Reuters Health News Summary

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Russia's ventilators: plentiful, but often old and sometimes broken

As new cases of the coronavirus accelerate in Russia, by one measure it is relatively well placed to cope with the pandemic. Russia has around 27 ventilators per 100,000 citizens, according to the government, considerably more than the 18.8 per 100,000 in the United States, according to the John Hopkins University.

CDC reports 1,152,372 coronavirus cases, 67,456 deaths

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday reported 1,152,372 cases of the coronavirus, and said the number of deaths had risen to 67,456. Over the weekend, the CDC updated its case count to 1,122,486 and said 65,735 people had died across the country, but that the numbers were preliminary and had not been confirmed by individual states.

Neutralizing antibody; new virus details to aid vaccine research

The following is a brief roundup of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. Antibody that "neutralizes" the novel coronavirus

World leaders pledge $8 billion to fight COVID-19 but U.S. steers clear

World leaders and organisations pledged $8 billion to research, manufacture and distribute a possible vaccine and treatments for COVID-19 on Monday, but the United States refused to contribute to the global effort. Organisers included the European Union and non-EU countries Britain, Norway and Saudi Arabia. Leaders from Japan, Canada, South Africa and dozens of other countries joined the virtual event, while China, where the virus is believed to have originated, was only represented by its ambassador to the European Union.

Indonesia calls for 'equal access' to coronavirus medicine for developing countries

Indonesian President Joko Widodo called on Monday for "equal access" for developing countries to medicine to treat the new coronavirus, as global cases pass three million. "We need to fight for just and timely access to affordable COVID-19 medicine and vaccine," Widodo said in a statement.

U.N. calls for COVID vaccine, treatment available for all

United Nations leaders called on Monday for a global effort to develop and distribute to all at affordable prices vaccines, treatments and testing kits against COVID-19. "These new tools will help us to fully control the pandemic and must be treated as global public goods available and affordable for all," the U.N. secretary general Antonio Guterres said at the start of a global pledging conference which aims to raise at least 8 billion dollars for the fight against the coronavirus.

WHO says Pompeo remarks on virus origin 'speculative', seeks data

The World Health Organization said on Monday that comments by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo citing "evidence" that the new coronavirus had emerged from a Chinese laboratory were "speculative", and called for a science-based inquiry. Pompeo said on Sunday there was "a significant amount of evidence" that the virus emerged from a lab in the Chinese city of Wuhan, but did not dispute U.S. intelligence agencies' conclusion that it was not man-made.

U.S. lawmakers question Jaguar Health on price hike of drug that may help treat COVID-19 patients

The chair of a House of Representatives committee and a fellow Democratic committee member on Monday urged Jaguar Health Inc to reverse recent price hikes of a drug that could be used to treat side effects in COVID-19 patients and asked that Jaguar provide information on the price increases. In a letter to Jaguar, Representative Carolyn Maloney, chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, and Representative Jackie Speier criticized Jaguar for what they said was a nearly threefold price increase of the drug, Mytesi, from $688.52 to $2,206.52 per bottle of pills, in early April.

U.S. targets fraud in coronavirus antibody test market with tighter rules

The United States on Monday began requiring antibody tests for the new coronavirus to undergo a regulatory agency review, acknowledging that its earlier policy had opened the door to fraud. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had previously required only that companies attest their product was valid and labeled as unapproved, attracting 170 companies to the antibody test market including unscrupulous vendors making false claims, Reuters reported last week..

Most COVID-19 patients get antibodies but immunity unclear: UK official

Studies in Britain show that most people who have had COVID-19 develop antibodies, England's deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam said on Monday, but it was too early to say whether this gave them immunity. "The overwhelming majority of people so far called back who've had definite COVID-19 infection have got antibodies in their blood stream," Van-Tam said at daily news conference.