New Delhi: The novel coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate countries across the globe – with the latest tally being over 3.1 crore cases and over 9.7 lakh deaths.
Authorities in Birmingham have suggested that citizens be tested even if they do not show symptoms of Covid-19. Fujifilm Holding Corp in Japan has developed a drug called Avigan that has been shown to be effective in reducing viral load, and hospitals in Jakarta are struggling with long waiting lists.
ThePrint brings you the world’s most important stories about the coronavirus pandemic and why they matter.
Birmingham tests asymptomatic citizens
Some residents of Birmingham in the UK have been advised to get tested for the new coronavirus even though they have no symptoms. This contrasts sharply with previous government policy, reports The Guardian.
The UK government had previously argued that asymptomatic people should not get tested because the healthcare system is already unable to meet the high demand. However, many health experts had expressed concern that this system would not give an accurate picture of the spread of the infection, as many carriers were asymptomatic.
“The largest home testing program in England revealed earlier this month that 72% of people who tested positive had not shown any symptoms on the day of the test or the week before,” the report explains. “A separate analysis from the Bureau of National Statistics found that only 16% of people who tested positive for the coronavirus reported symptoms on the day of their test.”
Birmingham City Council said on Tuesday it would also recommend a ‘drop and collect’ testing service for asymptomatic citizens.
The UK has recorded 4,03,551 cases of Covid-19 and 41,825 deaths.
55 departments in France placed in “red zone”
More than half of the total of departments in France are now assigned the status of “red zone”, reports The connection.
“A ‘red’ status means that the epidemic dynamics are deteriorating and that the level of incidence is more than 50 positive cases per 100,000 inhabitants during the last seven days,” the report explains. “In some regions, a department can be declared ‘red’ when the incident level reaches 30,” he adds.
France has recorded 4,689,069 cases of Covid-19 and 31,416 deaths.
Also read: New Covid restrictions could last 6 months, says Boris Johnson, asks people to work from home
Japanese drug Fujifilm succeeds in reducing symptoms of Covid
Fujifilm Holdings Corp said on Wednesday that its drug called Avigan had been effective in “reducing the viral load and symptoms of patients with Covid-19”. This will lead to the drug receiving the necessary approvals for use in Japan, reports Reuters.
In phase 3 trials, in which 156 patients were treated, patients’ symptoms were found to improve after 11.9 days. This was in contrast to the placebo group, which took 14.7 days.
“Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had touted Avigan’s potential as Japan’s contribution to a global coronavirus treatment race, aiming for national approval in May,” the report said.
Japan has recorded 79,438 cases of Covid-19 and 1,508 deaths.
Jakarta’s hospitals completely occupied
Amid the surge in cases in Indonesia, major hospitals in Jakarta are running out of capacity, with some reporting waiting lists of up to 20 Covid-positive patients seeking treatment, reports The Straits Times.
In order to generate more capacity, the government is now opening rooms at Wisma Atlet, an athlete’s residence that has been converted into a hospital. Authorities will also use the hotels as quarantine facilities.
Earlier this month, Covid-19 country spokesperson Wiku Adisasmito said the 67 Covid-19 referral hospitals in Jakarta had an occupancy rate of 77%, 69% of unit beds intensive care units already busy, ”the report says, but since then many hospitals have reported an increase in cases.
Indonesia has recorded 2,52,923 cases of Covid-19 and 9,837 deaths.
Bahrain to postpone housing down payments for residents affected by Covid
Bahraini government has allowed citizens affected by Covid-19 to defer payment for their housing, reports Arab News.
“Housing Minister Bassem bin Yacoub Al-Hamar has asked the government to submit documents showing the financial situation of citizens affected by Covid-19 as evidence to allow their payments to be postponed,” the report said.
Bahrain has recorded 66,402 cases of Covid-19 and 227 deaths.
Outbreak declared at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver
As of Tuesday, 96 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in British Columbia. Currently, 1,465 active cases have been recorded in the province, of which 61 are being treated in hospital, reports the Vancouver Sun..
“According to the Department of Health, three cases have been confirmed among people working on the eighth floor of the downtown Vancouver hospital. The floor will remain open, with all the staff to be tested, and no visitors, ”the report said. Provincial health officer Dr Bonnie Henry said there has been a “resurgence” of Covid-19 in British Columbia. At the same time, she didn’t call it a second wave.
Canada has recorded 1,46,663 cases of Covid-19 and 9,234 deaths.
What else do we read:
Prepare for the holidays in China and South Korea amid the Covid-19 pandemic: The Straits Times
The disinformation came from inside the house: Le New York Times
Also read: Hotels, pipelines, stores – what investors with $ 3.4 billion in Asia and Europe are buying during Covid
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