Latest update: 05/06/2020 08:16
The U.S. government is working with drugmakers to maximize availability of influenza vaccines, worried that a substantial flu season on top of another wave of the novel coronavirus could swamp the healthcare system this fall, a top U.S. health official said.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* More than 6.63 million people have been reported infected with the new coronavirus globally and 390,080 have died, a Reuters tally showed as of 0451 GMT on Friday.
* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, click here.
* British drugmaker AstraZeneca has doubled manufacturing capacity for its potential coronavirus vaccine to 2 billion doses in a handful of deals involving Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates.
* The European Union is preparing to use an emergency 2.4-billion-euro fund for advance purchases of promising vaccines against COVID-19, EU officials told Reuters.
* The French government will mobilise 40 billion euros to support its hardest-hit industries, finance ministry officials said.
* Scientists are resuming COVID-19 trials of hydroxychloroquine, as confusion continues to reign about the anti-malarial drug hailed by U.S. President Donald Trump as a potential “game-changer” against the pandemic.
* New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said extended demonstrations in the state after the killing of George Floyd could accelerate the virus’ spread, and urged protesters to get tested.
* New infections in Mexico reported on Thursday surpassed the record set just the previous day, and officials reported 816 more deaths as the pandemic engulfs Latin America’s major nations.
* Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc said it plans to begin human trials of its potential COVID-19 vaccine in South Korea later in June.
* Gap Inc reported a quarterly loss of nearly $1 billion as the apparel retailer was forced to close its stores due to the coronavirus outbreak.
* As coronavirus sinks global demand, China’s exporters go online to tap domestic market
* China will promote the resumption of the tourism, culture and sports sectors, a top-level meeting chaired by the premier said, state radio reported.
* Rural parts of India have begun to see a surge in infections, as millions of returning migrant workers bring the virus home with them, according to data collected from seven Indian states.
* Singapore plans to soon launch a wearable device for novel coronavirus contact tracing that, if successful, it will distribute to all of its 5.7 million residents, the government said on Friday.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* African countries have secured 90 million test kits for the next six months, a regional disease control body said, urging states and donors to boost the continent’s testing capabilities.
* Senegal said it would ease a dawn-to-dusk curfew after protesters in Dakar set tyres on fire and threw stones in demonstrations against the restrictions imposed almost three months ago.
* Asian stocks erased early losses on Friday and were poised for their biggest weekly rise since 2011, while the euro hovered near a 1-1/2 month high as Europe’s central bank surprised with more stimulus, fuelling hopes for a global rebound.
* The European Central Bank approved a bigger-than-expected expansion of its stimulus package.
* The volume of oil products traded during S&P Global Platts’ Market-on-Close process in Singapore plunged 74% in May from a year ago as the coronavirus pandemic slashed demand and a major trader halted business, data analysed by Reuters showed.
* The U.S. unemployment rate, which economists expect hit 19.8% in May, should be able to drop below 10% by the end of 2020, U.S. labor secretary said.
* Saudi Arabia’s banks face a tough few quarters as the pandemic and weak oil prices pressure profitability and loan growth, banking executives told Reuters.
* Canada’s economy is showing green shoots, with reports on home sales, consumer spending and new job postings trending upwards.
Pictured: Indonesian Muslims stand in line before taking part in Friday prayers amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Jakarta, Indonesia, June 5, 2020. REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana