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Weekly Roundups

COVID-19 Variants Threaten the New Year

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 01/06/2022 - 13:26

This week, France, Portugal, Turkey, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands and Israel reported record numbers of COVID-19 infections amid the wave caused by the Omicron variant. While Mexico reported few infections the first weeks of December, cases are rapidly climbing back up.

Here is The Week in Health!

India to Manufacture Merck’s COVID-19 Pill

Indian pharmaceutical company Dr. Reddy will produce the generic version of Merck’s COVID-19 pill (molnupiravir), which will be commercially available for US$0.46. Merck’s price point for each pill is US$17.74 so an entire treatment course will cost over US$700. Learn what allowed India to manufacture pharmaceutical products at a smaller cost in this article.

Global Trends Hit Mexico

Mexico is in the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, warned ISSSTE in an internal memo accessed by Animal Político. The healthcare institution asked hospital directors to reinforce the triage areas for patient care, as an exponential increase in hospitalizations is expected. For more about the subject, click here.

France also identified a new COVID-19 variant, IHU, which the WHO does not consider a variant of concern. The variant remains under investigation.

COVID-19 Shifts Birth Rates

Birth rates decreased by 11 percent during 1H2021 as an effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Studies suggest that the economic recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic may impact fertility rates in the long term, even after the pandemic has abated or been resolved. While these factors might have been the strongest reason for the decrease, they were not the only ones. Learn more here.

Formal Jobs to the Rise

The Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) reported that last year 846,416 formal jobs were created, which represents the highest increase in the history of the institute. However, it indicated that in December there was a monthly drop of 312,902 jobs, which is equivalent to a monthly rate of -1.5 percent.

Video Game Addiction Labeled Mental Disease

The World Health Organization (WHO) included video game addiction on its list of mental disorders for the first time. The disease is characterized by the compulsive playing of video games, leading to the deterioration of life and the neglect of other interests and activities. Learn more in this article.

Empowerment Improves Health

The Self-Empowerment and Equity for Change (SEE Change) initiative improved women’s health outcomes, despite not being an exclusively health-focused initiative. The SEE Change was formalized in 2020 to coalesce several years of empowerment research and tools applied in public health and economic development programs around the world. Learn more here.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst