Health News Roundup: HIV generic drug for babies distributed in Africa, says UNITAID; Myanmar reports daily record 2,318 COVID-19 cases and more
"It will be a different period where we as private citizens make these judgments rather than the government telling you what to do," Jenrick told Sky News. French health minister warns of fourth COVID wave Health Minister Olivier Veran on Sunday urged as many French people as possible to get a COVID-19 vaccine, warning that France could be heading for a fourth wave of the epidemic by the end of the month due to the highly transmissible Delta variant.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
HIV generic drug for babies distributed in Africa, says UNITAID
Aid agencies have distributed a strawberry-flavoured tablet for children living with HIV in six African countries, the first generic pediatric version of a key anti-retroviral, global health agency UNITAID said on Sunday. UNITAID and Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) funding procured 100,000 packs of the dolutegravir formulation across Nigeria, Malawi, Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Benin, UNITAD's spokesman Herve Verhoosel said in statement to Reuters.
Myanmar reports daily record 2,318 COVID-19 cases
Myanmar's health ministry reported a daily record of 2,318 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, as well as 35 deaths. A new outbreak has grown rapidly in the Southeast Asian country, where the health system and anti-coronavirus measures have foundered since a Feb. 1 military coup.
Australian state reports drop in new COVID-19 cases; lockdowns ease in some areas
Australia's New South Wales state reported a fall in new daily coronavirus cases on Sunday, following two days of record 2021 infections, as officials implored Sydney residents to follow rules so they could end a lockdown next week. Australia's most populous state recorded 16 new COVID-19 infections on Saturday, data showed on Sunday, of which 13 were already in isolation. That was down from 35 new cases on Friday - the highest number of daily cases so far this year for that state - and 31 on Thursday.
U.S. administers 330.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines - CDC
The United States has administered 330,604,253 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Sunday morning and distributed 383,068,740 doses, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Those figures are up from the 329,970,551 vaccine doses the CDC said had gone into arms by July 3 out of 383,067,560 doses delivered.
Brazil COVID-19 deaths surpass 524,000: Health Ministry
Brazil registered 27,783 new COVID-19 cases and 830 new deaths in the past 24 hours, the Health Ministry said on Sunday.
That brought the total in Brazil to 18,769,808 cases and 524,417 deaths.
Indonesia ramps up oxygen output after dozens die amid scarcity
Indonesia has ordered oxygen makers to prioritise medical needs amid growing demand from COVID-19 patients, the government said on Sunday, following more than 60 deaths in a hospital where supply of the life-saving gas was almost exhausted. The world's fourth most populous nation is battling one of Asia's worst coronavirus outbreaks, with Saturday's 27,913 infections becoming the newest of many peaks during the last two weeks.
Bulgaria considers incentives to boost COVID-19 vaccinations
Bulgaria is considering offering incentives to encourage people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, interim Prime Minister Stefan Yanev said on Sunday. Bulgaria is one of the few countries where people can choose between four different anti-coronavirus shots approved in the European Union. Still, only 14.5% of Bulgarian adults are fully vaccinated, putting the country far behind its EU peers.
Face masks to become a personal choice in England, minister says
The wearing of face coverings in England will become a personal choice and the data that will determine if lockdown restrictions can be lifted this month was looking "very positive", Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said on Sunday. "It will be a different period where we as private citizens make these judgments rather than the government telling you what to do," Jenrick told Sky News.
French health minister warns of fourth COVID wave
Health Minister Olivier Veran on Sunday urged as many French people as possible to get a COVID-19 vaccine, warning that France could be heading for a fourth wave of the epidemic by the end of the month due to the highly transmissible Delta variant. "For five days, (the infection rate) hasn't come down - it's rising again. Because of the Delta variant, which is very contagious. The British example shows that a fourth wave is possible from the end of July," Veran said on Twitter.
Israel says negotiating Pfizer surplus with other countries
Israel is in talks with other countries about a deal to unload its surplus of Pfizer/BioNtech COVID-19 vaccines, doses of which are due to expire by the end of the month, officials said on Sunday. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said he spoke with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla about securing more vaccines for Israel and about possible deals to swap vaccines between Israel and other countries, though he did not say which ones.
(With inputs from agencies.)