UK Covid news LIVE: Britain rolls out ‘first-of-its-kind’ coronavirus treatment

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he UK is to roll-out a “first -of-its-kind” Covid treatment after approval by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Ronapreve, a monoclonal antibody treatment, is administered either by injection or infusion and acts to stop coronavirus from gaining access to the cells of the respiratory system.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the drug was the first designed specifically for treating Covid. “We are now working at pace with the NHS and expert clinicians to ensure this treatment can be rolled out to NHS patients as soon as possible.

It comes as just two per cent of companies being investigated by the competition watchdog over the cost of PCR tests for travel have been removed from the government’s website.

Live updates

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India reports 36,571 new coronavirus cases

India reported 36,571 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, the government said in a statement on Friday.

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UK’s regulator approves first drug designed specifically to tackle Covid-19

The medicines regulator has approved use of the first treatment in the UK using man-made antibodies to prevent and fight coronavirus.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said approval of the first drug designed specifically for Covid-19 in the country is “fantastic news” and he hoped it could be rolled out for patients on the NHS “as soon as possible”.

It is the first monoclonal antibody combination product approved for use in the prevention and treatment of acute infection from the virus for the UK.

Monoclonal antibodies are man-made proteins that act like natural human antibodies in the immune system.

The drug, developed by pharmaceutical firms Regeneron and Roche, is given either by injection or infusion and acts at the lining of the respiratory system where it binds tightly to the virus and prevents it from gaining access to the cells, the MHRA said.

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New Zealand extends national lockdown as cases of delta variant rise

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Vietnam’s biggest city issues stay-home order as COVID-19 deaths soar

Vietnam’s business hub Ho Chi Minh City on Friday announced that its residents will be prohibited from leaving their homes, as the country’s biggest city turns to drastic measures to slow a spiralling rate of coronavirus deaths.

“We are asking people to stay where you are, not to go outside. Each home, company, factory should be an anti-virus fort,” Pham Duc Hai, deputy head of the city’s coronavirus authority, said on Friday.

The details of the order, which takes effect on Monday, have yet to be announced.

Hai said the curb on movement should reduce infections and give authorities a chance to focus on treating gravely ill patients.

Vietnam has been slow to procure vaccines and until late April had one of the world’s best containment records, having logged just 35 deaths and less than 3,000 cases as of May 1.

But that has since jumped to over 312,000 cases and 7,150 deaths, with about half of the infections and 80 per cent of fatalities in Ho Chi Minh City alone.

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Emmys demands guests have negative Covid test and double vaccination

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Sydney lockdown extended until end of September

A lockdown in Australia’s largest city was extended until at least the end of September as tougher measures including a curfew and an outdoor mask mandate were imposed to slow the spread of Covid-19’s Delta variant.

New South Wales state, which includes Sydney, reported 642 locally acquired infections in the latest 24-hour period on Friday, the fourth consecutive day of tallies exceeding 600.

Since late June, Sydney has been locked down after the more contagious Delta variant was detected in a limousine driver who became infected while transporting a US cargo aircrew from Sydney Airport.

Since then, 65 people have died from Covid-19 in New South Wales, included four overnight.

The Sydney lockdown was to end on August 28, but the state government announced it will continue until September 30.

The entire state has been in lockdown since last week because the virus had spread from Sydney.

A curfew will apply from 9 pm to 5 pm from Monday in the worst-affected Sydney suburbs.

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Welcome to the Standard Coronavirus Live Blog on Friday, August 20.

Evening Standard – News