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Covid-19 tests that deliver as good a result as traditional lab tests in 20 minutes, study finds

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Covid-19 tests that deliver as good a result as traditional lab tests in 20 minutes, study finds

Tests that can detect Covid-19 in just 20 minutes are as effective as the standard nasal swabs performed in labs across New Zealand, a study has confirmed.

PCR testing is considered the “gold standard” for determining whether a sample of saliva or nasopharyngeal secretions contains genetic material of the virus.

Typically, the process — which involves heating and cooling the sample and mixing it with enzymes — takes hours, but the technology developed halfway through last year can deliver results much faster.

A person undergoes a nose swab for Covid-19 in Stratford, Taranaki.

VANESSA LAURIE/Things

A person undergoes a nose swab for Covid-19 in Stratford, Taranaki.

It is hoped that the expanded use of the faster tests – known as rapid PCR tests – to triage patients in emergency departments with upper respiratory tract symptoms, will help prevent transmission of the virus in hospitals. But scientists say a global shortage of the kits needed to run them will likely prevent them from being used more widely.

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“They are a very precious resource. These are just as critical in keeping our hospitals as free as possible from Covid,” said James Ussher, an associate professor of immunology and microbiology at Otago University, co-author of the study, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal on Friday.

The study also looked at the accuracy of rapid antigen testing.

It concluded that this process, which identifies the presence of specific proteins, such as spike proteins, on the virus, could miss up to 44 percent of Covid-19 cases, compared to traditional PCR tests.

The wait of up to 48 hours for results on traditional PCR swabs has previously sparked calls from National’s Covid-19 spokesperson Chris Bishop for rapid testing on a larger scale.

Health authorities also came under fire in September when a man at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland shared a room with three other patients in a surgical ward while contagious with Covid-19.

In the wake of the incident, Health Director-General Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the hospital was investigating why the man had not been isolated while staff waited for the result of a PCR smear.

A Taranaki resident is being tested for Covid-19 this month after confirming a case in the community.

VANESSA LAURIE/Things

A Taranaki resident is being tested for Covid-19 this month after confirming a case in the community.

The publication of the paper, a collaboration between researchers from the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR), Auckland City Hospital, Labtests and Southern Community Laboratories, came after the government announced plans to spend $1 billion to support contact tracing and to strengthen the test system. .

Associated Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall said on Thursday that while standard PCR tests remain the main tool to diagnose Covid-19, rapid antigen testing will be rolled out across the health system, including in retirement homes, from next Wednesday.

Companies could purchase rapid antigen test kits from licensed suppliers to test their personnel, and the general public could obtain them from pharmacies on December 15.

Results of rapid antigen testing would be confirmed with a follow-up PCR test.

She added that the government would increase lab capacity so that they could process 60,000 per day by early 2021 and that saliva-based PCR and rapid PCR testing would soon become available. However, she could not confirm details under what circumstances they would be used.

Ussher said that despite their shortcomings, rapid antigen testing had a place in the Covid-19 testing system.

For example, they can be used to screen people crossing the Auckland border. Currently, this task was “taking huge lab volumes and not yielding a huge number of positives”.

A nasopharyngeal swab is packaged before being sent for PCR testing.

SIMON O’CONNOR/Stuff

A nasopharyngeal swab is packaged before being sent for PCR testing.

dr. Anja Werno, a clinical microbiologist and virologist who heads pathology for Canterbury Health Laboratories, agreed.

“Anything capable of reducing the strain on labs and giving a fast turnaround can be very useful in specific circumstances, such as critical [situations] in the emergency department for example… You have an arsenal of testing options that you can deploy and rapid PCR testing is one of them,” she said.

Darryl Carpenter, who oversees testing and delivery of Covid-19 for the ministry, said it was considering a rapid PCR test and monitoring study on them.

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Amazon Gives Rs 650 Crore in Amazon Wholesale (India)

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US-based e-commerce giant Amazon has injected fresh capital amounting to Rs 650 crore into one of its Indian units, Amazon Wholesale (India), according to regulatory documents. Amazon Corporate Holdings Private Limited and Amazon.com.incs Limited have made an investment of Rs 650 crore in the wholesale B2B arm of Amazon India, according to documents filed with the Ministry of Business Affairs and shared by market research firm Tofler. The allocation date was October 26, 2021, it added.

Amazon India did not respond to email inquiries. According to the documents, a significant portion of the funds (over Rs 649.94 crore) came from Amazon Corporate Holdings Pvt Ltd. The new funds will provide Amazon in India with more arsenal to bolster its wholesale B2B business in India. Amazon has aggressively invested in several business units in India. These investments have been leveraged to expand infrastructure and add solutions to improve the consumer and merchant experience.

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In October, Amazon had also deposited fresh capital amounting to Rs 1460 crore into Amazon Seller Services – the marketplace that helps sellers sell their products online in India and internationally.

First print: IST

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Comfortable and dry weather this week, rain returns over the weekend

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Comfortable and dry weather this week, rain returns over the weekend

SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – This week is in for a treat as we will have comfortable and dry weather through Friday, we will pay for the great weather by dealing with some rain for the coming weekend.

Cold air will greet the early risers today as temperatures at dawn will be in the 30s and low 40s. The wet ground from the recent rain and cool temperatures is allowing some patchy to dense fog to form, it won’t be a widespread problem but valleys and lowland areas will see some dense fog until 8am

High temperatures expected on Monday afternoon

A subtle weather change today will have a big impact on our weather this week. The wind will shift from the northeast to the south today. This will start a warming trend that will continue for the rest of the week. Highs should be comfortably above 60 this afternoon with a light breeze from the southeast at 5 to 10 miles per hour. After breaking through the morning fog in some areas, it will be sunny in the afternoon and early evening with clear skies at night.

