GENEVA: WHO experts have voiced "very low confidence" in data provided by Chinese state-owned drugmaker Sinopharm on its COVID-19 vaccine regarding the risk of serious side-effects in some patients, but overall confidence in its ability to prevent the disease, a document seen by Reuters shows. A World Health Organization spokesman said that the document on Sinopharm vaccine BBIBP-CorV was "one of many resources" on which recommendations are made, tentatively scheduled to be issued later this week. In Beijing, Sinopharm was not immediately reachable for comment outside working hours. The "evidence assessment" document was prepared by the WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) for its review scheduled this week of the Sinopharm shot, authorised by 45 countries and jurisdictions for use in adults, with 65 million doses administered. The experts review evidence and give recommendations on policy and dosages associated with a vaccine. The document includes summaries of ... » Learn More about WHO experts voice ‘very low confidence’ in some Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine data
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Men wearing protective suits stand next to the body of their relative, who died from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), before her cremation at a crematorium ground in New Delhi, India, May 4, 2021. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui India accounted for nearly half of the COVID-19 cases reported worldwide last week, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday, as the country’s coronavirus deaths rose by a record 3,780 during the last 24 hours. The WHO said in its weekly epidemiological report that India accounted for 46% of global cases and 25% of global deaths reported in the past week. Daily infections in the country rose by 382,315 on Wednesday, health ministry data showed, the 14th straight day of more than 300,000 cases. India’s second deadly surge of COVID-19 has seen hospitals runs out of beds and oxygen and left morgues and crematoriums overflowing. Many people have died in ambulances and car parks waiting for a bed or oxygen. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has ... » Learn More about India posts record daily COVID-19 deaths, one in four globally last week
GENEVA: India accounted for 46 per cent of the new COVID-19 cases recorded worldwide last week and one in four deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday (May 5). The surge of the coronavirus in India, including of a highly infectious new variant first identified there, has seen hospitals run out of beds and oxygen, and morgues and crematoriums overflowing. Many people have died in ambulances and car parks waiting for a bed or oxygen. Worldwide, 5.7 million new cases were reported last week and more than 93,000 deaths, the WHO said in its weekly epidemiological report. India reported nearly 2.6 million new cases, a 20 per cent increase on the previous week, and 23,231 deaths. The figures are based on official tallies, so India's proportion could be even larger if, as many experts believe, a large number of cases and deaths are not being recorded there as the system becomes overwhelmed. India accounts for almost 18 per cent of the world's population. READ: ... » Learn More about India accounts for 46% of world’s new COVID-19 cases, quarter of deaths
MANILA, Philippine — The COVID-19 vaccine of American pharmaceutical firm Moderna has been granted an emergency use authorization (EUA), the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday. FDA Director General Eric Domingo said the agency only took about 10 days to approve the EUA application of the drug firm , which it submitted on April 26. “After a rigorous and thorough review by regulatory and our medical experts using the currently available published and unpublished data, the FDA is granting an emergency use authorization for the COVID-19 vaccine Moderna,” Domingo said in a Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum. “All conditions for an EUA are present and the benefit of using the vaccine outweighs the known and potential risks,” he added. The EUA will only be valid within the duration of the declared public health emergency or upon the issuance of a certificate of product registration, he said. Interim data from ongoing Phase 3 trials of the vaccine show that the vaccine has ... » Learn More about Moderna COVID-19 vaccine gets emergency use authorization
FILE PHOTO: A worker performs a quality check in the packaging facility of Chinese vaccine maker Sinovac Biotech, developing an experimental coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, during a government-organized media tour in Beijing, China, September 24, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo MANILA, Philippines — Sinovac Biotech may start late-stage trials of its coronavirus vaccine in the Philippines as early as next month, the food and drugs agency chief said on Thursday, after it hurdled the initial stage of the country’s screening process. The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) expects to receive the Chinese drug maker’s formal application for phase three clinical trials within two weeks and regulators will make a decision after their evaluation, FDA head Rolando Enrique Domingo said. Domingo told reporters a November trial start was “possible.” Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte repeated on Wednesday that he preferred that his country source its COVID-19 vaccines from ... » Learn More about Philippines eyes Sinovac trial as early as November — FDA
(Reuters) -Facebook Inc's oversight board on Wednesday upheld the company's decision to ban former U.S. President Donald Trump from the service, but called on the company to decide within six months whether to permanently ban him or restore his account. Here are some key facts about how the board works: WHAT DOES THE OVERSIGHT BOARD REVIEW? The board, which some have dubbed Facebook Inc's "Supreme Court," can overturn the company's decisions on whether some individual pieces of content should be displayed on Facebook or its photo-sharing platform Instagram. It can also recommend changes to Facebook's content policy, based on a case decision or at the company's request, but these are not binding. The board, which only makes rulings on a small slice of Facebook's content decisions, has said it aims to pick cases with wider relevance. It said it has received more than 300,000 cases since it opened its doors in October 2020. Cases so far have involved issues such as hate ... » Learn More about Factbox-What is Facebook’s oversight board?
(Reuters) - Facebook Inc's oversight board on Wednesday upheld the company's suspension of former U.S. President Donald Trump but said the company was wrong to make the suspension indefinite and gave it six months to determine a "proportionate response." Trump called the decision and his banning across tech platforms "a total disgrace" and said the companies would "pay a political price." The board's much-awaited verdict has been watched for signals on how the world's largest social media company will treat rule-breaking political leaders in the future, a key area of controversy for online platforms. The board, created by Facebook to rule on a small slice of its content decisions, said the company was right to ban Trump following the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump supporters. But it said Facebook inappropriately imposed a suspension without clear standards and that the company should determine a response consistent with rules applied to other users of the ... » Learn More about Trump Facebook ban remains but oversight board rips company policies
(Reuters) -Facebook Inc's independent oversight board, which on Wednesday upheld the company's ban on former U.S. President Donald Trump, currently consists of 20 members. Here is a list of the board members: CO-CHAIRS CATALINA BOTERO-MARINO Botero-Marino is a Colombian attorney who was the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States from 2008 to 2014. She is now Dean of the Universidad de los Andes Faculty of Law. JAMAL GREENE Greene is a Columbia Law professor whose scholarship focuses on constitutional rights adjudication and the structure of legal and constitutional argument. He was a law clerk for former U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. MICHAEL MCCONNELL McConnell, now a constitutional law professor at Stanford Law, was a U.S. federal circuit judge. Appointed by Republican President George W. Bush, he was viewed as a possible U.S. Supreme Court nominee. He is an ... » Learn More about Factbox-Who are the first members of Facebook’s oversight board?
During the height of the pandemic last year, I wrote an essay in this column arguing that hunger, if not properly addressed, would become a major national security threat. The opinion piece was triggered by the survey result then of the Social Weather Station (SWS) released in September 2019 showing the rising incidence of hunger among Filipinos. SWS reported that 30.7 percent of the respondents, or equivalent to 7.6 million Filipino families, interviewed admitted that they “went hungry.” To stress the gravity of the situation, the report also noted that its September 2019 finding had a difference of 10 percentage points from the July SWS survey, which registered at 20.9 percent and higher than the previous high of 23.8 percent in March of 2020. It should be pointed out that the SWS survey is a perception survey of the respondents but it is a clear indication that things on the ground are not going on well. This finding was validated by the Department of Science and Technology’s Food ... » Learn More about Hunger is a national security concern
The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), a top-ranking higher education institution in India, and Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote exchanges in the field of disaster studies. The MoU was signed by Prof. Shalini Bharat, vice-chancellor and director of TISS, and Fr. Roberto Yap SJ, AdMU president, on May 5, 2021 before the Ambassador of India to the Philippines, Mr. Shambhu Kumaran. In his address during the virtual signing ceremony, Ambassador Kumaran said: “This engagement between two leading academic institutions of India and the Philippines reflects both our shared resolve to work and also a sense of confidence in each other’s abilities as learning and growing institutions that can contribute meaningfully in the response to emerging challenges. This is very timely, very opportune and very welcome.” Under the MoU, the higher education institutions will promote the exchange of students, faculty members and researchers; ... » Learn More about India, PH HEIs launch collaboration for disaster resilience