(Reuters) – Shanghai set out plans on Monday for the return of more normal life from June 1 and the end of a painful COVID-19 lockdown that has lasted more than six weeks and contributed to a sharp slowdown in China’s economic activity.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
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* Russia will promptly consider any request from North Korea for COVID-19 vaccine supplies, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.
* Poland expects the European Union to unblock billions of euros in COVID-19 recovery funds in the coming days, a government spokesman said on Friday, after negotiators reached “milestones” in talks over the approval of its National Recovery Plan.
* The prevalence of COVID-19 infections in England fell to 1 in 45 people in the week ending May 7, the Office for National Statistics’ Infection Survey said, down from an estimated 1 in 35 people who had the infection the previous week.
* General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co and Chrysler parent Stellantis NV said they are reinstating a requirement that employees wear masks in southeastern Michigan where there are high levels of COVID-19.
* Leader Kim Jong Un has ordered North Korea’s military to stabilise distribution of COVID-19 medicines in the capital, Pyongyang, in the battle on the country’s first confirmed outbreak of the disease, state media said.
* North Korea is facing its first confirmed COVID-19 outbreak with no known vaccine programme, sparking new calls for the government to accept aid that could save lives, help protect its battered economy, and possibly lead to a diplomatic opening.
* New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tested positive for COVID-19 with moderate symptoms.
AFRICA AND MIDDLE EAST
* International agencies and charitable foundations providing COVID-19 vaccines for Africa should order African-made vaccines, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa told a global COVID-19 summit.
* Moderna Inc said on Friday the Swiss drugs regulator, Swissmedic, had authorized the use of its COVID-19 vaccine for children aged six to 11 years.
* Asian share markets were struggling to sustain even a minor rally after shockingly weak data from China underlined the deep damage lockdowns were doing to the world’s second-largest economy.
* China’s economic activity cooled sharply in April as widening COVID-19 lockdowns took a heavy toll on consumption, industrial production and employment, adding to fears the economy could shrink in the second quarter.
* China’s central bank rolled over maturing medium-term policy loans while keeping the interest rate unchanged for a fourth straight month as expected, but markets still expect easing measures to prop up the economy.
(Compiled by Aditya SOni; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)