FDA panel backs first-of-a-kind COVID-19 pill from Merck

WASHINGTON — A panel of U.S. health advisers on Tuesday narrowly backed the benefits of a closely watched COVID-19 pill from Merck, setting the stage for a likely authorization of the first drug that Americans could take at home to treat the virus. A Food and Drug Administration panel voted 13-10 that the drug’s benefits […]

Czech Republic bans Christmas markets, public drinking in bid to combat COVID-19 wave

Thousands of protesters gathered in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, to protest new COVID-19 restrictions aimed at combatting the spread of the new omicron variant. Among other things, the Czech government banned the popular Christmas markets and any public consumption of alcohol, such as mulled wine, which Czechs and visitors often drink at such markets.  “The government’s […]

Spanish couple arrested fleeing Dutch COVID-19 quarantine

A married couple was arrested on a plane in the Netherlands on Sunday as they tried to flee the country after escaping from a quarantine hotel, officials said Monday. The 30-year-old Spanish man and his 28-year-old Portuguese wife were collared “in an airplane that was about to depart” for Spain from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Royal Netherlands […]

Two cases of COVID-19 Omicron variant reported in Canada

Two cases of the quickly-spreading Omicron variant of the coronavirus have been reported in Canada, officials confirmed Sunday. Both cases were reported in the province of Ontario with individuals who had recently traveled to Africa. “Today, the province of Ontario has confirmed two cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Ottawa, both of which […]

Fauci supports commission to study US response to COVID-19

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday that he would “absolutely” support a 9/11-style commission to investigate the US response to the COVID-19 pandemic — and that he still hasn’t ruled out that the virus originated from the Wuhan wet markets. The White House Chief medical advisor said that he believes that there will be a similar […]

What you need to know about the Omicron COVID-19 variant

Sign up for our special edition newsletter to get a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic. The discovery of a new COVID-19 variant in South Africa this week caused alarm and swift action from a number of countries including travel restrictions. Here’s what you need to know about Omicron. How was this variant found? Scientists […]

Pfizer said an updated version of its COVID-19 vaccine will be ‘ready in 100 days’ if the new Omicron variant is resistant to its current vaccine

A healthcare worker holds a vial of the Pfizer coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at The University of Louisville Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., December 14, 2020.Bryan Woolston/Reuters Pfizer said it can update its COVID-19 vaccine if the Omicron variant is found to be resistant to its current vaccine. The company said it can update its […]

The new coronavirus variant, Omicron, raises red flags among scientists — but there are more mysteries than answers about its public threat

A healthcare worker conducts a COVID-19 test at an airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, on November 26.REUTERS/ Sumaya Hisham WHO labeled a new coronavirus variant, Omicron, a “variant of concern” on Friday. The B.1.1.529 variant contains signs of being more transmissible or dangerous than other strains. But scientists have just begun to examine Omicron’s threat, […]