Health News Roudnup: Canada at ‘crossroads’ as COVID cases surge; US surpasses 200,000 COVID deaths and more
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Canada at ‘crossroads’ as COVID-19 cases surge
COVID-19 infections have surged in Canada and if people do not take stringent precautions, they could balloon to exceed levels seen during the first wave of the pandemic, health officials warned on Monday. “Canada is at a crossroads and individual action to reduce contact rates will decide our path,” the Public Health Agency said in a statement.
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Tuesday declared a new public health emergency and extended a face mask mandate into November to fight a coronavirus flareup, as the number of people who have died across the United States since the pandemic began passed 200,000. In-person social gatherings have led to cases in Wisconsin skyrocketing among people aged 18 to 24, Evers said, as he pleaded with students who returned to colleges for the fall semester to stay out of bars and wear masks.
What you need to know about the coronavirus right now
Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
Reopening college and university campuses for in-person instruction during late summer this year could be associated with more than 3,000 additional cases of COVID-19 per day in the United States in recent weeks, according to a new study. The findings call into question the practicality of face-to-face classes during the COVID-19 pandemic, and are important as colleges and universities plan their spring 2020 semesters, said researchers from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Indiana University, the University of Washington and Davidson College.
U.S. health agency sets October 16 deadline for states to submit vaccine plans
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday set an Oct. 16 deadline for states to submit plans for distributing COVID-19 vaccines – even before it becomes clear when any will be available – according to a presentation to a panel of experts who make recommendations on U.S. vaccines. The plan is to take into account specific requirements, such as cold storage necessary for vaccines currently in late-stage clinical trials by Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc, provided to the states on Sept. 16.
Airlines call for COVID-19 tests before all international flights
Global airlines called on Tuesday for airport COVID-19 tests for all departing international passengers to replace the quarantines they blame for exacerbating the travel slump. Rapid and affordable antigen tests that can be administered by non-medical staff are expected to become available in “coming weeks” and should be rolled out under globally agreed standards, the head of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said during an online media briefing.
Russia’s Putin wants stronger WHO, proposes conference on coronavirus vaccine
Russian President Vladimir Putin told the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday that the World Health Organization should be strengthened to coordinate the global response to the coronavirus pandemic and proposed a high-level conference on vaccine cooperation. “We are proposing to hold an online high-level conference shortly for countries interested in cooperation in the development of anti-coronavirus vaccines,” Putin said.
U.S. surpasses grim milestone of 200,000 COVID-19 deaths
The death toll from the spread of the coronavirus in the United States exceeded 200,000 on Tuesday, by far the highest number of any nation. The United States, on a weekly average, is now losing about 800 lives each day to the virus, according to a Reuters tally. That is down from a peak of 2,806 daily deaths recorded on April 15. (Graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/2ZH76z6)
COVID ‘firepower’: Britain imposes six-month curbs against second wave
Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the British people on Tuesday to work from home where possible and ordered restaurants and bars to close early to tackle a fast-spreading second wave of COVID-19, with new restrictions lasting probably six months. After scientific warnings that deaths could soar without urgent action, Johnson stopped short of imposing another full lockdown, as he did in March, but warned that further measures could come if the disease was not suppressed.
U.S. FDA to tighten coronavirus vaccine trial standards ahead of November election: paper
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to soon announce new, higher standards for an emergency authorization of a coronavirus vaccine, lowering the chances that a vaccine might be cleared before the Nov. 3 election, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday. The agency is issuing the guidance to boost transparency and public trust as health experts have become increasingly concerned that the Trump administration might be interfering in the approval process, the newspaper said.