CGHS beneficiaries to avail health benefits of traditional medicine systems also

All CGHS beneficiaries—serving as well as pensioners— will now be able to avail the health benefits of alternate traditional systems  with the Union Health Ministry approving a proposal to empanel such Centres of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy under the Government health scheme.

“Private Day Care Therapy centers of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy will be empanelled under the CGHS shortly, in a manner similar to empanelment of similar day care centres of conventional (Allopathy) medicine already provided under the CGHS,” said an official from the Ministry.

Initial empanelment of  day care therapy centres will be undertaken on pilot basis for Delhi and NCR for a period of one year and subsequently would be considered for other places.

The official said that the step has been taken keeping in view of the growing popularity of AYUSH system of medicines amongst the public at large and all CGHS beneficiaries. The aim of the scheme is to improve the health and wellbeing, reduce health care expenditure and provide excellence in service delivery, efficiency, and comfort to the patients.

The treatment procedure requiring a short duration of stay in the Day Care Therapy Centre, ranging from a few hours to less than a Day will be made available to CGHS beneficiaries under this scheme.

“As the treatment procedure does not require overnight stay in the unfamiliar environment, it is extremely convenient for children and elderly patients,” said the official.

At present treatment of approved procedures like Panchkarma and Abhyanga etc. is given only after hospitalization in CGHS empanelment hospital.

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Traditional Chinese Medicine Market is Driven by Rise in Popularity among Major Population from all Across the World

Global Traditional Chinese Medicine Market: Snapshot

In recent period, the major population from all across the world is inclined toward the use of traditional Chinese medicines. As a result, the traditional Chinese medicine market is experiencing notable expansion opportunities.

The traditional Chinese medicines are found to be helpful in protecting an individual’s cognitive health, maintaining their strength as well as flexibility. As a result, they are gaining popularity among major population from all across the world. This factor will drive the growth of the traditional Chinese medicine market in the years to come.

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TMR’s upcoming research report on the traditional Chinese medicine market focuses on providing in-depth study of diverse important factors shaping the future of this market. It includes study of challenges, drivers, restraints, and opportunities in the market for traditional Chinese medicine. Apart from this, the report delivers dependable data on shares, volume, and revenues of the market for traditional Chinese medicine. Thus, the report is a valuable handbook for all entities working in the traditional Chinese medicine market during the forecast period of 2020 to 2030.

The global traditional Chinese medicine market is segmented on the basis of various key factors such as product type, application, and region. Based on product type, the market for traditional Chinese medicine is bifurcated into Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture and Tai Chi.

Global Traditional Chinese Medicine Market: Growth Dynamics

The traditional Chinese medicine market is witnessing prominent growth avenues on the back of increased acceptance from various developed and developing countries. The world is witnessing noteworthy growth in the number of older populace. This factor is pushing the market growth. This aside, the improved disposable income of major people in the world is expected to drive the growth of the traditional Chinese medicine market.

Growing urbanization, technological advancements in healthcare sector, and presence of favorable health insurance policies are some of the key factors stimulating the growth opportunities in the traditional Chinese medicine market. This aside, presence of favorable government policies will support the growth of the market for traditional Chinese medicine in the years ahead.

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Global Traditional Chinese Medicine Market: Notable Development and Competitive Analysis

The traditional Chinese medicine market witnesses presence of gamut of players. As a result, the competitive landscape of the market for traditional Chinese medicine is highly intense. To sustain in this scenario, gamut of vendors working in this market are executing diverse strategies. Many players are growing their expenditure on research and development activities. This aside, many vendors are engaged in the launch of new products. All these activities connote that the traditional Chinese medicine market will experience remarkable growth in the upcoming years.

