Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 1,630 to 258,480: RKI
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 1,630 to 258,480, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Saturday. The death toll rose by five to 9,347, the tally showed.
Twelve children who likely contracted COVID-19 at three childcare operations in Utah infected some of their parents and siblings, according to a U.S. study, adding to evidence that very young kids can transmit the disease. Previous studies had suggested children aged 10 years or older can efficiently transmit COVID-19 in school settings.
Fauci disagrees with Trump on coronavirus, cites disturbing U.S. statistics
Top government infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Friday he disagreed with President Donald Trump’s assessment the United States has “rounded the corner” on the coronavirus pandemic, saying the statistics are disturbing. Fauci, the outspoken director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the United States was starting the flu season with a high baseline of around 40,000 new COVID-19 cases a day and deaths are averaging around 1,000 daily.
Exclusive: U.S. hospitals turn down remdesivir, limit use to sickest COVID-19 patients
U.S. hospitals have turned down about a third of their allocated supplies of the COVID-19 drug remdesivir since July as need for the costly antiviral wanes, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) confirmed on Friday. Some hospitals said they are still buying the Gilead Sciences medicine to build inventory in case the pandemic accelerates over the winter. But they said current supplies are adequate, in part because they are limiting use to severely ill patients.
India’s drug regulator has asked Serum Institute of India to suspend recruitment in its clinical trials of AstraZeneca Plc’s potential COVID-19 vaccine in the country until further orders, Reuters partner ANI reported on Friday. V.G. Somani, the drugs controller general of India, has also asked for increased safety monitoring of those already vaccinated with the experimental vaccine, ANI reported https://www.aninews.in/news/national/general-news/dcgi-directs-serum-institute-to-suspend-any-new-recruitment-in-phase-2-3-covid-19-vaccine-clinical-trials20200912000916, citing an order issued by the regulator.
Special Report: Big Pharma wages stealth war on drug price watchdog
As evidence grew this spring that the drug remdesivir was helping COVID-19 patients, some Wall Street investors bet on analysts’ estimates that its maker, Gilead Sciences Inc , could charge up to $10,000 for the treatment. Then a small but increasingly influential drug-pricing research organization, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), said the treatment only justified a price between $2,800 and $5,000. Shortly after, Gilead announced it would charge about $3,100 for a five-day treatment and $5,700 for ten days – in line with the ICER recommendation.
Australia’s coronavirus hotspot sees second weekend of small protests
Protesters in Melbourne defied a coronavirus lockdown for the second straight weekend on Saturday, prompting 14 arrests and 51 infringement notices for breaching public health orders, as new infections in the Australian hotspot continued to fall. Around 100 people protested in various locations in Melbourne, Victoria Police said, after about 200 people gathered the weekend before.
Merck starts recruitment for COVID-19 vaccine trial
U.S. drugmaker Merck & Co Inc has begun recruiting participants to its early-stage COVID-19 vaccine study, according to the government database clinicaltrials.gov. The phase 1/2 trial, which is based in Belgium, aims to recruit 260 healthy participants to test the experimental vaccine V591, which it gained access to as part of its May deal for Austrian vaccine maker Themis Bioscience.
Canada reports zero COVID-19 deaths for first time since March
Canada reported zero COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours for the first time since March 15, according to public health agency data released late on Friday. Canada’s death toll from the pandemic stood at 9,163 as of Sept. 11, the same as the number of the deaths reported on Sept. 10, government data showed. The number of positive cases rose by 702 to 135,626 on Sept. 11 from the previous day, the data showed.
India reports record daily jump in COVID cases for second straight day
India reported a record daily jump in coronavirus cases for a second consecutive day, logging 97,570 new infections on Saturday, data from the federal health ministry showed. With total cases of more than 4.65 million, India is the world’s second worst affected country, trailing only the United States, which has more than 6.4 million cases.