Latest: UK purchases 90 million doses of coronavirus vaccine

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LONDON – UK officials say they have signed an agreement to purchase 90 million doses of the ongoing experimental coronavirus vaccine …

LONDON – UK officials have announced that they have signed an agreement to buy 90 million doses of experimental coronavirus vaccines developed by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and others.The British government said in a statement Monday that it had gained access to a vaccine candidate developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, in addition to another experimental vaccine being studied by Valneva. Britain had previously signed an agreement with AstraZeneca to provide 100 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine tested by the University of Oxford, which is expected to announce new results later Monday.

“Millions of people could be vaccinated against the coronavirus,” said the government, citing the three different vaccines in which it has now invested.

While it is still not known whether any of the vaccines will ultimately prove effective against the virus, Britain and other wealthy countries are already investing in vaccines to ensure there is manufacturing capacity. sufficient to deliver any successful candidate. Vaccines typically take years to develop, and more than a dozen are in the early stages of testing around the world.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS EPIDEMIC:

– GOP leaders travel to White House as viral crisis worsens

– Workers turn into amateur sleuths to track virus cases

– Mexican president promises better health care after pandemic

– Kentucky announces one-day high in new coronavirus cases

– Faced with an uncertain fall, schools make flexible reopening plans

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

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE HAPPENS:

PARIS – Face masks are now compulsory in supermarkets, shopping malls, banks, shops and internal markets in France to curb the worrying signs that the coronavirus is again making its way.

The measure came into effect on Monday. A fine of 135 euros ($ 155) can be imposed on those who do not comply.

Masks were already compulsory in museums, on public transport, in cinemas, places of worship and other enclosed spaces open to the public.

The list is now expanded to include stores, government offices open to the public, banks and indoor markets.

France has reported more than 30,000 deaths related to COVID-19, almost half of which were in retirement homes for the elderly. France cleared the infections with a strict two-month lockdown but now sees signs of the virus returning.

Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Monday that a new source of infections appears to be families reuniting for summer vacation.

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NEW DELHI – India reported more than 40,000 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, a record for the country.

The 40,425 new cases brought India’s total to 1,118,043, including 27,497 deaths.

The ministry said on Sunday evening that the coronavirus death rate in India – currently 2.49% – is “gradually decreasing” due to an effective containment strategy and aggressive testing.

A country of 1.4 billion people, India has performed nearly 10,000 tests per million inhabitants. More than 300,000 samples are currently tested every day, up from a few hundred in March, according to the Indian Council for Medical Research, India’s leading medical research organization.

With infections on the rise in recent weeks, local governments in India have ordered targeted lockdowns in high-risk areas.

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BEIJING – China says it arrested 5,370 people for various forms of illegal activity related to the coronavirus pandemic between January and June.

More than 40% have been charged with fraud, the state prosecutor’s office said on its official microblog on Monday. Another 15% were charged with obstructing law enforcement, others accused of producing and selling counterfeit and low-quality products, creating public disturbance and transporting and selling endangered species.

China has stepped up protection for wild animals following the emergence of the virus, which has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan city and could have come from bats before jumping to humans via an intermediate species such than the anteater. pangolin.

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SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea reported its smallest daily jump in local COVID-19 transmissions in two months, with health officials expressing cautious optimism about containing the epidemic.

South Korean centers for disease control and prevention still reported on Monday 26 newly confirmed cases of coronavirus, including 22 linked to international arrivals.

Deputy Health Minister Kim Gang-lip said during a briefing on the virus that the four local transmissions were the first time such infections had dropped below 10 since May 19. He continued to advocate for vigilance, encouraging people to avoid crowded places or even to stay home during the summer vacation period.

Officials view imported cases as a lesser threat than local transmissions as the country imposes COVID-19 tests and imposes two-week quarantines on all people arriving from abroad.

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MELBOURNE, Australia – The hard-hit Australian state of Victoria recorded a third daily COVID-19 tally below the record 428 cases reported last week, but the state’s head of government said on Monday that it was too early to tell what the impact of a second lockdown was.

Since 428 cases were reported on Friday, Victoria has recorded 217, 363 and 275 cases on consecutive days.

Victoria Prime Minister Daniel Andrews expected to know on Wednesday what impact a foreclosure would have had on Australia’s second largest city, Melbourne, and neighboring semi-rural neighborhood Mitchell Shire. The six-week lockdown will take place on Wednesday in two weeks.

“He’s a nasty enemy, he’s unstable and until we bring stability to that, I don’t think we can talk about a trend,” said Andrews. “I’m definitely much happier that I can report a lower number than a high number.”

Victoria has performed more than 1.3 million coronavirus tests on a population of 6.5 million, which is one of the highest test rates in the world, he said.

Most students in closed areas have resumed their online studies at home after a long vacation.

A retired judge on Monday opened an investigation into quarantine violations at Melbourne hotels, which are responsible for most if not all of the new virus. Australian citizens and permanent residents are required to self-isolate in hotels for 14 days upon returning from overseas.

New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, reported 20 topical cases on Monday.

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BEIJING – The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in China’s northwestern region in Xinjiang continues to rise. A further 17 cases were reported on Monday, bringing the total for the latest epidemic in China to at least 47.

One of the 17 new cases reported on Monday was in the old city of Kashgar Silk Road, the regional government said on its official microblog. The others were in the regional capital of Urumqi, where all other cases have been reported since the outbreak began earlier this month.

Five more cases have been brought from outside the country, according to the National Health Commission.

No new deaths have been reported, leaving the total at 4,634 among 83,682 cases, and 249 people are still on treatment. Another 158 people were monitored in isolation to show signs of the virus or for positive tests without showing symptoms.

China had largely contained local transmission of the virus before the Urumqi outbreak and took swift action to bring it under control, cutting metro, bus, and taxi services, shutting down some communities, imposing travel restrictions and ordering generalized testing.

Beijing, meanwhile, spent 14 days without local transmission and city officials announced on Sunday that they were lowering the emergency response level from two to three. Hong Kong, meanwhile, had a peak, with more than 100 reported on Sunday. This prompted the semi-autonomous city in southern China to re-impose measures, including closing indoor entertainment venues and public libraries, and imposing additional quarantine measures on travelers from seven countries where the risk of d infection is considered particularly high, including South Africa.

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FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear on Sunday reported 979 new cases of COVID-19, a daily record he says should be a “wake-up call” for citizens of the state to respect the mask and social restrictions to slow the spread of the virus.

The Democratic governor on Sunday announced new cases, including 30 involving children aged 5 and under.

“I have faith and trust in the people of Kentucky,” Beshear said. “But today and in the days to come, we have to do much better. We will have to take additional measures. ”

Beshear said there were at least 23,161 cases of the coronavirus in Kentucky as of 4 p.m., including the new cases reported on Sunday. The state’s public health commissioner said efforts would be made to confirm the accuracy of the results with some of the labs that submitted them.

“We usually have limited reports on Sundays, which makes today’s record high numbers of positives particularly alarming,” said Dr Steven Stack, commissioner of the Department of Public Health.

Beshear also reported three new deaths, bringing the total to 670 Kentuckians lost to the virus.

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

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