NEW DELHI (Reuters) -- India said on Thursday that Chinese troops had stood in the way of regular Indian patrols along their disputed border in flare-ups at two locations this month and called for stability on the front line. The two countries have in recent years taken steps to build confidence between their militaries while expanding commercial ties. But the border remains an unresolved issue over which they went to war in 1962 and tensions erupt sometimes. Troops briefly skirmished nearly the eastern Indian state of Sikkim earlier this month and have also been locked in a weeks-long face-off in the Galwan region in the western Himalayas. Indian soldiers had stuck to their side of the Line of Actual Control that divides the two armies, foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said, blaming China for the latest row. China’s state-controlled Global Times said Indian troops had been trespassing on Chinese territory and even trying to erect illegal defense facilities since the beginning of May. China has bolstered border controls in response to Indian provocations in the Galwan Valley, it said.
BOSTON (AFP) -- Two studies on monkeys published offer hope that humans can develop protective immunity to the novel coronavirus.
The studies, published in the journal Science, looked at a prototype vaccine and whether infection with SARS-CoV-2 provides immunity against re-exposure. Both questions are critical as researchers tackle the virus, which has infected nearly five million people around the world and caused more than 325,000 deaths. The studies were carried out on rhesus macaque monkeys to see whether they develop protective virus immunity from natural infection or from a vaccine. "The global COVID-19 pandemic has made the development of a vaccine a top biomedical priority, but very little is currently known about protective immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” said senior author Dan Barouch, director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
MUMBAI (Reuters) -- India registered some 6,000 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday, the country’s biggest jump in 24 hours, as New Delhi eases a nationwide lockdown and airlines prepare to resume some domestic flights. The country of 1.3 billion people reported a total of over 118,000 confirmed cases on Friday, a roughly 5% increase from Thursday’s figures. Included in the total are 3,583 deaths. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended a lockdown, begun on March 25, to May 31, but relaxed rules in areas with lower numbers of cases and allowed state governments to issue their own guidelines on some matters. Russia on Friday reported 150 new fatalities from the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, a record daily rise, taking the country’s official nationwide death toll from the virus to 3,249. The country’s coronavirus crisis response centre reported 8,894 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of infections to 326,448.
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) -- Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin will be home quarantined for 14 days after an officer who attended a meeting with him this week tested positive for the new coronavirus, the prime minister’s office said in a statement on Friday. Muhyiddin has tested negative but "all members of the meeting have been instructed to undergo screening and 14 days’ home quarantine”, the statement added. In Singapore, coronavirus cases topped 30,000 on Friday as the city-state reports hundreds of new infections in cramped migrant worker dormitories every day. The lowly paid workers represented the vast majority of the 612 new cases reported on Friday, a daily infection rate that is one of the highest in Asia, taking Singapore’s total cases to 30,426. The death toll remains 22. Singapore closed schools and most workplaces in April as part of measures to curb infections. This week, the government published plans for some businesses to resume at the beginning of June, given the low rate of infections outside the worker dormitories.
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -- South Africa could see up to 50,000 coronavirus deaths and as many as 3 million infections by the end of the year as the southern hemisphere winter leads to a higher rate of infection, scientific models showed. The country already has the highest number of infections and deaths on the continent, with more than 18,000 identified cases and 339 deaths, but a national lockdown entering its ninth week had slowed infections. However scientists and statisticians hired by the health ministry to model the spread of the disease said the country could see between 35,000 and 50,000 coronavirus deaths by November. "We haven’t really crushed the curve,” said one of the experts, Harry Moultrie, in a presentation shown on television. "We also have some significant concerns that because of the focus on COVID-19, this may compromise other areas like HIV and TB.” The models, which consider best and worst scenarios, see as many 3 million possible coronavirus cases by November, while demand for hospital beds is seen peaking at 45,000, around ten times the current intensive care bed availability.