Coronavirus India Highlights: UK To Start Vaccinating People Against COVID-19 Next Week

COVID-19 Highlights: The total coronavirus cases mounted to 94,99,413, with 36,604 new infections being reported in a day, while the death count climbed to 1,38,122 with 501 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.

Coronavirus India Highlights: UK To Start Vaccinating People Against COVID-19 Next Week

Coronavirus Cases In India: The number of active cases stands at 4,35,603. (File)

New Delhi:

Britain will start vaccinating people against COVID-19 with the Pfizer vaccine next week after the country's regulator approved the jab on Wednesday, health minister Matt Hancock said on Wednesday.

"From early next week we will start a programme of vaccinating people against COVID-19 here in this country," he told Sky News, calling it "fantastic news".

With this, the UK became the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

Meanwhile, India's COVID-19 caseload rose to 94.99 lakh, while the total number of people who have recuperated from the disease crossed 89 lakh pushing the national recovery rate to over 94 per cent, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.

The total coronavirus cases mounted to 94,99,413, with 36,604 new infections being reported in a day, while the death count climbed to 1,38,122  with 501 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 89,32,647 pushing the national recovery rate to 94.03 per cent, while the COVID-19 case fatality rate stands at 1.45 per cent.

The active COVID-19 caseload remained below 5 lakh for the 22nd consecutive day. There are 4,28,644 active coronavirus infections in the country which comprises 4.51 per cent of the total caseload, the data stated.

Here are the Highlights on India Coronavirus Cases:

Dec 03, 2020 04:49 (IST)
US Expects To Vaccinate 100 Million People Against Covid By February
The US hopes to have immunized 100 million people against Covid-19 by the end of February, a top official said Wednesday, which is approximately 40 percent of the country's adult population.

The push should start within weeks, when vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna-NIH are expected to be approved.

Each of these require two doses, the second after three weeks and four weeks, respectively.

"Between mid-December, and the end of February, we will have potentially immunized 100 million people," Moncef Slauoi, scientific advisor to the government's Operation Warp Speed (OWS) program told reporters.
Dec 03, 2020 03:17 (IST)
Dec 03, 2020 01:47 (IST)
Total COVID-19 Cases In US Up By 30% In One Month
The cumulative total of Covid-19 cases surged by nearly 30 percent across the Americas in just one month, the Pan American Health Organization warned Wednesday, releasing figures for November.

By the end of October, infections registered in North, South and Central America as well as the Caribbean for the whole pandemic stood at 20.5 million, according to PAHO figures.

A month later, the total had climbed by more than six million to 26.9 million.

That includes "record-setting daily cases registered in North America," PAHO director Carissa Etienne said.

In the United States, Etienne said that more than 96,000 people are hospitalized -- "the highest number since the onset of the pandemic."

The US is seeing more than 150,000 new cases a day and fears a coronavirus super-surge following extensive travel over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Dec 03, 2020 00:36 (IST)
5 new COVID-19 cases reported in Andaman and Nicobar today; the total number of cases in the Union Territory is 4,723 including 4,583 recoveries, 79 active cases and 61 deaths: Union Territory Administration
Dec 02, 2020 23:38 (IST)
Coronavirus news: North America seeing record-setting daily COVID-19 cases, says WHO regional director
COVID-19 deaths in the Americas have increased nearly 30% in November compared to the end of October, while North America seeing record-setting daily cases registered, World Health Organization regional director Carissa Etienne said Wednesday.

Hospitalizations in the United States are at their highest since the onset of the pandemic, and in Canada COVID-19 is spreading to indigenous communities in remote areas such as the Yukon and Nunavut, Etienne warned in a briefing.

In South America, Brazil has been experiencing an increase in several states in the last few weeks, while cases continue to decline in Argentina, Reuters reported. 
Dec 02, 2020 23:13 (IST)
Coronavirus news: US health agency shortens quarantine recommendations following coronavirus exposure

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday said it was recommending shorter self-quarantine periods after potential exposure to the coronavirus of seven days with a negative test and 10 days without a test.

Health authorities currently call for a 14-day quarantine after close contact with a person who has COVID-19 in order to curb the transmission of the virus, Reuters reported. 

Dec 02, 2020 22:53 (IST)
Coronavirus news: EU defends vaccine trials as UK gives first OK

EU officials insisted Wednesday that the bloc has not fallen behind in the race to deploy a coronavirus vaccine, as former member Britain authorised one that Europe is still evaluating.

British ministers claimed Brexit has allowed them to adopt the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine ahead of their neighbours, who are still awaiting a green light from the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Britain is still under EU drug marketing rules until December 31, the end of a post-Brexit transition period, but has approved the vaccine under an emergency provision in European law, AFP reported.
Dec 02, 2020 22:36 (IST)
Coronavirus news: Shoppers flock to England's reopened high streets as lockdown ends

Shoppers returned to England's high streets Wednesday as shops reopened following the end of a four-week coronavirus lockdown.

On a day dubbed "Wild Wednesday" because of an expectation of huge numbers of shoppers, customers wearing masks and laden with bags flocked to stores on Oxford Street in central London.

One customer, Charlotte Cobb, told AFP the latest lockdown had been "tricky" but said she was "just so happy to be back". "With Christmas, it's just brilliant," she said. 
Dec 02, 2020 22:15 (IST)
Coronavirus news: Morocco prepares vaccine campaign, counters online scepticism

Morocco hopes to launch an ambitious vaccination campaign against the novel coronavirus by year-end, but its efforts have sparked suspicion and rumours in the country, hard-hit by the pandemic.

The North African kingdom is hoping to immunise 20 million adults against the Covid-19 illness within three months, using vaccinations from China's Sinopharm and a UK-sourced shot developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.

Health Minister Khalid Ait Taleb told AFP that each country was free to "decree emergency use" of the vaccine of its choice.
Dec 02, 2020 21:56 (IST)
Coronavirus news: Nagaland's COVID-19 recovery rate rises to 92.03 per cent
Nagaland's COVID-19 recovery rate rose to 92.03 per cent on Wednesday as 164 patients were cured of the disease, while 45 fresh infections pushed the tally to 11,254, PTI reported. 

The COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 92.03 per cent surpassing the previous highest of 90.94 per cent recorded on December 1, Director of Health Department, Dr Denis Hangsing said in the daily COVID-19 bulletin.
Dec 02, 2020 21:36 (IST)
COVID-19 News: Maharashtra cabinet nod to hold winter session in Mumbai

The Maharashtra cabinet on Wednesday decided to recommend to Governor BS Koshyari shifting of the venue of upcoming winter session of the state legislature from Nagpur to Mumbai in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a meeting held by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, the council of ministers approved a proposal of the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) on holding the winter session in Mumbai instead of Nagpur, which hosts the session every year, a statement said. The session was scheduled to be held in Nagpur from December 7, PTI reported. 
Dec 02, 2020 21:18 (IST)
Coronavirus news: Goa records 117 new COVID-19 cases; three more fatalities

Goa's COVID-19 caseload reached 48,241 on Wednesday, after 117 more persons tested positive for the infection, an official from the health department said. With the death of three patients during the day, the coastal state's count rose to 693, PTI reported. 
Dec 02, 2020 20:45 (IST)
Coronavirus news: Dharavi reports four new COVID-19 cases on second day in row

Slum-dominated Dharavi reported four fresh coronavirus positive cases on the second consecutive day on Wednesday, taking tally to 3,700, Mumbai civic body said. Dharavi is now left with 18 active cases, as 3,371 patients have already recovered from the viral infection, PTI reported. 
Dec 02, 2020 20:28 (IST)
Give Chhattisgarh Priority In Covid Vaccination: Chief Minister To PM Modi

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making available COVID-19 vaccine, when it is approved for use, for free to the tribal-dominated state on priority, an official release said on Wednesday.

Extending gratitude to the PM for the Centre's support to the state, Mr Baghel said Chhattisgarh is fully prepared for the implementation of the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, PTI reported. 

Dec 02, 2020 20:11 (IST)
Coronavirus news: UP records 1,799 fresh COVID-19 cases, 29 more deaths

Uttar Pradesh's COVID-19 tally surged to 5,47,308 on Wednesday with 1,799 fresh cases, while the death count climbed to 7,817 with 29 more fatalities, officials said. The number of active cases in the state stands at 22,797, Additional Chief Secretary, Health, Amit Mohan Prasad said. So far, 5,16,694 people have recovered from the infection, PTI reported. 

Dec 02, 2020 20:01 (IST)
Putin orders "large-scale" vaccinations to start next week, AFP reported. 

Dec 02, 2020 19:59 (IST)
Coronavirus news: Tripura reports 38 new COVID-19 cases; tally rises to 32,764

At least 38 more people tested positive for COVID-19 in Tripura, pushing the tally in the state to 32,764, a health department official said on Wednesday. The COVID-19 death count rose to 369 as two more patients died due to the infection on Tuesday, PTI said.
Dec 02, 2020 19:31 (IST)

Bengal minister Firhad Hakim becomes first volunteer to take COVID-19 vaccine "Covaxin" in phase III trial in Kolkata, PTI reported. 
Dec 02, 2020 19:16 (IST)
Coronavirus news: Kerala records 6,316 new COVID-19 cases, recoveries touch 5,924

Kerala recorded 6,316 fresh COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, taking the total caseload to 6.14 lakh as the count mounted to 2,298 with 28 additional fatalities.

As many as 5,924 have been cured, taking the total recoveries so far to 5,50,788 and 61,455 people are undergoing treatment for the virus, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters, PTI reported.
Dec 02, 2020 19:02 (IST)
Coronavirus news: Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to take first COVID-19 vaccine shot in Punjab

With the COVID-19 vaccine in the final stages of operationalisation in India, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday announced that he will take the first shot of the vaccine in the state, once it is cleared by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

According to an official release, the Chief Minister made this announcement at the virtual Cabinet meeting during a presentation to discuss the Covid situation and the state's preparedness to roll out the vaccine, ANI reported. 
Dec 02, 2020 18:37 (IST)
Coronavirus news: Delhi COVID-19 positivity rate dips below 7 per cent, says Satyendar Jain

The COVID-19 positivity rate in Delhi has dropped below seven per cent said Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday, adding that it was expected to dip further beyond five per cent in the next few days, ANI reported. 

"Just 4,006 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Delhi in the last 24 hours. The Positivity rate on November 7 was recorded at 15 per cent and has declined below 7 per cent yesterday. It is decreasing at a good speed and is expected to fall beyond 5 per cent in the next few days," Mr Jain said while speaking to the media.
Dec 02, 2020 18:02 (IST)
Coronavirus news: Odisha Caps Price Of Covid RT-PCR Test By Private Labs At Rs 400

The Odisha government on Wednesday further reduced the maximum price for the RT-PCR COVID-19 tests by private laboratories to Rs 400 from Rs 1,200.

Earlier in August, the price of RT-PCR test was slashed to Rs 1,200 from Rs 2,200 in Odisha, ANI reported. 
Dec 02, 2020 17:31 (IST)
Coronavirus news: Poland passes 1 million coronavirus cases

The number of coronavirus cases recorded in Poland passed 1 million on Wednesday and a second wave of the pandemic is proving more serious than the first.

The daily number of new cases has dropped since a surge in October and early November, but Poland has one of the lowest testing rates in the European Union and one of the highest proportions of positive tests.

On Wednesday, a further 13,855 coronavirus cases and 609 deaths were reported, health ministry data showed, bringing the total to 1,013,747 confirmed cases and 18,208 deaths, Reuters reported. 
Dec 02, 2020 16:40 (IST)
Coronavirus news: 2nd wave of Covid in Karnataka expected during Jan-Feb: Technical Advisory panel
The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for COVID-19 in Karnataka has said the second wave of the pandemic is expected in early 2021 and has made a slew of recommendations including banning public celebrations ahead of the new year in a bid to avert a crisis.

