Coronavirus

Coronavirus

A new strain of coronavirus emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019. It has since spread across the world and upended the lives of millions of people.

Covid-19: There won’t be enough vaccines for a return to normal life until 2022, WHO scientist says
Do not expect there to be enough Covid-19 vaccines for life to return to normal until 2022, World Health Organization chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan predicted on Tuesday. Swaminathan said the WHO’s Covax initiative, the resource-pooling mechanism to provide equitable vaccine access to countries with different income levels, would only be able to garner around hundreds of millions of doses by the middle of next year, meaning each of the some 170 countries or economies that have joined “will have something.” But the number of doses will be too small to change the need for social distancing and mask wearing until production is increased and reaches the goal of 2 billion by the end of 2021.
These countries have reported zero cases of Covid-19
Much of the world has been hit by Covid-19 and many countries are still struggling for months to get their individual outbreaks under control. Even for the handful of nations that have yet to report a single coronavirus infection to the World Health Organization, the effects of the global pandemic are devastating.
Tycoon who criticized China’s ‘emperor’ faces corruption trial
Ren Zhiqiang, a prominent real estate tycoon and a vocal critic of the Communist Party leadership, has been put on trial in Beijing for alleged corruption. A member of the party, Ren was a long-standing critic of China’s leadership, earning him the nickname Ren the Big Cannon. His most recent article, circulating online since March, was critical of the authorities’ initial missteps in handling the coronavirus, Beijing’s attempts to promote its successes in containing the outbreak and President Xi Jinping’s expansion of power. Although Ren did not mention Xi by name, he made references in his article to an “emperor” and a “clown” who personally directed China’s fight against Covid-19. Ren ha
China’s Covid-19 epicenter gets back to normal, but can't hide the trauma
When Wang Dandan moved to Wuhan for a job managing a newly built hotel last summer, she could never have guessed the front-seat view she would have of the city’s battle against the coronavirus. After the severity of the outbreak became clearer and authorities sealed off the central Chinese city on January 23, her hotel became the sleeping quarters for medical professionals deployed across the city. Thanks to its proximity to two major hospitals, the hotel was soon abuzz with doctors and nurses at the initial epicenter of the crisis. The lobby of the hotel is still decorated with silk banners sent by visiting medical teams expressing gratitude for the hospitality. But nearly 150 days after th
What it’s like to be a sea lion (and its caretaker) during the pandemic
Hong Kong’s Ocean Park was forced to close for a second time as the city struggles to fight its third wave of Covid-19 infections. Park employees that look after animals at the attraction say there has been little impact on the standard of care they get. But the intensifying global health crisis is keeping away guests that Ocean Park relies on, deepening its financial woes and leaving the animals’ long-term fate up in the air. 
Xinjiang residents grapple with sweeping coronavirus measures
Residents in China’s Xinjiang region say they are confined to their homes and forced to take herbal medicines during a blanket lockdown to contain a recent coronavirus outbreak, measures that they say are harsher than those elsewhere in the country. In Urumqi, the capital of the far western border region, most residents have been banned from leaving their apartments since July 16, when a fresh Covid-19 outbreak was discovered. To date, the virus has infected about 900 people in a city of 3.5 million. Although no new cases have been confirmed since August 16, residents say they have not been told about when the prolonged lockdown will be lifted. Two of them told Inkstone the strict lockdown m
Apple and Huawei are winners of the pandemic
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features one important number about China to give you insight into the rising power. 32%: The increase in iPhone sales in China between April and June in 2020 compared to the same period last year. Huawei was the only other brand that saw smartphone sales rise, enjoying a 14% increase over those three months. The success of Huawei did not funnel to other China brands, which saw a significant drop in sales. Oppo’s smartphone sale lost 31% while Vivo was down 29%. Overall smartphone sales in China declined by 17%, according to market research firm Counterpoint. Apple’s impressive turnaround in China has much to do with its latest low price strategy. 
China sets out its targets for Covid-19 vaccines
Covid-19 vaccines must protect at least half of those given the injection and provide at least six months’ immunity if they are to be approved for use in China, the country’s drug regulator has announced. According to a draft document released by the Chinese Center for Drug Evaluation (CCDE), 50% is the minimum efficacy rate allowable, although 70% is the target. The document said also that the regulator would consider allowing the emergency use of vaccines that have not yet completed their final phase of clinical trials. Chinese companies are among the frontrunners in the race to produce a vaccine for Covid-19, with four candidates undergoing final testing. A total of 29 products are under
Covid-19 vaccines may be ready in early 2021. That’s a start
With six Covid-19 vaccine candidates undergoing final clinical trials, initial data about whether they can protect people from the disease is expected to be available in the next two to three months, assuming all goes well. That gives hope to the possibility that a vaccine could hit the market by early next year. However, that does not necessarily mean the global community will be out of the woods.  One concern is that, while the possible candidates use different technologies, they have adopted a similar strategy for attacking the SARS-CoV-2 virus.   The worry is that if the one candidate proves to be effective, the chances of the others succeeding are high. But the opposite scenario also a