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.

The triumphs and tribulations of Asian women
Throughout one of the most difficult years in collective memory, thanks to the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, Asia’s women have proved time and again that they can rise to the challenge . Women were leading figures in landing a spacecraft on Mars, fighting on the front lines of the pandemic or transcending gender roles to become a driving force for change. Let’s take a look back at some of the top stories from Inkstone and our colleagues at the South China Morning Post celebrating women from the region who have triumphed over adversity. Victories in space One of China’s major victories of 2020 was the successful landing of the Chang’e 5 probe on the moon.  Three women who were instr
Chinese vaccine drive needs to win over Beijing public health workers
Less than three-quarters of public health workers in Beijing said they are willing to get a coronavirus vaccine, which is the lowest number in China.  A survey by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that in other parts of China – such as Shandong, Sichuan and Hubei provinces – the rate of people willing to get the jab was nearly 90%. Just under 74% of health workers in Beijing said they want to get vaccinated. The survey also found that people with higher education were less willing to get vaccinated. The researchers said it was not clear why CDC workers in Beijing were the most hesitant to get vaccinated, though they suggested the staff perhaps felt they were less a
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