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Trans-Tasman bubble opens: Emotional scenes as families reunite at Sydney Airport

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trans tasman bubble opens emotional scenes as families reunite at sydney airport

Travellers on the first commercial flight from New Zealand in seven months have landed in Sydney, after the two nations established the first phase of their trans-Tasman travel bubble.

Emotions were running high on Friday as families were finally reunited after the bubble opened overnight.

The bubble allows New Zealand travellers to fly to New South Wales and the Northern Territory without the need for hotel quarantine on arrival.

The deal, which has been in the works for months, is a one-way arrangement, meaning Kiwis returning home still need to do their 14-day mandatory isolation in secure hotels at a cost of $2,050.

But it’s bad news for Australians, who haven’t been granted the same rights to fly to New Zealand, and have been banned from travelling globally in all but exceptional circumstances since March 20. 

Passengers were greeted with a sign that read ‘we’ve missed you’ as they made their way through the terminal to their loved ones. 

Reunited: Adam Draper and his partner Stacey Brown embrace each other as she arrives from New Zealand after the Trans-Tasman travel bubble opened overnight (pictured on Friday)

Reunited: Adam Draper and his partner Stacey Brown embrace each other as she arrives from New Zealand after the Trans-Tasman travel bubble opened overnight (pictured on Friday)

Reunited: Adam Draper and his partner Stacey Brown embrace each other as she arrives from New Zealand after the Trans-Tasman travel bubble opened overnight (pictured on Friday)

G'Day, mate: A passenger in a face mask arrives from New Zealand after the Trans-Tasman travel bubble opened overnight

G'Day, mate: A passenger in a face mask arrives from New Zealand after the Trans-Tasman travel bubble opened overnight

G’Day, mate: A passenger in a face mask arrives from New Zealand after the Trans-Tasman travel bubble opened overnight 

All smiles: Stacey Brown is welcomed home by her partner Adam Drape as she arrives in Sydney from New Zealand on Friday

All smiles: Stacey Brown is welcomed home by her partner Adam Drape as she arrives in Sydney from New Zealand on Friday

All smiles: Stacey Brown is welcomed home by her partner Adam Drape as she arrives in Sydney from New Zealand on Friday 

There were hugs, kisses and tears as those stuck on either side of the Tasman came together after seven months apart as both nations closed their borders in March to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Sydney Airport chief executive officer Geoff Culbert said this was a first step in the ‘phased approach’.

‘We haven’t welcomed international travellers to Sydney in months that haven’t had to come through customs and go straight on to buses to hotel [quarantine],’ he said.

The first phase is going to provide a vital ‘proof of concept’ for further destinations and travel, he said.

Young and happy: A couple embrace at Sydney International Airport on Friday after the first commercial plane from New Zealand landed

Young and happy: A couple embrace at Sydney International Airport on Friday after the first commercial plane from New Zealand landed

Young and happy: A couple embrace at Sydney International Airport on Friday after the first commercial plane from New Zealand landed 

Welcome back: Passengers were greeted with a sign that read 'We've missed you' as they made their way through the terminal to their loved ones

Welcome back: Passengers were greeted with a sign that read 'We've missed you' as they made their way through the terminal to their loved ones

Welcome back: Passengers were greeted with a sign that read ‘We’ve missed you’ as they made their way through the terminal to their loved ones

Blooming love: Taren Kowalski is welcomed home by her boyfriend Jayden Guest as she arrives from New Zealand arrive at Sydney International Airport in Sydney

Blooming love: Taren Kowalski is welcomed home by her boyfriend Jayden Guest as she arrives from New Zealand arrive at Sydney International Airport in Sydney

Blooming love: Taren Kowalski is welcomed home by her boyfriend Jayden Guest as she arrives from New Zealand arrive at Sydney International Airport in Sydney

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said all passengers arriving from New Zealand would be kept separate from other arrivals in the airport. 

There will be 16 flights between the two countries each week, with the first flight arriving at midday on Friday.

