US official cautions over China, Russia virus vaccines as race heats up Aug 02, 2020 0 464 12345 AFPWashingtonAmerica’s top infectious diseases official has raised concerns over COVID-19 vaccines being developed by China and Russia as the world scrambles for answers to a pandemic the WHO warned will be felt for decades.Six months after the World Health Organization declared a global emergency, the novel coronavirus has killed more than 680,000 people and infected more than 17.5 million.Several Chinese companies are at the forefront of the race to develop a vaccine to the disease and Russia has set a target date of September to roll out its own medicine.But US infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said it was unlikely his country would use any vaccine developed in either country, where regulatory systems are far more opaque than they are in the West.“I do hope that the Chinese and the Russians are actually testing the vaccine before they are administering the vaccine to anyone,” he told a US Congressional hearing on Friday.“Claims of having a vaccine ready to distribute before you do testing, I think, is problematic, at best.” As part of its own ‘Operation Warp Speed’, the US government will pay pharma giants Sanofi and GSK up to $2.1 billion for the development of COVID-19 vaccine, the companies said.Meanwhile, jobless Americans were bracing for an end to extra unemployment payments after Congress failed to reach a deal on extending benefits. A day earlier, the US posted a record second-quarter GDP drop of 9.5 percent. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Expect ‘lengthy’ coronavirus pandemic, warns WHO chief Aug 02, 2020 0 379 Thousands of ‘Covidiots’ protest in Berlin over virus restrictions Aug 02, 2020 0 667 Hurricane Isaias douses Bahamas, heads to virus-hit Florida Aug 02, 2020 0 1083 Japan’s Okinawa declares state of emergency as virus cases soar TOKYO: Japan’s Okinawa region has declared a state of emergency and asked people to stay home for two weeks as the popular tourist destination sees an “explosive spread” of coronavirus cases. Governor Denny Tamaki on .. First US recipient of partial face transplant dead at 57 WASHINGTON: Connie Culp, the first US recipient of a partial face transplant, has died at age 57, according to Ohio’s Cleveland Clinic, where she underwent the delicate operation nearly 12 years ago. The health centre .. UK seeks ‘tougher action’ from France on Channel migrants AFP London Britain on Saturday urged France to get tougher on stopping migrants using the Channel to reach the UK, with one minister saying the crossings were “unacceptably high”. The call came after Border Force figures .. Trump says fed agents to stay in Portland until police ‘cleanup’ AFP Washington US federal officers will stay in the protest-wracked city of Portland until local law enforcement officials finish a “cleanup of anarchists and agitators,” President Donald Trump said. The president .. South Korean sect leader arrested for hindering coronavirus efforts AFP Seoul The elderly leader of a secretive South Korean sect at the centre of the country’s early coronavirus outbreak was arrested on Saturday for allegedly hindering the government’s effort to contain the epidemic. ..