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"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 8th Sep 2020

News Highlights

Safety pledges from vaccine developers

A number of manufacturers developing potential Covid-19 vaccines are signing up to a joint safety pledge. Pfizer Inc, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna Inc are among the firms who, according to a WSJ report, 'pledge to adhere to high scientific and ethical standards in the conduct of clinical studies and in their manufacturing processes....citing the draft of a joint statement that is still being finalised.'

Lowest cases in eight weeks, but still be vigilant: Philippines

In a positive development, the Philippines recorded its lowest case count in a single day for eight weeks. Despite this, officials urge continued vigilance as the country reopens its economy. 'This challenge of Covid-19 could extend to next year. First of all, we cannot be complacent and ignore the threat,' the government's testing programme head, Vivencio Dizon said.

Controversy in Australia over continued lockdown in Victoria

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has criticised Victoria's premier Daniel Andrews over continued lockdown measures. Morrison said 'lockdowns and borders are not signs of success in dealing with Covid-19. And so it's important that we put ourselves in a position where they do not feature in how Australia is dealing with Covid-19 on a sustainable basis.' Morrison is reportedly adopting a 'wait and see' approach as to financial assistance for the state.

'Long Covid-19' - Scientists warn the UK

Scientists have warned the UK that as many as 60,000 people may have been carrying Covid-19 for a duration longer than three months. This is believed to have had a detrimental effect on care for what The Guardian characterises as 'prolonged and debilitating symptoms.' Genetic epidemiology professor, Tim Spector, says that 300,000 people have reported symptoms lasting more than a month.

Lockdown Exit
Covid-19 vaccine developers prepare joint safety pledge: Wall Street Journal
Several Covid-19 vaccine developers, including Pfizer Inc, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna Inc, plan to issue a public pledge not to seek government approval until their vaccine candidates are proven to be safe and effective, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday (Sept 4). The companies would pledge to adhere to high scientific and ethical standards in the conduct of clinical studies and in their manufacturing processes, the Journal report said, citing the draft of a joint statement that is still being finalised. The companies might issue the pledge as soon as early next week, the report added, citing two people familiar with the matter
Coronavirus: Schools face disruption over positive Covid-19 cases
Pupils and teachers have been asked to self isolate with schools across Wales affected by positive Covid-19 cases. Areas affected include Bridgend, Cardiff, Caerphilly, Carmarthen, Gwynedd, Neath, Rhondda, and Wrexham. Thirty pupils in Year 7 class at Ysgol Bro Edern, Llanedeyrn, Cardiff, have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days after a confirmed case. Head teacher Iwan Pritchard said the school had acted "as quickly as possible" to contact those affected. They were identified as close contacts of a confirmed case at the school.
Coronavirus: Train services increase amid evidence of 'modest' return to work
Train services are ramping up from today amid evidence of growing demand as schools reopen in England and Wales and workers are urged to return to offices. Timetables are increasing to around 90% of pre-lockdown levels - meaning additional trains and longer carriages on many routes - according to industry body the Rail Delivery Group. The changes coincide with figures suggesting a "modest" rise in demand since the August Bank Holiday weekend following the government's plea for staff to go back to the office over fears the coronavirus crisis will leave a permanent scar on city centres.
Russia reports 5,185 new coronavirus cases, 51 deaths
Rusian reported 5,185 new coronavirus cases on Monday, pushing its national tally to 1,030,690, the fourth largest in the world. Authorities confirmed 51 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the official toll to 17,871
Coronavirus: India overtakes Brazil with second-worst number of cases in world
India has overtaken Brazil to become the country with the second highest total number of coronavirus infections after the United States. Some 90,802 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours on Monday, pushing India’s total to 4,204,614, surpassing Brazil, which has more than 4.1 million cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 6.2 million people in the US have been infected. India has recorded the world’s largest daily increases in cases for almost a month. However, India has a relatively low per capita death rate, which some observers have speculated could be due to the younger average age of the population.
