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In this section of the newsletter, we provide excerpts of and links to relevant and topical studies, opinion pieces, blogs, and other articles published on leading scientific platforms on health systems, medicine, and allied social sectors

When are masks most useful? COVID cases offer hints

News Article published November 4, 2021 in Nature

As people across some parts of the world are slowly returning to socializing like they did before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a study analyzing of hundreds of COVID-19 cases suggests that masks offer the greatest protection indoors and during long exposures to people infected with the coronavirus. The study shows that masking is beneficial even when other measures, such as distancing, aren’t in use. The study also stressed on the need to continue other public-health measures. 

Supercharging New Viral Variants: The Dangers Of Molnupiravir (Part 1)

Harming Those Who Receive It: The Dangers Of Molnupiravir (Part 2) 

Opinion Articles published November 1 and 2 in Forbes.com 

While the scientific and medical community are celebrating the approval of Molnupiravir as a potentially effective oral anti-viral drug in our fight against COVID-19, there are voices within the community that err on the side of caution. Dr. William Haseltine in these two part opinion piece, talks about the drug’s potential mutagenicity, and the possibility that its use could lead to birth defects or cancerous tumors. He also highlights the drug’s potential to supercharge SARS-CoV-2 mutations that can lead to a more virulent variant. 

Global prevalence and burden of depressive and anxiety disorders in 204 countries and territories in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Article published October 8, 2021 in The Lancet

The study aims to quantify the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the prevalence and burden of major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders globally in 2020. The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has created an environment where many determinants of poor mental health are exacerbated. The need for up-to-date information on the mental health impacts of COVID-19 in a way that informs health system responses is imperative, the article highlights.

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