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"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 21st Sep 2020

News Highlights

Puppy prices rise sharply as Britons stay locked in at home

With millions of people stuck indoors because of the Coronavirus lockdown, interest in acquiring pets soared rapidly, with some breeds of puppies selling for more than £3,000. With high demand, breeders raised prices significantly, with the average price asked for pets more than doubling to £1,883 from about £888 at the same time last year. Animal welfare charities are, however, warning about potential scenarios of smuggling, dog theft and a looming dog welfare crisis in the future when people return to their workplaces

Italian Serie A to allow 1,000 fans to attend soccer games

From September 20, up to 1,000 fans of Italian Serie A soccer teams will now be allowed to attend games following an agreement between the regions and different government departments, according to sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora. Serie A fans have been barred from watching matches in the stadiums since March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Russian Sputnik vaccine to be sold internationally

A month after Russia fast-tracked the world's first coronavirus vaccine, the country has struck preliminary deals to sell the 'as yet unproven' vaccine to more than 10 nations in Asia, South America and the Middle east. Countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and India, are all still battling the pandemic and have placed expressions of interest in purchasing up to 1.2 billion doses of the Sputnik vaccine.

Parts of Madrid back under lockdown as coronavirus cases spike

More than 850,000 people in the Madrid region will face some form of limit on travel and group sizes as the city reimposes lockdown restrictions to curb a spike in Covid-19 cases. Spain leads Europe in the number of coronavirus cases, with Madrid being the worst-hit region, and fears abound of a second wave of the pandemic with winter approaching.

Lockdown Exit
Australia heads for lowest virus count in three months
Australia looked set to record its lowest daily increase in new coronavirus cases in three months on Sunday as a hard lockdown in the city of Melbourne brought the country’s virus epicentre down sharply. The second-most populous state Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, reported 14 new infections in the 24 hours to Sunday morning, down from 21 new cases the day prior and its lowest since June 19. That put Victoria, which has spent months under lockdown to slow a second wave of infections, on track to meet a target of keeping average daily increases below 50 by Sept. 28 when the authorities have said they may lift restrictions.
Russia Is Slow to Administer Virus Vaccine Despite Kremlin’s Approval
In one example of the limited scope of distribution, the company financing the vaccine pointed to a shipment sent this past week to the Crimean Peninsula. The delivery contained doses for 21 people in a region with two million. The Russian Ministry of Health has not said how many people have been vaccinated in all of Russia. The minister, Mikhail Murashko, said last weekend that the first small shipments was being delivered this past week to the Russian provinces.
India's coronavirus infections surge to 5.4 million
India’s coronavirus case tally surged to 5.4 million as it added 92,605 new infections in the last 24 hours, data from the federal health ministry showed on Sunday. The country has posted the highest single-day caseload in the world since early August, and lags behind only the United States, which has 6.7 million cases in terms of total infections.
Coronavirus: Could smaller nations lose out in global vaccine programme?
Hailed as a project to help the world tackle coronavirus as one, the global vaccine alliance has now secured the commitments of more than 170 countries. But behind the scenes, some smaller nations are concerned by the initiative’s shortfalls and lack of clarity, fearing that they could be left behind as world powers take precedence. Co-led by the Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (Cepi) and the World Health Organisation, the Covax Facility was established in April “to secure access to safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines” through a portfolio of candidates.
EU to finance 88M coronavirus vaccine doses for poor countries
The EU is willing to invest in some 88 million doses of coronavirus vaccines for poor countries as part of its participation in a global effort to secure and equitably distribute immunizations, the Commission said Friday. The Commission and the EU 27, under the banner of “Team Europe,” will contribute to the COVAX Facility with an initial €230 million in cash through a loan from the European Investment Bank. That sum amounts to reserves or options to buy 88 million doses, and the EU “would transfer these” to eligible low-and middle income countries, a press release said.
Coronavirus: PM does not want another lockdown but says second wave 'is coming'
Boris Johnson has said he does not want to put the country in another national lockdown but warned the government may need to "intensify things to help bring the rate of infections down". He added: "We're now seeing a second wave coming in... clearly we are going to keep everything under review." Calling the second wave "inevitable", he said: "I don't want to get to a second national lockdown at all." But he also said: "As the disease progresses, of course we're going to have to take further measures."
A&E boss fears being overwhelmed by second coronavirus wave & effects of lockdown
A hospital A&E chief has said she fears being overwhelmed not just by a second wave of coronavirus — but also by the knock-on effects of the first. Dr Ann-Marie Morris, of the Royal Stoke University Hospital, said she was seeing a rise in patients with alcohol-related conditions as well as more victims of violent crime.
