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Half of Covid’s patients in Europe

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About half of all Covid-19 deaths appear to be happening in care homes in some European countries, according to early figures gathered by UK-based academics who are warning that the same effort must be put into fighting the virus in care homes as in the NHS.

Snapshot data from varying official sources shows that in Italy, Spain, France, Ireland and Belgium between 42% and 57% of deaths from the virus have been happening in homes, according to the report by academics based at the London School of Economics.

Published official data for care homes in England and Wales are believed to significantly underestimate deaths in the sector, with the Office for National Statistics only recording 20 coronavirus-related deaths in all care homes in the week ending 27 March. New figures are due out on Tuesday, but are unlikely to be up to date.

Last week the industry body Care England told the Guardian the total figure was probably approaching 1,000, with deaths reaching into double figures at numerous homes. Over the weekend details of more deaths emerged, including 13 residents who have died at the 71-capacity Stanley Park care home in County Durham, and there have reportedly been five deaths at Almond Court in Glasgow.

On Monday Prof Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, said 13.5% of the UK’s care homes had a confirmed case of coronavirus among their residents, up from 9% last week, with 92 more homes detecting cases in the previous 24 hours.

But the spread of the virus and its lethality in care homes in five EU countries appears to be higher, according to academics who are calling for better UK data and a more urgent response to the crisis in care homes.

In its first review of early international evidence, researchers from the International Long Term Care Policy Network found the most robust data was available in Ireland where, as of Saturday, 54% of deaths from coronavirus occurred in care homes, according to centralised government figures.

In Italy, a government survey covering deaths in 10% of the nations’ care homes suggested 45% of all deaths in that country could be in care homes, while central government data in France released at the weekend showed the same proportion of the 13,832 deaths in that country happened in care. In Belgium, health ministry figures showed 42% of Covid-19 deaths happened in care homes, and in Spain leaked regional government data suggested 57% of the country’s death toll from 8 March to 8 April was from care homes.

The figures came from different sources and the academics stressed that differences in testing availability and policies and approaches to recording deaths make international comparisons difficult.

But one of the report’s author’s, Adelina Comas-Herrera, of the LSE’s care policy and evaluation centre, said that given the fast-moving situation “we’re trying to document it as it happens and share it”.

“If we wait for perfect standards of evidence it will be too late to make any difference,” she said.

“To me it shows we will have to give equal resourcing in dealing with Covid between the NHS and social care. Care homes are places where physical distancing is almost impossible. It’s like a perfect storm: a susceptible population, not being able to implement the measures and the staff are not well supported and trained enough. Many of the staff are care assistants with very little medical knowledge.”

There have been three epidemiological studies of Covid-19 in care homes carried out by authorities in Seattle, one of which found that by 18 March, of 101 care home residents who contracted the virus in the preceding weeks, 34 died.

Dr Michael Head, a senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton, said the LCTPN’s summary of evidence “clearly shows the lack of focus on the elderly in care homes, despite their conclusion that care home residents may account for around half of Covid deaths in five European countries. Our elderly populations deserve better than to be ignored and forgotten.”

He cautioned that it remains hard to draw conclusions on precise numbers of deaths of elderly people in nursing and residential care around Europe and said that given there are few tests available, very few suspects cases will end up as confirmed cases.

He said: “Despite these limitations, we know that a range of infections can spread easily in vulnerable populations who live in nursing or residential care, for example norovirus, scabies, influenza, and here, the novel coronavirus.”

The Department of Health and Social Care said: “We are determined to give the social care sector the support it needs to respond to coronavirus and continue to work closely with Public Health England to monitor the impact on cares homes.

“We have published extensive guidance for care homes on admitting and caring for people during the outbreak, and have announced £2.9bn to help local authorities respond to pressures in key services, such as adult social care, and enhance the NHS discharge service, allowing patients to return home safely.”

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Mission group urges Christians to pray for release of missionary pilot, 2 volunteers imprisoned in Mozambique

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The U.S.-based ministry Mission Aviation Fellowship is urging Christians to pray for the release and safety of one of its pilots, Ryan Koher, and two South African volunteers who have been detained for nearly a month in Mozambique on suspicion of supporting insurgent activity.

Koher, 31, and two South Africans — 77-year-old W.J. du Plessis and 69-year-old Eric Dry — were detained in the coastal city of Inhambane on Nov. 4 while they were loading supplies into the aircraft to be taken to church-run orphanages in the Montepuez district in the troubled Cabo Delgado Province.

“I urge Christians around the world to pray for Ryan’s safety and swift release, and call on those in power both in Mozambique and here in the U.S. to do everything they can to resolve this wrongful detainment,” MAF President and CEO David Holsten said in a statement Friday.

While conducting the normal security scan at the airport, police asked about the supplies — vitamins, over-the-counter medications and food preservatives — Koher was to deliver for the orphanages and adult staff, the ministry said, adding that Koher is a pilot for its partner, Ambassador Aviation Ltd.

