Covid-19 wrap: WHO discussing vaccine with Russia, new virus cases reported in New Zealand

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  • The World Health Organisation will engage Russia following Tuesday's announcement that the country had successfully developed a Covid-19 vaccine.
  • Russia's Vladimir Putin said: "One of my daughters had this vaccine."
  • After 102 days, New Zealand has reported new cases of Covid-19, prompting swift action by the prime minister.

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

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WHO discussing new Covid-19 vaccine with Russia

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and Russian health authorities are discussing the process for possible WHO prequalification for its newly approved Covid-19 vaccine, a WHO spokesperson said on Tuesday.

President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia had become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a Covid-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, a move hailed by Moscow as evidence of its scientific prowess.

"We are in close contact with Russian health authorities and discussions are ongoing with respect to possible WHO prequalification of the vaccine, but again prequalification of any vaccine includes the rigorous review and assessment of all required safety and efficacy data," WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic told a U.N. briefing in Geneva, referring to clinical trials.

- Reuters

Global Covid-19 death toll continues to climb

More than 20.15 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 735 369 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified.

- Reuters

Russia has developed 'first' coronavirus vaccine: Putin

Russia has developed the first vaccine offering "sustainable immunity" against the coronavirus, President Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday.

"This morning, for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the new coronavirus was registered" in Russia, he said during a televised video conference call with government ministers.

"One of my daughters had this vaccine. I think in this sense she took part in the experiment," Putin said.

Russia has been pushing hard to quickly develop a coronavirus vaccine and said earlier this month it hoped to launch mass production within weeks and turn out "several million" doses per month by next year.


New Zealand announces return of coronavirus after 102 days

New Zealand announced its first locally transmitted coronavirus infections in 102 days on Tuesday, prompting the country's prime minister to issue a stay-at-home lockdown order for the country's largest city.

Jacinda Ardern said four cases had been detected in a single family in Auckland from an unknown source.

"After 102 days, we have our first cases of Covid-19 outside of managed isolation or quarantine facilities... While we have all worked incredibly hard to prevent this scenario, we have also planned and prepared for it," she said.


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