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Biden To Announce Coronavirus Task Force As Part Of Presidential Transition

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Despite president Donald Trump’s refusal to concede his loss in the just concluded us election, president-elect Joe Biden says he will launch an aggressive plan to control the coronavirus pandemic that has escalated at an alarming rate.

Biden is set to name a 12-person coronavirus task force today, Monday. Two sources within his circle also confirm the president-elect will speak with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious diseases expert, before taking office.

He will also enact a series of executive actions to reverse many of trump’s foreign policies and seek to return the united states to its status at the end of former president Barack Obama’s administration four years earlier.

Biden has also said he will repeal trump’s ban on travel from some Muslim-majority countries and reinstate the deferred action for childhood arrivals program.

Meanwhile, leaders of America’s closest allies aren’t waiting for president trump to concede. They’re already offering their congratulations to president-elect joe Biden and history-making vice president-elect kamala Harris.

U.K. Prime minister Boris Johnson, French president Emmanuel macron, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Saudi Arabia’s ruling family have congratulated the president-elect.

German chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan have also send their congratulatory messages.

Others are South African president Cyril Ramaphosa, Irish prime minister Micheál Martin, Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari.

Russia, China and Brazil are yet to congratulate Biden. Russian leader Vladimir Putin says he is standing with trump and would wait for the outcome of the president’s legal challenges to the vote.

Health News

Germany Recommends Oxford COVID Vaccine Not Be Used On Over-65s

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German authorities citing a lack of sufficient data to recommend the use of Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in older age groups have issued a recommendation that it should not be used on people aged 65 or above,

The move comes ahead of a ruling by the European Medicines Agency on the vaccine on Friday. AstraZeneca and the vaccine’s developers have consistently said it is safe for older adults.

Germany’s vaccine committee said “there are currently insufficient data available to assess the vaccine efficacy from 65 years of age.

In the resolution made available by the German health ministry on Thursday the committee added that “the AstraZeneca vaccine, unlike the mRNA vaccines, should only be offered to people aged 18-64 years at each stage.”

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Health News

COVID-19 Could Become ‘Much More Treatable’ In Next Six To 18 Months, NHS Boss Tells MPs

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Head of England’s National Health Service, Sir Simon Stevens says there is a possibility for a combination of the coronavirus and flu jabs in a single vaccine for future winters.

Stevens told MPs on Tuesday COVID-19 could become a “much more treatable disease” in the next six to 18 months.

He said the emergence of new coronavirus treatments in the second half of this year offers hope of a “much more normal future.”

More than six and a half million people in the UK have received the first dose of a covid-19 vaccine, with nearly half a million having had a second jab.

The government says it plans to offer of a coronavirus vaccine first dose to 15 million people by the middle of next month.

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World News

New Zealand’s Borders Remain Shut Indefinitely

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New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern has announced the country’s borders will remain closed for most of this year.

Ardern says medical authorities may approve a COVID-19 vaccine as early as next week.

The prime minister says for travel to restart, authorities would either have the assurance those vaccinated don’t pass COVID-19 on to others, which is not yet known, or enough of the population needed to be vaccinated so people can safely re-enter the country.

Ardern says apart from Australia, the rest of the world simply poses too great a danger to the country’s health and economy to take the risk at this stage.”

The prime minister says the country’s medicines regulator, MedSafe, was working towards granting provisional approval for the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine.

The first vaccines are due to arrive in New Zealand by the end of the first quarter.

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