Italy's Campania region has said that it would impose a lockdown to tame the novel coronavirus and urged the whole country to follow suit as new virus infections hit a record high of over 19,000 in 24 hours.
Poll-bound United States reported more than 84,000 COVID-19 cases, according to a Reuters tally, a record one-day increase in infections during the pandemic as the novel coronavirus surges nationwide. The spike to 84,218 cases, breaking the record of 77,299 set on July 16, comes as University of Washington researchers forecast that the US death toll from COVID-19 could reach a total of 5,00,000 by February 2021.
Besides the US, there are several other countries which are facing a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
One such country is Iran, which is planning new restrictions, including state employees working only once every two days in capital Tehran, after a record surge in coronavirus infections. Iran's Health Ministry has reported 6,134 new coronavirus cases in one day, bringing the national tally to 5,56,891 in the Middle East's hardest-hit country, according to the latest available data.
Another lockdown is likely at Italy's Campania region would impose a lockdown to tame the novel coronavirus and urged the whole country to follow suit as new virus infections hit a record high of above 19,000 in 24 hours. COVID-19 cases across Italy have risen seven-fold since the start of October and the number of deaths is also climbing.
In France, the number of confirmed infections has jumped over one million, the seventh country to reach the grim milestone. Considering the rising COVID-19 cases, French President Emmanuel Macron has said that a curfew taking effect for two-thirds of France on October 23 night could be tightened further if it shows no results. As soon as new infections drop back to 3,000-5,000 cases per day, the curfew could be eased, said Macron.
Turkey will also evaluate possible new measures to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus as the outbreak flares nationwide. The country reported another 2,165 people with COVID-19 symptoms on October 23, the highest one-day figure since May when Ankara imposed a series of restrictive measures. The death toll from COVID-19 rose to 9,658 on the day, according to the latest available Health Ministry data.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering imposing new national lockdown measures next week, amid concerns that hospitals across the country are overwhelmed by a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, The Times newspaper reported.
The new restrictions could be introduced on Wednesday and remain in place until December 1, the Times said.
However, the new measures were still under discussion, and no final decision had been made, the Times added, citing a senior government source.
Meanwhile, India recorded 53,370 fresh cases in a day. The total number of novel coronavirus infections mounted to 78,14,682 and the death toll to 1,17,956, with COVID-19 claiming 650 lives in a span of 24 hours in the country, showed the ministry data updated on October 24.
(With inputs from agencies)Follow our full coverage on COVID-19 here.