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Health News

What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

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

FILE PHOTO: A member of the medical personnel wearing a protective suit, protective mask and face shield is seen in the intensive care unit at the CHIREC Braine l'Alleud-Waterloo hospital, in Braine l'Alleud, Belgium, October 23, 2020. REUTERS/Yves Herman

INFECTIONS RISING FASTER THAN IN SPRING IN FRANCE, BELGIUM TIGHTENS RESTRICTIONS, SPANISH REGIONS CLAMOUR FOR CURFEW

The coronavirus is spreading through France faster than at the peak of the first wave in spring, a government scientific advisor said, in one of the starkest alerts yet about the scale of the resurgence engulfing Europe.

Belgium banned fans from sports matches, limited the number of people in cultural spaces and closed theme parks. The country, which has Europe’s second highest infection rate per capita after the Czech Republic, had already closed cafes, bars and restaurants and imposed a night curfew.

The Spanish regions of Castilla and Leon and Valencia were clamouring for the government to impose night-time curfews after authorities failed to reach a decision on nationwide restrictions the previous day. [L8N2HE3IY]

EURO ZONE ECONOMY AT RISK OF DOUBLE-DIP RECESSION

Economic activity in Europe’s single currency zone slipped back into decline this month, heightening expectations for a double-dip recession as a second wave of the coronavirus sweeps across the continent, surveys showed.

GERMAN HEALTH MINISTER EXPECTS COVID-19 VACCINE IN EARLY 2021-SPIEGEL

A COVID-19 vaccine could be available for the German population early next year, Health Minister Jens Spahn was quoted as saying, adding that Germany would be prepared to pass on surplus amounts of the shot to other countries.

DON’T GIVE UP ON COVID-19 PLASMA, EXPERTS SAY, AFTER STUDY FINDS NO BENEFIT

Researchers called for more research into using blood from recovered COVID-19 patients - or so-called convalescent plasma - as a potential treatment, after a small trial of hospitalised patients in India found it was of no benefit.

‘EATING RATS’: MYANMAR’S SECOND LOCKDOWN DRIVES HUNGER

After the first wave of coronavirus hit Myanmar in March, 36-year-old Ma Suu closed her salad stall and pawned her jewellery and gold to buy food to eat.

During the second wave, when the government issued a stay-home order in September for Yangon, Ma Suu shut her stall again and sold her clothes, plates and pots.

With nothing left to sell, her husband, an out of work construction labourer, has resorted to hunting for food in the open drains by the slum where they live on the outskirts of Myanmar’s largest city.

“People are eating rats and snakes,” Ma Suu said through tears. “Without an income, they need to eat like that to feed their children.”

Compiled by Philippa Fletcher; Editing by Tomasz Janowski

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