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Health News Roundup: Haiti cholera outbreak worsens, COVID-19 cases rise in Americas – PAHO; China reports 23,276 new COVID cases for Nov 16 vs 20,199 a day earlier and more – Devdiscourse

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Haiti cholera outbreak worsens, COVID-19 cases rise in Americas – PAHO
The cholera situation in Haiti continues to worsen while COVID-19 cases rose over the past week, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on Wednesday. Haitian health authorities have confirmed over 700 cases of cholera and 144 cholera-related deaths since early October, and are investigating more than 7,000 suspected cases, PAHO Director Dr. Carissa Etienne said.
China reports 23,276 new COVID cases for Nov 16 vs 20,199 a day earlier
China reported 23,276 new COVID-19 infections on Nov. 16, of which 2,388 were symptomatic and 20,888 were asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said on Thursday. That compared with 20,199 new cases a day earlier – 1,623 symptomatic and 18,576 asymptomatic infections, which China counts separately.
Ebola vaccine candidates expected to be shipped to Uganda next week – WHO
Three Ebola vaccine candidates for a planned clinical trial are expected to be shipped to Uganda next week, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday. The candidates include vaccines under development by the University of Oxford and Serum Institute of India, Sabin Vaccine Institute, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative and Merck & Co Inc.
Ugandan doctors face fear and shortages in the Ebola outbreak
When Ebola broke out in Uganda in September, 10 doctors immediately stepped forward to work in an isolation unit at Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital, but now only three are left. Staff are reluctant to work in the unit for fear of catching the deadly hemorrhagic fever, and also because of exhaustion and delayed wages, said one of the remaining doctors, who asked not to be identified as they were not authorised to talk to media.
APEC host Thailand’s budding marijuana industry faces backlash
Near the grand conference halls in central Bangkok where Asian leaders will meet this week, a plethora of marijuana shops – the Thai capital’s newest tourist draw – were bustling despite a controversy that threatens the growing sector. Since Thailand decriminalized cannabis this year shops selling homegrown and imported strains, pre-rolled joints and gummies sprang up rapidly.
Chinese and Indonesian presidents pledge more COVID vaccine cooperation
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indonesian President Joko Widodo held formal talks on Wednesday on the Indonesian island of Bali, with both leaders pledging closer cooperation on the development of COVID-19 vaccines. Xi told Widodo that China will promote joint research and development on vaccines and continue to support Indonesia in building a regional vaccine production center, according to a readout published by the Chinese foreign ministry.
U.S. FDA advisers back Ardelyx’s kidney disease drug
A panel of advisers to the U.S. health regulator on Wednesday recommended the approval of Ardelyx Inc’s drug for chronic kidney disease patients on dialysis, more than a year after it was initially rejected. The Food and Drug Administration’s advisory panel voted 9-4 in favor of the drug, tenapanor, to be administered as a single therapy for treating high phosphate levels in the blood of patients on dialysis.
Britain’s Hunt announces 8 billion pound package for health and social care
British finance minister Jeremy Hunt on Thursday said the country’s health and social care system would receive a 8 billion pound package within two years, which he said health chiefs had indicated would help fulfil key priorities. Hunt said he would increase the state-run National Health Service budget in each of the next two years by an extra 3.3 billion pounds.
England’s health service risks missing targets on waiting lists – report
A plan to reduce lengthy wait times in England’s state-run National Health Service for elective and cancer care by 2025 is at risk, a report said on Thursday, as funding falls behind inflation and it faces issues with staffing and productivity. Finance minister Jeremy Hunt will set out a raft of tax rises and spending cuts later in the day, with unions warning that the Autumn Statement is the last chance to “save the NHS”, and lining up potential strike action over the winter.
Guangzhou to build 250,000 quarantine beds as China COVID cases rise
The southern Chinese city of Guangzhou is setting up makeshift hospitals and quarantine sites with a capacity for nearly 250,000 beds for COVID-19 infections, officials said on Thursday, as cases across the country hit their highest level since April. China is battling coronavirus outbreaks in numerous major cities, including Chongqing and the capital Beijing, while it takes steps to try to ease the burden of its strict zero-COVID policy, which has caused severe economic damage and widespread frustration nearly three years into the pandemic.
(With inputs from agencies.)
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