News and notes from around the interweb:
- Uganda loses key airport to China lenders after loan default: Report Entebbe is the nation’s only international airport.
- The U.S. will allow dogs vaccinated against rabies in the U.S. to return to the country (HT: @crucker)
- Customs announced that they seized $23,000 in currency from a couple who underestimated how much cash they were carrying. The announcement also flagged a separate seizure of 3,738 glass bongs from China headed to Los Angeles. Priorities.
Credit: Customs and Border Protection
- Virgin Atlantic is matching status, including their top tier but that doesn’t get you much and you have to have a paid ticket booked to take advantage of it.
- Former FDA head: Southern Africa travel bans are counterproductive ‘ready, fire, aim’
There's too much we don't know to impose economically, socially ruinous policies on SA and other nations. Ready, fire, aim is not prudent public health policy. Vaccine, testing requirements for incoming travelers could be prudent. Outright travel bans can hurt more than help.
— Scott Gottlieb, MD (@ScottGottliebMD) November 26, 2021
Indeed there are better approaches.
As Kristian Andersen told me, countries could increase screening or put quarantine protocols in place.
“But instead of closing down airspace, you send additional planes there with the vaccines and get as many people vaccinated as fast as possible."
— Kai Kupferschmidt (@kakape) November 27, 2021
This variant is already spreading, there are reasons for concern, and it’s been found in the countries where you would expect them to know that there’s a new variant spreading (i.e. they actually sequence for it). We don’t yet know how much more infectious it really is, whether it’ll become dominant, whether it causes more or less serious disease (don’t put too much stock yet into claims from South Africa that it’s less serious based on limited data sets about young patients) or how much it will reduce effectiveness of vaccines still targeted at the original Wuhan strain.
The most effective tool we have now is boosters, we need to get Paxlovid approved and offer clinical guidance on fluvoxamine, do more genomic surveillance and eliminate regulatory barriers to variant-specific versions of vaccines already in use assuming reduced efficacy from the original formulation. Under-$2 tests should be ubiquitous to determine current infectiousness.
- Is ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ eating the world?