India now has the second highest number of Covid-19 cases behind the US as number of infections surges
Another 90,082 cases were recorded on Monday, with 1,016 new fatalities. Rising number of daily infections in the cities and is spreading into rural areas. India has recorded 4.2 million cases; the US, 6.2 million; and Brazil 4.1 million. India's death toll stands at 71,642 compared to 193k in the US and 126k in Brazil
PR blitz: China tries to flip the pandemic script, starring a 'reborn' Wuhan
China is recasting Wuhan as a heroic coronavirus victim and trying to throw doubt on the pandemic's origin story as it aims to seize the narrative at a time of growing global distrust of Beijing. China is recasting Wuhan as a heroic coronavirus victim and trying to throw doubt on the pandemic's origin story as it aims to seize the narrative at a time of growing global distrust of Beijing. The PR blitz plays out daily in comments by Chinese officials and lavish state media coverage of a "reborn" Wuhan that trumpets China's epidemic-control efforts and economic recovery while the United States struggles. The drive peaked in the past week as Chinese primary schools welcomed back students with considerable fanfare and Wuhan hosted executives from dozens of multinationals, from Panasonic to Dow and Nokia, on a highly choreographed tour of the central Chinese city
S.Africa consumer confidence improves in third quarter as lockdown eases
South African consumers regained some confidence in the economy in the third quarter after consumer confidence hit a 35-year low in the previous quarter, a survey showed on Monday, as the country reopened its borders and businesses from the lockdown.
Primark sales rise as shoppers return to UK high streets after lockdown
The group may have been boosted by a trend that has seen more people baking since lockdown began. Increased demand for yeast and bakery ingredients helped ABF's ingredients arm, and profits from sugar sales are expected to increase this year.
India's coronavirus infections overtake Brazil as some rail services resume
India overtook Brazil in coronavirus infection numbers on Monday, making it second only to the United States after a record jump, but the government resumed underground train services and announced plans to re-open the Taj Mahal this month
Exit Strategies
Rapid Covid-19 testing system 'quite some way' from being reality, says Sturgeon
Speaking at the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh on Monday, Ms Sturgeon said her administration is in discussions with the UK Government about a rapid testing system. She said pilot work is under way. “We are as keen as anybody to see these kinds of scientific developments give us more solutions to Covid than we have right now,” the First Minister said. “But we have to be realistic, we are still quite some way from that being a reality on a mass scale across the country.” Discussing a vaccine, she said: “We all hope there will be an effective vaccine as quickly as possible. “But we cannot right now bank on it, just as we can’t bank on some of these other scientific developments.”
Coronavirus latest: UK to shift to regional quarantine system
Yvonne Doyle, medical director for Public Health England, echoed Mr Hancock’s warnings to young people, saying that “the vast majority” of new cases were in people in their late teens and early 20s. “What we don’t want to see is a continuing increase of cases in this age group because it could lead to them infecting their parents and grandparents who are much more at risk of poor outcomes from the virus,” added Dr Doyle. Separately, Mr Hancock said the “best-case scenario” for a Covid-19 vaccine to be approved in the UK was later this year, but it was most likely to happen in the “first few months of next year”.
Delhi metro: India's largest subway reopens with masks and distancing
The metro in the Indian capital, Delhi, has reopened more than five months after it was shut down to prevent the spread of coronavirus. It's India's largest rapid transport system - it carried 2.7 million passengers a day before the lockdown. Masks, social distancing and temperature checks are mandatory according to the new rules. The move comes as case numbers continue to climb in India, with daily tallies of more than 80,000. The country has so far reported more than 4.1 million cases, and 70,000 deaths. Despite the risks, India continues to reopen because the economy is still reeling from the effects of a prolonged lockdown.
India becomes pandemic's 2nd worst-hit country after U.S.
India's increasing coronavirus caseload made the Asian giant the world's second-worst-hit country behind the United States on Monday, as its efforts to head off economic disaster from the pandemic gain urgency. The 90,802 cases added in the past 24 hours pushed India’s total past Brazil with more than 4.2 million cases. India is now behind only the United States, where more than 6.2 million people have been infected, according to Johns Hopkins University. India’s Health Ministry on Monday also reported 1,016 new deaths for a total of 71,642, the third-highest national toll.
Coronavirus Australia: How Victoria could fast-track end of lockdown
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is facing mounting pressure over his controversial roadmap out of lockdown, with politicians, everyday Victorians and even medical experts slamming the plan. The backlash comes as new modelling shows the plan will see 260,000 more Victorians lose their jobs, with a staggering 432,000 already out of work due to lockdown. Under the state’s roadmap, some restrictions will begin to ease this Sunday, although many will remain in place until at least late October.
