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Weekly Roundups

Clear Skies Ahead as Science Delivers Positive Results

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 07/02/2020 - 13:56

Mexico moves toward the new normality but restrictive sanitary measures are still in place to ensure the population’s health and safety. While states are autonomously deciding how to protect their citizens, many experts in the industry have encouraged society to reflect on the situation. Respect and caution should be put first, in solidarity to vulnerable groups and the frontline staff fighting against the pandemic.

Here is the Week in Health!

NATIONAL

-Eighteen states are now in the orange stage of the epidemiological “traffic light,” indicating that their contagion risk level has reduced. States now in orange are: Aguascalientes, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Mexico City, Coahuila, Durango, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Michoacan, Queretaro, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosi, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Yucatan and Zacatecas.

-The University of Washington alerts that by October 1, Mexico could be at around 88,000 deaths if the country maintains restrictive and sanitary measures for at least six more weeks. If restrictions are relaxed, the death number could go up to 151,000.

-The seventh plane with ventilators arrived to Mexico from the US. This equipment is destined for INSABI and will be distributed by SEMAR.

-As part of the strategy to combat COVID-19 and increase the number of medical professionals in Mexico, INSABI has hired more than 50,000 doctors since February when the Ministry of Health started the Médicas y Médicos para el Bienestar recruitment program

-As USMCA comes into force, Congress agrees on the last touches to the Industrial Innovation Protection Law, securing production of generics without affective innovative medicines.

-Medical cannabis regulation faces another delay. The Mexican Congress is expected to deliver a law proposal by September 2020.

-Four Mexican COVID-19 vaccine projects have been presented to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations in hopes to recieve foreign investment for its development.

INTERNATIONAL

-Scientist told BBC that a new influenza virus had been identified. This new swine flu virus has the potential to create a pandemic similar to the AH1N1 pandemic in 2009. According to findings, this virus has been around since 2016 and it had infected many workers in China. There is still no cause of concern according to scientists, but they fear a mutation of the virus.

-Pfizer and BioNTech’s coalition for a COVID19 vaccine announced positive results on a trial with 45 people. Participants were divided into groups; the first group was given two injections with two doses of the vaccine, the second group received one single take with a high dose and the last group received two placebo vaccines. According to the results, the first group developed the most antibodies. Both companies have announced that their vaccine called BNT162b1 is currently undergoing scientific studies to corroborate the former results.

-CanSino Biologics’, Beijing Biotechnology Institute and the Chinese government’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences announced that their COVID-19 vaccine development has been authorized to be tested on the Chinese Armed Forces. This development has been one of the strongest in the race and had gone through human trials in Canada back in May, showing positive results. Moreover, CanSino has previously announced that Phase 1 and 2 of clinical trials were already completed. However, The Lancet experts were not 100 percent positive about the results.

-Gilead’s Remdesivir was authorized for commercial sale at a price of US$2,340 per treatment, which lasts 5 days.

-After the announcement, the US bought Gilead’s production of Remdesivir for three months. The country and the pharmaceutical company have agreed to access at least half a million of doses, meaning that they will have Gilead’s production of the drug for July, August and September.

-The EU has reopened its frontiers to 14 countries that are considered safe with resect to COVID-19 contagion cases. Mexico, the US and Brazil are not among their list of safe countries due to high numbers of positive COVID-19 cases.

-The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) declared the end of the Ebola epidemic on June 25. This virus has had three strong outbreaks, the first one was back in 1976, then in 2014-2016 and the last one in 2018. Earlier in June, there were new cases identified but after 25 days of new cases, and a close tracing of active cases, WHO has declared DRC to be Ebola-free.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst