Science And Space

Covid-19 news: EMA says no verdict yet on AstraZeneca jab review

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A well being employee holds containers with AstraZeneca’s vaccines in opposition to the coronavirus.

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Newest coronavirus information as of 5pm on 6 April

The EU’s medicine regulator has been investigating stories of uncommon blood clots in a small quantity of people that acquired the vaccine

The European Union’s medicines regulator has denied that it has established an association between the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine and uncommon blood clots, after an official from the company claimed it had. Marco Cavaleri, chair of the vaccine analysis group on the European Medicines Company (EMA), advised Italian newspaper Il Messaggero that there is a “clear” link between the vaccine and an especially uncommon blood clot within the mind, however didn’t present any proof to assist his declare. In a press release on 6 April, the EMA stated it had “not but reached a conclusion and the overview is at present ongoing”, including that it anticipated to announce findings from the overview on 7 or 8 April. It’s security committee is investigating 44 stories of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, an especially uncommon blood clot within the mind, out of 9.2 million individuals within the European Financial Space who acquired the vaccine. Each the EMA and the World Well being Group have consistently emphasised that the advantages of the vaccine in stopping covid-19 outweigh its dangers. 

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Within the UK, the nation’s medicines regulator has stated no decision has been made concerning laws on the usage of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, following stories that it was contemplating limiting the vaccine’s use in individuals under the age of 30. “Our thorough and detailed overview is ongoing into stories of very uncommon and particular sorts of blood clots with low platelets following the Covid-19 vaccine AstraZeneca,” stated June Raine, chief government of the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare merchandise Regulatory Company. “No determination has but been made on any regulatory motion,” she added.

Different coronavirus information

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Coronavirus figures launched by well being authorities in a number of international locations in South America point out cases and deaths are continuing to surge throughout the continent. Brazil reported more than 28,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day on 5 April, as each Uruguay and Paraguay reported report will increase in day by day covid-19 deaths on the identical day. Officers have linked the present surge to the P.1 coronavirus variant, initially from Brazil, which appears to be more transmissible than the unique virus and may have mutations that enable it to evade antibodies from earlier an infection or from vaccination. On 25 March, Peru’s well being minister stated that 40 per cent of circumstances within the capital, Lima, had been attributable to P.1 and on 5 April he stated circumstances had been detected “virtually in all places in Peru”, the BBC reported. Chile recorded 6196 daily new coronavirus cases on 25 March in comparison with 4770 day by day circumstances two weeks earlier on 11 March, even if it had already rolled out 50.46 doses of vaccine per 100 individuals. Instances of the variant have additionally been detected in Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina.

UK vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi has emphasised that no decision has been made regarding the use of vaccine passports or certificates within the UK. However he stated it could be “remiss” of the federal government to not contemplate covid-19 certification as a method of absolutely reopening the economic system. “It’s solely proper that we take a look at all these choices which are accessible to us to take our lives again,” Zahawi advised the BBC’s Breakfast present. Boris Johnson stated the federal government was the opportunity of vaccination passports for abroad journey. “I believe that’s going to be a reality of life in all probability,” he advised reporters.

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Residents of Australia and New Zealand will have the ability to travel between the two countries with out being required to quarantine ranging from 19 April, New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern introduced.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.86 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 131.9 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot increased.

Important details about coronavirus

Everything you need to know about the pandemic

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Where did coronavirus come from? And other covid-19 questions answered

What is covid-19?

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You could be spreading the coronavirus without realising you’ve got it

What will it take to get a covid-19 vaccine to the world?

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Covid-19: The story of a pandemic

What to learn, watch and take heed to about coronavirus

New Scientist Weekly options updates and evaluation on the newest developments within the covid-19 pandemic. Our podcast sees skilled journalists from the journal focus on the most important science tales to hit the headlines every week – from expertise and house, to well being and the atmosphere.

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The Jump is a BBC radio 4 sequence exploring how viruses can cross from animals into people to trigger pandemics. The primary episode examines the origins of the covid-19 pandemic.

Why Is Covid Killing People of Colour? is a BBC documentary, which investigates what the excessive covid-19 loss of life charges in ethnic minority sufferers reveal about well being inequality within the UK.

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Panorama: The Race for a Vaccine is a BBC documentary in regards to the inside story of the event of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in opposition to covid-19.

Race Against the Virus: Hunt for a Vaccine is a Channel 4 documentary which tells the story of the coronavirus pandemic by means of the eyes of the scientists on the frontline.

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The New York Times is assessing the progress in improvement of potential drug remedies for covid-19, and rating them for effectiveness and security.

Humans of COVID-19 is a venture highlighting the experiences of key employees on the frontline within the struggle in opposition to coronavirus within the UK, by means of social media.

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Belly Mujinga: Searching for the Truth is a BBC Panorama investigation of the loss of life of transport employee Stomach Mujinga from covid-19, following stories she had been coughed and spat on by a buyer at London’s Victoria Station.

Coronavirus, Explained on Netflix is a brief documentary sequence analyzing the coronavirus pandemic, the efforts to struggle it and methods to handle its psychological well being toll.

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COVID-19: The Pandemic that Never Should Have Happened, and How to Stop the Next One by Debora Mackenzie is about how the pandemic occurred and why it should occur once more if we don’t do issues in a different way in future.

The Rules of Contagion is in regards to the new science of contagion and the shocking methods it shapes our lives and behavior. The creator, Adam Kucharski, is an epidemiologist on the London College of Hygiene and Tropical Drugs, UK, and within the e-book he examines how ailments unfold and why they cease.

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Earlier updates

Long covid

Folks start coronavirus testing at in Moss Facet as surge testing for the Kent coronavirus variant.

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1 April

Lengthy-lasting signs after covid-19 reported by 13.7 per cent of individuals in UK examine

An estimated 1.1 million people within the UK skilled long covid signs within the 4 weeks as much as 6 March, in keeping with a survey by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Of individuals with self-reported lengthy covid, the ONS estimates that about 697,000 first had covid-19 at the very least 12 weeks earlier and roughly 70,000 first had the illness at the very least one yr earlier. The survey discovered charges had been highest amongst well being and social care employees at 3.6 per cent and three.1 per cent respectively, adopted by individuals aged 35 to 49 or 50 to 69 and folks with a pre-existing, activity-limiting well being situation . It additionally discovered that prevalence was barely increased amongst females in comparison with males.

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“Given neighborhood testing was suspended for many of final yr we will’t simply ignore one million individuals, so self-reporting is the one choice,” stated Elaine Maxwell, medical adviser on the Nationwide Institute for Well being Analysis within the UK, in a statement

Amongst a smaller pattern of greater than 20,000 examine individuals who had examined constructive for covid-19 within the 11 months since April 2020, the ONS discovered that 13.7 per cent continued to expertise signs for at the very least 12 weeks. This was eight instances increased than the background prevalence of all these signs in a management group of individuals who’re unlikely to have had covid-19, suggesting that ongoing signs are extra prevalent amongst individuals who have had covid-19 in comparison with the broader inhabitants. “[This] reveals there’s something taking place even when the exact prevalence is unclear,” stated Maxwell.

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Different coronavirus information

The World Well being Group has described Europe’s vaccination marketing campaign as “unacceptably gradual”. Throughout a press briefing on 1 April, WHO Europe director Hans Kluge warned that Europe’s coronavirus scenario is “extra worrying than we have now seen in a number of months” with circumstances surging in lots of international locations. “[Vaccines] current our greatest method out of this pandemic,” he stated. “Not solely do they work, they’re extremely efficient in stopping an infection.” Based on Our World In Data, simply 11.4 per cent of individuals within the European Union had acquired at the very least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine as of 30 March, in comparison with 28.7 per cent within the US, 45.5 per cent within the UK and 60.5 per cent in Israel.

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French president Emmanuel Macron announced new restrictions geared toward combating a 3rd wave of coronavirus infections within the nation. Throughout a televised tackle on 31 March, Macron stated colleges would transfer to distant studying from subsequent week and that lockdown measures, launched in some components of France earlier in March, can be prolonged to different districts. “In every single place this virus is spreading quicker and quicker, and we see sufferers coming into hospital,” he stated, interesting to individuals to “restrict their contacts with different individuals”.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.81 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 129.1 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot increased.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Deadly variants: Coronavirus variants are inflicting a surge of infections globally. In the long term, is the virus prone to flip into a chilly, or evolve into one thing a lot deadlier?

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Immune memory: We as soon as thought that solely our extra fashionable, adaptive immune system had reminiscence. Now a breakthrough in understanding our different, extra primitive, immune defences may change how we struggle illness.

Coping strategy: Meditation may retune our brains and assist us address the long-term results of the pandemic, says neurologist Steven Laureys.

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Vaccine history: Mary Wortley Montagu championed the usage of inoculation in opposition to smallpox, however her pioneering work is usually missed, says Jo Willett.

Pfizer BioNtech

Vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine await use.

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31 March

Youngsters “effectively protected” by Pfizer/BioNTech covid-19 vaccine in preliminary trial

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Pfizer introduced that trials of its covid-19 vaccine in children point out 100 per cent efficacy in these aged 12 to fifteen. The corporate stated that each one 18 circumstances of covid-19 among the many 2260 trial individuals had been within the placebo group, with no circumstances amongst those that had acquired the vaccine. “The preliminary outcomes we have now seen within the adolescent research recommend that kids are notably effectively protected by vaccination, which could be very encouraging,” stated Ugur Sahin, CEO and co-founder of Pfizer’s associate BioNTech, in a statement. “It is extremely vital to allow them to get again to on a regular basis college life and to fulfill family and friends whereas defending them and their family members,” stated Sahin. Outcomes from the trials haven’t but been peer-reviewed or revealed.

“When the total, peer-reviewed papers seem – or when regulators obtain the info instantly from the businesses – it should open up the best way to extending vaccination to this age group,” stated Peter English, former chair of the British Medical Affiliation public well being drugs committee, in a statement. “It is going to be vital to do that to attain herd immunity,” he stated. English stated key questions in regards to the Pfizer outcomes stay, corresponding to whether or not the vaccine additionally protected kids in opposition to asymptomatic an infection and the way efficient it was at defending in opposition to variants of the coronavirus.

