(Reuters) – Japan will lift a state of emergency in all regions on Thursday as the number of new cases falls, while India reported the smallest daily rise in COVID-19 deaths since mid-March.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* Sweden will offer additional groups, including people aged 80 and above, to top up their COVID-19 vaccinations with a third dose, the Nordic country’s health minister said.
* Italy’s health ministry said on Tuesday it had given the go-ahead for travel to six non-European tourist spots without the need for quarantine as a COVID-19 precaution either on arrival or return.
* New York hospitals began firing or suspending healthcare workers for defying a state order to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and resulting staff shortages prompted some hospitals to postpone elective surgeries or curtail services.
* Brazil will provide COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to all its people over 60-years-old, Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga said.
* A Brazilian hospital chain tested unproven drugs on elderly COVID-19 patients without their knowledge as part of an effort to validate President Jair Bolsonaro’s preferred ‘miracle cure,’ a lawyer for whistleblowing doctors told senators on Tuesday.
* Authorities in Costa Rica said on Tuesday all state workers will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19, making it one of the first countries in Latin America to impose a coronavirus vaccination mandate.
* China administered about 3.0 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines on Sept. 27, bringing total doses to 2.203 billion, data from the National Health Commission showed.
* India’s drug regulator has allowed vaccine maker Serum Institute to enrol kids aged 7-11 years for its trial of U.S. drugmaker Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine.
* Sydney residents who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 risk being barred from various social activities even when they are freed from stay-at-home orders in December.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Egypt is now providing immediate COVID-19 vaccinations at youth centres across the country without prior online registration, a step aimed at encouraging vaccinations and relieving pressure on hospitals and health units amid a fourth wave of infections.
* Algeria will start production of COVID-19 vaccine Sinovac in partnership with China on Wednesday with the aim of meeting domestic demand and exporting the surplus, the prime minister’s office said on Tuesday.
* Pfizer and BioNTech have submitted initial trial data for their COVID-19 vaccine in 5-11 year olds and said they would make a formal request with U.S. regulators for emergency use in the coming weeks.
* Sanofi is dropping plans for its own mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine because of the dominance achieved by BioNTech-Pfizer and Moderna in using the technology to fight the pandemic, the company said.
* As Merck & Co and Pfizer prepare to report clinical trial results for experimental COVID-19 antiviral pills, rivals are lining up with what they hope will prove to be more potent and convenient oral treatments of their own.
* Global shares fell for a third successive day on Tuesday, with tech stocks plummeting, as anxiety over when central banks might raise interest rates led to rising bond yields on both sides of the Atlantic. [MKTS/GLOB]
* Profits at China’s industrial firms grew at a weaker pace in August from a year earlier, slowing for a sixth consecutive month, as manufacturers struggled with high commodity prices, COVID-19 outbreaks and shortages of some key components.
* The East Asia and Pacific region’s recovery has been undermined by the spread of the Delta variant, which is likely slowing economic growth and increasing inequality in the region, the World Bank said.
(Compiled by Ramakrishnan M., Vinay Dwivedi and Juliette Portala; Edited by Arun Koyyur and Shounak Dasgupta)