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"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 4th Sep 2020

News Highlights

Sanofi, GSK launch human trials for protein-based vaccine

Pharma giants Sanofi and GSK have launched human trials for their vaccine candidate against Covid-19. Early results were promising, prompting the trials involving more than 400 healthy U.S. adults. The Center for Disease Control has told health officials to expect access to 'limited doses' of a vaccine as soon as late October.

France's 100bn Euro plan to rescue its economy

The global economy has been ravaged by the pandemic - and France is no exception. The country has now unveiled an ambitious plan to rescue its economy, to the tune of 100bn Euros (U.S.$118 billion). The announcement comes against the backdrop of a resurgence in cases in the country. The plan targets a number of areas, from scaling up domestic manufacturing of medical equipment through to boosting the energy sector. 'It is an important step for our strategy in the fight against the economic and social consequences of the crisis that hit France,' said Prime Minister Jean Castex.

India on the verge of becoming second in the world in Covid-19 cases

India is on the cusp of surpassing Brazil as the country with the second largest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the world, current trends suggest. The pandemic has hit India's economy hard, shrinking it by nearly a quarter between April and June. This slowdown has been a factor in prompting the country to lift lockdown restrictions, despite the spike in cases. Experts have also said India should reorient its approach towards testing.

WHO action plan for immunisation in Africa

The World Health Organization plans for twenty percent of Africans to receive initial shots of a Covid-19 vaccine on the basis of its ambitious COVAX access plan. This involves ensuring that clinical trials take place on the continent and procuring 230 million doses for use there. It hopes to procure two billion doses by the end of 2021.

News Highlights
UK coronavirus cases rise to highest rate since June
- Contact tracing has dropped to lowest rate since Test and Trace was launched – Bradford has seen the lowest levels of contact tracing in England – Scotland's R rate could be as high as 1.4
Impact of Covid pandemic on businesses in UK is worse than in Belgium, France and Germany
Brazil's firms have been hit hardest, followed by UK and Belgium, study suggests. Majority of French and German bosses said they have weathered the crisis well. 92 per cent of all executives were optimistic about post-pandemic opportunities
Swedes confidence in PM's handling of coronavirus crisis declining, poll shows
Confidence in the way Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven and his government have handled the coronavirus pandemic has dropped sharply over the last three months, a poll in daily Dagens Nyheter showed on Wednesday. Sweden has followed its own path in fighting the coronavirus, rejecting a strict lockdown and relying mainly on voluntary measures focused on social distancing. Most schools and many businesses have remained open. Around 34% of Swedes believe Social Democrat PM Lofven has handled the crisis well against 49% in May, a survey by pollsters IPSOS in Dagens Nyheter showed.
Britons slowly returning to workplaces, statistics office says
People in Britain continued to gradually return to their workplaces in late August, something Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to speed up in September to help the economy recover from its historic coronavirus slump. Fifty-seven percent of working adults traveled to work between Aug. 26 and Aug. 30, up from 55% two weeks earlier and 33% in May, the country’s statistics office said on Thursday. Those working exclusively from home slipped to 20% from 22%, the Office for National Statistics said. That figure stood at nearly 40% in June.
Philippines' jobless rate eases as economy reopens from lockdown
The Philippines’ unemployment rate dropped in July from a record-high three months ago, the statistics agency said on Thursday, as the economy gradually reopened after strict coronavirus lockdowns. The Philippines, which before the pandemic was one of Asia’s fastest growing economies, is facing the twin challenges of surging infections and tepid consumption and investment. The 10% unemployment rate in July, equivalent to 4.6 million jobless people, was nearly double the 5.4% in the same period last year but lower than the record 17.7% in April.
WHO aiming for 20% of Africa to get initial COVID jabs from access plan
“Testing vaccines on the continent ensures that sufficient data is generated on the safety and efficacy of the most promising vaccine candidates for the African population so they can be confidently rolled out in Africa,” he said. John Nkengasong, the head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, told an online news conference that talks with COVAX would supplement other negotiations with nations such as China, Canada and the United States over securing access to shots.
