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World Coronavirus Dispatch: Russia to miss vaccine goal of 30 million doses

Covid comeback widens in US, China fires 2 health officials after new outbreak, London on course for clampdown, and other pandemic-related news across the globe

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Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Lockdown

Yuvraj Malik  |  New Delhi 

coronavirus
Photo Bloomberg

China fires 2 health officials following new virus outbreak: A hospital president and the director of the health commission in the northern Chinese city of Qingdao have been fired after China’s latest outbreak, authorities said.

A brief notice said Sui Zhenhua and Deng Kai, president of Qingdao’s thoracic hospital to which the cases have been linked, were placed under further investigation. No other details were given. Authorities ordered testing of all 9 million people in the city after a total of 12 cases, including those not displaying symptoms, were discovered over the weekend, accounting for China’s first local transmissions in about two months. Read more here

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total Confirmed Cases: 38,510,263

Change Over Yesterday: 369,229

Total Deaths: 1,092,144

Total Recovered: 26,678,125

Nations hit with most cases: US (7,916,100), India (7,307,097), Brazil (5,140,863), Russia (1,332,824) and Colombia (931,967)

Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center

Covid-19’s comeback widens in US, spreading across 46 states: In 46 states and the nation’s capital, the case trend has worsened from a month ago, based on the trailing seven-day average of new infections. At the end of September, that was true of 32 states; at the end of August, just 15 were trending up. By that metric, cases are dropping only in Georgia, Hawaii, South Carolina and Washington state. Read more here

Russia to miss Covid-19 vaccine goal amid production hurdles: Russia is going to miss its target of making 30 million doses of an experimental Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, this year due to setbacks maintaining the serum’s stability while expanding production.

“The main task is to scale up production,” Industry Minister Denis Manturov said in an interview. “To have 30 million doses by year-end is impossible, it is nonsense.” Read more here

Singapore, Hong Kong unveil travel bubble that scraps quarantine: Singapore and Hong Kong will create a travel bubble that exempts people from both cities from quarantine, an agreement that will re-open links between Asia’s two premier financial hubs. Compulsory quarantine will be replaced by testing and the bubble will start in “weeks.” Read more here

ALSO READ: Covid-19 Factoid: Active cases in India down by 128,000 in last 15 days

London on course for clampdown as UK virus response fragments: A change in the rules in the UK capital is likely in very short order, according to an official in London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s office. Khan and health leaders met Wednesday to discuss the potential move into stricter restrictions, which would ban two separate households from meeting indoors. London will soon hit an average of 100 cases per 100,000 people, the person said. Read more here

France sets Paris curfew: France imposed a curfew in Paris as Germany and Italy posted record increases in new infections, as Europe’s leaders intensified efforts to stem an unrelenting surge in cases. President Emmanuel Macron will confine residents of nine of the country’s biggest cities to their homes between 9 pm and 6 am for four weeks starting on Saturday. Read more here

Bank of Australia may start a massive quantitative easing program to help economy: The Reserve Bank of Australia may buy up to A$100 billion ($71 billion) of bonds in a renewed effort to revive the nation’s coronavirus-battered economy, according to Goldman Sachs Group and JPMorgan Chase Goldman sees an 80 percent chance for an easing package at the central bank’s November 3 meeting. Read more here

Specials

Universities expose uneven playing field on Covid testing

At colleges across Cambridge university, students have been divided into “Covid households” of up to 10 people, several of which are selected each week to swab the back of their throat and put their samples into a shared pot. The pooled samples, taken from symptom-free students, are then tested together: if it comes back negative, the whole household is deemed coronavirus-clear. If positive, everyone is given an individual Covid-19 test. The testing of the samples, which takes place at one of the UK government’s ‘lighthouse laboratories’ located on the university’s land, runs counter to current NHS guidance which states that only individuals showing coronavirus symptoms should get public tests. An anonymous student wrote on Facebook, “Is there anyone who feels a disgusting sense of privilege at the fact we are being tested every week without symptoms, whilst there are thousands of people in the rest of the UK unable to access anything near to this??” But Cambridge is one of hundreds of universities that has developed bespoke strategies to test for Covid-19, amid a backdrop of public frustration over shortages and delays in the central government system. Read more here

The future of hotel design

Mobile guest rooms, enhanced contactless room controls, robotic servers and pop-up dining areas are just a few of the ideas hotel designers are considering for the post-Covid travel world. Read here

How to make remote learning work? unmute yourself!

Longtime home-schoolers offer advice on what to do, and what not to do. Read here

Bookmark-worthy: Tracker

Vaccines typically require years of research and testing before reaching the clinic, but scientists are racing to produce a safe and effective by next year. Researchers are testing 45 vaccines in clinical trials on humans, and at least 91 preclinical vaccines are under active investigation in animals. See here

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First Published: Thu, October 15 2020. 14:28 IST
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