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Bill Gates, Co-Chair of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. (REUTERS)
Bill Gates, Co-Chair of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. (REUTERS)

Bill Gates sees South Korea covid vaccine promise

  • Bill Gates is seeking to cooperate closely with South Korea, the presidential office in Seoul
  • The world is in a race to develop a vaccine that could protect masses against a virus that has wreaked havoc on the global economy

SK Bioscience, the South Korean pharmaceutical company backed by Bill Gates, may be capable of producing 200 million coronavirus vaccine kits by next June, the Microsoft Corp. co-founder said in a letter to South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Gates is seeking to cooperate closely with South Korea, the presidential office in Seoul said Sunday, citing the July 20 letter. The U.S. billionaire and Moon spoke by phone in April about teaming up to fight the virus and develop a vaccine, the Blue House said.

The world is in a race to develop a vaccine that could protect masses against a virus that has wreaked havoc on the global economy. Gates has said investment in factories across the world can ensure regions beyond the U.S. won’t be left behind in the rush for Covid-19 vaccines.

Hong Kong Recovery May Take Longer Than Expected

Hong Kong’s economy may take longer than expected to recover due to the fluidity of the local virus situation and global economic uncertainties, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said.

“Business and economic activities that have seen signs of recovery have been hit by the fresh wave of the virus," Chan said in a blog post Sunday. He once again urged landlords to offer tenants rental concessions to ride out the impact.

The city is experiencing its worst wave of the coronavirus outbreak after returning to relative normalcy between mid-April and June. It has reported more than 100 local cases daily for the past four days, with almost half of unknown origin.

Singapore, Malaysia Agree on Key Aspects of Green Lane Travel

Singapore and Malaysia said they’ve agreed on key aspects of green lane travel as the two countries move a step closer to reopening one of the world’s busiest border crossings.

Record Victoria Deaths

Australia’s Victoria state reported a daily high in the number of deaths from the coronavirus and another surge in infections, as authorities said they’re calling in thousands of current and retired health-care workers to help quell the outbreak.

The hardest-hit Australian state recorded 10 deaths, bringing the total to 71, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said at a press conference in Melbourne on Sunday. There were 459 more Covid-19 cases.

Mexico Adds 6,751 Cases

Mexico added 6,751 new coronavirus cases, bringing its total to 385,036. The country reported 729 new deaths, taking the total to 43,374.

Suspected Case in North Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered a lockdown for a city near its border with South Korea after it found a person who may be infected with the coronavirus, KCNA reported.

Kim took the “preemptive measure" of isolating Kaesong City on Friday following the report on the suspected case, KCNA said. The person had illegally returned to North Korea on July 19, the state media said, prompting the government to launch a probe on the military unit responsible for the border crossing with plans to “administer a severe punishment."

South Carolina Hits Record Fatalities

South Carolina reported 74 more deaths, a record, at the end of a week when it also reported a record number of new cases. The previous record was 72 deaths, on July 16, according to data from Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg. The total number of confirmed deaths is 1,412, the Department of Health and Environmental Control said in a statement.

The state reported 1,368 new cases, fewer than the previous day and a record 2,374 set on Sunday, JHU and Bloomberg data show. The state has a total of 79,674 confirmed cases.

Brazil Cases Slow, Deaths Rise

Brazil reported 51,147 new virus cases, down from the 55,891 reported the previous day. The country, with the worst outbreak after the U.S., now has a total of 2.4 million, according to Health Ministry data.

New deaths rose to 1,211, from 1,156 the previous day, for a total of 86,449.

Kentucky Nears Record Cases

Kentucky reported its second-highest daily number of Covid-19 cases and Governor Andy Beshear forecast “additional steps next week if the case numbers don’t stabilize."

The state’s positive-test rate is 5.4%, the highest in recent months, according to a statement on the governor’s website that cited New York’s success in bringing its rate down to “1% or less." Kentucky has reported at least 26,764 coronavirus cases, including 836 on Saturday. Deaths blamed on the virus rose by five to 696.

“We know how to control this virus," Beshear said. “But we have to work together, stay smart and wear face coverings."

Florida Now No. 2 in U.S. Cases

Florida passed New York as the U.S. state with the most cases except for California, based on health department data published Saturday.

New York added 750 positive tests for a total of 411,200. Florida reported 414,511 total positive tests on Saturday compared with 402,312 a day earlier, an increase of 12,199. The latest numbers in each case reflect data compiled through the end of Friday.

Still, deaths among Florida residents dropped for a second straight day to 124, for a total of 5,777.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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