Exit Strategies
Nigerian Authorities Cite Need for More COVID-19 Test Sample Collections
Nigerian authorities are disturbed by the low level of coronavirus test sample collections, a senior government official said on Thursday. Africa's most populous country of some 200 million inhabitants, as of Thursday had 54,463 confirmed coronavirus cases which have resulted in 1,027 deaths. Boss Mustapha, who chairs the government's task force on the disease, said he and other officials who make up the panel overseeing the response to the pandemic were "disturbed by the low level of sample collection" because of the implications for testing, tracing, and treatment. "Despite the increased diagnostic capacity and improved access to testing, the demand remains low with not enough samples being collected," he said, adding that "the recent reduction in cases in some states could be attributed to low testing."
Covid-19: Reusable face masks to be provided for school transport
Reusable face masks will be provided to approximately 80,000 pupils in Northern Ireland entitled to free home-to-school transport. Each pupil will get a pack that includes 10 reusable masks. Schools will also be provided with home testing kits to be distributed to parents of pupils with symptoms of Covid-19. Every school in Northern Ireland will receive 10 kits in the first instance as part of the scheme. Pupils in the vast majority of schools returned to class on Tuesday. Face coverings on dedicated school buses are not compulsory, but are strongly recommended by both the Department of Education (DE) and Translink.
Labour demands pupil 'catch-up' strategy as attainment gap widens after school closures
Labour has demanded ministers give a "cast-iron guarantee" that no child will be allowed to fall behind with their learning as a result of the pandemic school closures. Some pupils were out of a classroom setting for almost six months after schools were shut in March as part of the coronavirus lockdown. The party called for the Government to produce what it labelled a "close the gap" strategy after newly-published studies suggested the Covid-related closures significantly widened the attainment gap between pupils.
Use Covid-19 lockdown to plan stronger post-pandemic business rebound, Ugandan entrepreneurs told
Dr Lawrence Musanje, a Ugandan who owns and runs two State of the art Dental practices in the Denver Metro area in Colorado USA has advised Ugandans not to allow themselves get paralyzed by the lockdown. Dr Musanje who is also the CEO of A & J Alliance Inc, a management Company, called upon Ugandans to use the lockdown to plan for a stronger post-pandemic rebound.
How one North West town is recovering post-lockdown
Before lockdown, the high-street in Newton-le-Willows in St Helens was blooming. But suddenly, spirits were dampned as lockdown restrictions were brought into place across the UK. Now, six months on, Ann O'Connor has been to revisit the town to see how people there are recovering post-lockdown.
Spain will extend furlough scheme 'as long as necessary'
Spain's ERTE furlough scheme will be extended "as long as necessary", Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz told IB3 radio station on Thursday, before talks with unions and employers on the issue scheduled for Friday. The scheme, which is currently due to end on Sept. 30, provides furloughed workers with 70% of their base salary for the first six months, before dropping to 50% for the following months. "The key to the mechanism is that it stays. It's absurd to put an end date on it. I believe that the ERTEs should stay in place. For how long? As long as necessary," she told IB3. On Friday, the minister is due to meet union representatives and business leaders in Palma de Mallorca to negotiate the conditions of how to extend the programme. In a separate interview with La Sexta television, Diaz described the drop in coverage to 50% as "profoundly unfair".
Judge Overturns Lockdown Restrictions in Spanish City
A court in Valencia has overturned a ruling by the Ministry of Health that put the Spanish city of Benigànim in lockdown. THE head of the contentious-administrative Court number 3 of València, Laura Alabau, agreed with the application put forward that the decree of the State of Alarm was not sufficiently justified. Alabau is the same judge who refused to celebrate weddings between homosexuals in Dénia. The magistrate’s decision is in line with the Prosecutor’s Office, which also reported unfavourably on the measures adopted by the Health Ministry. The department headed by Ana Barceló issued a resolution yesterday afternoon, not yet published in the DOGV, to “attend to the details required by the contentious administrative court number 3 of Valencia” and that the confinement of Benigànim is still active.
