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Factbox: Latest On Worldwide Spread Of The Coronavirus

Factbox: Latest On Worldwide Spread Of The Coronavirus

A World Health Organizationled team investigating the origins of the coronavirus is to begin virtual meetings with their Chinese hosts from a hotel in the city of Wuhan, where the pandemic first emerged.

A World Health Organization-led team investigating the origins of the coronavirus is to begin virtual meetings with their Chinese hosts from a hotel in the city of Wuhan, where the pandemic first emerged.

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

EUROPE

* Hungary’s medical regulator will hopefully give a “clear answer” in a few days on whether the country can start using a vaccine developed by China for mass inoculations, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told state radio.

* The Italian government has approved a new stimulus package worth 32 billion euros ($38.8 billion) to prop up the battered economy.

* Chancellor Angela Merkel wants “very fast action” to counter the spread of COVID-19 mutations after Germany recorded a record number of deaths from the coronavirus.

* Russia plans to apply to the European Union next month for approval of its Sputnik V vaccine.

* France will strengthen border controls and bring forward its night curfew by two hours to 6 p.m. for at least a fortnight.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* China reported the highest number of daily COVID-19 cases in more than 10 months due to a severe outbreak in the northeast that has put more than 28 million people under lockdown.

* Australia is on course to record its second straight day of zero local COVID-19 cases, helped by tougher restrictions on public movement and internal borders.

* Japan will temporarily suspend exemptions allowing foreign athletes to train in the country ahead of the Summer Olympics, Kyodo News reported.

* The Philippines extended by two weeks a ban on travellers from more than 30 territories and countries where a more transmissible COVID-19 variant has been detected.

AMERICAS

* U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is due to outline his plan to ramp up vaccinations against COVID-19 as he prepares to take office amid soaring infection rates.

* Quebec may space out doses of COVID-19 vaccines by as long as 90 days, beyond the recommended 42-day interval as high caseloads threaten to overwhelm its hospitals.

* Hospitals in Brazil’s northern state of Amazonas ran short of oxygen and made an urgent call for help from the United States on Thursday.

* Caribbean tourism officials are rushing to increase COVID-19 testing capacity after the United States became the latest country to require nearly all arriving passengers to present a negative test within 72 hours of departure.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* South Africa delayed the start to its new school year by two weeks to Feb. 15, in order to prevent schools becoming transmission centres for COVID-19, as the country’s main mining industry body said it has agreed to support the government in the rollout of vaccines, including providing financial support.

* The Gambia has recorded its first two cases of the highly infectious coronavirus variant first found in Britain.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* A vaccine developed by China National Biotec Group, a Sinopharm subsidiary, is safe in those aged between three and 17, based on clinical data obtained by the company, state media reported.

* Britain’s transport minister said scientists think that vaccines will work on a new variant of the coronavirus found in Brazil.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* Asian shares stumbled lower and oil prices fell on Friday, as rising COVID-19 cases in China reinforced investor concerns over the prospects for a global economic recovery.

* Britain’s economy shrank in November for the first time since the initial COVID-19 lockdown last spring, hit by a tightening of social-distancing rules.

(Compiled by Veronica Snoj, Ramakrishnan M., and Devika Syamnath; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta, Shailesh Kuber and Alison Williams)

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor

first published:January 15, 2021, 15:51 IST