The Brazilian pharmaceutical company that plans to produce Russia’s coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V said on Tuesday it expects to overcome regulatory obstacles in “two or three” days to obtain authorisation to make and sell the shot in Brazil.
Reuters reports that, after a 5-hour video conference with União Quimica executives and members of Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa said there was still information missing before it could approve the vaccine.
“Anvisa still requires a few more things from Moscow on their Phase 3 trials and I expect to deliver those in two or three days,” the company’s chief executive and owner Fernando Marques said.
União Quimica requested emergency use authorisation more than two months ago and Marques has complained that “political interests” have held up the approval process for vaccine that is being used in Russia and 40 other countries.
Marques said his company still hopes to start producing the vaccine in April at its Brasilia plant, but a shipment offered by Moscow of 10 million ready-made doses in the first quarter to this year has been lost.
With Brazil’s dire need of vaccines to quell a surge of Covid-19 that made it the epicenter of the pandemic, another source of shots has been sought by state governments unhappy with the slow vaccination program.
So far, less than 8% of the country’s 210 million people have had their first shot, and les than 3% both shots, while deaths from Covid-19 have surged to record levels in the last two weeks driven by a contagious new local variant.
Anvisa said in a statement the meeting dealt with “critical” issues that the developers of Sputnik V have not responded to included the full results of late stage trials in Russia and access to the data bank of studies on the vaccine.
Anvisa said it also wanted details for quality control of the vaccine’s production in Russia, though it has certified the production line based on a Turkish report for another product.
Greece will begin accepting test-run flights from the UK next month, while Spain has announced that the entry restrictions on flights from Britain that have been in place since late December will be lifted next week.
Greece’s tourism minister, Haris Theoharis, said while Athens’ ambition remained to open up to holidaymakers from 14 May, border controls would also be relaxed in April when “some” airports were allowed to receive traffic from abroad.
“When I mentioned the May start date, I said we will gradually lift restrictions in an effort to test the temperature,” Theoharis told the Guardian, adding that because tourism was not “an on-off switch” preparatory moves had to be made.
Meanwhile, the Spanish government announced that restrictions on flights from the UK would be lifted on 30 March to bring them in line with arrivals from the Schengen area.
“Flight restrictions will remain in place for flights from South Africa and Brazil, but not for those from the United Kingdom,” the government’s spokeswoman, María Jesús Montero, told a press conference.
Spain introduced the curbs on 22 December in response to the spread of the so-called British strain of coronavirus, allowing entry only to flights and ships carrying Spanish and Andorran citizens or official residents.
Those arriving from the UK from 30 March will still have to show a negative PCR result from a test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival.
On Monday, the UK government announced new Covid regulations that will ban international travel “without a reasonable excuse”, meaning those who travel abroad in order to go on holiday could risk a £5,000 fine.
My colleagues Helena Smith and Sam Jones report:
at 6.12pm EDT
Spain’s coronavirus infection rate edged up on Tuesday, highlighting concerns that a long decline – that last week carried it to its lowest level since August – is in danger of reversing.
When the infection rate, which is measured over the preceding 14 days, stopped its decline last week, health minister Carolina Darias warned that an uptick in cases in some regions, including Madrid and Catalonia, could mean a trend change, calling for maximum caution “to avoid a fourth wave”.
The rate rose on Tuesday to 129.6 per 100,000 people from 128.7 on Monday, the health ministry said. It had fallen from a peak of nearly 900 at the end of January. The ministry also reported 5,516 new cases, bringing the country’s overall tally to 3.23 million. The death toll rose by 201 to 73,744.
Unlike some other European nations, Spain has held off imposing nationwide stay-at-home orders since late 2020. Regional authorities have instead rolled out a patchwork of curfews and limits on business opening hours and social gatherings.
Domestic travel remains restricted, but the government said earlier on Tuesday it was easing a ban on travel from the UK, three months after suspending flights for all but Spanish nationals and residents over concerns about a more contagious variant of the coronavirus first detected in England.
at 6.11pm EDT
As landmarks and buildings were illuminated, so too were doorsteps as thousands lit candles to remember all the lives lost to Covid-19 and to mark a year to the day since the first lockdown.
