Health News Roundup: China builds permanent COVID testing stations for life after lockdown; Evidence mounts for the need to study Pfizer's Paxlovid for long COVID – researchers say and more – Devdiscourse

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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
China builds permanent COVID testing stations for life after lockdown
China is setting up thousands of permanent PCR testing stations, with 9,000 already completed in Shanghai alone, as authorities seek to “normalize” tough pandemic controls even after the current round of lockdowns end. At present, nearly 25 million residents in the eastern financial hub of Shanghai remain under some form of lockdown as the city battles China’s biggest-ever coronavirus outbreak.
Evidence mounts for the need to study Pfizer’s Paxlovid for long COVID – researchers say
Additional reports of patients with long COVID who were helped by Pfizer Inc’s oral antiviral treatment Paxlovid offer fresh impetus for conducting clinical trials to test the medicine for the debilitating condition, U.S. researchers said on Thursday. Three new case studies follow earlier reports of long COVID patients who experienced relief of their symptoms after taking the treatment, which is currently only authorized for high-risk people early after the onset of COVID symptoms.
Shanghai says China’s worst COVID outbreak is under “effective control”
Shanghai said on Friday it has brought China’s worst outbreak of COVID-19 under effective control following a month-long lockdown of nearly 25 million people, with authorities vowing to stand by their zero-COVID strategy despite mounting economic costs. The number of new COVID infections in China’s financial hub had been on a “continuous downward trend” since April 22, the city’s vice major Wu Qing said.
What you need to know about the coronavirus right now
Here’s what you need to know about the pandemic right now: China hits back at ‘zero COVID’ doubters
U.S. limits use of J&J’s COVID vaccine on blood clot risks
The U.S. health regulator said on Thursday it was limiting the use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine for adults due to the risk of a rare blood clotting syndrome, the latest setback to the shot that has been eclipsed by rivals. The J&J shot, which received U.S. clearance in February 2021 for adults, can be administered in cases where authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccines are not accessible or if an individual is less keen on using the other two shots, the Food and Drug Administration said.
U.S. elections may thwart Democratic effort to cap insulin cost
U.S. lawmakers attempting to cut the cost of insulin for more than a million Americans to $35 per month are unlikely to succeed as the November elections draw near and complicate bipartisan support, health policy and political experts say. The U.S. House of Representatives in March passed a bill capping monthly out-of-pocket insulin costs for those with health insurance at $35. Senators are drafting a wider bill that also provides incentives for drugmakers to lower list prices.
Cigna reports Q1 profit beat on health services unit strength
Cigna Corp reported a better-than-expected first-quarter profit on Friday, helped by growth in its health services unit that includes the pharmacy benefits management business, and modestly raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast. Health insurers have been pressured due to volatile medical costs during the pandemic, some of which were offset with people postponing non-urgent medical procedures.
Factbox-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus
Residents of Beijing fretted over anti-virus restrictions curbing their movement while also worrying about the dozens of new COVID-19 cases reported daily, as China’s leaders threatened action against critics of their zero-tolerance COVID policy. DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Alito’s abortion history lesson in dispute
Justice Samuel Alito’s draft U.S. Supreme Court ruling that would overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide hinges on a contested historical review of restrictions on the procedure enacted during the 19th century. Lawyers and scholars backing abortion rights have criticized Alito’s reading of history as glossing over disputed facts and ignoring relevant details as the conservative justice sought to demonstrate that a woman’s constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy was wrongly recognized in the Roe ruling.
As Beijing battles outbreak, China warns ‘zero COVID’ doubters
Beijing residents fretted on Friday about over-tightening COVID curbs in its biggest district and dozens of new cases were reported daily as China’s leaders reiterated their resolve to battle the virus and threatened action against critics of their strict measures. Incurring a heavy economic cost and facing rare public criticism on its tightly-policed internet, China is increasingly out of step with the rest of the world where COVID restrictions are being abandoned and vaccines relied on to protect people.
(With inputs from agencies.)
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