About a third of people infected with coronavirus might still be contagious after a five-day quarantine, a new British study says.
The researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School in England also found that one in 10 people might still be infectious after a 10-day quarantine. Some people retained these levels for up to 68 days, the scientists said.
Elsewhere, the United States has revised its guidance for Americans on wearing masks to protect against the coronavirus, recommending donning “the most protective mask you can” while stopping short of advocating nationwide usage of N95 respirators.
In a statement published on its website, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said “people can choose respirators such as N95s and KN95s, including removing concerns related to supply shortages for N95s”.
Here are the latest updates for Saturday:
Philippines confirms community transmission of Omicron
The Philippine health ministry has confirmed the local spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant around Manila, as infections hit a record high for a third straight day.
“We are seeing community transmission of the Omicron variant in the capital region,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told a public briefing.
The ministry reported 39,004 new COVID-19 infections on Saturday, while active cases also hit a record, at 280,813.
COVID contagiousness may linger beyond five days: Study
After a five-day quarantine, about a third of people infected with coronavirus might still be infectious, according to new data.
PCR tests detect virus particles but cannot tell whether they are infectious or merely inactive remnants.
“At five days, 30 percent of people still exhibited clinically relevant levels of potentially active virus,” said study leader Lorna Harries of the University of Exeter Medical School in England.
After a 10-day quarantine, one in 10 people might still be infectious. Some people retained these levels for up to 68 days, the researchers said.
E-cigarette users risk more symptoms from COVID
E-cigarette users infected with the coronavirus may be more likely than infected non-vapers to experience COVID-19 symptoms, according to a new study.
The researchers compared 289 vapers with 1,445 people of similar age and gender who neither vaped nor smoked tobacco, all of whom had tested positive for the coronavirus on PCR tests.
Compared to infected non-vapers and after accounting for participants’ other risk factors, infected vapers experienced higher rates of chest pain or tightness, chills, body aches, headaches, problems with smell and taste, nausea, diarrhea, and light-headedness, said the study published in the Journal of Primary Care & Community Health.
Djokovic returns to detention as he fights Australia deportation
Novak Djokovic has returned to detention in Australia, after authorities ripped up his visa for a second time and declared the unvaccinated tennis superstar a threat to the public.
The world’s top-ranked tennis player had surrendered to officials in Melbourne for an interview at about 8am local time on Saturday (21:00 GMT on Friday), following a court order issued on Friday night.
Read more here.
Anti-vaccination protesters rally in central Sydney
Hundreds of demonstrators have marched through central Sydney as part of a rally against COVID-19 vaccinations for children.
Protesters waved flags and carried banners as they walked through the city’s streets.
Some decked themselves out in Serbian flags seemingly in support of embattled tennis star Novak Djokovic, who is threatened with deportation from the country as he seeks to compete in the Australian Open in Melbourne.
Mexico sees fake versions of COVID-19 drug
Mexico is reportedly seeing black-market or fake versions of molnupiravir circulating for sale, just one week after authorities approved the drug to treat those at risk of severe COVID-19, according to The Associated Press news agency.
The news comes as the country posted a fresh daily record of 44,293 new cases.
According to official health data, 301,107 people have died of COVID-19 in Mexico.
Omicron spreads to southern China city bordering Macau
The southern Chinese city of Zhuhai has suspended public bus routes after announcing it had detected at least seven cases of the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant there and warning residents not to leave the city.
The coastal city, which borders the gambling hub Macau, said late Friday Omicron had been detected in one mildly ill and six asymptomatic patients after launching mass testing due to a case in a neighbouring city.
China is battling a spate of coronavirus outbreaks, including several from the Omicron variant, forcing millions of people under strict lockdown as the country steps up vigilance against the virus ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games next month.
Omicron wave drives Brazil health worker shortage
Health centres in Brazil are facing substantial staff shortages amid the latest wave of coronavirus cases driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant.
In Sao Joao de Meriti, outside Rio de Janeiro, authorities are having to adapt with as many as 40 percent of medical personnel on leave due to COVID-19.
Late on Friday, Brazil reported 112,286 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours and 251 COVID-19 deaths, the Health Ministry said, raising the total number of cases to almost 23 million and the death toll to at least 620,796 since the start of the pandemic.
You can read all the updates from January 14 here.