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Limiting TV ads for foods high in sugar, salt, fat may reduce child obesity

Limiting TV ads for sugary, salty and high-fat foods and drinks might help reduce childhood obesity, British researchers suggest.

They looked at advertising of these products between 5:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. If all such ads were withdrawn during those hours, the number of obese kids in Britain between the ages of 5 and 17 would drop by 5% and the number of overweight kids would fall 4%, the study found.

That’s equivalent to 40,000 fewer kids in Britain who would be obese and 120,000 fewer who would be overweight, the researchers said.

The findings were published online this week in the journal PLOS Medicine.

Oliver Mytton, an academic clinical lecturer at the Center for Diet and Activity Research at the University of Cambridge, led the study.

“Measures which have the potential to reduce exposure to less-healthy food advertising on television could make a meaningful contribution to reducing childhood obesity,” the authors said in a journal news release.

But they also pointed out that they could not fully account for all factors that would affect the impact of the policy, if implemented.

They added: “Children now consume media from a range of sources, and increasingly from online and on-demand services, so in order to give all children the opportunity to grow up healthy it is important to ensure that this advertising doesn’t just move to the 9-10 pm slot and to online services.”

More information

For more on childhood obesity, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Copyright 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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The Latest: Iran has new daily high in virus deaths — 251

Health Ministry spokesperson Sima Sadat Lari said Sunday that Iran’s total death toll from COVID-19 now stands at 28,544, making Iran the hardest-hit country in its region. It’s previous daily high for deaths of 239 came just four days earlier.

Officials reported 3,822 newly confirmed coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, raising its total during the pandemic to 500,075. Among those recently infected is the head of Iran’s atomic energy organization, the latest senior official to test positive for the virus.

The government has largely resisted imposing widescale lockdowns as the economy teeters from continued U.S. economic sanctions that effectively bar Iran from selling its oil internationally. Iran’s currency plunged to its lowest level ever Sunday.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— The White House doctor says President Donald Trump is no longer at risk of transmitting the coronavirus but did not say whether Trump had tested negative. Some medical experts are skeptical that Trump could be declared free of the risk of transmitting the virus so early.

— Trump makes speech from White House balcony, 1st appearance since return to residence

— India’s coronavirus cases top 7 million, a re on track to surpass the United States

— As a second wave of coronavirus infections hit, European nations seem not to have learned their lessons from the first surge

— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismisses the latest White House offer in COVID-19 aid talks but remains hopeful progress can be made toward a deal.

— Queen Elizabeth II honors the work of doctors, nurses, delivery drivers, fundraisers and volunteers during the coronavirus pandemic.

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— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

MOSCOW — Russia’s coronavirus infections have hit a new record for a 24-hour period, with authorities reporting over 13,000 new confirmed cases in the highest daily spike since the beginning of the pandemic.

The 13,634 new infections registered Sunday brought the country’s total to nearly 1.3 million, the world’s fourth largest caseload. Russia has also reported over 22,500 deaths.

The Russian authorities have been reporting over 10,000 new cases every day this past week, but maintain there are no plans to impose a second lockdown. Russia has lifted most of the virus-related restrictions imposed in the spring.

At the same time in Moscow, which reported 4,501 new cases on Sunday, officials have recommended the elderly to self-isolate at home and have extended this month’s school holidays by a week. Moscow mayor also ordered employers to have at least 30% of their staff work from home.

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ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey will start reporting its total number of coronavirus infection cases later this week, after coming under criticism for releasing only figures for patients showing symptoms of COVID-19.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said in an interview published Sunday by the newspaper Hurriyet that asymptomatic cases will also be

Why Black women face high rates of breast cancer

This story originally ran on Today.com.

The day before she turned 30 and had planned to leave for a celebratory vacation, Sharonda Vincent felt a lump on her left breast while in the shower. She scheduled a last-minute appointment with a doctor at Planned Parenthood, who told her to enjoy her trip because she doubted it was cancerous.

