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France to ease lockdown as world ramps up vaccine preparations

France on Tuesday was set to become the latest country to ease coronavirus restrictions in the run-up to Christmas, as Russia joined in a flurry of encouraging announcements about possible vaccines......»»

Category: newsSource: thestandard thestandardNov 25th, 2020

WHO warns of drawn out pandemic as South Africa cases top 500,000

The UN health agency warned that the coronavirus pandemic would be lengthy and could lead to “response fatigue”, as the case count in South Africa topped half a million. Although many Latin American countries have begun relaxing stay-at-home measures, the virus is still spreading quickly across much of the region Six months after the World Health Organization declared a global emergency, the novel coronavirus has killed more than 680,000 people and infected more than 17.5 million, according to an AFP tally. South Africa is by far the hardest hit country in Africa, accounting for more than half of diagnosed infections, although President Cyril Ramaphosa said the fatality rate is lower than the global average. Health authorities had been expecting a surge in cases after the gradual loosening of a strict lockdown that was imposed at the end of March. Nigeria on Saturday also announced it would ease a lockdown in the commercial capital Lagos, allowing churches and mosques to reopen next week.  An emergency WHO committee reviewing the pandemic “highlighted the anticipated lengthy duration of this COVID-19 outbreak, noting the importance of sustained community, national, regional, and global response efforts”. “WHO continues to assess the global risk level of COVID-19 to be very high,” it said in its latest statement. The agency also said the effects of the pandemic “will be felt for decades to come”. Mexico overtook Britain to become the third hardest hit country in virus deaths — after Brazil and the United States — with more than 46,600 fatal cases. Although many Latin American countries have begun relaxing stay-at-home measures, the virus is still spreading quickly across much of the region, which has now recorded more than four million cases and almost 200,000 deaths. Half of them are in Brazil, where President Jair Bolsonaro said he believes “nearly everyone” will catch the virus eventually, after himself recovering from it. The US, the hardest-hit country in the world, has now tallied more than 4.6 million cases and 154,319 deaths. Vaccine race The outlook was bleak in Asia as well, where India and the Philippines reported record increases in new daily infections. “We are waging a losing battle against COVID-19, and we need to draw up a consolidated, definitive plan of action,” said an open letter signed by 80 Filipino medical associations. Japan’s Okinawa declared a state of emergency after a record jump in cases on the islands — many linked to US military forces stationed there. The pandemic has spurred a race for a vaccine with several Chinese companies at the forefront, while Russia has set a target date of September to roll out its own medicine. However, US infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said it was unlikely his country would use any vaccine developed in either nation. “I do hope that the Chinese and the Russians are actually testing the vaccine before they are administering the vaccine to anyone,” he said. As part of its “Operation Warp Speed”, the US government will pay pharmaceutical giants Sanofi and GSK up to $2.1 billion for the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, the companies said. ‘Day of freedom’ France, Spain, Portugal and Italy all reported huge contractions in their economies for the April-June quarter, while Europe as a whole saw gross domestic product fall by 12.1 percent.  Daily case numbers in Switzerland have crept up again in recent weeks, while Norway recorded its first virus death in two weeks. At least 36 crew members confined to a Norwegian cruise ship have tested positive for the new coronavirus, the operator Hurtigruten said on Saturday.  Despite the resurgence in cases, there have been demonstrations in Europe against the curbs.  Thousands protested in Berlin on Saturday urging “a day of freedom” from the restrictions, with some demonstrators dubbing the pandemic “the biggest conspiracy theory”. In South Korea, the elderly leader of a secretive sect at the centre of the country’s early coronavirus outbreak was arrested for allegedly hindering the government’s effort to contain the epidemic. People linked to Lee Man-hee’s Shincheonji Church of Jesus accounted for more than half of the South’s coronavirus cases in February and March, but the country has since appeared to have brought the virus under control. The pandemic has also continued to cause mayhem in the travel and tourism sectors, with more airlines announcing mass job cuts. Latin America’s biggest airline, the Brazilian-Chilean group LATAM, said it would lay off least 2,700 crew, and British Airways pilots overwhelmingly voted to accept a deal cutting wages by 20 percent, with 270 jobs lost......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2020

EU begins vaccine rollout as new virus strain spreads

PARIS, France — Some European countries started rolling out their first coronavirus vaccines on Saturday, even as a reputedly more contagious variant spread around the world, and the WHO warned that the current pandemic would not be the last. In a video message ahead of the first International Day of Epidemic Preparedness on Sunday, World Health Organization […] The post EU begins vaccine rollout as new virus strain spreads appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsDec 27th, 2020

UN urges folk to avoid distrust vs vaccine

NEW YORK: As the world celebrates advances in vaccines against the novel coronavirus, a top World Health Organization (WHO) expert warned in an interview with Agence France-Presse that public distrust risked rendering even the most effective treatments useless against the pandemic. “A vaccine that sits in a freezer or in a refrigerator or on a […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsNov 15th, 2020

A second wave?

Just as the world is getting accustomed to living with COVID-19 after almost seven months under various levels of lockdown, we read reports that a second wave of infections is gripping a number of countries particularly in Europe. The exponential rise in infections in the UK, Germany, France, Spain and smaller countries like Belgium – all of whom had somehow eased restrictions to allow more travel and interactions during the summer months -- has alarmed governments they are now poised to declare a return to more restrictive measures......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsNov 1st, 2020

Italy ‘second wave’ fears grow as virus cases top 5,000

Italy was grappling Friday with fears of a second coronavirus wave similar to the ones seen in Britain, France and Spain, as it registered over 5,000 new infections in 24 hours. “We’re under extreme pressure,” the World Health Organization’s Italian government adviser Walter Ricciardi said, warning that spaces in Covid-19 hospitals were running out in the worst-hit regions. Italy registered 5,372 new cases Friday, the health ministry said, nearly 1,000 more than on Thursday. The country has not seen such high numbers of recorded new infections since mid-April. New infections are still well behind Britain, France and Spain, which are registering between 12,000 and 19,000 cases in 24 hours. But Ricciardi said the rise in cases could reach those levels in Italy just as winter begins and common influenza strikes. “When the flu comes, we risk having 16 thousand cases in a day,” he said in an interview with broadcaster Sky TG24. “I am very worried… (about) sub-intensive units because there are infectious patients who need to be treated in a certain way and beds are already running out. And that’s before the flu hits,” he said. The government moved to tackle the sharp rise in case numbers earlier this week, making wearing face masks compulsory in outdoor spaces across the country, on top of all indoor spaces apart from homes. – ‘Dramatic decisions’ – Lazio, the region which houses capital Rome, has been performing particularly badly, along with Campania in the south and Lombardy in the north, where the pandemic broke out in Italy back in February. According to official figures, more than 36,000 people have died of the virus in Italy, where a nationwide lockdown — the first in any European country — lasted over two months. Drained by years of budget cuts, southern Italy’s overstretched health care system escaped the brunt of the virus after movement between regions was banned, preventing cases from travelling down the country. But there are fears it would not escape a second wave. The Italian Association of Hospital Anaesthesiologists said Friday that hospitals in the south, where infrastructure is weaker, were not ready for an escalating crisis, despite efforts made to boost beds and staff numbers. Campania’s regional president Vincenzo De Luca said on Facebook he thought “we’ve reached the point where dramatic decisions need to be taken”. He said he could not rule out a new lockdown of the region. Regional Affairs Minister Francesco Boccia said Friday that if the upward trend continued, movement of people between regions may be temporarily banned. “A rise in the number of contagions was predictable. Intensive care units have been reinforced,” he said. “However, I cannot rule out limits on movements. Nothing can be ruled out at the moment,” he told Radio Capitale......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