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Pfizer and BioNTech plan to submit the info to the US Meals and Drug Administration as a proposed modification to the vaccine’s present emergency use authorisation, which is at present to be used in individuals over the age of 16 solely. Trials of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine are also under way and Moderna has stated it plans to check its covid-19 vaccine in kids aged 12 to 17.

Different coronavirus information

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Folks recognized as being clinically extraordinarily susceptible in England and Wales will no longer be advised by the UK government to shield at home, ranging from 1 April. Folks affected by the change have been despatched letters with the up to date data and are nonetheless being suggested to maintain social contacts at low ranges, do business from home the place attainable and stay socially distanced from different individuals.

Poland reported its highest daily increase in covid-19 deaths to date this yr on 31 March. There have been 32,874 new coronavirus circumstances and 653 deaths from covid-19 inside a single 24-hour interval, in keeping with knowledge from Poland’s well being ministry.

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Russia registered the world’s first covid-19 vaccine candidate for animals. Trials of the vaccine concerned canines, cats, foxes, mink and other animals, stated Konstantin Savenkov, head of Russia’s agriculture security watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor, on 31 March.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.80 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 128.3 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot increased.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Vaccines for children: Pfizer has introduced constructive outcomes from its preliminary covid-19 vaccine trial in kids and trials of different vaccines are underway, however whether or not any are accepted to be used this yr might rely upon how the virus behaves.

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AstraZeneca vaccine: New findings present a attainable trigger for a small variety of circumstances of a uncommon blood clot syndrome after the shot. Right here’s what you could know.

Covid memorial

Volunteers work on a memorial for the victims of Covid-19 by portray crimson hearts on a wall outdoors St Thomas’ Hospital.

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30 March

Weekly covid-19 deaths in England and Wales fall to lowest degree since October

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Weekly deaths from covid-19 in England and Wales fell under 1000 for the primary time since October, the latest figures from the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics present. There have been 963 deaths the place covid-19 was talked about on the loss of life certificates within the week as much as 19 March, down from 1501 the earlier week. It’s the lowest weekly loss of life toll in England and Wales because the week as much as 16 October final yr, when 670 covid-19 deaths had been recorded. That is additionally the primary time weekly deaths have fallen under 1000 because the week as much as 23 October when there have been 978 deaths involving covid-19 in England and Wales. The most recent figures deliver the full variety of covid-19 deaths within the UK to 150,116.

About half of people in the UK have antibodies in opposition to the coronavirus, by means of both an infection or vaccination, in keeping with the newest estimate from a covid-19 an infection survey by the ONS. An estimated 54.7 per cent of individuals in England had antibodies within the week ending 14 March, adopted by 50.5 per cent in Wales, 49.3 per cent in Northern Eire and 42.6 per cent in Scotland. Greater than 30.4 million individuals throughout the UK had acquired at the very least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine as of 28 March, with greater than 3.6 million individuals having acquired two doses. Antibody positivity is rising throughout all age teams, with ranges growing quickest amongst older individuals, who’ve been prioritised for vaccines. 

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Different coronavirus information

New or modified covid-19 vaccines to sort out coronavirus variants could become necessary within a year or much less, a survey of 77 epidemiologists, virologists and infectious illness specialists throughout 28 international locations has steered. Two-thirds of respondents to the survey, performed by the Folks’s Vaccine Alliance, stated that first-generation covid-19 vaccines could possibly be rendered ineffective by variants of the coronavirus inside a yr or much less whereas 88 per cent stated persistent low vaccine protection in lots of international locations would enhance the possibility of vaccine-resistance mutations showing.

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Authorities in Berlin and Munich in Germany introduced on 30 March that they’re temporarily suspending use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine in individuals underneath the age of 60 over considerations about uncommon blood clots in some individuals who acquired it. Germany’s medical regulator has recorded 31 circumstances of a uncommon blood clot within the mind in individuals who had acquired the vaccine. On 29 March, Canada’s Nationwide Advisory Committee on Immunization advisable that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine should not be used in adults under the age of 55, whereas circumstances of uncommon blood clots are being investigated. France and Spain have additionally limited use of the vaccine to older people.

The director of the US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC), Rochelle Walensky, has issued a warning about rising coronavirus cases within the nation. Walensky stated she didn’t need to see the US face one other wave in circumstances and deaths as is at present being seen in many European countries. “I’m going to replicate on the recurring feeling I’ve of impending doom,” she advised a White Home briefing on 29 March, including “we have now a lot cause for hope, however proper now I’m scared”. The US recorded a median of 56,995 new coronavirus circumstances a day within the week as much as 26 March, a rise of 6.7 per cent in comparison with the earlier week, according to the CDC.

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Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.79 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 127.8 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot increased.

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Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Vaccine passports: The UK authorities is reportedly contemplating vaccine passports to deliver individuals again into places of work and factories, however they’re not with out controversy – right here’s what we all know to date.

Vaccination centre inside a cathedral is shown with people standing at various covid-19 vaccination stations

Members of the general public obtain covid-19 vaccines at Lichfield Cathedral in Staffordshire, England

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29 March

Covid-19 vaccine uptake amongst over-70s lowest in Black ethnic teams in England

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Evaluation by the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics signifies lower covid-19 vaccine uptake among minority ethnic groups in England in comparison with white British individuals. Folks from Black African backgrounds over the age of 70 in England had been 5.5 instances extra probably to not have acquired a primary dose of covid-19 vaccine between 8 December 2020 and 11 March 2021 in comparison with individuals figuring out as white British, after adjusting for age, intercourse, socio-demographic traits and underlying well being situations. Folks from Black Caribbean backgrounds in the identical age group had been virtually 4 instances extra probably to not have acquired a primary dose of vaccine in comparison with these within the white British group, and the equal determine for Bangladeshi and Pakistani ethnic teams was greater than 3 instances. 

The evaluation discovered total uptake of the vaccine inside this age group to be excessive – 90.2 per cent of all over-70s resident in England had acquired at the very least one dose of covid-19 vaccine in that point interval. However the proportion was decrease amongst all ethnic minority teams in contrast with the white British inhabitants. The speed was lowest amongst Black African individuals at 58.8 per cent, adopted by individuals figuring out as Black Caribbean (68.7 per cent), Bangladeshi (72.7 per cent) and Pakistani (74 per cent). Among the many white British group, the speed was 91.3 per cent.

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Habib Naqvi, director of the NHS Race and Well being Observatory told the Guardian: “The observatory stays involved that vaccine uptake for covid-19 is doubtlessly decrease amongst some minority ethnic and non secular teams, and is continuous to urgently discover sensible options to assist assist the NHS and its ongoing response to this problem.” Low uptake of covid-19 vaccines amongst ethnic minority teams is especially regarding given that folks from ethnic minority backgrounds are at an increased risk of dying from covid-19

The NHS Race and Well being Observatory recently suggested that the elevated covid-19 mortality amongst ethnic minority sufferers within the UK could also be linked to blood oxygen measuring units known as pulse oximeters working much less effectively in darker skinned individuals. It has known as for an pressing overview of pulse oximetry merchandise used within the UK.

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Different coronavirus information

A joint World Well being Group-China investigation into the origins of covid-19 suggests transmission of the virus from bats to people by means of one other animal is the most definitely origin of the pandemic and that this can be very unlikely that the virus was leaked from a laboratory, in keeping with a draft copy of their report seen by the Related Press. US secretary of state Anthony Blinken has expressed considerations in regards to the report. “The federal government in Beijing apparently helped to put in writing it,” Blinken advised CNN. A spokesperson from China’s overseas ministry rejected this declare.

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The variety of covid-19 patients in intensive care units and hospital surveillance models in France reached 4872 on 28 March, approaching the 4919 such sufferers on 16 November throughout France’s second wave. Medical doctors are warning that they might quickly have to begin turning sufferers away for ICU care, notably in Paris and the encircling space, in keeping with the Related Press.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.78 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 127.3 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot increased.

Pupils return to school

Pupils participate in classes on their first day again from lockdown at Chertsey Excessive College.

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26 March

Latest figures point out circumstances are rising amongst secondary college pupils in England

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Impartial SAGE – a bunch of scientists publishing recommendation for the UK authorities – has warned about rising cases of covid-19 among children in England, because the reopening of colleges on 8 March. The most recent outcomes from a random swab testing survey by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) present that coronavirus an infection ranges amongst kids aged 11 to 16 have risen slightly in England, with 0.43 per cent of secondary college age kids testing constructive within the week ending 20 March in comparison with 0.31 per cent the earlier week.  “What must be understood is that the brand new variants are more durable to regulate and it appears probably that the restricted reopening of colleges has began to indicate up within the knowledge,” stated James Naismith on the College of Oxford in a statement.

Total, the proportion of individuals testing constructive for the virus seems to have levelled off in England, the ONS evaluation discovered. However there are indicators {that a} decline in new covid-19 circumstances throughout the UK as a complete is slowing. The latest official estimate for the UK’s R quantity the typical variety of individuals every coronavirus case infects places it between 0.7 and 0.9, up barely from between 0.6 and 0.9 the earlier week and from between 0.6 and 0.8 two weeks earlier. 

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Different coronavirus information

European Union leaders have backed a tightening of vaccine exports from the bloc, following a digital summit on 25 March. Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte stated EU leaders had discovered the European Fee’s new vaccine export restrictions “acceptable”, however added that he hoped they might by no means be used. The brand new export controls allow the EU to dam covid-19 shipments to international locations with higher vaccination protection. Former European Fee president Jean-Claude Juncker had criticised the EU’s handling of vaccine exports forward of the summit.

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Well being officers in Germany have warned that the third wave of coronavirus infections within the nation can be “more durable to curb” than the earlier two. Lothar Wieler, head of Germany’s Robert Koch Institute, warned that Germany may see as many as 100,000 new infections a day with none intervention. Wieler was talking at a press convention on 26 March, alongside Germany’s well being minister Jens Spahn. “For the time being, the figures are rising too quick and the variants are making the scenario particularly harmful,” stated Spahn. “If this continues unchecked, we run the chance [that] our well being system may attain its breaking level in April,” he added.

