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Russia claims a breakthrough in the global Covid-19 vaccine race before completing testing

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Russia claims a breakthrough in the global Covid-19 vaccine race before completing testing | Thaiger

Russia has jumped past a number of critical steps in its rush to announce a breakthrough in the development of a vaccine for Covid-19. The vaccine formula was developed by the Gamaleya Institute in Moscow. The vaccine even has a name – Sputnik V – referencing the first orbital satellite launched by the Soviet Union in 1957. The name evokes an earlier ‘race’, in that case the space race. This time Russian President Vladimir Putin is evoking a sense of national pride that his country has been first in the current vaccine race. But many questions over the announced vaccine remain unclear.

Mr. Putin announced yesterday that his country had become the first to approve an experimental coronavirus vaccine. He even boasted that his daughter had already been vaccinated with the experimental vaccine. But global health officials claim that Russia has rushed, or completely missed, critical, large-scale testing that to determine if the vaccine is a possible protection against Covid-19 and that it has proven to be safe and effective. Few details of the Gamaleya research have been made public at this stage. Their research has not undergone peer review.

But none of that is stopping Russian officials pledging to administer the vaccine to millions of people. At the top of their list they are including teachers and front-line health-care workers in the coming weeks. They say they will administer these doses even before even finishing clinical trials.

Russia’s Health Ministry has not responded to requests for comment from world media and the Gamaleya Institute is referring questions to the health ministry.

A member of the Global Virus Network, Konstantin Chumakov, representing a global coalition working on viral threats, says that it’s scientifically impossible to prove efficacy without widespread trials, known as Phase 3.

“Using it in general population before the results of Phase 3 trials are fully studied is a gamble. A Russian roulette, if you will.”

Even President Putin has sprinkled his comments with a note of doubt.

“Of course, what counts most is for us to be able to ensure the unconditional safety of the use of this vaccine and its efficiency in the future. I hope that this will be accomplished.”

The surprising announcement comes from a country eager to declare victory amid one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the world. Global scientists are expressing concern about the speed of the announcement and the admissions that they haven’t completed the full rounds of testing, international standards for the development of vaccines.

They fear the announcement will give Russian citizens a false sense of security about their immunity. Meanwhile China has also authorised an early coronavirus vaccine for use in its military – again ahead of definitive data proving that the vaccine is safe and effective.

J. Stephen Morrison, senior VP at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, says that the situation in Russia is “changing the rules and cutting corners”.

“It’s a major development, and it starts with Putin. He needs a win. It’s harking back to the glory days of Russian science; it’s putting the Russian propaganda machine into full gear. I think this could backfire.”

The international jockeying to develop a viable, affordable and safe vaccine is sharpening concerns about “vaccine nationalism”. Countries’ are rushing to declare victory over the pandemic as a statement of national pride and geopolitical clout, and may bypass long-standing safeguards that protect citizens from unproven medical products by ensuring that their benefits outweigh the risks.

Last month, security officials from the US, UK and Canada accused hackers linked to a Russian intelligence service of attempting to steal information from their researchers working to produce coronavirus vaccines. Russian officials denied the claims, and Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund that bankrolled the country’s vaccination effort, dismissed international scrutiny of Russia’s own vaccine efforts as political, according to The Washington Post.

“For countries, it’s difficult to acknowledge that, ‘How is it possible that Russia, which has been always shown as this backward, authoritarian country, can do this?’ ”

SOURCES: Reuters | BBC | Washington Post

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Michael Lewis

    Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at 8:51 am

    Sources Reuters, BBC and WP, no wonder you article is bias. The Russian announcement provided full details but your anti Russia US propaganda chose to omitted them. Russia was never backward in engineering, that was US oropaganda, Russian engineering has always been at the forefront of the world and mostly ahead of US engineering as it still is today.

    • Avatar

      rinky stingpiece

      Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at 1:33 pm

      Name a leading Russian engineering company?
      Tell us where Russia’s Silicon valley is?
      Why do you think Russians leave Russia to go to America to create successful tech companies?
      If Russia was at the forefront, they would be doing it there, but it isn’t, so they aren’t.

      • Avatar

        Michael Lewis

        Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at 6:00 pm

        Details of the Russian vaccine for covid-19 were published yesterday, see https://sptnkne.ws/DscX.

        The US is currently playing catch up to advanced Russian engineering in the MIC field, thats the main reason why US sanctions are applied. Russian power engineering companies are on par or ahead of there US rivals, that the main reason that the US sanctions are applied. Russia is self sufficient in electronics, the US is still playing catch up to China, that is why the US sanctions Chinese IT. Russian engineers are in high demand in the US which lacks quality engineers of Russian calibre.

        • Avatar

          rinky stingpiece

          Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 1:49 am

          What are you on? I am an engineer, and I speak Russian, what are you, a taxi driver from Luton?