France launches €100bn coronavirus recovery plan
A further €35bn will go to industrial competitiveness and innovation, including €20bn in reduced production taxes for industry over two years and €1bn to help the “reshoring” of strategic businesses in sectors such as health and IT. The final €35bn is for “social and regional cohesion”, including employment projects and skills training for the young. Unlike Germany’s €130bn recovery plan, which included a cut in value added tax, France’s strategy aims primarily to boost investment rather than stimulate demand. The government expects the economy to shrink up to 11 per cent this year as a result of the pandemic and a nationwide lockdown from mid-March to mid-May, and the state has already spent tens of billions of euros to avert mass bankruptcies and a surge in unemployment.
Slammed by virus, France unveils huge economic rescue plan
Facing resurgent virus infections, France’s government unveiled a 100 billion-euro ($118 billion) recovery plan Thursday aimed at creating jobs, saving struggling businesses and yanking the country out of its worst economic slump since World War II. The massive plan includes money to bring back manufacturing of medical supplies to French factories, develop hydrogen energy, help museums and the cinema industry, train young people for 21st century jobs and hire more staff at unemployment offices. “It’s an important step for our strategy in the fight against the economic and social consequences of the crisis that hit France,” Prime Minister Jean Castex said.
Victoria's roadmap out of lockdown to be based on four-step 'traffic light' system, business leader says
The head of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce says Covid-19 roadmap templates for business are based around a four-step “traffic light” system, as Victorians eagerly await the government exit roadmap from lockdown on Sunday. The chamber’s chief executive, Paul Guerra, has outlined to Guardian Australia the draft Covid-19 roadmaps the government is using to consult with Victorian business ahead of easing restrictions. “If you move down the vertical axis [of the template] there are these six common requirements. [They are] ensure physical distancing, wear a mask, practise good hygiene, quickly act if staff become unwell, avoid interactions in enclosed spaces and create workforce bubbles,” Guerra said.
Partisan Exits
How Covid-19 myths are merging with the QAnon conspiracy theory
Online and in real-life demonstrations, two viral conspiracy theories are increasingly coming together. At first glance the only thing they appear to have in common is their vast distance from reality. On one hand, QAnon: a convoluted conspiracy theory that contends that President Trump is waging a secret war against Satan-worshipping elite paedophiles. On the other, a swirling mass of pseudoscience claiming that coronavirus does not exist, or is not fatal, or any number of other baseless claims. These two ideas are now increasingly coming together, in a grand conspiracy mash-up.
Pregnant mum’s arrest like ‘Nazi Germany’: Liberal MP Craig Kelly lashes Victorian police
Liberal MP Craig Kelly has compared the Victorian Government with Nazi Germany after a pregnant woman was handcuffed and arrested over an anti-lockdown Facebook post in the family home. Zoe Lee Buhler, 28, was dramatically arrested and handcuffed in her pyjamas on Wednesday over the social media post that she has now described as “a bimbo moment” and deleted. The Ballarat woman live-streamed her own arrest in a viral video that has now been viewed by millions insisting she had no idea the Facebook posts were illegal. “I didn’t actually realise I was not allowed to do that though,” she said on Thursday. “I suppose I had a bit of a bimbo moment and didn’t realise it wasn’t okay.” Mr Kelly revealed he’s now helped to arrange free legal representation for the Ballarat mum, who was arrested in front of her child.
Three-quarters of Germans 'don't support coronavirus protests'
A large majority of Germans don’t support protests against coronavirus measures, according to a new survey carried out by opinion research institute Civey for Spiegel Online. But a new survey shows around two-thirds of Germans are completely against the Berlin protests, while an additional 11 percent say they simply don’t support them, according to the survey.
Germany is right to extend its furlough scheme. Why won't Britain do the same?
The Kurzarbeit programme, in which the government provides workers whose hours have been reduced with a minimum of 60% of their lost pay, has been credited by many with softening the economic blow of the pandemic. Shekhar Aiyar, the IMF’s mission chief for Germany, praised the programme lavishly in an interview, claiming that Germany, by expanding the scope of the scheme and making it more flexible, “is doing precisely what should be done in deep recessions”. Dominic Rushe attributes a substantial portion of the difference between the US unemployment crisis and Germany’s moderate bump in jobless numbers to Kurzarbeit, while the Economist claims that for many experts, “the model for a Covid-19 furlough scheme has been Germany’s”.
