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"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 14th Sep 2020

News Highlights

We'll likely know if our vaccine works by October-end, Pfizer says

Pfizer has announced that they will know whether or not their vaccine against the novel coronavirus works by October-end. The company's head, Albert Bourla, said there is a 'safe chance' that this would be the case. However, he did say that Americans would likely not receive a vaccine before 2021.

Polling suggest a deep divide in Britain over Covid-19

Polls suggest that lockdown restrictions and measures such as face mask-wearing are more divisive in the UK than Brexit. More than 10,000 people surveyed by demos suggested that the divide is linked to a range of socio-economic factors such as class and occupation. The survey also found that more than half of people believe fake news has worsened during the pandemic.

Auckland sees protests in the wake of fresh lockdown

Following a Covid-19 outbreak in Auckland that led to physical distancing measures being reimposed, crowds have taken to the streets in protest. Jami-Lee Ross, leader of the Advance New Zealand Party, said 'we're all here today because we believe it's time to stand up and say, 'We need to get our rights and freedoms back.'

Israel under second lockdown

Israel has become the first country in the world to enter a second nationwide lockdown, with three weeks of restrictions going into effect. A surge in cases following the country's reopening in May prompted the move, which has caused controversy. Thousands of protestors took to the streets to demand the resignation of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu - some citing his government's handling of Covid-19 as a reason.

Lockdown Exit
Pfizer CEO says company will know if vaccine works by end of October
Albert Bourla, the head of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which is among the companies developing a coronavirus vaccine, said Sunday there is a "good chance" the company will know whether its vaccine works by the end of October. In an interview with "Face the Nation," Bourla said it's not yet known whether Americans will be able to receive a coronavirus vaccine before 2021, as issuance of a license depends on federal regulators. But studies from Pfizer indicate "we have a good chance that we will know if the product works by the end of October."
Coronavirus: 'UK at a turning point' as sharp COVID rise sees eight million Britons facing tougher lockdown
Nearly eight million people in Britain will be living under stricter lockdown rules, including a large part of the West Midlands, ahead of a widespread ban on gatherings of more than six people. From Monday, social gatherings of more than six people will be banned across England, Wales and Scotland. Households will be banned from meeting each other in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull from Tuesday after a rise in coronavirus cases
Covid vaccine: 8,000 jumbo jets needed to deliver doses globally, says IATA
Shipping a coronavirus vaccine around the world will be the "largest transport challenge ever" according to the airline industry. The equivalent of 8,000 Boeing 747s will be needed, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said. There is no Covid-19 vaccine yet, but IATA is already working with airlines, airports, global health bodies and drug firms on a global airlift plan. The distribution programme assumes only one dose per person is needed. "Safely delivering Covid-19 vaccines will be the mission of the century for the global air cargo industry. But it won't happen without careful advance planning. And the time for that is now," said IATA's chief executive Alexandre de Juniac.
Scarcity of key material squeezes medical mask manufacturing
“N95s are still in a shortage,” said Mike Schiller, the American Hospital Association’s senior director for supply chains. “It’s certainly not anywhere near pre-COVID levels.” Early in the pandemic the White House failed to heed stark warnings, specifically about N95s, from high-level administration officials. The Associated Press has found the administration took months to sign contracts with companies that make the crucial component inside these masks: meltblown textile. Meltblowing is the manufacturing process that turns plastic into the dense mesh that makes N95 masks effective at blocking vanishingly small particles, including viruses. Even today, manufacturers say the Trump administration hasn’t made the long-term investments they need in order to ramp up to full capacity. Meanwhile, the administration allowed meltblown exports to slip out of the country as the pandemic, and the demand for masks, soared.
Ethiopia opens facility to make coronavirus test kits
With increasing cases of COVID-19, Ethiopia has opened a facility to produce kits to test for the coronavirus and says its researchers are working to develop and test a vaccine. The company producing the testing kits is a joint venture with a Chinese company, called BGI Health Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has risen to nearly 64,000 causing almost 1,000 deaths, according to government figures. On Sunday, Ethiopia also opened a field hospital to hold up to 200 severely affected Covid-19 patients, which will start admitting patients immediately
Coronavirus: France reports highest number of daily COVID cases since pandemic began
More than 10,000 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in France in a single day - the country's highest daily number since the pandemic began. A total of 10,561 new COVID-19 infections were recorded on Saturday, the first time they have topped 10,000 over 24 hours in France. The total surpasses the previous record of 9,843 new cases reported on Thursday.
