What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

A man passes through a barrier at a closed street during lockdown, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Shanghai, China, May 23, 2022. REUTERS/Aly Song

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

May 23 (Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the pandemic right now:

Beijing extends work-from-home ‘requirement’ for millions

The Chinese capital extended its work-from-home requirement for many of its 22 million residents to stem a COVID-19 outbreak, while Shanghai deployed more testing and curbs to hold on to its hard-won “zero COVID” status after two months of lockdown.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Beijing said 99 new cases were detected on Sunday, up from 61 the previous day – the largest daily tally so far during a month-old outbreak that has consistently seen dozens of new infections every day.

“(Beijing) should fully implement the requirement of working from home in key areas, further lower the rate of working from the office to reduce the flow of people and quieten the community,” Xu Hejian, spokesman for the Beijing municipal government, told a news briefing. read more

North Korea’s fever cases under 200,000 for 2nd day

North Korea’s daily fever cases stayed below 200,000 for a second day in a row, state media said on Monday, as Pyongyang remained silent on South Korean and U.S. offers to help fight its first confirmed COVID-19 outbreak.

The COVID wave, declared on May 12, has fuelled concerns over a lack of vaccines, inadequate medical infrastructure and a potential food crisis in the country of 25 million. read more

South Korea’s daily infections dip to near 4-month low

South Korea’s daily new COVID-19 infections dropped to below 10,000 for the first time in nearly four months on Monday, as the highly contagious Omicron variant recedes despite eased pandemic restrictions.

The figure of 9,975 is the lowest since South Korea reported 8,570 cases in late January, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. read more

AstraZeneca says EU regulator approves COVID shot as booster

AstraZeneca said on Monday its COVID-19 vaccine, Vaxzevria, has been approved in the European Union by the bloc’s drugs regulator as a third-dose booster in adults following a committee endorsement last week.

The vaccine can now be used as a booster following the two-dose Vaxzevria schedule or by those who have been previously vaccinated by an mRNA vaccine, such as the ones made by Pfizer and BioNTech or Moderna. read more

Pfizer/BioNTech say 3 COVID shots generate good response in under-5s

Drugmakers Pfizer and BioNTech said on Monday that three doses of their COVID-19 vaccine generated a strong immune response in children under the age of five in their clinical trial.

The companies said the vaccine was safe and well-tolerated by the children, and they plan to soon ask global regulators to authorize the shot for the age group, children for whom no vaccine is currently approved in most of the world. read more

White House COVID-19 response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said on Sunday he expects a U.S. Food and Drug Administration decision on authorizing Moderna’s vaccine for children under age five within the next few weeks. read more

U.S. drug regulator lifts clinical hold on Ocugen’s COVID vaccine trial

Ocugen said on Monday the U.S. drug regulator has lifted the clinical hold on a mid-to-late stage trial of the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by its Indian partner Bharat Biotech. read more

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Compiled by Linda Noakes; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Read More

Tyisha Byron