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Reuters Health News Summary

13 Jan 2021 / 04:57 H.

    Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

    Factbox: Latest on worldwide spread of the coronavirus

    The Trump administration said it is releasing millions of vaccine doses it had been holding back for second shots, while the Chinese city of Langfang went into lockdown as worries rose about a second wave in a country that has mostly contained COVID-19. DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

    Mexico publishes medicinal cannabis regulation, creating new market

    Mexico's health ministry on Tuesday published rules to regulate the use of medicinal cannabis, a major step in a broader reform to create the world's largest legal cannabis market in the Latin American country. The new regulation was signed off by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, and will now allow pharmaceutical companies to begin doing medical research on cannabis products.

    U.S. releases millions of COVID-19 doses, urges states to broaden vaccine access

    The Trump administration said on Tuesday it is releasing millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses it had been holding back for second shots and urged states to offer them to all Americans over age 65 or with chronic health conditions. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said during a news briefing that the U.S. pace of inoculations has risen to 700,000 shots per day and is expected to rise to 1 million per day within a week to 10 days.

    Ontario declares emergency amid surging COVID-19 cases as Canada buys more vaccines

    Ontario declared an emergency on Tuesday after latest modelling put Canada's most populous province on track to have more than 20,000 new COVID-19 cases per day by the middle of February, a nearly ten-fold increase from the current count. Ontario, which is battling a coronavirus surge that has swamped its hospitals and triggered a province-wide lockdown, could also see roughly 1,500 more deaths in its long-term care homes through mid-February under a worst-case scenario, according to modeling from experts advising the government.

    U.S. to require negative COVID-19 tests for international air passengers: sources

    The head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is expected to sign an order on Tuesday expanding coronavirus testing requirements for nearly all international air travelers, not just from Britain, sources briefed on the matter told Reuters. The new rules are to take effect two weeks from the day they are signed by CDC Director Mark Redfield, which would be Jan. 26.

    France likely to have to take tougher measures due to virus variants

    France will likely have to consider more restrictions on people's movements soon to limit the spread of the UK and South African variants of the coronavirus, Jean-François Defraissy, head of the scientific council advising the government on the epidemic said on Tuesday. "There will probably be -- and these are political decisions -- a certain number of tougher measures to take," Defraissy told TF1 television.

    What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

    Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus right now: India prepares for 'world's biggest vaccination drive'

    Brazil researchers report disappointing 50.4% efficacy for China's CoronaVac vaccine

    A coronavirus vaccine developed by China's Sinovac showed "general efficacy" of 50.4% in a late-stage trial in Brazil, researchers said on Tuesday, barely enough for regulatory approval and far short of earlier indications. The latest results are a major disappointment for Brazil, as the Chinese vaccine is one of two that the federal government has lined up to begin immunization during the second wave of the world's second-deadliest COVID-19 outbreak.

    Russian woman united with baby after COVID-19 C-section and 51 days on life support

    A Russian woman who was admitted to hospital heavily pregnant and with what doctors said were potentially fatal levels of COVID-19 lung damage was reunited with her newborn baby after spending 51 days on a ventilator and giving birth by C-section. Oksana Shelomentseva was hospitalised in the Siberian city of Irkutsk in the 32nd week of her pregnancy, having had a high fever for three days. A scan showed catastrophic lung damage and that her unborn baby was not receiving enough oxygen.

    'No limit' - the more exercise the better, heart health study finds

    When it comes to matters of heart health, no amount of exercise is too much, scientists said on Tuesday in research that debunks the myth that high levels of vigorous physical activity might not always be beneficial. The research found "every move counts" towards improving cardiovascular health, the scientists said, with the lowest risk for heart disease seen in people who exercised the most.

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