World Bank approves $12B to finance virus vaccines, care

The World Bank has approved $12 billion in financing to help developing countries buy and distribute coronavirus vaccines, tests, and treatments, aiming to support the vaccination of up to 1 billion people.

The $12 billion “envelope” is part of a wider World Bank Group package of up to $160 billion to help developing countries fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the bank said in a statement late Tuesday.

The World Bank said its COVID-19 emergency response programs are already reaching 111 countries.

Citizens in developing countries also need access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, it said.


“We are extending and expanding our fast-track approach to address the COVID emergency so that developing countries have fair and equal access to vaccines,” said the bank’s president, David Malpass, said in the statement.

“Access to safe and effective vaccines and strengthened delivery systems is key to alter the course of the pandemic and help countries experiencing catastrophic economic and fiscal impacts move toward a resilient recovery,” he said.

The International Finance Corporation, the private sector lending arm of the World Bank is investing in vaccine manufacturers through a $4 billion Global Health Platform, the World Bank said.

Researchers are working on developing more than 170 potential COVID-19 vaccines.

Development and deployment of such preventive vaccines is crucial to helping stem outbreaks of the coronavirus that has killed more than 1 million people and sickened more than 38 million, while devastating economies and leaving many millions jobless.

The world’s richest countries have locked up most of the world’s potential vaccine supply through 2021, raising worries that poor and vulnerable communities will not be able to get the shots. Meanwhile, an ambitious international project to deliver coronavirus vaccines to the world’s poorest people, called Covax, is facing potential shortages of money, cargo planes, refrigeration and vaccines themselves.

The World Bank said it will draw on expertise and experience from its involvement in many large-scale immunization programs and other public health efforts.

The funding also is meant to help countries access tests and treatments and to support management of supply chains and other logistics for vaccinations in developing countries, the bank said.

Source Article

World Bank Approves $12B to Finance Virus Vaccines, Care | Business News

The World Bank has approved $12 billion in financing to help developing countries buy and distribute coronavirus vaccines, tests, and treatments, aiming to support the vaccination of up to 1 billion people.

The $12 billion “envelop” is part of a wider World Bank Group package of up to $160 billion to help developing countries fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the bank said in a statement late Tuesday.

The World Bank said its COVID-19 emergency response programs are already reaching 111 countries.

Citizens in developing countries also need access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, it said.

“We are extending and expanding our fast-track approach to address the COVID emergency so that developing countries have fair and equal access to vaccines,” said the bank’s president, David Malpass, said in the statement.

“Access to safe and effective vaccines and strengthened delivery systems is key to alter the course of the pandemic and help countries experiencing catastrophic economic and fiscal impacts move toward a resilient recovery,” he said.

The International Finance Corporation, the private sector lending arm of the World Bank is investing in vaccine manufacturers through a $4 billion Global Health Platform, the statement said.

Development and deployment of vaccines is crucial to helping stem outbreaks of the coronavirus that has killed more than 1 million people and sickened more than 38 million, while devastating economies and leaving many millions jobless.

The World Bank said it will draw on expertise and experience from its involvement in many large-scale immunization programs and other public health efforts.

The funding is meant to also help countries access tests and treatments and to support management of supply chains and other logistics for vaccinations in developing countries, the bank said.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source Article

World Bank approves $12 bln for Covid-19 vaccines

The World Bank said Tuesday that it approved $12 billion for developing countries to finance the purchase and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, tests and treatment.

The financing “aims to support vaccination of up to a billion people,” the bank said in a statement.

The money is part of an overall World Bank Group (WBG) package of up to $160 billion through June 2021 designed to help developing countries battle the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“This financing package helps signal to the research and pharmaceutical industry that citizens in developing countries also need access to safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines,” the statement read. 

“It will also provide financing and technical support so that developing countries can prepare for deploying vaccines at scale, in coordination with international partners.”

Access to safe and effective vaccines “and strengthened delivery systems is key to alter the course of the pandemic and help countries experiencing catastrophic economic and fiscal impacts move toward a resilient recovery,” World Bank Group President David Malpass said in the statement.

