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South Africa virus strain more contagious, experts confirm

A new variant of the coronavirus first identified in South Africa is more contagious than earlier versions, experts said on Monday, but there is no evidence that it is more deadly......»»

Category: newsSource: thestandard thestandardJan 19th, 2021

Dealing with the New Normal Healthy Lifestyle

As months pile up and the COVID-19 pandemic still remains a threat, people have no choice but to make lifestyle adaptions to deal with it and health is of top priority. According to NPC Dr. Parolita A. Mission, with the new strain of the virus, which experts fear is more contagious, we should be more […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsJan 20th, 2021

Experts warn of oxygen shortages in poorer virus-threatened nations

PARIS, France – As the coronavirus pandemic bears down on vulnerable nations in Africa and South Asia, experts say there are only weeks to help fill chronic shortages of what medics need to help people breathe. Not ventilators, but oxygen itself. Medical oxygen is a core component of the life-saving therapies hospitals ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsApr 22nd, 2020

A look at the status of Olympic qualifying events

By The Associated Press As the IOC attempts to keep the 2020 Olympics on schedule, many of the events that determine who would compete in Tokyo have been postponed or canceled. Here is the status of U.S. or world qualifying in many of the Olympic disciplines: ATHLETICS The U.S. Olympic track and field trials are still scheduled for June 19-28 in Eugene, Oregon. Other countries use a variety of methods, including trials, world rankings, and appointment based on results. BASEBALL Four countries — Israel, Mexico, South Korea and host Japan — are in the six-team field. The final two spots are to be determined by tournaments that were postponed: An Americas qualifier in Arizona has been indefinitely postponed, and a last-chance qualifying tournament in Taiwan slated for April is now scheduled for June 17-21. BASKETBALL Men: Eight teams, including the United States, have already qualified. The remaining spots in the 12-nation field will be determined in four winner-take-all, six-team tournaments scheduled from June 23-28 in Serbia, Canada, Croatia and Lithuania. Women: The 12-team field was filled in February with four tournaments. Although defending world champion United States and the host Japanese were already guaranteed spots, both finished in position to qualify anyway. 3x3: FIBA has postponed the qualifying tournament scheduled for March 18-22 in India. A second qualifying tournament scheduled for April in Hungary is in limbo. Four women’s teams and four men’s teams have already qualified for the eight-country fields. BEACH VOLLEYBALL Most Olympic spots are earned over a two-year points race on the international tour. At least three of the final 10 events have been canceled or postponed, and the final event is scheduled for Rome on June 9-14. BOXING Two of the four regional Olympic qualification tournaments have already taken place, and the third for European fighters began Saturday in London. The Americas qualifier scheduled for March 26 in Buenos Aires has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, and organizers haven’t set a plan for the final steps in qualification, including the last-chance World Olympic Qualifying Tournament scheduled for May 13 in Paris. CYCLING The selection criteria is different for each discipline: BMX freestyle and racing, mountain biking, track cycling, and the road race and time trials. Each discipline has a series of automatic qualification standards, and a committee will choose athletes to fill out the U.S. team. The world championships May 30-31 in Houston is crucial for BMX, and at this point is still scheduled. The last Olympic qualification event in freestyle BMX, the World Series in Hiroshima April 3-5, has been postponed. Final rosters for each discipline are announced in June. DIVING Dozens of divers have already qualified based on their performances at last summer's world championships or other major meets over the last eight months. The last big qualifier is the Diving World Cup, set for the new Olympic aquatics venue in Tokyo on April 21-26; FINA is still considering whether to proceed. U.S. divers also must get through the national trials in Indianapolis on June 13-21 to confirm their Olympic spots. No decision has been announced on the Canadian trials scheduled for March 30-April 5 in Toronto. EQUESTRIAN All of the equestrian qualifying events have been completed in every discipline. None of the events was affected by the virus. FENCING Qualification was to be based on rankings set to be released on April 4, with some additional slots to be determined in zonal events from April 15-26. But the International Fencing Federation suspended all international competitions for 30 days, delaying five major