Health News Roundup: What you need to know about the coronavirus right now; Oxford scientists develop five-minute COVID-19 antigen test and more
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
What you need to know about the coronavirus right now
With less than three weeks to go until the U.S. presidential election, President Donald Trump on Wednesday will hold a rally in Iowa, as he tries to make up for time lost on the campaign trail during his recent bout with the coronavirus. As Trump races against the clock, Americans are casting ballots early at a record pace. Close to 12 million people have already voted, according to the U.S. Elections Project at the University of Florida.
Nokia’s COVID detection system automatically scans for temperature, mask
Nokia has created an automated system that uses a thermal camera and real-time video analytics to determine if a person has COVID-19 symptoms and is wearing a mask, part of efforts to protect employees as they return to work. The Finnish company has been using the system in its factory in Chennai, India, for two months and has screened more than 200,000 people in that facility.
Dutch coronavirus cases up more than 7,500 in 24 hours, new record
The Netherlands hit a new record in daily coronavirus cases, passing more than 7,500 infections in 24 hours, data released on Thursday showed. The number of confirmed cases reached 7,791, the National Institute for Public Health data showed.
Amid COVID surge, WHO urges Europe to step up controls now to save lives
Imposing tighter controls to curb COVID-19 contagion could save hundreds of thousands of lives across Europe before February as the continent battles an exponential surge in infections, the World Health Organization said on Thursday. Urging governments to “step up” swiftly to contain in a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the WHO’s European director Hans Kluge said the current situation was, “more than ever, pandemic times for Europe”.
WHO vaccine drive bedevilled by familiar question: who pays if things go wrong?
Who foots the bill if people in poor countries fall sick with unexpected side-effects from coronavirus vaccines? It’s not clear and that’s a big problem in the battle to beat COVID-19. The World Health Organization (WHO) has so far left the question of financial claims unresolved as it seeks to ensure shots are fairly distributed around the world, according to confidential documents reviewed by Reuters and six people familiar with discussions.
Sanofi reports positive animal test results for potential COVID-19 vaccine
Clinical trials of an experimental vaccine against COVID-19 which is being developed by France’s Sanofi and U.S. biotech firm Translate Bio are on track to begin before the end of the year after positive results in tests on animals. Sanofi and Translate Bio said in a statement on Thursday that the results from pre-clinical trials showed two doses of the MRT5500 vaccine induced a “favourable” immune response in mice and monkeys.
‘Things will get worse’: London goes into stricter lockdown
London, the world’s international financial capital, will enter a tighter COVID-19 lockdown from midnight on Friday as Prime Minister Boris Johnson seeks to tackle a swiftly accelerating second coronavirus wave. The respiratory pandemic, which emerged in China last year and has killed over a million people worldwide, is spreading in most parts of Britain, whose official death toll of 43,155 is the highest in Europe.
Oxford scientists develop five-minute COVID-19 antigen test
Scientists from Britain’s University of Oxford have developed a rapid COVID-19 test able to identify the coronavirus in less than five minutes, researchers said on Thursday, adding it could be used in mass testing at airports and businesses. The university said it hoped to start product development of the testing device in early 2021 and have an approved device available six months afterwards.
‘Time is running out,’ EU warns, urging measures to avoid new lockdowns
The European Commission urged member nations on Thursday to step up preparations against the new surge of coronavirus infections and recommended common measures to roll out vaccines should they become available. With new cases hitting about 100,000 daily, Europe has by a wide margin overtaken the United States, where an average of more than 51,000 COVID-19 infections is reported every day.