"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 17th Aug 2020
COVID-19 lockdown on sexual and reproductive health in Australia
Nearly a third of participants reported difficulties accessing their usual feminine hygiene products during the lockdown in Australia. Participants reported delaying childbearing or deciding to remain childfree due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ensuring continued access to sexual and reproductive health services and products for all who require them during global emergencies is essential.
London and coronavirus: Why one young couple is moving to the country
For as long as there have been cities, their residents have agreed to an unwritten contract. They tolerate cramped living quarters, noise and pollution. In exchange, they get the vibrancy that rural towns often lack.
Local lockdowns can be successful – here's what we need to make them work
Local lockdowns also have the potential to increase inequalities, especially in disadvantaged areas. Demographic and socioeconomic factors may play a role in localised increases in cases, and we already know that certain ethnicities are at higher risk of COVID-19 infection and transmission. Local hot spots will probably be in areas of increased disadvantage, particularly among black, Asian and minority ethnic groups who are more likely to live in densely populated urban areas and are also disproportionately represented in high-risk essential jobs. This was reflected in a statement from Independent Sage, which provides independent advice on how the government should deal with the coronavirus epidemic, on the “predictable and avoidable” situation in Leicester – “a city rich in multiple cultures and traditions, [which] also has high levels of disadvantage and poverty”. To prevent local lockdowns making inequalities worse, they should be implemented for the shortest time possible to minimise disruption to people’s lives. Certain requirements need to be met for this to happen.
Britons will accept local lockdowns if a Covid vaccine can't be found, survey finds
Britons will accept local lockdowns, home schooling and bans on live audiences for the foreseeable future if a coronavirus vaccine is not found, a survey suggests. As parts of the UK grapple with local lockdowns, 87 per cent of people said they would accept these being imposed in the future, and 85 per cent said they would accept their own local area being subject to such restrictions. The wide-ranging research by King's College London, which has been tracking attitudes throughout the pandemic, revealed what people would expect and tolerate in the long-term if a vaccine or treatment for Covid-19 does not transpire.
Huge anti-mask crowd protests against lockdown restrictions and 5G phone networks
Unmasked campaigners came together for a 'freedom gathering' in protest of the coronavirus lockdown. Tens of people congregated in Victoria Square in Birmingham on Saturday to make their views on face masks known. They gathered around a speaker and a sign which read 'Covid-19 is a smokescreen for a bigger agenda', the Birmingham Mail reported. The speaker said: "Everyone can't go to pop concerts until he (Boris Johnson ) says so. "What is it all about? It's about control, exactly. Many of you already know this. "So many people are walking around with masks on. What about the masks issue? Do masks protect you? Look at the scientific studies.
Some Australia Libraries Called Every Elderly Member To Check In Amid Lockdown
This library system in Australia had the most wholesome plan to care for its elderly members during coronavirus lockdown. And so library staff started going through their database of community members to find every, single one who was over 70 years old, and then used their work-issued phones to start calling those seniors to check in. In total, there were more than 8,000 elderly members whom library staff called to check in during lockdown. The 16,000 call total, which the author of the piece later corrected, is because they called all 8,000 elderly members at the start of lockdown and are now calling them again.
In Vietnam’s Da Nang, locals send cash, food as lockdown hits poorest
Months after Vietnam saw no local cases, a new outbreak in Da Nang has sent people back indoors, with many unable to afford food and rent. Local groups and others have been sending care packages to struggling families and overwhelmed hospitals
France's secret spaces flourish in the aftermath of coronavirus lockdown
The unsung wonders of France are getting their moment in the sun due to the coronavirus. Places such as the Creuse and the Haute-Vienne, in central France, the Moselle in the east, the Sarthe and the Ardennes have been perennially eclipsed by glitzier venues of the Cote D’Azur in the south or the Ile de Ré over to the west. But the traditional minnows appear to be capturing the interest of city dwellers who were stuck amid the concrete during the three-month lockdown to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. During June, Alès in south-eastern France - known locally as the capital of the Cevennes - trumpeted its splendours on hundreds of posters dotted around the Paris metro.
