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Health News Roundup: Global coronavirus deaths top half a million; Australia sees biggest daily rise in COVID-19 cases in two months and more

Australia sees biggest daily rise in COVID-19 cases in two months Australia's second most populous state said on Monday it is considering reimposing social distancing restrictions after the country reported its biggest one-day rise in new coronavirus infections in more than two months.

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 29-06-2020 19:01 IST | Created: 29-06-2020 18:27 IST
Health News Roundup: Global coronavirus deaths top half a million; Australia sees biggest daily rise in COVID-19 cases in two months and more
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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Temasek-led investor group in $250 million vaccines bet on Germany's BioNTech

Singapore's sovereign wealth fund Temasek and other investors are injecting $250 million into German biotech company BioNTech, which is developing an experimental vaccine against the coronavirus with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. The investment, which BioNTech said was via a private placement, reflects heightened investor interest in the race to develop an agent that will stop the pandemic and sent shares in biotech firms such as Moderna and Novavax soaring this year.

Australia sees biggest daily rise in COVID-19 cases in two months

Australia's second-most populous state said on Monday it is considering reimposing social distancing restrictions after the country reported its biggest one-day rise in new coronavirus infections in more than two months. Propelled by Victoria state reporting 75 cases, Australia recorded 85 new COVID-19 infections in the past 24 hours, its biggest daily outbreak since April 11.

Gilead prices COVID-19 drug candidate remdesivir at $2,340 per patient

Gilead Sciences Inc has priced its COVID-19 drug candidate remdesivir at $2,340 for a five-day treatment in the United States and some other developed countries, it said on Monday, as it set the price for a single vial at $390. The price for U.S. private insurance companies will be $520 per vial, the drugmaker said, which equates to $3,120 per patient for a treatment course using 6 vials of remdesivir.

Global coronavirus deaths top half a million

The death toll from COVID-19 surpassed half a million people on Sunday, according to a Reuters tally, a grim milestone for the global pandemic that seems to be resurgent in some countries even as other regions are still grappling with the first wave. The respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus has been particularly dangerous for the elderly, although other adults and children are also among the 501,000 fatalities and 10.1 million reported cases.

U.S. FDA declines to approve first drug for obesity-linked liver disease

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday declined to approve Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc's therapy for progressive liver disease, a setback for possible treatment in the country for the condition that affects millions. Shares of Intercept plunged 34.28% before the bell after the company said the agency found that the predicted effectiveness of the treatment is uncertain and does not sufficiently outweigh the potential risks.

Abu Dhabi permits people with negative COVID-19 test to enter the emirate

Abu Dhabi will allow people to enter the emirate if they have tested negative for COVID-19 infection within the previous 48 hours, the local government media office said on Monday. Abu Dhabi, the largest and wealthiest member of the United Arab Emirates federation, has had a ban on people entering since June 2. It eased some restrictions a week ago to allow movement between its cities for all residents.

Daily coronavirus cases in India near 20,000 as Mumbai extends lockdown

India reported close to 20,000 fresh novel coronavirus cases for the second day running on Monday, as the financial hub of Mumbai extended its lockdown by a month. There were 19,459 new cases reported in the previous 24 hours, according to data from India's federal Health Ministry released on Monday. That is down slightly from Sunday's record of 19,906, but still, sign cases in the country are yet to subside.

Britain's COVID-19 app: The game changer that wasn't

As Britain's COVID-19 infections soared in the spring, the government reached for what it hoped could be a game changer a smartphone app that could automate some of the work of human contact tracers. The origin of the NHS COVID-19 App goes back to a meeting on March 7 when three Oxford scientists met experts at NHSX, the technical arm of the UK's health service. The scientists presented an analysis that concluded manual contact tracing alone couldn't control the epidemic.

Special Report: Into the fog - How Britain lost track of the coronavirus

On Friday, Feb. 21, Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, was in a cheerful mood. It was near the end of the school half-term holiday. He wrote on an official blog that there had been no new positive cases of the new coronavirus that week in the United Kingdom. It was a "testament," he said, "to the robust infection control measures" and the "diagnostic and testing work" at laboratories nationwide.

Italian study shows lower viral load in COVID-19 patients in May than April peak

A small study by researchers in Italy has found that COVID-19 patients who were tested for the novel coronavirus at a hospital there in May had fewer virus particles than those who were tested a month earlier. The researchers offered some theories for the lower "viral load", including that lockdown measures may have reduced patients' exposure to the virus, but their study did not provide evidence to explain their finding.


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