(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
AstraZeneca says antibody treatment failed
Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca said on Tuesday a study of its monoclonal antibody treatment, AZD7442, did not meet the main goal of preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in people recently exposed to the novel coronavirus.
The company said the participants in the trial were unvaccinated adults older than 18 years with confirmed exposure to a person with the coronavirus within the past eight days.
AZD7442 reduced the risk of developing symptomatic COVID-19 by 33% compared to a placebo, which was not statistically significant, the company reported.
Russian regions tighten COVID-19 curbs
Several Russian regions tightened coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday and said they were increasing hospital capacity for an influx of patients after a steep rise in cases.
Authorities reported more than 14,700 infections on Sunday, the largest one-day tally since February. Over the weekend, St Petersburg, which is hosting matches in the Euro 2020 soccer finals, and Moscow said they were imposing new curbs.
The local government in the far eastern region of Primorye said on Tuesday two hospitals would open in the coming days in the cities of Ussuriysk and Vladivostok, and that they had set up hundreds of new beds since April.
Delhi defies social distancing norms
In India’s capital, Delhi, thousands of commuters crowded into underground train stations and shopping malls on Tuesday, prompting some doctors to warn it could lead to a resurgence in infections.
Major Indian cities have begun lifting strict lockdowns as the nationwide tally of new infections has dropped to its lowest level in more than two months.
But disease experts and doctors have cautioned that a race towards resuming business as usual would compromise vaccination efforts as only about 5% of all 950 million eligible adults have been inoculated.
Malaysia grants conditional approval for CanSino, J&J shots
Malaysia has granted conditional approval for emergency use to the single dose COVID-19 vaccines manufactured by China’s CanSino Biologics and U.S. drugmaker Johnson & Johnson, the government said on Tuesday.
The Southeast Asian country has been ramping up its vaccination programme amid a fresh round of lockdowns imposed this month to curb a surge in infections.
Malaysia would obtain Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines via the global COVAX facility backed by the World Health Organization, the health ministry said.
Australia reports two new cases
Australia’s Victoria state on Tuesday reported two new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the state capital Melbourne, both linked to an existing cluster that prompted renewed social distancing measures in the city.
Victoria, Australia’s second-most populous state, had earlier in the day reported no new local cases, using data for the 24 hours to midnight on Tuesday, fuelling hopes that movement restrictions would be eased later in the week.
The two new cases, both primary contacts of prior cases, were recorded after the midnight cut-off and will be added to Wednesday’s data.
(Compiled by Linda Noakes; Editing by Bernadette Baum)