Friday, 11 September
- Oxford Covid-19 vaccine is still possible this year, ays AstraZeneca chief.
- MPs want furlough extended to minimise job losses.
- North Korea issues shoot-to-kill orders to prevent virus: US.
- India orders states to expand coronavirus testing.
- Tokyo to ease voluntary measures on travel and dining, as cases slow.
- Mexico reports nearly 5,000 new Covid-19 cases.
Oxford Covid-19 vaccine is still possible this year, says AstraZeneca chief
The Guardian says AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine could still be available by the end of the year, or early next year, despite clinical trials being paused, according to the company’s chief.
AstraZeneca and Oxford University are jointly developing the vaccine and testing it on 50,000 to 60,000 people around the world. The trials were paused on Wednesday to investigate the “potentially unexpected illness” of one participant.
Read the full story on The Guardian
MPs want furlough extended to minimise job losses
BBC News says MPs are calling for the government to extend its furlough scheme. The Treasury Select Committee has warned the coronavirus pandemic risks mass long-term unemployment and viable firms could go under without support.
However, a blanket retention of the scheme would not be good value for money, it added.
The Treasury said it would “continue to innovate in supporting incomes and employment.”
Read the full story on BBC News
North Korea issues shoot-to-kill orders to prevent virus: US
France24 says North Korean authorities have issued shoot-to-kill orders to prevent the coronavirus entering the country from China, according to the commander of US forces in the South.
The impoverished North – who’s health system would struggle to cope with a major outbreak – has not confirmed a single case of Covid-19, despite the virus sweeping the world since it first emerged in China, the North’s key ally.
Read the full story on France24
India orders states to expand coronavirus testing
Aljazeera says India’s health ministry asked states to allow coronavirus testing on-demand without a doctor’s prescription as the country logged another record jump in daily cases.
It also said some negative rapid antigen tests should be redone through the more reliable RT-PCR method.
Read the ful story on Aljazeera
Tokyo to ease voluntary measures on travel and dining, as cases slow
Japan Times says Tokyo lowered its coronavirus alert status Thursday and Gov. Yuriko Koike also announced that voluntary measures that discourage dining out, public events and travel outside the capital would be loosened.
The announcements represent the capital’s latest efforts to reopen the city amid the ongoing pandemic by relaxing coronavirus measures that promote safety but stifle revenue, including travel guidelines that are choking the domestic tourism industry.
Read the full story on Japan Times
Mexico reports nearly 5,000 new Covid-19 cases
CNN says Mexico’s Health Ministry reported 4,857 new Covid-19 cases and 554 new virus-related deaths on Thursday.
That brings the total number of cases confirmed in the country to 652,364, including at least 69,649 fatalities.
The latest figures come as Mexico’s government responded to the pausing of the AstraZeneca vaccine trial.
Read the full story on CNN
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A quick look at the other top stories
New Orleans shootings: 4 dead, 1 hurt in separate shootings
Fox News says authorities in New Orleans responded to at least two shootings Thursday night at separate locations that resulted in four deaths and a victim who was injured, a report said.
Read the full story on Fox News
Hungary and Portugal to be added to England’s travel quarantine list
Euronews says Portugal and Hungary are to be added to England’s travel quarantine list, meaning arrivals from these countries will need to self-isolate for 14 days.
The measures will come into effect from 4 am BST on Saturday, the UK’s Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said.
Read the full story on Euronews
South Africa: Economy down 51% in second quarter
Africanews says South Africa’s economy, the most industrialised in Africa, collapsed by 51% between April and June in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the country’s statistics agency.
Read the full story on Africanews
Explosion at a military installation in the city of Zarqa
Arab News says an electrical short circuit at a military warehouse on the outskirts of the Jordanian city of Zarqa caused a massive explosion on Friday morning.
The installation contained idle mortar bombs belonging to the armed forces, said the minister of state for media affairs.
Read the full story on Arab News
Singapore and Japan to launch ‘green lane’ for business
CNA says Singapore and Japan will launch a “reciprocal green lane” to facilitate essential business and official travel between the two countries on Sep 18, their foreign ministers said on Friday in a joint press statement issued by the MFA.
Read the full story on CNA