The financing “will also support countries to access to Covid-19 tests and treatments, and expand immunization capacity to help health systems deploy the vaccines effectively,” the statement added.

The financing approval was expected as Malpass had announced the project in late September.

While vaccines have yet to appear on the market, Malpass noted in an interview with the French daily Le Figaro that it was necessary to prepare because of the complicated vaccine distribution process.

The Bank’s approach, according to the statement, draws on its “significant expertise in supporting large scale immunization programs for vaccine preventable diseases, as well as public health programs to tackle infectious diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases.”

dt/ch/dw

Source Article

Canada’s Halloween Is Not Canceled, but a Hockey Stick Could Come in Handy | World News

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian children can go trick-or-treating on Halloween despite being in the middle of a second wave of COVID-19, the country’s top health officials say, as long as they practice physical distancing, wear masks and wash their hands.

In Canada as in the United States, Halloween brings armies of children dressed in spooky costumes out onto the streets in search of candy and maybe a fright or two.

For parents, this year’s Halloween is truly a scary prospect, however, as coronavirus case numbers climb. Canada recorded 975 new infections on Monday, and the prime minister warned last week that the country is at a “tipping point” in its battle against a second surge.

“We can have Halloween… It’s possible to give and receive candy safely,” Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, told a news conference on Tuesday.

“There are some really interesting ideas where people are handing out treats on the end of a hockey stick,” added Dr. Theresa Tam, chief medical officer. “Pre-packaging your treats so people are not rummaging in a bowl of candies is actually important.”

More tips, like equipping the kids with small bottles of hand sanitizer, will be posted on the Health Ministry’s website, she said.

Health experts agree it is important to have “some degree of normality” during the pandemic, Tam said, but added that staying outdoors, physical distancing and wearing masks that “could turn into part of your costume” are necessary.

(Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

Source Article

Myanmar Centenarian Shrugs off Coronavirus, Worries About Grandchildren | World News

YANGON (Reuters) – Myanmar centenarian Thein Khin not only beat the coronavirus, but barely knew she had it.

Thein Khin, 100, tested positive for COVID-19 and was kept in an isolation centre last month when the virus spread among four generations of her family, but was asymptomatic and said she was more worried about her grandchildren.

“I felt nothing. I was eating well, showering myself and walking as normal,” she said at her home in Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city, surrounded by small children.

“If I suffered from this virus, I would be lying and moaning on the bed. But I am strong, walking around. I felt nothing.”

The elderly are among those most vulnerable to the virus that has killed more than a million people worldwide.

The risks are even higher in poorer countries with under-equipped health services, including Myanmar, which is experiencing a surge in infections having been spared a major outbreak early on.

But the sprightly senior was not surprised to emerge unscathed from COVID-19, having had, she said, no major illnesses.

“The situation during World War Two was so much worse. I heard this virus pandemic is also dangerous across the world. But I feel this disease is nothing,” she said.

“Of course, I’m worried for my children and grandkids. Death is no matter for me because I am very old. I have escaped from many deadly, worse and dangerous situations.”

Her granddaughter, Win Win Yee, said the family were thankful all 10 infected members were safe, but would take nothing for granted.

“We are still so scared of getting infected again,” she said. “That’s why we don’t go anywhere outside … We locked ourselves down.”

Coronavirus cases in Myanmar have passed 29,000, from just a few hundred in August, with more than 660 deaths.

(Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

Source Article

Asia Today: China City Says It’s Tested 3 Million for Virus | World News

BEIJING (AP) — Authorities in the eastern Chinese port city of Qingdao said Tuesday that they have completed coronavirus tests on more than 3 million people following the country’s first reported local outbreak of the virus in nearly two months.

The city’s health department said no new positive cases had been found among the more than 1.1 million test results returned thus far. The city said it had a total of 12 cases, six with symptoms and six without, since the new outbreak was first spotted over the weekend at a hospital.

