Does obesity make the virus more dangerous?

Getty Images
Getty Images

Following his admittance to intensive care with coronavirus in April, prime minister Boris Johnson is reportedly preparing a more “interventionist” drive to tackle UK obesity in the ongoing and long-term fight against Covid-19.

On 24 July, it was reported that the prime minister will set out new measures next week, which are expected to include a ban on TV junk food adverts before 9pm.

They are also likely to include a ban on online ads for unhealthy foods and limits on in-store promotions. Some restaurants could be required to put calorie labels on menus.

Mr Johnson is convinced his Covid-condition became more serious because of his weight – said to be 17.5 stone at the time he was taken to hospital, according to a separate report on 15 May.

This is not the most time the severity of coronavirus has been linked to a patient’s weight – when

Read More

Donald Trump cancels Republican convention speech over virus fears

Donald Trump admitted that his speech would be risky because of the outbreak - REUTERS
Donald Trump admitted that his speech would be risky because of the outbreak – REUTERS

Donald Trump has cancelled his Republican convention speech in Florida because of the coronavirus outbreak there, saying he did not want to “take any chances”.

The US president had moved his speech to the state from North Carolina, claiming the governor there would not let him hold one with a big crowd, but now has cancelled that plan.

Mr Trump said he will still do a speech formally accepting his party’s nomination but that the details had not yet been worked out, suggesting it was possible it could be online only.

“I’ll still do a convention speech in a different form but we won’t do a big, crowded convention per se. It’s just not the right time for that,” Mr Trump said.

Follow the latest updates below.

04:12 AM

Brazil study finds no hydroxychloroquine benefit

Read More

Nancy Pelosi Calls Out ‘the Trump Virus’ as Trump Continues to Call COVID-19 the ‘China Virus’

As President Donald Trump continues to refer to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as “the China virus” — despite widespread backlash — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week flipped it around in an attack of her own.

In a Tuesday interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Pelosi reacted to Trump’s latest coronavirus briefing at the White House and argued that, despite his more somber tone earlier in the day, he had exacerbated the pandemic in the U.S.

“If he had said months ago ‘Let’s wear a mask, let’s socially distance’ instead of having rallies and political-whatever-they-were, then more people would have followed his lead as the president of the United States, instead of being a bad example making it like a manhood thing not to wear a mask,” she said.

“A briefing on the coronavirus should be about science and that is something the president has ignored,” Pelosi, 80, added. “So I

Read More

Middle East mythbusters battle virus ‘infodemic’

Baghdad (AFP) – Browse through Arabic-language social media pages and you could walk away thinking COVID-19 is an American hoax, isn’t deadly and can be swiftly cured with a garlic clove.

Arabic pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are brimming with fake news stories on the novel coronavirus, from benign inaccuracies to full-throated conspiracy theories.

As authorities work to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, civic platforms across the Middle East are stepping up to combat the Arabic “infodemic” they say is as dangerous as the infection itself.

“We correct the news and save lives,” said Baher Jassem, an Iraqi activist from the Tech 4 Peace collective, which switched from its four-year campaign against fake political and economic news to setting the record straight on COVID-19.

Every few hours, the collective’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages publish screenshots of fabricated news stories about the virus, from claims about new

Read More

Florida reports nearly 14,000 new virus cases

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Florida announced a single-day record of 156 deaths from the coronavirus.

The state Department of Health reported 13,965 new coronavirus cases in Florida, bringing the total throughout the pandemic to nearly 316,000.

The 156 deaths statewide eclipsed the previous record set Tuesday of 132 deaths.

The U.S. Department of Labor also reported a surge in first-time filings for unemployment benefits in Florida. In the week ending July 11, there were 129,408 new filings, an increase of more than 62,000 from the previous week.



— Dutch to roll out coronavirus tracking app

— Online classes only this fall in Richmond, Va.

— China firm uses workers to ‘pretest’ vaccine in global race

— Rising virus totals force rethink of bars, schools, tourism

— Early-stage testing showed the first COVID-19 vaccine tested in the U.S. revved up

Read More

U.S. Cases Rise 2%; California Shuts Indoor Dining: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) —

California closed indoor dining and bars, and its two biggest school districts said they would offer remote learning only despite calls by the Trump administration for classrooms to fully reopen. The state reported a record number of people hospitalized with coronavirus.

