Health News Roundup: Coronavirus claims 1.5 million lives globally with 10,000 dying each day; How Canada will distribute COVID-19 vaccines and more
Biden says he'll publicly get a COVID-19 vaccine, keep Fauci U.S. President-elect Joe Biden said on Thursday he would publicly take a coronavirus vaccine to demonstrate its safety to the public and pledged to retain the nation's top adviser on the pandemic, Anthony Fauci, when he takes office next month.Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 04-12-2020 11:00 IST | Created: 04-12-2020 10:30 IST
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Coronavirus claims 1.5 million lives globally with 10,000 dying each day
Over 1.5 million people have lost their lives due to COVID-19 with one death reported every nine seconds on a weekly average, as vaccinations are set to begin in December in a handful of developed nations. Half a million deaths occurred in just the last two months, indicating that the severity of the pandemic is far from over. Nearly 65 million people globally have been infected by the disease and the worst affected country, United States, is currently battling a third wave of coronavirus infections.
Biden says he'll publicly get a COVID-19 vaccine, keep Fauci
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden said on Thursday he would publicly take a coronavirus vaccine to demonstrate its safety to the public and pledged to retain the nation's top adviser on the pandemic, Anthony Fauci, when he takes office next month. "People have lost faith in the ability of the vaccine to work," Biden told CNN in an interview that aired on Thursday.
Fauci apologizes for casting doubt over UK's approval of Pfizer vaccine
Top U.S. infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci apologized on Thursday for casting doubt on the rigor of the British regulators who approved the Pfizer Inc vaccine against COVID-19, saying he had faith in the quality of their work. Britain announced the approval of the vaccine on Wednesday, with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) saying it had rigorously assessed the vaccine data and had cut no corners.
California governor issues regional lockdown plans as ICUs near capacity
California's governor on Thursday announced plans to impose COVID-19 stay-at-home orders on a regional basis, with tougher social and economic restrictions to be triggered when intensive care units near maximum capacity at a region's hospitals. The latest constraints, unveiled as coronavirus infections and hospitalizations soared further, will take effect after 48 hours in any of five designated geographic regions where available ICU space falls to 15% of capacity or less, Governor Gavin Newsom said.
How COVID upended life as we knew it in a matter of weeks
On Jan. 1, 2020, as the world welcomed a new decade, Chinese authorities in Wuhan shut down a seafood market in the central city of 11 million, suspecting that an outbreak of a new "viral pneumonia" affecting 27 people might be linked to the site. Early lab tests in China pointed to a new coronavirus. By Jan. 20 it had spread to three countries.
Former U.S. Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton said they were willing to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus on television in order to ease any public skepticism over the safety of new vaccines. "I may end up taking it on TV or having it filmed, just so that people know that I trust this science," Obama, a Democrat who left the White House in 2017, said in an interview with Sirius XM radio that aired on Wednesday.
Uber asks U.S. CDC to consider ride-hail drivers essential for COVID-19 vaccine distribution
Uber Technologies Inc on Thursday asked the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to designate its ride-hail and delivery drivers as non-health essential workers entitled to early COVID-19 vaccine distribution. The company, in a letter to the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, said its drivers provided critical transportation for essential workers and allowed others to stay home and order food.
Explainer: How Canada will distribute COVID-19 vaccines
Canada is readying a plan to distribute a first round of COVID-19 vaccines to the most vulnerable groups as soon as regulatory approvals are issued, but managing the nationwide rollout will be one of the most complex logistical undertakings in the country's history, officials said on Thursday. "In a country as geographically large and diverse as ours, we are facing some logistical complexities," said Canada's deputy chief public health officer Howard Njoo.
Mexico reports 11,030 new coronavirus cases, 608 more deaths
Mexico's health ministry on Thursday reported 11,030 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and 608 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 1,144,643 cases and 108,173 deaths. The government says the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.
Moderna to supply up to 125 million COVID-19 vaccine doses globally in first quarter
Moderna Inc said on Thursday it expects to have between 100 million and 125 million doses of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine available globally in the first quarter of 2021. The company said 85 million to 100 million of those doses would be available in the United States, with 15 million to 25 million available outside the country.
(With inputs from agencies.)