US president Joe Biden introduced on 25 March that he had doubled his administration’s vaccine delivery goal to 200 million doses throughout his first 100 days as president. The US has administered more than 133 million doses of covid-19 vaccine to date.

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A third wave of coronavirus infections in Africa may threaten fragile healthcare methods in some international locations, the World Well being Group has warned.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.75 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 125.6 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot increased.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Third wave: Scientists say a 3rd wave of covid-19 is inevitable within the UK as restrictions carry, with some predicting tens of hundreds extra deaths. How dangerous will it get?

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Covid-19 origins: Photographer Adam Dean’s hanging shot of bats rising from a Thai cave highlights analysis into the important thing query of whether or not covid-19 originates in bats.

Vaccine passports

Staff cross London Bridge in the course of the morning rush hour, on the anniversary of Britain’s first coronavirus illness.

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REUTERS/Toby Melville

25 March

Vaccine passports might solely be attainable as soon as all UK adults are vaccinated, says UK prime minister

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It could solely be possible to introduce covid-19 vaccine passports within the UK as soon as all adults have been supplied a vaccine, UK prime minister Boris Johnson has stated. Vaccine passports have been steered to supply proof that an individual has been vaccinated in opposition to covid-19 or present unfavourable coronavirus take a look at outcomes for many who haven’t been vaccinated. Johnson advised the BBC “no selections have been taken in any respect” close to the usage of vaccination certificates within the UK, however added: “I do suppose there’s going to be a task for certificates”. A UK authorities overview into the attainable use of vaccination certificates is at present underway with a choice anticipated by 12 April, when a deliberate easing of coronavirus restrictions in England is about to start.

The European Union has additionally been trying into the possibility of a covid-19 vaccine passport, known as the “digital inexperienced go”. However the World Well being Group (WHO) has warned in opposition to international locations growing vaccine passports, saying it may create inequities. “Certification of vaccination as a requirement for worldwide journey will not be justified, as vaccination will not be broadly sufficient accessible and is inequitably distributed all through the world,” stated Mike Ryan, director of the WHO’s Well being Emergencies Programme, during a virtual press conference on 15 March.

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Different coronavirus information

Former European Fee president Jean-Claude Juncker has criticised the EU over its handling of covid-19 vaccine exports. Juncker advised the BBC’s Hardtalk radio programme the bloc ought to step again from waging a “silly vaccine battle” with the UK and as an alternative deal with dashing up efforts to supply vaccines for residents of its member states. Based on Our World In Data, the EU had administered round 13 doses of a covid-19 vaccine per 100 individuals as of twenty-two March, in contrast with 38 within the US, 45 within the UK and 113 in Israel. EU leaders are expected to push back in opposition to the bloc’s proposal to make use of new powers to dam covid-19 vaccine shipments to international locations with higher vaccination protection, in keeping with a draft assertion earlier than a digital assembly on 25 March.

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AstraZeneca has released additional data from a US trial of its covid-19 vaccine. The extra outcomes point out the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was 76 per cent efficient at stopping symptomatic covid-19 and 100 per cent efficient at stopping extreme or crucial illness and hospitalisation. Interim outcomes revealed by the corporate on 22 March steered the vaccine was 79 per cent efficient at stopping symptomatic covid-19. Nevertheless, shortly after the outcomes had been launched, the US Knowledge and Security Monitoring Board told the National Institutes of Health it was involved AstraZeneca might have supplied “outdated data” from the trial in its press launch, giving an “incomplete view” of the outcomes. In response, AstraZeneca released the additional data on 25 March.

Sweden is resuming its rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine for individuals over the age of 65, whereas Denmark is extending its suspension of the pictures for 3 weeks. The EU’s medicines regulator has stated the vaccine is protected and never related to an total enhance within the threat of blood clots, however some nations are conducting their very own opinions. 

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The WHO-led COVAX scheme, which is working to produce low and center earnings international locations with covid-19 vaccines, is facing delays due to technical issues at a producing plant in South Korea, in addition to attributable to a setback in securing export licenses for additional doses of vaccines produced by the Serum Institute of India.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.74 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 125 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot increased.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

A familiar health threat: Understanding how covid-19 has been perceived in West African nations corresponding to Ghana is essential to tackling it, says Ama de-Graft Aikins.

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Astrazeneca Vaccine on the Museum of Science and Know-how, Milan, Italy.

Marco Passaro/Shutterstock

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24 March

Vaccine shipments can be assessed primarily based on vacation spot nation’s fee of vaccinations and exports, underneath proposed new EU controls

The European Fee has proposed stricter controls on covid-19 vaccine exports. Beneath the proposed new measures, to be mentioned by EU leaders on 25 March, any cargo can be assessed primarily based on the vacation spot nation’s fee of vaccinations and vaccine exports. The controls would most definitely have an effect on vaccine-exporting international locations which have increased vaccination charges than the EU, together with the UK and US. “If the nation of vacation spot, which has a big manufacturing capability, restricts its personal exports of vaccines or substances – both by regulation or different means – it might be applicable to contemplate whether or not exports to this nation are justified,” said Valdis Dombrovskis, vice-president of the European Fee, on 24 March. Dombrovskis stated member states and the fee would additionally consider a rustic’s epidemiological scenario, its vaccination fee and the present availability of covid-19 vaccines. 

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Individually, India has temporarily suspended exports of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India with a view to meet home demand as coronavirus circumstances rise, Reuters reported. The choice will have an effect on provides to the World Well being Group-led COVAX scheme, which is supplying covid-19 vaccine doses to low and center earnings international locations.

Different coronavirus information

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Youngsters within the UK could begin receiving covid-19 vaccines in August underneath provisional authorities plans, the Telegraph reported on 23 March. UK authorities officers are ready for outcomes from a trial of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine in kids earlier than making a remaining determination on the rollout. Conclusions from the trial, which includes 300 individuals aged between 6 and 17, are anticipated in June or July. “The [UK’s medicines regulator] won’t but have sufficient knowledge on youngsters and kids to provide approval for anyone vaccine, and it’s probably a couple of trial can be wanted earlier than approval to be used in underneath 18s is given,” stated Saul Faust on the College of Southampton, UK, in a statement.

Coronavirus cases, hospitalisations and deaths are continuing to surge in Brazil. Based on a coalition of Brazilian information teams, a day by day report enhance of 3158 deaths from covid-19 had been reported on 23 March, in addition to 84,996 new circumstances. Brazil is seeing widespread protests after the nation’s president Jair Bolsonaro claimed in a televised tackle on 23 March that folks would quickly have the ability to resume their “regular lives”, regardless of the rising loss of life toll and stress on hospitals. In a foreign country’s 26 states, 24 have a covid-19 intensive care bed occupancy of 80 per cent or more, in keeping with a bulletin revealed by Brazilian well being institute Fiocruz on 17 March.

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A new variant of the coronavirus has been detected in 206 samples within the western state of Maharashtra in India, in keeping with a authorities official. The brand new variant was additionally detected in 9 samples within the capital New Dehli, Sujeet Kumar Singh, director of India’s Nationwide Centre for Illness Management, advised a information convention.

Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel reversed a decision to place the nation underneath a strict lockdown over Easter, calling the choice to shut retailers and church buildings between 1 and 5 April a mistake.

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The UK Well being Safety Company, a brand new organisation being arrange with the purpose of preventing and responding to future pandemics, will launch on 1 April, UK well being minister Matt Hancock introduced.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.73 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 124.3 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot increased.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Vaccine doubts: Poor communication and lack of transparency from the Colombian authorities are fuelling vaccine hesitancy amongst many Indigenous communities who’re already among the many most susceptible to covid-19.

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Declining vaccine hesitancy: Folks in lots of wealthy nations have gotten extra keen to have a covid-19 vaccine, matching attitudes in poorer international locations the place most individuals say they might settle for a jab when accessible.

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UK Border Terminal 3 Heathrow Airport, England, United Kingdom, UK

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23 March

Folks in England who journey outdoors the UK with out an exemption face £5000 wonderful

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New UK laws will imply people in England will face a £5000 fine if they travel outdoors the UK or the frequent journey space and not using a cheap excuse. Exemptions to the ban embody journey for work, examine or to go to a dying relative. The brand new regulation is because of come into impact on 29 March, topic to a vote by MPs on 25 March. Whereas the brand new regulation won’t expire till 30 June, UK well being minister Matt Hancock advised Sky Information {that a} authorities overview of worldwide journey – the outcomes of that are due on 12 April – would determine whether or not to permit individuals within the UK to take holidays overseas from 17 Might. “The earliest date by which we’ll permit for worldwide journey – with out one of many clear causes you want now – is 17 Might,” stated Hancock. “The explanation for that’s we’re seeing this third wave rising in some components of Europe and we’re additionally seeing new variants,” he added.

“I believe conservatively, and being threat averse in the meanwhile, I believe we needs to be planning on summer season holidays within the UK not abroad,” stated Neil Ferguson at Imperial School London. Talking on BBC Radio 4, Ferguson steered all people needs to be topic to necessary testing when arriving into the UK.

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Different coronavirus information

Info launched by AstraZeneca concerning outcomes from the US trial of its covid-19 vaccine may have included outdated information, in keeping with a US well being company. The Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Ailments stated the trial’s knowledge and security monitoring board had “expressed concern that AstraZeneca might have included outdated data from that trial, which can have supplied an incomplete view of the efficacy knowledge”. On 22 March, AstraZeneca announced that its covid-19 vaccine was discovered to be 79 per cent efficient at stopping symptomatic covid-19 in a big trial performed within the US, Chile and Peru. In a press release on 23 March, AstraZeneca said: “The numbers revealed yesterday had been primarily based on a pre-specified interim evaluation with a knowledge cut-off of 17 February,” including: “We are going to instantly interact with the impartial knowledge security monitoring board (DSMB) to share our major evaluation with the hottest efficacy knowledge. We intend to difficulty outcomes of the first evaluation inside 48 hours.” Talking on ABC Information, US health adviser Anthony Fauci said: “That is probably an excellent vaccine,” including: “Should you take a look at it, the info actually are fairly good however after they put it into the press launch it wasn’t utterly correct.”

