COVID-19 News and Headlines: October 23, 2020
By admin October 23, 2020

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COVID-19 news: The COVID-19 (novel Coronavirus) pandemic continues to pose serious challenges to health systems, governments and the population at large.  Staying on top of the latest COVID-19 news and information is critical. With that in mind, we will continue to provide regular updates via this blog and our COVID-19 Response Team.


  • Global Numbers: 41.7 million cases, 1.1m deaths, 189 countries.(Source: Johns Hopkins)
  • United States:  8.4m million cases, 223,059 deaths. (Source: Johns Hopkins)


Quick Updates/Links:

    • The U.S. set a record Thursday as the number of new coronavirus cases rose to over 77,000, topping the previous record in July.Nationwide, 77,640 new cases were reported for the day, up from the previous record of 75,723 on July 29, according to the latest tally compiled by NBC News.

    • The FDA has approved Gilead’s antiviral drug Veklury® (remdesivir) for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 requiring hospitalization. As an antiviral drug, Veklury works to stop replication of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Previously authorized by the FDA for emergency use to treat COVID-19, Veklury is now the first and only approved COVID-19 treatment in the United States.
    • President Trump today attended an event in Florida, one day after the state reported its highest number of new deaths in a single day.
    • Dr. Anthony Fauci says some states have opened too quickly, allowing the coronavirus pandemic to come roaring back.
    • India recorded more than 100,000 cases of Covid-19 in the last five days. The country surpassed Russia this week to become the world’s third-worst hit nation.
    • The global count of coronavirus cases passed 40 million last Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University.
    • While Covid-19 infections continue to soar across the US, Dr. Anthony Fauci said following public health measures is the way out of the crisis.
    • As cases also rise across Europe, some cities in the UK, France, Spain are resisting centralized efforts to impose tighter regulations.
    • European countries are seeing a surge in Covid-19 cases with Germany and the Czech Republic reporting single-day highs of new infections.
    • The London mayor says tighter restrictions for the British capital are imminent.
    • Starting Saturday, Paris and several other French cities will be under a nighttime curfew as part of efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus.
    • A vaccine is still the best way to bring an end to the pandemic in the United States, health experts say, adding that pursuing herd immunity through infections would be dangerous.
    • The US saw its highest number of daily coronavirus cases since August, which physicians fear could be the start of the “dreaded second wave.” Another 20,000 Covid-19 deaths by the end of the month are “inevitable,” according to a former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The estimate is based on the number of infections “that have already occurred,” Dr. Tom Frieden said Saturday, during CNN’s “Coronavirus: Facts and Fears” town hall.
    • Within 24 hours, two pharmaceutical companies separately confirmed that their COVID-19 clinical trials — one for a vaccine, the other for a therapy — were being paused over potential safety concerns. A government-sponsored trial for Eli Lilly’s antibody drug was paused due to a “potential safety concern,” according to emails sent to testing sites on Tuesday. The company confirmed in a statement that an independent board overseeing the trial’s safety had made the decision “out of an abundance of caution.” Eli Lilly’s therapy is similar to another experimental treatment manufactured by Regeneron and used to treat President Donald Trump two weeks ago. And on Monday, Johnson & Johnson confirmed that it paused its vaccine trial due to “an unexplained illness in a study participant,” as first reported by Stat.
    • Brazil’s death toll surpassed 150,000 — only the US has more Covid-19 fatalities. Confirmed cases of coronavirus in Brazil have passed five million, with deaths in the country. Brazil’s health ministry reported 31,553 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the total infections to 5,000,694.The country is the third worst hit for infections, after the US and India. President Jair Bolsonaro has been accused of downplaying the risks of the virus throughout the pandemic, ignoring expert advice on restrictive measures.
    • President Trump claimed, without providing evidence, that he has “been tested, totally negative” for Covid-19.
    • India’s Health Minister urged people to celebrate upcoming festivals from home as the country topped 7 million confirmed coronavirus cases.
    • The United Kingdom reported 12,872 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, compared to more than 15,000 the previous day, according to the government’s Covid-19 dashboard. That brings the total number of cases to 603,716. A second national lockdown is a “possibility” in England which has reached a “rather precarious point” amid a sharp rise in coronavirus infections, a leading expert and government adviser said Sunday.
    • Ireland recorded 1,012 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, the highest single day increase since April 15 when 1,068 cases were recorded, according to state broadcaster RTÉ on Sunday.  Writing in the Sunday Independent newspaper, Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar — known as the Tánaiste — said that “a short hard lockdown” may be required to get the case numbers under control again.

