August 5, 2020 / 11:17 AM / a few seconds ago

What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

(Reuters) - Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

A man uses a plastic bag as a face mask as he walks past a cafe amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Kyiv, Ukraine July 31, 2020. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

One death every 15 seconds

Latin America surpassed Europe on Tuesday to become the region with the highest novel coronavirus death toll, according to a Reuters tally. The region has now recorded more than 206,000 deaths, approximately 30% of the global total.

Brazil, the Latin American country most affected by the coronavirus, had recorded a total of 95,819 deaths as of Tuesday. Mexico, the second-most affected country in the region, has 48,869 deaths. Outbreaks have also accelerated in Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Bolivia.

The global death toll from COVID-19 has surpassed 700,000, according to a Reuters tally. Nearly 5,900 people are dying every 24 hours from COVID-19 on average, according to calculations based on data from the past two weeks. That equates to 247 people an hour, or one person every 15 seconds.

Closing down Victoria

Australia’s Victoria state reported a record rise in new coronavirus cases and deaths on Wednesday, as it prepared to close much of its economy to control a second wave of infection that threatens to spread across the country.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said further restrictions would include shutting most child-care centres and expanding a ban on elective surgery to the whole state to free up medical resources for coronavirus cases.

In Queensland state, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said travellers from New South Wales state and the capital, Canberra, would be barred from Saturday. The state is already closed to people from Victoria.

Vaccine developments

Novavax said its experimental COVID-19 vaccine produced high levels of antibodies against the novel coronavirus, according to initial data from a small, early-stage clinical trial.

The U.S. company said it could start a large pivotal Phase III trial as soon as late September, and added that it could produce 1 billion to 2 billion doses of the vaccine in 2021.

Novavax research chief Gregory Glenn told Reuters the late-stage clinical trial could potentially glean enough data to obtain regulatory approvals as early as December.

Meanwhile, India’s Zydus Cadila said its vaccine candidate was found to be safe and well-tolerated in an early-stage human trial.

The company will now start a mid-stage trial of the vaccine candidate, ZyCoV-D, in over 1,000 healthy adult volunteers from Thursday to test its effectiveness.

Young people not invincible

Young people hitting nightclubs and beaches are leading a rise in new coronavirus cases across the world, with the proportion of those aged 15 to 24 who are infected rising three-fold from 4.5% to 15% in about five months, the World Health Organization said.

Apart from the United States, which leads a global tally with 4.8 million total cases, European countries including Spain, Germany and France, and Asian countries such as Japan, have said that many of the newly infected are young people.

“We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again: young people are not invincible,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a recent news briefing in Geneva. “Young people can be infected; young people can die; and young people can transmit the virus to others.”

Compiled by Karishma Singh and Linda Noakes; Editing by Giles Elgood

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