Coronavirus - A small price to pay

It looks increasingly likely that the UK will soon mandate the use of masks in public spaces with a formal review in England already under way.

In the early stages of the outbreak, face masks were considered unnecessary; however, evidence of their efficacy is growing. Whilst wearing a mask may take the consumer some getting used to, this relatively cheap measure could help prevent further lockdowns, which are already beginning to mount up around the world.


• Heathrow passengers down 95% yoy in June.

• Coronavirus immunity may only last for months according to King’s College London.

• Mexico has the fourth most deaths, passing Italy.

Company news


 Centamin – “Gold production was 130,994 ounces for the quarter, a 11% improvement compared to the corresponding quarter in 2019 (YoY). The outperformance in the quarter is as a result of an increase in mill feed head grade and the deferral of planned maintenance programmes from Q2 to H2, resulting in more tonnes processed and greater production volumes. The deferred maintenance was a precautionary measure due to Covid-19, to reduce non-essential third-party traffic on site, and will be carried out in H2.

The plant processed 3.0Mt of ore, an 11% decrease YoY, at a higher average feed grade of 1.52g/t, a 31% improvement YoY. A number of routine plant maintenance activities were deferred from Q2 to H2 as a response to Covid-19 planning that resulted in a longer processing run-time and contributed in part to the higher than guided production for the quarter. Metallurgical recovery rates were consistent YoY at 88.0%. Dump leach operations contributed 2,562 ounces.”

Support Services

 G4S – “Further to the trading update of 17 June 2020 for the first five months, the Group has continued to deliver a resilient trading performance during June. We now expect that the Group’s Adjusted PBITA and underlying earnings for the first six months of 2020 will be significantly above market consensus and, as a consequence of this, we are planning to bring forward our H1 2020 results announcement to the week commencing 20 July 2020.”


 Integumen – “Integumen has signed a Material Transfer Agreement ("MTA") with Avacta plc ("Avacta") to evaluate the immobilisation of Avacta's affirmer® ("Affirmer) proteins on a novel sensor for the purpose of detection of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater. The Avacta affimers have the potential to play a key role in the real-time identification of localised Covid-19 hotspots in wastewater, from which authorities can be alerted through Integumen's real-time alert system to prevent the spread of the disease to the wider community. Each party is responsible for its own costs in respect of the evaluation.

The MTA formalises Integumen's access to Avacta's Affimers to be coated onto Integumen's proprietary silicon wafer nano-photonic surfaces. Integumen, who are already well advanced with the miniaturisation of the virus detection prototype, will make use of up to six Affimers to be tested at the Company's York, UK, manufacturing facilities, which specialises in laboratory grown human skin equivalents specifically designed to host bacteria, virus and fungi. Once initial testing on the Affimers is completed over the next few weeks, validation of the sensors on the real SARS-CoV-2 virus will be carried out at the containment level 3 ("CL3") laboratory in the University of Aberdeen.

Upon successful completion of the evaluation, Integumen and the Avacta will enter into a supply agreement for the supply of Affimers into Integumen's sensors, which will initially be integrated and retrofitted into Modern Water plc's Microtox water contamination system units to detect the coronavirus. The Microtox system, which can detect the presence of contaminating bacteria, virus and toxins but not yet identify them, is distributed by Modern Water and has a global footprint of over 3,000 installations.”

• Intelligent Ultrasound – “The global Covid-19 lockdown, which has affected the majority of the reporting period, has dramatically constrained the Group's ability to demonstrate and therefore sell ultrasound training simulators to hospitals around the world. However, the directors are encouraged that despite these restrictions, the Group has increased sales in the UK, limited the sales shortfall overseas and successfully managed Group expenses to limit the adjusted EBITDA loss for the period to be between £1.3m-£1.4m (H1 2019: loss of £1.3m).”

Lifting restrictions

• In England, beauty salons, spas, tattoo parlours and nail bars are allowed to re-open from today. Although certain treatments will still be prohibited.

• In Scotland indoor shopping centres can re-open today; however, customers must wear face coverings. Visitors will also be allowed back onto hospital wards.

• In Wales, from today pubs, bars and restaurants can re-open, but customers must be served outdoors. Hairdressers can also re-open for business.


• A new study of people who have caught and recovered from coronavirus by scientists at King’s College London raises the prospect that immunity to the virus may be short-lived. Almost all of the 96 people in the study had detectable antibodies that could neutralise and stop coronavirus, but levels began to wane over the three months of the study.

• Finland has lifted travel restrictions for 17 more European countries and 11 nations outside Europe, but the border remains shut to the UK and also to Sweden.

• The Welsh Government has announced wearing three-layer face coverings will become mandatory on public transport from 27 July.

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