Asia passed the grim milestone of 1 million coronavirus-linked deaths on March 11, a Reuters tally showed, as a spike in Omicron variant infections spreads across the region after starting in nations such as Japan and South Korea.


Novavax Inc. delivered just a small fraction of the 2 billion COVID-19 shots the company plans to send around the world in 2022 and has delayed first-quarter shipments in Europe and lower income countries such as the Philippines, public officials involved in their government’s vaccine rollouts told Reuters.

The emerging BA.2 form of the Omicron coronavirus variant does not seem to be any more severe than the original BA.1 form, an official of the World Health Organization said on Feb. 1.

Merck & Co.’s new antiviral pill – once touted as a potential game changer for treating COVID-19 – is the last choice among four available options for at-risk patients given its relatively low efficacy and potential safety issues, U.S. doctors, healthcare systems and pharmacies told Reuters.


Novavax Inc. on Aug. 5 again delayed the company’s timeline for seeking U.S. authorization for its two-dose Covid-19 vaccine, but expects to become a major distributor to lower and middle-income countries this year.

South Korean drugmaker Daewoong Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. received regulatory approval for Phase 1 clinical trials of the company’s anti-parasitic niclosamide drug to treat Covid-19 patients.

Russia became the first country to grant regulatory approval to a Covid-19 vaccine, after less than two months of human testing.

China accused the United States of whipping up panic over a fast-spreading coronavirus with travel restrictions and evacuations as Chinese stocks plunged on the first day back from the extended Lunar New Year holiday.

The Philippines is considering re-introducing a dengue vaccine whose use was halted because of links to the deaths of several children, as authorities battle to contain a dengue outbreak that has killed more than 450 people in 2019.

The United States recorded 41 new measles cases last week, bringing 2019’s total number of cases to 981 in the worst outbreak of the disease since 1992, federal health officials said.