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Coronavirus: The Thread

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Coronavirus: The Thread

Old 21st Apr 2020, 08:29
  #5301 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
One major problem I've heard of is that the UK just doesn't have the raw material for proper gowns. These gowns are not manufactured from woven fabric, they are made from moisture resistant non-woven fabric (probably a spun polypropylene), and there are no manufacturers of this material, or stocks of it, in the UK.

Companies are volunteering to supply cotton/polyester woven fabric gowns, but these don't offer the degree of protection needed, as they aren't water resistant.

I spent hours trawling the web for alternative fabrics a couple of days ago, when I first heard of the fabric problem, as I had wondered whether or not the Tyvek-type breather membranes used as house wrap might be suitable (they are also water resistant). The problem I found was that those fabrics are all too heavy, although they do seem to have fairly similar properties to the gown material, and they are still available in quantity.
Apparently Nieper has purchased 20,000 metres of material, but it certainly wasn't specified what the material was. Also, from what I recall from the interview the products were referred to as both "gowns" and "scrubs" and I suspect that, rather like me, the reporter may not know the difference between the two, if indeed there is any difference.

Whatever, if manufacturers in China, Myanmar and wherever else can source the fabric then I sure that it can't be beyond the wit of a UK civil service department to do so, even if that means paying a bit over the odds and offering cash up front. Bartering for the cheapest possible price and offering payment in 60 days - or whatever terms might be offered - isn't the best way of securing raw materials or product which is apparently in short supply. Tyvek, I seem to recall is quite heavy, and certainly not cheap.
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Old 21st Apr 2020, 08:39
  #5302 (permalink)  
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There are plenty of sets of scrubs to go around, and as stated a cottage industry of companies and organisations designing and manufacturing them as well as 3D printed visors etc. There is another cottage industry of companies, laundrettes taking them away for cleaning and return (though those with designer label handmade scrubs probably take them home and wash them themselves).

Unfortunately the shortage is in the single-use outer protective gowns which have to pass a complex set of tests before use - and you will have seen the NHS is testing each batch as even those received from major manufacturers inn China are regularly failing (Which makes you wonder if the tests were being done properly Before the crisis or taken on trust.)

As an example below are a couple of applicable EU standards to be met for gowns and suits. Not sure they are something which a company can switch to producing in a couple of weeks.

http://chemdefend.co/test-methods/re...ts-en141262003

https://www.halyardhealth.co.uk/medi...5norm_2015.pdf

https://www.halyardhealth.co.uk/medi...5norm_2015.pdf

Last edited by ORAC; 21st Apr 2020 at 09:14.
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Old 21st Apr 2020, 08:43
  #5303 (permalink)  
 
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How often does the water resistance matter ? Are two layers of another material not normally adequate ?
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Old 21st Apr 2020, 08:44
  #5304 (permalink)  
 
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As I thought

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52363378

NHS supplies of face masks could be put at risk if the government starts advising the public to wear them, hospital bosses have warned.

The government's scientific advisers are to meet later to discuss whether the public should be urged to wear masks in a bid to combat coronavirus.
A bit of a self licking lolipop though, The NHS needs the suppplies to protect themselves from the infected, that are getting infected because they do not have masks to prevent themselves from being infected.
If they weren't effective at combatting the virus in the first place, then the NHS wouldn't need them rto protect their staff..

Not rocket science is it.
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Old 21st Apr 2020, 08:51
  #5305 (permalink)  
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UK

https://www.reuters.com/article/heal...-idUSL9N2BW00V

COVID-19 death toll in England 41% higher than early data suggested: ONS

LONDON, April 21 (Reuters) - The true extent of the death toll in England and Wales from COVID-19 up to April 10 was 41% higher than the daily figures from the government indicated, according to data on Tuesday that includes deaths in the community.

