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

What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

COVID-19 outbreak in Shanghai
COVID-19 outbreak in Shanghai

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

As Shanghai expands lockdown, life on hold in city of 26 million

China’s commercial hub of Shanghai ground to halt on Friday after the government locked down most of the city’s 26 million residents to stop the spread of COVID-19, even as official numbers put local cases falling for the second day in a row.

The city government late on Thursday extended an existing lockdown in eastern districts, just as western parts of the city were shut down as scheduled.

Fresh official guidance indicated that many in China’s most populous city will now be required to stay home as long as it takes to control the outbreak – instructed not to cross their doorsteps even to dispose of rubbish or walk their dogs.

South Korea may lift most curbs this month

South Korea said it would further relax its social distancing rules next week and possibly scrap most pandemic-related curbs later this month, including an obligation to wear masks outdoors.

From April 4, a curfew on eateries and other businesses will be pushed back to midnight from 11 p.m. and private gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed, Health Minister Kwon Deok-cheol said.

Italy ends state of emergency

Italy began to phase out its COVID-19 restrictions, ending a state of emergency public authorities declared more than two years ago that allowed it to bypass bureaucracy and swiftly impose rules via decrees.

The state of emergency was introduced on Jan. 31, 2020, but Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government announced plans in March to return to normal after deciding not to extend it. It officially ended on Thursday.

U.S. Senate negotiators near agreement on $10 billion round of COVID funds

U.S. Senate negotiators were nearing a deal on a $10 billion COVID-19 bill to help the federal government acquire more vaccines and medical supplies as it prepares for future variants of the virus that upended American life.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, said senators were “close to a final agreement” on a bill aiming to shore up stockpiles to be used both domestically and internationally.

Deliberate infection trial finds symptoms don’t indicate viral shedding

The world’s first “human challenge” trial in which volunteers were deliberately exposed to the coronavirus has found that symptoms had no effect on how likely an infected person is to pass the disease on to others.

The findings underscore the difficulty in preventing community infections as the Word Health Organization warns of a rise in cases.

The research project, run by Open Orphan with Imperial College, London, showed that among the 18 participants that caught COVID-19, the severity of symptoms, or whether they developed symptoms at all, had nothing to do with the viral load in their airways.

Depression, suicidal thoughts prevalent in high school students during pandemic – U.S. study

More than a third of high school students surveyed in the United States experienced stress, anxiety or depression, and nearly a fifth said they seriously considered suicide during the pandemic, U.S. researchers reported.

The first nationwide survey of its kind found that 44% of students reported feeling sad or hopeless every day for two consecutive weeks or more during the prior year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study.

(Compiled by Linda Noakes)

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