Reuters Health News Summary

14 Jul 2020 / 20:57 H.

    Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

    Asia ramps up coronavirus curbs as new clusters erupt

    Australian states tightened borders and restricted pub visits on Tuesday, while Disney prepared to close its Hong Kong theme park and Japan stepped up tracing as a jump in novel coronavirus cases across Asia fanned fears of a second wave of infections. Many parts of Asia, the region first hit by the coronavirus that emerged in central China late last year, are finding cause to pause the reopening of their economies, some after winning praise for their initial responses to the outbreak.

    India's tech hub, other towns back in lockdown amid COVID-19 surge

    India's high-tech hub of Bengaluru will go back into a coronavirus lockdown for a week on Tuesday after a surge of infections, threatening to derail government efforts to revive a stuttering economy. Places of worship, public transport, government offices and most shops will close again from the evening, and people will be confined to their homes, only allowed out for essential needs.

    California shuts down businesses, schools as coronavirus outbreak grows

    California's governor on Monday clamped new restrictions on businesses as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations soared, and the state's two largest school districts, in Los Angeles and San Diego, said children would be made to stay home in August. Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, ordered bars closed and restaurants, movie theaters, zoos and museums across the nation's most populous state to cease indoor operations. Gyms, churches and hair salons must close in the 30 hardest-hit counties.

    Thailand changes entry rules after new COVID-19 cases spark second wave fear

    Thailand's government tightened regulations for the entry of foreigners on Tuesday, after two new imported coronavirus cases with possible exposure to the public raised concern about a second wave of infections. Thailand has been 50 days without confirmed local transmission of the coronavirus, but two cases among foreigners this week has led to the self-isolation of more than 400 people and fears on social media of a new contagion.

    Masks to be mandatory in enclosed public spaces in next weeks, says Macron

    Wearing masks will be compulsory in all enclosed public spaces in the next weeks in France, where there are signs that COVID-19 is returning somewhat, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday. In a television interview on National Day, Macron also said he wished that COVID-19 testing be available for everyone.

    Canada's Medicago begins human trials of plant-based COVID-19 vaccine

    Medicago said on Tuesday it has begun testing its plant-based coronavirus vaccine in an early-stage clinical trial as the Canadian company, backed by tobacco company Phillip Morris, races against larger drugmakers to develop a treatment option to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. Medicago said it dosed the first healthy volunteers on Monday in a 180-person study, making it the first vaccine from Canada among the more than 20 experimental coronavirus vaccines being tested in humans.

    3M, MIT partner to make rapid COVID-19 antigen test

    U.S. industrial conglomerate 3M Co has partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop a rapid antigen test for COVID-19, the company said on Tuesday. The test would produce results within minutes and could be administered on a low-cost, paper-based device, similar to a home pregnancy test, that could be delivered at the point of care.

    'They needed people': Brazil volunteers step up to test COVID-19 vaccine

    Luiz Augusto Rizzo, 29, is no specialist in infectious diseases, but he is part of perhaps the most important scientific endeavor in the world today: the hunt for a vaccine against the novel coronavirus. The pediatric surgeon is one of 2,000 volunteers in Brazil's largest city of Sao Paulo taking part in mass human trials for the experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by researchers at the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca Plc (AZN.L). It is one of the brightest hopes in the global bid to contain the virus.

    Where COVID-19 is spreading fastest in the United States

    The United States reported over 400,000 new COVID-19 cases for the week ended July 12, up 21% from the previous seven days, and deaths linked to the respiratory disease rose nationally last week for the first time since mid-April. More than 5,000 people died from COVID-19 from July 6 to July 12, up 46% from the prior week, according to a Reuters analysis of data from The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer-run effort to track the outbreak.

    Experts seek to calm worries of mother-to-baby COVID transmission

    Cases of transmission of COVID-19 from pregnant mothers to their babies are rare and should not spark undue concern, experts said on Tuesday after a case study was published suggesting the novel coronavirus may be able to cross the placenta. The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, described a case in France where the COVID-19-causing virus was found in the blood of a baby born prematurely to a 23-year-old mother who was diagnosed with the pandemic disease in March.

    email blast