After Vincent returned home to Philadelphia, the mother of one decided to see her primary care provider, just in case. This led to a series of tests, including a mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy. In the summer of 2005, she was diagnosed with stage 2B breast cancer.

“I was numb, hurt, confused, upset, questioning God,” she told TODAY. “It was a complete shock.”

Vincent, now 45, has been cancer-free for 15 years, thanks to the surgery, chemo and radiation she underwent that summer. She’s among the millions of Black women who’ve survived breast cancer, even though the odds are unjustly stacked against them.

Black women are 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than white women. Black women are also more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage or at a younger age. Death rates for white women with breast cancer are improving more rapidly than for Black women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Research into the reason for these disparities is ongoing, but it’s likely “multifactorial,” Dr. Vivian Bea, chief of breast surgical oncology at New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, told TODAY.

What’s more, Bea expects breast cancer outcomes for Black women to only get worse due to COVID-19. A recent survey, conducted by the cancer information platform SurvivorNet, found that 1 in 3 women has delayed getting a mammogram because of the coronavirus.

A doctor who looks like you

As a physician and Black woman, Bea believes that a main inhibitor for the Black community to seeking health care is the absence of doctors who can relate to their life experiences. Only 5 percent of U.S. doctors are Black, and even fewer are Black women, per 2018 data.

“When I take care of my Black patients … I can’t tell you how often I hear, ‘I trust you because you look like me,” she said. “I hear stories of, ‘I talked to this doctor, and I told them I had a mass, and they told me it was nothing,’ or ‘I had a pain, and they said it was in my head.’ Unfortunately (Black) women are sometimes not taken seriously.”

While Vincent doesn’t feel her care team approached her differently because of her race, she said she leaned heavily on the only Black medical professional she encountered during her treatment.

In Vincent’s initial appointments, she recalled, staff struggled to draw her blood, and she had to be pricked by multiple techs each time, especially uncomfortable given her fear of needles. So the Black medical assistant planned her future visits so the one tech who could draw Vincent’s blood on the first try

Shenzhen-listed traditional medicine makers ride high on endorsement by public face of China’s fight against coronavirus



a man cutting a cake: A traditional Chinese medicine pharmacy in Weinan City, in China’s northwest Shaanxi Province. The overall industry has stalled, with only 17 out of 68 TCM makers recording year-on-year growth in revenue in the first half of 2020. Photo: Xinhua


A traditional Chinese medicine pharmacy in Weinan City, in China’s northwest Shaanxi Province. The overall industry has stalled, with only 17 out of 68 TCM makers recording year-on-year growth in revenue in the first half of 2020. Photo: Xinhua

Two Shenzhen-listed makers of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Shijiazhuang Yiling Pharmaceutical and Tianjin Chase Sun Pharmaceutical, have reaped stunning gains this year, riding on endorsements by the public face of China’s successful fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Yiling reported a 57 per cent jump in net profit to 714 million yuan (US$106 million) for the first half of 2020, while its stock price surged by as much as 245 per cent between January and mid April, hitting its highest level since it went public in 2011. Chase Sun recorded 2.8 billion yuan in revenue for the first half, a 22 per cent increase compared with the same period last year.

Their fortunes came even as growth in the overall TCM industry stalled, with only 17 out of 68 TCM makers listed in China recording year-on-year growth in revenue in the first half of 2020, according to companies’ earnings reports.

Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.

Behind Yiling and Chase Sun’s success is their close association with Zhong Nanshan, a top mainland Chinese medical expert famous for leading the country’s coronavirus containment efforts. A pulmonologist who has also studied in the UK, Zhong is a supporter of TCM and has frequently recommended the use of traditional remedies for treating coronavirus patients.

Yiling was founded in 1992 by TCM practitioner Wu Yiling, who is famous for developing a concoction of leech, whole scorpion, centipede, soil beetle and cicada slough used to treat cardiovascular diseases.



