Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
Surging infections in India
India’s coronavirus infections surged past 4.2 million on Monday as it overtook Brazil to become the country with the second-highest number of cases.
India, with a daily record 90,802 cases on Monday, also has the fastest-growing case load. The United States, with more than 6 million cases, remains the worst-affected country.
Deaths in India have been relatively low so far, but it has posted more than 1,000 deaths for each of the last five days. On Monday, India’s health ministry said 1,016 people died of COVID-19, taking total mortalities to 71,642.
Sinovac employees and families administered vaccine
About 90% of Sinovac Biotech Ltd employees and their families have taken an experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by the Chinese firm under the country’s emergency use programme, its chief executive said on Sunday.
The extent of inoculations under the emergency programme, which China launched in July but has released few details about, points to how actively it is using experimental vaccines in the hopes of protecting essential workers against a potential COVID-19 resurgence, even as trials are still underway.
Sinovac, whose CoronaVac is in Phase 3 clinical trials and has been included in the emergency scheme, offered the candidate vaccine to approximately 2,000 to 3,000 employees and their families on a voluntary basis, CEO Yin Weidong, who with his wife and parents has been inoculated, told Reuters.
Australian firm announces vaccine manufacturing plans
Australian biotech giant CSL Ltd said on Monday it would manufacture two different COVID-19 vaccine candidates, with the earliest doses due to reach the market early next year, sending its shares nearly 3% higher.
CSL said it expects to supply 30 million doses of a vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University to the Australian government if trials prove successful, with the first doses to be available in early 2021.
The company also said it had agreed with the Australian government to manufacture and supply 51 million doses of its own vaccine being developed with the University of Queensland, with mid-2021 likely the earliest the vaccine will be delivered.
Wuhan seafood market still closed
The Huanan seafood market in the Chinese city of Wuhan, believed by many to be the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, is sealed behind a blue perimeter fence. A large team of security staff chases away anyone who lingers.
Foreign journalists were invited on an official tour to report on Wuhan’s efforts to rebuild its economy after the months-long trauma of COVID-19. The official message: the “heroic city” is back to normal and back in business, its schools and tourist sites reopened and its enterprises running at full capacity.
China rejects conspiracy theories surrounding the coronavirus, including claims without evidence that a specialist virology institute in Wuhan manufactured it. But many unanswered questions remain about the origins of COVID-19 and the role played by the trade in exotic wildlife in Wuhan.