Health News Roundup: France reports 12,489 new coronavirus cases; S.Africa targets COVID-19 vaccines next month and more

France reports 12,489 new coronavirus cases France on Sunday recorded 12,489 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, up from the 3,466 reported a day earlier, the Health Ministry said in a daily update.

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 04-01-2021 02:32 IST | Created: 04-01-2021 02:26 IST
Health News Roundup: France reports 12,489 new coronavirus cases; S.Africa targets COVID-19 vaccines next month and more
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

France reports 12,489 new coronavirus cases

France on Sunday recorded 12,489 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, up from the 3,466 reported a day earlier, the Health Ministry said in a daily update. The increase was higher than the government's target of 5,000 or less per day and brought the cumulative total to 2,665,728, the ministry's data showed.

S.Africa targets COVID-19 vaccines next month but deals not yet signed

South Africa aims to get COVID-19 vaccines by next month but is still in talks with pharmaceutical companies and no deals have been signed yet, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Sunday, amid growing criticism of the government's response. The country is battling a resurgence in coronavirus infections driven partly by a new variant called 501.V2. It has recorded more than 1 million infections, the most on the African continent, and more than 29,000 deaths.

'That's real:' Fauci rejects Trump claim that U.S. coronavirus deaths overcounted

Two top U.S. health officials on Sunday disputed a claim by President Donald Trump that federal data on COVID-19 cases and deaths in the United States is overblown, and both expressed optimism that the pace of vaccinations is picking up. "The deaths are real deaths," Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on ABC News' This Week, adding that jam-packed hospitals and stressed-out healthcare workers are "not fake.

That's real." U.S. CDC reports 349,246 total deaths from coronavirus

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday reported 349,246 deaths from the new coronavirus, a rise of 2,321 deaths from its previous count. The agency said the number of cases had risen by 284,554 to 20,346,372.

Brazil to import 2 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses, not yet approved for use

Brazil's health regulator Anvisa said late on Saturday it had approved the import of 2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, although the jab is not yet approved for use in the country. Anvisa said it approved the importation request from federal government-affiliated biomedical center Fiocruz on Thursday.

Jordan secures 3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine - prime minister

Jordan has struck a deal with Pfizer and partner BioNTech to buy 1 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine and another 2 million doses from the World Health Organization's s COVAX programme, with talks underway for more, the prime minister said on Sunday. In his address to parliament, Bisher al-Khasawneh did not say when Jordan would receive the vaccines, but health ministry officials have said they expect the first supplies from the U.S. company to arrive in February.

Greece detects four cases of new coronavirus variant

Greece has detected four cases of the new coronavirus variant in people who recently travelled from Britain, according to a Health Ministry official. The new variant of the coronavirus, now spreading around the world, was first found in Britain and is more transmissible than the original variant of the virus first identified in China a year ago. Another recent new variant was first found in South Africa.

Germany poised to extend coronavirus lockdown

Germany is likely to extend a national lockdown beyond Jan. 10 to curb coronavirus infection rates that are still running high and putting huge strains on hospitals and health workers, politicians said at the weekend. Chancellor Angela Merkel and regional leaders are expected to agree to extend the restrictions when they convene on Tuesday. It is not yet clear how long the extension would last.

Norway imposes new restrictions to halt third coronavirus wave

Norway will impose fresh restrictions to prevent a resurgence in the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said on Sunday, including a nationwide ban on serving alcohol in restaurants and bars and not inviting guests home. The Nordic country has seen a rise in cases over the past month and now estimates its R number - which represents the average number of people that one infected person will pass the virus on to - stands at 1.3.

In Canada, shippers race to move cancer treatments as COVID-19 grounds flights

Medical companies and shippers in Canada are racing to transport time-sensitive radiochemical materials used to treat cancer, as a pandemic-induced drop in passenger flights has narrowed transportation options and created cargo delays. Half of air cargo normally travels in the belly of passenger jets rather than dedicated freighters. But flight cancellations as traffic plummeted during the pandemic have left some companies scrambling to ship treatments that decay over time, pushing up overall transportation costs.

(With inputs from agencies.)


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