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COVID-19

WHO acknowledges virus may be airborne

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(Last Updated On: July 8, 2020)
The World Health Organization (WHO) is now saying coronavirus may be spread through the air more easily than previously believed, lingering longer and moving for further distances between people in an aerosol form.
 
After hundreds of scientists pled with the agency to consider the evidence in an open letter over the weekend.

If true, it could change how governments have been fighting the virus, including the one and two-meter separation rule many countries adopted for social distancing.

“We acknowledge that there is emerging evidence in this field, as in all other fields regarding the COVID-19 virus and pandemic and therefore we believe that we have to be open to this evidence and understand its implications regarding the modes of transmission and also regarding the precautions that need to be taken,” the WHO’s technical lead for controlling the pandemic, Benedetta Allegranzi, said in a news conference on Tuesday.

The WHO was quick to say that the evidence is not final and they’re expected to put out their most recent findings in the coming days.

Doctor Anthony Fauci, of the White House’s pandemic response, had this to say, “There isn’t a lot of definitive evidence about what the impact of the aerosolization is on COVID expression. However, we have some good examples, back with SARS, which is a similar virus, where there were clear cut examples of spread by aerosol. So although we don’t think it’s a major issue of spread, it’s something that we can’t completely rule out.”

Fauci says this is one of the reasons why people need to wear masks to protect themselves and others.

Source: Reuters

COVID-19

Brazilian volunteer in COVID-19 vaccine trial dies 

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(Last Updated On: October 22, 2020)

Brazilian health authority Anvisa confirmed a volunteer in a clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University had died but said the trial would continue.

Oxford confirmed the plan to keep testing, saying in a statement that after careful assessment “there have been no concerns about safety of the clinical trial,” Reuters reported.

A source told Reuters the trial would have been suspended if the volunteer who died had received the COVID-19 vaccine, suggesting the person was part of the control group that was given a meningitis vaccination.

The Federal University of Sao Paulo, which confirmed the volunteer was Brazilian, said a review committee had suggested the trial continue. 

The university is helping to coordinate phase 3 clinical trials in Brazil.

 

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COVID-19

Global coronavirus caseload crosses the 40 million mark

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(Last Updated On: October 19, 2020)

The number of COVID-19 cases worldwide passed the 40 million mark on Monday, according to a Reuters tally. 

Reuters reported that this comes as the onset of winter in the northern hemisphere appears to have fuelled a resurgence in the spread of the disease. 

Experts however believe the true numbers of both cases and deaths are likely much higher, given deficiencies in testing and potential under-reporting by some countries.

The Reuters data shows the pace of the pandemic continues to increase as it took just 32 days to go from 30 million global cases to 40 million, compared with the 38 days it took to get from 20 to 30 million, the 44 days between 10 and 20 million, and the three months it took to reach 10 million cases from when the first cases were reported in Wuhan, China, in early January.

Reuters also reported that record one-day increases in new infections were seen at the end of last week, with global coronavirus cases rising above 400,000 for the first time.

The United States, India, and Brazil remain the worst affected countries in the world. 

 

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COVID-19

US records 7.7m COVID-19 cases while India hits 7m mark

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(Last Updated On: October 12, 2020)

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday reported 7,694,865 cases of COVID-19, an increase of 53,363 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 577 to 213,614, Reuters reported.

The CDC reported its tally of cases of the virus as of 4 pm ET on Saturday versus its previous report a day earlier. 

The US is still the country with the highest number of infections but India is fast closing the gap after it passed the seven million caseload mark on Saturday. 

India’s health ministry reported 74,383 new cases Saturday morning, over a 24 hour period, taking the total to 7,053,806. 

India now ranks the second country to register seven million cases and is approaching figures close to that of the US.

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