'It's not too late' to prevent major COVID-19 resurgence in Canada, Hajdu says
Parts of Canada have experienced a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases and, as the weather gets colder, there are worries about a resurgence of infections. "[The increase in cases] quite possibly could be a resurgence," Minister of Health Patty Hajdu told The Current's Matt Galloway. "It's not too late to bring those numbers down.… Governments are working really hard and in many different ways, and individuals really need to maintain those measures that are so difficult to maintain." Ontario reported 213 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, marking the first single-day increase of over 200 cases in over a month. British Columbia reported 139 new cases on Thursday, setting a new record for new cases in a single day.
How Liverpool ended up on the brink of coronavirus lockdown
There was actually more of a concern for Wirral, where infections were rising rapidly. But a week is a long time in the world of covid-19. And at the end of that week, the city finds itself on a government danger list and facing the very real prospect of new lockdown restrictions being brought in to restrict people's lives. On Monday we started to get the feeling that things were rapidly heading in the wrong direction. Cases had started to increase very quickly and the city's Director of Public Health Matt Ashton raised the alarm bells, stating that he was "deeply concerned" by how many new infections were being found in the city. Monday was also the day we saw hundreds of school pupils sent home as positive cases wreaked havoc on the city's education system.
Exit Strategies
India considers emergency authorisation of vaccine as COVID-19 cases surge
India said on Sunday (Sep 13) it was considering granting an emergency authorisation for a COVID-19 vaccine, particularly for the elderly and people in high-risk workplaces, as the country's number of reported infections passed 4.75 million. India, which has consistently reported over 1,000 COVID-19 deaths daily this month, has now recorded 78,586 fatalities from the disease. It lags only the United States globally in overall number of infections, but it has been adding more daily cases than the United States since mid-August. "India is considering emergency authorisation of a COVID-19 vaccination," said Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. "If there is a consensus we may go ahead with it, especially in the case of senior citizens and people working in high-risk settings." Vardhan said the timeline on Phase III trials could be shortened by giving emergency authorisation, but stressed no corners would be cut in clinical trials and that a vaccine would only be made available when the government could ensure its safety and efficacy.
Leaked figures reveal scale of coronavirus test shortage
A huge backlog has forced Britain to send swabs abroad, casting doubt on its capacity to test as many people as it claimed. The government’s “world-beating” testing programme has a backlog of 185,000 swabs and is so overstretched that it is sending tests to laboratories in Italy and Germany, according to leaked documents. A Department of Health and Social Care report marked “Official: sensitive” also confirms that most British laboratories are clearing fewer tests than their stated capacity, as they are hit by “chaos” in supply chains. The government claims that it has capacity for 375,000 tests a day. However, the actual number of people being tested for the coronavirus stalled to just 437,000 people a week at the start of the month — equivalent to just 62,000 a day.
Coronavirus: How the lockdown has changed schooling in South Asia
We've taken a look at the situation in India and its neighbours in South Asia where the United Nations estimates nearly 600 million children have been affected by lockdowns.
Coronavirus: Who would get the vaccine first?
If or when scientists succeed in making a coronavirus vaccine, there won't be enough to go around. Research labs and pharmaceutical companies are rewriting the rulebook on the time it takes to develop, test and manufacture an effective vaccine. Unprecedented steps are being taken to ensure roll-out of the vaccine is global. But there are concerns that the race to get one will be won by the richest countries, at the expense of the most vulnerable. So who will get it first, how much will it cost and, in a global crisis, how do we make sure nobody gets left behind?
Army medics to help NHS deliver biggest vaccination push in British history
The Army is to be drafted in for the biggest vaccination programme in UK history to protect the population against coronavirus, i can reveal. Public health and civil contingency planners believe they will need military assistance to help administer tens of millions of jabs when the Covid-19 vaccine is ready. Nightingale hospitals – currently mothballed after the first wave of the pandemic – and public buildings could be commandeered as mass vaccination sites.
What if We Have to Wait Years for a Coronavirus Vaccine?
“With all the challenges regarding developing, testing, manufacturing and distributing a safe and effective vaccine — no matter how much effort so many scientists and companies put on the problem — it could still take years or even longer,” Dr. George Yancopoulos, the chief scientific officer of the biotechnology company Regeneron, told Dr. Mukherjee.
European Parliament cancels Strasbourg session due to coronavirus resurgence
The European Parliament on Tuesday canceled plans to return to Strasbourg next week, after the city and its surrounding area were designated as a coronavirus red zone by French authorities. Announcing the decision, European Parliament President David Sassoli noted that holding the session in Strasbourg would have meant Parliament staff having to quarantine on their return to Brussels.
Partisan Exits
Anti-Netanyahu protesters warn of 'anti-democratic' coronavirus lockdown ahead of vote
Thousands of protesters took to the streets in Jerusalem and across Israel on Saturday, for the 12th week in a row, calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign amid corruption charges and an impending coronavirus lockdown. Protesters, fewer than in previous weeks, gathered near the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem, slamming the government for mismanagement of the COVID-19 crisis and Netanyahu for preoccupation with his ongoing trial in three criminal cases. Police clashed with protesters, detaining at least four on suspicion of assaulting officers.
Coughed on, spat at: UK shop workers fear asking customers to wear masks
Despite the public show of support and gratitude for key workers in recent months, the abuse of retail and transport workers has remained persistent and acute. Over 75% of shop workers surveyed by the shopworkers union Usdaw last month reported being abused by customers when asking them to socially distance; almost half had experienced abuse triggered by reminding shoppers to wear face masks. The preliminary findings of the union’s annual Freedom from Fear report, shared exclusively with the Observer, reveal the toll taken on the wellbeing of those working in essential services.
Coronavirus: More than 200 arrested during first yellow vest protest since France lockdown lifted
Police in Paris have arrested more than 200 people during the first yellow vest protest since the start of France's coronavirus outbreak. The last Gilets Jaunes demonstration had taken place on 14 March - three days before France went into lockdown. Officers in riot gear have already fired tear gas at demonstrators along the Avenue de Wagram in Paris's 17th arrondissement, while another march takes place outside the capital's stock exchange.
Crowds rally in New Zealand's Auckland against coronavirus lockdown
Large crowds of people rallied in Auckland on Saturday against the government's social distancing restrictions imposed on the country's largest city after an outbreak of the novel coronavirus last month. Local television footage showed tightly packed crowds, with many people not wearing masks, with estimates of the attendance varying in reports between a thousand and a few thousand people. "We are all here today because we believe we need to stand up for our rights," the public Television New Zealand cited Jami-Lee Ross, the leader of the Advance New Zealand party, one of the organisers of the protest, as saying. "We're all here today because we believe it's time to stand up and say, 'We need to get our rights and freedoms back'."
'It’s world-leadingly bad, is what it is': the week Covid surged again in UK
The warning lights had been flashing in Downing Street, too, triggering an abrupt reversal of policy that coincided with a Brexit crisis of the government’s own making, leaving ministers fighting Conservative rebellions on two fronts. All talk of the country tentatively heading towards some kind of normality began to evaporate last weekend as the reality of a Covid resurgence began to bite. With the UK recording nearly 3,000 Covid cases on Sunday, the highest daily total since May, the health secretary, Matt Hancock, concluded that he had to act.
Coronavirus: Britons more divided over face masks and lockdown rules than Brexit, poll suggests
Coronavirus is causing deeper social divides than Brexit, with more than half of mask wearers in the UK having strong negative attitudes to those who refuse to wear one, new research suggests. The poll of over 10,000 people, conducted by think tank Demos, found that people have contrasting opinions of the COVID-19 pandemic based on their experiences, social class and occupations. The findings show that the social divide on the key questions associated with the pandemic - such as mask wearing or lockdown rules - is now deeper than the divide over Brexit.
French police use tear gas as yellow vests return to Paris
French authorities deployed a heavy police presence in Paris and used tear gas on Saturday as the "yellow vest" movement returned to the capital after being dampened by the coronavirus crisis. Several hundred demonstrators gathered at two squares in Paris for authorized marches. One cortege set off without incident but the other march was delayed after police used tear gas to disperse protesters who left the designated route and some of whom set fire to waste bins and a car. The authorities had banned protests in a central zone including the Champs-Elysees, the scene of rioting at the height of the yellow vest movement nearly two years ago when anger over fuel taxes and President Emmanuel Macron's style of rule brought hundreds of thousands onto the streets across France.