Coronavirus: Jacinda Ardern responds to Australia's 'hotspot' plan to invite Kiwis in quarantine-free
Australia's plan to grant Kiwis from COVID-19-free areas access to some states without spending time in quarantine upon arrival will not be reciprocated by New Zealand. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday every state and territory except Western Australia had agreed to a "hotspot" plan which would reduce the need for hard borders between them, and New Zealand would be included. "I spoke to Prime Minister Ardern this morning and what I advised her was that Australia will be looking to apply the same hotspot approach to New Zealand," Morrison said in a news conference.
Coronavirus in Australia: Melbourne's lockdown exit road map
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has released a new road map out of stage 4 coronavirus restrictions – and the news is grim for Melburnians. In a press conference on Sunday afternoon, Andrews revealed the current strict Covid-19 lockdown, which was due to end in mid-September, would now be extended for an extra fortnight in metro Melbourne. It means Melbourne residents will only be permitted to leave their home to shop for food and essential goods or services, to provide care, for compassionate reasons or to seek medical treatment, to exercise or for permitted work, for two weeks more.
Good news for travel enthusiasts as Cuba finally welcomes tourists after months of COVID-19 lockdown
The countries have finally started lifting the nationwide lockdowns amid COVID-19 pandemic to boost the tourism industry and the latest to join the bandwagon is Cuba as it now welcomes travellers. Rolling out its red carpet for tourists post the COVID-19 lockdown, the news came as a ray of hope not just for travel enthusiasts but also for several laid-off leisure industry employees residing in the Communist-run island. Similar to the rest of the world, Cuba had too closed its airports in March courtesy COVID-19 and decided to open from September 4. On Friday, an Air Canada plane arrived at the Cayo-Coco airport on the northcentral coast and is now expected to fly weekly to Cuba and biweekly from next month.
Philippines urges virus vigilance after lowest cases in eight weeks
The Philippines reported its lowest number of new daily coronavirus cases in nearly eight weeks on Monday, but officials sought to temper optimism and warned of a prolonged battle as the pandemic rages on. Infections started soaring soon after authorities eased restrictions in a bid to revive the country's troubled economy
Australia's COVID-19 epicentre awaits lockdown exit plan; rates dropping slowly
Australia's coronavirus hot spot state of Victoria on Sunday extended a hard lockdown in its capital Melbourne until Sept 28, as the infection rate has declined more slowly than hoped. "We cannot open up at this time. If we were we would lose control very quickly," State Premier Daniel Andres told a televised media conference on Sunday.
Partisan Exits
Unplanned localised lockdowns did little to check spread of Covid, led to increased economic uncertainty
The use of haphazard localised lockdowns by states in July and August, which badly impacted economic activity, has had little effect on tempering the Covid case count in these locations. State-wise data for states which imposed localised lockdowns during July 10-August 3 shows that the rise in new cases on a 7-day moving average basis, before and after the lockdown, ranged between 37-578 per cent in the seven regions which imposed localised lockdown during that period. These localised lockdowns end up disrupting the supply chains and increase the level of uncertainty in the system, impacting the decisions by entrepreneurs to re-hire workers or scale up operations. West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana announced lockdowns, despite the Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) directives to desist from imposition of these lockdowns and seek its clearance.
Australian PM criticises Victorian premier over continued lockdown
Scott Morrison has issued his toughest criticism of the Victorian lockdown to date urging the state to re-open the economy faster by improving COVID-19 contact tracing just as NSW has done across the border. Warning he will adopt a “wait and see” approach to further cash assistance for the state, the Prime Minister has put the Victorian Premier on notice that he must step up to bear more of the financial burden for the decisions he is making to keep the economy in the deep freeze. “Lockdowns and borders are not signs of success in dealing with COVID-19. And so it’s important that we put ourselves in a position where they do not feature in how Australia is dealing with COVID-19 on a sustainable basis,” the Prime Minister said. “The most important thing is ensuring that we build an integrated tracing capability right across the country.
