Snippets08 August 2020
The vaccines alliance GAVI says it has agreed to a deal with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the world's biggest vaccine producer, India's Serum Institute, to speed up the manufacturing and delivery of up to 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccines to developing countries in 2021.
The collaboration will give upfront capital to the Serum Institute so that once any effective Covid-19 vaccine is licensed, the company can mass-produce the shots at scale, as early as the first half of 2021.
In a statement, GAVI CEO Dr Seth Berkley said the deal was aimed at making sure rich countries would not be the only ones with access to coronavirus vaccines.
South Korean doctors strike over medical school plan
Thousands of young doctors in South Korea have begun a strike in protest of government medical policy, causing concerns about the treatment of patients amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The striking doctors are interns and resident doctors, who oppose the government's plan to expand admissions to medical schools to resolve the shortage of doctors in South Korea.
The doctors call the plan "a populist policy" that would waste taxpayers' money and nurture low-quality medical schools. In a statement posted on their website, they accused the government of making little financial support for their practising programmes and said that they work with an extremely low salary.
India's coronavirus cases cross two million
India's coronavirus cases have passed two million, hitting another grim milestone in the pandemic that has killed more than 41,000 people in the world's second-most populous country.
The health ministry said 62,538 cases - the highest one-day jump - were reported in the past 24 hours, raising the nation's total to 2.03 million. Also, 886 new deaths were reported raising the death toll to 41,585.
University of Washington
forecasts 300,000 deaths in US
Nearly 300,000 Americans could be dead from Covid-19 by December 1, according to a forecast by health experts at the University of Washington, although they have said 70,000 lives could be saved if people were scrupulous about wearing masks.
"We're seeing a rollercoaster in the United States. It appears that people are wearing masks and socially distancing more frequently as infections increase, then after a while as infections drop, people let their guard down," said Dr Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
The US death toll stands at more than 159,000, the most of any country in the world, with 4.8 million known cases.
Malta reimposes curbs as Covid-19 infections surge
Malta banned mass gatherings and made it mandatory to wear masks in public as new coronavirus cases surged after having been reduced to zero for a week early in July.
Health authorities reported 49 new infections, the second highest daily number since the first case was detected on March 7. Nine patients have died.
Norwegians advised avoid all travel abroad
Norwegians should avoid all travel abroad, also to countries with few Covid-19 cases as authorities try to prevent a resurgence in coronavirus cases, Norway's health minister has said.
"There is still little contamination in Norway, but we see increased contamination in countries that used to have control over their situations," Bent Hoie told a news conference.
Norway has so far reported 9,468 coronavirus cases and 256 related deaths. At least 8,857 people have recovered.
Iran reports more than 150 new deaths
At least 156 new coronavirus-related deaths in Iran have raised the country's toll to 18,132, the health ministry said.
A total of 2,450 people tested positive for Covid-19 over the past 24 hours, bringing the tally to 322,567, according to ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari.
She said more than 279,000 patients have recovered so far, while 4,136 are still hospitalised in critical condition.