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On September 6, 2021, the New York State commissioner of health designated COVID-19 as a highly contagious communicable disease, thereby triggering certain requirements under the New York Health and Essential Rights (HERO) Act.  Previously, employers were required to adopt an airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plan by using the state’s model plan or drafting a plan that met the state’s minimum requirements, but employers were not obligated to implement the plan. With the commissioner of health’s formal designation of COVID-19 as a “highly contagious communicable disease” (a designation heralded by New York Governor Kathy Hochul), employers must now implement their New York HERO Act airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plan. This plan includes certain safety measures for the workplace, such as scheduled housekeeping and disinfection schedules, providing PPE to employees, and requiring health screenings for all employees.

What to do?

Once activated with the designation of a highly contagious communicable disease, the NY HERO Act requires employers to:

  • Immediately review and update their plan to ensure it incorporates current information, guidance, and mandatory requirements issued by federal, state or local governments related to COVID-19;
  • Finalize and promptly activate their HERO Act plan;
  • Provide a verbal review of the plan and provide training to employees;
  • Provide each employee with a copy of the plan; and
  • Post a copy of the plan in a “visible and prominent location” available to employees on all shifts.

Continuing Obligations

The designation of COVID-19 as a highly contagious communicable disease is set to expire on September 30, 2021, unless continued by the commissioner of health. Employers must ensure their plan is being effectively followed by:

  • Designating one or more supervisory employees to enforce compliance with the plan;
  • Monitoring and maintaining exposure controls; and
  • Regularly checking for updated information and guidance provided by the NY State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and updating the plan to reflect recommended changes in control measures.

As of the date and time of this publication, the state has not issued any additional guidance as to the timing of when these requirements must be met, or addressing other issues, such as to what extent that employees’ vaccination status may affect their facemask and social distancing requirements under a plan and the HERO Act’s airborne infections disease prevention standards.  Employers are encouraged to consult with counsel to work through questions that may arise, to review and update existing prevention plans and to develop training strategies, and to stay apprised of the continually changing legal landscape regarding COVID-19.

By Lisa M. Griffith and Sanjay V. Nair via Littler

Read full article here.

Other related articles:

New York HERO Act Requires Workplace Safety Measures

NY DOL Publishes its Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan in Accordance With the NY HERO Act

Brazil became the latest major country to pass the U.S. in the percentage of its citizens who have had at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine as the government’s inoculation campaign picks up speed and resistance to the shots fades away.

About 63% of Brazilians have now received at least one dose, versus 62% of people in the U.S., according to Bloomberg’s Covid-19 Vaccine Tracker. Countries including Germany, France and the U.K. have vaccinated at least 65% of the population with one shot, the data show.

By Fernando Travaglini/Bloomberg.

Read full article here.

For the first time in eight months, the rate of Covid cases in Brazil is decelerating. The country was in a flat or accelerated stage since November last year, but this situation has reversed with the advance of vaccination.

The conclusion comes from Folha‘s Covid acceleration monitor. The platform measures the variation of newly infected people in the last 30 days, based on a statistical model developed by USP researchers Renato Vicente and Rodrigo Veiga.

 

By Kiratiana Freelon via Folha de S. Paulo

 

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Despite President Jair Bolsonaro’s attacks on immunization against Covid-19, support for vaccines against the disease continues to grow in Brazil and reached a record level, 94% of the population, according to Datafolha research.

Datafolha surveyed 2,074 people aged 16 and over in 146 cities across the country on July 7th and 8th. The margin of error is plus or minus two percentage points.

 

By Angela Pinho via Folha de S. Paulo

 

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BRASILIA, July 7 (Reuters) – Brazilian health regulator Anvisa on Wednesday gave the go-ahead for the Butanvac COVID-19 vaccine developed by Sao Paulo’s Butantan Institute biomedical center to be used on volunteers in clinical trials.

Anvisa in a statement said the vaccine will be applied in two doses, 28 days apart. Phase I of Butanvac’s clinical trial will involve 400 volunteers, and the first two phases are expected to involve 6,000 volunteers in total.