Mexico reports 5,167 new coronavirus cases, 455 new deaths
Mexico’s health ministry on Saturday reported 5,167 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the country, bringing the total to 694,121 cases, and 455 new deaths, for a cumulative death toll of 73,258. Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell has said the real number of cases in the country is significantly higher.
Football: Italy to allow 1000 fans at Serie A games from Sunday
Italy will allow up to 1,000 supporters to attend top flight Serie A soccer matches from Sunday (Sep 20) following an agreement between the regions and various government departments, sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora said on Saturday. The regions of Emilia Romagna - home to Parma, Sassuolo and Bologna - and Veneto - where Verona are based - had already announced that fans could watch matches in their jurisdiction but Spadafora said the measure had been extended to nationwide. Spectators have been barred from Serie A matches since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Exit Strategies
The coronavirus vaccine volunteer: 'I hope this is a kick up the ass to do things better'
The world is watching the Covid-19 vaccine trials conducted by the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute closely. Australian Josh McGrane is an associate professor and educational researcher living in Oxford. He decided to take part in the trials when he saw the call-out for volunteers on Facebook earlier this year.
Is the UK better prepared for a second wave of coronavirus?
This is a big moment for Britain. One senior NHS official said yesterday that cases might be doubling every seven days, with infection rates even worse in some areas of the country. If that is right, the latest official figures showing 6,000 people a day in England getting infected could soar past 100,000 a day within five weeks. Yesterday the UK recorded 4,422 new cases — the first time it has exceeded 4,000 for two successive days since early May.
Boris Johnson visits Oxford coronavirus vaccine lab
The Prime Minister was shown around by Professor Kate Ewer, a senior immunologist at the labs. He was given a tour through the laboratory and met scientists who are leading the COVID-19 vaccine research.
Coronavirus vaccine could be ready by March but we will feel impact of pandemic throughout 2021 - Taoiseach
A vaccine for coronavirus could be ready by March or April next year, but the impact of the virus will be felt throughout all of 2021, according to the Taoiseach. Micheál Martin also said that a “huge economic issue” surrounding the pandemic cannot be ignored. Speaking with Brendan O’Connor on RTÉ Radio One this morning, Mr Martin said that the “full impacts” of the virus will be felt throughout next year even if a vaccine is found. “There is a huge economic issue here as well that we can’t ignore. We have a deficit of 8pc, we have €24bn maybe at the end of the year necessary. I think we’re looking at something similar right throughout 2021
Obese Britons putting at risk hopes of widespread vaccine protection
Britain’s obesity crisis could prevent a vaccine from ending the pandemic, experts have warned. Scientists are concerned that vaccines being developed to protect against Covid-19 may be less effective in fat people, leaving them more vulnerable to infection, which could, in turn, put others at risk.
Latin American nations plan to join COVAX vaccine facility after deadline
Brazil and Argentina, Latin American nations seeking more time to commit to the global COVID-19 vaccine facility known as COVAX, said they intend to so as soon as possible after missing Friday's deadline. Peru's foreign ministry said on Saturday it managed to sign the binding agreement on Friday and will get access to 12 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX, a scheme for pooled procurement and equitable distribution of eventual vaccines. Argentina asked for more time to prepare the required paperwork but expects to sign on Wednesday its commitment to the vaccine mechanism led by the World Health Organization, a health ministry official told Reuters. The Brazilian government said in a statement late on Friday that it will sign up for COVAX after negotiations with the GAVI Alliance, which is the COVAX secretariat.
Covid-19: Lockdown in parts of Madrid amid virus spike
Parts of the Spanish capital Madrid are to be subject to lockdown restrictions to curb a rise in Covid-19, as cases across Europe continue to spike. From Monday, more than 850,000 people in the Madrid region will face limits on travel and sizes of groups. Spain has the highest number of coronavirus cases in Europe, and Madrid is once again the worst-hit region. Many northern hemisphere countries are now bracing for a second wave of the pandemic as winter approaches.
Puppy prices soar during coronavirus lockdown
Popular breeds have seen even sharper price increases, and puppies are often selling for £3,000 or more, according to a leading online marketplace. Animal welfare charities have warned high prices could encourage "puppy farming", smuggling or dog theft. They are also concerned that it could lead to a dog welfare crisis as people return to work away from the home. Interest in getting a pet rose hugely after lockdown in late March, with high demand prompting many breeders to raise their prices. Figures from the Pets4Homes website, based on about 150,000 adverts, showed the average price being asked from March to September was £1,883. During the same period last year the average price was £888.
