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Health News

Latest on the worldwide spread of coronavirus

(Reuters) - The Australian state of Victoria on Monday eased some coronavirus-led restrictions after months, while much of Europe enacted new curbs.

People wearing face masks, due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, exit Monty's Blue Plate Diner in Madison, Wisconsin, U.S., October 18, 2020. REUTERS/Bing Guan

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

* Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte gave mayors the power to shut public squares from 9 p.m. to halt gatherings as he unveiled a further package of measures on Sunday to try to halt a sharp rise in cases.

* The Slovak government on Sunday approved plans to use up to 8,000 armed forces personnel to support mass testing of the population for COVID-19 as it battles a surge of infections.

* Ireland will bring in “decisive” nationwide COVID-19 restrictions on Monday but will stop short of reintroducing the kind of lockdown imposed earlier this year.

* Switzerland announced tighter restrictions on Sunday to tackle the recent spike in cases, including a national obligation to wear masks and a ban on large scale public gatherings.

* Britain needs to impose a three-week period of national lockdown restrictions immediately to stop coronavirus cases spiraling, government scientific adviser Jeremy Farrar said, adding that current regional measures would not be effective.

AMERICAS

* House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said differences remain with President Donald Trump’s administration on a wide-ranging coronavirus relief package but she was optimistic legislation could be pushed through before Election Day.

* New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said healthcare workers and high-risk populations, including some long-term care residents, would get priority in his state to receive a COVID-19 vaccine when one is approved and available.

* Panama will offer travelers a COVID-19 test when they arrive at its main airport, a little less than a week after resuming international flights.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* The Australian state of Victoria reported four new COVID-19 cases on Monday as people in Melbourne were granted more freedom to move about after a months-long lockdown, buoying hopes an outbreak in the city was nearing an end.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Israel on Sunday for treatment of a worsening case of COVID-19, the Palestine Liberation Organization said.

* South Africa’s health minister, Zweli Mkhize, and his wife have tested positive for COVID-19, his office said late on Sunday.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech are expected to pursue late-stage clinical trials of intranasal COVID-19 vaccines in the coming months once they receive regulatory approval, India’s health minister said on Sunday.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* China’s economic recovery accelerated in the third quarter as consumers shook off their coronavirus caution, however, overall growth missed forecasts pointing to persistent challenges for one of the world’s few current engines of demand.

* Italy has approved a new stimulus package in its 2021 budget to foster an economic rebound from the recession caused by the coronavirus crisis, a government statement said on Sunday.

* Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Sunday there was no need to change the central bank’s inflation target or forward guidance, even though the United States and Europe are reviewing their policy frameworks to seek better ways to prop up growth.

* New coronavirus-related restrictions on everyday life in the euro zone add to the economic uncertainty, underlining the need for continued easy fiscal and monetary policy, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said on Sunday.

* The German government is unlikely to make significant changes to its autumn economic forecasts, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Sunday, while cautioning that a failure to contain the pandemic could spell trouble.

Compiled by Frances Kerry and Amy Caren Daniel; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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