China approves first mixed-vaccine trial as Delta spreads

BEIJING, China (AFP) — China’s drug regulator has approved the country’s first mixed-vaccine trial, a company involved in the study said, as the rapid spread of the Delta variant raises concern about the efficacy of domestically produced jabs. The trial will test the efficacy of combining an “inactivated” vaccine made by China’s Sinovac with a DNA-based one developed by US pharmaceutical company Inovio, a statement issued on Tuesday said. The statement was put out by […]

Factfile: The Marburg virus, Ebola’s deadly cousin

  CONAKRY, Guinea (AFP) — Guinea has recorded the first known case of Marburg virus, a lethal cousin to Ebola, the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) says. Here is a factfile on the disease (source: WHO, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). – What is Marburg? – Marburg virus is a highly dangerous pathogen that causes haemorrhagic fever. According to past outbreaks, the average fatality rate is 50 percent, in a range of 24-88 […]

First West African case of deadly Marburg virus detected: WHO

GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — Guinea confirmed a case of Marburg disease, the World Health Organization said on Monday, the first recorded in West Africa of the lethal virus that’s related to Ebola and, like Covid-19, passed from animal hosts to humans. The virus, which is carried by bats and has a fatality rate of up to 88 percent, was found in samples taken from a patient who died on August 2 in southern Gueckedou prefecture, […]

Saudi compensates families of Covid health worker victims

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AFP) — Saudi Arabia has begun compensating the families of health workers who died because of the coronavirus, state media reported on Sunday, after announcing last year that each will receive $133,000. The kingdom said in October it would distribute “500,000 Saudi riyals to the families of those who died as a result of Covid-19 working in the health sectors, be it government or private, civilian or military, Saudi or non-Saudi”. The […]

Coronavirus: Latest global developments

PARIS, France (AFP) — Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis: Sydney’s new daily record Australia’s hope of returning to “Covid zero” suffers a fresh blow as Sydney reports another record number of new infections and authorities warn residents to brace for worse to come. Manila lockdown  The Philippine capital Manila returns to lockdown as authorities seek to slow the spread of the hyper-contagious Delta variant and ease pressure on hospitals while trying […]

More than 200 million coronavirus cases worldwide: AFP tally

PARIS, France (AFP) — More than 200 million cases of Covid-19 cases have now been registered worldwide since the novel coronavirus emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 0700 GMT on Thursday. At least 200,065,905 cases have been officially recorded, but the actual number is believed to be even higher, since a large number of the less severe or asymptomatic cases remain undetected, despite intensified […]

Even fully vaccinated persons can get high viral load of Delta variant, infect others – US CDC

CDC cites study of COVID-19 outbreak in Massachusetts that found Delta variant infections among fully vaccinated individuals (Eagle News) – Even fully vaccinated people can transmit the Delta variant as significant high viral loads of this COVID-19 virus strain were found in fully vaccinated individuals who got infected with this variant, as well as those unvaccinated against COVID-19. This was according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday, July 30, which […]

WHO urges action to suppress Covid before deadlier variants emerge

Says Delta variant now in 132 countries by Robin MILLARD Agence France Presse GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — The Delta variant of Covid-19 is a warning to the world to suppress the virus quickly before it mutates again into something even worse, the WHO said Friday. The highly-transmissible variant, first detected in India, has now surfaced in 132 countries and territories, the World Health Organization said. “Delta is a warning: it’s a warning that the virus […]

AstraZeneca searching for vaccines for virus-hit Southeast Asia

BANGKOK, Thailand (AFP) — Drugmaker AstraZeneca said Saturday it was scouring its supply chain to find more doses of its Covid-19 vaccine for Southeast Asia, which is facing its most serious outbreak yet of the virus. The statement from the Anglo-Swedish company — which produces its vaccine in Thailand for use domestically and in neighbouring countries — comes in the wake of a supply shortage which has sparked heavy criticism of Thai Premier Prayut Chan-O-Cha’s […]

Philippines approves GMO ‘golden rice’ for commercial production

  MANILA, Philippines (AFP) — The Philippines became the world’s first country Friday to approve the commercial production of genetically modified “golden rice” that experts hope will combat childhood blindness and save lives in the developing world. A biosafety permit issued by government regulators paves the way for the rice — enriched with the vitamin A-precursor beta-carotene to make it more nutritional — to be grown by farmers across the country, its developers said. “It’s […]

WHO warns of ‘long term’ Covid impact on mental health

ATHENS, Greece (AFP) — The mental health impact of the pandemic will be “long-term and far-reaching”, the World Health Organization said Thursday, as experts and leaders called for action on Covid-linked anxiety and stress. “Everyone is affected in one way or another,” the WHO said in a statement at the start of a two-day meeting in Athens with health ministers from dozens of countries. It said “anxieties around virus transmission, the psychological impact of lockdowns […]

COVID-19 safety tips for unvaccinated children and their families

(Eagle News) — Do you or someone you know belong to a household with both vaccinated and unvaccinated kids? EBC’s Pennsylvania bureau Maila Simbulan tells us how Pennsylvania is reaching out to children and their parents to provide COVID safety tips as schools are set to resume in the US this fall.   (Eagle News Service)