Russia’s COVID-19 task force on Friday (1/10) reported 887 deaths from COVID-19, a new record for the fourth day in a row. Friday’s death toll broke the record set Thursday with 20 deaths.
The task force also reported 24,522 new cases in the past 24 hours, the highest total since late July as Russia experienced a major spike in infections.
The Associated Press news agency reported that Russia only imposed a nationwide lockdown once during the pandemic, namely in the spring of 2020. Although the country has not announced plans to implement it now, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday the government “will watch the development of the situation.” . The dynamics are bad and cause concern.”
Earlier Friday, US pharmaceutical company Merck announced a COVID-19 trial pill, known as Molnupiravir. This pill is said to reduce 50% of hospitalizations and deaths in people who have just been infected with the corona virus.
In a statement on its website, the company said initial results of Phase 3 testing were so positive, an independent data monitoring committee in consultation with the US Food and Drug Administration shortened the trial. Recruitment to the study was terminated early because of the positive study results.
The company said it would seek approval from health officials in the US and drug regulators around the world. As the first pill that can be used to treat COVID-19, it represents a major breakthrough in efforts to stem the pandemic. Meanwhile, Friday is the deadline set by the World Health Organization (WHO) to achieve the global target of countries to vaccinate 10% of their population against COVID-19. The WHO’s Africa Region says 15 countries on the continent have already achieved that goal. [my/pp]