What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

Here's what you need to know about the pandemic right now: North Korea reports first COVID outbreak North Korea reported its first COVID-19 outbreak on Thursday, calling it the "gravest national emergency" and ordering a national lockdown, with state media saying an Omicron variant had been detected in the capital, Pyongyang.


Reuters | Updated: 12-05-2022 19:23 IST | Created: 12-05-2022 17:52 IST
What you need to know about the coronavirus right now
Representative image Image Credit: ANI

Here's what you need to know about the pandemic right now: North Korea reports the first COVID outbreak

North Korea reported its first COVID-19 outbreak on Thursday, calling it the "gravest national emergency" and ordering a national lockdown, with state media saying an Omicron variant had been detected in the capital, Pyongyang. North Korea had never confirmed a COVID infection before Thursday although South Korean and U.S. officials have said there could have been earlier cases in the isolated country, given its trade and travel with China before it sealed its border to block the virus in early 2020.

A World Health Organization official said on Thursday the U.N. global health agency had yet to receive any formal notification of North Korea's outbreak. Shanghai hunts down COVID cases

Shanghai authorities combed the city on Thursday for its last COVID-19 cases in the hope of clearing the way for escape from a painful six-week lockdown, while the capital Beijing curbed taxi services to keep a lid on its smaller outbreak. Shanghai, the Chinese commercial hub of 25 million people, has in recent days been tightening its lockdown for a final push to eradicate the virus by the end of the month after making some significant progress, according to data this week.

Shanghai's mass testing detected just two new cases outside areas facing the strictest curbs on May 11, officials said on Thursday, but that was two more than none the previous day. Biden marks 1 million American deaths from COVID

President Joe Biden on Thursday commemorated the death of 1 million people in the United States from COVID-19, marking what he called "a tragic milestone" and urging Americans to "remain vigilant" amid the ongoing pandemic. In a statement, Biden acknowledged the impact on families left behind and urged the country not to "grow numb to such sorrow," noting "a nation forever changed".

South Africa's new cases cross 10,000 for the first time since January South Africa's National Institute for Communicable Diseases on Wednesday reported 10,017 new COVID-19 cases, the first day since January it has registered more than 10,000 new infections.

Health authorities have warned South Africa may be entering the fifth wave of infections driven by the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron sub-variants. Europe to drop mandate for face masks during air travel next week

Face masks will not have to be worn in airports and on flights in Europe from May 16, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said on Wednesday. Italy, France, Bulgaria, and other European countries have been relaxing or ending many or all of their measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

U.S. helped raise $3.1 billion for global pandemic response The United States helped raise over $3.1 billion in commitments to the international pandemic response ahead of the second global COVID-19 summit, but the U.S. Congress needs to authorize more funds, a senior White House official said.

The summit, jointly hosted by the United States, Belize, Germany, Indonesia, and Senegal, will be held virtually on Thursday for countries to discuss efforts to end the pandemic and prepare for future health threats.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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