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

Factbox-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

Children age 5 and up receive vaccinations against the coronavirus
Children age 5 and up receive vaccinations against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in San Jose

(Reuters) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday dramatically eased its COVID-19 guidelines for when Americans should wear masks indoors, a move that means 72% of the U.S. population will reside in communities where indoor face coverings are no longer recommended.

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

* Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals https://apac1.apps.cp.thomsonreuters.com/cms/?navid=1592404098 for a case tracker and summary of news.

EUROPE

* Germany does not have leeway to ease restrictions more quickly, and Germans should not think that the pandemic is over as the number of new daily infections is still very high, German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said.

* Sweden should have shut venues and taken other tougher measures early in the COVID-19 pandemic, though its no-lockdown strategy was broadly beneficial, a commission said on Friday.

* Italy reported 40,948 COVID-19 related cases on Friday, against 46,169 the day before, the health ministry said, while the number of deaths fell to 193 from 249.

AMERICAS

* Brazil had 91,595 new cases of the novel coronavirus reported in the past 24 hours and 770 deaths from COVID-19, the Health Ministry said on Friday.

* Canada in December recorded its first monthly surplus since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, while its deficit in the first nine months of fiscal 2021/22 continued to fall compared with the year-ago period, finance ministry data showed on Friday.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* As coronavirus cases hit record daily highs, the Hong Kong government plans to roll out compulsory mass testing for the city’s 7.4 million people in March, exacerbating separation fears among many local and expatriate families.

* Drugmaker Shionogi & Co has applied for approval to make and sell its oral COVID-19 treatment in Japan.

* This year’s World Team Table Tennis Championships in Chengdu, China has been pushed back to the end of September from its April dates due the spread of the Omicron variant, the International Table Tennis Federation said.

AFRICA AND MIDDLE EAST

* The Omicron BA.2 sub-variant appears to be more infectious than the original BA.1 sub-variant, but does not cause more severe disease, the head of Africa’s top public health body said.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* Patients with severe COVID-19 who develop diabetes while hospitalized may have only a temporary form of the disease and their blood sugar levels may return to normal afterward, according to new findings.

* Moderna Inc executives said on Thursday they believe a fourth vaccine shot will be needed late this year due to waning protection from earlier doses.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* British consumer confidence suffered its biggest month-on-month drop in February since the start of the pandemic, as people worried about fast-rising inflation, higher taxes and interest rates going up, a survey showed.

* Japan’s industrial output likely fell for a second month in January as the fast spread of the Omicron variant disrupted car production, a Reuters poll showed.

(Compiled by Valentine Baldassari, Uttaresh.V and Shinjini Ganguli; Edited by Milla Nissi and Maju Samuel)

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