India announces major easing of coronavirus lockdown

The announcement came even after the world’s second-most populous country announced another record daily rise in infections, taking the total to more than 85,000 cases with almost 5,000 deaths. (File/AFP)
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Updated 30 May 2020

India announces major easing of coronavirus lockdown

  • The announcement came even after the world’s second-most populous country announced another record daily rise in infections, taking the total to more than 85,000 cases with almost 5,000 deaths

NEW DELHI: India announced on Saturday a major relaxation of the world’s biggest coronavirus lockdown from early June, except for so-called “containment zones” with high numbers of infections.
A home ministry order said that places of religious worship, hotels, restaurants and shopping malls “will be allowed” to operate from June 8, while educational establishments will be opened “after consultations” with Indian state authorities.
The announcement came even after the world’s second-most populous country announced another record daily rise in infections, taking the total to more than 85,000 cases with almost 5,000 deaths.


US to pay over $1bn for 100m doses of J&J’s potential COVID-19 vaccine

Updated 05 August 2020

US to pay over $1bn for 100m doses of J&J’s potential COVID-19 vaccine

  • The latest contract equates to roughly $10 per vaccine dose produced by J&J
  • This is J&J’s first deal to supply its investigational vaccine to a country

WASHINGTON: The United States government will pay Johnson & Johnson over $1 billion for 100 million doses of its potential coronavirus vaccine, its latest such arrangement as the race to tame the pandemic intensifies, the drugmaker said on Wednesday.
It said it would deliver the vaccine to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) on a not-for-profit basis to be used after approval or emergency use authorization by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
J&J has already received $1 billion in funding from the US government — BARDA agreed in March to provide that money for the company to build manufacturing capacity for more than 1 billion doses of the experimental vaccine.
The latest contract equates to roughly $10 per vaccine dose produced by J&J. Including the first $1 billion deal with the USgovernment, the price would be slightly higher than the $19.50 per dose that the United States is paying for the vaccine being developed by Pfizer Inc. and German biotech BioNTech SE.
The US government may also purchase an additional 200 million doses under a subsequent agreement. J&J did not disclose that deal’s value.
J&J plans to study a one- or two-dose regimen of the vaccine in parallel later this year. A single-shot regimen could allow more people to be vaccinated with the same number of doses and would sidestep issues around getting people to come back for their second dose.
This is J&J’s first deal to supply its investigational vaccine to a country. Talks are underway with the European Union, but no deal has yet been reached.
J&J’s investigational vaccine is currently being tested on healthy volunteers in the United States and Belgium in an early-stage study.
There are currently no approved vaccines for COVID-19. More than 20 are in clinical trials.