Six new symptoms of the coronavirus, as notified by US agencies

What are the emergency warning signs of the infection?

covid-19-ppe-coronavirus-salil Representational Image | Salil Bera

The United States nodal health agency Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has now added six more symptoms to the roster of the signs of COVID-19 infection. Earlier, the agency had cited fever, cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing as the possible symptoms; now, it has added chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell to the list. 

In addition, the CDC added, trouble in breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse and bluish face and lips were emergency warning signs for COVID-19.

As the global death toll from the coronavirus surpassed 200,000, countries took cautious steps toward easing lockdowns imposed amid the pandemic, but fears of a surge in infections made even some outbreak-wounded businesses reluctant to reopen. The US states of Georgia, Oklahoma and Alaska started loosening restrictions on businesses despite warnings from experts that such steps might be premature.

The worldwide death toll was over 202,000, according to a count by John Hopkins University from government figures. The actual death toll is believed to be far higher.

India reopened neighbourhood stores that many of the country's 1.3 billion people rely on for everything from beverages to mobile phone data cards. But the loosening didn't apply to hundreds of quarantined towns and other places hit hardest by the outbreak that has killed at least 775 people in the country where many poor live in slums too crowded for social distancing.

Shopping malls also stayed closed nationwide. Still, for owners of small stores, being allowed to open again brought relief.

India also allowed manufacturing and farming to resume in rural areas last week to ease the economic plight of millions left jobless by the March 24 lockdown. The restrictions have allowed people out of their homes only to buy food, medicine or other essentials.

Elsewhere in Asia, authorities reported no new deaths Saturday for the 10th straight day in China, where the virus originated. South Korea reported just 10 fresh cases, the eighth day in a row its daily increase was under 20. There were no new deaths for the second straight day.

Underscoring the unknowns about the virus, the World Health Organisation said there is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 cannot fall sick again. Some countries extended or tightened restrictions, confirming a pattern of caution.

Sri Lanka had partially lifted a monthlong daytime curfew in more than two thirds of the country. But it reimposed a 24-hour lockdown countrywide until Monday after a surge of 46 new infections, its highest daily increase.

Norway extended until at least Sept. 1 its ban on events with more than 500 participants.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Snchez announced that Spaniards will be allowed to leave their homes for short walks and exercise starting May 2 after seven weeks of strict home confinement, though he said maximum caution will be our guideline.