries that have been more permissive about letting businesses reopen are now enduring another wave of infections.

“Self-evidently, we should be concerned about opening up a large theme park, where by definition people mix from every conceivable walk of life,” he said during an update with reporters.

Illinois Suspends Indoor Dining in Chicago (4:36 p.m. NY)

Illinois will suspend indoor restaurant and bar service in Chicago starting Friday amid a surge in cases, according to Governor J.B. Pritzker. The region that

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Coronavirus antibodies estimated in less than 5% of French population: study

A nationwide study in France estimated that less than 5% of the population had coronavirus antibodies by mid-May.

The findings were posted ahead of peer review on Wednesday in medRxiv. Researchers from Public Health France, Department of Infectious Diseases, among others, said the study captures mild and asymptomatic cases that typically go unreported.

A nationwide study in France estimated that less than 5% of the population had coronavirus antibodies by mid-May.<br>
(iStock)

A nationwide study in France estimated that less than 5% of the population had coronavirus antibodies by mid-May.<br>
(iStock)

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Study authors estimated that, throughout the first wave of the epidemic, nationwide prevalence of antibodies climbed from 0.41% in March to nearly 5% by May, which translates to 3,292,000 infections, according to the study.

Also, about 70% of those with antibodies had detectable neutralizing antibodies, which varied across ages and regions, authors wrote.

Blood samples were analyzed from 11,021 people and then extrapolated to the nationwide population.

CORONAVIRUS ANTIBODIES PRESENT IN LESS THAN 10% OF AMERICANS, STUDY FINDS

“Seroprevalence estimates confirm that the nationwide lockdown substantially curbed transmission and that the vast majority of the French population remains susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 [the virus causing COVID-19 disease],” study authors wrote.

Antibody prevalence was highest in the area including Paris, where researchers noted the spread of infections happened earlier and more intensely.

“Our results are within the same order of magnitude as studies carried out at comparable epidemic stages in Europe,” the authors also wrote.

The study also found low infections among schoolchildren and suggested that the age group has restricted susceptibility and/or transmissibility.

“Our results provide a critical understanding of the progression of the first epidemic wave and provide a framework to inform the ongoing public health response as viral transmission is picking up again in France and globally,” they concluded. “Serological surveillance based on residual sera will continue to be used to provide timely seroprevalence estimates as the epidemic evolves and through the 2020-2021 winter season to monitor the progression of population-level immunity and guide public health response.”

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The Latest: Curfew comes into force in French cities

PARIS — French restaurants, cinemas and theaters are trying to figure out how to survive a new curfew aimed at stemming the flow of record new virus infections.

France registered more than 30,000 virus cases Thursday, its highest single-day jump since the pandemic began, and nearly 200 cases per 100,000 people over the past week.

Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot told Le Parisien newspaper she is negotiating for exceptions to a monthlong curfew between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. across the Paris region and eight other metropolitan areas. The curfew comes into effect Friday at midnight, and France is deploying 12,000 extra police to enforce it.

“The French culture world isn’t invincible, it needs help,” author and filmmaker Yoann Sfar, who has a new movie coming out, said Friday on RTL radio.

One movie theater chain will start opening at 8 a.m. in hopes of making up evening losses. Since Paris restaurants generally open at 7 or 7:30 p.m. for dinner, some might close altogether because it no longer makes financial sense to stay open for such a short shift.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Europe, U.S. reel as virus infections surge at record pace, prompt new restrictions

— White House puts political operatives at CDC to try to control virus information

— Thousands arrive in Hawaii on first day pre-travel testing allowing no quarantine

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— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

BUDAPEST, Hungary — The number of deaths in Hungary caused by the coronavirus hit a new record on Friday, for the second day in a row as the epidemic is gaining momentum.

Hungarian health authorities reported 33 deaths over the past 24 hours, up from 29 a day earlier. The total number of confirmed infections since the outbreak of the pandemic stood at 41,732, including 1,085 deaths. The number of patients needing hospital treatment was 1,642, of whom 171 were on ventilators.

The government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban has implemented less severe measures than in other neighboring countries during the second wave of the contagion.

Hungarians are required to wear masks on public transportation, shops, malls and entertainment venues, as well state-run health care institutions. Restaurants and clubs close at 11 pm and visitors are banned from hospitals and nursing homes. Policy makers have repeatedly stressed that shielding the economy from the fallout caused by the pandemic is a critical priority for the government.

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GENEVA — Europe is at a “turning point” in the fight against the coronavirus, the head of Switzerland’s biggest hospital complex says, acknowledging growing public fatigue over anti-COVID measures but insisting people must buckle down as the country grapples with record daily case counts.

CEO Bertrand Levrat of Geneva University Hospitals, which counts 12,000 personnel, spoke to The Associated Press at a time when Switzerland — like many other European countries — is fighting a second wave of coronavirus cases that grew in large part out of a

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