Australia's conspiracy theorists are increasingly energised, but police crackdowns may be counterproductive
Saturday, 5 September was supposed to be the day Australian history was irreconcilably changed. It was to be “Freedom Day”, the day when “real” Aussies took back control of the streets, their airways and their collective destiny. Rather than changing it, the protests amounted to what might constitute a footnote in an awfully specific history of Australia. Disparate groups gathered in separate events around the country. Dozens of protesters were arrested, dozens more were fined with breaching Covid-19 restrictions, one protester jumped into Melbourne’s Albert Park Lake and all of it was livestreamed.
PM Morrison labels Vic lockdown extension as 'crushing'
A “road to nowhere” is how Victoria’s path out of lockdown is being described as it sparks fury from businesses. Prime Minister Scott Morrison labelled the restrictions as “crushing” and urged the state to strengthen its health response to the virus.
Covid 19 coronavirus Victoria: Daniel Andrews cops huge criticism over lockdown roadmap
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is copping it from multiple directions this morning as the state comes to terms with his new roadmap out of lockdown. Andrews revealed the plan during a marathon media conference on Sunday. The current, strict lockdown in Melbourne – which was supposed to end in mid-September – will now be extended for another fortnight, albeit with some tweaks. The Premier was clearly expecting his announcement to generate criticism. He did his best to head it off.
Continued Lockdown
Return to work is too late to save city centres, says British Retail Consortium
The slow return of UK workers to their normal place of work will come too late to save hard-pressed city centre stores from going under, the body that represents retailers has said. Despite a pick-up in spending in August, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said sales were still below their pre-pandemic level and the lack of people was having a devastating impact on shops operating in places once thronged with workers. The latest health check of high street and online spending from the BRC warned that September would see more job losses, a gloomy view backed up by the latest survey of employment trends from the consultancy group Manpower.
How much did the Covid-19 lockdown really cost the UK?
Cancer treatments cancelled. Children deprived of schooling. More cases of domestic abuse. Continued restrictions on personal freedom. Over and above the direct damage caused to the economy, the collateral damage from the Covid-19 pandemic has been colossal. And the crisis is not over by any means. Travel restrictions come and go with mind-boggling frequency. Local quarantining has replaced national lockdowns. Every leading policymaker in the UK, from the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, downwards, knows that the job losses to come threaten to leave permanent scars. An obvious question, therefore, is was it worth it? Have the costs of shutting down a great chunk of Britain for three months and leaving many restrictions in place after six months been outweighed by the benefits?
Covid-19 curbs ‘not worth economic pain’ for low-income countries
Some of the largest emerging economies — including India and Mexico — have suffered the most from coronavirus-related lockdowns, highlighting their limited policy options as the pandemic continues and wealthier countries start to consider reimposing restrictions in the face of a second surge in infections. India’s economy, the world’s fifth-largest, shrank by about a quarter in the three months to June, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposed severe curbs on business activity and movement to contain the disease. In the same period, Mexico lost 17 per cent of its output from the first quarter. Peru, whose output contracted by 27 per cent, was hardest hit.
Coronavirus: Melbourne lockdown extended by two weeks
A strict lockdown in the Australian city of Melbourne has been extended by two weeks, with officials saying new Covid-19 cases had not dropped enough. Victoria State Premier Daniel Andrews said the restrictions would be in place until 28 September, with a slight relaxation. A gradual easing of the measures will be implemented from October. The state has been the epicentre of the country's second wave, accounting for 90% of Australia's 753 deaths. Australia has recorded a total of 26,000 cases in a population of 25 million. The greater Melbourne area entered a second lockdown on 9 July after a rise in cases. A 5km (3 mile) travel limit and night time curfew was imposed while shops and businesses were closed.
Health experts welcome Melbourne lockdown extension but question curfew
Public health experts have backed the Victorian government’s decision to extend Melbourne’s stage four lockdown and only lift all restrictions once there is no community transmission of Covid-19, but have questioned the effectiveness of the overnight curfew. The stage four lockdown has been extended for two weeks with some allowances made for single people living alone and a doubling of the time permitted for exercise. After that, from 28 September, the harshest measures of stage four will continue – including the curfew – but people will be able to meet in larger groups outdoors and some students will return to school.
