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Indonesia says identifies two cases of British COVID-19 variant
Indonesia says identifies two cases of British COVID-19 variant

Indonesia has detected two cases of the more infectious COVID-19 variant first discovered in Britain, officials said on Tuesday, marking a potential new complication for the country as it tries to contain one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in Asia. Dante Saksono Harbuwono, the deputy health minister, said the discovery of the variant represented a new challenge. Indonesia's COVID-19 task force also confirmed cases of the variant, known as B117, had been found but declined further comment.

WHO cautions against
WHO cautions against 'premature' return to normal; Ivory Coast gets first COVAX vaccine shipment in UN initiative. Latest COVID-19 updates

Ivory Coast receives first COVAX vaccine shipment in UN initiative. Twitter aims to curb vaccine misinformation. Latest COVID-19 updates.

What you need to know about the coronavirus right now
What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

The number of new coronavirus infections globally rose last week for the first time in seven weeks, the World Health Organization said on Monday, urging countries not to relax measures to fight the disease. "We need to have a stern warning for all of us: that this virus will rebound if we let it," Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO technical lead for COVID-19, told a briefing. China and the United States should remove all barriers to travel between the two countries if the United States achieves herd immunity for COVID-19 with 90% of its population vaccinated, potentially by August, a Chinese epidemiologist has said.

Through the mailbox slot: Japanese theatre offers new viewing experience
Through the mailbox slot: Japanese theatre offers new viewing experience

The lights dim, as at the start of any theatre performance, and the audience leans forward to look through a letter-box slot or peephole in the door in front of them as the performers break out into dance. Japanese dance company Moonlight Mobile Theater has come up with a novel way of bringing people back to their avant-garde performances while maintaining social distancing. "We intentionally created small holes and slots resembling mailbox slots," said Nobuyoshi Asai, the theatre's artistic director and choreographer, explaining how limiting the scope of viewing allows the audience to become more absorbed in the performance.

Chinese fintech platforms expected to meet capital requirements within 2 years-regulator
Chinese fintech platforms expected to meet capital requirements within 2 years-regulator

China's financial technology companies are expected to meet capital adequacy requirements within a maximum of two years, said Guo Shuqing, head of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) on Tuesday. Micro lenders, consumer finance firms and banks operated by internet platforms should all have adequate capital like other financial institutions, Guo said at a news conference. Chinese financial regulators have rolled out a slew of measures since last year to tighten the oversight of online lending practices in the country, particularly of technology firms looking to expand into the financial space, moving away from its once laissez-faire approach.

Philadelphia doctor takes her push for health equity to next level: vaccines
Philadelphia doctor takes her push for health equity to next level: vaccines

Once again, it is Dr. Ala Stanford to the rescue, this time confronting Philadelphia's vaccine inequities head on. Last April, Stanford became frustrated with the city's slow pace of COVID-19 testing, especially in Black and brown communities, and in a span of 48 hours put her private practice on hold, gathered some medical friends, rented a van and hit the streets to bring COVID-19 testing to neighborhoods badly in need. The Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium was born.

'Please hear me clearly': CDC director urges states not to reopen too soon as cases plateau

The U.S. has hit a plateau in coronavirus cases and deaths that signal a "potential shift in the trajectory of the pandemic," the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned states on Monday not to loosen restrictions and get in front of the progress the country has made since it hit a monumental 300,000 cases a day in January, the worst point of the pandemic so far. Over the last week, the daily number of cases and deaths, on average, has risen by about 2% compared to the week prior, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said during a White House press briefing, to about 67,000 cases per day and 2,000 American lives lost to the virus each day. It's nearly a third of what...

WHO panel advises against hydroxychloroquine to prevent COVID-19
WHO panel advises against hydroxychloroquine to prevent COVID-19

A World Health Organization panel is now advising against the use of hydroxychloroquine, the controversial drug promoted heavily by the Trump administration, to treat patients infected with COVID-19. The international health agency announced Monday that a panel of experts for its guideline development group now "strongly advises" against use of the anti-inflammatory drug, often used to treat and prevent malaria, to prevent the novel coronavirus. The drug is no longer a research priority, and instead, resources should focus on other "more promising" drugs to prevent COVID-19, according to the press release.