Coronavirus: Lockdown theatre group takes show to Nottingham doorsteps
An arts charity, which normally performs shows in theatres, care homes and nurseries, has started touring residents' doorsteps because of coronavirus. City Arts is taking its family-friendly puppet show "The Search for Tedding Island" outside the homes of Nottingham residents while many theatres remain closed due to the pandemic. The show, which is aimed at children aged two to five, is being performed with government social distancing guidelines in place. Creative development manager Alison Denholm said: "The Covid-19 pandemic has created a lot of challenges for theatre and arts.
Partisan Exits
Sixty-nine percent of Americans have no confidence in Trump on coronavirus vaccine, poll reveals
Despite president Donald Trump’s claims that a coronavirus vaccine will soon be available, new polling shows that a majority of Americans have no confidence in him to confirm that it is safe. An ABC News/Ipsos poll released on Sunday shows that 69 per cent of Americans do not have confidence in the president vouching for the effectiveness of a vaccine — 53 per cent saying they have no confidence at all in him doing so. Conversely, just nine per cent of Americans have a great deal of confidence in the president to confirm the effectiveness of a vaccine, and just 18 per cent have “a good amount” of confidence.
Anti-vaccine protest leader is 'mum-of-four who says coronavirus doesn't exist'
The leader of an anti-vaccine protest in London is a suspended nurse who has previously compared lockdown restrictions to the Holocaust, according to reports. Mum-of-four Kate Shemirani calls the global Covid-19 pandemic a 'scamdemic' and says the disease which has killed thousands in the country 'doesn't exist,' it is claimed.
Coronavirus: 'COVID-19 only takes white people': Researchers battle disease myths in South Africa
In South Africa, three of the most promising vaccines are being tested in cities throughout the country, with 2,000 participants trialling an inoculation developed by Oxford University's Jenner Institute. The study was recently paused after one person in the UK fell ill, but the trial has resumed with participants at Johannesburg's giant Baragwanath Hospital receiving the second part of this two-dose vaccine this week. "Do you think this vaccine could work?" I asked Bonginkosi Ntombela, who lives in the township of Soweto.
Coronavirus vaccine: Emergency powers to allow rollout of unlicensed vaccine being considered by Government
The Government is considering using emergency powers to allow the rollout of a vaccine to the public, even if it is unlicensed. In an open consultation document, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has floated the possibility of authorising the supply of an unlicensed vaccine if there is "sufficient evidence to demonstrate the safety, quality and efficacy of the vaccine". The DHSC adds that "unlicensed" does not mean "untested", and that any unlicensed vaccine will have gone through several safety trials before being used by the general public. The document, first reported in the I newspaper, says that the "preferred route" of deployment of a Covid-19 vaccine is through the "usual marketing authorisation (product licensing) process".
Engagement with anti-vaccine Facebook posts trebles in one month
Engagement with anti-vaccine posts on a sample of UK Facebook pages trebled between July and August, analysis by the Guardian has found, triggering calls for a major new push to tackle conspiracy theories. Interactions on posts expressing scepticism or hostility towards vaccines on six UK Facebook pages increased from 12,000 in July to 42,000 in August, according to the analysis, conducted using the social media analytics tool CrowdTangle.
Coronavirus: 32 arrests after ‘hostile and violent’ outbreaks at anti-vaccine protest
Protesters and police have clashed during an anti-vaccination and anti-lockdown demonstration in central London. Hundreds of people gathered at Trafalgar Square for a “Resist And Act For Freedom” rally on Saturday afternoon, before sections got into scuffles with Metropolitan officers. The force has said it made 32 arrests during the demonstration, which was cleared by 6pm. Dozens of officers, including some mounted on horseback, tried to break up ranks of protesters who had formed human blockades to prevent them making arrests, with loud cheering and chanting as they pushed back the police. Police said they had to take “enforcement action to disperse” the crowds after officers were met with “hostility” and “violence” from some.
Coronavirus vaccine skepticism — by the numbers
Scientists around the world are racing to produce an effective vaccine and governments are throwing billions at drug companies to be first in line for access. But despite the severe disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, a significant minority of people say they don't want a jab even when one becomes available. That's the message from the polling of nearly 20,000 adults in 27 countries. It found that 74 percent would take a vaccine if it becomes available, but 59 percent do not expect that to be an option before the end of the year.