Zhong Nanshan wearing a suit and tie: A pulmonologist who has also studied in the UK, Zhong Nanshan is a supporter of TCM. Photo: Handout


© Provided by South China Morning Post
A pulmonologist who has also studied in the UK, Zhong Nanshan is a supporter of TCM. Photo: Handout

Both Wu and Zhong are academicians at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the highest academic title conferred by Beijing to engineers and scientists, and have collaborated since at least 2015, when Wu invited Zhong to join a 460 million yuan research lab set up for academicians by his company. In 2016, they co-founded a research centre to tackle lung diseases using TCM in the southern city of Guangzhou.

While his collaboration with Yiling is focused on research, Zhong’s association with Chase Sun has more to do with business. In April 2012, a Guangzhou-based medical foundation led by Zhong invested 3.5 million yuan in a pharmaceutical company along with Chase Sun, which invested 5 million, according to Tianyancha, a public database of business records.

Zhong has since sat on the board of the company along with Yao Xiaoqing, Chase Sun’s chairman. Founded in 1996, Chase Sun transferred a controlling stake in 2019 to the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of Chengdu, and has become a state-owned company affiliated with the city in Southwest China.

Zhong, Yiling and Chase Sun did not reply

U.S. COVID-19 Cases Hit Two-Month High, 10 States Report Record Increases | Top News

(Reuters) – New cases of COVID-19 in the United States hit a two-month high on Friday with over 58,000 infections of the new coronavirus reported and hospitalizations in the Midwest at record levels for a fifth day in a row, according to a Reuters analysis.

Ten of the 50 states reported record one-day rises in cases on Friday, including the Midwestern states of Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri and Ohio. Wisconsin and Illinois recorded over 3,000 new cases for a second day in a row – a two-day trend not seen even during the height of the previous outbreak in the spring, according to Reuters data.

The Western states of Montana, New Mexico and Wyoming also reported their biggest one-day jumps in cases, as did Oklahoma and West Virginia.

Nineteen states have seen record increases in new cases so far in October. (Graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/2SFLb7o)

Amid the resurgence in cases across the nation, President Donald Trump, who recently contracted COVID-19, is set to resume his re-election campaign on Saturday by addressing supporters from the balcony of the White House.

He is then scheduled to travel on Monday to central Florida to hold his first campaign rally since leaving the hospital.

Trump and his administration have faced criticism for their handling of the pandemic that has claimed over 213,000 lives in the country, as well as for a lax approach to mask-wearing and social distancing in the White House.

There is no federal mandate to wear a mask, and 17 states do not require them, according to a Reuters analysis.

In addition to rising cases, hospitals in several states are straining to handle an influx of patients.

Seven states on Friday reported record numbers of hospitalized COVID-19 patients: Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

In the Midwest, hospitalizations rose to nearly 9,000, continuing a streak of records that began on Monday. (Graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/3lwVO9f)

There are now over 34,000 hospitalized nationally, up 18% in the past two weeks.

While deaths nationally continue to trend downward, the United States is losing on average 700 lives a day. Three states reported a record one-day increase in fatalities on Friday: Arkansas, Missouri and Montana. Health experts caution that deaths are a lagging indicator and usually rise weeks after cases climb.

(Reporting by Lisa Shumaker; Editing by William Mallard)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Vericiguat Benefits Even With High Adherence to HFrEF Meds

Vericiguat (Merck/Bayer), among the latest drugs to gain cred in heart failure (HF) with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), significantly benefits patients who are highly adherent to standard-of-care (SOC) HF meds, suggests a new VICTORIA trial analysis.

The novel agent seemed to improve the primary endpoint on top of the entire slate of SOC agents, individually and when they were combined as guidelines recommend.

