As at 8 am, July 25, 2020:
There have been 636,262 deaths from Covid-19 all over the globe since the pandemic began. The US has the highest number of deaths, with 147,534, followed by Brazil (85,238) and the United Kingdom (45,677).
8,917,141 people worldwide have recovered from Covid-19.
Singapore: 277 additional cases, 157 more discharged, 3 community cases
The Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Friday (July 24) that there are 277 new Covid-19 cases in the country, of which 3 are community cases and 2 are imported cases. The other 272 cases are of Work Permit holders living in dormitories. Singapore now has a total of 49,375 confirmed cases, with an additional 157 discharged from hospital. A total of 45,172 individuals have recovered.
Of the active Covid-19 cases, 157 are in hospital but none are in critical condition in the intensive care unit. A total of 4,019 are in community facilities. Twenty-seven people in Singapore have died of complications due to the Covid-19 infection.
Hong Kong: Testing, quarantine, hospital capacities reaching limit
Hong Kong saw its biggest single-day jump in cases on Friday (July 24), when 123 new infections were reported. Around half of the cases could not be traced, said Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan of Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection. She said that testing, quarantine and hospital capacities are reaching their limits, adding: “We are seeing more and more cases in the past few days, the trend is still increasing. If this trend continues, it (will be) very difficult to handle the situation.”
One more person has died of Covid-19, bringing the city’s total to 16. Hong Kong’s case count is now at 2,372, marking an increase of 1,105 cases since the third wave of infections started on July 5.
China offers S$1.38 billion loan to Latin America, Caribbean countries for vaccine access
China’s Foreign Minister, Mr Wang Yi, said that a US$1 billion (S$1.38 billion) loan has been offered to countries in Latin America and the Caribbean for access to its coronavirus vaccine. A statement released by the Mexican Foreign Affairs Ministry said: “China’s Foreign Minister said that the vaccine developed in his country will be a public benefit of universal access, and that his country will designate a loan of US$1 billion to support access (to the vaccine) for the nations of the region.”
“We’re very grateful to China, with the Chinese government, the President — you remember I had the chance to speak to him on the phone — we asked him for support with medical equipment, there have been many aid flights coming from China. There’s always been enough equipment supply, medicines, and now there is this offer,” said Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
India to scale down
Independence Day celebrations
India will mark its Independence Day with celebrations on a much smaller scale this year, calling for officials to avoid mass gatherings on Aug 15, when the country marks its 73rd year of independence. The ceremony at the Red Fort in New Delhi will be downscaled this year.
The Home Ministry said: “It would also be appropriate that Covid-19 warriors like doctors, health workers, sanitation workers, etc., are invited in the ceremony as a recognition of their noble service in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic. Some persons cured of Covid-19 infection may also be invited.”
Bill Gates: Multi-dose vaccine likely to be needed
Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, whose foundation pledged up to US$100 million (S$138 million) for finding a coronavirus vaccine, said that according to early data, more than one dose of the vaccine may be needed to protect people from getting the virus.
He told CNN on July 23: “None of the candidates that we have much data on look like they’ll work with a single dose. So these are all multi-dose vaccines. If we look at the elderly, some of the constructs might require more than two doses to get the protection we want. The vaccine has to be safe, it’s got to reduce transmission, and then it’s got to protect the health of the individual. And these vaccines, the FDA laid out how they want these trials to be done. Fortunately, they required a proof of efficacy. But they set the bar pretty low at 50% efficacy. So the first vaccine that gets approved may be fairly weak in some of these criteria.”
A second generation of the vaccine, released 4-6 months after the first, may have as much as 100 per cent effectivity, he added. /TISG