Covid-19 Pandemic: Live Updates and News for March 24, 2021 –

Covid-19 Pandemic: Live Updates and News for March 24, 2021


Photographer: Christophe Archambault / AFP / Getty Images

AstraZeneca Plc It said it will release the updated results of the final stage of its vaccine trial within 48 hours, in response to criticism from a US scientific agency. Millions more doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine are expected to be released after US regulators cleared the way for a contract manufacturer to help produce them.

The director of the World Health Organization called the recent increases in deaths and cases “truly worrying trends.” Pfizer Inc. said it has begun human safety testing of a new pill to treat coronavirus that could be used at the first sign of illness.

Citigroup Inc. has banned internal video calling on Fridays and encouraged the holidays in an effort to combat workplace unrest caused by the pandemic.

Key developments:

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Chicago Reports Increase in Cases (4:50 p.m. NY)

Chicago is seeing a spike in several of its Covid-19 metrics.

The city’s daily cases, positivity rate, and related emergency room visits have increased in recent weeks. The city is seeing around 350 cases per day, up from an average of around 270-280 per day for the past two weeks.

San Francisco to open offices, some bars (4:40 pm NY)

San Francisco will open offices, outdoor bars and indoor recreational facilities as it moves to California’s Orange Tier, the second least restrictive tier in the state.

Non-essential offices can open to 25% of capacity starting Wednesday under the new guidelines, while indoor businesses already open, including restaurants and stores, can expand capacity to 50%. The city also plans to allow open-air concerts, theatrical performances, and festivals to until 50 people as of April 1, Mayor London Breed said.

Santa Clara County, home to many of Silicon Valley’s big employers, also moved to the orange level Tuesday, along with Marin County, a wealthy area north of San Francisco. Most California counties, representing 83% of the population, are at the state’s red tier, or the second most restrictive tier for economic activity.

New York Assembly Speaker Heastie has Covid-19 (3:05 pm NY)

New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie tested positive for the coronavirus Tuesday, according to a statement from his office. The Democrat said he was feeling unwell and experiencing “extremely mild symptoms.”

The positive result of his test comes amid negotiations on the state’s spending plan of approximately $ 193 billion for fiscal year 2022, which begins April 1. Heastie said she plans to stay in Albany and work from her residence.

On Tuesday, the Assembly Judiciary Committee held its first meeting to discuss its impeachment inquiry against Governor Andrew Cuomo. Heastie is not on that committee, but he ordered her to begin the investigation.

Dutch lockdown extended (2:45 pm NY)

The blockade in the Netherlands, including a night curfew, will run until April 20. The move comes after infections jumped 16% last week compared to the previous week.

However, the Dutch government decided to postpone the curfew start time by one hour, seeking to retain the support of the Dutch public for the long-lasting and strict measures. The warning not to travel abroad was extended until May 15.

J&J Partner Catalent Approved to Manufacture Vaccine (1:47 pm NY)

Millions more doses of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine are expected to be released after US regulators cleared the way for contract manufacturer Catalent Inc. to help produce them.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a Catalent facility in Bloomington, Indiana, to manufacture the active ingredient for the single-dose vaccine.

Norway bans alcohol before Easter (1:45 pm NY)

Norway is tightening national restrictions ahead of the Easter holiday period in an attempt to stem a third wave of contagion caused by more infectious variants. The new measures include a ban on serving alcohol in restaurants and bars across the country and a recommendation that people keep a distance of at least 2 meters (6.5 feet) from each other.

EU to Eliminate Export Curb Exemptions (11:52 a.m. NY)

The European Union abolish a list of more than 90 countries that are currently exempt from requiring export authorizations for vaccines and will apply potential restrictions even to those pharmaceutical companies that honor their contracts with the bloc.

The European Commission will review its vaccine export authorization and transparency mechanism. The controversial tool unveiled in January aims to help EU governments assess vaccine export applications, with the option to reject them in certain cases.

Texas, Georgia Open Immunizations for All Adults (11:15 pm NY)

Texas and Georgia joined a growing list of US states that open vaccines to all adults. Georgia will offer the vaccines starting Thursday.

Pfizer Begins Human Testing of Covid Pill (11:05 a.m. NY)

Pfizer Inc. said it has begun human safety testing of a new pill to treat coronavirus that could be used at the first sign of illness.

If successful in trials, the pill could be prescribed early in an infection to block viral replication before patients become seriously ill. The drug binds to an enzyme called protease to prevent the virus from replicating. Protease inhibitor drugs have been successful in treating other types of viruses, including HIV and hepatitis C.

The new protease inhibitor is the second drug of its kind that Pfizer has introduced in human trials to treat Covid-19. Pfizer is testing another that is given intravenously to hospitalized virus patients.

New York City municipal workers will return on May 3 (10:30 a.m. NY)

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said about 80,000 city workers will return to their offices starting May 3, a promise he outlined in his state of the city address in January.

The city has administered more than 3.4 million vaccines and expects a “big boost” in supply in early April, the mayor said. All New Yorkers age 50 and over are eligible to receive their Covid-19 vaccinations.

Portugal reaffirms its vaccination goal (9:44 am NY)

Portuguese Health Minister Marta Temido reaffirmed that the country will meet the goal of administering a dose of vaccine to at least 80% of people over 80 years of age by the end of March. “Naturally, if we had access to more vaccines, we would have the possibility to vaccinate more people,” Temido told reporters.

The director general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the recent increase in deaths and cases of Covid-19 are “truly worrying trends.”

Speaking at a World Trade Organization At the virtual event, Tedros urged nations to waive intellectual property rights to vaccines as a “medium to long-term solution” to help developing countries manufacture their own injections.

Fauci: Astra likely has a very good vaccine (8:47 am NY)

“The fact is, this is most likely a very good vaccine,” Anthony Fauci, America’s leading infectious disease expert, said of the Astra injection in a “Good Morning America” ​​interview.

Astra before It said it will release the updated results of the last stage of the injection test in 48 hours, in response to criticism from a US scientific agency that the drugmaker’s analysis included old information.

India Accelerates Vaccine Momentum Amid Second Wave (8:40 a.m. NY)

Government of India launched one of the largest coronavirus immunization campaigns for all people over 45, as the nation grapples with a resurgence of cases amid tensions over delayed supply of vaccines to other countries.

The world is too optimistic about Covid: Farrar (8:28 a.m. NY)

“This pandemic is far from over,” Jeremy Farrar, infectious disease specialist and director of Wellcome, the UK research foundation, said at a conference. “In my opinion, there is too much optimism that there will be a single magic formula that solves everything.”

After a year, the world remains closer to the start of the pandemic than to its conclusion, as new waves occur around the world, Farrar said.

In a separate presentation, Fauci sounded in a more positive tone. He said people should remain cautiously optimistic about the outlook, even as cases in the United States stabilize after recent declines.


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