competitions that must be completed before zonal qualifying. The FIE is requesting an extension of the qualification period. FIELD HOCKEY Tournaments to fill the 12-team men's and women's fields were completed in 2019. Ten countries qualified for both: Australia, Argentina, Germany, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, the Netherlands and Britain. GOLF Sixty golfers are determined by the world rankings, two per country with a maximum of four if they are among the top 15. The PGA Tour and European Tour, which offer the most ranking points, have canceled or postponed all events at least through April 12. GYMNASTICS The team fields for both men’s and women’s gymnastics were set at last year's world championships. The remaining individual all-around and single apparatus spots are determined at World Cup events. The International Gymnastics Federation has cancelled an all-around World Cup event in Germany and postponed an apparatus World Cup event in Qatar from March until early June. HANDBALL The International Handball Federation has postponed the final qualifying tournaments until June. The host nations were Spain, Hungary and Montenegro for the women and Norway, France and Germany for the men. Six of 12 spots remain open for each field. JUDO The International Judo Federation has canceled all Olympic qualifiers through April 30, including a Grand Slam and two Grand Prix. Another Grand Prix last weekend, in Morocco, was canceled earlier. Qualifying ends on May 25. ROWING World Rowing has canceled a European Olympic qualifying regatta that was scheduled for April 27-29 in Varese, Italy, and relocation is being considered. US Rowing said Olympic trials in Sarasota, Florida, from March 16-21 and April 13-18 have been postponed and the organization will not hold a national team event for at least 30 days. SAILING Many spots in the 10 classes have been clinched. An Asian Olympic qualifier in Abu Dhabi has been postponed until mid-April, and a World Cup Series regatta in Genoa, Italy, that would have been a qualifier for African, Asian and European countries, has been canceled. The IOC has granted World Sailing an extension of the qualification period to June 30. SOCCER Men: Fourteen of 16 teams have already qualified. The tournament to produce the two teams from the North and Central American and Caribbean region was scheduled for March 20 to April 1 in Guadalajara, Mexico, but was indefinitely postponed. Women: Ten of 12 teams have already qualified, including the reigning World Cup champion United States. China and South Korea were scheduled to play in a two-legged playoff that has been pushed back to early June. Cameroon is set to play Chile in a two-legged playoff in early April but no announcement on those matches has been made. SOFTBALL The field for the six-nation competition was set in four qualifying tournaments in 2018 and 2019. SWIMMING Most Olympic berths will be determined at national trials. The U.S. meet is scheduled for Omaha, Nebraska, on June 21-28; Australia's is scheduled for June 14-19 in Adelaide; Japan's national championship is in Tokyo on April 1-8. The final two events on the TYR Pro Swim Series, a big part of pre-Olympic training, are scheduled for April 16-19 in Mission Viejo, California, and May 6-9 in Indianapolis. TABLE TENNIS The U.S. already wrapped up qualifying, with three men and three women earning spots in Tokyo. Qualifying elsewhere was still in progress and scheduled to continue through May. But the International Table Tennis Federation suspended all activities until the end of April and recommended that continental associations follow that decision. An emergency meeting of the ITTF executive committee is scheduled for Monday. TENNIS The International Tennis Federation says Olympic eligibility still will be based on the WTA and ATP rankings of June 8, even though more than a month of the tours' schedules in March and April have been scrapped. Requirements related to minimum participation in Fed Cup or Davis Cup remain in place — as does an appeal process for players who do not meet those standards. VOLLEYBALL The qualification was completed in January with the 12 teams for both the men’s and women’s competitions already set. WATER POLO Men's and women's qualification tournaments scheduled for this month have been postponed until May. At stake are the final three spots for the 12-team men's field and the last two openings in the 10-team women's competition. The U.S. men and women have already qualified. WEIGHTLIFTING Spots are decided by the world ranking. The continental championships next month were meant to be the last gold-level events offering extra qualifying points. However, the European, Asian and African championships have all been postponed along with another gold-level event, junior worlds. WRESTLING The U.S. trials that had been scheduled for April 4-5 in State College, Pennsylvania, have been postponed......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 15th, 2020

