News World Latest on worldwide spread of the coronavirus

Latest on worldwide spread of the coronavirus

Top U.S. health officials announced plans to start vaccinating Americans by mid-December, while the UK parliament approved regional restrictions and the United Nations urged all countries to designate seafarers as key workers against the backdrop of travel restrictions.

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread of COVID-19, open https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps/ in an external browser.

* Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals https://apac1.apps.cp.thomsonreuters.com/cms/?navid=1592404098 for a case tracker and summary of news.

EUROPE

* Securing a vaccine for all European countries will be a top priority for Portugal when it takes over the presidency of the European Union next January, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said.

* France said the number of people hospitalised for COVID-19 infections fell by more than 600 to go below the 28,000 threshold for the first time since Nov. 4.

* Turkey’s daily COVID-19 death toll hit a record high, as Turks braced for new restrictive measures.

AMERICAS

* The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will soon shorten the length of self-quarantine recommended to 10 days, or 7 days with a negative test, from the current 14-day period.

* Indigenous people, health workers and those aged 75 years and older will be at the front of the line to be vaccinated, Brazil’s Health Ministry said as it unveiled a four-stage preliminary plan for national immunization.

* Mexico’s government was due to sign a contract on Wednesday with pharmaceutical company Pfizer for the delivery of its vaccine.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* Japan aims to allow “large-scale” numbers of overseas visitors to attend next year’s Tokyo Olympics without mandatory vaccinations or quarantine, provided they submit negative test results and download tracking apps, the Nikkei business daily reported.

* Tennis Australia (TA) expects to exhaust most of its A$80 million ($59.01 million) reserves to maintain funding to the sport as it deals with significant costs in staging the Australian Open.

* India may not need to vaccinate all of its 1.3 billion people if it manages to inoculate a critical mass and break the transmission of the coronavirus, government officials said.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* Hamas’s Gaza leader, Yehya Al-Sinwar, has tested positive for COVID-19, a spokesman for the Islamist militant group, which runs the Palestinian territory, said.

* Lewis Hamilton will miss the Sakhir Formula One Grand Prix in Bahrain after testing positive for COVID-19.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* Johnson & Johnson said health regulators in Europe and Canada had started a real-time review of its vaccine candidate after preliminary results showed that the shot triggered the production of antibodies and immune cells.

* Moderna Inc and Pfizer-BioNTech are in a tight race to launch their COVID-19 vaccines in Europe after both applied for emergency European Union approval.

* Serum Institute of India, which has partnered with AstraZeneca to manufacture its vaccine, will continue to test a two full dose regimen of the shot despite it showing a lower success rate than a half and full dose regimen in pivotal trials.

 

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* Asian shares shed early gains from a strong Wall Street lead on Wednesday, as some investors booked profits on a stellar run to record highs, but hope for additional U.S. economic stimulus and a vaccine kept market sentiment well supported.

* The Bank of Japan is ready to extend beyond March a range of steps aimed at easing corporate funding strains, suggesting a decision could come as early as this month.

* Australia’s economy rebounded sharply in the third quarter from a recession as consumer spending surged, though the country’s top central banker signalled monetary policy will stay accommodative for a while.

(Reuters)

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