COVID survivors network launches site to help patients get antibody treatments
COVID survivors network launches site to help patients get antibody treatments

The coalition, Survivor Corps, launched an online portal, gotcovid.org, Monday that directs people who recently tested positive for COVID-19 to hospitals, medical centers and other locations that offer monoclonal antibody treatment. Treatments developed by Regeneron and Eli Lilly, which have been authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration, have been shown to reduce hospitalizations and deaths among coronavirus patients if taken within the first 10 days of symptoms. Diana Berrent, Survivor Corps' founder, said in a statement that patients may not have the information about the treatments or where and how to get them before their symptoms exacerbate.

Vaccinating by age groups is unfair, particularly to minorities, advisory panel tells CDC
Vaccinating by age groups is unfair, particularly to minorities, advisory panel tells CDC

Many states prioritized COVID-19 vaccines for people over 75, then moved to those over 65, but they shouldn't keep stepping down by age

Brazil
Brazil's health secretaries urge for lockdown as virus soars

SAO PAULO - Brazilian state health secretaries are urging nationwide lockdowns and curfews because hospitals are running short of intensive-care unit beds as COVID-19 claims more than 1,000 lives each day in the country. "The return of the pandemic in several states is making their private and their public assistance networks collapse and has brought imminent risk of spreading it to all regions of Brazil," Brazil's National Council of Health Secretaries said in an open letter published Monday, adding that the nation is experiencing its worst moment since the pandemic began. Last week was Brazil's deadliest since the beginning of the pandemic, with 8,244 deaths from the virus.

States easing virus restrictions despite experts
States easing virus restrictions despite experts' warnings

With the U.S. vaccination drive picking up speed and a third formula on the way, states eager to reopen for business are easing coronavirus restrictions despite warnings from health experts that the outbreak is far from over and that moving too quickly could prolong the misery. Massachusetts on Monday made it much easier to grab dinner and a show. In Missouri, where individual communities get to make the rules, the two biggest metropolitan areas - St. Louis and Kansas City - are relaxing some measures.

Elon Musk and Bill Gates have sparred over everything from the coronavirus to electric cars. Here
Elon Musk and Bill Gates have sparred over everything from the coronavirus to electric cars. Here's where their simmering feud began and how it's escalated amid the pandemic.

While the Microsoft billionaire and the Tesla titan have never had a particularly cozy relationship, things have heated up over the past year.

Animation shows how opening a window can drastically stem coronavirus circulation in classrooms, as schools prepare to resume in-person learning
Animation shows how opening a window can drastically stem coronavirus circulation in classrooms, as schools prepare to resume in-person learning

The New York Times published the graphic as studies increasingly suggest schools can safely resume in-person learning.

COVID-19 vaccine worth 1,032 shots wasted in Japan due to freezer malfunction
COVID-19 vaccine worth 1,032 shots wasted in Japan due to freezer malfunction

More than 1,000 shots of coronavirus vaccine went to waste in Japan after storage temperatures deviated from a required range due to a freezer malfunction, the health ministry said on Monday, the country's first such case of wasted vaccines. Japan became the last member of the Group of Seven leading industrialised nations to begin its vaccination drive against COVID-19 on Feb. 17. It has so far received three shipments of vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech, comprising around 1.4 million shots.

As death approaches, our dreams offer comfort, reconciliation
As death approaches, our dreams offer comfort, reconciliation

As death approaches, relationships can be resurrected, love revived and forgiveness achieved. DeAgostini/Getty ImagesOne of the most devastating elements of the coronavirus pandemic has been the inability to personally care for loved ones who have fallen ill. Again and again, grieving relatives have testified to how much more devastating their loved one's death was because they were unable to hold their family member's hand - to provide a familiar and comforting presence in their final days and hours. Some had to say their final goodbyes through smartphone screens held by a medical provider. Others resorted to using walkie-talkies or waving through windows. How does one come to terms with...

