Health News Roundup: Vietnam PM says next 10 days 'critical' in virus fight; Russia says medics to …

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Jordan to close border with Syria after spike in COVID-19 cases

Jordan will close for a week its only land trade border crossing with Syria after a spike in COVID-19 cases coming from its northern neighbour, officials said on Wednesday. They said the interior minister’s decision to close the main Jaber border crossing would come into effect on Thursday morning.

Coronavirus found on Ecuador shrimps in China, state media says

A city in China’s eastern Anhui province found the novel coronavirus on the packaging of shrimps from Ecuador, state media reported on Wednesday, in the latest instance of the virus being detected on imported products. The coronavirus was found on the outer packaging of frozen shrimps bought by a restaurant in Wuhu city when local authorities carried out a routine inspection, CCTV, China’s state television, said.

Israel to examine Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine, minister says

Israel will examine Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine and enter negotiations to buy it if it is found to be a “serious product”, Israel’s health minister said. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday his was the first country to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine, after less than two months of human testing. His health minister on Wednesday dismissed allegations that the vaccine was unsafe.

Norway to quarantine more travellers as COVID-19 rises

Norway is reimposing quarantine on more travellers from foreign countries, the government said on Wednesday, and reiterated its advice that Norwegians should avoid travelling abroad amid a jump in the number of new coronavirus cases. Norway diagnosed 357 people with COVID-19 last week, the highest since April, but still well below the record 1,733 cases found in a single week in late March, data from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health showed.

Russia says medics to get anti-COVID shots in two weeks, rejects safety concerns

Russia said on Wednesday the first batch of its vaccine would be ready for some medics within two weeks and rejected as “groundless” safety concerns aired by some experts over Moscow’s rapid approval of the drug. President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia had become the first country to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine, after less than two months of human testing.

Vietnam PM says next 10 days ‘critical’ in virus fight

Vietnam’s Prime Minister said on Wednesday that the next 10 days would be critical in the Southeast Asian country’s fight against a new coronavirus outbreak, which resurfaced late last month after three months of no domestic cases. Vietnam was lauded for suppressing an earlier contagion through aggressive testing, contact-tracing and quarantining, but it is now racing to control infections in multiple locations linked to the popular holiday city of Danang, where a new outbreak was detected on July 25.

Philippines talking to Russian vaccine maker on trials, seeks ‘complete dossier’

Philippine scientists were set on Wednesday to meet representatives of the Russian state research facility that developed a coronavirus vaccine, to discuss participation in clinical trials and access to its research data. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has lauded the Russian vaccine and offered to be “injected in public”, to allay public fears about its safety.

Australia suffers deadliest day of coronavirus pandemic, cases rise

Australia recorded its deadliest day of the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday and the biggest daily rise in infections in three days, denting hopes that a second wave gripping the state of Victoria may be stabilising. Victoria reported 21 deaths – two more than the previous deadliest days earlier this week – and 410 new cases in the past 24 hours, ending a run of three consecutive days with new infections below 400.

Factbox: World reaction to Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine

Russia’s granting of regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing has prompted expressions of caution as well as interest from around the world. Moscow said on Wednesday that the first batch of the vaccine would be ready for some medics within two weeks and rejected safety concerns as “groundless”.

Sweden puts Austria, Liechtenstein on safe travel list

Sweden withdrew its recommendation to citizens not to take unnecessary trips to Austria and Liechtenstein on Wednesday, but kept in place warnings over travel to the United Kingdom and several European states amid an upturn in COVID 19 infections. Sweden had already withdrawn advice against unnecessary trips to countries like neighbours Denmark and Norway and a number of other destinations in Europe, such as France, Germany and Spain.

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