Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals

What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

4 minute read

People wearing face masks cross a road amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Singapore May 20, 2021. REUTERS/Caroline Chia

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June 2 (Reuters) - Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

China's Guangdong tightens coronavirus measures

Cities in China's most populous province of Guangdong have locked down compounds and streets and required negative COVID-19 test results for some travellers as local health officials sought to control the outbreaks.

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All 10 of China's locally confirmed mainland cases for June 1 were in Guangdong, the National Health Commission said on Wednesday, seven in the provincial capital Guangzhou and three in nearby Foshan city.

Guangdong, China's manufacturing and export hub and biggest province by economic output, has stepped up coronavirus prevention and control efforts since the latest wave of cases struck in late May. read more

Taiwan unveils mass vaccination plan

Taiwan reported a rise in domestic coronavirus infections on Wednesday after six days of falls, and unveiled details of a mass vaccination plan that aims to eventually cover 1.7 million people a week.

After months of relative safety, Taiwan is battling a spike in community infections, placing curbs on gatherings and ordering entertainment venues closed, while urging people to stay at home as much as possible.

Announcing 549 new infections, including 177 added to recent days' tallies in reflection of delays in reporting positive tests, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung said the trend was stable, although it was not falling. read more

Australia's Victoria extends Melbourne lockdown

Australia's Victoria state on Wednesday extended a snap lockdown for a second week in Melbourne in a bid to contain an outbreak of the highly contagious virus strain first detected in India, but will ease some restrictions in other regions.

Victoria, Australia's second-most populous state, was plunged into lockdown last Thursday, initially until June 3, after the first locally acquired cases were detected in three months, infections rose steadily and close contacts reached several thousand.

"If we let this thing run its course, it will explode," Victoria state Acting Premier James Merlino told reporters in Melbourne on Wednesday. "This variant of concern will become uncontrollable and people will die." read more

Moderna plans mix of vaccine doses

Moderna is gearing up to halve the dose of its COVID-19 vaccine, the U.S. drugmaker said on Wednesday, so that it can also be used to combat variants and inoculate children.

It has agreed a deal with Swiss-based drugmaker Lonza which said a new drug substance production line in Geleen, Netherlands, will have capacity to make ingredients for up to 300 million doses annually at 50 micrograms per dose.

"We're assuming that as of 2022, we are going to have a mix of dose levels on the market," a spokeswoman for Moderna said. read more

Israel sees probable link between Pfizer jab and myocarditis

Israel's Health Ministry said on Tuesday it had found the small number of heart inflammation cases observed mainly in young men who received Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in Israel were likely linked to their vaccination.

Pfizer has said it has not observed a higher rate of the condition, known as myocarditis, than would normally be expected in the general population.

In Israel, 275 cases of myocarditis were reported between December 2020 and May 2021 among more than 5 million vaccinated people, the ministry said in disclosing the findings of a study it commissioned. read more

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Compiled by Karishma Singh Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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