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Health News

Factbox: Latest on worldwide spread of the coronavirus

(Reuters) - Britain’s AstraZeneca said its COVID-19 vaccine could be around 90% effective without any serious side effects, while the United States and Germany said they could start inoculating their citizens by next month. [nL4N2I91B5]

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

* Britain is on track to make COVID-19 vaccines widely available by next spring after the shot developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca was up to 90% effective in trials, the head of the university’s Jenner Institute said.

* Britain is looking at reducing COVID-19 self-isolation time, its health secretary said.

* Many of Germany’s 16 federal states favour extending a partial shutdown for about three weeks to slow the spread of the pandemic and make family gatherings over Christmas possible, two state premiers said.

* Bustling waiters and the smell of coffee returned to Barcelona’s pavements as bars and restaurants in the Spanish region of Catalonia reopened in a phased easing of restrictions.

AMERICAS

* U.S. officials prepared to begin inoculating Americans against the coronavirus by mid-December as another global drug company announced promising trial results toward a vaccine, providing hope as the pace of infections accelerated.

* Mexico reported 9,187 additional cases on Sunday, the third time it has recorded more than 9,000 new infections in a single day.

* Chile’s president said his government would appeal to the Constitutional Court to halt a pensions bill, which supporters say would help Chileans struggling with the pandemic’s economic fallout.

* Pope Francis says in a new book that he can relate to people in intensive care units who fear dying from coronavirus because of his own experience when part of his lung was removed 63 years ago.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* Indonesia reached a grim milestone in surpassing more than half a million cases, as average new daily infections hit a record and hospitals in the country’s most populated province edged closer to capacity.

* India plans to put off the winter session of parliament due to the rising number of infections.

* Hong Kong reported 73 new cases as the government warned the epidemic is rapidly worsening with silent transmission chains feared amid a rise in asymptomatic infections.

* Australia’s two biggest states reunited in emotional scenes as the border reopened and the first flights since July landed in Sydney from Melbourne.

* New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern offered U.S. President-elect Joe Biden assistance in tackling the rampant spread of the pandemic in the United States.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* Bahrain’s interior ministry said a number of female detainees being held because of visa violations had contracted COVID-19.

* A sharp rise in infections in the Gaza Strip could overwhelm the Palestinian enclave’s meagre medical system by next week, public health advisers said.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* AstraZeneca said its vaccine could be around 90% effective without any serious side effects, but the success rate varied depending on the dose.

* AstraZeneca will have enough of its candidate vaccine for 200 million doses by the end of 2020, with drug substance for 700 million doses by the end of the first quarter of 2021 globally, its operations executive said.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* Investors scooped up stocks, commodities and emerging-market currencies and gave the dollar a wide berth as AstraZeneca and Oxford University provided markets with their now-regular Monday shot of encouraging vaccine news. [MKTS/GLOB]

* Greenhouse gas concentrations climbed to a new record in 2019 and rose again this year despite an expected drop in emissions due to COVID-19 lockdowns, the World Meteorological Organization said, warning against complacency.

Compiled by Linda Pasquini and Sarah Morland, Edited by Shounak Dasgupta and Gareth Jones

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