The United States has become the first nation worldwide to surpass the 10 million COVID-19 infections mark as global record hits 50 million on Tuesday.
The United States has reported at least a million cases in the past 10 days, the highest rate of infections since the nation reported its first novel coronavirus case in Washington State.
More than 237,000 Americans have died of covid-19 since the virus first emerged in china late last year.
Data from Johns Hopkins University reveal more than one and a quarter million persons have now died from the virus.
Reuters also reports a second wave of the virus has accounted for a quarter of all cases.
Europe, with more than twelve and a half million cases and 305,000 deaths, is again a hotspot after being the first epicentre of the pandemic earlier this year.
The American states of north and south Dakota have the highest rates of death per capita.
Portugal is to bring in a curfew across most of the country from Monday.
Switzerland is deploying 200 army reservists to its hospitals to help with growing numbers of admissions.
France recorded 38,619 new cases on Sunday.
In another development, chairman and chief executive of drug company, Pfizer, Albert Bourla, says an interim analysis reveals that, a front-runner coronavirus vaccine it has developed, was more than 90 percent effective at protecting people.
Bourla says no serious safety concerns were observed in the trial, and that it would apply for emergency use authorization to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Madagascar Takes Last Stand On COVID-19 Vaccine, Refuses Immunization
Madagascar has affirmed its decision not to participate in the global coronavirus vaccine initiative- COVAX for the access to COVID-19 vaccine once they have been approved and licensed.
The government spokesperson confirmed the island will instead resort to its traditional herbal mixture that its own scientists discovered earlier this year to stem the virus. The World Health Organization has not approved the mixture.
Vaccines in Madagascar have never been popular among the general population. The island in 2018 was among the last four countries in the world registering polio cases from its stance on vaccines.
Meanwhile, the government spokesperson said they were waiting to see the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine first in the countries that will first use it.
The World Health Organization has urged on Friday countries in Africa to prepare for the arrival of a vaccine as soon as possible. W.H.O warned that African countries are far from ready to roll out a COVID-19 vaccine, whenever one becomes available.
The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention AfricaCDC has also said vaccinating people will be a big challenge in Africa where more than 2.1 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed –that’s less than 4% of the global total cases.
People on the Africa continent have been urged to rely on the public health measures that have been put in place to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
General: COVID-19 Vaccines Will Be Ready For Delivery 24 Hours After FDA Authorization
Four-Star general Gustave Perna who is leading the U.S. government’s operation warp speed, the crash program to develop, produce, and distribute enough COVID-19 vaccine doses to inoculate 300 million Americans, says he is confident vaccines will be “on the streets 24 hours after being authorized by the food and drug administration.
The operation is stockpiling anticipated vaccines made by six different drug makers.
While the first two vaccines to be distributed will likely be from Pfizer and Moderna, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Affairs, Alex Azar, described the news from Astra zeneca’s clinical trials as “very promising” and noted that the company’s vaccine is already being produced in the country so it too can be ready for distribution once authorized by the FDA.
Azar confirmed the drugmaker is already producing mass quantities of the vaccine in the U.S.
Last week, Pfizer applied for authorization from the FDA and a hearing date was set for mid-December.
Kenya Nurses Issue Strike Warning
Kenyan nurses have issued a 14-day strike action warning to the government. The medical workers sign the notice, citing lack of a safe working environment and protective gears- PPE`s. They are demanding that the government declare COVID-19 an occupational hazard. They are also asking to be provided with comprehensive medical cover.
The nurses’ union secretary general Seth Panyako alleged, eighteen nurses have died from COVID-19 after treating patients with the virus. He added that once the strike notice lapses, the healthcare workers will not return to work unless their issues are addressed.
The notice comes a week after doctors issued a strike notice over the same issues.
More than 78,500 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Kenya including 1,409 deaths being reported.
More than 30 healthcare workers are reported to have died after contracting the virus since the country confirmed its first case in March.