North America

Moderna COVID-19 vaccine enters final stage trial July 27: statement

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — The US biotech firm Moderna said Tuesday it would enter the final stage of its human trials for its COVID-19 vaccine on July 27, after promising early results were published in a journal. The Phase 3 trial will recruit 30,000 participants in the US, with half to receive the vaccine at 100 microgram dose levels, and the other half will receive a placebo. It is designed to learn whether the […]

California rolls back reopening as nations battle resurgent coronavirus

by Andrew MARSZAL and AFP bureaus Agence France Presse LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — California drastically rolled back its reopening plans Monday as coronavirus cases surged across dozens of US states and the World Health Organization warned that too many nations are mismanaging their pandemic response. Governor Gavin Newsom ordered all indoor restaurants, bars and movie theaters to close again across California — by far America’s richest and most populous state, with a larger […]

US records another 60,000 new virus cases in 24 hours

  WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — The United States, the country hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, on Sunday recorded 59,747 new cases over the last 24-hour period, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University. The number of cases in the US has rocketed in recent weeks, hitting a record of 66,528 in 24 hours on Saturday. The country has now registered a total of 3,301,820 infections, the Baltimore-based university said in its latest […]

State officials respond to Hawaii’s largest single-day count of new COVID-19 cases

By Alfred Acenas EBC Hawaii Bureau HONOLULU (Eagle News) – The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) announced on Tuesday, July 7, that there were 41 new cases of COVID-19, the highest case count since the pandemic began in early March. Thirty-eight (38) were in Honolulu/Oahu, one (1) in Big Island, and two (2) in Kauai. Governor David Ige has assured that the new COVID-19 cases are still manageable. “It is the highest we’ve had, […]

Trump says Harvard move to online courses due to virus ‘ridiculous’

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — US President Donald Trump lashed out at Harvard University on Tuesday, calling its decision to move all its courses online in the fall due to the coronavirus pandemic “ridiculous.” “I think it’s ridiculous. I think it’s an easy way out. And I think they ought to be ashamed of themselves,” Trump said at a White House roundtable discussion, during which he called for schools and universities to reopen for the […]

US awards $1.6 billion to Novavax for COVID-19 vaccine

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — The US on Tuesday announced it was providing $1.6 billion in funding for the development and manufacture of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate produced by biotech firm Novavax, the largest amount awarded under Operation Warp Speed. Separately, the US also said it was providing $450 million to Regeneron for its experimental COVID-19 treatment and prophylaxis, a combination of two antibodies. Under the terms of its agreement with the Department of Health […]

Brazil’s skeptical president has virus, US starts WHO withdrawal

  by Louis GENOT with AFP bureaus Agence France Presse Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has consistently downplayed the risks of coronavirus, announced Tuesday he has tested positive, as the United States — the nation hardest hit by the pandemic — formally launched its withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO). The UN health agency meanwhile acknowledged that there was “emerging evidence” of airborne transmission of COVID-19, which has infected nearly 11.7 million people around […]

Microsoft, Zoom join pause on Hong Kong data requests

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Microsoft and Zoom on Tuesday joined other major internet firms that have stopped considering requests by Hong Kong’s government for information on users in the wake of China’s imposition of a sweeping new security law. Microsoft and Zoom said they are pausing consideration of data requests by officials or police in Hong Kong, a precaution also taken by Facebook, Google and Twitter. “As we would with any new legislation, […]

US formally starts withdrawal from WHO

by Shaun TANDON WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — President Donald Trump on Tuesday formally started the withdrawal of the United States from the World Health Organization, making good on threats to deprive the UN body of its top funding source over its response to the coronavirus. Public health advocates and Trump’s political opponents voiced outrage at the departure from the Geneva-based body, which leads the global fight on maladies from polio to measles to mental […]

Virus pushes US hospitals to the brink, India hits record new cases

by Ben Sheppard Agence France Presse WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Officials at the epicenter of the worsening coronavirus crisis in the United States warned Sunday their hospitals were in danger of being overwhelmed by the upsurge, as India registered a record number of new cases. In signs of progress, Formula One returned with the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix held behind closed doors, while the Louvre museum in Paris will reopen on Monday after a […]

Mexican police arrest 3 over rehab center attack that left 27 dead

MEXICO CITY, Mexico (AFP) — Mexican police have arrested three men over a bloody gun attack on a drug rehabilitation center that left 27 people dead, the local prosecutor’s office said Sunday. Gunmen burst into the center in the city of Irapuato in the central Guanajuato state on Wednesday, forcing victims “onto the ground and shot them”, authorities said. The suspects were captured in a swoop by special forces, the prosecutor’s office said on Twitter, […]

Young Americans urged to be more responsible in coronavirus fight

by Ivan Couronne WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Accused of failing to uphold their civic duty, younger Americans are behind the current COVID-19 surge, with several states moving to close bars, beaches and other places that saw huge crowds when lockdowns were eased. The median age for new cases in Florida in the past few days has fluctuated between 34 and 36. In Los Angeles, 40 percent of new cases are among those under 40. […]