Russia has developed ‘first’ coronavirus vaccine: Live | News

  • President Vladimir Putin said Russia has developed the first vaccine offering “sustainable immunity” against coronavirus.

  • New Zealand announced its first locally transmitted coronavirus infections in 102 days.

  • Worldwide coronavirus cases have surpassed 20 million, with Brazil and Mexico reporting a combined 27,000 infections in just one day. More than 12.2 million have recovered, and almost 735,000 have died from the disease, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.

  • US President Donald Trump is considering a measure to block US citizens and permanent residents from entering the country if they are suspected of being infected with the new coronavirus, according to the New York Times and Reuters news agency.

Here are the latest updates:

Tuesday, August 11

16:30 GMT – Spain’s total coronavirus cases rise to 326,612

Spain’s health ministry has reported 1,418 new coronavirus cases, below last week’s peaks.

Cumulative cases, which also include results from antibody tests on people who may have recovered, increased further to reach a total of 326,612.

The disease claimed 64 lives over the past seven days, the statistics showed. In total, more than 28,500 people have died from the disease in Spain, one of Europe’s hardest-hit countries by COVID-19.

16:15 GMT – Delay routine dental checkups, WHO urges, until COVID risk is known

Dental patients and staff need to be protected from any potential infection by aerosol-generating procedures, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday, as dentists return to work in areas where the COVID-19 pandemic is easing.

There is currently no data on the spread of coronavirus from the dentist’s chair, it said, calling for more research into common procedures that produce tiny floating particles that may cause infection if inhaled.

These include three-way air/water spray, ultrasonic cleaning equipment that removes deposits from the tooth surface, and polishing, the WHO said in new guidance.

16:00 GMT – WHO lacks info to evaluate Russian COVID-19 vaccine, says PAHO

The World Health Organization has not received enough information on the Russian COVID-19 vaccine to evaluate it, the assistant director of its regional branch, the Pan American Health Organization, Jarbas Barbosa has said. 

Asked about plans to produce the potential vaccine in Brazil, Barbosa said that should not be done until Phase 2 and 3 trials are completed to guarantee its safety and effectiveness.

“Any vaccine producer has to follow this procedure that guarantees it is safe and has the WHO’s recommendation,” he said in a virtual briefing from Washington. 

15:45 GMT – COVID-19: New York’s true nursing home death toll is likely high

Riverdale Nursing Home in the New York City borough of the Bronx appears, on paper, to have escaped the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, with an official state count of just four deaths in its 146-bed facility.

The truth, according to the home, is far worse: 21 dead, most transported to hospitals before they succumbed to COVID-19.

“It was a cascading effect,” administrator Emil Fuzayov recalled. “One after the other.”

New York’s coronavirus death toll in nursing homes, already among the highest in the nation, could actually be a significant undercount.

Read more here. 

15:30 GMT -UK schools start to reopen despite increase in cases 

Scottish children went back to school for the first time in five months as leaders across the United Kingdom try to kickstart a return to education despite a resurgence in the number of coronavirus cases.

Scotland’s devolved government has ordered pupils in different parts of the country to return gradually through this week, with all classes set to have resumed fully by next Tuesday.

In England, where plans to restart schooling in June had to be abandoned following opposition from teaching unions and some parents, the government is adamant that children will return in early September.

But the reopenings come as the UK, which has recorded the highest death toll in Europe from COVID-19 with more than 46,000 fatalities, could be witnessing the start of a resurgence.

15:15 GMT – Brazilian state plans deal with Russia to make COVID-19 vaccine

Brazil’s Parana state is in talks with Russia to produce a COVID-19 vaccine, the state research institute has said, hours after President Vladimir Putin declared his country to be the world’s first to grant regulatory approval for a vaccine.

Joao Pedro Schonarth, spokesman for the Parana Technology Institute (Tecpar), told Reuters talks were underway. 

With the world’s biggest coronavirus outbreak outside the United States, Brazil has become a hub for mass clinical trials of potential vaccines, with candidates from the UK and China already being tested.

15:00 GMT – Mexico to conduct late-stage trials for China, US COVID-19 vaccines

Mexico aims to conduct late-stage clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines in development by Johnson & Johnson and two Chinese companies within months, the foreign minister has said, adding that the goal was to secure access to the drugs.

Mexico has signed memorandums of understanding with J&J and Chinese companies CanSino Biologics Inc and Walvax Biotechnology Co Ltd, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said at news conference.

Ebrard said the trials would start between September and January, depending on approval from Mexico’s food and drug agency.

14:45 GMT – French PM: Coronavirus infection rate headed in wrong direction

France is extending a ban on public gatherings of more than 5,000 people to October 30 as coronavirus infections rise sharply, Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Tuesday.

Castex told a news conference that the coronavirus situation in France had been going “the wrong way” for two weeks.

On Monday, France reported the first significant daily rise in the number of people in hospital with COVID-19 since the end of its strict lockdown.

14:30 GMT – US health chief Alex Azar blames China for virus spread

US Health and Human Service Secretary Alex Azar has redoubled accusations that China failed to adequately warn of the coronavirus after it was first detected in Wuhan.

Azar says China’s ruling Communist Party “had the chance to warn the world and work with the world on battling the virus. But they chose not to, and the costs of that choice mount higher every day.”

14:15 GMT

Hello, this is Elizabeth Melimopoulos taking over the live updates from my colleague Hamza Mohamed in Doha.

12:15 GMT – WHO wants to review Russian vaccine safety data

The World Health Organization said any WHO stamp of approval on a COVID-19 vaccine candidate would require a rigorous safety data review, after Russia announced it had approved a vaccine.

“We are in close contact with the Russian health authorities and discussions are ongoing with respect to possible WHO pre-qualification of the vaccine,” the United Nations health agency’s spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told reporters in Geneva at an online press briefing.

“Pre-qualification of any vaccine includes the rigorous review and assessment of all the required safety and efficacy data.”

outside image - Russia vaccine

President Vladimir Putin said Russia had become the first country to approve a vaccine offering “sustainable immunity” against the new coronavirus [EPA]

11:30 GMT – Dutch cases jumped 55 percent in the past week 

New confirmed coronavirus cases in the Netherlands jumped to 4,036 in the past week, continuing the rapid increase seen since the easing of lockdown measures last month, Dutch health authorities said.

The number of infections was up 55 percent from the 2,588 cases reported over the previous week.

11:15 GMT – Egypt-Gaza crossing opens for first time in months

The only crossing between Gaza and Egypt opened on Tuesday for 72 hours, allowing people to leave the Palestinian enclave for the first time since the novel coronavirus outbreak began.

The Rafah crossing in southern Gaza was closed in March, as Hamas sought to guard against a major virus outbreak in the densely-populated territory with weak health infrastructure. The crossing reopened for limited two-way movement on Tuesday.

Egypt opens Rafah border crossing with Gaza

Rafah was opened for three days in April, but only to allow Gazans stranded abroad to return home [File – Mohammed Saber/EPA] 

Gaza’s interior ministry spokesman Iyad Al-Bazam said people who hold foreign passports, foreign residency permits or emergency medical needs “will be allowed to leave”.

10:35 GMT – Singapore confirms 61 new cases, lowest daily count in four months

Singapore reported 61 new COVID-19 cases, its lowest daily count in more than four months.

The city-state went into lockdown in mid-April after mass outbreaks in cramped migrant worker dormitories pushed its caseload to one of the highest in Asia.

Last week, it said it had cleared infections from all of the dormitories – housing about 300,000 workers – barring some blocks which continue to serve as isolation zones.

Of Tuesday’s cases – its lowest tally since April 2 – the majority were among those remaining workers serving quarantine.

10:05 GMT – New Zealand announces return of coronavirus after 102 days

New Zealand announced its first locally transmitted coronavirus infections in 102 days on Tuesday, prompting the country’s prime minister to issue a stay-at-home lockdown order for the country’s largest city.

“After 102 days, we have our first cases of COVID-19 outside of managed isolation or quarantine facilities… While we have all worked incredibly hard to prevent this scenario, we have also planned and prepared for it,” Jacinda Ardern said.

Jacinda - Coronavirus

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said four cases had been detected in a single family in Auckland from an unknown source [Hagen Hopkins/AP]

09:40 GMT – Former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee contracts COVID-19

Former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee was put on ventilator support after undergoing surgery having contracted COVID-19, local media reported, quoting unidentified sources at the military hospital in New Delhi where he is admitted.

The reports on Mukherjee, 84, who served as president between 2012 and 2017, came as the federal health ministry once again reported a daily increase of more than 50,000 coronavirus cases. The world’s second-most populous country has been crossing the number every day since July 30.

Mukherjee, who also led India’s federal defence, foreign affairs, finance ministries over a decades-long political career, said in a Twitter posting on Monday that he had tested positive for COVID-19 while visiting the hospital for a separate procedure.

“I request the people who came in contact with me in the last week, to please self isolate and get tested for COVID-19,” he said, without disclosing further details of his condition.

Indian Foreign Minister Mukherjee waves to the media in New Delhi

Mukherjee, 84, served as president between 2012 and 2017 [File: Adnan Abidi/Reuters]

09:10 GMT – Russia approves world’s first coronavirus vaccine 

Russia has developed the first vaccine offering “sustainable immunity” against the coronavirus, President Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday.

“This morning, for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the new coronavirus was registered” in Russia, he said during a televised video conference call with government ministers.

The country’s health ministry has given regulatory approval for the vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, after less than two months of human testing, Putin said.

outside image - Russia vaccine

 President Putin said his daughter inoculated with new vaccine that proved efficient during tests [EPA]

The move paves the way for mass inoculation even as the final stages of clinical trials to test safety and efficacy continue.

08:35 GMT – Indonesia reports 1,693 new cases

Indonesia reported 1,693 new coronavirus cases, bringing the country’s total tally of infections to 128,776, data from the country’s health ministry website showed.

The data also showed an additional 59 deaths, taking the total number of fatalities to 5,824, the highest COVID-19 death toll in Southeast Asia.

08:00 GMT – UK’s Heathrow Airport passenger numbers down 88 percent

Britain’s Heathrow Airport renewed its call for COVID-19 testing at airports as it reported an 88 percent plunge in July passenger numbers due to ongoing restrictions on travel which it said were strangling the UK economy.

Despite thousands of Britons holidaying overseas after months of lockdown, the government has already reimposed quarantine on arrivals from Spain, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Bahamas and Andorra.

“Tens of thousands of jobs are being lost because Britain remains cut off from critical markets such as the US, Canada and Singapore,” said Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye.

UK - coronavirus

More than 860,000 passengers travelled through Heathrow in July [Andy Rain/EPA]

07:25 GMT – Bhutan orders first coronavirus lockdown 

Bhutan ordered its first nationwide lockdown on Tuesday after a returning resident tested positive for coronavirus after being discharged from quarantine and coming into close contact with people in the capital Thimphu.

The lockdown was ordered after a 27-year-old Bhutanese woman, who returned from Kuwait and was discharged from quarantine after testing negative, tested positive at a clinic on Monday.

The case took the total in the tiny Himalayan kingdom to 113, still the lowest in South Asia, and it has not recorded any death.

Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge reacts after shooting an arrow at Changlimithang Archery Ground in Thimphu

Bhutan, which is heavily reliant on high-end tourists, banned tourism in March [File: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters]

06:55 GMT – Economic cost of coronavirus seen in UK jobs data: Minister

Coronavirus was always going to have an economic cost said junior health minister, Edward Argar, when asked about UK jobs data which showed the biggest fall in employment in the country since 2009.

“We always knew that sadly this disease would not only have a health cost but would have an economic cost and I think we are seeing the consequences of part of that,” he told Sky News on Tuesday.

The number of people in employment in the UK fell by 220,000 in the three months to June, Office for National Statistics said. The unemployment rate held at 3.9 percent but that reflected an increase in people who had given up looking for work and who were therefore not considered to be unemployed.

