African nations next week will hold a high-level conference on coronavirus vaccines to “position ourselves to not be left behind” in access, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chief said.
John Nkengasong said the World Health Organization director general will attend the discussion that also will focus on “how we can manufacture a vaccine ourselves.” He said countries including Senegal, Egypt and South Africa already have vaccine manufacturing capabilities.
Concern has been high among Africa’s 54 nations about access to testing and medical supplies amid intense global competition.
Africa’s virus cases are now above 260,000, with South Africa representing about 30 per cent of infections.
More than 3.7 million tests for the virus have been conducted in Africa, where the WHO has said the pandemic is “accelerating” on the continent of 1.3 billion people. Ten African nations account for about 80 per cent of testing, while the rest are “still struggling,” Nkengasong said.
According to a database maintained by Johns Hopkins University, there were more than 8.3 million reported cases worldwide as of Thursday morning, with more than 449,000 deaths.
The U.S. accounted for more than 2.1 million cases, with more than 117,000 deaths.
What’s happening with COVID-19 in Canada
WATCH | Students went to online classes, but it’s not clear how much:
As of 11:20 a.m. ET on Thursday, Canada had 100,146 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases, with 62,442 considered recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial data, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 8,349.
India recorded the highest one-day spike of 12,281 coronavirus cases, raising the total to 366,946 even as the government ruled out reimposing a countrywide lockdown.
India’s death toll reached 12,237, a rise of 334 in the past 24 hours, according to the Health Ministry. The number of recoveries touched 52 per cent, at 194,325.
India stands behind the United States, Brazil and Russia in the number of cases.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday rejected media reports that the government was considering reimposing lockdown. India has to think about further unlocking, while minimizing all possibilities of harm to people, he said.
The March 25 lockdown is now restricted to high-risk areas.
The worst-hit states are Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and New Delhi.
Turkish authorities have made the wearing of masks mandatory in three major cities to curb the spread of COVID-19 following an uptick in cases since the country allowed many businesses to reopen.
The governors of Istanbul, Ankara and Bursa announced the mask rule late Wednesday in line with a recommendation by the country’s scientific advisory council. Masks are obligatory in 47 out of 81 provinces. The statements said masks must be worn in all public spaces.
Turkey is seeing an upward trend in the daily number of infections after the government authorized cafes, restaurants, gyms, parks, beaches and museums to reopen, lifted inter-city travel restrictions and eased stay-at-home orders for the elderly and young at the start of June.
Turkey has reported 182,727 confirmed cases and 4,861 deaths from COVID-19 since March.
The Czech Republic is set to almost fully abandon its most visible tool of fighting the coronavirus pandemic — face masks. Health Minister Adam Vojtech said that starting July 1, wearing masks on public transport and indoors such as in stores, theatres and cinemas will no longer be mandatory.
Vojtech said masks will remain mandatory only in regions with local clusters and outbreaks. Those places will be determined later in June.
Currently, they include the capital of Prague and two eastern regions. The country has registered several dozen new COVID-19 cases daily for a month while a total of 333 people have died.
Montenegro is reporting a resurgence of the coronavirus in the small Balkan country that had no infections for weeks.
Montenegrin health authorities said late Wednesday they have registered seven new cases after two more were confirmed earlier this week.
A country of some 620,000 people, Montenegro imposed strict lockdown measures during the outbreak. Montenegro recently started reopening, hoping to attract tourists to the Adriatic coast.
A Beijing government spokesperson said the city has recorded a total of 158 confirmed cases since the new outbreak was detected last week at a large wholesale market.
Hu Hejian said close contacts are being traced to locate all possible cases as quickly as possible amid strengthened testing and other prevention and control measures. Anyone who has been near the Xinfad market since May 30, along with their close contacts, will be quarantined at home for 14 days and tested at least twice, said city government official Zhang Ge.
Beijing reported 21 cases Thursday, down from 31 a day earlier.
Beijing has barred entry to all confirmed and suspected cases, patients with fever and close contacts from abroad and other provinces, Zhang said. China also has barred most foreigners from entering, and even foreign diplomats arriving from abroad must undergo two weeks of home quarantine.
All indoor public venues remain closed, Zhang said. Offices, restaurants and hotels in high-risk area also will be shut down, he said.