U.S. Extends Ban on Cruise Ships Through September as Coronavirus Cases Rise - COVID-19 Clinical Trial
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U.S. Extends Ban on Cruise Ships Through September as Coronavirus Cases Rise

Federal health officials are extending the U.S. ban on cruise ships through the end of September as coronavirus infections rise in most U.S. states, including Florida.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that it was extending a no-sail order that had been scheduled to expire July 24.In the order signed by CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield, the agency said the cruise industry hasn’t controlled transmission of the virus on its ships.

The CDC said it was concerned whether cruise ships operating now with reduced crews were complying with practices designed to prevent transmitting the virus. The CDC said its concerns “highlight the need for further action prior to resuming passenger operations.”The order covers ships that can carry 250 or more passengers. The CDC said cruise ships are more crowded than most urban settings, and even when only essential crew remains on board, the virus continues to spread.


A Girls Robotics Team Designs Low Cost Ventilator

In the eastern Afghan city of Herat, 18-year-old high school student Somaya Faruqi adjusts a suction cap as she puts the finishing touches before unveiling a low-cost, lightweight ventilator created by her and six other young women.The all-female Afghan Robotics Team, which has won international awards for its robots, started work in March on an open-source, low-cost ventilator as the coronavirus pandemic hit the war-torn nation.

It took the team almost four months to finalise the ventilator, which is partly based on a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) design, and they received guidance from experts at Harvard University. The device is easy to carry, can run on battery power for 10 hours, and costs roughly $700 to produce, compared with the $20,000 price of a traditional ventilator.


Uber Offers COVID-19 Contact Tracing Help

Uber Technologies Inc has quietly launched a service to give public health officials quick access to data on drivers and riders presumed to have come into contact with someone infected with COVID-19, company officials said. The service, offered free of charge, could help burnish the image of the ride-hailing giant, which recently launched a new ad campaign spotlighting its “No Mask, No Ride” policy in the United States.

Now being promoted to government health officials in all the countries where it operates, the service provides health departments with data about who used Uber’s services and when and allows health agencies to urge affected users into quarantine, the company officials said.Information on an individual can be accessed in a few hours, the officials said, with the company considering COVID-19 an emergency involving danger of death or serious physical injury. Though Uber has provided the data for months now, it has not been put to use in many U.S. virus hotspots.

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