Health News Roundup: What you need to know about the coronavirus right now; Thailand reports first domestic coronavirus case in 100 days and more

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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Denmark registers highest COVID-19 infection rate since April

Denmark said on Thursday it had registered 179 new COVID-19 infections in the past day, the highest rate since late April. The Nordic country of 5.8 million was among the first in Europe to start reopening society after successfully stifling the outbreak, but a rise in new infections over the past month has slowed that reopening process.

What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

What you need to know about the coronavirus right now: South Korea scrambles to add hospital beds Planning to quit, U.S. says it will not pay what it owes WHO this year

The United States will not pay some $80 million it owes the World Health Organization (WHO) and will instead redirect the money to help pay its United Nations bill in New York, a U.S. official said on Wednesday. The United States plans to leave the Geneva-based WHO on July 6, 2021, after President Donald Trump accused it of becoming a puppet for China during the coronavirus pandemic. The WHO has rejected Trump’s assertion.

Sanofi, GSK launch trial for COVID-19 protein-based vaccine

French drugmaker Sanofi and Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline said they had started a clinical trial of their protein-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, and aimed to reach the final testing stage by December. If the results are conclusive, Sanofi and GSK hope to get the vaccine approved in the first half of next year.

Thailand reports first domestic coronavirus case in 100 days

Thailand reported its first domestic coronavirus transmission in more than 100 days on Thursday, after a man recently jailed and with no overseas travel history tested positive in a Bangkok prison during a routine check for new inmates. Authorities moved quickly to locate and isolate people in contact with the 37-year-old and trace his movements over the past two weeks, including three places where had worked, the jail and the court at which he had appeared.

Exclusive: Vaccine group says 76 rich countries now committed to ‘COVAX’ access plan

Seventy-six wealthy nations are now committed to joining a global COVID-19 vaccine allocation plan co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO) that aims to help buy and fairly distribute the shots, the project’s co-lead said on Wednesday. Seth Berkley, chief executive of the GAVI vaccines alliance, said the coordinated plan, known as COVAX, now has Japan, Germany, Norway and more than 70 other nations signed up, agreeing in principle to procure COVID-19 vaccines through the facility for their populations.

South Korea scrambles to add hospital beds as COVID-19 resurgence strains system

South Korea, scrambling to control a second wave of COVID-19, vowed on Thursday to double its critical-care hospital beds amid a severe shortage, highlighting the strain of the pandemic on even well-equipped countries. The spike in serious cases, as older people make up an increasing proportion of patients amid a broader resurgence, marks a sharp turn for a country that was seen as successful in crushing one of the worst early outbreaks of the new coronavirus outside China.

China offers coronavirus vaccine candidates to aviation industry workers: notice

China has offered experimental coronavirus vaccines to aviation industry workers, according to a regulatory notice seen by Reuters, in a push to inoculate high-risk groups to prevent a possible resurgence as economies reopen. China, which has four COVID-19 vaccines in the final stage of human trials, launched the emergency use vaccine programme in July, hoping to boost the immunity of groups such as border inspectors or medical industry workers.

U.S. CDC tells states to prep for COVID-19 vaccine distribution as soon as late October

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has asked state public health officials to prepare to distribute a potential coronavirus vaccine to high-risk groups as soon as late October, documents published by the agency showed on Wednesday. The timing of a vaccine has taken on political importance as U.S. President Donald Trump seeks re-election in November, after committing billions of federal dollars to develop a vaccine to prevent COVID-19, which has killed more than 180,000 Americans.

English tracing scheme shows weekly COVID-19 cases highest since May

The weekly number of positive COVID-19 cases in England in late August was the highest since the end of May, the latest data from the test and trace scheme showed on Thursday. NHS Test and Trace said 6,732 new people tested positive for COVID-19 in England between 20 August and 26 August – an increase of 6% in positive cases compared to the previous week.

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