Coronavirus: Tasman travel bubble; toddlers as silent spreaders
New Zealand and Australia will open a quarantine-free travel corridor April 19, restoring unrestricted two-way travel between the neighbors for the first time since the pandemic began. Most toddlers infected with Covid-19 don’t have symptoms, but have a high viral load and may be silent spreaders in the community, according to a new study out of Hong Kong.
Everyone in the U.K. will be urged to take a coronavirus test twice a week as a new system of Covid passports is assessed for wide-scale use under Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to reopen the economy. New York’s vaccination program picked up speed last week, with the most populous U.S. city reporting a record of more than a half-million doses administered.
South Africa agreed to buy 20 million shots of the Pfizer Inc. vaccine, Business Day reported. Brazil expects to vaccinate 2 million people per day next month, according to its Senate president.
Toddlers May Be Silent Spreaders: Hong Kong Study
Most toddlers infected with Covid-19 don’t have symptoms, but have a high viral load and a long duration of live viral shedding, making them potential silent spreaders of the infection in the community, according to a study by the Faculty of Medicine at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
To identify any hidden transmission chain, the authors recommend testing stool samples from young children. “While we are working intensively to prevent high-risk individuals from being infected, it is important to come up with a solution to avoid unfavorable outcomes in young children,” said Siew Chien Ng, associate director of the university’s Centre for Gut Microbiota Research.
New Zealand, Australia to Open Travel Bubble This Month
New Zealand has agreed to open a quarantine-free travel corridor with Australia as of April 19, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Tuesday, restoring unrestricted, two-way travel across the Tasman Sea for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began.
“The bubble will give our economic recovery a boost and represents a world leading arrangement of safely opening up international travel while continuing to pursue a strategy of elimination and keeping the virus out,” Ardern said. “We have worked hard to ensure travel is safe and that the necessary public health measures are in place.”
Before the pandemic, Australian visitors accounted for one-quarter of the revenue New Zealand generated from foreign tourists. New Zealand has consistently topped Bloomberg’s Covid resilience ranking and Australia currently lies third, but both have suffered sporadic outbreaks requiring regional lockdowns.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.