Health News Roundup: New COVID strain detected in Israel; T cells induced by COVID-19 infection and moreDevdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 31-03-2021 10:52 IST | Created: 31-03-2021 10:30 IST
The United States and 13 other countries expressed concerns on Tuesday
that the World Health Organization (WHO) report on the origins of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 was delayed and lacked access to complete data, according to a joint statement. It followed WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus's assertion that data was withheld from its investigators who traveled to China to research the origins of the pandemic.
Hospitals in Ecuador's capital overwhelmed by COVID-19, doctors say
Ecuador's health system is under severe strain from a spike in COVID-19 and some hospitals in the capital Quito are working above capacity to treat patients, doctors said on Tuesday. Ecuador suffered a brutal outbreak of coronavirus in early 2020, primarily in the largest city of Guayaquil. Authorities controlled the situation after several months, but in recent weeks have seen cases jump in cities around the country.
T cells induced by COVID-19 infection respond to new virus variants: U.S. study
A critical component of the immune system known as T cells that respond to fight infection from the original version of the novel coronavirus appears to also protect against three of the most concerning new virus variants, according to a U.S. laboratory study released on Tuesday. Several recent studies have shown that certain variants of the novel coronavirus can undermine immune protection from antibodies and vaccines.
Brazil to spend extra $1 billion to fight pandemic as daily COVID-19 deaths hit record
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday signed an executive order to disburse 5.3 billion reais ($918.08 million) in new loans to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, as the country hit a record tally of 3,780 deaths in the past day. Brazil currently accounts for about a quarter of COVID-19 daily deaths worldwide, more than any other country, and its vaccination efforts have been hampered by a lack of shots.
Pfizer to accelerate COVID-19 vaccine deliveries to Canada, J&J doses due in April
Pfizer Inc has agreed to accelerate the delivery of its COVID-19 vaccine to Canada, and some doses of the Johnson & Johnson inoculation are due to arrive at the end of April, Canadian officials said on Tuesday. Canada has lagged the United States and Britain in getting its nearly 38 million citizens vaccinated, but the federal government says the vaccine ramp-up inoculations are underway.
Chinese city on Myanmar border orders home quarantine over new COVID cases
The southwestern Chinese city of Ruili that borders Myanmar ordered on Wednesday a one-week home quarantine for residents of the city's urban area, and mass COVID testing, after reporting six new locally transmitted coronavirus cases. Health authorities in Yunnan province, where Ruili is located, said the six new cases were Chinese citizens, while three asymptomatic patients, who are infected with the coronavirus but show no symptoms, were Myanmar citizens.
New COVID strain detected in Israel; Pfizer vaccine purchase bid delayed
A new coronavirus strain has been identified in Israel, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday, and the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, used primarily in a swift nationwide inoculation drive, appeared to be effective against it. Separately, a bid by the Israeli government to secure 36 million more Pfizer/BioNTech doses for use as booster shots or for children once they are eligible to hit a snag this week over political infighting. T
exas Senate approves abortion restrictions, bills move to house
The Texas state Senate passed six laws intended to restrict abortion on Tuesday, including one that, if approved by lawmakers in the lower chamber and signed by the governor, would prohibit the procedure once a fetal heartbeat was detected. The half-dozen bills mark the latest effort by right-leaning state legislatures to roll back abortion rights since former President Donald Trump's three appointments to the Supreme Court gave conservatives a 6-3 majority.
(With inputs from agencies.)