Masks French, from shortage to overproduction

At the height of the containment, around 450 French companies are involved in the emergency in the production of masks, cloth washed 20 times, and sold between 3 and 5 € piece. But today, the sales plunge and the French producers find themselves with a stock of unsold goods. “We have about 50 million pieces on the arms “, regrets, Yves Dubief, president of the Union of textile industries.

→ ANALYSIS. Coronavirus : how the textile industry French reinvents itself

To limit the damage, the secretary of State Agnès Pannier-Runacher calls for major groups to choose the “made in France “. On RTL on 8 June, she called to prefer this product “environmentally friendly, having a good report quality price “. And she regretted that “many companies prefer to distribute to their employees with surgical masks imported from China “. Bercy has entrusted to Yves Dubief and Guillaume Gibault, president and CEO of the Slip français, a mission to attempt to place the unsold stocks from companies.

Gauze masks in public to the public stocks

Agnès Pannier-Runacher puts into perspective, however, the damage to the textile industry, explaining that the production of masks in cloth was “saved thousands of jobs “ during the past weeks and that overproduction does today that 10 % of companies in the sector.

To reduce this overproduction, the textile industries ‘ Union advocates that masks fabric can be included in the public stocks, arguing that they can be stored longer. It also calls for the companies whose stock does not find takers can receive partial unemployment with ongoing maintenance of compensation to 100 % for the next three months.

The textile sector is now at 60 %

“During the confinement, the production of masks is coming to provide an activity to the supply chain, while orders fellexplains Yves Dubief. But today, we do not yet see the return of orders, the traditional and the chain runs at 60 % of its production capacity. “

→ DEBATE. A relocation of the textile production is desirable ?

At the height of the containment, the French firms have produced up to 25 million of masks cloth per week. Arises now the question of the long-term maintenance of a French production, but which will be necessarily reduced during the period of the confinement, when everyone was looking in the urgency to equip themselves.


Glove shortage is confirmed at Robé Médical

The lack of gloves is confirmed and prices explode. We find ourselves in the same situation as with masks, with indecent proposals “Says Antoine Chonion, director of Robé Médical, a trading and online sales company of medical products, based in Saint-Étienne-lès-Remiremont (Vosges).

→ RECAP ’. Coronavirus: the essentials of Wednesday, May 13

For example, this offer from a supplier for boxes of 100 gloves at € 10, when a price of € 5 or even € 6 seems reasonable to him. For the employee of the company dedicated to procurement, the business is difficult. ” The shortage calls for the shortage, the few goods available on the market being immediately stored “Regrets Antoine Chonion.

Chinese customs, the fight of the moment

His current struggle: successfully getting two containers of gloves through Chinese customs. ” China wants to show that it washes whiter than white, says the entrepreneur. It has considerably tightened its export controls so that it can no longer be accused of selling poor quality products. This is an interesting development, but I think it is a little zealous by blocking certain orders that are perfectly compliant with the regulations but considered non-compliant in terms of packaging for example


Another subject not of concern but of anger this time: the feeling that the paramedical professions and retirement homes, that is to say its customers, are systematically considered as not priority by the manufacturers, who say they reserve a large part of their stocks in hospitals.

→ READ. The deconfinement puts medical Robé under pressure

We regret the low quantities delivered by certain manufacturers unrelated to the current needs of city medicine, home care and nursing homes, yet on the front line for more than three months “He wrote on the home page of his online sales site.

Refocus on simple and effective products

This health crisis had an effect on him: strengthening his desire to meet the real needs of his customers, without playing the game of manufacturers.

In terms of hydroalcoholic gel we have stood with alternative solutions. Finally, I realize that they are made with simple ingredients and may not be sold at a high price. I also want to release products full of microplastics or very studied marketing, like the last stethoscope with perfect sound or lavender blue color. My job is to provide healthcare professionals with simple, effective products at the right price. ” The post-crisis Robé Médical could therefore evolve towards a reduction in its references. ” It’s a risky choice, but I want to choose, to be more of a filter between the client and the market


food industry has avoided shortage

“There has been no shortage and there will not be. Michel Nalet, who is in charge of Lactalis’ outdoor advertising, wants to believe that the worst is behind the food industry. There have been occasional breaks in the store, especially kitchen products: milk, butter, cream, grated emmental cheese … But nothing that cannot be resolved in one or two days.