The list of key players in the traditional Chinese medicine market includes:

  • Apicare Pain Clinic
  • Tongrentang Hospital
  • Beijing Chinese Medicine Hospital
  • Dongzhimen Hospital
  • Beijing Hua Kang Hospital
  • Mayo Clinic
  • YinOvaCenter and WOTCM

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Understanding traditional Chinese medicine can help protect species

Demystifying traditional Chinese medicine for conservationists could be the key to better protecting endangered species like pangolins, tigers and rhino, according to University of Queensland-led researchers.

UQ PhD candidate Hubert Cheung said efforts to shift entrenched values and beliefs about Chinese medicine are not achieving conservation gains in the short term.

He said a better understanding of traditional practices was critical for conservationists to form more effective strategies.

“The use of endangered species in traditional Chinese medicine threatens species’ survival and is a challenge for conservationists,” Mr Cheung said.

“Pushing messages of inefficacy, providing various forms of scientific evidence or promoting biomedical alternatives doesn’t seem to be drastically influencing decisions and behaviours.

“And, although many practices and treatments continue to be criticised for lacking scientific support, the World Health Organization approved the inclusion of traditional Chinese medicine in its global compendium of medical practices last year.

“The challenge now is for conservationists to work proactively with practitioners and others in the industry to find sustainable solutions.

“However, most conservation scientists and organisations are unfamiliar with traditional Chinese medicine, which makes it difficult to devise effective and culturally-nuanced interventions.”

The researchers have examined the core theories and practices of traditional Chinese medicine, in a bid to make it more accessible.

They hope their study – and the nuances within – will influence policy and campaigning.

“Today, traditional Chinese medicine is formally integrated into China’s healthcare system, and has been central to China’s response to the ongoing pandemic,” Mr Cheung said.

“In fact, the Chinese government’s COVID-19 clinical guidance has included recommendations for the use of a product containing bear bile, which has raised concerns among conservation groups.”

UQ’s Professor Hugh Possingham said traditional Chinese medicine was now not only entrenched in the social and cultural fabric of Chinese society, but also gaining users elsewhere.

“A better understanding of traditional Chinese medicine will empower conservationists to engage more constructively with stakeholders in this space,” Professor Possingham said.

“We’re hoping that this work can help all parties develop more effective and lasting solutions for species threatened by medicinal use.”

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Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

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A review of Traditional Chinese herbal medicine in management of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has infected over 59.65 million people worldwide and claimed the lives of over 1.4 million. The virus, first detected in late December 2019 in Wuhan, China, is the most significant public health problem since the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. There are no effective and safe drugs that can be used to treat COVID-19 disease nor vaccine to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. Since the first cases were detected in Wuhan, several traditional Chinese herbal medicines have been used to treat this infection.

Now researchers led by David Lee from Bio-Organic and Natural Research Laboratory, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Belmont have summarized the experiences with the use of traditional Chinese herbal medicines for the management of COVID-19. Their study titled, “Traditional Chinese herbal medicine at the forefront battle against COVID-19: Clinical experience and scientific basis,” was published in the January 2021 issue of the journal Phytomedicine.

Study: Traditional Chinese herbal medicine at the forefront battle against COVID-19: Clinical experience and scientific basis. Image Credit: Dragon Images / Shutterstock

Background

China has a rich history of traditional herbal medicines. Traditional Chinese herbal medicine (TCM) has been used for over 5,000 in over 300 epidemics that the nation has faced. When the COVID-19 pandemic emerged early this year, treatment with TCM was reported to have been used with over 90 percent efficacy.

Study particulars

This study was a systematic review of several traditional Chinese herbal medicines that were used in Wuhan,  looking at their efficacy in the management of COVID-19. At present, patients admitted to hospitals (except TCM hospitals) are primarily treated with western medicine as frontline treatment.

Principles of TCM use

The western medications used include antibiotics and painkillers. At present, over 100 herbal TCM formulae are available for use in epidemic related infections. Authors write, “TCM is now credited for the successful battle against COVID-19 in China”.

