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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Chinese internet rages against ‘actress’ who criticized Covid-19 health leader
The Chinese internet exploded over the weekend after a post criticizing Zhong Nanshan, China’s equivalent to Anthony Fauci, touched a nerve in the country. The post, published by a person named Shen Jiaxin, who claims to be an actress, asked Dr Zhong, “Dr. Zhong, apart from appearing on camera all the time, what research have you conducted? What effective drugs have you invented? How many Covid patients have you cured?” “What kind of contribution have you made to the pandemic?” Zhong, who does not work for the government but is a member of the communist party, has become the public face of China’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic. He has an outsized celebrity compared to other public h
Is national health overriding privacy concerns in China?
Shanghai recently reported its first Covid-19 case in months, but the case has also heightened concerns about privacy after the personal details of a close contact of the patient were leaked online. The issue is particularly sensitive because of the large amount of personal information the Chinese authorities collect to combat the disease, and the city authorities are now investigating how the man's information was made public. The breach happened after a worker at the city's Pudong airport tested positive for coronavirus and the authorities started testing and monitoring his co-workers. These included the man whose details were leaked and who has been identified only by his surname Ni. The
US experts hope for a reset on coronavirus containment under Biden
When Joe Biden is inaugurated as United States president on January 20 he will inherit the legacies of Donald Trump and one of the worst will be a pandemic that is out of control during the depth of winter. Public health experts who had pinned their hopes on a Biden presidency could barely celebrate because the skyrocketing number of Covid-19 cases heralded daunting challenges ahead. The two-month wait before he takes power also means the country will not immediately get a long-overdue organized federal response to the pandemic. Experts have already seen coronavirus surging at an unprecedented rate, passing the bleak milestone of 10 million cases with the last million accumulating in just 10
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
The pandemic has dimmed Europe’s view of China, surveys suggest
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features one important number about China to give you insight into the rising power. 48%: The percentage of Europeans who viewed China less favorably during the coronavirus pandemic.  Nearly half of all respondents to surveys in nine major EU countries said their views of China worsened during the Covid-19 crisis, the European Council on Foreign Relations said. The darkening view of China was the starkest in France and Denmark, where 62% of respondents said they saw the country more negatively since the outbreak of the pandemic in Europe in early 2020, according to data compiled by the think tank. A minority of respondents reported having a more fav
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
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