6 COVID-19 treatments helping patients survive
6 COVID-19 treatments helping patients survive

New treatments target different stages of COVID-19, including before patients become sick enough to need a hospital. Juan Monino via Getty ImagesA year ago, when U.S. health authorities issued their first warning that COVID-19 would cause severe "disruption to everyday life," doctors had no effective treatments to offer beyond supportive care. There is still no cure, but thanks to an unprecedented global research effort, several treatments are helping patients survive COVID-19 and stay out of the hospital altogether. COVID-19 treatments target two broad problems: the coronavirus's ability to spread through the body, and the damage caused by the body's immune system response. When the...

Prince Philip to a London hospital for infection treatment
Prince Philip to a London hospital for infection treatment

Prince Philip has been transferred to another London hospital to continue treatment for an infection, Buckingham Palace said Monday. The palace says Philip, the 99-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II, was transferred from King Edward VII's Hospital to St Bartholomew's Hospital. The Bart's Heart Centre is Europe's biggest specialized cardiovascular center, the National Health Service said.

'Please get in touch': UK searches for mystery spreader of Brazil variant

Britain on Monday appealed for a mystery individual infected with a highly transmissible Brazilian variant of the novel coronavirus to come forward, more than two weeks after they tested positive but failed to give proper contact details. Britain said six cases had been detected of the "P.1" variant identified in the Brazilian city of Manaus, against which current vaccines appear to be less effective. Two were in South Gloucestershire in England and three in Scotland.

How specialized clinics are trying to treat Covid long-haulers
How specialized clinics are trying to treat Covid long-haulers

NBC News surveyed dozens of "post-Covid" clinics across the country to find out how they're helping patients recover from an illness with no known cure.

Some local Beijing communities start giving elderly COVID-19 shots
Some local Beijing communities start giving elderly COVID-19 shots

Some local communities in Beijing have started giving COVID-19 vaccine doses to people older than 60, even as the city's disease-control authorities publicly advises this age group against inoculation. China's vaccination program, under which 40.5 million doses had been administered as of Feb. 9, excludes those ages above 59 and those younger than 18, with Chinese vaccine makers citing less complete clinical trial data for minors and the elderly. According to notices from staffers of a few communities in Beijing's central Dongcheng district, seen by Reuters, residents older than 60 can go to designated sites to get their shots, without disclosing which the four China-developed vaccines...

Countries call on drug companies to share vaccine know-how
Countries call on drug companies to share vaccine know-how

In an industrial neighborhood on the outskirts of Bangladesh's largest city lies a factory with gleaming new equipment imported from Germany, its immaculate hallways lined with hermetically sealed rooms. It is one of three factories that The Associated Press found on three continents whose owners say they could start producing hundreds of millions of COVID-19 vaccines on short notice if only they had the blueprints and technical know-how. Across Africa and Southeast Asia, governments and aid groups, as well as the WHO, are calling on pharmaceutical companies to share their patent information more broadly to meet a yawning global shortfall in a pandemic that already has claimed nearly...

India giving COVID-19 vaccines to more people as cases rise
India giving COVID-19 vaccines to more people as cases rise

India is expanding its COVID-19 vaccination drive beyond health care and front-line workers, offering the shots to older people and those with medical conditions that put them at risk. Among the first to be inoculated on Monday was Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The shots will be given for free at government hospitals and will also be sold at over 10,000 private hospitals at a fixed price of 250 rupees, or $3.40, per shot.

A new approach for handling insulin could revolutionize diabetes treatment for millions of people
A new approach for handling insulin could revolutionize diabetes treatment for millions of people

For diabetics who lack electricity at home, a shift in how insulin is handled could be game-changing.

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine: Here
Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine: Here's what to know

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the Johnson & Johnson one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for use in people 18 years of age and older Sunday -- the last regulatory step needed before a third COVID-19 vaccine could be made available to the public. The vote was later formalized by CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky. In a press release, Walensky said the new vaccine would offer "more options and flexibility for the public, jurisdictions and vaccine providers."