The Office for National Statistics said it recorded 13,121 deaths by April 10, compared with 9,288 in the government’s daily toll for those who died in hospital.
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Old 21st Apr 2020, 09:12
  #5306 (permalink)  
 
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https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/coron...ay/ar-BB12WVrj

UK only formally asked Turkey for PPE shipment help on Sunday - after telling Britons it was on its way

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Old 21st Apr 2020, 09:16
  #5307 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
As I thought

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52363378



A bit of a self licking lolipop though, The NHS needs the suppplies to protect themselves from the infected, that are getting infected because they do not have masks to prevent themselves from being infected.
If they weren't effective at combatting the virus in the first place, then the NHS wouldn't need them rto protect their staff..

Not rocket science is it.
I’m reading all sorts of medical articles and opinions on mask wearing amongst the general population. There’s an opinion amongst doctors that they may do more harm than good, in that they create a sense of complacency in wearers (like gloves). People keep adjusting them or touching them, and don’t know how to take them on or off safely. I’ve also read once they become moist from breathing, they act like a magnet for viruses. Gloves make no difference if you keep touching your face, masks are the same if you rub your eyes, adjust your glasses etc.
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Old 21st Apr 2020, 09:20
  #5308 (permalink)  
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Nutloose, a very misleading headline. - probably deliberately.

If you read the story the Turkish Government isn’t supplying the equipment, and it was indeed ordered and due for dispatch before Sunday. It was when it failed to be released, possibly by customs or another department, that the Turkish Government was contacted. As the article actually says, much further down than the headline.......

A government source said on Monday night that a commercial supplier in Turkey had been lined up to deliver the material over the weekend but something went wrong so officials were forced to ask the Turkish government for help.”

So no lies or deception on the part of the government - just another manufactured piece of fake news.

Last edited by ORAC; 21st Apr 2020 at 09:53.
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Old 21st Apr 2020, 09:20
  #5309 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
As I thought

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52363378



A bit of a self licking lolipop though, The NHS needs the suppplies to protect themselves from the infected, that are getting infected because they do not have masks to prevent themselves from being infected.
If they weren't effective at combatting the virus in the first place, then the NHS wouldn't need them rto protect their staff..

Not rocket science is it.
It's worth looking at the likely impact of usage though.

If the general public start wearing masks in public than that's around 60 million masks per day. The chances are that mask wearing may make a very, very tiny reduction in the number of cases the hospitals see, as mask wearing by people who aren't infected has only a very tiny impact in reducing risk (assuming that other risk factors aren't increased). The NHS is currently using a few hundred thousand masks per day.

So we could increase the UK's demand for (imported) masks by a factor of maybe 100 or more, yet reduce the incidence of infection by maybe a few percent at best (probably under 1% might be closer to reality).

What would almost certainly make a significant difference would be if people paid far more heed to disinfecting all surfaces that are touched regularly by others, along with far better hand hygiene. The chances are that would have a substantially greater impact on reducing infection than wearing masks. It might be an idea for people to wear gloves more often when out and about, provided they remember to keep cleaning them regularly. The advantage of gloves is that they can avoid the skin on your hands from getting dry from excessive washing/disinfecting, but gloves don't remove this requirement, as they can still very effectively transfer infection if they aren't kept clean on the outside.
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Old 21st Apr 2020, 09:49
  #5310 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
It's worth looking at the likely impact of usage though.

If the general public start wearing masks in public than that's around 60 million masks per day. The chances are that mask wearing may make a very, very tiny reduction in the number of cases the hospitals see, as mask wearing by people who aren't infected has only a very tiny impact in reducing risk (assuming that other risk factors aren't increased). The NHS is currently using a few hundred thousand masks per day.

So we could increase the UK's demand for (imported) masks by a factor of maybe 100 or more, yet reduce the incidence of infection by maybe a few percent at best (probably under 1% might be closer to reality).

