Factbox-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus – Metro US

Factbox-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

Tourists enjoy in the winter sun in Barcelona
Tourists enjoy in the winter sun in Barcelona

(Reuters) – Aaron Bell, a British lawmaker in the ruling Conservative party, has submitted a letter of no confidence in Boris Johnson, saying the prime minister’s handling of Downing Street lockdown parties had made his position untenable.



* Spain will next week lift a requirement for people to wear masks outdoors, extending a wider rollback of restrictions as contagion slowly recedes in the country.

* Greece will allow tourists with a European vaccination certificate to enter the country without having to show a negative COVID test from Feb. 7, the government said.


* Ottawa police vowed to crack down on an “increasingly dangerous” protest by hundreds of truckers who have shut down the center of the Canadian capital for eight days to demand an end to COVID-19 vaccine mandates.


* Hong Kong plans to roll out rapid antigen tests to all its 7.5 million people in the near future, city leader Carrie Lam said, as the increasingly isolated global financial hub tries to control a new outbreak.


* Turkey recorded 111,157 new COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours, its highest daily figure of the pandemic, while the daily death toll was its highest in four months, health ministry data showed.

* South Africa is seeing more cases of the BA.2 sub-variant of the Omicron coronavirus variant and is monitoring it, but there is no clear sign that BA.2 is substantially different from the original Omicron strain, a senior scientist said.

* The United Arab Emirates announced that it will lift a travel ban on its vaccinated citizens to travel to twelve African countries, state news agency WAM said.


* French drugmaker Sanofi said it still expected its COVID-19 vaccine to complete phase III trial in the first quarter.

* The mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine produced at the World Health Organization-backed vaccine hub in South Africa could take up to three years to get approval if companies do not share their technology and data, a WHO official said.

* British researchers want to repurpose existing antiviral therapies to treat COVID-19, the University of Oxford said, in an attempt to sidestep lengthy development processes through readily available drugs.


* Stock indexes around the globe traded mixed despite strong Amazon earnings, while gold prices slipped under pressure from a firmer dollar and higher U.S. Treasury yields as upbeat U.S. jobs data bolstered the case for Federal Reserve rate hikes. [MKTS/GLOB]

* The U.S. economy created far more jobs than expected in January despite the disruption to consumer-facing businesses from a surge in COVID-19 cases, pointing to underlying strength that should sustain the expansion as the Federal Reserve starts to raise interest rates.

(Compiled by Alexander Kloss, Shailesh Kuber and Krishna Chandra Eluri; Editing by John Stonestreet, Kirsten Donovan and Anil D’Silva)

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