President Putin says his daughter inoculated with new vaccine that proved efficient during tests.

  • President Vladimir Putin said Russia has developed the first vaccine offering “sustainable immunity” against coronavirus.
  • New Zealand announced its first locally transmitted coronavirus infections in 102 days.
  • Worldwide coronavirus cases have surpassed 20 million, with Brazil and Mexico reporting a combined 27,000 infections in just one day. More than 12.2 million have recovered, and almost 735,000 have died from the disease, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.
  • US President Donald Trump is considering a measure to block US citizens and permanent residents from entering the country if they are suspected of being infected with the new coronavirus, according to the New York Times and Reuters news agency.

Here are the latest updates:

Tuesday, August 11

12:15 GMT – WHO wants to review Russian vaccine safety data

President Vladimir Putin said Russia had become the first country to approve a vaccine offering “sustainable immunity” against the new coronavirus [EPA]

The World Health Organization said any WHO stamp of approval on a COVID-19 vaccine candidate would require a rigorous safety data review, after Russia announced it had approved a vaccine.

“We are in close contact with the Russian health authorities and discussions are ongoing with respect to possible WHO pre-qualification of the vaccine,” the United Nations health agency’s spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told reporters in Geneva at an online press briefing.

“Pre-qualification of any vaccine includes the rigorous review and assessment of all the required safety and efficacy data.”

11:30 GMT – Dutch cases jumped 55 percent in the past week 

New confirmed coronavirus cases in the Netherlands jumped to 4,036 in the past week, continuing the rapid increase seen since the easing of lockdown measures last month, Dutch health authorities said.

The number of infections was up 55 percent from the 2,588 cases reported over the previous week.

11:15 GMT – Egypt-Gaza crossing opens for first time in months

The only crossing between Gaza and Egypt opened on Tuesday for 72 hours, allowing people to leave the Palestinian enclave for the first time since the novel coronavirus outbreak began.

The Rafah crossing in southern Gaza was closed in March, as Hamas sought to guard against a major virus outbreak in the densely-populated territory with weak health infrastructure. The crossing re-opened for limited two-way movement on Tuesday.

Rafah was opened for three days in April, but only to allow Gazans stranded abroad to return home [File – Mohammed Saber/EPA] 

Gaza’s interior ministry spokesman Iyad Al-Bazam said people who hold foreign passports, foreign residency permits or emergency medical needs “will be allowed to leave”.

10:35 GMT – Singapore confirms 61 news cases, lowest daily count in four months

Singapore reported 61 new COVID-19 cases, its lowest daily count in more than four months.

The city-state went into a lockdown in mid-April after mass outbreaks in cramped migrant worker dormitories pushed its caseload to one of the highest in Asia.

Last week, it said it had cleared infections from all of the dormitories – housing around 300,000 workers – barring some blocks which continue to serve as isolation zones.

Of Tuesday’s cases – its lowest tally since April 2 – the majority were among those remaining workers serving quarantine.

09:40 GMT – Former Indian president Pranab Mukherjee contracts COVID-19

Former Indian president Pranab Mukherjee was put on ventilator support after undergoing surgery having contracted COVID-19, local media reported, quoting unidentified sources at the military hospital in New Delhi where he is admitted.

The reports on Mukherjee, 84, who served as president between 2012 and 2017, came as the federal health ministry once again reported a daily increase of more than 50,000 cases in the coronavirus outbreak. At least 50,000 new cases have been reported in the world’s second-most populous country every day since July 30.

Mukherjee, who also led India’s federal defence, foreign affairs, finance ministries over a decades-long political career, said in a Twitter posting on Monday that he had tested positive for COVID-19 while visiting the hospital for a separate procedure.

“I request the people who came in contact with me in the last week, to please self isolate and get tested for COVID-19,” he said, without disclosing further details of his condition.

Mukherjee, 84, served as president between 2012 and 2017 [Adnan Abidi/Reuters]

09:10 GMT – Russia approves world’s first coronavirus vaccine 

Russia has developed the first vaccine offering “sustainable immunity” against the coronavirus, President Vladimir Putin announced Tuesday.

“This morning, for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the new coronavirus was registered” in Russia, he said during a televised video conference call with government ministers.

The country’s health ministry has given regulatory approval for the vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, after less than two months of human testing, Putin said.

The move paves the way for mass inoculation even as the final stages of clinical trials to test safety and efficacy continue.

08:35 GMT – Indonesia reports 1,693 new cases

Indonesia reported 1,693 new coronavirus cases, bringing the country’s total tally of infections to 128,776, data from the country’s health ministry website showed.

The data also showed an additional 59 deaths, taking the total number of fatalities to 5,824, the highest COVID-19 death toll in Southeast Asia.

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