By Jamie McGeever via Reuters

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Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa on Wednesday authorized Phase 1 and 2 clinical tests to be carried out on volunteers for the Butanvac vaccine developed by Sao Paulo’s Butantan Institute biomedical center.

The tests for the two-shot vaccine were initially authorized for 400 volunteers, but will later involve an expected total of 6,000 volunteers aged 18 and over, Anvisa said.

Via Reuters

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Brazil will receive a first batch of 3 million doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) vaccine against COVID-19 in the next few days, Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga said on Thursday.

Queiroga said export of the vaccines, developed by J&J’s Janssen subsidiary, from the United States still requires authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Via Reuters

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Serrana (CNN)Hope has returned to the small city of Serrana, Brazil, after researchers vaccinated almost its entire adult population in a city-wide medical experiment this spring.

“Everything is practically open now, and the atmosphere is so different, so much lighter and joyful. We feel safe while the other cities around us are in a very difficult situation,” says Ricardo Luiz, owner of a well-known restaurant in Serrana.
By Marcia Reverdosa and Rodrigo Pedroso via CNN

Brazilian health regulator Anvisa on Friday gave the green light for states to import the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V, but with conditions attached.

Anvisa’s board voted 4-1 to grant the conditional approval after more than seven hours of deliberation, following the recommendation of its technical staff earlier in the day.

By Jamie McGeever and Lisandra Paraguassu via Reuters

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BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s Health Ministry on Tuesday announced it had signed a deal for Pfizer to deliver an additional 100 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine, doubling the number of shots from the company.

The additional shots will be delivered between September and December, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

 

By Ricardo Brito via 790 KFGO

 

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Production began on the first of an expected 18 million doses by mid-July, though Brazil’s Health Regulatory Agency (Anvisa) is yet to authorise the vaccine

Brazil’s Sao Paulo-based Butantan Institute, a state-run medical research facility, on Wednesday began to manufacture ButanVac, the first Brazilian vaccine against the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19), state governor Joao Doria announced.
Via Mint

The NIE rule applies for any F-1 or M-1 visa holder if their academic program begins August 1 2021 or later. Those applicants who are found to be otherwise qualified for an F-1 or M-1 visa will automatically be considered for an NIE to travel.

This news, announced April 26 by the state department, will be welcome, but more needs to be done say senior stakeholders, particularly regarding the reported problems (in China especially) accessing appointments to seek a US visa. NAFSA is calling for in-person interviews to cease to be mandatory to help resume processing at pace.

 

Via The Pie News

 

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Brasília – Gecex, a technical body within the Brazilian foreign trade chamber Camex, said on Monday, 29, it zeroed import taxes on 65 products to ease the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak on the population. Now, Brazil has 628 coronavirus-related products with zero import taxes.

Eligible goods include medicines for pain relief, sedation, intubation, and artificial respiration, including anesthetics, tranquilizers, painkillers and antibiotics. The measure also encompasses monitors for clinical beds and Intensive Care Units (ICUs), equipment for breath gas analyses, and ICU monitoring central servers, as well as truck bodies and tank trucks to transport dangerous goods, such as oxygen.

 

Via Brazil-Arab News Agency

 

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After a series of delays, Fiocruz will start delivering its first Covid-19 vaccines produced in Brazil. The forecast is that just over 1 million doses will be sent by this weekend — 500 thousand on Wednesday (17) and another 580 thousand by Friday (19).

The national manufacture of the immunizing agent developed by the University of Oxford and by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, from imported raw material, was definitively authorized by Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency) last Friday (12).

 

By Julia Barbon via Folha de S. Paulo

 

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BRASILIA, March 1 (Reuters) – Brazil’s Health Ministry will deliver 140 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines between now and the end of May, lower house speaker Arthur Lira said on Monday, without giving details on where they will come from.

Speaking in an interview with TV Record and later confirming on his Twitter account, Lira also said emergency monthly cash transfers to millions of poor Brazilians of 250 reais ($45) will be made through June.

