Providing high doses of vitamin D to patients admitted to hospitals after contracting the CCP virus could reduce deaths by 60 percent, according to a study by the Social Science Research Network.

As part of the research, 551 patients admitted to a hospital in Spain were given calcifediol, a prehormone generated from vitamin D3, resulting in 80 percent of the patients not requiring ICU treatment. The research stated that 36 of the patients treated with calcifediol died from the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, compared to 57 patients out of 379 in the control group.

Variants-Wary Germany Turns Back 5,000 at Border

German authorities say police have turned back some 5,000 people at the country’s borders with the Czech Republic and Austria’s Tyrol region since tight controls were introduced on Sunday.

Germany imposed checks to slow the spread of the UK CCP virus variant from the Czech Republic and the South African variant from Tyrol. It is restricting entry to German citizens and residents, truck drivers, transport and health service workers, and a few others including cross-border commuters working in “systemically relevant sectors.”

CDC Director Defends Changing School Distancing Recommendation

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday defended telling educators last year that social distancing in schools of three feet was “quite safe,” while her agency in new reopening guidance says six feet of distancing is recommended.

The CDC’s new guidance, published last week, repeatedly says six feet of distancing should be targeted when reopening schools. Dr. Rochelle Walensky told reporters in a call about the guidance that, along with masking, “physical distance of at least six feet” should be required “across the school environment.”

UK Starts Hotel Quarantine for Arrivals From High-Risk Countries

People arriving in the UK must quarantine in hotels starting Monday as the government tries to prevent new variants of the CCP virus from derailing the country’s vaccination drive.

People arriving in England from 33 high-risk countries must stay in quarantine hotels for 10 days at their own expense. In Scotland, the rule applies to arrivals from any country. Critics say the move comes too late, with the South African variant already circulating in the country.

Israeli Study Finds 94 Percent Drop in Symptomatic Cases

Israel’s largest health care provider on Sunday reported a 94 percent drop in symptomatic CCP virus infections among 600,000 people who received two doses of Pfizer’s vaccine in the country’s biggest study to date.

Health maintenance organization Clalit, which covers more than half of all Israelis, said the same group was also 92 percent less likely to develop severe illness from the virus. The comparison was against a group of the same size, with matching medical histories, who had not received the vaccine.

Stimulus Bill Must Be Passed For Schools to Safely Reopen: Fauci

Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday that in order for schools to safely reopen nationwide, a stimulus bill must first be passed to provide further resources.

Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, made the remarks in response to the Feb. 12 guidelines released by the CDC on the reopening of schools in the United States.

Isabel van Brugen, Lorenz Duchamps, Zachary Stieber, The Associated Press, and Reuters contributed to this report.

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