Sinovac Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine is reported to be 50% effective in late-stage trials, according to the newspaper Folha de S.Paulo on Wednesday. They added that the Chinese company had asked the Brazilian institute who ran the tests to wait up to 15 days before publishing their full results.
The Butantan Institute, who are running the trials in Brazil, and the Sao Paulo government which oversees the institute declined to comment, saying there would be more details at 4 pm local time, reports Reuters.
France has registered 14,929 new Covid cases and 276 more deaths in the last 24 hours, according to French healthcare data. Currently, France has a total of nearly 2.5m confirmed Covid-19 infections and 61,978 deaths since the pandemic began.
The Irish head of the Covid-19 modelling body has said it is not confident that the restrictions announced this week will bring the R number back below 1.
The health ministry has also reported that the British variant of the virus is likely to have been present in the country since the second week of December.
Canada has become the second country to approve the Moderna vaccine. This comes two weeks after authorising immunisations with the Pfizer/BioNtech jab.
“Today’s authorisation is a critical step in ensuring additional Covid-19 vaccines are available to all Canadians in all parts of the country,” Health Canada said in a statement.
“The different storage and handling requirements of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine mean that it can be distributed to isolated and remote communities, including the territories.”
The country is also set to extend its ban on incoming commercial and passenger flights from Britain until 6 January, Reuters reports.
The Treasury has announced an additional £800m in coronavirus funding to the UK’s devolved nations, reports PA.
The fund will be split into £400m for the Scottish government, £200m for the Welsh government and £200m for the Northern Ireland executive.
The chief secretary to the Treasury, Steve Barclay, said: “We’ve already committed unprecedented levels of support to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
“This extra funding will provide the nations with the certainty they need to plan through these difficult months.
“We remain committed to an economic recovery for the whole of the United Kingdom and will continue to work closely with the devolved administrations to support people and businesses.”
The Treasury has said that the fund can be spent on business support or the NHS.
It will take its upfront funding guarantee for the devolved administrations to around £16.8bn, in addition to the money already outlined in the 2020 spring budget.
Karnataka state in India will impose a night curfew starting today over fears of the new virus variant.
Home to the country’s technology hub, the ban by the southern state will focus on gatherings and non-essential travel from 10pm to 6am and is set to last until January 2.
The new agreement came into place after the national government reported that nine states had found positive cases of coronavirus among travellers coming from the UK.
Karnataka’s chief minister, B.S. Yediyurappa, called on the public to respect the curfew to “prevent the spread of the new Covid strain”.
Currently, India is the world’s second most-infected nation, with more than 10 million cases and over 146,000 deaths.
Turkey records further 259 deaths
Turkey’s coronavirus death toll rose by 259 in the last 24 hours, health ministry data showed on Wednesday, bringing the total number of deaths to 18,861.
Turkey also recorded 19,650 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. Total cases since March, when the first Covid-19 case was identified in Turkey, stood at 2,082,610, the data showed.
The government has imposed full weekend lockdowns and weekday curfews to curb infections.
The first formally approved batch of Covid-19 vaccine to arrive in Latin America was met with ceremonies fitting a VIP on Wednesday: flags, television cameras and cabinet-level dignitaries lined up along the runway.
A DHL flight touched down at Mexico City’s international airport and ground crew unloaded the first batches of ultra-cold vaccines produced by Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech.
“Today is the beginning of the end of that pandemic,” said the foreign secretary, Marcelo Ebrard.
The first vaccines were due to be given to health workers in Mexico City and the northern city of Saltillo, starting on Thursday.