The European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, on Friday authorised the use of anti-viral drug remdesivir to treat the new coronavirus.
“Today’s authorisation of a first medicine to treat COVID-19 is an important step forward in the fight against this virus,” EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said in a statement.
“We are granting this authorisation less than a month after the application was submitted, showing clearly the EU’s determination to respond quickly whenever new treatments become available,” she said.
At least two major US studies have shown that remdesivir can reduce the duration of hospital stays for COVID-19 patients.
Washington authorised the emergency use of the medicine — which was originally intended as a treatment for Ebola — on May 1, followed by several Asian nations including Japan and South Korea.
The green light comes on the recomendation of the European Medicines Agency which gave its conditional authorisation last week for the treatment of patients above 12 years of age who are suffering pneumonia and require extra oxygen.
It said its assessment was based mainly based on data from a study sponsored by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
The research, published in the leading journal the New England Journal of Medicine in May, showed that injections of remdesivir speeded patient recovery compared with a placebo.
On average it reduced patients’ hospital stays from 15 days to 11.
Nigeria on Thursday recorded its highest single-day COVID-19 infections with 745 new cases.
This was revealed in a late-night tweet by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
According to the NCDC, Lagos State had the highest number of infections for the day with 280 cases and is followed by Oyo and Ebonyi states with 103 and 72 cases respectively.
The health agency said other states with infections for the day include: FCT (60); Imo (46); Edo (34); Delta (33); Rivers (25); Kaduna (23); Ondo (16); Katsina (12); Kano (10); Bauchi (8); and Borno (7).
The staff of the United States Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, showed their support in the call for justice regarding the killing of African-American, George Floyd, by the police.
In a photo posted by the Embassy on Monday staff could be seen going down on one knee, a gesture that shows support for the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement in America and across the globe.
According to the tweet, the US Mission to Nigeria said it joined together in 84 seconds of silence in solidarity with those at home and around the world protesting the murders of George Floyd & others.
The Mission’s statement further said that it sincerely hopes that everyone will learn from this episode and use it as inspiration to create a better world.
Today at the Embassy, we joined together in 84 seconds of silence in solidarity with those at home and around the world protesting the murders of George Floyd & others. We sincerely hope that all of us will learn from this episode & use it as inspiration to create a better world.
Bail was set at $1 million on Monday for the Minneapolis police officer charged with the murder of George Floyd as mourners paid their respects in his hometown of Houston to the African-American man whose death has sparked massive protests for racial justice across the United States and beyond.
In Washington, Democratic lawmakers knelt in silent tribute to Floyd before unveiling a package of police reforms in response to the killing of black Americans by law enforcement.
The move comes a day after the Minneapolis city council voted to dismantle and rebuild the police department in the Minnesota city where the 46-year-old Floyd died during a May 25 arrest.
Derek Chauvin, the police officer who was filmed pressing his knee on the handcuffed Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes until he expired, made his first court appearance on Monday.
Chauvin, 44, appeared by video from state prison to face charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter.
The 19-year veteran of the police force could face decades in prison if convicted.
In a procedural hearing that did not require Chauvin to submit a plea, the Hennepin County District Court judge set his bail at $1 million with conditions and $1.25 million without conditions.
Meeting the conditions would require him to surrender his firearms, not work in law enforcement or security in any capacity, and have no contact with the family of Floyd.
Three other Minneapolis police officers appeared in court last week to face a charge of aiding and abetting Floyd’s murder for their roles in his arrest for allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill.
All four officers have been fired.
‘Bringing us together’
In Houston, the Texas city where Floyd grew up, hundreds of mourners waited patiently in stifling heat outside the Fountain of Praise Church to pay their last respects.
A stream of mourners passed in front of Floyd’s casket, some making the sign of the cross, some taking a knee and others bowing their heads in silent prayer.
All were required to wear masks because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s bringing us together as a country,” said Kevin Sherrod, 41, who was accompanied by his wife and two sons aged eight and nine.