The ancient Chinese medical text Huangdi Neijing explains that 12 meridian lines run through the human body and help balance the immune system and provide good health. The lung meridian line interconnects with the large intestine functionally and controls the body fluid (water). The researchers write, “Expelling phlegm and relaxing the bowels with laxatives are common methods for treating lung diseases. Therefore, maintaining a smooth and open channel is an important function served by the lung meridian line.” Treatment of COVID-19 is basically to “expel the toxic moisture from the upper respiratory system and to improve intestinal obstruction.” They added that the TCM method of treatment tries to maintain the balance of the lung meridian system and to restore the lung and large intestine balance using acupuncture and herbal medicine.

Treatment of COVID-19 using TCM

TCM has been used as a first-line treatment for COVID-19 disease since the emergence of SARS-CoV-2. Qingfei Paidu decoction for example, has been used in a three-day course leading to an over 90 percent efficacy.

The team of researchers wrote, “The Chinese government announced that TCM is one of the recommended therapeutic options for the treatment of COVID-19 in the third version COVID-19 treatment guidelines, published on January

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Chinese pharmaceutical firm launches traditional medicine in Kenya

NAIROBI, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) — A Chinese pharmaceutical company on Tuesday launched traditional medicine that is to be used to boost immunity, treat and manage viral pneumonia.

Jiangyin Tianjiang Pharmaceutical Company, which will be operating under a local agent, XRP Medical Kenya Limited, introduced Healthouself Formula 3 and Healthouself Formula 5 combinations of herbal medicines in the country.

“The medicine will be used to prevent and strengthen immunity and treatment for types of severe acute respiratory infections,” Edgar Ngugi, general manager, XRP Medical Kenya said during the launch in Nairobi.

Ngugi said that the combinations will be used to prevent and strengthen immunity and treatment for severe acute respiratory infections.

He said that Kenya’s drug regulatory authority, Pharmacy and Poison Board (PPB) has approved and certified the two herbal products for sale in the country.

“The ingredients found in the two herbal medicines have been tried and tested in China as a complementary prevention alongside other treatment options to manage respiratory diseases,” said Ngugi.

He said the products were used alongside other conventional medicine during the peak of COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan to treat acute respiratory infections by boosting patient’s immunity.

“The products have undergone rigorous scrutiny exercise by relevant government bodies and the World Health Organization (WHO) has approved for human consumption,” said Ngugi.

He clarified that the herbal products should not be prescribed for children under three years and pregnant women adding that their dosage is being worked on and will be available soon in the market.

“As an institution, we believe prevention is better than cure and so we aspire to introduce more and more products to awaken the giants within us. Our bodies are naturally wired to fight some of these ailments if we take necessary action and boost our immunity accordingly,” said Ngugi.

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Compounds in traditional Chinese medicine herbs may inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection

Using computational methods, a team of researchers identified three compounds in traditional Chinese medicine that could be used against SARS-CoV-2: quercetin, puerarin and kaempferol​.  Of the three compounds, quercetin showed the highest binding affinity to both the ACE2 receptor and the receptor-binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, and could thus provide a dual synergistic effect.  

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative pathogen of the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, infects human hosts by binding with the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor on their cells, notably the epithelium lining the respiratory tract. The receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the coronavirus spike protein binds to ACE2 followed by membrane fusion to the host cell, thus allowing the virus to infiltrate the cell and commence replication.

Traditional Chinese medicine, widely used for many diseases, showed therapeutic effects during the 2003 SARS-CoV epidemic. The RBD of the SARS-CoV-2 has significant structural homology with SARS-CoV. Although the use of Chinese herbs with modern medicine has shown benefits in COVID-19 patients, several components are present in the herbs and have complex interactions, making it challenging to uncover the molecular mechanisms responsible for its therapeutic effects.