It has also recommended clamping night curfew during that period, but the government said it was yet to take a call on the matter, PTI reported. 
Dec 02, 2020 16:21 (IST)
Coronavirus news: Highest single-day spike of 595 COVID-19 cases in Indore

Indore recorded the highest single-day spike of 595 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, raising the tally in the worst affected district of Madhya Pradesh to 43,286, health department officials said on Wednesday. So far, 767 people have died due to COVID-19 in the district, which is the state's industrial hub, they said. On Tuesday, out of 5,274 samples, 595 tested positive for coronavirus, PTI reported.

Dec 02, 2020 16:00 (IST)
Coronavirus news: Delhi records 3,944 fresh cases from nearly 79K tests; death count 9,342

Delhi recorded 3,944 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the infection tally in the national capital to over 5.78 lakh on Wednesday, while 82 more fatalities pushed the death count to 9,342, PTI reported. 
Dec 02, 2020 15:37 (IST)
Coronavirus news: Telangana reports 565 COVID-19 cases

Telangana reported 565 COVID-19 cases and one death on Wednesday, taking the total number of cases in the state to 2,70,883.

According to the state''s Health Department, a total of 2,60,155 people have recovered from Coronavirus infection in the state, while discharged cases and 1,462 deaths due to the viral infection.

The active cases in the state stand at 9,266, ANI reported. 
Dec 02, 2020 15:00 (IST)
Coronavirus news: Mandatory community service at COVID centres for those not wearing face masks, says Gujarat Court
The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday ordered compulsory community service at COVID-19 care centres for those who do not wear masks, which according to experts is necessary to prevent the spread of the virus.

A bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JB Pardiwala directed the state government to issue a notification mandating community service at COVID care centres for those found in violations of the rules for wear face masks at public places.

Dec 02, 2020 14:18 (IST)
Covid vaccines will allow return to normality, says UK PM
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday hailed UK approval for the use of Pfizer-BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine as "fantastic" news that would help life get back to normal.

"It's the protection of vaccines that will ultimately allow us to reclaim our lives and get the economy moving again," he said, after regulators gave the green light in a world first.
Dec 02, 2020 13:20 (IST)
Coronavirus news: UK vaccine approval 'historic moment' in Covid-19 battle, says Pfizer CEO
Britain's approval of BioNTech-Pfizer's vaccine against Covid-19 marks a "historic moment" in the battle against the pandemic, the US pharma group's chief executive said Wednesday, after his company won the first such authorisation in the West.

"Today's Emergency Use Authorisation in the UK marks a historic moment in the fight against Covid-19," said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.


Dec 02, 2020 13:03 (IST)
Coronavirus news: UK approves Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, first in the world
Britain on Wednesday became the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use and said that it will be rolled out from early next week.

A vaccine is seen as the best chance for the world to get back to some semblance of normality amid a global pandemic which has killed nearly 1.5 million people and upended the global economy.

"The government has today accepted the recommendation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine for use," the government said.
Dec 02, 2020 12:39 (IST)
Coronavirus news: Japan To Give Free COVID-19 Vaccine To All Its Residents
Japan will give free coronavirus vaccines to all of its residents under a bill passed Wednesday, as the nation battles record numbers of daily cases.

The bill, which says the government will cover all vaccine costs for Japan's 126 million residents, was approved by the upper house of parliament, having cleared the powerful lower house.

The country has secured Covid-19 vaccines for 60 million people from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, and for a further 25 million people from biotech firm Moderna.

It has also confirmed it will receive 120 million doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine.
Dec 02, 2020 12:20 (IST)
COVID-19 tally in Andamans rises to 4,718 with eight new cases
At least eight more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, raising the tally in the Union Territory to 4,718, a health department official said on Wednesday.

