Health News Roundup: Record number of COVID-hit Australians in hospital as Omicron surges; China's Shenzhen orders big firms such as Foxconn into a closed loop to curb COVID and more
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Record number of COVID-hit Australians in hospital as Omicron surges
The number of Australians admitted to hospitals with COVID-19 hit a record of about 5,450 on Monday, official data showed, as the spread of highly contagious new Omicron sub-variants strains the healthcare system nationwide. The figure has grown since late June, as the BA.4 and BA.5 strains became dominant since they can evade immune protection, whether from vaccination or prior infection, while some experts say the latter can be as infectious as measles.
China's Shenzhen orders big firms such as Foxconn into a closed loop to curb COVID
The Chinese city of Shenzhen told 100 major companies including iPhone maker Foxconn to set up "closed-loop" systems as it battles COVID-19, according to a document attributed to the local government circulating online on Monday. While Reuters could not independently verify the document, a notice at a Shenzhen office of oil giant CNOOC Ltd seen by Reuters said that the building would be closed for seven days until July 31, with staff to work from home and continue with daily COVID testing.
EU states should act now for COVID-19 waves in winter-official
EU member states should start preparing now for a new wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in autumn and winter, the bloc's health chief said on Monday, saying there had been a "worrying increase" in outbreaks. European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides also warned there was no room for complacency, saying the pandemic was not over.
Bavarian Nordic monkeypox vaccine wins EU approval
Danish biotechnology company Bavarian Nordic said on Monday the European Commission had given permission for its Imvanex vaccine to be marketed as protection against monkeypox, as recommended last week by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
The approval comes just one day after the World Health Organization issued a high-level alert declaring the rapidly spreading monkeypox outbreak as a global health emergency.
China approves Genuine Biotech's HIV drug for COVID patients
China on Monday gave conditional approval to domestic firm Genuine Biotech's Azvudine pill to treat certain adult patients with COVID-19, adding another oral treatment option against the coronavirus. The availability of effective COVID vaccines and treatments is crucial in laying the groundwork for China's potential pivoting from its "dynamic COVID zero" policy, which aims to eliminate every outbreak - however small - and relies on mass testing and strict quarantining.
Factbox-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus
The number of Australians admitted to hospitals with COVID-19 hit a record of about 5,450 on Monday, official data showed, as the spread of highly contagious new Omicron sub-variants strains the healthcare system nationwide. DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
Japan detects first monkeypox case
Japan detected its first case of the monkeypox virus, in Tokyo, the capital's governor said on Monday. The infected person is a man in his 30s who has returned from Europe and is currently in a hospital, Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike told reporters.
Bavarian Nordic in talks to expand monkeypox vaccine production, if needed
A Danish company behind the monkeypox vaccine being used to stem the rapidly spreading global outbreak is in discussions with contract manufacturers and early talks with other vaccine makers to expand its production capacity should the need arise, Bavarian Nordic CEO Paul Chaplin said on Monday. The Copenhagen-based vaccine maker has a vaccine that goes by the brand name Jynneos, Imvamune or Imvanex - depending on geography. It has U.S. and European approval for the prevention of monkeypox as well as closely related smallpox.
High Anxiety: How to handle the cost of a stressed-out dog
Arielle Carey has a seven-year-old neutered male American pit bull terrier named Odin who is sweet as pie at home in Atlanta – that is...until Odin gets freaked out by people and dogs he does not know. When Carey's former community in South Carolina did not allow privacy fencing, she moved back to Georgia. It was not a cheap journey: the move plus additional training totaled in thousands of dollars.
NZ prime minister says early signs that COVID-19 cases falling
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday that there were early signs that new COVID-19 cases were falling, even as hospitalizations jumped to their highest level since March. New Zealand recorded 6,910 new COVID cases on Monday, well below average levels over the past week, according to data from the health ministry.
(With inputs from agencies.)