Australia's COVID-19 epicentre extends hard lockdown till late September
Australia's coronavirus hot spot state of Victoria on Sunday extended a hard lockdown in its capital Melbourne until Sept. 28, as the infection rate has declined more slowly than hoped. "We cannot open up at this time. If we were to we would lose control very quickly," State Premier Daniel Andrews told a televised media conference on Sunday. The hard lockdown was ordered on Aug. 2 in response to a second wave of infections, that erupted in Melbourne.
Australia extends Melbourne lockdown despite drop in Covid-19 cases
Australian officials on Sunday (Sept 6) extended a strict virus lockdown of the country’s second-biggest city by two weeks, saying that new cases had not dropped enough to prevent another spike. Melbourne residents were due to exit a harsh six-week lockdown next weekend but face continued restrictions for months to come, with Victoria state premier Daniel Andrews saying that the current lockdown would remain in place until Sept 28. “If we open up too fast then we have a very high likelihood that we are not really opening up at all – we are just beginning a third wave,” he told a press conference.
Scientific Viewpoint
60,000 may have 'long Covid' for more than three months – UK study
Up to 60,000 people in the UK may have been suffering from “long Covid” for more than three months, unable to get the care they need to recover from prolonged and debilitating symptoms. Tim Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London who runs the app-based Covid symptom study, said around 300,000 people had reported symptoms lasting for more than a month. A minority have been suffering for longer; up to 60,000 people have reported having symptoms for more than three months. Some cases are mild, but others are seriously debilitating, with breathlessness and fatigue. Some people have had to use wheelchairs. Others say attempting to carry out everyday tasks such as shopping or even climbing the stairs can leave them bedridden for days.
Coronavirus: Warnings from scientists as UK cases continue to rise
Two members of the UK government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) have given stark warnings over the increase in coronavirus cases across the country. Prof John Edmunds said cases were now "increasing exponentially". While England's deputy chief medical officer, Prof Jonathan Van Tam, said people had "relaxed too much" and must start taking the virus seriously again. Some 2,948 UK cases were recorded on Monday, according to government data. It follows 2,988 new cases being announced on Sunday, which was the highest figure since 22 May. Prof Edmunds, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told ITV's Robert Peston that the R number - which rates Covid-19's ability to spread - had risen "above one", so the UK was in a "risky period". "We can see the epidemic is taking off again. So I don't think we've hit that sweet spot where we've been able to control the epidemic and allow the economy to return to some sort of normality," he said.
Fatigue and headache most common Covid symptoms in children – study
Fatigue, headache and fever are the most common symptoms of coronavirus in children, with few developing a cough or losing their sense of taste or smell, researchers have found, adding to calls for age-specific symptom checklists. The NHS lists three symptoms as signs of Covid-19 in adults and children: a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, and a loss or change in the sense of smell or taste. However, the team behind the Covid symptom study app say new data shows that the disease presents differently in children compared with adults. “We need to start to telling people what are the key symptoms at different ages rather than this blanket obsession with fever, cough and lack of smell,” said Prof Tim Spector, of King’s College London, who led the work.
Let’s get real. No vaccine will work as if by magic, returning us to ‘normal’
Urgency must not be misunderstood; accelerating vaccine development must not mean compromising safety. Transparent, rigorous assessment by independent regulatory bodies without political interference is non-negotiable. Trust is our most important tool in public health and we must do everything we can to avoid putting that in doubt. It cannot be bought on short-term promises. Already, there are worrying signs of diminishing trust in potential Covid-19 vaccines. Polls suggest that in countries with some of the highest global case numbers, such as the United States, there could be low uptake of any Covid-19 vaccine, no matter how effective. This must not become a polarised political issue; public health is too important.
HK study finds COVID-19 stool tests may be more effective for infants
Stool tests may be more effective than respiratory tests in identifying COVID-19 infections in children and infants since they carry a higher viral load in their stool than adults, researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) said. Sttol samples carry the virus even after it has cleared from a patient's respiratory tract and that could lead to better identification of asymptomatic cases, particularly in infants and others who have difficulty providing nasal or throat swabs, CUHK researchers said in a press release
Test and trace could be overwhelmed if 'dramatic' rise in Covid-19 cases
The nation’s test-and-trace system will be overwhelmed if there is a “dramatic” rise in Covid-19 cases, ministers were warned today after the biggest daily leap since May. Concerns are rising after some people were being asked to travel hundreds of miles to get tested because there were no slots available at their local testing centre.