The death count remained at 61 as no new fatality due to the infection was reported, he said.

Of the fresh cases, three were detected during contact tracing, while five have travel history, he said.

Sixteen more people were cured of the disease on Tuesday, taking the total number of recoveries in the archipelago to 4,566, the official said.
Dec 02, 2020 12:08 (IST)
COVID-19: 22 new cases reported from Mizoram
As many as 22 new COVID-19 cases were reported from Mizoram in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of positive cases in the state to 3,869, the state Information and Public Relations Department informed on Wednesday.

The total figure includes 3,572 recoveries and 291 active cases.

So far, six lives have been claimed by the infectious virus in the state.

Meanwhile, India reported 36,604 new COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare's data on Wednesday.
Dec 02, 2020 11:48 (IST)
COVID-19: US Cases Found As Early As December 2019, Says Study
Testing has found Covid-19 infections in the US in December 2019, according to a study, providing further evidence indicating the coronavirus was spreading globally weeks before the first cases were reported in China.

The study published Monday identified 106 infections from 7,389 blood samples collected from donors in nine US states between December 13 and January 17. The samples, collected by the American Red Cross, were sent to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing to detect if there were antibodies against the virus.

"The findings of this report suggest that SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been present in the U.S. in December 2019, earlier than previously recognized," the paper said.
Dec 02, 2020 11:39 (IST)
COVID-19: Arunachal logs 14 new cases, 45 more recoveries
At least 14 more people including five Army personnel, tested positive for COVID-19 in Arunachal Pradesh, pushing the tally to 16,296, a senior official said on Wednesday.

Single-day recoveries continued to outnumber fresh cases as 45 more people recuperated from the disease, taking the total number of recoveries so far to 15,456, State Surveillance Officer (SSO) Dr Lobsang Jampa said.

The recovery rate of COVID-19 patients stands at 94.84 per cent, the SSO said.

Of the 14 fresh cases, six were reported from West Kameng, three from the Capital Complex region, two each from Papumpare and Lepa Rada and one from Tawang.
Dec 02, 2020 11:32 (IST)
COVID-19: 22 new cases take Mizoram's tally to 3,869
Twenty-two more people, including three security personnel, have tested positive for COVID-19 in Mizoram, taking the state's tally to 3,869, an official said on Wednesday.

One more fatality due to the infection pushed the death count to six, he said.

Of the fresh cases, 13 were reported from Aizawl district, three each from Lawngtlai and Saitual, two from Lunglei and one from Serchhip.

Eleven new patients have travel history, the official said, adding that barring three, 19 are asymptomatic.

Mizoram now has 291 active cases, while 3,572 people have recovered from the disease.
Dec 02, 2020 11:24 (IST)
Coronavirus news: Sunny Deol says he has tested positive for COVID-19, isolates himself in Himachal
BJP MP and actor Sunny Deol on Wednesday said he has tested positive for coronavirus and appealed to those who have come in close contact with him to test themselves for the infection.

He also said that he has isolated himself after his COVID-19 test results came out positive.

"I have tested positive for coronavirus. I appeal to the people who came in contact with me recently to isolate themselves and go for the COVID test," Mr Deol tweeted in Hindi.

Himachal Pradesh Health Secretary Amitabh Awasthi had on Tuesday said that according to information received from the district chief medical officer, the Gurdaspur MP and his friends were planning to leave for Mumbai, but the actor''s COVID-19 test result came out positive.
Dec 02, 2020 10:47 (IST)
COVID-19: 22 new cases take Mizoram's tally to 3,869
Twenty-two more people, including three security personnel, have tested positive for COVID-19 in Mizoram, taking the state's tally to 3,869, an official said on Wednesday.

One more fatality due to the infection pushed thedeath toll to six, he said. Of the fresh cases, 13 were reported from Aizawl district, three each from Lawngtlai and Saitual, two from Lunglei and one from Serchhip.

Eleven new patients have travel history, the official said, adding that barring three, 19 are asymptomatic.