→ LIVE. Coronavirus: most of the day of April 21

An optimism shared by the rest of the sector, thanks in particular to the return of workers to the factories. If absenteeism figures may have panicked the big names in the food industry at the announcement of containment, this is no longer the case today. The production lines were under tension at first, confirms François Eyraud, managing director of Danone fresh produce France. But the pre-emptively confined employees begin to return. We still have around 10% absent, but it is a structural absenteeism, for example for childcare.

A hygiene culture

The € 1,000 premium, tax-free, paid to employees who agree to work, and the effective implementation of sanitary measures encouraged employees to return to work. These are measures that are well known in the food industry, explains Michel Nalet. Apart from social distancing, our hygiene rules are very close to barrier gestures: washing your hands, putting on alcoholic gel, wearing masks and charlottes …

François Eyraud confirms: There is a culture of hygiene in our sector. Danone, thanks to its implantation in the four corners of the world, had even anticipated government directives and was one of the first companies to require temperature measurement, control of hand washing, markings on the ground, or even plexiglass windows to receive carriers. Overall, the big groups have rather played the game , confirms Laurent Rescanières, in charge of the agro-food sector at FO.

A contrasting situation

Still, the epidemic will leave its mark. According to Ania, 70% to 80% of the 700 food-processing companies saw their often drastic decline in turnover in March. ” The aceituation is contrasted, explains Barbara Bidan, director of communications at Fleury-Michon. We have a big activity in large and medium-sized stores, but a decline in ready meals because people cook more. Two branches of the group have come to a complete standstill: airline meals and business delivery.

→ READ. During confinement, eat differently

The additional cost of raw materials (up 3% to 16% since the start of the crisis), the cost of sanitary equipment but also the rising prices of carriers weigh on the accounts of companies.

Prepare for after deconfinement

For the rest, “We have no visibility, notes Michel Nalet, at Lactalis. Catering outside the home, in canteens or businesses, has taken a hit and it will take time to regain the pace before the crisis.

“We will have to think about the return of our 4,000 employees currently teleworking “, add François Eyraud. That is to say reorganize the offices to maintain social distancing, limit contact as much as possible, or even eliminate breaks at the coffee machine.


After the masks, the shortage of gowns worries

Would one deficiency replace the other? After the masks, it is now the overcoats that are missing from the caregivers. It is this waterproof equipment which makes it possible to cover their blouses in fabric and to protect them from liquid projections. “With regard to single-use overcoats, or even plastic aprons, which can also be used, the reality is indeed that of a shortage”, attests Pierre Parneix, public health doctor at the Bordeaux University Hospital.

→ LIVE. Coronavirus: the latest information in France and worldwide

However, the situation is improving in terms of masks. The, “The tensions are rather behind us”, adds Pierre Parneix, evoking a supply “Much more organized and regular, with weekly deliveries to each structure. “The situation is improving in the hospital environment”, confirms Emmanuel Loeb, president of the Young Doctors union, who specifies that she is not “Not yet optimal in city medicine”.

A single overcoat for four or five consultations

On the side of gowns, out of stock obliges, the hour is on the contrary with the economy and the sparing use in the various medical structures: “Managers try to convince certain services that they can do without optimal protection, with arguments that are sometimes a bit fallacious, judge Emmanuel Loeb. Radio manipulators, for example, are often unequipped. “

Julie works in a Covid-19 department, in a Parisian hospital of the AP-HP. If she must systematically wear a blouse, she explains that her colleagues in different services are often deprived of it.