    • In France, 26,896 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 24 hours — another record high for a daily increase in cases. The numbers were updated late Saturday on the French Health Authority website.On Friday, 20,339 new cases were reporting, breaking the 20,000-cases-in-a-day threshold. The positivity rate (number of people testing positive) also keeps climbing. It now stands at 11%, up from 7.6% on October 1 and 4.3% on September 1.

    • Russia has set new daily record for coronavirus infections for the third day in a row, with 13,634 cases reported Saturday.  The total number cases in Russia as of Sunday is 1,298,718, according the Russia’s coronavirus response headquarters. Russia has had the fourth greatest number of coronavirus cases across the world, behind the US, India and Brazil, according to Johns Hopkins University. It ranks 13th for overall deaths, the JHU data shows.

    • President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump test positive for Covid-19. Follow all the latest on the news from the White House here. The news followed the revelation that Hope Hicks tested positive for the infection.
    • Stocks in Europe and US futures fall after Trump’s announcement. Meanwhile, the final jobs report before the election showed a weakening recovery: Nonfarm payrolls rose by a lower than expected 661,000 in September and the unemployment rate was 7.9%, the Labor Department said Friday.
    • Europe battles surge in Covid-19 infections with new restrictions. Paris may follow Madrid into full lockdown next week as the pandemic worsens.
    • The number of new coronavirus infections in Russia has surpassed 9,000 in the past 24 hours, the first time that’s happened since June 1. The total number of cases in Russia rose by 9,412, the highest number of cases in one day since May 23, to 1,194,643, according to the country’s anti-coronavirus center. The national death toll is at 21,077.

    • Over months of the coronavirus pandemic, US President Donald Trump has kept to a busy schedule, packed with campaign rallies and public events. The contrast with Russian President Vladimir Putin could not be more stark: The authoritarian leader Trump admires so much is living in a bubble. For most of the pandemic, Putin has been following a strict work-from-home regimen, running the affairs of state largely by videoconference. And the Kremlin has taken extreme measures to guard the health of the man who has run Russia for two decades.

    • Drugmaker Moderna Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said Wednesday that his company’s coronavirus vaccine won’t be ready for widespread public distribution until spring of next year, according to a report. The drugmaker also won’t seek emergency authorization for the vaccine for frontline medical workers and other at-risk individuals until November 25 at the earliest, he told the Financial Times.

    • Drugmaker AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine trial in the United States is still on hold after a participant developed a serious illness, but the Food and Drug Administration commissioner won’t say why. At the US Pharma and Biotech Summit hosted by the Financial Times Wednesday, US FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn was asked why the trial was still on pause in the US, even though it has resumed in Europe. Hahn said he couldn’t answer.

    • More than 1 million people worldwide have [now] died from Covid-19, according to Johns Hopkins University’s data. As of Monday, September 28, at 8:43 pm ET, the global death toll is 1,000,555. The United States has the highest fatality count, having so far recorded 205,131 deaths, according to JHU. The first coronavirus-related death recorded was in the Chinese city of Wuhan on January 9. The world recorded half a million deaths more than 24 weeks later, on June 28, and it took just a little over 13 weeks to double the figure. The university’s tally shows the US, Brazil, India, and Mexico account for more than 50% of the total deaths globally.

    • More than 1 million people have died from the coronavirus worldwide, marking another milestone in the pandemic’s brief but devastating history. The death toll from the coronavirus, which causes Covid-19, now stands at 1,000,555, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The grim tally has been reached in less than nine months since the first death caused by the coronavirus was confirmed by Chinese authorities in the city of Wuhan. Since then, the virus has disrupted the everyday lives of billions of people around the globe and caused widespread economic damage. More than 33 million cases have been confirmed worldwide and outbreaks continue to plague many countries.

