Some of the headlines this morning:

Brain damage in severe COVID-19

A preliminary study of 125 patients hospitalised with COVID-19 across the United Kingdom has found the disease can damage the brain, causing complications such as stroke, inflammation, psychosis and dementia-like symptoms in some severe cases.

The findings, published in the Lancet Psychiatry journal on Thursday, are the first detailed look at a range of neurological complications of COVID-19, the researchers said, and underline a need for larger studies to find the mechanisms behind them and assist the search for treatments.

The most common brain complication seen was stroke, which was reported in 77 of 125 patients. Of these, most were in patients over 60, and most were caused by a blood clot in the brain, known as an ischaemic stroke.

Opposing travel trends

Both New Zealand and Vietnam have emerged from lockdown virtually virus-free, lifting all restrictions except those on international travel. But while New Zealand’s tourism sector is struggling in the absence of arrivals from abroad, Vietnam’s has rebounded thanks to domestic tourism, according to travel data and industry members.

The difference in part reflects the economic hit to the two economies. While New Zealand’s economy may contract by as much as 20% in the first half of the year, according to the central bank, Vietnam has kept its yearly growth target above 5%.

In New Zealand, scheduled flights are down 40% from the same month last year and weekly demand for Airbnb and Vrbo properties through July are down 55%. In Vietnam, travel agent Nguyen Thi Thuy Anh says he is handling a surge in bookings as businesses slash prices to attract local travellers.

Bubbles within bubbles

Formula One teams will operate in groups of people mostly kept separated from each other when the F1 season starts behind closed doors in Austria next week after being stalled since March.

“The Formula One paddock will be a bubble,” said Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies. “But inside … you will have an individual bubble for each team with pretty much no or minimum interaction between a bubble or a team and another.

“Inside the team bubble, which is inside the F1 bubble, we will also do more bubbles,” added the Frenchman. “So you will have probably the car 16 (Charles Leclerc) bubble and the car 5 (Sebastian Vettel) bubble and inside them probably engineers and mechanics and so forth.”

The separation means anyone who tests positive will have had limited contact with others, with tested stand-ins ready to be slotted in if needed.

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