Russia sets new daily Covid record
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The Associated Press

42m ago / 1:10 PM UTC

A medical worker wearing protective gear enters the treatment hall of a temporary hospital for coronavirus patients in the Krylatskoye Ice Palace in Moscow on Nov. 18. Pavel Golovkin / AP

MOSCOW — Daily new coronavirus infections in Russia hit a new high on Monday, with authorities reporting a record 25,173 new cases. The latest figure brings the country’s total to over 2.1 million. The government coronavirus task force also reported 361 deaths on Monday, raising the total since the start of the pandemic to 36,500.

Russia, which currently has the world’s fifth-largest number of confirmed cases, has been swept by a rapid coronavirus resurgence since September. Despite this, authorities insist there are no plans to impose a second lockdown or to shut businesses nationwide.

Reuters

35m ago / 1:18 PM UTC

Hong Kong warns situation ‘worsening rapidly’

People wait outside a Covid testing center Sunday in Hong Kong. Peter Parks / AFP – Getty Images

HONG KONG – Hong Kong reported 73 new coronavirus cases on Monday as the government warned the epidemic in the densely populated city is rapidly worsening with silent transmission chains feared amid a rise in asymptomatic infections.

The Chinese-ruled city has so far managed to avoid the widespread outbreak of the disease seen in many major cities across the world, with numbers on a daily basis mostly in single digits or low double digits in recent weeks.

Many of the latest cases are linked to dance clubs and the government has appealed to residents in affected areas to take a COVID test to help contain the outbreak. Mobile testing stations have been set up in several districts.

“The local epidemic situation is worsening rapidly,” the government said in a statement. “Some of the confirmed cases are asymptomatic and this has indicated the existence of many silent transmission chains in the community.”

Reuters

2h ago / 11:34 AM UTC

UK regulator will make vaccine decision in ‘shortest time possible’

LONDON – Britain medicine regulator said on Monday it would aim to make a decision on Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate “in the shortest time possible” after receiving additional data about the shot.

“It is our job now to rigorously assess these data and the evidence submitted on the vaccine’s safety, quality and effectiveness,” said June Raine, chief executive of Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

“As we have received this data through a rolling review, we have already started our analysis and will aim to make a decision in the shortest time possible, without compromising the thoroughness of our review.”

Rachel Elbaum

58m ago / 12:55 PM UTC

California governor in quarantine with family after kids exposed to Covid-19

California Governor Gavin Newsom is quarantining with his family after three of his four children were exposed to a patrol officer who tested positive for Covid-19, he said in a tweet late Sunday.

Newsom said that he and his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, learned on Friday evening of his children’s exposure to the officer from the California Highway Patrol. He and his wife were not exposed, he said.

The family tested negative on Sunday and they will be quarantined for 14 days.

California has seen a rise in Covid-19 cases and enacted a curfew on Saturday for the vast majority of its counties. The stay at home order requires non-essential work, movement and gatherings to stop between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

The Associated Press

2h ago / 12:17 PM UTC

China tests millions after coronavirus flare-ups in 3 cities

BEIJING — Chinese authorities are testing millions of people, imposing lockdowns and shutting down schools after multiple locally transmitted coronavirus cases were discovered in three cities across the country last week.

As temperatures drop, large-scale measures are being enacted in the cities of Tianjin, Shanghai and Manzhouli, despite the low number of new cases compared to the United States and other countries that are seeing new waves of infections.

Many experts and government officials have warned that the chance of the virus spreading will be greater during the cold weather. Recent flare-ups have shown that there is still a risk of the virus returning, despite being largely controlled within China.

On Monday, the National Health Commission reported two new locally transmitted cases in Shanghai over the last 24 hours, bringing the total to seven since Friday. China has recorded 86,442 total cases and 4,634 deaths since the virus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

Yuliya Talmazan

3h ago / 11:11 AM UTC

AstraZeneca says its coronavirus vaccine can be around 90 percent effective

LONDON — British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca said on Monday that its vaccine for Covid-19 could be up to 90 percent effective in preventing the disease — the third promising breakthrough in the fight against a pandemic that has killed nearly 1.4 million people worldwide.

“This vaccine’s efficacy and safety confirm that it will be highly effective against Covid-19 and will have an immediate impact on this public health emergency,” Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement.

Analysis of data from a phase 3 trial of the vaccine developed by Oxford University showed that it was 90 percent effective at stopping the disease when half a dose was administered followed by a full dose. In another dosing regiment, when two full doses were administered, the vaccine was 62 percent effective, researchers said, resulting in combined average efficacy of 70 percent.

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