Coronavirus: Prime minister at centre of a lockdown pincer movement
Boris Johnson's interview this afternoon really ought to have carried more significance than it did given the undoubted gravity of the moment. Behind the scenes, government sources confirm that the PM is weighing up whether he has to introduce national restrictions for a short period of time in the next few weeks. The idea, they say, a "circuit break" would see schools and work continuing, but curbs on social lives. In a carefully worded statement, Downing Street say merely they now want to avoid any "extended lockdowns".
Coronavirus Scotland: How Sweden avoided lockdown thanks to Anders Tegnell
When the rest of the world blinked as coronavirus took hold, ice-cool Swede Anders Tegnell refused to lock down his nation. As Sweden’s death count spiralled last spring at one of the highest global rates, this once faceless scientist was accused of creating a “pariah state”. Yet when I met Tegnell, 64, in the capital Stockholm he was being lauded as if he was the fifth member of Abba. T-shirts proclaiming — in the style of the Carlsberg adverts — “Tegnell, probably the best state epidemiologist in the world” are best-sellers. For it appears his decision not to lock down may have paid off.
Coronavirus: Van Morrison lockdown protest songs 'dangerous'
Northern Ireland's health minister has described three new songs by Sir Van Morrison that protest against coronavirus lockdowns as "dangerous". In the lyrics, Sir Van claims scientists are "making up crooked facts" to justify measures that "enslave" the population. "The new normal, is not normal," he sings. "We were born to be free". Health Minister Robin Swann said if Sir Van had scientific facts he should present them.
Boris Johnson unveils £10,000 fines for those breaking self-isolation rules in strict new restrictions as coronavirus infections soar and battle rages among Ministers over a ...
People suffering with coronavirus could be fined £10,000 if they fail to self-isolate when told to do so. The Prime Minister announced he was creating a new legal duty for people to self-isolate if they test positive. Plans will offer £500 to up to four million people on low incomes who cannot work from home if self-isolating The news comes as the number of daily cases reached 4,422, the highest level since early May. But large crowds were still seen around markets and bars on Saturday, signalling little care for the rules
Matt Hancock Has Refused To Rule Out A Second National Lockdown As A “Last Line Of Defence” In The Battle Against Coronavirus
Matt Hancock has refused to rule out putting the whole of the UK back into lockdown amid a spike in coronavirus cases, saying it “isn't something that we ever take off the table”. The health secretary called the draconian measure the “last line of defence” in the battle against Covid-19, adding the government is prepared to “do what is necessary to keep people safe”. Earlier this week Boris Johnson said a second full-scale lockdown would have "disastrous" financial consequences for the UK.
Continued Lockdown
UK 'faces six months of coronavirus restrictions' - with 'on-off' lockdowns likely
Brits could face six months of restrictions - with "on-off" lockdown measures to stop the spread of Covid-19. Yesterday the Prime Minister warned the country is just six weeks behind France and Spain - where the daily death toll rose to 239 this week, and admitted a second wave was "inevitable". He is now considering six months of "circuit breaker" lockdowns - which would see strict restrictions introduced for around two weeks, and then eased slightly. Ministers hope this approach can avoid a full UK-wide lockdown like the one that was introduced on March 23. The on-off restrictions could see limits placed on social contact and hospitality venues such as bars and restaurants made to close.
Scientific Viewpoint
NUS medical school developing Covid-19 vaccine with Monash University
Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Monash University in Australia are developing a Covid-19 vaccine that could be ready for clinical trials by the end of next year. The vaccine, modified from a cancer drug, has undergone animal studies, and researchers are hoping to conduct clinical trials in Singapore and Australia. Called Clec9A-RBD, it is the third coronavirus vaccine that Singapore is involved in developing.
Limited coronavirus vaccine supply could leave some Australians waiting longer for COVID-19 jab
Some Australians could be forced to wait longer for a COVID-19 vaccine jab. Federal Government has locked in deal to receive vaccine as early as January. Though only 3.8million doses will be available in the first two months next year Experts have warned the limited supply will lead to priority distribution system
A hostile Covid-19 vaccine race and testing shambles won’t keep the world safe
Some Australians could be forced to wait longer for a COVID-19 vaccine jab Federal Government has locked in deal to receive vaccine as early as January Though only 3.8million doses will be available in the first two months next year Experts have warned the limited supply will lead to priority distribution system
Trump health official says ‘biology independent of politics’ as US nears 200,000 Covid deaths
As the US closed in on 200,000 deaths from Covid-19, Donald Trump’s health secretary and a key member of the White House coronavirus taskforce defended the administration’s handling of the pandemic and insisted the president and a senior public health aide were both correct when they made contradictory statements about the imminency of an effective vaccine.