The research, reported earlier this week at the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) Virtual Annual Scientific Meeting 2020, also hinted at potential clinical-outcomes synergy between vericiguat and a drug class that is a cornerstone of HF medical management.

The findings argue against misgivings that recent and any future additions to the HF armamentarium could be therapeutically redundant or add to patients’ daily pill burden and potential for side effects without much incremental benefit.

There is as yet little evidence for such an effect; also, vericiguat and SGLT2 inhibitors — another rising drug class in HfrEF — don’t predominantly work by the same mechanisms underlying current SOC meds. But redundancy and drug-drug interactions remain potential concerns as the HFrEF guideline-directed medical therapy (GDMT) list grows.

Although vericiguat’s treatment effect was largely consistent across all HFrEF drugs used in the trial, regardless of how adherence was defined, there was one noteworthy outlier.

Virtually everyone in VICTORIA was on beta blockers, at least among patients who could tolerate the drugs and didn’t have a contraindication. But only about half of patients were beta-blocker “dosage-adherent,” that is, they had been successfully uptitrated to at least 50% of the prescribed dosage, the current analysis shows.

Those patients, compared with those who had not achieved such dose-corrected beta-blocker adherence, showed a pronounced effect of vericiguat on the primary endpoint of cardiovascular death or first HF hospitalization over about 11 months. 

“It looks like there is potential synergy” between vericiguat and good beta-blocker therapy in the VICTORIA data, Justin A. Ezekowitz, MBBCh, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, told theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology.

But the question remains, “Is it real and physiologic, or from confounding or a play of chance?”

The trial entered 5050 especially high-risk patients with a recent HFrEF exacerbation. Those assigned to vericiguat on top of SOC meds showed a 10% decline (= .019) in risk for the primary endpoint.

Although the relative benefit appears modest, the absolute effect was striking, according to the trial’s researchers and expert observers. They were impressed that only 24 patients needed treatment with the drug to prevent one event, as previously reported by theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology.

Moreover, suggests the current report, adjusted risk for the primary endpoint fell 28% among patients who met criteria for beta-blocker dosage adherence and were on vericiguat compared with placebo. There was no risk reduction for actively treated patients who had not achieved that level of beta blockade.

But it’s only a signal. “We’re very cautious and concerned about our interpretation,” said Ezekowitz, who had earlier presented the new VICTORIA analysis at the HFSA sessions.

OCCHD, OU Medicine to host COVID-19 testing site at local high school

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Health officials say that residents in some areas of Oklahoma City will be able to get tested for COVID-19 at mobile testing sites.

The Oklahoma City-County Health Department and OU Medicine will continue their joint effort providing mobile testing in zip codes that are experiencing high COVID-19 positivity rates in Oklahoma County.

On Saturday, Oct. 10, testing will be done at Western Heights High School, located at 8201 S.W. 44th St.

“We are eager to work with OCCHD to expand testing in Oklahoma City, specifically in those areas we know are the hardest hit,” said Erin Walker, assistant vice president of Operations at The Children’s Hospital at OU Medicine. “Testing is a great first step in reducing the spreadof this disease, so we encourage the community to participate.”

Health officials say testing is critical to identify the impact of the virus in the community.

“We’re excited to partner with OU Medicine to reach vulnerable populations and to make tests more availablewith Saturday scheduling,” said LT Knighten, public information officer for OCCHD. “We encourage individuals who are experiencing symptoms, or who think they’ve been in contact with a confirmed positive case, to be tested,” Knighten added. 

Testing will be available for the following people:

  • People who have symptoms of COVID-19
  • People who have had close contact (within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) with someone with confirmed COVID-19
  • People who have been asked or referred to get testing by their healthcare provider, local or state health department.

In addition to the mobile testing, individuals needing a test in Oklahoma County can schedule a test through OCCHD’s Crush the Curve website at testokc.com. 

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COVID-19 ICU Patients Have High Risk of Clots, Research Shows | Health News

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

(HealthDay)

TUESDAY, Oct. 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Hospitalized COVID-19 patients face an increased risk of developing dangerous blood clots, a new review indicates.

The odds of a clot are highest for the most critically ill patients. Analysis of 66 studies found that 23% of COVID-19 patients in an intensive care unit (ICU) developed a blood clot in the leg, known as a deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Overall prevalence of a DVT was 14% among ICU and non-ICU COVID-19 patients, and 8% among those with mild-to-moderate disease risk who were not admitted to the ICU.

The “numbers are surprisingly high when compared with other hospitalized patients,” said study author Dr. Cihan Ay.

Of great concern are blood clots in the legs that can break away and travel to the lungs. This is a life-threatening condition known as pulmonary embolism (PE).

Nearly 4% of patients not admitted to the ICU developed a pulmonary embolism. And “we found a very high PE risk of 14% in patients treated at an intensive care unit,” said Ay, an associate professor in hematology and hemostaseology at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria.

According to the American Heart Association, DVT and PE are each a form of venous thromboembolism, or VTE, as both refer to a blood clot that originates in a vein.

VTE is estimated to affect between 300,000 and 600,000 Americans every year, the AHA notes. It is most frequently triggered by surgery, cancer, hospitalization or long-term immobilization.

To examine VTE risk related to COVID-19, Ay and his colleagues analyzed the findings of 66 studies, involving roughly 28,000 COVID-19 patients.

On average, the COVID-19 patients were about 63 years old, and six in 10 were men. About one-fifth had been admitted to an ICU.

None of the studies looked at clotting risk among COVID-19 patients who had not received hospital treatment. So the findings do not speak to DVT or PE risk among such patients, said Ay, although “it seems that the risk of clots is low in patients with a mild clinical course of COVID-19.”

Early in the pandemic, it became clear that blood clot risk seemed elevated in patients with COVID-19 compared to other diseases. To prevent clotting, “physicians worldwide intensified dosing of blood thinners for COVID-19 patients,” Ay said.

This created another potential problem, however, since blood thinners increase the risk of bleeding.

The study authors hope their review will offer clinicians more insight into clotting risk profiles, offering guidance as to which patients truly need preventive clot treatment, Ay said.

As to why COVID-19 might drive up clotting risk in the first place, Ay said experts can only speculate based on available data.

“First, the clinical course in such patients is often severe, which by itself increases the thrombosis [clotting] risk,” he said. “Second, researchers found that COVID-19 interacts with the blood clotting system and the blood vessels, which might explain the increased risk in those patients.”

Dr. Gregg Fonarow is director of the

high fever, drops in oxygen, doctors say

President Donald Trump has suffered high fever and his oxygen levels have fallen at least twice as he has battled Covid-19, his doctors said Sunday.



Donald Trump sitting at a table in a kitchen: President Donald J. Trump works in his conference room at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, after testing positive for COVID-19.


© Joyce N. Boghosian/White House
President Donald J. Trump works in his conference room at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, after testing positive for COVID-19.

Following two briefings from Trump’s doctors over the weekend, more details about the course of his Covid-19 illness are emerging — but some questions still remain.

Friday

Since Trump announced his Covid-19 diagnosis on Twitter early Friday morning, his illness has had frequent “ups and downs,” White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said during a briefing at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Sunday.

On Thursday night and into early Friday morning, Conley said, the President “was doing well with only mild symptoms” and his oxygen level was in the high 90s — but then late Friday morning, “the President had a high fever and his oxygen saturation was transiently dipping below 94%,” Conley said. A normal blood oxygen saturation level is 95% or higher.

The President initially was “fairly adamant that he didn’t need” oxygen. “He was not short of breath. He was tired, had the fever, and that was about it,” Conley said.

However, the President was given oxygen.

“And after about a minute on only two liters, his saturation levels were back over 95%. He stayed on that for about an hour maybe, and was off and gone,” Conley said.

Later that Friday, Conley added, the President was out of bed, moving around the White House residence and had only mild symptoms.

On Friday afternoon, Conley said in a White House letter that Trump received a monoclonal antibody cocktail — an investigational immune system treatment from the biotechnology company Regeneron — and had taken zinc, vitamin D, the heartburn drug famotidine, melatonin and a daily aspirin.

Some small studies have indicated famotidine, the active ingredient in Pepcid AC, might help improve recovery from Covid-19 but it wasn’t clear if that’s why Trump took it.

On Friday evening, the President was transported to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for evaluation and monitoring. Before leaving for the hospital, Trump recorded a video message announcing that he was being transported.

The President has remained without fever since Friday morning, Dr. Sean Dooley, one of Trump’s physicians, said during Sunday’s briefing. Doctors have not said whether they have given him fever-reducing medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Trump’s oxygen level transiently dipped again on Saturday.

Saturday

“Yesterday there was another episode where it dropped down to about 93%,” Conley said on Sunday. “We watched it and it returned back up.”

Trump’s physicians decided to give him the corticosteroid drug dexamethasone, which has been shown to help patients with Covid-19 and is typically given to patients on supplemental oxygen or ventilation.

In the United States, dexamethasone has been used to treat some Covid-19 patients since early on in the pandemic —

The Latest: India records 75,800 new cases, recovery high

A heath worker attends a patient in an intensive care unit designated for people infected with COVID-19 at a hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Friday, Oct. 2, 2020.

A heath worker attends a patient in an intensive care unit designated for people infected with COVID-19 at a hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Friday, Oct. 2, 2020.

AP

NEW DELHI — India has registered 75,829 confirmed coronaviruses cases in the past 24 hours, a day after crossing 100,000 fatalities.

The Health Ministry raised India’s confirmed total to more than 6.5 million on Sunday and said at least 101,782 people have died of COVID-19.

India is still registering the highest number of daily cases globally but with the recovery rate at more than 83%, the number of those cured has surpassed 5.5 million, the Health Ministry said.

India also has the low fatality rate of 1.56%, which is nearly half of the global one.

The Health Ministry credited the increased testing in the country to a sustained low death rate. India has conducted nearly 79 million tests so far, according to official data.

India is preparing to reopen cinemas and entertainment parks with limited capacity beginning Oct. 15, in an effort to revive the economy. Health experts warn the move has the potential for the virus to spread during the upcoming religious festival and winter season.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Doctor: Trump improving, but not ‘out of the woods’ yet

— Analysis: Trump faces credibility crisis over health scare

— Pence ordered borders closed after CDC experts refused

— South Africa and India have asked the World Trade Organization to waive some provisions in the international agreements that regulate intellectual property rights to speed up efforts to prevent, treat and contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

— Madrid has started its first day under a partial lockdown with police controlling travel in and out of the Spanish capital. The Madrid region has become Europe’s most critical hot spot in the second wave of the coronavirus.

— Pope Francis has traveled to the tomb of his nature-loving namesake to sign an encyclical laying out his vision of a post-COVID world built on solidarity, fraternity and care for the environment.

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Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

MELBOURNE, Australia — The premier of Australia’s Victoria state has called on citizens to “stay the course” after large groups flooded beaches and parks at the weekend in defiance of strict lockdown regulations.

Victoria, emerging from a major winter spike in coronavirus cases, relaxed lockdown regulations last weekend but still allowed only five people from up to two households to congregate outside.

Many ignored those regulations on Saturday and crowded parks and beaches, causing Premier Daniel Andrews to remind Victorians not to be selfish and maintain social distancing. Victoria reported only 12 new coronavirus cases and one death Sunday, well down on the peaks of winter.

“We are so, so close,” Andrews said. “Let’s not any of us do anything that might undermine the very positive numbers. Once we get them low, we can keep them low and we