(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the pandemic right now:
Beijing residents hit the stores amid lockdown fears
A mass COVID-19 testing order in Beijing’s biggest district prompted residents in the Chinese capital to stock up on groceries, fearing they could be destined for a lockdown similar to that of Shanghai, which entered a fourth week of bitter isolation.
Authorities in Chaoyang, home to 3.45 million people, late on Sunday ordered those who live and work there to be tested three times this week as Beijing warned the virus had “stealthily” spread for about a week before being detected.
Knowing how Shanghai residents struggled to source food and other essentials while locked indoors, shoppers in Beijing crowded stores and online platforms to stock up on vegetables, fresh meat, instant noodles and toilet paper.
In the financial hub, the lack of enough couriers to make deliveries to homes has been the main supply bottleneck, fuelling widespread anxiety and anger.
Taiwan won’t go into Shanghai-like lockdown, premier says
Taiwan will not go into a Shanghai-like lockdown to control a rise in domestic COVID-19 cases as the vast majority of those infected have no symptoms or show only minor symptoms, Premier Su Tseng-chang said on Saturday, pledging to keep opening up.
Taiwan has been dealing with a spike in local cases since the start of the year, but the numbers overall remain small – 18,436 since Jan. 1 for a population of some 23 million – and just four people have died.
Philippines starts roll-out of second booster dose
The Philippines on Monday started giving second COVID-19 booster doses for immunocompromised adults, joining a growing number of Asian countries offering a fourth vaccine shot.
Nearly 61% of the Philippines’ 110 million population have been vaccinated, while nearly 13 million people have received first booster doses, government data show.
Japan’s Shionogi says COVID pill shows rapid clearance of virus
An experimental treatment from Shionogi & Co has shown rapid clearance of the virus that causes COVID-19, according to new data, the Japanese drug maker said on Sunday.
The pill, S-217622, “demonstrated rapid clearance of the infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus”, Shionogi said in a statement, citing Phase-2b results from the Phase II/III clinical trial of the drug.
The company has global aspirations for the antiviral pill, which is now being evaluated by Japanese regulators.
EU watchdog asks Valneva for more data on COVID shot
Valneva’s shares tumbled on Monday after the French company said The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has asked for more data on its COVID-19 vaccine.
Valneva said the EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use had another list of questions for the company, including requests for additional data and for further justification of a conditional marketing authorisation for the vaccine candidate.
(Compiled by Linda Noakes; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)