06:40 GMT – Manager of Japan’s football club tests positive for COVID-19

The manager of Japanese top-flight side Sagan Tosu, Kim Myung-hwi, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the club said.

Kim felt unwell before Sagan Tosu’s game at Kashima Antlers on Saturday but as his symptoms did not include a fever, the 39-year-old remained involved in the match, they said.

Kim developed a fever on Sunday evening and after having a PCR test he received the positive result on Monday.

Sagan Tosu v Albirex Niigata - J.League J1

The club said all players and staff had since been tested and would know their results before Wednesday’s Levain Cup match against Sanfrecce Hiroshima, which is currently scheduled to go ahead [File: Masahiro Ura/Getty]


Hello, this is Hamza Mohamed in Doha, Qatar, taking over from my colleague Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


05:45 GMT – Philippines’ Duterte has ‘huge trust’ in Russia vaccine

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has lauded Russia’s efforts to develop a coronavirus vaccine and is willing to participate in trials, as he welcomed a supply offer from Moscow that he expects will be free of charge, according to Reuters news agency.

Russia expects regulatory approval for a potential COVID-19 vaccine this month and is ready to provide it to the Philippines, or team up with a local firm to mass-produce it.

The Philippines has among Asia’s highest numbers of coronavirus infections, which rose to 136,638 on Monday after a record daily jump of 6,958 cases.

To allay public fears, Duterte offered to be a guinea pig when the vaccine arrives and said: “I can be the first they can experiment on.”

04:40 GMT – Incoming UNGA president praises Pakistan’s response against pandemic

Volkan Bozkir, the incoming president of the United Nations General Assembly has praised Pakistan for quickly containing the coronavirus, saying the South Asian nation’s handling of the pandemic is a good example for the world, according to AP news agency.

The Turkish diplomat was recently elected as the president of the 75th session of the UNGA.

Pakistan on Monday reported 15 deaths from coronavirus in the past 24 hours, raising its total COVID-19-related fatalities to 6,097. It has reported a total of more than 284,000 cases.

04:20 GMT – Hong Kong reports another coronavirus death; death toll at 56

An elderly man has died of the coronavirus infection at a hospital in Hong Kong, pushing the number of deaths in the semi-autonomous city to 56.

According to the South China Morning Post on Tuesday, the 79-year-old patient was hospitalised since July 27. He had some medical pre-conditions before being infected with COVID-19.

As of Monday, Hong Kong recorded 4,148 coronavirus infections.

Hong Kong

As of Monday, Hong Kong has recorded 4,148 coronavirus infections and 56 deaths [File: Tyrone Siu/Reuters]

04:00 GMT – Papua New Guinea to lift lockdown despite surge in cases

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape is pressing ahead with plans to lift lockdown measures in the Pacific nation this week, even as a recent spike in coronavirus infections worries health officials, according to Reuters.

Marape said two-week lockdown in the capital of Port Moresby would be lifted from Wednesday, despite the country’s reported cases of COVID-19 doubling over the past week.

PNG had a total of 214 cases and three deaths as of Sunday, the World Health Organization reported, up from 104 cases and one death the previous week. More worryingly, the WHO said, it was likely the real infection numbers were much higher, given low rates of testing in the country.

03:30 GMT – New Zealand retirement home in lockdown to test for COVID-19

A New Zealand retirement village has gone into lockdown after residents displayed symptoms of the respiratory illness, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

New Zealand, which has managed to largely contain the spread of the coronavirus, has gone more than 100 days without community transmission of COVID-19.

02:55 GMT – ‘Land of COVID-19’? Philippines protests Thai newspaper headline

The Philippine government has sent a letter of protest to a Bangkok-based newspaper over a headline calling the country the “land of COVID-19”, after it recorded the highest number of coronavirus cases in the East Asia region.

In a letter to Thai Rath editor-in-chief Saravut Vacharaphol, Philippine Consul General to Thailand Val Simon Roque said the description “is inappropriate, insensitive, and unhelpful”.