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Regeneron and Roche’s antibody cocktail in opposition to covid-19 reduced the risk of hospitalisation or death by 70 per cent in non-hospitalised covid-19 sufferers in comparison with a placebo in a trial. The cocktail consists of two antibodies – casirivimab and imdevimab.

Germany’s coronavirus lockdown will be extended until 18 April, German chancellor Angela Merkel introduced right this moment. The nation will enter a fair stricter lockdown from 1 to five April, over the Easter interval, when retailers, together with supermarkets, will largely be required to shut.

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India introduced it should open its vaccination drive to people over the age of 45 from 1 April. Virtually 50 million individuals in India have acquired a dose of covid-19 vaccine, with frontline employees, individuals over 60 and folks over 45 with comorbidities prioritised to date.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.72 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 123.8 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot increased.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Vaccine hesitancy in Europe: Greater than half of individuals in France, Germany and Spain consider that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is unsafe, in keeping with a YouGov ballot, as a 3rd wave of infections hits Europe.

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Pandemic impact: The social, cultural and financial injury attributable to the coronavirus pandemic will trigger a decade-long shadow throughout schooling, psychological well being and public belief within the UK, in keeping with a landmark report.

Covid third wave

Pedestrians cross Tower Bridge within the Metropolis of London, U.Okay., on Monday, March 22, 2021. Lockdown In The Metropolis Of London At The One-12 months Anniversary

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22 March

The UK may quickly be hit by a 3rd wave of infections, says Boris Johnson

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UK prime minister Boris Johnson has warned that the UK could soon be hit by a third wave of coronavirus infections much like that at present being skilled by different European international locations, together with France, Italy and Germany. France reported greater than 35,000 new coronavirus circumstances on 18 March, in comparison with simply 6303 reported within the UK on the identical day. “Earlier expertise has taught us that when a wave hits our pals, it, I’m afraid, washes up on our shores as effectively and I count on that we’ll really feel these results sooner or later,” Johnson advised reporters on 22 March. The most recent official estimate of the UK’s R number – the typical variety of individuals every coronavirus case infects – places it between 0.6 and 0.9. An R quantity under 1.0 signifies the epidemic is shrinking. However evaluation of the newest outcomes from a random swab testing survey by the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics (ONS) point out “there could also be early indicators of a rise [in infections] for the East Midlands” in England within the week ending 13 March, the ONS stated in its report.

“An additional wave of [covid-19] within the UK is inevitable. Although whether or not that is within the subsequent few months or later in autumn will not be sure,” stated Paul Hunter on the College of East Anglia in a press release. “How the present surge in circumstances throughout a number of European nations will influence on the UK can also be not sure at current,” stated Hunter. How a lot vaccines stop transmission of the virus is one key issue, he stated: “though none of the present vaccines can actually stop transmission, they actually suppress transmission and can go a great distance in direction of lowering the influence of any future wave.”

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Different coronavirus information

Boris Johnson is meeting European Union leaders this week, urging them to veto a suggestion from the European Fee that will block Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine exports to the UK. EU leaders are making ready to decide at a summit on 25 March on whether or not to maneuver ahead with a risk to cease exports of the vaccine to the UK from a manufacturing facility within the Netherlands. European Fee president Ursula von der Leyen warned final week that the fee might limit exports of covid-19 vaccines to the UK until the UK reveals extra “reciprocity” in vaccine exports. She stated the EU continues to be ready for Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine doses from the UK, whereas 10 million vaccine doses, together with from Pfizer/BioNTech, had been delivered to the UK from EU manufacturing crops.

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The Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine was found to be 79 per cent effective at stopping symptomatic covid-19 in a big trial performed within the US, Chile and Peru, AstraZeneca announced on 22 March. The vaccine was 100 per cent efficient at stopping extreme illness and hospitalisation. The trial concerned greater than 32,000 volunteers throughout all age teams. AstraZeneca stated an impartial security committee, which performed a selected overview of blood clots within the US trial, discovered “no elevated threat of thrombosis or occasions characterised by thrombosis among the many 21,583 individuals receiving at the very least one dose of the vaccine” and located “no occasions” of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) – a uncommon kind of blood clot in a significant mind vessel. Knowledge from the trial can be reviewed by the US Meals and Drug Administration, which is anticipated to take just a few weeks to determine whether or not to provide emergency use authorisation to the vaccine.

Coronavirus circumstances are persevering with to surge in Brazil, with the nation’s health systems becoming increasingly overwhelmed. CNN reported on 22 March that in practically each state in Brazil, occupancy charges in intensive care models are at or above 80 per cent. Just a few have exceeded 100 per cent, leading to sufferers being turned away. On 20 March, Felipe Augusto, mayor of the coastal city of Sao Sebastiao advised CNN affiliate CNN Brasil that provides of essential medicine required for intubating sufferers had been attributable to run out within the city after 22 March.

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India recorded more than 260,000 new coronavirus cases final week, one of many nation’s largest weekly will increase because the pandemic started.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.71 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 123.3 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot increased.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Hybrid viruses: Recombinant viruses made up of two coronavirus variants mashed collectively at the moment are circulating broadly amongst individuals, though for now they don’t appear to hold mutations that make them extra harmful.

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Physician Widad Abdi works within the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) the place sufferers affected by the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) are handled on the Clinique de l’Estree – ELSAN non-public hospital in Stains, close to Paris, France.

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19 March

Germany, France and Italy are amongst European international locations seeing rising infections

Coronavirus circumstances have been rising in a lot of Europe in a 3rd wave of infections, with 20 international locations within the European Union reporting growing take a look at positivity and 15 international locations reporting growing hospital or ICU admissions attributable to covid-19 as of 14 March, in keeping with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. “We have now now seen 3 consecutive weeks of progress in covid-19 circumstances with over 1.2 million new circumstances reported final week throughout Europe,” stated World Well being Group (WHO) Europe director, Hans Kluge, at a press conference on 18 March. Kluge stated the faster-spreading B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant, which was first detected within the UK, is changing into predominant within the area, with circumstances reported in at the very least 48 out of 53 European territories to date. “The variety of individuals dying from covid-19 in Europe is increased now than it was this time final yr, reflecting the widespread maintain this virus has,” Kluge added.

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Germany started easing some coronavirus restrictions on 8 March however might quickly must return to stricter guidelines attributable to rising circumstances, the nation’s well being minister Jens Spahn told a news conference on 19 March. “The rising case numbers might imply that we can’t take additional reopening steps within the weeks to return,” he stated. “Quite the opposite, we might even must take steps backwards.” France, which recorded 35,000 new cases on 18 March and reached report numbers of covid-19 sufferers in intensive care in Paris, is introducing a month-long lockdown in its capital and components of the north of the nation. Italy has additionally seen rising circumstances not too long ago and consequently, Italian authorities reimposed restrictions throughout many of the nation on 15 March.

Different coronavirus information

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A number of European international locations, together with Germany, France, Italy and Spain, are resuming their rollouts of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine, after an investigation by the EU’s medicines regulator concluded its advantages outweigh its dangers. A separate investigation by the WHO international advisory committee on vaccine security came to the same conclusion. Greater than 20 international locations had suspended use of the vaccine following stories of blood clots in some individuals who had acquired it. However inside hours of the European Drugs Company’s assertion on 18 March, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and at the very least seven different international locations stated they might resume vaccinations as early as 19 March. France, nevertheless, has stated that solely individuals aged 55 and over ought to obtain the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, whereas Norway, Sweden and Denmark have not yet lifted their suspensions of the shot. 

The UK’s R number – the typical variety of individuals every coronavirus case infects might have risen barely. The most recent official estimate places it between 0.6 and 0.9, in comparison with the earlier week when it was estimated to be between 0.6 and 0.8. Infections are nonetheless shrinking total at a fee of between 3 and 6 per cent per day, however the fee at which they’re falling has slowed from between 4 and seven per cent per day the earlier week. The findings are in keeping with the newest outcomes from a random swab testing survey by the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics, which discovered that circumstances are no longer falling in some parts of the UK and should even be rising in some areas.

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College pupils within the US can now sit about a metre apart within the classroom so long as they put on face coverings, the US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention stated on 19 March. Beneath the up to date steering, pupils are nonetheless suggested to maintain a distance of two metres other than each other throughout lunch breaks and at sporting occasions or assemblies.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.69 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 121.9 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot increased.

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Vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is pictured in a pharmacy in Boulogne Billancourt, outdoors Paris.

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18 March

European Medicines Company concludes AstraZeneca vaccine advantages outweigh dangers

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The security committee of the European Medicines Company (EMA), which regulates medicine for the European Union, has concluded that the advantages of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine continue to outweigh the risk of uncomfortable side effects. Following an investigation into stories of blood clots in some individuals who acquired the vaccine, the committee has concluded that the shot will not be related to a rise within the total threat of blood clots in those that obtain it, and it’s a protected and efficient technique to stop covid-19, which is itself related to an elevated threat of blood clots. However the committee continues to be investigating whether or not the vaccine could also be linked to very uncommon circumstances of blood clots related to low ranges of platelets within the blood, together with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) – a blood clot in a significant mind vessel. The EMA stated the general variety of blood clots reported after vaccination was decrease than that anticipated within the wider inhabitants.

The EMA stated about 20 million individuals within the UK and Europe had acquired the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine as of 16 March, and its committee had reviewed 18 circumstances of CVST and 7 circumstances of disseminated intravascular coagulation – blood clots in a number of blood vessels. It isn’t but clear if the vaccine induced these uncommon occasions however the committee stated this can be a risk, which will probably be investigating additional. A lot of the uncommon occasions occurred in individuals underneath the age of 55 and the bulk had been girls. The committee stated it’s investigating whether or not there might have been a hyperlink with the oral contraceptive capsule in these circumstances.

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Plenty of European international locations, together with Germany, France, Italy and Sweden, suspended use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine earlier this week as a precautionary measure. It’s as much as particular person international locations to determine whether or not to renew administering of the vaccine. “The pandemic is costing lives,” stated Emer Cooke, director of the EMA, throughout a press briefing on 18 March. “We have now vaccines which are protected and efficient, that may assist stop loss of life and hospitalization. We have to use these vaccines,” she stated.