Winter wave of Covid-19 'could overwhelm 87% of NHS hospitals' as they struggle to cope with normal seasonal pressures as well as the pandemic, analysis warns
As many as 115 trusts of 132 surveyed could be over capacity this winter. Figure was found by comparing winter demand and April Covid-19 demand. Four out of five trusts that could be most over-capacity are based in the capital
China shows off its COVID-19 vaccine candidates that could 'hit the market by the end of this year'
China showcased two potential coronavirus vaccines at a trade fair in Beijing. They are expected to be approved and ready to be produced as early as year-end. Nearly 10 COVID-19 vaccine candidates worldwide have entered phase 3 trials. Russia is the first country to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine
The first Covid-19 vaccine may not be the magic bullet that returns life to 'normal' | News
The 'first' vaccine, or even the first generation of vaccines, will most likely not be perfect; we need to be pragmatic and transparent on that front. The reality is that with these vaccines, we will be taking small steps to return to a sense of normality. Plenty is attached to the word vaccine. When we hear it, we think of one of the greatest advances in human health, one that eliminates smallpox and saves millions every year from polio and tetanus, from HPV and the flu. However, the first generation of Covid-19 vaccines will probably be only partially effective. They might not be completely effective in all ages or appropriate in all health systems. It is very possible that they might provide immunity only for a limited period, even as short as 12 to 18 months. This might not be what we are used to from a vaccine, but there is no doubt that the first effective vaccines, even imperfect ones, can have a major impact and be a precious commodity.
China, Russia and Iran 'have deployed spies to steal US vaccine research in an intelligence war targeting biotech companies and university research centers'
Hackers and spies from China, Russia and Iran have targeted American biotech companies and research universities to steal vaccine research, officials say Chinese intelligence hackers tried to steal information from the University of North Carolina and other schools, according to two officials. Russian spies tried to steal data from universities and agencies in the US, Canada and Britian but were detected by a British surveillance agency. Some of the targeted American biotech companies include Gilead Sciences, Novavax and Moderna. So far no corporation or university has announced any data thefts from publicly identified hacking efforts, but some hackers have penetrated network defenses
India didn't prioritize mental health before Covid-19. Now it's paying the price
"My heartbeats are heavy. It becomes difficult to catch my breath. My hands shake and get sweaty," said Aritri Paul of the terrifying panic attacks that strike more frequently since India went into coronavirus lockdown in March. India's government started easing the most severe restrictions on daily life in June, but the effects of the lockdown on residents' mental health are still emerging, as the country battles one of the most severe Covid-19 outbreaks in the world. India now has over 4.2 million cases of the virus, giving it the second-highest tally of recorded cases globally, only behind the Unites States. "The worst are the headaches and the pain in my eyes," said Paul, who lives in Kolkata, West Bengal. "I have had more panic attacks this year than in my entire life combined."
Australia expects to receive AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine in January
Morrison said his government has struck a deal with CSL Ltd to manufacture two vaccines - one developed by rival AstraZeneca and Oxford University, and another developed in CSL's own labs with the University of Queensland. "Australia needs some hope," Morrison told reporters in Canberra. "Today, we take another significant step to protect the health of Australians against the coronavirus pandemic." Health Minister Greg Hunt said scientists leading the development of both vaccines have advised that recent evidence suggests both will offer "multi-year protection". Morrison said CSL is expected to deliver 3.8 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is currently undergoing late-stage clinical trials in Britain, Brazil and South Africa, in January and February next year. AstraZeneca's candidate, AZD1222, is viewed as a frontrunner in the global race to deliver an effective vaccine to combat the virus.
Health tech pins hope on Africa's pandemic shift to online care
Across the globe, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated changes in the way medicine is practised as medical care increasingly begins with an online consultation rather than a face-to-face meeting. In this story, the clinic, run by Nigerian health technology firm eHealth Africa, sent a patient a web browser link to hold a video chat with a doctor who diagnosed her son with a mild illness and prescribed medicine to avoid dehydration.
