Coronavirus Live Updates: Russia Approves a Possible Vaccine

Live Coronavirus News: Global Tracker


Russian vaccine has yet to complete clinical trials but works ‘effectively enough,’ President Putin said.

A Russian health care regulator has become the first in the world to approve a vaccine against the coronavirus, President Vladimir V. Putin announced on Tuesday, though the vaccine has yet to complete clinical trials.

The Russian dash for a vaccine has already raised international concerns that the country is rushing approval for political or propaganda purposes in the global race to inoculate the public, while cutting corners on testing.

Mr. Putin’s announcement became essentially a claim of victory in the global race for a vaccine, something Russian officials have been telegraphing for several weeks despite the absence of published information about any late-phase testing.

The announcement came despite a warning last week from the World Health Organization that Russia should not stray from the usual methods of testing a vaccine for safety and effectiveness.

President Trump is considering new immigration regulations that would allow border officials to temporarily block American citizens and legal permanent residents from returning to the United States from abroad if authorities believe they may be infected with the coronavirus.

In recent months, Mr. Trump has imposed sweeping rules that ban entry by foreigners into the United States, citing the risk of allowing the virus to spread from hot spots abroad. But those rules have exempted two categories of people attempting to return: American citizens and noncitizens who have already established legal residence.

Now, a draft regulation would expand the government’s power to prevent entry by citizens and legal residents in individual, limited circumstances. Federal agencies have been asked to submit feedback on the proposal to the White House by Tuesday, though it is unclear when it might be approved or announced.

Under the proposal, which relies on existing legal authorities of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the government could block a citizen or legal resident from crossing the border into the United States if an official “reasonably believes that the individual either may have been exposed to or is infected with the communicable disease.”

The draft, parts of which were obtained by The New York Times, explicitly says that any order blocking citizens and legal permanent residents must “include appropriate protections to ensure that no Constitutional rights are infringed.” And it says that citizens and legal residents cannot be blocked as an entire class of people.

The documents appear not to detail how long a citizen or legal resident would be required to remain outside of the United States.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says that opening Britain’s schools next month is a “moral duty,” and that in the event of a resurgence of the virus, “the last thing we want to do is to close schools.”

To avoid the scenario that Mr. Johnson described on Monday, medical experts said, the government will have to be ready to sacrifice a hallowed British institution — pubs, as well as restaurants, which reopened a few weeks ago but are increasingly viewed as among the greatest risks for spreading the virus.

Mr. Johnson’s drive to reopen schools has put him at odds with teachers’ unions and local governments, which generally accept that schools should reopen but argue that Britain’s system for testing and contact tracing is not robust enough to cope with the outbreaks that may follow.

The government, they said, had not developed plans for how teachers should handle sick students or communicate with parents if there is an outbreak. Mr. Johnson’s back-to-school campaign, some said, smacked of a government that had emphasized other priorities, like eating out in restaurants, and was playing catch-up.

“The big question is, if you open schools, how long can you keep them open?” said Devi Sridhar, the director of the global health governance program at Edinburgh University. “If there’s spreading, do you shut down the whole school? Do you shut down a single class?”

Professor Sridhar said the safest way to open schools was to drive down the transmission rate — and the way to do that, she said, was to close “the nighttime economy.” In the Scottish city of Aberdeen, she noted, nearly 800 people were forced into quarantine because of an outbreak that authorities traced to a handful of pubs.



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