France records more than 4,700 viral infections in daily record after lockdown

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Merkel said European leaders must do everything to avoid further lockdowns and border closures as the region grapples with a growing number of coronavirus infections.

UK records second highest number of daily COVID-19 cases since June

Britain on Thursday recorded 1,182 new cases of the coronavirus, the second highest daily total since June 21, according to government figures, in part reflecting the higher number of tests being processed.

Official data from Thursday showed 190,434 tests were processed, up from 117,971 on June 21.

Britain also removed Portugal from its COVID-19 quarantine list, but said rising infections elsewhere meant travelers arriving from Croatia, Austria and Trinidad and Tobago would have to quarantine themselves for two weeks.

Croatia, Austria and Trinidad and Tobago have been added to the UK’s quarantine list.Credit:AP

Transport Minister Grant Shapps announced the changes on Twitter – the latest in a series of quarantine policy adjustments as Britain tries to prevent the importation of new infections from hot spots abroad.

Shapps said Britain’s entire travel policy is constantly being reviewed and could change quickly, warning that people should only travel if they are content to self-quarantine if the rules change while on vacation.

Portugal, a popular tourist destination for Britons, has previously expressed frustration over Britain’s refusal to waive its quarantine requirements, which has hit the tourism-dependent economy hard.

Johnson & Johnson will test the vaccine on 60,000 volunteers

Johnson & Johnson aims to test its investigational coronavirus vaccine in up to 60,000 volunteers in an advanced-stage trial scheduled to begin in September, according to a U.S. government clinical trials database.

The trial would be conducted at nearly 180 sites in the United States and other countries, including Brazil and Mexico, according to information published online this month.

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“We can confirm that planning and recruitment is underway for our Phase 3 program, which is subject to preliminary data from Phase 1 / 2a trials and regulatory approval,” a Johnson spokesperson said. & Johnson.

“Our Phase 3 program is intended to be as robust as possible, could include up to 60,000 participants, and will be conducted in locations with high incidence rates.”

The spokesperson said J&J was using epidemiological data to decide where the studies should take place and would make a final decision soon. The Phase 3 trial will likely end in late September, with the first vaccines available for use by early 2021, he said.

Rival coronavirus vaccine makers such as Moderna Inc and Pfizer are aiming to recruit up to 30,000 volunteers for their late-stage studies.

J&J shares edged higher on Thursday, offsetting early losses, after the le journal Wall Street first reported the size of the trial.

Italy posts highest number of daily infections since May

Italy has reported 845 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Thursday, marking the largest daily increase since May, when the government relaxed its rigid lockdown measures.

Italy, one of the worst-affected countries in Europe, managed to contain the outbreak after a spike in deaths and cases between March and April. However, it has seen a steady rise in infections over the past month, with experts blaming gatherings of people associated with the holidays and nightlife.

The last time the country recorded a higher figure was on May 16, with 875 cases, two days before restaurants, bars and shops were allowed to reopen after a 10-week lockdown.

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Despite the increase in infections, the number of daily deaths remains low and is often in single digits. Six dead on Thursday compared to seven on Wednesday, data from the Ministry of Health showed.

The number of new infections remains considerably lower than recently recorded in other major European countries, including Spain and France.

Italian cases are still mainly concentrated in the northern regions at the epicenter of the epidemic discovered in late February, with Lombardy and Veneto exceeding all 150 on Thursday.

Lazio, around Rome, recorded 115 cases, 73% of which were due to people returning from other Italian regions or from abroad, the regional government said.

Africa begins to “bend the curve” of the coronavirus

Africa is slowly starting to ‘bend the curve’ of COVID-19 infections as measures such as mask wearing and social distancing slow the spread of the pandemic on the continent, the African Centers for Control and Control said on Thursday. disease prevention.

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Although the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic was slow in Africa in the early stages of the pandemic, the infection rate gradually accelerated, especially in South Africa, which now accounts for more than half of its number of cases of over 1.1 million.

On average, there were signs of a drop in new infections across Africa over the past two weeks, said John Nkengasong, head of Africa CDC.

“So I think it’s really a sign of hope that we’re slowly starting to bend the curve. We take this news with cautious optimism, ”he said.

“It’s very, very early, we are dealing with a very delicate virus that spreads very quickly but it is important to recognize these slight trends which are positive. “

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Reuters

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