(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
OFFICIALS PUNISHED OVER CORONAVIRUS CLUSTER IN QINGDAO
The Chinese city of Qingdao said on Thursday it had suspended its health commission head and sacked a hospital director following an outbreak of the novel coronavirus that ended China’s run of about two months without a local case.
The coastal city has reported 13 recent infections, most linked to the Qingdao Chest Hospital, where infected travellers from overseas had been treated in an isolation area. One of the cases involved a dock worker who had earlier tested positive for the virus but only developed symptoms after about 20 days, the city said.
Qingdao this week announced it would test all of its 9 million residents for the virus over a five-day period. More than 7 million results had come back as of Thursday morning, with no infections beyond those reported, it said.
‘LONG COVID’ MAY AFFECT MULTIPLE PARTS OF BODY, MIND -STUDY
Ongoing illness after infection with COVID-19, sometimes called “long COVID”, may not be one syndrome but possibly up to four causing a rollercoaster of symptoms affecting all parts of the body and mind, doctors said on Thursday.
In an initial report about long-term COVID-19, Britain’s National Institute for Health Research said a common theme among ongoing COVID-19 patients – some of whom are seven months or more into their illness – is that symptoms appear in one physiological area, such as the heart or lungs, only to abate and then arise again in a different area.
Dr Elaine Maxwell, who led the report based on a focus group with 14 members from a Facebook group called Long COVID, and her co-authors urged patients and doctors to log and track symptoms so that researchers can learn more about the condition and how to ease it as swiftly as possible.
CORONAVIRUS MISINFORMATION IN NEW ZEALAND
Facebook Inc shut down the page of fringe New Zealand political party Advance NZ Party on Thursday, days before a general election, for sharing what the company called misinformation about the novel coronavirus. The party has stirred controversy with an anti-vaccination stance and has called for an end to lockdown measures. It has said the case fatality rate of the virus is “not unlike that of seasonal influenza”.
Advance NZ said Facebook’s action was “election interference”. The party is likely to win about 1% of the vote, showed the latest opinion poll, meaning it will have little impact on the election outcome.
Separately on Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters ridiculed a question from a coronavirus sceptic at an election campaign event. “Here’s someone who gets up and says ‘the Earth is flat’,” Peters responded to an unidentified man asking for evidence of the existence of the virus. “Sorry sunshine, wrong place.”
COVID-19 VACCINES MAY NOT BE RECOMMENDED FOR KIDS -U.S. CDC
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday said COVID-19 vaccines may not be initially recommended for children when they become available.
Children, who rarely have severe COVID-19 symptoms, have not yet been tested for any experimental coronavirus vaccine. There is no vaccine for COVID-19 yet, but a handful of companies such as Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc are in final-stage trials of their experimental vaccines.
China National Biotec Group Co Ltd [CHNAPF.UL], a division of state-run Sinopharm Group Co Ltd, is offering the two COVID-19 vaccines it is developing for free to students going abroad for higher education, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. On Monday, a website where people could sign up to receive vaccination said 481,613 people had been inoculated while an additional 93,653 had applied, the Journal reported.
(Compiled by Karishma Singh; Editing by Christopher Cushing)