Russia Strikes Deals to Sell Its Coronavirus Vaccine Internationally
Russia has struck preliminary agreements to sell its Covid-19 vaccine to more than 10 countries in Asia, South America and the Middle East, a development that could give Moscow valuable economic and political leverage internationally. Russian officials say they have secured preliminary deals for the vaccine to be delivered to countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and India. In addition, Russia says it is in various stages of talks with roughly 10 other countries to buy the vaccine. All told, it has received requests or expressions of interest in the vaccine for a total of 1.2 billion doses. The vaccines will be manufactured abroad and distributed world-wide from there as soon as November. The shot will require local regulatory approval before being distributed, officials say.
Only one in 10 to be protected from coronavirus in first year of vaccine being made available, experts claim
Just one in 10 of the world's 7.8 billion population is likely to be protected against coronavirus in the first year of a vaccine being made available, it has been reported. Experts told Sky News that with seven of the nine prototype vaccines in late-stage clinical trials requiring two doses, there is likely to be enough doses to immunise just over 12 per cent of the global population. Ministers and experts working on vaccine trials have said a treatment could be given approval by Christmas.
Russia pushes COVID-19 vaccine in Egypt
Russian diplomats have been busy in Cairo, meeting with Egyptian officials and the local media to promote the so-called Sputnik V, a vaccine developed by Moscow's Gamaleya Institute — even though clinical trials have not been completed on the drug, and the Chinese seem to be spreadheing the race for an greement with Egypt. Following only two months of testing, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin approved the drug in mid-August and the country began to market the medication as “Sputnik V, the first registered vaccine against COVID-19.”
Moderna sees 20 mln doses of COVID-19 vaccine candidate...
Moderna said Friday it can make 20 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine by the end of October. By the end of 2021, the company anticipates it can manufacture as many as 500 million doses. CEO Stephane Bancel said this week that the company will likely know if the shot works by November. President Trump has expressed optimism that coronavirus vaccines could be ready before the November 3 election
Who gets a COVID vaccine first? Access plans are taking shape
The NASEM guidance goes a step further by ranking priority groups in order of who should get a vaccine first (see ‘A tiered approach’). After health-care workers, medically vulnerable groups should be among the first to receive a vaccine, according to the NASEM draft plan. These include older people living in crowded settings, and individuals with multiple existing conditions, such as serious heart disease or diabetes, that put them at risk for more-serious COVID-19 infection. The plan prioritizes workers in essential industries, such as public transit, because their jobs place them in contact with many people. Similarly, people who live in certain crowded settings — homeless shelters and prisons, for example — are called out as deserving early access.
The World Is Losing the Vaccine Race
Immunization to COVID-19 is supposed to solve our problems—but it's starting to trigger even bigger ones.
Moscow takes part in 3rd phase of COVID vaccine trials
The global number of COVID-19 patients passed 30 million this week, and the virus is expected to pick up momentum with the arrival of the fall season as scientists, including Russia's, are striving to develop an effective vaccine against the disease. On Aug. 11, Russia issued a temporary conditional registration to a coronavirus vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology. This kind of registration is issued for medicines which are vital to protect the public health in an emergency such as the coronavirus pandemic. The Russian coronavirus vaccine, named as Gam-COVID-Vac (Gamaleya COVID Vaccine) by the developers and with the trade name Sputnik V (V for the vaccine), has a valid registration until Jan. 1, 2021 and suggests holding a third phase of trials involving up to 40,000 people as well as post-clinical research.
From adenoviruses to RNA: the pros and cons of different COVID vaccine technologies
The World Health Organisation lists about 180 COVID-19 vaccines being developed around the world. Each vaccine aims to use a slightly different approach to prepare your immune system to recognise and fight SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. However, we can group these technologies into five main types. Some technology is tried and trusted. Some technology has never before been used in a commercial vaccine for humans. As we outline in our recent paper, each technology has its pros and cons.
