Here’s what you need to know about the worldwide spread of the coronavirus right now:
Britain removes Denmark from travel corridor
Britain said it is removing Denmark from its travel corridor list, with people arriving from there needing to self-isolate from Friday after health authorities in Denmark reported widespread coronavirus outbreaks in mink farms.
Denmark announced strict new lockdown rules on Thursday in the north of the country after authorities discovered a mutated coronavirus strain in minks bred in the region, prompting a nationwide cull. Authorities said five cases of the new virus strain had been recorded on mink farms and 12 cases in humans.
In a report published on Wednesday, the State Serum Institute (SSI), the authority dealing with infectious diseases, said tests showed the new strain had mutations on its so-called spike protein, a part of the virus that invades and infects healthy cells. That poses a risk to any novel coronavirus vaccines based on disabling the spike protein, SSI said.
Celltrion’s antibody drug cut recovery time-early study
South Korean drugmaker Celltrion Inc said on Friday patients treated with its experimental Covid-19 antibody drug in a small, early-stage trial showed at least a 44% improvement in recovery time. The result bodes well for Celltrion, which plans to seek conditional approval for the monoclonal antibody treatment, CT-P59, for emergency use by the end of this year in South Korea.
The treatment, the most advanced antibody drug in terms of research in South Korea, is directed against the surface of the coronavirus and designed to block it from locking on to human cells. Monoclonal antibodies are manufactured copies of antibodies created by the body to fight an infection.
Celltrion, which is planning global Phase 2 and 3 trials of the drug, said last month it received regulatory approval for Phase 3 clinical trials from South Korea. The third-stage trials will be conducted on about 1 000 asymptomatic coronavirus patients and those who have come into close contact with Covid-19 patients in Korea.
US cases make record climb for second day in a row
Coronavirus cases in the United States surged by at least 120 276 on Thursday, according to a Reuters tally, the second consecutive daily record rise as the outbreak spreads in every region.
US cases have risen by more than 100 000 for three of the last seven days, putting pressure on hospitals in several states and causing families to rethink their plans for Thanksgiving on Nov. 26. While the spread of the virus is wide, the outbreak is hitting the Midwest particularly hard, based on daily new cases per capita.
Some cities and states have announced new measures such as curfews or reduced gathering sizes to combat the spread of the virus, but the United States has taken no action at the federal level. Seventeen out of 50 states do not require masks.
Should we be paid to get Covid-19 shots?
A suggestion by an ethics professor at a top British university that governments should pay people to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus has sparked debate over whether such incentives are ethical, or dangerous, and would boost or limit uptake.
“‘Anti-vaxxers’ may never be convinced to change their stance, but incentivising vaccination may persuade others who might not have done so to get the jab,” Julian Savulescu, a professor at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at Oxford University, wrote in an article in the British Medical Journal.
When it comes to routine childhood vaccines – such as those against contagious diseases like measles – the World Health Organization says that making them mandatory is one of the best ways to boost coverage rates. But policies that incentivise or make vaccinations compulsory for adults are rare.