(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
Vegetable shortage adds to Hong Kong’s COVID woes
Supplies of vegetables were running low in Hong Kong on Tuesday, with shoppers scrambling to buy whatever they could find, as the government blamed a resurgence of COVID-19 for a drop in deliveries of fresh produce from the mainland.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said vegetable deliveries from across the border were down as a result of truck drivers testing positive for the virus, but she did not offer any specific solutions to solve the shortage.
New Zealand PM warns of more COVID variants in 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic will not end with the Omicron variant and New Zealand will have to prepare for more variants of the virus this year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in her first parliamentary speech for 2022.
Ardern’s warning came as hundreds of protesters gathered outside the parliament building in the capital Wellington, demanding an end to coronavirus restrictions and vaccine mandates.
Canadian police seize fuel, remove oil tanker
Police in Canada’s capital said they had seized thousands of litres of fuel and removed an oil tanker as part of a crackdown to end an 11-day protest against COVID-19 measures, adding truck and protester numbers had fallen significantly.
The protest, which has gridlocked Ottawa, has been largely peaceful but ear-splitting horn-blaring by protesters saw a court grant an interim injunction preventing people from sounding horns in the city’s downtown.
New Jersey, California among states moving to ease mask mandates
Officials in New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, California and Oregon said they will lift indoor mask mandates for schools and other public places in coming weeks, seeking a return to “normalcy” as soaring COVID-19 infections fuelled by the Omicron variant abate.
The changes signal a growing inclination by political leaders in those states, all Democrats, to take pandemic-weary residents off an emergency footing and shift toward policies that treat the virus as part of everyday life.
Many babies have maternal mRNA-vaccine antibodies at 6 months
At six months of age, babies born to mothers vaccinated against COVID-19 during pregnancy are more likely to have antibodies against the virus in their blood than babies born to unvaccinated mothers who were infected while pregnant, a small study suggests.
It is not clear how high antibody levels need to be to protect against infection, and antibodies are not the body’s only defence mechanism.
(Compiled by Karishma Singh; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)