Countries plan to resume quarantine-free travel through verifying health status

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Issue 56: 9 March 2021
Every week, HEADlines brings you the latest news, stories and commentaries
in education and healthcare. This week, get insights on the latest developments in healthcare.
Vaccine passports becoming a reality for travel

The idea of a COVID-19 vaccine passport has been in the making since the second half of 2020 in a bid to resume travel and economic activities in an unprecedented time of lockdowns and border closures. This is beginning to take shape and becoming a reality. 

Several countries have pushed ahead with their own vaccine passports. Israel is one of the first countries to introduce a green passport to allow vaccinated people into restricted places like bars, hotels and swimming pools. The UK is proposing a vaccine passport with a similar aim to reopen the economy but is facing resistance due to privacy, inequality and ethical concerns. 

Other countries are considering similar documents for purposes of re-opening cross-border travels. The European Commission has announced plans to roll out the EU-wide Digital Green Pass to provide proof that a person has been vaccinated, tested negative for COVID-19 or recovered fully. ASEAN, China, Japan, Singapore and Thailand are amongst the countries and regional trade blocs in Asia Pacific that are planning to do the same. 

The debate over the feasibility and concerns of having a health passport continues even as countries put their plans into action. While many believe this will shape the future of travel, tech developers like Netcompany view it only as a short-term solution. Nevertheless, vaccine passports look set as a solution to resume quarantine-free travel and to restart the global economy. 
Healthcare in the Spotlight
The authorisation of J&J's vaccine for emergency use paves the way for a third COVID-19 vaccine in the US.
No, it didn’t originate in Wuhan’s wet market, but it could have been spread by frozen food. Here is what was learned from Phase 1 investigations.
It will build five to six clinical research bases for infectious diseases integrating TCM and Western medicine to perform research on the mechanism of disease prevention and treatment.
Pollution from burning coal, oil and gas kills millions each year. The toll is heaviest in China and India.

Photo credit: Chris LeBoutillier on Unsplash
Studies have shown that a significant number of deaths can be avoided if we reduce air pollution, adopt cleaner diets and engage in more physical activity.
While it is not fully understood if diabetes can cause dementia, scientists have found that high blood sugar or insulin can harm the brain.

Photo credit: Cristina Seri on Unsplash
The Aedes albopictus mosquito species, previously thought to only live outside Phnom Penh, was recorded living at 40 different locations in the capital, leading to an increased risk of a dengue outbreak.
Source: Medical News Today

Stress is a natural part of the body’s existence, but its not meant to be a constant one. What are the effects of chronic stress on the body? And what can you do to lower your stress level?

That's all for the week!
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