July 22 (Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
Joe Biden, the oldest person ever to serve as president of the United States, has tested positive for COVID-19, is experiencing mild symptoms and will continue working but in isolation, the White House said on Thursday. read more
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* New coronavirus cases in Japan’s capital hit a record on Thursday, surging past 30,000 for the first time since the pandemic began, spurring officials to call for more vigilance.
* China will pay close attention to variants of coronavirus in the long term, focusing on their transmission capability, pathogenicity and ability to evade immunity, a Chinese disease control official said.
* China reported 1,011 new coronavirus cases for July 21, of which 175 were symptomatic and 836 were asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said on Friday.
* British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sends his best wishes to Joe Biden after the U.S. president tested positive for COVID-19.
* Germany’s vaccine advisory panel STIKO will be expanded to include more experts on pandemics, following controversy over the speed of the recommendations the panel has given during the COVID-19 outbreak.
* U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is considered to be a close COVID-19 contact of President Biden following his positive test, a White House official said.
* President Biden’s risk of serious illness is dramatically lowered since he is double boosted and vaccinated, White House COVID-19 response chief Ashish Jha said.
* An experimental COVID-19 vaccine in the form of an oral tablet has shown promising immune responses in a small preliminary trial designed mainly to evaluate its safety, according to drug manufacturer Vaxart Inc.
* The number of Americans enrolling for unemployment benefits rose for a third straight week last week to the highest in eight months and a closely watched gauge of factory activity slumped this month, the newest indications the U.S. economy is slowing under the weight of rising interest rates and high inflation.
* South Africa’s central bank delivered its biggest interest rate hike in two decades on Thursday to try to curb inflation, which surged to a 13-year high in June despite four previous hikes.
* Japan’s core consumer inflation remained above the central bank’s 2% target for a third straight month in June, as the economy faced pressure from high global raw material prices that have pushed up the cost of the country’s imports.
* Asian stock markets were on course for their best week in months and the dollar held off recent record highs after the European Central Bank (ECB) raised rates for the first time in more than a decade and bets on the size of U.S. rate hikes eased.
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