 

By Lisandra Paraguassu via Yahoo Finance

 

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Luiza Helena Trajano, presidente do conselho do Magazine Luiza, decidiu começar o ano unindo um grupo de empresários para tirar do papel o movimento Unidos pela Vacina. Com o objetivo de imunizar todos os brasileiros contra a Covid-19 até setembro, o grupo pretende contribuir para que não haja entraves no transporte da vacina para todos os cantos do país.

A empresária conta que a ideia surgiu no final do ano passado, com a campanha de conscientização Vacina para Todos, do Grupo Mulheres do Brasil – do qual ela também é presidente. “A partir dali, tentamos entender como poderíamos ajudar e concluímos que era preciso partir para uma ação efetiva. Foi quando esse movimento passou por uma transformação. Trouxemos mais parceiros, como empresários e executivos de diferentes setores e organizações não governamentais. Assim surgiu o Unidos pela Vacina”, explica.

 

By Beatriz Calais via Forbes Brasil

 

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SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian biomedical institute Butantan plans to vaccinate a city’s entire adult population of about 30,000 people against COVID-19 to test whether it lowers the infection rate, institute and government officials said on Monday.

Butantan, which is overseen by the Sao Paulo state government, will carry out the mass vaccination study in Serrana, a city in the interior of the state that has a high infection rate, according to a statement and news briefing.

 

By Reuters

 

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RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – A first shipment of 88 liters of active ingredients to make AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine in Brazil arrived from China on Saturday, essential input to speed the country’s troubled vaccination program.

With those supplies flown into Rio de Janeiro on a cargo plane, the Fiocruz biomedical center can begin filling and finishing 2.8 million doses. The federally funded center expects to receive more ingredients this month to make a total of 15 million shots of the vaccine developed with Oxford University.

 

By Sergio Queiroz via Reuters

 

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BRASILIA (Reuters) – The Brazilian pharmaceutical company that will make Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 expects regulatory approval for Phase III tests by this week or early next at the latest, its Chief Executive Officer Fernando Marques said on Tuesday.

Marques said the strong efficacy results from late stage trials in Russia, published on Tuesday by The Lancet – 91.6% effective against symptomatic COVID-19 – will help speed up approval in Brazil sought by his firm União Quimica.

 

By Anthony Boadle and Tatiana Bautzer via Reuters

 

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São Paulo – Brazilian health regulator Anvisa approved emergency use of CoronaVac and the Oxford vaccine in Brazil. The first is produced by São Paulo’s Butantan medical center that is partnered with China’s Sinovac, while the latter was developed by AstraZeneca and the Oxford University with federally funded Fiocruz institute.

The decision was disclosed on Sunday (17) and, minutes later, Monica Calazans (pictured above), a nurse in São Paulo’s Emílio Ribas infectology hospital, became the first person to be inoculated in the country, receiving the Butantan’s vaccine, the Federal Nursing Service Council reported.

 

Via Brazil-Arab News Agency

 

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New Delhi: Brazil is all set to become the first country in the world that will receive two million doses of Covishield from India next week that will be flown directly from Mumbai to Rio de Janeiro via a special flight, ThePrint has learnt.

The Jair Bolsonaro administration will be procuring the vaccine at a “special rate” under a deal that was finalised between the Brazilian government and Pune’s Serum Institute of India (SII) earlier this month, diplomatic sources told ThePrint. SII has manufactured the Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine in India.

 

By Nayanima Basu via The Print

 

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Although the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines may be more important to certain employers (such as those in health care), employers in all  industries should monitor the development of the Government’s vaccine roll-out program, as the vaccine concerns public health. In this Legal Update, we answer some of the questions that employers may have.

 

By Aline Fidelis and Vinicius Rodrigues de Castro via Mondaq

 

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BRASILIA/RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) -Brazil made a diplomatic push on Monday to guarantee an Indian-made shipment of British drugmaker AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, hoping to avoid export restrictions that could delay immunizations during the world’s second-deadliest outbreak.

