Covid-19 wrap | Formula 1 race cancelled over coronavirus, vaccine race is on

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Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis.

FOLLOW THE LIVE UPDATE | All the latest coronavirus and lockdown updates


FACTBOX | Latest on the worldwide spread of coronavirus

US President Donald Trump urged for a big stimulus to cushion the economic impact of Covid-19, as the country's tally of infections surpassed eight million while reporting record spikes in several states.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* South Africa will embark on a massive public works and job-creation drive in response to the coronavirus crisis, President Cyril Ramaphosa said, unveiling a plan to return Africa's most industrialised economy to growth.

EUROPE

* The Polish government urged its citizens to stay at home and ordered new national restrictions after cases rose by 24% to a record.

* Police raided the homes and offices of France's health minister, its public health director and former prime minister as a judicial investigation into the government's response to the coronavirus crisis deepened.

AMERICAS

* New Covid-19 cases in the United States rose by one million in less than a month to push total caseloads beyond eight million, with Wisconsin and other mid-western states seeing a record jump in new infections.

* US President Donald Trump said he is willing to raise his offer of $1.8 trillion for a Covid-19 relief deal with Democrats in the US Congress, but the idea was shot down by his fellow Republican, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

* Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden tested negative for Covid-19 after he flew earlier this week with a person who subsequently tested positive.

* Catholics and Jews asked US courts to overturn New York Governor's order limiting worship to no more than 10 congregants in communities hard hit by the virus, calling the measure a threat to religious freedom.

* Mexico's death toll surpassed 85 000 after it reported 387 additional fatalities along with 5 514 new cases.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* India is bracing for a surge in coming weeks as it heads into its main holiday season with an economy freed of restrictions.

* The organiser of Vietnam's first Formula One grand prix said it has cancelled the race, having already postponed the event initially scheduled for April.

* Hundreds of New Zealand plane passengers started arriving in Sydney on Friday as part of a new trans-Tasman travel bubble amid a rapidly falling growth rate in cases at the epicentre of Australia's coronavirus outbreak.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* One of China's front-running coronavirus vaccine candidates was shown to be safe and triggered immune responses in a combined early and mid-stage test in humans, researchers said.

* Gilead Sciences Inc's remdesivir had little or no effect on Covid-19 patients' length of hospital stay or chances of survival, a clinical trial by the World Health Organisation has found.

* Fujifilm Holdings Corp said it had applied for approval in Japan for its anti-influenza drug Avigan as a treatment for Covid-19.

* The risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus on flights is very low, a US Department of Defence study found, a positive sign for the airline industry.

- Reuters


Brazil has registered 713 additional coronavirus deaths

Brazil has registered 713 additional coronavirus deaths over the last 24 hours and 28 523 new cases, the nation's Health Ministry said on Thursday evening.

The South American country has now registered 152 460 total coronavirus deaths and 5 169 386 total confirmed cases.

- Reuters


NHS England in talks on rollout of potential Covid vaccine from December - Pulse health website

The National Health Service (NHS) is in talks with the British Medical Association (BMA) and others around mobilising the rollout of a potential Covid-19 vaccine from December, Pulse website for health professionals reported on Thursday.

There is optimism around the first cohorts being given a vaccine in December but there is a 50/50 chance of the vaccine being available by that time, Pulse reported, citing a person close to the discussions.

Talks are taking place between NHS England, the BMA and other groups over who will administer vaccines and who will receive it first, Pulse reported, citing multiple sources.

- Reuters


World caught in "syndemic" of chronic diseases and Covid-19, global study says

The world is caught in a perfect storm of rising rates of chronic disease, persistent infectious diseases and public health failures that have fuelled deaths in the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a major global study of human health.

The emergence and overlap of the coronavirus pandemic with a continued global rise in chronic conditions such as obesity and diabetes - with added environmental risks such as air pollution - have exacerbated the coronavirus death toll, it said.

The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study is the most comprehensive of its kind.

Published in The Lancet medical journal, it analysed 286 causes of death, 369 diseases and injuries and 87 risk factors in 204 countries and territories to offer a view on the underlying health of the global population and the impact of Covid-19.

"Covid-19 is an acute-on-chronic health emergency," said Richard Horton, the Lancet's editor-in-chief.

He described the coronavirus pandemic combined with high global rates of obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases as a "syndemic".

The study found that leading causes of ill health in people aged 50 and older worldwide were ischaemic heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

In younger people - aged 10 to 49 - road injuries, HIV/AIDS, lower back pain and depressive disorders were dominant.

- Reuters

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