The coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 23.8 million people and killed over 817,000. Here are updates for August 25:

PAHO says
PAHO says "the vast majority" of reported Covid-19 cases in the Americas have been among those between the ages of 19 and 59. (Reuters)

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Young Americans spreading virus - PAHO

Young people are driving the spread of the coronavirus in the Americas, the head of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has said, noting that both deaths and caseloads have doubled in the region over the past six weeks.

Briefing reporters on a webcast, Dr Carissa Etienne chastised governments that have rushed economic re-openings despite data that shows a worsening pandemic.

"This is not a good sign. Wishing the virus away will not work," she said, detailing what she described as a "real disconnect" between the relaxation of containment measures and the continuing spread of the virus.

Etienne said that "the vast majority" of reported Covid-19 cases in the Americas have been among those between the ages of 19 and 59, but that almost 70 percent of deaths have been among individuals who are 60 years old or older.

"This indicates that younger people are primarily driving the spread of the disease in our region," she said.

Turkey cases climb to 1,502

Turkey's new coronavirus cases jumped to its highest level since mid-June on Tuesday at 1,502, according data provided by the government, which responded by banning some celebrations in 14 provinces.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter that 24 more people died from Covid-19, bringing the country's toll to 6,163.

More than 261,000 people have contracted the disease in Turkey, according to the official tally.

New cases were last this high on June 15 – two weeks after Turkey lifted a partial lockdown – when the country logged 1,592 cases.

Turkey will also let limited numbers of fans attend football matches from October, the Turkish Football Federation said in a statement on Tuesday, rolling back some curbs imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Translate Bio, Sanofi vaccine produces immune response in animal studies

Translate Bio Inc has said that an experimental coronavirus vaccine it developed with French drugmaker Sanofi SA induced immune response in non-human studies, with trials in humans expected to start in November.

In a regulatory filing, the company cited Sanofi's presentation slides showing that three doses of the vaccine candidate induced neutralising antibodies and T-cell responses in animal studies.

Translate, which signed a potential $2 billion vaccine development deal with Sanofi last month, said their vaccine candidate is set to be evaluated in an early- to mid-stage human trial.

Other drugmakers racing to develop a safe and effective vaccine for Covid-19 are further ahead in their testing, with Moderna, Johnson and Johnson and Pfizer starting their late-stage studies.

American Airline to layoff thousands of workers 

American Airlines has warned it will lay off around 19,000 workers on October 1 after federal aid expires unless lawmakers vote to give beleaguered US carriers more money.

American has been forced to slash flights and seen thousands of employees depart under voluntary programmes as it faces a sharp downturn in travel demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

But in a securities filing the Texas-based carrier explained the job cuts are needed because flights have not recovered amid the coronavirus pandemic, and it will keep many planes grounded in the coming months.

Bolsonaro's son tests positive

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's eldest son, Senator Flavio Bolsonaro, has tested positive for the new coronavirus but was asymptomatic.

The 39-year-old senator's office said in a statement he was "feeling fine," isolating at home and taking the anti-malaria drug chloroquine, which his father has aggressively pushed as a treatment for Covid-19 despite studies finding it is ineffective against the virus.

Known for his staunch support of his father, the younger Bolsonaro is under investigation for an alleged embezzlement scheme when he was a state lawmaker for Rio de Janeiro.

He is the fourth member of the presidential family to test positive for the virus.

Two European patients re-infected with virus

Two European patients are confirmed to have been reinfected with the coronavirus, raising concerns about people’s immunity to the virus as the world struggles to tame the pandemic.

The news follows a report this week by researchers in Hong Kong about a man there who had been re-infected four-and-a-half months after being declared recovered.

Broadcasters said a patient in the Netherlands and another in Belgium had been reinfected.

Experts say there would need to be many more cases of reinfection for any fears to be justified. Epidemiologists have said reinfection is just a natural course of the immune system facing viruses.

Indonesia reports 2,447 new cases

Indonesia has reported 2,447 new infections, taking the total number of cases to 157,859.

The data from the country's Covid-19 taskforce showed recorded an additional 99 deaths, taking the total to 6,858, the highest virus death toll in Southeast Asia. 

Myanmar urged to restore internet in Rakhine

Humanitarian workers battling the virus in Myanmar's Rakhine State have urged authorities to restore high-speed internet access to help tackle rising infections in an area where tens of thousands of people have been displaced.

The region has seen the fastest spread of the virus in Myanmar in recent months with more than 80 confirmed cases out of the country's total of 474.

Citing security, Myanmar has curbed internet access in large swathes of the area, where many people live in camps due to fighting between the army and ethnic minority insurgents.

Singapore reports fewest daily cases in five months

Singapore has reported 31 new coronavirus cases, its lowest daily count in more than five months.

The city-state, which saw its cases jump sharply after mass outbreaks in migrant worker dormitories earlier in the year, has recently seen steady declines as those dormitories have been cleared of the coronavirus.

Facing its deepest-ever recession, exacerbated by a two-month virus lockdown, the Southeast Asian island nation has said it will start to tentatively reopen its borders from next month to try and stimulate its tourism and trade-dependent economy.

Pandemic pace slows except for Southeast Asia – WHO

The pandemic is still expanding, but the rise in cases and deaths has slowed globally, except for Southeast Asia and the eastern Mediterranean regions, the WHO, says.

In its latest epidemiological update, issued on Monday night, it said that the Americas remains the hardest-hit region, accounting for half of newly reported cases and 62 percent of the 39,240 deaths worldwide in the past week.

Southeast Asia, the second most affected region, reported a jump accounting for 28 percent of new cases and 15 percent of deaths, it said. India continues to report the majority of cases, but the virus is also spreading rapidly in Nepal.

Russia reports 4,696 new cases

Russia has reported 4,696 new coronavirus cases, pushing its national total to 966,189, the fourth largest in the world.

Authorities said 120 people had died in the last 24 hours, pushing the death toll to 16,568.

Australia's Victoria state reports new cases

The Australian state at the centre of the country's coronavirus second wave reported 148 new Covid-19 cases, more than the previous day but well down from peak levels, and eight deaths.

The majority of new cases reported in recent weeks were in the city of Melbourne, Australia's second largest city and the capital of Victoria state.

Melbourne is just over halfway through a six-week strict lockdown imposed by officials, which requires residents to remain at home unless on essential business.

Businesses have been forced to close and a nightly curfew has been imposed.

China reports new imported cases

China has reported 14 new Covid-19 cases for August 24, all of which were imported infections involving travellers from overseas, according to the country's health authority.

This compared with 16 new cases reported a day earlier, all imported as well, and marked the ninth consecutive day of no locally transmitted cases.

The total number of confirmed cases now stands at 84,981, while the death toll remains unchanged at 4,634.

South Korea orders schools to go back online

South Korea ordered all schools and kindergartens in the greater Seoul region – home to half the country's 52 million population – to switch to online classes as they battle multiple coronavirus clusters.

The country's "trace, test and treat" approach to curbing the virus has been held up as a global model, but it is now trying to contain several outbreaks, mostly linked to Protestant churches.

South Korea reported 280 new infections, taking the country's total to 17,945.

The numbers are low in global terms but represent the South's 12th consecutive day of triple-digit increases after several weeks with numbers generally in the 30s and 40s.

Mexico reports more than 3,500 new cases

Mexico's health ministry reported 3,541 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus infection and 320 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 563,705 cases and 60,800 deaths.

The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

Meanwhile, Americans who regularly cross the border from Mexico reported long wait times to re-enter the United States on Monday after US officials imposed new Covid-19-related restrictions on cross-border travel by US citizens and permanent residents.

Gaza reports first cases of Covid-19

A 48-hour lockdown was imposed in Gaza after the besieged city reported its first cases of Covid-19 in the general population, as authorities confirmed four infections in a refugee camp.

The cases were from a single family in central Gaza, a government spokesman said, amid concern over the territory's potentially disastrous combination of poverty, densely-populated refugee camps and limited hospital capacity.

"A full curfew will be imposed starting tonight and in all of the Gaza Strip," said Salama Marouf, chairman of the government's media office.

As rumours spread, people raced to supermarkets to stock up on food and hygiene supplies. Police vehicles toured the streets using loudspeakers to urge Gazans to abide by the curfew.

Gaza's health ministry said the cases were uncovered after a woman travelled to the West Bank, where she tested positive. 

Source: TRTWorld and agencies