Covid-19 wrap | Public trust in vaccine safety slowly growing in Europe, Trump denies virus lies

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  • Public trust in vaccine safety is slowly growing in Europe even as it dips in parts of Asia and Africa, researchers said.
  • Ninety people have tested positive for Covid-19 and eight have died in two care homes in central Switzerland in two of the largest outbreaks seen in retirement facilities.
  • The Brazilian state of Bahia has signed an agreement to conduct Phase III clinical trials of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19.


Keeping you up to date on the latest novel coronavirus (Covid-19) news from around the world.

FOLLOW LIVE | SA's Covid-19 death toll hits 15 265, with 644 438 confirmed cases

Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 28.25 million, death toll at 909 363

More than More than 28.25 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 909 363 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

An average of more than 5 600 people die each day from Covid -19, according to Reuters calculations based on data from the last two weeks.


Latest on the worldwide spread of coronavirus- Reuters

International donors have raised $700 million - less than half the target - to purchase future coronavirus vaccines for poor countries, a WHO official said.

Portugal is back among the countries from which travellers must quarantine when entering England, less than a month after it was put on the safe list.

An Israeli company expects to receive results in the coming week from a Beijing lab that will test whether a fabric it has developed will be able to neutralise 99% of Covid-19, even after being washed multiple times.

The US Senate killed a Republican bill that would have provided around $300 billion in new coronavirus aid, as Democrats seeking far more funding prevented it from advancing.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for $35 billion more for the World Health Organisation's "ACT Accelerator" program to back vaccines, treatments and diagnostics against Covid-19.




Vaccine confidence volatile, vulnerable to misinformation, global study finds

Political polarisation and online misinformation are threatening vaccination programmes worldwide, with public trust volatile and varying widely between countries, according to a global vaccine confidence study.

Public trust in vaccine safety is slowly growing in Europe even as it dips in parts of Asia and Africa, researchers said on Friday, calling for more investment in health information campaigns for the forthcoming Covid-19 vaccine.

The largest ever global survey of vaccine confidence, published in the Lancet medical journal, shows clear links between political instability and misinformation and the levels of trust in the safety of medicines.

The World Health Organisation lists vaccine hesitancy as one of its top 10 global health threats, and dipping levels of immunisation coverage have seen outbreaks of preventable diseases such as polio and measles in recent years.

-Reuters

Brazilian state to test Russia's vaccine, eyes buying 50 million doses

The Brazilian state of Bahia has signed an agreement to conduct Phase III clinical trials of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19 and plans to buy 50 million doses to market in Brazil, officials have said.

The Russian vaccine is being developed by Moscow's Gamaleya Research Institute and marketed by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which last month entered an agreement with the Brazilian state of Paraná to test and produce the vaccine.

Russia will sell up to 50 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine, known as Sputnik-V, to Brazil's Bahia State, RDIF said in a statement.

Governor Rui Costa said an agreement was signed this week to undertake the trials and Bahia will receive an initial 500 doses as soon as Brazil's health regulator Anvisa approves the protocol for testing.

-Reuters

Trump denies lying to US about virus after bombshell book

President Donald Trump on Thursday denied lying to Americans about the severity of the coronavirus after a bombshell new book by journalist Bob Woodward revealed that he deliberately downplayed the crisis.

Trump's taped admission to Woodward that he minimized the pandemic in public, while being aware from the start about the unique danger presented by Covid-19, has set off alarm bells less than eight weeks before election day.

Asked at a hastily organised White House press conference "Why did you lie to the American people?" Trump responded: "I didn't lie."

"I don't want to jump up and down and start screaming 'Death! Death!'" he argued.

-AFP

Latin America and Caribbean pass eight million virus infections

Latin America and the Caribbean on Thursday passed the milestone of eight million cases of Covid-19, days after logging more than 300 000 deaths from the virus, according to an AFP tally of official records.

The region, which is the worst hit in the world, had 8 035 484 cases as of 22:00 GMT on Thursday, out of a global total of 28.02 million people infected with the disease.

The region made up of the United States and Canada has the second largest number of infections worldwide, with 6 504 734 cases. Europe is second to Latin America in the number of deaths, with 220 085 fatalities from the disease.

Brazil is the worst hit country in Latin America, with 4.23 million people infected with Covid-19 and 129 522 dead from the disease.

Peru holds second place in the number of infections with 702 776 cases, as well as 30 236 dead - but Mexico holds second place in the number of fatalities in the region, with 69 095 having succumbed to the virus. It has logged 647 507 infections.

-Reuters

Two Swiss care homes hit by deadly virus outbreaks

Ninety people have tested positive for Covid-19 and eight have died in two care homes in central Switzerland in two of the largest outbreaks seen in retirement facilities, local authorities said.

The new clusters come amid a steady rise in cases in the country since mid-June, despite low and stable case numbers compared to its European neighbours.

In the Siviriez nursing home in the canton of Fribourg, 37 elderly residents and 19 staff members have tested positive for Covid-19. Seven people have died in the past week, the canton's authorities said in a statement Thursday.

Civil defence forces were called in to help and some sick residents have been moved to hospital as there were no longer enough staff to care for them, it said.

-AFP

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