CDC advisory committee recommends Johnson & Johnson vaccine for people 18 and older
CDC advisory committee recommends Johnson & Johnson vaccine for people 18 and older

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice voted on Sunday to recommend the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for persons 18 years of age and older in the United States under the Food and Drug Administration's Emergency Use Authorization. The recommendation will now go to the CDC Director Rochelle Walensky to sign off before doses are administered. The FDA announced the emergency authorization on Saturday.

Up to six cases of Manaus variant of coronavirus detected in UK
Up to six cases of Manaus variant of coronavirus detected in UK

Up to six cases of the variant of coronavirus first identified in the Brazilian city of Manaus have been detected in Britain for the first time, English health officials said on Sunday. Three cases were found in England and another three in Scotland. The risk to the wider community was considered low but as a precaution officials investigating the English cases were moving quickly to deploy testing and increasing the sequencing of positive coronavirus samples from the area, Public Health England said.

As new cases rise, Fauci says easing restrictions
As new cases rise, Fauci says easing restrictions 'is really risky'; Senate gets $1.9B stimulus package: Live coronavirus updates

The much-ballyhooed, steady decline in new coronavirus infections and hospitalizations appears to have stalled, recent data shows.

Germany limits travel from French region over virus variant
Germany limits travel from French region over virus variant

Germany announced Sunday that travelers from France's northeastern Moselle region will face additional restrictions due to the high rate of variant coronavirus cases there. Germany's disease control agency, the Robert Koch Institute, said it would add Moselle to the list of "variant of concern" areas that already includes countries such as the Czech Republic, Portugal and the United Kingdom. Travelers from those areas must produce a recent negative coronavirus test before entering Germany.

AP PHOTOS: Turkish vaccine teams target isolated villages
AP PHOTOS: Turkish vaccine teams target isolated villages

Traveling across roads covered with ice and snow, vaccination teams have been going to Turkey's isolated mountain villages as the government seeks to inoculate 60% of the country's people against coronavirus over the next three months. After much effort, medical workers arrived Friday to vaccinate older villagers in Gumuslu, a small settlement of 350 in the central province of Sivas that lies 140 miles (230 kilometers) from the provincial capital. "It's a difficult challenge to come here," said Dr Rustem Hasbek, head of Sivas Health Services.

Lin says
Lin says 'not naming or shaming anyone' after 'coronavirus' claim

U.S. media said the NBA's G League had launched an investigation after Taiwanese-American Lin made the claim in a Facebook post on Thursday. "I know this will disappoint some of you but I'm not naming or shaming anyone," Lin said on Twitter. "It doesn't make my community safer or solve any of our long-term problems with racism."

America
America's Cup races postponed after Auckland lockdown

The first weekend of America's Cup racing between Team New Zealand and Italy's Luna Rossa next week has been postponed because of the latest COVID-19 lockdown in Auckland, organisers said on Sunday. The first two race days, which were scheduled to take place in Auckland next Saturday and Sunday, have been pushed back "to provide at least some certainty in planning for all event stakeholders," America's Cup Event (ACE) said in a statement. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Saturday evening that New Zealand's biggest city would move from Level 1 to the stricter Level 3 conditions for seven days from Sunday morning after a new case of the coronavirus surfaced.

FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson vaccine, giving US 3rd option to fight COVID-19 virus
FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson vaccine, giving US 3rd option to fight COVID-19 virus

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized use of a third COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S., declaring the Johnson & Johnson vaccine safe and effective in adults 18 and older. "The authorization of this vaccine expands the availability of vaccines, the best medical prevention method for COVID-19, to help us in the fight against this pandemic, which has claimed over half a million lives in the United States," Janet Woodcock, acting FDA commissioner, said in a statement. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said a day earlier that the nation now has three "highly effective" vaccines.

