'Super-spreader' guru puts Indian villages on high alert
At least 15,000 people who may have caught the coronavirus from a 'super-spreader' guru are under strict quarantine in northern India after the Sikh religious leader died of Covid-19. The 70-year-old guru, Baldev Singh, had returned from a trip to Europe's virus epicentre Italy and Germany when he went preaching in more than a dozen villages in Punjab state.
US lab unveils portable 5-minute Covid-19 test
A US-based lab has unveiled a portable test that can tell if someone has Covid-19 in as little as five minutes, it said in a statement Friday. Abbott Laboratories said the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had given it emergency authorization to begin making the test available to healthcare providers as early as next week.
Wuhan eases travel restrictions
Trains packed with thousands of passengers arrived in Wuhan yesterday as the Chinese city that was Ground Zero for the global coronavirus pandemic partly reopened after months in lockdown. Returnees, some wearing two face masks, latex gloves and protective suits, were greeted at the railway station by staff in similar anti-virus gear -- a grim reminder that while the city was emerging from isolation, it was still far from normal.
Cat found infected in Belgium
A pet cat has been infected with the novel coronavirus in Belgium after being contaminated by its owner, Belgian health authorities said Friday. Cases of contamination of pets are rare and authorities ruled out any risk of contamination to humans from home animals. In Belgium, the discovery was made by researchers at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Liege.
S African police fire rubber bullets at shoppers
South African police enforcing a coronavirus lockdown yesterday fired rubber bullets towards hundreds of shoppers queueing outside a supermarket in Johannesburg. Between 200 and 300 people gathered outside a popular grocery store, Shoprite, early yesterday in Yeoville, a crime-prone area in Johannesburg's gritty central business district on day two of a nationwide lockdown.
Malaysia expects case tally to surge in April
Malaysia expects the number of coronavirus cases to surge in mid-April, a health ministry official said yesterday. The number of confirmed cases in Malaysia has nearly doubled in the past week to 2,320, the highest in Southeast Asia, with 27 deaths. It has imposed travel restrictions and a curb on people movement until April 14 to try to contain the spread.