What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

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What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

Volunteers in protective suits are seen a checkpoint following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Jilin

(Reuters) - Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:


'Jump up at any time'

Countries where coronavirus infections are declining could face an "immediate second peak" if they let up too soon on measures to halt the outbreak, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned.

"We need also to be cognizant of the fact that the disease can jump up at any time," said WHO emergencies head Dr Mike Ryan. "We cannot make assumptions that just because the disease is on the way down now, it is going to keep going down.


Bonanza for whistleblower lawyers

The pandemic and its economic fallout are proving to be a bonanza for whistleblower lawyers as the U.S. securities regulator cracks down on a range of related misconduct from companies touting sham cures to misuse of federal aid.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) fielded about 4,000 complaints from mid-March to mid-May, a 35% increase on the year-ago period, according to Steven Peikin, the agency's co-head of enforcement.


Privacy concerns over tracking apps in China

China's health tracking QR codes, which have played a key part in the country's successful containment of the coronavirus, now look set to play a much broader role in daily life as local authorities dream up new uses for the technology.

Embedded in the popular WeChat and Alipay smartphone apps, the codes use self-reported and automatically collected travel and medical data to give people a red, yellow or green rating indicating the likelihood of having the virus.

The codes had faced little public resistance until the eastern city of Hangzhou proposed permanently assigning residents a coloured health badge and rating them from 0-100 based on their medical records and lifestyle habits.


Anti-virals for some British patients

Britain will provide anti-viral drug remdesivir to certain COVID-19 patients deemed most likely to benefit from it, as part of a collaboration with manufacturer Gilead Sciences, the health ministry said on Tuesday.

The department of health said that early data from clinical trials around the world showed the drug could shorten the recovery time of COVID-19 patients by four days.


Not for kids under two

Children under the age of two should not wear masks because they can make breathing difficult and increase the risk of choking, a Japanese medical group said, launching an urgent appeal to parents as the country reopens from the coronavirus crisis.

"Masks can make breathing difficult because infants have narrow air passages," which increases the burden on their hearts, the association said, adding masks also raise the risk of heat stroke for the young ones.



(Compiled by Karishma Singh and Nick Tattersall; Editing by Timothy Heritage)