    • The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was pushed to play down the risks of the coronavirus pandemic in reopening schools, Olivia Troye, a former staff member for Vice President Mike Pence, told CNN. Troye said an earlier New York Times story about the pressure was accurate, and described the situation within the White House Coronavirus Task Force as a “nightmare.”

    • Paris may have to close bars and restaurants again to stem the resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic, French Health Minister Olivier Veran said. Covid-19 is spreading at such a pace that positive tests and the number of ICU patients have climbed past the “maximum alert” level, Veran told reporters Thursday. If the French capital’s trend keeps up, “we have no choice” but to declare Paris and its inner suburbs a maximum-alert zone starting Monday, which would trigger the closing of bars and restaurants, he said.
    • The incidence of Covid-19 among adolescents appears to be much higher than what’s seen among younger children, according to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report, published on Monday, found the average weekly incidence of Covid-19 among adolescents ages 12 to 17 between May and September was about 37 cases per 100,000 children—nearly double the 19 cases per 100,000 children ages 5 to 11.

    • The World Health Organization announced an agreement to make rapid Covid-19 tests available to lower and middle income countries across the world. During a Monday news conference, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general said, “a substantial proportion of this rapid tests — 120 million — will be made available to low and middle income countries. These tests provide reliable results in approximately 15 to 30 minutes, rather than hours or days, at a lower price, with less sophisticated equipment.” Tedros said these “vital” tests will help expand testing in remote areas, “that do not have lab facilities or enough trained health workers to carry out PCR tests.

    • New York State added 834 positive Covid-19 cases, marking a 1.5% positivity rate, the governor said adding that Brooklyn, Orange County and Rockland county are heavy contributors to the rise. “We’re also seeing in these numbers, significant actions in clusters. It’s basically Brooklyn, Orange, and Rockland that are increasing this number,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. Once the epicenter of the pandemic in the US, New York had boasted a test positivity rate — the percentage of tests being performed that come back positive for the virus — of less than 1% for more than a month.

    • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ensemble forecast now projects there will be up to 226,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States by Oct. 17.
    • Poland and the Czech Republic saw new record numbers of Covid-19 cases identified as cases throughout Europe continue to spike.
    • The World Health Organization warned that more than 80% of cases of Covid-19 in Africa could be asymptomatic.
    • The World Health Organization warned that coronavirus cases are surging alarmingly in Europe, with infections spiking to new highs.
      • A new lockdown in Spain’s capital: Parts of Madrid are under new lockdown measures, which will affect about 850,000 people in the city for the next two weeks. During a news conference today, Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said: “We are ready to look into other scenarios if needed.”
      • Spikes in France: French coronavirus cases are rising starkly, according to the French health authority website. A total of 453,763 cases so far have been reported in France, with 10,569 new cases in the last 24 hours as of Sunday evening. The test positivity stands at 5.7%, according to the Sante Publique France, the French health authority.
      • Weekly doubling in the UK: The number of UK coronavirus cases is doubling about every seven days, chief scientific advisor Patrick Vallance said, emphasizing that the measure was approximate. That would result in about 50,000 new cases per day by the end of October and more than 200 deaths per day by November, he said.
      • What Germany is doing to prepare for fall: The German Health Minister is aiming to introduce additional measures to fight Covid this fall. Jens Spahn, in an interview with the newspaper Rheinische Post, described those measures as introducing so-called “temperature ambulances,” locations where those with Covid symptoms can get on-the-spot Covid tests.
    • As the US approaches the grim milestone of 200,000 coronavirus deaths, more than half of states are reporting a rise in cases — and only six are seeing a decline in cases. Wisconsin, Idaho, South Dakota, Iowa and Kansas are among the states reporting more new cases in the last seven days, along with a coronavirus positivity rate above 15%.  The test positivity rate is the percentage of all tests given that come back positive for coronavirus.
    • US federal officials have cast skepticism Pres. Trump’s predictions that a coronavirus vaccine could be available to Americans by Election Day. (NOTE: On June 18, Trump admitted that a vaccine may be available in April — contradicting his earlier claim about an October vaccine.)
    • Nine biopharmaceutical companies have signed an unusual pledge to uphold “high ethical standards,” suggesting they won’t seek premature government approval for Covid-19 vaccines. An antibody therapy from Eli Lilly could be on the market by the end of the year, according to the CEO of a biotech firm working with the pharmaceutical giant.
    • President Donald Trump admitted he knew weeks before the first confirmed US coronavirus death that the virus was dangerous, airborne, highly contagious and “more deadly than even your strenuous flus,” and that he repeatedly played it down publicly, according to legendary journalist Bob Woodward in his new book “Rage.”
    • New coronavirus antibody testing data suggests there to be large disparities among neighborhoods hit hardest by the pandemic across New York City, separated by race and class — but more research is needed to confirm the extent of the differences. Data from CityMD urgent care medical clinics show that more than 68% of people tested positive for antibodies at a clinic in the working-class neighborhood of Corona, Queens, and 56% tested positive at another clinic in Jackson Heights, Queens. Yet only 13% of people tested positive for antibodies at a clinic in Cobble Hill, a mostly white and wealthy neighborhood in Brooklyn.
    • Human challenge trials are “unnecessary, uninformative and unethical,” a former professor at Harvard Medical School said Friday. Also known as controlled infection trials, human challenge involves the intentional exposure of participants to a virus to allow more rapid assessment of a vaccine’s efficacy.
    • New psychological data taken during the pandemic shows mental health in the United States is languishing, according to data reported this week as part of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Suicidal ideation is up among young people since last year, with as many as one in four people ages 18 through 24 having seriously considered suicide in the 30 days preceding the survey, according to the report, in which researchers surveyed 5,412 adults in the US between June 24 and 30
    • The report says that Iowa is in the task force-defined “red zone” and warns that the state has the highest rate of cases in the US, which increased by 77.4% from the previous week.
    • Infections reported at colleges: Cases have also cropped up at colleges and universities as students return to campus. The Oklahoma State University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reported new cases of coronavirus.
    • Hong Kong extends social distancing measures: Social distancing measures — including restrictions on dine-in services and mandatory face masks — will be extended in Hong Kong until at least August 25, the city’s Food and Health Bureau announced.
    • Oxford vaccine could go before regulators by end of 2020: A potential coronavirus vaccine being jointly developed by the University of Oxford and drugmaker AstraZeneca could be put before regulators by the end of this year, the director of the Oxford Vaccine Group said Tuesday. However, Professor Andrew Pollard cautioned that the process could take longer depending on how much data scientists are able to gather.
    • Recovery “doesn’t mean you are immunized for life,”: Preliminary research has found that a 33-year-old man in Hong Kong had contracted Covid-19 twice this year, having fallen ill 142 days after being infected the first time. “Even if you have recovered from a natural infection, it doesn’t mean you are immunized for life,” said Ivan Hung, part of the research team at the University of Hong Kong. “This virus is very smart, it keeps on mutating. So that means even though you recovered from a natural infection, you still need vaccination, need a mask, and keep your social distancing.”
    • US racial inequality may be just as deadly as Covid-19, if not more: Even amid a pandemic, life expectancy among Whites in the US far exceeds what Blacks experience every year, according to a new study. Researcher Elizabeth Wrigley-Field of the University of Minnesota said it was plausible “even in the Covid-19 pandemic, White mortality will remain lower than the lowest recorded Black mortality in the United States.”
    • Schools in South Korea capital stop in-person classes: Schools in the greater Seoul area will suspend in-person classes starting Wednesday due to a surge in coronavirus infections. All kindergartens, elementary, middle, and high schools in the area will hold online classes until September 11, Education Minister Yoo Eun-hae announced Tuesday.
    • Fauci warns against early authorization of vaccine: Any effort to authorize and distribute a coronavirus vaccine before it has been proven safe and effective in large trials could damage efforts to develop other vaccines, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Monday.
    • The FDA authorized emergency use of a new and inexpensive saliva test for Covid-19 that could greatly expand testing capacity. The new test, which is called SalivaDirect and was developed by researchers at the Yale School of Public Health, allows saliva samples to be collected in any sterile container.
    • Russia announced that it has developed a vaccine. President Putin announced the approval of a coronavirus vaccine, claiming it as a “world first” — but there is continued concern and unanswered questions over its safety and effectiveness.
  • WHO Warning & Virus Origin Scoping Mission: While hopes for a vaccine are strong, there may never be a “silver bullet” for the coronavirus, the WHO warns. The pandemic is likely to be “lengthy”, the UN health agency says, and response fatigue is a risk. Meanwhile, the WHO says it has “finished laying the groundwork for a probe into the origins of Covid-19.” The UN health agency said “two experts had completed a “scoping mission” in China, marking the initial phase of an investigation aimed at identifying how humans were infected with coronavirus.”
  • Hydroxychloroquine Fiasco: Researchers published scathing critiques of a study President Trump repeatedly touted on Twitter. That study, published earlier this month in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, claimed to show that hydroxychloroquine saved lives.President Trump tweeted about it enthusiastically and continues to promote the drug.But the study Trump cites had multiple errors, flaws and biases, according to letters to the journal’s editors: “As a result of the flaws in the analysis the conclusions reached in [the study] are invalid,” Graham Atkinson, an independent consultant in health care policy, wrote in one of the letters.
  • America Unmasked:  There are not nearly enough Americans using masks to bend the curve on the coronavirus infection rate, the head of one of the main teams forecasting the pandemic said Friday. The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) revised its forecast this week for coronavirus deaths because of rising infection rates and because too few Americans were using face masks regularly, IHME’s Dr. Chris Murray told CNN.
  • VP Biden Frames Trump Failure re Pandemic/Economic Response: Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden lambasted President Trump on Tuesday saying he’s proven he is incapable of keeping Americans safe from harm: “Donald Trump faces a real test and he’s failed it, the basic threshold of being President, the duty to care for the entire country, not just his re-election prospects,” said the former vice president in a speech Tuesday in Wilmington, Delaware. “He’s shown that he can’t beat the pandemic and keep you safe,” continued Biden. “He can’t turn the economy around and get America back to work.”
  • Coronavirus: Asymptomatic cases ‘carry same amount of virus’:People with symptomless Covid-19 can carry as much of the virus as those with symptoms, a South Korean study has suggested.South Korea was able to identify and isolate asymptomatic cases through mass testing as early as the start of March. There is mounting evidence these cases represent a considerable proportion of coronavirus infections.
  • New CDC Report: People who were 65 or older, men and people of color who were younger than 65 make up disproportionate shares of COVID-19 deaths in the United States, according to a report released Friday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Covid-19 news: Spain