What would almost certainly make a significant difference would be if people paid far more heed to disinfecting all surfaces that are touched regularly by others, along with far better hand hygiene. The chances are that would have a substantially greater impact on reducing infection than wearing masks. It might be an idea for people to wear gloves more often when out and about, provided they remember to keep cleaning them regularly. The advantage of gloves is that they can avoid the skin on your hands from getting dry from excessive washing/disinfecting, but gloves don't remove this requirement, as they can still very effectively transfer infection if they aren't kept clean on the outside.
Leaving aside for the moment the practicalities of sourcing masks, not just for the UK, but for the whole of Europe, doubtless you'd get a fair chunk of the population not wearing them correctly, reusing them without washing them properly (we use 40 deg for a general wash; I wouldn't mind betting that they need washing at 60 degrees plus) and taking them on and off willy-nilly as they enter and leave public transport, shops and wherever else they are mandated.

I would suggest mandating the use of masks would be yet another case of governments needing to be seen to be "doing something" rather than doing what might actually be necessary / efficacious.
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Old 21st Apr 2020, 09:53
  #5311 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ATNotts View Post
Leaving aside for the moment the practicalities of sourcing masks, not just for the UK, but for the whole of Europe, doubtless you'd get a fair chunk of the population not wearing them correctly, reusing them without washing them properly (we use 40 deg for a general wash; I wouldn't mind betting that they need washing at 60 degrees plus) and taking them on and off willy-nilly as they enter and leave public transport, shops and wherever else they are mandated.

I would suggest mandating the use of masks would be yet another case of governments needing to be seen to be "doing something" rather than doing what might actually be necessary / efficacious.
Washing normally in water will pretty much destroy a normal surgical mask, and will render an N95 type mask pretty useless. Masks, like gowns, are made from moisture resistant non-woven fabric, often spun polypropylene. They can be disinfected by heating them to 65C for about 30 minutes in an oven, but care needs to be taken to ensure they don't get too hot, as that may well damage the plastic fibres.


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Old 21st Apr 2020, 09:58
  #5312 (permalink)  
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VP959,

Strangely enough - microwaving works...........

https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/...t-covid-virus/
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Old 21st Apr 2020, 10:04
  #5313 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
Washing normally in water will pretty much destroy a normal surgical mask, and will render an N95 type mask pretty useless. Masks, like gowns, are made from moisture resistant non-woven fabric, often spun polypropylene. They can be disinfected by heating them to 65C for about 30 minutes in an oven, but care needs to be taken to ensure they don't get too hot, as that may well damage the plastic fibres.
I'm not sure there'd ever be a situation where proper surgical masks could be mandated. if they couldn't be washed, then you could easily see anyone using them properly getting through minimum 7 per week, assuming they returned to work full time and still had to go shopping at the weekend. In reality, given that masks would have to be taken on and off numerable times during the day the quantity per person, per week would be significantly greater. With every removal comes the almost inevitable spreading of infection through touching them, then touching surfaces that may or may not be "public" surfaces which may, or may not, be thoroughly cleaned using wipes that are also generally not readily available.

From what I understand those countries and states that are mandating masks at the moment are accepting home made masks, thrown together from bandannas, handkerchiefs, scarves or whatever else. Again a case of being seen to be doing something. Probably totally pointless.

If I read this posting back in 2 weeks time, of course, I may turn out to be totally wrong regarding surgical masks!!
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Old 21st Apr 2020, 10:06
  #5314 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by occasional View Post
How often does the water resistance matter ? Are two layers of another material not normally adequate ?
I wonder if manufacturers of wet weather clothing have been contacted ? Wet weather gear is a necessary component of sailing as well as other forms of outdoor activities. I don't know what other qualities the materials used possess but they are all waterproof as well as water resistant and made of 'breathable' layers. As shown in chandleries, they are not cheap but, manufactured in large numbers the principle of scale economics might prevail.

There is of course the rather more cheaper variety of wet weather protective clothing worn by road repair gangs. Tho' not possessing the 'breathable' quality in most varieties, they are waterproof, robust and cheap.

