Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
WHO's Ryan says world is in 'fight of our lives', but there is hope
Parts of the world are starting to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and to cautiously resume some sort of normal life, but the new coronavirus will pose significant risks until vaccines are developed, the WHO's top emergencies expert said on Sunday. Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization's (WHO) emergencies programme, said while many countries are still in the eye of the storm, others were beginning to show it is possible to contain the disease to some extent.
Roche wins U.S. nod for COVID-19 antibody test, aims to boost output
Roche has won emergency approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for an antibody test to determine whether people have ever been infected with the coronavirus, the Swiss drugmaker said on Sunday. Thomas Schinecker, Roche's head of diagnostics, said the company aims to more than double production of tests from about 50 million a month to significantly more than 100 million a month by the end of the year.
Canada's coronavirus death toll edges up, Trudeau vows more funding for mental health
Canada's daily coronavirus death toll edged up by under 5% on Sunday in another sign the outbreak has peaked and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised additional funding for mental healthcare services. The total number of people killed by the coronavirus rose by 4.6% to 3,606 on Sunday, public health agency data showed.
French coronavirus quarantine to spare travellers from Schengen area and UK
Travellers to France who arrive from a country in Europe's Schengen open-border area or Britain will be exempt from a planned compulsory two-week quarantine, the French consulate in Britain said on Sunday. The new quarantine rules will apply to travellers, whether French or foreigners, as part of the fight against the new coronavirus.
Sunny days draw crowds to beaches, parks as U.S. reopens from lockdowns
Sunny days and warm weather are proving to be as challenging to manage as restaurants, hair salons and other businesses as about half of U.S. states partially reopen their economies after the coronavirus lockdown. On Saturday, thousands of people gathered on the National Mall in Washington to view a U.S. Navy flyover to honor healthcare workers and others battling the pandemic.
Canada giving AbCellera Biologics C$176 million for coronavirus research
Canada said on Sunday it was giving privately held Canadian firm AbCellera Biologics Inc C$176 million to help it find naturally produced antibodies that could be used to battle the coronavirus outbreak. Federal Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said AbCellera had identified over 500 antibodies from a patient who has recovered from COVID-19.
Coronavirus cases in Russia rise by record daily amount, mortality rate slows
Russia on Sunday recorded its highest daily rise in confirmed coronavirus cases with 10,633 new cases, bringing the total to 134,687, with more than half of cases and deaths in Moscow. But the mortality rate has slowed in recent days and remains much lower, in relative terms, than many other countries.
Serbia to end state of emergency as coronavirus infections slow
Serbia will end its state of emergency over the coronavirus next week, as the rate of infections has slowed sufficiently, President Aleksandar Vucic said on Sunday. The lifting of the state of emergency - involving closure of borders and airports, a daily curfew, and weekend lockdowns since mid-March - should be ratified by the government-controlled parliament on Wednesday, Vucic said.
Italy's lockdown easing spells hope, worry and confusion
Weary of Europe's longest coronavirus lockdown, Italians have had Monday circled in their diaries for a month since Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte first suggested it could be the date life returned to something nearing normal. Now their excitement is muted by the knowledge that in the end many of the restrictions of the past eight weeks will remain in place, while confusion reigns over those that will be lifted.
'Freed from prison': Portuguese enjoy easing lockdown
Portugal downgraded its state of emergency to a category of "calamity" on Sunday, as spring sunshine drew people outdoors and the rate of new coronavirus cases reached its lowest since the beginning of the outbreak. "It's like being freed from prison," enthused Rodrigo Garcia, 40, on a walk to Lisbon's River Tagus with his wife, two sons and dog. "We've gone out here and there, but with the end of the state of emergency we feel much freer."