Oct 11 (Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus:
‘Freedom Day’: Australia learns to live with COVID-19
Sydney’s cafes, gyms and restaurants welcomed back fully vaccinated customers on Monday after nearly four months of lockdown, as Australia aims to begin living with the coronavirus and gradually reopen the country. read more
New South Wales (NSW) state Premier Dominic Perrottet warned that infections would rise after reopening, and virus-free states such as Western Australia and Queensland are watching what living with COVID-19 is going to look like amid concerns that health systems could be overwhelmed.
Singapore expands quarantine-free travel
Singapore is opening its borders to more countries for quarantine-free travel as the city-state seeks to rebuild its status as an international aviation hub and prepares to reach a “new normal” to live with COVID-19.
From Oct. 19, fully vaccinated people from eight countries, including Britain, France, Spain and the United States, will be able to enter the island without quarantining if they pass their COVID-19 tests, the government said on Saturday. The announcement marks a major step in Singapore’s strategy to resume international links. READ MORE
Secondary immune response stronger after infection than vaccination
In COVID-19 survivors, important components of the body’s immune response called memory B cells continue to evolve and get stronger for at least several months, producing highly potent antibodies that can neutralize new variants of the virus, a new study has found. By comparison, vaccine-induced memory B cells are less robust, evolving for only a few weeks and never “learning” to protect against variants, researchers reported in a paper published on Thursday in Nature.
The researchers caution that the benefits of stronger memory B cells after infection do not outweigh the risks that come with COVID-19.
U.S. will accept WHO-approved vaccines for international visitors
The United States will accept the use by international visitors of COVID-19 vaccines authorized by U.S. regulators or the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said late on Friday.
The CDC must still finalise and publish new contract tracing rules for international visitors, which it sent to the White House for review on Sept. 15. The CDC must also detail rules for exceptions, which include children not yet eligible for shots, as well as for visitors from countries where vaccines are not widely available. READ MORE
In hospital with COVID-19, conservative Texan running for governor condemns vaccine mandates
Conservative firebrand and Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Allen West was receiving care for COVID-19 in a hospital on Sunday, he said on Twitter, noting that his experience with the illness had strengthened his opposition to vaccine mandates.
West said he was receiving monoclonal antibody treatment and his condition was improving, although there were still “concerns of COVID-related pneumonia.”