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Avira Antivirus Pro - Review 2020 - PCMag IndiaAvira Antivirus Pro - Review 2020 - PCMag IndiaPosted: 11 Jun 2020 12:00 AM PDTEvery computer needs antivirus protection, and one way companies can support that aim is to provide free antivirus to the masses. But these companies can't survive unless some users shell out their hard-earned cash for paid antivirus utilities. Piling on pro-only tools and components is one way companies encourage upgrading to a paid antivirus. Avira Antivirus Pro adds several components not available to users of Avira Free Security, but they don't really add much value. The biggest reason to pay for it is if you want to use Avira in a commercial setting, which isn't allowed with the free version.Avira's pricing is undeniably on the high side, with a list price of $59.88 per year for one license, $71.88 for three, and $95.88 for five. Admittedly, it seems to be perpetually on sale; just now, the one-license price is discounted to $44.99. That…

Experts warn coronavirus will divert resources from killer diseases - Financial Times

Experts warn coronavirus will divert resources from killer diseases - Financial Times

Experts warn coronavirus will divert resources from killer diseases - Financial Times

Posted: 09 May 2020 09:00 PM PDT

Abdalla Hussein has been forced into making painful trade-offs as the coronavirus pandemic spreads.

The country director for Médecins Sans Frontières in Burkina Faso has had to radically change a long-planned measles vaccination programme in the west African country due to the "emergency within an emergency", as the pandemic coincides with rising numbers of malaria and dengue fever cases. Mass vaccinations in fixed locations are no longer possible and a revamped door-to-door campaign will take much longer to complete.

"We do not have the luxury here of only having Covid-19 as a priority," Mr Hussein said. There are other deadly diseases that are endemic in this country and without the necessary preparation and response it could be a catastrophic situation."

His dilemma is faced across the developing world as the virus not only claims lives of health workers and others directly, but is also causing huge disruptions to the treatment and prevention of other killer diseases as the pandemic threatens to overwhelm fragile health systems.

Aid groups fear this "resource steal" will result in other illnesses, from HIV and TB to malaria and dengue fever, being neglected as finite resources are diverted to deal with Covid-19, costing lives today and storing up huge problems for the future.

Borry Jatta, response director for Ebola at the International Rescue Committee, said that in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where at least 2,200 people died in the 2018-19 outbreak of the haemorrhagic fever, the coronavirus is having a profound effect on a range of healthcare services.

"Critical vaccinations, maternal and child health and other life-saving activities are [being] reduced and in some cases stopped completely due to fear of the spread of Covid-19. The risk is that we will see an increase in other epidemic outbreaks," he said.

Richard Mihigo, co-ordinator of the World Health Organization's immunisation programmes in Africa — who has assumed new responsibilities as WHO deputy Covid-19 manager — cited a number of issues, from a drop in blood donations to disruptions in the supply of vital medicines due to flight cancellations and border restrictions.

But the impact on vaccinations is uppermost in his mind. Measles campaigns in five African countries, covering 31m children, have already been halted. Hopes of declaring the continent free of polio this summer have stalled. "The postponement and cancellation of planned activities is really putting at risk some of the vaccine preventable diseases," Mr Mihigo said.

One analysis led by modellers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine warned of the stark implications of stopping regular childhood immunisation. It estimated there could be 140 deaths from diseases such as measles as a consequence of stopping vaccination visits for every death caused by Covid-19 if the programmes continued.

For malaria, Africa's biggest infectious disease killer, the impact of the virus could be devastating. Coronavirus has curtailed treatment efforts and stalled widespread prevention programmes such as bednet distribution and insecticide spraying. Forecasts suggest deaths from malaria could double this year to nearly 800,000 — a peak last reached 20 years ago.

The UN population programme estimates that pandemic-linked disruptions to health services in the world's poorest countries will leave 47m women without access to contraceptives and lead to an additional 7m unintended pregnancies, with the largest share in Africa.

Mike English, a paediatrician at Kenya's Kemri-Wellcome Trust centre, said Covid-19 has highlighted gaps in medical provision such as respirators, which have long been demanded for conditions like pneumonia. "The real problem is less the technology and more the people," he said, pointing out that the country has only a handful of intensive care consultants.

Another consequence is that health workers and patients — including heavily pregnant women — are opting to stay away from clinics over concerns about the risks of Covid-19 infection. "The number of women choosing to deliver in hospitals is going down, routine services are shut and patient clinics for chronic conditions are closed," Dr English said.

In response, local health systems and international donors are turning their attention to how to mitigate the damage.

Seth Berkley, head of Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, that distributes donor-funded vaccines to the world's poorest countries, stressed the need for a response approach tailored to the developing world. "Advice given for quarantining and frequent handwashing is impossible to do in urban slums," he said, pointing to the need for communal washing facilities and food distribution systems.

Editor's note

The Financial Times is making key coronavirus coverage free to read to help everyone stay informed. Find the latest here.

Ahead of a donor funding meeting next month in London, he is already planning extensive post-pandemic "catch up" vaccination campaigns for those programmes that have been delayed, as well as a potential role in distributing any future Covid-19 vaccine.

Peter Sands, head of the UN-backed Global Fund to Fight Aids, TB and Malaria, said his organisation had refocused $1bn in funding to support coronavirus activities linked to its efforts to tackle the three big infectious diseases.

That includes modifying the bednet programme in Benin, providing the distributors with personal protective equipment, and requesting that they visit every household to avoid local people gathering in a central place and increasing transmission risk.

But he is braced for difficult times ahead. "I think we will see a huge drain on domestic funding diverted to Covid-19. And the economic position of fragile economies is going to be dire," he said. "It is a huge issue. There is a real concern we will see a setback."


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