September 17, 2020 12:05:42 pm
Coronavirus Global Updates: The US Government Wednesday outlined a sweeping plan to make Covid-19 vaccine available for free to all Americans whenever it is proven safe and effective, though a top public health official made it clear that widespread vaccination wouldn’t begin until well into the next year.
President Donald Trump asserted Tuesday that a vaccine could be three to four weeks away, but the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told Congress Wednesday that it would take six to nine months after any shots approval to distribute it nationally.
Globally, the cases zoomed past 29.7 million, with more than 6.6 million cases in the US and over 5 million cases in India. The global death toll stands at 939,456.
Here are the top developments globally:
Turkey begins Phase 3 trials for China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine
Turkey’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said Phase 3 trials for Chinas Sinovac Biotechs two-step vaccine have begun in the country, with three Turkish health workers taking the shot. Koca said Wednesday the trial would expand to 1,200 volunteers and then to 10,000.
He said trials for a Pfizer vaccine were also beginning and others were pending, adding that he hoped widespread vaccinations would start towards the end of 2020.
Hawaii to allow travelers to skip quarantine with virus test
Hawaii Gov David Ige said Wednesday that starting October 15, travellers arriving from out of state may bypass a 14-day quarantine requirement if they test negative for COVID-19. Travellers will have to take the test within 72 hours before their flight arrives in the islands.
Ige said drug store operator CVS and healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente will conduct the tests as part of an agreement with the state. Earlier this year, Ige planned to start a pre-travel testing program on Aug. 1 only to have to postpone it as COVID-19 cases spiked on the US mainland and in Hawaii.
A shortage of testing supplies also forced delays. Another start date for September 1 was also cancelled. Airlines are expected to help inform travellers of the requirement.
South Africa set for easing of virus restrictions
South Africa will open its borders from next month for international travel as the country moves to the lowest level of its five-step coronavirus lockdown from midnight of September 20. President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday announced a slew of reductions in restrictions — an attempt to revive the economy that has been severely hit by the six-month lockdown.
“Our economy and our society have suffered great devastation. We have endured a fierce and destructive storm. But, by standing together, by remaining resolute, we have withstood it,” Ramaphosa said. “Two months ago, at the height of the storm, we were recording around 12,000 new cases a day. Now, we are on average recording less than 2,000 cases a day. We now have a recovery rate of 89 per cent,” the president said.
However, he urged the citizens to continue to wear masks and maintain social-distancing to ensure the country did not move to a new wave of infections.
Reports from Syria point to much broader spread: UN humanitarian chief
The UN humanitarian chief says reports from inside Syria point to a much broader spread of COVID19 cases than the 3,628 confirmed cases convey. Mark Lowcock told the UN Security Council on Wednesday that the extent of the outbreak won’t be known until laboratory testing is increased across the country.
He said, “We do know that community transmission is widespread as almost 90 per cent of newly confirmed cases cannot be traced to a known source.” “Infection rates among health workers have also been rising,” he added.
New companies face tough task overcoming pandemic recession
A recession amid a pandemic may seem like the worst time to start a business. Despite millions of loans and grants from federal and state governments, it’s estimated that hundreds of thousands of companies have already failed since the virus outbreak began.
Owners of all these fledgling companies face a tough road as they try to bring in customers and thrive. While nearly 80 per cent of startup companies had survived their first year in 2019, according to research by the Kauffman Foundation, those businesses had the benefit of launching in a strong economy.
Germany declares three European capitals at risk
Germany has declared three European capitals and several regions risk areas for coronavirus. The Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that the Austrian capital Vienna Budapest in Hungary and the Dutch region that includes Amsterdam were added to the risk list due to high numbers of COVID-19 infections there.
Also listed were several regions in France, Romania, Croatia, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic. Travelers arriving in Germany from those locations have to go into mandatory quarantine and take a coronavirus test.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
© IE Online Media Services Pvt Ltd
I am Blogger, Share my views and stories to help people around me. Reach out to me in case you have something I can help with.