Health News Roundup: China's Hainan expands COVID lockdowns to quell outbreak; U.S. Senate approves bill to fight climate change, cut drug costs in win for Biden and more
The move comes days after Macau started to unwind stringent anti-COVID rules, including the resumption of travel to Zhuhai without quarantine from Aug. 3. China's Hainan expands COVID lockdowns to quell outbreak China's Hainan, an island province dependent on tourism, locked down more areas on Monday, state media reported, as it battles its worst COVID-19 outbreak after seeing very few cases the past two years compared with many other regions in the country.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Macau returns to mass COVID testing after case in neighbouring Chinese city Zhuhai
Authorities in Macau instructed residents to conduct at least two days of COVID-19 tests after a person who travelled from the Chinese special administrative region to neighbouring city Zhuhai was found to have been infected with the virus. The move comes days after Macau started to unwind stringent anti-COVID rules, including the resumption of travel to Zhuhai without quarantine from Aug. 3.
China's Hainan expands COVID lockdowns to quell outbreak
China's Hainan, an island province dependent on tourism, locked down more areas on Monday, state media reported, as it battles its worst COVID-19 outbreak after seeing very few cases the past two years compared with many other regions in the country. The island in the South China Sea, which recorded just two local symptomatic COVID cases last year, has reported more than 1,400 domestically transmitted infections this month, including 982 symptomatic ones. Although that is small by global standards, it is the province's biggest outbreak since the virus was first reported in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019.
U.S. Senate approves bill to fight climate change, cut drug costs in win for Biden
The U.S. Senate on Sunday passed a sweeping $430 billion bill intended to fight climate change, lower drug prices and raise some corporate taxes, a major victory for President Joe Biden that Democrats hope will aid their chances of keeping control of Congress in this year's elections. After a marathon, 27-hour weekend session of debate and Republican efforts to derail the package, the Senate approved the legislation known as the Inflation Reduction Act by a 51-50 party line vote Vice President Kamala Harris cast the tie-breaking ballot.
The southern Chinese resort city of Sanya imposed a lockdown on Saturday and restricted transport links to try to stem a COVID-19 outbreak that comes as some 80,000 visitors were enjoying its beaches at peak season. The curbs came into force at 6 a.m. (2200 GMT) after authorities said the COVID situation was "very severe" and people's movements were being restricted.
China shortens suspensions for international flights linked to COVID cases
China has shortened the suspension time for inbound international flights on routes found to have COVID-19 cases starting on Aug. 7. The country's aviation regulator said in a statement on Sunday that flights on a route with an identified coronavirus case will be suspended for one week if 4% of passengers test positive, and two weeks if 8% of passengers test positive.
Explainer: Monkeypox in the U.S. - Where could it spread next?
The United States declared monkeypox a public health emergency last week, an effort to bolster the U.S. response to contain the outbreak. The virus continues to be largely transmitted among gay and bisexual men, but experts say the disease could spill over into other populations, especially due to vaccine shortages. Monkeypox is spread by contact with puss-filled sores and is rarely fatal.
Russia reports highest number of COVID-19 cases since late March
Russia reported 20,303 new daily coronavirus cases on Sunday, authorities said, the highest such figure since March 28. Forty-four people in Russia died of coronavirus over the last day, the country's taskforce against COVID-19 said.
Amgen says Lumakras plus immunotherapy for lung cancer needs further study
A small study of Amgen Inc's Lumakras drug combined with immunotherapy found it helped 29% of advanced lung cancer patients, but liver toxicity was high and further study is needed, the company said ahead of the data presented on Sunday at the World Conference on Lung Cancer in Vienna. Nearly all of the 58 trial patients treated with the highest dose of genetic mutation targeting Lumakras experienced elevated liver enzyme levels, and about 20% given the lowest dose saw significant liver toxicity, researchers said.
(With inputs from agencies.)