News World Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 77.57 million

Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 77.57 million

More than 77.57 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,709,633​ have died, according to a Reuters tally.

These are the latest developments on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus:

At least four drug makers expect their COVID-19 vaccines will be effective against the new fast-spreading virus variant that is raging in Britain.

At the same time, Americans were warned again not to travel for Christmas as the latest surge in cases overwhelmed hospitals

EUROPE

* France will reopen its borders to passengers from England, ending a blockade intended to stop the spread of a new coronavirus variant, but which has held up thousands of lorries before Christmas.

* Sweden’s government is rushing to put forward a temporary pandemic bill that would give it powers to shut shops, private museums and by law limit the number of people in gatherings, news agency TT reported.

* Ireland will shut restaurants, pubs and some shops on Christmas Eve and they may not open again until early March amid “enormous concern” for older people from a sudden surge in COVID-19 cases, the government said.

AMERICAS

* U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to not sign an $892 billion coronavirus relief bill that includes desperately needed money for individual Americans, saying it should be amended to increase the amount in the stimulus checks.

* Weekly COVID-19 cases rose by the highest amount since the pandemic began, the World Health Organization said, with the Americas accounting for half of them.

* Brazil’s Health Ministry expects to have at least 150 million doses of vaccines against COVID-19 available in the first half of 2021, with a third or more coming from a Chinese company despite the president’s early scepticism.

* Peru surpassed 1 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus, as concerns about a potential second wave of infections began to grow in the hard-hit Andean nation.

* The U.S. government does not intend to impose COVID-19 screenings for passengers travelling from Britain after the emergence of the new virus variant there, people briefed on the decision said.

* Canada is introducing extra measures to screen people who have spent time in Britain to check for the mutated COVID-19 variant.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* As Singapore prepares to roll out COVID-19 vaccinations its striking success in controlling the virus is making some question whether they should take the jabs.

* Australia’s most populous state relaxed coronavirus restrictions for Christmas following a second straight day of low case numbers, although parts of Sydney’s northern seaside suburbs remain under lockdown.

* South Korea reported its second-highest daily tally of coronavirus cases as a survey underscored growing public dissatisfaction with President Moon Jae-in’s handling of the latest wave of infections hitting the country.

* Japan will ban the entry of non-Japanese people from the United Kingdom following the emergence of the new virus strain.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* Dubai will start inoculating people with the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech for free from Wednesday.

* Kenya’s parliament voted to end tax cuts put in place in April to cushion the economy from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* British drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc told Reuters its COVID-19 vaccine should be effective against the new coronavirus variant, adding that studies were under way to fully probe the impact of the mutation.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* U.S. stock futures fell, commodities slipped, and Treasuries edged higher after Trump threw a last-minute spanner in to pandemic relief plans by threatening not to sign a long-awaited stimulus bill in to law.

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