In Spain, As Everywhere, The Question Is Whether Schools Can Reopen Safely. I Have Grave Doubts.
Over the next couple of weeks, as happens every year at this time, Spain will begin the return to academic activity. The problem is that this is a far-from normal year: let’s be honest, it’s been a deeply abnormal year; and nor is my country behaving like a normal nation. In short, it’s clear that Spain has managed the impact of Covid-19 badly. The term virus laggard, used recently by The Washington Post, is bang on target: Spain sits ninth in the world ranking of the number of infections, but only because those above it, with the exception of Peru, have much bigger populations. If we take a relative parameter, such as the number of deaths per million inhabitants, only Belgium and the aforementioned Peru surpass us, and it is very possible that the Belgian case is due to different accounting criteria.
Arrest of Australia anti-lockdown activist sparks outcry
Australian police on Thursday defended arresting a pregnant woman in her home for a Facebook post promoting a rally against virus lockdowns, as footage of the incident went viral and triggered a civil liberties debate. The livestreamed video shows officers handcuffing the woman in front of her two children and has racked up millions of views online. The woman Zoe Buhler, told local media Thursday that she had posted the protest plans without knowing it was illegal in the locked-down state of Victoria, which is battling a major outbreak of Covid-19.
Pregnant mum arrested and charged for allegedly advocating against coronavirus lockdown in Australia
A pregnant woman was handcuffed by police in front of her children and led away in her pyjamas in Australia after allegedly inciting activists to demonstrate against the coronavirus lockdown. Zoe Buhler's partner helped her livestream the arrest on Wednesday at her home where she lives with two children, aged three and four, in the Victoria state city of Ballarat. The video has been viewed millions of times.
Covid: Australian anti-lockdown suspect's arrest draws controversy
The arrest of a woman in Australia for promoting an anti-lockdown protest online has drawn criticism, after video of the incident went viral. Footage shows officers handcuffing pregnant woman Zoe-Lee Buhler, 28, in her home in Victoria on Wednesday in front of her partner and children. She starts crying during the arrest, telling police: "I didn't realise I was doing anything wrong." Authorities have defended the officers, saying they acted appropriately. Victoria has been in lockdown since July to curb a coronavirus outbreak that has fuelled Australia's second wave
Continued Lockdown
Vic lockdown will last longer than China, Italy lockdowns if extended
If Victoria extends its lockdown for another two weeks it will have lasted 82 days which is longer than both China and Italy’s lockdowns, according to Sky News host Paul Murray. Italy has had 35,497 deaths with lockdown running for 58 days, China has had 4,634 deaths with lockdown running for 77 days whilst Victoria has had 576 deaths with lockdown due to end on September 13 having run for 68 days. A recent leak revealed the Victorian government may be planning to extend Victoria’s lockdown for a further two weeks, which would end Victoria’s lockdown after 82 days, a longer period than both Italy and China. “This bloke has failed, he failed to have a system that meant that the virus didn’t get out of hotel quarantine, and he has failed to stop it the second time around,” Mr Murray said.
Australia's social distancing fatigue: 'Worrying' new figures show that fewer people are heeding safety warnings the longer lockdown goes
Australians are losing their will to maintain social distancing measures as restrictions arising from the coronavirus pandemic drag on, new data shows. Victoria is also the only state to maintain the highest level of vigilance as it fights its way through a second-wave of COVID-19 and harsh lockdown. The Australian National University (ANU) survey of more than 3,000 people showed 'worrying' trends related to physical distancing behaviour nationwide.
Scientific Viewpoint
UNICEF says drugmakers can produce unprecedented vaccine quantities for COVID-19
Unprecedented quantities of vaccines could be produced by 28 manufacturers in 10 countries over the next two years to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF said on Thursday, as it announced it would help lead efforts to procure and distribute them. UNICEF’s role is part of a COVID-19 vaccine allocation plan - known as COVAX and co-led by the World Health Organization - that aims to buy and provide equitable access to the shots. So far, 76 wealthy nations committed to joining the COVAX effort.
Dr. Fauci says he has 'confidence and some faith' the coronavirus vaccine approval won't be political
The Food and Drug Administration has been “very explicit” that it is going to make a decision based on data from clinical trials, Dr. Anthony Fauci said. “We can have some confidence and some faith in what the FDA is saying,” the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said.
Fauci: Daily COVID-19 cases need to drop by at least 30K for safe flu season
The United States must cut the daily number of new COVID-19 cases by at least 30,000 to avoid a disastrous flu season, the nation's top infectious disease expert said Wednesday. "We're right around 40,000 new cases" a day, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on "Andrea Mitchell Reports." "That's an unacceptably high baseline. We have got to get it down. I would like to see it 10,000 or less," he added.
Why COVID-19 vaccines need to prioritize 'superspreaders'
A committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine – at the behest of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health – has proposed an equitable way to allocate the vaccine. They recommend first responders and health care workers take top priority. Older adults in congregate living situations would also be part of a first vaccination phase, according to the plan. We are faculty at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Southern California who have spent decades studying health economics and epidemiology. One of us is a member of the National Academy of Medicine. Having seen firsthand the real risks of rapid, asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 among younger adults, we disagree with some of the recommendations. Asymptomatic spread is shutting down schools and universities nationwide and threatening surrounding communities. We argue that this pandemic requires a different model for making vaccination choices. After taking care of essential workers, vaccinations should be given to the biggest transmitters of the virus – mostly the young – and only then to the most vulnerable.
Vitamin D deficiency raises COVID-19 infection risk by 77%, study finds
Vitamin D deficiency increases a person's risk for catching COVID-19 by 77% compared to those with sufficient levels of the nutrient, a study published Thursday by JAMA Network Open found.
Novavax Gains Following Promising Covid-19 Vaccine Trials
Shares of biotechnology company Novavax (NVAX) - Get Report rose on Thursday after the company revealed that early stage clinical trial results of its Covid-19 vaccine were safe and elicit an immune response. According to a study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, Novavax’s phase 1 clinical trial results showed that its Covid-19 vaccine candidate induced immune responses and was generally safe in people ages 18 to 59. “The rapid publication of Phase 1 results from our trial in a prestigious peer-reviewed journal reflects both the importance of the data and the urgent need for an effective vaccine to slow the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Gregory Glenn, Novavax president of research and development, in a statement. Based on the positive results, which were previously announced by the company in early August, Novavax said it plans to continue with broader phase 2 studies this month to see whether the vaccine protects against Covid-19, the company said.
Air Canada to conduct study on COVID-19 quarantine periods
Air Canada said on Thursday it plans to conduct a study on international travelers arriving at the Toronto Pearson International Airport, to test the effectiveness of various COVID-19 quarantine periods.
Lack of vitamin D might increase risk for COVID-19, University of Chicago researchers find
A lack of vitamin D may be associated with a higher risk for getting COVID-19, according to newly published research out of the University of Chicago. Researchers looked at 489 patients tested for COVID-19 at University of Chicago Medicine between March 3 and April 10, whose vitamin D levels had been measured within a year of being tested for COVID-19. Patients with untreated vitamin D deficiencies were 77% more likely to test positive for COVID-19 as patients with sufficient levels of the vitamin, according to the research, which was published Thursday in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA Network Open. The findings were reported earlier this year before the study was officially published. “It raises the possibility that if you take vitamin D, you might be less likely to catch COVID,” said Dr. David Meltzer, chief of hospital medicine at University of Chicago Medicine and lead author of the study. “It’s very inexpensive. It could be used very broadly.”
Unlikely that a COVID-19 vaccine will be ready in October, but not impossible, Fauci says
Top U.S. infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci said on Thursday it is unlikely a COVID-19 vaccine will be ready by the end of October, but that it is not impossible. "I think most of the people feel it's going to be November December," Fauci said in a CNN interview when asked about the possibility of an earlier release, adding a clinical trial could prompt drug developers to decide a vaccine works sooner. "It is conceivable that you can have it by October, though I don't think that's likely."
