A weekly update of our discussions on the coronavirus with experts, researchers and users from around the world.


From @JazliAziz on Malaysia

As you can see, the 3rd phase of the Movement Control Order (MCO) reported significantly fewer COVID-19 cases in the country, which suggests that the MCO has succeeded in mitigating the spread of the disease. Hopefully this 4th phase will bring it down even further, and Malaysia can start planning an exit strategy for the rest of the year.

Total cases - 5851

Total recoveries - 4032 (68.91%)

Total deaths - 100 (1.71%)

Our recovery rate is increasing as the days go by, almost reaching 70%, while our death rate remains among the lowest in the world. As for recurrent infections, though our MOH echoes the sentiments of the WHO that it is a possibility, the country has not recorded any cases thus far.
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From @StephenL on the link between Vitamin D and Coronavirus Death Rates

The premise of this study, which was published as an *editorial* and not peer reviewed by the Journal, is that countries in the Southern Hemisphere have fewer deaths from coronavirus. And that the cause for this is their greater exposure to natural sunlight. They recommend everyone take Vitamin D supplements as a result.


There are 32 countries in the Southern Hemisphere so I compared their number of deaths per million to the US current death rate of 183.
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From @Pathfinder on Vitamin D and Coronavirus

Correlation is not causation, that's for certain

From the paper, they neglected to mention the distinction between correlation and causation

"This means that serum (OH)D level in the body could account for the clinical outcomes of the patients infected with Covid-2019. An increase in serum (OH)D level in the body could either improve clinical outcomes or mitigate worst (severe to critical) outcomes. On the other hand, a decrease in serum (OH)D level in the body could worsen clinical outcomes of Covid-2019 patients."

Or as you mention, maybe patients were already ill and their Vit D levels were depressed due their other preceding illnesses.


From @Shay on the lockdown in Ireland

Phased reopening

Starting on 18 May, the country will begin to re-open in five stages, three weeks apart. 

Varadkar said that “all things going to plan”, the fifth stage will commence on 10 August. 

Based on the three-week review process, the current phases would commence on the following dates: 

Phase one – 18 MayPhase two – 8 JunePhase three – 29 JunePhase four – 20 JulyPhase five – 10 August

Phase one – 18 May

With regard to community health measures, the document advises that during phase one people should continue to avoid unnecessary journeys. 

Other guidance includes: 

Up to four people not of the same household may meet outdoors while maintaining strict social distancing. People should continue to avoid non-essential social visiting. Current restrictions on attendance at funerals to a maximum of 10 people should be continued. 

In terms of education and childcare measures, schools and college buildings may open for access by teachers for organisation and distribution of remote learning.

Looking at economic activity, the following is being advised on a risk-based approach: 

A phased return of outdoor workers will be permitted (ie. construction workers and gardeners). Social distancing will be required. People who are in are position to work remotely will continue to do so.

Guidance for retail services is as follows: 

Open retail outlets that are primarily outdoor (eg. garden centres and hardware stores)Open retail outlets that were open in Tier 2 (ie, homeware, opticians, motor and bicycle repair)Retailers will be asked to develop a plan for safe operation and protection of staff and consumers. 

In terms of social and cultural measures, some outdoor public amenities and tourism sites will reopen where people are non-stationary and social distancing can be applied. 

Outdoor public sports amenities will be open where social distancing can be maintained. People will be permitted to engage in outdoor sporting or fitness activities in groups of up to four, where social distancing can be maintained.
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Useful articles and videos discussed this week:

Germany ready to tighten lockdown as coronavirus infection rate climbs again

Angela Merkel on when Germany’s hospitals will be overloaded if the curve isn’t flattened

Billionaire Elon Musk, America’s dumbest smart guy, spent the night tweeting about how America needs to “reopen” its economy

Old Drugs May Find a New Purpose: Fighting the Coronavirus


Other related conversations on Cake: