(Reuters) – Leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies are set to commit to supporting efforts to shorten to 100 days the period needed to develop new vaccines, drugs and tests in a pandemic, according to a draft joint document.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
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* Russia reported 1,163 new deaths, its highest one-day toll of the pandemic, amid a surge in cases that has forced officials to reimpose partial lockdowns.
* Poland’s total number of cases since the start of the pandemic passed 3 million, health ministry data showed, as the fourth wave of infections gathers pace.
* Crowd surfing will not be permitted at concerts in Ireland and nightclub goers must form a socially distanced queue to buy drinks, under guidelines issued by the government for recently reopened venues.
* Ukraine registered a record daily high of 26,870 new infections over the past 24 hours, exceeding the previous high of 26,071 a day earlier, the health ministry said.
* Regulations governing deep-sea mining will take longer to finalise due to the global pandemic, a group of Latin American and Caribbean countries said.
* The U.S. economy grew at its slowest pace in more than a year in the third quarter as a resurgence in cases further stretched global supply chains.
* A Chinese jade trading hub on the border with Myanmar vowed strict control over domestic outbound travel to halt the spread of COVID-19, sustaining some of the toughest zero-tolerance policies in China.
* Malaysia, which said it would proceed with the procurement of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for children, announced its largest ever budget to jump-start a pandemic-battered economy.
* South Korea will drop all operating-hour curbs on restaurants and cafes and implement its first vaccine passport for high-risk venues such as gyms, saunas and bars.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* The European Commission suspended funding for its COVID-19 operations to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) programmes in the Democratic Republic of Congo due to concerns over the U.N. agency’s handling of a sexual abuse scandal.
* Takeda Pharmaceutical, the Japanese partner for Novavax’s vaccine, is preparing to seek regulatory approval for a roll-out in Japan early next year, its top executive said.
* An estimated 30 million to 50 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine made early this year sits idle in Emergent BioSolutions Inc’s plant in Baltimore awaiting a green light from U.S. regulators to ship, two sources familiar with the matter said.
* The WHO said it was seeking further data from Merck on its experimental new antiviral COVID-19 pill and hoped to issue guidance in coming weeks.
* Amazon and Apple earnings took the froth out of U.S. stock futures and world equities, though the euro held near one-month highs on euro zone rate rise hopes. [MKTS/GLOB]
(Compiled by Juliette Portala and Sherry Jacob-Phillips ; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)