New York City will redouble efforts to educate young people about the importance of wearing masks and keeping socially distant after an increase in cases among those ages 20 to 29.

Hong Kong reported 41 new local cases, another record high, and tightened social-distancing measures amid fears of a resurgence after weeks of near-normal activity. More than half a million residents defied the fresh outbreak and government warnings to vote in an unofficial primary.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases top 12.9 million; deaths surpass 570,000New York school reopenings will hinge on regional infection ratesCoronavirus surge is officially slowing the U.S. recoveryDeath rate in majority-Black counties is getting

Read More

We won’t immediately have a ‘perfect vaccine,’ and it is ‘not realistic’ to expect the virus will soon be eliminated

President Donald Trump wears a mask as he walks down the hallway during his visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Saturday, July 11, 2020.
President Donald Trump wears a mask as he walks down the hallway during his visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Saturday, July 11, 2020.

Associated Press/Patrick Semansky

  • The World Health Organization warned Monday that any coronavirus vaccine will likely not be “perfect,” in part because not “everyone will have access” to it right away.

  • The WHO stressed that other time-tested public health measures: handwashing, social distancing, quarantining, and wearing masks in public, can all help tamp down the spread of the virus in the meantime.

  • “Turn and face the problem and accept that it’s going to take time,” the WHO’s Mike Ryan said. “It’s going to require a huge commitment on the part of government and individuals in a number of countries to turn this around.” 

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A coronavirus vaccine is still many months away, but leading infectious disease

Read More

Virus spread, not politics should guide schools, doctors say

As the Trump administration pushes full steam ahead to force schools to resume in-person education, public health experts warn that a one-size-fits-all reopening could drive infection and death rates even higher.

They’re urging a more cautious approach, which many local governments and school districts are already pursuing.

There are too many uncertainties and variables, they say, for back-to-school to be back-to-normal.

Where is the virus spreading rapidly? Do students live with aged grandparents? Do teachers have high-risk health conditions that would make online teaching safest? Do infected children easily spread COVID-19 to each other and to adults?

Regarding the latter, some evidence suggests they don’t, but a big government study aims to find better proof. Results won’t be available before the fall, and some schools are slated to reopen in just a few weeks.

“These are complicated issues. You can’t just charge straight ahead,” Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of

Read More

Australia deals with virus spike; Serbia erupts in violence

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — The reimposition of coronavirus lockdown measures in Serbia touched off violent clashes in the capital Belgrade that left at least 60 police and protesters hurt amid renewed warnings that the virus is still gathering pace.

Australia grappled with a COVID-19 spike in the city of Melbourne that prepared on Wednesday for a second lockdown to contain the virus’ spread. Melbourne’s virus woes contrasted sharply with other areas of the country that have been reporting low or no daily infections.

Africa surpassed the half million mark of coronavirus infections according to figures released Wednesday by the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. South Africa reported another day of more than 10,000 confirmed cases.

There’s no way to know the real number of confirmed virus cases among Africa’s 1.3 billion people as its 54 countries continue to face a serious shortage of testing materials for the virus.

Read More

Novavax Vaccine Funding; Europe Sees Deeper Slump: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — Novavax Inc. was awarded $1.6 billion in U.S. funding to support large-scale manufacturing of its coronavirus vaccine candidate. Any vaccine would likely be limited in how long it can shield against infection, top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci warned.

European officials expect a deeper economic slump than previously estimated this year, underscoring the challenge faced by the continent after months-long shutdowns. The pace of new infections from Tokyo to Iran and Australia is raising concerns about another virus wave. U.S. cases are approaching 3 million.

Melbourne will be locked down for six weeks after new cases in the Australian state of Victoria jumped by 191, the biggest daily increase since the outbreak began. In contrast, Beijing reported no new infections for the first time in nearly a month.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases top 11.5 million; deaths exceed 537,000Beijing reported no cases. Here’s how the city turned

Read More