NewsWorldLatest on the worldwide spread of coronavirus

Latest on the worldwide spread of coronavirus

More than 31.7 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 971,130​ have died, according to a Reuters tally.

At the same time, Canada entered a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and cases continued to rise across the hard-hit Latin American region, while a raft of lacklustre data from major global economies revived concerns about the resilience of an economic recovery.

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

AMERICAS

* U.S. President Donald Trump said he may or may not approve any new, more stringent FDA standards for an emergency authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine.

* Mexico’s death toll rose to 74,949 on Wednesday, according to health ministry data, while Brazil recorded 33,281 additional confirmed cases in the past 24 hours.

* Canada “is at a crossroads” as a second wave emerges in four large provinces, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, adding that, “we’re on the brink of a fall that could be much worse than the spring.”

EUROPE

* German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier became the country’s second cabinet member to enter quarantine, while data showed that confirmed cases increased by 2,143 to 278,070.

* Germany added regions in 11 European countries to the list of destinations it classifies as coronavirus risk zones.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* Australia’s Victoria state said the number of new daily infections was close to a three-month low, buoying hopes that restrictions will be eased sooner than expected.

* Indonesia reported 4,465 new cases on Wednesday, its biggest daily rise.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* Israel’s cabinet decided to tighten the lockdown after PM Benjamin Netanyahu voiced alarm that a surge in infections was pushing the nation to “the edge of the abyss”, the YNet news site said.

* The United Arab Emirates reported its highest daily number of infections since the start of the pandemic at 1,083 new cases.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* Johnson & Johnson began a 60,000-person trial of an experimental single-shot COVID-19 vaccine that, if proven effective, could simplify distribution of millions of doses compared with leading rivals requiring two doses.

* Britain will host clinical trials where volunteers are deliberately infected with the new coronavirus to test the effectiveness of vaccine candidates, the Financial Times reported.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* The coronavirus crisis is lasting longer than expected and it will take some countries years to return to growth, the No. 2 official at the International Monetary Fund said.

* U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers vowed to keep interest rates near zero, while business activity cooled in September, with gains at factories offset by a retreat at services industries.

* Euro zone business growth ground to a halt this month as fresh restrictions to quell a resurgence in infections slammed the services industry into reverse.

* Some Bank of Japan board members warned a resurgence in the pandemic could delay an economic recovery and destabilise its banking system by pushing more companies under, minutes from the bank’s July rate review showed.

* Chinese consumers are slowly opening their wallets again – but the hard days of lockdowns still weigh on many shell-shocked lower-income households, who prefer to hold on to their cash.

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