ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s drug regulatory agency has approved final-phase testing of a Chinese-made vaccine against coronavirus in this Islamic nation where the new virus has caused 617 deaths since February.
In Monday’s statement, the state-run National Institute of Health said the approval to carry out advanced clinical trials for potential COVID-19 was granted by Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan. It said the phase-3 clinical trials for a candidate vaccine against the new virus will be conducted at the country’s main health facilities.
It said the vaccine was produced by CanSinoBio, a China-based vaccine developer and Beijing Institute of Biotechnology.
Pakistan, which has witnessed a steady decline in fatalities from the new virus, reported only 15 new COVID-19 deaths and 617 new cases in the past 24 hours. It has reported 289,832 cases since February when the first infection was detected in the country.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— Germany’s Merkel against relaxing of virus rules
— WHO: Herd immunity requires effective vaccine
— South Africa loosens coronavirus restrictions
— Paris mandates masks at all workplaces. The mandate takes effect Sept. 1 after a surge of coronavirus cases.
— New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo gained a national following through his management of the coronavirus pandemic. Now he’s writing a book about it.
— Britain rates of depression doubled among adults during lockdown. The Office for National Statistics says 19.2% of adults were likely to be experiencing some sort of depression in June.
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
CHICAGO — Chicago’s Navy Pier is closing again until next spring because attendance has been so low during the coronavirus pandemic.
The tourist spot began reopening June 10, but officials say they’re only seeing about 15% to 20% of the usual crowds during what’s generally the busiest time of year. Pier president and CEO Marilynn Gardner says the closures will help limit losses.
Also Tuesday, Chicago officials added Iowa and Kansas to its list quarantine list and removed Wisconsin and Nebraska. People from those states who travel to the city are expected to quarantine for two weeks or face possible fines.
BOONE, N.C. — The top administrator at Appalachian State, which is part of the University of North Carolina system, posted a campus-wide letter Monday night outlining factors favoring school opening after faculty passed a vote of no-confidence mainly over the coronavirus response. The vote was held shortly after the system’s flagship university in Chapel Hill was shut down.
Appalachian State Chancellor Sheri Everts wrote that 27 of more than 2,000 mostly residence hall students tested last week were diagnosed with the virus. She noted there is 86% of isolation and quarantine space available and more can be utilized if needed. Campus and city police will be monitoring for large parties and violators will be referred to a student conduct board, she said.
Active cases on the Boone campus increased from 39 on Monday to 58 on Tuesday. Everts said she is “encouraged by the numbers so far” but it’s up to “members of our university and the greater community” to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
Everts declined to comment about the faculty senate vote.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — All Ohio high school sports can go forward this year, with an option for some fall sports like football to be delayed until the spring if schools wish, Gov. Mike DeWine said Tuesday.
“Our order provides best guidance to play sports as safely as can be played in the era of COVID-19,” DeWine said.
The governor’s order prohibits spectators at events other than family members or individuals close to the athlete, with final decisions on those people left up to schools. DeWine’s decision comes as practice is underway at some schools and suspended at others out of concerns over spreading the coronavirus.
Dozens of states nationwide have delayed fall sports, and at least 15 won’t play high school football this autumn, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations.
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Amid questions over mask-wearing requirements in schools, Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration is trying to make it clear that masks are to be worn practically at all times by students in Pennsylvania’s school, drawing complaints that school leaders must again change their preparations.
The administration this week released additional guidance that Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said Tuesday clarifies the state’s intentions for mask-wearing in schools as they prepare to reopen in the coming days and weeks.
Masks must be worn in school, even when students and educators are six feet apart, Levine said.
But with some private or career technical schools already open, school officials say it is another frustrating change in guidance. They say they had previously been told that students and educators could remove their masks in the classrooms if they were at least six feet apart.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has tightened the government’s recommendations for reining in the spread of the coronavirus, warning that if the country does not control new infections the Netherlands could go “back to square one.”
Rutte gave people “very, very, urgent advice” not to hold parties at home and to limit events like birthday celebrations and other private house gatherings to a maximum of six people. However, the Dutch government did not impose any new mandatory restrictions.
Rutte’s comments came after the Dutch public health institute announced that there had been just over 4,000 new confirmed virus cases in the Netherlands over the last week, around the same number as the previous week.
Virus cases have been on the rise since the Netherlands removed most of its coronavirus restrictions on July 1. Students returned to high schools in the country’s north this week for the first time in months without requirements for face masks or social distancing.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s payroll tax deferral would provide workers with a modest bump in take-home pay the rest of this year, but they’d face a big tax bill next year when repaying the money.
That’s according to an analysis Tuesday by a coalition of major business groups calling the policy “unfair” to workers and “unworkable” for employers.
