A top U.S. health regulator who will help decide the fate of a coronavirus vaccine has vowed to resign if the Trump administration approves a vaccine before it is shown to be safe and effective, according to Reuters.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* With cases surging and less than two weeks of the school holidays left, parents, teachers and opposition politicians in Spain are angry at the government’s plans for reopening classrooms.
* Britain recorded 1,182 new cases on Thursday, the second-highest daily total since June 21, government figures showed.
* Northern Ireland tightened restrictions on the size of gatherings as it faces a rise in new cases.
* The U.S. Department of Homeland Security classified teachers as essential workers during the pandemic as the Trump administration presses schools nationwide to bring students back to class.
* Canada outlined a plan to move the unemployed off an emergency COVID-19 income-support program and on to an expanded employment insurance plan that requires people to look for a job to qualify.
* The number of reported COVID-19 deaths in Latin America passed 250,000 on Thursday.
* Mexico will receive at least 2,000 doses of Russia’s potential COVID-19 vaccine to test among its population, a senior Mexican government official said.
* A cluster of infections in South Korea’s capital Seoul was threatening to spread after thousands of people attended a rally by conservative political groups last week, authorities warned.
* Japan plans to ease its COVID-19 entry restrictions on foreign nationals with resident visas starting next month, public broadcaster NHK reported.
* New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern deferred a decision on whether to ease a lockdown on the city of Auckland as 11 new coronavirus infections were reported.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Morocco could return to a complete coronavirus lockdown as cases continue to spike, Moroccan King Mohammed VI said, warning of severe economic repercussions.
* Movie-goers boarded boats floating on the shimmering waters of a Tel Aviv lake on Thursday for a test screening at Israel‘s first “sail-in” cinema.
* Authorities in Peru and Morocco have approved Phase 3 clinical trials for a potential COVID-19 vaccine developed by China National Biotec Group (CNBG), the company said.
* Mass testing of Russia’s first potential COVID-19 vaccine to get domestic regulatory approval will involve more than 40,000 people and will be overseen by a foreign research body when it starts next week, backers of the project said.
* Asia’s stock markets bounced on Friday following Wall Street’s lead, but were set for their softest week in about a month as investors grapple with tepid economic data and lofty valuations.
* Japan’s core consumer prices were stubbornly unchanged in July, dashing hopes for a modest rise as the pandemic hit household demand and revived fears of a national plunge back into deflation.
* U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said now was not the time for the chamber to pass a stripped-down coronavirus relief bill.