In parallel, Brazil’s private clinics struck a preliminary deal for an alternative injection made by India’s Bharat Biotech despite a lack of public results from late-stage trials.

 

By Ricardo Brito and Pedro Fonseca via Reuters

 

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Brazilians traveling abroad will have to present a negative Covid-19 test to the airline when embarking back to the country.

The test must be taken within 72 hours prior to departure. Foreigners traveling to Brazil are subject to the same rule, which becomes effective as of December 30 this year and can disrupt the trip of those who have planned holidays abroad.

 

By Fernanda Mena via Folha de S. Paulo

 

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(CNN)Brazil’s Ministry of Health on Wednesday announced its national vaccination rollout plan to counter Covid-19, set to start early next year.

During a ceremony at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, with President Jair Bolsonaro in attendance, the country’s Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello gave what he called a “macro-view” of the strategy to vaccinate Brazilians. ANVISA, Brazil’s health regulatory agency, has yet to officially authorize the use of any Covid-19 vaccine in Brazil.
By Tatiana Arias and Florencia Trucco via CNN

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – São Paulo’s Butantan Institute biomedical center on Thursday received 1 million doses of a Chinese COVID-19 vaccine developed by Sinovac Biotech Ltd that is undergoing late-stage testing by the institute at 16 locations in Brazil.

The consignment of CoronaVac vaccine will be packaged and labeled at Butantan’s facilities pending regulatory approval. Butantan said it expected Sinovac to publish efficacy results from its vaccine trials by Dec. 15.

 

Via Reuters

 

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Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa said on Wednesday it was open to approving COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use and outlined the requirements for companies looking to do so.

Anvisa said authorizations would be analyzed on a case-by-case basis and that to be considered the vaccine must be in late-stage trials in Brazil. It said no requests had been received so far.

 

Via Merco Press

 

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Brazil’s health ministry said on Sunday it will sign non-binding letters of intent to purchase coronavirus vaccines from four companies and Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, adding that any purchase will depend on the approval of the nation’s regulators.

According to the ministry, officials met last week with representatives of Pfizer Inc, India’s Bharat Biotech, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Moderna Inc and Janssen, a unit of Johnson & Johnson.

 

Via Merco Press

 

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SAO PAULO (Reuters) – The first 120,000 doses of CoronaVac, a COVID-19 vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech SVA.O that is being tested in Brazil, arrived at São Paulo’s international airport on Thursday morning, the state government said.

The doses will be stored in an undisclosed warehouse as the state awaits approval for use in Brazil by the national health regulator known as Anvisa.

 

Via Reuters

 

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Pfizer Inc said on Wednesday it had offered to provide Brazil with millions of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in the first half of 2021, amid evidence the coronavirus is spreading more rapidly in South America’s largest country.

“Pfizer made a proposal to the Brazilian government, in line with deals we closed in other countries – including in Latin America, that would permit the vaccination of millions of Brazilians in the first half, subject to regulatory approval,” the company said in a statement.

 

Via Merco Press

 

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BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s Sao Paulo state is set to begin importing the first of 46 million doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine against COVID-19 this week, while the federal government takes a more cautious approach with a vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc.

Federal health officials met with Pfizer representatives on Tuesday as Brazil seeks to secure vaccine supplies. The Health Ministry said in a statement that it would buy the Pfizer vaccine, currently in Phase 3 trials, if it was proven safe and was registered with health authority Anvisa.

 

By Ricardo Brito and Anthony Boadle via Reuters

 

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SAO PAULO (Reuters) – The government of Brazil’s Sao Paulo state signed a $90 million contract on Wednesday to receive 46 million doses of a potential vaccine from China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd.

Sao Paulo, Brazil’s most populous state, is one of the sites of Phase III clinical trials for the Sinovac vaccine conducted by the state’s Butantan Institute, a leading biomedical research center.

 

By Eduardo Simões via Swissinfo.ch

 

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BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil, which has the world’s second-highest coronavirus death toll, has decided to join the global COVID-19 vaccine partnership known as COVAX and will earmark 2.5 billion reais ($454 million) for securing vaccines through it, President Jair Bolsonaro’s office said.

