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Russia Registers Vaccine,Cases Top 20M 08/11 06:15

   The number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide topped 20 million, more 
than half of them from the United States, India and Brazil, as Russia on 
Tuesday became the first country to register a vaccine against the virus.

   ROME (AP) -- The number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide topped 20 
million, more than half of them from the United States, India and Brazil, as 
Russia on Tuesday became the first country to register a vaccine against the 
virus.

   Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the registration at a government 
meeting and added that one of his two adult daughters had already been 
inoculated. "She's feeling well and has high number of antibodies," he said.

   Russia has reported more than 890,000 cases, the fourth-most in the world, 
according to a Johns Hopkins University tally that also showed total confirmed 
cases globally surpassing 20 million.

   It took six months or so to get to 10 million cases after the virus first 
appeared in central China late last year. It took just over six weeks for that 
number to double.

   An AP analysis of data through Aug. 9 showed the U.S., India and Brazil 
together accounted for nearly two-thirds of all reported infections since the 
world hit 15 million coronavirus cases on July 22.

   Health officials believe the actual number of people infected with the virus 
is much higher than that tally kept by Johns Hopkins University, given testing 
limitations and that as many as 40% of those with the virus show no symptoms.

   In Europe, countries that appeared to have gotten their outbreaks under 
control during nationwide lockdowns and lifted many public restrictions worked 
to prevent a resurgence of the virus. Finland joined France and Germany in 
announcing it would test travelers from at-risk countries upon arrival.

   Spain, which along with Italy was hardest hit when the virus first exploded 
on the continent, now has the most confirmed cases in western Europe at nearly 
323,000. The number of new cases have risen steadily in Spain since its strict, 
three-month lockdown ended on June 21, reaching 1,486 on Monday.

   In Greece, which imposed strict lockdown measures early and kept its 
reported cases low during the height of the European epidemic, the government 
announced new measures Monday to prevent an outbreak. It ordered bars, 
restaurants and cafes in several regions to shut between midnight and 7 a.m.

   Outside Europe, infection rates are exponentially higher.

   The number of new cases reported daily continues to rise in India, hitting a 
rolling seven-day average of 58,768. In the U.S., which so far has more than 5 
million confirmed cases, the daily average has decreased since July 22nd, but 
remains high at over 53,000.

   South Africa has more than a half-million cases. In the country with the 
world's largest number of HIV-positive people, the virus has disrupted the 
supply of antiretroviral drugs that a United Nations agency says could lead to 
500,000 additional AIDS-related deaths.

   In the 45 days it took reported coronavirus cases worldwide to double to 20 
million, the number of reported virus deaths climbed to 736,191 from 499,506, 
according to the Johns Hopkins count, an average of more than 5,200 a day.

   About one-fifth of reported deaths, or more than 163,000, have been in the 
U.S., the most in the world.

   New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Tuesday that authorities 
found four cases of the coronavirus in one Auckland household from an unknown 
source, the first cases of local transmission in the country in 102 days.

   Caseloads are still rising quickly in many other countries, including 
Indonesia and Japan.

   In Mexico, President Andrs Manuel Lpez Obrador, like Brazil's President 
Jair Bolsonaro and U.S. President Donald Trump, seldom wears a mask and has 
resisted calls for a strict lockdown, saying Mexicans should be convinced to 
observe social distancing, not forced to do so by police or fines.

   With nearly 500,000 cases and more than 50,300 deaths, Mexico has struggled 
with how to curb outbreaks given that just over half its people work off the 
books with no benefits or unemployment insurance.

   A full lockdown would prove too costly for people with little savings and 
tenuous daily incomes, said Assistant Health Secretary Hugo Lpez-Gatell, the 
president's point man on the epidemic.

   "We do not want a solution that would, in social terms, be more costly than 
the disease itself," he said.

   Mexico's relatively high death rate results partly from the country having 
one of the world's highest rates of obesity and diabetes. There has also been 
relatively little testing. Of all tests done, 47% are positive, suggesting that 
only seriously ill people are getting tests. That has hindered contract tracing.

   India reported 53,601 new cases Tuesday as its count of total infections 
neared 2.3 million. Its reported case morality rate, at 2%, is much lower than 
in the U.S. and Brazil.

   In Japan, where outbreaks have been widening as officials urge people to 
consider this year's summer holidays "special" and stay home, the rate of 
positive tests in Tokyo, the country's worst hit region, has been climbing but 
remains at 7%.

   Vietnam went from having reported no confirmed deaths and very few cases to 
battling fresh outbreaks that emerged in the seaside city of Danang.

   Meanwhile, outbreaks in mainland China and semi-autonomous Hong Kong 
declined, with the number of new community infections in China falling to 13, 
all in the northwestern region of Xinjiang. Hong Kong counted 69 new cases.

   Similar to many other Asian countries, China requires testing and a two-week 
quarantine of all new arrivals and has barred most foreigners from entering the 
country.

   Border closures, masks, lockdowns and infection data are now the new way of 
life for much of the world, not the politically combustible topics they are in 
the U.S.

   A review by the Kaiser Health News service and The Associated Press found 
that at least 49 state and local public health leaders have resigned, retired 
or been fired since April across 23 states. The list has grown by more than 20 
people since the AP and KHN started keeping track in June.

 
 
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