Russia reports record virus cases but shuns new restrictions

Russia registered its highest-ever number of new coronavirus infections on Friday after officials warned that tight restrictions could be put back in place if people continued to flout restrictions. New cases in Russia have surged past the record levels seen in May Dimitar DILKOFF AFP/File/ MANILA BULLETIN Restaurants and bars in Moscow were bustling and many residents were ignoring orders to wear masks in public as nationwide infections surged in September, but officials stopped short of imposing new sweeping measures to slow the spread of the virus. European leaders across the continent are scambling to amend virus regulations against the backdrop of a surge in new cases, and even Germany, which was praised for its early handling of the pandemic, has suffered a large increase in new infections. But officials in Russia, which has the world’s fourth-highest caseload after the United States, India and Brazil, have so far dismissed the idea there is a second wave of infections or any need for a new lockdown.   A government tally registered 12,126 new cases on Friday, surpassing the country’s previous record set in May by several hundred cases. “I’m really afraid that things will go back to how they were in the spring, that everyone will be quarantined and we won’t be allowed to go to work,” Vladimir, a teacher in Saint Petersburg who declined to give his last name, told AFP.  – Training dogs to detect virus – As Russia is experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases, the country’s flagship airline Aeroflot is training sniffer dogs to detect the coronavirus by scent. Aeroflot uses a special jackal-dog hybrid called Shalaika in Russian to detect explosives. Now dog handlers say the Shalaikas — who have a powerful sense of smell — can be taught to sniff out the coronavirus. “The dog is not looking for the virus, the dog is looking for a person with signs of the disease,” Elena Batayeva, head of canine monitoring at Aeroflot, told reporters. Russia imposed one of the most severe nationwide lockdowns at the beginning of the pandemic. Non-essential businesses were shuttered and Moscow residents only permitted to move freely with official digital passes. But most restrictions were lifted ahead of a large WWII military parade in June and a nationwide vote on amendments that paved the way for President Vladimir Putin to remain in power until 2036. Officials in Moscow, which is the epicentre of Russia’s pandemic, have taken only minor steps to slow the spread of cases. Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has ordered the elderly and vulnerable to stay at home and told employers to keep at least a third of staff working remotely.  Mask-wearing is compulsory on public transport and inside shops, but some Muscovites are not convinced others are doing enough to stop the spread of infections. “The city is making the necessary decisions. But it won’t work without people responding to these measures, helping themselves and those around them,” Sobyanin said Friday. Tatyana Nemirovskaya, a 30-year-old PR specialist, told AFP that Muscovites are “definitely not” following the government’s guidelines. The head of Russia’s consumer rights watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, which is spearheading the country’s virus response, warned this week of “new measures” if the current rules were not followed. The Kremlin said Friday that if the situation continues to deteriorate it will “require some actions, decisions”. – ‘Without masks, having fun’ – But Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov placed the blame on Russians for the surging caseload, saying it was clear that “many people don’t think it is necessary to take care of providing the safety of their health.”  Standing next to a memorial to medics who have died during the pandemic in Saint Petersburg, Stella, a resident of Russia’s second city, said people had dropped their guard after mass restrictions were lifted. “The rules were slightly eased and people calmly walked around without masks, having fun and everything began again,” she said. Russia announced in August it had registered the world’s first coronavirus vaccine, named Sputnik V after the Soviet-era satellite and a number of officials have said they volunteered for inoculation, including Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.  Putin this week said “around 50 people” in his inner circle, including staff and family, had been vaccinated. Russia has recorded a total of 22,257 fatalities from the virus, a much lower figure compared to other badly-hit countries. Kremlin critics have suggested the authorities have downplayed the death rate to hide the severity of the outbreak......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

Heads roll over coronavirus

PARIS, France (AFP) — Ireland’s European Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan is not the first politician to lose his job since the coronavirus pandemic swirled round the world. Other officials have also had to stand down over the past few months for having, like Hogan, breached lockdown restrictions or having openly disagreed with the way the […] The post Heads roll over coronavirus appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 28th, 2020

No quick fix

As new cases engulf even hitherto pristine countries like Vietnam or Japan, and as our country slogs on through what is now the world’s longest lockdown, it’s sinking in among our people that we’re in for a long, long war against the virus. I personally don’t expect a vaccine to be available through this year-end into early next year. There won’t be the kind of quick fixes that Filipinos just love......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsAug 10th, 2020

No vaccine, no boxing

Buboy Fernandez feels it is insensitive to talk about a Manny Pacquiao comeback until the world discovers a vaccine for the coronavirus. As the country reels from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the renowned tactician told the Daily Tribune on Friday that he won’t feel at ease heading back to training camp unless the […] The post No vaccine, no boxing appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 7th, 2020