Different coronavirus information

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A delay in a delivery of 5 million Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine doses to the UK from India may lead to a discount within the UK’s covid-19 vaccine provide in April. The cargo, produced by the Serum Institute of India, has been delayed by 4 weeks, the BBC reported. The UK’s Division of Well being and Social Care has stated the UK stays on monitor to supply a primary dose of covid-19 vaccine to all adults by the top of July. Greater than 25.2 million individuals within the UK have acquired a first dose of covid-19 vaccine to date and greater than 1.7 million have acquired a second shot. However Adam Finn on the College of Bristol, who’s a member of the UK Division of Well being Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, advised BBC Radio 4 that the supply difficulty was likely to result in a slight delay in vaccinations for individuals of their 40s and youthful, which may lead to an increase in infections. 

The UK has warned that there can be consequences if the EU breaks the law on covid-19 vaccine contracts. “We absolutely count on these contracts to be delivered on, as a result of there are very vital penalties to breaking contract regulation,” UK well being minister Matt Hancock advised parliament. On 17 March, European Fee president Ursula von der Leyen stated the fee might limit exports of covid-19 vaccines to the UK until the UK reveals extra “reciprocity” in vaccine exports. She stated the EU continues to be ready for Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine doses from the UK, whereas 10 million vaccine doses, together with from Pfizer/BioNTech, had been delivered to the UK from EU crops.

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Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.68 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 121.3 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot increased.

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Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Hybrid viruses: Recombinant viruses made up of two coronavirus variants mashed collectively at the moment are circulating broadly amongst individuals, though for now they don’t appear to hold mutations that make them extra harmful.

Ursula von der Leyen

European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen.

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17 March

UK overseas minister says EU threats “lower throughout earlier assurances”

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The European Fee might limit exports of covid-19 vaccines to the UK to safe extra doses for its personal residents until the UK reveals extra “reciprocity” in vaccine exports, the fee’s president Ursula von der Leyen stated on 17 March. “With the US reciprocity is given […] there’s a seamless move forwards and backwards of pre-products and uncooked supplies and drug substance,” von der Leyen advised a press convention. However she stated the EU continues to be ready for Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine doses from the UK, even if 10 million vaccine doses had been delivered to the UK from EU crops. “We’re nonetheless ready for doses to return from the UK, so that is an invite to indicate us that there are additionally doses from the UK coming to the European Union in order that we have now reciprocity,” she stated. UK overseas minister Dominic Raab told Reuters the risk to ban exports “cuts throughout the direct assurances that we had from the fee”, including: “We count on these assurances and authorized contracted provide to be revered.”

Greater than 25 million people in the UK have now acquired a primary dose of covid-19 vaccine, in keeping with the UK’s Division of Well being and Social Care. “This newest milestone is an unbelievable achievement,” UK prime minister Boris Johnson stated in a press release. “We’re forward of schedule to supply a primary dose to all in these teams by the 15 April and I urge all people eligible to return ahead,” stated UK well being minister Matt Hancock.

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UK prime minister Boris Johnson’s former adviser Dominic Cummings has called for an investigation into the federal government’s dealing with of the coronavirus pandemic. Talking to MPs, Cummings described the UK’s Division of Well being and Social Care as a “smoking break” on the time the coronavirus disaster hit, highlighting points with the procurement of private protecting gear in the course of the early phases of the UK’s epidemic in 2020. In response to rising requires an inquiry, UK enterprise minister Kwasi Kwarteng advised Sky Information it would be “premature” to launch one “when the pandemic continues to be throughout us”.

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Poland is about to enter a new nationwide lockdown from 20 March, the nation’s well being minister stated. Poland reported 25,052 new coronavirus circumstances on 17 March in its highest day by day toll in 2021 to date. A number of European international locations are seeing rising cases, together with Germany, France and Italy.

China is resuming processing of visas for foreigners from a number of international locations, however solely for many who have been vaccinated with a Chinese-made covid-19 vaccine, the Guardian has reported.

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Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.67 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 120.9 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot increased.

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Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Vaccine hesitancy: The overwhelming majority of individuals surveyed in 10 low and center earnings international locations stated they might take a covid-19 vaccine, within the first examine to take a look at the query.

Dose delay: The UK’s technique of accelerating the time between covid-19 vaccine doses seems to be working. Canada and Germany have adopted an analogous method, however the US has dominated out altering its coverage.

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UK variant: Globally, since late February, coronavirus infections have began to rise once more, primarily linked to the B.1.1.7 variant. The massive query is what occurs subsequent.

Boris Johnson

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Avenue for the Home of Commons.

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16 March

Rising stress for UK to launch inquiry into dealing with of pandemic

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There’s rising stress for UK prime minister Boris Johnson to launch an inquiry into the UK’s dealing with of the coronavirus pandemic, together with from authorities scientific advisers and well being leaders, the Guardian has reported. Andrew Hayward, a member of the federal government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, advised the Guardian in a private capability that the federal government’s decision-making processes “should be scrutinised”, with an emphasis on “studying from the longer term fairly than culpability”. Others calling for an inquiry embody Donna Kinnair, basic secretary of the Royal School of Nursing, and Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the British Medical Affiliation council. A authorities spokesperson stated: “We’re centered on defending the NHS and saving lives and now will not be the proper time to commit big quantities of official time to an inquiry.”

Different coronavirus information

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The European Medicines Company (EMA) has reiterated that there is “no indication” that the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine has induced blood clot incidents. “The variety of thromboembolic occasions total in vaccinated individuals appears to not be increased than that seen within the basic inhabitants,” EMA chief, Emer Cooke, told a virtual press conference on 16 March. Cooke added that there have been comparable stories about blood clots associated to different coronavirus vaccines accepted to be used in Europe, together with the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. On 16 March, Sweden adopted Germany, France, Italy and different European international locations in suspending use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. Each the EMA and the World Well being Group (WHO) are investigating reports of blood clots in a small quantity of people that had the vaccine. The EMA is anticipated to launch outcomes from its investigation on 18 March.

A member of the World Well being Group (WHO) group investigating the origins of the covid-19 pandemic has stated wildlife farms in southern China are the most likely source. An earlier hypothesis proposed by the group was that the virus was first transmitted by way of frozen meals. However Peter Daszak, a member of the investigative group, advised NPR that the choice by China to close down wildlife farms in February 2020 is a robust sign that the Chinese language authorities thought the farms had been probably the most possible pathway for a coronavirus in bats in southern China to spillover into individuals. The WHO is anticipated to launch official findings from the group’s investigation in two weeks. 

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Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon stated she would set out dates for the easing of restrictions in Scotland. She stated issues had been set to “get a good bit higher within the weeks and months forward”. Some measures have already been eased in Scotland, with individuals allowed to fulfill in bigger teams outside and pupils capable of return to high school.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.66 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 120.3 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot increased.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

AstraZeneca vaccine: The variety of blood clotting incidents in vaccinated individuals “appears to not be increased than that seen within the basic inhabitants”, the European Medicines Company says. 

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A army physician holds an Astrazeneca Vaccine vial at a mass coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination drive-through clinic.

Piero Cruciatti/Anadolu Company by way of Getty Photos

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15 March

Germany, France and Italy amongst newest international locations to pause AstraZeneca vaccine

Germany, France and Italy are among the latest countries to pause their rollouts of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine, following stories of blood clots in a small quantity of people that acquired the vaccine. The World Well being Group, the European Medicines Company and the UK’s medicines regulator have all stated there’s no indication that the vaccine causes blood clots. “We’re carefully reviewing stories however given the big variety of doses administered, and the frequency at which blood clots can happen naturally, the proof accessible doesn’t recommend the vaccine is the trigger,” stated Phil Bryan, vaccines security lead on the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare merchandise Regulatory Company in a statement. “Folks ought to nonetheless go and get their covid-19 vaccine when requested to take action,” he stated. Roughly 17 million individuals within the EU and UK have acquired a dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to date, with simply 37 circumstances of blood clots reported as of final week, AstraZeneca said.

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“It’s most regrettable that international locations have stopped vaccination,” stated Peter English, former chair of the British Medical Affiliation public well being drugs committee, in a statement. “It dangers doing actual hurt to the purpose of vaccinating sufficient individuals to gradual the unfold of the virus, and to finish the pandemic,” stated English.

The UK will not follow other nations in suspending use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine, a spokesperson for UK prime minister Boris Johnson stated on 15 March. Johnson is assured that each the Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines in opposition to covid-19 are “protected and efficient”, stated the spokesperson, including: “There is no such thing as a proof of any causal hyperlink between blood clots, and the [Oxford/AstraZeneca] vaccine.”

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Thailand delayed its deliberate rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine final week however right this moment introduced that rollout of the shots will resume.

Different coronavirus information

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The White Home is anticipated to unveil a public relations marketing campaign aimed at boosting covid-19 vaccine confidence and uptake throughout the US. Individually, US well being adviser Anthony Fauci has urged former US president Donald Trump to encourage his supporters to get vaccinated in opposition to covid-19. “It could make all of the distinction on the planet,” Fauci told Fox News on 14 March.

Germany’s affiliation of intensive care medical doctors is asking for a return to stricter lockdown restrictions, following an increase in coronavirus circumstances. 

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Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.65 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 120 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot increased.

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Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Vaccination effort: Even in international locations the place vaccines can be found and uptake is excessive, rising points threaten the success of complete vaccination programmes. 

The story of a pandemic: A yr after the World Well being Group first declared the coronavirus a pandemic, we put collectively a video timeline of covid-19, from the primary circumstances in China in December 2019 to 300 million vaccine doses delivered (and counting).

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Medical employee prepares a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to a affected person within the capital Sarajevo, Bosnia.

Kemal Softic/AP/Shutterstock

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12 March

Nations ought to proceed utilizing Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine, says WHO

The World Well being Group (WHO) has stated there’s no evidence that the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine causes blood clots and is urging international locations to proceed utilizing it. “It’s crucial to know that, sure, we must always proceed to be utilizing the AstraZeneca vaccine,” stated Margaret Harris, a WHO spokesperson, at a briefing on 12 March. The WHO’s international advisory committee on vaccine security is reviewing stories of blood clots in some individuals who acquired the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. Plenty of international locations, together with Denmark, Norway and Iceland, have suspended its use as a precautionary measure, whereas Thailand has delayed its rollout of the vaccine, initially scheduled to start on 12 March. There have been 30 cases of blood clots among the 5 million people within the European Union who’ve acquired the vaccine as of 11 March, in keeping with the European Medicines Company (EMA). 

