You are here: Home » Current Affairs » Coronavirus » News
Business Standard

World Coronavirus Dispatch: WHO findings seen as a win for China

Thailand's special quarantine plan for golfers, Pfizer jab seen reducing viral load in Israel, Japan sees rise in female suicides and other pandemic-related news across the globe

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Coronavirus Vaccine

Akash Podishetty  |  Hyderabad 

Marion Koopmans, right, and Peter Ben Embarek, center, of a World Health Organization team look over at their Chinese counterpart Liang Wannian, left, during a WHO-China Joint Study Press Conference, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Marion Koopmans, right, and Peter Ben Embarek, center, of a World Health Organization team look over at their Chinese counterpart Liang Wannian, left, during a WHO-China Joint Study Press Conference

A public relations win for China after WHO findings in Wuhan

The Chinese position on the origins of has been reinforced after a World Health Organization (WHO) team concluded that it is unlikely the virus may have leaked from a Chinese lab. A 14-member team of experts probing the origins of in China's laboratories, disease-control centres and live-animal markets have suggested that the pathogen jumped to humans through an intermediary host species, indicating that more studies are required to come to a definite conclusion. The WHO findings have aided the Chinese theory that the virus might have spread to humans through shipments of frozen food. Chinese officials and the state media have, for the past few months, been trying to upend the narrative that the virus first originated in the country, saying it is not true and it may have come from elsewhere. Read here

Let's look at the global statistics

Global infections: 106,921,304

Global deaths: 2,341,425

Nations with most cases: US (27,192,820), India (10,858,371), Brazil (9,599,565), United Kingdom (3,983,756), Russia (3,953,970).

Source: John Hopkins Research Center

Thailand offers a golf quarantine plan for enthusiasts

Every year from November to February, Thailand becomes one of the best places for golfing, welcoming hundreds of thousands of players each year. The tropical weather during this period attracts golfers from many Asian and Western nations. According to data from a golf tour operator, about 80 per cent of those playing in Thailand have been golfers from overseas. However, the pandemic has cut down the visits significantly to Thailand's numerous golf courses and authorities have come up with a plan to stem the losses. Officials designed a golf quarantine programme that enables visitors and returning expatriates to do their two-week mandatory quarantine on the golf course itself. Under the programme, travelers are allowed to play golf under quarantine once they test negative. Read here

Pfizer vaccine reducing viral load, data from Israel suggests

Evidence from trials and the roll-out across the globe suggests coronavirus vaccines are effective in preventing moderate to severe disease, but the question of whether they stop the virus from spreading is open. Scientists and researchers have been working to find out whether the vaccines will reduce the transmission. The vaccines may prevent the severe disease, but it is entirely possible that the person may develop mild symptoms, and silently spread it to others. Scientists say preventing the spread of infection is key to reducing the risk of more variants emerging and to achieving disease-induced natural herd immunity. In this context, the findings from researchers in Israel assume significance, that suggested the Pfizer vaccine developed with BioNtech is reducing viral load, a key signal that the intervention could diminish the spread of Covid-19. Read here

Japan sees rise in female suicides in pandemic

Suicide rates among Japan's young and middle-aged women have risen significantly during the coronavirus pandemic, sending the experts in search of answers as to why is this happening. In the initial stages of the pandemic, many had expected the suicide rates to rise among middle-aged and retired men, but the official data suggests something else is happening. After years of decline since the economic crisis of the 1990s, suicides in Japan rose in 2020 to 20,919 from 20,169 the previous year. But while the suicide rate among men was basically static, among women it rose 15 per cent — from 6,091 to 6,976. Read here

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Wed, February 10 2021. 14:16 IST