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The first clinical trial results from Oxford university’s much anticipated Covid-19 vaccine, to be published in The Lancet medical journal on Monday, will include what one researcher called “terrific preliminary data”. A senior scientist on the project, backed by AstraZeneca, said the vaccine gave a double boost to the immune system in the 1,000 UK volunteers who took part in its phase one trial, without significant side-effects. Trials of the vaccine are also being conducted in other locations, such as in São Paulo, Brazil, pictured.

US stocks edged lower after a sharp sell-off in China and investors turning their attention to the pandemic’s impact on the economy. The S&P 500 closed with a 0.3 per cent loss, snapping a two-day winning streak. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was down 0.7 per cent, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.5 per cent.

Netflix added 10m subscribers from April to June, well above estimates, but management warned its pandemic-related growth is slowing. The streaming group cautioned investors that subscriber growth would slow in the second half of the year. Netflix expects to only add 2.5m new subscribers in the July to September quarter, its weakest showing in years.

The US Republican party has decided to hold a scaled-back convention in Jacksonville, Florida, next month, as the coronavirus outbreak in the state continues to spread. The GOP had originally intended to hold its convention, held once every four years, in Charlotte, North Carolina, but said it would move most of the event’s activities to Jacksonville.

Johnson & Johnson’s net earnings fell by more than a third as the Covid-19 pandemic delayed elective procedures and hit sales of medical devices, while the consumer division suffered declines in demand for beauty products. Revenue inched up as pharmaceutical sales remained strong, led by treatments for cancer and inflammatory conditions.

Target, CVS and Walgreens have joined a growing group of US retailers requiring customers to wear face coverings in their stores. These follow decisions on Wednesday by Walmart, the biggest US retailer, supermarket operator Kroger and department store owner Kohl’s to also require customers to don face coverings when shopping there.

France will insist that masks be worn in indoor public spaces nationwide from next week after signs of an uptick in coronavirus infections in Paris and some other regions, the government announced on Thursday. A decree ordering the wearing of protective face masks was to have been enforced from August 1, but has been brought forward.

Elias Mossialos, a leading Greek public health expert, has advised that wearing face masks in closed spaces should become mandatory following a recent pick-up in new confirmed cases of coronavirus around the country. The number of people hospitalised with Covid-19 has doubled in the past two weeks.

Hong Kong health authorities reported 67 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, triggering fears of an outbreak in the territory that has until now been a global success story in controlling the virus. Authorities warned of an increase in untraceable cases as they said 63 of the cases were local and not imported.

India crossed a grim milestone of 1m confirmed coronavirus infections on Thursday, as the country detected a record number of new cases, despite new local lockdowns imposed. India detected more than 34,200 new cases on Thursday, the highest daily number ever. It also recorded 676 coronavirus deaths, bringing total confirmed fatalities to 25,600.


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