A worker making $75,000 a year would get nearly $179 more every two weeks for the rest of this year. But that same worker would owe about $1,610 next year. A worker making $35,000 would get about $83 more biweekly the rest of this year and owe just over $750 next year.
The more than 30 business groups behind the analysis, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, want the Trump administration to make it optional for employers to offer workers a deferral of their Social Security payroll taxes. Or the group requests Congress permanently forgive repayment.
Trump says he’s ordered the tax deferral to boost an economy stricken by the coronavirus.
PARIS — France will mandate masks in all workplaces, from the Paris business district to factories in the provinces.
The Labor Ministry says the mandate takes effect Sept. 1. It makes France one of the few countries in to require workers to wear masks on the job, though they’re routinely worn in many Asian countries and increasingly required in public places.
The move came after France’s daily infection count increased past 3,000 over the weekend for the first time since May. The number of virus patients in hospitals, intensive care units and nursing homes is starting to inch up again.
France currently has among the highest infection rates in Europe. It already requires masks in public indoor spaces such as restaurants and many areas outdoors.
France has more than 256,000 cases of the coronavirus and more then 30,400 deaths, seventh highest in the world.
MIAMI — A Florida school district has quarantined 231 students from two high schools, citing exposure to the coronavirus.
Martin County School District says the students at South Fork High School in Stuart, Florida, and Jensen Beach High School will switch to remote learning for 14 days. District spokeswoman Jennifer DeShazo says those ordered to stay home included members of a swim team and students who traveled on one of the bus routes.
The district in the county north of West Palm Beach had already quarantined some students at three elementary schools after reopening seven days ago. Other schools in other areas of the state began to reopen this week.
On Tuesday, there were 5,485 hospitalized patients compared to 5,657 on Monday. Those numbers have been declining since highs of 9,500 on July 23.
LONDON — Ireland is tightening coronavirus restrictions through mid-September following a sharp spike in new infections.
The government urged people to avoid public transport and to wear face masks on private transport when households are mixed. It also says sports events will take place behind closed doors and that visits to people’s homes should be limited to six people.
The country’s premier, Micheal Martin, says there is evidence that “a large number of people are acting as if the virus is no threat to them or that it is OK to take a few more risks.”
The Irish government says 190 new coronavirus cases were confirmed Tuesday, way above the recent average.
PHOENIX — State health officials on Tuesday reported 915 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 23 deaths.
That increased the state’s totals to 194,920 confirmed cases and 4,529 deaths.
The seven-day rolling averages of daily new cases and daily deaths in Arizona dropped over the past two weeks, according to Johns Hopkins University data analyzed by The Associated Press.
The cases average went from 2,239 on Aug. 3 to 926 on Aug. 17. The deaths average went from 68 on Aug. 3 to 50 on Aug. 17.
Wind from a monsoon storm Monday night ripped apart an outdoor coronavirus testing site in a parking lot in Mesa, a Phoenix suburb. The storm tore down tents and blew over tables at the Embry Womens Health site at Mesa Community College. No injuries were reported.
HARTFORD, Conn. — For-profit nursing homes in Connecticut had about 60% more coronavirus cases and associated deaths per licensed bed than nonprofit facilities in the state.
That’s according to a third-party review of how the state, its nursing homes and assisted living centers prepared for and responded to the coronavirus pandemic.
The report from the research firm Mathematica in Princeton, New Jersey, was released Tuesday. It also found early responses to the coronavirus outbreak were “undermined by gaps in scientific knowledge about the how the virus spreads.”
Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont ordered the third-party examination in June. It included input from the operators of the long-term care facilities, unions representing the workers, patients, health experts and others.
ROME — Italy reported 403 new coronavirus cases and five deaths on Tuesday.
There were 50 percent more tests performed on Monday, with nearly 54,000 swab tests carried out in the last 24 hours. Many were administered at Italy’s airports and ports on vacationers returning from trips abroad.
Last week, Italy made coronavirus testing mandatory for those who spent time Spain, Malta, Croatia and Greece in the last 14 days.
Italy has 254,636 confirmed cases and 34,405 confirmed deaths, sixth highest in the world.
RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil’s Health Regulatory Agency authorized a clinical coronavirus vaccine trial for a candidate produced by the Jansen Cilag branch of Johnson & Johnson.
The phase 3 study foresees 60,000 volunteers overall, with 7,000 of those in seven Brazilian states.
Brazil has more than 108,000 confirmed deaths and more than 3,350,000 confirmed cases, second highest in the world in both categories.
The vaccine candidate produced will be the fourth tested in the country. Brazil also has approved tests for versions developed by Oxford University, China’s Sinovac company and by Germany’s BioNtech with Pfizer.