(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
No quarantine for Olympic athletes
Athletes who arrive in Japan for the Tokyo Olympics next year will not have to isolate for 14 days, Olympic organisers said on Thursday.
The 2020 Games were delayed by a year to 2021 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, a costly postponement that still has many moving parts given the continued spread of the virus.
Russia says Sputnik V vaccine is 92% effective
Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is 92% effective at protecting people from COVID-19 according to interim trial results, the country’s sovereign wealth fund said on Wednesday, as Moscow rushes to keep pace with Western drugmakers in the race for a shot.
While experts said the Russian data was encouraging and reinforced the idea the pandemic could be halted by vaccines, they warned that the results were only based on a small number of 20 trial volunteers who had contracted COVID-19.
In comments aired by Rossiya-24 state TV channel, Alexander Gintsburg, director of the Gamaleya Institute which developed the vaccine, said at least 1.5 million people in Russia were expected to receive the shot by the end of the year.
New restrictions in New York as U.S. grim records mount
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday imposed a new round of restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus as the infection rate climbed and hospitalizations soared in the state at the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak in its early stages.
As COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths surge across the United States, more signs emerged that a second wave could engulf areas of the Northeast, which had managed to bring the pandemic under control after being battered last spring.
The United States as a whole reported more than 1,450 deaths on Tuesday, the highest single-day count since mid-August, according to a Reuters analysis. U.S. COVID-19 cases climbed for seven consecutive days to reach more than 136,000 as of late Tuesday, while hospitalizations crossed 60,000 for the first time since the pandemic began, threatening to overwhelm systems in many parts of the country.
Moderna closes in on release of COVID-19 vaccine data
Moderna Inc said on Wednesday it has enough data for a first interim analysis of the late-stage trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine, which should help determine the vaccine’s efficacy.
Moderna said the information is being prepared for submission to the trial’s independent data safety monitoring board, which will look at the results and make a recommendation. It did not say when it plans to release the efficacy data.
Earlier in the day, Dr Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, said Moderna could have the data from anywhere between “a couple of days” to “a little more than a week.”
(Compiled by Karishma Singh)