Millions of people across California prepare for strict restrictions within hours as the US state records more than 30,000 cases in a day.
And in the UK, the first doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are set to be administered on Tuesday.
Globally, COVID-19 deaths have surpassed 1.5 million with more than 67 million infections.
46 mins ago (07:00 GMT)
Emergency use requested for AstraZeneca vaccine in India
The Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine producer by volume, has sought emergency use authorisation in the country for AstraZeneca Plc’s COVID-19 vaccine, according to reports in Indian media, citing the Press Trust of India.
SII’s application said data from four clinical studies, two in the UK and one each in Brazil and India, showed that the vaccine, Covishield, was highly effective against severe COVID-19 infections, the report said.
AstraZeneca’s vaccine is logistically feasible for distribution in India since it could be stored at normal refrigeration temperatures of two to eight degrees Celsius (36 – 46 Fahrenheit). Pfizer Inc applied for similar authorisation of its vaccine, which requires temperatures of -70 Celcius (-94 F), in India on Saturday.
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Military to help with COVID-19 surge in S Korea
South Korean President Moon Jae-in ordered the government to mobilise every available resource to track infections and expand testing by deploying the military and public servants, presidential Blue House spokesman Chung Man-ho told a briefing, as the country struggled to control its latest and largest wave of infections.
A medical worker holds a portable fan during in sweltering heat while police officers are tested for COVID-19 at a makeshift clinic at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency in Seoul, South Korea [File: Ahn Young-joon/AFP)Moon said testing sites should operate longer hours to allow people working to get tested at their convenience and more drive-through testing facilities should be set up. The positive rate for the latest batch of tests was about 4.2 percent, compared with the year’s average of 1.2 percent, according to the KDCA.
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California imposes stay-at-home order
People wait to be tested for COVID-19 at a site in Los Angeles [Richard Vogel/AP]A new stay-at-home order has been be imposed on Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley, as the coronavirus crisis spirals out of control with a speed that has exceeded health officials’ most dire projections.
Some 33 million Californians will be subject to the new order, representing 84 percent of the state’s population. The state mandated the restrictions in the Southland and Central Valley as capacity in hospital intensive care units hit dangerously low levels.