Jetstar, Qantas, Air New Zealand and Qatar Airways have been advertising trans-Tasman flights. 

Sweet embrace: Jaden Guest greets his partner Taren Kowalski as she arrives from New Zealand after the Trans-Tasman travel bubble opened overnight

Sweet embrace: Jaden Guest greets his partner Taren Kowalski as she arrives from New Zealand after the Trans-Tasman travel bubble opened overnight

Sweet embrace: Jaden Guest greets his partner Taren Kowalski as she arrives from New Zealand after the Trans-Tasman travel bubble opened overnight

Overjoyed: An excited Deccy Ledezma is greeted by a friend as she arrives from New Zealand

Overjoyed: An excited Deccy Ledezma is greeted by a friend as she arrives from New Zealand

Overjoyed: An excited Deccy Ledezma is greeted by a friend as she arrives from New Zealand

Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke highly of the deal on Friday, saying it shows promise for what may be possible in the coming months.

‘Here we are, already, before the end of the year, getting at least to some new point of normal when it comes to COVID-safe travel. But it has to be done safely.’ 

Mr Culbert said the next countries that could see mandatory quarantine dropped include Singapore, South Korea and Japan.

‘These are places that have done a good job (during the pandemic) and we have confidence in their health systems,’ he said.

Smooches: Adam Draper and his partner Stacey Brown kiss as she arrives from New Zealand on board the first trans-Tasman flight

Smooches: Adam Draper and his partner Stacey Brown kiss as she arrives from New Zealand on board the first trans-Tasman flight

Smooches: Adam Draper and his partner Stacey Brown kiss as she arrives from New Zealand on board the first trans-Tasman flight

Double trouble: Kids in face masks walk hand in hand as they make their way through the airport on Friday in Sydney

Double trouble: Kids in face masks walk hand in hand as they make their way through the airport on Friday in Sydney

Double trouble: Kids in face masks walk hand in hand as they make their way through the airport on Friday in Sydney

Mr Morrison confirmed Australia was in discussion with the three nations, as well as the South Pacific, to open up travel.

‘There are countries that have performed well on the health front and Australia and those countries are one of a handful that has had the same level of success,’ he said.

 ‘But we have to go cautiously on this; very, very cautiously. COVID-19 hasn’t gone anywhere, it’s still there – it’s no less aggressive today than it was six months ago. We need to keep the habit of COVID-safe behaviours.’

No quarantine: A man in a face mask arrives from New Zealand after the Trans-Tasman travel bubble opened overnight

No quarantine: A man in a face mask arrives from New Zealand after the Trans-Tasman travel bubble opened overnight

No quarantine: A man in a face mask arrives from New Zealand after the Trans-Tasman travel bubble opened overnight

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Europe coronavirus: Germany announces new four-week lockdown

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europe coronavirus germany announces new four week lockdown

Angela Merkel has plunged Germany back into ‘lockdown lite’, ordering all bars and restaurants to close across the country starting on Monday. 

The move will also see theatres, cinemas and leisure facilities close throughout November, though unlike the first lockdown, schools and shops will be allowed to stay open. Takeaway services are also allowed.

Merkel, who announced the move Wednesday evening after agreeing it with regional governors, said it was necessary ‘to act, and now, to avoid an acute national health emergency’.

President Emmanuel Macron was set to announce harsher restrictions in France on Wednesday evening, effectively plunging the nation back into full lockdown throughout November – though schools will stay open.

European markets tanked at the news, with the DAX falling almost 4.5 per cent. Britain’s FTSE 100, France’s CAC 40 and Italy’s FTSE MIB were also sharply down on Wednesday.

Protesters also took to the streets of Berlin to demand that the government do more to support them, while anti-lockdown activists also took to the streets of Spain and Italy overnight, sparking clashes with police.  

