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Coronavirus watch updates, Oct. 14

14 Oct 2020, 11:44 GMT+10

A woman wearing a face mask waits at a bus station in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sept. 24, 2020. (Photo by Rahel Patrasso/Xinhua)

- Johnson & Johnson suspends COVID-19 vaccine trials in Brazil

- U.S. drugmaker Eli Lilly pauses antibody trial over safety concerns

- Israel decides to extend COVID-19 lockdown for 5 days

- Mozambican health minister tests positive for COVID-19

BEIJING, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- The following are the updates on the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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BRASILIA -- The Janssen-Cilag company, the pharmaceutical division of U.S. multinational Johnson & Johnson, temporarily suspended clinical trials in Brazil of a vaccine against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the national health regulatory body Brazilian Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) said on Tuesday.

Janssen-Cilag notified Anvisa that testing to determine the safety and efficacy of its vaccine VAC31518COV3001 "was temporarily suspended due to a serious adverse occurrence in a volunteer abroad."

People ride bicycles near the Washington Monument in Washington D.C., the United States, on Oct. 12, 2020. (Photo by Ting Shen/Xinhua)

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WASHINGTON -- U.S. drugmaker Eli Lilly said Tuesday it has paused its trial of a combination antibody treatment for COVID-19 for safety reasons.

The company said the trial's Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB), an independent group of medical experts who monitor clinical trials, recommended the pause.

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BRUSSELS -- The European Union (EU) member states on Tuesday adopted a common color code to define the level of risk related to the coronavirus outbreak, region by region, a move to avoid fragmentation and disruption.

"Travel restrictions have made it difficult for some of our citizens to get to work, to university or to visit their loved ones. It is our common duty to ensure coordination on any measures which affect free movement and to give our citizens all the information they need when deciding on their travel," said Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe at the German Federal Foreign Office. Germany currently holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU.

Israeli medical staff work at the COVID-19 isolation ward of Kaplan Medical Center in central Israeli city of Rehovot on Oct. 6, 2020. (Photo by Gil Cohen Magen/Xinhua)

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JERUSALEM -- Israel's special cabinet for handling the COVID-19 pandemic decided on Tuesday to extend by five days the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.

The lockdown, which started on Sept. 18 and was originally supposed to be lifted on Wednesday, will be extended until midnight on Sunday, a government spokesperson told Xinhua.

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MEXICO CITY -- Mexico will earmark just over 1.6 billion U.S. dollars (about 35 billion pesos) to purchase vaccines against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for some 116 million people, top government officials said on Tuesday.

Before the end of the year, Mexico will make an initial advance payment of 321.21 million U.S. dollars for the vaccine, Finance Minister Arturo Herrera said while presenting the country's updated strategy to combat the pandemic.

Women attend a face mask distribution ceremony in Maputo, Mozambique, on July 31, 2020. (Photo by Leo Pedro/Xinhua)

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MAPUTO -- Mozambique's health minister Armindo Tiago has tested positive for COVID-19 but with no symptoms, said the minister in a statement sent to the press on Tuesday.

"I come to publicly reveal that my COVID-19 test was positive. I have no symptoms. I am physically and mentally well. I am infected, but not sick," said the minister in the statement. ■

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