News World What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

More than 46.37 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,198,168​ have died, according to a Reuters tally.

Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

England’s lockdown could be extended until next year

The one-month lockdown for England announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson this weekend could be extended as Britain struggles to contain a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, a senior cabinet member said on Sunday.

Johnson will say on Monday there is no alternative but to lock down England as lawmakers prepare to vote on Wednesday on measures to contain the pandemic.

Government scientific adviser Jeremy Farrar said he had high hopes vaccines would make a big difference to the pandemic next year, even if they might not be perfect.

British drug maker AstraZeneca said on Sunday Britain’s health regulator had started an accelerated review of its potential coronavirus vaccine.

China shows off organised “overkill” lockdown and testing

China’s strict formula of immediate lockdowns and mass testing even at the first signs of infection has been vital to its success in controlling the disease, allowing its economy to quickly recover from the crisis, officials say.

The highly orchestrated strategy – described as “overkill” even by its own proponents – is unique among major economies at a time when Europe and the United States are facing a massive surge of new cases and often chaotic policies.

Key to the programme are factors unique to China, including the Communist Party’s tight grip on all aspects of society.

Authorities have unimpeded access to personal information as part of an expansive surveillance network, regions are required to share resources, the mass testing system is highly structured around specific targets and testing is mandatory.

Global guidelines for airline passenger testing

A global aviation manual now under review by a UN body and expected in November, suggests global guidelines calling for the use of tests with a sensitivity and specificity of 95% when screening passengers to detect the novel coronavirus ahead of flights, three sources familiar with the matter said.

WHO’s top emergency expert Mike Ryan said on Friday that travelling was now “relatively safe” and posed a “relatively low” health risk although there was no “zero risk”. More advice on risk management processes would be released soon, he added.

Japan’s largest airport on Monday opened a novel coronavirus testing facility aimed at outbound travellers who need proof they are virus-free, as it takes steps to reopen international travel that has been largely grounded for months by the pandemic.

Brazilians protest mandatory immunization, Chinese vaccine

More than 300 Brazilians gathered on São Paulo’s main commercial thoroughfare on Sunday to protest state Governor João Doria’s support for mandatory COVID-19 immunization and testing a potential vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac.

Doria has previously spoken in favor of making immunizations mandatory, once vaccines are available, sparking a spat with President Jair Bolsonaro who vows it will be voluntary. The Supreme Court’s chief justice has said the court will ultimately decide on the issue.

In São Paulo, the Sinovac vaccine is being tested as part of phase III clinical trials with support from the Doria government.

Brazil has the third-worst outbreak of coronavirus globally, with 5.5 million cases, after the United States and India, according to a Reuters tally.

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