  • Spain: The novel coronavirus epidemic is “out of control” in parts of Spain, according to the director of the country’s Center for Health Emergencies. “Currently the epidemic is not out of control at a national level, but it is in some concrete places,” Fernando Simon said Thursday. Simon’s remarks came after Spain reported 7,039 new cases, 3,349 in the previous 24 hours. Madrid and Catalonia account for the majority of new infections, but Andalucía, Castilla y Leon and Aragon have also seen sharp increases.

Covid-19 news: Oxford Vaccine

  • Oxford is Vaccine Frontrunner; May Offer Double Defense: The University of Oxford candidate, led by Sarah Gilbert, might be through human trials in September. AstraZeneca has lined up agreements to produce 2 billion doses. The researchers believe they have made a breakthrough after discovering the jab could provide “double protection” against the virus, the Daily Telegraph reported. The newspaper said the phase 1 trial in healthy adult volunteers, which began in April, showed the vaccine generated an immune response, with blood samples indicating it stimulated the body to produce both antibodies and “killer T-cells”.

Covid-19 news: Rapid Test?

  • Rapid Test Breakthrough? Researchers in Australia have devised a test that can determine novel coronavirus infection in about 20 minutes using blood samples in what they say is a world-first breakthrough. The research team was led by BioPRIA and Monash University’s Chemical Engineering Department, including researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent BioNano Science and Technology (CBNS). Meanwhile, in Singapore, Clinician-scientists at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore’s (NTU Singapore) Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine) have demonstrated a way to improve the speed, handling time and cost of COVID-19 laboratory tests. The improved testing method yields results in 36 minutes – a quarter of the time required by existing gold-standard tests.

