What you need to know about the coronavirus right now
HEALTH

What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

News Service Reuters

Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

Patients reinfected

Two European patients were confirmed to have been re-infected with the coronavirus, according to regional public broadcasters, raising concerns about immunity.

The news follows a report this week by researchers in Hong Kong about a man there who had been re-infected four and a half months after recovering.

Broadcasters said on Tuesday a patient in the Netherlands and another in Belgium had also been re-infected with the virus.

Dutch broadcaster NOS cited virologist Marion Koopmans as saying the patient in the Netherlands was an older person with a weakened immune system. "That someone would pop up with a re-infection, it doesn't make me nervous," she said. "We have to see whether it happens often."

Infections, deaths slow in most of world

The COVID-19 pandemic is still expanding, but the rise in cases and deaths has slowed globally, except for Southeast Asia and the eastern Mediterranean regions, the World Health Organization said.

In its latest epidemiological update, it said that the Americas remained the hardest-hit region, accounting for half the newly reported cases and 62% of the 39,240 deaths worldwide in the past week.

More than 23.65 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally and 811,895 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

Hope for medical solutions

Trial data for the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca's possible coronavirus vaccine could be given to regulators this year but corners cannot be cut to speed up approval for emergency use, a scientist leading the trials said.

The Oxford vaccine produced an immune response in its first human trials, underlining its position as one of the leading candidates in the race to combat the virus.

Meanwhile, AstraZeneca has begun testing an antibody-based cocktail for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. The drugmaker said the study would evaluate if AZD7442, a combination of two monoclonal antibodies, was safe and tolerable in up to 48 healthy participants between the ages of 18 and 55 years.

Fastest man alive tests positive

World-record sprinter and eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt has tested positive for the coronavirus and is self-isolating at his home in Jamaica after last week celebrating his 34th birthday with a big bash mask-free.

Jamaica's health ministry confirmed that Bolt, who holds world records in the 100m and 200m distance, had tested positive after he posted a video on social media around midday saying he was waiting to hear back on his results.

"Just to be safe I quarantined myself and just taking it easy," Bolt said in the message that he appeared to have taped himself while lying in bed. It was posted with the caption "Stay safe my ppl".

KFC says hold off on the "Finger Lickin"

Kentucky Fried Chicken is temporarily suspending its long-time advertisement slogan "it's finger lickin' good", calling it inappropriate in the current COVID-19 pandemic where personal hygiene has become top priority to stem transmission.

In an era when face masks and hand-washing have become the norm and health officials are recommending people to stop touching their faces, KFC said the slogan "doesn't feel quite right".

The slogan, used on and off by the Yum Brands owned chain for 64 years, will be paused in advertising around the globe from Monday, the company said.

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