“It caused a lot of dissatisfaction, she testifies. Because it is estimated that 30% of the tests are false negatives and therefore, that these services are often visited by patients who are misdiagnosed but well and truly contaminated. All the caregivers are worried, necessarily … “

→ READ. Coronavirus: solidarity is organized around hospitals

As for her, she is ordered to keep the same overcoat to take care of four or five patients: “We only change equipment when we leave the service, when it should be done between each patient. Management’s argument is that it is a Covid-19 service, all of whose patients are already infected. This justification stands. “

“Reprocessing is inconclusive”

The AP-HP, like other structures, has also mobilized its central laundry service in order to “recycle” the overcoats: “Normally, the overcoats are disposable and discarded after use, details Julie. Now, we are asked to put those that are in good condition in a bin, they are then sent to the disinfection services of equipped hospitals, and come back to us ”.

A method judged “Inconclusive”, due in particular to a high loss rate: “The overcoats are either destroyed by passage through the machine, or end up losing their sealing qualities, says Pierre Parneix. In addition, reprocessing poses risks of contamination to the entire collection, sorting and transport sector. “ The best, according to the medical officer of health, remains to find textile alternatives, via solidarity initiatives or the mobilization of certain industrialists.

With a major difficulty according to him: to obtain the necessary level of tightness. “For this, people are cutting up different plastics, some caregivers even go so far as to use trash bags. “ Or plastic food bags, like at La Roche-sur-Yon University Hospital. Alternatives “Not very glorious”, regrets Pierre Parneix but, he recalls, “Plastic, whatever its shape, remains plastic, it’s effective”.

In the meantime, hope has arisen from Paris-Vatry airport, in the heart of Champagne, where the largest cargo plane in the world landed on Sunday, April 19. From China, the device was carrying 150 tonnes of medical cargo ordered by a private company, according to the AFP, including masks, gloves, charlottes and of course, overcoats.


Time to talk more seriously about the food supply amid the covid-19 crisis

(CNN) – The meat supply is at risk. Farm workers are afraid. Food is difficult to obtain.

Health professionals, doctors, nurses, and everyone on the front lines are the obvious and legitimate heroes of the pandemic, but if this dark episode has taught us anything about the way we live today, it could be that our society is lying on the backs of many people who just can’t stay home and relax while the coronavirus it spreads.

Food workers are also front-line workers. You’ve probably recently seen the headline that one of the largest pig processing plants in the country had stopped producing for the foreseeable future. The reason? Employees at the plant, a Smithfield operation, account for about half of the coronavirus cases in South Dakota.

LOOK: Meat processor in South Dakota closes due to high number of covid-19 infections, is shortage expected?

Similar closings have affected plants in Pennsylvania and Iowa, and the Smithfield chief executive said the country’s beef supply is at risk.

Is Scarcity Nearing? Yes, if we panic: We have already seen a shortage of toilet paper and cleaning products. Will people rack up bacon in their freezers if they fear a shortage of pork? Please no. U.S it is not running out of meat. Not that there is no meat. It is that, at this moment, there are gaps in the way we process it and take it to consumers.

Americans are told to visit supermarkets only when they must. Supermarket workers don’t have that luxury.

Food, food everywhere, but not a bite to eat: Keeping the supply chain running while keeping farmworkers and meat cutters healthy, along with packers and truck drivers and warehouse workers and warehousemen and cashiers, is a priority.

Another problem is finding ways to bring food to consumers, now that restaurants, office canteens, school cafeterias, and so many other places where people used to eat are closed. The current situation is as follows: Farmers are throwing away food, including milk, even as people grow increasingly desperate and the lines grow at food banks.

LOOK: Coronavirus: the hunger of some worsens while others throw away thousands of liters of milk that they cannot sell

“It’s a series of cascading events that are disrupting the entire food chain,” said Tom Vilsack, the former Iowa governor who served as secretary of agriculture during the Obama administration, in an interview with CNN on Monday. “You start to finish school lunch programs, universities close, food service closes, tourism and hotels are low occupancy and at the end of the day you have to redirect a large amount of the total food supply.”

He said the government will need to spend money to buy food from producers and give it to food banks.

Farm workers are afraid: CNN’s Catherine Shoichet wrote an article about farmworkers, whose unions have warned of safety conditions for workers who collect our produce.

