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New lockdowns from China to Europe as virus trials stumble

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As Europe imposed new restrictions to try to stall a surging second wave of the novel coronavirus, hopes for vaccines to rapidly provide relief suffered a blow on Tuesday with the suspension of two clinical trials in the United States.

China meanwhile rushed to test an entire city of nine million within days after a minor coronavirus outbreak in the sprawling country, a far cry from the struggle in Europe to tackle surging infections with tough new steps including partial lockdowns.

The virus is still spreading rapidly worldwide, with over one million deaths and 38 million infections. Many nations that suppressed their first outbreaks now face a second wave.

Hopes for a rapid vaccine rollout suffered a setback as US pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly said it had suspended the Phase 3 trial of its antibody treatment over an unspecified incident, the second in less than 24 hours after Johnson & Johnson ran into a similar problem.