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Latest On The Worldwide Spread Of The Coronavirus

Latest On The Worldwide Spread Of The Coronavirus

Europe's drugs regulator said on Friday it had launched a realtime review of CureVac's COVID19 vaccine to speed up potential approvals and bring more shots to the region reeling from a surge in infections. The EU hopes to start giving out money from its 750 billion euros coronavirus economic recovery fund before the end of the summer.

Europe’s drugs regulator said on Friday it had launched a real-time review of CureVac’s COVID-19 vaccine to speed up potential approvals and bring more shots to the region reeling from a surge in infections. The EU hopes to start giving out money from its 750 billion euros coronavirus economic recovery fund before the end of the summer.

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS * 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’s vaccines chief Alain Fischer told France Info radio that he hoped the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would be available in France in April.

* Poland is raising the maximum age limit for people receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine to 65, the minister in charge of the vaccination programme said.

* Montenegro and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines have approved Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine for use, Russia’s RDIF sovereign wealth fund said.

* The European Commission has so far approved all requests for the export of vaccines, including to Britain, the United States, China and Japan, since it set up a mechanism to monitor vaccine flows on Jan. 30.

AMERICAS

* A variant identified in the Brazilian Amazon may be three times more contagious that original coronavirus but early analysis suggests vaccines are still effective against it, the country’s health minister said on Thursday, without providing evidence for the claims.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* Japanese retail group Aeon said it will offer its shopping malls throughout the country for vaccinations in response to a government request.

* The first batch of Pfizer’s vaccine arrived in Japan, media reported, with official approval expected within days as the country races to control a third wave of infections ahead of the Olympic Games.

* New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Friday the country’s inoculation program will likely begin on Feb. 20, brought forward by the earlier receipt of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine than originally anticipated.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* South Africa has secured millions of doses of Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer vaccines to fight the highly infectious variant that is dominant in the country.

* Kenya is going ahead with its plan to inoculate its citizens using AstraZeneca’s vaccine, while Zimbabwe has bought 600,000 shots from China’s Sinopharm, in addition to 200,000 China has donated.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* AstraZeneca’s vaccine is not perfect, but will have a big impact on the pandemic, its chief executive officer predicted, as the drugmaker pledged to double output by April and the African Union gave its backing.

* Roche’s arthritis drug tocilizumab cuts the risk of death among patients hospitalised with severe COVID-19, also shortening the time to recovery and reducing the need for mechanical ventilation.

* Merck said it was in talks with governments and companies to potentially help with manufacturing of vaccines that have been already authorized.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* U.S. President Joe Biden will meet with a bipartisan group of mayors and governors on Friday as he continues to push for approval of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan to bolster economic growth and help millions of unemployed workers.

* Britain’s coronavirus-ravaged economy slumped 9.9% in 2020, the biggest annual crash in output in more than 300 years, but it avoided heading back towards recession at the end of last year and looks to be on course for a recovery in 2021.

* Turkey’s current account tumbled to a deficit of $36.72 billion last year from a $6.76 billion surplus in 2019, as the pandemic hit tourism and Turks snapped up record amounts of gold, central bank data showed.

* Japan’s core machinery orders likely fell in December for the first time in three months, a Reuters poll showed on Friday, and renewed restrictions to curb coronavirus infections could prompt firms to rein in capital spending further.

(Compiled by Veronica Snoj and Ramakrishnan M; Edited by Anil D’Silva and Shounak Dasgupta)

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:February 12, 2021, 16:42 IST