“None of the confiscated material belonged to Koher nor had it been loaded onto the airplane. AAL has been conducting these annual supply charter flights to the orphanages since 2014.”

The three men have been jailed on a still undetermined written charge, according to MAF.

While the three men were suspected to be supporting insurgency, “Ambassador Aviation has long sought to care for those who have been harmed by the insurgency, including evacuating innocent residents following a March 2021 insurgent attack.”

Islamic extremists have been exploiting a crisis in the coastal province of Cabo Delgado. A civil war started in 2017 over the area rich with gas, rubies, graphite, gold and other natural resources. Protesters demonstrated against what they say is profits going to an elite in the ruling Frelimo Party, with few jobs for local residents.

In the mostly Muslim region of Cabo Delgado in the otherwise Christian-majority country, Islamic extremists kidnap women and force boys to become child soldiers, The Washington Post reported in October.

“In 2017, jihadist insurgents began in the Cabo-Delgado province, winning over some locals due to the fact that they gave back resources to villagers from the government, and killed no one,” the U.S.-based persecution watchdog International Christian Concern reported. “This did not last, however, as IS started setting fire to Christian villages, and killing those who lived there.”

A lawyer from AAL the U.S. Embassy are engaged in the situation, MAF said, adding, however, that Embassy officials were denied access to Koher at a prison in Inhambane. Koher was later moved to the Machava High Security Prison near Maputo.

“Ryan is a caring and gentle individual,” Holsten said. “Over the last couple of years, he and his wife have worked hard to learn the language and culture of Mozambique to better serve those who rely on our service. Understandably, this situation has been very challenging for the family. We fully believe in Ryan’s innocence, and we are all praying that this issue will be resolved very soon with the charges dismissed and Ryan released.”
Sources:Christian Post

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Do Christians Really Donate More? Bible’s Stunning Impact on Charitable Giving Revealed in Fascinating New Study

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As the debate over the impact of Christianity on charitable behavior forges on, a new study reveals Scripturally-engaged Americans are “far more likely than others to donate to charity.”

In fact, the majority of these individuals — people who interact consistently with Scripture and allow it to shape their lives and relationships — report giving to such causes, according to the eighth chapter of “The State of the Bible” report.

“Americans who are engaged with the Bible gave $145 billion to charitable causes in 2021,” a statement from the American Bible Society read. “And … Practicing Christians, those who are actively living out their faith, are much more likely to give.”

The results are pretty stunning when comparing people engaged in the Bible with those who are disengaged as well as the so-called Moveable Middle, a group falling between those dynamics.

Bible-engaged Americans gave a total of $145 billion to charities in 2021, amounting to about $2,907 per household. The same figure for the Bible disengaged was just $924.

To underscore the monumental nature of that giving, consider that Scripturally engaged Americans account for just 19% of adults yet give 44% of every dollar donated.

The finer details point to the fascinating nature of this group’s generosity.

“People who are Scripture-engaged gave six-times as much to churches as those in the Movable Middle and 13-times as much as those who are Bible-disengaged,” a statement explained. “When it comes to non-church giving, Scripture-engaged Americans gave 9% more than the Bible-disengaged and 165% more than the Movable Middle.”

Giving among active believers is, thus, much higher than for other cohorts.

Dr. John Farquhar Plake, director of ministry intelligence for the American Bible Society, said his organization’s research continues to show “a strong correlation between charitable giving and human flourishing.” This is particularly relevant among Christians surveyed in the annual report.

“Engaging with the Bible and actively living out our faith doesn’t simply mean reading the words in the pages of Scripture — rather, it is a transformation of the heart that inspires us to love and live well,” Plake said.

The results for this chapter of the “State of the Bible” were collected from 2,598 phone and online responses from American adults in January 2022.

Atheists will often decry the Bible and its contents, yet study after study shows the strong benefits faith offers individuals and, in turn, the culture at large.

As Faithwire reported, an earlier chapter from the “State of the Bible” report showed “Americans who consistently read and apply the Bible report greater levels of hope and resilience.” Read more about the Bible’s significant impact on the faithful here.
Sources:faithwire

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PASTOR JACOB MATHEW – 57 MEMORIAL SERVICE 12/02/2022

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For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel,and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. We walk by faith, and not by sight! Pastor Jacob Mathew (57 ) has been promoted to his eternal home and went to be with Jesus on 11/24/2022 . He served as the assistant Pastor of the Mizpah Church of God. Pullad. He lived a life that exampled Jesus Christ, a life of servitude,faith,and love. He will be missed by his family, his wife Shiney,daughter Jesna Jacob and son Joel Jacob.

We kindly request for prayers at this time for the family. He is Survived by his mother, Thankamma Mathew, sister Mary Mathew, and brother Paul Mathew and family.


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