NewsWorldLatest on the worldwide spread of coronavirus

Latest on the worldwide spread of coronavirus

More than 31.99 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 977,348​ have died, according to a Reuters tally.

At the same time, U.S. coronavirus cases have topped 7 million, accounting for more than 20% of the world’s total, and infections rose sharply in Latin America.

Moreover, European officials warned of a “twindemic” with flu as the continent grapples with a second COVID-19 wave.

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

AMERICAS

* Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are working on a $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package that could be voted on next week, a key lawmaker said.

* Mexico surpassed 75,000 confirmed deaths, as the pandemic ravages Latin American nations with large informal economies where workers have grappled with the twin threats of hunger and contagion.

* Brazil recorded 32,817 additional confirmed cases in the past 24 hours, and 831 deaths from the disease.

* Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will issue decrees laying the legal groundwork for Brazil to join the global COVID-19 vaccine partnership known as COVAX.

EUROPE

* A surge in COVID-19 cases in Europe risks becoming a deadly double epidemic of flu and coronavirus infections, EU health officials warned.

* Spain’s cumulative tally of confirmed infections passed 700,000 and authorities warned of tougher times ahead in the virus hotspot of Madrid.

* The number of people hospitalised in France for COVID-19 went above 6,000 for the first time in more than two months and the prime minister warned the government could be forced to reconfine areas.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* India’s case tally surged to 5.82 million after it recorded 86,052 new infections in the last 24 hours.

* Health authorities in China’s eastern city of Qingdao have found coronavirus contamination on some packages stored by a seafood importer.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* Iran’s death toll surpassed 25,000, the highest in the Middle East, with total cases spiking to 436,319.

* Israel tightened its lockdown after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said surging infections were pushing the nation to “the edge of the abyss”.

 

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* The scientific head of the U.S. government program designed to speed development of COVID-19 vaccines said he supports stricter rules to grant emergency use of new inoculations against the coronavirus. * Novavax started a late-stage trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine in the UK in partnership with the government’s Vaccines Taskforce.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers charged with guiding the economy through its worst collapse in a century diverged broadly this week over what to expect in coming months.

* G7 finance ministers are expected to signal their support for extending a debt relief programme aimed at helping the poorest countries weather the pandemic, three sources briefed on the issue said.

* The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly increased last week.

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