Several celebrities infected with Covid-19 days after Gloden Globes awards

A number of celebrities have tested positive for Covid-19, following appearances at the Golden Globes. Several stars, including Collin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Jamie Lee Curtis and Michelle Pfeiffer announced they had contracted the virus in the days following the awards. The Critics Choice Awards, which aired on Sunday, required Covid-19 tests for attendees as the list of dropouts grew. Forced to sit out, a few celebrities chimed in over social media. “I’m so sorry to be missing the Critics Choice Awards today,” Pfeiffer wrote in an Instagram post. “Yep, Covid.” Pfeiffer was expected to present actor Jeff Bridges with a … Continue reading Several celebrities infected with Covid-19 days after Gloden Globes awards

China blocks visas for S Korea and Japan over Covid restrictions

China has stopped issuing short-term visas to individuals from South Korea and Japan in retaliation for Covid-19 restrictions on Chinese travellers. Beijing says the pause on South Korean visas will remain in place until “discriminatory” entry restrictions against China are lifted. Japan and South Korea are not the only countries imposing entry requirements on travellers from China, where Covid cases are surging, but their measures are among the most stringent. Last week, South Korea stopped issuing tourist visas for those coming from China, which the Chinese foreign ministry called “unacceptable” and “unscientific”. Japan, meanwhile, is currently allowing Chinese visitors into … Continue reading China blocks visas for S Korea and Japan over Covid restrictions

A Covid-19 antiviral treatment speeds up recovery – trial

An antiviral drug tested by more than 25,000 vaccinated Covid patients has been found to reduce recovery time from the disease. Molnupiravir was given to people twice a day, for five days at home, while they had the Omicron variant of Covid. Those chosen were at a higher risk of death or hospitalisation from Covid-19 due to age or underlying health conditions. Despite aiding recovery, the drug did not decrease death rates or hospital admissions. Participants taking the antiviral drug while having Covid-19 were compared with those receiving standard care who also had the infection. The trial was conducted to … Continue reading A Covid-19 antiviral treatment speeds up recovery – trial

China health expert predicts three winter waves

A top Chinese health official says he believes China is experiencing the first of three expected waves of Covid infections this winter. The country is seeing a surge in cases since the¬†lifting of its most severe restrictions earlier this month. The latest official figures appear to show a relatively low number of new daily cases. However, there are concerns that these numbers are an underestimate due to a recent reduction in Covid testing. The government reported only 2,097 new daily cases on Sunday. Epidemiologist Wu Zunyou has said he believes the current spike in infections would run until mid-January, while … Continue reading China health expert predicts three winter waves

Breaking News: China eases Covid quarantine and lockdown measures

China says people with asymptomatic or mild Covid will now be able to quarantine at home rather than in state facilities in a major easing of its zero-Covid policy. Such cases will now be able to stay at home and self-report test results. The country has also scrapped PCR test requirements for most public venues except hospitals and schools. The changes come just a week after civil protests against pandemic controls erupted across the nation. Centralised quarantine was deeply unpopular because it separated families and saw people forced into facilities. Videos all year have shown guards dragging people out of … Continue reading Breaking News: China eases Covid quarantine and lockdown measures

Australian state scraps tens of thousands of Covid fines

More than 33,000 Covid fines will be withdrawn or refunded in Australia’s most populous state after a court deemed them invalid. An Australian legal advocacy group challenged the pandemic-era fines on the basis they were “too vague”. The “fail to comply” fines were issued for a range of alleged offences – from carpooling to attending a public gathering. They ranged from $1,000 to $3,000. Ultimately, government lawyers conceded the fines did not meet legal requirements in the New South Wales Supreme Court. Shortly after the decision was handed down, the Commissioner of Fines Administration withdrew 31,121 of the 62,138 fines. … Continue reading Australian state scraps tens of thousands of Covid fines

