More than 52.45 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,289,498 have died, according to a Reuters tally.
Here are the latest developments on worldwide spread of the coronavirus:
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* A surge in coronavirus infections in Greece‘s northern city of Thessaloniki is pushing the hospital system to its limits.
* French Prime Minister Jean Castex said there would be no easing for at least two weeks of the country’s second COVID-19 lockdown.
* Portugal announced an expansion of a nightly curfew and weekend lockdown already in place across more than 100 municipalities to a further 77 areas.
* Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, may have to begin suspending non-essential surgeries again starting in two weeks as surging coronavirus cases fill hospital intensive care units.
* Argentine authorities said were informed about an alleged finding by China of traces of COVID-19 on the external packaging of a shipment of the South American country’s beef.
* U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said vaccine developers should push to make billions off their COVID-19 vaccines to ensure access to all parts of the world, instead of focusing on the rich countries.
* Australia will not allow foreign students to return as Canberra prioritises the return of locals stuck overseas, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday.
* New Zealand reopened downtown Auckland after contact tracing of a new coronavirus case revealed it was linked to a known case from a border isolation facility.
* China is facing an increased risk of local transmission of the coronavirus in the winter due to imported cases.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Israel will sign a provisional deal with Pfizer Inc to receive 8 million doses of the drug maker’s still-experimental coronavirus vaccine from January.
* Iraq has started closing camps housing tens of thousands of people after COVID-19 delays, but aid groups warn this could create a second wave of displacement with dire consequences.
* Early testing of a potential COVID-19 vaccine developed by an Australian university and CSL Ltd has shown it to be safe and produce an antibody response.
* CureVac said its experimental COVID-19 vaccine will most likely be suitable for standard fridge temperature logistics.
* The World Health Organization is in talks with the Russian institute that developed the Sputnik V candidate vaccine over its potential application for emergency use listing.
* Ethnic minority groups are disproportionately affected by the novel coronavirus, with Blacks and Asians at increased risk of COVID-19 infection compared to white individuals, according to an analysis published in The Lancet medical journal.
* Stocks in Asia fell on Friday, following on from selloffs in the United States and Europe as investors feared the economic impact of an accelerating rise in coronavirus infections.
* The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to a seven-month low last week, but the pace of decline has slowed and further improvement could be limited by a raging COVID-19 pandemic and lack of additional fiscal stimulus.
* Euro zone industrial production unexpectedly declined in September, driven chiefly by a sharp fall in the output of durable consumer goods.