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Greater than 11 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine have been administered within the UK to date, stated Phil Bryan, MHRA vaccines security lead, in a press release, including: “Studies of blood clots acquired to date are usually not larger than the quantity that will have occurred naturally in then inhabitants.” The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare merchandise Regulatory Company (MHRA) stated individuals within the UK ought to still go and get their covid-19 vaccine when requested to take action. “There’s at present no indication that vaccination has induced these situations,” the EMA stated.

Harris stated WHO knowledge reveals that more than 268 million doses of covid-19 vaccines have been administered worldwide and no deaths have been discovered to have been attributable to them. 

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Different coronavirus information

Preliminary outcomes from a survey of people that had covid-19 within the UK discovered 93 per cent of respondents reported on-going symptoms, with fatigue being the commonest symptom, reported by 77 per cent of these individuals. The following mostly reported symptom was shortness of breath, skilled by 54 per cent of individuals with on-going signs. The survey additionally discovered that in individuals underneath the age of fifty outcomes had been worse for ladies than males, with the ladies surveyed greater than 5 instances extra prone to report lingering symptoms in comparison with the boys. The preliminary outcomes are primarily based on 325 individuals who had been admitted to certainly one of 31 UK hospitals with covid-19 between 5 February and 4 October 2020. The examine is being performed by ISARIC4C, a UK-wide consortium of medical doctors and researchers finding out covid-19.

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A covid-19 vaccine developed by Novavax has been found to be 89 per cent effective at stopping covid-19 circumstances in a trial involving greater than 15,000 individuals within the UK. The effectiveness of the vaccine was 96 per cent for prevention of circumstances attributable to the unique coronavirus variant and 86 per cent for circumstances attributable to the B.1.1.7 variant first recognized within the UK. In a smaller trial conducted in South Africa, the place the B.1.351 variant is extremely prevalent, the vaccine was discovered to be 60 per cent efficient among the many 94 per cent of trial individuals who had been HIV-negative, and 49 per cent efficient total.

The UK’s R number – the typical variety of individuals every coronavirus case infects – has fallen to between 0.6 and 0.8, it’s lowest level since September, in keeping with the latest official estimate.

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Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.63 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 118.6 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot increased.

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Firm emblem of pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline is seen at their Stevenage facility.

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11 March

GSK antibody remedy decreased hospitalisation or loss of life by 85 per cent in preliminary trial

An antibody remedy developed by UK agency GlaxoSmithKline and US-based Vir Biotechnology reduced hospitalisation or death by 85 per cent in contrast with a placebo, in keeping with interim knowledge from 583 trial individuals. The businesses stated they plan to use for emergency use authorisation from the US Meals and Drug Administration after an impartial monitoring committee advisable shortening a trial of the experimental remedy early attributable to proof of “profound efficacy”. The individuals included within the trial will proceed to be adopted for an additional six months. GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnologies additionally stated {that a} new laboratory examine indicated that the remedy, known as VIR-7831, was similarly effective against coronavirus variants first recognized within the UK, South Africa and in travellers from Brazil. Different antibody therapies, together with these developed by Eli Lilly and Regeneron Prescribed drugs, acquired suggestions from US and European medicines regulators earlier this yr. 

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“This class of drug could possibly be particularly vital for these people who find themselves much less protected by vaccines, for instance if their immune system is weakened,” stated Alexander Edwards on the College of Studying in a statement. However Edwards stated will probably be vital to attend for an entire set of outcomes from the trial to know how effectively VIR-7831 works and unpick the findings. “For instance, who can it deal with, when should they be given the drug, how does it stop the worst outcomes?” 

Different coronavirus information

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Denmark is pausing its rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine for at the very least two weeks after stories of blood clots in an undisclosed quantity of people that had the vaccine, together with one one who has reportedly died. “This can be a super-cautious method,” stated Stephen Evans on the London College of Hygiene and Tropical Drugs in a statement. “The issue with spontaneous stories of suspected antagonistic reactions to a vaccine are the large issue of distinguishing a causal impact from a coincidence,” he added. Individually, Austria suspended use of a batch of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine on 7 March to analyze a loss of life from blood clotting problems and a case of pulmonary embolism. Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania and Luxembourg have reportedly additionally halted use of the batch. The European Medicines Company stated there was no proof to date linking the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to the 2 Austrian circumstances, including that the variety of individuals reporting blood clots after receiving the vaccine was no increased than among the many basic inhabitants, with simply 22 circumstances among the many 3 million individuals who had acquired it as of 9 March.

Moderna has begun trialling a coronavirus vaccine booster shot focused on the B.1.351 coronavirus variant first recognized in South Africa. Earlier findings indicated the corporate’s present two-dose routine generates a weaker antibody response in opposition to the B.1.351 variant, in comparison with the unique virus. The primary individuals have now acquired the modified vaccine in an modification to an on-going medical trial, Moderna announced on 10 March. The examine includes 60 individuals beforehand vaccinated with the corporate’s authentic pictures, who will obtain a 3rd shot of both one other dose of the unique vaccine or the booster shot at a low or excessive dose.

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Folks experiencing homelessness, together with these sleeping tough, can be prioritised for covid-19 vaccines in England in accordance with recommendation from the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). “Folks experiencing homelessness are prone to have well being situations that put them at increased threat of loss of life from covid-19,” Wei Shen Lim, covid-19 chair for the JCVI, stated in a press release. “The recommendation will assist us to guard extra people who find themselves at larger threat, guaranteeing that fewer individuals change into critically ailing or die from the virus.”

Coronavirus deaths
The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.62 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 118.2 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot increased.

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A person carrying a protecting swimsuit works at a cemetery in Chislehurst, because the unfold of the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) continues

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10 March

Examine signifies B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant recognized within the UK is extra lethal

The B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant first recognized within the UK is between 32 and 104 per cent more deadly than previous dominant variants, in keeping with a examine published in the BMJ. The examine in contrast loss of life charges amongst individuals within the UK contaminated with B.1.1.7 or different variants of the coronavirus. Earlier analysis has indicated the variant can also be extra transmissible. “The exact mechanisms answerable for elevated mortality related to the variant stay unsure however could possibly be associated to increased ranges of virus replication in addition to elevated transmissibility,” stated Lawrence Younger on the College of Warwick in a statement.

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Different coronavirus information

The UK hasn’t imposed a ban on the export of covid-19 vaccines, UK prime minister Boris Johnson advised parliament on 10 March. Johnson’s feedback are available in response to claims made by European Council president Charles Michel a day earlier that the UK and US have imposed “an outright ban on the export of vaccines or vaccine parts produced on their territory”. Johnson advised MPs: “Let me be clear, we have now not blocked the export of a single covid-19 vaccine or vaccine parts.” Michel has since tweeted that there are “other ways of imposing bans or restrictions on vaccines/medicines”. European Fee spokesperson Eric Mamer declined to remark particularly on Michel’s statements throughout a press briefing in Brussels. The EU has confronted provide points with a number of covid-19 vaccines and in January launched a system of controls on exports of vaccines manufactured within the bloc.

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Well being methods in most of Brazil’s largest cities are approaching collapse due to covid-19 circumstances, its main well being institute, Fiocruz, has warned. Greater than 80 per cent of intensive care unit (ICU) beds are occupied within the capitals of 25 of Brazil’s 27 states and 15 state capitals have ICUs which are at greater than 90 per cent capability, Fiocruz has stated. The cities of Porto Alegre and Campo Grande have exceeded their ICU capability. Final week, Fiocruz stated that the P.1 coronavirus variant was certainly one of a number of “variants of concern” which have change into dominant in six of eight states it had studied.

Medical doctors and public well being researchers have warned that “the UK’s colour-blind vaccination mannequin disregards the unequal influence of the pandemic on minority ethnic teams”. In an article, revealed within the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, they argue “the invisibility of those susceptible teams from the precedence listing and the worsening healthcare inequities and inequalities are placing ethnic minorities at a considerably increased threat of covid-19 sickness and loss of life”. A Division of Well being and Social Care spokesperson told Sky News: “The impartial JCVI’s [Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation] recommendation on covid-19 vaccine prioritisation was developed with the intention of stopping as many deaths as attainable, with older age being the only biggest threat of loss of life. We’re following the JCVI suggestions in order that we save lives.”

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UK chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak has defended his role within the UK’s covid-19 response after extracts from Jonathan Calvert and George Arbuthnott’s new e-book Failures of State had been published in the Times. The extracts embody point out of a authorities science adviser blaming Sunak for his “one-eyed method in placing the nation’s funds first”. When requested in regards to the difficulty in parliament on 9 March, Sunak stated: “In any respect steps on this disaster we have now certainly taken the recommendation of our scientific advisers.” 

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.61 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 117.7 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot increased.

Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Immunity tracking: New “immunity tracker” exams that declare to measure your exact antibody ranges after an infection or a covid-19 vaccine are on the market, however the outcomes may not be as helpful as they appear.

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Evolving virus: The technique of vaccinating the eldest first might save probably the most lives within the quick time period, but additionally has the best threat of making variants that escape vaccine immunity.

Face mask pioneer: The ten March Google doodle celebrates Wu-Lien teh, who helped to finish the Manchurian plague outbreak of 1910-11 with the usage of cotton and gauze face masks he designed.

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Vaccine dosing: Small examine reveals individuals who have beforehand been contaminated with the coronavirus make comparable ranges of antibodies after one dose of covid-19 vaccine as individuals usually have after two pictures.

Chris Whitty

Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty throughout a media briefing in Downing Avenue, London.

