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Zimbabwe lifts curfew as COVID-19 under control

A military health personnel carries an empty medical cooler box at a mobile clinic setup for COVID-19 vaccination in Emganwini township, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe on 3 Aug 2021. (ZINYANGE AUNTONY / AFP)

MEXICO CITY / LONDON / HARARE – The Zimbabwean government on Tuesday lifted a midnight-to-dawn curfew imposed as part of COVID-19 containment measures.

The number of new COVID-19 cases continued to decrease over the past week while the recovery rate stood at 97 percent, acting Information Minister Jenfan Muswere told a post-cabinet media briefing.

"No patients were admitted to the intensive care unit (over the past week). This indicates that the COVID-19 pandemic remains under control, as it has been for some months now," he said.

The Cabinet stressed that the implementation of all COVID-19 public health and social measures must continue to be strengthened.

Muswere said as of Monday, 55.7 percent of the population had received vaccinations. The Cabinet last week approved the introduction of COVID-19 self-test kits mainly at ports of entry in order to ramp up the country's testing capacity.

This undated photo shows a logo of US drugmaker Pfizer. (PHOTO / BLOOMBERG)


Pfizer Inc's blockbuster COVID-19 treatment Paxlovid violates an Enanta Pharmaceuticals Inc patent for its COVID-19 drug still in development, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Boston federal court.

Watertown, Massachusetts-based Enanta told the court it received the patent for its antiviral medication last week based on applications dating from July 2020. The company said it began human testing for its once-daily, oral COVID-19 treatment in February, and that the Food and Drug Administration fast-tracked its review in March.

Enanta requested an unspecified amount of money damages from Pfizer, including royalties. It also said in a statement that it was not asking the court to block Pfizer from selling Paxlovid.

Paxlovid is an oral antiviral pill for high-risk patients that is intended to stave off serious complications from COVID-19. Pfizer said last month it expects to make $22 billion from Paxlovid sales this year.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.

A nurse from the Mexican Social Security Institute gives a dose of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine to a local resident, as part of a campaign to reach out to people in low-income neighborhoods, in Guadalajara, Jalisco state, Mexico, on April 24, 2022. (ULISES RUIZ / AFP)


Mexico has seen a progressive increase in COVID-19 cases in the past nine weeks, but the trend has not translated into a rise in hospital admissions or deaths, Undersecretary of Prevention and Health Promotion Hugo Lopez-Gatell said Tuesday.

The outbreak is currently expanding at a more moderate pace than the fourth wave of infections a few months ago, since it is fueled by the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants, said Lopez-Gatell.

ALSO READ: US to start COVID vaccination for children as young as 6 mths

"This suggests that the population's immunity, either from getting COVID or being vaccinated, or both, is showing results and causing (the variants) to spread slower than the original Omicron variant," he said.

The increase in cases, he stressed, has not carried over to hospitali admissions or deaths.

"We have on average five deaths per day nationwide, which is a markedly lower figure compared to what we experienced during the second wave in particular," he said.

As of Monday, Mexico had accumulated 5,877,837 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 325,417 deaths.

In this June 14, 2021, file photo, a vital of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine that is being administered for flight attendants of Japan Airlines at Haneda Airport as the airline company began its workplace vaccination, in Tokyo. (EUGENE HOSHIKO / AP) 


US biotech firm Moderna will build a new research and manufacturing center in Britain to develop vaccines against new COVID-19 variants and other illnesses, the government said on Wednesday.

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines, which use messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, were among those deployed in Britain, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailing the roll-out as one of the keys to re-opening England's economy from stringent lockdowns.

Britain's health ministry said that the pandemic had shown mRNA technology as one of the fastest routes to develop new vaccines, and could be applied to other areas, such as cancer, flu, dementia and heart disease.

"Our investment will guarantee jabs in arms against some of the toughest viruses out there, bringing us to the forefront of the fight against future threats," Johnson said in a statement.