A woman holds a candle outside the Lichfield Cathedral, as part of a day of reflection. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters
Neighbours share a glass of wine with candle, as part of a day of reflection to mark the anniversary of the first lockdown. Photograph: Kevin Coombs/Reuters
People hold candles on their doorsteps in remembrance and reflection. Photograph: Kevin Coombs/Reuters
Holly Wilson, whose grandmother Ada passed away during the pandemic, stood in Belfast Cathedral before a remembrance service in partnership with Marie Curie for their National Day of Reflection.
For the vigil marking the 2,100 lives lost to Covid-19 in Northern Ireland, the cathedral lit 2,100 tea lights – one to mark each life – before the service.
Holly Wilson, whose grandmother Ada Wilson passed away during the pandemic, stands in Belfast Cathedral among 2,100 tea-lights – one for each life lost to Covid in Northern Ireland. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA
Events on the UK’s national day of reflection were organised by the end-of-life charity Marie Curie, which led more than 300 organisations, community groups and charities in a minute’s silence at noon on Tuesday in remembrance of those who have died during the Covid-19 crisis.
Marie Curie also encouraged people to stand on their doorsteps at 8pm with their phones, candles and torches to signify a “beacon of remembrance”.
In the capital, Trafalgar Square, the London Eye and Wembley Stadium were among landmarks that lit up yellow at nightfall to mark the occasion. Elsewhere, Liverpool Town Hall, Blackpool Tower and St Mary’s Lighthouse shone a light for those bereaved, alongside the Lincoln Cathedral.
The city council offices in the Cunard Building, on Liverpool waterfront, illuminated yellow to mark the anniversary of the first lockdown. Photograph: Christopher Thomond/The Guardian
Joining them were parliaments and assemblies in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as Cardiff’s University and City Hall, Belfast’s Titanic Building and City Hall, and Edinburgh’s St Andrew’s House.
Belfast’s Titanic building and visitor centre is lit up in yellow for the Day of Reflection. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images
Matthew Reed, chief executive of Marie Curie, said:
The emotional toll of the grief so many of us have faced, at a time when so few of us have been able to connect with friends, family and community in the ways we normally would, is immeasurable.
The work of so many communities, to recognise the day, sent a strong message to those hit hardest by the death of a loved one – they are not alone.
From neighbours shining a light on their doorstep at 8pm, to political leaders respecting the minute’s silence, our nation has shown a vital acknowledgement of the challenges bereaved people have been facing during this difficult year.
He said the charity is committed to making the national day of reflection an annual event “to recognise the impact of bereavement for any cause”.
at 4.36pm EDT
A number of landmarks have also been lit up in blue, among them Westminster Abbey, in tribute to frontline workers in the NHS “who have sacrificed so much in the service of others”.
This evening, the Abbey is lit up in #NHS blue to remember all those who have died during the coronavirus pandemic and all who mourn. We pray too for all the front line workers who have sacrificed so much in the service of others.#DayOfReflection #BeaconOfRemembrance pic.twitter.com/leMMhN9G8R
Earlier this evening, Boris Johnson said a permanent memorial in the UK to those who have died during the coronavirus pandemic will be built “at the right moment” after a call from doctors, teachers and nurses.
The prime minister pledged that the nation will come together to commemorate the crisis as the nation marked the anniversary of the first national lockdown today.
A cross-party campaign is calling on Johnson to formally recognise an annual “Covid Memorial Day” paying tribute to the efforts of frontline workers during the pandemic.
At a Downing Street press conference, he:
At the right moment we will come together as a country to build a fitting and a permanent memorial to the loved ones we’ve lost and to commemorate this whole period.
For month after month, our collective fight against coronavirus was like fighting in the dark against a callous and invisible enemy until science helped us to turn the lights on and gain the upper hand.
The campaign has called for a minute’s silence every year on 23 March to remember the lives lost on the anniversary of the first UK-wide lockdown.
In a letter to the prime minister, MPs said the nation “must remember the lives lost and lives changed with dignity, and commemorate the efforts of our frontline and key workers with pride”.
