Updates

NEWS FLASH

In this section, you will find the latest relevant developments of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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26 April 2021

According to PAHO (Pan American Health Organization) New Report Points to an Increase in Hospitalizations and Deaths among Patients under 60 Years

There is a change – at global level – in the age profile of hospitalized cases, pointing to higher rates of hospitalization and clinical severity among the younger population.

28 April 2021

Fully Vaccinated Adults 65 and Older Are 94% Less Likely to Be Hospitalized with COVID-19

In the U.S. the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) finds that mRNA (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) COVID-19 vaccines reduce COVID-19-related hospitalizations among fully vaccinated (two weeks after the second dose) older adults.

11 May 2021

Vaccine Inequity poses ‘Significant Risk’ to Global Economic Recovery According to UN report

The World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) mid-year report warned widening inequality is threatening global recovery.

man in white medical scrub lying on hospital bed
11 May 2021

Non-hospitalised COVID-19 Patients Have Low Risk of Having Serious Long-Term Effects

Non-hospitalised COVID-19 patients have a low risk of serious long-term effects, but they report more visits to general practitioners following infection, according to a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.

man in black jacket holding white plastic bag
12 May 2021

Fatigue, Mood Disorders Associated with Post-COVID-19 Syndrome

Patients diagnosed with post-COVID-19 syndrome, also known as “PCS,” “COVID-19 long-haul syndrome” and “Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS COV-2,” experience symptoms such as mood disorders…

woman lying on hospital bed
01 May 2021

A study suggests that vitamin D supplementation may prevent acute respiratory infection

The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) said on Tuesday that it has halted a trial of convalescent blood plasma in the treatment of patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 symptoms as no benefits were found.

man in black jacket holding white plastic bag
18 May 2021

COVID Brazil variant 'may spread more easily' according to a study

The study analyses the relation between mask usage and public attitudes to evaluate the impact of those cultural differences on this element of the pandemic response.

21 May 2021

Inside the race to find a COVID-19 treatment pill

After almost 18 months of the pandemic and despite the development of a significant number of effective COVID-19 vaccines, there is still no easy-to-administer treatment proven to be effective against COVID-19.

21 May 2021

COVID-19: More evidence that monoclonal antibodies reduce risk of death

The antibodies produced in a laboratory – monoclonal antibodies – are identical copies of an antibody made by exposing white blood cells to a particular antigen.

23 May 2021

Pandemic has fueled eating disorder surge in teens, adults

The pandemic imposed significant psychological challenges to the society. Indeed, the pandemic disrupted lives, increasing mental health issues like anxiety and isolation, typically significant components of eating disorders.

blue and white flag on pole
20 FEB 2021

Study shows that Israeli-made anti-COVID nasal spray reduced infection at mass gathering

An Israeli-made nasal spray appears to have contributed to a reduced COVID-19 infection rate among members of an ultra-Orthodox community, just 2 out of 83 people, who were given the spray, contracted the virus.

woman in white long sleeve shirt
16 FEB 2021

Pregnant women are being infected with COVID-19 at higher rates

Pregnant women and their babies get infected with the coronavirus at higher rates. After accounting for other risk factors, the COVID-19 rate in pregnant women was 70% higher than in non-pregnant adults, according to a report in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

blue, white, and red flag
22 FEB 2021

According to the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration), trials of retooled vaccines for variants could take months

The emergence of more contagious coronavirus variants has prompted drug developers to step up efforts to track coronavirus mutations and try to keep vaccines and treatments effective against new variants.

man in white chef uniform standing near white table
23 FEB 2021

Researchers reveal genetic predisposition to severe COVID-19

HSE University researchers have become the first in the world to discover genetic predisposition to severe COVID-19.

man in white scrub suit lying on hospital bed
23 FEB 2021

How reducing body temperature could help a tenth of all ICU patients

A new study reveals how lower temperatures improve the activity of surfactant, a molecular mixture that is essential for breathing.

blue, white, and red flag
02 MAR 2021

U.S. trials of COVID-19 blood plasma halted after no benefits found

The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) said on Tuesday that it has halted a trial of convalescent blood plasma in the treatment of patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 symptoms as no benefits were found.

red white and black textile
03 MAR 2021

COVID Brazil variant 'may spread more easily' according to a study

Early studies suggest that the Brazilian variant, called P.1 variant, could be up to twice as transmissible as the earlier version of the virus.

