The world’s struggle to stop pandemic of coronavirus received a setback on Monday. Hong Kong researchers claimed to have discovered the world’s first proven case of covid-19 reinfection, a disease that has already caused more than 810,000 deaths worldwide.
“This case shows that it is possible to get reinfected only a few months after having cured of a first infection,” the department of microbiology at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) said in a statement.
The patient tested positive for the first time on March 26, and after testing negative, he tested positive again on August 15 when he was returning from a trip to Spain via the United Kingdom.
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Some scientists came up with this case and asked for caution.
”It is difficult to draw definitive conclusions from a single case. Considering the number of infections in the world, seeing a case of reinfection is not so surprising, “said Dr. Jeffrey Barrett, of the Wellcome Sanger Institute, in the United Kingdom, quoted by the British organization Science Media Center.
“It is not a reason to be alarmed: this illustrates wonderfully how immunity can work,” said Dr. Akiko Iwasaki, an immunity specialist at Yale University (United States), on Twitter.
– Plasma treatment –
In the absence of a vaccine to protect the population from the coronavirus, the United States announced an emergency authorization to use plasma from patients recovered from covid-19 to treat the disease.
The United States is by far the country hardest hit in absolute terms by the pandemic, with more than 177,000 deaths and 5.7 million infections, so the government of Donald Trump is under enormous pressure to flatten the contagion curve in the face of the presidential elections in November.
The plasma treatment shows “an incredible success rate” and “will save countless lives,” Trump claimed Sunday, far more exultant than his own health officials, who were far more cautious.
Plasma is believed to contain powerful antibodies that can help fight COVID-19 more quickly, and it has already been used in patients in the United States and other countries, but experts still dispute its efficacy, with some warning that it could produce effects. secondary.
– New measures –
Many governments are redoubling efforts, including with new confinements, to contain the spread of the coronavirus, which infected more than 23.5 million people in the world.
Until an effective treatment or vaccine is found, social distancing remains one of the most effective weapons against the virus.
Latin America, with almost 260,000 deaths and more than 6.7 million infections, is the most affected region.
Paraguay, which announced the resumption of flights between Asunción and Montevideo, imposed new measures in its capital that include a curfew, mandatory chinstrap in closed places and limitation of activities in open spaces, in the face of a skyrocketing number of cases.
Argentina surpassed 7,000 deaths from covid-19 on Monday after registering 381 deaths in one day, the record in the South American country, which from Wednesday will organize the famous tango world cup virtually.
The president of Colombia, the fourth country in the region in the number of infections and deaths behind Peru, Mexico and Brazil, announced that a new phase against the pandemic will begin in September with “specific restrictions” and reactivation of more economic sectors, given the downward trend in infections.
In Europe, summer vacation returns are a source of contagion in countries such as Italy, Spain, France and Germany, at a time when the region is preparing for the start of the new school year.
In this context, measures had to be tightened, with new border restrictions, in the face of new outbreaks.
Tight border controls went into effect in Finland, allowing people from just a handful of countries to enter.
Norway had already tightened controls at the border on Saturday, while South Korea reimposed distancing measures to combat the latest outbreak.
Indonesia, for its part, banned the arrival of foreign tourists to Bali for the remainder of 2020, scuttling plans to reopen the island next month.
And New Zealand, a country known for its skillful handling of the pandemic, extended the lockdown in Aukland on Monday, in an effort to control a persistent outbreak of coronavirus.
– Life turned upside down –
The pandemic has devastated the global economy and affected everything from sports to religious services, culture and elections.
The impact on tourism is evident around the world and the professional association ABTA announced this Monday in London the loss of more than 90,000 jobs in the sector in the United Kingdom.
It also caused the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games to next year, and the president of the International Paralympic Committee, Andrew Parsons, said in an interview with AFP that for the games to take place, a guarantee of zero is required. cases.
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