St Albans Roman theatre's 'brilliant' first post-lockdown show
An open air theatre - said to be the only one of its kind in the UK - has put on its first show following the easing of lockdown measures. The open air Roman Theatre of Verulamium in St Albans, Hertfordshire, hosted its first show on Friday with socially-distanced seating. The theatre was built in about AD140 and was refurbished in 2014. Emma Wright said the opening show of William Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor was "brilliant". She said she had not performed on stage since before Christmas and although she had been in a Zoom production of Twelfth Night over lockdown it was "lovely" to be back on stage. Mrs Wright, who plays Alice Ford in the production, said: "Everyone in the cast was desperate to get back on stage.
Mexico City cinema, theater and bars emerge from lockdown gloom
After months without museums, cinemas and bars, Mexico City residents began exploring them again this week, even as authorities continue battling the coronavirus pandemic that has so far killed over 55,000 people in Mexico.
Staying at home can be the new normal: Investment firm tells staff they can work remotely for EVER
Investment firm Schroders has told staff they can work from home for ever if they choose to – so long as they work the hours set out in their contracts. The 216-year-old company has unveiled ‘a new approach to flexible working’ that will scrap the previous requirement for employees to come into the office for at least four days a week. The move will affect 2,500 British workers.
India's invisible catastrophe: fears over spread of Covid-19 into poor rural areas
Where better to seek sanctuary from a virus roaring through a crowded metropolis than a remote mountainside with views of the Himalayas? This was the reasoning that prompted Lalit Upreti, 34, to leave the Indian capital, Delhi, where he works as a cook, two months ago to return to his hamlet Khankari in Uttarakhand, near the country’s border with Nepal. Here, he thought, his family would be safe. On 7 August, he attended a health camp organised by the village council. “I went for the heck of it, I had no symptoms but thought why not?,” said Upreti. Apart from checking for monsoon-related ailments, local health officials took swabs for Covid-19.
PwC Expects Majority of U.K. Staff to Work Remotely After Virus
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP expects the majority of its 22,000 U.K. staff to spend some of their time working remotely, even after the coronavirus crisis passes. PwC, one of the so-called Big Four accounting firms, is predicting a more even split between office and home working in the medium-to-long term, spokesperson Richard Pain said. Usage of its offices has plunged during the crisis, with a little more than a quarter of its U.K. employees spending time in one of its 20 offices in the country last week, he added.
'New York City Lite': after coronavirus, will business flock to the suburbs?
Coronavirus has, almost overnight, thrown this dynamic into question by rendering some of these cities’ great attributes — their density and rich cultural offerings — unappealing or off-limits. That is precipitating an exodus to suburbs that had wilted in their shadows. “It’s unlike anything I’ve seen and I’ve been doing this for 20 years,” says Carolyn Fugere, a Sotheby’s broker in Stamford. In July, the number of single-family homes under contract in the wider Fairfield County rose 63 per cent compared to the previous year. The value of those contracts was up 104 per cent. Reports of rising crime in a fraying New York City, Ms Fugere adds, are prompting young families to “accelerate life decisions”.
Make online class more interactive; this way, they can complement physical classrooms post Covid
The entire class would have learnt about organ systems, with students collaborating in groups while also interacting as a class; all the while, the teacher plays a facilitatory and a supervisory role in knowledge exchange. From issues of access centred on digital connectivity, devices and literacy to the fact that it can’t replicate the social-emotional component of classroom learning, there are a fair number of criticisms of online learning. However, if education hasn’t surrendered completely to the pandemic and the need for distancing, it is because of online/on-air teaching. So, the effort has to be towards addressing its lacuna. Access simply needs enough administrative will to deal with; it is the limitations of technology that will prove challenging. Online education can never replace the classroom experience, but Sal Khan of the Khan Academy, writing in The New York Times, discussed ways to enrich the virtual classroom experience.
‘A national crisis’: As coronavirus forces many schools online this fall, millions of disconnected students are being left behind
For all the talk of Generation Z’s Internet savvy, a stunning number of young people are locked out of virtual classes because they lack high-speed Internet service at home. In 2018, nearly 17 million children lived in homes without high-speed Internet, and more than 7 million did not have computers at home, according to a report prepared by a coalition of civil rights and education groups that analyzed census data for that year. The issue affects a disproportionately high percentage of Black, Latino and Native American households — with nearly one-third of students lacking high-speed Internet at home. Students in Southern states and in rural communities also were particularly overrepresented. In Mississippi and Arkansas, about 40 percent of students lacked high-speed Internet.
