Health News Roundup: Global coronavirus deaths exceed 700,000; Latin America has world's highest coronavirus death toll and more
Trump says coronavirus under control as U.S. death toll rises President Donald Trump said the coronavirus outbreak is as under control as it can get in the United States, where more than 155,000 people have died amid a patchy response to the public health crisis that has failed to stem a rise in cases.Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 05-08-2020 10:44 IST | Created: 05-08-2020 10:30 IST
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Trump says coronavirus under control as U.S. death toll rises
President Donald Trump said the coronavirus outbreak is as under control as it can get in the United States, where more than 155,000 people have died amid a patchy response to the public health crisis that has failed to stem a rise in cases. The Republican president continued to press for U.S. schools to reopen in an overnight Twitter post, and defended his administration's response to the virus in an interview with the Axios news website released late on Monday.
Novavax coronavirus vaccine induces immune response in early study, shares jump
Novavax Inc said on Tuesday its experimental COVID-19 vaccine produced high levels of antibodies against the novel coronavirus, according to initial data from a small, early-stage clinical trial, sending the company's shares up 10%. The company said it could start a large pivotal Phase III trial as soon as late September, and on a conference call added that it could produce 1 billion to 2 billion doses of the vaccine in 2021.
All day long, as Air Force nurse Major Pinky Brewton cares for patients struggling to breathe in California's COVID-19 ravaged San Joaquin Valley, fears for her family simmer underneath her cool exterior. Once back in her Stockton hotel room, seeing her seven-year-old on Facetime, the relief is overwhelming.
Special Report: Local governments 'overwhelmed' in race to trace U.S. COVID contacts
The soaring number of COVID-19 cases in the United States has far outstripped many local health departments' ability to trace the contacts of those infected, a step critical in containing the virus' spread. With the pandemic claiming about a thousand American lives a day, many city and county departments say they lack the money and staff to expeditiously identify people who have been exposed, according to a Reuters survey of 121 local agencies, as well as interviews with dozens of state and local officials, epidemiologists and tracers.
Australia fears contagion as Victoria state reports record coronavirus deaths
Australia's Victoria state reported a record rise in new COVID-19 cases and deaths on Wednesday, as it prepared to close much of its economy to control a second wave of infection that threatens to spread across the country. The second-most populous state in Australia reported a daily high of 725 new COVID-19 cases and a record 15 deaths despite having reimposed a lockdown on Melbourne, the state capital with a population of 5 million people, four weeks ago.
Exclusive: U.S. pursues nearly $13 billion of claims in Purdue Pharma opioid probes, sources say
U.S. prosecutors are pursuing possible penalties of nearly $13 billion to resolve investigations of OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma after uncovering evidence of criminal and civil misconduct stemming from the company's alleged role in fueling the nation's opioid crisis, people familiar with the matter said. U.S. Justice Department officials outlined additional details of their ongoing investigations of the company, controlled by the wealthy Sackler family, in paperwork filed last week with a federal bankruptcy court in White Plains, N.Y., which has not yet become public, the people said.
Latin America now has world's highest coronavirus death toll
Latin America surpassed Europe on Tuesday to become the region with the highest coronavirus death toll worldwide, according to a Reuters tally. The region has now recorded more than 206,000 deaths, approximately 30% of the global total.
New York City health commissioner quits after tensions with mayor
New York City's health commissioner resigned on Tuesday after months of tension with Mayor Bill de Blasio over the city's response to the coronavirus pandemic and a public clash with the police department. In an email sent to de Blasio that the New York Times obtained, Dr. Oxiris Barbot said she was leaving with "deep disappointment" over the fact that the Health Department's expertise was not "used to the degree it could have been" as New York City, once the pandemic's U.S. epicenter, fought to contain the virus that claimed the lives of tens of thousands of its residents.
Global coronavirus deaths exceed 700,000, one person dies every 15 seconds on average
The global death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 700,000 on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally, with the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico 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.
Proportion of youth with COVID-19 triples in five months: WHO
Young people who are hitting nightclubs and beaches are leading a rise in fresh coronavirus cases across the world, with the proportion of those aged 15 to 24 who are infected rising three-fold in about five months, the World Health Organization said. An analysis by the WHO of 6 million infections between Feb. 24 and July 12 found that the share of people aged 15-24 years rose to 15% from 4.5%.