Coronavirus pandemic

  • Japan researchers say ozone effective in neutralising coronavirus
    TOKYO, August 26 (Reuters): Japanese researchers said on Wednesday that low concentrations of ozone can neutralise coronavirus particles, potentially providing a way for hospitals to disinfect examination rooms and waiting areas. Scientists at Fujita Health University told a news conference they had proven that ozone gas in concentrations of 0.05 to 0.1 parts per million (ppm), levels considered harmless to humans, could kill the virus. The experiment used an ozone generator
  • Coronavirus forces tourism rethink in world's most visited city
    BANGKOK, August 20 (Thomson Reuters Foundation): Bangkok tourist destination Khao San Road is usually heaving with people on weekends, its cheap beer bars, tattoo parlours, street vendors, hostels and buzzing nightlife drawing budget travellers and tour group alike. On a recent Saturday evening, the street was deserted except for a few dozen locals who wandered past boarded up shops, ignoring restaurant staff calling out meal and drink deals. Khao San Road clearly shows the
  • Returning home, Venezuelans face accusations of spreading COVID-19
    BOGOTA, August 20 (Thomson Reuters Foundation): Venezuelans who fled their homeland's economic crisis but have been forced to return in desperation are being blamed for the spread of the coronavirus and are being branded bioterrorists, the head of a leading medical group said on Wednesday. More than 70,000 Venezuelans have gone home since April, some walking back for thousands of miles, according to the United Nations, after lockdowns, job losses and business closings broug
  • South Korea COVID-19 infections 'in full swing' after protest outbreak
    SEOUL, August 20 (Reuters): South Korea's coronavirus infections are back "in full swing" and spreading nationwide after members of a church attended a political demonstration, authorities said on Thursday, threatening one of the world's COVID-19 success stories. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported 288 new cases as of midnight on Wednesday, marking a week of triple-digit daily increases, although down slightly from the previous
  • Pope warns rich countries against coronavirus vaccine nationalism
    Reuters Rich countries should not hoard a coronavirus vaccine and should only give pandemic-related bailouts to companies committed to protecting the environment, helping the most needy and the 'common good', Pope Francis said on Wednesday. "It would be sad if the rich are given priority for the Covid-19 vaccine. It would be sad if the vaccine becomes property of this or that nation, if it is not universal and for everyone," Francis said at his weekly general au
  • World Bank may project steeper contraction of Indian economy for FY21
    NEW DELHI, AUGUST 19 (IANS): As coronavirus cases continue to surge in India, restricting several economic activities, the World Bank may project a steeper contraction of the Indian economy for the current financial year, revised from the previous estimate of 3.2 per cent. In its report 'India Development Update' for July 2020, the World Bank said that amid rapidly evolving conditions, projections made in May are likely to be revised as new information is incorporated, espec
  • Coronavirus pandemic now driven by younger adults: WHO
    MANILA, August 18 (Reuters): The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday it was concerned that the novel coronavirus spread was being driven by people in their 20s, 30s and 40s, many of whom were unaware they were infected, posing a danger to vulnerable groups. WHO officials said this month the proportion of younger people among those infected had risen globally, putting at risk vulnerable sectors of the population worldwide, including the elderly and sick people in den
  • 'COVID generation' risks child marriage, forced labour, ex-leaders warn
    LONDON, August 18 (Thomson Reuters Foundation): Former world leaders called on Tuesday for urgent global action to stop coronavirus creating a "COVID generation" with millions of children deprived of education and forced into marriage and work. As lockdowns end, they urged governments to invest in catch-up programmes to prevent irretrievable damage to children's futures. "We cannot stand by and allow these young people to be robbed of their education and a
  • Chinese cities find virus in Brazilian chicken wings, Ecuadorian shrimp packaging
    BEIJING/SHANGHAI, August 13 (Reuters): Two cities in China have found traces of the new coronavirus in imported frozen food and on food packaging, local authorities said on Thursday, raising fears that contaminated food shipments might cause new outbreaks. A sample taken from the surface of frozen chicken wings imported into the southern city of Shenzhen from Brazil, as well as samples of outer packaging of frozen Ecuadorian shrimp sold in the northwestern Xi'An city, have teste
  • No pay, no freedom: Brazil struggles to rescue maids from slavery
    RIO DE JANEIRO, August 13 (Thomson Reuters Foundation): Whenever Elisa goes out in her small town in northeastern Brazil, she fears seeing the family she once considered her own. After almost three decades of domestic work with no pay and little freedom, Elisa realized she was a slave and plotted to escape the household where she had lived since the age of seven. The 38-year-old was rescued in 2018 after alerting the authorities and has started to build a new life. But a rem
  • China denounces U.S. health chief's criticism over virus as 'political show'