Brazil plans to use the COVAX facility, which gives access to several vaccine candidates in development globally, to buy enough supplies to immunize 10% of its population by the end of 2021, the office said in a statement on Thursday. That should cover Brazil’s “priority populations,” it said.

 

Via Reuters

 

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SAO PAULO (Reuters) – The governor of Brazil’s São Paulo state, João Doria, said on Wednesday the state is likely to start to immunize its population with China’s Sinovac vaccine for COVID-19 in mid-December, pending regulatory approval.

Brazil has the third-highest number of cases of coronavirus in the world, leading vaccine makers to seek out South America’s largest country to test their candidates.

 

By Eduardo Simões via Yahoo News

 

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São Paulo – More 12 products related to the fight against the coronavirus were included in the list of goods with temporary import tax exemption in Brazil. Last week, in addition to increasing the number of exempted products, the government extended the exemption for products included in the previous list. The resolution was in force until September 30 and was extended until October 30. COVID-19 vaccines were included in the list.

The 12 products that were added were hemostatic agent in gel composed of gelatin and thrombin, COVID-19 vaccines, parenteral feeding emulsion, multivitamins, glico-physiologic solutions, electrolyte solution with pH 7.4, four types of solution in PVC bags, and surgical hemostatic made with resorbable collagen.

 

By Guilherme Miranda via Brazil-Arab News Agency

 

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The vaccination of Brazilians against the Covid-19 virus, using a vaccine developed by Sinovac Biotech Ltd of China, could begin in January, the Globo website reports, citing a health official in the southeastern Brazilian state of São Paulo, Jean Gorinchteyn.

The Brazilian news website quotes Mr Gorinchteyn as saying he hopes 46 million doses of the vaccine, called CoronaVac, will be available in December.

 

Via Macauhub

 

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SAO PAULO (Reuters) – The governor of Brazil’s São Paulo state said on Wednesday that Phase 3 clinical trials of a potential COVID-19 vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd have shown promising results and it may be available to Brazilians as early as December.

Governor João Doria added that Phase 2 trials of the potential vaccine had shown an immune response of 98% in the elderly.

 

By Eduardo Simões via Reuters

 

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Brazil is among the six South American countries that started this week with the transmission of coronavirus under control, according to calculations by Imperial College, a reference in epidemic monitoring.

The Brazilian transmission rate (Rt) estimated by the British epidemic monitoring center is the lowest since the end of April.

 

By Ana Estela de Sousa Pinto via Folha de S. Paulo

 

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As the second country in the world most affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic, Brazil recorded a fall in total deaths in August compared to the previous month. There were 28,947 deaths from the disease in August against 32,912 in July, a decrease of 12%.

Worldwide, there were 180,649 deaths in August – 16% of this total in Brazil. According to the World Health Organization, 844,312 deaths have been registered since the beginning of the pandemic.

 

Via Folha de São Paulo

 

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Early in the pandemic, the World Health Organization emphasized testing in controlling the pandemic. The phrase, uttered by the Director-General of WHO, Tedros Adhanom, and reverberated around the world. The countries that have best faced the pandemic have had mass testing strategies. After five months, Brazil’s testing capacity is still in its infancy.

But the recent inauguration of a new testing unit at Fiocruz (Fundação Oswaldo Cruz) in Rio de Janeiro, with a processing capacity of up to 15,000 RT-PCR exams per day, and the expectation of opening another unit on Monday ( 24), in the metropolitan region of Fortaleza (CE), with a capacity of 10,000 daily samples, will finally elevate the country to the level of testing in countries such as the United States and England.

 

By Ana Bottallo via Folha de S. Paulo

 

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BRASILIA/RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – The spread of coronavirus in Brazil could be about to slow, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday, amid reports the transmission rate has fallen below the key level and early signs of a gradual decline in the weekly totals of cases and fatalities.

