More than 41.03 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,126,935 have died, according to a Reuters tally.
Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of U.S. states were in a danger zone of coronavirus spread and six reported a record one-day increase in deaths on Wednesday while the pandemic’s resurgence in Europe strained hospitals.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* Spain became the first Western European country to exceed 1 million infections, while daily cases hit record highs in Italy and Britain, with Greece reporting a new peak since an outbreak in late February.
* Poland’s prime minister said he will recommend imposing the highest level of restrictions nationwide, after the country reported a new record of over 10,000 daily cases.
* German Health Minister Jens Spahn has tested positive.
* Russia is not planning to impose any further lockdowns, even as deaths hit a record daily high.
* Talks between Democrats and the White House faced a setback when President Donald Trump accused them of being unwilling to craft a compromise on coronavirus aid, despite reports of some progress earlier in the day.
* Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said the federal government will not buy a COVID-19 vaccine from China’s Sinovac .
* Latin American countries should not relax measures aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus until vaccines become available, Pan American Health Organization official Marcos Espinal said.
* Five people have died after getting flu shots in South Korea in the past week, raising concerns over the vaccine’s safety.
* A city in China’s Zhejiang province will offer experimental coronavirus vaccines to its residents, as China broadens an emergency use programme to people in non-priority groups.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* South Africa faces a high risk of resurging infections that may lead to a review of lockdowns.
* Turkey is considering reimposing some measures to stem a resurgence of cases, but will avoid throttling the economic recovery, a senior official said.
* Brazilian health authority Anvisa said that a volunteer in a clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University had died but added that the trial would continue.
* A panel of independent experts to the U.S. health regulator will decide on the nature of clinical trials that coronavirus vaccines should go through after receiving U.S. emergency use authorization.
* The European Commission said it had signed a contract on behalf of EU states with U.S. drugmaker Johnson & Johnson for the supply of 400 million doses of its vaccine candidate.
* The International Monetary Fund slashed this year’s economic forecast for Asia, reflecting a sharper-than-expected contraction in countries like India, a sign the pandemic continues to take a heavy toll on the region.
* The European Union will be ready to approve new measures to support member states should economies suffer further, its vice president said.