Protesters took to the streets of Berlin on Wednesday to demand more support for the government, even as Angela Merkel plunged the whole country back into a 'lockdown lite'

Protesters took to the streets of Berlin on Wednesday to demand more support for the government, even as Angela Merkel plunged the whole country back into a 'lockdown lite'

Protesters took to the streets of Berlin on Wednesday to demand more support for the government, even as Angela Merkel plunged the whole country back into a ‘lockdown lite’

Members of Berlin's entertainment industry protest against government shutdowns, demanding more support while they are unable to work because of the virus

Members of Berlin's entertainment industry protest against government shutdowns, demanding more support while they are unable to work because of the virus

Members of Berlin’s entertainment industry protest against government shutdowns, demanding more support while they are unable to work because of the virus

A coffin is driven past the Reichstag building, as entertainment workers demand more support for the 'dying' industry

A coffin is driven past the Reichstag building, as entertainment workers demand more support for the 'dying' industry

A coffin is driven past the Reichstag building, as entertainment workers demand more support for the ‘dying’ industry

Angela Merkel announced that all bars, restaurants and other leisure facilities will have to close on Monday and stay shut through November, with schools and shops allowed to stay open

Angela Merkel announced that all bars, restaurants and other leisure facilities will have to close on Monday and stay shut through November, with schools and shops allowed to stay open

Angela Merkel announced that all bars, restaurants and other leisure facilities will have to close on Monday and stay shut through November, with schools and shops allowed to stay open

Merkel said the shutdown is necessary'to avoid an acute national health emergency' after the country reported some 15,000 new cases in a single day (file image, an abandoned street in Bavaria)

Merkel said the shutdown is necessary'to avoid an acute national health emergency' after the country reported some 15,000 new cases in a single day (file image, an abandoned street in Bavaria)

Merkel said the shutdown is necessary’to avoid an acute national health emergency’ after the country reported some 15,000 new cases in a single day (file image, an abandoned street in Bavaria)

Chairs and tables stand outside a restaurant in Frankfurt, Germany, which has been under curfew measures for a fortnight, but will now have to close throughout the whole of November

Chairs and tables stand outside a restaurant in Frankfurt, Germany, which has been under curfew measures for a fortnight, but will now have to close throughout the whole of November

Chairs and tables stand outside a restaurant in Frankfurt, Germany, which has been under curfew measures for a fortnight, but will now have to close throughout the whole of November

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Coroanvirus cases are rising rapidly in most major European countries, prompting leaders to consider more lockdown measures. Curfews are now in place in Spain, Italy, and UK, with France and Germany considering circuit breaker shutdowns 

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Spain and Italy have both seen deaths increase in recent weeks, although they are lower than during the first wave – unlike in the Czech Republic and other countries in Eastern Europe where deaths have risen to record levels  

Germany cases

Germany cases

Germany deaths

Germany deaths

Angela Merkel is also discussing a fresh lockdown with regional leaders today in an attempt to head off a sharp rise in cases (left) and as deaths begin to creep up (right)

British FTSE 100

British FTSE 100

French CAC 40

French CAC 40

Reports of fresh lockdowns caused European markets to open sharply down on Wednesday, with the British FTSE 100 (left) and French CAC 40 both down around 3 per cent

German DAX

German DAX

Italian FTSE MIB

Italian FTSE MIB

Germany’s DAX index (left) and the Italian FTSE MIB (right) were both down around 3 per cent on open, compared to the previous day

While markets initially gained back a little of the loss, they went into the afternoon even lower than at the start of the day. Wall Street also opened around 2 per cent down, with the NASDAQ, S&P 500 and Dow Jones all falling. 

In Germany, Merkel added that shops and schools will remain open, unlike during the first lockdown, while restaurants will be able to provide take-out food.

But she also appealed to people not to make unnecessary journeys and said hotels won’t be able to accommodate people on tourist trips.

The decision came hours after Germany’s disease control agency said a record 14,964 new confirmed cases were recorded across the country in the past day, taking the national total in the pandemic to 449,275.

Germany, which has 83 million people, also record 27 more virus-related deaths, raising its overall death toll to 10,098, the Robert Koch Institute said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, health experts in Spain have warned that another full lockdown could be on the cards as intensive care units fill up – with eight at risk of ‘collapse’.