An Arizona School District Canceled All Its Classes After Teachers Staged A Sickout Over Coronavirus Fears
A school district in Arizona that was set to open for in-person teaching on Monday was forced to cancel all classes after teachers staged a “sickout” to protest unsafe working conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. "We have received an overwhelming response from staff indicating that they do not feel safe returning to classrooms with students," Gregory Wyman, superintendent of the J.O. Combs Unified School District, said in a letter to parents on Friday. "In response, we have received a high volume of staff absences for Monday citing health and safety concerns," Wyman said.
Many private schools are planning to open in person as public schools are stuck online
In between fielding emails from parents about his school’s plan to reopen, Bud Tosti spent Tuesday unloading 120 desks at St. Katharine of Siena School in Wayne. “You can’t socially distance with tables,” Tosti, the Catholic elementary school’s principal, said after swapping desks into six classrooms. As public schools across the region have increasingly moved to reopen with online-only instruction, many private schools are pressing ahead with plans to bring children back to classrooms, saying they are taking precautions and can open safely.
Coronavirus response | Day care facilities scramble to accommodate virtual learners
Through the spring and summer, the YMCA has hosted 50 to 60 children, but as the fall draws closer and plans have changed for school districts across the area, Scott and his organization are planning something bigger. The local YMCA hopes to open at least five sites in Champaign-Urbana and a few others throughout Champaign County to host at least 200 K-5 students as they participate in remote learning. The students will be in classrooms with no more than 10 children and two adults. “We’ll set up (six) mini schools, if you will,” Scott said. “Obviously, we won’t have the same level of education as a school would, and, you know, 10 kids per room is going to make it easy for us to keep them distanced and safe. But we’re going to provide places where we can keep the numbers way down and we can keep them spaced out.”
COVID-19 rates in children are 'steadily increasing' and now account for 7.3% of all US cases, CDC warns - while top doctor urges kids returning to school to wear masks as ...
The CDC released new guidance on coronavirus in children on Friday. It showed that the number and rate of infections among children have been 'steadily increasing' between March and July. Children accounted for 7.3 percent of all US coronavirus cases as of August 3. Officials said the juvenile transmission rate may have been low in the spring and early summer because of lockdowns and school closures. But that rate is expected to rise as more students return to schools this fall. More than 5.36 million coronavirus cases and 169,489 deaths have been reported in the US as of Sunday
New Zealand delays election after virus outbreak in Auckland
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday chose to delay New Zealand’s national elections by four weeks as the country deals with a new coronavirus outbreak in its largest city, Auckland. The election had been scheduled for Sept. 19 but will now be held on Oct. 17. Under New Zealand law, Ardern had the option of delaying the election for up to about two months. Opposition parties had been requesting a delay after a virus outbreak in Auckland last week prompted the government to put the city into a two-week lockdown and halted election campaigning.
UK holidaymakers scramble to leave France before quarantine
British holidaymakers in France scrambled on Friday to return to the UK before a newly imposed quarantine comes into effect following a rise in coronavirus infections. The exodus came after Downing Street announced on Thursday evening that travellers coming from France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, the Turks and Caicos Islands and Aruba would have to self-isolate on arrival in the UK after sharp increases in Covid-19 cases in those countries. Ministers had originally intended to impose the quarantine measures from 4am on Sunday but agreed to introduce them a day earlier following demands from Scotland and Wales during a meeting with the devolved nations on Thursday.
Coronavirus latest: South Korea tightens restrictions in Seoul; Japan records 1,200 new cases
South Korea has announced a series of new lockdown measures in Seoul, including a ban on indoor gatherings of at least 50 people and closures of entertainment venues, after reporting 166 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, its highest daily total since March 11. Of the new cases, 155 were locally transmitted – a significant increase from 85 on Friday. “The spread of Covid-19 in the Seoul metropolitan area is very serious,” Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said. “We are now at a critical juncture where we may enter a second wave of infections, as is the case in the rest of the world, if we fail to overcome this crisis.”