Coronavirus in South Africa: Scientists explore surprise theory for low death rate
"Age is the highest risk factor. Africa's young population protects it," said Tim Bromfield, a regional director of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change. But as the pandemic drags on, and the statistical evidence builds up, analysts appear increasingly reluctant to give demographics all the credit for this continent's successes. "Age is not such a big factor," said Professor Karim. Early, and aggressive lockdowns here in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent have clearly played a crucial role. Clear messaging about masks and the provision of oxygen supplies have also been important.
Covid-19 tracing tool to be built into phones, Apple and Google announce
Future versions of Android and iOS operating systems are set to have a Covid-19 notification system built-in, Apple and Google have announced. The system will replace the need for users to install contact-tracing apps developed by public health bodies. The exposure notification system uses Bluetooth signals to measure time and distance between devices to determine a user’s risk of Covid-19. The system, dubbed exposure notification express, would still require a user to opt-in and does not collect location of identity information. Previously Apple and Google’s API required users to download a contact-tracing app to allow it to track time and distance between device and send push notifications to users who may have been exposed to the virus. Under the new system no app is required, meaning public health authorities would be able to send notifications to those considered at risk of Covid-19 without needing to develop and maintain an app. “As the next step in our work with public health authorities on exposure notifications, we are making it easier and faster for them to use the exposure notifications system without the need for them to build and maintain an app,” a joint statement from Apple and Google read.
GSK and Sanofi to start human trials of potential Covid-19 vaccine
GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi are to start testing their protein-based Covid-19 vaccine on humans for the first time, following promising results in earlier studies. GSK, the world’s largest vaccine maker, and the French drugmaker Sanofi joined forces in April to work on an effective treatment to halt the devastating pandemic. The vaccine being developed by London-headquartered GSK and Paris-based Sanofi combines existing technology used by Sanofi to make its flu vaccine, along with an add-on from GSK, known as an adjuvant, which can be mixed with a vaccine to trigger a stronger immune reaction.
Five days is long enough for a coronavirus quarantine, says Germany’s top virologist
Germany's top virologist thinks the standard two-week coronavirus quarantine period is far too long. Research shows people are no longer infectious after five days, so that should be the limit of the quarantine period, Christian Drosten, the head of virology at Berlin's Charité hospital, said in a Tuesday podcast published by the broadcaster NDR.
Covid-19: India should abandon lockdown and refocus its testing policy, say public health specialists
Public health specialists in India have called on the government to adopt a more pragmatic approach to testing for covid-19, amid evidence of widespread prevalence of infection. Lockdown in India should be discontinued, said a joint statement from the Indian Public Health Association, the Indian Association of Epidemiologists, and the Indian Association of Social and Preventive Medicine.1 And local restrictions on movement and mingling should be imposed only where there is mild or limited spread of SARS-Cov-2 and only after the effects on the livelihood of target populations have been assessed, they advised. India imposed a nationwide lockdown in March that has been relaxed in phases, but several states and cities continue to impose local lockdowns, including closing all establishments at nights and weekends. The country’s current testing policy aims to track and test all contacts of at least 80% of new covid cases, which last week averaged 76 000 a day. The public health experts want the government to abandon its current approach, which they say is impractical and wasteful because it cannot detect most infections. Instead they recommend “targeted testing,” of people with symptoms and of high risk groups such as healthcare workers, elderly people, and surgical patients.
U.S. CDC Tells States to Prep for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution as Soon as Late October
U.S. public health officials and Pfizer Inc said a COVID-19 vaccine could be ready for distribution as soon as late October, just ahead of the November election in which the coronavirus pandemic is likely to be a major factor among voters deciding whether President Donald Trump wins a second term. Even though the stakes are high for Republican Trump, who is squaring off against former Vice President Joe Biden on Nov. 3, there is no political pressure on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to quickly approve a vaccine, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Thursday. "No one is pressuring the FDA to do anything," McEnany told a press briefing.