The National Health Commission, however, said Tuesday that at least six new cases of the virus were found in Qingdao in the past 24 hours.

The reason for the discrepancy was not immediately clear. China’s methods for logging and reporting of virus numbers has been questioned since the pandemic first began late last year in its city of Wuhan.

The National Health Commission numbers released Tuesday reported a total of 30 new virus cases in the previous 24 hours nationwide. It broke down those numbers into 13 cases in which people had symptoms and 17 cases in which they had no symptoms. The total number of locally transmitted cases, both with and without symptoms, was 11, while the rest were listed as imported.

China has reported a total of 4,634 deaths from coronavirus among 85,591 cases it has reported. It has not provided a running total of asymptomatic cases, believed to number in the thousands.

Authorities in Qingdao have said they plan to test all 9 million people in the city by the end of the week, similar to previous mass testing campaigns in other cities where outbreaks have been detected. Testing began with “close contacts, close contacts of those close contacts and more casual contacts,” gradually expanding to all districts of the city, the health department said.

Qingdao is a major commercial harbor and industrial center known for electronics and the country’s most famous brewery, as well as the home of the Chinese navy’s northern fleet.

China’s last reported local outbreak was in the northwestern city of Urumqi in the far western Xinjiang region, with all cases since then found among those arriving from outside China.

China has relaxed masking and social distancing requirements in the wake of falling case numbers, but has maintained robust testing as it seeks to return the economy to full functioning.

In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:

— South Korea has reported 102 new cases of the coronavirus, its first daily increase of more than 100 in six days. The rise is a cause of concern as officials lowered social distancing restrictions this week after concluding that the viral spread was slowing after a spike in mid-August. The figures released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency brought the national totals since the pandemic began to 24,805 infections and 434 deaths. Fifty-eight of the new cases was reported from the Seoul metropolitan area, while 33 of the new cases have

UVDI Announces UV-C Device Presentations at the 16th World Congress on Public Health 2020

Ultraviolet Devices, Inc. (UVDI), a global leader in UV-C surface disinfecting and indoor air quality products, today announced its first Italian hospital studies demonstrating the advanced effectiveness of the UVDI-360 Room Sanitizer will be presented at the 16th World Congress on Public Health 2020, taking place October 12 – 16, 2020. The novel research, conducted by Dr. Gabriele Messina, Associate Professor of Public Health, University of Siena, at the Rugani Hospital Monteriggioni in Siena, demonstrates the UVDI-360’s ability to inactivate pathogens in the hospital environment as part of varied cleaning protocols, in multiple high-risk locations and at different disinfecting cycle times.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201011005076/en/

Researchers from the University of Siena will present “Six ultraviolet minutes for cleaner operating theatres” at the 16th World Congress on Public Health 2020. (Photo: Business Wire)

Presentations from Dr. Messina and his Team at the University of Siena include:

(1) one poster sharing preliminary data of a cross-sectional study measuring overall pathogen reduction on high-touch surfaces in hospital rooms pre-and-post use of the UVDI-360 Room Sanitizer as a supplement to terminal cleaning. Preliminary findings conclude 83% of sites sampled had 0 CFU following the use of the UVDI-360 Room Sanitizer.

(2) a second poster sharing preliminary data of a cross-sectional study demonstrating overall pathogen reduction in operating rooms in six minutes with the UVDI-360 Room Sanitizer used in multiple protocols: with no manual cleaning, manual cleaning in-between operating room use and as a supplement to manual terminal cleaning.

(3) an oral presentation sharing research demonstrating 3-and-4-log reductions of Candida auris at 2.44 meters using the UVDI-360 Room Sanitizer.

(4) a third poster illustrating a simulation model of microbe distribution on surfaces to inform future UV-C testing.

