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Less COVID-19 Cases, Deaths Reported At Weekend In US

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After hitting record high levels in the previous days, coronavirus infections and deaths due to the pandemic in the United States showed a downward trend in the weekend.

For the first time, daily COVID-19 cases crossed the 180000 threshold Thursday, raising fears that the numbers are rapidly moving close to the 2,00,000 mark. But the trend reversed in the following days.

With 1,58,047 new cases reporting in the last 24 hours, the country's total number of COVID-19 infections increased to 12247488, as per latest data from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

Simultaneously, a proportionate fall in COVID casualties was being reported across the country in the past few days. From the 2000-plus daily deaths, death rate fell below 1000.

883 deaths in the last 24 hours took the total casualties to 256783.

The U.S. recorded more than 3 million Covid-19 infections in the first three weeks of November, accounting for more than a quarter of the country's total cases since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins.

Nevada governor announced new restrictions in the state for three weeks. Cases are spreading at "wildfire level," Governor Steve Sisolak told reporters. Since the start of the pandemic, a quarter of all Covid-19 cases in Nevada were identified in the month of November, according to him.

White House vaccine chief Moncef Slaoui said a vaccine against Covid-19 is expected to be available to the public by the second week of December.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the results from AstraZeneca/Oxford's experimental vaccine trials were "incredibly exciting."

"Incredibly exciting news the Oxford vaccine has proved so effective in trials. There are still further safety checks ahead, but these are fantastic results. Well done to our brilliant scientists at @UniofOxford &@AstraZeneca, and all who volunteered in these trials," he tweeted on Monday.

He was responding to an announcement the University of Oxford made on Twitter earlier in the day. "Today marks an important milestone in the fight against #COVID19. Interim data show the #OxfordVaccine is 70.4% effective, & tests on two dose regimens show that it could be 90%, moving us one step closer to supplying it at low cost around the world."

Drug maker AstraZeneca said in a press release that its vaccine, developed with the University of Oxford, was "highly effective in preventing COVID-19, the primary endpoint, and no hospitalizations or severe cases of the disease were reported in participants receiving the vaccine."

Chinese President Xi Jinping called for developing a global Covid-19 tracking system using QR codes, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed concern if poor countries will have access to Covid-19 vaccines.

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