German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks during the Global Fund's Seventh Replenishment Conference on Sept 21, 2022, in New York. (EVAN VUCCI / AP)
MADRID / MOSCOW / PARIS / BERLIN – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has tested positive for coronavirus and is showing mild symptoms, the TV news channel ntv reported on Monday.
The chancellor is isolating, ntv said, citing Scholz's spokesperson.
People wait to undergo a free rapid antigen test for the coronavirus disease at a testing center in the GUM, State Department store in Moscow on Jan 31, 2022. (NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / AFP)
Russia registered 46,758 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, taking the nationwide tally to 20,792,921, the official monitoring and response center said Sunday.
The nationwide death toll increased by 95 to 386,757, while the number of recoveries increased by 45,908 to 19,756,507, the center said.
Meanwhile, according to the center, Moscow reported 3,409 new cases, taking its total to 3,180,423.
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Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez addresses a press conference to present his government's results since the beginning of the year, at La Moncloa Palace in Madrid, on July 29, 2022.
(JAVIER SORIANO / AFP)
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday morning.
Sanchez confirmed the news in a Twitter post, saying "this morning, I have tested positive for COVID-19," adding although he would not be able to assist a planned Socialist Party event close to Barcelona, he would "continue working, taking maximum precautions."
The news came just 24 hours before Spain begins its campaign to give a fourth dose of vaccine to people aged over 60, health workers and people living in residential care homes.
This second "booster dose" will use vaccines modified to offer protection against the latest strains of COVID-19, after the health ministry reported a slight rise in the 14-day incidence of the virus in the over-60's in over two months.
The incidence rose from 129 cases per 100,000 inhabitants to 136 cases per 100,000 in the data provided by the ministry on Friday, although the number of intensive care beds occupied by COVID-19 patients has dropped to just 129, around 1.5 percent of the intensive care beds in Spain.
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The logo of Valneva SE Group is pictured at the company's headquarters in Saint-Herblain, near Nantes, western France, on July 30, 2020. (JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP)
French drugmaker Valneva said on Monday it is in talks with a potential partner on producing an updated version of its COVID-19 vaccine that targets new variants of the disease.
The French company has struggled to bring its COVID-19 vaccine to market to compete with rival products from drugmakers such as AstraZeneca, Moderna and BioNTech/Pfizer. Its shares have lost almost 80 percent since peaking at the end of 2021.
Valneva has won regulatory approval in the European Union and some other countries for its first-generation vaccine, but said it has suspended manufacturing in light of low order levels.
"Market expectations have been that the company would be winding down its COVID-19 vaccine activities, hence the bounce…", said Rx Securities Managing Director Samir Devani.
"The company is in active discussions with a prospective partner for potentially funding the development of a second-generation COVID-19 vaccine," Valneva said.
"These ongoing discussions may continue for several months and may not lead to an agreement," added Valneva.
Valneva said it would only invest in building up production capacities for a second-generation vaccine – adjusted to combat mutations of the virus – if it found a partner willing to finance the move.
The company's chief executive was cited as saying the company would provide future updates "if and when" it reaches a deal.