Covid-19 wrap | Brazil halts Chinese vaccine trials, almost 59 000 patients in hospitals across US

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  • There were almost 59 000 Covid-19 patients in hospitals across the United States on Monday.
  • China has suspended imports from an Indonesian firm for one week after the novel coronavirus was detected in a sample of frozen fish products.
  • Australia is considering opening its borders to Asian countries, including parts of China.

Brazil halts trials of Chinese Covid-19 vaccine

Brazil's health regulator said Monday it had suspended clinical trials of a Chinese-developed Covid-19 vaccine after an "adverse incident" involving a volunteer recipient, a blow for one of the most advanced vaccine candidates.

The setback for CoronaVac, developed by Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac Biotech, came on the same day US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said its own vaccine candidate had shown 90 percent effectiveness, sending global markets soaring and raising hopes of an end to the pandemic.

The Brazilian regulator, Anvisa, said in a statement it had "ruled to interrupt the clinical study of the CoronaVac vaccine after a serious adverse incident" on October 29.

It said it could not give details on what happened because of privacy regulations, but that such incidents included death, potentially fatal side effects, serious disability, hospitalization, birth defects and other "clinically significant events."


US Covid-19 hospitalisations surge to record of almost 59 000 patients - Reuters tally

There were almost 59 000 Covid-19 patients in hospitals across the United States on Monday, the country's highest number ever of in-patients being treated for the disease.

The number of people with the virus being hospitalised has surged around 73% over the past 30 days to at least 58 982 - a record level that surpasses the previous high of 58 370 on July 22.

The United States also recorded more than 100 000 cases for the sixth consecutive day on Monday, cementing its position as the nation worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic.


Spain to get first Pfizer vaccines in early 2021, health minister says

Spain would get the first vaccines developed by US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer in early 2021, Health Minister Salvador Illa said on Tuesday.

The country would initially get 20 million vaccine doses, enough to immunize 10 million people, Illa said in an interview with state broadcaster TVE.

The vaccination would be free, Illa added.


China suspends fish imports from Indonesian firm after coronavirus detected         

China has suspended imports from Indonesia's PT Anugrah Laut Indonesia for one week after the novel coronavirus was detected in a sample of frozen fish products supplied by the firm, Chinese customs said on Tuesday.

Trade will automatically resume as soon as the seven-day suspension is completed, the General Administration of Customs said.

Companies from Brazil, Ecuador and Russia have faced one-week suspensions during the last month after their products tested positive for Covid-19.

Frozen food suppliers that test positive will be suspended automatically for a week, according to customs authority rules. Those whose products test positive three times or more will be suspended for a month.


Australia may open borders to Asia as it records third day without local Covid-19 case

Australia is considering opening its borders to Asian countries, including parts of China, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday, as Canberra seeks to revive an economy ravaged by Covid-19.

Morrison ruled out entry from the United States or Europe, but said Australia may allow people from low-risk countries such as Taiwan, Japan, Singapore and even provinces in China.

"We ... are looking at what alternative arrangements could be hard to channel visitors through appropriate quarantine arrangements for low-risk countries," Morrison told reporters in Canberra.

China was one of the first countries from which Australia restricted entry.


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