clearn.png
Thursday April 15th, 2021 11:14PM

The Latest: CEOs pledge safety for coronavirus vaccines

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW YORK — Top executives of nine drugmakers likely to produce the first vaccines against the new coronavirus are promising they’ll be safe and effective.

The drugmakers’ chief executives say they’ll maintain the highest ethical and scientific standards in testing and manufacturing their vaccines. They also say they’ll make the well-being of those getting vaccinated their top priority.

The move is meant to boost public confidence. The announcement comes amid concerns the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will be under political pressure to approve a vaccine before tests to prove it is safe and effective are finished.

The pledge was signed by the CEOs of American drugmakers Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Moderna, Novavax and Pfizer, and European companies AstraZeneca, BioNTech, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi. BioNTech has partnered with Pfizer on one of the vaccines now in the final round of human testing.

___

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK

— Britain faces rising coronavirus cases at 3,000 daily

— Retiree in Austria gets U.S. virus relief check

— India reports 1,133 deaths, its highest single-day total

— Organizers, IOC try to remove doubts about Tokyo Olympics. IOC member John Coates says the games will happen despite the pandemic.

— Chinese leader Xi Jinpin praised China's role in battling coronavirus. He also supported the World Health Organization in a repudiation of U.S. criticism and bid to rally domestic support.

— Dozens of health-care workers in the Gaza Strip have been infected by the coronavirus during an outbreak that was first detected last month.

___

Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

___

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

ROME — Italy added another 1,370 coronavirus cases to its confirmed daily tally, while ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi remains hospitalized with the coronavirus.

Berlusconi’s personal doctor Alberto Zangrillo reported Tuesday that the patient was responding well to treatment and his condition was “reassuring.”

The 83-year-old Berlusconi tested positive for the virus on Sept. 2 and was hospitalized two days later with a lung infection.

The number of daily infections has topped 1,000 for several weeks and has reached 280,153. The Health Ministry reported 10 deaths in the past day, bringing Italy’s death toll to 35,563, the second highest in Europe after Britain.

___

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Graduate students who teach classes were on strike Tuesday at the University of Michigan over in-person instruction during the coronavirus pandemic and other issues.

The strikers chanted and held umbrellas while marching in the rain. “I do not want my students and colleagues to get a chronic illness because this university decided it was most important to collect tuition,” Surabhi Balachander wrote on Twitter.

The Graduate Employees’ Organization, which represents more than 1,000 instructors, has called for a four-day strike.

Most classes at the University of Michigan have shifted to online. But the union says the university isn’t doing enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It robust plans for testing, contact tracing, and campus safety. It wants plans for testing and contact tracing, allowing graduate employees to work remotely and a more flexible childcare subsidy.

University spokesman Rick Fitzgerald says the strike is illegal under state law and the union contract, and the university plans to continue classes in the event of a strike.

___

PRAGUE — Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis has reacted angrily to the local branch of World Health Organization voicing its opposition to his country’s possible plan to reduce contract tracing for the coronavirus.

The WHO says the situation in the Czech Republic “is concerning” and data shows “elevated and growing levels of transmission across many regions and districts.” It says the solution is not to stop tracing, but to rapidly scale up the service.

Babis tweeted the WHO should “keep quiet,” saying the country has one of the lowest death rates in Europe.

The Czech Republic has registered a surge of confirmed cases to record levels in recent days. Health authorities in Prague acknowledged they have reached their limit in contact tracing and up to 30% of contacts are not identified.

Health Minister Adam Vojtech says the plans is to make contact tracing more effective, not reduce it.

The Czech Republic has 28,716 confirmed cases and 437 confirmed deaths.

___

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Danish health officials reported 243 new coronavirus cases Tuesday, mainly in the capital of Copenhagen and Odense, the third-largest city.

The cases were mainly in private homes and among young people. There were reports several public and private companies have asked employees to work from home.

On Monday, the government lowered the size of gatherings from 100 to 50 in greater Copenhagen, and announced bars and restaurants should close at midnight instead of 2 a.m.

Suburban Copenhagen police said Tuesday they’d increase patrolling to make sure people respect the rules. Overall, Denmark has 18,356 confirmed cases and 628 deaths.

___

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey is requiring masks in all locations apart from homes, following a spike in the number of COVID-19 infections.

An Interior Ministry circular sent to the country’s 81 provinces on Tuesday says “citizens are obliged to wear masks without exception in all areas” excluding their residences.

Previously, the wearing of masks was mandatory in most public spaces, in shops and on public transportation, but not at workplaces.

On Monday, Turkey reported 1,703 new daily infections, the highest since mid-May.

Last week, Turkey barred social gatherings such as wedding and engagement parties and henna nights and restricted marriage ceremonies to one hour.

___

LONDON — The British government is facing pressure to keep a lid on coronavirus infections after a sharp spike in new cases across the U.K.

The figures released Monday showed nearly 3,000 new coronavirus cases for the second day running. There is mounting speculation the British government is considering tightening some restrictions, such as reducing gatherings indoors in England from the current limit of 30.

The U.K. has Europe’s worst death toll from the virus, recording more than 41,500 deaths. The actual toll is believed to be far higher as the government tally doesn’t include those who died without having been tested.

On Monday, Britain processed around 175,000 tests. Although the higher cases can partly be attributed to more testing, it’s clear there’s been an uptick in the past few weeks -- daily infections are about double the level they were the previous week. In some places, local outbreaks in Britain have been so severe that many lockdown restrictions have been reinstated.

___

NEW DELHI, India — India officials say Russia had approached it to conduct Phase 3 clinical trials for the experimental Sputnik V vaccine and for Indian companies to potentially manufacture it.

Russian scientists published results from early trials of the experimental Sputnik V vaccine on Friday. Developers say the vaccine appeared to be safe and prompted an antibody response in all 40 people tested in the second phase of the study within three weeks.

The vaccine received government approval last month but drew considerable criticism from health experts because the shots had only been tested on several dozen people.

Dr. V.K. Paul heads a government task force on vaccines and called the partnership a “win-win for India and the world.” He says Tuesday that Russia had asked for assistance to conduct more research, including Phase 3 clinical trials to assess the safety and efficacy of the vaccine in India.

Officials say some companies had already come forward.

___

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The Dutch public health institute says 5,247 people tested positive on Tuesday, an increase of 1,830 from the previous week.

There were 17 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, seven fewer than the previous week.

The increased infections came after schools reopened in recent weeks, but the health institute say there was “no significant increase” linked to transmissions at schools. It says a few clusters at schools involved mainly adults infecting other adults.

The health institute says the percentage of positive tests rose to 2.8% compared to 2.2% in the previous week.

___

BERLIN -- A retiree in Austria says he received a U.S. government coronavirus relief check for $1,200, despite not having lived in America for over half a century.

The check, with President Donald Trump’s name on it, is part of a massive federal stimulus program. But the money also has been sent to people who aren’t eligible -- including deceased U.S. taxpayers.

Austrian public broadcaster ORF reports the 73-year-old man from Linz, who worked as a waiter in the United States for two years in the 1960s, was able to cash the check.

His wife, who never worked or lived in the United States, got one too.

ORF reports banks in Austria confirm they’ve cashed dozens of checks for residents of the Alpine country. It’s unclear how many were entitled to the money.

___

JAKARTA, Indonesia — The Indonesian government announced the country has surpassed 200,000 coronavirus cases on Tuesday.

The National Task Force for COVID-19 Mitigation reported 3,046 new coronavirus cases in Indonesia, bringing the total to 200,035 confirmed cases. It reported 100 people died in the last 24 hours, reaching a confirmed death toll of 8,230.

National COVID-19 Mitigation Task Force spokesperson Wiku Adisasmito says, “We have to pay attention to our condition today as President Joko Widodo said that we have to take care of the health affairs first so the economic situation can get better.”

