182. Laura Bradford,Mateo Aboy,Kathleen Liddell, COVID-19 contact tracing apps: a stress test for privacy, the GDPR, and data protection regimes, 2020.05.28, https://academic.oup.com/jlb/article/7/1/lsaa034/5848138?searchresult=1 . Digital surveillance has played a key role in containing the COVID-19 outbreak in China, Singapore, Israel, and South Korea. Google and Apple recently announced the intention to build interfaces to allow Bluetooth contact tracking using Android and iPhone devices. This articlelooks at the compatibility of the proposed Apple/Google Bluetooth exposure notification system with Western privacy and data protection regimes and principles, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Somewhat counter-intuitively, the GDPR’s expansive scope is not a hindrance, but rather an advantage in conditions of uncertainty such as a pandemic. Its principle-based approach offers a functional blueprint for system design that is compatible with fundamental rights. By contrast, narrower, sector-specific rules such as the US Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and even the new California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), leave gaps that may prove difficult to bridge in the middle of an emergency.

181. Dimitrios Katsikis, ‘Necessity’ due to COVID-19 as a Defence to International Investment Claims, 2021.10.08, https://academic.oup.com/icsidreview/advance-article/doi/10.1093/icsidreview/siab009/6384691?searchresult=1 . This article examines whether, when faced with such claims, host States will be able to resort to the doctrine of necessity under customary international law to defend the measures that they have taken. In doing so, it draws on the application of the doctrine of necessity in international investment arbitration so far, including its application to disputes arising out of the Argentine financial crisis. The article proposes a more analytical approach to the doctrine of necessity in customary international law, which will be vital if the doctrine is to remain relevant as a measure of last resort to which States can turn when faced with a crisis.

180. Daniel Gerstein , Six paths forward to a “pandemic treaty”, 2022.04.01, https://thebulletin.org/2022/04/six-paths-forward-to-a-pandemic-treaty/ . This article provided a good summary of the current state of affairs on the pandemic treaty effort.

179. Ronald Labonté, Mary Wiktorowicz, etc., A pandemic treaty, revised international health regulations, or both? 2021.11.06, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8572070/ . This article believed that reform of the International Health Regulations should be undertaken while engaging with WHO member states (and notably those from the Global South) in discussions on the possible benefits, drawbacks and scope of a new pandemic treaty. Both options are not mutually exclusive.

178. Matthew L Bosworth, Daniel Ayoubkhani, etc., Deaths involving COVID-19 by self-reported disability status during the first two waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in England: a retrospective, population-based cohort study, 2021.10.06, https://doi.org/10.1016/S2468-2667(21)00206-1 . This study suggests that given the association between disability and mortality involving COVID-19, verification of these findings and consideration of recommendations for protective measures are now required.

177. COVID-19 Mental Disorders Collaborators, Global prevalence and burden of depressive and anxiety disorders in 204 countries and territories in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021.10.08, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(21)02143-7 . This article suggest that the pandemic has created an increased urgency to strengthen mental health systems in most countries. Mitigation strategies could incorporate ways to promote mental wellbeing and target determinants of poor mental health and interventions to treat those with a mental disorder. Taking no action to address the burden of major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders should not be an option.

176. Daniel K Nomah, Juliana Reyes-Urueña, etc., Sociodemographic, clinical, and immunological factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis and severe COVID-19 outcomes in people living with HIV: a retrospective cohort study, 2021.10.13, https://doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3018(21)00240-X . This study finds that people living with HIV with detectable HIV viraemia, chronic comorbidities, and some subpopulations could be at increased risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19. These groups should be prioritised in clinical management and SARS-CoV-2 vaccination programmes.

175. Mark Philip Cassar, Elizabeth M. Tunnicliffe, etc., Symptom Persistence Despite Improvement in Cardiopulmonary Health – Insights from longitudinal CMR, CPET and lung function testing post-COVID-19. 2021.10.20, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eclinm.2021.101159 . This study finds that cardiopulmonary abnormalities improve over time among patients, though some measures remain abnormal relative to controls. Persistent symptoms at 6 months post-COVID-19 did not associate with objective measures of cardiopulmonary health.

174. Savino Sciascia, Piera Costanzo, etc., Safety and tolerability of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in people with antiphospholipid antibodies, 2021.10.20, https://doi.org/10.1016/S2665-9913(21)00320-9 . This study finds that although more data are needed, including from long-term follow-up, immunogenicity data from their survey show that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines seem to have an acceptable safety and tolerability profile in patients with antiphospholipid antibodies. No major adverse effects nor thrombotic events were reported. Side-effects seem frequent, but mild and transient in nature.

173. Kushalinii Hillson, Sue Costa Clemens, etc., Fertility rates and birth outcomes after ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccination, 2021.10.21, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(21)02282-0 . This study finds that fertility was unaffected by vaccination with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. Furthermore, compared with women who received the control vaccine, there was no increased risk of miscarriage and no instances of stillbirth in women vaccinated before pregnancy in global clinical trials of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19.

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