(Reuters) – President Joe Biden will push world leaders on Wednesday to do more to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, and announce a U.S. pledge to buy 500 million more vaccine doses to donate to other countries.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
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* Britain and South Korea have agreed to swap over 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses with each other, with the United Kingdom sending a first batch of Pfizer shots in the coming weeks and Korea returning the same volume by the end of the year.
* All Italians will likely be offered a third dose of vaccines in 2022 and after that recurring boosters will be needed, a health ministry adviser told daily Il Messaggero.
* Almost 40 million people in Russia have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the TASS news agency reported quoting Anna Popova, the head of the consumer watchdog.
* Brazil’s health minister tested positive for COVID-19 hours after accompanying President Jair Bolsonaro to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
* The premier of Canada’s Alberta province replaced his health minister in a cabinet reshuffle, as a fourth wave of cases swamped the healthcare system and the government came under fire for mishandling the pandemic.
* Panama will offer a third vaccine dose to moderate and severely immunocompromised people starting this week.
* Police in Australia’s Melbourne arrested more than 200 people after projectiles thrown by protesters injured two officers on the third consecutive day of demonstrations against COVID-19 curbs.
* China’s northeastern city of Harbin went into semi-shutdown after reporting new locally transmitted cases for the first time since early February.
* New Zealand may not get back to having zero cases in the community, the director general of health said as the country continues efforts to stamp out the Delta variant.
* Thailand pushed back plans to re-open Bangkok and some other major cities to foreign arrivals until November.
* Thailand also plans to speed up vaccinations and introduce urgent stimulus measures to mitigate the impact of its most severe outbreak.
* All Indian children aged 12 or older will become eligible for vaccinations from next month, when drug maker Cadila Healthcare launches its ZyCoV-D product, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
* South Korea said it would donate more than 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Vietnam next month.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* The United Arab Emirates cut the number of places where face masks must be worn as it gears up to open the Expo 2020 world fair next month and as official case numbers fall.
* A potential vaccine from China’s Clover Biopharmaceuticals was 67% effective against COVID-19 and 79% against the highly infectious Delta variant in a large, late-stage trial, the company said.
* Vaccine maker Serum Institute of India (SII) will invest 50 million pounds ($68 million) in Oxford Biomedica to help fund the development of a plant that manufactures COVID-19 shots.
* The Federal Reserve is expected to clear the way on Wednesday for reductions to its monthly asset purchases later this year and show in updated projections whether higher-than-expected inflation or a resurgent pandemic is weighing more on the economic outlook.
* The Bank of Japan offered a bleaker view on exports and output as Asian factory shutdowns caused supply bottlenecks, but maintained its optimism that robust global growth will keep the economic recovery on track.
(Compiled by Milla Nissi; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)