News World Latest on worldwide spread of the coronavirus

Latest on worldwide spread of the coronavirus

More than 64.03 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,489,276​ have died, according to a Reuters tally.

Britain became the first in the world to approve Pfizer Inc’s COVID-19 shot on Wednesday, while Russian President Vladimir ordered a large-scale voluntary vaccination program to begin next week.

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

* The European Union criticized Britain’s rapid approval of Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine, saying its own procedure was more thorough.

* Turkey‘s daily COVID-19 death toll hit a record high for a tenth consecutive day.

* Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said more than 100,000 people had already been vaccinated, as Moscow presented its Sputnik V vaccine to the United Nations.

* The number of cases recorded in Poland passed 1 million, as the government agrees to buy 45 million vaccine doses.

AMERICAS

* U.S. health experts welcomed British emergency approval of Pfizer’s vaccine, while Canadian health authorities should soon complete their regulatory review of the shot.

* Brazil’s health regulator in a statement set the requirements for approving COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use in the country.

* COVID-19 deaths in the Americas have increased nearly 30% in November compared with the end of October, while North America is seeing record-setting daily cases, WHO’s regional director said.

* The CDC said it was adding two shorter self-quarantine periods recommended after potential exposure to the coronavirus to seven days with a negative test and 10 for without a test.

* Private U.S. companies have the right under the law to require employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, but are unlikely to do so.

* WHO does not believe there will be enough quantities of coronavirus vaccines in the next three to six months to prevent a surge of infections.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* Suspected North Korean hackers have tried to break into at least nine health organizations, including pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson and vaccine developer Novavax , revealing a broader effort to target key players in the race to develop COVID-19 treatments.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* Vaccines will be optional and free to all citizens and residents of Kuwait, the Gulf state’s prime minister said.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* Moderna’s vaccine could be approved for emergency use within 24 to 72 hours after the U.S. health regulator’s advisory

* Pfizer’s Portuguese unit said the pharmaceutical company would be able to distribute its vaccine in the Iberian country three days after the EU’s EMA has given it the green light.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* A bipartisan, $908 billion coronavirus aid plan should be the basis for immediate negotiations in the U.S. Congress to break a months-long logjam over new legislation, Democratic leaders said.

* World equity benchmarks hovered near record highs, as investors weighed the first approval of a coronavirus vaccine and the prospects for more U.S. economic stimulus.

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