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Reuters Health News Summary

22 Nov 2020 / 12:58 H.

    Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

    South Korea reports more than 300 new coronavirus cases for fifth straight day

    South Korea reported more than 300 new coronavirus cases for a fifth straight day on Sunday, as officials warned that stricter rules could be imposed if the trend continues to threaten the highly populated capital of Seoul and surrounding areas. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) reported 330 new daily coronavirus cases as of midnight on Saturday, a drop from 386 reported the day before, a level not seen since August.

    England will end COVID lockdown with stricter tiered system

    England will end a national COVID-19 lockdown on Dec. 2 and move into tougher tiered regional restrictions than before, with more areas facing severe constraints to prevent the virus from reigniting, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's office said. Johnson ordered England in to a month-long lockdown in early November after infection cases and deaths started to rise again, angering businesses and some of his own political party over the economic consequences.

    New Trump Medicare drug-price rules denounced as political revenge by industry

    U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday announced two rules aimed at lowering drug prices for people 65 and older in the Medicare health insurance program, prompting a biotechnology industry group to accuse the president of seeking political revenge. Wall Street analysts said there was little chance the new rules would be put into place, in part because they expect legal challenges by pharmaceutical and pharmacy benefit manager trade organizations. The incoming Biden administration is unlikely to take up the rules, they said.

    CDC raises warning on cruise line travel to very high risk for coronavirus

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Saturday it recommended that all people avoid cruise ship travel as the risk of COVID-19 on liners is very high. The CDC advised passengers who decide to go on a cruise should get tested 3-5 days after their trip and stay home for 7 days after travel, even if they test negative. https://bit.ly/2US9P5O

    FDA panel to discuss emergency use of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on December 10

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's outside advisers will meet on Dec. 10 to discuss whether to authorize the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech for emergency use, the agency said on Friday. The move comes after Pfizer applied for the authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine earlier in the day, the first such application in a major step toward providing protection against the new coronavirus.

    Moderna to charge $25-$37 for COVID-19 vaccine: CEO tells paper

    Moderna will charge governments between $25 and $37 per dose of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, depending on the amount ordered, Chief Executive Stephane Bancel told German weekly Welt am Sonntag (WamS). "Our vaccine therefore costs about the same as a flu shot, which is between $10 and $50," he was quoted as saying.

    U.S. FDA grants emergency use authorization to Regeneron COVID-19 antibody given to Trump

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued emergency use authorization for Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc's COVID-19 antibody therapy, an experimental treatment given to U.S. President Donald Trump that he said helped cure him of the disease. The FDA said the monoclonal antibodies, casirivimab and imdevimab, should be administered together for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing and who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19. https://bit.ly/3kTd6fR

    U.S. hits 12 million COVID-19 cases as many Americans defy Thanksgiving travel guidance

    The United States recorded its 12th million COVID-19 case on Saturday, even as millions of Americans were expected to travel for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, ignoring warnings from health officials about furthering the spread of the infectious disease. More than 12,010,000 cases of the coronavirus were reported, according to a Reuters tally of public health data, capping a series of days with record-breaking infections, with the Midwest experiencing one of the most dramatic increases in cases per capita.

    Eastern Europe crosses over 5 million COVID-19 cases: Reuters tally

    The tally of coronavirus cases in the Eastern European sub-region passed 5 million on Saturday, a Reuters tally showed, as governments across Europe take measures to try to rein in surging cases. The region, which comprises Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, and Ukraine, has the highest count of reported COVID-19 cases in Europe.

    Inching toward normal, Australia eases some COVID-19 curbs

    Australia moved a step closer to normal life on Sunday, opening some internal borders and easing restrictions in regions affected by COVID-19, as the vast majority of the country has seen no new community infections or deaths for weeks. South Australia, which last week became the epicentre of the country's infections, reported no new community cases and lifted a drastic lockdown earlier than planned, with the state premier saying swift action had avoided disaster.

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