Here are some more images from landmarks across the country, which are illuminated in tribute to those who have died during the coronavirus pandemic, those who are bereaved, and for hope.
The Blackpool Tower
This evening we are changing our lights to yellow as part of @mariecurieuk‘s #NationalDayOfReflection At 8pm there will be a minute’s silence to reflect on our collective loss, as we continue to support those who’ve been bereaved and hope for a brighter future.
The London Eye is illuminated yellow during the National Day of Reflection, on the anniversary of the first national lockdown. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA
The Northern Spire Bridge in Sunderland lit up in remembrance. Photograph: Lee Smith/Reuters
The Victoria Tower on Castle Hill near Kirklees is lit in yellow to remember those lost to the Covid-19 pandemic. Photograph: Charlotte Graham/REX/Shutterstock
Manchester’s Etihad Stadium is lit up with blue lights as a memorial to mark one year since the first national lockdown. Photograph: Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC/Getty Images
Across the UK, millions of people are remembering those who have died in the last 12 months, lighting candles from their doorsteps and shining lights from torches and phones to create a “beacon of remembrance”.
On the one-year anniversary of the first national lockdown, the country has been reflecting on the lives lost during the coronavirus pandemic. A minute’s silence was held at midday in tribute to the 126,000 who have died from Covid-19.
In a Downing Street press conference earlier, the prime minister Boris Johnson hailed the “courage, discipline and patience of the nation” one year after he first announced a lockdown to combat coronavirus. He said:
We suffered so many losses.
Marking a year to the day since everyone’s lives change on 23 March 2020, landmarks across the nation, from Wembley Stadium to Lichfield Cathedral, are illuminated in remembrance.
One year on from the first national lockdown, we light the Wembley arch yellow to show our support for the National #DayofReflection.
Today we commemorate the tragic loss of life and stand together with everyone who is grieving. pic.twitter.com/9l5PzgE6Ni
Artwork by @Luxmuralis.
Projections were not advertised for public attendance. pic.twitter.com/Rq8ZeGRKmG
at 4.30pm EDT
UK lights up in remembrance of lives lost on anniversary of first lockdown
To mark the anniversary of the UK’s first lockdown and to remember the 126,000 lives that have been lost in the UK to Covid-19, a candlelit vigil will take place from doorsteps across the country at 8pm.
People are being asked to stand on their front doorsteps and light a candle, shine a torch or hold up their phones in a show of unity, as a “beacon of remembrance”.
at 4.29pm EDT
Russian president Vladimir Putin has received his first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, his spokesman said. But unlike many others who were vaccinated in public, Putin’s vaccination took place in private.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the 68-year-old Russian leader was vaccinated but did not specify which jab was administered.
“Putin has been vaccinated against the coronavirus. He feels well. Tomorrow he has a full working day,” Peskov said, according to state-run RIA Novosti news agency.
Earlier today, Peskov said that Putin, who has never been media shy during his two decades in power, did not want to get a jab in front of the cameras. “We will not show this, you will have to take our word for it,” Peskov said.
Peskov said the Kremlin chief would receive one of three Russian vaccines, declining to specify which one “on purpose”. “All three Russian vaccines proved their effectiveness and reliability,” Peskov said.
The Dutch government is to extend its lockdown measures by three weeks until 20 April due to rising numbers of Covid-19 infections and hospital admissions, prime minister Mark Rutte said.
Rutte also said that a recommendation that people not travel abroad was being extended until 15 May. Rising numbers of infections and hospital admissions meant that there could be no easing of restrictions in the short term, he added.
“The number of corona patients in intensive care is on the rise. The third wave is starting to become visible. That is why the current package of measures is being extended,” the government said in a statement.
New coronavirus cases increased by 16% to more than 46,000 in the week through Tuesday, the fastest pace since mid-January, the National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) said.
Rutte said that, while the controversial curfew was being extended, from 31 March the start time would be pushed back by one hour to 10pm. It would continue to run until 4.30am.
Bars and restaurants in the Netherlands have been closed for five months, while many shops have only very limited options to receive customers and public gatherings are banned.
at 2.48pm EDT
Source by www.theguardian.com