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9 March

UK science and medical advisers urge warning on easing of restrictions in England

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England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty cautioned MPs against lifting coronavirus restrictions in England sooner than deliberate, saying this might enhance the dimensions and severity of future surges in infections. “It’s very simple to neglect fairly how rapidly issues can go dangerous in case you don’t maintain a really shut eye on them,” said Whitty. “What we don’t need to do is to speed up into bother after which must reverse straight again out once more, open issues up and instantly shut them down,” he stated. “All of the modelling suggests there’s going to be an additional surge.” Whitty was giving proof to MPs on the commons science and expertise committee alongside the UK’s chief scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance. Requested why encouraging knowledge couldn’t result in an accelerated easing of restrictions, Vallance stated that three to 4 weeks had been wanted to generate and analyse knowledge, which exceeds the one-week discover that the federal government needs to provide of adjustments to guidelines. “I believe in case you truncate that you’re primarily flying blind,” Vallance advised the committee. 

Different coronavirus information

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Greece’s tourism minister Harry Theocharis has stated people who find themselves vaccinated in opposition to covid-19, have antibodies or take a look at unfavourable for the coronavirus can travel to Greece during the summer of 2021. “All vacationers can be topic to random testing,” Theocharis advised the ITB Berlin commerce present on 9 March. It has been reported that the UK authorities is contemplating the opportunity of the NHS coronavirus app featuring a digital health passport, which might carry data on vaccinations and take a look at outcomes. UK prime minister Boris Johnson stated on 8 March that vaccine passports for worldwide journey can be “a function of our life sooner or later”. 

Johnson & Johnson told the European Union it is facing supply issues that would disrupt plans to ship 55 million doses of its covid-19 vaccine to the bloc within the second quarter of 2021, Reuters stories. The EU has already confronted points associated to the provision of different covid-19 vaccines, together with these made by Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, which consists of a single shot, is anticipated to be accepted by the European Medicines Company on 11 March and the corporate has dedicated to ship 200 million doses to the EU in 2021.

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Short-term Nightingale hospitals in-built England in the course of the first wave of covid-19 can be closed in April, the NHS introduced. From April, the websites will transition again into places for native NHS companies, with some for use as testing centres or covid-19 vaccination websites.

Coronavirus deaths
The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.6 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 117.2 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot increased.

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Newest on coronavirus from New Scientist

Mixing indoors: Vaccination means freedom to combine in non-public properties with out social distancing or carrying masks, US authorities have stated, however the steering is deemed too dangerous for the UK.

Children return to school

12 months 9 college students put on protecting face masks as they participate in classes on the primary day again at college.

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8 March

Return of pupils is first step in England’s ‘roadmap’ for alleviating lockdown

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Pupils in England started to return to school right this moment for the primary time since a nationwide lockdown started in January. Main colleges reopened absolutely however pupils can return to secondary colleges provided that they take a look at unfavourable for coronavirus. Most secondary colleges are phasing reopening to permit this testing to be achieved. Since January, most pupils in England have been doing classes on-line, with solely the kids of key employees allowed to bodily attend colleges. 

The testing of secondary college pupils is being achieved with the fast exams often known as lateral move units. Their use is controversial as a result of they’re much less correct than customary PCR exams, and there’s a increased threat of false positives and false negatives. Initially, authorities ministers stated pupils who examined constructive with a lateral move take a look at wouldn’t be allowed to return to high school even when a subsequent PCR take a look at got here again unfavourable. At the moment a spokesperson for the prime minister stated pupils may return if a PCR take a look at got here again unfavourable. A modelling study released today means that the usage of lateral move exams in colleges can be helpful if mixed with different measures corresponding to isolating contacts.

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The reopening of colleges is step one within the “roadmap” for alleviating the lockdown in England. On 29 March the federal government plans to ease restrictions on out of doors conferences and sports activities, with many companies being allowed to reopen from 12 April.

Different coronavirus information

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New Zealand has elevated its order of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to 10 million doses, sufficient to vaccine all the inhabitants of practically 5 million individuals. Nevertheless, the total order won’t arrive till the second half of the yr. New Zealand has managed to get rid of the coronavirus however has had occasional outbreaks, together with a current cluster attributable to the extra transmissible B.1.1.7 variant from the UK. No new circumstances have been reported since a week-long lockdown in Auckland ended. In February, the nation started vaccinating border and quarantine employees.

Folks within the US who’ve been vaccinated can be allowed to fulfill others indoors with out carrying masks, and also will not be required to isolate if they’re uncovered to identified covid-19 circumstances, in keeping with new guidance issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “We all know that folks need to get vaccinated to allow them to get again to doing the issues they take pleasure in with the individuals they love,” said CDC director Rochelle Walensky. The steering applies to people who find themselves two weeks previous the top of their vaccine routine – which suggests two doses of the Pfizer/Biontech or Moderna vaccines, or one Johsnon & Johnson shot. Nevertheless, provided that we don’t but understand how a lot vaccines stop individuals from catching and transmitting the virus, it’s nonetheless attainable that vaccinated individuals might infect others. Practically 10 per cent of the US inhabitants has now been vaccinated.

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Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.59 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 116.9 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot increased.

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World Well being Group Director-Normal Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a press convention

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5 March

Covid-19 vaccine patents needs to be waived, says WHO chief

World Well being Group (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has stated he supports the temporary waiving of covid-19 vaccine patents to allow international locations to fabricate and promote vaccine copies at decreased price. “I don’t consider that globally we’re exercising our full manufacturing muscle at current. For instance, some producers haven’t been capable of produce profitable vaccine candidates, which is to be anticipated, however their manufacturing services could possibly be repurposed for these vaccines which were confirmed to work,” he wrote in the Guardian. “Waiving patents briefly gained’t imply innovators miss out. Like in the course of the HIV disaster or in a battle, corporations can be paid royalties for the merchandise they manufacture.” 

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World Commerce Group member states are set to discuss a proposal by India and South Africa subsequent week to waive guidelines on mental property for covid-19 medicine and vaccines. Worldwide, 265 million doses of covid-19 vaccines have been administered, with 80 per cent in simply 10 international locations, stated Mike Ryan, government director of the WHO’s Well being Emergencies Program, during a social media Q&A on 3 March.

Different coronavirus information

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Australia has requested the European Fee to review its decision to approve Italy’s blocking of a cargo of covid-19 vaccine doses to the nation. In January, the European Fee launched a mechanism to permit monitoring the export of covid-19 vaccines produced within the European Union, and on 4 March Italy blocked a cargo of 250,000 doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine being despatched to Australia. “Australia has raised the difficulty with the European Fee by means of a number of channels,” Greg Hunt, Australia’s well being minister, advised journalists on 5 March. Japan can also be involved in regards to the export ban. The nation’s vaccine minister advised Reuters: “We need to work with the Ministry of Overseas Affairs to safe the vaccines certain for Japan.” Germany’s well being minister expressed concern in regards to the export ban, saying it may disrupt international covid-19 vaccine provide chains.

Willingness to obtain a covid-19 vaccine has risen in the UK and globally in current months, in keeping with a survey on attitudes in direction of vaccination in 15 international locations, performed by researchers at Imperial School London. In February, 77 per cent of individuals surveyed within the UK stated they might settle for a covid-19 vaccine if one was accessible to them, up from 55 per cent in November. Different international locations included within the ballot had been Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Spain and Sweden. Scepticism in regards to the vaccine was highest in France, with solely 40 per cent of respondents in February saying they might settle for a covid-19 vaccine, though this nonetheless represents a rise from 25 per cent in November. 

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Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.57 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 115.7 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot increased.

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Long covid vaccine: Folks with lasting signs after a covid-19 an infection, often known as lengthy covid, usually tend to get better than worsen after receiving a vaccine, in keeping with an internet survey

Zero-covid countries: As plans are made for worldwide journey to renew, covid-free international locations might have to attain herd immunity by means of vaccination earlier than letting the remainder of the world in.

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Vaccine fast track

LICHFIELD, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 26: A nurse attracts up a vaccine as members of the general public obtain their Covid-19 vaccinations.

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4 March

Approval of covid-19 vaccines modified to work in opposition to virus variants could possibly be accelerated within the UK

Covid-19 vaccines which were modified to enhance their effectiveness in opposition to new coronavirus variants could be fast-tracked for approval in an analogous technique to annual flu vaccines, in keeping with new steering from the UK’s medicines regulator. Vaccine producers would want to supply sturdy proof that the modified vaccine produces a enough immune response, for instance launch of antibodies into the blood, however wouldn’t must conduct prolonged medical trials that don’t add to understanding of the vaccine’s security and effectiveness. “Our precedence is to get efficient vaccines to the general public in as quick a time as attainable, with out compromising on security,” stated Christian Schneider, chief scientific officer on the UK company overseeing drugs, in a statement. “The general public needs to be assured that no vaccine can be accepted until the anticipated excessive requirements of security, high quality and effectiveness are met,” he added. A number of producers of covid-19 vaccines are already engaged on tweaking them to sort out coronavirus variants.

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The B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant first recognized within the UK is between 43 and 90 per cent extra transmissible than the unique virus, a examine revealed within the scientific journal Science has estimated. “With out stringent management measures, together with restricted closure of instructional establishments and a vastly accelerated vaccine roll-out, covid-19 hospitalisations and deaths throughout England in 2021 will exceed these in 2020,” the authors of the examine write of their paper, including that the unfold of the variant at comparable charges in different international locations, together with Denmark, Switzerland and the US, is “regarding”.

Different coronavirus information

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The European Medicines Company (EMA) has introduced a rolling review of the Sputnik V covid-19 vaccine developed in Russia. The Sputnik V vaccine prompted concern amongst immunologists final yr after it was accepted in Russia in August earlier than any detailed outcomes from superior medical trials had been launched. However in early February, interim outcomes from a part III trial indicated the vaccine is 91.6 per cent effective at stopping symptomatic covid-19. World Well being Group Europe director Hans Kluge advised a press briefing on 4 March that the EMA’s announcement was a “welcome improvement”, including that: “[in Europe] we desperately must enlarge our portfolio of vaccines”. 

Italy has blocked a shipment of 250,000 Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine doses to Australia. In January, the European Fee launched a mechanism to allow monitoring of covid-19 vaccines produced in Europe and being exported out of the European Union. 

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The speed of covid-19 Infections in England is shrinking less quickly than it was earlier in 2021, in keeping with recent results from the REACT examine by researchers at Imperial School London. The examine signifies one in 204 individuals had been contaminated between 4 and 23 February, down solely barely from one in 196 in the course of the interval between 4 and 13 February, suggesting the autumn in infections seen since January has slowed.

