(Reuters) – North Korea said it was witnessing a “stable” downward trend in its first confirmed COVID-19 outbreak, reporting less than 200,000 new patients with fever symptoms for a third consecutive day on Tuesday.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
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* Beijing extended work-from-home guidance for many of its 22 million residents to stem a persistent COVID-19 outbreak, while Shanghai deployed more testing and curbs to hold on to its hard-won “zero COVID” status after two months of lockdown.
* South Korea’s daily new COVID-19 infections dropped to below 10,000 for the first time in nearly four months on Monday, as the highly contagious Omicron variant recedes despite eased pandemic restrictions.
* The FDA set June 14-15 as the new meeting date to review Moderna’s emergency authorization request for its COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 6 months to 5 years and Pfizer’s vaccine for those aged 6 months through 4 years.
* Ocugen said on Monday the U.S. drug regulator had lifted the clinical hold on a mid-to-late stage trial of the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by its Indian partner Bharat Biotech.
* AstraZeneca said on Monday its COVID-19 vaccine has been approved in the European Union by the bloc’s drugs regulator as a third-dose booster in adults.
* British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said a report by a senior civil servant into COVID-19 lockdown rule breaches in his Downing Street offices was due to be published soon, and rejected criticism the inquiry was not independent.
AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST
* The number of foreigners arriving in Turkey last month more than tripled from a year earlier, with sector representatives expecting tourist numbers this year to return to around 2019 levels, leaving the 2020-21 coronavirus slump behind.
* Drugmakers Pfizer and BioNTech said on Monday that three doses of their COVID-19 vaccine generated a strong immune response in children under age 5 and was safe and well-tolerated in their clinical trial.
* U.S. and European stocks rallied on Monday, with the S&P 500 for the moment moving away from a bear market, while the euro leapt after the European Central Bank said it was likely to lift its deposit rate out of negative territory by September. [MKTS/GLOB]
* Governor Andrew Bailey on Monday pushed back against his critics who blame the Bank of England for allowing inflation to accelerate to a 40-year high, saying the facts do not support this.
* The global job market is at risk of doing a U-turn on its path towards recovering to pre-COVID-19 levels as lockdowns in China and the war in Ukraine weigh on economies, the International Labour Organization said in a report on Monday.
* China will broaden its tax credit rebates, postpone social security payments and loan repayments, roll out new investment projects and take other steps to support the economy, state television quoted the cabinet as saying on Monday.
(Compiled by Valentine Baldassari and Amy Caren Daniel; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Arun Koyyur)