Sanofi and GSK Launch Trial for COVID-19 Protein-Based Vaccine
French drugmaker Sanofi and its British peer GSK have started a clinical trial for a protein-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, as pharmaceutical companies race to develop treatments against the COVID-19 pandemic. Sanofi and GSK said on Thursday that they had started the "Phase 1/2" trial for their adjuvanted COVID-19 vaccine, which they hope to make available across the world. This vaccine candidate uses the same recombinant protein-based technology as one of Sanofi's seasonal influenza vaccines with GSK's established pandemic adjuvant technology.
Coronavirus Resurgence
Public health officials warn of increase in Covid-19 cases in Cumbria next week
An increase in the number of COVID-19 infections in Cumbria is expected next week. Public health officials believe there could be outbreaks associated with people returning from holidays abroad in recent days. Officials are also monitoring the situation in the areas surrounding the county which are seeing new cases increasing at a faster rate and which could have implications for Cumbria. Last week there were 33 new cases reported - that's up 5 on the week before - with the majority of new cases continuing to be in the 15-29 year old age group. Carlisle had the highest number of new cases, with 13 people testing positive, followed by Allerdale, with 10. Colin Cox, Cumbria’s Director Public Health, said: “New cases remain low, but we have seen several groups returning from holiday who were infected abroad and we expect to see them in next week’s figures. Unfortunately, needing to behave in a COVID-safe way doesn’t stop just because you are on holiday. “These new cases highlight the fact that in many parts of Europe we are seeing really significant increases in the infection rate. We know from hard experience that we are not immune to what is happening elsewhere in Europe, and alongside a slow but steady increase in the UK infection rate we really must be on our guard.
CDC warns daily COVID-19 cases are rising in some states
The United States, which has now surpassed 6.1 million infections, has been averaging about 41,000 new COVID-19 cases per day for the past week. Cases are now plateauing following an initial sharp decline in late July after surges in Sunbelt states saw average daily rates of 66,000. Deaths have slowly been declining and are currently averaging at about 860 fatalities per day - the lowest since late July. More than 185,000 Americans have now died from COVID-19 Despite cases continuing to decline across the country, the CDC warned on Tuesday that daily infections were starting to rise in some states, particularly in the Midwest and South. States where COVID-19 cases are currently rising include Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Nebraska and Minnesota
India logs record 83,883 Covid-19 cases in day
India reported a record daily rise of 83,883 coronavirus infections on Thursday, taking its total to 3.85 million cases, just as the country pushed ahead with attempting a return to normality and kickstarting its economy. India now has the fastest growing Covid-19 infection rate in the world, and is only 100,000 cases behind Brazil, the second worst-affected country in the world. Experts are predicting that the south Asian nation will soon overtake Brazil (4 million) and then the US (6.1 million) to hold the dubious title of having the highest number of cases globally. Shahid Jameel, a virologist and CEO of the Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance, said that the situation in India did “not look pretty”, adding: “Of the three top countries only India is showing a rising curve. This is a matter of grave concern and there is an urgent need to reverse the trend.”
UK records highest weekly number of new coronavirus cases in three months
The Health Secretary has claimed the Government’s coronavirus testing system is working ‘well’, as the UK recorded its highest number of new cases since the week to June 3. Matt Hancock’s hopes that the country could be able to hug by Christmas comes despite reports that people are being directed to centres more than 100 miles away. A total of 6,732 new people tested positive for Covid-19 in England in the week to August 26 – a 6% rise on the previous week.
France Nears All-Time High for New Coronavirus Cases As Spain Sees Faster Spread Than U.S.
New coronavirus cases in France have reached a near all-time high, with over 7,000 cases reported on Wednesday. This follows news that cases had surged by almost 50 percent in August compared to July, with over 281,000 cases recorded compared with almost 188,000 a month earlier. The French Ministry of Health said 7,017 cases were recorded Wednesday. This is just under 500 cases fewer than the country's biggest daily record on March 31 when 7,578 cases were reported. Despite most of the new cases being found in young people who have not been severely affected by the disease, hospitalizations are now starting to rise. According to Reuters, the number of people needing hospital treatment increased for the fifth day in a row on Wednesday—an increase not seen since April.