Hospitals in Aragon, Catalonia and Madrid, Castille and Leon, Navarra, Rioja, and Ceuta are all around 40 per cent full, according to La Vanguardia.

With cases still on the rise in those regions, experts estimate that all beds could be full within the next 20 days.

In Melilla, a Spanish enclave in northern Africa, the situation is dire – with two thirds of beds currently occupied.

That prompted Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez to call for a new state of emergency to be imposed on Monday, putting the framework in place for him to announce local or even national lockdowns at a moment’s notice. 

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A wave of anti-lockdown protests have swept Europe as governments impose harsher lockdowns to curb the resurgence of coronavirus

Protesters clashed with police on the streets of Rome overnight in the fifth straight night of unrest in Italy over new coronavirus curfews

Protesters clashed with police on the streets of Rome overnight in the fifth straight night of unrest in Italy over new coronavirus curfews

Protesters clashed with police on the streets of Rome overnight in the fifth straight night of unrest in Italy over new coronavirus curfews

Italy introduced an overnight curfew in Rome to try and slow the spread of coronavirus, amid fears that tougher measures could follow

Italy introduced an overnight curfew in Rome to try and slow the spread of coronavirus, amid fears that tougher measures could follow

Italy introduced an overnight curfew in Rome to try and slow the spread of coronavirus, amid fears that tougher measures could follow

Protesters in Rome took over the Piazza del Popolo on Tuesday night until they were dispersed by police dressed in riot uniforms

Protesters in Rome took over the Piazza del Popolo on Tuesday night until they were dispersed by police dressed in riot uniforms

Protesters in Rome took over the Piazza del Popolo on Tuesday night until they were dispersed by police dressed in riot uniforms

Police move in to clear protesters from the streets of Rome on Tuesday night, following similar demonstrations earlier in the week in Milan and Naples

Police move in to clear protesters from the streets of Rome on Tuesday night, following similar demonstrations earlier in the week in Milan and Naples

Police move in to clear protesters from the streets of Rome on Tuesday night, following similar demonstrations earlier in the week in Milan and Naples

Protests in Seville

Protests in Seville

Protests in Seville

Protests in Seville

Protesters burned wheelie bins and set off fireworks in the Spanish city of Seville overnight to protest against coronavirus curfews

A man watches fireworks go off in Seville, to protest against new coronavirus curfews

A man watches fireworks go off in Seville, to protest against new coronavirus curfews

A man watches fireworks go off in Seville, to protest against new coronavirus curfews

Spain cases

Spain cases

Spain deaths

Spain deaths

Spain has also announced fresh curfews and raised the prospect of another nationwide lockdown after cases soared (left) and deaths continued to creep upwards (right)

Italy cases

Italy cases

Italy deaths

Italy deaths

Italy announced coronavirus curfews for major cities including Rome, Naples and Milan this week, after coronavirus cases began rising sharply and deaths also began to mount

He also announced night-time curfews in an attempt to bring cases under control.

But Tomás Cobo, vice president of the Collegiate Medical Organization, told El Pais that full shutdown ‘is the only measure for which there is scientific evidence.’

Protests continued into Wednesday in Spain, as taxi drivers gathered in Barcelona, angry that lockdowns have led to a fall in demand.

Similar demonstrations took place in Italy after Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced overnight curfews in Rome, Naples and Milan which he said were designed to avoid a second full lockdown.

Macron was due to speak in a televised address to the nation on Wednesday night, with fears of another full lockdown looming.

Two industry sources briefed on the restrictions said rules would be almost identical to the first lockdown, with non-essential business forced to close and people told to stay indoors.

However, under the second lockdown schools would be allowed to stay open, and people would be allowed to go to work if their jobs cannot be done remotely. 

New measures could come into effect from midnight on Thursday, and would last for four weeks.

Meanwhile, Angela Merkel was meeting with regional leaders in Germany on Wednesday, with plans for another full lockdown on the table.

It is thought she could announce more restrictions to begin on November 4 which would see bars and restaurants closed, with a ban on public gatherings.

Unlike the first lockdown, schools would remain open. 

In Belgium, which has the most cases per capita in the world, the number of coronavirus hospital admissions all but matched the level in the first wave in the spring, public health institute showed.

The government will meet again on Friday, and Prime Minister Alexander de Croo could announce more stringent measures.

Medics in one hospital in Belgium are so overstretched that some staff who are themselves infected with Covid are continuing to treat patients. 

Virtually every major European country has reported a record one-day total of coronavirus cases either in the last 24 hours, or within the last seven days.

Italy hit a record 22,000 cases on Tuesday and Germany a record 15,000.

Spain and Russia both reported a record total earlier this week, while France and the UK hit new highs the week prior. 

France cases

France cases

France deaths

France deaths

 Emmanuel Macron is thought to be on the verge of announcing another nationwide lockdown in France to try and curb cases which have been rising sharply for weeks (left), with deaths also starting to rise (right)

A restaurant-owner in Rome leaves a skeleton sitting outside his establishment, to protest the industry being 'killed off' by the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic

A restaurant-owner in Rome leaves a skeleton sitting outside his establishment, to protest the industry being 'killed off' by the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic

A restaurant-owner in Rome leaves a skeleton sitting outside his establishment, to protest the industry being ‘killed off’ by the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic

Top chefs and restaurant owners from Venice, Italy, gather around empty place settings in the Campo Santo Stefano after the government announced fresh hospitality curfews

Top chefs and restaurant owners from Venice, Italy, gather around empty place settings in the Campo Santo Stefano after the government announced fresh hospitality curfews

Top chefs and restaurant owners from Venice, Italy, gather around empty place settings in the Campo Santo Stefano after the government announced fresh hospitality curfews

A man wears a protective face mask as taxi drivers in Barcelona protest falling demand caused by coronavirus lockdowns

A man wears a protective face mask as taxi drivers in Barcelona protest falling demand caused by coronavirus lockdowns

A man wears a protective face mask as taxi drivers in Barcelona protest falling demand caused by coronavirus lockdowns

Even lockdown-free Sweden, whose approach had been praised for avoiding a severe economic downturn, reported a record 5,000 cases on Tuesday.

While increased testing means second wave totals are not comparable to the first wave, the rate at which cases are increasing – along with hospital admissions – is causing panic among European leaders. 

On Tuesday, a dozen restaurant owners protested in front of Milan’s city hall while as many stadium concession stand owners waved banners at the Lombardy regional headquarters.

‘No one has thought of us,’ said Giacomo Errico, the Lombardy president of FIVA Commercio representing 6,000 concession stand owners in the northern region, among 40,000 nationwide, that have been out of work since February.

Such peaceful protests have been staged up and down the Italian peninsula, while more violent protests erupting at night, increasingly culminating with vandalism, looting and clashes with police.

Italy’s national prosecutor for terrorism and organized crime, Federico Cafiero de Raho, on Tuesday said subversives had infiltrated peaceful protests in the country. He said they included proponents of the extreme right and anarchists on the extreme left.

Investigators have also looked into indications that organized crime groups in the Naples area provoked violence at a peaceful protest.

France has warned of possible new lockdowns, include extending existing curfews, fully keeping residents at home on weekends or all week and closing non-essential businesses. 

Since curfews were imposed a couple of weeks ago, French police have issued 14,000 fines, the interior minister said Tuesday. 

Doctors are seeing growing pressure on France’s emergency services and intensive care wards, where COVID patients now take up more than half of the beds.

In Spain, the Canary Islands was seeking to pass a law demanding that visitors arrive at the popular archipelago off northwest Africa with proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

Russia, which has world’s fourth highest tally of 1.5 million confirmed cases, is resisting a second lockdown. 

But with cases rising at over 15,000 a day, the health agency ordered all Russians to wear masks in crowded public spaces, including public transport, and in closed spaces like taxis and elevators.

Merchants, restaurateurs and workers hold a mock funeral for their industry which they say is being killed by shutdowns

Merchants, restaurateurs and workers hold a mock funeral for their industry which they say is being killed by shutdowns

Merchants, restaurateurs and workers hold a mock funeral for their industry which they say is being killed by shutdowns

Business owners organized a staged funeral to protest against the lockdown imposed by the Italian government in Como

Business owners organized a staged funeral to protest against the lockdown imposed by the Italian government in Como

Business owners organized a staged funeral to protest against the lockdown imposed by the Italian government in Como

The Czech government has further tightened its regulations, imposing a nationwide curfew between 9 p.m and 6 a.m. that started Wednesday. 

It previously limited free movement, closed stores, schools and restaurants, made it mandatory to wear face masks indoors and outdoors and banned sport competitions, but the number of infections has continued to rise.

Several demonstrations against the virus restrictions were planned for Wednesday in the capital of Prague.

Even Sweden, which avoided a national lockdown and generally imposed far lighter measures than other European countries, is now urging people to avoid shopping centers and shops and stay away from public transportation.

The World Health Organization said more than 2 million confirmed coronavirus cases were reported last week – the shortest time ever for such an exponential increase.

It said for the second consecutive week, the European region accounted for the biggest proportion of new cases, with more than 1.3 million cases or about 46% of the worldwide total. 

The U.N. health agency said deaths were also on the rise in Europe, with about a 35 per cent spike since the previous week. 

Overall, Europe has seen more than 250,000 virus-related deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. The WHO noted hospitalizations and ICU occupancy due to Covid increased in 21 European countries. 

As European Union countries weigh tougher coronavirus restrictions, top EU officials on Wednesday urged the bloc’s 27 nations to introduce common rules to test for the disease and track its spread to help prevent further damage to their economies.

European Council President Charles Michel, who will chair an extraordinary summit of EU leaders on Thursday evening focused on the pandemic, also urged them to prepare for logistical challenges likely to plague the rollout of any vaccines. 

‘We are in a storm. We are all in the same boat. And in this storm, we must keep cool heads,’ Michel told French radio RTL.

Meanwhile European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told reporters in Brussels that Europe is confronted ‘with two enemies at this time. We’re dealing with the coronavirus; the virus itself and also corona fatigue. That is, people are becoming more and more fed up with the preventive measures.’ 

Michel also urged the leaders to prepare for prioritizing vaccinations.

‘Based on the information we have, at the end of the year or early next year, 3 or 4 vaccine candidates could be available,’ Michel said.

Von der Leyen said the commission will prolong its value added tax exemption on the purchase of vaccines and testing kits for a further six months.

‘I think that this year’s Christmas will be a different Christmas,’ von der Leyen added.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Coronavirus US: Trump administration to pay $375m for antibody drug

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coronavirus us trump administration to pay 375m for antibody drug

The US government will play Eli Lilly & Co more than $1 billion in exchange for about one million doses of its experimental coronavirus antibody treatment.

It’s the latest move by the Trump administration as it stocks up on vaccine and drugs in an attempt to tame the pandemic that has killed more than 225,00 Americans.   

Lilly will start delivering 300,000 doses of the antibody, LY-CoV55, also known as bamlanivimab, for which it is being paid $375 million, if it receives Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The price per dose amounts to $1,250 as per the contract, but the vials purchased by the government will be free to the American public. 

The news come after the drugmaker ended its clinical trial of the antibody and remdesivir after the National Institutes of Health found the combination failed to help recovery of hospitalized patients. 

The US government will play Eli Lilly & Co $375 million in exchange for 300,000 doses of its experimental coronavirus antibody treatment. Pictured: An Eli Lilly researcher tests possible COVID-19 antibodies in a laboratory in Indianapolis, May 2020

The US government will play Eli Lilly & Co $375 million in exchange for 300,000 doses of its experimental coronavirus antibody treatment. Pictured: An Eli Lilly researcher tests possible COVID-19 antibodies in a laboratory in Indianapolis, May 2020

The US government will play Eli Lilly & Co $375 million in exchange for 300,000 doses of its experimental coronavirus antibody treatment. Pictured: An Eli Lilly researcher tests possible COVID-19 antibodies in a laboratory in Indianapolis, May 2020

Earlier this month, Lilly applied for emergency use with the FDA for the antibody as treatment for mildly and moderately ill COVID-19 patients. Pictured: The headquarters of Eli Lilly & Co stands in Indianapolis, June 2010

Earlier this month, Lilly applied for emergency use with the FDA for the antibody as treatment for mildly and moderately ill COVID-19 patients. Pictured: The headquarters of Eli Lilly & Co stands in Indianapolis, June 2010

Earlier this month, Lilly applied for emergency use with the FDA for the antibody as treatment for mildly and moderately ill COVID-19 patients. Pictured: The headquarters of Eli Lilly & Co stands in Indianapolis, June 2010

The initial agreement is for Lilly to deliver the doses over the two months following an EUA

It also provides the option for the government to buy an additional 650,000 vials for $812.5 million, the US Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement. 

‘Lilly has leveraged our deep scientific capability to fight this pandemic and we are proud of our efforts to develop potential medicines to combat COVID-19,’ said CEO David Ricks said in a statement.  

‘Supply agreements with governments – such as this one with the US government to meet Operation Warp Speed goals – are fundamental to enable the most widespread and equitable access to our potential therapy.’ 

The US has also signed deals with AstraZeneca and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals for their antibody therapies, under Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed program.

The deal with Regeneron covers the cost of manufacturing, while the deal with AstraZeneca also includes support for development.

While vaccines are seen critical to ending the pandemic, governments are increasingly looking at other effective treatments to slow the spread of the virus and kick-start economic activity. 

Recently, Lilly filed a request for FDA approval to treat mild to moderately ill COVID-19 patients after promising results from a study.

Researchers found that hospitalization or ER visits occurred in 1.7 percent of 302 patients given the drug and six percent of those given the placebo, a 72 percent risk reduction.

No serious side effects or deaths were reported among patients.

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The antibody therapy is similar to a drug from Regeneron that was given to Trump during his bout with COVID-19.

The treatments belong to a class of drugs called monoclonal antibodies that are manufactured copies of antibodies created by the body to fight against an infection.

Recently, Lilly was forced to end its clinical trial of an antibody drug early after it was shown to not help hospitalized coronavirus patients recover.  

The ACTIV-3 study was paused on October 13 due to ‘potential safety concerns’ and out of an ‘abundance of caution.’   

However, company officials have still not revealed what the safety concerns were, or how many hospitalized participants were affected, after a pause was recommended by an independent safety board.  

In a statement on Monday, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which was sponsoring the trial, said the antibody treatment did not pose any safety risk.

However, investigators found that there was no significant difference in outcomes between patients getting Lilly’s drug and those receiving a placebo.     

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The antibody therapy is similar to a drug from Regeneron that was given to Trump during his bout with COVID-19.

The treatments belong to a class of drugs called monoclonal antibodies that are manufactured copies of antibodies created by the body to fight against an infection.         

The company submitted a request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration earlier this month for emergency use authorization of the drug to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 patients. The drug had a recent setback after it failed to show benefits in hospitalized patients.

In addition, Reuters reported that U.S. drug inspectors uncovered serious quality control problems at an Eli Lilly plant that is ramping up to make its antibody therapy.

The antibody therapy is similar to a drug from Regeneron that was given to Trump during his bout with COVID-19.

The treatments belong to a class of drugs called monoclonal antibodies that are manufactured copies of antibodies created by the body to fight against an infection.3

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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‘World’s whitest shade of white paint’ may slow global warming

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worlds whitest shade of white paint may slow global warming

Researchers at Indiana’s Purdue University have manufactured the world’s whitest shade of paint – a creation they believe has the ability to slow the process of global warming

The team, led by mechanical engineer Xiulin Ruan, say the shade of white is so bright that it reflects 95.5 percent of sunlight that hits its surface. 

In a scientific paper published this month, the group proclaim that the bright paint could be applied to rooftops of buildings around the world to keep them naturally cool. 

As the sun would reflect most of its heat back off the top of the structures, buildings would no longer need expensive electrical air conditioners to keep their interiors at a moderate temperature. Air conditioning is often considered a huge contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.  

This process  of the sun reflecting back off of surfaces is known scientifically as ‘passive radiative cooling’.  

Researchers at Indiana's Purdue University have manufactured the world's whitest shade of paint - a creation they believe has the ability to slow the process of global warming. Research leader Xiulin Ruan is pictured left. The team is seen using an infrared camera to compare the cooling performance of white paint samples

Researchers at Indiana's Purdue University have manufactured the world's whitest shade of paint - a creation they believe has the ability to slow the process of global warming. Research leader Xiulin Ruan is pictured left. The team is seen using an infrared camera to compare the cooling performance of white paint samples

Researchers at Indiana’s Purdue University have manufactured the world’s whitest shade of paint – a creation they believe has the ability to slow the process of global warming. Research leader Xiulin Ruan is pictured left. The team is seen using an infrared camera to compare the cooling performance of white paint samples 

As the sun would reflect most of its heat back off the top of the structures, buildings would no longer need expensive electrical air conditioners to keep their interiors at a moderate temperature

As the sun would reflect most of its heat back off the top of the structures, buildings would no longer need expensive electrical air conditioners to keep their interiors at a moderate temperature

As the sun would reflect most of its heat back off the top of the structures, buildings would no longer need expensive electrical air conditioners to keep their interiors at a moderate temperature

The group’s research has demonstrated that their new shade of white paint – which does not yet have a name – can cool down surfaces by a whopping 18 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The paint is even cool to the touch.   

Prior to the group’s creation, the whitest shade of paint only managed to reflect between 80 and 90 percent of sunlight. 

What makes this paint different is that it features calcium carbonate (CaCO3)  – a chemical compound found in limestone, shells and chalk. 

Calcium carbonate is extremely abundant, meaning that this new white shade of paint is relatively cheap to produce. 

While the painting the surfaces of buildings in this new white paint may not be quite  as environmentally effective as installing solar panels, it will be significantly more cost effective.

An infrared camera image shows that white radiative cooling paint developed by Purdue University researchers (left, purple) can stay cooler in direct sunlight compared with commercial white paint

An infrared camera image shows that white radiative cooling paint developed by Purdue University researchers (left, purple) can stay cooler in direct sunlight compared with commercial white paint

An infrared camera image shows that white radiative cooling paint developed by Purdue University researchers (left, purple) can stay cooler in direct sunlight compared with commercial white paint

Graphs and images show how the group's new CaCO3 stayed cooler during direct exposure to the sunlight

Graphs and images show how the group's new CaCO3 stayed cooler during direct exposure to the sunlight

Graphs and images show how the group’s new CaCO3 stayed cooler during direct exposure to the sunlight 

‘Our paint is compatible with the manufacturing process of commercial paint, and the cost may be comparable or even lower,’ Ruan told Science Daily.

‘The key is to ensure the reliability of the paint so that it is viable in long-term outdoor applications.’

Ruan and his group of researchers say the cooling paint could even be applied to other objects, including cars and telecommunications equipment, such as 5G towers.  

However, there is one catch that environmentalists are still considering.  

The new white paint may be problematic during the colder months of the year if it is applied to rooftops and other surfaces. 

Given that the paint can keep temperatures up to 18 degrees cooler, some critics say heating costs and consumption will rise during winter months, meaning that the positive environmental impacts of decreased air conditioning would be cancelled out. 

The group's CaC03 white paint - which does not yet have an official name - is the whitest shade ever developed

The group's CaC03 white paint - which does not yet have an official name - is the whitest shade ever developed

The group’s CaC03 white paint – which does not yet have an official name – is the whitest shade ever developed 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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