Covid-19 news: Antibody Test

  • Promising UK Antibody Study: About 7% of participants in a British study tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, according to results from the first month of the nationwide study.  The test results, which indicate previous infection with coronavirus, ranged from 10.4% of Londoners to about 4.4% of people living in the southwest of England and Scotland. The widespread United Kingdom serology, or antibody, study uses volunteers for a much larger, ongoing health study called the UK Biobank. UK Biobank has collected samples and health information from 500,000 volunteers for research. The researchers have recruited more than 20,000 volunteers from regions across the UK for the coronavirus antibody study. They are being asked to provide monthly blood samples that the Oxford University-based Target Discovery Institute will test for the antibodies.

Covid-19 news: GSK and Sanofi

  • GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur: Drug giants GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur said Friday they had won a commitment from the US federal government to pay up to $2.1 billion to help the two companies move forward with their proposed joint coronavirus vaccine as part of Operation Warp Speed.The companies had said in April they would work together to make a vaccine against Covid-19, using Sanofi’s flu vaccine technology and Glaxo’s adjuvant — a compound that boosts the power of a vaccine.

Covid-19 news: FDA

  • FDA Authorizes Asymptomatic Test: The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized the first coronavirus test for asymptomatic Covid-19 cases and for those who don’t think they’re infected with the virus at all. The agency reissued an emergency use authorization for a LabCorp Covid-19 RT-PCR test after the company provided scientific proof that the test was able to detect the virus in asymptomatic people. RT-PCR tests amplify genetic matter from the virus so it’s detectable.
  • Antibody Drug Hope: Eli Lilly believes that a new antibody drug could be on the market by the end of the year, according to the CEO of a biotech firm working with the pharmaceutical giant.
  • Extensive Organ Damage: Coronavirus damages not only the lungs, but the kidneys, liver, heart, brain and nervous system, skin and gastrointestinal tract, doctors noted in a review of reports about COVID-19 patients (source: Columbia University/Irving Medical Center)

Covid-19 news: Taiwan

  • Taiwan: US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar spoke about what Taiwan, the country he is currently visiting, has done in order to control the Covid-19 pandemic. “Taiwan has taken very effective measures, but they’re very strong measures,” Azar said on ABC’s Good Morning America on Tuesday.Every person who comes into Taiwan is subject to a mandatory quarantine period, where individual compliance is checked and inspected by the police, Azar said. Taiwan has also used social media and mandatory cell phone GPS tracking to identify contacts.

COVID-19 news: France

  • France:  There have been at least 538,500 confirmed cases of coronavirus in France, according to the French government. As of Monday afternoon, 31,727 people had died. National health authorities in France do not provide cumulative regional data for test-confirmed cases of the virus; only daily snapshots are reported. They do, however, report regional data for the total number of people hospitalized for Covid-19 and how many of those people have recovered or died.

COVID-19 news: Germany

  • Germany:  There have been at least 285,300 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Germany, according to the Robert Koch Institute, the country’s public health institution. As of Monday afternoon, 9,460 people had died.

COVID-19 news: Spain

  • Spain:  There have been at least 716,400 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Spain, according to the Spanish Ministry of Health. As of Monday afternoon, 31,232 people had died.

COVID-19 news: UK

  • UK: A potential coronavirus vaccine being jointly developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca could be put before regulators by the end of this year, the director of the Oxford Vaccine Group said Tuesday. “It is just possible that, if the cases accrue rapidly in the clinical trials, we could have that data before regulators this year, and then there would be a process that they go through in order to make a full assessment of the data,” Professor Andrew Pollard said. However, speaking to BBC Radio 4, Pollard cautioned that the process could take longer depending on how much data scientists are able to gather. The Scottish government announced on Tuesday that students over the age of 12 will be advised to wear face coverings at school. This comes after an outbreak at a school in Dundee, which saw 22 people test positive for Covid-19.

COVID-19 news: Belarus

  • Belarus will become the first country to receive doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine being developed in Russia as part of a new agreement reached by President Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko on Monday. According to the state-owned Belarusian Telegraph Agency (BeITA), the two leaders agreed that Belarusian citizens will participate in the third stage of Russian vaccine trials, on a voluntary basis.