Mizoram now has 291 active cases, while 3,572 people have recovered from the disease.
Dec 02, 2020 10:39 (IST)
Coronavirus news: US says ready for immediate domestic shipment of COVID-19 vaccines
The US Transportation Department said Tuesday it has made preparations to enable the "immediate mass shipment" of COVID-19 vaccines and completed all necessary regulatory measures.

The department said US agencies have been coordinating with private sector companies that will carry vaccines from manufacturing facilities to distribution centers and inoculation points.

It added it has established "appropriate safety requirements for all potential hazards involved in shipping the vaccine, including standards for dry ice and lithium batteries used in cooling."

The department is preparing to ensure deliveries of vaccine doses for about 40 million U.S
 residents through January, or about 20 million a month, officials told Reuters
Dec 02, 2020 10:22 (IST)
COVID-19 tally in Andamans rises to 4,718 with eight new cases
At least eight more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, raising the tally in the Union Territory to 4,718, a health department official said on Wednesday.

The death count remained at 61 as no new fatality due to the infection was reported, he said.

Of the fresh cases, three were detected during contact tracing, while five have travel history, he said.

Sixteen more people were cured of the disease on Tuesday, taking the total number of recoveries in the archipelago to 4,566, the official said.

The Union Territory now has 91 active cases.
Dec 02, 2020 10:09 (IST)
COVID-19: 565 new cases, 1 death in Telangana
Telangana posted 565 fresh coronavirus cases, taking the total number of those infected by the virus to over 2.70 lakh while one fatality pushed the count to 1,462.

Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for the most number of cases with 106, followed by Rangareddy 43 and Medchal Malkajgiri 42 , a government bulletin said on Wednesday providing details as of 8 pm on December 1.

As many as9,266 patients are under treatment and51,562 samples were tested on Tuesday.
Cumulatively, over 55.51 lakh samples have been tested. The samples tested per million population was over 1.49 lakh, the bulletin said.
Dec 02, 2020 09:45 (IST)
Coronavirus news: US plans for first COVID vaccines as pandemic deaths surge again
Top US health officials announced plans on Tuesday to begin vaccinating Americans against the coronavirus as early as mid-December, as nationwide deaths hit the highest number for a single day in six months.Some 20 million people could be inoculated against COVID-19 by the end of 2020 and most Americans will have access to highly effective vaccines by mid-2021, the chief adviser of President Donald Trump's Operation Warp Speed program said.

"Within 24 hours, maybe at most 36 to 48 hours, from the approval, the vaccine can be in people's arms," Moncef Slaoui, a former GlaxoSmithKline executive who is overseeing the vaccine portion of the US program, said at an event conducted by The Washington Post newspaper.

His comments came on the same day that another 2,295 fatalities nationwide were linked to COVID-19, even before California, the most populous US state, reported full results.

Dec 02, 2020 09:12 (IST)
COVID-19: Jharkhand reports 181 new cases, five more deaths
Jharkhand's COVID-19 tally mounted to 1,09,332 as 181 more people tested positive for the infection, a health department official said on Wednesday.

The death count rose to 969 after five more patients succumbed to the disease, he said.

Of the new fatalities, two were reported from Bokaro, and one each from Dhanbad, East Singhbhum and Saraikela, the official said.

Ranchi district registered the maximum number of fresh cases at 81, followed by East Singhbhum at 18 and West Singhbhum at 14.
Dec 02, 2020 08:56 (IST)
Coronavirus news: US Scientists Developing Nasal Spray To Prevent COVID-19
Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania and the biotech firm Regeneron are investigating whether technology developed for gene therapy can be used to make a nasal spray that will prevent infection with the new coronavirus.

The idea is to use a weakened virus as a delivery truck to carry genetic instructions to cells within the nose and the throat, which will in turn create powerful antibodies to stop SARS-CoV-2 from invading our bodies.

