An antibody cocktail that gives immediate protection against coronavirus and could bring outbreaks on cruise ships and in care homes to a halt is being trialled in Britain.
The treatment has been developed by pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca from Covid-fighting antibodies found in the blood of a patient who survived the virus.
With a vaccine, the body takes around six weeks to develop immunity after an injection. With the cocktail, it is thought that the antibodies are able to fight off the virus immediately and may last for a year before needing to be replenished.
The Government hopes the treatment could protect hundreds of thousands of people who cannot be vaccinated because their immune systems are compromised.
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‘A normal Christmas is right out of the question’
Justin Trudeau said on Friday that Canada’s hospital system could be overwhelmed by a possible quadrupling of new Covid cases by year end as its biggest city, Toronto, prepares to impose a lockdown.
The Prime Minister implored his fellow Canadians to stay home as much as possible as a second wave tears across the country, forcing several of the 10 provinces to reimpose curbs on movement and businesses.
Cases continue to spike and authorities complain some people are being more careless about taking precautions.
“A normal Christmas is quite frankly right out of the question,” Mr Trudeau said.
“Cases across the country are spiking massively … we’re really at risk of seeing case loads go up and hospitals get overwhelmed.”
Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced on Friday that Toronto and the nearby region of Peel would enter into lockdown on Monday.
Canada has recorded a total of 315,751 cases and 11,265 deaths.
North Macedonia declares its first nationwide state of emergency
North Macedonia has declared its first-ever nationwide state of emergency, allowing authorities to more easily use the armed forces as well as private resources to fight the pandemic.
The 30-day order, the first of its kind since the Balkan nation became independent in 1991, takes effect on Saturday and was imposed after Covid-19 treatment capacity reached its limit.
The army will be used to help civilian authorities transport patients and build field hospitals.
Government-imposed restrictions have failed to curb a rise in infection rates.
A total of 1,462 people have died from the pandemic in the landlocked country of around two million people – with 39 deaths recorded in the past 24 hours and an estimated 20,000 cases still active.
China to test three million people
China is starting mass testing on three million people in a section of the northern city of Tianjin and has tested 4,015 people in a hospital in Shanghai after the discovery of a few cases on Friday.
The National Health Commission recorded seven new domestically transmitted cases of Covid-19 on Saturday, with five in Tianjin and two cases in the city of Shanghai.
Tianjin on Friday reported a case of community transmission involving four individuals. In response, local authorities sealed off the residential community where the individuals lived as well as a hospital and a kindergarten.
Authorities on Saturday will start testing all residents in Binhai district in Tianjin city.
In Shanghai, authorities sealed off a hospital after a husband and wife in the Pudong New district tested positive on Friday night after visiting the hospital for a diagnosis.
China’s total number of confirmed cases is now 86,414.
US could approve first coronavirus vaccine ‘within weeks’
United States regulators were set to begin the first steps in approving a Covid-19 vaccine on Friday with the submission of an emergency use authorisation request by vaccine developers Pfizer/BioNTech.
This is the first time that regulators anywhere in the world will start the approval process for a vaccine that many hope will turn the tide on the coronavirus pandemic.
The emergency authorisation is temporary or conditional and is granted by the US Food and Drug Administration in response to a situation such as a pandemic.
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And another of Donald Trump’s sons tests positive
US President Donald Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jnr has tested positive for Covid-19 and is quarantining without symptoms.
The 42-year-old is the latest in a long list of infections among those with links to the White House.
“Don tested positive at the start of the week and has been quarantining out at his cabin since the result,” his spokesman said.
“He’s been completely asymptomatic so far and is following all medically recommended Covid-19 guidelines.”
Rudy Giuliani’s son tests positive
Andrew Giuliani, a White House aide and son of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, said on Friday that he had tested positive for coronavirus.
“This morning, I tested positive for Covid-19,” the younger Giuliani, who joined the Trump White House’s Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs in 2017, said on Twitter.
“I am experiencing mild symptoms, and am following all appropriate protocols, including being in quarantine and conducting contact tracing.”
Andrew attended his father’s press conference on Thursday at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington, according to multiple reports.
The elder Giuliani and other Trump campaign lawyers spoke without masks from an indoor podium, to an audience of dozens of people.
Jenna Ellis, another Trump lawyer who spoke at the press conference, said on Twitter on Friday that she and Rudy “have both tested negative for Covid-19”.
“The entire legal team will continue to follow the advice and protocols of our doctors,” she wrote.
South Korea may have to reconsider restrictions
South Korea has reported 386 new cases of coronavirus in a resurgence that could force authorities to reimpose stronger social distancing restrictions after easing them in October to spur a faltering economy.
The figures released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Saturday brought the national caseload to 30,403, including 503 deaths.
More than 270 of the new cases came from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, where health workers have struggled to track transmissions in schools, private tutoring academies and religious facilities.
Infections were also reported in other major cities including Busan, Daejeon, Gwangju and Asan.
Source: The Telegraph Travels