04 MAR 2021

New evidence on COVID-19 antibodies and vaccines indicate less effectiveness against new variants

New research at Washington University School of Medicine indicates that three new, fast-spreading variants of the virus that cause COVID-19 can evade antibodies that work against the original form of the virus that sparked the pandemic.

silhouette of a woman with pink and purple sky
04 MAR 2021

COVID-19 pandemic has increased loneliness and other social issues, especially for women

Researchers found a significant increase in loneliness and a decrease in feelings of friendship during the pandemic.

flags on green grass field near brown concrete building during daytime
04 MAR 2021

Sustainable infrastructure can drive development and COVID-19 recovery: A report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

A new report from UNEP urges governments to take a more systematic approach to sustainable infrastructure, incorporating it into their long-term development plans and ensuring human-made systems work with natural ones.

covid, corona, coronavirus
08 JAN 2021

Coronavirus variants may lead to false negative results with molecular tests - FDA

The U.S. drugs regulator said on Friday genetic variants of COVID-19, including the one found in the UK, could lead to false negative results from some molecular COVID-19 tests, but the risk of the mutations affecting overall testing accuracy is low.

08 JAN 2021

6 Months After Leaving the Hospital, COVID Survivors Still Face Lingering Health Issues

A large study of patients in China, showed that six months later, three-quarters were struggling with problems like fatigue, depression and diminished lung function.

11 JAN 2021

WHO says starting shots in poor nations by February hinges on vaccine suppliers

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday doubled-down on pleas for vaccine makers to provide COVID-19 shots to its COVAX programme for poor nations, as an adviser said hopes of starting inoculations by February hinges on access to supplies.

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12 JAN 2021

More than half of COVID-19 health care workers at risk for mental health problems

A new study, led by University of Utah Health scientists, suggests more than half of doctors, nurses, and emergency responders involved in COVID-19 care could be at risk for one or more mental health problems, including acute traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, problematic alcohol use, and insomnia.

15 JAN 2021

WHO stops short of advising proof of COVID-19 shots for travel

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that they are not advising to introduce requirements of proof of vaccination or immunity for international travel as a condition of entry because of “critical unknowns” regarding their efficacy in reducing transmission of the SARS-CoV-2.

pile of round orange fruits
20 JAN 2021

Food Insecurity and Climate Crisis Rise Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The hottest year on record and a global pandemic are fuelling fast-rising food insecurity and malnutrition around the world. Almost 690 million people suffered from hunger in 2019, a figure that was projected to rise by 130 million by the end of 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the United Nations.

yellow and black floral sling bag
21 JAN 2021

France tells its citizens: Fabric masks not enough to protect from COVID-19

The French government is now recommending that people wear surgical masks in public because they offer better protection from COVID-19 transmission than fabric face coverings, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Thursday, January 21st.

man in black jacket holding white plastic bag
01 FEB 2021

Early U.S. data indicates Black and Hispanic Americans lagging in COVID-19 vaccinations

Early data on U.S. coronavirus vaccinations released on Monday suggests that Black and Hispanic Americans received a smaller proportion of shots than their representation among healthcare workers and nursing home residents, two priority groups for COVID-19 inoculations.

02 FEB 2021

Russia's Sputnik V COVID vaccine highly effective, new study shows

The preliminary results of a study published on the medical journal The Lancet, shows that the Russian vaccine Gam-COVID-Vac (also known as Sputnik V) is 91.6 % effective against symptomatic COVID-19 cases.

02 FEB 2021

UK finds more coronavirus cases with 'concerning' mutations

In England, public health authorities are investigating cases of coronavirus containing worrying’ new genetic changes that have been found in some regions of the UK. Being called E484K, tests are showing they have a mutation that was already seen from the South Africa variant.

woman lying on hospital bed
8 OCT 2020

Young people hospitalized with COVID-19 face substantial adverse outcomes

Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital analysed records from 419 hospitals using the Premier Healthcare Database to study the clinical trajectories of 3.222 hospitalized COVID-19 patients aged 18 – 34…

iPhone X beside MacBook
8 OCT 2020

Media trust correlated with COVID-19 prevention behaviors

During the pandemic, individuals’ behaviour (such as wearing a mask or practicing physical distancing) is closely correlated with the kinds of mass media outlets they trust, according to a study published in etc…

covid, corona, coronavirus
12 OCT 2020

COVID-19 antibodies last at least three months; so do symptoms for many

People infected with COVID-19 develop antibodies that last for at least three months, according to two reports published in Science Immunology. This means that a properly designed vaccine “should elicit a durable antibody response that has the potential to neutralize the virus”…

black Samsung Galaxy Note 5
13 OCT 2020

Facebook will ban ads discouraging people from getting vaccines

Facebook Inc, with 2.7 billion monthly active users, will start banning ads that explicitly discourage people from getting vaccinated. Facebook’s previous rules prohibited ads containing vaccine misinformation or hoaxes identified by leading health organizations…