Covid-19: Phase-III trial of Oxford vaccine to begin in Pune next week
The phase-III human clinical trial of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) will begin at the Sassoon General Hospital in Pune next week Read more at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/78207558.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst
Covid-19 vaccine tracker, Sept 19: India Novavax trials may begin in October
The India trials of a vaccine candidate being developed by American company Novavax is likely to begin in late October, the government said in Lok Sabha on Friday. The Novavax vaccine candidate is currently undergoing phase-2 clinical trials in South Africa. Global phase-3 trials are expected to begin next month. In India, Novavax has entered into an agreement with Pune-based Serum Institute of India for production of 100 million doses of the vaccine. It is expected that at least 50 per cent of this would be meant for supplies within India. “ICMR and SII (Serum Institute of India) have partnered for clinical development of a glycol-protein sub-unit nanoparticle adjuvanted vaccine developed by Novavax from USA. The trial will be initiated in the second half of October after the vaccine is manufactured by Serum Institute. The trial is led by ICMR-National AIDS Research Institute,” Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said in Parliament.
Scotland enters race for coronavirus vaccine with £1.4 billion contract
An 'old school' coronavirus vaccine to be manufactured in a small plant in Scotland could offer “better, longer and broader protection levels” to high risk groups compared to its high tech rivals. The research team behind the jab, which is to be made in a plant just outside Edinburgh, signed a £1.4 billion contract with the government this week to provide 60 million doses of its Covid-19 shot by the end of next year, if it proves successful in trials.
Moderna says it is on track to make 20 million doses of coronavirus vaccine by year-end
Moderna said Friday it can make 20 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine by the end of October. By the end of 2021, the company anticipates it can manufacture as many as 500 million doses. CEO Stephane Bancel said this week that the company will likely know if the shot works by November. President Trump has expressed optimism that coronavirus vaccines could be ready before the November 3 election
Push is underway to test COVID-19 vaccines in diverse groups
In front of baskets of tomatoes and peppers, near a sizzling burrito grill, the “promotoras” stop masked shoppers at a busy Latino farmers market: Want to test a COVID-19 vaccine? Aided by Spanish-speaking “health promoters” and Black pastors, a stepped-up effort is underway around the U.S. to recruit minorities to ensure potential vaccines against the scourge are tested in the populations most ravaged by the virus. Many thousands of volunteers from minority groups are needed for huge clinical trials underway or about to begin. Scientists say a diverse group of test subjects is vital to determining whether a vaccine is safe and effective for everyone and instilling broad public confidence in the shots once they become available
England-wide Covid lockdown needed 'sooner rather than later', says former adviser
The epidemiologist whose modelling helped shape Britain’s coronavirus lockdown strategy has said new restrictions will be needed in England “sooner rather than later” if the government is to prevent infections surging again. Prof Neil Ferguson, who resigned from the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said the country was facing a “perfect storm” after controls were eased over summer. On Friday, Boris Johnson admitted in a speech that Britain was entering a second wave of coronavirus. It is understood he is preparing to impose nationwide measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Coronavirus: Ministers fear Chris Whitty will quit if he doesn't get his way on lockdown
Ministers were last night accused of being 'in the grip' of Chief Medical Officer. There are fears that Chris Whitty could resign if his tough lockdown is ignored. Ministers are leaning towards tougher measures despite concerns for economy
Coronavirus two-week lockdown 'will only press pause on the pandemic', scientists warn
Scientists have warned a second coronavirus lockdown in the UK will only “press pause” on the spread of the pandemic. On Friday, Boris Johnson warned a second lockdown was the “last thing anybody wants” but insisted the current measures would need to be kept “under review”. He said: “On Monday we brought in the measures that we did, the ‘rule of six’, to really try and restrict what people are doing and to bring in a new buffer – and to make it absolutely clear, the ‘rule of six’: indoors six maximum, six outdoors maximum. “I don’t want to get into a second national lockdown at all, it is the last thing anybody wants.”
'So far, so good': The view from inside a coronavirus vaccine trial
‘It's very exciting and very motivational, but there is a lot of pressure,’ she said. Dr Oostvogels is steering the human trials of a coronavirus vaccine for German biopharmaceutical firm CureVac, where she is head of their infectious diseases programme and leads its development of vaccines and therapies. Back in January, after returning from Christmas holidays, CureVac’s infectious diseases team started to discuss the outbreak in Wuhan and whether they could work on a vaccine.
Global report: Covid cases pass 30m worldwide as Biden offers vaccine reality check
The number of coronavirus cases worldwide passed 30 million on Friday, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, as the World Health Organization said daily case numbers were growing at an “alarming rate” in Europe. The global death toll stands at 943,203 people and is expected to pass 1 million by 1 October. The US accounts for than 22% of global cases, at 6.67m, and nearly 200,000 fatalities. The Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, again criticised the President Trump’s handling of the pandemic as “close to criminal”, in particular Trump’s supposedly intentional downplaying of the severity of the virus.