Worth investigating ?
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Old 21st Apr 2020, 10:09
  #5315 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by occasional View Post
How often does the water resistance matter ? Are two layers of another material not normally adequate ?

Vital in terms of protection from droplets containing the virus, I think, as you don't want the virus to be able to just penetrate through the gown and contaminate the wearer's clothing underneath, as that defeats the purpose of wearing a water resistant gown.
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Old 21st Apr 2020, 10:11
  #5316 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
VP959,

Strangely enough - microwaving works...........

https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/...t-covid-virus/
Not really surprising, given that we know that microwave radiation is pretty good at buggering up genetic material.
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Old 21st Apr 2020, 10:14
  #5317 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
UK

https://www.reuters.com/article/heal...-idUSL9N2BW00V

COVID-19 death toll in England 41% higher than early data suggested: ONS

LONDON, April 21 (Reuters) - The true extent of the death toll in England and Wales from COVID-19 up to April 10 was 41% higher than the daily figures from the government indicated, according to data on Tuesday that includes deaths in the community.

The Office for National Statistics said it recorded 13,121 deaths by April 10, compared with 9,288 in the government’s daily toll for those who died in hospital.
“The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released data showing that13,121 deaths involving Covid-19 were recorded in England and Wales up to April 10.

This figure includes "all deaths where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, even if only suspected," in hospital and the community.

It's an increase of 3,833 deaths on the Government figures.

include all deaths where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, even if only suspected,”


It’s those four words - even if only suspected. No proof required. My father had terminal cancer but actually died in the 1980s of pneumonia. If it had have been this week, he would have been a ‘suspected’ victim too.

That’s why I’m very, very distrustful and wary of any statistics now.
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Old 21st Apr 2020, 10:17
  #5318 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Capt Kremmen View Post
I wonder if manufacturers of wet weather clothing have been contacted ? Wet weather gear is a necessary component of sailing as well as other forms of outdoor activities. I don't know what other qualities the materials used possess but they are all waterproof as well as water resistant and made of 'breathable' layers. As shown in chandleries, they are not cheap but, manufactured in large numbers the principle of scale economics might prevail.

There is of course the rather more cheaper variety of wet weather protective clothing worn by road repair gangs. Tho' not possessing the 'breathable' quality in most varieties, they are waterproof, robust and cheap.

Worth investigating ?
A couple of weeks ago I looked at some possible water-resistant non-woven fabrics, as it occurred to me that Tyvek-type house wrap fabric might work. I have some left over from building our house and it does seem as if if might meet the requirement, with the exception that it's pretty heavy. I think that a gown made from this stuff might be too uncomfortable and tiring to wear for long periods.

It also occurred to me that it might be possible to coat a lightweight fabric with water repellent. I remember treating a tent with this stuff years ago, probably some sort of silicone, and that did seem to work very well.

Another material I thought of was hot air balloon fabric. That's usually polyurethane coated ripstop nylon, and is fairly lightweight. It's also made in the UK, or at least used to be years ago when I bought some for a project at work (nothing to do with hot air balloons).
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Old 21st Apr 2020, 10:21
  #5319 (permalink)  
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Perhaps BBE, but look at the jump in deaths over the 5 year average. Unless you know of an6 other major cause COVID has to be seen as the primary suspect....

https://www.ons.gov.uk/visualisation...ine/index.html



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Old 21st Apr 2020, 10:45
  #5320 (permalink)  
 
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This data is ten days old and things have not exactly got better. What it confirms is that a lot of the care home deaths were not included in the numbers being reported as we discussed last week. I suspect there is still some lag with the homes obviously having other priorities right now than administration. But on the bright side hopefully the numbers (terrible though they are) will not end up being quite as bad as I was fearing. The number of people saying this is just the equivalent of a bad flu season seems to be reducing as the true scale emerges. Yes there are inconsistencies in attribution of cause of death. But the excess deaths relatively early in the crisis are at a level never seen before.
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