News World Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 29.52 million, death toll at 931,954

Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 29.52 million, death toll at 931,954

More than 29.52 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 931,954​ have died, according to a Reuters tally.

Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

At the same time, the top FDA official has confirmed AstraZeneca’s U.S. COVID-19 vaccine trial is on hold, saying the agency is planning to do “very significant work” with the company as it conducts its investigation after an illness in a participant in Britain.

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

EUROPE

* Britain’s testing system for COVID-19 was creaking as a bottleneck prevented people including medics from getting a test, with the government saying it may take weeks to resolve the problem.

* Ireland delayed the planned reopening of all pubs in Dublin following a surge in cases in the capital, but bars across the rest of the country will be allowed to open next Monday.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* At least 17 Indian MPs have tested positive as cases in the country near five million.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* Zimbabwe lifted a ban on inter-city travel and extended working hours as the government gradually re-opens the economy by easing COVID-19 restrictions.

AMERICAS

* U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats were open to delaying an October recess to get a deal with Republicans on a new coronavirus aid bill.

* A disproportionate percentage of U.S. COVID-19 deaths have been recorded among Black and Hispanic people younger than 21, according to a study, a reflection of the racial and ethnic make-up of essential workers who have more exposure to COVID-19.

* Canada’s health minister said she could not rule out another full lockdown if needed amid a surge in new COVID-19 cases, but added Ottawa was significantly more prepared to manage the virus than during the first wave.

* Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa authorized AstraZeneca to test its COVID-19 vaccine on an additional 5,000 volunteers in the country for clinical Phase III trials.

* Argentina’s “positive rate”, the number of daily infections to the number of tests carried out, has topped 50%, one of the highest in the world.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* Pfizer said participants were showing mild-to-moderate side effects when given either the company’s experimental coronavirus vaccine or a placebo in an ongoing late-stage study.

* Some volunteers have quit Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine trial in Spain after news of side effects in a participant in AstraZeneca’s trial.

* Germany awarded $745 million in funding to biotech firms BioNTech and CureVac to speed up work on COVID-19 vaccines and expand German production capacity.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* London judges have ruled that some of the world’s biggest insurers were wrong to reject tens of thousands of claims from small firms battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority said.

* Britain’s unemployment rate rose for the first time since lockdown began in March, a warning signal ahead of an expected surge in job losses when a huge government job subsidy programme expires next month.

(Reuters)

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