That assuming that there are workers to collect the product. They are likely to be people who already work for fear of deportation. Now they are working for fear of infection. Shoichet writes that fewer people report to work, fearing for their safety. Here is the story in English.

It’s not just the United States: The UN warned this month that the outbreak response threatens the world’s food supply.

CNN’s Jessie Yeung summed up the report: “Border closings, movement restrictions and disruptions in the shipping and aviation industries have made it difficult to continue food production and the transport of goods internationally, putting countries with few alternative sources of food at high risk. “

He also noted that large corporations like Nestlé and Unilever have warned of a food crisis, noting that the food supply chain is international. The United States depends on other countries for its food supply. Other countries, in turn, depend on the United States. Here there is data on agricultural imports and exports from the Department of Agriculture (USDA).

LOOK: Tension in global supply chains as coronavirus restrictions tighten

One more thing: Remember that when President Trump launched his trade war against China, it was American farmers who were most affected by Chinese retaliation and who needed two bailouts from the US government. USA They were still seeing an increase in bankruptcies even before the coronavirus hit the United States. Will they need a third rescue? Perhaps.

Food uncertainty versus food insecurity

In my house, we are making a great effort not to go to the supermarket. But it’s difficult.

We join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) group that delivers local produce. And we’ve received a few shipments from a local wholesaler who generally supplies restaurants and is now doing sidewalk pickups in the Washington, DC area.

We have ordered peanut butter from Target. (Try order peanut butter on Amazon. Currently not available.)

It is equally difficult to schedule a delivery service. And those that exist cannot come close to the demand. Try to get a delivery from Amazon Fresh or Instacart. (Well, don’t really try. Amazon said Monday they are putting new customers on waiting lists.)

Those are luxuries that may not be available to everyone. But with the demand, it seems that they are not available to anyone. And still, people behave amazingly.

And that brings us to the uncomfortable truth that the coronavirus has revealed more clearly than ever: that the difficulties are felt disproportionately in this country. What I described earlier is food uncertainty, and it is a new experience for many.

LISTENS: The effects of the coronavirus in agriculture: uncertainty and millionaire losses

But what millions of Americans are experiencing more acutely than ever right now is food insecurity, thanks to the sudden rise in unemployment and the closure of vast sectors of the United States economy. That includes millions of needy families with children who are still waiting to see the food subsidies that were approved by Congress weeks ago.

This is why there is so much talk about reopening the American economy.

Experts will save Trump if he leaves them

Trump spent months – years! – publicly humiliating Jerome Powell, the former investment banker he himself appointed as chairman of the Federal Reserve (FED) in 2017. Presidents typically try to keep their hands off the Fed’s decisions about interest rates, but Trump felt free to criticize Powell for a 2018 decision to raise interest rates, specifically to give the economy a cushion in the event of a disaster.

Now, however, CNN’s Phil Mattingly reports that Powell is the one taking extreme measures to help save as much of the U.S. economy as he can, or at least to avoid a full repeat of the 2008 financial crisis.

That brings us to Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has become the last voice of the figure of reason loved and who worries the public. That has predictably led to a growing and concerted effort by Trump and his allies to undermine him. This is the most predictable thing in the world: A member of the Trump administration cannot speak the truth for so long without colliding with Trump loyalists, and more evidence of the toxic swamp of revisionism that surrounds this White House.

LOOK: Covid-19 in the US: tension between Donald Trump and Anthony Fauci

East coast vs. West Coast

New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo is having a moment as a steel leader as his state grapples with the worst of the coronavirus outbreak. See the cover page Rolling Stone, for example.

But there are many reasons to argue that its west coast counterparts, which acted before and whose states are not suffering as much as New York, should receive more attention. Today, groups of governors on both coasts formed regional pacts to evaluate the reopening of their economies.

Jonathan Martin and Adam Nagourney of The New York Times They wrote a very clever story about the East / West divide in terms of national attention. Includes, for some reason, a quote from Bill Walton.


The Letter from Figaro of April 2, 2020

Africa must expect a disaster, France risks running out of drugs and Didier Raoult knows how to maintain his political network.

