Health News Roundup: Vietnam says origin of Danang outbreak hard to track; Australia's Victoria to toughen COVID lockdown and more
(https://bit.ly/38rDity) At least 40 infected with COVID-19 on Norway cruises amid scramble to trace passengers At least 40 passengers and crew from a luxury cruise liner have tested positive for COVID-19 and the authorities are still trying to trace a number of passengers from two recent Arctic voyages, public health officials in Norway said on Sunday.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Vietnam says origin of Danang outbreak hard to track as virus cases rise
Vietnamese authorities said on Sunday they were finding it hard to track the origin of a fresh coronavirus outbreak that began in the central city of Danang and has infected around 200 people in recent weeks. "In Danang, there are many sources of virus, and there are still many infections out there in the community," a government statement said of the city, a popular tourist hotspot with a population of 1.1 million.
Australia's Victoria to toughen coronavirus lockdown: media
Australia's Victoria state will toughen its social distancing measures in the coming days as the country's second-most populous state struggles to contain the novel coronavirus, media reported on Sunday. Victoria's capital of Melbourne is already under a reimposed six-week stay-home order and reported record numbers of new infections last week. Authorities warned of more restrictions ahead.
India's interior minister hospitalized with coronavirus
India's Interior Minister Amit Shah has been admitted to hospital after catching the coronavirus, he said on Sunday, becoming the most senior politician in the country to test positive for the disease. Shah, a close aide to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, heads a ministry that has been at the forefront of managing the epidemic.
U.S. CDC reports 4,601,526 coronavirus cases
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday reported 4,601,526 cases of the novel coronavirus, an increase of 58,947 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 1,132 to 154,002. The CDC reported its tally of cases of COVID-19 as of 4 p.m. ET on Aug. 1, versus its previous report a day earlier. (https://bit.ly/38rDity)
At least 40 passengers and crew from a luxury cruise liner have tested positive for COVID-19 and the authorities are still trying to trace a number of passengers from two recent Arctic voyages, public health officials in Norway said on Sunday. Four crew members on the MS Roald Amundsen were hospitalized on Friday when the ship arrived at the port of Tromsoe, and later diagnosed with the respiratory illness. Tests showed another 32 of the 158 staff were also infected.
Switzerland should tighten coronavirus restrictions again, government advisor says
Switzerland should tighten restrictions to curb the coronavirus again following a recent spike in cases, in order to prevent the need for much harsher lockdown measures in future, the new head of the country's coronavirus taskforce said. Switzerland has seen the number of new cases of COVID-19 surge to more than 200 a day recently after an average of 35 per day in June.
U.S. coronavirus 'extraordinarily widespread', say White House experts
The United States is in a new phase of the novel coronavirus outbreak with infections "extraordinarily widespread" in rural areas as well as cities, White House coronavirus experts said on Sunday. Coronavirus cases continue to surge in some parts of the country and the public health officials are trying to work with governors to tailor responses for each state.
China sends team to Hong Kong for widespread coronavirus testing
Seven Chinese health officials arrived in Hong Kong on Sunday, the first members of a 60-person team that will carry out widespread COVID-19 testing in the territory as it races to halt a third wave of illness. The initiative marks the first time mainland health officials have assisted Hong Kong in its battle to control the epidemic.
Relief, NeuroRx say emergency treatment with RLF-100 helps critically ill COVID patients
Critically ill COVID-19 patients recovered rapidly from respiratory failure after three days of treatment with RLF-100, a therapy granted fast-track designation in the United States, two drug companies said on Sunday. Geneva-based Relief Therapeutics Holdings AG has a patent for RLF-100, or aviptadil, a synthetic form of a natural peptide that protects the lung. U.S.-Israeli NeuroRx Inc partnered with Relief to develop the drug in the United States.
Philippines to reimpose stricter coronavirus lockdown in capital as cases spike
The Philippines will reimpose a stricter coronavirus lockdown in and around the capital for two weeks from Tuesday, authorities said on Sunday, as the country struggles to contain infections that have jumped to more than 100,000 cases. President Rodrigo Duterte has approved placing Metro Manila and nearby provinces such as Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, and Bulacan under so-called "Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine" (MECQ) until Aug. 18, his spokesman Harry Roque told reporters.
(With inputs from agencies.)