News World Latest on worldwide spread of the coronavirus

Latest on worldwide spread of the coronavirus

More than 66.85 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,538,379​ have died, according to a Reuters tally.

In the meantime, Britain will start rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech on Tuesday, while U.S. President Donald Trump will sign an executive order to ensure Americans get priority access to procured vaccines.

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

* France may have to delay unwinding some restrictions next week after signs the downward trend in new cases has flattened out after shops were allowed to reopen late last month.

* Italy’s Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese discovered during a cabinet meeting on Monday that she had coronavirus, forcing her to abandon the gathering hastily, political sources said.

* Greece said it will not re-open schools, restaurants and courts until Jan. 7, while Hungary will maintain restrictions until Jan. 11.

AMERICAS

* The U.S. Congress will vote this week on a one-week stopgap funding bill to provide more time for lawmakers to reach a deal on COVID-19 relief and an overarching spending bill to avoid a government shutdown.

* Most Californians faced heavy new restrictions on Monday, while New York’s governor threatened to ban indoor restaurant dining in New York City.

* Canada will start receiving its first doses of Pfizer Inc’s vaccine before the end of December, sooner than expected, with millions more to follow in early 2021.

* Brazil’s President said COVID-19 vaccines will be offered for free to all citizens, as his government entered advanced talks to buy 70 million doses from Pfizer.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said the city will ban dining in restaurants after 6 p.m. (1000 GMT) and announce new measures later in the day.

* South Korea said it had signed deals to provide vaccines for 44 million people next year.

* Serum Institute of India is likely to supply a COVID-19 vaccine at over $3 a dose to the country’s government, according to a media report.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* A Cameroon man has been charged by the U.S. government with exploiting the pandemic by defrauding people seeking companionship into buying puppies online that were never delivered.

* A surge in COVID-19 infections and the prospect of another economic downturn could sorely test Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s reluctant acceptance of much higher interest rates and the need for greater austerity.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc said it has dosed the first participant in a mid-stage clinical trial testing its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, INO-4800.

* A top U.S. scientist overseeing COVID-19 vaccine trials expects a large U.S. study to determine how effective AstraZeneca’s experimental inoculation is.

* A year into a global battle against the coronavirus, the United Nations General Assembly on Monday declared Dec. 27 will be the “International Day of Epidemic Preparedness”.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* Asian stocks came under pressure on Tuesday as investors struggled to balance hopes for more economic stimulus and vaccines with anxiety over a surge in COVID-19 infections.

* Japan will compile a fresh 73.6 trillion yen ($708 billion) economic stimulus package to speed up the country’s recovery.

* Japan’s household spending rose in October for the first time in over a year, while a Reuters poll showed a slight improvement in sentiment among manufacturers and service-sector firms in December.

* A measure of Australian business confidence and conditions surged in November to “above average” as the second-largest state of Victoria emerged from its lengthy virus-induced lockdown and other states opened their borders to each other.

(Reuters)

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