Hello dear readers of Figaro,

I will not hide it from you, the news is not the happiest. Between Africa, which is on the brink of disaster due to the Covid-19 and the potential shortage of drugs to come in French hospitals, we have seen better days. Fortunately, a wind of solidarity is blowing across France towards doctors and carers, who deserve it.

I wish you a good day,

Ronan Planchon, journalist at Figaro

● Featured

Disaster scenario for Africa now affected

On March 30 in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, people line up at a checkpoint to check their temperature. AFOLABI SOTUNDE / REUTERS

It would have been more pleasant to tell you some beautiful stories from the African continent, but the time for blissful optimism is over. In Africa, the Covid-19 has made its nest. Forty-nine of the 54 states are affected by the epidemic, at a minimum, and everything suggests that the epidemic will spread among populations. Specialists expect much higher mortality than in Europe, without being able to put forward a figure.

African countries have many difficulties

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“Germany could also suffer from a shortage of respirators for the sick”

Lothar Wieler, head of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for virology and coordinator in Germany of the fight against the coronavirus epidemic, warned today that the German health system threatens to overflow. “We must count on our capabilities not being enough,” says Wieler at the Frankfurter Allgemeinen Sonntagszeitung Sunday, in which he commented that Germany could also reach a situation like Italy and suffer from a shortage of respirators for the sick. The low mortality rate in this country in relation to the number of those infected compared to other nations that suffer the wave of infections with «Covid-19» is due to the fact that in Germany massive tests have been carried out for weeks on the population, explains the expert. Furthermore, the profile of patients affected so far in this country by the coronavirus is different from that of other countries.

Most of the initial infected in Germany have been people who do not belong to groups of risk, with massive chains of contagion, for example, between skiers, explains Wieler. “If we registered more infections in nursing homes or hospitals, an increase” in the most serious cases and deaths would be to be feared, said the RKI president. The residences and other centers of the Third Age have been isolated from the outside world for weeks and the infections by coronavirus in this type of institutions are until now anecdotal in Germany. Wieler also warned against a rapid return to normalcy as some politicians demand. “From a medical point of view, we must maintain spatial distances for as long as possible,” said the virologist, who stressed that Germany is at the beginning of the epidemic and people should take it very seriously.

Leading economists from different German financial institutions and organizations have agreed to point out that Germany is drifting towards a crisis of serious proportions due to the coronavirus pandemic. All predict a drop in the country’s economic performance of a minimum of 5%, similar to that of the 2009 financial crisis. “To slow down the spread of the Cobid -19 virus, the German economy must take a necessary break that will last at least two months” Katharina Utermöhl of the Allianz group said in a survey by the German news agency DPA. Jens Oliver Niklasch of the public institute LBBW acknowledges that “there will be a collapse, but we do not yet know its extent” and predicts that once the pandemic is overcome, Germany will not recover at the same rate that it has necessarily reduced its economic activity.

Direct | This is how the fight against the coronavirus progresses

The federal government and other public bodies this week rolled out a safety net to protect the national economy with funds totaling 1.2 trillion euros and accounting for 30% of Germany’s annual economic performance, said Untermöhl, who expects a rapid increase. unemployment immediately. A prediction shared by Marc Schattenberg of Deutsche Bank and which calculates an increase in unemployment of 0.5% to a rate of 5.6% if the crisis is overcome in late May. Fritzi Köhler-Geib, chief economist at the KfW group, points out that unemployment will not rise explosively in Germany thanks, above all, to Berlin rescue packages. “These especially help affected companies overcome liquidity problems and save them from insolvency,” says the KfW analyst.

The Research Institute of Labor and Professional Marking (IAB) of the Federal Employment Agency is, despite all optimism, and expects that in 2020 the average number of unemployed will be 2.36 million people, only 90,000 more than in 2019, while the number of people with work will remain stable with 45.26 million who contribute to social security. A calculation that contemplates the economic slowdown until the end of May and six more weeks for the economy to partially return to normal and reach pre-crisis levels by the end of the year.

