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Social alignment and masks reduce the risk of getting Covid-19, the main review findings



Are these social distancing methods safe?

“The most comprehensive study to date” found that physical distance and perhaps the use of masks are the two best ways to prevent transmission of the new corona virus.

The new study, published in the Lancet medical journal Monday, found people should stay at least three feet apart and more if possible.

The review of various published studies, paid for by the World Health Organization, has three main findings:

The researchers looked at 172 observational studies in 16 countries and six continents, including studies in health care and community settings. They do not see randomized controlled trials, considered the gold standard but it is almost impossible to apply to study transmission of infections in people.

Researchers at universities around the world analyzed studies of the Covid-19 outbreak, the acute SARS virus and the Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome virus (MERS), which came from the same virus family.

While most countries in the world have instituted simple steps like this to reduce the spread of Covid-19, the scientific evidence behind them is not always clear and, in the case of masks, sometimes contradictory.
However, all experts agree on the importance of washing hands with soap thoroughly and regularly.

‘A big step forward’

The review results support a physical distance policy of at least 1 meter (3.3 feet) and, if feasible, 2 meters (6.6 feet) or more, the researchers said. The information can also be used to inform models that predict the spread of disease and help with contact tracking schemes, the research team, led by Holger Schünemann of McMaster University in Canada, added.

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Trish Greenhalgh, professor of Primary Care Health Services at Oxford University who was not involved in the study, said that while all of these results were subject to uncertainty, the extraordinary message was that physical measures were effective in preventing Covid-19.

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“This is a big step forward in our knowledge, because the previous meta-analysis is mainly based on the prevention of influenza and other diseases, which do not behave the same as the Covid-19 virus,” he told the Science Media Center in London.

“In all three questions, the evidence seems to support the steps. For example, on average, staying 1 meter from someone else seems to reduce your chance of capturing Covid-19 by 80%. Wearing a mask or facepiece seems to reduce your risk by 85%. And wearing glasses or face shields seems to reduce the risk by 78%. “

Current WHO guidelines said that healthy people only need to wear masks if they care for people with Covid-19. In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend face coverings to protect others in places where social distance cannot be maintained but says the general public does not need to wear surgical masks or masks with respirators.
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Pull Jašarević, a WHO spokesman, said the international health agency was in the process of updating its advice on wearing masks, with changes likely to be announced this week.

That change “tends to touch the best material that you can make yourself mask, based on the latest data from the US, “he told CNN via email.

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“WHO has maintained its focus on the use of masks where there is evidence that they can limit transmission, such as in health care settings. In fact, new guidelines can expand their use in these settings,” he added.

The next step for government leaders

The key question now is how the government and society should interpret this result, said Linda Bauld, a professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh.

“The first and perhaps most useful finding is the problem of physical distance. There are many complaints that guidance in the UK at 2 meters is excessive because it is more than in other countries,” he told the Science Media Center.

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“But this review supports it. Maintaining this distance is likely to reduce risk compared to 1 meter. Thus, if possible, this is the distance retailers and employers should use because more places and workplaces are reopened in the future.”

Bauld added that while the certainty of evidence was low on face masks, making it more difficult for the government to make this mandatory, reviews added to the evidence that leaders must ask the public to wear face masks on public transportation, in shops and other indoor spaces even when physical distance occurs, he said.

For healthcare workers, this study found that N95 masks and other respirator-type masks might provide greater protection from virus transmission compared with surgical masks or cotton masks or multiple layers of gauze.

However, the review did not see the effect of wearing masks to protect others, said Greenhalgh of Oxford. He said the general public must wear standard cloth masks or surgical masks, leaving respirator masks for health care workers.

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Even when used and combined correctly, long distance, masks and eye protection do not offer complete protection, this research emphasizes, and basic steps such as hand washing are very important to reduce transmission.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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