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The vaccine increased levels of both protective neutralising antibodies and immune T-cells that target the virus. PHOTO: REUTERS

Over 1 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine possible by September

Early estimates of the production of a million doses of the University of Oxford's experimental Covid-19 vaccine by September could be an underestimate depending on how quickly late-stage trials can be completed, a researcher said on Monday.

"There might be a million doses manufactured by September: that now seems like a remarkable underestimate, given the scale of what's going on," Adrian Hill of University of Oxford said, referring to the manufacturing capability of partner AstraZeneca.

"Certainly there'll be a million doses around in September. What's less predictable than the manufacturing scale-up is the incidence of disease, so when there'll be an endpoint."

He added it was possible that there would be vaccines available by the end of the year.


Britain suspends Hong Kong extradition treaty, stoking China tensions

Britain announced on Monday it would suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong in an escalation of a dispute with China over its introduction of a national security law for the former British colony.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told Parliament the treaty would be suspended immediately and an arms embargo would be extended to Hong Kong.

"We will not consider reactivating those arrangements, unless and until there are clear and robust safeguards, which are able to prevent extradition from the UK being misused under the new national security legislation," Mr Raab said.


Spain's coronavirus rate triples in three weeks after lockdown easing

The prevalence of the novel coronavirus in Spain has risen three-fold over the last three weeks as authorities struggle to contain a rash of fresh clusters, mainly in the Catalonia and Aragon regions, Health Ministry data showed on Monday.

After registering thousands of cases and hundreds of deaths per day during an early April peak, Spain succeeded in slowing the number of new infections to a trickle.

But since restrictions on movement were lifted and Spaniards relaxed back into daily life, some 201 new clusters have appeared, with heavy concentrations in and around the Catalan cities of Barcelona and Lleida.


US adds 11 Chinese companies to economic blacklist over Beijing's treatment of Uighurs

The US Commerce Department said on Monday it is adding 11 Chinese companies implicated in what it said were human rights violations in connection with China's treatment of its Uighurs in Xinjiang in western China to the US economic blacklist.

The department said the companies are involved in using forced labour by Uighurs and other Muslim minority groups.

They include numerous textile companies and two firms the government said were conducting genetic analyses used to further the repression of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities.


Rapper Nicki Minaj says she is expecting first child

Rapper Nicki Minaj on Monday announced she was expecting her first child, posting photos of her baby bump.

"#Preggers," wrote the "Bang, Bang" singer on her Instagram account, beside a photo of her wearing a bejewelled bra while cradling her naked belly.

"Love. Marriage. Baby carriage. Overflowing with excitement & gratitude. Thank you all for the well wishes," she wrote in another posting.


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