Coronavirus: Health Secretary to replace Public Health England with specialist pandemic unit, says report
Public Health England (PHE) is set to be scrapped and replaced with a unit that will specifically deal with pandemics, it has been reported. Health Secretary Matt Hancock is set to announce the move later this week, and will merge the NHS Test and Trace scheme with the work done by PHE on the coronavirus response, according to the Sunday Telegraph. The overhaul comes after repeated reports that ministers have been frustrated and unhappy with the way PHE, which was created by former health secretary Jeremy Hunt in 2013, has dealt with the coronavirus crisis.
Parts of England to remain in tighter coronavirus lockdown
Millions of people in northern England and Leicester will remain under tighter lockdown for a third week as coronavirus infection rates continue to climb sharply in some districts, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced. The decision was taken by Matt Hancock, the health secretary, alongside regional leaders after cases continued to rise in most affected areas despite a fortnight of enhanced restrictions. Across England as a whole, infection rates appear to have levelled off, with an estimated 3,800 new cases a day – broadly similar to the week before, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). One scientist described the situation across the country as “broadly reassuring”. Prof Tim Spector, of King’s College London, who is leading the work with the Covid-19 symptom study app, said of those findings: “The lowest rate we saw was in late June and rates increased slowly in July but now we have returned to those lower levels.”
Argentina sticks with COVID-19 lockdown focused in and around Buenos Aires
Argentina extended until Aug. 30 restrictions taken against the coronavirus, President Alberto Fernandez said on Friday, affirming that the country’s lockdown would continue in its current form in an around capital city Buenos Aires.
France reports post-lockdown peak with 3,310 new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours
The French Health Ministry on Saturday reported 3,310 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, setting a new post-lockdown high for the fourth day in a row and taking the country's cumulative cases to 215,521. A total of 252 clusters are being investigated, up 17 compared with 24 hours earlier, the ministry said in a website update. In all, 4,857 people were in French hospitals on Saturday night for Covid-19, including 376 in intensive care.
India’s Covid-19 death toll hits 50,000 mark
The number of deaths from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in India exceeded 50,000 on Saturday, making it the fourth country — after the United States, Brazil and Mexico — to cross this bleak milestone as infections mount world over. However, India’s case fatality rate (CFR) — the proportion of deaths to the total recorded infections — at 1.9%is lower than the global average of 3.5%, indicating that the country has controlled deaths better than other nations with similar or higher caseload. India is ranked third in the number of infections — only the US and Brazil have recorded more cases than India and have substantially higher death tolls from the viral illness.
Global report: Barcelona facing new lockdown as Tokyo raises alert level
Part of the northern Spanish region of Catalonia has gone back into lockdown, with Barcelona suggesting it might also follow suit with restrictions in some districts, as authorities sought to control a resurgence of coronavirus cases emerging just weeks after a nationwide lockdown was lifted. As a judge overturned a previous court decision to approve the stay-at-home order for the Lleida area, west of Barcelona, friction was emerging over how to handle an increase in cases in a suburb of the Catalan capital.
Germany declares most of Spain a virus risk region
Germany declared nearly all of Spain, including the tourist island of Mallorca, a coronavirus risk region following a spike in cases there. The move deals a blow to hopes for a swift revival of mass tourism after months of lockdown all but wiped out this year’s high season in Europe. The Bild daily had reported earlier that Mallorca had been added to the list of high-risk regions published by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany’s public health agency. The latest version of the RKI’s list on its website said the whole of mainland Spain and the Balearic islands were risk regions.
No fiesta in Spain as public drinking banned, clubs closed due to coronavirus surge
Spain on Friday ordered nightlife establishments to close and banned drinking on the street in an effort to stem a coronavirus resurgence - measures that caused anger and dismay in the hard-hit hospitality sector. Smoking in public places where keeping a safe distance from people is impossible was also banned, Health Minister Salvador Illa told a news conference. Bars and restaurants will have to down their shutters by 1 a.m. as part of the new restrictions, Illa said. The minister also advised against gatherings of more than 10 people and specifically warned young people not to gather outside to drink alcohol, a popular practice called "botellones".
We Will Pay for Our Summer Vacations With Winter Lockdowns
This spring, when Western Europe became an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, countries imposed strict lockdowns: In France, a person needed a permit to go shopping; Spain required children to stay indoors the entire day; in Scotland and Wales, people could go outside for a walk only once a day and had to stay within a five-mile radius. Thanks to this, European countries were able to not only flatten the Covid-19 curve but to also keep levels of infection very low. But as the weeks went by, the pressure to reopen society grew. People wanted their prepandemic lives back. They wanted dynamic economies to protect their jobs; they wanted their children educated in schools; they wanted nights out at the pub and visits to their friends. And they really wanted summer vacations.
Coronavirus: South Africa crime rate plummets during lockdown
Crime in South Africa dropped by up to 40% during the first three months of its lockdown, official figures show. The police minister said most types of crimes went down between April and June - including sexual assault and arson. He added that a controversial alcohol ban during the coronavirus lockdown had helped, but that attacks on liquor stores had increased in the pandemic. South Africa has among the world's highest crime rates. It has recorded over half the Covid-19 cases in Africa. More than 500,000 infections and 11,000 deaths have been reported in the country - although BBC Africa Editor Mary Harper says this may be because of its reliable testing rates.
How the lockdown forced the UK to confront its food waste problem
The new ordeal of shopping at a supermarket, coupled with the fear of stock shortages, saw households acknowledge food is not just a commodity – but a life-source. OLIO has been used more in the past five weeks than in the past five years. The app connects people who have food they no longer want with neighbours, ensuring surplus food does not end up in landfill. At the start of the pandemic, OLIO adapted to contact-free collection. Clarke attributes OLIO’s surge in membership to three factors: people valuing food more, becoming collectively more aware of social inequality and realising a sense of belonging to our local community. “It really led people to have a bit of a nationwide Marie Kondo moment. They really went through their cupboards and their drawers and looked to give away what they didn't need.”
Coronavirus: Government begins drive to reassure parents that schools are safe to open
A new campaign to persuade parents that it is safe to send children back to school next month is being launched by the government. In an effort to restore full time education in England, ministers want families to be aware of the measures being used to minimise the risk of coronavirus transmission. The #backtoschoolsafely campaign "matters on a very, very large scale," according to headteacher Andrea Parker, who is the face of the campaign.
Spain’s vineyards destroy record harvest as wine sales crash
It should have been a great year for Spanish wine: a bumper crop of grapes resulting in millions and millions of extra bottles for sipping or swilling at home and abroad. But with Covid-19 leading to a catastrophic drop in wine sales, the Spanish government is offering growers subsidies to destroy part of this year’s record grape harvest. Faced with over-production in a shrinking market, €90m is to be spent either on destruction or on the distilling of grapes into brandy and industrial alcohol. Lower limits have also been set on the amount of wine that can be produced per hectare – and have already been imposed on makers of cava, Rueda and Rioja.
UK charity shops sales suffer despite lockdown 'decluttering'
Britain’s charity shops are struggling with sales declines of as much as one-third, despite enjoying bumper stock levels – and offering huge savings – following a surge in donations after households “decluttered” during lockdown. Oxfam, which has 595 shops, said that money coming through its tills is down by 32% on a like-for-like basis compared to last year. The British Heart Foundation (BHF), which has around 740 shops, said income is currently down around 20%, with Barnardo’s and Cancer Research UK saying they are suffering similar declines. The lockdown has devastated charities which rely on shops for a significant chunk of their income. BHF said it lost around £60m in sales during the lockdown period, while Barnardo’s said: “We are forecasting a loss of £30m in shop income for this year.” Just keeping the shops safely closed – and paying some landlords – during the lockdown period cost Oxfam £5m a month.
Covid-19 surges back into nursing homes in coronavirus hot spots
The novel coronavirus is surging back into U.S. nursing homes, where it killed tens of thousands at the start of the pandemic and now once again threatens some of the people most vulnerable to covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. The development is a discouraging result of widespread community transmission of the virus in many parts of the country and in hot spots where it is even less controlled. With staff — and in some cases patients and visitors — entering and leaving facilities, the community-acquired infection almost inevitably finds its way inside. “The strongest predictor of whether or not we’ll see cases in [a particular setting] is community spread,” said David C. Grabowski, a professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School, who studies long-term care. “We saw that in the Northeast and now, unfortunately, we’re seeing it in the Sun Belt states.”
Covid-19: Impact of long term symptoms will be profound, warns BMA
A third of doctors have treated patients with long term covid-19 symptoms, including chronic fatigue and anosmia, a survey conducted by the BMA has found. Richard Vautrey, chair of the BMA’s GP committee for England, said it was clear that the long term impact of covid-19 on patients and the NHS would be profound. An online survey of doctors conducted by the association between 6 and 12 August received 4279 responses.1 Of the 3729 doctors who answered a question about patients’ symptoms, around a third (1092) said that they had seen or treated patients with symptoms they believed to be a long term effect of the patient having had covid-19. The symptoms reported included chronic fatigue, muscle weakness, loss of sense of smell, and concentration difficulties. “With more patients presenting with conditions as the result of infection, it’s essential that sufficient capacity is in place to support and treat them,” Vautrey said. “With the growing backlog of non-covid-19 treatment, the likelihood of a season flu outbreak, and the possibility of a second wave of infections we need to see a more comprehensive long term plan to enable doctors to care for their patients this winter and beyond.” The survey also asked doctors about their own experiences of covid-19. Of the 4120 who responded to the question, 63% said they did not believe they had contracted the virus, 12% had had a diagnosis of covid-19 confirmed by testing, and 14% believed they had been infected with the virus.
Best COVID-19 vaccine 'may not be the first' | Imperial News
In a week in which Russia approved its 'Sputnik V' coronavirus vaccine, a leading Imperial expert sounds a note of caution on the need for data. In the search for a vaccine against the coronavirus, our focus should be on the best vaccine, not just the first to become available, says Imperial’s Professor Robin Shattock. Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this week, Professor Shattock, said: “Everybody is very obsessed about the ‘first’ vaccine, but the first may not be the best. What we need is a vaccine that works extremely well and is widely available.”
COVID-19 WRAP | US recruits scientists from South Africa for Covid-19 vaccine trials
US recruits scientists from South Africa and Latin America for Covid-19 vaccine trials, pledges access to supply. The Trump administration’s coronavirus vaccine project is recruiting scientists in South Africa and Latin America to help test possible vaccines in US- backed clinical trials, pledging to ease their countries’ access to any successful products, Reuters has learned. Moncef Slaoui, a former pharmaceutical executive who heads Operation Warp Speed, a multi-billion dollar US collaboration between the federal government and drugmakers, made the commitment to international scientists late last month, two people familiar with the matter said.
Malaysia Detects Coronavirus Strain That’s 10 Times More Infectious
Malaysia has detected a strain of the new coronavirus that’s been found to be 10 times more infectious. The mutation called D614G was found in at least three of the 45 cases in a cluster that started from a restaurant owner returning from India and breaching his 14-day home quarantine. The man has since been sentenced to five months in prison and fined. The strain was also found in another cluster involving people returning from the Philippines.
Yale's rapid COVID-19 saliva test receives FDA emergency use authorization
A saliva-based laboratory diagnostic test developed by researchers at the Yale School of Public Health to determine whether someone is infected with the novel coronavirus has been granted an emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The method, called SalivaDirect, is being further validated as a test for asymptomatic individuals through a program that tests players and staff from the National Basketball Association (NBA). SalivaDirect is simpler, less expensive, and less invasive than the traditional method for such testing, known as nasopharyngeal (NP) swabbing. Results so far have found that SalivaDirect is highly sensitive and yields similar outcomes as NP swabbing.
People who recover from covid-19 don’t need to be retested for three months, CDC says
In recently updated guidance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that people who have recovered from the coronavirus do not need to quarantine or seek testing for three months after they have recuperated. The new recommendation, last updated Aug. 3, cautions that those who were previously infected should still socially distance and wear masks but says they don’t need to quarantine or be tested unless they develop symptoms.
Vietnam to buy Russian COVID-19 vaccine
Vietnam has registered to buy a Russian COVID-19 vaccine, state television reported on Friday, as it fights a new outbreak after going several months with no local cases. Russia said on Wednesday it would roll out the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine within two weeks, rejecting the concerns of experts who said it should not have been approved before completing large-scale trials. “In the meantime, Vietnam will still continue developing the country’s own COVID-19 vaccine,” state broadcaster Vietnam Television (VTV) said, citing the Ministry of Health. Vietnam has signed up for 50 million-150 million doses of the vaccine, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported. Some will be a “donation” from Russia, Tuoi Tre said, with Vietnam paying for the rest.