Juan Carlos Barrena reports. Berlin correspondent


The epidemic wave accelerates

“The first 15 days of April will be even more difficult than those that just passed.” With this sinister warning, the Government prepares the French for what is to come. The epidemic wave is accelerating, in the last 24 hours there have been 319 deaths, the last one by a former minister of Nicolas Sarkozy, – hospitals already register more than 2,300- and sanitary evacuations multiply to decongest hospitals in the most affected, such as Grand Est or Paris where 1,300 of the 1,500 available resuscitation beds are already occupied.

France expects to reach 14,000 resuscitation places at the end of April – it started from 5,000 at the beginning of the crisis – and also wants to expand its capacity to carry out diagnostic tests to 80,000 daily, between rapid PCR tests. Of the latter type, the French government has bought 5 million that will arrive “soon”, as well as the 1 billion masks ordered, for which the Executive has set up an airlift with China. However, as recognized by Prime Minister Édouard Philippe himself, the international market has become extremely difficult and it will not be known what has been bought until it reaches French soil.

Paula de los Ríos reports. Correspondent in Paris


Lupus and arthritis patients struggle to get medicine, which is scarce due to comments about its use for covid-19, despite lack of evidence

Amelia (protected name) is 44 years old and suffers Rheumatoid arthritis. This Wednesday, March 25, 2020, he said that next week he must source the medicine, for the following month. You tried to place your order with a pharmacy and they indicated that the drug is exhausted.

Its about plaquinol, whose compound is hydroxychloroquine. Being part of a plan medication keep goingAmelia was offered to put her on a list of priority people who would try to get the medicine for next week. “But they clarified that it is not safe.”

If she doesn’t take her daily pill – Amelia says – the pains return. That is only one of the consequences, points out the Beatriz León, member of the Scientific Committee of the Ecuadorian Society of Rheumatology.

The doctor and researcher explains that thanks to medicine, the patients with lupus, arthritis or other rheumatic diseases and even malaria, control pain, muscle deformation or the appearance of long-term disabilities, caused by their chronic diseases.

Stopping taking his medicine – he points out – also brings severe complications such as cardiovascular problems and infections very serious.

In social networks, lupus patients have expressed their concern for lack of medication. A sick user of lupus said she searched for plaquinol in 10 pharmacies without success.

“It is a pill that for my condition and that of many is necessary to live,” he wrote. Dayana Krays. And he appealed to the sensitivity of Ecuadorians, asking “how do you take away the opportunity to live with a person taking the medicine without being sure that this is the solution?”

Lorena Valarezo you are in the same situation. On her social network she wrote “for my illness lupus I require taking plaquinol and it has been scarce in Guayaquil because over-the-counter sales have exploded because of covid-19. How can we vulnerable people access this medicine that we so need? Please help”.

Lupus patients are calling themselves through social media to conform groups through which they can get plaquinol, after requests for patients Y relatives of people suffering from diseases that require it.

On March 21, an announcement by the President of the United States, Donald trump, caused the medicine to run out worldwide. The Prime Minister spoke of the chloroquine as a possible solution to cope with the covid-19 pandemic.

Although there is no scientific evidence that the medicine be effective against covid-19, the French scientist Didier raoult advocates its use to treat patients with covid-19.

He was referred to last Monday by the Deputy Minister of Health Ernesto Carrasco, in an interview with Teleamazonas. “We have data from international studies that show that the use of chloroquine, in at least 50% of cases, avoids progression to severe pneumonia“Said the vice minister.

He also specified that he has treatment of this type for 7,000 patients and that in 20 days a million and a half would arrive from India. But he also clarified that it can only be used under a medical prescription.

Leon of the Rheumatology Society, considers that the use of a drug without studies verifying its effectiveness “is a very serious error

The doctor remembers that in the current pandemic mistakes have already been made, for example, in recommending two drugs used in HIV. It was shown – details – that there was no difference with not taking anything or with a treatment with paracetamol, liquids and rest.

Patients with chronic diseases Those who take plaquinol – says León – usually buy their medicine for several weeks, since they know that there are seasons when it is scarce. “It is a very serious problem for patients that in the country they always have problems getting this medicine because few people with specific and very serious illnesses use it ”.