Indonesian government imposed large-scale social restrictions in the regions of the country in April. The regional governments lifted the restrictions and reopened the business activities in June.

___

HONG KONG — Hong Kong is further relaxing social distancing measures, as the territory’s number of new coronavirus cases dwindles.

Hong Kong reported another six cases of the virus on Tuesday.

From Friday, the limit on public gatherings will be relaxed to four people, up from two people. Most indoor and outdoor sports facilities, as well as museums will be allowed to re-open.

The city has seen its coronavirus cases dwindle after a surge in locally-transmitted infections in July. Hong Kong has reported a total of 4,896 infections since the pandemic began, with 99 deaths.

Hong Kong officials said Tuesday that the city is in talks with 11 countries about setting up travel bubbles, which would allow residents to travel internationally even amid the pandemic.

Such travel bubbles would include a pre-flight coronavirus test that will be mutually recognized by both Hong Kong and the partnering country.

___

BERLIN — Austria’s leader says he wants to keep both ski resorts and schools open this winter as the country tries to keep coronavirus infections down while supporting the tourism industry.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said during a visit to Slovenia on Tuesday that the government will do everything to ensure that safe skiing is possible. The Austrian ski resort of Ischgl became an early European hot spot as the pandemic took off in March.

The Austria Press Agency reported that Kurz said that “we must try to lead as normal a life as possible in all areas of our life” and added that “winter tourism and skiing will be possible.” Asked whether skiing areas might have to be closed so that schools can remain open longer, he said: “I would not like to play schools the economy off against each other.”

Kurz said that post-skiing partying won’t be possible in the way it was previously, but didn’t give details.

___

NEW DELHI — India has reported 1,133 deaths from the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, its highest single-day total.

The Health Ministry on Tuesday also reported 75,809 new cases, raising India’s reported tally to nearly 4.3 million — second only to the United States and maintaining an upward surge amid an ease in nationwide restrictions to help mitigate the economic pain.

The country’s death toll now stands at 72,775.

The rise in cases is partly due to increased testing. The number of daily tests conducted across the country has risen to more than a million. Nearly 3.3 million people in India have recovered from COVID-19 so far.

The pandemic has been economically devastating for India. Its economy contracted nearly 24% in the second quarter, the worst among the world’s top economies.

___

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has reported 136 new cases of the coronavirus, mostly in the greater capital area, where authorities have tightened dining restrictions and shut down certain businesses to slow the viral spread.

The figures released by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday brought the nation's reported cases since the pandemic began to 21,432. Five patients, between the ages of 75 and 90, died in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 341.

KCDC said 100 of the new cases came from the Seoul metropolitan area, home to half of the country’s 51 million people, where restaurants are currently required to provide only deliveries and takeouts after 9 p.m.

After-school academies and indoor sports facilities such as fitness centers and billiard clubs have also been ordered to close to slow the spread of the virus.

___

CAIRO — The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Egypt has passed 100,000.

The Health Ministry reported 178 new cases late Monday. Since the pandemic began Egypt has recorded 5,541 virus deaths.

Egypt has recently relaxed most of its restrictions taken to stem the speed of the virus.

___

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Health, AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Health Care
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
South African party rejects alleged Trump comment on Mandela
The report that U.S. President Donald Trump made crude, disparaging remarks about Nelson Mandela has drawn an angry response from South Africa’s ruling party and others
1:16PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Column: Credibility for Dustin Johnson and for the FedEx Cup
Paul Azinger once famously said players only choke for cash or prestige
1:13PM ( 9 minutes ago )
The Latest: CEOs pledge safety for coronavirus vaccines
Top executives of nine drugmakers likely to produce the first vaccines against the new coronavirus are promising they’ll be safe and effective
1:08PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Young adults blamed as UK sees sharp spike in virus cases
The British government is facing pressure to act fast to keep a lid on coronavirus infections after a sharp spike in new cases across the U.K. stoked concerns about the pandemic’s prospective path during the fall and winter
12:00PM ( 1 hour ago )
Andrew Lloyd Webber warns arts 'at point of no return'
“The Phantom of the Opera” composer Andrew Lloyd Webber has told British lawmakers that the arts are “at the point of no return,” and urged the government to set a date for theaters to be allowed to reopen
11:45AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Michigan grad students strike over virus issues
Graduate students who teach classes were on strike at the University of Michigan over in-person instruction during the coronavirus pandemic
11:44AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Health
Belarus activist resists effort to deport her to Ukraine
A leading opposition activist in Belarus is being held after she resisted attempts by authorities to deport her to Ukraine as part of a clampdown on protests against authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko
12:55PM ( 27 minutes ago )
Trump claims environmental progress, but he's weakened rules
President Donald Trump is out to claim the mantle of environmental steward as he highlights conservation and restoration projects in the critical battleground of Florida
12:36PM ( 46 minutes ago )
California fires bring more chopper rescues, power shutoffs
Helicopters are rescuing more people from the California wildfires as flames chew through bone-dry terrain after a scorching Labor Day weekend
12:21PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
COVID-19 vaccine latest flashpoint in White House campaign
A vaccine to shield Americans from becoming infected with the coronavirus is emerging as the latest flashpoint in the race for the White House
6:05AM ( 7 hours ago )
The Latest: Spanish league hopes for fan return in February
Spanish league president Javier Tebas says he expects fans back in the country’s soccer stadiums by next February if vaccine trials are successful
10:44AM ( 1 day ago )
California simmers while it burns, but no big power outages
Rescuers in military helicopters airlifted 207 people to safety after an explosive wildfire trapped them in a popular camping area in California’s Sierra National Forest, one of dozens of fires burning Sunday amid record-breaking temperatures that strained the state’s electrical grid and for a time threatened power outages for millions
11:56PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
Lavrov: Russia ready to help ease Turkey-Greece tension
Russia's foreign minister says Moscow is ready to step in and help ease rising tensions over Turkey's search for energy reserves in the eastern Mediterranean and rejected any actions that could lead to further escalation
10:24AM ( 2 hours ago )
Tech sell-off resumes; Nasdaq down more than 8% in 3 days
Big technology stocks are opening sharply lower again on Wall Street, continuing a pullback that began last Thursday and Friday
10:15AM ( 3 hours ago )
Ships, aircraft fight new fire on oil tanker off Sri Lanka
Ships and aircraft from Sri Lanka and India intensified efforts to extinguish a new fire on oil tanker off Sri Lanka’s coast two days after the previous blaze was doused
12:15AM ( 13 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
The Latest: WHO warns against politics in COVID-19 response
The head of emergencies at the World Health Organization says governments that provide “politically motivated” information about the coronavirus pandemic could face a political backlash
12:33PM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Doctor: Condition of Italy's ex-premier improves
A doctor says the clinical condition of former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi is starting to improve after he was hospitalized with pneumonia and COVID-19 last week
12:21PM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Doctors fear lack of ICU beds in southern France
Doctors are raising the alarm that nearly all the intensive care beds reserved for COVID-19 patients are in use in and around France’s second city of Marseille
12:09PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Health Care
South African party rejects alleged Trump comment on Mandela
The report that U.S. President Donald Trump made crude, disparaging remarks about Nelson Mandela has drawn an angry response from South Africa’s ruling party and others
1:16PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Column: Credibility for Dustin Johnson and for the FedEx Cup
Paul Azinger once famously said players only choke for cash or prestige
1:13PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Computer glitches disrupt classes as schools return online
The millions of American youngsters returning to online classes on Tuesday are facing technical glitches and other headaches that have plagued remote learning since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic
1:08PM ( 14 minutes ago )
GM to make electric vehicle, supply batteries for Nikola
General Motors formed its second major electric vehicle partnership in less than a week, this time a $2 billion deal with startup Nikola
1:03PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Gene Budig, academic who ran American League, dies at 81
The former American League President Gene Budig has died
1:01PM ( 21 minutes ago )