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COVID-19 cases soar in LatAm, vaccine tests launched globally

(Xinhua)    15:17, July 28, 2020

Infections in Latin America and the Caribbean surged, with thousands of fresh daily cases reported over the weekend, as countries elsewhere are racing toward a vaccine.

LATIN AMERICA THE WORST-HIT REGION

As of Tuesday, six of the eight countries with the most confirmed cases globally are Latin American countries, a tally by Johns Hopkins University showed.

Brazil ranks the world's second after the United States in both the numbers of confirmed cases and deaths. The total caseload has climbed to 2,442,375 there as of Monday, with 23,284 new cases of infection. The death toll reached 87,618 on Monday after 614 more patients died from the disease in the previous 24 hours, according to the country's health ministry.

COVID-19 cases in Mexico are approaching the 400,000 mark. The number of infected has hit 395,489, with 4,973 new cases and 342 fresh deaths reported in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said Monday evening.

"Tougher measures" are being mulled in Peru, according to Health Minister Pilar Mazzetti, who noted on Saturday "a new rebound" in COVID-19 cases. Peru has so far registered 389,717 COVID-19 infections, with 18,418 deaths and 272,547 recoveries, the health ministry said on Monday.

Chile has reported 347,923 cases, with the daily new of 2,133. There were 75 new deaths reported on Monday, bringing the nationwide total to 9,178.

VACCINE RACE

U.S. biotechnology companies Moderna announced on Monday that the phase-3 study of its vaccine candidate against COVID-19 has begun dosing participants.

The so-called COVE (coronavirus efficacy) study is being conducted in collaboration with the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

The Associated Press refers to it as the world's biggest COVID-19 vaccine study.

U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and German biotech BioNTech said they began on Monday their final-stage human trial for a potential coronavirus vaccine, and the trial will include up to 30,000 participants globally.

Human trials for developing an indigenous vaccine against COVID-19 are going on in full swing in India. Two companies -- Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadila -- are currently carrying out human trials in six cities across the country.

Animal tests of a Chinese COVID-19 vaccine candidate have shown that it can trigger robust neutralizing antibodies against novel coronavirus, a peer-reviewed study has said.

The study published on medical journal Cell showed that ARCoV, a messenger RNA vaccine by China, "confers full protection against SARS-CoV-2 challenge in mice."

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Liang Jun)

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