South Africa suspends AstraZeneca vaccination launch over study

South Africa said Sunday it would suspend the start of its Covid-19 vaccinations with the AstraZeneca jab after a study showed the drug failed to prevent mild and moderate cases of the virus variant that has appeared in the country......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsFeb 8th, 2021

S. Africa orders 20M Pfizer vaccines: report

South Africa has secured 20 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, the health minister told a Sunday newspaper. Africa’s worst virus-hit country has yet to begin vaccinating its population against Covid-19, stirring criticism over slow procurement and lack of strategy. A first shipment of AstraZeneca/Oxford jabs produced in India is due to arrive on […] The post S. Africa orders 20M Pfizer vaccines: report appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJan 31st, 2021

Brisbane lifts virus lockdown after city finds zero cases

Australia's third-largest city lifted stay-at-home orders Monday, after mass testing and tracing across Brisbane found no new coronavirus cases despite fears over a contagious strain entering the community......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 11th, 2021

Israel records four South African COVID-19 variant cases

Israel's health ministry said Saturday four people had tested positive for the novel coronavirus strain first detected in South Africa, with the British variant already recorded......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 10th, 2021

What we do and don’t know about new COVID-19 mutations

PARIS — The emergence in Britain and South Africa of two new variants of Sars-CoV-2, which are potentially far more infectious versions of the virus, has prompted widespread concern. Here is what we know — and what we don’t — about the mutations. What are they? All viruses mutate when they replicate in order to […] The post What we do and don’t know about new COVID-19 mutations appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 6th, 2021

South Africa may higit P1M virus case, protocol hinigpitan

Mas maghihigpit ang South Africa pagdating sa pagpapatupad mg bagong restriction kaugnay sa pagpuksa sa COVID-19. The post South Africa may higit P1M virus case, protocol hinigpitan first appeared on Abante......»»

Category: newsSource:  abanteRelated NewsDec 29th, 2020

South Korea discovers new strain of virus from Britain

Three cases of a particularly infectious coronavirus variant that recently emerged in Britain have been confirmed in South Korea, health authorities said Monday......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsDec 28th, 2020

EU begins vaccine rollout as new virus strain spreads

PARIS, France — Some European countries started rolling out their first coronavirus vaccines on Saturday, even as a reputedly more contagious variant spread around the world, and the WHO warned that the current pandemic would not be the last. In a video message ahead of the first International Day of Epidemic Preparedness on Sunday, World Health Organization […] The post EU begins vaccine rollout as new virus strain spreads appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsDec 27th, 2020

Duterte suspends pilot face-to-face classes in 2021 due to new COVID-19 variant

Amid mounting concerns over a new strain of coronavirus which experts fear to be more contagious than the original, President Rodrigo Duterte will no longer allow the Department of Education to pilot face-to-face classes come January next year. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 26th, 2020

EU eases border closures, WHO tackles virus strain

London—Europe on Wednesday began lifting travel bans on Britain put in place to contain a new fast-spreading COVID strain while WHO experts were set to meet on a response to it......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsDec 23rd, 2020

Covid-19 reinfection casts doubt on virus immunity: study

Covid-19 patients may experience more severe symptoms the second time they are infected, according to research released Tuesday confirming it is possible to catch the potentially deadly disease more than once. A study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal charts the first confirmed case of Covid-19 reinfection in the United States — the country worst hit by the pandemic — and indicates that exposure to the virus may not guarantee future immunity. The patient, a 25-year-old Nevada man, was infected with two distinct variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, within a 48-day time frame. The second infection was more severe than the first, resulting in the patient being hospitalised with oxygen support. The paper noted four other cases of reinfection confirmed globally, with one patient each in Belgium, the Netherlands, Hong Kong and Ecuador. Experts said the prospect of reinfection could have a profound impact on how the world battles through the pandemic. In particular, it could influence the hunt for a vaccine — the currently Holy Grail of pharmaceutical research. “The possibility of reinfections could have significant implications for our understanding of Covid-19 immunity, especially in the absence of an effective vaccine,” said Mark Pandori, for the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory and lead study author. “We need more research to understand how long immunity may last for people exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and why some of these second infections, while rare, are presenting as more severe.” Waning immunity?Vaccines work by triggering the body’s natural immune response to a certain pathogen, arming it with antibodies it to fight off future waves of infection. But it is not at all clear how long Covid-19 antibodies last. For some diseases, such as measles, infection confers lifelong immunity. For other pathogens, immunity may be fleeting at best. The authors said the US patient could have been exposed to a very high dose of the virus the second time around, triggering a more acute reaction. Alternatively, it may have been a more virulent strain of the virus. Another hypothesis is a mechanism known as antibody dependent enhancement — that is, when antibodies actually make subsequent infections worse, such as with dengue fever. The researchers pointed out that reinfection of any kind remains rare, with only a handful of confirmed cases out of tens of millions of Covid-19 infections globally. However, since many cases are asymptomatic and therefore unlikely to have tested positive initially, it may be impossible to know if a given Covid-19 case is the first or second infection. In a linked comment to The Lancet paper, Akiko Iwasaka, a professor of Immunobiology and Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale University, said the findings could impact public health measures. “As more cases of reinfection surface, the scientific community will have the opportunity to understand better the correlates of protection and how frequently natural infections with SARS-CoV-2 induce that level of immunity,” she said. “This information is key to understanding which vaccines are capable of crossing that threshold to confer individual and herd immunity,” added Iwasaka, who was not involved in the study......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 13th, 2020

North Korea to defy coronavirus with huge parade

Nuclear-armed North Korea is expected to parade its latest and most advanced weapons through the streets of Pyongyang on Saturday, as the coronavirus-barricaded country celebrates the 75th anniversary of leader Kim Jong Un’s ruling party. Saturday is expected to see thousands of goose-stepping soldiers packed into Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung Square, named for North Korea’s founder, under the gaze of his grandson Kim Jong Un ED JONES AFP/ MANILA BULLETIN South Korea’s unification minister told parliament on Thursday that a “large-scale parade” was anticipated, and satellite imagery on the respected 38North website has also suggested the cavalcade could be huge. The anniversary comes during a difficult year for North Korea as the coronavirus pandemic and recent storms add pressure to the heavily sanctioned country.  Pyongyang closed its borders eight months ago to try to protect itself from the virus — which first emerged in neighbouring China — and has still to confirm a single case of infection. Last month, troops from the North shot dead a South Korean fisheries official who had drifted into its waters, apparently as a precaution against the disease, prompting fury in Seoul and a rare apology from Kim. Nevertheless, Saturday is expected to see thousands of goose-stepping soldiers packed into Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung Square, named for North Korea’s founder, under the gaze of his grandson, the third member of the family to rule the country. A procession of progressively larger armoured vehicles and tanks is likely to follow, culminating with whatever missiles Pyongyang wants to put on show. The North is widely believed to have continued to develop its arsenal — which it says it needs to protect itself from a US invasion — throughout nuclear negotiations with Washington, deadlocked since the collapse of a summit in Hanoi in February last year. Now analysts expect a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) or an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the US mainland to appear — maybe even one with multiple re-entry vehicle capabilities that could allow it to evade US defence systems. The anniversary of the Workers’ Party means North Korea “has a political and strategic need to do something bigger”, said Sung-yoon Lee, a Korean studies professor at Tufts University in the United States. Showcasing its most advanced weapons “will signal a big step forward in Pyongyang’s credible threat capabilities”, he said. But unlike on many previous occasions, no international media have been allowed in to watch the parade, and with many foreign embassies in Pyongyang closing their doors in the face of coronavirus restrictions, few outside observers will be present. It is not clear whether state broadcaster KCTV will air the event live — some past parades have not appeared on television until the following day. But the South’s government has detected signs that Kim is to give a speech at the parade, Yonhap News Agency reported Friday citing unnamed sources.  – Masks and missiles? –  At the end of December, Kim threatened to demonstrate a “new strategic weapon”, but analysts say Pyongyang will still tread carefully to avoid jeopardising its chances with Washington ahead of next month’s presidential elections. Showing off its strategic weapons in a military parade “would be consistent with what Kim Jong Un promised”, while “not provoking the US as much as a test-launch of a strategic weapon”, said former US government North Korea analyst Rachel Lee. The messaging of the parade “will be heavily domestic — on party accomplishments, unity around the leader, and improving the economy before the Eighth Party Congress”, she added, referring to a meeting of the Workers’ Party due to take place in January. But Harry Kazianis of the Center for the National Interest warned that with thousands of people involved, it could turn into a “deadly superspreader-like event” unless “extreme precautions” were used. The impoverished nation’s crumbling health system would struggle to cope with a major virus outbreak, and he added that such protective measures seemed “pretty unlikely”. “Clearly masks and missiles don’t mix.”.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

No room for abortions: unwanted pregnancies in virus-hit South Africa

South African student Jessica* had already missed two periods when she shyly slipped into a clinic to seek an abortion in early July, as the coronavirus outbreak was reaching its peak......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 4th, 2020

Life returning to normal in Africa, but virus fears linger

"Things are getting back to normal, even though it will never be like it was before," says a relieved Petunia Maseko, relaxing in a bar in South Africa's Soweto township......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsSep 29th, 2020

Late-stage study of first single-shot vaccine begins in US

Johnson & Johnson is beginning a huge final study to try to prove if a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine can protect against the virus. The study starting Wednesday will be one of the world’s largest coronavirus vaccine studies so far, testing the shot in 60,000 volunteers in the U.S., South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico […] The post Late-stage study of first single-shot vaccine begins in US appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 24th, 2020

Gov& rsquo;t confirms local presence of more infectious virus strain

Medical experts confirmed Tuesday the presence of an even more infectious variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, after it was seen in a small sample of positive cases in Quezon City......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsAug 19th, 2020

Virus curfew imposed in Melbourne as South Africa tops 500,000 cases

Australia's second-largest city Melbourne imposed an overnight curfew on Sunday to halt the spread of coronavirus cases, as South Africa's infection count topped more than half a million......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2020