Health News Roundup: U.S. appeals court delays legal challenge to Texas abortion law; Australia suffers deadliest day of pandemic as Omicron drives up hospital cases and more
The decision is part of Pfizer's strategy to boost global production of the pill, paxlovid, which was found to be nearly 90% effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths in patients at high risk of severe illness, according to clinical trial data. Poland has entered a fifth wave of COVID, says minister Poland is experiencing a fifth wave of COVID-19 infections, the health minister said on Monday, warning that the spread of the Omicron variant could send daily case numbers soaring to levels not yet seen in the country.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
U.S. appeals court delays legal challenge to Texas abortion law
A U.S. appeals court on Monday handed a defeat to abortion clinics by delaying a legal challenge to a Texas law banning most abortions in that state. In a 2-1 ruling, the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the Texas Supreme Court should address enforcement questions related to the law before the Texas clinics' challenge could resume.
Australia suffers deadliest day of pandemic as Omicron drives up hospital cases
Australia suffered its deadliest day of the pandemic on Tuesday as a fast-moving Omicron outbreak continued to push up hospitalisation rates to record levels, even as daily infections eased slightly. Australia is dealing with its worst COVID-19 outbreak, fuelled by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus that has put more people in hospitals and intensive care than at any time during the pandemic.
Pfizer to boost COVID-19 pill production with French deal
Pfizer will add a production facility for its antiviral COVID-19 pill in France as part of a plan to invest 520 million euros ($594 million) in the country over the next five years, the U.S. drugmaker said on Monday. The decision is part of Pfizer's strategy to boost global production of the pill, paxlovid, which was found to be nearly 90% effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths in patients at high risk of severe illness, according to clinical trial data.
Poland has entered a fifth wave of COVID, says minister
Poland is experiencing a fifth wave of COVID-19 infections, the health minister said on Monday, warning that the spread of the Omicron variant could send daily case numbers soaring to levels not yet seen in the country. While daily case numbers have fallen since early December, the European Union's largest eastern member has had little respite since the fourth wave, regularly reporting over 10,000 new infections per day amid low vaccine take-up and limited restrictions on public life.
China's Tianjin reports fewer COVID-19 cases as its outbreak shows sign of easing
The Chinese municipality of Tianjin reported fewer COVID-19 cases on Tuesday as its outbreak showed early signs of easing, while the daily case count in the city of Anyang hit a record. Tianjin, a key port in the northern China, reported 18 domestically transmitted cases with confirmed symptoms for Monday, the National Health Commission (NHC) data showed on Tuesday. That marks the lowest daily number in a week.
Analysis-China's 'zero-COVID' campaign under strain as Omicron surges
China is doubling down on its "zero-COVID" strategy, saying the spread of the potentially milder Omicron variant is no reason to lower its guard amid warnings of economic disruptions and even public unrest as lockdowns drag into a third year. As other countries talk about a transition from "pandemic" to "endemic", China has stepped up policies to stamp out any new outbreak as soon as it arises, sealing off cities, shutting transport links and launching mass testing programmes.
Israeli study shows 4th shot of COVID-19 vaccine less effective on Omicron
A fourth shot of COVID-19 vaccine boosts antibodies to even higher levels than the third jab but it is not enough to prevent Omicron infections, according to a preliminary study in Israel. Israel's Sheba Medical Center has given second booster shots in a trial among its staff and is studying the effect of the Pfizer booster in 154 people after two weeks and the Moderna booster in 120 people after one week, said Gili Regev-Yochay, director of the Infectious Diseases Unit.
French COVID hospitalisations see biggest jump since Nov 2020
The number of people with COVID-19 in French hospitals rose by 888 to 25,775, the health ministry said on Monday, the biggest one-day increase since early November 2020 - before the start of the country's vaccination campaign. The last time the number of COVID patients was over 25,000 was on Dec. 17, 2020.
Germany one step closer to scrapping Nazi-era abortion law
Germany's justice ministry presented a draft law on Monday that would do away with a Nazi-era law forbidding doctors to provide information about abortions. Doctors in Germany are allowed to say they offer termination of pregnancies but are not allowed to provide any further information on such procedures.
Japan's Osaka to set new daily record with 6,000 COVID-19 cases -Kyodo
Japan's western prefecture of Osaka will record about 6,000 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday, the Kyodo news agency said, far surpassing the previous all-time high of 3,760 set on the weekend. The numbers of new cases in the capital, Tokyo, are also nearing records, in a resurgence driven by the highly infectious Omicron variant that has pushed Japan's new cases to the vicinity of records, with more than 25,000 in recent days.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)