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Reuters Health News Summary

17 Oct 2020 / 20:57 H.

    Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

    'One-der-ful': Australia's coronavirus hotspot records single case

    Australia's coronavirus hotspot of Victoria recorded a single case of the disease on Saturday - the lowest daily number since early June - and no deaths, with the state's top health official saying the figures were "one-der-ful". Victoria's capital Melbourne, which has been the epicentre of the country's COVID-19 outbreak, is in its third month of a stringent lockdown and Premier Daniel Andrews is due to update plans to ease restrictions across the state on Sunday.

    Austria reports record daily COVID-19 infections, but still below 2,000

    Austria on Saturday reported 1,747 coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, a new record but well below a tally reported by a newspaper earlier in the day. The daily count has this month repeatedly exceeded the peak of 1,050 reached in March during the first wave of infections. Tabloid Kronen Zeitung reported earlier on Saturday that 2,317 cases had been recorded in the past 24 hours.

    Daily coronavirus cases in the Netherlands hit a record 8,114

    The Netherlands hit a new record for daily coronavirus cases, with more than 8,000 infections in the past 24 hours, data released on Saturday showed. The number of confirmed cases climbed 8,114, according to daily figures compiled by the National Institute for Public Health (RIVM).

    British COVID-19 testing adviser calls for 'circuit-breaker' lockdown

    A professor who has advised the British government on its COVID-19 testing programme said on Saturday a short nationwide lockdown was needed due to "eye-watering" levels of infection in parts of England. As a second wave of infections gathers pace, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government has favoured local restrictions in areas where cases are surging - hoping to shield the economy by allowing the least-affected regions to remain open.

    Pfizer says earliest U.S. filing for COVID-19 vaccine would be late November

    Pfizer Inc said on Friday it could file in late November for U.S. authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine it is developing, suggesting that a vaccine could potentially be available in the United States by the end of the year. That timeline makes it unlikely, however, that a vaccine will be available before the U.S. election, as President Donald Trump has promised. Pfizer, which is developing the vaccine with German partner BioNTech, said that it may confirm if the vaccine is effective as soon as this month but that it also needs safety data from a 44,000-person clinical trial that will not be available until next month.

    India begins selecting people for priority coronavirus vaccines

    India's coronavirus infections rose by another 62,212 cases over the previous day and a local media report said on Saturday that the government had begun identifying about 300 million people who would be given the vaccine first when it is ready. The Times of India said that frontline health and sanitation workers, police officials and elderly people with co-morbidities will get the vaccine on priority.

    COVID-19 cases surge in Wisconsin, Trump to campaign there

    Two weeks ago, Mark Schultz was getting ready to go to work at the tavern he owns in the Wisconsin city of Oshkosh when he started to feel sweaty, achy and chilled. Within days, the 64-year-old was in an intensive care unit at a local hospital fighting for his life.

    Russia receives renewed approval for COVID-19 vaccine trials in India: RDIF

    The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd have received renewed approval to conduct late-stage clinical trials in India of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine, the sovereign wealth fund said on Saturday. Large-scale trials of the Sputnik V vaccine in India were first announced and then knocked back by Indian regulators, who said the scale of Phase I and II trials conducted in Russia earlier this year was too small, requesting that they be repeated.

    Divided world is failing COVID-19 test, says frustrated U.N. chief

    A divided world has failed to rise to the challenge of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Saturday and warned concerted action was needed to prevent millions of people being pushed into poverty and hunger. The former Portuguese prime minister said far more could have been done if countries had worked together to combat the disease, which has killed more than one million people.

    Latest on the worldwide spread of coronavirus

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern delivered the biggest election victory for her centre-left Labour Party in half a century as voters rewarded her for a decisive response to COVID-19. Her "go hard, go early" approach has eliminated locally spread COVID-19 in the nation. DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

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