Health News Roundup: Trump says without proof that FDA ‘deep state’ slowing COVID trails; Global COVID deaths exceed 800,000 and more
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday accused members of the “deep state” at the Food and Drug Administration, without providing evidence, of working to slow testing of COVID-19 vaccines until after the November presidential election. In a Twitter post, Trump said the deep state “or whoever” at the FDA was making it very difficult for drug companies to enroll people in clinical trials to test vaccines and therapies for the novel coronavirus.
Global coronavirus deaths exceed 800,000
The global death toll from the coronavirus surpassed 800,000 on Saturday, according to a Reuters tally, with the United States, Brazil and India leading the rise in fatalities. Nearly 5,900 people are dying every 24 hours from COVID-19 on average, according to Reuters calculations based on data from the past two weeks that ended on Friday.
France reports post-lockdown daily record of 4,897 new COVID-19 cases
France reported 4,897 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours on Sunday, the highest daily level since the end of a two-month lockdown in May. Health Minister Olivier Veran warned earlier that the situation was risky, and said infections were essentially happening among 20 to 40 year-olds at parties.
Russia plans COVID-19 vaccine output at 6 million doses a month: RIA
Russia expects to produce between 1.5 million and 2 million doses per month of its potential COVID-19 vaccine by the year end, gradually ramping up production to 6 million doses a month, the RIA news agency cited industry minister Denis Manturov as saying on Sunday. Large-scale testing of the vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya institute, is due to start in Russia next week.
WHO says children aged 12 and over should wear masks like adults
The World Health Organization (WHO) said children aged 12 and over should wear masks to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic under the same conditions as adults, while children between six and 11 should wear them on a risk-based approach. Children aged 12 and over should particularly wear a mask when a one-metre distance from others cannot be guaranteed and there is widespread transmission in the area, the WHO and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said in a document on the WHO website dated Aug. 21.
Trump to announce emergency authorization of convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 – WaPo
U.S. President Donald Trump will announce the emergency authorization of convalescent plasma for COVID-19, a treatment that already has been given to more than 70,000 patients, the Washington Post reported (https://wapo.st/2FR4Azi), citing officials familiar with the decision. The action will be highlighted at a news conference later on Sunday afternoon, the newspaper said.
Israel’s cellphone surveillance for coronavirus contact-tracing may have overcome challenges by privacy watchdogs, but the state tracking policy is hard put to deal with low-tech evasion methods seemingly lifted from TV cop shows. Some Israelis, fearing a quarantine order after unwittingly being near a coronavirus carrier, are rendering themselves untraceable while in public by switching their cellphones to “airplane mode” or using prepaid “burner” SIM cards instead.
U.S. CDC reports 175,651 deaths from coronavirus
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday said the number of deaths due to the new coronavirus had risen by 1,006 to 175,651 and reported 5,643,812 cases, an increase of 45,265 cases from its previous count. The CDC reported its tally of cases of the respiratory illness known as COVID-19, caused by a new coronavirus, as of 4 pm ET on Aug. 22 versus its previous report a day earlier.
Trump administration moves to advance coronavirus treatment, possible vaccine – reports
The Trump administration plans emergency approval of a new coronavirus therapeutic treatment and is considering fast-tracking a vaccine developed in Britain, according to media reports on Sunday, the day before the start of the Republican National Convention. President Donald Trump later on Sunday will announce the emergency authorization of convalescent plasma for COVID-19, a treatment that already has been given to more than 70,000 patients, the Washington Post reported (https://wapo.st/2FR4Azi), citing officials familiar with the decision.
India coronavirus cases cross 3 million mark as economy opens up
The number of coronavirus infections in India crossed the 3 million mark with 69,239 new cases reported on Sunday even as the country opened up various sectors from a lockdown that ground businesses to a halt and hurt economic growth. With the fifth straight day of more than 60,000 new cases, India’s tally stands at 3.04 million, federal health ministry data showed, behind only the United States and Brazil. Deaths in India from COVID-19 rose by 912 to 56,706.