Be informed. Be challenged. Be inspired.

WHO urges travellers to wear masks as new COVID variant spreads

UK London Heathrow Airport

London, UKReuters Countries should consider recommending that passengers wear masks on long-haul flights, given the rapid spread of the latest Omicron subvariant of COVID-19 in the United States, World Health Organization officials said on Tuesday. In Europe, the XBB.1.5 subvariant was detected in small but growing numbers, WHO and Europe officials said at a press […]

Repeat COVID is riskier than first infection, study finds

Bulgaria Sofia ICU

Reuters The risk of death, hospitalization and serious health issues from COVID-19 jumps significantly with reinfection compared with a first bout with the virus, regardless of vaccination status, according to a study published on Thursday. “Reinfection with COVID-19 increases the risk of both acute outcomes and long COVID,” said Dr Ziyad Al-Aly of Washington University […]

China urges “patience” as COVID cases rebound ahead of key congress

China Shanghai COVID testing

Beijing, China Reuters China called for “patience” with its tough COVID policies and warned against any “war-weariness” as local cases soared to their highest since August, days ahead of a pivotal Communist Party congress.  Many countries are learning to co-exist with COVID-19, but China has repeatedly quashed any speculation of a let-up in its policies, […]

COVID wave looms in Europe as booster campaign makes slow start

Spain Barcelona subway

Reuters A new COVID-19 wave appears to be brewing in Europe as cooler weather arrives, with public health experts warning that vaccine fatigue and confusion over types of available vaccines will likely limit booster uptake. Omicron subvariants BA.4/5 that dominated this summer are still behind the majority of infections, but newer Omicron subvariants are gaining […]

Australians urged to work from home as winter Omicron wave swamps hospitals

Australia Melbourne coronavirus 2021

Sydney, AustraliaReuters Australians admitted to hospitals from COVID-19 neared record levels on Wednesday as authorities urged businesses to let staff work from home and recommended people wear masks indoors and get booster shots urgently amid a major outbreak. Australia is in the grip of a third Omicron wave driven by the highly transmissible new subvariants, […]

North Korea reports first COVID-19 outbreak, orders lockdown in “gravest emergency”

North Korea Kim Jong un

Seoul, South KoreaReuters North Korea confirmed its first COVID-19 outbreak on Thursday, calling it the “gravest national emergency” and ordering a national lockdown, with state media reporting an Omicron variant had been detected in Pyongyang. The first public admission of COVID infections highlights the potential for a major crisis in a country that has refused […]

South Africa says it may be entering fifth COVID wave

South Africa Johannesburg COVID 19 vaccinations

Johannesburg, South AfricaReuters South Africa may be entering a fifth COVID wave earlier than expected after a sustained rise in infections over the past 14 days that seems to be driven by the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron sub-variants, health officials and scientists said on Friday. The country that has recorded the most coronavirus cases and […]

China’s Shanghai split in two for COVID lockdown as asymptomatic cases surge

Coronavirus Shanghai China

Shanghai, ChinaReuters China’s financial hub of Shanghai launched a planned two-stage lockdown of the city of 26 million people on Monday, closing bridges and tunnels, and restricting highway traffic in a scramble to contain surging local COVID-19 cases. The snap lockdown, announced by Shanghai’s city government on Sunday, will split the city in two roughly […]

China records more local COVID cases this year than in whole of 2021

China Beijing COVID 19 testing

Beijing, ChinaReuters China has reported more local symptomatic COVID-19 cases so far this year than it recorded in all of 2021, as the highly transmissible Omicron variant triggers outbreaks from Shanghai to Shenzhen.  Mainland China reported 1,337 new domestically transmitted COVID cases with confirmed symptoms on 13th March, the National Health Commission said on Monday. […]