Health news roundup: Weekly rise in UK COVID-19 infections, booster program announced; The pandemic behind ‘the biggest setback in childhood vaccinations in a generation’ – UN & more

Here is a summary of health news briefs.

UK weekly COVID-19 infections rise, recall program announced

An estimated 3.5million people in Britain have had COVID-19 in the last week of available data, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Friday, up nearly 30% on the 2.7 million recorded the previous week. Separately, the government has announced that a new COVID recall program will begin later this year.

US House passes bill to protect right to travel for abortion

The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed legislation guaranteeing the right to cross state lines to have an abortion after several states banned the procedure following last month’s Supreme Court ruling. The Democratic-controlled House voted 223 to 205, largely along party lines, to prevent states that have restricted abortion from hampering women’s ability to seek treatment elsewhere.

Pandemic behind ‘biggest setback in childhood immunizations in a generation’ – UN

About 25 million children around the world missed routine vaccinations last year that protect them against deadly diseases, as the ripple effects of the pandemic continue to disrupt health care around the world . That’s two million more children than in 2020, when COVID-19 caused lockdowns around the world, and six million more than before the pandemic in 2019, according to new figures released by the Children’s Fund. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization. (WHO).

After a long legal battle, Peru confirms women’s right to euthanasia

After a long legal battle in Peru for the right to assisted dying, Ana Estrada said she now feels free to avoid suffering from an incurable and debilitating disease that has plagued her for three decades. Peru’s Supreme Court this week upheld an earlier ruling that allows Estrada, a 44-year-old psychologist, to end her life after a five-year legal battle and years of illness.

The heat wave burns Europe; health warnings issued

Hundreds more people were evacuated from their homes as wildfires ripped through land in France, Spain and Portugal on Friday, while European officials issued health warnings for the heat wave in the coming days. More than 1,000 firefighters, backed by water bombers, have battled since Tuesday to control two blazes in southwestern France that have been fanned by scorching heat, powder keg conditions and high winds.

China reports 691 new COVID cases on July 16 from 547 a day earlier

Mainland China reported 691 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, of which 154 were symptomatic and 537 asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said on Sunday. That compares with 547 new cases a day earlier – 129 symptomatic and 418 asymptomatic infections, which China counts separately.

US adds 2.5 million doses of Nordic Bavarian monkeypox vaccine, expects more in July

The US government has ordered 2.5 million more doses of Bavarian Nordic’s vaccine for use against monkeypox and is expecting more later this month to fight an outbreak of the viral disease. So far, 1,470 cases of monkeypox, which can cause flu-like symptoms and skin lesions, have been identified in the country, mostly in men who have sex with men.

China reports 547 new COVID cases on July 15 from 533 a day earlier

Mainland China reported 547 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, of which 129 were symptomatic and 418 asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said on Saturday. That compares with 533 new cases a day earlier – 113 symptomatic and 420 asymptomatic infections, which China counts separately.

Japan’s daily COVID infections top 110,000 to hit record – Jiji

Daily COVID-19 infections in Japan have reached a record high of more than 110,000, the Jiji news agency reported on Saturday. Faced with a seventh wave of COVID, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday urged people to exercise maximum vigilance.

Australia reinstates COVID quarantine payment amid new wave Omicron

Australia will restore support payments for casual workers who must quarantine due to COVID-19, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Saturday, as a new wave of infections caused by Omicron sweeps the country. Australia is grappling with a major virus outbreak caused by the highly transmissible new subvariants of Omicron, BA.4 and BA.5, with authorities warning it could lead to more people arriving in hospitals and put more pressure on the healthcare system.

(With agency contributions.)

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