(Reuters) – Singapore’s health ministry said it is looking into an “unusual surge” in infections after the city-state reported 5,324 new cases of COVID-19, the most since the beginning of the pandemic, while intensive care beds were filling up.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals for a case tracker and summary of news
* Finance minister Rishi Sunak used a stronger forecast for Britain’s post-lockdown economic recovery to promise higher public spending and he vowed to protect households from the sharp rise in inflation that could approach 5% next year.
* The Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccination deadline will not require immediate action on the part of employers against unvaccinated employees when it comes into force on Dec. 8, the White House coronavirus response coordinator said on Wednesday.
* The head of the New York City firefighters union said on Wednesday he had told unvaccinated members to report for duty regardless of an order by Mayor Bill de Blasio to place them on unpaid leave if they fail to get the COVID-19 shot.
* Brazil registered on Wednesday 433 new deaths due to COVID-19 and 17,184 additional confirmed cases, according to data released by the Health Ministry.
* COVID-19 is slowly retreating across most of North, Central and South America, the Pan American Health Organization said, reporting that last week the continent’s death and infection figures were the lowest in over a year. ASIA-PACIFIC
* Australia eased its COVID-related travel advice for several countries including the United States, Britain and Canada as it prepares to reopen its borders next week for the first time in over 18 months.
* New Zealand said on Thursday it would ease coronavirus border restrictions that have been in place since March 2020, and move to a system of home isolation for fully vaccinated overseas arrivals from early next year.
* China reported 39 new confirmed coronavirus cases for Oct. 27 compared with 59 a day earlier, the country’s health authority said on Thursday.
* Two new cases of the coronavirus were recorded in New Zealand’s South Island city of Christchurch, the first in almost a year, as the country battles the spread of an outbreak of the infectious Delta variant.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Growth in sub-Saharan Africa’s big economies will be mixed into 2022, after a year of recovery from lockdowns, as life slowly returns to normal amid low vaccination rates, a Reuters poll found.
* Novavax said it had completed the real-time submission of an application for the authorisation of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate in the United Kingdom.
* Global stocks eased from record peaks as a stark reminder of supply chain snags in corporate earnings reports stalled their rally, while investors also looked to whether central banks may consider tightening monetary policy earlier than thought. [MKTS/GLOB]
* The U.S. economy likely grew at its slowest pace in more than a year in the third quarter as COVID-19 infections flared up, further straining global supply chains and causing shortages of goods such as automobiles that almost stifled consumer spending.
* The Bank of Japan retained its easy monetary policy settings and projected inflation at well below its 2% target for at least two more years, reinforcing market bets it will lag other central banks in dialling back crisis-mode policies.
* Thailand’s finance ministry cut its 2021 economic growth forecast to 1.0% from the 1.3% expansion it projected earlier, an official said, as the country deals with its most prolonged coronavirus outbreak.
(Compiled by Sherry Jacob-Phillips; Editing by Anil D’Silva)