In a report dated August 8, Thai Rath said that 165 Filipino teachers arrived in Bangkok from the “land of COVID-19”. Thousands of Filipino teachers work in Thailand to fill its shortage in the education field.

The Philippines has recorded 136,638 cases and almost 2,300 deaths as of the end of Monday. The number of cases tops the entire East Asia region and ranks 22 worldwide.

02:20 GMT – Greece reports 126 new cases, Athens museum ordered shut

Greece has confirmed at least 126 new coronavirus infections, pushing the country’s total to 5,749 with at least 213 deaths.

According to the government, 17 of the new cases involved migrants in Lesbos, who arrived from Turkey.

Meanwhile, the country’s culture ministry announced that for the next two weeks, the Museum of the Ancient Agora in Athens will be closed for disinfection, after one of its workers had tested positive for COVID-19.

01:48 GMT – South Korea reports 34 new cases

South Korea’s new coronavirus cases returned to more than 30 on Tuesday, as an uptick in church-traced infections shows no signs of a letup, according to Yonhap news agency.

The country identified an additional 34 virus cases, including 23 domestic infections, raising the total caseload to 14,660, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

There were no new reported fatalities for the second consecutive day, keeping the death toll at 305.

Coronavirus - South Korea

Amid continuing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, South Korean students gather in capital Seoul on Monday to protest against the US-South Korea alliance and joint military drills [Kim Chul-soo/EPA]

01:30 GMT – Drug company eyes 500-600 million doses of vaccine by 2021 

The US-listed drug company, Novavax Inc, said its manufacturing capacity is sufficient to meet the US demand for COVID-19 vaccines in 2021, according to reports.

Executives of the company said the demand for vaccines could be as high as 500 million to 600 million doses.

Novavax expects to be able to produce more than two billion doses of its vaccine annually overall, the executives told reporters.

01:10 GMT – UK laying off 6,000 COVID-19 contact tracers

The British government is laying off 6,000 coronavirus contact tracers and deploying the rest to work in local teams, in an acknowledgement that the centralised track-and-trace system is not working well enough, AP news agency reported.

The UK has been criticised for failing to keep track of infected people’s contacts early in the pandemic, a factor that contributed to the country’s high death toll of more than 46,500, the most in Europe.

The national test-and-trace programme said it was officially adopting that localised approach. Some 6,000 contact tracers will be laid off this month, and the remaining 12,000 will work with local public health authorities around the country.

00:47 GMT – Mexico reports more than 5,500 new cases, 705 deaths

At least 5,558 new coronavirus cases and 705 additional deaths have been reported in Mexico, bringing the total in the country to 485,836 cases and 53,003 deaths, according to Reuters news agency.

The country’s health ministry said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

00:20 GMT – Brazil registers 22,048 new cases and 703 more deaths

Brazil has registered 22,048 new cases of coronavirus and 703 deaths, Reuters news agency reported quoting the health ministry.

Overall, Brazil now has 3,057,470 confirmed cases, while the death toll has risen to 101,752.

00:05 GMT – Trump weighs blocking returning US citizens if infection feared

The Trump administration is considering a measure to block US citizens and permanent residents from returning home if they are suspected of being infected with the new coronavirus, according to the New York Times and Reuters.

The draft regulation would give the government authorisation to block individuals who could “reasonably” be believed to have contracted COVID-19 or other diseases.

Trump has instituted a series of sweeping immigration restrictions since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, suspending some legal immigration and allowing US border authorities to rapidly deport migrants caught at the border without standard legal processes.

00:01 GMT – Australia reports 331 new cases, 19 deaths

Australia’s second-most populous state of Victoria on Tuesday reported 19 deaths from the coronavirus in the last 24 hours and 331 new cases, according to Reuters news agency.

The state reported 322 infections and 19 deaths, its biggest one-day rise in casualties, a day earlier.

Victoria last week began a six-week total lockdown, closing down shops and businesses to contain a second wave of infections requiring its five million residents to stay home.


Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I am Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur. 

For all the key developments from yesterday, August 10, go here.

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