World Coronavirus Dispatch: WHO's struggle for global Covid-19 vaccine plan

WHO urged countries to join a global pact aimed at ensuring less wealthy countries have access to Covid-19 vaccines
Australia says it has secured access to a promising coronavirus vaccine and will be able to offer free doses to its entire population of 25 million people. The vaccine is being developed by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and Oxford University. If clinical trials are successful, the deal with AstraZeneca would secure "early access for every Australian", Prime Minister Scott Morrison said. Read more here

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total Confirmed Cases: 22,059,933

Change Over Yesterday: 178,348

Total Deaths: 779,557

Total Recovered: 14,045,610

Nations hit with most cases: US (5,482,416), Brazil (3,407,354), India (2,767,253), Russia (930,276) and South Africa (592,144)

US Postal Service halts controversial changes amid voting furore: A week ago, Donald Trump said he had no interest in any additional funding for the US Postal Service, lest the money be used to help process mail-in voting. By this Monday, the president tweeted that he wanted to "save the post office" and told a crowd in Minnesota that he would "strengthen" the service. Read more here

Australia touts vaccine deal as virus flare-up subsides: Australia has signed a deal with British drugmaker AstraZeneca to produce and distribute enough doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine for its population of 25 million. All Australians will be offered doses but a medical panel will determine the priority list of vaccine recipients. Read more here

New Zealand domestic coronavirus cases drop to five: New Zealand said on Wednesday that it had five new cases of coronavirus in the community, and one in managed isolation facilities. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the country was not seeing a surge of Covid-19 in the community. There were 13 cases reported on Tuesday. Read more here

South Korea tightens Covid-19 curbs amid warning of new 'crisis': Museums, nightclubs and karaoke bars have closed in and around South Korea's capital as a cluster of Covid-19 cases has raised alarm of a new crisis. Tuesday saw a three-digit increase in cases for a fifth day after weeks with numbers generally around the 40s. Read more here

Brazil death toll nears 110,000: Brazil reported 47,784 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 1,352 deaths from the disease caused by the virus in the past 24 hours. Brazil has now registered 3,407,354 cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll from Covid-19 has risen to 109,888. Read more here

Mexico reports more than 5,500 new confirmed cases: Mexico’s health ministry reported on Tuesday 5,506 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections and 751 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 531,239 cases and 57,774 deaths. The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher. Read more here


Explainer: WHO's struggle for a global Covid-19 vaccine plan
: WHO on Tuesday urged countries to join a global pact aimed at ensuring less wealthy countries have access to Covid-19 vaccines, warning about the risks from so-called “vaccine nationalism.” Here is a look at the WHO’s plan and the approaches by wealthier nations. Read more here


How to start a new job during a pandemic 

New workers should avoid relying on email when asking questions (more information can be accurately given on a phone call), and that they should try troubleshooting on their own before reaching out for assistance. In meetings and email, take note of how your co-workers interact, as this can clue you in to the team’s social norms. The gist is: Connect, Connect, Connect. Read more here


Inside Operation Warp Speed

Operation Warp Speed has in some ways lived up to its name:
The U.S. government has awarded almost $11 billion to seven different companies to develop vaccines, three of which — Moderna, AstraZeneca and Pfizer — are in late-stage trials. Things are going according to the most aggressive schedule. However, accelerating the development process has increased the likelihood of cronyism and undue political influence. Listen here

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