“Being here with my boys means a lot,” Sherrod added. “It is a time in history and they will remember they were part of it.”
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was flying to Houston on Monday to meet privately with members of Floyd’s family.
Floyd is to be buried in Houston on Tuesday next to his mother.
Floyd’s death, the latest of a black man at the hands of police, has unleashed protests for racial justice and against police brutality in cities across the US and around the world.
The Minneapolis city council pledged on Sunday to dismantle and rebuild the police department.
“We committed to dismantling policing as we know it in the city of Minneapolis and to rebuild with our community a new model of public safety that actually keeps our community safe,” council president Lisa Bender said.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said that while he supported “structural reform to revise this structurally racist system” he was not for abolishing the department.
Other US cities have already begun to embrace reforms — starting with bans on the use of tear gas and rubber bullets.
‘We hear you’
In Washington, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer and two dozen other lawmakers knelt in silence at the US Capitol for the eight minutes and 46 seconds that Chauvin spent with his knee on Floyd’s neck.
Democrats then unveiled a wide-ranging police reform bill, one of the chief demands of demonstrators who have taken to the streets for the past two weeks in the most sweeping US protests for racial justice since the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
The bill aims to create “meaningful, structural change that safeguards every Americans’ right to safety and equal justice,” the Democrats said.
The Justice and Policing Act, introduced in both chambers of Congress, would make it easier to prosecute officers for abuse and rethink how they are recruited and trained.
“Black lives matter. The protests we’ve seen in recent days are an expression of rage and one of despair,” House Democrat Steny Hoyer said. “Today Democrats in the House and Senate are saying: ‘We see you, we hear you, we are acting.’”
Democratic leaders did not include language calling to “defund the police” — increasingly a rallying cry for protesters — and White House hopeful Biden issued a statement flatly rejecting the suggestion.
Even so it is unclear what support the proposed reforms might find in the Republican-controlled Senate — or whether Trump would sign such legislation into law.
Trump has adopted a tough approach to putting down the protests and has proposed no specific policy changes in response to the widespread outrage over Floyd’s death.
“LAW & ORDER, NOT DEFUND AND ABOLISH THE POLICE. The Radical Left Democrats have gone crazy!” he tweeted on Monday ahead of a scheduled roundtable with law enforcement at the White House on Monday.
A CNN poll published on Monday of registered voters had Biden with a 14-point lead over Trump — his biggest margin yet in the White House race.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has announced 315 new positive cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.
NCDC disclosed this in a tweet on Monday night, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Nigeria to 12,801.
According to the health agency, Lagos State recorded the highest number of infections for the day in the country with 128 cases while the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Rivers State had 34 and 32 cases respectively.
Manchester City’s appeal against a two-year ban from European competition will be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) from Monday in a case of wide-reaching repercussions.
City are accused of overstating sponsorship revenue to hide that they had not complied with UEFA’s financial fair play (FFP) rules between 2012 and 2016 and were also handed a 30 million euro ($34 million, £27 million) fine.
UEFA’s case was prompted when German magazine Der Spiegel published a series of leaked emails in 2018 that purported to show how City manufactured extra sponsorship revenue from a series of companies with connections to the club’s Abu Dhabi-based owner Sheikh Mansour.
Under the Sheikh’s ownership, City’s fortunes have been transformed from perennially living in the shadow of local rivals Manchester United to winning four Premier League titles in the past eight years.
However, billions of investment in players and managers has not yet been able to deliver the club’s first ever Champions League title.
City are still involved in this season’s competition and will be allowed to compete should the 2019/20 edition of Champions League return in August no matter the outcome of the appeal.
– Financial hit –
But a two-season ban from the competition would represent a huge blow to the club’s prestige, finances and hope of hanging onto manager Pep Guardiola and key players like Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling.
“Two years would be long. One year is something I might be able to cope with,” De Bruyne told Het Laatste Nieuws last month.