(Reuters) – Daily infections in Sydney fell for a third straight day on Tuesday but still lingered near record levels as the outbreak spurred a spike in vaccination rates in the hard-hit western suburbs of Australia’s largest city.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
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* Britain will set aside a further 5.4 billion pounds ($7.5 billion) over the next six months to help its pandemic-hit health services, and will likely approve vaccinations for 12- to 15-year-olds.
* Denmark has cancelled its previously announced plans for a public tender to establish a national vaccine production facility as it bets on a shot under development by a domestic firm.
* An Indian court has ordered the government to offer a choice of a shorter four-week gap between doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine to those paying for the shots, down from 12 to 16 weeks now.
* Vietnam jailed a man on Monday for five years for breaking strict quarantine rules and spreading the virus, state media reported. Its capital city of Hanoi extended restrictions for a further two weeks.
* Japan’s government has agreed to purchase 150 million doses of Takeda Pharmaceutical’s vaccine, which will be produced using Novavax Inc’s formula.
* New Zealand reported a slight rise in new locally acquired cases on Tuesday ahead of relaxing restrictions in all regions outside Auckland, its largest city.
* Peru has reached an agreement with Russia to install a plant to produce the Sputnik V vaccine.
* The Chilean health regulator has approved the vaccine produced by China’s Sinovac Biotech for use in children over 6 years of age.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Israel will allow small foreign tour groups from selective countries to visit from Sept. 19 under a pilot programme to kick-start tourism.
* Kuwait will resume direct commercial flights with India on Tuesday, the Gulf country’s civil aviation authority said.
* Japan has selected COVID-19 candidate treatments made by AstraZeneca, Shionogi & Co and Fujifilm Holding to receive subsidies for clinical trials.
* Europe’s medicines regulator is evaluating data on a booster dose for the vaccine developed by Pfizer/BioNTech, to be given six months after the second dose in people aged 16 years and older.
* Indian drug developer Hetero has received emergency use approval from the country’s health authorities to make a generic version of Roche Holding’s COVID-19 drug.
* A global stocks index hit a record high on Tuesday as investors took comfort in growing views the U.S. Federal Reserve is likely to delay the start of tapering its asset purchases and maintain its expansive monetary policy for the near term. [MKTS/GLOB]
* China’s exports unexpectedly grew at a faster pace in August helped by strong global demand.
* Australia’s central bank has confirmed plans to trim its massive bond buying programme, counting on the economy to rebound rapidly once a rush of vaccinations helps ease the grip of harsh lockdowns.
* German industrial output rose more than expected in July after three monthly drops.
(Compiled by Ramakrishnan M. and Juliette Portala; Edited by Andrew Cawthorne and Shounak Dasgupta)