What you need to know about the coronavirus right now – Metro US

What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

FILE PHOTO: People wearing face masks walk out of a
FILE PHOTO: People wearing face masks walk out of a metro train following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Hong Kong

(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

China’s Xi sets Hong Kong’s leaders ‘overriding mission’ to control COVID, media says

China’s President Xi Jinping has told Hong Kong’s leaders that their “overriding mission” was to stabilise and control a worsening COVID-19 outbreak, pro-Beijing media reported, as infected patients lay in beds outside overwhelmed hospitals.

The directive ramps up pressure on Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam a day after she said her government’s response to the outbreak had been unsatisfactory, with hospitals and medical staff unable to cope.

China’s potential mRNA vaccine weaker against Omicron-study

A Chinese mRNA vaccine candidate showed a sharp drop in neutralising antibody activity against Omicron in a small study, but a booster readily induced antibody production in animal tests, researchers said.

The ARCoV vaccine, jointly developed by the Academy of Military Medical Sciences (AMMS), Suzhou Abogen Biosciences and Walvax Biotechnology, is being tested in an international Phase III clinical trial. It is China’s locally developed mRNA (messenger RNA) vaccine candidate furthest along in trial progress.

South Korea, Singapore report daily record cases

South Korea on Wednesday reported a daily record of 90,443 new coronavirus cases, as numbers nearly doubled within a week amid the spread of the highly infectious Omicron variant. Deaths remain comparatively low, though, with 39 fatalities on Tuesday and a total of 7,202 so far, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

Separately, Singapore reported a record 19,179 local coronavirus infections on Tuesday. Of these, 16,102 were detected through antigen rapid tests (ART) and are assessed to have no or mild symptoms and carry low-risk.

Disney World, Tyson Foods to drop some required masking

Disney World plans to make masks optional for fully vaccinated guests from Thursday, an update on its website showed, reversing a policy introduced in mid-2021.

Tyson Foods Inc lifted a mask mandate for fully vaccinated employees at some U.S. facilities on Tuesday, but those at meatpacking plants must continue wearing masks for now. Employees at corporate offices, distribution centers, feed mills and some production facilities inspected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration can go maskless if state and local laws allow it, Tyson spokesman Derek Burleson said.

Canada to ease travel requirements as COVID cases decline

Canada will ease entry for fully vaccinated international travelers starting on Feb. 28 as COVID-19 cases decline, allowing a rapid antigen test for travelers instead of a molecular one, officials said on Tuesday.

The new measures, which include random testing for vaccinated travelers entering Canada, were announced by federal government ministers at a briefing.

(Compiled by Karishma Singh; Editing by Stephen Coates)