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Australia to receive first batch of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in January 2021 – PM to say – Reuters Africa

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SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia will receive the first doses of an AstraZeneca and Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine in January 2021 if trials prove successful, after Canberra agreed a deal to purchase a second potential vaccine, Prime Minister Scott Morrison will say on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: The company logo for pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is displayed on a screen on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 8, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Australia said in August it had signed a preliminary agreement with AstraZeneca for enough doses for its population of nearly 26 million, which would be manufactured locally by pharmaceutical company CSL.

That deal appeared in some doubt when CSL said its priority was manufacturing an alternative potential vaccine developed with the University of Queensland (UQ).

Agreeing a deal to overcome the potential roadblock, Australia will now also buy 51 million doses of the UQ vaccine.

It will take possession of the first 3.8 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in January and February 2021, and then receive a further 30 million doses, Morrison will say in extracts from an announcement sent to Reuters.

AstraZeneca’s candidate is seen as a frontrunner in a global race to deliver an effective coronavirus vaccine.

“Australians will be among the first in the world to receive a safe and effective vaccine, should it pass late stage testing,” Morrison will say.

Under the deal with UQ and CSL, Australia will buy 51 million doses of that tie-up’s vaccine. The UQ and CSL candidate is scheduled to begin phase two trials in late 2020 and if all trials are successful it could be rolled out to Australians in mid-2021.

Both deals will cost in total A$1.7 billion ($1.24 billion), Morrison will say. Should both vaccines prove successful, Australia has secured to right to donate or sell on without a mark-up.

Health officials are discussing who will receive the first doses if trials are successful, Morrison will say. Vulnerable people, and front-line health care workers likely to be first in line, a source familiar with the details told Reuters.

The supply agreements come as Australia grapples with a second wave of infections in its second most populous state, Victoria. Australia has recorded more than 26,000 infections and 753 deaths.

(This story corrects to show announcement will be made on Monday not Tuesday)

Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Frances Kerry

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Manitoba reports 2nd-highest single-day jump in COVID-19 cases, with 65 Saturday – CBC.ca

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There are 65 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba on Saturday, the province said in a news release, including 56 in the Winnipeg health region.

The update is the second-highest single-day increase in cases in the province.

On Aug. 25, 72 new cases of the illness were announced in Manitoba. Twenty-four cases were later retroactively added to that total, bringing that day’s official case count to 96.

The Prairie Mountain, Interlake-Eastern and Southern health regions each have three new cases on Saturday.

There are now 545 active cases in the province, including 456 in the Winnipeg region, according to provincial data.

Twelve people are now hospitalized with the illness in Manitoba, including six in intensive care.

Manitoba’s five-day test positivity rate — a rolling average of the COVID-19 tests that come back positive — is down slightly to 2.3 per cent.

To date, there have been 1,829 COVID-19 cases detected in Manitoba; 1,265 people have recovered and 19 have died.

People in and around Winnipeg will have to wear face masks in indoor public places and keep gatherings to a maximum of 10 people starting Monday, officials announced on Friday.

The new rules come as the capital city and 17 nearby communities are moved to the orange, or “restricted,” level under the province’s colour-coded pandemic response system.

The restrictions will stay in place for at least four weeks, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin said Friday.

That timeframe includes Thanksgiving, which is on Oct. 12 this year.

Other measures may still be brought in for bars and restaurants in the region, Roussin said, following consultation with people in that industry about how they can reduce the risk of people in those spaces spreading COVID-19.

Organizers of Nuit Blanche Winnipeg pulled the plug on art activities and installations scheduled for Saturday evening.

Instead, those events will be rescheduled throughout the month, between Sept. 25 and Oct. 25.

School, restaurant exposures

On Saturday, the province also announced an outbreak has been declared at the Heritage Lodge Long Term Care Home in Winnipeg, though a government spokesperson said that declaration actually happened on Thursday. The site has been moved to the red, or “critical,” level under the pandemic response system.

Possible exposures were also announced Saturday at three more schools and two more restaurants.

Someone with COVID-19 was at John W. Gunn Middle School in Winnipeg from Sept. 16 to Sept. 18, the release says, though public health investigations suggest that risk is low and the person did not get sick at school.

Classes will continue at John W. Gunn Middle School on Monday, after a possible exposure to COVID-19 at the school was announced on Saturday. (Travis Golby/CBC)

A spokesperson said the River East Transcona School Division learned about the exposure Friday evening. 

Classes at the school will continue on Monday, but any areas the person may have used were closed and will be sanitized, said Amanda Gaudes, the senior communications co-ordinator for the division.

A case of the illness has also been linked to R.J. Waugh Elementary School in Carberry on Sept. 21. That case involves someone who was on a school bus, the release says.

A person with COVID-19 in the southwestern Manitoba town was also at Carberry Collegiate on Sept. 21. One grade at that school is being sent home to learn remotely for up to 14 days starting Monday, the release says.

A case of the illness has also been linked to Del Rios restaurant on Main Street in Winkler. The sick person was at the restaurant on Sept. 16 from 6 to 7 p.m.

A case has also been connected to P.F. Chang’s restaurant on St. James Street in Winnipeg. A person with COVID-19 was at the restaurant on Sept. 12, 16 and 17 from 5 to 10 p.m.

Meanwhile, the province is still looking into ways to alleviate pressure and cut wait times at COVID-19 test sites, as increasing case numbers in the Winnipeg area have caused the demand for tests to spike.

Another 2,234 COVID-19 tests were done in the province on Friday, bringing Manitoba’s total to 175,867.

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Sept. 26 update: No new cases found in Nova Scotia for fourth day in row – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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Nova Scotia continues to have only one active case of COVID-19, as provincial authorities announced on Saturday morning that no new cases were identified in the latest round of testing.

That brings the streak of no new cases to four consecutive days.

Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 1,131 Nova Scotia tests on Friday, the provincial news release said.

To date, the province has 91,459 negative test results, 1,087 positive COVID-19 cases and 65 deaths. One person, an essential worker in the Western zone, is hospitalized in ICU.

To date, Nova Scotia has 90,719 negative COVID-19 TEST results,1,087 positives, 1,021 resolved cases and 65 deaths. 

Visit https://811.novascotia.ca to determine if you should call 811 for further assessment if in the past 48 hours you have had, or you are experiencing fever (i.e. chills/sweats) or cough (new or worsening). 

Also take the 811 survey if you have two or more of the following symptoms (new or worsening):

  • sore throat
  •  runny nose/ nasal congestion
  • headache
  •  shortness of breath

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Sept. 26 update: No new cases found in Nova Scotia for fourth day in row – The Telegram

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Nova Scotia continues to have only one active case of COVID-19, as provincial authorities announced on Saturday morning that no new cases were identified in the latest round of testing.

That brings the streak of no new cases to four consecutive days.

Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 1,131 Nova Scotia tests on Friday, the provincial news release said.

To date, the province has 91,459 negative test results, 1,087 positive COVID-19 cases and 65 deaths. One person, an essential worker in the Western zone, is hospitalized in ICU.

To date, Nova Scotia has 90,719 negative COVID-19 TEST results,1,087 positives, 1,021 resolved cases and 65 deaths. 

Visit https://811.novascotia.ca to determine if you should call 811 for further assessment if in the past 48 hours you have had, or you are experiencing fever (i.e. chills/sweats) or cough (new or worsening). 

Also take the 811 survey if you have two or more of the following symptoms (new or worsening):

  • sore throat
  •  runny nose/ nasal congestion
  • headache
  •  shortness of breath

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