First human coronavirus vaccine trials begin in UK

UNTV News   •   April 24, 2020   •   1179

Scientists in Britain began clinical trials of a potential COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday (April 23) as other vaccine developers across Europe also stepped up work on experimental shots against the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

Two volunteers were the first people in the world to get a potential vaccine at Oxford University as the scientist in charge of the project said she was very optimistic it would be a success.

Edward O’Neill and Elisa Granato received a shot of “ChAdOx1 nCoV-19”, while Italy’s ReiThera, Germany’s Leukocare and Belgium’s Univercells said they were working together on another potential shot and aimed to start trials in a few months.

As many as 100 potential COVID-19 candidate vaccines are now under development by biotech and research teams around the world, and at least five of these are in preliminary testing in people in what are known as Phase 1 clinical trials.

The Oxford scientists said last week that large-scale production capacity was being put in place to make millions of doses of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 shot, even before trials show whether it is effective.

They said on Thursday that the main focus of initial tests is “to find out if this vaccine is going to work against COVID-19, if it won’t cause unacceptable side effects and if it induces good immune responses”. Sarah Gilbert, a professor of vaccinology at Oxford University, said given the success of other vaccine projects she has worked on, she was confident that this one would also prove viable.

The race for a vaccine has been fuelled by the shortage of options for treating the disease. The European Union’s drug regulator on Thursday reiterated a warning against using two older malaria drugs outside of trials or national emergency use programmes, citing potentially lethal side effects. (Reuters)

(Production: Iain Axon and Hanna Rantala)

‘No need to panic buy,’ Palace reminds public

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 3, 2020

Consumers in Metro Manila flocked to grocery stores after President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday night, approved the reversion of some areas to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) in response to the medical frontliners’ plea for a two-week “timeout”.

This prompted Malacañang on Monday to remind the public not to panic buy amid the implementation of MECQ in the National Capital Region (NCR).

“Walang dahilan para mag-panic buying. Supplies are high, delivered in supermarkets in anticipation of bigger demand prior to MECQ,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

The Palace official reiterated that only essential establishments will remain open including supermarkets, banks, and hospitals. He also said that the “time out” will be used to strengthen the government’s testing, tracing, and treatment of COVID-19.

“This is primarily to accede to the demand of the frontliners for a break. A ‘time out,'” Roque said. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

PLM on 2-week lockdown over rise in COVID-19 cases among staff

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 3, 2020

The Pamantasang Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) will be placed under a two-week lockdown due to the high number of staff that tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“There are currently four confirmed cases, with two recovered patients and one fatality among employees. There are also three probable and one suspect cases,” PLM President Emmanuel Leyco said in a statement.

BREAKING: Mayor Isko approves two-week quarantine at PLM amid rising COVID-19 casesManila City Mayor Francisco ‘Isko…

Posted by Manila Public Information Office on Sunday, August 2, 2020

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso has approved their request and the PLM management will be adopting a strict work-from-home arrangement for employees for the next two weeks.

“As a University which produces doctors, nurses and medical professionals, we believe it is necessary to respond to the public health crisis by listening to science and the inputs of medical experts,” Leyco said. AAC

Hoping to show off your newborn? Glass-enclosed mobile presentation cabins available in Mexico

UNTV News   •   August 3, 2020

A Monterrey-based advertising company in Mexico changed its set of operations and now offers local residents the opportunity to rent a glass-enclosed mobile cabin to present newborns to family amid the ongoing pandemic.

A glass-enclosed mobile cabin arrives at the venue and is deep cleaned before proud parents and newborn make their entrance, while relatives and friends drive past honking their horns to take a peek at the baby.

Only close relatives are then allowed to get down from their vehicles in order to get a closer look. Renting the cabin costs $900 pesos ($40 dollars) per hour.

Adman Ernesto Gonzalez, came up with the enterprise because his daughter was born in June and he was worried that his 95-year-old grandmother would be unable to meet her.

Mexico racked up a record number of new confirmed coronavirus infections on Saturday (August 1), registering more than 9,000 daily cases for the first time and passing the previous peak for the second day running, official data showed.

Mexico’s health ministry reported 9,556 new cases of coronavirus, surging past the record of 8,458 set on Friday. The ministry also logged 784 additional fatalities, bringing the total tally in the country to 434,193 cases and 47,472 deaths. (Reuters)

(Production: Daniel Becerril, Rodolfo Pena Roja, Geraldine Downer)

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