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Reuters Health News Summary

22 Nov 2020 / 05:01 H.

    Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

    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.

    UK records 19,875 new COVID-19 cases, 341 deaths

    The United Kingdom recorded 19,875 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday and 341 deaths of people who had tested positive for the virus within 28 days, official data showed. Both figures marked a drop from Friday's data which showed a daily rise in cases of 20,252 cases and 511 deaths.

    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.

    Xi says China ready to boost global COVID-19 vaccine cooperation

    President Xi Jinping said on Saturday that China is ready to step up global COVID-19 vaccine cooperation, and called for better international coordination on policies to facilitate movement of people. Pharmaceutical companies and research centres around the world are working on potential COVID-19 vaccines, with large global trials of several of the candidates involving tens of thousands of participants underway. China has five home-grown candidates undergoing Phase III trials.

    CDC reports 253,600 deaths from coronavirus

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Saturday reported 11,843,490 cases of the novel coronavirus, an increase of 192,673 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 1,885 to 253,600. The CDC reported its tally of cases of the respiratory illness known as COVID-19, caused by a new coronavirus, as of 4 pm ET on Nov. 20 versus its previous report a day earlier. (https://bit.ly/3f2c7IQ)

    Russia ready to provide other countries with Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, says Putin

    Russia's President Vladimir Putin told G20 leaders on Saturday that Russia was ready to provide its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine to other countries who need it. Russia is also preparing its second and third vaccine, Putin said, adding that creation of vaccine portfolio was "our common goal".

    CanSino to test coronavirus vaccine candidate in Argentina and Chile

    CanSino Biologics Inc will start testing its coronavirus vaccine candidate in late-stage human trials in Argentina and Chile, the co-founder of the Chinese pharmaceutical company said on Saturday. The candidate Ad5-nCoV, which goes by the trade name Convidecia, uses a harmless common cold virus to carry genetic information of coronavirus' protein to elicit immune responses, has already begun Phase III trials in Pakistan, Russia and Mexico.

    U.S. nears 12 million COVID-19 cases ahead of Thanksgiving holiday

    The number of COVID-19 cases in the United States was on track to surpass 12 million on Saturday, just days ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday that health experts have warned could fuel the surging spread of infection around the country. The milestone marks a worsening of the country's COVID-19 epidemic, which has claimed a quarter of a million lives in the United States, more than in any other nation, and has prompted more than 20 states to impose sweeping new restrictions this month to try to curb the virus.

    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.

    France reports 17,881 new confirmed Covid-19 cases in 24 hours

    The number of new coronavirus infections in France rose by 17,881 on Saturday, lower than the 22,882 reported on Friday.. The health ministry also reported 276 new deaths from the virus in hospitals over 24 hours, against 386 on Friday.

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