Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Shanghai vows to improve food deliveries as discontent grows over COVID curbs
The Shanghai government said on Thursday it was trying its best to improve the distribution of food and essential goods to locked-in residents, responding to growing public discontent as COVID curbs stretched into an 11th day. China’s financial hub has fallen largely silent after the city imposed harsh curbs to stem the spread of COVID under the country’s “zero tolerance” policy, with only healthcare workers, volunteers, delivery personnel or people with special permission allowed on the streets.
China reports 1,576 new COVID cases on April 7 vs 1,323 a day earlier
China reported 1,576 new confirmed coronavirus cases on April 7, the country’s national health authority said on Friday, compared with 1,323 a day earlier. Of the new cases, 1,540 were locally transmitted, the National Health Commission said, compared with 1,284 a day earlier.
UK study finds symptoms from Omicron 2 days shorter than from Delta
Disease caused by the Omicron variant is on average around two days shorter than the Delta variant, a large study of vaccinated Britons who kept a smartphone log of their COVID-19 symptoms after breakthrough infections have shown. “The shorter presentation of symptoms suggests – pending confirmation from viral load studies – that the period of infectiousness might be shorter, which would in turn impact workplace health policies and public health guidance,” the study authors wrote.
Shanghai reports 20,398 new asymptomatic COVID cases, 824 symptomatic cases on April 7
The major Chinese financial center of Shanghai reported 20,398 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases and 824 new symptomatic cases on April 7, the local government said on Friday. The number of asymptomatic cases was up from 19,660 a day earlier. The number of symptomatic cases also rose from 322.
U.S. Medicare limits coverage for Biogen’s Alzheimer’s drug
The U.S. government health plan for people age 65 and over on Thursday issued its final coverage policy for Biogen Inc’s Alzheimer’s drug, Aduhelm, moving forward with an unusually strict plan limiting it to patients in clinical trials. For drugs similar to Aduhelm, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said it would allow coverage if the medication is approved after a standard review by the Food and Drug Administration.
Michigan governor asks state’s top court to protect abortion rights
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday asked the state’s top court to recognize the right to abortion under the state constitution ahead of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that could undermine abortion rights nationally. Whitmer, a Democrat running for re-election in a competitive race this year, joins several other Democratic state leaders who are seeking to codify abortion rights before the Supreme Court’s decision expected this spring.
Ferrero recalls some Kinder chocolates from the U.S. over salmonella fears
Italian confectionery group Ferrero has voluntarily recalled some of its Kinder chocolates from the American shelves for a potential link with salmonella contamination. Kinder Happy Moments Chocolate Assortment and Kinder Mix Chocolate Treats basket are being recalled because they were manufactured in a facility where salmonella was detected, Ferrero North America said on Thursday.
Factbox-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus
The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved a $55 billion COVID-19 aid bill aimed at helping restaurants, bars, and other businesses that are still struggling through the pandemic. DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
Alabama passes bill making some transgender healthcare a felony
Alabama lawmakers passed a bill on Thursday that would criminalize gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth, with a threat of 10 years in prison for medical providers. The legislation, passed 66-28 by the state’s House of Representatives on the last day of the legislative session, is the latest in a flurry of measures in Republican-led states dealing with transgender youth.
Germany’s Scholz says he will not make second push for vaccine mandate
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he was disappointed the lower house of parliament on Thursday voted against a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for people over 60, but would not launch a second attempt to push for a mandate. Germany’s vaccination campaign is faltering, with around 76.6% of Germany’s population has received at least one dose – less than the more than 80% in other western European countries such as France, Italy, and Spain.
(With inputs from agencies.)