Health News Roundup: China bans German pork imports after African swine fever case; Trump says he has signed new executive and more

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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

China bans German pork imports after African swine fever case

China banned pork imports from Germany on Saturday after it confirmed its first case of African swine fever last week, in a move set to hit German producers and push up global prices as China’s meat supplies tighten. China’s ban on imports from its third largest supplier comes as the world’s top meat buyer deals with an unprecedented pork shortage after its own epidemic of the deadly hog disease.

Trump says he has signed new executive order to lower drug prices

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday he had signed a new executive order aimed at lowering drug prices in the United States by linking them to those of other nations. “My Most Favored Nation order will ensure that our Country gets the same low price Big Pharma gives to other countries. The days of global freeriding at America’s expense are over,” Trump said in a Twitter post.

Israel to lock down nationwide in main holiday season amid COVID-19 surge

Israel will enter a three-week nationwide lockdown starting on Friday to contain the spread of the coronavirus after a second- wave surge of new cases, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday. During the lockdown, which comes during the Jewish high-holiday season, Israelis will have to stay within 500 metres of their houses, but can travel to workplaces that will be allowed to operate on a limited basis.

Pfizer, BioNTech propose expanding COVID-19 vaccine trial to 44,000 volunteers

Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE on Saturday proposed to the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to expand their Phase 3 pivotal COVID-19 vaccine trial to about 44,000 participants while increasing the diversity of the trial population. The initial target figure for the trial was up to 30,000 participants, which the companies said they expect to reach by next week.

U.S. CDC reports 193,195 deaths from coronavirus

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday reported 6,467,481 cases of the new coronavirus, an increase of 40,423 cases from its previous count, and said the number of deaths had risen by 807 to 193,195. The CDC’s tally of cases of the respiratory illness known as COVID-19, caused by a new coronavirus, was of 4 p.m. EDT Sept. 12 versus its previous report a day earlier.

Libyan medics already faced war, now the pandemic is surging there too

As the pandemic started to rage through Libya last month, medics working in the war-ravaged country’s few functioning hospitals faced their nightmare scenario – a surge in cases and dwindling resources. Hamza Abdulrahman Jelwal, 35, a supervising nurse at a quarantine centre in the coastal city of Misrata, has not seen his family since Libya’s lockdown began in March. He has also not been paid.

WHO reports record one-day increase in global coronavirus cases, up over 307,000

The World Health Organization reported a record one-day increase in global coronavirus cases on Sunday, with the total rising by 307,930 in 24 hours. The biggest increases were from India, the United States and Brazil, according to the agency’s website. Deaths rose by 5,537 to a total of 917,417.

J&J unit to start mid-stage COVID-19 vaccine trials in Spain

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen unit will begin mid-stage trials of its COVID-19 vaccine in Spain on Monday, the programme’s lead investigator said. Alberto Borobia said 190 people would take part in the country’s trials, which will take place in three hospitals and be concluded by Sept. 22.

Indonesia reports sixth consecutive day of over 3,000 new infections

Indonesia on Sunday reported its sixth consecutive day of over 3,000 new cases of novel coronavirus infection, just as the capital city of Southeast Asia’s most populous country prepares to re-impose social distancing restrictions. New infections on Sunday reached 3,636 with new deaths at 73, showed data from the health ministry’s website. That brought the total number of infections to 218,382 and deaths to 8,723.

AstraZeneca resumes UK trials of COVID-19 vaccine halted by patient illness

AstraZeneca has resumed British clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine, one of the most advanced in development, after getting the green light from safety watchdogs, the company said on Saturday. The late-stage trials of the experimental vaccine, developed with researchers from the University of Oxford, were suspended this week after an illness in a study subject in Britain, casting doubts on an early rollout.

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