US top infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci has warned about the risks of rushing out a coronavirus vaccine before it is proved to be effective.
Champion sprinter Usain Bolt has tested positive for coronavirus days after celebrating his 34th birthday with a big – unmasked – party.
More than 23.6 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, and 15.2 million have recovered. More than 811,000 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Here are the latest updates:

Tuesday, August 26
04:30 GMT – Rohingya mark three years since crackdown 

Rohingya people will mark three years since a brutal crackdown by the Myanmar army forced them into refugee camps in Bangladesh with a “silent protest” forced by coronavirus curbs.

Fear of an outbreak has prompted authorities in Bangladesh to ban all gatherings and restrict refugees’ movements although only 84 cases have been confirmed.

Mohib Ullah, a Rohingya leader in the camps, says people will mark the day with silence and prayers in their makeshift huts.

“There will be no rallies, no work, no prayers or mosques, no NGO or aid activities, no schools, no madrassas and no food distribution,” he told AFP news agency.

About 750,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar in August 2017 in a military crackdown that led to the country being charged with genocide at the UN’s top court.

A medical centre inside the Kutupalong refugee camp where coronavirus restrictions mean Rohingya will mark the third year since they were forced out of Myanmar with a “silent protest” in their shelters [Munir Uz zaman/AFP]

04:15 GMT – FDA’s Hahn apologises over false blood plasma data

While Hahh has told Reuters that the FDA makes its decisions based on science and public health concerns, he has taken to social media to apologise for misrepresenting a key statistic related to the efficacy of blood plasma treatment for COVID-19.

The agency issued an emergency authorisation for plasma use on Sunday, and Hahn came under pressure after repeating a false claim from the US president that the treatment reduced mortality rates by 35 percent.

In a series of tweets, Hahn said the criticism was “entirely justified”.

I have been criticized for remarks I made Sunday night about the benefits of convalescent plasma. The criticism is entirely justified. What I should have said better is that the data show a relative risk reduction not an absolute risk reduction.

— Dr. Stephen M. Hahn (@SteveFDA) August 25, 2020

OK, via @twitter, @SteveFDA 30 mins ago has started to walk it back
But that is not enough.

— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) August 25, 2020

This thread from @SteveFDA Commiss Hahn shows his effort to explain why @US_FDA reversed its position on plasma treatment for #COVID19 on the eve of the #RNCConvention2020 …and his mea culpa for incorrect statement of benefits. And @EricTopol zinger.

— Laurie Garrett (@Laurie_Garrett) August 25, 2020

03:35 GMT – FDA commissioner says agency makes decisions based on science, not politics

Dr Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says the agency will not be influenced by political pressure when it comes to approving a vaccine for COVID-19.

“I will not participate in a decision at FDA that’s made upon anything other than data and science,” Hahn told Reuters news agency. “That I can assure you.”

Hahn said the FDA’s decision to issue an emergency authorisation for blood plasma treatment for coronavirus at the weekend was not political.

The commissioner said the agency was focused solely on the good of the American public and dismissed President Trump’s claims of a so-called “deep state” within the organisation wanting to slow the development of vaccines.

03:00 GMT – Lockdown fuelled increase in abuse of elderly people

The police in Malaysia say that abuse of elderly parents by adult children increased during lockdown, known locally as the MCO.

Siti Kamsiah Hassan, the principal assistant director of the police’s Sexual, Women and Child Investigation Division, told the Malay Mail that the unit recorded 134 such cases during the first three months of the MCO compared with 125 cases in the previous three months. 

The unit also logged 205 cases of domestic abuse, compared with 261 previously.

The police figures are based on actual complaints received where investigations have been opened, she said.

Malaysian NGOs say there was a rise in domestic violence during the lockdown with families forced to stay at home over a prolonged period of time.

01:40 GMT – Jamaica confirms Bolt has tested positive for coronavirus

Jamaica’s health ministry has confirmed that Usain Bolt has tested positive for coronavirus.

The eight time Olympic gold medallist and world record holder over 100 and 200 metres earlier posted a video of himself on Twitter saying he’d taken a test and was in quarantine.

Bolt took the test on Saturday, after celebrating his 34th birthday at a big party where he didn’t wear a mask. He retired from sprinting in 2017.

You can read more on that story here.

Olympic champion Usain Bolt, pictured here winning the men’s 100m at the Rio Games in 2016, has been diagnosed with coronavirus [File: Franck Robichon/EPA]

01:30 GMT – Jump in cases from unknown sources in Seoul

South Korea’s just reported 280 new cases of coronavirus – including 264 local infections.

While many of the cases are linked to the Sarang Jeil Church and a mass rally many members later attended, there are also a growing number of unlinked cases, according to Yonhap news agency.

It says about 18.5 percent of the cases identified over the past two weeks have no known infection route, compared with 8.5 percent in the previous two-week period.

Physical distancing measures have already been tightened in Seoul and from Wednesday all teaching in schools in the metropolitan area will go online again. 

01:05 GMT – Coronavirus catches world’s fastest man?

Usain Bolt has put himself into quarantine after being tested for COVID-19 on Saturday.

“I am trying to be responsible so I am going to stay in and be safe for my friends,” the sprinter, who’s won eight Olympic golds, said in a video he posted to Twitter.

Stay Safe my ppl ??

— Usain St. Leo Bolt (@usainbolt) August 24, 2020 

00:15 GMT – Victoria reports 148 cases, 8 deaths

The Australian state of Victoria has confirmed 148 new cases of coronavirus and eight deaths in the past 24 hours.

The state’s capital, Melbourne, is slightly more than halfway through a six-week lockdown imposed as a second wave of cases emerged in the state. 

#Covid19VicData for August 25, 2020.
There have been 148 new cases of #coronavirus ( #COVID19) detected in Victoria in the last 24 hours, and 8 deaths. Our thoughts are with all of those affected.
More information will be available later today.

— VicGovDHHS (@VicGovDHHS) August 24, 2020

00:00 GMT – Fauci warns against rushing approval for vaccine 

Anthony Fauci, the top infectious diseases expert in the United States, has warned about the risk of rushing through a vaccine without testing it properly first.

Fauci, who is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Reuters News Agency that giving approval to one potential vaccine would make it “difficult, if not impossible for other vaccines to enrol people in their trial.”

Scientists and health experts are concerned US President Donald Trump might pressure the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the country’s main regulator, to approve a vaccine as a way to boost his chances in November’s presidential election.

On Sunday, Trump signed emergency use authorisation for COVID-19 plasma before the treatment had been properly assessed in clinical trials.

“It’s absolutely paramount that you definitively show that a vaccine is safe and effective, both” Fauci said. 

23:30 GMT – UN says virus lockdowns have helped keep ISIL at bay

The United Nations said the threat from ISIL (ISIS) has been reduced by the coronavirus lockdowns imposed in many countries.

“Measures to minimise the spread of COVID-19, such as lockdowns and restrictions on movement, seem to have reduced the risk of terrorist attacks in many countries,” said Vladimir Voronkov, undersecretary-general for counter-terrorism.

Voronkov warned, however, that there was evidence ISIL was regrouping in conflict zones like Syria and Iraq, and had an estimated 3,500 fighters in West Africa.


Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.

Read all the updates from yesterday (August 25) here.

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