Why it
Why it's hard for blacks to pull themselves up by bootstraps when it comes to health

Students at Hampton University celebrate at graduation on May 9. 2010. Studies suggest, however, that the benefits African American students accrue from education will be fewer than those of whites. J. Scott Applewhite/APMany Americans deeply believe that people should pull themselves up by their bootstraps. After all, individual responsibility is a core American value. Too much emphasis on an individual's responsibility, however, may result in overlooking the societal and historically causes that keep racial minorities such as blacks at an economic and health disadvantage. As a member of University of Michigan's Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, Poverty Solutions and...

Humans gave leprosy to armadillos - now they are giving it back to us
Humans gave leprosy to armadillos - now they are giving it back to us

An armadillo in the Florida Everglades. Heiko Kiera/Shutterstock.comLeprosy is an ancient disease, the oldest disease known to be associated with humans, with evidence of characteristic bone pitting and deformities found in burial sites in India as far back as 2000 B.C. It's thus only natural that many might think the disease is a relic of the past. My studies in 2018 in a Brazilian state where the disease is prevalent shows that leprosy is closer to us than we might think, however. The disease is growing in armadillos. And while these animals are not exactly the cuddly type to which humans are drawn, armadillo-to-human contact is spreading. And, when the species do interact, armadillos...

Former Wimbledon champ Conchita Martínez has coronavirus
Former Wimbledon champ Conchita Martínez has coronavirus

Former Wimbledon champion Conchita Martínez has tested positive for the coronavirus. Martínez said on social media on Saturday she is in quarantine at a hospital in Doha after the positive test on arrival in Qatar. Martínez is the coach of former world No. 1 Garbiñe Muguruza, who is set to play at the Qatar Open from Monday.

Italy reports 280 coronavirus deaths on Saturday, 18,916 new cases
Italy reports 280 coronavirus deaths on Saturday, 18,916 new cases

Italy reported 280 coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday against 253 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections declined to 18,916 from Friday's 20,499. Italy has registered 97,507 deaths linked to COVID-19 since its outbreak emerged in February last year, the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain and the seventh-highest in the world. When Italy's second wave of the epidemic was accelerating quickly in the first half of November, hospital admissions were rising by about 1,000 per day, while intensive care occupancy was increasing by about 100 per day.

What to do if you lose your COVID-19 vaccine card
What to do if you lose your COVID-19 vaccine card

Go back to the place you got your first shot if you lose your paper card, and make sure to take a photo of the vaccine card after your first dose.

I was a nurse on the front lines of Ebola, and I saw that nurses need support for the trauma and pain they experience
I was a nurse on the front lines of Ebola, and I saw that nurses need support for the trauma and pain they experience

Nurse Cheedy Jaja in Sierre Leone in 2015, where he helped treat patients with Ebola during the West Africa outbreak. Rebecca E. Rollins/Partners in Health, CC BY-SAThe Conversation is running a series of dispatches from clinicians and researchers operating on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. You can find all of the stories here. Since the beginning of the profession, nurses have played pivotal roles during outbreaks of disease, delivering care throughout even the bleakest of public health emergencies. Here's my story: In 2014, the world was slowly recognizing that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa was monumental in scale and getting worse. More than 30,000 were infected, and...

Masks and distancing make it tough for the hard-of-hearing, but here
Masks and distancing make it tough for the hard-of-hearing, but here's how to help

An already tough situation is made worse for those with hearing loss. filadendron/Getty ImagesThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that all Americans wear face coverings when in public. Hospitals across the country are assuming everyone who walks through the door is a potential COVID-19 case, so are requiring patients to wear a mask and come alone. These changes pose potential communication problems for about 60 million Americans who are living with hearing loss, ranging from mild trouble to severe loss or deafness in one or both ears. The vast majority of people with hearing loss have never had a hearing test and do not use hearing aids, especially in...

Is it OK for teens to drink coffee?
Is it OK for teens to drink coffee?

