While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, July 27

Spain insists country is ‘safe’ despite coronavirus surge

The Spanish government insisted Sunday that despite a recent surge in coronavirus cases, the country was safe to visit.

Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya was moving to allay fears after some countries reimposed travel restrictions on Spain.

“Spain is a safe country,” she told reporters. “Like other European countries, Spain has new outbreaks. It’s not unusual.”

Madrid is making “great efforts to control these outbreaks”, she said after Spain reported nearly 1,000 new cases on both Thursday and Friday.


US doubles spending on potential coronavirus vaccine to nearly US$1 billion

The United States has doubled its investment – to nearly US$1 billion (S$1.38 billion) – to expedite development of a potential Covid-19 vaccine by American firm Moderna, which on Monday begins the decisive final phase of clinical trials.

The government now plans to spend up to US$472 million on top of the previously announced US$483 million, the Moderna biotechnology company announced Sunday.

Moderna said the added investment was justified by its decision, in conjunction with the government, to “significantly” expand a Phase Three clinical trial of a candidate vaccine to include 30,000 participants.


Young adults form majority of new Covid-19 cases in Canada

Canadians under the age of 39 make up a clear majority of new cases of Covid-19 in Canada, health authorities said Sunday, warning young adults they are not “invincible” against the disease.

“Recent national surveillance data show that young adults aged 20-39 years of age account for the highest incidence rates across all ages in Canada,” Canada’s chief public health officer Theresa Tam said in a statement.

For the week ending July 22, the incidence rate was highest among young men and women aged 20-29 (14.4 and 13.8 cases per 100,000 people respectively), followed by those aged 30-39.


Tropical Storm Hanna flattens Covid-hit Texas coast

Hurricane Hanna’s trail of devastation on the south Texas coast on Sunday was marked by overturned tractor-trailer trucks, downed powerlines and roofless houses still threatened by flash flooding in an area already badly hit by Covid-19 infections.

Eventually downgraded to a tropical storm, Hanna came ashore on Padre Island on Saturday afternoon as a Category 1 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale and later made a second landfall in Kenedy County, Texas.

Powerful winds smacked down at least three 18-wheeler trucks and a recreational vehicle, with tow trucks trying to right the toppled vehicles on Sunday, shutting down a 2-mile stretch of US Route 77 in Sarita, Texas, near the Mexican border.


EPL: Mission accomplished for Manchester United and Chelsea; Villa survive relegation

Manchester United and Chelsea secured places in the Champions League with wins on the final day of the Premier League season while Watford and Bournemouth were relegated along with bottom club Norwich City.

Aston Villa survived the drop thanks to a 1-1 draw at West Ham United which moved them to 35 points, one more than Bournemouth, who go down despite a 3-1 win at Everton, and Watford who lost 3-2 at Arsenal.

A penalty from Bruno Fernandes and late goal from Jesse Lingard gave United a 2-0 win at Leicester City, who missed out on the Champions League by finishing fifth and will have to settle for a spot in the Europa League.


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