Millions back under lockdown in Philippines amid surge in virus cases

Millions of people in the Philippines were ordered to stay home Tuesday as global coronavirus infections kept soaring, with the World Health Organization warning against relying on a vaccine "silve.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsAug 4th, 2020

Challenges, principles and cooperation in the time of COVID-19

France, which is the 4th country with the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Europe, has been facing major, unprecedented challenges: implementing the two-month lockdown of the entire country in order to prevent the national hospital system from being overwhelmed; conveying accurate and relevant information to the population; enforcing physical distancing measures and ensuring the sufficient supply of medical equipment and material, especially for health workers; preventing huge layoffs among businesses through public aid programs and partial unemployment schemes; and finally, achieving genuine, operational solidarity within Europe and with the rest of the world......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 28th, 2020

Igorot heritage helped keep Team Lakay strong throughout quarantine

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected millions all over the world not just in terms of physical health, but mental health as well.  With home quarantines and restrictions being placed just about everywhere in the world, people have needed to adapt and adjust to essentially living inside a bubble.  Fortunately, some countries have slowly started to ease restrictions and get back on their feet, and the Philippines is one of them.  Since March, the whole of Luzon has been on Enhanced Community Quarantine, but after the May 15 deadline, a number of cities and provinces have transitioned into General Community Quarantine. Restrictions are still very much in place, but slowly, things are starting to move towards a new normal.  Throughout that time, members of Team Lakay have managed to keep themselves safe and in shape with the help of home workouts and committing to daily training regimens.  (READ ALSO: Mark Sangiao pleased to see Team Lakay wards maintain fitness even during quarantine) The Baguio-based mixed martial arts heroes have also managed to keep themselves not just physically healthy, but mentally healthy as well, and they believe that their Igorot heritage has a lot to do with how they’ve managed to keep their well-being in check throughout the pandemic.  “The Igorot people are known to be resilient, self-sustaining, village-oriented, and we are used to simple living,” said Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao. “Even in times like these, people don’t get hungry because we take care of each other. You go out and you’ll see free vegetables stocked out on the road, and we don’t hoard them, we only get what we need so that everyone has something on their tables.” “Remember that during the war, Cordillera was able to sustain themselves because of the strong ties that we have here, coupled with the patience and the resiliency that we have,” he added. (READ ALSO: Team Lakay mentor Mark Sangiao looking forward to re-opening gym once lockdown is lifted) For former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang, obedience has been a key part in staying safe.  “The Igorot people are obedient, we make sure to follow our figures of higher authority, especially our elders.” “We also practice what we call ‘binadang,’ which means helping those in need, which is very important during times like this,” he added. As for former ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin Belingon, self-reliance is an important trait among the Igorot people.  “As a proud Igorot, we are taught to be self-reliant and fend for ourselves during trying times. We are also very obedient and respectful to our leaders,” Belingon stated. Former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje Eustaquio echoed Belingon’s sentiments about the Igorot people being self-reliant as well.  “Being an Igorot, most especially the genes and the lifestyle that we live has really helped us during this pandemic,” said Eustaquio. “We are very resilient people, we hold our pride high. We can survive and we can adapt on our own,” “We’ve managed to stay strong throughout this period because I believe that the Igorot people are naturally healthy people,” explained ONE featherweight contender Edward Kelly.  ”The Igorots are physically strong because we are very hard workers, and that helps make our immune system strong as well. Having a strong immune system is very important nowadays so that we don’t get sick with the virus,” Kelly added. For ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua Pacio, discipline and obedience has been a major part in keeping Baquio and the Benguet province one of the least affected areas.  “The Baguio-Benguet area was somehow one of the places with the least amounts of cases of people that have tested positive for the coronavirus, and I believe that it’s because of how disciplined the Igorot people are,” said Pacio.  “We listen and we take seriously what the government says. We stay at home and we don’t go out, and we make sure that our health and safety is a must,” the champ added......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 26th, 2020