China and Russia are ahead in the global coronavirus vaccine race, bending long-standing rules as they go
China and Russia have begun a mass rollout of their coronavirus vaccines before clinical tests are complete, in what is emerging as an unexpectedly complex geopolitical challenge for the United States. China's Sinopharm announced this week that it would provide emergency doses of one of its two trial vaccines to the United Arab Emirates, prioritizing the U.S. ally over the vast majority of Chinese. China is now the sole supplier of coronavirus vaccine to the Middle East. Meanwhile, Russia's sovereign wealth fund signed a deal this week to supply India with 100 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine.
Secret blueprints for Covid-19 vaccine trials revealed by Moderna and Pfizer
Moderna and Pfizer revealed their complete blueprints for the late stages of clinical trials for a Covid-19 vaccine on Thursday. The move added pressure for the other companies developing a vaccine to do the same. In its 135-page document, Moderna estimated they could find a successful vaccine by the end of the year The secret blueprints were released in the hopes that the companies will win the trust of the public. Concerns have been raised that the quick discovery of a vaccine has become too much of a political issue to be deemed safe
Coronavirus: Two-week national lockdown in October proposed by top scientists - report
The UK's top scientists have proposed a two-week national lockdown in October to stem the recent increase in coronavirus cases, according to a newspaper report. A second lockdown would coincide with the October half-term to create minimal disruption to schools, experts on the government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (Spi-m) have proposed. One SAGE scientist said that if the R number continues at the same rate, it would "break the NHS", the Financial Times reports.
UK joins initiative for Covid-19 vaccine discovery, manufacture and distribution
The UK has joined Covax, the international initiative to support discovery, manufacture and fair distribution of Covid-19 vaccines for one billion people by the end of 2021. Covax is the vaccines pillar of the Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a global collaboration to speed up the development, production, and equitable access to coronavirus tests, treatments, and vaccines. It is co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). Covax is looking to invest six billion US dollars (£4.56 billion) to secure access to a diverse portfolio of vaccine candidates.
Pharma company drastically boosts its potential coronavirus vaccine production
German pharmaceutical company BioNTech, which is currently developing a possible vaccine against the novel coronavirus together with US drug giant Pfizer, announced Thursday it was buying a new production plant in order drastically to increase its production capacities. BioNTech said the acquisition of the vaccine plant in Marburg, Germany, from the pharmaceutical firm Novartis, would allow it to produce tens of millions more vaccine doses a month -- pending regulatory approval -- from next year.
Coronavirus Resurgence
Why UK is hurtling toward 'circuit break' second coronavirus lockdown
Britain is hurtling towards a second all-out lockdown as ­figures show the coronavirus epidemic now DOUBLING in size week on week. The Government’s scientific advisers claim the national R rate could now be 1.4 – meaning on average every 10 people infected are infecting 14 others. Nationally, there were a further 4,422 confirmed UK cases of coronavirus recorded on Saturday and 27 deaths – up from 4,322 confirmed cases on Friday, the first time the daily total of positive tests had exceeded 4,000 since May 8. The Government’s original lockdown architect, Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London, warned tougher restrictions were needed “sooner rather than later”. The epidemiologist – who resigned from government scientific advisory group Sage in May for flouting his own lockdown rules – said: “Right now we’re at about the levels of infections we were seeing in late February. If we leave it at another two to four weeks we will be back at levels we were seeing more like mid-March.
GMB's Dr Hilary would 'have unlicensed coronavirus vaccine in a shot' amid public concern
Dr Hilary Jones has addressed reports that the government are considering using emergency powers, to allow the rolling out of an unlicensed coronavirus vaccine in the UK. The possible move has worried many over fears the vaccine may not be safe. Speaking on Good Morning Britain, host Kate Garraway shared her own concerns before asking Hilary for his take. She recalled Dr Sarah Jarvis recently being on the show, and discussing reports that Russia had approved a Covid-19 vaccine that hadn't been through all the testing processs. Kate feared this was what was happening in the UK too, but Dr Hilary was quick suggest that the situations were in no way similar.
Coronavirus: 'Increasingly likely' London will face tougher lockdown restrictions
It is "increasingly likely" further lockdown restrictions will be required in London, the city's mayor has warned - and says he does not want to wait. Sadiq Khan said: "The prime minister has said that we are now seeing the start of a second wave of COVID-19 across the UK. "Londoners should also know that I am extremely concerned by the latest evidence I've seen today from public health experts about the accelerating speed at which COVID-19 is now spreading here in London.
