Inmates sue jail over ivermectin treatment for Covid as ‘medical experimentation’

The lawsuit alleges that the jail physician told the four men that the prescribed drugs were ‘mere vitamins, antibiotics and/or steroids’

Four inmates at an Arkansas jail have filed a lawsuit against the facility and its doctor after they said they were unknowingly prescribed ivermectin to treat Covid-19 as a form of “medical experimentation” despite US health officials warning that the anti-parasitic drug should not be used for that purpose.

The Arkansas’ chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on behalf of the men last week against Washington county jail, Washington county sheriff Tim Helder and jail physician Dr. Robert Karas. Last August, Helder revealed that the drug had been prescribed to patients with Covid-19.

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from Coronavirus | The Guardian
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School starts in two weeks – here’s what we know about Covid safety plans for Australian students

Will there be access to rapid tests? What isolation rules will apply for students and teachers? How will staff shortages be dealt with? We answer your key questions

Term one is due to start in two weeks – except in Queensland and South Australia where it’s been delayed – but Australia is yet to release a national plan on how the return to school will be managed. This is what we know so far.

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from Coronavirus | The Guardian
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Melbourne coffee roaster panned for offering free rapid antigen tests to ‘VIP’ customers

St Ali apologised for ‘inappropriate’ offer of two RATs with orders of coffee and merchandise of $159.99 after online backlash

Melbourne coffee roaster, St Ali, has been criticised online for offering two free rapid antigen tests with purchase orders over $159.99.

In a text message sent out to “special VIP customers,” St Ali offered two free rapid antigen tests if customers bought $159.99 worth of coffee or merchandise from their online store.

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from Coronavirus | The Guardian
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NSW Covid-19 update: ‘prank’ rapid test results will result in a $5,000 fine, Hazzard says – video

NSW health minister Brad Hazzard says there have been a number of false rapid antigen test reports made, including someone claiming Hazzard himself was Covid-19 positive. He has slammed these pranks as irresponsible and illegal. ‘The police will come hunting and if you’re caught, you will [receive a] $5,000 fine. But worse still, when you’re telling your friends about that, they will probably tell you how stupid you are. It’s quite moronic’

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from Coronavirus | The Guardian
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‘People are spooked’: Australia’s January consumer confidence sinks to three-decade low over Omicron

As Covid cases surge Australians are avoiding spending, despite 2021 ending on an economic high

Australia’s consumer sentiment dived this month as worries about the explosion in Omicron Covid cases sent confidence to its lowest January level since 1992, according to the latest ANZ-Roy Morgan survey.

Consumer confidence fell 7.6% last week, sinking to its lowest rate since October 2020. Omicron case numbers surged across Australia, straining testing facilities and disrupting everything from supply chains to hairdressing salons.

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from Coronavirus | The Guardian
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Australia records highest daily Covid death toll since beginning of pandemic

Seventy-four deaths have been reported across the country, with 36 in NSW, 22 in Victoria and 16 in Queensland

Australia has recorded its deadliest day of the pandemic so far, with 74 deaths across the country.

New South Wales reported a record 36 deaths along with 29,830 new cases; Victoria reported 22 deaths and 20,180 new cases, while Queensland reported 16 deaths and 15,962 cases.

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from Coronavirus | The Guardian
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Hong Kong police arrest two Cathay flight attendants accused of Covid rule breach

Police allege staff at the beleaguered airline ‘conducted unnecessary activities’ during home isolation as China presses on with zero-Covid strategy

Hong Kong police have arrested and charged two former Cathay Pacific flight attendants over allegations they broke the city’s coronavirus rules.

The statement did not name the airline but the two – reportedly men aged 44 and 45 – were later confirmed by leader Carrie Lam as being former staff of the airline. Lam alleged on Tuesday “there is evidence showing they have violated [epidemic regulations]”.

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from Coronavirus | The Guardian
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Victoria Covid-19 update: ‘code brown’ declared for hospitals amid staff shortages – video

Victoria has called a ‘code brown’ for all metro hospitals and six regional health hubs as the state’s hospital system is pushed to the limit by the Omicron outbreak. ‘We’ve been saying for some time that our hospital system is under extreme pressure and the risks we’re seeing now in hospitalisations are testament to that. We’ve reached a point in our health system where it’s juggling severe workforce shortages,’ deputy premier James Merlino said. ‘We’ve got more than 4,000 health care workers unavailable right now. Alongside a vast amount of patients with Covid-19 who require hospitalisation. Alongside that an extraordinary workforce that are absolutely exhausted.’ Victoria recorded 22 Covid-related deaths on Tuesday and 1,152 people in hospital, with 20,180 new coronavirus cases.

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from Coronavirus | The Guardian
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Coronavirus news live: Poland enters fifth Covid wave; Australia reports record daily death toll

Australia reports deadliest day of pandemic so far with record number of 74 deaths; Poland says it expects case numbers to hit new highs in coming weeks

China has reported another 171 new confirmed Covid-19 cases for Monday, 17 January, according to a recently released statement by the National Health Commission.

The figure is down from 223 a day earlier, according to government data.

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from Coronavirus | The Guardian
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What face mask should you wear during the Omicron outbreak: N95, KF94, cloth, P2? – video explainer

Which type of mask should you be wearing? Earlier in the coronavirus pandemic, the public was encouraged to wear reusable cloth masks or surgical masks, while P2/N95 respirators were not recommended for community use. But the Omicron variant’s increased transmissibility has prompted the question: should you consider switching your reusable mask for a respirator instead?

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from Coronavirus | The Guardian
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