The cautious optimism comes despite figures again showing a steady rise in the number of confirmed cases and death toll in the last 24 hours, cementing Brazil’s status as the world’s second biggest COVID-19 hot spot after the United States.

 

By Ricardo Brito and Pedro Fonseca via Reuters

 

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Brazilian health regulators said Tuesday they had approved Johnson & Johnson’s experimental vaccine against the new coronavirus for the final stage of clinical trials, the fourth vaccine to receive widespread testing in the hard-hit country.

The US pharmaceutical company’s subsidiary Janssen will test the vaccine on 7,000 volunteers across seven states in Brazil, part of a group of up to 60,000 worldwide, health regulator Anvisa said in a statement.

 

Via Asia Times

 

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Brazil will require more information and talks before it commits to buying the Russian COVID-19 vaccine, which is at a very early stage, the country’s acting health minister said on Thursday.

With the world’s second-worst coronavirus outbreak, Brazil has become a magnet for drugmakers seeking partners to test their potential vaccines – and then produce and buy the successful candidates.

 

Via The Jakarta Post

 

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BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro issued a decree on Thursday that will set aside 1.9 billion reais ($356 million) in funds to purchase and eventually produce the potential COVID-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca PLC and Oxford University researchers.

 

By Anthony Boadle and Pedro Fonseca via Reuters

 

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Brazil reopened Wednesday to foreign visitors arriving by plane, hoping to revive its lockdown-devastated tourism industry despite the rapid spread of the new coronavirus in the country.

In a decree published in the government gazette, Brazil extended coronavirus-related bans on foreign travelers arriving by land or sea for another 30 days, but said the four-month-old restrictions “will no longer bar the entry of foreigners arriving by air.”

 

Via Macau Business.com

 

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RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Chinese drug company Sinopharm and Parana state have agreed to launch the fourth major COVID-19 vaccine trial in Brazil and will seek regulatory approval in the next two weeks, the Brazilian partners said on Wednesday.

A trial by Sinopharm would join Phase III trials already announced in Brazil by AstraZeneca, Sinovac Biotech and a Pfizer partnership with BioNTech.

 

By Pedro Fonseca via Reuters

 

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Sao Paulo (AFP) – Brazil will begin advanced clinical testing of a Chinese-made vaccine against the new coronavirus Tuesday, issuing the first doses to around 900 volunteers, officials said.

The coronavirus vaccine, developed by private Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac, is the third in the world to enter Phase 3 trials, or large-scale testing on humans — the last step before regulatory approval.

 

Via Yahoo News

 

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RIO DE JANEIRO, July 20 (Reuters) – The New Development Bank of the “BRICS” group of leading emerging economies will lend Brazil $1 billion to help combat the economic damage from the COVID-19 crisis, the institution said on Monday.

The funds will be allocated to the federal government’s emergency aid payment program, which the NDB estimates could benefit 5 million informal workers, low-income families and unemployed people.

 

By Rodrigo Viga Gaierd via Reuters

 

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Sao Paulo, Brazil, July 17 (CNA) Taiwan earlier this week donated 100,000 surgical face masks to Manaus, a city in Brazil which has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To help the city’s residents fight the disease, Chang Tsung-che (張崇哲), Taiwan’s representative to Brazil, on Tuesday donated the face masks to the city on behalf of the Taiwanese government in a virtual meeting with Marcelo Magaldi, director of Manaus’s health department.

 

By Tang Ya-Ling and Frances Huang via Focus Taiwan

 

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Brazil is one of the most hardest hit by the deadly and fast spreading new SARS coronavirus, so it makes sense that they would invest heavily in rolling it back, making sure nothing like this ever happens again.

Brazil’s new Center for Research in Energy and Materials (CNPEM) open this week to new research projects related to the study of the SARS2 coronavirus. Located in the interior Sao Paulo state city of Campinas, CNPEM is also home to Sirius, the R$1.8-billion particle accelerator, which is Brazil’s biggest and most complex scientific structure to date.