"The advantage of our approach is that you don't need a competent immune system for this to be effective," James Wilson, a professor of medicine at Penn who is leading the project told AFP.
Dec 02, 2020 07:52 (IST)
COVID-19 vaccine sprint as Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna seek emergency EU approval
Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech are in a tight race to launch their COVID-19 vaccines in Europe after both applied for emergency EU approval on Tuesday, though there was uncertainty over whether a rollout could begin this year.

The applications to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) came a day after Moderna sought emergency use for its shot in the United States and more than a week after Pfizer and BioNTech did the same.

US drugmaker Pfizer and its German development partner BioNTech said their vaccine could be launched in the European Union as early as this month.
Dec 02, 2020 07:13 (IST)
Coronavirus news: England leaves lockdown but sees new virus curbs
England on Wednesday exited a month-long lockdown but most of the country remained under restrictions as a new regional system for cutting coronavirus infection rates kicked in.

The four-week lockdown, which began in November, was imposed to stop surging rates of infection, ease pressure on health services, and to allow families to gather for Christmas.

But a tough three-tier system of restrictions will now be in place that has been criticised as doing little to reinstate cherished freedoms and help the virus-battered economy.

Most of England's 55 million people will go straight into level two or three, depending on local infection rates, limiting household mixing and the reopening of the hospitality sector.
Dec 02, 2020 06:38 (IST)
US Plans For Rapid Vaccine Rollout As Covid Surges To New Heights
U.S. officials on Tuesday unveiled plans to begin vaccinating millions of Americans against COVID-19 as early as mid-December, as coronavirus infections and hospitalizations in the United States soared once more to unprecedented heights.

With outgoing President Donald Trump's coronavirus strategy relying heavily on a vaccine, the chief adviser of his administration's Operation Warp Speed program said on Tuesday that 20 million people could be inoculated by the end of 2020, and that by the middle of 2021 most Americans will have access to highly effective vaccines.

"Within 24 hours, maybe at most 36 to 48 hours, from the approval, the vaccine can be in people's arms," Moncef Slaoui, a former GlaxoSmithKline executive, said at an event conducted by The Washington Post newspaper.

The highly contagious virus infected 4.36 million people in the United States in November alone, more than double the tally of new cases the previous month, as many Americans refused to wear masks and traveled for holiday gatherings against the recommendations of health experts.

Some 60 million to 70 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine could be available per month beginning in January, after the expected regulatory approval of products from Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc, Slaoui said.
Dec 02, 2020 06:00 (IST)
Health Workers, Nursing Home Residents Should Get Vaccines First: US Panel
Health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities should be prioritized in the first phase of Covid-19 vaccinations, an advisory committee of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

The panel voted overwhelmingly in favor of the non-binding recommendations for "Phase 1a" of distribution to states and other local jurisdictions if the Food and Drug Administration grants emergency approval to frontrunner vaccines.

"I believe that my vote reflects maximum benefits, minimum harm, promoting justice and mitigating the health inequalities that exist, with regard to distribution of this vaccine," said Jose Romero, chair of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

The two priority groups account for around 24 million people, which is the approximate number of people who can be immunized in December if vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna are approved and the companies deliver the 40 million doses they have promised.

Each requires two doses -- the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine after three weeks, and Moderna's after four weeks.
Dec 02, 2020 05:33 (IST)
Machu Picchu To Ease COVID-19 Visitor Limit
The Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, the crown jewel of Peru's tourist sites, will increase its daily visitor limit to more than 1,000, the Culture Ministry said Tuesday.

Machu Picchu reopened on November 1 after a nearly eight-month lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, but for safety reasons, only 675 tourists were allowed to access the site per day, just 30 percent of the number of visitors pre-pandemic.

From Wednesday, the capacity will increase by 40 percent to 1,116 daily visitors, the ministry said.

The ministry said it decided to increase daily capacity after the rate of Covid-19 infections in Peru began to decline.

Before the pandemic, between 2,000 and 3,000 people per day entered the citadel, and as many as 5,000 during high season.

In March, on the last day of visits before shutting down, 2,500 people visited Machu Picchu.