World · August 5, 2022

Monkeypox a public health emergency in the US, China “overreacts” and COVID-19 hits the elderly “perversely”

Hello, it’s Akash Arora here with the SBS News morning briefing.

US urges all Americans to “take monkeypox seriously”

Monkeypox has been declared a health emergency in the United States, as the virus continues to spread around the world, including Western Australia, where the first case of monkeypox was reported Thursday after a traveler returned from Australia. abroad. Xavier Becerra, the US Secretary of Health and Human Services, urged Americans to take monkeypox seriously. “We are ready to take our response to the next level in addressing this virus and urge all Americans to take monkeypox seriously and take responsibility for helping us deal with this virus,” he said. , with a quarter of them in New York state alone. Experts believe the real numbers could be much higher than reported.

Beijing has launched 11 ballistic missiles around Taiwan

launching 11 ballistic missiles around the island nation, White House spokesman John Kirby said Thursday. “China has chosen to overreact and use the speaker’s visit as a pretext to increase provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait,” he said. According to state broadcaster CCTV, more than 100 aircraft, including fighters and bombers, and more than 10 warships, were activated from Beijing in the waters off Taiwan the day after Ms. Pelosi made a solidarity trip. on the self-governed island. “US-Taiwan collusion and provocation will only push Taiwan into the abyss of disaster, bringing catastrophe to Taiwan compatriots,” a spokesman for the Chinese Defense Ministry said.

The “perverse” reason for the wave of COVID-19 could impact the elderly

While the Omicron summer wave earlier this year hit young Australians more severely than previous outbreaks, the current winter outbreak appears to have a more intense effect on an entirely different age group: the elderly. A chart of COVID-19 patients admitted to hospital since March shows a clear spike in the number of those over the age of 60 towards mid-late May. Professor Peter Collignon of Australian National University said COVID-19 gave a natural immune boost to young people who contracted the disease earlier this year, which, combined with vaccinations, may have provided them. ” hybrid immunity “. ““said Professor Collignon.
Percentage of people admitted to hospital in NSW over the age of 60, compared to those under the age of 60.

The percentage of people over the age of 60 admitted to hospital in NSW has increased since late April and May. Source: NSW Health sources: SBS News

ACT to remove financial barriers for people seeking abortion

People in ACT will have access to free medical and surgical abortions for up to 16 weeks of gestation from next year. The services will be available to residents with and without Medicare cards. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Women Yvette Berry said the move aims to address any potential inequity faced by those who need access to abortion services. “This means that people will be helped to make a choice about abortion without being affected by financial barriers,” she said. “It also means that abortion can occur in a time-sensitive manner without being delayed due to inability to pay.”.

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