(Reuters) – Beijing shut dozens of metro stations and bus routes on Wednesday in its campaign to stop the spread of COVID-19 and avoid the fate of Shanghai where millions of residents have been under strict lockdown for more than a month.
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.
* The four main parties to negotiations on an intellectual property waiver for COVID-19 vaccines have prepared an “outcome document” for approval by the broader membership, the WTO said on Tuesday, with its chief hoping for a final deal by June.
* The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended travelers continue to wear masks in airplanes, trains and airports despite a judge’s April 18 order declaring the 14-month-old transportation mask mandate unlawful.
* Shanghai residents are turning to the blockchain to preserve memories of the city’s month-long COVID-19 lockdown, minting videos, photos and artworks capturing their ordeal as non-fungible tokens to ensure they can be shared and avoid deletion.
AFRICA AND MIDDLE EAST
* Africa’s first COVID-19 vaccination plant, touted last year as a trailblazer for an under-vaccinated continent frustrated by sluggish Western handouts, risks shutting down after receiving not a single order, a company executive said.
* Asthma in children may worsen after an infection with the coronavirus, doctors warn.
* Slower growth in manufacturing output and freight transport is inevitable after the recovery from the pandemic, when consumer spending shifted to merchandise from services.
* Australian retail sales easily sped past forecasts for a third straight month in March as spending built a head of steam that should help it weather this week’s rise in interest rates.
* North Korea’s isolated economy will not be insulated from global economic headwinds caused by the Ukraine war and the COVID-19 lockdowns in China, analysts said, with recently resumed border trade taking a hit and inflation exacerbating food shortages.
* Shop prices in Britain surged last month at the fastest rate in more than a decade and worse is to come, according to a survey published on Wednesday that spelt further bad news for many households caught in a worsening cost-of-living crisis.
* The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday is expected to raise interest rates by half of a percentage point and announce the start of reductions to its $9 trillion balance sheet as U.S. central bankers intensify efforts to bring down high inflation.
* Home price growth in Canada is “unsustainably strong” and higher interest rates are needed to moderate demand, a senior Bank of Canada official said, while also noting the inflationary risks of the country’s overheating economy.
(Compiled by Sherry Jacob-Phillips; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)