U.S. arms makers and medical device firms team up to make ventilators; U.S. steers clear of global COVID vaccine pledging conference and more

U.S. arms makers and medical device firms team up to make ventilators; U.S. steers clear of global COVID vaccine pledging conference and more

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

U.S. arms makers and medical device firms team up to make ventilators

U.S. weapons makers have teamed up with medical device companies to increase the supply of ventilators that can be used to combat the coronavirus pandemic, people working on the project said. The two groups do not regularly partner on projects, but when a defense industry consultant with an engineering background realized weapons makers could help solve supply-chain problems within the U.S. ventilator industry, the creation of Vent Connect was set in motion and is set to be announced on Monday, the people said.

German study suggests infections are 10 times the number of confirmed cases

More than 10 times as many people in Germany have likely been infected with the coronavirus than the number of confirmed cases, researchers from the University of Bonn have concluded from a field trial in one of the worst-hit towns. The preliminary study results, which have yet to be peer-reviewed for publication in a scientific journal, serve as a reminder of the dangers of infection by unidentified carriers of the virus, some of whom show no symptoms, the researchers said.

U.S. steers clear of global COVID vaccine pledging conference

World leaders will hold a pledging “marathon” on Monday to raise at least 7.5 billion euros ($8.2 billion) for research into a possible vaccine and treatments for the coronavirus, although the United States is not directly involved. Organizers included the European Union, non-EU states Britain and Norway, as well as Japan, Canada, and Saudi Arabia. They aim to raise funds over several weeks or months, building on efforts by the World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and wealthy individuals.

What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

Italy’s lockdown exit: It’s a family affair Vir, Alnylam identify COVID-19 therapy candidate, plan human trials by year end

Vir Biotechnology Inc and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc have identified a drug candidate for treating COVID-19 and plan to begin human testing by the end of the year, the companies said on Monday. The companies plan to meet with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory authorities to discuss accelerating their filing for starting the trials of the inhaled therapy.

Japanese ICU doctor expects long battle against coronavirus

Japanese doctors face a long, grueling campaign against the novel coronavirus even if the government extends a state of emergency for another month, a senior doctor said on Monday. The St Marianna University Hospital in Kawasaki, south of Tokyo, was one of the first in Japan to convert parts of its Intensive Care Unit (ICU) into beds for people suffering from the novel coronavirus.

Factbox: Latest on the worldwide spread of the new coronavirus

More than 3.52 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 246,910 have died, according to a Reuters tally as of 0200 GMT on Monday.


UK among European states not yet on COVID-19 downward slope: EU says

The head of the European Union agency for disease control said on Monday Britain was one of five European countries yet to begin a downward trend in its coronavirus outbreak, contradicting the British government’s line. As of May 4, Britain had recorded nearly 190,000 coronavirus cases and almost 28,500 deaths. Only Italy in Europe has so far counted more deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Global coronavirus cases surpass 3.5 million amid underreporting fears

Global coronavirus cases surpassed 3.5 million on Monday and deaths neared a quarter of a million, according to a Reuters tally, concerning experts who fear substantial underreporting even as the rate of fatalities and new cases slows. North America and European countries, where growth rates are easing, still accounted for most of the new infections reported in recent days.

Malaysia criticises WHO’s advice against palm oil during coronavirus

Malaysia criticized the World Health Organisation on Monday for advising adults to avoid palm oil in their diet during the COVID-19 outbreak and use alternatives such as olive oil. The WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office said in a recent advisory http://www.emro.who.int/nutrition/nutrition-infocus/nutrition-advice-for-adults-during-the-covid-19-outbreak.html that people should consume unsaturated fats found in fish, avocado, nuts, olive oil, soy, canola, sunflower and corn oils rather than saturated fats found in fatty meat, butter, palm and coconut oils, cream, cheese, ghee, and lard.

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