US Covid-19 hospitalisations surge to record of almost 59,000 patients

There were almost 59,000 Covid-19 patients in hospitals across the United States, the country’s highest number ever of in-patients being treated for the disease, according to a Reuters tally.

The number of people with the virus being hospitalised has surged around 73 per cent over the past 30 days to at least 58,982 — a record level that surpasses the previous high of 58,370 on July 22.

The United States also recorded more than 100,000 cases for the sixth consecutive day on Monday, cementing its position as the nation worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Brazil halts trials of Chinese Covid-19 vaccine

Brazil’s health regulator said it had suspended clinical trials of a Chinese-developed Covid-19 vaccine after an “adverse incident” involving a volunteer recipient, a blow for one of the most advanced vaccine candidates.

The Brazilian regulator, Anvisa, said in a statement it had “ruled to interrupt the clinical trial of the CoronaVac vaccine after a serious adverse incident” on October 29.

It said it could not give details on what happened because of privacy regulations, but that such incidents included death, potentially fatal side effects, serious disability, hospitalisation, birth defects and other “clinically significant events”.

However, the public health centre coordinating the trials of the vaccine in Brazil, the Butantan Institute, said it was “surprised” by the decision, AFP reported.

Swiss army back on Covid front line

Swiss army reservists have been called up once again to help do battle against one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in Europe, AFP reported.

“This is a new effort which is being asked of you. The army has been requested to help” combat the virus, Lieutenant-Colonel Raul Barca told about 100 freshly-mobilised reservists, all wearing facemasks.

Small groups of men and women from the “Hospital 2 Battalion”, some carrying rifles on their shoulders, arrived in military trucks on Sunday at the Moudon military base in the Vaud region of western Switzerland.

All of them had received a call or text message from the army on Friday giving them 48 hours’ notice to report for a deployment that could last until the end of March.

Their work on the Covid front line is set to start on Tuesday.

Interior ministry reduces office staff by 50pc as part of Covid-19 measures


The Ministry of Interior has decided to reduce the strength of its office staff by 50 per cent in line with the recommendations of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) to control the spread of Covid-19.

According to a circular, only half of the ministry’s employees will attend offices at a time on a fortnightly rotation basis, starting from Nov 10.

People suffering from flu or fever will be required to stay home.

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