Title: Six ultraviolet minutes for cleaner operating theatres
Track:
Health Technology Assessment
Abstract: #DJ-15

Title: Analytical approach for a better control of environmental contamination
Track:
Hospital hygiene (including AMR), healthcare-associated infections (HAI)
Abstract: #DN-18

Title: A simulation model of microbe overlapping for the correct estimation of UV-C device log-reduction
Track:
Healthcare Technology Assessment
Abstract: #DJ-14

Oral Presentation: Tuning a UV-C device to challenge new threats in the sanitization setting of healthcare facilities
Date and Time:
October 13th, 12:15-13:15

Poster abstracts are accessible via the World Congress website, https://wcph2020.com/. The poster presentations may be accessed through UVDI’s website following their presentation.

About UVDI

UVDI’s Mission is to make a cleaner, safer, and healthier world through advanced UV-C solutions that disinfect the air and surfaces in the environments we live, work, and play in. Founded in 1949 by Louis Veloz, UVDI designs and makes next-generation germicidal Ultraviolet light solutions in California applying over 70 years and three generations of family craftsmanship and care. The UVDI-360 Room Sanitizer is now used globally in over 25 countries in the world’s leading hospitals, where it has been proven in peer-reviewed, published studies to reduce Healthcare-Associated Infections and inactivate the highest-risk pathogens. UVDI is proud to be a certified Minority

The Latest: Brazil’s Virus Death Toll Surpasses 150,000 | World News

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil’s count of COVID-19 deaths surpassed 150,000 on Saturday night, despite signs the pandemic is slowly retreating in Latin America’s largest nation.

The Brazilian Health Ministry reported that the death toll now stands at 150,198. The figure is the world’s second highest behind the United States, according to the tally maintained by Johns Hopkins University.

Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has played down the severity of the virus while deaths mounted rapidly in Brazil. The 65-year-old president flouted social distancing at lively demonstrations and encouraged crowds during outings from the presidential residence. He has rejected governors’ and mayors’ lockdowns and other tough measures to contain the virus’ spread, even after he contracted it himself in July.

But there have been recent signs of relief in Brazil. Over the last month and a half, the viral curve has dropped. The average number of deaths sat at 598 over the last 7 days, the lowest level since the beginning of May.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— President Trump makes speech from White House balcony, 1st appearance in 5 days since return to residence

— Religious gathering limit upheld as New York hospitalizations rise

— Dr. Fauci cautions against large gatherings without masks, social distancing

— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismisses the latest White House offer in COVID-19 aid talks but remains hopeful progress can be made toward a deal.

— Queen Elizabeth II honored the work of doctors and nurses, delivery drivers, fundraisers and volunteers during the coronavirus pandemic.

— The NFL’s Tennessee Titans and the New England Patriots had no positive coronavirus tests Saturday and both teams will be allowed to go back to their facilities.

— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Anchorage public health officials say they are investigating a coronavirus outbreak from a youth hockey tournament that drew teams from around Alaska. Officials say more than 300 players, coaches and fans were in attendance at the Termination Dust Invitational over a three-day period last weekend. Teams came from nine cities across the state. Local health officials did not provide specific numbers as to how many people tested positive as a result of the event. But, tournament organizers say they first learned of a positive case in one of the teams on Monday. They also say they knew of two teams with a positive case each.

ST. LOUIS — Missouri reported more than 5,000 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, more than doubling its previous daily record.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said there have been a total of 144,230 confirmed cases since the outbreak started, up 5,066 cases from Friday. The state also reported 27 more deaths to bring the total to 2,422.

The new number more than doubles the previous single-day high of 2,084 new cases, which occurred on July 30. Health department spokeswoman Lisa Cox didn’t immediately respond to an email from The Associated

The Latest: California Governor Tests Negative for Virus | World News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has tested negative for the coronavirus.

The governor’s office said Newsom was tested on Wednesday after someone in the governor’s office tested positive. The staff member who tested positive had not interacted with Newsom or anyone else who often sees the governor.

The governor’s office said Newsom took the test out of “an abundance of caution.”

