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"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 1st Dec 2020

News Highlights

'The Wuhan Files': CNN scoop raises major questions about China's handling of Covid-19

A CNN report outlies grave errors made by China in the pandemic's early stages. based on an internal document from Hubei province, the files 'reveal what appears to be an inflexible healthcare system...ill-equipped to deal with the emerging crisis' and it highlighted that there were 'clear missteps and...a pattern of institutional failings.'

Civilian vaccination begins in Moscow

A hospital in Moscow is reported to have begun administering doses of Sputnik-V to the civilian population on Monday. The Russian government boasted its controversial vaccine allegedly showed 92% efficiency in interim trial results. The news comes amidst a competitive global race for a vaccine and a surge in Covid-19 cases, including in Russia.

Moderna claims 94.1% efficacy and asks for CDC and EU approval

Drugmaker Moderna has said its vaccine is 94.1% effective against Covid-19 based on the latest data. On the back of this, Moderna is requesting emergency use authorisation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its vaccine. It is the second company to so so, after Pfizer.

Second nationwide lockdown may be on the cards in India

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to chair an all-party meeting on December 4, as cases surge in India. The virtual meeting is set up to review the measures being taken to combat the pandemic in India. After an initial national lockdown, a second one is reported to potentially be on the cards.

Lockdown Exit
The Wuhan files
That same day, Chinese authorities reported 2,478 new confirmed cases -- raising the total global number to more than 40,000, with fewer than 400 cases occurring outside of mainland China. Yet CNN can now reveal how official documents circulated internally show that this was only part of the picture. In a report marked "internal document, please keep confidential," local health authorities in the province of Hubei, where the virus was first detected, list a total of 5,918 newly detected cases on February 10, more than double the official public number of confirmed cases, breaking down the total into a variety of subcategories. This larger figure was never fully revealed at that time, as China's accounting system seemed, in the tumult of the early weeks of the pandemic, to downplay the severity of the outbreak. The previously undisclosed figure is among a string of revelations contained within 117 pages of leaked documents from the Hubei Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, shared with and verified by CNN.
Italy Green-lights New Anti-Covid Stimulus Package
Italy's government said Monday it had approved a new stimulus package to shore up businesses affected by the latest round of anti-coronavirus restrictions in the eurozone's third-largest economy. The aid package, the fourth since the pandemic gripped the country in March, is worth eight billion euros ($9.6 billion) and delays tax deadlines for companies in areas subject to harsh lockdown measures. It also offers a 1,000-euro lump sum to workers in tourism, the arts, sports and leisure -- as well as setting aside funds for the conventions sector and a boosted police presence to ensure anti-coronavirus measures are respected.
Japan and South Korea see surge of suicides among young women, raising new questions about pandemic stress
Suicide rates among young women have increased notably in Japan and South Korea, raising possible links to the prolonged coronavirus pandemic as it amplifies stress levels, worsens economic woes and aggravates feelings of loneliness and isolation. No comprehensive global studies are yet available on whether the pandemic has caused higher suicide numbers or how it may have affected different age groups and genders. But Japan and South Korea are among the few countries to issue current data on suicides, with most nations taking a year or two to issue their numbers. Experts worry that the emerging trends in the two countries could be an early warning for the rest of the world as the pandemic and lockdowns take a toll on mental health.
South Australia now open to Victoria once again
As of midnight, South Australia is rolling out a list of changes to COVID-19 restrictions, after the state recorded zero new cases yesterday. Since 12.01am, the border with Victoria has finally been reopened, allowing travel between the two states. Victorians entering South Australia are still required to fill in an online permit form, to get pre-approval. Masks are also mandatory for people in allied health and residential care, and the state is rolling out its QR code mandatory check-in system for businesses and venues. But also, stand-up drinking is returning to pubs and weddings, and patron caps on businesses are now removed.
International students arrive in Australia after 9 months of COVID lockdown
The first international students to arrive in Australia since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic have landed in Darwin, signalling another change for the country’s locked-down border. Students from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia have arrived at Darwin International Airport on a charter SilkAir flight from Singapore as part of a pilot program to return international tourists to Australia. The 63 students who landed this morning were to be transferred straight to the Howard Springs Quarantine Facility east of Darwin for 14 days of quarantine, the ABC reported.
Pandemic Motors: Europeans snap up old cars to avoid public transport
Want a cheap used car to nip around town without running the gauntlet of coronavirus on public transport? Welcome to Pandemic Motors, we have just what you need. Across Europe, people are snapping up old bangers, clunkers, Klapperkasten, tacots and catorci, desperate to avoid buses and trains but wary of splashing out on a shiny new motor in uncertain economic times. “Public transportation is terrific here, but with the COVID and all that, it’s better to avoid it,” said Robert Perez, who recently moved to Spain’s capital Madrid from Argentina.
How the COVID-19 recession will forever impact Gen Z
The coronavirus pandemic has brought much of the world’s economies into a recession, affecting every sector of the global population. But one demographic – Generation Z, those born between 1997 and 2012 – may never recover. From a lack of socialisation to not being able to start their careers, we are examining how Gen Z’ers from ages eight to 23 will have to manage these unprecedented challenges.
Exit Strategies
'Limited number' of pharmacies to give 1000 COVID-19 vax a week
A “limited number” of pharmacies in England will be asked to offer COVID-19 vaccinations from late December, provided they can deliver 1,000 doses a week, NHSE&I has said. NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) will commission a small number of pharmacy contractors to deliver the COVID-19 vaccination programme as a local enhanced service (LES), it said in a letter to contractors last week (November 27). The selected pharmacy-led sites will need to comply with a list of requirements, which NHSE&I said it does not “expect the majority of contractors sites will be able to meet”. NHSE&I regional teams will select suitable pharmacy sites, following a designation process. Those successful will be required to administer “a minimum of 1,000 doses of vaccine over a seven-day period from each designated site” from “late December or early January”, but the exact date will depend on vaccine availability. A final LES agreement will be published “as soon as details are clear”, NHSE&I said in the letter – which was signed by NHS chief commercial officer and senior responsible owner for the vaccine programme Emily Lawson, director of primary care Ed Waller and chief pharmaceutical officer for England Dr Keith Ridge.
COVID-19: Another national lockdown not ruled out as minister warns we may not 'get back to normal' until next summer
It is "too early to say" if another national lockdown will be needed after Christmas, according to a senior minister. George Eustice said "you can't rule anything out" when asked by Sky News if the "stay at home" measures could come back into force to keep coronavirus under control. The environment secretary also admitted it may be as late as "next summer" until "we can all start to get back to normal" - dependent on a vaccine.
EasyJet launches cut-price Covid-19 tests for travellers
EasyJet is offering discounted coronavirus tests for passengers in a bid to boost demand for air travel. The Luton-based airline said it has agreed a deal with two private testing firms to offer preferential rates to flyers. Testing has become a requirement for entry to a number of easyJet’s most popular destinations, such as Germany, Spain and Italy.
Merkel slams state premiers over Christmas hotel opening plan: sources
Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that Germany could face a third wave of coronavirus infections if citizens are careless in the coming weeks. Germany’s number of new infections has stabilized at a high level since a partial lockdown was imposed on Nov 2. to contain a second wave of coronavirus infections. But officials have said that progress was still fragile. “We’ll have to be very, very careful during the winter,” Merkel said in a virtual panel discussion with police officers. “Otherwise we’ll end up directly in the next wave.” Merkel also railed against plans of some regional governments to let hotels open for family visits over Christmas, warning it risked worsening the coronavirus surge sweeping Germany, participants in a party meeting said.
Russian hospital says it began civilian coronavirus vaccinations last week
Russia has delivered the first known batch of Sputnik V vaccines for civilian use to a hospital just south of Moscow, which said on Monday it began vaccinating the local population last week. Russia, which is rushing to keep up with Western drugmakers in the race for a coronavirus shot, has said interim trial results show its Sputnik V vaccine to be 92% effective at protecting people from COVID-19.
Many retailers prepare to reopen for first time in six weeks
Non-essential retailers around the country are finalising preparations ahead of reopening their doors for the first time in six weeks. Level 5 restrictions will begin to ease tomorrow, with restaurants and gastro pubs following suit on Friday. The Government expects to see new cases of Covid-19 increasing in two weeks' time, once restrictions are eased. But Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has said there is no intention to reimpose tighter restrictions unless there is a huge rise in cases.
Covid-19 vaccines: Belfast Trust staff 'can decide to have jab'
Staff in the Belfast Health Trust are being asked whether or not they want to receive the Covid vaccine. The BBC has seen an email and questionnaire sent to all employees telling them workers will receive the Pfizer vaccine. Trade unions say they are encouraging front-line workers to get the vaccine but everyone should be given a choice. Another 10 Covid-related deaths and 290 new cases were reported by Stormont's Department of Health on Monday. It brings the department's death toll - which consists of deaths from any cause within 28 days of a positive test - to 996.
COVID-19: People who refuse to get vaccine could be denied entry to venues, minister suggests
People could be refused entry to a host of venues if they decline a coronavirus vaccine, a minister has suggested. Nadhim Zahawi, who is responsible for the rollout of vaccines against COVID-19, said the jabs will not be compulsory.
Airlines Face ‘Mission of the Century’ in Shipping Vaccines
In cooled warehouses on the fringes of Frankfurt airport, Deutsche Lufthansa AG is preparing its depleted fleet for the gargantuan task of airlifting millions of doses of the vaccines meant to end the global pandemic. Lufthansa, one of the world’s biggest cargo carriers, began planning in April in anticipation of the shots that Pfizer Inc. to Moderna Inc. and AstraZeneca Plc are developing in record time. A 20-member task force is at work devising how to fit more of the crucial payload onto the airline’s 15 Boeing Co. 777 and MD-11 freighters, along with hold space in a vast passenger fleet now flying at just 25% of capacity.
Partisan Exits
Covid: PM calls for 'unity' as he agrees to publish data behind new tiers
Boris Johnson has agreed to publish the health, economic and social data behind England's new tier system later, as he seeks to avert a Commons rebellion. MPs will vote on the measures on Tuesday, and numerous Conservative MPs have demanded to see the evidence government is basing its new system on. Writing to a group of around 70 MPs - who are sceptical of the new rules - Mr Johnson called for "unity and resolve". Labour is expected to support the PM, but is yet to confirm its stance. If Labour does decide to get behind the new tier system, the government should easily win the vote - even if there is a sizeable revolt among Conservative MPs.
Gov. Phil Murphy ignores protesters and warns New Jersey state-wide lockdown is 'still on the table'
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy told Fox News Sunday that a state-wide lockdown is still 'on the table.' 'It's on the table in terms of a shutdown,' Murphy told Bret Baier on 'Fox News Sunday'. 'I don't anticipate it and I sure as heck don't want to go that route.' The comments came as anti-lockdown protesters swarmed the street where Murphy lives to voice their opposition to pandemic-related restrictions The Democratic governor was also verbally confronted and filmed while having dinner out with his wife and four kids at a New Jersey restaurant. They called him a 'real d***' and told one of his sons to 'go f*** yourself.' The confrontation where Murphy said nothing came after he urged New Jersey residents to limit their Thanksgiving celebrations to 10 people
Anti-Lockdown Protesters Chant 'Open L.A.' Outside Health Chief's Home Before New Covid Restrictions Begin
Crowds gathered outside the home of the Los Angeles County's public health director on Sunday to protest against the latest round of Covid-19 restrictions taking effect this week. Dr. Barbara Ferrer's Echo Park home was surrounded by dozens of demonstrators, carrying placards, waving flags and chanting: "Open L.A." and "No science. No data. No shutdown". Footage from the scene shows few people in the crowd were wearing face masks as they paced up and down the street. LAPD officers could be seen over looking the scene with a police vehicle parked in what appears to be Ferrer's driveway.
How anti-vaxxers are threatening the UK's Covid programme
In the imagination of extreme opponents of vaccination — or anti-vaxxers — every human inoculated against coronavirus will be turned into a chimera, injected with nanoparticles that beam out their biometric data and commoditised with bar codes linked to cryptocurrency. In their view, far from liberating us from the recurring nightmare of lockdowns, vaccines in development in Europe and the US are secretly intended to “enslave us to the system”. However far-fetched it may appear, this kind of vision has been proliferating online alongside more prosaic forms of misinformation just as the mass roll out of Covid-19 vaccines comes within sight.
Coronavirus: German anti-lockdown protests shift to Polish border
Objectors of coronavirus curbs have converged on Frankfurt-an-der-Oder on Germany's border with Poland. Meanwhile, at viral hot spot Hildburghausen in Thuringia state, the local county chief is under police protection.
Continued Lockdown
Moderna CEO: Most exciting vaccine data is protection from severe Covid-19
Stephane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, joins “Squawk Box” to discuss data from its Covid-19 vaccine trial that shows 100% protection from severe infection.
Germany partial lockdown pushes more companies into short-time work: Ifo
The share of companies in Germany using short-time work schemes rose in November compared to the previous month, economic institute Ifo said on Monday, as a partial lockdown hit employment in tourism and restaurant industries. Ifo said a survey of around 7,000 companies showed that the share of companies using the scheme rose to 28% in November from 24.8% in October. Short-time work, also known as Kurzarbeit, allows employers to switch employees to working fewer hours or even none during an economic downturn. It aims to stop immediate shocks from leading into mass unemployment.
UK shopper numbers down 56.9% as English lockdown takes toll
Total shopper numbers across British retail destinations were down 56.9% in the week to Nov. 28 year-on-year, reflecting the impact of a third full week of England’s national COVID-19 lockdown, market researcher Springboard said on Monday. It said that on a week-on-week basis shopper numbers, or footfall, rose by 4.8%.
Japan's aged care facilities remain locked down amid a COVID-19 third wave, and now there are fears residents may develop dementia
The only contact Yuumi Matsuno has had with her mother since coronavirus reached Japan has been over the phone, separated by a pane of glass. For 10 months, the nursing home Hisako lives in has limited all visitors from the outside, except staff, in part to prevent any potential spread of COVID-19. While it has largely been successful, it has come at a cost. "She [my mum] doesn't talk as much as before," Ms Matsuno said. "When you speak on the phone, sometimes it's hard to hear and perhaps she feels it is troublesome, so she speaks less.
Scientific Viewpoint
'No-swab' coronavirus test from OptiGene highly sensitive, UK says
A type of COVID-19 test that can be taken without the need for a nose or throat swab has been found to be highly effective in identifying infectious cases, including for people not showing symptoms, the British government said on Tuesday. The RT-LAMP tests, made by privately-held British company OptiGene, have been studied in a pilot programme in the southern English city of Southampton, where they were used to test some health service staff as well as 55,000 people connected to the local university. “We’ve shown through carefully conducted studies that the OptiGene LAMP test is fast, reliable and easy to use, and dependent on testing format can work directly with saliva samples as well as with swabs,” said Sue Hill, chief scientific officer for England in the National Health Service’s Test and Trace programme.
Moderna Soars on Plans to Seek Clearance for Covid Vaccine
FDA advisory panel to review data on Dec. 17, agency says - Vaccine was 94.1% effective in final analysis of 196 cases. Moderna Inc. requested clearance for its coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. after a new analysis showed the vaccine was highly effective in preventing Covid-19, with no serious safety problems. A Moderna spokesman said in a text message late afternoon Monday that its application for an emergency use authorization for its Covid shot had been delivered to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Earlier, the company had said in a statement it would seek clearance on Monday in both the U.S. and Europe.
Moderna to Ask Health Regulators to Authorize Its Covid-19 Vaccine
Moderna said it would ask U.S. and European health regulators Monday to authorize use of its Covid-19 vaccine, after it was shown to be 94.1% effective in a full analysis of a pivotal study. The timing keeps the vaccine on track to become possibly the second to go into use in the U.S. by year’s end—after one already under regulatory review from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE —with inoculation available to the general public likely in spring or summer. Moderna said some doses also could become available in Europe in December. In the 30,000-person trial, 196 subjects developed Covid-19 with symptoms after receiving either the vaccine or a placebo, Moderna said. Of those, 185 had taken a placebo, while only 11 had gotten the vaccine, indicating it protects against the disease.
Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine is 94.1% effective in final results
CNBC’s Meg Tirrell reports on the latest efficacy data from Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine.
Moderna becomes second company to request emergency FDA authorization for COVID-19 vaccine candidate
Biotech company Moderna applied Monday for an emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration after receiving more good news about the safety and effectiveness of its candidate COVID-19 vaccine. Moderna will be the second vaccine maker to request authorization from the federal government after similarly positive results for Pfizer and its German collaborator BioNTech's candidate vaccine. Moderna's latest findings, according to a company press release, showed that of 196 people in the clinical trial who caught COVID-19, 185 of them had received the placebo, while only 11 received the active vaccine. That works out to an effectiveness rate above 94%.
Moderna to seek FDA emergency authorization after COVID-19 vaccine shows 94% efficacy in final analysis
Moderna announced Monday it will ask the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization (EUA) for its COVID-19 vaccine, making it the second company, after Pfizer, to seek EUA for a COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. Pfizer's public FDA hearing -- a crucial step in the authorization process -- is scheduled for Dec. 10, and the FDA could make its official authorization decision shortly thereafter. In an early morning press release, Moderna announced that its FDA hearing will be held a week later, on Dec. 17. Moderna also announced its coronavirus vaccine is more than 94% effective, according to the final analysis of its massive Phase 3 trial.
Perthshire professor calls on public to treat COVID-19 with "the seriousness it deserves"
In a video message, Professor James Chalmers said the virus is unpredictable in how it will affect people and “so dangerous because it can change very, very quickly.”
Federal system for tracking hospital beds and COVID-19 patients provides questionable data
In mid-November, as the United States set records for newly diagnosed COVID-19 cases day after day, the hospital situation in one hard-hit state, Wisconsin, looked concerning but not yet urgent by one crucial measure. The main pandemic data tracking system run by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), dubbed HHS Protect, reported that on 16 November, 71% of the state’s hospital beds were filled. Wisconsin officials who rely on the data to support and advise their increasingly strained hospitals might have concluded they had some margin left. Yet a different federal COVID-19 data system painted a much more dire picture for the same day, reporting 91% of Wisconsin’s hospital beds were filled. That day was no outlier. A Science examination of HHS Protect and confidential federal documents found the HHS data for three important values in Wisconsin hospitals—beds filled, intensive care unit (ICU) beds filled, and inpatients with COVID-19—often diverge dramatically from those collected by the other federal source, from state-supplied data, and from the apparent reality on the ground.
UEA study shows Chinese asymptomatic Covid-19 cases were not infectious
Researchers from Norwich have found a mass screening programme of more than 10 million people in the Chinese city of Wuhan identified 300 asymptomatic Covid-19 cases - but none were infectious. But the University of East Anglia scientists stressed the findings do not show people who have coronavirus, but no symptoms, cannot pass on the virus. Mass testing took place over two weeks at the end of May – after the city’s stringent lockdown was lifted in April. The study found no ‘viable’ virus in the asymptomatic cases and their close contacts did not test positive. Prof Fujian Song, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said: “The virus cultures indicated no viable virus in the identified asymptomatic cases. This means that these people were not likely to infect anyone else.”
Coronavirus: Dr Anthony Fauci praises Australia's handling of crisis
Australia praised for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic by a top doctor. Dr Anthony Fauci applauded Australia's use of lockdowns to suppress the spread. Dr Fauci raised fears that the worst may be yet to come in the United States. He said Australia's uniform public health measures also helped control the virus
Russia begins mass trials of second coronavirus vaccine
Russia plans to begin mass trials of its second coronavirus vaccine, EpiVacCorona, on people aged over 18 on Monday, the RIA news agency cited the consumer health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor as saying. EpiVacCorona, which is being developed by Siberia’s Vector Institute, was authorised this month to carry out trials on 150 volunteers over 60 and 3,000 volunteers over 18, the watchdog has said.
'Absolutely remarkable': No one who got Moderna's vaccine in trial developed severe COVID-19
Continuing the spate of stunning news about COVID-19 vaccines, the biotech company Moderna announced the final results of the 30,000-person efficacy trial for its candidate in a press release today: Only 11 people who received two doses of the vaccine developed COVID-19 symptoms after being infected with the pandemic coronavirus, versus 185 symptomatic cases in a placebo group. That is an efficacy of 94.1%, the company says, far above what many vaccine scientists were expecting just a few weeks ago. More impressive still, Moderna’s candidate had 100% efficacy against severe disease. There were zero such COVID-19 cases among those vaccinated, but 30 in the placebo group. The company today plans to file a request for emergency use authorization (EUA) for its vaccine with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and is also seeking a similar green light from the European Medicines Agency.
Moderna files for U.S. vaccine authorization, will seek EU nod
Moderna Inc said on Monday it has applied for U.S. emergency authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine after full results from a late-stage study showed it was 94.1% effective with no serious safety concerns. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said an advisory committee would meet to discuss the request on Dec. 17, making Moderna’s candidate the second highly effective vaccine likely to receive U.S. regulatory backing and a potential roll out this year. A shot developed by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE that was 95% effective in its pivotal trial is set to be reviewed by a panel of outside experts a week earlier. The FDA will decide on the emergency use authorizations (EUA)after the advisers make their recommendations.
Singapore studies COVID-19 pregnancy puzzle after baby born with antibodies
Doctors are studying the impact of COVID-19 on pregnant women and their unborn babies in Singapore, where an infant delivered by an infected mother earlier this month had antibodies against the virus but did not carry the disease. The ongoing study among the city-state’s public hospitals adds to international efforts to better understand whether the infection or antibodies can be transferred during pregnancy, and if the latter offers an effective shield against the virus. The World Health Organisation says while some pregnant women have an increased risk of developing severe COVID-19, it is not yet known whether an infected pregnant woman can pass the virus to her foetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery.
Global pandemic has led to chronic loneliness in young people, study finds
The global pandemic has caused chronic loneliness and social isolation in young people. Adolescents are also reporting high levels of anxiety about their future in terms of the impact of Covid-19 on their education, careers and family life. A major new global UNESCO study on the toll Covid-19 has had on young people is being spearheaded by NUI Galway, Professor Pat Dolan. Professor Dolan, Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway is leading the research project with over 100 countries taking part. It is among the first global studies to have adopted the Youth As Researchers model.
Covid Vaccines: 5 Things An Actual Scientist Wants Anti-Vaxxers To Know
And the recent flurry of positive news around vaccines has inevitably focused some of this misguided energy into the supposed harms and risks associated with inoculation, once again fuelling the anti-vax movement that began in the 1990s. Most of the concerns raised are old and already debunked news, repackaged for the social media age and propagated by non-experts. So HuffPost UK asked an actual expert, UCL medicine cell biologist Dr Jennifer Rohn, to help debunk the 2020 version of a 1990s phenomenon...
Moderna asking US, European regulators to OK its virus shots
Moderna Inc. said Monday it was asking U.S. and European regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine as new study results confirm the shots offer strong protection — intensifying the race to begin limited vaccinations as the coronavirus rampage worsens. Multiple vaccine candidates must succeed for the world to stamp out the pandemic, which has been on the upswing in the U.S. and Europe. U.S. hospitals have been stretched to the limit as the nation has seen more than 160,000 new cases per day and more than 1,400 daily deaths. Since first emerging nearly a year ago in China, the virus has killed more than 1.4 million people worldwide.
India investigates alleged AstraZeneca vaccine ‘adverse reaction’
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is assisting an inquiry into an alleged adverse reaction during AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine trial but has found no reason to recommend halting it, a senior official at the regulator said. A 40-year-old man said in a complaint seen by Reuters news agency that he had suffered serious “neurological and psychological” symptoms after receiving the vaccine in a trial being run by the British drugmaker’s partner, the Serum Institute of India (SII). “There was no immediate cause of concern at this stage,” Samiran Panda, head of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases at the ICMR, the research body involved in trials, told Reuters. “It doesn’t mean that long term assessment will not happen, it is still happening. I am aware of the activity,” Panda said. AstraZeneca did not respond to a request for comment. Law firm NGR Prasad & R Rajaram Advocates sent the complaint by the unnamed volunteer, who is seeking 50 million rupees ($676,288) in compensation and a suspension of testing, manufacturing and distribution of the vaccine, to ICMR, SII, AstraZeneca and the Drugs Controller General of India.
Coronavirus Resurgence
New York City Nurse Braces for New Covid-19 Surge. ‘Nobody Wants to Do it Again.’
About six weeks ago, Erin Smith got the sinking feeling that a new surge of Covid-19 infections had hit New York City. The Covid-19 unit that she oversees at Manhattan’s Lenox Hill Hospital was full, with very sick patients, including some who died. It stayed that way for two to three weeks before almost emptying. Ms. Smith, a 39-year-old nurse manager, said she estimates it will be full again the first week of December. The mood inside the hospital is anxious, but hopeful, she said, but a potential repeat of the experience in March and April, when Covid-19 first ripped through the city, is petrifying. “It was a hella six months,” said Ms. Smith. “Nobody wants to do it again.”
UK reports 12,330 new COVID-19 cases, 205 new deaths
The United Kingdom reported 12,330 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, up from 12,155 a day earlier and taking the cumulative total since the start of the pandemic to 1,629,657 cases, government data showed. A total of 205 new deaths from the disease were also reported, down from 215 the previous day. The United Kingdom has the highest total death toll in Europe at 58,448.
U.S. reported more COVID-19 cases in November than most countries had all year
The United States reported more than 4 million coronavirus cases in November, which is higher than the total number of cases seen all year by any country in the world except India and Brazil. Public health experts are warning that the U.S. will keep seeing record-breaking numbers in the final month of 2020. Since the pandemic began, the U.S. has seen more than 13.3 million confirmed cases and over 267,000 deaths, by far the highest numbers in the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. accounts for nearly 20% of the global death toll.
Edinburgh's Covid-19 rate described as 'encouraging' as Jason Leitch points to drop in cases
Edinburgh's Covid-19 rate is "encouraging" according to Jason Leitch, with the number of positive cases per 100,000 people down 16 per cent in the last week. The National Clinical Director says the people of Edinburgh "seem to be following the guidance in such a way that gets test positivity down". Leitch pointed to the fact the Covid cases, per 100,000, slowly dropped in the week leading up to 26 November. However he warned against getting too excited, adding that the test positivity number is only down marginally. He said: "One of the challenges with this disease, apart from the incubation period, is the time it takes for the numbers to fall. It's much easier for the virus to rise than fall. Edinburgh city does look better in the last seven days. It's 16 per cent down in number of positives per 100,000. It is only 0.8 down in test positivity, so we shouldn't get too excited.
Covid-19 Northern Ireland: 10 further deaths in the past 24 hours
There have been 10 further deaths as a result of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, according to the Department of Health. The department's daily dashboard shows that there have been 290 further positive tests with 2,505 people being infected in the past seven days. The death toll in Northern Ireland from coronavirus now stands at 996, the Department of Health says. Belfast has had the highest number of new cases in the past 24 hours with 41, followed by Derry City and Strabane with 37 and Mid and East Antrim with 34. In the last seven days Belfast has also had the highest number of positive cases with 381, followed by Derry City and Strabane with 298.
US hits four million monthly Covid-19 cases as Fauci warns of holiday surge
The United States passed four million cases of the coronavirus for November on Saturday, more than double the record 1.9 million cases set in October. Now experts have warned Americans to expect that sharp rise in cases to continue, due in part to the Thanksgiving holiday – potentially worsening heading into the December holiday season. “What we expect, unfortunately, as we go for the next couple of weeks into December, is that we might see a surge superimposed on the surge we are already in,” Dr Anthony Fauci said in an interview on NBC News’ Meet the Press on Sunday. The government’s leading infectious disease expert added officials “tried to get the word out for people, as difficult as it is, to really not have large gatherings” but ultimately the travel industry suggested many Americans didn’t heed calls to stay home.
Covid UK: Hospital deaths drop by 8% as 229 new fatalities reported
Figures are positive sign that England's second lockdown slowed infection rate Cases recorded today shaves more than third off 18,662 reported last Sunday Official figures released today have also revealed 215 more coronavirus deaths
Covid-19 cases: UK infections have fallen by 30% in lockdown and R rate has dropped to 0.88, study says
Covid-19 cases have fallen by roughly a third in lockdown, a new study has found. Infections in some of the worst-hit areas dropped, and while experts confirm lockdown restrictions were a success, cases nationally remain high. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said while the drop in cases is “encouraging”, the public must stick to the rules in the coming weeks. The findings come just days before England ends its four-week lockdown, when the country will go into tiered restrictions with a review set for 16 December.
Coronavirus cases fell by roughly 30% during England's lockdown
Covid infections in England fall by 30% over lockdown - React studyBBC NewsCovid infections in England down by nearly a third since second lockdownThe GuardianCOVID-19 cases fell by a third in England during second lockdown, study suggestsSky NewsCoronavirus infections down 30% in England and halved in North during lockdownMirror OnlineView Full coverage on Google News
Nationwide Lockdown on Cards? PM Modi to Hold All-party Meet on December 4 to Discuss COVID Situation
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair an all-party meeting on Friday to discuss the COVID-19 situation. The second all-party meeting, which comes amid a sudden spurt in COVID-19 cases will be held virtually at 10.30 am. The meeting assumes significance as it is being held after the prime minister’s visit to Zydus Cadila, Bharat Biotech, and Serum Institute of India (SII) to personally review coronavirus vaccine development work there.
Swedish epidemiologist sidelined after country's no-lockdown rule leads to rise in number of deaths
Sweden "loses faith" with its Covid expert as deaths rise. An epidemiologist who led the no-lockdown strategy appears to have been sidelined by his government. The high-profile epidemiologist who led Sweden's no-lockdown strategy in the spring appears to be being sidelined by his country's government after his prediction that greater immunity would mean a lighter second wave proved badly wrong. Anders Tegnell's biweekly press conference was on Thursday pushed into the shade by an overlapping press conference fronted by Stefan Lofven, Sweden's prime minister, where scenarios prepared by the Public Health Agency were announced.
England's COVID infections fell 30% in lockdown
COVID-19 infections have fallen by 30% during England's month-long national lockdown and the virus is now in retreat, a large-scale study of more than 100,000 volunteers showed on Monday. Emer McCarthy reports.
US braces for continued surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations
As newly reported cases of the coronavirus continued to spike across much of the United States, breaking records for hospitalisations, some local leaders are moving to enact more stringent restrictions. US officials had pleaded with Americans to avoid travel and limit social gatherings as the nation entered its winter holiday season. But many appear to have disregarded those pleas over the long Thanksgiving weekend as the Transportation Security Administration screened nearly 1.2 million airline passengers on Sunday, the highest since mid-March.
New Lockdown
Turkey tightens coronavirus curbs as death toll hits record high
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced a new round of tight restrictions in a bid to stem a surge in coronavirus infections, extending curfews to weeknights and imposing a full lockdown during the weekend. After only reporting symptomatic cases for four months, Turkey last week resumed reporting all positive COVID-19 cases that saw logged daily infections jump to about 30,000. On Monday, the number of daily new cases reached a record high of 31,219, while the COVID-19 death toll hit a record high for an eighth consecutive day, with 188 fatalities in the last 24 hours, according to figures from the health ministry.
Turkey expected to tighten weekend COVID-19 measures -sources
Turkey is expected to tighten weekend curfews after a record rise in new coronavirus cases and fatalities, two sources familiar with the matter said on Monday. The move is expected to be announced after a cabinet meeting on Monday, said the sources who requested anonymity. They said that new measures adopted on Nov. 17, including nightly curfews at weekends, had been insufficient. “It is highly probable that the scope of the weekend curfew restriction will be expanded,” said one of the sources, adding that a final decision would be made at the cabinet meeting chaired by President Tayyip Erdogan.
Pubs ordered to close by 6pm from Friday as Wales enters new lockdown
Wales will be placed back under harsh new coronavirus restrictions just three weeks after a ‘firebreak’ lockdown ended, the First Minister has confirmed. Mark Drakeford announced that there will be a total ban on alcohol sales, with pubs, bars and restaurants across the country told to shut by 6pm on Friday, following a sharp rise in coronavirus cases. He said that without action, government modelling suggested 2,200 people could be in hospital by January 12, with 1,600 people also losing their lives over the winter period. Non-essential retail, hairdressers, gyms and leisure centres will remain open but cinemas, bowling alleys and other indoor entertainment venues will be forced to shut in the run up to Christmas.
Kim Jong Un is cutting off his economic lifeline, China, to stave off Covid-19
Kim Jong Un appears to have kicked North Korea's pandemic prevention plan into overdrive, further tightening the country's nearly impassible borders, cutting off nearly all trade with China, and even allegedly executing a customs official for failing to handle imported goods appropriately. Beijing exported just $253,000 worth of goods to Pyongyang in October -- a drop of 99% from September to October, according to data published by China's customs administration. For context, that's less in terms of dollar value than China exported to Liechtenstein and Monaco during October.