Continued Lockdown
New UK town 'faces imminent lockdown' after spike in coronavirus cases
Hartlepool could face "imminent" new lockdown restrictions after a worrying spike in new coronavirus infections. The leader of the town's council has described it as a "wake up call" and warned that further restrictions may follow. Hartlepool was this week added to a government watchlist after 51 cases were confirmed in seven days - up from 22 the previous week. Shane Moore, leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, described the new figures as "extremely worrying". Care homes have been advised to suspend family visits to protect the vulnerable
More than 100 children were homeless in Epping Forest at the start of lockdown
More than 100 children were homeless and in temporary accommodation in Epping Forest at the start of the coronavirus lockdown, figures show. Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government figures show 114 children from 62 households were housed in temporary accommodation in Epping Forest at the end of March – an increase of 25 on the same point last year, when there were 89. Across England, there were 129,380 children in temporary accommodation on March 31 – the highest number since 2006.
Sydney woman has been in coronavirus lockdown since March
Jazzy Regan, who is in her 20s, has been in coronavirus lockdown for 183 days Ms Regan is severely asthmatic and lives with her 84-year-old grandma. The pandemic has probably been the 'best time ever' for the young woman. She has learnt to cook, exercises in her loungeroom and works from home
Scientific Viewpoint
Belgium still at risk of coronavirus flare-up, ULB epidemiologist warns
Belgian leaders should remain wary as the country is still at risk of facing a resurgence of the new coronavirus similar to that gripping France and Spain, a Belgian epidemiologist warned. An alarming surge of new coronavirus infections could hit Belgium as early as within ten days, Yves Coppieters, an epidemiologist and professor at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) said in a TV interview on Thursday.
The Brazilian state of Bahia signs deal for Russia's vaccine against Covid-19
The Brazilian state of Bahia has signed an agreement to conduct Phase III clinical trials of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 and plans to buy 50 million doses to market in Brazil, officials have said. The Russian vaccine is being developed by Moscow's Gamaleya Research Institute and marketed by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which last month also entered an agreement with the Brazilian state of Paraná to test and produce the vaccine. Russia will sell up to 50 million doses of the Sputnik-V vaccine to Bahia state, RDIF said in a statement.
DCGI orders suspension of Serum's India trials of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine - ANI
India's drug regulator has asked Serum Institute of India to suspend recruitment in its clinical trials of AstraZeneca Plc's potential COVID-19 vaccine in the country until further orders, Reuters partner ANI reported on Friday. V.G. Somani, the drugs controller general of India, has also asked for increased safety monitoring of those already vaccinated with the experimental vaccine, ANI reported, citing an order issued by the regulator. The move places further restrictions on the trials, which have already been put on hold by Serum on Thursday after the DCGI had asked the vaccine maker for details on the suspension of trials overseas, in a show-cause notice that was reviewed by Reuters. Friday's order has been issued after Serum responded to the show-cause notice, according to ANI.
AstraZeneca resumes UK trials of COVID-19 vaccine halted by patient illness
AstraZeneca has resumed British clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine, one of the most advanced in development, after getting the green light from safety watchdogs, the company said on Saturday.
Pfizer, BioNTech propose expanding COVID-19 vaccine trial to 44,000 volunteers
Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE on Saturday proposed to the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to expand their Phase 3 pivotal COVID-19 vaccine trial to about 44,000 participants while increasing the diversity of the trial population. The initial target figure for the trial was up to 30,000 participants, which the companies said they expect to reach by next week. The proposed expansion would also allow the companies to enroll people as young as 16 and people with chronic, stable HIV, hepatitis C and hepatitis B, they added.
Oxford University resumes Covid-19 vaccine trials
The closely watched trial of an experimental Covid-19 vaccine that was halted after a participant fell ill is to resume in the UK. The University of Oxford, which has partnered with pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca to pilot the study, said that the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) had recommended that its trials resume after an independent committee review of safety data triggered a pause last week. In a statement, the university said: “Globally some 18,000 individuals have received study vaccines as part of the trial. In large trials such as this, it is expected that some participants will become unwell and every case must be evaluated to ensure careful assessment of safety.”
Coronavirus: Oxford University vaccine trials resume after volunteer's side-effects caused pause
Trials of a Covid-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University will resume after a pause due to a reported side effect in a patient in the UK. AstraZeneca issued a statement on Tuesday night saying the late-stage studies of the vaccine had been paused while the company investigated whether the patient’s reported side effect is connected with the vaccine. On Saturday, Oxford University confirmed that trials would resume across all UK clinical trial sites. It comes after the Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance told a Downing Street press conference what has happened in the Oxford trial is not unusual.