Germany is anticipated to approve the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine to be used in individuals over the age of 65.

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Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.56 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 115.3 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot increased.

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Pandemic origins: From habitat degradation to squalid animal remedy, our half in permitting “zoonotic” ailments like covid-19 to leap into people is changing into ever clearer.

Naming variants: The names given to new coronavirus variants and micro organism will be tough to make use of or perceive. Utilizing a pre-generated listing of names can be higher, says Mark Pallen.

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Children in lockdown: The covid-19 pandemic and related restrictions have impacted kids’s psychological well being – which has already been declining for years within the UK and US.

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Susan Partitions of Martinsburg receives her increase dose at a coronavirus illness (COVID-19) neighborhood vaccination occasion.

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3 March

US to have sufficient covid-19 vaccines for all adults by finish of Might

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US president Joe Biden introduced the US is on monitor to have enough covid-19 vaccine doses to vaccinate its whole grownup inhabitants by the top of Might. “Nice information, however keep vigilant,” stated Biden. “It’s not over but,” he added. Greater than 76 million individuals within the US have acquired a primary dose of covid-19 vaccine to date equal to about 23 per cent of the inhabitants. Not all adults can be vaccinated by the top of Might, because the vaccines will take time to manage, however the nation is on monitor to fulfill Biden’s goal of delivering 100 million doses in his first 100 days in workplace. 

The governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, introduced that the state will lift its requirement for people to wear face coverings and can permit companies to reopen at full capability subsequent week. That is in distinction to recommendation from the US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, which on 1 March warned of a possible fourth surge of circumstances earlier than nearly all of individuals within the nation are vaccinated.

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Different coronavirus information

A preliminary examine led by researchers on the College of Bristol, UK, signifies {that a} single dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine reduces the risk of hospitalisation with covid-19 by about 80 per cent amongst individuals aged 80 and over. The outcomes add to earlier findings from an analysis by Public Health England, which discovered {that a} single dose of both vaccine is 80 per cent efficient at stopping hospitalisation amongst individuals over 80. “This provides to rising proof exhibiting that the vaccines are working to scale back infections and save lives,” Mary Ramsay, Public Well being England’s head of immunisation, told the BMJ

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Austria will obtain an additional 100,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech covid-19 vaccine to manage to all adults within the Schwaz district of the Tyrol province, the place there are currently 66 active cases of individuals contaminated with the B.1351 coronavirus variant first recognized in South Africa.

UK chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak announced an additional £1.65 billion to assist the UK’s covid-19 vaccine rollout within the newest price range.

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Coronavirus deaths

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.55 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 114.8 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot increased.

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Fighting Ebola alongside covid-19: Guinea has vaccinated over 1000 individuals within the two weeks since its newest Ebola outbreak was declared, together with shut contacts of these contaminated.

Vaccinations cut death rate in over 80s

An aged affected person receiving the COVID-19 vaccination

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2 March

Deaths from covid-19 in England and Wales are falling quickest amongst individuals over 80

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Covid-19 deaths in England and Wales are falling fastest among people aged 80 and over, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) recommend, indicating that the vaccination programme has had an influence on deaths from the illness. Folks aged 80 and over had been included within the high 4 precedence teams for covid-19 vaccination. Based on evaluation of ONS knowledge by the Guardian, 1622 individuals aged 80 and above had been reported to have died from covid-19 within the week as much as 19 February, down from 5300 4 weeks earlier and equal to a discount of 69 per cent. Amongst individuals aged between 70 and 79, there was a discount in covid-19 deaths of 65 per cent over the identical interval, and the equal determine was 55 per cent for individuals aged 0 to 69. 

“Along with the proof for discount of hospitalisations after each the Pfizer/BioNTech and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines, the message is evident: vaccines work for these 80+ and 70+ and they’re saving lives,” stated Zania Stamataki on the College of Birmingham in a statement

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Greater than 20.2 million people within the UK as a complete had acquired a primary dose of covid-19 vaccine as of 1 March.

Different coronavirus information

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The seek for an individual who examined constructive for the P.1 variant of coronavirus in England has been narrowed down to 379 households within the south-east of the nation, UK well being minister Matt Hancock advised parliament on 2 March. Six circumstances of the P.1 coronavirus variant, first detected in individuals travelling from Brazil to Japan, have been identified in the UK. “We’re grateful that a variety of potential circumstances have come ahead,” stated Hancock.

Germany is anticipated to start easing some coronavirus restrictions from 8 March. Beneath new draft guidelines, a most of 5 individuals from two households can be allowed to fulfill. At present, conferences are restricted to a most of two individuals. Some retailers and salons would even be allowed to reopen. The draft plans for alleviating measures can be mentioned by nationwide and state authorities leaders on 3 March.

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A World Well being Group (WHO) panel is advising against the use of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to deal with covid-19 sufferers. In a statement, the panel stated hydroxychloroquine is “now not a analysis precedence” and that “assets needs to be used to judge different extra promising medicine to forestall covid-19”.

The WHO has stated it’s “unrealistic” to expect the coronavirus pandemic will be over by the top of 2021. “I believe will probably be very untimely, and I believe unrealistic, to suppose that we’re going to complete with this virus by the top of the yr,” Michael Ryan, government director of the WHO’s Well being Emergencies Program, advised a press convention on 1 March.

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Coronavirus deaths

Covid deaths

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.54 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 114.5 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot increased.

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Brazil coronavirus variant

BRISTOL, ENGLAND – MARCH 1: A employee takes a coronavirus take a look at by means of the window of a automotive.

Matthew Horwood/Getty Photos

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1 March

Well being officers in England try and hint particular person contaminated with P.1 virus variant

Efforts are underway in England to trace a person infected with the P.1 coronavirus variant, after they used a house testing equipment however didn’t full a registration kind. The P.1 variant was first recognized in individuals who had been travelling from Brazil to Japan on 10 January, and the contaminated particular person is certainly one of six circumstances of the P.1 variant detected within the UK in February. Three of the six circumstances had been detected in England and the remaining three in Scotland. Public well being officers are interesting for anybody who hasn’t but acquired a outcome from a take a look at on 12 or 13 February to return ahead by calling 119. Since 15 February, travellers arriving in England from 33 international locations – together with Brazil – have been required to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days. In Scotland, the lodge quarantine rule applies to all worldwide arrivals.

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UK prime minister Boris Johnson stated the federal government has no intention to reverse its plans to ease coronavirus restrictions in England. “Our complete technique is to go ahead in a method that’s cautious however irreversible. And we don’t suppose that there’s any cause on this foundation to alter that now,” he advised journalists on 1 March. Beneath the federal government’s present plans, colleges in England are anticipated to reopen on 8 March. To assist this deliberate reopening of colleges, the federal government has stated that households with kids at school will have the ability to test themselves for coronavirus twice per week from house, freed from cost.

Throughout the UK, more than 20 million people have acquired a primary dose of a covid-19 vaccine.

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Different coronavirus information

The first covid-19 vaccinations by means of the World Well being Group’s COVAX scheme had been administered in Ghana and Ivory Coast on 1 March. “This can be a day many people have been dreaming of,” stated WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a press release. “I’m certain that by means of COVAX and worldwide solidarity we can attain probably the most at-risk in all places. World equitable entry to life-saving vaccines is the surest technique to save lives and rebuild economies,” he stated. Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire acquired 600,000 and 504,000 doses respectively of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine licensed and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.

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The European Fee plans to current a proposal on creating an EU-wide digital covid-19 passport, which may permit EU residents to journey extra freely throughout the bloc in the course of the summer season. The “digital inexperienced go” would supply proof that an individual has been vaccinated in opposition to covid-19 or coronavirus take a look at outcomes for many who haven’t been vaccinated. “The intention is to progressively allow them to maneuver safely within the European Union or overseas – for work or tourism,” stated European Fee president Ursula von der Leyen. 

The US Meals and Drug Administration has authorised Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot covid-19 vaccine for emergency use. The primary doses of the vaccine can be transported to US states on 1 March.

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Coronavirus deaths

Covid deaths

The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.53 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 114.2 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot increased.

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Coronavirus vaccine

A healthcare skilled attracts up a dose of Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.

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26 February

One dose of Pfizer vaccine reveals 75 per cent discount in asymptomatic infections

There’s but extra excellent news on vaccine effectiveness. A examine primarily based on practically 9000 coronavirus exams achieved on healthcare employees in Cambridge, UK, has discovered that asymptomatic infections fell by 75 per cent 12 days after they bought one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. There was an analogous discount in symptomatic infections.

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The discovering is important as a result of it reveals the vaccine will vastly cut back the unfold of the virus. It was already clear from medical trials and former research that the Pfizer vaccine is extremely efficient at stopping symptomatic infections however we didn’t know how many vaccinated people might still get infected with out signs and doubtlessly go the illness on to others.

“This may imply a considerable discount in transmission of the virus as increasingly persons are vaccinated, which is basically nice information,” examine chief Mike Weekes on the College of Cambridge, told the Guardian.

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Different coronavirus information

Fifty million Covid-19 vaccine doses have been given to individuals within the US since President Joe Biden took workplace 37 days in the past, taking the full to round 67 million. Biden had promised to ship 100 million doses in his first 100 days, so his administration is heading in the right direction to comfortably beat this goal. However he warned that things will not return to normal soon. “This isn’t a victory lap. All the things will not be mounted. We have now an extended technique to go. And that day when all the things is again to regular relies on all of us,” Biden stated.

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New Zealand has reported one more locally acquired case of coronavirus. The contaminated particular person went to work at a quick meals restaurant on Monday despite being told to isolate at house. However officers say the small cluster of circumstances in Auckland is underneath management, and haven’t imposed one other lockdown on town. “This can be a scenario the place we all know the supply of the circumstances [and] we all know the place there might have been contact with others,” stated Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Coronavirus deaths

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The worldwide covid-19 loss of life toll has handed 2.5 million. The variety of confirmed circumstances is greater than 113 million, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University, although the true variety of circumstances can be a lot increased.

See earlier updates from February 2021, January 2021, November/December 2020, and March to November 2020.

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