 

By Kenneth Rapoza via Forbes

 

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SAO PAULO (Reuters) – A potential coronavirus vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac will be tested in Brazil by 12 research centers in six Brazilian states, the governor of Sao Paulo state, Joao Doria, said on Wednesday, adding the trials still need to be approved by local health vigilance agency Anvisa.

The study – first announced on June 11 – is led by Instituto Butantan, a research center funded by the state of Sao Paulo. The agreement with Sinovac includes not only trials but also the transference of technology to produce the coronavirus vaccine locally.

 

By Eduardo Simões via Reuters

 

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Brazil announced over the weekend that it had signed a US$ 127 million agreement to start producing locally an experimental vaccine developed by AstraZeneca that has shown promise to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is considered the world’s leading candidate and most advanced in terms of development to obtain licensure and become an official vaccine against the disease, according to the World Health Organization.

 

Via Merco Press

 

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On June 22, 2020, and citing economic recovery needs and unemployment due to the pandemic, President Trump issued “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak,” outlining expected new temporary restrictions on H-1B, H-2B, J-1, and L-1 nonimmigrant worker visas, which are among the most popular temporary U.S. worker visas. Section 1 of the proclamation takes effect immediately (continuation of bar on certain immigrant visa entry) and the remainder (containing new restrictions on nonimmigrant workers), takes effect on June 24, 2020 (12:01 a.m.). The new proclamation will expire on December 31, 2020, and may be continued as necessary.

The proclamation comes on the heels of Proclamation 10014 of April 22, 2020 (“Suspension of Entry of Immigrants Who Present a Risk to the United States Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak”), which suspended the entry of aliens on immigrant visas, subject to certain exceptions, for a period of sixty (60) days. The June 22, 2020 proclamation continues and amends Proclamation 10014 to incorporate new restrictions on the entry of nonimmigrant temporary visa holders, including those with H-1B, H-2B, J-1, and L-1 visas, subject to certain exemptions.

 

By Jorge Lopez and Elizabeth Whiting via Littler

 

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Brazil and other countries including Malaysia, Canada and the UK will join China’s efforts to strengthen global cooperation in COVID-19 vaccine trials, as the Institute Butantan in Brazil plans to cooperate in Phase III clinical trials for an inactivated COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by a Chinese company.

Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech and Instituto Butantan, a leading Brazilian producer of immunobiologic products, have agreed to collaborate in Phase III clinical trials of CoronaVac, Sinovac’s inactivated vaccine candidate against COVID-19.

 

By Hu Yuwei and Leng Shumei via Global Times

 

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The Brazilian government has launched a new portal powered by real-time data analytics to report the evolving picture on the Covid-19 outbreak, following controversy over moves to suppress the release of such information in what is the current global epicenter of the pandemic.

Earlier this week, data relating to the pandemic had, without warning, been removed from the health ministry website and the government announced it would stop releasing historical numbers on cumulative deaths and the number of infections. The decision sparked outrage as it was seen as an attempt to cover up the worsening health crisis in the country.

 

By Angelica Maria via ZD Net

 

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China’s leading coronavirus vaccine developer signed an agreement with a drugmaker in Brazil to conduct further testing of its shot’s efficacy, as the global race intensifies to come up with the first viable candidate to prevent Covid-19.Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech Ltd. is teaming up with Instituto Butantan to conduct the final phase of a three-part human testing of a vaccine it developed against the novel coronavirus, the company said in a statement. A Sinovac spokesman said it will need to obtain regulatory approval in Brazil before conducting the trial.

Once approved, Sinovac and Instituto Butantan will kick off the trial involving 9,000 people in July. The Brazilian drugmaker will get to license the Chinese vaccine and make it available in the South American country, Sinovac said.

 

Via Hindustan Times

 

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Hard hit Brazil will be the first nation to test the Oxford University vaccine for the new SARS. Two-thousand volunteers working on the front lines against the virus will be chosen for the trial, which will begin in Sāo Paulo this month.

