The Response: 24th April – 1st May

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The Response 
This week’s selection of solutions, progress and development

Coronavirus progress

The UK is racing to create the world’s first coronavirus vaccine Vaccines usually take years to create. But a team at the University of Oxford is hoping to get things done in a matter of months. Here’s how (Wired)

How India will play a major role in a Covid-19 vaccine  Serum Institute of India (SII), the world's largest maker of vaccines by volume, is mass-producing the vaccine candidate developed by the University of Oxford, which started testing it on humans last week, with plans to produce up to 60 million doses 

Violet, the Robot That Can Kill the COVID-19 Virus A common saying in robotics is that robots are best suited for jobs too dirty, dull, or dangerous for humans. The coronavirus outbreak is a textbook example of the last. Violet is one of many robots deployed or soon to be deployed on the front lines of the global outbreak, navigating hospitals and assisting health workers and patients with a very low risk of spreading the infection.

20,000 households to take part in test to track infection and levels of immunity The study aims to improve understanding around the current rate of infection and how many people are likely to have developed antibodies to the virus.

UK launches trial into coronavirus blood plasma treatment  A clinical trial has been given approval to determine if a treatment involving donated plasma can support coronavirus patients, with plans to scale up a national programme to deliver up to 10,000 units of plasma a week to the NHS if proven effective. (National Health Executive)

Military tests key workers in mobile units At least 96 new pop-up facilities, which will travel to care homes, police and fire stations, prisons and benefits centres, are planned in total. Eleven of those mobile sites are up-and-running in areas including Salisbury, Carlisle and Watford. (BBC)

Coronavirus: five reasons to feel optimistic To counterbalance negativity, this piece looks towards the positives so that people can see what has been done, what is working and how things might look in the future if we encounter a second wave of the virus. (The Conversation)

Tech for good during COVID-19: Therapy for nurses, baby food, and an online diary  Let’s get into other tech companies working hard to do good during COVID-19. (Tech Crunch)

Millions more to be eligible for testing This represents a massive expansion of who is eligible for testing - and means we are now one step away from allowing everyone to access a test if they have symptoms. (BBC)

In other news...

How electric planes could revolutionize commercial aviation Last December, a small seaplane soared over Vancouver, marking the world’s first electric commercial aircraft flight. For Harbour Air, it was a first step toward its goal of operating an all-electric, zero-carbon fleet. (Fast Company)

Cleaner UK air during lockdown has ‘saved 1,700 lives’, says study The CREA study also said 6,000 new cases of child asthma had been avoided, with 1,900 fewer A&E visits due to asthma, 1.3 million fewer days off work and 600 fewer premature births. (Sky News)

A Ban on Pregnant Girls Attending School in Sierra Leone Has Been Lifted Five years ago, Sierra Leone’s government instituted a controversial policy banning pregnant teenagers from attending school. After a new administration has entered office, the ban has now been reversed.

The ‘gangsta gardener’ transforming Los Angeles

Lockdown is an unlikely ally for Ron Finley, who has set about revolutionising attitudes to gardening in inner city areas. (The Guardian) 
Watch his TED talk – click here. 

Milan announces ambitious scheme to reduce car use after lockdown
The city has announced that 35km (22 miles) of streets will be transformed over the summer, with a rapid, experimental citywide expansion of cycling and walking space to protect residents as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. (The Guardian)



200 migration reporters sign up for The Local’s solutions journalism training

More than 50 editors, reporters and freelancers from almost 25 countries have been selected to take part in The Local’s first training sessions for journalists interested in covering migration from a solutions journalism perspective.

“We believe that coverage of how people are responding constructively to challenges is an essential part of journalism. By including this kind of reporting, journalists can help combat limited perspectives and damaging stereotypes, give their audience a fuller picture of what’s happening in the world without telling them what to think, and make their reporting more inclusive” (The Local)


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