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COVID-19

Macaque monkey trial offers hope to develop effective Coronavirus vaccine

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(Last Updated On: May 15, 2020)

A Coronavirus vaccine has provided protection and immunity against Covid-19 in six rhesus macaque monkeys, BBC reported on Friday.

The vaccine which is now undergoing human clinical trials gives early hope, however, there is no guarantee this result will translate to people.

The trial was conducted in the US, involving researchers from the US government’s National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Oxford University.

BBC wrote, “The animals who had been given the vaccine, and were then exposed to SARS-CoV-2, had less of the virus in their lungs and airways which was then compared with the control group of monkeys which was not given the vaccine.”

The vaccine appeared to protect the monkeys against developing pneumonia.

This comes as the Rhesus macaques have similar immune systems to humans which gives the vaccine results early hopes.

Dozens of vaccines are being developed to diagnose, prevent, and cure the Coronavirus, however, the WHO stated on Thursday that the Coronavirus may never go away.

COVID-19

WHO chief says world at ‘critical juncture’ in COVID pandemic

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(Last Updated On: January 24, 2022)

The head of the World Health Organization on Monday urged countries to work together to bring the acute phase of the pandemic to an end, saying that they now have all the tools available to do so, Reuters reported.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is now entering its third year and we are at a critical juncture,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a press conference alongside Germany’s development minister Svenja Schulze.

“We must work together to bring the acute phase of this pandemic to an end. We cannot let it continue to drag on, lurching between panic and neglect.”

Tedros said on Monday that Germany had become the agency’s largest donor, without giving details. Historically, the United States has made the biggest financial contribution among member states to the organization, read the report.

Schulze said that the top priority of Germany, which took over the G7 Presidency, is to end the pandemic worldwide and called for a “massively accelerated, truly global vaccination campaign” in order to do so.

The event in Geneva kicks off a week of WHO Executive Board meetings where key aspects of the U.N. health agency’s future are due to be discussed, including Tedros’ bid for a second term and a proposal to make the agency more financially independent.

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COVID-19

India’s COVID-19 cases rise by 333,533 in last 24 hours – govt

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(Last Updated On: January 23, 2022)

India reported over 300,000 new COVID-19 infections for the fourth straight day even though the caseload over the last 24 hours was slightly lower than a day before, data released by the government on Sunday showed, Reuters reported.

India reported 333,533 new COVID-19 infections over the past 24 hours with 525 dead, according to the figures released by the government.

According to the report India’s total death toll due to COVID-19 now stands at 489,409, the health ministry said. On Saturday, India had reported 337,704 new cases of COVID-19 and 488 dead.

The government in the statement said the recovery rate for infected people currently stands at 93.18%.

Since the start of this year, different parts of the country are under varying degrees of restrictions to contain infections caused by highly transmissible Omicron variant.

India’s capital Delhi has imposed a weekend curfew and even though it was widely expected that Delhi will ease some restrictions, the local government decided on Friday to continue with the curfew, Reuters reported.

The federal government said it tested 1.87 million people in the last 24 hours and it planned to continue to expand its testing through the country.

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COVID-19

Tokyo hits record 10,000 COVID cases, Japan over 50,000 for first time

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(Last Updated On: January 22, 2022)

Tokyo recorded its fourth record number of daily COVID-19 infections on Saturday, breaking above 10,000, while Japan’s exceeded 50,000 for the first time as the Omicron variant continues to spread rapidly.

The capital had 11,227 new coronavirus cases, the local government said a day after it reinstated curbs on mobility and business activity through February 13, Reuters reported.

Tokyo’s case count, exceeding Friday’s 9,699, were more than double the 4,561 logged a week earlier.

Three people in Tokyo died of COVID-19 and 12 were in serious condition on Saturday, the Tokyo government said.

Some 34.3% of hospital beds in the capital were being used by coronavirus patients. A rise in the occupancy rate to 50% would warrant a state of emergency with more severe restrictions, local officials have said.

Infections nationwide totaled at least 50,200 as nearly 30 of Japan’s 47 prefectures set records, broadcaster FNN reported.

As of Friday, 78.7% of Japan’s population had been fully vaccinated, but only 1.5% had received a booster shot, according to the Prime Minister’s Office, Reuters reported.

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