Denis Mizne, executive director of the Lemann Foundation, the group that is financing the São Paulo trials, called it “an important milestone” for Brazil. The Foundation was funded and created by Jorge Paulo Lemann and his family. Lemann became a billionaire thanks to investments in Brazilian beer giant AmBev and Heinz through his private equity firm 3G Capital.

 

By Kenneth Rapoza via Forbes

 

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LATAM Cargo in partnership with VTC LOG transported 50 tonnes of essential hospital goods to combat Covid-19 in Roraima, Brazil, on May 29 and 30. In addition, respirators will also be sent to Rondônia.

The transportation was carried out in three flights using Boeing 767 aircraft (a freighter and a passenger airplane adapted for cargo transportation) and Boeing 777 aircraft (also adapted for cargo). They left São Paulo/Guarulhos airport for Manaus, where the cargo will continue its trip in order to be delivered in both states.

 

Via Stat Times

 

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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 2020 – Some 2,500 vulnerable and sick older people living in the slums of Brazil’s largest city, received hygiene kits to support them during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Social Territories Programme, implemented by the City of Rio de Janeiro, with the support of UN-Habitat, organized the distribution of the kits in 10 informal settlements known as favelas.

The kits, which include sanitizer, liquid soap, deodorant, shampoo and toothbrushes, donated by UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, were given to older vulnerable people, those who are bedridden and with heart problems in Alemão, Maré, Chapadão, Pedreira ,Vila Kennedy, Lins, Penha, Cidade de Deus, Jacarezinho and Rocinha. The materials were distributed alongside food baskets of staple goods.

 

Via ReliefWeb

 

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If you go up Santa Marta hill in Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro, you get a treat: the most amazing view of the famous statue of Christ and the Sugar Loaf, and you can take a selfie with a statue of Michael Jackson, who filmed parts of his “They Don’t Care About Us” video there. Jackson became possibly the first international superstar to go up the narrow lanes, unpaved passages, and cramped corners of the stacked bare zinc-roof cabins that make up this neighborhood.

Here, like in most favelas in Brazil, public services are all but nonexistent. So when the pandemic hit, a resident decided to act.

 

By Cecilia Tornaghi via Americas Quarterly

 

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The onset of the coronavirus pandemic in Brazil’s favelas, shantytowns that sprawl around the country’s largest cities, has left the 11.4 million Brazilians living in these densely-populated neighborhoods in a particularly vulnerable position.

In addition to their usual problems — violent shootouts, open sewage, military-style police operations against drug traffickers — they now struggle to embrace social distancing guidelines while living side-by-side in haphazard constructions and crowded homes.

 

By Shannon Sims via Bloomberg

 

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The closure of the borders to contain the spread of COVID-19 has impacted not only tourism and business travel, but also international trade & supply chain.

Law firm Baker McKenzie recently estimated global trade fell 4 per cent during the first quarter of this year – only the second time it has plunged so deeply since the mid-1980s. The IMF predicts imports and exports in advanced economies will each fall by more than 11 per cent this year, “far worse” than the 2008-09 financial crisis. An idled economy needs far less transportation capacity, and a massive idling of ships, trucks and airplanes is already under way. But modern countries still require fertilizers, grains and food. They still need disinfectants to treat drinking water. The products still wanted and needed by consumers is moving through transportation networks that have become far more unpredictable and unreliable – leading to logistical nightmares and increased costs.

Of all the major modes of transport, air cargo seems to have been most affected. That’s because passenger aircraft carry large volumes in their holds – meaning that the suspension of passenger flights globally has resulted in a significant reduction of airfreight capacity, posing a massive challenge in the timely delivery of all types of cargo, especially refrigerated cargo.

Freight forwarders, which facilitate the movements of goods worldwide, are among the many parties grappling with this logistical whiplash. The constant changes in rates and frequent frequent last-minute cancellations are forcing them to search for alternative ways to ship goods.

Join the Brazilian-Canadian Chamber of Commerce this Friday, April 24th at 1:00 PM for a conversation with Arnon Melo, President at MELLOHAWK Logistics to understand what are the available solutions for companies looking to move reefer cargo between Brazil and Canada.

Register here.

 

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