EU hopes to distribute vaccine within months – latest updates


Global coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 52 million people and killed over 1.2 million. Here are the updates for November 12:

A small bottle labeled with a
A small bottle labeled with a “Vaccine” sticker is held near a medical syringe in front of displayed “Coronavirus COVID-19” words in this illustration taken April 10, 2020. (Reuters)

November 12, 2020:

Mexico reports over 7,500 more cases

Mexico’s health ministry reported on Wednesday 7,646 more coronavirus cases and 588 more deaths, bringing the official toll to 986,177 cases and 96,430deaths.

Health officials have said the real number of infections and deaths is likely significantly higher.

Mainland China reports 15 new cases

Mainland China reported 15 new cases for November 11, down from 17 cases a day earlier, the country’s national health authority said on Thursday.

The National Health Commission said in a statement that one of the new cases was a local infection in Tianjin. The remaining14 cases were imported infections that originated from overseas, the commission said.

The total number of new asymptomatic cases fell to six from15 reported a day earlier. China does not count symptomless patients as confirmed cases.

The total number of confirmed cases in mainland China to date now stands at 86,299, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,634.

New case in White House

Another White House staffer has tested positive for coronavirus, US media reported Wednesday, the latest case among Donald Trump’s administration since last week’s election.

Political Director Brian Jack’s diagnosis came over the weekend, after he attended a November 3 election day event at the White House, CNN and the New York Times reported.

Another advisor also tested positive, according to the newspaper, but was not identified nor was it stated if the person attended election night events at the president’s residence.

These new cases come in addition to recent cor onavirus-positive results for Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and aide David Bossie, who was tapped to lead the president’s legal challenges to the election results.

In October, Trump himself tested positive for the virus, which has killed over 240,000 in the US, but quickly returned to the campaign trail after doctors gave him a battery of treatments, including an experimental antibody cocktail.

Trump’s wife, son and multiple advisors and aides also have fallen ill with the virus since last month.

The numbers of new infections, which topped 200,000 on Tuesday in the Johns Hopkins University tally, has smashed through records the past two weeks.

Brazil registers 544 new virus deaths

Brazil registered 48,331 new cases on Wednesday, the health ministry said, bringing the total confirmed cases to 5,748,375. Deaths rose by 544 to 163,373.

EU hopes to distribute vaccine within months

The European Union expressed hope that it could start vaccinating people against the virus as early as next year.

The head of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Andrea Ammon, said that a vaccination programme could be kicked off “optimistically (in the) first quarter next year, but I can’t be more precise,” as trials in both the US and Russia suggested that vaccines currently in the final stages of testing were so far proving very effective

A vaccine is seen as the best chance to break the cycle of deadly virus surges and severe restrictions across much of the world since Covid-19 first emerged in China late last year and ballooned into a pandemic.

So the announcement by US pharma giant Pfizer on Monday that a vaccine it is developing with Germany’s BioNTech is 90 percent effective has sparked a wave of optimism across the globe that the pandemic might soon be brought under control.

And the news Wednesday that Russia’s own Sputnik V vaccine was 92 percent effective fuelled another rally on the world’s stock markets.

Nevertheless, the small glimmer of hope is not yet enough to eclipse the grim statistics still being recorded all across the globe.

UK becomes 5th country to exceed 50,000 virus deaths

The UK became the fifth country in the world to record more than 50,000 virus-related deaths, a level that one of the nation’s leading doctors says “should never have been reached.”

Figures from the British government showed that 595 more people in the country died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus, the highest daily number since May.

The figure took the UK’s total death toll from the pandemic to 50,365.

The UK, which has the highest virus-related death toll in Europe, joins the US, Brazil, India and Mexico in reporting more than 50,000, according to a tally maintained by Johns Hopkins University.

The UK’s overall death toll is widely considered to be far higher than that as the total reported only includes those who have tested positive for the virus and doesn’t include those who died of related symptoms after 28 days.

South African president warns of second wave

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa warned of a second wave following a surge of infections in a southern province in the continent’s worst-affected country.

The Eastern Cape province recorded a 50 percent jump in coronavirus cases over the past week, Ramaphosa said.

“What we are witnessing in the Eastern Cape should be a wake-up call to all of us, that we cannot relax and we cannot be complacent,” he said.

“We can avoid a second wave if we each play our part, if we remember what we need to do to keep ourselves and others safe.”

Ramaphosa said new coronavirus cases in the Eastern Cape. already hard hit during the outbreak’s peak in July, had risen by 145 percent in the last two weeks compared to the previous 14 days.

A strict lockdown was implemented in March to stem the spread of the virus, which has infected more than 742,300 people and killed just over 20,000 in South Africa.

Ramaphosa said a “resurgence plan” would be implemented to respond to new localised outbreaks.

It would involve intensified contact tracing and testing, and prepare health facilities for potential cluster outbreaks.

Ramaphosa called on citizens not to breach rules on wearing face masks in public and limiting social gatherings.


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