Study: Chinese herbal compounds against SARS-CoV-2: puerarin and quercetin impair the binding of viral S-protein to ACE2 receptor. Image Credit: Dragon Images / Shutterstock

Several computational studies have helped predict active compounds in the medicinal herbs with the potential to accelerate traditional medicine-based drug discovery.

Finding potential compounds against SARS-CoV-2

Researchers from various institutions in China used computational analysis to discover potential molecule candidates against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Using the Traditional Chinese Medicine Pharmacology database, they screened for molecules that could target ACE2.

They identified the compound puerarin that could target ACE2. Then, they screened for Chinese herbs that have this compound in the database and found five. Furthermore, since it is thought that compounds in the same herbal medicine have synergistic properties, they expanded their search to include all the compounds in the five herbs to arrive at 41 compounds.

Upon analyzing which compounds were present in the maximum number of herbs, they found puerarin was present in all the five herbs, and quercetin and kaempferol were present in three herbs. Next, they predicted potential drug targets of the selected compounds using the database, leading to 240 possible targets. Upon further analysis, they selected puerarin, quercetin, and kaempferol for further study.

Next, the authors performed molecular docking analysis to determine potential binding sites and binding affinity to ACE2. All the three compounds could bind on the same region of ACE2, which is located some distance from the binding position of SARS-CoV-2. It is likely the compounds are causing changes in conformations rather than competing with the spike protein to bind to ACE2. Quercetin had the highest binding affinity, forming both strong and weak hydrogen bonds.

Quercetin could bind to RBD domain of S-protein with a high binding affinity. (A) Hydrophilic-hydrophobic interaction between (i) quercetin and SARS-CoV-2 Spike in candidate protein binding pocket, and (ii) quercetin and relative amino acids. (B) The KD of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike RBD protein with a series of concentrations of quercetin was calculated by SPR.

Quercetin could bind to RBD domain of S-protein with a high binding affinity. (A) Hydrophilic-hydrophobic interaction between (i) quercetin and SARS-CoV-2 Spike in candidate protein binding pocket, and (ii) quercetin and relative amino acids. (B) The KD of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike RBD protein with a series of concentrations of quercetin was calculated by SPR.

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Backlash after India grants permission for traditional medicine practitioners to perform surgery

The Indian government has formally granted permission for practitioners of Indian traditional medicine, known as Ayurveda, to perform surgeries, in a move that has provoked a strong reaction from doctors across the country.



a group of people standing in front of a crowd


© Provided by The Independent


Ayurveda is a traditional system of medicine practised across the Indian subcontinent which uses diet, herbal treatments, yogic breathing and other techniques for healing.

The controversial move now sanctions practitioners of the traditional system to perform a variety of general surgeries including ENT (ear nose and throat procedures), ophthalmological and dental procedures after training.

As per the new rules, training modules for surgical procedures will be added to the curriculum of Ayurvedic studies for the first time, the notification from the government said.

However, the decision has antagonised India’s biggest association of doctors, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) which described the move as equivalent to “corrupting the entire health system of the country”.

“Such mixing of the systems will be resisted at all costs,” it said in a statement. “All over India students and practitioners of modern medicine are agitated over this violation of mutual identity and respect.

“The CCIM [Central Council of Indian Medicine] should develop its own surgical disciplines from its own ancient texts… it should not claim the surgical disciplines of modern medicine as its own. Such a deviant practice is unbecoming of a statutory body,” IMA’s statement said.

Following the backlash, the government ministry of Ayush (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) clarified on Sunday that “the notification is specific to 58 specified surgical procedures and doesn’t allow Shalya [general surgery] and Shalakya [Surgery for ear, nose, throat, head and eye] post-graduates to take up any other surgeries,” reported ANI.

People on social media also took a dig at the new rules and questioned the scientific rationale behind it.

One Twitter user wrote, “Make it compulsory for every central minister and BABU (government employees) to undergo surgery by Ayurveda MS people and you will see the law disappear.”