Oxford coronavirus vaccine trials RESUME as they get the all-clear from regulators after volunteer fell ill with fever and chills
AstraZeneca said Tuesday the late-stage studies of the vaccine had been paused This was while it investigated whether patient's side effect was linked to vaccine Oxford University today said trials would resume across all UK clinical trial sites It comes after Sir Patrick Vallance said a pause is not unusual during trial phase
Coronavirus vaccine won’t be ready in time for the second wave, says Oxford’s Sir John Bell
A coronavirus vaccine won’t be ready in time for the second wave, the Government’s leading life sciences adviser has warned. Sir John Bell, 68, who sits on the UK’s vaccine taskforce and is also Oxford University’s regius professor of medicine, has warned that while the majority of vaccines take around eight years to develop, experts have only been working on a Covid-19 one for “just eight months”.
Bharat Biotech’s Covid vaccine generated 'robust immune response' on animals
Hyderabad-based vaccine major Bharat Biotech has announced that its Covid-19 vaccine candidate Covaxin, during its testing on animal rhesus macaques, has develop a “robust immune response” to the highly infectious coronavirus, “preventing infection and disease in the primates upon high amounts of exposure to live SARS-CoV-2 virus."
$4bn to produce coronavirus vaccine in Africa
The Egyptian government has said it is necessary to unite African efforts to confront the coronavirus and limit its health, social and economic effects on the continent’s people. Mohamed Maait, the Egyptian Minister of Finance and chairman of the General Assembly of the African Export-Import Bank, backed the bank’s view on the need for African countries to cooperate in financing a coronavirus vaccine — at an estimated cost of $4 billion in Egypt and South Africa. During his meeting with Benedict Oramah, chairman of the board of directors of the African Export-Import Bank, and his accompanying delegation, the minister affirmed the Egyptian government’s keenness to enhance economic cooperation with African countries. This included African integration as the main pillar for maximizing capabilities and supporting development efforts to meet the aspirations of the African people and revitalize intra-African trade.
Oxford to Resume Trial of AstraZeneca Vaccine
The University of Oxford and AstraZeneca Plc have restarted a U.K. trial of an experimental Covid-19 vaccine after it was halted over concerns about a participant who fell ill. The U.K. Medicines Health Regulatory Authority recommended that the study resume after an independent review of the safety data triggered a pause on Sept. 6, Oxford said in a statement. It declined to disclose details about the volunteer’s illness. While temporary halts are common in vaccine trials, the interruption to the closely watched Astra-Oxford study had raised concerns about the viability of one of the fastest-moving experimental shots seeking protection from the pandemic. The race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine has compressed what is normally a decade-long process into a matter of months, with data from final-stage trials expected as soon as next month.
The underdog coronavirus vaccines the world will need if front runners stumble
As leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies fast-track COVID-19 vaccines through clinical trials, smaller developers face a battle to get their candidates noticed.
Egypt to test coronavirus vaccine
Zayed warned that Egypt remains in the first wave of the outbreak, but can adapt to the virus through successful vaccine trials. The minister said that from Saturday volunteers will be invited for testing CAIRO: Egypt will test two
Oxford’s Sir John Bell: ‘We’re not going to beat the second wave’
At lunchtime on Tuesday, Sir John Bell received a call telling him that the groundbreaking Oxford coronavirus vaccine trial would, regretfully, be paused. Hours later, news of an urgent investigation into an “unexplained illness” in one of the trial volunteers began spreading across the world. It was, as White House adviser Anthony Fauci described it, “unfortunate”- Bell thought it unsurprising and the system was workinhg well
The Covid-19 vaccine gamble: where bets have been placed and why
The UK has ordered a total of 340m doses of potential coronavirus vaccines from six manufacturers. The EU has done a deal said to be worth €2.4bn (£2.2bn) with one developer, while the US has orders with six companies for 800m doses under Operation Warp Speed, with options on a further 1.6bn. Wealthy countries are paying upfront for something that has not yet been proven to work, willing to spend whatever it takes to get their economies running again. And yet they could have backed the wrong horse. It is a lottery on an unprecedented scale. They have rolled the dice and cannot know whether the gamble will pay off. Earlier this week, the frontrunner the UK and EU have ordered, the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine, was paused after a volunteer became ill. It may not be vaccine-related, but such things can happen.
China's coronavirus vaccine shows military's growing role in research
The largest armed force in the world, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), is not known for its cutting edge medical research. But since 2015, it has ramped up recruitment of scientists, and investment in the field as part of its strategy to modernize its military. Now, the coronavirus pandemic is showcasing the PLA's growing expertise in medical research, including a major role in developing the coronavirus vaccine that was the first in the world to be approved for restricted use.
