The World Health Organization has endorsed a protocol for testing African herbal medicines as potential treatments for the coronavirus and other epidemics.
COVID-19 has raised the issue of using traditional medicines to battle contemporary diseases, and the endorsement on Saturday clearly encouraged testing with criteria similar to those used for molecules developed by labs in Asia, Europe or the Americas.
It came months after a bid by the president of Madagascar to promote a drink based on artemisia, a plant with proven efficacy in malaria treatment, was met with widespread scorn.
On Saturday, WHO experts and colleagues from two other organizations "endorsed a protocol for phase III clinical trials of herbal medicine for COVID-19 as well as a charter and terms of reference for the establishment of a data and safety monitoring board for herbal medicine clinical trials," a statement said.
$13,000 fine for violators
People in England who refuse to self-isolate to stop the spread of the coronavirus could face fines of up to $13,000 under the tough new regulations announced Saturday to tackle a surge in cases.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said last week that Britain was seeing a second wave of COVID-19, and introduced new restrictions for millions of people across northwest, northern and central England.
In a further measure announced late Saturday, Johnson said that from Sept. 28 people will be legally obliged to self-isolate if they test positive or are told to by the National Health Service tracing program.
"The best way we can fight this virus is by everyone following the rules and self-isolating if they’re at risk of passing on coronavirus," Johnson said in a statement.
Seoul holds annual circus
A clown juggled and acrobats launched themselves through the air above a stage in an open field in Seoul at the weekend as the audience watched from the safety of their cars, cocooned from the risk of coronavirus.
The annual circus—usually held in May—was pushed back twice this year because of the virus until organizers turned it into a drive-in event.
"The performing arts are very important even during a pandemic," said Cho Beong-hee, manager of the Seoul Street Art Creation Center.