UK concern at rising Covid-19 hospital cases in France
The British government is “worried” about a rise in Covid-19 hospital admissions in France and Spain, concerned that young people could be infecting the more vulnerable. However, health secretary Matt Hancock argued that the implementation of a “package” of protective measures such as social distancing could prevent a similar surge in cases from occurring in the UK. “We are very worried about it,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Thursday. “But what I am also saying to you is that we have the lines of defence in this country. Everyone has a part to play: the first line of defence, social distancing, the next line of defence test and trace and then if we have to, going into local lockdowns. And we have the quarantine which is working.”
India set to take second place in known Covid cases
India's novel coronavirus infections rose to almost 3.8 million on Wednesday, as states continued to relax rules on movement despite the surge in cases. The country reported 78,357 new cases in the past 24 hours, according to federal health data, taking total infections to 3,769,523. Some 66,333 people have died. India's total cases lag only the United States and Brazil, which it will overtake in days based on current trends. Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a nationwide lockdown in March when the country was reporting fewer than 100 daily cases, winning praise from some experts for early action but warnings from others the restrictions had been imposed too soon
COVID-19 cases spike in India as economy falters
India currently posting over 70,000 new COVID-19 cases daily. Already India has third highest caseload after the US and Brazil. GDP growth shrank by 24 per cent during lockdown period.
A second coronavirus lockdown in Canada? Experts discuss the likelihood
Like many things coronavirus-related, the chance Canada will need to tighten restrictions again is hard to predict, according to disease experts. Ontario, B.C. and Alberta are all seeing cases climb, although the numbers are a far cry from the daily counts in March and April. Experts aren’t convinced we’re on track for a second lockdown. In fact, some are cautiously optimistic.
Russia registers nearly 5,000 new coronavirus cases
Russia reported 4,995 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, bringing its national tally to 1,009,995, the fourth largest in the world. Russia's coronavirus taskforce said 114 people had died over the last 24 hours pushing the official death toll to 17,528
Australia's COVID-19 cases hit eight-day high, restrictions may linger
Australia on Thursday reported the biggest one-day rise in Covid-19 cases in more than a week, denting optimism that a stringent lockdown of its second-largest city will soon be lifted.
Spain counts more than 100,000 virus cases in 2 weeks
More than 100,000 people in Spain have tested positive for the novel coronavirus over the past two weeks, the Ministry of Health confirmed on Thursday. Nearly 9,000 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours were added to the tally that has surged to 488,513 confirmed cases. The UK, which has the second-highest case number in Europe, has reported just over 340,000 infections. As a consequence of the snowballing caseload in Spain, hospitalizations and deaths are accelerating. In the past 24 hours, over 1,000 new COVID-19 patients were admitted to hospitals for the second day in a row. On Thursday, another 40 people were confirmed to have perished from the infectious disease. Madrid has been home to nearly one-third of the country's 100,155 infections over the past two weeks, reporting the worst outbreak both in terms of real numbers and per capita cases.
New Lockdown
Trafford MP: residents "in tears" as borough placed back in lockdown
A Trafford MP says residents were in tears after finding out they couldn't visit children and grandchildren when the borough was placed back into local lockdown. Graham Brady, for MP for Altrincham and Sale West, said it was “deeply disappointing” that restrictions preventing the mixing of households had been put back in place in a last-minute government U-turn yesterday. Lockdown restrictions were due to be lifted in the borough, and in Bolton, on Wednesday.
Israel announces partial national lockdown after coronavirus surge
Israel will impose a partial national lockdown next week to battle a coronavirus infection surge, the head of its pandemic task force said on Thursday, shouting his exasperation in an emotional television address, reported Reuters. The health official, Ronni Gamzu, said Israel was facing a “pivotal moment” in trying to contain the spread of COVID-19, with some 3,000 new cases now reported daily in a population of nine million. He put much of the blame on what he called apathy among the Arab minority to social distancing rules and high infection rates in close-knit ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities. Other health experts have said political in-fighting among members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government has led to a slow response to a second wave of cases after a national lockdown flattened the infection curve in May