Sleep and Netflix ahead for Malala as she finishes Oxford degree

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Activist Malala Yousafzai celebrates with family after completing her Philosophy, Politics and Economics degree from Oxford University on June 18, 2020. (Malala Yousafzai/Reuters)
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Activist Malala Yousafzai celebrates completing her Philosophy, Politics and Economics degree from Oxford University on June 18, 2020. (Malala Yousafzai/Reuters)
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Updated 19 June 2020

Sleep and Netflix ahead for Malala as she finishes Oxford degree

  • Yousafzai survived being shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in 2012
  • She was targeted for her campaign against efforts by the Taliban to deny women education

LONDON: She is known the world over for her campaign for girls’ education. Now Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has finished her degree at Oxford University and, like all students, is just looking forward to some sleep and some movies.
With universities in Britain temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Yousafzai posted pictures on social media which showed her celebrating with a cake and balloons, and covered in foam, paint and confetti as per tradition for Oxford students on the last day of their final exams.
“Hard to express my joy and gratitude right now as I completed my Philosophy, Politics and Economics degree at Oxford. I don’t know what’s ahead. For now, it will be Netflix, reading and sleep,” she said on her Twitter and Instagram feeds.
Congratulations poured in on social media, including from aid charity Oxfam, which said: “Congratulations, you are an inspiration!.” Hollywood and Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra Jonas, who has 54 million Instagram followers, said: “Congratulations Malala!! That’s amazing.”
Yousafzai, now 22, survived being shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in 2012, after she was targeted for her campaign against efforts by the Taliban to deny women education.
She had become known as an 11-year-old writing a blog under a pen name for the BBC about living under the rule of the Pakistani Taliban. A gunman arrived at her school, asking for her by name. He opened fire on her and two classmates on a bus.
She was airlifted to a hospital first in Pakistan and then to an intensive care unit in England for multiple operations. After recovering, Yousafzai attended school in England, before winning the place at Oxford.
At the age of 17, in 2014, Yousafzai became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for her education advocacy. Through her Malala Fund, she has also become a global symbol of the resilience of women in the face of repression.
“Like many of you, the pandemic has changed a lot about my final year of university,” she wrote in a post to graduates in the Malala Fund’s digital newsletter for young women, Assembly, speaking about how her brothers kept interrupting her studies.
“It’s hard not to think about all the moments we’re missing. But we didn’t miss out on the most important thing: our education.”

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Having flu doubles risk of coronavirus death: Study

Updated 15 min 31 sec ago

Having flu doubles risk of coronavirus death: Study

  • Heightened danger particularly acute among over-65s
  • WHO identifies flu season as acute threat given COVID-19 spikes

LONDON: Infection with flu and coronavirus at the same time more than doubles a person’s risk of dying than if he or she only had COVID-19, according to research released by England’s highest public health body.

Research conducted by Public Health England (PHE) found that those with flu and COVID-19 were 2.27 times more likely to die than those who just had COVID-19, and 5.92 times more likely to die than those who had neither.

Researchers found that those aged 65 and over were at greatest risk. Most cases of co-infection were in older people, and more than half of them died.

The paper describes the possible impact of COVID-19 alongside seasonal flu as a “major concern.”

Yvonne Doyle, medical director of PHE, said: “If you get both you’re in some serious trouble, and the people who are most likely to get both of these infections may be the very people who can least afford to in terms of their own immune system, or their risk for serious outcomes.”

The paper found that people with flu were less likely to test positive for COVID-19, but Doyle said this should not be taken as a reassurance.

Some countries in Asia have pre-emptively rolled out early and more aggressive flu vaccination programs this year to prevent complications caused by co-infection.

But others, such as Poland, have been struggling to secure flu vaccines due to shortages caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The upcoming flu season has been identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a particularly acute threat, given that many parts of the world are already experiencing a spike in COVID-19 infections.

“We’re starting to see worrying trends in some countries,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical lead for COVID-19. “We’re seeing increases in hospitalizations, in intensive care units … That’s worrying because we haven’t seen the flu season yet.”