CLICK HERE to see more predictions from Futurecast.

The south wind will bring a warming trend for the day and night. Mornings will generally remain cool, but tonight’s lows are forecast to be in the 40s, we may not see 30 degree temperatures for the rest of the week.

Monday night on Tuesday morning forecast low temperatures

Peaks will be in the low 70s under partly cloudy skies Tuesday, with mostly sunny to partly cloudy weather expected to continue through Friday. Highlights will be in the mid to upper 70s Wednesday through Friday.

Our next cold front is approaching the ArkLaTex late Friday, it’s possible we’ll see some rain late in the day, but for now I’ll leave the Friday forecast dry. This front will move into the ArkLaTex on Saturday, bringing with it a series of showers and thunderstorms throughout the day, with some rain lasting through Sunday. Saturday appears to be the day with the most weather as there is a chance that the rain will clear quickly enough to keep Sunday dry in many areas. If you have outdoor plans this weekend, stay tuned for the weather forecast throughout the week.


Get exclusive severe weather details about storms as they approach your area with download the Arklatex Weather Authority app now available in the App Store and Google Play

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COVID Gourmand: Restaurant Guide Published by Beijing CDC

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COVID Gourmand: Restaurant Guide Issued By Beijing CDC

Last Friday, foodies and restaurateurs alike held their breath on my WeChat moments after Beijing’s CDC released the travel history of a person who came to Beijing from Shanghai and then tested positive for COVID-19, fearing this unexpected news could lead to yet another round of tightened restrictions on the capital’s already suffering F&B industry. Fortunately, as they have done so many times in the past, once the city identified where the traveler had eaten during their stay, the city took swift action and massively conducted nucleic acid tests on the restaurant staff. At the time of going to press, all those tests were negative and since then the required two-week incubation period has passed, meaning it is relatively safe for these restaurants to reopen.

Perhaps even more surprising, however, is that the list of restaurants visited by the infected person and their travel group ended up attracting even more attention than the case itself, as it was part of a carefully mapped out itinerary. Many of my friends therefore decided to repeat their tour of Suzhou, with several museums, communities with traditional architecture and immaculate gardens. Entertaining, instead of continuing with their tour the culture passing through the capital, this particular group decided to roam the city and stop at several hidden gem restaurants where they partook in delicacies and booze. Despite the fact that Beijing is often referred to as a culinary desert, these adventurers clearly knew their way around the city’s food scene and where to find some sparkling oases. So let’s go through this list and see what the restaurants have to offer.

Nuoyan

still thinking baijiu is the end of the Chinese libation culture? Then you might want to pay a visit to this small bistro. Hidden in the hutongs near Beixinqiao, Nuoyan is a go-to place for those looking to get lost in the diverse world that is rice wine, which can be much milder than its famously strong cousin. This slightly sweet drink is generally softer and can even be considered a weekday drink for those who want to drink socially. Not to mention, it’s more versatile when combined with food. At Nuoyan you can order a test flight with an arsenal of classic and new products.

For example, they have a rose rice wine that really lives up to its name, with a floral scent that blossoms from the infused drink. With a sip of this slightly sour, slightly sweet flower dew, the aroma reaches the tip of your tongue and flows through the body. Conversely, if you prefer a more traditional taste, clear rice wine and osmanthus-scented rice wine are also on the menu.

Aside from the drinks, Nuoyan offers a tapas menu of dishes specifically designed to enhance the flavor of the rice wine, such as stir-fried conch, marinated tofu, or roasted chicken. No wonder those travelers stayed here from 5pm to midnight.

M of course

Located on the third floor of Taikooli’s Nali Patio, I don’t suspect M Natural is a strange name for foodies or those who live in Sanlitun. It is known for a bold, fun menu inspired by diverse culinary cultures from around the world. And at a time when the word “fusion” is nothing more than a gimmick used by restaurants too lazy to deliver authentic regional flavors, M Natural is one of the few to understand the depth of its meaning and secret chemical reactions. between ingredients with different cultural backgrounds.

In addition to the seasonal wines featured on their drinks menu, M Natural – as the name suggests – is also famous for its natural wine selection. This emerging new winemaking trend is still a rarity in China, but has gradually expanded in the market with unique and wild flavors that are a product of manual harvesting techniques, as well as other requirements such as minimal human intervention in the fermentation process, and minimal or no artificial additives used during production.

Loneliness

The name of this restaurant is derived from the owner’s experience of completing four quarantines in a year due to frequent travel between France and China. Fear not though, as you won’t feel isolated in a quarantine cell when dining here. Rather, the food served is familiar home style with heartwarming service to boot, making you feel like you’re dining at a good friend’s house.

As you browse Solitude’s menu, you may notice the influence of French cuisine and the inspiration that comes from the owner’s world-traveling adventures. However, it is probably the impressive wine cabinet that catches everyone’s attention when entering the restaurant – a wide collection that ensures there is always a first choice for every occasion.

Hai Jing Ge

Finally, a restaurant on the west side of town earned its spot on this list. Compared to the previous restaurants and gastropubs, Hai Jing Ge remains closer to the diverse landscape of traditional Chinese gastronomy. Their menu features many regional delicacies, especially from southern China, including Anhui bamboo and canton steamed grouper.

Since it’s further from downtown, the dining experience at Hai Jing Ge offers diners a rare serenity often hard to find in a thriving metropolis like Beijing. And it’s only a short drive to the Summer Palace, making it the perfect place to spend some quality free time when out and about.

Read: EAT: Cheese fondue, Winter Happenings at Migas, Vegan Brunch at Zarah

Images: Dianping

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