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14 OCT 2020

Japan supercomputer shows humidity affects aerosol spread of coronavirus

A Japanese supercomputer showed that humidity could have a large effect on the dispersion of virus particles, pointing to heightened coronavirus contagion risks in dry, indoor conditions during the winter months…

sewage pipe polluted water, environmental, erosion
23 OCT 2020

Sewage can reveal COVID outbreaks, UK project finds

Traces of the virus that causes COVID-19 can be successfully detected in sewage, which can help to give health officials an early warning of local outbreaks of the virus, the British government said. ..

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24 OCT 2020

Europe becomes THE second region to cross 250,000 deaths as THE second COVID wave hits

Europe became the second region after Latin America to surpass 250,000 deaths on Saturday, according to a Reuters tally, with record numbers of daily COVID-19 infections reported in the past two weeks. 

man in white medical scrub lying on hospital bed
25 OCT 2020

Long COVID: Some coronavirus patients have recovered, but still aren't well

Months after recovering from their coronavirus infections, some patients continue to report headaches, exhaustion and shortness of breath. Doctors are still learning about the effects of post-COVID syndrome.

long exposure photography of white smoke
26 OCT 2020

Study estimates exposure to air pollution increases COVID-19 deaths by 15% worldwide

Long-term exposure to air pollution has been linked to an increased risk of dying from COVID-19. The study, published in Cardiovascular Research on 26/10, estimated that about 15% of deaths worldwide from COVID-19 could be attributed to long-term exposure to air pollution. 

27 OCT 2020

Oxford COVID-19 vaccine works in all ages, trials suggest

One of the world’s leading COVID-19 experimental vaccines produces an immune response in older adults as well as the young, its developers say. The phase 2 trials have shown that people over the age of 56 – and some over 70 – produced the same sort of antibody response as younger volunteers. 

09 SEPT 2020

ASTRAZENECA PUTS VACCINE TRIAL ON HOLD AFTER PARTICIPANT FALLS ILL

On Sept 9th, Astra Zeneca announced to put on hold the controlled clinical trials of the ‘‘AstraZeneca Oxford coronavirus vaccine’’ after the discovery of the participant who fell ill…

09 SEPT 2020

TEAM OF SCIENTISTS SPOT ‘UNLIKELY’ PATTERNS IN RUSSIA VACCINE DATA

A team of 26 scientists have signed an open letter questioning the reliability of the data presented in the early-stage trial results of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine…

09 SEPT 2020

RESEARCHERS DRAW MORE LINKS BETWEEN VAPING, SMOKING, YOUNG PEOPLE, AND CORONAVIRUS

Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center published papers linking a risk for COVID-19 and a history of vaping and smoking…

11 SEPT 2020

THE OTHER WAY THE VIRUS KILL: HUNGER

The pandemic has reinforced basic economics inequalities, but none of them is more defining than access to food. As the global economy is been deeply affected by the pandemic, the potentially life-threatening levels of food insecurity in the developing world…

14 SEPT 2020

COVID-19 HAS SET GLOBAL HEALTH PROGRESS BACK DECADES ACCORDING TO GATES FOUNDATION

The massive effects of the coronavirus pandemic have halted and reversed global health progress, setting it back 25 years and exposing millions to the risk of deadly disease and poverty…

16 SEPT 2020

An Experimental Drug Protects Covid-19 Patients, Eli Lilly Claims

The pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly announced that their experimental monoclonal antibody treatment significantly reduced levels of the coronavirus in more than 450 newly infected patients and lowered the hospitalization rates…

17 SEPT 2020

Silicon Valley startup Visby’s portable COVID-19 test gets FDA approval

The Silicon Valley medical equipment startup, Visby Medical, has received Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a portable PCR COVID-19 test kit. Traditionally, PCR testing uses a machine with the size of a large microwave…

18 SEPT 2020

Study links rising stress, depression in US to pandemic-related losses, media consumption

A study published by researchers at University of California, Irvine, linked increasing depression and stress to not only pandemic-related losses–such as unemployment–but also media consumption…

21 SEPT 2020

EU plans international coronavirus tracing network

The EU plans to create an international coronavirus tracing network to be launched in October. A number of EU member states consider the possibility to develop a cross-border effort to trace the coronavirus’ spreading…

22 SEPT 2020

False positives from COVID-19 tests cause trouble

The quality of some PCR test kits and the value of the results are being questioned by some countries as many false positives results are being reported…

19 JULY 2020

CORONAVIRUS: ARE MUTATIONS MAKING IT MORE INFECTIOUS?

