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World News

Latest on the worldwide spread of coronavirus

(Reuters) - A top U.S. health official told a Senate committee that he expects COVID-19 vaccinations to take place over many months and that most Americans could be vaccinated by July of 2021 at the latest, while Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday kicked off a final 60,000-person trial of a single-shot vaccine.

FILE PHOTO: People wait in line at the Women's College coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing facility in Toronto, Ontario, Canada September 18, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio/File Photo

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7

* For a U.S.-focused tracker with a state-by-state and county map, open tmsnrt.rs/2w7hX9T

EUROPE

* The French government is expected to unveil a new colour-coded map of regions where the coronavirus situation is deteriorating, paving the way for local authorities to tighten restrictions, in Paris in particular.

* Switzerland has quarantined the entire undergraduate body of one of its premier hospitality management schools, following a COVID-19 outbreak linked to one or more parties.

* Germany added regions in 11 European countries to the list of destinations it classifies as coronavirus risk zones, dealing a further blow to hopes for a revival of tourism as many countries brace for a possible second wave of infections.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* Organisers of the delayed Tokyo Olympics will require COVID-19 tests for non-Japanese athletes and other participants upon arrival.

* Indonesia reported 4,465 new cases on Wednesday, its biggest daily rise.

* Australia’s coronavirus hot spot of Victoria is considering easing curbs sooner than previously flagged, as the two-week average of new infections in Melbourne dropped below 30.

AMERICAS

* New York City officials said they were working to address a rise in COVID-19 cases in parts of Brooklyn and Queens that was raising “a lot of concern.”

* Canada’s Liberal government promised major new investments and policy initiatives to help the country recover from the pandemic, saying “this is not the time for austerity”.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* The United Arab Emirates reported its highest daily number of infections since the start of the pandemic at 1,083 new cases.

* Ethiopia has agreed to buy 1.5 million testing kits that will be made at a factory there that has been newly built by China’s BGI Group.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday began a 60,000-person trial of an experimental single-shot COVID-19 vaccine that, if proven effective, could simplify distribution of millions of doses compared with leading rivals requiring two doses.

* Britain will host clinical trials where volunteers are deliberately infected with the new coronavirus to test the effectiveness of vaccine candidates, the Financial Times reported.

* Brussels is close to wrapping up preliminary talks with U.S. vaccine maker Novavax for its potential COVID-19 shot.

* The head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration told a U.S. Senate hearing that the agency will vet the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, downplaying the role of the Trump administration in its authorization process.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* Shares fell and the dollar traded near two-month highs as data reaffirmed lingering concerns that new restrictions to counter coronavirus infections will hurt the economic recovery.

* U.S. business activity cooled in September, with gains at factories offset by a retreat at services industries, suggesting a loss of momentum in the economy as the third quarter draws to a close and COVID-19 lingers.

Compiled by Anita Kobylinska, Linda Pasquini and Amy Caren Daniel; Editing by Tomasz Janowski, Andrew Cawthorne and Sriraj Kalluvila

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