          You didn’t answer my question. One of my lecturers for one of my degrees was Russian, he left, for better opportunities outside Russia.

          I am actually a Russiophile, but very realistic about their capabilities. Yes they do oral vivas, but as soon as they can, they get the fucksi out of dodgski to get paid.

        • Avatar

          dimitri

          Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 8:19 pm

          These are all empty words.
          “advanced Russian engineering in the MIC field” -> Some examples ?
          “Russian power engineering companies are on par or ahead of there US rivals”
          -> Some examples ?
          “Russia is self sufficient in electronics” -> Can you give me an example ?
          “the US is still playing catch up to China” You must be using drugs.
          “Russian engineers are in high demand in the US” -> They are escaping because they have no chances in Russia.
          Sanctions against Russia are there because Russia turned into a criminal and terrorist organisation.

          • Avatar

            Het

            Sunday, August 16, 2020 at 9:27 pm

            Khokhol detected. Mudak ty Dima i gnida.

    • Avatar

      Michael Lewis

      Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at 5:35 pm

      Details of the Russian vaccine for covid-19 were published yesterday, see https://sptnkne.ws/DscX.

      • Avatar

        Rinky Stingpiece

        Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 11:56 am

        There is no credible vaccine for covid-19 yet, this is just junk propaganda from the country that invented the term. It has only had 2 months of human trials.

        “The technical feat of developing a COVID19 vaccine is not very complicated,” he says. “The hard part is producing these vaccines under quality umbrellas — quality control and quality assurance — and then assuring the vaccines are safe and actually work to protect against COVID19 in large phase III clinical trials.”
        https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02386-2

        Do you understand what the word “calibre” means in this context?!

  2. Avatar

    Mark Franklin

    Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    We would like you to start reviews of Quarantine hotels and costs because there only going to be approximately 6 million tourists next year there will be a great need for competitive priced hotels other wise there will not be any tourists in Thailand with the hotel and entertainment industry going bankrupt also wide speed poverty which could affect the stability of the government and country

    • Avatar

      Gabi

      Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 12:03 am

      Maybe not even 6 million if Thailand keeps the country locked up.

    • Avatar

      rinky stingpiece

      Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 1:50 am

      I’m buying shares in asq hotels, mask makers, and test kit makers… it’s a sure thing.

  3. Avatar

    Het

    Sunday, August 16, 2020 at 9:46 pm

    Russia must keep vaccine strictly for Russians and it’s allies. Let the West cope with their problems themselves .

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Cambodia threatens jail for Covid-19 quarantine violations

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Cambodia threatens jail for Covid-19 quarantine violations | Thaiger
PHOTO: PM Hun Sen imposes harsh Covid-19 restrictions

In the face of expanding Covid-19 infections in Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Sen has warned that violators of quarantine may face prison sentences, and government workers could be fired if they don’t get vaccines. More than 1,000 new Coronavirus cases were diagnosed in the last 2 days along, nearly 25% of the total cases since the pandemic began. The government has forbidden out-of-province travel and implemented evening curfews in the main city of Phnom Penh. They even shut down all the tourist attractions including the world-famous Angkor Wat temple complex.

Face masks are already mandatory now in Phnom Penh, with fines up to US $250 for anyone caught violating the order. But PM Hun Sen, himself having had a close brush with Covid-19 months ago, has imposed a 2-week quarantine and has made it clear that punishment for any rule-breakers will be harsh and swift. The government has already enacted a strict bill to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Cambodia, with prison terms of up to 20 years for serious violators. In an address broadcast on state-run television, he promised a “quick trial’.

“People who break Covid measures must be sentenced, I accept being called a dictator, but I will also be admired for protecting my people’s lives.”

Cambodia began Covid-19 vaccination in February, with a million citizens already receiving at least their first of two injections. In a country of 16 million, that 6% is a healthy start for their vaccination programme. The Prime Minister also declared vaccination mandatory for all state officials and members of the military. He asserted that their job was on the line if they failed to comply.

Cambodia had done well with low Covid-19 infection numbers during the pandemic, but in February, the virus tore through the Chinese ex-pat community, with the outbreak causing a surge in infections proliferating across the country. The situation is worsening now, as hospitals in Phnom Penh are running out of beds and the government is converting large halls and local schools into medical centres for mildly afflicted patients.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Nightlife plays major role in Covid-19 third wave

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Nightlife plays major role in Covid-19 third wave | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Krystal Club Thonglor25 is one of many high-end clubs where Covid-19 spread

The current surge in Covid-19 infections now looks to be spread in large part by Thailand’s colourful nightlife, with more than 500 people contracting the more contagious UK variant (B117) of the Coronavirus. The government responded by closing all bars and entertainment venues in 41 provinces, but it may be too late to prevent a third wave of the pandemic. Many people now are critical, pointing to the first and second wave as harbingers of how the party nightlife can so easily transmit Covid-19.

At the beginning of the pandemic, partiers in Bangkok’s Thong Lor area began testing positive for Covid-19 last March. The Public Health Ministry instructed everyone to follow safety measures to prevent a big outbreak. The area is well known to be a hotspot for Bangkok’s wealthy elite and powerful with its multitude of high-end luxury clubs and bars.

A normal night has thousands of people roaming the streets into the late hours of the evening. But after infections started spreading, all nightlife was closed until July when Thailand overall had gained some control and contained the Coronavirus more successfully than most countries. In fact, it would be months before any new infections were diagnosed in the area.

While it’s commonly known that the next wave of Covid-19 in Thailand started mainly from migrant workers and low wage market workers, even the second round of infections was proliferated by people enjoying the nightlife around Thailand. There was a case of a woman in the North who went to several bars before knowing that she had contracted the virus in January, and, when the details of her bar-hopping were released, many customers of a bar she attended in Chiang Mai had already contracted Covid-19 as well. Meanwhile, in Bangkok, Techin “DJ Matoom” Ploypetch held a lavish all-night party in a luxury hotel in January. Facing criminal charges for violating Covid-19 restrictions, he has recovered from the virus himself but the party became a spreader event. None of these nightlife outbreaks stopped people from pouring back into the club scene as soon as it reopened in February.

Now Thailand is facing a massive shutdown with the threat of a third wave of Covid-19 inescapable. One major factor in the rapidly spreading infections is trendy evening entertainment venues around Bangkok, Phuket, and Pattaya among other areas. A 35-year-old man who contracted Covid-19 reported he had been partying in Thong Lor the month before. Testing clubgoers from bars and entertainment venues in the area revealed an outbreak of Covid-19 infections.

Krystal Club Thonglor25 gained attention as powerful politicians and the wealthy elite that frequent the club so often it’s nicknamed “Government House 2”. 1/3 of Thailand’s cabinet ministers are currently self-isolating and it was rumoured that the Transport Minister had gotten C0vid-19 from visiting the infamous Krystal Club, though rumours were later dispelled.

But growing anger has emerged towards the upscale party-going set, with the hashtag #thonglorpub trending across social media since Wednesday, and many people complaining as the country closes down entertainment venues for the next two weeks and maybe facing further lockdown procedures.

The bar and club scene is a hotspot for Covid clusters since social distancing and mask-wearing are rarely enforced, in poorly ventilated rooms with throngs of tightly packed people. A list has emerged of high society hot spots where anyone in attendance in the past few weeks is being requested to get Covid-19 tests right away after customers at each has tested positive for covid.

  • Krystal Club Thonglor25
  • Bar Bar Bar,
  • Ekamai Beer House,
  • Emerald Thonglor13
  • Dirty Bar
  • Bottoms up Thonglor
  • AINU Hokkaido lzakaya & Bar
  • the Cassette Music Bar Ekamai
  • 63 Music House Ekamai

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Big Covid-19 numbers today: 789 new infections, 1 death

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Big Covid-19 numbers today: 789 new infections, 1 death | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: A surge in new infections as people are tested following nightlife clusters.

789 new Covid-19 infections and 1 death were reported today by the CCSA. The death, a 68 year old Thai man from Nakhon Pathom, had died April 4 but was yesterday confirmed as dying from complications from Coronavirus. Only 8 infections were international arrivals, with 522 local infections and 259 diagnosed today through contact tracing.

The international infections were Thai and foreigners and included 3 arriving from Russia and 1 each from the US, UK, Oman, India, and Canada. 33 former patients are now fully recovered from the virus and discharged in the past 24 hours.

Earlier today 17 new infections were identified in Phuket and will go into tomorrow’s official national count. This brings the island’s total new infections this week to 43, almost all of them a result of an influx of Bangkok party-goers to events last weekend.

This new jump in Covid-19 brings the total infections in Thailand to 31,658 – c28,463 local cases and 3,195 internationally imported cases, 17,000+ of those cases were diagnosed from proactive testing. 28,161 have been released as ‘recovered’ with 2,645 people currently undergoing treatment and 97 total deaths.

Thailand is now 113th on the list of most cases globally, with the USA’s 31.8 million infections still more than the next 3 countries combined – Brazil with 13.37 million, India with 13.2 million, and France with 4.98 million. Russia rounds out the top 5 with 4.62 million infections.

The global total is up almost 800,000 to 135.29 million cases with 23.3 million active cases, just over 100,000 of which are considered in critical condition. 108,86 million have recovered from the virus, and 2.92 million have died, including 13,268 today.

Big Covid-19 numbers today: 789 new infections, 1 death | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation Thailand

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