Astrazeneca says trials of COVID vaccine resuming
AstraZeneca AZN.L has resumed British clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine, one of the most advanced in development, after getting the green light from safety watchdogs, the company said on Saturday.
Pfizer proposes expansion of late-stage coronavirus vaccine trial
Pfizer and BioNTech said their late-stage trial is proceeding as planned and they expect to have enrolled 30,000 participants by next week. The two companies announced Saturday that they have submitted a proposal to the FDA to expand the phase-three trial of its coronavirus vaccine to include up to 44,000 participants. The expansion would help the companies ensure that their trial participants reflect a diverse population, especially with regard to people with underlying health conditions.
CDC confirms asymptomatic children CAN spread COVID-19 to adults
The CDC observed 184 Utah students, teachers and family members over a three-month period. Testing and tracing revealed that 12 of the 110 students become infected with COVID-19. They spread the virus to at least 12 family members outside the facilities, even if they themselves were not showing symptoms. The study has raised alarm bells as schools and daycare centers reopen for fall. At least four teachers in three states died from COVID-19 complications since the start of the school year began less than two months ago. Among them was South Carolina third-grade teacher Demetria Bannister, 28, who died Monday just three days after she was diagnosed with the virus
Face masks could be giving people Covid-19 immunity, researchers suggest
Face masks may be inadvertently giving people Covid-19 immunity and making them get less sick from the virus, academics have suggested in one of the most respected medical journals in the world. The commentary, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, advances the unproven but promising theory that universal face mask wearing might be helping to reduce the severity of the virus and ensuring that a greater proportion of new infections are asymptomatic. If this hypothesis is borne out, the academics argue, then universal mask-wearing could become a form of variolation (inoculation) that would generate immunity and “thereby slow the spread of the virus in the United States and elsewhere” as the world awaits a vaccine. It comes as increasing evidence suggests that the amount of virus someone is exposed to at the start of infection - the “infectious dose” - may determine the severity of their illness. Indeed, a large study published in the Lancet last month found that “viral load at diagnosis” was an “independent predictor of mortality” in hospital patients. Wearing masks could therefore reduce the infectious dose that the wearer is exposed to and, subsequently, the impact of the disease, as masks filter out some virus-containing droplets.
China coronavirus vaccine: Over 100,000 people receive experimental Covid-19 vaccine
China has taken a shortcut in the global sprint to develop and deliver vaccines for the novel coronavirus. Sinopharm, the state-owned company developing two of China’s leading vaccine candidates, told China National Radio on Monday that it has already vaccinated hundreds of thousands of Chinese citizens — even though the company’s phase 3 clinical trials have not yet concluded. Individuals received one of two Sinopharm vaccines in development in an emergency use program launched by the Chinese government in late July, which also authorized a third vaccine, CoronaVac, developed by the privately owned drugmaker Sinovac Biotech. Under Chinese vaccine law, such authorization is allowed within a certain scope and time frame during a health emergency. China’s top vaccine official mentioned front-line medical workers and customs officials when he first announced the program, implying these high-risk groups had been prioritized to receive the still-experimental vaccines.
Transmission Dynamics of COVID-19 Outbreaks Associated with Child Care Facilities — Salt Lake City, Utah, April–July 2020
Children aged ≥10 years have been shown to transmit SARS-CoV-2 in school settings. Twelve children acquired COVID-19 in child care facilities. Transmission was documented from these children to at least 12 (26%) of 46 nonfacility contacts (confirmed or probable cases). One parent was hospitalized. Transmission was observed from two of three children with confirmed, asymptomatic COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 Infections among young children acquired in child care settings were transmitted to their household members. Testing of contacts of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases in child care settings, including children who might not have symptoms, could improve control of transmission from child care attendees to family members.
Fauci assures trials will find a safe coronavirus vaccine
Dr. Anthony Fauci discussed the trials currently underway to find a coronavirus vaccine assured that only a safe vaccine would be distributed to the public.
Safety first: how to run a Covid-19 vaccine clinical trial | News | Wellcome
The world is waiting eagerly for Covid-19 vaccines to be developed as quickly as possible. But to make sure they are safe and effective, the clinical trials that test them have to be robust. So how do trials achieve this?
Close case contact, dining out tied to COVID-19 spread
Studies today led by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigators highlight US transmission patterns of COVID-19 and show that close contact with confirmed cases and eating out at restaurants were linked to an increased likelihood of contracting the novel virus, while children in three Utah daycare centers were more likely to spread the virus to household members than among each other.
Coronavirus vaccines: main contenders in the global race and when they could be available
The Oxford vaccine - STATUS - Doses are being manufactured to supply the NHS but there are no guarantees they will work. In July an early-stage trial involving about 1,100 healthy volunteers showed that the jab stimulated the kind of “robust immune responses” the researchers had hoped for. No side effects deemed to be dangerous were reported. Trials in Britain, South Africa and Brazil have recruited about 17,000 people. Another trial in the US, which aims to recruit a further 30,000, started injecting volunteers about a week ago and has now been paused.
Pfizer may win the COVID vaccine race. But distributing it could be another matter.
Pfizer, the multinational pharmaceutical company, may be the first in the United States to seek regulatory approval for a COVID-19 vaccine, but even if its vaccine is authorized, the company may face additional challenges in distributing it. That's because Pfizer's vaccine can't be stored in the refrigeration systems found at the typical doctor's office. Instead, it requires special ultra-low-temperature freezers that can store medicine at approximately 94 degrees below zero. The delivery system is complex, requiring the use of a custom-built "cool box" that can store 1,000 to 5,000 vaccines for up to 10 days at minus 94 degrees.
Coronavirus Resurgence
Austria experiencing second virus wave, says chancellor
Austria is experiencing the start of a second wave of coronavirus infections, its chancellor said, as cases spike upwards in line with other EU countries. From Friday to Saturday, the Alpine nation of nearly nine million people reported 869 new cases - more than half of those in the capital Vienna. "What we are experiencing is the beginning of the second wave," Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said in a statement, appealing to the population to stick to anti-virus measures and reduce social contacts. He warned that the mark of 1,000 cases per day would be reached soon.
Covid-19 infections and hospital cases surge in France
Mr Castex said Marseille, Bordeaux and the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe had been particularly badly hit. “What’s especially worrying is that we are noticing a perceptible rise in the number of people being hospitalised,” he said in Paris after an inner cabinet meeting on the crisis. The change in quarantine tactics, which had been predicted by health minister Olivier Véran, reflects an acknowledgment by the government that the 14-day isolation period was longer than necessary and that many people were flouting the rules. “It’s essential that everyone respects strictly this period of isolation, which will be monitored,” Mr Castex said.
Countries brace for coronavirus resurgence
Amid fears of a second wave, countries around the world are implementing new restrictions aimed at curtailing a global resurgence of COVID-19 cases. This has caused concern for many as schools and businesses beginning to open their doors again for the first time in months, as previous restrictions began to ease. But experts warn that even with new restrictions, the novel coronavirus is here to stay. “Even countries throughout Europe that have done a really great job of reducing spread haven't eliminated the virus entirely,” Christine Blackburn, Deputy Director, Pandemic & Biosecurity Policy Program at Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs at Texas A&M University, told Al Arabiya English.
Indonesia Adds 3800 Covid-19 Cases as Sumatra Provinces See Resurgence
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Indonesia reached the second-highest rise on Saturday with more provinces on Sumatra Island reporting a three-digit daily total and new transmissions in Jakarta spiraling beyond control. Indonesia has recorded 3,806 new cases of the virus in the last 24 hours to take the country’s total to 214,746. The highest one-day rise was 3,861 cases only two days ago. It also reported 106 more deaths from the disease, bringing the total death toll to 8,650 or 4 percent of total cases.
Marseille's hospitals back on crisis footing as coronavirus spreads again in France
Each day this week, Professor Dominique Rossi has convened a coronavirus crisis group as intensive care wards in hospitals in Marseille fill up after a summer lull, deciding on how best to distribute beds and find extra staff. With 95% of the southern Bouche du Rhone region’s 80 intensive care beds set aside for COVID-19 patients now occupied, Rossi has dusted off his peak-pandemic playbook to deal with a jump in patients at the epicentre of the coronavirus’ resurgence in France. “We’re back to the working routine we adopted in April,” Rossi, a urologist who heads the Marseille Hospitals’ Medical Commission, told Reuters.
Coronavirus: Fears of second wave mount as R rate rises above one
Fears of a deadly second wave of coronavirus infections mounted today after official data showed the rate of transmission has risen above the critical level. The reproduction rate — known as R — is now between 1.0 and 1.2, according to the Government Office for Science. It marks an increase on last week, when the R rate was between 0.9 and 1.1. The daily growth rate for the UK as a whole is between -1 per cent and 3 per cent, up from between -1 per cent and 2 per cent. The R rate represents the average number of people that one infected person will pass the virus on to. Scientists have warned that 1.0 is the crucial cut-off rate, with any figure above this level potentially leading to rapid exponential growth. However, the figures are driven largely by local outbreaks and experts have said that estimates are less reliable when overall incidence of the virus is low. It came as new figures showed Covid-19 infections in England have jumped 60 per cent to 3,200 new cases each day.
Lockdown Restrictions Have Been Increased In Birmingham As Coronavirus Infections Soar Across The UK
Birmingham is the latest city to face tough new lockdown measures following a resurgence in cases across the whole of the UK. A ban on households mixing in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull has been announced after new figures found the city had the second highest rate of Covid-19 infections in England, behind Bolton. West Midlands mayor Andy Street said the new restrictions would come into force on Tuesday after socialising between households was identified as "one of the drivers of transmission".
French PM: no new lockdown over COVID-19 resurgence
French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Friday his government was not planning a new, nationwide lockdown to contain a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, but would instead implement a raft of less radical measures. France has the world’s seventh highest COVID death toll, and President Emmanuel Macron’s government is trying to curb the virus while ensuring that economic and social activities, such as schoolchildren’s education, can continue as much as possible. Castex said new measures would include fast-tracked testing for priority cases to reduce time spent waiting for results, and targeted restrictions in areas hit especially hard. “The virus is with us for several more months and we must manage to live with it without letting ourselves get drawn once again into a narrative of nationwide lockdown,” Castex said in a televised address.
Coronavirus: Merthyr Tydfil braced for lockdown
It seemed like business as usual in Merthyr Tydfil's busy High Street on a sunny Wednesday afternoon. Shoppers navigated yellow arrows and 2m spacing signs on the pavement - some wearing face masks, others stopping to chat with friends. But as coronavirus cases rise across Valleys towns, Merthyr is braced to follow Caerphilly into local lockdown. Businesses in the town - already suffering huge financial losses - are warning they will struggle to survive.
New Lockdown
Israel to impose a three-week nationwide lockdown - media reports
Israel will enter a three-week nationwide lockdown starting on Friday to contain the spread of the coronavirus after a second- wave surge of new cases, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday. During the lockdown, which comes during the Jewish high-holiday season, Israelis will have to stay within 500 metres of their houses, but can travel to workplaces that will be allowed to operate on a limited basis. Schools and shopping malls will be closed but supermarkets and pharmacies will remain open. The public sector will operate with fewer staff, but non-governmental offices and businesses will not have to close, as long as they do not accept customers.
Could there be a second lockdown? If restrictions in England could tighten again as coronavirus cases continue to rise
As rules on social gatherings in the UK are tightened, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned about the need to act now in order to avoid a second lockdown. Rules limiting gatherings to just six people were introduced this week and mark the first significant reverse step in the Westminster Government’s move out of lockdown since restrictions began easing in May. The rules came as cases across the country began to rise steeply, with the UK recording close to 3,000 new positive cases on September 10.
Israel to be first country to enter a 2nd nationwide COVID-19 lockdown
Israel is about to enter a second COVID-19 lockdown as the country experiences a resurgence in cases following what some say was a fumbled reopening. Israel is the first country in the world to reenter a full, nationwide shutdown during the pandemic, per The Times. There are more than 145,000 reported cases with nearly 1,100 reported deaths in Israel.
Coronavirus: Birmingham lockdown restrictions increased
Households in Birmingham have been banned from mixing in new lockdown measures announced following a spike in coronavirus cases. The rate of infection has more than doubled in the city in a week to 90.3 cases per 100,000. The measures also cover neighbouring Sandwell and Solihull, affecting more than 1.6 million people in total. The restrictions will begin on Tuesday, it was announced at a regional meeting of council leaders. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "We never take these decisions lightly but social gatherings can spread the virus quickly and we need residents to abide by the new rules to break the chains of transmission."
Lockdown for a second time: 'It can't get any worse'
After just two months of "heaven", being open after the national lockdown, he had to shut his doors as all hospitality venues in the Bolton area were closed this week. He has re-furloughed his staff, keeping just himself and the head chef Robert Nelson in their small kitchen. He's hoping the new takeaway menu and this two-man band can keep the pub ticking over. "It can't get any worse can it?" he laughs ruefully. He believes this pub will probably survive, but its sister pub round the corner will not.