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Health News

Factbox: Latest on worldwide spread of the coronavirus

(Reuters) - The United States and France confirmed coronavirus vaccines would start rolling out in their countries next month, while Germany’s capital city is racing to open six mass vaccination centres by mid-December.

FILE PHOTO: A patient arrives outside Maimonides Medical Center, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., November 17, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread of COVID-19, open here in an external browser.

* Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals here for a case tracker and summary of news.

EUROPE

* More than 20 million people across England will be forced to live under the toughest category of restrictions when a national lockdown ends on Dec. 2, while fans of Premier League clubs in London and Liverpool would be allowed to attend games.

* Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, Europe’s second largest pharmaceutical hub, is gearing up for a surge next year in vaccine cargos that will need to be flown around the world at ultra-low temperatures.

* Moscow is currently awaiting large supplies of a vaccine, while neighbouring Ukraine sought a $100 million loan from the World Bank to buy doses.

AMERICAS

* Americans marked a muted Thanksgiving Day holiday on Thursday, sometimes seeing family only by video after political leaders discouraged travel or large gatherings.

* Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said he will not take a vaccine, while the governor of Sao Paulo state floated the idea of rolling out one without approval from the national health regulator.

* Argentines in their thousands, wearing soccer jerseys and face masks, packed into the streets of Buenos Aires to pay their last respects to flawed soccer genius Diego Maradona, despite virus concerns.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* South Korea is bracing for a shortage of hospital beds as infections neared a nine-month high, while media reports said the country’s intelligence agency thwarted North Korean attempts to hack domestic vaccine makers.

* Australia’s second-largest state, once the country’s COVID-19 hotspot, said it has gone 28 days without detecting any new infections.

* China is pushing a narrative via state media that the virus existed abroad before it was discovered late last year in the central city of Wuhan.

* Thailand is set to sign a purchase agreement for AstraZeneca’s potential vaccine this week, in the country’s first such procurement deal.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* Mass vaccination against COVID-19 is unlikely to start in Africa until midway through next year and keeping vaccines cold could be a big challenge, the continent’s disease control group said on Thursday.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* AstraZeneca is working with regulators to investigate a lower dosage of its vaccine that performed better than a full dosage, after its chief executive officer was quoted as saying an additional global trial was likely.

* Developers of the Sputnik V vaccine said that AstraZeneca should try combining its experimental shot with the Russian one to boost efficacy.

* Children in the district of Hildburghausen, Germany’s coronavirus hotspot, will be mass tested to find out to what extent they contribute to a rapid surge in infections.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* Asian shares stalled near record highs on Friday as investors weighed renewed doubts about a highly-anticipated coronavirus vaccine against hopes that some of the region’s economies will recover quicker than their Western peers. [MKTS/GLOB]

* Profits at Chinese industrial firms rose 28.2% year-on-year in October to 642.91 billion yuan ($97.79 billion), official data showed.

* Japan will extend until February next year a subsidy scheme that compensates companies for retaining jobs while temporarily closing business.

* Britain’s finance minister said that record public borrowing is not forecast to fall fast enough to be sustainable, the closest he has come to acknowledging taxes will need to rise once the pandemic is over.

Compiled by Ramakrishnan M.; Edited by Shounak Dasgupta

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