Another user said the government will next pass directive which “allows cobblers and tailors to give post-operative stitches, butchers to conduct throat surgeries and fish sellers to conduct a post-mortem.”

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Next crop of COVID-19 vaccine developers take more traditional route

By Julie Steenhuysen and Caroline Copley

CHICAGO/BERLIN (Reuters) – The handful of drugmakers dominating the global coronavirus vaccine race are pushing the boundaries of vaccine technology. The next crop under development feature more conventional, proven designs.

The world will need several different vaccines to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, given the sheer size of global need, variations in effects on different populations, and possible limits of effectiveness in the first crop.

Many leading candidates now in final-stage testing are based on new, largely unproven technology platforms designed to produce vaccines at speed. They include messenger RNA (mRNA) technology used by Moderna Inc <MRNA.O> and Pfizer Inc <PFE.N> with partner BioNTech SE <22UAy.F>, and inactivated cold virus platforms used by Oxford University/AstraZeneca Plc <AZN.L>, Johnson & Johnson <JNJ.N> and CanSino Biologics <6185.HK>, whose vaccine has been approved for military use in China.

Merck & Co <MRK.N> in September started testing a COVID-19 vaccine based on a weakened measles virus that delivers genes from the new coronavirus into the body to stimulate an immune response to the coronavirus.

Of these, only the technology offered by J&J and CanSino that use cold viruses as vectors to deliver coronavirus genetic material have ever produced a licensed vaccine – for Ebola.

The next set of candidates – with late-stage trial results expected in the first half of 2021 – are heavily skewed toward approaches that have produced successful vaccines.

Conventional methods include using a killed or inactivated version of the pathogen that causes a disease to provoke an immune response, such as those used to make flu, polio and rabies vaccines.

Also more common are protein-based vaccines that use purified pieces of the virus to spur an immune response. Vaccines against whooping cough, or pertussis, and shingles employ this approach.

French drugmaker Sanofi <SASY.PA> is developing a protein-based COVID-19 vaccine employing the same approach it uses for its Flublok seasonal flu vaccine. Sanofi expects to start the final phase of testing in early December, with approval targeted in the first half of 2021.

While Novavax Inc <NVAX.O> has not yet produced a licensed vaccine, it is using similar purified protein technology and expects to start a late-stage U.S. trial involving 30,000 volunteers in late November.

“Those are more traditional approaches, so we can feel more comfortable that we have a lot of experience with them,” said Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Offit also sees promise in some of the inactivated virus vaccines being developed by Chinese researchers, including Sinopharm’s China National Biotec Group (CNBG), one of the few first-crop developers using a traditional technique.

Other second-wave developers are making vaccines based on virus-like particles (VLPs), which mimic the structure of the coronavirus but contain no genetic material from it.

VLP vaccines can be produced in a variety of different types of cells, including mammal, bacterial, insect, yeast and plant cells. This approach has been used to develop vaccines for hepatitis B and human papillomavirus.

Quebec’s Medicago is

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When modern medicine flounders, should traditional healers fill the void?

A practitioner of traditional healing dries medicinal plants and herbs in her courtyard. Photo by: Bioversity International / B. Sthapit / CC BY-NC-ND

KATHMANDU, Nepal — In 2004, Dr. Robin Basnet was the first medical doctor to be stationed at a remote health care center in the Solukhumbu district of Nepal where Mt. Everest stands tall.

A civil war was still raging across the country as Basnet arrived by foot in a community where the only source of communication was a single solar telephone line.

“When I first arrived, I was taken as an alien by the community. I tried to teach them the importance of modern medicine, but they didn’t believe in me,” said Basnet, who is now chief urosurgeon consultant for the Nepal government.

“While I was only seeing a few patients per day at the health center, the local faith healers would be busy all day. After trying for a few months in vain, I learned I would not be able to change society and their beliefs.”

