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.

Cash and goodies for people to stay home during Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is undoubtedly the most significant celebration on the Chinese calendar. This year though, company bosses have joined forces with local governments in dangling carrots of money and other gifts in front of residents in a desperate bid to encourage stay-at-home celebrations because of a recent spike in coronavirus cases.  Financial bonuses, shopping vouchers, movie tickets, free entry to local attractions and even food and decorations are just some of the incentives being used to deter what has been described as the world’s largest human migration. Each year, hundreds of millions of Chinese travel across the country – by train, bus and air – to reunite with family and friends
Money to burn: Chinese elite swap international travel for high-end spending at home
Watches, diamonds, gold and leather goods were among the luxury items that made up a whopping US$54 billion spent by China’s wealthiest families last year. With coronavirus severely curtailing all international travel – and extravagant shopping excursions to Paris, Dubai, New York and London – affluent families in China have been forced to shop up a storm at home in a bid to reduce their anxiety about border closures that keep them stuck in China. “Before the outbreak, we would travel abroad a lot every year, or even live for a while away from the mainland. Last year I turned to shop more for watches, diamonds and gold to compensate for the regret for not being able to travel abroad,” said
Chinese state media promotes CoronaVac despite efficacy confusion
Chinese state media is championing Sinovac’s new vaccine, focussing largely on the positives while minimizing the fact that the public release of its efficacy data has raised international eyebrows. Various regulators worldwide said they would take a close look at the data for Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac product, which the company’s Brazilian partner, the Butantan Institute, said on Tuesday had a roughly 50% general efficacy rate – well below the 78% reported earlier. But there was little mention in Chinese media on Thursday of the questions raised by the results. “Sinovac releases vaccine data in Brazil: 100% effective in preventing severe cases, could reduce hospitalization by 80%,” natio
Sex in the time of corona: How couples are coping during the global pandemic
Sex has come out on top as one of the most important factors in relationships thriving and surviving during the coronavirus pandemic, a new study has revealed. While previously it was thought that sex was not high on the list of reasons that could be attributed to a relationship’s success, it seems coronavirus lockdowns are now largely being praised for helping couples improve their lives together. A new study by Chinese scientists found that sex was three times more important than social or demographic factors such as money and age in improving a couple’s relationship during the coronavirus-related lockdown periods. In a paper published about the study in the journal Sexual Medicine last w
Covid-19 causes health problems six months later: study
Most patients who received hospital treatment for Covid-19 developed long-term health problems, according to a large-scale study from China. Researchers found that 76% of those discharged from one hospital in Wuhan, the city at the center of the outbreak, still showed at least one symptom associated with the disease six months later. Fatigue and sleep difficulties, which occurred in 63% and 26% of the patients respectively, were the most common problems. To the surprise of the researchers, over a third of the patients showed signs of kidney malfunction, which led to problems such as an increase in bodily waste in the blood and increased risk of sexual dysfunction. “Longer follow-up studies
Instant noodles a recipe for survival in China’s strict new lockdown
A bag of flour, a cabbage and a stash of instant noodles were all Wang Yufeng had to survive on when a sudden and harsh coronavirus lockdown of a city in China’s north left 11 million residents without time to buy essentials. The clothing business owner was more concerned about getting orders to her clients than she was about shopping for food when authorities announced the unexpected lockdown in the city of Shijiazhuang after 63 new Covid-19 cases were recorded last week – mainland China’s highest daily tally for months. “When I woke up [on Wednesday morning] and looked at WeChat, everyone was talking about the lockdown and getting tested,” Wang said, referring to the popular messaging app.
New test could take just 10 minutes to detect coronavirus
Chinese researchers claim to have developed a biological sensor that can detect the new coronavirus in just 10 minutes, although it remains unclear if it will ever hit the market.  Team leader Guo Xuefeng said the technology is “ready for immediate application” and is just as accurate as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technologies currently in use. It is also much faster. Current testing measures often taking hours or days to produce a result from the standard PCR because of the time-consuming process required to analyze samples in a laboratory.  The Peking University team has rushed to patent a sensing chip that scientists say can detect the Sars-CoV-2 viral gene almost instantly from
Covid-19 face masks could cause lung problems: Chinese study
Wearing a face mask could cause lung problems due to the inhalation of plastic fibers, a new study has found. But the potential health risks of Covid masks are outweighed by their benefits. “It is a minor problem compared with protecting humans from Covid-19,” said the Chinese research team from Wuhan, the city where the coronavirus is believed to have originated. In the peer-reviewed paper, published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials earlier this week, a wide range of masks were tested for plastic fibers.  While this latest study offers food for thought, the one clear takeaway remains that masks are the most cost-effective way to fight the virus. A recent German study found masks helpe
‘I’ll take it’: The Chinese are the most willing of 15 countries to take the Covid vaccine
Chinese citizens are the most willing to get the Covid-19 vaccine while many in France, the US, and Russia refuse to be vaccinated, a poll has suggested. The World Economic Forum survey found 80% of Chinese participants said they were likely or certain to take the vaccine. In France, more than half of the respondents said they would refuse the Covid vaccine. 38% of Americans would agree to be vaccinated, a figure that is 9% higher than it was in October. Experts say it is an optimistic sign for the US, and cited separate polls showing attitudes among American adults had greatly shifted. In polls by the Pew Research Center and Gallup, the number of people who would take the vaccine had incre
Ugly bickering as Chinese media mocks UK’s virus spread
A British politician has criticized China’s alleged Covid-19 cover-up after some Chinese media outlets blared headlines mocking the country for letting a more contagious mutant strain of the coronavirus rage across the UK. “New virus strain is out of control in the UK!” read a National Business Daily’s headline. “London’s Great Escape!” said China Youth Daily’s headline. The Global Times, which is considered the unfiltered mouthpiece of the Communist Party, published a cartoon showing British planes riddled with the virus. A British Member of Parliament, Tobias Ellwood from the Conservative Party, lashed out at the attacks, saying China “tried to hide the original outbreak,” The Sun newspape