Australia expects to receive AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine within months
Australia expects to receive its first batches of a potential COVID-19 vaccine in January, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday, as the number of new daily infections in the country's virus hotspot fell to a 10-week low
Fear and dread haunt COVID-19 'long-haulers'
Callard is one of thousands of people worldwide who are reporting a wide range of ongoing symptoms many months after being diagnosed with Covid-19. Some call themselves Covid "long haulers" while others have adopted the term "long Covid" to describe their condition.
COVID-19 Can Wreck Your Heart, Even if You Haven't Had Any Symptoms
Beyond its scientific backing, the notion that a COVID-19 patient might wind up with long-term lung scarring or breathing issues has the ring of truth. After all, we hear the stories, right? The virus can leave survivors explaining how they struggled to breathe, or how it can feel, in the words of actress Alyssa Milano, “like an elephant is sitting on my chest.” We’ve also known for a while that some COVID-19 patients’ hearts are taking a beating, too—but over the past few weeks, the evidence has strengthened that cardiac damage can happen even among people who have never displayed symptoms of coronavirus infection. And these frightening findings help explain why college and professional sports leagues are proceeding with special caution as they make decisions about whether or not to play.
Coronavirus Resurgence
Malaysia reports sharpest spike in new coronavirus cases in three months
Malaysia's health authorities reported 62 new coronavirus cases on Monday, the sharpest spike since early June, just as the government began barring long-term immigration pass holders from countries with high infection numbers. From Monday, Southeast Asia's third-largest economy imposed a ban on pass holders from 23 countries that have reported more than 150,000 COVID-19 cases, in a bid to clamp down on imported cases. Countries on the ban list include the United States, Britain and France.
French COVID cases and death toll creeps up
The number of new, confirmed cases of Covid-19 in France has risen by 4,203 compared with the previous day to stand at a total of 328,980, the French health ministry said on Monday. France has the seventh highest Covid-19 death toll in the world.
Exhausted Indian doctors battle surging COVID-19 cases
Doctors at one of the largest private COVID-19 facilities in the Indian capital say they are exhausted and facing staff shortages after nearly six months of relentless work. India's total cases of the novel coronavirus crossed 4.2 million on Monday, overtaking Brazil as the second worst-hit country after the United States.
'Movement restriction' warning for Leeds if Covid-19 spread worsens
One of Leeds’s most senior civil servants has claimed the city may have to face “movement restrictions” if the district’s spread of Covid-19 continues to worsen. A meeting of councillors and council officers heard how, while clusters of infections in Kirkstall and Harehills were now under control, there was still a problem of younger people mixing together and spreading the virus. Mariana Pexton, the council’s chief corporate support officer, claimed that measures might have to be introduced to restrict individuals’ movements if infection rates continued to worsen. But she added such measures might have to be different to those from recent local lockdowns in areas such as Bradford and Kirklees.
Latest Covid-19 trend suggests younger people could avoid future lockdowns while elderly shield themselves
Older people appear to be voluntarily shielding from the spread of Covid-19 with figures showing new infections are mainly confined to younger adults. Experts are now suggesting more mature citizens should be covered by any future restrictions while younger people continue to work - avoiding the threat of strict new lockdown rules. There has been a steady rise in coronavirus infections but no significant rise in the number of patients hospitalised, the Express reports. New data suggests the peak age range for new coronavirus cases covers people under 40.
Coronavirus: Caerphilly lockdown could be implemented 'if necessary'
A local lockdown could be put in place in Caerphilly county if "necessary", the leader of the council has warned. Philippa Marsden told BBC Radio Wales any decision would be made after advice was taken from Public Health Wales. She was speaking after a class of 21 pupils was told to self-isolate for two weeks after a member of staff tested positive for Covid-19. There were 31 new cases in Caerphilly on Monday, with a total of 98 reported in the last seven days. Its seven-day figure for cases per 100,000 people now stands at 54.1, and total cases since reporting started stands at 905. One class at St Gwladys Primary School in Bargoed must stay at home, although the school remains open.
