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
* 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.”
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.