Record number of coronavirus cases in China as virus surges nationwide

China has recorded its highest number of daily Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began, despite stringent measures designed to eliminate the virus. There are outbreaks with several major cities including the capital Beijing and southern trade hub Guangzhou. On Wednesday, the country recorded 31,527 cases – higher than the about 28,000 peak recorded in April, when its largest city Shanghai was locked down. It comes as strict lockdowns continue to spark episodes of unrest. China’s zero-Covid policy has saved lives in the country of 1.4 billion people but also dealt a punishing blow to the economy and ordinary people’s lives. … Continue reading Record number of coronavirus cases in China as virus surges nationwide

Violent protests erupts in Guangzhou over Covid lockdown

Crowds of residents in southern China’s industrial metropolis Guangzhou have escaped a compulsory lockdown and clashed with police, as anger at strict coronavirus curbs boiled over. Dramatic footage shows some overturning a police vehicle and tearing down Covid control barriers. Riot teams have now been deployed in the area. It follows Guangzhou’s worst Covid outbreak since the pandemic began. Amid bad economic figures, China’s zero Covid policy is under enormous strain. Tensions had been building in the city’s Haizhu District, which is under stay-at-home orders. The area is home to many poorer itinerant labourers. They have complained of not being … Continue reading Violent protests erupts in Guangzhou over Covid lockdown

Visitors to Shanghai Disney park unable to leave without negative Covid test as park shuts

Shanghai Disney has become the latest high-profile venue to shut its gates thanks to China’s strict zero-Covid policy, trapping visitors inside. People have been told they will not be allowed out of the theme park until they can show a negative test. It comes after Shanghai reported 10 locally transmitted cases on Saturday. China’s controversial zero-Covid policy has already seen millions of people repeatedly locked down, sometimes in unusual locations. The sudden nature lockdowns have seen people fleeing shops –¬†including a Shanghai branch of Swedish furniture giant Ikea- and workplaces as they try to avoid being trapped inside. However, those … Continue reading Visitors to Shanghai Disney park unable to leave without negative Covid test as park shuts

Workers flee Covid-19 lockdown at iPhone factory in China

Workers have broken out of Apple’s largest iPhone assembly factory in China after a Covid outbreak forced staff to lockdown at the workplace. Video shared online showed about 10 people jumping a fence outside the plant, owned by manufacturer Foxconn, in the central city of Zhengzhou. Chinese people and businesses are continuing to grapple with President Xi Jinping’s rigid zero-Covid policy. It is not clear how many cases of Covid-19 have been identified at the factory. However in the last week, Zhengzhou, the capital of China’s Henan province, reported 167 locally transmitted infections – up from 97 the week before, … Continue reading Workers flee Covid-19 lockdown at iPhone factory in China

Universal Resort shuts due to Beijing coronavirus cases

The Universal Resort theme park in Beijing has temporarily closed due to Covid-19 prevention measures. Cases have been rising in the city despite having some of the world’s toughest anti-coronavirus restrictions. For yesterday, the Chinese capital – which is home to more than 21 million people – reported 19 symptomatic infections and one asymptomatic case. China’s zero-Covid policy has seen cities and attractions locked down over relatively small numbers of infections. The park, which is part-owned by the US media giant Comcast, did not say when it would reopen, but pledged to refund or reschedule tickets. “We will continue to … Continue reading Universal Resort shuts due to Beijing coronavirus cases

India vaccine maker destroys 100 million doses of expired Covid jab

Indian vaccine maker Serum Institute of India (SII) has said it had to dump 100 million doses of their Covid-19 vaccine after they expired. The firm stopped producing Covishield in December last year due to low demand, CEO Adar Poonawalla said on Thursday. SII, the world’s largest vaccine maker, has been making the local version of AstraZeneca’s Vaxzevria jab. Covishield accounts for over 90% of the doses given in India. India has administered over two billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines. More than 70% of the Indian population has taken at least two doses, according to the federal health ministry. In … Continue reading India vaccine maker destroys 100 million doses of expired Covid jab