Covid-19 news: MENA

  • MENA & sub-Saharan Africa: The IMF warned of deeper Middle East and North Africa (MENA) recession and rising social unrest risks. The economic outlook was already grim as the region struggles to cope with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, in SS Africa, South Africa extended measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus as the number of cases in the country continued to rise. SA represents the highest total in SS Africa with 276,242 cases and over 4000 deaths (as of July 13).

COVID-19 news: Latin America & Caribbean:

  • Argentina: Argentina reported its highest number of both new Covid-19 cases and deaths Monday, according to numbers released from the Health Ministry. On Monday, the ministry reported 382 new deaths from the virus — its highest daily increase since the outbreak started. The previous record — 282 new deaths — was reported on Aug. 19.Argentina’s death toll from the virus now stands at at least 7,366.
  • Brazil’s death toll surpassed 150,000 — only the US has more Covid-19 fatalities. Confirmed cases of coronavirus in Brazil have passed five million, with deaths in the country. Brazil’s health ministry reported 31,553 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the total infections to 5,000,694.The country is the third worst hit for infections, after the US and India. President Jair Bolsonaro has been accused of downplaying the risks of the virus throughout the pandemic, ignoring expert advice on restrictive measures.

Covid-19 news: Mexico

Covid-19 news: India

  • There have been at least 6,074,700 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in India, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare. As of Monday afternoon, 95,542 people had died.

Covid-19 news: Japan

  • Japan: An additional 1,601 cases of Covid-19 were recorded in Japan Friday, the country’s Ministry of Health said — the highest number Japan has seen in a single day. It’s the fourth consecutive day Japan has identified more than 1,000 cases. To date, authorities have identified 46,151 cases of Covid-19 and 1,062 virus-related fatalities. Tokyo is among the hardest-hit cities. Authorities said 462 cases were identified in the Japanese capital Friday, while Osaka posted its own daily high of 255 cases

Covid-19 news: Germany

  • Germany: Authorities in Germany said 1,122 new coronavirus patients were identified on Friday, the third day in a row that more than 1,000 cases of the virus were recorded. Twelve more people died Friday, bringing the nationwide death toll to 9,195, according to Germany’s center for disease control, the Robert Koch Institute. Meanwhile, Germany’s top virologists have urged mandatory mask wearing in schools, including during classroom lessons, as schools in the country re-open after summer break: “Due to the real danger of infections between students who are asymptomatic, we urge strict mask wearing in all grades, including during lessons,” the virologists wrote in an open letter published on the website of the Society for Virology on Saturday

Covid-19 news: Italy

  • Italy: The number of active COVID-19 cases in Italy has dropped to 52,942, the Civil Protection Agency said Tuesday. The number marks an encouraging decrease – close to half of the highest number of cases recorded during the peak of the pandemic, which stood at 108,257.

Covid-19 news: Spain

  • Spanish Study Challenges Herd Immunity Theory: Meanwhile,  Spanish study has cast doubt on the feasibility of herd immunity as a way of tackling the coronavirus pandemic. The study of more than 60,000 people estimates that around just 5% of the Spanish population has developed antibodies, the medical journal the Lancet reported.


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Spotlight Article:

BBC: Why India’s Covid problem could be bigger than we think

India is approaching the ninth month of the coronavirus pandemic with more than five million confirmed cases – the second-highest in the world after the US – and more than 80,000 reported deaths.

Infection is surging through the country in a “step-ladder spiral”, a government scientist told me. The only “consolation” is a death rate – currently 1.63% – that’s lower than many countries with a high caseload.

The increase in reported cases has partly to do with increased testing – but the speed at which the virus is spreading is worrying experts.

Here’s why. It took 170 days for India to reach the first million cases. The last million cases took only 11 days. Average daily cases have shot up from 62 in April to more than 87,000 in September.

In the past week, India has recorded more than….

Click here for the rest of the article.

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The Bassiouni Group
Rockefeller Center
45 Rockefeller Plaza, Suite 2000
New York, NY 10111

P   1 (800) 278-9198

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