Coronavirus update: Hydroxychloroquine study data audited, UK politicians cast socially distanced votes, anti-government protesters gather in Rome
(Source: abc.net.au)

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(Original link: abc.net.au)

Medical journal has concerns about data behind key hydroxychloroquine study The observational study was published in late May, after which several clinical trials were stopped. (AP: John Locher) A UK medical journal that published an influential article that found hydroxychloroquine increased the risk of death in COVID-19 patients says it has concerns about the data behind the study. The observational study published in The Lancet in late May looked at 96,000 hospitalised COVID-19 patients who were treated with the malaria drug that US President Donald Trump claims he takes and has urged others to use. Several clinical trials were put on hold after the study was published. The study, using data provided by healthcare data analytics firm Surgisphere , was not a traditional clinical trial that would have compared hydroxychloroquine to a placebo or other medicine. Today, the journal said "serious scientific questions" had been brought to its attention about the validity of the data behind the study . An independent audit of the data has already been commissioned. Surgisphere said in a statement that the audit would "bring further transparency to our work [and] further highlight the quality of our work". Last week, The Lancet issued a correction to the study regarding the location of some patients, stating the conclusions had not changed, and 150 doctors signed an open letter to the journal calling the article's conclusions into question and asking The Lancet to publish the peer review comments . "We're in an unprecedented pandemic. We've organised these enormous clinical trials to figure out if something works," said Walid Gellad, a doctor who did not sign the letter but has been critical of the study. "And this study stopped or paused a couple of those trials, and changed the narrative around a drug that no-one knows if it works or not." Seven new cases in Victoria, Melbourne packaging company closed for cleaning A staff member at a Melbourne packaging company is among seven new cases of coronavirus reported in Victoria. Amcor Packaging in Port Melbourne has been closed for cleaning and a number of staff are self-isolating. All staff on site will be tested for the virus. "I believe there are about eight workers who are known to be close contacts [of the infected person]," Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said. Six of the seven cases are from returned overseas travellers and one case is under investigation. MacLeod Preschool has decided to remain closed for 14 days after a teacher tested positive to COVID-19 through routine testing earlier this week. The preschool closed on Tuesday for a deep clean. Ms Mikakos said the preschool closed of its own volition and was not told to do so by health authorities. There have been no new cases reported yet today in other states and territories. NSW gyms to reopen, but full sporting calendar may be a while away There is no timeline yet for the return of adults' sports in NSW. (Supplied: Barb Kelly) With gyms and other indoor fitness activities in New South Wales reopening from next week , NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says it may still be a while before outdoor sports start back up for adults. From Saturday, June 13 class sizes at indoor fitness activities will be capped at 10 people , while the maximum of 100 people will be allowed in large gyms . Children's community sports will be allowed to start back up on July 1, but the Government has not yet outlined a path for a return to organised sports for adults. "We're obviously looking at adult sport. But as you can appreciate, at the moment, what has underpinned our success is the social distancing," Mr Berejiklian said. "That's very difficult to apply to adult sports. So that's why we need to be careful in how we do that. We need to get it right." She said she did not want to be in a position where businesses or activities had to be shut down again after reopening. Ms Berejiklian said the Government was prioritising activities with a " high economic benefit and low health risk ". "That's what's driving us. And as we move through the list, things that have a high health risk, you have to spend a bit more time developing those plans," she said. Brazil sets another daily record for coronavirus deaths Brazil has reported more than 31,000 coronavirus deaths so far. (AP: Eraldo Peres) Brazil has registered another record number of coronavirus deaths over the last 24 hours, with more than 1,262 people dying in a single day . The country's Health Ministry also registered 28,936 new cases of coronavirus. There are now 555,383 total confirmed cases, including 31,199 deaths. It comes as some Brazilian leaders, including President Jair Bolsonaro, continue to belittle the virus, warning the economic fallout from quarantine measures will be worse than the virus itself. "We lament all deaths, but it's everyone's destiny," Mr Bolsonaro said. Even in states and cities where leaders had previously instituted lockdown orders, authorities have ...