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UPDATE: New COVID-19 guidelines —  global cases on the rise

UPDATE: New COVID-19 guidelines — global cases on the rise

Washington D.C. – As COVID-19 cases continue to rise globally, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to take action in the United States. The latest policy outlines expanded access to certain FDA-cleared molecular tests intended to detect and identify flu viruses. 

While the number of U.S. cases continues to accelerate like an out of control freight train, President Trump is resorting to trash-talking about Dr. Anthony Fauci and downplaying media coverage of the coronavirus. On a campaign conference call this week, President Trump complained that “people are tired” of hearing about a virus that has taken 220,000 American lives this year. He also slammed the nation’s premier epidemiologist as “a nice guy” but a “disaster.” 

The FDA also reissued the April 3, umbrella Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for certain filtering face-piece respirators that are made in China and not sanctioned by the National Institutes of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Since the start of the pandemic Operation Warp Speed, a partnership among components of the Department of Health and Human Services has been working on a COVID-19 vaccine.

FDA Headquarters. Image Credit: FDA

U.S. Update

As global cases reach nearly forty million, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is concerned that filtering facepiece respirators manufactured in China may not provide adequate respiratory protection for health care workers in settings that could expose them to COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration is counting on a vaccine coming out prior to the election. There may be a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines before the end of 2020, but supply will continually increase in the weeks and months that follow. Operation Warp Speed’s goal is to produce and distribute over 300 million doses of vaccines with initial doses available by January 2021. 

Details over the plan to distribute the vaccine are still in the planning stage. Like everything else, the distribution could become a political target as socio-economic, geographic, class, and racial issues are included in the decision-making over who gets prioritized to receive the vaccine.

International Update:

With over 414,000 confirmed cases, the average number of reported deaths linked to COVID-19 in Italy has been increasing since Oct. 1. 

The sports world is impacted by the specter of the coronavirus, as well. The Portuguese Football Federation recently confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo, who plays for the Italian soccer club, Juventus F.C., tested positive. Ronaldo returned to Italy from Portugal with a medical flight authorized by health authorities at his request. Ronaldo will continue his isolation at home.

Elsewhere in the world, France has seen a 32% weekly increase in new COVID-19 cases between Oct. 5 and Oct. 12.  In response to the surge, French president Emmanuel Macron has implemented a curfew in Paris and eight other cities. Under the order, residents must be indoors by 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. the next morning. The regulation which began Saturday, Oct. 17, will last four to six weeks.  

In the global race for a vaccine, will it be American ingenuity against the rest of the world?

Thumbnail credit: Maksym Kaharlytskyi/Unsplash

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James is published in the oldest African American Newspaper in the United States, The Philadelphia Tribune. In his spare time he writes about sports and plays the piano.

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