Brazil reports 33,057 new coronavirus cases, 739 deaths
Brazil recorded 33,057 additional confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, and 739 deaths from the disease, the Health Ministry said on Saturday. South America's largest country has registered more than 4.5 million cases of the virus since the pandemic began, according to ministry data, ranking it as the third worst outbreak in the world after the United States and India. More than 136,000 people have died of the disease in Brazil, which ranks second after the United States in coronavirus deaths.
Johnson warns UK faces second wave of coronavirus
Boris Johnson on Friday warned that the UK was heading into a second wave of coronavirus, as he put the country on notice that major new restrictions may be necessary to tackle the rising number of infections. The prime minister and chancellor Rishi Sunak have agreed that a second national lockdown would be a disaster for the economy, and are determined to keep businesses and schools open. But ministers are considering so-called circuit-breaker measures across England — involving restrictions on the hospitality industry — if the latest rule banning gatherings of more than six people fails to control the virus.
Coronavirus Scotland: Outbreak at major Scottish hospital as ward forced into lockdown
An outbreak of coronavirus cases has been confirmed at a major Scottish hospital. A ward at Forth Valley Royal Hospital has been forced into lockdown after positive cases of Covid-19 were identified. No new patients will be admitted to the affected ward and visiting has been suspended whilst investigations are underway.
New Lockdown
London should face new coronavirus lockdown by Monday, says mayor Sadiq Khan
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has reportedly warned Boris Johnson that the capital needs new coronavirus restrictions as soon as possible to curb the spread of Covid-19. The Mayor is also said to be preparing to urge people to work from home if possible, despite the government's push to get people back to their offices.
Madrid braces for partial lockdown as virus surges
Nearly a million Madrid residents were bracing Sunday for a partial lockdown as Spanish authorities seek to put a brake on a second wave of Covid-19. The restrictions, which kick off Monday for two weeks, affect 850,000 people living mainly in densely-populated, low-income neighbourhoods in the south -- or 13 percent of the population in and around the capital. Like many countries in Europe, Spain is battling a coronavirus surge and, once again, Madrid is the worst-hit region.
Czech government could declare coronavirus state of emergency, says minister
The Czech government could declare a state of emergency if a recent spike in coronavirus cases continues in the coming days, Health Minister Adam Vojtech said. The Czech Republic’s daily count of new coronavirus cases has reached record highs in recent days and the country of 10.7 million had reported a total of 48,306 cases as of Saturday, Health Ministry data showed. “Should we need to have some deeper measures (against the epidemic), then the emergency state will be necessary,” Vojtech said in a televised debate on Sunday. The government should debate this step on Monday, Vojtech said, added that he would not yet propose declaration of a state of emergency.
Coronavirus: New local lockdown rules announced in parts of North West, Midlands and West Yorkshire
Parts of the North West, West Yorkshire and the Midlands have been placed under further localised coronavirus restrictions. The new measures, prompted by a fast rise in COVID-19 cases, have been confirmed by the Department for Health following consultation with local councils and MPs. Lancashire, Merseyside, Warrington and Halton are now being classed as "areas of intervention", and fresh restrictions will come into force in Wolverhampton, Oadby & Wigston, and parts of Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale.
Coronavirus: New lockdowns mean 10 million Britons are under extra restrictions - the rules where you are
The latest local lockdown announcements mean 10 million people in Britain face extra coronavirus restrictions. Social gatherings of more than six people have been banned across Britain in an attempt to curb the rise in coronavirus cases - but tougher measures are being imposed in the worst-hit regions. Here we look at the rules that all of us currently have to follow, how they differ in England, Scotland and Wales, and the specific restrictions being enforced in certain areas.
Coronavirus: Israel marks Jewish New Year with second lockdown
Israel is entering a second nationwide lockdown to curb surging coronavirus cases, just as people begin to mark the start of Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashanah is traditionally a time for big, family get-togethers. But under the new three-week lockdown, Israelis must stay within 1km (0.6 miles) of their homes, with exceptions, and the number of people allowed in synagogues has been greatly reduced. Israel currently has one of the highest Covid-19 infection rates in the world. In the past week, new cases have reached daily highs of more than 6,000, and the country's leaders have apologised for their failure to contain the pandemic. Israel has seen 1,169 deaths from Covid-19 and nearly 177,000 confirmed infections, according to a global tally kept by US university Johns Hopkins.