Germany agrees on way to ease lockdown Germany's federal government and 16 states have agreed shops and some sports can restart under certain conditions, schools will gradually open for all pupils and states will each decide on reopening restaurants, hotels and gyms, a document showed.

Germany went into lockdown in March but its coronavirus reproduction rate has been drifting down for several days, leading to pressure from regional governments and business groups for restrictions to be relaxed.

Coronavirus vaccine

The draft seen by Reuters, dated late on May 5, was prepared by federal chancellery chief Helge Braun and the heads of regional chancelleries for a telephone conference Chancellor Angela Merkel is to hold with state premiers later on Wednesday.

Post-pandemic workspace makeover

As lockdowns are gradually lifted and people anticipate returning to offices, many wonder what the post-pandemic workspace will look like.

Occupational experts say one-way corridors, buffer zones marked out by coloured carpet or tape around desks, and clear plastic screens to guard against colleagues' coughs and sneezes may become the norm.

The changes could be hard to adapt to, and could have a negative impact on employee well-being, said organizational psychologist Brad Bell.

Remdesivir pricing

coronavirus vaccine
Representational ImagePixabay

Beximco Pharmaceuticals, one of Bangladesh's largest drugmakers, will start this month to make the experimental antiviral drug remdesivir, which has shown promise in fighting the virus.

In a first cost indication, the company plans to price each vial between $59 and $71, Beximco's Chief Operating Officer Rabbur Reza told Reuters, adding that a patient might need anywhere from five to 11 vials.

Gilead's remdesivir patent, in theory, means it has exclusive rights to make it, but global trade rules allow nations defined by the United Nations as least-developed countries, including Bangladesh, to ignore such patents and make drugs more affordable in those markets.

Bangladesh would then be allowed to export the drug to other least-developed countries, though Reza said Bangladesh would get first priority.

Llama nanobodies

A llama called Winter could prove useful in the hunt for a virus treatment, say US and Belgian scientists who have identified a tiny particle that appears to block the coronavirus.

The llama in Belgium is central to the studies of the scientists, from the country's VIB-UGent center for medical biotechnology and the University of Texas at Austin, who published their research on Tuesday in the journal Cell.

Llamas and other members of the camel family are distinct in creating standard antibodies and smaller antibodies called nanobodies, with which scientists can more easily work. The team aims to begin animal tests, with a view to allowing trials with humans to begin by the end of the year. Saelens said negotiations were underway with pharmaceutical companies.

An ancient mill rises

A flour mill operating when the Normans conquered England nearly 1,000 years ago has seen a rare boon from the novel coronavirus outbreak: soaring demand for its organic flour from a new generation of locked-down home bakers.

Nestled at the end of a lane among woods on a tributary of the River Avon, Shipton Mill offers dozens of ancient flours - some still stoneground and some from ancient English wheat varieties - to baking beginners and the professionals.

The art of bread making, which has graced human rituals since the dawn of humanity, has seen a curious renaissance as billions around the world grapple with the solitude of seeing out the coronavirus pestilence.