Nicola Sturgeon issues second lockdown warning after surge in cases
Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland may have to 'put the brakes on' lockdown easing. Ms Sturgeon raised the prospect of having to 'close parts of our economy again.' First Minister said releasing lockdown meant Scotland had 'released the virus'
UK coronavirus death toll rises by four as Birmingham lockdown fears intensify
The UK coronavirus death toll has risen once again on Monday - with England the only country recording new deaths. A further four people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals to 29,611, NHS England said on Monday. The patients were aged between 76 and 95 and all had known underlying health conditions. The dates of the deaths were all on September 5. No deaths were reported with no positive Covid-19 test result. It comes as fears of a lockdown in Birmingham intensified, with the rate of cases now lying around 50 per 100,000.
France expects more severe COVID cases in next 15 days
France must stay vigilant as more people will be hospitalised in intensive care units in the next two weeks, reflecting a flare-up in COVID-19 infections in recent days, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Saturday.
Coronavirus spikes in Spain, France and U.K. raise specter of second wave
Cases of the coronavirus are spiking in France, Spain and the United Kingdom even as social distancing restrictions ease, stoking concerns among doctors and policymakers about a “second wave” in countries still reeling from the pandemic’s first wave. France set a record Friday after health authorities reported 8,975 new cases, far higher than the previous record of 7,578, which the was set March 31 at the height of the pandemic. In the U.K., new infections soared to nearly 3,000 in one day — the country’s biggest jump since May. And Spain had nearly 9,000 new cases Thursday.
Rise in cases may 'put brakes' on Scots lockdown easing
A rise in coronavirus cases could see the Scottish government "put the brakes" on further changes to lockdown restrictions, Nicola Sturgeon has said. A total of 146 new cases of the virus were reported on Monday. The first minister said the continued rise must be taken "really seriously". The restrictions will be reviewed on Thursday, but Ms Sturgeon said it was unlikely Scotland would move to the next phase in her government's route map out of lockdown. And she said a "resurgence" of cases could see restrictions being re-imposed. An average of 152 positive tests have been recorded each day over the past week - compared to 14 per day six weeks ago.
Russia reports 5,185 new coronavirus cases, 51 deaths
Russia reported 5,185 new coronavirus cases on Monday, pushing its national tally to 1,030, 690, the fourth largest in the world. Authorities confirmed 51 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 17,871.
As other cities go into lockdown, why isn’t London having a second wave?
It is a question that puzzles both those on the front line fighting Covid 19 and the experts developing strategies to combat its next move: why has London not seen a second flare-up when other parts of the UK are now having to introduce new lockdown restrictions? “It’s a bit of an enigma, given that London very definitely led during the initial peak,” said Professor David Alexander, who is based at the Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction at University College London. Six months ago, the capital was hit hard and hit first by the pandemic. Wards were converted to treat Covid-19 patients and a temporary hospital was opened in London’s Docklands amid concerns that the capital’s health system would collapse.
New Lockdown
Glasgow surprised but compliant as Covid-19 restrictions return
The restrictions brought in on Tuesday allow businesses to remain open but residents are discouraged from visiting other people’s homes. “I think there’s been a view in Scotland that we’re doing a better job of limiting the virus, so it was a bit of a surprise to see another lockdown in Glasgow,” says Stark, 29. “I was a bit disappointed and frustrated, and a few more weeks could be really tough for her emotionally, being so cut off and isolated. But I’d rather our government was more careful than less.”
After early virus success, Israel heads for partial lockdown
Once a role model in the fight against Covid-19, Israel is set to lock down several cities to slow the fast-spreading contagion as the government faces harsh criticism over the crisis. Israel passed the milestone of 1,000 novel coronavirus deaths this weekend after the toll tripled over the summer, fuelling regular protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's management of the health crisis and associated economic downturn. The dead were commemorated by Yediot Aharonot, Israel's top-selling daily newspaper, which covered its front page with the names of the pandemic victims and called out the "shameful failure of the management of the crisis since May".
Bengal’s first lockdown this month begins today, says Centre informed
The Mamata Banerjee administration in West Bengal is enforcing the first lockdown day in September on Monday. The state administration has already declared that complete state-wide lockdown would be enforced on three days in September – 7, 11 and 12. In August, the government had imposed lockdown on six days. Nearly 5,000 people were arrested for violating lockdown rules and around 2,500 people were booked for not wearing masks on these six days. A few thousand people were arrested on other days. Since the morning, the police have put up barricades on roads and naka checking was being done, vehicle owners were being checked and people on roads were being questioned. They were either sent back home or arrested if they failed to provide valid reasons.