39 posts

Predicting Mutations

M. Cyrus Maher et al. (ed.): Predicting the mutational drivers of future SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, in: Science Translational Medicine 14, Nr. 633 (January 11, 2022) S. 1-10, online in: Abstract SARS-CoV-2 evolution threatens vaccine- and natural infection–derived immunity and the efficacy of therapeutic antibodies. To improve public health preparedness, the authors sought to predict which existing amino acid mutations in SARS-CoV-2 might contribute to future variants of concern. They tested the predictive value of features comprising epidemiology, evolution, immunology, and neural network–based protein sequence modeling and identified primary biological drivers of SARS-CoV-2 intrapandemic evolution. The authors found evidence […]

14.9 Million Excess Deaths

WHO (ed.): 14.9 million excess deaths associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, in: (May 5, 2022). Estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate that the total number of deaths directly or indirectly associated with the COVID-19 pandemic (described as “excess mortality”) between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2021, will be about 14.9 million. (Range 13.3 million to 16.6 million). The highest excess mortality was concentrated in Southeast Asia, Europe, and the Americas, with 68% of excess mortality recorded in just 10 countries. Middle-income countries (81%) were particularly affected, in contrast to high-income (15%) and […]

Area-Level Socioeconomic Deprivation

Sven Rohleder u. a.: Area-level socioeconomic deprivation, non-national residency, and Covid-19 incidence: A longitudinal spatiotemporal analysis in Germany Summary, in: eClincalMedicine (June 13, 2022), online: Summary Background Socioeconomic conditions affect the dynamics of the Covid-19 pandemic. The authors analysed the association between area-level socioeconomic deprivation, proportion of non-nationals, and incidence of Covid-19 infections in Germany. Methods Using linked nationally representative data at the level of 401 German districts from three waves of infection (January-2020 to May-2021), the authors fitted Bayesian spatiotemporal models to assess the association between socioeconomic deprivation, and proportion of non-nationals with Covid-19 incidence, controlling for age, […]

Equitable ending to the pandemic

Mitsuru Mukaigawara, Ines Hassan, Genevie Fernandes, Lois King, Jay Patel, Devi Sridhar: An equitable roadmap for ending the COVID-19 pandemic, in: Nature Medicine 28 (May 2022) S. 890-899, online in: “Many governments are rolling back restrictions, but the pandemic will end only with a renewed focus on equitable distribution of vaccines and therapeutics, responsive public health plans, and policies to protect the vulnerable. More than 2 years into the COVID-19 pandemic, it remains unclear when and how it will end. The global outcome is dependent on multiple factors: the level of cooperation between governments; equitable access to vaccines, testing […]

14.9 Million Excess Deaths

WHO (ed.): 14.9 million excess deaths associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021 (released: May 5, 2022), online in: (date of access: May 9, 2022). “New estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that the full death toll associated directly or indirectly with the COVID-19 pandemic (described as “excess mortality”) between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2021 was approximately 14.9 million (range 13.3 million to 16.6 million).” These figures show the impact of the pandemic and the need for all countries to create more resilient health systems and stronger health information systems.

Transmissibility and spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants.

Campbell Finlay u. a.: Increased transmissibility and global spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern as at June 2021, in: Euro Surveillance Vol. 26, Issue 24 (2021), pii=2100509, online in: The authors present a global analysis of the spread of recently emerged SARS-CoV-2 variants and estimate changes in effective reproduction numbers at country-specific level using sequence data from GISAID. Nearly all investigated countries demonstrated rapid replacement of previously circulating lineages by the World Health Organization-designated variants of concern, with estimated transmissibility increases of 29% (95% CI: 24–33), 25% (95% CI: 20–30), 38% (95% CI: 29–48) and 97% (95% CI: 76–117), […]

Excess mortality 2020/21

COVID-19 Excess Mortality Collaborators (Haidong Wang u. a.): Estimating excess mortality due to the COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic analysis of COVID-19-related mortality, 2020–21, in: The Lancet Online (March 10, 2022), online in: Summary Background Mortality statistics are fundamental to public health decision making. Mortality varies by time and location, and its measurement is affected by well known biases that have been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper aims to estimate excess mortality from the COVID-19 pandemic in 191 countries and territories, and 252 subnational units for selected countries, from Jan 1, 2020, to Dec 31, 2021. Methods All-cause […]

Updated graphics

The following graphics were presented by Karl Heinz Roth in March 2022 on his lecture tour for his book Stowaways. Link to the lecture tour announcement Link to the graphics

Future Pandemics

The Lancet Respiratory Medicine (ed.): Editorial. Future pandemics: failing to prepare means preparing to fail, in: The Lancet Respiratory Medicine 10, Issue 3 (March 1, 2022), pp. 221-222, online in: In their editorial, the editors of The Lancet Respiratory Medicine advocate for a global pandemic response with an integrative and multi-pronged approach that includes not only the Covid-19 pandemic but also other current and future pandemics. Many countries, especially those with middle and low incomes, are still heavily involved in the fight against covid-19 and are also inadequately prepared for future pandemics. Investments made through global funds in mechanisms […]

Social Inequalities in France

Stéphanie Vandentorren, Sabira Smaïli u. a.: The effect of social deprivation on the dynamic of SARS-CoV-2 infection in France: a population-based analysis, in: The Lancet Public Health 7 (March 2022), S. e240-e249, online in: Summary of the article: “Background Data on health inequalities related to the dynamic of SARS-CoV-2 infection in France are scarce. The aim of this study was to analyse the association between an area-based deprivation indicator and SARS-CoV-2 incidence, positivity, and testing rates between May 2020 and April 2021. Methods We analysed data reported to the Système d’Information de Dépistage Populationnel surveillance system between May 14, […]

The true death toll

David Adam: Die wahre Zahl der Coronapandemie-Toten. Übersterblichkeit wegen COVID-19 [The true number of corona pandemic deaths. Excess mortality due to COVID-19], in: (January 24, 2022). According to official estimates, more than 5 million people should have died as a result of COVID-19 by the beginning of 2022. This estimate does not take into account the number of unreported cases. As the author of this article has pointed out, according to The Economist magazine, the number of actual deaths is two to four times higher than the official figure. Meanwhile, a determination of the actual number of Covid-19 fatalities, […]

Wuhan, a new Hiroshima?

Bruno Canard, Étienne Decroly: Wuhan, ein neues Hiroshima? First published in Manière de voir No. 179 (October / November 2021), translation: Bernd Schrader. The authors are research directors of the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Laboratory of Architecture and Function of Biological Macromolecules, University of Aix-Marseille. The exact origin of the Covid-19 pandemic remains unknown, no solid evidence allows to validate the hypotheses. Many scientists demand an independent investigation, freed from the resistance of the Chinese authorities. Because the negligence observed in Wuhan raises questions about the genetic manipulations carried out in this laboratory, as in those of […]

Thesis Paper 7.0 of German public health experts

Matthias Schrappe, Hedwig François-Kettner, Matthias Gruhl, Dieter Hart, Franz Knieps, Philip Manow, Holger Pfaff, Klaus Püschel, Gerd Glaeske: Thesenpapier 7. Die Pandemie durch SARS-CoV-2/CoViD-19. Sorgfältige Integration der Impfung in eine umfassende Präventionsstrategie. Impfkampagne resilient gestalten und wissenschaftlich begleiten. Aufklärung und Selbstbestimmung beachten, thesis paper version 7, final version Cologne, Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg January 10, 2021. (Thesis Paper 7. The Pandemic by SARS-CoV-2/CoViD-19. Carefully Integrating Vaccination into a Comprehensive Prevention Strategy. Make vaccination campaign resilient and provide scientific support. Respect education and self-determination).

Impact on Jobs and Incomes in G20 Economies

International Labour Orgnaization (ILO), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (ed.): The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on jobs and incomes in G20 economies. ILO-OECD paper prepared at the request of G20 Leaders. Saudi Arabia’s G20 Presidency 2020, August 2020, online in:–en/index.htm. Joint ILO-OECD Covid-19 report, prepared for the 3rd Employment Working Group (EWG) meeting under the Saudi G20 Presidency (virtual meeting, 19-20 August 2020).

The World of Work: Impact and Policy Responses

International Labour Organziation (Hg.): ILO-Monitor. COVID-19 and the world of work. Sixth edition. Updated estimates and analysis, online in:–en/index.htm, September 23, 2020. The ILO note provides the International Labor Organization‘s (ILO) preliminary assessment concerning the possible impacts of COVID-19 on the world of work and proposes a range of policy options to mitigate these impacts and facilitate a strong and rapid recovery. This sixth note is part of a continuously updated series. Updates will be made as new data and information become available in this rapidly evolving situation.

Thesis Paper 6.10 of German public health experts

Matthias Schrappe, Hedwig François-Kettner, Matthias Gruhl, Dieter Hart, Franz Knieps, Philip Manow, Holger Pfaff, Klaus Püschel, Gerd Glaeske: Thesenpapier 6. Teil 6.1: Epidemiologie. Die Pandemie durch SARS-CoV-2/CoViD-19. Zur Notwendigkeit eines Strategiewechsels (Thesis Paper 6. Part 6.1: Epidemiology. The pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2/CoViD-19. On the necessity of a change of strategy), Thesenpapier Version 6.10 Köln, Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg November 22, 2020.

The Pandemic System

Paolo Barcello: Interview with Francesca Nava. The Pandemic System (Il sistema della pandemia), first publicated in Italian in: Erbacce. Forme di vita resistenti ai diserbanti (November 7, 2020), online in: As a freelance journalist and documentary filmmaker for Rai 3 Presadiretta, TPI and other newspapers, Francesca Nava closely followed the spread of the pandemic in her native Bergamo. She has drawn from it various studies and a book, “Il Focolaio. From Bergamo to National Infection” (Laterza publishing house), which now seems all the more important in view of a new increase in cases, hospitals under pressure, new containment measures. […]

Thesis paper 5.0 of German public health experts

Matthias Schrappe, Hedwig François-Kettner, Matthias Gruhl, Dieter Hart, Franz Knieps, Philipp Manow, Holger Pfaff, Klaus Püschel, Gerd Glaeske: Thesenpapier 5.0. Die Pandemie durch SARS-CoV-2/Covid-19. Spezifische Prävention als Grundlage der „Stabilen Kontrolle“ der SARS-CoV-2-Epidemie [Thesis paper 5.0. The pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2/Covid-19. Specific prevention as the basis for “stable control” of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic], Köln, Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg (25. Oktober 2020).

Thesis paper 4.0 of German public health experts

Matthias Schrappe, Hedwig François-Kettner, Matthias Gruhl, Dieter Hart, Franz Knieps, Philipp Manow, Holger Pfaff, Klaus Püschel, Gerd Glaeske: Thesenpapier 4.0 Die Pandemie durch SARS-CoV-2/Covid-19 – der Übergang zur chronischen Phase – Verbesserung der Outcomes in Sicht Stabile Kontrolle: Würde und Humanität wahren Diskursverengung vermeiden: Corona nicht politisieren [Thesis Paper 4.0 The Pandemic through SARS-CoV-2/Covid-19 – the Transition to the Chronic Phase – Improving Outcomes in Sight Stable Control. Maintaining dignity and humanity. Avoid narrowing of discourse. Do not politicize Corona], Köln, Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg (30. August 2020).