Coronavirus pandemic: All stories

Coronavirus pandemic: All stories

An outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus was first reported in Wuhan, China. It has since spread across the world and the World Health Organisation has declared a global pandemic. Seeking to disting

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China Trends: A teacher fired for flower envy and movie theaters reopen
Every Tuesday and Thursday, China Trends takes the pulse of the Chinese social media to keep you in the loop of what the world’s biggest internet population is talking about. A teacher lost her job over a bouquet of flowers A student at a Chinese primary school gave her head teacher a bouquet of flowers as a token of gratitude, but the well-meaning gesture soon devolved into the public firing of one teacher and three school administrators.  A teacher, surnamed Wang, became visibly angry after the head teacher received the flowers. Perhaps feeling underappreciated, Wang went on a tirade. She started shouting at the student, accusing the parents of disrespecting her and would eventually throw
Even a coronavirus vaccine won’t offer an easy way out
The future remains foggy as the coronavirus pandemic charges into the second half of the year, with more than 1 million new infections reported in the past week. But one thing is clear: there is no easy way out. Infectious disease experts can only theorize about what trajectory the virus will take in the coming months and whether it will embed itself permanently in the population and circulate every year. But they generally agree that the future will depend on how governments and people behave. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organisation, said on Monday that things would only get “worse and worse and worse” if countries and people did not take the necessary
Hong Kong's Covid-19 third wave ‘getting a bit out of hand’
Hong Kong is expected to tighten its social-distancing measures after a third wave of Covid-19 cases hit the city with health authorities warning the situation was "getting a bit out of hand." The city announced 52 new cases on Monday, in line with the recent escalation in cases, taking the total number of infections to 1,521, including seven deaths. Forty-one of the new cases were transmitted locally, and the source of 20 of these infections remained unknown. City officials met to discuss the new cases and were expected to further tighten social-distancing measures later in the day, having already reintroduced some restrictions last week. These included limiting restaurant customers to eig
Could Asian anti-vaxers harm coronavirus fight?
If a coronavirus vaccine becomes available, governments around the world will have to manufacture it on a massive scale and distribute it to billions of people. But in parts of Asia they may also have to overcome growing anti-vaccine sentiment – an increasing concern in a region known for its high vaccination rates. More than 85% of people across Asia believe vaccines to be safe, according to a 2018 survey by Wellcome Global Monitor, higher than any other region. Vaccination rates for the region are high overall, according to World Health Organization data, with coverage for diseases such as tuberculosis, whooping cough and tetanus surpassing 90%. But controversies involving specific vaccin
US blasts ‘spiteful’ decision to freeze Taiwan out of WHO
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has slammed the “spiteful” rejection of Taiwan’s bid to attend the World Health Organization’s annual meeting as an observer despite its success in tackling Covid-19. Beijing has insisted that Taiwan, a self-ruled island democracy that it claims as its own territory, be excluded from the World Health Assembly, the WHO’s decision-making body. It added that the previous inclusion of Taiwan should not count as a precedent, as the current Taiwanese government no longer recognized the one-China principle (under which both Taipei and Beijing agree there is only one China, but differ on how it is interpreted). “The United States condemns Taiwan’s exclusion from th
China’s jobs crisis could give leaders sleepless nights
Years of social progress in China are at risk of being undone as the world’s second-largest economy grapples with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic that has driven unemployment to historical highs. Over the past few years, the country’s labor market has been underpinned by the rise in service sector jobs, allowing newly laid-off factory workers to take up employment as delivery drivers or store clerks. But the pandemic has broken this virtuous cycle, fanning the government’s worst fears about massive unemployment and the potential for ensuing social unrest that could undermine its iron grip on power. Across the country, it is not uncommon to see stores closing or popular rest
Bats, a wet market, and many theories: Where did the coronavirus come from?
Scientists around the world are trying to trace the origin of the coronavirus, an effort that could help us get ahead of the next pandemic. In the video above, Inkstone speaks with infectious disease experts to find out what we know about how the devastating virus came into being and what we don’t know. The following is a lightly edited transcript of the video. The new coronavirus is thought to have originated in bats, and the initial outbreak has been linked to a live animal market in China. But there are other conspiracy theories about where it may have come from. So, what should we believe?  Understanding how the virus first infected humans may help us beat the pandemic or, at least, mit
China’s vaccine makers hit a hurdle: lack of patients
Medical researchers around the world are racing to find drugs and vaccines to fight Covid-19. A process that usually takes years or even decades of laboratory work and tests has been fast-tracked to months in a rush to stop a virus that has infected more than 3 million people. Nine vaccine candidates have entered human trials and more than 70 others are under preclinical studies.  China was one of the first out of the blocks, with five vaccines being developed by companies there that are undergoing clinical trials. On the pharmaceutical front, a trial in the United States of experimental antiviral drug remdesivir made by US-based Gilead Sciences showed results on Wednesday that might lead to
Tracking apps could help stop coronavirus. But will people buy in?
As countries look to safely ease the coronavirus lockdowns that have crippled economic and social life, authorities around the world are seeking to strike a bargain with their citizens: a quicker return to normal life in return for embracing smartphone apps that streamline the business of contact tracing. But these digital tools remain largely untested and raise questions about privacy. Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called on the public to download such an app “as a matter of national service,” comparing it to the sale of wartime bonds to support the military efforts. Australia launched COVIDSafe on Sunday, attracting more than 2 million downloads within 24 hours. Singapore
Wuhan free of Covid-19 after months-long nightmare
Wuhan, the initial epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, no longer has any Covid-19 patients in the hospital after the last 12 were discharged on Sunday. Their release ended a four-month nightmare for the city, where the disease was first detected in December.  The number of patients being treated for Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, peaked on February 18 at 38,020 – nearly 10,000 of whom were in severe or critical condition. “With the joint efforts of Wuhan and the national medical aid given to Hubei province, all cases of Covid-19 in Wuhan were cleared as of April 26,” Mi Feng, a spokesman for the National Health Commission said on Sunday afternoon. The announcement c