Health News Roundup: Latest on worldwide spread of the coronavirus; U.S. CDC reports 229,109 deaths from coronavirus and more

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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Israel starts human trials of COVID-19 vaccine as schools slowly reopen

Israel began human trials on Sunday for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate which, if successful, could be ready for the general public by the end of next summer. Eighty volunteers will initially take part in the trial that will be expanded to 960 people in December. Should those trials succeed a third stage with 30,000 volunteers is scheduled for April/May.

Italy has 48 hours to approve new COVID-19 restrictions: Health Minister

Italy’s health minister said on Sunday that new data on the coronavirus was “terrifying” and the country had two days to approve further restrictions to curb its spread. On Saturday, Italy recorded almost 32,000 new coronavirus cases, its highest daily record since the start of the crisis, and just under 300 deaths. The total number of people who have died due to COVID-19 in Italy stands at 38,618.

Lockdown in England could be extended, UK minister warns

The one-month lockdown for England announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson this weekend could be extended as Britain struggles to contain a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, a senior cabinet member said on Sunday. After resisting the prospect of a new national lockdown for most of last month, Johnson announced on Saturday that new restrictions across England would kick in after midnight on Thursday morning and last until Dec. 2.

Iran’s daily COVID death toll hits record high as cases surge

Iran’s daily tally of coronavirus deaths hit a record high of 434 on Sunday, the authorities said, a day after announcing stringent new restrictions including the closure of schools, universities and mosques in most of the country. The deaths, announced by Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari on state TV, take the national toll to 35,298. She said the number of confirmed coronavirus cases increased by 7,719 to 620,491.

Britain starts accelerated review for AstraZeneca’s potential COVID-19 vaccine

AstraZeneca Plc said on Sunday Britain’s health regulator had started an accelerated review of its potential coronavirus vaccine. “We confirm the MHRA’s (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) rolling review of our potential COVID-19 vaccine,” an AstraZeneca spokesman said.

Travelers to New York must quarantine for three days, then get coronavirus test

Most people arriving in New York state must quarantine for at least three full days before taking a coronavirus test, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday as he overhauled one of the strictest quarantine regimes for travelers in the United States. If that test comes back negative, the traveler can leave quarantine. The requirements, which take effect on Wednesday, will not apply to residents of “contiguous” states, Cuomo told reporters, and there will be different requirements for New Yorkers who leave the state for less than 24 hours.

U.S. CDC reports 229,109 deaths from coronavirus

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Saturday reported 9,024,298 cases of new coronavirus, an increase of 99,750 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 1,009 to 229,109. The CDC reported its tally of cases of the respiratory illness known as COVID-19, caused by a new coronavirus, as of 4 p.m. ET on Oct. 30, compared with its previous report released a day earlier. (

Over 2.5 million Slovaks take part on first day of nationwide COVID-19 testing

Nearly half of Slovakia’s entire population took COVID-19 swabs on Saturday, the first day of two-day nationwide testing the government hopes will help reverse a fast rise in infections without a hard lockdown. The scheme, a first in a country of comparable size, is being watched by other nations looking for ways to slow the virus spread and avoid overwhelming their health systems.

Latest on worldwide spread of the coronavirus

Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered England back into a national lockdown after the United Kingdom passed the milestone of one million COVID-19 cases and a second wave of infections threatened to overwhelm the health service.

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS South Korea expands mask requirements as COVID-19 cases grow

South Korea said on Sunday it will expand its mandatory mask policy to spas, wedding halls and other places as part of new social distancing rules aimed at preparing for a prolonged COVID-19 outbreak. While South Korea has managed to contain the COVID-19 spread better than many western nations, which are struggling with a resurgent virus, daily new cases in the country have risen above 100 in recent days.

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