What you need to know about the coronavirus right now
(Reuters) - Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
Hong Kong infections spiral
Hong Kong has contracted a Chinese firm to build eight isolation and treatment facilities to help fight a worsening COVID-19 outbreak, as the government said on Friday daily cases in the global financial hub surged beyond 10,000 - a new record.
The temporary facilities, to be built by China State Construction International Holdings and with a combined capacity of 50,000 beds, will be spread across Hong Kong, including on private land lent for free by developers.
China sees highest imported cases in nearly 2 years
China on Friday reported the highest daily count of COVID-19 cases arriving from outside the mainland in nearly two years, with infections mostly from Hong Kong.
The mainland detected a total of 142 imported cases with confirmed symptoms on Thursday, the National Health Commission said on Friday.
Japan's Shionogi seeks approval for COVID-19 pill
Drugmaker Shionogi & Co has applied for approval to make and sell its oral COVID-19 treatment in Japan, the firm said on Friday.
Known as S-217622, the drug would become the country's third antiviral pill approved for coronavirus patients, following those developed by Pfizer and Merck.
Canada approves Medicago's plant-based vaccine for adults
Medicago's vaccine on Thursday became the world's first plant-based shot approved against COVID-19 after Health Canada cleared it for use in adults.
The two-dose vaccine, which uses an adjuvant from GlaxoSmithKline to boost immune response, is the sixth COVID-19 shot to receive regulatory clearance in the country.
EMA backs Pfizer booster for teens, Moderna shot for ages 6-11
The European Union's health regulator on Thursday backed giving a booster shot of Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine to adolescents aged 12 and over, as well as the expanded use of Moderna's shot in children aged six to 11.
The recommendations by the European Medicine Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use will be followed by final decisions by the European Commission.
Commission finds Sweden should have clamped down harder
Sweden should have adopted tougher early measures as COVID-19 hit, though its mostly voluntary strategy was broadly correct, a commission reviewing the pandemic response said on Friday.
Sweden polarized opinion at home and abroad with its handling of the pandemic, opting against the lockdowns imposed by many countries and adopting a largely voluntary approach of promoting social distancing and good hygiene.
(Compiled by Linda Noakes; Editing by Andrew Heavens)
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