Despite growing vaccine access, January is looking grim around the globe as the coronavirus resurges and reshapes itself from Britain to Japan to California, filling hospitals and threatening livelihoods anew as governments lock down businesses and race to find solutions.
Across the globe, the United Kingdom has toughened its coronavirus restrictions, with England and Scotland going into lockdown and shutting schools, as surging cases have added to fears of a new virus variant.
Here are live updates:
Singapore COVID-19 contact-tracing data accessible to police
Singapore said on Monday its police will be able to use data obtained by its coronavirus contact-tracing technology for criminal investigations, a decision likely to increase privacy concerns around the system.
The technology, deployed as both a phone app and a physical device, is being used by nearly 80% of the 5.7 million population, authorities said after announcing its use would become compulsory in places like shopping malls.
Asked about the TraceTogether privacy statement by an opposition MP, Mr. Tan said: “We do not preclude the use of TraceTogether data in circumstances where citizens’ safety and security is or has been affected, and this applies to all other data as well.”
U.K. daily coronavirus cases top 60,000 for first time
The number of new daily confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.K. has topped 60,000 for the first time since the pandemic started, according to official figures on Tuesday.
The number of people who have tested positive in the country has reached 60,916, it said as a new variant of the coronavirus was pushing up U.K. infection rates.
England and Scotland have announced new lockdowns, with people told to stay at home.
On Monday night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said people in England must stay indoors other than for limited exceptions — such as food shopping, exercise or work that cannot be done at home. – PTI
COVID vaccination voluntary, antibodies develop 2 weeks after second dose: AIIMS Director
Getting immunised against COVID-19 will be a voluntary exercise and it is important that both dozes of the vaccine be administered to an individual for developing better immune response against the disease, AIIMS Director Dr. Randeep Guleria has said.
Protective levels of antibodies generally develop two weeks after receiving the second dose, he said.
The senior pulmonologist also stressed that the vaccine introduced in India will be as effective as any vaccine developed by other countries. – PTI
All Indian vaccines being developed for storage at 2-8 degree Celsius: DBT Secy
All Indian vaccines being developed against the coronavirus can be stored at 2-8 degrees Celsius as the logistics have been worked out considering temperature as a factor, Department of Biotechnology Secretary Renu Swarup said on Tuesday. Ms. Swarup said Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin and Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield have robustly undergone immunoassay lab tests.
“(For) all our vaccines, we are looking at right now…..(we) are targeting 2-8 degree because our logistics are worked out on that basis and we are working on that,” Ms. Swarup said at a press briefing.
She said the DNA vaccine candidate being developed by Zydus Cadila, and the Biological E’s mRNA vaccine work at storage temperatures of 2-8 degrees Celsius.
“Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna which requires a minus 70 degree Celsius (cold) chain, this (the Biological E’s vaccine candidate) is basically at the 2-8 degree Celsius,” Ms. Swarup said. – PTI