In this photo shows one vial of the drug Remdesivir lies during a press conference in Hamburg, northern Germany. AFP
American authorities approved an experimental drug for emergency use on coronavirus patients, as more US states eased pandemic lockdowns despite another spike in deaths from the disease.
The approval is the latest step in a global push to find viable treatments and a vaccine for the coronavirus, which has left half of humanity under some form of lockdown, hammered the world economy, and infected more than 3.3 million people.
Remdesivir, an antiviral drug initially developed to treat Ebola, was given the green light on Friday after a major trial found that it boosted recovery in serious COVID-19 patients.
"It's really a very promising situation," President Donald Trump said on Friday at the White House, where he was joined by Daniel O'Day, CEO of Gilead Sciences, which developed Remdesivir.
Remdesivir incorporates itself into the virus's genome, short-circuiting its replication process.
The drug approval came as the US leaders struggled with growing pressure from citizens wearying of stay-at-home orders.
With about 1.1 million confirmed coronavirus cases, nearly 65,000 of them fatal, the United States has the highest tolls of any country, and Trump is keen for a turnaround as the world's largest economy reels with tens of millions left jobless.
"Hopefully, we're going to come in below that 100,000 lives lost, which is a horrible number nevertheless," said Trump, after suggesting earlier in the week the country could expect 60,000 or 70,000 fatalities.
Texas became the largest US state yet to ease curbs, while anti-lockdown demonstrations were held in several states -- including California, where officials had re-closed beaches beginning Friday to avoid a repeat of last weekend when crowds flocked to the shoreline.
Almost 13.3 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic more than two years ago, with over 316,000 of them detected in the past four weeks, according to the report.
The Baltimore-based university, which has been keeping a running tally of global coronavirus numbers, said there are at least 337,072 confirmed infections in the US with 9,633 deaths.
In Texas, another hot zone, Governor Greg Abbott warned on Friday he may have to impose new clampdowns if the state cannot stem its record-setting caseloads and hospitalisations through masks and social distancing.
The president congratulated Washington's mayor on $876 million in federal coronavirus relief going to the Washington-area Metro system — money that was surely welcome but not under the mayor's jurisdiction, instead going to a regional transportation authority.
The UAE has expressed its sincere condolences and solidarity with the Republic of Iraq over the victims of the fire in Nineveh province, which resulted in hundreds of deaths and injuries.
Al Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, King of Malaysia and Sultan of Pahang, presided over a ceremony to hand over keys to the beneficiaries of the Sultan Abdullah Housing Project (Ru'Rasa), which was financed by the United Arab Emirates.
The lifelong music fan turned top US diplomat showed off his guitar chops as he launched a new initiative of music diplomacy through which the United States will send top artists to countries including China and Saudi Arabia.
Regarding COP28, Dr. Gargash remarks that the event is of utmost importance to the UAE as it addresses one of the most critical challenges facing humanity. He avers that the UAE would make a significant impact and leave its mark on the event.