The coronavirus that is now threatening the world is subtly different from the one that first emerged in China…

08 AUGUST 2020

BLACK AND HISPANIC CHILDREN ARE IMPACTED MORE SEVERELY BY CORONAVIRUS, RESEARCH SHOWS

A report from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released Friday found that Black and Hispanic children are more likely to be hospitalized due to coronavirus than White children, with higher case rates,…

10 AUGUST 2020

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER: LEARNING MORE ABOUT COVID-19 CAN REDUCE YOUR PANDEMIC STRESS

A recent study surveyed more than 500 adults between 20–79 years old in the U.S. to understand whether understanding the COVID-19 pandemic makes us more or less anxious… 

11 AUGUST 2020

RUSSIA CLAIMS TO HAVE A VACCINE FOR COVID-19, BUT THIS CLAIM IS QUESTIONED BY VARIOUS EXPERTS

While numerous countries and research groups are working to produce a vaccine for Covid-19, the latest developments on the vaccine came from Russia: The Russian government claims to have stolen a march on dozens of global rivals…

14 AUGUST 2020

GENETIC PROFILES MAY PREDICT COVID-19 RISK; NURSING HOME STAFF IN SPOTLIGHT

Genetic profiles may predict COVID-19 risk. Genetic differences affect the strength of infection and protection mechanisms, with some people having genes that predispose them to infection and others having genes that strengthen the body’s protective process.

04 August 2020

Why pregnant women face special risks from COVID-19

Although the effect of COVID-19 on pregnancy is still not completely clear due to incomplete data, the current cautious consensus among the experts is that the viral infection in pregnant women does not negatively affect fetal development…

18 AUGUST 2020

Signs of depression and anxiety soar among US graduate students during pandemic

A survey conducted in 9 U.S. research universities recording responses from more than 15,000 graduate students showed that more students are suffering from depression this year during the pandemic compared to last year…

19 AUGUST 2020

COVID-19 link to type 1 diabetes probed

A study suggests a possible coronavirus link to type 1 diabetes. Cases of type 1 diabetes among children may have risen during the peak of Britain’s COVID-19 outbreak. In type 1 diabetes – also known as juvenile diabetes – insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed,…

20 AUGUST 2020

Blood clots and lung injuries found in patients who have died of COVID-19

Post-mortem examinations of 10 patients who died of COVID-19 in a UK study showed that all patients had lung injuries, early scarring of the lungs, and kidney injuries. Nine of the ten patients also have blood clots…

25 AUGUST 2020

Two more cases of reinfection: This time reported in Europe

Two more cases of reinfection with the coronavirus were reported in Europe on Tuesday, a day after a 33-year-old man in Hong Kong was confirmed to have been infected a second time. However, experts have reacted with caution to the new findings,…

25 AUGUST 2020

Flu Season Could Make Coronavirus Testing Delays Even Worse

In the fall season, the ascent of flu and other seasonal respiratory diseases could further burden the previous delay in coronavirus testing in the U.S., making it more likely for the infection to spread unnoticed. Usually, doctors do not test for influenza… 

17 JULY 2020

BRAZIL’S CORONAVIRUS CHAOS PROVIDES A GLOBAL LABORATORY FOR THE VACCINE RACE

The last clinical phase (Phase 3) tests require thousands of people to be tested. This means that the suitable areas to conduct this kind of study should have high disease transmission, as well as institutions that work with international scientific…

20 JULY 2020

OXFORD CORONAVIRUS VACCINE PRODUCES STRONG IMMUNE RESPONSE

Scientists at the Jenner Institute (Oxford University) and Oxford Vaccine Group published promising results of the Phase I/II trial of a coronavirus vaccine in The Lancet. The vaccine showed no early safety concerns and induced strong immune responses in humans.

20 JULY 2020

NEW ASSAY IMPROVES DETECTION OF COVID-19 ANTIBODIES

Researchers at the University of California Santa Cruz have developed a new assay for the detection of antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)… 

21 JULY 2020

EU LEADERS SEAL DEAL ON SPENDING AND €750BN COVID-19 RECOVERY PLANS

EU leaders have reached a historic agreement on a €750bn coronavirus pandemic recovery fund and their long-term spending plans following days of acrimonious debate at the bloc’s longest summit in nearly two decades.

21 JULY 2020

CHINA DEMANDING NEGATIVE COVID-19 RESULTS AT AIRPORT

China announced that passengers of all flights arriving from abroad would have to provide negative COVID-19 test results as the country…

24 JULY 2020

FACE MASKS AND FACE COVERINGS : YOUR ABSOLUTELY BUMPER GUIDE

As face coverings become mandatory in shops, here is all you need to know about buying, wearing and a washing them to beat COVID-19.

29 July 2020

African countries conduct over 8.3 mln COVID-19 tests amid rapid infection rate: Africa CDC

More than 8.3 million COVID-19 tests for COVID-19 have been conducted across countries in the Africa continent (Africa CDC). The Africa CDC director warned over rising COVID-19 test positivity rate…

29 July 2020

COVID-19's impact on the heart: Two new studies suggest 'the plot thickening'

Two separate new studies, published in the journal JAMA Cardiology on Monday, demonstrates how COVID-19 may have a prolonged impact on heart health in those who have recovered from illness and may have caused cardiac infection in those who died.

30 July 2020

There is no 'zero risk' in easing travel restrictions, WHO says

There is no “zero risk” strategy for countries easing international travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, and essential travel for emergencies should remain the priority, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

02 August 2020

U.S. coronavirus 'extraordinarily widespread', say White House experts

The United States is in a new phase of the novel coronavirus outbreak with infections “extraordinarily widespread” in rural areas as well as cities, White House coronavirus experts said on Sunday.

29 JUNE 2020

APPLICATIONS OF DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY IN COVID-19 PANDEMIC PLANNING AND RESPONSE

An article published in Lancet emphasizes how digital technologies helped flatten the COVID-19 incidence curves in some countries. The integration of such technologies into policies facilitate planning, surveillance, testing, contact tracing, quarantine, and clinical management…

18 JUNE 2020

COVID-19 NEUTRALIZING ANTIBODIES MIGHT ONLY LAST FOR 2–3 MONTHS

A publication in Nature Medicine measured levels of neutralizing antibodies in a small number (37) of asymptomatic individuals and compared them to symptomatic individuals…

5 JUNE 2020

“SUPER SPREADER” EVENTS

As more data became available and economies are opening up, a lot of people started to wonder what events cause the most infection cases, which can also influence policymaking…

29 JUNE 2020

FIRST APPROVED VACCINE IN CHINA (BUT FOR MILITARY USE ONLY)

CanSino Biologics received authorization for human trials after clinical trials proved it was safe and showed some efficacy. China’s Central Military Commission approved the use of the vaccine by the military on June 25 for a period of one year, CanSino said in a filing…

10 JUNE 2020

MMV LAUNCHES THE COVID BOX

The Swiss NGO Medicine for Malaria Venture (MMV) announced a collection of drugs and compounds to be distributed for free to accelerate COVID-19 treatment research.

6 JULY 2020

WHO REVIEWING REPORT URGING NEW GUIDANCE OVER SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS

The World Health Organization (WHO) is reviewing a report urging it to update guidance on the novel coronavirus after more than 200 scientists, in a letter to the health agency, outlined evidence the virus can spread in tiny airborne particles…

8 JULY 2020

SCIENTISTS WARN OF POTENTIAL WAVE OF COVID-LINKED BRAIN DAMAGE

Scientists warned of a potential wave of coronavirus-related brain damage as new evidence suggested COVID-19 can lead to severe neurological complications, including inflammation, psychosis and delirium. 

8 JULY 2020

REMDESIVIR BECOMES THE FIRST COVID-19 TREATMENT APPROVED IN EUROPE

Remdesivir (brand name Veklury), a drug originally developed to treat the Ebola virus by the U.S. Pharma Gilead Sciences, becomes the first COVID-19 treatment approved in Europe with a one-year conditional marketing authorization from the European Commission…

8 JULY 2020

VIRUS-TRACING APPS ARE RIFE WITH PROBLEMS. GOVERNMENTS ARE RUSHING TO FIX THEM

Virus tracing apps that many countries have quickly developed are dealing with security issues that expose users to risks like identity theft or oppressive government tracking. In some cases, the use or development of apps were abandoned.

14 JULY 2020

SWIFTLY WANING COVID-19 IMMUNITY POSES VACCINATION CHALLENGE

Emerging evidence that the body’s immune defence against COVID-19 may be short-lived makes it even harder for vaccine developers to come up with shots fully able to protect people in future waves of infection

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