    BEIJING, August 12 (Reuters): China said on Wednesday that U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar has performed the "worst in the world" in controlling the novel coronavirus, rejecting criticism of China made by Azar during a three-day trip to Taiwan this week. Azar attacked China's response to the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday saying that if such an outbreak had emerged in Taiwan or the United States it could have been "snuffed out easily". Chinese foreig
  • Indian villagers tire of coronavirus rules just as rural cases surge
    BAIHATA CHARIALI/KARALAPAKKAM, August 12 (Reuters): Harmahan Deka doesn't wear a mask anymore to avoid the novel coronavirus nor does he try to keep a safe distance from others. For the 25 men and women he works with in his construction materials business near the small town of Baihata Chariali in Assam, life is more or less as it used to be, Deka says. "The virus can't attack me, it's weakened," the 50-year-old diabetic said. "I often hang out at
  • Coronavirus found on frozen seafood in China
    BEIJING, August 11 (Reuters): Authorities in China have found the novel coronavirus on the packaging of imported frozen seafood that arrived from the port city of Dalian, which recently battled a surge of cases, a local government said on Tuesday. The virus was found on the outer packaging of frozen seafood bought by three companies in Yantai, a port city in eastern Shandong province. The Yantai city government said in a statement the seafood was from an imported shipment that la
  • Rural economy still strong on record procurement of farm produce: PM
    NEW DELHI, AUGUST 9 (IANS): As the pandemic severely hits the economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the rural economy of India is on a strong footing, bucking the overall economic slowdown, courtesy the 'record' procurement of farmers' produce by the government. Speaking at the launch programme of the Rs 1 lakh crore Agriculture Infrastructure Fund, Modi said it was due to the farmers that the country did not have to face problems in terms of essential food items du
  • U.S. surpasses 160,000 coronavirus deaths as school openings near
    NEW YORK, August 7 (Reuters): More than 160,000 people have died from the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, nearly a quarter of the global total, according to a Reuters tally on Friday, as the country debates whether schools are ready to reopen in coming weeks. The country recorded 160,003 deaths and 4.91 million cases, the highest caseload in the world, caused in part by lingering problems in making rapid testing widely available and resistance in some quarters to mas
  • Global coronavirus deaths exceed 700,000, one person dies every 15 seconds on average
    Reuters The global death toll from the coronavirus surpassed 700,000 on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally, with the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico leading the rise in fatalities. Nearly 5,900 people are dying every 24 hours from COVID-19 on average, according to Reuters calculations based on data from the past two weeks. That equates to 247 people per hour, or one person every 15 seconds. President Donald Trump said the coronavirus outbreak is as under contro
  • 'I cannot save everybody': Houston doctor fights newest COVID-19 surge
    HOUSTON, July 29 (Reuters): The scene inside United Memorial Medical Center in Houston has become all too familiar: overwhelmed medical staff fighting to curb the wave of COVID-19 patients that come through the hospital’s doors every day. While in earlier pandemic hot spots like New York the medical emergency has subsided, Texas is among the many U.S. states battling a resurgence of the virus that is straining their healthcare systems. Dr. Joseph Varon, the chief medic
  • Escape to North Korea: Defector at heart of COVID-19 case fled sex abuse investigation
    SEOUL, July 28 (Reuters): Last week, a 24-year-old defector returned to North Korea the way he left in 2017, authorities say, but with a coronavirus pandemic raging in the background this time, his illicit trip drew far more attention. South Korea has identified the man only by his surname, Kim, and said he was the "runaway" who North Korea accuses of illegally crossing their shared border last week with symptoms of COVID-19. Facing a sexual assault investigation,
  • WHO says travel bans cannot be indefinite; countries must fight virus
    GENEVA, July 27 (Reuters): Bans on international travel cannot stay in place indefinitely, and countries are going to have to do more to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus within their borders, the World Health Organization said on Monday. A surge of infections has prompted countries to reimpose some travel restrictions in recent days, with Britain throwing the reopening of Europe's tourism industry into disarray by ordering a quarantine on travellers returning
  • WHO says COVID-19 by far its worst global health emergency
    GENEVA, July 27 (Reuters): The new coronavirus pandemic that has infected more than 16 million people is easily the worst global health emergency the World Health Organization (WHO) has faced, its director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday. Only with strict adherence to health measures, from wearing masks to avoiding crowds, would the world manage to beat it, Tedros added at a virtual news briefing in Geneva. "Where these measures are followed, cases go