Too much caffeine interferes with sleep. Luis Molinero/Shutterstock.com Curious Kids is a series for children of all ages. If you have a question you'd like an expert to answer, send it to curiouskidsus@theconversation.com. Is it OK for teens to drink coffee? - Lucy G., Arlington, Virginia When my daughter was around 14 years old, she began to ask if she could have a cup of coffee in the morning like Mom and Dad. As a scientist who studies the effects of caffeine - the ingredient in coffee that helps wake you up - on kids, I had more information available to me to inform my answer than most parents would. Many kids and teens consume caffeine. The main source of this chemical is soda for...

Plunging demand for COVID-19 tests may leave US exposed
Plunging demand for COVID-19 tests may leave US exposed

Just five weeks ago, Los Angeles County was conducting more than 350,000 weekly coronavirus tests, including at a massive drive-thru site at Dodger Stadium, as health workers raced to contain the worst COVID-19 hotspot in the U.S. "It's shocking how quickly we've gone from moving at 100 miles an hour to about 25," said Dr. Clemens Hong, who leads the county's testing operation. The drop in screening comes at a significant moment in the outbreak: Experts are cautiously optimistic that COVID-19 is receding after killing more than 500,000 people in the U.S. but concerned that emerging variants could prolong the epidemic.

Sailing: Auckland lockdown prompts America
Sailing: Auckland lockdown prompts America's Cup review

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Saturday that the country's biggest city will go into a seven-day lockdown from Sunday after a new local case of the coronavirus, of unknown origin, surfaced. The opening race of the best-of-13 series between Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli and America's Cup holders Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) is due to be held in the waters off Auckland on March 6.

Experts notice pandemic
Experts notice pandemic's mental health toll on German youth

Pollina Dinner returned to school in Berlin for the first time this week after two months of lockdown. The 9-year-old third-grader was thrilled to see her classmates and teachers again but frets about the coronavirus pandemic's effect on her life. Psychiatrists, psychologists and pediatricians in Germany have voiced growing alarm that school closings, social restrictions and other precautions are magnifying the fear, disruption and stress of the pandemic among Germany's 13.7 million children and teenagers, raising the prospect of a future mental health crisis.

Top health officials warn decline in COVID-19 cases is
Top health officials warn decline in COVID-19 cases is 'stalling' and that now is not the time to lift restrictions

The head of the CDC warned cases could be leveling off at a "very high number," as governors have already begun lifting restrictions in some states.

G League probes
G League probes 'coronavirus' claim by Jeremy Lin: reports

Taiwanese-American Lin, who is part of the Golden State Warriors' G League affiliate, Santa Cruz Warriors, made the claim in a Facebook post on Thursday but did not specify when or where the incident occurred. "Being an Asian American doesn't mean we don't experience poverty and racism," the former New York Knicks guard said.

Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine cleared for expected FDA authorization within days
Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine cleared for expected FDA authorization within days

If the FDA agrees with its review panel, as expected, the one-dose vaccine could begin rolling out to the American public next week.

Oregon State women emerging despite coronavirus setbacks
Oregon State women emerging despite coronavirus setbacks

Perhaps no women's team in the Pac-12 has had it rougher this season than Oregon State. Oregon State heads into the final weekend of the regular season - and a potentially defining game against rival Oregon on Sunday - having played just 14 total games, fewest in the conference. The Beavers had nine games postponed because of the league's coronavirus protocols.

J&J
J&J's one-dose coronavirus vaccine just won a critical thumbs-up from an FDA panel, paving the way for US authorization

US regulators plan to authorize the single-dose vaccine in the coming days, boosting the nation's immunization campaign.

FDA advisers sign off on Johnson & Johnson vaccine: Here
FDA advisers sign off on Johnson & Johnson vaccine: Here's what happens next

An independent advisory panel of infectious disease experts, doctors and scientists voted unanimously to recommend the COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson for emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, a step closer to making a third COVID-19 vaccine available to Americans. The recommendation paves the way for official emergency authorization by the FDA, allowing the vaccine to be provided to Americans while the company continues to study it. "If the FDA [authorizes] the use of this new vaccine, we would plan to roll out as quickly as Johnson & Johnson can make the vaccine," President Joe Biden said Thursday.


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