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Mask order in US; probe in China proceeds

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US CDC reportedly sees over 434 cases of the new Covid strain that was found in UK

Agencies, Washington/beijing

PUBLISHED ON JAN 31, 2021 02:06 AM IST

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a sweeping order late on Friday requiring the use of masks on nearly all forms of public transportation from Monday.

The order requires masks to be worn by all travellers on planes, ships, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride-shares and at transportation hubs like airports, bus or ferry terminals, train and subway stations and seaports.

The development came as CNN reported that the country has recorded over 434 infections of a Covid-19 variant that was originally detected in Britain. The report cites the CDC as saying the new UK strain has been found in 30 American states.

US officials are closely following the developments after a new variant first detected in South Africa was recently found in two patients in South Carolina. Also, a new strain originally found in Brazil has been detected in a Covid-19 patient in Minnesota.

According to media reports, top infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci has said that some Covid-19 survivors in South Africa have had reinfections with the new strain found in the African nation.

In Japan, three new types of the UK strain, previously not detected in the country, were discovered in patients at Tokyo Medical and Dental University Hospital, a study said.

France will seal its borders for travellers coming from outside the EU and close large shopping centres as part of a fresh set of measures aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19.

A World Health Organization (WHO) team investigating the origins of the Covid-19 virus visited a second Wuhan hospital that had treated early patients. Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital was one of the first in Wuhan to deal with patients in early 2020. “Just back from visit at Jinyintan hospital,” Dutch virologist Marion Koopmans tweeted.

‘Vaccine nationalism’

The EU backtracked on a threat to restrict exports of Covid-19 vaccines to Northern Ireland in a vaccine distribution row with Britain, following which WHO chief Tedros Adhanom warned against “vaccine nationalism”. AstraZeneca has said it can only deliver a fraction of its vaccine doses promised to the EU and Britain due to production issues.


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