(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
London heads for stricter lockdown
London was heading for a tighter COVID-19 lockdown from midnight on Friday as Prime Minister Boris Johnson tried to tackle a swiftly accelerating second wave.
“I must warn Londoners: We’ve got a difficult winter ahead,” said mayor Sadiq Khan.
Anger, though, is rising over the economic, social and health costs of the biggest curtailment of freedoms since wartime.
Infections spiral in eastern Europe
Poland’s daily cases soared above 8,000 for the first time, hitting a record high for the second straight day, with the country likely to introduce new restrictions.
While health authorities say there are enough hospital beds and respirators for now to tackle the infection, doctors warn that the system may become overloaded.
The Czech Republic will start building capacity for COVID-19 patients outside of hospitals, as the country battles the fastest rate of infections in Europe.
Interior Minister Jan Hamacek said the army would start building an area for 500 hospital beds at a fairground in Prague.
Croatia reported 793 new cases, a daily record, while neighbouring Slovenia introduced new measures to fight its spike in infections.
Scientists develop 5-minute antigen test
Scientists from Britain’s University of Oxford have developed a rapid COVID-19 test able to identify the coronavirus in less than five minutes, researchers said, adding it could be used in mass testing at airports and businesses.
The university said it hoped to start product development in early 2021 and have an approved device available six months afterwards.
The device is able to detect the coronavirus and distinguish it from other viruses with high accuracy.
‘Long COVID’ may affect multiple parts of body and mind
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.
In an initial report about long-term COVID-19, Britain’s National Institute for Health Research said one common theme among ongoing COVID 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.
“This review highlights the detrimental physical and psychological impact that ongoing COVID is having on many people’s lives,” said Dr Elaine Maxwell, who led the report.
Trump speaks of Barron’s bout with virus
Under siege over his handling of the pandemic, President Donald Trump cited what he said was his son’s mild bout of the virus as a reason why American schools should reopen as soon as possible.
Trump made the comment about his son, Barron, while at a rally at the Des Moines, Iowa, airport.
“I don’t even think he knew he had it,” he said of Barron, “because they’re young and their immune systems are strong and they fight it off. 99.9% and Barron is beautiful. And he’s free.”
(Compiled by Linda Noakes; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)