Among the recommendations that have circulated about taking this medicine for the new coronavirus their combination is azithromocin. The rheumatologist Vinicio Almeida emphasize this in danger.

Azithromycin –precisely– must be handled with caution, since it lengthens the speed in the nervous conditions of the heart and can produce severe arrhythmias and even the death.

Through a statement, the Ecuadorian Society of Cardiology He said he does not recommend chloroquine for prevention of covid-19 infection, given the lack of scientific evidence on the safety of its use.

Therefore, the Company suggests avoiding self-medication with this compound, in addition to selling it without a prescription.


For the Sick, an agonizing wait for tests in Massachusetts – NBC Boston

Danni Aubain has cancer, so when she started feeling lousy late last month, she was particularly worried.

Aubain said the disease hit her like a ton of bricks. He had a 103-degree fever and a horrible, dry cough.

“I really couldn’t breathe,” he said, “and that’s scary for anyone undergoing chemotherapy.”

When seeking medical attention, Aubain said that both her oncologist and a Massachusetts General Hospital emergency room doctor pushed for her to be tested for COVID19, the new coronavirus disease that spreads worldwide.

But despite their recommendations, the response they got from state epidemiologists was that Aubain did not meet the test criteria.

“They called the Public Health Department and I was told that if I couldn’t name a person I knew had a positive test and that I hadn’t traveled outside the country, I couldn’t have been tested,” he said.

In response to NBC10 Boston’s questions, Mass. General said he cannot discuss the treatment of any patient.

But Aubain’s story is like so many others streamed to NBC10 Boston investigators in the past week by spectators across the state who have not been able to take a test. Many said they experienced symptoms of the disease, such as fever and shortness of breath. Like Aubain, some have also been seen by doctors who were convinced they need to be screened.

But with a shortage of test kits available in the state until the end of last week and with restrictive guidelines in place by the federal government, many said they were frustrated, scared and confused as to what to do next.

Federal officials are rapidly increasing the nation’s infrastructure to test COVID-19 this week after a series of missteps hampered the country’s ability to control the virus as it migrated from its epicenter in China to destinations around the world. As of Monday, there have been over 4,000 disease cases reported in the United States, which have so far seen over 70 deaths.

On Monday, health officials in Massachusetts announced that around 1,300 people were tested for the disease and 197 tested positive.

The state’s ability to test patients has increased significantly in the past few days when federal officials have granted Massachusetts clearance to begin testing the samples at the state’s public health laboratory, rather than sending them to a centralized, managed location. by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Federal officials also expanded their testing guidelines, offering doctors more discretion to order a test for the virus, and last week they shipped around 5,000 additional test kits to Massachusetts, easing local supply.

The CDC has also published new guidelines that allow doctors and nurses to subject a single nasal swab to tests, rather than a nasal swab and another sample from the patient’s throat. The change is expected to allow Massachusetts to double its testing capacity, bringing the number of tests conducted every day from 200 to 400, public health commissioner Monica Bharel said at a press conference on Sunday.

The Food and Drug Administration, which must approve the test sites, also granted permission at the end of last week to a couple of private companies – Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp – to begin testing samples collected from patients in Massachusetts. Massachusetts hospital labs are expected to launch their testing programs shortly.

“With more and more clinical labs in Massachusetts working to gain FDA approval, more online capabilities will also be available soon,” said Bharel on Sunday.

Federal officials say the United States is now on track to test thousands of patients a day for the virus after falling far behind other countries in its efforts to detect the virus.

Independent research cited by the CDC indicates that the United States had completed approximately 20,000 tests as of March 13. That number pales in comparison to the aggressive testing effort in South Korea, which has a much smaller population, but has tested around 15,000 people per day.

While the United States is ready to learn more about the extent of the pandemic soon, many in the Bay State who fear having contracted the disease say they believe the government has missed an important opportunity to help curb its spread.

“I have a couple of friends in my social circle who are experiencing flu-like symptoms and are just writing it as flu,” said Rita Czernewski, a Cantonese resident who had an unexplained illness a few weeks ago and was frustrated by her inability to get tested for the new coronavirus.

