Coronavirus live news: England winter lockdown delays ’caused thousands of deaths’; Brazil daily cases top 90,000

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Delaying England’s winter lockdown ‘caused up to 27,000 extra Covid deaths’; John Magafuli, one of Africa’s most prominent Covid-19 sceptics, dies of ‘heart condition’; Brazil sees record daily case rise

2.54am GMT

Taiwan could begin distributing the AstraZeneca vaccine next Monday, according to its Central Epidemic Command Center, following the arrival of a first batch of nearly 200,000 doses earlier this month.

The vaccine was obtained through the World Health Organisation’s Covax program, although Taiwan is neither a member nor observer of the global health body due to objections from Beijing.

Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said that health authorities would continue to review the side effects of Astra Zeneca after concerns were raised in Europe that it can lead to blood clots and other concerns.

Priority will be given first to health workers and people employed in quarantine centres, according to the government.

Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration granted emergency approval of the vaccine in February although a domestically produced vaccines is still under way. Taiwan previously agreed to purchase around 10 million doses of Astra Zeneca and another 10 million doses from Covax and Moderna.

Vaccine rollout has been slower in Taiwan than some of its East Asian neighbours as it has seen just 10 deaths and less than 1,000 cases, according to the CECC.

Strict border controls and aggressive contact tracing in the early days of the pandemic have kept numbers low. Travellers are still required to undergo 14 days of quarantine and an additional week of “self-help management” following their arrival.

2.42am GMT

Older people who have recovered from Covid cannot assume they are immune from a second attack, according to a new study that shows the under-65s are much less susceptible to reinfection.

The study carried out in Denmark found that the under-65s had about 80% protection for at least six months from catching Covid a second time. But the over-65s had only 47% protection.

Related: Older people more likely to catch Covid a second time

Continue reading… Source: The Guardian

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