More than 60 wealthy countries join WHO’s plan for distributing Covid-19 vaccine

More than 60 wealthy countries join WHO’s plan for distributing Covid-19 vaccine

Issued on: 22/09/2020 – 07:44

More than 60 wealthy nations have joined a WHO-backed programme to facilitate poor countries' access to coronavirus vaccines, but the US and China are not on the list published Monday.

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The World Health Organization has in coordination with the global vaccine alliance group Gavi and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) created a mechanism aimed at ensuring a more equitable distribution of any future Covid-19 vaccines.

But the mechanism, known as Covax, has struggled to raise the funds needed to provide for the 92 low-income countries and other economies that quickly signed up.

WHO had encouraged richer nations to step up to the plate by the end of last week and when the deadline fell, 64 were onboard with another 38 expected to join in "coming days", the three organisations said in a joint statement.

Among those who have signed up are "the European Commission … on behalf of 27 EU member states plus ..

Madrid opera canceled after audience revolts over social distancing concerns

Madrid opera canceled after audience revolts over social distancing concerns

An opera in Madrid was halted on Sunday night after audience members protested over concerns that seating was too crowded in the venue.The Teatro Real in Spain's capital city was forced to cancel the performance of Giuseppe Verdi's "Un ballo in maschera" after a group of spectators staged a protest during the performance, eventually ending the show and closing the venue for the night.Police officers were called to the site on Sunday.The venue said Monday that it "greatly regrets what happened" but attributed the upset to shifts in the city's health regulations.In July, the theater hosted performances of another Verdi opera, "La Traviata," and spaced out audience members by sealing off some chairs and placing empty chairs between each pair of occupied seats, it said.But it relaxed its seating policy after the city eased coronavirus restrictions, allowing some venues to host bigger audiences. On Sunday, the Teatro Real was at 65% capacity, still below city guidelines that ..

UK’s Johnson urges Britons to ‘work from home’ amid surge in Covid-19 cases

UK’s Johnson urges Britons to ‘work from home’ amid surge in Covid-19 cases

Issued on: 22/09/2020 – 14:34

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told people on Tuesday to work from home where possible and ordered bars and restaurants to shut earlier in a bid to tackle a fast-spreading second wave of Covid-19.

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After government scientists cautioned that deaths may soar without urgent action, Johnson stopped short of another full lockdown as he did in March but said further action could be taken if the disease was not suppressed.

"We reserve the right to deploy greater firepower, with significantly greater restrictions," Johnson told parliament following emergency meetings with ministers and leaders of the United Kingdom's devolved governments.

"We will only be able to avoid it if our new measures work and our behaviour changes."

He said Britain had reached a similarly perilous point as countries like Spain and France.

UK coronavirus pandemic: 'We've reached perilous turning point', PM Johnson said

"We will spar..