More than 46.73 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,202,824 have died, according to a Reuters tally.
In the meantime, new COVID-19 cases in the United States hit another record high last week, while Spain reported its biggest daily increase in infections since the start of the pandemic as Europe faces fresh curbs to contain a second wave of the outbreak.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* Britain, which has the highest official death toll in Europe, is grappling with more than 20,000 new cases a day and scientists have warned the “worst-case” scenario of 80,000 dead could be exceeded.
* Greece will impose a two-week lockdown in northern regions and suspend flights, while Italy will tighten restrictions but is holding back from reintroducing a nationwide lockdown as infections, hospital admissions and deaths surge.
* The ambulance service in northwest England, one of the areas worst-hit by COVID-19, declared a major incident over an exceptionally high volume of calls, especially in the Greater Manchester area.
* The Hungarian government will decide later this week whether to impose new restrictions.
* Sweden is set to double the funding allocated to regions for fighting the coronavirus, Finance Minster Magdalena Andersson said.
* A growing number of Russians are unwilling to be inoculated against COVID-19 once a vaccine becomes widely available, a pollster said.
* Argentina is expecting 10 million doses of Russia’s main experimental COVID-19 vaccine between December and January.
* Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said he was pondering declaring a state of emergency as a preventive measure to fight the spread of the coronavirus at a time when infections are soaring.
* Days after a 17-year-old girl tested positive for COVID-19 in a remote part of western China last week, health authorities said they had tested over 4.7 million people in the region.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* The European Union has agreed to provide Mozambique with 100 million euros in coronavirus-related aid, EU Ambassador Antonio Sanchez-Benedito Gaspar said.
* A small but key UK study found that “cellular immunity” to the virus is present after six months in people who had mild or asymptomatic COVID-19, suggesting some level of protection.
* CureVac said its experimental vaccine triggered an immune response in humans, putting it on track to start mass testing this year.
* Britain’s financial watchdog said it would extend payment holidays on credit cards, car finance, personal loans and pawned goods before tougher restrictions come into effect this week.
* The International Monetary Fund warned G20 economies the crisis was not over, calling on the United States, Britain and other countries to increase the fiscal spending currently planned.
* Signs that people are moving away from Tokyo, as telecommuting becomes the norm for many businesses, have put property investors on edge and pushed Japan’s real estate investment trust index to five-month lows.