COVID-19 and the limits of modern medicine

Fast-forward to 2020 and the world is grappling with a pandemic that has infected more than 42 million and killed over 1 million. As communities try their best to protect themselves from the virus and scientists scramble to develop a vaccine, poignant questions have been raised about how medically trained health care workers can better work with traditional healers, and how alternative knowledge and practices can be incorporated into the mainstream system.

Biases in health care affect workers everywhere

Modern medicine inherits a long history of racism, the effects of which can still be felt today. Why are global health norms still too white?

Can traditional healers and health care workers come together to help limit the spread of COVID-19? More broadly, how can they work together to deliver modern public health interventions that respect culture, beliefs, and traditions? How can communities’ trust in traditional healers be leveraged to tackle other pressing public health problems?

Basnet knew that if he was going to bring modern medicine to the community he would have to work with the faith healers themselves. He needed to gain their trust and respect and, in doing so, the community’s. He explained to the faith healers he was not there to steal their bread and butter nor was he there to quell their important work; rather, he wanted them to all work together with the same goal in mind: to improve people’s health.

“I somehow convinced them to carry on with their practice, but along with that, that they could help distribute oral rehydration solution, or ORS, to patients with diarrhea, deworm the children, help with immunization programs and inform pregnant women to visit the health center for antenatal check-ups,” he said. “Luckily I got support from them and slowly started getting patients to the health center.”

“While I was only seeing a few patients per day at the health center, the local faith healers would be busy all day.

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Minnesota cautions against traditional Halloween

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota health officials are warning against traditional Halloween festivities amid the recent rise in coronavirus cases statewide.

Officials say that instead of traditional trick-or-treating and indoor haunted houses, people should look to lower risk activities like carving pumpkins and decorating homes or holding virtual gatherings.

he state’s infectious diseases director said Wednesday that warmer weather this weekend may encourage outdoor gatherings, but cautioned against disregarding health guidelines with virus infections rising steadily.

Officials reported 1,916 new coronavirus cases and 19 new COVID-19 deaths. Daily case counts statewide have exceeded 2,000 three times in the past two weeks, and the state has reported more than 1,000 new daily cases for the last 21 days.

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

— US plans to buy initial antibody doses from Eli Lilly

— Task force member Giroir: Cases, hospitalizations, deaths up in US – not just testing

— President Emmanuel Macron announces second national lockdown in France starting Friday. German officials agreed four-week partial lockdown.

— Belgium and Czech Republic top Europe’s highest number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 citizens, ahead of hotbeds France and Spain.

— Love blossoms amid pandemic for two TikTok creators in Los Angeles, using goofy dance videos, heartfelt vlogs and affirmations.

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

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

DES MOINES, Iowa — Medical professionals in Iowa are expressing concerns that a surge in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations could overwhelm medical facilities if no action is taken to slow the virus’ spread.

Hospitals had 596 coronavirus patients Wednesday, the highest number so far for the state. The 113 patients admitted in the past 24 hours also was the most since the virus surfaced in Iowa last March.

Doctors and hospital officials say they are talking about how to transfer COVID-19 patients between hospitals and enacting surge plans that could turn non-hospital facilities into spots to handle any overflow.

One hospital CEO said that “what we know is if the last four weeks are indicative of what happens over the next four weeks, we will have the system overwhelmed.”

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand: The Marshall Islands has reported its first cases of the coronavirus after two people who flew from Hawaii to a U.S. military base tested positive.

The small Pacific nation had been among the last places in the world to have no reported cases of the virus.

The Office of the Chief Secretary says a 35-year-old woman and a 46-year-old man tested positive this week after flying directly from Honolulu to the base on Kwajalein Atoll. The office says that the two cases weren’t connected and that both people are in quarantine. The office says all businesses and government operations will continue as normal.

Home to about 78,000 people, the Marshall Islands maintains close military and civilian ties with the U.S. under a compact of free association.

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RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia’s governor and top health officials say the state’s

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