Mark Sangiao pleased to see Team Lakay wards maintain fitness even during quarantine

With Baguio City beginning to ease up on quarantine restrictions, it’s only a matter of time before gyms begin to open back up, something that Filipino martial arts stable Team Lakay is eagerly looking forward to. Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao has stressed the importance of being able to return to the gym for proper training, but he’s pleased to see that even during the two-month period that the whole of Luzon was under Enhanced Community Quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, his wards had maintained their commitment to staying fit and in tip-top shape. “The good thing about it is that they stayed locked-in and never really relaxed, even though we’re in a quarantine period,” Sangiao expressed. Given that at home, it’s easy to be lazy and blow off training, the level of commitment that these champion athletes is indeed commendable. “Their fitness levels are very good. I am happy they did their part as athletes during ECQ and they were even posting home workouts on social media,” Sangiao added. Even more impressive is that some of them were able to find creative ways to stay in peak condition. Take for example ONE featherweight contender Edward ‘The Ferocious’ Kelly, who channeled his inner McGyver to create training tools from scrap, while former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario went even further up north in order to continue his outdoor runs. Reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio and former ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon were fortunate enough to be neighbors, so they were able to train with each other during the lockdown. While Baguio has already transitioned into General Community Quarantine, there are still some restrictions in place, that’s why Pacio and other members of the famed Filipino stable decided to move into the gym for the time being. “Joshua and the others are already living here in the gym, in-house,” Sangiao shared. “Joshua decided to stay here, so he does not have to go out often. On the other hand, we go here two to three times a week.” Even with the time off from proper training in the gym, Sangiao noted that there were no signs of rust. “They look like they did not miss a beat because they were disciplined during the quarantine.” With ONE Championship postponing their events for May and with no timetable yet for the events to resume, Sangiao isn’t sure when competition will resume for Team Lakay. Still, there’s no reason to relax. “The plan now is to build up again, train hard, and refocus. As much as possible, we want to pick up where we left off,” Sangiao said.  “I think in one month, they’ll be in competition shape,” he concluded......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 21st, 2020

Vaccine hope and easing of lockdowns fuel Asia stocks rally

Hopes for a vaccine to treat coronavirus and a further easing of lockdown measures around the world spurred a rally on Asian markets Tuesday as investors tracked a surge across Europe and Wall Street......»»

Category: financeSource:  thestandardRelated NewsMay 19th, 2020

Stocks down on fears over second wave as lockdowns ease

Fears of a second wave of coronavirus infections in some parts of the world weighed on equities Tuesday, bringing a dose of hard reality to markets after weeks of rallies fuelled by the easing of lockdown measures and hopes for economic recovery. .....»»

Category: financeSource:  thestandardRelated NewsMay 12th, 2020

Biotech stocks to watch during COVID-19 vaccine race

The corona situation is getting worse day by day in the world. Lockdown continues in many countries across the globe. The virus has infected more than 2 million people leaving around 120,000 people dead......»»

Category: techSource:  thestandardRelated NewsMay 6th, 2020

Virus deaths top 250,000 as billions pledged for vaccine push

The global death toll from the coronavirus pandemic topped a quarter of a million on Tuesday, with the US government predicting a further surge in fatalities as an international vaccine drive garnered $8 billion in pledges. The dire forecast from the United States came as much of the Western world emerged from weeks of lockdown, […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsMay 5th, 2020

Virus deaths top 250,000 as billions raised for vaccine push

Global deaths from the coronavirus pandemic topped a quarter-million on Monday, mostly in the US and Europe even as both regions slowly moved away from lockdown and world leaders raised billions towards a vaccine......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsMay 5th, 2020

Nations reopening as global infections hit 3M-plus people

Paris---France and Spain were on Tuesday set to announce plans to lift strict coronavirus lockdowns that have endured for weeks, while on the other side of world surfers returned to Bondi Beach as Australia took its own first steps to ease restrictions......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsApr 28th, 2020

Stocks rally; ICTSI, Jollibee up

The stock market rallied Tuesday as investors track government moves to ease lockdown measures around the world......»»

Category: financeSource:  thestandardRelated NewsApr 28th, 2020