Latest on worldwide spread of the coronavirus

The number of coronavirus infections recorded across the world passed the 90 million mark on Monday (11 January). Mexico, France and Russia confirmed the presence of the new variant first found in Britain, while China’s daily tally of cases reached its highest in more than five months, write Anita Kobylinska and Ramakrishnan M.

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

EUROPE

* Britain is ramping up its rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations as its top medical officer said the next few weeks will be the worst yet, with deaths and cases hitting record highs.

* Britain is concerned about the spread of COVID-19 in supermarkets, particularly when shoppers break the rules by not wearing masks.

* Spain’s government will send convoys carrying COVID-19 vaccines and food to areas hit by the heaviest snowfall in decades.

* Several thousand protesters gathered in Prague’s Old Town Square on Sunday to call on the government to lift coronavirus restrictions.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* A World Health Organization (WHO) team of international experts tasked with investigating the origins of the pandemic will arrive in China on Jan. 14, Chinese authorities said.

* Japanese health officials have detected a new coronavirus variant, which differs from those found in Britain and South Africa, in four travellers from Brazil’s Amazonas state.

* China will continue to suspend flights to and from Britain and Vietnam and will limit flights bringing citizens home until the end of the Lunar New Year in mid-February.

* The Philippines has secured 25 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech, with the first 50,000 expected to arrive in February.

* Indonesia’s food and drug agency granted emergency use approval to a COVID-19 vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech.

AMERICAS

* Brazil’s weekly rolling average of deaths per day reached 1,111 on Sunday, passing 1,000 for the first time since early August.

* U.S. President-elect Joe Biden may speed up distribution of vaccines to states, and said he would deliver a plan costing “trillions” of dollars this week.

* Texas will allocate about half of its latest vaccine supplies to just 28 healthcare sites, officials said on Sunday, aiming to speed distribution.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* Seychelles has started vaccinating its population with doses from China’s Sinopharm vaccine, President Wavel Ramkalawan said.

* Algeria has become the first African country to register Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine for use.

* The Palestinian Authority said it expects to receive its first vaccine doses in March under a deal with drugmaker AstraZeneca.

* Israel’s coronavirus vaccination campaign, which it says is the world’s fastest per capita, shifted to booster shots on Sunday.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* The U.S. drugs regulator said genetic variants of COVID-19 could lead to false negative results from some molecular tests, but the risk of the mutations affecting overall testing accuracy is low.

* Europe’s medicines regulator expects drugmaker AstraZeneca to apply for approval of its vaccine next week.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* World shares slipped from record highs on Monday as caution over rising cases saw some profit-taking from investors, while Treasury yields remained close to 10-month highs, indicating expectations for global reflation from anticipated U.S. fiscal stimulus. [MKTS/GLOB]

* China’s factory gate prices fell last month at their slowest pace since February, official data showed on Monday.

* Brent crude oil prices fell by $1 per barrel on Monday, hit by renewed concerns about global fuel demand amid tough lockdowns in Europe and new curbs on movement in China.


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