Former prime minister David Cameron told an inquiry on Monday that Britain was prepared for a flu-type pandemic but not enough work was done in advance to confront an asymptomatic disease similar to COVID-19.

Pandemic restrictions that hampered the circulation of viruses other than COVID-19 could be behind the unseasonably early upsurge in respiratory infections in Europe this winter that the festive break could prolong, scientists say.

British drug discovery company C4X Discovery said AstraZeneca signed a license worth up $402 million to develop an oral therapy for the treatment of inflammatory and respiratory diseases using its NRF2 Activator programme.