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Health News

Latest on the worldwide spread of coronavirus

(Reuters) - Europe’s reported coronavirus cases more than doubled in 10 days, crossing 200,000 daily infections for the first time on Thursday, according to a Reuters tally, with many Southern European countries reporting their highest single-day cases this week.

A man wearing a protective face mask walks by murals of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S., October 21, 2020. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

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

* Germany is making preparations to start vaccinations against the coronavirus before the end of the year, Bild daily reported on Friday.

AMERICAS

* The Peruvian government refused to sign a coronavirus vaccine purchase agreement with AstraZeneca PLC because it did not provide sufficient data from its studies and offered minimal amounts of inoculations.

* The United States, state governments and some foreign countries should replace quarantines and travel bans on airline passengers with COVID-19 testing of travelers before departure and upon arrival, airline and business groups said.

* Several U.S. states, many of them in the Midwest, reported record single-day increases in cases.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* The Japanese government’s expert panel to combat the pandemic plans to propose on Friday extending the New Year holidays by about a week to Jan. 11, Kyodo News reported.

* Australia’s Victoria state - the epicentre of the country’s COVID-19 outbreak - reported that active coronavirus cases have fallen to a four-month low, paving the way for an acceleration in the easing of social distancing curbs.

* The Philippines’ coronavirus task force has approved the entry of foreign investors to the Southeast Asian nation starting from Nov. 1.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* Ethiopia can jail people for up to two years if they deliberately violate COVID-19 restrictions, the attorney general’s office said, amid concern that citizens are becoming lax after a state of emergency was lifted.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* The U.S. FDA approved Gilead Sciences Inc’s antiviral drug remdesivir for treating patients hospitalized with COVID-19, making it the first and only drug approved for the disease.

* Using blood of recovered COVID-19 patients - or so-called convalescent plasma - as a potential treatment is of little benefit in helping hospitalised patients fight off the infection, according to results of a clinical trial in India.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* Global stocks barely budged on Friday as investors tightened positions with less than two weeks to go before the U.S. presidential election and awaited a breakthrough in stimulus talks in Washington. [MKTS/GLOB]

* White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said negotiations with lawmakers on a coronavirus relief package, now totaling $1.9 trillion, have entered a new phase with congressional committee chairs meeting.

* Japan’s core consumer prices slipped for the second consecutive month in September, a sign that a coronavirus-induced demand downturn is piling deflationary pressure on the world’s third-largest economy already blighted by recession.

* The euro zone’s economic recovery is at serious risk of stalling as a resurgent coronavirus sweeps through Europe, according to economists in a Reuters poll.

Compiled by Devika Syamnath and Amy Caren Daniel; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Sriraj Kalluvila

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