US says it will not pay WHO Fees in Coronavirus

US says it will not pay WHO fees in coronavirus spat
US says it will not pay WHO fees in coronavirus spat

The US, which began formal withdrawal from WHO in July, owes some $62m to the agency in membership dues.

  • The United States has said it will stop paying its dues to the World Health Organization, a day after it said it would not participate in the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX), a global vaccine development and distribution project.
  • Steroids have been confirmed to reduce the risk of death in patients suffering from severe cases of COVID-19.
  • More than 26 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, and nearly 863,028 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. Some 17.3 million people have recovered.

Here are the latest updates:

Thursday, September 3

Russia registers nearly 5,000 new coronavirus cases

Russia reported 4,995 new coronavirus cases, bringing its national tally to 1,009,995, the fourth largest in the world.

Russia’s coronavirus taskforce said 114 people had died over the last 24 hours, pushing the official death toll to 17,528. 

Czechs report highest daily number of cases

The Czech Republic’s daily number of new coronavirus cases rose to 650, the highest since the pandemic reached the country in March, Health Ministry data showed on Thursday.

With that number, the overall count of cases rose to 25,773 in the country of 10.7 million.

Sanofi and GSK launch trial for protein-based vaccine

French drugmaker Sanofi and its British peer GSK have started a clinical trial for a protein-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

Sanofi and GSK said that they had started the “Phase 1/2” trial for their adjuvanted COVID-19 vaccine, which they hope to make available across the world. The vaccine candidate uses the same recombinant protein-based technology as one of Sanofi’s seasonal influenza vaccines with GSK’s established pandemic adjuvant technology.

The companies said they expected the first results on the vaccine by early December 2020, and if the data turned out to be positive, they would plan to request regulatory approval for the product in the first half of 2021.

Russia resumes international flights with Egypt, UAE and Maldives

Russia has resumed international flights with Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and the Maldives, a government order published showed.

The government said it had authorised three flights a week to Cairo, as well as two flights a week to Dubai and to the Maldives’s Velana International Airport.

Flights from Russia to Turkey restarted

Passengers check in at Russia’s International Vnukovo Airport [File: Anadolu/Sefa Karacan]

China offers virus vaccine candidates to aviation industry workers: report

China has offered experimental coronavirus vaccines to aviation industry workers, according to a regulatory notice seen by the Reuters news agency, in a push to inoculate high-risk groups to prevent a possible resurgence as economies reopen.

China, which has four COVID-19 vaccines in the final stage of human trials, launched the emergency use vaccine programme in July, hoping to boost the immunity of groups such as border inspectors or medical industry workers.

Frontline workers at Chinese airlines, airports, China National Aviation Fuel Group and TravelSky Technology Limited will be provided a candidate vaccine on a voluntary basis, the notice from China’s aviation regulator shows. The Civil Aviation Administration of China has asked these sectors and firms to compile a list of personal information of employees willing to take the vaccine, the notice adds.

Hello, this is Usaid Siddiqui in Doha taking over from my colleague Kate Mayberry.

UNHCR: Pandemic threatens progress in refugee schooling

The UN Refugee Agency says the coronavirus threatens progress made in improving education for child refugees. 

A just-published report based on data from 12 countries hosting more than half the world’s refugee children, found that primary education enrolment increased by two percent in 2019.

But while gross enrolment was 77 percent at the primary level, it fell to only 31 percent in secondary, and just three percent in higher education.

The UNHCR noted girls had less access to education than boys, and that the coronavirus threatened to undo the gains that had been made.

“Before the pandemic, a refugee child was twice as likely to be out of school as a non-refugee child,” the agency said in a statement. This is set to worsen – many may not have opportunities to resume their studies due to school closures, difficulties affording fees, uniforms or books, lack of access to technologies or because they are being required to work to support their families.”

Rohingya school Reuters

A student reads a book at a makeshift school run by Rohingya teachers in Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh [File: Jiraporn Kuhakan/Reuters]

India reports record daily jump in cases

India has reported a record jump in cases of coronavirus.

The health ministry confirmed 83,883 cases on Thursday, bringing the total to 3.85 million.

India – the world’s third worst-affected country after the United States and Brazil, has been reporting the world’s highest daily caseload every day for nearly a month.  

A further 1,043 people died from the disease, the health ministry said, bringing the death toll to 67,376.

First direct international flight lands in Beijing 

An Air China flight from Phnom Penh was the first international flight to land in Beijing after direct flights from eight countries were allowed to resume.

As well as Cambodia, direct flights will be allowed from Greece, Denmark, Thailand, Austria and Canada. Passengers must have tested negative for COVID-19 before they board and complete a 14-day government-run quarantine on arrival.


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