“We are just a little stuck,” he said. “The only thing we can do is just be careful.”


That “Fast Cash” loan could have hidden costs – NBC 7 San Diego

Just like your family budget, cash flow can be a problem for small businesses.

And there is no shortage of lenders who offer quick and temporary financial benefits.

Rick Hagen has joined with one to help with cash flow in his local auto sales business.

But Hagen told NBC 7 that the transaction quickly became a financial nightmare, which eventually led to his bankruptcy.

“You’re just a victim,” said Hagen. “You are the next person online they will do it.”

Hagen loves cars. His passion for unique and high-end vehicles has helped him shape his career as a personal shopper for car enthusiasts looking for that special ride.

Hagen told NBC 7 to regularly use short-term loans to bridge his financial transactions. This is what led him to a New York-based lender that Hagen said he offered to quickly finance a small business loan at 16% interest.

“Here is their point of view,” recalled Hagen of the tone obtained by Last Chance Funding / LCF. “” We are transparent and we want to help you grow your business. “”

But Hagen said he didn’t realize that if he stayed behind in his payments, that interest rate would skyrocket.

“So if you really try, you’re not paying 16%,” he said. “You are not paying 25%. You are paying 100, even 180%. And it could be more.”

In fact, at one point, Hagen and his attorney claim that LCF and its affiliated lenders were charging 360% of interest on Hagen’s outstanding balance to Hagen.

Hagen’s attorney, Michael Alfred, told NBC 7 that those astronomical interest rates were legal because Hagen had not technically signed a loan, but had instead taken a “commercial cash advance,” which Alfred said allowed the New York lender to avoid interest rate limits and anti-usury laws.

Worse still, Hagen had signed a “confession of judgment”, in which he essentially waived his right to a court hearing in the event of a breach of his refund agreement.

Alfred said that Hagen is not the only small business owner who found himself financially upside down after signing similar contracts.

“It’s not just Rick,” said Alfred. “Thousands of companies in many different sectors (get these loans).”

Hagen says the New York lender has rejected his repeated grounds for a reasonable payment plan and that a company representative immediately told him in “I’ll get you through hell, Rick. You’ll never forget me. I’ll make you fail.” “

Hagen said the New York lender tried to drain his bank accounts when he fell behind on his payments. After obtaining a judgment against him, Hagen stated that the company placed a guard in front of his door to intercept any cash payments from customers.

Hagen sued Last Chance Funding, Inc. and other defendants in federal court here last August. His lawsuit accused the racketeering company and other civil offenses. But Hagen’s case was unsuccessful and his lawsuit was dismissed last November.

A spokesperson for Last Chance Funding / LCL told NBC 7 that other “ongoing disputes related to this matter prohibit us from discussing the details of Hagen’s allegations.” But the spokesman noted that Last Chance Financial has so far prevailed in court against Hagen. “The same district court case (which Hagan filed unsuccessfully last year) attempted to challenge the judgments of two separate courts, which had both decided in favor of LCF,” said the spokesman.

After losing the federal court case, Hagen filed for bankruptcy. But Last Chance Financial is now challenging its ability to pay off its debt to the company.

In a complaint filed in that bankruptcy case, Last Chance Financial claims that Hagan did not disclose the existence of other unpaid debts and judgments when he signed his “commercial agreement” with LCF. This omission, the company claims, allowed Hagan to “obtain money (from LCF) with false claims, false statements or real fraud”.

Therefore, Hagan is still responsible for the debt, claims the company.

When filing for bankruptcy, Hagen also closed the doors to Euromotorwerks. He still hopes for a second chance in the business he loves. In the meantime, he has a new passion for protecting consumers and small business owners from the potential nightmare of commercial cash advances and confessions of judgments.

“I just need everyone to know, if they can do it for me, they will do it to them,” he said. “And they will.”

Last Chance Financial / LCF has a very different opinion of its services. “A merchant cash advance is a valuable tool for companies and LCF has helped thousands of companies in the United States expand and maintain their operations,” the company spokesman told NBC 7.