Newsom said Wednesday that he has been tested many times and has always been negative. California has reported more than 834,000 coronavirus cases and more than 16,300 deaths.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Washington DC health department asks Rose Garden attendees to get tested

— Paris hospitals on emergency footing as ICUs fill with coronavirus patients

— Am I immune to the coronavirus if I’ve already had it?

— President Trump says he’s ready to hold campaign rallies, credits an experimental drug treatment with helping recovery from COVID-19.

— Coronavirus infections in Ukraine began surging in late summer, hospitals are ‘catastrophically short of doctors.’

— The NFL’s Tennessee Titans had another positive test, bringing the team’s outbreak of COVID-19 to 23.

— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

BEIJING __ China, which has four coronavirus vaccine candidates in the last stage of clinical trials, announced Friday that it is joining the COVID-19 vaccine alliance known as COVAX.

The country signed an agreement with GAVI, the co-leader of the alliance, on Thursday, China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Initially, China did not agree to join the alliance, missing the global deadline to join in September.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement that “we are taking this concrete step to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines, especially to developing countries and hope more capable countries will also join and support COVAX.”

The alliance is designed so that richer countries agree to buy into potential vaccines and help finance access for poorer ones. The Trump administration in the U.S. had declined to join the alliance.

The exact terms of the agreement and how China will contribute are not yet clear. .

HARTFORD, Conn. — Dr. Deborah Birx of the White House coronavirus task force says she is concerned about the uptick in coronavirus cases in the Northeast.

She said Thursday at the University of Connecticut’s Hartford campus that a “very different” kind of spread is happening now.

She says it’s not happening in the workplace so much because people are taking precautions. She says more people are becoming infected because of indoor family gatherings and social events as the weather cools.

She says that was a lesson learned in the South during the summer when people went indoors for air conditioning.

BOISE, Idaho — The number of Idaho residents collecting unemployment dropped for the 22nd consecutive week as the state’s reopened economy continues recovering, while at the same time coronavirus pandemic deaths hit 500.

The Idaho Department of Labor said Thursday that the number

Czechs Shut Culture, Sports Venues, Limit Restaurants as COVID-19 Cases Surge | World News

PRAGUE (Reuters) – The Czech government will tighten anti-coronavirus measures from next week with new curbs on sports and cultural venues and restaurants as the country struggles with a surge of new cases, Health Minister Roman Prymula said on Thursday.

Prymula said an unwillingness to respect existing rules was undermining their efficiency.

Sports facilities, including pools and fitness clubs, and all cultural venues will shut for two weeks in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 infections, which have soared to Europe’s fastest rate per capita.

The government also ordered restaurants to close at 8 p.m. and limit their capacity to four people per table. Pupils in the upper level of elementary schools will alternate in-class and distance learning.

All sports competitions will be suspended, with possible exceptions for international games without spectators. The measures will be phased in on Friday and Monday.

Data showed new COVID-19 cases had risen by 5,335 on Wednesday, a record number for a second consecutive day.

“The data is not favourable, we can see clear expansion here, and we have to take these measures,” Prymula said after an extraordinary session of the government.

He told reporters the government was concerned that the number of infected people needing hospital care could rise substantially in the coming weeks.

Prymula also complained that many people, mainly the young, seemed to have lost respect for the illness, decreasing the efficiency of measures to combat the pandemic.

“There is almost a war between the younger and older generation, where the younger don’t consider the illness too

risky for themselves, while the older have a realistic concern that something can happen to them,” he said.

A poll by PAQ Research showed the share of people with active social lives, who adopt less protective behaviour – face masks or social distancing – has grown to 26% from around 5% in spring when the pandemic hit the country.

Prymula said the government’s target was to cut the daily count of new cases to below 1,000. He acknowledged that the official number of identified cases did not catch a large portion of people infected.

In an effort to ease the pressure on hospitals’ bed capacity, infected people who cannot isolate at home or those who carry the virus but don’t require special treatment could go to hotels, Prymula said.

He urged companies to allow employees to work from home wherever possible.

(Reporting by Jan Lopatka and Robert Muller; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

Source Article